SpaceX Updates

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docm

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PDF that goes with Musk's talk before the Augustine Commission. TONS of info and such and tidbits such as NASA isn't the only Dragon customer, no details on that - just a flat out statement, and that LAS designs are progressing.

They also talk about using Dragon as an ISS lifeboat and that it's the only craft that could carry the entire ISS crew. They claim a crew dragon minus LAS could be ready in 18 months from getting the go.

Interesting read.

Link....
 
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Boris_Badenov

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docm":2f6cm3sx said:
PDF that goes with Musk's talk before the Augustine Commission. TONS of info and such and tidbits such as NASA isn't the only Dragon customer, no details on that - just a flat out statement, and that LAS designs are progressing.

They also talk about using Dragon as an ISS lifeboat and that it's the only craft that could carry the entire ISS crew. They claim a crew dragon minus LAS could be ready in 18 months from getting the go.

Interesting read.

Link....
NASA wants a new Dragon for every ISS resupply, I'll bet they won't just toss them out after that but offer them for resale & make another buck that way.
I would also like to see them prep a Dragon as a Lifeboat before they're asked so if they indeed get the request they'll have one on the shelf already.
 
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tanstaafl76

Guest
If nothing else I would assume that SpaceX could count Bigelow Aerospace as a potential future Dragon customer, not sure if that was the sort of thing they were referring to or not...
 
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Maitri982

Guest
I am sure they are referring to Bigelow, and they also are referring to DragonLab which they have said many people have interest in for flying research missions entirely within Dragon...i do not know if that is people+experiments or purely robotic experiments.

I am looking for SpaceX + Bigelow to change access to space for all of us. Who would have thunk that a college dropout + the internet (the enabler for Musk and Paypal) + a hotel magnate would = low cost access to space with a large space hotel destination?!?!?!?

This is straight from some science fiction novel...

Cheers,
M
 
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Boris_Badenov

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The Next Big Future

PICA and PICA-X Heat shield
NASA is working on two heat shield materials. Two ablative materials for heat shields, AVCOAT and PICA, are being tested.
Both materials proved successful in previous missions to space. AVCOAT, which is manufactured directly onto the spacecraft and has an embedded honeycomb-like material, was used for the original Apollo capsules. PICA, or Phenolic Impregnated Carbon Ablator, which is manufactured in blocks and attached to the vehicle after fabrication, was used on Stardust, NASA's first unmanned space mission dedicated solely to exploring a comet.

Space-X is working on PICA variants PICA-X.
The "X" stands for the SpaceX-developed variants of the rigid, lightweight material, which has several improved properties and greater ease of manufacture.

"We tested three different variants developed by SpaceX," said Tom Mueller, VP of Propulsion, SpaceX. "Compared to the PICA heat shield flown successfully on NASA's Stardust sample return capsule, our SpaceX versions equaled or improved the performance of the heritage material in all cases."

The Dragon capsule will enter the Earth's atmosphere at around 7 kilometers per second (15,660 miles per hour), heating the exterior of the shield to up to 1850 degrees Celsius. However, just a few inches of the PICA-X material will keep the interior of the capsule at room temperature.

In January 2006, NASA's Stardust sample return capsule, equipped with a PICA heat shield, set the record for the fastest reentry speed of a spacecraft into Earth's atmosphere - experiencing 12.9 kilometers per second (28,900 miles per hour). SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft will return at just over half of that speed, and will experience only one tenth as much heating.



PICA is a modern TPS [Thermal protection systems] material and has the advantages of low density (much lighter than carbon phenolic) coupled with efficient ablative capability at high heat flux. Stardust's heat shield (0.81 m base diameter) was manufactured from a single monolithic piece sized to withstand a nominal peak heating rate of 1200 W/cm^2
 
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docm

Guest
A little speculation here;

Pica-X's performance makes one wonder if SpaceX has over-designed Dragon to handle lunar returns out of the box, perhaps with a slightly different TPS profile/thickness and a service module (modded/extended trunk?) with a Kestrel, Draco's for maneuvering, fuel and extra consumables.

