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Tugger
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:53 am

MatthewDB wrote:
Francoflier wrote:
SpaceX is turning into a booming shipyard business as well.


That begs the question: Who is doing their shipyard work? They seem to be moving quite fast in all of the various new vessels SpaceX needs.

I have read that the work is done at Grand Bahama Shipyard.

Tugg
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flyingturtle
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:03 pm

Francoflier wrote:
That's my understanding. The barges are equipped with multiple 360 degrees azimuth thrusters for accurate positioning.


Well, I asked about anchoring to save costs when a launch is scrubbed. So you have the droneship and mittship out at sea, but it isn't expending much fuel, and the personnel can take a break and play cards.

But well, the sea is deep there...

David
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parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:41 am

The fairing looks in amazing condition considering the speed it must have come in.Should it not look a little burnt ' considering it must have come in mighty 'hot'?
But perhaps it didn't?Could they have used a series of drogue Shutes to keep it stable and slow(er)?
I know the last part was a parasail as they stated this.Has anybody got a clue how the achieved it.

Ps.I note that the first photograph shows the fairing all by itself floating happily at sea.It must have had the parasail attached when it landed.This us nowhere to be seen so clearly it has been removed prior to the photograph.Perhaps there is something they don't want the competition to see?
 
WIederling
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:20 am

parapente wrote:
The fairing looks in amazing condition considering the speed it must have come in.Should it not look a little burnt ' considering it must have come in mighty 'hot'?
But perhaps it didn't?Could they have used a series of drogue Shutes to keep it stable and slow(er)?
I know the last part was a parasail as they stated this.Has anybody got a clue how the achieved it.

Ps.I note that the first photograph shows the fairing all by itself floating happily at sea.It must have had the parasail attached when it landed.This us nowhere to be seen so clearly it has been removed prior to the photograph.Perhaps there is something they don't want the competition to see?


no boyancy.
Chutes tend to sink in water. ( no idea if they also autmoatically detach the chute.)

Then terminal velocity should be rather low ( lots of area, minimal mass ) even in a low pressure environment.
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KarelXWB
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:50 pm

First F9 Block 5 booster is now outside:

Image
https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/sta ... 1809720320
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parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:02 pm

Thx Karel.The piece on the link going through a quick history of the Falcon system is good.Its incredible how fast and flexible these guys are.
I guess also how quickly they move on.If the F9 block5 works as it should - well that's the end of the story for the stage1 booster -and on to BFR.Mind you we still have the Dragon (man) capsule to look forward to and the revised second stage with a Raptor engine so I guess the story continues.
I look forward to Elon's next 'chat' no doubt more surprises !
 
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Francoflier
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:13 pm

KarelXWB wrote:
First F9 Block 5 booster is now outside:


I had never seen a full view of the hold down straps used for static testing... Pretty impressive.
But then I guess that's what it takes to keep close to 2,000,000 lbs of thrust from flying away.
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frmrCapCadet
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:46 pm

JetBuddy wrote:
dlednicer wrote:
I'm joining this conversation rather late, so I apologize if someone has already commented on this.

It was not commented on much, but this morning's launch out of Vandenberg AFB, besides carrying the Spanish Paz satellite, also carried SpaceX's Microsat-2a and Microsat-2b prototypes. The plan is to launch 4,425 of these small spacecraft in low-Earth orbit to provide global Internet service. You can read more here:
https://www.wired.com/story/watch-space ... atellites/
and
http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/microsat-2.htm


Please join the conversation. Spaceflight is awesome!

The Microsat demo satellites are interesting. This "side project" of SpaceX could help a lot of people in less developed countries get internet. I'm a bit concerned over the number of satellites needed though, as injecting more than 4000 small satellites into LEO makes the the space even more full. How are we going to clean this up when they're not needed anymore? I know some satellites de-orbit by themselves and burn up in the atmosphere, but not all of them do.


