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SpaceX Updates (Thread 7)

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Draggendrop    5,748

Wow...think big...If anyone can do it, it's SpaceX. At least they will have a lot of time to do it right, more time than dealing with too many variations. This is a big jump.....VW bug to modern tractor trailer....:D

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Draggendrop    5,748

misc...

 

/s   don't add a suffix or it will have to be requalified

 

 

Article from today"s AGU meeting, Elon Musk attended.

SpaceX Preparing for Launch of “Significantly Improved” Falcon 9

 

Quote

WASHINGTON — SpaceX is gearing up for both the first launch of its Falcon 9 rocket since a June launch failure and the first flight of a “significantly improved” version of the vehicle, but questions remain about the company’s plans to attempt to recover the rocket’s first stage.

 

SpaceX is planning a static fire test of the Falcon 9’s first stage engines on its launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Dec. 16. If successful, that test would clear the way for a launch attempt “about three days later,” or Dec. 19, between 8 and 9 p.m. Eastern, according to a Dec. 10 press release from Orbcomm, the launch’s customer.

 

SpaceX has released few details about launch preparations, but Orbcomm said in a Dec. 14 statement that the 11 second-generation spacecraft being launched had been attached to the satellite dispenser and placed inside the rocket’s payload fairing. That statement indicated that the static fire test was still scheduled for Dec. 16. SpaceX spokesman John Taylor said Dec. 15 that the company was not disclosing when during the day the test would take place.

 

The launch will be the first for the Falcon 9 since a June 28 launch failure on a cargo mission to the International Space Station. SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk said in July that the failure was caused when a strut holding down a helium bottle within a propellant tank in the rocket’s upper stage broke, causing the tank to overpressurize and burst.

 

The launch is also the first for an upgraded version of the Falcon 9. “There are a number of improvements in the rocket,” Musk said in a Dec. 16 talk at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco. The changes he mentioned included increased thrust, an improved stage separation system, and a stretched upper stage that can hold additional propellant. “I think it’s a significantly improved rocket from the last one,” he said.

 

Much of the attention on the upcoming launch has less to do with the launch vehicle’s return to flight or its payload, but rather with plans by SpaceX to attempt to recover the rocket’s first stage.

 

During a media tour of the Kennedy Space Center in early December, NASA officials said SpaceX was planning to land the first stage at a decommissioned launch site at Cape Canaveral called “Landing Complex 1” by SpaceX. Previous attempts to land the Falcon 9 first stage involved ships in the ocean downrange from the launch site.

 

SpaceX has not commented on those plans, which would require the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration. An FAA source said that approval would have to be incorporated into a revised version of the commercial launch license issued by the FAA for that mission.

 

That launch license, which covers both the upcoming Orbcomm launch as well as the earlier Falcon 9 launch of six Orbcomm satellites in July 2014, will need to be updated regardless of plans to land the first stage. The license refers to launches of the Falcon 9 version 1.1 rocket, while the upcoming launch will use the upgraded Falcon 9.

 

FAA spokesman Hank Price directed questions about any requested changes to the launch license to SpaceX. Taylor, meanwhile, directed questions about license changes to the FAA.

 

Musk, in his AGU talk, did not mention any plans to recover the first stage on the upcoming launch. He did, however, emphasize the importance of reusability for his long-term plans for human settlement of Mars. “With reusable rockets, we can reduce the cost of access to space by probably two orders of magnitude,” or a factor of 100, he said.

 

Reusability, as well as the development of “really big” launch vehicles and production of rocket propellant on Mars itself, were factors Musk said were key to the future of any Mars settlement. “If we can do those things, then I think we can establish a self-sustaining civilization on Mars,” he said.

http://spacenews.com/spacex-preparing-for-launch-of-significantly-improved-falcon-9/

 

:)

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DocM    16,667

Yup. No need to give ULA's congressional minions anything on paper to hang their tinfoil hats on.

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DocM    16,667

 

http://mashable.com/2015/12/15/elon-musk-mars-ambitions/#ni7E3rg96kqJ

 

Quote

 

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, for example, costs about $16 million to manufacture, Musk said, but the propellant for the rocket only costs about $200,000.

 

If the rocket were able to land back on Earth after flying to space, the company would be able to launch it multiple times for different missions and only incur the cost of the fuel needed to bring it to orbit.

 

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,682
36 minutes ago, DocM said:

Plus repair and refurb any wear-and-tear the rocket and facilities incurred during launch. Then SpaceX needs to pay the employees. I think that number will be closer to 2~6 million per launch.

