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SpaceX Updates (thread 2)

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Posted

15 pages in the original thread is long enough, especially with a slew of upcoming launches.

Thread 1: http://www.neowin.net/forum/topic/991330-spacex-updates-grasshopper-rlv/page__pid__594758226__st__210#entry594758226

First update is the satellite manifest for the second Falcon 9 / Dragon resupply mission to the ISS, preliminarily set for December 15, 2012. The first ISS resupply (CRS1) is tentatively set for August.

I find three particularly interesting; TJSat (the first sat built by a high school), PhoneSat 2.0 (based on an Android 2.1 cell phone) and CubeSst's micro lunar orbiter & lander weighing just 1.33 kg.

Most of these are nano or pico satellites weighing <2 kg, made possible by advances in miniaturization. This is an exploding market segment. Tiny Borg cubes, they are.

Links are to the satellite project page or a PDF.

Launch: NET December 15, 2012

Launcher: Falcon 9

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Posted

2 large pics of the Falcon 9 / Dragon C2/C3 rollout before the wet dressed rehearsal. Note the plastic cover over Dragon, the solar panel outriggers, and the new white room on the transporter / erector.

The final pre-launch clearance evaluation by NASA will take place April 16th, and if everything is good then launch is still set for April 30th. A 10 second hot-fire test of the 9 Merlin engines is to take place a few days before launch.

In other SpaceX news -

The first stage of CRS-1, the first full load ISS resupply mission, is being prepped at the McGregor, Texas test facility for a tentative August 2012 launch - if Dragon C2/C3 goes as expected.
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Posted

Could be we have a new SpaceX spaceport - the FAA is doing an assessment.

5 miles South of Port Isabel, Texas, and the FAA has started the permitting process.

[url="https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2012-08556.pdf"]Link to FAA PDF....[/url]

[quote][b]DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION[/b]

[b]Federal Aviation Administration[/b]

Office of Commercial Space Transportation; Notice of Intent to Prepare an
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Open a Public Scoping Period, and Conduct a
Public Scoping Meeting

[b]AGENCY:[/b] The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the lead Federal agency.

[b]ACTION:[/b] Notice of Intent to Prepare an EIS, Open a Public Scoping Period, and
Conduct a Public Scoping Meeting

[b]SUMMARY:[/b] This Notice provides information to Federal, State, and local agencies,
Native American tribes, and other interested persons regarding the FAA

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Posted

phew, was sure i missed out on the upcoming launch because i remember it was scheduled for March before i took a long leave of absence from neowin! Thanks for the updates as always Doc, so April 30? This is unmanned Dragon to low orbit, right? or will she dock with ISS for this one?

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Posted

It depends on the status of the flight, which is a merged C2 and C3 mission. This was done to get it operational ASAP and accelerate the DragonRider crewed version.

In the C2 phase they will go to ISS altitude but not approach it. There they'll test out the systems, do some maneuvers to check its avionics, safety systems etc.

If that goes well then the C3 phase starts and goes to ISS and berth with about 1,200 kg of cargo. It'll spend about 21 days there then return with about 1,400 kg of return cargo, landing in the Pacific off California.

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Posted

DocM

I just saw this video on youtube of the Falcon 9 making powered landings for the first and second stage rockets. Do you know if they have tested this yet? I know they've successfully tested a powered landing of the dragon capsule but I'm unsure about the rocket itself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSF81yjVbJE&feature=fvst

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Posted

The Dragon hasn't tested propulsive landing yet because the SuperDraco thrusters are still under development. SuperDraco has been fired many times, and there are video's on YouTube, so much of the work is lightening & optimizing it They are due to be presented to NASA for launch escape use until ~May 25, and once integrated and tested for that the landing tests can start.

The F9 stage landing tests are the Grasshopper program, and the pad for those is under construction in McGregor Texas. It should be almost done as the last Google Earth satellite photos ~4 months ago showed the earthwork well underway. They'll test the first stage first, short tethered hops first, then higher & supersonic. The FAA clearance documents predicted a 3 year development.

While all this is going on they are also building the first Falcon Heavy for shipment to Vandenberg around the end of the year, and there are ~ 8-9 Dragons and several Falcon 9's in various stages of construction. They are also developing 2-3 new engines, one to debut early next year and a Falcon Heavy test stand. Full plate.

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Posted

they still haven't built the first Falcon Heavy? i thought they did, must have had it confused with the Falcon 9.

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Posted

Falcon Heavy has always been due in late 2012. The next-gen Falcon 9 (stretched core, Merlin 1D, 227 ft tall) will be next. 14-16 tons to LEO instead of 10.4 tons.

