SpaceX Updates (Thread 7)


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Unobscured Vision

Didn't Being and Lockheed-Martin (ULA) both find their names taken off that list recently? Something about not being "economically feasible"? Thought I read that either here or in the previous SpaceX thread ... hmm.

Doesn't matter. They're giving Orbital rides uphill (at a huge discount?) to deliver cargo, so they're probably well and happy just booking flights.

SpaceX will continue to do the job for a while. :yes:

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Draggendrop

Didn't Being and Lockheed-Martin (ULA) both find their names taken off that list recently? Something about not being "economically feasible"? Thought I read that either here or in the previous SpaceX thread ... hmm.

Doesn't matter. They're giving Orbital rides uphill (at a huge discount?) to deliver cargo, so they're probably well and happy just booking flights.

SpaceX will continue to do the job for a while. :yes:

Yes...quite right, but I assume, that until spoken from the horses mouth, big business will go with the latest reliable info, can't make a business decision on rumour or leaks...we should know very shortly as Doc had stated.......:)

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Unobscured Vision

Yes...quite right, but I assume, that until spoken from the horses mouth, big business will go with the latest reliable info, can't make a business decision on rumour or leaks...we should know very shortly as Doc had stated.......:)

Agreed. :) We'll know soon enough. And with the activity levels ramping up at McGregor, SpaceX is nothing but even more busy nowadays.

And Bigelow's first piece of gear is being prepped ... :D Can't wait to see that package delivered and tested. Sorry, I really like the direction(s) Bigelow is going, and SpaceX is the right company to partner with in that endeavour.

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Draggendrop

Exciting times...but I am still trying to be reserved. The reason, as such, is the VERY large backlog and the cadence change required to complete these launches. The future stuff is great...but these launches, for the next year.....are the big deal...and they have to be more than ready....the downtime of one "accident", is costly, another...don't even want to go there.

Will have my fingers crossed, that Elon has the "troops" energized...and I'll feel better after 6 month's of lifts.....The next year of launches, and the FH debut, will in my opinion, determine the rate of future developments....have to pay the bills, earn reliability and be the GoTo company to get the real work done. If they can get through the next 18 month's, I am sure that SpaceX will be the preeminent space exploration company of the future.....:)

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DocM

Not comfirmed, but there are rumors NASA will delay the announcement again rather than do it tomorrow.

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DocM

Read: we want SpaceX and OrbitalATK to return to flight first

@jeff_foust
CRS2 DELAY: The anticipated CRS2 award is now no later than January 30, 2016 to allow additional time for the Government to assess proposals

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Draggendrop

Just an article as per Doc's prior post...

NASA Delays Award of Commercial Cargo Contracts Again, Drops Boeing 

102212sn_Cygnus-879x485-1.thumb.jpg.e002
The delay in awarding CRS-2 contracts likely means that Orbital ATK's Cygnus spacecraft (above), as well as SpaceX's Dragon, will return to flight before NASA announces contracts for follow-on cargo missions. Credit: Orbital ATK

WASHINGTON — NASA has once again delayed the award of contracts to transport cargo to and from the International Space Station, this time not only pushing the announcement of contracts until as late as the end of January 2016 but also dropping one of the companies from the competition.

In a brief statement posted to the procurement website for the Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract Nov. 5, the previous date offered by NASA for a contract announcement, the agency said it was postponing the award to no later than Jan. 30 “to allow additional time for the Government to assess proposals.”

“CRS-2 is a complex procurement,” NASA spokesman Dan Huot said Nov. 5. The delay until late January, he said, will “allow time to complete a thorough proposal evaluation and selection.”

Huot added there was little more that the agency could say about the competition at this time, citing “a procurement communications blackout.”

However, one of the companies that submitted a proposal says it’s been notified it is no longer part of the competition. Boeing spokeswoman Kelly Kaplan said Nov. 5 that NASA informed the company shortly before announcing the award delay that it was no longer considering the company for a contract. NASA did not give a reason for the delay, she said. Boeing has requested a debrief from NASA, which may not take place until after the contracts are finally awarded.

