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

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

 

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.

Only living fool here is Musk: he launched war against ula w/ Just demo rocket on his own hands. Now, he's doomed to face perfect storm at financial & media level. + in fact, the're many dimies from gov. to SpX. ;)

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Only living fool here is Musk: he launched war against ula w/ Just demo rocket on his own hands. Now, he's doomed to face perfect storm at financial & media level. + in fact, the're many dimies from gov. to SpX. ;)

 

Would that be the same "demo" rocket that's been taking satellites and supplies to the ISS for the past year or two?

 

At least when Musk launches a "demo", it doesn't turn turtle and smash back into the ground, destroying millions of dollars of irreplaceable satellite.

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Would that be the same demo rocket that's been taking satellites and supplies to ISS for the past year or two?

yes, it is :) nobody cares it can deliver sats on orbits -- everyone cares how pricey it. Musk has claimed the lowest cost thanks to reusability, but his scheme has left Just paper tiger.

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yes, it is :) nobody cares it can deliver sats on orbits -- everyone cares how pricey it. Musk has claimed the lowest cost thanks to reusability, but his scheme has left Just paper tiger.

 

Can you please show me a cheaper rocket per tonne of payload to orbit, in words that I can understand, using independently verifiable sources? If SpaceX's launch costs are more than they claim, why aren't ULA disputing them? Cheaper access to space benefits everyone.

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ORBCOMM is paying about $42.5 million for TWO launches. They were originally manifested for Falcon 1e then moved to Falcon 9 when F1e was discontinued. At the time there wasn't a major small satellite market. That changed as tech improved. FireFly and others will fill that market slot, but SpaceX made good for their customer, and other potential customers noticed.

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Can you please show me a cheaper rocket per tonne of payload to orbit, in words that I can understand, using independently verifiable sources? If SpaceX's launch costs are more than they claim, why aren't ULA disputing them? Cheaper access to space benefits everyone.

iirc, Musk claimed $27 mln per launch, now it's at 56 & it looks no like final cost. if about lowest price:

 

In a study of 16 launchers, the Zenit-2 was, as of March 18, 2001, the lowest cost vehicle for achieving LEO in terms of payload weight per launch ($1,167-1,667 per pound or 2,567-3,667 per kg), and one of the lowest in terms of total costs per launch ($35?$50 million)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zenit_(rocket_family)

ORBCOMM is paying about $42.5 million for TWO launches. They were originally manifested for Falcon 1e then moved to Falcon 9 when F1e was discontinued. At the time there wasn't a major small satellite market. That changed as tech improved. FireFly and others will fill that market slot, but SpaceX made good for their customer, and other potential customers noticed. And they'll likely still make money since an F9 only costs them about $30m to build.

if no top secret, you're saying about reusable mode? :)

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Zenit 2 is cheap because it's so unreliable they had to offer low prices to sell any.

Launches: 36

Failures: 8 (7 total, 1 partial)

Failure rate: 22.2%

Typical failure rate: 2-3%

And there is also the downside of launching at Baikonur (limited inclinations).

Falcon 9 is batting 100%, and can fly to any orbit (more sites) with more mass.

Low cost of manufacture + reusability would drastically lower launch costs, possibly to <$10m. That said, even without it SpaceX makes a good profit.

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Zenit 2 is cheap because it's so unreliable they had to offer low prices to sell any.

Launches: 36

Failures: 8 (7 total, 1 partial)

Failure rate: 22.2%

Typical failure rate: 2-3%

And there is also the downside of launching at Baikonur (limited inclinations).

Falcon 9 is batting 100%, and can fly to any orbit (more sites) with more mass.

Low cost of manufacture + reusability would drastically lower launch costs, possibly to <$10m. That said, even without it SpaceX makes a good profit.

in fact, bad reliability only boosts prices ahead. about reusability: no the least example was introduced to back such optimistic claims. i said you many times: Musk's scheme to flyback has no solid methods to estimate needful propellant. fuel consumption gets affected by hella dozen of low predictable causes. hardware malfunctions & Atmospheric conditions make stage free falling at "last mile". even if free falling is about 1 meter, stage could be severe damaged w/ impact on surface.

