SpaceX starship launch failed, why? What other information is worthy of attention? - Cykapu

SpaceX starship launch failed, why? What other information is worthy of attention?

o be honest, even if there is no pressure valve problem, the probability of the starship's first launch being successful is infinitely close to zero. However, I subjectively rated this starship launch as 90 points because, as I analyzed before, it has passed Max-Q. The specific explanation is in the 18th question below.
The specific reason for the failure is waiting for an update, but I think the problem may be that there are too many engines parked. When the launch took 1 minute and 11 seconds, 5 engines stopped working. At the same time, the thrust of the Raptor engine this time is only set At 90%, the loss of power is a bit too much. I don’t know if you have a feeling that when you climb to about 30 kilometers, it’s a bit "not moving". Let’s see if the second-generation Raptor engine will work in the next test. Improved.
Generally, the first and second stages are separated at an altitude of about 70 kilometers. This time, the starship anomaly occurred at 39 kilometers. It is very interesting that the starship tried to adjust its attitude to save itself before it completely failed, and tried to straighten it after flying upside down. In the end, it still failed, which is a small bright spot.
Although the employees cheered for the starship to survive Max-Q, and the sound of celebration after the rocket failed resounded in the studio, Musk’s expression was still very serious, probably because Boss Ma’s heart was bleeding, and that expression seemed to say: This is my money.
The following is a complete introduction to the starship, right as a popular science.
1. What is a starship?
"Starship" (Starship) is a super-large reusable launch vehicle developed and manufactured by Musk's private aerospace company SpaceX. The rocket is Musk's "dream" vehicle. It is designed to carry humans and goods to the moon, Mars and other deep space destinations. The starship consists of two main parts: the super heavy launch vehicle (Super Heavy) and the starship (Starship) itself. The first stage of the Super Heavy rocket, and the starship (upper stage) is a vehicle for long-term flight in space. The biggest highlight of the starship is not only a big rocket, but also Super Heavy and Starship, which can be recycled and reused. At the same time, on-orbit fuel refueling can be carried out in space to achieve longer space missions.

2. What is the goal of this launch?
This launch has no payload, mainly to fully test the first-level Super Heavy and the second-level StarShip, but it is worth noting that even if everything goes well, the second-level will not finally enter orbit, and will shut down when it almost enters orbit. Re-entry into the atmosphere to prevent the second-level follow-up abnormalities from becoming huge space junk (it will be very slow to enter the atmosphere after entering orbit), the following figure is a relatively clear process.

3. Why is the test launch of the starship so popular?
Because this is currently the most powerful launch vehicle developed by humans, and the design and development of the rocket's engine, launch vehicle first stage, launch vehicle second stage and other modules are highly innovative products (described in detail below).
Of course, the attention is also influenced by the reputation of Musk, the boss of the technology company he belongs to, SpaceX (who owns Tesla, Neuralink, Twitter, Boring Company, etc.).
The most important thing is that this rocket may lead mankind into the era of cheap spaceflight and trigger a wave of commercial spaceflight.

4. Why is cheap spaceflight likely to trigger a wave of commercial spaceflight?
Just like graphics card vendors and game vendors, game vendors can use this as a platform to develop large-scale games because of the continuous improvement of the computing power of graphics card products and the price acceptable to the public. Big games, so GPU products can be sold.
Cheap launch vehicles are a platform, and any company that wants to get involved in new fields such as aerospace and space can use this as a basis for product development.
For example, if space tourism costs 100 million US dollars per person, other people may not be able to afford astronauts except countries and large institutions. If space tourism costs 10 million US dollars per person, some rich people may try early adopters. USD, then some of the wealthy class and famous Internet celebrities may go to space to check in. If space tourism is 100,000 yuan per person, then some middle-class people may choose this as a memorable experience. If space tourism is 10,000 yuan per person Dollars, maybe many civilians, such as honeymooners, will choose to go to space.....
Of course, the most important thing is that this field is a blue ocean, while other industries are already red oceans.

