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Blue Origin / Re: Blue Origin's BE-4 Engine
« Last post by FutureSpaceTourist on Today at 01:36 PM »
Eric Berger article on forthcoming BE-4 testing (no new info on date) & it's significance:

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/03/heres-why-the-imminent-test-of-jeff-bezos-be-4-rocket-engine-is-a-huge-deal/
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One other thing that SpaceX/Tesla have done (and against the perceived industry wisdom as usual!) to improve their design/manufacturing flow is to use a custom/agile ERP software solution, rather than paying the Big-Boys millions for an off-the-shelf (and inflexible) SAP solution.

Apparently Tesla implemented it in 4 months with a small team of in-house software engineers. (and then updated it for SpaceX)

https://www.mendix.com/think-tank/tesla-cio-builds-erp-house-4-months-says-time-erp-upgrades/


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Orbital ATK AND NASA DONATE SHUTTLE BOOSTERS TO CALIFORNIA SCIENCE CENTER

 

Boosters to be Part of Only Existing Full Stack of the Space Shuttle on Display

 

   
 

 

Dulles, Virginia, 28 March 2017 – Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, and NASA have donated a set of flight-worthy solid rocket boosters from the Space Shuttle Program to the California Science Center to display with a full-up exhibit of the Endeavour orbiter and external tank.

 

“We take great pride in our 30-plus years of participation in the Space Shuttle Program,” said Charlie Precourt, Vice President and General Manager of Orbital ATK’s Propulsion Systems Division. “We’re pleased and honored that we can contribute hardware to this amazing exhibit at the California Science Center.”

 

The California Science Center Foundation’s goal for this exhibit is to preserve and display the only existing full stack of genuine solid rocket boosters, orbiter, and external tank for Endeavour’s ultimate display in a vertical position in the future Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center.

 

After NASA awarded the last existing flight worthy external tank (ET-94) to the Science Center Foundation in 2015, it became evident it would be critical to have a flight-worthy set of solid rocket boosters, not only for authenticity but also for seismic structural safety. Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center Project Director Dennis Jenkins made the request to Orbital ATK.

 

The booster cases that Orbital ATK is giving to the California Science Center have flown on 74 space shuttle flights and have been part of 32 ground tests. One case is new.

 

“As for the non-motor parts of the booster, we sourced a set of flight-worthy aft skirts and frustums from NASA surplus and a set of forward skirts that were used for tests for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) Program that are currently in Utah at Orbital ATK,” said Jenkins. “Orbital ATK and NASA are providing most of the smaller parts, like booster separation motors, from surplus.”

 

Construction on the space shuttle exhibit is expected to begin in the summer of 2017.

 
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Space Policy Discussion / Re: NASA FY 2018 Budget Request
« Last post by Proponent on Today at 01:31 PM »
(non mod view)
I think both Proponent and Star One are right. Especially in this day and age, it's hard to trust numbers presented without some independent corroboration. But once you trust the numbers, evaluate the case on merits.... a blending of what they are saying is probably how to look at stuff. Trust but verify? no, wrong order these days, Verify first unless you REALLY trust the source.

That makes perfect sense.  I have not read the paper, but I did skim it and notice that detailed references for cost figures are provided.  Verifying those numbers ought to be pretty straightforward in this case.  Then one can move on to consider whether the argument the author makes on the basis of those numbers is valid.
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No real change to Thursday's forecast, 70% GO, but Friday notably worse at only 40% GO:

Quote
Launch day probability of violating launch weather constraints: 30%
Primary concern(s): Cumulus Cloud Rule, Thick Cloud Layer Rule
   
Delay day probability of violating launch weather constraints: 60%
Primary concern(s): Cumulus Cloud Rule, Thick Cloud Layer Rule, Liftoff Winds
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bear with me here as i have dropped a few digits of memory precision on this; but I have read that the time for erosion from Earth-like levels of atmosphere for Mars from all sources of erosion and other factors like chemical sequestration and things like that is either 300 million years or else 300 thousand years from the time Mars' dynamism ended. Either way it's more time than humanity or human civilization or recorded history has existed.

Once you have an Earth-like atmosphere it will take a long time for it to erode, but first you have to create that atmosphere. Reducing erosion will make it easier to build up the atmosphere.
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So, not likely what this guy was tweeting about. (Did we ever find out?)
Don't believe so.  Based on the timing it could be the Froomba.  Or (more likely) it's something else like what you suggest; there are a lot of "boring" critical functions required to run an operation this large that it could be, that we would never guess without more information.
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Space Policy Discussion / Re: NASA FY 2018 Budget Request
« Last post by Lar on Today at 01:24 PM »
Launch can't be a free market, ever? That's an interesting assertion. I think there are no free markets anywhere in the classical sense, all are regulated. But some are freer than others. I see launch moving in the freer direction (thanks to NewSpace, you knew I'd say that) but I could be wrong.

And I'm going to stand behind my assertion that some providers book of business is mostly commercial birds (yachts) and only a few non commercial (aircraft carriers)....
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System schematic and simple wiring diagram. These have been requested a few times, but I am just now getting around to it. I did not include the wiring for data, so since the 5V components are USB, one should assume two data lines in addition to the positive and ground.
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The core doesn't appear to be sooty at all. I suppose besides washing it, they put on a fresh coat of spam?

The RP-1 tank and interstage still look pretty sooty. The LOX tank is always clean, and obviously the 2nd stage is bright white.

The "scars of battle" I suppose.  Presumably someone in SpaceX decided that a grubby-looking stage would/should perform no differently to a freshly-painted one whilst saving a few $k in paint and labour.

Perhaps the grubby-ness is part of their testing regime?  You know, to see if it gets more grubby??

One reason to not re-paint is that fresh paint adds weight.  Extra pounds on the first stage reduces stack overall performance to orbit.  If the existing paint is still doing its proper job, leave it alone. Wash it, check it, paint over patches where it is damaged if necessary and go back to work.  Washing off the soot also saves weight (and possibly reduces drag) and restores launch to nominal performance values.

"We run the tightest (space)ship in the shipping business"

UPS might not like them using that slogan but yeah. UPS washes trucks a lot, (it saves fuel), but doesn't repaint them unless they have to. (it adds weight)... same exact thinking.
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