SpaceX Updates

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Boris_Badenov

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<font size="2">I didn't feel any of the current Space X threads were appropriate for this or further updates. Everybody else feel free to post anything new you come up with.</font> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>
 
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Boris_Badenov

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<p><font size="2"><font size="2">Musk: $80 million to go to the Moon</font></font></p><p><font size="2" color="#000000">Speaking to journalists after his speech at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London on 3 July, Space Exporation Technologies chief executive Elon Musk talked about his ideas for a circumlunar flight service</font></p><div id="more" class="asset-more"><p><font size="2" color="#000000">At an overall cost of $80 million the BBC journalist, asking Musk about this, noted that with seven crew in the Dragon that could be $11 million per passenger. Musk did talk about a Falcon 9 (F9) heavy launching such a flight as it has a low Earth orbit payload capability of 60,000lb, which is just over 27,000kg</font></p></div> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>
 
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DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Musk: $80 million to go to the MoonSpeaking to journalists after his speech at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London on 3 July, Space Exporation Technologies chief executive Elon Musk talked about his ideas for a circumlunar flight serviceAt an overall cost of $80 million the BBC journalist, asking Musk about this, noted that with seven crew in the Dragon that could be $11 million per passenger. Musk did talk about a Falcon 9 (F9) heavy launching such a flight as it has a low Earth orbit payload capability of 60,000lb, which is just over 27,000kg <br />Posted by boris1961</DIV></p><p>The only thiing that made any sense to me in Musk's talk was the $2 million one-way ticket to Mars.&nbsp; That sounds like a great deal for only $1.07 billion we could send every senator and every congressman to Mars.&nbsp; That would pay for itself many times over.&nbsp; </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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Boris_Badenov

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<p><font size="2"><font size="2">SpaceX Receives USAF Operational License for Cape Canaveral Launch Site</font></font></p><font size="2"></font><font size="2"><p align="left"><font color="#000000">Company Remains on Schedule to Initiate Falcon 9 Commercial Operations in Q4 2008 </font></p><p align="left"><font color="#000000"><font style="font-weight:400;color:blue!important;font-family:geneva,arial,verdana"><font color="#000000"><span style="font-weight:400;color:blue!important;border-bottom:blue1pxsolid;font-family:geneva,arial,verdana;background-color:transparent" class="kLink">Cape </span><span style="font-weight:400;color:blue!important;border-bottom:blue1pxsolid;font-family:geneva,arial,verdana;background-color:transparent" class="kLink">Canaveral</span></font></font> FL - Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) has been granted an Operational License by the US Air Force for the use of Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on the Florida coast. Receipt of the license, in conjunction with the approved Site Plan, paves the way for SpaceX to initiate Falcon 9 launch operations later this year. </font></p><p align="left"><font color="#000000">"We are developing Falcon 9 to be a valuable asset to the American space launch fleet," said Elon Musk, CEO and CTO of SpaceX. "The support we received from General Helms and the US Air Force has been immensely helpful in developing the pathfinder processes necessary for SpaceX to realize commercial space flights from the Cape." </font></p><p align="left"><font color="#000000">"Our developments at Complex 40 continue with great speed," added Brian Mosdell, Director of Florida Launch Operations for SpaceX. "We have moved our massive<font color="#000000"> <font style="font-weight:400;color:blue!important;font-family:geneva,arial,verdana"><span style="font-weight:400;color:blue!important;font-family:geneva,arial,verdana" class="kLink">oxygen</span></font></font> storage tank into place, and expect to complete construction of our hangar later this year."</font> </p></font> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>
 
