Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 FT - ORBCOMM-2 - RTF (Return To Flight) DISCUSSION THREAD  (Read 908917 times)

Online Chris Bergin

A thread to discuss SpaceX's efforts to Return To Flight (RTF) following the loss of the Falcon 9 and Dragon during the CRS-7 Launch, now assigned as the ORBCOMM-2 Mission.

Please note this is discussion thread. Please use the UPDATE threads for updates. Bit of a risk having two discussion threads overlapping, but let's see if we can separate failure discussion and RTF discussion.

RTF Target is NET December.

Other ORBCOMM OG2 Flight 2 Threads:
SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 - Orbcomm OG2- July 14, 2014 - DISCUSSION THREAD
SpaceX Sign 18 spacecraft deal with ORBCOMM

To bring us up to date:

PRE-LAUNCH CRS-7:

ASDS ARTICLE:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/06/spacex-augments-upgrades-drone-ship-armada/

STATIC FIRE ARTICLE:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/06/spacex-static-fire-falcon-9-crs7-mission/

FAILURE ARTICLES:

Launch Failure:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/06/falcon-9-crs-7-dragon-commute-orbit/

Initial Findings:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/07/spacex-working-falcon-9-diagnosis-treatment/

Elon review of investigation results:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/07/spacex-falcon-9-failure-investigation-focuses-update/

Saving Dragon:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/07/saving-spaceship-dragon-contingency-chute/

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Additional Resources:

SpaceX News Articles from 2006 (Including numerous exclusive Elon interviews):
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=21862.0

SpaceX News Articles (Recent):
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/tag/spacex/

Dragon Articles:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/tag/dragon/

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SpaceX GENERAL Forum Section:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?board=45.0 - please use this for general questions NOT specific to this mission.

SpaceX MISSIONS Forum Section:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?board=55.0 - this section is for everything specific to SpaceX missions.

SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 - CRS-7/SpX-7 PRE-LAUNCH AND FAILURE DISCUSSION THREAD:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37476.0

SpaceX Falcon 9 RTF UPDATES:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38148.0

Party Thread (A bit pointless now):
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37749.0


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L2 Members:

L2 SpaceX Section - A dedicated full section:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?board=55.0

L2 CRS-7/SpX-7 Pre-Launch Updates
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37611.0

L2 Failure and RTF Coverage:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37906.0

L2 CRS-7 Video Footage and Analysis (pretty amazing work from the guys involved with the recovery of the landing video)
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37932.0

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UPDATE:

Falcon 9 FT - ORBCOMM-2 - Update Thread:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38148.0

Offline Kabloona

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So...which payload wants to step up and go first? Place your bets.
« Last Edit: 07/30/2015 05:54 PM by Kabloona »

Offline rcoppola

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I would think a determinant factor is whether they move straight into v1.2 for RTF or swap payloads for the final v1.1 that was to launch Jason-3 by moving CRS-8 over to that final v1.1 for September's RTF.
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Online Jcc

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I am curious about the actions they have already decided to take and what else might be required. For instance, Elon said they plan to.source struts from a different supplier and test them all individually. It seems they intend to look at all other components large or small that need to handle a significant load and make sure they are load tested as well. Any core that is already assembled may need to be disassembled and modified  and tested as well. He wants to be flying by Q4 and fly all the payloads they planned for 2015  by year's end (good luck with that).

Of course they won't fly anything until the FAA and customers say they can.
« Last Edit: 07/31/2015 12:39 AM by Jcc »

Offline wannamoonbase

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I would think a determinant factor is whether they move straight into v1.2 for RTF or swap payloads for the final v1.1 that was to launch Jason-3 by moving CRS-8 over to that final v1.1 for September's RTF.


Cores changing coasts, I can see wanting to avoid that, unless the cores each return to the factory to be reworked.

I would think that each coast can handle the transition from v1.1 to v1.2 on their own schedules and that they don't need to be linked.

If there is only one v1.1 core and upper stage left it makes sense to me that the newest core (a v1.2) would be finished with the new supports then do the normal McGregor to Cape processing.  Then the other existing cores be reworked and used as they are finished.  The one remaining v1.1 core would be reworked and flown from VAFB.

Excited to be finally into the first Falcon Heavy flow, we are getting so close!

Offline Lee Jay

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I'm not up to speed on the differences between 1.1 and 1.2, but I thought I understood that the differences involved both stages and all the engines.  If so, I can't see them "wasting" flight-built engines for 1.1.  If anything I just said is true, I would expect them to fly out the remaining portion of the 1.1 flight plan (1 flight?  2?) before moving to 1.2.  Of course, that means mods to the stages by replacing the struts and possibly anything else they find during the investigation.

Offline CJ

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RTF Target is NET End of September.

 :o :o :o :o :o

This made my jaw drop. I'd assumed, because of the "months" comment Musk made, plus the need to replace ALL the struts in both stages of existing F9's as well as spec, create, and test the new struts (which has to be done before installation, of course), that we were looking at November/December at best. 

Looks like I was wrong. And I'm delighted to be wrong!


