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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #250 on: August 07, 2019, 03:36:34 PM »
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 8/7/19, 1:10 AM
Rocket fairing falling from space (higher res)
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1158968745227780096
At the link:  Excellent video clip of The Catching.

Edit:  here’s a screen cap, in case you can’t get to the video:
« Last Edit: August 07, 2019, 03:50:22 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #251 on: August 07, 2019, 03:42:46 PM »
12 block 5 boosters have been flown a total of 27 times. 2 have been deliberately expended and 2 destroyed in attempted landing/transport after landing.

Stats will change over time. However, on these figures, do we see no real potential for more than 27/2=13.5 flights per booster and it will take some time to get there. On such figures, it hardly seems worth doing a substantial refurbishment if a booster is able to do 10 flights before such refurbishment. If they can't do as many as 10, then more details of refurbishment cost versus construction cost are likely needed than available to make such a decision.

Although they have said they will continue to fly Falcon for “as long as they have customers for it,” it sounds like they expect Starship-SuperHeavy to take over most of the launches in the coming years.
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crandles

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #252 on: August 07, 2019, 04:30:24 PM »

Although they have said they will continue to fly Falcon for “as long as they have customers for it,” it sounds like they expect Starship-SuperHeavy to take over most of the launches in the coming years.

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/08/spacex-retesting-boosters-planning-starship-pad/

Quote
the report noted that SpaceX plans to launch the Starship/Super Heavy up to 24 times per year from LC-39A.
...
“SpaceX plans to increase the Falcon launch frequency to 20 launches per year from LC-39A and up to 50 launches per year from LC-40 by the year 2024,” added the report.

Sounds like quite a lot of launches expected before Starship/Super Heavy might cause Falcon to be retired.  ;)

Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #253 on: August 07, 2019, 06:58:51 PM »
...
Sounds like quite a lot of launches expected before Starship/Super Heavy might cause Falcon to be retired.  ;)

Yes.  My thought was simply that the past estimate of F9 boosters being used “up to 100 times, with major refurbishment” may no longer need to be tested.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #254 on: August 08, 2019, 02:07:03 AM »
Not SpaceX but still very cool: ...

Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 8/6/19, 6:15 PM
[Rocket Lab’s] Electron booster recovery via helicopter video.
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1158864269242445826
90-second video at the link animates their booster recovery plan.  I note they don’t show the (difficult!) booster “flip” maneuver, needed to put the flamey end in front to slow the rocket for reentry.

I love Rocket Lab’s new tech, and humor.  They seem to have found a lucrative niche as a small, innovative rocket company.  A complementary company to SpaceX, not a competitor.  Excellent article:
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 may soon have company as Rocket Lab reveals plans for Electron rocket reuse
Quote
In the world of aerospace, SpaceX is effectively the only private spaceflight company (or entity of any kind) able to launch, land, and reuse orbital-class rockets, although other companies and space agencies have also begun to seriously pursue similar capabilities. Rocket Lab’s announcement certainly brings newfound interest to the private rocket launch community. Reuse of launch vehicle boosters – typically the largest and most expensive portion of any given rocket – is a fundamental multiplier for launch cadence and can theoretically decrease launch costs under the right conditions.

Rocket Lab hopes, more than anything, that recoverability will lead to an increase in their launch frequency and – at a minimum – a doubling of the functional production capacity of the company’s established Electron factory space. This will allow for more innovation and give the company more opportunities to “change the industry and, quite frankly, change the world,” according to founder and CEO Peter Beck.

Unlike like SpaceX’s Falcon 9, propulsive landing is not an option for the small Electron rocket. In fact, cost-effective recovery and reuse of vehicles as small as Electron was believed to be so difficult that Beck long believed (and openly stated) that Rocket Lab would never attempt the feat. Beck claims that in order to land a rocket on its end propulsively – by using engines to slow the booster while it hurdles back to Earth in the way the Falcon 9 booster does – would mean that their small rocket would have to scale up into the medium class of rockets. As Beck stated, “We’re not in the business of building medium-sized launch vehicles. We’re in the business of building small launch vehicles for dedicated customers to get to orbit frequently.”
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-falcon-9-company-rocket-lab-electron-reuse/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #255 on: August 08, 2019, 03:23:44 PM »
SpaceX teases extreme Falcon 9 launch cadence goals in Starship planning doc
Quote
Published as part of an August 2019 environmental assessment (EA) draft for Starship’s prospective Pad 39A launch facilities, SpaceX revealed plans for a truly mindboggling number of annual Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launches by 2024.

As environmental planning documents, the figures should be taken with a large grain of salt and be treated as near-absolute ceilings rather than practical goals. Nevertheless, SpaceX revealed plans for its two Florida launch sites (LC-40 and LC-39A) to ultimately support as many as 70 annual launches of Falcon 9 and Heavy by 2024, less than five years from now.

Simply put, even the most dogmatic fan would have to balk at least a little bit at the numbers SpaceX suggested in its Starship EA draft. More specifically, SpaceX apparently has plans to support as many as 20 annual Falcon 9/Heavy launches from Pad 39A and an incredible 50 annual Falcon 9 launches from LC-40 as early as 2024.