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Boris_Badenov

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<p><font size="2"><font size="2">SpaceX launches DragonLab for recoverable scientific payload service</font></font> </p><p><font size="2" color="#0000ff">Space Exploration Technologies is offering its Dragon capsule as a recoverable science cargo spacecraft with a first commercial flight target of 2010.</font></p><p><font size="2" color="#0000ff">With the ability to return up to 3,000kg (6,600lb) of payload to Earth, SpaceX envisages that uses for its "DragonLab" will include instruments and sensor testing, radio and microgravity research, Earth observation and space environment and materials studies.<br /><br />With flights lasting from a week to two years Dragon has a science payload volume capacity of up to 10m&sup3; (352.5ft&sup3;) for experiments that need to be pressurised and 14m&sup3; of unpressurised storage in the vehicle's trunk.</font></p><p><font size="2" color="#0000ff">"We have a five-month turnaround [from authority to proceed to launch] that is faster than Shuttle for [International Space] station," says SpaceX's senior mission manager Max Vozoff.<br /><br />He adds that the company already has one potential customer interested in a flight in 2010. Customers would buy a payload slot and that could be as the primary payload - able to decide when the launch takes place - or as a secondary payload.<br /><br />Small satellites could also be deployed from the vehicle, stored within Dragon's unpressurised trunk. Possible customers include NASA centres, the US department of defence and commercial markets such as universities and corporations.<br /><br />Dragon is designed as a man-rated vehicle that can carry cargo or a crew. Its launch vehicle SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket is expected to make its maiden flight from Cape Canaveral next year. Designed before NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) programme began, the vehicle has since become a COTS candidate.<br /></font></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>
 
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docm

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<br /> <img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/4/13/9496e925-63ce-4269-bde4-caee997cd0a7.Medium.jpg" alt="" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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Swampcat

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.rss.html?pid=26382SpaceX Receives USAF Operational License for Cape Canaveral Launch Site PRESS RELEASEDate Released: Tuesday, September 9, 2008 Company Remains on Schedule to Initiate Falcon 9 Commercial Operations in Q4 2008 Cape Canaveral FL - Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) has been granted an Operational License by the US Air Force for the use of Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on the Florida coast. Receipt of the license, in conjunction with the approved Site Plan, paves the way for SpaceX to initiate Falcon 9 launch operations later this year. "We are developing Falcon 9 to be a valuable asset to the American space launch fleet," said Elon Musk, CEO and CTO of SpaceX. "The support we received from General Helms and the US Air Force has been immensely helpful in developing the pathfinder processes necessary for SpaceX to realize commercial space flights from the Cape." "Our developments at Complex 40 continue with great speed," added Brian Mosdell, Director of Florida Launch Operations for SpaceX. "We have moved our massive oxygen storage tank into place, and expect to complete construction of our hangar later this year." Mosdell cited other supporters instrumental to SpaceX's efforts including the members of the Florida congressional delegation, the USAF Space Command, Col. Scott Henderson, Commander, 45th Launch Group, Col. (ret.) Mark Bontrager, formerly Commander of the 45th Mission Support Group, the public-private partnership Space Florida, and the Space Coast Economic Development Commission. In operation since 1965, and located south of NASA's launch sites for the Apollo moon missions and Space Shuttle flights, SLC-40 has hosted numerous historic launches, including the departure of two interplanetary missions: the Mars Observer satellite, and the Cassini spacecraft now exploring the rings and moons of the planet Saturn. <br /> Posted by docm</DIV></p><p>Hey, docm, this is a repeat of Boris1961's post above&nbsp;<img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-wink.gif" border="0" alt="Wink" title="Wink" />&nbsp;.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="3" color="#ff9900"><p><font size="1" color="#993300"><strong><em>------------------------------------------------------------------- </em></strong></font></p><p><font size="1" color="#993300"><strong><em>"I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government."</em></strong></font></p><p><font size="1" color="#993300"><strong>Thomas Jefferson</strong></font></p></font> </div>
 
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docm

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Deleted - lay it off on yelling-at-kid syndrome <img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-tongue-out.gif" border="0" alt="Tongue out" title="Tongue out" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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Boris_Badenov

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<p><font size="2"><font size="2">Aiming for Stars, Entrepreneurs May Also Fill Gaps</font></font></p><p><font size="2" color="#000000">Elon Musk has spent six years, $100 million of his own money and enormous emotional energy to develop a fleet of privately operated rockets and spacecraft -- and has watched the first three prototypes climb only partway to orbit before falling to Earth. </font></p><p><font size="2" color="#000000">But he says he's not a bit discouraged. </font></p><p><font size="2" color="#000000">Musk is seeking to become the first entrepreneur to compete with the world's governments in the business of flying cargo -- and someday astronauts -- to the international space station and beyond. Private companies such as Boeing and Lockheed have long built spacecraft for NASA, but that has been under contract, and the space agency owned the hardware in the end. </font></p><p><font size="2" color="#000000">Musk remains confident that his company, SpaceX of Hawthorne, Calif., will be able to fly to the space station by the end of 2010, and a large contingent of NASA and other space officials are eager for him to succeed -- both because they see private space travel as the wave of the future since it promises to be much cheaper, and increasingly because it would bolster national security. </font></p><p><font size="2" color="#000000">"NASA won't have the capacity to carry cargo to and from the station on an American vessel after 2010, and we're definitely looking to the private sector to help fill the gap," said NASA Administrator Michael Griffin. "Rocket science truly is one of the hardest things humans can do, but the technology to transport cargo to the station is mature enough that we strongly believe private enterprise can and must step in." </font></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>
 
