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Starship vs N1: Is Starship doomed to repeat history?

  • Опубліковано 3 жов 2023
  • Has SpaceX fallen into a similarly flawed design that plagued the N1? Why did they choose so many engines? Will it continue to suffer a similar fate over and over like the N1 or is there something inherently different?
    Today we’ll answer those questions and compare the two most powerful rockets ever made, from different sides of the world and from completely different eras to figure out how they’re similar and perhaps more importantly, how they’re different.
    Music by Everyday Astronaut: "Trans-lunar Coast" and "CRYO" available wherever you stream
    Article version with links and sources - everydayastronaut.com/starshi...
    Additional Video Resources:
    Starship VS Falcon 9 - • Complete Guide To Star...
    The Entire Soviet Rocket Engine Family Tree - • The Entire Soviet Rock...
    Elon Musk Explains SpaceX's Raptor Engine - • Elon Musk Explains Spa...
    How SpaceX is upgraded Raptor 2 to be the ultimate engine - • How SpaceX Is Upgradin...
    How Stoke Space's Unique Rocket Works - • How Stoke Space's Uniq...
    How to Power a Rocket Engine - • Rocket engine cycles: ...
    Why Don't Rocket Engines Melt - • Why don't rocket engin...
    00:00 - Intro
    01:50 - Starship VS N1
    04:40 - Comparing engines
    06:25 - Common philosophies
    14:30 - Trial by flying
    19:55 - Will starship repeat history?
    26:20 - My opinion / Summary
    Want to support what I do? Consider becoming a Patreon supporter for access to exclusive livestreams, our discord channel! - patreon.com/everydayastronaut
    Or become a UAclips member for some bonus perks as well! - / @everydayastronaut
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    All music is original! Check out my album "Maximum Aerodynamic Pressure" anywhere you listen to music (Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, etc) or click here for easy links - everydayastronaut.com/music
  • Наука та технологіяНаука та технологія


  • ryan s
    ryan s 4 місяці тому +2683

    It's beyond wild that this guy who I have been watching for almost a decade has gone from wearing a silly flight suit to getting fitted for a real space suit. No one on youtube deserves it more than you!

    • David Beppler
      David Beppler 4 місяці тому +27

      Looks like he has lost weight.

    • Supreme Ruler of the World
      Supreme Ruler of the World 4 місяці тому +29

      EA better bring his OG spacesuit with binoculairs with him for a video on the other side of the moon.

    • DistracticusPrime
      DistracticusPrime 4 місяці тому +24

      @David Beppler I imagine there might be some training going on.

    • LaminarFlow
      LaminarFlow 4 місяці тому +22

      He’s not an engineer yet he masquerades as one. Lol.

    • ryan s
      ryan s 4 місяці тому +136

      @LaminarFlow what a rude comment. Tim has spent years learning about rocket science, from the perspective of an average Joe. He may not be a degreed engineer, but that in no way lessens his ability to teach the masses about aerospace. I say this as an engineer myself.

  • Jesse Shaw
    Jesse Shaw 3 місяці тому +564

    This makes the Saturn 5 seem even more impressive from an engineering steandpoint. The fact that it was done in the 1960 is 🤯

    • Ryan Sheridan
      Ryan Sheridan 3 місяці тому +13

      things that make you go hmmmm

    • DesertRat332
      DesertRat332 3 місяці тому +74

      Thirteen Saturn V Launches with 65 F1s used and they never failed. Not a single one. Things were done so quickly to get to the moon that documentation took a back seat. Yes, we would have to start from scratch to build F1s today. The Apollo program was our "Great Pyramids".

    • Inguz
      Inguz 3 місяці тому +15

      It truly is! I still can't help but to find it funny that people woo over a company chasing to be more effective than a 60 year old rocket, when computers were room sized

    • J. H.
      J. H. 3 місяці тому +7

      @DesertRat332 Well no launch failed , thats true, but at least one F1 stopped firing during Apollo 13 launch.

    • Anthony Pelchat
      Anthony Pelchat 3 місяці тому +42

      AntiangelRaphael "Saturn was so impressive that we LOST ability to make ones today." That's not how things work. We didn't lose the ability to build them due to technological changes. We lost the ability to build them because the factories that built them were shut down and there is no reason to spend the incredible amounts of money to restart that production. It's like saying we lost the ability to make old carburetor engines because technology changed. No, we just won't make them again because there isn't any point. The Saturn V was extremely expensive and wouldn't pass any safety standards required today.

  • Kyle Sty
    Kyle Sty 3 місяці тому +275

    Your thoughts on the Soviet program were extremely enlightening. Like many Americans, I thought the N1 was conceptually flawed, but now I agree with you that it is a pity the N1 rocket wasn’t allowed to fully mature.

    • Michael Williams
      Michael Williams 3 місяці тому +6

      Honestly it was probably a blessing! We'd all be communists by now if they had beaten us to the moon most likely..

    • Asleep Awake
      Asleep Awake 3 місяці тому +22

      the Soviet engine designers really got it right. Everythingnin the world ia iterative. Only people deluded by MBAs thinks there is such a thing as a turnkey solution. The world is always iterative.

    • Bubble
      Bubble 3 місяці тому +1

      propaganda my boy

    • Asleep Awake
      Asleep Awake 3 місяці тому +30

      @Bubble huh? For what purpose? Appreciating great engineering transcends petty tribal nationalism. Unless some anti-science weirdos think the entire space program is propaganda 😁

  • Ryan Pederson
    Ryan Pederson 3 місяці тому +163

    Don't forget the vibration environments. Rocket motors make a lot of acoustic and structural vibration. Even today this is rather difficult to predict (probably the main reason SX flew was to capture these real environments to anchor their finite element models), but it was impossible to do back in the 1950's. Without understanding the physical vibration environment it is very hard to know if your components will not just shake apart.

    • visionofmalkav
      visionofmalkav 3 місяці тому +4

      Hello Mr Engineer

    • Robert de Forest
      Robert de Forest 3 місяці тому +4

      Also it's tricky to detect resonant frequencies in models or on a test stand.

    • Ouwe Brood
      Ouwe Brood 2 місяці тому +1

      That's what I always understood was the main issue with all those engines on the first stage of the N1. But that said, it is very well possible this would have been solved if more time had been available.

