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Off-topic => The rest => Topic started by: Rob Dekker on February 24, 2019, 10:34:25 AM

Title: SpaceX
Post by: Rob Dekker on February 24, 2019, 10:34:25 AM
This thread created from the "Tesla" thread.

SpaceX does all kind of exciting stuff, so I'm just dropping in my comment as a starter :

At this point, it would be good to note that SpaceX just completed another successful launch, this time of the first Israeli Moon Lander, and a Indonesian communication satellite :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XS0E35aYJcU

Also noteworthy is that with this launch they completed the 34th successful landing and recovery of a Stage-1 booster rocket, and this is the second time that SpaceX re-uses a Stage-1 booster for the THIRD time.

That really shows that they can re-use booster rockets successfully and in doing so reduced the cost for LEO launches below ANY other competitor, and still make money !
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 24, 2019, 02:01:55 PM
NASA completes certification of SpaceX Dragon Crew capsule; sets March 2 launch date for Demo-1 flight to International Space Station; will provide live coverage and updates.

NASA, SpaceX Demo-1 Briefings, Events and Broadcasts
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-spacex-demo-1-briefings-events-and-broadcasts

NASA TV - SpaceX DM-1 [Pre-] Flight Readiness Review Press Conference - YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkOHE-LCT_s

——

SpaceX is building a big ship to go to the moon, then Mars in just a few years.  (As Musk has said, you don’t want to live for months in something the size of an SUV. ;) )
To get there, they needed to design and build a new, more powerful rocket engine.  Behold, the Merlin engine.

SpaceX’s Starship engine breaks Russian rocketry record held for two decades
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-engine-breaks-russian-record-extraordinary-test-series/

Elon Musk on Twitter: Raptor just achieved power level needed for Starship & Super Heavy - spacex
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/ao1lz5/elon_musk_on_twitter_raptor_just_achieved_power/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Archimid on February 27, 2019, 02:37:08 AM
SpaceX Falcon 9 booster (B1048.3) return and recovery operations


https://youtu.be/uc2W0YHVMmk
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Emiriya on February 27, 2019, 11:32:56 AM
Third Lift For A Three-Time Flown Booster - B1048 - 02-24-2019
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNlfXbLiLwE
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Rob Dekker on March 08, 2019, 08:53:16 AM
This is just so AWESOME :

SpaceX Crew Demo-1 Mission.

Launch and successful booster landing :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZL0tbOZYhE

Docking with the International Space station :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPmPUrE5IYI

Astronauts Enter Crew Dragon after Docking

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

Re-entry and splash down :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVEBO6Zuppk

And with that, the first ever commercial mission to launch a vehicle to the ISS, dock with the ISS, and return to planet Earth comes to a close. Eight years after the last US vehicle visited the ISS.

Congrats to SpaceX and NASA for making this happen.

Looking forward to the first manned mission of SpaceX's Crew Dragon Demo-2 to ISS later this year.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Rob Dekker on March 09, 2019, 10:53:17 AM
Crew Dragon looked a bit like a toasted marshmallow, although that was to be expected after reentry at 17,000 mph.

(https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/Mx8Wt6UBjGYu3GwBctqzdV-650-80.jpg)

Important thing is that it made it in one piece and the inside was cool.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 14, 2019, 01:07:34 PM
Looks like NASA will announce next week that it wants SpaceX to launch the Orion uncrewed mission around the moon, rather than NASA’s own SLS rocket, which is facing delays.  (SpaceX could launch several Falcon Heavy rockets more quickly, and at much less cost, than one SLS launch.)
Quote
Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) 3/13/19, 10:25 AM
Big news: NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine says agency will consider launching EM-1 mission of Orion crew capsule around the moon on a private rocket.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1105837253765550081
Bridenstine says NASA wants to keep its commitment to launching the EM-1 mission by June 2020.

Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) 3/13/19, 10:28 AM
NASA would use two rockets: One to launch Orion into low-Earth orbit. One to launch a fully fueled upper stage. They would mate, and then Orion flies its EM-1 mission profile. "NASA has a history of not meeting launch dates, and I'm trying to change that."
Incredible to hear.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1105838101811744768

Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) 3/13/19, 1:14 PM
Have heard that one company recently sent an unsolicited proposal to NASA to launch Orion on its rockets.
Which are built in LA.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1105879804790951937
See also: his other March 13 tweets….

Facing more delays, NASA opens door to launching lunar mission with commercial rockets
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/03/13/facing-fresh-sls-delays-nasa-chief-opens-door-to-launching-orion-lunar-mission-with-commercial-rockets/

Reddit discussion:
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/b0p2iq/erig_berger_on_twitter_have_heard_that_one/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 18, 2019, 02:35:49 PM
Watch a cool, 2-minute time-lapse video of the Crew Dragon maintaining position next to, and docking with, the International Space Station as they orbit the earth at over 17,000 miles per hour:
Quote
Cameron Byers (@Cameron_Byers_) 3/17/19, 6:56 PM
Edited a sped-up video of the DM-1 Dragon 2 docking. Really shows how active the guidance software is while at the 20m hold point. @NASASpaceflight @ChrisG_NSF @elonmusk #spacex #nasa
https://twitter.com/cameron_byers_/status/1107415378043375616

———

• Starship Hopper is preparing for first hop tests as soon as next week
• Their special formulation of stainless steel withstands test orbital entry temperature of 1650 Kelvin (2500ºF/1400ºC)
• SpaceX begins building a full Starship prototype

SpaceX’s first orbital Starship begins assembly as steel heat shield passes tests
Quote
Tests like those shown on March 17th by Musk indicate that SpaceX is indeed deep into the process of extensive and often destructive testing, something the company has proven to be exceptionally good at. It’s unclear if the above test of Starship’s hexagonal heat shield tiles – likely made out of a variant of 300-series stainless steel – involved tiles with active or passive cooling, but Musk suggested that the hot-spots created with spin-forming torches reached temperatures as high as 1650 Kelvin (2500ºF/1400ºC. Unlike the ablative heat shields SpaceX is familiar with building and operating through its Crew and Cargo Dragon spacecraft, a stainless steel heat shield would be expected to almost entirely resist erosion (i.e. ablation) during extremely high-velocity reentries of at least 12-14 km/s (~31,000 mph, Mach 40+).

Meanwhile, Musk also confirmed that SpaceX has decided to skip constructing a replacement nosecone/fairing for Starhopper, a functional Starship prototype that will be used to conduct extremely short hop tests like Falcon 9’s development-era Grasshopper and F9R test articles. Over the last several weeks, SpaceX technicians have been rapidly assembling what was initially assumed to be the replacement fairing Musk had previously suggested would be built. Instead, the duo of stainless steel barrel sections – relying on steel much thinner than the heavy-duty stuff used to build Starhopper – are apparently the beginnings of the first orbital-class Starship prototype, said by Musk to be aiming for flight-readiness as early as June 2019 around two months ago.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-orbital-starship-heat-shield-tests/

Quote
< Do y’all think #SpaceX will attempt some sort of test, With only one raptor [engine] or wait for the other two to arrive. It’s honestly been boggling my mind.
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 3/17/19, 3:37 PM
First (really short) hops with one engine. Suborbital flights with three.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1107365369168056320
< Saw this on Reddit, so the first hops are happening next week? [Image of road closure notice.]
EM: Hopefully. Always many issues integrating engine & stage. First hops will lift off, but only barely.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Neven on March 30, 2019, 10:52:04 PM
From the Tesla thread:

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.)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Rob Dekker on March 31, 2019, 08:54:53 AM
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.

Sure it will fly.
I bet you $100.- it will get off the ground.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: magnamentis on March 31, 2019, 11:58:57 AM
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.

Sure it will fly.
I bet you $100.- it will get off the ground.

i don't know hence won't tell but be aware that even if it get's 1 meter high and explodes one could claim that it got of the ground LOL, hence some kind of definition of "getting of the ground" is definitely needed here.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles on March 31, 2019, 05:04:28 PM
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.

Sure it will fly.
I bet you $100.- it will get off the ground.

i don't know hence won't tell but be aware that even if it get's 1 meter high and explodes one could claim that it got of the ground LOL, hence some kind of definition of "getting of the ground" is definitely needed here.

Also suggest defining 'what will fly':
I doubt the self crushed part will ever fly, unless it was blown by wind upwards before crashing back down so that it already has flown. SpaceX have said they aren't going to bother with it on these scaled down version for the hop tests.

(That seems to raise the question of why they were bothering with it in the first place.)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 31, 2019, 10:01:14 PM
< Will the nosecone be used for the hop test?
Elon Musk: We decided to skip building a new nosecone for Hopper. Don’t need it. What you see being built is the orbital Starship vehicle.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1107373237208416256

SpaceX's Starship hopper steps towards first hop with several cautious tests
Quote
Despite a lack of official information is known and SpaceX’s general silence – even to local residents – about Starhopper’s testing, some barebones insight can be derived from what has and hasn’t been done or seen over the past seven days of testing, as well as five apparent wet dress rehearsals (WDRs). To verify the operational integrity of Starhopper and iron out best practices for what is effectively a one-off mobile test stand for Raptor, these WDRs (and one more active test) have seen the unusual prototype filled with some amount of liquid oxygen and methane propellant, taken to flight (hop?) pressures, and generally monitored closely to gather valuable telemetry and judge Starhopper’s condition and hop-readiness. Aside from Hopper, these tests also serve as a shakedown for complex pad and support facilities sprung up from a dirt pile in barely three months.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-hopper-cautious-testing/

———-
In other news: Falcon Heavy Launch next weekend!  All three boosters to return!  Static fire test probably April 2.

April 7/8Falcon Heavy • Arabsat 6A
Launch window: 2236-0035 GMT on 7th/8th (6:36-8:35 p.m. EDT on 7th)
Launch site: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will launch the Arabsat 6A communications satellite for Arabsat of Saudi Arabia. Arabsat 6A will provide Ku-band and Ka-band communications coverage over the Middle East and North Africa regions, as well as a footprint in South Africa.

From Reddit’s pre-launch party thread:
Quote
   •   First flight of Falcon Heavy Block 5, which brings performance increases and more power.
   •   Most difficult landing to date (of any booster) - center core is landing 1000km from shore and will be experiencing extreme entry conditions
   •   First paying customer on Falcon Heavy - if it goes well, other customers may follow suit and book flights
   •   A successful mission will go towards Air Force certification. If certified, FH may get several big-ticket launches.
   •   There is a lot riding on landing the cores. Falcon Heavy's next mission will be in June, and will reuse all the boosters from this mission. If either booster is lost, the mission will be delayed and the Air Force (customer on next flight) won't be happy.
And also - it's Falcon Heavy! The most powerful rocket in the world!
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/b7nd9a/rspacex_official_falcon_heavy_arabsat6a_prelaunch/

Air Force sees upcoming Falcon Heavy launches as key to certifying reused rockets
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/03/14/air-force-sees-upcoming-falcon-heavy-launches-ask-key-to-certifying-reused-rocket-hardware/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles on April 01, 2019, 12:10:49 AM
Quote
No official info has been provided beyond a brief indication that SpaceX means to static-fire Starhopper before transitioning to tethered hops, meaning that it’s quite difficult to determine what exactly the testing plan and schedule are.

Does tethered also provide an excuse not to pay up on a 'get off the ground' bet?
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Rob Dekker on April 01, 2019, 08:07:48 AM
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.

Sure it will fly.
I bet you $100.- it will get off the ground.

i don't know hence won't tell but be aware that even if it get's 1 meter high and explodes one could claim that it got of the ground LOL, hence some kind of definition of "getting of the ground" is definitely needed here.

OK. Let's be a bit more specific :

I think that SpaceX will successfully launch, fly at some to be determined altitude, and land, StarHopper, and I think they will do it this year.

I bet $100.- that they will pull that off.

Is that an acceptable bet, GoSouthYoungins ?

Neven to be the moderator.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Rob Dekker on April 01, 2019, 08:55:28 AM
< Will the nosecone be used for the hop test?
Elon Musk: We decided to skip building a new nosecone for Hopper. Don’t need it. What you see being built is the orbital Starship vehicle.

That reminds me of the "the Martian" movie, taking off without a nose cone  :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgTBEur9QX8

Just kidding.
What we are talking about is StarHopper, which will be only the propulsion part of StarShip.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 01, 2019, 07:16:31 PM
< Will the nosecone be used for the hop test?
Elon Musk: We decided to skip building a new nosecone for Hopper. Don’t need it. What you see being built is the orbital Starship vehicle.

That reminds me of the "the Martian" movie, taking off without a nose cone  :D
...
Just kidding.
What we are talking about is StarHopper, which will be only the propulsion part of StarShip.

And only for the initial, sub-orbital flights. Testing the new Raptor engines.  Orbital tests of the new stainless steel rocket (different thickness, if not formulation, from the hopper’s steel) will test aerodynamics.

“Past statements from Musk, as well as regulatory filings from the company, have indicated SpaceX plans to carry out an incremental test flight program using this vehicle, with very low altitude tests that, over time, will go higher and faster. Those tests will use a single Raptor engine, although Musk said later ‘suborbital’ flights will be powered by three such engines.“
https://spacenews.com/spacex-preparing-to-begin-starship-hopper-tests/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 02, 2019, 06:04:15 PM
Still no official word on how NASA will get to the moon “by 2020.”  The planned Space Launch System rocket is years behind schedule and massively over budget — but has powerful state representatives in Congress determined to see its funding continue.  The Orion capsule is similarly plagued.  The plan at the moment seems to be to strip out several testing procedures and events, to speed things up. :o  Having the head of NASA publicly declare that using commercial rockets such as SpaceX Falcon Heavy might be an option does seem to have added a new sense of urgency.

Examining NASA’s challenge to SLS as ‘Moon, soon’ becomes the latest bold goal
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/03/examining-nasas-challenge-sls-moon-soon-bold-goal/

NASA chief says a Falcon Heavy rocket could fly humans to the Moon
https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/04/nasa-chief-says-a-falcon-heavy-rocket-could-fly-humans-to-the-moon/

Concerning Orion – Amid SLS push, Orion requires Life Support testing
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/04/concerning-orion-sls-push-orion-eclss-testing/

—-
Bonus:  Hopper-watching video clip.  Just some venting and a nearby methane flare after pressure tests.
Quote
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 4/2/19, 9:15 AM
SpaceX StarHopper clearly overjoyed at spotting @BocaChicaGal taking video and decided to show off a bit.
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1113067540224397313
Video below.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vOUrIPebGlI
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 03, 2019, 02:16:25 PM
No surprise. Boeing’s “April” estimate was pretty much just for public relations purposes while SpaceX stole the spotlight with its recent uncrewed mission to the ISS.

Boeing Starliner (Crew Dragon competitor) orbital test flight delayed from April, to now August — putting SpaceX ahead in US-launched manned space flight program.

Boeing confirms delay of first Starliner crew capsule test flight to August – Spaceflight Now
Quote
Boeing said Tuesday the first orbital test flight of its commercial crew capsule, named the Starliner, will be delayed until August “in order to avoid unnecessary schedule pressure” and give priority on the Atlas 5 rocket’s manifest to a U.S. Air Force communications satellite.

A statement issued by Boeing on Tuesday confirmed previous reports that the company’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, designed and built under a $4.2 billion contract from NASA, would miss its previous target launch date for an unpiloted test flight to the International Space Station in April. NASA and industry sources have said for months that an April launch date was not feasible, but NASA and Boeing had not officially published a revised schedule since early February.

The first Starliner test flight with astronauts on-board was previously scheduled for August. In Boeing’s schedule update released Tuesday, the company only said it expects the Crew Flight Test to occur “later this year,” but sources said the Starliner could fly with astronauts in November, at the earliest.
[See previous post re: Starliner for ISS test flight will not contain key life support and other systems.]
Quote
SpaceX tested Crew Dragon’s abort system during an on-pad test in 2015, demonstrating the ship’s SuperDraco escape thrusters have the power to drive the spacecraft off its rocket sitting on the ground in the event of an accident during the countdown. An in-flight abort test is planned this summer, before the Crew Dragon’s first mission with astronauts, to evaluate the capsule’s ability to escape a rocket at high altitude.

Unlike the pad escape demonstration, an in-flight abort test was not required by NASA of either company, and Boeing elected to forego it.

The Crew Dragon that flew to the space station last month launched with much of the spaceship’s life support system, including air revitalization equipment to regulate oxygen and carbon dioxide inside the spaceship. The crew seats and display monitors also flew, but the displays were not activated and functional, according to Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX’s vice president of build and flight reliability.
The touch-screen crew controls, push buttons and the toilet will be added to the next Crew Dragon vehicle for astronauts. …
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/04/02/boeing-confirms-delay-of-first-starliner-crew-capsule-test-flight-to-august/

Reddit discussion here:  https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/b8u9sc/boeing_starliner_crew_dragon_competitor_orbital/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 04, 2019, 03:55:23 PM
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 4/3/19, 9:25 PM
Starhopper completed tethered hop. All systems green. twitter.com/nextspacefligh…
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1113613409767964673
Subtweet has Distant video from San Padre Island cam.

BocaChicaGal video with audio synced:  https://youtu.be/j0RwWWE-aAQ
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 06, 2019, 01:59:58 PM
Progress continues:  The Raptor engine lifted Starhopper off the ground, and it landed safely! ;)

Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 4/6/19, 12:52 AM
Starhopper just lifted off & hit tether limits!
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1114390314565787648
2-second vid at the link.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 06, 2019, 06:21:42 PM
Quote
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 4/6/19, 11:27 AM
Hoppy looks to be in good shape after her little hop in Boca Chica last night.
Photographer: @BocaChicaGal
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=47120.500 - marked to videos through to this morning.
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1114550190277570561
Photo below.

Quote
#504 by golosio on 06 Apr, 2019 12:16
Assuming the camera used for Elon's video was not moving, neglecting distortions, assuming hopper diameter is 9 m, a rough estimate yields 0.9 m (about 3 feet) altitude for the first tethered hop.
Photo below.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 06, 2019, 10:15:00 PM
Wow.  Amazing 15-sec time lapse at the link:
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 4/6/19, 3:30 PM
Booster mate inside SpaceX's hangar at LC-39A ahead of Falcon Heavy’s static fire yesterday
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1114611309180411905

Latest word is that the launch of Falcon Heavy / ArabSat from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, is scheduled for approx. 2230 GMT (6:30 p.m. EDT) Tuesday, April 9.  Watch the live webcast at spacex.com

—-
Fairing-catcher ship ‘Mr. Steven’ is currently running some sort of maneuvers off the Florida coast — but without arms or net. :( Destination point had been 'Catch Time,' set as joke by the crew during PSN-6... but was just changed to “THANKS FOR COOKIES”, likely as a reference to @julia_bergeron, known for feeding the East Coast Fleet crew many many cookies...
More:  https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1114557883813957632
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 08, 2019, 06:04:13 PM
SpaceX’s first dedicated Starlink launch announced as mass production begins
Quote
SpaceX has announced a launch target of May 2019 for the first batch of operational Starlink satellites in a sign that the proposed internet satellite constellation has reached a major milestone, effectively transitioning from pure research and development to serious manufacturing.

R&D will continue as SpaceX Starlink engineers work to implement the true final design of the first several hundred or thousand spacecraft, but a significant amount of the team’s work will now be centered on producing as many Starlink satellites as possible, as quickly as possible. With anywhere from 4400 to nearly 12,000 satellites needed to complete the three major proposed phases of Starlink, SpaceX will have to build and launch more than 2200 satellites in the next five years, averaging 44 high-performance, low-cost spacecraft built and launched every month for the next 60 months. ...
...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starlink-first-launch-date/


Background:  https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/17/spacex-testing-its-own-satellite-broadband-internet-network.html
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 09, 2019, 04:07:26 PM
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 4/8/19, 4:17 PM
Now targeting Falcon Heavy launch of Arabsat-6A on Wednesday, April 10 – weather forecast improves to 80% favorable
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1115347895958560771

But it’s all good:
SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy Block 5 launch debut moved to April 10 to skip storms
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-falcon-heavy-launch-date-update/

And here’s why:
SpaceX likely to win NASA’s crew competition by months, for billions less
https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/04/spacex-likely-to-win-nasas-crew-competition-by-months-for-billions-less/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 10, 2019, 12:56:34 AM
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 4/9/19, 3:49 PM
SpaceX will attempt to land Falcon Heavy’s side boosters at Landing Zones 1 and 2 and Falcon Heavy’s center core on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship during the Arabsat-6A mission → spacex.com/webcast
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1115703384642805762
20-sec vid at the link of the first simultaneous landings!

Arabsat-6A Launch Campaign Thread
This is SpaceX's fourth mission of 2019, the first flight of Falcon Heavy of the year and the second Falcon Heavy flight overall. This launch will utilize all brand new boosters as it is the first Block 5 Falcon Heavy. This will be the first commercial flight of Falcon Heavy, carrying a commercial telecommunications satellite to GTO for Arabsat.
Liftoff currently scheduled for:
18:35 EDT // 22:35 UTC, April 10th 2019 (1 hours and 57 minutes long window) …
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/b0kscl/arabsat6a_launch_campaign_thread/


—-  Falcon Heavy will launch from the historic Launch Complex 39a, where the Apollo and Space Shuttle missions began.  Meanwhile, over on nearby Launch Complex 40:

Quote
NASA (@NASA)4/9/19, 4:57 PM
A @SpaceX #Dragon cargo spacecraft is now scheduled to launch at 5:55am ET on Friday, April 26 from Florida. It will launch to @Space_Station carrying supplies and @ISS_Research experiments for the crew on orbit. Details: go.nasa.gov/2Ur3kJM
https://twitter.com/nasa/status/1115720470593265664
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: zizek on April 10, 2019, 05:09:40 AM
It's amazing that we just shamelessly post corporate propaganda on the forums. SpaceX of all things.... A corporation that's in the business of space tourism - probably one of the most carbon intensive activities known to mankind.

This place is such a joke.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Rob Dekker on April 12, 2019, 06:01:02 AM
Great day for rocket enthausiasts today.

An entirely flawless mission of Falcon Heavy launching Arabsat-6A :

SpaceX launches Falcon Heavy and lands all three rocket boosters for the first time :

https://youtu.be/TXMGu2d8c8g

The simultaneous landing of the two side boosters is still one the most awe-inspiring space engineering feats since the Space Shuttle.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Rob Dekker on April 12, 2019, 06:15:23 AM
Launched by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket a few months ago, the Israeli Beresheet moonlander landed on the moon today.

It landed... although a bit hard...  ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_R4zk448oPs

Still an amazing engineering achievement by this small nation.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Rob Dekker on April 12, 2019, 08:36:08 AM
It's amazing that we just shamelessly post corporate propaganda on the forums. SpaceX of all things.... A corporation that's in the business of space tourism - probably one of the most carbon intensive activities known to mankind.

This place is such a joke.

SpaceX is not about tourism.

To get an idea of what SpaceX is about, watch the movie "Tomorrowland".

Then post back here.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: SteveMDFP on April 12, 2019, 03:38:23 PM
Great day for rocket enthausiasts today.

An entirely flawless mission of Falcon Heavy launching Arabsat-6A :

SpaceX launches Falcon Heavy and lands all three rocket boosters for the first time :

The simultaneous landing of the two side boosters is still one the most awe-inspiring space engineering feats since the Space Shuttle.

More so, I think.  The shuttle was nifty tech, but requiring a manned crew is a huge flaw, as I see it.  Doing everything without a person on-board is important.  Not just in terms of risk to the human--maintaining biological crew in space enormously increases the size, weight, cost, and complexity of any mission.  Manned spaceflight is a huge sinkhole for scarce resources.

Ability to carry things into orbit, though, is tremendously useful for important science, obviously including the ability to understand and project climate change.

People should only go up *after* autonomous/intelligent robots have constructed a secure habitat for them when they arrive. 
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 13, 2019, 12:22:47 AM
The Falcon Heavy launched ArabSat 6a, a communication satellite, for:

Direct To Home (DTH) television broadcasting
Broadband & Telephony backbone connectivity
Satellite Internet
VSAT Global High Speed Internet Services

VSAT systems provide high speed, broadband satellite communications for Internet or private network communications. VSAT is ideal for vessels at sea, satellite news gathering, emergency responders or any application that requires a broadband Internet connection at a remote location.

No space tourists.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 13, 2019, 02:49:44 AM
Sharp-eyed FH webcast watchers may have noticed the brief, unexplained, strange image below.

Quote
Rishvan (@iamrishvan) 4/11/19, 7:12 PM
What am I looking at @elonmusk? #FalconHeavy
https://twitter.com/iamrishvan/status/1116479118986469378

Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 4/11/19, 7:12 PM
Liquid oxygen
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1116479251669078016

Another possibility:  a Stargate. ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: GoSouthYoungins on April 13, 2019, 03:40:51 AM
How can a company who has a rocket ready for flight, but that gets self-crushed by 50mph winds be taken seriously?

How can a company that claims to be rebuilding a a rocket in a few weeks but then scraps the whole plan a builds half a rocket, be taken seriously?

How can people who believe in this nonsense be take seriously?!?!


In my honestly opinion, none of it can be taken seriously.

A mean date for settlement of Mars? What is half of infinity?!?!?

There is no evidence that the basic mission statement of SpaceX is possible. We have been able to go to other celestial bodies for 50 years (apparently). And since then there hasn't been one gram of advancement.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: vox_mundi on April 13, 2019, 06:45:47 AM
GOES East Catches Glimpse of SpaceX Launch
https://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/content/goes-east-catches-glimpse-spacex-launch

(https://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/11spr19_rocket_g16_vis.gif)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Rob Dekker on April 13, 2019, 09:03:24 AM
Sharp-eyed FH webcast watchers may have noticed the brief, unexplained, strange image below.

Quote
Rishvan (@iamrishvan) 4/11/19, 7:12 PM
What am I looking at @elonmusk? #FalconHeavy
https://twitter.com/iamrishvan/status/1116479118986469378

Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 4/11/19, 7:12 PM
Liquid oxygen
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1116479251669078016

Another possibility:  a Stargate. ;)

Yeah. That's liquid oxygen in the Falcon 9 oxygen tank. So cool !

Scott Manley actually explained about how keeping that liquid oxygen in place in zero gravity (after the booster shuts down) is not easy at 12:30 in this video which also features the Israeli moon lander and the Falcon Heavy launch :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH9aX5evxqU
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: oren on April 13, 2019, 09:47:13 AM
GSY, when a private company can flawlessly launch a rocket as large as the Falcon Heavy, and land its three boosters back safely for reuse, I take them seriously. It doesn"t matter whether their long term mission statement is achievable or not - though judging by their progress I would think it is achievable if they find sufficient funding.
But when posters say such a company cannot be taken seriously based on some rhetorical arguments while ignoring said achievements, I can't take such posters seriously.

Quote
There is no evidence that the basic mission statement of SpaceX is possible. We have been able to go to other celestial bodies for 50 years (apparently). And since then there hasn't been one gram of advancement.
Just wondering, does "apparently" mean that you believe the moon landing was a fraud?
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Rob Dekker on April 13, 2019, 10:04:52 AM
How can a company who has a rocket ready for flight, but that gets self-crushed by 50mph winds be taken seriously?

How can a company that claims to be rebuilding a a rocket in a few weeks but then scraps the whole plan a builds half a rocket, be taken seriously?

How can people who believe in this nonsense be take seriously?!?!

In my honestly opinion, none of it can be taken seriously.

Dude, the guy launched a Tesla Roadster into space !

How can you NOT be inspired and NOT have to pick up your lower jaw from the floor ?
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 13, 2019, 01:14:55 PM
Helping prevent one kind of planetary catastrophe

Falcon Heavy soars; SpaceX lands critical NASA double asteroid redirect launch
Quote
To say 11 April 2019 was a banner day for SpaceX would be an understatement.  The private space company that has soared into the public’s imagination and trust not only succeeded in launching its Falcon Heavy rocket – the most powerful currently operational rocket in the world – on its first commercial flight, but also – just 70 minutes before that launch – secured yet another first: the launch contract for the first-ever spacecraft impact asteroid redirect mission.

A marked difference from last year’s debut, this Falcon Heavy did not undergo a staggered start sequence of its 27 Merlin 1D engines.
Instead, all 27 engines lit at once at T-2 seconds, imparting 5.1 million lbf of thrust into LC-39A before leaving the launch pad.  The Block 5 Falcon Heavy’s thrust then increased to a maximum of 5.5 million lbf of thrust as the rocket ascended out of Earth’s dense lower atmosphere and into  vacuum.

After a 32 minute 4 second flight, Falcon Heavy deposited the ArabSat-6A telecommunications satellite into a super-synchronous Geostationary Transfer Orbit – sending the satellite on its way to a 15 year operational lifespan to bring phone, TV, voice, text, and digital communication services to the Middle East, Europe, and Africa.
   …

Quote
Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission:

Falcon Heavy wasn’t the only success SpaceX had on Thursday.
Just 70 minutes before Falcon Heavy took flight, NASA announced the U.S. space agency had awarded SpaceX a critical contract to launch the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission.

DART will be the first mission to demonstrate and test the effectiveness of slamming a spacecraft into an asteroid to change it orbit.
The mission is considered a critical step in planetary defense preparations should the need to deflect an asteroid on a collision course with Earth arise.

Per the NASA announcement, the launch contract with SpaceX is worth $69 million and will see SpaceX launch the DART spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket from SLC-4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, in June 2021.
A launch in that time frame will allow DART to intercept the asteroid Didymos, specifically its small moon, in October 2022 when the asteroid will be within 11 million kilometers of Earth.
This intercept time is crucial as ground-based telescopic observations and planetary radar will have to be used to measure the change in momentum imparted into Didymos and its moon to determine the effectiveness of the asteroid kinetic impact deflection technique.
Therefore, the mission’s entire purpose is to slam the 500 kg DART spacecraft into Didymos’ small moon at a velocity of approximately 6 kilometers per second. …
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/04/falcon-heavy-spacex-nasa-asteroid-redirect/

Video explainer for the DART mission:
https://youtu.be/aNSYuY6N1Rs
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 13, 2019, 01:43:52 PM
The 30-second video at this link is more distant than the usual clips, and shows how crazy fast the boosters are descending at this point until they slow with their final landing burn.  Bonus: audio of crowd reaction and the double sonic boom!

Quote
Glenn Wester (@glennwester) 4/11/19, 7:51 PM
#SpaceX Falcon Heavy boosters returning to the cape with sonic boom! @elonmusk
https://twitter.com/glennwester/status/1116489083340107781
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 19, 2019, 01:38:01 PM
Falcon Heavy could launch STP-2 as early as June 22nd.

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy flies a complex mission for the Air Force in launch video
Quote
SpaceX has gone to unique lengths for the third launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket and made an exhaustive webpage dedicated to the mission, reviewing its importance to SpaceX and the United States and discussing most of its 23 manifested spacecraft.

Known as the US Air Force’s Space Test Program 2 (STP-2) mission, Falcon Heavy Flight 3 will be a critical pathfinder for the US military’s systematic utilization of both Falcon Heavy and its flight-proven boosters.

The STP-2 mission will be among the most challenging launches in SpaceX history with four separate upper-stage engine burns, three separate deployment orbits, a final propulsive passivation maneuver and a total mission duration of over six hours. [It] will demonstrate the capabilities of the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle and provide critical data supporting certification for future National Security Space Launch (NSSL) missions. In addition, [the USAF] will use this mission as a pathfinder for the [military’s systematic utilization of flight-proven] launch vehicle boosters. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-falcon-heavy-next-launch-video/

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=qLEuCn8RT14
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 20, 2019, 01:58:12 AM
Longread explainer on the difficulties of getting the Orion space capsule on some sort of moon flyby by the mid-2020 target date; and why SpaceX’s options wouldn’t work with Orion’s bygone-era-design — this time, anyway.

NASA Launch Services Program outlines the alternative launcher review for EM-1
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/04/nasa-lsp-studies-alternate-orion-options/

“tl;dr: Orion is big and fat, for reasons better not remembered”
https://twitter.com/kaidokert/status/1119306466966376448
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Thomas Barlow on April 20, 2019, 04:22:29 AM
How can a company who has a rocket ready for flight, but that gets self-crushed by 50mph winds be taken seriously?
How can a company that claims to be rebuilding a a rocket in a few weeks but then scraps the whole plan a builds half a rocket, be taken seriously?
A mean date for settlement of Mars? What is half of infinity?!?!?
There is no evidence that the basic mission statement of SpaceX is possible. We have been able to go to other celestial bodies for 50 years (apparently). And since then there hasn't been one gram of advancement.
And the main rocket - on another much-hyped test launch - just last week, tipped into the ocean in heavy seas after it landed. That will not be 're-usable' without a lot of work checking and double-checking and a lot of money spent, and even then, they'll be nervous to re-use it.

The Falcon Heavy puts about a million kg of CO2 into atmosphere in 5 minutes (look it up. Not clean, that a lot of people erroneously claim). That's not much globally, but a hell of a lot for one man's misinformed dream. And he wants 20 launches a year.
It will take a worldwide cooperative (socialist) effort to put humans into space as a species. A private company like Musk's will fail. He's already 15 years behind where he originally thought he would be, and yes, his mission to populate Mars is that of a man who really doesn't understand space.
NASA has now hired Musk to crash a rocket into an asteroid because crashing is what SpaceX is good at, while NASA (tax-payer funded) develops a megarocket to go back to the moon, working together with the European Space Agency (tax-payer funded) for a future moonbase. This rocket will be more powerful than the Saturn V rocket (tax-payer socialist funded) we watched send men to the moon in 1969. The most powerful machine ever made.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: GoSouthYoungins on April 20, 2019, 05:19:56 AM
the Saturn V rocket (tax-payer socialist funded) we watched send men to the moon in 1969.

I've also watched Luke Skywalker blow up the Death Star. And in higher definition.

Who actually believes that the US was more advanced 50 years ago than any other nation has been since (including the US, LMFAO)?


In general though, I totally agree.

SpaceX is a joke. Their plan to be profitable via a super satellite constellation is absurd and even people in senior positions within SpaceX agree.

Furthermore, vertical landing has been around for decades. SpaceX invented nothing. It is not used cuz it is not effective. You have to launch with a lot of extra fuel, and...

Reuse of rockets is a bust. If it wasn't, why wouldn't they just be reusing the same rocket again and again instead of replacing each one after 1-3 launches.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles on April 20, 2019, 12:55:43 PM
Quote
It is not used cuz it is not effective. You have to launch with a lot of extra fuel, and...

Reuse of rockets is a bust.

Yes it is such a bust, that its market share is

(https://hips.hearstapps.com/pop.h-cdn.co/assets/17/28/640x371/gallery-1499967787-screen-shot-2017-07-13-at-13630-pm.png?resize=640:*)

growing rapidly.

You may not like Musk and what he and his companies do, but does this justify some of the things you say which are plainly absurd? Does saying such absurd things advance your argument at all or are they just designed to wind up the fans? Why do that unless you are so totally lacking in sensible arguments that the only thing you can do is play the wind up merchant?
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Thomas Barlow on April 20, 2019, 03:01:11 PM
the Saturn V rocket (tax-payer socialist funded) we watched send men to the moon in 1969.
Who actually believes that the US was more advanced 50 years ago
Em... me.
We also had Concorde, flying lazily over my school before test-flights, west-coast Scotland, looking like a UFO, directed by my Dad, who was international air-traffic control. 3 hours, London to New York, instead of the 8 hours now (yes, very polluting and expensive). My dad was navigator (hardest job) in the highest flying operational aircraft on Earth before there were astronauts. An RAF aircraft that won the Cold War (my mother was avante-garde female artist in the 1950s before that was the norm.) We also had space shuttles, deep-space probes such as Voyager, wind power, solar power, wave-power, pump-storage hydroelectricity, hovercraft over the English Channel instead of Brexit Chunnel, and Harrier Jump-Jet vertical take-off RAF fighter planes. Also Donna Summer, Kraftwerk, Joy Division, New Order, Detante instead of the New Cold War, Peristroika, David Attenborough warning the world in 1979, NHS (being dismantled by corporotists now), The Rumble in the Jungle, and Sean Connery.
And the most powerful machine ever made to this day, that took men to the moon in 1969.
 
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles on April 20, 2019, 03:44:53 PM
the Saturn V rocket (tax-payer socialist funded) we watched send men to the moon in 1969.
Who actually believes that the US was more advanced 50 years ago
Em... me.
We also had Concorde, flying lazily over my school before test-flights, west-coast Scotland, looking like a UFO from the math class window, directed by my Dad, who was international air-traffic control. 3 hours, London to New York, instead of the 8 hours now (yes, very polluting and expensive). My dad was navigator (hardest job) in the highest flying operational aircraft on Earth before there were astronauts. An RAF aircraft that won the Cold War (my mother was avante-garde female artist in the 1950s before that was the norm.) We also had space shuttles, deep-space probes such as Voyager, wind power, solar power, wave-power, pump-storage hydroelectricity, hovercraft over the English Channel instead of Brexit Chunnel, also Donna Summer, Kraftwerk, Joy Division, New Order, Detante instead of the New Cold War, Peristroika, David Attenborough warning the world in 1979, The Rumble in the Jungle, Francis Chichester, NHS (being dismantled by corporotists now), and Sean Connery.
And the most powerful machine ever made, that took men to the moon in 1969.

What should we deduce from things like hovercraft no longer operating, 47 years without man returning to the moon?

Is it that we are less advanced or it is more likely to be other factors like:

Chunnel is faster and cheaper so hovercraft's selling point of being faster than ferry has disappeared.

Cost of moon program was prohibitive at that time with a really high proportion of scientists working on space flight and moon landing in some direct or indirect way. And Apollo 13 showed it had been rushed and was being done in unsafe manner.

Shuttle - quite a bit reusable but with high costs and slow preparation to reuse.

Concorde - expensive.

Deep space probes - we have more and more sophisticated now.

Wind power, solar yes they existed but not at competitive price.

Wave power still doesn't seem to have got to being reliable enough to be competitive.


Donna Summer, Kraftwerk, Joy Division, New Order,  The Rumble in the Jungle, Francis Chichester, NHS (being dismantled by corporotists now), and Sean Connery
Hmmm, I'll leave these to others to assess.


Trump, brexit makes one wonder but then are we any worse than cuban missile crisis?
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Thomas Barlow on April 20, 2019, 11:41:44 PM

Not exactly the point of my post, but if you can't see the point of it, it is too much to explain.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles on April 21, 2019, 12:57:43 PM
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft suffers an anomaly during static fire testing at Cape Canaveral

https://twitter.com/EmreKelly/status/1119739797566738432
Quote
Couple of things on #SpaceX Crew Dragon:

– Unconfirmed reports: Capsule "all but destroyed"
– Here's a photo gallery: https://bit.ly/2XyaXuV
– And the story: https://bit.ly/2VeyfbB

Suspect we need to expect a long delay to US manned flight.

Better found now than later, but still disappointing.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 21, 2019, 09:45:12 PM
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft suffers an anomaly during static fire testing at Cape Canaveral

https://twitter.com/EmreKelly/status/1119739797566738432
Quote
Couple of things on #SpaceX Crew Dragon:

– Unconfirmed reports: Capsule "all but destroyed"
– Here's a photo gallery: https://bit.ly/2XyaXuV
– And the story: https://bit.ly/2VeyfbB

Suspect we need to expect a long delay to US manned flight.

Better found now than later, but still disappointing.

 :'(
Some points from what I’ve read about it:

- Per the audio, the explosion occurred during the countdown to the test (T-minus 8 seconds), not upon ignition of the engine.
- It occurred after other successful static firings that morning.
- The explosion appears to have started *above* the location of the rocket engine, and resembles a pressurized container or plumbing rupturing, rather than an engine.  The Super Dracos have been tested for seven years and are housed in “protective shells” to contain any engine failure.
- Whenever fuel touches the oxidizer, it ignites. A small leak could lead to a fire that takes out everything around it.
- SpaceX Crew Dragons were not to be reused, but this Dragon, preparing for use in the unmanned in-flight abort test (a test recommended by SpaceX, not NASA), was the Dragon that had been exposed to sea water after its return from the ISS.  A problem caused by such immersion would not affect future Crew Dragons.
- Re-used Cargo Dragons have made successful deliveries to the ISS.
- SpaceX returned to flight after Amos-6 in just 4.5 months, and from CRS-7 in 6 months.  The cause of Saturday’s RUD may be something unique to that particular Dragon’s experience which need not delay the program more than a few months.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 22, 2019, 02:28:39 PM
SpaceX preps for Cargo Dragon, Falcon Heavy launches despite setbacks
Quote
Despite suffering the loss of the first Falcon Heavy Block 5 center core and a catastrophic failure of the first flight-proven Crew Dragon spacecraft in nearly the same week, SpaceX’s core operations continue as usual to prepare for multiple launches in the coming months.

The echoes of the past week’s failures and ‘anomalies’ will undoubtedly ring for months to come but SpaceX now finds itself in a unique situation. Despite the imminent start of a major failure investigation, it appears unlikely – at least for the time being – that it will impact the majority of Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launches planned for the rest of 2019. Currently on the Q2 2019 manifest are Cargo Dragon’s 17th operational mission (CRS-17), the first operational Starlink launch, Spacecom’s Amos-17 satellite, the Canadian Radarsat Constellation Mission (RCM), and Falcon Heavy’s third launch (STP-2). ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-upcoming-launches-spring-2019/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 27, 2019, 01:42:37 AM
Quote
Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight)
4/26/19, 7:03 PM
#SpaceX has been granted FCC approval to fly 1,500 #Starlink satellites at an altitude of 550 kilometers.

Full statement:
Quote
#2647 by Michael Baylor on 26 Apr, 2019 23:00

   SpaceX Statement



Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved SpaceX’s request to fly more than 1,500 of its Starlink satellites at an altitude of 550 kilometers. Additional information on the approval can be found here, and the following statement can be attributed to Gwynne Shotwell, President and Chief Operating Officer at SpaceX:
 


“This approval underscores the FCC’s confidence in SpaceX’s plans to deploy its next-generation satellite constellation and connect people around the world with reliable and affordable broadband service. Starlink production is well underway, and the first group of satellites have already arrived at the launch site for processing.”
 


SpaceX is targeting no earlier than May for launch of a Starlink mission.
 


Last year, SpaceX became the first U.S.-based company to be licensed by the FCC to operate a NGSO constellation of more than 11,000 satellites.
 


Earlier this year, SpaceX submitted an application to operate 1 million user terminals as well as its first six gateways to provide the necessary communications links back from the satellites to the global Internet.

SpaceX intends to install sufficient gateway sites in the U.S. and around the world to ensure that the Starlink satellites have a visible gateway earth station with which they can communicate from all parts of their orbits.
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36552.msg1940441#msg1940441
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1121912653759303681
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 27, 2019, 02:07:16 AM
More here about the superior safety aspects of the satellites’ design:

SpaceX proves higher than necessary safety of Starlink constellation
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/03/spacex-higher-necessary-safety-starlink-constellation/#more-60756
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: vox_mundi on May 02, 2019, 02:57:01 PM
SpaceX Capsule Was Destroyed in 'Anomaly'
https://phys.org/news/2019-05-spacex-capsule-anomaly-lawmaker.html

A space capsule suspected to have exploded last month in an incident characterized by manufacturer SpaceX as an "anomaly" was in fact completely destroyed, a US Senator confirmed Wednesday.

"The most recent SpaceX anomaly caused the complete loss of the (crew) capsule," Senator Richard Shelby, chairman of a Senate committee that manages NASA's budget, said during a hearing.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles on May 04, 2019, 07:40:24 PM
Perhaps best video footage so far of landing onto droneship from CRS-17 mission.

(The 4th was with them today  ;) )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQFhX5TvP0M&feature=youtu.be
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 05, 2019, 04:18:32 PM
The 17th SpaceX mission to the International Space Station, and the 39th booster landing.
(Watch a replay of the launch at https://www.spacex.com )

SpaceX launches space station resupply mission, lands rocket on drone ship
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/05/04/spacex-launches-space-station-resupply-mission-lands-rocket-on-drone-ship/

The payload includes an instrument to measure CO2 more precisely:
NASA  instrument heads to space station to map CO2
Quote
The space station instrument brings a new trick to the OCO observations - a swivelling mirror system that allows the spectrometer system to scan a much wider swath of the Earth's surface than would ordinarily be the case.
This "snapshot" mode means CO2 maps can be built up in a single pass over a target of special interest, such as a megacity - a task that will take OCO-2 several days.
"The snapshot mode allows us to grab snippets of data over an area of about 80km by 80km in two minutes. Right now we think we may spend about a quarter of our time making these mini maps, up to 100 a day," Dr Eldering said.
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-48150645
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 08, 2019, 01:18:03 AM
SpaceX to launch “dozens” of first-generation Starlink internet satellites on May 15; several other Starlink launches expected this year.
Quote
WASHINGTON — SpaceX’s first launch to carry a large number of Starlink broadband satellites is scheduled for May 15, according to a company executive.

Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer, said the launch will carry “dozens of satellites,” adding more prototypes to the two currently in low Earth orbit.

“This next batch of satellites will really be a demonstration set for us to see the deployment scheme and start putting our network together,” she said at the Satellite 2019 conference here. “We start launching satellites for actual service later this year.”

Shotwell said SpaceX anticipates launching two to six more times for its Starlink broadband constellation in addition to the May 15 launch. How many Starlink launches occur this year depend on the results of this first batch, she said.

SpaceX is planning a constellation that could number close to 12,000 satellites, according to filings with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. The company said in 2017 that it would need 800 satellites in orbit for commercial service — a target estimated for the 2020 to 2021 timeframe. ...
https://spacenews.com/spacex-to-launch-dozens-of-starlink-satellites-may-15-more-starlink-launches-to-follow/

Reddit discussion (including low earth orbit and signal latency) here:
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/blv3mk/jeff_foust_shotwell_starlink_launch_now_scheduled/

——
SpaceX hits new Falcon 9 reusability milestone, retracts all four landing legs
Quote
What leg retraction does... is shave a significant amount of time off of the process of booster recovery and post-recovery processing. Instead of the normal process of totally dismantling and removing the legs piece by piece, stowing Falcon 9’s legs saves not only the time it takes to remove them but also the time it then takes to reinstall said legs for the next launch. At a minimum, this could save 12-24 hours of dedicated work, up to as much as several days according to CEO Elon Musk. Taken to the extreme, it’s likely that SpaceX’s ultimate goal is to lift a booster off the drone ship, retract its landing legs mid-air (or close), flip the booster horizontal, and lower it onto a transporter in one fluid movement.

If SpaceX can arrive at something approximating that in the near future, the company will be well on its way accomplish Musk’s goal of launching the same Falcon 9 booster twice in ~24 hours. Even further down the road, if or when SpaceX manages to optimize the reusability of its Falcon 9 boosters to the extent that almost zero refurbishment or in-depth inspection is needed between launches, minimizing the amount of human effort that goes into something as basic as preparing landing legs may actually have a significant impact on launch costs. For the time being, we get to enjoy the new and unusual spectacle of a giant reusable booster carefully stowing its landing legs for another launch attempt.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starts-falcon-9-landing-leg-retraction/
Photos and video at the link.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 12, 2019, 01:38:01 PM
First Starlink launch within days! 

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 5/11/19, 9:43 PM
First 60 @SpaceX Starlink satellites loaded into Falcon fairing. Tight fit.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1127388838362378241
[Images below, with the Starman/Roadster payload for comparison.]
- If static fire [OK] on Mon, [launch] on Tues
- These are production design, unlike our earlier Tintin demo sats
- Much will likely go wrong on 1st mission. Also, 6 more launches of 60 sats needed for minor coverage, 12 for moderate.
- More details on day of launch, currently tracking to Wednesday
< Holy crap that's a lot of satellites, it almost looks flat-packed! I wonder what the dispenser mechanism for that looks like?
- It is flat-packed. No dispenser.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 12, 2019, 01:59:17 PM
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk reveals radical Starlink redesign for 60-satellite launch
Quote
...the very fact that the Starlink v0.9 payload can scarcely be parsed into recognizable satellites is thrilling. Aside from the rise of smallsats and cubesats, satellite design and engineering has been relatively stagnant for decades, particularly with respect to form factors and structural layouts. Most modern satellites are simply square-ish boxes with electronics inside and payloads bolted on the outside.
...
Even relative to fairly innovative constellations like the SpaceX-launched Iridium NEXT and OneWeb look downright mundane when examined alongside SpaceX’s inaugural Borg-cube-esque payload. SpaceX’s Starlink layout looks like nothing seen before. At the same time, it appears that the bizarre, new approach has likely maximized the density and stacking efficiency of dozens of satellites to an unprecedented degree.
...
According to Musk, SpaceX has actually entirely gotten rid of a satellite-dispenser middle-man, instead relying on the structure of the satellites themselves to act as their own launch adapters and deployment mechanisms. This has been done in the past on a far smaller scale – typically with 2-3 several-ton satellites – but has never been attempted at the scale SpaceX is just days away from launching.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starlink-satellites-tease-revolutionary-design/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 15, 2019, 01:47:49 PM
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 5/15/19, 12:53 AM
Weather is 80% favorable for [tonight’s!] Falcon 9 launch of Starlink. Launch window opens at 10:30 p.m. EDT [0230 GMT Thursday]→ spacex.com/webcast
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1128523774888833024
- The booster supporting this mission previously flew in support of the Telstar 18 VANTAGE and Iridium-8 missions
(Photos at the link and SpaceX’s reply.)



Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 5/14/19, 7:53 PM
SpaceX is doing simultaneous competing builds of Starship in Boca Chica Texas & Cape Canaveral Florida
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1128448308970541056
Everyday Astronaut: So the teams don’t know what the other is doing? Then learn the best lessons from each team? Then the losing team gets voted off the island?
EM: The opposite. Any insights gained by one team must be shared with the other, but other team not required to use them.
EA: When will we start seeing those crazy flap / landing leg / fins be installed? It’s gotta be coming up soon down at Boca Chica!! Those are going to be an amazing piece of kit.
EM: Probably start installing end of next month

(These are in addition to the “Hopper” test module.)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 16, 2019, 08:24:45 PM
Upper-level wind shear has unfortunately scrubbed SpaceX’s first dedicated Starlink launch attempt, pushing Falcon 9 B1049’s third liftoff to no earlier than 10:30 pm EDT (02:30 UTC), May 16th.

Article linked below covers details revealed in a pre-launch conference call last night.

- These first 60 satellites alone will have a combined bandwidth of 1 terabit per second (125 GB/s), averaging around 17 Gbps per satellite.
- Combined, the solar arrays on the 60 Starlink spacecraft will produce up to 50% more power than the International Space Station’s football field-sized panels. This translates to ~180 kW, with each spacecraft thus producing around 3 kW total with an unusual single-panel array.

SpaceX has all the Starlink funding needed for an “operational constellation”
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-secures-starlink-funding-launch-scrubbed/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 19, 2019, 01:15:32 PM
SpaceX postpones Starlink launch to update satellite software
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/05/17/spacex-postpones-starlink-launch-to-update-satellite-software/

Article contains further details describing the satellite deployment.



Second Starship build site, in Cocoa, Florida:   ;D ....

Quote
Viv (@flcnhvy) 5/18/19, 3:35 PM
“The man in the SpaceX cap, wearing a SpaceX shirt would not say whether this is a SpaceX facility, but the SpaceX trucks going in and out, the three Tesla cars in the parking lot & the big, shiny, metal cylinder under construction seem to be a dead giveaway" lol
https://twitter.com/flcnhvy/status/1129832918220718080
(Local News video clip at the link.)

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 5/18/19, 3:48 PM
@flcnhvy Top Secret
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1129836119267262464
Gif at the link.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 21, 2019, 08:56:28 PM
Next Falcon 9 launch attempt for the 60 Starlink satellites is scheduled for Thursday night.
Quote
The 90-minute launch window opens at 10:30 p.m. EDT Thursday (0230 GMT Friday), and there is a 90 percent chance of favorable weather, according to the U.S. Air Force's 45th Weather Squadron.
SpaceX scrubbed back-to-back launch attempts last week, first due to out-of-limits winds aloft, then to allow teams to upload new software for the 60 Starlink satellites mounted on top of the Falcon 9 rocket.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/05/15/falcon-9-starlink-1-mission-status-center/


SpaceX is the No. 1 rocket company by revenue, with $2 billion last year, Jefferies estimates
Quote
SpaceX has hurtled to the top of the launch industry over the past decade, last year bringing in more revenue than any other rocket company, according to Jefferies on Sunday.
“While SpaceX is newer to the market, their lower price point has allowed them to outpace peers in estimated annual launch revenues,” Jefferies analyst Sheila Kahyaoglu wrote in a note to investors, in a “deep dive” report.

…Jefferies charted last year’s launch revenues for SpaceX, United Launch Alliance (also known as “ULA,” a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin), Northrop Grumman, Europe’s Arianespace, Russia’s Khrunichev, India’s ISRO and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Jefferies also included Blue Origin as a competitor, although its New Glenn rocket is not expected to launch before 2021.

SpaceX logged $2 billion in launch revenue last year, the report said. In total, Jefferies estimated these companies’ rockets brought in about $8 billion in revenue in 2018. ...
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/20/spacex-revenue-2-billion-from-rockets-last-year-jefferies-estimate.html
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 24, 2019, 07:12:14 AM
All satellites earned! This is a great day!

https://twitter.com/SpaceX

Quote
All 60 Starlink satellites online, solar array deployment coming up soon

Quote
Krypton ion thrusters activate in about 3 hours to raise orbit
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 24, 2019, 07:12:41 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LumdiRneEo4
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Archimid on May 24, 2019, 01:49:22 PM
That deployment mechanism tho. Just release them and wait until the small differences in momentum between the satellites spreads them a away. The simplicity is just beautiful.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 25, 2019, 01:36:48 AM
SpaceX’s first 60 Starlink broadband satellites deployed in orbit
Quote
Musk tweeted after Thursday night’s launch that all 60 Starlink satellites were “online.” He said the satellites were expected to extend their power-generating solar panels and activate their ion thrusters within a few hours.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/05/24/spacexs-first-60-starlink-broadband-satellites-deployed-in-orbit/

Official SpaceX photos via Flickr:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/spacex/47926137017/in/photostream/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 25, 2019, 01:50:39 AM
Fantastic video. Obviously, at least 50 of the 60 satellites successfully opened solar panels.

https://vimeo.com/338361997
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 25, 2019, 02:12:11 AM
The first fleet SpaceX in the sky!

(https://space.skyrocket.de/img_sat/starlink_v09__1.jpg)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 25, 2019, 02:26:41 AM
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1132078782217539584

Quote
Krypton thrusters operative, satellites initiating orbit raise every 90 mins
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 25, 2019, 02:32:28 AM
The first fleet SpaceX in the sky!

(https://space.skyrocket.de/img_sat/starlink_v09__1.jpg)

The length of the solar panels is about 15 meters - it is almost 10 floors. It is not surprising that satellites are clearly visible in the sky with the naked eye and the total power of their power system exceeds the ISS.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: sidd on May 25, 2019, 09:42:22 AM
Re: 15 meters - it is almost 10 floors.

0.15 meter per floor ?

sidd
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Neven on May 25, 2019, 09:46:42 AM
15/10=1.5

But I'd say a little over 5 floors.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: sidd on May 25, 2019, 09:52:35 AM
teach me to keep track of decimal points.

sidd
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Tor Bejnar on May 25, 2019, 12:50:03 PM
I thought that was "floors" stacked up on each other (sans walls) after an earthquake.   ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 25, 2019, 01:59:40 PM
Quote
It is not surprising that satellites are clearly visible in the sky with the naked eye...

Well, with a monochrome, low-light camera, anyway. ;)

Let’s hope the satellites are less visible once they reach their final, higher orbit (341 miles, or 550 kilometers) — or astronomers worldwide will freak.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 25, 2019, 04:51:49 PM
Fantastic video. Obviously, at least 50 of the 60 satellites successfully opened solar panels.
...

More on the video:
Quote
In the video, SpaceX's Starlink satellites pass overhead like a string of pearls, a brilliant trail of moving lights in the night sky. SpaceX launched the satellites into an initial orbit 273 miles (440 kilometers) above Earth. They are making their way to a final orbit 342 miles (550 km) up.

"Over the coming days the 'train' of objects will be making 2-3 passes each night," he wrote on his website. "As they are actively manoeuvering with their ion thrusters, they will be more spread out with each pass, so the 'train' will probably quickly dissipate."

Each Starlink satellite is equipped with Krypton ion thrusters to adjust its orbit. They'll use those thrusters to spread apart over time.

"Krypton thrusters operative, satellites initiating orbit raise every 90 mins," Musk wrote in a Twitter update today.

For comparison: There are only about 2,000 operational spacecraft in Earth orbit today. ...
https://www.space.com/spacex-starlink-satellites-spotted-night-sky-video.html


So many orbits....
FCC approves SpaceX’s plan to operate Starlink satellites at lower altitude – Spaceflight Now
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/04/30/fcc-approves-spacexs-plan-to-operate-starlink-satellites-at-lower-altitude/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 25, 2019, 06:19:35 PM
Quote
It is not surprising that satellites are clearly visible in the sky with the naked eye...

Well, with a monochrome, low-light camera, anyway. ;)

They say that the satellites are so bright that they are clearly visible in the almost daytime sky.

https://twitter.com/TrevorMahlmann/status/1132156216518610944

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D7Y6EyYWsAEEYzw.jpg)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 25, 2019, 06:25:00 PM
Musk said that after a successful first launch, these satellites will be launched once a month.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 25, 2019, 06:41:43 PM
Let’s hope the satellites are less visible once they reach their final, higher orbit (341 miles, or 550 kilometers) — or astronomers worldwide will freak.

I heard that the new satellite constellation will cause even more damage to radio astronomers.

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3702/1

But it is not terribly scary, since the terrestrial biosphere and terrestrial civilization only existed under the conditions of climatic (and tectonic) catastrophe for a few decades or centuries.

But SpaceХ using satellite Internet will be able to earn many billions to complete the construction of the reusable Starship and space shelters (for example, on Mars). According to his predictions, a million people will live on Mars in 100 years.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sam on May 25, 2019, 06:59:16 PM
Consider for a moment what this leads to.

Every satellite launch to near earth orbit will have to pass through a mesh of thousands of satellites. Launch windows will now be broken into 30 second slices to penetrate this orbiting chaos. Because of the Indian ASAT test, the orbital debris field overlaps the low orbital band for the low band of these satellites. In time there will likely be debris impacts on them, further expanding the low orbit debris field and potentially expanding it upward even further.

The Indian ASAT test has already put limits on the lowest altitude at which space stations can reasonably safely orbit sandwiched between that band of debris and the previously created debris band above it from rocket explosions. That band is now about 400-420 km altitude. And that pushes the radiation exposures for station crews up considerably.

Every space station requires a couple of launches a year to boost them in their orbits, both for orbital control and resupply. Every one of those launches, and returns, will require traversing the SpaceX mine field. The risks of a Kessler cascade are growing rapidly, and with that, the risks to the space stations and their crews grow rapidly, as does the risk of making space access extremely hard and dangerous.

For satellites and craft intended to go higher, they will have to traverse three such bands, each with its own 30 second or so flight windows to maintain adequate separation. Access to polar orbiting altitudes and to geosynchronous orbit, as well as lunar injection are about to become extremely challenging.

Now imagine that some other company or country (China, India, Russia, Japan, the EU) wants to compete with SpaceX for global communication or internet. That means an equally large number of satellites in these same orbital bands. Penetration through these webs becomes a nightmare. Even tracking them all in real time becomes insanely difficult.

Then someone or some country decides to conduct their own ASAT test; or, some company or country decides to eliminate a competitor in space; or a war starts and the first objective is to take out spy satellites, global positioning satellites, or ....  Where does that leave us. A Kessler cascade then becomes nearly editable and access to Space all but ends, now requiring hardened craft designed to take impacts as they pass through the debris bands.

In time, each of these satellites will fail or run out of fuel. How then does anyone assure that these are intentionally brought back to earth?  How do they do that? Who does that?  Who is responsible?  Who is liable when the companies involve declare insolvency? Who cleans up their mess?

Then too consider the impacts of the massive continuous bombardment of the surface of the whole earth with 23 GHz radiation. What effects does that have? We have no comprehensive studies of that. Instead we are about to begin a massive uncontrolled experiment which is too expensive to shut down.

Add to that the unknown impacts of the massive roll out of 5G radiations.

Add to those the impacts of blue light from LEDs and a dozen other hazards they pose that are rapidly raising the risk and rates of hormone sensitive cancers as they disrupt sleep, and cause other horrible health impacts, both on humans and on creatures and plants in the environment.

Consider too the impacts on observing space. Ground based observatories will now be blinded to another large band of the radio frequency spectrum.

Now add the Chinese plan to launch craft whose purpose is to illuminate the night over major cities.

Then add the glittering day light and night sky traversed by all of the flashing solar sails from these craft.

Sooner or later some bozo, likely many will decide to project advertisements from space, or onto the moon.

Without comprehensive enforceable international regulation and agreements, this all could get very ugly in every sense of the word and of the phrase. But as with climate disruption, it appears that must go there first before we can see the dangers or avoid the outcomes.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sam on May 25, 2019, 07:01:23 PM
Consider as well, that access to space beyond the moon just became extremely challenging, further complicating explorations of our solar system, let alone launching craft to nearby stars.

And what precisely do we do if a manned mission to the space stations, the moon, or mars are impacted by debris? Can they be recovered or saved? Or will we have to simply hope they can navigate through the debris field as we helplessly watch?
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sam on May 25, 2019, 07:10:00 PM
Then add companies or countries deciding to collect and beam energy from space through this hobgoblin mess and the impacts on the satellites below them.

Add to that someone deciding to censor political or commercial speech, whether for national, political, military, or commercial reasons. How might they accomplish that? Will that be ASAT weapons? Will that be a new generation of disabling ASAT weapons that render satellites inert rather than blowing them up? I.e. directed EMP, or high intensity microwave or terrawave.

And what happens when that censorship extends beyond national limits or borders to objecting to the content generally and taking action to stop it. E.g. Country X objecting to some religious content of speech hosted via some platform serving some other country or area. Or Country Y objecting on moral grounds to what they consider pornography. Or ....

I rather suspect that we just entered a new and even more dangerous age.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sam on May 25, 2019, 07:16:30 PM
And what happens when the sun cranks up again at the top of the next solar cycle or one of those after blasting out X100 radiation bursts, or slamming us with CMEs?

And what precisely happens when the next Carrington event happens? What becomes of these and other satellites?

How do we collectively deal with the resulting debris?
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sam on May 25, 2019, 07:20:56 PM
I would ask too what happens when the next super volcanic eruption happens. However, the answer to that is straight forward. It will launch rocks out to 1,500 km or so, causing its own form of the Kessler cascade, and clearing near earth orbit as the world recovers over the next hundred thousand to million years.

Beside that, the impacts to people and civilizations on the ground from the eruption will almost render moot any concerns about space.

We humans think in very narrow time windows. We see the world now and tend to think that it has always been like this, and always will be like this.

We easily forget that the natural world exists and goes on around us. Carrington events, super volcanic eruptions, massive droughts, plagues, and other natural events continue despite our ignoring them and their impacts.

We also so easily forget mans own foibles, our hostility to one another, our ability and desire to control one another and to inflict harm on one another, and on the consequences that follow.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 25, 2019, 07:33:12 PM
Without comprehensive enforceable international regulation and agreements, this all could get very ugly in every sense of the word and of the phrase. But as with climate disruption, it appears that must go there first before we can see the dangers or avoid the outcomes.

The advantage of a low Earth orbit is that it is self-cleaning due to inhibition on the upper atmosphere.

In this regard, it can not be clogged, as the geostationary orbit (the main competitor Mask in the field of satellite Internet).

Broken satellites (for technical reasons or due to solar flares) will fall to Earth in just a few years. While in geostationary orbit, they will interfere with working satellites for many millions of years.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sam on May 25, 2019, 07:36:49 PM
Without comprehensive enforceable international regulation and agreements, this all could get very ugly in every sense of the word and of the phrase. But as with climate disruption, it appears that must go there first before we can see the dangers or avoid the outcomes.

The advantage of a low Earth orbit is that it is self-cleaning due to inhibition on the upper atmosphere.

In this regard, it can not be clogged, as the geostationary orbit (the main competitor Mask in the field of satellite Internet).

Broken satellites (for technical reasons or due to solar flares) will fall to Earth in just a few years. While in geostationary orbit, they will interfere with working satellites for many millions of years.

This is true. However, it is complex. The outer whispers of the atmosphere extend out considerably far. Below about 500 km this is true. At higher altitudes it is true as well, but slower in effect. Slowly over time this will drag the booster debris field down into the low earth orbit band, rendering space out to 1,000 km extremely dangerous both to traverse and to stay in.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 25, 2019, 07:45:43 PM
It is said that the brightness of satellites is about 2 stellar magnitudes (comparable to the brightness of the main stars of the Ursa Major).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZWgD_9qJdE
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 25, 2019, 07:51:51 PM
Without comprehensive enforceable international regulation and agreements, this all could get very ugly in every sense of the word and of the phrase. But as with climate disruption, it appears that must go there first before we can see the dangers or avoid the outcomes.

The advantage of a low Earth orbit is that it is self-cleaning due to inhibition on the upper atmosphere.

In this regard, it can not be clogged, as the geostationary orbit (the main competitor Mask in the field of satellite Internet).

Broken satellites (for technical reasons or due to solar flares) will fall to Earth in just a few years. While in geostationary orbit, they will interfere with working satellites for many millions of years.

This is true. However, it is complex. The outer whispers of the atmosphere extend out considerably far. Below about 500 km this is true. At higher altitudes it is true as well, but slower in effect. Slowly over time this will drag the booster debris field down into the low earth orbit band, rendering space out to 1,000 km extremely dangerous both to traverse and to stay in.

In this case, the world space agencies should conclude an agreement on cleaning from inactive satellites of high orbits. Cheap reusable Starship missiles will be out-of-competition for this task.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FTB8TgvgUk
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: zizek on May 25, 2019, 07:59:54 PM

In this case, the world space agencies should conclude an agreement on cleaning from inactive satellites of high orbits. Cheap reusable Starship missiles will be out-of-competition for this task.




That sounds like a great idea. Good thing Space Travel is becoming increasingly privatized, and that private companies have an excellent tract record of cleaning up messes.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 25, 2019, 08:17:20 PM
Also keep in mind that small debris has a large sail, so they go out of orbit much faster. Therefore, first of all it is necessary to remove large heavy satellites.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Neven on May 25, 2019, 08:31:34 PM
If anyone is interested in what Kessler Syndrome would look like, I can recommend the film called Gravity.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sam on May 25, 2019, 08:54:20 PM
One more thought for the pile.

The "International" space station, i.e. the primarily US and partly Russian space station with other visitors and contributors is old and getting long in the tooth. It was intended to have been deorbited already. That didn't happen for political reasons. It really doesn't have a mission any longer, other than studying long duration space flight.

And in time, it will be brought back to earth. The ISS is far too large to allow it to reenter in one piece. Large chunks would impact the earth in a highly uncontrolled fashion with reasonably large risks to occupied cities in much of the industrialized world.

Accordingly, it has to be segmented and brought down in pieces. That is as hard to do, and as expensive as launching it was in the first place. The current configuration requires the equivalent of at least seven (or more) Soyuz capsules to provide the motive force to bring it all down. There isn't docking space for that many. That too argues strongly for segmentation.

As it is brought down, it has to now run the gauntlet of the SpaceX low orbital fleet. But, the pieces of the ISS are not spacecraft themselves and they will have extremely limited maneuvering capability. The SpaceX fleet will have to get out of the way!

That raises a very serious question. On earth, priority is given to the older things that came first. Pedestrians over horse and bicycles over cars and lorries over other things. Trains were made an exception to this. They are so massive that stopping on a whim is not an option.

Sail craft have dominance over vehicle traffic on bridges, and over powered boats, ... And again, the behemoths run by different rules.

So too in space there will have to be a precedence order on who must move and who must yield right of way. Likely that will mean that smaller maneuverable craft will be required to yield. Larger craft and of course - out of control craft get right of way. And as now happens with aircraft travel, even one plane being forced to divert has a cascading effect on others requiring intense air traffic control issues.

If that doesn't happen, or if SpaceX has not programmed in that reserve and ability, then collusions become much more likely.

If the US, the Russians, the Chinese, the Indians, or anyone else decides to put a space station in orbit, the same rules will likely apply, both for orbital ascent and for deorbital descent. In time, they will all want to have their own station in orbit, if for no other than political reasons.  Then too, their will no doubt be a mad rush to the moon and beyond.

That then leads to yet further concerns and questions.