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Boris_Badenov

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<p><font size="2"><font size="2">SpaceX offers NASA $80 million lunar cargo lander service</font> </font></p><p><font size="2" color="#000000">Space&nbsp;Exploration Technologies has proposed to NASA a robotic cargo lunar lander service that would be priced at $80 million per mission.</font></p><p><font size="2" color="#000000">SpaceX proposed the lander at a meeting with the US space agency because it is a member of Odyssey Space Research's team for NASA's Altair project office lander evaluation study that began in March. The SpaceX lander would deliver 1,000kg (2,200lb) to the Moon's surface in support of NASA's Altair missions. The unmanned Altair cargo version could deliver 14,000kg to the Moon. </font></p><p><font size="2" color="#000000">The SpaceX lander is launched by the company's heavy version of its Falcon 9 rocket. The standard version will make its maiden flight in 2009 with a first stage powered by nine Merlin 1C engines. The heavy version would use 27 engines with two Falcon 9 first stages as strap-on boosters.</font></p><p><font size="2" color="#000000">SpaceX senior mission manager Max Vozoff says: "We presented to the Altair team the idea of a $500 million lunar lander COTS [Commercial Orbital Transportation Services] competition that could bring about vehicles with cargo capabilities of 1,000-3,000kg."</font></p><p><font size="2" color="#000000">SpaceX is competing in COTS to develop a resupply capability for the International Space Station. NASA's commercial crew and cargo office has examined options for the extension of procurement beyond ISS resupply to lunar services. The options include lunar navigation and communications, sample return and "micro-landers".</font></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>
 
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Boris_Badenov

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<p><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">http://www.space.com/spacenews/spacenews_summary.html#BM_4There's not much new here, but it is interesting.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><a name="BM_4" title="BM_4"></a><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">THE FOURTH TIME IS THE CHARM FOR SPACEX ROCKET</span></span></span></span></span></p><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><a name="BM_4" title="BM_4"></a></span></span><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">"It's hard to say, but I think probably the first Falcon 9 flight will be sometime in [the second quarter] next year," Musk said. "Although we'll have the Falcon 9 at the </span><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">Cape</span><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"> in December &mdash; we'll call it December/January &mdash; there is still ongoing qualification testing that will be going on concurrently. And it's going to take a few months to iron out all the interfaces between the launch pad and the vehicle. That's why I figured probably sometime in [the second quarter]." </span></p><p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">SpaceX's customer for the Falcon 9 debut is a </span><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">U.S.</span><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"> government agency that has asked to remain anonymous. There are several additional flights on the Falcon 9 manifest for 2009, including two commercial launches and a NASA-funded flight demonstration of SpaceX's self-built reusable Dragon capsule. SpaceX hopes to show within the next year or so that Dragon can be used to reliably deliver cargo to the international space station. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">While Falcon 9 still remains in development, the rocket is nearing completion and Musk said he does not expect to experience the same kind of growing pains with Falcon 9 that SpaceX had with its smaller sibling. </span></p><p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">"I expect Falcon 9 to be a much smoother process because Falcon 1 was the first time we ever developed a vehicle," Musk said. "Any of the issues we encountered in Falcon 1 we are going to make sure they don't occur with Falcon 9. Things like slush baffles in the upper stage, the stage separation issue we had with flight three, the corroded nut issue we had with Flight 1 &mdash; none of those things are going to be repeated with Falcon 9. And just as an organization, we are much bigger and have a lot more expertise in a lot more areas. All these things point toward a much smoother path on Falcon 9." </span></p><a name="BM_4" title="BM_4"></a></span> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>
 
