# Spacex Falcon 9 Flight 2 COTS -1 Launch (NET Dec 7)

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#### job1207

##### Guest
Re: Spacex Falcon 9 Flight 2 COTS -1 Launch

Well, if the Dragon landed at its terminal velocity it would not look very good. Terminal velocity is about 200 mph, using reasonable estimates, and that linked calculator. As it is, after the chutes deploy, they are quoting a maximum of 18 ft per second which is only 12 miles per hour. They are thinking ahead to an earth landing, and also tourists.

D

#### docm

##### Guest
Re: Spacex Falcon 9 Flight 2 COTS -1 Launch

I got the following -

Dragon (via SpaceX docs)

Dry mass: 4,200 kg
Down mass: 3,000 kg
Fuel mass: 1,290 kg
Diameter: 3.7m

Guesstimates

Re-entered mass: 7,845 kg (dry mass + full downmass + 1/2 fuel)
Area of 3.7m circle: 10.752 sq/m
Adjust for 'frisbee' curvature: ~11.2 sq/m
Drag coefficient: 1.135 (hemisphere to flat side = 1.17; flat disc = 1.1 - split the difference)
Altitude: 4,267.2 m/14,000 ft

T/V calculator result: 323.386 kph/200.943 mph

S

#### shuttle_guy

##### Guest
Re: Spacex Falcon 9 Flight 2 COTS -1 Launch

vattas":3hbktwv8 said:
I wonder if they are going to perform more drop tests from higher altitudes. From this altitude there's no way capsule has reached the speed at which parachutes will deploy in real reentry I think.

Once the drogue parachutes were out and the velocity of the capsule stabilized the conditions for the main parachute deployment would be the same as they would be for a real re-entry.

D

#### docm

##### Guest
Re: Spacex Falcon 9 Flight 2 COTS -1 Launch

Aviation Week is reporting SpaceX has applied for an Oct. 23rd launch date...

Looks like more tanking tests and another hot-fire test.

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#### shuttle_guy

##### Guest
Re: Spacex Falcon 9 Flight 2 COTS -1 Launch

docm":3qbbm54p said:
Aviation Week is reporting SpaceX has applied for an Oct. 23rd launch date...

Looks like more tanking tests and another hot-fire test.

Mu Opinion: I expect they will do a tanking test prior to every flight. That is a standard way of doing things in the throw away booster biz. The on pad static firing test will probably not be a standard operation once they gain confidence, assuming they continue to test fire the engines in the test stand before they move the booster to the pad.

D

#### docm

##### Guest
Re: Spacex Falcon 9 Flight 2 COTS -1 Launch

Space News article....

Corrections for flt-2 COTS-1

1. the flt-1 roll at liftoff is being corrected by reprogramming the software - the gimble angle did it.

2. The flt-1 2nd stage roll was the thruster actuators hydraulic lines being chilled by an O2 line, which is being rerouted by relocating a drain.

3. flt-1 was paid for by an un-named "government agency." Sounds like a bit of DoD "alternative funding" to me. Last year SpaceX said that the military was interested in DragonLab and its optional manipulator arm for rendezvous missions, so it seems to fit that they'd help get Dragon & F9 off the ground.

Wonder what else isn't being said?

B

##### Guest
Re: Spacex Falcon 9 Flight 2 COTS -1 Launch

SpaceX's Private Space Capsule Aims for October Launch Test

[snip]

Although Falcon 9's debut was supposed to have happened in 2007, with the first space station resupply mission slated for the end of this year, hardware development has taken longer than planned.

Brost said the company recently asked the U.S. Air Force's 45th Space Wing to reserve Oct. 23 at the launch range for its first COTS mission. In May, the company said subsequent demonstration flights had been pushed from fall to spring, and Brost said the need for additional development work on space station proximity operations and berthing, as well as final certification by the space station safety review board, makes those launch dates difficult to predict.

[snip]

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#### stevekk

##### Guest
Re: Spacex Falcon 9 Flight 2 COTS -1 Launch

SpaceX's Private Space Capsule Aims for October Launch Test

[snip]

Although Falcon 9's debut was supposed to have happened in 2007, with the first space station resupply mission slated for the end of this year, hardware development has taken longer than planned.