I am suspecting that these small low orbit devices will be specifically designed to de-orbit and burn up in the atmosphere. And the target might be the overly high and non-competative rates the big three charge in the US, where high speed internet is often not available and more often available only with a bundle (or high price).
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ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:05 pm

Yeah, sats that low will burn up in a fairly short time. The earth imagining company Planet has launched dozens of small cubesats and they have a lifetime measured in dozens of months IIRC. These commsat constellations will be at similar heights.

And yes that means there will have to be a continual maintenance launch cadence to keep the number of sats in orbit at the right level.

Edit: A Planet Dove has a lifespan of one to three years. https://beta.techcrunch.com/2013/11/26/ ... s-flock-1/ I would expect the SpaceX commsat constellation to be similar.

A fun side effect of being so low is you can use the solar panels as wings and change your orbital inclination by 'flying'
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:28 pm

Pretty cool building your own internet comms sat's and then using your own rockets to put them up there.Gotta give you a huge price advantage and possibly a time advantage - as long as they work!
 
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Tugger
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:12 pm

parapente wrote:
Pretty cool building your own internet comms sat's and then using your own rockets to put them up there.Gotta give you a huge price advantage and possibly a time advantage - as long as they work!

Also provides a way to make some money on any unused lift capacity that is available and not booked with another customer.

Tugg
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o0OOO0oChris
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:56 am

The fairing pressurization problem is solved according to spaceflight now on twitter:
https://twitter.com/SpaceflightNow/stat ... 7849081857

Due to the Atlas launch on March 1st, Hispasat cannot be launched tomorrow as some rumours suggested.
http://spacenews.com/falcon-9-launch-to ... 5-mission/

A user on reddit with full access to marinetraffic reported that all three support vessels headed back to port today. Looks like it will take a while before they will try again.

reddit/spacex claims Primary launch window: Pending Range Permission - NET March 3 5:35 UTC though. Wonder if they get the suppport ships and OCISLY back to the landing zone again in this timeframe.
 
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casinterest
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:05 pm

Spacex launched it's heaviest satellite to date to GEO orbit this morning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kpfrp-GMKKM
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DarkKnight5
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:34 pm

casinterest wrote:
Spacex launched it's heaviest satellite to date to GEO orbit this morning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kpfrp-GMKKM


Beat me to it by minutes. Awesome footage of the exhaust plume with the midnight launch. Amazing that they're making this look so routine.
 
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JetBuddy
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:01 pm

It was a good launch. I wonder if they tried to catch the fairing this time?

Also, they didn't recover booster. I've heard various reasons, everything from bad weather to having to spend all the fuel due to the heavy payload. What's correct?
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:14 pm

Most impressive thing for me was that it was such a heavy payload - the size of a London Bus into GEO orbit.AND they did not have time to remove the heavy legs yet it could still do it.
My understanding was that it was so rough in the Atlantic OCISLY could not go out -but the launch window was so tight it had to launch anyway.But either way 100% success.
 
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:24 pm

I'm pretty sure they remove the legs when they put it on the trailer for sending off for inspection. So they would have then reattached the legs before launch. Most likely the software and such expects the legs. So while they may be dead weight it reduces risk. Maybe in the future they'll come up with some sort of light fairings instead of the full legs.
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:28 pm

Not that I am any kind of expert! I am not but I have read on Teslerati that in the past they do take off the legs and particularly the titanium ($2m each) grid fins.They say they just didn't have time with this particular launch window.They had initially launched the landing vessel but had to come back into port.ie a last minute thing.
What to me was impressive is that the F9 is now so powerful (I think 40% more than early ones) that they could do the mission with or without this dead weight.
I don't suppose they will release the footage of the soft water landing sadly.
 
GST
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:33 pm

ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
I'm pretty sure they remove the legs when they put it on the trailer for sending off for inspection. So they would have then reattached the legs before launch. Most likely the software and such expects the legs. So while they may be dead weight it reduces risk. Maybe in the future they'll come up with some sort of light fairings instead of the full legs.


