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SpaceX Updates (Thread 7)

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Draggendrop    5,748

Yes...Yes.....Yes...(jumps in air)....They had to start recon eventually...why not in a few years......even bring a few probes....AND A PROPER weather station....:woot:

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Draggendrop    5,748
Draggendrop    5,748

Hiring time...big time.....

Tesla Motors, SpaceX and SolarCity – three companies influenced by Elon Musk – are currently on a massive hiring spree around the US. They already have a combined headcount of over 32,000 employees and the total is set to increase significantly in the coming months. We learned that Musk’s companies are holding joined private recruiting events, the latest of which held last weekend at SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

Recruiters from each company select students recommended through university programs and invite them to the relatively secretive events to interview with SolarCity, SpaceX or Tesla.

These events are the latest examples of synergy between Musk’s companies. SpaceX previously shared some technology and equipment with Tesla and bought solar bonds from SolarCity, while Tesla supplies energy storage systems to the solar installer, which in turn installed charging stations for Tesla’s electric vehicles and solar for many Tesla customers.

 

In addition to these events, Musk’s companies are going on hiring sprees across the country. Tesla recently hired several hundred new employees for the Gigafactory in Nevada in just one day according to sources and SolarCity recently announced its intention to attempt a similar feat by hiring 500 new sales workers though simultaneous recruiting events on Wednesday.

Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity are not new to rapid growth, but 2015 as been a particularly exceptional year so far in term of new hires with both Tesla and SolarCity adding more than 4,000 employees to their respective headcount and the recent events point to a push to expand their workforce ahead of several upcoming projects.

With the election coming up, clean tech subsidies and job creation are likely to become prominent topics again. During the 2012 election, presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticized the Obama administration for picking “losers” when investing in clean technologies, while especially mentioning Tesla Motors. Musk took the statement personally and even tried to contact the Romney clan.

Three years later, Musk’s companies are in a much stronger position, yet the CEO came under fire earlier this year after an article from the LA Times claimed his companies were receiving $4.9 billion in subsidies. These subsidies are awarded to competitors,  issued over a 20 year period and they are often linked to job creation requirements, but little attention was paid to the companies’ growing workforce.

 

Most of Tesla’s hires in the coming months and years should be to staff the company’s battery factory which they plan to bring online as soon as spring 2016. At full capacity, which is expected around 2020, Tesla could create as many as 6,500 new jobs through the initial Gigafactory…and considering the factory is referred to as “Gigafactory 1”, we could imagine them announcing another.

In addition to the Gigafactory’s workforce, Tesla is expected to significantly increase the number of employees working at the Fremont factory as the company aims at increasing its annual vehicle output at the location from 50,000 to 500,000 vehicles within the next 5 years.

Of course, the automaker will also need to expand its worldwide sales and service workforce if it plans to handle its new production output.

The company is also planning to expand its internship programs which, like for most tech companies, are already an important part of the hiring process.

Tesla CTO JB Straubel recently announced a new internship program for the summer 2016 at the Gigafactory.  Tesla hires about one-third of their interns as full-time employees according to Straubel.

 

 

SolarCity has a Gigafactory of its own where the company plans to produce 1 gigawatt of high-efficiency solar panels annually. The plant is scheduled to start production in early 2016 and could create as much as 5,000 new jobs. Although the company already started hiring for the factory, the 500 positions they will try to fill Wednesday have nothing to do with their solar panel manufacturing effort. Instead, the company is trying to expand in salesforce in ten key states.

According to CEO Lyndon Rive, SolarCity is adding 500 new employees a month on average in 2015. With the expansion of its sales team and the factory coming online next year, the company doesn’t seem to be planing to slowdown its growth in the short-term, but recently proposed legislation in California could pull the brakes on the company’s plans.

As for SpaceX, unlike its two “sister companies”, the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation is not publicly traded and therefore we have limited information about its headcount, but the company has disclosed having over 4,000 employees.

After a failure during a cargo mission for NASA in June, the company is looking at a return-to-flight launch in December.

Like Tesla and SolarCity, SpaceX is also expected to significantly expand its workforce, especially if they plan to deliver on the 60+ missions they have on manifest.

The company also plans to get into satellite manufacturing and to operate a constellation of ~4,000 communication satellites, which could explain the company’s growing hiring effort.