Boeing offered to NASA a version of its CST-100 Starliner spacecraft that the company is developing for NASA’s commercial crew program. The loss of the award would not have an immediate impact on the company, Kaplan said, because of its commercial crew work.

The latest delay is the third time that NASA has pushed back the award of the CRS-2 contracts since proposals were submitted in early December 2014. In April, NASA delayed the contract awards from June to September. In August, NASA delayed the awards again, this time to Nov. 5. In both cases, NASA said it needed additional time to evaluate proposals.

NASA previously tried to allay concerns about another delay. “Cargo resupply continues to be a high priority for the ISS Program and the Agency,” NASA said in a Sept. 10 statement on the procurement website. “Evaluation of the proposals continues and NASA remains on schedule to support the November 5th award date.”

At least five companies submitted CRS-2 proposals. In additional to Orbital ATK and SpaceX, which have cargo contracts under the existing CRS program, Boeing, Lockeed Martin and Sierra Nevada Corp. all stated they submitted CRS-2 proposals. Industry sources said earlier this year that NASA has since dropped Lockheed Martin from consideration, but there has been no formal notice of a downselect by NASA or Lockheed.

Sierra Nevada Corp. spokeswoman Krystal Scordo said Nov. 5 that the company has been notified by NASA that it is still being considered for a contract. NASA, she said, “has decided to re-open discussions with offerors in the competitive range for NASA’s CRS-2 contract,” and that Sierra Nevada was “selected to re-open discussions regarding its CRS-2 proposal.”

Orbital ATK spokeswoman Sean Wilson said Nov. 5 that the company was still in the CRS-2 competition, but declined to discuss any details about the delay in awards. Lockheed Martin spokeswoman Allison Rakes said the company had no information beyond NASA’s announcement of the delay. SpaceX spokesman John Taylor declined to comment, citing company practice not to discuss ongoing procurements.

A delay in contract awards until perhaps late January would also span the predicted return to flight of Orbital’s Cygnus and SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, which have both been sidelined after launch failures. Cygnus is scheduled to launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 Dec. 3 on the first mission for that cargo spacecraft since an Antares launch failure in October 2014.

Sam Scimemi, ISS director at NASA Headquarters, told a meeting of the NASA Advisory Council’s human exploration and operations committee Nov. 5 that preparations for that mission are going well. He added that the launch could be moved up “a day or so” depending on ULA’s ability to get the Atlas ready.

SpaceX, meanwhile, is scheduled to launch its first Dragon mission since a June 28 Falcon 9 launch failure in January, Scimemi said. A schedule he presented at the meeting showed that launch slated for Jan. 3, but he noted it would take place after commercial missions SpaceX is planning for December.

That schedule is also dependent on SpaceX completing its launch failure investigation. “They’re nearing completion, as I understand it, of their accident investigation” and making unspecified modifications to the launch vehicle to support a return to flight, Scimemi said. “We’re continuing to do all of the processing that is necessary to meet the January launch date, and things are going well with that.”

 

http://spacenews.com/nasa-delays-award-of-commercial-cargo-contracts-again-drops-boeing/

:) 

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Draggendrop

Few shots of Transporter/Erector at LC 39, just uploaded to Imgur

1B2WrCD.thumb.jpg.ed857b76378fc6ca62c28d

KPkzwf4.thumb.jpg.bae6ca0206103ca00deca5

:)

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DocM

No word yet if the rest of it'll be clad like in the FH demo reel.

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Draggendrop

No word yet if the rest of it'll be clad like in the FH demo reel.

Reading oddball comments online......just like you said before...the thrust will be enormous.......may need a bit of protection for wiring, plumbing, hydraulics, etc...exciting...we are getting closer...can picture it.....:D

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Draggendrop

We have wheels.....

:)

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DocM

We could use one of those.

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Draggendrop

The T/E was up on November 7th, down on November 9th, when these photo's were put up on Imgur......39A

First...more wheels.....:woot:

3CxMSmHsss.thumb.jpg.23b1bfbedf280b0e1e1

And.........

