This video is sponsored by Brilliant! Hey, hi, hi Marcus House is with you here, Starship testing has finally begun this week along with lots of super interesting updates at both the launch and build sites at Starbase in Boca Chica Texas. The loads to be covered are there as we watch the largest rocket ever built prepare to fly. We have an Asteroid Lucy mission getting ready for launch, if you don't know much about this missing one, I'll show you why I think this is so exciting.
We also had an Atlas V launch for the first time in a while this week with the NASAs Landsat 9 mission. And rumors swirled about William Shatner heading for a New Shepard flight in October. Well, we've had some interesting action this week as the tests finally begin. The imp thrust test of the 3 sea level engines center was delivered to the launch site and later installed under the ship 20 on a sub-orbital test stand B. 3 vacuum Raptor test platforms and then were also put into place there as well. It's been a long time since we've seen actual ship testing done. In fact, this was the first test of a ship in more than two months and it happened on Monday evening. It was also very eventful with the action taking place at the beginning of the testing process. Before the pillow could be cleared of the last few remaining workers, Ship 20 spat several heat-protective tiles on its nose cone which we can see if you look fairly closely there . Focus on the side of the nose here. There we go. bam! A set of tiles has been taken out.
Elon Musk quickly confirmed that the ship had removed tiles from its nose during a brief vent of the liquid oxygen tank in the nose cone. While this may not be something completely unexpected in the early testing phase, SpaceX will certainly try to find a way around this problem. The Starship's heat shield tiles had proven extremely brittle up to this point, with dozens being routinely chipped, chipped, and smashed during and after they were installed on the ship. After installing the original assembly a month or so ago, many of them were damaged and had to be replaced. Since only the tiles on the nose cone were damaged, it was thought that this problem was mainly due to the deformation of the nose cone while being lifted by the crane. Although this seemed like a major issue at the time, once the lifting and gripping of the Mica is complete, the S20 will instead be raised from under the front panels, so the nose cone shouldn't deform and so many tiles shouldn't crack the next time it's lifted S20.
Having bypassed this problem, shortly after the tiles were blown up, SpaceX began pressuring the ship to perform its first tests. At about 8 p.m. steam began to flow from under the skirt of Ship 20, indicating that the cold proof test had begun. Frost also started forming on the liquid oxygen tank for a short while as well. Only an hour later, the car was depressurized, the road reopened and the workers returned to the platform. So good to finally see some testing out there. As far as we know the test was successful. Then on Wednesday another test was done that appeared to be complete cold proof of the S20. A frost line appeared at 8pm indicating LN2 filling in the tanks with the car vent starting soon after.
This frost streak grew and continued for the next 3 1/2 hours until the car was blown up at 11:40 PM. Elon concluded the test on Twitter saying the evidence is good. At the orbital launch complex, it became clear last week that Booster 4 was about to take off from the launch pad with the transfer of the booster transport carrier to the launch complex. This is to allow the installation of the Micazela carriage and arms without endangering the booster . The load distributor is attached to the hoist here and then connected to the hoist ready for hoisting.
Early on Saturday afternoon, the Booster 4 was picked up from the stand and later landed on the pallet. Once there, the winch was disengaged and the crane began to roll away, stopping on the landing platform. Here it will only sit temporarily once the Micazela arms are installed , Booster 4 will be placed back on the stand for the third and hopefully the last time. An orbital launch could be able to launch sometime in November, but given the process going on with the PEA, it's likely to fall back a lot, much more than that. In fact, just a few days ago, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that it had extended the public comment period for the draft assessment to November 1. This is where local support really is needed. If you are able to have your say, please do so.
As we know, there will be positive and negative opinions depending on the views. We want to see those positive opinions outweigh the negatives to a large extent. SpaceX needs our support, so you need your help wherever you can. The hope is that SpaceX will debut Micazela Arms this month in October by installing Ship 20 on Booster 4. I don't know about you, but I'm very much looking forward to it. I've now seen quite a few people in the comments asking about the QD arm wondering how it can perform the tasks of a quick fill and disconnect system, plus be able to carry a booster as well. Doesn't she seem to have the height to do so looking at her like she currently does ? I think what we're really missing here is a new component featuring the quick detach system that will be installed on top to interact with the ships quick detach panel . We could be wrong, but this makes sense based on the fact that the arm needs to align the booster and the spacecraft with the claw and also attach to and populate the spacecraft.
Only over the past few days a platform has been added so I think that adds more evidence to support that. Anyway, we're missing parts of this puzzle, so stay tuned for hints on that as they come up. Many thanks to Owe out there for putting all that time and effort into the visuals. This includes a great explanation of the carts that are mounted on each fishing pole where we think that works. Nice work what an order! Be sure to follow me there on Twitter and Youtube. Some updates with Ground Support Equipment or GSE Tanks we also provide you. At the launch site, the #5 refrigerant shell was lifted early in the week and placed in Sooam above GSE-1, one of the liquid nitrogen tanks on the Orbital Launch Tank Farm. This leaves only the GSE8 plus the remaining 7 and 8 projectiles to fall into place before all eight completed tanks are seated on the tank farm and are ready for orbital flight. Heading to the construction site, this week began with ship stacking 21. On Saturday, the thrust dome assembly was stacked on the nose yard's leg skirt.
