Spacex Falcon 1 Flight 5 Launch

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frodo1008

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Not only is that not too far off, but the pricing might be based upon the use of the smaller Delta IV launchers. The Delta IV Heavy launches at the present time of about $250 million, and is capable (of course the price per pound might also be somewhat depend on upon whether or not all that capability is used in a flight, but that would also apply just as much to a spacex Falcon 9 Heavy launch as to a Delta IV Heavy launch) of placing some 50,000 lbs into LEO. Now, the last time I looked dividing $250 million by 50,000 lbs yields some $5,000 per each pound. Now, if you were going to use kilograms at some 2.2 pounds per kilogram, then it would have to be $11,000 per kilogram.

And just where does this Maitri982 person get off saying that the EELV program was just a jobs program? The US Air Force wanted to get its over all launch costs down for its Heavy Launches of the largest spy satellites down from the very high costs of the Titan IV, and THAT was the over all goal of the EELV program!

For instance the RS68 rocket engine with a far higher thrust that the SSME costs just about 25% of the cost of an SSME! During the development of the SSME performance and weight were the goals of the program, but during the development of the RS68 program (the last such program that I was involved with at Rocketdyne before I retired in the year 2000) cost was the God of development!. In fact, I was there during the development and production runs of the SSME as well!

I do not make statements that I can not back up with at least some degree of experience, just what actual aerospace (hands on working experience especially) do you Maitri982 actually have?

Here is a site that I thought was authoritative:

http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/deltaiv.htm

They had the actual weights to LEO and the actual final costs to the government. In terms of 2004 dollars. One reason why the costs increased over the costs as originally estimated in 1999 was the collapse of the commercial satellite markets, which would have given all the various launchers to LEO (including the Delta IV) far lower costs per launch, had the market remained stronger. This was NOT the fault of the Delta IV people. And spacex would also have to put up with such a lack of total business as well, driving their costs per launch up also!

The first example was an actual launch of a Delta IV, with a weight of some 18.900 lbs to LEO at a cost of $133 million. By my calculator that comes out to $7037 per pound. of course the original estimated cost of $90 million would have yielded $4762 per pound. You do realize that this was an actual launch?

Next, was an actual launch of 25,700 lbs to LEO for (2004 actual dollars) $138 million, or $5370 per pound to LEO (not too far off my original statement!), of course the original estimated cost was $95 million, or $3696 per pound to LEO!

Next, the Delta IV Heavy with a payload of 56,800 pounds at a 2004 cost to the government of $254 million, or $4472 per pound to LEO! And if the original estimate of $172 million had been used: $2993 per pound to LEO!

And finally, if you really want to be a stickler about this, there was the original developmental cost of $1.38 billion for a contracted 19 Delta IV Launches. or only some $72 million each as an average! And that would have even made the original goals of some $2500 per pound to LEO!

Now, I really do not want to be too hard on a newbie such as Maitri892 here, you probably have not had the experience of knocking heads with the more experienced aerospace types here on space.com yet. Believe me, I am not alone in that area, not by a long shot!

By the way, I also was around as one of the 400,000 or so workers that was responsible for placing men on the moon some 40 years ago. So, I do have at least some degree of experience and first hand knowledge of the US space program!

And do Have A Great Day! :D
 
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Maitri982

Guest
Hi Frodo,

Peace brother! I have no interest in knocking heads with you. I can see this is a very emotional topic for you...

SpaceX, without high volumes of launches, is proving that things can be done much cheaper. its the difference between govt programs and a company that has to make a profit. The Falcon 1 and 9 are being developed at a fraction of the cost of any of the launchers that you talk about.

You did good work, so you can relax, I am not criticizing those efforts. But you did not have real competition, which is the mother of efficiency and invention.

Cheers,
M
 
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ThereIWas2

Guest
Odd that there is no press release or even a web page update from SpaceX about this successful launch. Is the entire PR department on vacation?
 
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frodo1008

Guest
OK, no problem. Please note that my complaint was not with those that support the efforts of spacex, as I also support their efforts as well!

In fact, I support ALL efforts to get humanity off of space ship Earth and into space itself. That is regardless of just who is doing it, whether it is the government, ULA, or spacex, the Russians, or the aborigines of Borneo!

I just disagree with the sometimes negative attitudes of some here that would not only disrespect my own efforts, but the efforts of some of the finest workers in the entire aerospace industry! The last industry, by the way, left in America that still runs in the black with respect to the balance of payments of trade between the US and the rest of the world!

And that would not be you, as you are far too new here to be one of those that have done that in the past! So, we do not have reason to butt heads after all!

In fact, if spacex can actually and reliably reach that magic $1,000 per pound to LEO, they will quite frankly take over the entire launch (commercial and governmental) industry of the world!! Even the relatively inexpensive Russians would be very hard pressed to make that number!!

