Community > Forum > Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) Forum > SpaceX - News Items

SpaceX - News Items

Posted by: beancounter - Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:54 am
Post new topic Reply to topic
 [ 119 posts ] 
Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 8  Next
SpaceX - News Items 
Author Message
Space Walker
Space Walker
User avatar
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2004 8:30 am
Posts: 236
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Post SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:54 am
Ex-NASA Astronaut now SpaceX interview:

http://www.space.com/11124-astronaut-ga ... ex-qa.html

McGregor Test Site next flight engine tests:

http://www.kwtx.com/ourtown/headlines/M ... 73704.html

SpaceX satellite contract:

http://www.labusinessjournal.com/news/2 ... unch-deal/
http://www.spacex.com/press.php?page=20110314

SpaceX / ORBCOMM Launch

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/2 ... tes-Falcon

_________________
Beancounter from Downunder


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Member
Space Station Member
User avatar
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:51 am
Posts: 442
Location: Vienna, Austria, Europe, Earth
Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:33 pm
Harr! I just wanted to start that kind of thread, nice too see that there is already one ;)

Here are some interesting news items about the unveiling of the Falcon Heavy:
http://www.popularmechanics.com/science ... et-5518955
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1104/05falconheavy/ (not much more than repeating the SpaceX infos here)
http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/opi ... earthquake
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-m ... 1394.story


Anyone else got some interesting articles or blog posts? I'm especially curious about what people predict that a launcher like Falcon Heavy will enable "us" to do - both from a technical point of view as well in terms of economics.

_________________
pride comes before a fall


Back to top
Profile
Space Walker
Space Walker
User avatar
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2004 8:30 am
Posts: 236
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:25 am
Here's a recent article discussing the possibility of combining SpaceX COTS-C Demo flights 2 & 3:

http://www.spacenews.com/civil/110404-p ... -demo.html

_________________
Beancounter from Downunder


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Member
Space Station Member
User avatar
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:51 am
Posts: 442
Location: Vienna, Austria, Europe, Earth
Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:34 am
Hmm, so if they go ahead with combining COTS demo flights 2 and 3 then the next launch of dragon won't be before November. If the flights stay separate, then COTS Demo 2 won't fly before July.

Since CRS can only happen after meeting all the COTS milestones that basically means in all likelihood we will only see a SINGLE SpaceX launch this year! (I doubt that with them being busy with COTS stuff they can execute one of those ORBCOMM launches in between).


I'm really a big fan of Elon and SpaceX but they are still a long time away from launching ~10 F9s a year (not to mention 10 FHs on top of that). :|

_________________
pride comes before a fall


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Member
Space Station Member
User avatar
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 1:04 pm
Posts: 252
Location: Norway
Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:25 pm
Marcus Zottl wrote:
I'm really a big fan of Elon and SpaceX but they are still a long time away from launching ~10 F9s a year (not to mention 10 FHs on top of that). :|


It takes customers and hardware to perform that. Right now, it doesn't look like there's enough of either of them to do that, but it also looks like things are moving in the right direction.


Back to top
Profile ICQ
Space Walker
Space Walker
avatar
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 6:36 pm
Posts: 113
Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:31 am
The decision to use this or other booster is not taken on a whim. I suspect many potential customers were not willing to commit their time and money to an unproven technology. With each successful flight their ranks will grow though.

On the other hand, all it takes is but one failure to destroy that confidence.


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Commander
Space Station Commander
User avatar
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 8:47 am
Posts: 521
Location: Science Park, Cambridge, UK
Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:13 pm
Mchl wrote:
The decision to use this or other booster is not taken on a whim. I suspect many potential customers were not willing to commit their time and money to an unproven technology. With each successful flight their ranks will grow though.

On the other hand, all it takes is but one failure to destroy that confidence.


Customers still use Atlas, Ariane, or any of current crop of launchers etc, and they have all had failures.


