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Posted

Looks like the recent successes are going to be paying off!

 

 

Falcon 9 Rocket Will Deliver JCSAT-14 Satellite to Orbit

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) was awarded a contract with SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation of Japan to launch the JCSAT-14 communications satellite to a geostationary transfer orbit on a Falcon 9 rocket in the second half of 2015.

 

http://www.spacex.com/press/2014/01/10/spacex-awarded-launch-contract-leading-asia-pacific-satellite-operator

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Posted

Many launch operators are extremely worried about SpaceX. Article in French, translation not by me, but it lools close (my French is a bit rusty.)

http://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2014/01/08/reinventons-le-programme-ariane-pour-rivaliser-avec-les-americains_4344804_3232.html

LET'S REINVENT THE ARIANE PROGRAM TO COMPETE WITH THE AMERICANS

by: Jean-Yves Le Gall (Pr

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Posted

Neat pic taken by F9's upper stage before Thaicom-6 was deployed....

Thaicom6EarthView.jpg

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Posted

When SpaceX have built up their flight record and possibly recovered several stages...

Any thoughts about how other launch providers will respond? R&D? Legal mechanations? Scorched earth shock & awe?

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Posted

They will take what cost reduction schemes they can until R&D can catch up, but by then SpaceX will be flying theor next generation methane fueled launchers, the next-gen Dragon and deep space MCT spacecraft.

Using methane gives very close to liquid hydrogen performance without the need for the very expensive cryogenic hardware, and it doesn't have the boil-off problems that make fuel depots and long missions tough. This leaves toxic hypergolic fuels like the hydrazine famuly, which work but are inefficient and very hard to handle.

The SpaceX Raptor methane staged combustion engine (650,000 lbf thrust sea level / ~690,000 lbf vacuum) for the Saturn V-class superheavy most are calling "Falcon X" starts component testing at NASA Stennis in Mississippi early this year. Russia's RD-0162/0164 methane engine for Soyuz V is in develipment.

All we hear about methane engines elsewhere is a small one from XCOR, and they're focussed on their spaceplane and piston liquid hydrogen pumps for a ULA upper stage.

Otherwise, from the US and other nations/major companies it's <crickets>

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Posted

DocM, where'd you ever see cost-efficient LH2 rockets? for example, hypergolics have comparatively low Isp, but their compactness & capability to throttle thrust up/down highly accurate & safely make possible to drop drag + gravity losses into bottoms. i very doubt Methane's advantages over RP-1 & Hypergolics.

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Posted

 

Using methane gives very close to liquid hydrogen performance without the need for the very expensive cryogenic hardware, and it doesn't have the boil-off problems that make fuel depots and long missions tough. This leaves toxic hypergolic fuels like the hydrazine famuly, which work but are inefficient and very hard to handle.

completely incorrect: 

 

Methane has a boiling point of ?161

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Posted

Cryogenic begins at -150

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Posted

http://www.braeunig.us/space/propel.htm

My understanding with methane propellent is that since the density is higher than hydrogen, it would require less storage volume in a fuel tank. A storage tank with less volume would mean a rocket with less mass.

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Posted

Hypergolics are only choice for long-lasting missions, if to say of chemical propellants.

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Posted

You are truely clueless.

http://www.braeunig.us/space/propel.htm

My understanding with methane propellent is that since the density is higher than hydrogen, it would require less storage volume in a fuel tank. A storage tank with less volume would mean a rocket with less mass.

That's known as bulk density and yes, methane is better than liquid hydrogen.

Methane: 801 kg/m^3
Hydrogen: 358 kg/m^3

and for SarK0Y's sake

MMH: 972 kg/m^3, but for long missions or fuel depots it'll freeze solid as a rock without heavy extra insulation heaters in the tank. Not to mention its highly toxic.

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Posted

http://www.braeunig.us/space/propel.htm

My understanding with methane propellent is that since the density is higher than hydrogen, it would require less storage volume in a fuel tank. A storage tank with less volume would mean a rocket with less mass.

 it'd be heavier than Hydrogen, but Methane looks better in terms of thrust because there needs less volume to cool engines. In short, at greater thrust, we could hope upon mass savings too.

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Posted

You are truely clueless.


That's known as bulk density and yes, methane is better than liquid hydrogen.


I gave it my best shot! ;-)
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Posted

 

You are truely clueless.

DocM, it's truly fascinating comment from you :) how long do you Hope to store Methane in the spacecraft at stable state?

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Posted

I gave it my best shot! ;-)

relax, it was to me :)

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Posted

I gave it my best shot! ;-)


My first line was aimed at SarK0Y. Sorry for the friendly fire.

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Posted

DocM, it's truly fascinating comment from you :) how long do you Hope to store Methane in the spacecraft at stable state?


A lot longer than you can hydrogen, which requires active cooling and heavier insulation to prevent boil-off, then there is th problem of hydrogen infiltration damage which requires many expensive materials that methane doesn't need.

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Posted

No sweat Doc.

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Posted

this comparison has no ground because Hydrogen never has been used for long-lasting missions. if you want to store Methane for days/weeks/months/.., you need active cooling. where'd you mind to take energy for, DocM???

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Posted

Methane would take less cooling & insulation to store long term than hydrogen.

FYI, until the recent move towards methane every proposed fuel depot design was for hydrogen, and the problems associated with hydrogen was why they weren't done.

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Posted

Regarding the proposed SpaceX Brownsville, Texas spaceport.

This launch facility would initially be very similar to their Vandenberg Air Force Bade site, launching Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and F9-R, but Musk has made it clear the area would also get a new factory for building much larger rockets and Brownsville would be the launch site.

http://m.valleymorningstar.com/news/local_news/article_b64c8912-7b2e-11e3-a927-001a4bcf6878.html?mode=jqm

Delving into SpaceX Files: Cameron County property acquisitions detailed

The proposed site of a facility for Elon Musk

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Posted

Methane would take less cooling & insulation to store long term than hydrogen.

FYI, until the recent move towards methane every proposed fuel depot design was for hydrogen, and the problems associated with hydrogen was why they weren't done.

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/about/testfacilities/cryo.html So far from the least valuable result.

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Posted

That confirms my point. Depots using deep cryo fuels like H2 suffer the most boiloff, and this is lessened with CH4. You need less cooling and insulation, and that reduces power demands.

Also note it doesn't mention any on-orbit tests of depot tech using H2. It's been tested at a very basic level in space, mainly a used Centaur stage a few years ago, but not anything really functional That is what I meant by being "done."

That said, ULA has a depot proposal - but no funding.

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Posted

NASA released a video of last months parachute test!

http://youtu.be/Z6Kp6MMl0HQ
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