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Another successful SpaceX launch!

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#1 gmartin02

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 01:25 PM

SpaceX launched a commercial satellite mission this morning with 6 Orbcomm satellites - satellites were deployed and Orbcomm is receiving telemetry from all 6 satellites.

In other SpaceX news:

SpaceX gets final approval from the FAA for the launch site near Brownsville, Texas for commercial satellite launches.

Air force certifies SpaceX for launches.

Go SpaceX!

P.S. My son Max just started his second week at SpaceX, after graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a Materials Engineering degree. He got to watch the launch this morning from SpaceX mission control at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, where he works. He is currently working as a (very highly paid) intern through October, and hopes they will pick him up full time after that (he also worked as an intern for them last summer).

#2 herrointment

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 02:33 PM

I agree, Go!

They need to start putting them up there one after another. If they can do that, watch out!

#3 llanitedave

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 09:53 PM

P.S. My son Max just started his second week at SpaceX, after graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a Materials Engineering degree. He got to watch the launch this morning from SpaceX mission control at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, where he works. He is currently working as a (very highly paid) intern through October, and hopes they will pick him up full time after that (he also worked as an intern for them last summer).


That's absolutely fantstic! From what I hear, applicants outnumber accepted hires many times over, even for internships. Congratulations to your son, and congratulations to SpaceX.

BTW, according to Musk "Rocket booster reentry, landing burn & leg deploy were good, but lost hull integrity right after splashdown (aka kaboom)."

They're making good progress towards returning that first stage for reuse, but I don't think that a splashdown will ever be something it will easily survive.

#4 llanitedave

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 09:10 AM

Next SpaceX launch scheduled for August 4. They're really trying to ramp the up now!

#5 Footbag

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 10:46 AM

Congrats to your son! Sounds like a dream job!

#6 David Knisely

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 11:05 PM

And here is the video of the second successful water landing of the Falcon 9's first stage:

http://www.space.com...ured-by-on-b...

You can see the landing burns and the landing legs deploy despite ice that was forming on the camera lens during the latter part of the descent. It landed successfully (you can see the ocean's surface foaming up under the engine exhaust until shutdown), but once the base of the first stage was in the water, it then slowly tipped over onto its side and broke up, preventing the recovery of anything. However, it still landed softly (and the video was much better than the one of the first landing attempt). Clear skies to you.

#7 Ravenous

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:57 AM

That is really impressive. I had thought it would take them an extra year or so to get to this stage.

I noticed the ice covered the lens pretty quickly - presumably the camera was cold and the stage descended rapidly into humid air. Still enough detail to see what was happening though.

Next step - bring it back to dry land :jump:

#8 llanitedave

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 09:00 PM

Orbcomm, owner of the six satellites launched on this mission, says that the Falcon 9's orbital insertion was so precise that they will not have to use any of the manuevering fuel that they had budgeted for final orbital corrections.

Not bad!

#9 David Knisely

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 11:18 PM

And once again, yet another successful SpaceX launch (the Asiasat 8 communications satellite) early on the morning of August 5th.  This was the 11th successful flight of the Falcon 9 with the next one being the scheduled launch of the Asiasat 6 satellite sometime late in August or early September.



#10 llanitedave

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 12:03 AM

That was another edge-of-my-seat launch.  It aborted at around T-50, with what seems to have been a spurious hydraulic sensor indication.  It took SpaceX an hour or so to troubleshoot it, then they recycled the countdown and managed to get it off before the end of the launch window.

 

I'm still suffering from lack of sleep due to that one!



#11 David Knisely

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 01:26 AM

Here is some more video footage of the water landing of the first stage of the Falcon 9 Vs. 1.1 taken from a chase plane that shows the actual powered descent and touchdown in the water:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIlu7szab5I



#12 David Knisely

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 12:37 AM

Well, SpaceX's luck appears to have had something of a setback.  During a more rigorous test flight of the Falcon 9R test vehicle that pushed past previous limits, the rocket started pitching over and the the flight termination software self-destructed the vehicle before it could get outside the test area near McGregor, Texas.   A TV station posted the video of the flight:

 

http://www.kwtx.com/...videoid=2913715

 

As Marvin the Martian would have said, "Oh well, back to the old electronic brain!". 

