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DocM

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

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Something has to give. I'm thinking sanctions will be eased. There's too much at stake to take a hard line for scant geopolitical points. Surely cooler heads will prevail and the longer view will win out.

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The Russian actions in Ukraine, plus the events of the EELV block buy and the "trampoline" comment, has done something nothing else could do: unify most Democrats and Republicans in Congress.

People are ###### off amd nothing short of getting Russia out of our space program is likely to change that.

I would also say that no matter who wins in 2016 they are going to be more confrontational than Obama. Clinton is a foreign policy hawk, as are most of the Republican contenders. In the 1960's she campaigned for Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon.

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More on the SpaceX v. USAF block purchase. The govt. tried to get clarification and counter SpaceX's argument then WHAAAAP!!

Back on the farm we called that a THUMPIN'.

http://www.spacepolitics.com/2014/05/05/a-war-of-words-in-eelv-court-filings/

>

On Monday, ULS responded to SpaceX?s response, mincing no words. ?SpaceX?s response is a frivolous and improper attempt to interfere with ULS?s business by needlessly expanding an injunction it never sought in the first place,? it states. ?There is no basis whatsoever for SpaceX?s libelous suggestion that the United States, ULS, and ULA will try to ?circumvent? the Court?s Order.? It adds that under the ?plain terms? of the order, the Air Force can continue to make payments to ULS ?because ULS is obviously not under the control of Deputy Prime Minister Rogozin.?

In documents filed with the court Friday, the parties anticipated the presiding judge, Susan G. Braden, would rule on the proposed order on Monday. As of late Monday afternoon, the court had not yet issued a decision.

Update 1 pm May 6: 

In a one-sentence order released Tuesday morning, Judge Braden denied the proposed order filed Friday by the US Government: ?For the reasons discussed during the May 5, 2014 status conference, the Government?s May 2, 2014 Motion For Clarification Of Preliminary Injunction Order is denied.? No additional reason is given, nor any other details about the status conference held Monday afternoon by telephone.

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Could you explain, in laymans terms, what happened the past few days? My English is pretty damn good, but legal terms and texts... ouchie to my brains :P

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OK....

Round 1

SpaceX: the govt. block buy of ULA launchers was improper under govt. contracting rules, and ULA's buy of more Russian RD-180 engines for Atlas V violates the US embargo in the Ukraine dispute.

Judge: yup - here's your injunction. Govt stop, ULA stop.

ULA: but...but...they're WRONG, and could you (the judge) explain your ruling better? And please reverse your ruling!

Judge: NO, now go to your room and take a time out.

ULA: sulk, mutter

Round 2 coming up. The main RD-180 issue is what the State Dept. says. The Atlas V bulk buy is another matter, and we may see a negotiated settlement there.

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YES AND YES, but they didn't. The US taxpayer gets hosed again.

ULA has about 20 RD-180's warehoused, and was to get a few more this fall but was enjoined by the court in the EELV case from buying more, so the upper limit right now is 20 Atlas V launches.

Now subtract 4 for the 2 development flights each of the SNC Dream Chaser and Boeing CST-100 commercial crew spacecraft. 16 left, about half of the block buy.

If the RD-180 supply chain dries up, for whatever reason, it may be 4-5 years before a replacement is available.

See where I'm going? They may have to sequester those 4 Atlas V's assigned to commercial crew development flights for use with national security flights.

Boeing has already stated they've put out feelers to SpaceX exploring the possibility of flying CST-100 on Falcon 9. The Delta IV is too expensive to human rate and it would take years.

SNC hasn't said as much, but they do stress that Dream Chaser is launcher agnostic and could also fly on Falcon 9.

Without Atlas V both would have to design a new upper stage to vehicle adapter - the Atlas V upper stage is 3 meters and Falcon 9's is 3.7 meters. Wind tunnel testing etc. pushes their schedules to the right into 2017-2018 or so.

