SpaceX Updates (Thread 7)


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3 Things to Watch for From SpaceX in 2016

 

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Image via SpaceX

 

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SpaceX has had a very busy 2015, and 2016 is already starting to look crowded. A sometimes tumultuous year has set the stakes for Elon Musk and his company even higher than they have been. Take a look at some of the expectations, and challenges, that SpaceX will be faced with in the coming year.

Manned Spaceflight - Easily SpaceX's biggest project and the one getting the most attention from the public is SpaceX's part in NASA's Commercial Crew program. In November, NASA officially made its first order from SpaceX to send astronauts to the International Space Station. SpaceX and Boeing are both working on spacecraft for manned missions, but it's notable just how quickly SpaceX has moved to gain a spot with the far more entrenched Boeing. The actual decision of which will fly first hasn't been made yet, but obviously that would be an enormous coup for Musk and his team to get the nod for when the missions go up in 2017.

Military Contracts -  Another recent win for SpaceX was getting the contract to carry satellites for the Pentagon by making itself the only possible choice for the job. Not only did SpaceX get certified to carry out military launches, but it proved in court that the Russian engines used by rival United Launch Alliance violated an embargo placed on Russia by the U.S. Military jobs matter mainly because they are worth a lot of money and never really stop. All of that cash for putting up spy satellites will help keep SpaceX liquid as it works on its less secret tasks.

Internet Satellites - Some of the public, commercial work is potentially just as lucrative as the military contracts. Musk has talked about building a network of mini-satellites that would beam down Internet access for a while. Universal Internet access is a valuable commodity, not only to Internet service providers interested in reaching more customers, but to all the companies that rely on customers being able to get online to begin with. Prototype satellites are in development already and there's every reason to think that 2016 will at least see advanced testing of the system, even if it doesn't completely go online yet.

All of these reasons create a relatable context for those watching SpaceX closely. They explain why Fidelity decided to up the value of its investment in SpaceX, encouraging Wall Street to pay close attention to SpaceX in the coming year. Assuming that events proceed as SpaceX has outlined,Musk's end goal of a trip to Mars may not sound so outlandish after all.

http://dcinno.streetwise.co/2015/12/07/spacex-2016-elon-musks-internet-satellites-nasa-missions/

 

 

 

Twitter war...Bezos and Trump, now....

http://www.parabolicarc.com/

 

:)

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Misc data.....

 

US Air Force eyes contracts for Russian engine follow-on in months

 

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Dec 8 The U.S. Air Force expects to award initial small-scale contracts in two months or sooner for work on a replacement for banned Russian rocket engines, General John Hyten, commander of U.S. Air Force Space Command said on Tuesday.

 

The Air Force has received a wide range of proposals for a U.S. built engine to end U.S. reliance on the Russian RD-180 engine, which powers the workhorse Atlas 5 rocket, Hyten told reporters after an event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute.

 

"I would expect those awards in the next two month, probably sooner," Hyten said.

 

Reuters reported Monday, quoting two sources familiar with the matter, that the Air Force was in talks with Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc about government funding for the AR-1 rocket engine that it is developing.

 

The Air Force is also in discussions about a possible contract with privately held Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, according to a source familiar with the issue.

 

Work on the new engines gained urgency after U.S. lawmakers passed a ban on use of Russian RD-180 engines for launches of U.S. military or spy satellites following Russia's annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine last year.

 

Hyten said the Air Force "desperately" wanted to end its use of the Russian engines, but needed relief from the ban in the short term to ensure that it always had two separate ways to launch satellites into space in case one rocket failed.

 

The Air Force had been expected to award initial contracts for work on the new engines in the fourth quarter of 2015, but that date has now slipped by several months. The Air Force plans to split a total of about $160 million among rival bidders.

It was not immediately clear if Blue Origin, owned by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, was also in the mix.

 

Blue Origin is developing an engine for United Launch Alliance (ULA), a 50-50 rocket launch venture of Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co, although ULA is also maintaining a contract with Aerojet as a back-up plan.

 

The Air Force did not initiate contract talks with another industry team that included Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, which had proposed building a U.S. version of the RD-180 engine, according to one of the sources cited by Reuters on Monday. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by David Gregorio)

http://www.reuters.com/article/usa-airforce-engine-idUSL1N13X2TW20151209

 

(highlight done by me for emphasis)

 

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SpaceX locations on Google.......

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=zPI-aXRtCFwc.kYumI0Jr0r_A

 

:)

 

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Ohhhhh-hohoho! Curiouser and curiouser ...

 

Of course the professional moneymen are going to push as hard as possible against SpaceX having anything to do with the new engine. They can't have their "arch-nemesis" in that mix.

