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The very smooth, and even more accurate, CRS-11 stage landing indicated another iteration. The stage GPS provides X/Y and a less precise Z. Radar provides the precision Z, and a few months ago there were extensive radar tests at Hawthorne and McGregor. Seems the results just went live, and the solution for ASDS and Landing Zones is pure KISS.

 

 

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Niiiice. :yes: 

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Aaaaand NOW we know why the DoD was watching the NROL and Inmarsat 5 launches ... :yes: :woot:

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SpaceX wins launch of U.S. Air Force X-37B space plane

Quote

x37b.thumb.jpg.eadaf443c19aefcc1d78eb02ae72b6af.jpgx37b2.thumb.jpg.af3f576fa4f4a6b329a2d7e5eee9953d.jpg

FILE PHOTO: The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle mission 3 space plane is shown after landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California October 17, 2014 in this handout photograph provided by Vandenberg Air Force Base. Images (C) REUTERS/Boeing/ Vandenberg Air Force Base/Handout via Reuters/File Photo

 

By Irene Klotz | CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA.

 

Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp will fly its first mission for the U.S. Air Force in August when it launches the military's X-37B miniature spaceplane, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said on Tuesday.

 

Four previous X-37B missions were launched by United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rockets. ULA is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) and Boeing Co (BA.N).

 

"SpaceX will be sending the next Air Force payload up into space in August," Wilson said during webcast testimony before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee. She later specified that the payload would be one of the Air Force's two X-37B spaceplanes.

 

/giggle

 

ULA are DONE. Losing the USAF?! LMAO .... damn ... how badly do you have to mess up to pull THAT off? Only thing in memory is 1) Don't get it done, and 2) Let the competition bite ya in the rear end. 

 

Guess #2 applies here. :laugh:

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NRO, USAF and NASA.

 

Falcon Heavy #2 is also a USAF launch. They also have two USAF GPS 3 satellite contracts in hand, and a bid in for the bulk-buy of three more GPS 3 launches.

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Yessir. :yes: AND more buys are certain to be incoming, but I think that Falcon Heavy is going to find more use as a Mil/Gov launcher for the first half of its' service life -- at least until ITS Junior arrives in 2020/2021 (if the sources are correct).

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Upcoming SpaceX appearances where exploration news may drop.

 

July 19: Elon Musk; ISS R&D Conference

 

June 21: Gwynne Shotwell; US Senate hearing "Reopening the American Frontier: Promoting Partnerships Between Commercial Space and the U.S. Government to Advance Exploration and Settlement"

 

June 22: Gwynne Shotwell; The Space Show 

 

Sept. 7-10: Tom Mueller; Mars Society Conference

 

Sept. 25-29: Elon Musk; International Astronautical Conference 2017

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Where the magic is built. :yes: Wonder how long ago this was taken ... should be some FH cores in final processing, or near final. Those'll be shipping soon.

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Indeed it is, and not just the USAF since NASA is reviewing reuse for CRS launches. 

 

A full bore paradigm shift, nothing less.

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:yes: And there's a review of SLS incoming ... a HARD review, later this year and if things aren't looking up (and they WON'T), NASA is gonna cancel the SLS program in favor of ITS/BFR/ITS Junior. Orion will be adapted to fly on Falcon Heavy since it's almost done.

 

USAF/NRO/Gov payloads will be rerouted and reworked for cost effectiveness. Those "pork contracts"? DONE. FINISHED. Senator Shelby and the others who have kept the money train rolling will no longer have control of the funding. It'll be handled by the Vice President's Space Council directly.

 

Boeing has begun the process of splitting its' business into divisions in an attempt to "save itself" and isolate those sectors that are losing money. And guess what ... ten-to-one that ULA will be on the chopping block or spurred off into it's own independant corporation? Any takers?

 

Ahh ... the winds of change smell so sweet.

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Actually, if ULA were to be cut loose by Boeing/LM it would only be good for them! It would mean they get to keep their revenue and can finally start doing some R/D for themselves! Then again, IF this scenario were to ever unfold I fear it would be way, WAY, WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY to late for them to recover from headstart SpaceX has taken, not to mention that in a few years Blue Origin will no undoubtedly show them their heels as well.

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I would see this as @DocM sees it ... more of a Blue Origin buying out ULA. They get the access to the ULA patents and the proprietary technologies (the Atlas/Delta name, etc) and the talent pool, facilities, all of that. Then Bezos & Co. can really take ULA to the next level and truly be the "United Launch Alliance". Join forces with Orbital ATK, Aerojet Rocketdyne, and the rest of OldSpace. Sign agreements with LockMart, etc. I think it would mark a new beginning. So yeah, I'm with your line of thinking and DocM's.

Edited by Unobscured Vision
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Totally feasible to.. I mean, if he can buy worthless crap like Whole Foods and The Washington Post out of his pocket change :p Why not ULA :D

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Yeah. I think ULA is gonna be worth $3~5 billion. Totally fair market value, given that they don't actually make any money right now. Bezos could make it shine, and Tory Bruno could actually have a fair shot at making things work for once.

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True, I think that as far as leading the company goes Tory is doing one hell of a job, it just sucks for him that he is basically forced by the higher ups to achieve 'lowering costs' by means of staff layoffs =/ Ow well, at least he has an awesome voice. His talks and speeches are always a delight to listen to :D

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Time will tell, bud.

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3 hours ago, Beittil said:

Totally feasible to.. I mean, if he can buy worthless crap like Whole Foods and The Washington Post out of his pocket change :p Why not ULA :D

More like he bought WaPo with $250 million of the CIA's money, transferred from his AWS pocket ($600+ million/year for CIA cloud services) to the Graham family (who have been in bed with CIA for 60+ years.)

 

But we digress...

Edited by DocM

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