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  • 2 weeks later...
DocM

The FAA EIS for LC-39A's DOD National Security Space Launch 2 upgrades is out;

 

pad upgrades including a HUGE Mobile Service Structure, and Falcon Heavy's NSSL Category 3 fairing.

 

FAA LC-39A EIS...(PDF)

 

LC-39A's MSS will be a clamshell affair, capable of fully enclosing F9/FH and withstanding a Category 5 hurricane.

 

And the new NSSL Categoty 3 fairing will be wider and longer,

 

Current: 5.2 x 13.1 meters (17 x 43 feet)

Category 3: 5.4 x 18.6 meters (17.7 x 61 feet)

 

This should stretch Falcon Heavy from 70 meters (229 feet) to 75 meters (247 feet)

 

Friggin' BEAST 😎

 

SpaceX_Falcon_Program_Draft_EA_508_23-1.thumb.jpg.78f5b4079538b47bab9eed00bd4d54f3.jpg

 

SpaceX_Falcon_Program_Draft_EA_508_26-4.thumb.jpg.7568a4597a31ed0c70c3b2df57dc5ac8.jpg

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DocM

Falcon Heavy will launch the probe to asteroid Psyche

 

 

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  • 3 months later...
DocM

SpaceX's Principal Integration Engineer "Big John" Insprucker says they may start doing double launches, with two vehicles counting down at once.

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...
DocM

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
DocM

 

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Skiver

I took a quick look at their website;

Quote

The price for this mission is in the same range as past private orbital spaceflights. We can’t say more than that as it depends on who chooses to participate and the make-up of the crew.

If you are interested in learning more and when appropriate are prepared to demonstrate your financial capability, contact Space Adventures for more information.

AKA - if you have to ask how much, you probably can't afford it. it would definitely be on my list if I ever won the lottery though :D

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  • 1 month later...
DocM

The SpaceX droneship fleet increments by one... 

 

 

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Skiver
18 hours ago, DocM said:

The SpaceX droneship fleet increments by one... 

<snip>

 

 

I heard this potentially is going to be quite an upgrade on the current two and maybe even capable of having Startship/Heavy prototypes land on it.

 

Also that if you know where to look, it's already visible to the world.

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  • 4 weeks later...
DocM

Starship for orbital debris mitigation?

 

 

 

https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/10/27/spacex-executive-pitches-starship-for-space-debris-cleanup/

 

Quote

SpaceX executive pitches Starship for space debris cleanup

 

SpaceX could use its Starship vehicles to clear out space debris in Earth orbit, alongside the program’s more publicized purpose of ferrying people and cargo to the moon and Mars, a company executive said.

Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer, said the company’s next-generation Starship program could help solve the problem of space junk.
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“Not only will it decrease the costs of access to space, it’s the vehicle that would transport people from Earth to Mars,” Shotwell said in an interview with Time’s technology columnist Patrick Lucas Austin. “But it also has the capability of taking cargo and crew at the same time, and so it’s quite possible that we could leverage Starship to go to some of these dead rocket bodies — other people’s rocket’s, of course — basically pick up some of this junk in outer space.”

As of February of this year, the European Space Agency said there were about 22,300 objects in orbit regularly tracked and catalogued by space surveillance networks. As of February, about 90% of those objects were no longer functioning, according to ESA.
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DocM

Remember the GPS III T-0 launch abort? The investigation is over and the cause found; residual lacquer used to protect a port during anodization on 2 engines, with some others possibly affected. Mole whacked, it's now pedal to the metal.

 

Twitter thread, in text form...

 

https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1321545840092049409

 

Stich: Due to the engine issue discovered on a previous mission, working to swap two engines on the Falcon 9 for Crew-1.

||
Koenigsmann: Abort on the GPS III launch was caused by an early start on two of the nine first-stage engines. Auto abort prevented a potential hard start which could have damaged the engines.
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Engines were sent to McGregor, Texas for testing and they were able to reproduce the issue. The problem was traced to a blocked relief valve in the gas generator. There was leftover masking material from the production process.
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Further reviews have determined that other boosters had engines with this problem.
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Problematic substance was sort of like nail polish. Only some of the recently produced engines have this problem.

Stich: Launch on the 14th will be an 8.5-hour rendezvous which is about as fast as they can do with Crew Dragon. Will be a bit over a day if it slips to the 15th.
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Static fire is Monday, Nov. 9.
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Want to see GPS (III) launch before we go fly crew.

 

Also,

 

https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/10/nasa-and-spacex-set-new-date-for-crew-launch-explain-merlin-engine-issue/

 

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This lacquer is applied during an anodizing process to treat aluminum components of the gas generator. It is supposed to be subsequently removed, but in the case of these two engines, a tiny amount of the material had been trapped within a bore hole less than 2mm across.

>

It's certainly possible that we had cases of it earlier, and they were appreciably so harmless that we completely missed them.  It is also possible that a small process was changed so that all of the lacquer was not removed, as this particular treatment is done by an outside vendor.   It's difficult to explain how this works for so many years and then, suddenly, you see this coming up in the data.

 

Methinks this treatment will be moving in-house at Warp 9.9

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  • 3 weeks later...
DocM

Space Force to use Flight Proven™ Falcon 9  boosters

 

https://spacenews.com/spacex-to-transition-to-fully-reusable-fleet-for-national-security-launches/

 

Quote

SpaceX to transition to fully reusable fleet for national security launches

 

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Space Force expects to clear SpaceX to use previously flown boosters for all national security missions. So far the Space Force only has agreed to allow reused boosters in two GPS launches scheduled in 2021 but the plan is to make the entire fleet reusable by 2022. 

 

“Over the next 18 months we’ll complete the transition to a fully reusable SpaceX fleet for our national security missions,” Col. Robert Bongiovi, director of the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Launch Enterprise, said Nov. 19.

 

The Falcon 9 rockets that launched two military GPS satellites June 30 and Nov. 5 both had brand-new boosters which the company recovered after launch.

 

After renegotiating its contract with the Space Force, SpaceX will use the recovered boosters from the June and November launches to fly two more GPS satellites in 2021.

 

Speaking on Thursday at an Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute online forum, Bongiovi said the renegotiated deals saved the government $65 million over the four GPS launches in 2020 and 2021.

 

The Space Force transition to a reusable fleet is significant because up until now SpaceX was required to fly brand-new boosters for national security missions. The company routinely recovers and reuses rocket hardware in its commercial and NASA launches, but the Space Force needed time to figure out a process to certify previously flown boosters. 

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DocM

ASDS Just Read the Instructions now has StarLink x2

 

 

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