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DocM

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

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Hell, as heavily instrumented as F9 is part of the problem is they pick up problems most launchers would end up flying with.

 

This in itself to me suggests that the F9 is a safer vehicle.

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This in itself to me suggests that the F9 is a safer vehicle.

Add to that +40% structural margins, triple-mode redundant avionics, armor plates around each engine (to protect the others), and the ability to keep flying with up to 2 failed engines.

They lost one Merlin 1C engine during an early Dragon mission (bad alloy batch) and it still got to the ISS - early.

Merlin 1D is flying now - more powerful and more robust. Raptor will be at least 10 times as powerful.

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Falcon Heavy gets Inmarsats big S-band satellites

http://www.twst.com/update/66105-inmarsat-plc-inmarsat-appoints-spacex-for-future-satellite-launches

Inmarsat appoints SpaceX for future satellite launches

2 July 2014 - Inmarsat plc (LSE: ISAT.L), the leading provider of global mobile satellite services, today announced that it has selected SpaceX to provide launch services for its S-band satellite and up to two further Inmarsat missions. Under the terms of its agreement with SpaceX, Inmarsat expects to use the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle, but will retain the possibility of using a Falcon 9 as an alternative, providing further launch flexibility.

Rupert Pearce, Inmarsat's Chief Executive Officer said, "We believe that SpaceX has demonstrated tremendous successful progress in its launch capabilities and is now a fully-credible provider of vehicles to support geostationary missions. We are delighted to be working with SpaceX for the launch of our S-band satellite and other potential future missions for Inmarsat. In view of capacity constraints in the satellite launch market, Inmarsat believes that securing optionality today is an important business safeguard to mitigate future launch schedule risk."

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At the Singapore satellite forum Barry Matsumori of SpaceX said the commercial spaceport (Brownsville, Texas) would be ready in 2016, and they expect the KSC LC-39A pad to he operational in Q2 2015.

BTW: construction at 39A has started, bigtime.

SpaceX also said,

Host: Barry, you've actually got, with your Heavy, you've got the opportunity, you could go up, you could put two satellites on it, but you wouldn't.

Matsumori: Our intent, our philosophy, has always been single-manifest, and we'll continue to do that with Falcon Heavy, and from the outset, Falcon Heavy is going to be flown in the reusability mode.

The reason SpaceX won't do dual manifest (2 large GTO comm sats from different companies on one rocket) is the trouble Arianespace has had with it. Too often one sat and the rocket wait forever for the other sat to be completed.

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Market Watch....

Iridium and SpaceX Successfully Complete Dispenser Qualification Tests

Trio of Tests Prove Structural Integrity and Durability of Launch Equipment

Iridium Communications Inc. IRDM +0.01% and SpaceX today announced the successful completion of dispenser qualification testing for the Iridium NEXT constellation. The dispenser is the mission-unique assembly that holds the satellites during launch and manages the perfectly timed separation of each satellite from the rocket, placing each of the satellites into its proper orbit. The testing program, a key milestone in the Iridium NEXT constellation build, included four types of testing on the satellite dispenser: fit check, separation and shock testing, a modal survey, and static loads testing. Overall the tests ensure launch shock environment, mechanical form, fit and function, separation dynamics, fundamental frequency and structural integrity.

SpaceX is charged with delivering the majority of satellites for the Iridium NEXT constellation into their low Earth orbit. At each launch, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will carry 10 satellites. In total, SpaceX will launch 70 satellites for the Iridium NEXT constellation over a planned period of two years. Iridium is SpaceX's largest commercial customer, and, with an investment of $453.1 million, the Iridium deal represents the largest single commercial space launch contract in history.

>

>

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10 Satellites per launch

70 Satellites total.

70/10= 7 Launches total.

 

$453/7=$65 million per launch. 

 

Pretty good.

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10 Satellites per launch

70 Satellites total.

70/10= 7 Launches total.

$453/7=$65 million per launch.

Pretty good.

$56.5M for the launch, the rest is launch services - payload integration, payload fueling etc.

For DoD launches the services will be more, about $30-35M, due to the extra USAF requirements and vertical payload integration.

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The problems with SpaceX is minor compared to the days when the USA tied to lauch our first satellite. The Vanguard rockets fell back to the ground, blew up,etc. But when that little satellite made orbit America had a big sigh of relief.

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SpaceX (@SpaceX)

08-07-14 20:07

Dragon production is in full swing ? Spacecraft Cleanroom now at full capacity, with 3 Dragons + 1 trunk! pic.twitter.com/0gyUICbRPi

yqareza5.jpg

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Dude, thanks for the space pron :-P

 

I love this stuff they're doing.

And with the ESA next door, I sometimes see biiiig trucks across the street hauling some satellite/nose cone/whatever onto where ever they take it ;-)

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Hey Doc, how many more dragon V1, will they be making? Will they continue to use them for the cargo missions, or use the V2 for all of them?

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The plan seems to be complete the existing CRS Round 1 contract with Dragon V1, then phase into Dragon V2 for both cargo & crew during the CRS Round 2 contract. Land touchdowns for both.

CRS Round 2 info here,

http://procurement.jsc.nasa.gov/crs2/

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10 for 10 for Falcon-9. It's good.

