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Old May 31 2012, 04:47 PM   #106
RevDMV
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

In the water, now for recovery.

So far this mission has been fantastic, especially for the reach goal of actual cargo delivery and return.
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Old May 31 2012, 05:58 PM   #107
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

So they completed two and a half major milestones in one go? Impressive, impressive.
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Old May 31 2012, 07:26 PM   #108
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

Two and a half?

Now they just need to improve their flight rate.
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Old May 31 2012, 08:01 PM   #109
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

sojourner wrote: View Post
Two and a half?
1. COTS 2 milestones
2. COTS 3 milestones
2.5. Re-entry capability, quick cargo return, acceleration acceptable for crew configuration, etc.
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Old May 31 2012, 08:26 PM   #110
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

Ah, gotcha. Though re-entry had already been proven on COTS 1.
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Old May 31 2012, 09:54 PM   #111
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

Image of the Dragon in the water:

Hi-res: http://i.imgur.com/qlj3S.jpg
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Old May 31 2012, 10:50 PM   #112
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

Google needs to add a "here be dragons" to the map off the coast of California.
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Old June 1 2012, 01:07 AM   #113
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

Not sure of you guys know this but F9 has been upgraded to a new version that will take over at COTS flight 5. Weight improvement to 16,000kg from 10,400 to LEO.

Falcon 9 V1.1

Question: Can you describe what modifications you're making to the launch pad at Cape Canaveral?

Musk: The extension to the existing hangar is for payload processing and it's also for Falcon 9 version 1.1, which is longer. It's about 50 percent longer than version 1. We need a little bit of extra length and some extra facilities for the satellites that are coming.

[NOTE: Falcon 9 v1.1 is an upgraded version of the Falcon 9 rocket with more powerful Merlin 1D engines and lengthened propellant tanks. It will also be the core for SpaceX's Falcon Heavy, a colossal booster formed from three first stages strapped together. Falcon Heavy's first test launch is expected as soon as mid-2013.]

Question: When will the first Falcon 9 v1.1 fly?

Musk: We'll certainly be vertical on the pad at Vandenberg [Air Force Base in California] by the end of the year. Launch could be early next year. The launch date depends on how the final phase of testing goes for the next-generation Falcon 9.

Question: What payloads will fly on Falcon 9 v1.1?

Musk: The next version of Falcon 9 will be used for everything. The last flight of version 1.0 will be Flight 5. All future missions after Flight 5 will be v1.1. We've got this mission, which is Flight 3. And we've two CRS [Commercial Resupply Services] missions, Flight 4 and Flight 5, which will fly Version 1.0. Then all future missions, CRS or otherwise, will fly Version 1.1.
http://spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/003/120518musk/



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Old June 1 2012, 03:18 AM   #114
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

The current version of the F9 will only fly 5 times, yes - but those remaining two flights are CRS1 and CRS2. (no more COTS flights)

Sometime early or mid 2013 this new version will have its first flight - and that first flight will be either CRS3 out of CCAFS (Florida), or the maiden flight (satellite payload) from the new pad at VAFB (California).
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Old June 1 2012, 03:45 AM   #115
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat




https://twitter.com/SpaceflightNow/s...85815867428864
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Old June 1 2012, 04:19 AM   #116
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

RE: Falcon 9 v1.1

Yeah, I've been following all of the conjecture based on that one small image of it on the nasaspaceflight.com forums. The industry guys and armchair rocket builders are wondering if SpaceX has re-arranged the engine layout from a 3x3 block to an octagon with one in the middle. It's all guessing until more information becomes available.
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Old June 1 2012, 07:38 AM   #117
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

sojourner wrote: View Post
RE: Falcon 9 v1.1

Yeah, I've been following all of the conjecture based on that one small image of it on the nasaspaceflight.com forums. The industry guys and armchair rocket builders are wondering if SpaceX has re-arranged the engine layout from a 3x3 block to an octagon with one in the middle. It's all guessing until more information becomes available.
Sojourner, are you on the nasaspaceflight.com forums? I post there quite a bit. (as Lars_J) I've expressed a lot of skepticism towards the speculation from that single image.
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Old June 1 2012, 08:34 AM   #118
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

Lol, hey Lars! Yeah, I have the same user name there. I seldom post, being just a fan. Just the odd question here and there or word of encouragement for SpaceX. I'm just a humble IT guy and not in the industry.

Just to add one more thing on SpaceX. I am glad they finally eclipsed Branson's carnival ride in the public eye with last week's mission. I hated it every time someone would ignorantly point to Virgin Galactic and SS2 as the next great thing in commercial space. SS2 is just a thrill ride.
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Old June 1 2012, 10:59 AM   #119
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

Flawlessly performed mission.
Excellent!
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Old June 1 2012, 05:56 PM   #120
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

Here is a great video that was just released of the Dragon descent, from just after drogue deployment to after splashdown (although the splashdown itself is blocked by clouds) - This was shot from a NASA P-3 Orion chase plane:


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