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SpaceX - News Items

Posted by: beancounter - Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:54 am
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SpaceX - News Items 
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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:54 pm
Ha, just wanted to post this, but you beat me to it! ;)

So no discussion between us two this time about the kind of review they passed ;)

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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:27 am
Marcus Zottl wrote:
Ha, just wanted to post this, but you beat me to it! ;)

So no discussion between us two this time about the kind of review they passed ;)


Yup. Verbatim quoting FTW! :D


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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:58 pm
During CCDev Comitee hearings today Musk said ISS berthing will probably take place in January 2012 (or at least that's how I understood what he said - you'll need to find transcripts to be sure).


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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:03 am
oO

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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:35 pm
Nice article here about Elon Musk and his dedication on getting
the Falcon 9 to be a fully reusable, though not single stage, system:

1 visionary + 3 launchers + 1,500 employees = ?
Is SpaceX changing the rocket equation?
By Andrew Chaikin
Quote:
He says he is committed to turning Falcon 9 into “the first fully and rapidly reusable rocket” because, he says, that accomplishment is key to making spaceflight affordable and routine. To cut the cost of getting to orbit to just $100 per pound, Musk says, “you need to be able to launch multiple times a day, just like an airplane. And it’s got to be complete, so you can’t be throwing away a million dollars of expendable hardware every flight either.” Musk has targeted reusability from the start. Merlin engines, for example, are designed to fly tens of missions—provided you can get them back. An animation on SpaceX’s Web site shows how that might happen: Cast-off Falcon 9 stages reenter the atmosphere at between 17 and 25 times the speed of sound, then use their own guidance systems and engines to fly back to the launch site, where they land upright on deployable legs. A test program called Grasshopper is already in the works at SpaceX’s Texas facility. No one can predict how many years it might take to achieve full and rapid reusability, but Musk says, “it’s absolutely crucial. It’s fundamental. I would consider SpaceX to have failed if we do not succeed in that.”
The insistence on reusability “drives the engineers insane,” says Vozoff. “We could’ve had Falcon 1 in orbit two years earlier than we did if Elon had just given up on first stage reusability. The qualification for the Merlin engine was far outside of what was necessary, unless you plan to recover it and reuse it. And so the engineers are frustrated because this isn’t the quickest means to the end. But Elon has this bigger picture in mind. And he forces them to do what’s hard. And I admire that about him.”

http://www.airspacemag.com/space-explor ... c=y&page=1


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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:18 am
Thanks for the link to a well written article Bob.

I'm surprised I haven't seen more in the news about the scheduled Dragon flight to the ISS in February. I know Space X tends to play it low key on their website. But nothing there so far either.

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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:18 pm
The article Bob linked to isn't the one about Stratolaunch ;)

Anyway: from what people have noticed about the specs given for Stratolaunch and what is seen in the animation (dragon sits on top, so diameter equals Falcon 9) it looks like this will be a shortened F9 first stage (because of the fuel savings from airlaunch and using vacuum optimized nozzles for higher ISP) with only 4 or 5 engines because less thrust is needed.

Guess with all that you can "easily" reduce the F9 to 500k lbs air launched version.

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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:36 pm
From http://www.spacex.com/updates.php published on Dec 15th 2011
Visit the url above for visualisations and pictures.
SpaceX wrote:
UPDATE | COTS DEMO 2/3

December 8, 2011, marked the one-year anniversary of Dragon’s first Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) demonstration flight. The flight made history, as SpaceX became the only commercial company to successfully return a spacecraft from orbit. This feat had previously been accomplished only by five nations and the European Space Agency.

We are now preparing the Dragon spacecraft for yet another historic flight -- becoming the first commercial vehicle in history to visit the International Space Station (ISS)!

NASA recently announced February 7, 2012, as our new target launch date for the upcoming mission. In addition, NASA officially confirmed that SpaceX will be allowed to complete the objectives of COTS 2 and COTS 3 in a single mission.

This means Dragon will perform all of the COTS 2 mission objectives, which include numerous operations in the vicinity of the ISS, and will then perform the COTS 3 objectives. These include approach, berthing with the ISS, astronauts opening Dragon and unloading cargo, and finally astronauts closing the spacecraft and sending it back to Earth for recovery from the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California.