Brost said the company recently asked the U.S. Air Force's 45th Space Wing to reserve Oct. 23 at the launch range for its first COTS mission. In May, the company said subsequent demonstration flights had been pushed from fall to spring, and Brost said the need for additional development work on space station proximity operations and berthing, as well as final certification by the space station safety review board, makes those launch dates difficult to predict.

[snip]

Aren't there some "Dragon-Eye" components scheduled for the next shuttle launch ? It appears Space-X must still have quite a bit of work to do related to automated docking operations. I know Musk wants to build everyone in house, so he has total control, but there are existing proven proximity / docking systems already available. Maybe that's one of the reason's that Orbital doesn't need as many test flights. They are using proven hardware.

D

#### docm

##### Guest
Re: Spacex Falcon 9 Flight 2 COTS -1 Launch

DragonEye has already flown successfully on STS-127, and this is the last test before it's used on Dragon. Does that qualify it as "proven?" Does Orbital have a LIDAR as capable? If so I hope it works better than what they used on DART

(albeit this missions DragonEye installation was delayed a couple weeks because of a damaged laser rod)

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#### docm

##### Guest
Re: Spacex Falcon 9 Flight 2 COTS -1 Launch

IIRC they've made recent statements that they may be ready before the current Oct. 23 date. If so it'll be interesting to see if the range can open them a slot. An early, successful launch would be one more stake in the hearts of the boo-birds.

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#### stevekk

##### Guest
Re: Spacex Falcon 9 Flight 2 COTS -1 Launch

docm":2dw0bsbu said:
DragonEye has already flown successfully on STS-127, and this is the last test before it's used on Dragon. Does that qualify it as "proven?" Does Orbital have a LIDAR as capable? If so I hope it works better than what they used on DART

(albeit this missions DragonEye installation was delayed a couple weeks because of a damaged laser rod)

I assume Discovery is going to launch before Space-X gets COTS-II off the ground, so that would be an incorrect statement. Dragon-Eye is getting tested again.

D

#### docm

##### Guest
Re: Spacex Falcon 9 Flight 2 COTS -1 Launch

I do believe that I said it's going to have another test in the first sentence, but it having already flown successfully does count as at least partially "proven" IMO - certainly more so than DART.

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#### docm

##### Guest
Re: Spacex Falcon 9 Flight 2 COTS -1 Launch

Tanking test underway.

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#### MeteorWayne

##### Guest
Re: Spacex Falcon 9 Flight 2 COTS -1 Launch

I just love that they can do an engine test, shut it down, and then launch with the same engine.

THAT is getting into the reliability and repeatabily regime that the future of spaceflight will require, IMHO.

IIRC, jet aircraft do that every day.

D

#### docm

##### Guest
Re: Spacex Falcon 9 Flight 2 COTS -1 Launch

Engines - 9 of 'em, which really emphasize the point. It also goes along with the thread about the Merlin = small-block Chevy of space.

E

#### EarthlingX

##### Guest
Re: Spacex Falcon 9 Flight 2 COTS -1 Launch

http://www.spaceref.com : Inside SpaceX: Dragon Debut with Falcon 9 Launch set for October 23
By Ken Kremer

Posted Friday, September 17, 2010

Side view of nine Merlin 1 first stage engines at base of second Falcon 9 rocket inside SpaceX processing hangar at pad 40.

Ken Kremer for SpaceRef - Launch Pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida: Pre-launch preparations for the blast off of the first operational Dragon spacecraft by SpaceX Corporation are rapidly picking up momentum following a successful launch countdown propellant test of the fully assembled rocket on Wednesday, September 15 at their seaside launch pad at Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40), Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

SpaceX spokeswoman Kirsten Brost told me they are targeting October 23 as the earliest date for liftoff of the Dragon reusable spacecraft to orbit on a 5 hour test flight atop a two stage Falcon 9 booster from SLC-40 in Florida.

SpaceX granted me eyewitness access inside their launch facilities and rocket processing hangar at SLC-40 for a detailed up close tour where I observed the initial operational Dragon and Falcon 9 booster first hand after they had just been bolted together for the first time prior to the countdown test.
...