The conical nose section and cylinder started tiling along with a common dome that was flipped back to its correct orientation as well. The front fins spotted last weekend are installed there as well, so this is a good indication that rapid build progress will come in here next week, with most parts usually being prepared before stacking begins. Besides the ship, parts of Booster 5 have continued to appear, the booster that should be a partnership with Ship 21 . Spotted front section #4 is a stack of 4 rings that will sit atop the common dome. This will be part of the upper methane tank section. Besides, there is some interesting news regarding this enhancement. Early in the week we saw a large, cylindrical tank-like hull being rolled into the Highbay, and later raised alongside the Booster 5. A few days later, the Booster 5 was raised into the highbay, moved to the left, presumably lowered over the tank hull This new.
Back in August, Elon Musk tweeted a list with higher structural margins required for reuse. One of these indicated that a booster tank for reflux and landing would be required for the booster. This essentially serves a similar purpose to the vertical tanks we see on the Starship. By containing the liquid oxygen needed for the booster landing in this smaller central tank, SpaceX can ensure that the now empty booster contains all the oxygen needed only for the central engines to do their job. Likewise, the massive entrant needed for liquid methane already serves this purpose. So yes, a lot is happening there and we expect more in the coming week. We are making these videos for release every Saturday and you might be surprised by what happened by this time next week. Thank you also for helping build the SpaceX community and supporting NASASpaceFlight, RGV Aerial Photography, Starship Gazer, and the amazing 3D artists out there.
By subscribing to them, liking their content and sharing about them, it helps just as much as subscribing here. It means the world to them and it helps all of TeamSpace do what we do. SpaceX's Cargo Dragon was returned only yesterday after it was launched from the International Space Station on Thursday. Another successful delivery was completed and of course the goods returned to the ground. The fact that this hardly makes any headlines these days is that I think a good thing.
I think it's becoming more common and routine. Although, it would be nice to see some footage that happened in this stream. The dragon made the usual water sprinkler with the help of a parachute off the coast of Florida. NASA TV never bothered to broadcast live again. Everything seems quite routine. The great thing about Dragon is that it brings back science to researchers just hours after it went viral. Because this is so fast, researchers can collect that data with minimal loss of microgravity effects. This was the 23rd cargo resupply mission that was all completed with SpaceX at this point making it seem pretty easy when it isn't. Now one of the missions I've been really looking forward to is NASA's Lucy mission, and it's now being prepared for launch on Trojan asteroids. Seven of them in total.
This is a mission unlike anything else I know of and there was a fair amount of luck finding an arrangement of asteroids in the right positions to make this mission work. If the schedule goes as planned, the Lucy will launch on October 16th just two weeks away at the United Launch Alliance Atlas V with the 401 variant. The same rocket configuration used on the Landsat 9 mission that launched this week and which we'll cover shortly. This task for me is very interesting. Lucy will explore a record number of asteroids, flying close to one asteroid in the solar system's main asteroid belt, and then another seven from Trojan asteroids. What is even more astonishing is the complex mission profile that was invented to achieve this. Now if you are not familiar with Lagrange points, I highly recommend checking out some material that explains how these points work. A Lagrange point is basically a region of space where the gravitational force from two large celestial bodies, in this case, Jupiter and the Sun, come together.
These regions create a stable site for small objects such as asteroids to stop themselves. From here they can exist without fundamental deviation forever. The Lucy mission is named after the Lucy fossil, discovered in the 1970s, which was found to be about 3.2 million years old. Very old fossil . Just as this helped shape our understanding of our evolution, we hope the Lucy mission will do the same but focus on the evolution of the entire solar system. If we could look at the remnants of bodies from planetary formation, that would be incredible. These we call Trojan asteroids and they sit either in front of Jupiter's orbit, or nearly 60 degrees behind at Lagrangian points.
As a result, these are the same things that accumulate to form and grow Jupiter and Saturn, and we are now trapped by lucky human explorers to intrude on them. First, the Lucy spacecraft will head for an asteroid in the main asteroid belt named Donald Johansson, the name of the researcher who found Lucy's fossil. Next, it heads to the leading group of asteroids to meet these four goals. All of them are different in size, color and composition. This will be a busy time for NASA, as Lucy will be making two flybys of two asteroids in just 30 days while exploring the L4 asteroid swarm. Another flight of Earth will follow its dispatch next to the L5 squadron to catch up with the last two things. However, they both orbit each other and are pretty much identical in size as far as we can tell. It's all going to happen over 12 years and it's all set to begin in just a matter of weeks, so keep an eye out for early October.
