Author Topic: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)  (Read 193997 times)

Offline BigDustyman

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
« Reply #40 on: 01/03/2016 01:28 PM »
anyone heard anyting else about onboard camera I think chris hinted that he heard there was good footage

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
« Reply #41 on: 01/03/2016 01:34 PM »
I'll put it differently...

As long as it takes 3 days to recover from a static fire, the impediment to one day turn-around is not the existence of the static fire, but the fact that even from a lowly static fire you still need 3 days...

And conversely, if the rocket can be fully turned around in a day, then surely it can do static fires almost at will...

True.

However I am assuming that they will be able to evaluate the engine data real time, so they can make the go/no go decision while firing the engines up. Wether it is 80% chance for go or 95% to omit hot fire will be their technical and business decision.

If they do a dedicated hot fire it involves some cost and time. They said the engines can do 40 cycles before they need refurbishment. A hot fire will expend 2,5% of that. Also when they do the hot fire an hour before launch and it is no go, then likely they cannot fix the problem in one hour. To be useful as a separate step in getting the vehicle launch ready they need to do it a day early so they can detank, repair and go. Without that buffer they are no better off with a negative hot fire result than they would be with a launch abort.

Offline clongton

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
« Reply #42 on: 01/03/2016 02:12 PM »
The key to the quick turn-around is going to be engine reliability and robustness. Elon has often cited the airline industry as his model and I note that the aircraft don't do static fires - they wind up the engines on the tarmac in preparation for takeoff and watch the gauges. If all the pressures and temperatures are steady and in the acceptable range, they let the tower know they are ready and wait for clearance. The key is the confidence in the engines. That's where SpaceX is going to have to invest its effort - the engines.
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Offline meekGee

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
« Reply #43 on: 01/03/2016 02:47 PM »
I'll put it differently...

As long as it takes 3 days to recover from a static fire, the impediment to one day turn-around is not the existence of the static fire, but the fact that even from a lowly static fire you still need 3 days...

And conversely, if the rocket can be fully turned around in a day, then surely it can do static fires almost at will...

True.

However I am assuming that they will be able to evaluate the engine data real time, so they can make the go/no go decision while firing the engines up. Wether it is 80% chance for go or 95% to omit hot fire will be their technical and business decision.

If they do a dedicated hot fire it involves some cost and time. They said the engines can do 40 cycles before they need refurbishment. A hot fire will expend 2,5% of that. Also when they do the hot fire an hour before launch and it is no go, then likely they cannot fix the problem in one hour. To be useful as a separate step in getting the vehicle launch ready they need to do it a day early so they can detank, repair and go. Without that buffer they are no better off with a negative hot fire result than they would be with a launch abort.
Yes.  To the extent that a static fire eats up engine lifetime, that will eventually be a factor.

But I doubt that it is near equivalent to a launch.  It's not just cycles, it is also runtime in seconds.  Some combination of the two.

And Musk said at some point that even when they hit the limit, the refurb is straightforward.

As for the airplane comparison - it's a desirement, but there are fundamental differences.

Airplanes have much higher thrust margins, and can lift off with an engine out, can circle around, burn off fuel, and land, all those little luxuries.

With rockets, even reusable Falcons, a good health check before takeoff is more important.

So yes, I agree eventually maybe they'll drop them, but it is not one of the next barriers on the way to rapid reusability which is what I was reacting to.
ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Offline dorkmo

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
« Reply #44 on: 01/03/2016 08:43 PM »
would it make since to invest in a test stand near the landing site?

Offline HIP2BSQRE

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
« Reply #45 on: 01/03/2016 09:14 PM »
I'll put it differently...

As long as it takes 3 days to recover from a static fire, the impediment to one day turn-around is not the existence of the static fire, but the fact that even from a lowly static fire you still need 3 days...

And conversely, if the rocket can be fully turned around in a day, then surely it can do static fires almost at will...

You don't actually need one day stage turn around to fly once a day.   I can easily envision a scenario where spacex has a fleet of 7+ first stages and launches one per day.  This gives them a week to turn around each stage, while still maintaining a daily launch cadence. 

Please remember the whole industry is not doing 100 flights in 2016.  It will be awhile before SpaceX gets to 50 flights a years, let alone 300+ years.  Remember SpaceX is currently at 6 6- 7 flights a year, this year we expect 10  -  15.  I do not expect 50+ flights a year before at least 2022. The whole industry has grow and need more flights.