“SpaceX plans to increase the Falcon launch frequency to 20 launches per year from LC-39A and up to 50 launches per year from LC-40 by the year 2024. However, as Starship/Super Heavy launches gradually increase to 24 launches per year, the number of launches of the Falcon would decrease.“
–SpaceX, Starship Environmental Assessment Draft, August 2019
...
Additionally, it can be almost unequivocally assumed that all but 15-20 of those supposed 70 annual launches would come from SpaceX’s own internal demand for Starlink launch capacity. Assuming no improvements between now and 2024, 50 Falcon 9 launches could place as many as 3000 Starlink satellites in orbit in a single year, equivalent to more than 25% of the entire proposed ~11,800-satellite constellation.
...
Ultimately, it’s unwise to draw any substantial conclusions from an Environmental Assessment like the one the above information has been taken from. This 39A-specific EA also ignores the possibility of a similar launch facility being developed in Boca Chica, Texas, which SpaceX explicitly acknowledges. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-falcon-9-extreme-launch-cadence-goals/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #256 on: August 08, 2019, 08:56:36 PM »
Boca Chica scheduled road closures have been cancelled except for August 9!

——-
SpaceX Starship: Elon Musk’s Plan to Fly Around the Moon Is Taking Shape
The stainless steel juggernaut is set to fly soon.
August 8, 2019
Quote
Slowly but surely, Elon Musk’s plan to send a human around the moon is taking shape. New details shared on Wednesday explain how his firm SpaceX plans to use its existing test rocket to build the first iteration of its moon-bound vehicle, painting a picture of how the next few years may look.

SpaceX is currently working on the Starship, a towering beast of a vehicle expected to measure around 348 feet when fully complete. This machine will be used to send Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa around the moon with six to eight artists, as part of a “Dear Moon” project that will encourage the participants to produce works around their experiences.

Videos and images suggest SpaceX is working overtime to complete tests at its Boca Chica launch facility in Texas. The “Starhopper,” a miniaturized version of the full vehicle, last month completed its first untethered hop test of a few meters, demonstrating the potential viability of both the planned full-size Starship and the groundbreaking Raptor engine set to fuel its journey.

“Hopper is set to be retired after the 200 meter hop,” Chris Bergin, editor at NASASpaceFlight, explained in a forum post Wednesday. “As a result it won’t be moved back from the LZ [landing zone] - it’ll be cannibalized for parts - as the pad will be prepared for Starship MkI. And that’s where it gets really exciting.”
...
https://www.inverse.com/amp/article/58404-spacex-starship-elon-musk-s-plan-to-fly-around-the-moon-is-taking-shape
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #257 on: August 09, 2019, 01:38:14 PM »
:o  Replying to the “teases” article above, Musk tweeted:

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 8/8/19, 9:02 PM
@Teslarati Wouldn’t read too much into this. Likely to be fewer F9/FH flights, but possibly an order of magnitude more than these numbers in Starship flights.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1159630890026188800
   
< Elon, when will Starship Hopper's 200m test be?!
< Will it be tomorrow Aug 9 or Aug 19 the dates of road closures on the website are so far apart. Please let us know!
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 8/8/19, 9:05 PM:  No sooner than a week. Working approvals with FAA.
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DrTskoul

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #258 on: August 09, 2019, 01:42:43 PM »
If SpaceX were environmentally conscious,  the would be burning H2 not kerosene.

Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #259 on: August 10, 2019, 01:03:52 AM »
If SpaceX were environmentally conscious,  the would be burning H2 not kerosene.

Hydrogen is less dense than RP-1 or methane, requiring a bigger tank, making the rocket bigger which means more fuel / less payload / more rockets to do the same job.  Hydrogen’s boiling point of 20°K is crazy hard to maintain, and it causes liquid oxygen to freeze.  It’s more expensive to manufacture.  And adding water to the upper atmosphere has adverse consequences of its own.  Reusing rockets saves GHG — probably more than making and transporting multiple rockets that use H2 and are expended.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #260 on: August 10, 2019, 01:19:27 AM »
Mary (@BocaChicaGal) 8/9/19, 6:13 PM
The new dates for SpaceX testing and beach/road closures are now on the Cameron County website. Hopefully we will see StarHopper's 200 meter hop on August 16th.
https://twitter.com/bocachicagal/status/1159950843074027525
Aug 16 (17, 18) 2pm to 12am

Edit:
< Starhopper 200m on Aug 16-18? ;)
https://twitter.com/bluemoondance74/status/1159968923300900866
Elon Musk:  Just spoke with FAA, so hopefully yes


====
SpaceXFleet Updates (@SpaceXFleet) 8/9/19, 6:50 PM
INTRODUCING....! GO Ms. Chief !!
[Ms]. Tree's sister ship has been renamed from Capt. Elliot to GO Ms. Chief and is en-route to Port Canaveral to join the SpaceX Fleet!
She will arrive at midnight tonight.
So.. @elonmusk... is this your plan for catching both fairing halves?
https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1159960168320372737
Photos at the link.

< is Go Ms. Chief the sister to Go Ms. Tree? gonna get both halves soon?
Elon Musk:  Yup
Everyday Astronaut (@Erdayastronaut)
I can’t wait to see a booster come into port with two boats carrying two fairings someday. Oh man, wait until there’s a Falcon Heavy where everything but the upper stage is recovered and reused :o  that’ll be incredible!
Elon Musk:  For sure
« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 01:30:08 AM by Sigmetnow »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #261 on: August 11, 2019, 09:44:47 PM »
SpaceX’s first Crew Dragon NASA astronauts suit up for spacesuit-focused launch rehearsal
Quote
The suits are also designed to allow for easy maneuverability and a seamless user experience within the Dragon capsule. The attached gloves of the suit use conductive leather to allow the astronauts to interact with the Crew Dragon’s primary controls, a set of large touchscreens. Apple iPads will additionally be mounted directly on the thighs of the astronauts to serve as an even more convenient (and redundant) method of interfacing with Dragon’s controls, among other things. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-crew-dragon-nasa-astronauts-spacesuit-rehearsal/
Image below: NASA Commercial Crew astronaut Suni Williams tests SpaceX’s Crew Dragon display controls in April 2018. (NASA/SpaceX)
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vox_mundi