Instead of a crew of 6-7 use the upper deck for passengers and the lower deck for supplies using the cargo versions lower racks.

That would certainly be an interesting development, especially in light of their confirming the development of an LH2 second stage for Falcon 9 - and presumably for Falcon 9 Heavy.
 
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Boris_Badenov

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docm":x475zvsg said:
Pica-X's performance makes one wonder if SpaceX has over-designed Dragon to handle lunar returns out of the box, [snip]

That would certainly be an interesting development, especially in light of their confirming the development of an LH2 second stage for Falcon 9 - and presumably for Falcon 9 Heavy.
I can't remember where I read it, but I remember someone saying Dragon could do a Lunar Return using a "Skip Reentry" & carrying 4 crew.
Using a F9H would make sense as you'd need to launch a hab module (Sundancer?), EDS & a service module too. I'd have to guess there'd be more than 1 F9H launch involved. I also suspect they'd assemble the beast in LEO somewhere near the CSS Skywalker Station. :ugeek:

edit: I found a reference. link
"We have also thought of perhaps carrying private space adventurers on a loop around the Moon," says Mr Musk, adding that this would probably cost on the order of $40m-$50m per person.
 
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Boris_Badenov

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This has already been reflected on the SpaceX Launch Manifest.

Hylas dumps Falcon
26-07-2009
A British would-be satellite operator has switched its plan to launch using the controversial – and delayed - Falcon 9 rocket, and has instead chosen the tried and tested Ariane system.

Avanti’s Hylas (Highly Adaptable Satellite) satellite is targeting broadband-by-satellite customers and has already gained many professional and local authority customers ahead of the craft’s launch. Ariane says they have the option of launching aboard an Ariane 5 rocket or that of its partner Soyuz.

Launch is scheduled for early in 2010. The 2.7-tonne satellite will operate in the Ka-band and is targeting to deliver broadband services to some 350,000 subscribers.

Avanti’s switch from Falcon 9 will cost it money. While contract terms have not been revealed, it was widely known that SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket was priced at around $35m per launch. Ariane is much more costly, and has seen Avanti needing to raise more money which CEO David Williams says it has now done.

“It's turned out that our market was very much bigger than many of us thought and I now have a blue-chip shareholder base that is prepared to pay for the certainty and reliability of the world's best launch vehicle,” says Williams.

© Rapid TV News 2009
 
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docm

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It'll be a stitch if F9 flies, and well, before they can get a confirmed launch slot ;)
 
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Boris_Badenov

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docm":2aeuv3pq said:
It'll be a stitch if F9 flies, and well, before they can get a confirmed launch slot ;)
That is actually an excellent possibility.
 
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MeteorWayne

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From SpaceX today:

SPACEX COMPLETES QUALIFICATION OF FALCON 9 FIRST STAGE TANK AND INTERSTAGE



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McGregor, TX (July 29, 2009) – Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) announces the successful completion of qualification testing for the Falcon 9 launch vehicle first stage tank and interstage. Testing took place at SpaceX's Texas Test Site, a 300 acre structural and propulsion testing facility, located just outside of Waco, Texas.

The first stage tank and interstage hardware were subjected to a proof test of 1.1 times the maximum expected operating pressure (MEOP), and a burst pressure proof test of 1.4 MEOP; qualifying both articles with a 1.4 factor of safety. The 1.4 factor of safety designation means that the first stage tank and the interstage can withstand 140 percent the maximum internal pressure expected during flight, and qualifies both pieces of hardware to meet human rating safety requirements, as defined by NASA. The first stage also passed this human rating milestone when subjected to structural bending tests.

The testing regimen included over 150 pressurization cycles, exceeding the number of required life cycles by more than 100. In addition, the first stage and interstage were subjected to stiffness tests, maximum dynamic pressure loading and main engine cutoff conditions; all at expected values, as well as ultimate loads.

"Falcon 9 continues to pass qualification testing in preparation for its first flight, scheduled for 2009," said Elon Musk, CEO and CTO of SpaceX. "All hardware was designed to be man-rated, and these tests confirm that SpaceX is one step closer to flying humans on the Falcon 9/Dragon system."

Falcon 9's first stage and interstage also passed ground wind qualification tests, critical for when the vehicle is vertical on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Both components were designed, built and tested by SpaceX.
 
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Jazman1985

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Great news, I hadn't realized that they were also qualifying for man-rated on their first stage yet. Thought they were waiting for that.
 
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docm

Guest
SpaceX steals a VP from ULA;

Press release from SpaceX:

Veteran Aerospace Leader Vander Weg Joins SpaceX as Vice President of the EELV Customer Office

Hawthorne, CA (August 5, 2009) –Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) announces the addition of Marv Vander Weg in the role of Vice President of the EELV Customer Office, where he will be responsible for acquiring and managing EELV missions for SpaceX's US Government customers. He will be located at SpaceX Headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

Vander Weg joins SpaceX from United Launch Alliance (ULA) where he was the Vice President for the Customer Program Office. In that role, Vander Weg was responsible for developing customer interfaces and enhancing customer satisfaction during the acquisition and execution of the contractual obligations for the Atlas and Delta launch vehicle programs.

Prior to his time at ULA, Vander Weg served as the Director of the Atlas Government Program Office for Lockheed Martin’s (LM) Atlas Program. Through this role, and various other assignments in acquisition and program management at LM, he gained extensive experience with the Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program, the NRO’s Office of Space Launch, and the NASA-Kennedy launch programs.

“Marv Vander Weg brings unique experience in managing the most complex US Government missions to the SpaceX team,” said Elon Musk, CEO and CTO of SpaceX. “That experience is critical in order to address the full range of Air Force, NASA and NRO launch needs, up to and including the world's largest satellites. Marv joining SpaceX is an endorsement of that vision.”

Founded in 2002, SpaceX is a private company owned by management and employees, with minority investments from Founders Fund and DFJ. The SpaceX team now numbers over 800, with corporate headquarters in Hawthorne, California. For more information, please visit the company's web site at www.spacex.com.
 
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frodo1008

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Docm, I have often thought that if we (the US) could somehow meld the experience and abilities and facilities of ULA with the enthusiasm and cost cutting abilities of spacex, this country would be well on its way to once again becoming the world leader in both governmental and private launch systems!

And being a very patriotic American left over from the Apollo era, I would be happy to see that! :D

PS: And from this latest bit of information, it might just be that Elon Musk is now starting to think at least slightly along the same lines! At the very least he certainly seems to be thinking that the people of ULA are worth having on his own team!

I do not object at all to the positivity shown on these boards towards such companies as spacex, that is not the problem. I have objected however, to the sometimes extreme negativity show towards not only NASA on occasion, but also towards the more traditional and experienced companies!
 
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Boris_Badenov

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Here is the original of the above photo that better shows the scale of the Dragon. It looks pretty good sized.
 
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docm

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Question is - where was she going?

Zoom and gamma/contrast enhancement of the first pic


Dragon on the road #2 (closeup of the Draco thrusters)
 
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Boris_Badenov

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Maitri982":rtr9lhj7 said:
Thanks for the nice pics guys...Dragon is BIG.

Cheers,
M
Specs given in a post earlier claim the max diameter is 12.1 feet. I wonder how wide a freeway lane is in California? as that is where they are.
 
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docm

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The U.S. Interstate Highway System uses a 12 foot lane, though in some cases they'll accept 11 feet but not often. I'm presuming that in the larger states they'd use that standard. Michigan certainly does.
 
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