    • Ken Oliver
      Ken Oliver 12 годин тому

      Yes, but without analytics you determine things empirically - in this case by either taking lots of time for a lot of rocket engines shake themselves apart on the test stand or taking lots of money for lots of "testing by flying". The Soviets had neither the time nor the money.

  • Clive Simmons
    Clive Simmons 3 місяці тому +126

    As someone who watched the original Apollo lands as I kid I think that this is the most exciting project since. I still marvel at the regular booster landing and have every confidence that spaceX / starship will succeed

    • CaptainPantsuGoblin
      CaptainPantsuGoblin 3 місяці тому +10

      They landing was something NASA did in the 70s.
      Also maybe look at the Artemis II project?
      Way more reasonable
      And just to be honest, I don't see them getting starship working anytime soon.

    • Joey Bulford
      Joey Bulford 3 місяці тому +7

      The SLS launch is far more impressive tbh. It actually orbited the moon and didn’t blow up in the atmosphere.

    • xXYannuschXx
      xXYannuschXx 3 місяці тому +7

      @CaptainPantsuGoblin I highly doubt Starship will ever carry humans into space. No rescue system and a suicide burn to land on a planet; those are things that simply wont allow it to carry humans.

    • Writer Shard
      Writer Shard 3 місяці тому +2

      @xXYannuschXx Yeah this is my problem with SpaceX' approach to progress at all costs. Like... it's okay to delay things if it keeps our human astronauts safer. I might not see humanity go into space, but that's better than seeing a rocket full of people explode, or hearing news of the first men of mars being condemned to die there.

    • Mudman61
      Mudman61 3 місяці тому

      @CaptainPantsuGoblinI fully agree. I’m putting my money with NASA. Elon Musk has a bad habit of taking short cuts in order to achieve goals faster. Artemis worked beautifully the very first time. It was practically flawless. You certainly can’t say that about Starship. I noticed right when it failed that the desired goal post for that mission changed from splashing down near Hawaii in the Pacific all the way back to just “CLEARING THE TOWER.” That’s a massive change in the goal posts location. And with that change, SpaceX called the launch a success. I call that BS. LETS BE REALISTIC. IT WAS A FAILURE OF EPIC PROPORTIONS. Furthermore, it lifted off the pad very slowly. That indicates that the spacecraft itself is far too heavy. It weighs MORE than the Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate I was stationed on in the Navy. And this craft had NO cargo or crew on board. I’m wondering if a fully loaded Starship will even lift itself up off the pad.

  • Hector Roldan
    Hector Roldan 3 місяці тому +20

    The more complex a system, the more points of failure that can lead to disaster. I'm amazed the N1 was able to accomplish so much. I was remembering the N1 while it was going up and once Starship went into the spin after a few engines either didn't fire or flickered out, it was a good thing that the difference in fuel and build allowed the Starship to stay together for so long and maybe not as much damage after it went boom. That poor launch pad.. {Just made it to 7:30 and nice to hear similar thoughts}

  • Ted Archer
    Ted Archer 4 місяці тому +900

    N1 was a brutal tragedy. They had three improved rockets assembled, when management changed and he ordered all of them destroyed. Hopefully, they managed to save some engines, and they fly to this day on Zenit

    • mezmery a
      mezmery a 4 місяці тому +34

      n1 was a comedy of incompetence and basic math failings.

    • nagantm441
      nagantm441 4 місяці тому +152

      ​@mezmery asuch as?

    • S1nwar
      S1nwar 4 місяці тому +57

      now imagine the economy of an entire country run with centralized moneyburning decisions like that.

    • quaeris aliquid
      quaeris aliquid 4 місяці тому +63

      actually NK-33 engine still operational on Soyuz 2.1v and it was used on Anteres rocket

    • The Orion's arm
      The Orion's arm 4 місяці тому +26

      Wrong, the Zenith used RD-171 engines, which were developed from the more recent RD-170( it's what the boosters of Energhia used in the 1980's) , not the old NK-15 like you suggested.(also Zenith don't fly today, was flying like 20 years ago! )

  • 4y
    4y 3 місяці тому +29

    N1 never succeeded but it actually proved a lot of concepts to be viable. It was also insanely cool and that engine family could've powered the soviets space rockets for decades.
    Its really cool to see Starship and hope it succeeds. Really SpaceX is only doing something because other players became too complacent

  • AeroviewUSA
    AeroviewUSA 3 місяці тому +8

    Tim, you've seriously earned your ride into space and a WHOLE lot of our appreciation for not just your knowledge but how you can spell it out in a way even those who are new to spaceflight (etc) can understand.

  • Godzilla Rider Gamer
    Godzilla Rider Gamer 2 місяці тому +13

    I dont think that the unreliability of the engines, in terms of them being some of the first was the major reason so many shut down during starship’s initial launch. I think it was *mostly* that they were bombarded with concrete as it lifted off, as seen by the HPU being destroyed along side them 😂

  • CC 07
    CC 07 3 місяці тому +16

    Incredible how far the aoviet space program was 50 years ago already, they really had passion about this.

  • Jim Irving
    Jim Irving 4 місяці тому +32

    Thanks, Tim, great video! I was born a few years before Sputnik, and I've been on the edge of my seat for all of it! And thanks to SpaceX's vision and drive, I think I'll actually see the human spacefaring adventure get properly underway. I'm rooting for you and the team! ("Have Spacesuit, Will Travel!")

    • John Green
      John Green 3 місяці тому +2

      Till you meet the Mother Thing.

    • Jim Irving
      Jim Irving 3 місяці тому +1

      @John Green From my elementary school library, I must've read that book and "Rocket Ship Galileo" a hundred times.

  • Peter Smythe
    Peter Smythe 4 місяці тому +340

    Wow it's kinda impressive they've only had two Merlin engine failures on ascent out of 228 launches with a total of 2052 engine-launches.

    • BurningSun
      BurningSun 4 місяці тому +49

      A true testament to the Engineering prowess and sheer skill of SpaceX engineers and technicians. They are almost at TWO HUNDRED FREAKING first stage return landings.

