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SpaceX F9 v1.1 / CASSIOPE (Canada) mission thread


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#1 DocM

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 13:28

Here we go - we have a F9 v1.1 / CASSIOPE launch window

Date: September 5, 2013

Launch window: 1600-1800 GMT (12-2 p.m. EDT; 9-11 a.m. PDT)

Launch site: SLC-4E, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California

Wet Dress Rehersal (WDR): first half of next werk

Hotfire: a few days beford launch

Streaming: link to be provided later

CASSIOPE is a mixed-mission satellite that will be placed in a polar orbit for the Canadian Space Agency.

After the first stage of F9 v1.1 separates SpaceX will attempt to decelerate it, re-enter the atmosphere then do a soft touchdown in the Pacific Ocean under rocket thrust - just like the 1950's sci-fi flicks. This is a test of reusability techs that, with the Grasshopper tests, will hopefully lead to a fully reusable rocket that can land on land - F9R.


#2 IsItPluggedIn

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 23:51

Wow I cant wait, only 2 weeks away. Hope all goes well. I thought they weren't doing the first F9R test till later this year. Has it been pushed forward or is this year just going to fast for me? 



#3 OP DocM

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 02:11

SpaceX is moving VERY fast. They've designed F9 v1.1 to be a mass production rocket using automotive assembly line & production methods. This year they may make more high performance rocket engines than the rest of the world combined. Not the most powerful engines, but with the highest power to weight ratio by a lot.

They're not expecting complete success with this reentry and water landing attempt since they're working on assumptions and simulations. Other attempts will have hard data from this attempt as a guide. That hard data will also make it easier to fine tune things for the Grasshopper 2 (GH2) reusability testbed at SpacePort America in New Mexico.

GH2 will also attempt turnarounds, but is intended for flights to 300,000 feet and land touchdowns - so it'll have the 4 carbon composite pneumatic (helium gas) landing legs which will also act as aerosurfaces. They're prepping it, its launch and landing pads right now.

Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R, pronounced F9-er) shown below has a first stage like GH2's and its landing legs, which span 60 feet when deployed. The black portion is the composite interstage (spacer) which supports the 2nd stage & payload and covers the 2nd stages nozzle. Mass to orbit in expendable mode is >16 metric tons.

Gotta admit, she's a pretty bird.
falcon9-render.png

#4 FloatingFatMan

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 06:28

There's only one thing that's a shame about SpaceX and all the other commercial interests in space.

 

I wish they'd all gotten going 20+ years ago! We'd be on Mars by now...



#5 OP DocM

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 20:42

From twitter a SpaceXer: Molly McCormick @Molliway:

Holy moly, we have an appointment with Space in like, 2 weeks. No countdown clock upstairs, doesn't feel real.

The clock clarification is that they have a countdown clock on the main floor at Mission Control Vandenberg - SpaceX , but not upstairs near her office :)

#6 Beittil

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 06:47

Do we know why the launchdate slipped up 5 days to September 10th?



#7 FloatingFatMan

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 07:22

Do we know why the launchdate slipped up 5 days to September 10th?

 

Pure guess but, weather?



#8 OP DocM

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 16:34

Remember we have a new pad and a new vehicle for this flight. They reused almost nothing of the old Titan IV facility except the bedrock, so it all has to be triple checked.

The delay is because of a slip in preps for the wet dress rehearsal (WDR)**, plus todays Delta IV Heavy launch right down the street and the coming holiday weekend. They're putting the finishing touches on hardware and wiring tests of the new pad at Vandenberg.

After the WDR (now set for Thursday or Friday) they have to data analysis, physical checkouts and prepare for an expected 3-4 second hotfire engines test. They usually need a few days after that before launch.

** rollout, raise the rocket vertical, fill it with propellants, then a practice countdown that goes to T-0 but doesn't fire the engines.

#9 OP DocM

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 22:53

Shot of F9v1.1 on the Vandenberg AFB SLC-4E pad for a wet dress rehersal earlier last week. Launch now no earlier than Sept 10 while testing of the new pad continues and to work around the Delta IV Heavy launch last week. No payload or fairing are mounted for WDR's. No lightning towers like at KSC because unlike Florida that part of California isn't a lightning free fire zone.

f9-06_pad.PNG

First good front-on look at the Vandenberg SLC-4E F9/Falcon Heavy transporter/erector with F9 v1.1 mounted. The triangular side "wings" are to support the side boosters on Falcon Heavy.

F9v1.1vandy2.PNG

#10 Beittil

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 06:56

So, what we see here is the 1st & 2nd stage? Or just the 1st?



#11 OP DocM

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 07:39

First and second stages. With the payload fairing (large enough to hold a bus) it'll be 227 feet (69.2m) tall. The previous version of Falcon 9 measured 156 feet with a Dragon spacecraft mounted.

#12 OP DocM

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 15:51

F9 v1.1 / CASSIOPE hotfire is now set for Sept. 7. No second Wet Dress Rehersal is required (one was rumored). Launch is NET Sept. 14.

#13 OP DocM

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 16:49

The F9 v1.1 mount looks like it has a plume cone attached to its underside.

F9.v1.0 mount
f9v1.0mount.jpg

F9 v1.1 mount
f9v1.1mount.jpg

f9v1.1mountzoom.jpg

#14 Beittil

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 18:30

Guess the new 4day slip is a result from the WDR results?



#15 OP DocM

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 18:50

Delays from building a brand new pad at Vandenberg (Orbital's delays with Antares and its new pad at Wallops were far longer), a new composite upper stage nozzle that took longer than expected, working around the Delta IV launch last week, and the usual stuff with a totally new rocket design.

Many KSC people were expecting it to be delayed until October or even November based on their experience with Atlas V. F9 v1.1 has actually gone better than average.