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Boris_Badenov

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<p><font size="2"><font size="2">Elon Musk's vision: to change the course of humanity</font>&nbsp;&nbsp; </font></p><p class="bodytext"><font size="2">HAWTHORNE &mdash; Elon Musk just made history. Now, he wants to do something more difficult: He wants to change history.</font></p><p><font size="2">Just over two weeks ago, Space Exploration Technologies, a company started with $100 million from the 37-year-old Silicon Valley entrepreneur who co-founded PayPal, became the first private company to build a rocket from scratch and launch it into orbit. Since the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 51 years ago, just 10 nations have accomplished independently what Musk did with the Falcon 1. </font></p><p><font size="2">The South African-born Musk, who also became chief executive of electric-car maker Tesla Motors last week, isn't stopping there. Under a $278 million contract with NASA, Space Exploration Technologies, known as SpaceX, plans to launch a far more powerful booster by mid-2009. By designing the new Falcon 9 to be reusable, Musk hopes to make space travel far cheaper, and secure a permanent gig taxiing supplies to the International Space Station.</font></p><p><font size="2">So far so good &mdash; but not good enough.</font></p><p><font size="2">By 2011, Musk hopes to have his own astronauts flying SpaceX's Dragon capsule into orbit, transforming the macho test-pilot astronaut into a geek-friendly corps selected for technical ability, rather than their facility with a joystick.</font></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>
 
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Boris_Badenov

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<p><font size="2"><font size="2">Q & A with Elon Musk about SpaceX</font>&nbsp; </font></p><p class="bodytext"><font size="2">Elon Musk is CEO and chief rocket designer for SpaceX, which recently became the first private company to design a rocket from scratch and launch it into low earth orbit. Musk recently sat down with the Mercury News in his cubicle at SpaceX in Hawthorne, CA, to talk about how he built the company, how he expects to dominate the satellite launch business and how he even might change the course of human history. Musk says if SpaceX can build a fully reusable rocket, one that parachutes back to Earth to be used again, he can cut the cost of reaching orbit by a factor of 10. Must says that would breach the biggest barrier &mdash; cost &mdash; to humanity's expansion beyond the Earth.</font></p><p><font size="2">Q: The first three Falcon 1 launch attempts failed. What would have happened if the fourth attempt failed?</font></p><p><font size="2">Musk: The stakes were pretty high. It wouldn't have been catastrophic, but it certainly would have made life more difficult. We had enough money in the bank and contracts that didn't depend on the success of Falcon 1 to last until the end of next year, so we had the opportunity to do probably three more flights, but it would have gotten progressively harder to execute the business. You'd also be afraid of some employees losing hope.</font></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>
 
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Dustyw

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<p>I found this PDF file on the SpaceX website.<br />http://www.spacex.com/SpaceX_Brochure_V7_All.pdf<br /><br /><br />Dragon is a free-flying, reusable spacecraft being developed by SpaceX under<br />NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. Subsystems<br />include propulsion, power, thermal control, environmental control, avionics, communications,<br />thermal protection, flight software, guidance, navigation & control, entry<br />descent & landing, and recovery.<br />Though designed to address cargo and crew requirements for the International<br />Space Station (ISS), as a free-flying spacecraft Dragon also provides an excellent<br />platform for in-space technology demonstrations and scientific instrument testing.<br />SpaceX is currently manifesting fully commercial, non-ISS Dragon flights under the<br />name "DragonLab". DragonLab represents an emergent capability for in-space<br />experimentation.<br /><br />Dragon Spacecraft System<br />&bull; Fully recoverable capsule<br />&bull; Trunk jettisoned prior to reentry<br />&bull; 6,000 kg (13,228 lbs) total combined<br />up-mass capability<br />&bull; Up to 3,000 kg (6,614 lbs) down mass<br />&bull; Payload Volume:<br />7 to 10 m3 (245 ft3) pressurized<br />14 m3 (490 ft3) unpressurized<br />&bull; Mission Duration: 1 week to 2 years<br />&bull; Payload Integration timeline:<br />Nominal: Launch -14 days<br />Late-load: Launch -9 hours<br />&bull; Payload Return:<br />Nominal: End-of-Mission +7 days<br />Early Access: End-of-Mission +24 hours<br /><br />Uses<br />&bull; Highly Responsive payload hosting<br />&bull; Sensors/apertures up to 3.5 m (138 in) dia.<br />&bull; Instruments and sensor testing<br />&bull; Spacecraft deployment<br />&bull; Space physics and relativity experimen<br />&bull; Radiation effects research<br />&bull; Microgravity research<br />&bull; Life science and biotech studies<br />&bull; Earth sciences and observations<br />&bull; Materials & space environments research<br /><br />Overall Length: 6.1 m (20 ft)<br />Max Diameter: 3.7 m (12.1 ft)<br />Dry Mass: 4,200 kg (9,260 lbs)<br /></p>
 
