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SpaceX Reusable Rockets Section / Re: Fairing reuse
« Last post by ChrisC on Today at 04:06 AM »
Quote
Where does this Rube Goldberg nonsense keep coming from?

If there was an NSF drinking game, one of my contributions would be:

"Every time ChrisC groans about yet another rehashed discussion and suggests you all just go back 20 pages in the thread and reread the last time we jawboned about this, take a sip." :)
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But why the giant build up (in a rather amateurish way) for what is essentially a retreat. At a pivotal time for Commercial Space?
To coincide with the NSC meeting.
When I say pivotal time I mean 2018, not today, the NSC meeting date, specifically.
Who here would like to say that this buildup wasn't amateurish ?

As for looking for more complex reasons? I'm not. I've already concluded that Bigelow do not really have their act together. Robert Bigelow picked the wrong horse some time ago[1], and designing modules without regard for what could launch them, so that none of them are sized to max out a payload fairing of some commercial launcher? Really not a good idea at all.

Maybe I am the only person who thinks this.

1 - Not figuring out how to ally with Elon, purveyor of the cheapest launches, was dumb.

I remain surprised that they have not offered a slighly smaller BA330 variant that fits in the F9/FH fairing. They have not built a BA330 yet (not even close to CDR?), so it doesn't cost them anything to also propose a smaller version of their station to cast a wider net for more potential partners.

Or, as some have previously said, why couldn't Bigelow share development costs with SpaceX for an enlarged fairing? How much could that cost, anyway? Surely less than the extra cost of launching on Atlas-V.
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General Discussion / Re: You Know You're A Space Geek When...
« Last post by darkenfast on Today at 03:54 AM »
There is a poll attached at the end of the article.  91% were in favor of "exploring life elsewhere", 4% were undecided and 6% were fluffy snowflakes who think we should not go to other planets.
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Posting this here since Fairing 2.0 is a milestone for this mission.  Someone with alleged insider info posted this on /r/SpaceX. Reddit can be risky, so take this with caution, but it does seem to align with what's been observed and what's expected of Fairing 2.0.

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/7z9am2/information_about_fairing_20/

Here's what was posted.  (If there's an NSF policy against quoting Reddit, my apologies and mods please delete.)


Information about Fairing 2.0
submitted 7 hours ago * by sodiepopsboyyyyyyyyy

I was fortunate enough to go Vandenberg for the Paz mission along with some SpaceX employees and members of Spanish government. We got some information about the new fairing and why they are using it, here are the highlights.
- Slightly bigger: 4 inches taller and 4 inches wider.
- Easier to build: Takes less pieces to put together.
- Lighter: Strength is more optimized for the places that need it, resulting in a lighter fairing.
- Easier for recovery: Has designated points for a steerable parachute/parafoil, allowing it to be caught by boat.
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Only 3 engines can restart because they're the only ones tied to the rockets internal TEA-TEB system. As the FH center core proved you don't want to exhaust the TEA-TEB. Better to throttle.

Merlin 1D can probably throttle to 40% or so of maximum.
Shutting down 3/9 engines gets you to 26%.

So, for it to be worth it, it would have to be valulable to operate in that 14% range. This seems not hugely likely on the face of it.
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General Discussion / Re: National Space Council Reestablished
« Last post by yg1968 on Today at 03:44 AM »
National Space Council meeting over.

In summary: China is bad. Regulation is bad. Did you see that Falcon Heavy launch! Oh, but those Chinese....

That's two hours I won't get back. That was like pulling teeth.

They'll never get any 'work' done at these meetings, ever. 
Neither will the advisory panel get any 'work' done.
Both are too high level, show-and-tell publicity events. 

Need each group to have a staff-level ongoing/continuous dive into the weeds, wrestling with the real issues... then have the occasional high level meeting to endorse/sign/grab all credit for actual products.  Use the State Department's treaty negotiating tactics and solve the tough issues out of the spotlight, where it is much easier to seek compromise and real solutions, then let the leaders take all the bows.

VP Pence tries to act like the Council is actually doing work, but ...

I thought that it was a productive meeting. It's kind of long to summarize. Regulation reform was more specific when the panelists commented on it. Essentially, there is a duplication of efforts where more than one department is in charge of the same thing. There was a recommendation to have the department of transportation in charge of a commercial launch except for the launch and landing part of a launch (which would continue being the FAA-AST, I believe). There was also a complaint that a license for one launch site doesn't work for other launch sites even if it only a few miles away. There was also some complaints about ITAR making american companies less competitive. . 

There was some discussion on the ISS ending in 2025. Nanoracks said that the idea of having NASA as a tenant (as opposed to a landlord) in LEO was a good idea. Pence said that he liked the analogy. Mary Lynn said that some efforts were necessary in order to stimulate the demand side for a LEO station/habtitat. Both Nanoracks and Mary Lynn stressed the importance of a smooth transition plan for the ISS.

Pence stressed the importance of cooperation with the private sector for exploration in general. Pence said that America is leading again in space. Implied in that claim was that the President had refocused NASA on human exploration which made America leaders in space again. The success of FH was another example that America is leading in space again. The discussion about China was mostly to say that the United States needs to keep leading militarily and commercially in space in order not to be surpassed by China. 

I wonder if the 45 day reports are available, they might give us more information on all of this.
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I wonder if, as part of the throttle-down of the center core immediately after launch, they actually did a shutdown of some of the engines,
no shutdowns
>
So how do you know for sure it didn't happen?

Only 3 engines can restart because they're the only ones tied to the rockets internal TEA-TEB system. As the FH center core proved you don't want to exhaust the TEA-TEB. Better to throttle.
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General Discussion / Re: National Space Council Reestablished
« Last post by yg1968 on Today at 03:16 AM »
MLD is less than honest when she used Commercial Crew as an example where COTS/public private partnership is not doing well, did she forget CCtCAP is actually under FAR, not SAA?

She didn't actually say that. She said that commercial crew was more complicated (than COTS) because of astronaut safety issues.
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I wonder if, as part of the throttle-down of the center core immediately after launch, they actually did a shutdown of some of the engines,
no shutdowns
I know, Jim, that you are one of the best authorities on this web site, and if I have my info correct, you are a NASA employee, not a SpaceX employee. I certainly agree that the likelihood of FH center core engines being shut down during ascent is slim, but the argument makes sense. So how do you know for sure it didn't happen? If SpaceX did want to try this, would they be required to inform NASA even though it was not a NASA payload?
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