SpaceX Updates (Thread 7)


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FloatingFatMan

I'm more excited for this than I am for seeing Star Wars on the 19th... :p

 

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Draggendrop

misc info...

 

:)

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Draggendrop

Now, this is a class act...well done...

Read the commentary, it's great....

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/7547788856 )

redirect on the link...or ....remove brackets for the full link and posting of commentary  for this picture.

 

An Apollo Tribute to SpaceX

 

:D

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DocM

BFR and BFS, via GQ

http://www.gq.com/story/elon-musk-mars-spacex-tesla-interview?utm_source=10370

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SpaceX exists to further this quest on several fronts: to develop the reusable rocket technology that would be needed to ferry large numbers of people, and large amounts of cargo, to Mars; to earn money to finance this goal; and to work out exactly what it would take to get to and from Mars in the way that Musk envisions. If you didn't know what "Mars colonial transport architecture" was—that's what it is.

 

Musk and his colleagues aren't vaguely hypothesizing about what people might like to do in some distant future generation—he believes the first manned Mars mission will be possible by the time he's in his fifties. He is now 44. The rocket that they are working on is referred to internally by the code name BFR. And it doesn't stand for some arcane, smarty-pants science term. It stands for Big F***ing Rocket.

 

I ask Musk whether he really calls it that; his answer is both delightfully nerdy, and not.

 

"Well, there's two parts of it—there's a booster rocket and there's a spaceship. So the booster rocket's just to get it out of Earth's gravity because Earth has quite a deep gravity well and thick atmosphere, but the spaceship can go from Mars to Earth without any booster, because Mars's gravity is weaker and the atmosphere's thinner, so it's got enough capability to get all the way back here by itself. It needs a helping hand out of Earth's gravity well. So, technically, it would be the BFR and the BFS." As in "Big F***ing Spaceship."
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Musk has previously said that he would publicly present some specifics of his Mars-colonization plans later this year, though he tells me that it may now be early next year. "Before we announce it, I want to make sure that we're not gonna make really big changes to it," he says. "Um, yeah. I think it's gonna seem pretty crazy, no matter what."

 

Just because it's so far beyond what people would imagine?

 

He laughs. "It's really big." And laughs again. "It's really big. There's not been any architecture like this described that I'm aware of."
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Unobscured Vision

We always knew that's what it stood for ... but "BFS" must be the Colonial Transport itself. 50 souls at a time, from what I understand.

 

Gotta love SpaceX's moxy. I bet Marty is the one that called it the "BFR", 'cause "that's what it is". :yes: 

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Draggendrop

/s      Built For Reuse.....Big Frontier Rocket........Bound For Realestate

 

:woot:

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Unobscured Vision

Because Flowers Respawn ...

 

I got a few of those too. :D 

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DocM
2 hours ago, BetaguyGZT said:

We always knew that's what it stood for ... but "BFS" must be the Colonial Transport itself. eventually up to 50 100 souls at a time, from what I understand.

 

Gotta love SpaceX's moxy. I bet Marty is the one that called it the "BFR", 'cause "that's what it is". :yes: 

Fixed. 100 is what they've mentioned.

 

BFR is expected to have 15 meter core diameter, and a payload fairing is often 1.5x the core diameter. That could mean a BFS up to 22.5 meters wide, and some multiple of its diameter high. If the BFS is a " Super Dragon" in proportions (1.65h:1w)  it could be 37+ meters tall.

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Unobscured Vision

Thank you kindly. (Y) 100 Colonists at a time it shall be then.

 

Can't wait to see what they come up with.

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Draggendrop
4 hours ago, DocM said:

Fixed. 100 is what they've mentioned.

 

BFR is expected to have 15 meter core diameter, and a payload fairing is often 1.5x the core diameter. That could mean a BFS up to 22.5 meters wide, and some multiple of its diameter high. If the BFS is a " Super Dragon" in proportions (1.65h:1w)  it could be 37+ meters tall.

These dimensions are incredible.......the things that can be put on it are astounding.....:)

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Draggendrop

 

Some unofficial rumors are that the initial launch spacing may have been coverage for the Cygnus launch as well as extra time for Cygnus unloading and the Dragon cargo reshuffle to put the new spare sequential shunt unit on the load.....power channel problem from a few weeks ago. 

 

The high beta angle will be over during the first part of January, and the crew will have time to move all the cargo from the enhanced Cygnus, as well as new crew members getting their "wings"

 

What do you guys figure?    Gives a bit of breathing room anyway.    :)

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DocM

And time to get ORBCOMM, SES-9 and Jason 3 off the ground.

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Draggendrop

Bit of info from Space.com article......

 

SpaceX, ULA Transforming Historic Launchpads for Commercial Crew Flights

http://www.space.com/31357-spacex-ula-transforming-historic-launchpads-for-commercial-crew-flights.html

 

 

Quote

Tower takedown

NASA's Launch Pad 39A has been steadily losing its iconic space shuttle-era configuration as SpaceX has worked to bring it up to code and modify it for commercial operations.

