SpaceX Updates

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docm

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Figuring $100m-$150m for the BA-330, $75-ish million for the Dragon launch and $100m for an F9H launch of the hab to get a minimal cost. Just rough numbers that are likely very incomplete.

Found a very interesting "Private Space Race" article on a site that focuses on composite materials. In it they go into pretty specific detail about the structure of the F9 interstage etc. and the other NewSpace projects.

Sounds like Blue Origin's pressure vessel will be composite, not metal.

http://www.compositesworld.com/articles ... space-race
 
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oldAtlas_Eguy

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docm":1soq6f37 said:
Figuring $100m-$150m for the BA-330, $75-ish million for the Dragon launch and $100m for an F9H launch of the hab to get a minimal cost. Just rough numbers that are likely very incomplete.

Found a very interesting "Private Space Race" article on a site that focuses on composite materials. In it they go into pretty specific detail about the structure of the F9 interstage etc. and the other NewSpace projects.

Sounds like Blue Origin's pressure vessel will be composite, not metal.

http://www.compositesworld.com/articles ... space-race
You would need sufficient power something the equivelent that ISS has which cost $1+ billion. So for about $5 to $10 billion you could have a complete space station with 24 person capacity made up of previously designed ISS components for power and BA-330 habitats. ISS cost $100+ billion.
 
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exoscientist

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docm":w7yvvt8l said:
Figuring $100m-$150m for the BA-330, $75-ish million for the Dragon launch and $100m for an F9H launch of the hab to get a minimal cost. Just rough numbers that are likely very incomplete.
Found a very interesting "Private Space Race" article on a site that focuses on composite materials. In it they go into pretty specific detail about the structure of the F9 interstage etc. and the other NewSpace projects.
Sounds like Blue Origin's pressure vessel will be composite, not metal.
http://www.compositesworld.com/articles ... space-race
Thanks for that. You provide a wealth of very informative links.

Bob Clark
 
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EarthlingX

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http://www.spacenews.com : Astrium to Market SpaceX Falcon 1 Launches in Europe
Thu, 9 September, 2010

By Peter B. de Selding


SpaceX's Falcon 1 launches Malaysia's RazakSat. Credit: Space Exploration Technologies Corp.

PARIS — Europe’s Astrium space hardware and services company will market Space Exploration Technologies' (SpaceX) Falcon 1 rocket to European governments under a 15-month agreement the two companies announced Sept. 9.
The Astrium-SpaceX agreement announced Sept. 9 here at the World Summit for Satellite Financing says the marketing agreement is for launches to occur by the end of 2015. An Astrium official said the agreement is for contracts booked before the end of 2011 for satellites to be launched before 2016, but may be renewed.
The Astrium official said the agreement is for satellites too small to be launched as the main payloads on either European vehicle. By launching aboard a rocket that is dedicated to a small satellite, the official said, the government customer can secure maximum schedule flexibility.
SpaceX has said that Falcon 1 is priced at $10.9 million per launch, with these prices holding until October and a possible revision. Falcon 1 is intended to launch satellites weighing up to 1,010 kilograms into a 185-kilometer circular orbit.
 
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exoscientist

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docm":2xfdz1an said:
And I can't get out of my mind that if you docked a crew Dragon to a cargo Dragon like Dual-Orion you'd have one helluva roomy hab for long duration missions - and potentially a lifeboat. Look at the room in that thing.....
Thanks for that. I like that idea. The Dragon is much lighter than the Orion capsule so would cost less to launch, in addition to being cheaper. Elon said he wants to get to Mars by 2020. This might provide a means of doing it.


Bob Clark
 
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stevekk

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exoscientist":13qqfdcg said:
docm":13qqfdcg said:
And I can't get out of my mind that if you docked a crew Dragon to a cargo Dragon like Dual-Orion you'd have one helluva roomy hab for long duration missions - and potentially a lifeboat. Look at the room in that thing.....
Thanks for that. I like that idea. The Dragon is much lighter than the Orion capsule so would cost less to launch, in addition to being cheaper. Elon said he wants to get to Mars by 2020. This might provide a means of doing it.


Bob Clark
They are going to need a Cargo Dragon, just to hold the required supplies for a 6-month journey to Mars. That doesn't include the supplies required for the return trip.

They need a much larger hab module for these long duration trips, not to mention faclities to recycle water, oxygen, etc. Exercise bike ?
 
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docm

Guest
Bigelow's habs connect to a hub that can also include a drive module.