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holmec

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Did SpaceX manage to retrieve the the first stage? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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windnwar

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Did SpaceX manage to retrieve the the first stage? <br />Posted by holmec</DIV><br /><br />From what i've read they were not expecting to be able to retrieve it as it was subjected to too much heat on reentry and most likely burned up before splash down. They believe they have enough data to make the next launch retreivable however. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font size="2" color="#0000ff">""Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." --Albert Einstein"</font></p> </div>
 
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vattas

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>They believe they have enough data to make the next launch retreivable however. <br /> Posted by windnwar</DIV></p><p>My suggestion to them would be NOT to change anything until several successful commercial launches are achieved...</p>
 
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Boris_Badenov

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<p><font size="2"><font size="2">BitGravity Strikes Deal With SpaceX to Stream the Stars</font>&nbsp; </font></p><p><font size="2">The video content delivery network BitGravity has landed a deal with Silicon Valley, space transportation venture SpaceX to livestream upcoming launches of its rockets from a camera attached to the outside of the vehicles.</font></p><p><font size="2">While the tech community struggles with the financial frenzy, the year-old CDN is looking up, literally. </font></p><p><font size="2">&ldquo;We&rsquo;re streaming, and they&rsquo;re launching rockets. It&rsquo;s kind of interesting to see that happen while massive budgets from other countries are involved doing this, and we&rsquo;re just a couple of startup companies,&rdquo; said BitGravity co-founder and CTO Barrett Lyon.</font></p><div class="entry-more"><p><font size="2">BitGravity, which claims to be the &ldquo;first carrier-grade live video broadcasting solution for the Internet,&rdquo; launched last fall, and introduced its live streaming product at the DEMO08 conference. In addition to clients such as Revision3 and The Tom Green Show, it is currently in talks with many of the major media companies and was picked up to stream the Democratic National Convention.</font></p><p><font size="2">The next SpaceX launch will take place around March of 2009.</font></p><p>&nbsp;</p></div> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>
 
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Boris_Badenov

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<p><font size="2"><font size="2">Satellite on the Net</font>&nbsp; lists 3 launches in March 2009. I think it&nbsp;would be absolutely fantastic if they pulled that off, I just don't think it's feasible.&nbsp; </font></p><p><strong><font face="Arial">March 31: Hylas<br /></font></strong><font face="Arial" size="2">launcher: Falcon 9<br />launch site: <br />mission: </font></p><p><strong><font face="Arial">March: Demo Launch<br /></font></strong><font face="Arial" size="2">launcher: Falcon 9<br />launch site; <br />mission:</font></p><p><strong><font face="Arial">March: RazakSAT, cubesats<br /></font></strong><font face="Arial" size="2">launcher: Falcon 1<br />launch site: Reagan Test Site, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands<br />mission: Malaysian Earth Observation satellite</font><br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>
 