Falcon 9 and Dragon 2/DragonRider may fly SpaceX crews in late 2015 or early 2016 even without a program acceleration.

This gets more interesting the deeper you dig.

DocM, your optimism's been tremendously amusing :) Musk hasn't succeeded to accomplish the least tasks. However, i like his idea to ban RD-180 for USA. furthermore, it gonna be quite likely from Russia to abandon ISS at least for a little while.

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$60 million a seat makes me think otherwise....

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$60 million a seat makes me think otherwise....

Soyuz seats are now $76 million. The most recent contract was $456 million for 6 rides.

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What is that like 2/3 a Soyuz rocket?

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Close. The guesstimates are that a Soyuz rocket costs Roscosmos about $55-60 million. Now add the TMA-M spacecraft and $120 million sounds about right.

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$60 million a seat makes me think otherwise....

$60+ m per seat ain't big deal for Russia: there can be much more attractive options. For instance, Space tourism + ISS does & did unfocus Russia from R&D of new systems to deal w/ LEO. so, it looks quite logical to abandon stagnated program for something more useful. new systems shall make possible to run MIR II, more heavy station than ISS. we need to deeply re-think our Space Program, not only because of unfriendly & illogical actions from USA -- we need far Jump in Space (to the Moon & Beyond). Earth Climate has become very hard & seems impossible to survive w/o highly-advanced Cosmonautics.

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Russia puts international space station on table over Ukraine sanctions - would reject a US request to prolong the station's use beyond 2020:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/13/russia-international-space-station-doubt-ukraine-sanctions

 

Russia also going to ban Washington from using Russian-made rocket engines to launch military satellites.

 

... AtlasV has problem and maybe no future.

 

SpaceX is a big winner!

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SpaceX is a big winner!

SpX, at max, has had demonstrator of rocket :) needless to say, it's demonstrator of expendable rocket ;) i said to DocM many times: reusable launchers are pure waste, if you cannot run it reliably & Musk's way gonna be the most unreliable approach of possible ones.

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To SarK0Y: It's your opinion and you could keep it.

This forum is called "SpaceX Updates", so here people who like what SpaceX doing and how it's doing.

I personally, think that SpaceX is showing great design, smart business model, and with current technology it's practically the only way how to do business of space launching.

There are some other ways to do it, but the way SpaceX doing is most cost effective.

All others could survive just using  government subsidy (much more than SpaceX used at the begining of his business).

ULA cannot compete, Russia and China will be out of western market because of new cold war.

Now SpaceX is going to be profitable and we all here wishing good luck (one needs luck in this business).

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Ks8877,

design should be proven before dubbed "Great". so far, there ain't been the least reason to call it that way: SpX has been terrificly behind the schedule + actual characteristics of launcher are really humble, to be saying softly. moreover, the cost has been risen steadily.

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The F9's launch rate is already higher than that of Atlas V and Delta IV for their first 9 launches, and since F9 v1.1 that rate has greatly accelerated.

Besides the SpaceX monument is news they're looking to expand from 3,500 to 4,500 staffers.

A sure sign of ramping up production and R&D, not to mention.preparing for Commercial Crew and the super-heavy launcher.

http://www.dailybreeze.com/business/20140515/hawthorne-unveils-37-foot-tall-space-x-rocket-monument

Hawthorne unveils 37-foot-tall Space X rocket monument

Hawthorne city leaders on Monday afternoon unveiled a towering monument of a rocket on the city?s main drag to honor its most celebrated corporate citizen ? the space transportation company SpaceX.

?Space X is not just a tenant, they are a partner in the city of Hawthorne,? Mayor Chris Brown said during a brief address before the unveiling.

Erected on Hawthorne Boulevard just south of El Segundo Boulevard, the monument is a 25-foot replica of a Falcon Heavy, the world?s most powerful rocket. Resting at a 45-degree angle on a thick support column, the tip of the rocket reaches 37 feet at its highest point.

