SpaceX reusable launcher (Grasshopper) thread 2


 Share

Recommended Posts

Not only a performance decrease, but also an increase in launch price. Got to love the old aerospace contractors... dreaming of staying in business.

 

Well, as long as they have their cronies in congress, they will continue to stay in business.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

F9R flies again!

Notice the deployable fins on the interstage.

They're called grid fins and have been used for the precision guidance of bombs and missiles for some time. These will help guide F9R back to the landing pad for re-use. They're a steerable multiple airfoil that's highly stall resistant.

They'll be particularly useful just after boost-back when F9R is still high and supersonic. They're also effective when subsonic, but less so in the trans-sonic range right around the speed of sound because of turbulence.

grid-fin.jpg

Jun 18, 2014Video of Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) during a 1000m test flight at our rocket development facility in McGregor, TX. This flight was our first test of a set of steerable fins that provide control of the rocket during the fly back portion of return. The fins deploy approximately a minute and 15 seconds into the flight, and return to their original position just prior to landing. The F9R testing program is the next step towards reusability following completion of the Grasshopper program last year. Early flights of F9R will take off with legs fixed in the down position, however we will soon transition to liftoff with legs stowed against the side of the rocket with leg extension just before landing. Future test flights of F9R at our New Mexico facility will include higher altitudes, allow us to prove unpowered guidance and to prove out landing cases that are more flight-like.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dunno. My first instinct is no given they've only tested them on this F9R Dev-1 hop. I'd guess CRS-4 or CRS-5, but with the speed SpaceX's R&D is moving who in hell knows?

They went from having a roll problem to 2 parallel, tested, fixes (larger gas thrusters and grid fins) in <9 months. That's faster than most companies or NASA would take to write the preliminary report about the roll.

And by the way, they can also extend its glide slope and steer it with GPS accuracy - just like a smart bomb.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

No word yet on when SSA tests begin but the pad is ready. The drop-dead date for F9R tests in Texas ending is Feb. 26 2015, and they so far finish a test series well before the FAA permit runs out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Should be soon as recent images shot by a local pilot show them working on it. The grid fins are still there.

His images also show what is being interpreted as the new DragonFly (Dragon V2 landing testbed) launch pad, and for dead certain the Falcon Heavy test stand and it's flame trench under construction.

The DragonFly pad pics are labeled sx_deer_stand1.jpg and sx_deer_stand2.jpg

Gallery link....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

YESSssss ....

FALCON 9 ROCKET FIRST STAGE

Following last week's successful launch of six ORBCOMM satellites, the Falcon 9 rocket?s first stage reentered Earth?s atmosphere and soft landed in the Atlantic Ocean. This test confirms that the Falcon 9 booster is able consistently to reenter from space at hypersonic velocity, restart main engines twice, deploy landing legs and touch down at near zero velocity.

After landing, the vehicle tipped sideways as planned to its final water safing state in a nearly horizontal position. The water impact caused loss of hull integrity, but we received all the necessary data to achieve a successful landing on a future flight. Going forward, we are taking steps to minimize the build up of ice and spots on the camera housing in order to gather improved video on future launches.

At this point, we are highly confident of being able to land successfully on a floating launch pad or back at the launch site and refly the rocket with no required refurbishment. However, our next couple launches are for very high velocity geostationary satellite missions, which don?t allow enough residual propellant for landing. In the longer term, missions like that will fly on Falcon Heavy, but until then Falcon 9 will need to fly in expendable mode.

We will attempt our next water landing on flight 13 [CRS-4] of Falcon 9, but with a low probability of success. Flights 14 and 15 will attempt to land on a solid surface with an improved probability of success.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

F9R Dev 1 tests occur frequently, over 20 so far. They just don't put up a video of every single one, but ISTM we are due for one. Its FAA flight permit runs out on Feb. 26, 2015.

EDIT: the FAA lists an F9R Dev 1 launch August 1. Video countdown starts on my mark....mark!

At a minimum they should post any major milestones, say...a flight where it launches and does a large divert maneuver from several thousand meters, then one of its "retirement" flight.

They may end soon as they need to start the DragonFly (Dragon V2 flight tests article) powered takeoff/landing tests. They need to do at least the first round before the Dragon V2 pad abort test. They recently finished the DragonFly test pad, so preps are in the late stages.

F9R Dev 2 tests were scheduled for after Dev 1 ended, but events have caught up with them - the real launch landing tests have gone far better than they expected. There have also been delays working out launch schedules with the White Sands Missile Range since they'll do the tracking.

It may well be that the Dev 2 work there may have more to do with re-use concepts of operations and fine tuning things.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is video of the ORBCOMM landing.

All we have right now is this crappy cell phone video, taken of the original video being projected on a screen during a conference in Logan, Utah....but it's too cool :)

Setup,

The video was taken by chase planes. F9 comes SCREAMING from the clouds top center diagonally to bottom left, then the clip changes cams to show a wide shot of the landing frame left. The stage appears about 5? off vertical, but controlled. There's the case for the grid fins in later flights.

It touches down then the cam jerks causing it to move out of frame to the top. The photographer is probably bouncing like a jumping bean.

Fingers crossed that SpaceX releases the original footage soon,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If they prove that they can land the first stage on a fixed platform with accuracy on the CRS-4 mission, there really is not a need for F9R tests anymore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's more footage, these being two short cut together clips. If they release the rest I *highly* recommend fastening your seat belts, putting down food & drink and swallowing before hitting "Play."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you think they will? They could've done it when they released the Orbcomm landing inboard footage. They never released the Cassiope landing...but it would be freaking awesome!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hard telling. I hope they do.

I can understand the CASSIOPE footage mot being released because of the roll issue, but this one would be a PR positive.

OTOH, they may want the first full landing vodeo to be the one on land - in full HD & Technicolor. That one will set YouTube on fire.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the AIAA conference,

"...just last friday we had another flight of our f9r dev vehicle -that's the rocket formerly known as grasshopper- and it went up to/it did a thousand meter hover test and testing out some new software, new actuators, and it performed really well so it was really really fun to watch that thing fly. If it's not on youtube yet it'll be there soon so keep an eye out for that."

- Garrett Reisman, former astronaut and SpaceX's senior engineer for astronaut safety and mission assurance

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.