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


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#46 OP DocM

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 05:24

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.


#47 OP DocM

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 06:25

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



#48 Beittil

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 06:57

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



#49 IsItPluggedIn

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 05:29

Not sure if this has been posted elsewhere but there is this. http://www.grindtv.c...blazing-rocket/

 

 

 

UFO mystery tied to launch of ‘trail-blazing’ rocket Strange, glowing orb is seen hovering over a vast stretch of Indian Ocean; it turns out to be fuel released by next-generation rocket launched by SpaceX

#50 OP DocM

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 06:05

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.

#51 OP DocM

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 21:32

Vandenberg is getting a new high bay like KSC's.

vandenberghighbay1.jpg

vandenberghighbay2.jpg....

#52 OP DocM

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 22:36

Almost forgot -

This bay is for the vertical integration of the payload, payload adapter and fairing for some national security payloads.

They need to get it done because the next launcher up to bat at Vandenberg is Falcon Heavy #1.

They're also putting the finishing touches on the *massive* Falcon Heavy test stand at McGregor, which is partially underground to limit the noise townsfolk will have to put up with. That MoFu is gonna be LOUD!

Falcon Heavy: 224 feet tall, 27 Merlin 1D engines, almost 4 million lbf of thrust and able to orbit the mass of a fully loaded Boeing 737. That fairing can hold a city bus.

FHR.jpg

#53 IsItPluggedIn

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 23:43

I hope the request for the falcon heavy increase after the demo flight next year, as there is only 2 on the manifest after that. 1 in 2015 and 1 in 2017.



#54 OP DocM

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 00:28

FH is primarily for large Defense Dept. payloads for now, and the first one is a qualification flight for them. If all goes well the DoD will expand the manifest. So will dual-manifested commsats and heavy NASA payloads, but first things first.

#55 OP DocM

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 21:00

SLC-40's F9 v1.1 transporter/erector goes vertical. Upper portion/claw may be missing.

Padrat ‏@LH2Padrat
Here's some progress for ya. T/E vertical for the first time pic.twitter.com/dbceisJpIk

slc40_newerector.jpg

#56 OP DocM

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 23:03

Crew Dragon Max-Q launch abort update.

http://www.nasa.gov/...t/#.UmmkYHPD_qB

In preparation for a summer 2014 test, NASA partner Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) recently laid out its plan to demonstrate the Dragon spacecraft's ability to carry astronauts to safety in the event of an in-flight emergency.

This review of the in-flight abort test plan provided an assessment of the Dragon's SuperDraco engines, the software that would issue the abort command, and the interface between the Dragon spacecraft and the Falcon 9 rocket on which the spacecraft will be launched.

"It's critical to have a launch abort system in which NASA and SpaceX can have confidence," said Phil McAlister, director of Commercial Spaceflight Development at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "When you put humans aboard, safety and reliability are paramount and this review and the upcoming tests will help prove their space transportation system is on the right track."

Experts from NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration attended the review of the in-flight abort test plan Sept. 17 at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. Attendees also had the opportunity to view the Dragon test spacecraft, which is being manufactured for an upcoming pad abort test and, potentially, the in-flight abort test.

"With NASA’s support, SpaceX continues to implement the necessary modifications to equip Dragon to fly crew," said Garrett Reisman, commercial crew project manager at SpaceX. "SpaceX and NASA believe in rigorous flight testing and we are looking forward to putting our SuperDraco launch abort system through these critical tests, starting with the pad abort test in the spring and followed by the in-flight abort test in the summer."

The in-flight abort test will take place along Florida’s space coast. During the test, a Dragon spacecraft will launch on a standard Falcon 9 rocket and an abort command will be issued approximately 73 seconds into the flight. At that point, the spacecraft will be flying through the area of maximum dynamic pressure, or Max Q, where the combination of air pressure and speed will cause maximal strain on the spacecraft.