Offline ChrisWilson68

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So...which payload wants to step up and go first? Place your bets.

CRS seems like the most likely to me.  Supplies for ISS aren't usually very expensive compared to a GEO comsat, and are mostly pretty easy to replace if something goes wrong.  Also, NASA is probably eager to get another cargo supplier back into business, so they're probably happy to help.

Offline Wonger

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RTF Target is NET End of September.

 :o :o :o :o :o

This made my jaw drop. I'd assumed, because of the "months" comment Musk made, plus the need to replace ALL the struts in both stages of existing F9's as well as spec, create, and test the new struts (which has to be done before installation, of course), that we were looking at November/December at best. 

Looks like I was wrong. And I'm delighted to be wrong!

They can work in parallel on the retrofitting the struts.  Critical path is retrofitting the first one scheduled to be launched.  You don't have to be finished with the others in the queue before RTF. 

Online Chris Bergin

NET is No Earlier Than. Could be 2027 and that NET is fine. If they launch RTF in the middle of September, then that's where the NET is badly wrong.

Online Coastal Ron

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So...which payload wants to step up and go first? Place your bets.

CRS seems like the most likely to me.  Supplies for ISS aren't usually very expensive compared to a GEO comsat, and are mostly pretty easy to replace if something goes wrong.  Also, NASA is probably eager to get another cargo supplier back into business, so they're probably happy to help.

And if SpaceX does implement the software that lets the Dragon Cargo deploy parachutes after a launcher failure, then they should have a little more confidence.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline clongton

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So...which payload wants to step up and go first? Place your bets.

ISS resupply.
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I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline msat

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So...which payload wants to step up and go first? Place your bets.

BFR sitting atop a F9 1.1..... somehow..  :P

Online 411rocket

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NET is No Earlier Than. Could be 2027 and that NET is fine. If they launch RTF in the middle of September, then that's where the NET is badly wrong.

2027 = 8:27 PM (assuming UTC, unless time zone specified), without mentioning day, month or year.....  ;D

Phrasing can mean different things, in various areas.

Offline Mader Levap

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AFAIK there is only one 1.1 core left (presumably for Jason-3). Rest is 1.2 (unofficial name, but the longer SpaceX says nothing, the stronger this moniker is).

Can they launch one 1.2 first, then single 1.1, and later 1.2 all the way*? It is very possible, considering that transition from 1.0 to 1.1 caused a lot of noise for Jason-3.

Other possibility is that they have sufficient amout of spare parts etc to launch two 1.1.

So... my bet on order of launches:
1. CRS-8
2. Jason-3
3. SES-9

This bet is risky, as Jason-3 could slip significantly, especially if SpaceX tries to put 1.2 down their throats.

And if SpaceX does implement the software that lets the Dragon Cargo deploy parachutes after a launcher failure, then they should have a little more confidence.
Does not matter. If SpaceX fails twice in row, they are in deep bovine manure.

* Until inevitable 1.3 - you do NOT get everything right with reuse at first try. ;)
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...and if you have failure, tell it anyway.

Offline Jim

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And if SpaceX does implement the software that lets the Dragon Cargo deploy parachutes after a launcher failure, then they should have a little more confidence.
Does not matter. If SpaceX fails twice in row, they are in deep bovine manure.


And it doesn't help the payloads in the trunk

Offline ChefPat

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So...which payload wants to step up and go first? Place your bets.

Carnegie Mellon and Astrobotic Technology will take advantage of cut-rate pricing on the RTF flight and their current lead in flight-article preparations to stun the world with a moon shot launch in early October in order to claim the entirety of the $20 million Google Lunar X-Prize...

Take THAT Jade Rabbit!!!


Yeah no. We're not even close.
Sorry to hear that.
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Offline dorkmo

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on the 1.1 and 1.2 topic, which launch pads are compatible with which versions? is that even an issue?

i know the west coast was getting densification equipment installed. can a 1.2 launch without it? whats the status at east coast?

are there differences in plumbing?

is there a scenario where they'd just mothball the last 1.1?

Offline Wonger

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...
is there a scenario where they'd just mothball the last 1.1?

I doubt it.

For SpaceX, that would be an awfully expensive dust collector.  It's already built, and it would be good to get paid for it.  Until they achieve RTF, their income stream is interrupted.  Even though we haven't heard of them losing any customers, I think their accrual accounting doesn't permit them to recognize most of the income of the contracts already signed until they actually launch. 

From a customer standpoint, unless they needed to have the extra performance of the v1.2, I would think the last v1.1 would be the preferable launch vehicle since it represents a lower risk than launching on the first v1.2.  Remember, SES wanted to be the first customer on the v1.2 (maybe at a discount?), and now they are waffling.  I think the waffling is due to combining the the risk from being first up with a v1.2 AND the risk surrounding the strut issue.  Why push your luck?
« Last Edit: 07/31/2015 06:24 PM by Wonger »

Offline Kansan52

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And if memory serves, the last V1.1 is promised for the NASA Jason launch. NASA had signed for a Falcon V1 and there was some problem for the to go to a V1.1. Going to a V1.2 is likely a nonstarter.

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