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DocM

SpaceX Updates (thread 3)

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Thanks for keeping this going, Doc!

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SuperDraco is the launch abort and propulsive landing thruster to be used in the SpaceX Dragon 2 (DragonRider) spacecraft. Dragon 2 will have 8 SuperDracos, each one 1.5x as powerful as the Apollo Lunar Module landing engine.

Dragon 2 with integrated SuperDraco's is scheduled for an abort from launch pad test in December 2013. This is an abort capability the Shuttle never had. A few months later (~Q2 2014) a mid-flight high dynamic pressure (Max-Q) launch abort test will be performed. This will set up Dragon 2 for crewed flight tests.

SuperDraco specs

Thrust: 15,000 lbf (67,000 Newtons)

Fuel: mono-methyl hydrazine

Oxidizer: nitrogen tetroxide

Propellant delivery: pressurized gas

Throttle range: 5-100% (unconfirmed)

Time to 100%: 100 ms

Specific impulse (ISP): ~300 seconds

Avionics: 3 string redundant

Test fire (100% throttle)

620259main_SuperDraco_4.jpg

619764main_SuperDraco3.jpg

Provisional SuperDraco pods (NASA Admin. Gen. Charles Bolden, USMC Ret.)

768px-DragonRiderMockup.jpg

Hotfire

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https://mobile.twitter.com/hewitt_pd/status/340618952281579521

@HewittPD

SpaceX has just notified us that there will be, baring any unforeseen problems, a 9 engine test at around 8pm this evening.

This burn will be 9 qualification engines. Once the burn is done they'll be removed for Grasshopper 2 and replaced with 9 flight engines that have already been tested, then F9 v1.1 #1 goes to Vandenberg.

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There may be another burn soon. Watching for video.

@elonmusk

1st firing of Falcon 9-R advanced prototype rocket. Over 1M lbs thrust, enough to lift skyscraper pic.twitter.com/AUCsWTw77E

(Speaking of F9 1.0 thrust vs. F9R)

@elonmusk

@williamricci6 50% higher. ~1.3 M lbs sea level and ~1.5 M lbs vacuum thrust. Will be 60% higher with some tweaks.

F9Rfirstfire.jpg

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New date for F9R #1 (Canada's CASSIOPE and a load of small satellites): NET August 14

Still work to do on the Vandenberg pad, some work on the vehicle, a longer burn, an engine swap (evaluation engines --> flight engines).then another burn with the flight engines.

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Engine bay of F9R with engine access panels off. No engines mounted.

f9v1.1aft.jpg

The below images are of production M1D flight engines. The white ring near the top is thermal protection that connects to thermal protection at the bottom of the Octaweb thrust structure. Also very shiny! Most likely polished niobium.

m1dflight-1.jpg

m1dflight-2.jpg

Also - waiting for official word on how it went (unofficial word is embargoed, as usual)

http://www.kwtx.com/ourtown/home/headlines/McGregor--SpaceX-Plans-To-Rumble-210601331.html?device=phone

MCGREGOR (June 7, 2013)?Residents accustomed to the daily roar of tests at the SpaceX facility in McGregor may do a double-take when the private space exploration company conducts a test it says will be significantly louder.

The test could occur as early as Friday afternoon and could last for as long as several minutes, the company said.

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DEVELOPMENT F9R hot-fire video from last Friday night, not a pre-flight test (that comes later.) 1 M1D flight engine (center?) and 8 low fidelity development engines. Pre-flight tests will be done with 9 flight engines.

Thrust of the M1D's was set to a 60% gain vs. M1C instead of the rated 50%. Burn duration ~2 minutes. 1.5 million lbf is sbout equal to a Saturn V's F1 engine.

Elon Musk

@elonmusk

1st long duration firing of the new generation Falcon 9 rocket ~1.5 million pounds of vac thrust

Test site: tripod test stand, qualification stand, and water tower

4dFHKkZh.jpg

V4bWpYch.jpg

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Another longer F9R hotfire will be attempted tomorrow (Wednesday), hopefully for at least 180 seconds. These guys have really mastered the art of fast turnarounds.

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Always knew it would take private enterprise getting into space to make stuff more interesting! Government projects -always- move as slow as molasses.

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That's about it. NASA etc. would spend a few weeks studying the simplest event, two more its existential meaning, then set a new date.

Ex: NASA finds a 1.5" crack in a 2nd stage nozzle and they take the rocket apart, wait weeks to ship & install a new one then set a new date weeks later. SpaceX sent a guy up on a cherry picker with blue tape, a ruler and tin snips. He trims a couple inches off the nozzle and they launch a couple days later. The NASA guys almost had a stroke :)

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^ HAHAHA!! Love it!

"And that's how we do things in the REAL world, fella!"

At this rate, we'll be back on the moon and heading to Mars in no time! :)

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Just released by SpaceX re: F9 v1.1 / F9R -

SpaceX completed first-stage development testing on June 19 with a firing that achieved all verifications needed following earlier stage testing. With this test, we have achieved the equivalent of nearly two full mission duty cycles on the integrated stage. We are now moving into the stage acceptance tests and final preparations for flight.

