Literal fallout from SpaceX launch
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Mary Cerimele

Aero Engineer, retired from NASA JSC

Literal fallout from SpaceX launch

The extensive launch pad damage and debris field from Starship's launch is a sign that not enough engineering or time was spent preparing for reality. Materials provided to the FAA for environmental damage appear to have under-predicted the outcome.

SpaceX should have invested in a flame trench at a minimum and should have been able to design an adequate water deluge system. A town 6 miles away was coated in grime from the crater the engines' exhaust dug out under the pad, which a flame trench would have prevented. And a properly sized water deluge system might have kept the engine failures (six, initially) from happening by damping the reverberating acoustic forces - not to mention reducing the dust and debris dispersal from the crater-gouging forces. These are knowable and preventable results of a rocket launch informed by decades of NASA's experiences, which they seem to have disregarded as unnecessary.

Success of the launch is measured by more than just the duration of the spacecraft's flight. This one is looking less and less successful.

#SpaceX #Starship #spaceflight #rocket #science #news #engineering

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