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Beittil

Most interresting tidbits imho are the fact that 39A is now apparently an ACTIVE launchpad and that Brownsville is going to face 2 years of dirtwork because the soil there is mostly quicksand :s That has to be a blow to them.

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Draggendrop
Just now, Beittil said:

Most interresting tidbits imho are the fact that 39A is now apparently an ACTIVE launchpad and that Brownsville is going to face 2 years of dirtwork because the soil there is mostly quicksand :s That has to be a blow to them.

I had been reading articles about the soil compaction techniques...does take a lot of time, but I am sure there are other items on the list that can be done while waiting out this process. A bit amazed to learn 39A is ready to roll...this is outstanding...got me curious now as to when we start to see all launches there or a combination of 39A and 40.

 

This is cheer up news...thanx much....

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PaulRocket

Any guesses on what changes they might make to the rocket? Obviously they want to make it more robust, but any specific, educated guesses?

 

Also when could we see the first flight out of LC-39A? They need to get back to launching rockets!

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DocM

My guess is the first flight out of 39A will be Falcon Heavy this summer. 

 

There are bits about the problems on L2 but not conclusive and embargoed anyhow.

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Draggendrop

/s       I'm still pushing for the LED lights on the landing legs.....:D

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DocM

Just watched her comments, and it took 15 minutes to find her comments in a loonnnggg video. Here's a few more details.

 

1) they're targeting 40-50 cores a year, plus landed cores to reuse.

 

2) going to mass produce 450-500 Merlin engines a year (!), and adding automated production.

 

3) the production area has been processing 3 cores at a time, but that area has been expanded to process 6 cores at a time.

 

4) the key thing is to get the basic  Falcon Heavy Full Thrust flying, but in a year or two they will add propellant crossfeed (~60 tonnes LEO.) 

 

(Note: and of the course Raptor upper stage will seriously kick that in the pants)

 

5) for Raptor, SpaceX is working with several universities; metallurgy, new materials, new technologies etc.

 

6) Boca Chica's soil is pretty bad so they will be improving the foundation, adding and compacting fill then building a "concrete mountain" like LC-39A.

 

7) first targeting a cadence of weekly launches, then daily.

 

(Note: many of these would be launching and maintaining their 4,025 satellite communications constellation.)

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Unobscured Vision

Nice! My calculations were off a bit. I was calling Falcon Heavy FT's capacity at 69.9 T to LEO; almost 14% over. Even if they aren't recovering the cores it won't do that, and economically speaking it's not worth the added price tag anyway. If we throw in the Raptor S2, maybe we can get away with it but likely not recovering cores, sadly.

 

If we're talking FH-X with an all-Raptor design, then yeah, no problem. It'll lift Bigelow's BA-2100 plus some. :yes: By then they'll be using a BFR, so it won't matter -- that thing will haul several BA-2100's as well as .. other things .. :shifty:

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Draggendrop

"Holy shrapnel Batman and Robin"...I've just sustained a blizzard force of information "candy"......I need a seat...my head hurts....

 

56b2d6092f48e_yesindead.thumb.jpg.e316e2

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DocM

I can't wait to see those updated Falcon Heavy numbers, and if they'll be for just the "basic" or also for the crossfeed and (unlikely) Raptor upper stage versions.

 

My God, that thing is going to be a friggin' BEAST

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Unobscured Vision
42 minutes ago, DocM said:

I can't wait to see those updated Falcon Heavy numbers, and if they'll be for just the "basic" or also for the crossfeed and (unlikely) Raptor upper stage versions.

 

My God, that thing is going to be a friggin' BEAST

Oh yeah, still gonna be a monster lifter. Way better by far of anything the Shuttle could tote uphill. The BA-2100, however .. sadly I don't think the FH can lift it as-is. Might have to reconfigure with some lighter materials as a BA-2101 to save weight.

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Draggendrop

IMHO, the FHFT is a major game changer towards affordability of heavy lifts. This creates a bit of a divide in lift rational. The size of the lift has to be matched to mission use and affordability. The various sizes of Bigelow designs are interesting...but a 100 ton monster is a bit ridiculous for launch costs when one would need a BFS or SLS...and the launch cost...no...not smart. If one wants a station that large, lift it in large sections on affordable platforms like heavies and use mechanical joining once in space. two FHFT lifts are a lot cheaper than an SLS, therefore design it as so.

 

:)

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PaulRocket

Matthew Travis, a launch photographer said he saw F9 vertical on LC-39A. Apparently he passed by while setting up cameras at LC-41 for the Atlas launch. No pictures posted yet.

 

http://imgur.com/7h6idNJ

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Draggendrop

Yes, and apparently, as he left LC-41, it was down......equipment checks, process checks...??  It's nice to have eyes around the area though...:)

 

entertainment....

 

Iron Man 2 Elon Musk, video is 12 seconds...