Musk often describes a company simply as a group of people getting together to build a product. Well Musk’s groups of people are growing bigger by the day through these new recruiting efforts.

 http://electrek.co/2015/10/18/elon-musks-quest-to-hire-america-tesla-motors-spacex-and-solarcity-are-on-a-massive-hiring-spree/

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

Elon Musk has the perfect argument for raising NASA's budget


Billionaire Elon Musk has a really compelling reason to ramp up NASA's budget: We need to become a multi-planet species to ensure the survival of the human race, and we need NASA's help to do it.

 

 

Blogger Tim Urban sat down with Musk for an in-depth article on SpaceX and Mars called "How (and Why) SpaceX Will Colonize Mars," and asked him about NASA's budget:

By "life insurance," Musk means establishing a thriving human colony on another planet before a catastrophic disaster hits the Earth and wipes out the human race, like the asteroid that took out the dinosaurs. Earth has already experienced five mass extinction events, so some argue it's only a matter of time before another disaster strikes.

That means we need a back up copy of the human race, and according to Musk, that's a plenty compelling reason to double NASA's budget.

It doesn't look like that's going to happen anytime soon, though. The problem is that Congress keeps failing to approve President Obama's budget requests, as NASA administrator Charles Bolden explains in an August op-ed for Wired.

"Since 2010, the President has received approximately $1 billion less than he requested for NASA’s Commercial Crew initiative," Bolden writes. "During this time we’ve sent $1 billion to Russia."

If history had gone differently and NASA was allowed to ride the momentum it built up during the incredible Apollo moon missions in the 60s and 70s, some experts argue that humans would have set foot on Mars long ago. We'd have a colony there already, or at least we'd be regularly sending manned missions to explore it.

Instead, NASA suffered its first monster round of budget cuts in the 70s; The budget peaked in the 60s at about 4.4% of the federal budget, but by the end of the 70s it was well below 1%. And in the decade after we landed on the moon, NASA cut its in-house staff by a third.

Such a dramatic budget cut forced NASA to scale back its grandiose plans for space exploration, including its Mars missions, and instead it put a more modest space shuttle program in place.

The budget cuts weren't over though. NASA was forced to shut the doors on its space shuttle program in 2011. Right now the budget is hovering just under 0.5% of the federal budget.

Maybe we'll see how much interest Musk and SpaceX can drum up if they pull off a Mars landing. If that happens, maybe we'll get Congress on board to give NASA a serious shot at Mars.

We're expecting Musk to unveil his plans for a giant Mars spacecraft that can seat 100 people sometime this year.

http://www.techinsider.io/elon-musk-says-we-need-to-raise-nasas-budget-2015-9

:) 

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Draggendrop    5,748

Misc bits again.....

 

 

 

 

Elon Musk and SpaceX are really all about getting to Mars, says investor


While the company and its CEO pay lip service to reaching the Red Planet, how high a priority can it be, really? Pretty high, according to what CNET contributor Eric Mack heard from one investor.

 

 

For more than a decade now, Tesla CEO Elon Musk's SpaceXcompany has seemingly been focused on creating commercial rockets that will one day be reusable, making it much cheaper to shoot stuff up to orbit, the International Space Station or beyond. But it's all just a prelude to the main mission to Mars, one SpaceX investor recently revealed onstage at a conference on working toward human settlements in space, which this writer attended.

This may come as little surprise to those who follow Musk and SpaceX closely. The billionaire industrialist for the 21st century loves to talk about going to Mars (and even nuking it) when he's not busy trying to make those recyclable rockets land just rightor worrying about artificial intelligence while slowly making hiselectric cars more autonomous.

There's always been reason to wonder how high Mars really is on Musk's list of priorities. While he's talked about sending people there in the next decade, he's been known to be a little overly optimistic with his timelines (getting his rockets off the ground took several years longer than initially hoped), and clearly the guy has other problems to solve and companies to run.

 

 

But video game legend, citizen astronaut and SpaceX investor Richard Garriott told a small audience of space enthusiasts at the New Worlds conference in Austin, Texas, on Friday that the company only exists to colonize Mars.

Garriott said that Musk likes to joke with investors, saying things like, "By the way, none of this money is coming back until we are on Mars. "

On SpaceX's own website "About" page, the company is described this way:

"SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live on other planets."

Garriott's anecdote also jives with what Musk told Tesla shareholders earlier this year on the topic of a possible future SpaceX initial public offering (Tesla is a public company, SpaceX is not): "It will go public once we have regular flights to Mars," Musk said, according to USA Today.