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Boris_Badenov

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<p><font size="2"><font size="2" color="#0000ff">Developing the Falcon 9:A new rocket in the making</font></font></p><font size="2" color="#000033"><p>A makeshift rocket suspended more than 10 stories above the Texas prairie is progressing through a step-by-step series of ground tests to prove that SpaceX's new Falcon 9 rocket is ready for launch next year. </p><p>The 90-foot-long prototype rocket, called a run tank by SpaceX, simulates the mass and dimensions of the Falcon 9 rocket's first stage. The run tank arrived more than a year ago at the SpaceX engine test site in McGregor, Texas. </p><p>Large bolts and pins hold the run tank to a 135-foot-tall three-legged vertical test stand resembling an oversized tripod. </p><p>The entire structure, including the rocket and the test stand, looms 235 feet above the Texas countryside. The stand is built to handle three times more thrust than the Falcon 9 produces. </p><p>"It's just up there for us to test," said Lauren Dreyer, business development manager at the McGregor test site. "That vehicle will never fly." </p><p>The run tank has already completed seven tests, including three 15-second firings of nine Merlin 1C engines attached to the bottom end of the white cylinder. Those tests occurred in late July, early August and late September. </p><p>The nine engines produce about 832,000 pounds of thrust at sea level, about four times the power of a 747 jumbo jet at full throttle. The engines consume about 3,200 pounds of kerosene and liquid oxygen per second. </p><p>The tests send a thunderous roar through McGregor, a Central Texas town of less than 5,000 people. </p><p>SpaceX's team of 60 engineers and technicians in McGregor first tested the run tank with one engine late last year. Workers gradually added more engines during a series of tests this spring. </p><p>The average SpaceX engineer in McGregor is less than 30 years old, not far off the company-wide number. </p><p>"That means that they're able to work really long hours," Dreyer said. </p><p>Some of the engine tests have run late into the night due to last-second aborts, but officials hope the aggressive test schedule will help work out kinks in the vehicle before the rocket arrives at the launch pad. </p><p>Officials also plan a 30-second firing and a full duration first stage "mission duty cycle" test lasting about two minutes and 50 seconds. </p><p>Then engineers will turn their attention to demonstrating various "engine out" abort modes to check the rocket's ability to recover from engine failures. </p><p>The Falcon 9 is designed to accommodate engine failures during the first stage burn. The stage's nine engines provide enough oomph to still reach orbit if one engine fails early in ascent. The rocket could even steer through multiple engine failures later during the first stage burn, officials said. </p><p>During normal launches, SpaceX expects to shut down the nine engines in a staggered sequence as the excess performance is no longer needed. </p><p>SpaceX plans to hire at least 25 more employees at McGregor in the next six months. The 300-acre site will stay busy for the foreseeable future with qualification and acceptance testing once the Falcon 9 becomes operational. </p><p>The company's expected flight rate would require engineers to churn out about 50 engines per year. </p><p>"Whatever flies will have to come through Texas to be acceptance tested," Dreyer said. "Things will be faster and more furious than they are right now." </p><p>Engineers in McGregor do structural checks on integrated Falcon rocket stages and test the company's stable of Merlin and Kestrel engines. SpaceX also built a hypergolic test stand for the Draco thrusters that will be used on the second stage of the Falcon 9 and the Dragon capsule, which is designed to ferry cargo to the international space station. </p><p>SpaceX has invested about $10 million in the McGregor facility, which dates back to the 1942 establishment of a war munitions plant. A number of defense companies tested solid rocket motors at the site during the Cold War, according to Dreyer. </p><p>The most recent tenant was Beal Aerospace, the start-up company founded a decade ago by a Texas banker with a vision to lower the cost of access to space. Beal used the facility for liquid-fueled rocket engine tests from 1997 until 2000, adding several buildings and constructing the tripod-like vertical test stand. </p><p>Beal Aerospace abandoned the site when the company folded in late 2000. The facility sat unused until SpaceX took control in late 2002. </p><p>SpaceX outfitted the facility for the company's own product line. </p><p>SpaceX, short for Space Exploration Technologies Corp., was founded in 2002 and bankrolled by Elon Musk. Musk made his fortune through the development and sale of PayPal and Zip2. </p><p><strong>Big rocket benefits from smaller Falcon 1</strong> </p><p>The company is already fabricating the first few Falcon 9 flight stages at their headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. </p><p>Technicians have finished welding the two initial Falcon 9 first stages. One will be shipped to Texas for ground testing, and the other stage is tagged for the first launch next year. </p><p>The first flight vehicle will be shipped to Cape Canaveral by the end of this year to begin several months of on-site checks before launch as early as next April. </p><p>"We're on track to do that both from a launch site standpoint and from a vehicle standpoint," Musk said. </p><p>Federal funding for the project is driven by schedule milestones in Falcon 9 and Dragon development. SpaceX has met 12 of 22 COTS milestones so far, and the next schedule objective will come in December with the critical design review for the second and third COTS demonstration missions. </p><p>Those missions will launch in late 2009 and early 2010, if everything goes as planned. The first COTS test flight, a six-hour orbital mission, should blast off next June. </p><p>The second flight will include a practice rendezvous. The third mission will be the "real deal," said Max Vozoff, SpaceX mission manager. </p><p>SpaceX has seven Falcon 9 missions on the books through 2011, including government and commercial launches. </p></font> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>
 