    • Anggara Gustika
      Anggara Gustika 4 місяці тому +81

      And the fact that people already ignored and forget how many failure falcon 9 have in it's development phase really prove early failure is much better than failure on the finished product.
      I'd rather fly on a rocket that have blown up in it's early phase of development than a rocket they spend billions hoping it doesn't blow up because they can't afford failure

    • awuma
      awuma 4 місяці тому +15

      It's worth remembering that one of the few landing failures in recent years was caused by one of the two Merlin engine failures on the upward leg of the flight (the primary payloads being successfully delivered to orbit in each case).

    • Battleneter
      Battleneter 4 місяці тому +3

      Wow, kinda depressing SpaceX is still using mostly the same engine design from the 1960's, can you imagine just how disappointed a space enthusiast would have been if we told then where we were today.

    • Mountain Nomad VFX
      Mountain Nomad VFX 4 місяці тому +10

      So they claim.
      Given events surrounding Tesla's FSD, its reliability and that of various Tesla physical builds I'm inclined to be dubious about those claims.

  • Aminal Creacher
    Aminal Creacher 3 місяці тому +6

    One thing the N1 has over Starship is those beautiful lattice-like interstage trusses. So stylish!

    • N1 Engine #18
      N1 Engine #18 3 місяці тому +6

      Well, since Starship is now hot staging, the interstage will definitely get some openings. Probably not quite as open as N1

  • Frequent Traveller
    Frequent Traveller 3 місяці тому +10

    Thanks for an objective view of both programmes. It's especially good to hear a thoughtful view of the N1 programme. Given the Soviet's practice of keeping boosters, the ISS might have looked very different today, if the N1 had been allowed to become operational.

  • Тони лед
    Тони лед 4 місяці тому +4

    The N1 rocket was destroyed not by engine failures, but by a complex control system from above (the rocket was controlled by the thrust of the engines), and hydraulic shocks in the fuel system caused by the resonance of a bunch of engines in one block.

  • kr4bz
    kr4bz 3 місяці тому +5

    Your videos have impeccable quality. Really just a joy to watch. Great job man! To you and your team!

  • Einar
    Einar 3 місяці тому +7

    Great and very informative video! I would love a video on Energia too, as i believe it had a lot of potential, that sadly never got used due to the fall of the soviet union. Especially the modulary, as there was plans for a even bigger rocket (Vulcan) by simply strapping on more energia boosters to the core.

  • Hippida
    Hippida 4 місяці тому +250

    The one thing not mentioned in the video. There has been some development in the past 55 years in fields of metallurgy, and production technology. This imho with computers makes for a vast difference in the probability of success of Starship.
    Since I had just the one thing to add, you obviously made a great piece comparing 2 of the craziest rockets ever made.
    Thanks Tim

    • Lensflare Deviant
      Lensflare Deviant 4 місяці тому +5

      Those are fair points.

    • James Ellis
      James Ellis 4 місяці тому +9

      The more engines you add the more chances for an engine failure.

    • Mykl Langridge
      Mykl Langridge 4 місяці тому +23

      @James Ellis But also the less effect that individual failure will have. Arguably they should be more reliable as there is more testing done to find & eliminate design/manufacturing flaws as well.
      Ultimately is it better to have 4 engines where a single failure loses 25% of your available thrust, or one with 33 where a failure only loses 3%? Or to put it another way, 33 where you would need to lose 8 engines to almost lose the same thrust?

    • Weasle
      Weasle 4 місяці тому +14

      ​@James Ellis The loss of a few engines doesn't affect the capability of the craft as much. The engines are super lightweight as it is and it seems worth it to mount a lot of them. I'm sure SpaceX will radically improve the reliability as the engines mature over the years

    • Hippida
      Hippida 4 місяці тому +9

      It works for Falcon 9, sure it'll scale up.
      I consider the first test a huge success, and as Tim pointed out, the one failure was the Flight termination system.
      Starship is built like a good old brick wall

  • newbie
    newbie 3 місяці тому +3

    I do think that however you simulate and engineer things in the lab, a real life test will always show something completely unexpected.
    This is why, even though Indian space research organisation had GSLV and GSLV mk 3 as their most powerful Rockets, they still rely on PSLV for most of their important launches . It's because of this experience... That PSLV had a lot of launch experience, that made them do this.

  • James Owens
    James Owens 3 місяці тому +2

    I agree that N1 would have worked if given the chance to iron out the issues. I also believe that Starship will succeed in being the transformative vehicle it is designed to be. Lunar Starship will probably not launch by 2025 (Jim Free is already preparing us for this) but it will launch, and will still be sooner than any other vehicle could have done it. I'm very much looking forward to seeing them demonstrate large-scale cryogenic refueling in orbit, since that's never been done before. Overall, it's a great time for space enthusiasts like us to be alive, and I know Tim will get his ride to the moon, and we are effectively all going with him!

  • P C
    P C 2 місяці тому +1

    Hello Tim, when I look at that cargo bay door of Starship, I have to wonder if the SpaceX engineers ever considered a vertical payload door opposed to the current horizontal door. You have to wonder just how much structural reinforcement has to be added to carry that stress load around that huge door. If the stresses collapse that door opening by even a fraction during launch, that door may not open or close. If I were to design it, I would attempt a vertical door as it is much easier to carry that stress load. The big takeaway would be if they could deploy the Starlinks in a vertical position. In my mind, I picture a multilevel dispenser similar to the old slide projector carousels. Preliminarily, I think you could actually dispense more satellites in this configuration if the mechanics work out.

  • psmirage
    psmirage 2 дні тому +1

    Extremely informative and well delivered. On a par with the very best analyses of rocket design and development.

  • TheLoneWolfling
    TheLoneWolfling 3 місяці тому +3

    My main issue with the 'silly numbers of engines means you're more safe' approach is cascading failures. There are many engine failure modes that are localized, sure, but there are many engine failure modes that are nowhere near as contained. Consider e.g. an engine turbopump grenading - similar failure modes in aircraft are generally a case of 'pray that it doesn't hit another engine'.
    And yes, there are approaches to help mitigate this somewhat... but again I come back to areospace. Uncontained engine failures happen, and by and large aircraft don't even _try_ to protect against high pressure turbine failures because the mass cost is prohibitive... and aerospace is far less weight-constrained than rocketry.