I now understand that the Russians can launch an average 10.000 lb commercial satellite to LEO for about $50 million. But if spacex can reach the $1,000 per pound area, they could launch that same satellite for only $10 million! Heck, they could then allow themselves gobs of profit and still launch at far less than ANYBODY in the entire world! And as they are not only a US company, but based right here in Southern California (which can use all the industry it can get), then I would become their biggest cheerleader of all on these boards. No problem at all!!

OK?
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
Here's their entire final statement:

Posted July 13, 2009 - 22:20 PDT

Second burn and satellite separation nominal. Falcon 1 has successfully deployed RazakSAT into the correct orbit.



It seems like they have an anti-PR department. I've had numerous discussion with them about this (via e-mail) and they never seem to get it :(
 
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frodo1008

Guest
Well ThereIWas2, perhaps they have decided to go low key with this. But now that I think on it, just how low key can you get?

After all, it IS supposedly their own site, and besides, didn't Elon Musk originally make his money on the internet?

If true, then it is certainly Puzzling at the least! :?
 
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Maitri982

Guest
Frodo,

I am with ya brother! Lows cost access to space is the key.

I know we like round numbers, like $1,000 per lb, but even $1,500 per pound to LEO would be tremendous. That means for me at 150 lbs it would only be $225,000. There is nothing close to that to LEO right now.

Spacex has the Falcon 9 at about $1,600 per pound to LEO if i calculate correctly. If they can solve the reusability of stage 1 and or 2 of their rockets, that price will go even lower. If they develop Merlin 2, it will go lower yet....so we'll see.

But for me, even at $1,600 per pound you are starting to get interesting for a mass people mover to space...

Best,
M
 
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gunsandrockets

Guest
I hope this launch success will quiet some of the dumber critics of SpaceX (I'm thinking of one banned person in particular who shall remain nameless :roll: ).

If SpaceX succeeds in greatly reducing launch costs, it is in large part because they are standing on the shoulders of giants. The pioneers of the rocket age whose flight hardware is still putting craft into space today. :D

The real challenge for SpaceX is when they go beyond legacy technology to develop reusable hardware that really works and really saves money. And let's not forget the ultimate ambition of Musk is the human colonization of Mars! :shock: Now that's a humdinger of a challenge.
 
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vattas

Guest
I wonder if they were planning to recover 1st stage. And if they succeeded in this of course... They have never been so silent before. Probably celebrating...
Maybe some news from Malaysia?
 
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tanstaafl76

Guest
Maybe they kept things low key for a couple days so their client could be the primary publicity focus?

Also, since this was "just another Falcon 1 launch" in comparison to the upcoming Falcon 9 maiden flight, they might not want to seem TOO excited that it was successful.
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
tanstaafl76

Good ideas, certainly possible.

I disagree 100% with that approach, but it may be an explanation :)
 
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docm

Guest
This just hit my inbox;

(same with an update and pix here....)

SPACEX'S FALCON 1 SUCCESSFULLY DELIVERS RAZAKSAT SATELLITE TO ORBIT

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Hawthorne, CA – (July 15, 2009) – Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) announces the successful launch of Falcon 1 Flight 5 launch vehicle and delivery of Malaysia's RazakSAT into the correct orbit.

"This marks another successful launch by the SpaceX team," said Elon Musk, CEO and CTO of SpaceX. "We are pleased to announce that Malaysia's RazakSAT, aboard Falcon 1, has achieved the intended orbit."

Falcon 1, a two-stage, liquid oxygen/rocket-grade kerosene vehicle designed and manufactured by SpaceX, lifted off Monday, July 13, at 8:35 pm (PDT). Lift off occurred from the Reagan Test Site (RTS) on Omelek Island at the U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll (USAKA) in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii.

RazakSAT was designed and built by Astronautic Technology (M) Sdn Bhd (ATSB), a pioneer and leader in the design and manufacture of satellites in Malaysia.

"Our ground systems were able to pick up communication from RazakSAT on its first pass," said Norhizam Hamzah, Senior Vice President / Chief Technical Officer, Space Systems Division, ATSB. "The satellite is communicating as expected and our team will continue to monitor the data closely."

For more information about the Falcon family of vehicles, and to watch the Falcon 1 Flight 5 video, visit the SpaceX website at (SpaceX.com).

UPDATE:

Preliminary data indicates that the RazakSAT, equipped with a high resolution Medium-Sized Aperture Camera (MAC), achieved the intended Near-Equatorial Low Earth Orbit (NEqO) at 685 km altitude and a 9 degree inclination. The payload is expected to provide high resolution images of Malaysia that can be applied to land management, resource development and conservation, forestry and fish migration.
 
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gbmartin

Guest
Whatever happened to launches of the Falcon 1? I thought we would see several launches of this vehicle this year and there doesnt seem to have been any, unless I have missed something. Does anyone have an update on the Falcon 1?
 
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aaron38

Guest
The only thing on their launch manifest is the first flight of the Falcon 1e sometime in 2011. No official dates yet, and I doubt we'll get one until after the Falcon 9 launch.
 
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