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Thread: SpaceX

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by ravens_cry View Post
    Aren't Soyuz capsules made the same way?
    Not only the Soyuz capsules but also the new Angara rocket. Production is now 7 a year but I expect that to double if the Angara 5 launch is successful at the end of this year. It should double again or more, once it is made operational.
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    A plan by Space Exploration Technologies Corp. to build a privately owned launch site just north of the U.S.-Mexico border near Brownsville, Texas, passed a key environmental review July 9, clearing the firm to submit a formal application to the Federal Aviation Administration.

    http://www.spacenews.com/article/lau...-site-in-texas

    With a backlog of nearly 40 launches, SpaceX has been shopping for a fourth U.S. launch site that can put commercial customers ahead of government launch needs and operations. The FAA determined that SpaceX’s other potential launch sites in Florida, Puerto Rico and elsewhere in Texas would not fulfill the company’s goals.

    “None of the alternative sites sufficiently met SpaceX’s criteria,” the FAA wrote.
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  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Not only the Soyuz capsules but also the new Angara rocket. Production is now 7 a year but I expect that to double if the Angara 5 launch is successful at the end of this year. It should double again or more, once it is made operational.
    Well, the reason I mentioned Soyuz is because it's been around for quite a while now, to put it mildly.

  4. #64
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    What were the criteria issues with the other sites?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    What were the criteria issues with the other sites?
    For Florida, it faced significant environmental hurdles according to the article. Do not know about the other sites
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  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    What were the criteria issues with the other sites?
    Florida: environmental. Space Florida wanted to put it in a wildlife refuge.

    Puerto Rico & Hawaii: logistics. Shipping launchers and payloads by sea is expensive vs. trucking them.

    Georgia: latitude. Texas is closer to the equator and most launches there will be to geostationary orbits or beyond Earth orbit.

    As to Soyuz, it's being replaced and it's TINY. Maximum crew if 3 complicating ISS (or future Russian station) evacuations (you need 2), a very limited return cargo mass.

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    True, my point was that mass produced spacecraft are not a new thing by any means.

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    Are there 6+ Soyuz in production at any time? Recent Dragon pix show 3 in the clean room and there are several work stations on the factory floor - at least 2 appearing to be V2's.

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    From what I've seen, yes.
    Assuming this is accurate, 30 Soyuz spacecraft are in various stages of readiness at any one time.

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    Just imagine what the Angara production line will look like once it does into operation.
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    Well, if the article is correct this factory is where they will build parts of it. (note the "if" in this statement...)

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-security.html

    However, this looks more like the assembly line of Angara:
    http://www.parabolicarc.com/2011/08/...ty/#more-28129
    Last edited by Nicolas; 2014-Jul-14 at 02:56 PM.

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    SpaceX might be facing a a cash-flow crunch as it lays off 200 to 300 people over the past week.

    http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/07/...ported-spacex/

    A reliable source reports SpaceX fired 200 to 300 people over the past week, reportedly for poor performance.

    However, speculation focuses on the possibility that the company is experiencing a cash-flow crunch. The company has added thousands of employees in recent years despite a launch rate that is low compared with its main rival, United Launch Alliance.

    I’ve asked SpaceX for a comment, but the company has not responded yet.

  14. #74
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    WRONG, financial issues already disproven.

    Like many US companies this time of year they do staff performance reviews and shave off the 3-5% that underperformed.

    Yesterday they announced a <5% reduction due to these reviews and that overall staffing will increase by 20% by years end.

    Hardly the actions of a cash strapped company.

    http://aviationweek.com/blog/spacex-rumored-layoffs

    There was an annual review cycle completed recently, along with some rebalancing of resources. Our resulting headcount reduction was less than 5%. SpaceX expects to see net-positive employee growth in 2014 of approximately 20%.
    #makingmountainsofmolehills
    Last edited by docmordrid; 2014-Jul-27 at 10:01 PM.

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    Everyone wondered what SpaceX's statement that their next attempted booster landing would be on a "solid surface" meant. Now we know.

    @Rand_Simberg: @FLspacereport Talked to Gwynne yesterday and she confirmed that they're working permission on flyback, but next landing will be on a barge.
    Most likely a jack-up barge or semi-submersible ship since they're the most stable platforms.

