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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: Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:05 am
Yep. And contrary to popular belief, public corporations are not necessarily required to do whatever is best for the share holders at any time. They're required to follow their charter (written before the IPO), and if SpaceX's charter says that they're going to put all their money into getting Elon Musk to Mars or die trying, then that's perfectly fine. Of course not everyone will want to invest in such a venture :-).

Anyway, SpaceX is on track to make a lot of money in the launch market in the coming years. They could save up the money for a Mars shot at some point in the further future, or they can use those projected future earnings to get a pile of money from an IPO, and immediately start investing in more technology, speeding up the process. In exchange the current owners will have to share some of the pie with the new share holders, but I think they're all quite rich enough already...

If mr. Musk wants to retire to Mars at 65, then that first manned Mars mission will have to come in 10-15 years or so, so that there's a bit of time after that to build up an infrastructure. Meanwhile there's F9 to get into regular service, F9 Heavy to qualify, reusability to achieve, and perhaps even Falcon X to be developed. Doing an IPO and doubling the size of the company would definitely help.

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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:26 pm
Another email update

SpaceX wrote:
SpaceX Announces Independent Safety Advisory Panel for Commercial Crew

Industry Leaders Lend Expertise As Company Prepares for Astronaut Flights

Hawthorne, CA – Today, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), one of the leading private companies working to restore America’s ability to carry astronauts to the Space Station, announced it has assembled a team of outside experts to help the company create the world’s safest human spaceflight system.

“When it comes to manned spaceflight, safety is our top priority,” said SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer, Elon Musk. “These experts will provide us with important insights as we prepare to carry astronauts on the next generation of American spacecraft.”

The independent Safety Advisory Panel is composed of leading human spaceflight safety experts, including several former NASA astronauts and senior NASA officials. The panel will provide objective assessments of the safety of the Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to help SpaceX maintain the highest level of safety.

Among the experts joining the SpaceX Safety Advisory Panel are:

Dr. Leroy Chiao, PhD, Former NASA astronaut, Former International Space Station commander, member of the Augustine Commission (Review of United States Human Spaceflight Plans Committee).
Dr. G. Scott Hubbard, Former Director of NASA Ames Research Center, Stanford University professor of aeronautics and astronautics, sole NASA representative on the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.
Dr. Richard T. Jennings, MD, MS, Former Chief of Medicine for NASA Johnson Space Center, University of Texas Medical Branch professor at the Aerospace Medicine Center.
Captain Mark Kelly, Former NASA astronaut, Former Space Shuttle commander, Retired Navy Captain.
Dr. Edward Lu, PhD, Former NASA astronaut.

The panel will convene in the fall of 2012 and will continue its work well after SpaceX begins flying people to space.

About the Members:

Leroy Chiao, PhD

Dr. Chiao served as a NASA astronaut from July 1991 until December of 2005. During that time he qualified for flight assignments as a Space Station commander, Space Station science officer and Space Shuttle mission specialist. Chiao also served as chief of the Astronaut Office EVA Branch. A veteran of four spaceflights, he flew as a mission specialist on STS-65, STS-72 and STS-92, flew to and from the ISS as Flight Engineer on a Russian Soyuz, and was the commander and NASA science officer on Expedition-10. Chiao logged a total of 229 days in space, including 36 hours and 7 minutes of EVA time in six space walks. He has received numerous awards including NASA’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Medal. Chiao served as a member of the Review of U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans Committee, chaired by Norm Augustine.

G. Scott Hubbard

Dr. Hubbard has been engaged in space-related research for over 35 years including 20 years with NASA culminating as director of NASA's Ames Research Center. In 2003, he was the sole NASA representative on the Columbia Accident Investigation Board where he directed impact testing analysis that established the definitive physical cause of the loss of the Columbia. Hubbard was NASA's first Mars program director and successfully restructured the Mars program in the wake of mission failures. He is the founder of NASA's Astrobiology Institute, conceived the Mars Pathfinder mission and was manager for NASA's Lunar Prospector Mission. Hubbard has received many honors including NASA's highest award, the Distinguished Service Medal. He is currently a professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, where his research focuses on planetary exploration and the emerging entrepreneurial space industry. Hubbard serves as the Director of the Stanford Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation.

Richard T. Jennings, MD

Dr. Jennings served as flight surgeon at NASA-JSC from 1987-1995, as chief of the Flight Medicine Clinic, and as chief of Medical Operations-Space Shuttle. He was crew surgeon or deputy crew surgeon on 14 Shuttle missions and provided mission support to 45 Shuttle flights. In 1995, he joined the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston where he directs the UTMB/NASA-JSC aerospace medicine residency program and coordinates the Wyle Integrated Sciences and Engineering/UTMB physicians that support NASA spaceflight operations, advanced medical projects, and research at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, NASA-JSC, and the Flight Analog Research Unit at UTMB. He is the lead flight surgeon for Space Adventures and consults in commercial suborbital spaceflight with Virgin Galactic. Jennings is a principal investigator for UTMB in the FAA Center of Excellence in Commercial Space Transportation.

