SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space station

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by RAMA, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Hyperspace05

    Hyperspace05 Commodore Commodore

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    Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

    Once the reusable F9 is operational, the FH will be using the same reusable 1st stage as boosters. Their reusable work applies to future variants of both the F9 and FH.
     
  2. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

    Hm, right, that's true. You can send and return people to and from Mars, even settle it with Falcon Heavy rockets. Heavier launchers aren't necessary, I even figured you wouldn't need too many FH launches for a small base. My bad. Sorry.

    Wouldn't heavier launchers be cheaper in terms of fuel though? FH can lift five times what F9 can, and uses, what, three times more fuel? If you:
    1. Developed full reusability all the way to Mars.
    2. Increased the size of the rocket/engines.

    Elon Musk's vision for half-a-million round trip to Mars starts to sound less insane.

    And even without the full reusability, the rockets themselves are only third of the price. Though FH has the advantage of being built from F9 parts, so an even heavier one might be unsustainable.
     
  3. Hyperspace05

    Hyperspace05 Commodore Commodore

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    Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

    There is always an optimal point when it comes to launch vehicle size for $$$/lb to LEO.
    - Make the launch vehicle too large, and it will be very expensive and fly rarely
    - Make the launch vehicle too small, and you have to launch too often, and with tiny pieces

    Personally I think 40-50mT is a pretty good point - especially when it is made up of the same components of smaller launch vehicles. The more frequently you fly a booster, the more confidence you have in it, and the cheaper it will become due to mass production.

    BTW, the propellant cost of a rocket launch is just in a tiny fraction of the total launch cost of a rocket. (1-2%, or even less) The hardware and man-hours is what makes up the vast majority of the launch cost.
     
  4. Hyperspace05

    Hyperspace05 Commodore Commodore

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    Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

    BTW, tomorrow morning Dragon will depart ISS and re-enter the atmosphere.

    Here is the current timeline: http://www.spacex.com/press.php?page=20120530

    Dragon Return Timeline 5/31/12 - (times are approximate and subject to change)

    Time (Pacific) - Event

    01:05 Dragon uninstalled using station's robotic arm
    03:10 Dragon released by the robotic arm
    03:11 Dragon's Draco thrusters fire departure burns
    04:07 Unlatch/close/latch GNC door holding sensors
    07:51 Dragon's Draco thrusters fire deorbit burn
    08:09 Dragon's trunk is jettisoned
    08:35 Dragon's drogue parachutes are deployed
    08:36 Dragon's main parachutes are deployed
    08:44 Dragon lands in the Pacific

    All of this will be covered by NASA TV: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
     
  5. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

    The only part of today's procedures I really worry about is the jettisoning of the trunk. Something they haven't done before. If something goes wrong there it's automatic loss of vehicle.
     
  6. RevDMV

    RevDMV Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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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.
     
  7. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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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.
     
  8. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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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.
     
  9. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

    1. COTS 2 milestones
    2. COTS 3 milestones
    2.5. Re-entry capability, quick cargo return, acceleration acceptable for crew configuration, etc.
     
  10. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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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.
     
  11. Hyperspace05

    Hyperspace05 Commodore Commodore

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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: :D
    [​IMG]
    Hi-res: http://i.imgur.com/qlj3S.jpg
     
  12. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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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.
     
  13. Wanderlust

    Wanderlust Captain Captain

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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

    http://spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/003/120518musk/

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Hyperspace05

    Hyperspace05 Commodore Commodore

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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).
     
  15. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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  16. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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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.
     
  17. Hyperspace05

    Hyperspace05 Commodore Commodore

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    Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

    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. :)
     
  18. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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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.
     
  19. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

    Flawlessly performed mission.
    Excellent!
     
  20. Hyperspace05

    Hyperspace05 Commodore Commodore

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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:

    [yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nbHj4P81voA[/yt]
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012

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