Author Topic: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19  (Read 54717 times)

Offline braddock

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SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« on: 12/16/2005 01:44 PM »
SpaceX has announced a launch date set for Monday, December 19th, at 10am US Pacific Coast Time.  They had previously said launch would take place around December 20th contingent on the Government's Kwajalein test schedule, but they are now announcing December 19th as firm (or as firm as this business allows).

See the SpaceX web site http://www.spacex.com for details (Launch Info button at top)

Sounds like they are promising a more coordinated call-in line as well: "Media uanble to attend may listen and ask questions through a telephone conference line that will be moderated throughout the launch window by Gwynne Shotwell, VP of Business Development at SpaceX and one of the first ten employees at the company. Questions from media will be taken at designated intervals."


Offline Rocket Ronnie

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RE: SpaceX Launch Date of December 19th Set
« Reply #1 on: 12/16/2005 03:54 PM »
6pm UK is the time I work that out to be.

Offline Mark Max Q

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RE: SpaceX Launch Date of December 19th Set
« Reply #2 on: 12/16/2005 05:20 PM »
At least they won't run out of LOX this time!

Offline Avron

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RE: SpaceX Launch Date of December 19th Set
« Reply #3 on: 12/16/2005 11:37 PM »
SpaceX - Better luck this time - show them how.. Know what I will be doing 10am Monday..

Offline braddock

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RE: SpaceX Launch Date of December 19th Set
« Reply #4 on: 12/17/2005 12:58 PM »
TIME CORRECTION: The launch window on Monday does not start until 11am US Pacific Time (7pm UTC/London), media coverage will begin at 10:30am Pacific  (6:30pm UTC/London).  Only Media check-in was at 10am.  Sorry about the confusion.

We will be providing minute-by-minute coverage here in the forums, of course.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #5 on: 12/17/2005 08:02 PM »
It's going to be one of those fun nights again (the last attempt was the busiest thread we've every had on here). This will be the live update thread.

Offline Rocket Nut

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #6 on: 12/17/2005 09:53 PM »
I hate those long launch windows...I have spent many hours waiting for the end of a launch window here at the Cape, knowing that they were never going to make it.  Still couldn't go home...had to wait them out.  I wouldn't want to miss the 2 or 3 minutes of excitement during a live launch.

I've waited for hours for a launch that disappeared into low clouds within 20 seconds...still wouldn't miss it!!

Cheers,

Larry

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #7 on: 12/17/2005 10:37 PM »
Quote
Rocket Nut - 17/12/2005  10:53 PM

I hate those long launch windows...I have spent many hours waiting for the end of a launch window here at the Cape, knowing that they were never going to make it.  Still couldn't go home...had to wait them out.  I wouldn't want to miss the 2 or 3 minutes of excitement during a live launch.

I've waited for hours for a launch that disappeared into low clouds within 20 seconds...still wouldn't miss it!!

Cheers,

Larry

The countdown is a drama that is addictive enough to interest people who may not even know first thing about what is involved pre-launch. We saw a lot of this ahead of STS-114, with people who I know don't understand the terminology feeling the drama of the ever-decreasing T-.

The final few minutes of 114 seem to go so fast, but the explosive power and dangers of the launch are pre-empted in ways anyone can feel, with the noise of technicalities muted down into simple comments of "God Speed Discovery" - which personally says it all to me.

Manned space flight and debuts of new eras (such as Falcon 1) all come down to those final minutes - not knowing if she'll launch up to the final last second - of drama that unify months and years of so many people's best efforts to take one more step in building the platforms that will take us past our own small planet in what I personally believe is the human race's one chance to unify against our own shortcomings under one flag.

Space flight is that important.

Offline Rocket Nut

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #8 on: 12/18/2005 12:06 AM »
Quote
Chris Bergin - 17/12/2005  6:37 PM

Space flight is that important.

I absolutely agree there...

It is also great drama and entertainment.  A great reason to be alive!  I can no longer actually participate, but I can do so vicarioulsy via your forums.

Thanks,

Larry

Offline Mark Max Q

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #9 on: 12/18/2005 02:22 AM »
You really come out with some stiring comments, Chris. Ever wanted to be a Columnist? I bet you could have a write off with Derbyshire and knock him out :)

The last SpaceX Live update thread was great. I think so many people came here as the drama built up because Braddon and Chris were getting everything said from SpaceX on to the forum within a few seconds. Was a great job. Looking forward to a success this time.

Offline lmike

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #10 on: 12/18/2005 11:09 AM »
Sorry for a 'me too' post, but I'm really looking forward to Monday now...  Best of luck to SpaceX.

Online DaveS

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #11 on: 12/18/2005 11:15 AM »
I wish SpaceX the best of luck tommorow! They really need this one to be successfull.
"For Sardines, space is no problem!"
-1996 Astronaut class slogan

"We're rolling in the wrong direction but for the right reasons"
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Offline braddock

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #12 on: 12/18/2005 12:47 PM »
Glad to see so much excitement around here!  I have relayed some of your wishes of good luck to the SpaceX team via their Media Rep.

Also, we have tentatively arranged to have the SpaceX VP of Development Operations (a Boeing vet on Delta II, III, IV and Titan IV) take a few of your technical or general questions via e-mail.  I will let you know the details once I have confirmation.

-braddock

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #13 on: 12/18/2005 12:52 PM »
Quote
Mark Max Q - 18/12/2005  3:22 AM

You really come out with some stiring comments, Chris. Ever wanted to be a Columnist? I bet you could have a write off with Derbyshire and knock him out :)

I don't do op-ed ;) Never wanted to be a columnist as I don't believe opinion is news.

Offline Martin FL

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #14 on: 12/18/2005 01:54 PM »
Looking forward to this with it being just a day away!


Offline Super George

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #16 on: 12/18/2005 11:27 PM »
Big launch window!  :o  At least with the 30 percent chance of rain, they've got plenty of opportunities.

Offline Avron

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #17 on: 12/19/2005 12:27 AM »
Quote
Super George - 18/12/2005  7:27 PM

Big launch window!  :o  At least with the 30 percent chance of rain, they've got plenty of opportunities.


Less than a day away.. I am so looking forward to their success...   and there I was wondering how I was going to get into work and cover the launch at 7am EST... small miss-calculation - EH.. its 2pm EST... a lot better... add or subtract 3 hours...

SpaceX your timing is just great..

but I tell ya.. the coverage here was a lot better last attempt..

