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SamYeager2016
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:53 pm

Well I'm completely and utterly shocked!. Why are there no transgenders? I'm sure there are some of them who also want the opportunity to walk on the moon! :stirthepot:

I do have to say though that I see no point in returning to the moon just so that people who are not male have the opportunity to walk on the moon. :sarcastic: If there are good reasons to return to the moon then such people, with the relevant skills, will get that opportunity as a side effect.
 
zanl188
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:48 pm

Dates set for Falcon Heavy. Static fire 15 Dec, launch 29 Dec.
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moo
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:30 am

zanl188 wrote:
Dates set for Falcon Heavy. Static fire 15 Dec, launch 29 Dec.


Anyone want to place any bets? I am firmly in the "not this year" camp.
 
mxaxai
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:39 am

moo wrote:
zanl188 wrote:
Dates set for Falcon Heavy. Static fire 15 Dec, launch 29 Dec.


Anyone want to place any bets? I am firmly in the "not this year" camp.

Well, the launch date only needs to slip 3 days for that to happen.
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:25 am

Francoflier wrote:
Why isn't SpaceX using the new Ti gridfins they were so enthused about just a few months ago?


Probably still have a stock of the Al ones to work through.
 
WIederling
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:14 pm

bmacleod wrote:
Just to note all those who say it makes no sense returning to the moon.

Beside additional scientific research -mining ice/water testing - only men have walked on the moon and many women astronaut trainees no doubt want the opportunity to be first woman to walk on the moon.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/half-nasa-newest-astronaut-class-wmeon-180957850/

Too late:
http://screenanarchy.com/assets/2014/08 ... 0image.jpg

:-)
Murphy is an optimist
 
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moo
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:15 am

ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
Francoflier wrote:
Why isn't SpaceX using the new Ti gridfins they were so enthused about just a few months ago?


Probably still have a stock of the Al ones to work through.


The point of using the titanium based ones is for ease of reuse - the aluminium ones get the job done but often come out unusable after a high energy landing. Problem is, the titanium ones are significantly more expensive...

They are currently using aluminium fins on landings where they are not 100% sure of success - if they lose the booster, fair enough (currently they are getting significantly fewer reusable boosters from high energy landings anyway, simply due to damage even when the landing is successful), but theres no need to put something on the booster solely there for the reusability factor if there is a significant chance you are going to lose it anyway. Better to spend less and replace if successful.

Once high energy returns lower their risk factor enough, SpaceX will switch over to the titanium fins across the board.
 
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Tugger
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:19 am

Does anyone know (estimate) the launch cost difference for Spacex between the F9 and the FH?

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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moo
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:19 am

Tugger wrote:
Does anyone know (estimate) the launch cost difference for Spacex between the F9 and the FH?

Tugg


Musk released some figures a few years ago, but they cant be relied upon because at that point they thought that the FH would simply be three F9 cores strapped together.

The FH today is a significantly customised version of the F9 core, and the FH second stage is not the same as the F9 first stage (whereas it was supposed to be a F9 second stage). Thus far no reliable launch cost figures have been floated for this new version.

It all depends on how much of the FH customisation can be reworked back into the F9 core without compromising the F9 itself - at the moment, they are two very disparate rockets (where they actually wanted two very very similar rockets, with the cores coming off the same production line with use in either stack), and the FH isn't in serial production so its anyones guess right now.
 
tommy1808
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:40 am

bmacleod wrote:
Just to note all those who say it makes no sense returning to the moon.

Beside additional scientific research -mining ice/water testing - only men have walked on the moon and many women astronaut trainees no doubt want the opportunity to be first woman to walk on the moon.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/half-nasa-newest-astronaut-class-wmeon-180957850/


as much as i like gender equality, that isn´t a sufficient reason to spend billions going to the moon again. But if we go there again one day, the people flying should be the best people they could find. If that happens to lead to an all male crew again, or to an all female crew, that is fine too.

best regards
Thomas
Times are changing: 70 years ago the USA went to war to defeat the Nazis, now they elect them to run their country.
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:55 am

Regarding FH.My understanding is that it is the central 'core' that required all the changes.Personally I don't find this 'that' surprising as it has to take a huge amount of additional stresses.But clearly more than they initially envisaged.
The outer 2 F9's are 'standard' indeed they are reusing existing pre flown units.
I know nothing about the second stage mods.
Although there has been a long delay I don't believe it is wasted time as they have needed this period to get their reliability factors up to scratch - both with take off and landing.
One gets the impression that 2017 was indeed they year when this has been achieved and a man capable Flight can be considered for the future.
EM rightly plays down the % chance of success but I do feel there is probably a lot riding on this flight hence many of the delays.
If it does all go according to plan he will have one hell of a pair of launch vehicles!
It will certainly open up moon flights which will be exciting even if it's a little too much of a stretch (FH) for Mars.