2s3YMa2ssss.thumb.jpg.c3a3462dd57e7e3627

2voSHqXssss.thumb.jpg.d5c022a5ba834f8fc9

4qc7FO5sss.thumb.jpg.4a20e4e2b9c9ec5db8c

b8y6udfsss.thumb.jpg.420d1b5f66f225a8800

d5gP4jkssss.thumb.jpg.4fe0f55a1045d6f4e5

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qOcrNspssss.thumb.jpg.f6d0cdd95ed67250e2

rdRGVZ5sss.thumb.jpg.5743811fb22a98dd23e

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V6PZ8OUssss.thumb.jpg.18ddadcd9e4983de45

vtPxphJssss.thumb.jpg.78fe6dc4e9121d6768

:)

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Draggendrop

Misc stuff...

SpaceX to Run 'Significantly More Noticeable' Test


 

MCGREGOR -- SpaceX is planning to run a test at their rocket development facility in McGregor.

The noise from the test is expected to be significantly more noticeable than the typical tests run there daily.

The exact date and time of the test has not been set, but the earliest possible date is Monday, November 9.

http://www.kcentv.com/story/30467091/spacex-to-run-significantly-more-noticeable-test

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

SpaceX conducts test rollout for 39A Transporter/Erector

Chris Bergin has a nice article on the latest TE lift and general construction around 39A....few photo's too...

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/11/spacex-conducts-rollout-39a-te/

:)

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Draggendrop

more bit's....


This is an image from 17 miles away...test fire plume...

5rcFRBJ.thumb.jpg.3fe3afcf19df5f8262623b

F9-021 S1 full duration static fire...unofficial source

:)

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DocM

And Falcon Heavy is due next spring, meaning it'll likely be at McGregor in a 2-3 months for checkouts.

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DocM

ORBCOMM 2: 11 comm satellites at once.

Satellites and MOOG dispenser. The empty 12th satellite port will get a mass simulator to balance it out.

CRtWFOBWsAAnF0p.jpg-large.thumb.jpeg.1eb

image_(1).thumb.jpg.4605af7fe36188ad5ddb

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/3s699v/f9021_s1_full_duration_static_fire_just_occurred/

F9-021 S1 full duration static fire just occurred at McGregor. Everything looked good! (self.spacex)

They may want to conduct further checks, but the core should soon be heading off to the Cape for vehicle integration very soon. Three minute test firing looked good.

At the SLC-40 hangar, it will be integrated with the second stage. Satellites have yet to arrive IIRC.

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Draggendrop

Fidelity Move Suggests SpaceX Valuation Is Rising

SpaceX.thumb.jpg.af85109cda652fb80a3ac7d
Image via SpaceX

Fidelity's downgrading of Snapchat and other investments has understandably drawn a lot of attention, but not every company that Fidelity is invested in has had its value cut. Fidelity has actually boosted its valuation of Elon Musk's SpaceX, in which Fidelity invested $7.54 million in January.

SpaceX was valued at about $12 billion in that January round, which also included a major investment from Google. Now Fidelity has written up their own investment by 15 percent—as Fortune notes in a chart here—suggesting that SpaceX's valuation is even higher than previously reported.

As to why SpaceX would see its value go up amid a drop by other companies, it likely has a lot to do with Musk himself and how he has outlined his plans for SpaceX. While Musk has made pitches for long-term things like exploring Mars, it's ideas like a network of Internet-providing satellites that likely keep Fidelity feeling optimistic. The possible revenue from a network of satellites capable of providing high-speed Internet access anywhere on Earth is enormous. And now that the factory for building satellites is coming together, it may be relatively soon that Fidelity starts seeing some return on its investment.

That's on top of the incredibly lucrative contract SpaceX has for delivering corporate and government material into orbit and the even bigger profit inherent in its bid to become the provider of manned spacecraft for NASA. And with the evidence pointing to Musk's dedication to making SpaceX work above and beyond any of his other projects, investors at Fidelity have plenty of reason to think that SpaceX, not Snapchat, will be the real profit machine in years to come.

http://dcinno.streetwise.co/2015/11/12/fidelity-marks-up-valuation-for-elon-musks-spacex/

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

Generic update article...