If that's the plan, perhaps Musk will have the motivation to hit his tight timeline for getting to the Red Planet after all, which will no doubt please investors, and probably a few more-traditional gamblers who are betting on him to beat NASA to Mars, too.

http://www.cnet.com/news/elon-musk-and-spacex-are-really-all-about-getting-to-mars-says-investor/

:) 

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DocM    16,673

From the SpaceX careers page - says it all

ROAD TO THE RED PLANET

SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not. Today SpaceX is actively developing the technologies to make this possible, with the ultimate goal of enabling human life on Mars.

WE ARE SPACEX

SpaceX is like Special Forces… we do the missions that others think are impossible. We have goals that are absurdly ambitious by any reasonable standard, but we’re going to make them happen. We have the potential here at SpaceX to have an incredible effect on the future of humanity and life itself. — Elon Musk

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Draggendrop    5,748

Nailed that one...and once in space, and on our way...X-nauts.......:D.

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Unobscured Vision    2,682

*sniff* I smell what Elon's cooking. :D

Can't wait to see the hardware they plan to use. Obviously it'll be a bit before we see everything, but seeing this large of a ramp-up in hiring as well as the various Musk companies pulling together like this, they're starting the push for Luna and Mars.

Yeah .... let's get back into "Hardware Mode", people! :)

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Draggendrop    5,748

*sniff* I smell what Elon's cooking. :D

Can't wait to see the hardware they plan to use. Obviously it'll be a bit before we see everything, but seeing this large of a ramp-up in hiring as well as the various Musk companies pulling together like this, they're starting the push for Luna and Mars.

Yeah .... let's get back into "Hardware Mode", people! :)

Elon and his investors still have a business to run, along with returns on those investments...very long term. They know the field they are in, and to ramp up hiring...going in for the "kill"...and there is no looking back......the vision will continue with/ without government contracts, but you can bet that NASA is now tied to the hip partially, they know SpaceX will make things happen for them...as well as raise the excitement level for many, to the point of gaining a better budget, because of it. This ramping up...in hindsight, has to happen know...we have a few year lag to major introductions....things have to start...yesterday, now. This is going to all work out fine...They are first and foremost, businessmen, with a very risky flair and driven "to make it happen"...true "pioneering spirit".

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malenfant    26

I wonder about a SpaceX lunar mission. Sure they could bung a refurbished Dragon on a FH and do a lunar fly-by, but would they? It's really nothing but a stunt. Nasa's locked in with SLS and Orion. Seems like an excellent way of undercutting them and they need Nasa onside.

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Draggendrop    5,748

I wonder about a SpaceX lunar mission. Sure they could bung a refurbished Dragon on a FH and do a lunar fly-by, but would they? It's really nothing but a stunt. Nasa's locked in with SLS and Orion. Seems like an excellent way of undercutting them and they need Nasa onside.

A while back, I was rooting for them to do this on a demo.....but now....massive backlog for F9 launches and 1 FH demo and 4 more booked FH flights for 2016 and more bookings coming all the time. The new launch cadence will be much quicker.....leaving me to believe, that "time", is not on our side for a cool lunar flyby launch...at least not near future.......just my opinion though....:D

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DocM    16,673

Demo flight and 6 more FH flights. They're already booking Boca Chica in addition to LC-39A, and LC-40 will also get FH upgrades. FH will loom large in their Mars survey plans, and a lunar practice run to test deep space comms, tracking and the radiation environment makes sense.

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Draggendrop    5,748

Quite true...could see this in 2017 on......SpaceX has a real mess of launches which they "must' get up...and stay on schedule...this is going to be a "trying" time for multiple launch and integration crews......:)

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Draggendrop    5,748

WhiteHouseAstronomyNight2015.thumb.jpg.1
 

White House Astronomy Night (NHQ201510190027)

 

NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley, left and Robert Behnken, right, look at a SpaceX display during the second White House Astronomy Night on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. Hurley and Behnken, along with fellow NASA astronauts Sunita Williams and Eric Boe were selected as the first four astronauts to train to fly to space aboard a commercial carrier as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program. The second White House Astronomy Night brought together students, teachers, scientists, and NASA astronauts for a night of stargazing and space-related educational activities to promote the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)


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

OG2-sat.thumb.jpg.40e6f0dde06c7fd61fa548
An ORBCOMM OG-2 satellite undergoes testing prior to launch. Credit: Sierra Nevada Corp

 

Above picture of one of the satellites on the RTF upcoming launch...from generic article on the payload switch, for SpaceX...