I love his talks on the BFR but taking off the rose tinted specs they are a long way away.
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:20 am

Stop press.I noted on the Teslarati website that a launch date of Dec 29th has been pencilled in for the Falcon Heavy first launch.
 
mxaxai
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:44 pm

tommy1808 wrote:
bmacleod wrote:
Just to note all those who say it makes no sense returning to the moon.

Beside additional scientific research -mining ice/water testing - only men have walked on the moon and many women astronaut trainees no doubt want the opportunity to be first woman to walk on the moon.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/half-nasa-newest-astronaut-class-wmeon-180957850/


as much as i like gender equality, that isn´t a sufficient reason to spend billions going to the moon again. But if we go there again one day, the people flying should be the best people they could find. If that happens to lead to an all male crew again, or to an all female crew, that is fine too.

best regards
Thomas


I agree that it isn't a sufficient reason to go there. I disagree, however, with your crew selection. At some point in the selection process, you're playing rock-paper-scissors. Which of the three is the best?

Remember that nearly all crewed spaceflight so far is entirely funded through taxes. That means that 50% of the people paying for the program are female (and 50% male ofc), and they will be able to identify better with someone who has the same gender. Additionally, 50% of the students who might grow up to become great space engineers and scientists are female. The chance to inspire these to such a career increases drastically once they have popular role models. This is also one reason why I would like to see a multi-ethnic, multi-national crew. We cannot tell where the great minds of the future are born today, or which skin colour or gender they have. We can afford to send the second-best crew (obviously still a very good one) to the moon if it means securing the best minds for the many other important spaceflight jobs.
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:43 am

Whilst EM is in a rush to go to Mars I think we probably all accept that he has a habit of oversimplification.Going to/around etc the moon would give him invaluable knowledge for the bigger task ahead (imho).The FH is suited for this task (just).He could do some moon orbits and perhaps some private moon landers (he has already booked a German lander project).
It's nearly 50 years since anybody has been to the moon.Not a bad idea to go back.Good practice for the future!I appreciate that it is cancelled but the Red Dragon concept would have worked well for an unmanned return mission to the moon.
 
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moo
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:08 am

Several outlets are reporting that SpaceX had a Merlin engine explode on the test stand on November 5th - no people were injured, but the engine and test stand are a write off. SpaceX has suspended engine testing and are expected to suspend flights while an investigation is carried out.
 
Trololzilla
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:03 am

The stories have been corrected to say that the incident happened on November 4th. Turns out they were testing a Block 5 engine, which hasn't yet flown and is still undergoing certification trials. As all current engines are still Block 4, there is no expected impact to the current launch schedule.

"No one was injured and all safety protocols were followed during the time of this incident," according to the statement. "We are now conducting a thorough and fully transparent investigation of the root cause."

The explosion occurred during a test of a "Block 5" Merlin engine, which will be used in a future generation of the company's Falcon 9 rockets, a source told Space.com. Falcon 9 rockets that are currently in operation utilize the "Block 4" Merlin engine, so the incident will not require the company to halt any of its scheduled launches.

"SpaceX is committed to our current manifest and we do not expect this to have any impact on our launch cadence," the statement said.

The incident occurred during a "LOX drop" test, in which an engine is filled with liquid oxygen fuel and tested for leaks, according to the source. The engine did not fire during this test. At some point during the test, the liquid oxygen ignited; the company does not know if the engine itself exploded, the source said. The test bay where the explosion took place may take two to four weeks to repair.

SpaceX anticipates that a full investigation into the incident will take several weeks.


Now, SpaceX plans to suspend all Block 5 engine testing at McGregor until the accident investigation is included, though Block 4 engine testing will proceed. The company will also start repairing the test bay the engine exploded on, which should take two to four weeks to complete. SpaceX expects repairs to be done before the investigation is over, but just in case, the company has an additional test bay at McGregor it can use. However, that second test bay sustained some minor damage in the explosion, too, but repairs should only take two to three days before testing can resume.


