Why Starship won’t have an abort system… but should it?!

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Time stamps:
3:05 – How abort systems work
5:25 – Space Shuttle Safety Margins
10:40 – What Made the Space Shuttle so Dangerous?
16:00 – How Starship Will Differ from the Space Shuttle
21:00 – Engine Reliability
30:25 – Starship Abort Options
34:30 – Do Abort Systems Actually Make a Rocket Safer?
38:55 – How to Improve Rocket Safety Without an Abort System
41:50 – Are Launch Abort Systems Necessary for Human Spaceflight

Article version – https://everydayastronaut.com/starship-abort

Thanks to my Moon Walkers for helping produce each and every video! – Aaron Davis, ArcTechInc, Blake Jacobs, Daniel Kim, Jared smith, Jethro, Joe Leva, John Malkin, Larry D Lysinger, Mac Malkawi, Max Haot, neurostream, NSS North Houston Space Society, Ole Mathias, Aarseth Heggem, Tomdmay, TTTA

  1. Eli Harman

    Everyday Astronaut is one of the only youtubers I’ll block out an hour for.

  2. Andrew Shirley

    Omg. Finally. He’ll yea

  3. Benjamin Ellis

    I’d say the RD-180 is more of 1.5 engine(s)

  4. Anthony Paull

    Why did I see this 20 minutes after I needed to be asleep 😩

  5. spambot71

    41:37 uh, your proposed answer does have the downside of planet-scale ecological collapse

  6. bob leponge

    Amazing video. You did a very clear introduction to system safety that is very complex. I like when you talk about the first safety assessment on apollo…. still true today in safety critical applications . Great job !

  7. Norman Reitzel

    “The pointy end is up and the flamey end is down” … Shame on you, I had to replace my keyboard because it chose to not work after being doused down with semi-used hot tea. Dude, I couldn’t stop laughing for five minutes. ^5’s

  8. KopaiSverli

    simplicity is relyability at the end

  9. Tomas Sarabia

    Wow, that was dense and informative with a well spoken enthusiastic host.

  10. Chaim Leib Halbert

    I love how thoroughly you investigate a topic and present that knowledge! Thanks!

  11. NAGJRC JasonBower

    Thank you so so much for all of your hard work!

  12. J Chandler

    This is awesome! Love these deep-dives!

  13. Greg Specht

    I’m not hating on him for it cuz it’s not like he’s forcing them to but 47:42
    He has a labor force that pays him wtf 😂

  14. Miles B

    “We choose to NOT do these things, and the other things, Not because they are hard, but because they are easy…”
    “Spam in a Can.”

  15. Beserkin32

    Tim can you start uploading these as a podcast version so i can just listen to the video, i would love to watch the whole 40+ mins but I just don’t have that kind of time to sit down and watch it all.

  16. rwofcomedy vandread

    **Helping with hacking the YouTube algorithm**

  17. Kenny Fordham

    Right. Right. Everything has been thought out. 🙄
    Famous last words.😔

  18. Tommy Vaske

    Tim Dodd: [says ‘abort’ several times in close succession]
    Swedish Chef: …’bort-‘bort-‘bort!

  19. ERPP8

    Tim, I love you for making these long, in-depth videos. I absolutely agree with you about diving deep into a topic to really understand it, and nowadays there’s a lot more content on youtube that only gives a 5 minute overview for beginners and is mostly just paraphrasing wikipedia.

  20. Van

    You could always *Revert to launch* in case anything messes up

  21. Izak Kanter

    41:19 Sripol People unite!

  22. Deadpan Devastation

    BTW: Shock waves actually do move faster than the speed of sound. That’s why they’re called “shock” waves. 😱

  23. Ronnie Pirtle Jr

    What if you over engineer your entire system and stil have an escape capsule?

  24. Kenan Qu

    37:05 After emergency aborting, “the crews were given cigarettes and a shot of vodka to relax when they were met by the recovery crew” sounds truly Russia.

  25. Shinigami

    Does anyone remember Daniel O’Brien aka DoB aka Deanie O’ Beanski from Cracked..? I feel like Tim and DoB are brothers lol. DoB actually writes for John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight now.

  26. D. G.

    Got to have SOME kind of abort sys, even a relatively simple one!

  27. Naenae Gaming

    Honestly, I would like to see some sort of animation of an LES on Starship, something similar to the thumbnail.

  28. Wellington Harris

    44:44 I would

  29. Ilan Brami-Rosilio

    Simply interesting.
    Thank you.

  30. Electricity taster

    We should have disposable crew like in KSP.
    Where do I sign up?

  31. DaRoach5882

    I remember Columbia… I was on our deck behind our house while watching it fly over.
    When we saw it come over the horizon we thought that’s weird, should it be just one fire ball?

  32. Robel W

    I have been waiting for this one. I can’t believe I’m going to watch it 2 days after it was uploaded.