Offline rpapo

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
« Reply #46 on: 01/03/2016 09:52 PM »
Would it make sense to invest in a test stand near the landing site?
Why go the effort of taking the rocket down from the landing site to erect it on a test stand, then take it back down from the test stand to transport it to whichever facility will be used to prepare it for its next flight?  And if you put the test stand so close as to be able to transport the stage to the stand vertically (hanging from a crane), then you are potentially putting more hardware in harms way if a landing goes wrong.  The landing site is pretty barren for a reason.

Keep in mind that a test stand requires fuel tanks, oxidizer tanks, a flame trench, hold-downs and perhaps other things, at the least.  Some of those things could get rather explosive if disturbed inappropriately.
« Last Edit: 01/03/2016 09:55 PM by rpapo »
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Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
« Reply #47 on: 01/03/2016 11:37 PM »
I'll put it differently...

As long as it takes 3 days to recover from a static fire, the impediment to one day turn-around is not the existence of the static fire, but the fact that even from a lowly static fire you still need 3 days...

And conversely, if the rocket can be fully turned around in a day, then surely it can do static fires almost at will...

Let's recognize that SpaceX is still a relatively young company and are on the 3rd iteration of the F9.  They don't have that many cycles on the vehicle and are still learning. 

The F9 doesn't have to much tinkering left in it.  Going forward, I think, SpaceX's development will shift to hardware and process refinements as flight history and launch rate increase.  At some point when there is enough history and process improvement that some elements like the McGregor testing or Static fire are simplified, combined or eliminated.
I know they don't need it, but Crossfeed would be super cool.

Offline Saabstory88

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
« Reply #48 on: 01/04/2016 06:15 PM »
I'll put it differently...

As long as it takes 3 days to recover from a static fire, the impediment to one day turn-around is not the existence of the static fire, but the fact that even from a lowly static fire you still need 3 days...

And conversely, if the rocket can be fully turned around in a day, then surely it can do static fires almost at will...

Let's recognize that SpaceX is still a relatively young company and are on the 3rd iteration of the F9.  They don't have that many cycles on the vehicle and are still learning. 

The F9 doesn't have to much tinkering left in it.  Going forward, I think, SpaceX's development will shift to hardware and process refinements as flight history and launch rate increase.  At some point when there is enough history and process improvement that some elements like the McGregor testing or Static fire are simplified, combined or eliminated.

Based on some job descriptions popping up, they are ramping up for faster turnaround technology, as well as more automated production.

Production:
http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/8732
http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/8527
http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/8567

Processing:
http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/8642
http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/8560

Online AncientU

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
« Reply #49 on: 01/05/2016 01:13 AM »
I'll put it differently...

As long as it takes 3 days to recover from a static fire, the impediment to one day turn-around is not the existence of the static fire, but the fact that even from a lowly static fire you still need 3 days...

And conversely, if the rocket can be fully turned around in a day, then surely it can do static fires almost at will...

Let's recognize that SpaceX is still a relatively young company and are on the 3rd iteration of the F9.  They don't have that many cycles on the vehicle and are still learning. 

The F9 doesn't have to much tinkering left in it.  Going forward, I think, SpaceX's development will shift to hardware and process refinements as flight history and launch rate increase.  At some point when there is enough history and process improvement that some elements like the McGregor testing or Static fire are simplified, combined or eliminated.

Actually, the launch sequence gives them a 'static fire' -- then they release the holddowns if everything checks out nominal.  As experience with the system grows, and the time between launches of gently-used stages decreases, this could become their static fire equivalent.
« Last Edit: 01/05/2016 01:14 AM by AncientU »
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Offline Johnnyhinbos

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
« Reply #50 on: 01/05/2016 01:41 AM »

I'll put it differently...

As long as it takes 3 days to recover from a static fire, the impediment to one day turn-around is not the existence of the static fire, but the fact that even from a lowly static fire you still need 3 days...

And conversely, if the rocket can be fully turned around in a day, then surely it can do static fires almost at will...

Let's recognize that SpaceX is still a relatively young company and are on the 3rd iteration of the F9.  They don't have that many cycles on the vehicle and are still learning. 

The F9 doesn't have to much tinkering left in it.  Going forward, I think, SpaceX's development will shift to hardware and process refinements as flight history and launch rate increase.  At some point when there is enough history and process improvement that some elements like the McGregor testing or Static fire are simplified, combined or eliminated.

