Author Topic: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)  (Read 572656 times)

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #960 on: 01/07/2011 05:33 pm »
Hey they put Falcon 9 flight one in 2010!!!
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Offline starsilk

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #961 on: 01/07/2011 05:38 pm »
The SpaceX manifest has been updated!
www.spacex.com/launch_manifest.php

With regard to Dragon, it shows:

2011:
2x COTS demo flights (with one going to ISS).
2x CRS flights to ISS.

four flights this year?! I thought the next COTS flight wasn't supposed to be until at least mid-year? (and if they're listing two COTS flights, presumably they've failed to convince NASA to let them berth on the COTS-2?)

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #962 on: 01/07/2011 05:50 pm »
The SpaceX manifest has been updated!
www.spacex.com/launch_manifest.php
...
Notice, this asterisk still remains:
*Target date indicates hardware arrival at launch site
Still, even three Falcon9 flights this year would be a lot, IMO.
MDA Corp is the first Falcon 9 without some kind of Dragon on top, and its target date is 2011. Tankmodeler, how realistic is this?
« Last Edit: 01/07/2011 05:52 pm by Robotbeat »
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Offline Hauerg

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #963 on: 01/07/2011 05:50 pm »
The SpaceX manifest has been updated!
www.spacex.com/launch_manifest.php

With regard to Dragon, it shows:

2011:
2x COTS demo flights (with one going to ISS).
2x CRS flights to ISS.

four flights this year?! I thought the next COTS flight wasn't supposed to be until at least mid-year? (and if they're listing two COTS flights, presumably they've failed to convince NASA to let them berth on the COTS-2?)

As always dates are arrival of hardware at launch site. So might be some months before actual launch!

Offline starsilk

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #964 on: 01/07/2011 06:43 pm »
The SpaceX manifest has been updated!
www.spacex.com/launch_manifest.php

With regard to Dragon, it shows:

2011:
2x COTS demo flights (with one going to ISS).
2x CRS flights to ISS.

four flights this year?! I thought the next COTS flight wasn't supposed to be until at least mid-year? (and if they're listing two COTS flights, presumably they've failed to convince NASA to let them berth on the COTS-2?)


hmm. actually, *five* F9 flights listed for 2011, plus a minimum of 2 F1e flights from Kwaj. that's a huge number of flights (or even just delivered hardware)

Online ugordan

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #965 on: 01/07/2011 06:59 pm »
I feel like this is a good time to bring up this:

For the love of Pete, please stop believing the manifest on the SpaceX web site.

Offline SpacexULA

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #966 on: 01/07/2011 07:14 pm »
Notice, this asterisk still remains:
*Target date indicates hardware arrival at launch site
Still, even three Falcon9 flights this year would be a lot, IMO.
MDA Corp is the first Falcon 9 without some kind of Dragon on top, and its target date is 2011. Tankmodeler, how realistic is this?

Cosidering they haven't given us any info on their fix for what ever issue they where having with the fairing, no telling if it's realistic or not.

Fairing issue could have been fixed a year ago, and there wouldn't have been a really compelling reason to publish it.
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Offline simonbp

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #967 on: 01/07/2011 07:57 pm »
Given the 300 x 1500 km, 80 inclination orbit, at 500kg it doesn't seem like it could launch as a secondary payload under an ISS-bound dragon so it would need the fairing.

That's a very steep and high orbit.  Some kind of sun-synchronous pseudo-polar?

Well, since the science payload is a ionosphere/exosphere mission, the high orbit makes sense. Also, the commercial payload is a communications system, so a Molniya-like orbit helps...

Offline Comga

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #968 on: 01/07/2011 08:16 pm »
The SpaceX manifest has been updated!
www.spacex.com/launch_manifest.php
(snip)

Not really.  It certainly doesn't deserve an exclamation point.  All they did was put in the actual launch dates for the first Falcon 9 and the COTS-1 flights.  Maybe they changed the date for the start of Orbcomm launches from 2010 to 2011. 

All the rest remains the same.  It still includes at least seven launches this year, more than triple last year's launches.

I have significant hope for and some faith in SpaceX, but the dates in the manifest are almost silly at this point.  (Yes, Antares.)  It gives one great pause in discussing with them launching on either Falcon for any proposed mission.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline corrodedNut

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #969 on: 01/07/2011 10:31 pm »
Check this out:

http://www.spacenews.com/civil/110107-nasa-boosted-cots-funding.html

"SpaceX earned a $5 million cash payout from NASA Dec. 8 when it successfully completed the first of three planned demonstration flights of the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon space capsule being developed with COTS funding assistance...In the meantime, he said, SpaceX successfully completed four new milestones that the agency established in December and that were worth $5 million each. These included a plan to test the effect of vibrations on pressurized cargo stowed inside Dragon, followed by the successful demonstration of the test capability at the company’s Hawthorne facility. A third milestone involved fully deploying Dragon’s solar arrays and conducting thermal vacuum tests of some components. Finally, the company completed a ground simulation of the spacecraft’s lidar sensor, used for rendezvous and proximity operations with the space station, at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala."

