SpaceX Starship Conducts Critical Testing, and Secret Space Missions

SpaceX Starship Conducts Critical Testing, and Secret Space Missions

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This video is supported by Brilliant!  Hey Hey, Marcus House with you here,   and welcome back friends. With commercial space’s  aspirations expanding so rapidly there has never   been more to cover and this week is no exception.  Work at SpaceX’s Starbase still screams along,   including Ship testing, as they close that gap  between Starship’s orbital flight tests. Plenty   of Falcon 9 action or course sending multiple  missions into orbit in just this one week   alone. The Delta IV Heavy takes it’s second last  flight ever in this spectacular fiery display,   Rocket lab Hasterly launched its first ever  suborbital mission, but shhhhh it’s a secret.   And then we have got loads more of all this  terrific stuff. Let's jump right into it.

So, remember last week when I said we were truly  in the rebuild phase of the Starbase launch site?   Well this week, there was a bunch more evidence  of that. Just take a look at this! That was the   first of multiple flexible cryogenic hoses  being reinstalled at the back of the booster   quick disconnect. These hoses of course need to  be flexible to allow the booster quick disconnect   plate to move in and out from its hood. All while  being shielded from the mayhem of those 33 Raptor   2 engines roaring above as the Starship lifts off.  This sort of quick disconnect system is actually   being adopted by more and more launch companies.  Why? Because it provides a more seamless and   automated process than more traditional flex hoses  that connect directly to a rocket. For example,  

this is the upper stage of the Falcon 9. Those  hoses there need to be either replaced or   refurbished after each launch. Rather than the  older systems like this Starship and the launch   infrastructure that goes along with it, is being  designed as a vehicle that could launch multiple   times per day. Whether that will eventually  become true or not we will just have to see,   but innovations like these are always  a great improvement to the process!  So let’s just follow the main piping at the  launch mount right down one of the legs here,   more assembly is happening here! Yes, that’s  the first of the multiple cryogenic pipes for   the orbital launch mount being reinstalled  finally. These were removed a while ago of  

course after booster 7 performed the rapid  unscheduled digging at liftoff. That had   caused this structure nicknamed the doghouse  to be bent upwards, with the underlying   pipework being damaged right along with it. With his most recent flyover RGV Aerial   Photography was able to capture some very awesome  details of the ever growing rebar maze. Right   here we can see that there are already multiple  cryogenic pipes laid towards the launch mount leg,   showing that the Doghouse indeed will return. That  also means that this manifold that we previously   thought would go at that location shown in this  render by Ryan Hansen, can’t go there anymore,   at least not without some incredibly creative  pipework angles. Instead with this recess, it’s  

fairly safe to assume that one of the manifolds  will go there. The manifold right next to that   will most likely go right here in front, and that  leaves just one more to be placed at the opening   between these legs close to the tower. It is nice  to get more certainty on how the puzzle is solved!   All of the manifolds have also received the  protective covers shielding the nozzles. Some of   the plates embedded in the concrete to help secure  these manifolds have been lifted on the rebar cap   this week, ahead of the concrete pouring. At this  point though we aren’t fully certain how they   connect up the piping between the two different  sets of deluge tanks to these manifolds, but I’m   sure we’ll find that out very soon, so stay tuned! Speaking of those, this week multiple segments   were being lifted around the area. It’s  a really great sign I’d say that they  

are progressing rapidly with this system. One  really neat detail is that it’s very clear to   see which pipe segments are ready to be installed  in their permanent location. Once at this point,   they’ve been cut down to the required  size, and they have been painted white. 

Over at the suborbital side of Starbase,  Ship 25 is still standing proud at pad B,   ready to continue its testing campaign. It  did almost looked like testing wasn’t going to   happen this week, but on Wednesday there it was,  just before 2pm. Frost appeared on the vehicle   and we had a successful spin prime test. Or as  SpaceX likes to call it, a chill and spin test  

to check out those vital systems. In the case of  a spin prime, the engine's turbopumps are sped up   using high pressure gas, to test everything other  than actually igniting it. As stated by SpaceX,   this was all done in advance of the upcoming  static fire, and at the time of publishing   that looks likely to be this coming week! Let’s hop in the SpaceX shuttle and head to   the buildsite where this week saw the end of the  Ground Fabrication building. Unlike the Low Bay,  

this building wasn’t flattened in two simple  events. No, over time the crew carefully removed   each piece and even delicately lifted off its  door. Why were they being so careful though? Well,   many are speculating that this groundwork here  at the Sanchez site is all related. With some  