 SpaceX making progress on Crewed Dragon and Falcon Heavy
http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organizations/space-exploration-technologies/spacex-making-progress-on-crewed-dragon-and-falcon-heavy/

Points of interest.....

Additional work at the facility included the installation of rails traversing the distance from the pad to the HIF. The flame trench has been resurfaced in preparation for the explosive forces they will have to endure whenever a the Falcon leaves the pad.

 

The first test of the facility will occur when a Falcon Heavy is rolled out to the pad for a Wet Dress Rehearsal (WDR). The WDR is designed to test all of the various operations of the launch vehicle and ground support operations – including fueling of the vehicle.
This is one step short of the static fire tests that SpaceX performs before every launch. After the WDR, SpaceX plans a static fire test and analysis before their first demo launch of the Falcon Heavy sometime in 2016. The actual launch date is contingent upon SpaceX returning to flight after the loss of the CSR-7 flight to the International Space Station (ISS) in June of this year.

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Unobscured Vision

SpaceX is sooooo close ... you can taste it. We're one year away from the Dragon 2 and Falcon Heavy Demo Flights ... all of this work is going to pay huge dividends.

OldSpace has no chance of catching up. The funding isn't there (and they sure as Hades won't foot the bill themselves), and the lack of innovation with what they do come up with will certainly turn away any interest. "Starliner" or whatever the blue dickens they are calling it to make it sound new and interesting is nothing more than Apollo if they designed it with 2005 technology. It's safe, it's old hat, and it's just ... bleh. Oh, and it's not going to fly until 2024.

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Draggendrop

SpaceX Falcon in Orbcomm video, 2:38 min

ORBCOMM: We are M2M

 

 

Temporary structure at Vandenberg...all images sourced from reddit

ZHlPNgS.thumb.jpg.d4b46302d81b8f1e918583

Rocket Road..at Boca Chica site...from today...

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Orbcomm booster seems to be still at McGregor on 11-13-2015

SFkMYPf.thumb.jpg.11326e0a8fc20b9008d37f

:)

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Draggendrop

FCC filing for barge landing...
https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=initial&application_seq=68528&RequestTimeout=1000

 

Lockheed-Boeing venture says will not bid for US GPS satellite launch

Nov 16 United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co, on Monday said it would not bid for the next U.S. Air Force global positioning system (GPS) satellite launch, effectively ceding the competition to privately held SpaceX.

ULA, the monopoly provider of such launches since its creation in 2006, said it was unable to submit a compliant bid because of the way the competition was structured, and because it lacked Russian-built RD-180 engines for its Atlas 5 rocket.

The Pentagon last month declined to issue a waiver from a U.S. law that last year banned use of the Russian engines for military and spy satellite launches. ULA had said it needed the waiver to compete against SpaceX, officially known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp, the only other company certified to bid for the work.

Bids were due Monday and the Air Force expects to announce a contract winner in March.

ULA Chief Executive Tory Bruno told Reuters that ULA also lacked the accounting systems to comply with the rules of the competition, which requires bidders to certify that funds from other government contracts will not benefit the GPS 3 mission.

He also said the competition's 'Lowest Price Technically Acceptable' structure meant officials could not differentiate between bids on the basis of reliability, schedule certainty, technical capability and past performance, effectively removing ULA's greatest strengths from consideration.

Prompted by Russia's annexation of Crimea last year, U.S. lawmakers banned the use of Russian RD-180 rocket engines for military and spy satellite launches after 2019.

Bruno told Reuters that ULA was disappointed that it could not compete now, but was studying potential sole-source awards and other options for future launch contracts. Bruno told reporters on Oct. 2 that ULA did not have enough engines to bid for the GPS 3 launch, the first of nine military missions identified for possible competition.

"We look forward to working with the Air Force to address the obstacles to ULA's participation in future launch competitions to enable a full and fair competition," he said in a written statement.

In an interview with Reuters, Bruno also signaled that ULA would also continue to press Congress for changes in the Russian rocket engine ban, and said he had not decided whether to mount a legal challenge to a potential contract award.