First stage light structure is not designed for sea waves, hopefully after one or two more sea "landings" SpaceX wil get permission to land on the ground.

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Don't think we'll see that until F9R Dev-2 flies at SpacePort America in New Mexico a few times. These water touchdowns are more for practicing the upper part of the return flight profile. A good water touchdown is sauce for the goose.

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F9R Dev-2 flies at SpacePort America is good for multiple testing, and for show, and for addition prove, etc., but really all parts of testing could be done without that:

upper part of the return flight profile could be done during regular flight opportunities; 

plus land touchdowns could be done in Texas.

F9R Dev-2 flies in New Mexico could be good for future development and for retesting after some bad landing (accidents are possible for any vehicle during good exploitation).

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No. The SPA flights are essential for getting the FAA permits to land stages at KSC , Vandenberg and Boca Chica. No show at all.

This is because they'll do actual pinpoint land landings complete with the safety divert maneuvers that'll be necessary at the real facilities. Sea touchdowns do not.

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I understand that bureaucratic requirement is A thru Z...
They will not accept A thru Y and + Z...

When the landing going to the zero sea level above the ocean and with proven ability to touchdown on ground, what is the difference if during regular flight opportunity Falcon 9 could perform divert maneuvers above the water to show maneuverability.

But we know, bureaucrats prefer to deny, because to deny is job safety for bureaucrats.

Also some might like to build the obstacles for SpaceX, knowing that reusability is one of sensitive goal for that company.

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To the contrary. FAA, NASA and USAF have been very supportive of these efforts.

FAA has a mandate that includes launch, and now landing, safety assurance and they're tick-tocking down their list. Part of this to be made up as they go because, frankly, no one else has done what SpaceX is doing at the scale they're doing it. DCX was VTVL, but a tiny fraction of F9R's size and not orbital at all.

NASAs support is a brand new long term plan that includes several commercial changes to KSC and these include vertical landing sites. Their support at the NASA centers has been extremely productive.

And despite the block buy issue, the USAF and intelligence agencies have been very suppirtive. Both in words - as in both Gen. Shelton and the head of NRO, greasing the skids at Vandenberg and spending $60m-$100m to certify F9 for DoD flights.

It's really not these bureaucrats but resistance from politicians who have programs that use competing contractors in their states. Both parties are guilty of this, but the poster boys are Sens. Shelby and Hatch.

In counter-moves SpaceX now has political supporters from California, Texas, Florida, Mississippi, and soon other locales. Most are large states, and Mississippi has a very powerful House committee chairman whose district is the home of NASA Stennis - where Raptor is being tested.

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He is Russian, he doesn't like seeing the USA succeed at anything.

Don't lie on me like a gas-meter :) i said about good perspectives of Shuttle,  if it would be geared by LRBs & used as payload carrier.

 

DocM, what about reusable stage of mr. Musk, it's been recovered???

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Todays ISS schedule lists,

Dragon V1 CRS-4: August 8, 2014

Dragon V1 CRS-5: September 12, 2014

and rumors are they're going to try launching AsiaSat 8 (Hong Kong) between them.

Aggressive.

hmmmmm.. it's really aggressive :) btw, why'd Musk haven't used floating platform to land stage on???

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Jeff Foust @jeff_foust:

Three Congressmen have sent a letter to NASA asking for information an "epidemic of anomalies" in SpaceX launches: http://t.co/CwozYWRu3A

Guess we have just seen ULA's response to SpaceX's lawsuit on the block buy.

Just what America needs more of, politicians sticking their noses in something they know absolutely nothing about.

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Colorado congressmen. ULA is headquartered in Colorado. Imagine that :whistle:

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Colorado congressmen. ULA is headquartered in Colorado. Imagine that :whistle:

 

Surely, Doc, you couldn't possibly be insinuating some sort of bribery on the part of ULA, could you?  I mean, all your politicians are totally honest and could never ever ever accept cash for questions, could they? :p

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And the other congressman is from Alabama, Senator Shelby's state - the one who's giving grief to Commercial Crew in general (except for Boeing, of course.)

Alabama also houses the Marshall Manned Spaceflight Center where SLS and Orion are coming together. Boeing and Lockheed (ULA's parents) have stakes in them, and should now be feeling their neck hairs standing up because of the BFR and MCT projects at SpaceX.

It's even possible BFR/MCT could carry crews before Orion does. The first Orion crew flight has now slipped into 2022. Musk has already said they plan on a Mars landing around 2025. Presumably they'll want to do closer tests before then, and Musk is now not ruling out a Moon landing to prove capability.

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BTW:

these morons want financial and launch issues data on Falcon 9 because taxpayers paid for it.

Problems,

1) the GAO already published a review of Falcon 9 v1.0's development costs and ruled it cost about 1/3 as much as normal development.

2) both Falcon.9 v1.0 and v1.1 were developed on SpaceX's dime, no taxpayer funding. Whatever testing facilities and technical assistance they got from the NASA centers they paid for.

3) what about the Atlas V and Delta IV stand-downs due to problems with the Centaur upper stage? Etc. They WERE taxpayer funded.

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