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Footbag
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SpaceX is amazing!
      #5964446 - 07/10/13 05:20 PM

Has anyone seen this video yet? I'm amazed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGimzB5QM1M&feature=player_embedded


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Qwickdraw
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: Footbag]
      #5964486 - 07/10/13 05:54 PM

Yes, I watched it. I was wondering if heat dissipation is going to be a problem for them in longer tests. I am not a rocket scientist but I know we have some here. It would seem heat is easier to dissipate when traveling away from the source at thousands of miles an hour but when you are actually moving into the engine thrust for long durations I would suspect that could be difficult.

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shawnhar
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5964550 - 07/10/13 06:41 PM

So smooth it looks like CG!

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Ravenous
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5965169 - 07/11/13 04:14 AM

I think heat in the engines is usually dispersed by using the fuel/oxidiser itself (which is cool of course) - some of it is pumped where it's needed for cooling before combustion. Though my knowledge of rocket science (or engineering, more precisely!) only comes from looking at the simplified diagrams in books.

If you think about it, the cooling effect of air is pretty useless. Not enough heat capacity or enough heat transfer.


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Qwickdraw
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: Ravenous]
      #5968642 - 07/13/13 08:37 AM

Quote:

I think heat in the engines is usually dispersed by using the fuel/oxidiser itself (which is cool of course) - some of it is pumped where it's needed for cooling before combustion. Though my knowledge of rocket science (or engineering, more precisely!) only comes from looking at the simplified diagrams in books.

If you think about it, the cooling effect of air is pretty useless. Not enough heat capacity or enough heat transfer.




Its not the cooling effect of air but rather the engine itself normally speeding away at thousands of miles an hour and leaving the heat behind also. Under this method of basically hoovering, I would still believe heat would be a huge problem over time but as they say, I am not a rocket scientist.


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llanitedave
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5969506 - 07/13/13 07:28 PM

Fortunately, the actual reusable Falcon will not spend these extended periods of time in hover. It will come in fast, basically free-fall plus atmospheric drag, and fire its engines just long enough to touch down softly. The stage will be almost empty and light, so it should be relatively quick to de-accelerate.

I can't imagine such a white-knuckle landing ever seeming routine to someone like me.


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deSitter
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5971788 - 07/15/13 08:10 AM

I cannot see how this is going to work (slowing down). Please explain.

-drl


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llanitedave
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: deSitter]
      #5972173 - 07/15/13 12:44 PM

As I understand it, the first stage separation will take place with a small amount of propellant remaining in the tanks. The Merlin 1-D engines are designed to support multiple restarts, and the first restart will reverse the downrange direction to send the stage back towards the pad. Remember, at this time it is nearly out of the atmosphere, and still coasting upwards.

After the first restart, the stage enters a ballistic trajectory back into the atmosphere towards the launch (or nearby landing) pad. Thursters re-orient the stage so that it points downward for the atmospheric reentry. Increasing air resistance slows it down to a terminal velocity of maybe some 150 m/sec or less.

At the right distance above the pad, the center engine will fire long enough to cancel out that 150 m/sec, and set it down to a gentle landing.

I think I've read that this reusability scheme will cut their payload capacity by some 30-40%, but they think the savings will be worth it.

The second stage is going to be a lot tougher to recover.


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FirstSightModerator
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: llanitedave]
      #6252677 - 12/14/13 01:24 PM

This thread is back open for posting, obviously with a HUGE number of posts excised, including a great many constructive posts by members bearing little or no fault for the reasons such large-scale intervention was required. I apologize to everyone whose constructive contributions to this thread were snipped, but unfortunately the thread tools available to moderators don't always efficiently facilitate precise surgery, that and we don't have infinite time to devote to it either.

Speaking of easier vs harder, it would have been an easier decision to simply lock the thread away permanently. But instead, let's give this thread a fresh re-start, and see if everyone can keep the debate CONSTRUCTIVE AND CIVIL this time (I say "everyone", because the first place to start toward that is to not point fingers at anyone).

Let the discussion begin.


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llanitedave
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: FirstSight]
      #6252960 - 12/14/13 04:06 PM

Wow, that takes us back to July!

SpaceX has done some more things since then. It's gotten its Falcon9 v.1.1 launch vehicle operational, with an enhanced payload capacity and two launches under its belt so far. It's been able to restart its first stage engines multiple times to allow a survivable return through the atmosphere, and came very close to a soft landing on its first attempt. They've already reduced the price of putting a satellite in orbit significantly.

