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Tugger
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:48 pm

KarelXWB wrote:
SpaceX released a photo of the recovered booster:

Image

That looks hawt.... :spin:

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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:34 pm

Just saw this, an article noting the video from 6 years ago showing what they were hoping to achieve:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJrFwxE3lzI

The article quoted Elon:
"Now, we could fail," he said, during a September 2011 event at the National Press Club, transcribed at the time by CollectSPACE. "I'm not saying we are certain of success here, but we are going to try to do it. We have a design that on paper, doing the calculations, doing the simulations, it does work. Now we need to make sure those simulations and reality agree because generally, when they don't, reality wins."

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/04 ... ure-troll/

So now its on to the second stage recovery and reuse!
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KarelXWB
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:25 pm

Issue is that for most launches the second stage won't have enough fuel left for a reentry burn. The first Falcon Heavy launch may be able to recover the second stage because it won't have a payload, thus having enough fuel left for another burn.
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:40 am

Ll
KarelXWB wrote:
Issue is that for most launches the second stage won't have enough fuel left for a reentry burn. The first Falcon Heavy launch may be able to recover the second stage because it won't have a payload, thus having enough fuel left for another burn.


Well that's huge advantage reusable systems have, they can add weight, increase fuel capacity, add legs or parachutes, even launch are larger than needed rocket because they can recover them. They are competing against "one-n-done" systems which by their nature Erik always be more expensive.

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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:51 am

If recovering the first stage is proving problematic enough with regard to heat damage, then recovery of the second one, which is much, much faster, will be exponentially harder and will amount to essentially recovering an orbiting spacecraft... That's a different ballgame.

Unless they somehow save a big chunk of the stage's fuel for a loooong deceleration burn.

In any case, I can't wait to see it.
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:25 pm

I wonder what the dummy payload will be for the first Falcon Heavy. The first Falcon 9 payload was a wheel of cheese :D
 
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:46 pm

Video of the landing posted to Instagram yesterday!
https://www.instagram.com/p/BSfJDjMFzwR ... -by=spacex

To give credit where due, I found it in this article:
https://www.cnet.com/news/spacex-falcon ... usk-video/

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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:37 am

Tugger wrote:
Video of the landing posted to Instagram yesteday
Tugg


That looks a lot more civilized than the first few attempts where the booster seemed to be slamming onto the deck hapazardly.

I know they have more fuel to play with on these lower energy missions, but it still seems like a lot of work has been done.

And it still looks like a mighty barbecue under there...
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:47 am

Francoflier wrote:
Tugger wrote:
Video of the landing posted to Instagram yesteday
Tugg


That looks a lot more civilized than the first few attempts where the booster seemed to be slamming onto the deck hapazardly.

I know they have more fuel to play with on these lower energy missions, but it still seems like a lot of work has been done.

And it still looks like a mighty barbecue under there...


Looks like they changed strategy and kill all lateral speed before they do the final descent. ( from what final height?)
That let the Blue Origin stage landing appear so much more "controlled".

The early Space-X landings all show high combined vector ( vertical and horizontal displacement ) approach.
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:54 am

Elon Musk’s SpaceX Just Announced Hundreds of Open Positions

Elon Musk's space travel company SpaceX is hiring nearly 500 new employees across a variety of departments and locations. The boost is likely thanks, at least in part, to the successful launch of a reusable Falcon 9 rocket last week.
..
Help Wanted

If you simply walked past SpaceX’s headquarters, you may not realize that Elon Musk’s space travel project is looking for more staff — the futuristic company is way too cool to display an archaic “Help Wanted” sign out front. Those of you who do your job searches digitally, however, will find a wide array of job openings across 41 departments on the company’s careers website.

-50%
read more here + videos
https://futurism.com/elon-musks-spacex- ... positions/

Open Positions (direct link)
http://www.spacex.com/careers/list
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:57 am

Wow... that's a surprising amount of soot throughout the craft. Obviously we don't know whether this is something that is easily cleaned up with a wet cloth :-) or did some actual damage. But, proper survival of the return is certainly a challenge. Waiting to see how things unfold in the future...
 
