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SpaceX Updates (Thread 4): F9, FH & Dragon

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F9 is to launch 6 ORBCOMM OG2 commsats around May. The sats, first and second stages are already at KSC. No problem there.

The Range hasn't assigned an official date yet, KSC is very busy in May, but ORBCOMM is quoting the possibles as May 13-14, May 18-20 and May 25-26.

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Elon Musk is scheduled to talk at the Export-Import Bank Conference in Washington at 11:15 AM EDT.

http://www.exim.gov/newsandevents/events/annualconference/2014/Annual-Conference-Agenda.cfm

SpaceX is also set to make an announcement at 1 PM EDT.

There are several major SpaceX announcements in the works, some regarding CRS-3 and most not, that for now are 'in the black.' If these hit on 10% of those it'll be a Really Big Deal.

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If these hit on 10% of those it'll be a Really Big Deal.

 

How cryptic :P Hehe.

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Part of it will be tweeted here

@NASAWatch

@SpaceX "important announcement" today at 1:00 pm Nat'l Press Club. @NASAWatch will live tweet

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A lot of good info.

-CRS3 booster soft landed in the ocean from multiple telemetry sources.

-Legs fully deployed.

-Video of booster landing being cleaned up and will then be posted on Spacex website.

-Booster subsequently destroyed by wave action after splash down.

-Expect to have the first stage of a F9 land back at Cape by the end of the year.

-Protesting Air Force block buy from ULA for the payloads SpaceX can put into orbit.

-On good terms with Air Force just protesting the procurement issue.

-FH first launch will be from 39A.

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There's a TON more thats still 'in the black.'

The USAF block buy of Atlas V's and Delta IV's was done by a civilian DoD employee who has since put in his retiremnt papers. No doubt before the ink fully dries he'll be working for Lockheed, Boeing or ULA.

Webcast

http://youtu.be/a_rnija1nOA

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I figured someone had their hand in the honey pot when it came to the block buy deal.

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I figured someone had their hand in the honey pot when it came to the block buy deal.

Oops....

(Jeff Foust is an aerospace journalist, and one of the good guys)

Jeff Foust ?@jeff_foust

Sen. John McCain writes the Secretary of the AF, asking her to clarify statements she made on EELV competition: http://1.usa.gov/1hykYLL

^ actually 2 letters, and NOT friendly

Jeff Foust ?@jeff_foust

McCain to SecAF: "the reasons you cite for the block-buy contract and the lack of competition for those 36 launches appear to be specious"

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Yup. Doubly so since F9 in expendable mode, and using normal prop margins (no landing or engine out props) can out-lift all but the 2-3 largest Atlas V variants ->16.5 tonnes to LEO. That from NASA's NLS-2 mission calculator.

And ULA's claim that large block buys save DoD money reminds me of the trophy wife who "saves" you $1,000 by buying a Halston dress for $5,000 instead of $6,000 :rofl:

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Also worth noting is that Spacex is only protesting the bulk award of those flights that they can fly -there seems to be a fair bit of confusion in comment threads elsewhere about this.

Also there seems to be some confusion about the flight record - reliability. Did Boeing or Lockheed Martin need to demonstrate tens of launches before being eligible for DoD payloads? There seems to be an argument that unless you have 30+ flights under your belt you shouldn't get a look in.

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Atlas V and Delta IV were able to fly EELV payloads on their 9th and 2nd launches, respecfively.

Falcon 9 has 9 launches under her belt, 4 in the v1.1 configuration, with #10 next month. In that mission it'll launch 6 ORBCOMM commsats in one pop.

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what a problem????? if you have good vehicles, Just run'em for civilian customers: the best price & the best success rate make their own. i think Musk has no had confidence to perform well for civilians, then he would like to secure self w/ endless monies of military guys. however, ula has performed too flawlessly to kick 'em away that easy + their lobby is superior too. :rolleyes: :rofl:

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And it will be ULA's monopoly that does away with them. With a hearing on launch prices and a Senator like John McCann looking into the contracts your company has, it will not be the lobbyist that are able to save you. The budget is a really big deal in D.C. and the ability to save over $1 billion a year speaks for itself.

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ULA needs a subsidy every year to keep their production people & facilities open regardless of the number of NRO launches.

In 2013 that was 2 launches with $1.3B going for NRO launches regardless of vehicle "cost", or $650m/launch. Other EELV launches are cheaper, but at ~$200m to $450m they are still a big chunk of cash.

Steep when you figure going ahead Falcon Heavy will not need a subsidy, costs $77m to $135m and can lift 2-3 times as much as ULA's launchers - 40-53 tonnes to LEO depending on configuration. FH's maiden flight is early 2015, well before the launches in that block buy.

Even then, 80%+ of those launches could be handled by Falcon 9 (<$60m), which can launch more and is cheaper than the Atlas V variant used for 90% of its launches.

Sen. McCain has a lot of valid points to b*tch about.

