Flying water towers

There’s really no thread here on this yet?

Look how cool it is!

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It’s the oddest thing I have ever seen. Maybe not the oddest, but it’s up there.

Why did they make it like that??

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They are using the rapid iterative prototyping method that lots of FRC teams use, with the goal of building a reusable rocket that can deliver a lot of mass to orbit. This test is a proof of concept of the tank design and motor/control system. The single motor in this test is not centered under the rocket, as there will be 3 motors on the final version, so you can see a tilt during the flight.

I thought it was going to blow up, but just the pad exploded.

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is that stainless?

Yup, they went with SS because apparently it has a great strength to weight ratio at cryogenic temperatures.

Rockets need to hold their strength everywhere from near absolute zero (vacuum of space) to thousands of degrees (reentry heat). I think there was an early plan to make the skin porous and “sweat” water out over it during reentry, but I don’t know if that’s still the plan.

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I just completely forgot about the Starship program. I thought Falcon and Dragon were it.

SpaceX’s core mission is still to colonize Mars, and the entire Falcon/Dragon business exists to support that end. If you get a tour of HQ you’ll see #OccupyMars shirts everywhere. Its insane, but cool. Building Falcon and Dragon was essentially their R&D program for “how to space”.

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Personally, I’m inclined to favor this version.

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Why does it look like the upper part of the engine is on fire? Is that supposed to happen?

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Probably because it IS on fire.

No, it is not supposed to happen, but it isn’t uncommon either. Just a minor leak that probably won’t cause any damage. That little methane flame is nothing compared to the oxygen-rich flame on the inside of the engine.

Paint it blue.

Flying Silo.

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Not impressed. Mythbusters did this years ago

water-heater-rocket

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If anyone is interested about the Raptor engine, Everyday Astronaut has a great in-depth explanation of it:

He also has another great video comparing the Starship + Super Heavy system against NASA’s Space Launch System that will be used for Artemis missions:

must.have.that.shirt

(yes, I ordered it)

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Just because it’s not necessarily a new idea doesn’t mean it’s not a cool idea.

You’re not alone. I’ve got one sitting in my cart too.