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SpaceX Starship Makes A Nearly Perfect Fourth Flight
SpaceX Starship Makes A Nearly Perfect Fourth Flight

Keith’s note: The SpaceX Starship had an apparently quasi-perfect flight today. The Super heavy booster separated and made a nice water landing. The Starship itself had a nice ride into space and a colorful re-entry. Despite some rather toasty times heading back to Earth – including partially melted flaps – the flaps still managed to control the vehicle all the way down to a smooth ocean landing with a perfect landing burn. Live telemetry and live video (albeit it from a damaged camera at one point) was obtained 99.99% of the time during re-entry. Oh yes, the “intermission” music while Starship glided over Earth was “The Blue Danube” – made iconically famous in the film “2001: A Space Odyssey”. The 13 year old boy still within me who first saw that film in a theater when it came out just loved the playlist today – as a senior citizen. Well done SpaceX. Ad Astra y’all.

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  • NASA Watch
  • June 6, 2024
NASAWatch on TV: Boeing Starliner, SpaceX Starship, and China On The Moon
NASAWatch on TV: Boeing Starliner, SpaceX Starship, and China On The Moon

Keith’s note: I did CNN this morning talking about the Boeing Starliner launch, SpaceX Starship, and China’s lunar exploration plans (and my reaction to how NASA Administrator Bill Nelson characterizes them). [Audio] I then did live launch coverage on Bloomberg Radio/Youtube, and then I did a quick interview with BBC World Service [Audio]. I also talked again to Deutsche Welle [Audio].

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  • NASA Watch
  • June 5, 2024
Starship Launch Coverage
Starship Launch Coverage

Keith’s Note: I was part of Bloomberg radio / video live coverage of the SpaceX IFT3 Starship launch on Thursday morning. Update: Wow. Simply WOW. The booster was lost before engines could be lit to begin a “landing” attempt in the ocean. The Ship 28 itself made it into space but was lost during reentry when both the Starling and TDRSS telemetry feeds stopped simultaneously. But the Pez door opened and the prop transfer commands were issued. More to follow. I’ll be on Deutsche Welle just after noon EDT. Update: Here’s the [audio] I did a CTV interview too [audio]

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  • NASA Watch
  • March 14, 2024
SpaceX Starship Test Flight Ends Early But Major Milestones Were Accomplished
SpaceX Starship Test Flight Ends Early But Major Milestones Were Accomplished

Keith’s note: The second flight of a Starship/Heavy Booster began on time today at 8:00 am EST. The rocket performed nominally up to and during “hot staging”. Moments after the separation of the Heavy Booster and Starship the first stage blew up. The Second stage – Starship – continued on a nominal ascent until just before the point at which it would have normally shut down its engines. And all data stopped. SpaceX said on its webcast “No more data from second stage so we think we may have lost it” followed by “Apparently flight termination system may have activated late in ascent over the Gulf of Mexico”. SpaceX then terminated its olive webcast. So, i summary, they had 33 engines on the first stage all the way up to staging, did a clean separation, lost the first stage, sent the second stage almost all the way and then lost that to. Again this was a test flight and they got much further along than they did on the first test flight. Its rocket science folks. Update: I appeared on Deutsche Welle TV this morning to discuss the flight test [Audio]

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  • NASA Watch
  • November 18, 2023
FAA Closes SpaceX Starship Mishap Investigation
FAA Closes SpaceX Starship Mishap Investigation

“The closure of the mishap investigation does not signal an immediate resumption of Starship launches at Boca Chica. SpaceX must implement all corrective actions that impact public safety and apply for and receive a license modification from the FAA that addresses all safety, environmental and other applicable regulatory requirements prior to the next Starship launch.” More

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  • NASA Watch
  • September 8, 2023
SpaceX Starship Launch Delayed
SpaceX Starship Launch Delayed

Keith’s note: The first launch of SpaceX Starship was halted on monday 17 April 2023 after a pressurization issue arose in the first stage. SpaceX decided to continue with the preparation – as a “wet dress” down to the T-0:10 mark so as to allow its team to exercise its procedures. The next launch attempt will likely be in 48 hours be on Thursday 20 April according to SpaceX. When the launch occurs – successful or not – this will mark a tectonic paradigm shift in how we access space. There is no indication that NASA understands what is about to happen. More

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  • NASA Watch
  • April 17, 2023
Earth’s Most Powerful Rocket Roars To Life
Earth’s Most Powerful Rocket Roars To Life

Keith’s note: SpaceX just conducted a full duration static test firing of 31 Raptor engines (1 shutdown, 1 was shut down) on Starship producing enough thrust to still reach orbit – the most powerful rocket humans have ever built or fired. Sorry SLS. Video below.

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  • NASA Watch
  • February 9, 2023
The Most Powerful Rocket – Ever
The Most Powerful Rocket – Ever

Keith’s note: This is not a CGI image. It is an actual SpaceX aerial photo of a Starship and its booster on the launch pad. In a month or so NASA PAO will need to delete the “most powerful rocket in the world” phrase from their sound bite collection since this rocket will utterly eclipse whatever it is that SLS weighs, thrusts, or throws – and it will certainly chop a few zeroes off of what it costs to launch – to say nothing of the whole re-launch thing. Ad Astra y’all.

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  • NASA Watch
  • January 12, 2023
FAA Tells SpaceX What It Needs To Do To Launch Starship
FAA Tells SpaceX What It Needs To Do To Launch Starship

FAA Requires SpaceX to Take Over 75 Actions to Mitigate Environmental Impact of Planned Starship/Super Heavy Launches, FAA “The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will require SpaceX to take more than 75 actions to mitigate environmental impacts from its proposed plan to launch the Starship/Super Heavy vehicle from Boca Chica, Texas. The actions are part of the agency’s environmental review. The environmental review must be completed along […]

  • NASA Watch
  • June 13, 2022