The next steps will involve another run of first stage tests after the development engines are removed (for installation in Grasshopper 2) and replaced with 9 shiny new flight engines.

They have also determined that a problem found during the 5.2m fairings vacuum tests was with the test setup, not the fairing itself, so the setup was changed and the fairings completion should be announced soon.

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New image of Merlin 1D being inspected. Looks like a very "clean" design.

This engine's also manufactured differently than many other rocket engines - instead of machining a billet and applying thick layers of plating the chamber & throat are made using explosive hydroforming. Much faster & cheaper it's more conducive to mass production..

2048x image....

720x

m1dsm.jpg

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http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_07_01_2013_p26-589690.xml

>

SpaceX Commercial Crew project manager Garrett Reisman says his company's plan to conduct a pad abort test in December remains on track, paving the way for a test flight to the space station with a non-NASA crew in a version of the Dragon spacecraft in 2015. ?What we think we need to complete launch assurance is just over two years, so we could do a test with people on board around mid-2015.

>

Following a flight review of the upgraded Falcon 9 standard for human missions in mid-November, SpaceX plans to conduct a pad abort test a month later. ?The primary structure for the pad abort is already fabricated and almost complete. This the next really exciting milestone and the first abort test as part of commercial crew program. We are going to stick Dragon on top of a Falcon 9 and take it to the transonic regime. We will light up the launch abort system and fly away safely from the Falcon 9. This will demonstrate total thrust (as opposed to total impulse),? adds Reisman. ?Then we move on to the human certification review.? The qualification effort of the Dragon primary structure is due to be completed in mid-January, with the integrated CDR for the entire vehicle now set for March 2014 and an inflight abort test the following month.

>

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NASA RELEASE 13-201

NASA Commercial Crew Partner SpaceX Completes Two Human-Critical Reviews

>

At its pad abort test review, SpaceX presented plans for a pad abort test, currently targeted for later this year or early next year from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 40 in Florida.

...

During the upcoming pad abort test, SpaceX will perform a recovery operation following a simulated Falcon 9 anomaly. Plans call for the company to put one of its Dragon capsules on a launch pad test stand, countdown to T-0, ignite the system's SuperDraco abort engines and initiate a separation command. At around 5,000 feet, the spacecraft's parachutes will deploy resulting in a splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean.

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http://www.wacotrib.com/blogs/joe_science/spacex-test-in-works-as-nasa-milestones-reached-russians-lose/article_e89db09c-e35a-11e2-8996-001a4bcf887a.html

"SpaceX is planning to run another test at our rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas that will be significantly louder than the typical tests we run daily. This test will be similar in scope to recent tests, running from seconds in duration up to several minutes. The earliest possible date for the upcoming test is Wed., July 3rd."

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Another tidbit from the AvWeek article. We may see Dragon 2 in August -

The company delivered a detailed pad abort test plan to NASA in March, and in May completed its human certification plan review with delivery of overall certification and master verification plans. The preliminary design of the automatic-approach-and-docking system as well as the entry, descent and landing system is subject to an on-orbit and entry preliminary design review in July. Following a Dragon parachute test in August, the detailed inflight abort test review is slated for September, with the over-arching safety review covering hazard analysis, safety assessment and failure modes, due in October.

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This pic of the Falcon 9 v1.1 / F9-R / Falcon Heavy transporter-erector at Vandenberg AFB is a bit outdated as it doesn't show the claw that secures the upper stage (see bottom concept pic), which is now attached.

@SpaceX: An American flag flies high atop SpaceX?s new transporter erector at Vandenberg. #HappyFourthofJuly! http://t.co/3mKA7QU7gJ

The real deal -

BOXCgf7CQAACyYM.jpg

Concept pic -

FHpad.jpg

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http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/spacex-aims-big-with-massive-new-rocket-377687/

"We've looked at a number of different architectures, we haven't honed in on one just yet," said Shotwell. "I think we're still considering vehicle diameter. But the vehicle diameter is large, 7m minimum, multiple engines. These are big rockets." ...

Shotwell said a possible payload range of the new rocket is 150-200t to low Earth orbit (LEO).

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Hey Doc, That article is a bit old, October last year. Apparently the Falcon heavy was supposed to be fly by now.

 

"Falcon 9 Heavy, three cores bolted together, is scheduled for launch in early 2013"

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FH is actually to be delivered to Vandenberg no earlier than New Years. The big rocket article is a placeholder - a bit old but there's movement there; Merlin 1D, MvacD and SuperDraco are either now out of development (M1D, MvacD) or very close to it (SD), leaving the development teams free for cutting metal on Raptor then the.big stage. Expect a updated info. We may see the new cres Dragon aeroshell in a few weeks due to a mandated parachute test..

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Falcon Heavy STP-2 (USAF qualification flight): mid-2015

COSMIC-2: meteorological satellite

USAF-NASA Demonstration and Science Experiments (DSX): 2 to 6 aux payloads

Up to 8 P-PODs carrying a TBD number of cubesats

and ballast

One of the DSX payloads is the GPIM (Green Propellant Infusion Mission)

rocket_A.png

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Soooo with the Falcon heavy they are going to get all 3 stages into orbit?

 

Do they have any test flights before this one? I want to see that baby fly.

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