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Draggendrop    5,748

FAA Moves Closer to Approving Falcon 9 Landings at Cape Canaveral

 

falcon_landing-site_animation_still-879x

A SpaceX illustration of a Falcon booster returning to Cape Canaveral for landing. An FAA review found no environmental issues with those landing plans, bringing SpaceX closer to final approval for a landing attempt. Credit: SpaceX

 

Quote

WASHINGTON — A Federal Aviation Administration environmental review found no issues with plans by SpaceX to land its Falcon 9 first stage at Cape Canaveral, bringing the company a step closer to winning final approval to attempt such a landing on an upcoming launch.

 

The FAA, in a document formally known as a finding of no significant impact, concluded there would be no major environmental issues linked to SpaceX’s plans to land Falcon 9 first stages at a decommissioned launch site the company now calls Landing Complex 1.

 

“After reviewing and analyzing available data and information on existing conditions and potential impacts,” the document states, “the FAA has determined issuance or modification of a launch license to conduct Falcon landings at [Cape Canaveral Air Force Station] would not significantly affect the quality of the human environment” as defined in federal law.

 

The document, signed Dec. 4 by FAA Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation George Nield and posted on the agency’s website, reviewed various environmental factors associated with the proposed landings, including air quality, noise and visual impacts. None of the factors, the FAA concluded, posed a significant environmental impact.

 

The document notes that final approval from the FAA for a Falcon 9 first stage landing would require either a new launch license or a modification to an existing launch license. An environmental review, such as the one completed by the FAA, is one part of the overall launch license application process.

 

SpaceX currently has launch licenses for several upcoming missions, including the launch of 11 Orbcomm satellites planned for this month. Those licenses will require modifications regardless of plans to land the first stage since they refer to the Falcon 9 version 1.1, whereas SpaceX plans to use the upgraded Falcon 9 on those launches.

 

Neither the FAA nor SpaceX have commented publicly on any requests by SpaceX to modify existing launch licenses or seek new launch licenses, either to accommodate an attempted landing or to take into account the use of the upgraded Falcon 9. They have also not disclosed how soon before the launch the FAA would have to approve a new or revised launch license.

 

Any attempted landing by the Falcon 9 first stage at Cape Canaveral would also require range approval from the U.S. Air Force. Sources at Cape Canaveral have said the Air Force has informed them that the overall launch complex will be closed to non-essential personnel for a landing.

The date of SpaceX’s next launch is uncertain. The company previously announced it would conduct a static fire test of the Falcon 9 on its launch pad Dec. 16, followed by a launch attempt about three days later. However, that test was postponed first to Dec. 17, and then to Dec. 18.

 

SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk, in a tweet late Dec. 17, suggested delays in the static fire test were linked to plans to chill the rocket’s liquid oxygen propellant to colder temperatures than previous launches. “Deep cryo liquid oxygen presenting some challenges,” he wrote.

 

Cooling the liquid oxygen to temperatures of less than –205 degrees Celsius is designed to make the propellant denser and improve its performance. “We’re cooling the propellant, particularly the liquid oxygen because it’s two-thirds liquid oxygen, close to its freezing point,” Musk said in a Dec. 15 speech at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco when discussing upgrades to the Falcon 9.

 

Musk said this is the first time someone has attempted to use liquid oxygen chilled to those temperatures in a launch vehicle. He added that, despite the difficulties SpaceX was experiencing on the pad at Cape Canaveral, they successfully demonstrated it at the company’s Texas test site.

 

Others in the industry, however, are skeptical of the benefits of supercooled propellants. “That’s why we don’t bother. Lots of complexity for little gain,” tweeted George Sowers, vice president of advanced concepts and technologies at United Launch Alliance, in response to Musk’s tweet early Dec. 18.

http://spacenews.com/faa-moves-closer-to-approving-falcon-9-landings-at-cape-canaveral/

 

As for the last comment by ULA, they wouldn't know the meaning of max efficiency if someone slapped them in the head with it...if you never strive for max performance, you stagnate .... :)

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DocM    16,667

FAA assessment of SpaceX's Return To Launch Site (RTLS) stage landings,

 

"ACTIONS: Finding of No Significant Impact"

 

GAME ON!!

 

falcon_landing-site_animation_still-879x

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Unobscured Vision    2,682

Ahhh. :) Now that's been a success, on with the next item of the itinerary!

 

Mid-January, correct, @DocM?

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DocM    16,667

Maybe two around then, KSC and Vandenberg are winding up.

 

And guess who's coming to dinner?

 

95891152f4f5688e1ecf6bdd68d1a124.jpg

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Unobscured Vision    2,682

/me rubs hands together furiously

 

Oooh! :D Can't wait! Bring on the BIG STICK!

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DocM    16,667

With 3 stages landing, two together and one a few minutes later. What a day that'll be.