of the structure of the building now spotted  at that location I would say it’s looking very   likely that the ground fabrication  building will now be rebuilt there.  Nearby the assembly of the second Megabay had  rocked along during the week. All four corner   segments of the second layer were placed,  and beams connecting all four also installed.   Next up the cladding needed to be applied, and  then, onto installing more corner segments for   the third layer. Now the progress may slow here  just a little as SpaceX were seen creating two   trenches straight across the main entrance gate  of the Ringyard! This is most likely to do with   the previously mentioned and overdue expansion  of the electrical network. With the main lines   now in place from Brownsville they still need  to convert that higher voltage down to the more   suitable voltages used on-site, and the distribute  all that. To support any future upgrades they are  

using these Red-e-ducts. Some of which have been  stored at the Launch Site at the suborbital side   of the tank farm for months now. Great to  see what those are being used for at last!   That blockade of the main entrance didn’t  last long, as SpaceX soon showed it back   open transporting in the next corner segment into  the ringyard. In no time, we were witnessing the   first segment of the third layer being lifted! What about construction updates on future   vehicles? Inside the first Megabay the assembly of  Booster 12 continued on at a breakneck speed. It’s  

methane downcomer? Installed! Thrust section?  Yep, here it was heading in, followed shortly   after by it being lifted inside. Before we  knew it, there was the Liquid Oxygen tank fully   stacked! Now it’s time to install the remaining  COPV’s, the autogenous pressurization lines,   and a bunch of other parts they can do ahead of  the huge methane tank being stacked above. The   benefit of doing this now, is that this tank is  currently structurally fine to work inside without   the bridge crane continuously supporting it at the  top. Once the methane tank with the four grid fins   is all stacked, the bridge crane is required just  to increase that safety margin. So how has that  

methane tank going? The forward dome section  was stacked, and in no time, it was already 9   rings tall. There was just one stack remaining to  complete it, and there we go. The main body of the   methane tank was being fully constructed. Next door in the Highbay the news perhaps   isn’t as great for Ship 28. This week we saw its  payload bay door being removed! Thankfully they  

still have the external braces installed on its  PEZ door so the Ship is at least structurally   stable. Why exactly they decided to remove  it and also how they have removed it with   the PEZ dispenser inside is a bit of a mystery.  What do you think? Let me know in the comments.   Thankfully the future of Ship 28 was not  all doom and gloom with its second aft flap   being moved inside the Highbay for installation. We’ve also been keeping an eye on some nosecone   action. Now, this is a little speculative, but  some of the upgrades SpaceX has done to the   nosecones of Ship 30 and onward are intriguing.  Notice these new ports? This is finally looking   like we may have Reaction Control hardware. These  potential cold gas thrusters appearing now is a  

near insight because they've been added just  recently. This here is a shot from this same   nose cone after it came out just a few weeks  back. Clearly, it doesn’t have them there.  That may conclude Starship updates around the  various sites, but more great insights were   shared in this recent article by NASA. They’ve put  forward Seven US Companies that will Collaborate  

with them to Advance Space Capabilities.  Specifically there is really great Starship   related information in here which I’ll get to in  just a second. Interestingly, this time around,   NASA made it clear that they wouldn’t be providing  any of the companies with capital or funding.  

Instead they will be working with them, assisting  with Research and Development, and potentially   sharing technology and experience. These companies  and projects are all intriguing so let's just have   a run through them. It isn’t at all surprising  that SpaceX was on the list. After all, NASA is   already heavily invested. A line from the article  that has kicked off a range of speculation in the   community states that “This architecture includes  Starship not only as a transportation system,   but an in-space low-Earth orbit destination  element”. This sounds almost like Starship   could be destined to become a space station in  its own right, all supported by their Starship   and Dragon fleet. Also utilizing Starlink  technology for connectivity with the world  

below. That would be pretty darn exciting. We’ve just recently seen the astounding news   about Vast space partnering up with SpaceX.  Well, they are included right here on the   list too. Haven-1’s concept for a commercial  Space Station, potentially the first ever   fully private space station in orbit is  a terrific thought alone. Now with them  

officially collaborating with NASA this adds a  lot more certainty to the overall plan in my view.  I’m thrilled to see Sierra space and the  Dreamchaser spacecraft getting a good   mention. After all, this little space plane  and its future variants can open a range of   added crew launch options. Especially when we  consider the unfortunate issues that have plagued  