Stick a small Bigelow hab, perhaps a sub-Sundancer in size - maybe 100 cu/m, to the end opposite the drive module and hang the Dragons, or a Dragon and 2001-style exploration Pod, off the sides. Gives room for your bike, stowage and a more radiation/micro-meteoroid hard environment (and IIRC Bigelow's patents included a 'hot' shelter)

Poof.
 
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stevekk

Guest
docm":2qu8stns said:
Bigelow's habs connect to a hub that can also include a drive module.

Stick a small Bigelow hab, perhaps a sub-Sundancer in size - maybe 100 cu/m, to the end opposite the drive module and hang the Dragons, or a Dragon and 2001-style exploration Pod, off the sides. Gives room for your bike, stowage and a more radiation/micro-meteoroid hard environment (and IIRC Bigelow's patents included a 'hot' shelter)

Poof.
I used to think that the ship from 2001 was huge for just 6 people, but that's probably what I would want if I had to spend more than a year travelling in this vehicle. The ship could be built a little smaller now. After all, HAL took up a huge amount of room on that craft from what I remember.
 
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oldAtlas_Eguy

Guest
stevekk":24dvr9fe said:
docm":24dvr9fe said:
Bigelow's habs connect to a hub that can also include a drive module.

Stick a small Bigelow hab, perhaps a sub-Sundancer in size - maybe 100 cu/m, to the end opposite the drive module and hang the Dragons, or a Dragon and 2001-style exploration Pod, off the sides. Gives room for your bike, stowage and a more radiation/micro-meteoroid hard environment (and IIRC Bigelow's patents included a 'hot' shelter)

Poof.
I used to think that the ship from 2001 was huge for just 6 people, but that's probably what I would want if I had to spend more than a year travelling in this vehicle. The ship could be built a little smaller now. After all, HAL took up a huge amount of room on that craft from what I remember.
Using ISS as the minimum cubic space per person for long duration (1 year or more) gives us 200 cubic meters per person. Four BA-330 will give this space for 6 persons. An Orion has only 15 cubic meters total and a Dragon 10 cubic meters. Using two Orion for a long duration Asteroid mission just doesn’t make sense. 3 persons in two Orions is 10 cubic meters each, most of which will be taken up with supplies and human occupancy support equipment, leaving very little elbow room.

Dragons don’t have the shielding to operate alone beyond LEO, as well as sufficient re-entry heat shield for a trans-lunar orbital velocity. The heat shield upgrade could be easily met, but the shielding or hot-room should be a separate item that is discarded before re-entry. A hot-room and supplies module that can dock several other items such as a Dragon and things like a Lunar lander and TLI booster could make up a manned Lunar mission on the cheap. The Falcon 9 Heavy flights: 1) Hot-Room and return booster 2) Lunar Lander 3) TLI booster. Followed by a Dragon flight with crew. Total LEO weight 106MT. This seems to be the magic number for Lunar missions. The Saturn V was 115MT capability. A larger TLI booster could be done by using staging. Two TLI stages each 32 MT each increases the lander size that can be supported, total LEO weight 138MT.

Basically, a 30MT launch capability at ~$100million per launch cost sets a minimum cost for launch costs of a lunar mission of ~$400mil. Additional costs would be incurred for the lunar hardware design to make it fit to 30MT chunks. The only near term launchers possible to meet this goal of 30MT is an Atlas V Heavy and a Falcon 9 Heavy, $150mil and $100mil launch cost respectively. Development costs for these two variations is minimal ~$100 to $200 mil. It will cost a great deal more for the development of the BEO hardware.
 
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docm

Guest
Major update coming with pretty pictures - got it in my email but not on their site yet...

 
 
UPDATE | COTS DEMONSTRATION FLIGHT 1
 
Monday, October 4, 2010
 
Since the successful inaugural launch of Falcon 9 in June, we have been busy preparing for our next launch, which includes the first flight of an operational Dragon spacecraft.  

This is also the first launch under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. Under COTS, NASA is partnering with commercial companies like SpaceX to develop and demonstrate space transportation capabilities.  

The upcoming demonstration mission will launch from Cape Canaveral and should follow a flight plan nearly identical to the first Falcon 9 launch, but this time the Dragon spacecraft will separate from the second stage and will demonstrate operational communications, navigation, maneuvering and reentry.  Although it does not have wings like Shuttle, the Dragon spacecraft is controlled throughout reentry by the onboard Draco thrusters which enable the spacecraft to touchdown at a very precise location – ultimately within a few hundred yards of its target. 
 
While Dragon will initially make water landings, over the long term, Dragon will be landing on land.  For this first demo flight, Dragon will make multiple orbits of the Earth as we test all of its systems, and will then fire its thrusters to begin reentry, returning to Earth for a Pacific Ocean splashdown off the coast of Southern California. The entire mission should last around four hours.