Consider what happens if a new war in the middle east breaks out and turns hot. The chances are good that that escalates into the destruction of the oil terminals in Saudi, Oman, UAE, Iraq and Iran as various sides employ asymmetrical warfare to offset imbalances in other areas. Instantly the world is in an extreme energy crisis. Equally quickly companies and governments fail. War escalates. Ships are sunk in the gulf rendering passage difficult if not impossible - prolonging the lack of oil.

From the climate end of things this is good. From the human end of things in the near term this is catastrophic. Over the long term it is somewhat better, though the elimination of the gulf oil from world stocks is not in itself enough to turn the tide on climate destruction.

And then there is the sky.

As companies and countries go bankrupt and turn their attentions to war of various types, the resources to maintain the satellite fleets falter. SpaceX being one of the newest is most economically vulnerable. And like Iridium before it, SpaceX could go bankrupt leaving the SpaceX fleet as an orbital debris field.  But who has the controls? Who has the codes to order the craft to maneuver them, or to deorbit them? Do they even have enough fuel reserves to do a controlled re-entry? They are not after all full blown space craft. They are simple satellites with ion thrusters.

Etc...

The movie Gravity that Neven referenced now becomes prologue to the real event. Unlike in the movie, there won't be any hopscotching between space stations. It will just be one big battlefield of debris, with Astronauts, Cosmonauts and Tychonauts hoping they can navigate their return craft through them safely to earth.

Sam

Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 25, 2019, 09:09:45 PM
As it is brought down, it has to now run the gauntlet of the SpaceX low orbital fleet. But, the pieces of the ISS are not spacecraft themselves and they will have extremely limited maneuvering capability. The SpaceX fleet will have to get out of the way!

Any module ISS is easy to fit in Starship. It is expected that in the coming month, the prototype of the ShipShip (StarHopper) almost in full size will make the first test flight to a height of 100 and 500 meters.

(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/d2/72/ad/d272ada466d96c01179ee901e9e27b31.jpg)

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DxGdCZdXgAAxsDr.jpg)

StarShip's volume is several times larger than that of the Space Shuttle. For comparison, the heaviest satellites (orbital station modules, Hubble space telescope, etc.) were launched on the Space Shuttle.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 25, 2019, 09:34:57 PM
Yes, and the satellites will not take up much space. With a surface area of 360 million kilometers, 10 000 satellites are zilch. Each satellite will account for 4 thousand square kilometers of the Earth's surface. Consequently, the mutual distance between them will be on average more than 50 kilometers ...
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 25, 2019, 09:52:36 PM
teach me to keep track of decimal points.

sidd

https://www.n2yo.com/passes/?s=74001

https://www.n2yo.com/?s=74001
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 25, 2019, 10:05:31 PM
Another fantastic video from Japan.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Archimid on May 25, 2019, 11:28:33 PM
These satellites are in such low orbit that their orbit will decay in less than a year if it is not maintained by the Krypton engines. They are designed that way. 
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 26, 2019, 12:40:49 AM
The current version of Starlink satellites are “95% demisable,” so when they de-orbit (within a few months at the low earth orbits) there will be minimal debris.  Future versions will be closer to 100%.

The satellites are aware of nearby debris (etc.) and can autonomously adjust their orbit to avoid it.

Quote
< I have only one criticism and before that, I'd like to make it clear that I love everything to do with SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity. But I'm concerned about space debris. Is it possible to invent a way to use satellites to collect old satellite debris to balance or reduce debris?

Elon Musk (@elonmusk)
5/19/19, 6:39 AM
Easy to turn one of our Starlink satellites into a debris collector
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1130060332200747008
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 26, 2019, 01:07:50 AM
Yes, and the satellites will not take up much space. With a surface area of 360 million kilometers, 10 000 satellites are zilch. Each satellite will account for 4 thousand square kilometers of the Earth's surface. Consequently, the mutual distance between them will be on average more than 50 kilometers ...

If needing to dodge Starlink satellites was any significant impediment to other launches...  then, other countries, and space launch companies, would have made known their objections long before now.  But I have seen nothing against SpaceX’s Starlink plans — except by competing internet satellite companies!  ;)   
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 26, 2019, 01:39:17 AM
Deep dive into what makes the Raptor engine so special.  Approved by Elon Musk!
Quote
Everyday Astronaut (@Erdayastronaut) 5/25/19, 3:02 PM
Want to know how @SpaceX's Raptor engine works? Confused about what the full flow staged combustion cycle is? Why are they using methane? How's the Raptor compare to other rocket engines? My deep rundown on the Raptor is finally up! Great engine @elonmusk
https://twitter.com/erdayastronaut/status/1132361263714058245

Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 5/25/19, 4:44 PM
@Erdayastronaut @SpaceX Great video. Couple notes: Raptor designed for subcooled CH4/O2, so propellant density & thrust increase up to ~8%, as needed for mission. 380 Isp & up to 50% thrust/weight improvement over time. Merlin thrust/weight doubled from V1, but Raptor is closer to optimum.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1132386984444383233
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 5/25/19, 7:31 PM
@Erdayastronaut @SpaceX Super proud of SpaceX propulsion/test/materials team! One of hardest technology problems. New high temp superalloy & internal foundry needed to make it work. Foundry iteration interval is ~3 weeks from design to flight part vs ~36 weeks typical for aerospace.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1132429010514788352

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LbH1ZDImaI8
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 26, 2019, 02:22:03 AM
Thank you for the video. The key point there is a table. The new engine SpaceX (Raptor) is the most cost-effective in the history of astronautics. And of course methane is much cheaper than kerosene or liquid hydrogen. Moreover, methane gives less soot, and simplifies the reusable use of engines.

I saw the information that the number produced  of Raptors had already reached 10.

In general, space colonization, as a way to solve the problem of climate catastrophe, is becoming more and more real.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 26, 2019, 03:21:22 AM
And another important point. Now the Mask has to compete with the old (time tested) rockets of space agencies.

For comparison. Falcon-9 Mask has flown so far 71 times.

Disposable missiles its competitors made a much larger number of flights: Atlas-5 79 flight, Ariane-5 103 flight, Proton 418 flight, Soyuz 1899 flight, DF-5 304 fligth. More flights - on average, more than a percentage of reliability.

But almost all of these rockets will retire soon. Some will be replaced by new missiles due to lower prices (Atlas-5->Vulcan, Ariane-5->Ariane-6), others because of the transition to environmentally friendly fuel (Proton->Angara, DF-5->CZ-5-9). New one-time missiles will not have large statistics of reliability, like the old ones. And all these rockets are still disposable. In this regard, their customers will go to E. Mask.

The only one-time rocket with large statistics, which will remain in the future is the Soyuz. This is the oldest space rocket with a record number of launches and flying on environmentally friendly fuel. Moreover, due to low wages in Russia, its cost is relatively small. But this missile will be bad able to compete with the Falcon. Firstly, this one-time missile, secondly, Russia is still wary of it, third, the missile carrying capacity is small (almost 3 times less than Falcon).

A similar situation will be in the field of communications. Starink’s 10,000th group of satellites will press all competitors (geostationary satellites and submarine cables).

In this regard, it is obvious that in immediate 5 years corporation SpaсeХ will become the leading monopolist in the space industry and communication.  Above all, the place Microsoft occupies in area the operating system (more than 90 percent of the world market). An absolute majority of rockets, rocket engines and spacecraft will be produced at SpaceХ Corporation.

Such a concentration of high technology and finance in the hands of one corporation will allow concentrating efforts on the rapid progress in the creation of space colonies. It will resemble the Drax Empire in the Moon racer.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 26, 2019, 04:07:39 AM
Above all, the place Microsoft occupies in area the operating system (more than 90 percent of the world market).

Naturally, this is true for the personal computer market. If you count along with mobile, then Android has already outstripped Windows.

According to the latest reports, the share of Android in mobile devices is 87%, together with IOS reaches 99.9%.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 26, 2019, 04:28:04 AM
A similar situation will be in the field of communications. Starink’s 10,000th group of satellites will press all competitors (geostationary satellites and submarine cables).

In this regard, it is obvious that in immediate 5 years corporation SpaсeХ will become the leading monopolist in the space industry and communication.  Above all, the place Microsoft occupies in area the operating system (more than 90 percent of the world market). An absolute majority of rockets, rocket engines and spacecraft will be produced at SpaceХ Corporation.

Such a concentration of high technology and finance in the hands of one corporation will allow concentrating efforts on the rapid progress in the creation of space colonies. It will resemble the Drax Empire in the Moon racer.

Regarding the launch of Starlink, I remembered another fresh comedy thriller:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingsman:_The_Secret_Service

Quote
Richmond Valentine, who has recently offered everyone in the world SIM cards that grant free lifetime cellular and Internet connectivity.

Quote
Eggsy, Merlin, and Roxy set out to stop Valentine. Roxy uses high-altitude balloons to destroy one of Valentine's satellites and break up the network, but Valentine quickly secures a replacement from a business associate.

The writers of this film are clearly parodying Elon Musk (the reason for which Valentine decided to create a spare ark is also global warming.). Although Valentine’s refuge is not on Mars, but under the Andes, he also promises free satellite Internet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2uuFOs7lu0
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: oren on May 26, 2019, 09:18:21 AM
Quote
In general, space colonization, as a way to solve the problem of climate catastrophe, is becoming more and more real.
This is OT for this thread, but space colonization does not solve the climate catastrophe. It possibly prevents human extinction, but does not prevent the misery for the 10.billion humans expected on Earth in 2050, nor prevents the extinction of a multitude of other species.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: vox_mundi on May 26, 2019, 06:51:28 PM
SpaceX Satellites Spark Dutch UFO Frenzy   
https://phys.org/news/2019-05-encounters-spacex-satellites-dutch-ufo.html

A Dutch website set up to record UFO sightings was flooded early Saturday with reports after a "train of stars" was spotted crossing the Netherlands' skies, sparking fears of an alien invasion.

... Dutch website www.ufomeldpunt.nl was inundated with more than 150 sighting reports, with astonished spotters describing a "bizarre train of stars or lights moving across the skies at constant speed".

(https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/rckflzudtrcirle3tjio.gif)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: SteveMDFP on May 26, 2019, 07:13:14 PM
A well-written article that discusses some of the concerns raised here about the massive number of StarLink satellites to be deployed:

Private Companies Are Building an Exoskeleton Around Earth
SpaceX and its competitors plan to envelop the planet with thousands of small objects in the next few years.
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/05/spacex-satellites-starlink/590269/ (https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/05/spacex-satellites-starlink/590269/)

"But the thought of a commercial company’s satellites outnumbering all the rest, and in such a short period of time, is rather astonishing. If extraterrestrial beings were to swing past Earth and check the tags on the artificial objects shrouding the planet, they might think the place belonged to SpaceX."

I note that deploying satellites with long-lasting ion thrust drives opens the possibility of using them to pick up and dispose of the many dead satellites and debris in orbit.  Of course, a mechanism to pay Musk to be the orbital garbage collector would be needed...
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 26, 2019, 11:11:20 PM
It is also interesting that the recent trends in the rapid development of satellite Internet and cellular networks do not confirm one of the explanations of the Fermi paradox.

This explanation states that with the rapid development of wired communication technologies, the radio brightness of inhabited planets is reduced to almost zero.

Thus, the Great silence of the Universe is associated with either a low probability of life or mind, short lifespan of civilizations (nuclear war, resource depletion, climate catastrophe), or the regime of radio silence in the Universe (the existence of interstellar wars).

It is a pity that with the development of wireless communication we become almost completely deaf. Theoretically, this problem can be solved by placing radio telescopes on the back of the moon.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: SteveMDFP on May 26, 2019, 11:25:05 PM

Thus, the Great silence of the Universe is associated with either a low probability of life or mind, short lifespan of civilizations (nuclear war, resource depletion, climate catastrophe), or the regime of radio silence in the Universe (the existence of interstellar wars).

My own suspicion is that intelligent life in the universe is probably quite common--but precious few of these species evolve with hands.  It's hard to build an industrial civilization if nobody can make or use tools.  This is why there's no dominant whale civilization on earth.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sam on May 27, 2019, 12:46:53 AM
I note that deploying satellites with long-lasting ion thrust drives opens the possibility of using them to pick up and dispose of the many dead satellites and debris in orbit.  Of course, a mechanism to pay Musk to be the orbital garbage collector would be needed...

Space isn't a static place like a park, where you can just go pick up litter.

Space is a violently hostile place where objects move silently through the inky blackness falling along the gravity well at speeds that are often about seven and a half to eight kilometers a second horizontally. The combined speed of impact of objects at right angles is nearly eleven to twelve kilometers per second. Vertical velocities can also be quite significant.

To "pick up" trash requires extremely delicate planning and orbital adjustments. Many of these are seemingly quite counterintuitive. Rotational dynamics are a ^%(*. Even small contact velocities can have terrifying consequences.

If either of the objects is spinning, a whole other level of difficulty is involved. Rotational momentum - first, second and third degree moments of inertia come into play. On contact these create tremendous and rapidly changing dynamic torques that can quickly tear things apart.

For an excellent example of what is involved, watch the Russian movie Salyut-7. It is extremely good. There are versions with subtitles.
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6537238/
(link deleted: likely copyrighted and possibly pirated. I think you can find it on Prime and other provider services.)

Nothing is -easy- in space. Everything is hard. And most things can kill you - quickly.

Sam
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: kassy on May 27, 2019, 03:19:17 PM
It might be quite visible:

As a quick check, I just modeled 12,000 copies of the typical orbits of Starlink satellites launched this week. At midsummer midnight in Seattle, I estimate about 500 of them will both be above the horizon and directly illuminated by the sun.

https://www.iflscience.com/space/why-astronomers-are-very-unhappy-about-spacexs-new-starlink-satellites/

Then again growing up in modern city environment i did never get to see the skies properly until i camped out in the middle of nowhere in Spain.

PS: Here is the story of how the whales discovered fire:
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: b_lumenkraft on May 27, 2019, 04:11:46 PM
The amount of debris up there is quite shocking by the numbers, but even more impressive as a visual.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: kassy on May 27, 2019, 04:15:11 PM
Cool...you probably need really good cameras to detect such debris fields around distant planets.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 27, 2019, 04:51:37 PM
He’s on it....

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says Starlink will strive to protect and support science
Quote
On the heels of a swelling debate among astronomers about the potential negative scientific impacts of constellations like Starlink, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says that the company will “make sure [it] has no material effect on … astronomy.”

Additionally, Musk noted that he had already asked Starlink engineers to examine methods of reducing the albedo (i.e. reflectivity) as one potential upgrade for future satellites. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starlink-satellites-will-protect-science/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 27, 2019, 05:13:40 PM
Quote
In general, space colonization, as a way to solve the problem of climate catastrophe, is becoming more and more real.
This is OT for this thread, but space colonization does not solve the climate catastrophe. It possibly prevents human extinction, but does not prevent the misery for the 10.billion humans expected on Earth in 2050, nor prevents the extinction of a multitude of other species.

Not a direct solution, of course.  But developing technology to survive the long journey to Mars with limited life support and energy generation, and dealing with the CO2-rich Martian atmosphere... is highly likely to result in new methods (and cultural awareness) of improving and protecting life on earth.  And if the unthinkable happens on earth (say, a huge asteroid strike), Mars will be a lifeboat until earth is liveable again. 

These first steps to Mars do not mean we are abandoning earth — any more than the New World explorers were abandoning The Old Country.  But there are many learnings to be had from “living differently.”
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: mitch on May 27, 2019, 06:39:29 PM
I am always frustrated by people that say that space exploration is a solution to earth's climate change.  It is not, and means only that a few hundred people at a cost of 10^9 dollars per person will be delivered into an environment that is much worse than the worst environments on earth. 

Spend a few trillion and we can fix earth. 
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: SteveMDFP on May 27, 2019, 08:53:02 PM
I am always frustrated by people that say that space exploration is a solution to earth's climate change.  It is not, and means only that a few hundred people at a cost of 10^9 dollars per person will be delivered into an environment that is much worse than the worst environments on earth. 

Spend a few trillion and we can fix earth.

Completely agree.  And those 10^9 dollars per person will result in accelerated resource depletion and accelerated environmental destruction -- and take up  much-needed resources for building a sustainable global economy.  The idea is deeply counter-productive to human survival and prosperity.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 27, 2019, 11:59:37 PM
I am always frustrated by people that say that space exploration is a solution to earth's climate change.  It is not, and means only that a few hundred people at a cost of 10^9 dollars per person will be delivered into an environment that is much worse than the worst environments on earth. 

Spend a few trillion and we can fix earth.

Completely agree.  And those 10^9 dollars per person will result in accelerated resource depletion and accelerated environmental destruction -- and take up  much-needed resources for building a sustainable global economy.  The idea is deeply counter-productive to human survival and prosperity.

A billion dollars per person, it is now. But Musk said that with new reusable rockets, the cost of a ticket to Mars will drop to 500 thousand dollars. This will move about a million people to Mars in the next 100 years..

With each re-use of rockets, the cost of space flight decreases:

(https://images.theconversation.com/files/104978/original/image-20151209-3266-n6mlox.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=1000&fit=clip)

Imagine how much cars and planes would cost now if they were thrown into a landfill after the first use. The high cost of space technology due to their disposability.

The space way to solve the problem of climate catastrophe is the normal way. It is possible that this path will be much cheaper than the technology of emergency carbon burial from the atmosphere. To stop warming quickly somewhere to bury trillions of tons of carbon. How much money is required for this? I have seen valuations of many trillions of dollars. This path is probably more expensive than space colonization.

It is possible that earthly civilization can not be saved. We have passed the point of no return. In a few decades, a rapid collapse of permafrost, gas hydrants on the ocean floor, deforestation, and the release of  disintegrated carbon dioxide in ocean water will begin. The average temperature will rise by 10-20 degrees Celsius, the land infrastructure will be heavily damaged by powerful earthquakes due to destabilization of tectonic plates from the melting of the polar caps.

In this regard, it is likely that Musk is rightly accelerating space colonization before it is too late. Otherwise, no one will be saved, because the living conditions on Venus do not allow to survive even in underground shelters.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sam on May 28, 2019, 12:31:20 AM
One itsy bitsy teeny weeny problem...  long duration space flight results in bone mass loss of about 1% per month.

By the time they arrive on Mars they will be very lucky not to break most of their bones on landing. On return to earth they will be jelly fish, doomed to remain in orbit until they die. Returning to earth would likely be fatal.

Sam
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 28, 2019, 12:31:34 AM
Link to accurate estimates

https://www.power-technology.com/features/carbon-capture-cost/

Quote
The Carbon Capture & Storage Association (CCSA) estimated that the earlier CCS projects in the power sector would cost between €60–€90 per tonne of carbon dioxide abated, the equivalent of around $69-$103 per tonne.

The association also predicted that these costs will decline to €35–€50 ($40-$57) in the early 2020s, thanks to technological advancements.

That is, even at best, this technology costs $ 40 per ton. And humanity has emitted into the atmosphere about a trillion tons of carbon dioxide. It means that its binding will cost the world economy 40 trillion dollars or half of today's GDP of the planet.

In the future, this amount will only increase. In this regard, that the climatic problems on Earth can be solved completely unknown. But space colonization offers a completely technically feasible solution.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 28, 2019, 12:33:48 AM
One itsy bitsy teeny weeny problem...  long duration space flight results in bone mass loss of about 1% per month.

By the time they arrive on Mars they will be very lucky not to break most of their bones on landing. On return to earth they will be jelly fish, doomed to remain in orbit until they die. Returning to earth would likely be fatal.

Sam

There are people who have successfully lived in zero gravity for almost a year and a half. In addition, it is possible to create artificial gravity by rotating the spacecraft. And on Mars there is almost terrestrial gravity.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 28, 2019, 12:55:37 AM
More satellite discussion on Twitter:

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 5/27/19, 2:32 AM
There are already 4900 satellites in orbit, which people notice ~0% of the time. Starlink won’t be seen by anyone unless looking very carefully & will have ~0% impact on advancements in astronomy. We need to move telelscopes to orbit anyway. Atmospheric attenuation is terrible.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1132897322457636864
Wiki screen shot at the link.

< If they help billions of people in remote locations inexpensively access the internet, it's a price I'd be willing to pay.
EM: Exactly, potentially helping billions of economically disadvantaged people is the greater good. That said, we’ll make sure Starlink has no material effect on discoveries in astronomy. We care a great deal about science.
< But if you can throw up a few Starlink-chassis space telescopes, I'm sure that'll smooth things over with the astro community. Especially since they'd be able to return the data quickly via... Starlink.
EM: Would love to do exactly that

EM: If we need to tweak sat orientation to minimize solar reflection during critical astronomical experiments, that’s easily done. Most orbital objects are close to Earth btw, as shown by this NASA density map. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_deb…
Image below.

< It seems that radio astronomers also have concerns about the RF band(s) Starlink operates on. I’m totally ignorant as to how these work, but are there a range of frequencies to choose from? Is it possible to minimize disruption when passing over arrays?
EM: Yes, already planned. We avoid use of certain lower Ku frequencies specifically for radio astronomy.
 
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 5/27/19, 2:58 AM
Aiming for sub 20ms latency initially, sub 10ms over time, with much greater consistency than terrestrial links, as only ever a few hops to major data centers
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1132903914586529793
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 28, 2019, 12:58:36 AM
Quote
In general, space colonization, as a way to solve the problem of climate catastrophe, is becoming more and more real.
This is OT for this thread, but space colonization does not solve the climate catastrophe. It possibly prevents human extinction, but does not prevent the misery for the 10.billion humans expected on Earth in 2050, nor prevents the extinction of a multitude of other species.

Naturally, space colonization does not guarantee salvation for all 10 billion. It all depends on how much time earth civilization has left.

It's like the Titanic. If it sank 12 hours again 2 hours, almost all would be saved (would have had to approach other ships).

The Titanic did not have a spare ship, but only boats for some people. All the boats did not place because the ship seemed unsinkable. In this regard, on the contrary, we can say that too little money is spent on space, because the Earth is considered unsinkable.

In this sense, I remember the film 2012, in which information about the impending disaster was carefully hidden, and lifeboats were built in deep secrecy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce0N3TEcFw0
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Archimid on May 28, 2019, 01:08:58 AM
If we can't get our own climate under control forget Mars. However if we can demostrate sufficient organization to control the climate and save ourselves from self destruction then Mars, the asteroids, the moon are all the next frontier.

Mars can only serve as a backup for humanity only if Mars is independent of humanity. I think it is safe to assume that we may be centuries away from an independent Mars.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 28, 2019, 01:17:52 AM
If we can't get our own climate under control forget Mars. However if we can demostrate sufficient organization to control the climate and save ourselves from self destruction then Mars, the asteroids, the moon are all the next frontier.

Mars can only serve as a backup for humanity only if Mars is independent of humanity. I think it is safe to assume that we may be centuries away from an independent Mars.

So you're saying that the death of the unsinkable Titanic (who died for simple stupidity - the owner wanted to set a record crossing the Atlantic in the first voyage) proves that humanity can not build large ships for the oceans?

People do not have to predict the weather even a month ahead, but for their own greed and stupidity run to the brink of a climate of Venus. No one wants to control the climate to the detriment of their interests as long as they like it. But when the climate stops liking the time simply will not remain.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 28, 2019, 01:57:34 AM
The military confirms that all satellites have successfully separated from each other.

https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1132858982178201600

Quote
Launch plus3 days:  64 objects from the Starlink mission now cataloged with TLEs. That's 60 sats and 4 debris objects.  It will likely be a while yet before we know which object is which
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 28, 2019, 03:42:07 AM
Some satellites have already begun to ascend.

https://twitter.com/Marco_Langbroek

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D7jj6_WXYAAOMx7.png)

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D7jdK4fXkAEumq8.jpg)

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D7jdMqtWkAA2vsx.jpg)

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D7jdN9CXkAI-LZA.jpg)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: SteveMDFP on May 28, 2019, 03:58:06 AM


Completely agree.  And those 10^9 dollars per person will result in accelerated resource depletion and accelerated environmental destruction -- and take up  much-needed resources for building a sustainable global economy.  The idea is deeply counter-productive to human survival and prosperity.

A billion dollars per person, it is now. But Musk said that with new reusable rockets, the cost of a ticket to Mars will drop to 500 thousand dollars. This will move about a million people to Mars in the next 100 years.

I'm less concerned about the costs of transporting bodies than the costs of building and maintaining a society where there are few available resources and no infrastructure.  Colonizing Antarctica or the ocean floor would be a far simpler, cheaper proposition.  Providing food, water, oxygen, shelter and medical care would be a massive undertaking for the smallest colony.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 28, 2019, 04:08:56 AM
https://spacenews.com/musk-says-starlink-economically-viable-with-around-1000-satellites/

Quote
With every launch, SpaceX will add about a terabit of “usable capacity,” Musk said, and two to three terabits overall.

Thus, the capacity of 11 thousand satellites to approach one thousand terabits per second. Mask satellites will be able to replace all submarine cables in the world.

https://www.iij-ii.co.jp/en/members/romain/pdf/zach_hotnets2018.pdf

(https://ec.europa.eu/epsc/sites/epsc/files/23894.png)

Satellite Internet will be much cheaper than laying thousands of kilometers of cables along the ocean floor.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 28, 2019, 04:13:32 AM
Colonizing Antarctica or the ocean floor would be a far simpler, cheaper proposition.  Providing food, water, oxygen, shelter and medical care would be a massive undertaking for the smallest colony.

The colonization of Antarctica is a fait accompli. Currently, thousands of people live and work there.

Colonization of the ocean depths is extremely difficult due to high pressure. It is much easier to build a colony on Mars than on the bottom of the ocean. Mars is much farther than Venus, but much more robots work on its surface (and much longer).
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Mozi on May 28, 2019, 01:47:05 PM
Satellite Internet will be much cheaper than laying thousands of kilometers of cables along the ocean floor.

Just gotta hope there's not a big solar flare anytime soon!
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 28, 2019, 01:51:36 PM
Satellite Internet will be much cheaper than laying thousands of kilometers of cables along the ocean floor.

Just gotta hope there's not a big solar flare anytime soon!

How and large earthquakes with large landslides on continental slopes...
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sam on May 28, 2019, 02:24:53 PM
Satellite Internet will be much cheaper than laying thousands of kilometers of cables along the ocean floor.

Just gotta hope there's not a big solar flare anytime soon!

Good point! One fine day in a blink, that entire infrastructure goes poof as a solar flare or CME destroys it, taking all of those dependent on it with them.

We humans build extremely fragile systems, never understanding the serious vulnerabilities we are exposing ourselves to.

Sam
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 28, 2019, 02:43:20 PM
In the entire history of astronautics, there were no powerful solar flares that disabled several spacecraft.

For example, now in the GPS system uses satellites launched in 1997! (22 years old)
http://www2.unb.ca/gge/Resources/GPSConstellationStatus.txt

And this is not the limit. From this list you can determine the oldest active satellite:
https://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear-weapons/space-weapons/satellite-database

This is a radio satellite launched in 1974:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMSAT-OSCAR_7

The satellite is 45 years old, and it still works!

In this regard, the danger of solar flares is extremely small. The threat of breaks in submarine cables due to landslides is much higher.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: kassy on May 28, 2019, 04:17:34 PM
45 years is very short on the cosmic scale.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 28, 2019, 04:34:50 PM
It is still surprising that the solar panels retained their work-ability in terms of cosmic radiation and, after 45 years, on a satellite weighing less than 30 kg.

Not so terrible space as it seems.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 28, 2019, 08:12:56 PM
The https://www.starlink.com  website is up, with new renderings of the satellites.  Things are happening fast — limited service could begin as soon as the end of this year! This article also discusses OneWeb, the closest Starlink has to competition:

SpaceX wants to offer Starlink internet to consumers after just six launches
Quote
SpaceX has created a brand new website dedicated to its Starlink satellite constellation, a prelude to offering Internet service to consumers after as few as six launches.

Additionally, Starlink.com reiterated CEO Elon Musk’s estimate that SpaceX will conduct 2-6 dedicated Starlink launches – carrying at least 60 satellites each – in 2019 alone. In other words, a best-case satellite deployment scenario could mean that SpaceX will be able to start offering Starlink service to consumers “in the Northern U.S. and Canadian latitudes” as early as this year, while commercial offerings would thus be all but guaranteed in 2020. A step further, SpaceX believes it will be able to offer coverage of the entirety of the populated world after as few as 24 launches (~1500 Starlink satellites). ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-teases-starlink-internet-service-debut/


——
At the link below: Aerial video of SpaceX’s fairing-catcher ship Mr. Steven, as it returns to port amongst huge cruise ships.  Norwegian Dawn is occupying the SpaceX dock area.

Quote
Port Canaveral (@PortCanaveral) 5/27/19, 3:02 PM
SPACE MEETS CRUISE: SpaceX's Mr. Steven had to get into the act as it arrives at Port Canaveral to meet the 6 cruise ships. Here it is as it passes the @norwegian Dawn, which is our port-of-call ship today. More than 33,000 pasengers on and off our cruise ships today.
https://twitter.com/portcanaveral/status/1133086032524660740
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 30, 2019, 01:53:42 AM
Rare footage of Octagrabber moving out from under the booster on autonomous drone ship Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY). When a rocket lands on the ship, the machine robotically attaches the rocket to the deck, preventing the rocket from sliding around (or off!) the deck in rough seas, and eliminating the need for a human presence in the toxic and potentially explosive environment after landing.
Quote
< Octagrabber caught moving out from underneath the booster. I believe this is only the second ever time this has been filmed.

Stephen Marr (@spacecoast_stve) 5/28/19, 3:49 PM
#Octograbber being moved out from under #Falcon9 B1049.3 before the lifting of the booster can begin.
https://twitter.com/spacecoast_stve/status/1133460349464616960
Brief video at the link.
   
Quote
Greg Scott  (@lake_sea_mtns) 5/28/19, 3:11 PM
@octagrabber doing its job on hanging on to a near perfect landing on @OCISLYDroneship back into port today.
https://twitter.com/lake_sea_mtns/status/1133450622123040770
Image below; notice the white “arms” that reach up and fasten onto the booster to hold it firmly to the deck.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 30, 2019, 06:20:16 AM
A new record has been set in the port.

https://twitter.com/SpaceXFleet

Quote
According to the data available on r/SpaceX... the record time from OCISLY being docked to a booster going horizontal is ~41 hours (Merah Putih). B1049.3 has smashed that record at only ~29 hours!

https://old.reddit.com/r/SpaceX/wiki/recovery_timing
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 30, 2019, 06:35:44 AM
https://twitter.com/cgbassa/status/1133830098807873537

Quote
This figure takes the individual video frames and tracks the brightness of each of the 64 #Starlink objects as they pass through the camera field-of-view. The four debris objects clearly stand out in their optical behaviour, while the payloads either flare or remain constant.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D7wsVIFWwAEKmwf.jpg)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 30, 2019, 06:37:42 AM
https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1133911648006283265

Quote
One Starlink item from Gwynne's talk:  56 of the payloads are working well.  4 of them are misbehaving in some way but are nevertheless in communication.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 30, 2019, 06:40:12 AM
But at the same time, the engines successfully operate on all 60 satellites.

https://twitter.com/cgbassa/status/1133831192074231808

Quote
None of the objects classified as payloads matched positions predicted by the CSpOC/@18SPCS orbital elements (then 1.4 days old), where as the four objects classified as debris did. This suggests that all 60 #Starlink satellites are operational and adjusting their orbits.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 30, 2019, 09:45:06 AM
https://twitter.com/generuso/status/1133961769041444864

Quote
The debris objects generated during the deployment of #Starlink satellites are possibly hold-downs/wiring looms from the four sides of the double stack of the satellites:

(https://pbs.twimg.com/card_img/1133961771469987846/44YZedVF?format=jpg&name=600x314)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on May 31, 2019, 10:29:53 AM
Graph of changes in the height of the orbits of satellites.

(https://i.imgur.com/fNuTDZO.png)

Four fragments have a constant orbit, as well as two satellites (probably broken).

Two more broken satellites first increased the orbit, and now they understand (they will probably be de-orbited).

The remaining 56 satellites stable increase orbit.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 31, 2019, 09:56:42 PM
#249 by Chris Bergin on 31 May, 2019 19:38
Quote
SpaceX:
Update on Starlink Satellites

The following update about the Starlink satellites can be attributed to a SpaceX spokesperson:

“We continue to track the progress of the Starlink satellites during early orbit operations. At this point, all 60 satellites have deployed their solar arrays successfully, generated positive power and communicated with our ground stations.

Most are already using their onboard propulsion system to reach their operational altitude and have made initial contact using broadband phased array antennas.

SpaceX continues to monitor the constellation for any satellites that may need to be safely deorbited. All the satellites have maneuvering capability and are programmed to avoid each other and other objects in orbit by a wide margin.

Also, please note that the observability of the Starlink satellites is dramatically reduced as they raise orbit to greater distance and orient themselves with the phased array antennas toward Earth and their solar arrays behind the body of the satellite.”

On background:

    SpaceX is still in the early stages of raising the Starlink satellites to their intended orbit. The satellites will not reach their final orbit for about another 3-4 weeks.

    This mission was intended to push the operational capabilities of the satellites to the limit. SpaceX expected to encounter issues along the way, including the possibility that some satellites may not function as expected. Our learnings here, however, are key to developing an affordable and reliable broadband service.
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=48135.msg1952406#msg1952406
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 02, 2019, 03:45:55 AM
Due to the uncertainty of the future of the planet in the context of global warming, investing in space is becoming increasingly profitable (more profitable than in electric cars).

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/31/spacex-valuation-33point3-billion-after-starlink-satellites-fundraising.html

Quote
SpaceX valuation rises to $33.3 billion as investors look to satellite opportunity

Additionally, Musk’s space company is now more valuable than his electric vehicle company. Tesla shares closed down on Friday giving the company a market value of $32.8 billion – just below SpaceX’s valuation.

Over the past 5 years, the cost of the space corporation has increased in 3 times:

(https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2018/8/26/47444632-15353372196574981.png)

For comparison, Airbus costs about 90 billion, and Boeing almost 200 billion.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 04, 2019, 12:54:54 AM
Dragon Completes Cargo Return Mission with Splashdown in Pacific – Space Station
Quote
SpaceX‘s Dragon cargo spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 5:48 p.m. EDT (2:48 p.m PDT), approximately 202 miles southwest of Long Beach, California, marking the end of the company’s 17th contracted cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station for NASA. The spacecraft returned more than 4,200 pounds of valuable scientific experimentsand other cargo.

Some of the scientific investigations Dragon returned to Earth include:

Observing Protein Crystal Growth

NASA’s Biophysics-6 experiment looks at the growth of two proteins of interest in cancer treatment and radiation protection. Scientists are using ground-based predictions and in-space X-ray crystallography to determine which proteins benefit from crystallization in microgravity, where some proteins can grow larger and with fewer imperfections.

Microalgae Biosynthesis in Microgravity

Microalgae Biosynthesis in Microgravity (MicroAlgae) studies the effects of microgravity on Haematococcus pluvialis, an algae capable of producing a powerful antioxidant, astaxanthin. It could provide a readily available dietary supplement to promote astronaut health on long-duration space exploration missions. A community college student and alumnae of the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) program proposed the research, and NCAS is engaging community colleges across the U.S. to conduct ground studies for comparison to the in-orbit investigation.

Genes in Space

On May 23, astronauts aboard the space station successfully edited DNA using CRISPR/Cas9 technology for the first time in space, working on the Genes in Space-6 investigation. This milestone advances understanding of how DNA repair mechanisms function in space and supports better safeguards to protect space explorers from DNA damage. Genetic damage caused by cosmic radiation poses a serious risk to space travelers, especially those on long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars. CRISPR/Cas9 now joins a growing portfolio of molecular biology techniques available on the ISS National Lab.

These are just a few of the hundreds of investigations aimed at keeping astronauts healthy during space travel and demonstrating technologies for future human and robotic exploration beyond low-Earth orbit, including missions to the Moon by 2024 and on to Mars. Space station research also provides opportunities for other U.S. government agencies, private industry, and academic and research institutions to conduct microgravity research that leads to new technologies, medical treatments, and products that improve life on Earth.

For more than 18 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth that will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space. A global endeavor, more than 230 people from 18 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 2,500 research investigations from researchers in 106 countries.
https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2019/06/03/dragon-completes-cargo-return-mission-with-splashdown-in-pacific/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: zizek on June 04, 2019, 02:06:40 AM
Link to accurate estimates

https://www.power-technology.com/features/carbon-capture-cost/

Quote
The Carbon Capture & Storage Association (CCSA) estimated that the earlier CCS projects in the power sector would cost between €60–€90 per tonne of carbon dioxide abated, the equivalent of around $69-$103 per tonne.

The association also predicted that these costs will decline to €35–€50 ($40-$57) in the early 2020s, thanks to technological advancements.

That is, even at best, this technology costs $ 40 per ton. And humanity has emitted into the atmosphere about a trillion tons of carbon dioxide. It means that its binding will cost the world economy 40 trillion dollars or half of today's GDP of the planet.

In the future, this amount will only increase. In this regard, that the climatic problems on Earth can be solved completely unknown. But space colonization offers a completely technically feasible solution.

This is insane
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 04, 2019, 03:41:28 AM
It looks like one satellite was repaired (now 57 satellites increase the orbit).

(https://i.imgur.com/4tdhEBO.png)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 04, 2019, 02:30:01 PM
Link to accurate estimates

https://www.power-technology.com/features/carbon-capture-cost/

Quote
The Carbon Capture & Storage Association (CCSA) estimated that the earlier CCS projects in the power sector would cost between €60–€90 per tonne of carbon dioxide abated, the equivalent of around $69-$103 per tonne.

The association also predicted that these costs will decline to €35–€50 ($40-$57) in the early 2020s, thanks to technological advancements.

That is, even at best, this technology costs $ 40 per ton. And humanity has emitted into the atmosphere about a trillion tons of carbon dioxide. It means that its binding will cost the world economy 40 trillion dollars or half of today's GDP of the planet.

In the future, this amount will only increase. In this regard, that the climatic problems on Earth can be solved completely unknown. But space colonization offers a completely technically feasible solution.

This is insane

Why? You don't think the Titanic needed lifeboats? Is our Land unsinkable?

According to the latest plans, the first colonists will arrive on Mars in 5 years. This will build a colony on Mars for the first settlers, in case of a greenhouse disaster on Earth.

Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 04, 2019, 02:37:43 PM
Now the global ice area for several weeks now holds half a million square kilometers less than previous records (half a million square kilometers is the area of France). Who knows what will happen in immediate 5-10 years. Perhaps even the most recent skeptics will realize that space colonies is the only salvation.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 04, 2019, 02:47:03 PM
Many will ask why build a shelter in space, if it can be built on Earth? (underground bunkers).

The problem is that in conditions of global catastrophe chaos will reign (hunger, war, lack of clean drinking water, marauders). Therefore, any refuge on Earth will be plundered and destroyed (like the tombs of the pharaohs in the Egyptian pyramids).
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 04, 2019, 02:54:40 PM
Therefore, any refuge on Earth will be plundered and destroyed (like the tombs of the pharaohs in the Egyptian pyramids).

Or you can recall the last sixth film in the Resident Evil. In this film, the rebel Alice with the help of a small bomb disables the huge underground cryo-depository with the sleeping leadership of the Umbrella Corporation (actually the elite of human civilization).

If this cryo-depository were placed on Mars, then the rebels would not have reached it.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: oren on June 04, 2019, 03:11:14 PM
A. I am not against colonization of Mars in principle, but that is not a solution to anything on Earth.
B. The whole chain of posts has nothing ro do in this thread, and belongs in the "space colonization" one. Duh.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 04, 2019, 03:17:24 PM
A. I am not against colonization of Mars in principle, but that is not a solution to anything on Earth.

Do you think that the creation of backup copies of a hard disk is not a solution to the problem of loss of information due to the breakdown of hard disks?

B. The whole chain of posts has nothing ro do in this thread, and belongs in the "space colonization" one. Duh.

This is not an offtopic, since SpaceХ in the near future will be the only organization that will be able to carry out large-scale space colonization.

This is due to the fact that only this corporation has flying reusable space rockets that can make flights into space inexpensive. The lion's share of the problems of space colonization rests on the very expensive price of transportation due to disposable missiles.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: SteveMDFP on June 04, 2019, 03:39:08 PM

According to the latest plans, the first colonists will arrive on Mars in 5 years. This will build a colony on Mars for the first settlers, in case of a greenhouse disaster on Earth.

The topic is a bit tangential, but this vision is part of SpaceX's goal.  I think it's a dangerous and vastly expensive pipe dream.

Nobody knows if it's possible to adequately protect the travelers from radiation while in transit.   At the destination, they'll have to live mostly underground.  The greenhouses may need to be underground for the same reason.  Growing lights sufficient for a small population will be a massive energy expenditure.

The cost and ongoing resource footprint per colonist will be massive.  For the cost involved, we could construct dozens of habitats in deep underground mines on earth.  After all, the Mars colonists would have to live underground anyway.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: gerontocrat on June 04, 2019, 04:10:17 PM
Oh dear.......

https://phys.org/news/2018-08-elon-musk-colonising-mars-bad.html

Sorry, Elon Musk, but it's now clear that colonising Mars is unlikely – and a bad idea

Quote
Terraforming plans crushed?

Perhaps even more damning, the long-suggested idea of terraforming Mars is now firmly locked in the realm of science fiction. Musk has previously indicated that he wants to terraform the planet to make it more Earth-like, so you can "eventually walk around outside without anything on." This would most easily be done by producing an atmosphere made of heat-trapping greenhouse gases locked in the planet's ice in order to raise its temperature and pressure. Musk has suggested that we could drop thermonuclear bombs on the ice at its poles in order to heat it up to release the carbon dioxide.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: mitch on June 04, 2019, 05:26:26 PM
It would be vastly cheaper to "terraform" earth, i.e. fix the climate problem here than to try to make Mars habitable.  Transport costs to Mars for sufficient numbers of humans and equipment needed are probably equivalent to the entire global GDP. 
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 04, 2019, 05:41:56 PM
Transport costs to Mars for sufficient numbers of humans and equipment needed are probably equivalent to the entire global GDP.

https://bigthink.com/technology-innovation/elon-musk-cost-spacex-ticket

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A ticket to the red planet aboard a SpaceX rocket will likely cost "a couple hundred thousand dollars," according to CEO Elon Musk.

Those. Sending a million colonists to Mars will cost 200 billion dollars. This is only 0.2% of global GDP.

Creating a Martian colony is much cheaper than projects for the disposal of CO2 on Earth.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 04, 2019, 05:44:18 PM
The high cost of space travel is a myth.

Now billions of people have the opportunity to fly on large jets. When rockets become as reusable as planes and cars, likewise millions of people will be able to fly space flights.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 04, 2019, 05:54:36 PM
The cost and ongoing resource footprint per colonist will be massive.  For the cost involved, we could construct dozens of habitats in deep underground mines on earth.  After all, the Mars colonists would have to live underground anyway.

The Martian colony will not be much more complicated than the ISS. Or a modern nuclear submarine, where two hundred people can live for several months or even years in complete isolation.

Or the polar cities, where hundreds of thousands of people live on the polar night with a break for messages of six months or more.

http://www.theworldgeography.com/2011/12/10-largest-cities-within-arctic-circle.html

Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: oren on June 04, 2019, 06:35:02 PM
It would be vastly cheaper to "terraform" earth, i.e. fix the climate problem here than to try to make Mars habitable.
This.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 04, 2019, 06:40:19 PM
It would be vastly cheaper to "terraform" earth, i.e. fix the climate problem here than to try to make Mars habitable.
This.

Creating a Martian colony will be much cheaper than projects for the disposal of carbon dioxide. Don't you believe it?

Read the latest news. While the cost of space flight is falling (technology of reusable rockets is developing), greenhouse gas emissions are increasing rapidly (+3.5 ppm over the last year). I'm afraid people will not have time to solve climate problems before the collapse of civilization.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 04, 2019, 07:27:51 PM
In general, all the companies of Elona Mask master the technologies that are needed to create a Martian colony.

SpaceХ creates reusable rockets and spacecraft for a flight to Mars
Tesla develops the direction of electric transport, which is unopposed for Mars
Boring Company develops technologies of underground construction (mainly, this construction of tunnels) - the colony on Mars will be mostly underground

In this regard, in the coming years, the company Mask will be able to easily build and maintain a Martian colony.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 04, 2019, 08:01:05 PM
Tesla develops the direction of electric transport, which is unopposed for Mars
Martian colony.

In addition, this company specializes in creating the largest batteries that will be ideal for the Martian colony.

https://interestingengineering.com/california-set-to-build-the-worlds-largest-battery-system

Quote
More than 100 proposals were received by the utility company about how to manage the project and land the Moss Landing Power Plant. The winning project sees PG&E team up with electric car company Tesla to build the battery system.

The total project is comprised of four separate sites including a 183-megawatt facility south of San Jose, California, that will be designed and built by Tesla and owned by PG&E.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 04, 2019, 08:14:56 PM
Why risk your life to go... anywhere?

“Because it’s there.”
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 04, 2019, 08:20:17 PM
No, it's not about risk. Just Mask plans to build for rich people an impregnable bunker on Mars in case of a global catastrophe on Earth.

While on Mars, you retain the ability to exchange information with the Earth, but at the same time you will not get nuclear missiles, global warming, sudden epidemics of new diseases, radical extremists, etc.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 04, 2019, 09:41:14 PM
Mars will be a challenging destination for adventureres, not be a vacation spot for rich people.

Elon Musk considers move to Mars despite 'good chance of death'
Quote
“Your probability of dying on Mars is much higher than on Earth,” he said, adding: “It’s gonna be hard. There’s a good chance of death, going in a little can through deep space.”

Should he succeed in landing on Mars, he expects to work “nonstop to build the base”. There will, he said, be “not much time for leisure. And even after doing all this, it’s a very harsh environment. So … there’s a good chance you die there. We think you can come back but we’re not sure. Now, does that sound like an escape hatch for rich people?”

Musk also said he thought “the ad for going to Mars would be like Shackleton’s ad for going to the Antarctic”.

While preparing for his expedition to the South Pole, which began in 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton is supposed to have placed an advertisement in the Times that read: “Men wanted for hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful, honour and recognition in case of success.”
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/nov/25/elon-musk-move-mars-chance-of-death
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 04, 2019, 09:44:20 PM
SpaceX beats Falcon 9 recovery records after company’s heaviest launch ever
Quote
The road to rapid reusability

Rarely will it make headlines, but the fact remains that SpaceX’s ultimate goal is not just to reuse Falcon 9 (and other) boosters, but to do so with a level of routine efficiency approaching that of modern passenger aircraft. It’s reasonable to assume that chemical rockets might never reach those capabilities, but they may certainly be able to improve enough to radically change the relationship between humans and spaceflight.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-beats-falcon-9-recovery-records/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: oren on June 04, 2019, 09:45:47 PM
Creating a Martian colony will be much cheaper than projects for the disposal of carbon dioxide. Don't you believe it?

Read the latest news. While the cost of space flight is falling (technology of reusable rockets is developing), greenhouse gas emissions are increasing rapidly (+3.5 ppm over the last year). I'm afraid people will not have time to solve climate problems before the collapse of civilization.
No need for carbon disposal, start with avoiding carbon emission. Renewable costs are also falling, at a much more rapid rate. Humanity has the time and the feasible technology to avoid the collapse of civilization, it just lacks the will.
The only advantage of space flight is that it can be accelerated by the actions of few people. But a Mars colony will need the support of big bodies, governments and the like. Private funds will not be enough.
And I still claim this debate belongs in the Space Colonization thread or a new Mars Colony thread, as this thread is focused on SpaceX news, rather than long-winded discussions (monologues?) of the Mars Colony goals risks and benefits, both for its own merits and compared to the Earth "alternative".
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 04, 2019, 09:47:07 PM
Mars will be a challenging destination for adventureres, not be a vacation spot for rich people.

Elon Musk considers move to Mars despite 'good chance of death'

This is true only at the beginning. With progressive global warming, the collapse of Earth civilization and the ensuing chaos, Mars can become a paradise for wealthy people who seek stability.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 04, 2019, 09:52:57 PM
...
And I still claim this debate belongs in the Space Colonization thread or a new Mars Colony thread, as this thread is focused on SpaceX news, rather than long-winded discussions (monologues?) of the Mars Colony goals risks and benefits, both for its own merits and compared to the Earth "alternative".

I agree — at least until the first SpaceX Starship leaves earth orbit... or NASA comes to its senses and chooses SpaceX to get astronauts to the moon.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 04, 2019, 09:56:20 PM
Humanity has the time and the feasible technology to avoid the collapse of civilization, it just lacks the will.

Unfortunately, the time machine has not yet been created to accurately answer this question.

The only advantage of space flight is that it can be accelerated by the actions of few people. But a Mars colony will need the support of big bodies, governments and the like. Private funds will not be enough.

Private capital now occupies a leading role in any economy, including space. Private corporations spend at least 4 times more money on space than government agencies:

(https://www.spacefoundation.org/sites/default/files/migrated-articles/EO1.jpg)

Most space launches are carried out with the help of private corporations and for private corporations. Cosmos has long been profitable.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sam on June 04, 2019, 11:56:46 PM
Mars will be a challenging destination for adventureres, not be a vacation spot for rich people.

Elon Musk considers move to Mars despite 'good chance of death'
Quote
“Your probability of dying on Mars is much higher than on Earth,” he said, adding: “It’s gonna be hard. There’s a good chance of death, going in a little can through deep space.”

Should he succeed in landing on Mars, he expects to work “nonstop to build the base”. There will, he said, be “not much time for leisure. And even after doing all this, it’s a very harsh environment. So … there’s a good chance you die there. We think you can come back but we’re not sure. Now, does that sound like an escape hatch for rich people?”

Musk also said he thought “the ad for going to Mars would be like Shackleton’s ad for going to the Antarctic”.

While preparing for his expedition to the South Pole, which began in 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton is supposed to have placed an advertisement in the Times that read: “Men wanted for hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful, honour and recognition in case of success.”
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/nov/25/elon-musk-move-mars-chance-of-death

It is not just "a good chance you will die there". It is a certainty. The changes to the human body alone from the long duration space flight needed to get there (and back) make return all but impossible with anything other than giant rotating craft that simulate gravity en route.

More over, people have little idea just how harsh a place Mars is. Atmospheric pressure on Mars averages 0.6 kPa. Even at the bottom of the Helles Planitia it only reaches 1.16 kPa. This is far below the Armstrong limit of 6.25 kPa, the pressure at which water's boiling point is at body temperature. Life on Mars will require always being in a pressurized bubble. Even brief exposures outside will be fatal from pressure drop and self boiling of body fluids inside your body.

Much of Mars sits on the very edge of the triple point of water at 273.16 K and 0.612 kPa. That is the point where water coexists as solid, liquid and gas. At pressures under 0.612 kPa, pure water can only be a solid or gas. It then behaves like carbon dioxide on earth and directly sublimates.

Even in the depths of Helles pure water boils at about 287 K (14 C, or 57 F).

The only medical care available will be what they take with them. Things like cat scans and MRIs will not be available. It will all be country medicine, with a limited supply of decent drugs. With low gravity, all sorts of changes will happen to the body. No one knows what that will mean. There will be surprises, such as those learned from long duration space flight.

Life will be harsh in the extreme. And with that comes early death from all manner of causes.

Radiation exposure will necessitate excavating an underground home to provide sufficient protection from both the mean radiation exposure levels from the sun and space, but also for the expected excursions from coronal mass ejections ...

But my oh my - the view, during the limited times you get to go to the surface - desolation as far as the eye can see.

Sunlight for plants will be limited as well because of the need to be underground. As a result, solar power will need to be used to power batteries. Dust storms will complicate that, requiring frequent cleaning. Backup power will have to be sufficient to last through very long duration weeks long dust storms, storms which can arise in minutes with little warning.

Oh what joy, what adventure - dying slowly in a cold dark cave, breathing recycled air that slowly goes stale and grows rich in CO2.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Tim on June 05, 2019, 12:14:32 AM
Plus ... perchlorate in all the soil. What? Can't use the soil? Can't even come into contact with it? Can't even be exposed to the dust that would be impossible to keep out of the protective bubble habitat you'd have to exist in, permanently, forever? What, science fiction fans didn't know about the actual chemical makeup of the deadly martian soil?

Pffft. What a waste of resources all this living on Mars bullshit is. People tried to live in a sealed habitat right here on earth, spent tons of money trying, and it failed miserably. Look that up too.

The high levels of perchlorate found on Mars would be toxic to humans, Smith said.

"Anybody who is saying they want to go live on the surface of Mars better think about the interaction of perchlorate with the human body," he warned. "At one-half percent, that's a huge amount. Very small amounts are considered toxic. So you'd better have a plan to deal with the poisons on the surface."

Any humans exploring Mars, Smith said, will find it hard to avoid the finest of dust particles. "It'll get into everything…certainly into your habitat."


https://www.space.com/21554-mars-toxic-perchlorate-chemicals.html

It's all just so stupid.  Why not just stop killing the planet you've got? :o
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Neven on June 05, 2019, 12:35:01 AM
But, but, but Matt Damon in The Martian!  ;)

I'm going to watch that film again soon with my daughter, because she asked me about colonising Mars.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Tim on June 05, 2019, 01:14:30 AM
Yes, love movies.

With the recent carbon capture success story, Shell Carbon-Capture Plant Hits 4 Million Ton Milestone Early ... we just need 80,000 more of those huge and expensive projects to get the job done. Musk should be applying his resources there instead of wasting it on Mars.

I guess I just get frustrated at the distraction he causes with this. I mean, people actually think ... oh, never mind.  :-\
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sam on June 05, 2019, 02:45:36 AM
Tim,

Great point. Perchlorate is a severe hazard. It is a powerful oxidizer and toxin. Even in trace concentrations it is a huge health problem. Perchlorate and pertechnetate (radioactive waste) substitute in the body for iodate (iodine’s active form in the thyroid). In doing that, they wreck havoc on thyroid and pineal gland function and with other organs and tissues to a lesser degree.

Sam
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 05, 2019, 04:29:09 AM
Tim,

Great point. Perchlorate is a severe hazard. It is a powerful oxidizer and toxin. Even in trace concentrations it is a huge health problem. Perchlorate and pertechnetate (radioactive waste) substitute in the body for iodate (iodine’s active form in the thyroid). In doing that, they wreck havoc on thyroid and pineal gland function and with other organs and tissues to a lesser degree.

Sam

The soil can be cleaned or brought from Earth. Do you really think that life on Earth in the next 10-20 years will be better and safer than on Mars?  :)

Read the latest news from the next branch.

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2728.msg203412.html#msg203412

Quote
Human Civilization Faces "Existential Risk" by 2050 According to New Australian Climate Change Report 
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 05, 2019, 04:35:49 AM
Another Dragon successfully returned to Earth. This is already the 19th descent module of the SpaceX Corporation, which has successfully returned from space. None of the lander has ever experienced critical problems during space flight and decreased. This means that the probability of death in space flight on the spaceships of the corporation Mask decreased to 5%.

https://twitter.com/SpaceX

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D8PTe82V4AAV-Eh.jpg)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Tim on June 05, 2019, 04:43:55 AM
Tim,

Great point. Perchlorate is a severe hazard. It is a powerful oxidizer and toxin. Even in trace concentrations it is a huge health problem. Perchlorate and pertechnetate (radioactive waste) substitute in the body for iodate (iodine’s active form in the thyroid). In doing that, they wreck havoc on thyroid and pineal gland function and with other organs and tissues to a lesser degree.

Sam

The soil can be cleaned or brought from Earth. Do you really think that life on Earth in the next 10-20 years will be better and safer than on Mars?  :)

Read the latest news from the next branch.

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2728.msg203412.html#msg203412

Quote
Human Civilization Faces "Existential Risk" by 2050 According to New Australian Climate Change Report 

Strange logic.

If, as has been pointed out, the ability to inhabit Mars is practically nil, for the myriad of reasons just explained ... deterioration of civilization, or even the entire earth system, does not increase those possibilities of inhabiting Mars up from nil.

The report you presented doesn't magically make Mars more inhabitable.

Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: oren on June 05, 2019, 05:19:24 AM
Collapse of human civilization (which I expect to happen by mid-century) is not the same as human extinction on Earth, which I don't expect to happen. But in any case, the risk of extinction on Mars is much higher than on Earth, once there is no supporting civilization to launch more needed stuff and send new immigrants.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sam on June 05, 2019, 05:29:52 AM
The soil can be cleaned or brought from Earth. Do you really think that life on Earth in the next 10-20 years will be better and safer than on Mars?  :)

Oh my. The energy required to transport soil from earth to mars alone would be staggering. The environmental consequences on earth from the CO2, methane, NOx, SOx, CO, aluminum sols, the perchlorate from solid rocket boosters, and a myriad of other pollutants that would result boggle the mind.

Life on earth will continue. The standard of living for humans will not precisely because of our own shortsightedness and ignorance. Many, probably most species extant on earth today will perish, not in the next 10-20 years, but before this new era (the anthropoceme) runs its flash in the pan course. Mankind might well be among those that doesn't ultimately survive. But along with cockroaches and rodents, man is extremely adaptable, so I wouldn't be sure about that.

Life on earth is in large measure the result of the ongoing process of episodic mega-catastrophes leading to severe extinction events, combined with the constant roiling of the earth through tectonics, volcanism, and other factors. If we did not have a giant moon, a sister planet really, in near orbit, and a solar system littered with the debris of huge planetary body collisions raining down on the earth, life would not have reached the state it has.

This human caused catastrophe, climate disruption, is terrible for mankind and for the vast majority of species on the earth today. But that is just today. Wiping the slate and starting over fuels evolution of newer stronger better species to come. But that doesn't make it good for mankind or any of the species that do not survive the transition. And in the end it may not be good for life in general. 

We have about 750 million years for intelligent life to escape earth and colonize other worlds. After that, heating from the sun will quickly extinguish all life on earth over the next half billion years after that.

For now, we have already severely fouled the land, air and water over the whole of the earth. What makes you think for even one instant that we wouldn't apply the same principles on mars, fouling it even further.

Technophilia, the love of technology, is truly a disturbing thing to watch in action. The blinders that people put on to get what they want (or think they want) regardless of, and utterly without regard to, the consequences is astounding.

Our greatest challenge is for mankind to wake up, grow up, and recognize how fragile and how precious our world is. The astronauts, cosmonauts and tychonauts who went into space all got that lesson. The astronauts who left earth orbit for the moon got that most intensely. We live on a small delicate world. It is a precious gift. And we are choosing through our willful ignorance, our arrogance, and our foolishness to destroy our home.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 05, 2019, 05:49:01 AM
Collapse of human civilization (which I expect to happen by mid-century) is not the same as human extinction on Earth, which I don't expect to happen.

If the military use nuclear, chemical and biological weapon in the course of possible global conflicts for scarce resources, then humankind on Earth can really become almost completely extinct. The Earth will be poisoned for many decades by radiation and dangerous toxins from destroyed chemical plants.

But in any case, the risk of extinction on Mars is much higher than on Earth, once there is no supporting civilization to launch more needed stuff and send new immigrants.

Musk believes that the Martian colony can become autonomous with a population of one million people.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 05, 2019, 05:51:25 AM
Oh my. The energy required to transport soil from earth to mars alone would be staggering. The environmental consequences on earth from the CO2, methane, NOx, SOx, CO, aluminum sols, the perchlorate from solid rocket boosters, and a myriad of other pollutants that would result boggle the mind.

The current Mask's missiles use only kerosene and liquid oxygen. In the future, it is planned to replace kerosene with cheaper methane. In this regard, the missiles of SpaceХ Corporation will cause minimal damage to the environment. Moreover, it is possible to replace methane with hydrogen.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Neven on June 05, 2019, 09:04:50 AM
Transporting soil to Mars...  :D :P
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 05, 2019, 09:17:02 AM
But, but, but Matt Damon in The Martian!  ;)

I'm going to watch that film again soon with my daughter, because she asked me about colonising Mars.

In the film, Mars is shown too awful. More scary than in reality. In fact, there is never a strong wind. Even little solar rovers have been working there for almost 15 years (it took a monstrously strong dust storm to completely strip the small rover of solar electricity). And so for 15 years, small solar panels never dust too much. Plus, it is obvious that there is no strong radiation and powerful solar flares, since the little robot has worked for so long.

Be sure to tell your daughter about it.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 05, 2019, 09:45:51 AM
The most real film about the Martian colony, which must be shown to children, it still remains "Total Recall" with Schwarzenegger. The film realistically shows both an underground colony with a glass dome and attempts to terraforming Mars by kindling underground ice.


Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 05, 2019, 09:54:39 AM
https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/06/spacex-working-on-details-of-how-to-get-people-to-mars-and-safely-back/

Quote
SpaceX beginning to tackle some of the big challenges for a Mars journey

Earlier this month, the principal Mars "development engineer" for SpaceX, Paul Wooster, provided an update on the company's vision for getting to the Red Planet. During his presentation at the 2019 Humans to Mars Summit in Washington, DC, Wooster said SpaceX remains on track to send humans to Mars in the "mid-2020s." He was likely referring to launch opportunities for Mars in 2024 and 2026, but he also acknowledged that much work remains to reach that point.

SpaceX plans to bring humans to Mars with a two-stage rocket: the Starship upper stage and a Super Heavy booster (the latter formerly known as the Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR). Iterative design versions of the Starship are being built at facilities in both Boca Chica, Texas, and near Cape Canaveral, Florida. SpaceX founder Elon Musk is expected to provide an update on their development in late June.

Wooster said that SpaceX is working to "minimize the number of things that we need to do in order to get that first mission to Mars." Part of that minimization involves a massive payload capacity. Starship, once refueled in low-Earth orbit, is planned to have a capacity of more than 100 tons to Mars.

This will allow SpaceX to take a "brute force" approach, which will greatly simplify the overall logistics of the first missions. For instance, this will allow for taking more consumables instead of recycling them, more equipment and spare parts, and other infrastructure, Wooster said.

Of course, there are many other variables beyond just getting to Mars that make for a successful mission. Wooster echoed Musk, who in previous talks has said the company is not as focused on other aspects of the mission, such as long-term food storage, collecting resources, and the science to be done on Mars. "SpaceX is very much a transportation company," Wooster said.

(https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/SpaceX_Mars_Architecture-1-1440x767.png)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sam on June 05, 2019, 10:16:38 AM
In the film, Mars is shown too awful. More scary than in reality. In fact, there is never a strong wind. Even little solar rovers have been working there for almost 15 years (it took a monstrously strong dust storm to completely strip the small rover of solar electricity). And so for 15 years, small solar panels never dust too much. Plus, it is obvious that there is no strong radiation and powerful solar flares, since the little robot has worked for so long.

The Martian was a fun movie, though completely unrealistic. National Geographic’s Mars series is better. It too is utterly unrealistic.

All craft headed for space or use on other planets use electronics designed to handle a lot more radiation than terrestrial electronics can handle specifically because of the radiation impacts. They also use fault tolerant logic to detect bit errors and correct.

Survival for a small rover doesn’t require the power levels required for human habitation. It can also tolerate long periods at low power in survival modes and recover later. Humans can’t do that. We need air to breathe and water to drink on an extremely regular basis. Nat. Geo’s Mars gives a better idea of what that is like. But again, it is fiction. It isn’t real. Real life is vastly harder and harsher than these pieces of fiction suggest. The “costs” involved are very real. The heroics in the Martian to recover a single person would never occur in reality. The costs to the crew in terms of radiation exposure alone would be fatal. Still, it is a fun movie and worth seeing. “Gravity” similarly plays fast and loose with the truth and reality. It has some great shots in it, like the fire behavior on the space station, and the impacts of a Kessler cascade. But the reality of what is possible bears little resemblance to the fiction.

As to the impacts of the rocket launches. Using fossil fuels or hydrogen improves some aspects. They are vastly less damaging than the aluminum sols and perchlorates released from solid rocket use, or the toxics from UDMH, etc...  But that doesn’t mean they don’t have a high environmental cost. They do. And it still doesn’t make the trip any more feasible, no matter how much someone may want it to be. No, the impacts are not solely limited to the combustion of the fuel. They include everything needed to produce that fuel, everything needed to produce the rocket, and the combustion of the fuel. That last bit is a small part of the total costs. And no, just throwing more research and effort and money at it will not close the equation.

Sam



Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: oren on June 05, 2019, 11:13:56 AM
The most real film about the Martian colony, which must be shown to children, it still remains "Total Recall" with Schwarzenegger. The film realistically shows both an underground colony with a glass dome and attempts to terraforming Mars by kindling underground ice.
And a three-boobed woman. Just saying.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: gerontocrat on June 05, 2019, 12:27:42 PM
The Martians left Mars because it was such a dump.

And in the end it didn't do them a lot of good.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 05, 2019, 01:32:05 PM
Prices for space flights are falling rapidly.

(https://www.futuretimeline.net/data-trends/images/rocket-launch-costs-trend.jpg)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/5UnsxgNaEnmdke7cv6iCjlgSQZxoLcpoHQ4xdcmhRO54aqMht8vn2ghbM6MWj6S8BjjSRJslGhgVHNXT0386oiFMgEykCs0pu3DYZ9X_M2j_wlRCId1OnCn2Hby_ZpouBs7KFbPy)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 05, 2019, 02:32:47 PM
Back on topic?  :)

The next SpaceX launch is set for June 11, from Vandenberg, California, with a 3-satellite Radarsat Constellation that is SpaceX’s most valuable payload yet.

SpaceX Falcon 9 and $1B satellite trio set for first California launch in months
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-readies-falcon-9-radarsat-california-launch/


Reminder: the Space Colonization thread is here: 
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2522.msg200767.html#msg200767
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 06, 2019, 01:03:30 AM
- Please note that the launch of Canada’s new Earth observation satellites, the RADARSAT Constellation Mission, is now targeted for Wednesday, June 12th at 10:17 a.m. (ET) [1417 UTC]. #RCMSatellites
Quote
CanadianSpaceAgency (@csa_asc) 6/4/19, 3:30 PM
Slated for launch on June 11, the RADARSAT Constellation Mission is a trio of Satellites that will scan  Canada daily to help manage our #environment and waters. Learn more: ow.ly/8xVl50uwziw. #RCMSatellites #ClimateChange
https://twitter.com/csa_asc/status/1135992189304082432
2-min video on the satellites’ earth-observing capabilities at the link.

Watch the launch webcast at SpaceX.com
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 08, 2019, 08:13:42 PM
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 6/8/19, 11:39 AM
Static fire test of Falcon 9 complete—targeting June 12 launch of RADARSAT Constellation Mission from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1137383580529618946
Launch time:  1417 GMT (10:17 a.m. EDT; 7:17 a.m. PDT)
- The booster supporting this mission launched Crew Dragon to the @Space_Station in March


—— 
Falcon Heavy STP-2 mission: SpaceX's Workhorse Readies for Its Most Challenging Test Yet
Quote
The mission, which will be managed by the United States Air Force and Missile Systems Center, will send 24 satellites into space. The company has declared it “among the most challenging launches in SpaceX history,” due to a mixture of four upper-stage engine burns, three deployment orbits, and a propulsive passivation maneuver to top it all off. The whole mission is expected to last six hours.
https://www.inverse.com/article/56514-spacex-s-falcon-heavy-is-about-to-hit-hyperdrive

Current Launch window: 0330-0730 GMT on June 25th (11:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m. EDT on 24th/25th)

https://www.spacex.com/stp-2
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 13, 2019, 06:04:22 PM
The famous Vandenberg Fog was no issue for the California launch — or the landing!

Three Canadian radar surveillance satellites ride SpaceX rocket into orbit
Quote
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket fired through a dense shroud of coastal fog and climbed into orbit Wednesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, deploying a trio of radar observation satellites to begin a $900 million mission surveying the Arctic, maritime waters, forests and farmland for the Canadian government.

The Radarsat Constellation Mission, made up of three identical Earth-observing satellites, is led by the Canadian Space Agency, and is one of the most expensive missions in the history of the country’s space program.

The three Radarsat satellites lifted off from Space Launch Complex 4-East at Vandenberg at 7:17:10 a.m. PDT (10:17:10 a.m. EDT; 1417:10 GMT). Seconds later, the Falcon 9 emerged from a thick blanket of fog as seen from a distant mountaintop tracking camera that provided live views of the rocket’s ascent. ...
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/06/12/three-canadian-radar-surveillance-satellites-ride-spacex-rocket-into-orbit/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 13, 2019, 08:13:14 PM
https://twitter.com/Marco_Langbroek

Quote
Two #Starlink objects, objects AV and AQ,  have still not raised their orbit.

(note that for some objects, e.g. objects J and AB, the last available orbital elements are up to almost a week old! AV and AQ have recent elements < 1 day old though)

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D883LXwWsAEglrK.png)

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D883MkAXkAIEwjf.png)

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D883NnmXkAABMa1.png)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 14, 2019, 08:20:20 PM
“Starlink – at least in its current iteration – was never meant to serve more than ‘3-5%’ of Earth (population: ~7.8 billion), with most or all of its users nominally located in areas with low to medium population densities. This generally confirms technical suspicions that Starlink (and other constellations like OneWeb and Telesat) is not really capable of providing internet to everyone per se.”