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #262 on: August 12, 2019, 03:30:11 PM »
Quote
....  The attached gloves of the suit use conductive leather to allow the astronauts to interact with the Crew Dragon’s primary controls, a set of large touchscreens. Apple iPads will additionally be mounted directly on the thighs of the astronauts to serve as an even more convenient (and redundant) method of interfacing with Dragon’s controls, among other things... (both touchscreens)

Just an observation from the 'lessons-learned' department ...

Navy Reverting DDGs Back to Physical Throttles, After Fleet Rejects Touchscreen Controls
https://news.usni.org/2019/08/09/navy-reverting-ddgs-back-to-physical-throttles-after-fleet-rejects-touchscreen-controls

SAN DIEGO – The Navy will begin reverting destroyers back to a physical throttle and traditional helm control system in the next 18 to 24 months, after the fleet overwhelmingly said they prefer mechanical controls to touchscreen systems in the aftermath of the fatal USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) collision.

The investigation into the collision showed that a touchscreen system that was complex and that sailors had been poorly trained to use contributed to a loss of control of the ship just before it crossed paths with a merchant ship in the Singapore Strait

“When we started getting the feedback from the fleet from the Comprehensive Review effort ... it was really eye-opening. And it goes into the, in my mind, ‘just because you can doesn’t mean you should’ category. We really made the helm control system, specifically on the [DDG] 51 class, just overly complex, with the touch screens under glass and all this kind of stuff,” Galinis said during a keynote speech at the American Society of Naval Engineers’ annual Fleet Maintenance and Modernization Symposium.

... As a result of innovation and a desire to incorporate new technology, “we got away from the physical throttles, and that was probably the number-one feedback from the fleet – they said, just give us the throttles that we can use.”

---------------------

... or we can wait for a post-crash investigation to make the same recommendation.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 04:05:31 PM by vox_mundi »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #263 on: August 12, 2019, 05:30:59 PM »
Quote
...
We really made the helm control system, specifically on the [DDG] 51 class, just overly complex, with the touch screens under glass and all this kind of stuff,” ...

... As a result of innovation and a desire to incorporate new technology, “we got away from the physical throttles, and that was probably the number-one feedback from the fleet – they said, just give us the throttles that we can use.”

The astronauts who will use Dragon have been involved with its design from early on, and understand the workings intimately, so “complexity” should not be a problem.  It was also at their suggestion that SpaceX added certain “manual” controls, in addition to all the automated ones, because astronauts wanted backup switches for crucial systems in case everything went dark.

One downside to physical controls is that they can be bumped accidentally, and this is all the more likely in a tiny space capsule when one is in weightlessness or pulling multiple G’s in various directions, and wearing a bulky spacesuit and things might be floating around.  (Although SpaceX suits look positively slimming, compared to others. ;) )  Of course, another benefit is that touchscreen controls can be updated easily for new functions — or a new layout, if they find that “buttons” should be bigger or would be better in a different location on the screen.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 05:36:13 PM by Sigmetnow »
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vox_mundi

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #264 on: August 12, 2019, 05:41:08 PM »
Upgrades! ...  :)

“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #265 on: August 12, 2019, 06:04:24 PM »
Upgrades! ...  :)


 ;D  But watch the inertial dampeners on the starboard nacelle....

I meant to add, above, that Col. Bob Behnken and Col. Doug Hurley are former flight engineers/ test pilots, as are most of the NASA pilots.  They’ve both piloted the Space Shuttle.
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TerryM

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #266 on: August 12, 2019, 07:06:33 PM »
Ouch!


Redundancy is something I'm generally in favor of, redundancy in controls I'm generally against.


If one control says "increase Speed" while the other says "decrease speed" what is the vehicle to do.


If one control says "fire starboard thrusters" while the other says "fire port thrusters" what happens next?


Think of the problems Boeing is facing today.
One set of controls responds to the helm while another set of controls over-rides the helm and the airplane ends up falling from the sky. The lawsuits are adding up. The planes are still grounded. Customers are cancelling their orders.
It was all in an attempt to save money.


Another quibble.
With Tesla Musk installed non automotive grade screens which turn yellow over time - a cost saving move that is costing the company both in repair/replace costs and in terms of customer satisfaction.
With Spacex Musk is installing I-Phones as redundant controls. I-Phones are not rocket grade components. While cheap to incorporate in the design, their internal components are not designed for, nor have they been vetted for operations in space.
If they should act up it could be much more serious than a yellow band around the screen.


Spacex's greatest claim to fame is that they are cheap.
Going cheap with manned spacecraft may prove to be a flawed philosophy.
Going cheap on controls may prove very costly error.


