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


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#166 OP DocM

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 19:32

:)

Straight from SpaceX,

Dragon launch CRS-3 to ISS is still on for March 16,

The Falcon 9 for the CRS-3 flight WILL have the F9R landing legs. After MECO and second stage separation its first stage will attempt re-entry and a soft touchdown at sea. Success is not really expected, but if it fails the data will be invaluable for the next try. If it works expect an internet geek-gasm.

In addition, F9R-1 (AKA Grasshopper 2) will be attempting a suborbital flight at SpacePort America in New Mexico after one test hop at McGregor TX, also testing recovery technologies but with a land touchdown. No time table yet.

Info on the new Raptor specs and its big frickin' rocket is still being gathered. Hopefully more soon.


#167 FloatingFatMan

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 19:35

Well, at least it got SOME news outta ya! :p

 

About time they tested with the legs... Hope I can catch the launch live.  Best of luck to them, though! :)



#168 OP DocM

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 19:53

You have no idea how hard it is not tho post the discussions that are going on.

The 1 million lbs thrust per engine and that there'll be 9 Raptors in the first stage is public. This gives one core 9 million lbs thrust vs. 7.62 million for Saturn V. We don't know if there'll be a 3-core, 27 engine version like Falcon Heavy.

The general engine type is a staged combustion using methane for fuel, but that's all I can say. There are very intetesting particulars still under wraps.

#169 flyingskippy

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 20:38

Dragon launch CRS-3 to ISS is still on for March 16.

The Falcon 9 for the CRS-3 flight WILL have the F9R landing legs. After MECO and second stage separation its first stage will attempt re-entry and a soft touchdown at sea.


I am crossing my fingers and hoping they keep that launch date! I see a trip to Cape Canaveral in my near future!

That is quite an announcement too with the Raptor engine.

#170 Beittil

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 09:43

The Falcon 9 for the CRS-3 flight WILL have the F9R landing legs. After MECO and second stage separation its first stage will attempt re-entry and a soft touchdown at sea. Success is not really expected, but if it fails the data will be invaluable for the next try. If it works expect an internet geek-gasm.

 

 

Did they fail to get permission to try and touchdown on land or were they going for the ocean anyway? I guess if they can get it to touch down slow enough they could go out there and pluck it from the ocean.



#171 OP DocM

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 10:11

They had talked about a land touchdown, but decided landing tests with Grasshopper 2 at SpacePort America in New Mexico first would make the FAA feel better.

#172 Beittil

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 12:55

Btw, doesn't NASA see it as an issue that SpaceX is using the rocket of 'their' payload for such experimentation?

 

I can imagine that in case the rocket should fail and it was because of those attached legs... NASA wouldn't be to happy losing the Dragon with their cargo over it!



#173 OP DocM

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 15:15

They have seen the tech and not objected. The lower leg attachments are similar to the launch hold-downs, there are fairings to direct airflow past the top latches and the top latches are robust, so....

Also, NASA and the USAF both stand to gain a lot from launcher reusability in terms of reduced launch costs. They've never been able to get this close to testing it due to Congress not funding it to the end.

These pics show how they'll look on the Falcon family.

f9-fh.jpg

#174 flyingskippy

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 18:14

Dragon doesn't need the full capability of the rocket to get to Leo either. Once second stage separation occurs, the rentry test on the booster stage doesn't have any affect on the rest of the launch. As long as they don't collude that is...

#175 OP DocM

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 19:49

The only real risk to Dragon, and NASA's mission, is if a leg were to break loose before separation. I'd bet those attachments and releases are designed with built-in redundancy so that can't happen.

#176 OP DocM

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 22:00

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.co...2/702fleet.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.



#177 flyingskippy

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 23:23

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?

#178 OP DocM

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 00:59

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.

#179 geertd

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 02:04

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



#180 OP DocM

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 02:23

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.