SpaceX Updates (Thread 5)


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SarK0Y

Thats a great article for the masses, and the main point of the article is that SpaceX are trying to bring down costs of launches. The fact is that the shuttle was supposed to bring costs down for the space program and it didn't. 

 

Thanks for Sharing a good article.

Shuttle had good options to deal w/:

 

1. kerosene engines instead of solid boosters. (Russia has had the best ones [RD170/180/..])

2. more efficient trajectories to descend. (less mass of termoprotection as well)

3. some savings upon dry weight were possible thanks to new design of wings.

========================

And the're no all options :) Shuttle's niche looks as space ferry to bring weighty payloads from LEO.

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SarK0Y

Russia? You mean the same guys that like to fit guidance components to rockets by hammering them in upside down? :p

Frankly, there had thieved some monies & rocket was wasted to conceal it. Bright side is, wasting was done quite good -- ground structures remained safe & healthy :)

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FloatingFatMan

Frankly, there had thieved some monies & rocket was wasted to conceal it. Bright side is, wasting was done quite good -- ground structures remained safe & healthy :)

 

Interesting theory you have there. Got any actual proof?

 

Also, the Space Shuttle was a Space Deathtrap.  God knows how we didn't manage to lose more than 2, what with all the cost cutting, cut corners, and ignored warnings...

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DocM

There were several STS missions where they came very close. Atlantis STS-119 had damage to ~700 tiles.

damageplotfull.jpg

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malenfant

The Verge is reporting that SpaceX has reached an agreement with the USAF and is dismissing its standing claims. Doesn't seem like an optimal outcome from what I read. Still, it's the DoD, USAF and ULA after all. Probably only so much they can do.

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SarK0Y

Interesting theory you have there. Got any actual proof?

 

Also, the Space Shuttle was a Space Deathtrap.  God knows how we didn't manage to lose more than 2, what with all the cost cutting, cut corners, and ignored warnings...

direct proofs -- no, but common sense has led this way. If so dumbest idiots were launching russian rockets, how is great probability to carry crews to/from ISS safely??? how is great probability to not frack ISS up???? If about Shuttle once time, Shuttle was good for payloads, not for crews. Meanwhile, its safety & cost could have been improved alot.

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DocM

direct proofs -- no

Should have stopped right there.

Shuttle once time, Shuttle was good for payloads, not for crews

NASA had retired Saturn IB, which could have flown any of Shuttles individual large payloads much cheaper until Titan IV and it's Heavy variant arrived.

7 crew could have flown safer & cheaper on a larger than Apollo capsule. Pick a launcher - Saturn IB early, Titan IV later.

Even combined launches of these would have been cheaper/safer than a Shuttle launch.

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DocM

SpaceX v. US Air Force has been settled

What's interesting is that 2 weeks ago an investigation into the certification procedures for new launchers was ordered by Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James.

http://spacenews.com/spacex-air-force-reach-agreement/#sthash.X7ZTXiFT.dpuf

SpaceX, Air Force Settle Lawsuit over ULA Blockbuy

WASHINGTON SpaceX will drop its lawsuit against the U.S. Air Force in exchange for the service making more national security launch missions available for competition, the two parties announced Jan. 23.

The move comes less than two weeks after the sides entered mediation over an $11 billion sole-source contract the Air Force gave United Launch Alliance of Denver.

SpaceX filed a lawsuit last April asking the U.S. Court of Federal Claims to void a large portion of the deal, under which the Air Force ordered 36 rocket cores from ULA.

Original plans for the Air Forces block buy called for the service to purchase those cores from ULA on a sole-source basis while putting another 14 missions up for bid, thereby giving so-called new entrants such as SpaceX a crack at the market.

But in March 2014, the Air Force deferred roughly half of the launches to be put out for competition.

SpaceX filed suit shortly thereafter.

This is not SpaceX protesting and saying that these launches should be awarded to us, Elon Musk, SpaceXs founder, said here in April when the suit was filed. Were just protesting and saying that these launches should be competed.

New entrants like SpaceX must earn certification to launch national security missions. The Air Force announced earlier in January that SpaceX is expected to earn certification no later than the middle of 2015, some six months later than originally thought.

In a Jan. 13 order, Susan Braden, the judge overseeing the case, said SpaceX and the Air Force would begin mediation this month.

It worked.

Under the agreement, the Air Force will work collaboratively with SpaceX to complete the certification process in an efficient and expedient manner, the statement from the two parties said. The Air Force also has expanded the number of competitive opportunities for launch services under the EELV program while honoring existing contractual obligations.

The statement did not make clear how many competitive launch opportunities would be available or when. The Air Force has committed to seven launch awards by late 2017, but has said that number could grow to at least eight.

As a result of the agreement, the Air Force would not break its current contract with United Launch Alliance, the statement said. Defense Department officials had estimated that changing the contract could lead to $370 million in costs.

Heres the joint statement SpaceX posted on its website Friday (Jan. 23) evening:

>

http://www.spacex.com/press/2015/01/23/united-states-and-spacex-agree-settlement

The Air Force and SpaceX have reached agreement on a path forward for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program that improves the competitive landscape and achieves mission assurance for national security space launches. Under the agreement, the Air Force will work collaboratively with SpaceX to complete the certification process in an efficient and expedient manner. This collaborative effort will inform the SECAF directed review of the new entrant certification process. The Air Force also has expanded the number of competitive opportunities for launch services under the EELV program while honoring existing contractual obligations. Going forward, the Air Force will conduct competitions consistent with the emergence of multiple certified providers. Per the settlement, SpaceX will dismiss its claims relating to the EELV block buy contract pending in the United States Court of Federal Claims.

