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

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Posted

SES-8/9/10 and an unnamed bird makes one think SpaceX is becoming their go-to launch provider.

SES-9 is a Boeing BSS-702HP satellite ordered October 2012

http://www.boeing.com/boeing/defense-space/space/bss/factsheets/702/702fleet.page

Peter B. de Selding ?@pbdes

SES adds another SpaceX Falcon 9: After yesterday's SES-10 for late 2016 over LatinAm, co. says AsiaPac SES-9 to launch on F9 in early 2015.

Peter B. de Selding ?@pbdes 3h

SES: 'SES-9 sat to launch on SpaceX Falcon 9 will weigh ~5,330kg at launch into a sub-synchronous orbit.' Nearing rocket's capacity ceiling.

Peter B. de Selding ?@pbdes 7h

SES's Bausch: 2 new deals w/ SpaceX Falcon9 part of original contract (1 firm, 3 options) including SES 8 in Dec. 1 more sat left to assign.

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Posted

That's really good news for SpaceX! Has DOD decided if the first launch of Falcon 9 1.1 qualifies for the three launch evaluation?

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Posted

Haven't heard, but with 2 bang-bang GTO launches under F9's belt since and the CRS-3 Dragon flight in ~3 weeks it may be academic. There is a bunch of missions this year, and the flight count is piling up.

In principle they could re-light CRS-3's upper stage after the secondary payloads are released just to prove the point. It's also possible that may be necessary anyhow in order to get the secondaries where they need to be. Either way.

Some people are also suspicious that SpaceX has been under-stating F9's actual performance until they had more data points. It may well be much more powerful than announced. One big clue to this is Musk saying they've only been using it at 85% throttle.

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Posted

WOAH

 

Jeff Foust ?@jeff_foust 34 min.

Reisman: SpaceX plans to eventually launch 20 rockets a year, 10 Falcon 9 and 10 Falcon Heavy. #spaceuphou

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Posted

That would be former NASA astronaut Dr. Garrett Reisman, who is now SpaceX's DragonRider Program Manager. Basically, he's responsible for making Dragon into a multi-purpose manned spaceship.

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Posted

Quote from a SpaceXer,

If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!

The SpaceX team now exceeds 4,000 people working on the "insane."

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Posted

Jeff Foust ?@jeff_foust

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Posted

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) tweeted at 8:37pm - 23 Feb 14:

However, F9 will continue to land in the ocean until we prove precision control from hypersonic thru subsonic regimes (https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/437763077753147392)

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) tweeted at 8:32pm - 23 Feb 14:

Mounting landing legs (~60 ft span) to Falcon 9 for next month's Space Station servicing flight pic.twitter.com/zyfazr2BB2 (https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/437761896028975104)

BhM-H_4CUAAWcP0.jpg

Looking good SpaceX!

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Posted

'She's got LEGS....'

-- ZZ Top

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Posted

http://www.nss.org

NSS Press Release:

Elon Musk Wins National Space Society Robert A. Heinlein Award (Washington DC

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Posted

The USAF will count the Falcon 9 v1.1 CASSIOPE launch as a qualification flight!!

SES-8 and Thaicom-6 still being evaluated, but given their success its looking good that SpaceX will be able to bid on US military payloads.

http://www.dailybreeze.com/business/20140225/spacex-moves-closer-to-air-force-launches

SpaceX moves closer to Air Force launches

Feb. 25, 2014

Hawthorne-based rocket company SpaceX was a big step closer to competing for lucrative U.S. Air Force launches after the military branchs review of one of the companys launches.

The Space and Missile Systems Center, the Air Forces El Segundo-based purchasing arm for rocket launches, said late Tuesday that a SpaceX launch of a Falcon 9 v1.1 on Sept. 29 of last year will count toward the companys certification to carry Air Force payloads.

The company officially known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp. must perform at least three successful flights of a common launch vehicle as part of the certification process.

SpaceX must also pass a number of technical reviews, audits and independent verification, as well as validation of the rockets ground systems and manufacturing processes, the Air Force said.

As part of the certification process, the SMC is also assessing two other SpaceX launches, on Dec. 3 of last year and Jan. 6 of this year.

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Posted

Bummer!

 

 

By LAURA B. MARTINEZ The Brownsville Herald

The wait continues.

The release of the final environmental impact statement by the Federal Aviation Administration that would help determine whether SpaceX could build a rocket launch pad in Cameron County has been pushed back again.

Officials said the final environmental assessment will be released to the public in April. The final report was scheduled to be released at the end of winter and had previously been expected in late 2013.

FAA spokesman Hank Price said the preliminary report is being reviewed by the cooperating agencies. After the draft has been finalized, it will be published to the public by April, it is hoped, Price said.

