SpaceChampion

SpaceX's Big Falcon Topic 2

228 posts in this topic

On 4/14/2018 at 1:39 PM, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Hopefully that'll be ironed out.  Regulations regarding video from space not enforced prior to seeing Starman in front of the Earth are now enforced.  The regulation existed for a long time and now the routine use of cameras aboard 2nd stages of rockets are falling under it.

 

Tomorrow's launch of a Falcon 9 will carry the TESS space telescope to orbit:

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TESS is a space telescope in NASA's Explorer program, designed to search for extrasolar planets using the transit method. The primary mission objective for TESS is to survey the brightest stars near the Earth for transiting exoplanets over a two-year period. The TESS project will use an array of wide-field cameras to perform an all-sky survey. It will scan nearby stars for exoplanets.

Interesting, The second stage will not be de-orbited on this mission but it will be put in a hyperbolic disposal orbit (ejecting it into interplanetary space).

The fairing will soft land in the ocean, without attempting to catch it with Mr. Steven.

Launch scheduled currently for April 16 th 2018, 18:32 - 18:33 EDT (22:32 - 22:33 UTC).

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SpaceX is starting production of the first BFR (probably the upper stage ship for grasshopper flights) at their new Port of Los Angeles location.

Today's TESS launch will be the last new Block 4 version of Falcon 9.  It'll fly a few times probably, including the next CRS resupply mission to the ISS later this year.  Block 5 will be soon to fly!

Webcast will be here:

 

From NASA it seems the SLS is being delayed yet again.  Will it ever actually fly?  Most space industry journalists doubt it.

Just going to steal a quote from an comment I've seen on nasawatch.com:
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So, one SLS launch per year of an empty Orion capsule, for four years, at presumably something like the current $4.5 billion baseline annual funding.

One way of looking at it is that four uncrewed test flights with no major configuration changes before the first crewed flight is a far more realistic approach than the previous plan, given the specific issues that have been piling up and the general unknowns of flying a major new launch system.

From a cost-effectiveness angle though, that's three years before first flight, plus four annual uncrewed test flights, plus one or two more years for the first crewed flight, at $4.5 billion-plus per year. Ignoring the huge sunk cost, that's $36 billion ($4.5G/yr, 8 years) to $43 billion (the current overall total $4.8G/yr, 9 years) in future (and thus still optional and redirectable) costs to reach first crewed SLS/Orion flight.

Even if they were trying to, it's hard to see how they could do a better job of calling into question whether this is a wise use of near half of NASA Human Spaceflight's likely funding for the next nine years.

 

 

Edited by SpaceChampion

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1 hour ago, Erik of Hazelfield said:

SC, can you please comment on Elon’s last tweets? Is he seriously suggesting they recover the second stage with a giant balloon or is it some late April’s fool joke?

https://mobile.twitter.com/elonmusk/status/985655249745592320

Pretty sure he's serious, but wording it with his usual exaggeration.  An old idea they are probably using is the concept of a "ballute", which is a combo of a parachute and a balloon.  The problem with a simple parachute dropping from orbit at supersonic velocity is it wouldn't have the atmospheric pressure surrounding it to maintain it's shape as the 2nd stage descended into the atmosphere, twisting up and probably burning up.  So they design it to inflate and hold the shape.  I wouldn't be surprised if they have some way to steer it too, like a parafoil-shaped ballute.  Their experience with recovering the fairing, though they're yet to catch it with the ship, has probably encouraged them to make the attempt.

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Launch of TESS scrubbed for today, but Wednesday's weather is looking near 100% clear.

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21 hours ago, SpaceChampion said:

Launch of TESS scrubbed for today, but Wednesday's weather is looking near 100% clear.

You wanna live-post it? I'll set an alarm on my phone.

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6 hours ago, Pony Queen Jace said:

You wanna live-post it? I'll set an alarm on my phone.

Not sure what you mean...  Like describe the launch second by second in text??  haha, not doing that.

At the webcast youtube page, you can click on the notifications bell symbol to let youtube notify you for the start of the cast, if you're logged in.   Here:

 

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