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Poll - First Launch of Falcon9

Posted by: beancounter - Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:59 am
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Poll - First Launch of Falcon9 

First Launch of Falcon9 is going to be a
Success 90%  90%  [ 27 ]
Failure 10%  10%  [ 3 ]
Total votes : 30

Poll - First Launch of Falcon9 
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Space Walker
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Post Re: Poll - First Launch of Falcon9   Posted on: Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:16 pm
For those that missed the web cast (like me)
Videos here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qt_SA1aXU60

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNl4eAy2yaM


Can't wait to see spacex's video release of the launch, whenever that will happen...


Iain


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Post Re: Poll - First Launch of Falcon9   Posted on: Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:25 pm
Fox News live - different angle on first launch phase. (Skip directly to 3:00 - nothing happens before)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuwq4bNQ-gQ

Some pictures:
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/001/launch/


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Post Re: Poll - First Launch of Falcon9   Posted on: Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:45 pm
JamesHughes wrote:
First panic - seemed to be a lot of 'debris' in the rocket plume - almost like sparks flying off, which I don't remember from the Falcon 1. Second was the engine stop on first stage - seemed a long time before the stage separated. Then even longer for the second stage to ignite. Then the roll just before the video cut out.


The delay between engine shutdown and separation is to avoid what happened to the third falcon 1 launch, when the first stage bumped into the second stage between separation and ignition because there was residual fuel in the engine.

The roll is completely natural, it probably just means they have pretty relaxed parameters for when the attitude thrusters should kick in to correct it. The armadillo vehicles display the same phenomenon :)


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Post Re: Poll - First Launch of Falcon9   Posted on: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:11 pm
Minthos wrote:
JamesHughes wrote:
First panic - seemed to be a lot of 'debris' in the rocket plume - almost like sparks flying off, which I don't remember from the Falcon 1. Second was the engine stop on first stage - seemed a long time before the stage separated. Then even longer for the second stage to ignite. Then the roll just before the video cut out.


The delay between engine shutdown and separation is to avoid what happened to the third falcon 1 launch, when the first stage bumped into the second stage between separation and ignition because there was residual fuel in the engine.

The roll is completely natural, it probably just means they have pretty relaxed parameters for when the attitude thrusters should kick in to correct it. The armadillo vehicles display the same phenomenon :)


I know it was supposed to happen - just was a bit nerve wracking to watch!

Although trying to find out what happened after the video cut out - wonder if things went smoothly after that. The roll was getting quite fast.


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Post Re: Poll - First Launch of Falcon9   Posted on: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:15 pm
JamesHughes wrote:
First panic - seemed to be a lot of 'debris' in the rocket plume - almost like sparks flying off, which I don't remember from the Falcon 1. Second was the engine stop on first stage - seemed a long time before the stage separated. Then even longer for the second stage to ignite. Then the roll just before the video cut out.

My first panic was actually the same as yours. All that 'debris' (guess it was just ice falling from the rocket?) sparkled in the exhaust like the engine(s) was/were eating itself up.
Then there was a moment shortly before the spaceX guy talked about MaxQ, when some fog, cloud or maybe just the water vapor in the shock wave was lit up by the engines and for a fraction of a second it looked like the whole first stage was coming apart. :shock:

Stage sep. didn't concern me at all, but all the spinning got me worried as well.

@ Minthos:
I don't think that roll is comparable to the one seen on armadillo's flights, because they roll a bit until the limit is reached, roll thrusters fire, they start to roll again (maybe other direction, maybe not), thrusters fire again... etc, but the Falcon 9 second stage just started to spin continuously in one direction and it got faster and faster.

Could this be intentional to stabilize the second stage/dragon-mockup? Just like most early satellites had been spin-stabilized?

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Post Re: Poll - First Launch of Falcon9   Posted on: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:16 pm
I have updated our news post about the launch with the full video and some pictures http://spacefellowship.com/news/art20681/live-spacex-falcon-9-maiden-flight-achieved-earth-orbit-.html

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Post Re: Poll - First Launch of Falcon9   Posted on: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:24 pm
From what I gather the spin was not intended, however:

Quote:
The apogee, or high point, was about 1 percent higher than planned and the perigee, or low point, was 0.2 percent off the target. The second stage shutdown was nominal, Musk told Spaceflight Now.

so it didn't affect the end result adversly.