Sources:
https://www.space.com/38712-spacex-rock ... osion.html
https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/8/1662 ... s-falcon-9
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the ... 1e63072a71

Seems like a rather minor setback in an otherwise perfect year for SpaceX (so far). Much better to have had this happen on a test stand than a real launch. I suppose it's why they do all the testing in the first place.
 
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Tugger
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:04 am

Interesting to look and the two engines.. Don't know which is block 4 and block 5 but I am think the 5 is on the left. Visible differences appear minimal (not saying it is).
Image

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

Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:08 am

That's bad luck.Particularly as it wasn't even a hot test.Still.One imagines they have high speed cameras on at all times which should help them identify the issue.Their previous anomaly was a cold pressure test too as I recall.
They will get it right.This engine has performed magnificently and will remain their workhorse for many years to come.
Fingers and toes crossed for the FH launch in EO Dec.
 
zanl188
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:29 am

Sounds like either a leak or a cleaning issue. Either way should be straight forward to identify cause.
Legal considerations provided by: Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe
 
iamlucky13
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:10 am

Tugger wrote:
Interesting to look and the two engines.. Don't know which is block 4 and block 5 but I am think the 5 is on the left. Visible differences appear minimal (not saying it is).


Based on the impression the engine on the left doesn't seem to have been fired yet, that seems like a decent guess.

Plus it appears to have a larger turbo pump, which should go along with higher fuel flow, and therefore thrust.

I thought the Block 5 changes were supposed to be all about reusability and crew certification, but reviewing elsewhere just now, it does sound like SpaceX is pursuing yet *another* thrust increase.

Currently the Merlin 1D Block 3 (I think) gets around 150,000 lbs sea level thrust.

The Falcon 9 originally flew with the Merlin 1C at 94,000 lbs sea level thrust.

The original Falcon 1 attempts were with the Merlin 1 A at 77,000 lbs sea level thrust.

At this point, I'm not sure the Merlin engine has any components at all in common with the original version - it's been going through constant evolution pretty much everywhere.
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:12 am

I agree with you 'iamlucky'.Yes block5 is mostly about reliability (both commercially re reuse but also to be 'man rated').However he is clearly looking to squeeze a little more power out of the engines if he can.
We know that some of the heavier satellites he puts up cannot use the return mechanism do to its weight.This additional thrust should eliminate this issue.Thus making the F9(block5) the perfect all round commercial launch vehicle (there is competition on the horizon).

But what of FH (assuming a successful first launch).?
Some people say it's becoming redundant.I am not so sure.
It's all well and good showing pretty pictures of BFR's going to Mars but totally another thing creating it and doing it.I am not suggesting he won't.But I do think his time table is hopelessly optimistic.(and he probably knows this full well).
It's not just the mammoth engineering challenge (off the planet -literally!) it's his total lack of any experience in what he is hoping to do (taking people to Mars and back -safely).
Why not use the FH to gain invaluable and necessary experience over the next decade whist the BFR is developed?

The Moon.Its there and really useful to practice with.First some deep space and back (unmanned then manned).Also get some high speed reentry data.
Then landing on the Moon (far easier than Mars with its thin atmosphere).If you can't do the Moon you certainly can't do Mars.
Then there is that pesky 'taking off again'! Gotta sort that out too.Eventually with people on board.This is all tough stuff and very relevant to the end goal.
As for Mars.I was disappointed (and confused) about the demise of Red Dragon.The FH can do this.He has to learn about getting to Mards (and back).He has to perfect his technique of landing (with 100% safety) on Mars.
And yes -getting back to Earth again.
So much to learn and master.Just sitting around a decade till the BFR is finally sorted and ready is not intelligent (and he is).
NASA did not sit around till the Saturn 5 was fully ready.They used that decade perfecting all the techniques necessary.First the Mercury programme.Then the Gemini programme.Then Saturn before the final Saturn5 system.Logical stuff.

EM has used F1 as a proof of concept.His F9 programme has sorted out docking and reentry.Next up 'man rated' flights.The FH (and the Moon) is the obvious vehicle to take the programme to the next level while his 'Saturn'veichle is being created for eventual man rated Mars landings.
 
