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SpaceX updates (Grasshopper RLV)


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#16 neoadorable

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 13:24

what?! just like that, on the truck? no tarps or anything? what the hey? and did you take these?


#17 zeta_immersion

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 13:45

I find using the capsule and a rocket to be anticlimactic, more junk tossed in outer space more waste or resources (at lest from the vid anyway)


I wish they would actually make a shuttle replacement not a damn soyuz

#18 OP DocM

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 18:11

I didn't take those and it was an engineering test Dragon, not flight hardware. Still, one helluva thing to see on the freeway :)

Spaceplanes have only one non-cosmetic advantage in orbital ops: a large cross-range capability, meaning they can glide to a landing up to a few hundred km either side of the orbital track, and because of its flying brick shape and huge mass the shuttle couldn't even do that very well.

This might make sense for a space ambulance or station evacuatiin vehicle that could land on any airport near a medical center, but otherwise....

In all other aspects of spafeflight; crago mass as a % of launch mass, volume/mass etc. spaceplanes operate at a severe disadvantage to capsules.

Remember your science 101: the shape with the greatest volumetric efficiency (internal volume divided by surface area) is a sphere, and capsules are closer to spherical than winged flying bricks. Dragon & Soyuz have the highest volumetric efficiency of todays capsules (CST-100 & Orion are more conical).

In beyond Earth orbit space, of which Dragon, Soyuz and Oriion are capable, wings are dead weight, their mass better used to increase cargo capability, and there isn't a spaceplane design that could handle those re-entry velocities.

#19 neoadorable

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 15:04

heh heh i thought you took those pics. and good to know it wasn't the actual ship, uncovered would have been bad...

i know you're not a big fan of spaceplanes Doc, but as you see the popular opinion is indeed in their favor. your explanations only have scientific grounding because we've been reluctant to do the right thing...for the billions we've spent on crap hardware that hasn't flown yet we could have indeed built the Valkyrie shuttle from Avatar...for real.

#20 OP DocM

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 15:47

Valkyrie is cool sci-fi. but until new engine tech allows for single stage to orbit with margins to burn capsules have too many advantages including safety.

#21 OP DocM

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 00:06

Looks like the decision point for combining the Dragon C2 test flight and the C3 ISS mission is late June, and if C2+C3 is approved it'll be in the latter half of November. The main issue seems to be a relatively minor problem with the S-Band (2-2.5ghz) Omni comm gears power flux density.

Clearer shot of the test Dragon on the road - gives some scale, though it's minus the trunk/service module.
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Just for fun -
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#22 OP DocM

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 00:56

Expanding a bit, the issue woth power flux density is asafety one vs. humans in the gears output beam. Basically, too high a PFD is bad. PFD is a function of distance from the transmitter, so (IIRC) -

PFD® = kW*Gt/(4*PI*r^2)

when kW is isotropic radiated power, Gt is transmitter gain and r is meters. The result is in kw/m^2

But power at distance isn't the only standard. Basic standards come down to the direction of the max signal strength, its polarization, frequency & strength of the ambients, and the duty cycle.

#23 OP DocM

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 17:24

SpaceX Names Bret Johnsen as Chief Financial Officer

Former Broadcom Executive Joins Company at a Time of Incredible Growth


Hawthorne, CA – Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has named Bret Johnsen as Chief Financial Officer, bringing 20 years of financial leadership experience in high-profile, publicly traded companies to SpaceX as it undergoes rapid growth on the back of tremendous technological and market success.

Johnsen's appointment follows the company’s fourth straight year of profitability (2007-2010). The total value of SpaceX NASA and commercial contracts recently topped $3 billion for over 40 launches. The company has also grown to more than 1,300 employees.

“Bret has an exceptional talent for financial management in high-growth, publicly held technology companies,” said Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO and CTO. “Looking at his career, he is clearly someone that always sought out tough challenges and produced impressive results. His experience will be invaluable to SpaceX as we implement the financial standards and processes needed to allow for the possibility of becoming a public company.”

“I am thrilled to be part of a team that is transforming the space industry,” said Johnsen. “It is exciting to join such a pioneering company as it continues to grow and increase market share. My job at SpaceX will be to ensure financial discipline, while supporting the formula that makes SpaceX great.”

Johnsen spent nearly a decade at Broadcom Corporation, the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductors for wired and wireless communications. He played a key role in helping transform Broadcom into a leading Fortune 500 technology company. There he developed processes that drove operating efficiencies, saving Broadcom millions of dollars annually. Starting out as Controller for a number of business groups within Broadcom, he quickly rose up the ranks. He ultimately was named Vice President, Corporate Controller and Principal Accounting Officer, overseeing an 80-member accounting organization in nine countries for the cutting-edge technology company.

After leaving Broadcom, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Mindspeed Technologies. Last year, he was named “CFO of the Year” by the Orange County Business Journal for bringing the chip maker through the recession by cutting costs, reworking debt, selling stock and raising cash through patent sales. “The moves helped reposition Mindspeed for profitability and brought renewed attention from Wall Street,” the Journal said.

Johnsen holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Southern California and a Master of Science in Finance from San Diego State University. He is a certified public accountant in the State of California.



#24 OP DocM

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 22:33

NASA Admin. Gen. Charles Bolden & Princeton Astrophysicist Christopher Chyba think SpaceX is "disruptive," in the good way. Prof. Chyba also testified as much in Senate testimony....

Aviation Week...

NASA might ease its “delicate position” by following the cost-cutting approaches used by Space Exploration Technologies Inc. (SpaceX) in developing the Falcon 9 launch vehicle, a key member of the panel that reviewed U.S. human spaceflight plans for President Barack Obama is telling Congress.