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk hints at Starlink’s global reach at Tesla shareholder event
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-elon-musk-starlink-250-million-people/

Video: Starlink early deployment: 6 to 12 orbital planes.
What areas of the earth could see usable Starlink coverage in its early phases?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k73AFybi7zk
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 15, 2019, 02:25:55 AM
Next up:  Falcon Heavy launch!  SpaceX’s most ambitious mission yet.

Quote
Emre Kelly (@EmreKelly) 6/14/19, 3:41 PM
#SpaceX Falcon Heavy STP-2 now firmly on the Eastern Range's launch calendar for Monday, June 24 @ 2330 ET / 0330 UTC +1. Liftoff from 39A, landings at LZ-1 and drone ship.
https://twitter.com/emrekelly/status/1139618957147746305
Launch hazard detail map at the link.

NASA highlights payloads on next Falcon Heavy; LZ-1 cleared for normal operations
Quote
NASA has released information regarding the U.S. space agency’s payloads that will launch on the Air Force’s STP-2 (Space Test Program -2) mission on SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket later this month.
...
Falcon Heavy payloads from NASA:
In all, four NASA payloads will ride-share their way to orbit aboard the Falcon Heavy during the STP-2 mission, managed by the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center.

The NASA payloads, four of the 24 total payloads on this mission, are designed to test a variety of technologies that the agency hopes will one day improve upon current spaceflight technologies.
The NASA payloads are: the Deep Space Atomic Clock, the Green Propellant Infusion Mission, the Space Environment Testbeds, and the Enhanced Tandem Beacon Experiment.

Deep Space Atomic Clock:
This experiment will be the world’s first ion-based atomic clock to be flown in space with the goal of dramatically improving space-based navigation via timekeeping pieces 50 times more stable than the GPS atomic clock.

To this end, the Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC) is built to maintain timekeeping accuracy to within one second over 9 million years.
First and foremost, this experiment seeks to demonstrate an atomic clock’s operation in Low Earth Orbit to validate the functionality of the device as well as test its capabilities for future applications on deep space missions. …
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/06/nasa-payloads-next-falcon-heavy-lz-1/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 15, 2019, 06:35:36 PM
https://www.reddit.com/r/Starlink/comments/c0jzd0/starlink_orbit_raising_continues_some_past_data/

Quote
Updated plot with Friday data (OP plot is based on Thursday data). If you believe NORAD two satellites are now at 552 km and one at 549.5 km. Although looking at the plot you can hardly trust the accuracy of the data. I removed clearly wrong data at day 154 from my plot.

(https://i.imgur.com/yDpPCA2.png)

Quote
Friday afternoon update. One of the satellites is going to the Moon.

(https://i.imgur.com/hk56bqH.png)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 20, 2019, 01:36:30 PM
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 6/20/19, 12:52 AM
Static fire of Falcon Heavy complete—targeting June 24 launch of STP-2 from Launch Complex 39A in Florida → https://www.spacex.com/stp-2
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1141569552330870784
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 6/19/19, 11:59 AM
This will be our most difficult launch ever
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1141375028321062912

The how and why of a SpaceX static fire event:
SpaceX fires Falcon Heavy’s 27 booster engines ahead of “most difficult launch ever”
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-falcon-heavy-static-fire-most-difficult-launch-ever/

Why this mission stands out:
A SpaceX surprise: Falcon Heavy booster landing to smash distance record
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-surprise-falcon-heavy-booster-landing-distance-record/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on June 20, 2019, 02:10:42 PM
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 6/19/19, 11:59 AM
This will be our most difficult launch ever
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1141375028321062912

Why this mission stands out:
A SpaceX surprise: Falcon Heavy booster landing to smash distance record
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-surprise-falcon-heavy-booster-landing-distance-record/

They are gradually increasing the power of this rocket. In the first launch the ship was in 505 km from the launch site, in the second launch of 967 km, in the third launch will be 1245 km.

This is testing the maximum capabilities of this rocket. In the future, they will need to build two additional ships so that the first steps land at 500 km from the launch site. Then this reusable rocket will load 30 tons into low-Earth orbit.

This will be a significant success in the field of space colonization.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 20, 2019, 07:42:11 PM
Station mission planning reveals new target Commercial Crew launch dates
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/06/station-planning-new-crew-launch-dates/

TL;DR:  SpaceX’s first crewed mission to the ISS (DM-2) is now tentatively planned for 15 November 2019. 
Boeing’s uncrewed demo flight to the ISS is planned for 15 Sept 2019, and their first crewed mission 30 November 2019.

Article discusses US astronauts on future Soyuz flights; crew rotations; and future cargo contracts.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 24, 2019, 06:38:47 PM
Falcon Heavy Launch tonight!
June 24/25   Falcon Heavy • STP-2
Launch window: 0330-0730 GMT on 25th (11:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m. EDT on 24th/25th)
Launch site: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will launch the U.S. Air Force’s Space Test Program-2 mission with a cluster of military and scientific research satellites. The heavy-lift rocket is formed of three Falcon 9 rocket cores strapped together with 27 Merlin 1D engines firing at liftoff.
Quote
On its third flight Monday night, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket will fly to three different orbits with two dozen spacecraft on a mission set to last more than six hours, prompting SpaceX founder Elon Musk to declare it the company’s “most difficult launch ever.”
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/06/23/falcon-heavy-to-flex-muscles-on-demanding-demo-launch-for-u-s-air-force/


————  SpaceX Starship: Raptor engine update
Elon Musk:
Quote
[Raptor engine #6] almost done. Aiming for an engine every 12 hours by end of year.

Since Raptor produces 200 tons of force, cost per ton would be $1000. However, Raptor is designed for ~1000 flights with negligible maintenance, so cost per ton over time would actually be ~$1.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1143040289587814400

Quote
Edit: more:

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 6/24/19, 8:07 AM Other rocket engines were designed for no (or almost no) reuse. Raptor is designed for heavy & immediate reuse, like an aircraft jet engine, with inspections required only after many flights, assuming instrumentation shows it good. Using hydrostatic bearings certainly helps.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1143128635525799936
< How many flights is the Merlin actually good for with no major refurbishment now that you’ve reflown it so many times? Is the bearing the limiting factor? Or is it the coking?
Elon Musk (@elonmusk)6/24/19, 12:33 PM
Merlin could probably do 1000 flights too. Turbine blade fatigue cracking would require periodic weld repair or replacement. Probably some seals & bearings as well. Coking not really an issue.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1143195449425321984

Elon Musk Teases Rapid, Cheap Raptor Production to Get to Mars Fast   
https://www.inverse.com/article/56999-spacex-elon-musk-teases-rapid-cheap-raptor-production-to-get-to-mars-fast

———-
Photos below:
Quote
Space Coast Life (@SpaceCoast_Life) 6/22/19, 2:42 PM
New photo of Starship orbital on east coast, Cocoa,Fl. Looking like a sleek bullet. Photos taken by ?
https://twitter.com/spacecoast_life/status/1142503126076928000
Photo below.

Falcon Heavy photo:
https://twitter.com/_tomcross_/status/1140356115454029824
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 30, 2019, 12:48:38 AM
SpaceX completes most-challenging flight with Falcon Heavy’s STP-2 mission
Quote
After years of payload preparation, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket launched one of the company’s most-challenging missions to date.  Space Test Program 2 (STP-2), a U.S. Air Force contracted flight with 24 government and civilian testbed payloads, launch within at 4-hour launch window from LC-39A at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida.
The launch window opened at 23:30 EDT on Monday, 24 June (03:30 UTC on Tuesday 25 June), although the T-0 moved to 02:30 EDT – 3 hours into the window.  After liftoff, the Falcon Heavy’s second stage spent roughly 3.5 hours performing 20 deployments of 24 satellites into various orbits and various orbital inclinations.

Falcon Heavy: A unique mission
STP-2 is a one-of-a-kind mission for SpaceX and the Falcon Heavy rocket.  The triple-booster rocket – the world’s most powerful currently-operational rocket – blasted off under 5.1 million lbf of thrust from Pad 39A in Florida and flew due east out over the Atlantic Ocean.
Launching a remarkably lightweight payload of just 3,700 kg, the Falcon Heavy – at a glance – seemed wildly overpowered for launching a mission of this class into orbit.  However, part of the flight required the second stage to re-ignite three times to radically alter the vehicle’s orbit for the various payload deployments….
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/06/spacex-falcon-heavys-stp-2-mission/

Although this mission was contracted by the Air Force (in large part to confirm the Falcon Heavy capabilities), the two dozen satellites that were deployed came from customers as varied as universities, NOAA, high school-designed cubesats, and the Planetary Society’s crowd-funded LightSail project:
Quote
Thomas Burghardt (@TGMetsFan98) 6/26/19, 11:16 AM
Updated #STP2 payload manifest. It turns out that the Prometheus payload was not removed from the mission, and that there was an unannounced DOTSI payload. Counting DSX as 1 satellite instead of 3 still results in a total of 24 satellites.
https://twitter.com/tgmetsfan98/status/1143900904720084992
Image of Manifest below.

———
A video of the entire mission webcast is available at SpaceX.com

Watch a 13-minute video replay of the Falcon Heavy’s first night launch – Spaceflight Now
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/06/25/watch-a-video-replay-of-the-falcon-heavys-first-night-launch/
From the SpaceX webcast

THUNDEROUS TWIN SONIC BOOM AUDIO!
Quote
Michael Seeley (@Mike_Seeley) 6/25/19, 1:45 PM
Boom (x4) and rumble: This is what the #SpaceX #STP2 #FalconHeavy side booster landings sounded like from 2.4 miles away.
The video is maybe 4/10, but the audio = wow, just wow.
Congratulations to @elonmusk & the @SpaceX team; this is incredible.
(Clip: me / @WeReportSpace) pic.twitter.com/XL9IFuEtTK
https://twitter.com/mike_seeley/status/1143576053488803844
45-second video/audio.

———
For failure junkies: why the center core went flame-y end sideways just before landing in the ocean near the autonomous drone ship:
(Elon had previously suggested this record-shattering height/speed/force landing attempt had perhaps a 50% chance of a success.)
Quote
Everyday Astronaut (@Erdayastronaut) 6/25/19, 2:50 AM
Falcon Heavy Center core curse continues... It looks to me like it full blown took off sideways... which MIGHT mean one of the outer engines could have shut down early and then pitched it over sideways... is that correct @elonmusk ? Next time!!!
https://twitter.com/erdayastronaut/status/1143411098131017728
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 6/25/19, 3:12 AM
@Erdayastronaut Center core RUD. It was a long shot.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1143416587418066944
< Those poor titanium grid fins.
EM: I know … sigh. Those are truly a work of art.
< Elon do you know what went wrong?
EM: High entry force & heat breached engine bay & center engine TVC failed
EvdayA: And did the computer know that and know to divert?!?! :o :o :o
EM: Most likely. It is programmed to do so.

Reddit thread: Center core landing GIF - spacex
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/c57vsw/center_core_landing_gif/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 30, 2019, 12:52:38 AM
Starlink update:
Quote
Tyler Gray (@TylerG1998) 6/28/19, 4:05 PM
Official update on #Starlink from @SpaceX. 57/60 satellites are healthy and communicating, and 45 of these have made it to their operational orbits. 5 Starlinks (2 healthy ones and the 3 not-so-healthy ones) will be deorbited, leaving 55 sats in orbit when it’s all done.
https://twitter.com/tylerg1998/status/1144698427944710144
Text image below.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 30, 2019, 01:02:34 AM
Already lining up customers for Starship for as soon as 2021! :o

Quote
Summary:
   •   3 telecoms companies currently in discussion about launching on Starship.
   •   Starship can launch 20 tons to GTO.
   •   Starship + Super Heavy launch potentially by end of 2020, commercial operations in 2021.
   •   Flight proven boosters cost $50 million, reducing in future.
   •   SpaceX will offer to capture and return satellites.
   •   F9 2nd stage reuse abandoned due to payload reduction.
   •   Aim to reuse a Falcon 9 stage five times by end of year.

SpaceX targets 2021 commercial Starship launch
Quote
JAKARTA, Indonesia — The first commercial mission for SpaceX’s Starship and Super Heavy launch system will likely take place in 2021, a company executive said June 26.

Jonathan Hofeller, SpaceX’s vice president of commercial sales, said the company is in talks with prospective customers for the first commercial launch of that system roughly two years from now.
“We are in discussions with three different customers as we speak right now to be that first mission,” Hofeller said at the APSAT conference here. “Those are all telecom companies.”

SpaceX’s Super Heavy booster and Starship upper stage are being designed to launch up to 20 metric tons to geostationary transfer orbit, Hofeller said, or more than 100 metric tons to low Earth orbit. Equipped with a nine-meter payload fairing, the launch system is designed to carry crew and resources to the moon and Mars, but is also SpaceX’s next vehicle to send satellites into orbit around the Earth and elsewhere.  ...
https://spacenews.com/spacex-targets-2021-commercial-starship-launch/

Reddit discussion:  https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/c6nyvn/spacex_targets_2021_commercial_starship_launch/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 06, 2019, 12:56:05 AM
So you want to build a starship….

SpaceX has a new job posting for “Launch Engineer, Starship Operations” at Cape Canaveral.

Launch Engineer, Starship Operations
Cape Canaveral, FL, United States
Quote
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.

LAUNCH ENGINEER (STARSHIP OPERATIONS)
The Cape Starship Operations Engineer plays a critical role, and is responsible for design, build, and operations for Starship and Super Heavy vehicle development and initial launch capability from Launch Pad 39A. Engineers will be working in multiple disciplines: fluids, structures, instrumentation, civil, and manufacturing. ...
https://boards.greenhouse.io/spacex/jobs/4342965002?gh_jid=4342965002
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on July 06, 2019, 09:46:32 PM
Already lining up customers for Starship for as soon as 2021! :o

Quote
Summary:
   •   3 telecoms companies currently in discussion about launching on Starship.
   •   Starship can launch 20 tons to GTO.
   •   Starship + Super Heavy launch potentially by end of 2020, commercial operations in 2021.
   •   Flight proven boosters cost $50 million, reducing in future.
   •   SpaceX will offer to capture and return satellites.
   •   F9 2nd stage reuse abandoned due to payload reduction.
   •   Aim to reuse a Falcon 9 stage five times by end of year.

SpaceX targets 2021 commercial Starship launch
Quote
JAKARTA, Indonesia — The first commercial mission for SpaceX’s Starship and Super Heavy launch system will likely take place in 2021, a company executive said June 26.

Jonathan Hofeller, SpaceX’s vice president of commercial sales, said the company is in talks with prospective customers for the first commercial launch of that system roughly two years from now.
“We are in discussions with three different customers as we speak right now to be that first mission,” Hofeller said at the APSAT conference here. “Those are all telecom companies.”

SpaceX’s Super Heavy booster and Starship upper stage are being designed to launch up to 20 metric tons to geostationary transfer orbit, Hofeller said, or more than 100 metric tons to low Earth orbit. Equipped with a nine-meter payload fairing, the launch system is designed to carry crew and resources to the moon and Mars, but is also SpaceX’s next vehicle to send satellites into orbit around the Earth and elsewhere.  ...
https://spacenews.com/spacex-targets-2021-commercial-starship-launch/

Reddit discussion:  https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/c6nyvn/spacex_targets_2021_commercial_starship_launch/


Such a rapid speed of creating a huge space transportation system clearly indicates that the world elite is well aware of the imminent climatic and geological catastrophe. Billionaires are investing huge amounts of money in spacecraft to create a spare safe place for themselves and their surroundings.

New strong earthquakes in California and the growing activity of the largest geyser in Yellowstone will increase the motivation for investment in SpaceХ.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: oren on July 06, 2019, 09:56:30 PM
Quote
New strong earthquakes in California and the growing activity of the largest geyser in Yellowstone will increase the motivation for investment in SpaceХ.
::)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on July 06, 2019, 10:11:33 PM
Quote
New strong earthquakes in California and the growing activity of the largest geyser in Yellowstone will increase the motivation for investment in SpaceХ.
::)

What is your surprise? Have you watched the latest geyser data?

https://geysertimes.org/geyser.php?id=steamboat

He does not stop erupting. The last eruption lasted 1 hour and 16 minutes. This is an absolute record in duration (the last record was 1 hour and 15 minutes on September 17, 2018).

Such activity may be associated with recent eruptions in California.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on July 06, 2019, 10:17:57 PM
CNN says that it is the largest geyser not only in Yellowstone, but on the entire planet.

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/04/us/yellowstone-volcanic-activity-trnd/index.html



Quote
(CNN)The Steamboat Geyser at Yellowstone National Park is no Old Faithful.

The world's tallest active geyser -- whose major eruptions shoot water more than 300 feet into the air -- is known to be unpredictable. But if there was ever a year to witness Steamboat's spectacular surge of water, this might be it.
We're just over halfway through 2019 and the Steamboat Geyser has already erupted 25 times, according to the US Geological Survey. That puts it on track to surpass last year's record of 32 eruptions -- the largest number ever recorded in a year. The record before that was 29 eruptions in 1964.
The Steamboat Geyser erupted seven times just last month alone, the USGS said. June's outbursts, which occurred on the 1st, 7th, 12th, 15th, 19th, 23rd, and 28th, also smashed the record for the shortest interval between eruptions -- just over three days.

Quote
Yellowstone National Park is home to about 10,000 hydrothermal features, including hot springs, geysers and mud pots, the National Park Service says. It has about 500 geysers as well as the largest concentration of active geysers in the world.

It `s very unusual.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on July 06, 2019, 10:42:50 PM
More geyser "specialists" are having a lot of fun:

Quote
Poland said there are a number of possibilities why Steamboat is erupting more frequently. One is that several heavy snow years in Yellowstone created more groundwater to feed geysers and hot springs. The Steamboat Geyser is starting to erupt more frequently just as spring snowmelt is at its peak, he said.
It's a popular misconception that geyser eruptions are related to earthquake activity, but Poland said visitors to the national park have nothing to worry about. Steamboat's frequent surges do not reflect any deeper changes in Yellowstone's volcanic system: Geyser plumbing systems are within a couple hundred meters of the surface, while the magma system starts several thousand meters below.

For comparison, for 6 years between 2006 and 2013 there was not a single eruption of this geyser. Probably following the logic of "specialists", during these 6 years not a single millimeter of snow or rain fell in Yellowstone.

This is reminiscent of attempts to calm the population with the help of lies.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on July 06, 2019, 11:24:01 PM

For comparison, for 6 years between 2006 and 2013 there was not a single eruption of this geyser.

Is this then proof that AGW ceased during that 6 year period?


If the geyser is reacting to AGW then shouldn't the history of it's eruptions show a steadily increasing number of eruptions over a number of decades?


Couldn't this period of inactivity be used as a very strong argument against your theory?
Terry
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Rod on July 06, 2019, 11:30:00 PM
I think Oren made a joke, and that joke should not be used as a basis to derail this thread.

There are other places to discuss the Yellowstone geysers. 😝
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: oren on July 07, 2019, 12:19:13 AM
The sentence I quoted made so little sense logically, but I didn't want to start arguing, certainly not in this thread. But I couldn't just let it stand. So I chose the quick coward's way of throwing in an emoji, "rolls eyes" to be more specific.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on July 07, 2019, 12:22:01 AM
The sentence I quoted made so little sense logically, but I didn't want to start arguing, certainly not in this thread. But I couldn't just let it stand. So I chose the quick coward's way of throwing in an emoji, "rolls eyes" to be more specific.
Ramen ;)
Terry
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Tor Bejnar on July 07, 2019, 04:28:47 AM
Maybe AM can ask Space X to send specially equipped capsules into Steamboat to get to the bottom of the matter.  (And AM can report the outcome on another thread, unless there is a Space X public notice.)  :-X
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on July 07, 2019, 10:02:50 PM

For comparison, for 6 years between 2006 and 2013 there was not a single eruption of this geyser.

Is this then proof that AGW ceased during that 6 year period?


If the geyser is reacting to AGW then shouldn't the history of it's eruptions show a steadily increasing number of eruptions over a number of decades?


Couldn't this period of inactivity be used as a very strong argument against your theory?
Terry

If, after 2012, no new record is set in the Arctic for the minimum ice area and the amount of melting in Greenland, does this mean that the AGW has stopped?

In addition, I have already given a table from which it follows that in the 20th century, periods of silence for the geyser reached 50 years (1911-1961):

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2164.0;attach=124759;image)

Let's go back to the topic. I hope Mask will have time to earn money on his satellites.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Starlink/comments/c9c00k/starlink_orbit_update/

Quote
Starlink orbit update

53 satellites in a final 559 x 556 km orbit

2 satellites (J, AQ) stuck in their injection orbit at 450 x 440 km

1 satellite (AV) being deorbited at 411 x 398 km

4 satellites (Y, AA, AZ, BG) drifting to a new plane in a 500 x 500 km orbit

So it looks like Starlink testing will be done with a primary plane with 53 satellites and an offset secondary plane with just 4 satellites that can be used to test lateral "plane to plane" switching for small sections of an orbit as well as "along orbit" switching between satellites in the same plane.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: vox_mundi on July 09, 2019, 05:11:20 PM
Elon Musk’s Satellites Dot the Heavens, Leaving Stargazers Upset
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-08/elon-musk-s-satellites-dot-the-heavens-leaving-stargazers-upset

Two days after Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched 60 satellites in May as part of a mission to bring quick internet service to people worldwide, astronomers noticed something different.

As some of the satellites zipped past the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, telescopes trained on the night sky captured streaks of reflected sunlight that marred their view of a far-off star system.

(https://en.es-static.us/upl/2019/06/starlink-satellite-trails-may2019-e1560192339636.jpg)

... “We just happened to be pointed in the right direction, and Starlink flew right through it” on May 25, two days after launch, said Jeffrey Hall, director of the Lowell Observatory. The unexpected appearance helped to signal that, as Hall put it, “this is potentially a problem.”

(https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/images/9/90/starshade.png)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles on July 16, 2019, 10:37:51 PM
Quote
SpaceX Ready to Resume Starhopper Testing with Static Fire and Hop

Following the arrival and installation of a new Raptor engine on to the Starhopper vehicle at SpaceX’s test facility in Boca Chica, Texas – preparations are in full swing for a Static Fire test that will be required ahead of what is expected to be a 20 meter hop for the vehicle this week.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/07/spacex-resume-starhopper-tests/

.

Leaky component led to SpaceX explosion
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49005026
Quote
A small amount of NTO was driven at high speed through a helium check valve (one that allows gas to flow in just one direction) made from titanium during initialisation of the launch escape system - which is designed to blast the crew free in the event of a rocket failure. This led to structural failure within the valve.

In a statement, the company said: "The failure of the titanium component in a high-pressure NTO environment was sufficient to cause ignition of the check valve and led to an explosion."

It added: "The reaction between titanium and NTO at high pressure was not expected."

As a result of the explosion, SpaceX has already taken several actions, including the use of components called burst disks instead of check valves. The burst disks seal completely until opened by high pressure. The company believes this will prevent any liquid propellant entering the gaseous pressurisation system.
...
Demo-2 will ferry Nasa astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the ISS for the first crewed test flight of the vehicle. It would mark the first time US astronauts have launched to space from American soil since the last flight of the space shuttle in July 2011.

The plan had been to launch the mission at the end of this year. But officials currently won't commit to whether that goal can be achieved.

https://www.spacex.com/news/2019/07/15/update-flight-abort-static-fire-anomaly-investigation
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 20, 2019, 03:24:45 PM
Cargo Dragon to ISS Resupply mission
Falcon 9 finally conducts Static Fire test ahead of CRS-18 mission
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/07/falcon-9-static-fire-test-crs-18/

Falcon 9 • SpaceX CRS 18
Launch now scheduled No Earlier Than July 24
Launch time: Approx. 2024 GMT (6:24 p.m. EDT)
Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

————
SpaceX delays Starhopper’s first flight a few days despite Raptor preburner test success
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starhopper-ignites-raptor-pre-hover-testing/

Some scary moments at the end of the Starhopper static fire test when, apparently, methane surrounding the rocket ignited.  But an untethered hop of about 20 meters is still expected next week.
Quote

Summary:
Good Static Fire (5 secs).
Methane Discharge ignited.
Hopper detanked and powered down fine.
Looks totally OK this morning.
Hop schedule TBD.
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1151504052125147138
Photos at the link.
< SpaceX personnel: so Elon how big a fireball do you want?
Elon: YES

Starhopper fires up for an eventful Static Fire test
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/07/spacex-resume-starhopper-tests/

—-
UPDATE: IN-FLIGHT DRAGON ABORT STATIC FIRE TEST ANOMALY INVESTIGATION
https://www.spacex.com/news/2019/07/15/update-flight-abort-static-fire-anomaly-investigation
A small amount of oxidizer in a helium high-pressure line was ignited by a failed titanium check valve — something the spacecraft industry did not think could happen.  Many space industry folks must now be looking at their own spacecraft and having an “Oh, sh**” moment….
Notably, “the SuperDraco thrusters recovered from the test site remained intact, underscoring their reliability.”

——
SpaceX’s Elon Musk says landing Starship on the Moon could be easier than convincing NASA
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-elon-musk-starship-moon-landing-vs-nasa-conservatism/amp/
This article provides background on the following interview:

Elon Musk Told Us Why He Thinks We Can Land on the Moon in ‘Less Than 2 Years’
Quote
On July 12, TIME editor-at-large and space reporter Jeffrey Kluger had a far-ranging conversation with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk at the company’s headquarters in California. They discussed Musk’s reasons for starting SpaceX, his thoughts on his various challengers in the new race to the moon, and his predictions for the near-future of human space travel. The interview below has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity. (For more of the interview, tune into CBS Sunday Morning, July 21, at 9:00 AM, ET.)
https://time.com/5628572/elon-musk-moon-landing/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: vox_mundi on July 25, 2019, 07:39:58 AM
SpaceX Aborts First Attempted Flight Test of 'Starhopper' Prototype After Engines Fire
https://gizmodo.com/spacex-aborts-first-attempted-flight-test-of-starhopper-1836683140/amp

(https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--siQ48axR--/c_scale,f_auto,fl_progressive,q_80,w_800/pftur2escsyfuemj6koh.png)
Roman candle?

A week after a fireball erupted from the base of SpaceX’s prototype “StarHopper” rocket during a static-fire test at the company’s Boca Chica, Texas facility, the company’s first “untethered” test launch of the craft was aborted after encountering technical difficulties on Wednesday, CNBC reported.

During the test, the rocket was supposed to fire its engines just long enough to lift it approximately 65 feet (20 meters) in the air. According to CNBC, while the rocket’s Raptor engine did begin to fire, it did not lift off the ground and “an enduring flame shot skywards near the top of the rocket.” TechCrunch noted that the prototype rocket appeared “relatively unscathed” after the incident.

... According to NASA Spaceflight, SpaceX may try again on Thursday, but the company hasn’t officially confirmed that yet.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 26, 2019, 02:01:22 PM
SpaceX Launches Used Dragon Capsule on Historic 3rd Cargo Run to Space Station
Quote
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX successfully launched its 18th commercial cargo mission to the International Space Station today (July 25), then stuck a rocket landing at the company's nearby landing site, LZ-1.
This flight marks the 18th mission for SpaceX under its commercial cargo resupply services contract with NASA. Of the missions flown to date, this is the seventh overall to feature a preflown Dragon and marks the first time the same Dragon spacecraft has flown to the station three times — CRS-6 in April 2015, the CRS-13 mission in December 2017 and now CRS-18. ...
https://www.space.com/spacex-crs-18-launch-third-dragon-flight.html

The 44th landing!
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 26, 2019, 02:07:26 PM
Thursday was also historic for the first free flight of SpaceX’s new Raptor rocket engine, in a short free-flight, or “hop,” of the Starship test vehicle, called Starhopper.  Ground tests have shown the Raptor to be more powerful than any rocket engine in use today, which will enable a huge Starship to travel to and from Mars (with the help of a Superheavy booster to leave earth’s gravity well).

STARHOPPER'S FIRST HOP!!!! - YouTube
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sWT1788sBFA
Look carefully to see the very top of Starhopper through the exhaust clouds ~ 1:30 to 1:34

SpaceX Starship Prototype Takes 1st Free-Flying Test Hop
Quote
SpaceX's prototype rocket for a planned Starship vehicle has flown untethered for the first time.
Called Starhopper, the rocket made its first free-flying test hop at SpaceX's Boca Chica proving ground in South Texas late Thursday (July 25), one day after a glitch forced it to abort an earlier attempt. Starhopper ignited its single Raptor engine just before midnight, apparently firing long enough to meet the test's main objective, which SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk had said would be a straight hop 65 feet (20 meters) up and down. 
"Starhopper test flight successful," Musk wrote on Twitter after the test. "Water towers *can* fly haha!!" (Starhopper is a large, squat cylinder on three legs wrapped in stainless steel, giving it a "water tower" look.) ...
https://www.space.com/spacex-starhopper-first-untethered-hop-success.html

Tweets from Elon Musk:
7/25/19, 11:49 PM
Starhopper flight successful. Water towers *can* fly haha!!
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1154599520711266305

7/26/19, 1:49 AM
Engine cam pic.twitter.com/3cWHU50353
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1154629726914220032
24-second vid

7/26/19, 4:48 AM
Drone cam pic.twitter.com/gVdMrMgUZq
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1154674872041103360
27-second vid

< That’s one small hop for a water tower...one giant leap toward Mars colonization

Quote
Reddit:  https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/chz00d/elon_on_twitter_engine_cam/

< This is the first flight of a full-flow staged combustion engine. Not only is the most challenging rocket cycle, they've managed to get it throttling (and gimbaling) so that it can hover a water tower with precision :-O
Well done SpaceX, the reason all us engineers across the world are cyber-stalking you is that you're doing the coolest goddamn engineering we've ever seen.

< don't know why people keep calling it a water tower when it's clearly an R2 grain solo
< The shutdown is very clean, no screech or burp, just a perfect stop

History:  The Hopper/ship/Raptor story up to Wednesday
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/07/spacex-resume-starhopper-tests/

“In full-flow staged combustion (FFSC), even more complexity is added as all propellant that touches the engine must necessarily end up traveling through the main combustion chamber to eke every last ounce of thrust out of the finite propellant a rocket lifts off with. As such, FFSC engines can be about as efficient as the laws of physics allow any given chemical rocket engine to be, at the cost of exceptional complexity and brutally difficult development.“
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starhopper-flight-test-raptor-video/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 26, 2019, 08:15:30 PM
Here’s an enhanced video that indicates the horizontal translation at the top and during descent that was always part of the plan for this first untethered Starhopper flight.

Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 7/26/19, 1:49 PM
SpaceX Starhopper Maiden HOP - Now with multi-view with Bocachicagal (Mary) + Overlay and Elon Videos:
Thanks to Mary (@BocaChicaGal) and also Jay DeShetler (@jdeshetler) who did the editing:
youtu.be/G-guuMr53Uw
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1154810914278952965

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-guuMr53Uw
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 28, 2019, 10:17:15 PM
Behind the scenes: Starhopper and Starship
Quote
Jack Beyer (@thejackbeyer) 7/26/19, 8:29 AM
#Starhopper’s first hop! Since we had so much smoke to contend with, here’s a two image composite, one image is of the start of the hop, and one is at apogee, during translation. Blue bracket is height of the vehicle, green is height of the hop.
https://twitter.com/thejackbeyer/status/1154730346770063361
  Photo below.
Quote
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 7/26/19, 9:04 AM
The 20 meter hop - drone camera. [at the link]
And - if you missed this other piece of news - Elon's saying Starhopper will hop 200 metes in a week or so.
So that's going to rise way above the exhaust and provide some surreal "flying water tower" views

Quote
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight)
7/28/19, 3:16 PM
VIDEO: SpaceX Starhopper Sunday Drive.
Starhopper was taken back to its launch site on Sunday, in preparation for its 200 meter hop next month. It was carried by Roll Lift Crawlers.

Video by Mary (@BocaChicaGal)
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1155557686152486912
https://youtu.be/DrjrGk-04yw

—-
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 7/28/19, 5:50 AM
Now that Hopper has flown, Starship update probably in two weeks or so.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1155415096387969024

=====
ICYMI:  SpaceX performed “hops” with Grasshopper, the Falcon 9/ Merlin engine prototype, years ago, on their way to making the Falcon reusable.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HXdjxPY2j_0
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 28, 2019, 10:21:10 PM
Falcon 9 returns safely to earth after helping deliver CRS-18 to the International Space Station.

Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 7/28/19, 5:46 AM
Falcon 9 piercing the sound barrier on reentry
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1155414118574067713
Photo below

——-
Quote
Emre Kelly (@EmreKelly) 5/10/18, 2:47 PM
Falcon 9 Block 5's landing legs, meanwhile, have moved features from the outside to the inside. Internal latch mechanism can now be closed and opened with ease. Previously, it required several hours to re-stow the landing gear, according to Musk.
https://twitter.com/emrekelly/status/994650151376637952

Quote
Tyler Gray (@TylerG1998) 7/27/19, 10:59 PM

B1056.2 is once again getting its legs folded after its second launch and landing on Thursday.
https://twitter.com/tylerg1998/status/1155311833286356993
Photo below.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on July 29, 2019, 12:55:18 AM
A number of fire trucks were required to extinguish a 100 acre brush fire ignited by Spacex's Starhopper test launch. Spacex employees and the local fire department had fire under control by Friday. There were no homes in the vicinity.


https://www.businessinsider.com/spacex-starhopper-rocket-launch-wildfires-texas-2019-7 (https://www.businessinsider.com/spacex-starhopper-rocket-launch-wildfires-texas-2019-7)


Terry
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles on July 30, 2019, 12:21:04 PM
Moving this here.

Before SpaceX, there has never been a rocket that reached orbit (orbital velocity) and survived re-entry to land.  Let alone was launched to orbit and re-landed a second time.  Or a third time!

The technology existed for decades. There was no point in doing it. There still is no point in doing it. If it can safely be repeated 10 times over, then it will make sense.

Musk invented nothing (except a really strange rocket-fueled "green" cult).

Space shuttle?
That flew again several times but was too costly in refurbishment.

If falcon 9 is cheap to refurbish as it appears that it is, why wouldn't two or three flights make it worth while? Why are 10 needed to make it make sense? One third payload, partially expendable, some refurbishment/inspection: 2 launches might be close to savings each launch, 3 launches should produce cost savings. Might need a lot of such launches to recoup the development costs, but I don't see why it can't work out as a good strategy with a maximum of 3 launches.

Just because only 3 reflights so far, doesn't mean 4th and more reflights are not possible. I am expecting next Starlink flight scheduled NET late September will be a 4th launch. If it isn't. I think concerns will then reasonably grow that they cannot get a 4th reflight.

Are you really saying that if 1 flight in 9 or less need an expendable format so SpaceX never has to fly one 10 times, that it isn't worth it.

The benefit to SpaceX is mainly having to develop only one rocket and having several configurations in which it can fly. Essentially rightsizing the rocket to the payload - less expensive launches for smaller payloads. Has meant they have got very large share of launch market despite developing relatively few rockets and variants.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 31, 2019, 04:02:49 AM
A number of fire trucks were required to extinguish a 100 acre brush fire ignited by Spacex's Starhopper test launch. Spacex employees and the local fire department had fire under control by Friday. There were no homes in the vicinity.
...

 ;)

Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 7/26/19, 12:14 AM
The morning papers: "As Boca Chica burns to the ground, rocket fans continue to grin from ear to ear"
@LabPadre stream: youtube.com/watch?v=dsBr9JJNrBw
#DontPanic #BushFire pic.twitter.com/c1UNoXkRmn
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1154605893587259393

—-
Mary (@BocaChicaGal) 7/30/19, 6:19 PM
There's already a notice to close the road and beach for the next stage of StarHopper testing, a 200 meter hop.
@NASASpaceflight pic.twitter.com/rpw4vu4rzt
https://twitter.com/bocachicagal/status/1156328446018105345
Image at the link:  road closure announced for August 12, with 13 & 14 as alternates. 2 to 11 pm each day.

A local judge must sign off all the SpaceX road closure requests (for testing).  If there were any concerns, testing could easily be stopped.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on July 31, 2019, 06:16:08 PM

<snipped>

A local judge must sign off all the SpaceX road closure requests (for testing).  If there were any concerns, testing could easily be stopped.


While I may shutter at visions of the oversight of a local southern judge, I've no doubt that the recent conflagration has left us a reasonably robust fire break. ;)


Sig,  do you have any idea of the methane each of these launches/tests releases? I'm sure that individually the amounts make little or no difference - but I recall Musk calling for 20 or more launches/year going forward and it could over time become problematical.


If I stumble across a figure I'll post it here.
Terry

Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles on July 31, 2019, 07:03:19 PM
Sig,  do you have any idea of the methane each of these launches/tests releases?

If I stumble across a figure I'll post it here.
Terry

Are you wanting to find out about liquid methane leakage as they top up the rocket plus any unburnt fuel, or the total amount of fuel most of which will be burnt to CO2 and water?

Not sure if this helps:

Starship https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starship_(spacecraft)
Launch mass   1,335,000 kg (2,943,000 lb)
Dry mass   85,000 kg (187,000 lb)
Payload capacity   150,000 kg
Raptor engine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raptor_(rocket_engine_family)
Mixture ratio   3.81

Starhopper is much smaller of course.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 31, 2019, 09:58:35 PM
New article in Reddit outlines SpaceX’s timeline as we know it so far.  Awaiting an update from Elon Musk in the next few weeks.

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/ck91az/starship_plan_coming_together/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: petm on July 31, 2019, 10:04:51 PM
Here's an interesting (if dated) calculation, which concludes that the carbon emitted in 1 SpaceX rocket launch equals approximately the carbon savings over their life of 10 Tesla cars.

https://faculty.washington.edu/dwhm/2016/03/18/how-many-teslas-does-it-take-to-make-up-for-a-spacex-launch/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 02, 2019, 01:49:26 PM
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 8/1/19, 6:06 PM
Team is setting up an additional static fire test of Falcon 9 after replacing a suspect valve. Will confirm updated target launch date for AMOS-17 once complete.
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1157049942113865728

Looks like No Earlier Than the evening of Monday, August 5.  The AMOS-17 mission will expend the Falcon 9 booster. :'(

SpaceX delays expendable Falcon 9 satellite launch for an unprecedented second static fire test
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-falcon-9-delay-second-static-fire/

In fact, just a month ago, SpaceX reached a major milestone of reusability when it recovered two flight-proven Falcon Heavy boosters and became the first company in history to launch and land more orbital-class rocket boosters than it has expended (as of June 2019: 81 launched, 43 landed). SpaceX followed this up with landing #44 after Falcon 9 B1056.2 successfully completed its second launch on July 25th.
SpaceX transports Falcon 9 to launch site ahead of Block 5’s second expendable launch ever
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-falcon-9-block-5-second-expendable-launch/

========
Quote
SpaceXFleet Updates (@SpaceXFleet) 8/1/19, 5:55 PM
BREAKING: Just Read the Instructions (aka Marmac 303) is to leave Los Angeles and transit the Panama Canal on 15th August.
The destination is not known but Port Canaveral is a potential location.
Thanks to u/Vedaprime on Reddit. Search for Marmac 303
boydsteamship.com/booking

Thomas Burghardt (@TGMetsFan98) 8/1/19, 6:05 PM
There was, at one point, plans for a 3rd drone ship (A Shortfall Of Gravitas/ASOG) to support the east coast’s higher launch cadence, per @elonmusk. Perhaps ASOG will replace JRTI on the west coast, or maybe there are no drone ship recoveries from Vandenberg for a while. https://twitter.com/tgmetsfan98/status/1157049775621099521
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 02, 2019, 01:53:52 PM
Plans for preparing Launch Complex 39A to handle Starship and Super Heavy!
Quote
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 8/1/19, 10:42 PM
"Draft Environmental Assessment for the SpaceX Starship and Super Heavy Launch Vehicle at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) -
https://netspublic.grc.nasa.gov/main/20190801_Final_DRAFT_EA_SpaceX_Starship.pdf
 - heck of a long read, but as we reported (nasaspaceflight.com/2019/05/spacex…), Starship Pad 'off ramp' on 39A. "
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1157119556323876866
Quote
"SpaceX plans to launch the Starship/Super Heavy up to 24 times per year from LC-39A. A static fire test would be conducted on each stage prior to each launch."
Looks like Super Heavy lands on an ASDS.
Starship LZ-1 at first. Pad inside the fence at 39A still under evaluation!

—-
From the document:
“SpaceX has successfully demonstrated their ability to service the launch industry with the Falcon family of launch vehicles now developing a multi-mission, fully reusable, super heavy-lift launch vehicle. The Starship/Super Heavy launch vehicle would reduce the cost of access to space, exceeding the capabilities of the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles, enabling cost-effective delivery of cargo and people to the Moon and Mars.”
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 03, 2019, 06:46:15 PM
The August 2019 Environmental Study for SpaceX’s proposed Starship upgrades to Launch Complex 39A in Florida includes a section on Air Quality — and finds no significant hazards.

Page 7 of 250:
Quote
Potential Environmental Impact from Proposed Action
    Air Quality
    Impacts to local and regional air quality due to activities associated with the construction activities, ground and launch operations, landing operations, engine test firing, the occasional operation of generators, and ground vehicle emissions are expected to be insignificant.

For the maximum launch frequency of 24 launches per year, Starship/Super Heavy launch vehicle would emit up to 0.29 tons per year of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO). During the Starship landing, up to 0.016 tons per year of NOx and CO would be emitted. During the Super Heavy booster landing, up to 0.036 tons per year of NOx and CO would be emitted. Static fire tests conducted prior to launch for the Super Heavy booster and Starship would emit 0.13 and 0.03 tons per year, of NOx and CO, respectively. The total potential emissions of any criteria pollutants under the Proposed Action would not be expected to cause exceedances of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

Quote
CO2 emissions from landing of the Starship or Super Heavy booster, whether on a droneship, at LZ-1, or at LC-39A, would be appreciably less than emissions from launches because fewer engines would be relit. In addition, planned reuse of first stage boosters would reduce potential emissions compared to manufacturing and shipping a new booster to the launch site. Therefore, the emissions of GHGs from Starship/Super Heavy launch, static fire test, and landing events would be insignificant and would not cause any appreciable addition of GHGs into the atmosphere; and the impact to regional or global climate change, including sea level rise, is anticipated to be insignificant.

The section beginning on page 169 analyzes Raptor engine emissions and stoichiometry in depth.
Exhaust Plume Calculations for SpaceX Raptor Booster Engine
P. 177:  ”The small concentration of unburnt methane is rapidly oxidized, surviving less than 1 msec.”

Note: one benefit of Methane as a fuel:  no soot!

Link to the study:  https://netspublic.grc.nasa.gov/main/20190801_Final_DRAFT_EA_SpaceX_Starship.pdf

And here’s an article:  https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/05/spacex-ssto-starship-launches-pad-39a/ 
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on August 03, 2019, 08:57:11 PM
Thanks Sig
Your above addressed my concerns WRT GHG emissions. :)
Terry
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: DrTskoul on August 03, 2019, 09:29:21 PM
The same methane benefit as fuel should be applied to other modes of transportation not just Elon's rockets.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 05, 2019, 03:55:55 PM
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 8/3/19, 11:58 PM
Static fire test of Falcon 9 complete—team is now working toward August 6 for launch of AMOS-17 from Pad 40 in Florida, pending Range availability
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1157863437877141506

——-
Quote
< Any Starship updates?
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 8/3/19, 7:53 PM
August 24th, either at Cape Canaveral or Boca Chica
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1157801794069827584

Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo (@JaneidyEve) 8/3/19, 8:12 PM
@elonmusk Please at Boca Chica!
Since i can't travel to Cape  :'(
- I hope the presentation is at Boca Chica because i thought you said local supporters will be invited.
   
- BOCA CHICA TEXAS
Why:
✔ The first Starship Hopper was tested here!
✔ Starship Mk1 is looking good
✔ local supporters have been so excited documenting Starship's progress since Jan 1, 2019
✔ Tacos are good down here!
✔ Gift small town dreamers inspiration for the future ♡

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 8/3/19, 9:09 PM
Very convincing! Ok, Boca it is. We should have Starship Mk1 with 3 Raptors almost ready to fly by then.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1157820736582688773

Elon Musk will update the status of Starship development on August 24
"We should have Starship Mk1 with 3 Raptors almost ready to fly by then."

https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/08/elon-musk-will-update-the-status-of-starship-development-on-august-24/

SpaceX’s Florida Starship hits growth spurt as Texas Starship begins bulkhead installation
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-texas-florida-orbital-starships-rapid-progress/

——
Image below:  Some believe... SpaceX is building a Stargate™ or two. ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 05, 2019, 04:00:00 PM
Starship could launch (with Super Heavy booster), be refueled in an elliptical earth orbit, then fly to the moon, land propulsively… and return to earth without needing to refuel.  But NASA is in a rush (demanded of this administration), so it’s attempting a three-part huge SLS rocket + “Lunar Gateway/fuel depot” + Lunar transport ship — things it’s familiar with and/or has in the works.  And now even the usual bidding process has been abandoned in the interest of time:

Will NASA Sole-Source Northrop to Build a Space Station to Orbit the Moon?
 https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/will-nasa-sole-source-northrop-to-build-a-space-station-to-orbit-the-moon/ar-AAFk6QP

====
Elon Musk(@elonmusk): Depot haha …
  —
[Making] Dragon dock with Space Station is much harder than docking with our own ship for refilling. Not a problem.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1156671168151093249

The SLS rocket may have curbed development of on-orbit refueling for a decade
https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/08/rocket-scientist-says-that-boeing-squelched-work-on-propellant-depots/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 05, 2019, 08:43:00 PM
Wow.  This allows smaller customers access to big-time SpaceX, and flights on a scheduled basis.
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 8/5/19, 2:00 PM
SpaceX is expanding its launch services to directly address the needs of small satellite operators through regularly scheduled, dedicated Falcon 9 rideshare missions → spacex.com/smallsat
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1158437647280271363
30-second animation at the link of second stage, fairing deploy.

From the website:
SMALLSAT RIDESHARE PROGRAM
DEDICATED AFFORDABLE RIDESHARE TO SUN SYNCHRONOUS ORBIT
Quote
DEDICATED ESPA CLASS MISSIONS AS LOW AS $2.25M
SpaceX’s SmallSat Rideshare Program will provide small satellite operators with regularly scheduled, dedicated Falcon 9 rideshare missions to SSO for ESPA class payloads for as low as $2.25M per mission, which includes up to 150 kg of payload mass.

Unlike traditional rideshare opportunities, these missions will not be dependent on a primary. These missions will be pre-scheduled and will not be held up by delays with co-passengers.

For payloads who run into development or production challenges leading up to launch, SpaceX will allow them to apply 100% of monies paid towards the cost of rebooking on a subsequent mission (rebooking fees may apply).

Falcon 9 was the most frequently launched commercial rocket worldwide in both 2017 and 2018. With SpaceX as a launch partner, small satellites can fly on dedicated missions with the world’s leading commercial launch provider at a fraction of traditional costs. ...
https://www.spacex.com/smallsat

Image below.
“L-12” = 12 months before launch.  Book early for the best price! ;)
These will launch from SpaceX’s Vandenberg, California, launch complex 4E, and placed into an earth orbit that keeps the satellite always in sunlight (facing earth’s day-side, and thus continually powering any solar array).

Edit:
Reddit discussion here: https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/cmegmu/spacex_is_expanding_its_launch_services_to/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 06, 2019, 02:11:21 PM
SpaceX launch of Amos 17 satellite is scheduled for this evening, 2253-0021 GMT on 6th/7th (6:53-8:21 p.m. EDT on 6th), from SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.  Of note is that Cape Canaveral has scheduled a ULA launch from the Cape Thursday morning, which would be fastest turnaround between two orbital rocket launches at the Space Coast since May 1981.  (Weather may affect those plans, however.)  Faster turnaround times are expected to become more the norm soon.
Quote
Several new launch providers plan to start flying rockets from Cape Canaveral in the next few years, including Blue Origin, Firefly Aerospace and Relativity Space. With new entrants to the market joining the Cape Canaveral launch manifest, the Air Force is pushing to streamline and modernize range infrastructure on Florida’s Space Coast to support up to 48 missions per year.

That would be equivalent to an average of about one launch per week, with a few weeks of down time for maintenance on the range.
“In this case, we’d be showing that is not one a week, it’s a couple a week,” Schiess said. “We’re looking forward to it, (and) really excited to be able to show that capability.”

The Eastern Range consists of a network of communications, tracking and safety installations used by every launch from Florida’s Space Coast. The range typically operates on a first-come, first-served basis to accommodate requests from launch providers like SpaceX and ULA.

One key enabler for faster turnaround times is the introduction of an autonomous self-destruct mechanism on rockets, an addition that cuts the Air Force’s workload for each launch.

The on-board safety system relies on Global Positioning System satellite navigation data, replacing decades-old radars and tracking equipment that required military officers to manually send commands to destroy errant boosters before they could threaten people and property.

The switch is expected to save millions of dollars in infrastructure costs and allow for more launches from Air Force-run ranges at Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg Air Force Base, officials said.

The Air Force aims to eventually host launches on the same day. The last time two orbital-class rockets blasted off from Cape Canaveral within a 24-hour period occurred in April 1978.

Air Force’s Cape Canaveral commander excited for two launches in less than 36 hours
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/08/05/cape-canaveral-to-host-two-launches-in-36-hours-this-week/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 06, 2019, 02:14:27 PM
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 8/5/19, 5:32 AM
Just left Starship Texas build site. Very proud of progress SpaceX team has made! Pics are of 9m dome rotation & Starship airframe behind windbreak.
[Photos at the link.]
- Headed to Starship Cape Canaveral build site today

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 8/6/19, 12:06 AM
Great progress by Starship Cape team. Started several months behind, but catching up fast. This will be a super fun race to orbit, moon & Mars!

Everyday Astronaut (@Erdayastronaut)
Are they actually racing to orbit (Starship and Super Heavy)? Or just racing to get out of the atmosphere and practice the belly flop-to-tail down maneuver?

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 8/6/19, 2:51 AM
Race to orbit by both teams, although a success by both in close proximity would be amazing & each would count as a win
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1158631714706427904
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: petm on August 07, 2019, 03:09:27 AM
Not SpaceX but still very cool:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huwiWhSF0TU
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 07, 2019, 03:10:04 AM
SpaceX Falcon 9 Block 5’s second expendable launch a bittersweet success
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-falcon-9-block-5-second-expendable-launch-success/

And they caught a fairing half!
Quote
SpaceXFleet Updates (@SpaceXFleet) 8/6/19, 7:45 PM
Here we go! First position in from Ms. Tree...
Heading north west at 9 knots as of 7 minutes ago.
We now know from @elonmusk
that Ms. Tree and the fairing half lock on and the ship is guided automatically.

https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1158886885995044865

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 8/6/19, 8:17 PM
Fairing caught […]
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 8/6/19, 8:37 PM
Rocket fairing falls from space & is caught by Ms Tree boat
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1158899839456800769
[ 28 sec (some skips) VIDEO AT THE LINK — the boat is underway!]
< A drone flying in formation with a ship sailing in formation with a fairing falling from space.

Edit: more:
SpaceX nails second Falcon 9 fairing catch ever with GO Ms. Tree, Elon Musk shares video
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-nails-second-falcon-9-fairing-catch-ever-with-go-ms-tree-elon-musk-shares-video/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles on August 07, 2019, 01:26:09 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.

Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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:
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles 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.  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: DrTskoul on August 09, 2019, 01:42:43 PM
If SpaceX were environmentally conscious,  the would be burning H2 not kerosene.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: vox_mundi 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.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: vox_mundi on August 12, 2019, 05:41:08 PM
Upgrades! ...  :)

(https://images-wixmp-ed30a86b8c4ca887773594c2.wixmp.com/i/65212359-55d7-4015-a595-ea893ec5bd97/d5y22fl-e9ecafd5-f59b-4db6-abfc-a4166c6967ad.png)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM 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

Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 13, 2019, 12:21:01 AM
Comparing Orion capsule control panel (top) to Dragon capsule control panel (bottom). 
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM 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 (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
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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. ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYb3bfA6_sQ
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM 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
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Rob Dekker 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...
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: charles_oil 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/ (https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starhopper-flawless-final-flight-second-try/)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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.)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM 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.

https://youtu.be/wv9n9Casp1o
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Rob Dekker 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.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Hefaistos 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.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles 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?
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: cognitivebias2 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. 
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles 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.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles 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.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles 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.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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.”
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM 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. :)
Terry
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7N8DpB0HeQ
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow 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/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles 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.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 24, 2019, 01:45:12 PM
Mk1 Starship (Texas build) should be fully stacked on Wednesday.  Will have moveable “wings.”   Musk to give his presentation there on Sept. 28.

SpaceX installs two Starship wings ahead of Elon Musk’s Saturday update
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-kicks-off-starship-wing-installation-elon-musk-update/

SpaceX’s Starship Mk1 rocket shares a surprising connection with Tesla EVs
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-tesla-battery-packs-spotted/

SpaceX begins launch pad upgrades for Starship flight tests in Texas and Florida
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-begins-starship-launch-pad-upgrades-texas-florida/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on September 24, 2019, 10:12:53 PM
I once spoke with a friend who works at NASA Glenn Research Center (he is literally a rocket scientist...he works on Mars rovers).
He said the point of NASA was originally to turn space exploration over to private industry like SpaceX.
I hope this is the start of a new era.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on September 25, 2019, 12:04:40 AM
I once spoke with a friend who works at NASA Glenn Research Center (he is literally a rocket scientist...he works on Mars rovers).
He said the point of NASA was originally to turn space exploration over to private industry like SpaceX.
I hope this is the start of a new era.
Why! in god's name why would any government develop such a massively expensive program just to hand it over to a private party? >:(


We spent more than enough to wipe out poverty, provide world class health care, and fund everyone's education. Now they tell us they always intended to give it away?


We could have funded High Speed Rail, built gigantic solar and wind farms, maybe even put a bend in Keeling's curve, but we spent it on the dream of space - now we'll turn this dream into a nightmare of capitalistic greed. >:(


Terry





Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: nanning on September 25, 2019, 06:42:45 AM
^^
Ramen!
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: gerontocrat on September 25, 2019, 10:04:33 AM
I once spoke with a friend who works at NASA Glenn Research Center (he is literally a rocket scientist...he works on Mars rovers).
He said the point of NASA was originally to turn space exploration over to private industry like SpaceX.
I hope this is the start of a new era.

So someone said that someone said that the point of NASA was originally to privatise it. So why should I believe someone who builds space buggies?

I've got memories of a Cold War joke - 
"Our German Rocket Scientists are better than Your German Rocket Scientists". The race to the moon was a Cold War exercise. I don't think privatisation was on the agenda back then.

Since then NASA has looked up at space and down on earth, and we depend to a surprising extent on what they did and are doing.

SpaceX and the rest are, to quote Newton - "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants" and the Giant in question is NASA. If people like Trump kill NASA what do you think will happen to the science that NASA built ?
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on September 25, 2019, 02:21:58 PM
NASA stood on the shoulders of German giants, who stood on Goddard’s shoulders...
I hop there are future giants.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 27, 2019, 01:35:44 PM
NASA’s place has historically been at the forefront, doing the things private industry could not.  Now that private industry has evolved to make near-earth spaceflight affordable, NASA should (and is) turning to more distant goals, like planetary exploration and asteroid research. 

The problem is that NASA has become hide-bound, a “jobs program” for a small but powerful group of Congressfolk who depend on NASA’s billions to maintain their districts’ economy. (And they have admitted such.)  SLS has been funded for 10 years and is billions of dollars over budget, but still hasn‘t flown.  The second generation SLS may only fly once, if that, if SpaceX Starship is as successful as their Falcon 9 at disrupting what has been.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 27, 2019, 01:44:49 PM
Musk’s highly anticipated (to put it mildly!) Starship presentation is set for Saturday — but the Big Reveal of Starship Mk1 is happening in plain sight along a public highway in Texas!

Quote
SPadre (@SpacePadreIsle) 9/26/19, 6:48 PM
Very busy right now at SpaceX Boca Chica!
https://twitter.com/spacepadreisle/status/1177354272503160833
45 sec video: workers on crane platforms on both halves of Starship prior to final stacking....
(A lot of equipment has been installed in the nose, to help balance the rocket against the heavy engines and fuel on the bottom.)

Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 9/26/19, 8:59 PM
Raptor uses milled copper channels with an inconel jacket all the way down
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1177387141116002304
Photo below, more at the link.  Three of the all-new design Raptor engines!

SpaceX’s Starship to grow in height as workers prepare to stack its top section
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-elon-musk-posts-new-starship-progress-photos/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 28, 2019, 01:46:52 AM
First test flight in just a few weeks!

Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 9/27/19, 3:14 PM
Starship halves being joined
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1177662806117584896
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: GoSouthYoungins on September 28, 2019, 01:49:21 AM
Damn, that thing looks like a 30 mph wind will take it down. Those crazy 40 mph winds won't be needed this time
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 28, 2019, 04:37:00 AM
Quote
Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) 9/27/19, 6:26 PM
My statement on @SpaceX's announcement tomorrow:
https://twitter.com/jimbridenstine/status/1177711106300747777
Image below.

Wow.  Seems like the NASA administrator got an earful from the White House (and/or Congressfolk) angry about SpaceX’s amazing and fast Starship build compared to the embarrasingly slow (and in Boeing’s case, embarrassingly expensive) NASA programs.  Starship is stealing major thunder!

In all fairness, it is a much sexier-looking rocket. ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: GoSouthYoungins on September 28, 2019, 04:56:42 AM
Quote
Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) 9/27/19, 6:26 PM
My statement on @SpaceX's announcement tomorrow:
https://twitter.com/jimbridenstine/status/1177711106300747777
Image below.

Wow.  Seems like the NASA administrator got an earful from the White House (and/or Congressfolk) angry about SpaceX’s amazing and fast Starship build compared to the embarrasingly slow (and in Boeing’s case, embarrassingly expensive) NASA programs.  Starship is stealing major thunder!

In all fairness, it is a much sexier-looking rocket. ;)

llol. You have it completely backwards (as always).

The NASA admin is throwing shade because 5 years ago SpaceX was awarded a contract to bring ppl to the ISS starting THIS YEAR but SpaceX isn't ready.

Or you can keep your looney hat on and think he is upset the Starship is so ridiculously good looking.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Archimid on September 28, 2019, 01:06:30 PM
GSY is right. This thing looks quick and cheap, no matter how shiny. If they manage to fly this thing for any period of time, let alone return it to the ground this marks another step closer to cheap accessible space.


And that got me thinking... why the shine? It sure costs more, but does it offer advantages?
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles on September 28, 2019, 02:33:56 PM
Several reasons inc:

https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/284346-elon-musk-explains-why-the-starship-will-be-stainless-steel

Quote
It gets stronger in cold conditions
Quote
transpiration cooling


https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1151950403874914304?lang=en
Quote
Yeah, big advantage of being made of high strength stainless steel: not bothered by a little heat!

https://www.space.com/43101-elon-musk-explains-stainless-steel-starship.html

Carbon fiber costs $135 per kilogram, and 35 percent of the stuff must be scrapped — "you cut the fabric, and some of it you can't use," the SpaceX founder and CEO said. So the true cost of the material is nearly $200 per kg, compared to just $3 for stainless steel, he added.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/rockets/a25953663/elon-musk-spacex-bfr-stainless-steel/
Quote
EM: The thing that’s counterintuitive about the stainless steel is, it’s obviously cheap, it’s obviously fast—but it’s not obviously the lightest. But it is actually the lightest. If you look at the properties of a high-quality stainless steel, the thing that isn’t obvious is that at cryogenic temperatures, the strength is boosted by 50 percent.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Archimid on September 28, 2019, 03:03:03 PM
Thanks for the informative post. The use of a stainless steel body is very interesting, but I don't understand why it has to be polished and shined. Does the smooth surface provide any significant advantage?
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: GoSouthYoungins on September 28, 2019, 03:55:18 PM
That is just how stainless steel looks.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Archimid on September 28, 2019, 04:21:29 PM
Ah. I see. The shininess is a characteristic of the high quality stainless steel used, light and scale. I was thinking of more common stainless steel. Stupid me.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 28, 2019, 05:39:24 PM
Quote
Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) 9/27/19, 6:26 PM
My statement on @SpaceX's announcement tomorrow:
https://twitter.com/jimbridenstine/status/1177711106300747777
Image below.

Wow.  Seems like the NASA administrator got an earful from the White House (and/or Congressfolk) angry about SpaceX’s amazing and fast Starship build compared to the embarrasingly slow (and in Boeing’s case, embarrassingly expensive) NASA programs.  Starship is stealing major thunder!

In all fairness, it is a much sexier-looking rocket. ;)

llol. You have it completely backwards (as always).

The NASA admin is throwing shade because 5 years ago SpaceX was awarded a contract to bring ppl to the ISS starting THIS YEAR but SpaceX isn't ready.

Or you can keep your looney hat on and think he is upset the Starship is so ridiculously good looking.

Then you must be positively shocked to learn that the Boeing CST-100 Starliner program started in 2010 and has cost billions more than Dragon!  NASA has paid SpaceX much less than Boeing to do the exact same thing.

Quote
In the first phase of its CCDev program NASA awarded Boeing US$18 million in 2010 for preliminary development of the spacecraft.[13] In the second phase Boeing was awarded a $93 million contract in 2011 for further spacecraft development.[14] On August 3, 2012, NASA announced the award of $460 million to Boeing to continue work on the CST-100 under the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) Program.[15] On September 16, 2014, NASA selected the CST-100, along with SpaceX's Dragon V2, for the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) program, with an award of $4.2 billion.[16] As of April 2019, the spacecraft was expected to conduct an automated test mission to the ISS in August 2019.[17] On July 30 2019, NASA had no specific dates for Commercial Crew launches, stating that this was under review pending a leadership change.[18]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_CST-100_Starliner
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 28, 2019, 05:44:19 PM
Starship will incorporate newly-developed ceramic heat sheild tiles, as well.

SpaceX tests ceramic Starship heat shield tiles on Starhopper’s final flight test
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-tests-starship-heat-shield-tiles-on-starhopper/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 28, 2019, 06:18:02 PM
Target dates for the Boeing launches planned for this fall have been removed.
TBD: Atlas 5 • CST-100 Starliner Orbital Flight Test
TBD: Atlas 5 • CST-100 Starliner Crew Flight Test

Meanwhile, SpaceX is planning the Dragon Inflight Abort test for November,
the Falcon 9 • Crewed Dragon Demo 2 flight for “Late 2019.”
   Plus these other SpaceX launches:
NET Nov. 11:  Falcon 9 • JCSAT 18/Kacific 1
Dec. 4:  Falcon 9 • SpaceX CRS 19 (cargo Dragon to the ISS)
And up to 4 Starlink launches by end of 2019
https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/

—-
NASA, SpaceX Test Pad Emergency Egress System
https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2019/09/27/nasa-spacex-test-pad-emergency-egress-system/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 28, 2019, 09:02:26 PM
Photo below from @BocaChicaGal.  Note the Starship now has legs.
https://twitter.com/bocachicagal/status/1177944868284506117
Edit: different photo:  https://twitter.com/bocachicagal/status/1177985995242909697

——
Quote
Viv (@flcnhvy)9/28/19, 2:32 PM
Felt cute, might disrupt the spaceflight industry later idk
https://twitter.com/flcnhvy/status/1178014515562201088

——
Quote
Russell Hannigan (@RussellHannigan) 9/27/19, 7:59 PM
I kind of feel sad for ULA, Arianespace et al who have hid behind PPT decks and spreadsheets to justify staying expendable. SpaceX is out there and getting smarter every day through actually doing reusability. And, surprise, reusability works, just like all other transportation.
https://twitter.com/russellhannigan/status/1177734505706090496

——
Meme below from:
https://twitter.com/rogerstigers/status/1177719529352421377
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on September 28, 2019, 09:10:26 PM

Elon Musk


Looking forward to launching @NASA
Astronauts to the international Space Station
next year!

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/893176500005908482 (https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/893176500005908482)
11:27 AM - 3 Aug 2017




Terry ::)

Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 28, 2019, 09:31:46 PM

Terry ::)

It’s almost as though you don’t understand the lengthy NASA, FAA, FCC et al. certification process, let alone the logistics of scheduling additional vehicles and crew versus the supplies and docking ports available on the ISS.

::)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on September 28, 2019, 10:19:25 PM

Terry ::)

It’s almost as though you don’t understand the lengthy NASA, FAA, FCC et al. certification process, let alone the logistics of scheduling additional vehicles and crew versus the supplies and docking ports available on the ISS.

 ::)
I'm not even expected to understand. :) Mr. Musk on the other hand is, and should be expected to have some knowledge of the process. :(


Terry
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: philopek on September 28, 2019, 11:04:09 PM

Terry

It’s almost as though you don’t understand the lengthy NASA, FAA, FCC et al. certification process, let alone the logistics of scheduling additional vehicles and crew versus the supplies and docking ports available on the ISS.

 
I'm not even expected to understand. Mr. Musk on the other hand is, and should be expected to have some knowledge of the process.

+1

And the range of being OFF the mark with his prognosis for the umpteenth time is between 2 years and it will never happen. Chances are high IMO that no NASA astronaut will ever leave the planet with one of those vehicles as long as they're operated by scamsters who you the vehicle to make headlines to get further billions for more of their scams.

If I were an Astronaut I'd certainly refuse to use a diletants vehicle where I'd pay with my life for every one of the many errors and if not for my own sake, there are families to be taken care of.


This is part of a ponzi scheme, remember these words when it goes bust. They need ever new money to cover old holes and seek "projects" with public effect to appear innovative.

One should have a list of all announcements comparing that list to a list of all achievements and the quality/sustainability/longevity of such projects and eventual achievements and ultimately put all that into relation with the entire amount of funds burned in how few years.

Does anyone believe that the end of the Tesla vs. Taycan race for record Laptimes has not deliberately ended the way it did? Target = Headlines reached, battle has never take place.
Just the last in a long story of similar events (similar not in kind but in goal)

Main Goal is to get headlines and headlines serve to collect money.

I suspect that once the interest rates will rise again, the entire construct goes bust and the higher interest rastes will serve as an excuse to avoid prosecution (not sure whether they get away with it)

2 Decades ago they would already have had to file for CH11 because once people made easy profits with their capital, patience was way smaller than now when in places they pay to park the money.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 28, 2019, 11:11:10 PM

Terry ::)

It’s almost as though you don’t understand the lengthy NASA, FAA, FCC et al. certification process, let alone the logistics of scheduling additional vehicles and crew versus the supplies and docking ports available on the ISS.

 ::)
I'm not even expected to understand. :) Mr. Musk on the other hand is, and should be expected to have some knowledge of the process. :(


Terry

So show me someone else who has done it faster — in fact, any commercial company that has done it at all!  That’s right, you cannot. No one has. 

When you are doing things that have never been done before, it’s impossible to know what problems will arise.

Refer to the meme above with all of SpaceX’s firsts.  To doubt they will accomplish manned space flight in short order is ridiculous.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 29, 2019, 01:07:15 AM
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 9/28/19, 5:25 PM
Watching some weather in the area; moving Starship update to no earlier than 8:00 p.m. CDT [1 am UTC]
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1178058268331012096

Quote
SPadre (@SpacePadreIsle) 9/28/19, 6:01 PM
Falcon 1 is being hoisted next to Starship!!!
https://twitter.com/spacepadreisle/status/1178067217256271872
Video clip of the hoist at the link.  September 28 is the 11th anniversary of Falcon 1 reaching orbit.  A pivotal day in SpaceX history.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 29, 2019, 02:31:06 PM
The first Starship flight will be to ~20 km (65,000 feet) in altitude.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk provides update on Starship program
Quote
The first test flight will see the Starship Mk1 fly to 20 kilometers from Boca Chica and then land on a landing zone adjacent to the launch pad. This test flight is approximately one to two months away, said Musk at Saturday’s event.