Not a cheap shot - the risks are real
Terry


Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #267 on: August 13, 2019, 12:16:24 AM »
A)  it’s iPads, not iPhones.
B) iPads have been used on the International Space Station for years.  They went through a two-year cetification process. And I doubt they are cheap, nor off-the-shelf models.

https://space.stackexchange.com/questions/21493/how-do-ipads-on-the-iss-know-which-way-is-up-for-their-users
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 12:28:39 AM by Sigmetnow »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #268 on: August 13, 2019, 12:21:01 AM »
Comparing Orion capsule control panel (top) to Dragon capsule control panel (bottom). 
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TerryM

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #269 on: August 13, 2019, 04:55:46 AM »
A)  it’s iPads, not iPhones.
B) iPads have been used on the International Space Station for years.  They went through a two-year cetification process. And I doubt they are cheap, nor off-the-shelf models.

https://space.stackexchange.com/questions/21493/how-do-ipads-on-the-iss-know-which-way-is-up-for-their-users
My Bad
You wrote IPad, I read IPhone.


Are they part of the control system of the ISS?
I had no idea that an Apple product could stand the vibration, the G-forces or the radiation.


Are they still manufactured in China?
Come to think of it the ISS is an International Space Station, I'd assume it has plenty of Russian and Chinese manufactured components. (Trump probably isn't too pleased with that)


Anyway it's the IPhone I've an issue with - not the other Apple products. :)
Terry

Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #270 on: August 13, 2019, 03:59:36 PM »
Many different laptop computers have been used aboard the ISS.  They are mainly used in conjunction with the experiments the astronauts work on.

https://www.techrepublic.com/pictures/photos-from-the-thinkpad-to-the-ipad-the-tech-used-on-the-iss/11/

Tablets are handy to replace the traditional bound paper instructions and checklists.  It would make sense for NASA to upload new data for the astronauts to them, as well.  I don’t know the extent of the control, if any, the tablets may have over pure station functions — but NASA has to sign off on anything SpaceX does with the Dragon, so they must have already tested and approved such use.

By the way, NASA has approved an iPhone or two for use in the ISS, as well. ;)
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 04:06:06 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #271 on: August 13, 2019, 04:21:15 PM »
SpaceX adds new ship to fleet after fairing catcher Ms. Tree nails second recovery in a row
Quote
In a telltale sign that SpaceX is growing much more confident in its ability to consistently recover Falcon 9 fairings, the company has accepted delivery of second recovery ship almost identical to GO Ms. Tree (formerly Mr. Steven) just days after nailing its second fairing catch in a row.

Previously known as M/V Captain Elliott, the new ship appears to have been acquired by Guice Offshore (GO) from struggling marine services company Seatran Marine just like Mr. Steven, likely also leaning on some sort of financial arrangement with SpaceX. Regardless, the spaceflight company now has a pair of Port Canaveral-based fairing recovery ships in hand – named Ms. Tree and Ms. Chief – and is thus making excellent progress towards catching and reusing both halves of the same Falcon 9 (or Heavy) fairing. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-ms-tree-catch-second-fairing-recovery-ship/

——
Edit:  Best job description ever!
Job Application for Fairing Recovery Engineer at SpaceX
Quote
Fairing Recovery Engineer
Cape Canaveral, FL, United States
SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not. Today SpaceX is actively developing the technologies to make this possible, with the ultimate goal of enabling human life on Mars.
RECOVERY ENGINEER (FAIRING)
Have you ever wanted to catch something falling out of the sky ... with a net ... on a boat ... that's moving? Well, this is your chance to take on one of the most unique engineering challenges SpaceX is currently tackling. ...
https://boards.greenhouse.io/spacex/jobs/4376270002?gh_jid=4376270002

H/t  https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1161339555422855168

——-
Below:  Ms. Chief (right) is likely about to become an almost identical twin to fairing recovery vessel Ms. Tree (formerly Mr. Steven). (SpaceX, Gulf Craft, LLC)
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 08:37:51 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #272 on: August 18, 2019, 10:01:33 PM »
At the first link:  Cool 30-second time lapse of SpaceX autonomous drone ship Just Read The Instructions being pushed down the Panama Canal lock by tug Alice C, who is bringing her from the west coast to join the fleet in Florida.  SpaceX currently does not have any launches scheduled at Vandenburg, California until late next year, but missions from Florida are expected to increase, and it can take days for a drone ship that catches a booster to make the trip back to shore, so having an additional ship in FL will be handy.

Quote
SpaceXFleet Updates (@SpaceXFleet)8/18/19, 9:10 AM
Just Read the Instructions has entered the Miraflores locks, as she leaves the Pacific Ocean after 4 years of service out of Los Angeles.
The droneship wing extensions have been detached so it can fit through the Panama Canal locks

Oswaldo Sira (@Oswaldo_S28) 8/18/19, 10:29 AM
@SpaceXFleet 3min ago
https://twitter.com/oswaldo_s28/status/1163095469289066496
30sec time lapse at the link, of JRTI entering view and moving on down the lock.

Quote
SpaceXFleet Updates (@SpaceXFleet) 8/18/19, 9:10 AM
...
Many thanks to @Oswaldo_S28 for the photo!
https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1163075611713331200
Photo below.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #273 on: August 23, 2019, 09:50:31 PM »
• Falcon 9 production has slowed, due to SpaceX’s stable of the reusable rocket being sufficient for upcoming missions.
• iSpace has chosen a SpaceX Falcon 9 to boost its spacecraft to a moon landing, perhaps in 2021, with follow-up missions thereafter.

SpaceX Falcon 9 booster spotted in Southern California on journey to Florida
Quote
Rocket fleet logistics
This apparent slowdown in production can be relatively easily explained by the nature of SpaceX’s fleet of boosters, as well as the company’s growing confidence in the extreme reusability nominally permitted by Falcon 9’s Block 5 upgrade. Just a few days ago, SpaceX Vice President of Build and Flight Reliability Hans Koenigsmann reiterated the belief that Falcon 9 Block 5 boosters will be more than capable of safely performing 10 or more launches apiece.

