SpaceX Updates

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Boris_Badenov

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docm":h5p82lt6 said:
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.
That's good enough for me then. I'd definitely put the diameter at 12' or a little more.
 
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docm

Guest
Overall Length: 6.1 m (20 ft) (counting trunk)
Max Diameter: 3.7 m (12.1 ft)
Dry Mass: 4,200 kg (9,260 lbs)

Up mass: 6,000 kg (13,228 lbs) combined pressurized/unpressurized
Down mass: up to 3,000 kg (6,614 lbs)
Payload Volume: 7 to 10 m3 (245 ft3) pressurized; 14 m3 (490 ft3) unpressurized
Mission Duration: 1 week to 2 years
 
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neutrino78x

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Boris_Badenov":1rok8og4 said:
An improbable partnership between an Internet mogul and an engineer could revolutionize the way NASA conducts missions—and, if these iconoclasts are successful, send paying customers into space.
I think it is good news. NASA is the equivalent of the Navy (though I think in the future there will be spaceships that say "US NAVY" on them, probably the other branches as well), and SpaceX would be a merchant vessel operator. If you want to move goods between Europe and North America, you don't use military vessels, you use merchant vessels. :)

Or if the Navy wants to move supplies, they often use Military Sealift Command, which is probably analogous to NASA using SpaceX.

--Brian
 
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docm

Guest
Just reviewed the SpaceX presentation at AIAA in June here.... Interesting points

- Raptor LOX/LH2 2nd stage development has started, and they say it'll "dramatically" increase F9's (and presumably F9H's) payload.

- Dragon will get a grapple fixture for re-boost/de-orbit or robotic/manned servicing

- DoD is interested in Dragon's ability to rendezvous and inspect satellites

- Problem: working with the govt. ranges for their 1 hour roll-out launches, so they may have to look at commercial facilities (Wallops?)

- may develop their own docking adapter; they're not impressed with "what's out there"

- lots of interest in DragonLab by experimenters because of its ability to return a significant mass of samples; NASA defunded, Shuttle is going away and Soyuz's down cargo is limited.
 
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docm

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http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n0908/24falcon9/

SpaceX making steady progress on new rocket

BY STEPHEN CLARK
SPACEFLIGHT NOW
Posted: August 24, 2009

SpaceX continues to plan to debut the new Falcon 9 rocket by the end of this year, but company engineers are still qualifying some parts of the vehicle for the rigors of launch.

"We're not down to an exact date, but we are targeting the end of the year. And so far, so good," said Tim Buzza, SpaceX's vice president of launch operations.

Buzza said last week most of the 180-foot-tall launcher has passed qualification testing. A handful of components, including the second stage's Merlin vacuum engine, must still complete the extensive checks.

Everything should be qualified for flight in about two months, Buzza said.
>
The first stage tagged for the rocket's maiden flight is already in Texas after proof testing earlier this summer. The stage's aft section, which contains the Falcon 9's nine Merlin engines, will soon arrive in Texas for a series of ignition tests.
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Kerosene and liquid oxygen tanks at the pad are already being filled with propellant and gaseous helium and nitrogen plumbing is currently being added to the launch mount.

"We're heading toward the finish line very quickly," Buzza said.
 
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Boris_Badenov

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docm":1px23uzq said:
http://spacex.com/dragon.php

Cargo up to >3,600 kg

Propellant up to 1,290 kg

speculation: freeing up of un-needed design reserves
Divided by 7 & that's a substantial amount of luggage you can bring along in the crewed version.
 
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docm

Guest
SpaceX used Wyle Labs to "expedit" the last F1 flight. One of the few times I can recall them 'going outside'.

Wyle provides specialized engineering, scientific and technical services to the DoD, NASA, and other customers in the aerospace industry.

Link....

Wyle Expedited Critical Test of Flight Hardware for SpaceX's Successful July 13 Falcon 1 Launch

August 26, 2009 --

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Test engineers at Wyle Laboratories expedited a series of critical vibration tests to support a July 13, 2009, launch of SpaceX's Falcon 1 launch vehicle, which successfully delivered to orbit the RazakSAT satellite for ATSB (Malaysia).

Prior to launch, SpaceX engineers implemented a vibration isolation system which required testing in advance of flight. Wyle test engineers performed the testing in accordance with the aggressive timeline to support an on-schedule launch.