Actually, the launch sequence gives them a 'static fire' -- then they release the holddowns if everything checks out nominal.  As experience with the system grows, and the time between launches of gently-used stages decreases, this could become their static fire equivalent.
Except you don't get the shutdown data. And you don't have any window for data analysis beyond the realtime bit.
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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
« Reply #51 on: 01/05/2016 01:44 AM »

I'll put it differently...

As long as it takes 3 days to recover from a static fire, the impediment to one day turn-around is not the existence of the static fire, but the fact that even from a lowly static fire you still need 3 days...

And conversely, if the rocket can be fully turned around in a day, then surely it can do static fires almost at will...

Let's recognize that SpaceX is still a relatively young company and are on the 3rd iteration of the F9.  They don't have that many cycles on the vehicle and are still learning. 

The F9 doesn't have to much tinkering left in it.  Going forward, I think, SpaceX's development will shift to hardware and process refinements as flight history and launch rate increase.  At some point when there is enough history and process improvement that some elements like the McGregor testing or Static fire are simplified, combined or eliminated.

Actually, the launch sequence gives them a 'static fire' -- then they release the holddowns if everything checks out nominal.  As experience with the system grows, and the time between launches of gently-used stages decreases, this could become their static fire equivalent.
Except you don't get the shutdown data. And you don't have any window for data analysis beyond the realtime bit.

At some point, you don't need it.
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Offline TomTX

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
« Reply #52 on: 01/05/2016 02:09 AM »
I don't know what to make of the interstage look. There's blistering in the paint, but it doesn't look like heat damage to me - I'd expect the decals to be fried if it was. Could it trapped air expanding in vacuum?
The decals appear weirdly sandblasted, but the effect is very localized. I can see why from a distance it looked like the "l" in Falcon got torn off.

The effect on the fins kinda looks like a fairly thick coating was coming off. Ablative paint?

Trapped air is quite unlikely to cause blistering, let alone blisters that big. I've put plenty of paint chips in vacuum ovens at 110C or thereabouts and even with vacuoles of gas, no issues. On the other hand, entrapped solvent can readily cause blistering upon heating. You've got that liquid -> gas transition and an approximate 1000x increase in volume.

If the paint matters, they really need to get a good paint chemist to look at what's going on and see what they need to do to fix it. Maybe it's localized cleaning/surface prep issues. Maybe entrapped solvent. Maybe a bunch of things. Needs analysis. Microscopy.  GCMS for solvents, FTIR of whole ground chip to verify composition and possibly mix ratio, FTIR of the back surfaces of the blisters to look for contamination, et cetera et cetera.

Offline yg1968

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
« Reply #53 on: 01/16/2016 04:34 PM »
One thing that was mentionned in a presentation by SpaceX last fall (at 26:10 of the video) is that Dragon1 would increase its upmass capability through a more efficient use of the volume of the spacecraft. Do we know what the number of upmass will be through this more efficient use of the capsule?



Incidentally, it was also mentionned in the video that they were working with NASA to reuse the Dragon1 spacecrafts in future missions. This isn't news. But that is one of the forums where this was specifically mentionned by SpaceX.
« Last Edit: 01/16/2016 04:46 PM by yg1968 »

Offline Dante80

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
« Reply #54 on: 01/25/2016 04:47 PM »
Quote
SpaceX Falcon 9 upgrade certified for National Security Space launches

by  Space and Missile Systems Center Public Affairs
 Space and Missile Systems Center
 
1/22/2016 - LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, El Segundo, Calif. -- Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, Air Force Program Executive Officer for Space and Space and Missile Systems Center commander, updated the certified baseline configuration of SpaceX's Falcon 9 Launch System to Falcon 9 Upgrade, for use in National Security Space (NSS) missions. The baseline configuration of the Falcon 9 Launch System was updated to the Falcon 9 Upgrade on Jan. 25.
 
 SpaceX is eligible for award of NSS launch missions, in accordance with the updated Certification Letter, as one of two currently certified launch providers.
 
 The partnership between SpaceX and the Air Force continues as they focus on SpaceX's newest vehicle configuration, Falcon 9 Upgrade. SpaceX and Air Force technical teams will jointly work to complete the tasks required to prepare SpaceX and the Falcon 9 Upgrade for NSS missions.
 
 This certification update takes into account all of the Spring 2015 Independent Review Committee's recommendations, including clarification that the SMC commander, as the certifying official, has the authority to grant certification and updates based on a New Entrant's demonstrated capability to design, produce, qualify and deliver their launch system. This includes allowing New Entrant certification with some open work, provided there are jointly approved work plans in place that support potential NSS mission processing timelines.
 