They're still learning, and they still have some glitches (and they had a scary explosion at their test facility in Texas a couple of weeks ago), so they're still not out of the woods yet. But they've come a long way.

The real test of their success will be a year from now, when we can read about another monthly launch and shrug with a "ho hum".


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DarkSkys
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: llanitedave]
      #6253130 - 12/14/13 06:12 PM

This is Old school sci-fi type stuff.

Very neat.


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David Knisely
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: llanitedave]
      #6253759 - 12/15/13 02:01 AM

I guess that "explosion" was just two tanks of Nitrogen that ruptured rather than something involving combustion or the rocket itself. However, it looks like SpaceX is going to get its wish, as it is now in talks about the formal lease of Pad 39A at KSC:

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1312/13pad39a/#.Uq1Q9CeaZMg

Now, with Orbital Sciences and Virgin Galactic ramping-up launch preparations, the spaceflight scene is getting nicely busy. I had hoped that Blue Origin would have gotten something flying by now, but about the only things that seems to have gone on lately with them are a test of the capsule's launch escape system and a test firing of their BE-3 engine. Still, it is still early in the game for commercial spaceflight, so much may yet happen. Clear skies to you.


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David Knisely
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: llanitedave]
      #6258358 - 12/17/13 03:25 PM

SpaceX has released a couple of long-range images of the in-flight restarts of the first stage of the Falcon 9 vs. 1.1's first test flight as the stage descended:

http://www.spacex.com/news/2013/10/14/upgraded-falcon-9-mission-overview

You have to scroll down a ways to see them, but they do show the restarts (even though, as mentioned in the article, the 2nd one was aborted due to excessive roll and the first stage hit the water "relatively hard" as SpaceX put it). It will be interesting to see them try this again early next year. Clear skies to you.


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PeterR280
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: David Knisely]
      #6258520 - 12/17/13 04:46 PM

Looks scary. Would you sit on top of that thing if that was the landing mode?

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David Knisely
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: PeterR280]
      #6259236 - 12/17/13 11:37 PM

Quote:

Looks scary. Would you sit on top of that thing if that was the landing mode?




Well, you wouldn't be able to "sit" in the booster's stages (although they did put a 6-foot mannequin in the landing leg section of the Grasshopper test vehicle several times). I think that I would be fairly confident if flying in the current Dragon spacecraft if it had an environmental control system (i.e. breathable air and temperature control). It would be about like any of the previous capsule-based reentry and landing systems, with a lot more redundancy than some of the early ones. As for the reusable systems, once they establish some sort of track record in terms of reliability, I would probably be willing to fly in the "Dragonrider" version that descends and lands on the Draco thrusters. Clear skies to you.


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Starlon
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: Footbag]
      #6261192 - 12/19/13 01:11 AM

Quote:

Has anyone seen this video yet? I'm amazed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGimzB5QM1M&feature=player_embedded




Yes, I've watched it a few times. It is basically a take-off on NASA's DC-XA, aka: 'Delta Clipper' Experimental, Advanced edition. See flight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzXcTFfV3Ls

SpaceX arrived upon the scene after our nation's, NASA's, years of blood, sweat and tears blazing the trail and engineering the spacecraft. We built the infrastructure too.

It seems important to understand how Mr Musk arrived at the position he is today. He hired Lobbyists. See: http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2012/05/22/spacex-blasts-literally-and-pol...

Excerpted from link:

Quote:

Since its inception in 2002, SpaceX was fuelled by a decade-long, multi-million-dollar political effort to pry funding from a sometimes skeptical Congress. SpaceX has spent more than $4 million lobbying Congress and given more than $800,000 in political contributions, according to data compiled from Sunlight's Influence Explorer. Many of the company's campaign donations went to key members of Congress in charge of the budget for NASA, which has mothballed the space shuttle in favor of commercial rockets for carrying payloads to the space station.

SpaceX's campaign to win political support has been systematic and sophisticated. Elon Musk, a founder of the wildly successful PayPal, does not surface as a political contributor in Influence Explorer records until 2002, the year he founded his commercial rocket company. Since then, he has donated nearly $725,000 to a politically disparate group of politicians. Last year, Musk gave the maximum legally allowed -- $35,800 -- to President Obama's reelection committee. But he also gave $15,000 to the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee and $5,000 to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a tea party hero who is much mentioned as a potential vice presidential nominee on the GOP ticket opposing Obama this year. In 2010, Musk gave identical amounts -- $25,900 -- to California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, and his unsuccessful Republican opponent, Meg Whitman.