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Topic cleaned

 

Drop the Russia vs US hostility.

 

The amount of posts I have had to hide in this topic is unacceptable. Any more issues from this topic and it will be closed immediately.

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@Rand_Simberg: @FLspacereport Talked to Gwynne yesterday and she confirmed that they're working permission on flyback, but next landing will be on a barge.

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Most likely a jack-up barge or semi-submersible ship. The next landing mission Dragon CRS-4 to ISS, tentatively in September.

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@Rand_Simberg: @FLspacereport Talked to Gwynne yesterday and she confirmed that they're working permission on flyback, but next landing will be on a barge.

Here's more of the above conversation with Shotwell,

Rand Simberg ?@Rand_Simberg 8 h

@JustIncidentals No more water landings. And Spaceport America has cost more and taken longer than expected. @flspacereport @spacecom

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Most likely a jack-up barge or semi-submersible ship. The next landing mission Dragon CRS-4 to ISS, tentatively in September.

funny as they come. Recently, you did downgrade such scheme as absurd. i would share more & much more nicey solutions, but now i'd like just to watch: it gonna be funny-bunny :)

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Only a few experimental barge landings to prove accuracy to the FAA, not operational. They'll land on islands or the coast if at all possible.

At Vandenberg they'll be using land near their existing SLC-4E facility for F9R and Falcon Heavy booster core landings. Should have enough room for 2 landing pads.

One possibility discussed by outsiders for Falcon Heavy center cores, which go further downrange, is San Nicholas Island in the California Channel Islands - 120 miles South of Vandenberg. San Nicholas is part of the Pacific Missile Range so it has radar, telemetry etc. and it has been used for research launches. Perfect.

At KSC rumors are they'll take over Launch Complex 13 (LC-13) for landings. They may also use another vertical landing pad KSC is planning for its extreme North end well past LC-39B near the coast.

Boca Chica will have its own landing facilities.

BFR facilities will also need landing zones, and be remote. Probably 20 miles from anywhere.

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Update:

NASASpaceFlight is now confirming that SpaceX Vandenberg F9R and FHR (Falcon Heavy Reusable) booster landings will be at Space Launch Complex 4W (SLC-4W - next or their existing pad), and that they will also use KSC Launch Complex 13 (LC-13) for landings.

They also report FHR center cores at Vandenber are expected to be on an island, likely one of California's Channel Islands. Again, one of the more likely candidates is San Nicholas Island.

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I wonder if they plan on returning the core by barge or plane once it lands on the island.

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By barge would probably mean it needs to be completely packed and watertight to, for quick turnaround a return transport by air would seem the logical choice to me.

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Why packed?

The F9R Dev-1 in Texas stays out in the weather and storms and can obviously re-fly. Hanger time is mostly for post-flight checks and mods. It also flies often, having flown about 20 times. They don't put out a video every flight. The M1D's are estimated to have a life of between 30 and 40 cycles.

Their goal is gas 'n go.

And it wouldn't fit in aircraft. The F9 core is >150 feet long (138' + interstage) and even the Antonov AN-225 only has a 144 foot cargo hold.

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Packed because of storms and salt water! I mean, water per se isn't that damaging to a rocket, but sea water... ugh.

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The closer the launch pad and landing barge are the better. Then with care launch weather = landing weather, and we're talking <8 minutes.

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Rand Simberg ?@Rand_Simberg 8 h

@JustIncidentals No more water landings. And Spaceport America has cost more and taken longer than expected. @flspacereport @spacecom

wtf?????? will landings be only onto floating platform (fp) or no landings at all????????

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If you'd read the thread since your last post, especially my replies, your have a clue. As of now, <crickets>, and I'm not re-typing them.

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http://www.spacex.com/news/2014/07/31/spacex-launches-3d-printed-part-space-creates-printed-engine-chamber-crewed

SPACEX LAUNCHES 3D-PRINTED PART TO SPACE, CREATES PRINTED ENGINE CHAMBER FOR CREWED SPACEFLIGHT

Through 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, robust and high-performing rocket parts can be created and offer improvements over traditional manufacturing methods. SpaceX is pushing the boundaries of what additive manufacturing can do in the 21st century, ultimately making the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft more reliable, robust and efficient than ever before.