At about the 8 minute mark on their launch coverage, the commentating engineer states that they were still going to do the recovery descent profile, but ending in the rough sea that prevented the droneship from heading out, so the rocket will obviously not survive. My guess is that they'll do the whole landing profile including legs deploy, may as well still harvest all the relevant flight data they can. Deployed legs may well alter the vehicle dynamics enough in the late-descent phase to invalidate a test that doesn't deploy them.
 
o0OOO0oChris
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:33 am

Congratulations SpaceX for the 50th successful mission!

Pushing 6100kg in orbit and -in theory- being able to recover the booster is impressive. At least at first sight. Looking at this into more detail, there are major financial drawbacks in this mission.

Switching the mission to recovery came at a hughe cost I think. The orbit they achived is by far the lowest to date:
https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/9 ... 0887444480
189 x 22257 km x 27.0 deg

Someone on reddit/spacex estimated this orbit takes an additional 400m/s to circularize compared to the other orbits. For comparison: the 6.7t intelsat 5E reached an otbit of 42748 km x 303 km x 25.8°. As Hispasat was lighter, a fully expendable mission would have achieved an orbit over 50.000km.

If this was booked expendable - and I think it would have been 3 years ago- , it would have had a pricetag of $95m https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/963094533830426624

Stationkeeping for a geo satellite is about 50m/s per year, so 400m/s lost due to additional circularization would be 8 years less lifetime? The satellite was probably build with more deltaV, as a 2015 falcon 9 was not supposed to reach supersync orbits with such a payload, but probably not off by that much. Intelsat 35E was contracted to reach about 28.000km, if I remember correctly.

It is obvious that the customer got a huge discount for switching to expendable. Probably not the full $30million difference to the reusable F9, but as a customer, I wouldn`t take a >4year lifetime hit for under $20m( my guess)
So this unrecovered recoverable mission attempt was probably VERY costy for spacex. They had the full one-week cost for their recovery fleet on duty without any return. They lost expensive titanium gridfins and landing legs.

Lot`s of people asked elsewhere why they didn`t remove the gritfins. The answer is obvious. Last-minute changes are a recipie for desaster. Without gritfins, they also had to change software config from recovery to expendable with totally different parameters. And there are a lot of possible errors to make in the process last minute. Not a good idea. Going expended would have probably been impossible due to the defined notam/exclusion zone definitions too. The booster would have landed way further downrange than it did in recoverable mode.

Worst case this mission came out $32m less than anticipated, and minus one F9 block 4 in stock, which may have been included in the 30 launch plan this year.

To get the recovery concept working, they must work on the contract side to allow delays due to weather in case it is launchable, but not recoverable. They probably are now, but it looks like this older contract wasn`t or the short-term switch wasn`t well thought out contract wise and dates in it didn`t allow for a week delay for recoverable weather and avoid this loss.

I think this 50th mission isn`t something Spacex have cheered about financially.
 
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Nomadd
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:48 am

Elon's tweets don't always make a lot of sense. Like saying that expending 3 FH cores raises the FH price $65 million, but expending the center core only raises it $5 million.
 
DarkKnight5
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu Mar 08, 2018 6:08 am

o0OOO0oChris wrote:
Congratulations SpaceX for the 50th successful mission!

Pushing 6100kg in orbit and -in theory- being able to recover the booster is impressive. At least at first sight. Looking at this into more detail, there are major financial drawbacks in this mission.

Switching the mission to recovery came at a hughe cost I think. The orbit they achived is by far the lowest to date:
https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/9 ... 0887444480
189 x 22257 km x 27.0 deg

Someone on reddit/spacex estimated this orbit takes an additional 400m/s to circularize compared to the other orbits. For comparison: the 6.7t intelsat 5E reached an otbit of 42748 km x 303 km x 25.8°. As Hispasat was lighter, a fully expendable mission would have achieved an orbit over 50.000km.