Dragon will be outfitted with about 270 special sensors to measure a wide variety of stresses and acceleration effects on the spacecraft. An instrumented mannequin, similar to a crash test dummy, also will be inside. The spacecraft's parachutes will deploy for a splashdown in the Atlantic, where a ship will be pre-positioned for simulated rescue operations. The test spacecraft will be returned to Port Canaveral by barge so data can be retrieved and incorporated into the system's design.

SpaceX is one of three companies. working under NASA's Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative to develop spaceflight capabilities that eventually could provide launch services to transport NASA astronauts to the International Space Station from U.S. soil.

This review was the eighth milestone for SpaceX under CCiCap. The company is on track to complete all 15 of its CCiCap milestones by the summer of 2014. All of NASA's industry partners, including SpaceX, continue to meet their established milestones in developing commercial crew transportation capabilities.



#57 OP DocM

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 08:34

Interesting news on the Brownsville/ Texas SpaceX commercial spaceport front.

Dogleg Park LLC is SpaceX's Texas front company.

http://www.themonito...19bb30f31a.html

SpaceX keeps buying land on possible spaceport site

SpaceX continues to solidify its presence in Cameron County.

If property holdings measure the California-based space exploration firm’s interest in establishing a commercial rocket-launching facility at Boca Chica Beach, a recent purchase increased the likelihood six-fold.

Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp., through Director of Business Affairs Lauren Dreyer, Senior Manager Todd Ziegler and Dogleg Park LLC, recently increased its land holdings in the Boca Chica Beach area from 12 lots to 72 undeveloped lots at a tax sale on the front steps of the Cameron County Judicial Building in Brownsville, the Valley Morning Star found.

SpaceX did not respond to a request for comment.
>

SpaceX Spaceport proposal

SPACE_x_IMAGE_SITE00000001.1342809744.jp

#58 SarK0Y

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 00:36

 

SpaceX, a private space transport company that manufacturers and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft, has hired the Nickles Group LLC to lobby on general issues related to aerospace, budget, intellectual property, defense, labor, science/technology and tax. The Nickles lobbyists include Cynthia Merifield Tripodi, and Hazen Marshall, former staff director of the Senate Budget Committee, and former deputy chief of staff to then Assistant Majority Leader Don Nickles, R-Okla.
 
http://blogs.rollcal...-lobbying-team/

so, touchingly :) they want more from tax monies??? ;) lm & Boeing have another view on that.



#59 OP DocM

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 02:35

Nickels Group LLC is a Republican lobbying group. This gives them access to both sides of the political aisle. This is how the DC (Moscow, London. Paris....) political game is played.

This bipartisan lobbying is also something Boeing, Lockheed Martin and United Launch Alliance already do, so these established players have nothing to say as regards how SpaceX playing their game.

Also,

NASA has announced they are negotiating with SpaceX for the rights to use the historic Pad 39A launch complex. This was where Apollo 11 left for the Moon. It was also used for many Shuttle missions, including the last Shuttle flight in 2011.

SpaceX will likely modify it for Falcon 9 v1.1 and Falcon Heavy NASA missions to the ISS, deep space and Commercial Crew. Later 39A will likely be used for their coming Super-heavy methane fueled booster. Their current LC-40 pad will likely be used for commercial cargo.

#60 SarK0Y

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 03:56

 

Nickels Group LLC is a Republican lobbying group. This gives them access to both sides of the political aisle. This is how the DC (Moscow, London. Paris....) political game is played.

This bipartisan lobbying is also something Boeing, Lockheed Martin and United Launch Alliance already do, so these established players have nothing to say as regards how SpaceX playing their game.

lm & Boeing have had more powerful lobby + their rockets are amongst most reliable in the World. expensive? yes, they are, but Musk never showed real price of his rockets. + needless to say, his rocket hasn't the best specs on market + he must prove those numbers yet (even for expendable mode). actually, he's been heavily supported by gov & those funds have run to very controversial schemes (like powered-returning stages). i said to you back then, such approach is very unstable & last attempt to return stage was illustrating it clearly. And.. why video of returning stage never has been officially posted? reverse engineering??????? :) seems too weak arguments: guys capable to spy have more advanced instruments to collect data, than average youtube's user ;)