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SarK0Y

NASA had retired Saturn IB, which could have flown any of Shuttles individual large payloads much cheaper until Titan IV and it's Heavy variant arrived.

7 crew could have flown safer & cheaper on a larger than Apollo capsule. Pick a launcher - Saturn IB early, Titan IV later.

Even combined launches of these would have been cheaper/safer than a Shuttle launch.

cheapness ain't fair measure out the: ISS has got severe drawback thanks to so "WISE" idea to kill Shuttle. claims of cheapness need to have had alternatives. Has Shuttle even the least one at present days???

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DocM

NSF user JimNtexas did a fly-by of SpaceX McGregor and shot some pics. Jim's notes below the Google Drive link.

Most are of the tripod test stand area and show progress on the Falcon Heavy vertical test stand and it's HUGE flame trench. This should be getting some use in late spring or summer. Others are of the F9R Dev test pad and others are of an engine test stand building (lots of tanks around it.)

The very first image is NOT a SpaceX building. Some company nearby.

Google Drive link....

Jim's notes,

I did another light plane photo run near McGregor today. It was really bumpy, I made myself a bit airsick taking these!

The usual caveats apply:

1) At no time did I overfly the SpaceX facility.

2) At no time did I descend below 1500 above ground level, and was mostly above 2500 agl feet because of the turbulence.

3) If anyone at SpaceX management want me to cease these flights, all they need do is contact me and ask.

4) Observations:

- This is the first time I noticed the permanent entrance gate on Plant Road.

- Lots of construction going on around the big test stand.

- Three big red cranes.

- Nothing interesting near the hover pad.

5) Consider these images to be public domain. I'd appreciate credit if you want to use my images. I haven't had time to process or mark today's images in any way.

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DocM

Neat image of the Falcon family from Dev-1 to Falcon Heavy, including F9's with Dragon V1 and V2, by Maciej Olesi?ski on Google+

Link....

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DocM

After the F9 DSCOVR launch to L1 and S1 landing attempt on February 8, the next launch is a dual-manifest mission to GTO; Eutelsat 115 West B & ABS 3A (aka SatMex & ABS) on February 27. No stage landing attempt on this flight as there's not enough propellant margin.

These are the very first two Boeing 702SP all-electric propulsion commsats. Smaller, lighter and studded with Hall Effect ion thrusters they're made to be launched two at a time.

After the Boeing birds the next mission up to bat is the Dragon V2 pad abort test for the Commercial Crew program, currently set for NET March 4.

Busy-busy.

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Unobscured Vision

Oh NICE!

 

They're (of course!) going to recover the Strap-On Boosters for the Heavy-Launch Variant to keep the costs down. Those launches will be pretty busy -- not that the others won't be.

 

Thanks, DocM, for finding that wonderful photo. Nice to see what we're in for. And seeing DragonV2 on top of the bird like that?! LOVE IT. :)

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DocM

To embed use the [ video ]..url..[ /video ] tags, minus the spaces.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ca6x4QbpoM

The landing pads shown will be at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's now retired Launch Complex-13.

From the environmental report

SpaceX_Cape_Canaveral_LC13.jpg

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DocM

http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2015/02/10/spacex-air-force-sign-deal-for-landing-pad-at-cape-canaveral/23163757/

SpaceX, Air Force sign deal for landing pad at Cape

SpaceX and the Air Force have reached an agreement to use a former Atlas launch pad on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station as a landing site for returning Falcon rocket boosters, the 45th Space Wing has confirmed.

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"The way we see it, this is a classic combination of a highly successful launch past morphing into an equally promising future," Brig. Gen. Nina Armagno, commander of the 45th Space Wing, said in a statement.

"For decades, we have been refining our procedures for getting successful launches skyward here on the Eastern Range," Armagno said. "Now we're looking at processes on how to bring first-stage rockets back to earth at the first landing pad at the Cape. We live in exciting times here on the Space Coast."

>

1df3f970c8a3b055a3da1d933a9a304f.jpg

3c6d23139e83974429eef0c5b9b800f1.jpg

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DocM

Mike Gruss ?@Gruss_SN

Deborah Lee James: Air Force hopes to complete a review on what SpaceX needs to be certified ASAP by next month.

Mike Gruss ?@Gruss_SN

Air Force Secretary Expects Falcon 9

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IsItPluggedIn

So they have a month to put a report together on the list of tasks that SpaceX has to complete to be certified. Surely they already have that list otherwise how are do they know what they need to do, are they just pulling out of their asses?

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DocM

More evidence parts of the USAF is pulling s*** out of their asses.

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Unobscured Vision

Yeah, seems a little bit, no, a lot asinine for them to expect a report like that to be put together in a month.

 

Watch them have it together and submitted in half that time, just to spite those Air Force tools pulling a stunt like that. Wouldn't that be a nice "middle finger" type of gesture ... without actually presenting said gesture, of course.

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flyingskippy

Almost sounds to me as if the list is for the secretary to keep oversight on the process. That way space command can't keep changing the requirements.

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DocM

Could be. She was pretty ticked off a few weeks ago when they didn't make the December deadline.

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