Author Topic: SpaceX: First nine engine firing of its Falcon 9  (Read 15472 times)

Offline tobi453

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 250
  • Liked: 81
  • Likes Given: 15
SpaceX: First nine engine firing of its Falcon 9
« on: 08/01/2008 09:20 PM »
Here is the video link:
http://mfile.akamai.com/22165/wmv/spacex.download.akamai.com/22165/9_Engine_VTS3-017.asx

And here is the text:

Major milestone achieved towards demonstrating U.S. transport to the International Space Station following retirement of the Space Shuttle

McGregor TX – August 1, 2008 - Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX ) conducted the first nine engine firing of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle at its Texas Test Facility outside McGregor on July 31st. A second firing on August 1st completed a major NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) milestone almost two months early.

At full power, the nine engines consumed 3,200 lbs of fuel and liquid oxygen per second, and generated almost 850,000 pounds of force - four times the maximum thrust of a 747 aircraft. This marks the first firing of a Falcon 9 first stage with its full complement of nine Merlin 1C engines . Once a near term Merlin 1C fuel pump upgrade is complete, the sea level thrust will increase to 950,000 lbf, making Falcon 9 the most powerful single core vehicle in the United States.

“This was the most difficult milestone in development of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and it also constitutes a significant achievement in US space vehicle development. Not since the final flight of the Saturn 1B rocket in 1975, has a rocket had the ability to lose any engine or motor and still successfully complete its mission,” said Elon Musk, CEO and CTO of SpaceX. “Much like a commercial airliner, our multi-engine design has the potential to provide significantly higher reliability than single engine competitors.”

“We made a major advancement from the previous five engine test by adding four new Merlin engines at once,” said Tom Mueller, Vice President of Propulsion for SpaceX. “All phases of integration went smoothly and we were elated to see all nine engines working perfectly in concert.”



About SpaceX
SpaceX is developing a family of launch vehicles intended to increase the reliability and reduce the cost of both manned and unmanned space transportation, ultimately by a factor of ten. With its Falcon line of launch vehicles, powered by internally-developed Merlin engines, SpaceX offers light, medium and heavy lift capabilities to deliver spacecraft into any altitude and inclination, from low-Earth orbit to geosynchronous to planetary missions. SpaceX currently has 12 missions on its manifest, excluding the two previous Falcon 1 demonstration flights, plus indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts with NASA and the US Air Force.

As a winner of the NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services competition (COTS), SpaceX is in a position to help fill the gap when the Space Shuttle retires in 2010. Under the existing contract, SpaceX will conduct three flights of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft for NASA, culminating in Dragon berthing with the International Space Station (ISS) and returning to Earth. NASA also has a contract option on Falcon 9 / Dragon to provide crew services to the ISS after Shuttle retirement.

Founded in 2002, the SpaceX team now numbers more than 500 full time employees, primarily located in Hawthorne, California, with four additional locations: SpaceX's Texas Test Facility in McGregor near Waco; offices in Washington DC; and launch facilities at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and the Marshall Islands in the Central Pacific.
« Last Edit: 08/01/2008 09:20 PM by tobi453 »

Offline iamlucky13

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1660
  • Liked: 102
  • Likes Given: 93
Re: SpaceX: First nine engine firing of its Falcon 9
« Reply #1 on: 08/01/2008 10:31 PM »
Excellent news, and that should quiet the tangent that was inching its way into the other thread. A bit of a surprise even, based on what a few "sources" were reported to have said.

It's looking like SpaceX will have a busy month.

On a slightly related topic, has anyone heard any recent news about the LC-40 status?

Offline gospacex

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3028
  • Liked: 537
  • Likes Given: 604
Re: SpaceX: First nine engine firing of its Falcon 9
« Reply #2 on: 08/01/2008 11:13 PM »
For the benefit of those who wants this video as a *file*, not an .acx link... (I frequently wonder what's the point in all this mms: etc protocol nonsense when http: works as good, or better? To make user's life more difficult?)

Offline braddock

  • NSF Private Space Flight Editor
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 991
  • Liked: 11
  • Likes Given: 8
Re: SpaceX: First nine engine firing of its Falcon 9
« Reply #3 on: 08/02/2008 02:54 AM »
Thanks for the flat file video.  I wasn't having any luck with the mms: streaming under Linux either (another user was complaining as well).

Impressive test, a good milestone.

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12938
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 3999
  • Likes Given: 761
Re: SpaceX: First nine engine firing of its Falcon 9
« Reply #4 on: 08/02/2008 03:26 AM »
This would be the largest cluster engine firing, in terms of number of high-thrust liquid engines fired together, since the fourth N-1 flight in 1972, to the best of my knowledge.  Eight-engine cluster flights have included Saturn IB, Energia, Ariane 44L, CZ-2E/F, CZ-3B, Black Arrow, and maybe some others.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 08/02/2008 03:28 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline Comga

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4337
  • Liked: 1570
  • Likes Given: 1308
Re: SpaceX: First nine engine firing of its Falcon 9
« Reply #5 on: 08/02/2008 04:31 AM »
"A second firing on August 1st completed a major NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) milestone almost two months early."

This is confusing.  From the COTS Milestones in the published agreement, there are Requirements, Design, and Readiness Reviews, and Financing milestones (and flights :) ) , but nothing about firing nine engines.  Anyone know which particular milestone Elon is referring to? 
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Maverick

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 637
  • Newcastle, England - UK
  • Liked: 11
  • Likes Given: 24
Re: SpaceX: First nine engine firing of its Falcon 9
« Reply #6 on: 08/02/2008 05:14 AM »
Thanks for the video upload.

Offline Patchouli

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4401
  • Liked: 182
  • Likes Given: 359
Re: SpaceX: First nine engine firing of its Falcon 9
« Reply #7 on: 08/02/2008 05:41 AM »
The test looked good I feel a lot better about the future of manned spaceflight in the US now.