"Wyle's support was critical to meeting our desired launch schedule," said Brian Bjelde, SpaceX's Falcon 1 product director. "In the commercial spaceflight industry, fast turnarounds are extremely important -- the Wyle team clearly understands the importance of this and we appreciate their exceptional responsiveness."
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Boris_Badenov

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From my email this morning.
SPACEX DELIVERS HARDWARE TO CAPE CANAVERAL IN PREPARATION FOR FLIGHT ABOARD STS-129 AND INTEGRATION WITH THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION‏


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Emily Shanklin | Director, Marketing and Communications
media@SpaceX.com
310.363.6733

SPACEX DELIVERS HARDWARE TO CAPE CANAVERAL IN PREPARATION FOR FLIGHT ABOARD STS-129 AND INTEGRATION WITH THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION



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Hawthorne, CA (September 1, 2009) – Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) announces delivery of the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Communication Unit to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in preparation for launch on Space Shuttle Atlantis, STS-129. The unit will be delivered by Atlantis to the International Space Station (ISS) and integrated in preparation for SpaceX's future flights to the orbiting laboratory.

Developed by SpaceX, in collaboration with NASA, the unit allows for communication between the ISS, SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft, and ground-based mission control. The system also allows the ISS crew to monitor an approaching or departing capsule. As part of NASA's COTS competition, SpaceX will conduct flights of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft, culminating in Dragon berthing with the ISS and then returning to Earth.

The unique public-private partnership created through the COTS program will allow SpaceX's Dragon to serve as a replacement for cargo transport to the ISS when the Space Shuttle retires. Upon completion of the COTS requirements, SpaceX will begin to fulfill the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract, awarded by NASA in late 2008. The contract includes 12 cargo flights between 2010 and 2015 and represents a guaranteed minimum of 20,000 kg to be carried to the ISS. Dragon will deliver pressurized and unpressurized cargo to the ISS and return pressurized cargo back to Earth.

"SpaceX is pleased to have delivered the two-way communication system to the Cape in preparation for flight to the ISS," said Gwynne Shotwell, President, SpaceX. "The unit had to pass NASA's strict ISS safety standards and reviews, demonstrating our progress under the COTS program and laying the groundwork for future F9/Dragon flights to resupply cargo and possibly crew to the ISS when Shuttle retires."

Space Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled for launch no earlier than November 12, 2009, from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A.

For more information about the Falcon family of vehicles and the Dragon spacecraft, please visit http://www.spacex.com.

About SpaceX

SpaceX is developing a family of launch vehicles and spacecraft intended to increase the reliability and reduce the cost of both manned and unmanned space transportation, ultimately by a factor of ten. With the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 vehicles, SpaceX offers highly reliable/cost-efficient launch capabilities for spacecraft insertion into any orbital altitude and inclination. Starting in 2010, SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft will provide Earth-to-LEO transport of pressurized and unpressurized cargo, including resupply to the International Space Station (ISS).

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 http://www.spacex.com.







Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Communication Unit delivered to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in preparation for launch on Space Shuttle Atlantis.
 
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Swampcat

Guest
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



Contact:
Lucas Binder | VP Business Development and Investor Communication
Binder.Lucas@ORBCOMM.com
703.433.6505



Contact:
Emily Shanklin | Director, Marketing and Communications
media@SpaceX.com
310.363.6733

ORBCOMM AND SPACEX REACH DEAL TO LAUNCH SATELLITE CONSTELLATION



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Fort Lee, NJ (September 3, 2009) – ORBCOMM Inc. (Nasdaq: ORBC) and Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) announce they have reached an agreement for SpaceX to launch 18 ORBCOMM Generation 2 (OG2) satellites to begin as early as the fourth quarter of 2010 through 2014. SpaceX will deliver ORBCOMM's second-generation satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO) for the purpose of supporting ORBCOMM's existing constellation of satellites, adding new features, and growing its global Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Automatic Identification System (AIS) offerings.

Each new satellite will be equipped with an enhanced communication payload designed to increase subscriber capacity for M2M communication up to 12 times over the current satellite constellation, increase message sizes, and include AIS detection capability.

SpaceX plans to launch the second-generation satellites on multiple Falcon 1e launch vehicles, an enhanced version of SpaceX's Falcon 1 launch vehicle. Most recently, Falcon 1 successfully delivered the RazakSAT satellite to orbit for ATSB of Malaysia. Designed from the ground up by SpaceX, the Falcon 1e has upgraded propulsion, structures and avionics systems in order to further improve reliability and mass-to-orbit capability.

