Weekly Space Report: Starship Full-Pressure Water Deluge, Starship SN 15 Scrapped, Amazon's Kuiper Ambitions
I wonder how the decision making process regarding launchpad design went from the beginning. It is hard to imagine SpaceX didn’t know that the original pad was inadequate. Do you suppose they simply wanted to observe exactly what the damage would be before finalizing design of the new water deluge system. I also suppose this rather complex water system was not designed from scratch only after the damage from the first launch. Thoughts?
In an interview shortly after the first orbital flight test (as I recall, it was in the Twitter Spaces conversation, but it might have been elsewhere) Elon Musk said that a water-cooled metal plate system was in development for the Starship orbital launch mount but that they thought they could get away without it for the first flight test, which would only run the first stage engines at 70% of full thrust at liftoff. (They had not seen major damage after earlier static firing tests.) The extent to which the intended system may have been redesigned based upon the damage experienced in the first launch has not been discussed anywhere I’ve seen.