  • AmigaClone
    AmigaClone 4 місяці тому +463

    At this time SpaceX has eight Falcon 9 boosters which have launched more than ten times. The two oldest boosters have been expended after 11 and 14 flights. Two have reached the current limit of 15 launches and are awaiting to be certified to twenty. Two others were launched for the 14th time in May 2023 while the last two launched for the 11th time in May 2023.

    • Bryan Hensley
      Bryan Hensley 4 місяці тому +9

      It really looks like 100 plus launches is possible in the near future. They should have paid as much as it took to keep the Merlin engine inventer and engineer. (I'm not sure what his official title was)

    • Chaim Goldbaum
      Chaim Goldbaum 4 місяці тому +46

      @Bryan Hensley He retired, I doubt he would be pursuaded to stay working for more money when he is already very wealthy.

    • András Bíró
      András Bíró 4 місяці тому +21

      @Bryan Hensley
      Don't worry, Elon has a talent for finding the best people and also for getting them to work for him. And not just that, but once they are onboard, the company culture highly encourages the sharing of knowledge, so nobody is irreplaceable for long (that includes Elon himself, although it takes a lot longer).

    • j gunther
      j gunther 4 місяці тому +23

      ​@András Bíró he has a talent for hiring 20-somethings fresh out of school and for making friends with the chinese communist party

    • Will Mason
      Will Mason 4 місяці тому +13

      ​@Bryan Hensley 100 launches that all include an expendable second stage. I am amazed that no one talks about what it takes to produce that number of second stage engines.

  • Sime Coic
    Sime Coic 3 місяці тому +2

    You nailed it.
    I think people in general doesn't have a clue what kind of engineering milestones those guys are doing since 2017 Falcon Heavy and with Starship. At the moment the only thing and philosophy that is keeping us as humans on the higher level to go one step beyond of exploring

  • gold fing
    gold fing 3 місяці тому +7

    This is a great video and presentation, so detailed and explaining all things so well! I believe we will see the next Starship launch soon and Starship reaching orbit this year already.

  • Tariq
    Tariq Місяць тому

    Thanks for another excellent and informative video.
    I'm curious about your view on why they went with a "one size fits all" solution. Especially, after the highly successful Falcon family architecture, which went from Falcon1 to Falcon9 to Falcon Heavy. Now, the Falcon9 is the space launch industry's number one workhorse. A similar architectural approach would have created a more cost effective and LESS COMPLEX next gen solution built around the Raptor. A center core with strap-on boosters, all re-usable, of course.
    How long the complexity of the current approach is going to cause problems and stretch schedules out is an open question.
    One last point, the majority of launch requirements could be met with just the center core. Just look at the number of Falcon9 launches compared to the Falcon Heavy.

  • Geoff TT
    Geoff TT 3 місяці тому +3

    Amazing footage! Great discussion. Way to go Tim.

  • Scott Bruner
    Scott Bruner 4 місяці тому +88

    I enjoy a bunch of different channels, but this is one of the few I actually look forward to.
    Always excellent information presented in a fun and engaging manner.
    Keep ‘em coming, Tim!

  • Wild Bill
    Wild Bill 2 місяці тому +1

    In the aftermath of the Titan submersible incident, one has to appreciate how much testing Space X is doing.

  • Zakariya Al-Battashi
    Zakariya Al-Battashi Місяць тому

    Thanks for the awesome video! Minor note: when comparing the engines you mentioned the nk-15 utilises oxygen rich closed cycle but forgot to highlight that raptor 2 utilises the full flow staged combustion cycle.

  • John Vester
    John Vester День тому

    Of course Starship will fly and soon. But on another subject, I would be interested to see a report on the Falcon 9 operations...How they refurbish boosters and farings...How missions are proposed, planned and scheduled, etc. With all the attention on Starship, this other aspect gets lost in the glare.
    Thanks for your good work.

  • RDL
    RDL 3 місяці тому +3

    Only watched the first 1 minute (so far) but I'm guessing the Starship will fly better when the engines aren't burning launchpad rich. I can only imagine the rebound like spraying a pressure washer into a dirt patch and it flies back in your face lol.

  • Paulo Alves de Souza
    Paulo Alves de Souza 3 місяці тому

    Nice one Tim! At this point SpaceX hasn't got the option of turning back. Too much at stake. Superheavy and Starship will make it to orbit and be a transformative technology as you say. If it will be in their current form/design time will tell. I hope sooner than later you'll be going live from the Moon.

  • Eric Leslie
    Eric Leslie 4 місяці тому +106

    I feel like they'll get to orbit pretty quickly, but it's the rapid reuse part that might get tougher. However, when they get it right there's nothing that will stop the system.

    • Kristian Bjotveit
      Kristian Bjotveit 4 місяці тому +1

      Might have some problems with the heat tiles but hopefully they figure it out

    • Garret H
      Garret H 4 місяці тому +6

      ​​@Kristian Bjotveitt may not take as long as we think. I was watching a Scott Manley video the other day, where he talks about the tiles. In footage of the launch it appears that the tiles are handling launch and Max Q. They don't start falling off until around the time they begin loosing control.
      If I had to speculate, do to the rocket tumbling in the manor it did it probably began bending in a way it wouldn't encounter during normal flight. On launch day I think I recall someone mentioning the rocket no longer looked straight shortly before failure.
      While I know the tiles are not directly glued to the tank walls, imagine how you might remove one object glued to another. Pulling the object off all at once may be difficult or near impossible. But if you can bend and peal one of the objects away from the other a little at a time it gets easier.
      In this case I'm guessing the tank probably deformed enough to pull it away from the tile mount.
      As long as the tiles make it to orbit I'd imagine most of the tiles will survive re-entry. There you have the tiles being pressed towards the tank.
      Plus stainless handles re-entry heating better then something like aluminum. If I'm not mistaken a shuttle lost some tiles and survived because it happened to have a stainless plate where those tiles fell off. If this amount of tiles fell off somewhere else it would have burned through aluminum. Definitely fact check me on this one however. I remember someone talking about it on UAclips.
      I'm not saying the first re-entry will be successful but I wouldn't be utterly surprised. Still will probably workout relatively quickly.