 

That's fine ... it'll give SpaceX time to get Dragon 2 and FH uphill, and they're already booked up to their eyeballs with Commercial flights as it is. Satellites, ISS Cargo, developing *cough* MCT *cough* Raptor *cough* ... Falcon-X ... *cough*

 

No problem, OldSpace. Elon, Marty, and the rest of the Miracle Workers are far too busy to help you with your engine troubles. You guys had a chance to get help and turned it down, if I recall. :yes:

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All this talk of looking to build a "made in America" engine, or clone an RD-180....and they have had an American engine in front of their noses, all along....plain politics and it's their own fault, and they can deal with it...SpaceX has enough adventures.....:)

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Hyten said the Air Force "desperately" wanted to end its use of the Russian engines, but needed relief from the ban in the short term to ensure that it always had two separate ways to launch satellites into space in case one rocket failed.

 

So the Falcon 9 and Delta Heavy. That is 2 ways, just because the Delta is expensive doesn't mean it is not a way,

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The engine they're talking about funding is Aerojet's AR-1, which would deliver more thrust than the RD-180 and drop into an Atlas V. The problem is those watching their program don't think it'll be ready before Vulcan. Not to mention Falcon Heavy, or the big bad BFR for really large payloads.

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From this article..

http://www.reuters.com/article/usa-airforce-engine-idUSL1N13X2TW20151209

The above article leads one to wonder what other talks are the AF involved in.....the AR-1 a given...

 

 

13 hours ago, Draggendrop said:

The Air Force plans to split a total of about $160 million among rival bidders.

Then we have this...

 

13 hours ago, Draggendrop said:

The Air Force is also in discussions about a possible contract with privately held Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, according to a source familiar with the issue.

and this.....

 

13 hours ago, Draggendrop said:

It was not immediately clear if Blue Origin, owned by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, was also in the mix.

and this...

 

13 hours ago, Draggendrop said:

The Air Force did not initiate contract talks with another industry team that included Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, which had proposed building a U.S. version of the RD-180 engine, according to one of the sources cited by Reuters on Monday.

with all the above info to help sort out this statement...

 

13 hours ago, Draggendrop said:

The Air Force plans to split a total of about $160 million among rival bidders.

hence the plural, narrowed down a little, but one or more entities are involved, AR as one and ...who else....?

 

any idea what is going on Doc ?......"twilight zone music" 

 

could BE1 or Raptor, even Merlin, be involved.....?   :)

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My opinion, and this is just my opinion.

 

Building a clone of the RD-180 is "cheating". Not cheating as in "beating the system" cheating, or circumventing the completely arbitrary ban on Russian imports (including the 180); but "cheating" in the sense of "we can't do this ourselves?!", and "what the actual [expletive]?!".

 

It occurs to me that this is indicative of a larger problem.

 

We've got some of the finest Science, Technology and Brainpower in the world, but we're slacking -- really slacking -- if we can't (or won't) handle this without resorting to "Chinese tactics". Is this what "'Murica" has become? Too mired down in the utter B.S. scenarios our "infinitely wise and snow-white Leadership" have put us in to get ourselves out of them now?

 

If that's the case, then the U.S. really is finished -- and as a Military Veteran, that really pi**es me off that things could happen this way.

 

OldSpace, and in general the U.S. Government, needs to pull their heads out of their posterior perpendiculars, start making some smart choices and stop being slaves to their own stupidity, short-sightedness and greed. Start looking at reality. The "yes-men and -women", the little sniveling, lying weasels who say or do anything they need to in order to keep "their position" and careers on the upward track -- those people need to be replaced. The incompetence has gotten out of hand.

 

Remember Detroit? How the massive City Government upheaval resulted in nearly half of the City Council (as well as a former Mayor) being sent to Federal Prison for varying degrees of corruption (among other charges)? THAT needs to happen everywhere in the U.S. Detroit was ONE city on a steep decline -- imagine the wrongdoings in a city like Chicago, or Washington D.C.?

 

/rant

 

Apologies, everyone. I got off-topic, slightly.

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Quite right...politics is the problem....and needs to be cleaned up.  These new space ventures will help create a bright new future.....if this is messed up, good luck on fixing that......

 

The space mining is potentially 10's of billions of dollars worth of growth, by itself and the shear numbers of newspace ventures makes a high growth environment along with new technologies and it's offshoot. One would have to be a fool to mess this up. Hopefully calmer heads will reel this in.:(

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1 minute ago, BetaguyGZT said:

Yep, I'm on a real tear tonight ... ugh. I need to lighten up.