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let's be frank, Atlas V is piece of Art in Rocketry: it's reliable, powerful + has the vast room to step ahead. On other hand, Musk has showed poor performance w/ payloads, orbits & ability to meet dates. +++ Needless to mention, Musk has gotten a lot funds from gov. 

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Give Musk that $1.3 billion.... and let's see what he would do with it.... Probably 20 launches by now.....

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Sarkoy how do you define funds from gov.

Spacex is paid for services to your gov

Delivering goods for nasa

If somebody is robbing your gov and the american tax payers it looks to me it is Ula with bloated prices for services not yet delivered

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Geertd,

SpX has gotten funds from NASA -- in other words, from gov.

 

 

Delivering goods for nasa
If somebody is robbing your gov and the american tax payers it looks to me it is Ula with bloated prices for services not yet delivered

Musk has barely run 2-3 launches annually for (light/medium)weight payloads to LEO. In comparison, Atlas 5 is certified to deliver the most tricky payloads (like nuclear stuff) to any orbits. ?Is it expensive? ?Surely it's expensive! But the're no alternatives. Musk's prices have indicated the steady trend to go uphill.

 

 

configuration, a lift capacity greater than any other launch vehicle. In the medium configuration, Falcon 9 is priced at $27 million per flight with a 12 ft (3.6 m) fairing and $35 million with a 17 ft fairing. Prices include all launch range and third party insurance costs, and SpaceX claims that this makes Falcon 9 the most cost efficient vehicle in its class worldwide.
 
http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/spacex-launches-falcon-9-with-a-customer-01193/

    initial approximation was a way more pretty :) his funds (gotten from nasa) look drained & he has run everywhere to gain some ?'$. i say more: we have a terrific odds to barrel through new worldwide economical crisis since the end of 2014. at best scenario, 2016.

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Falcon 9 v1.1 is a totally new operational vehicle from Falcon 9 v1.0 which was a development vehicle. Big difference.

You make a big deal of Falcon 9's flight rate, so let's look at the first several launches of F9 v1.1 vs. Atlas V vs. Delta IV.

If the ORBCOMM launch goes off on time Falcon 9 v1.1 will have been flying for 223 days. Let's start with how many times it's flown in 223 days vs. Atlas V and Delta IV in their first 223 days,

Falcon 9 v1.1: 5 launches in 223 days

Delta IV: 2 launches in 223 days

Atlas V: 1 launch in 223 days

Falcon 9 v1.1 wins hands down.

Now let's look at the average flight rate over their first 10 launches,

Falcon 9 v1.1: 1 launch every 56 days

Atlas V: 1 launch every 195 days

Delta IV: 1 launch every 268 days

Falcon 9 wins hands down.

As far as government money goes, Falcon 9 v1.0 and Falcon 9 v1.1 were both developed on SpaceX's dime, as were the Merlin (4 versions) and Kestrel engines and the Draco thrusters. The new Raptor methane engine is likewise a SpaceX funded project. No government money at all. SpaceX even paid NASA to modify the Stennis test stand for methane fuel.

Grasshopper and other reusable techs were also on SpaceX's dime. Ditto leasing and building their spaceports.

The only government R&D money has been partial fumding for cargo and crew Dragon and for the SuperDraco launch abort & landing engines. SpaceX still picked up the vast majority of those development costs.

All the rest of the money SpaceX has received has been fees for services rendered, mostly the ISS cargo deliveries.

The same goes for Orbital Science's Antares launcher and Cygnus cargo spaceship, Boeings CST-100 crew spaceship, SNC's Dream Chaser crew spaceship, ULA's Atlas V HR human rated launcher and Paragon SDC's plug 'n play commercial crew spaceship life support system.

All of these were developed under the same development program SpaceX was funded under, so the government got a good deal vs. how conventional programs are done.

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Excellent rebuttal. Sadly I don't think anything less than Clomipramine will do.

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Geertd,

SpX has gotten funds from NASA -- in other words, from gov.

 

Musk has barely run 2-3 launches annually for (light/medium)weight payloads to LEO. In comparison, Atlas 5 is certified to deliver the most tricky payloads (like nuclear stuff) to any orbits. ?Is it expensive? ?Surely it's expensive! But the're no alternatives. Musk's prices have indicated the steady trend to go uphill.

 

    initial approximation was a way more pretty :) his funds (gotten from nasa) look drained & he has run everywhere to gain some ?'$. i say more: we have a terrific odds to barrel through new worldwide economical crisis since the end of 2014. at best scenario, 2016.

 

Man, you've -really- got a huge bug up your butt about SpaceX, haven't you?

 

What's the matter, did Musk run your grandma over or something?  Must be pretty heinous considering all the lies you're telling about them.

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Excellent rebuttal. Sadly I don't think anything less than Clomipramine will do.

Thanks. I was actually thinking thorazine, but yeah.
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I think lithium

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