They tell me I'm not a Rocket Engineer - and it's true. To think like a rocket engineer is to think very differently. So who is a rocket engineer - I bet you came up with the name Elon.
Here is Elon's thought process for building rockets.
- Make the requirements less dumb. Question the requirements - the constraints are wrong. Especially if the requirements are given by an expert. Also all requirement need to be traceable to a person - not a department.
- Delete the part or the process - it's redundant or not at all needed. Remember the human bias is to add. The rocket engineer should be adding back only after first deleting and proving it must be added back (an acceptable rate of re-addition is 10%).
- Simplify or optimize only after steps 1 & 2. Never optimize early. Do NOT optimize the thing that shouldn't exist. Example SpaceX grid fin folding parts - they just are not needed.
- Excelerate cycle time. But only after 1, 2, 3 and sometimes just to find the new bottle neck.
- Automate the process or part production - as the last step.
The creations process is inside an iteration cycle. One must iterate toward acceptable engineering.
One of the downfalls of the Space Shuttle program was that it could not iterate on the requirements because it had human life on board - therefore safety was primary - not learning.
Yet another problem - in process testing that's left in the process - after end of process testing is passing.
It appears that one of the parts you can delete is the grid-fin folding mechanism - it's not on the Super-Heavy rocket grid-fins.
See: Everyday Astronaut's Starbase Tour with Elon Musk (part 1). (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t705r8ICkRw 15:00 min)
Item number 1 - Question the requirements reminds me of some other fliers - the Wright Brothers and what they had to do to achieve controlled flight. They discovered that the prevailing knowledge of the day on drag and lift were not working out for their machines. So in 1901 they built a wind tunnel and balance scales and began testing wind foils for them selves. https://airandspace.si.edu/exhibitions/wright-brothers/online/fly/1901/flight.cfm
Some concepts from Simon Wardley.