On January 6, 2014, SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket with a 3D-printed Main Oxidizer Valve (MOV) body in one of the nine Merlin 1D engines. The mission marked the first time SpaceX had ever flown a 3D-printed part, with the valve operating successfully with high pressure liquid oxygen, under cryogenic temperatures and high vibration.

Compared with a traditionally cast part, a printed valve body has superior strength, ductility, and fracture resistance, with a lower variability in materials properties. The MOV body was printed in less than two days, compared with a typical castings cycle measured in months. The valves extensive test program including a rigorous series of engine firings, component level qualification testing and materials testing has since qualified the printed MOV body to fly interchangeably with cast parts on all Falcon 9 flights going forward.

SUPERDRACO ENGINE CHAMBER

For almost 3 years, SpaceX has been evaluating the benefits of 3D printing and perfecting the techniques necessary to develop flight hardware. One of our first major successes was printing a SuperDraco Engine Chamber in late 2013. Today, SpaceX is testing the SuperDraco engines as part of its crewed spaceflight program and the Dragon Version 2 vehicle. In late 2013, SpaceX successfully fired a SuperDraco engine at full thrust using a 3D-printed engine chamber developed entirely in-house.

SuperDracos will power the Dragon Version 2 spacecrafts revolutionary launch escape system, the first of its kind. Should an emergency occur during launch, eight SuperDraco engines built into Dragons side walls will produce up to 120,000 pounds of axial thrust to carry astronauts to safety. The system will also enable Dragon Version 2 to land propulsively on land with the accuracy of a helicopter. This will ultimately make the spacecraft fully and rapidly reusable able to be refueled and reflown multiple times, drastically lowering the cost of space travel.

The chamber is regeneratively cooled and printed in Inconel, a high performance superalloy. Printing the chamber resulted in an order of magnitude reduction in lead-time compared with traditional machining the path from the initial concept to the first hotfire was just over three months.

During the hotfire test, which took place at SpaceXs rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas, the SuperDraco engine was fired in both a launch escape profile and a landing burn profile, successfully throttling between 20% and 100% thrust levels. To date the chamber has been fired more than 80 times, with more than 300 seconds of hot fire.

The Dragon Version 2 spacecraft represents a leap forward in spacecraft technology across the board from its Version 1 predecessor. When SuperDracos are flown on a demonstration of Dragons launch escape system later this year, it will be the first time in history that a printed thrust chamber has ever been used in a crewed space program.

SpaceX looks forward to continuing to fine tune both the SuperDraco engines and additive manufacturing program, in order to develop the safest, most reliable vehicles ever flown.

SuperDraco

printed_super_draco_3_lr.jpg

SuperDraco pod

v2_superdraco_jetpack.jpg

SuperDraco throttling / pulsing

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If they're going to do the Dragon V2 pad abort in November then DragonFly tests at McGregor should be starting within a few weeks.

@Leone_SN Garret Reisman says @SpaceX is on track for a pad abort test in Nov. (Florida), then an inflight abort test in Jan. (Vandenberg). #AIAAspace

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Money for deving Raptor?

http://techcrunch.com/2014/08/19/spacex/

Elon Musks SpaceX Is Raising Money At A Valuation Approaching $10B

Space Exploration Technologies, the commercial space transportation startup founded by Elon Musk with ambitions to land people on Mars, is raising investment that values the company somewhere south of $10 billion, TechCrunch has learned.

These new details are emerging while SpaceX, as the company is more commonly known, continues to make advances with its own spacecraft and rack up more agreements for future commercial and government launches. The company also potentially faces stiffer competition from other commercial firms that are looking to compete more aggressively in the new space race.

The latest capital infusion includes a large secondary investment, which appears to be somewhere in the region of $200 million. This confirms some of the details published in April this year by Quartz, which cited a source reporting that the company might be raising between $50 million and $200 million.

>

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