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+John.    1,396
8 minutes ago, DocM said:

With 3 stages landing, two together and one a few minutes later. What a day that'll be.

I 100% think I'd be in danger of fainting if I got to see that in person. What a potential triumph!

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DocM    16,667

There were steely-eyed rocket men & women, many dating back to Apollo and from foreign programs, who posted to NSF that they were both cheering out loud and in tears last night.  I hear the ESA crew down in Kourou were warching and cheering up a storm when F9 landed.

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Unobscured Vision    2,682
4 hours ago, DocM said:

There were steely-eyed rocket men & women, many dating back to Apollo and from foreign programs, who posted to NSF that they were both cheering out loud and in tears last night.  I hear the ESA crew down in Kourou were warching and cheering up a storm when F9 landed.

I was yelling in glee also. Things happen very quickly, so at first I didn't know if it worked or not, until the plume had ceased and I could see it was on the ground. Then I yelled "BOOYAH! They stuck the landing!" and surprised everyone in the other rooms, like I had been watching the X-Games or something. :shifty: That was great.

 

I'm really happy -- overjoyed, really -- that the "steely-eyed Rocket Men" of old got to see it happen. :yes: 

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IsItPluggedIn    1,686

So when is the next falcon 9 launch (ses-9) and when is FH scheduled?

 

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Draggendrop    5,748

I imagine schedules are being devised as we speak, can check with Doc, this is what I have....

 

Quote
NET Date Payload Vehicle
17 January 10:42 PST 2 Jason 3 Falcon 9 (F9-019) (last v1.1)
Mid Jan 3 SES-9 Falcon 9 (F9-022)
Late Jan 4 CRS2 Contract Announcement NASA
February 5 SpX CRS-8 Falcon 9 + Dragon 1
Early 2016 6 SHERPA Falcon 9
Early 2016 Eutelsat 117W B & ABS 2A Falcon 9
March SpX CRS-9 Falcon 9 + Dragon 1
April/May Demo Flight Falcon Heavy
December Demo Mission 1 (DM-1) Falcon 9 + Dragon 2
2017 7 Inflight Abort F9R-Dev2 + Dragon 2

As of 21 December 2015.

:)

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DocM    16,667

Looks good through CRS-8, though SES-9 is late January. not mid January.  After CRS-8 it's guesswork and could change.

 

bencredible and his wife are SpaceX employees, and produce the TMRO  space podcast. A few notes about SpaceX,s webcasts,

 

 

Quote

I wanted to give everyone a few notes from the Webcast side:

 

We do plan on having a second stream of just rocket views and the countdown net (no hosts). I had planned on having that for this launch but simply ran out of time. We want everyone to be excited about space and that means two different crowds: the space newbs and the space geeks. Each one needs a different live viewing experience.

 

The terminal poll happens before the webcast begins now. I don't foresee this changing any time soon. So we didn't skip it on the current webcast, it had already happened well before we came on-air.

 

We do indeed plan on keeping the high-production value content.

I'm planning on running the new graphics package on both the main webcast and the countdown net webcast so you'll get timeline, telemetry and events on both.
>
>
Thank you. It was absolutely a huge team effort from everyone. I just make the pictures flow and maybe give the webcast a nudge here and there. I'll pass your comment along to the team, it means a lot to us.

 

Also: HOLY FRACK WE DID IT

 

Edited by DocM
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Draggendrop    5,748

This one stunned me....everything was there that needed to be.

 

" X-men, the beginning "

 

:)

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Draggendrop    5,748

Launch collection....

 

full size at....

(( http://i.imgur.com/46R1gYV.jpg ))

 

46R1gYV.jpg

 

:D

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Royalty    175

Wow, SpaceX is really progressing! Great job guys!

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Draggendrop    5,748

Here is a playlist of video's, most of SpaceX "standard" launches and landings.

 

((  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJyd7zADToNMTAK6suQwNGhbbbeL_6fcG ))  remove brackets

 

forgot where I got this, but nice shot......(old age or too much xmas food)

 

spacex.thumb.jpg.f3bf878d0deeb66f8850e4b

courtesy of SpaceX, NASA or someone.....not me...

 

:D

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DocM    16,667

And the Shuttle era rotating service structure (image right) comes off the launch tower next month in preparation for making the launch tower 2 levels higher, new lightning towers and....Falcon Heavy.  The folks in Titusville had better get some new hearing protectors.

 

lc39a_120803_18.jpg

Edited by DocM
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Draggendrop    5,748

SpaceX patch collection, on two poster boards, complete with the addition of 2 patches below it...

 

http://imgur.com/a/uvUto

 

http://www.online-instagram.com/media/873239132174731751_1573999017

 

http://www.online-instagram.com/media/893456965156391452_1573999017

 

:)

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