Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 - CASSIOPE - September, 2013 - GENERAL DISCUSSION THREAD  (Read 487743 times)

Offline Kabloona

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  Getting the pad ready will be the gating item.

And look what happened with the Antares pad.

Offline AJW

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With NET currently September 5th, and some suggesting that November may be more accurate, what are the critical pre-flight milestones that need to be achieved before deciding to jump in the car for a long drive to Vandenberg?
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Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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  Getting the pad ready will be the gating item.

And look what happened with the Antares pad.

Not the same. Orbital had to use a goverment organization to build their pad for them because thats how its required at Wallops. SpaceX is sole responsible for pad mods at Vandenburg. They already have controll of the pad. Orbital had to wait until the goverment finished the pad before they could do anything.

Offline AndyX

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With NET currently September 5th, and some suggesting that November may be more accurate

Not true. See the excellent updates in L2.

Offline Antares

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SpaceX publishes borderline unrealistic dates to keep everyone pushing internally.  The better question, as AJW posed, is what are the key milestones.

Rocket on stand (validates VAFB erector).** 
Rocket on stand with cryos in it (validates VAFB loading system, vehicle side should be validated by McGregor)**
Spacecraft and rocket in same building
Spacecraft encapsulated
Spacecraft mated
** N.B. - doing it once doesn't mean there weren't functions on the edge of invalidation.  Beware of repeats.

It's been a really long time since SpaceX handled someone else's spacecraft and mated something that wasn't a Dragon to the second stage.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline Vultur

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With NET currently September 5th, and some suggesting that November may be more accurate

Not true. See the excellent updates in L2.

Which part is not true? The current NET or the November thing?

Offline Chris Bergin

With NET currently September 5th, and some suggesting that November may be more accurate

Not true. See the excellent updates in L2.


Which part is not true? The current NET or the November thing?

The latter is not true. They are good for the September NET so far.
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Offline SpacexULA

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Which part is not true? The current NET or the November thing?

NET September 5this the official line, and there are no indications out there that it's went past that.

The NET November comes from some people in this forum with a lot of experience in the industry (and some that just like to speculate), that are dubious that they can go from vehicle that has never been vertical at the pad, and a non encapsulated payload to launch in 1 month.

Falcon 1.1 was designed for a faster workflow at the pad.  We will see how much quicker.
« Last Edit: 08/11/2013 02:34 pm by SpacexULA »
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Offline Kabloona

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SpaceX publishes borderline unrealistic dates to keep everyone pushing internally.  The better question, as AJW posed, is what are the key milestones.

Rocket on stand (validates VAFB erector).** 
Rocket on stand with cryos in it (validates VAFB loading system, vehicle side should be validated by McGregor)**
Spacecraft and rocket in same building
Spacecraft encapsulated
Spacecraft mated
** N.B. - doing it once doesn't mean there weren't functions on the edge of invalidation.  Beware of repeats.

It's been a really long time since SpaceX handled someone else's spacecraft and mated something that wasn't a Dragon to the second stage.

Plus hot fire, I assume, unless someone knows differently.

Online jketch

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Which L2 section is this discussion happening in? I'm a member but I can't seem to find it.

Offline JBF

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Which L2 section is this discussion happening in? I'm a member but I can't seem to find it.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31605.msg1083165#msg1083165
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Offline SIM city

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SpaceX publishes borderline unrealistic dates to keep everyone pushing internally.  The better question, as AJW posed, is what are the key milestones.

Rocket on stand (validates VAFB erector).** 
Rocket on stand with cryos in it (validates VAFB loading system, vehicle side should be validated by McGregor)**
Spacecraft and rocket in same building
Spacecraft encapsulated
Spacecraft mated
** N.B. - doing it once doesn't mean there weren't functions on the edge of invalidation.  Beware of repeats.

It's been a really long time since SpaceX handled someone else's spacecraft and mated something that wasn't a Dragon to the second stage.

Has the spacecraft even shipped to VAFB yet?  It seems there would be at least a week or two of standalone processing/fueling before it is integrated to the rocket.