At the moment, SpaceX’s fleet of flightworthy Block 5 boosters is seven strong, composed of B1046.3, B1048.3, B1049.3, B1051.2, B1052.2, B1053.2, B1056.2. Altogether, they have supported a full 17 launches in 15 months, averaging 2.4 launches apiece with a maximum of three launches achieved by three separate boosters. Under the extremely conservative assumption that 60-90 days are needed for post-flight inspections and refurbishment, anywhere from 2-6 of those boosters are already ready for their next launches.

In simple terms, it appears that even a fleet as small as seven Falcon 9 Block 5 boosters may be capable of supporting a vast majority of SpaceX’s commercial launch contracts, while even NASA has come to support launching uncrewed Cargo Dragon missions on flight-proven boosters. In fact, Koenigsmann revealed that a number of customers had nearly come a full 180 degrees in the less than three years that SpaceX has been reflying boosters. Many now actively prefer a flight-proven booster and have come to view them as a more known quantity relative to unproven (i.e. new) hardware.

Aside from a handful of customers – primarily the US military – that explicitly demand new hardware, the rare need for entirely expendable Falcon 9 launches, and the equally rare loss of boosters during unsuccessful landings, SpaceX just doesn’t need nearly as high of a Falcon 9 or Heavy booster production rate to support the same (or even greater) launch cadences.

SpaceX completed its first Starlink launch on May 23rd, flying B1049 for the third time. SpaceX’s next Starlink launch will very likely mark the first time a booster has flown four orbital-class missions.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-falcon-9-booster-spotted-california-eastbound/

SpaceX customer iSpace updates Falcon 9-launched Moon lander, rover plans
Quote
… iSpace previously planned to perform a demonstration launch in 2020, in which a simplified lander would be used to orbit the Moon but not land. In the last year or so, the company has decided to entirely forgo that orbital test flight and instead plans to attempt a Moon landing on its first orbital flight, scheduled to launch on Falcon 9 no earlier than (NET) 2021. If successful, this inaugural landing would be followed as few as two years later (2023) by a lander and a lunar rover. Assuming a successful second landing, iSpace would move to ramp its production rates, launch cadence, and general ambitions, prospecting all over the Moon in 5-10+ separate lander missions.
...
iSpace is particularly interested in exploring the Moon’s caverns, lava tubes, sinkholes, and skylights, all shielded from sunlight and thus prime locations for water ice.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-customer-ispace-falcon-9-moon-lander-rover/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #274 on: August 28, 2019, 12:53:15 AM »
Woot!  SpaceX’s stainless steel “Starhopper” test vehicle for its all-new-design, more powerful Raptor engine, just completed its ultimate “hop” flight.  This paves the way for the Mk1 & 2 Starship prototypes to begin their own tests in weeks.

Here are the essentials:
SpaceX Starhopper Rocket Prototype Aces Highest (and Final) Test Flight
https://www.space.com/spacex-starhopper-aces-final-test-launch-landing.html

Drier reading, but more details:
SpaceX's Starhopper completes 150 meter test hop
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/08/faa-spacexs-starhopper-hop/

You will believe a water tower can fly!  :o ;D

« Last Edit: August 28, 2019, 01:07:04 AM by Sigmetnow »
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TerryM

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #275 on: August 28, 2019, 01:02:50 AM »
Damn shame it blew over and lost it's original snout. Pretty impressive before the accident.
Terry

Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #276 on: August 28, 2019, 01:10:21 AM »
Ugly rockets succeed on their own merits.


Details on the scrub yesterday, due to all-new igniters that will make the Raptor engine reusable, even on Mars:

SpaceX scrubs Starhopper’s final Raptor-powered flight as Elon Musk talks “finicky” igniters
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-scrubs-final-starhopper-flight-test-elon-musk/
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Rob Dekker

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #277 on: August 28, 2019, 08:32:35 AM »
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-hopper-cautious-testing/

...while Starhopper appears to be far too heavy and simplistic to warrant the expensive and time-consuming task of outfitting it with aerodynamic control surfaces and a new nose cone capable of surviving the associated forces.

(Old nose cone broke in a 50 mph wind. LMFAO)


Anyone interested in a side wager about whether the tin-foil-half-of-a-self-crushed-rocket will ever fly? I think it should be obvious which side of the bet I'm take.

(This is on topic, cuz Musk has a proven record of using one company to bail out another company and I can't imagine he would let Tesla go bust without raiding SpaceX first. Thus they will all be imploding at the same time.)

That "the tin-foil-half-of-a-self-crushed-rocket" just flew...
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charles_oil

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #278 on: August 28, 2019, 12:29:20 PM »
Link for watching the somewhat bizarre final flight of the Starhopper.... 


https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starhopper-flawless-final-flight-second-try/

Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #279 on: August 28, 2019, 04:01:09 PM »
...
That "the tin-foil-half-of-a-self-crushed-rocket" just flew...

Just for perspective, the stainless steel Starhopper weighs 100 tons or so. One Raptor engine carried it smoothly up to 150 meters, doing a bit of a roll just for fun, and landed it softly on the landing pad.

A methane powered, full flow staged combustion cycle Raptor engine, the likes of which has never been flown before on planet earth.

And the Superheavy will have 35 of those engines on it.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #280 on: August 28, 2019, 05:08:06 PM »
Making spacecraft reusable! 