If this was booked expendable - and I think it would have been 3 years ago- , it would have had a pricetag of $95m https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/963094533830426624

Stationkeeping for a geo satellite is about 50m/s per year, so 400m/s lost due to additional circularization would be 8 years less lifetime? The satellite was probably build with more deltaV, as a 2015 falcon 9 was not supposed to reach supersync orbits with such a payload, but probably not off by that much. Intelsat 35E was contracted to reach about 28.000km, if I remember correctly.

It is obvious that the customer got a huge discount for switching to expendable. Probably not the full $30million difference to the reusable F9, but as a customer, I wouldn`t take a >4year lifetime hit for under $20m( my guess)
So this unrecovered recoverable mission attempt was probably VERY costy for spacex. They had the full one-week cost for their recovery fleet on duty without any return. They lost expensive titanium gridfins and landing legs.

Lot`s of people asked elsewhere why they didn`t remove the gritfins. The answer is obvious. Last-minute changes are a recipie for desaster. Without gritfins, they also had to change software config from recovery to expendable with totally different parameters. And there are a lot of possible errors to make in the process last minute. Not a good idea. Going expended would have probably been impossible due to the defined notam/exclusion zone definitions too. The booster would have landed way further downrange than it did in recoverable mode.

Worst case this mission came out $32m less than anticipated, and minus one F9 block 4 in stock, which may have been included in the 30 launch plan this year.

To get the recovery concept working, they must work on the contract side to allow delays due to weather in case it is launchable, but not recoverable. They probably are now, but it looks like this older contract wasn`t or the short-term switch wasn`t well thought out contract wise and dates in it didn`t allow for a week delay for recoverable weather and avoid this loss.

I think this 50th mission isn`t something Spacex have cheered about financially.


What evidence do you have that this portion of the contract was not well thought out? What evidence do you have that the customer did not compensate SpaceX in some way for a non-recoverable launch that was booked as recoverable? What evidence do you have that HISPASAt will end operations eight years earlier than the customer would have wanted?

Perhaps the spacecraft would be deep into obsolescence by the time the deltaV is exhausted even after the theoretical 400 m/s to circularize is spent. Perhaps SpaceX has lost interest in recovering block IV boosters. Perhaps all parties came to a mutually beneficial financial resolution in the days/weeks/months prior to launch, which included multiple launch delays.

The math you have above contains no evidence that the customer or the or SpaceX were unaware of, or uncompensated for, the factors you discuss.

Lastly, updating the NOTAMs is the minorest of issues with changing the ascent/descent profiles of a launch.
 
DarkKnight5
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:02 pm

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-three-launches-week-six-launches-month/
Tailing an intense February that saw SpaceX successfully complete inaugural launches of both Falcon Heavy and two Starlink prototype satellites, the next three weeks of March are likely to be relatively quiet. However, by all appearances, SpaceX is preparing for a frenetic end-of-month that could include three Falcon 9 launches from three separate SpaceX launch pads, all in a single week, and as many as six launches total between March 29 and April 30.

That would be an impressive accomplishment. Start putting money into the BFR development pot.
 
zanl188
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:46 am

SpaceX footage from Falcon Heavy launch. Includes center core landing.

https://youtu.be/A0FZIwabctw
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casinterest
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:04 am

zanl188 wrote:
SpaceX footage from Falcon Heavy launch. Includes center core landing.

https://youtu.be/A0FZIwabctw



Ummm, That wasn't a landing. That was a rapid unplanned cannonball.


Very Awesome shot though. Wish they had shown it earlier.
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mxaxai
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:29 am

casinterest wrote:
zanl188 wrote:
SpaceX footage from Falcon Heavy launch. Includes center core landing.

https://youtu.be/A0FZIwabctw



Ummm, That wasn't a landing. That was a rapid unplanned cannonball.


Very Awesome shot though. Wish they had shown it earlier.

Lucky it didn't hit the ship. Probably would've caused even greater damage.
 
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:33 am

mxaxai wrote:
casinterest wrote:
zanl188 wrote:
SpaceX footage from Falcon Heavy launch. Includes center core landing.

https://youtu.be/A0FZIwabctw



Ummm, That wasn't a landing. That was a rapid unplanned cannonball.