ULA no longer had a two-year supply of engines in its inventory, Bruno said, noting that it skipped a regular order for the engines in January while awaiting a resolution on how many engines it could use for military launches.

"We've been burning down through the inventory at a pretty high rate," Bruno said.

The congressional ban does not affect RD-180 engines used for NASA and commercial missions, but whenever ULA taps its current RD-180 inventory for non-military flights, it cannot order a replacement for later use on a military missions.

The ban still affects 9 of 29 engines that ULA had ordered from Russia, but not paid for, before Russia annexed Crimea. Five engines that were approved for ULA's use by Congress last year had already been assigned to other missions, and were not available for use in a bid for the new GPS launch, Bruno said.

Congress is poised to approve the use of four more RD-180 engines in a compromise version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill, but the bill has not yet been enacted into law, and bids were due on Monday.

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk last month said ULA's threat to skip the Air Force competition was "nothing less than deceptive brinkmanship" aimed at subverting the will of Congress.

Bruno said ULA's board would vote in coming days on an order of additional RD-180 engines valued at "several hundred million dollars" for commercial and civil use. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Irene Klotz; Editing by Bill Rigby)

 http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/16/space-launch-ula-idUSL1N13B2PB20151116

Of note....

"In an interview with Reuters, Bruno also signaled that ULA would also continue to press Congress for changes in the Russian rocket engine ban, and said he had not decided whether to mount a legal challenge to a potential contract award."

What a bunch of ( insert descriptor ).....

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Beittil

The coordinates mentioned in that filing put the support boat around this area. With the barge within 10 nautical miles.

NET date stated as december 10.

Screenshot from 2015-11-17 09-31-12.png

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Draggendrop

Curious location. I wonder if the choice has to do with air and marine traffic?

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DocM

Its just off Jacksonville, which is where an ASDS is usually placed for a recovery attempt. Maybe somewhat closer.

As to ships and aircraft, that's what NOTM (notice to mariners) and NOTAM (notice to airmen) are for. It's up to them to stay out of the exclusion zones.

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      Friday has the potential to be the busiest launch day, however, three of the five launches are marked as No Earlier Than.

      The first launch on Friday is that of Firefly Aerospace’s Alpha rocket will be carrying commercial payloads for Benchmark Space Systems and AstroGrams. The mission will also deploy a Spinnaker 3 dragsail prototype. In its first launch, the Alpha rocket will carry several projects from the Dedicated Research and Education Accelerator Mission (DREAM) programme which gives students and small companies a way to put their payloads in space. It is marked as No Earlier Than.

      Next up we have a Rocket Lab Electron rocket carrying two BlackSky satellites. They will join the BlackSky constellation which can produce 1000 images per day as still or as videos. Each satellite has a lifespan of three years and the full constellation should consist of 60 satellites.

      The final No Earlier Than mission on Friday is India’s GSLV-F10 mission which will launch the EOS 3 satellite for India’s space agency, ISRO. EOS 3 will provide continuous remote sensing observations over India from a geostationary orbit.

      On Friday, a Roscosmos Soyuz 2.1b will launch the Pion-NKS 1 satellite for the Russian military. It is described as an electronic intelligence-gathering satellite. Pion-NKS 1 is a new type of reconnaissance satellite that will be used for naval surveillance.

      The final mission is SpaceX’s Transporter-2. A Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket will launch several payloads to Sun-synchronous orbit as part of the rideshare mission. Aboard will be the Kleos Polar Vigilance Mission consisting of four satellites, at least four NuSats for Satellogic, YAM 3, Mars Demo 1, and a Vigoride CubeSate carrier with Skycraft, TROPICS Pathfinder, Sen EarthTV, and IRIS-A. This mission was moved forward from July but delayed from June 24.

      Recap
      The first mission we mentioned last week was Northrop Grumman’s Minotaur I rocket carrying a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office. This launch successfully went ahead.

      The exciting mission last week was the one carrying Chinese astronauts to the Chinese Space Station. Just hours after launch, they arrived at the space station. You can see clips from their arrival below.

      Three Yaogan-30 remote sensing satellites were also launched from China earlier in the week. You can see the launch from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center below.