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:31 pm

AirlineCritic wrote:
Wow... that's a surprising amount of soot throughout the craft. Obviously we don't know whether this is something that is easily cleaned up with a wet cloth or did some actual damage.


Soot or charring. I think a lot of the latter. Clean up isn't the concern so much, but heat affects on the aluminum and softer parts like hydraulic seals or electrical insulation are.

This was a fairly hot landing. They've known for a while GTO launches would be difficult to design for re-use of.

DfwRevolution wrote:
They also started finding assembly hardware with no part numbers and no record in the Bill of Material. I'm guessing that would be things like shims and consumables.


I think it goes beyond shims and sealant. Let's just say SpaceX doesn't seem to have settled into to quite the level of rigorous configuration control that is the norm in the airline manufacturing industry.

WIederling wrote:
The early Space-X landings all show high combined vector ( vertical and horizontal displacement ) approach.


Not intentionally, which they stated at the time in the cases of failure. They've been refining their controls continuously.

Francoflier wrote:
Unless they somehow save a big chunk of the (2nd) stage's fuel for a loooong deceleration burn.


That's the implied plan. A mix of a long burn and lots of thermal protection. The notional thermal protection is visible in their concept video from a few years back. Payload would obviously be much more limited. On the plus side, a 2nd stage with no payload attached is pretty light.

They've been pretty quiet about 2nd stage recovery work since then. The focus is obviously on recovering the much larger, lower velocity stage with all the shiny expensive engines. Figuring out 2nd stage recovery is a lower priority, and I often wonder if even Elon is confident it can be done.

maxter wrote:
I seem to recall a relatively recent Tweet from Elon that he was expecting a 24 hour turnaround eventually.


It sounds like that's his goal for Falcon 9 Block 5. They've apparently got a lot of little improvements and tweaks planned based on their experience so far.

They've shown they can test fire and launch stages within a couple days, but 24 hour turnarounds require not only changes to the rocket, but significant changes to their general payload integration and launch flow, plus a reason to bother with the hassle. They've got a ways to go before the flight rate even remotely justifies trying to make such a push.

aviationaware wrote:
When comparing to the STS, I think a lot of the cost of refurbishing the STS was incurred by the heat shield - correct me if I am wrong. Since Falcon 9 does not enter orbit, this is of no concern for it.


The thermal protection system was more delicate and maintenance intensive than planned, but the entire system was significantly more complex and much larger than the Falcon and Dragon. Just looking at the hypergolic system, which adds significant cost due to the safety precautions associated with it, the STS had 6 times as many thrusters and valves to maintain, far longer plumbing, and something like 5 times as much fuel to handle safely.

SRB's get touted as simple, but the shuttle SRB's were quite complex. From the multi-segmented design that contributed to the Challenge accident, to the need to separate safely *while* accelerating, to the salt water exposure cleanup, to the hydrazine powered thrust vector control system. And then there's the huge aluminum-lithium external tank that needs replacement every flight, which had to be stout enough to react the huge SRB thrust forces.

All of this had to be designed and maintained with crew safety in mind, which is a challenge SpaceX is still in the process of addressing, on a far simpler vehicle.

I love the shuttle as an engineering marvel, but it was an extremely ambitious design. While SpaceX is working towards re-usability step by step starting with a proven architecture, the shuttle program took on the challenge from the start with an unproven architecture.

Musk has been quite pragmatic in that regards.
 
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:50 am

iamlucky13 wrote:
AirlineCritic wrote:
Wow... that's a surprising amount of soot throughout the craft. Obviously we don't know whether this is something that is easily cleaned up with a wet cloth or did some actual damage.


