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Old October 7 2012, 06:24 PM   #211
YellowSubmarine
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

Yeah, what do you exactly do with plush dinosaurs on a space station?
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Old October 7 2012, 06:29 PM   #212
gturner
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

Good question.

NASA TV starts coverage at 7:00 PM (ET) tonight, I think.
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Old October 8 2012, 01:50 AM   #213
M'Sharak
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

I missed the launch, but Dragon arrived in orbit just about five minutes ago. Looks like everything went the way it was supposed to go.

Also looks like SpaceX had their own Mohawk Guy watching at the Hawthorne HQ.
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Old October 8 2012, 01:52 AM   #214
gturner
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

A flawless launch. Dragon is in orbit and the solar arrays are deployed. It should catch up to the ISS in 60 some hours.
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Old October 8 2012, 01:53 AM   #215
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

It was another beautiful launch. Can't wait for a day launch so we can see a bit more, lol.
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Old October 8 2012, 03:09 AM   #216
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

BTW, this mission will also set a record for lowest cost per pound of cargo to LEO. The COTS contract with SpaceX is, if I recall, $1.6 billion for 12 missions, or $133 million per launch. They're delivering 1,000 pounds of cargo and then returning 2,000 pounds of cargo, for a net delivered to LEO of -1000 pounds.

Whereas NASA was struggling to break the +$5,000 per pound barrier, SpaceX just broke the negative $133,000 a pound barrier. Yes, that's less than nothing!
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Old October 8 2012, 05:45 AM   #217
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

Okay, the launch wasn't exactly flawless. An engine underwent a RUD (rapid unscheduled disassembly) 1:20 seconds into the flight. It's at the :30 mark in the slow motion video.



The engine was shut down automatically and the flight continued on.
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Old October 8 2012, 06:23 AM   #218
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

I knew something didn't look right when I saw that flare up. Good thing engine out worked as it was designed. Bet ya someone at SpaceX is going to get an ass chewing from Elon.
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Old October 8 2012, 07:47 AM   #219
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

I don't think that's how he works, or at least that's my impression.

The vultures are circling and over at Rand Simberg's blog "reader" posted

reader:
They don’t have a spotless record, and very few flights. What else does a customer really need to know.
Probably looking to gain customer share.

I replied with
George Turner October 7, 2012, 10:22 pm

That the Falcon 9 delivers the payload to its appointed orbit through rain, sleet, wind, and dark of night. That neither fire nor explosion will divert it from its task. A Falcon rocket can’t be stopped, can’t be reasoned with. It takes horrendous damage without flinching and just recomputes the optimal strategy to carry out its mission. It isn’t like other rockets that disintegrate when they get hit with styrofoam or blow up when their rubber O-rings get the shivers. It never falters. It never stands down. It doesn’t feel pain. It doesn’t know fear, and it doesn’t feel remorse as it drives its competitors into bankruptcy

Once SpaceX figures out how to disguise 157 foot Falcon 9′s as the Stay Puft Marshmallow man and send them walking through our cities, it’s game over.
Whatever aerospace firm he works for, I hope he reads it and something in the back of his brain gives him a flashback to the days his dad worked for Wang, Unisys, Daa General, or DEC and asked why anyone would buy an unproven toy computer from a garage startup called Apple.
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Old October 8 2012, 04:50 PM   #220
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

Engine Blows Up, rocket sucessfully completes mission.

Though it looks like the secondary payload is in trouble. (The Orbcomm satellite)
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Old October 9 2012, 12:28 PM   #221
YellowSubmarine
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

Wanderlust wrote: View Post
Engine Blows Up, rocket sucessfully completes mission.

Though it looks like the secondary payload is in trouble. (The Orbcomm satellite)
The payload was successfully put in orbit and deployed, which I hope means that ORBCOMM will proceed with the bigger payloads they have planned. It's only the orbit that sucks, which might render the satellite useless, but that appears to have been done by design... somewhat. SpaceX managed to launch the Falcon 9 and Dragon flawlessly again, yet they chose to proceed with a mission that would put one of its payloads in jeopardy even on a successful mission. It sounds weird, but if their objective was only a demonstration, I guess it can still count as success. Or can it?
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Old October 9 2012, 02:12 PM   #222
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

As I understand it, the Orbcomm satellite will still be able to raise its orbit using its own propulsion systems, although that will use up a lot of fuel and maybe shorten its operational life. But I could be wrong.
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Old October 9 2012, 03:40 PM   #223
YellowSubmarine
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
As I understand it, the Orbcomm satellite will still be able to raise its orbit using its own propulsion systems, although that will use up a lot of fuel and maybe shorten its operational life. But I could be wrong.
Their press release said exactly this, and yeah, I doubt they will pay full price to SpaceX for this, if they pay them at all. The real question is whether they will count this as a success and launch their next batch of satellites with SpaceX? If I understood Gwynne correctly, the satellite was the milestone SpaceX needed to pass to continue with the rest of their contract with ORBCOMM.
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Old October 10 2012, 01:39 AM   #224
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

The situation with the ISS safety gate, and I presume limits on the second stage's LOX boiling off, would be a good argument for having a seperate storable hypergolic propulsion system for secondary payloads. Perhaps they could use a regular Draco thruster for the task.
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Old October 10 2012, 05:59 PM   #225
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Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

And we're berthed! They hurried so much with the berthing because of the ice cream, and now they have to wait for the hatch opening. Poor astronauts. I'll have to remember not to tease them by telling them I can buy my ice cream by walking around the corner.
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