"ORBCOMM has chosen SpaceX as a launch solution that meets ORBCOMM's current requirements and potential future launch needs," said Marc Eisenberg, Chief Executive Officer of ORBCOMM. "Through this agreement ORBCOMM has a strategic launch partner that provides a valuable solution now and in the future."

"SpaceX is pleased to be ORBCOMM's choice for these important missions," said Gwynne Shotwell, President, SpaceX. "By leveraging the flight-proven architecture of the Falcon 1 launch vehicle, the Falcon 1e will provide the OG2 satellites with a highly reliable and cost-effective ride to orbit."

About ORBCOMM

ORBCOMM is a leading global satellite data communications company, focused on Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications. Its customers include Caterpillar Inc., Doosan Infracore America, General Electric, Hitachi Construction Machinery, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Komatsu Ltd., Manitowoc Crane Companies, Inc., and Volvo Construction Equipment among other industry leaders. By means of a global network of low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites and accompanying ground infrastructure, ORBCOMM's low-cost and reliable two-way data communications track, monitor and control mobile and fixed assets in four core markets: commercial transportation; heavy equipment; industrial fixed assets; and marine/homeland security. ORBCOMM-based products are installed on trucks, containers, marine vessels, locomotives, backhoes, pipelines, oil wells, utility meters, storage tanks and other assets. ORBCOMM is headquartered in Fort Lee, New Jersey and has its network control center in Dulles, Virginia. For more information, visit www.orbcomm.com.
 
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docm

Guest
Well, I guess that'll make for a lot of Falcon 1e entries in the manifest.
 
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docm

Guest
All the better to getting Dragon its LAS and Raptor off the ground.
 
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docm

Guest
Score another one for SpaceX....and it sounds like it could evolve into a multi-launch deal.

Presser link....

SpaceX to Launch Earth Observation Satellite for Astrium
SPACEX PRESS RELEASE

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and Astrium announce a contract for a SpaceX Falcon 1e to launch an Earth observation satellite designed by Astrium or its recently acquired subsidiary Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL).

The Falcon 1e is an ‘enhanced’ version of SpaceX’s successful Falcon 1 launch vehicle. Designed from the ground up by SpaceX, the Falcon 1e has upgraded propulsion, structures and avionics systems in order to further improve reliability and bring to market increased mass-to-orbit capability to better serve the needs of the small satellite community.

Astrium and SSTL provide a range of innovative, cutting edge Earth Observation satellite products and through this agreement will be able to offer customers a turnkey solution, with in-orbit delivery of a low Earth orbit satellite system.

The partnership between SpaceX and Astrium paves the way for potential future cooperation.

“SpaceX’s Falcon 1e launch vehicle was designed to provide the highest level of reliability as well as the lowest dedicated mission price of any orbital launch system,” said Elon Musk, CEO and CTO of SpaceX. “SpaceX is pleased to be the launch services provider for this mission.”

“This Falcon 1e contract allows Astrium to provide a competitive solution for in-orbit delivery of an Earth observation satellite in low Earth orbit,” said Evert Dudok CEO of Astrium Satellites. “This deal will ultimately benefit customers seeking innovative and low-cost solutions for valuable Earth observation programs”.
 
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docm

Guest
I saved 12 - mainly those of the engine cluster/first stage but 2 of the crane lifting the first stage. Some were dark or backlit and others discolored, so I did some basic image processing to get 9 good ones.

Anyone interested? ZIP of 1024x768 images here....

I highly recommend the 1024 version of the engine cluster :)

Ex: 640x480



 
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wtrix

Guest
Interesting photos of the engine cluster. I found myself wondering over some things:
1. Why are the turbopump exhaust tubes at such weird angles
2. Does that thin aramid barrier really keep other engines safe in case of engine failure
 
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bpg131313

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I hope all goes well with this launch. Having another way to get astronauts and cargo up to vacuum is becoming imperative. I look forward to seeing the video of this launch. I'm sure it'll be fantastic to see. Ever since I joined this site I've also been paying attention to the SpaceX site.

It's about time that things are getting interesting again about human space exploration!
 
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gunsandrockets

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Do all the engines gimbal? Or just the engines at the four corners of the engine cluster? (Like the old Saturn I first stage) :geek:
 
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docm

Guest
I've never heard of an un-gimballed version of Merlin but they could just center and lock them with the avionics. If a corner one, or any other engine, went out they cut its opposite, so I would imagine they'd have to have more than just the corners gimballed.
 
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