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Old May 25 2012, 10:07 PM   #76
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

YellowSubmarine wrote: View Post
Anyone still missing the shuttles?

That's fucking amazing.
A bit, but I'm hoping this opens the door to even better things.
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Old May 26 2012, 07:49 AM   #77
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

YellowSubmarine wrote: View Post
Someone on NASA TV just referred to ".org" as "dot orgy". Do people do that often? I've never heard it pronounced before.
If you spell it out "dot oh-arr-gee" fairly quickly, that's about what it'll sound like.
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Old May 26 2012, 04:03 PM   #78
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat



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Old May 28 2012, 05:46 AM   #79
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

Here is a great 15 minute HD clip, spliced together from several hours footage by crew members. (external only) - Some great spacecraft porn shots! Incredible detail.


(If you wonder why there is a fixed starfield background in some shots - that is because the camcorder has so many dead pixels after being up there for years being hit by cosmic radiation)

Also, here is a 9 min HD clip of the hatch opening - really neat to see all the detail of how the hatch mechanism works. Plus the cool inside!

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Old May 28 2012, 06:12 AM   #80
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

The entire series of photos by André Kuipers, both of the Dragon and otherwise, are stunning:

https://secure.flickr.com/photos/astro_andre/

Though it's a pity that the Progress/Soyuz photo on page 2 seems much more sublime than any of the Dragon photos with the cloudless Earth underneath, with the landmasses and with the two spacecraft pointing down.
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Old May 28 2012, 06:20 AM   #81
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

YellowSubmarine wrote: View Post
The entire series of photos by André Kuipers, both of the Dragon and otherwise, are stunning:

https://secure.flickr.com/photos/astro_andre/

Though it's a pity that the Progress/Soyuz photo on page 2 seems much more sublime than any of the Dragon photos with the cloudless Earth underneath, with the landmasses and with the two spacecraft pointing down.
That (page 2 Soyuz) is indeed a beautiful shot. Unfortunately the Dragon location is much further away from the cupola than the nearest Soyuz/Progress port, so photos from that angle will be hard to come by.

Hopefully we'll see lots of epic shots when Dragon departs.
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Old May 29 2012, 12:55 AM   #82
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

I think this is an exceptional moment for humanity's space program. However, I am feeling very angry at the Republicans and the Blue Dog Democrats. They are crafting legislation that would reduce funding to the commercial space industry, in an effort at protecting their interests. First, the Republicans attempted to kill the Chevy Volt. Now this. Ugh. Will these people ever get behind initiatives that support and build on our country's innovative and entrepreneurial spirit?

http://spacenews.com/commentaries/12...eeds-help.html
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Old May 29 2012, 06:52 AM   #83
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

If they continue funding commercial companies, these companies might start producing cheap heavy launchers and threaten the future of the SLS workfare program. Now, we wouldn't want that to happen, would we?
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Old May 29 2012, 06:38 PM   #84
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

^There is no business case for heavy launchers.
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Old May 29 2012, 07:55 PM   #85
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

NASA just put some high-res pictures of Dragon:


Source + Hi-res: http://www.spaceflight.nasa.gov/gall...31e070663.html


Source + Hi-res: http://www.spaceflight.nasa.gov/gall...31e070745.html


Source + Hi-res: http://www.spaceflight.nasa.gov/gall...31e070790.html


Source + Hi-res: http://www.spaceflight.nasa.gov/gall...31e070799.html
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Old May 29 2012, 08:11 PM   #86
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

YellowSubmarine wrote: View Post
If they continue funding commercial companies, these companies might start producing cheap heavy launchers and threaten the future of the SLS workfare program. Now, we wouldn't want that to happen, would we?
sojourner wrote: View Post
^There is no business case for heavy launchers.
Perhaps, but SpaceX just announced the first contract for a commerical Falcon Heavy launch:

http://www.spacex.com/press.php?page=20120529
INTELSAT SIGNS FIRST COMMERCIAL FALCON HEAVY LAUNCH AGREEMENT WITH SPACEX

Washington, DC / Hawthorne, CA May 29, 2012 - Today, Intelsat, the world's leading provider of satellite services, and Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), the world's fastest growing space launch company, announced the first commercial contract for the Falcon Heavy rocket.
...
This is the first commercial contract for SpaceX's Falcon Heavy launch vehicle. Under the agreement, an Intelsat satellite will be launched into geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO).
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Old May 29 2012, 08:28 PM   #87
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

sojourner wrote: View Post
^There is no business case for heavy launchers.
I wouldn't be so sure. And there's at least one private company interested in developing heavy launchers without much concern about the immediate business case.
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Old May 30 2012, 12:14 AM   #88
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

^Not SpaceX. In fact, I can't think of any company that is. Who are you thinking of?

Despite it's name, the Falcon Heavy is not a "heavy" launcher. "Heavy" is generally applied to a launcher that can get in excess of 70 metric tons to orbit. Falcon Heavy is only projected for 53 metric tons.
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Old May 30 2012, 12:42 AM   #89
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

sojourner wrote: View Post
^Not SpaceX. In fact, I can't think of any company that is. Who are you thinking of?

Despite it's name, the Falcon Heavy is not a "heavy" launcher. "Heavy" is generally applied to a launcher that can get in excess of 70 metric tons to orbit. Falcon Heavy is only projected for 53 metric tons.
Don't be nitpicky. But if you want to play it that way, many don't even consider 70 mt to be heavy - heavy has traditionally been considered to be 100 mT or more.

And compared to the most capable launcher currently in the world - the Delta IV-Heavy at 25 mT - it sure is 'heavy'.
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Old May 30 2012, 01:17 AM   #90
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

Oh, it's heavier, but not a Heavy. Just don't blur it when talking about someone developing a "heavy" launcher. Falcon Heavy is definitely good enough for pretty much any need we might have in the near future and due to commonality with Falcon 9 it may acheive economies of scale that make true Heavies redundant.
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