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Thread: SpaceX

  1. #1321
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    SpaceX aiming for 30 to 40 launches a year if they get enough orders

    http://spacenews.com/spacex-aims-to-...aunch-cadence/

    SpaceX, now on track to more than double its personal best for launches conducted in a single year, wants to further accelerate its launch pace in 2018 by perhaps 10 or more missions.

    “We will increase our cadence next year about 50 percent,” Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX president and COO, told SpaceNews in an interview last week. “We’ll fly more next year than this year, knock on wood, and I think we will probably level out at about that rate, 30 to 40 per year.”

    With 16 launches completed and three to four remaining by year’s end, SpaceX is tracking to perform around 20 launches this year. Remaining 2016 missions include the mystery Zuma payload, NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services-13 mission, a launch of 10 Iridium Next satellites, and potentially Falcon Heavy’s long-awaited debut.

    Shotwell said the demand coming from the satellite telecommunications market for missions to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) will weigh heavily on SpaceX’s ultimate launch rate next year.

    “It really depends on the telecom market for what the rate is going to be,” she said. “We have seen a dip in GTO missions. I don’t know whether that is a temporary dip or more permanent.”

  2. #1322
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    That header is ominous. Are they in danger of overproducing?

  3. #1323
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    That header is ominous. Are they in danger of overproducing?
    My view is there will be more demand for the big satellites if there are launch slots for them. Only problem is, it takes time from order to delivery for these satellites. So 30 to 40 on such short notice will cause a glut of launch slots looking for customers.

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    Don't forget their own plans for a large constellation of LEO communications satellites (mentioned briefly in the article linked above). Their own ongoing launch requirements might take up some of any slack due to fluctuations in external commercial launch contracts .
    Selden

  5. #1325
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    Cars in space

    SpaceX will try to launch Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster on new heavy-lift rocket

    SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk tweeted Friday that his red Tesla Roadster will head for deep space on the maiden flight of the company’s Falcon Heavy rocket as soon as next month, and do it to the tune of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.”
    Can you hear me, Major Tom?
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  6. #1326
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    Any word on the reschedule of Zuma?
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  7. #1327
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Any word on the reschedule of Zuma?
    It's still available for download. ;-)

  8. #1328
    Quote Originally Posted by 01101001 View Post
    And a copy of Foundation on board as well, sometimes I think Elon is trying to be a Bond villain.
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  9. #1329
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    Wait. This wasnít a joke?



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  10. #1330
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    Wait. This wasnít a joke?
    Some have reported it as a joke but the Bad Astronomer asked him: ELON MUSK: ON THE ROADSTER TO MARS

    So I decided to contact Musk. He got back to me, and gave me the info. There have been a lot of rumors and misinformation about whatís going on here, so let me lay this out for yíall:

    1) Yes, heís serious. Heís putting a Tesla Roadster in the top of the Falcon Heavy and launching it into space.

    2) No, itís not going to Mars. Itís going near Mars.
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  11. #1331
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01101001 View Post
    Some have reported it as a joke but the Bad Astronomer asked him: ELON MUSK: ON THE ROADSTER TO MARS
    This is awesome. I keep wanting to make a joke about the difficulties with Telsa's autopilot here, but I have not yet had enough coffee to make anything coherently funny....

  12. #1332
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01101001 View Post
    Some have reported it as a joke but the Bad Astronomer asked him: ELON MUSK: ON THE ROADSTER TO MARS
    I originally wrote the boosters will not be landing back on Earth. I was going by some old notes I had, but that is incorrect: All three cores will be landing back on Earth after launch...
    ...one way or another.
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  13. #1333
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Any word on the reschedule of Zuma?
    There is now. Next year. Only two more launches by SpaceX this year and Zuna is not one of them.

    http://observer.com/2017/12/elon-mus...f-record-year/

    Following an indefinite postponement of their top-secret Zuma mission contracted through Northrop Grumman, SpaceX spokesperson John Taylor commented in a written statement, “We have decided to stand down and take a closer look at data from recent fairing testing for another customer…we will take the time we need to complete the data review and will then confirm a new launch date.”

  14. #1334
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    Space.com: SpaceX Launches (and Lands) Used Rocket on Historic NASA Cargo Mission

    SpaceX launched and landed a used rocket today (Dec. 15), pulling off yet another spaceflight double play during a delivery mission for NASA that gets the company a big step closer to its goal of complete reusability.
    Used rocket. Used capsule.

    Both the rocket and its payload have previous spaceflight experience: This Dragon visited the orbiting lab back in April 2015, and the Falcon 9 first stage launched a different Dragon toward the ISS in June 2017. Never before had SpaceX launched a pre-flown spacecraft atop a pre-flown rocket ó and never before had the company employed a used rocket on a cargo mission for NASA.
    Get used to it.

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  15. #1335
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    Truly, amazing from a technical standpoint, but I hope the demand projections work out. Reusable spacecraft are a great idea, as long as there remains enough demand to keep the production line for new rockets economically viable.

    Fortunately, folks who are far more knowledgeable than I am with regards to the this issue seem to think so.


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  16. #1336
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    SpaceX shows off the Falcon Heavy in the hanger at KSC.

    CBS News

    SpaceX founder Elon Musk posted the first pictures of the company's Falcon Heavy booster Wednesday, showing the powerful rocket in its hangar at the base of historic launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center where it is being readied for a long-awaited maiden flight next month.
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  17. #1337
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    It's a wonderful solution. Need extra thrust? Just triple up your booster.

    Are they really going to put a car in orbit of Mars? I'd have thought Musk would be more sensitive to the problem of space junk?

  18. #1338
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    It's a wonderful solution. Need extra thrust? Just triple up your booster.