Offline docmordrid

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5022
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 2141
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: SpaceX: First nine engine firing of its Falcon 9
« Reply #8 on: 08/02/2008 05:43 AM »
Personally I'd give a kidney to see a 27 engine test of the F9 Heavy.  Bring the hot dogs :)
DM

Offline coach

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 115
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: SpaceX: First nine engine firing of its Falcon 9
« Reply #9 on: 08/02/2008 07:20 AM »
Can the MacGregor test stand handle 27 Merlins?  If not, where will they test it?  Let me guess, Stennis?

Coach

Offline tobi453

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 250
  • Liked: 81
  • Likes Given: 15
Re: SpaceX: First nine engine firing of its Falcon 9
« Reply #10 on: 08/02/2008 08:01 AM »
Some new information on the falcon 1 launch from the presat team:
http://twitter.com/PreSat

Offline HIPAR

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 586
  • NE Pa (USA)
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: SpaceX: First nine engine firing of its Falcon 9
« Reply #11 on: 08/02/2008 12:45 PM »
Is clustering this many engines a reliable design approach.  That kind of reminds me of the Soviet approach for a moon rocket.  Even if an engine is 99% reliable, the aggregated reliability of a large cluster leaves something to be desired.

---  CHAS

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32440
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11187
  • Likes Given: 331
Re: SpaceX: First nine engine firing of its Falcon 9
« Reply #12 on: 08/02/2008 01:57 PM »
Can the MacGregor test stand handle 27 Merlins?  If not, where will they test it?  Let me guess, Stennis?


Think people!

There is no need to test 27 merlins.  9 engines on a core are part of the same proplusion system and interact with each other.  Strapping 3 cores together (ala D-IV) does not necessitate a ground test since each core is a standalone system and don't interact with each other
« Last Edit: 08/02/2008 01:59 PM by Jim »

Offline kkattula

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2508
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: SpaceX: First nine engine firing of its Falcon 9
« Reply #13 on: 08/02/2008 02:11 PM »
Can the MacGregor test stand handle 27 Merlins?  If not, where will they test it?  Let me guess, Stennis?


Think people!

There is no need to test 27 merlins.  9 engines on a core are part of the same proplusion system and interact with each other.  Strapping 3 cores together (ala D-IV) does not necessitate a ground test since each core is a standalone system and don't interact with each other

Plume impingement?

Probably only at altitude, which they can't test on a stand anyway.
« Last Edit: 08/02/2008 02:12 PM by kkattula »

Offline lewis886

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 171
    • OldFutures
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: SpaceX: First nine engine firing of its Falcon 9
« Reply #14 on: 08/02/2008 02:34 PM »
"A second firing on August 1st completed a major NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) milestone almost two months early."

This is confusing.  From the COTS Milestones in the published agreement, there are Requirements, Design, and Readiness Reviews, and Financing milestones (and flights :) ) , but nothing about firing nine engines.  Anyone know which particular milestone Elon is referring to? 


well... i'm not sure what part he is referring to either... but i think, just based on the way that is worded, the milestone has to do with the fact that they had 2 firings... not that they fired nine engines....  just my guess anyway.....

Offline Nate_Trost

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 419
  • Liked: 38
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: SpaceX: First nine engine firing of its Falcon 9
« Reply #15 on: 08/02/2008 02:37 PM »
Internal milestones do not necessarily equal COTS milestones.

Offline lewis886

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 171
    • OldFutures
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: SpaceX: First nine engine firing of its Falcon 9
« Reply #16 on: 08/02/2008 02:42 PM »
well... they said "major NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) milestone"..... so you'd hope that they would know what they are talking about... you'd definitely want to be right with a statement like that... but i don't know... maybe it is just blowing smoke..... dunno


EDIT:  well... i looked it up... and it looks like they have to be referring to "Milestone 13".... which is due by Sept (the end of which is 2 months away).... 



Milestone 13: Demo 1 Mission
Spacex shall perform a launch readiness review (LRR), Demonstration 1 mission, and complete a post demostration report.

Success Criteria:
complete the launch, meet the goals of the demonstration, and complete the post demonstration report with any anomalies resolved



hmmm.... it says "complete the launch"... does launch = test firing in this case?  because they certainly aren't launching, of course.... dunno
« Last Edit: 08/02/2008 03:08 PM by lewis886 »

Offline tobi453

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 250
  • Liked: 81
  • Likes Given: 15
Re: SpaceX: First nine engine firing of its Falcon 9
« Reply #17 on: 08/02/2008 03:22 PM »
After SpaceX had delayed the first cots demo to mid 2009 in february, NASA modified the Space Act agreement to include 4 new hardware milestones.



Offline lewis886

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 171
    • OldFutures
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: SpaceX: First nine engine firing of its Falcon 9
« Reply #18 on: 08/02/2008 03:37 PM »
ah... that would explain it :)   thanks
so do you know what it was that completed the milestone?  was the fact that they did a full thrust test with all 9 engines?  or was it that they did two such tests?

Offline Comga

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4337
  • Liked: 1570
  • Likes Given: 1308
Re: SpaceX: First nine engine firing of its Falcon 9
« Reply #19 on: 08/02/2008 06:07 PM »
After SpaceX had delayed the first cots demo to mid 2009 in february, NASA modified the Space Act agreement to include 4 new hardware milestones.

Thanks.  Do you know where the new agreement or ammendment can be found so that it can be downloaded?   Their manifest shows the "launch dates" "shifted to the right" but the new milestones were not as easy to find.

The video was a pleasure to watch.  It looked a lot like the five engine firing, and the earlier tests, only more so.  Just as one would want.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Tags: