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Thread: SpaceX updates [misc news & updates]

  1. #1
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Default SpaceX updates [misc news & updates]

    They've been busy boys and girls.

    Since the December 21 first stage landing several more have landed, including the CRS-9 Dragon mission to ISS over a week ago.Technical stream of the last bit - starting with the 3 engine re-entry burn



    After running upgrades based on previous landings, this F9 is very clean - nothing a scrub pad and soap can't clean off - most all soot.

    Time exposure of launch, re-entry burn and landing burn.



    Bill "The Roadie" Carton got this shot the day after the landing.



    The first re-flown Falcon 9 is expected to launch in September or October. Two customers are bidding for the ride. Insurers are on board.

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    SpaceX has 2 launches in August; Japan's JCSAT-16 and Israel's AMOS-6, both large geostationary commsats massing about 5,500 kg.

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    Preparations continue for the Falcon Heavy debut launch. The 3 cores are being built but the driver is completing LC-39A for it. The launch tower has to be clad in armor to protect it from the blast of the recently updated 27 Merlin 1D++ engines, now producing 170,000 - 190,000 pounds of thrust each. Over 5.1 million pounds of thrust total.

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    As part of their Mars program, a Red Dragon (a Dragon 2) is scheduled to leave for Mars in 2018. 2 more Red Dragons launch in 2020.

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    On September 27, 2016 SpaceX will present a major report at the International Astronautics Conference (IAC) in Guadalajara, Mexico. Topic,

    "Colonizing Mars - A deep technical presentation on the space transport architecture needed to colonize Mars"

    In it they will document the BFR (big f'ing rocket) and BFS (big f'ing spaceship), among other things and the real names for both of these beasts.

    There's not much that can be said in public yet, but public side modeling by US and Russian engineers on the NSF site describes a rocket /vehicle stack massing up to 6,000 metric tonnes. 15 meters wide, or 1.5x the width of a Saturn V.

    The Raptor methane engines are on the test stand, and the first BFR/BFS test launch should happen about 2020. An unmanned Mars landing is penciled in for 2022, and a manned Mars landing for 2025.
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 24th July 2016 at 13:41.
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    SpaceX is now over 5,000 strong and growing, 40% larger than the Boeing-Lockheed joint venture ULA.

    They've opened an office in Palo Alto, California to do engineering for their 4,000+ satellite data constellation - essentially an internet backbone in space. Sat to ground and sat to sat communications and routing. The satellite factory is in Redmond, Washibgton and it will also build advanced Hall effect ion thrusters.

    The first 2 test satellites launch in September, with 4-6 more in pairs before the constellation launches start in 2018-2019.

    The odds are the function will be similar or comparable with the DTN (Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networking) "solar system internet" architecture NASA has started to deploy starting on ISS. Think of it as data centers between worlds to cache frequently accessed data.

    http://www.nasa.gov/feature/new-sola...-space-station

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    The Brownsville spaceport construction is going hot & heavy: dual fiber optic lines back to the U. Texas Rio Grande Valley for SpaceX and the STARGATE facility; the big elevated mounds for buildings, the pad, hangars, 2 launch control centers etc., landing pads, and there's talk this is where the BFR/BFS Mars launches will leave from. First launch in 2017. Just one of the giant mounds,

    feature-spacex-space-x-launch-site-construction-fence.jpg

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    The McGregor TX test center has grown to 4,000 acres with 300 people, growing to 600 soon.

    More rocket test stands, engine test stands, hangars for new and to be refurbished stages, a Dragon reception and unloading facility, and perhaps some manufacturing. Cleared for "rocket motor tests up to 2 million pounds of thrust.".


    McGregor2016.jpg

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    The Vandenberg AFB SLC-4E launch center is getting its Falcon Heavy upgrades, and the neighboring SLC-4W pad is getting landing pads.

    The Vandenberg ASDS drone ship "Just Read the Instructions" is berthed in the Port of Los Angeles.

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    The first landed stage is going to be displayed outside of SpaceX HQ in California. FAA has given its permission (160 feet tall next to an airport) and the stage is there.
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 24th July 2016 at 16:04.
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    The SpaceX Transporter, for transporting Falcon 9 & Falcon Heavy cores from the landing zones or Port Canaveral to a hangar.