There is more at the link, quite interesting.

But wait, this just from last Friday:
Quote:

"SpaceX Launches Second Lobbying Team"




See: http://blogs.rollcall.com/moneyline/spacex-launches-second-lobbying-team/

Excerpt:

"After 12 launches, and 50 on its manifest, the world’s fastest growing launch services provider has launched a second team of lobbyists to orbit Congress and the federal government.

SpaceX, a private space transport company that manufacturers and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft, has hired the Nickles Group LLC to lobby on general issues related to aerospace, budget, intellectual property, defense, labor, science/technology and tax. The Nickles lobbyists include Cynthia Merifield Tripodi, and Hazen Marshall, former staff director of the Senate Budget Committee, and former deputy chief of staff to then Assistant Majority Leader Don Nickles, R-Okla."

Quote:

SpaceX already uses Patton Boggs LLP for lobbying the federal government. They reported paying Patton Boggs $90,000 in the third quarter of 2013. View multi-year lobbying profile. Patton Boggs lobbies on FY 2014 Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations; NASA re-authorization; NASA COTS and commercial crew programs; FAA indemnification; and space launch regulatory issues. Patton Boggs lobbyists include former Senators John Breaux, D-La., and former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss. Also lobbying are Bret Boyles, Norma Krayem, John Flynn, Matthew Cutts, and Alexis Early.






I guess he's played his ace in the hole card. This since he just aced out his competition for the launch pad 39A.

Also, here: http://www.spacenews.com/article/spacex-lobbyist-bitterman-abruptly-resigns-p... ..you can read where Musk gets his expertise, even though some have since walked out on SpaceX.

So - in the end.. I am not amazed at all. It all looks like a big business operation. Elon Musk's rocket shop.

You can see his fees here: http://www.spacex.com/about Look under 'capabilities and services'

But wait! There's more: http://shop.spacex.com/ You can buy a SpaceX coffee mug or a cap.. or T-shirts & more..


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David Knisely
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: Starlon]
      #6261290 - 12/19/13 03:25 AM

Starlon posted:

Quote:

Yes, I've watched it a few times. It is basically a take-off on NASA's DC-XA, aka: 'Delta Clipper' Experimental, Advanced edition. See flight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzXcTFfV3Ls





Not really. The Delta Clipper was designed from the outset to be an attempt at a single-stage to orbit vehicle with no prior attempts at spaceflight in a completely new design. Single stage to orbit was proving a little too difficult at that time to achieve, and it showed with the problems encountered by both the DC-X and the X33. It is sad that it was kind of relegated to the backwoods in terms of funding, so it wasn't given quite the chance to succeed as it should have had.

The Grasshopper was a modification of the first stage of the already-flying two-stage Falcon 9 launch vehicle to determine methods of controlling that stage during approach and vertical landing tests prior to attempts at landing a fully-reusable first stage. The next version of the Grasshopper appears to be a test vehicle for much higher altitudes and velocities than the first one, although it looks like on the next Dragon flight, they are going to attempt either a water landing or a return to near the launch site of the first stage. If they get enough information from those over-water tests, they might not need to do much with the 2nd version of Grasshopper.

Quote:

SpaceX arrived upon the scene after our nation's, NASA's, years of blood, sweat and tears blazing the trail and engineering the spacecraft. We built the infrastructure too.




No, NASA had nothing to do with the work of designing and engineering either the Falcon rockets or the Dragon Spacecraft. As for "infrastructure", some of that was existing, but SpaceX had to do a lot to make that structure operational again. Indeed, Launch Complex 40 hadn't been used since 2005 and had most of its major structures demolished by the government before SpaceX got access to it to create their own launch facility. Similarly, SpaceX had to basically design and build most of the Falcon 9 launch tower structure and facilities at the SLC-4E pad at Vandenberg AFB. SpaceX also built their own rocket test stands and facilities in rural Texas, so NASA had nothing to do with that either.


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llanitedave
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: David Knisely]
      #6261744 - 12/19/13 11:30 AM

They've also started buying land and getting permits for another launch site for the Falcon Heavy on Boca Chica beach near Brownsville, Texas. There's a good chance that Brownsville will also become the assembly point for their next generation rockets, which will be too large to truck out of California.

Somehow, I can't see it as too troubling when you're accused of standing on the shoulders of giants. That's the way progress is supposed to happen.

Musk has acknowledged the trailblazing work of the DC-X and their intellectual debt to it, as well as the work done by NASA over the years. They are doing exactly what NASA had hoped someone would do.