SpaceX (@SpaceX) 8/28/19, 11:04 AM
First Dragon to complete three missions to and from the @Space_Station
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1166728381611876352
Image below:  note the two ISS stamps, signifying this capsule’s previous two flights. (The stamp on the right is for NASA’s celebration of 50 years since the first Apollo moon landing.)
« Last Edit: August 28, 2019, 06:21:32 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #281 on: August 29, 2019, 02:12:16 AM »
No rest for the successful!  New building going up at Boca Chica.  Musk teases a “next generation” Starship of 18m, vs. 9m diameter of Starhopper and Starship Mk1.  Update presentation planned for Sept 28.  Starship flight of 20km in October, followed by an orbital attempt!

Quote
Maria Pointer (@BocachicaMaria1) 8/28/19, 1:43 AM
Grass doesn't grow under BocaChica's SpaceX crew. Before dust had settle from historical 150 meter hop test, this new building start up. ...
Congratulations SpaceX.
https://twitter.com/bocachicamaria1/status/1166587170582409216
Image below; another at the link.

Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 8/28/19, 5:21 PM
[Starhopper] Core body diameter is 9m/30ft
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1166823213021782017
Probably 18m for next gen system
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1166856662336102401

< When will the first Starship Mk1 test flight be?
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 8/28/19, 7:48 PM
 Aiming for 20km flight in Oct & orbit attempt shortly thereafter. Starship update will be on Sept 28th, anniversary of SpaceX reaching orbit. Starship Mk 1 will be fully assembled by that time.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1166860032052539392
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #282 on: August 29, 2019, 03:46:28 AM »
Just a few weeks ago, SpaceX announced polar, sun-synchronous (SSO) ride-sharing flights, to be offered annually, for as low as $2.25 million for 150kg.
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2582.msg219424.html#msg219424

Today, they have updated that program to have monthly flights, starting at $1 million, for up to 200kg, and going to mid-inclination orbits as well as SSO.  It all starts in March 2020.

https://www.spacex.com/smallsat

H/t for top image:  https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1166875550448852993
« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 03:54:48 AM by Sigmetnow »
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TerryM

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #283 on: August 29, 2019, 04:38:36 AM »
Sig
Are you familiar with the DC X from the mid 1990's?

Could this be why Elon appended an X to the end of his company's name?
Apparently they were developed at a fraction of Starhoppers development costs, and the test flights & controlled upright landings were successful. NASA had other plans for the future.
They were of course reusable.


Rob Dekker

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #284 on: August 29, 2019, 09:08:45 AM »
Starhopper aces test, sets up full-scale prototype flights this year

https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/08/starhopper-aces-test-sets-up-full-scale-prototype-flights-this-year/

Quote
The timing may have been coincidental—but about one hour after SpaceX tested its Starhopper vehicle, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center tweeted three photos of a replica of its Space Launch System rocket being loaded into a test stand at Mississippi's Stennis Space Center.

"Technicians are lifting and installing a replica of the @NASA_SLS core stage in preparation for the SLS Green Run test," the Alabama-based NASA center tweeted. Marshall manages development of the SLS rocket.

NASA has spent about $230 million to renovate and modify the B-2 test stand for this Green Run test-firing of the SLS rocket's core stage. The rocket itself has been under development since 2011, at a cost of about $14 billion and counting. The first test-firing of the rocket may occur next year at Stennis.

Yes. That is BILLION.

Meanwhile :

By contrast, the SpaceX Starship program has been moving rapidly. Construction of the Starhopper test vehicle—affectionately nicknamed the "Flying Water Tower" because of its appearance—only began in mid-December 2018. Engine tests began a few months later, with the first 20m flight test in July, followed by Tuesday evening's 150m hop.

SpaceX has now learned what it could from Starhopper, and it will proceed with full-size, suborbital prototypes for Starship that could make test flights later this year. The actual Starship vehicle, which will launch from Earth as the second stage of the under-development Super Heavy rocket, may take flight some time in 2020 or later, depending on prototype testing.
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Hefaistos

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #285 on: August 29, 2019, 01:14:15 PM »
...
That "the tin-foil-half-of-a-self-crushed-rocket" just flew...

Just for perspective, the stainless steel Starhopper weighs 100 tons or so. One Raptor engine carried it smoothly up to 150 meters, doing a bit of a roll just for fun, and landed it softly on the landing pad.

A methane powered, full flow staged combustion cycle Raptor engine, the likes of which has never been flown before on planet earth.

And the Superheavy will have 35 of those engines on it.

Superheavy with 35 engines will be like an LNG tanker in space.

crandles

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #286 on: August 29, 2019, 02:51:31 PM »
Starship
Launch mass 1,335,000 kg (2,943,000 lb)
Dry mass 85,000 kg
Diameter 9m

DC X
Empty mass   9,100 kilograms (20,100 lb)
Gross mass   18,900 kilograms (41,700 lb)
Diameter   4.1 metres (13 ft)

Haven't got any figures for starhopper except 9m diameter, but clearly larger than DC X.

I think control for vertical landing is more difficult with smaller craft - try balancing a pencil vs a broom on your finger.

Yes developed before by McDonnell Douglas and with more difficult size than falcon9. NASA took it over and closed it down without use, Musk developed business that does more orbital launches than anyone else.