From there, Musk stated that the next flight after that might be all the way to orbit with a Super Heavy booster. This could utilize the Mk3 vehicle, which will be built in Boca Chica and will begin construction in about a month.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/09/spacex-musk-update-starship-program/

Here is the Boca Chica presentation.  After Musk’s talk, there is a Q&A session with questions from the press.

https://youtu.be/sOpMrVnjYeY
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 29, 2019, 06:55:55 PM
Such a great interview and only four minutes long.
(Controls may be hidden; click the image to start/stop, and you can scrub back and forth on the bottom bar.j

[CNN Interview] Elon Musk: Starship could take people to orbit within a year - spacex
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/davt2l/cnn_interview_elon_musk_starship_could_take/

Paraphrasing Musk:
- Re Bridenstein’s “years behind schedule” tweet — “Did he say commercial crew, or SLS?  Haha.” (wink)
- Everything in aerospace is years behind. Relatively speaking, it’s a question of which one is more late.
- The hardware for the inflight abort test will be there in October, and the hardware for astronauts to the space station will be there in November.  Most of the work still needed to fly NASA astronauts is a long series of safety reviews.  It’s not really hardware-related.  We will be transporting NASA astronauts to the space station in, I don’t know, 3 to 4 months.
- If development continues exponentially, I think we could send people to space in Starship in about a year.

From the Reddit comments:
< To further increase the injury here, Elon is showing that something bigger and better than SLS can be built in a few months in a field in south Texas with a fraction of the budget.
< [Re using steel:]  up until now, all rockets were expended after only one use. The goal was always to optimize mass and increase payload capacity, so light materials and composites were standard for that reason. It's the reusability factor that no one had seriously looked into that really changes things.
< He's such a nice guy.
< He's actually a massive douche, but is forgiven because he's a pioneer. It's hard to be a hard charger and still be nice. I don't care either way.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles on September 29, 2019, 08:15:35 PM
Re Bridenstein’s “years behind schedule” tweet

Others seems to find the tweet interesting for it to be brought up, so I'll add my thoughts:

My hypothesis on this is that NASA wanted to appear to political paymasters they were giving SpaceX and Boeing a 'stay focused' slap on the wrist. Both SpaceX and Boeing are about a year behind; problems arises and that is normal for the industry. So “years behind schedule” doesn't really make sense unless you are going back to the period before 2014 and the original plan for first flights by 2015. This slipped a lot because of funding.

Therefore it seems possible NASA wanted to appear to political paymasters they were giving SpaceX and Boeing a 'stay focused' slap on the wrist but the hidden message when you understand the meaning is that NASA is saying to political paymasters 'don't blame us, blame yourselves for lack of funding'.

SpaceX and Boeing are more likely to understand this hidden message; Nasa could have spoken to them to ask them not to give the game away.

This is sounding a bit too conspiracy theory and is therefore likely wrong.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 29, 2019, 10:17:54 PM
... NASA is saying to political paymasters 'don't blame us, blame yourselves for lack of funding'.

I agree his tweet was mostly aimed at “political paymasters,” not SpaceX and Boeing.  Those two companies are already in a fierce rivalry and race to be the first to fly astronauts back to the ISS, and Bridenstine knows it’s NASA’s exceedingly cautious safety reviews that are slowing things down (albeit not without reason).

Could part of the irritation involve the millions of dollars the U.S. is paying Russia to fly our astronauts?  Was Congress less than generous because the Russia payments were essentially subtracted from what NASA itself would have received? 
Would the Commercial Crew program have progressed faster if NASA had had more funding?  Maybe.  NASA doled out the money (unequally) as it saw fit.  Shifting the blame is par for the course.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 30, 2019, 05:08:39 PM
SpaceX Has Starry-Eyed Ambitions for Its Starship
Elon Musk has laid out an ambitious future for his spaceship project, the effort to deliver people to the moon and Mars.
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/09/elon-musk-spacex-starship/599065/

—-
Quote
Jon Erlichman (@JonErlichman) 9/29/19, 7:00 PM
11 years ago, SpaceX completed its first successful launch.
- valuation then: $410 million
- valuation now: $52 billion*
(*Morgan Stanley estimate)
https://twitter.com/jonerlichman/status/1178444405625237504
At the link: 41-second video of that Falcon 1 launch and staging.

—-
Quote
Austin Barnard (@austinbarnard45) 9/29/19, 12:13 PM
StarShip looks absolutely gorgeous this morning.
https://twitter.com/austinbarnard45/status/1178341922139758592
Photo below.
< I just realized last night what it's sitting on!
Those are the pilings they drilled and poured in the last couple weeks with the tall crane.
That's how it's secured, by sitting on top of 6 concrete pillars 80 feet or whatever in the ground.
So no legs yet, just mounts.

< What’s the hole for?
Quote
runni’n news (@rlikness) 9/29/19, 12:28 PM 
So that Elon can look inside
https://twitter.com/rlikness/status/1178345757444694016
Photo below. ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 03, 2019, 03:27:29 AM
A single Starship has more potentially livable area than the entire ISS. :o

SpaceX publishes dedicated Starship webpage after Elon Musk’s presentation
Quote
The ISS is undeniably large but Starship is (relatively) even bigger, nominally featuring enough pressurized volume (~1000m3 vs ~910m3) to more than double the habitable capacity of the ISS upon arrival. CEO Elon Musk noted this in an offhand remark on September 28th, cognizant of the fact that a Starship on its own is effectively a reusable ISS-class space station that can be placed in orbit with a single launch.

If a given Starship can support a crew of astronauts over a multi-month interplanetary cruise, the same Starship can also – and probably even more easily so – serve as an all-in-one space station with months of longevity. Add in Starship-enabled resupply and refueling runs and SpaceX could likely sustain a fleet of autonomous space stations in Earth orbit with relative ease. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-publishes-starship-webpage-elon-musk-presentation/

*cough* “Lunar Gateway” *cough*

https://www.spacex.com/starship


 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzFQJUzoUvM
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: vox_mundi on October 05, 2019, 12:16:50 AM
Elon Musk’s Future Starship Updates Could Use More Details on Human Health and Survival
https://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2019/10/4/20895056/elon-musk-starship-spacex-human-health-life-support-radiation

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has now given four presentations about his company’s Starship rocket, but all of those updates mostly focused on the vehicle’s external stats. Musk has barely touched on the technologies needed to keep people alive and healthy while on Starship — technologies that need to be developed relatively soon if the spacecraft has any hope of carrying people to deep-space destinations like the Moon and Mars in the near future.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 06, 2019, 09:19:53 PM
Quote
Elon Musk’s Future Starship Updates Could Use More Details on Human Health and Survival

- There’s time yet.  First need to get the Starship flying!
- First human flights (next year or two) will be short, and can use something like Crew Dragon’s systems.
- The ISS offers plenty of experience with longer-term life support systems to draw from.
- If docked at the ISS, there will be some sharing of life support.
- Human missions around the moon aren’t envisioned until Yusaku Maezawa‘s Dear Moon mission in 2023 at the earliest.
- Water storage filling the area between the walls of Starship and the pressurized living space would decrease radiation inside.
- For long missions, Reddit has examined the idea of running a long tether between two Starships and spinning them in a circle just fast enough to generate a comfortable gravity inside:
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/d032bi/potential_for_artificial_gravity_on_starship/
- Musk said in the Starship Q&A that sending Boring Company machines along to the moon and Mars would be a good idea, to make a protected living space below the surface.*
- Musk has previously said that SpaceX is more for providing the transportation, while others will be more involved in setting up colonies, ensuring a pizza supply, etc.

All that said, it’s true that everyone is still very curious as to exactly how the difficulties of keeping humans alive off-earth will be accomplished.  We’ve shown it can be done; now, how can it be made better? 


Edit: 
P.S.:  *Reminder:  Boring Company machines run on electricity, whereas most boring machines use diesel engines that require an earth atmosphere....
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on October 07, 2019, 02:10:08 AM
<snipped>
Edit: 
P.S.:  *Reminder:  Boring Company machines run on electricity, whereas most boring machines use diesel engines that require an earth atmosphere....

Can you provide a link?
Thanks
Terry

Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 07, 2019, 07:22:58 PM
<snipped>
Edit: 
P.S.:  *Reminder:  Boring Company machines run on electricity, whereas most boring machines use diesel engines that require an earth atmosphere....

Can you provide a link?
Thanks
Terry

Sorry, I seem unable to simply provide a link. ;) But here’s some info:

The Boring Company Shows Off Its Functional Demo Tunnel In Hawthorne, California
Quote
The team has finally taken those learnings and started work on the next-generation tunnel boring machine (TBM), which it calls Linestorm. Linestorm’s mission is to explore the potential to increase the speed of the tunnel boring process by implementing some of the possible improvements the team identified through boring the first demo tunnel with Godot.

First off, Linestorm was built as a fully electric tunnel boring machine from the ground up, which stands in stark contrast to traditional diesel boring machines. Eliminating the combustion means there is no need to fill up throughout the day and, more importantly, drastically reduces the amount of ventilation equipment and infrastructure required to allow humans to work in the tunnel alongside the boring machines.

The second requirement is that they are increasing the power of the TBM. Their initial analysis showed that the power output could be tripled with little more than an upgrade to the cooling system. That allows the machine to dig farther, faster, which is ultimately the whole objective.

Elon shared that for every work hour, only 10 minutes is actually spent boring. The rest of the time is spent reinforcing the newly exposed earth and other logistical tasks. The Boring Company is skirting this altogether by working on a process that would automatically reinforce the walls of the tunnel while they bore. This obviously enables boring to go faster, but also allows the team to use the dirt that was just dug out to produce the reinforcement for the walls. After all, 70% of the material that goes into those very same wall reinforcements is dirt, just like what they’re digging out of the ground.

The next generation of boring machines will also be autonomous. Per The Boring Company, “While smaller-diameter tunneling machines are automated, larger ones currently require multiple human operators. By automating the larger TBMs, both safety and efficiency are increased.” ...
https://cleantechnica.com/2018/12/19/the-boring-company-shows-off-its-functional-demo-tunnel-in-hawthorne-california/

This video includes a clip (at ~15:30) of the electric locomotive TBC built, using Tesla motors and batteries, to haul the dirt out of the tunnel — traditionally, these have been diesel operated, too.
The Boring Company Information Session - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwX9G38vdCE
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on October 07, 2019, 09:29:56 PM
Sig
Didn't we go through this ~a yr. ago?


I have no doubt that cleantechnica and others have posted such claims, but it just ain't so.


https://application.wiley-vch.de/books/sample/3433016763_c01.pdf (https://application.wiley-vch.de/books/sample/3433016763_c01.pdf)


https://www.therobbinscompany.com/about/history/ (https://www.therobbinscompany.com/about/history/)


The 1st link is a general history of TBMs
The second the history of TBMs designed & built by The Robbins Company, a leader in the field.


A quick scan will reveal that prior to modern electrical units, compressed air provided the power - not diesel, also that conveyor belts to extract the muck isn't a new concept, and incidentally you'll see that small diameter TBMs (as small as 1M) were around long before Elon bought his sewer pipe TBM unit with great fanfare.


Musk's engineers may well make some modifications that will prove efficacious as it's a very rapidly advancing field, but they won't be closely related to those featured in the cleantechnica article. The article is a puff piece rather than a serious look at where the field is headed. There aren't many advantages to be had in running a large machine on batteries when it's so much easier (and more efficient) to just plug it in.


In Las Vegas Elon's liable to find prospective employees that had worked on the "Third Straw" project, a large tunnel boring project that was ~recently completed. Their expertise in the field should help.
Terry
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Rob Dekker on October 08, 2019, 05:45:34 AM
<snipped>
Edit: 
P.S.:  *Reminder:  Boring Company machines run on electricity, whereas most boring machines use diesel engines that require an earth atmosphere....

Can you provide a link?
Thanks
Terry

https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/19/18148061/boring-tunnel-test-drive-hawthorne-tesla-elon-musk
Quote
... the innovations The Boring Company says it’s bringing are to the business of tunneling itself: having the tunnel-boring machines run electric instead of on diesel fuel; tripling the tunnel-boring machine’s power; automating the machine so it doesn’t rely on human operators; and allowing it to operate continuously.....

But this is really something for the "Boring" Co thread, not the SpaceX thread.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Rob Dekker on October 08, 2019, 08:58:31 AM
This SpaceX thread is nice, away from the political threads that get so polarized and hijacked by off-topic arguments.

Here something cool about SpaceX :

Elon in discussion with fellow-nerd and you-tuber "The Everyday Astronaut" talking space tech :

About how to speed up engineering progress, and
stainless steel versus carbon fiber, and
about what's the best rocket fuel.

I would love technical discussions like this on the ASIF.

Please un-censor me, Neven, and censor the political attack-dogs that smear Elon and SpaceX and Tesla for political reasons instead. Thanks !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIQ36Kt7UVg
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 08, 2019, 02:13:27 PM
Although SpaceX and NASA have been “collaborating” on in-space refueling technology, this may be the first federal money SpaceX has received for the Starship project.

SpaceX wins NASA funds to build and test Starship’s orbital refueling technology
Quote
SpaceX has won $3M from NASA to build and test the first full-scale Starship refueling nozzles.

On September 27th, NASA announced a new round of Tipping Point funding worth a total of $43.2M that will be dispersed among 14 separate companies, all focused on advancing “important technologies necessary for sustained exploration of the Moon and Mars.”

Aside from Blue Origin and a dozen others, SpaceX received $3M to work with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to build and test “cryogenic fluid couplers”, a type of nozzle Starship will need to refuel in orbit. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-wins-nasa-funds-starship-orbital-refueling-test/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 08, 2019, 05:14:54 PM
Quote
Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) 10/8/19, 10:08 AM
Source says "full panic has ensued" as NASA realizes commercial crew may not be ready in first half of 2020; and Gerstenmeier is no longer around to help the companies along, or negotiate with Russians for more Soyuz seats. Focus on Artemis may put ISS program in real danger.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1181572161917607948
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 10/8/19, 10:36 AM
@SciGuySpace For what it’s worth, the SpaceX schedule, which I’ve just reviewed in depth, shows Falcon & Dragon at the Cape & all testing done in ~10 weeks
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1181579173388673025

NASA may ask SpaceX to extend duration of Crew Dragon test flight
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/10/07/nasa-may-ask-spacex-to-extend-duration-of-crew-dragon-test-flight/

NASA needs to find a way to expedite their Dragon safety review.  (Considering they have contemplated dropping actual firing tests of the SLS, they are sometimes able to think outside the box....)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 09, 2019, 02:51:18 PM
Not SpaceX, but here’s another approach to orbital refueling: NG’s MEV is on its way to GEO orbit to dock with a satellite low on fuel — remaining attached to it and providing fuel for a few years until the satellite reaches the end of its useful life — whereupon it will detach and move to similarly service another satellite.
Also discussed:  the “GEO graveyard” orbit.

Proton rocket ride-share launches Northrop Grumman’s Mission Extension Vehicle
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/10/proton-rocket-launch-northrop-extension-vehicle/

——-
And here’s additional background on Dragon being certified for its first crewed flight:

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, Falcon 9 likely ready for astronaut launch debut in 10 weeks, says Musk
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-crew-dragon-falcon-9-ready-astronaut-launch-debut/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 10, 2019, 03:36:21 AM
After NASA chief Bridenstine’s bizarre Twitter comment, a hastily arranged SpaceX factory tour and media event is scheduled for tomorrow.

NASA says that the post-tour media Q&A with Bridenstine and Musk will be streamed on the NASA administrator’s Twitter account and will kick off around 2pm PDT (19:00 UTC) on Thursday, October 10th.

NASA administrator set to tour SpaceX’s rocket, spaceship factory with Elon Musk
Quote
...Perhaps most notably, news of this surprise media event comes a little over a week after the NASA administrator published a bizarre and widely-criticized statement essentially equating Musk’s public Starship presentation to a company-wide lack of focus on Crew Dragon and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP). As recently discussed on Teslarati, Bridenstine’s statement was tone-deaf at best and delusional at worst.

“Ironically, despite literally receiving almost seven times as much funding as Crew Dragon and Starliner, SLS and Orion are arguably just as – if not even more – delayed than their commercial brethren. Originally intended to launch an uncrewed test flight in 2017, there is now little to no chance that that mission (known then as EM-1 and now as Artemis-1) will launch before 2022, a delay of roughly half a decade. The cost of the SLS/Orion program recently crested $30B, a figure likely to grow to ~$40B before it has conducted a single launch. Of that funding, approximately a third has gone to Boeing, the primary contractor responsible for NASA’s comically-delayed SLS Core Stage – the orange booster pictured above.

Put simply, if Bridenstine actually cared about defending “the investments of the American taxpayer” more than wielding their sanctity as a political weapon, he wouldn’t have folded like a house of cards at the slightest resistance to his attempts to cull SLS/Orion delays and cost overruns, and he certainly wouldn’t be wasting breath complaining about what SpaceX’s CEO is or isn’t talking about.”

Teslarati – October 4th, 2019
https://www.teslarati.com/nasa-admin-elon-musk-schedule-spacex-factory-tour/

——-
Teslarati’s Oct 4 op-ed:
NASA head calls out SpaceX CEO Elon Musk over Starship event in bizarre statement
https://www.teslarati.com/nasa-head-calls-out-spacex-ceo-elon-musk-starship-event/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 10, 2019, 02:21:25 PM
Because politics.  And a cow.

SpaceX to shift Falcon 9’s next West Coast launch to Florida, the first of its kind in decades
Quote
According to NASASpaceflight spaceflight reporter Michael Baylor and an Argentinian government website, SpaceX appears to have decided to move its next West Coast launch from California to Florida, signifying the first East Coast polar launch in half a century could be just four months away.
...
In Monteith’s 2017 statement, it was stated that there is one major condition on the reopening: all launch vehicles intending to fly it must feature autonomous flight termination systems (AFTS). This is due to the risk that the rocket’s plume might prevent the reliable reception of radio telemetry at Florida-based tracking stations. SpaceX is currently the only launch provider in the world to have implemented AFTS and is thus the only provider currently capable of launching polar missions from Florida.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-falcon-9-next-west-coast-launch-moves-east/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 11, 2019, 03:27:49 AM
The Bridenstine/Musk SpaceX tour and reassurance media event  ::)

SpaceX’s astronaut launch debut Crew Dragon capsule shown off in first public photos
Quote
As part of a last-second media event at SpaceX’s Hawthorne, CA rocket factory and headquarters, members of the media were allowed to take the first public photos of the Crew Dragon spacecraft expected to support the company’s astronaut launch debut.

According to NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, that inaugural Crew Dragon astronaut launch (known as Demo-2) could come as early as the first quarter of 2020*. A great amount of work remains before NASA is likely to give SpaceX permission to launch, but both leaders were fairly confident that Crew Dragon’s first crewed launch is likely to come sooner than later. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-first-photos-astronaut-rated-crew-dragon/
*IF upcoming final tests succeed as expected. 
Video of the event at the link.
Below: Excluding Falcon 9, all pieces of SpaceX's first astronaut-rated Crew Dragon spacecraft are visible in this one frame. (Teslarati - Pauline Acalin)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Tor Bejnar on October 11, 2019, 05:01:35 AM
Just a curiosity: my day job as a regulator had me overhear a 'hallway conference' about who was claiming certain petroleum storage tanks - The feds or SpaceX - and the need for paperwork to be submitted to determine who claimed what.  (One of my colleagues had never heard of SpaceX before, not that that was relevant to the discussion.)  I hadn't previously thought to wonder if I would ever be asked to review SpaceX documents.  (If they are properly prepared, I'm unlikely to ever see or hear about them.)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 13, 2019, 09:25:35 PM
Just a curiosity: my day job as a regulator had me overhear a 'hallway conference' about who was claiming certain petroleum storage tanks - The feds or SpaceX - and the need for paperwork to be submitted to determine who claimed what.  (One of my colleagues had never heard of SpaceX before, not that that was relevant to the discussion.)  I hadn't previously thought to wonder if I would ever be asked to review SpaceX documents.  (If they are properly prepared, I'm unlikely to ever see or hear about them.)

I can’t find the reference at the moment, but there is a huge old (oxygen? fuel?) tank from the Apollo era still sitting on the grounds of LC-39A in Florida (which is now leased to SpaceX).  SpaceX isn’t using it, although they might find a use for it at some point.  I wonder if this is the object of discussion you heard.  8)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 13, 2019, 09:29:16 PM
An engineering team at the University of British Columbia is examining what would be needed to produce methane and oxygen fuel for a SpaceX Starship on Mars. 

It would make sense to send a Starship rigged for that purpose: the plant is mounted in the cargo area and the Starship’s own tanks are used for storage of the gasses.

Commenter “Martianspirit” wrote:
Quote
The tanks can be used for propellant storage.
The plant can be self contained in the cargo area of a Starship.
The solar arrays need to be set up outside. Quite possible this too can be done automated, at least partially. Maybe not for an array with several MW.
What is tricky and probably needs crew on site is digging and processing the water before it can be fed into the plant. At least for an extended time of operation problem solving by humans will be needed.

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/dhbmx1/a_proposed_mars_sabatier_fuel_plant_for_starship/

(The first, uncrewed Starships may well remain on Mars, providing a source of supplies for the following crewed missions.)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: gerontocrat on October 13, 2019, 09:36:58 PM
(The first, uncrewed Starships may well remain on Mars, providing a source of supplies for the following crewed missions.)
The first, crewed Starships may well remain on Mars as may well the humans on board - involuntarily.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 13, 2019, 09:56:38 PM
Just a curiosity: my day job as a regulator had me overhear a 'hallway conference' about who was claiming certain petroleum storage tanks - The feds or SpaceX - and the need for paperwork to be submitted to determine who claimed what.  (One of my colleagues had never heard of SpaceX before, not that that was relevant to the discussion.)  I hadn't previously thought to wonder if I would ever be asked to review SpaceX documents.  (If they are properly prepared, I'm unlikely to ever see or hear about them.)

I can’t find the reference at the moment, but there is a huge old (oxygen? fuel?) tank from the Apollo era still sitting on the grounds of LC-39A in Florida (which is now leased to SpaceX).  SpaceX isn’t using it, although they might find a use for it at some point.  I wonder if this is the object of discussion you heard.  8)

Found it!

Quote
Julia (@julia_bergeron) 9/14/19, 11:33 AM
I took a bus ride today. Could it be that construction is about to start on the Starship pad at 39A? It looks like it to me! #SpaceX #Starship @elonmusk
https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1172896260241666054
[Photo below; others at the link.]
< That looks like it's in the right location for the Starship pad!
< And the grass are already cleared there
< It makes sense that they begin Starship pad construction soon. I mean, @SpaceX probably wants it ready *before* they move #StarshipMk2 (aka #StarshipEast) from their #CocoaFL facility to Pad 39A.
< What do they use hydrogen for on falcon launches? [the huge round tank]
< For nothing. It is a relic from the Apollo and Shuttle eras. It is being considered for use to store liquid methane per the latest FAA Environmental Report regarding Starship and Super Heavy launch and landings at 39A but nothing solid yet
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on October 14, 2019, 12:10:09 AM
<snipped>
The first, crewed Starships may well remain on Mars as may well the humans on board - involuntarily.
If their Elon is aboard, all will live well in peace and harmony. :)
Terry
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on October 15, 2019, 02:25:48 PM
Starship's Fins Fluttering in Boca Breeze

https://twitter.com/i/status/1183466375911804928 (https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight)

Terry
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles on October 15, 2019, 02:31:58 PM
Spacex Fins Fluttering

https://twitter.com/i/status/1183466375911804928 (https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight)

Terry

Starhopper basically retired so does it matter much?
(I was expecting to see Starship Mk1 or Mk2 fins moving not starhopper fin coverings.)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on October 15, 2019, 02:54:56 PM
Spacex Fins Fluttering

https://twitter.com/i/status/1183466375911804928 (https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight)

Terry

Starhopper basically retired so does it matter much?
(I was expecting to see Mk1 or Mk2 fins moving.)


It might illustrate something re. the quality of the build?

If you've been following the hoppers about, is there an obvious way to visually determine which model is which?
https://youtu.be/xpfDcF41fy8
This is purportedly the nose cap being removed from Mk1 earlier this week.

Thanks
Terry
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles on October 15, 2019, 03:57:25 PM
https://twitter.com/i/status/1183466375911804928

Above is starhopper - rounded top.

I know that much but had to look up re Starships Mk 1 & 2 so I think:

https://twitter.com/john_winkopp/status/1181211268767797250
This suggest Starship Mk2 at Cocoa is a long way from approaching complete.

So Starship Mk 1 is at Boca Chica and is the one looking closer to completion (even if they are removing parts to do some other internal work).
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles on October 15, 2019, 04:09:44 PM
It might illustrate something re. the quality of the build?

Yes, that is true to some extent, but it survived the tests they wanted to do.

Rocket science 101:
Point 1. You have fuel and oxidant that react explosively so you have to keep them apart until you want them to mix.
Point 2. The kicker is: You have to do this with the lightest possible plumbing and engineering.

So we shouldn't be surprised if things are relatively flimsy and only designed to do what is necessary and avoid being capable of doing things like coping with 50mph winds or excessive wind shear or ....

Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on October 15, 2019, 07:20:10 PM

Chris
I frankly haven't been following the Starship side of things.


https://www.space.com/spacex-starship-prototype-photos-musk.html (https://www.space.com/spacex-starship-prototype-photos-musk.html)


Apparently the Mk1 will be flying 12 miles high this month, followed shortly by an orbital "attempt", so that nose cone will need to be reattached soon.  It's designed to be fully reusable, so hopefully the fins will withstand forces much greater than those exerted by Texas windshear.


The Starhopper as you pointed out has been retired & Mk2 is being built & presumably will be flown from Florida. Spacex is still attempting to purchase the remaining homes & properties in Boca Chica.
Terry

Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles on October 16, 2019, 12:59:07 AM
> this month

Sounds a bit optimistic:

Quote
Soon, perhaps within one or two months, it will launch to an altitude of 20km.
from https://arstechnica.com/features/2019/09/after-starship-unveiling-mars-seems-a-little-closer/ from 28 Sept.

Orbital attempt won't come until ~ Mk 4 - maybe mid 2020.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 16, 2019, 01:28:02 AM
• The Starship design is massively different from Starhopper!  Starship Mk1 has separate moveable “fins” near the nose and tail and 6 legs bolted to the body of the rocket.  Starhopper will never fly again; however it is expected to be used as a Raptor engine test platform.

Starship photo below from:
https://twitter.com/bocachicagal/status/1179123464642408458

• Mk1 has been partially disassembled since the presentation, and is being fitted with engines, plumbing, et. in preparation for its first flight.  Boca Chica road closures have been posted for October 23-25 (probably for tank tests).
The FCC communications permit for the 20km flight has also been filed. 

• Mk2 progress continues in Florida.  Gorgeous new rings, made from a single piece of 301 stainless steel, with a single weld, are being built.
Marek Cyzio (@MarekCyzio) 10/12/19, 8:59 AM
https://twitter.com/marekcyzio/status/1183004366799855616
Photo below.

• Lots of construction underway during SpaceX’s current launch hiatus, preparing Launch Complex 39A for Starship:
Quote
Julia (@julia_bergeron) 10/12/19, 12:16 PM
Cement trucks were a common theme in space facility builds today. Fresh cement at the #Starship #39A build could be seen. In the 2nd photo it looks like the landing zone area near the camera pad is progressing. I believe the launch base will be closer to todays cement work.
https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1183053726526984192
Photos at the link.

• The SpaceX ocean fleet is being upgraded to handle the upcoming increased launch cadence:

SpaceX preparing to catch two Falcon 9 fairings at once with twin net-carrying ships
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-prepared-first-dual-falcon-9-fairing-catch/

Elon Musk says SpaceX is still building a third drone ship – but is it for Falcon or Starship?
https://www.teslarati.com/elon-musk-says-spacex-building-third-drone-ship/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 16, 2019, 02:10:06 AM
Boca Chica Launch site preparations:
Quote
SPadre (@SpacePadreIsle) 10/15/19, 2:16 PM
Starship launch pad progress Tuesday Oct 15
https://twitter.com/spacepadreisle/status/1184171251528622086
30 sec video
SPadre (@SpacePadreIsle) 10/15/19, 2:18 PM
Boca Chica launch pad Tues Oct 15 update
30 sec video
SPadre (@SpacePadreIsle) 10/15/19, 2:33 PM
Photo below; more at the link.

SpaceX begins launch pad upgrades for Starship flight tests in Texas and Florida
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-begins-starship-launch-pad-upgrades-texas-florida/

SpaceX is building Starship’s East Coast launch site at a breakneck pace
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-east-coast-launch-site-breakneck-pace/

Elon Musk wants to move fast with SpaceX’s Starship
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/09/29/elon-musk-wants-to-move-fast-with-spacexs-starship/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 16, 2019, 02:46:45 PM
SpaceX is developing not one but two variants of the Raptor rocket engine: one optimized for use in the atmosphere, and one optimized for the vacuum of space.

Vacuum engines need such large and unwieldy nozzles in order to make them as efficient as possible. In a very simplistic sense, a rocket engine nozzle directs the flow of superheated, ultrafast gases in order to squeeze as much momentum transfer as possible. The lower the pressure of the surrounding atmosphere is, the more those gases will expand immediately after leaving the nozzle – giant vacuum nozzles simply try to harness the additional momentum available from that extra expansion.
This is why rocket exhausts appear to spread and thin out as launch vehicles reach higher and higher altitudes.


SpaceX’s Starship Raptor Vacuum engine plans laid out by CEO Elon Musk
October 16, 2019
Quote
Elon Musk says that SpaceX Starship engine upgrades are on track to begin static fire tests of a Raptor Vacuum variant as few as a “couple months” from now.

Designed to enable more efficient performance in thin atmosphere or vacuum, Musk admitted that the first version(s) of Raptor Vacuum (RVac) will likely be a compromise between efficiency and speed of development. Nevertheless, the faster SpaceX can prepare Raptor Vacuum for flight, the easier it will be for Starship to begin serious (sub)orbital flight tests.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-raptor-vacuum-engine-upgrade-elon-musk/

—-
SpaceX’s Raptor is the first Full Flow, Staged Combustion Cycle rocket engine to have ever flown.  Learn more about it here:
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2582.msg201113/topicseen.html#msg201113
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 17, 2019, 03:04:27 PM
Several other companies are working toward big LEO satellite constellations.  The question is who has the money, technology and launch capability to get there first.

SpaceX could upgrade Starlink constellation with tens of thousands of satellites
Quote
Filings and an official statement confirm that SpaceX could eventually build a Starlink internet constellation with tens of thousands of satellites, several times more than the company’s already ambitious plans.

“As demand escalates for fast, reliable internet around the world, especially for those where connectivity is non-existent, too expensive or unreliable, SpaceX is taking steps to responsibly scale Starlink’s total network capacity and data density to meet the growth in users’ anticipated needs.” 
SpaceX – October 15th, 2019

Uncovered through regulatory filings published on the International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) eSubmission portal, the FCC filed documents hinting at plans for tens of thousands of new communications satellites. It was eventually confirmed by the ITU and eventually the company itself that SpaceX was behind the new filings, altogether accounting for up to 30,000 additional Starlink satellites.

Prior to this new filing, the ceiling for SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet constellation was set around 11,900 spacecraft – 4400 in several low Earth orbits (LEO) and another 7500 in very low orbit (VLEO). Put simply, even the most ardent supporters and potential benefactors of such a colossal satellite constellation have never taken those particular numbers all that seriously – 12,000 satellites is nearly six times as many operational spacecraft currently in orbit.

To build even a fraction as many satellites would take resources on the order of a small country without a revolution in satellite manufacturing and mass production. Assuming a cost as low as $5 million per satellite (more or less unprecedented), launching just the first 4400-satellite segment would cost SpaceX a minimum of $22 billion, while the full 11,900 would be more like $60 billion.

And yet, as improbable as it sounds next to today’s satellite production status quo, CEO Elon Musk indicated that SpaceX’s very first 60 Starlink prototypes – launch in May 2019 – cost less than the launch itself. This implies that the cost of each of those beta spacecraft was probably $1 million at most and likely closer to $500,000 apiece. Around that price point, launching thousands of relatively high-performance satellites becomes far more reasonable, even if the figures are still substantial.

4400 satellites would become ~$2 billion, while ~12,000 satellites would become $6 billion. Combined with SpaceX’s new ITU filings, the current maximum of ~42,000 satellites might cost something like $20 billion – a huge price tag, no doubt, but far from impossible. Important to note is that SpaceX almost certainly plans to begin drawing significant income from its Starlink constellation after as few as several hundred satellites have been launched. SpaceX has already raised more than $1 billion to get Starlink close to that point.


Also critical is the fact that building hundreds (let alone thousands) of satellites annually will allow SpaceX to tap into economies of scale quite literally unprecedented in the history of satellite manufacturing, meaning that it’s hard to accurately judge how low the per-satellite cost might eventually fall. Regardless, at the moment, SpaceX’s filings for an additional 30,000 possible satellites are undoubtedly more of an act of “just in case” than a sign of firm plans.

In the present, SpaceX has plans for as many as four additional Starlink v1.0 launches between now and the end of 2019, although it looks likely that that may shrink to 1-2 missions. The next Starlink mission (deemed Starlink 1) is expected no earlier than late-October or November.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starlink-constellation-upgrade-forty-thousand-satellites/

——
SpaceX sees U.S. Army as possible customer for Starlink and Starship
https://spacenews.com/spacex-sees-u-s-army-as-possible-customer-for-starlink-and-starship/

——
SpaceX’s upcoming Starlink launch will set a record for Falcon 9 booster reuse
Quote
SpaceX has three (B1047 was expended on its third flight) thrice-flown Falcon 9 Block 5 boosters on hand, all of which can thus be assumed to be ready for another mission. In fact, B1046.3 is known to be assigned to SpaceX’s imminent Crew Dragon In-Flight Abort (IFA) test (NET November 23rd). ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-next-falcon-9-launch-latest-reuse-milestone/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: vox_mundi on October 17, 2019, 09:15:41 PM
Tragedy of the Commons: Low-Earth Orbit Unusable in 10-15 years ...

Amazon Reports Collision Risk for Mega-Constellation of Kuiper Internet Satellites
https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/aerospace/satellites/amazon-reports-collision-risk-for-its-megaconstellation-of-kuiper-internet-satellites

Last month, Amazon provided the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with data for its planned fleet of 3,236 Kuiper System broadband Internet satellites.

The filings lay out a plan to put 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit — including 784 satellites at an altitude of 367 miles (590 kilometers); 1,296 satellites at a height of 379 miles (610 kilometers); and 1,156 satellites in 391-mile (630-kilometer) orbits.

If one in 10 satellites fails while on orbit, and loses its ability to dodge other spacecraft or space junk, Amazon’s figures (https://licensing.fcc.gov/myibfs/download.do?attachment_key=1912531) [PDF] show that there is a 12 percent chance that one of those failed satellites will suffer a collision with a piece of space debris measuring 10 centimeters or larger. If one in 20 satellites fails—the same proportion as failed in rival SpaceX’s first tranche of Starlink satellites—there is a six percent chance of a collision.

Those figures are not even the worst case scenario. The FCC also asked Amazon to provide an aggregate collision risk should 15 percent of its satellites lose their ability to maneuver. That resulted in a 17 percent chance of a collision.


More than a third of all the orbital debris being tracked today came from just two collisions that occurred about a decade ago. Researchers are concerned that more explosions or breakups could accelerate the Kessler Syndrome (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kessler_syndrome)—a runaway chain reaction of orbital collisions that could render low earth orbit (LEO) hostile to almost any spacecraft.

https://youtu.be/Pzhtc-rFbvM

“Six percent is huge,” says John Crassidis, an expert on orbital debris at the University at Buffalo. “At a six percent chance of collision, astronauts would be put into an escape hatch to possibly escape. Even at orders of magnitude less than that, you’d want to do a maneuver to avoid it.”

... When responding to the FCC in 2017, SpaceX only provided a collision risk for the one percent failure scenario - it's already had a 5% failure rate - , writing [PDF]: “SpaceX views satellite failure to deorbit rates of 10 or 5 percent as unacceptable, and even a rate of 1 percent is unlikely.”

... three out of 60, or five percent, of the SpaceX's first batch of Starlink satellites failed following their launch in May

Even higher failure rates than 15 percent are not unheard of. Around 30 percent of Iridium’s first generation of communication satellites died on orbit, and the European Space Agency noted in its latest space environment report [PDF] that only about half of all satellites are properly disposed of at the end of their lifetimes.

If the risk associated with a one percent failure rate that SpaceX quoted is extrapolated to a 15 percent failure rate, Elon Musk’s satellites presented a similar aggregate risk as those belonging to Jeff Bezos, at around 14 percent. However, SpaceX has since altered its planned operational altitude for these satellites, and made design changes, which could reduce the chance of collisions. The company does not seem to have supplied the FCC with updated collision risk figures for its new working altitude of 550 kilometers, which is close to Amazon’s.

... In December, IEEE Spectrum reported that the aggregate chance that SpaceX’s planned Starlink constellation would cause an injury or death on Earth was 45 percent every six years.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 18, 2019, 12:44:13 AM
Beware of FUD.

Meanwhile, Matt Desch – CEO of Iridium, the owner and operator of one of the largest LEO constellations ever flown – stated that its Iridium NEXT satellites perform similar maneuvers weekly, without the need to “put out a press release to say who [Iridium] maneuvered around”. In simple terms, collision avoidance maneuvers are extremely common and extremelyroutine and are a fundamental part of operating satellites on orbit – be it one, ten, or ten thousand.

Quote
Matt Desch (@IridiumBoss) 9/2/19, 1:51 PM
Hmmm. We move our satellites on average once a week and don't put out a press release to say who we maneuvered around...
https://twitter.com/iridiumboss/status/1168582141128650753

Edit: Starlink satellites are aware of their surroundings and will autonomously adjust their position to avoid collisions.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Rob Dekker on October 19, 2019, 10:25:25 AM
Latest launch of a Delta IV Heavy.
Note that none of the boosters, nor the first stage rocket, is landing. They are all discarded and plunge into the ocean.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kg65SiK4-bI

Which shows that SpaceX (recovering boosters and first stage) is years, if not decades, ahead of the competition at this time, launching into LEO at a lower cost than any other carrier operational at this time.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 19, 2019, 01:55:04 PM
The problem of ‘crowded orbits,’ dead satellites and space debris is being addressed today, and is quickly becoming big business.  Expect major improvements in the next few years.

In the meantime, about 97% of the earth’s surface is available for space debris to fall on without hitting any humans.
95% Of The World's Population Lives On 10% Of The Land
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081217192745.htm
The earth’s surface is 71% water, 29% land.
So 95% of the world’s population lives on only 2.9% of the earth’s surface.


—- Here’s OneWeb’s satellite safety plan:
Quote
By October 2017, OneWeb had filed documents with the US FCC with their space debris mitigation plan. OneWeb "satellites are designed for mission lives of at least five years, and 'the post-mission disposal operation is anticipated to take less than one year.' OneWeb also said it has designed its satellite network to avoid collisions with space stations and debris, and that OneWeb 'will actively and regularly screen for conjunctions between its own satellites and other objects in the Joint Space Operations Center's ('JSpOC') published catalog."[42]
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/OneWeb_satellite_constellation

—- And Starlink’s:
Quote
The 60 Starlink v0.9 satellites, launched May 2019, have the following characteristics:[55]
   •   Hall-effect thrusters using krypton as the reaction mass, for position adjustment on orbit, altitude maintenance and deorbit
   •   Star tracker navigation system for precision pointing
   •   Able to use Department of Defense provided debris data to autonomously avoid collision.[90]
   •   95 percent of "all components of this design will quickly burn in Earth’s atmosphere at the end of each satellite’s lifecycle"
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starlink_(satellite_constellation)


Servicing satellites is now a business:

Refuelling On-Orbital Satellites | SES
https://www.ses.com/blog/refuelling-orbital-satellites

Quote
SpaceLogistics LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Northrop Grumman, provides cooperative in-orbit satellite servicing to geosynchronous satellite operators using its fleet of commercial servicing vehicles. Our initial servicing vehicle, the Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV)™ docks with customers’ existing satellites providing the propulsion and attitude control needed to extend their lives. ...
Our life extension services are compatible with virtually all geosynchronous satellites with minimal interruption to operations. They enable satellite operators to significantly extend satellite mission life, activate new markets, drive asset value and protect their franchises. SpaceLogistics delivers life extension services that are flexible, scalable, capital-efficient and low-risk.
https://www.northropgrumman.com/Capabilities/SpaceLogistics/Pages/default.aspx


Image below:  SpaceX Starship will enable satellite capture, service, and return to earth options.
(FYI, this is informally known as the “chomper” version of Starship. :) )
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 19, 2019, 05:49:51 PM
The Boca Chica road closures scheduled for October 23-25 have been cancelled.  Stay tuned....

——-

SpaceX’s fourth Starship prototype has begun to take shape in Florida
October 18, 2019
Quote
SpaceX’s Florida Starship team appears to have taken the first step towards assembling Starship Mk4, the fourth full-scale prototype of the next-generation spaceship.

Although SpaceX’s Boca Chica, Texas Starship campus is undeniably in the lead with their first prototype, Starship Mk1, it appears that the company’s Florida campus is far ahead of Texas with their second Starship prototype.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-fpuvjsnzc

At the moment, SpaceX has set up two separate Starship build teams in Florida and Texas with the intention of creating a sort of internal competition to see which group’s Starships are first to flight and first to orbit. For the most part, it’s assumed that this “competition” is less a fight to the finish line than it is an A/B test, a common software development practice in which separate teams pursue different methods of achieving the same goals.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2k4HVcAMgo

In the likely event that SpaceX is performing a radical form of A/B testing with rocket prototypes, both teams are continuously sharing best-practices and lessons-learned as they work to find the best possible methods for fabricating hardware and assembling Starships. Nevertheless, in A/B testing, fundamentally different approaches also tend to result in development schedules and final products that are unique, even if the end results are similar.

In the context of Starship, this is exactly what can be observed at SpaceX’s Florida and Texas facilities. Similarities abound in the radical method of en plein air manufacturing being implemented, while the Starship Mk1 and Mk2 hardware being built and assembled are also relatively similar, even if they have some distinct characteristics. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-fourth-starship-prototype-florida-progress/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 22, 2019, 01:10:34 AM
Boca Chica Starship survived 100-knot winds and a tornado that caused destruction on nearby South Padre island last night.

Maria Pointer (@BocachicaMaria1) 10/21/19, 10:53 AM
https://twitter.com/bocachicamaria1/status/1186294464211488770
Brief video at the link, with Starship.

Quote
Maria Pointer (@BocachicaMaria1) 10/21/19, 11:07 AM
2019-10-21
Survived the most powerful electrical storm I've ever been in, heavy rains, hurricane force winds, and passing tornado right overhead. This was very unique from my logging of storms both land and sea. Temp didn't drop? Thank you guys for staying with me.
https://twitter.com/bocachicamaria1/status/1186298049229971456
Brief video at the link, with SpaceX antennas.

Quote
Maria Pointer (@BocachicaMaria1) 10/21/19, 2:53 PM
SpaceX workers are back to normal already. Pre dawn hammering and sawing was mixed into normal early rocket work routine.
https://twitter.com/bocachicamaria1/status/1186354891184320522
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Rob Dekker on October 22, 2019, 08:13:18 AM
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1186523464712146944
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 22, 2019, 01:46:45 PM
Historic day.

People are renaming their wifi networks in tribute. :)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 23, 2019, 02:56:11 AM
Musk's satellite project testing encrypted internet with military planes
Quote
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Air Force is using SpaceX's fledgling satellite network to test encrypted internet services for a number of military planes, the space company's president said on Tuesday, detailing results for the first customer of Elon Musk's planned constellation of thousands of broadband-beaming satellites.

"We are delivering high bandwidth into the cockpit of Air Force planes," SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell said on Tuesday. "Right now we're just testing the capability and figuring out how to make it work."
...
The Air Force program, known as Global Lightning, started testing with SpaceX in early 2018 and used Starlink's first two test satellites to beam to terminals fixed to a C-12 military transport plane in flight, demonstrating internet speeds of 610 megabits per-second, SpaceX Senior Vice President Tim Hughes said. That's fast enough to download a movie in under a minute.
...
Shotwell said the program, part of a $28 million Pentagon contract awarded to SpaceX in late 2018, is ongoing and expects to test Starlink with "a number" of additional military aircraft types. That contract also includes testing communications between satellites in orbit.

The U.S. military is increasingly dependent on satellites to determine what it does on the ground, guiding munitions with space-based lasers and satellites as well as securing such assets from satellite-jamming technology from Russia and China. ...
https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN1X12KM
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 23, 2019, 03:30:38 AM
SpaceX plans to start offering Starlink broadband services in 2020
Quote
WASHINGTON — SpaceX is confident it can start offering broadband service in the United States via its Starlink constellation in mid-2020, the company’s president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell said Oct. 22.

“We’ll continue to upgrade the network until mid to late next year,” said Shotwell. “We’re hoping for 24 launches by the end of next year.”

SpaceX wants to offer the service to the U.S. government but is now focused on how it will serve the consumer market. Many of the details of how the service will be rolled out remain to be worked out, she said. When possible it will be offered directly to consumers following Musk’s Tesla model for selling cars. In many countries the company will be required to partner with local telecom firms to offer the service.

Shotwell recognized a lot of this is uncharted territory for SpaceX. “This is very different business for SpaceX,” she said. “It’s leveraging space technology but it’s a consumer business.”

When consumers sign up, “they are going to receive a box from SpaceX” with a user terminal and a cord, said Shotwell. How that gets connected and where the terminals should be placed in someone’s home are still issues to be ironed out. “We still have a lot to do to get that right,” said Shotwell. “Knowing Elon, he wants everything to be beautiful. So the user terminal will be beautiful.”

Outside the United States, SpaceX is working nation by nation to get authorization to offer the service. “Every country has its own process,” said Shotwell.

SpaceX is racing to get Starlink in operation as several other companies continue to build competing broadband constellations. Shotwell said there is probably room in the market for at least two competitors. “If we do well and make money, there will be competitors.”
https://spacenews.com/spacex-plans-to-start-offering-starlink-broadband-services-in-2020/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 24, 2019, 04:49:48 PM
SpaceX says Starship Mk1 will test 'skydiver' landing before the end of 2019
Quote
According to CEO Elon Musk and other SpaceX engineers, that 20 km flight debut is designed to prove that Starship’s radical new approach to flight and landing is viable. Musk has repeatedly described that Starship will in no way be an actual space plane and has stated that its ‘wings’ and ‘canards’ are not intended to be airfoils or wings. Instead, Starship will reenter Earth’s atmosphere, slow its horizontal velocity to near-zero, and proceed to free-fall straight down, using its fore and aft flaps to control its trajectory in the same way that skydivers use their body and limbs.

This bizarre approach will be capped off with an aggressive landing maneuver in which Starship will ignite its engines, wildly thrust-vector and swerve to cancel out the horizontal velocity imparted by that sideways ignition, and land vertically on Earth (or Mars). In theory, this strategy will radically reduce the amount of fuel Starship needs to land in atmospheres, but it’s far removed from anything SpaceX has attempted with Falcon 9 and Starship Mk1’s first flight will hopefully prove it to be a viable solution.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-mk1-skydiver-landing-test-2019/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 25, 2019, 09:33:37 PM
SpaceX details new timeline for sending humans to the moon, Mars and beyond
Quote
SpaceX wants to get to the moon, and it wants to get there fast. On Friday, company president Gwynne Shotwell stated that SpaceX’s goal is to send humans and cargo to the moon [starting in] 2022.

Shotwell made the comments during an on-stage appearance at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, speaking with investor Ron Baron. Shotwell, in remarks shared by CNBC reporter Michael Sheetz via Twitter, also reiterated the company’s goal to fly the under-development Starship rocket to orbit by next year.

It’s the latest in a series of bold proclamations from SpaceX officials, which are painting a picture of far-flung space exploration over the coming decades. Plans include landing humans on the moon, building propellant depots to refuel the Starship, and building moon bases and cities on Mars at the same time.
...
Quote
“Aspirationally, we want to get Starship to orbit within a year. We definitely want to land it on the moon before 2022, we want to basically stage cargo there to make sure that there’s resources for the folks that ultimately land on the moon by 2024 if things go well. So that’s an aspirational timeframe. [Yusaku Maezawa booked] a trip around the moon in the 2023 timeframe, in Starship.”
https://www.inverse.com/article/60446-spacex-timeline-for-sending-humans-to-the-moon-mars-and-beyond
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 26, 2019, 12:40:41 AM
Article in post #374 doesn’t specify, but a quote from this Tweetstorm compiled on Reddit says “We want Starship to fly to orbit next year, we want to land on the Moon with cargo and people by 2022."

Quote
Shotwell: SpaceX achieved what it has largely because of private funding. You can go as fast as you want & you can tolerate failure." https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187741649302179845?s=20
"Baron: Why hasn't Bezos been doing this? He's spending lots of money. Shotwell: They're two years older than us and they've yet to reach orbit. They get $1 billion of "free money" each year but I think engineers work better when they're pushed." https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187742052446097414?s=20
"Baron: Why is returning an orbital rocket so hard? Shotwell: You have tons of heat as it goes through the atmosphere at high speed and you need to have the engine refire successfully and then "you have to land on a dime, although our dime is a big circle shaped like an X." https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187742692882731012?s=20
"Shotwell, on SpaceX's competitors and why other companies haven't built and landed orbital rockets: "Boeing and Lockheed like their cushy situation." " https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187743467885211651?s=20
"Baron: Is point-to-point space travel happening any time soon? Shotwell: Any time I talk about timelines I turn myself into a liar. We want Starship to fly to orbit next year, we want to land on the Moon with cargo and people by 2022."
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187744708816261120?s=20
"Shotwell: Point-to-point "is a derivative industry for us." It will be cheaper than a current first class ticket, "but a little more than economy." "
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187745011754000384?s=20
"Shotwell: "I think we will have a propulsion breakthrough in my lifetime that we can then say we will build a ship and start the journey" to the next potentially habitable solar system." " https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187745445361180672?s=20
"Shotwell on Starlink: Our investors and our board in 2012 said "your customers have much higher margins" from the satellite business."
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187745963345092611?s=20
"Shotwell: Next year we're going to be 60 Starlink satellites "every other week." "Once we get to 1200 satellites we will have coverage of the whole globe." "
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187746296842588161?s=20
"Baron: How many satellites do we have right now? Shotwell: About 1500." https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187746742449721345?s=20
"Baron: So when you have tens of thousands in orbit, how will you know you're not going to run into other satellites? Shotwell: Think about 30,00 people on Earth spread out fairly evenly ... you could spend your whole life and never see another person."
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187746890592538624?s=20
"Shotwell: Starlink satellites will have roughly a 5 year life in orbit before we refresh. Morgan Stanley estimated this week how much it would cost to deploy our satellites "and they were wayyyyyyyy off." " https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187747359452729346?s=20
"For what it's worth, Morgan Stanley's assumed $1 million cost per Starlink satellite with a $50 million cost per launch. "30,000 broadband satellites could require ~$60b of incremental capital," Morgan Stanley said." https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187748482309906432?s=20
"Shotwell: SpaceX's Starlink is way less expensive than OneWeb and "17 times better or cheaper." "Jeff Bezos wants to start a constellation and he's years behind." " https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187748549313941507?s=20
"Q from audience: What is the Baron investment in SpaceX and the current valuation? Baron: Our investment at market is about $150 million."
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187749906661945346?s=20
"Shotwell, on achieving what @ElonMusk asks SpaceX to do: "Elon says 'we're going to do this' and then everyone stops breathing." But then we start making it digestible and possible. Baron: What's an example? Shotwell: He said we were going to land a rocket on a boat." https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1187751299149893633?s=20

@thesheetztweetz on Twitter: "Full house at the @MetOpera for SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell, speaking now with billionaire investor Ron Baron." -Tweetstorm-
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/dmzp2q/thesheetztweetz_on_twitter_full_house_at_the/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 26, 2019, 08:17:47 PM
SpaceX Shotwell calls out Blue Origin, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, OneWeb
Quote
“I think it was because we developed with private money that we could go as fast as we wanted,” Shotwell said. “You can tolerate failure.”
She contrasted Boeing and Lockheed Martin’s approach to the space industry with Europe’s Arianespace, which she said “has been very candid” about its government space programs.

“The European space program is largely a program to keep technologists and engineers employed,” Shotwell said. “If you can reuse your rocket then you don’t have a giant population building new ones.”

SpaceX has steadily reduced its prices, with current SpaceX launch contracts going for as little as $50 million to $60 million, in many cases 40% less than competitor pricing. Moreover, SpaceX has simultaneously increased its launches per year, setting a company record of 21 last year.
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/25/spacex-shotwell-calls-out-blue-origin-boeing-lockheed-martin-oneweb.html

Reddit page:
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/dnbyd9/spacex_shotwell_calls_out_blue_origin_boeing/

Edit: From 2018: SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell On Elon Musk And The Future Of Space Launches | CNBC - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clhXVdjvOyk
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 27, 2019, 02:35:51 AM
More from SpaceX COO Shotwell:
Quote
What could hold up the Starlink launches -— satellite or rocket production?
“I don't think satellite production is going to be the holdup. It probably will be manufacturing the second stages of the rockets, or the rocket's nose cone, or fairing, which protects the satellites during launch.
We're working to reuse a fairing for the first time. And we'd like to fly Starlink missions exclusively with resued fairings.
https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/10/26/tech/spacex-starlink-elon-musk-tweet-gwynne-shotwell/index.html

Note that the SpaceX fleet now has two fairing-catcher ships, to recover both halves of a fairing:
Quote
Julia (@julia_bergeron) 10/22/19, 10:07 AM
Ladies and gentlemen, both fairing recovery ships have nets! GO Ms. Chief and GO Ms. Tree are displaying their gear for all to see at the north dock this morning. There is still time for a few more DP trials before 4th quarter launches ramp up. #SpaceXFleet @SpaceX
https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1186645227274211328
Images below; another at the link.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 28, 2019, 02:52:43 PM
A single Starship launch would be equivalent to almost 7 Falcon 9 missions.

SpaceX president teases Starship’s game-changing Starlink launch capabilities
Quote
OneWeb plans to launch the vast majority of its Phase 1 constellation on Arianespace’s commercial Soyuz rockets, with the launch contract alone expected to cost more than $1B for ~700 satellites.
Quote
Speaking prior to Starlink’s 60-satellite “v0.9” launch debut, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk stated that each prototype spacecraft ended up costing more to launch than to build, despite the fact that their first launch flew on a twice-flown Falcon 9 booster.

In fewer words, Musk thus implied that each Starlink satellite likely already costs significantly less than $500,000 even before SpaceX has begun to reap the full benefits of economies of scale. In fact, based on official 2016 figures that estimated the cost of each BFR booster/ship at less than $4M and Musk’s estimate that Starship could cut Starlink launch costs by a factor of 5, the cost of Starlink v0.9 production could have actually been as low as ~$350,000 apiece, with launch costs on the order of ~$20M.

Speaking a little over five months after Musk, Shotwell revealed that a single Starship-Super Heavy launch should be able to place at least 400 Starlink satellites in orbit – a combined payload mass of ~120 metric tons (265,000 lb). Even if the cost of a Starship launch remained identical to Starlink v0.9’s flight-proven Falcon 9, packing almost seven times as many Starlink satellites would singlehandedly cut the relative cost of launch per satellite by more than the 5X figure Musk noted.
 …
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-president-teases-starship-starlink-capabilities/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: vox_mundi on October 28, 2019, 04:57:48 PM
A single Starship launch would be equivalent to almost 7 Falcon 9 missions ...

Conversely, a single Starship crash would be equivalent to almost 7 Falcon 9 missions. Safety first.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on October 29, 2019, 04:52:28 PM
In SpaceХ, they want to abandon the capricious extra-expensive heat-shielding tiles. They were used on the Space Shuttle, they constantly fell off and burned. In this regard, they had to be constantly re-glued and replaced. By weight, they weighed almost 10% of the ship.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_thermal_protection_system

(https://www.azom.com/image.axd?src=%2fimages%2fArticle_Images%2fImageForArticle_11443(3).png&ts=20141009104902&ri=640)

Now in StarShip want to use the usual cheap steel plating, and ordinary water for cooling. Water is still so good that it can be a protection against radiation during interplanetary travel. It was estimated that the water would need about as much as the extra-expensive heat shield on the Space Shuttle weighed (about 10 percent by weight).

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-ceo-elon-musk-starship-transpiring-steel-heat-shield-interview/

Quote
Based on research done in the 2010s by German space agency (DLR), a porous thermal protection material called Procelit 170 (P170) – 91% aluminum oxide and 9% silicon oxide – was cooled from a peak heat of ~1750 C (3200 F) to ~25 C (75 F) during wind tunnel testing, demonstrating that an average of 0.065 kg (~2.3 oz) of water per second would be needed to cool a square meter of P170 to the same degree, assuming a heating rate of around 200 kW/m^2. Given that 300-series stainless steels have a comparatively huge capacity for radiating heat at high temperatures, will be dramatically thinner than Procelit in any given Starship use-case, and will not need to be cooled all the way to 25C/75F during hot operations, the DLR-derived number is barely relevant without another round of wind tunnel tests focused on metallic thermal protection systems. Still, it allows for the creation of a sort of worst-case scenario for BFS/Starship’s water-cooled shield.

Assuming that the windward side of Starship’s regeneratively cooled heat shield has roughly the same surface area as half of a cylinder, 800 m^2 (8600 ft^2) will have to be actively cooled with water, translating to a water consumption rate of approximately 52 kg/s (115 lb/s) if the entire surface is being subjected to temperatures around ~1750 C. That is, of course, a grossly inaccurate generalization, as aerodynamic surfaces dramatically shape, dissipate, and concentrate airflows (and thus heat from friction) in complex and highly specific ways. Much like NASA’s Space Shuttle or DLR’s theoretical SpaceLiner, the reality of reentry heating is that that heat typically ends up being focused at leading edges and control surfaces, which thus require uniquely capable versions of thermal protection (TPS). Shuttle used fragile reinforced carbon-carbon tiles at those hotspots, while DLR was exploring water cooling as a viable and safer alternative for SpaceLiner.

Aside from heat flux, it’s also unclear when or how long the cooling system will need to be supplied with water during potential Starship reentries. At worst, the spacecraft would need to supply a constant 50+ kg/s throughout a 5+ minute (600+ second) regime of high-velocity, high-drag reentry conditions. Assuming that Starship will need to rely heavily on aerobraking to maintain efficient interplanetary operations, it might have to perform 2+ active-cooling cycles per reentry, potentially requiring a minimum of 15 tons of water per reentry. Given that SpaceX intends (at least as of September 2018) for Starship to be able to land more than 100 tons on the surface of Mars, 15t of water would cut drastically into payload margins and is thus likely an unfeasibly large mass reserve or any given interplanetary mission.

Musk clearly believes with almost zero doubt that a stainless steel Starship and booster (Super Heavy) is the way forward for the company’s BFR program, and he has now twice indicated that the switch away from advanced carbon composites will actually “accelerate” the rocket’s development schedule. For now, all we can do is watch as the first Starship prototype – meant to perform short hop tests ASAP – gradually comes into being in South Texas.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 29, 2019, 06:22:04 PM
In SpaceХ, they want to abandon the capricious extra-expensive heat-shielding tiles. They were used on the Space Shuttle, they constantly fell off and burned. In this regard, they had to be constantly re-glued and replaced. By weight, they weighed almost 10% of the ship.
...


More recently, SpaceX turned away from the transpirational cooling idea and will likely be using newly-developed ceramic tiles on the “hot” side of Starship.

Quote
Although particular species of stainless steel do feature exceptionally high melting points and structural characteristics at ultra-high temperatures (> 1400C/2500F), some unofficial analyses of the numbers involved indicated that the density and weight of steel could rapidly hinder any benefits derived from its use as a heat shield. Musk appeared to confirm this in his July 24th comments, indicating that thin ceramic tiles on the windward side and nothing on the leeward side of Starship looked like the “lightest option”.

SpaceX’s first thrice-flown Cargo Dragon returns from orbit with Starship tiles intact
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-thrice-flown-cargo-dragon-recovery-starship-tiles/

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 9/10/19, 2:26 AM
@Teslarati The hex tiles are actually mechanically attached, which is important to allow for very high temp on back side of tile that would destroy any adhesive. Marshmellow-looking thing is a rope seal.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1171308928476385281

SpaceX tests ceramic Starship heat shield tiles on Starhopper’s final flight test
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-tests-starship-heat-shield-tiles-on-starhopper/

Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 29, 2019, 06:25:59 PM
This Redditor’s attempt to estimate the feasibility of building a solar park on Mars of a size that Musk suggested would be needed early on… was well received.

”I thought it'd be interesting to get an estimate of what kind of challenge would be involved in developing, delivering and deploying a solar park at 45 N on Mars, which would generate the kind of power suggested by Elon Musk in the recent tweet.

I will attempt to stick to real world products or which can be readily engineered (no breakthroughs required) and I will attempt to err on the side of being conservative.”


Estimating what building a 1-10 MW Solar Park on Mars would involve
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/dopbfz/estimating_what_building_a_110_mw_solar_park_on/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on October 29, 2019, 06:32:36 PM
More recently, SpaceX turned away from the transpirational cooling idea and will likely be using newly-developed ceramic tiles on the “hot” side of Starship.

It is very doubtful that ceramic tiles will be used in interplanetary flight. They have low thermal conductivity, which means they will still be damaged.

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/aqqba3/known_and_unknown_information_about_dragons_heat/

Quote
Known and unknown information about Dragons heat shield design
While we're all quite interested in the future with Starship's rapid development and drastic redesign, I'd like to discuss something a bit more current: Dragon's heat shield design.

What we know:

Some materials are known with certainty to be used on Dragon.

PICA-X is used for the main shield. Somewhere around 45 roughly-squarish tiles are used (can't find a good picture, but estimating from this). Here is a picture of the tiles being applied. They're 8 centimeters thick and each weigh about a kilogram. On a LEO reentry, approximately 1 centimeter of this is the char layer, a further 1 centimeter is pyrolized, and the remaining 6 centimeters are effectively virgin material. The extra virgin layer is still necessary to insulate the structure and the adhesive used to bond on the tiles from the reentry heat. Strain isolation pads, similar to that used on the Shuttle to connect the TPS tiles to the structure, separate the tiles from their backing structure. The backing structure is composite. The tiles themselves are likely not reusable after water submersion, but the representative I talked to at Fiber Materials Inc said they'd never actually tested for this. Core samples from splashed-down Dragon heat shields show significant (>25% of mass) salt content in the char layer, indicating significant water penetration. The composite structure is reused.

On the contrary, the steel has a high thermal conductivity, and therefore is not damaged as a result of strong heating during water cooling. For example, pipes and turbines of a thermal power plant.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 29, 2019, 06:41:11 PM
Quote
It is very doubtful that ceramic tiles will be used in interplanetary flight. They have low thermal conductivity, which means they will still be damaged.
...
On the contrary, the steel has a high thermal conductivity, and therefore is not damaged as a result of strong heating during water cooling. For example, pipes and turbines of a thermal power plant.

Dragon is not Starship, and the reentry forces from LEO versus the moon or Mars are quite different.  Also, weight is more of a factor in interplanetary flight, and SpaceX has developed new tiles that will be better overall than double-walled transpirational steel.

The interview you quoted is from last January.  Much has changed since then!
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: SteveMDFP on October 29, 2019, 06:45:17 PM

On the contrary, the steel has a high thermal conductivity, and therefore is not damaged as a result of strong heating during water cooling. For example, pipes and turbines of a thermal power plant.

It's an interesting engineering challenge.  Water cooling seems like an excellent idea, but the weight of putting the water up in orbit is an economic and engineering challenge in itself.

Over the long run, this is an argument in favor of the economics of mining the cold parts of the moon for water.  The water harvested might be loaded into craft prior to re-entry to earth.  Establishing a water mining operation on the moon would initially be very expensive, but once established, it's far less costly in energy (and dollars) to transfer water from the moon to low earth orbit than haul water up from the earth's surface.  Such an approach would promote reusability in spacecraft, and allow more payload weight to be able to go up without having to bring water on the rocket.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 29, 2019, 06:52:27 PM
SpaceX Switching to Thin Tile Heat Shield Instead of Active Cooling
Quote
Elon Musk indicated that SpaceX will test thin ceramic tiles to protect the Super Heavy Starship from re-entry heat instead of using active transpirational cooling.

This will only need to be on 10-20% because the steel alloy could handle most of the re-entry temperatures.
...
The first stage super heavy booster does not require a heat shield because it only reaches mach 8 or 9.
https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2019/07/spacex-switching-to-thin-tile-heat-shield-instead-of-active-cooling.html
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 31, 2019, 01:21:51 AM
Boca Chica, Texas

Starship Mk1 arrives at launch site ahead of flight test
Quote
SpaceX’s Mk1 Starship enjoyed a short road trip to its Boca Chica launch site on Wednesday, a key milestone ahead of its upcoming test flight. Soon to be joined by its fairing, Starship will undergo several weeks of preparations for the test flight to 20 KM that will include an ambitious landing attempt. ...
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/10/starship-mk1-launch-site-flight-test/
Photos and videos at the link, including a brief update on the Florida site.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 03, 2019, 01:38:25 PM
Watch out, Soyuz.  Starship can seat at least 3!  ;D
Florida:
Quote
Kyle Montgomery (@Kyle_M_Photo) 10/31/19, 8:52 PM
There was three people inside of starship MK2 today. #SpaceX #StarshipMK2
https://twitter.com/kyle_m_photo/status/1190069066544885761
10 sec time lapse: 3 workers climb out of Starship and into the crane work bucket.

=====
Boca Chica, Texas  Starship Mark 1.

Road closures at the end of October were for moving the main section of Starship Mk1 to the launch mount on the launching pad.
Quote
SPadre (@SpacePadreIsle) 10/30/19, 8:50 PM
Starship - The Journey Begins 10-30-2019
https://twitter.com/spacepadreisle/status/1189706253389488133
Photo below.

New road closures are scheduled, likely for testing of launch pad fuel systems and Starship tanks.
Quote
SPadre (@SpacePadreIsle) 11/2/19, 9:27 AM
T-5 days until Starship MK1 comes to life!! Latest road closure notice for Starship testing at Boca Chica, beginning Thursday Nov 7 from 12-8pm, also Friday and the following Tuesday same times. co.cameron.tx.us/wp/space-x/
https://twitter.com/spacepadreisle/status/1190621504817549313
- No static fires yet, just the initial pressure tests, tank

——
Canard attached to nosecone.  Openings created for… windows?
Photo below from: https://twitter.com/johnrand0061/status/1190646261134827522

Good look at Starship Mk1 Nosecone - YouTube
90-second video.  Close-ups of two (window?) openings show scaffolding inside!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRK109YSHNY
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 06, 2019, 12:56:27 AM
SpaceX:  Static fire test of Falcon 9 complete—targeting 11/11 for launch of 60 Starlink satellites from Pad 40 in Florida

SpaceX Falcon 9’s next Starlink launch will reuse a Falcon Heavy fairing for the first time
Quote
SpaceX has announced that a thrice-flown Falcon 9 booster successfully completed a static fire test ahead of the company’s first launch in three months, set to be Starlink’s ‘v1.0’ launch debut. In a twist, SpaceX says that the mission will be the first to reuse a full payload fairing, recovered after Falcon Heavy Block 5’s April 2019 launch debut.

After a successful wet dress rehearsal and static fire on November 5th, SpaceX says that the 60-satellite Starlink-1 mission – the first flight of the finalized ‘v1.0’ satellite design – is on track to lift off on November 11th, likely around 10 am Eastern Time (15:00 UTC). Starlink-1 will be SpaceX’s second Starlink launch of 2019, following the largely successful May 2019 launch debut of 60 Starlink v0.9 satellites. Although several satellites suffered anomalies (as expected), SpaceX remains in contact with all 60, while 50 successfully reached their final ~550 km (340 mi) orbits and have been operating ever since.

Since that launch, SpaceX has successfully demonstrated a range of capabilities, including streaming high-quality videos, playing video games, and more. CEO Elon Musk recently claimed to have tweeted over internet service provided by Starlink satellites, likely signifying the first public test of SpaceX’s self-built user terminals, ground antennas that customers will use to connect to the Starlink network. Finally, SpaceX COO and President Gwynne Shotwell recently revealed that the US Air Force has begun to carefully test Starlink’s capabilities, part of a ~$29M contract it awarded SpaceX last year. The USAF is testing connectivity to high-performance aircraft and has sustained speeds of more than 600 Mbps (75 MBps or 1 GB every ~13 seconds) over air-to-satellite Starlink links, impressive but still only ~3% of a single satellite’s full bandwidth. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-falcon-9-next-launch-first-falcon-fairing-reuse/

Edit:  from last April:
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 4/11/19, 9:31 PM
Both fairing halves recovered. Will be flown on Starlink mission later this year.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1116514068393680896
[photos at the link.]
- Recovered from water, but undamaged
< Will these be the first ones to be reused?
- Yes
< That was 3 boosters and 2 fairing halves all autonomously flying back for recovery with the droneship autonomously stationkeeping and the upper stage autonomously putting the robot satellite into orbit. 8 robots. 9 if you count the octograbber.
<< Previous ones were recovered from water but did fly back. They still need gas thrusters for stability on the way back.
- This is true. They each have avionics, several nitrogen thrusters & steerable parachutes.
< How many times can a reused rocket take off?
<< Number of times they can land it + 1.  ;)

Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 11/5/19, 1:08 PM
The fairing supporting this mission previously flew on Falcon Heavy’s Arabsat-6A mission
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1191779329467748353
~20-second video of the Arabsat fairing separation at the link. Earth views!
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 11, 2019, 01:35:33 AM
SpaceX Starlink launch late tomorrow morning (Florida time) if you want to catch it live.  (Webcast stays up for a while afterwards.)
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 11/10/19, 6:57 PM
Falcon 9 and Starlink are vertical on Pad 40 ahead of tomorrow’s launch opportunity at 9:56 a.m. EST, 14:56 UTC. Weather is 80% favorable → spacex.com/webcast
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1193679129184362496

Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 11/10/19, 7:31 PM
Team is go for launch of 60 Starlink sats tomorrow—heaviest payload to date, first re-flight of a fairing, and first Falcon 9 to fly a fourth mission. Watching 1 sat that may not orbit raise; if not, 100% of its components will quickly burn up in Earth’s atmosphere
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1193687615528042496
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 11, 2019, 02:23:14 AM
Just in case commercial crew certification is delayed.