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seryddwr
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: llanitedave]
      #6261805 - 12/19/13 12:15 PM

Also, considering the state of funding for NASA: If SpaceX doesn't do it, who will?

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groz
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: Starlon]
      #6261860 - 12/19/13 12:50 PM

Quote:


SpaceX arrived upon the scene after our nation's, NASA's, years of blood, sweat and tears blazing the trail and engineering the spacecraft.





And correctly so. The mandate of NASA is to develop new technology, to the point it can be commercialized, then allow industry to proceed from there.

If SpaceX is picking up on that mandate, it's a sign that they system is 'working as intended', and not something to get all upset about.

The real problem came about in the late 70's and early 80's with the shuttle program. There were plenty of entrepeneur type looking at the launch business in that timeframe, then nasa announced commercial launch services via the shuttle, for dollar values FAR below the actual cost, and essentially scared everybody away from that area. The only customer that was going to pay full jag pricing for shuttle launch space, was the military, and they quietly went elsewhere. It really amounted to heavily subsidized launch capacity for industry. Then Challenger happened, and they pulled the rug out from under commercial deliveries to orbit, essentially leaving a huge void.

What is happening today, is what would have happened 30 years ago, had Nasa stayed in the R&D role of it's mandate, and not branched off into trying to become a commercial launch vendor.

What I do find a bit interesting in hindsight. Politics of the shuttle program killed any potential for a startup in the field of space launches, and, as soon as the shuttle was finally killed, we see multiple startups in that field. There is a very clear cause / effect relationship there.


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herrointment
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: groz]
      #6262232 - 12/19/13 04:12 PM

Lobbyists are the portal to power. No scandal there.

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rockethead26
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: Starlon]
      #6262348 - 12/19/13 05:23 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Has anyone seen this video yet? I'm amazed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGimzB5QM1M&feature=player_embedded




Yes, I've watched it a few times. It is basically a take-off on NASA's DC-XA, aka: 'Delta Clipper' Experimental, Advanced edition. See flight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzXcTFfV3Ls

SpaceX arrived upon the scene after our nation's, NASA's, years of blood, sweat and tears blazing the trail and engineering the spacecraft. We built the infrastructure too.

It seems important to understand how Mr Musk arrived at the position he is today. He hired Lobbyists. See: http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2012/05/22/spacex-blasts-literally-and-pol...

Excerpted from link:

Quote:

Since its inception in 2002, SpaceX was fuelled by a decade-long, multi-million-dollar political effort to pry funding from a sometimes skeptical Congress. SpaceX has spent more than $4 million lobbying Congress and given more than $800,000 in political contributions, according to data compiled from Sunlight's Influence Explorer. Many of the company's campaign donations went to key members of Congress in charge of the budget for NASA, which has mothballed the space shuttle in favor of commercial rockets for carrying payloads to the space station.

SpaceX's campaign to win political support has been systematic and sophisticated. Elon Musk, a founder of the wildly successful PayPal, does not surface as a political contributor in Influence Explorer records until 2002, the year he founded his commercial rocket company. Since then, he has donated nearly $725,000 to a politically disparate group of politicians. Last year, Musk gave the maximum legally allowed -- $35,800 -- to President Obama's reelection committee. But he also gave $15,000 to the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee and $5,000 to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a tea party hero who is much mentioned as a potential vice presidential nominee on the GOP ticket opposing Obama this year. In 2010, Musk gave identical amounts -- $25,900 -- to California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, and his unsuccessful Republican opponent, Meg Whitman.





There is more at the link, quite interesting.

But wait, this just from last Friday:
Quote:

"SpaceX Launches Second Lobbying Team"




See: http://blogs.rollcall.com/moneyline/spacex-launches-second-lobbying-team/

Excerpt:

"After 12 launches, and 50 on its manifest, the world’s fastest growing launch services provider has launched a second team of lobbyists to orbit Congress and the federal government.

SpaceX, a private space transport company that manufacturers and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft, has hired the Nickles Group LLC to lobby on general issues related to aerospace, budget, intellectual property, defense, labor, science/technology and tax. The Nickles lobbyists include Cynthia Merifield Tripodi, and Hazen Marshall, former staff director of the Senate Budget Committee, and former deputy chief of staff to then Assistant Majority Leader Don Nickles, R-Okla."