While we had an incredibly successful first launch of the Falcon 9, this second launch is still very much a demonstration mission and will be our first attempt to bring a spacecraft from orbit back to Earth – another incredibly difficult challenge. Designed to return as much as 3,000 kilograms (6,600 pounds), Dragon will provide an important capability for the US and world space markets. Other than the Space Shuttle, no other spacecraft provides significant cargo return capacity to Earth.
 
As you may have heard, Congress just recently passed the NASA Authorization Act of 2010, setting a new direction for human space exploration. The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to authorize funding for a robust and viable U.S. space program. This is a critical step forward, which will allow America to continue to lead the way in space exploration.

The bill sets NASA on an exciting course to focus on exploration beyond low-Earth orbit, while recognizing the valuable role American companies are ready to undertake in ending our reliance on Russia to carry our astronauts to the International Space Station.
 
Investing in commercial crew transport will build on NASA’s proud record of innovation and will create competition that will force companies to improve reliability, increase safety, and reduce costs. As we move forward with our first demo flight under the COTS program, we look forward to helping jumpstart America’s space program and secure our leadership position in space.

--Elon--


Falcon 9 / Dragon Wet Dress Rehearsal
 

Falcon 9 Demonstration Flight 2 on the launch pad during the full wet dress rehearsal, which includes everything up to just before engine ignition. Photo: SpaceX.


On September 15th we completed a successful wet dress rehearsal (WDR) which involved rolling the rocket out to the pad, loading it with propellants, performing a complete launch countdown sequence to just before ignition, and then unloading the propellants and returning the vehicle to a safe state. This latest wet dress rehearsal included new steps and sequences necessary to accommodate the operational Dragon spacecraft.

Prior to the successful WDR, we completed our first integration of a Falcon 9 and an operational Dragon spacecraft. We integrate Falcon 9 and Dragon horizontally in the hangar. This makes payload processing easier, and also eliminates the large expense of building and maintaining a vertical mobile service tower.


The Falcon 9 Demonstration Flight 2 vehicle undergoing final integration in the hangar at Cape Canaveral. Photo: SpaceX.

With integration complete, we transfer the Falcon 9/Dragon vehicle to our mobile transporter erector and roll it out of the hangar to the launch pad on standard railroad tracks. There, we connect the entire system to the launch pad, and rotate it to vertical.

In the coming weeks we will conduct a static test firing, which involves a full countdown leading up to the engines firing as they would for launch, but with the rocket held firmly to the pad. The following update covers some of the major progress in the past months towards this second demonstration flight.

 
Falcon 9 Demonstration Flight 2 Payload - COTS "C1" Dragon Spacecraft

Designed to transport several tons of cargo or a crew of seven astronauts to and from Earth orbit, Dragon is physically smaller than Falcon 9, but represents almost the same scale of technological difficulty.



The Dragon spacecraft is mounted on the breakover fixture in the hangar at Cape Canaveral. Photo: Brian Attiyeh / SpaceX.


Creating Dragon involved solving numerous design challenges, and the results are a serious space vehicle including eighteen high-performance Draco engines, hypergolic fuel systems, complex avionics, power, software, structures, guidance navigation and control systems, radio communications systems, the largest PICA-based heat shield yet to fly, and a dual-redundant deployment system for a trio of recovery parachutes.



In the SpaceX hangar at Cape Canaveral, the Dragon spacecraft prepares for integration with the Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Visible at the base of the spacecraft is Dragon’s heat shield, made of PICA-X, the SpaceX manufactured variation on NASA’s Phenolic Impregnated Carbon Ablator (PICA) heat shield material. Dragon will reenter the Earth's atmosphere at around 7 kilometers per second (15,660 miles per hour), heating the exterior up to 1850 degrees Celsius. However, just a few inches of the PICA-X material will keep the interior of the spacecraft at a comfortable temperature. Photo: Michael Rooks / SpaceX.

 
Preparing for Dragon Mission Operations

In our Hawthorne Mission Control Center, we have conducted numerous flight simulation tests in preparation for Dragon operations. Depending on the needs of a test, we can conduct live operations with NASA mission control, and even the ISS.



SpaceX’s Mission Control Center located at our headquarters in Hawthorne, California.  Photo: SpaceX.


Astronauts Training for Dragon

In preparation for Dragon missions arriving at the ISS under NASA's COTS and Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) programs, we have hosted more than a dozen astronauts from NASA and international partners to date, including Italy, Netherlands, and Japan.

The training sessions work in both directions; we give astronauts hands-on experience with all aspects of Dragon operations, and SpaceX team members receive valuable insights into the fine points of living and working in space, and important feedback to incorporate into our designs and operational planning.