Offline Jamie Young

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #18 on: 12/19/2005 05:09 AM »
Long time fan of the site and lurker, signed up now to be able to follow the launch better as the last time they tried was covered here by the two people monitoring the status much much better than anyone else. And it was exciting rather with other people able to talk rather than updating the spaceflightnow site hoping they write something new every 15 minutes and usually 15 minutes after its been on here.

Looking forward to it!!

Good luck SpaceX!

Offline Orbiter Obvious

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #19 on: 12/19/2005 05:54 AM »
Good luck to SpaceX, it looks like they have the time, a good chance with the weather and all the LOX they need ;)

Those that are new here can see how this will work by looking at the previous attempt thread. I agree with Avron, it was a lot faster than anywhere else, more live! But also easy to follow, so I think you were talking about the SpaceX HQ where the local media were there being a mess, cause they didn't have the benefit of the in-line media call line.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=918&start=1 is the previous launch attempt. Also you don't have to wait for someone in charge of the site like pressing refresh all the time, you can ask questions. you get images without waiting for approval and you can have an atmosphere. Very cool.

Offline braddock

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #20 on: 12/19/2005 11:28 AM »
Elon's brother is blogging this launch attempt again live from SpaceX control on the atoll.  He was an excellent source of information at the last launch, and also has some great background about life in Kwajalein.

http://kwajrockets.blogspot.com/

Offline braddock

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #21 on: 12/19/2005 11:36 AM »
The scattered showers that were promised have moved over the island.  Forcast for tomorrow remains the same as the current conditions: Variably cloudy with 30% chance of showers, high 87F, ENE-ESE 12-18 knots with higher gusts near showers.  By the looks of the radar ( http://www.rts-wx.com/ ), there may be some waiting for a clear window.

Offline braddock

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #22 on: 12/19/2005 11:40 AM »
Update from SpaceX late last night:

All systems have passed their prelaunch checkout and we are go for launch
tomorrow at 11 a.m. California time (7 p.m. GMT).

Over the past month, we have also improved and upgraded the countdown sequence
in several ways:

*  More computer controlled operations vs manual
*  Improved ground support equipment to load propellant/pressurant faster
*  Worked with range safety to speed up checkout of the thrust termination system
*  Changed to simultaneous load of LOX and fuel on both stages

The Vandenberg hold down firing countdown was 5 hours, the first Kwaj countdown
was 4 hours and now we are at 3 hours. Having a responsive launch capability is
important to DARPA and the Air Force (and us for cost reasons), so we've put a
lot of effort into streamlining the countdown.

A C-17 buzzes Falcon for good luck:
http://www.spacex.com/graphics/content_v2/C-17.jpg

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #23 on: 12/19/2005 12:01 PM »
Quote
braddock - 19/12/2005  12:28 PM

Elon's brother is blogging this launch attempt again live from SpaceX control on the atoll.  He was an excellent source of information at the last launch, and also has some great background about life in Kwajalein.

http://kwajrockets.blogspot.com/

Looks like he's be warned off.

"Note: this blog is for entertainment purposes only and intended only for viewing by my friends. This is not endorsed by SpaceX, or part of SpaceX's official communications. Please don't trust a word I say. Really. For all you know, I'm making it all up and I'm actually sitting in my basement somewhere in Boulder."

Of course, it's his brother - but he may be gagged a bit this time :(

Offline British NASA

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #24 on: 12/19/2005 12:24 PM »
All the best SpaceX.  5 and a half hours before first attempt, right?

Offline UK Shuttle Clan

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #25 on: 12/19/2005 01:59 PM »
Four hours to go now. I'm still a bit lost on the interest in this, especially when there was like a 1000 people on here during the balls up of the last attempt to launch. But hey, it's a launch, so it's all good!

Offline FransonUK

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #26 on: 12/19/2005 02:19 PM »
Because it's more options if this one works. The more companies able to launch like this and like they plan to, the more chances there's availability to go exploring.
Don't ya wish your spaceship was hot like me

Offline Launch Fan

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #27 on: 12/19/2005 02:40 PM »
Quote
braddock - 19/12/2005  6:36 AM

The scattered showers that were promised have moved over the island.  Forcast for tomorrow remains the same as the current conditions: Variably cloudy with 30% chance of showers, high 87F, ENE-ESE 12-18 knots with higher gusts near showers.  By the looks of the radar ( http://www.rts-wx.com/ ), there may be some waiting for a clear window.

I'm happy with the weather. There should be ops if the rocket is ready to go. They can top up boil off as much as they want now with so much LOX at hand.

Offline Rob in KC

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #28 on: 12/19/2005 03:14 PM »
The wind is up to 20 MPH ENE and currently light showers.

Pretty awful images from the Sats, but at least this is getting blown away.


Offline Avron

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #29 on: 12/19/2005 04:09 PM »
Current Conditions
Temp: 79.7 deg;F (26.5 deg;C
Humidity: 86%
Dew Point: 75.4deg;F (24.1deg;C)
Wind: ENE at 20 MPH
Sky: overcast
Weather: light rain showers

Are we still good to go?

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #30 on: 12/19/2005 04:18 PM »
Ok, less than 2hrs to go until the opening of the window. As with last time, they might go for an attempt right at the start of the window.

We'll start coverage proper in about an hour (information being the deciding factor on this).

The way it'll work is I'll post literally everything relevant I'm hearing, posting it. Braddock (and we hope to have one more) will also post regardless - with the last launch attempt working this way as instant info was uploaded, plus more clarified information alongside.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #31 on: 12/19/2005 04:20 PM »
Quote
Avron - 19/12/2005  5:09 PM

Current Conditions
Temp: 79.7 deg;F (26.5 deg;C
Humidity: 86%
Dew Point: 75.4deg;F (24.1deg;C)
Wind: ENE at 20 MPH
Sky: overcast
Weather: light rain showers

Are we still good to go?

Just checking on predicted weather at the opening of the window. Right now it's a no go.

Offline Super George

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #32 on: 12/19/2005 04:55 PM »
What time are you looking to start full coverage?

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #33 on: 12/19/2005 05:02 PM »
Quote
Super George - 19/12/2005  5:55 PM

What time are you looking to start full coverage?

In about 10 minutes (one hour to go).

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #34 on: 12/19/2005 05:09 PM »
Ok people. Let's hope this goes off to plan.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/content/?id=4152 - launch preview.