 

http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_7d585842-a032-11e3-ae2c-0017a43b2370.html

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Posted

How slow are those buggers?

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Posted

'Hurry up and wait' is typical for government here. If you don't get your papers in on time it's a national disaster, but they can take long as they please, and odds are they've screwed it up royally. One of the many reasons we don't trust government as far as we could throw a dead horse.

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Posted

 

 

'Hurry up and wait' is typical for government here

 

they are the same everywhere 

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Posted

http://www.appropriations.senate.gov/webcasts.cfm?method=webcasts.view&id=9e2eaa52-fcb3-42e5-b9f0-a7874d591791

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee had a hearing today with the CEO's of SpaceX and ULA. During the hearing Mr. Gass, of ULA, was asked about the infrastructure costs to the EELV program and that being part of the reason that ULA costs were higher. I did a little research and by my count, ULA has not launched more than 6 commercial satellites since Boeing and Lockheed Martin combined to form ULA in 2006. How is it that it cannot be seen by others that the US Gov't is the only entity keeping ULA alive and yet Mr. Gass can sit there and say they are competitive in the commercial environment?

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Posted

Because ULA sees NASA & USAF sales as "commercial," even though everyone else knows better. There is also that the govt. has to give ULA a flat out $1 Billion subsidy over and above launch costs to "guarantee" the service. Moving launches to SpaceX would save the US a lot more than that $1 Billion subsidy.

Also, be prepared for a series of news items involving SpaceX. Can't say more yet.

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Posted

Because ULA sees NASA & USAF sales as "commercial," even though everyone else knows better. There is also that the govt. has to give ULA a flat out $1 Billion subsidy over and above launch costs to "guarantee" the service. Moving launches to SpaceX would save the US a lot more than that $1 Billion subsidy.

Also, be prepared for a series of news items involving SpaceX. Can't say more yet.

Good news I assume?

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Posted

Good news I assume?

 

Elon Musk with a -live- videocast from the surface of Mars!

 

 

Heh, I wish!  Wouldn't that be totally awesome? :p

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Posted

Good news I assume?

There are confirmed updates about the powerful new Raptor methane engine and its testing, enough to start a second thread in the series.

Confirmed new launch vehicle specifics may also be released with this, or a tad later. This is very cool stuff. 800lb gorillas are definitely knockin' on the door.

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Posted

Have they put it on the test stand and ran it yet?

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Posted

No. The E-3 stand at NASA Stennis is just finishing being modded to handle methane fuel. The E Complex stands are for testing components, so they are cutting/printing metal.

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Posted

Gwynne Shotwell on The Space Show,

LC-40 to be modded to allow FH launches, 39A will also launch F9 and FH

39A not big enough for SpaceX super HLV, would build new site

Raptor question, smaller methane engine than million lb thrust one? no smaller engine, some subscale components being made for testing, focus on full Raptor

Raptor super HLV not named yet

When will cargo Dragon make powered landings? powered landing is for Dragon V2 (crew), will retrofit powered landing to cargo version

Raptor methane engine is for super HLV, but wouldn't rule out methane upper stage for F9/FH

Dragon 2 unveiling later this year

what are markets for super HLV? F9/FH is for commercial sat launches, super HLV is for transport to Mars

what rockets Raptor will be used for, and specs? Raptor is for Mars launches, not releasing specs yet.

only doing a few secondary payloads, not a lot of money in secondary market

commercial crew (not SpaceX specifically) about a year behind where it would be if fully funded, Congress may consider more funding given Crimea

with increased launch rate, will SpX prep 2 launches at 2 pads at once? likely in 2015 (referring to next VAFB launch?)

biggest near term challenges for SpX? make rockets highly producible, increase production rate, no big issues meeting that, current TAKT time 1 core a month, should be 2 a month by end of year.

when will SpX Mars missions happen? Lots of work to do, Elon says 12-13 years, will shoot for that timeframe.

not focused on Phobos or Deimos, but doesn't mean we wouldn't look at them

concern on increasing regulation? not overly concerned, but keep close eye, pretty comfortable with where regs are now

SpX has over 3000 employees, will expand and where focus? yes, will expand at more "sane" pace than in past, in all our locations

almost recovered CASSIOPE 1st stage, what changes to successfully recover? optimize reentry/landing burn, get more stability on stage, add ACS, make iterative progress, hard problem but believe will solve it.

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Posted

A pic showing just how huge the single core Raptor based "BFR" super-heavy booster will be. Now imagine the triple-core at >34 meters wide (counting connectors, landing gear etc)....

u5aru8e2.jpg

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