Mark E. Kelly, Captain, USN

Captain Kelly served as a NASA astronaut from August of 1996 until October of 2011. His first trip into space was as pilot of STS-108, when Endeavour lifted off on December 5, 2001. In July 2006, Kelly served as pilot for STS-121 aboard Discovery, the second “Return to Flight” mission following the loss of Columbia in February 2003 in a mission that tested new safety and repair techniques introduced following the Columbia disaster. STS-124, aboard Discovery, was Kelly’s first mission as commander. Kelly was also the commander of the STS-134 mission, which was Space Shuttle Endeavour’s last flight. A Captain in the U.S. Navy, Kelly logged more than 6,000 hours in more than 50 different aircraft and has over 375 carrier landings.

Edward Lu, PhD

Dr. Lu served as a NASA astronaut from March of 1995 until August of 2007. A veteran of three space missions, Lu has logged over 206 days in space, including an EVA totaling 6 hours and 14 minutes. Lu was the first American to launch as the flight engineer of a Soyuz spacecraft and the first American to launch and land on a Soyuz spacecraft (Soyuz TMA-2). As flight engineer and NASA ISS science officer, Lu spent a 6-month tour of duty aboard the International Space Station maintaining ISS systems and overseeing science operations. Lu received numerous commendations including NASA’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Medal. After leaving NASA, Lu joined Google, where he led the Advanced Projects Group responsible for imaging for Google Street View and Google Maps/Earth, book scanning technology and innovative energy projects.



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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:36 am
From Facebook

SpaceX wrote:
Our launch is likely to be pushed back by one week to do more testing on Dragon docking code, pending coordination with NASA.


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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:09 pm
A newsletter update: http://www.icontact-archive.com/eh5T7Vh ... w=4#fblike

SpaceX wrote:
SpaceX to Webcast Static Fire for Upcoming Mission on Monday

Mission Would Make SpaceX the First Commercial Company to Attempt to Send a Spacecraft to the International Space Station


Hawthorne, CA – On Monday, April 30, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) will webcast a static fire test of the Falcon 9 rocket’s nine powerful Merlin engines in preparation for the company’s upcoming launch.
The webcast, available at spacex.com, is set to begin at 2:30 PM ET/ 11:30 AM PT, with the actual static fire targeted for 3:00 PM ET/ 12:00 PM PT.

The 9 engine test will take place at the company’s Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station as part of a full launch dress rehearsal leading up to the second Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) launch. During the rehearsal, SpaceX engineers will run through all countdown processes as though it were launch day. The exercise will end with all nine engines firing at full power for two seconds.

After the test, SpaceX will conduct a thorough review of all data as engineers make final preparations for the upcoming launch, currently targeted for May 7. SpaceX plans to launch its Dragon spacecraft into low-Earth orbit atop a Falcon 9 rocket. During the mission, Dragon’s sensors and flight systems will be subject to a series of tests to determine if the vehicle is ready to berth with the space station. If NASA decides Dragon is ready, the vehicle will attach to the station and astronauts will open Dragon’s hatch and unload the cargo onboard.

This will be the first attempt by a commercial company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station, a feat previously performed by only a few governments. Success is not guaranteed. If any aspect of the mission is not successful, SpaceX will learn from the experience and try again. It is also the second demonstration flight under NASA’s program to develop commercial supply services to the International Space Station.

The first SpaceX COTS flight, in December 2010, made SpaceX the first commercial company in history to send a spacecraft to orbit and return it safely to Earth. Once SpaceX demonstrates the ability to carry cargo to the space station, it will begin to fulfill its Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract for NASA for at least 12 missions to carry cargo to and from the space station. The Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft were designed to one day carry astronauts; both the COTS and CRS missions will yield valuable flight experience toward this goal.

Image

SpaceX also plans to broadcast the entire launch live at spacex.com on launch day.



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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:18 pm
Mchl, you might want to check the front page from time to time ;)
http://spacefellowship.com/news/art2840 ... onday.html

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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:42 pm
I guess I might :P
Usually I post these before they appear there, but this time I missed it in my inbox. Still I think it'll be nice to have a news archive of sorts here? Won't it?


