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Falcon 9 Launch Finally On Track

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#1 llanitedave

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 09:44 PM

After many delays, SpaceX's new Falcon 9 v1.1 has successfully completed its hot fire on the launch pad at Vandenberg AFB. According to Elon Musk, the launch window opens in 10 days. That means they're shooting for a launch on September 29.

Nice looking rocket!

https://twitter.com/...866647575126016

#2 Jay_Bird

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 02:40 PM

That is a purty rocket. Article at Spaceflight Now web page made it sound like the new Falcon has 8 improved engines, and considerably greater payload capability. Is this first flight of larger payload shroud too? Are there just 8 engines now, or are the outer set new and the central one unchanged?

#3 llanitedave

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 08:44 PM

They're all new, all nine of them, as well as the second stage engine. The Merlin 1D which powers the new version has 140,000 lbs of sea level thrust compared to 78,000 lbs for the previous Merlin 1C. It's also throttleable to 70% of thrust, and they claim it costs less money and time time to manufacture, with fewer parts.

This is their first flight with the payload shroud, AND, they're going to attempt a controlled re-entry for the first stage, as a precursor to flyback and reuse.

I'm crossing my fingers on this one.

#4 David Knisely

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 01:44 AM

They're all new, all nine of them, as well as the second stage engine. The Merlin 1D which powers the new version has 140,000 lbs of sea level thrust compared to 78,000 lbs for the previous Merlin 1C. It's also throttleable to 70% of thrust, and they claim it costs less money and time time to manufacture, with fewer parts.

This is their first flight with the payload shroud, AND, they're going to attempt a controlled re-entry for the first stage, as a precursor to flyback and reuse.

I'm crossing my fingers on this one.


I think the Merlin 1C is rated at about 94,000 lbs of thrust at sea level. The Merlin 1A was rated at about 77,000 lbs of thrust at sea level, but was only used twice (only once successfully) on the Falcon 1 rocket. Clear skies to you.

#5 kfrederick

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 08:14 AM

In 1968 seeing [On TV ] A Saturn 5 man rated rocket go around the moon 65 years after the first flight .I thought things be different . The shuttle was some reason and much learned but for sure a dumb way to build the space station .Put 4 solids on a Saturn 5 and put the whole thing up in one shot . Now with robots I see little value to put people on the moon to explore .There should be many rovers on the moon .Why none ? Bet there are some cool things there . Just rambling not saying bad .I do love all Nasa has done . But we were on the moon in 1960s

#6 llanitedave

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 11:31 AM

Things would be different if we as a populating wanted them to be different. The reason atmospheric flight became ubiquitous and space travel did not is because flight is profitable, widely useful, and relatively safe and cheap. Space travel has always been extremely risky, extremely expensive, and of limited direct economic benefit.

One of the reasons I'm jazzed about companies like SpaceX is because they're looking to change that equation. Once we can reduce the cost and risk of access to space, we stand a better chance of making it profitable. Only then will space exploration accelerate.

#7 llanitedave

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 11:32 AM

They're all new, all nine of them, as well as the second stage engine. The Merlin 1D which powers the new version has 140,000 lbs of sea level thrust compared to 78,000 lbs for the previous Merlin 1C. It's also throttleable to 70% of thrust, and they claim it costs less money and time time to manufacture, with fewer parts.

This is their first flight with the payload shroud, AND, they're going to attempt a controlled re-entry for the first stage, as a precursor to flyback and reuse.

I'm crossing my fingers on this one.


I think the Merlin 1C is rated at about 94,000 lbs of thrust at sea level. The Merlin 1A was rated at about 77,000 lbs of thrust at sea level, but was only used twice (only once successfully) on the Falcon 1 rocket. Clear skies to you.


Ah, you're right about that. Still a big jump in power, and reportedly a big decrease in expense.

#8 rdandrea

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 11:21 AM

Great launch today.

#9 llanitedave

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 12:48 PM

Looks like the first stage relight and re-entry went well, too. That's a big step.

#10 rdandrea

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 01:47 PM

I know they got it re-lit, but haven't heard the results. Do you have a link? Nothing on the SpaceX web site or FB page as of 1/2 hr ago...

By the way, if anyone wants to watch the replay of the launch, it's here.

#11 llanitedave

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 10:08 PM

Musk's tweet: https://twitter.com/elonmusk

"Rocket booster relit twice (supersonic retro & landing), but spun up due to aero torque, so fuel centrifuged & we flamed out"

So they got really close on the first try, they just need to control the roll a bit better.

He's also saying:
"Between this flight & Grasshopper tests, I think we now have all the pieces of the puzzle to bring the rocket back home."

Their next 1st stage recovery attempt will be the CRS-3 flight to the ISS in February.

#12 gmartin02

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 04:12 PM

The launch was great. I saw the launch from Vandenberg AFB from about 10 miles up range of the pad. Its a whole lot better than watching it on TV or the internet. With the brightness of the flame, the silence at launch time until the powerful delayed rumble and crackle eventually comes (due to the time it takes the sound to travel to the viewing site), about 45 seconds, and the rocket hanging in the blue sky until it starts picking up speed, it was very surreal. Can't wait until the next one.






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