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


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#91 OP DocM

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 03:15

Not with this much sketchy data, but estimates for a methane fueled, 9 Raptor engined "Falcon X" (notional name until SpaceX fills it in) run as high as 240 metric tons to LEO with 3 cores and propellant crossfeed. More than 2x Saturn V.

The methane Raptor is very real, with component tests starting at NASA Stennis in early 2014.

The FH center core would start with a virtually full tank high up due to the side cores passing propellants to it. A 3 core Falcon X would likely do the same.


#92 Yusuf M.

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 08:37

Cleaned

 

Enough with the troll accusations. If someone broke the rules, simply report the post and move on. There's no need to reply to announce that you reported or ignored them.



#93 SarK0Y

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 19:44

hmmm.. what about thaicom? i don't see countdown on livestream.



#94 flyingskippy

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 20:30

hmmm.. what about thaicom? i don't see countdown on livestream.


It probably won't show up until closer to tomorrow's launch window.

#95 OP DocM

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 22:55

Hmmmmmm....2 LOUD tests at the McGregor TX test site yesterday. Whatever it was, it was worth flying the SpaceX corporate jet there to see.




#96 Beittil

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:53

Any work on what this was btw?



#97 OP DocM

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 11:10

Nothing but <crickets> so far.

Speculation runs from a 115% power F9 test (it is capable), Grasshopper 2 flight, or DragonRider testbed with 8 SupetDracos on a test stand to the precombustor for Raptor.

#98 SarK0Y

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 18:32

nearest launch is feb 22?



#99 OP DocM

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 20:18

Yes, the CRS-3 Dragon cargo run to ISS. A tad later than scheduled because of upgraded fridges & freezers for sample & experiment returns and the mods to support them. While they were at it they did some upgrades to Dragons service bay.

#100 SarK0Y

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 21:02

Thanks for info, DocM.



#101 OP DocM

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 01:00

http://www.spacenews...-force-missions

Falcon 9 v1.1 Appears on Fast Track To Qualify for Air Force Missions

WASHINGTON — With its successful launch of the Thaicom-6 commercial telecommunications satellite Jan. 6, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) appears to have met the U.S. Air Force’s requirements to bid for national security launches and challenge the market incumbent, United Launch Alliance (ULA) of Denver.

While Hawthorne, Calif.-based SpaceX has not received formal certification to launch operational national security satellites aboard its Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket, Gen. William Shelton, commander of Air Force Space Command, told SpaceNews Jan. 7 he has not seen anything from the vehicle’s three flights to date to prevent that from happening.

SpaceX spokeswoman Emily Shanklin said via email that the company believes the Falcon 9 v1.1 has now met the three-flight certification requirement for the Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program.

If the rocket is certified, SpaceX would become the first new competitive entrant in the EELV program, which is used to launch virtually all operational U.S. national security satellites. Today nearly all of those missions are launched aboard ULA’s Atlas 5 and Delta 4 rockets, and, coupled with soaring costs, has made the EELV program a lightning rod for criticism.
>
Shelton has said repeatedly he is pleased with ULA’s record, but thinks the price of launching rockets is too expensive. In a speech to students at George Washington University here Jan. 7, he praised Elon Musk, SpaceX’s chief executive.

“I don’t doubt that guy anymore, by the way,” Shelton said. “What he says, he’s going to do.”

>



#102 Beittil

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 21:23

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.co...ellite-operator



#103 OP DocM

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 02:42

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.f...44804_3232.html

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

by: Jean-Yves Le Gall (Président du Centre national d'études spatiales (CNES) (President of the National Centre for Space Studies) [President of Arianespace 2007 to April 2013]

The three perfectly successful launches of the new American launcher Falcon 9, developed and operated by SpaceX, founded in 2002 in a Californian garage, bring many questions.

Indeed, it is the first time in history that a private corporation has managed to successfully fly – and on the first try, too - a space launcher conceived with an antipodal/totally different approach to what has been done before.

These successes call out to us especially since SpaceX has announced their intent to dominate this industry, at a time where Europe has begun, at the initiative of France, the development of future launcher Ariane 6, which aims to enter service early next decade, and so will have SpaceX launchers as competitors.

VERY ATTRACTIVE PRICING

In coming months, Europe will have to decide on the final commitment to Ariane 6, as SpaceX has demonstrated that is can occupy the land (serve the market) with commercial launches at very attractive prices.

If we compare the SpaceX launcher to its competitors, it differs in three ways. First, it is perfectly adapted to government payloads: NASA and DoD satellites are an important part of its launch manifest, and an even greater one of its revenues, as the American government is willing to pay more for its own launches than is billed to commercial clients.

Second, its reduced size and ease of implementation lead to especially low operations costs that make it formidably competitive for commercial satellite launches: the last two Falcon 9 launches have brought the USA back to this market, from which they had been absent for many years, due to the lack of competitiveness and availability of their classic launchers.

Finally, its technical definition and industrial organization has, since the beginning, been designed with the goal of minimizing development and operations costs: instead of being a cutting edge technology launcher, the Falcon 9 uses proven technology engines that were easy to develop and inexpensive to industrialize/mass produce, and there are very few sub-contractors involved in launcher construction, which reduces production costs.

THE SPACE RACE

To sum it up, where classical methods have failed – in the past ten years, the USA has terminated development of many classic launchers, after wasting many billions of dollars on them - , the Falcon 9 may well bring the USA back as leaders of the Space Race, while today they share it with Russia and China for government launchers and Europe occupies it for commercial launches.

Not to mention that SpaceX has been working on evolved versions of its launchers that, as soon as this year, might fly in an even more powerful version that might eventually be reusable, bringing down launch prices even more – something that the Space Shuttle was never able to do, even though it had been designed to do just that!

Such an evolution would mean heavy consequences for Europe with, on the one hand the loss of market share and on the other, the embrittlement of our autonomous access to space that depends on the commercial success of our launchers, given the relatively limited number of European government satellite launches.

These are the findings that lead to define for Ariane 6 specifications that are related to Falcon 9’s: a perfect adaptation to the launch of European government satellites, eased launch of commercial satellites, simplified design and tightened industrial organization to significantly reduce launch costs.

WE MUST REACT

It is clear that today, the USA are challenging us to compete with them by showing us the way with a system that puts into practice all those recommendations. And while, for many years, we feared competition from emerging economies with their cheap labor, competition is instead coming from the USA and their ability to innovate and to challenge themselves.

This situation bring back memories of the world of IT/computers in the early 70s, shaken by the coming of new companies that had one thing in common – they all came out of garages in California. 40 years later, the space launcher industry, today considered a sovereign (government/national) industry, may well know the same upheaval.

Europe's space launch supremacy was hard-won/very expensive. Ariane 5 is the best launcher in the world, due to its reliability, conquering launch after launch since 2003, and it will remain the best since Europe has decided to support its operation and its adaptations to the evolving market.

As such, we must react to SpaceX’s challenge and move forth with the development of Ariane 6. The goal isn’t to make yet another Ariane launcher, but rather to reinvent Ariane development by taking the same turn that IT did in the 70s and SpaceX is taking now. This is the lesson we learn from the Californian garages.



#104 OP DocM

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 03:48

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

Thaicom6EarthView.jpg

#105 malenfant

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 05:24

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?