Very Awesome shot though. Wish they had shown it earlier.

Lucky it didn't hit the ship. Probably would've caused even greater damage.

The legs did not even deploy prior to touchdo.. impact

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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:03 am

mxaxai wrote:
Lucky it didn't hit the ship. Probably would've caused even greater damage.


Might have punched through the ship considering how quickly it was coming down. :wideeyed:
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:09 am

Re Darknight.6 launches in a month!- on top of what they have already done this year!Its a hell of a gamble imho.However if they pull it off I do wonder just where it leaves 'the rest'.
If they can do that and you were considering a commercial launch platform why on Earth would you use anybody else especially at their prices.
Of course there will always be Government programmes whether it be US,Europe,India,China,Russia,Japan.But these are bloated non commercial affairs.ULA/Bezos may get their new development projects to work but the market may be sewn up by then.
PS.I am not sure that NASA has much backing from Trump right now listening to his recent comments.He's a private commerce man,if Musk can deliver him what he wants,when he wants at a phenomenally better price,that's the way he will go imho.
 
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PW100
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:16 pm

mxaxai wrote:
casinterest wrote:
zanl188 wrote:
SpaceX footage from Falcon Heavy launch. Includes center core landing.

https://youtu.be/A0FZIwabctw



Ummm, That wasn't a landing. That was a rapid unplanned cannonball.


Very Awesome shot though. Wish they had shown it earlier.

Lucky it didn't hit the ship. Probably would've caused even greater damage.


Wonder if they have some control logics to steer it clear of the ship when outside descent envelope for safe landing.
So did it purposely miss the ship once it was established that two of the three enignes did not start-up again?
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Trololzilla
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:44 pm

PW100 wrote:
Wonder if they have some control logics to steer it clear of the ship when outside descent envelope for safe landing.
So did it purposely miss the ship once it was established that two of the three enignes did not start-up again?

I think all boosters bound for a droneship landing are programmed to be intentionally off-target until the last possible moment for just that reason.
 
LightningZ71
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:43 am

That's my understanding as well. Along with the return to origin boosters, the initial descent profile has them all landing a "safe" distance from their final target with a late course correction to the landing pad. The entire point is to cover for this very situation where there is a failed relight of the engines.
 
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Francoflier
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:45 am

Some interestingt tidbits from Musk's speech at SXSW yesterday:

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-43365710

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/11/elon-mu ... -2019.html

Musk never disappoints whenever he opens his mouth, but claims that SpaceX will start testing their spaceship on short flights by the first half of next year... now that's a bit out there if you ask me, even by Musk's own very pronounced brand of optimism.

By 'spaceship' I assume he means BFR's upper stage, which can also be used as a standalone SSTO ship?
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parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:00 am

BFR spaceship for first test flights first half of next year???!! Either he's not telling us something or it's a bit of a porky pie!
The product is soooo large I can't imagine it's hiding somewhere.Has it even been decided where it's going to be built?Dont think we have heard this.

I understand why he is not bothering to 'man rate' F heavy.There is no mission right now.It must (surely) be easy as F9 is to be man rated anyway and FH is 'only' this plus 2 further ( man rated) F9 boosters.
If BFR takes as long as FH to mature then he may need it to get some experience in Lunar space which is clearly the first destination (well Trumps anyway).But imho it probably is a good way to gain experience of dealing with deep(er) space ,experience of which he has zero right now.
It's one thing to do a 'blooper' with a metal rocket- no one minds and we all have a laugh - loosing a human could loose him everything.He does need to get this experience.Ok in the short term flights to the space station will do as a baby step, but he needs a lot more than that.
 
WIederling
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:01 am

parapente wrote:
I understand why he is not bothering to 'man rate' F heavy.There is no mission right now.It must (surely) be easy as F9 is to be man rated anyway and FH is 'only' this plus 2 further ( man rated) F9 boosters.