 

 

 

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Draggendrop

Confirmation articles 

 

SpaceX seeks to accelerate Falcon 9 production and launch rates this year

http://spacenews.com/spacex-seeks-to-accelerate-falcon-9-production-and-launch-rates-this-year/

 

SpaceX will modify its Falcon 9 rocket based on tests of its landed vehicle

http://www.theverge.com/2016/2/3/10906966/spacex-falcon-9-rocket-changes-reduce-refurbishment

 

Vandenberg Air Force Base Facing Busy Launch Year In 2016

 

Quote

Vandenberg Air Force Base is gearing up for a busy — and compressed—year of launches, a top officer said Wednesday afternoon, outlining upcoming history-making moments for the installation.

 

Col. J. Christopher Moss, 30th Space Wing commander, spoke during an annual joint luncheon of the Santa Maria and Lompoc Chambers of Commerce at the Pacific Coast Club on base. 

 

“2016 is really shaping up be another exciting year,” he said. 

 

So far, the base has conducted two launches, with a third, a Delta 4 with top-secret payload, just a week away.

 

The base expects to have as many as 11 blastoffs in 2016, compared to seven last year.

 

“This is an aggressive launch schedule,” he said. “Team Vandenberg is going to be busy.”

 

The manifest includes four tests of unarmed Minuteman III missiles, plus a trio of Space Exploration Technologies Falcon rockets with commercial satellites.

 

The schedule also calls for a United Launch Alliance commercial Atlas 5 mission and an Orbital ATK Minotaur rocket mission to lift spacecraft for Skybox Imaging. The Google subsidiary’s intends to launch high-resolution imaging and video-capable spacecraft 

 

SpaceX also plans to conduct it’s first “flyback” mission during which the rocket’s first stage will return and attempt to land at the base. 

“We are planning for that now and expect in 2016 to do our very first flyback mission here at Vandenberg,” Moss said. “Fascinating technology. This has the potential to change the way we really think about space launch.”

 

SpaceX attempted to land a rocket on a barge last month following a launch from the base, but a leg collapsed and the first stage toppled over.

more at the link...

http://www.noozhawk.com/article/vandenberg_afb_facing_busy_launch_year_in_20161

 

-------------------------

 

Luxembourg to invest in space-based asteroid mining

 

Quote

PARIS —The Luxembourg government on Feb. 3 announced it would seek to jump-start an industrial sector to mine asteroid resources in space by creating regulatory and financial incentives.

 

The incentives include co-investment in research and development and, eventually, direct capital investment in space resource-mining companies setting up shop in Luxembourg.

 

Announced by Vice Prime Minister Etienne Schneider, who is also the nation’s economics minister, the initiative has already lured U.S.-based Deep Space Industries of Mountain View, California, to create a Luxembourg subsidiary. Schneider said other U.S. companies, including SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, and Planetary Resources of Redmond, Washington, are in talks with Luxembourg authorities regarding the Spaceresources.lu venture.

 

Luxembourg is home to satellite fleet operator SES, whose ascension from outsider-startup status in the 1980s to today’s place as one of the two largest commercial fleet operators by revenue Schneider cited an example of what is possible when Luxembourg sets its mind to something.

 

SES in the past three years has been the biggest commercial backer of SpaceX, whose stated corporate mission is the establishment of a human colony on Mars. Schneider said extracting water from asteroids to create fuel for deep-space missions is one application of space mining.

 

In an interview, Schneider said the Luxembourg government has already selected a European, an American and a Chinese national to be members of the advisory board. The Chinese and U.S. members will be arriving in the next couple of months, he said. The European is Jean-Jacques Dordain, former director-general of the 22-nation European Space Agency.

 

In a press briefing with Schneider, Dordain said the tools that the Luxembourg government is placing at the disposal of space-mining companies means space-mining entrepreneurs “have no more excuses to go to California.”

 

Schneider cautioned that Luxembourg is not offering tax haven-type advantages.

 

“There is no special tax treatment for these companies,” he said. “Companies will be coming for the infrastructure we have here and for the R&D support we are going to give them.”

more at...

http://spacenews.com/luxembourg-to-invest-in-space-based-asteroid-mining/

 

Tiny Luxembourg Looks to Make a Big Splash in Asteroid Mining

https://news.vice.com/article/tiny-luxembourg-looks-to-make-a-big-splash-in-asteroid-mining

 

Luxembourg hopes to spur the next 'gold rush' in space

http://www.pri.org/stories/2016-02-03/luxembourg-hopes-spur-next-gold-rush-space

 

:)

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Draggendrop

Just found this...

 

SpaceX McGregor Test - 3 Feb 2016

video is 2:08 min.

 

 

 

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DocM

Wow....very slick design. Much like in the FH concept video.

 

 

 

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Unobscured Vision

Sticking to the plan ... :shifty:

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Draggendrop

With the above mention of a Falcon 9 up and down today....I think we found our culprit....a good looking erector, which is same color and profile as F9 from an obscured view...no pun intended....:D

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Beittil

How nice of them to do this exactly at the moment that all pressers get wheeled by on their way to set up camera's for todays ULA launch :p

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DocM

Pure coincidence, I tell you!! :whistle: 

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Draggendrop

 

 

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DocM

Delay = visiting vehicles schedule issues. It was on for March 20 but the logistics didn't work.

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Draggendrop

Rains or shines....the ISS is going to be crazy for a few months....the high beta angles this month don't help either....:D

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Draggendrop

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