This mission marks a major milestone in American spaceflight. While our first missions to the ISS will be to transport cargo, both Falcon 9 and Dragon were designed to ultimately transport astronauts. Every trip we make to the ISS from this point forward gets us closer to that goal. SpaceX is incredibly excited for what the future holds and, as always, we greatly appreciate NASA’s continued support and partnership in this process.

THE COTS 2/3 DEMONSTRATION MISSION

Just as Dragon’s first mission to orbit and back involved a level of effort equal to launching the first Falcon 9, preparing Dragon for two weeks of operation in space and for approach and berthing with the ISS poses new challenges. Meeting them requires a large amount of detailed planning and careful execution.

Each launch day will have just one narrow liftoff window -- no more than a few minutes -- in order to synchronize Dragon’s flight with the orbit of the ISS. Catching up to the ISS will take from one to three days. Once there, Dragon will begin the COTS 2 demonstrations to show proper performance and control in the vicinity of the ISS, while remaining outside the Station’s safe zone.

During the entire time Dragon is in the vicinity of the ISS, Station astronauts will be in direct communication with Dragon and will be able to monitor the spacecraft as well as issue spacecraft commands.

After successfully completing the COTS 2 requirements, Dragon will receive approval to begin the COTS 3 activities, gradually approaching the ISS from the radial direction (toward the Earth), while under constant observation.

Dragon will approach to within a few meters of the ISS, allowing astronauts to reach out and grapple Dragon with the Station’s robotic arm and then maneuver it carefully into place. The entire process will take a few hours.

Once in place, Station astronauts will equalize the pressure between the ISS and Dragon, open the hatches, enter the vehicle and begin unloading Dragon’s cargo.

After Dragon spends about a week berthed at the ISS, astronauts will reverse the process, loading Dragon with cargo for return to Earth, sealing the hatches, and un-berthing the Dragon using the robotic arm.

Dragon will then depart from the ISS and return to Earth within a day or so, and the SpaceX recovery crew will meet it at splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California.

PREPARING FOR LAUNCH AT THE CAPE

As previously reported, both the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and the Dragon spacecraft that will fly in the COTS Demo 2/3 mission have been delivered to our launch complex in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Falcon 9’s first stage, second stage, and interstage were integrated and rolled out for two separate wet dress rehearsals in which SpaceX engineers performed the entire countdown sequence up until the moment the engines would be fired.

The Dragon COTS Demo 2/3 spacecraft and trunk have also been delivered to our launch pad and are undergoing final processing for flight


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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:43 am
Marcus Zottl wrote:
The article Bob linked to isn't the one about Stratolaunch ;)

Anyway: from what people have noticed about the specs given for Stratolaunch and what is seen in the animation (dragon sits on top, so diameter equals Falcon 9) it looks like this will be a shortened F9 first stage (because of the fuel savings from airlaunch and using vacuum optimized nozzles for higher ISP) with only 4 or 5 engines because less thrust is needed.

Guess with all that you can "easily" reduce the F9 to 500k lbs air launched version.


Have we all forgotten about F5?


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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:10 am
Certainly not, that was actually my first thought when I saw the animation. ;)
But just because it probably* will have 5 engines, doesn't mean it is the same thing as was originally planed to become Falcon 5.

* Regarding Number of engines I've read about 4, 5 and 6 so far...

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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:12 am
I can't see SpaceX building another production line for this. They're going to have trouble enough scaling up their production facilities without building a third set of them, and they don't need this project from a financial perspective either. So the only way I see them do this is if they can do it at very low overhead...

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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:28 pm
Lourens wrote:
I can't see SpaceX building another production line for this. They're going to have trouble enough scaling up their production facilities without building a third set of them, and they don't need this project from a financial perspective either. So the only way I see them do this is if they can do it at very low overhead...


But I cannot see the launch aircraft being ready within 5 years, so they have plenty of time to mod the rocket, and plenty of time means cheaper.


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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:11 pm
Meanwhile at Cape Canaveral
Image

via Twitter @SpaceXer https://twitter.com/#!/SpaceXer/status/ ... 24/photo/1


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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:09 am
they just recycle images for twitter/facebook/g+
that image got posted like a week ago: http://www.spacex.com/updates.php

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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:25 am
Musk's Mars plans or at least some cgi with a nice music track :wink: :twisted: tho i do hope he makes it and if he can get it down to $100 to $200 per kilogram to Mars i think he may be able to find a way to raise the money needed to do so.

http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/12/elon-m ... ns-of.html

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