    • Justin Jacobs
      Justin Jacobs 4 місяці тому +6

      @Garret H It was space shuttle atlantis, it happend to have an antenna array mounting structure underneath that was steel that saved the flight. there was also damage to about 700 tiles they reported. Its to be noted that the heat the tiles faced on the shuttle was around 2300 F , and the melting point of stainless steel is 2500-2700 F, so its quite likely starship has a higher survival rate if it loses tiles.

    • Jonathan Newman
      Jonathan Newman 4 місяці тому

      agreed. These things take time, but step 1 is a functional rocket - reusability will come later, and only then can they really work on rapid reusability.

    • Ikarus
      Ikarus 4 місяці тому +5

      Time is on their side. They don’t need the Starship to be at multiple launches a day in the next year, they just need to be faster than the competitors. Even if Starship is only being reused at the rate of the falcon 9 they will be way cheaper than other rockets meaning they will not run out of money from contracts.

  • Gary van Boomen
    Gary van Boomen 3 місяці тому

    You are my reference with regards to factual and realistic reporting on this new exiting space era we are entering. Down to earth specific, relatable analysing and reporting of a most difficult field and topics so that the average interested Joe can understand. Most of all no BS straight unbiased very well researched view of the topic. Many many thumbs up for you.

  • TJeffs87
    TJeffs87 4 дні тому

    Hi Tim, a couple Starship questions for you! Question #1. Is it possible that (in spite of what was said, heh) that the FTS simply didn't work in April, and that IFT1's poor Starship simply consumed itself without the FTS at all? Thanks much, sir!

  • Charlson C. Kim
    Charlson C. Kim 3 місяці тому +2

    my understanding is that the early SpaceX engines were based on earlier Soviet engines so it is not surprising that they also adopted a similar design philosophy.

  • Gadget0343
    Gadget0343 3 місяці тому

    One thing I think has been overlooked, is that they have a bunch of boosters and Starships that are pretty much obsolete from significant improvements. So either scrap them of fly them for data. Either way they are getting scrapped so might as well get something out of them.

  • subsonicdeathmonkey
    subsonicdeathmonkey 3 місяці тому +11

    I truly believe they will make it work and make it work soon. They’ve proven themselves already and I don’t see their previous launch as a failure at all. I’m excited for the future!

    • Sturm Kintaro
      Sturm Kintaro 3 місяці тому +6

      With that, you are in good company of other blinded fans of Musk, but not a lot of actual engineers or scientists.
      Musk stated that the rocket that blew up had a ton of parts where better versions were available, but he wanted to get rid of the old parts and launched it regardless. Which means that not only did he destroy his pad, got grounded by FAA and NASA, will be forced to build flame diverters at Boca Chica (which is impossible since SpaceX failed to comply to the rules set by the USACE), damaged a good amount of his own equipment, and burned a billion dollars worth of hardware, no, most things he learned are not even applicable anymore since the next rocket is already designed and will differ from the current version in a significant number of things. Which means that most of what he learned is "Flame diverters have been used for decades for a reason", hardly anything he would have had to launch a rocket to find out.
      Couple that with the footage SpaceX released from their test of that water cooled plate that clearly showed damage to it even with a single engine apparently not at full power, and Musks brilliant screw up when he suggested to replace said plate by essentially a shower head shooting water at the engines with "sufficient pressure to counteract the engines", meaning that the extend of his knowledge about launch pads is "We know flat launch pads reflect pressure waves and may damage the engines, so let us use the same pad design with the same pressure reflection, but add an entire StarShip booster worth of water pressure to that, without access to pumps powerful enough".

    • Cherri Berri
      Cherri Berri 3 місяці тому

      Genuinely, when do you think they proved themselves? That is such an outlandish and delusional take I really want to hear the lack of logic in the potential thought processes that took place in your fanboy brain.

  • James Shields
    James Shields 4 місяці тому +261

    Lots of great points. You mentioned lots of advantages of many small engines, but there's one that I don't think you included (unless you did and I missed it). Having small engines allowed commonality between lower and upper stages. If you have bigger engines, they will be too big for your stage, so you'll probably need to have dedicated engines for each stage, requiring additional development and testing.

    • Simon Geard
      Simon Geard 4 місяці тому +20

      Indeed, which is also true of Falcon 9 and Electron... one-to-nine seems to be a convenient ratio between a single engine with a vacuum nozzle up top, and fitting in many of the same engine with a sea-level nozzle on the booster.

    • lagrangewei
      lagrangewei 4 місяці тому +24

      commonality as an argument is stupid, sea level engine and zero atmosphere engine require very different ratio, it why space program INTENTIONALLY design different engines. so this is more of a stopgap argument than it actually being a good idea. even the raptor has 2 design so it doesn't SUCK in orbit. this is not that important during testing, but if you want to get to mars, your space performance will have a major impact... as high as 30% difference in what you can carry to mars.

    • Fensox
      Fensox 4 місяці тому +12

      @lagrangewei what you say is somewhat true but you are not at all taking into account the complexity, cost, and management challenges of maintaining multiple engines.

    • Simon Geard
      Simon Geard 4 місяці тому +25

      @lagrangewei and yet SpaceX and Rockets Lab have both been doing it very successfully for some time now... it might be suboptimal physics, but using the same engine for both stages is a huge benefit cost-wise.

    • awuma
      awuma 4 місяці тому +19

      @lagrangewei The difference is mainly in the nozzle, a rather straightforward item, and recently Space X has even begun occasionally using a mid-size nozzle on the MVAC. Since both the 1D and MVAC are designed to be multiply re-ignitable in vacuum or near-vacuum, there probably is little else that is different.

  • tod4y
    tod4y 3 місяці тому +2

    Not to mention that one of the reasons for N1 failing was pogo oscillation.

  • Nick Outram
    Nick Outram 3 місяці тому +11

    This video answers one of the main questions I had around Starship. Is it simply making the same mistake as The Soviet N1 and thus doomed to fail. I think that there is nothing inherently wrong about large numbers of smaller engines and look forward to seeing you complete your Moonflight shortly!