As part of our participation in the COTS program, we outfitted the interior of the second production Dragon spacecraft with lockers, racks and restraints as will be used for transporting cargo deliveries to and from the ISS.



Even when outfitted with the full cargo storage system, Dragon has plenty of room. Visiting NASA astronauts Cady Coleman and Scott Kelly discuss spacecraft cargo operations with SpaceX engineers. Both experienced space travelers, Cady and Scott are scheduled for upcoming missions to the ISS. Photo: SpaceX.

 

Three experienced ISS astronauts meet in front of the propulsion clean room with SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell. From left, astronauts Don Pettit (USA), Paolo Nespoli (Italy) and Andre Kuipers (Netherlands). Photo: Roger Gilbertson, SpaceX.

 

Visiting astronauts Akihiko Hoshide from Japan, and NASA astronaut Sunita Williams in front of the full size Dragon model spacecraft. Both have extensive spaceflight experience, and will be stationed aboard the ISS during upcoming Dragon cargo missions. Photo: SpaceX.


We are thrilled to support the USA's continuing human spaceflight program and the full utilization of the ISS.

 
Continuing Production – Falcon 9 Flight 3

Progress continues on the third Falcon 9 vehicle, as well as the next Dragon spacecraft, both of which will fly for NASA in the coming months. We have the first and second stage tanks in process, Merlin engines being completed and test fired, and the Dragon spacecraft under way.

 

Recently returned from acceptance test firing in Texas, two Merlin engines for Falcon 9 Flight 3 await integration into the first stage thrust structure at far left, while a Merlin destined for Flight 4 nears completion at far right. Photo: SpaceX.

 

The pressure vessel for the next COTS Dragon spacecraft takes shape in Hawthorne. This arrived as a shipment of flat aluminum stock. We machined the triangular isogrid pattern, curved them into conic sections, and welded them into a vessel. By performing extensive production in-house SpaceX keeps costs low, quality high, and production timing streamlined. Photo: SpaceX.

 
Growing SpaceX

Our SpaceX team continues to grow, and we passed the 1,100 mark – not including this past summer's crop of 67 visiting interns.  Check out a recent editorial in Aviation Week magazine by Thomas H. Zurbuchen entitled “Aerospace Must Revive Its Spirit” which has some great things to say about the SpaceX team and program.

With more than 40 missions represented on our launch manifest, we have openings for a wide range of positions. We continue to hire the most sought-after and enterprising engineers and production technicians to help make access to space regular, cost-effective and reliable.

If you would like to join our efforts in California, Texas, or Florida, please visit our Careers page.

 
Come and See Us in Washington DC – October 23-24, 2010

SpaceX will be exhibiting at the national "USA Science and Engineering Festival" this fall. This is looking to be the largest event of its kind ever in the US, and we are planning fun opportunities for space fans of all ages.

If you will be in the DC area during the fourth weekend of October, please stop by our booth #333 on the National Mall, not far from the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, and see SpaceX close up. For details, click here.
 
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believer_since_1956

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oldAtlas_Eguy":2e8gswxa said:
Space X's Mission Control makes NASA's look antiquated.

One of the advantages a young privately funded commercial company has is it does not have to go through a drawn out competitively bid contract process. Which requires numerous design reviews and contract monitoring. A private company can fill out a purchase order have the CFO or CEO sign it and buy the state of the art. Also heritage is very important to NASA so purchase of state of the art can take a back seat to the tried and proven, the majority of the time it saves lives and investments. Since no one is prefect the approach has failed from time to time but for the most part it is successful our success rate since 2003 for Mars missions is 100% it used to be less than 50%.
 
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oldAtlas_Eguy

Guest
believer_since_1956":27qab9vj said:
oldAtlas_Eguy":27qab9vj said:
Space X's Mission Control makes NASA's look antiquated.

One of the advantages a young privately funded commercial company has is it does not have to go through a drawn out competitively bid contract process. Which requires numerous design reviews and contract monitoring. A private company can fill out a purchase order have the CFO or CEO sign it and buy the state of the art. Also heritage is very important to NASA so purchase of state of the art can take a back seat to the tried and proven, the majority of the time it saves lives and investments. Since no one is prefect the approach has failed from time to time but for the most part it is successful our success rate since 2003 for Mars missions is 100% it used to be less than 50%.
The only advantage of using the older technology computer systems is the proven software. The new computer hardware has several orders of magnitude higher reliability than the older computer systems. In modern computers almost all failures are software in nature not hardware about 100:1 software to hardware failure occurrence. Plus modern systems have full system hot switchover capabilities in case of any hardware failures that the end user would not even notice.
 