5. Boeing successfully launched the SLS heavy rocket last year. What is the relationship between them?
From an industrial point of view, the two are in a competitive relationship. American aerospace companies involved in the field of launch vehicles include Boeing, Northrop Grumman, ULA, SpaceX, RocketLab, etc., in order to obtain launch orders from NASA, universities, the military, and enterprises. to compete. Boeing's SLS rocket successfully won the bid for the Artemis program led by NASA, and was developed and tested as the selected moon landing rocket.
From a project perspective, the two are cooperative. In the Artemis program of the United States, SLS is responsible for launching the Orion deep-space manned spacecraft to lunar orbit, and the Starship Starship is responsible for astronauts, scientific research equipment and other loads from lunar orbit to the lunar surface. round-trip transportation.

6. Doesn’t NASA make its own rockets?
No, NASA is the full name of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which is an agency of the US government. The main mode of operation is to invite bids as Party A of the project. NASA puts forward specific requirements, such as satellites that meet A conditions, manned spacecraft that meet B conditions, and launch vehicles that meet C conditions. Each aerospace company in the United States conducts bidding by category .
But NASA has a JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) laboratory, which will be responsible for the development of some complex and highly customized spacecraft.

7. How does the SpaceX starship compare with the SLS rocket and the Saturn V rocket?
The starship has a body height of 120 meters, a take-off mass of about 5,000 tons, and a take-off thrust of 7,600 tons. Its low-earth orbit capacity reaches 100-150 tons.
The SLS Block1 rocket has a body height of 98 meters, a take-off mass of about 2,608 tons, a take-off thrust of more than 4,000 tons, and a low-earth orbit capacity of about 95 tons.
The Saturn V carrier rocket has a body height of 110.6 meters and a diameter (10 meters), a take-off mass of 3,038 tons, a take-off thrust of 3,408 tons, and a low-Earth orbit capacity of 118 tons.
8. Why does the starship use stainless steel rocket body?
Because stainless steel is a material that is far cheaper than alloys and carbon fibers (carbon fiber is 150-200 US dollars per kilogram, stainless steel is 3 US dollars per kilogram), in Musk’s view, the starship is the key product that leads mankind into the era of cheap spaceflight. Under the premise of using lower cost materials to build rockets.
9. Why were stainless steel rarely used in previous launch vehicles?
Because the launch vehicle made of stainless steel is too heavy, there is no suitable space engine. If a high-thrust engine is used, then such a high-thrust engine is too expensive to afford the launch cost. If an ordinary engine is used, then the stainless steel rocket has almost no capacity margin to place the load considering the weight of the rocket body.

