SpaceX Dragon CRS-3 (ISS mission thread)


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Beittil

Heh, it doesn't mention the landing legs anywhere... or that the first stage will attampt a soft landing on water.

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DocM

That's not part of the NASA CRS-3 mission, which is the focus of the press kit. It's R&D.

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Beittil

"@PeterKingCBS: Sunday's planned launch by @SpaceX postponed until at least March 30 due to contamination issue."

I found this retweeted by Jeff Foust... Wth?

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DocM

At first blush "contamination" sounded like a problem with one of the experiments headed to ISS, but then this was posted,

Peter King ?@PeterKingCBS

CBS's Bill Harwood reports possible contamination which could cause problems 4 hardware headed to the international space station. #spacex

Which could also mean a suspected problem with some piece of equipment that requires a pure fluid. This could be a coolant, hydraulics, or impurities found in the fuel & oxidizer used by the Dragon's Draco thrusters.
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DocM

The rumors are about 11PM March 30. We'll see.

@SpaceX

CRS-3 now targeted to lift off on 3/30. F9 and Dragon healthy, addl. time needed to close out remaining open items before launch.

Which makes it sound like a payload problem.

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Beittil

Bah, the new launchtime puts it in the middle of the night for me :( So much for getting to see this one launch... bah bah bah!

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DocM

New NET: March 30 22:51 EDT Local (0251 UTC March 31)

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  • 2 weeks later...
DocM

HEADS UP -

A radar station is down due to a fire

Sunday's CRS-3 launch may be off. They've already delayed the Atlas V NROL-67 launch to April 10th.

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IsItPluggedIn

Booo, do we know exactly what it was that burnt down and what they expect as an ETA on repair?

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DocM

It didn't "burn down" but there was fire damage, and it was a key radar installation on the range. Can't say in public yet which station it was, but it leaves a gap in the coverage.

Right now things are *really* fluid as both SpaceX and the USAF explore tracking alternatives. If they can't find one it could take 30-45 days for this station to be repaired.

If the FAA environmental report approves it this may well cause SpaceX to double down on getting their Brownsville Texas spaceport built fast.

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Beittil

The delay is official now to.

 

 

 

SpaceX's launch of a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station has been delayed from Sunday after a critical U.S. Air Force rocket tracking radar was knocked offline, officials said late Wednesday.

 

http://spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/009/140327delay/#.UzP34fl5PkI

 

Regarding that Brownsville pad, it would take until 2016 to get that pad constructed and operational. But yeah, SpaceX would probable very much like to go there... it isn't said yet, but this delay is probable also going to have consequences for the Orbcomm launch currently slated for April 30th. If they had their private pad up and running such a launch would have undoubtedly been done from there.

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DocM

Not just Orbcomm. This is going to ripple down everyone's schedule for the rest of the year at least. The only good thing is it may give SpaceX a chance to ramp up production and get 3 cores free to assemble Falcon Heavy #1.

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DocM

It's Station 19.39

Station 19 = Merritt Island

39 = AN/MPS-39 multiple object tracking radar (MOTR), a phased array radar that can simultaneously track up to 10 objects (40 theoretical, limited by data format) within a 60 degree cone.

Not easily repaired or replaced, the latter being faster.

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flyingskippy

Is it just speed, altitude, and position information that is provided by the radar station? If that's the case the Navy and the Coast Guard have the same capabilities.

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DocM

All of the above and no, US Navy and CG cannot duplicate it because of a lack of compatable data format streaming and protocols that prevent the mixing of milspec secured and less srecured networks.

The problem was apparently a shorted power supply in the asset..

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flyingskippy

If the data is coming from the Air Force, isn't it already coming from a secured network? I don't really know, just brainstorming to see if there is a quick fix.

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DocM

There is no quick fix at this point. SpaceX is exploring some options but that's still in the black. The USAF is also scrambling because of upcoming NRO launches.

BTW: there was a recent presentation at the AIAA about the crumbling infrastructure, with a large number of key assets old enough that they're no longer in production.

One long term fix is movimg to GPS tracking instead of these old radars, but that move is early on. Another conference takes place soon,

As for SpaceX; the Univetsity of Texas at Brownsville is building a modern space tracking and radio observatory near where SpaceX wants to build their commercial spaceport.

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DocM

This 2012 USAF AIAA presentations last page is damned near psychic....

yjajeny5.jpg

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flyingskippy

This 2012 USAF AIAA presentations last page is damned near psychic....

Sounds like a lot of things with our infrastructure these days.

If SpaceX ends up picking Brownsville, it would be an excellent opportunity to work with the University of Texas.

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DocM

Not much "if" to it.

SpaceX has been buying up property at and near Boca Chica Beach at breakneck speed. Further, the Texas legislature has already passed, and Gov. Perry has signed, the necessary legislation, and UofT Brownsville has already lobbied SpaceX for a joint operating agreement.

The only sticking point is the FAA environmental impact report, and that's due in April.

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Beittil

If they do not delay that again... :/

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DocM

There's a very tentative NET (no earlier than) date of April 10th for someone to launch, SpaceX to ISS or the NRO spysat, but who gets priority is up for grabs per the last paragraph.

http://www.zerognews.com/2014/03/28/air-force-releases-details-of-incident-that-scrubbed-atlas-and-falcon/#more-3142

>

Zero-G News sources also clarified that the event was not a structure fire, as some reports claimed, but rather a short and perhaps small electrical fire. While the Air Force would not confirm there was no actual fire, it may be noted that a structure fire at the KSC site would have been visible to thousands of KSC workers as well as local residents on Merritt Island and across the Indian River in Titusville.

As it turns out, the damage was not trivial and as a result repairs couldnt be completed in time for what was supposed to be the next Cape launch, a SpaceX Falcon 9 delivering the Dragon CRS-3 spacecraft on a supply run to the International Space Station.

Repair of the tracking radar will take approximately three weeks, according to the Air Force, which is evaluating the feasibility of returning an inactive radar to full mission capability to resume operations sooner.

As it stands now, the 45th Space Wing will have to assess the impact to the launch schedule as well as which launch will occur next. NROL-67 has high priority on the range since it is a national security mission. However, NASA faces a challenge scheduling the launch of Dragon CRS-3 because of heavy traffic at ISS over the next month.

>

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