T-60 mins and counting (just got that back - they are preparing for a 2pm EST, 7pm UK launch).

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #35 on: 12/19/2005 05:11 PM »
Stage One fueling in progress. Second Stage is fueled.

Offline Andy L

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #36 on: 12/19/2005 05:19 PM »
Come on weather, Clear!!!

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #37 on: 12/19/2005 05:21 PM »
Weather update on the radar due in a few minutes.

Online DaveS

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #38 on: 12/19/2005 05:22 PM »
According to spaceflightnow.com, 1st stage LOX tanks are about 82% full at this time. Coming up later is loading of the RP-1 fuel into both stages.
"For Sardines, space is no problem!"
-1996 Astronaut class slogan

"We're rolling in the wrong direction but for the right reasons"
-USA engineer about the rollback of Discovery prior to the STS-114 Return To Flight mission

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #39 on: 12/19/2005 05:26 PM »
SpaceX (phone line doesn't start for 15 mins) are saying they are going for the top of the hour launch attempt. Waiting on weather.

T-43 mins and counting.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #40 on: 12/19/2005 05:34 PM »
Excellent, we've got the actual "loop" of their mission control!

RCO has good data and reccomends they proceed.

Offline Flightstar

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #41 on: 12/19/2005 05:36 PM »
God speed Falcon 1

Offline braddock

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #42 on: 12/19/2005 05:37 PM »
We are live and online now.  I am live on the SpaceX phone link.  They appear to have made great improvemetns in the link....in fact they have hooks us up direct to an audio feed from Kwajalein control.

Currently they are doing checklists.

"Current status on fueld load.  Second stage launch is roughly xx full.  First stage tank is roughly 40% full.  Winds are up to 24 knots".

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #43 on: 12/19/2005 05:38 PM »
Both tanks currently at around 40 percent mark.

Winds 24 knots (damn).

Offline braddock

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #44 on: 12/19/2005 05:38 PM »
(sorry, missed the amount in first stage tank).

Online DaveS

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #45 on: 12/19/2005 05:38 PM »
T-30 minutes and counting. Winds are currently at 28 knots, which is a "no-go".
"For Sardines, space is no problem!"
-1996 Astronaut class slogan

"We're rolling in the wrong direction but for the right reasons"
-USA engineer about the rollback of Discovery prior to the STS-114 Return To Flight mission

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #46 on: 12/19/2005 05:38 PM »
Quote
braddock - 19/12/2005  6:38 PM

(sorry, missed the amount in first stage tank).

42 per cent.

Offline Avron

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #47 on: 12/19/2005 05:40 PM »
Quote
braddock - 19/12/2005  1:37 PM

We are live and online now.  I am live on the SpaceX phone link.  They appear to have made great improvemetns in the link....in fact they have hooks us up direct to an audio feed from Kwajalein control.

Currently they are doing checklists.

"Current status on fueld load.  Second stage launch is roughly xx full.  First stage tank is roughly 40% full.  Winds are up to 24 knots".

Spacex  have made a lot of changes in the last month...

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #48 on: 12/19/2005 05:41 PM »
SpaceX's Rebecca "Things are looking good"

RCO to LC - Countdown check at T-20mins to get everyone on the same exact time.


Offline braddock

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #50 on: 12/19/2005 05:42 PM »
Near-live picture of the Falcon I on the pad.


Offline Avron

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #51 on: 12/19/2005 05:43 PM »
Wind 24Kts... we are still green?

Offline braddock

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #52 on: 12/19/2005 05:46 PM »
"Helium on 1st and 2nd stage is fundamentally full 99%.  Same on LOX.  Now in the process of fueling."

"Winds are above our criteria right now.  Our criteria is 24 knots, winds are slightly above that now."

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #53 on: 12/19/2005 05:46 PM »
Status:

Helium full.
1st stage 95 per cent
2nd stage near full.

Winds are NOT green. Max is 24 knots, winds are in excess at the moment.

Offline braddock

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #54 on: 12/19/2005 05:47 PM »
High level of excitement amonst the crew at Kwajalein.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #55 on: 12/19/2005 05:47 PM »
We may go in and out of the count as the wind is the only factor against them at the moment, and is right now.

Offline braddock

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #56 on: 12/19/2005 05:48 PM »
Q: "How many of the team are out in Kwajalein now, and how many are there in headquarters?"
A: "We have approximately 25 folks between the island of Kwajalein and a couple of folks on the island of Mek."

Offline braddock

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #57 on: 12/19/2005 05:50 PM »
"We did actually extend the window to try to get more attempts on this.  In additon, we attempted to extend it on the earlier side because the winds tend to be lower in the morning."

"We want to try to get the most daylight to facilitate the recovery of the first stage."

"It does look like there will be sixty minute long pockets throughout the day where it looks like we will be go".

Offline Avron

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #58 on: 12/19/2005 05:50 PM »
Quote
braddock - 19/12/2005  1:42 PM

Near-live picture of the Falcon I on the pad.



Sky looks very dark - edit: no make that Black

Offline braddock

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #59 on: 12/19/2005 05:51 PM »
"The weather constraints that we have are 24 knots wind on the ground.  We do have upper level wind restrictions as well, [but upper level winds are now an issue today].  We would launch in a drizzle...."

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #60 on: 12/19/2005 05:51 PM »
"We can launch in drizzle" - SpaceX.

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #61 on: 12/19/2005 05:52 PM »
This is awesome. Thanks. Lots of people on line right now, most of them guests.

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #62 on: 12/19/2005 05:52 PM »
Q: " Have the rocket and the satellite just been in an upright position since the last attempt?"
A: "The rocket has remained in the upright position, and the satellite has remained in the fairing."  No significant maintenance has been done, except for checks.

Offline realtime

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #63 on: 12/19/2005 05:53 PM »
Quote
braddock - 19/12/2005  1:42 PM

Near-live picture of the Falcon I on the pad.

Do you have an URL for the webcast we can link to?

-Jim


Offline braddock

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #64 on: 12/19/2005 05:53 PM »
Q: Has a decision been made to stick with Vandenberg or move to Kwajalein (on future launch).
A: That decision has not been made.  The baseline launch is currently set for Vandenburg.

Offline braddock

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #65 on: 12/19/2005 05:54 PM »
Q: Is there going to be a lot of build-up or facilities that have to be in place for the larger vehicles? (Falcon V, 9)
A: The larger vehicles will require more facilities, but I don't think you'll ever see the large facilities [as in other vehicles].

