SpaceX reusable launcher (Grasshopper) thread 2


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October is open to allow pad and transporter-erector mods & preparations for the Dragon V2 pad abort test in November.

OG2 #2 has moved right into 2015 at the request of ORBCOMM. Remember the slip because of a problem with one of their satellites? It required mods, which were also done to the other 5 sats before launch. Now they want to check out those 6 sats on orbit before launching the other 11.

There are a couple other sats that may move into its slot, one for Turkmenistan and one for NASA. Still under discussion.

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There has been some confusion about the crs-4 reusability test. It's seems to be clear that the 1st stage is older and didn't have any landing legs. However, some people say that SpaceX may have added landing legs. This would also fit with gwynne shotwells unofficial statement, that there will be no more water landings, rather barge landings and mid term rtls.

Any info or thoughts?

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Good arguments both ways but nothing 100% convincing IMO, and SpaceX isn't confirming either way. A very slight tilt towards legs. We'll probably hear after AsiaSat 6 as everyone is pushing to get it up ASAP.

One thing we did hear is that a full-size F9 mockup will be used for the Dragon V2 pad abort test. All the better to accurately simulate such an abort.

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SpaceX always said they'd test, use and abuse hardware until they cratered something.

Well, they did it. F9R Dev-1. They probably triggered the flight termination system (FTS.)

No word yet on what they were doing when it happened, but she went out in style.

Rockets are hard?

https://twitter.com/Singer_Matthew/status/502961881280045056

Matthew Singer @Singer_Matthew [spaceX Engineer]:

Yes, there was an anomaly during the #SpaceX F9-R test flight today. No injuries being reported, details of the malfunction to follow

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5fd529522deb1df28bbafa7914173ce6.jpg

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From one of the tweets it sounded as though the FTS automatically terminated after it detected an anomaly. A rocket that monitors itself and self-destructs when a variable isn't were it should be. That's pretty cool even considering the outcome.

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3 engine version? Perhaps a checkout of F9R Dev-2 before being shipped to SpacePort America.

May well have been a bad actuator.

Earlier today, in McGregor, Texas, SpaceX conducted a test flight of a three engine version of the F9R test vehicle (successor to Grasshopper). During the flight, an anomaly was detected in the vehicle and the flight termination system automatically terminated the mission.

Throughout the test and subsequent flight termination, the vehicle remained in the designated flight area. There were no injuries or near injuries. An FAA representative was present at all times.

With research and development projects, detecting vehicle anomalies during the testing is the purpose of the program. Today?s test was particularly complex, pushing the limits of the vehicle further than any previous test. As is our practice, the company will be reviewing the flight record details to learn more about the performance of the vehicle prior to our next test.

SpaceX will provide another update when the flight data has been fully analyzed.

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I could turn a bent stick into a weapon (atlatl) and rockets are inherently a bit dangerous so in principle, yes. That's why the US has the ITAR law so its tech can't be openly distributed.

It could have been a loss of an engine steering actuator or some new code had a bug. Time will tell.

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