Why lighten up, I am not impressed at the silliness either.....this will come to a head, and I am sure rational minds will end the day. The alternative is border jumping, and no one wants that.....newspace will continue, too much restriction and the business model will fore shadow the next move.

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I'm more flabbergasted that OldSpace didn't develop a new drop-in replacement for the 180 when they had the breathing room. They certainly had the time and funding, up until this year when that funding was pulled (and rightly so). Now they get to fund development themselves, and time isn't on their side anymore -- in other words, the playing field is level with SpaceX.

 

Guess they don't like even-stevens much.

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ULA has proven themselves to be trough feeders and incapable of competing with real business....if they can't cut it...then they should pack up and leave.

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Bwahaha ... here's an interesting thought ....

 

"ULA -- the newest customer of SpaceX". :laugh: I can see the entire Spacenews.com staff (well, not Foust, but most of the others) losing their minds over that one.

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ooooh.......SpaceX article, almost forgot what a normal article was like.......

 

SpaceX eyes Dec. 19 for first launch since June

 

16511594820_ab68ceb108_z-2.thumb.jpg.45f

File photo of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. Credit: SpaceX

 

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SpaceX is targeting Dec. 19 for a critical commercial launch that will double as the debut flight of an upgraded Falcon 9 rocket and the company’s return-to-flight mission after a failure six months ago halted SpaceX’s busy launch manifest.

Final preparations are underway inside SpaceX’s rocket assembly hangar at Cape Canaveral’s Complex 40 launch pad, where technicians are putting together the two-stage rocket and readying 11 small dishwasher-sized satellites to be orbited for Orbcomm.

Elon Musk, SpaceX’s founder and chief executive, tweeted an update on the launch early Thursday.

(tweet is in above post)...would not place itself here in the editor....DD

The prelaunch static fire test is a standard check of the Falcon 9 rocket’s readiness for flight, in which the launch team loads kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants into the booster and fires the first stage’s nine Merlin main engines for a few seconds while hold-down restraints keep the launcher from taking off.

Engineers will crunch data from the static fire, which is expected Dec. 16, before clearing the Falcon 9 for liftoff Dec. 19.

The launch window for Dec. 19 opens at 8:26 p.m. EST (0126 GMT on Dec. 20) and extends three hours.

The 11 satellites set to ride into orbit aboard the Falcon 9 are fueled and attached to their deployment system, according to Marc Eisenberg, Orbcomm’s CEO.

The satellites are part of Orbcomm’s second-generation fleet, adding to the company’s capacity to relay short messages and track trucks, ships and other vehicles for corporate clients.

Musk did not address whether the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage will attempt a landing back at Cape Canaveral following the launch. SpaceX sought approvals from the U.S. Air Force, which runs the Cape Canaveral launch range, and the Federal Aviation Administration for the landing attempt.

SpaceX wants to move its rocket recovery target from an offshore barge to a landing pad on the coast as part of the company’s research and development into making the Falcon 9 first stage reusable, an achievement officials say would cut the cost of space launches.

Several tries to recover the Falcon 9 first stage on a football field-sized ship in the Atlantic Ocean have come close to sticking the landing, but the rocket, which is fitted with four deployable landing legs, has tipped over and broken apart on each attempt.

A suborbital rocket made by Blue Origin, another commercial space firm founded by Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos, nailed a landing Nov. 23 after a short jaunt just above the 100-kilometer (62-mile) boundary with space, making it the first craft to take off under its own power, fly into space, and return to the ground safely.

Musk argued on Twitter that Blue Origin’s achievement is not comparable to the landing attempts being made by the Falcon 9 booster stage, which is larger and reaches higher speeds on its flights.

SpaceX’s last launch June 28 ended in failure, destroying a commercial Dragon supply ship carrying equipment to the International Space Station.

Musk told reporters after the failure that the most likely cause was a broken bracket holding a high-pressure helium reservoir inside the Falcon 9’s second stage liquid oxygen tank. The strut apparently fractured under the stresses of launch, causing the helium tank to break free and rupture the upper stage while the first stage was still firing about two minutes after liftoff.

SpaceX has a cramped queue of launches with satellites in storage awaiting liftoff in the coming months.

A television broadcasting satellite named SES 9 is set for launch from Cape Canaveral, and the joint U.S.-French Jason 3 oceanography satellite is awaiting a flight into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The next Dragon resupply mission to the space station is also supposed to go up no earlier than January.

SpaceX has not announce the order of the launches after the Orbcomm flight scheduled for Dec. 19.

http://spaceflightnow.com/2015/12/10/spacex-eyes-dec-19-for-first-launch-since-june/

 

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Happy Dance.....

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