Quote:

SpaceX already uses Patton Boggs LLP for lobbying the federal government. They reported paying Patton Boggs $90,000 in the third quarter of 2013. View multi-year lobbying profile. Patton Boggs lobbies on FY 2014 Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations; NASA re-authorization; NASA COTS and commercial crew programs; FAA indemnification; and space launch regulatory issues. Patton Boggs lobbyists include former Senators John Breaux, D-La., and former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss. Also lobbying are Bret Boyles, Norma Krayem, John Flynn, Matthew Cutts, and Alexis Early.






I guess he's played his ace in the hole card. This since he just aced out his competition for the launch pad 39A.

Also, here: http://www.spacenews.com/article/spacex-lobbyist-bitterman-abruptly-resigns-p... ..you can read where Musk gets his expertise, even though some have since walked out on SpaceX.

So - in the end.. I am not amazed at all. It all looks like a big business operation. Elon Musk's rocket shop.

You can see his fees here: http://www.spacex.com/about Look under 'capabilities and services'

But wait! There's more: http://shop.spacex.com/ You can buy a SpaceX coffee mug or a cap.. or T-shirts & more..




Sorry you have such a sour taste in your mouth for all of the private space business going on, but I suggest that you get used to it. It IS the future of space travel, as it should be.


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Jay_Bird
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: rockethead26]
      #6262528 - 12/19/13 07:34 PM

Gee I'm ticked off about how this rocketry is all derivative from Goddard who was funded by Guggenheim and encouraged by Lindbergh. No, wait, it's all derivative from Congreve who helped with 'and the rockets red glare' lyrics. No, wait, from some ingenious Chinese paper-glue-sticks-gunpowder experimenter lost to history. No, no, wait, from the ape in "2001".

I'm also shocked - shocked! - that *private* launch companies like Space-X, Pegasus, Orbital Science, Sea-Launch, Ariannespace, etc., are actually in business to make a profit. Just like the private companies in the NASA golden-age Mercury-Gemini-Apollo-STS supply chain.

Space-X hired some lobbysists to help if get off the ground - literally - and not become a Tucker Motors of space tying to compete with entrenched firms. Those lobbying dollars are peanuts to establisment business as usual: Want to rue lobbying? A news story just ran about pork-barrel politics and lobbying leading to an act by Congress to build 3 more Global Hawk drones at >$200 Million each, after the Air Force grounded about 15 of its Global Hawk fleet because the USAF says that the U-2s that are still flying are much more effective. Protecting constituent jobs won out over actual military needs for the better part of a Billion dollars (many times the Space-X annual budget I'm sure), in this one small example.


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choran
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: rockethead26]
      #6262757 - 12/19/13 10:28 PM

If the goal is to curb lobbying, the only way to do that is to curtail the power of the federal government to pick winners and losers. That, IMHO, is the real problem.

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Starlon
super member


Reged: 04/18/06

Loc: desert, USA
Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: rockethead26]
      #6262913 - 12/20/13 12:49 AM

rockethead26 said:

Quote:

Sorry you have such a sour taste in your mouth for all of the private space business going on, but I suggest that you get used to it. It IS the future of space travel, as it should be.




Hey - don't be sorry for me. Those articles aren't by me, I'm just the messenger. I think the private space industry has been around for awhile before Musk. The commsat's and others. But I also think everyone should know how Musk uses lobbyists to twist our governments arm to get his way. I can't say much good about lobbyists - most of which are lawyers.

Someday a company will offer flights to an orbital hotel. Good! And maybe to the Moon. Good again.


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Starlon
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: David Knisely]
      #6262938 - 12/20/13 01:22 AM

It was actually - as I stated - the DC-XA. It was the small model of what eventually would be the one stage to orbit vehicle - a much larger version. Also, you didn't mention the reason for the last flight, when it landed but tipped over and burned. Someone.. 'didn't attach the hydraulic line' so that strut didn't extend.

Yes, I do know Musk used different vehicles. It is the idea, in general that is similar. He only uses the theme plus the engineers hired ex NASA people, mostly. And sure, he has his heavy lifters coming along too. But he learned from the Titan IV also.

I don't care about his Texas launching facilities. Only the historic NASA pads, essentially 39A. That was where the Apollo flights launched from - as well as the shuttle & Skylab. It should be preserved for posterity.

Quote:

No, NASA had nothing to do with the work of designing and engineering either the Falcon rockets or the Dragon Spacecraft.


I did not say they did. Only that Musk gleaned a huge amount of test data and engineering data from decades of work that NASA did. If Musk could do what he is doing without NASA's help - he would do so. He can't.