At night the rocket is backlit by 27 red LED lights emulating thrusters. A light in the front casts a green glow onto the monument, which weighs a hefty two tons. At the tip of the Heavy lift is the Dragon capsule that has carried cargo to the International Space Station. (Its latest scheduled launch Monday was delayed at Cape Canaveral because of a helium leak.)

The shrine to the city?s largest employer cost about $24,000 to design and install. The city spent an additional $13,500 on an accompanying sign declaring Hawthorne the ?Cradle of Aerospace.?

During his address, Brown said the monument is part of the city?s $11 million revitalization of Hawthorne Boulevard ? an effort that was launched by a City Council vote in January.

Hawthorne leaders on Monday said SpaceX has replaced Northrop Grumman as the city?s predominant aerospace giant. The company that was founded by former PayPal entrepreneur and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk employs about 3,500 people and is looking to hire another 1,000, Brown said.

Meanwhile, Northrop Grumman once employed as many as 30,000 people in Hawthorne, before the end of the Cold War shot a missile into the Southern California defense aerospace industry.

The last vestige of Northrop?s Hawthorne presence is the spinoff company Triumph Aerostructures, which employs about 500 people and works on 747 jetliners.

>

AR-140519646.jpg

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@elonmusk   Great progress by @NASASpaceflight members repairing the Falcon 9 ocean landing video http://twitpic.com/e4dm2e

853880054.gif?1400693967

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Big event coming up for Gwynne Shotwell.

The Atlantic Council is a very influential nonpartisan international affairs think tank.

This presents a moderately high "new NEWS" possibility.

http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/events/upcoming-events/detail/ac-captains-of-industry-gwynne-shotwell

The Future of American Space Launch

A discussion with Gwynne Shotwell

President and COO, SpaceX 

With an introduction by General James E. Cartwright  

Harold Brown Chair in Defense Policy Studies, Center for Strategic and International Studies 

Moderated by Steven Grundman

M.A. and George Lund Fellow for Emerging Defense Challenges, Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security

The Atlantic Council is pleased to announce that Gwynne Shotwell, the president and chief operating officer of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), will make an address on "The Future of American Space Launch," at 10:30 a.m. on June 4th.

>

The Atlantic Council Captains of Industry Series is a platform for senior aerospace and defense industry executives to address the public interests their companies serve and the public policies that shape their markets. By engaging the perspective of business leaders about issues at the interface of government and industry, the series is cultivating a constituency for practical solutions to these problems.

>

Video stream at YouTube (goes live on event start)

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SCRUB again... Unfortunately it's long way to go to the clock like launches on schedule as Soyuz does in any weather on time... it took literally thousand launches for Soyuz, who knows how long it will take for SpaceX.

Launch Manifest is full, clients are waiting, but everything is very slow. Why they do not prepare rockets in parallel, not sequentially when problem with one vehicle keep another on hold... Even Space Shuttles had possibility to exchange vehicles launch sequence why SpaceX trying to hold that in sequence order :-(

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Not SpaceX's call. The KSC launch rules vs lighting, cloud cover, winds and storms are set by the range, meaning the USAF's 45th Space Wing.

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well, why they didn't launch from different spaceports at the same time??? no "muscle" to tug schedule that heavy?

 

By-by the way:

 

DocM, Happy Birthday. :) 24th? :)

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The orbital inclination for ORBCOMM could be reached from either KSC or Vandenberg, the latter using a dogleg maneuver, and F9 has far more than enough performance.

The problem with using Vandenberg is that SLC-4E is undergoing upgrades for Falcon Heavy & military launches (vertical payload integration tower) - among other things that are for now in the black.

Thanks on the BD - the 24th it is.

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what about sea launch way?

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Hey, Happy Birthday DocM !

From your earlier comments about witnessing some space launches I think we are about the same age - sure it's 24 :-)

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