The SpaceX News Thread

Discussion in 'Techforge' started by gturner, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. gturner

    gturner Banned

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    What's next is getting the stage back to port through treacherous and potentially pirate filled waters.

    What, did you think space pirates started out in space?
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  2. gturner

    gturner Banned

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  3. gul

    gul Revolting Beer Drinker Administrator Formerly Important

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    Can somebody remind me why this is a goal? Don't we have enough sparsely populated locations for safe ground landings? While it's impressive, I don't get the practical case for doing it.

    PS: I love the fact that the expandable habitation model was built by a hotel chain. :lol:
  4. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    Launches to higher earth orbit require more boost. More boost means the booster is travelling faster and farther away from Cape Canaveral. Speed has to be negated with a burn of the main engines. All told there isn't enough fuel to slow it down and "fly" it back to the cape. Most of their launches will be to geosynchronous orbit (24,000 miles up) as opposed to the ISS which is a few hundred miles up. They need the landing barges for the majority of their launch boosters to be recovered and reused.

    Edited to add: I don't think an island with no population and the infrastructure to land a booster exists (where's Dr. No when you need him?). And you'd need a lot of them in the ideal location depending on the direction of the launch (Pacific Ocean too). Besides they have a tendency for rapid-unscheduled-disassembly. And they'd still need a boat to get it back to the factory for refurbishing.
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  5. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    That's oddly appropriate (if explicit).

    Here's a shout out to the original:
  6. gturner

    gturner Banned

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    Someone posted a rare rant by Elon explaining how hard it was to get to this successful landing.



    Play it twice.
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  7. gturner

    gturner Banned

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  8. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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  9. gturner

    gturner Banned

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    Interestingly, SpaceX was testing Mars powered re-entry technology with the boost-back burn of its first stage.



    ArsTechnica article
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  10. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    Um, that's really cool.

    And showing they can land a booster on a wobbly drone, a Red Dragon landing on Mars should be a cinch. Wonder if they'll send a big cheese?
  11. gturner

    gturner Banned

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  12. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    And they did it again. This time a launch to GTO, booster came back twice as fast. The fun starts about 35 minutes into the video. They're gonna need a bigger used rocket hangar...

    nailedit2.JPG
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  13. gul

    gul Revolting Beer Drinker Administrator Formerly Important

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    Interesting -- they didn't expect a successful landing, and yet, there it was.
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  14. gturner

    gturner Banned

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    Discovery story

    Blazing SpaceX Rocket Suffered 'Max' Damage

    The SpaceX Falcon rocket that landed on an ocean platform after catapulting a communications satellite toward orbit sustained heavy damage due to its extremely high speed, says company founder and chief executive Elon Musk.

    Before the May 6 launch, SpaceX downplayed chances the rocket’s first-stage would even be able to repeat the successful ocean landing of the previous mission, a cargo run to the International Space Station for NASA.

    The May 6 mission delivered a hefty TV broadcasting satellite into an orbit about 22,000 miles above Earth. The space station’s altitude is about 250 miles.

    The extra speed required for the satellite-delivery flight meant the returning rocket experienced five times more heating than the previous booster.

    “Most recent rocket took max damage, due to (very) high entry velocity,” Musk posted on Twitter.

    When the rocket’s primary stage separated from the second-stage about 2.5 minutes after liftoff, it was zipping along at 5,220 mph, or about 1.5 miles per second.

    After coasting to an altitude 76 miles above Earth, the rocket slammed into the atmosphere at Mach 5.7. With a half-mile left to go, the rocket ignited three of its nine engines to shave its speed from 441 mph to 134 mph in three seconds.

    With one engine still burning and running out of fuel, the rocket, now traveling at about 2.5 mph, settled itself onto a platform floating in the Atlantic Ocean east of its Cape Canaveral, Florida, launch site.

    The scorched booster likely won’t be flying again.

    Instead, it “will be our life leader for ground tests to confirm others are good,” Musk wrote on Twitter.

    Okay, so a regular rocket can barely survive reverse re-entry at Mach 5.7, which is good to know.
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  15. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    But it did!

    And they'll use it for ground tests to prove the less abused boosters are reliable.
  16. gturner

    gturner Banned

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    Seems to me that if they'd partially deploy their landing legs prior to re-entry they could create a lot more drag.
  17. gturner

    gturner Banned

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    SpaceX had another perfect launch and drone ship landing, just a month after the last one. It's becoming routine.

    They did slightly bend one of the legs on touchdown, but they can straighten it out with a hammer and some Bondo.
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  18. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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  19. gturner

    gturner Banned

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  20. The Night Funky

    The Night Funky BMF Staff Member Moderator

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  21. The Night Funky

    The Night Funky BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Another launch late tonight/early tomorrow morning.
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  22. gturner

    gturner Banned

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    The Livestream, which should start about 12:25 AM or so.

    They're going to try and fly it back to the Cape. :)
  23. gturner

    gturner Banned

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  24. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    reports of the twin sonic boom from the returning booster make me wonder if Elon will have a PR problem when the frequency (of landings) picks up...
  25. Bailey

    Bailey It's always Christmas Eve Super Moderator

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    That is a definite concern. On the other hand if it gets to the point where boosters are returning enough to be a regular annoyance then that activity which will be bringing a lot of jobs to the area.
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  26. gturner

    gturner Banned

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    My friend heard the launch. He lives in Tampa. Compared to that a sonic boom isn't such a big deal once they get used to it.

    Oddly, spacecraft are the only vehicle allowed to go supersonic below 35,000 feet outside of military test ranges, although my housemate's cousin's husband once bought new windows for the town of Rachel Nevada after his navigation error resulted in a low-altitude supersonic pass over it in his B-1B. So of course they called him "Rachel" after that. His wife, also a B-1B pilot, was called "Puffs" because she bawled her eyes out at an airshow in Florida when she stepped across the yellow line that nobody is supposed to step across. The airmen who guard the yellow line have one job, and by gosh they're going to do it well.
  27. The Night Funky

    The Night Funky BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Another successful launch.
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  28. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    It's becoming almost mundane.
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  29. gturner

    gturner Banned

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    As it does, Congress needs to ask some tough questions about SLS, which is going to crash four extremely expensive RS-25 engines into the ocean with every flight. NASA hopes to keep the cost to $60 million per engine. That's $240 million dumped in the ocean per flight, along with another $30 million for the two 5-segment SRBs.

    Of course there's nothing NASA could do about it except start over, because their design takes the first stage almost all the way to orbit, making re-entry and landing completely impractical (it would nearly be an SSTO, requiring heavy thermal protection).
  30. The Night Funky

    The Night Funky BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    SpaceX to start recycling rockets this year.
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