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posted by mrpg on Monday March 18 2019, @12:20PM   Printer-friendly
from the Hot-Stuff! dept.

Elon Musk Shows off Fiery SpaceX Starship Heatshield Test:

[...] After successfully sending the first commercial crew capsule to the International Space Station in early March, Elon Musk's spaceflight company is on a hot streak and it's looking to continue that with an upcoming test launch of its much-discussed Starship.

But before Starship gets off the ground, Musk has given spacefaring fans a glimpse of the hexagonal heatshield tiles that will eventually protect the craft from searing heat.

Testing Starship heatshield hex tiles pic.twitter.com/PycE9VthxQ

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 17, 2019

Musk explained that the hottest parts of the heatshield, glowing white in the short video above, reached a maximum temperature of around 1650 Kelvin (approx. 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit, approx. 1,375 degrees Celsius). He suggested this could withstand the extreme temperatures associated with returning to Earth, but it is slightly lower than the temperatures NASA's Space Shuttles were built to withstand (approx. 1,500 degrees Celsius).

Also at Teslarati.


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by takyon on Monday March 18 2019, @12:23PM (7 children)

    by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Monday March 18 2019, @12:23PM (#816363) Journal

    Next Falcon Heavy launch could be as soon as April 7. It would use Block 5 boosters instead of the Block 2s + 3 used for the maiden launch [teslarati.com].

    The first BFR hop tests could happen within a week or two [reddit.com]. Orbital launch tests within 3-4 months.

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  • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Monday March 18 2019, @03:22PM (11 children)

    by RamiK (1813) on Monday March 18 2019, @03:22PM (#816427)

    Though it's technically and mathematically valid, Kelvin shouldn't be used like a temperature degree unit. It's to be used to tell the difference between one temperature or the next. For instance, if something turning red at 450°C and you're asked "Won't it evaporate?", a possible answer could be "It's 20K short" or "When it reaches 470°C" but never "When it reaches 743.15K". It's terribly pedantic but NASA lost a lot of money and even lives over unit conversion errors involving this issue specifically as Fahrenheit got thrown into the mix.

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    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by khallow on Monday March 18 2019, @03:51PM (4 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 18 2019, @03:51PM (#816449) Journal

      Though it's technically and mathematically valid, Kelvin shouldn't be used like a temperature degree unit.

      [...]

      It's terribly pedantic but NASA lost a lot of money and even lives over unit conversion errors involving this issue specifically as Fahrenheit got thrown into the mix.

      If everyone uses Kelvin, then the no unit conversion issues. Kelvin has a couple of powerful advantages over the other stuff in that zero Kelvin is an absolute constant that doesn't depend on any material and second, that many gases act closely enough like ideal gases that effects scale with the Kelvin temperature (like pressure scaling with Kelvin temperature in a constant volume vessel).

      • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Monday March 18 2019, @09:48PM (3 children)

        by RamiK (1813) on Monday March 18 2019, @09:48PM (#816658)

        If everyone uses Kelvin, then the no unit conversion issues.

        You'll have references saying stuff like 273.2 K @ +/- 5% margin of error and people will start rounding...

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        • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday March 19 2019, @10:31AM (2 children)

          by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Tuesday March 19 2019, @10:31AM (#816886) Homepage
          No scientist worthy of the title would ever say anything like that. The reason miscommunication could take place is because a meaningless phrase was uttered. I'm not saying something like that would never be uttered, as I've seen things like "X occurs 200% less than Y", but again, this is by people who have no interest in communicating facts.
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          • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday March 19 2019, @10:43AM (1 child)

            by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Tuesday March 19 2019, @10:43AM (#816891) Homepage
            Actually, I misspoke - were that to be uttered in C, it would be utterly meaningless. It's possible to give it a meaning in K. But so dangerous, for the reasons you give, that it should be avoided. Temperature isn't a particularly linear thing, so even in an absolute scale a +5% and a -5% change would be noticeably different changes from each other. (With regard to properties that scale as T^4, for example, which is probably the more fundamental property that's being considered.) Real hard measurement-based science, rather than engineering, would more typically be expressing such things in terms of a mid-point (which I accept is ambiguous - is that the modal value, or what?) with independent positive and negative numeric variations nowadays.
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            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 19 2019, @04:14PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 19 2019, @04:14PM (#816995)

              Two informative posts worth of caveats and not the insight to understand that's OP's whole point.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by c0lo on Monday March 18 2019, @04:15PM (5 children)

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 18 2019, @04:15PM (#816466) Journal

      It's terribly pedantic but NASA lost a lot of money and even lives over unit conversion errors involving this issue specifically as Fahrenheit got thrown into the mix.

      Fahrenheit shouldn't be used as a temperature unit. Especially not in science and engineering.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by istartedi on Monday March 18 2019, @05:33PM (4 children)

        by istartedi (123) on Monday March 18 2019, @05:33PM (#816524) Journal

        If you don't eliminate C then you're just a hypocrite. C is still a conversion. If you hate conversions, eliminate them all. C is used for the same reason that F is used--because it's more intuitive in every day use than K. F is even better at that, more in tune with human experience than C, so I hope we continue using it. The adjustment to seeing liters and such in the grocery store is pretty much pain free, weights and lengths are also creeping in; but you can have my F when you pry it from my cold dead hands, whatever their temperature may be.

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        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by RamiK on Monday March 18 2019, @09:34PM (1 child)

          by RamiK (1813) on Monday March 18 2019, @09:34PM (#816646)

          If you don't eliminate C then you're just a hypocrite.

          Then you're a hypocrite for not using 1.380649×10−23 J/K instead: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelvin#2019_redefinition [wikipedia.org]

          F is even better at that, more in tune with human experience than C

          That's numerology. Both are equally convenient scales for everyday life. It's just that Celsius scales linearly with Kelvin so there's almost no room for conversion errors when reasoning numbers.

          As for Celsius vs. Kelvin in papers, it's pretty simple: Wherever people go, water comes along. So, every item we design and use needs to account for water freezing or boiling. So, until absolute-zero become a daily concern for engineers, I opt for Celsius for the vast majority of papers and documentations.

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          • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday March 19 2019, @10:24AM

            by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Tuesday March 19 2019, @10:24AM (#816880) Homepage
            "Celsius scales linearly with Kelvin"

            That's horribly misleading wording. With "scales" in there, whether you want it or not you're implying that doubling one doubles the other (that's what scaling is, after all).

            Better: Celsius is a constant offset from Kelvin. (Though I'd make it wordier to make it cleaner English, I'm mirroring your form.)

            And the redefinition is irrelevant for this kind of engineering by several orders of magnitude.
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        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday March 18 2019, @10:44PM

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 18 2019, @10:44PM (#816681) Journal

          F is even better at that, more in tune with human experience than C, so I hope we continue using it.

          Countries that use F: the Bahamas, Belize, the Cayman Islands, Palau and the United States.
          About 95.5% of humans are better in tune with Celsius:

          • 25C - nice weather
          • 33C - hot weather
          • 50C - bloody hell [theguardian.com]
          • 100C - no more than 6 minutes for a soft boiled egg and 3 minutes for a soft poached one
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        • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday March 19 2019, @10:27AM

          by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Tuesday March 19 2019, @10:27AM (#816882) Homepage
          No. C<->K is exact in both directions, F<->K is not. These are therefore fundamentally different types of conversions. One is acceptible (the one that's bidirectionally exact), the other isn't.
          --
          Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
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