It will be exciting. These asteroids are completely unknown like many other asteroids. All we saw were tiny dots of light seen by the Hubble Space Telescope. The only way to find out more details, is to explore it firsthand, and that's what Lucy aims to do. We also had an Atlas V launch for the first time in a while this week with the NASAs Landsat 9 mission. On Monday, the 27th Launch Alliance sent this brand-new satellite from Space Launch Complex 3 at Vandenberg Space Force Base. This was riding on the 401 variant of the Atlas V just like the one that would launch Lucy. This tells us it's a 4m payload fairing and is the smallest available rocket booster, zero solid, and only one Centaur-stage engine. The launch went smoothly as Atlas V slowly lifted out of the mist with this near-pole orbit satellite.
The booster motor snapped and the stage separated there in less than 4 minutes and the Centaur stage was on its way powered by the amazing RL-10 engine that brought the satellite into orbit efficiently. Its final destination at 705 kilometers or 438 miles is a sun-synchronous orbit. This satellite joins the partner satellite of Landsat 8 which was launched back in 2013. This Landsat 9 mission was already supposed to launch in December of 2020 but due to the pandemic along with the lack of liquid oxygen, the launch date has been pushed back to September. I always like to talk a little bit about these satellites because they provide such great data. It is a major effort to monitor the health of the land and, most importantly, help people manage resources essential to growing crops, irrigation and forests. What I always appreciate is that this research has been added to free and publicly available data sets as it has over the past half century or so. It is in fact the longest data record of Earth's landscapes ever taken from space! Congratulations to the United Launch Alliance and NASA for another textbook assignment. By now you've probably been seeing rumors floating around about William Shatner on a trip with the New Shepard.
It's definitely a question I've been asking for the past few days. We haven't heard much from Blue Origin since its last flight for the NS-17, but the NS-18 should come in the first half of October. [AD START] We'll talk more about that in a moment but first, the amazing sponsor Brilliant. Now, if you're a regular viewer here, you already know how amazing Brilliant has helped support what we do.
Likewise, I am a huge fan of the beautiful educational experience they have created here. We chose to work with the brands we love, and Brilliant is a service that I use myself when I can get some time off at work. Believe it or not, I not only love the physics and mathematics of space that you'll find scattered in sections like gravitational physics, classical mechanics, or astrophysics to name a few, but I find other fascinating fields as well. Although topics such as chemistry are not closely related to the topics we discuss, understanding the elements and chemical reactions at least at a basic level is very helpful.
Just last week I sat down with my oldest son who was asking me all about how a universe that started out full of hydrogen evolved into all the amazing elements. The elements that make us, the world around us, and the universe branching out beyond what we can measure. I read through the first chemical reaction section with him, and the questions and discussions we had while trying it out were a great way to learn and bond together. This has led us to other videos and topics for a broader understanding. If it's been a long time since you learned anything about chemistry, do yourself a favor and reconsider it. Especially if you haven't done anything since school. You might be surprised at how much interest in maturity and a deep love of learning can be triggered by you.
If you want to remember how fun and exciting exploration is, consider checking out Brilliant. By supporting them, you are supporting us here. Try it out using my referral link at brilliant.org/MarcusHouse. The first 200 people will get 20% off the first year of the Brilliant Premium program. The link is in the description. [AD END] So yeah, we haven't heard much from Blue Origin lately. Given the past few months of negative publicity covering various ongoing lawsuits, public opinion has been a bit low in this regard. The next trip with SN18 should be interesting. A few months ago, we witnessed the launch of the NS16, as Jeff Bezos flew straight to the edge of space with his brother Mark, Wally Funk, a highly experienced pilot, and Oliver Dimon. That was the New Shepard's first manned flight which was definitely interesting, and the next mission should be similar.
Although NS17 was an unmanned mission for NASA experiments, NS18 will launch humans for a second time. It is currently scheduled for October 12th. Only a few weeks. Now there are rumors that William Shatner will be one of the passengers but there is no official comment from Blue Origin on that. We'll likely see that announcement up close to boost public enthusiasm right before the flight. Personally, I would love to see Captain Kirk in Zero G, even if for a few minutes. Of course, all this can be just a rumor. The reason people are talking about this is because feeds like this one from TMZ suggested that this might be the case. Time will tell I think. There is an official comment on two riders though. One is Glenn here, founder of a medical data company, and the other is Chris, who is the co-founder of the satellite business. While the capsule can carry 6 passengers, the NS18 will only fly with a total of 4 passengers. The remaining two are unknown. At least while recording this video.
Regardless, we look forward to watching it and will keep you posted with more information coming on this trip! Here we go, another week of space updates. Thank you so much for making it all the way to the end. This helps more than anything. We've been so busy preparing a midweek video that I haven't skipped comments or Twitter as much as I usually do. If you missed it by the way, remember to go and check it out. Show a card for that here. You look like amazing viewers who got a little fun out of this scene. Thank you for being with me every Saturday. You watch helps support what we do. You can be a regular viewer of our content. Maybe a Patron or Youtuber member support what we do or you can choose some equipment from our store including the T-shirt you see here. Remember that if you select a dark color, you must select the white text version, and if it is a light color, select the dark text version.
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