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Boris_Badenov

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DRAGON SPACECRAFT HEADED TO THE NATIONAL MALL
SpaceX to Participate in USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, DC

See a Life-Size Model Spacecraft, Have Your Picture Taken







WASHINGTON – SpaceX is proud to participate in this year’s USA Science & Engineering Festival on the National Mall in Washington, DC October 23-24, 2010.

The goal of the USA Science & Engineering Festival is to recruit the next generation of scientists and engineers, in part by engaging K-12 students in how science is part of their daily lives. These growing fields need more Americans with the education and experience to work in them, and are vitally important to the future of our nation.

“Our nation’s talent is our most valuable resource,” said Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO and CTO. “Inspiring the next generation to pursue careers in science and engineering is one of the best ways to ensure our country’s long-term economic strength.”

Hundreds of science and engineering companies, professional associations, colleges and universities, K-12 schools and other organizations are participating in two weeks of events at the festival. The grand finale of the USA Science & Engineering Festival is a two-day expo on the National Mall.

At the SpaceX expo booth, families will have the chance to see and touch an engineering model of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft that NASA will use to haul cargo to and from the International Space Station after the Space Shuttle retires, and that will one day carry astronauts. Dragon is set to make its inaugural flight this year.

Expo attendees will also be able to see videos of SpaceX rockets and spacecraft being built and tested.

To help those attending remember the out-of-this-world experience, SpaceX will be taking and handing out pictures in front of green screen images of the Dragon spacecraft as it docks with the International Space Station or the Falcon 9 rocket launching into space from Cape Canaveral.

The SpaceX booth will be on the Mall at booth number 333, on 4th Street just north of Jefferson, not far from the Smithsonian Air &
Space Museum
 
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mj1

Guest
oldAtlas_Eguy":2f76zzpp said:
Space X's Mission Control makes NASA's look antiquated.
That's because NASA's mission control IS antiquated. It takes them like 100 times more staff to launch a rocket. If there is a failure, they can't quickly fix the problem and flip the countdown like Space X did on the first Falcon 9 launch. Yes, I know NASA is big old titanic sized outfit, but they could learn a thing or two from Space X and even the Russians about running a more efficient outfit and get a bigger bang for the taxpayer buck.
 
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docm

Guest
SpaceX to open Huntsville, Ala. office

Link....

SpaceX Expands In Alabama

Hawthorne-based SpaceX, the commercial rocket firm founded by Elon Musk, is extending its reach into Huntsville, Alabama, according to local jobs group Huntsville Space Professionals. No details on the new office have been announced, however, Huntsville Space Professionals said the rocket company was breaking ground on the new office today, in the Cummings Research Park in Huntsville.
LA Times....

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. quietly opened a new office Thursday in Huntsville, Ala., dubbed "Rocket City" for its long history with U.S. space missions.
The company, better known as SpaceX, tried to keep the news under the radar, but it was revealed in an online press release by Huntsville Space Professionals, a nonprofit group that aims to put local unemployed aerospace professionals to work.
Kirstin Brost, a SpaceX spokeswoman, said the company didn't issue a release on the new office because it will be small, employing just a "handful" of workers.
"The location was chosen because of the proximity to key government partners and customers," she said. "We want to be part of 'Rocket City.'"
The office is in Cummings Research Park, a business park whose occupants include aerospace giants such as Boeing Co., Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. It's near the U.S Army's Space and Missile Defense Command acquistion center and NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.
There is also a large, unemployed talent pool ready to be tapped, said Andrew Sutinen, director of Huntsville Space Professionals.
>
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
This thread is WAAAAAYYYYY off topic; the political posts not related to the topic of SpaceX Updates have been moved to the appropriate forum, Politics, under the title "SpaceX Politics"....
 
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frodo1008

Guest
Well MW, somehow I think that the politics of NASA's budget would not be WAAAAAAAY off topic to Elon Musk at least!

But I really do not care, as long as we can discuss it anyway!
 
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mr_mark

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docm - you beat me to the post. It's GREAT news that Spacex is moving ahead to start the design phase of their manned Dragon!
 
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docm

Guest
If all goes well and they can dock during COTS-2 during Q2, then by Q3 crew should go active.
 
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docm

Guest
Postponed to Dec 7th - range conflict with Delta IV Heavy. Launch window opens at 9:00 AM.
 
D

docm

Guest
You put that, the news about the Huntsville office and that they're moving into making their own turbo pumps together and (to me) it spells Merlin 2 - an engine large enough that perhaps commercially available pumps are too small for. What are the odds?
 
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