GDB
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun May 13, 2018 8:24 am

parapente wrote:
Couple of points about economics and capability,
The Russian space agency recently stated (
Sat 2 months) that they were extracting the,selves from commercial launchers and concentration on satellite builds instead (more money and profit).Simply as they cannot commercially compete with Musk.Well if the Russians can't with their old (but reliable proton rockets then frankly who can.And it will only get worse with recoverable fairings and perhaps second stages (that's all of it).

In terms of increased capability (thrust) its worth noting that not only was this Sat enormously heavy it was also sent to the hardest place (GEO Stat orbit).Not only could the F9b5 do this it could also carry its legs there and back.With enough left over fuel to land.
There really is nothing commercial this. System can't launch these days.Has Bezos gone too large I wonder?
Of course BFR is for a different purpose. Entirely.
What the F 9 has not done is put humans into space.Thats the next ( last?) key task it has to accomplish.


Six more successful Block 5 launches and then it's certified for a manned Dragon launch, or so I have heard.
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun May 13, 2018 10:16 am

Yup I read something similar.NASA has asked them to stop making any improvements for a while (6 flights?) so exactly the same rocket can be seen to be successfully flown each time.This would then become the ' standard' 'human rated' version.
Be interesting if NASA are happy for astronauts to fly in 'used' rockets- now at Really would be a first! I guess if they want brand new ones they can always pay a. Premium?
6 flights? I imagine there are about that left this year (or more?).That might suggest that manned flight s can start next year?
But I guess they need to do some more proving work on the manned Dragon capsule first?
Since Elon has said they are not intending to human rate FH I guess it will all be LEO work.( ie no millionaires going round the Moon!)
Mind you I am sure they would 'shell out' for a day or two in orbit around the earth instead - perhaps with a couple of e perienced crew on board.
 
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Nomadd
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon May 14, 2018 7:54 am

It might be optimistic, but there are 22 Falcon launches on the manifest for the rest of 2018. They haven't said how many will be Block 5s.
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon May 14, 2018 8:18 am

Hate AvsB threads so would not ever want a Spacex vs Boeing except the Boeing CEO seems to want one.But no American has flown into space on anything but Russian product since the Shuttle days.I guess there will be a bit of a race coming up to be first with a fully approved manned capsule.
I think the main timing constraint will be the capsules not the rockets.BBC (no great authority) seemed to think it would be 'sometime next year' for Spacex so I imagine similar for Boeing.
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu May 17, 2018 11:53 am

Oh krap!

I've just seen that several SpaceX launches have been postponed. And the next FH launch will be on October 30th, or later.

Does anybody know the reasons for that?


David
Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
 
DarkKnight5
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu May 17, 2018 12:38 pm

flyingturtle wrote:
Oh krap!

I've just seen that several SpaceX launches have been postponed. And the next FH launch will be on October 30th, or later.

Does anybody know the reasons for that?


David


LMGTFY :-)
https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/05/16/new-target-dates-set-for-next-two-falcon-9-launches/
The launch of five commercial Iridium message relay satellites and a pair of U.S.-German orbiting geophysics probes on a Falcon 9 rocket from California has been delayed three days to May 22, and a week-long schedule slip to May 31 is expected for the next SpaceX flight from Cape Canaveral with an SES communications payload.

The delay for the Falcon 9 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, allows time for SpaceX to resolve an issue preparing the mission’s Falcon 9 rocket, Iridium chief executive Matt Desch said Monday.


Can't find anything on the SES-12 launch delay, so it probably isn't anything major. It's an interesting satellite though, apparently it's the largest-ish non-Russian rocket to rely solely on electric propulsion, saving a lot of mass on propellant. I tried to research how this works, but I quickly became overwhelmed and started hitting my computer with rocks and sticks. On the plus side, I believe I've discovered fire.
 
DarkKnight5
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu May 17, 2018 12:47 pm

DarkKnight5 wrote:
Can't find anything on the SES-12 launch delay, so it probably isn't anything major. It's an interesting satellite though, apparently it's the largest-ish non-Russian rocket to rely solely on electric propulsion, saving a lot of mass on propellant. I tried to research how this works, but I quickly became overwhelmed and started hitting my computer with rocks and sticks. On the plus side, I believe I've discovered fire.


Someone on Reddit suggests the range may have downtime, so a minor delay puts the launch into the downtime, thus a larger delay. It appears the USAF 45th Space Wing, which operates the range, schedules in two two-week maintenance periods per year.

http://spacenews.com/efforts-underway-to-ease-floridas-space-coast-launch-congestion/
The Air Force’s 45th Space Wing, which operates Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and the Eastern Range, has been working to address that surge in launch demand. Those efforts fall under a strategy dubbed “Drive for 48,” for the ability to support 48 launches a year — an average of one a week, with two two-week maintenance periods — within five years.
 
GDB
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu May 17, 2018 3:24 pm

Some well informed observers doubt we will see a second FH launch this year.
 
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SeJoWa
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu May 17, 2018 3:38 pm

I try to follow Gwynne Shotwell's talks - here's one from April of this year.

Of note, among other things, is how she got into engineering. Her mother was an artist, by the way. See:

https://www.ted.com/talks/gwynne_shotwe ... 30_minutes
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri May 18, 2018 10:16 am

Yup it does look like the FH launches have been put back.Not sure there's really much role for the FH sadly.It was conceived 10 years ago when the power of the F9 was nearly half what it is today!
They can now lob really large sat's into GEO orbit with the F9 yet still carry the heavy landing legs and the draggy grid fins -and retain enough fuel for the double burn back for a soft landing!
It would no doubt be cheaper if they needed even more 'throw weight/power' to simply use an F9 in disposable mode.
Thankfully there are 2 more flights booked for FH so we can see these spectacular launches!Elon has now said he is not bothering to make it human rated and it will be a (very useful) backup toBFR if there are any delays -which there may be-it's a huge leap he is undertaking.

