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Old 07-01-2021, 07:17 PM
glend (Glen)
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glend is offline
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Lake Macquarie
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Originally Posted by Startrek View Post
Thanks for the update and info
Also I assume the altitude is not only limited to the thrust of the 3 raptors to achieve orbital velocity or a big suborbital flea hop ( 17, 300 mph ) but also absence of thermal protection on the external skin of Starship for a descent from the higher altitudes near the edge of space
Do you happen to know the max temperature rating of the Starships stainless steel skin in its current configuration ??
Martin, no, I do not know the max temp rating of the skin. I am fairly sure the ship is instrumented with sensors to measure temps. And it has a test heat tile patch on the belly surface. Probably not a big concern on the type of topple over dive at low speed at the top of the climb, where the wings can provide drag, but yeah, re-entry is a different matter. I believe the focus on the SN9 mission is sticking the landing this time, and getting more data for the next flight. Going higher gives them more flight time, but they need to make sure there is enough fuel for landing. On an orbital flight, or sub orbital, the booster will provide most of the lifting effort and the Starship conserves fuel for landing. In a way the current tests are higher risk imho, as they need to burn Starship fuel to achieve altitude while preserving enough for the landing burn.

Some of the latest ships being built have little nibs on the belly surface, ostensibly for the attachment of tiles. The problem area is going to be on the wing roots and wings, where curves and a joint have to be covered. As we know from the Space Shuttle, any little gap can allow super heated re-entry gases to get through. It will be interesting to see what they come up with.
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