    • CoastalSphinx
      CoastalSphinx 3 місяці тому +3

      Starship is repeating the most critical mistake of N1: attempting to develop a highly complex technological system with little margin for error, under the control of a technologically ignorant autocrat (Brezhnev or Musk) who habitually ignores expert advice that contradicts his preconceived ideas.

  • Chris Weiss
    Chris Weiss 4 місяці тому +1

    Your videos are so incredibly insightful and enjoyably. Well done

  • Mael Cloutier
    Mael Cloutier 3 місяці тому

    As a young adult, i really love your video and the way you bring complex information into the most basic principle that majority can understand. I have so many question about rocket and the subject is fascinating, i think it would be great if you did a video on the part of the starship rocket, like how much volume of oxygen they need to store in the rocket for them to survive the travel between earth and mars or like what inside of the starship rocket, what are the main part of it ? Thank you for this quality content and i hope you the best !

  • Pixelsplasher
    Pixelsplasher 2 місяці тому +1

    Let's just say the N1 was too far ahead of its time and now Starship is just about time. It's not a matter of if but when it succeeds.

  • John Doe
    John Doe 4 місяці тому +122

    Whatever achievements still to come, seeing the two boosters land together for the first time was a thing I'll remember for the rest of my life! 😲
    The red & white Tintin Space Rocket finally becoming reality, I was so happy, excited and amazed - a real thing of beauty. 😛

    • LittleLordFancyLad
      LittleLordFancyLad 4 місяці тому +5

      This! Starship HLS really needs to come in the Syldavian red & white checkered livery.

    • James Comstock
      James Comstock 4 місяці тому +8

      Totally, agree! seeing what looked like a synchronized dance when the two rockets landed together was totally stunning to me and left me with the impression of having witnessed one of the greatest technical triumphs of human history. I certainly will never forget that moment as long as I live.

    • tim hem
      tim hem 4 місяці тому +4

      totally - i put that right up with landing on the moon. A breathtaking bit of history that will be known and rewatch for as long as humanity is still around

    • snuffeldjuret
      snuffeldjuret 4 місяці тому +1

      that is what got me interested in rockets for sure :)

  • Oldjohn52
    Oldjohn52 2 місяці тому

    Once they catch and re-use a booster, I'll be onboard. I still think the amount of reuse they will achieve is not gonna be as great as hoped for. The biggest problem I see is that launch mount. It's a mashup of different techs that are untried. At least, untried in this amount of thrust at launch.

  • knoahbody69
    knoahbody69 29 хвилин тому +1

    I've heard rumours that the N1 was ready to go on July 4th, 1969, but the N1 experienced "rapid unscheduled disassembly" to borrow a phrase from SpaceX. Later launch attempts destroyed the N1, the launchpad, and some of the Soviet Unions best Rocket Scientists.

  • Gordonicus
    Gordonicus 4 місяці тому

    I think Starship will totally succeed, and in so doing will transform space flight forever.

  • Andrew Lohbihler
    Andrew Lohbihler 3 місяці тому

    Great video Todd. What improvement did you help Elon make involving thrusters with "hot gas" on the second stage? I didn't hear the end of that story.

  • Hamish Barker
    Hamish Barker 2 місяці тому

    Thanks for the great video tim. Just one point against the larger number of starship engines: IF there is a failure mode of a single engine which can result in loss of mission, having 6x the number of engines increases the number of possible loss of mission scenarios. For example. Say theres a 0.5% probability of single engine failure mode causing loss of mission. With 5 engines, loss of mission probability is 2.5%. but with 30 engines that goes up to 14%.

  • Michael Williams
    Michael Williams 4 місяці тому +81

    I would have loved to have heard a discussion of the complexity that high numbers of engines produce upstream like the fuel and oxidizer manifolds, valving, control issues, etc

    • Adam Smith
      Adam Smith 4 місяці тому +3


    • Lensflare Deviant
      Lensflare Deviant 4 місяці тому

      I think that is insider info..

    • Tood Anderson
      Tood Anderson 4 місяці тому +5

      Exactly that why the n1 failed 4 times.

    • Christian
      Christian 4 місяці тому +9

      N1 indeed had issues there. Shutting down engines caused the '"waterhammer" effect and kerosene piepes were destroyed.
      I think SpaceX is aware of this.

  • isayfuck
    isayfuck 3 місяці тому +3

    Youre a legend in the making tim. So cool to watch the development of the channel over the years. Cant wait for your show after dear moon!

    • Karen Thomson
      Karen Thomson 3 місяці тому

      He sold out. Also he’s full of himself.

    • isayfuck
      isayfuck 3 місяці тому +2

      @Karen Thomson sold out how?

    • Terigon
      Terigon 3 місяці тому +1

      @Karen Thomsonhow?

  • Broba-Vet25U
    Broba-Vet25U 3 місяці тому +2

    Do you think SpaceX will ever try and replace the Merlin engines with raptor 2 or 3 on a falcon 9 just as a experiment? I would think if they have engine issues on the next starship TestFlight this would be a good testing bed for the problems that might occur with multiple raptors and multiple restarts during a mission. While I’m sure they won’t because of the redesigns due to different propellants but it would be cool to see just how much payload is possible.

  • Jeff Knapp
    Jeff Knapp 3 місяці тому

    My guess is that it will take two - three years to become fully operational. I wouldn't be surprised if they were able to complete a full, cargo-carrying mission within in one - one-and-a-half years. Spaceship and super-booster are much more robust out of the gate than the N1 was plus, as you mentioned, there's a vast difference between 1960's technology and today. Also, by mass producing these while constantly refining and upgrading while doing so, means there will be many more opportunities to fly test vehicles to work bugs out of the system. Finally, the cost per unit is much, much less than the N1 was. I have no doubt that they will within a few years make as reliable as the Falcon 9 is now with the added bonus of being able to reply both parts of the rocket much more frequently than the F9 will ever be.

  • Chris A
    Chris A 3 місяці тому

    Maybe it's already being done, but I think it would be interesting if someone were to train an AI to analyze the existing video footage of flights and testing that is published by EA and others. That might provide interesting insights that Sapiens just can't discern, and potentially provide a marketable data set.