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David Knisely
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: Starlon]
      #6262985 - 12/20/13 02:42 AM

Starlon posted:

Quote:

Also, you didn't mention the reason for the last flight, when it landed but tipped over and burned. Someone.. 'didn't attach the hydraulic line' so that strut didn't extend.




Why do I need to mention that? It has nothing to do with the fact that the DCX was designed as a reference test vehicle for single stage to orbit, which is different than the Grasshopper test bed for the reusable version of the 2-stage SpaceX Falcon 9.

Quote:

He only uses the theme plus the engineers hired ex NASA people, mostly




Really? I am certain that there are a number of people who formerly worked for NASA that now work for SpaceX after the shuttle program shut down, but at least in the beginning, I strongly doubt that a lot of them did. I just went through the 15 bios of the Leadership section of SpaceX, and none actually formally worked for NASA. Looks like a lot of people with backgrounds away from NASA work there as well.

Quote:

And sure, he has his heavy lifters coming along too. But he learned from the Titan IV also.




Musk doesn't do the direct designing! He has little to "learn" from the Titan IV (other than that it was very expensive and failed four times). The Titan IV was a completely different launch vehicle that used solid strap-on boosters and a Titan II core (single-engine, twin chamber) that burned toxic hypergolic fuel/oxidizers. The Falcon 9 uses nine engines burning rocket-grade Kerosene (RP-1) for fuel with liquid oxygen oxidizer, and is not designed to use solid boosters. The idea behind the strap-on boosters had been suggested long before the Titan IV. Ever hear of the Soyuz rocket? It first flew in 1966 and uses strap-on liquid boosters. Unlike the Titan IV's solids, the proposed Falcon-heavy uses liquid fueled Falcon 9 side boosters and an extended Falcon 9 liquid-fueled core, somewhat similar to the way the Delta IV Heavy works. Indeed, the Falcon-heavy boosters have a cross-feed propellant system which allow fuel flow from the side boosters to the center core so that the center core retains a significant amount of fuel after the boosters separate. In short, they aren't "stealing" anything. It is a new design, period!

Quote:

I don't care about his Texas launching facilities. Only the historic NASA pads, essentially 39A. That was where the Apollo flights launched from - as well as the shuttle & Skylab. It should be preserved for posterity.




Pads 39a and 39b were heavily modified for the shuttle program and have already been modified to act as launch platforms for a variety of vehicles. They can never be "preserved for posterity", nor should they be. They need to be USED and not just set up as static memorials to the past. An active launch facility that features real rockets roaring into the sky time after time is a lot more inspiring to the young than a dusty old pile of concrete and steel that just sits in the Florida sun.

Quote:

Quote:
No, NASA had nothing to do with the work of designing and engineering either the Falcon rockets or the Dragon Spacecraft.

I did not say they did.




You kind of implied it with your statement, "SpaceX arrived upon the scene after our nation's, NASA's, years of blood, sweat and tears blazing the trail and engineering the spacecraft. We built the infrastructure too.". With your statements, you give the impression that you feel that NASA did most of the work and SpaceX is just kind of ripping-off their stuff. Sorry, that isn't quite the truth here.


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Starlon
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: David Knisely]
      #6264117 - 12/20/13 04:49 PM

David Knisely says:


Quote:

..I just went through the 15 bios of the Leadership section of SpaceX, and none actually formally worked for NASA. Looks like a lot of people with backgrounds away from NASA work there as well.




That's no surprise. These people are fungible. The 'leadership' section - your words - is typically the motivators aka: 'Human Resource Dep't' & accountants. Everything comes down to the bottom line and the accountants are the people that tell a company if they'll make it or break it. So when the accountants & HRD get together and look at the graph re: Investments v Profits - then the 'leadership section' decides who gets axed and which ones get the motivation speeches (again) and get to stay IF they bust their buns.

But really, what is the point? We could go back & forth interminably.

My main point is that all the years back to the beginning of NASA in 1958, it was our space program. It belonged to us, the citizens. My parents paid taxes, I paid taxes - all of us, collectively, have bought and own NASA. It belongs to us. It was our Mercury program. And our Gemini program.. etc. And 45 years ago tomorrow as of 7.51a est: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCyfTLnINv0

This was all ours. We the people - all of us paid and most of us cheered NASA and the people that made up NASA and the companies that built the hardware & software and the minds that conceived it.

I ran across this SpaceX Dragon Triumph: Only the beginning:
http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com/2012/05/25/spacex-orbital-mission-just-the-be...