The FH could be man rated to take Astronauts to deep space around the Moon if required and it could take an unmanned craft to Mars.Both would be useful if BFR is delayed.I note that the Military are talking (along with everybody else) about using smaller Sat,s in future so again the FH is going to have limited uses I fear.
That does however beg the question what New Glen is for! It's too big for normal commercial needs but too small for Moon/Mars work.I just don't get it.
 
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Francoflier
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sat May 19, 2018 9:53 am

The FH could make sense if they developed a reusable second stage.

You'd then have a fully reusable vehicle that could easily lob most commercial and military sats in orbit for potentially less money than an F9 you recover only a part of.
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
GDB
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sat May 19, 2018 3:17 pm

Francoflier wrote:
The FH could make sense if they developed a reusable second stage.

You'd then have a fully reusable vehicle that could easily lob most commercial and military sats in orbit for potentially less money than an F9 you recover only a part of.


Musk has alluded to that, in his own, eccentric sounding 'is he joking?' way. History of Space X shows he probably isn't.
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sat May 19, 2018 11:40 pm

GDB wrote:
Francoflier wrote:
The FH could make sense if they developed a reusable second stage.

You'd then have a fully reusable vehicle that could easily lob most commercial and military sats in orbit for potentially less money than an F9 you recover only a part of.


Musk has alluded to that, in his own, eccentric sounding 'is he joking?' way. History of Space X shows he probably isn't.


Pretty sure they've stated they're working on a recovery of a second stage. But with the BFR who knows if that's in active development or on the back burner. With the block 5 booster in production it appears all design resources are now on the BFR project.
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun May 20, 2018 10:20 am

No question that Spacex is going to try and return the second stage at some point.Elon ( in his usual cryptic way) has referred to using party balloons and a bouncy castle.Some people on you tube have interpreted this as modifications of previously considered NASA marks ideas.But are only guesses.
One imagines they are trying to perfect fairing capture first.Looks like they may try some 'drop tests' with previously returned fairings.Clearly they can get them back-it's the catchers mit part that's difficult (I can imagine it is,spotlandings with paragliders are difficult -I know!).
However since second stage is coming back from orbit they could technically bring it back to land as opposed to sea if they are allowed to do that.
But it's full re entry heat/speed so it's got to be hard.
 
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SeJoWa
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun May 20, 2018 12:53 pm

I'm a little mystified why the fairings can't bring their "bouncy castle" along for the ride - a la Spirit Mars lander.

Of course it introduces additional risk, but car airbags were perfected long ago.

See step twelve: https://mars.nasa.gov/mer/mission/tl_entry1.html

SpaceX also engineered some nifty little rocket engines for the Dragon 2's landing pad emergency abort sequence.

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07Pm8ZY0XJI
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun May 20, 2018 3:39 pm

Bouncy castle/balloons are for stage 2 return (probably on land).Fairings 'have' to land at sea and can't get drenched in salt water hence the 'catchers Mit' boat.
 
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Tugger
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun May 20, 2018 4:58 pm

Good news, it appears NASA may be coming around to SpaceX's cold load fueling process:
https://www.outerplaces.com/science/ite ... ckets-nasa

parapente wrote:
But it's full re entry heat/speed so it's got to be hard.

No, it would not be. That is the idea of the advantage FH would have, it has enough extra power that the second stage can bigger with more fuel so after it inserts its cargoes into orbit or off to wherever, it can turn around and slow itself down to return more or less "normally" (as normally as the boosters return).

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
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Tugger
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue May 22, 2018 7:25 pm

Waiting for the Iridium-GRACE launch by SpaceX. Supposed to happen in 30 minutes.
Here is the youtube link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_0GgKfwCSk

Also here is a decent article on the disruption SpaceX is causing in the space biz.
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/22/spacex- ... -mars.html

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
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Francoflier
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed May 23, 2018 5:23 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bx511_yqkuI

Done. Nice mission which showcases the amazing capabilities of the second stage and of the Merlin vacuum engine.

No booster recovery it seems. This was a preflown (and now obsolete) Block IV,I believe.

It was interesting to see a commercial company share a launch with a couple of science sats.

Edit: It seems they tried to recover the fairings with 'Mr. Steven', but narrowly missed them again...
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed May 23, 2018 9:58 am

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=clhXVdjvO ... pD5smhbwjg

This is really good NBC interview with Shotwell for those interested.
I thought the most interesting part was the broadband satellite network proposal.It seems this is the key to everything they are doing with F9's.
It appears that 'standard' launches are about 18 a year and stable.And that's with a huge overall launch market share (60% I think she said).
So obviously the question is what will all these F9 block5 's do? With their capability of launching every 5 mins!The answer would appear to be launching these 4,500 mini broadband satellites.Musks company is called Starlink.But there are 2 or 3 other hopeful competitors.
But he must have a massive advantage since he owns the only (effectively) launch mechanism!He could (I guess) launch them at cost if he wanted to.Equally he can charge just about whatever he wants to everybody else - although I am sure he will stick to his brochure price list as he won't want to appear monopolistic (which of course he is).
Also an interesting point she made that the Boring company work is highly relevant to Mars as people would need to live underground there.I note the mark3 boring machine is 100% electric....

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