  33. Robert Quin

    I really do like that you’re doing these informational videos. I love the details :^)

  34. Daniel Carlson

    WOW WHOOO HOO that was a spicy meatball. loved every second Thank You!!!

  35. Imustfly

    You sir, are AWESOME !! Well researched and equally well delivered ! I really enjoy watching ALL of your videos. Keep up the great work !!

  36. donenzonen

    “A rapid unplanned disassembly” :P :P :P

  37. DontEverGrowUp

    “What if there were people on board?” There weren’t. It was a test. That’s what tests are for.

  38. Delicious DeBlair

    I wouldn’t do it…. ~( ,m,)~
    There needs to be SOME kind of escape system…

  39. Mr. Miata

    “spicy re-entry heat”

  40. Christian

    I would choose a Scott Manley instead of an abort system: Fly save! I meant “safe”:-)

  41. Fred Darmstadt

    I would want an abort system until we are much more reliable,

  42. T3rminat0r

    43:20 I’m going to quote the Apollo13 Flight Director (according to the popular movie…): “I don’t care what it was designed for. I want to know if it’ll work”

  43. Mystic_ lynx

    Love it, thanks Tim. This topic was brought up in such an interesting way.

  44. Max Silver

    This true analysis with good examples and consistent conclusions! Thank you, Tim, from Russia!

  45. dingus153

    “rapid unscheduled disassembly” I mean, that’s one way to put it I guess 😂

  46. Worsie Poepies


  47. Jay Bee

    “All-up testing” didn’t work too well for the Soviet N-1.

  48. Mr Marzipan

    I always wear roller skates when I drive my car, and sure, it results in me averaging an accident a week, but rest assured when that major collision comes I’ll be ready to skate my way to safety

  49. Mark Keogh

    Kerbal Solution: rely on the exploding booster to blow the crew capsule part clear…

  50. stephan verbeeck

    I love the timestamps, they are such a great tool, thanks for adding them.

  51. MiraTheKilla MTK

    25:50 I wouldn’t say it failed to land. Honestly, I’d say it’s the first ever rocket to safely crash land intact.

  52. DysFUNctional Combat Vet

    I watch every second of this video and loved it! That is for all the hard work you put into this! I love the data and analysis!

  53. Frank Castle

    I like to be able to eject, its saved me many times

  54. BioFake1

    43:05 We need moar boosters !

  55. chappa

    When the reverse engineers after Bob Lazar left share their anti gravity findings on open source, so we dont have to worry about rockets… Ahh, doesn’t matter I’m going anyway! See ya

  56. autistic and ashamed

    43:22 I actually made a dragon capsule in KSP that does that. It’s capable of landing on minmus and returning with 1km/s ∆v left for landing. It even has special solid motors for softening the landing in the last few seconds

  57. Kerbonautics

    20:48 Falcon Heavy Demo flashback

  58. Paul Ruemmele

    YouTube needs to add a love button so I can adequately show my adoration of the videos from Everyday Astronaut.

  59. Matthieu Regnauld

    Improving my english while watching Everyday Astronaut videos is pure hapiness.
    I’m really impressed by such an amazing work, thank you for that!

  60. ben Sella

    46:20 , Ammm🤔 do you have abort on your car an abort system? Yet we drive every day without it and the risk might even be Higher….

  61. Kin Fong Yeung

    who needs a “of course i still love you” ship when you can do that! 26:10

  62. Michael Burke

    i always take my back-up cessna when flying commerical lol

  63. Kenny Fordham

    Naah! Who needs abort systems. I never crashed my car so I can remove my seat belts and air bags. 🙄

  64. Jimmy James

    15:22 So, these propeller heads knew the tile issue and just ignored it? Then Columbia? Idiots!!!

  65. kalxite

    just love the way you explain rocket science, wish i was a kid and had all these to help with choosing a career

  66. Jonny Franke

    Dear Tim,
    since nearly two years I am watching your videos. Those are awesome and i like your style. Fresh music, nice pictures. But the best thing is how you present facts about a simple question without prematurely judging or presenting something unilaterally and then weighting the facts, re-evaluating them and giving a properly thought-out answer. Just like in this video, at first I thought “Launch Escape System .. stupid question … of course everytime.” But after 48:43 the world was different again. Smarter. That is true science.
    To your question: Would I am going on a rocket without a launch escape system? Since I am a father … No. But Yes. But … NASA would laugh at me if I wanted to be an astronaut :).
    So please do more videos and keep your style. Now I have to sign up at patreons …
    Geatings from germany.

  67. Nyyppis

    I needed an abort system for this video… Just watched the whole thing in one sitting and didn’t even notice my launch window coming and going (missed my bus).

  68. Sam TG

    initially yes, but when i becomes more popular it will go the way of say challenger and have rushed launches and forgotten checks etc.

