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Boris_Badenov

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Musk Clarifies SpaceX Position On Exploration :(
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) founder Elon Musk says plans laid out recently by a company official for growth beyond International Space Station resupply and missions beyond low Earth orbit are not official SpaceX policy.

Referring to a presentation given at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Joint Propulsion Conference in Nashville, Tenn., by McGregor rocket development facility director Tom Markusic (Aerospace DAILY, Aug. 5), Musk says, “Tom was throwing out a bunch of ideas for discussion.”

Musk says provisional concepts for a deep space architecture were outlined as “brainstorming ideas” by Markusic. “The only thing SpaceX is intending to do for sure in the long term is to try to move toward super heavy lift,” Musk says. The key element of this, as outlined in Markusic’s presentation, is development of the Merlin 2 engine. “Part of it depends on NASA and its willingness to fund a portion of that. We’d certainly hope it would be a private-public partnership with NASA, because that’s what it would take in the long term.
 
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mr_mark

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The parachute splashdown test appears to have been successful as several witnesses stated that they saw three large parachutes deploy. Hoping to get a video link to show everyone.
 
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mr_mark

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Thanks for the enhanced photos. Not sure if one shows the parachute deployment or not although people reported 3 parachutes opening. You would think this type of test being high profile would get some news coverage from the space outlets. They seem to be more interested in a Star Wars convention. You have to wonder sometimes what they are thinking. :roll:
 
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docm

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Looks to me like one canopy failed. @NSF user HMXHMX reports that when he was working on the t/Space capsule they had a similar failure due to a de-reefing line not releasing as it should.









 
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stevekk

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Obviously, they didn't care too much about "range safety", or else that Whale watching boat wouldn't have gotten that close. I assume this was just one in a series of drop tests, or do they claim success because they were able to retrieve the mock-capsule and move on.

14,000 ft seems a little low to me, but they were using a helicopter for lift, not a C-130 or similar cargo plane.
 
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steve82

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Those Erickson Aircranes are awesome. I always do a double take when I see one.
 
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aaron38

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docm":3himerxh said:
AvWeek Dragon updates -
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A second operational Dragon is currently penciled in for a February 2011 launch, and will maneuver within six miles of the ISS, while a provisional third test will see the Dragon actually berth with the station. The California-based company has a $1.6 billion contract to fly 12 missions to the space station through 2016.

Didn't they announce that the 2nd Dragon launch would attempt the actual docking with ISS if the board was green? I hope that's still the plan, unless some key piece of docking hardware just won't be ready in time.
 
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aaron38

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docm":3hsrj9g9 said:
Also: Falcon 9 Heavy now has a cost
Pricing

Mission Type: Price*
Single payload mission $95M

Launch Site: Cape Canaveral AFS
Inclination: 28.5 degree
Mass to Low Earth Orbit (LEO): 32,000 kg (70,548 lb)
Mass to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO): 19,500 kg (42,990 lb)
That's $1350/lb! Cheaper than the Proton with 50% more payload. Considering inflation, they've basically hit the $1000/lb goal from when I was a kid 20 years ago. I want to see that thing launching a Bigelow hotel so bad...
 
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job1207

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Note, the Dragon is the only part of the rocket enroute to the Cape. The checkout will take a couple of months, pointing to a late Sept early Oct launch.

The part about the next flights is off the press sheet. Spacex already said they will launch in the Spring. Hopefully that will be a docking with the ISS if all goes well.
 
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vattas

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docm":zhci0mg7 said:
Looks to me like one canopy failed.
Isn't it like this just because capsule already hit the water and parachutes started to deflate?
 
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voyager4d

Guest
aaron38":2mkxvrcv said:
docm":2mkxvrcv said:
AvWeek Dragon updates -
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A second operational Dragon is currently penciled in for a February 2011 launch, and will maneuver within six miles of the ISS, while a provisional third test will see the Dragon actually berth with the station. The California-based company has a $1.6 billion contract to fly 12 missions to the space station through 2016.

Didn't they announce that the 2nd Dragon launch would attempt the actual docking with ISS if the board was green? I hope that's still the plan, unless some key piece of docking hardware just won't be ready in time.
Yes, if COTS1 goes well they will try to convince NASA that COTS2 will attempt the docking and the skip COTS3 and go directly to cargo transport.

If COTS1 failes, they will need COTS2 to complete all the milestones of COTS1 and COTS2. And then they will properly not dock with ISS.
 
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docm

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Full bloom + enhanced...

F9 launch: check
F9 2nd stage sep: check
F9 2nd stage & Dragon test article -> orbit: check
Orbital maneuvering, re-entry etc.: TBD in the COTS-1 flight
Chute deployment -> water: check

 
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docm

Guest
And how bloody cool is that? :)

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The three main parachutes, designed and manufactured by Airborne Systems, are particularly large--each measuring 116 feet in diameter when fully deployed. The oversized parachutes are key in ensuring a comfortable landing for crew members. After the drogues stabilize the spacecraft, the main parachutes further slow the spacecraft's decent to approximately 16-18 ft/sec, which makes for a very soft landing.
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Even if Dragon were to lose one of its main parachutes, the two remaining chutes would still ensure a pretty soft landing for the crew. Under nominal conditions, astronauts would experience no more than roughly 2-3 g’s during this type of decent—less than you’d experience at an amusement park.
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:eek:
 
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oldAtlas_Eguy

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I was interested in seing which Falcon 9 version would be cheaper to launch an ISS size 500,000 kg to LEO. I added the development costs such as the Merlin 2 to each vehicle class as well as each classes development cost as an nonrecurring cost to add to the complete launch cost of the tatal 500 MT payload. The Interesting item was that the Falcon 9 Heavy (Merlin 1) version came out on top as cheapest. Thats 16 launches. The larger Falcon X versions were more expensive although the Falcon X Heavy came in a close second even considering its nearly 2 billion development costs.

Some have a hard time thinking of who would need enough 32MT payloads or even 125MT payloads to make HLV's return a profit. ISS is only supported to 2020. Does that mean the international community would have to lift 500MT in the 5 to 10 years following to keep it operational by swaping out modules? 16 Falcon 9 Heavy flights or 4 Falcon X Heavy flights.
 
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docm

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A large station built of the 2100+ cu/m habitats Bigelow discussed a few months ago would probably cheapen it up even more and be replaceable. Better micrometeroid and radiation protection are sauce for the goose. Nice job for BFR's.
 
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oldAtlas_Eguy

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The minimum launch costs for Shuttle was about $500 M for 25MT. 16 Shuttle launches = $8 Billion!!! 16 Falcon 9 Heavy launches = $1.8 Billion!!! Talk about a difference. How many Bigilow modules can you buy for $6.2 billion?
 
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docm

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Last quote I heard for a 330 cu/m BA-330 module was $100-150 million a pop, so for $6.2B (not counting launch & crew launches) you'd get from 41 to 62 of 'em. That's enough not for a station but a fleet of them. Taking the all-inclusive approach (module+crew+launches) it's more like 22 modules, but still....
 
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MeteorWayne

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Does that include launch costs, and the time to do that many launches?
 
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