Soot or charring. I think a lot of the latter. Clean up isn't the concern so much, but heat affects on the aluminum and softer parts like hydraulic seals or electrical insulation are.

This was a fairly hot landing. They've known for a while GTO launches would be difficult to design for re-use of.


Remember the engine uses RP1/LOX so there's plenty of carbon in the kerosene. My understanding is that's where all the blackening comes from.
 
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:49 pm

ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
iamlucky13 wrote:
AirlineCritic wrote:
Wow... that's a surprising amount of soot throughout the craft. Obviously we don't know whether this is something that is easily cleaned up with a wet cloth or did some actual damage.


Soot or charring. I think a lot of the latter. Clean up isn't the concern so much, but heat affects on the aluminum and softer parts like hydraulic seals or electrical insulation are.

This was a fairly hot landing. They've known for a while GTO launches would be difficult to design for re-use of.


Remember the engine uses RP1/LOX so there's plenty of carbon in the kerosene. My understanding is that's where all the blackening comes from.


True, there's plenty of carbon in RP1, and they do burn slightly fuel rich, but the plume is hot enough that at low altitudes where there is excess oxygen outside the engine, it burns pretty clean, while at higher altitudes, particularly during the re-entry burn, the plume is visibly sooty due to lack of oxygen to complete the combustion, but the thinner air pushes less of the plume back up along the stage.

Soot should get distributed in a feathered out manner along the stage, but note the distinct line dividing darkened and white areas in photos of the recovered stages. It is at the transition between the relatively warm kerosene tank and the extremely cold liquid oxygen tank. The darkening resumes, although lighter in tone, further up the stage, well above the level of oxygen in the tank at the time of entry. I'm fairly certain this is the result of charring, where as the LOX tank is cold enough to avoid most of the charring.

The stages from geosynchronous launches also seem to return darker than those from lower energy launches.
 
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:46 pm

I applaud SpaceX for their recent reusability accomplishment, but I wish they would be more realistic...The plan is for at least 6 more launches in the second quarter (April-30 thru June) and then moving to another pad -- the repaired LC-40 -- to clear Pad 39 for Falcon Heavy -- Schedule is not going to happen...

https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule

...Totally unrealistic, also the SpaceX plan for 24 total Falcon launches (I believe) in 2017, including the West coast, no way!. Typically you need at least a few weeks between each KSC launch just to refurbish the pad and schedule the range with other launchers, ILA Atlas, Delta...and all technical issues have to go smoothly. Falcon-9 Heavy is a big question mark too.

I like SpaceX -- but lets be realistic...3 more launches thru June and maybe 18 launches this year at best. They probably have already admitted that to their customers...they should let everyone else know as well.
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:05 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
Soot should get distributed in a feathered out manner along the stage, but note the distinct line dividing darkened and white areas in photos of the recovered stages. It is at the transition between the relatively warm kerosene tank and the extremely cold liquid oxygen tank. The darkening resumes, although lighter in tone, further up the stage, well above the level of oxygen in the tank at the time of entry. I'm fairly certain this is the result of charring, where as the LOX tank is cold enough to avoid most of the charring.


Very interesting analysis. Thank you.
 
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon May 01, 2017 11:27 am

Wow, the vision of the 1st Stage return including an uninterrupted boost back and landing video of NROL-76 was absolutely amazing. Catch it on YouTube.
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon May 01, 2017 1:23 pm

Wow that was incredible. SpaceX never ceases to amaze me. There is even a clear view of the stage seperation and boostback burn from the ground cameras! It's amazing watching the 12 feet diameter, 100 feet tall first stage flying back to to the landing pad. This NRO satellite is not going deep into space.. or it's very light.

The liftoff at T - 60 seconds:
https://youtu.be/EzQpkQ1etdA?t=10m57s

Entry burn start and landing:
https://youtu.be/EzQpkQ1etdA?t=19m10s
 
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon May 01, 2017 3:39 pm

Watched today and was very tense - this is the first payload lofted above under the settlement terms of SpaceX's suit against the US Air Force.
Great watching that first stage landing, the pinpoint precision amazes me time and again.
Did they make a comment on the 2nd stage's deployment that I missed?
 