Manrating a rocket starts with the first drawings in the beginning of designing that rocket. :-)
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ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:23 am

The FH has a lot more moving parts compared to the F9 and with the BFR round the corner it makes sense not to spend the time and effort to man rate the FH when the F9 will be perfectly usable for LEO work.

As for first half next year for first test flights? That screams of Musk time. I'd go with no earlier than late second half next year and more likely sometime 2020. But I'm totally ok with being proven wrong.
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:53 am

Man rating .
I totally agree btw.Particularly if his timings are anywhere close to being right.I raised it simply because Musk stated that he wasn't going forwards with it- but with the F9 becoming man rated and the FH being 3 F9's it's not the biggest of jobs.I don't think Musk would have planned to do it in the first place if he thought it was.
It's use (from a human POV) is limited anyway.
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:17 pm

At first the Heavy was supposed to be a much simpler case of three F9 boosters strapped together. As SpaceX and Musk discovered it was a much more involved process. With the centre booster structure being pretty much redesigned to support the side boosters. So a lot more changed than they had expected to at first. And merely operating three boosters together would add a bunch of complexity for man rating. :)
 
parapente
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Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:42 pm

Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:56 am

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-bfr-ma ... rbit-2020/

Well well well,now Shotwell joins the fray.Orbital by 2020!!!!!!
And reaffirms test flights (hops) beginning of next year early 2019.
How can this be? Unless somewhere they are far far more advanced with this project than anyone knows.
We have seen one sub scale engine test firing.We have seen (to the older larger BFR design) a composite tank tested to destruction.We have seen images of a completely scaled down and reimagined BFR system - in PowerPoint.ie restarting from scratch essentially.

But that's it! How can they possibly be thinking of test flying the second stage early next year if it doesn't already exist or at the very least half built.What about systems checking .It takes 8 years to develop a new pax aircraft and engines at the min and they have been building aircraft for 100 years.Even then there are years of teething problems -even though they use the finest engineers.
The SLS is made up of old spare bin parts but that's taking a lifetime (And gazillions$$)
How is all this remotely possible?? And if it is -where is it being built right now?
Love the idea but I just don't begin to get it.It breaks every rule of engineering sanity.

But yes of course it makes the FH totally redundant if any/all of above remotely true.In fact a complete waste of money Frankly.I GUESS ITS AN INSURANCE POLICY - I think they will need one.
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
Posts: 562
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:06 am

The SLS is a very poor example. It's having to use that weird mishmash of parts due to pork barrel politicking. I'm sure if the US Government had simply said "Here's $x now go build a bigass rocket" they would have done a lot more a lot faster.

As for speed, maybe this is the far end of what stuff like additive manufacturing allows. When you can print a rocket engine on demand the build/test cycle suddenly becomes a lot faster and cheaper. They're also probably taking a lot of the redundancy philosophy from the F9. If one engine fails have enough reserve thrust to keep going. Remember that on one of the earlier F9 launches one of the engines totally failed but the software and hardware adapted to it to deliver the primary payload to the ISS.

Still, it's way out there on scheduling. I hope the team isn't letting themselves be burnt out. People like Musk usually forget not everyone operates in crazy land like them.
 
DarkKnight5
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:36 pm

Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:48 pm

https://qz.com/1227488/elon-musk-spacex-nasa-says-a-design-error-is-behind-the-failure-of-the-2015-crs-7-mission/
No ground breaking news here. NASA faults the steel strut but basically says SpaceX was using cheap parts and not completing due diligence prior to flying parts. They also say the problems were remedied prior to return to flight.

Not a great look for SpaceX, but I guess it’s probably a result of a different design philosophy (driving costs down vs. absolute reliability).
 
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Stitch
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:49 pm

DarkKnight5 wrote:
Not a great look for SpaceX, but I guess it’s probably a result of a different design philosophy (driving costs down vs. absolute reliability).