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Commander
Space Station Commander
avatar
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2005 7:44 am
Posts: 707
Location: Haarlem, The Netherlands
Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:14 pm
Also, SpaceX have customers lined up all the way into 2014. Of course, their spacecraft may not be ready quickly enough to fly sooner, but I would put it down to production/testing and maybe even launch capacity. And that's not so strange, I don't think anyone has ever tried rocket serial production at this scale before. There are bound to be lots of problems to be solved along the way. SpaceX is the new kid in town, they need to prove themselves, and the name of the game is reliability, not speed. Delays will hurt their reputation much less than failures. So they're careful. If that slows things down a bit, I think they can live with that. They're a bunch of young people, they can afford to wait a bit longer for their Mars ride :-).

_________________
Say, can you feel the thunder in the air? Just like the moment ’fore it hits – then it’s everywhere
What is this spell we’re under, do you care? The might to rise above it is now within your sphere
Machinae Supremacy – Sid Icarus


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Member
Space Station Member
User avatar
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 1:04 pm
Posts: 252
Location: Norway
Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:38 am
Do not forget that there is no point in building launchers, if there's nothing to launch!


Back to top
Profile ICQ
Space Walker
Space Walker
avatar
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 6:36 pm
Posts: 113
Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:19 am
JamesHughes wrote:
Customers still use Atlas, Ariane, or any of current crop of launchers etc, and they have all had failures.


True. But just like Lourens says, SpaceX is new to this game and already changing the rules. It's only natural that customers are suspicious.


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Member
Space Station Member
User avatar
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:51 am
Posts: 442
Location: Vienna, Austria, Europe, Earth
Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:54 am
IrquiM wrote:
Marcus Zottl wrote:
I'm really a big fan of Elon and SpaceX but they are still a long time away from launching ~10 F9s a year (not to mention 10 FHs on top of that). :|


It takes customers and hardware to perform that. Right now, it doesn't look like there's enough of either of them to do that, but it also looks like things are moving in the right direction.


Of course it takes customers and hardware to do that, but when you take a look at their launch manifest it doesn't exactly look like they are short on the first category (sure it isn't yet 10/year, but that is expected).

My concern is that their schedules could slip because they either can't keep up with the required production rates and/or with other kind of operations like launch preparations.

Regarding launches I know that the NASA flights all depend on the completion of the COTS milestones, but what about other flights? There could possibly be a launch for ORBCOMM in 2011 (assuming their payload is ready) as well as one for MDA Corp. (did that date change or have I simply missed it last time?).

According to the FLORIDA TODAY Space Launch Schedule there are 3 launch dates "scheduled" for SpaceX/Falcon9 this year (July 15, Oct. 8, Dec. 7) although all are listed as "Dragon C2" Mission.
Edit: according to the description texts the dates are assumed to be for COTS2, COTS3 and CRS1.

_________________
pride comes before a fall


Back to top
Profile
Space Walker
Space Walker
avatar
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 6:36 pm
Posts: 113
Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:34 pm
SpaceX newsletter wrote:
SpaceX Wins NASA Contract to Complete Development of Successor to the Space Shuttle

First Astronaut Mission Expected in Three Years

WASHINGTON D.C. - NASA has awarded Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) $75 million to develop a revolutionary launch escape system that will enable the company’s Dragon spacecraft to carry astronauts. The Congressionally mandated award is part of the agency's Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) initiative that started in 2009 to help private companies mature concepts and technologies for human spaceflight.

"This award will accelerate our efforts to develop the next-generation rockets and spacecraft for human transportation," said Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer. "With NASA’s support, SpaceX will be ready to fly its first manned mission in 2014."

Musk said the flight-proven Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft represent the safest and fastest path to American crew transportation capability. With their historic successful flight on December 8th, 2010, many Falcon 9 and Dragon components that are needed to transport humans to low-Earth orbit have already been demonstrated in flight. Both vehicles were designed from the outset to fly people.

The announcement comes at a time when the United States has a critical need for American commercial human spaceflight. After the Space Shuttle retires in a few months, NASA will be totally dependent on the Russian Soyuz to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS) at a cost of more than $753 million a year -- about $63 million per seat.