SpaceX Sets Ambitious Falcon 9 ‘Return to Flight’ Agenda with Dual December Blastoffs
http://www.universetoday.com/120085/spacex-sets-ambitious-falcon-9-return-to-flight-agenda-with-dual-december-blastoffs/

The double barreled salvo of Falcon 9 blastoffs both involve launches of commercial communications satellites – first for Orbcomm followed by SES – and are specifically devised to allow a gradually ramp up in complexity, as SpaceX introduces fixes for the launch failure and multiple improvements to the boosters overall design.

The order of launches for the inaugural Return to Flight slot has been switched from SES to Orbcomm by mutual agreement since it involves using a simpler launch profile, according to announcements by both Orbcomm and SpaceX.


Later.....:) 

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Draggendrop    5,748

SpaceX DragonFly arrives at McGregor for testing

 

Z32FF-350x139.thumb.jpg.cc241ac0c1265c35

SpaceX’s DragonFly test vehicle has arrived at the company’s test facility in McGregor, Texas. DragonFly will be attached to a large crane, ahead of a series of test firings of its SuperDraco thrusters to set the stage towards the eventual goal of propulsive landings. The first test is set to take place in the next few weeks to kick start around two years of incremental testing.

How To Train Your Dragon 2:

SpaceX’s aspiration towards fully reusable rocket systems is an ongoing process currently focused on the recovery and reuse of the first stage of its Falcon 9.

Although plans to reuse the second stage are currently on the back burner, several attempts to land the core stage on a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean have resulted in incremental refinements and improvements – although SpaceX is yet to nail a landing.

 

 2015-10-20-150534-350x248.thumb.jpg.cb22

Testing towards that goal began withthe Grasshopper program, based at the McGregor test center. NowDragonFly will attempt to follow in its footsteps, as the spacecraft sets up for a series of tests aimed at the ultimate goal of landing under its own propulsive power.

Arriving at the McGregor site on the back of a flatbed truck this month, the DragonFly enjoyed a brief meeting with the Grasshopper test vehicle for a photo opportunity.

Initially, DragonFly won’t be reaching the heights of the Grasshopper or the since-deceased F-9R Dev-1 test rocket.

That is in part due to the initial test sequence that will be incremental in its approach, but mainly due to the guidance provided in the current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) permit.

“SpaceX may operate the Dragonfly vehicle to an altitude that does not exceed 80 feet AGL, in accordance with its application.”

Although the permit also calls for numerous additional constraints, such as a 3,000-foot safety clear zone, the test will be monitored close up by numerous engineering cameras, likely – per SpaceX’s tradition – to result in a specular video of the testing to be released to the public.

 

 2015-10-20-164709-350x254.thumb.jpg.82a1

What such a video will show will be the DragonFly “dancing” under the power of her SuperDraco thrusters while tethered to a large crane.

That crane has also been spotted at McGregor by locals, separate from the cranes associated with the regular testing of stages at the test site.

Such a technique of tethering a rocket-powered vehicle to a crane has been seen many times before, not least the initial testing ofNASA’s Morpheus lander that was utilized to test green propellant propulsion systems and autonomous landing and hazard detection technology.

The Morpheus project ran from its conception in the summer of 2010, through to its final test flight in December of 2014.

It was first tested at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) via a number of powered tests while attached via tethers to a crane.

It later flew unaided at the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) at KSC, prior to suffering a failure.

Its successor followed a similar path before successfully completing the test objectives at the SLF.

 

 2015-05-05-235729-350x227.thumb.jpg.1887

The DragonFly will follow a similar path to Morpheus. Sporting four steel landing legs and weighing in at 14000 lbs unfueled, the initial tests will shake out the SuperDraco thrusters and prepare the vehicle for an ambitious test regime.

DragonFly testing will be housed at a 40-foot square pad near the SuperDraco facility.

Pending permit requirements, four kinds of test flights are envisioned after the crane-based testing has been completed.

These include the “Propulsive assist landing” test – which will see DragonFly dropped from helicopter (an Erickson E‐model or equivalent) aided by three parachutes. This will be followed by the “Fully propulsive landing” test – again utilizing a helicopter and parachutes, concluding with a five-second firing of the SuperDracos for a smooth landing.