It sounds like this same type of part was used on SpaceX CRS-1 through SpaceX CRS-6, all of which were successful, as were the two COTS Demo Flights that certified the Falcon 9 for CRS usage. So it does sound like a sub-standard part, as SpaceX claimed, and not a consequence of SpaceX's design decisions on the Falcon 9. I'm also not sure the part was changed from the Falcon 9 v1.1 used for SpaceX CRS-1 through SpaceX CRS-7 and the Falcon 9 FT used (successfully) for the subsequent CRS missions (the most recent being SpaceX CRS-12).
 
parapente
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Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:42 pm

Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:10 am

What was the maximum times any space shuttle was used?So far for Spacex it is x2.X10 (up to) is one hell of a leap.But they do have a lot of experience with the F9 now.I hope they have privately tested many parts to breaking point.He often refers to aircraft being used over and over.But they are put through a very rigorous testing procedure first.

Separate question.At (any) launch a huge amount of water is poured beneath the rocket motors - obviously one can see the clouds of steam.Why and how important is this procedure? Also the launch pad has an angled ramp to deflect the exhaust gasses out sideways away from the rocket itself.
I ask this as when you land or take off from the Moon or Mars none of this will exist.Is this a problem?I guess not.
 
mxaxai
Posts: 448
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:29 am

Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:08 am

parapente wrote:
What was the maximum times any space shuttle was used?So far for Spacex it is x2.X10 (up to) is one hell of a leap.But they do have a lot of experience with the F9 now.I hope they have privately tested many parts to breaking point.He often refers to aircraft being used over and over.But they are put through a very rigorous testing procedure first.

Separate question.At (any) launch a huge amount of water is poured beneath the rocket motors - obviously one can see the clouds of steam.Why and how important is this procedure? Also the launch pad has an angled ramp to deflect the exhaust gasses out sideways away from the rocket itself.
I ask this as when you land or take off from the Moon or Mars none of this will exist.Is this a problem?I guess not.

When you land or take off from the Moon or Mars you don't really worry about the surface underneath you. But the concrete of the launchpad cannot take the heat and the vibrations, both of which are reduced by the water.
 
parapente
Posts: 2490
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:42 pm

Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:26 pm

Thx mxamai.My point is really that.If a Earth based specifically built launch pad made worth thousands on tons of concrete with specially angled exhaust vents etc can't take the hammering from a multi engine launch then what happens on Mars - or even the moon?
Ie assume the BFR lands on the (unprepared) moon what sort of 'hole' does it make? Would the BFR simply topple over?And even then ( let's just assume the ground is hard) but there is a small dip created in the ground (think that's fair) what then happens to the exhaust gasses when you blast off?
The Apollo lander was absolutly tiny and made of paper thin aluminium - so the. Engines were tiny too.Not so the BFR.Just wonder why no one mentions this.
The images always seem to show a concrete circular landing pad..........but someone has to make it first....how and out of what!!!!
This is not Tin Tin we are talking about.
To me Elon looses credibility when he shows pictures like this with obvious questions but gives no explanations what so ever.
It's sort of insulting.
 
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Tugger
Topic Author
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:09 pm

parapente wrote:
Thx mxamai.My point is really that.If a Earth based specifically built launch pad made worth thousands on tons of concrete with specially angled exhaust vents etc can't take the hammering from a multi engine launch then what happens on Mars - or even the moon?
Ie assume the BFR lands on the (unprepared) moon what sort of 'hole' does it make? Would the BFR simply topple over?And even then ( let's just assume the ground is hard) but there is a small dip created in the ground (think that's fair) what then happens to the exhaust gasses when you blast off?
The Apollo lander was absolutly tiny and made of paper thin aluminium - so the. Engines were tiny too.Not so the BFR.Just wonder why no one mentions this.
The images always seem to show a concrete circular landing pad..........but someone has to make it first....how and out of what!!!!
This is not Tin Tin we are talking about.
To me Elon looses credibility when he shows pictures like this with obvious questions but gives no explanations what so ever.
It's sort of insulting.

If I understand it correctly, for the first many landings and launches the same exact spot won't be used again so the reinforced structure isn't needed. The whole reason we build here on earth is because the same spot is used over and over and cannot be degraded with each use.

