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SpaceX Updates (thread 3)


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#1 DocM

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:06

Starting SpaceX thread 3 as thread 2 is past 15 pages and they're between launches..

Thread 1: http://www.neowin.ne...rasshopper-rlv/

Thread 2: http://www.neowin.ne...dates-thread-2/

An interesting tidbit that the version 2 of the Dragon spaceship may well be sporting a new shape vs. the current steep-sided capsule shape we're used to. Musk says it'll be unveiled soon, so pics galore can be expected when it is.

From Elon Musk's lecture at the UK's Royal Aeronautical Society -

EM: ...and then there's the next generation of Dragon, the Dragon version 2, which actually does not look like that, but we'll be unveiling that fairly soon. I think that is pretty cool. Dragon version 1, we didn't really know what we were doing, most likely know more at this point. That's why Dragon version 1 looks fairly similar to things in the past, we thought, well, better not stray too far from things in the past, and hopefully it worked. Yeah, so the next version of Dragon will do that, but it looks a bit different, but it'll have legs that pop out and it has eight thrusters that are arranged in four pairs around the exterior. On the actual vehicle, the pairs are not at quite 90 degrees, partially because we wanted to shift the engines that are on the wind-ward side of the back shell, a little more towards the wind-ward side, so they're not quite 90 degrees apart, they're a little closer together on one side, and they're much bigger than what you see there.


And from another interview later the same day -

Interviewer: And what about the man-rating of the Dragon capsule, because it has been designed from the beginning to carry, I think, seven astronauts, so in fact that's going to be happening in parallel with this new Falcon Nine then, is it?

EM: It is, yes. We've got what we call Dragon Version Two, being developed in parallel with the next generation Falcon 9. Dragon Version Two will be capable of carrying up to seven astronauts. It will also be capable of landing propulsively, with little legs that pop out. So it will look like a real, you know, alien spaceship, I guess.

Interviewer: An actual flying saucer.

EM: Yeah, in this case, it does kind of look like... when people see the new design, I think they will be quite excited, because it really does look like something from the future.


Whoa....


#2 neoadorable

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:10

Awesome! That's like twice the size of current Dragon, right? Just build the 4000 ton Orion already! 20 booster rockets to orbit, then fire off the nukes and get to Mars in a week. How difficult can this be?

#3 OP DocM

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 20:45

Too early to come to any conclusions about changes to Dragon, but some of the speculation on the space sites is pretty radical, including incorporating the trunk in the main airframe.

Also;

SpaceX just picked up 2 US Govt. launches, beating out Orbital Sciences for both -

1) DISCOVR (Deep Space Climate Observatory in Nov. 2014. Falcon 9 v1.1

2) a Dept. of Defense Space Test Program payload in Sept. 2015. Falcon Heavy.

http://www.aviationw...-524585.xml&p=1

#4 neoadorable

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:32

that's good, will give them more resources to work with.

#5 AnotherITguy

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 05:20

can't wait to see what the future holds for the folks at spacex

#6 OP DocM

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 18:54

A guy named Padrat who works for SpaceX reports there has been another Grasshopper (100 ft tall reusable booster testbed) hover test and that it was "impressive." Hopefully we'll see a video soon :)

#7 neoadorable

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 08:54

that would be nice. when is the next Dragon mission to the ISS Doc, I forgot?

#8 OP DocM

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 12:42

Next ISS flight is the end of Feb - beginning of March, delayed a by pending software upgrades to the ISS itself (main reason) and the now finished review of what made one of F9's engines fail during the last flight.

There is also the pending maiden flight of the greatly upgraded Falcon 9 v1.1 from Vandenberg AFB in California. It's much larger (227 feet tall vs. 156 for a 1.0 with a Dragon), has much more powerful engines, a new thrust structure (lighter) and 8 of the engines will be in an octagon + the center engine instead of the familiat 3x3 grid.

How much more powerful? The current v1.0 can send about 10 metric tons to LEO. The upgraded v1.1 will be able to send 16 tons (NASA number) to LEO, or 13.5 tons with up to 2 failed engines (SpaceX number.)

#9 OP DocM

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 08:26

Neo -

The next Dragon has arrived at the launch site :)

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#10 OP DocM

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 15:05

http://www.spaceflig...m/#.UORJyL-9LTo

SpaceX and Orbcomm Inc. have agreed to new contract terms for the launch of 18 data communications satellites beginning in mid-2013, according to a filing with a U.S. regulatory agency.