    Are they really going to put a car in orbit of Mars? I'd have thought Musk would be more sensitive to the problem of space junk?
    They're putting it into an elliptical solar orbit that stretches out to the orbit of Mars. The car is outnumbered by millions of asteroids, and if it gets into a collision within the next billion years, it's likely to be with some idiot who runs into it while trying to take a selfie with it.

  19. #1339
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    AIUI this will be the last FH to use Block 3 or Block 4 boosters, from here in it's Block 5 cores for their advanced reuse. Block 5 is also why they'll be splashing some Block 3&4 cores in upcoming launches - to clear storage space.

  20. #1340
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    The Space review pn SpaceX plans for 2018 and beyond.

    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3399/1

    At first glance, SpaceX will be carrying that momentum of regular, routine launches into 2018. Its first launch is already scheduled for later this week, carrying the classified “Zuma” payload. It has other Falcon 9 launches lined up for later in the month from both Florida and California.

    But 2018 won’t be a carbon copy of 2017. SpaceX is taking a risk in 2018 with the introduction of both a new launch vehicle and new spacecraft that, if successful, could offer new triumphs for the company. However, those vehicles, and other projects, carry with them the risks of significant setbacks.

    The new launch vehicle, of course, is the long-delayed Falcon Heavy. Rolled out to the pad for the first time last week, the rocket is scheduled for a static fire test in the coming days, followed by a launch perhaps later this month. The rocket, ultimately able to place more than 50 tons into low Earth orbit, will be the largest liquid-fueled rocket to blast off from LC-39A since the Saturn V.

    First launches of new rockets are notorious for their high failure rates. And, let’s be clear, this is a new rocket, even if it will be using two used Falcon 9 first stages as its side boosters. Company executives have said that developing the Falcon Heavy was far harder than they initially thought, and even Elon Musk has joked that that the initial launch is “guaranteed to be exciting” as part of setting expectations low for the launch.

    Meanwhile, SpaceX has a new spacecraft, the Crew Dragon, or Dragon 2, being developed for NASA’s Commercial Crew program. That spacecraft is supposed to make a test flight without crew in April, followed by one with NASA astronauts on board, in August, but given past schedule delays, no one will be surprised if those dates slip later in to the year—or even into 2019.

  21. #1341
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    Video and pictures of the Falcon Heavy on the launch pad.

    https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/01/0...vys-pad-debut/

    SpaceX has released the first close-up images and video of the Falcon Heavy rocket at launch complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. The rocket was rolled out on December 28, 2017 and raised vertical on the launch pad. It was lowered and returned to its hangar the following day. The Falcon Heavy will return to the launch pad soon for a static test fire of its 27 first stage engines, with its maiden flight planned later in the month. Photos: SpaceX.

  22. #1342
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    If you compare rockets, Falcon Heavy certainly can put a lot of weight into LEO compared to its own size. A Delta IV Heavy is almost the same size yet half the capacity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    If you compare rockets, Falcon Heavy certainly can put a lot of weight into LEO compared to its own size. A Delta IV Heavy is almost the same size yet half the capacity.
    The cost of liquid hydrogen's low density. Delta IV Heavy is bigger than the Falcon 9, yet carries a fraction of the propellant...the whole vehicle weighs half as much when fully fueled. That's the problem with using hydrogen as a first stage fuel.

    edit: I meant bigger than the Falcon Heavy, of course.
    Last edited by cjameshuff; 2018-Jan-05 at 10:31 PM.

  24. #1344
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    But then you get into environmental concerns about using carbon based fuels.

    Although it's six for one, half a dozen for the other if hydrogen is produced from methane.

  25. #1345
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    But then you get into environmental concerns about using carbon based fuels.

    Although it's six for one, half a dozen for the other if hydrogen is produced from methane.
    Those environmental concerns are negligible. Even SpaceX's greatest ambitions couldn't make a measurable impact on overall CO2 emissions. They might manage a few thousand tons a year, global emissions in 2017 were about 40 billion tons.

    Cut other emissions a million fold, then you can start being concerned about launch vehicles.

  26. #1346
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    Zuma is now postponed until Sunday.

    And I am SO looking forward to Falcon heavy.
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  27. #1347
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    Yes, Falcon Heavy would be quite the thing to look forward to. It will be the slowest a tesla Roadster ever reached 100kph at full throttle.
    Last edited by Nicolas; 2018-Jan-05 at 09:13 PM.

  28. #1348
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    One little appreciated advantage SpaceX hasis it is able to self destruct its own rockets if they drift beyond safety criteria.

    https://qz.com/1170674/spacexs-lates...automatically/

    SpaceX is known for its reusable rockets, but one under-appreciated technology it has pioneered is letting them self-destruct.

    Orbital rockets capable of lifting heavy satellites into space are enormous and dangerous. Flying one from a launch site like Cape Canaveral traditionally requires an Air Force range-safety officer in place, ready to transmit a signal to detonate the rocket safely in the sky if the launch threatens to go awry.

    SpaceX, however, pursuing cheaper and more efficient launches, worked with the Air Force to turn over that duty to a GPS-equipped on-board computer, an “Automatic Flight Safety System” that debuted in 2017. Now, if the company’s Falcon 9 rocket goes outside prescribed bounds when launched from Cape Canaveral, it can activate its own self-destruct sequence.

  29. #1349
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    Whatever Zuma is, is in LEO at the moment. The landing of the first stage -on terra firma at the Cape- was perfect again, marking the number 21 successfully returned first stage.

  30. #1350
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    Whatever Zuma is, is in LEO at the moment. The landing of the first stage -on terra firma at the Cape- was perfect again, marking the number 21 successfully returned first stage.
    Once they got the bugs and procedures worked out, they make it look almost ludicrously easy. I mean, obviously it's not, but damn if they don't make it look it!

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