Next three-man Soyuz crew training to have space station to themselves
Quote
The next three-man crew to launch on a Soyuz rocket — comprising two Russian cosmonauts and a veteran NASA astronaut — is training to have the International Space Station to themselves after their arrival at the orbiting research outpost in April, at least until new U.S. commercial crew ships enter service.

The next Soyuz crew is scheduled to launch April 9 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to kick off an expedition planned to last around six-and-a-half months. ...
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/11/09/next-three-man-soyuz-crew-training-to-have-space-station-to-themselves/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 11, 2019, 01:29:19 PM
The new satellites will have Ka antennas for the first time, and will be deployed in a lower orbit so that any non-functioning units will de-orbit quickly, and will burn up 100% in the atmosphere.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Starlink launch eyes two reusability milestones as new satellite details emerge
Quote
SpaceX is also focused on dramatically lowering the albedo (reflectivity) of Starlink satellites and working closely with the astronomy and astrophysics communities to minimize any disruption the spacecraft might cause for scientific observations of the night sky. For any part that will be ground-facing during routine operations, this likely involves replacing shiny surfaces with matte finishes and adding dark or non-reflective coatings/insulation where possible, among other potential tweaks. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-falcon-9-starlink-launch-new-satellite-details/

SpaceX and Cape Canaveral Return to Action with First Operational Starlink Mission - NASASpaceFlight.com
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/11/spacex-cape-return-first-operational-starlink-mission/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 11, 2019, 05:19:05 PM
Confirmed: 60 Starlink satellites deployed!  Image below.  Watch the mission replay at spacex.com.

—- Best OCISLY landing vid yet!
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 11/11/19, 10:05 AM
Falcon 9 first stage has landed on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship – the fourth launch and landing of this booster
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1193907618575552514
11 second video at the link.

—-
(Cool: 3 seconds of blue liquid oxygen sloshing around the bottom of the LOX tank!)
https://twitter.com/rrosenbl/status/1193909240223547392
Image below, vid clip at the link.

—-
Quote
SpaceXFleet Updates (@SpaceXFleet) 11/11/19, 9:46 AM
SpaceX confirms that Ms. Tree and Ms. Chief will not be attempting to catch the fairing today. They are concerned the strength of the catching structure, following rough seas over the weekend.
https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1193902769192747008
They will still recover the fairing halves, from out of the ocean.

(Atlantic Ocean wave Ref: https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2569.msg236281.html#msg236281)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on November 11, 2019, 05:34:29 PM
This was the first reuse of the head fairing - worth $ 6 million. And the first use of the same rocket for the 4th time.

Everything is successful. Now new batches of 60 satellites will be launched every two weeks. Soon satellite Internet will replace wired, as now cellular communication has replaced landline phones with wires.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: ArcticMelt2 on November 11, 2019, 08:32:56 PM
Satellites spotted in Portugal:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Starlink/comments/dux6ej/starlink_train_the_second_by_pauloasc_portugal/

(https://i.redd.it/a4ayg1myv3y31.jpg)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles on November 14, 2019, 01:26:51 PM
SpaceX conducts static fire of Crew Dragon’s abort system engines
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/11/spacex-static-fire-crew-dragons-abort-engines/

Quote
SpaceX conducted a static fire test of their human-rated Crew Dragon capsule on Wednesday
...
During this week’s static fire test, Crew Dragon fired its SuperDraco engines as if it were to be performing an abort maneuver to get itself away from the launch vehicle in the event of a serious problem. Early indications are that everything went to plan during the test stand firing.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 14, 2019, 05:52:20 PM
40-min podcast discussing Commercial Crew with the folks who are managing it — right before the recent/upcoming abort tests.  Separate segments with NASA, Boeing, and SpaceX.
https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/audio/episode_17_abort_3220774_rev_4.mp3
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: vox_mundi on November 15, 2019, 01:23:32 AM
NASA report finds Boeing seat prices are 60% higher than SpaceX
https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/11/nasa-report-finds-boeing-seat-prices-are-60-higher-than-spacex/

On Thursday, NASA's inspector general released a report on the space agency's commercial crew program, which seeks to pay Boeing and SpaceX to develop vehicles to transport astronauts to the International Space Station.

https://oig.nasa.gov/docs/IG-20-005.pdf

Although the report cites the usual technical issues that the companies are having with the development of their respective Starliner and Dragon spacecraft, far more illuminating is its discussion of costs. Notably, the report publishes estimated seat prices for the first time, and it also delves into the extent that Boeing has gone to extract more money from NASA above and beyond its fixed-price award.

Boeing's per-seat price already seemed like it would cost more than SpaceX. The company has received a total of $4.82 billion from NASA over the lifetime of the commercial crew program, compared to $3.14 billion for SpaceX. However, for the first time the government has published a per-seat price: $90 million for Starliner and $55 million for Dragon. Each capsule is expected to carry four astronauts to the space station during a nominal mission.

(https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/seat-prices.png)

Beyond these seat prices, Inspector General Paul Martin's report also notes that Boeing received additional funding from NASA, above and beyond its fixed-price award.

Quote
... "We found that NASA agreed to pay an additional $287.2 million above Boeing’s fixed prices to mitigate a perceived 18-month gap in ISS flights anticipated in 2019 and to ensure the contractor continued as a second commercial crew provider, without offering similar opportunities to SpaceX,"

... Perhaps the most striking rationale for approving the additional funds was that Boeing may have discussed backing out of the commercial crew program (CCP). Martin writes, "According to several NASA officials, a significant consideration for paying Boeing such a premium was to ensure the contractor continued as a second crew transportation provider. CCP officials cited NASA’s guidance to maintain two US commercial crew providers to ensure redundancy in crew transportation as part of the rationale for approving the purchase of all four missions at higher prices." ...
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 18, 2019, 01:41:45 AM
“Increased rocket launches will be environmentally catastrophic.”
Quote
Viv (@flcnhvy) 11/16/19, 11:57 AM
This is simply false. Falcon 9 uses about ~156,000 kg of RP-1, which is basically rocket-grade kerosene. A 737-800 on average uses ~20,800 kg of Jet-A kerosene. There are ~100,000 commercial flights per day, not including private, business & military aviation.
https://twitter.com/flcnhvy/status/1195747855669043207
- Per @elonmusk & Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX has planned 24 Starlink & 19 commercial launches on Falcon 9 in 2020 so far. That’s ~6.7 million kg of RP-1 in total in a single year — significantly less than all airlines combined *per day*.
- Furthermore, Starship won’t use RP-1, but cryogenic liquid methane instead. Here’s why carbon-capture (Sabatier process) will allow Starship to be carbon-neutral on Mars from the beginning & eventually on Earth too:

 SpaceX: how Elon Musk plans to power Mars' space-age fuel depots
https://www.inverse.com/article/60133-spacex-how-elon-musk-plans-to-power-mars-space-age-fuel-depots


Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 11/16/19, 4:11 PM
@flcnhvy Exactly! Well said
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1195811614315823105
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 19, 2019, 04:14:10 PM
It’s alive!  ;)  And it’s been washed.  But not fed.

SpaceX’s Starship comes to life for the first time in lead-up to launch debut
November 19, 2019
For the first time ever, SpaceX has pressurized Starship Mk1’s building-sized propellant tanks, a critical test that culminated in the rocket prototype essentially taking its first ‘breaths’.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-comes-to-life-launch-debut-lead-up/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 19, 2019, 04:30:40 PM
Quote
Yusaku Maezawa (MZ) 前澤友作 (@yousuck2020) 11/19/19, 2:19 AM
久しぶりにイーロン @elonmusk とご飯。 @SpaceX の月行きロケットStarshipの開発が想定以上に順調とのこと。さあそろそろ同乗者を誘わないと。
https://twitter.com/yousuck2020/status/1196689387041378304
“Elon and dinner after a long @elonmusk time. It is said that @SpaceX the development of the lunar rocket Starship is better than expected. Now it's time to invite a passenger.”

Yusaku Maezawa is paying for multiple seats on a Starship flight around the moon, so that accomplished artists can accompany him, and their creations can inspire all of us to greater love and respect here on earth.

Edit: 
Quote
Of note, in his tweet showing off the thruster pod, Maezawa suggested that “Starship development is going better than expected”, indicating that he may “need to invite a passenger soon” for his planned circumlunar voyage around the Moon. Prior to Starship’s radical shift from carbon fiber to steel, that mission was scheduled no earlier than 2023. In recent months, SpaceX executives have made it clear that they are now targeting Starship Moon landings by 2022, suggesting that the first circumlunar missions – a far easier task than landing – could be possible even sooner than that.
more here: https://www.teslarati.com/elon-musk-gifts-spacex-investor-starhopper-hardware/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: BeeKnees on November 20, 2019, 06:54:25 AM
Astronomers are unhappy about the new satellites

The trail of the newly launched satellites interfered with astronomical observations at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) in northern Chile on 18 November. Astronomers were using the Dark Energy Camera (DECam), which can take images of large areas of the night sky in visible and near-infrared wavelengths of light.

Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2223962-spacexs-starlink-satellites-are-interfering-with-astronomy-again/#ixzz65nJhBbdO
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 20, 2019, 03:22:55 PM
Astronomers are unhappy about the new satellites

The trail of the newly launched satellites interfered with astronomical observations at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) in northern Chile on 18 November. Astronomers were using the Dark Energy Camera (DECam), which can take images of large areas of the night sky in visible and near-infrared wavelengths of light.

Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2223962-spacexs-starlink-satellites-are-interfering-with-astronomy-again/#ixzz65nJhBbdO

Welcome to astronomy in the 21st century!  If it weren’t SpaceX, it would be (and will be) some other satellite constellation, perhaps by a company that can’t or won’t redesign its satellites and orbits as fast.  The locations of satellites are tracked and published; algorithms that deal with them will become a part of in-depth sky-watching.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 20, 2019, 03:27:15 PM
SpaceX skips Falcon 9 landing leg retraction on record-breaking booster
Quote
Eight and a half days after Falcon 9 helped deliver all 60 satellites to an exceptionally low ~280 km (175 mi) parking orbit, all satellites have successfully deployed their solar arrays and powered on their electric thrusters, including the lone spacecraft SpaceX had concerns about prior to launch. That straggler came alive roughly 60 hours after its siblings but has since raised its orbit ~20 km, while the other 59 satellites have booster themselves by an average of 40 km (25 mi) or so.

At their current collective pace of ~5 km per day, all 60 satellites should reach their operational ~550 km (340 mi) orbits around the beginning of 2020.
Quote
As the first Falcon 9 Block 5 booster to fly four times, B1048 has first and foremost proven that the Block 5 design can be practically reused at least three times. However, the Block 5 upgrade is designed to support not just four – but at least ten – launches per booster, and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has estimated that 100 or more launches may be achievable with more substantial routine maintenance. All this is to say that with B1048.4 safe and sound back on land, SpaceX technicians and engineers will likely pore over the booster to determine how exactly it has fared after four orbital-class launches, atmospheric reentries, and landings.

By comparing B1048.4 to B1046.3, B1047.3, B1048.3, and B1049.3, SpaceX should be able to determine just how big the hurdle from a third launch to a fourth launch is compared to going from two launches to three launches. If the changes between those different reusability milestones are similar, it will be increasingly easy for SpaceX to rationally conclude that Falcon 9 Block 5 is fully capable of achieving its 10-flight design goal. If booster wear and tear appears to speed up from Launch 3 to 4 relative to Launch 2 to 3, design tweaks or additional refurbishment may be needed. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-skips-falcon-9-landing-leg-retraction-record-booster/

Below:  The status of SpaceX’s Starlink-1 satellites as of November 19th.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: BeeKnees on November 20, 2019, 07:02:24 PM
Welcome to astronomy in the 21st century!  If it weren’t SpaceX, it would be (and will be) some other satellite constellation, perhaps by a company that can’t or won’t redesign its satellites and orbits as fast.  The locations of satellites are tracked and published; algorithms that deal with them will become a part of in-depth sky-watching.

I find the whole thing a complete waste of money and resources.  Millions spent on objects to burn up in our atmosphere after only a few years is not the route to a sustainable future.
Not to mention the risks and harm done to astronomy.

Sometimes you have to ask whether just because something can be done, it should be done.  On this one I'm seriously unconvinced.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: oren on November 20, 2019, 08:31:26 PM
IMHO the best thing for astronomy is to launch very large space-based telescopes. The interference of the atmosphere, pollution, dust, LEO and GEO satellites, Earth gravity, Earth rotation, seismic activity, and other disruptions could be avoided, parallax could be increased, and measurement precision could be much improved (layman's opinion, not substantiated).
SpaceX could pave the way for such launches both by increased launch weight and by lower costs. Maybe Musk could win some points with astronomers by offering a free or half-price launch for such a telescope.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on November 20, 2019, 11:30:41 PM
Any word on why MK-1 went BOOM a few min. ago.


Can't find anything on the internet except 2 videos. AFAIK there were no tests scheduled for today but something caused an explosion that blew the lid off the beast.


Can't cut the videos for some reason - perhaps someone with more internet knowhow?


Terry
EDITS] The video's are apparently from live stream sites. The streaming comments are replete with speculation while duckduckgo has nothing as of yet. There was a man lift crane up and fairly close in - hopefully there was no human cargo.
I'll be back when I find out more.


Captured 1 of the videos - still no communication from Spacex
https://youtu.be/BakNGBpLSYU (https://youtu.be/BakNGBpLSYU)

edit3]
A rather cryptic twitter from Elon in response to the question ...Elon, any chance you'll just move onto MK-3


Absolutely, but to move to Mk3 design. This had some value as a manufacturing pathfinder, but flight design is quite different.


Lots of tweets followed but nothing more from Elon.


CNET has picked up the story so I'll not be editing this post any further. It seems as though this is expected to set the program back from 2-4 months, and the Florida facility is expected to be running the next tests (the above is from Spacex groupies that have been following things far more closely than I, but still nothing official - oh, and someone posted that the man lift was on;y carrying cameras)
https://www.cnet.com/news/new-spacex-starship-prototype-pops-its-top-during-test-literally/ (https://www.cnet.com/news/new-spacex-starship-prototype-pops-its-top-during-test-literally/)


Terry

Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on November 21, 2019, 01:22:54 AM
Another view of the the incident. The whole structure bounced about and after the initial explosion the uppermost section appears to implode.


(https://i.gyazo.com/93a7ec56047fd30a9cf11bd0aedb29cb.gif)


The skin stretches as it comes under pressure, then at some point after something is ejected through the top the upper portion crumples. I can't tell at what moment the nose was ejected (it flew high, then fell well behind the structure.) The struts that it's standing on managed to survive what was probably tremendous forces, but a number of welding seams failed quite early.


Hopefully no one was injured and we'll soon get an official word on what happened.
Terry

Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: vox_mundi on November 21, 2019, 01:42:51 AM
Yesterday there was some work to reposition the dome on top. This apparently at one point required workers at the Boca Chica site to take a sledgehammer for some reason.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EJws0uDWkAID8k4?format=jpg&name=small)

In hindsight, maybe not a good idea.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OIh78GiTqrE
THIS IS HOW WE FIX PROBLEMS ON RUSSIAN SPACE STATION!!!!!!
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on November 21, 2019, 02:29:43 AM
There were no road closures today in Boca Chica although the nose section either landed on the road, or sailed over it.


http://www.co.cameron.tx.us/wp/space-x/ (http://www.co.cameron.tx.us/wp/space-x/)


The highway was scheduled for closure on the 19th, the 21st or 22nd, and the 25th or 26th for Spacex testing.


The procedure attempted was so safe as designed that alerting the local authorities wasn't seen to be necessary. Will more stringent safety procedures be required in the future? Will Spacex's Florida facility also face tighter scrutiny & regulations?


Terry

Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 21, 2019, 02:31:28 AM
Quote
Everyday Astronaut (@Erdayastronaut)11/20/19, 4:50 PM
Starship MK-1 appears to have blown its top off during a pressure test today. My guess... this will be a good time for @SpaceX to move onto their next, more refined and higher quality versions (MK-2/3) instead of reparing MK-1. @elonmusk, any chance you’ll just move onto MK-3?

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 11/20/19, 4:54 PM
Absolutely, but to move to Mk3 design. This had some value as a manufacturing pathfinder, but flight design is quite different.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1197271943180771329

 :'(   
Musk mentioned the future versions, Mk3, 4 & 5 during the Starship presentation in September.  We’ve already seen many of the new one-piece rings at the Florida site!

SpaceX Starship Mk. 1 fails during cryogenic loading test
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/11/spacex-starship-mk-1-fails-cryogenic-test/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 21, 2019, 02:39:50 AM
Because the next versions of Starship have already been designed and are already being built, the timeline may not be greatly affected.  As we’ve seen, SpaceX comes back fast from failure.

SpaceX offering Starship to NASA for lunar landing missions
Quote
SpaceX is eligible to propose using its next-generation Starship vehicle to carry NASA robotic science payloads to the lunar surface, the U.S. space agency announced Monday, on missions that could precede future Starship flights with people on-board.

SpaceX is one of five companies NASA selected Monday to join a roster of commercial transportation providers to deliver scientific instruments and technology demonstration packages to the moon through the Commercial Lunar Payload Services, or CLPS, program.

“For CLPS, we offered the Starship and Super Heavy launch capability,” said Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer. “That capability far exceeds the mass that CLPS was looking for, but we think that brings pretty extraordinary capability to NASA, both for the CLPS program and others. We can bring about 100 metric tons* to the moon, and certainly return more.

NASA requires the CLPS providers to be capable of delivering at least 22 pounds*, or 10 kilograms, of payload mass to the moon. ...
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/11/19/spacex-offering-starship-to-nasa-for-lunar-landing-missions/

 * ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 21, 2019, 02:44:15 AM
There were no road closures today in Boca Chica ...

Incorrect.

Quote
Mary (@BocaChicaGal) 11/20/19, 1:55 PM
Not sure as to what testing is going on at the Boca Chica launch site. The highway has been closed. There's venting from the tank farm.
https://twitter.com/bocachicagal/status/1197227002425724928
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on November 21, 2019, 03:31:40 AM

As Sig noted.


According to "Mary" @ BocaChicaGal, the Boca Chica road was closed, possibly as the result of noticeable venting from the "tank farm". It's possible that this is the same Mary that provided one of the excellent videos capturing the incident.
Interestingly, the county authorities never noted this on the county website where road closings are required to be posted.


It appears possible that problems had been noted prior to the explosion and that there was no time to go through the proper channels. Since it now appears that there were no injuries I'll amend the above to read as "It appears probable .."


On a happier note Spacex has posted that there were no injuries related to the incident. I've seen burns from liquid nitrogen and they can be horrific, so congratulations to the team for getting everyone out safely.
Terry
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 21, 2019, 02:47:53 PM
Quote
According to SpaceX, "The purpose of today's test was to pressurize systems to the max, so the outcome was not completely unexpected. There were no injuries, nor is this a serious setback. The decision had already been made to not fly this test article, and the team is focused on the Mk3 builds, which are designed for orbit."
https://www.engadget.com/2019/11/21/spacex-starship/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 21, 2019, 07:36:16 PM
Quote
SPadre (@SpacePadreIsle) 11/21/19, 10:08 AM
Starship MK1 morning after
https://twitter.com/spacepadreisle/status/1197532247785721859
< Crack in your lens?
SP- Dog in my truck
SP- At time of incident, winds were south at 12-14kts, not nearly enough wind to cause that lateral motion. Guessing it may indicate failure originating from southern side, purely speculating
SP- I think only LN2 was on site, no flammables
<< It's like they put a cover sheet over the body at a murder scene lol
Hopefully they can reuse legs, flaps, actuators, and the whole nosecone section to save build time on mk3
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 24, 2019, 05:24:44 PM
Not wasting any time applying lessons learned.
Quote
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 11/24/19, 10:29 AM
Meanwhile, in Boca Chica - a new bulkhead is being born for Mk3. This one will aim to go flying - but this time with the rest of its Starship.
Latest on Mk1 to Mk3 at BC: youtu.be/mRx9d6Y0mkc
All via Mary (@BocaChicaGal).
Starship (BC) Updates [photos]: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=48895.0
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1198624739348172800
Photo below.

It has been noted that the first Starship bulkhead flew higher than SLS has flown in its eight years.... ;)  ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 27, 2019, 02:14:10 PM
One possible reason for switching to the drone ship landing is minimizing risk to the critical launch of ULA’s CST-100 Starliner Orbital Flight Test, currently scheduled for Dec. 17.  SpaceX CRS 19 is scheduled to launch on Dec 4 at 1751 GMT (12:51 p.m. EST).

SpaceX Falcon 9 booster fires up ahead of NASA launch and surprise drone ship landing
Quote
SpaceX has successfully fired up a new rocket ahead of what is now believed to be a surprise Falcon 9 booster drone ship landing, to follow shortly after the company’s upcoming CRS-19 Cargo Dragon resupply mission for NASA.

Around 5:30 pm EST (22:30 UTC) on November 26th, a Falcon 9 rocket – featuring a rare unflown booster – successfully performed a wet dress rehearsal (WDR) and ignited all nine of its first age Merlin 1D engines, verifying the rocket’s health and perfectly simulating a launch right up to the point of liftoff. With that routine static fire complete, SpaceX now has a luxurious seven days to bring the rocket horizontal, roll it back into LC-40’s integration and processing hangar, install Cargo Dragon atop the second stage, and roll the fully-integrated rocket back out to the launch mount.
...
SpaceX says that CRS-19’s Cargo Dragon capsule previously flew CRS-4 (Sept 2014) and CRS-11 (June 2017), identifying it as capsule C106. As it turns out, C106 supported SpaceX’s first Cargo Dragon capsule reuse, making it a fairly historic vehicle – the first commercial orbital spacecraft reused in history. Beginning with CRS-3, Dragon 1 vehicles were designed to support up to three orbital missions each, leaving SpaceX with four possible capsules (C110-C113) capable of supporting CRS-20, Dragon 1’s last planned launch. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-falcon-9-booster-surprise-drone-ship-landing/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: vox_mundi on December 01, 2019, 09:03:38 PM
https://vimeo.com/376619295

StarLink Express starts @ 0.20
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 02, 2019, 02:55:46 PM
Not SpaceX, but here’s a sky display to be done on purpose:

Japanese company to launch artificial meteor shower satellite
Quote
The artificial shooting star satellites are part of ALE’s “Sky Canvas” project. The company says tracking the re-entry of the shooting star particles will help scientists predict the path of satellites and other objects as they fall into the atmosphere, and could also contribute to meteorological and climate research.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/11/28/japanese-company-to-launch-artificial-meteor-shower-satellite/

The launch has been delayed due to problems with the ground service equipment at the launch site.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 02, 2019, 03:19:17 PM
Looks like the two-site competition is closing down, at least for now.  Materials from the Florida site are being shipped to Boca Chica, and employees are being laid off. 

SpaceX Starship hardware mystery solved amid reports of Florida factory upheaval
Quote
Roughly two-dozen steel Starship Mk4 rings may also be scrapped after SpaceX’s Florida team could not overcome a technical hurdle. Per the source, many of those single-weld steel rings were slightly different diameters, making it next to impossible to build a sound pressure vessel (i.e. Starship Mk4) with them.

Combining the appearance of Starship hardware on GO Discovery just yesterday and reports of major Cocoa layoffs, it’s all but certain that the Starship components on Discovery are going to head to Boca Chica, Texas. Schlang’s source also indicated that all affected employees were given the option to transfer to Boca Chica or Hawthorne, a prime indication that this abrupt change in plans is more a strategic move than a financial one. With any luck, many of those laid off will be able to move, although such a major and abrupt change is likely a no-go for anyone with major ties to South Florida.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-hardware-mystery-solved/
(There are plenty of other rocket-related projects going on around the Space Center....)

——-
Preparing for the upcoming Dragon cargo mission on Dec 4:
Quote
SpaceXFleet Updates (@SpaceXFleet) 11/30/19, 3:36 PM
Octagrabber has been rolled into the blast-proof garage and the landing area is almost clear.
OCISLY is nearly ready to depart for the CRS-19 mission!
https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1200876282352984066
Photo at the link.

Greg Scott (@GregScott_photo) 11/30/19, 1:56 PM
SPACEX FLEET: OCISLY is getting a clean up today after sitting idle for a couple of weeks now. Eagerly anticipating the recovery of booster B1059.1 from next weeks #CRS19 mission to the ISS. I am still not sure why it was not designated as a LZ1 landing but... #SpaceX #Space
https://twitter.com/gregscott_photo/status/1200851168685121542
Photo below.

——-
In the “Which Company Will Get Humans from U.S. Soil to the ISS First?” news:  Coincidentally or not, after their far-from-perfect pad abort test last month, the Boeing Starliner Crew Flight Test has been moved to “Mid-2020” on SpaceFlightNow’s schedule. 
Starliner Crew Flight Test delayed
Quote
Latest changes:
Nov. 27: Adding date for Long March 4C/TBD; Electron/”Running Out of Fingers” delayed; Adding timeframe for Falcon 9/Starlink 2; Adding month for SSLV/Demonstration Launch; Adding AV number for Atlas 5/Solar Orbiter; Atlas 5/CST-100 Starliner Crew Flight Test delayed
https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/

SpaceX’s “CrewDragon Demo 2” is listed among the January/Early 2020 items on that list, with a “TBD” date. 

• After the successful Falcon 9 static fire test, SpaceX is set to launch a cargo Dragon to the ISS on Dec 4 at 12:51 pm EST (1751 GMT).  Presumably the pre-launch press briefing will cover the reason for the OCISLY landing rather than returning to the Cape.

• And the Starliner uncrewed flight test to the ISS is scheduled for Dec 17 at 7:47 am EST (1247 GMT).
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 02, 2019, 04:46:18 PM
Quote
Jonathan McDowell (@planet4589) 11/30/19, 11:30 PM
New developments in Starlink:
44 of the satellites from the first launch are lowering their orbits from 550 km; currently at 530 km. Sat 44246 is heading back down to the altitude of 44278 again.
https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1200995635622817792
[First and second image below.]

JD:  Meanwhile 40 of the sats from the 2nd launch have stopped raising at 350 km (magenta); the remaining 20 have now reached 390 km (blue); the deployment rods continue to decay (green)
[Third image below.]
< Have the rods from the first launched reentered?
JD:  Nope - they are the green lines on the left hand plot.
< Why do you think it will go all the way down to [satellite] 44278 again and not another altitude?
JD: Because they hung out together before. Could easily be wrong
< Didn't they said in the FCC filling that they would do this? If I remember correctly they now want 72 orbital planes instead of 24. So they will raise the satellites in groups of 20 to change the planes.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 02, 2019, 08:16:10 PM
Also not SpaceX (although SpaceX launched many Iridium satellites) — but relevant:  Iridium plans a live webcast as it deorbits the last satellite from its original constellation.

A Final #Flarewell
Who Wants to Geek Out with us and Learn How to Deorbit a Satellite!?
Quote
As many of you know, the bittersweet time has come for Iridium to deorbit the lone remaining satellite (SV097) from the original constellation. We say bittersweet because although we celebrate the success of the Iridium® NEXT satellite upgrade campaign completed earlier this year, we also mourn the end of the Iridium flare era.

That said, we want to make sure we “retire” SV097 in style and bid a proper #flarewell to the satellite constellation that began with a vision of connecting anyone from anywhere, instantly making the vast remote parts of the planet feel so much closer.  That vision of the Iridium network lives on and is by all accounts stronger than ever through a combination of the Iridium NEXT satellite upgrade campaign completing earlier this year and a growing base of over 1 million subscribers around the world (#ShamelessSuccessPlug). However, it will also do so without the familiar Iridium flares many have come to love.

That’s why we’re inviting all of you to take a peek behind the curtain through a live webcast from inside the Iridium Satellite Network Operations Center (SNOC) main mission room.  A publicly broadcasted event from the SNOC’s main mission room is a rarity (in fact, no one here can ever think of it happening before). To be honest, we have no idea how smooth it’s going to be, but we’re excited to give it a whirl! We felt this is too important a moment and if people around the world can learn a thing or two about positive space stewardship, how a constellation as complex as Iridium is flown and why Iridium flares were such an unexpected treat, then it’s a major win!  If we also manage to inspire a few kids into STEM-focused careers in the process… double-major win!

Here are the details:
When:           Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 12pm EST (1700 UTC)
Webcast feed will begin approximately 10 minutes prior
Where:          The Iridium Satellite Network Operations Center (SNOC).
The live webcast can be viewed beginning at noon EST on December 5, 2019 at www.iridium.com/webcast
More details here:
https://www.iridium.com/blog/2019/12/02/a-final-flarewell/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 04, 2019, 01:33:10 AM
A longer than usual burn of the Falcon 9 first stage, to allow the second stage to perform some extended performance testing, means the booster will not have sufficient fuel to Return to Landing Site this time.

SpaceX’s surprise Falcon 9 drone ship landing explained ahead of Cargo Dragon launch
Quote
Jensen says that the coast test will be performed for unspecified “other” customers, presumably referring to the US Air Force (USAF) and other commercial customers interested in direct-to-geostationary (GEO) launch services. Direct GEO launches require rocket upper stages to perform extremely long coasts in orbit, all while fighting the hostile vacuum environment’s temperature swings and radiation belts and attempting to prevent cryogenic propellant from boiling off or freezing solid. In simple terms, it’s incredibly difficult to build a reliable, high-performance upper stage capable of remaining fully functional after 6-12+ hours in orbit.

Although SpaceX said that the test was for “other” customers, that may well have been a cryptic way to avoid indicating that one such customer might be NASA itself. NASA is in the midst of a political battle for the Europa Clipper spacecraft’s launch contract, which is currently legally obligated to launch on NASA’s SLS rocket. Said rocket will likely cost on the order of >$2 billion per launch, meaning that simply using Falcon Heavy or Delta IV Heavy could save no less than ~$1.5 billion. Incredibly, that means that simply using a commercial launch vehicle could save NASA enough money to fund an entire Curiosity-sized Mars rover or even a majority of the cost of building a dedicated Europa lander. Such a launch would demand every ounce of Falcon Heavy’s performance, including a very long orbital coast.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-surprise-falcon-9-drone-ship-landing-explained/

Also from the briefing:  After mentioning that ISS EVAs won’t be scheduled for after Feb 6, 2020, when only 3 astronauts will be on board, the NASA rep answered a question about extending Crew Dragon’s first stay by saying NASA is preparing to support whatever ship gets to the ISS, to stay “for as long as we can keep them.” “We’ll be ready to welcome whomever shows up.” 

NASA also noted that November 2 marked the 20th year of continuous human presence on the ISS.

SpaceX’s Jensen said the recent Dragon pad abort test was “nominal,” and they were targeting the In-Flight Abort Test  “no earlier than December, end of the year.” 
She also said they had investigated to confirm that the thrusters on the Progress cargo ship, expected to arrive to the ISS shortly after Dragon, will not harm Dragon’s solar panels.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 04, 2019, 02:15:55 AM
Quote
What about it!? (@FelixSchlang) 12/3/19, 3:50 PM
I had a phone call with officials at SpaceX today and it cleared up a few things. SpaceX did not lay off workers. Those that left the Cocoa Site were reasigned to other projects either in Boca Chica or at KSC. Thank you very much for reaching out to me like this @SpaceX You Rock!
https://twitter.com/felixschlang/status/1201967029844140032

—-
SpaceX expediting Mk3 construction in Texas, pausing Florida-based Starship builds
By building Mk3 with a combined team, SpaceX believes that they can reach the first flight faster.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/12/spacex-mk3-texas-florida-starship-builds/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 04, 2019, 06:16:51 PM
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 12/4/19, 12:12 PM
Standing down today due to upper altitude winds and high winds at sea creating dynamic conditions around the Of Course I Still Love You droneship – next launch opportunity is tomorrow at 12:29 p.m. EST, 17:29 UTC
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1202274520402317314
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: vox_mundi on December 08, 2019, 12:57:15 AM
SpaceX Working On Fix for Starlink Satellites So They Don’t Disrupt Astronomy
https://spacenews.com/spacex-working-on-fix-for-starlink-satellites-so-they-dont-disrupt-astronomy/

... President and COO Gwynne Shotwell said the Starlink brightness problem caught the company by surprise

... Shotwell said the next batch has one satellite “where we put a coating on the bottom.” She noted that this is just an experiment and could not predict if it will work. “We’re do trial and error to figure out the best way to get this done,” said Shotwell.

Shotwell admitted that nobody in the company anticipated the problem when the satellites were first designed.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 08, 2019, 06:39:49 PM
SpaceX resupply mission reaches International Space Station
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/12/08/spacex-resupply-mission-reaches-international-space-station/


=====
Dragon InFlight Abort test is on the KSC range’s schedule for NET Jan 4.
“We’re hoping for the first crew flight in February,” Shotwell said.

After redesigns, the finish line is in sight for SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spaceship
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/12/07/after-redesigns-the-finish-line-is-in-sight-for-spacexs-crew-dragon/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 09, 2019, 10:58:13 PM
SpaceX Starship “chomper” version is expected to retrieve orbiting satellites/debris, as well as place satellites into orbit.  As cheaper rockets become increasingly available, space cleanup will become a big business.

European Space Agency Approves Mission to Yoink* a Piece of Trash Out of Orbit
Quote
The mission features a spacecraft, ClearSpace-1, which will first launch to 500 kilometers (310 miles) above Earth’s surface for testing. Then, spacecraft operators will raise the ship to a higher orbit and use four robotic arms to grab onto the 100-kilogram (220-pound) Vespa upper stage that the ESA left in orbit in 2013. The craft, clutching the debris, will then slow itself down in order to deorbit and burn up in the atmosphere.

One single piece of debris obviously does not make a dent in the problem. But the ClearSpace-1 mission hopes to show that the technology works before moving on to more difficult targets or multiple objects at a time. ...
https://gizmodo.com/european-space-agency-approves-mission-to-yoink-a-piece-1840315971

*“Yoink”:  https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Yoink ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 12, 2019, 02:27:51 AM
JRTI arrives in Florida.

SpaceX adds a second drone ship to its East Coast rocket recovery fleet
Quote
Formerly stationed out of Port of Los Angeles to support SpaceX’s once-substantial West Coast launch manifest, the need for West Coast launches has rapidly dried up over the last six months. That drought had such a long lead that SpaceX decided to transfer drone ship Just Read The Instructions (JRTI) through the Panama Canal, moving the vessel several thousand miles from Port of Los Angeles to Port Canaveral, Florida.

JRTI made it through the Canal several months ago and headed East towards Florida before making an intriguing and lengthy pit stop in a Louisiana port. While there, marine engineers and technicians performed a number of unknown tasks presumed to be a scheduled period of inspections and maintenance. In the last few weeks JRTI spent in Louisiana, SpaceX loaded the drone ship with more than a dozen huge generators and power controllers, as well as six massive maneuvering thrusters. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-adds-second-drone-ship-rocket-recovery-fleet/

—-
The next SpaceX launch is scheduled for the evening of Dec 16/17:

Falcon 9 • JCSAT 18/Kacific 1
Launch window: 0010-0138 GMT on 17th (7:10-8:38 p.m. EST on 16th)
Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
Quote
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the JCSAT 18/Kacific 1 communications satellite jointly owned by SKY Perfect JSAT Corp. of Japan and Kacific Broadband Satellites of Singapore. Built by Boeing, the JCSAT 18/Kacific 1 communications satellite will provide mobile and broadband services across the Asia-Pacific region.
https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on December 12, 2019, 03:51:59 AM
NASA announces the most powerful rocket ever built in human history!

https://newsflash.one/2019/12/10/nasa-announces-most-powerful-rocket-every-built-in-human-history-core-stage-complete/ (https://newsflash.one/2019/12/10/nasa-announces-most-powerful-rocket-every-built-in-human-history-core-stage-complete/)


Mr Bridenstine of NASA said:

We’re going to get it to the Cape and we’re going to be ready to launch American astronauts to the Moon again.
And getting our first woman a next man to the South Pole of the Moon in 2024.”

https://news.yahoo.com/nasa-says-core-stage-next-moon-rocket-now-160541505.html (https://news.yahoo.com/nasa-says-core-stage-next-moon-rocket-now-160541505.html)
The Artemis 1 mission will likely take off by June 2020, according to the audit report. The first test will be uncrewed.
NASA plans to land on the Moon's south pole in order to exploit its water ice, discovered in 2009, both for life support purposes and to split into hydrogen and oxygen for use as rocket propellant.
The agency views its return to the Moon as a proving ground for an onward mission to Mars in the 2030s.
Terry
These are NASA timelines, not "pedo-guy" promises!
[size=1.384em][/size]
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 15, 2019, 02:29:18 PM
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 12/13/19, 9:31 PM
Raptor is making great progress! Just finished an engineering review with SpaceX Propulsion. Engine SN 17 is about to ship to McGregor with some holiday style
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1205676667705757696

Scott Manley (@DJSnM) 12/14/19, 1:02 AM
We can tell it's proper sci-fi now that you've added das blinkenlights.
Photo below.

SpaceX's "Christmas tree" is a Raptor engine for the holidays
Quote
Raptor uses what is known as full-flow staged combustion (FFSC) and is the first FFSC engine to graduate beyond ground testing and actually fly, thus far having completed two flight tests in July and August 2019 as part of SpaceX’s Starhopper test campaign. In simple terms, the FFSC cycle aims to extract as much energy from a rocket’s propellant as efficiently as possible, resulting in what is theoretically the most efficient possible chemical propulsion from a given fuel and oxidizer combination.

Due to the sheer complexity required to achieve full-flow staged combustion, the engine type is incredibly rare and only two other (once) functional examples exist – one developed by Soviet engineers in the 20th century and the other built, tested, and inexplicably scrapped by NASA in the 2000s. In fact, the Soviet RD-270 engine’s thrust-to-weight ratio is likely second only to SpaceX’s own Merlin 1D engine, an absolutely spectacular achievement for a propulsion bureau operating in the late 1960s. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-engine-raptor-milestone-festive-decorations/

—-
SpaceX's East Coast Starship launch pad is making some serious headway
December 13, 2019
Quote
Over the last few weeks, SpaceX’s Florida Starship launch pad construction has made some major progress and the structure that will one day support the first East Coast Starship and Super Heavy flight tests have grown several stories tall and show no signs of slowing down.

In a bid to make what could otherwise be an extremely expensive and time-consuming ordeal much faster and cheaper, SpaceX’s Starship/Super Heavy launch pads will be quite a bit different from the company’s several existing launch pads. This includes Kennedy Space Center’s LC-39A pad, leased and operated by SpaceX for Falcon Heavy and Crew Dragon missions and formerly used for dozens of Space Shuttle launches and all Saturn V Apollo Moon missions. …
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-florida-starship-launch-pad-progress/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 15, 2019, 06:42:36 PM
More from Terry’s SLS article:
Quote
But [SLS] development has been hit by delays and cost overruns -- its first flight was set to take place in November 2018, and its price tag has risen from $6.2 billion to $8 billion, or 29 percent, according to a June audit report.
...
It's not just the cost of the rocket that has spiralled: NASA will have spent roughly $34 billion on the SLS, Orion, and Exploration Ground Systems Program programs through 2019, a sum projected to increase to over $50 billion by 2024.

The future of the mission rests on continued political support, both from the White House and Congress, which is ultimately responsible for budget allocations.
https://news.yahoo.com/nasa-says-core-stage-next-moon-rocket-now-160541505.html

Let’s review.
SLS may be (potentially) the world’s most powerful rocket — for a little while, until SpaceX Starship takes over that crown — but:

Can SLS land on the moon?  No.  (Will Starship?  Yes.)  On Artemis 1, the SLS upper stage with an uncrewed Orion will simply do a flyby of the moon with a free return to earth — a low-energy orbit not used since the crippled Apollo 13 made it necessary.

Is SLS reusable?  No.  Well, its engines are from the space shuttle. Not that design, the actual engines that were used on the space shuttle.  But they’ll burn up in the atmosphere upon reentry this time. (Edit:  the SLS also uses two five-segment Solid Rocket Boosters and an Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage.)

Is SLS affordable?  No.  $1.6 Billion per SLS launch, possibly less if rockets are ordered in bulk — but Congress has not agreed to spend the billions to get SLS past the first Artemis mission, let alone for bulk SLS purchases.  (Compare Falcon Heavy at about $90 million per launch, with only slightly less lift capacity than SLS.)

Will SLS get the Lunar Gateway and a lander to the moon?  No.
NASA is contracting commercial space companies to build an orbiting power and propulsion module and a small habitat/docking node with an attached commercial lander system that will orbit the moon.  Other vehicles will dock to it and deliver cargo and/or crew to the moon’s surface, stay for a few days, then ascend back to the orbiting module.  Not until Artemis 3, if it happens, will Orion rendezvous with that platform.

Quote
In March 2018 it was decided to launch the first Lunar Gateway module on a commercial launch vehicle because of delays in building the mobile launch platform needed to hold the more powerful Exploration Upper Stage for SLS. As of 2018, the Artemis 2 mission plan is to send four astronauts in the first crewed Orion capsule into a lunar flyby for a maximum of 21 days. The mission profile is a multi-translunar injection (MTLI), or multiple departure burns, and includes a free return trajectory from the Moon. Basically, the spacecraft will orbit Earth twice while periodically firing its engines to build up enough velocity to push it toward the Moon before looping back to Earth.

In 1968, the Apollo 8 mission, crewed by three astronauts, was designed to test-fly command and service module beyond low Earth orbit. Although similar to Artemis 2 in that it was crewed and did not land on the Moon, it differed by entering lunar orbit for an extended stay. Apollo 13 (1970) was the only Apollo mission that flew past the Moon by a free-return trajectory.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemis_2

Timeline:  Artemis 1 (SLS first launch) is still not on the KSC launch schedule, not even as “TBD” for late in the year.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 15, 2019, 06:44:23 PM
Meanwhile, a twice-flown SpaceX Falcon 9 booster has been test-fired in preparation for its third launch Monday night.
Quote
… with a heavyweight Boeing-built communications satellite to beam broadband signals to Japan and the Pacific islands.
SpaceX is readying the Falcon 9 rocket for liftoff with the JCSAT 18/Kacific commercial communications satellite Monday at 7:10 p.m. EST (0010 GMT Tuesday). The launch window extends for 88 minutes.

The mission set for launch Monday will mark SpaceX’s 13th flight of the year, and the second in 11 days from the same launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. If the Falcon 9 takes off Monday night, it would mark the fastest turnaround between SpaceX missions from the same launch pad.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/12/13/spacex-performs-hold-down-firing-for-heavyweight-satellite-launch-monday/

—-
The launch for ULA/ Boeing Starliner’s first uncrewed flight test to the ISS is scheduled for December 20, 1136 GMT (6:36 a.m. EST) from SLC-41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 16, 2019, 01:02:21 AM
SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell Makes It To Forbes 2019's list of '100 Most Powerful Women'
December 15, 2019
Quote
Gwynne Shotwell is an admirable woman, she is an Engineer, President and Chief operating officer of SpaceX, the aerospace company founded by Elon Musk. She may well be, one of the best stories of success for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields over the last decade. These fields have a long history of lack of diversity and inclusion, even to this day. Determined against all odds she gained the opportunity to lead in the most innovative industry that will forever change humanity's future.

"You can’t be on the cusp of innovation and at the forefront of technology if you’re wearing blinders. If you don’t have an exploration programme where you’re exploring your world here on Earth, underwater, and in space, then you’re wearing blinders and handicapping yourself."
-Gwynne Shotwell

Shotwell's leadership has earned her a place in Forbes 2019's list of '100 Most Powerful Women,' she is listed as the 55th most powerful woman in the world. With great power comes even greater responsibility, she has worked at SpaceX since the early days in 2002, is responsible for day-to-day operations, and has a vital role in company growth. Under her leadership, SpaceX has grown from a rocket that almost didn't make it to orbit to developing the most technologically advanced orbital-class rockets that have lifted off and returned from space 46 times –a first in the history of space travel! The company's Falcon 9 rocket boosters are capable of being launched into space and returning to land vertically on autonomous drone ships at sea, in order to be reused again. No other rocket company has achieved that level of reusability.

Shotwell's leadership has also earned the company many contracts to further develop their space program. The company has grown to have a valuation of $33.4 billion, with over 6,000 employees working collectively to take humans back to the Moon and Mars one day. ...
https://www.tesmanian.com/blogs/tesmanian-blog/spacex-president-gwynne-shotwell-makes-it-to-forbes-2019s-list-of-100-most-powerful-women
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 17, 2019, 03:25:40 PM
Startup launches broadband satellite on SpaceX rocket to connect Pacific islands
Quote
A hefty communications satellite built by Boeing and launched by SpaceX Monday night from Cape Canaveral is on the way to a lofty perch more than 22,000 miles (nearly 36,000 kilometers) over the Pacific Ocean, where a startup named Kacific will use it to link remote populations seeking connectivity for health clinics, schools and other basic services

Boeing officials confirmed the 15,335-pound (6,956-kilogram) radioed its status to ground teams after arriving in orbit Monday night.

The new spacecraft is a shared asset between Kacific and Sky Perfect JSAT Corp., an established satellite operator based in Tokyo. Kacific will take the satellite’s Ka-band capacity, and Sky Perfect JSAT controls the craft’s Ku-band payload.

Kacific, headquartered in Singapore, was founded in 2013 by Christian Patouraux, then a 20-year satellite industry veteran with experience in satellite engineering and business strategy development.

“Our vision is very much to bridge the digital divide, to drive economic development,” Patouraux said in a pre-launch media briefing Monday. “The World Bank has shown evidence that if you provide connectivity you have a direct impact, a signifiant impact on economic growth. We will do that throughout the Asia-Pacific.”

“It will be really a game-changer deep inside society,” Patouraux said of Kacific 1. “And it will provide a public service that will also connect all kinds of government services, not only schools and hospitals but you can also think of connecting post offices delivering ID cards and passports — locally inside villages — as well as police stations and fire stations.””

Kacific has leased capacity on third-party satellites to begin realizing its vision of beaming broadband connectivity to millions of underserved people across the Asia-Pacific region. Now, after some financial maneuvering, loans and equity fundraising, Kacific has its own satellite infrastructure in orbit.
“It’s been six-and-a-half years of hard work to get here,'” Patouraux. ‘The most difficult part was really to get financing in a project like this.”
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/12/17/startup-launches-broadband-satellite-on-spacex-rocket-to-connect-pacific-islands/

Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 12/16/19, 7:19 PM
Falcon 9 first stage has landed on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship – the third landing of this booster
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1206730725182984193
22 sec video of the landing, at the link.

——-
Meanwhile, at Boca Chica, Texas:

SPadre (@SpacePadreIsle) 12/16/19, 10:20 PM
Quote
HopZilla
https://twitter.com/spacepadreisle/status/1206776220710572032
Photo below. 8)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles on December 20, 2019, 04:01:10 PM
Boeing Starliner Obital flight test hits a problem:
https://spacenews.com/starliner-suffers-off-nominal-orbital-insertion-after-launch/

Quote
Bridenstine later tweeted that the problem was a “Mission Elapsed Time (MET) anomaly” with Starliner, “causing the spacecraft to believe that it was in an orbital insertion burn, when it was not.” The spacecraft, he said, consumed more fuel than expected, precluding a docking with the International Space Station.

To bring on topic:
Would seem to make it more likely that SpaceX will be first commercial organisation to launch astronauts to space.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 20, 2019, 11:22:08 PM
“SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, for reference, completed a more or less flawless launch, orbit raise, and rendezvous before docking with the ISS. It’s almost impossible to imagine NASA giving SpaceX permission to proceed immediately into its first astronaut launch if Crew Dragon had failed to reach the proper orbit or dock with the space station.”

And yet, at today’s post-launch press conference, they refused to rule it out for Starliner....

Boeing's astronaut capsule flies off course, fate uncertain after launch debut
https://www.teslarati.com/boeing-astronaut-capsule-flies-off-course-launch-debut/

Starliner suffers mission-shortening failure after successful launch
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/12/starliner-mission-shortening-failure-successful-launch/

Controllers acted as quickly as they could to override the automated programming and put the capsule into a safe orbit — without it, the spacecraft would have re-entered the atmosphere in about 40 minutes.  NASA emphasized that if astronauts had been aboard, they could have taken manual control and continued the mission to the ISS — they train for such anomalies.

Officials were not sure whether the Starliner’s timing issue was caused by an inherent problem on the spacecraft, such as a design flaw, or something that happened on the capsule in flight.
Landing is expected at White Sands in New Mexico on Sunday morning.
——-
Quote
Scott Manley (@DJSnM) 12/20/19, 9:01 AM
All of the Starliner attitude displays from the stream at 4x normal speed.
https://twitter.com/djsnm/status/1208024716419579904
Video of Mission Control Center main screen.  Displays show Starliner is not pointing forward, and is firing maneuvering thrusters like crazy.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 20, 2019, 11:51:21 PM
Elon Musk responded to NASA’s tweet about Starliner....
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 12/20/19, 5:14 PM
@NASA @BoeingSpace Orbit is hard. Best wishes for landing & swift recovery to next mission.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1208148748099940357

A few days ago, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon In-Flight Abort test was rescheduled for January 11, 2020 — a one-week delay which should not be seen as serious.  (Note:  Boeing had not intended to do an IFA for Starliner at all... but that’s sort of what today’s Orbital Flight Test has become. ;))

SpaceX's next Crew Dragon launch is delayed but that's actually good news
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-next-crew-dragon-launch-delayed-good-news/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 21, 2019, 06:52:43 PM
Quote
Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) 12/21/19, 12:10 PM
I’ll be participating in a Starliner update for the media at 2pm ET. nasa.gov/nasalive

Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 12/21/19, 12:14 PM
And that's 7pm UTC for those of you setting their Mission Event Timers.
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1208435469203181568

Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) 12/21/19, 12:14 PM
@NASASpaceflight Too soon.

Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 12/21/19, 12:25 PM
 Puts "Stable Orbit" references back into the freezer for later. ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on December 21, 2019, 07:38:54 PM
Hopefully the Soyuz boys will be willing to provide their services again if called upon. They haven't had a death in space since 1971. 8)


Terry
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Rob Dekker on December 22, 2019, 09:06:15 AM
Hopefully the Soyuz boys will be willing to provide their services again if called upon. They haven't had a death in space since 1971. 8)

The Russians have been great in providing service runs to the ISS, ever since the Space Shuttle ended.

But SpaceX has serviced the ISS successfully for, what is it, 19 time now ?

So it is time for SpaceX to bring some people aboard.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles on December 22, 2019, 01:49:08 PM
Quote
“I think we will have 14 or 15 non-Starlink launches, and then we’ll fly Starlink as often as we can.

“I need second stages to be built a little bit faster, but we would probably shoot for 35 to 38 missions next year,” Shotwell said.

https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/12/20/spacex-poised-to-accelerate-launch-cadence-with-series-of-starlink-missions/


GSY thinks they never have and never will be profitable, which is just ludicrous. Is this based on having to write off all starlink costs because the income stream from it is just too far off and too uncertain? Sounds a bit weird. Or is it that starlink is a fraud, despite the satellites being observed in trains that couldn't be anything else? Would a fraud incur the costs of launch? Or maybe they don't work but were launched anyway, that makes lots of sense (not!). Or maybe they are losing money on launches but still managing to raise finance at a ludicrous rate to finance all these launches.

(Oh and gigafactory 3 is not producing anything despite photos of lots of M3s in parking lots and people seeing transporters taking them away.

Those are just a couple of my favourites. When there is a pattern ...)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 22, 2019, 03:03:10 PM
Quote
“I need second stages to be built a little bit faster, but we would probably shoot for 35 to 38 missions next year,” Shotwell said.
For comparison:  in 2018, powerhouse China launched 39 times.

——
Here’s a rough compilation of announced SpaceX missions for 2020.  Check https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/ for more precise times as the year progresses.

Quote
Reagan (@bluemoondance74) 12/21/19, 4:58 PM
CALENDAR UPDATE-
2020 @SpaceX launches:
(*All dates are fluid)

JANUARY:
3 -... F9 • Starlink 2 (Mission #3) 10:20pm EST
11 - Crew Dragon In-flight Abort test
mid-Jan - F9 • Starlink 3 (Mission #4)
late-Jan - F9 • Starlink 4 (Mission #5)
https://twitter.com/bluemoondance74/status/1208507124034211840

Between JANUARY - APRIL:
- Crew Dragon (w/ NASA astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley) to ISS
MARCH:
- F9 • Dragon cargo mission to ISS
- F9 • Air Force GPS navigation sat.
- F9 • Argentinian radar observation sat. (SAOCOM 1B)

JULY:
- F9 • Air Force GPS navigation sat.
AUGUST:
- F9 • Dragon cargo mission to ISS

Between SEPTEMBER - DECEMBER:
- Falcon Heavy • US Air Force payload (AFSPC-44)
NOVEMBER:
- F9 • Joint US-European oceanography sat. (Sentinel 6A)

Note:
1. There will be about 2 Starlink missions per month (approximately 1 every 2-3 weeks).
2. The NOVEMBER entry (US-European sat./ Sentinel 6A) will be launched from *VANDENBERG (CA).


—— Meanwhile, in Boca Chica, Texas:
Time lapse video of Starship Mk 3 rings coming together:

SpaceX Boca Chica Ring Stack Progress Time Lapse - YouTube
Published on Dec 21, 2019
12.19.2019 Time lapse as SpaceX moves a ring into staking position for the first attempted ring stack of MK-3. Workers pin together both rings as they prepare for the welding process.
24/7 stream is powered by LabPadre, in cooperation with Sapphire Condominiums and @BocaChicaMaria1 (Twitter) @SpaceXBocaChica (Facebook).
All video images explicitly owned by LabPadre Media.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egWjNVknywQ
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 22, 2019, 03:16:46 PM
It’s the journey, not the destination. ;)

Starliner did not reach the ISS, but has landed softly and successfully in the desert at White Sands, New Mexico, and the ground teams are safing the spacecraft.  Space watchers were quite disgruntled that after the entry burn and service module jettison, NASA did not show the Mission Control Center screens displaying Starliner status at all.

Quote
MadeOnEarthFoundInSpace (@MadeOnEarthFou1) 12/22/19, 9:04 AM
During Dragon 2 test, there was a 1 hour touchdown to hatch opening requirement (SpaceX missed this by a couple minutes). Starliner said ground landing will aid that process, but they're a couple minutes late too.
https://twitter.com/madeonearthfou1/status/1208750041399283712

The capsule integrity seems good; the exterior is surprisingly clean after reentry.  But the multiple incidents with Boeing planes and spacecraft in recent years suggest that flight software has become a weak point at Boeing.  The audio webcast Saturday included comments that their simulators never showed a Starliner Mission Elapsed Timer automation problem.

For comparison:  a Dragon capsule in February 2017 self-aborted its approach to the ISS when its onboard computers recognized an incorrect value in navigational data about the location of Dragon relative to the space station.  After correction, the approach proceeded normally.

[Edit: per this morning’s post-landing press briefing, the MET was off by 11 hours. :o ]

[[Another edit:  The Atlas countdown is 11 hours.  Coincidence?
”ULA, Boeing and NASA teams are gearing up for the Integrated Day-of-Launch Test, or IDOLT, exercise to practice launch day procedures ahead of the Starliner’s first space mission.

The Atlas 5 launch team has lengthened the countdown for Starliner missions to more than 11 hours from its standard duration of early seven hours. The extra time allows a “blue team” of specialists — analogous to the space shuttle-era closeout crew — to assist astronauts in boarding the Starliner spacecraft after the Atlas 5 is fueled with cryogenic propellants.

The test “will give us the opportunity to deploy the crew access arm and verify all the access tower and arm interfaces with the spacecraft,” said Caleb Weiss, ULA’s mission manager for the Starliner program. “We will fully tank the vehicle, and we will have people out there at the pad that will be simulating day launch operations, just like they will be for a real launch day.

“So they will be in the white room, they’ll open up the hatch of the Starliner,” Weiss said in an earlier interview with Spaceflight Now. “They will practice going in and out, loading cargo, configuring Starliner for flight. So it’ll be a really good end-to-end system checkout of all the launch vehicle and spacecraft systems working together, as well as the people who are executing the operations.””

https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/12/03/launch-of-starliner-test-flight-slips-to-dec-19/ ]]

[Edit 3:  December 23, 2019.  The Washington Post
Boeing CEO resigns and is replaced by board chairman as company finishes year of crisis
Quote
The aerospace company announced that chief executive Dennis A. Muilenburg is resigning and being replaced by board chairman David L. Calhoun. Boeing has been upended this year by a massive crisis over crashes of its 737 Max airplane and, more recently, a flawed rocket launch.
https://apple.news/A01fBpOyiTwuQQkDANkG_Tg ]
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 23, 2019, 10:35:46 PM
The goal was 10 successful parachute tests in a row.
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 12/23/19, 2:59 PM
Yesterday the team completed the 10th successful multi-chute test in a row of Crew Dragon’s upgraded Mark 3 parachute design – one step closer to safely launching and landing @NASA astronauts
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1209201762596356096
Photo below.

Background:
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon parachutes are almost ready for NASA astronauts
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-crew-dragon-parachutes-nasa-astronauts/

SpaceX has developed new parachute tech for/with NASA.
Note that Boeing’s recent Starliner pad abort test was marred because only two out of three chutes opened.  Another black mark against the Boeing CEO... [see post #445 edits, above].
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 28, 2019, 02:59:06 AM
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 12/27/19, 2:50 PM
Was up all night with SpaceX team working on Starship tank dome production (most difficult part of primary structure). Dawn arrives …
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1210649166407438336
Video:  12 second pan around the work site. Tank dome!  Sound of power tools.  Musk: “Still going....”
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 28, 2019, 02:17:38 PM
Evidently, Starship Mk3 now goes by the name “SN1” [Serial Number 1], with subsequent Starship prototypes featuring slight improvements over their predecessors.
Quote
< When do you believe Starship Mk3 will be ready for it's first test flight?

Elon Musk (@elonmusk)12/27/19, 9:55 PM
We’re now building flight design of Starship SN1, but each SN will have at least minor improvements, at least through SN20 or so of Starship V1.0.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1210756057791729665

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 12/27/19, 9:56 PM

Flight is hopefully 2 to 3 months away

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1210756338348744705
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 30, 2019, 07:46:06 PM
SpaceX gets OK to re-space Starlink orbits
Quote
The FCC said SpaceX can field satellites in 72 rings around the Earth at 550 kilometers — three times as many [orbital rings] as the commission approved in April.
...
SpaceX has launched 120 of a planned 12,000 small broadband satellites into low Earth orbit. The company is placing its first 1,584 satellites in a 550-kilometer orbit, with later satellites planned for higher and lower altitudes.

In August, SpaceX told the FCC that by tripling the number of lanes for those first Starlink satellites, it could build out enough coverage to offer internet access in southern states by the 2020 hurricane season.

Satellite internet is often used in emergency response after natural disasters damage fibers and cell towers. SpaceX is building out Starlink from the poles, with coverage expanding towards the equator as more satellites get launched.


“Grant of this application will allow SpaceX to accelerate the deployment of its satellite constellation to deliver broadband service throughout the United States, especially to those who live in areas underserved or unserved by terrestrial systems,” the FCC said Dec. 19.

SpaceX said the Starlink orbit modifications could cut the number of Starlink launches necessary by up to 50%. Under the revised plans, each of the 72 orbital rings will have 22 satellites instead of 66, meaning a single Falcon 9 launch can now populate approximately three rings. The company has been launching 60 satellites at a time on its Falcon 9 rockets. The next Starlink mission... is planned for [Jan 3/4, 2020].
...
The commission rebuffed cubesat-operator Kepler Communications’ request to deny or postpone a decision on the respacing, and said concerns raised by fleet operator SES about signal interference were “moot.” ...
https://spacenews.com/spacex-gets-ok-to-re-space-starlink-orbits/

Jan. 3/4  Falcon 9 • Starlink 2
Launch time: 0324 GMT on 4th (10:24 p.m. EST on 3rd)
Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

—-
Edit:
Quote
< Will Starlink reach Carribean by Hurricane season of 2020?

Elon Musk (@elonmusk)12/28/19, 4:01 PM
Hopefully working in Caribbean by end of 2020. Def by 2021.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1211029491188948992

< When in Germany?
EM: Probably 2021. Depends on regulatory approvals.
< Is regulatory approval state level or Federal level in the US?
EM:  Federal
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 01, 2020, 04:08:03 PM
Starlink-2 mission now no earlier than (NET) 9:20 pm ET, January 6th (02:20 UTC, Jan 7).  The delay could well be due to upper level winds, as the jet stream is forecast to slide south in front of storms in Florida this weekend.

SpaceX rings in the New Year with preparations for first Falcon 9 launch of 2020
Quote
...this will give SpaceX a constellation of at least 170 operational satellites less than eight months after the company began launching the satellites.

This may not immediately seem significant but 170 operational satellites in orbit could make Starlink the world’s largest satellite constellation and SpaceX the world’s largest constellation operator. The only known competitor that comes close is Planet Labs, an Earth observation company believed to have approximately 150-170 operational satellites in orbit – most of which are 5-10 kg (10-20 lb) ‘Doves’ roughly the size of a loaf of bread.

Put another way, after Starlink-2, SpaceX will have around 45 metric tons (100,000 lb) of functional Starlink satellites in orbit, a constellation mass probably only rivaled by major geostationary commsat operators, global navigation satellites, and a few other high-value military constellations.

Meanwhile, according to NASASpaceflight.com, SpaceX has assigned Falcon 9 booster B1049.3 to its Starlink-2 mission, meaning that the launch will mark the second time that a single SpaceX rocket has flown four orbital-class missions. This follows on the footsteps of the November 11th, 2019 Starlink-1 launch, which saw Falcon 9 B1048 become the first booster to fly four times.

At this point, SpaceX has two additional Starlink launches scheduled in January and has plans for as many as 38 orbital launches throughout 2020. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-new-year-first-falcon-9-launch-2020/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles on January 02, 2020, 04:59:40 PM
https://youtu.be/sZlzYzyREAI

DM2 mission CGI rendering of how the mission should go.

FCC applications for pad 39a could be for DM2
https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=97232&RequestTimeout=1000
dated 27 Jan 2020 to 27 July 2020

but no chance for a few months yet judging by

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1211497049906196480
Quote
Crew Dragon should be physically ready & at the Cape in Feb, but completing all safety reviews will probably take a few more months

If it is a few more months, why request from as soon as 27 Jan? So maybe going to use pad 39a for something else between abort test and DM2?
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Rob Dekker on January 05, 2020, 05:37:12 AM
I'm not so sure about the viability of that StarLink endeavor.

Allow me to elaborate :

SpaceX intents to put 12,000 satellite in LEO to provide high-speed internet to the entire planet.
That's a GREAT goal, but when we look at the details, it may not be so useful.

For starters, urban areas (where people live) cover about 3% of land area, or 1% of Earth's surface area. That means that StarLink's satellites will be, for 99% of the time, essentially idle.

For that 1% of the time over urban areas, StarLink would not be able to provide enough bandwidth to cover the needs of millions in these urban areas.

So StarLink would mostly be useful for the 99% of the time it spends over non-urban areas (oceans, mostly).

However, for these remote areas, other satellite services (like Iridium) already provide data service, and StarLink would thus compete with them.

Since bandwidth requirements over that 99% of the Earth surface is not that great, it may be that StarLink's competitive advantage (LEO instead of GEO orbit) creates a "market" that is confined to high-speed requirements of the US Military and high-frequency stock traders.

Not the kind of mass market that SpaceX set out to serve....
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 06, 2020, 04:26:23 PM
Starlink launch tonight!

SpaceX to kick-start global 2020 launch year with Starlink mission
Quote
Falcon 9 is targeting a launch tonight midway through a 20-minute window that extends from 21:09 to 21:29 EST (02:09 – 02:29 UTC on 7 January), with a preferred in-plane liftoff targeted for 21:19 EST (02:19 UTC).
...
What’s different about this mission from the previous operational Starlink flight is that the deployment orbit is approximately 10 km higher and that one of the Starlink satellites will test a new “experimental darkening treatment” to reduce its visibility from the ground.

This is in direct response to the astronomical community’s desire to see SpaceX address visibility concerns the Starlink constellation has for ground-based astronomy.

While this is an important conversation, it should be noted that the Starlinks are brightest after their initial deployment and during checkout when they are in a special low-drag orientation that aims [their] brighter side toward the surface of Earth. Once the satellites are undergoing checkout operations and raise themselves to their operational orbits and orientations, they become far less visible.

SpaceX is responding to the astronomical community’s concerns by testing a new darkening treatment on one of these satellites.  If successful, SpaceX could employ the darkening feature on future Starlinks.

Moreover, SpaceX will begin providing astronomy groups with what are known as predictive two-line elements (TLEs), orbit and ground pass predictions generated at least once per day, so astronomers and stellar observatories can “better coordinate their observations” around the satellite passes.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2020/01/spacex-kick-start-global-2020-starlink/


Static booster test fire for this mission — with the 60-Starlink satellite payload bolted confidently on top — was completed successfully on Saturday:

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket tests engines for first launch and landing of the new decade
Quote
SpaceX has successfully fired up a Falcon 9 rocket for the first time in 2020, setting the company up for the first of potentially dozens of Starlink launches over the next 12 months.

On the afternoon of January 4th, SpaceX loaded Falcon 9 with hundreds of tons of liquid oxygen, refined kerosene (RP-1), nitrogen, and helium and ultimately ignited all nine of the booster’s Merlin 1D engines, briefly producing some 7600 kN (1.7 million lbf) of thrust in a routine test known as a wet dress rehearsal (WDR) and static fire. As is tradition, SpaceX confirmed that the test looked successful just a handful of minutes after it was completed and verified that the rocket is now scheduled to launch 60 new Starlink satellites as early as 9:19 pm ET, January 6th (02:19 UTC, Jan 7). ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-falcon-9-rocket-first-launch-landing-2020/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 06, 2020, 04:44:51 PM
Quote
If it is a few more months, why request from as soon as 27 Jan? So maybe going to use pad 39a for something else between abort test and DM2?

The previous filing that this request refers to seems to have been for DM-1.  SpaceX may merely be padding the dates again, just in case.

Quote
This STA uses information from previous application 0998-EX-ST-2018, and covers the experimental first-stage recovery operation following a Falcon 9 launch from Kennedy Space Center. This request for authority is limited to two functions: 1) pre-launch checkout test of the command uplink from an onshore station at CCAFS (less than five minutes in duration), and 2) command of landed stage from recovery boat (less than five minutes in duration). All operations are pre-coordinated with the launch Range. Launch vehicle flight communications for this mission are covered by a separate STA
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/9reshu/2_new_spacex_filings_in_fcc_database/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 07, 2020, 03:29:55 PM
SpaceX launches more Starlink satellites, tests design change for astronomers
January 7, 2020
Quote
Sixty more satellites for SpaceX’s Starlink global Internet network streaked into orbit Monday night from Cape Canaveral, including one spacecraft to test an experimental dark coating to address scientists’ concerns that the thousands of the quarter-ton, flat-panel satellites will impede astronomical observations.

The launch of 60 more spacecraft for the Starlink project, which SpaceX sees as a core business area in the coming years, makes the company the operator of the largest fleet of commercial satellites, surpassing the previous mark set by Planet, an operator of Earth-imaging nanosatellites. …
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/01/07/spacex-launches-more-starlink-satellites-tests-design-change-for-astronomers/

Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 1/6/20, 10:23 PM
Successful deployment of 60 Starlink satellites confirmed!
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1214387122146177024
10 sec clip of webcast: Starlink satellite deploy.

