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SpaceX's Big Falcon Topic 2

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Posted (edited)

SpaceX wins a NASA contract to redirect an asteroid via impact by a spacecraft -- using Falcon 9 to launch it.
 

One difference between yesterday's launch and the launch of the demo flight (with Starman riding Elon's Tesla Roadster) is that there was no staggered start of the 27 first stage engines.  They all lit at the same time.

They're also reusing the two side boosters from yesterday in the next Falcon Heavy launch in June for the DoD.  A secondary payload will be the Planetary Society's LightSail 2 solar sail.

Edited by SpaceChampion

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Close up view of Falcon Heavy launch and tracking side boosters to landing.

 

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Posted (edited)

Lost the Falcon Heavy center booster during shipping it back to port:

Update: They apparently need to modify the octograbber for the center core of FH since the fixtures are different than a regular F9, but it wasn't ready in time for this mission, and the seas were too rough to have people on the deck to weld down the legs like they have in the past for early F9 drone ship landings..

Edited by SpaceChampion

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Posted (edited)

The Dragon that was to be used for the first Demo mission of Crew Dragon had an anomaly leading to explosion on the test stand.  This is exactly why every capsule and rocket is tested on a stand first before using it for an actual mission. 

SpaceX tends to come back from a set back like this a lot quicker (6 months after the 2015 rocket explosion) than other companies... but it probably means no crew launch to ISS this year, pushing it back to 2020.

The explosion appears to happen around T-8 in the countdown, so it's quite perplexing what could have caused this.

Edited by SpaceChampion

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13 minutes ago, SpaceChampion said:

The Dragon that was to be used for the first Demo mission of Crew Dragon had an anomaly leading to explosion on the test stand.  This is exactly why every capsule and rocket is tested on a stand first before using it for an actual mission. 

SpaceX tends to come back from a set back like this a lot quicker (6 months after the 2015 rocket explosion) than other companies... but it probably means no crew launch to ISS this year, pushing it back to 2020.

 

I got tricked!

TRICKED!!!!

WHY ARE THEY ALLOWED TO SAY "LIVE TV" WHEN IT HAPPENED A WEEK AGO!?!

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7 hours ago, SpaceChampion said:

The Dragon that was to be used for the first Demo mission of Crew Dragon had an anomaly leading to explosion on the test stand.  This is exactly why every capsule and rocket is tested on a stand first before using it for an actual mission. 

SpaceX tends to come back from a set back like this a lot quicker (6 months after the 2015 rocket explosion) than other companies... but it probably means no crew launch to ISS this year, pushing it back to 2020.

The explosion appears to happen around T-8 in the countdown, so it's quite perplexing what could have caused this.

It wasn’t the Dragon meant for the crewed mission. It was the used one that had recently flown the unmanned test flight to the ISS and which had been recovered from the ocean. It was intended for the upcoming  uncrewed in-flight abort test.

Still a massive setback, though.

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19 hours ago, Jace, Basilissa said:

I got tricked!

TRICKED!!!!

WHY ARE THEY ALLOWED TO SAY "LIVE TV" WHEN IT HAPPENED A WEEK AGO!?!

Oh no!

Dear God!!!

JACE HAS GONE INTERSTELLAR!!!!!

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14 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

It wasn’t the Dragon meant for the crewed mission. It was the used one that had recently flown the unmanned test flight to the ISS and which had been recovered from the ocean. It was intended for the upcoming  uncrewed in-flight abort test.

Still a massive setback, though.

Yes, it is for the uncrewed test, but it is still a Crew Dragon spacecraft.

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Posted (edited)

Dragon Cargo mission to the ISS.

Has a fantastic infrared view of the 1st stage landing.

Edited by SpaceChampion

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Posted (edited)

First  60 sats for Starlink broadband internet constellation (~4500 sats) possibly going up this Wednesday

This could eventually bring in $10 billion a year for just a small percent of the global broadband market, enough to fund Musk's Mars plans indefinitely.

I did not realize they'd be so big (check the Tesla Roadster for comparison in the 2nd pic) ... and so flat (If I'm looking at it correctly).  Looks like the dispenser is going to flick them out like playing cards.  This is an interesting bet I wish I could money on.

Who is ready to dump their ISP for Starlink asap?

Edited by SpaceChampion

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I'm really curious to see what the Starlink pricing structure will look like and how well this will work in large, dense cities. Internet service in the US is one of the most absurd rip offs in the world so it should be possible to undercut the existing providers in rural areas and still make a hefty profit, but I suspect that there will not be enough capacity to handle, say, New York City. If it does work everywhere, this could be a really good deal when combined with various voice-over-IP phone services (or something like Google Fi if you're willing to pay a bit for a phone number independent of the internet).

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Posted (edited)

Weather is 80% go for Starlink launch on the F9 from KSC tonight - May 15th 22:30 EDT.   Sounds like SpaceX needs 7 launches to have the basic constellation up to be able to offer internet services.  I'd expect that to be mainly high-traffic internet backbone rental to other ISPs for now.  7x60 = 420 satellites, about 10% of the 1st initial config of 4500 sats before they expand up to 12,000.

 

 

 

Edited by SpaceChampion

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Posted (edited)

Was another launch scrub -- upgrades to software needed.  Next launch opportunity next week.

Meanwhile, NASA is handing out money for concepts and prototypes for landers on the Moon.  Severanl companies share $45.5 million.  SpaceX will use it to study a lander concept launched with Falcon Heavy.

Most relevant statement as to why this is coming now:

Quote

In the last 13 years, [Boeing and Lockheed] – combined – have carefully extracted no less than $35B from NASA, all of which has thus far produced a single launch of a half-finished prototype spacecraft (Orion) on a contextually irrelevant rocket (Delta IV Heavy) in 2014.

 

Edited by SpaceChampion

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Posted (edited)

Starlink launch attempt tonight at 10:30pm EST
 

 

Edited by SpaceChampion

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Here's a great shot of the 60 starlink sats seen from the ground separating.

 

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