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon May 01, 2017 4:18 pm

It really is mind-boggling and yet already becoming hum-drum in a way. My favorite part is Hipster Boy with his plaid shirt and moussed up locks thanks the crusty full bird colonels over at the NRO for their business. Those guys are probably still reminiscing about carpet bombing and fluoride in the water supply and here comes junior saying "thanks bros, gnarly landing huh?".
 
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon May 01, 2017 8:34 pm

Nailed it, again.

Image
NROL-76 Mission by SpaceX, on Flickr

Image
NROL-76 Mission by SpaceX, on Flickr
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon May 01, 2017 10:27 pm

Excellent video today of the first stage return. An advantage of the classified nature of the mission and corresponding lack of video coverage of second stage burn.
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon May 01, 2017 10:59 pm

zanl188 wrote:
Excellent video today of the first stage return. An advantage of the classified nature of the mission and corresponding lack of video coverage of second stage burn.


Exactly what I thought! It's nice to see the second stage burn, but I had been a bit annoyed with the video feed for the last couple launches already because let's face it, the landing part is the novelty here and much more interesting.
 
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed May 10, 2017 8:13 am

Falcon Heavy Center Core Test Firing:

https://youtu.be/PSAWd-b5uhU

A clip of SpaceX testing the center core for the first Falcon Heavy launch system, which is expected to launch later this year. The firing took place at SpaceX's test facility in McGregor, Texas.
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed May 10, 2017 4:06 pm

Isn't the center core (and the outer ones for that matter) very closely related to the Falcon 9 first stage, if not almost identical?

It's nice to see some progress, but I assume this probably wasn't the most critical test of the program... Firing all three stages together is going to be the one to watch.
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed May 10, 2017 7:21 pm

Francoflier wrote:
Isn't the center core (and the outer ones for that matter) very closely related to the Falcon 9 first stage, if not almost identical?


Although the F9 Heavy cores look the same as standard F9 -- under the hood the structure must be different. Huge shear loads are placed on the outside of the Heavy cores' structure -- instead of the thrust loads only from the bottom in a typical single core F9 launch. Obviously avionics and other systems have to change also.
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed May 10, 2017 7:22 pm

Francoflier wrote:
Isn't the center core (and the outer ones for that matter) very closely related to the Falcon 9 first stage, if not almost identical?

It's nice to see some progress, but I assume this probably wasn't the most critical test of the program... Firing all three stages together is going to be the one to watch.

Basically Elon has said that he thought at first it would be "easy to strap three rockets together" but of course then found out it is not that simple. He said the center core rocket effectively had to be completely redesigned to handle the new structures and stresses needed to support and manage two other boosters and coordinate all the engines being attached to it.

Even I kinda always thought the same way "Cool, so they just need to strap on a couple other boosters and Voila! More power! Heavy lift baby! :bigthumbsup: " But no, not quite that easy.

Edit: Found the article: https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/04/04/m ... or-spacex/
“Falcon Heavy is one of those things that. at first, sounded easy,” Musk said Thursday. “We’ll just take two first stages and use them as strap-on boosters. Actually, no, this is crazy hard, and it required the redesign of the center core and a ton of different hardware.

“It was actually shockingly difficult to go from a single-core to a triple-core vehicle,” Musk said.


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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue May 16, 2017 3:18 am

Good launch of the Inmarsat-5 Flight 4 satellite today:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynMYE64IEKs

No recovery of the 1st stage due to the weight of payload and the high orbit launch.
 
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue May 16, 2017 4:09 am

ThePointblank wrote:
No recovery of the 1st stage due to the weight of payload and the high orbit launch.


Congrats to SpaceX on another job well done.