 

"In an essentially a year, they've built a processing facility, finished up all the construction for their fluid and electrical systems, and they built the transporter erector," recounted Scott, who's been focusing on SpaceX's launchpad work as the ground and mission ops technical lead in NASA's Commercial Crew Program. "They've made huge strides in this past year to get [this pad] ready."

 

When the shuttle was flying (and before it the Apollo-era's Saturn rockets), it was moved from the Vehicle Assembly Building some three and a half miles away to the pad by a crawler transporter. Standing vertical atop a mobile launch platform, the shuttle was positioned next to a fixed gantry tower and then a rotating service structure swung around to load cargo and further prepare the shuttle for launch.

SpaceX is taking a different approach. The company has built a horizontal integration facility — a long hangar — at the entrance to the pad, inside of which the Falcon rockets will be processed. A transporter erector will then move the booster by rail to the top of the pad, where the Falcon will be raised to the vertical, its Dragon spacecraft or payload already mounted atop it.

 

For crewed launches, the astronauts will board the Dragon using the same fixed service structure as was used for the shuttle, but modified for the Falcon. The gantry will gain a new crew access arm in Spring 2016 and will lose its top-mounted mast in favor of a new set of lightning protection towers positioned in a Y-shape around the pad.

Further, the rotating service structure (RSS) is set to come down.

 

"That is going to start coming down in January," Scott said, referring to the RSS. "They have the contractors [selected] who are going to be doing that disassembly and bringing that down. It will come down in pieces, it won't come down in one big chunk."

SpaceX had originally said it wanted to preserve as much of the pad's historic structures as possible, but leaving the no-longer-needed RSS in place would pose a safety risk, noted Scott.

 

"It is a maintenance kind of issue, a [foreign object debris] FOD issue," she explained. "In this [sea air] environment, it does not take long for corrosion to begin happening. Then you create some type of FOD that would be damaging to your rocket during launch."

The RSS and other hardware removed from Pad 39A will be returned to NASA for artifact screening and disposition.

 

SpaceX is intending to launch its first Falcon from the pad next year. If the schedule holds, the first spaceflight of the Crew Dragon, albeit without astronauts, could lift off from Pad 39A by the end of 2016.

 

"We just got through a couple of weeks ago — just before Thanksgiving, doing an evaluation of the pad, all their fluid, electrical and mechanical systems, [and] also their launch control system, and have given it an okay to move out of the construction phase into where they are ready to begin processing," Scott described. "They're ready to have a first stage piece out here and start doing some processing."

:)

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Unobscured Vision

Aha, so now we have a better idea of when the crewed Dragon will do a test flight.

 

Popcorn night and NASA-HD on the big screen! 48" of SpaceX in all its' HD glory ... I wanna see it! :yes: 

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Draggendrop

Just browsing through a generic SpaceX article ......

 

Falcon 9’s near-term manifest coming into focus

http://spaceflightnow.com/2015/12/13/falcon-9s-near-term-manifest-coming-into-focus/

 

I knew about the large backlog, and this puts it in perspective....

 

Quote

SpaceX’s manifest, with a backlog of more than 50 launches the company claims is worth $7 billion, 

Not only will this be high cadence...but prolonged....

 

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

 

Some of the guys on reddit had been playing with the size comparison for a 15 meter core and came up with this...all unofficial and just for fun...

 

n2mJI8s.jpg

 

This will need a meteor crater or mine hole, for a flame trench.......

 

and this... with Saturn 5 and F9

 

MBMZDaj.jpg

 

BFR may be an understatement...need more verbs

 

:D

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Unobscured Vision

... it's going to be a vulgar display of power when that candle gets lit. Eye, ear and blast protection will be required for anyone within 5 km of that beast.

 

And no, I'm not kidding.

 

It's going to be on a whole other level of power. It'll likely destroy the launch tower as it lifts off, at least partially, from the acoustic energy alone. The transient force from all of those Raptor engines will expand outward and downwards at 1/8th of the vehicle length below (if not further) and to the side, making that area a literal "kill zone" for anything nearby when those engines are at full thrust. Yeah ... it's gonna be a force of destruction, certainly.

 

Not to say that SpaceX won't take every conceivable safety precaution necessary and possible for both life and property, because they will. I'm just saying that the Launch Tower is not likely to remain standing in one piece & undamaged unless it's designed to account for those forces and be well away from the vehicle when it launches. I suggest a "Retractable Tower", one that pulls away from the entire LV just before it fires those engines. The Russians are professionals when it comes to retraction -- literal masters of it. I recommend that SpaceX follow the same line of thinking. :yes: 

 

Can't wait to see what they come up with.

 

 

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Draggendrop

This may require a remote site, far away from civilian damage. It would be a major complex, for multiple launches and infrastructure tailored to these missions....downtown Florida will not do.....:D

 

In fact, this may have the makings of a huge dedicated space port in the future....