10. So SpaceX's Starship has cheap, high-thrust engines?
That's right, SpaceX has successfully developed the world's first practical full-flow staged combustion cycle engine-the Raptor. A single engine can provide more than 240 tons of thrust. According to Musk's industrial thinking that can be mass-produced, each production The cost is only $250,000. The super-heavy stage of the starship uses 33 Raptor engines, so it can provide powerful thrust.
11. 33 Raptor engines per launch?
At present, each launch of the test phase consumes all of it. The ultimate goal of the starship is that both the first-level Super Heavy and the second-level Starship can be recycled and reused. After reaching that stage, the Raptor engine will basically no longer be "wasted".
12. Is it risky to connect 33 engines in parallel?
It is indeed larger, and there are three reasons why Musk and SpaceX did this.
First. The heavy-duty Falcon developed by SpaceX uses 27 parallel engines. SpaceX has accumulated a certain amount of technology in the field of multi-engine parallel connection, so it is willing to continue to challenge the parallel connection of 33 engines.
Second. Musk has always advocated large-scale industrial mass production. The mass production of Raptor engines with parallel connection as the ultimate goal can better reduce power costs. Even if the parameters of a single Raptor engine are taken out, it is also a top engine in the aerospace field.
Third. According to SpaceX's skillful multi-engine parallel technology in the past, if an individual engine is abnormal, it can stop the engine and block the abnormality. If you only have 4 engines, you may lose 1/4 of the thrust, if you have 33 engines, you may only lose 1/33 of the thrust.
13. Musk already has the Falcon series of rockets, why should he develop starships?
SpaceX’s Falcon series rockets all recover the first stage, and the second stage will be consumed. Although recycling the first stage is already a breakthrough innovation, bringing mankind into the era of low-cost spaceflight, the absolute value of the launch price is still not low.
Musk and SpaceX are committed to developing a rocket that can be recovered at the first stage and the second stage. At the same time, this rocket can best meet Musk's dream of completing manned landing on fire, so there is a starship project.
14. How much is the cost target for starship launch?
If both the first and second stages can be recovered, the cost per launch is only $2 million.
15. What level does the launch fee belong to?
In the true sense of cheap aerospace, the Boeing SLS rocket with similar capacity costs 4 billion US dollars per launch, a difference of 2,000 times.
16. Why are SLS rocket launches so expensive?
Because the SLS rocket uses two five-stage SRB solid engines produced by Northrop Grumman, with a single thrust of 1,600 tons, and the core stage uses four RS-25 engines produced by Rocketdyne, each with a thrust of 230 tons. These expensive engines are only used once. At the same time, other modules such as the rocket body of the SLS rocket are also one-time consumable products.
17. Is rocket recyclable the right way?
Strictly speaking, it is one of them.
The purpose of recyclable rockets is to reduce the launch cost of the launch vehicle, but the only way to reduce the launch cost of the launch vehicle is not necessarily the only way to be recyclable. For example, in the future, humans will find that there is a certain ultra-cheap material that can produce disposable engines and disposable rocket bodies. wait.
Based on the current level of human science and technology, recyclable rockets are the most effective means to reduce the cost of launch vehicles.
18. How should the starship debut be scored?
First explain a term, the MAX-Q stage, which means that the rocket is in the state of the highest stress (dynamic pressure) during flight. At this time, the air resistance it bears reaches the maximum, and it is also the biggest test that the rocket body itself encounters. Many new rockets The launch goes through the MAX-Q stage, and the cheers from the studio are just that.
Here is my personal step-by-step rating:
Complete the set goals, successfully separate the first and second stages, shut down and re-enter the second stage before entering orbit as scheduled, full marks.
Successfully survived MAX-Q, but then there was an abnormality, 90 points.
The starship was launched into space, but it failed to reach MAX-Q, and an abnormality occurred, 60 points.
Explodes on the launch pad or seconds after liftoff, 30 minutes.

19. What would it mean if Starship succeeds?
For the United States, it is equivalent to the sum of technological milestone products such as Windows 98+Android 2.1+IPhone 4+Pentium chip multiplied by 3.
For the first time, humans have mastered cheap access to space.
Musk is the undisputed first person in the history of American industry/technology, far ahead of Gates, Jobs, Edison, Ford, Gordon Moore and others.
20. Is it inappropriate to attribute the achievements of SpaceX to Musk alone?
Windows 98/XP was developed by all Microsoft engineers, and the software and hardware of IPhone mobile phones were developed by all Apple engineers... There are countless such examples. To complete the research and development of technological products.
21. Considering the level of industry in the United States, are the achievements of Musk and SpaceX exaggerated?
If it is normal for Musk and SpaceX to be born at the industrial level of the United States, then why have there not been other Musks, other SpaceXs, other Falcon rockets, and other starships?
Why did SpaceX develop a recyclable launch vehicle in 2015, but eight years have passed, and many launch vehicle-related companies in the United States have not produced similar products?
Why can SpaceX develop a Merlin engine with a thrust-to-weight ratio and a Raptor engine with a full-flow staged combustion cycle under the same industrial level environment? After all, other companies can also recruit students from Harvard, Stanford, and MIT.