Starliner. Equally exciting is that Sierra  Space is also working on their LIFE module,   the Large Integrated Flexible Environment. This is  a three story inflatable habitat module that can   support a crew in space. It was also presented  to form part of Blue Origin’s Orbital Reef  

project announced way back in October 2021. Speaking of Blue Origin, they will also be   collaborating with NASA in developing a  human-class orbital transportation system   intended to ride on top of the upcoming New  Glenn launch vehicle. The activity around the   production of New Glenn has been picking up  pace recently, however given how closed off   they like to be, we’ll need to wait until more  information comes to light about any of that.  Then we spotted this new Persistent Platform  by Northrup Grumman all based on their Cygnus   vehicle which occasionally sends cargo to the  International Space Station. This modified   idea has an added bus and a few extra solar  panels. Apparently these adaptations will make  

it a vehicle capable for commercial research  and manufacturing in space! Also included,   in this idea, is the technology  to provide in-space servicing.  Next on the list, Special Aerospace Services!  They are building an Astronaut Automatic   Maneuvering Unit or AMU to help astronauts  do servicing and assembly in a safer way.  And lastly a relatively new Startup, ThinkOrbital.  NASA and Think Orbital will work on developing the   Think Platform and Construction Technologies for  Space Applications. The ThinkPlatform is a concept  

that involves a spherical habitat module assembled  in space using a robotic arm. I think it is safe   to say that any astronaut experiencing life in  this bad boy would be having an absolute ball.   Like and subscribe! I think the future of  this looks neat. It could serve as part of a   commercial space station, or have other vehicles  like SpaceX's Starship docked to it. That is,   if you think about it, kind of weird.  I mean, Starship itself is huge! Rather   than constructing something like the  sphere, there would be loads of volume   in Starship without constructing anything.  The crew version would include all the life  

support equipment required and given they  can just launch as one unit, you’re done.  Soon after our video last week went live, we  had Falcon 9, booster 1067 hurling the SATRIA   satellite to orbit from SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral.  This is a high-speed telco satellite to provide   internet to the thousands of islands in the  Indonesian archipelago. It is challenging to   get telecommunications set up here of course due  to the huge number of separate islands. Again,  

a great case for satellite internet given the  limited options in the rural areas. This is the   problem the Indonesian government wants to solve  with SATRIA. This has a super high throughput   offering around 150 Gigabits per Second.  Apparently, this satellite is the most powerful  

of its kind in the South-East Asia region. Back to the launch here as we see engine cut   off and stage separation. Shortly after fairing  deployment of course but interesting these two   were on their 7th and 9th flights. It is crazy  how many times these can be used now. The landing   footage for this one was a little choppier than  usual, but there was the shot of the day, in   daylight on the drone ship A Shortfall of Gravitas  drone-ship. The 12th landing for this booster! 

SpaceX needed the full Merlin Vacuum bell for this  mission which needed a second burn to shoot itself   into the required Geosynchronous Transfer orbit.  At 36 minutes into the mission, the satellite   was deployed leaving it to complete the rest  of its journey. It will take it about 5 more   months to reach its operational orbit,  and should begin operations by early 2024.  Thursday, we got to see some rare Delta IV  Heavy action and watch closely because this   is the second last time you are ever going to see  it! Only one more flight to go currently set in   quarter 1 next year. After being scrubbed due to  an issue with a ground-system valve the previous  

day, ULA was back with this gigantic triple core  rocket standing strong at the Space Launch Complex   37B. Inside the payload fairings up top the secret  payload in this classified NROL-68 mission. Yes,   not much we can say about that, so it was short  launch coverage. No matter though because the   brilliant Delta IV Heavy never leaves anyone  disappointed lifting off in style. Just check  

out that iconic fire here with a terrific liftoff.  The Delta IV Heavies 15th overall flight ever at   the same time as being its second last! The  rocket has been operational since 2004 and 11   of its total 15 launches were for the National  Reconnaissance Office. Terrific shots from the   ground by Greg Scott here too. Love that epic  triple exhaust shot. A few minutes later that  

always spectacular side boosters cut off with them  disappearing into the darkness. A little over 1   minute and 35 seconds later, there went the center  booster, and my favorite, the incredible RL10   engine nozzle extension popping out. Given the  secretive nature of the payload that is where the   stream ended. The mission success was shown later. This week there were two starlink missions that   only launched a day apart, both taking the older  version 1.5 satellites to orbit. On the left,   the early Thursday morning launch. Booster  1075 on its fourth flight from Vandenberg  

Space Force Base in California. 47 Starlink  satellites on board here. On the right,   and a little over a day later on Friday, Booster  1069 on its eighth flight from right across the   country at SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral Florida.  56 Starlink satellites on board that one.  And a very welcome neat surprise here from SpaceX  was that for the first time, we got to see these   views from multiple cameras on board. All  using a Twitter event! I’m really hoping   we see that functionality extended even further  because this is incredibly beneficial, not just   for situational awareness but also, I must say,  makes the viewing experience even more enjoyable. 