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Posted

From Elon -

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/194529917654941696

[quote]>
Am pushing launch back approx a week to do more testing on Dragon docking code. New date pending coordination with @NASA.
>[/quote]

So - on or shortly after May 7.

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Posted

[quote][b]SpaceX Dragon Demonstration Flight Coverage on NASA Television (all times Eastern)

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Posted

damn it was supposed to be the 30th... my dad's ashes are being launched on the one launching in FL!!!! So you say it's gonna launch on the 7th.. damn that's a long ways away... my mom had to rebook the hotel allready... I will be going down there with her and my sister as well to that launch... grrr I hate how it was postponed... I was broken up about it becuase the 30th was the day my dad died in 2010.... that would have been perfect. this makes me torn up bad inside...

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Posted

[url=http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/003/120424date/]SFN....[/url]

[quote]>
Launch preparations continued Tuesday while SpaceX and NASA worked on the Dragon's software reviews.

Filling of the Dragon capsule's hypergolic propellant tanks was supposed to be completed Tuesday, according to Kirstin Brost Grantham, a SpaceX spokesperson.

The spacecraft was scheduled to be rotated from a vertical position to a horizontal orientation Thursday and attached to the upper stage of the Falcon 9 launcher inside SpaceX's hangar.

The aerodynamic nose cone is set to be integrated to the forward end of the Dragon capsule Friday.

A brief firing of the Falcon rocket's nine Merlin first stage engines is scheduled for April 30. SpaceX conducts a hotfire test of the Falcon 9's engines before each launch to check their health.

A technical review meeting is planned for Friday, and a SpaceX launch readiness review is set for May 5, according to an official familiar with the Dragon mission.

As currently envisioned, the schedule would make possible a launch attempt May 7, assuming NASA and SpaceX finish software testing.

SpaceX's launch on May 7 is booked on the U.S. Air Force range after the May 3 blastoff of a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket with a military communications satellite.
>[/quote]

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Posted

Wired video interview with Musk -

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/04/elon-musk-hangout/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=socialmedia&utm_campaign=wiredscienceclickthru

A MAJOR takeaway at the end is that if all goes well there will be an announcement late this year or sometime next year of a new family of rockets geared to Mars. The focus right now is ISS, but he has an idea how to pull Mars off. It also sounded like they'll go it alone if they have to.

Let the speculation begin ;)

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Posted

Hotfire webcast at [url]http://www.spacex.com[/url] Monday, April 30 with coverage starting at 2:30 PM ET and the hotfire at 3:00 PM ET. Only 2 seconds this time - flight 1 was 10 sec and flight 2 was 4 sec. Seems they're gaining confidence in the system.

[url]http://spaceref.biz/2012/04/spacex-to-webcast-static-fire.html[/url]

[img]http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Z317.jpg[/img]

[img]http://images.spaceref.com/news/2012/DragonSpacecraft4-12.jpg[/img]

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Posted

A big pic of Dragon, and another of it being integrated to Falcon 9.

Hotfire still on for Monday and launch for May 10th. This ISS launch window is classified as [i]instantaneous[/i], meaning if they don't hit it exactly the launch has to be rescheduled for the next window.

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Posted

remixed: you father's ashes? please accept my condolences, but do explain?

Doc: thanks for the Wired interview, really awesome, i'm loving Elon more and more, he's the kind of guy we need for this. Together with Planetary Resources, this gives me so much hope (drinks another pint)

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Posted

Celestis is a company that does space burials... my mom went with them to make my dad's final dream come true. I am very irritated it keeps geting pushed back, as we need to go down there for the event. My mom keeps having to re-book the hotel over and over and she might not get a decent room as a result of this. she also has to call off work and her job is tougher to do that as it's a travelling time sensitive job. This is very unsettling for me becuase I also really need a vacation. My life is pretty much crap right now and I need to get away from the hellhole that my area is for a while. Also the 30th is when my dad died so this is a very tragic and bad time for me... it just seems like so much is hell right now for me and I miss my dad so much. (I am crying so hard typing this BTW I'm in great pain right now as a result of this turbulance and crap)

Thank you neoadorable.

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Posted

The Falcon 9's engine hot-fire test webcast here: [URL]http://www.spacex.com/webcast.php[/URL]

Coverage starts today, April 30, 2012, at 2:30 PM ET / 11:30 AM PT

Falcon 9 / Dragon has been rolled out and is on the pad.

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Posted

The Falcon 9's engine hot-fire test webcast here: [url="http://www.spacex.com/webcast.php"]http://www.spacex.com/webcast.php[/url]

Coverage starts today April 30, 2012 at 2:30 PM ET / 11:30 AM PT

Falcon 9 / Dragon has been rolled out and is on the pad.