 

 2015-01-26-18_44_31-L2-Level_-SpaceX-F9_

Next would be the “Propulsive assist hop” test. This would call for the DragonFly to be self-launched via a 12.5 second firing of the SuperDracos, removing the helicopter from testing. It would include parachute deployment assist, but with only two chutes, prior to a propulsive landing.

Finally, the test series calls for a “Fully propulsive hop” test, not unlike the Grasshopper tests. During this test, the DragonFly will rise to approximately 7,000 ft AGL, firing its engines for approximately 12.5 seconds to achieve this height.

 

 Z9.thumb.jpg.5b19ef03b8c2aed41c1156680eb

The engines would then throttle down in order to descend, with the engines firing for an additional approximate 12. 5 seconds, allowing the DragonFly to make a powered landing on the launch pad.

The SuperDracos – burning a combination of monomethylhydrazine (MMH) and nitrogen tetroxide (NTO) – that will be at the heart of the testing have already enjoyed a successful test as a group, firing together during the successful Pad Abort test at SpaceX’s SLC-40 Pad at Cape Canaveral.

The liquid SuperDraco engines, built into the side walls of the Dragon spacecraft, have a major role during an abort, producing up to 120,000 pounds of axial thrust to drive the Dragon and crew safely away from a failing launch vehicle. 

They can reach full thrust within approximately 100 milliseconds of the ignition command.

The utilization of the same engines for a propulsive landing capability ensures they will always find a role during Dragon 2’s future role.

Dragon 2 – which is set to launch to the ISS under NASA’s Commercial Crew contract – will initially land under parachutes, prior to progressing towards propulsive landing attempts. Parachutes will remain installed on the spacecraft, in order to provide redundancy.

The initial DragonFly testing is expected to take place in a matter of weeks, following on from the full-duration static fire test for the first upgraded “Full Thrust” Falcon 9 first stage.

The stage, which is set to provide the initial push uphill for the ORBCOMM-2 mission – is back on the test stand at McGregor and is currently undergoing engine re-installation in preparation for its final test ahead of shipping to Cape Canaveral for SpaceX’s Return To Flight mission in December.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/10/spacex-dragonfly-arrives-mcgregor-testing/
October 21, 2015 by Chris Bergin

Good article bt Chris Bergin.......

This is an image created by ZLSI on reddit spacex...

af572ke.png

 

Later....:)

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Draggendrop    5,748

Soil headed to Boca Chica for SpaceX


557f897a1f4c4.image.thumb.jpg.2b97477d04
MGN Online

 BOCA CHICA -- Arrangements are in full gear to start preparing land, which will house the world’s first commercial and vertical rocket launch site here.

   Truckload after truckload after truckload of soil soon will be spotted traveling to the site.

   “This fall, in order to stabilize the ground at the site, SpaceX will begin a process known as soil surcharging,” John Taylor, spokesman for Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies, told the Star.

  “Between now and January 2016, the company will be transporting 310,000 cubic yards of new soil to the locations where all the major facilities will be built at the complex,” Taylor said.

  That’s a lot of soil.

  “That’s enough to cover a football field in 13 stories worth of dirt,” Taylor said.

  The source of the soil could not be immediately ascertained, but it is Rio Grande Valley soil, the Star learned.

 The  site of the $100 million launch complex in the makings  is 17 miles east-northeast of the Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport and about 5 miles south of South Padre Island.

  SpaceX plans to launch the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy orbital vertical rockets, which also could carry the Dragon capsule, and a variety of smaller, reusable suborbital launch vehicles from Boca Chica.

   “The new soil will be more suitable for supporting the foundations of the launch complex structures than the native clay and sand,” Taylor said. “

  “In addition, SpaceX will ensure that no non-native species will be inadvertently introduced to the area,” he said.

   The number of trucks required to haul the soil to the site was not immediately known, but it is said that a cubic yard of soil weighs in the vicinity of one ton.

  SpaceX now owns about 140 acres of land. The purchases mostly have been made through SpaceX’s Dogleg Park LLC.

  Nearby neighbor, the Brownsville Navigation District pitched in an additional 50 acres for SpaceX’s wetland mitigation plan, public records show.

  SpaceX, in turn, transferred, or will transfer, the acreage to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in order to mitigate impacts to wetlands.