The rockets blasted through the sky, first  stage separation with both second stages   completing the longer portion of the flight,  and taking all those Starlink satellites to   orbit. Both boosters completed the landing  burn all shown with twin views. Booster 1075   landing on the droneship Of Course I Still Love  You, and 1069 on Just Read The Instructions.  Now last week just as I was preparing for  the previous video to go live, Rocket Lab was   successfully launching a secretive mission for  the Defense Department. This was not streamed,   and very little information is known about it.  Even more intriguing is that this was the first   suborbital variant of the vehicle called the  Hypersonic Accelerator Suborbital Test Electron   or HASTE for short. This launch was from Launch  Complex 2 at Wallops Island, Virginia, and there   wasn’t even any details shared on the payload,  peak altitude, or speed. In fact, the launch was  

only revealed through airspace notifications and a  tweet from the NASA Wallops account. What we know   is that this platform is designed to accommodate  payloads up to 700 kilograms. Rocket Lab's CEO,   Peter Beck stated that he expects strong demand  from the Defense Department for hypersonics   testing and targets, also mentioning that Rocket  Lab can “get exact trajectories at a cost,   frequency and also an accuracy that’s never been  available before”. Sure this launch of HASTE marks   a significant milestone for Rocket Lab, but one  thing that I’m sure very few of us want to see,   is the wonderful Electron ending up primarily  as a military platform rather than the current   platform dedicated to the advancement of  research and scientific missions. After all,   Rocket Labs innovation and technology  are always state of the art, and I for   sure want to see them continuing to share and  inspire the industry with scenes like this. 

With Rocket Lab and all these incredible  companies working on such a colossal   range of technical solutions, as a young  person wishing to get into this sector,   there is limitless inspiration. What can help you  with your passions for progress is learning just a   little bit each day on a wide variety of topics. [Ad Start] Well, introducing   supporting this video, and many others. Have  you ever tried a little programming? Found   the subject daunting or perhaps boring. Well, not  with Brilliant! No matter what level you are at,  

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So next up, I wanted to show you the great  work being done by Gravitics. This space   station startup recently successfully completed  Micrometeoroid Orbital Debris Shields testing.   The shield here as explained in this neat video  by Gravitics is made up of two metal plates that   sandwich this “pillow” in between. Now look at  this clip of an 8mm bullet smashing the shield   at a speed of over 20,000 kilometers or around  13,000 miles per hour. Without this “pillow”,   look at how it gets absolutely destroyed.  What if the same bullet hits the shield with  

this “pillow” in place? Wow, the difference is  absolutely staggering. We can clearly see all   that energy dispersing into that pillow layer.  This is a proprietary design by Gravitics and   they have done an amazing job creating it!  It is worth mentioning that although the   test here was performed using an 8mm bullet,  the average impactors in orbit are far far   smaller. Do read up about their space station  plans if you haven’t explored this by the way.   Yet another inspiring company doing big things  to help kick off this upcoming industry of space   station awesomeness. Their StarMax concept aims  to be a key building block in this new era in   Spaceflight, and this shielding concept should do  a really good job at protecting the space station.  Finally today, in a thrilling close encounter  with Mercury, the BepiColombo spacecraft captured   breathtaking images of the planet's mysterious  surface. I love this mission done in collaboration  

between ESA and JAXA, and the latest event  has been pretty darn spectacular. The flyby,   which occurred on June 19, revealed an array of  geological wonders, leaving scientists in awe. The   images, snapped by monitoring camera 3, showcased  Mercury's rocky terrain with stunning clarity,   unveiling the newly named "Manley'' crater.  Not after our favorite scottish space youtuber,   but after the late Jamaican artist Edna Manley.  The images also captured this extraordinary   tectonic feature caused by the planet's cooling  and contracting. This region alone presents an  

opportunity to study Mercury's tectonic history  and the volcanic activity that gave rise to the   formation. BepiColombo's successful flyby sets  the stage for the next exciting event ahead, where   scientists will dive deeper into Mercury's core,  surface processes, and magnetic field. So yes,   best of luck to little BepiColombo  which will continue its journey,   braving the immense gravitational pull of the Sun,  until it enters Mercury's orbit in December 2025.  So I hope you enjoyed this video! If you  did, don’t forget to hit subscribe so we   can keep making them. If you would like to help  more directly like all these many many people,  

all this support makes a colossal difference to  us! The countdown is on to pick up this merch   design on a wide range of products.  This will be coming offline in July   so only a few weeks left. If you want  to continue with more space goodness,   the algorithm thinks that you will enjoy  this video here next, or maybe these videos.   Thanks for watching all this way through,  and I’ll see you all in the next video!

2023-06-26 01:07

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