This photo shows the second Falcon 9 rocket with first operational Dragon capsule bolted on top and newly assembled into integrated launch configuration inside rocket hangar at SpaceX Launch Pad 40 in Florida. The Falcon 9 is a two stage rocket, powered by liquid oxygen and rocket grade kerosene (RP-1). It uses the same engines, structural architecture (with a wider diameter), avionics and launch system as the smaller and less powerful Falcon 1.
...

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#### trailrider

##### Guest
Re: Spacex Falcon 9 Flight 2 COTS -1 Launch

MeteorWayne":3koq5b0d said:
I just love that they can do an engine test, shut it down, and then launch with the same engine.

THAT is getting into the reliability and repeatabily regime that the future of spaceflight will require, IMHO.

IIRC, jet aircraft do that every day.

Let's see 'em do that with solid rocket motors! (It is true that similar prelaunch static tests are run on SSME's on the launch pad, and Atlas engines are also tested (or have been) prior to launch.) Beauty of liquid rockets...you can shut them down!

While Falcon 9/Dragon is not the Heavy Lift Vehicle/Spacecraft we'd like to see capable of going back to the Moon and beyond, it is a start. Best of luck to SpaceX!

Z

#### Zipi

##### Guest
Re: Spacex Falcon 9 Flight 2 COTS -1 Launch

trailrider":2q1b7t0s said:
While Falcon 9/Dragon is not the Heavy Lift Vehicle/Spacecraft we'd like to see capable of going back to the Moon and beyond, it is a start. Best of luck to SpaceX!

Off topic for this thread and hopefully won't start wider discussion, but I hope to see Falcon XX:

http://nasawatch.com/archives/2010/08/s ... ves-a.html

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#### mr_mark

##### Guest
Re: Spacex Falcon 9 Flight 2 COTS -1 Launch (NET Oct 23)

Great to see the first ever picture of the Dragon cargo capsule! By the way, the future rockets that are listed above are NOT official Spacex designs. They were presented as possibilities by a Spacex engineer. Elon Musk has commented that these are not official designs.

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#### shuttle_guy

##### Guest
Re: Spacex Falcon 9 Flight 2 COTS -1 Launch (NET Oct 23)

We have been very lucky with the weather thus far this hrrican season. The threat of a incoming hurricane will cause the busy range scedule to fall to pieces! I hope ourluck holds and that we get the Delta IV Heavy, Falcon 9 and STS-133 off on time.

S

#### stevekk

##### Guest
Re: Spacex Falcon 9 Flight 2 COTS -1 Launch

EarthlingX":t3y0dir1 said:
http://www.spaceref.com : Inside SpaceX: Dragon Debut with Falcon 9 Launch set for October 23
By Ken Kremer

Posted Friday, September 17, 2010

Side view of nine Merlin 1 first stage engines at base of second Falcon 9 rocket inside SpaceX processing hangar at pad 40.

Ken Kremer for SpaceRef - Launch Pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida: Pre-launch preparations for the blast off of the first operational Dragon spacecraft by SpaceX Corporation are rapidly picking up momentum following a successful launch countdown propellant test of the fully assembled rocket on Wednesday, September 15 at their seaside launch pad at Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40), Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

SpaceX spokeswoman Kirsten Brost told me they are targeting October 23 as the earliest date for liftoff of the Dragon reusable spacecraft to orbit on a 5 hour test flight atop a two stage Falcon 9 booster from SLC-40 in Florida.

SpaceX granted me eyewitness access inside their launch facilities and rocket processing hangar at SLC-40 for a detailed up close tour where I observed the initial operational Dragon and Falcon 9 booster first hand after they had just been bolted together for the first time prior to the countdown test.
...

This photo shows the second Falcon 9 rocket with first operational Dragon capsule bolted on top and newly assembled into integrated launch configuration inside rocket hangar at SpaceX Launch Pad 40 in Florida. The Falcon 9 is a two stage rocket, powered by liquid oxygen and rocket grade kerosene (RP-1). It uses the same engines, structural architecture (with a wider diameter), avionics and launch system as the smaller and less powerful Falcon 1.
...

Unless it's a lot longer than it looks in these pictures, the hanger appears to only be able to process 1 Falcon 9 rocket at a time. That building also just looks like a simple steel-framed warehouse. Can it survive a CAT 2 or 3 hurricane ?

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