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Unobscured Vision    2,667

SWEET!!!

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DocM    16,537

 

For scale only - 747 won't be used for BFR

 

Past

shuttle-discovery-747-jumbo-jet.thumb.jpg.86f9fd88861d19265c40bf2a5ea7329f.jpg

 

Future

IMG_20180619_230440.thumb.jpg.868f066b10ebdfa266b7c39a14f7670f.jpg

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

Awww yeah. :punk::jump:

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DocM    16,537

 

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DocM    16,537

CNN...


>
"SpaceX is honored by the Air Force's selection of Falcon Heavy to launch the competitively-awarded AFSPC-52 mission," SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell said in a statement. "SpaceX is pleased to continue offering the American taxpayer the most cost-effective, reliable launch services for vital national security space missions."

ULA did not respond to a request for comment.
>

 

Let's quote it!!

 

Quote

AIR FORCE

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), Hawthorne, California, has been awarded a $130,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract, for launch services to deliver the Air Force Space Command-52 satellite to its intended orbit.  This launch service contract will include launch vehicle production and mission, as well as integration, launch operations and spaceflight worthiness activities.  Work will be performed in Hawthorne, California; Kennedy Space Center, Florida; and McGregor, Texas, and is expected to be completed by September 2020.  This award is the result of a competitive acquisition, and two proposals were received.  Fiscal 2018 space procurement funds in the amount of $130,000,000 will be obligated at the time of award.  The Contracting Division, Launch Systems Enterprise Directorate, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is the contracting activity (FA8811-18-C-0003). (Awarded June 20, 2018)

SpaceX_steamroller.thumb.jpg.8a80c13599656b9987794320f9278ca1.jpg

 

Edited by DocM
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Unobscured Vision    2,667

Just about 9.4x less than ULA would charge them, if memory serves, for a comparable Delta-IV M or H flight. Likely H, as these birds are "battlestar" class. Really heavy, about 25~35 metric and up. All that money saved means they can build another bird and launch it merely by tossing another 50% of the cost to build it at that particular item, then apply the savings from this launch at the remainder. They'll end up with 3 for the price of 2 at that rate ... and that makes the Directorate very happy. Not that they care much about the money, as such, but it looks good on paper. :ike:

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DocM    16,537

Space News is reporting the other bid was "Delta 4."

 

Since the last Delta 4 Medium was flown in January 2018 (NROL-47), this means Falcon Heavy was chosen over  Delta 4 Heavy.

 

Without Delta 4 Medium launches to help defray the costs of Delta 4 Heavy, and with the phasing out of ULA's ~$1 billion annual ELC* subsidy, Delta 4 Heavy's price is expected to balloon from $350 million to nearly $600 million by the time of this launch.

 

* EELV Launch Capability

Edited by DocM

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

Oooh, so I lowballed it, eh? Well then. $1.6 billion. Blowch. 12.31x the cost of a Falcon Heavy launch when factoring in both the $1 billion subsidy and the $600 million cost to launch.

 

My, my, my. The USAFD can build and launch three of those birds at that price when riding on Falcon Heavy, where before they'd only get a single.

 

I bet they like doing business with SpaceX a LOT better. :yes:

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flyingskippy    167

Is it really true that ULA is losing their subsidy? 

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DocM    16,537

Yup, at the end of FY 2019. Per the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act.

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

And they're [angry], pegged into white-hot, over it too. That subsidy was funding their Operational cost-per-year that kept the lights on. Without it, ULA is as good as shut down. Atlas V rockets haven't received ANY new orders to fly beyond Starliner missions (which can be moved to Lockheed-Martin facilities for processing), and the last scheduled Atlas V launch is in 2022 or roundabouts.

 

My guess? Once NASA and other decision-makers see BFS doing SSTO, multi-orbit operations (which it can and will be doing regularly by 2023 at the latest) the clear winner of Commercial Crew is GOING to be SpaceX. There won't be a use case in ANY context for LockMart, Boeing, ULA, or anyone else whose technology still relies on disposable rocket parts. Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy are likely going to be retired by then too -- Elon Musk even confirmed it when asked. They might finish out their contracted manifests and then that's it.

 

Nope ... OldSpace is DONE unless they can match what SpaceX have cooking. There's NO way an obscenely wasteful business model can continue when there's an alternative.

