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

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Posted

That's just... wrong. :(

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Posted

Yup. Nearly criminal IMHO.

Following Challenger a new program was started to develop Shuttle replacements for use as ISS crew and cargo taxi's - the HL-20 and its upscaled big brother the HL-42. Both were canceled during the Clinton years, supposedly for budget reasons but in reality because the major Shuttle contractors had them killed. They were so inexpensive to build & operate it would have reduced their profits.

The design for HL-20 was licensed from NASA in the mid-1990's by Jim Benson, President & CEO of SpaceDev, and developed for several years until his death. SpaceDev was acquired by Sierra Nevada Corp., and today HL-20 lives on as the Dream Chaser.

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Posted

Facilities update;

SpaceX is completing the design of a 250 foot MST (mobile servicing tower) for their Vandenberg SLC-4E pad. This will be used for US Dept. of Defense spacecraft, which require vertical integration. The first few DoD launches will use mobile cranes, but the MST will have a built-in crane.

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Posted

I've got a request DocM.  Whenever you start a new thread on subject, would you be able to put a quick post in the previous thread that you started a new one?  I try to follow all of the SpaceX threads but didn't see you started this one until now. 

 

It's totally up to you, I appreciate the work you put in keeping us all up to date.  Usually looks like I'm the only one that follows them (by clicking the button on the top right of the forum), everybody else gets on enough and probably just checks themselves.  Not a huge deal, would just be a bonus and make it easier to see when somebody updated the thread.

 

Thanks!

 

 

Actually scratch that... I'm not sure what happened.  Just seen this thread has been open since the end of July, and I'm pretty sure I've told it to follow it since then.

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Posted

DocM, on 10 Sept 2013 - 23:49, said:

For the record - I included links to all previous SpaceX general update threads in the first post of this one.

 

I seen that, but It doesn't help when I'm subscribed to an old thread and a new one gets started.  But like I said, it's not a big deal.  Somehow I wasn't getting notified of new posts in threads I've been subscribed to so I'll just make sure I check to forum more often.

 

Sorry for getting off topic!

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Posted

Another step towards getting SpaceX set up for choosing the Brownsville site for launches, the rules concerning closing of the beaches around the proposed launch site have been made up!

 

 

Cameron County and the Texas General Land Office have signed a memorandum of agreement outlining how the county will handle the temporary closure of Boca Chica Beach for possible rocket launches.

 

Under the agreement, the GLO will make the final decision about whether to approve beach closures for rocket launches.

 

http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_dab09ac8-20d4-11e3-975b-0019bb30f31a.html

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Posted

With the governor, legislature & locals on board GLO shouldn't be too big a problem.

They're also closing in on getting pad 39A (shuttle, Saturn V) for Falcon Heavy and possibly the super heavy launcher. NASA wants to close the deal before the end of the fiscal year.

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Posted

Well, NASA had hoped to hand it over in just under two weeks of course (Pad 39A) that is... but I guess BO's complaint with the GAO is gonna delay that untill the end of the year or so now!

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Posted

We'll see. Both of Florida's senators, Nelson and Rubio, came down in favor of leasing it ASAP. BO's plan is also not strong on specifics and would probably take longer to roll out because of the multiple supposed parties.

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Posted

As the only operational vehicle capable of taking significant amounts of cargo both to and from the International Space Station, SpaceX

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Posted

Just thought I would put this here as I didnt know this.

 

When used for non-NASA, non-ISS commercial flights, the uncrewed version of the Dragon spacecraft is called DragonLab.

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Posted

There's three - Dragon (cargo), DragonRider (crew - working name, abort & flight tests start around Dec. to Jan.), and DragonLab which is a microgravity experimental platform with an orbital life of 2 years. DragonLab has also been rumored to eventually get a mini robotic arm. There are also 2 trunk sizes - the one we've seen and one with about 2x the payload volume.

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Posted

I saw the page at SpaceX's website, nice pictures and of course a piece of 'Look at how cool we are...' writing :p

 

But, meanwhile F9 1.1 still hasn't flown :(

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Posted

Sunday Grasshopper. Weather and the Launch Gods permitting.

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Posted

More from Texas where the State, universities and the city of Brownsville want SpaceX to build their new.commercial spaceport there. This would eventually include a new factory for a big new super heavy rocket.

SpaceX is of course playing it coy, but they've been buying up properties left and right using a front outfit called Dogleg Park (a dogleg is a turn rockets make to change orbital inclination.)

Why Brownsville? A near perfect US territory location for geosynchronous satellite launches, and for missions to Mars.

http://themonitor.com/news/local/article_c3fd447a-24ad-11e3-8c0e-0019bb30f31a.html

UT System proposes research partnership with SpaceX in Brownsville

McALLEN

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Posted

Regarding the F9's redundant avionics computers, Musk told SpaceFlightNow

"You could put a bullet hole in any one of the avionics boxes and it would just keep flying"

Yikes

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Posted

Musk: hoping to do a test firing of Falcon Heavy at Texas test site by 2nd quarter of 2014.

Musk: Also pursuing LC-39A at KSC for NASA (cargo and crew). Current Cape launch site would be used for other customers.

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Posted

Douglas Messier @spacecom

Musk: finishing up test stand for Falcon Heavy in McGregor, TX. Should be a bit quieter due to config of test stand.

James Dean @flatoday_jdean

SpaceX now targeting Q2 '14 for Dragon pad abort test from Cape. "It's going to go like a bullet."

James Dean @flatoday_jdean 1h

Musk: upgraded Dragon flying next NASA mission "looks pretty cool."

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Posted

Musk: hoping to do a test firing of Falcon Heavy at Texas test site by 2nd quarter of 2014.

Musk: goal is to attempt 1st stage recovery on all future CRS launches and many others; next two (w/out recovery) more of an anomaly.

Musk: working with Air Force and FAA on identifying landing sites for F9 1st stage, looking at eastern tip of Cape Canaveral.

Musk: if things go "super well", could refly a Falcon 9 1st stage by the end of next year.

Musk: Also pursuing LC-39A at KSC for NASA (cargo and crew). Current Cape launch site would be used for other customers.

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Posted

With the successful F9 v1.1 / CASSIOPE flight, even the landing techs working better than expected first time out, expect the pedal to hit the metal in the SpaceX test programs.

We have another test vehicle on the horizon, which some insiders are calling the DragonFly.

DragonFly will test Dragon LAS (abort) and propulsive landing technologies, including hover much like Grasshopper 1.

Also - speculation as to why roll control of the landing first stage was lost is centering around a combo of aerodynamic forces and it running out of gas for its cold gas thrusters.

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Posted

Really decent private video of the CASSIOPE launch. Looks like some RCS pulses are visible.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z48ziaJ9RVg

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Posted

That is indeed a very neat video, wonder what sort of telescope they had to use for that :D

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Posted

Yup. Once finished with an upper stage the consumables are vented so the stage is empty on reentry..This facilitates it completely breaking up.

Sometimes this venting knocks loose bits of insulation from the top of the stage (upper dome of the liquid oxygen tank), which can show up as multiple radar traces.

Some websites (and maybe with encouragement from some anti-newspace folks) speculated this and the venting meant the F9 upper stage had exploded. Uh-no. Just spreading FUD.

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