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Boris_Badenov

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<p><font size="2">SPACEX INTRODUCES DRAGONLAB&trade; &mdash; A FREE-FLYING, REUSABLE SPACECRAFT OFFERING FAST TRACK TO ORBITAL FLIGHT FOR PRESSURIZED AND UNPRESSURIZED PAYLOADS</font><font size="2">&nbsp; </font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>SpaceX to Host (Invitation-only) Users Workshop on November 6</strong> <br /><br /></font></p><p align="justify"><font size="2">HAWTHORNE, CA &ndash; November 03, 2008 &ndash; Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (</font><font size="2">SpaceX</font><font size="2">) is introducing a new commercial product called DragonLab&trade;, a free-flying, reusable spacecraft capable of hosting pressurized and unpressurized payloads to and from space. DragonLab will launch to orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle.</font></p><p align="justify"><font size="2">DragonLab provides a platform for in-space experimentation, including recovery of pressurized and some unpressurized payloads, as well as deployment of small spacecraft. As a complete system, DragonLab provides for all aspects of operation: propulsion, power, thermal control, environmental control, avionics, communications, thermal protection, flight software, guidance, navigation and control, entry, descent and landing and recovery. </font></p><p align="justify"><font size="2">SpaceX will host a DragonLab Users Workshop on November 6, 2008. This workshop will be an opportunity for potential customers to fully explore DragonLab's capabilities, as well as present customer-specific interests and requirements. The workshop agenda includes an overview of the Dragon spacecraft, concept of operations, payload accommodations and cost parameters.</font></p><p align="justify"><font size="2">"Just as importantly," said Max Vozoff, Product Manager for Dragon and DragonLab and host of the Users Workshop, "we will hear from potential users about their applications, requirements, and concerns, as well as discuss contracting mechanisms. We will also include a tour of our 550,000 square foot SpaceX manufacturing facility where we design and build all major systems for SpaceX launch vehicles and spacecraft."</font></p><p align="justify"><font size="2">SpaceX is currently manufacturing the Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 launch vehicle to provide the U.S. with cargo services to the International Space Station (ISS) under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) competition. The maiden flight of Dragon/Falcon 9 is currently scheduled for June 2009 from SpaceX's Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Two subsequent flights will be completed by 2010, culminating with Dragon berthing with the ISS. </font></p><p align="justify"><font size="2">Contact </font><font size="2">dragonlab@spacex.com</font><font size="2"> to request further information or an invitation to attend. All participants must register in advance to attend this workshop.</font></p><p align="justify">&nbsp;</p><p align="justify"><strong><font size="2">About SpaceX</font></strong></p><p align="justify"><font size="2">SpaceX is developing a family of launch vehicles intended to increase the reliability and reduce the cost of both manned and unmanned space transportation, ultimately by a factor of ten. With its Falcon line of launch vehicles, powered by internally-developed </font><font size="2">Merlin</font><font size="2"> engines, SpaceX offers light, medium and heavy lift capabilities to deliver spacecraft into any altitude and inclination, from low-Earth to geosynchronous orbit to planetary missions.</font></p><p align="justify"><font size="2">On September 28, 2008, Falcon 1, designed and manufactured from the ground up by SpaceX, became the first privately-developed liquid fuel rocket to orbit the Earth.</font></p><p align="justify"><font size="2">As a winner of the NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services competition (COTS), SpaceX is in a position to help fill the gap in American spaceflight to the International Space Station (ISS) when the Space Shuttle retires in 2010. Under the existing Agreement, SpaceX will conduct three flights of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle and </font><font size="2">Dragon</font><font size="2"> spacecraft for NASA, culminating in Dragon berthing with the ISS. SpaceX is the only COTS contender with the capability to return cargo to Earth and demonstrate the capability to carry crew to and from the ISS.</font></p><p align="justify"><font size="2">Founded in 2002, the SpaceX team now numbers over 550, located primarily in Hawthorne, California, with four additional locations: SpaceX's Texas Test Facility in McGregor near Waco; offices in Washington DC; and launch facilities at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and the Marshall Islands in the Central Pacific.</font></p><p align="justify">&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>
 
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Boris_Badenov

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<p><strong><font size="2" color="#1b4872"><strong><font size="2" color="#1b4872">SpaceX Seeks Customers for DragonLab Spaceship</font></strong>&nbsp;</font></strong></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">WASHINGTON - </span><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) held an invitation-only meeting at its Hawthorne, Calif.-based headquarters on Friday for potential customers of its new DragonLab, a free-flying version of the reusable Dragon capsule the company is building for International Space Station resupply missions.</span></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>
 
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