Why isn't this reason for praising Musk and McDonnell Douglas while booing NASA?

cognitivebias2

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #287 on: August 29, 2019, 03:57:03 PM »
Starship
Launch mass 1,335,000 kg (2,943,000 lb)
Dry mass 85,000 kg
Diameter 9m

DC X
Empty mass   9,100 kilograms (20,100 lb)
Gross mass   18,900 kilograms (41,700 lb)
Diameter   4.1 metres (13 ft)

Haven't got any figures for starhopper except 9m diameter, but clearly larger than DC X.

I think control for vertical landing is more difficult with smaller craft - try balancing a pencil vs a broom on your finger.

Yes developed before by McDonnell Douglas and with more difficult size than falcon9. NASA took it over and closed it down without use, Musk developed business that does more orbital launches than anyone else.

Why isn't this reason for praising Musk and McDonnell Douglas while booing NASA?

The pencil has very small rotational inertia compared to the broom.  Your finger (reaction time and fine-grained control) is better aligned to the mechanics required to balance the broom.  This does not correlate to the control systems on the 2 rockets.  At some point additional rotational inertia just requires more power from the control thrusters.  Both achieve relatively the same thing.

DC-X was 'just' a suborbital prototype, but it was a valid demonstration. 

crandles

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #288 on: August 29, 2019, 04:07:27 PM »
Elon-time can be accurate:

http://shitelonsays.com/transcript/elon-musk-at-mits-aeroastro-centennial-part-2-of-6-2014-10-24

24 Oct 2014:

Quote
So, not merely to low Earth orbit but all the way to Mars and back, with full reusability. [Within 3 years?] Ha. I am an optimistic person, but - I think we could expect to see some test flights in the five or six year time frame. But, we're talking about a much bigger vehicle, and we're also going to be upgrading to a new generation - a harder engine cycle, which is a full-flow staged combustion.


Achieved within 5 years when Elon estimate was 5 or 6 years.

Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #289 on: August 29, 2019, 05:07:45 PM »
Sig
Are you familiar with the DC X from the mid 1990's?

Could this be why Elon appended an X to the end of his company's name?
Apparently they were developed at a fraction of Starhoppers development costs, and the test flights & controlled upright landings were successful. NASA had other plans for the future.
They were of course reusable.
...

“SpaceX” is short for Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the company’s full legal name. It was known as SpaceX for years before Starhopper was in development.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #290 on: August 29, 2019, 05:23:24 PM »
More discussion of “Super Duper Starship” ;) and recent Elon Starship tweets here on Reddit:   
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/cwsz8u/elon_musk_on_twitter_aiming_for_20km_flight_in/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #291 on: August 29, 2019, 05:38:34 PM »
Starship
Launch mass 1,335,000 kg (2,943,000 lb)
Dry mass 85,000 kg
Diameter 9m

DC X
Empty mass   9,100 kilograms (20,100 lb)
Gross mass   18,900 kilograms (41,700 lb)
Diameter   4.1 metres (13 ft)

Haven't got any figures for starhopper except 9m diameter, but clearly larger than DC X.

I think control for vertical landing is more difficult with smaller craft - try balancing a pencil vs a broom on your finger.

Yes developed before by McDonnell Douglas and with more difficult size than falcon9. NASA took it over and closed it down without use, Musk developed business that does more orbital launches than anyone else.

Why isn't this reason for praising Musk and McDonnell Douglas while booing NASA?

The pencil has very small rotational inertia compared to the broom.  Your finger (reaction time and fine-grained control) is better aligned to the mechanics required to balance the broom.  This does not correlate to the control systems on the 2 rockets.  At some point additional rotational inertia just requires more power from the control thrusters.  Both achieve relatively the same thing.

DC-X was 'just' a suborbital prototype, but it was a valid demonstration.

Here’s something from a Reddit SpaceX thread, where untrue things tend to get knocked down pretty quickly (and this has not):
Quote
... Only two of the COPV's on top are connected to the RCS thrusters the other two we don't know what they store nor what they are connected two...Anyways, the RCS thrusters are used for roll control as the Raptor engine can already provide pitch and yaw control but with just a single engine and being closed cycle it can't perform roll control so they installed RCS thrusters to help that.
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/cwnq0j/slow_motion_4k_starhopper_150m_hop_and_copv/
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crandles

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #292 on: August 29, 2019, 07:40:23 PM »

The pencil has very small rotational inertia compared to the broom.  Your finger (reaction time and fine-grained control) is better aligned to the mechanics required to balance the broom.  This does not correlate to the control systems on the 2 rockets.  At some point additional rotational inertia just requires more power from the control thrusters.  Both achieve relatively the same thing.

DC-X was 'just' a suborbital prototype, but it was a valid demonstration.

Not really sure why you claim "This does not correlate to the control systems on the 2 rockets".

https://www.inverse.com/article/10547-jeff-bezos-blue-origin-rocket-landing-shows-a-company-brimming-with-confidence

Quote
Bezos sheds some light in his Friday night statement about why vertical landings are only going to get easier for Blue Origin and thereby, make space travel a little more real for the rest of us: “[T]he vertical landing architecture scales extraordinarily well. When you do a vertical landing, you’re solving the classic inverted pendulum problem, and the inverted pendulum problem gets a bit easier as the pendulum gets a bit bigger. Try balancing a pencil on the tip of your finger. Now try it with a broomstick. The broomstick is simpler because its greater moment of inertia makes it easier to balance.”

So Jeff Bezos appears to believe it has relevance.

crandles

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #293 on: August 29, 2019, 07:52:14 PM »

“SpaceX” is short for Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the company’s full legal name. It was known as SpaceX for years before Starhopper was in development.