1984x3000 image below - download to see it at its best.

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Posted

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35igaHaoGhU

[url=http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/30/11472882-spacex-fires-falcons-rocket-engines]NBC Cosmic Log....[/url]

[quote][b]SpaceX fires Falcon's rocket engines[/b]

SpaceX conducted a successful test firing of a Falcon 9 rocket's engines on its Cape Canaveral launch pad, one week before its precedent-setting launch to the International Space Station. But it took more than one try.

The initial countdown was halted just 47 seconds before the nine engines were scheduled to start up. SpaceX fixed what it called a "limit that was improperly set" on the flight computer and quickly set up another countdown. The second countdown proceeded smoothly, and the rocket's nine engines fizzed to life for two seconds as expected, at 4:15 p.m. ET today.

"Woohoo, rocket hold-down firing completed and all looks good!!" SpaceX's millionaire founder, Elon Musk, reported in a Twitter update. Meanwhile, company spokeswoman Kirstin Brost Grantham said "engineers will now review data as we continue preparations for the upcoming launch."

This was a full dress rehearsal for SpaceX's second official demonstration flight for NASA. The first demo flight, back in December 2010, sent a gumdrop-shaped Dragon space capsule into orbit for the first time. The second flight, scheduled to lift off as early as May 7, could see the Dragon go all the way to the space station.
>[/quote]

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Posted

[i]Sigh -[/i]

Another launch delay while NASA and SpaceX continue software tests. NET is now May 10, but we should know an exact date within a few days. Seems SpaceX is programming their VxWorks / Linux systems in C++ while the NASA Mission Control Center (MCC) programmers only speak C and FORTRAN.

Anyhow - from the Elon Musk Associated Press tweet chat -

@elonmusk

-Figuring out new no-earlier-than launch date with NASA. Should know in next few days

-SpaceX is great at making things super light. Tesla is great at mass production & batteries

-5 years max before we fly civilans.

-Am hoping to travel to orbit in about 5 years, beyond in 7 to 10.

-For humanity to have an exciting & inspiring future, we cannot be confined to Earth forever

-Definitely. Long term goal of SpaceX making life multiplanetary.

-Am highly confident that Mars can be self-sustaining without terraforming

-Rally people around the idea of making life multiplanetary with a base on Mars

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Posted

Finally an official new date, and a nice pic taken during the hot-fire below -

[url="http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/commercial/cargo/spacex_index.html"]May 19 at 4:55 AM EDT.[/url] Night launch!

If this 'instant launch window' is missed the next possible target date is May 22.

[b]New NASA TV schedule -[/b]

[b]May 18, Friday[/b]
1 p.m. - SpaceX/Falcon 9 Dragon Pre-Launch Briefing - KSC (All Channels)

[b]May 19, Saturday[/b]
3:30 a.m. - SpaceX/Falcon 9 Dragon Launch Coverage Begins (Launch scheduled at 4:55 a.m. EDT) - KSC (All Channels)

7:30 a.m. - SpaceX/Falcon 9 Dragon Post-Launch News Conference - KSC (All Channels)

[b]May 21, Monday[/b]
2:30 a.m. - SpaceX/Dragon Fly-Under of the ISS Coverage - JSC (All Channels)

10 a.m. - SpaceX/Dragon Mission Status Briefing - JSC (All Channels)

[b]May 22, Tuesday[/b]
2 a.m. - SpaceX/Dragon ISS Grapple and Berthing Coverage - JSC (All Channels)

1 p.m. - SpaceX/Dragon Mission Status Briefing (Time subject to change) - JSC (All Channels)

[b]May 23, Wednesday[/b]
7:30 a.m. - SpaceX/Dragon Hatch Opening Coverage - JSC (All Channels)

TBD - ISS Expedition 31 Post-SpaceX/Dragon Hatch Opening Crew News Conference - JSC (All Channels)

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Posted

They finally got some SpaceX swag at the Kennedy Space Center online store. Just shirts, a cap and C2+ mission patch so far, but Tees up to 3X.

[url]http://www.thespaceshop.com/spacex.html[/url]

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Posted

remixed: sorry i didn't write again sooner. i hope you are feeling better now. what about the plans for your father's ashes, is everything ok now? you can always come to neowin for a shoulder, i've taken advantage of that a lot recently :cry:
and what's wrong with your area? please do keep us posted with how things are going!

thanks a lot for posting this Doc, and for the updated schedule. i love NASA TV and have marked my scheduler to make sure i remember to watch this! and i'm glad we can now buy SpaceX swag, i need to get some to support the Great Cause.
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