These 'suicide' missions sound like the perfect opportunity to use already-flown hardware. Is SpaceX considering or offering this already, or do clients choose whether they want a 'second-hand' launcher?
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue May 16, 2017 11:57 am

Francoflier wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:
No recovery of the 1st stage due to the weight of payload and the high orbit launch.


Congrats to SpaceX on another job well done.

These 'suicide' missions sound like the perfect opportunity to use already-flown hardware. Is SpaceX considering or offering this already, or do clients choose whether they want a 'second-hand' launcher?


The goal is to reuse pre-flown stages until they reach end of life, and then use them in one of these missions - unless the customer is willing to pay for a new stage.

The downside to that is that the stages lose thrust with each use - you cant stress the tanks as much, so they are fueled to a slightly lower pressure, the turbo pumps have wear and tear on them so work at a slightly lower efficiency etc, so for some very high thrust missions which don't warrant a Falcon Heavy, new stages will be used anyway.
 
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue May 16, 2017 1:25 pm

moo wrote:
so they are fueled to a slightly lower pressure,.


Since fuel is liquid pressure plays pretty much no role. You mean they are filled a little less?

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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue May 16, 2017 2:22 pm

Congrats SpaceX with another successful mission! Interesting to watch how far east the first stage went compared to the missions where it lands again.
 
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue May 16, 2017 2:37 pm

tommy1808 wrote:
moo wrote:
so they are fueled to a slightly lower pressure,.


Since fuel is liquid pressure plays pretty much no role. You mean they are filled a little less?

best regards
Thomas


Nope. Well yes, but not in the way you mean.

One of the two propellants being used, LOX, is not a liquid at STP - its chilled down to become a liquid and continually boils off as it heats back up. SpaceX have developed the technology to "super cool" their LOX, putting more of it onboard the space craft in the same tank capacity and allowing for more RP-1 (kerosene) to be loaded and burned - this has improved their thrust ability greatly.

SpaceX also use super cooled helium as a pressurisation medium - its stored in small tanks within the LOX tank, and is released into both the LOX tank and the RP-1 tank during flight, pushing the propellants out of the tank.

Both of these liquids (LOX and helium) have greater densities the more they are chilled - and they produce greater pressures on the structure as they boil off. On the pad, that over pressure is vented but in flight thats not always possible, so the pressure in the tanks does differ.

So they are filled a little less, but not in volume - the tanks are filled to a lower mass, but they are still filled.
 
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue May 16, 2017 6:10 pm

Good job SpaceX! This is what I look forward to seeing repeated with regularity, to the point the excitement wanes and we [almost] tune out. One successful mission after another, bringing in much moolah alongside reduced risk premiums. Enabling those even more daring endeavors I can't wait to witness.
 
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon May 22, 2017 8:06 am

SpaceX wheeled out the first refurbished Dragon capsule. Will be launched on the upcoming CRS-11 mission, currently scheduled for June 1.

Image
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon May 22, 2017 10:18 am

SpaceX has a busy few months coming up, if all launches remain vaguely on schedule -

June 1st - CRS 11 (Kennedy Space Center)
June 15th - BulgariaSat 1 (Kennedy Space Center)
Late June - IntelSat 35e (Kennedy Space Center)
June 29th - Iridium Next 11-20 (Vandenberg Air Force Base)
July - SES 11/EchoStar 105 (Cape Canaveral)
July - Koreasat 5A (Kennedy Space Center)
July - Formosat 5 (Vandenberg Air Force Base)
August 1st - SpaceX CRS 12 (Cape Canaveral)

8 launches planned for just 2 months.
 
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed May 24, 2017 2:21 pm

KarelXWB wrote:
SpaceX wheeled out the first refurbished Dragon capsule. Will be launched on the upcoming CRS-11 mission, currently scheduled for June 1.


Was refurbishing the Dragon capsules part of the plan from the beginning, or is this something that is expected to save even more money? I wonder how much work goes into refurbishing them.
 