Quote
Tom Randall (@tsrandall) 1/6/20, 9:36 PM
Landing rockets on autonomous drone ships used to be science fiction. SpaceX has now done it 48 times. This is the fourth landing for this particular booster spacex.com/webcast
https://twitter.com/tsrandall/status/1214375296314617856
Image below.

You can watch a replay of the launch and mission at spacex.com

——
Oh, and the latest SpaceX Cargo Dragon has left the ISS and will splash down in the Pacific Ocean southwest of Los Angeles at 10:41 a.m. EST (1541 GMT) today.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 07, 2020, 03:49:25 PM
Having a “Space Force” feels weird.  But Elon Musk supports it.

From Sunday:
Quote
45th Space Wing (@45thSpaceWing) 1/5/20, 8:42 PM
Tomorrow at 9:19 p.m., the @SpaceX #Starlink launch is slated to become the 1st official launch of the @SpaceForceDoD!

The 45 WS has identified the cumulus cloud rule as the primary concern for the launch, however the probability of violating launch weather constraints is <10%!
https://twitter.com/45thspacewing/status/1213999173374226437

The U.S Space Force will support a SpaceX mission for the first time
https://www.tesmanian.com/blogs/tesmanian-blog/u-s-space-force-will-support-spacexs

Quote
United States Space Force (@SpaceForceDoD) 12/23/19, 10:58 AM
#ICYMI - @POTUS signed the #NDAA establishing the #USSF as the sixth armed service branch. The new, independent U.S. Space Force will maintain and enhance the competitive edge of the @DeptofDefense in space while adapting to new strategic challenges.
https://twitter.com/spaceforcedod/status/1209141134267748352
Image of the document from the Secretary of the Air Force at the link.

Quote
United States Space Force (@SpaceForceDoD) 12/29/19, 12:00 PM
What is the Mission of the U.S. Space Force?
https://twitter.com/spaceforcedod/status/1211331089287041036
Image below. More at @SpaceForceDoD

   —-
Quote
< Elon, are you FOR or AGAINST Space Force?
I mean... it could potentially lead to advances into space travel. But then again, it's inherently silly.

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 9/7/19, 3:53 PM
Definitely for Space Force. We need to make Starfleet real.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1170424775149117440

Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 12/20/19, 11:37 PM
@SpaceForceDoD Starfleet begins
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1208245144702468096
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: gerontocrat on January 07, 2020, 04:10:22 PM
Having a “Space Force” feels weird.  But Elon Musk supports it.

i.e. Elon Musk supports making the world a more dangerous place. Plonker.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Bernard on January 07, 2020, 06:00:13 PM
Maybe I miss something in this thread, but did anyone assess the (arguable) benefit of those hundreds and soon thousands of satellites, like bringing facebook, snapchat, netflix, streaming porn etc in every corner of the world, vs the huge risk of cluttering the LEO closer and closer, or maybe already beyond, the critical density of objects leading to a Kessler cascade of collisions.

No argument given by SpaceX holds against the bare fact that multiplying the number of objects by n in LEO multiplies by the same factor the number of targets for existing debris impossible to detect and mitigate, typically in the centimeter range.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: gerontocrat on January 07, 2020, 06:11:19 PM
Maybe I miss something in this thread, but did anyone assess the (arguable) benefit of those hundreds and soon thousands of satellites, like bringing facebook, snapchat, netflix, streaming porn etc in every corner of the world, vs the huge risk of cluttering the LEO closer and closer, or maybe already beyond, the critical density of objects leading to a Kessler cascade of collisions.

No argument given by SpaceX holds against the bare fact that multiplying the number of objects by n in LEO multiplies by the same factor the number of targets for existing debris impossible to detect and mitigate, typically in the centimeter range.
Risk assessed?
Yes, NASA did, and made recommendations which are in theory being implemented.
BUT - The recommendations assumed that between 6,700 and 8,300 additional probes could be added. The latest figure is 40,000 being chucked into LEO, half from SpaceX.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/9/28/17906158/nasa-spacex-oneweb-satellite-large-constellations-orbital-debris
AS SATELLITE CONSTELLATIONS GROW LARGER, NASA IS WORRIED ABOUT ORBITAL DEBRIS
The space agency argues that these probes need to be de-orbited — reliably

Quote
The aerospace industry is particularly concerned with spacecraft collisions because these accidents can create multiple pieces of debris zooming through space at thousands of miles per hour. And these fragments can threaten other spacecraft in orbit, causing further crashes and damage. Many are concerned that these collisions could cause a cascade effect, where crashes become more and more frequent so that low Earth orbit becomes too crowded to safely sustain satellites — a hypothetical future referred to as the Kessler syndrome.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on January 07, 2020, 06:46:28 PM

I do hope The Elon hasn't upset his Chinese landlord/partner with his praise for America's Space Force.
https://www.infowars.com/china-claims-us-space-force-a-direct-threat-to-peace/ (https://www.infowars.com/china-claims-us-space-force-a-direct-threat-to-peace/)

Many of Tesla's strongest supporters may remember Musk's heavy financial backing of the warmonger John Mccain when they hear him singing praises of Trump's arming of space, instead of acting in accord with International Law, UN resolutions & standing treaties.
https://www.redstate.com/diary/qstarweb/2016/04/20/john-mccain-bought-paid-elon-musk/ (https://www.redstate.com/diary/qstarweb/2016/04/20/john-mccain-bought-paid-elon-musk/)
A preponderance of Tesla buyers ascribe to leftist (and pacifist) politics. Cheering on one of Donald Trump's most militaristic programs may be difficult for many to swallow.



I suppose Germany's regulatory agencies won't be inclined to end GF4's fast track approvals even if they're Government isn't crazy about Trump's or Macron's militarization of outer space.
https://newswire.net/newsroom/news/00115612-donald-trump-launches-u-s-space-force.html (https://newswire.net/newsroom/news/00115612-donald-trump-launches-u-s-space-force.html)


This was not The Elon's greatest tweet.


Terry
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 08, 2020, 03:29:30 PM
SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft shown off in photo ahead of next launch
By Eric Ralph
Quote
NASA has published a new SpaceX photo of the next Crew Dragon spacecraft scheduled for launch and confirmed that the mission is now scheduled to lift off on a Falcon 9 rocket no earlier than (NET) January 18th.

Known as an In-Flight Abort (IFA) test, the exceptionally challenging mission will represent a major milestone for Crew Dragon regardless of the results. Meant to simulate an abort at the (near) worst possible time during launch, Crew Dragon will ignite its SuperDraco abort thrusters around 60-90 seconds after liftoff, subjecting the spacecraft to even more extreme stresses around the same time both it and Falcon 9 are passing through Max Q – “the moment of peak mechanical stress”. If the test is unsuccessful, SpaceX Demo-2 – Crew Dragon’s first NASA astronaut launch – would almost certainly be delayed several months.

If successful, however, it could pave the way for Crew Dragon’s first astronaut perhaps just a month or two later, although Q2 2020 is much more likely. Simultaneously, while difficult to rationally explain, Boeing appears confident that its Starliner spacecraft – having lost control and failed to reach the International Space Station (ISS) barely more than a week ago and suffered a parachute deployment failure on a pad abort test one month prior – is still on track for its first astronaut launch (“Crewed Flight Test”, CFT) just a handful of months from now. In line with the special treatment NASA seems fated to bestow upon Boeing, it appears that Crew Dragon and Starliner’s unofficial race to become the first commercial spacecraft to launch astronauts is as close as it’s ever been. …
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-crew-dragon-spacecraft-photo-next-launch/

—-
Here’s a 9-minute video of the recent Dragon ISS departure.  It speeds through the most boring parts!
SpaceX CRS-19: Dragon unberthing and departure

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTXY54s1JuQ

——
Quote
< When can we hear more about the starlink terminals?
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 1/7/20, 9:06 AM
Looks like a thin, flat, round UFO on a stick. Starlink Terminal has motors to self-adjust optimal angle to view sky. Instructions are simply:
- Plug in socket
- Point at sky
These instructions work in either order. No training required.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1214548764054216704
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 08, 2020, 03:48:06 PM
Maybe I miss something in this thread, but did anyone assess the (arguable) benefit of those hundreds and soon thousands of satellites, like bringing facebook, snapchat, netflix, streaming porn etc in every corner of the world, vs the huge risk of cluttering the LEO closer and closer, or maybe already beyond, the critical density of objects leading to a Kessler cascade of collisions.

No argument given by SpaceX holds against the bare fact that multiplying the number of objects by n in LEO multiplies by the same factor the number of targets for existing debris impossible to detect and mitigate, typically in the centimeter range.

The folks who most understand the risks, and who would be the most worried, about space debris:  namely, the space launch countries/companies, and satellite companies, are not raising a ruckus.  That should tell you something.

And now that space is becoming more accessible, it’s becoming more possible to begin the cleanup:
There's a Junkyard Orbiting Earth. These Companies Want to Clean It Up
https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/01/04/theres-a-junkyard-orbiting-earth-these-companies-w.aspx

SpaceX’s Starship is planned to have a “chomper” version that can snag satellites or debris for repair or return to earth, as well as placing satellites into orbit without the need of a second stage on a rocket.  (SpaceX Falcon 9 second stages go through a routine after satellite deployment that burns off remaining fuel and puts the stage into a trajectory that will assure it burns up in the atmosphere.  Also, the new Starlink lower-orbital-deploy that SpaceX got approval for will result in any malfunctioning Starlinks deorbiting much more quickly.)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: gerontocrat on January 08, 2020, 04:20:59 PM
Maybe I miss something in this thread, but did anyone assess the (arguable) benefit of those hundreds and soon thousands of satellites, like bringing facebook, snapchat, netflix, streaming porn etc in every corner of the world, vs the huge risk of cluttering the LEO closer and closer, or maybe already beyond, the critical density of objects leading to a Kessler cascade of collisions.

No argument given by SpaceX holds against the bare fact that multiplying the number of objects by n in LEO multiplies by the same factor the number of targets for existing debris impossible to detect and mitigate, typically in the centimeter range.

The folks who most understand the risks, and who would be the most worried, about space debris:  namely, the space launch countries/companies, and satellite companies, are not raising a ruckus.  That should tell you something.
That tells me
- either they have got it sorted,
or
- optimism "what could possibly go wrong?"


Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 08, 2020, 09:37:29 PM
Maybe I miss something in this thread, but did anyone assess the (arguable) benefit of those hundreds and soon thousands of satellites, like bringing facebook, snapchat, netflix, streaming porn etc in every corner of the world, vs the huge risk of cluttering the LEO closer and closer, or maybe already beyond, the critical density of objects leading to a Kessler cascade of collisions.

No argument given by SpaceX holds against the bare fact that multiplying the number of objects by n in LEO multiplies by the same factor the number of targets for existing debris impossible to detect and mitigate, typically in the centimeter range.

The folks who most understand the risks, and who would be the most worried, about space debris:  namely, the space launch countries/companies, and satellite companies, are not raising a ruckus.  That should tell you something.
That tells me
- either they have got it sorted,
or
- optimism "what could possibly go wrong?"

It’s a little of both. ;)
Newer satellites (like Starlink) are fed updated data regarding orbits of larger items, and they can sense their surroundings and take evasive maneuvers autonomously when necessary.  Other satellite constellations have humans on the ground using similar programs to warn of upcoming conflicts, who communicate with the owner of the item at risk and between the two of them they arrange a resolution.

Quote
Meanwhile, Matt Desch – CEO of Iridium, the owner and operator of one of the largest LEO constellations ever flown – stated that its Iridium NEXT satellites perform similar maneuvers weekly, without the need to “put out a press release to say who [Iridium] maneuvered around”. In simple terms, collision avoidance maneuvers are extremely common and extremely routine and are a fundamental part of operating satellites on orbit – be it one, ten, or ten thousand.

Matt Desch (@IridiumBoss) 9/2/19, 1:51 PM
Hmmm. We move our satellites on average once a week and don't put out a press release to say who we maneuvered around...
https://twitter.com/iridiumboss/status/1168582141128650753

As for the smaller stuff... that’s just one of the known risks of spaceflight at this point.  Spacecraft are built to withstand hits from smaller bits, including meteorites, and have redundant systems, in case one is taken out or becomes inaccurate due to a radiation surge or whatnot.  (Boeing Starliner’s Mission Elapsed Timer notwithstanding.  ::) )

Like the cleanup efforts in the article I linked above, “space garbage collectors” will increasingly find it to be a profitable business — and will likely receive investments from the launch community itself to do more.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Bernard on January 09, 2020, 11:21:18 AM
There is no possible effective way to actively remove the 500,000+ orbital debris in the centimetric range, not to mention the 100 million+ in the millimetric range.

Bear in mind that a 1g chunk (that is sub-centimetric) at relative orbital speed of 10km/s has the same kinetic energy as a 10 kg stone at 360 km/h.

The probability of a random bullet hitting a target is growing in direct proportion of the number of targets. Any hit will generate hundreds or thousands of new bullets. This is just a crazy Russian roulette.

See https://commons.erau.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1233&context=stm
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on January 09, 2020, 07:56:07 PM
^^
But when The Elon calls a hero a child molester, that's acceptable behaviour. When he chops down a German forest, conservationists applaud. When Evo Morales is ousted by a right wing coup, Tesla's stock prices levitate even as the Left applauds.


Were Spacex to cause near earth orbits to sustain the horrors depicted (poorly) in the film "Gravity", his fumbling efforts to clean up the crime scene will be widely heralded and enormously rewarding.


He spends nothing on "advertising", but millions (that we know of) on "Public Relations". I'm amazed at how effective his self promotion campaign has become.
Terry
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: gerontocrat on January 09, 2020, 08:10:10 PM
What could possibly go wrong?

A lot according to the American Astronomical Society.
See https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2750.msg243684.html#msg243684,
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-51049746
& image below.

The Private Sector acting without thought for anyone other than themselves is likely screwing up a good deal of space science. & not just SpaceX. But Musk / SpaceX leads the charge. The sooner he goes to Mars the better.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 10, 2020, 01:34:06 AM
Definitely not “without thought for anyone other than themselves.”
Quote
In response to concerns from astronomers, Shotwell said one of the 60 satellites set for launch Monday will test a new less-reflective coating designed to reduce the brightness of the spacecraft. The first 120 satellites were brighter than expected, raising worries from scientists that thousands of Starlink craft could interfere with astronomical observations.

The satellites are especially bright soon after launch, when they are bunched together and flying at lower altitudes.

“During orbit raise, the satellites are closely clustered together and their solar arrays are positioned in a special low-drag configuration, making the satellites appear visible from the ground just after deployment,” said Lauren Lyons, a SpaceX engineer who co-hosted the company’s webcast of Monday night’s launch. “However, once the satellites reach their operational altitude and begin on-station service, their orientation changes and the satellites become significantly less visible.

SpaceX is seeking to strike a balance between astronomers’ concerns and the company’s ambitions for the Starlink network. Skywatchers will gauge the effectiveness of the new experimental coating to determine if it reduces the reflectivity of the satellite, and SpaceX wants to ensure the treatment does not impact the performance of the spacecraft.

“We also make satellite tracking data available to astronomers so they can better coordinate their observations with our satellites,” Lyons said. “These measures, along with our work with leading astronomy groups, will enable SpaceX to bring Internet access to underserved and unserved populations around the world without materially impacting the use of the night sky.”
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/01/07/spacex-launches-more-starlink-satellites-tests-design-change-for-astronomers/

Astronomers need to get with reality in the 21st century.  The improvement in the lives of millions of less well-off in the world, as well as life-saving aircraft and emergency tracking and communication, should outweigh the requirement for first world scientists to stay up-to-date with computer satellite tracks and image processing in their endeavors.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Rob Dekker on January 10, 2020, 07:51:22 AM
What could possibly go wrong?

A lot according to the American Astronomical Society.
See https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2750.msg243684.html#msg243684,
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-51049746
& image below.

The Private Sector acting without thought for anyone other than themselves is likely screwing up a good deal of space science. & not just SpaceX. But Musk / SpaceX leads the charge. The sooner he goes to Mars the better.

Hi gerontocrat, that BBC article talks mostly about Starlink's potential "brightness of its satellites", which is (for LEO satellites) only an issue about 30 minutes after sunset and 30 before sunrise.

Knowing these facts, is that last remark (in bold) just a joke, or are you serious ? And if you are serious, please elaborate. Thanks !
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: gerontocrat on January 10, 2020, 01:04:55 PM
What could possibly go wrong?

A lot according to the American Astronomical Society.
See https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2750.msg243684.html#msg243684,
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-51049746
& image below.

The Private Sector acting without thought for anyone other than themselves is likely screwing up a good deal of space science. & not just SpaceX. But Musk / SpaceX leads the charge. The sooner he goes to Mars the better.

Hi gerontocrat, that BBC article talks mostly about Starlink's potential "brightness of its satellites", which is (for LEO satellites) only an issue about 30 minutes after sunset and 30 before sunrise.

Knowing these facts, is that last remark (in bold) just a joke, or are you serious ? And if you are serious, please elaborate. Thanks !
Read previous posts concerning space debris. Satellites are machines, built by humans. As such, there is always a chance of a malfunction, and machines wear out. Put 40,000 satellites (built on a production line**) into LEO and the probability of malfunction uncontrollable from earth of some of these machines tends to certainty.

One day, nobody knows when, the sun will have a big burp pointing at earth, and 3 or 4 days later a significant solar wind/storm will arrive. Consequences? Not a clue. Do SpaceX and the other satellite  companies have a clue with tested plans in place? I dunno, but the brightness problem was not anticipated at all.

Optimism is great (I wish I had some of it). But when optimism morphs into recklessness? We are doing a pretty good job of screwing up life on earth. Will we screw up near space as well? If we do it's one of those things that can't be fixed.

_________________________________________________
** Production lines. Of every 40,000 Tesla 3 vehicles produced, how many were built with errors liable to cause malfunction? Error is inevitable. Satellites are complex machines operating in a harsher environment.
__________________________________________________________
Just a reminder that Space is a difficult place to work in, even to get there.
2017 Space launches 2017
Country   Launches   Failures
USA                29   0
Russia        21   1
China        18   2
Europe          9   0
Japan          7   1
India                  5   1
New Zealand     1   1
Total               90   6

And from (to 2014)
https://space.stackexchange.com/questions/8566/what-is-the-success-failure-ratio-of-space-bound-rockets
Some descriptive statistics:
% Manned Failures in Manned, Entire Data Set = 1.64%
% Manned Failures in Manned, Last 20 Years = 0.79%
% Unmanned Failures in Unmanned, Entire Data Set = 8.08%
% Unmanned Failures in Unmanned, Last 20 Years = 6.68%
Title: Re: SpaceX - What could possibly go wrong?
Post by: gerontocrat on January 10, 2020, 01:30:46 PM
What could possibly go wrong? (continued)

So then I looked at satellite failure rates.
The data stinks.
"Forgive them, Lord, for they know not what they do."
(Because I will not)

https://spacenews.com/starlink-failures-highlight-space-sustainability-concerns/
Starlink failures highlight space sustainability concerns
Quote
WASHINGTON — The failure of at least five percent of the first batch of SpaceX Starlink satellites has put a spotlight on the growing concerns that satellite megaconstellations could litter low Earth orbit with hundreds of dead satellites.

SpaceX said in a June 28 statement that three of the 60 Starlink satellites the company launched May 23 are no longer responding to commands from the ground and appear to be dead. The company said those satellites will deorbit naturally, burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Matt Desch, chief executive of Iridium, dubbed dead satellites “rocks” during an on-stage interview at the conference June 26. “What if you launch 1,000 satellites, 5,000 satellites, 12,000 satellites?” he asked. “Say, 10 percent create rocks. We are creating an environment that may make LEO an environment that isn’t sustainable.”

Desch speaks from his own company’s experience. The company has emphasized reliability — it’s noted all 75 of its next-generation satellites are functioning — and sustainability, including taking first-generation satellites out of orbit within a matter of weeks once retired from the fleet.

Those first-generation satellites were designed to operate seven years, but in some cases lasted three times as long. Yet, nearly a third suffered in-orbit failures and cannot be deorbited. “We’ve created, inadvertently, using highly reliable components, almost 30 percent rocks in space that will be up there a long time,” he said.

That 30 percent failure rate is for the company’s original fleet of 95 satellites. “It freaked everybody out to launch 95 satellites” back in the 1990s, he recalled. “Now, of course, we look like slackers.”

Holger Krag, head of the space safety program office at the European Space Agency, noted in a June 25 talk at the meeting that many satellite operators aren’t adhering to guidelines that call for deorbiting satellites within 25 years after end of life. He found that only 30 percent of operators were implementing proper post-mission disposal of their spacecraft.

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20190002705
NASA/TM—2018– 220034
Small-Satellite Mission Failure Rates

Quote
The purpose of this report is to determine the failure rate of small-satellite missions launched between the years 2000 and 2016. This analysis considers the rates of both partial and total mission failure, as well as the failures attributable to failure of the launch vehicle. This study observed that between the years of 2000 to 2016, 41.3% of all small satellites launched failed or partially failed. Of these small satellite missions, 24.2% were total mission failures, another 11% were partial mission failures, and 6.1% were launch vehicle failures. The small satellite failure data reveals an increase in the failure rate as the yearly launch rate has increased. The period 2000 to 2008 averaged 15 launches per year, during which 28.6% of the small satellite missions failed or partially failed. The period from 2009 to 2016 averaged 48 launches per year, during which 42.6% of the small satellite missions failed or partially failed. The launch vehicle failure rate for both periods was the same at around 6.1%. The implication is that for modern small satellite missions, almost one out of every two small satellite missions will result in either a total or a partial mission failure. Counting the partial mission successes as “successful missions” reduces the failure rate, but only to 38.2% for the period 2009 to 2016.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: gerontocrat on January 10, 2020, 02:33:23 PM
Full report by NASA on satellite mission successes and failures is here. Good stuff

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20190002705.pdf
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: oren on January 10, 2020, 05:20:10 PM
Am I wrong to think that dead satellites and debris in Low Earth Orbit are burned off within a few years due to orbit decay?
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: gerontocrat on January 10, 2020, 05:48:13 PM
Am I wrong to think that dead satellites and debris in Low Earth Orbit are burned off within a few years due to orbit decay?
Eventually, but space companies are being told to build into their satellites a mechanism to shove them earthwards at the end of their useful life. The data below excludes the effect of solar storms on the magnetosphere etc.

https://www.spaceacademy.net.au/watch/debris/orblife.htm
A ROUGH GUIDE
The following table provides a very rough guide to the lifetime of an object in a circular or near circular orbit at various altitudes.

Satellite
Altitude   Lifetime
200 km   1 day
300 km   1 month
400 km   1 year
500 km   10 years
700 km   100 years
900 km   1000 years

SpaceX Just Launched a New Fleet of Its Controversial Starlink Satellites
SpaceX says it has a plan for that, too: its Starlink satellites deploy at an altitude of 290 kilometers (180 miles) and then engage their ion thrusters to reach an orbit of 550 kilometers (340 miles).
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Bernard on January 10, 2020, 05:51:37 PM
Am I wrong to think that dead satellites and debris in Low Earth Orbit are burned off within a few years due to orbit decay?
Depends what you mean by LEO. Upper limit is altitude 2000 km, the most crowded area being between 300 and 500 km.
This page is rather old but gives a simple introduction to this question with round figures. https://www.spaceacademy.net.au/watch/debris/orblife.htm
The orbit decay is indeed a few years (less than ten) for orbits under 500 km. At 700 km, it's 100 years, at 900 km, 1000 years.
Those are rough figures, an important parameter being m/A, m being the satellite mass, and A its effective cross sectional area. Compact and dense objects (a steel bolt) are less subject to atmospheric drag than plastic bags (like in free fall in low atmosphere, in fact) and operational satellites with solar panels, for example.
Bear in mind that those are simplified figures for circular orbits, many debris are likely to have highly eccentric orbits, with only a part of it in LEO.

[Edited] : Just saw gerontocrat's answer after posting. At least we agree  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: oren on January 10, 2020, 05:55:08 PM
Thanks gerontocrat and Bernard, that's roughly what I thought, at least for the lower orbits.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: jai mitchell on January 10, 2020, 05:59:27 PM
I am pretty sure that they de-orbit the satellites after 5-7 years but that is if they are responding to commands.  so longer and more random burnup than planned.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Tor Bejnar on January 10, 2020, 06:06:12 PM
Given these variables, a paper (by Antonio Lira, published 22 December 2014) offered a generic average of "31.75 years" for Low Earth Orbit satellites.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Bernard on January 10, 2020, 06:09:21 PM
To make my point in a wider perspective. The SpaceX and al. attitude is exactly the same one that put the planet in its current state, and the orbital debris issue is today in the same state global warming was fifty years ago. We know, but so far so good because we're not seeing the actual consequences yet.
We can draw an exact parallel with atmospheric carbon. Mainstream awareness of the problem, and serious works about the solutions, is coming a bit too late, because we've already passed critical density tipping point. The issue with tipping points in slow processes is that you see them too late, when they are passed. Some writers say today that we have already passed the critical density in LEO, and whatever we do, we'll have major collisions in years to come.
I had done some napkin computations years ago I have to unearth from my archives, but they led to a couple major collisions before 2030, and by 2040-2050 a major incident on a yearly basis, a point beyond which the growth of production of debris is faster than their removal by orbital decay.
The Kessler cascade will not happen in a few hours/days like in Gravity. It will take years and decades, but as the melt of Antarctic Ice, once started, no mitigation will be possible.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Bernard on January 10, 2020, 06:27:16 PM
I am pretty sure that they de-orbit the satellites after 5-7 years but that is if they are responding to commands.  so longer and more random burnup than planned.

Of about 20,000 objects in orbit tracked by the U.S Space Surveillance Network as October 2019 (basically objects over 10 cm in size), 5,000 are operational missions, 15,000 are rocket bodies and other debris. 

That means 3 out of 4 objects in orbit over 10 cm are totally out of control.

From certainly the best source for facts and figures about orbital debris https://orbitaldebris.jsc.nasa.gov
In Nov.19 issue of their "Quarterly News"
https://orbitaldebris.jsc.nasa.gov/quarterly-news/pdfs/odqnv23i4.pdf, page 10.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: vox_mundi on January 10, 2020, 09:52:38 PM
https://youtu.be/LGBuk2BTvJE
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 10, 2020, 10:47:12 PM
“To date, SpaceX has demonstrated their respect for our concerns and their support for astronomy.”
- The Royal Astronomical Society

Notes:
The first batch of Starlinks will have included many different combinations of hardware, software, and construction methods, to help determine the combination that would perform the best overall.  It would be foolish to assume that the failure rate for the later satellites will be the same as the first batch.
Quote
In response to concerns from astronomers, Shotwell said one of the 60 satellites set for launch Monday will test a new less-reflective coating designed to reduce the brightness of the spacecraft

Reflectivity is a requirement to keep the satellite’s circuitry from being fried by the intense heating caused by the sun’s radiation in space.
OneWeb’s constellation satellites cost about $1 million each.  SpaceX’s Starlink satellites are thought to cost much less than this, but trying out an untested, less reflective coating which could potentially fry one Starlink satellite means SpaceX is risking several hundred million dollars in their efforts to find a solution to the problem.

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starlink-satellite-launch-second-announcement/

Quote
During the Starlink-1 launch webcast, SpaceX described some of the significant upgrades it has made to its Starlink satellites, ranging from massively improved bandwidth to "100% demisability".
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-next-starlink-launch-worlds-largest-constellation/
Meaning they burn up completely in the atmosphere.

As I noted above, SpaceX has lowered the deployment orbit for Starlink so that any malfunctioning satellites will encounter increased atmospheric drag, and deorbit more quickly.  The bright streaks are most noticeable immediately after deployment, and decrease as the satellites raise their orbits, spread out, and adjust their orientation for work rather than ascent.

Quote
The Royal Astronomical Society said in June that the large number of broadband satellites proposed by SpaceX, Amazon, OneWeb and Telesat “presents a challenge to ground-based astronomy.”

“The deployed networks could make it much harder to obtain images of the sky without the streaks associated with satellites, and thus compromise astronomical research,” the society said in a statement.

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory, funded by the National Science Foundation, said in May it was working with SpaceX to “jointly analyze and minimize any potential impacts” on astronomical observations caused by radio transmissions coming from the Starlink satellites.

“These discussions have been fruitful and are providing valuable guidelines that could be considered by other such systems as well,” the NRAO said in a statement. “To date, SpaceX has demonstrated their respect for our concerns and their support for astronomy.”

The NRAO said it continued to monitor, analyze and discuss the “evolving parameters” of the Starlink system. The NRAO identified several proposals under consideration, including exclusion zones and other mitigations around the National Science Foundation’s current and future radio astronomy facilities.

SpaceX says it is actively working with leading astronomy groups from around the world to make sure their work is not affected by the Starlink satellites. Engineers are taking steps to make the base of future Starlink satellites black to “help mitigate impacts on the astronomy community,” SpaceX said.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/11/11/successful-launch-continues-deployment-of-spacexs-starlink-network/

—-
Also consider other obstructions to astronomical viewing which will not bow to the wishes of astronomers.  The ISS appears as a very bright, slow-moving star when it is above the horizon near sunrise or sunset.  As do many other satellites, and have done so for decades.

https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/sightings/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 10, 2020, 10:53:23 PM
https://youtu.be/LGBuk2BTvJE

I really hope everyone realizes this animation merely imagines the movement of a constellation of satellites, and is not what the sky will look like, right?  ::)   

Quote
Visible objects in low-Earth orbit (such as the International Space Station) take about 90 minutes—5,400 seconds—to complete a single orbit. Unequivocally far beyond the mesosphere at 240-250 miles above Earth, such objects might provide a rough proxy for measuring the portion of blue "sky" that is visible.

Now when viewed from their backyard, most people will estimate that an object in low-Earth orbit passes directly over a fixed location in about five to ten seconds. By this measure, from a single point on Earth you can usefully “see” 0.185% (about 2 tenths of one percent) of the local sky.
https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/129317/how-much-of-the-sky-is-visible-from-a-particular-location


https://www.starlink.com
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: gerontocrat on January 10, 2020, 11:09:47 PM
It's amazing what gets in the way of a telescope.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 11, 2020, 02:12:19 AM
Successful Starship tank pressurization-to-failure test today in Boca Chica.
Quote
Mary (@BocaChicaGal) 1/10/20, 10:13 AM
Bopper (Baby StarPopper) this morning after the overpressure event at SpaceX Boca Chica.
@NASASpaceflight 
https://twitter.com/bocachicagal/status/1215652963735293959
Second Photo below; another at the link, plus a link to more.

< how’d it go?
Buff Mage (@elonmusk) 1/10/20, 2:38 PM
Dome to barrel weld made it to 7.1 bar, which is pretty good as ~6 bar is needed for orbital flight. With more precise parts & better welding conditions, we should reach ~8.5 bar, which is the 1.4 factor of safety needed for crewed flight.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1215719463913345024


—- Back Story:
SpaceX prepares new Starship tank for explosive test after rapid construction
Quote
All hail Baby Tank

In an apparent response to the unsatisfactory results of Starship Mk1’s manufacturing methods, SpaceX has rapidly initiated an already-planned upgrade of its Starship facilities and manufacturing methods in South Texas, taking delivery of a wealth of new tools over the last several weeks. Most recently, SpaceX’s latest step towards demonstrating that it has substantially improved manufacturing quality arrived in the form of a single propellant tank – the same diameter as Starship Mk1 but much shorter than any possible flight hardware.

Quickly nicknamed Bopper (short for Baby Starhopper) by locals and close followers, the miniature Starship test article came together at a truly spectacular pace. Comprised of two single-weld steel rings and two brand new tank domes, it appears that all four of the components were nothing more than parts and steel stock less than three weeks ago. The first sign of activity came around December 19th, when technicians began placing pressed steel sections onto a bulkhead (dome) assembly jig – used to precisely hold the pieces in the right shape and place as they are welded together.

Incredibly, aside from taking less than three weeks to go from miscellaneous parts to an assembled Starship tank delivered to the test site, SpaceX technicians appeared to finish stacking and welding its two halves (each a ring and a dome) perhaps a handful of hours before it was lifted onto a transporter and driven to the launch pad.

Even for SpaceX, moving a prototype from factory to test site hours after its primary structure was welded together represents an almost unfathomably fast pace of work – truly unfathomable in traditional aerospace.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-new-starship-tank-explosive-test/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 11, 2020, 05:51:38 PM
Static fire of Falcon 9 prior to In-Flight Abort [IFA] test has been completed satisfactorily.
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 1/11/20, 10:42 AM
Static fire of Falcon 9 complete – targeting January 18 for an in-flight demonstration of Crew Dragon’s launch escape system, which will verify the spacecraft’s ability to carry astronauts to safety in the unlikely event of an emergency during ascent
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1216022644614545409

Here’s a video of the static fire (starts ~ minute 24):
https://www.youtube.com/embed/SvVYyUw8IRE?start=1476

From Reddit:
Alexphysics
For the usual questions:
   •   No, the booster won't be recovered
   •   The second stage is a normal second stage with the engine replaced by a mass simulator because it won't be needed and yes, it will be fully fueled during this mission (as it has been for the static fire).
   •   Crew Dragon is expected to abort at 88s into flight. Around 20km high and 5km downrange, it should splashdown around 30km off the coast about 5-10min later.
   •   The abort will be triggered via a planned shutdown of the 9 Merlin engines on the booster. That's what the Crew Dragon will use as the abort signal and will fly away firing its SuperDraco engines for up to 10 seconds. The rocket is expected to break up due to aerodynamic forces. In the rare situation that it survives it won't do anything magical, any trick or anything fancy, it'll just continue its own parabolic trajectory until it hits the water maybe as far as 100km downrange.
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/en8xa0/static_fire_of_falcon_9_complete_targeting/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 15, 2020, 09:40:04 PM
Crew Dragon IFA scheduled for this Saturday.
Quote
NASA Commercial Crew (@Commercial_Crew) 1/15/20, 3:05 PM
.@SpaceX's uncrewed in-flight abort test is targeted for 8am ET on Jan. 18. This test will show that the #CrewDragon can protect astronauts even in the unlikely event of an emergency during launch.

Currently, weather is 90% GO for the demonstration.

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/spacex-nasa-gear-up-for-in-flight-abort-demonstration
https://twitter.com/commercial_crew/status/1217538321347465217
At (both) links: an animation of what will happen.  We hope!
This is the one big remaining test for the Crew Dragon to be certified for human space flight.  The rest is mostly NASA paperwork and solving any schedule issues with the ISS.  (SpaceX has its 20th operational Cargo Dragon mission to the ISS scheduled for March 1.)

And the Falcon 9 rocket being used for the test:
Quote
< AFTS going to end it or natural self destruction?
Buff Mage (@elonmusk) 1/11/20, 7:03 PM
Destroyed in Dragon fire
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1216148780635938816

Elon Musk says a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is about to be "destroyed in Dragon fire"
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-falcon-9-rocket-destroyed-dragon-fire/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 17, 2020, 08:14:17 PM
Elon Musk shares details about SpaceX’s Starship, including estimated 20 to 30-year service life
Quote
... Ultimately, Musk says that he hopes to achieve a construction rate of 100 Starships being produced per year, with a goal of hitting 1,000 in total in service over the course of the next decade, which can transport as much as 100 megatons per year in cargo, or about 100,000 people “per Earth-Mars orbital sync” in terms of human passengers. That translates to a schedule of roughly once every two years, when Earth and Mars are closest to one another because of the coincidence of their respective orbits around the Sun.

Musk clarified in response to another question that the way this will work will be getting the Mars fleet into a staging orbit above Earth, where they can be refueled in space prior to their synchronized departure. Then, once every 26 months approximately 1,000 ships will all depart over the course of 30 days for their Mars transit. While Starship will require an in-orbit refuel to make the trip to Mars leaving from Earth, because of how much boost is needed to exit Earth’s atmosphere, the same is not true for the reverse trip, Musk pointed out. ...
https://techcrunch.com/2020/01/17/elon-musk-shares-details-about-spacexs-starship-including-estimated-20-to-30-year-service-life/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Bruce Steele on January 17, 2020, 08:30:20 PM
“We regret ruining our world, only to chase the dream of a paradise across the stars.”
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 18, 2020, 02:52:17 AM
“The Earth is the cradle of humanity, but mankind cannot stay in the cradle forever.“
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 18, 2020, 02:46:13 PM
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 1/18/20, 5:01 AM
Standing down from today’s in-flight Crew Dragon launch escape test attempt due to sustained winds and rough seas in the recovery area. Now targeting Sunday, January 19, with a six-hour test window opening at 8:00 a.m. EST, 13:00 UTC
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1218473546772430848
< Much calmer conditions at sea Sunday w light SW wind. Small opportunity to launch early in the window before cloud cover increases ahead of an approaching strong cold front Sunday night


Recorded Friday:
Pre-Launch Briefing for SpaceX In Flight Abort Test - YouTube
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5FQT9CKiboY
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 19, 2020, 09:08:21 PM
Crew Dragon In-Flight Abort test appeared flawless!

In the image below, you can see the Dragon’s Super-Draco rocket engines firing even before the Falcon 9 engines had completely shut down.

In the post-launch test briefing, Elon Musk explained how the abort “sequence” happens in about 700 milliseconds:  the Dragon senses an anomaly, commands the Falcon 9 to shut down, and the Dragon’s eight super-Draco engines pressurize and fire incredibly quickly, pushing the Dragon to safety — potentially before the rocket has a chance to explode — and even if one of the Super-Draco engines fails.

Dragon Abort acceleration could go to more than 6 g, but the system limits acceleration to maximize comfort and safety of the astronauts.  It reconfigures “at almost the millisecond level” to achieve “the maximum probability of safety and minimize injury.” *

[Bridenstine: This abort today, the highest g was ~3.5 g, coming down was 2.3 g.  That’s impressive.]

The Falcon 9 was destroyed today in a “fireball, not an explosion.”  (As in, fuel spewed out and ignited.)  Dragon could fly right out of a fireball — the heat shield withstands much more than that on a normal reentry from orbit. 
It is one benefit of having the integrated super-draco abort engines that can be used all the way to orbit, making system safer than using an escape tower that is jettisoned soon after launch.

Peak altitude was about 40km or 131,000 feet, and peak velocity was over twice the speed of sound: mach 2.2   Dragon landed in relatively high winds, so this will help SpaceX refine their landing envelope conditions.

In the Future:  SpaceX might catch the returning Dragon in flight, before it splashes down! :o

Asked about private customers, Musk said: “We have no announcement to make at this time about flying private customers.”

Jim Bridenstine insisted no decision has been made about the possibility of increasing the crew size or the planned duration of the DM-2 mission.  Musk said SpaceX will be ready for whatever is decided.

Image below from:
Quote
David Hash (@turndownformars) 1/19/20, 10:58 AM
Still frame at the moment of abort during the #SpaceX #InFlightAbort test
420mm refractor, ZWO ASI290MM, 850nm IR filter. Video to come!
https://twitter.com/turndownformars/status/1218925720736600066

Full webcast link is below, but if you just want to watch the Dragon zip away and the Falcon 9 go boom, here you are:
Jasper (@CasselmanJasper) 1/19/20, 11:20 AM
https://twitter.com/casselmanjasper/status/1218931187240046593

Although this article says early March, Musk sandbagged the date during the press conference and said “Q2.”
Article has a detailed look at the ISS crew schedule and explains why earlier would be better:

Pending test outcomes, NASA says SpaceX could launch astronauts in early March
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/01/17/pending-test-outcomes-nasa-says-spacex-could-launch-astronauts-in-early-march/

Watch the entire webcast here:
Crew Dragon Launch Escape Demonstration
https://youtu.be/mhrkdHshb3E

*No wonder Teslas are so safe….
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 20, 2020, 01:11:28 AM
IFA addendum:

Musk:  “The system is designed to withstand a first stage booster explosion or an explosion that happens even before the escape event.”

Bridenstine:  “This spacecraft knows precisely where it is in space — latitude, longitude, altitude, yaw, pitch, roll, trajectory, velocity — it constantly knows where it is supposed to be and it knows what is happening to it, so it can make a determination early, before the explosion were to happen, to execute the launch abort capability.”

——
Edit: Wow, amazing video clip from the big tracking cameras, at the link.
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 1/19/20, 2:20 PM
Crew Dragon separating from Falcon 9 during today’s test, which verified the spacecraft’s ability to carry astronauts to safety in the unlikely event of an emergency on ascent
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1218976479150858241
——

Quote
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 1/19/20, 6:56 PM
And the SpaceX Crew Dragon involved with the IFA test is sailing into Port Canaveral on Go Searcher. ...
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1219046009436852225
Video at the link.  Dragon looks to be in good shape!

Image below is a screencap from the webcast: interior of the Dragon for the test.  Two “anthropomorphic test devices” in the seats.  No interior wall panels.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 22, 2020, 02:36:26 PM
Waves in the recovery zone off the Florida coast are 12-15 feet (4-5m)! 
SpaceX is now targeting their next launch for Friday January 24 at 10:54 a.m. EST, 15:54 UTC, for launch of 60 Starlink satellites; team is continuing to monitor weather in the recovery area.
Falcon 9’s first stage supporting this mission previously launched off LC-39A and from SpaceX’s West Coast launch pad.

While we wait, let’s catch up on Starship, and the competition:

New buildings going up at Boca Chica, a new Starship tank being built, and a road and beach closure:
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk)1/22/20, 12:45 AM
Improved Accommodations
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1219858516619358208
Image below.

Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 1/22/20, 6:11 AM

The likely reason there's a new road closure notice.
Bopper 2.0.
Would also explain why they were filling up the LN2 tanks at the launch site again:
youtu.be/9Usbu7LzJUQ
- …yeah, we'll have to wait and see - but with the road closure notice and the tank filling, that's what makes me think this is another test tank [this time with cryogenics]
Let's see what Elon spills on this one.
Never a dull day in Boca Chica.

< Bopper 2.0: The revenge
Quote
Mary (@BocaChicaGal) 1/21/20, 7:06 PM
There is a planned Hwy. 4 and Boca Chica beach closure for SpaceX activities at Boca Chica on January 25, 2020 from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.
https://twitter.com/bocachicagal/status/1219773234507403269
ScreenCap of closure notice at the link.

——-
“This is part of the game of us learning to work with a commercial provider,” Santora said.
Tesla, SpaceX confirm Model X will be official ride of astronauts
From suit-up area to the launch pad
https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-model-x-spacex-astronauts-transportation/

—-
Update on Boeing’s OFT failure last month
The NASA source said eight or more thrusters on the service module failed at one point and that one thruster never fired at all.
Starliner’s thruster performance receiving close scrutiny from NASA
“Many of the elements of the propulsion system were overstressed.”
https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/01/nasa-and-boeing-are-closely-looking-at-starliners-thruster-performance/
Eric Berger - 1/21/2020

—-
Finally, the “Geez, NASA, what gives?!” article SpaceX supporters have been waiting for:
SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft sails home after flawless in-flight abort test
By Eric Ralph, January 19, 2020
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-crew-dragon-sails-back-to-port-flawless-launch/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: blumenkraft on January 22, 2020, 02:47:17 PM
BTW there is an amazing podcast with Hans Koenigsmann, employee number 4 at SpaceX.

In German language though.

Link >> https://raumzeit-podcast.de/2020/01/17/rz083-spacex/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 22, 2020, 02:52:20 PM
BTW there is an amazing podcast with Hans Koenigsmann, employee number 4 at SpaceX.

In German language though.

Link >> https://raumzeit-podcast.de/2020/01/17/rz083-spacex/

So, tell us what he says! (begging)


======= Edit:
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 1/23/20, 11:11 AM
Weather in the recovery area continues to be unfavorable so team is now targeting Monday, January 27 for launch of Starlink, pending Range availability
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1220378488680697856
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 27, 2020, 10:29:01 PM
Starlink 3 launch update
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX)1/27/20, 9:19 AM
Standing down today due to strong upper level winds. Next launch opportunity is tomorrow at 9:28 a.m. EST, or 14:28 UTC.
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1221799899848531969
< Are the wind tolerances for falcon 9 dramatically different than those for other rockets? I feel like spacex had an inordinate number of weather related delays.
Chuck (@Chuckhasfriends) 1/27/20, 10:36 AM
I believe the Falcon 9 has the largest height to width ratio of any rocket flying today (it's the "skinniest"), so wind can knock it around easier, meaning lower power winds would still be a concern.

Quote
< When a scrub happens like this, do they leave the rocket and payload on the pad? Is there ever a point in a scrub that it's taken down?
Scott Manley (@DJSnM)1/27/20, 9:47 AM
They only take it down if there’s a hardware that needs serviced, or if a big storm is expected.
https://twitter.com/djsnm/status/1221806906332704769
< what are those strong upper level winds anyway? aren't the rockets going through the jetstreams anyway which are like 100-200 kph strong?
Scott Manley: It’s more when they go between layers that are flowing at different rates - the transition can be rough.

—-
SpaceX’s Third Operational Starlink Mission moved to Tuesday
by Thomas Burghardt January 26, 2020
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2020/01/spacex-launch-third-operational-starlink-mission/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 27, 2020, 10:35:47 PM
Quote
Jon Shaban (@Jon_Shaban) 1/27/20, 11:08 AM
The #Starlink may have scrubbed today, but #SpaceX has it's crew on the #GoSearcher working with what appears to be a #CrewDragon capsule.
https://twitter.com/jon_shaban/status/1221827307486240769
 Brief time lapse video at the link.

—-  Whither Crew Dragon?
Crew Dragon’s In-Flight Abort Test seems to have proceeded flawlessly.  Kathy Lueders, NASA’s commercial crew program manager, suggested recently that SpaceX’s crewed Demo-2 mission might be ready for launch as soon as the first half of March. Yet when asked for a date at the Dragon IFA post-flight press briefing, Elon Musk said that although the SpaceX rocket and capsule should be in Florida by the end of February… the “consensus answer” (between the SpaceX, Commercial Crew, and NASA folks preparing to go onstage) was to say that a crewed launch would not occur until Q2 (April-June).

Why not launch ASAP?  I see a complex list of reasons why a slight delay makes sense:

First, I assume SpaceX and NASA’s Dragon reviews will go well, the two additional full-system parachute tests in February will be as successful as the others so far, and that everything could be “quadruple checked” by March if needed.

- In early April, Soyuz will bring up the next three-person crew to the ISS — and three will leave the following week, leaving the space station crewed by only three people, including only one astronaut, Chris Cassidy, to do all NASA experiments, maintenance, etc. until the next Soyuz flight in October!  (I note the next Cygnus cargo freighter delivery was moved up from April to early February, when there will still be two NASA astronauts aboard the ISS.)

- No Soyuz seat has been purchased beyond April, though NASA mentioned purchasing one more, “so we have options.”

- Why not send Dragon in March?  Because Dragon — like Soyuz and Starliner — is limited to about six months in space per mission.  If launched in March, it would need to return before October, resulting in a reduced ISS crew again, if no other personnel have arrived.

- The Starliner Question
Besides the pad abort test parachute bungle, NASA expects to take at least two months studying the Orbital Flight Test failures of Starliner’s software and engines:  its Mission Elapsed Timer was 11 hours off; eight thrusters malfunctioned and one did not fire at all.
Will thruster redesign be required?  And if the software problem is just a software problem, how long will it take to fix?  (Boeing originally said the 737-Max airliner problem was a simple software fix, but the planes remain grounded over a year later.)
• Will NASA require another uncrewed orbital flight test before allowing crew to fly in the Starliner?  Common sense would suggest yes, but Boeing has historically received “special treatment” from the agency.  (An independent investigation revealed corruption and con games or outright fraud by Boeing to extort more money [pay us or we’ll quit the program] from NASA for what was a “fixed price” commercial crew contract.)  A reporter asked the Boeing rep at the Starliner OFT post-flight conference if Boeing would ask for more money or quit if NASA required another unmanned flight.  Boeing said they were “all in.” Whatever that is supposed to mean in this case.
• The Russians.  They pushed back hard against the uncrewed Dragon mission in 2018;  NASA had to talk them down. They ended up sequestering themselves in the Russian section of the ISS during the automated docking in case of a catastrophe.  (Even though Soyuz and several of the other cargo vessels already use automated docking.)   Imagine the Russian reaction to a mission of an unproven Starliner with a less than stellar history.  (Although I suppose Boeing would gladly pay off the Russians to make any complaints disappear.)
• Boeing of course wants to fly a crewed mission as soon as possible, too.  Even if NASA signs off on a next mission for Starliner, their launch provider ULA has military missions planned for SLC-41 (the pad Starliner uses) in May and September, plus the Mars 2020 rover that must launch within a limited window in July. 

So it’s hard to figure when the three-person Starliner crew might launch.  Could the Starliner crew launch in April?  Seems doubtful.  Might they be delayed up to six months, or a year?  Possible. 

The best plan at this point would indeed seem to be for astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to fly the Dragon to the ISS in April, and stay until October (the original plan for the Demo-2 mission was for them to stay only two weeks!).  NASA keeps saying no decision has been made, but such a scenario has been discussed for months, so it’s hard to believe Bob and Doug have not been training for this eventuality.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 28, 2020, 02:37:45 AM
We’re waiting!
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 1/27/20, 6:07 PM
Now targeting Wednesday, January 29 at 9:06 a.m., 14:06 UTC, for launch of Starlink due to poor weather in the recovery area
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1221932844269752321

——
Starship tank testing update:  Improvements being made in materials manufacturing and stainless steel welding techniques.  Starship SN1 tank domes are being built!

Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 1/27/20, 6:30 PM
Starship 9m test tank made 7.5 bar at room temp! Small leak at a weld doubler. Will be repaired & retested at cryo.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1221938474233868288
[Image below.]

< Awesome! Congrats! Feeling confident enough in the welds and manufacturing to go ahead with SN1?
EM: Yes
<< I’m amazed at @SpaceX’s new steel ring process for Starship. The difference is absolutely night and day! when do you think construction of SN1’s main hull will begin?
EM: First two domes of SN1 are almost complete

< Hearing you point out room temp, you think it’d have no problem holding that at cryo, right?
EM: Parent material strength roughly doubles, so weld strength is the only real question mark
> This particular type of stainless steel is in its weakest state at room temperature. Making it colder or hotter just improves the strength of the steel.   Elon: Will you double up the steel on the vertical welds of the hoops? A good place for a propellant/cable race. Waste NOTHING!
EM: Already being done
Previous tank test made it to 7.1 bar.  7.5 is good enough for orbital flight, but they want 8.5 for a ship to be human-rated.

===
Edit:
Article by Eric Ralph, Jan 28
SpaceX is ready to build the first Starship destined for space after latest tests
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-ready-first-starship-destined-for-space/amp/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 29, 2020, 04:39:42 PM
Starlink 3 Launch complete - satellites successfully deployed.  First stage landed for the third time, on OCISLY drone ship.  Fairings: one catch, one near miss. 
Watch replay at: spacex.com
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 1/29/20, 9:51 AM
Ms. Tree caught a fairing half – our third successful catch!
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1222532797501296640
Image below; Video clip at the link.
Ms. Chief barely missed catching the other half of the fairing, but it had a soft splashdown and will be retrieved and potentially reused.

Edit:   Details:
SpaceX's Third Operational Starlink Mission
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2020/01/spacex-launch-third-operational-starlink-mission/

——
Starship tank testing:  8.5 bar achieved!
SpaceX Starship just aced another explosive tank test and Elon Musk has the results [article with video]
Eric Ralph
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-new-explosive-test-results-elon-musk/amp/

——
NASA:  We are on track to save costs and increase innovation by working with commercial partners like SpaceX!
Congress: No, we want you to remain as a massive jobs program using your old tech for as many years as possible.  Never mind reusable rockets or a lunar base; maybe you can orbit Mars in 2033.
     Proposed bill. Must reconcile with Senate version.
Bipartisan House bill spurns 2024 moon landing goal, favoring focus on Mars
January 26, 2020 Stephen Clark
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/01/26/bipartisan-house-bill-spurns-2024-moon-landing-goal-favoring-focus-on-mars/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 30, 2020, 10:07:53 PM
More tents! 8)

SpaceX restarts negotiations to build its Starship rockets in the Port of Los Angeles
Published Thu, Jan 30 2020
Quote
SpaceX is talking to government officials about building a major manufacturing facility in the Port of Los Angeles, CNBC confirmed on Wednesday.

The new rocket factory would build SpaceX's massive, next-generation rocket called Starship. But the deal itself is not entirely new: The company already had approval to build the facility in 2018, with the city and port signing off on a 10-year lease at $1.4 million per year. But SpaceX backed out last year, a move that L.A. City Councilman Joe Buscaino said "was just crushing" given the city's high hopes for redeveloping the port.

"We know the significance of building Starship in San Pedro," Buscaino told CNBC. "If San Pedro is good enough for Elon Musk, then it will be good for other innovators."
...
Buscaino said Johnsen pushed to see how quickly a new agreement could be drawn up. The facility itself would be a large tent-like structure, similar to those used when Tesla was ramping production of its cars in recent years.

"They want to be up and running within the next 90 days," Buscaino said. ...
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/30/spacex-may-build-starship-rockets-in-port-of-los-angeles.html

Photo below is from 2018.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 31, 2020, 01:11:48 AM
Great use of Boca Chica photos to document the evolution of Starship construction and tank testing.

Starship Updates – SpaceX Reaches Pressure Goal - NASA Artemis Moon Mission Possibly Delayed - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpNhyHqfj3c
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 31, 2020, 08:20:03 PM
SpaceX's workhorse Falcon 9 rocket expected to reach major launch milestone in 2020:  100 total launches
Quote
Falcon 9 has completed 52 consecutively successful launches in exactly 36 months (January 2017 to January 2020), meaning that nearly two-thirds of its lifetime launches have occurred in less than a third of the time Falcon 9 has been operational.
...
Musk thinks that SpaceX’s workhorse Falcon 9 rocket will be able to reach more than 100 lifetime launches by the end of 2020 — a feat that will require at least 20 additional Falcon 9 launches over the next 11 months.
Quote
Designed and built by SpaceX in the late 2000s, the Falcon 9 rocket launched for the first time in June 2010. Developed for the unfathomably low price of $300 million from clean-sheet design to first orbital launch, the original single-core Falcon 9 rocket – known as V1.0 – was about 48m (160 ft) tall, weighed 333 metric tons (735,000 lb) fully fueled, and was capable of launching almost 10.5 metric tons (23,000 lb) into low Earth orbit (LEO). Famously, when provided with Falcon 9’s basic specifications and characteristics, an independent NASA study estimated that the rocket’s development would have cost the agency anywhere from $1.7 billion to $4 billion to design and build.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-rocket-major-launch-milestone-2020-elon-musk/

======
Boeing Starliner
Boeing announced it is setting aside $410 million, to cover another possible flight test, and “the anomaly investigation and corrective action implementation, program disruptions and other work outside the scope of normal program operational costs post-OFT.”  Boeing says “NASA will ultimately decide if an OFT re-flight is necessary.”  Two additional Starliners are under construction, “on pace to support flights in 2020.”

Starliner Teams Analyzing Orbital Flight Test Data as Preparations Continue for Next Flight
January 31, 2020
Quote
Boeing and NASA are nearing the conclusion of detailed evaluations on how each Starliner system performed during last month’s Orbital Flight Test (OFT).  This process is separate from the joint Boeing-NASA independent review team investigating the mission clock anomaly that precluded docking with the International Space Station.  The thorough data analysis, which is part of the normal post-test flight review process, covers everything observed during prelaunch rehearsals and operations as well as the flight.  Ultimately the analysis team will disposition anomalies and observations and evaluate which objectives were met and which require more work.

Independent of that process, Boeing announced January 29 that the company is taking a $410 million charge to provision for the possibility of another uncrewed test flight.  While NASA will ultimately decide if an OFT re-flight is necessary, Boeing is as committed as ever to safe flight, mission assurance and helping our customer meet its crew transportation needs.  This provisional accounting measure puts the Starliner program in position to support another flight should that mission be deemed necessary, while limiting the schedule impact on beginning regular Starliner service missions to the space station.  The charge is intended to cover not only the cost of another flight test, but also the anomaly investigation and corrective action implementation, program disruptions and other work outside the scope of normal program operational costs post-OFT.

Meanwhile, Starliner teams are continuing production and refurbishment efforts on two spacecraft in Florida. A crew module and service module are entering the final stages of production while the crew module that flew OFT is undergoing its standard refurbishment process. Both spacecraft are on pace to support flights in 2020.
https://starlinerupdates.com/starliner-teams-analyzing-orbital-flight-test-data-as-preparations-continue-for-next-flight/

For comparison, the NASA OIG report pegged a SpaceX Crew Dragon mission at $209 million, including (some) development costs.
Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/11/19/nasa-cost-to-fly-astronauts-with-spacex-boeing-and-russian-soyuz.html
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 04, 2020, 02:14:13 PM
Preparing for Starship mass production.

Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 2/4/20, 4:19 AM
Starship career day at the Stargate building (Boca Chica Blvd, TX) this Thursday from 3pm to 9pm!
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1224623398460018688
- This is mainly for staffing up 4 production shifts for 24/7 operations, but engineers, supervisors & support personnel are certainly needed too. A super hardcore work ethic, talent for building things, common sense & trustworthiness are required, the rest we can train.


[Obligatory Stargate gif reply...]
https://twitter.com/svennpetter/status/1224623681181306881

——
Quote
Chris G - NSF (@ChrisG_NSF) 2/3/20, 9:50 PM
A large number of monolithic steel rings are being produced at #SpaceX's Boca Chica facility, ready to become part of the stack for the SN1 #Starship.
VIDEO from @BocaChicaGal for @NASASpaceflight:

https://twitter.com/chrisg_nsf/status/1224525644111011840

SpaceX Boca Chica - Starship SN1 Rings Mass Production - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4u35aiVg0g
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 05, 2020, 01:47:18 AM
A new NASA GAO report is out.  It’s already outdated (it says SpaceX’s January IFA is yet to happen), but it’s an independent overview of many of the challenges the U.S. Commercial Crew program faces in 2020.
   
SpaceX has two Dragon spacecraft under construction besides the one used in the In Flight Abort test, and one of the two will be ready for their first operational mission (the one after DM-2) "3 months earlier than originally planned," according to the GAO, citing manufacturing efficiencies and SpaceX modifying facilities and bringing in more resources:
Quote
To support an operational mission in March 2020, program officials told us that SpaceX plans to complete construction of flight spacecraft 4—now the first operational mission spacecraft—3 months earlier than originally planned. SpaceX and program officials identified two reasons why this acceleration may be possible. First, they told us there will likely be manufacturing efficiencies that could allow SpaceX to meet the accelerated schedule for its first operational mission. Program officials said the spacecraft design for the first operational mission is the same as the other spacecraft, and that this would be SpaceX’s fourth time building the spacecraft. Second, SpaceX officials said they modified their facilities and brought in additional resources.
The report is missing current information on the solutions already in place for the abort fueling system, engines & load-n-go.
   
Boeing’s Starliner, besides the Mission Elapsed Timer and malfunctioning thruster issues of their December test flight, has problems with the system that separates the Service (propulsion) Module from the capsule prior to landing — parts fly off that could damage the capsule — that will require additional testing before a crewed flight.

Boeing has two spacecraft in production. For its first operational mission, Boeing plans to refurbish the spacecraft it used for its uncrewed test flight.  Boeing officials told the GAO that refurbishing the Starliner capsule from December's uncrewed flight test will take four months.
Quote
There is a risk that the refurbishment process for the first operational mission may take longer than planned, depending on the spacecraft’s condition after [being] used for Boeing’s uncrewed test flight. As of January 2020, NASA officials told us that an assessment of the spacecraft’s condition was ongoing. Boeing has not completed this refurbishment process previously.
Quote
In addition to refurbishing a flown spacecraft for the first time, Boeing continues to address technical risks identified by program officials. This includes a risk that the initiators that trigger separation events, such as the separation of the crew and service module prior to reentry, may generate debris and damage the spacecraft. In June 2019, we found that Boeing had identified a solution to contain the debris that was sufficient for its test flights. Since our last report, program officials said that a number of problems were found in recent testing and that the independent engineering technical authority noted that the current initiator containment design is not acceptable for the crewed flight test. Program officials told us that they accepted this risk for the uncrewed flight test, but that additional testing will need to occur before the crewed flight test.

The report also examines the I.S.S. U.S. astronaut schedule, the purchasing of seats on the Soyuz, and recommends a March commercial crew flight, but doubts either spacecraft will be certified to fly by then.

GAO rept, Jan 2020
NASA COMMERCIAL CREW PROGRAM
Significant Work Remains to Begin Operational Missions to the Space Station
https://www.gao.gov/assets/710/704121.pdf
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 05, 2020, 09:16:29 PM
A Tesla gigafactory in Texas would be handy to make sustainable energy and transportation products, not far from the SpaceX Boca Chica Starship launch site.

Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 2/5/20, 12:23 AM
Giga Texas?
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1224926442527563776
Poll:  80% voted “Hell yeah”  vs.  “No.”  (Texas currently has laws against Tesla sales in the state.)

Elon Musk's Giga Texas May Help Address Tesla's Battery Constraints
https://www.tesmanian.com/blogs/tesmanian-blog/elon-musk-proposes-giga-texas-to-tesla-community

Quote
James Locke (@arctechinc) 2/5/20, 12:25 PM
Giga Texas I'm guessing will be vehicles, batteries and solar.  8)
Deliveries right to the Boca Chica SpaceX facilities with direct flights to orbit, Moon and Mars.
Giga Low Earth Orbit in the next 10 years?  :)
https://twitter.com/arctechinc/status/1225108274858491904
- I'm waiting for Elon's plan for his starship fleet in orbit. Current ISS is not designed for that so new space station will be needed to house, fuel and supply starships and crews.
Not only that eventually makes more sense to build larger starship in space

Eric Dehais (@polareclipse1) 2/5/20, 2:08 PM
 … Use Starship to build a new station with advanced mass-produced modules 8.5m vs 4.5m wide. Adaptable for labs, manufacturing, astronomy and revenue-generating space tourism.
- Starship could also ease ISS disassembly by bringing back modules intact instead of risking fiery de-orbits. They're ready for enshrinement in world's museums
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 06, 2020, 01:41:10 AM
—- Starlink approved in Australia:
Elon Musk's ambitious $10b plan to fix Australia's poor internet
https://amp.9news.com.au/article/9fd2fa06-ea45-4cca-8c69-7bf0cde2c04a

Elon Musk replied:
“Starlink will be great for any sparsely populated areas with expensive or little to no connectivity!”
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1225192950956744704


—- Starlink competition:  34 OneWeb satellites are set to launch tomorrow from Kazakhstan.
First satellites off OneWeb’s new Florida assembly line set for launch this week
Quote
After satellite deployment, the Fregat upper stage will perform a deorbit burn to burn up in the atmosphere, ensuring the spent rocket does not create unnecessary space debris.  OneWeb satellites are each designed for a five-year lifetime. 
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/02/04/first-satellites-off-onewebs-new-florida-assembly-line-set-for-launch-this-week/
   
     Edit:  Launch successful.
    Arianespace launches first large batch of OneWeb satellites on Soyuz rocket
    https://spacenews.com/arianespace-launches-first-large-batch-of-oneweb-satellites-on-soyuz-rocket/
   

—-  SpaceX Smallsat Rideshare Program - update
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 2/5/20, 1:30 PM
Small satellite operators can now book their ride to orbit online → spacex.com/smallsat
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1225124647391227905
“Dedicated rideshare missions as low as $1M.” 
Looks like monthly launches to LEO begin July 2020.  Periodic launches to Sun-Synchronous Orbit, also.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 06, 2020, 07:35:41 PM
Musk’s SpaceX Plans a Spinoff, IPO for Starlink Business
Quote
Elon Musk’s SpaceX plans to spin out and pursue a public offering of its its budding space-internet business Starlink, giving investors a chance to buy into one of the most promising operations within the closely held company.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. has already launched more than 240 satellites to build out Starlink, which will start delivering internet services to customers from space this summer, President Gwynne Shotwell said Thursday at a private investor event hosted by JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Miami.
“Right now, we are a private company, but Starlink is the right kind of business that we can go ahead and take public,” said Shotwell, SpaceX’s chief operating officer. “That particular piece is an element of the business that we are likely to spin out and go public.”

Investors have to this point had limited ways to own a piece of SpaceX, which has become one of the most richly valued venture-backed companies in the U.S. by dominating the commercial rocket industry. It flies satellites into orbit for customers including the U.S. military, carries cargo to the International Space Station and aims to start flying NASA astronauts and high-paying tourists soon.
But the rocket-launch business remains competitive and tough. Starlink and its ability to provide high-speed internet across the globe has helped private investors in SpaceX justify a roughly $33 billion valuation. Musk has long maintained that the parent is unlikely to go public until it is regularly ferrying people to Mars. …
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-06/spacex-likely-to-spin-off-starlink-business-and-pursue-an-ipo

—-
SpaceX's first NASA astronaut launch closer than ever as spacecraft and rocket near Florida
Quote
In short, Couluris revealed that the Crew Dragon spacecraft – capsule C206 and an expendable trunk – assigned to SpaceX’s ‘Demo-2’ NASA astronaut launch debut could arrive at the company’s Florida Dragon processing facilities as early as mid-February, just a week or two from now. At the same time, comments the SpaceX engineer made about the number of SpaceX rocket boosters currently in Florida heavily implied that the Falcon 9 rocket assigned to said astronaut launch debut is already at KSC Launch Complex 39A (or at least nearby).

In other words, after Crew Dragon arrives, SpaceX will have all the hardware on hand and ready for its first NASA astronaut launch – arguably the single most important mission in the company’s history. Barring calamity, all that will remain is a few weeks of processing and an indeterminately long period of NASA/SpaceX reviews and paperwork. Elon Musk recently stated that he was confident that Crew Dragon Demo-2 would be fully ready to launch as early as April 2020, although May or June are also a strong possibility.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-nasa-astronaut-launch-closer-than-ever/

—-
SpaceX wants to build Starships in days with water tower manufacturing tech
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-water-tower-manufacturing-tech/

—-
NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for Earth Science Mission
December 2022 on Falcon 9 (flight proven) from Cape Canaveral.
February 04, 2020
Quote
NASA has selected SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, to provide launch services for the agency’s Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission.

The total cost for NASA to launch PACE is approximately $80.4 million, which includes the launch service and other mission related costs. The PACE mission currently is targeted to launch in December 2022 on a Falcon 9 Full Thrust rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The PACE mission represents the nation’s next great investment in understanding and protecting our home planet. The mission will provide global ocean color, cloud, and aerosol data that will provide unprecedented insights into oceanographic and atmospheric responses to Earth’s changing climate. PACE will help scientists investigate the diversity of organisms fueling marine food webs and the U.S. economy, and deliver advanced data products to reduce uncertainties in global climate models and improve our interdisciplinary understanding of the Earth system.

For more information about NASA’s Earth science programs, visit:
https://www.nasa.gov/earth 
SpaceX F9: PACE - Cape Canaveral - December 2022
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=50059.0

Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 07, 2020, 12:48:03 AM
Damn, Boeing.  :o

NASA safety panel calls for reviews after second Starliner software problem
February 6, 2020
Quote
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — A NASA safety panel is recommending a review of Boeing’s software verification processes after revealing there was a second software problem during a CST-100 Starliner test flight that could have led to a “catastrophic” failure.

That new software problem, not previously revealed by NASA or Boeing, was discussed during a Feb. 6 meeting of NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel that examined the December uncrewed test flight of Starliner that was cut short by a timer error.

That anomaly was discovered during ground testing while the spacecraft was in orbit, panel member Paul Hill said. “While this anomaly was corrected in flight, if it had gone uncorrected, it would have led to erroneous thruster firings and uncontrolled motion during [service module] separation for deorbit, with the potential for a catastrophic spacecraft failure,” he said.


The exact cause of the failure remains under investigation by Boeing and NASA, who are also still examining the timer failure previously reported. Those problems, Hill said, suggested broader issues with how Boeing develops and tests the software used by the spacecraft.

“The panel has a larger concern with the rigor of Boeing’s verification processes,” he said. The panel called for reviews of Boeing’s flight software integration and testing processes. “Further, with confidence at risk for a spacecraft that is intended to carry humans in space, the panel recommends an even broader Boeing assessment of, and corrective actions in, Boeing’s [systems engineering and integration] processes and verification testing.”

The panel added that all those investigations and reviews be completed as “required input for a formal NASA review to determine flight readiness for either another uncrewed flight test or proceeding directly to a crewed test flight.”


Sanders painted a more optimistic view of SpaceX’s commercial crew work during the meeting. She said SpaceX still has to resolve a number of technical issues, such as the interaction of titanium with nitrogen tetroxide, which was blamed for the explosion of a Crew Dragon spacecraft during preparations for a static fire test of its abort engines in April 2019. But, she added, “the end appears to be in sight” for that work.