    This should happen during the upcoming Dragon CRS-4 ISS resupply mission, tentatively set for September.

  16. #76
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    I think a large flat barge with low freeboard would be about as stable as a semisub when its cargo deck is above water (you mean things like the Dockwise carriers, right?). Jack ups are more stable obviously. But I think they'll go for a quite simple barge with next to no upper structure. You don't want to hit them jack-up poles or land on a Dockwise carrier's monkey bridge.

  17. #77
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    Here's more of the above conversation with Shotwell,

    Rand Simberg ‏@Rand_Simberg 8 h
    @JustIncidentals No more water landings. And Spaceport America has cost more and taken longer than expected. @flspacereport @spacecom

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    Given their track record of landing bulls-eyes, hitting the balanced center of a flat barge should be doable.
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  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    SpaceX might be facing a a cash-flow crunch as it lays off 200 to 300 people over the past week.

    http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/07/...ported-spacex/
    Who's speculation is that? The article even says what docmordrid detailed out.

  20. #80
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    http://www.spacex.com/news/2014/07/3...chamber-crewed

    SPACEX LAUNCHES 3D-PRINTED PART TO SPACE, CREATES PRINTED ENGINE CHAMBER FOR CREWED SPACEFLIGHT

    Through 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, robust and high-performing rocket parts can be created and offer improvements over traditional manufacturing methods. SpaceX is pushing the boundaries of what additive manufacturing can do in the 21st century, ultimately making the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft more reliable, robust and efficient than ever before.

    On January 6, 2014, SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket with a 3D-printed Main Oxidizer Valve (MOV) body in one of the nine Merlin 1D engines. The mission marked the first time SpaceX had ever flown a 3D-printed part, with the valve operating successfully with high pressure liquid oxygen, under cryogenic temperatures and high vibration.

    Compared with a traditionally cast part, a printed valve body has superior strength, ductility, and fracture resistance, with a lower variability in materials properties. The MOV body was printed in less than two days, compared with a typical castings cycle measured in months. The valves extensive test program including a rigorous series of engine firings, component level qualification testing and materials testing has since qualified the printed MOV body to fly interchangeably with cast parts on all Falcon 9 flights going forward.

    SUPERDRACO ENGINE CHAMBER

    For almost 3 years, SpaceX has been evaluating the benefits of 3D printing and perfecting the techniques necessary to develop flight hardware. One of our first major successes was printing a SuperDraco Engine Chamber in late 2013. Today, SpaceX is testing the SuperDraco engines as part of its crewed spaceflight program and the Dragon Version 2 vehicle. In late 2013, SpaceX successfully fired a SuperDraco engine at full thrust using a 3D-printed engine chamber developed entirely in-house.

    SuperDracos will power the Dragon Version 2 spacecrafts revolutionary launch escape system, the first of its kind. Should an emergency occur during launch, eight SuperDraco engines built into Dragons side walls will produce up to 120,000 pounds of axial thrust to carry astronauts to safety. The system will also enable Dragon Version 2 to land propulsively on land with the accuracy of a helicopter. This will ultimately make the spacecraft fully and rapidly reusable able to be refueled and reflown multiple times, drastically lowering the cost of space travel.

    The chamber is regeneratively cooled and printed in Inconel, a high performance superalloy. Printing the chamber resulted in an order of magnitude reduction in lead-time compared with traditional machining the path from the initial concept to the first hotfire was just over three months.

    During the hotfire test, which took place at SpaceXs rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas, the SuperDraco engine was fired in both a launch escape profile and a landing burn profile, successfully throttling between 20% and 100% thrust levels. To date the chamber has been fired more than 80 times, with more than 300 seconds of hot fire.

    The Dragon Version 2 spacecraft represents a leap forward in spacecraft technology across the board from its Version 1 predecessor. When SuperDracos are flown on a demonstration of Dragons launch escape system later this year, it will be the first time in history that a printed thrust chamber has ever been used in a crewed space program.

