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Posted 25 February 2013 - 16:06
Posted 25 February 2013 - 19:59
Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:29
Legislation filed for SpaceX project at Boca Chica Beach
State Rep. Rene Oliveira filed legislation Wednesday aimed at furthering the SpaceX project at Boca Chica Beach near Brownsville, he said.
“We’re definitely more optimistic than ever that Cameron County will have SpaceX,” Oliveira said.
“Obviously, there are still major decisions that need to be made with the federal government. But the fact that we and others are proceeding with legislation, and Mr. Elon Musk is going to be (in Austin) Friday, indicates, I think, a very favorable view on his part,” Oliveira added.
Musk is the founder of Space Exploration Technologies Corp., a California-based space exploration firm, which is considering a location near Boca Chica Beach for a rocket launch facility.
Oliveira, D-Brownsville, also said in an announcement that the legislation he filed would allow Cameron County to temporarily close a beach area for launches and space flight activities with approval of the General Land Office.
Oliveira said that while SpaceX has not made a final decision to relocate to the area, he filed the bill to make certain the necessary legislative measures are in place to move the project forward.
The proposed legislation would prohibit a beach closing during the major summer holidays of Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day, and all the summer weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
The GLO, Oliveira said, could approve a launch during those dates under special circumstances.
Posted 08 March 2013 - 05:21
Posted 09 March 2013 - 08:23
SpaceX chief appears before House committee
The next SpaceX launch site will not only be a place to launch rockets: The company would eventually want a site nearby to build them as well.
Space Exploration Technologies founder and billionaire Elon Musk made the announcement Friday at a hearing before the Texas House of Representatives Appropriations Committee in Austin, where he explained to committee members what SpaceX, as his company is known, is all about.
Musk said the company will continue to build its Falcon 9 rockets in California, but when it begins manufacturing rockets larger than the Falcon 9, they would be built at or near the launch site.
“The logical thing is to build near the launch site,” he said. “That is something that will occur wherever the launch site occurs.”
Musk said Texas still is the leading candidate for a SpaceX launch site.
“It all seems to be progressing pretty well,” Musk said. “We are optimistic about making this work in Texas in the Boca Chica area.”
Posted 15 March 2013 - 05:28
SpaceX turns 11 years old today—and we’ve worked hard to make every year count.
Posted 20 March 2013 - 02:05
Testing separation of F9 rocket fairing (can hold a city bus) in world's largest vacuum chamber (Plum Brook Space Power Facility, with help from NASA's Glenn Research Center).
Posted 21 March 2013 - 04:19
Posted 29 March 2013 - 09:21
SpaceX Dragon 2.0 looks like 'alien spaceship,' says Elon Musk
The next version of the Dragon spacecraft built by the private spaceflight company SpaceX will look like something truly out of this world, according to Elon Musk, the company's billionaire founder and CEO.
Musk detailed some of the high points of the firm's much-anticipated Dragon Version 2 to reporters Thursday during a briefing with NASA to celebrate the firm's second successful cargo mission to the International Space Station. SpaceX's unmanned Dragon capsule returned to Earth Tuesday with a successful splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.
But according to Musk, Dragon Version 2 landings won't be so … wet. But it may look weird.
"There are side-mounted thruster pods and quite big windows for astronauts to see out," Musk told SPACE.com. "There are also legs to pop out at the bottom. It looks like a real alien spaceship."
Those pop out legs, Musk added, will be for land touchdowns.
Musk is designing the capsule in the hopes that it will make its landings back on Earth, not at sea. The current Dragon space capsule design can only land in water, but Musk said he wants to "push the envelope" with the spacecraft's next incarnation, be it for manned or unmanned flights.
Musk is expected to unveil the design sometime later this year.
Meanwhile, SpaceX is already experimenting with land landings using its Gr****opper rocket, a prototype for a completely reusable launch system that has made several test flights — each higher than the last — none of which were aimed at reaching space.
Dragon isn't the only member of the SpaceX fleet getting an upgrade. The company's Falcon 9 rocket is also going to be retooled for more efficiency with 60 or 70 percent greater capacity and 60 percent more powerful thrusters, Musk added.
Private cargo ship success
SpaceX's most recent Dragon mission ended after three weeks attached to the orbiting laboratory. The capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean about 214 miles off the coast of Baja California to return about 2,670 pounds science gear and back to Earth.
The Hawthorne, Calif.-based SpaceX has a $1.6 billion deal with NASA to fly a dozen cargo missions like the one that just ended. The company's fourth launch is scheduled for the end of September.
Posted 29 March 2013 - 16:40
Rocket fairing almost ready for deployment test in vacuum chamber. Man lift on right for scale pic.twitter.com/BLOTThWFvw
Posted 12 April 2013 - 02:08
Fri, 12 Apr 2013 01:36:37 AM GMT+0900
The NASA Partner Integration Team, called a PIT Crew, working with Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) to help develop the company's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft combination recently talked with SpaceX representatives about its spacecraft propulsion and parachute systems.
Later this month, the PIT Crew will travel to McGregor, Texas, for a SuperDraco abort engine test. Plans call for eight SuperDracos to be built into the sidewalls of the Dragon spacecraft, allowing a crew to escape from danger at any point of a launch.
For more information about NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP) and its partners, copy and paste this link into your Web browser: www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew
Posted 17 April 2013 - 16:18
South Texas SpaceX site gets preliminary OK from feds
AUSTIN - South Texas' hopes of becoming a hub for commercial space missions are still alive.
Federal regulators have released a preliminary report that says California-based SpaceX can launch rockets from a proposed site near Brownsville without devastating the sensitive environment around Boca Chica beach as long as the company takes steps to protect several endangered species, the water supply and plant life.
The report released late Monday by the Federal Aviation Administration is only a draft. A final impact study is expected later this year before the FAA decides whether to award SpaceX launch licenses for its proposed Boca Chica spaceport.
The draft report is viewed as a huge jolt of good news for state and local officials trying to lure the company to build its rocket launch site in South Texas. Competition from other states also hoping to land the project is stiff.
The FAA draft report does cite a likely impact to several species of birds, felines and sea turtles. The study, however, contains a list of measures SpaceX would have to implement to make sure there are "no significant impacts on wildlife."
Those measures include avoiding launches when wildlife are most active, and providing pre-and post-launch surveys for endangered birds.
"That can all be mitigated. It has been done before," said Gilbert Salinas, executive vice president of the Brownsville Economic Development Council. "The report was better than what I expected. We're closer to the finish line now."
The FAA will conduct a public hearing on its draft report in Brownsville on May 7.
Posted 20 April 2013 - 23:52