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casinterest
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed May 24, 2017 7:23 pm

moo wrote:
SpaceX has a busy few months coming up, if all launches remain vaguely on schedule -

June 1st - CRS 11 (Kennedy Space Center)
June 15th - BulgariaSat 1 (Kennedy Space Center)
Late June - IntelSat 35e (Kennedy Space Center)
June 29th - Iridium Next 11-20 (Vandenberg Air Force Base)
July - SES 11/EchoStar 105 (Cape Canaveral)
July - Koreasat 5A (Kennedy Space Center)
July - Formosat 5 (Vandenberg Air Force Base)
August 1st - SpaceX CRS 12 (Cape Canaveral)

8 launches planned for just 2 months.


Any ideas on when the Heavy will be launched? Everyone has been posting about Jul -Sep
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ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed May 24, 2017 10:03 pm

JetBuddy wrote:
KarelXWB wrote:
SpaceX wheeled out the first refurbished Dragon capsule. Will be launched on the upcoming CRS-11 mission, currently scheduled for June 1.


Was refurbishing the Dragon capsules part of the plan from the beginning, or is this something that is expected to save even more money? I wonder how much work goes into refurbishing them.


From memory it was always part of the plan. For the first lot of supply missions NASA specified in the contract each mission was to use a new build capsule. I expect they're now confident enough in the process that they're willing to go with a refurb.
 
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed May 24, 2017 10:47 pm

casinterest wrote:
moo wrote:
SpaceX has a busy few months coming up, if all launches remain vaguely on schedule -

June 1st - CRS 11 (Kennedy Space Center)
June 15th - BulgariaSat 1 (Kennedy Space Center)
Late June - IntelSat 35e (Kennedy Space Center)
June 29th - Iridium Next 11-20 (Vandenberg Air Force Base)
July - SES 11/EchoStar 105 (Cape Canaveral)
July - Koreasat 5A (Kennedy Space Center)
July - Formosat 5 (Vandenberg Air Force Base)
August 1st - SpaceX CRS 12 (Cape Canaveral)

8 launches planned for just 2 months.


Any ideas on when the Heavy will be launched? Everyone has been posting about Jul -Sep


Still badged as Q3 2017, nothing firm. Personally, I don't think we will see it this year.
 
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KarelXWB
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu May 25, 2017 11:19 am

ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
JetBuddy wrote:
KarelXWB wrote:
SpaceX wheeled out the first refurbished Dragon capsule. Will be launched on the upcoming CRS-11 mission, currently scheduled for June 1.


Was refurbishing the Dragon capsules part of the plan from the beginning, or is this something that is expected to save even more money? I wonder how much work goes into refurbishing them.


From memory it was always part of the plan. For the first lot of supply missions NASA specified in the contract each mission was to use a new build capsule. I expect they're now confident enough in the process that they're willing to go with a refurb.


The first Dragon flew to the ISS in 2012, why did SpaceX wait 5 years to refurbish the first Dragon?
What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived.
 
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moo
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu May 25, 2017 12:15 pm

KarelXWB wrote:
ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
JetBuddy wrote:

Was refurbishing the Dragon capsules part of the plan from the beginning, or is this something that is expected to save even more money? I wonder how much work goes into refurbishing them.


From memory it was always part of the plan. For the first lot of supply missions NASA specified in the contract each mission was to use a new build capsule. I expect they're now confident enough in the process that they're willing to go with a refurb.


The first Dragon flew to the ISS in 2012, why did SpaceX wait 5 years to refurbish the first Dragon?


No idea if this means anything, but look at it this way...

SpaceX won a 12 mission Commercial Resupply Services contract on December 23rd 2008.

That contract expired on 31st December 2016 - and SpaceX had only flown 9 missions by then.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if the contract was extended, with further cost savings as a requirement - CRS-10 flew in February this year, but that had been delayed after the September 2016 loss of a Falcon 9, so CRS-11 may be the first covered under the new contract...