I skimmed through and found people with various opinions, just like ours. This one could have taken my thoughts and posted it there, "Pepinium" wrote:
Quote:

Don't fool yourself My Take, private industry only gets involved in R&D after the government has done most of the dirty work and demonstrated that an idea has high probability of being profitable. That is what happened with Nuclear Power, the Internet, and now the space program. Remember, the accountants who normally run corporations have to show a quick return on investment for the stockholders. Everyone knows that fusion power represents a potentially inexhaustible source of energy but the only research going on in this field over the last 50 years all over the world is happening in government sponsored labs and universities for this same reason. I know that the "private industry should always take the lead" idea is very much in vogue among the "keep government small" crowd but I hope there is still enough objectivity in your mind to do a little research on this points I have made. You will conclude I am right. Accountants have NO VISION !!! Complex research and development projects may go for decades before they can show that a profit is possible. These two concepts don't play well together !!!


I agree!


Another one, "Bill" wrote:
Quote:

The idea that this (or any other space endeavor) is really solely "commercial" is a fallacy. First of all, NASA gave SpaceX a contract for nearly $400 Million to develop the Dragon capsule. They didn't do it without significant Government investment. Secondly, SpaceX was able to draw upon THOUSANDS of U.S. Government studies, experiments, and tests dating back to the Apollo program which made it SIGNIFICANTLY easier for SpaceX to develop the Dragon spacecraft. These include NASA's development of capsule shapes and heat shield technologies, reentry mathematics and methods, orbital dynamics and rendezvous procedures, rocket engines and staging techniques, and tons of other widgets, reports, studies, and results that SpaceX didn't have to do themselves thanks to decades of work by Government engineers and scientists. Finally, a large fraction of the SpaceX workforce *IS* former NASA employees and NASA contractors who learned how to do this stuff the hard way and came to SpaceX only because the Government has prevented NASA from doing the things the Government used to let it do (you can thank Lori Garver for that one, by the way). My point is that, to a very large extent, this is not just SpaceX doing this...it's the long blue line of space professionals in NASA going back decades who gave them the technology and, in many cases, the very people they hired to do this.




Yep.

Everyone has their own viewpoint. Might as well leave it go at that!


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Mister T
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: Starlon]
      #6264910 - 12/21/13 08:11 AM

Space Sex is amazing

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llanitedave
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: Starlon]
      #6265286 - 12/21/13 01:22 PM

Quote:


I don't care about his Texas launching facilities. Only the historic NASA pads, essentially 39A. That was where the Apollo flights launched from - as well as the shuttle & Skylab. It should be preserved for posterity.





Then pay for it!

NASA can't afford to, and part of their mandate is to enable and encourage the commercial use of space. They put out an RFP for any company to bid to provide the maintenance, upkeep, and operation of the pad. Only SpaceX and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin bid on it. ULA was not interested. Orbital Sciences was not interested.

SpaceX won the bid simply because it has real rockets, a real manifest, and will actually use the pad. Nobody else has the capacity or desire to do so.

If you think pad 39A should be preserved as a monument to the golden age that will never be again, then you should lobby(Isn't that ironic!) your representatives to give either NASA or the National Park Service the authority and money to do that. Alternatively, you should be glad that the pad will not fall totally into ruin, and will be continually used and updated for the latest generation of launchers and new missions.

There is a good chance that within a decade or so SpaceX will be building a vehicle with more lift capacity than the Saturn V had, for far lower cost than the currently under development SLS. It sure would be cool to see both heavy lift designs side by side on adjacent pads at KSC.

Even the Falcon heavy, which should begin launching late next year, will have a payload capacity greater than that of the Saturn IB. If the stages become fully reusable as planned, it will still have greater payload to low earth orbit than any current launcher on the market. But that's not their final iteration. They've also entered into a contract with the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi to handle the test program for their upcoming methane-powered Raptor engines, which will have some 650,000 lbs of thrust.


I hate the necessity of lobbying as much as you do, but I do recognize its necessity in our current political system. You don't fight the battles you want, you fight the battles that you're faced with. And right now, you're faced with reality, and not recognizing it.

The reality is, if SpaceX doesn't use pad 39A, no one will. And if no one will, it will decay into complete ruin. Take a look some time on Google Earth at all the other pads along the seashore at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Look for the pad that John Glenn launched from. Will you recognize it? There's a lot of neglect on that stretch of beach.