“The panel’s assessment of the status of SpaceX is that NASA is at a point where there is not a question of whether they will be flying crew in the near term, but when, and under what risk conditions,” she said.
https://spacenews.com/nasa-safety-panel-calls-for-reviews-after-second-starliner-software-problem/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 07, 2020, 01:41:52 AM
Related:  Boeing plane software fix causes additional problems

Boeing finds another software problem on the 737 Max
Feb 6, 2020
Quote
Boeing has discovered another software problem on the beleaguered 737 Max that will have to be fixed before the airplane returns to the skies, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. It’s at least the third different software problem that has been discovered since the plane was grounded in March of last year following a pair of fatal crashes that claimed the lives of 346 people.

The new issue apparently has to do with a warning light that helps tell pilots when the trim system — a part of the plane that can lift or lower the nose — isn’t working. Federal Aviation Administration head Steve Dickson said during a talk in London on Thursday that the light was “staying on for longer than a desired period,” according to Bloomberg.

Boeing and the FAA have previously disclosed two other glitches that were discovered during the top-to-bottom review of the plane. In January, Boeing announced that it found a problem in the startup process of the plane’s flight computers, which was serious enough for the company and the FAA to delay a key test flight. That followed a previous flaw in the flight computer discovered last June that the FAA said “could cause the plane to dive in a way that pilots had difficulty recovering from in simulator tests.”

What’s worrisome about this new glitch is that it’s a direct result of the fixes Boeing made to those previous flaws, Boeing said Thursday. The trim system flaw “resulted from Boeing’s redesign the two flight computers that control the 737 Max to make them more resilient to failure,” Bloomberg reported, which Boeing later confirmed. The new glitch is also more directly related to a system that was involved in the original problem with the 737 Max. ...
https://www.theverge.com/2020/2/6/21126364/boeing-737-max-software-glitch-flaw-problem
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 07, 2020, 03:49:54 AM
Preparing for Starship mass production.

Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 2/4/20, 4:19 AM
Starship career day at the Stargate building (Boca Chica Blvd, TX) this Thursday from 3pm to 9pm!
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1224623398460018688
- This is mainly for staffing up 4 production shifts for 24/7 operations, but engineers, supervisors & support personnel are certainly needed too. A super hardcore work ethic, talent for building things, common sense & trustworthiness are required, the rest we can train.


[Obligatory Stargate gif reply...]
https://twitter.com/svennpetter/status/1224623681181306881
...

Job fair, SpaceX style ;D
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 2/6/20, 9:34 PM
SpaceX started with a mariachi band party. Great vibes here in Boca Chica, Texas!
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1225608700477440000

Gaelic (@Gaelic_Neilson) 2/6/20, 9:25 PM

Texas Mariachi Band & Food trucks down at Boca Chica at SpaceX and people are lining up for JOBS & Elon Musk is there!
https://twitter.com/gaelic_neilson/status/1225606439407902720

Victor DLS (@victor_dls) 2/6/20, 8:53 PM

Elon really brought a mariachi band out here

https://twitter.com/victor_dls/status/1225598450475114496
Photo below.  And the building (not a tent!) really is labeled “Stargate”!
Second photo is famously from the beginning of SpaceX.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 07, 2020, 07:55:06 PM
One more (sorry), in case you want to catch today’s webcast.

NASA on Boeing:
“…the team found the two critical software defects were not detected ahead of flight despite multiple safeguards.  Ground intervention prevented loss of vehicle in both cases.”

NASA Shares Initial Findings from Boeing Starliner Orbital Flight Test Investigation
https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2020/02/07/nasa-shares-initial-findings-from-boeing-starliner-orbital-flight-test-investigation/

NASA will be holding a media teleconference at 3:30 p.m. EST Friday, Feb. 7.
Audio of the teleconference will stream live online at:  https://www.nasa.gov/live

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-boeing-to-provide-update-on-starliner-orbital-flight-test-reviews
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: vox_mundi on February 07, 2020, 08:32:38 PM
^   The team also looked into a third problem, an intermittent space-to-ground communication problem that hampered controllers' ability to command and manage the capsule.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 08, 2020, 02:55:44 AM
^   The team also looked into a third problem, an intermittent space-to-ground communication problem that hampered controllers' ability to command and manage the capsule.

Communications failed due to the high noise level on the frequency when Starliner was over certain locations, a Boeing rep said.  Which they believe was due to that frequency being close to that of cell phone towers. :o  ::)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 08, 2020, 02:57:57 AM
Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) 2/7/20, 6:11 PM
Audio replay of today's teleconference where Boeing and NASA representatives updated the media on the status of the Starliner investigation.
(B-roll footage from @TheFavoritist during Orbital Flight Test media activities.)

Boeing, NASA update the media on Starliner anomalies - Teleconference audio (2/7/2020) - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xv5UX2j2UBs

   —-
Quote
Chris G - NSF (@ChrisG_NSF) 2/7/20, 4:57 PM
One of the more interesting moments in the telecon regarding #Starliner was when a @BoeingSpace NASA representative asserted they didn’t have to tell media or taxpayers about 2nd software issue because “we fixed it. You wouldn’t want us to talk about something that didn’t happen.“
https://twitter.com/chrisg_nsf/status/1225901456815001600
So… what else “didn’t happen”?  And by extension, what else aren’t you telling us?

Quote
Chris G - NSF (@ChrisG_NSF) 2/7/20, 6:02 PM
In fairness, it was NOT @BoeingSpace who said this, it was @NASA's new Associate Administrator for Human Exploration... Doug Loverro. Apologies to Boeing. It was hard to keep track of who was speaking at times. Nevertheless, the statement was said. Just by NASA.
https://twitter.com/chrisg_nsf/status/1225917735772868610

Doug was the most defensive one on the call, claiming an additional uncrewed test flight might not be needed, because, “You don’t check out the pressure in the spare tire by driving the car.”

Learned a new phrase on the call: “process escapes.”  Referring to the numerous mistakes that somehow weren’t caught at any point in the development, coding, and testing process — not by Boeing, and not by NASA, who was charged with certifying the work.

Boeing: We need to reverify all the software code. We’re making a plan how to do that.
The spacecraft has “about a million lines of code.”
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 09, 2020, 03:30:04 PM
StarshipS:
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 2/9/20, 12:36 AM
Back in Boca
[Photo below.]
< Wow! Looks like you’ve probably got all the bulkheads for SN-1 ready! How long before it’s fully stacked and vertical?

Elon Musk: First two domes in frame are for SN2, third is SN1 thrust dome
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1226379201021972481

SpaceX Boca Chica - Night Ops - Rings and Bulkhead Mate

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZ3oClvpImc


Starship to make 20km flight no earlier than March.
Quote
According to a new filing with the Federal Communications Commission, SpaceX has applied to fly its Starship prototype vehicle to a 20km altitude from its Boca Chica site later this year. The application cites a window that opens on March 16 and closes on September 16 for the flight.

A key test ... The suborbital test and recovery represents a significant milestone for the Starship project, which has previously flown the stubby Starhopper test vehicle to an altitude of 150 meters. The flight of a full-scale Starship would show that SpaceX is well on its way to orbital status with the large upper stage designed to launch atop a Super Heavy rocket.
https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/02/rocket-report-starship-may-launch-this-spring-rideshare-wars-heat-up/


—-
Next Starlink launch is on the schedule for Feb 15:
Feb. 15 Falcon 9 • Starlink 4
Launch time: 1546 GMT (10:46 a.m. EST)
Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is expected to launch the fifth batch of approximately 60 satellites for SpaceX’s Starlink broadband network, a mission designated Starlink 4.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 09, 2020, 04:15:02 PM
Quote
Thomas Burghardt (@TGMetsFan98) 2/9/20, 8:59 AM
Via Isaac Knight on Facebook: the SpaceX Demo-2 Crew Dragon capsule has arrived at Cape Canaveral!
https://twitter.com/tgmetsfan98/status/1226505913919582208
Twitpic below.

Actually, it’s ‘Kight’, but “A Knight escorting a Dragon” has a nice ring to it. :)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 09, 2020, 08:31:38 PM
SpaceX's next rocket launch on track to break a 20-month-old booster reusability record
Quote
SpaceX wants to launch B1056 for the fourth time as early as February 15th. Close observers will note that that would imply just 61 days between B1056’s Kacific-1 and Starlink V1 L4 launches, a feat that would make it SpaceX’s fastest ‘booster turnaround’ ever.
...
According to a SpaceX engineer’s January 2020 presentation, SpaceX is currently capable of landing, refurbishing, and relaunching Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy boosters in about a month (~30 days). With Falcon 9 B1056’s Starlink V1 L4 launch, SpaceX will hopefully be taking its biggest step in 20 months towards the goal of reusing Falcon boosters in a matter of days.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-next-rocket-launch-new-booster-reuse-record/

——
Joe Rogan Experience #1425 - Garrett Reisman
Published on Feb 7, 2020. 
Garrett Reisman is a former NASA Astronaut. He is currently a Professor of Astronautical Engineering at USC and a Senior Advisor at SpaceX.

Topics include: the Space Shuttle, living undersea, living aboard the ISS, SpaceX, and Apple’s series “For All Mankind.”  Most of the SpaceX discussion begins around 1h 5min.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RG5pXTpLBI
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 10, 2020, 07:01:37 PM
Quote
Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) 2/10/20, 11:54 AM
Working date for SpaceX's Demo-2 launch is May 7. Dragon is in good shape.

Launch date is fluid and mission may move into late April, or push later into May depending on a number of variables not hardware related. No final decision yet on duration.

https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1226912345571635200

- Why don't they know the duration of the mission yet?   Short answer is there are a lot of moving parts. NASA wants to minimize time of 3 ISS crew members. Still not sure when first SpX operational mission will take place, or when Boeing's OFT flight will occur.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 11, 2020, 09:02:27 PM
All about the SpaceX Dragon mission:
NASA confirms Crew Dragon almost ready, mostly paperwork left
https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/02/historic-crew-dragon-flight-now-targeted-for-an-early-may-launch/

—-
Mostly about Boeing:
SpaceX set to launch NASA astronauts first after Boeing narrowly avoids catastrophe in space
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-first-private-nasa-astronaut-launch-boeing-catastrophe/

Related, from June 2019
Boeing’s 737 Max Software Outsourced to $9-an-Hour Engineers
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-28/boeing-s-737-max-software-outsourced-to-9-an-hour-engineers
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 11, 2020, 10:10:04 PM
This is big news.  Gerstenmaier is widely considered one of the world’s top specialists in flying humans in space, frequently testifying before Congress on the subject.  His knowledge of NASA and the Space Shuttle will be invaluable as the SpaceX Starship progresses.

SpaceX brings on NASA’s former top spaceflight official as it prepares to launch first astronauts
Quote
William Gerstenmaier, the former leader of NASA’s human spaceflight program, has now begun working at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, people familiar with his hiring told CNBC. In his new role Gerstenmaier is reporting to SpaceX vice president of mission assurance Hans Koenigsmann, those people said, as the company prepares to begin launching astronauts.
A SpaceX spokesperson confirmed that Gerstenmaier is a consultant for the company’s reliability engineering team.

Previously Gerstenmaier served as the NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations for nearly 14 years. In total he had a four decade career with NASA, working on programs ranging from the Space Shuttle to the International Space Station. Gerstenmaier is widely considered one of the world’s top specialists in flying humans in space, frequently testifying before Congress on the subject. ...
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/11/spacex-hires-former-nasa-official-william-gerstenmaier.html

Even the Director of Roskosmos, Dimitry Rogozin, tweeted his congrats:
“I congratulate the company on inviting a @SpaceX distinguished specialist engineer, former head of the manned program @NASA William Gerstenmaier. #МКС
I wish my friend success in his new job!”
Quote
Дмитрий Рогозин (@Rogozin) 2/11/20, 1:26 PM
Поздравляю компанию @SpaceX с приглашением на работу выдающегося специалиста-инженера, бывшего руководителя пилотируемой программы @NASA William Gerstenmaier. Билл внёс огромный вклад в успех проекта #МКС .
Желаю своему другу успехов на новом месте работы!
https://twitter.com/rogozin/status/1227297893981265920
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 12, 2020, 02:46:28 PM
SpaceX wins NASA contract to launch PACE Earth Observing System, but current administration has other plans
Quote
SpaceX recently snagged an $80.4 million NASA contract to launch an upcoming Earth-observing satellite sometime in 2022. That is, if the mission isn’t scrapped due to budgetary issues.

A used Falcon 9 rocket is slated to ferry the 3,748-lb. (1,700 kg) Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, and ocean Ecosystem satellite (aka PACE) to orbit sometime in December 2022. The mission, which provides data on oceans and particles in the atmosphere, is expected to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The satellite has been on the chopping block several times, but managed to avoid getting the ax so far. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-nasa-pace-contract-earth-observing-satellite/


========
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight):
This is a really in-depth feature on the residents of Boca Chica Village and what it's like living next door to SpaceX. Featuring the wonderful @BocaChicaGal and @SpacePadreIsle
Heck of a good read.

Why SpaceX Wants a Tiny Texas Neighborhood So Badly
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2020/02/space-x-texas-village-boca-chica/606382/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 13, 2020, 02:44:16 PM
SpaceX is in no rush for a Starlink IPO and that should terrify competitors
Quote
Bloomberg first broke the news with a snippet revealing that SpaceX COO and President Gwynne Shotwell had told a private investor event that Starlink could eventually IPO as an independent company. While undeniably important, a SpaceX source – after confirming the news – also told Reuters reporter Joey Roulette that it would be “several years” before the company might kick off the process of a Starlink IPO.

While a seemingly small piece of information at face value, the fact that SpaceX is years away from a potential Starlink IPO implies that the company is incredibly confident in where it stands today. Given that SpaceX only started ramping up its Starlink production rates and launch cadence a handful of months ago, that apparent confidence – assuming SpaceX’s respected President and COO isn’t lying to the faces of prospective investors – is no small feat.

Thanks to that production and launch cadence ramp, SpaceX is likely in the midst of one of the most capital-straining periods its Starlink program will ever experience. As a private company, SpaceX’s balance sheets are a black box to the public, but it’s safe to say that the it’s going through – or has already gone through – a phase of “production hell” similar to what Tesla experienced when it began building Roadsters, Model S/Xs, and Model 3s. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starlink-ipo-no-rush-competitors-scared/

——
Mega-Constellations of LEO Satellites and Optical Astronomy
Quote
No current national or international rules or guidelines for brightness of satellites.

• Amazon satellites visible to unaided eye? Depends on design and surface treatment.
• OneWeb not visible to eye, still saturate detectors.
...
SpaceX committed to reducing brightness:
– One treated DARKSAT launched early January. In position by end of Feb 2020 for measurements.
Probable that 2nd generation Starlinks will not be visible to unaided eye.

Regular telecons with SpaceX – 8 so far.
Quote
    Vera Rubin Obs/LSST and SpaceX
• The VRO/LSST survey is most impacted by bright satellite trails because of its unprecedented wide-deep-fast coverage of the sky 2022-2032.
• Original Starlinks will saturate VRO/LSST detectors.

• Joint VRO/LSST-SpaceX engineering teams working to change this:
– Make satellites fainter to avoid LSST detector saturation - one darker test satellite already launched.
– Changes to LSST readout to reduce artifacts from trails.
– Changes to telescope scheduling to avoid most bright satellites.
We find that SpaceX is committed to solving this problem.
Tony Tyson, VRO/LSST Chief Scientist
2020-Jan-24 NSF AAAC January 2020 24
https://www.nsf.gov/attachments/299316/public/12_Satellite_Constellations_and_Astronomy-Pat_Seitzer.pdf
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: nanning on February 13, 2020, 03:30:23 PM
What is the carbon footprint of SpaceX?
What are the emissions of a rocket launch?
Eyeing our future, is SpaceX sustainable? Are they outside regulations? Free to pollute?

Does SpaceX cancel the perceived benefits of Tesla?
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: solartim27 on February 13, 2020, 03:46:02 PM
I was very surprised that they are burning Kerosene in the current engines. There are rumors that cleaner fuel engines are in development.
From Smithsonian Magazine (which had lots of ads)
Quote
So what could possibly be wrong with this groundbreaking test flight? While visually appealing, cheaper and a major technological advancement, what about the environmental impact? The rocket is reusable, which means cutting down the resources required for the metal body of the rocket. However, the mass of most rockets are more than 95% fuel. Building bigger rockets with bigger payloads means more fuel is used for each launch. The current fuel for Falcon Heavy is RP-1 (a refined kerosene) and liquid oxygen, which creates a lot of carbon dioxide when burnt.

The amount of kerosene in three Falcon 9 rockets is roughly 440 tonnes and RP-1 has a 34 percent carbon content. This amount of carbon is a drop in the ocean compared to global industrial emissions as a whole, but if the SpaceX’s plan for a rocket launch every two weeks comes to fruition, this amount of carbon (approximately 4,000 tonnes per year) will rapidly become a bigger problem.

The LA Times has a good article going into more depth
https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-01-30/space-launch-carbon-emissions
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: blumenkraft on February 13, 2020, 03:57:43 PM
The question is, how many people use products coming out of this. Then you divide the CO2 used by that number.

If SpaceX has millions of customers one day, the footprint per capita will be rather low.

In absolute numbers, it should be still way lower than say the Formula one.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: kassy on February 13, 2020, 07:46:24 PM
That would be a fun metric to look at. What is the amount of launches per year?

F1 is in a way limited with 21 races or so (with cancellations). The cars themselves are rather efficient with engines that have to last and break less often and testing is limited which is very different when they had qualification engines in the 80ies and way toxic fuels and nearly unlimited testing (up to the Schumacher years).

Biggest numbers are probably flying the spectators around.

But how many fly for a Champions League season?

Also if you divide pure F1 emissions by people including those who only ever watch it on TV to calculate per capita numbers then that will be lo too?
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 14, 2020, 10:17:56 PM
I was very surprised that they are burning Kerosene in the current engines. There are rumors that cleaner fuel engines are in development.
...

There are many factors that go into a choice of propellant:  weight, power, chemical properties, thermal properties, storage difficulties.  The “kerosene” used in spacecraft is a highly refined version of the fuel.

The SpaceX Starship will burn Methane and Oxygen, which can be sustainably sourced from carbon dioxide and water — on earth and on Mars — a requirement for a reusable spacecraft.   

Though a launch burns a lot of fuel, it is negligible compared to the thousands of airplane flights that are burning fuel all day, every day.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 14, 2020, 10:24:29 PM
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 2/14/20, 2:34 PM
Crew Dragon in Florida ahead of its flight to and from the @Space_Station with @NASA astronauts @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug onboard!
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1228402225690472448
Photo below.

———
The “Capture the Flag” goal for the first astronauts to return to the ISS from U.S. soil refers to an actual, specific flag:
Quote
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 2/14/20, 2:48 PM
Thanks to @SpaceY_UK for finding the clip.
Atlantis STS-135 brought up a US flag, flown on Columbia STS-1, to be returned by the first crew to fly on a US vehicle launching from US soil after the Shuttle retired at the conclusion of that STS-135 mission.
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1228405637232631809
30-second clip from the ceremony at the link.

12-min ceremony on the ISS:  The STS-135 Crew Farewell Ceremony and Hatch Closing - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra2QX00R3R0


Quote
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 2/12/20, 12:50 PM
This is the flag in question:
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1227651322985537536
Two photos below.

Quote
Jay Reding (@JayReding) 2/14/20, 3:16 PM
I love the fact that no matter which company takes the flag, a member of the STS-135 crew will be there. Doug Hurley is on DM-2 and @Astro_Ferg is on the CFT flight. Nice symmetry between two eras of US spaceflight.
https://twitter.com/jayreding/status/1228412714034356225

STS-135 was the final flight of the Space Shuttle to the ISS.  The crew was limited to four persons because all the other shuttles had been retired, so no rescue spacecraft was available.  If there had been a problem with the shuttle, the astronauts would have remained on the ISS and returned home one at a time on Soyuz flights over the course of a year.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/STS-135

========
SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft nears last parachute tests before astronaut launch debut
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-crew-dragon-last-parachute-tests-astronaut-launch/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 15, 2020, 02:57:32 AM
SpaceX: "Static fire of Falcon 9 complete ahead of launching 60 Starlink satellites—due to poor weather in the recovery area tomorrow, now targeting launch on Sunday, February 16 at 10:25 a.m. EST, 15:25 UTC"
https://mobile.twitter.com/spacex/status/1228325869539610627

The booster supporting this mission previously launched the CRS-17 mission in May 2019, the CRS-18 mission in July 2019, and the JCSAT-18/Kacific1 mission in December 2019.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 16, 2020, 03:31:01 PM
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 2/15/20, 5:41 PM
Standing down from [Sunday’s] Starlink launch; team is taking a closer look at a second stage valve component. Now targeting Monday, February 17.
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1228811526464667648

Monday at approximately 10:04 a.m. EST (1504 GMT).

SpaceX test-fires Falcon 9 rocket; Starlink launch delayed to Monday
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/02/14/spacex-test-fires-falcon-9-rocket-for-starlink-launch-sunday/
Article includes the latest discussion of astronomical concerns about LEO satellite constellations.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 17, 2020, 02:11:21 PM
SpaceX website currently saying they will go live in two hours.  Launch at 10:04 ET?
https://www.spacex.com/webcast

SpaceX set to break Falcon reusability record with fifth Starlink launch
Quote
Each satellite weighs approximately 260 kilograms for a total payload mass of 15,600 kilograms.
Shortly after separation, the first 20 satellites will begin raising their orbits to the operational altitude of 550 kilometers. The 20 spacecraft will occupy one of three orbital planes being filled with Monday’s launch.
The remaining 40 satellites will move into two additional planes of 20 satellites each in the coming weeks.
SpaceX is filling as many orbital planes as possible per launch so that they can quickly provide reliable internet coverage. The company hopes to begin service to initial customers within a few months.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2020/02/spacex-falcon-reusability-record-fifth-starlink-launch/

Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 2/15/20, 3:32 AM
 Satellite albedo will drop significantly on almost every successive launch
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1228598015247536129

< When are you going to add laser links for comms? Is that even necessary for starting to offer service later this year?
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 2/15/20, 3:59 AM
 Direct links aren’t needed to offer service. Starlink will initially bounce signals off ground/ocean relays to get from satellite to satellite.

Quote
Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) 2/16/20, 12:14 PM 
The mission timeline for SpaceX's 5th Starlink mission is a bit different than the first four! There will only be one stage two burn before Starlink deployment.
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1229091771457712129
[Timeline image below.]

Joshua Green (@YellowstoneTen) 2/16/20, 1:02 PM
Celestrak's pre-launch TLEs have the stack going into a 212 by 386 km orbit.
celestrak.com/NORAD/elements…
< The insertion orbit is different so there is only one burn, and thus deployment can happen right after that
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 17, 2020, 02:17:36 PM
NASA has been very careful over the years to appear neutral as to whether Boeing or SpaceX would be first to launch crew to the ISS.  But in a recent tweet [image below] and a blog post, they clearly stated SpaceX Dragon will be first.  (Until they censored it.)

In a since-deleted tweet, NASA revealed that SpaceX’s latest Crew Dragon spacecraft “will launch the first crew from American soil since 2011”.

Eric Ralph.  Feb 16
NASA confirms SpaceX will become the first private company to send astronauts to the space station
Quote
...A second OFT would almost certainly delay Boeing’s astronaut launch debut by 6-12 months. SpaceX’s astronaut launch debut, for example, was delayed at least 9 months after a Crew Dragon capsule exploded during thruster testing after a flawless orbital launch and recovery

As a result, even though SpaceX’s Crew Dragon ‘Demo-2’ astronaut launch debut is likely more than two months away, even some part of NASA – famous for incredibly neutral and conservative public statements – appears to be all but certain that SpaceX will launch astronauts first. 
https://www.teslarati.com/nasa-spacex-first-company-orbital-astronaut-launch/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 17, 2020, 06:06:20 PM
Succesful launch and satellites deployed. 
F9 booster made a “soft ocean landing” near OCISLY drone ship. You can see steam or smoke off the right side of the picture. 
(Waiting on SpaceX’s explanation, but it looked to me like the booster’s grid fins were not moving normally.  In any case, the rocket may have recognized that control was out of parameters and purposely touched down away from the ship — at least one other booster has done this before.)

=====
Edit: 
Quote
Julia (@julia_bergeron) 2/17/20, 11:44 AM
A reminder about where the #SpaceXFleet is currently located with #B1056 reportedly intact and floating. Recovery efforts will have to wait until the booster is safed IF they happen at all. GO Quest is the one to watch as they have the SpaceX techs onboard.
https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1229446592492691457
Ship tracking maps at the link.
=====

Full video here (only 30 minutes, due to new elliptical orbit permitting quick deployment):
Starlink Mission - YouTube
#https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xeX62mLcf8

Video Highlights:
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 2/17/20, 10:07 AM
Liftoff!
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1229422221975666688

SpaceX (@SpaceX) 2/17/20, 10:12 AM
Fairing deploy
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1229423261647134721

SpaceX (@SpaceX) 2/17/20, 10:23 AM
Successful deployment of 60 Starlink satellites confirmed!
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1229426122720346113
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 17, 2020, 06:23:07 PM
Quote
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 2/17/20, 10:58 AM
And there's two sections of Starship SN1 together. Hu-mans [on the crane lift] for scale.
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1229434839058833408
Video at the link. Other clips from minutes earlier are up-thread at this tweet.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 18, 2020, 04:36:30 PM
At the press briefing after the successful Dragon In-Flight Abort test in January 2020:
Asked about private customers, Musk said: “We have no announcement to make at this time about flying private customers.”

Then this morning, SpaceX retweeted:
Quote
Space Adventures (@SpaceAdventures) 2/18/20, 9:04 AM
Space Adventures announces agreement with @SpaceX to launch private citizens on Dragon spacecraft spaceadventures.com/space-adventur… 
https://twitter.com/spaceadventures/status/1229768605115600896

And the Space Adventures site crashed!  :o ;D
Quote
< I think there is some interest from the public.
[Image:  “Service Unavailable” message]
Eric Anderson (@ec_anderson) 2/18/20, 9:31 AM

Don’t worry. Dragon is far more capable than our website
https://twitter.com/ec_anderson/status/1229775419232178177

Quote
Space Adventures (@SpaceAdventures) 2/18/20, 9:42 AM
Honoring our combined histories, this @SpaceX Crew Dragon mission will be a special experience and a once in a lifetime opportunity - capable of reaching twice the altitude of any prior civilian astronaut mission or space station visitor.
@ec_anderson Chairman, Space Adventures
https://twitter.com/spaceadventures/status/1229778172532666368

Eric Anderson (@ec_anderson) 2/18/20, 9:29 AM
This is a free-flyer mission. No visit to the ISS. Will attempt to reach 2-3x higher altitude than station. Quite unique.
https://twitter.com/ec_anderson/status/1229774880775774211
- At an altitude of ~3x the ISS, the view is ~10x, as it increases by square of altitude.
       < Sounds VERY unique. This is going to be unreal!
            How much preliminary training required I wonder! Sign me up.
       Eric Anderson (@ec_anderson):  a few weeks. ie significantly less than the few months
            required for previous missions or ISS missions



Eric Anderson (@ec_anderson) 2/18/20, 9:38 AM
The @SpaceAdventures on @SpaceX Dragon free-flyer announced today can provide orbital views not seen by anyone since Gemini 11 - check out the change as the altitude increases:

Here's the View from the Highest Ever Orbital Mission

https://www.popsci.com/heres-view-highest-ever-orbital-mission/

https://twitter.com/ec_anderson/status/1229777299056152576


Eric Anderson (@ec_anderson) 1/19/20, 11:30 AM
A Story from Space Adventures Beginnings ...
Windows of Opportunity
(and what they really mean)

https://spaceadventures.com/blog/the-story-of-space-adventures-windows-of-opportunity/

 https://twitter.com/ec_anderson/status/1218933762999889921


SpaceX will launch private citizens into orbit
https://www.theverge.com/2020/2/18/21142137/spacex-tourism-orbit-earth-private-citizens-dragon-space-flight

I still can’t pull up the Space Adventures website.  Enjoy it later!
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles on February 18, 2020, 05:41:58 PM
F9 booster made a “soft ocean landing” near OCISLY drone ship. You can see steam or smoke off the right side of the picture. 

steam ?? smoke??
surely it is just a 'cloud' of spray?
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles on February 18, 2020, 05:51:26 PM
In any case, the rocket may have recognized that control was out of parameters and purposely touched down away from the ship — at least one other booster has done this before.)

You probably know, but in case others don't:

The booster targets its ballistic descent to miss the ASDS. It corrects to land on the ship during the landing burn. If anything is off nominal, then it will not correct its course so as to intentionally miss the landing.

Landing legs have been deployed each time. Perhaps they can take the abuse by design and it helps avoid the engines from being immersed as deeply as if not deployed? Or maybe just in case it is above drone ship but for some reason thinks it isn't? Or is there a different reason?
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 18, 2020, 06:21:35 PM
In any case, the rocket may have recognized that control was out of parameters and purposely touched down away from the ship — at least one other booster has done this before.)

You probably know, but in case others don't:

The booster targets its ballistic descent to miss the ASDS. It corrects to land on the ship during the landing burn. If anything is off nominal, then it will not correct its course so as to intentionally miss the landing.

Landing legs have been deployed each time. Perhaps they can take the abuse by design and it helps avoid the engines from being immersed as deeply as if not deployed? Or maybe just in case it is above drone ship but for some reason thinks it isn't? Or is there a different reason?

Hans Koenigsmann stated that deploying the legs helped retard the rotational motion experienced during the failed CRS-16 landing. 

Interestingly, the same circular/gear-shaped... ice accumulation?  was seen falling away from the Falcon in that descent as it was in this one:
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 18, 2020, 06:29:05 PM
F9 booster made a “soft ocean landing” near OCISLY drone ship. You can see steam or smoke off the right side of the picture. 

steam ?? smoke??
surely it is just a 'cloud' of spray?

I’d have to watch the video again, but I thought the ‘cloud’ movement was slow and mostly horizontal, without a gravity arc,  suggesting smaller droplets than sea spray.  So I figured it was rocket exhaust, or steam caused by the intense heat of a rocket/engines after re-entry.

The report I saw said the rocket was floating, so it did not break up or crash.


Edit:
Quote
Gavin - SpaceXFleet Updates (@SpaceXFleet) 2/18/20, 2:35 AM
Ms. Tree, Ms. Chief and GO Quest are slowly moving north, presumably following the drifting booster.

Tug Hawk and OCISLY are well underway. They are completely clear of the area and en-route to Port Canaveral.
https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1229670734211014656
Ship tracking maps at the link.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 18, 2020, 06:43:02 PM
The ad/video, with specs: up to 5 days, few weeks training, conducted in the US.  Expected launch: late 2021 - mid 2022 from Florida.  (So, no need to learn Russian! ;))

Dragon Low Earth Orbit Spaceflight Experience

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsVXz1Fsxbk

———
The press release:

Space Adventures Announces Agreement with SpaceX to Launch Private Citizens on the Crew Dragon Spacecraft
Quote
Building on the success of Crew Dragon’s first demonstration mission to the International Space Station in March 2019 and the recent successful test of the spacecraft’s launch escape system, Space Adventures, Inc. has entered into an agreement with SpaceX to fly private citizens on the first Crew Dragon free-flyer mission. This will provide up to four individuals with the opportunity to break the world altitude record for private citizen spaceflight and see planet Earth the way no one has since the Gemini program.
 
If interested parties are secured, this mission will be the first orbital space tourism experience provided entirely with American technology. Private citizens will fly aboard SpaceX’s fully autonomous Crew Dragon spacecraft launched by the company’s Falcon 9 rocket, the same spacecraft and launch vehicle that SpaceX will use to transport NASA astronauts to the International Space Station.
 
“This historic mission will forge a path to making spaceflight possible for all people who dream of it, and we are pleased to work with the  Space Adventures’ team on the mission,” said Gwynne Shotwell, President and Chief Operating Officer, SpaceX.
 
“Creating unique and previously impossible opportunities for private citizens to experience space is why Space Adventures exists. From 2001-2009 our clients made history by flying over 36 million miles in space on eight separate missions to the ISS. Since its maiden mission in 2010, no engineering achievement has consistently impressed the industry more than the Dragon/Falcon 9 reusable system. Honoring our combined histories, this Dragon mission will be a special experience and a once in a lifetime opportunity - capable of reaching twice the altitude of any prior civilian astronaut mission or space station visitor,” said Eric Anderson, Chairman, Space Adventures.
 
About Space Adventures
 
Space Adventures, the company that organized the flights for the world’s first private space explorers, is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. metro area. It offers a variety of programs available today, including spaceflight missions to the International Space Station, around the Moon, record-breaking orbital missions, and various training and spaceflight qualification programs. The company’s orbital spaceflight clients include Dennis Tito, Mark Shuttleworth, Greg Olsen, Anousheh Ansari, Charles Simonyi, Richard Garriott, and Guy Laliberté. For more information, please visit www.spaceadventures.com
http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=55308
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 20, 2020, 03:04:28 AM
Apparently recovery operations are underway for Falcon 9 booster B1056:
Quote
Gavin - SpaceXFleet Updates (@SpaceXFleet) 2/19/20, 7:03 PM
Fleet update! Now arriving at the recovery operation is a large platform vessel called Commander, having left Philadelphia last night. Commander has 705m² of deck space and a small crane.

Ms. Tree and Ms. Chief are also still at the scene, some ~120km south of Morehead City
https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1230281826717093890
[ Images below. ]

Gavin - SpaceXFleet Updates (@SpaceXFleet) 2/19/20, 7:21 PM

Picture of crane for reference. Certainly not capable of lifting a whole booster. The vessel is larger than GO Quest/Searcher/Navigator at 240ft vs 170ft in length.
[ Photos at the link. ]

< BRING B1056 HOMEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :))))
 
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 21, 2020, 01:50:31 PM
SAOCOM 1B will be the first polar launch from Florida since the 1960’s. 
SpaceX sets date for first Florida launch of its kind in more than half a century
Quote
March is lining up to be an exceptionally busy month for SpaceX, with two separate Falcon 9 launches currently scheduled on March 2nd and March 4th and another Starlink mission likely later in the month. With a little luck, SpaceX might be able to end Q1 2020 with its first four-launch month ever.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-florida-first-polar-launch-half-a-century/

It’s only permitted now due to SpaceX’s Autonomous Flight Termination System.
https://www.spaceflightinsider.com/space-centers/ccafs/automated-flight-safety-improving-space-access/

====
SpaceX is one step closer to building Starship at the Port of Los Angeles, California.
Quote
Pauline Acalin (@w00ki33) 2/20/20, 1:42 PM
Permit was approved by Board of Commissioners, so next step is approval by LA City Council. Meeting for that will be held next week.
https://twitter.com/w00ki33/status/1230563402860257280

Background:
SpaceX wants to build its Mars Starship at Port of L.A. — again
https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-02-20/spacex-mars-starship-port-of-los-angeles

==== Meanwhie, back in Boca Chica:
”It is understood that SpaceX is currently hoping to have the entire vehicle stacked and moved to the pad by the end of the month.
If all goes well, a static fire of the SN1 vehicle’s three Raptor engines could then occur in early March, potentially setting the stage for the 20 kilometer hop within a few weeks of the static fire.”

SpaceX beginning final assembly of Starship SN1 ahead of roll to the pad
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2020/02/spacex-final-assembly-starship-sn1-roll-pad/

Quote
Jack Beyer (@thejackbeyer) 2/20/20, 12:41 PM
Ohhh. New crane. Let’s stack!!
https://twitter.com/thejackbeyer/status/1230548045420466177
Image below; Video clip and other photos at the link.

====
Looks like it was a tough recovery all around.  (Sea/wind conditions were challenging!)
Did the fairings collide in midair?

https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1230603880301518848
Photos below.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: vox_mundi on February 21, 2020, 05:05:08 PM
https://youtu.be/W8p9HfSLvEA
Activity Thursday at SpaceX's launch site near Boca Chica Beach.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/02/elon-musk-says-spacex-driving-toward-orbital-starship-flight-in-2020/

SpaceX founder Elon Musk said Thursday the company is "driving hard" toward an orbital flight of the company's Starship vehicle this year.

It has not been decided yet whether this orbital launch will take place from the company's new facility near Boca Chica Beach in South Texas, a site at Cape Canaveral in Florida, or perhaps even an ocean-based launch platform. The company is pressing ahead with all three options in parallel. The orbital mission would involve a future iteration of Starship with six Raptor engines, Musk said.

... Videos recently shot from public roads through the Boca Chica site show the company has made demonstrable progress with its SN1 vehicle, having begun to stack its various components. This rocket could be rolled to the launch site about a mile away from the factory later this month, with fueling tests possibly beginning in early March, followed by a static fire test. If all goes well, SN1 could attempt a test flight as high as 20km later this spring, although SpaceX has not yet obtained a launch permit from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Under this approach to the design of spaceflight hardware, there will undoubtedly be more setbacks like the November accident. But SpaceX is willing to tolerate some failure to go fast. With "iterative design" the company builds vehicles, tests them, and flies them as quickly as possible. This approach strongly contrasts with more traditional aerospace, in which years are spent refining a vehicle's design before building a vehicle. This typically results in fewer explosions but requires a lot more time and funding.

Musk explained that iteration in the Falcon 9 rocket program slowed down between 2010 and 2018 as its payloads for NASA and commercial customers became "too important" to risk. However, during the early phase of the Starship program, SpaceX is seeking to build vehicles for as little as $5 million each using mostly stainless steel materials. It is not putting any payloads on these first flights. "Starship production, and thus iterative improvement, will be much faster than Falcon," he said.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 21, 2020, 08:57:51 PM
From vox_mundi’s article:
Quote
SpaceX founder Elon Musk said Thursday the company is "driving hard" toward an orbital flight of the company's Starship vehicle this year.

Musk has said that Starship orbital flight essentially requires the Super Heavy booster.  A Starship without cargo can make it to orbit in a single stage but it would not be able to have a heat shield, landing propellant or landing legs.  A useable “Single stage to orbit” rocket remains just a dream.

——-
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 2/20/20, 6:24 PM
Hardest problem by far is building the production system of something this big. 2nd hardest is achieving full & rapid reuse with payload to orbit of ~2%.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1230634294034542598
- F9 iteration slowed down as payloads became too important to risk.  Little change is expected going forward with F9/FH or Dragon. Starship production & thus iterative improvement will be much faster than Falcon. Driving hard for fully reusable orbital flight this year!


=====
SLS update:

“The previous NASA-provided No Earlier Than (NET) November 2020 launch date of Artemis 1 was always viewed as political in nature and not an accurate reflection of the rocket’s readiness.”

SLS debut slips to NET 18 April 2021:
Quote
The 20 February 2020 NASA press release regarding the KSC launch team’s performance of Artemis 1 countdown and launch simulations was the first NASA release to publicly confirm SLS will not fly this year, noting “NASA is preparing for the first uncrewed flight test next year of the agency’s powerful new rocket and spacecraft in development for the Artemis lunar exploration program.”

To this end, the Kennedy Space Center is now actively planning for a NET 18 April 2021 launch, and the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, has been given direction from mission planners to begin developing trajectory data for Launch Period 7, stretching from 18 April to 4 May 2021.
...
As of early-January, the Core Stage was not expected to arrive at the Kennedy Space Center from Stennis until January 2021. ...
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2020/02/sls-debut-april-2021-ksc-teams-launch-sims/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 22, 2020, 04:22:26 PM
The STARLINK-46 satellite reentered the atmosphere approximately Feb/20/2020 at 17:43 UTC. Making it the first satellite of the constellation to be intentionally deorbited. - spacex

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/f7qphn/the_starlink46_satellite_reentered_the_atmosphere/

http://www.satview.org/?sat_id=44246U

- This satellite was launched back in May 2019. The rest of the test batch of satellites won’t probably be a part of the constellation either since they are lowering their orbits. There are 38 satellites in 530km orbits [that] are lowering their orbits.
The reason why I think so is that v.1 satellites have multiple upgrades:
   •   they are fully demisable (v0.9 only 95%)
   •   2x more steerable phased array broadband beams
   •   400% increase in data throughput per satellite
   •   Ka-band antenna system (v0.9 doesn´t have any)

< And the scale is also amazing. They chose to launch 60 test satellites into orbit with no clear reason why you would need 60 satellites that will never generate any revenue,
>>They tested the flat-pack launch technique. And these satellites may have been missing vital components, as they weighed 227kg instead of the current 260kg.
<> With 60 satellites they could test handover between satellites, impact of weather, consistency of signal/connection speed, have longer test windows, verify tracking and communicating with multiple sats, test prototype user antennas and ground link station tracking, etc,. And regardless of their short life, it would allow them to test their processes and systems for tracking and managing the constellation.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 23, 2020, 03:14:11 PM
Unique documentation of Starship SN1 coming together.
Quote
Jack Beyer (@thejackbeyer) 2/22/20, 11:47 PM
My video from today has a whole bunch of timelapse footage of the lift plus an extra special treat: audio of the comms between the crane operator and the crew. Give it a listen, it’s so cool to be able to hear whats going on as it happens. #Starship #SpaceX
https://twitter.com/thejackbeyer/status/1231440384410181637
- I expect them to never broadcast in the clear again after this

Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 2/22/20, 11:29 PM
At SpaceX Boca Chica, Starship SN1 underwent the stacking of the tank's aft and forward sections on Saturday.
Filmed and edited by Jack Beyer (@thejackbeyer) for NSF.

https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1231435860383543296

SpaceX Boca Chica - Starship SN1 Aft/Fwd Tank Section Stacking

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YNvxqArGsQ

 “46,200” …pounds?
Compare current Starship construction to the prototype behind it….

——
Elon Musk: The Persuader hammer will fix SN1.  SN 2+ will have better fit & weld quality. Later serial numbers will use bigger stampings, so much less weld length.

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1230276876930863105
[15 sec pan around the “tent.”  Various rocket rings/forms/parts. ]
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 23, 2020, 03:31:04 PM
Astronaut training for DM-2.
Quote
Johnson Space Center (@NASA_Johnson) 2/22/20, 1:00 PM
The big day is on the way: We're launching astronauts to space from American soil once again.
@Astro_Doug Hurley & @AstroBehnken continued @Space_Station & spacewalk training this week for their upcoming flight on NASA's @SpaceX DM-2 @Commercial_Crew mission. #LaunchAmerica
https://twitter.com/nasa_johnson/status/1231277497985183746
Photos below, another at the link.

Quote
Col. Doug Hurley (@Astro_Doug) 2/22/20, 3:13 PM
It is coming up quickly! Still lots to do though. The last week @NASA_Johnson included EVA and robotics training as well as medical testing and training. We also had a day of @SpaceX lessons here in Houston. Headed back to California next week. More #CrewDragon training!
https://twitter.com/astro_doug/status/1231311157874626560

(Doing all this training strongly suggests a longer mission duration.)

“Behnken has conducted six spacewalks over two shuttle missions, but the last was in February, 2010. He will need some spacewalk proficiency training if the Dragon mission is extended. (Hurley, a pilot on the shuttle, never performed a spacewalk.)”
https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/02/historic-crew-dragon-flight-now-targeted-for-an-early-may-launch/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 24, 2020, 02:56:56 AM
Responding to same JSC tweet as Doug Hurley, Bob Behnken wrote:
Quote
Bob Behnken (@AstroBehnken) 2/23/20, 7:48 PM
Like all @NASA_Astronauts, we'll be ready for whatever @Space_Station needs during our visit. These photos are just some of the recent training for @NASA's & @SpaceX's DM2 test flight. But for some reason, housekeeping (our top skill!) didn't make the highlights...
https://twitter.com/astrobehnken/status/1231742619304284162

=====
Is this evidence of Russian confidence that Dragon will launch on schedule? Concern that it won’t? Or, just a normal turn of events?

Russian space agency replaces cosmonauts on next space station crew
February 19, 2020 Stephen Clark
Quote
Citing medical reasons, Russia’s space agency announced Wednesday that it is replacing two cosmonauts who were scheduled to fly on the next Soyuz mission to the International Space Station in April with backup crew members.

Russian cosmonauts Nikolai Tikhonov and Andrei Babkin were training for launch April 9 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome with NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy on the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft. Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, said Wednesday Tikhonov and Babkin — both rookie cosmonauts — will be replaced by cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner on the Soyuz MS-16 mission. Cassidy’s assignment to the mission remains unchanged.

In a statement, Roscosmos said it is changing the crew assignment due to “medical reasons.” Russian news reports said Tikhonov injured his eye, and Roscosmos elected to swap both promote both backup Russian crew members to the prime Soyuz MS-16 crew.

Russian station commander Oleg Skripochka and NASA crewmates Drew Morgan and Jessica Meir will welcome the Soyuz MS-16 crew to the station in April for a week-long crew handover period. Then Skripochka’s Expedition 62 crew will depart and head for landing in Kazakhstan on the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft, leaving Ivanishin, Vagner and Cassidy behind as a three-person crew.

Cassidy will take over as space station commander from Sripochka, and his Expedition 63 crew will have the station to themselves until the planned launch and docking of SpaceX’s first piloted Crew Dragon mission with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken on-board.

The Crew Dragon’s first piloted test flight is currently scheduled to lift off some time in May. NASA has not decided on the duration of Hurley and Behnken’s mission, but the astronauts could remain on the station for weeks or months, becoming part of the Expedition 63 crew.

If SpaceX encounters delays, the space station will remain staffed with a crew of three — down from the standard crew size of six — until the Crew Dragon arrives, or until the launch of the next Soyuz crew in October. The possibility of an extended period with three residents on the station — and just one U.S. astronaut — prompted managers to train the original Soyuz MS-16 crew on systems inside the U.S. segment of the outpost.


Tikhonov trained to use NASA’s spacesuits in case he needed to join Cassidy on a spacewalk performing repairs or maintenance outside the space station. And Babkin was certified to operate the station’s Canadian-built robotic arm.

Megan Sumner, a NASA spokesperson, said Wednesday that Ivanishin and Vagner will not travel to the Johnson Space Center in Houston for additional training before their April 9 launch.
...
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/02/19/russian-space-agency-replaces-cosmonauts-on-next-space-station-crew/

Edit:
IMO, judging by the Russians’ reaction to the uncrewed Dragon DM-1 mission last year, (sealing themselves off in the Russian section of the station during docking, and the Russian commander just standing floating by the hatch with arms folded and a disgruntled expression while the rest of the group unloaded the Dragon’s supplies)… and now this switch of the Russian crew launching in April, from a rookie pair to one with more experience… it LOOKS LIKE the Russians are saying they are sending an experienced cosmonaut up in April to assure they can survive any catastrophe over the six-months mission, with or without a Dragon crew, and they don’t intend to train their new crew on other station hardware because they don’t plan on helping the NASA astronauts at all this summer….

At the time of DM-1, Russian objections to the mission were seen as reflecting the fact that the new competition meant the end of millions of dollars in payments for Soyuz transportation.  (The new arrangement is that Soyuz, Dragon, and Starliner will carry each others’ crew members at no cost.)  But after December’s Starliner OFT failure, you certainly can’t blame the Russians for any increased doubt about the quality of NASA’s oversight.

I hope SpaceX DM-2 will prove Crew Dragon as the amazing new spacecraft it is, and restore faith in U.S. commercial crew capabilities.  And I hope Doug and Bob have an excellent time on the Station.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 25, 2020, 05:08:17 PM
Look, Ma: no crane!
Quote
Mary (@BocaChicaGal) 2/25/20, 10:17 AM
Starship SN1 has made [its] way to the launch site this morning.
More pics and video coming later.
https://t.co/nCG7E9XtKM
https://twitter.com/bocachicagal/status/1232323739242651648
Image below.  At the link, 30 sec video of SN1 on the Roll-Lift, pans slowly up the rocket and its external hardware!  Expecting tank tests in the coming days, then engines and nose cone installation.  Etc.  Several days of road closures have been scheduled.

Starship in motion:
Quote
Mary (@BocaChicaGal) 2/25/20, 10:42 AM 
Starship SN1 is moving closer to the launch mount.
@NASASpaceflight
https://twitter.com/bocachicagal/status/1232329968325099522
At the link: 30 sec. video: Slow motion on roll lift.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 26, 2020, 01:52:31 AM
Readying for the last v.1 Cargo Dragon mission to the ISS.

Second stage acting funky during testing?  No biggie, we’ll use the other second stage we already have here....

SpaceX CRS-20 Launch Targeted for March 6
Quote
SpaceX is now targeting March 6 at 11:50 p.m. EST (Mar. 7 at 04:50 UTC) for launch of its 20th commercial resupply services mission (CRS-20) to the International Space Station. During standard preflight inspections, SpaceX identified a valve motor on the second stage engine behaving not as expected and determined the safest and most expedient path to launch is to utilize the next second stage in line that was already at the Cape and ready for flight. The new second stage has already completed the same preflight inspections with all hardware behaving as expected. The updated target launch date provides the time required to complete preflight integration and final checkouts.
https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacex/2020/02/25/spacex-crs-20-launch-targeted-for-march-6/


NASA Highlights Science on 20th SpaceX Resupply Mission
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-highlights-science-on-20th-spacex-resupply-mission-to-space-station
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 26, 2020, 03:33:34 AM
Final approval granted!

Los Angeles approves a 20-year SpaceX lease for a Starship rocket facility in the city’s port
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/25/spacex-signs-lease-to-build-starship-rocket-facility-in-port-of-la.html

Summary:
   •   $1.7 million a year for 19 acres in a city port
   •   20-year lease
   •   will help and develop Starship
   •   The facility itself would be a large tent-like structure + existing buildings
   •   SpaceX wants to be up and running within the next 90 days
   •   access to water, making it easier to transport (SS and SH are too big to be transported by a road)

——
The official plan document: https://kentico.portoflosangeles.org/getmedia/9feab3f1-ae59-465f-9404-fe882621ff48/Cargo-Real-Estate_SpaceX_Transmittal-3
calls it the “Transportation Vessels Manufacturing Facility Project” — the word “rocket” is not found anywhere in the document! ;D

“Facility operations would involve the research, design, and construction of vessels too large to be transported by road, and thus to be transported via water.”

Quote
The Blacksmith and Anglesmith Shop, and Plate Shop [#6], would be used for storage and inventory. The Shop [#9] would be used for barrel production and polishing, barrel stack integration, and desks and small part fabrication and integration. The Machine Shop and Warehouse Building [#7], would be used for stacking barrels, installing hardware on integrated sub-stacks, sub-assembly fabrication, and office use with desks and computers.

Starship “rings” or “barrels” are 9m in diameter (30 feet).
Perhaps sub-sections of the rocket will be built here, then shipped via the Panama Canal to Boca Chica or Florida for final assembly near the launch site.  The doc does mention:
Quote
• Re-activate 30T crane or install new (Machine Shop and Warehouse Building [#7])
• Cut 40-foot-wide by 45-foot-tall door on the east and west ends (Machine Shop and Warehouse Building [#7])
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: vox_mundi on February 26, 2020, 04:01:47 PM
The Air Force And SpaceX Are Teaming Up For A 'Massive' Live Fire Exercise
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/32346/the-air-force-and-spacex-are-teaming-up-for-a-massive-live-fire-exercise

... Air Force acquisition chief William Roper told reporters at the Pentagon that the Air Force and SpaceX will conduct an event on April 8, together with other branches of the U.S. military, that will see SpaceX Starlink satellites link up with multiple armed forces systems in a “massive” live fire exercise.

The demonstration will reportedly involve shooting down a drone and a cruise missile and will take place at several different sites including Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. The massive tests will also include ground forces, submarines, ships, and a variety of space-based assets.

The live fire exercise will be part of a larger test of the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS), a new communications ecosystem designed to enable Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2), allowing U.S. forces and allies to coordinate military operations in real-time across all domains, such as sea, land, air, space and cyber operations. The system was first tested in December 2019 with mixed results.

... During a less extensive test of the system last month, Starlink satellites connected with an AC-130 gunship.

Roper has also said that the new ABMS system will not only help replace the aging, rickety fleet of E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) command aircraft, but also add new capabilities that leverage the latest in machine learning, or artificial intelligence, to better predict what types of information users want from the system and more prominently push that information to them.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Tor Bejnar on February 27, 2020, 07:41:12 PM
Reading about "catching" Covid-19, I thought of a ditty my mother taught us growing up:
 

     Catch a falling rocket  [internet (https://books.google.com/books?id=D5NpzWTnGAoC&pg=PA93&lpg=PA93&dq=catch+a+falling+rocket+put+it+in+a+matchbox+send+it+to+the+USA&source=bl&ots=73YzbQs_cO&sig=ACfU3U1N8mnufEIEAKsE3kxnp-aHvKrzRw&hl=en&ppis=_e&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiG5ZDzrfLnAhWHc98KHWXvCxUQ6AEwAHoECAcQAQ#v=onepage&q=catch%20a%20falling%20rocket%20put%20it%20in%20a%20matchbox%20send%20it%20to%20the%20USA&f=false) says "Sputnik" was the rhyme's original term]
     Put it in a matchbox
     Send it to the USA
     They'll be glad to get it
     Very glad to get it
     Send it to the USA

Of course, SpaceX catches rockets and the like, so it does belong in this thread!  :)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 28, 2020, 10:36:31 PM
Just released, a detailed report of SpaceX activities and environmental impact at their Florida launch sites:

[PDF] Draft Environmental Assessment for SpaceX Falcon Launches at Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station - February 2020 - spacex
https://www.faa.gov/space/environmental/nepa_docs/media/SpaceX_Falcon_Program_Draft_EA_508.pdf
[Renderings of LC-39A Mobile Service Tower and Falcon Heavy with extended fairing inside]

Reddit discussion:
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/faacre/pdf_draft_environmental_assessment_for_spacex/

Review of the launch sites, military needs, flight frequency.
FAA Environmental Assessment details SpaceX plans at Cape Canaveral
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2020/02/faa-environmental-assessment-spacex-cape-canaveral/

From 2019:  why SpaceX is building a huge new mobile vertical launch integration facility
Air Force requests bids for space launch services, will select two companies in 2020
https://spacenews.com/air-force-requests-bids-for-space-launch-services-will-select-two-companies-in-2020/

‘EverydayAstronaut’ is preparing a deep dive video on rocket pollution, which should be available soon....
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 29, 2020, 02:42:05 PM
Confirmed:  SN1 Not doing the 20K flight :o ;)

SN1 tank was tested to failure after questions about initial weld quality.
Quote
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 2/29/20, 12:41 AM
Starship SN1 was filled with LN2 for a cryo proof test on Friday evening at Boca Chica, before failing.
Videos and Photos from Mary (@BocaChicaGal) for NSF. Edited by Jack Beyer (@thejackbeyer)

SpaceX Boca Chica - Starship SN1 cryo proof test failure - Feb 28, 2020 - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYeVnGL7fgw

< Looks bad but this is progress. We’re all speculating that SN1 wasn’t going to fly anyway.
Elon wasn’t happy with the weld quality on SN1 because of the wrong settings.
SN2 now needs to prove they have weld quality under control and off we go.
< ... This is how rapid iteration works, fail often, learn quickly, and ultimately move faster and spend less.

< Wonder how much infrastructure damage they had. Not seeing any movement on the live cameras still 2 hr's later.
<<  It's in the middle of the night and there's no fire. So they can just wait until dawn to assess the damage and clean up the debris. They did the same with Mk1, it even sat for days on the pad untouched before they scrapped it.

> *Hoppy watches from a safe distance*


——-  From 2/25:
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 2/25/20, 5:49 PM
SN2 tank integration starts this week with much less circumferential pucker. Thanks Fronius!

[ Fronius = https://www.fronius.com/en-us/usa/welding-technology  “Perfect welding” ]

Elon Musk: The Persuader hammer will fix SN1. SN 2+ will have better fit & weld quality. Later serial numbers will use bigger stampings, so much less weld length.

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1230276876930863105
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on February 29, 2020, 03:08:09 PM
Not a great week for The Elon's Enterprises. 8)
Terry
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 29, 2020, 05:25:21 PM
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 2/28/20, 4:23 PM
Falcon Heavy will launch @NASAPsyche! The mission, for which @NASA requires the highest level of launch vehicle reliability, will study a metal asteroid between Mars and Jupiter to help humanity better understand the formation of our solar system’s planets
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1233502921469370368

NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for the Psyche Mission
Quote
NASA has selected SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, to provide launch services for the agency’s Psyche mission. The Psyche mission currently is targeted to launch in July 2022 on a Falcon Heavy rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The total cost for NASA to launch Psyche and the secondary payloads is approximately $117 million, which includes the launch service and other mission related costs.

The Psyche mission will journey to a unique metal-rich asteroid, also named Psyche, which orbits the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. The asteroid is considered unique, as it appears to largely be made of the exposed nickel-iron core of an early planet – one of the building blocks of our solar system. …
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-launch-services-contract-for-the-psyche-mission


——
More details on Boeing’s OFT Starliner failures revealed:

Boeing's Starliner spacecraft is built to carry astronauts, but safety concerns loom
Quote
New York (CNN)Boeing's Starliner spacecraft, which was slated to begin flying NASA astronauts to the International Space Station this year, faces new questions about safety after a botched test flight in December.

On Friday, Boeing revealed that ground controllers lost contact with Starliner 37 times during the mission, and investigators are still working to determine how to correct those issues. The company also confirmed that it had failed to run a full simulation of how the spacecraft's software would run during the two major stretches of the mission — from liftoff to docking with the International Space Station and from undocking to landing. Such testing could have potentially detected software problems that caused Starliner to stumble off its path toward the International Space Station, forcing it to make an early landing.

Boeing said it had completed "extensive" testing of the spacecraft's software ahead of the December test mission. But those tests only focused on isolated chunks of Starliner's code, John Mulholland, manager of Boeing's Starliner program, said during a briefing about the results of an independent investigation into what went wrong.

The company previously revealed that Starliner flew through a communications blackout zone that prevented ground controllers from taking control of the spacecraft during crucial moments of the flight test. On Friday, Mulholland revealed Starliner encountered those dead periods dozens of times during flight.

Boeing executives previously said those problems could have been caused by interference from cell towers on the ground. It's not yet clear if Starliner's on-board systems could be altered to avoid such interference.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/28/tech/boeing-starliner-spacecraft-software-testing-safety-issues-scn/index.html

—-
Boeing says thorough testing would have caught Starliner software problems – Spaceflight Now
Quote
“When you do a single run from launch to docking, that’s a 25-plus-hour single run in the computer,” he said.
“The team, at the time, decided that they would have multiple tests of different chunks of the mission,” Mulholland said. “It was not a matter at all of the team consciously shortcutting, or not doing what they believed was appropriate.”
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/02/28/boeing-says-thorough-testing-would-have-caught-starliner-software-problems/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 29, 2020, 05:32:30 PM
SpaceX said to be seeking around $250 million in funding, boosting valuation to roughly $36 billion
Quote
SpaceX is looking to raise around $250 million in new funding according to a new report from CNBC’s Michael Sheetz. The additional cash would bring SpaceX’s total valuation to around $36 billion, according to CNBC’s sources — an increase of more than $2.5 billion versus its most recently reported valuation.

The rocket launch company founded and run by Elon Musk is no stranger to raising large sums of money — it added $1.33 billion during 2019 (from three separate rounds). In total, the company has raised more than $3 billion in funding to date — but the scale of its ambitions provides a clear explanation of why the company has sought so much capital.

SpaceX is also generating a significant amount of revenue: Its contract to develop the Crew Dragon spacecraft as part of the NASA commercial crew program came with $3.1 billion in contract award money from the agency, for example, and it charges its customers roughly $60 million per launch of one of its Falcon 9 rockets. Last year alone, SpaceX had 13 launches. ...
https://techcrunch.com/2020/02/21/spacex-said-to-be-seeking-around-250-million-in-funding-boosting-valuation-to-roughly-36-billion/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 02, 2020, 02:30:48 PM
A flight-proven Cargo Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket are set to lift off no earlier than (NET) 11:50 pm EST, March 6th (04:50 UTC, March 7th)  Watch at spacex.com or NASA TV https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive

SpaceX's first orbital spacecraft set to smash reusability record on last launch
Quote
SpaceX revealed that Cargo Dragon capsule C112 (C1: Dragon 1; 12: capsule #12) will be supporting CRS-20 as early as this Friday. If all goes according to plan, it will be the spacecraft’s third cargo mission to the ISS since February 2017, becoming the third orbital SpaceX vehicle to do so. Even more significantly, C112 is poised to crush Cargo Dragon’s own previous record for the shortest time between two orbital launches.

Measured from splashdown to the capsule’s shipment to the launch pad, SpaceX may have spent less than a year refurbishing the Cargo Dragon spacecraft, likely more than a 50% improvement over all past refurbishment operations.

CRS-20 should thus mark a climactic and fitting end to Cargo Dragon 1’s nine-year spaceflight career. While bittersweet that the spacecraft and its many siblings will likely never fly again, Musk has said that Dragon 2 (Crew Dragon) – the spacecraft intended to replace it – is dramatically easier (and thus cheaper) to reuse than Dragon 1. As such, SpaceX should have no issue continuing its trend of lowering the cost of access to space after it begins space station cargo deliveries under its CRS2 NASA contract later this year.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-first-orbital-spacecraft-reusability-record/

NASA TV Coverage Set for SpaceX’s Next Space Station Resupply Mission
Schedule of briefings, press conferences, and mission coverage
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-tv-coverage-set-for-spacex-s-next-space-station-resupply-mission

——-
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 3/2/20, 3:32 AM
So … how was your night? m.youtube.com/watch?feature=…
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1234396086581809152
EM: It’s fine, we’ll just buff it out
EM: Where’s Flextape when you need it!?
EM: ...

< So, what did y'all learn from this event?
EM: There’s a puck at the base that takes the engine thrust load. Don’t shuck the puck!
< What’s roughly the new target for static fire of SN2?
EM: We’re stripping SN2 to bare minimum to test the thrust puck to dome weld under pressure, first with water, then at cryo. Hopefully, ready to test in a few days.
< So when SN1 blew you said ‘oh Puck’?
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 03, 2020, 02:54:14 AM
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 3/2/20, 1:51 PM
A year ago today, Falcon 9 launched Crew Dragon on its first mission, which demonstrated the spacecraft’s capability to safely and reliably fly @NASA astronauts to and from the @Space_Station

Crew Dragon’s First Demonstration Mission | One-Year Launch Anniversary

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-wBgsf8jWY

- SpaceX teams are currently in final preparations for another Crew Dragon flight – the one that will fly astronauts @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug and return human spaceflight capabilities to the U.S.
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1234552008150900736
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 03, 2020, 05:04:11 PM
SpaceX shrugs off Starship implosion and gets back to work as Elon Musk talks next steps
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-implosion-new-test-plans-south-texas/

Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 3/3/20, 5:39 AM
@Teslarati No matter what, we need to pressurize the production system. Rocket design is relatively easy, making one is hard, making many is extremely hard. Manufacturing is underrated.

Everyday Astronaut: How cool is it for you to start building rockets first and then build the factory around them? What a crazy weird blank slate to work with. That has to be pretty cool!

Pranay Pathole: There was a lot of disappointment concerning SN1. That's understandable.
I think that a lot of people are missing the big picture though. SpaceX isn't doing your traditional aerospace project, where things progress very linearly, and a setback costs months or years...
- They're doing many things in parallel, building the most advanced rocket ever, by a huge margin. Using nonstandard, dirt cheap manufacturing that can crack out rocket in weeks instead of years. They don't even have most of their final infrastructure yet.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1234790518481129473
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 05, 2020, 03:41:36 PM
Friday night: the last V.1 Cargo Dragon will supply the ISS
March 6/7 Falcon 9 • SpaceX CRS 20
Launch time: 0450:30 GMT on 7th (11:50:30 p.m. EST on 6th)
Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the 22nd Dragon spacecraft mission on its 20th operational cargo delivery flight to the International Space Station.
————

—- next Starlink launch:  Despite the hiccup with the B1056 landing last time, it (unsurprisingly) appears SpaceX is sticking with their new aggressive Starlink flight profile, maxing out the second stage and deploying the satellites soon after reaching their primary orbital velocity.
Quote
Gavin - SpaceXFleet Updates (@SpaceXFleet) 3/4/20, 5:50 PM
Here's the setup for Starlink L5. Droneship to be positioned ~628km downrange, in the same position as the previous 4 Starlink launches.

Raul (@Raul74Cz) 3/4/20, 8:45 AM
Launch Hazard Areas Map of #Starlink v1.0-L5 mission from LC-39A, valid for 14 Mar 13:36 UTC or backup 15 Mar 13:14 UTC. Droneship landing on usual location. Shorter orange Area B as previous Starlink launch implies direct inject elliptical orbit again.
https://twitter.com/raul74cz/status/1235199595933728768
Map below.

——
Octagrabber 2.0!  JRTI on steroids!
SpaceX eyes major drone ship fleet upgrades and a new rocket recovery robot
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-new-rocket-recovery-robot-drone-ship-upgrades/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 05, 2020, 04:06:22 PM
DAAAYYYUMMM!
The author met with Elon Musk in Boca Chica.

Inside Elon Musk’s plan to build one Starship a week—and settle Mars
"I think we need, probably, on the order of 1,000 ships."
Eric Berger - 3/5/2020, 7:00 AM
Quote
BOCA CHICA BEACH, Texas—How badly does Elon Musk want to get to Mars? Let me tell you a story. On Sunday, February 23, Musk called an all-hands meeting at the South Texas site where SpaceX is building his Starship spacecraft.

It was 1am. ...
https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/03/inside-elon-musks-plan-to-build-one-starship-a-week-and-settle-mars/


Reddit discussion: 
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/fdub0s/inside_elon_musks_plan_to_build_one_starship_a/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 05, 2020, 09:06:23 PM
SpaceX will send three tourists to the International Space Station next year
It’s the second space tourism effort the company has announced this year
Mar 5, 2020, 2:56pm EST
Quote
SpaceX will send three tourists on a 10-day trip to the International Space Station sometime in late 2021. It’ll use its Falcon 9 rocket and its new Crew Dragon spacecraft, the company announced on Thursday. This marks the second big space tourism announcement from the company this year.

The orbital vacation is part of a deal that SpaceX signed with Houston-based startup Axiom Space, which will manage the logistics of the trip for the three private citizens. While seven private citizens have spent time on the ISS (one of them even went twice), this mission will be the first fully private trip to the ISS.

The space tourists will spend two days traveling to and from the orbital space station and at least eight days on board, sharing space with the astronauts who work there. Tickets will cost around $55 million, and one seat is already booked, according to The New York Times. The trip was made possible after NASA announced last year that it would start opening up the ISS to more commercial activities like space tourism.

SpaceX has spent the last few years building a new version of its Dragon spacecraft that’s rated for human flight as part of a program to send NASA astronauts to the ISS. The private spaceflight company recently completed a second major flight test of this new version of Dragon where it demonstrated the ability to escape an exploding rocket. The first flight with NASA astronauts is expected to take place later this year.

But SpaceX isn’t just focused on being a taxi for astronauts. The company is increasingly embracing space tourism as a potential revenue stream. Just last month, SpaceX announced that it is working with space tourism company Space Adventures to send up to four private citizens into orbit around the Earth sometime in late 2021 or early 2022. ...
https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/5/21166657/spacex-tourists-iss-international-space-station-orbit-falcon-9-dragon

Edit, more:
SpaceX plans to fly three space tourists to the International Space Station late next year
Quote
This mission will last 10 days – with two days of travel and eight days on board the space station – and will include an Axiom “commander” to assist the three customers. Axiom said it will announce the members of the crew at a later date.

“This history-making flight will represent a watershed moment in the march toward universal and routine access to space,” Axiom CEO Michael Suffredini said in a statement. “This will be just the first of many missions to ISS to be completely crewed and managed by Axiom Space.”

Suffredini led the ISS program for NASA for a decade until 2015, shortly after which he co-founded Axiom. The company’s website offers private missions to the ISS ranging between 10 days to 180 days, with Axiom providing all the services necessary – from training to management and more. Axiom was also recently selected by NASA to build an addition to the ISS, which would be a large habitat that would attach to the space station for research and more.

NASA in 2019 announced that it would open the ISS to “private astronaut missions of up to 30 days,” saying that it would begin at a rate of two flights a year. NASA would get $35,000 a night for each astronaut, as compensation for the agency’s services a tourist would need while on board the ISS. …
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/05/spacex-axiom-deal-to-fly-three-space-tourists-to-iss-in-late-2021.html
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 05, 2020, 09:45:37 PM
Related:

NASA's first commercial space station is on its way
Quote
Philippe Starck has designed the interiors for what will be the first commercial space station © Axiom Space

Nearly 15 months ago, the Frenchman released renderings of his designs for the habitation modules for Axiom Space’s first space-tourism program, and then in late January, NASA awarded the company the contract, tasking it with providing at least one habitable commercial module to attach to the International Space Station and thereby creating the world’s first commercial space station. ...
https://www.lonelyplanet.com/articles/nasa-space-homes-philippe-starck-axiom
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 06, 2020, 01:47:02 AM
More on Axiom’s plans:

Axiom to fly Crew Dragon mission to the space station
Quote
In a statement, Michael Suffredini, chief executive of Axiom, called the flight a “watershed moment” for commercialization of low Earth orbit. “This will be just the first of many missions to ISS to be completely crewed and managed by Axiom Space, a first for a commercial entity,” he said.

