42 thoughts on “SpaceX Had a Successful 150-200 Meter Hop of the Starhopper at About 5 PM CT”

  1. Not many folks are going to willing to emigrate so they can spend the rest of their lives in the equivalent of a submarine.

  2. Even so, I expect it will be easier to harden something that doesn’t require all the maintenance (and space and equipment) that would be needed to support a large primate in a hostile environment.

  3. Incomplete combustion of methane can produce higher hydrocarbons under some conditions. That’s the principle behind one of the main two industrial methods of making acetylene. (The mechanism is thermal cracking into hydrocarbon radicals, followed by recombination of those radicals.)

    But whether or not such conditions occur in a Raptor engine is another question entirely.

  4. Would you accept that a helicopter in ground-effect creates a large re-circulation of air containing airborne dust. A rocket’s exhaust plume impinging the ground’s surface can produce a similar torus shaped flow.

    The flow boundary for a high speed fluid jet (rocket exhaust) is at reduced pressure; and, will suction any dust laden atmosphere into proximity with the super-heated exhaust. Igniting dust gives the yellow coloration seen upon both initial ascent and just before landing.

  5. What I expect is we will travel in armored vehicles surrounded by materials mined from Jupiter’s outer moons (which orbit like 12-28 million km from the planet). Those moons are mostly tiny, so landing and departing will be easy. Once in orbit around the Galilean moons, you can drop a hardened excavator, and dig yourself a nice ice cave to stay in. Enough thickness of ice will shield you on the surface.

  6. The “fancy new skin-tight suits” (assuming you are talking about SpaceX and Boeing Commercial Crew suits) are worn for emergency use only, during launch and landing. They are NOT for EVAs, either in space or on the surface of another world. They are considerably lighter than the NASA “pumpkin” suits and offer more comfort than previous versions. NASA has EVA suits for the ISS, but they are 40 years old, and not appropriate for surface operations. NASA is letting contracts to design and build modern EVA suits they can use for future beyond LEO operations, particularly on the Moon by 2024.

  7. The main problem with space suits is cooling, not keeping them warm; Vacuum makes for good insulation, and Mars’ atmosphere is close enough to vacuum for most purposes.

  8. Radiation fries anything with fine structure, organic or no. The robots they sent into the Fukushima wreckage packed up due to radiation exposure.

  9. An artificial magnetosphere could stop most of the synchrotron radiation damage.

    But it would be really risky. The shield goes off a few hours and you’re dead.

    In general, the outer Moons like Ganymede and Callisto are safer, and close enough for some telerobotics.

    Going to Europa in person would be an interesting achievement, but if you want to live there you’ll need to bury yourself in the ice almost immediately.

  10. Nobody really thought we would be going there in biological bodies did they? At least, not since we learned how truly hostile things off planet are.

  11. I always wonder about this. I mean Apollo astronauts did fine with their suits, but will we want down lined suits for Mars? What keeps the cold from coming thru those fancy new skin-tight suits they come up with? Would an insulation layer be better than forced air or water?

  12. On Everyday Astronaut’s live feed there was something that broke off at the end just after it landed https://youtu.be/m0MTtqzzf-U?t=7133 and it looked like an RCS unit had ripped off and went somersaulting away. I wonder what the story was about that. There was also some debris (charred fractured components) on the ground when the smoke clears on SpaceX’s feed https://youtu.be/bYb3bfA6_sQ?t=79. There are also some panels missing on the legs, but those seem to be missing before launch.

    Sure was a beautiful sight seeing that ungainly thing fly. The noise that it makes at the end on SpaceXs feed adds complementary touches to the steam punk imagery of this flying tea kettle. LOL. Great stuff.

  13. In the video, there is a water deluge just before ignition. It’s not a big as a deluge for a Falcon 9, but there was a fair amount of water running across the pad.

  14. Yes, it is lack of O, obviously!
    I at first thought someone had “enhanced” the image for TV.
    As you say, perhaps only the O is finely controlled, with slower or less precise amount of gas, some not being used.

  15. Even lined with lead, because the radiation there could kill you very fast.

    ” high level of radiation from Jupiter’s radiation belt, which is about 10 times as strong as Earth’s Van Allen radiation belts. Europa receives 5.4 Sv (540 rem) of radiation per day,[3] which is approximately 1,800 times the average annual (yearly) dose of a human on earth at sea level.[4] Humans exposed to this level of radiation for one day would have greater than 50% mortality rate within 30 days.”

  16. 🙂 not so beauty.. but it works! very smooth flight!
    RCS worked well also for attitude..

    very nice ride!

  17. Maybe they don’t need the dousing because the hopper is a lot smaller than a full rocket, thus less thrust and heating?

  18. Gas flames turn yellow as the oxygen content of the flame goes DOWN. Yellow is the unburned carbon glowing hot.

    On the other hand, I could well believe that this might happen as the flame is disturbed approaching the ground.

    However my best guess, and it’s only a guess, is that the mixture is adjusted to give finer control over the thrust levels during landing.

    I’m sure someone has the real answer.

  19. More O2 getting backed up into flame as goes down, so turns yellow like gas *space* heater on too high?

  20. It looks like the the video that they change the fuel enrichment as they get closer to the ground(goes from blue mach dimonds to yellow flame)? Is this so they dont melt the ground? Or is there something else going on here close to ground level?

    I always wonder why they need water dousing on a full launch to prevent damage from sound shockwaves but not on a hop test?

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