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Unobscured Vision

Agreed. And if this monstrosity goes boom, it's going to have the force of ... let's do the math ... roughly 3~5 Megatons off the first stage alone in propellant (Methane + Oxidizer) as an explosion, potentially. You'll need 10km to avoid injury from the force of the blast if you're standing at ground level, since it'll be an air burst. And it'll potentially cause deafness to anyone as far as 18km of the blast, depending on how high the vehicle is and how much propellant remained when the failure occurred.

 

Let's just hope there's no failure.

 

So yeah, I agree. They can't launch this thing at the Cape. There's no way. It's too big, and too close to populated areas. Sure, it's a hell of a spectacle -- but too much of a risk. Saturn/Apollo being launched at the Cape was the top end of the scale as far as risk goes -- any larger (like the Super Geminii program that was being planned in place of Saturn/Apollo) and they wouldn't have been able to launch there.

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Draggendrop

Just as a jump back in history...the N1 was big....but this "old girl" was a drawing board monster.....

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Dragon_(rocket)

 

The BFR will be phenomenal...and we can be pretty sure, more than just on the "drawing board"

 

:)

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DocM

Calm down guys, the signal to noise ratio in those reddit posts is low and many dimensions & specs posted there are still uncertain.

 

The pic depicting the height of a BFR vs F9 and Saturn V should be taken with a dash of salt. 

 

As to the blast from a failed BFR, those blast wave calculators predict detonation events - very short duration events with high peak pressure waves. A failing launcher is usually a conflagration, which takes place over a much longer time frame and creates a much smaller peak pressure wave. In those that aren't it's usually a detonating solid booster at fault.

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Draggendrop

Actually,...all forums are speculating. The above image is for a 15 meter core...49.2 feet , if the core diameter is 12, 10 or other dimension, will only be known when SpaceX is in final design some time in the future. The upper image gives one a perspective for a 15 meter core...that is all. The lower photo is only an exercise in fun with F9 proportionality...everyone knows it's speculative and the purpose was again, as a reference...that is all. 

 

The sheer size of that unit, the launch pad requirements and noise level, if at 15 meters, would reflect some of our concerns. F9 test fires out west are heard by residents....imagine this unit test firing...I would be very surprised if a 15 meter core was even allowed anywhere near a populated area. As we approach down to 10 meter, I would assume Saturn 5 sizes would still be a go.

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Draggendrop

This is a reminder of when things go wrong...Wallops

 

Shockwave from Antares Orbital Science Rocket Explosion Knocks Down Spectator

video is 1:07 min

 

 

 

 

This is 11 rail cars of LNG..a single rail car length could be the diameter of a large launcher.

SW methane explosion

video is 7:21 min

 

 

If a larger launcher is using a mess of Raptors or variations of, and using liquid methane and liquid oxygen........one better hope we don't have an ooops.

A very large core with that amount of fuel is something to worry about, particularly when methane explosions draw massive amounts of oxygen from the environment. Methane is the way to go...definitely...but caution will be required and I am sure SpaceX is aware of it.

 

The above posts dealing with explosive concerns are more than warranted.

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DocM

One possibility: Spaceport Camden, Camden County Georgia. West of Little Cumberland Island. 11,000 acres, basically the old Thiokol rocket test site. The EIS process has started, public comments end Jan 4, targeting a 2018 first launch. 

 

There have been rumors since Boca Chica was selected, and Falcon 9 & Dragon are all over their website.

 

http://spaceportcamden.us 

 

29TM_EH_spaceport_map.jpg

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Draggendrop

Spaceport Camden looks like it will be a great generic site. I am curious as to the size of Boca Chica, as this was to be a launch site for SpaceX use only, and if it had a lot of separation.......then again, this is speculation....to which, as of late ...is at silly levels. So much silliness, in fact, that I do a general quick view and get the hoot out fast....it is starting to get real bad lately. I will be slowing down the posting myself in the new year as a few projects require attention.

 

A bit of speculation is fun as a diversion, but I feel any more is a waste of constructive time. I am a huge SpaceX fan, but I feel that 3 prior decades of low level activity has almost created a media monster. SpaceX has a great qualified workforce, are making huge strides...but...are venturing into a lot of new territory. They are doing well, and try their best to inform the general public and can only do so much...which leads to crazy levels of speculation, at all sites.

 

We know SpaceX has Mars as the target. F9 is doing well, FH should follow suit. To get to the size of MCT will take at least one intermediary size...ie FX or FXX, whatever name, doesn't really matter, time matters. For a large craft by 2030 era, they have their work cut out and will probably be on Mars with smaller units before that time.

 

Myself, I don't loose any sleep over it now, SpaceX will progress and will probably have an ooops or two, but's that progress. There are many fields that SpaceX are not working on, and others are, that will also be game changers for them to use by 2030. The future looks bright...but it is going to take time. The only real problem that I see is dumb ##### politicians, and they have picked the wrong time for games.

:)

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DocM

There will be no intermediate sized Raptor vehicle before BFR.  

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