Trololzilla
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:09 am

Some weird timing considering what just happened there, but SpaceX just released a promotional/behind-the-scenes type video of the McGregor facility on their YouTube account. As usual, it's pretty high quality stuff:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXYh4re0j8M
 
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JetBuddy
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:57 pm

Trololzilla wrote:
Some weird timing considering what just happened there, but SpaceX just released a promotional/behind-the-scenes type video of the McGregor facility on their YouTube account. As usual, it's pretty high quality stuff:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXYh4re0j8M


I had to watch it twice. Very cool video. :)
 
aviationaware
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:00 pm

Exploding engine = rip FH first flight in 2017 I guess.
 
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JetBuddy
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:13 pm

Everyone ready for launch tomorrow?

"Launch window: 0100-0300 GMT on 16th (8:00-10:00 p.m. EST on 15th)
Launch site: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Zuma payload. Northrop Grumman arranged to launch the Zuma payload with SpaceX on behalf of the U.S. government, but no other details about the mission have been disclosed. The Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage will return to landing at Landing Zone-1 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Delayed from Nov. 15 to complete mission assurance work. [Nov. 15]"

https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/
 
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KarelXWB
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:59 pm

aviationaware wrote:
Exploding engine = rip FH first flight in 2017 I guess.


I'm not sure if Falcon Heavy uses Block 5 engines?
What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived.
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:46 am

I believe I read that the 2 outer F9's for the FH are refurbished ones.The central rocket is a heavily modified new one.
One imagines that the block5 engine schedule will now be delayed.But it will still come in sometime in late 2018?
I believe the principle objective is greater reusablity.Although I think there may be a further pip involved as well.

On a personal note I do hope( if FH is successful) that EM announces some interesting projects for it concerning the moon for the next 2 years or so whilst he continues to develop is BFR over the medium term (his own timings look hopelessly optimistic imho).
 
SeJoWa
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:39 pm

Zuma launch webcast going live @5pm PST. http://www.spacex.com/webcast

The video showing SpaceX's McGregor facilities in Texas is interesting - the entire operation looks very lean and efficient to me. I like it!
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:35 pm

Just a curious question: Why do other launch companies like ESA and Orbital ATK not carry on-board cameras, or live feeds?

It constantly amazes me how SpaceX values publicity, and tries everything to make us part of these events.

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

Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:45 pm

flyingturtle wrote:
Just a curious question: Why do other launch companies like ESA and Orbital ATK not carry on-board cameras, or live feeds?

Technically they might, but they may just not release footage publicly.

I think a lot of it has to do with Musk really wanting the general public to be engaged and thrilled by space again, which has been stated as a goal of his. Plus the overall goal of a rocket is merely to get its payload to its orbit; it seems ESA and other organizations want to focus entirely on that aspect for now, which is perfectly reasonable.
 
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JetBuddy
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:10 am

The mission is scrubbed for tonight unfortunately.

From SpaceX Twitter:

"Standing down on Zuma mission to take a closer look at data from recent fairing testing for another customer.
3:33 PM - 16 Nov 2017"

"Though we’ve preserved the range opportunity for tomorrow, we’ll take the time needed to complete the data review and then confirm a new launch date.
3:35 PM - 16 Nov 2017"
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:34 am

JetBuddy wrote:
The mission is scrubbed for tonight unfortunately.


Funnily, their live stream is still counting down... 29 minutes to go, as I type.

David


Edit: Offline now.


David
Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
Posts: 348
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:19 am

Trololzilla wrote:
flyingturtle wrote:
Just a curious question: Why do other launch companies like ESA and Orbital ATK not carry on-board cameras, or live feeds?

Technically they might, but they may just not release footage publicly.

I think a lot of it has to do with Musk really wanting the general public to be engaged and thrilled by space again, which has been stated as a goal of his. Plus the overall goal of a rocket is merely to get its payload to its orbit; it seems ESA and other organizations want to focus entirely on that aspect for now, which is perfectly reasonable.


^^ That.

Musk has interaction with the public as a big part of how he does stuff. One can view it nicely as he wants people to get into science and engineering like he does. Or if you want to be cynical Musk wants to use the PR as leverage when things don't go so well in the business side; like Tesla still having business troubles.

Though I have noticed a lot more live streaming of launches since SpaceX started pushing it. Even if they don't really do on board camera stuff.

Either way it's a cultural difference between SpaceX and other launch providers. SpaceX appears to be much more ok with showing stuff going wrong. And as fans of space stuff we get to benefit from it.

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