I would love to see the footage of the solar array deployment.


« Last Edit: 01/07/2011 10:41 pm by corrodedNut »

Offline iamlucky13

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #970 on: 01/08/2011 12:20 am »

four flights this year?! I thought the next COTS flight wasn't supposed to be until at least mid-year? (and if they're listing two COTS flights, presumably they've failed to convince NASA to let them berth on the COTS-2?)


Seems ambitious, doesn't it?

Completing 5 Falcon 9's, 4 Dragons, and at least one Falcon 1e.

That seems to be their near term goal regardless of whether they achieve it this year. There's 5 Falcon 9's, 3-4 Dragons, and 1-2 Falcon 1e's each year for 2011-2014. I don't expect any clarity beyond that until a couple more launches have been made.

Combining COTS 2 and 3 has not been decided yet, so it's only logical to plan the hardware for it.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #971 on: 01/08/2011 12:52 am »
I'll be pleasantly surprised if they get more than 3 Falcons (9 or 1e) up-hill during 2011. They could do more. It's not impossible, I just doubt that they will.

However, they're going to have to transition to many flights per year, eventually. 6 flights/year is a lot, and I don't think they'll do it this year, but they'll have to do AT LEAST that many pretty soon (2012, if not 2011) if they want to be a successful company. Their goal is something like 10-12 Falcon 9s per year.
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Offline tigerade

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #972 on: 01/08/2011 01:41 am »
I would be happy with two Falcon 9 flights in 2011.  I would be even more happy with 3.  I seriously doubt more than 3.  We know how the delays are.  Although as I have said before, delays are much better than failure.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #973 on: 01/08/2011 02:38 pm »
Personally, I'm betting that there will be three or four SpaceX launches this year: The two remaining COTS demonstrator flights, the F-1e innauguaral launch and, if the payload is delivered quickly enough, the MDA Cassiope launch.

The real key learning for this year will be launching Falcon-9 without cooking the strongarm and blowing up the propellent load/drain hoses.  Once that is done, a flight rate of up to six Falcon-9s in 2012 (three CRS, one DragonLab and two commercial satellite launch) would be achievable.
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Offline douglas100

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #974 on: 01/08/2011 06:21 pm »
From Ben the Space Brit

[quote... if the payload is delivered quickly enough, the MDA Cassiope launch.][/quote]

Anyone figured out how they're going to put this into polar orbit from SLC 40? By a massive plane change maneuver? Would the Range allow this? Any of you professionals out there care to comment?
Douglas Clark

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #975 on: 01/08/2011 08:04 pm »
Anyone figured out how they're going to put this into polar orbit from SLC 40? By a massive plane change maneuver? Would the Range allow this? Any of you professionals out there care to comment?

It's an 80-degree north inclination, not true polar.  I think I saw a Delta-II launch from CCAFS with a similar inclination, it hugs the east coast all the way up.

[edit]
Additionally, the payload is only about 850kg, so there is going to be a lot of spare delta-v on the vehicle for a dog-leg if this is still necessary.
« Last Edit: 01/08/2011 08:05 pm by Ben the Space Brit »
"Oops! I left the silly thing in reverse!" - Duck Dodgers

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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #976 on: 01/08/2011 08:21 pm »
If the payload is only 850 kg and it needs to go to a polar orbit... It's almost small enough to fit on Falcon 1e. Just not quite.
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To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline douglas100

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #977 on: 01/08/2011 09:01 pm »
From Ben the Space Brit:

Quote
Additionally, the payload is only about 850kg, so there is going to be a lot of spare delta-v on the vehicle for a dog-leg if this is still necessary.

I believe the highest inclination currently allowed within range azimuth restrictions is 58 degrees. To get any higher would certainly require a dog leg or plane changing maneuver.

I remember Delta launches from Cape Canaveral of Tiros satellites  going to sun-synchronous orbits  in the mid 60's. But I think these went on a southerly azimuth and overflew the isthmus of Panama. Whether that would be allowed now I have no idea.

Taking Robotbeat's point, it seems that Falcon 9 is a big hammer to crack a small nut. I wonder why they didn't put it on a Taurus or Minotaur out of Vandenberg. Maybe SpaceX has made them an offer they can't refuse... :)
Douglas Clark

Offline simonbp

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #978 on: 01/08/2011 09:47 pm »
I'm pretty sure it's a dog leg, as I recall an interview from years ago (~2006) where they talked about just that, for this mission. IIRC, MDA got a discount for being the first commercial customer for F9, which made the CCAFS launch affordable to them.
« Last Edit: 01/08/2011 09:48 pm by simonbp »

Offline douglas100

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #979 on: 01/08/2011 09:57 pm »
Thanks for these comments.
Douglas Clark

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