 

Clear skies to you.



#13 llanitedave

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 09:28 AM

Yeah, that probably belongs in a thread that's not titled "Another successful launch"!  :bigshock:

 

It looked to me like the engine shut off for a second just after it started pitching, and then restarted another second or so before the destruct system activated.  It'll be interesting to see what the investigation shows.  According to SpaceX, they were trying some new maneuvers that were "pushing it to its limit".  I guess they hit the limit a little sooner than they hoped.

 

The good news is that this shouldn't affect their next scheduled satellite launch. They had a successful static fire at the cape last night, and the latest launch date has them taking off with an AsiaSat communications satellite this coming Wednesday morning.



#14 David Knisely

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 01:02 PM

Yeah, that probably belongs in a thread that's not titled "Another successful launch"!  :bigshock:

 

It looked to me like the engine shut off for a second just after it started pitching, and then restarted another second or so before the destruct system activated.  It'll be interesting to see what the investigation shows.  According to SpaceX, they were trying some new maneuvers that were "pushing it to its limit".  I guess they hit the limit a little sooner than they hoped.

 

The good news is that this shouldn't affect their next scheduled satellite launch. They had a successful static fire at the cape last night, and the latest launch date has them taking off with an AsiaSat communications satellite this coming Wednesday morning.

 

 

Well, it was successfully "launched", but not landed :).  I wonder if the flight software shut one engine down deliberately before the vehicle was destroyed to keep it from going outside the test area once the flight termination was commanded.  Oh well, we will definitely be hearing a lot of comments about this little incident, even though it appears to be just another test "result".  Clear skies to you. 



#15 Qwickdraw

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 04:49 PM

Well, SpaceX's luck appears to have had something of a setback.  During a more rigorous test flight of the Falcon 9R test vehicle that pushed past previous limits, the rocket started pitching over and the the flight termination software self-destructed the vehicle before it could get outside the test area near McGregor, Texas.   A TV station posted the video of the flight:

 

http://www.kwtx.com/...videoid=2913715

 

As Marvin the Martian would have said, "Oh well, back to the old electronic brain!". 

 

Clear skies to you.

 

A couple of thoughts...

 

Why hasn't Space X released video as they have done of all successful lunches? We really have to see this very sub-par video?

Secondly, What limits were "pushed" during this lunch?

It looks like it may have been destroyed while still in the ascension stage.



#16 llanitedave

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 09:01 PM


Why hasn't Space X released video as they have done of all successful lunches?

 

Well, they haven't released videos of *all* their successful launches as far as I know.  In fact, the most recent successful test at McGregor still has not been released.  As a private company, the only answer they really need to give those who are not customers when asked why, is "because we choose".

 


We really have to see this very sub-par video?

 

No, you don't have to.  Nobody is making you click a link.  I don't know what should be considered "par" for something that's being taken by private citizens for their own enjoyment and shared out of generosity.

 


Secondly, What limits were "pushed" during this lunch?

 

I don't know about lunch, but I've aborted a few of those myself when pushed over my limits.  But according to the statement from SpaceX, "With research and development projects, detecting vehicle anomalies during the testing is the purpose of the program. Today’s test was particularly complex,  pushing the limits of the vehicle further than any previous test."

 


It looks like it may have been destroyed while still in the ascension stage.

 

It was.  The engines shut down soon after it started pitching over, and a few seconds later the flight termination system activated.  Why it pitched over when it did, only SpaceX knows.



#17 herrointment

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Posted 23 August 2014 - 10:04 PM

Surely that was a false-flag explosion.

 

Get me the Prime Minister!


Edited by herrointment, 23 August 2014 - 10:09 PM.