Also it seems that first stage was destroyed on reentry.

And another from Spaceflight Now
Quote:
Musk says the roll oscillation observed during the second stage burn was not expected, but the rocket still reached a near-perfect orbit. Engineers will study the issue before the next flight, which is scheduled for later this summer.


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Post Re: Poll - First Launch of Falcon9   Posted on: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:45 am
Dear SpaceX;

Thanks for giving us some good news. It's been sort of rare these past weeks, with the BP crap going on, and the crazy North Koreans acting so dumb, etc etc.

It's good to see people doing good things.

And this has been one of the goodest.

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Post Re: Poll - First Launch of Falcon9   Posted on: Sat Jun 05, 2010 4:17 am
Watched the webcast at work - including the 2 delays before launch.

I hope that as soon as SpaceX gets better cashflow, they'll invest in some upgraded webservers to allow all of us netfans to get some good feed without all the pauses for buffering as we all click madly.

Anyway, so glad to see that all the sacrifices by Musk and the SpaceX crew have paid off. This makes the reward all the sweeter.

This looks like yet another promising start to a great future. Hopefully, we'll be seeing Falcon-9 ferry astronauts to the ISS before we know it.

Then after that - where? The Moon?

I wonder how much it would cost SpaceX to do just a simple circumlunar mission?


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Post Re: Poll - First Launch of Falcon9   Posted on: Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:26 am
sanman wrote:
Then after that - where? The Moon?

They need to establish a track record for reliable launches, I guess that has to happen before they send any asteronauts in one.

They also have a third launcher lined up, the Falcon 9 Heavy. Will be interesting to see when/if that starts to fly. I wouldn't be surprised if nasa or others start buying F9Hs or even F9s from them at some point for interplanetary missions.

Quote:
I wonder how much it would cost SpaceX to do just a simple circumlunar mission?

In terms of hardware I reckon they could easily do it with an F9, since the delta-v cost from earth to lunar orbit is not much higher (or even slightly lower?) than from earth to GEO.

I don't know what the additional costs would be for such a mission, but if they're as capable as they seem to be, it should be fairly low. Perhaps it would be cheaper to adapt an F1 to do a circumlunar mission? It depends of course on the mass of the orbiter. If the orbiter is just a video camera with transmitter and batteries, I guess they could do it for cheap with a standard F1.


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Post Re: Poll - First Launch of Falcon9   Posted on: Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:56 am
Perhaps the sparks in the exhaust were pieces of cork insulation that came off the sides of the rocket, and then ended up in the exhaust plume? They had problems before with the adhesive not bonding properly to the cold tanks, and that rocket spent a lot of time standing around being cold. The second try glue failing would also explain the first stage burning up on re-entry.

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Post Re: Poll - First Launch of Falcon9   Posted on: Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:57 pm
I think that the sparks were just ice flecks breaking off and reflecting the rockets red glare.


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Post Re: Poll - First Launch of Falcon9   Posted on: Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:44 pm
DanielW wrote:
I think that the sparks were just ice flecks breaking off and reflecting the rockets red glare.


That's what I think too.
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/2072896/saturn_v_launch/
At least some moments of this video look like if Saturn V is flying through rain of fire sparks, while in fact it was an ice buildup falling down.


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Post Re: Poll - First Launch of Falcon9   Posted on: Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:52 pm
Lourens wrote:
Perhaps the sparks in the exhaust were pieces of cork insulation that came off the sides of the rocket, and then ended up in the exhaust plume? They had problems before with the adhesive not bonding properly to the cold tanks, and that rocket spent a lot of time standing around being cold. The second try glue failing would also explain the first stage burning up on re-entry.


No the first stage broke up on re-entry apparently making it irrecoverable. No one has mentioned anything official about the cork which became irrelevent if the vehicle broke up.
Edit: Elon mentioned that that's what happened. May set the timetable on reuse back a bit.

Cheers.

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Post Re: Poll - First Launch of Falcon9   Posted on: Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:35 pm
With regard to the webcast, I didn't have any problems with buffering at all here in the UK (well a couple of times at non-critical moments)! Not sure why it was so good, just on an Ubuntu box running Chrome with an approx 6Mbit/s ADSL connection.

James


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