Offline Antares

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True, I was focusing on launch vehicle validation milestones.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline averagespacejoe

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So now the launch is T-3 weeks away and their is no confirmation of a time for the 9/5/2013 launch or verification of a moved date.

I understand SpaceX PR department is trying to provide some much needed entertainment for fans like the Hyperloop and Grasshopper's Lateral Journey but the much more pressing issue should be addressed.

I have rarely seen launches not know what is going on once you reach 1 month away so this seems off. Are they so close to the milestones that they are actually not sure? Or just hoping to slide in a schedule move as we stare at the wonders of Grasshopper?

First and foremost I want this launch to be safe and successful and if it does half the awesome things it is supposed to it will be a treat to watch. However at this point SpaceX needs to s*it or get off the pot. I hope 9/5/2013 works out, but I don't think the industry will fall apart if we find out it will be a bit later.

Offline QuantumG

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I understand SpaceX PR department is trying to provide some much needed entertainment for fans like the Hyperloop

That's the first time I've heard anyone call Elon that, but yeah, accurate :)
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline neoforce

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So now the launch is T-3 weeks away and their is no confirmation of a time for the 9/5/2013 launch or verification of a moved date.

<stuff removed>

I have rarely seen launches not know what is going on once you reach 1 month away so this seems off. Are they so close to the milestones that they are actually not sure? 

Are you an L2 member?  if so, there is some additional information available, including an interim milestone target date:  http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31605.msg1084126#msg1084126

While I understand your frustration, I'm not sure if Space-X is "required" to communicate this stuff to anyone outside of the customer and the people in charge of Vandenberg.


Offline averagespacejoe

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Oh I understand but it just seems standard for most other companies to know 1 month out to announce publicly but this is a private space launch world we live in.

 I was an L2 member for a little while but it was during a more active public campaign by SpaceX so it didn't seem worth the extra dollars but now that things have been quieter maybe it will worth the investment.

Offline ugordan

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Oh I understand but it just seems standard for most other companies to know 1 month out to announce publicly but this is a private space launch world we live in.

Perhaps it's just their uncertainty of being able to hit that date, but it also might be customer requirements. I remember the "outrage" during the RazakSAT launch caused by SpaceX not immediately revealing the launch outcome or something to that effect. Someone suggested that was the customer's requirement.

To twist this around, can you find any single public statement/release on whether the payload has shipped to Vandenberg in the first place? I can't. Do you think that is SpaceX' responsibility as well?
« Last Edit: 08/15/2013 04:29 pm by ugordan »

Offline Kabloona

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Oh I understand but it just seems standard for most other companies to know 1 month out to announce publicly but this is a private space launch world we live in.

 I was an L2 member for a little while but it was during a more active public campaign by SpaceX so it didn't seem worth the extra dollars but now that things have been quieter maybe it will worth the investment.

There is a natural reluctance to announce publicly a slippage when (a) you've been working very hard to meet a very aggressive launch date and (b) you're not sure yet how significant the slip will be, and (c) you have a major backlog.

SpaceX will announce the slip (which I expect there will be, though I'm not on L2) as late as possible, which gives them more time to get a handle on when they might actually be ready to launch.

Offline LouScheffer

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So now the launch is T-3 weeks away and their is no confirmation of a time for the 9/5/2013 launch or verification of a moved date.

I have rarely seen launches not know what is going on once you reach 1 month away so this seems off. Are they so close to the milestones that they are actually not sure? Or just hoping to slide in a schedule move as we stare at the wonders of Grasshopper?


From the book "Mythical Man-Month" :
Quote
"Take no small slips." That is, allow enough time in the new schedule to ensure that the work can be carefully and thoroughly done, and that rescheduling will not have to be done again.

It's better to figure out exactly what you need to do, then slip by a month and meet your new schedule, then to slip by a week four times.  I have no idea if this is really what is happening, but it makes sense from an engineering and PR perspective.  Don't announce a slip, if any, until you have a new date you are sure you can meet.

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