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DocM    16,537

 

 

https://www.satellitetoday.com/launch/2018/06/22/first-of-a-trio-of-satellites-leaves-ssl-for-spacex-launch/

Quote

 

First of a Trio of Satellites Leaves SSL for SpaceX Launch

 

SSL has shipped the first of three satellites that the company will deliver to the SpaceX launch base at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida over the next month. Driven by commercial advances, the three satellites will bring communications capability to connect people around the globe.

 

Telstar 19 Vantage, an advanced High Throughput Satellite (HTS) built for Telesat, marks the 50th SSL-built communications satellite to launch this decade. It arrived safely at the launch base this week for a launch scheduled next month.

 

Two more SSL communications satellites are scheduled to ship to SpaceX launch base over the next month including a second HTS for Telesat, Telstar 18 Vantage, and the Merah Putih satellite (previously known as Telkom-4), for Indonesia’s largest telecommunication and network provider, PT Telkom Indonesia.

>

 

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

More launches for processing! :punk:

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DocM    16,537

The Eastern Range gets itself a damned proper spacecraft retrieval ship via GO Searcher mods;  retrieval frame, radomes etc.

 

Before

532847938_GoSearcher-before-800b.thumb.jpg.dd59efd487fbe66825c6a3e3f2d4a4db.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by DocM
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Beittil    575

Saw the photo already earlier today on Twitter & at NSF. Pretty awesome upgrade! I guess this one will be making round trips from Port Canaveral to the Gulf once V2 does start splashing down there :D Awesome!

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

Oooooooo, shiny ..... :punk::woot:

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Unobscured Vision    2,667

Ooh! Oooh! With THAT vessel design, it's just long enough to be refitted as a landing platform for returning Falcons ... and now that they're having 100% success rate on landings, it's QUITE safe to start thinking about that kind of thing .... saving time, money, and a lot of hassle (towing the ASDS back to port, getting crews to/from the ASDS, etc.) ....

 

Ooooooooohhh ..... I need to forward this idea to [a former classmate]. [the former classmate] can run it up the chain of responsibility.

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DocM    16,537

I doubt they'd risk such a valuable asset landing boosters on it, and I don't see any sign of Thrustmasters.

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bguy_1986    356

SpaceX’s Pad 39A undergoing upgrades for Dragon 2 crew launches

Quote

Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is preparing for a return to crew launches, with modifications taking place to prepare the Fixed Service Structure (FSS) for the installation of the Crew Access Arm (CAA) and associated crew support equipment. The gantry – that astronauts will use to ingress Dragon 2 spacecraft – is at KSC undergoing final assembly inside a large tent.

Photos and more at the article link:

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/07/spacexs-39a-upgrades-dragon-2-crew-launches/

 

 

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DocM    16,537

Yup, and things are starting to happen at Boca Chica as well.

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Unobscured Vision    2,667
3 hours ago, bguy_1986 said:

SpaceX’s Pad 39A undergoing upgrades for Dragon 2 crew launches

Photos and more at the article link:

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/07/spacexs-39a-upgrades-dragon-2-crew-launches/

 

 

Still some question about whether they're going to enclose it but those materials are on-site so there's a good chance that they are planning to.

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DocM    16,537

The Verge...

 


SpaceX may finally land one of its rockets on the California coast later this year

Finally: a land landing at Vandenberg

After mastering its rocket landings on the Florida coast, SpaceX wants to try the same trick in California. The company recently filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission to land one of its Falcon 9 rockets on ground at Vandenberg Air Force Base in southern California, following a launch from the facility there. If that happens, itll be the first time that SpaceX has done a land landing on the West Coast.
>
Now it looks like SpaceX is finally going to make one of these California landings happen. For both its launches and landings, SpaceX must get a license from the FCC to use certain radio frequencies to communicate with the rocket. The FCC application that SpaceX filed requests a license for a launch from Vandenberg sometime between September 5th and March 5th. SpaceX will also need an additional license from the FAA for the landing too, to ensure that the rocket won’t hurt any observers or damage property. But getting the FCC license will be a big first step.
>

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DocM    16,537

Mr. Steven's new, much larger net frame. 

 

Net frame area: guesstimating about 17% less than an ASDS

 

 

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anthdci    215
36 minutes ago, DocM said:

Mr. Steven's new, much larger net frame. 

 

Net frame area: guesstimating about 17% less than an ASDS

 

 

that looks huge!!

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