It also allows SpaceX to end production of the Dragon capsule, and shift the production line entirely to Dragon V2, which NASA aren't paying for.
 
SeJoWa
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:28 pm

There goes and perfectly returns again! This is becoming habitual, and hopefully we'll continue to see a series of successful missions.

More money in the kitty too when Dragon docks with the ISS in roughly 36 hours, if I recall correctly.

Hurray SpaceX! Congratulations for launching CRS-11 and making this routine.
 
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JetBuddy
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sat Jun 03, 2017 10:43 pm

Congrats SpaceX! Nailed it again! Perfect landing of 1st stage booster, and using a refurbished Dragon capsule from 2014 launch to resupply the ISS.. absolutely amazing.
 
Trololzilla
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:15 am

"NASA Considering Using Pre-flown SpaceX Rockets for Cargo Flights"

http://www.space.com/37083-nasa-conside ... ckets.html

Pretty big vote of confidence in SpaceX and their reusable rocket technology as well as potentially large cost savings for everyone involved if this comes to fruition.
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:54 am

Trololzilla wrote:
"NASA Considering Using Pre-flown SpaceX Rockets for Cargo Flights"

http://www.space.com/37083-nasa-conside ... ckets.html

Pretty big vote of confidence in SpaceX and their reusable rocket technology as well as potentially large cost savings for everyone involved if this comes to fruition.


That's a big vote of confidence.

I imagine the fact all the Dragons have the abort code enabled now helps. As just in case there's an issue that results in a booster loss you still have a good chance recovering the payload for a later attempt.
 
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moo
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:23 am

JetBuddy wrote:
Congrats SpaceX! Nailed it again! Perfect landing of 1st stage booster, and using a refurbished Dragon capsule from 2014 launch to resupply the ISS.. absolutely amazing.


I just wonder if people actually realise just how "refurbished" this capsule was... :)

They used the structural frame, thats it - everything else was stripped out and replaced.
 
o0OOO0oChris
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:32 pm

moo wrote:
They used the structural frame, thats it - everything else was stripped out and replaced.

There`s an article covering the reuse issue, with statements Hans Koenigsmann said in the post-launch press conference:
https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/06/03/reused-dragon-cargo-capsule-launched-on-journey-to-space-station/
Quote:
Engineers examined and stripped the spacecraft’s structure after it splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on Oct. 25, 2014, following a visit to the space station, but the “majority” of the Dragon cargo capsule is the original article, according to Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX’s director of flight reliability.

He said engineers compared the structural loads and shaking components inside the Dragon capsule experienced on its 2014 flight with their design limits.


I wouldn`t consider the structural frame the majority of the spacecraft, there must have been a lot more used stuff.

He admitted in another interview though that all those X-rays, testing and replacing was nearly as expensive as building a new one, which is quite understandable for the first try and should improve on the next reuse missions.

While I think the stresses on the heatshield and skin are enormous with lot`s of wear, I can`t see why the components inside the spacecraft, avionics, electronics would show significant wear at all. Vibration exposition should be manageable.

As the successfully returned F9 are piling up on their facilities and the second flight-proven booster is only days away from launch, it`s clear that they are on track to show reusability of high-thrust engines too, so reusing low-power thrusters should be a piece of cake for them.

So I take your "only used the structural frame"- statement with a grain of salt. Do you have a source for that statement?
 
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JetBuddy
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:22 pm

I don't know how much of the Dragon capsule is re-used, but I read somewhere that NASA are providing scientists that worked on the Space Shuttle to help SpaceX determine the stress on the spacecraft, what parts need to be checked and swapped out and so on.
 
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moo
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Jun 06, 2017 4:51 pm

o0OOO0oChris wrote:

So I take your "only used the structural frame"- statement with a grain of salt. Do you have a source for that statement?


Just internal talk I hear from people, so take it as you will :)

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