I know about the name being Space Exploration Technologies Corp. However, there also seems some affinity between Musk and the letter X. E.g. "X.com was an online bank founded by Elon Musk in November 1999 that later merged with Confinity and was renamed to PayPal". Although this was after DC X, I tend to doubt this name was related to DC X but no real information on this other than Musk being focused on internet payments not space or electric vehicles or boring... at that time.

Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #294 on: August 30, 2019, 02:02:30 PM »

“SpaceX” is short for Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the company’s full legal name. It was known as SpaceX for years before Starhopper was in development.

I know about the name being Space Exploration Technologies Corp. However, there also seems some affinity between Musk and the letter X. E.g. "X.com was an online bank founded by Elon Musk in November 1999 that later merged with Confinity and was renamed to PayPal". Although this was after DC X, I tend to doubt this name was related to DC X but no real information on this other than Musk being focused on internet payments not space or electric vehicles or boring... at that time.

He still (or, again) owns x.com — programmed the page himself.  ;)  Check it out.

“X” in the name of a new aircraft design has long been used to mean “Experimental.”
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TerryM

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #295 on: August 30, 2019, 04:10:28 PM »
I drove a couple of Fiat/Bertone X-19s for decades. The engine was smaller than a Harley, but peppy. Still one of my favorite rides. :)
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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #296 on: September 07, 2019, 03:05:18 AM »
SpaceX’s Starship, Florida Space Coast make it through Hurricane Dorian unscathed
Quote
With Hurricane Dorian’s central Florida rendezvous essentially over, it’s safe to say that SpaceX’s Starship facilities and Florida’s Space Coast more generally have made it through the threatening storm almost completely unscathed.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-florida-space-coast-hurricane-dorian-aftermath/


——  Local News coverage of the Starship September moving plans!
How SpaceX plans to move Starship from Cocoa site to Kennedy Space Center

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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #297 on: September 10, 2019, 01:39:52 AM »
SpaceX says more Starlink orbits will speed service, reduce launch needs
September 7, 2019
Quote
WASHINGTON — SpaceX is asking federal regulators to allow it to spread out satellites in more rings around the Earth, saying the tweak to its orbital plans could bring coverage to the southern United States in time for next year’s hurricane season.

In a filing to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, SpaceX said it wants to triple the number of orbital planes at 550 kilometers, the altitude where its lowest layer of Ku- and Ka-band Starlink satellites are to operate.

Along with the contiguous 48 U.S. states, SpaceX said the new orbits would also speed service to Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
...
SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell said in May that the company planned three to seven Starlink launches in 2019, depending on lessons learned from the first launch.
SpaceX has since told the FCC it realized it can use a single launch to deploy Starlink satellites in three different orbital planes, rather than placing an entire batch in the same ring around the Earth.
Spacing the satellites 22 to a ring instead of 66 per ring “accelerates the process of deploying satellites covering a wider service area,” SpaceX said.

SpaceX said the adjustments to its plans could bring Starlink broadband service to southern U.S. states by the end of the 2020 hurricane season, and farther out territories by the 2021 hurricane season.
...
SpaceX said using 72 orbital planes for its satellites at 550 kilometers won’t cause a spike in signal interference, or orbital debris risk. The company said it is working with astronomers on making sure Starlink satellites don’t interfere with their research, and at this stage believes the change in orbital planes won’t “have any material impact on this ongoing analysis of reflectivity.”
https://spacenews.com/spacex-says-more-starlink-orbits-will-speed-service-reduce-launch-needs/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #298 on: September 17, 2019, 02:20:16 PM »
SpaceX, Boca Chica, Texas.  Or, Tatooine. ;)

Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 9/17/19, 4:11 AM
Droid Junkyard, Tatooine
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1173872132880662528
First photo below.

Reddit:
Elon Musk on Twitter: Droid Junkyard, Tatooine [Photo Inside Starship Tent] - spacex
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/d5dwve/elon_musk_on_twitter_droid_junkyard_tatooine/
Quote
Roygbiv0415: Once again, the amazement of how the world's most advanced rocket is currently being built somewhere anyone (including the boss) would describe as a "junkyard".
While the scale of investment is still very different, it does remind one of the early days of Aviation, when everyone can have a shot of building something better in their backyard. Hopefully we could one day see this photo in the same way we see the Wright brother's mechanical garage.
Quote
rebootyourbrainstem: The one in Boca Chica (MK1) is a bit wrinklier and has some more visible welds than the one in Florida (MK2), just because it's older and they were still figuring things out. In Florida they also have a whole bunch of ring segments lying around that will probably be used for the first Super Heavy, and those are even nicer (they are made from a single rolled plate of steel, instead of many plates welded into a ring). It's probable that future prototypes will use that kind of ring at least for the non-curving [non-tapering] sections, and possibly for all sections. The welding will also get nicer as they make better jigs for it and automate more of the work.

They might do a bit more polishing, but I think they've done quite a bit of that already. I think this prototype might already look about as good as it's ever going to look. Note that the wrinkles are a lot more apparent when it's reflecting something high-contrast though. If the machinery is moved away from it and you view it from a direction where's there's only sky behind you it looks much nicer.

Second photo (the other part of Starship Mk1) is from the SpaceX Boca Chica facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/SpaceXBocaChica/
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crandles

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #299 on: September 21, 2019, 04:39:48 PM »
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1171431933865127937

Quote
SpaceX: expect to launch 7-8 more times this year. This is first year we’re ready before customers; why some launches slipping into 2020. “Hopefully” flying crew this year.