  69. Kristian Pletten

    I happened to witness the Soyuz MS-10 launch and abort last year in Kazakhstan. Just glad to see that Nick and Aleksey survived that incident.

  70. Sean Baskett

    I love these videos. Everytime I have a ques…oh wait, he just answered it. And then anoth….hold up, he just answered that one too. Good journalism is a dying (if not already dead) thing, If I could nominate Tim for a Pulitzer Prize, I would. My understanding of rockets and spaceflight is 3 orders of magnitude greater than it was 3 years ago, because he actually takes TIME to explain things in detail. I never thought anyone could challenge Scott Manley’s abilities to explain this to the common man, but he does.

  71. wesleylook16

    27:55 Minor mistake: Airliners are actualy able to deploy it’s landing gear even without any hidraulic power using only gravity to do the work.

  72. coolmadmike

    1919: “I’m not going to fly until planes are as safe as cars.”

    2019: “I’m not going to space until rockets are as safe as planes.”

    2119: “I’m not teleporting until transporters are as safe as rockets.”

  73. John Pignatelli

    This man knows his stuff, he is committed to stars.

  74. SuperSMT

    Can you really say the F-1 is more reliable than Merlin? Sure, it’s at 100% success vs Merlin’s 99.88%… but it’s only flown 65 times vs Merlin’s over 800. Not really a fair comparison

  75. ClemensAlive

    Like just for the amount of work that was put into this!
    Good job, Tim!

  76. Maps Of Being

    29:04 “this caused a rapid unscheduled disassembly” rofl was that how it’d be technically called?

  77. starbomber

    43:00 “Put more rockets on it” This is a very VERY Kerbal answer to the problem.

  78. WerewolfSlayer91

    When I watch this I remember the landing attempts of SpaceX. If it were any other company, they would have perfected the landing technology (like blue origin do now,(suborbital like grasshopper), instead of doing lab experiments on actual missions after the main mission was complete. The spacex effeciency is mindblowing.
    I have yet to see this from any nation or company, except during spacerace when rockets were more difficult, but one must keep in mind they had almost unlimted funding, because of the of instilled fear of beeping Sputnik.

  79. 태선우TaeSunWoo

    It’s crazy how he makes consistently good almost hour long videos.

  80. Chris Bragdon

    Any good engineering philosophy I like is “KISS”. Keep It Simple, Stupid.

  81. Storm Riordan

    Your long form content is basically unmatched. thanks for all the effort you put into all of these videos!

  82. CLipka2373

    43:00 – “You’re solving the problem of rockets by sticking more rockets on them”: Well, we all know that’s the way to go. Kerbal engineering FTW :)

  83. Murphy Thelen

    Dang, 50 minutes…
    Dang, It’s over already!?!

  84. Carter Brown

    A bomb with a nozzle
    -EverydayAstronaut 2019

  85. Lemzia

    The Hardest lesson that people can ever learn, is:
    Failure = Success.

  86. GeoFry3

    Need escape pods for droids and the secret plans they are carrying.

  87. quelorepario

    “Hello, I am Everyday Astronaut, and this is my masterclass”

  88. S Woodside

    “Simplify, then add lightness” –Colin Chapman of Lotus cars

  89. Jarno de Wit

    **Me in KSP putting an “abort abort abort system” for if my “abort abort system” fails, and at the same time thinking if I need another level of abort systems to save me from possible “abort abort abort system” failures.**

  90. AggroNerd

    “That would be like putting a Cessna prop plane inside of a 747 in case the 747 fails you can fly away on the Cessna.”
    In the early 1900’s the consensus was that life rafts on the Titanic was a waste of space and that they were better off just making the Titanic itself safer.

  91. Johan Andersson

    YouTube: just over 10 minutes are best for advertisement.
    EverydayAustronaut: I like full feature documentaries, let’s do that!

  92. TechMantra

    *Flies away in Cessna*
    “The rest of the passengers didn’t like that…” —

  93. Ramash440

    “It’s like putting a Cessna inside of a 747 just in case the 747 fails.”
    Boeing, please hire this man.

  94. Gean Ozz

    Slap a sticker on the arse end…………”no abort system required……..we die like men”

  95. Pepsi Doggo

    Agree or disagree
    SpaceX should name a Droneship “Flamey end down”

  96. Timm Zahn

    “Hopefully the pointy end is up, and the flamey end is down”
    That made me laugh harder than it should have….

  97. Feliz Archez

    “A rapid unscheduled disassembly” 😂😂

  98. 2nd3rd1st

    “Designing a rocket to be as reliable as an airliner is the goal”
    *Boeing 737 Max has left the chat*

  99. robinjac

    The fact that we live in a time where two youtubers can have regular engineering conversations on twitter with the head engineer and CEO of a major rocket company is just astounding to me…

  100. Cole Smith

    “Revert to launch” is the only abort system I need.

Comments are closed.