  • Larry Bethune
    Larry Bethune 3 місяці тому +9

    I was thinking about the N1 the very first time I saw Starship. Hope they have better luck than Korolev.

  • Name
    Name 3 місяці тому

    Also worth noting that thanks to the booster costs being lower and modern manufacturing practices the starship is likely much cheaper to produce than the N1, meaning there is less cost to doing test launches.

  • Paul
    Paul 4 місяці тому +199

    I feel like something that goes underappreciated with the whole philosophy of "test it early" is that it avoids you solving problems that don't actually exist. I've never met a good engineer who was an optimist, and a room full of us can convince each other that it just won't work without [X]. Would be a neat question to ask in your Elon interviews what things they've found over the years that fall in this category.

    • Mike
      Mike 4 місяці тому +18

      This. When you must not fail you plan in so much safety margin and overengineering and redundancies that the whole performance and price tag suffers. Not to mention that you can’t plan for unknown unknowns.

    • ShanghaiShuffle
      ShanghaiShuffle 4 місяці тому +8

      I’m not sure how true this is, you can’t just hope that you’ll find all the failures in your testing. Just because it doesn’t fail in the early testing doesn’t mean that it isn’t a potential issue.

    • Dennis Forcier
      Dennis Forcier 4 місяці тому +6

      I have one -- the ship QC "grabbers". Elon: "The best part is no part."

    • John St. Clair
      John St. Clair 4 місяці тому +12

      People don't like to see their tax money blow up in flames.
      That's one advantage Elon has over NASA.

    • TBJ TBJ
      TBJ TBJ 4 місяці тому +6

      @John St. Clair Exactly. The Soviets were getting desperate and so had to launch and pray it worked. SpaceX its their own money, no outside pressure. So hey lets launch and enjoy the show.

  • Larry
    Larry 3 місяці тому

    A lot to think about, and a lot of it I have already thought about.
    Space x has stumbled in the past, and there is no guarantee they won't stumble again.
    The high engine count has always been an issue for me, but has yet to prove as the biggest issue. Time will tell, we will just have to wait. But, maybe, it might not be all that bad of an idea to think towards a modified engine profile, perhaps start thinking about a large raptor 4 and solid boosters as an alternative, just saying. Just my thoughts. Keep us on our toes Tim, and keep bringing the good stuff !

  • Evan Atkinson
    Evan Atkinson 2 місяці тому

    Great work as always.
    I’d love to see a vid on the limitations/failures of the space shuttle, and how starship will avoid these traps.

    • Everyday Astronaut
      Everyday Astronaut  2 місяці тому +1

      Like this? 🤔 - uaclips.com/video/v6lPMFgZU5Q/відео.html

    • Evan Atkinson
      Evan Atkinson 2 місяці тому

      @Everyday Astronaut it seems you anticipated my whim!
      Lack of escape system was one key factor, but also; Vulnerability and complexity of the TPS, actual resisability vs promise, Cost of reusable RS-25 engines, location on side of booster, solid rockets etc…. I’m sure you would find so much insight!

  • Don Felton
    Don Felton 4 місяці тому

    I really would like to purchase the falcon 9 model, it looks amazing… unfortunately shipping to Europe is waaaaay too expensive

  • Frank Woodman Jr
    Frank Woodman Jr Місяць тому

    Love your work in this video but that's expected. You have been very reliable yourself. And I'm excited to think that you most likely will travel to space and in the not to distant future. Having been one born to see human space travel begin it's amazing to think I may well live to see everyday people commonly travel to space. We've came to do such amazing things as we've mastered technology to solve the problems mankind alone could never solve. Now we see technology on the verge of taking over our role and taking us places only imagined. This is truly a time we humans will either become interplanetary or kill ourselves off. That's still an unanswered question. Anyway I'm eager to see you make your flight and flying with you will be the dreams of millions of us who watched as mankind feebly headed to space so many years ago. Just know that you will actually be powered by the dreams of myself and millions more who dared to believe it was possible. As Eugene said, " To boldly go where no man has gone before!" We've never met but we've shared the same dream.

  • Ken Shick
    Ken Shick Місяць тому

    Great information. I’m betting Starship will reach orbit on next attempt.

  • Bobcat665
    Bobcat665 4 місяці тому +53

    Another thing worth mentioning was that the Soviet's N1 program was short on both time and funding, things that SpaceX, to the contrary, has had plenty of.

  • GoodQuestion
    GoodQuestion Місяць тому

    @EverydayAstronaut I know Raptor doesn't have coaxial pumps (Merlin does). How difficult do you think it would be to make the pumps coaxial for Raptor? It would simplify and increase reliability on many other things, right?

  • Jon Gretar Borgthorsson
    Jon Gretar Borgthorsson 2 місяці тому

    I think they might figure out how to do this. I also think that how they intend to run Starship missions is just WAY too complex of missions with way too many moving parts. Not only the Starship itself but the mission profiles. I really think that SpaceX has forgotten their roots and ended up going the more expensive way.
    Sure they will figure out the engineering. It’s the business plan that I think is doomed.

  • Arthur Savage
    Arthur Savage Місяць тому

    I definitely see starship being a success for unmanned missions. SpaceX has the resources to make it happen. However I don't see the current design ever being human rated by NASA. I think they will need a detachable crew module for abort and landings or some new design.

  • Henry Welsby
    Henry Welsby 3 місяці тому

    Hi could you explain how hypergolic engines are kept cool as they cannot use cryogenic propellants for cooling. Many thanks, love your work

  • Zenichev
    Zenichev 2 місяці тому

    Super nice and profound video! I appreciate those of your videos related to soviet programs so much man 👍

  • Spin Drift
    Spin Drift 4 місяці тому +56

    Such an informative video and a nice comparison to what has gone before. It's an incredible age we live in and it's exciting to see these developments come thick and fast.

  • neil woodmansey
    neil woodmansey 2 дні тому +2

    I like the way they do it. Engineer it, build it, and test it. fix the flaws and re-test it. I think this way saves time and money. I think it is great the SLS worked great the first time, but the time and expense?? I did love seeing the SLS launch, great machine.