#18 Qwickdraw

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 06:35 AM

 

 

I don't know about lunch, but I've aborted a few of those myself when pushed over my limits.  But according to the statement from SpaceX, "With research and development projects, detecting vehicle anomalies during the testing is the purpose of the program. Today’s test was particularly complex,  pushing the limits of the vehicle further than any previous test."

 

 

 

Okay, you got me there



#19 maugi88

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 04:34 PM

I thought it looked as thought the engine was shut off and then re-ignited as well. I guess these hiccups will happen when you try to make a rocket do the things that space x is trying to make them do. I wish them luck. When an explanation is made, can someone please post it?

 

 

Private companies going into space, still surprises me. Who is the watchdog for these enterprises? You know, to make sure a evil super villain doesn't get a death ray into space? (not saying Musk is...) ;)  



#20 Qwickdraw

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 07:34 AM

 Who is the watchdog for these enterprises? You know, to make sure a evil super villain doesn't get a death ray into space? (not saying Musk is...) ;)  

 

I believe the FAA is the government organization responsible to issue launch licenses which must also identify the activities.

 

"A launch- or reentry-specific license authorizes you to conduct one or more launches or reentries having the same operational parameters of one type of launch or reentry vehicle operating at one launch or reentry site. The license identifies, by name or mission, each activity authorized under the license. Your authorization to operate terminates when you complete all launches or reentries authorized by the license or the expiration date stated in the license, whichever occurs first."

 

http://www.faa.gov/a...launch_reentry/



#21 llanitedave

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 09:37 PM

Interesting that the SpaceX press release mentions that there was an FAA observer at the launch. They not only have to give approvals for the experimental Texas launches, but eventually they are going to have to approve SpaceeX's plans to return its first stages to the launch site. I'm sure SpaceX wants to make a good impression on them. Demonstrating that the flight termination system works as advertised is kind of a way of making lemonade out of that lemon of an incident.

#22 David Knisely

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 12:35 AM

Looks like the "stand down for review" of the next Falcon 9 launch has been completed.  Apparently, the malfunction of the F9R test vehicle was due to a blocked sensor port which didn't have backup sensors like the flying Falcon 9's do.  If the same problem had occurred on a regular Falcon 9 launch to orbit, other systems would have out-voted that blocked sensor and the vehicle would have continued flying.  In any case, it looks like SpaceX is ready to launch the next Falcon 9 (AsiaSat 6) vehicle early Sunday morning September 7th.  Clear skies to you. 



#23 llanitedave

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 11:22 PM

My wife and I are currently on vacation, and today we drove from central Texas to Arkansas.  As luck would have it, our route took us through McGregor, Texas, where SpaceX just happens to have their test facility.  It's not easy to get close.  My wife, of course, is a saint, and she didn't kill me for peeling off our designated route and trying to get an impromptu back-lot tour.

 

The first photo is of what appears to be the first stage of a future launch vehicle on the upright test stand.  Hard to see in this poor quality photo, but the black spots on the very base of the stage mark the places where the legs will be attached for landing.  I'm thinking that this means the pictured stage is intended to try to make a soft landing.  Musk has stated the next landing attempts will be on an offshore barge, and maybe this is one of those.

 

The second photo is as close as I could get to "Grashopper" the first prototype of a returnable stage.  It's been retired since the newer development stage was introduced, but even though that one exploded, I'm pretty sure they'll build another one rather than re-activate the Grasshopper.

 

Lastly, just as I was getting ready to leave, they did something I would never have expected...  they fired an engine off from their engine test stand!  It was only about a 30 second firing, I'm guessing an acceptance test for a new engine, and by the time I got back with the camera, it had ended, leaving only a faint drift of smoke and steam from the cooling/acoustic dampening water flood.  I was excited to see it, but bummed that I missed the real-time picture!

 

Attached Files



#24 maugi88

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 08:36 AM

As luck would have it? ;) Sounds like you had a great experience. Nice pics. :bow:



#25 herrointment

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 09:30 PM

Rocket town!

 

To be a twelve year old living there...heaven.


Edited by herrointment, 06 September 2014 - 09:31 PM.







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