    The base was previously used to transport Shuttles between processing buildings and the Vehicle Assembly Building. SpaceX bought it at auction, refurbed it then added the strongback and cradles.

    Photo credit: SpaceKSC.com





    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 4th August 2016 at 23:58.
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    AMOS-6 (F9-029) qualification burn at McGregor.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/spac...4455530056318/

    Once it comes down JCSAT-14 (F9-024) should go back up for more reuse durability tests.
    Dr. Mordrid
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    SpaceNews article

    http://spacenews.com/spacex-offers-l...ll-satellites/


    As part of the companys Mars mission architecture, SpaceX is developing a new engine, called Raptor, that will use methane and liquid oxygen propellants. "We just shipped the first Raptor engine to Texas last night, she said. We should be firing it soon".


    One audience member questioned SpaceXs plans for human settlement of Mars, wondering why anyone would want to live there. There are a lot of people on this planet that have a lot of very different ideas, she said. Im sure theres plenty of people who will want to go settle on Mars.

    To test this, she asked a show of hands from the standing-room-only audience of those who would be willing to go to Mars on an early expedition. About five to ten percent of the audience raised their hands. Five percent of the worlds population is a lot, she said.
    Dr. Mordrid
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    Raptor engine triple horizontal test stand last January 30, via Reddit

    https://www.reddit.com/r/enginetests...nstruction_at/

    More: http://pictures.jtbuice.com/SpaceX-2...ver-1-30-2016/



    Simplified diagram

    triple_stand.jpg
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 9th August 2016 at 17:53.
    Dr. Mordrid
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    McGregor test site - labeled (large)

    http://i.imgur.com/DMdSGXu.png
    Dr. Mordrid
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    Higher insurance costs for re-flying Falcon 9 stages seems off the table. They must have liked what they saw during their recent look-sees at the return process.

    Full steam ahead to a reused stage launch around October, likely SES-10 or SES-11.

    Space News....

    >
    SES has made clear to investors that regular use of partially reusable rockets is a key component of SESs strategy for reducing capital spending. SES insurance underwriters have said they will not insist on major premium increases to cover a launch with a reused first stage.
    >
    Dr. Mordrid
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    A few items,

    1) Cargo Dragon 1 can be used 3 times. Cargo Dragon 2 will start out being reusable 5 times.

    2) Falcon 9 Block 5 is in such good shape after each use, up to use #3 and counting, they're scaling back production. The first to fly a 4th mission could fly this month. They expect each to last 10 missions, but who knows?

    3) The US Coast Guard has issued SpaceX permission to use private AIS Aids To Navigation (ATON), hazard zones established before a launch. SpaceX's AIS virtual ATON will show up on AIS-enabled ECDIS systems and electronic chart plotters. This is the first time the Coast Guard has allowed private virtual ATONs.

    4) the upper stage for CRS-19 will demo a 6 hour long-coast after Dragon deploys. This to show it can survive before doing a direct to geostationary orbit insertion. Part of the National Security Space Launch (EELV 2) program qualifications.
    Dr. Mordrid
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    ASDS Just Read the Instructions has spent the summer near NOLA getting upgrades, including beastly automatic positioning thrusters.

    Now SpaceX can catch both Falcon Heavy boosters downrange, expending the center core for high-deltaV launches.

    Or,

    They can do rapid sequence Starlink etc. launches with downrange recovery. They're planning on up to 24 Starlink launches in 2020, at 60 satellites per launch.

    ----------

    John Kraus @johnkrausphotos

    Two SpaceX droneships are now at Port Canaveral!

    Left, arriving: Just Read The Instructions

    Right, docked: Of Course I Still Love You

    So cool a second droneship is needed at the Cape for a high launch cadence in 2020.

    ELc2FqtX0AEvlnu.jpg

    https://twitter.com/johnkrausphotos/...90903882219522
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 10th December 2019 at 19:27.
    Dr. Mordrid
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    An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

    I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

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