    • Anggara Gustika
      Anggara Gustika 2 дні тому

      SLS is a job creating program soo expensive they couldn't afford to blow it up

  • James Stripling
    James Stripling 3 місяці тому

    I think SpaceX is much closer than anybody thinks. Full, and capable Starship in a year. Had the launch pad been solid and had it not used hydraulic gimbals, that first flight may have been a wild success.

    • PhycoKrusk
      PhycoKrusk 3 місяці тому

      I agree they're closer than anybody likely thinks, but a year still feels _really_ optimistic.

  • JP Smith
    JP Smith 3 місяці тому

    First time watching one of videos. Really excellent. Informative with good narrative and presentation. And you have a good voice for this type of work.

  • Roger
    Roger 2 місяці тому

    SpaceX also has the advantage of riding on the shoulders of thousands of giants before them. The first starship launch has demonstrated that getting these behemoths safely into space is possible and will be as routine as Falcon 9s.

  • Mars Chroniken
    Mars Chroniken 2 місяці тому

    Awesome how you dissected the topic into digestible parts for the everyday people! Thank you!

  • Steve Coates
    Steve Coates 4 місяці тому +58

    Good job Tim and kudos to your team. Just the right amount of tech without being overwhelming. Thank you kind sir, and thanks to your team

  • pranav gupta
    pranav gupta 3 місяці тому

    Providing sources is a must for all youtube videos. Great work.

  • Tredok Vayntrub
    Tredok Vayntrub 3 місяці тому

    It would have been great to see the comparison to Saturn V engines, since this is not really apples to apples, the soviets developed those impressive engines quite a while ago, but i have no understanding of how much of a big deal those soviet engines were or how, generation by generation Rocket Science has been able to slowly improve.
    In short, were the Soviet engines super advanced? or the gap between those two makes sense and is to be expected, hence a comparison to the Saturn V engines.

  • Vulcan Firepower
    Vulcan Firepower 3 місяці тому

    It is really really hard to get those engines to work together.

  • Wesley Howard
    Wesley Howard 3 місяці тому

    I think our computer science has gotten good enough for this to be viable with the failures. These are also v2 and v3 engines.

  • bentbe
    bentbe 3 місяці тому

    My bet: It will take more than a year before we see Starship in orbit. But in 4 years we will have two Starship launches per quarter, and in 8 years on a weekly basis.

  • Andrew Hamilton
    Andrew Hamilton 4 місяці тому +108

    I really enjoyed this video, Tim. You lend such style and sharp clarity to explaining the very complex history of spaceflight. Thanks so much from Down Under!

  • Faeself
    Faeself 3 місяці тому

    SpaceX seems to take an approach of testing individual components until they seem to be fine and then try it all out together and fix the problems caused by the integration

  • MeateaW
    MeateaW 3 місяці тому

    The big difference between building 1 N1 a month or whatever, and starship, is the N1 was disposable. Each finished Starship (when it works) is there until it is decomissioned. The N1 was thrown away.

  • FireSnake
    FireSnake 4 місяці тому

    isn't there also an efficiency consideration with many smaller engines vs larger engines? I thought the smaller ones were more efficient.

  • LeoLabs
    LeoLabs 3 місяці тому

    Hi, Very nice job! Congratulations! In the article version there is a typo: "while the Saturn V had 35 MN of thrust from just give engines." actually it should be "five engines."

  • wade cooper
    wade cooper 2 дні тому

    Good job. I wonder when the next advancement of engines will occur and when we will have single stage to orbit rocket barges.

  • supercrew63
    supercrew63 4 місяці тому +38

    Living near Vandenberg Space Force Base I actually see how quick Space X puts things into space I used to see a launch every few months, now I see a launch every few weeks.. It's awesome every time...

    • Efone
      Efone 4 місяці тому

      Sheesh, people don't even care. Barely anybody shows up to the launches anymore.

    • Jay F Blank
      Jay F Blank 4 місяці тому

      @Efone I still bars. But I'm not a note person.

    • CaptainDuckman
      CaptainDuckman 4 місяці тому

      remember the Shuttle was a failure. It was meant to fly every few DAYS, but took MONTHS between launches.
      It was a technological marvel, but never lived up to its intended potential.

    • Michael Dunne
      Michael Dunne 4 місяці тому

      @CaptainDuckman I believe with the shuttle the cadence originally was anticipated to be something like 50 flights a year. I think 1985 was the year with the most shuttle launches, which amounted to nine.

    • CaptainDuckman
      CaptainDuckman 4 місяці тому

      @Michael Dunne that's 1 flight a week, and I believe that was per shuttle, not for the entire fleet.
      So yes, they wanted the maintenance in between flights to be a few days, not months or years.

  • Jakob Winter
    Jakob Winter 3 місяці тому +3

    Such great production quality (great visuals!). Another awesome video. Thanks a lot!

  • Skeltek
    Skeltek 3 місяці тому

    Without trust vectoring and throttling instead, one would not have to shut down the opposite engine. Essentially trhottling several engine on the opposite side would also had worked. Especially with multiple engines failing one could easily calculate which engines to throttle to achieve equilibrium. That would also reduce the strain on each of the engines while not really hampering the overall efficiency that much.

  • Brandon Hamilton
    Brandon Hamilton 4 місяці тому

    Great video buddy. What a time to be a space geek. I can't wait to see you ride the finished product to the moon.

  • Lin Mal
    Lin Mal 3 місяці тому

    Thankyou E A for this side by side comparision and good analysis of the rockets.

  • Client Videos
    Client Videos 4 місяці тому +1

    Your narration on this video was excellent, very well paced and measured.

  • rydplrs
    rydplrs 4 місяці тому +13

    I was really hoping you would cover this. The complexity of fueling and controlling this many engines is a huge challenge by itself let alone the shear size of the rocket.

  • kchiem
    kchiem 2 місяці тому

    They should have tested having the upper stage separate before the lower stage self-destructs, and have the upper stage land back on the ground.

  • BDJ M
    BDJ M 3 місяці тому

    Excellent overview, thanks Tim !!

  • Andy Chipling
    Andy Chipling 3 місяці тому

    Is it possible to make one massive engine to replace all the others? Given that Elon Musk does such off the wall designs; I was thinking why so many small engines? Remembering that nothing is impossible, just not practical to do right now. If we think it i have seen often it happens.