Administrator Charles Bolden apparently agrees, saying that the SpaceX approach to management is “disruptive technology” that can bring “great gains” to the space program.

They don’t spread things all over the country the way that NASA and defense contractors tend to do,” Bolden told the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology on May 19. “They’re very focused in two locations in the country. They bring everything in-house. They have no subcontractors, so everything comes to them. That’s disruptive.

As NASA struggles to restructure itself with the government in a cost-cutting mood, agency analysts have put some numbers behind Bolden’s view, notes Christopher F. Chyba, a professor of astrophysics and international affairs at Princeton University. Chyba played a key role in the 2009 deliberations of the panel headed by former Lockheed Martin CEO Norman Augustine.

Testifying before the Senate Commerce Committee on May 18, Chyba repeated his 2009 warning that NASA has never been able to develop one vehicle and fly another at the same time, and is unlikely to be able to do so today (AW&ST Aug. 3, 2009, p. 28). But he says NASA may be able to learn from SpaceX as the agency develops the heavy-lift launch vehicle Congress has ordered it to build for missions beyond low Earth orbit (LEO).

“I think one would want to understand in some detail . . . why would it be between four and 10 times more expensive for NASA to do this, especially at a time when one of the issues facing NASA is how to develop the heavy-lift launch vehicle within the budget profile that the committee has given it,” Chyba says.
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#25 neoadorable

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 12:27

good, sounds like healthy competition and perhaps even inspiration.

#26 OP DocM

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 22:27

Can't be played on mobiles - 10+ minurts. Shows how they integrate F9 & Dragon, put it on the gantry etc. May not play in some countries due to ITAR export restrictions.



Shorter 5 minute version should play anywhere



#27 bguy_1986

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 14:10

Hopefully this isn't a stupid question, but will these still be lauchned in Florida? or has this not been decided yet?

Just curious if all this history is going to stay in one place, however I would think there are much other reasons why they would want to continue lauching where they are at...
(I didn't even know where in Florida cape canaveral was till I just looked it up... and I was there before... lol - I thought it would be close to the sothern tip of florida.)

#28 OP DocM

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 17:16

At first most missions will be Falcon 9/Dragon to ISS and Falcon 9 satellite launches with an orbital inclination relative to the ewuator of 15° to 50° +/- (ISS = 28.5°) and those are available from KSC.

Next come Falcon Heavy, a true monster capable of lifting 53+ metric tons, 2x as much as the Shuttle or any other launcher. With a hydrogen 2nd stage that could go up to 65+ metric tons. The main initial customer for it will be the National Reconaissance Office for large spy satellites going to polar orbit; an inclination of 80° to 90° which isn't available from KSC. To launch those SpaceX is modify pad SLC-4 East at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. First flight is probably late 2013 or early 2014.

http://en.m.wikipedi...aunch_Complex_4

Rumors are it'll also get mods allowing Falcon 9 to lainch there as well. These would consist o two integration buildings at 90° to each other; one for FH and the other for F9. An added plus is they could process 2 flights at once. Even if Vandenberg doesn't get the dual launch mod KSC will - that's a lock.

They also want access to one of the retired Shuttle pads for a super-heavy launcher should they compete (you know they will) for NASA's proposed Space Launch System, a rocket twice as large as Falcon Heavy - roughly 130+ metric tons to LEO. They already have a concept that large, Falcon XX, a nearly 400' tall behemoth that makes Saturn V look like a beanpole.

#29 bguy_1986

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 18:02

At first most missions will be Falcon 9/Dragon to ISS and Falcon 9 satellite launches with an orbital inclination relative to the ewuator of 15° to 50° +/- (ISS = 28.5°) and those are available from KSC.

Next come Falcon Heavy, a true monster capable of lifting 53+ metric tons, 2x as much as the Shuttle or any other launcher. With a hydrogen 2nd stage that could go up to 65+ metric tons. The main initial customer for it will be the National Reconaissance Office for large spy satellites going to polar orbit; an inclination of 80° to 90° which isn't available from KSC. To launch those SpaceX is modify pad SLC-4 East at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. First flight is probably late 2013 or early 2014.

http://en.m.wikipedi...aunch_Complex_4

Rumors are it'll also get mods allowing Falcon 9 to lainch there as well. These would consist o two integration buildings at 90° to each other; one for FH and the other for F9. An added plus is they could process 2 flights at once. Even if Vandenberg doesn't get the dual launch mod KSC will - that's a lock.

They also want access to one of the retired Shuttle pads for a super-heavy launcher should they compete (you know they will) for NASA's proposed Space Launch System, a rocket twice as large as Falcon Heavy - roughly 130+ metric tons to LEO. They already have a concept that large, Falcon XX, a nearly 400' tall behemoth that makes Saturn V look like a beanpole.

Sweet. I didn't really know that much science/math went into the launch pad location/angle (if I halfway understand this all correctly)... Interesting stuff, and any deeper it will go way over my head. lol

Thanks

#30 OP DocM

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 19:06

Yup, certain sites are good for certain launch inclinations but there is another consideration: land overflight.

FH carrying a spy-sat to polar orbit from KSC would have to fly over land (E. Seaboar, New England & Canadsa or parts of S. America). If it comes down on NYC, Buenos Aires or Montreal someone might get a bit upset :p

At Vandenbrrg they could just launch over the Pacific waters well west of Baha & S. America.

FH from Florida could in theory miss S. America or eastern N. America if it were launched out over the Atlantic then made a turn, setting it up to go over one of the poles. Problem is that uses a lot of fuel, reducing the payload to orbit. Not very efficient.



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