    SpaceX looks forward to continuing to fine tune both the SuperDraco engines and additive manufacturing program, in order to develop the safest, most reliable vehicles ever flown.
    SuperDraco
    http://www.spacex.com/sites/spacex/f...draco_3_lr.jpg

    SuperDraco pod

    http://www.spacex.com/sites/spacex/f...co_jetpack.jpg

    SuperDraco throttling / pulsing
    http://youtu.be/lIGVi_rMFGw
    Last edited by Swift; 2014-Aug-02 at 02:04 AM. Reason: embedded video and big images changed to links

  21. #81
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    docmordrid,

    The software may allow them, but our rules (rule 8) forbid embedded videos, or images over 100kb
    Last edited by Swift; 2014-Aug-02 at 02:04 AM.
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  22. #82
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    SpaceX moving forward with their plans for a manned space capsule.

    http://m.space.com/26768-spacex-drag...ort-tests.html

    " SpaceX plans to conduct two critical tests of its manned Dragon capsule's emergency abort system, designed to carry astronauts to safety during a launch failure, in the next five months, according to media reports.
    The first test will take place in November on the launch pad at Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, while the second will be an in-flight trial originating from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, Space News reported today (Aug. 7), citing a presentation yesterday by SpaceX's Garrett Reisman at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' S"
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  23. #83
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    Seems like 3D printing is now good enough for refractory metals like Inconel. Will we be seeing more 3D printing of rocket parts? Especially rocket-engine parts.

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    It is now official. SpaceX has announced it will build the world's first commercial launchpad for orbital rockets in the south of Texas.

    http://www.space-travel.com/reports/...Texas_999.html

    The exact location chosen for the new launchpad is Boca Chica Beach east of Brownsville, near the US-Mexico border. The area, which has mostly been associated with smuggling and illegal immigration, could now be getting a second chance as a spaceport.

    "In addition to creating hundreds of high-tech jobs for the Texas workforce, this site will inspire students, expand the supplier base and attract tourists to the South Texas area,"Space Exploration Technologies CEO Elon Musk said in a statement.

  25. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    Seems like 3D printing is now good enough for refractory metals like Inconel. Will we be seeing more 3D printing of rocket parts? Especially rocket-engine parts.
    SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 last January that had a 3D printed LOX valve on one of the Merlin 1D's, and it performed spectacularly. These are now qualified for regular use.

    The odds are some Raptor parts will also be printed given that Aerojet-Rocketdyne has printed a titanium alloy pump impeller that exhibited superior characteristics.

  26. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    Seems like 3D printing is now good enough for refractory metals like Inconel. Will we be seeing more 3D printing of rocket parts? Especially rocket-engine parts.
    http://www.spacex.com/news/2014/07/3...chamber-crewed

    Apparently, the printing process is actually much faster than casting.

  27. #87
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    Raw casting is fast, but the heat treatments, post-processing and finishing of cast parts are not. When 3D printed (especially electron beam melted) parts come out they are nearly done with a fine grain structure already present.

  28. #88
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    Not to mention that there is less steps. With casting, you have to design the part then design and make the casting mould for it, while 3D printing, designing is, while not the last step, much closer to the creation phase.

  29. #89
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    There's also no delays due to things like broken molds, and probably time saved in not having to do inspections for damaged/malformed molds, voids and inclusions in the final part, etc.

  30. #90
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    Somewhat off topic, but I HATE castings. WAY too much experience with suppliers that said they could meet dimensional tolerances and couldn't. They beg for a little relief, you give it too them, and if a couple of months they're back for more. Don't get me wrong -- casting is a great way to make some things, especially for large or largish volumes on parts that don't require precision fits or much machining. One of the jobs I had to do more than once at The Great Big Airplane Job was converting cast parts into aluminum hogouts. (Hogout = Machined out of a block.) You can make hogouts VERY quickly and accurately with modern NC machine tools. At our primary in-house supplier, one machinist ran four large CNC mills. He basically had to keep them supplied with material (on a conveyor, when it was done with a part it would automatically load the next), monitor for errors, and make sure the tools were replaced on schedule. The tools were on a conveyor as well -- something like 40 of them at a time.

    3D printing of complex parts is an awesome way of getting around some of the problems with castings. And not much in the way of tooling costs, unlike castings.
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