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SFS News: Falcon 9 Progress Update

Posted by: Klaus Schmidt - Thu Nov 27, 2008 2:29 am
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SFS News: Falcon 9 Progress Update 
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Post SFS News: Falcon 9 Progress Update   Posted on: Thu Nov 27, 2008 2:29 am
(SpaceX) - Monday, November 24th, 2008
Today we fitted the F9 skirt to the fuel tank end of the 1st stage. Also had movement on the erector, with the upper aluminum truss just coming back from being painted. Activity on the floor is constant and will remain so throughout the week and weekend as we prepare the F9 structures for shipping to Texas for testing before they head to the Cape.

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Falcon 9 skirt mated with fuel tank end of the 1st stage

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Lower steel truss of the erector for taking the F9 vertical at the Cape

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Upper aluminum truss of the erector

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008
On Saturday night, at about 10:30pm CST, we successfully conducted a full mission duration test firing of the Falcon 9 rocket first stage, lasting 178 seconds (nearly three minutes)! At full power, the rocket generated 855,000 pounds of thrust at sea level. In vacuum, the thrust increases to approximately one million pounds or four times the maximum thrust of a 747 aircraft. The nine Merlin engines consumed over half a million pounds of liquid oxygen and rocket grade kerosene during the test. Click the photo below to check out the video:

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(Click picture to play video)

Friday, November 21st, 2008
The monster green of the original primer has been replaced by a clean glossy white. In the next couple days, we'll prep and test fit the F9 skirt with the fuel tank and the interstage to the liquid oxygen (LOX) end of the 1st stage shown below.

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Falcon 9 flight 1st stage tanks and skirt painted, preparing for test fitting of skirt

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008
Our newly delivered 5.2m faring half--from tip to end, the fairing measures approximately 13.9 meters or 45.5 feet.

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The F9 Payload Fairing half as it arrived on the shipping stand

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Unloading the fairing half from the shipping stand

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008
Today, the payload fairing half for our first Falcon 9 arrived at the SpaceX headquarters via a flatbed truck. Tomorrow we'll remove it from the shipping structure so we can continue fit checking and preparing to ship to Cape Canaveral.

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The first Falcon 9 payload fairing half arrives at SpaceX on a flatbed truck

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Post fairing size   Posted on: Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:24 am
It seems that SpaceX is using easy transportability as a means of keeping costs down. Falcon 1 fits fully assembled on a flatbed truck. Falcon 9 fuel tanks can fit individually on flatbed trucks, and transported on U.S. freeways.The largest diameter object on a SpaceX rocket is the payload fairing and that just barely fits on a flatbed truck. It looks like, if your payload fits in an 18 wheeler truck then SpaceX can send it to orbit.
No monster crawlers required. No special barges to haul oversized pieces, like the space shuttle has. No 747 jumbo jet to move stages from one end of the continent to the other.
Truly money saving genius at work.


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