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #66 on: 12/19/2005 05:57 PM »
"We are still interested in launching from Florida - Pad 36" for Falcon 1, 5, and 9.

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #67 on: 12/19/2005 05:57 PM »
Q: "Which future customers or potential customers do you have with you either in Kwajalein or in Caliifornia."  Are you still planning future launches from florida?
A: "Probably due to teh time proximity to Christmas of this particular launch, we don't have the same variety of customers in Kawajalein [as in the first attempt]"
A: Regarding the eastern range, yes we are still very interested in launching from Florida.  We need to find a spot that works there for us.  Large complex 36 there sounds like it could take a Falcon V but not a Falcon 9.  We need to find ahome where we can launch both a V and a 9 in close proximity to each other.

Offline braddock

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #68 on: 12/19/2005 05:57 PM »
"We have one addtional weather constraint."  Lightning constraint.  We have no lightening in the area right now.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #69 on: 12/19/2005 05:58 PM »
No lightning - green light on that constriant.

Countdown net about to restart in a few minutes. We are at T-10 mins by nature of the first attempt (weather pending).

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #70 on: 12/19/2005 05:58 PM »
Sunrise at -0657

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #71 on: 12/19/2005 06:01 PM »
Rocket at Sunrise a few minutes ago.  Note the increased boil-off from the high winds.


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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #72 on: 12/19/2005 06:02 PM »
Countdown on hold at T-Minus 15 minutes.  Winds too high...28 knots.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #73 on: 12/19/2005 06:03 PM »
Such a pretty sight. This is going to look spectular.

Waiting on status. SpaceX attempting to get the launch net audio re-started so we can hear exactly what is going on as it's going on.

Full on fuel.
LOX down to 95 percent.

Back to holding T-15 mins now. 9 mins left on the hold.

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #74 on: 12/19/2005 06:03 PM »
"Close to full on fuel load.  Helium full at 99%, LOX boiled down to around 95%.  We are on hold now at T-15.  Nine minutes left now on the hold.  Taking a look at the weather."

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #75 on: 12/19/2005 06:06 PM »
LCOR radar back up to help watch the launch. They had another radar, but this helps - SpaceX

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #76 on: 12/19/2005 06:06 PM »
tradex(sp) and Alcore(sp) radars are up and will be tracking the launch.

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #77 on: 12/19/2005 06:06 PM »
I hope someone is doing some video recording, for posting here

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #78 on: 12/19/2005 06:06 PM »
Glad you can help with the acronyms, Chris.  :)

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #79 on: 12/19/2005 06:08 PM »
Hold is due to winds. They cannot take down the strong back on the rocket until the winds reduce. This is keeping us at a T-15 hold.

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #80 on: 12/19/2005 06:09 PM »
Q: "What is likely to happen if all of the preparations are complete and there are still no-go on weather?"
A: "I think what you'll see is that we will continue in a launch -15 minute hold.  The reason T-15 minutes is critical is because that is when we pull strong-back away."  We won't do that with strong-back in the high winds.  
"We have approximately 15 minutes of additional procedures to go into, and they include pulling back strongback, having the vehicle do it's self alignment and check, we go into a perpetual short hold to do an additional weather check at around T-10 minutes, and then we run through the console to make sure everybody is ready to go, and we start switching power on the vehicle and start doing flight termination system check.  At T-3 minutes is when we enable ignition."

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #81 on: 12/19/2005 06:11 PM »
They'll be one more hold after the re-start of the countdown, which will be short, for a weather check. Green lights will enable ignition at T-3m ready for launch.

Offline Avron

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #82 on: 12/19/2005 06:12 PM »
Whats the requirement to come out of the Hold, 24Kts or is there issues still at high altitude?

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #83 on: 12/19/2005 06:15 PM »
20 mins into the hold. Update coming on the time of the targetted attempt to come.

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #84 on: 12/19/2005 06:15 PM »
No issues at high altitude according to SpaceX.  They have limits but are no-where near them today.
Waiting for a nice break in the wind.

Offline Flightstar

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #85 on: 12/19/2005 06:17 PM »
Quote
Avron - 19/12/2005  1:12 PM

Whats the requirement to come out of the Hold, 24Kts or is there issues still at high altitude?

The rocket needs to have its strongback arm taken down before the launch, the rocket needs that to stand up. If the winds are too high, it could compromise the rocket being able to stay standing.

Offline braddock

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #86 on: 12/19/2005 06:17 PM »
SpaceX California is still trying to get the countdown net back up (our link to Kwajalein).  All circuits seem to be busy.  The plan is to get that back up.


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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #87 on: 12/19/2005 06:19 PM »
Unconfirmed report of mission abort.  More information coming...


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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #89 on: 12/19/2005 06:21 PM »
OK, I don't want alarm you but it seems like we have a scrub for today: http://kwajrockets.blogspot.com/
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Offline Cretan126

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #90 on: 12/19/2005 06:24 PM »
Rather than a break in the wind, it sounds more like breaking wind.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #91 on: 12/19/2005 06:28 PM »
SpaceX carrying on as if it's still a go. Media asking questions as if it's still a go, but this doesn't look good.

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #92 on: 12/19/2005 06:29 PM »
SpaceX promises an update in about 5 minutes.  No confirmation of an abort yet.

Offline newsartist

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #93 on: 12/19/2005 06:30 PM »
Let's stick around until we get confirmation they are safeing the bird, communications are poor enough for misunderstanding?

Offline Rocket Nut

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #94 on: 12/19/2005 06:30 PM »
I just hope the media doesn't pressure them into doing something they would rather not do.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #95 on: 12/19/2005 06:32 PM »
SpaceX about to give some details in a few minutes. If it's a scrub - and it sure appears to be given the way the media call was muted - then something serious has ruled out the many hours of the remaining window.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #96 on: 12/19/2005 06:34 PM »
Official. Launch scrub until next year. Structural problem/failure on the first stage.

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #97 on: 12/19/2005 06:34 PM »
SpaceX: The launch is scrubbed until early next year.  We have identified a structural defect on the first stage, it will need repair.  Will have a release soon with more information.

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #98 on: 12/19/2005 06:36 PM »
We are waiting for final information from SpaceX, possibly a Q&A.

Also, while folks are here, you can submit questions to be sent to SpaceX VP of Development Ops on teh forum.  We will take the best 10 questions and submit them to SpaceX to be answered in the next few weeks.

