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SpaceX Updates (thread 2)


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#1 DocM

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 22:30

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

Thread 1: http://www.neowin.ne...#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  (KSC SLC-40)

Primary: Dragon CRS2 (ISS resupply)

Secondaries -

CUSat 1 & 2 (Cornell University)

CubeSat Lunar Orbiter & Lander (!!)

SwampSat (test small sat attitude controls

Black Night 1 (West Point Military Academy)

IPEX/SPA-1 Trailblazer (JPL: Intelligent Payload Experiment & Space Plug & play Architecture)

TetherSat (Naval Academy: test a 1 mile space tether)

TJSat (Thomas Jefferson High School (!!))

DragonSat 1 (Drexel University)

Copper-Cube (Close Orbit Propellant Plume and Elemental Recognition)

PhoneSat 2.0 (based on Android 2.1 phone parts !!)


#2 OP DocM

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 04:07

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.

Attached Images

  • Rollout - whiterom-2.jpg
  • Rollout - whiterom-1.jpg


#3 OP DocM

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 19:40

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.

Link to FAA PDF....

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

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

AGENCY: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the lead Federal agency.

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

SUMMARY: This Notice provides information to Federal, State, and local agencies,
Native American tribes, and other interested persons regarding the FAA’s intent to
prepare an EIS for Space Exploration Technologies’ (SpaceX’s) proposal to launch the
Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy orbital vertical launch vehicles from a private site located in
Cameron County, Texas. Under the Proposed Action, SpaceX proposes to construct a
vertical launch area and a control center area to support up to 12 commercial launches per year.
The vehicles to be launched include the Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy (up to two per
year), and a variety of smaller reusable suborbital launch vehicles. SpaceX would be
required to apply for the appropriate launch licenses and/or experimental permits to be
issued by the FAA. The FAA will prepare the EIS in accordance with the National
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA; 42 United States Code [U.S.C.] 4321 et seq.),
the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for Implementing the Procedural
Provisions of NEPA (40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] parts 1500-1508), and FAA
Order 1050.1E, Change 1, Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures, as part of its
licensing and permitting process.
>
>
Proposed Action
The Proposed Action is for the FAA to issue launch licenses and/or experimental permits
to SpaceX that would allow SpaceX to launch the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy orbital
vertical launch vehicles and a variety of reusable suborbital launch vehicles from a
launch site on privately-owned property in Cameron County, Texas. The Falcon 9 orbital
vertical launch vehicle is a medium-lift class launch vehicle with a gross lift-off weight of
approximately 1,000,000 pounds (lbs) with a maximum length of 230 feet (ft). The
Falcon 9 uses liquid oxygen (LOX) and highly refined kerosene, also known as rocket
propellant-1 or refined petroleum-1 (RP-1), as propellants to carry payloads into orbit.
The Falcon Heavy is similar to the Falcon 9, except it has an additional two boosters
“strapped on,” each booster being almost identical to the Falcon 9 first stage core. The
Falcon Heavy is a heavy lift class launch vehicle with a gross lift-off weight of
approximately 3,400,000 lbs. It has an overall maximum length of approximately 230 ft.

A reusable suborbital launch vehicle could consist of a Falcon 9 Stage 1 tank with a
maximum propellant (RP-1 and LOX) load of approximately 6,900 gallons.
As part of the Proposed Action, SpaceX proposes to construct a vertical launch area and a
control center area. The proposed vertical launch area site is currently undeveloped and
is located directly adjacent to the eastern terminus of Texas State Highway 4 (Boca Chica
Boulevard) and approximately 3 miles north of the Mexican border on the Gulf Coast. It
is located approximately 5 miles south of Port Isabel and South Padre Island. At the
vertical launch area, the new facilities required would include: an integration- and
processing-hangar, a launch pad and stand with its associated flame duct, propellant
storage and handling areas, a workshop and office area, and a warehouse for parts
storage.

The control center area would be located inland to the west of the vertical launch area and
would include: a control center building and a payload processing facility; it might also
include a launch vehicle preparation hangar and satellite fuels storage. All facilities
would be constructed on private land owned or leased by SpaceX. The development of
access and supporting utility infrastructure for the vertical launch area and the control
center area may occur on lands outside that which is owned or leased by SpaceX.
Operations would consist of up to 12 launches per year with a maximum of two Falcon
Heavy launches. All Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launches would be expected to have
commercial payloads, including satellites or experimental payloads. In addition to
standard payloads, the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy may also carry a capsule, such as the
SpaceX Dragon capsule. All launch trajectories would be to the east over the Gulf of
Mexico.
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#4 neoadorable

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 12:35

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?

#5 OP DocM

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 17:58

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.

#6 pack34

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 00:45

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.



#7 OP DocM

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 01:47

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.

#8 neoadorable

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 12:09

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

#9 OP DocM

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 13:33

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.

#10 OP DocM

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 21:22

From Elon -

https://twitter.com/...529917654941696

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


So - on or shortly after May 7.

#11 OP DocM

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 23:05

SpaceX Dragon Demonstration Flight Coverage on NASA Television (all times Eastern)
 
Watch NASA TV


May 6, Sunday

1:00 p.m. – SpaceX/Falcon 9 Dragon Pre-Launch Briefing – KSC (All Channels)

May 7, Monday

8 a.m. – SpaceX/Falcon 9 Dragon Launch Coverage Begins – KSC (Launch scheduled at 9:38 a.m. EDT; All Channels)

11 a.m. – SpaceX/Falcon 9 Dragon Post-Launch Briefing – KSC (All Channels)

May 8, Tuesday

11 a.m. – ISS Update – JSC (All Channels)

May 9, Wednesday

11 a.m. – ISS Update – JSC (All Channels)

May 10, Thursday

2:30 a.m. – SpaceX/Dragon ISS Fly-Under Demonstration Test Coverage – JSC (All Channels)

10 a.m. – SpaceX/Dragon Mission Status Briefing – JSC and Hawthorne, CA (All Channels; time subject to change)

11 a.m. – ISS Update – JSC (All Channels)

May 11, Friday

2 a.m. – SpaceX/Dragon ISS Grapple and Berthing Coverage – JSC (All Channels; grapple scheduled at 8:30 a.m. EDT, berthing no earlier than 12 p.m. EDT; times subject to change)

1 p.m. – SpaceX/Dragon Mission Status Briefing – JSC and Hawthorne, CA (All Channels; time subject to change)

May 12, Saturday

TBD – ISS Expedition 31 Crew SpaceX/Dragon Hatch Opening and Ceremony – JSC (All Channels)

May 14, Monday

TBD – ISS Expedition 31 SpaceX/Dragon In-Flight Event – JSC (All Channels



#12 remixedcat

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 01:24

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...

#13 OP DocM

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 15:05

SFN....

>
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.
>



#14 OP DocM

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 01:15

Wired video interview with Musk -

http://www.wired.com...cienceclickthru

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 ;)

#15 OP DocM

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 15:41

Hotfire webcast at http://www.spacex.com 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.

http://spaceref.biz/...tatic-fire.html

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