Musk said Dragon – designed to carry seven astronauts at a time to the space station at a cost of $20 million a seat – offers a far better deal for the U.S. taxpayer. While considerable flight testing remains, the critical-path technology Dragon needs for carrying humans to orbit is the launch escape system.

New Launch Abort System

SpaceX's integrated escape system will be superior to traditional solid rocket tractor escape towers used by other vehicles in the past. Due to their extreme weight, tractor systems must be jettisoned within minutes of liftoff, but the SpaceX innovative design builds the escape engines into the side walls of Dragon, eliminating the danger of releasing a heavy solid rocket escape tower after launch.

The SpaceX design also provides crew with emergency escape capability throughout the entire flight, whereas the Space Shuttle has no escape system and even the Apollo moon program allowed escape only during the first few minutes of flight. The result is that astronauts flying on Dragon will be considerably safer.

Furthermore, the integrated escape system returns with the spacecraft, allowing for easy reuse and radical reductions in the cost of space transport. Over time, the same escape thrusters will also provide the capability for Dragon to land almost anywhere on Earth or another planet with pinpoint accuracy, overcoming the limitation of a winged architecture that works only in Earth's atmosphere.

Under the award, SpaceX will modify Dragon to accommodate crew, with specific hardware milestones that will provide NASA with regular, demonstrated progress including:

* Static fire testing of the launch escape system engines
* Initial design of abort engine and crew accommodations
* Prototype evaluations by NASA crew for seats, control panels and cabin

The December 8th, 2010, demonstration flight of Falcon 9 and Dragon was the first flight under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, which was initiated to develop commercial cargo services to the International Space Station. After the Space Shuttle retires, SpaceX will fly at least 12 missions to carry cargo to and from the International Space Station as part of the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract for NASA.


Back to top
Profile
Space Station Member
Space Station Member
User avatar
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 1:04 pm
Posts: 252
Location: Norway
Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:16 pm
Marcus Zottl wrote:
Of course it takes customers and hardware to do that, but when you take a look at their launch manifest it doesn't exactly look like they are short on the first category (sure it isn't yet 10/year, but that is expected).

My concern is that their schedules could slip because they either can't keep up with the required production rates and/or with other kind of operations like launch preparations.


I hear ya! The comment was more related to customers having things ready to fly. No point in having huge stockpiles of rocket engines and tanks laying around, taking up space (that could be used for other stuff).


Back to top
Profile ICQ
Space Walker
Space Walker
User avatar
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2004 8:30 am
Posts: 236
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:31 am
IrquiM wrote:
Marcus Zottl wrote:
Of course it takes customers and hardware to do that, but when you take a look at their launch manifest it doesn't exactly look like they are short on the first category (sure it isn't yet 10/year, but that is expected).

My concern is that their schedules could slip because they either can't keep up with the required production rates and/or with other kind of operations like launch preparations.


I hear ya! The comment was more related to customers having things ready to fly. No point in having huge stockpiles of rocket engines and tanks laying around, taking up space (that could be used for other stuff).


Not to mention waste of working capital but somehow I don't think that'll be a problem. Ramping up to an operations status will or is presenting big challenges for SpaceX and maintaining quality will be one of them. Not to mention that they also have a huge amount on their plate right now. When you consider that they're still developing Dragon Cargo spacecraft, F9 isn't yet operational even though it has launched a secondary payload. They're apparently going to hit FH full-steam ahead and now Dragon Crew. I'll be very surprised if things don't slip.

_________________
Beancounter from Downunder


Back to top
Profile
Space Walker
Space Walker
User avatar
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2004 8:30 am
Posts: 236
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:36 am
Further to possible schedule slip, do you think they may have had a word with the Russians re: the following article, to help them out a bit i.e. give them a bit more time :wink: http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/opi ... ian-barrel

_________________
Beancounter from Downunder


Back to top
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 119 posts ] 
Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 8  Next
 

Who is online 

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests


cron
© 2014 The International Space Fellowship, developed by Gabitasoft Interactive. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy | Terms of Use