Post your questions to: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=1051&posts=9


Offline braddock

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #100 on: 12/19/2005 06:36 PM »
SpaceX CA: Have confirmed that we have scrubbed until at least next year.  No additional details yet available.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #101 on: 12/19/2005 06:38 PM »
Quote
braddock - 19/12/2005  7:36 PM

We are waiting for final information from SpaceX, possibly a Q&A.

Also, while folks are here, you can submit questions to be sent to SpaceX VP of Development Ops on teh forum.  We will take the best 10 questions and submit them to SpaceX to be answered in the next few weeks.

Post your questions to: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=1051&posts=9

And obviously, questions can be asked with this scrub in mind now. Was hoping further questions would have congratulations for Chris.

Offline Zachstar

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RE: LIVE UPDATES SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #102 on: 12/19/2005 06:39 PM »
Oh yay we now they can put in a live web stream

*scarsasm*

Offline braddock

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #103 on: 12/19/2005 06:41 PM »
QUOTE FROM E-MAIL FROM ELON MUSK: "Launch is scrubbed for the year.  We noticed a structural issue with the first stage fuel tank that requires repair."

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #104 on: 12/19/2005 06:41 PM »
First stage requires an actual repair off the pad - SpaceX.

Offline Andy L

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #105 on: 12/19/2005 06:43 PM »
Damn, but would like to say thanks for the update thread again, this was again the best out of the bunch.

Offline Jamie Young

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #106 on: 12/19/2005 06:44 PM »
Quote
Andy L - 19/12/2005  1:43 PM

Damn, but would like to say thanks for the update thread again, this was again the best out of the bunch.

Totally!

Offline braddock

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #107 on: 12/19/2005 06:45 PM »
SpaceX is putting us on hold for a few minutes to see if they can find any additional information for us.

Offline Rocket Nut

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #108 on: 12/19/2005 06:45 PM »
Quote
Andy L - 19/12/2005  2:43 PM

Damn, but would like to say thanks for the update thread again, this was again the best out of the bunch.

Yep...this was the most current of all the countdown threads I was watching...by far.

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #109 on: 12/19/2005 06:50 PM »
Thanks to Chris and braddock for keeping us updated! It's very unfortunate that they didn't get to launch the Falcon 1 today either. I wish them better luck next time!
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Offline Chris Bergin

RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #110 on: 12/19/2005 07:00 PM »
Thanks everyone - nice to see so many people on the site despite the quick and negative conclusion to the attempt. I suppose this is what happens with new rockets - it ain't easy.

I'm holding on the line in case we get some quotage on the specific issue with the 1st stage tank.

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #111 on: 12/19/2005 07:02 PM »
Do we know when the range opens again? I have a feeling this fix will be quick..

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #112 on: 12/19/2005 07:03 PM »
Bummer. SpaceX succesfully launching Falcon1 would have been some christmas present, ill guess it just have to wait until next year. Thanks Chris and Braddock for the quick updates, it was a pleasure, and i hope you will do the same thing in the next launch window :)

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #113 on: 12/19/2005 07:04 PM »
De-pressuring the rocket as we speak.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #114 on: 12/19/2005 07:05 PM »
Quote
MikkelR - 19/12/2005  8:03 PM

 i hope you will do the same thing in the next launch window :)

For sure :)

We've got an even better plan for the Shuttle launches. Ambitious, but if we can pull it off, it'll work for everyone.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #115 on: 12/19/2005 07:08 PM »
Quote
Avron - 19/12/2005  8:02 PM

Do we know when the range opens again? I have a feeling this fix will be quick..

3rd week in Jan - SpaceX

Offline Avron

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #116 on: 12/19/2005 07:10 PM »
Quote
Chris Bergin - 19/12/2005  3:05 PM

Quote
MikkelR - 19/12/2005  8:03 PM

 i hope you will do the same thing in the next launch window :)

For sure :)

We've got an even better plan for the Shuttle launches. Ambitious, but if we can pull it off, it'll work for everyone.

Are we talking streaming?

Offline braddock

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #117 on: 12/19/2005 07:23 PM »
SpaceX has posted a really nice maiden flight backgrounder, with great pictures, flight and pre-flight timelines, and more details.

PDF file at: http://www.spacex.com/Maiden_Flight_Overview.pdf

Offline Avron

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #118 on: 12/19/2005 07:35 PM »
Quote
braddock - 19/12/2005  3:23 PM

SpaceX has posted a really nice maiden flight backgrounder, with great pictures, flight and pre-flight timelines, and more details.

PDF file at: http://www.spacex.com/Maiden_Flight_Overview.pdf

Any word on the "structural issue"?

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #119 on: 12/19/2005 07:40 PM »
No official reason and the conference call has now ended.

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #120 on: 12/19/2005 07:44 PM »
Quote
Chris Bergin - 19/12/2005  3:40 PM

No official reason and the conference call has now ended.

Braddock and Chris, thanks once again for the Awesome coverage..

Offline Terry Rocket

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #121 on: 12/19/2005 08:20 PM »
Imagine if this had gone on for seven hours, that'd of been dramatic. The first hour was as much. I like the idea they were patching media into the actual launch control of the attempt, I hope they do that again in January.

Still, wonder what caused such a failure, doesn't fill people with confidence, but what do I know!

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #122 on: 12/19/2005 08:32 PM »
Pleasure Avron.

Terry - I'd soon see them have a few scrubs on the pad to help them learn more about their rocket, than I would for them to launch first time and suffer a loss of vehicle.

The preview story has now been changed to "SpaceX hoping third time's a charm" - with a statement from Elon and some of the timeline of the second attempt scrub. It's wrapped around by the first attempt scrub information, the lawsuit update and the Q and A with SpaceX VP of Development Operations Chris Thompson.

Remember, you can ask questions of Chris, via the thread http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=1051&posts=10#M12756 - thanks to Braddock's continuing efforts in bringing the style of access and information this site aims for with all its content.


Offline FransonUK

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #123 on: 12/19/2005 08:39 PM »
Quote
Chris Bergin - 19/12/2005  3:32 PM

Terry - I'd soon see them have a few scrubs on the pad to help them learn more about their rocket, than I would for them to launch first time and suffer a loss of vehicle.


Yeah, when you put it like that. I think this is the first new rocket launch we've seen in a long time? I suppose Delta 4 heavy doesn't count as it's a Delta 4 with two friends on either side.

