Will SpaceX’s 4th Starship test flight have a “rapid unscheduled disassembly“?
resolved Jun 6
Booster RUD
Starship (upper stage) RUD

Resolves YES if the next (4th) Starship integrated flight test explodes or breaks up except as planned, known as a "rapid unscheduled/unplanned disassembly (RUD)".

The upper stage and booster each resolve separately to whether they each have a RUD.

Note that hitting the ocean surface intact and being destroyed on contact with the surface is not a RUD for this market (that is the mission plan). However, exploding on contact with land (as opposed to ocean) would be a RUD.

Other examples of things that aren't sufficient to count as a RUD: a part flying off without causing the breakup of the rocket, or a single engine having a fire.

Exploding on the pad before the launch would also count as a RUD.

We'll use a common sense definition here. The sources for resolution will be SpaceX, media, prominent space youtubers, etc. In case it isn't clear then I'll run a poll.

This question is about the next Starship mission with a planned trajectory that reaches space (100km altitude) - any low altitude test does not count for example. The close date is not a deadline, the question resolves when the flight occurs.

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bought Ṁ5,000 Starship (upper stag... NO

I don't think it was a RUD? Any confirmation that there was no RUD before it hit the water?

bought Ṁ200 Starship (upper stag... NO

@jack I'm pretty sure there was no RUD, which is craaazy

@jack Best I could tell it did a casual landing flip and burn and just plopped, "slightly singed"

bought Ṁ250 Starship (upper stag... YES

Unless we make the heat shield relatively heavy, as is the case with our Dragon capsule, where reliability is paramount, we will only discover the weak points by flying. Right now, we are not resilient to loss of a single tile in most places, as the secondary containment material will probably not survive. I will explain the problem in more depth with @Erdayastronaut next week. This is a thorny issue indeed, given that vast resources have been applied to solve it, thus far to no avail.


Your definition is reasonably clear but fwiw I think hitting the ground intact and exploding is called a RUD under common usage of the term. This is how most of the starhoppers RUDed. A more natural criteria maybe to say any uncontrolled impact of the surface (land or sea) counts as a RUD unless it planned ahead of time (e.g., the “soft landing” in the ocean).

@JessRiedel That's fair but I think they do in fact plan for both the booster and Starship to be destroyed on impact with the surface.

@jack Right, this is just a minor suggestion to add something like “in accordance with the flight plan”, since if they veer off course and hit land it would commonly be called a RUD.

@JessRiedel I want to be careful about that, because what if they hit the water outside the target area - is that a RUD or not? The current definition is clear that it doesn't count. And I think this makes sense, because AFAIK if they are very far off course they would activate FTS anyway.

Sure I understand the concern but personally I think the chance of ambiguity is low and this makes the market track something a bit less interesting and legible. It’s your market tho.

@JessRiedel How far off course does it have to be before it's unplanned? (I have no idea)

@jack There will be a "Notice to Mariners" (NOTMAR) that specifies a keep out zone. Going outside that would be a mishap. Going outside that and the FTS not being triggered would be a mishap. FTS triggering but not resulting in a RUD would likely also be a mishap. I think. Haven't found NOTMAR or a map of area specified, sorry.

Hmm this
suggests there may be both a high risk area and a debris area. (Maybe that is re launch of SG+starship and then booster coming down.)

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