The $42.6 million contract covers the launch of 18 second-generation Orbcomm satellites on two Falcon 9 rockets between the second quarter of 2013 and the second quarter of 2014, Orbcomm wrote in a Dec. 27 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Orbcomm's second-generation, or OG2, satellites will improve the company's messaging service with faster transmission speeds and increased throughput. Sierra Nevada Corp. is building the satellites.

Eight OG2 satellites will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket in mid-2013. Another Falcon 9 launch in 2014 will launch the other 10 satellites.

Orbcomm's previous launch contract with SpaceX, signed in August 2009, provided for satellite launches on an enhanced version of the company's smaller Falcon 1 booster. SpaceX has since discontinued production of the Falcon 1 launcher.

With the future of the Falcon 1 in doubt, officials with both companies planned to move the Orbcomm OG2 satellites to a Falcon 9 booster. The firms reached a deal Dec. 21, according to the SEC filing.
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#11 OP DocM

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 01:24

http://www.orlandose...9,0,32311.story

SpaceX crew launch: Space X to launch humans into space in 2015

WASHINGTON — A top executive at SpaceX said Wednesday that the California-based rocket company hoped to launch U.S. astronauts into orbit as early as 2015 — with the twist that these space-farers would be SpaceX employees and not NASA personnel.

The goal was announced during a NASA news conference held at Kennedy Space Center intended to broadly update the public on the agency's efforts to use commercial companies to ferry its astronauts to the International Space Station.

But the pronouncement by ex-NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman — now a project manager with SpaceX — stole the show, especially because SpaceX made history last year by becoming the first commercial company to blast an unmanned spacecraft to the station and return it safely to Earth.

"We are not selling tickets. Don't call our toll-free number," joked Reisman, who said the test flight would be part of the company's effort to convince NASA that its Falcon 9 rockets and Dragon capsules are safe enough to carry NASA crews.

He said the company, founded by Internet tycoon Elon Musk, had just begin "internal discussions" on whom SpaceX would send on the mission — and deflected questions about whether he would be onboard.

"I did not come to SpaceX specifically … with the intent of going back to space," said Reisman, a veteran of NASA station and space-shuttle missions.

But he said that no matter who flew for SpaceX, he would help ensure it was safe.

"What's important to me is that I can look myself in the mirror … [and say] that the risk is acceptable for me to fly," he said.

The 2015 demonstration flight by SpaceX — along with a similar mission planned by Boeing in 2016 for its new capsule — are being encouraged by NASA as a precursor to launching agency astronauts.

"We want to know when you [commercial companies] are ready to fly your crew at your risk," said Ed Mango, manager of NASA's commercial-crew program.

SpaceX documents filed with NASA indicate that the company's first manned mission would be an "orbital-demonstration flight" that would stay in space at least three days. It would not dock with the space station.
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#12 OP DocM

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 21:12

http://losaltos.patc...tting-edge-cars

Tesla Motors CEO To Speak About SpaceX, Solar City & Cutting-Edge Cars
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He'll also give his thoughts on the future of electric-powered autos and his vision for SpaceX, which includes a $36 billion space station on the surface of Mars.
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#13 OP DocM

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:16

Siemens SpaceX ad (they use Siemens NX simulation & manufacturing s/w.)

If you look closely you'll see the skeleton of their 5 meter payload fairing with a tablet-holding guy in the foreground. There are also shots of their factory floor, inside Dragon and at their Kennedy Space Center integration hangar.



#14 OP DocM

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 18:18

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden visited SpaceX's pad at Vandenberg AFB today.

News from the event: Falcon 9 v1.1 maiden flight from Vandenberg is June 18, 2013, and we have pics of the SLC-4E hangar, pad & crawler plus a new graphic of the Falcon Heavy on the pad.

http://lompocrecord....ee-001a4bcf887a

Vandenberg AFB hangar (Falcon 9 v1.1 and Falcon Heavy)
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Pad & transporter/gantry images - some serious metal there
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Flame trench & part of pad. Note the scale vs the people
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CGI of same area - compare to Falcon Heavy graphic below for true scale
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The Beast - Falcon Heavy
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#15 OP DocM

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 06:10

SLC-4E on Feb 10, 2013

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