Personally, I'm a big fan of any entity, public or private, that has real ambition and a tangible action plan to further our presence in space. SpaceX and Orbital Sciences are right now the two leaders in that effort. ULA is resting on its laurels supporting the status quo, and Blue Origin is still talking about someday.

Of the group, SpaceX has the ambition and timetable to actually revolutionize what it means to go into space. Say what you want about Musk, but he's doing what nobody else seems to even want to do, and I for one am glad of it.


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David Knisely
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: David Knisely]
      #6275854 - 12/27/13 06:20 PM

Looks like SpaceX is going to be busy in 2014 (no wonder they are looking to use Pad 39A):

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/008/131220date/#.Ur4KAPuaZMg


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rockethead26
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: David Knisely]
      #6275887 - 12/27/13 06:38 PM



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David Knisely
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: David Knisely]
      #6297466 - 01/07/14 06:24 AM

Looks like another success with the Falcon 9 vs. 1.1 launching of the Thaicom 6 satellite:

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/008/140106launch/#.Usvh-vuaZMg

And a nice video of the launch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnSNRzMEmCU

(go to 39:00 if you just want to see the launch). Clear skies to you.


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gmartin02
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: David Knisely]
      #6304947 - 01/10/14 08:21 PM

Go SpaceX! Elon, you rock(et)!

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llanitedave
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Reged: 09/26/05

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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: gmartin02]
      #6475491 - 04/19/14 01:06 PM

I don't usually like to resurrect old threads, but this one is worth it. The latest Falcon 9 CRS-3 mission to the ISS not only got off to a great launch (finally), the first stage actually had a successful soft touchdown with its new landing legs,although rough seas have prevented a recovery so far.
Here's the launch video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65zDaDSvIww

In addition, its new test vehicle, F9R, the follow-on to its original "Grasshopper" vehicle has successfully made its inaugural flight from McGregor, Tx. This one uses the production landing legs.

Great video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UjWqQPWmsY

Here's to a lot of flights, and a new paradigm for space flight!


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herrointment
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: llanitedave]
      #6476227 - 04/19/14 08:19 PM

The Falcon Heavy with 27 engines.........you'd like some of those back after the job is done, no?

27 engines. That's a lot. One can (can one) assume manufacture and control have vastly improved from the days of the N-1.


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maugi88
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Reged: 08/25/13

Loc: SE MN
Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: herrointment]
      #6476243 - 04/19/14 08:28 PM

Why don't they let the capsules land on land like the Russians? Much easier to get them.

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llanitedave
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: maugi88]
      #6476616 - 04/20/14 12:39 AM

Quote:

Why don't they let the capsules land on land like the Russians? Much easier to get them.




That's their plan. They've still got a bit of development to do before they get there -- plus they'll need FAA approval.


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StarWars
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: llanitedave]
      #6480312 - 04/22/14 12:19 AM



SPACE seX ....


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Qwickdraw
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: StarWars]
      #6480607 - 04/22/14 06:38 AM

I was out observing at a dark sky preserve Saturday night and we saw the ISS come from thee horizon and travel directly overhead. About 3 degrees behind it was the Dragon playing catch up. I have seen the ISS many times but this was a real treat to see.

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David Knisely
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: herrointment]
      #6481813 - 04/22/14 06:36 PM

Quote:

The Falcon Heavy with 27 engines.........you'd like some of those back after the job is done, no?

27 engines. That's a lot. One can (can one) assume manufacture and control have vastly improved from the days of the N-1.




Yea, it's a lot, but there is still at least a little talk from SpaceX about the potential for them working on a larger engine (the "Raptor", with over 660,000 lbs thrust) that uses Methane rather than RP-1 for fuel. I guess wanting more might be a good thing here. Clear skies to you.


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llanitedave
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Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: David Knisely]
      #6482361 - 04/22/14 11:51 PM

It's gone beyond talk. SpaceX has acquired facilities at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi for the first testing of components for the Raptor engine, which will be a revolutionary form of staged combustion, with very high efficiency and now up to a million pounds of thrust!

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/03/spacex-advances-drive-mars-rocket-rapt...


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maugi88
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 08/25/13

Loc: SE MN
Re: SpaceX is amazing! new [Re: llanitedave]
      #6483895 - 04/23/14 05:29 PM

Quote:

It's gone beyond talk. SpaceX has acquired facilities at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi for the first testing of components for the Raptor engine, which will be a revolutionary form of staged combustion, with very high efficiency and now up to a million pounds of thrust!

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/03/spacex-advances-drive-mars-rocket-rapt...




Very cool. This is quite exciting. Hope the funding keeps coming.


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