But yeah, I understand his quote saying they only want to launch if they are 100 percent ready. Isn't doing much for your phone bill though ;) Early night for you at least.
Don't ya wish your spaceship was hot like me

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #124 on: 12/19/2005 08:50 PM »
I think it's important to know the difference between something Boeing's launching and SpaceX. The reason why there's so much interest in this rocket is because while it's a billionaire who's payrolling it, they are attempting - with or without intention - to break what is a monopoly on launch services.

Instead of a launch control full of talented and experienced techs and engineers, with vast resources and experience to hand, they are trying to do this with a handful of people and resources in comparision.

Not only that, but they are aiming for heavy lift, really heavy lift, which then goes past launching satelittes into LEO, into the range of potential Lunar services.

If this all comes off, forgetting the lawsuit for now, they'll shake everything up in the industry, because there's serious competition on a range of services. They'll also encourage others to follow suit - and so on.


Oh, and no early night, there happens to be three major Shuttle stories that I've got to go after more info and quotes for yet. Then there's a load of Russian launches coming up over the coming days, plus the Ariane 5 tomorrow (plus one Russian).

Fun though, isn't it :)

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #125 on: 12/19/2005 08:52 PM »
Before I go off track - if I - or any of our other writers - get to hear about the reason for the failure, and/or specifics of the first stage damage, we'll post it asap into here.

Offline Rocket Nut

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #126 on: 12/19/2005 09:09 PM »
Quote
Chris Bergin - 19/12/2005  4:50 PM

Instead of a launch control full of talented and experienced techs and engineers, with vast resources and experience to hand, they are trying to do this with a handful of people and resources in comparision.

Not only that, but they are aiming for heavy lift, really heavy lift, which then goes past launching satelittes into LEO, into the range of potential Lunar services.

I am hoping they can make a go of it with no standing army to back them up.  Unfortunately, I have seen a quote recently where a Boeing rep said that if they are successful Boeing would "just buy them out".  If they can build a cheaper and reliable rocket, perhaps we can get more launches from Cape Canaveral.  They had been looking at the old Atlas 2/3 launch pad here...if they can get past the bureaucratic red tape.

Cheers,

Larry

Offline Davros

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #127 on: 12/19/2005 09:14 PM »
Then Elon needs to be strong and resist any huge offer from Boeing. Take that as a sign they are making some real progress, enough to worry them, and then use the attempt from Boeing to prove he's got something going here for more investors.

Offline Mark Max Q

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #128 on: 12/19/2005 09:37 PM »
Looks like we get to do this all over again, even if this attempt was not prolonged over four hours like the last one.

Thanks for the updates, interesting reading back and very easy to visualise.

Offline Orbiter Obvious

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #129 on: 12/19/2005 10:02 PM »
Any news yet on the structural failure?

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #130 on: 12/19/2005 10:09 PM »
Update from Elon Musk.  Looks like late January at the earliest.  I wonder what happened?

Posted December 19, 2005: Launch is scrubbed until early next year, as there is a structural issue with the 1st stage fuel tank that will require repair.  I will provide further comment as soon as this has been carefully analyzed.
 
Consistent with our policy, we must be 100% green for launch with no outstanding concerns whatsoever.  It is not just a matter of repairing the damage, but also understanding at a fundamental level how to ensure it never happens again.  We will also do another full review of all the vehicle systems, including propulsion, structures, avionics, software and ground support systems.  Therefore, I expect that the earliest that launch would occur is late January.  Third time's the charm.
 
--- Elon ---

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #131 on: 12/19/2005 10:24 PM »
Quote
Orbiter Obvious - 19/12/2005  11:02 PM

Any news yet on the structural failure?

No news yet - and it wasn't a structural failure, it was a structural issue, fault, defect.

Offline ADC9

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #132 on: 12/19/2005 11:11 PM »
I know there isn't anything official, but could it have been because it had previously been loaded, topped up, loaded and then boiled off to run out of LOX that had a bad effect on the tank when they loaded it again. Seemed to go wrong as soon as they had filled it up and then had some boil off.

Offline braddock

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #133 on: 12/20/2005 12:10 AM »
New Update from Elon Musk on cause of abort:

"Posted December 19, 2005 at 4:40 p.m. California time: Here is the apparent cause of structural damage (further analysis may change the conclusion):

Due to high winds, we placed the countdown on hold and began draining the fuel tank.  As we drained fuel from the 1st stage tank, a faulty pressurization valve caused a vacuum condition in the tank.  This caused a fuel tank barrel section to deform and suck slightly inward.  It is important to note that the root cause is an electrical fault with a valve, not structural design.

 At this point, it appears that no other damage was sustained to the vehicle or the satellite.  The rocket will be lowered down this afternoon and placed in its hangar for further inspection.
 --- Elon ---"

Offline Davros

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #134 on: 12/20/2005 12:16 AM »
Oh my, that's serious.

Offline rubicondsrv

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #135 on: 12/20/2005 12:32 AM »
Quote
Davros - 19/12/2005  8:16 PM

Oh my, that's serious.

It is not that bad. they know what caused the problem and it is not a defect in the design of the veichle.  
All they need to do is to repair or replace the damaged tank which is much easier and faster than having either a problem whithout a known cause or a fualt inherant in the design. :)

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #136 on: 12/20/2005 12:37 AM »
Agreed. That's important.

Although, I'm kinda hoping they have another tank. I'm guessing (really guessing) that it's not a case of getting the panel beaters out to knock it back into shape. Anyone got a clue on how they could get the tank pressed back out into shape if it's easier thank replacing the tank (if they have another.)

Offline Martin FL

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #137 on: 12/20/2005 12:54 AM »
Hardly sounds all that promising, that much I can tell from the statement. Still, they won't know fully until they've got the tank in a work dock.

Offline Jamie Young

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #138 on: 12/20/2005 12:56 AM »
Faulty pressurization valve? They don't seem to be lucky with their valves.

Offline Firestarter

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #139 on: 12/20/2005 01:46 AM »
Quote
Jamie Young - 19/12/2005  7:56 PM

Faulty pressurization valve? They don't seem to be lucky with their valves.

It was the loading tank valve the last time, but that was human error I recall.

Offline Cretan126

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #140 on: 12/20/2005 02:32 AM »
Well, I think this confirms it:  liquids suck! :o The case for using solid rocket motors for reliable, responsive, high performance launch vehicles was made 40+ years ago in the development of ICBMs.  The only reason the early missiles were liquid (V2 through Titan) was because the technology to manufacture large solid rockets wasn't mature enough.  That hurdle was passed in the 60's.  The only problem is, now - through acquisition and merger - ATK has a virtual monopoly on solid rocket motors in the US.  And they are not what most people would consider a 'low cost supplier'.  

ut astrum per firmus!

Offline Terrible Twosome

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #141 on: 12/20/2005 02:45 AM »
I was going to say that solids are not what I'd call safe, but I think a lot of people like myself can't help but to think about Challenger. And cause nothing has gone wrong since, and they are going to be key for the VSE, I guess you have a good point!

Offline SRBseparama

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #142 on: 12/20/2005 04:11 AM »
Damn. Quick question. Where is the LOX tank on the rocket on the 1st stage? Top or bottom?

Offline Sergi Manstov

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #143 on: 12/20/2005 04:16 AM »
Unfortunate for SpaceX. That reads like a very serious problem if it's the tank out of shape. If they wish to fly at 100 per cent, they need a new certified tank, or complete repair of this tank, otherwise they would be a contradiction.

Offline Dobbins

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #144 on: 12/20/2005 05:20 AM »
Solids are too dirty. As long as the launch rates are low enough for the environment to absorb the pollution a solid rocket emits you can get away with using them, much like you could get away with no emission controls on automobiles before use of them became common. In the long term you are going to have to have something greener, LOX and LH2 or a hydrocarbon like RP or Methane.

John B. Dobbins

Offline braddock

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #145 on: 12/20/2005 10:33 AM »
Imagine the horrified faces in control if the tank deformation was severe enough to be visible on the video...
I can't think how else they would have identified a "structural issue"...does anyone with more experience know if they would have seen other indications first?
Would they be likely to have strain sensors installed?

If they had seen vaccuum on a pressure sensor in the tank I would think they could have stopped the pumps in time?  Seems to me that current to the pump would be out of spec too as it started straining?  Are these things normally instrumented and monitored?

REMINDER: We'll be sending some reader submitted questions to SpaceX's VP of Development Ops to answer via e-mail.  Ask your questions at: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=1051&start=1

Offline Rocket Nut

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #146 on: 12/20/2005 10:55 AM »
It's interesting to me that this happened just after Boeing had to postpone their Pluto mission because of a potentially faulty fuel tank.  The Pluto mission has a very serious time constraint.

Personally, I am going to find it interesting to see how the media treats each delay.  I hope the Falcon effort doesn't get get singled out by the press.  That could have a negative effect on future payloads and financial support.

After the push to merge the Atlas and Delta programs, we need an independent competitor.

Regards,

Larry

Offline UK Shuttle Clan

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #147 on: 12/20/2005 12:48 PM »
Leaks and valves. You need to be a plumber for this job ;)

Offline Mark Max Q

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #148 on: 12/20/2005 02:35 PM »
If it had split the tank, they'd really be having to look at starting over.

Offline Launch Fan

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #149 on: 12/20/2005 03:59 PM »
Quote
braddock - 20/12/2005  5:33 AM

Imagine the horrified faces in control if the tank deformation was severe enough to be visible on the video...
I can't think how else they would have identified a "structural issue"...does anyone with more experience know if they would have seen other indications first?
Would they be likely to have strain sensors installed?

If they had seen vaccuum on a pressure sensor in the tank I would think they could have stopped the pumps in time?  Seems to me that current to the pump would be out of spec too as it started straining?  Are these things normally instrumented and monitored?

REMINDER: We'll be sending some reader submitted questions to SpaceX's VP of Development Ops to answer via e-mail.  Ask your questions at: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=1051&start=1

Wow, they could see it mis-shaping on their monitors?? Could it have blown up if it had gone too far?

Offline braddock

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #150 on: 12/20/2005 04:30 PM »
Quote
Launch Fan - 20/12/2005  11:59 AM

Quote
braddock - 20/12/2005  5:33 AM

Imagine the horrified faces in control if the tank deformation was severe enough to be visible on the video...
I can't think how else they would have identified a "structural issue"...does anyone with more experience know if they would have seen other indications first?
Would they be likely to have strain sensors installed?


Wow, they could see it mis-shaping on their monitors?? Could it have blown up if it had gone too far?

No no, to be clear, I don't KNOW that they could see the deformation.  Note the "if" in there.  I was wondering if they could, or if they had other indications of the problem.  I was wondering if anyone more experienced could shed some light on how they could tell they had "structural issues".


Offline tommy

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #151 on: 12/20/2005 06:54 PM »
Well, I suppose all we can do now is to wait on what it looks like in the hanger. I wonder if we'll get a jump with the Q and A.

Offline lmike

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #152 on: 12/21/2005 09:38 AM »
Great reportage.  Too bad they had a glitch, but it takes stamina and leadership from the flight director to abort a launch (there is a natural launch 'rush').  And it sounds like it was a sound decision here.  They *are* learning fast.  When in (such a large) doubt -- stop, investigate and fix.  Plenty of 'major' rockets sat on the pad fixing problems.  For years.  Plenty didn't... and blew up.  Experience accumulates, though.  We'll (and prospective investors) wait till January.  No biggie.  This just confirms to me that SpaceX are serious about what they are doing.

Offline Rocket Ronnie

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #153 on: 12/21/2005 11:53 AM »
I think that's the important part of the scrubbing of a launch. They had a potentially disasterous situation where the rocket could have blown up on the pad, but they spotted it, aborted the countdown and now get a chance to go again next month.

Offline Cretan126

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #154 on: 12/21/2005 05:13 PM »
Solid rocket motors seem to have an undeserved reputation for being unsafe.  There are definately hazards in the manufacturing processes - that's why they are built in remote locations.  However, once completed and handled properly (i.e. diligence about static electricity) they are much safer than liquids.  Remember that although the SRB o-ring was the root cause of the Challenger disaster, it was its proximity to the external (liquid propellant) tank that caused the big boom - the solids kept right on flying.  Also, note that the military overwhelmingly use solids when they are in close proximity to personnel (on planes, ships, and trucks).  

Liquids have their strengths, such as the ability to be throttled, stopped/started, etc., but I wouldn't put safety high on the list.

Offline publiusr

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #155 on: 12/21/2005 07:15 PM »
Musk would not have had the Lox problem. Rumor has it that Musk ignored a plea from MSFC's Sackheim to have better Lox infrastructure. I would have liked to have seen Musk build the big AJ-260 solid in Korea. It would have been a "widebody Stick" and the upper stage could be liquid--and look less like a German Hand Grenade. I understand Atlas V might have some tankage problems as well--at least in tests--according to Florida Today.