 "The certification process provides a path for launch-service providers to demonstrate the capability to design, produce, qualify, and deliver a new launch system and provide the mission assurance support required to deliver NSS satellites to orbit," Greaves said.  "This gives the Air Force confidence that the national security satellites will safely achieve the intended orbits with full mission capability."
 
 The purpose of certification is to provide high confidence for successful NSS launches by determining that New Entrants are capable of meeting Air Force established launch requirements for the complex NSS challenges and environments. The Air Force has established launch standards that all launch providers must meet to become certified. Formal design and mission reliability assessments ensure the launch system's capability to provide the necessary payload mass-to-orbit, orbital insertion accuracy, and other requirements to place a healthy payload into its intended orbit.
 
 The Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the U.S. Air Force's center for acquiring and developing military space systems. Its portfolio includes the Global Positioning System, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control networks, space based infrared systems and space situational awareness capabilities.
 
 Media representatives can submit questions for response regarding this topic by sending an e-mail to smcpa.media@us.af.mil

http://www.losangeles.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123467492

I'll attach a pretty good OG2 picture from the article.
« Last Edit: 01/25/2016 04:57 PM by Dante80 »

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
« Reply #55 on: 01/25/2016 04:58 PM »
DOD certification of the FT upgrade is welcome news. I'm slightly surprised 1 flight was sufficient and also that it only took 1 month. Was that expected? Anything to do with the more 'appropriate' DOD oversight following the drawn out issues getting F9 certified originally?

Offline Dante80

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
« Reply #56 on: 01/25/2016 05:02 PM »
DOD certification of the FT upgrade is welcome news. I'm slightly surprised 1 flight was sufficient and also that it only took 1 month. Was that expected? Anything to do with the more 'appropriate' DOD oversight following the drawn out issues getting F9 certified originally?

There are four reasons for it.

1. The provider is already certified.
2. The certification procedure has changed after the investigation.
3. This was not a different LV, but an updated variant of the same LV.
4. USAF and SpaceX have been working on this for months already.
« Last Edit: 01/25/2016 05:03 PM by Dante80 »

Offline rocx

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
« Reply #57 on: 01/25/2016 06:51 PM »
It seems to me the Falcon 9 v1.1 FT now has a more official name, the 'Falcon 9 Upgrade'.
Any day with a rocket landing is a fantastic day.

Offline Llian Rhydderch

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
« Reply #58 on: 01/25/2016 11:29 PM »
It seems to me the Falcon 9 v1.1 FT now has a more official name, the 'Falcon 9 Upgrade'.

That's the problem, this new version has had a half-dozen names, all of them sourced to SpaceX official pubs, or Shotwell, or Musk, or NSF, or Aviation Week, SpaceNews, etc. sources.  Here's just a half dozen or so of them that are noted in the Wikipedia article:  "Falcon 9 full thrust", "Falcon 9 v1.1 Full Thrust,[1] Falcon 9 v1.2, Enhanced Falcon 9, Full-Performance Falcon 9,[2] Upgraded Falcon 9,[3] and Falcon 9 Upgrade[4]"

And Chris has said that SpaceX have asked him, as a publisher, to just call the new rocket a "Falcon 9".

So I don't think it is clear, at all, that 'Falcon 9 Upgrade' is now the more official name.
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
« Reply #59 on: 01/26/2016 04:37 AM »
It seems to me the Falcon 9 v1.1 FT now has a more official name, the 'Falcon 9 Upgrade'.

That's the problem, this new version has had a half-dozen names, all of them sourced to SpaceX official pubs, or Shotwell, or Musk, or NSF, or Aviation Week, SpaceNews, etc. sources.  Here's just a half dozen or so of them that are noted in the Wikipedia article:  "Falcon 9 full thrust", "Falcon 9 v1.1 Full Thrust,[1] Falcon 9 v1.2, Enhanced Falcon 9, Full-Performance Falcon 9,[2] Upgraded Falcon 9,[3] and Falcon 9 Upgrade[4]"

And Chris has said that SpaceX have asked him, as a publisher, to just call the new rocket a "Falcon 9".

So I don't think it is clear, at all, that 'Falcon 9 Upgrade' is now the more official name.
SpaceX has used "Falcon 9 Upgrade" in its recent webcasts.  I have seen it used in official SpaceX conference presentations.  Now the U.S. Air Force has used the name officially.  I'm beginning to think that this may be the real name.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 01/26/2016 04:38 AM by edkyle99 »

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