Author Topic: LIVE UPDATES: SpaceX to Announce Liftoff Time of the Falcon 1 Rocket  (Read 18913 times)

Online Chris Bergin

SpaceX to Announce Liftoff Time of the Falcon 1 Rocket: The World's Lowest Cost Rocket to Orbit

Who: SpaceX Founder and CEO Elon Musk will announce the T-Zero liftoff time of the historic maiden flight of Falcon 1 at a pre-launch press conference tomorrow afternoon. Please note that this will be the last time Mr. Musk will be available to the media before launch due to his travel to the Kwajalein launch site. Following the press conference, interested media will also have the opportunity to tour the SpaceX facilities.


SpaceX is the third company founded by Elon Musk. Previously he co-founded PayPal, the world's leading electronic payment system, which sold to online auction giant eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002. In 1995, Mr. Musk co-founded Zip2, which sold to Compaq Computer Corporation for more than $300 million.


When: Friday, November 18, 2005 at 2:00 p.m. (PDT). Media should arrive by 1:30 p.m. (PDT).


Where: SpaceX Headquarters in El Segundo, CA - five minutes south of the Los Angeles International Airport.


  1310 East Grand Ave
  El Segundo, CA 90245



Background: Designed from the ground up by SpaceX, Falcon 1 is an unmanned, two stage rocket powered by liquid oxygen (LOX) and rocket grade kerosene (RP-1). On launch day, Falcon 1 will make history for several reasons:


   * It will be the first privately developed liquid-fueled rocket to reach
     orbit and the world's first all new orbital rocket in over a decade.
   * The main engine of Falcon 1 (Merlin) will be the first all new American
     hydrocarbon booster engine to be flown in forty years and only the
     second new American booster engine of any kind in twenty-five years.
   * The Falcon 1 is the only rocket flying 21st century avionics, which
     require a small fraction of the power and mass of other systems.
   * It will be the world's only semi-reusable orbital rocket apart from the
     Shuttle (all other launch vehicles are completely expendable).  When
     the Shuttle stops flying in 2010, Falcon 1 will be the only
     semi-reusable launch vehicle.
   * Most importantly, Falcon 1, priced at $6.7 million, will provide the
     lowest cost per flight to orbit of any launch vehicle in the world.
     Despite the low cost, SpaceX has received a design reliability rating
     equivalent to that of the best launch vehicles currently flying in the
     United States.



The maiden flight of Falcon 1 will take place from the Reagan Test Site in the Marshall Islands (Kwajalein Atoll). The customer for this mission is DARPA and the Air Force and the payload will be FalconSat-2, part of the Air Force Academy's satellite program that will measure space plasma phenomena, which can adversely affect space-based communications, including GPS and other civil and military communications. The target orbit is 400 km X 500 km (just above the International Space Station) at an inclination of 39 degrees.

Offline FransonUK

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RE: SpaceX to Announce Liftoff Time of the Falcon 1 Rocket
« Reply #1 on: 11/18/2005 12:00 PM »
So when's this launch guessed to be announed as?
Don't ya wish your spaceship was hot like me

Offline braddock

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RE: SpaceX to Announce Liftoff Time of the Falcon 1 Rocket
« Reply #2 on: 11/18/2005 02:09 PM »
The announcement said that Elon wouldn't be available after the conference until the launch because he was immediately flying out to the launch island.  So I'm guessing maybe as soon as early next week.  SpaceX has been saying that the rocket has been on the pad ready to go for weeks, they just wanted to do more engine test stand firings to be sure they had fixed their ablative engine failure a couple months ago.

-braddock

Offline publiusr

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RE: SpaceX to Announce Liftoff Time of the Falcon 1 Rocket
« Reply #3 on: 11/18/2005 08:43 PM »
Day after Thanksgiving so the scuttlebutt goes.

Offline braddock

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I am on the Press Conference call to SpaceX now.  I will try to provide some live updates in this thread as the conference proceeds.

-Braddock Gaskill


Offline braddock

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Launch will be Friday at 1pm Pacific Time.  Limited web casting...you will need permission from SpaceX, so probably just press get to watch the web cast.


Offline braddock

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MUSK: " I don't feel vervous, I feel relieved."
MUSK: "No one said rockets were easy, but it was harder than that."


Offline Andy L

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When is Thanksgiving (and what is it?) Anyone got a date for the non Americans.

Offline braddock

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MUSK: "I feel pretty good about our engines"

Musk struck a pretty pessimistic tone during the beginning of the conference.  He seems to be gaining enthusiasm now.

Online Chris Bergin

Quote
braddock - 18/11/2005  10:37 PM

Launch will be Friday at 1pm Pacific Time.  Limited web casting...you will need permission from SpaceX, so probably just press get to watch the web cast.


I'll try and get permission to host it on the video section.

Great work with the quotes Braddock.

Offline braddock

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MUSK: Intend to seek outside funding early next year....then we will continue development of the Falcon 9 and designs beyond the Falcon 9.

Musk intends to raise approximately $100million of outside funding next year, which is approximately what he has personally already investing in the company.

Offline braddock

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SpaceX will shortly be announcing more details on their new Merlin 2 engine design, which will be "the largest engine in the world of any kind" (although current engines, not historical)

Offline braddock

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MUSK: Merlin 2 will be a regeneratively cooled engine, rather than ablatively cooled chamber.
MUSK: One mistake we made with Merlin 1 was to go with ablative design.


Offline braddock

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Re future manned flight customers, Musk hopes to one day "take people to the space station, hopefully take people to the Bigelow space station, and take people who just want to go up into orbit"

Also says the Falcon 9 would be capable of a "loop around the moon" trip.

Offline Flightstar

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Quote
Andy L - 18/11/2005  4:39 PM

When is Thanksgiving (and what is it?) Anyone got a date for the non Americans.

It makes the launch date next Friday, 25th November - 1pm West Coast time.

Offline braddock

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MUSK: ITAR is something in need of reform..[...]  It's definitely a barrier, and I think very harmful to the US space industry.

Musk feels that countries like Canada should be exempt from ITAR regulations.

Offline Rob in KC

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Quote
braddock - 18/11/2005  4:44 PM

SpaceX will shortly be announcing more details on their new Merlin 2 engine design, which will be "the largest engine in the world of any kind" (although current engines, not historical)

Something that can compete with a 5-seg SRB? He's getting a bit over his head here?

Offline braddock

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Musk described the parachute 1st stage retrieval details.

When do you think you could fly cargo missions to the space station?
MUSK: "I'm optimistic that we should be able to do that in the next 3-4 years."

Offline braddock

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Musk expects SpaceX to offer their own complete solution for ISS cargo, docking, and capsule.  But they will also be happy to fly someone elses capsule at the same price we charge internally for a lunch.  However, Musk says SpaceX is currently only focused on the booster, not cargo capsule.

Question: are you currently developing your own manned capsule?
MUSK: I can't comment on that.

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