The moon certainly is not an issue with its gravity being 1/6 earth's. And with Mars gravity being 1/3 of earth's the take off thrust needed will be significantly less and less damaging.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
meecrob
Posts: 45
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:15 pm

Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:21 pm

Tugger is correct, but I have to add that much of the force absorbed by the water is acoustic vibrations. By sheer fact of no atmosphere on the Moon, and Mars having less than 0.1% of Earth's atmosphere (according to wiki, so please correct me if I am wrong), there simply aren't enough gaseous molecules in the atmosphere to transmit the vibrations from the engine to the surroundings. In space, no one can hear your engines.
 
parapente
Posts: 2490
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:42 pm

Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:24 pm

Thx for your answers.I hope they have good enough (I am sure they have) photographs of potential landing areas to pick a smooth spot.PerhAps the exhaust gasses will clear it anyway.
 
mxaxai
Posts: 448
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:29 am

Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:35 am

parapente wrote:
Thx mxamai.My point is really that.If a Earth based specifically built launch pad made worth thousands on tons of concrete with specially angled exhaust vents etc can't take the hammering from a multi engine launch then what happens on Mars - or even the moon?
Ie assume the BFR lands on the (unprepared) moon what sort of 'hole' does it make? Would the BFR simply topple over?And even then ( let's just assume the ground is hard) but there is a small dip created in the ground (think that's fair) what then happens to the exhaust gasses when you blast off?
The Apollo lander was absolutly tiny and made of paper thin aluminium - so the. Engines were tiny too.Not so the BFR.Just wonder why no one mentions this.
The images always seem to show a concrete circular landing pad..........but someone has to make it first....how and out of what!!!!
This is not Tin Tin we are talking about.
To me Elon looses credibility when he shows pictures like this with obvious questions but gives no explanations what so ever.
It's sort of insulting.

I think what you would see on Mars or the Moon would be similar to what the landing sites of Falcon 9 look like: No water (well, at least not on the boat), just flat ground and only a few engines operating. We do have some experience with rocket assisted landings on mars and have access to very detailed maps. I would also expect the BFR lander to cope with some roughness of the ground by design. It is not the Falcon 9.
But when we discuss the BFR on Mars there are a few questions remaining including
  • Does it bring its own fuel? If it doesn't does it carry its own refueling equipment?
  • How do people and cargo deboard and board? Would it be selfreliant or does it need a "spaceport"?
  • How close does the BFR land to potential residential areas or other landing sites? Even in Mars' thin atmosphere, the noise must be deafening.
So one of the first tasks of the BFR Mars program will likely be the installation of permanent landing sites as well as fuel and water generation.
 
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Francoflier
Posts: 4405
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2001 12:27 pm

Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:10 am

Stitch wrote:
So it does sound like a sub-standard part, as SpaceX claimed, and not a consequence of SpaceX's design decisions on the Falcon 9


It's a bit easy for SpaceX to blame the subcontractor, if you ask me. As the vendor, the responsibility falls on them. If they are going to subcontract, which they obviously have to do, then it behooves them to do due diligence and proper quality control of the parts they receive from them.

NASA's concerns about SpaceX's practices becomes very relevant when you consider that they will soon be sending astronauts in the pointy end of these things.
When a rocket that carries a dumb satellite ends up in a fireball, there's nothing more than some bruised egos and a financial battle to figure out who's going to pay for the mess. When the life of human beings are at stake, it becomes a completely different game.

If an Airbus or Boeing goes down because of a faulty subcontracted part, they aren't going to tell the families to go complain to the contractor. Likewise, Toyota still had to pay damages to the families of those who died because of the faulty airbags they did not make.

I'm of course not privy to the engineering culture at SpaceX, but the breakneck pace at which they've been developing and testing rockets sure does not seem to leave a lot of resources for establishing proper QC and testing practices, certainly not to the standard you'd expect a human-carrying vehicle to have. So while it does seem to work, there simply hasn't been enough Falcon launches to establish satisfactory reliability for manned flights based on their launch record alone.
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