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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:31 pm
Just keep posting the updates as long as you want. ;)

Guess I was just disappointed because I had expected something new :p

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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Wed May 02, 2012 8:25 pm
and more delays...
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2012/05/02/ ... ast-may-7/
:(

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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Fri May 11, 2012 4:46 pm
meanwhile... somewhere in texas!

http://www.hobbyspace.com/nucleus/index ... emid=37794

awesome! :mrgreen:

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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Fri May 11, 2012 8:49 pm
We're doomed. Seriously, look at that landing gear photo. Remember War of the Worlds? That's not a landing gear, that's the undercarriage for a Martian invader vehicle! The Martians have cleverly disguised one of their own as an Earthling (just look at the name, "Elon Musk", really?), and are now having us build them an invasion fleet. This thing is called Grasshopper! Grasshoppers (locusts) come in great big clouds to swarm across your fields and strip them bare in moments, before they move on to strip the next thing they can find of its nutrients and biomass. Look at Mars. Empty frozen desert, but plenty of evidence of a warmer, wetter past with a possibility for life. Look at what they've done to it. And now Earth is next. SpaceX must be stopped!

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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Sat May 12, 2012 8:04 am
hm actually your account sounds more like independence day to me :wink:

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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Wed May 16, 2012 7:05 am
From Twitter:

SpaceX wrote:
The SpaceX launch webcast is scheduled for 1:15 AM Pacific / 4:15 AM Eastern / 08:15 UTC on May 19 at http://www.spacex.com


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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Fri May 18, 2012 3:24 pm
Something a bit different than usual:

http://yurisnight.net/2012/05/watch-spa ... lcon-ride/

Yuri's Night wrote:
This weekend promises to be an exciting one for fans of space. At 4:55 AM EDT this Saturday, SpaceX is scheduled to launch the first commercial capsule to dock with the International Space Station from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. And on Sunday, the western half of North America will witness an annular solar eclipse.

On Saturday morning, Quest for Stars, in partnership with Yuri’s Night and Columbus to Space, is launching a weather balloon to the edge of space. Quest for Stars, a nonprofit organization that works with schools, colleges, and communities to promote STEM education, will be documenting the historic launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket from the miles-high balloon.

“Yuri’s Falcon Ride” will lift off from western-central Florida on May 19th with HD night-vision (FLIR) imagery and a Yuri’s Night ‘mission patch’. Video footage of the launch will be available this Saturday at www.questforstars.com. Quest for Stars will also record footage of the solar eclipse in a separate launch, and share video and photos from both at the San Francisco MakerFaire this weekend.

Go Falcon 9 and Go Yuri!


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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Mon May 21, 2012 8:08 pm
I found something about Falcon 9 v1.1 and since it's from an Interview with Elon Musk, I guess that's pretty much as official as it gets:

Quote:
Question: Can you describe what modifications you're making to the launch pad at Cape Canaveral?

Musk: The extension to the existing hangar is for payload processing and it's also for Falcon 9 version 1.1, which is longer. It's about 50 percent longer than version 1. We need a little bit of extra length and some extra facilities for the satellites that are coming.

[NOTE: Falcon 9 v1.1 is an upgraded version of the Falcon 9 rocket with more powerful Merlin 1D engines and lengthened propellant tanks. It will also be the core for SpaceX's Falcon Heavy, a colossal booster formed from three first stages strapped together. Falcon Heavy's first test launch is expected as soon as mid-2013.]

Question: When will the first Falcon 9 v1.1 fly?

Musk: We'll certainly be vertical on the pad at Vandenberg [Air Force Base in California] by the end of the year. Launch could be early next year. The launch date depends on how the final phase of testing goes for the next-generation Falcon 9.

Source: http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/003/120518musk/


Ok, so Merlin 1D engines (as expected) and longer (I have read that somewhere else already), but a whopping 50% longer than the current one... wow :shock: (even if I guess he is only talking about the first stage?)

Now wonder the specs for the FH jumped miles ahead of the original F9H concept. And I thought that was only due to the benefits of propellant cross-feed. :P

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Post Re: SpaceX - News Items   Posted on: Wed May 23, 2012 3:08 pm
From Spaceflight Now

Quote:
Dragon's commanded abort demonstrations, employing full burns and pulsed firings of its Draco thrusters, were completed earlier today. The craft also demonstrated its free drift mode, in which Dragon's attitude control thrusters are switched off.

NASA and SpaceX are reviewing data from the demos.

The abort and free drift functions are required for Dragon's approach to the space station. An abort may be necessary if problems develop during the final phase of rendezvous, and Dragon must go to free drift mode before being grappled by the station's robot arm.

SpaceX has thus far reported no significant issues with the spacecraft on its first day in orbit. More burns are on tap overnight and tomorrow to fine-tune its high-speed pursuit of the space station.


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