   SpaceX’s 2013 mitigation plan has gone through 10 revisions through April 2015, public records show.

 http://www.valleymorningstar.com/news/article_394ec4e2-785d-11e5-b676-1baf3e1b66c1.html

editor problems again.......:)

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DocM    16,673

We should see a 180+ second static fire of F9 FT on the new stand at McGregor in the next week or so. With DragonFly also looking at a tethered test in the same time frame we should be getting some cool new videos to ooh and ahh over.

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bguy_1986    358

Awesome  :D.  Seems like it's been a while!

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FloatingFatMan    19,213

We should see a 180+ second static fire of F9 FT on the new stand at McGregor in the next week or so. With DragonFly also looking at a tethered test in the same time frame we should be getting some cool new videos to ooh and ahh over.

I have a serious hankering for seeing Dragon 2 taking a ride, even tethered. I soooo wanna see that beauty fly!

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DocM    16,673

NSF is getting more exciting by the day....

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38677.msg1437710#msg1437710

#5 by Peter NASA on 20 Oct, 2015 08:21

Quote from: Dalhousie on 19 Oct, 2015 16:51

I think this report is rather misleading.  Not being on L2 I can't read what it's based on but NASA as an organisation not selected Jezero Crater for a crewed landing site, at most it is the opinion of one team. October 27-29 there is a workshop at the LPI that will consider a whole range of landing sites, Jezero is just one of them.  The program can be found at http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/explorationzone2015/pdf/program.pdf

The report is accurate. Your interpretation is not. It's the current SITE A option. More options will be evaluated. Nothing has been selected as the official landing site, not least because that's too far away and SpaceX will likely have a base on Mars by then anyway.

Yes, I just said that.

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DocM    16,673

http://www.kxxv.com/story/30348563/spacex-starting-louder-than-normal-tests-this-week

Posted: Oct 26, 2015 9:18 AM EDT

By Anthony J. GarciaCONNECT

SpaceX has announced that they will be running tests on their rocket development facility in McGregor.

The company says people can expect significantly more noticeable notice noise than they typically hear when SpaceX runs tests.

Tests are expected to start Monday, Oct. 26 at the earliest.

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DocM    16,673

There was a 3 minute very loud noise at McGregor this evening, which could be the F9 FT core for ORBCOMM-2. Waiting for official word/video.

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anthdci    228

honeymoon booked, ill be in orlando from april 21st until may 5th. Please please please have the falcon heavy demo during that time :jump:

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DocM    16,673

New satellite images of the recent McGregor test site additions. They're rampin' up to some major noisemaking.

Overview
ec385a11b8d0f97d8590c9684170ea06.jpg

Falcon Booster Test Stand (Falcon 9 Full Thrust and Falcon Heavy)
f9eda30c9077047d94dcf3e80d4c4094.jpg

Triple Horizontal Test Stand. Raptor parts & MCT thrusters?
bf39d2bbd7e76d6a4147c83445de262d.jpg

Triple Stand support
334ee09fda89e0ff9e1f3a855ddce44c.jpg

New Vertical (engine?) Test Stand (Raptor?) There probably have been structures erected since these were taken.
aa02e28b91b6da4c76ff07073a001fb8.jpg

Zoomed in on the flame trench with a same scale pickup truck from elsewhere in the frame overlaid. If it's an F-250 class pickup it would be 228 - 263" (5.8 - 6.7 meters) long and 80" (2.03 meters) wide.
ac94050cc77d4683ceba7f8ff6cabb8f.jpg

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Draggendrop    5,748

Misc bits....

 

Pad 39A FH erector assembly.......(from L2)
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36100.msg1442312#msg1442312

1.thumb.jpg.bb551bf8eac11dca3c5ff9a2e932

2.thumb.jpg.050b026939e3abfd7daaa10f1392

3.thumb.jpg.5c4841b9442ff103d160e008ea9b

and.......

Musk's SpaceX Faces Competition for $3.5 Billion NASA Cargo Flights

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-04/musk-s-spacex-finds-crowd-for-3-5-billion-nasa-cargo-flights?cmpid=yhoo.headline

Less than a decade after its first rocket launch, Elon Musk’s SpaceX finds itself in an unfamiliar position.

The upstart venture is the incumbent vying to win the bulk of a $3.5 billion U.S. contract renewal while facing rivals that include Boeing Co., whose spaceflight roots date to the 1950s. At stake: a seven-year agreement to haul supplies and experiments to the International Space Station.


more data at the link, stuff we already knew, but is floating in the business community.....:)

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