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Mission Thread: SPX-1 Dragon ISS resupply


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#16 OP DocM

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 00:57

Launch: perfect

Flight to orbit: perfect

Dragon is in orbit, her solar wings are deployed and arrival at ISS is scheduled for Wednesday morning.

Unfinished business: 2nd stage is to re-fire to put an Orbcomm communications satellite into its geosynchronous transfer orbit.


#17 Dot Matrix

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 01:11

Launch was beautiful. I love living in the future!

#18 skilithead

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 01:14

True , but I was hoping for flying cars ! :bounce:

#19 OP DocM

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 02:37

Update:

With most all rockets if an engine fails the range safety officer blows it up as there isn't enough power remaining to continue the launch. End of mission, everything is lost.

An engine-out capability prevents this.

NASA had engine-out capability with the 5 engine Saturn V moon rocket, but not since. SpaceX has picked up that ball and is running with it because F9's engine-out capability has been proven during this launch.

At about 01:20 into the flight there was an anomaly on engine #1 as F9 entered a cloud bank. Speculation is that engine 1's turbopump, which delivers the fuel & oxidizer, blew out spewing debris.

F9 is designed with armor plate and ballistic blankets (Kevlar) around each engine to catch the debris from such an events, so the F9's computer just shut down that engines fuel and oxidizer valves then burned the others a bit longer. Problem solved.

Result: the Dragon and Orbcomm satellite are now in their proper orbits in spite of an engine failure.

This engine-out capability makes Falcon 9 a very safe rocket.

#20 OP DocM

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 03:32

SpaceFlightNow -

"Falcon 9 detected an anomaly on one of the nine engines and shut it down," Musk wrote in an email... "As designed, the flight computer then recomputed a new ascent profile in realtime to reach the target orbit, which is why the burn times were a bit longer."



#21 OP DocM

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 04:18

Slow motion video of the event. Watch the top-right engine and you'll see the flameout and possible RUD ("rapid unscheduled disassembly" - an Elon Musk-ism.)

Remember: with any other US (and AFAIK foreign) launcher since Saturn V this would cause the flight termination (abort) system to destroy the rocket. Not so with Falcon 9.



#22 skilithead

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 04:31

Wow . Good stuff there .

#23 OP DocM

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 05:44

Yup - F9's a robust SOB 'eh?

#24 skilithead

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 05:53

Yup - F9's a robust SOB 'eh?



Aye capt !

#25 OP DocM

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 06:04

Full Elon Musk statement -

Falcon 9 detected an anomaly on one of the nine engines and shut it down. As designed, the flight computer then recomputed a new ascent profile in realtime to reach the target orbit, which is why the burn times were a bit longer. Like Saturn V, which experienced engine loss on two flights, the Falcon 9 is designed to handle an engine flameout and still complete its mission. I believe F9 is the only rocket flying today that, like a modern airliner, is capable of completing a flight successfully even after losing an engine. There was no effect on Dragon or the Space Station resupply mission.




#26 skilithead

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 06:19

It's almost un-fathomable to think that an object of that size , moving at that speed , is able to be monitored and controlled with such speed , to correct what could have been a devistating event . Ahh technology ! (Y)

#27 Simon-

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 09:46

So let me get this right. One of the engines blew up but the rocket was able to keep going and it made it to orbit and everything including the capsule is on course as planned? really? I can't get my head around it? Wow amazing if I understand this correctly?

#28 OP DocM

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 11:14

Yup - Falcon 9 can survive such an event.

We'll see about the actual cause of the flameout, but under some circumstances F9 can actually lose two engines. Tough bird.

#29 OP DocM

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 21:26

Approximately one minute and 19 seconds into last night’s launch, the Falcon 9 rocket detected an anomaly on one first stage engine. Initial data suggests that one of the rocket’s nine Merlin engines, Engine 1, lost pressure suddenly and an engine shutdown command was issued immediately. We know the engine did not explode, because we continued to receive data from it. Our review indicates that the fairing that protects the engine from aerodynamic loads ruptured due to the engine pressure release, and that none of Falcon 9’s other eight engines were impacted by this event.

As designed, the flight computer then recomputed a new ascent profile in real time to ensure Dragon’s entry into orbit for subsequent rendezvous and berthing with the ISS. This was achieved, and there was no effect on Dragon or the cargo resupply mission.

Falcon 9 did exactly what it was designed to do. Like the Saturn V, which experienced engine loss on two flights, Falcon 9 is designed to handle an engine out situation and still complete its mission.



#30 skilithead

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 21:36

Would that be the cone shaped nozzle thing ?