“Procuring the transportation marks significant progress toward that goal, and we’re glad to be working with SpaceX in this effort.”

The flight represents the start of Axiom’s long-term plans. The company anticipates doing as many as two such missions a year in accordance with NASA’s LEO commercialization strategy announced last June, which allows for private flights and short-term stays by commercial spaceflight participants.

NASA selected Axiom Jan. 27 to gain access to a docking port on the station’s Harmony, or Node 2, module. Axiom plans to attach a commercial module to that port in late 2024, which will be equipped with docking ports and an “Earth Observatory,” a larger version of the station’s cupola.

“That module looks like a node,” Suffredini said in an interview shortly after the NASA award in January, describing it as being similar to the station’s existing Node 2 and Node 3 modules, but one to two meters longer.

That will be followed in 2025 by a habitation module and, in 2026, a research and manufacturing module, both of which will be attached to that initial module. Ultimately, that “Axiom segment” of the station will detach when the ISS is retired and, with the addition of a power and thermal module, became a free-flying space station.


Private astronaut flights to the ISS, though, are the first steps in that effort. The company stated that it was in discussions with NASA “to establish additional enabling agreements for the private astronaut missions to ISS,” which a company spokesperson said involves the specifics of fitting a private mission into the overall schedule of missions going to the station. ...
https://spacenews.com/axiom-to-fly-crew-dragon-mission-to-the-space-station/

 - - -
Reddit discussion:
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/fe07ef/axiom_to_fly_crew_dragon_mission_to_the_space/

< We have MECO did an absolutely TOP NOTCH interview with axiom CEO that really opened my eyes to what they are doing. Axiom is looking to do to the space station what SpaceX is doing to the space shuttle, although in a more fluid transition and without explosions. They are hoping to fully commercialize LEO manned spaceflight operations. It's really inspiring.

https://mainenginecutoff.com/podcast/147
45 min podcast

< There was a great video from Scott Manley about the ISS planned expansion by Axiom. It should have the capability to detach the ISS and function on its own.
Hopefully, these plans will be turned into reality.

NASA & Axiom Space Designing Commercial Expansion Of Space Station - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laSDomsAa3c
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 06, 2020, 01:06:03 PM
NASA Live
March 6, Friday (All Times Eastern U.S.)

11 a.m. - NASA-Boeing media teleconference: Update on Starliner Flight Test.  Audio of the teleconference will stream live on this page.
1:30 p.m. - Houston, We Have a Podcast Live. Astronaut Kayla Barron and astronaut selection manager Anne Roemer answer your questions about applying to become an astronaut.
4 p.m. - Prelaunch news conference for the 20th SpaceX resupply mission to the International Space Station
11:30 p.m. - Coverage of the launch of the 20th SpaceX resupply mission to the International Space Station. Launch is scheduled for 11:50 p.m. EST.

https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 07, 2020, 03:31:13 AM
Succesful launch and satellites deployed. 
F9 booster made a “soft ocean landing” near OCISLY drone ship. ...

—- March 6:
Hans Koenigsmann during today’s CRS-20 pre-launch briefing:  Booster B1056 decided on its own to not risk landing on OCISLY due to winds near the surface being worse than forecast (as he gives a mock pointed look at the range weather officer sitting next to him on the stage.). :o ;D

Just now:
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 3/6/20, 9:28 PM
Rocket will land in highest winds ever at Cape Canaveral tonight. This is intentional envelope expansion.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1236116600245256192
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 07, 2020, 01:44:41 PM
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 3/6/20, 11:20 PM
T-30 minutes until Falcon 9 launch of Dragon → spacex.com/webcast
[Watch replay at SpaceX.com]
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1236144645005955073
< So much wind, I'm at the LC 39 gantry rn.
<< I'm over over towards Playalinda beach and it's crazy windy. This is gonna be interesting!!!
   . . .
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 3/7/20, 12:07 AM
Envelope expanded
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1236156567449305089

SpaceX (@SpaceX) 3/7/20, 12:00 AM
Falcon 9 booster has landed on Landing Zone 1 – our 50th landing of a rocket booster!
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1236154652447535104
 Clip of the landing at the link.

@TimOster: Congrats on the 50th landing! This is the previous 49 landings! THIS IS THE WAY
https://twitter.com/timoster/status/1236154710131961856
Compilation video at the link. 

Late-night launch of SpaceX cargo ship marks end of an era
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/03/07/late-night-launch-of-spacex-cargo-ship-marks-end-of-an-era/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 07, 2020, 04:24:10 PM
Starliner OFT mishap:  Independent Review Team recommends 61 corrective actions, lists 49 testing gaps.

From my notes of yesterday’s NASA/Boeing teleconference:
The rocket and Starliner “emulators” (“You can’t bring the rocket into the test lab.”) did not emulate correctly.  Software heads signed off on hardware changes without testing.  If a program step had four possible outcomes, not all outcomes were tested.
Boeing culture changes are expected to be extended to SLS and 737 Max, etc. teams as well as Starliner.  NASA will likely require changes to the way it approaches the lunar Human Landing System agreements, as well as Commercial Crew.
NASA and Boeing repeatedly refused to say whether another uncrewed Starliner Orbital Flight Test would be required (Boeing said it would pay for one, if required), or whether the next Starliner flight would occur this year, saying such a call could not be made for a few months yet.  NASA said there are other ways to show docking competence, so an actual test docking is not always necessary— for example, the first Space Shuttle/ISS docking was, of course, crewed.

More:
NASA declares Starliner mishap a “high visibility close call”
https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/03/nasa-declares-starliner-mishap-a-high-visibility-close-call/

Boeing had 49 gaps in testing for its astronaut capsule before failed flight, independent review finds
https://www.orlandosentinel.com/space/os-bz-boeing-starliner-investigation-result-20200306-imofjq5ifvgipo54t742spvhu4-story.html
 

=====
During Friday’s SpaceX CRS-20 pre-launch briefing:
Hans Koenigsmann was asked about SpaceX testing, and he described “Hardware in the Loop Testing” (HITL) — “Basically, it’s a table full of all the components that are on Dragon, another table with of all the components that are on Falcon, and then there is a really elaborate computer that basically plugs into certain parts on the Falcon side and records certain parts on the output.”  You simulate what an IMU or GPS measures, and record what the thrust vector control on the rocket does.  “In this case, it’s relatively easy, it takes ten minutes, it runs in real time, so you can basically run this every ten minutes.  And that’s what we do.” 
 
Every time we make a software change, we run it through a shortened system of tests, and we run this HITL test. You have to be super careful to do this test right, looking for test gaps; for example, you could have the same error on both the computer-simulated IMU and in the actual data tables.  So we do a test on the actual spacecraft, to be sure everything is connected properly.  That’s how you fill all those test gaps. There are certain things, like calibration, that are reviewed using an elaborate system and signed off using a paper trail all the way down to the sensor information that we get from the vendor or we get from our own acceptance test.
 
Last but not least, there’s the unit test, where we test a function every time we compile that piece of software, which tells you this function still works the way it used to work.  It allows you to test earlier, quicker, and better.  That’s our approach to software.  I can’t imagine a system that tests more or better.  We test continuously, and in my opinion that is an excellent way of testing even complicated software.

From the same briefing:
- SpaceX has the capability to manage multiple Dragon crew and/or cargo capsule missions at once.  “In our vision, there’s going to be three, maybe four, at the same time.” :)
- Parachute testing has gone really well; two last “corner case” tests are planned soon.
- There should be at least three Crew Dragon flights to the ISS before the announced Axiom private-crew flight in late 2021. 


FWIW:  Wikipedia lists the next flight after DM-2 as USCV-1, Deliver ISS Expedition 64/65 crew (NASA astronauts Michael S. Hopkins and Victor Glover, and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi), planned for July 2020.  USCV-2 is penciled in for Starliner in December 2020, and USCV-3 with Dragon in May 2021.

The NASA rep said the Russian crew has been trained to help with emergency spacewalks and robotics support.  Science items that require multiple crew is being delayed until Commercial Crew is up and running.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 09, 2020, 08:10:11 PM
Quote
Mary (@BocaChicaGal) 3/8/20, 11:24 PM
The highway at Boca Boca Chica is now open. The cryo pressure test on SN2 test tank is complete and it was not a popper. It is still a little frosty. ;D
https://twitter.com/bocachicagal/status/1236855282946510854

——
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 3/9/20, 2:47 PM

SN2 (with thrust puck) passed cryo pressure & engine thrust load tests late last night
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1237087558376599554
< What's the path forward now? Static fire with SN3 and hop with SN4?
EM: Static fire & short flights with SN3, longer flights with SN4, but spooling up the whole Starship/Raptor production line is really what matters

—-
From last week:  The Move
SpaceX Boca Chica - Starship SN2 Test Tank arrives at Launch Site
#https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R13HYZTqiTc

Testing footage
SpaceX Boca Chica - Starship SN2 Test Tank Cryo Test
#https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlDBjHa0NkU
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 09, 2020, 09:03:28 PM
The stock market may be crashing, but SpaceX just raised half a billion dollars — twice its initial offering.

SpaceX raising over $500 million, double what Elon Musk’s company planned to bring in
Michael Sheetz
Quote
WASHINGTON — SpaceX is raising half a billion dollars in new funding, according to documents seen by CNBC on Monday, as the Elon Musk company continues work on three ambitious projects.

The company authorized $500.06 million at a price of $220 per share, the documents show, and values SpaceX at around $36 billion — up from $33.3 billion last year. Notably, the round is about double the $250 million that SpaceX was looking to raise, as CNBC reported previously.
..
In 2019, SpaceX raised $1.33 billion across three funding rounds. It’s one of the most valuable private companies in the world and, with consistently oversubscribed capital raises, SpaceX shares rank among the most in demand of any pre-IPO companies.

The company’s steady fundraising comes as it continues development on three ambitious programs: Crew Dragon, Starlink and Starship. While NASA has awarded SpaceX over $3.1 billion to develop the Crew Dragon capsule, Musk has said SpaceX has spent “hundreds of millions of dollars” of its own funds to develop Crew Dragon.

Crew Dragon and Starship represent SpaceX’s efforts to fly people in space. But Starlink is an ambitious plan to create a global network of small satellites to provide high-speed internet to any place in the world. Known as a “megaconstellation,” Starlink is expected to consist of an interconnected system of about 12,000 satellites.

SpaceX’s sixth Starlink launch is scheduled for Sunday, vice president Jonathan Hofeller said at the Satellite 2020 conference in Washington, D.C. The company will launch another 60 Starlink satellites on this mission, adding to the 302 satellites its launched already.

Hofeller’s division of SpaceX has been ramping up its efforts in recent months, with Starlink production increasing so that the company can get the network up and running.
“We produce six satellites per day,” Hofeller said.

While SpaceX expects it will cost about $10 billion or more to build the Starlink network, Hofeller said the company’s fundraising so far has largely not been directed to the Starlink division, as “we’ve been able to fund the development of Starlink primarily from our internal businesses.” He declared the company is in a “different position” in how it raises funds compared to other companies that are building satellite networks.

“That’s why, in general, we’ve been very quiet about what we’re doing because we don’t need to go out and raise money for this particular venture,” Hofeller said.
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/09/spacex-raising-500-million-in-new-funding-for-elon-musks-company.html


March 14:  Falcon 9 • Starlink 5
Launch time: Approx. 1335 GMT (9:35 a.m. EDT)
Launch site: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is expected to launch the sixth batch of approximately 60 satellites for SpaceX’s Starlink broadband network, a mission designated Starlink 5.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 11, 2020, 12:09:29 AM
Shotwell: SpaceX on track to launch first NASA astronauts in May
   • SpaceX is “gunning for May” to launch NASA astronauts on its first spaceflight with crew, president and COO Gwynne Shotwell said Tuesday.
   • She noted that the length of the mission is still under consideration, saying its “kind of TBD right now.”
   • Shotwell also noted that SpaceX is planning to reuse its Crew Dragon capsules, a decision that was in doubt previously.
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/10/spacex-aiming-for-may-astronaut-launch-will-reuse-crew-dragon.html
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 14, 2020, 03:17:54 PM
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 3/13/20, 7:37 PM
Static fire test of Falcon 9 complete—targeting Sunday, March 15 at 9:22 a.m. EDT, 13:22 UTC, for launch of 60 Starlink satellites from LC-39A in Florida
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1238610281581785088

SpaceX readying for Sunday's sixth Starlink launch, first fifth booster flight
Quote
SpaceX is preparing its Falcon 9 to launch the Starlink V1.0 L5 mission, although the launch date has been moved to Sunday. This mission will be the first Starlink launch from LC-39A at Kennedy Space Center, and the first from the pad since the Crew Dragon In-Flight Abort Test in January 2020. The first stage is B1048.5 – marking the first time a Falcon 9 core flies for the fifth time. The launch is now scheduled for 9:22 AM Eastern on March 15.

This mission will launch the 5th batch of 60 fully-operational Starlink satellites – the sixth batch overall – to a Low Earth Orbit (LEO). This will also be the first Starlink launch from the historic Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center. Previous Starlink missions launched from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40), just over three miles south of LC-39A.

Now, as SpaceX starts ramping up the Starlink launch frequency, there may be a new bottleneck – launch pad availability.

LC-39A has been the sole starting point for Falcon Heavy and Crew Dragon missions. Those two capabilities make it unique among SpaceX’s launch pads, as the other two can only support uncrewed Falcon 9 rockets.

However, SpaceX is now starting to use LC-39A for commercial launches during downtime between Falcon Heavy and Crew Dragon launches. This will help relieve the new strain on SLC-40 from the increased Starlink launches, allowing for more time for refurbishment and launch preparations. ...
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2020/03/spacex-sixth-starlink-fifth-booster-reflight/

=====
 
Houston, Texas, US.
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket debuts on display at Space Center Houston
You can now get up close, around and even under the first-ever commercial rocket to launch on two missions for NASA.

Quote
Delivered to Space Center Houston from its Cape Canaveral, Florida launch site on March 4, the rocket was configured and positioned for display by some of the same SpaceX engineers whose work it is to service the recovered Falcon 9 first stages between launches.

"They were so excited to be part of this," Paul Spana, Space Center Houston's exhibits manager, said in an interview with collectSPACE. "Because they see it as being historic."

"SpaceX refers to it as a 'monument.' I've never used that word, but that is the only word they use," Spana said.

"One of the technicians told me, 'What you got here is a fully functional rocket.' He said this is the real thing and everything is here," said Spana.

The Falcon's four landing legs are missing their actuators and one was flown on a different vehicle than B1035, but the four aluminum grid fins and nine Merlin 1D engines are intact as they were used in flight.

"SpaceX took a lot of steps for preservation," said Spana. "If you look close, you will see fresh silicone here and there and that is to weatherproof it."
http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-031220a-spacex-falcon9-space-center-houston.html

=====
 
Russian crew swap should not impact next ISS mission
Quote
The coronavirus pandemic could also affect the mission. Russian officials had previously suggested the pre-flight quarantine of the crew could be started earlier than normal in response to the outbreak. Shireman confirmed that such steps were under discussion.

“We expect them to take additional measures to make sure that quarantine is a little tighter,” he said. “We’re ready to deal with that if it happens.”
https://spacenews.com/russian-crew-swap-should-not-impact-next-iss-mission/


++++++++++
 
NASA inspector general says SLS moon rocket costs continue to climb
Quote
“However, as of January 2020, NASA anticipates the Artemis 1 launch date will slip to spring 2021, over two years later than its initial planned launch date, with total SLS program costs rising to $18.3 billion by that time.”

If the second Artemis launch date slips to 2023, additional costs will be incurred driving the SLS program price tag to around $22.8 billion, the report said.

In an October 2018 audit, the OIG blamed most of the delays to date on “management, technical and infrastructure issues driven mostly by Boeing’s poor performance.” …
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/03/10/nasa-inspector-general-says-sls-moon-rocket-costs-continue-to-climb/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 15, 2020, 09:27:44 PM
“Ignition!   Liftoff!”  … “Disregard.  We have an abort.”
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 3/15/20, 9:33 AM
Standing down today; standard auto-abort triggered due to out of family data during engine power check. Will announce next launch date opportunity once confirmed on the Range
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1239182848076075009

Quote
Елена Мурзина (@murzina_elena) 3/15/20, 9:34 AM
@SpaceX :( 
https://twitter.com/murzina_elena/status/1239183077739581442
Video clip from T minus 10 seconds at the link.


——-
NASA no longer counting on Gateway for 2024 moon landing
March 14, 2020 Stephen Clark
Quote
NASA is modifying plans to send astronauts back to the moon in 2024 by taking the Gateway — a mini-space station to be assembled in lunar orbit — out of the critical path in favor of a simplified architecture, according to the agency’s chief of human spaceflight.

Blue Origin, Boeing and Dynetics have confirmed they proposed human-rated lunar lander concepts to NASA. SpaceX is also widely believed to have submitted a proposal, although the company has not confirmed it.

Blue Origin’s lunar lander would come in three pieces: A descent module built by Blue Origin, an ascent stage provided by Lockheed Martin, and a transfer element from Northrop Grumman.

In contrast, Boeing proposed a fully integrated lander that could launch on NASA’s Space Launch System. Boeing is also prime contractor for the SLS core stage. …
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/03/14/nasa-no-longer-counting-on-gateway-for-2024-moon-landing/

The idea that Boeing could design, build and launch a fully integrated (descent/lander/ascent/propulsive) lunar lander, for an actual crew mission, on an (additional) SLS rocket, by the end of 2024, is… problematic, at best.

Politics may require NASA to keep feeding the Boeing space jobs program for a while, but if Starship gets to the moon before then (SpaceX’s most recent stated goal is cargo on the moon “before 2022” and humans “shortly thereafter”*), NASA will be hard-pressed to ignore the simpler, proven option at a fraction of the cost.  Starship could even take a Boeing capsule to the surface of the moon. ;D 
Might they switch Artemis from Orion/SLS to the Starship, while encouraging their international partners to continue building the Gateway (as mentioned in the article) for later?

——
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 3/9/20, 2:47 PM
SN2 (with thrust puck) passed cryo pressure & engine thrust load tests late last night
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1237087558376599554

< What's the path forward now? Static fire with SN3 and hop with SN4?
EM: Static fire & short flights with SN3, longer flights with SN4, but spooling up the whole Starship/Raptor production line is really what matters
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1237088353406910465


*“We want to land it on the moon before 2022 with cargo and with people shortly thereafter.”
- Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX President and COO
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/27/spacex-president-we-will-land-starship-on-moon-before-2022.html

Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 16, 2020, 07:58:07 PM
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 3/16/20, 2:29 PM
Targeting Wednesday, March 18 at 8:16 a.m. EDT, 12:16 UTC, for Falcon 9's launch of Starlink from LC-39A in Florida
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1239619931856982020

—-
Quote
Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) 3/16/20, 11:44 AM
I'm told that the prime crew for SpaceX's Demo-2 mission are continuing to train this week for a May launch. Training is complicated because it involves work in Houston, California, and Florida. Lots of uncertainty about what happens as the COVID-19 crises deepens in the U.S.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1239578251770712064
< Elon needs to lend them a private jet.
Eric:  they already have them.  https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/flyout/t38flyout.html
<< T-38
> Just have them wear full suit and PLSS till launch. 
>>  I suspect Doug and Bob will launch in May as planned. NASA and SpaceX have been in health stabilization program since the IFA.
[Image below.]

Reddit:  https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/fjn2ub/spacexs_demo2_mission_are_continuing_to_train/
< Well I never would have predicted a global pandemic to be the cause of a DM-2 delay.
<< Everyone's bingo cards are worthless
>  I believe they are doing extra training for a potential extended mission, rather than the original short test flight.

—-
Quote
Everyday Astronaut (@Erdayastronaut) 3/16/20, 12:52 PM
Here's a scale comparison I never really saw coming!!! Makes you realize JUST HOW BIG Starship will be! Pictured is the Falcon 9 w/Crew Dragon, Atlas V w/Starliner, Soyuz, Starship, a Boeing 747-8F and a Boeing 737-800. YES, these are to scale!!!
https://twitter.com/erdayastronaut/status/1239595527114838018
Image below.
 
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 3/16/20, 1:04 PM
Slight booster length increase to 70m, so 120m for whole system. Liftoff mass ~5000 mT.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 18, 2020, 04:05:38 PM
Starlinks launched today.
Webcast has some comments about satellite paint testing and possible future sunshades!
Starlinks deploy was successful, but booster landing was not — see article below:  seems like one of the engines blew out shortly before MECO, but others then burned longer to compensate.

Quote
< Falcon 9 rocket first stage self-quarantined itself in the ocean.
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 3/18/20, 9:03 AM
Yeah. There was also an early engine shutdown on ascent, but it didn’t affect orbit insertion. Shows value of having 9 engines! Thorough investigation needed before next mission.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1240262636547100672

<< Was it in anyway related to the scrub the other day? Same engine that was having problems?
Elon Musk:  Last launch aborted due to slightly high power. Possibly, but not obviously, related to today. This vehicle has seen a lot of wear, so today isn’t a big surprise. Life leader rockets are used only for internal missions. Won’t risk non-SpaceX satellites.

   —-
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 3/18/20, 10:34 AM 
Today’s Falcon 9 launch was the second time SpaceX has re-flown a full payload fairing. After landing in the water, both fairing halves were quickly recovered.
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1240285435722706945
Photo at the link.

—-
SpaceX loses record-breaking rocket booster after sixth successful Starlink launch
By Eric Ralph,  March 18, 2020
Quote
SpaceX has suffered its second rocket landing failure of 2020 despite the fact that both lost Falcon 9 boosters successfully launched 60 Starlink satellites, an anomaly that CEO Elon Musk says will need a “thorough investigation”.

After a rare last-second launch abort on March 15th and a three-day range-related delay, Falcon 9 booster B1048 lifted off with 60 upgraded Starlink v1.0 satellites on its fifth orbital-class mission. At least for the first two and half minutes, the booster performed precisely as intended, carrying a fueled upper stage and its ~16 metric ton (36,000 lb) payload to an altitude of 55 km (34 mi) and a velocity of 1.8 km/s (1.1 mi/s). However, about 10 seconds before the booster reached main engine cut-off (MECO) and stage separation, something went wrong.

While there is some ambiguity in his response, according to Musk, at least one of Falcon 9 B1048’s nine Merlin 1D engines performed an early shutdown before MECO. The rocket’s computer immediately accounted for the anomaly, extending the remaining eight-engine booster burn 5-7 seconds beyond the nominal timeline to ensure mission success. While the booster’s loss is still disappointing and the premature engine shutdown more than a little concerning, it’s critical to remember that mission success was ensured. Just 15 minutes after liftoff, the rocket’s upper stage successfully spun up and deployed another 60 Starlink satellites, bringing SpaceX’s operational constellation to an incredible ~350 satellites. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-falcon-9-booster-lost-successful-starlink-launch/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 20, 2020, 02:21:21 PM
Indirectly relates to Dragon DM-2 launch (now targeted for mid-to-late May:  https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/18/nasa-and-spacex-targeting-mid-to-late-may-for-first-astronaut-launch-despite-coronavirus-pandemic/ ).


No family, fanfare for NASA astronaut launching next month
Quote
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A NASA astronaut who’s about to leave the planet for six months will blast off without any family or fanfare because of the coronavirus.

Chris Cassidy said Thursday that he won’t have any guests at his April 9 launch from Kazakhstan. He expects to say goodbye in Russia to his wife on Friday, three weeks earlier than planned.

Because of the coronavirus outbreak, she’s going back home to Houston. One of his three children, meanwhile, is trying to get back to the U.S. from New Zealand.

There will be a smaller team than usual at the launch pad, too. ...
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/no-family-fanfare-for-nasa-astronaut-launching-next-month
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 20, 2020, 04:41:12 PM
SpaceX got their FCC license for Starlink user terminals in the US.

Expires 3/23/2035
The license is for 1,000,000 terminals. According to it, the diameter of terminal is 0.48 meters.
https://licensing.fcc.gov/myibfs/displayLicense.do?filingKey=-429157

Location:  CONUS, Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, USVI
Quote
14.47-14.5 GHZ* is ALLOCATED (*INDICATES RADIO ASTRONOMY USE FOR SPECTRAL LINE OBSERVATIONS), ALL PRACTICABLE STEPS SHALL BE TAKEN TO PROTECT THE RADIO ASTRONOMY SERVICE FROM HARMFUL INTERFERENCE. EMISSIONS FROM SPACEBORNE OR AIRBORNE STATIONS CAN BE PARTICULARLY SERIOUS SOURCES OF INTERFERENCE TO THE RADIO ASTRONOMY SERVICE (SEE ITU RADIO REGULATIONS AT NOS. 4.5 AND 4.6 AND ARTICLE 29). US342
...
In the 10.7-11.7 GHz band, operations must be coordinated with the radio astronomy observatories listed in 47 CFR § 2.106, n.US131, to achieve a mutually acceptable agreement regarding the protection of the radio telescope facilities operating in the 10.6-10.7 GHz band For the purposes of coordination with these listed facilities or the National Radio Quiet Zone, correspondence should be directed to the National Science Foundation Spectrum Management Unit
CAPS in the original!

Reddit:  https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/flsrl7/spacex_got_their_fcc_license_for_the_user/

Per Musk’s previous comments, testing could begin after one more Starlink launch.
(However, it takes several months for the satellites to reach their operational orbits, so....)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 21, 2020, 09:15:03 PM
Quote
Marcus House (@MarcusHouseGame) 3/21/20, 9:41 AM
My new video is up! Today we're talking about the amazing @SpaceX SN3 Starship and its rapid staking. It's all coming together quickly. So much good news (and gosh do we all need it this week)!
Beautiful footage as always @NASASpaceflight /@BocaChicaGal!

youtu.be/2XDdnoJh5LY

https://twitter.com/marcushousegame/status/1241359320039616513
Includes discussion of the recent booster landing failure.

——
Speculation: SpaceX Part in NASA's Plan for Lunar Settlement
Quote
NASA has long-harbored ambitions for a lunar outpost, dating back to the Apollo era. Unfortunately any hope for such a lunar settlement has foundered due to the extraordinary cost – until now. It has been reported NASA would like to build such an outpost in tandem with the LOP-G space station, using a combination of commercial and SLS vehicles.

Any lunar settlement would require significant amounts of payload to be delivered at a reliable rate and cost. This would likely require either SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy or Starship launch vehicles due to their Super Heavy Lift capabilities and partial/full reuse. For example, Falcon Heavy can deliver ~20mt to low lunar orbit while Starship could land a truly herculean 100mt on the lunar surface, plus vehicle return and reuse!

After SpaceX were awarded a contract to study in-space refuelling, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine appeared to confirm their reliance on a more commercial approach: -
“Starship is a really big vehicle. Being able to refuel it will be necessary to become a vehicle that can get to the moon. SpaceX can use it for their reasons and we can use it for our reasons."

Overall, it seems likely NASA will soon make Starship part of their CLPS Program, which awards contracts to develop a lunar delivery service.
“For CLPS, we offered the Starship and Super Heavy launch capability,” said Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer. “That capability far exceeds the mass that CLPS was looking for [>10kg], but we think that brings pretty extraordinary capability to NASA, both for the CLPS program and others. We can bring about 100 metric tons to the moon, and certainly return more.” …
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/flugv3/speculation_spacex_part_in_nasas_plan_for_lunar/

—-
Amid bankruptcy reports, OneWeb launches 34 more satellites
March 20, 2020
Quote
OneWeb launched 34 more satellites for its broadband Internet network Saturday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, despite reports that the company might seek bankruptcy protection and stringent restrictions on travel stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

Citing sources familiar with the negotiations, Bloomberg reported OneWeb is grappling with “high costs and stiff competition” in the satellite broadband market. Bloomberg said OneWeb was considering filing for bankruptcy even as the company considers other possible out-of-court alternatives.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/03/20/amid-bankruptcy-reports-oneweb-plans-launch-of-34-more-satellites/

—-
Facing pandemic, NASA shutters rocket factory, halts SLS and Orion testing
March 20, 2020
Quote
NASA announced Thursday that work on the Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket and Orion crew capsule at facilities in Louisiana and Mississippi is being halted due to the spreading coronavirus pandemic, a stoppage that could force further delays on the already behind-schedule and over-budget programs.

Meanwhile, NASA officials said Thursday they are making plans to try and keep the agency’s next Mars rover and the multibillion-dollar James Webb Space Telescope on schedule for launches in later this year and in 2021.

NASA and its international partners are expected to continue operations aboard the International Space Station, which has been home to astronauts continuously since 2000. The station’s next three-man crew is scheduled for launch April 9 on a Russian Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

NASA said Wednesday that the first piloted test flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, developed with NASA funding, is scheduled for launch in mid-to-late May from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are training for the mission, which will dock with the space station.

NASA plans to continue work on Mars rover, James Webb Space Telescope
The coronavirus pandemic could have far-reaching impacts across a range of NASA missions, but agency officials said Thursday they will attempt to insulate two of NASA’s most critical robotic science missions from delays caused by COVID-19-related closures.

Lori Glaze, head of NASA’s planetary science division, said the Perseverance rover remains on schedule for liftoff during a limited 20-day window opening July 17. If the mission — also known as Mars 2020 — misses this summer’s launch window, the next chance to send the rover to Mars won’t be until 2022, a delay that could add to the $2.5 billion mission’s price tag.

The Perseverance rover mission is one of two high-priority projects within NASA’s science division that are pre-approved to continue work even if the agency elevates all centers to Stage 4 in the coronavirus response plan.

The other mission is the James Webb Space Telescope, according to Grey Hautaluoma, a NASA spokesperson.
The Webb telescope is currently scheduled for launch in March 2021, but officials are expected to reassess that schedule in May after recent delays in testing at the observatory’s Northrop Grumman factory in California.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/03/20/facing-pandemic-nasa-shutters-rocket-factory-halts-sls-and-orion-testing/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on March 21, 2020, 11:30:11 PM
Has Spacex closed their Hawthorne factory in accordance with the California lockdown orders?


Will Spacex be following NASA's lead and shuttering all of their facilities to save employees, their families and communities from CV19?


I know that Musk says that children can't be affected - but the WHO issued a strong rebuttal to that almost immediately.


Hawthorne is in the heavily built up Los Angeles County and a hot spot there would be particularly difficult and expensive to control. Employees had been complaining about the vulnerability of the on-site nursery at Spacex Hawthorne. Hopefully it's been closed in accordance with the governor's orders.
Hawthorn is also ~1hr from my house in California. It's been under lockdown since the 16th and >29% are over 45. Tesla has a design shop in the city.


OT - The governor of New York has called out the National Guard to force any scoff laws into complying with his stringent lockdown orders. Hopefully GF2 was already in compliance and their employees are safe at home.


Stay Safe
Terry
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 22, 2020, 09:20:19 PM
Well-researched, with lots of data.

“CO2 emissions from all commercial aviation in 2018 totaled 918,000,000 tonnes of CO2. Compare that to the 22,780 tonnes from the aerospace industry in that same year, and we realize that you would have to fly 40,300 times more rockets per year to equal the output of airliners.

CO2 emissions from the airline industry were only 2.4% of global CO2 emissions!!! So that means in 2018, the global CO2 output of rockets was only 0.000059% of all CO2 emissions. In other words, there are a lot bigger fish to fry.”


WHAT IS THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ROCKETS HAVE ON OUR AIR?
https://youtu.be/C4VHfmiwuv4

Text version:
How much do rockets pollute? - Everyday Astronaut
https://everydayastronaut.com/rocket-pollution/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 22, 2020, 10:02:39 PM
Quote
<< Will you make ventilators in the SpaceX factory?

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 3/20/20, 1:54 PM
Yeah, SpaceX is working on ventilators too
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1241060582402347008
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 25, 2020, 01:33:02 PM
The SAOCOM 1B satellite launch scheduled for NET March 30 will be delayed, because the Argentinian satellite’s technicians can’t travel to the Cape.  There are also several smallsats included with this launch, which face similar obstacles.
 
SpaceX gets first taste of coronavirus epidemic's consequences
Quote
Shortly after the growing global pandemic began to bare its teeth, the Argentinian government made the decision to almost completely ban international travel for the time being, while citizens now face heightened restrictions in a bid to legally enforce social distancing precautions. A scientific satellite launch has unsurprisingly not won exemption rights, meaning that it’s now all but impossible for the Argentinian space agency to send people and supplies back and forth from Florida – a necessity for something as complex as a satellite launch campaign. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-rocket-launch-coronavirus-conseqeunces/

—-
The $400 billion space industry is bracing for coronavirus, as two NASA employees test positive
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/15/the-400-billion-space-industry-and-nasa-brace-for-coronavirus.html

——
Quote
Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) 3/25/20, 1:07 AM
Video: SpaceX is making the final preparations at its Boca Chica launch site ahead of Starship SN3's upcoming test campaign. Meanwhile, Starship SN4 construction is already well underway.
Footage via @BocaChicaGal and edited by @thejackbeyer.
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1242679365709598722

SpaceX Boca Chica - Launch site preps underway as Starship SN3 nears completion
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QF9iFe-dMFM


——-
March 23, 2020
Study recommends minimizing elements for Artemis lunar lander
Quote
The study looked at more than 326,000 different potential architectures, using varying combinations of launch vehicles, module designs and propulsion options. Aerojet used an approach called “utility analysis” to score the performance of each architecture using various technical and cost criteria, then picked 21 architectures for further study.

“The highest utility scoring configurations are the two-element configurations,” Kokan concluded, with just ascent and descent stages and without a transfer stage. In those scenarios, the heavier descent stage would launch on a Space Launch System Block 1B rocket, with its Exploration Upper Stage (EUS), and the ascent stage on a commercial launch vehicle, such as a Falcon Heavy or Vulcan Heavy.
https://spacenews.com/study-recommends-minimizing-elements-for-artemis-lunar-lander/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 25, 2020, 03:08:12 PM
Aerospace and defense companies like SpaceX are counted as “critical infrastructure” businesses. Their launches and technology support national security, the functioning of global positioning systems and more.
SpaceX sends some workers home after employee and One Medical medic test positive for COVID-19
Quote
At least one employee and one outside health care provider at SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California, have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, sending some employees into quarantine, according to an internal memo seen by CNBC. At the facility, the company has taken other steps to try and protect nervous workers, including handing out protective gear and making hand sanitizer in-house, according to several current employees and family members who spoke to CNBC.
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/24/spacex-one-medical-employees-in-hawthorne-test-positive-for-covid-19.html

—-
Military officials committed to keeping Cape Canaveral open for launches
Quote
The 45th Space Wing typically prioritizes national security space missions, such as the launch of a military communications, navigation or reconnaissance satellite, first on the range. Then civilian government missions, such as launches of NASA science probes or crews and cargo to the International Space Station, receive second priority.

Schiess said he does not expect to have to allocate staff and range resources away from commercial missions to support critical national security missions.

“I don’t see that happening at all, but if we got to a point where we had to decide, we have a normal standard process where national security space takes precedence, followed by civil missions, and then followed by commercial (launches),” Schiess said.

Schiess said military officials are working with dozens of contractors required to support range operations. If Florida’s government issues a stay-at-home order — as other states have done — range employees with a federal badge should still be able to travel and from work, he said.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/03/24/military-officials-committed-to-keeping-cape-canaveral-open-for-launches/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on March 25, 2020, 08:52:35 PM
<snipped>
Schiess said military officials are working with dozens of contractors required to support range operations. If Florida’s government issues a stay-at-home order — as other states have done — range employees with a federal badge should still be able to travel and from work, he said. <snipped>
Badges - We don' need no steenkin' Badges
Said no one in particular ::)


Terry
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 26, 2020, 01:03:00 PM
Starship SN3 is coming together! 

Quote
Rafael Adamy (@fael097) 3/25/20, 6:11 PM
Ladies and gents, we're finally seeing a full #Starship to be! That's right, for the first time since Mk1 we may have a full height Starship prototype!
Photos by @BocaChicaGal and @nomadd13 for @NASASpaceflight
https://twitter.com/fael097/status/1242937212163051526
Image below.

< Thanks Rafael! Awesome as usual. Appreciate all your work, keeping track of ring segments, nose cone sections, engine sections. I suspect that since this is only a 20k hop, SpaceX won’t be doing the belly flop landing attempt with SN3. As such no need for flaps. Save that for SN4
<< Fanfare for the Common Rocket playing from the heavens. Saint Keith of the Keyboard Emerson, assisted by Saint Moog, engineer of twisty knobs.

—-
From earlier: 
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 3/17/20, 1:19 AM
@fael097 Pretty close. Design is evolving rapidly. Would be great to flatten domes, embed engines & add ~1.5 barrel sections of propellant for same total length. Also, current legs are a bit too small.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1239783440704208896
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 26, 2020, 01:21:00 PM
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 3/26/20, 3:12 AM
SN3
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1243073406884630528
Left image below.

< Will SN3 have windows?
<< no, runs on linux

—-
*Around 3am local time, SpaceX technicians stacked Starship SN3’s two main segments, completing its tank and engine section.

SpaceX Starship launch pad upgraded as Elon Musk reveals rocket production milestone
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-launch-pad-upgrades-production-milestone/
Image below.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 27, 2020, 08:55:15 PM
New SpaceX Cargo DragonXL for Artemis lunar missions! 8)

•NASA has selectedSpaceX as the initial commercial partner to deliver cargo, experiments and other supplies to the lunar Gateway.
•The Gateway Logistics Services contract enables NASA to order missions for as long as 12 years with a 15-year performance period.
•NASA is planning multiple supply missions in which the cargo spacecraft will stay at the Gateway for six to 12 months at a time.


Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 3/27/20, 2:27 PM
SpaceX will launch a variant of Dragon, optimized to carry more than 5 metric tons of cargo to Gateway in lunar orbit
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1243605680449130497

NASA Awards Artemis Contract for Gateway Logistics Services
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-artemis-contract-for-gateway-logistics-services

Falcon Heavy launcher
NASA picks SpaceX for lunar orbit missions with Dragon XL, Falcon Heavy
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/27/nasa-picks-spacex-for-lunar-orbit-missions-with-dragon-xl-falocn-heavy.html

Edit:  The current Dragon can carry 6,000kg/13,228lbs of payload.
https://www.spacex.com/dragon
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: crandles on March 28, 2020, 01:36:34 PM
Coronavirus: OneWeb blames pandemic for collapse

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52070949

Less competition for SpaceX. Wonder if they will consider buying assets and if so is that for assets or just to stop competition.

Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 28, 2020, 03:29:57 PM
Coronavirus: OneWeb blames pandemic for collapse

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52070949

Less competition for SpaceX. Wonder if they will consider buying assets and if so is that for assets or just to stop competition.

Well, a week ago, the reason was “high costs and stiff competition.” (See #581 above.)  But coronavirus likely set up a death blow.

Interesting that the U.K. will be responsible for the satellites if OneWeb goes under.  I wonder if ESA would be interested in acquiring them.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 28, 2020, 03:34:06 PM
Quote
Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) 3/27/20, 8:37 PM
SpaceX is set to launch the GPS III SV-3 mission no earlier than April from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

The company notes that the @45thSpaceWing is proactively monitoring the coronavirus situation, with no guarantee of onsite media access for the mission.
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1243698702969118724

———-

SpaceX "DARKSAT" results: can Starlink and astronomy happily coexist?
By Eric Ralph March 27, 2020
Quote
…As previously discussed on Teslarati, initial results first published on March 18th revealed that the Starlink DARKSAT prototype – essentially an early alpha test for darkening techniques – was already 55% darker than unmodified spacecraft. While making satellites less reflective makes thermal management a much greater challenge, DARKSAT has managed to raise its orbit and begin operations without issue, although it’s unknown whether the satellite’s antennas and avionics are also functioning nominally.

For darker spacecraft, perhaps the most important test will be long-term reliability, as constantly absorbing more heat than a reflective satellite is likely to put their structure, avionics, and radiators through significantly more thermal stress. As such, SpaceX may launch a limited number of additional darkened prototypes over the coming months but is much less likely to darken all satellites on any given launch until DARKSATs have successfully operated in orbit for months or even years.

On the ground, SpaceX may try to perform sped-up stress testing, but proving that darker satellites are a viable solution will almost invariably take time. Earlier this month, CEO Elon Musk revealed that SpaceX may attempt to design deployable solar shades for Starlink satellites if darkening their bodies is not enough to fully mitigate major impacts to astronomy. Knowing SpaceX, the first in-orbit solar shade test(s) could happen during any of several upcoming Starlink launches. …
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starlink-darksat-astronomy-impact-photos/

Quote
Dr Marco - Stay At Home! - Langbroek (@Marco_Langbroek) 3/23/20, 1:10 PM
These images which I shot yesterday evening, show 3 @SpaceX #starlink satellites, including STARLINK-1130 "DARKSAT", passing the same part of the sky in 10 min time.
As can be seen, Starlink-1130 is clearly fainter due to its reflectance-reducing coating.
https://twitter.com/marco_langbroek/status/1242136773670703106
Image below.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 31, 2020, 03:36:15 PM
     We knew this. :)
Japan To Launch Astronaut On SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Spacecraft
Quote
The Japanese space agency (JAXA) has announced that one of its astronauts will fly on the first operational launch of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, possibly by the end of 2020.

In a brief statement JAXA said astronaut Soichi Noguchi had been selected for the mission, noting he was “currently preparing and training” for the flight, which will take him to the International Space Station (ISS) for six months. … 
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonathanocallaghan/2020/03/31/japan-to-launch-astronaut-on-spacexs-crew-dragon-spacecraft/#bef90c23df80

========
SpaceX shares payload guide for Starship
The new document does not include pricing information for Starship, alas.
Eric Berger - 3/31/2020
Quote
SpaceX has released the first edition of a Payload User's Guide for its Starship launch system, which consists of a Super Heavy first stage and the Starship upper stage. The six-page guide provides some basic information for potential customers to judge whether a launch vehicle meets their needs for getting payloads into space.

The new guide is notable because it details the lift capabilities of Starship in reusable mode, during which both the first and second stages reserve enough fuel to return to Earth. In this configuration, the rocket can deliver more than 100 metric tons to low-Earth orbit and 21 tons to geostationary transfer orbit.

The killer application, however, is the potential to refuel Starship in low-Earth orbit with other Starships, enabling transportation deeper into the Solar System for 100 tons or more. "The maximum mass-to-orbit assumes parking orbit propellant transfer, allowing for a substantial increase in payload mass," the document states. SpaceX has yet to demonstrate this technology—which has never been done on a large scale in orbit—but the company's engineers have been working on it for several years and partnered with NASA last summer. … 
https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/03/spacex-releases-a-payload-users-guide-for-its-starship-rocket/

https://www.spacex.com/sites/spacex/files/starship_users_guide_v1.pdf
Images below.

———————————
— Comparing SLS:
“The 322-foot-tall block 1 SLS will be capable of boosting 70 tons to low-Earth orbit or 26-ton payloads to the moon.   Follow-on versions, using a more powerful Exploration Upper Stage with four RL-10 engines, upgraded solid-propellant boosters and higher-thrust main engines will generate nearly 12 million pounds of thrust to propel payloads weighing more than 45 tons to the moon.”
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/03/10/nasa-inspector-general-says-sls-moon-rocket-costs-continue-to-climb/

———————————
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 31, 2020, 04:50:02 PM
Quote
We knew this. :)

But this is a surprise:  the first Crew Dragon flight after Demo-2 will now have a crew of four!

NASA Adds Shannon Walker to First Operational Crewed SpaceX Mission
Quote
NASA has assigned astronaut Shannon Walker to the first operational crewed flight of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft on a mission to the International Space Station.

Walker will join NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover Jr., as well as Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), for a six-month expedition aboard the unique space laboratory.

This mission will be the first in a series of regular, rotational flights to the station following NASA’s certification of the new crewed system following completion and validation of SpaceX’s test flight with astronauts, known as Demo-2. This test is expected to take place in mid-to-late May as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Pending the successful Demo-2 test, Walker, Glover, Hopkins, and Noguchi will launch aboard Crew Dragon on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. That launch is targeted for later this year. ...
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-adds-shannon-walker-to-first-operational-crewed-spacex-mission
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Tom_Mazanec on March 31, 2020, 04:50:57 PM
Why do they call it the "Starship"? AFAIK it won't go a millionth of the way to the nearest star!
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 31, 2020, 05:31:11 PM
Why do they call it the "Starship"? AFAIK it won't go a millionth of the way to the nearest star!

The same reason SpaceX’s autonomous drone Falcon-landing ships are named after Ian M. Banks “culture ships.”  Or the first space shuttle (prototype) was called Enterprise.  Or why Boeing calls their space capsule “Starliner.”

It’s Musk’s homage to the starships of Star Trek, the series that inspired so many to target their lives toward space:

Quote
The CEO of the rocket company SpaceX, Elon Musk, showed support for Space Force since the beginning. In a tweet in September this year, Musk wrote he supports Space Force because he felt the US needed to "make Starfleet real."

Last Friday as the new branch of the military was signed into existence, Musk welcomed Space Force with the Star-Trek reference, "Starfleet begins" he wrote via Twitter. ...
https://www.tesmanian.com/blogs/tesmanian-blog/elon-musk-shows-support-for-u-s-space-force

Edit:
When Musk asked his Twitter followers to suggest names for the first BFR/Starship, his favorite was “Starship Heart of Gold,” from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and its “infinite improbability drive.”

Edit 2:
Besides, the earlier name, “Interplanetary Transport System” was, well, dull.
https://www.inverse.com/innovation/spacex-elon-musk-aims-for-mars-bound-starship-to-tackle-more-missions

Edit 3:
The “nearest star” is only 93 million miles away. ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 02, 2020, 06:31:25 PM
NASA logo:  “the meatball” vs. the “the worm”
Quote
Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) 4/2/20, 12:06 PM
The worm is back! When the @SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts off carrying @NASA_Astronauts aboard #CrewDragon, it will sport the iconic symbol to mark the return of human spaceflight on American rockets from American soil.
More:
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/the-worm-is-back
#TheWormIsBack
https://twitter.com/jimbridenstine/status/1245744389692981259
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on April 03, 2020, 05:25:33 PM
Elon has had the crew in Boca Chica working away despite CV-19 restrictions.

https://youtu.be/kkqgkccWKYI

It huffed, and it puffed, and it blew itself down.

The results were far from encouraging as SN3 proved to be the 3d vehicle in a row that couldn't stand the strain of cryogenic loading. Musk continues to talk of outer space fuel transfers, but so far he hasn't hasn't figured out how to fuel up on land.

Musk's Massive Missile ended up looking like the crushed tin tinkertoy tube that the fat kid sat on.

https://www.theverge.com/2020/4/3/21206662/spacex-starship-deep-space-rocket-failure-test-stand-texas-prototype (https://www.theverge.com/2020/4/3/21206662/spacex-starship-deep-space-rocket-failure-test-stand-texas-prototype)
Terry
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 03, 2020, 05:52:20 PM
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 4/2/20, 6:18 PM
SN3 passed ambient temperature pressure test last night, now doing cryogenic
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1245837966427095041

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 4/2/20, 10:36 PM
Some valves leaked at cryo temp. Fixing & will retest soon.

——
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 4/3/20, 5:13 AM
We will see what data review says in the morning, but this may have been a test configuration mistake

Pranay Pathole (@PPathole) 4/3/20, 5:14 AM
Elon, it seemed like CH4 tank was filled and the LOX tank which was not filled collapsed because of the weight.

Kelsi (@randomblamekd) 4/3/20, 5:16 AM
 lox valve should not have been opened until methane tank was empty.

Phil Wilson (@FxPhilW) 4/3/20, 5:34 AM
Yup.
"We will see what data review says in the morning, but this may have been a test configuration mistake."

They might have drained the lower tank, while the upper tank was full.
Need to drain upper tank before draining lower tank.
https://twitter.com/fxphilw/status/1246008036432310272
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 03, 2020, 09:37:42 PM
Some of the other aerospace companies continuing their work during the pandemic:

ESA Will Break COVID-19 Restrictions To Nudge BepiColombo Towards Mercury
Mar 30, 2020,
Even in the midst of a global pandemic, gravity and velocity wait for no man. Spacecraft en route to far-flung destinations within our solar system demand course corrections. That’s why the European Space Agency (ESA) is temporarily disregarding COVID-19 protocol to provide the European-Japanese BepiColombo spacecraft with one of the nudges it needs to reach Mercury orbit by late 2025.
Engineers will have to control the spacecraft maneuver at the agency’s European Space Operations Center (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany while complying with social distancing. 

—-
Avio exempt from coronavirus lockdown. The Italian government declared aerospace companies exempt from the nationwide lockdown aimed at halting the spread of the coronavirus, enabling Avio to continue production of rockets, Avio CEO Giulio Ranzo said, according to SpaceNews. Arianespace launches the Avio-built Vega rocket from the Guiana Space Center, which is presently closed.
Seeking a quick reopening ... Since 60 percent of Avio's revenue comes from manufacturing, the French government's March 16 decision to suspend launches from the Guiana Space Center shouldn't impact revenues as long as Europe's South American spaceport reopens within two to three months, Ranzo said. "We all have the same shared interest to reopen this as soon as we can," he added. Vega and its larger replacement rocket, Vega C, were due to launch four times in 2020.

—-
Blue Origin workers angered by potential Texas travel. Employees at Blue Origin say the company is pressuring workers to travel from Washington state to rural Van Horn, Texas, to conduct a test launch of the New Shepard during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many employees have expressed concerns about traveling right now, both for their safety and that of residents in rural Texas, The Verge reports. The company was originally targeting April 10 for the next New Shepard launch and was working toward that date as recently as last weekend.

Safety is the priority ... During a meeting on Wednesday, Jeff Ashby, a senior mission assurance director at Blue Origin and a former NASA astronaut, suggested there may be employment repercussions if workers didn't agree with management's decisions. Ashby said, "I would say that you should ask yourself, as an individual, are you acting as a toxin in the organization, fanning discontent, or are you really trying to help our senior leaders make better decisions?" Blue Origin told the publication it would not comment on internal meetings and maintained that safety is its highest priority.

—-
Although the ESA-Roscomos ExoMars mission will now not launch until 2022 because it will miss the July Mars Launch window…
ExoMars Mission Pushed to 2022 Due to Technical Delays and of Course, Covid-19
https://gizmodo.com/exomars-mission-pushed-to-2022-due-to-technical-delays-1842291678

… ESA and NASA are still hard at work on the Mars Sample Return Mission spacecraft, determined to launch this July.
NASA's Mars rover Perseverance still on track for July launch despite coronavirus outbreak
https://www.space.com/nasa-mars-2020-rover-perseverance-july-launch-coronavirus.html

——
Air Force still working toward big rocket selection in 2020. While the COVID-19 pandemic is creating unprecedented challenges, officials insist they are doing what they can to keep the Pentagon's contracting machine in motion, SpaceNews reports. "We intend to the maximum extent possible to stay on track," Lt. Gen. John Thompson, commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center, said.
No problems for now ... SMC is reviewing bids from launch providers competing for two five-year contracts to be awarded in mid-2020 for national security space-launch services. Thompson said the source selection work has not stopped since SMC shifted to telework two weeks ago. Some launch providers are developing new rockets for the competition, but Thompson said that, so far, none has indicated being unable to stay in the race due to the pandemic.

DoD leaders said keeping the flow of contracts moving is key for suppliers that are running out of cash during the pandemic. Roper said he worries about small businesses that have developed important technologies for national security and are now struggling.
Air Force, Space Force procurement offices try to keep programs moving during pandemic
https://spacenews.com/air-force-space-force-procurement-offices-try-to-keep-programs-moving-during-pandemic/

H/t:  https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/04/rocket-report-new-shepard-push-angers-workers-falcon-9-gets-wormed/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 05, 2020, 03:41:08 PM
Quote
Pranay Pathole (@PPathole) 4/3/20, 5:14 AM
Elon, it seemed like CH4 tank was filled and the LOX tank which was not filled collapsed because of the weight.
[ Image below.]

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 4/5/20, 1:54 AM

Pretty much. Good news is that this was a test configuration error, rather than a design or build mistake. Not enough pressure in the LOX tank ullage to maintain stability with a heavy load in the CH4 tank. This was done with N2.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1246677676733104130

< Thrust section seems intact, any plans to reuse it, or just build a new one?
Elon Musk (@elonmusk)4/5/20, 3:24 AM
Hard to hide anything from the Internet! Yeah, we’re going to reuse much of the thrust section.

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1246700305988943872


Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 4/5/20, 3:30 AM
Raptors
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1246701851585794048
Photo below.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 07, 2020, 09:27:18 PM
By popular demand!  A 30-second time-lapse video taken at the top of the Falcon booster, starting at grid fin activation and “the flip”, and ending with a drone ship landing!
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 4/6/20, 9:21 PM
Here you go
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1247333596097998848
Video at the link.

Quote
< Any angles from the droneship? ;)
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 4/6/20, 9:46 PM
High pucker-factor landing
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1247340041552068609
15-second vid from the drone ship. Yikes!
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 08, 2020, 12:41:45 AM
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 4/7/20, 2:55 PM
Good splashdown of Dragon confirmed, completing the 20th and final @Space_Station resupply mission for SpaceX’s first iteration of the Dragon spacecraft!
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1247598934102388736
 
The spacecraft that utterly transformed SpaceX has flown its last mission
Quote
... Beginning in 2012, SpaceX flew its first cargo mission to the station. On Tuesday, Cargo Dragon completed its 20th and final flight to the station, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. (For future supply missions, SpaceX will use a modified version of Crew Dragon, which has 20 percent greater volume and twice as much powered locker capacity).

Over the last eight years, various Dragon spacecraft have spent a total of 547 days attached to the space station, flown more than 450,000kg of cargo to the space station, and returned more than 35,000kg of science experiments and other cargo back to Earth.

For this service, SpaceX offered NASA a pretty good bargain. According to the space agency's own analysis, NASA's investment in SpaceX bought a service that cost as much as 10 times less than the traditional cost-plus contracting approach and two to three times less than the cost of continuing to fly cargo on the space shuttle. …
https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/04/the-spacecraft-that-utterly-transformed-spacex-has-flown-its-last-mission/

——
Thursday morning, the new ISS crew launches from Kazakhstan, and next week, the current crew leaves!  There’s also an interview from the ISS for “Late Night with Stephen Colbert” scheduled, covering social isolation.
(The SpaceX Demo-2 crewed mission is now targeted for late May, or June, per Eric Berger in the above article.)
https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/schedule.html
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 09, 2020, 02:07:35 PM
——- Coronavirus
Quote
Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) 4/6/20, 10:17 AM
Medtronic chairman and CEO Omar Ishrak says its partnership with SpaceX is "extremely important," as the rocket builder is using its "expertise in valve production" to make a "critical component" for ventilators.
"SpaceX is helping us multiply the number of such devices."
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1247166543336742912
1-minute CNBC interview at the link.

Next GPS launch delayed by coronavirus concerns; X-37B launch remains on track
April 7, 2020 Stephen Clark
Quote
The U.S. Space Force said Tuesday that the [SpaceX] launch of the next Global Positioning System satellite from Cape Canaveral would be delayed from late April “to minimize the potential of COVID-19 exposure to the launch crew and early-orbit operators.” ...
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/04/07/next-gps-launch-delayed-by-coronavirus-concerns/

——- Starlink
SpaceX plans another Starlink launch next week
Quote
Musk said SpaceX is not currently thinking about spinning off the Starlink project to form another company, adding that his main goal is ensuring that Starlink is a viable business after previous attempts to build large constellations of communications satellites in low Earth orbit ran into trouble.

“We need to make the thing work,” he said. “It’s real important to just set the stage here for LEO communications constellations. Guess how many LEO constellations didn’t go bankrupt? Zero.”

OneWeb announced last month it was filing for bankruptcy after launching the first 74 of a planned fleet of nearly 650 Internet satellites.

“Not to bankrupt,” Musk said. “That would be a big step — to have more than zero in the not bankrupt category.”
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/04/08/spacex-plans-another-starlink-launch-next-week/

Why this particular Starlink launch is important:
SpaceX's next launch ready to go just weeks after in-flight engine failure
Quote
At least for now, neither NASA or the USAF have plans to fly their most valuable payloads on flight-proven Falcon boosters. While that may change over the next several years, it means that SpaceX’s Starlink-5 anomaly and missions like Crew Dragon Demo-2 and GPS III SV03 – both set to fly on new boosters – share much less commonality. Of course, this assumes that B1048’s March 18th engine failure is directly related to the booster’s exceptionally flight-proven nature. Were SpaceX’s investigation to conclude that the fault had nothing to do with multi-launch wear and tear, it would likely ground Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy indefinitely.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-next-launch-date-engine-failure-return-to-flight/


=========  Boeing Starliner test reflight confirmed
Boeing says it’ll redo uncrewed flight test of Starliner space taxi to space station
by Alan Boyle on April 6, 2020 at 4:12 pm
https://www.geekwire.com/2020/boeing-says-itll-redo-uncrewed-flight-test-starliner-space-taxi-space-station/

Brief recap of the story so far:
Boeing Will Refly the Uncrewed Starliner Mission After December Failure
https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/308938-boeing-will-refly-the-uncrewed-starliner-mission-after-december-failure


========== Art imitates life
Quote
Pranay Pathole (@PPathole) 4/6/20, 11:39 PM
The iconic FH boosters land in Westworld season 3
https://twitter.com/ppathole/status/1247368280769097728
Image below.
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 12, 2020, 03:13:37 AM
New document reveals significant fall from grace for Boeing’s space program
"I have decided to eliminate Boeing from further award consideration."

Eric Berger - 4/10/2020
Quote
[A] new document released by NASA reveals the broader scope of Boeing's apparent decline in spaceflight dominance. The "source selection statement" from NASA explains the space agency's rationale for selecting SpaceX over three other companies—Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Sierra Nevada Corporation—to deliver large supplies of cargo to lunar orbit. NASA announced its selection of SpaceX for this "Gateway Logistics" contract in late March. The selection document says that SpaceX provided the best technical approach and the lowest price by a "significant" margin.

Of the four contenders, [Boeing] had the lowest overall technical and mission suitability scores. In addition, Boeing's proposal was characterized as "inaccurate" and possessing no "significant strengths." Boeing also was cited with a "significant weakness" in its proposal for pushing back on providing its software source code.

Due to its high price and ill-suited proposal for the lunar cargo contract, NASA didn't even consider the proposal among the final bidders. In his assessment late last year, NASA's acting chief of human spaceflight, Ken Bowersox, wrote, "Since Boeing’s proposal was the highest priced and the lowest rated under the Mission Suitability factor, while additionally providing a conditional fixed price, I have decided to eliminate Boeing from further award consideration."

NASA is presently in the final throes of deciding how it will get humans to the lunar surface by 2024. It is notable that the most likely scenario involves launching crew and a lander on the same rocket, which would require Boeing to both complete the Space Launch System rocket's core stage—under development for nearly a decade now—as well as a brand-new second stage called the Exploration Upper Stage before then. …
https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/04/a-nasa-analysis-of-boeings-lunar-cargo-delivery-plan-is-very-unflattering/

=====
Russia Space Chief Spars With Elon Musk Over Launch Pricing
 04/11/20
Quote
The head of Russia's space agency on Saturday accused Elon Musk's SpaceX of predatory pricing for space launches, which is pushing Russia to cut its own prices.

He said the Roscosmos space agency "is working to lower prices by more than 30 percent on launch services to increase our share on the international markets."
"This is our answer to dumping by American companies financed by the US budget," he said.

Musk responded to the criticism Saturday by saying on Twitter: "SpaceX rockets are 80% reusable, theirs are 0%. This is the actual problem." …
https://www.ibtimes.com/russia-space-chief-spars-elon-musk-over-launch-pricing-2956833

    —-
Quote
Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) 4/10/20, 11:37 AM
Dmitry Rogozin, head of Russia's space program, accuses NASA and SpaceX of price dumping, and will compensate by reducing its costs by 30 percent. ...

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 4/11/20, 2:45 AM
SpaceX rockets are 80% reusable, theirs are 0%. This is the actual problem.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1248864681894305797

Katya Pavlushchenko (@katlinegrey) 4/11/20, 3:01 AM

No matter how many times you repeat this, Roscosmos is deeply convinced that SpaceX receives funding from NASA and the military, and this is the reason for the low cost of your launches.
- I tried to talk to some people from the Russian space industry about reusability - they looked at me as if I didn't make sense.

Lauren Row (@LaurenRow5) 4/11/20, 3:09 AM 
This is from 2018, but I like this format

 [⬇️ Image below.]
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 12, 2020, 09:44:01 PM
New document reveals significant fall from grace for Boeing’s space program
"I have decided to eliminate Boeing from further award consideration."

Here’s a more detailed look at why NASA chose SpaceX (via Dragon XL and Falcon Heavy) to deliver cargo to the Lunar Gateway, over the other companies.
NGIS = Northrop Gruman
SNC = Sierra Nevada

SpaceX Beat Boeing For Moon Logistics Through In-House Design & Strong Dragon Track Record
Quote
...Of the four, SpaceX was evaluated with the best overall capabilities to execute logistics deliveries to Gateway. The company's track record with its reusable cargo spacecraft Dragon, the Dragon's overall design, its lower packing density and other strengths that include improved battery performance resulted in the decision going in its favor.

In the technical approach subfactor, SpaceX came out on top as the agency identified two significant strengths, eight strengths and five weaknesses with the company's proposal. The significant strengths are the DragonXL's cargo delivery capacity exceeding NASA's requirements and the vehicle's cargo stowage design which is theoretically capable of in-orbit storage and improved trash management.

The strengths unique to the Hawthorne-based space startup are excess battery storage capacity and an approved approach to safety-critical software. As opposed to Boeing, SpaceX let a third party evaluate its safety-critical software through a third party independent verification and validation (IV&V).

Additionally, SpaceX and SNC were the only two companies that did not have a significant weakness in their approach, as opposed to Boeing and NGIS who had three and one significant weaknesses in their proposals. A significant weakness can often result in a manufacturer missing out on a contract, with mere weaknesses being deemed as 'fixable' by NASA administrators.

Northrop Gruman delivers second-best proposal but loses out due to potential fairing impingement threatening launch and cargo delivery vehicles. …
https://wccftech.com/spacex-gateway-boeing-design-dragon/

Here’s the (redacted) selection document itself:
https://www.docdroid.net/EvbakaZ/glssssredacted-version-pdf
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 13, 2020, 09:59:07 PM
Bridenstine says Crew Dragon could launch with astronauts at end of May
• Bridenstine:  “I’m fairly confident that we can launch at the end of May. If we do slip, it’ll probably be into June. It won’t be much.”
• Hurley and Behnken are expected to live and work aboard the space station for two or three months, then return to Earth for a splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean east of Cape Canaveral.
• Coronavirus precautions
• Final parachute tests
Quote
“Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will go up as not just demonstration pilots for Demo-2, but they would actually become crew on-board the International Space Station for a period of months to do work, and they would continue to operate on the ISS,” Bridenstine said. “And then when we’re ready with the next Crew Dragon, they’ll come home.

“We will do a full evaluation of the Demo-2 Crew Dragon, so we’ll be on Earth for about a month with the Demo-2 Crew Dragon just doing inspections and evaluations and making sure that it’s safe, and then when we make sure that it operated how we expected it to operate, we’ll be ready to launch right into crewed missions for normal operations.”

The Demo-2 mission was originally scheduled to last a couple of weeks, but NASA is extending the flight’s duration to give the space station additional crew members.

The station is typically staffed with a six-person crew, and that will increase to seven people once SpaceX and Boeing spaceships are regularly flying to the orbiting research lab.

Bridenstine said the second piloted Crew Dragon mission — and the first operational crew rotation flight to use the SpaceX capsule — could launch in August or September, assuming the Demo-2 mission takes off in late May or early June.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/04/13/bridenstine-says-crew-dragon-could-launch-with-astronauts-at-end-of-may/


=======
As was promised, Starlink satellites reaching End of Life will be deorbited.
Quote
Jonathan McDowell (@planet4589) 4/13/20, 11:05 AM
The two `Tintin' Starlink test satellites launched in Feb 2018 appear to be in the process of being retired. Their orbital decay suddenly accelerated on Mar 28. 
https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1249715215068991488
Image below.

Reddit discussion:
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/g0lrkg/jonathan_mcdowell_on_twitter_the_two_tintin/
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: TerryM on April 14, 2020, 07:32:17 PM
Because WWE & Spacex are "ESSENTIAL"
Terry
Title: Re: SpaceX
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 16, 2020, 10:29:02 PM
April 16:
SpaceX rolled out its next Falcon 9 rocket Thursday and lifted the launcher vertical on pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in preparation for a test-firing of its first stage main engines. Launch is scheduled for April 23 with SpaceX’s next batch of 60 Starlink satellites.
https://spaceflightnow.com

April 23 Falcon 9 • Starlink 6
Launch time: 1916 GMT (3:16 p.m. EDT)
Launch site: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is expected to launch the seventh batch of approximately 60 satellites for SpaceX’s Starlink broadband network, a mission designated Starlink 6. Delayed from April 16.

——
We haven’t heard much about SpaceX’s smallsat rideshare program lately.  But we should see some action soon:
SpaceX on a roll with latest small satellite launch contract wins
Quote
... At face value, SpaceX’s Smallsat Program offers an extremely poor deal for individual cubesat owners on the market for launch services. However, through a growing number of flight-proven organizers like Exolaunch, Nanoracks, and others, markets and actual hardware are being developed to give the many hundreds or thousands of potential customers a cheap and reliable way to space. Uncertainties undoubtedly remain but SpaceX appears to be well on its way to securing a range of relatively valuable keystone customers, potentially becoming the go-to option for smallsat launches.

SpaceX’s first Smallsat Program rideshare could happen as early as June 2020, hitching a ride on one of the two-dozen internal Starlink missions planned this year. The first dedicated rideshare is working towards its own December 2020 launch debut. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-wins-small-satellite-launch-contracts/

=====
From the recent Elon tweetstorm on rocket stuff:
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 4/15/20, 10:28 PM
I have great respect for anyone who gets a rocket to orbit! It’s very hard. I’m spending crazy hours on Starship design/production. It is truly an honor to work with such great engineers. SN4 is almost done  :D
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1250612062989905921
 
Reddit:
Elon Tweetstorm (Re: Rocket Reuse, Reliability, Rocketlab, Starship) - spacex
Quote
Elon gets into it with Eric Berger and twitterverse, here's highlights: -
Eric Berger: "SpaceX is surely saving money on launches, and if the Falcon 9 weren't already insanely cheaper than everyone else, the company could cut prices substantially."
Elon: "True. Only reason other medium & heavy lift rocket companies are winning any missions at all is due to govt intervention. Otherwise, they’d be as defunct as expendable airplane companies. ULA is powered by lobbying."
Eric Berger: "Maybe check Block 5’s record [on reliability]."

Elon: "Also, it costs less $ to insure a Falcon 9 mission. That’s the acid test."
Michael Sheetz: "How much less?"
Elon: "Last I checked, over a million dollars less. Moreover, F9 is launching far more often & is only [American] rocket fully NASA-approved for launching astronauts, so that gap is increasing."
Everyday Astronaut: "Atlas V is an American rocket (well minus the engines ;)"
Elon: "Yeah, Atlas main engine is Russian. Great engine, but not US. Also, their fairing is Swiss. I think interstage & payload separation system also not US."
[CProphet sidenote: believe Airbus manufacture Atlas V airframe]
Elon: "Fundamentally, Atlas is still dependent on Russia to launch"

Elon: "Merlin is arguably version 6 or 7 by now. It’s a real workhorse, but looks so simple next to Raptor!"
Tobi Li: "What Is the latest SN number for the raptor engine?"
Elon: "SN26"

Sivakumar Kumar: "What do you think about @RocketLab’s latest retrieval effort?"
Elon: "Some of the small launcher activity is cool, especially @rocketlab. Downsides are helicopter retrieval doesn’t scale to bigger rockets & is highly weather-dependent. Also, propulsive landing is needed for moon/Mars. That said, it’s probably right move for small LEO vehicle."

Elon: "I have great respect for anyone who gets a rocket to orbit! It’s very hard. I’m spending crazy hours on Starship design/production. It is truly an honor to work with such great engineers. SN4 is almost done :)" …
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/g2ddd0/elon_tweetstorm_re_rocket_reuse_reliability/

Article with photos:
SpaceX’s recent Starship testing challenges don’t w