Offline braddock

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #156 on: 12/21/2005 10:44 PM »
Quote
publiusr - 21/12/2005  3:15 PM

Musk would not have had the Lox problem. Rumor has it that Musk ignored a plea from MSFC's Sackheim to have better Lox infrastructure. I would have liked to have seen Musk build the big AJ-260 solid in Korea. It would have been a "widebody Stick" and the upper stage could be liquid--and look less like a German Hand Grenade. I understand Atlas V might have some tankage problems as well--at least in tests--according to Florida Today.

What is the connection between the AJ-260, Korea, and SpaceX?  I can't find anything, although the AJ-260 program is fascinating.  I always wonder how many of the NASA program decisions are due to geo-politics.  We truck and fly the shuttle parts all over the country...that sure can't help the schedules or costs.  A monolithic AJ-260 program sounds fantastic, but it only wins a vote from the gentlemen from Florida.  :)

Offline Avron

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #157 on: 12/22/2005 03:35 AM »
Quote
braddock - 20/12/2005  12:30 PM

Quote
Launch Fan - 20/12/2005  11:59 AM

Quote
braddock - 20/12/2005  5:33 AM

Imagine the horrified faces in control if the tank deformation was severe enough to be visible on the video...
I can't think how else they would have identified a "structural issue"...does anyone with more experience know if they would have seen other indications first?
Would they be likely to have strain sensors installed?


Wow, they could see it mis-shaping on their monitors?? Could it have blown up if it had gone too far?

No no, to be clear, I don't KNOW that they could see the deformation.  Note the "if" in there.  I was wondering if they could, or if they had other indications of the problem.  I was wondering if anyone more experienced could shed some light on how they could tell they had "structural issues".



I would guess that the pressure plot vs tank strain gauges said a lot... when viewed against fuel flow...

Offline Jamie Young

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #158 on: 12/27/2005 05:51 PM »
Any new news on the new launch date, or the status of the tank?

Offline publiusr

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #159 on: 12/29/2005 07:48 PM »
Quote
braddock - 21/12/2005  5:44 PM

Quote
publiusr - 21/12/2005  3:15 PM

Musk would not have had the Lox problem. Rumor has it that Musk ignored a plea from MSFC's Sackheim to have better Lox infrastructure. I would have liked to have seen Musk build the big AJ-260 solid in Korea. It would have been a "widebody Stick" and the upper stage could be liquid--and look less like a German Hand Grenade. I understand Atlas V might have some tankage problems as well--at least in tests--according to Florida Today.

What is the connection between the AJ-260, Korea, and SpaceX?  I can't find anything, although the AJ-260 program is fascinating.  I always wonder how many of the NASA program decisions are due to geo-politics.  We truck and fly the shuttle parts all over the country...that sure can't help the schedules or costs.  A monolithic AJ-260 program sounds fantastic, but it only wins a vote from the gentlemen from Florida.  :)

No connection--just an example of what I would have done had I Musk's money.

Offline Jonesy STS

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #160 on: 01/03/2006 02:50 PM »
Nothing on the spacex site updated for a long time.

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #161 on: 01/04/2006 10:26 PM »
They are due to give their findings on the state of the tank very soon, I'd assume. That's where the lack of information is right now.

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Offline hyper_snyper

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #163 on: 01/09/2006 03:10 PM »
Possible Feb. 8 launch according to SpaceTransportNews.com

Obviously, we won't know for sure until something official comes out.

Offline Shuttle Man

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #164 on: 01/13/2006 02:35 AM »
Quote
hyper_snyper - 9/1/2006  10:10 AM

Possible Feb. 8 launch according to SpaceTransportNews.com

Obviously, we won't know for sure until something official comes out.

Look at the site they are quoting from on the methane story. The biggest hack of a site out there. Thus they themselves should be treated likewise as unable to gain information of credible nature.
Ex-Apollo, waiting for NASA to finish what we started.

Offline Avron

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RE: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Feb?
« Reply #165 on: 01/26/2006 04:57 AM »
Spacex web site still maintains "The new launch time is February 8 at 4:30 p.m. California time with Feb. 9 as a backup day. "

Are we still on? and is there any chance for some video coverage this launch?


Spacex solution to the boiloff problem..

ref:spacex.com
"Another bothersome problem is the high rate of liquid oxygen (LOX) boiloff.  This is not surprising when LOX is at -300F and there is a stiff wind impinging on the vehicle at 85F.  To minimize boiloff, we will wrap the LOX tank in low cost cryo insulation attached with velcro straps that tear away on liftoff. "


Problem solved?

Offline braddock

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RE: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Feb?
« Reply #166 on: 01/26/2006 03:58 PM »
Quote
Avron - 26/1/2006  12:57 AM
Spacex web site still maintains "The new launch time is February 8 at 4:30 p.m. California time with Feb. 9 as a backup day. "
Are we still on? and is there any chance for some video coverage this launch?

SpaceX PR just told me that the vehicle should be vertical on the pad about mid next week, and that we should expect an update from Elon around then.  Sounds like they are right on schedule.

Offline Avron

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RE: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Feb?
« Reply #167 on: 01/27/2006 04:47 AM »
Quote
braddock - 26/1/2006  11:58 AM

Quote
Avron - 26/1/2006  12:57 AM
Spacex web site still maintains "The new launch time is February 8 at 4:30 p.m. California time with Feb. 9 as a backup day. "
Are we still on? and is there any chance for some video coverage this launch?

SpaceX PR just told me that the vehicle should be vertical on the pad about mid next week, and that we should expect an update from Elon around then.  Sounds like they are right on schedule.


Thanks... Eh any word on video feeds?

Offline braddock

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RE: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Feb?
« Reply #168 on: 01/27/2006 01:01 PM »
Quote
Avron - 27/1/2006  12:47 AM
Thanks... Eh any word on video feeds?

I'm working on it, but no word yet...

Offline Jamie Young

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #169 on: 02/01/2006 08:54 PM »
I'd kinda miss the fun of the live thread, but I guess that'll happen whatever?

Offline publiusr

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RE: SCRUB: SpaceX Falcon 1, Launch Dec 19
« Reply #170 on: 02/24/2006 09:30 PM »
Stay tuned for more delays...only on FOX! ;)

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