SpaceX

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SpaceX

#1  Postby Made of Stars » Apr 20, 2014 11:32 am

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Re: SpaceX

#2  Postby Made of Stars » Apr 20, 2014 11:37 am

Made of Stars wrote:Dragon capsule docking now: http://www.space.com/17933-nasa-televis ... ce-tv.html

Update: Successfully engaged by Canadarm.

(Oops, hit quote instead of edit)

SpaceX's bid to soft land the first stage of the Falcon 9 booster appears to have been a qualified success:

Earlier SpaceX attempts to bring a rocket stage back to Earth in a controlled fashion failed because the rocket's thrusters were unable to overcome its rolling, Musk said. This time, however, the SpaceX team added more powerful thrusters and more propellant to try to handle that problem, and it seems to have worked somewhat.

The Falcon 9's re-entry burn went well, and when the last data came in, the rocket wasn't rolling much at all, according to Musk. A SpaceX plane was also collecting data as the rocket stage made its way back toward Earth. Once that data comes in, SpaceX representatives will have a better sense of what happened with the test.

This launch also helped SpaceX engineers and representatives demonstrate that the landing legs attached to the Falcon 9 didn't have any negative impact during the ascent phase of the flight, Musk said.

Universe Today reported separately that the first stage sensors continued transmitting for 8 seconds after splashdown in heavy seas, ceasing once the stage reached a horizontal position (in the water).

http://www.universetoday.com/111377/spa ... ore-111377
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Re: SpaceX

#3  Postby kennyc » Apr 20, 2014 1:06 pm

Excellent work on both fronts! Go Elon Go! :D
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Re: SpaceX

#4  Postby Made of Stars » May 02, 2014 8:50 pm

Splashdown video, with SpaceX's second attempt at a soft landing:


Moar: http://www.spacex.com/news/2014/04/29/f ... ding-video
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Re: SpaceX

#5  Postby kennyc » May 02, 2014 9:12 pm

I can't make heads or tails of that - even 'repaired'
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Re: SpaceX

#6  Postby Made of Stars » May 03, 2014 12:45 am

Yes, there's only a couple of clear frames.

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And this from a distant aircraft:

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Re: SpaceX

#7  Postby Made of Stars » May 03, 2014 12:51 am

Successful 'hop' to 1000m by a Falcon 9R first stage:

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Re: SpaceX

#8  Postby Made of Stars » May 28, 2014 10:58 am

Press release from SpaceX about their new SuperDraco thruster, to be used for the emergency escape system for the Dragon capsule, and the powered landing back on Earth:

HAWTHORNE, Calif. – Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) announced today that it has completed qualification testing for the SuperDraco thruster, an engine that will power the Dragon spacecraft’s launch escape system and enable the vehicle to land propulsively on Earth or another planet with pinpoint accuracy.

The qualification testing program took place over the last month at SpaceX’s Rocket Development Facility in McGregor, Texas. The program included testing across a variety of conditions including multiple starts, extended firing durations and extreme off-nominal propellant flow and temperatures.

The SuperDraco is an advanced version of the Draco engines currently used by SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft to maneuver in orbit and during re-entry. SuperDracos will be used on the crew version of the Dragon spacecraft as part of the vehicle’s launch escape system; they will also enable propulsive landing on land. Each SuperDraco produces 16,000 pounds of thrust and can be restarted multiple times if necessary. In addition, the engines have the ability to deep throttle, providing astronauts with precise control and enormous power.

The SuperDraco engine chamber is manufactured using state-of-the-art direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), otherwise known as 3D printing. The chamber is regeneratively cooled and printed in Inconel, a high-performance superalloy that offers both high strength and toughness for increased reliability.

“Through 3D printing, robust and high-performing engine parts can be created at a fraction of the cost and time of traditional manufacturing methods,” said Elon Musk, Chief Designer and CEO. “SpaceX is pushing the boundaries of what additive manufacturing can do in the 21st century, ultimately making our vehicles more efficient, reliable and robust than ever before.”

Unlike previous launch escape systems that were jettisoned after the first few minutes of launch, SpaceX’s launch system is integrated into the Dragon spacecraft. Eight SuperDraco engines built into the side walls of the Dragon spacecraft will produce up to 120,000 pounds of axial thrust to carry astronauts to safety should an emergency occur during launch.

As a result, Dragon will be able to provide astronauts with the unprecedented ability to escape from danger at any point during the ascent trajectory, not just in the first few minutes. In addition, the eight SuperDracos provide redundancy, so that even if one engine fails an escape can still be carried out successfully.

The first flight demonstration of the SuperDraco will be part of the upcoming pad abort test under NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capabilities (CCiCap) initiative. The pad abort will be the first test of SpaceX’s new launch escape system and is currently expected to take place later this year.


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Re: SpaceX

#9  Postby Made of Stars » May 28, 2014 11:05 am

And...

SpaceX to announce crewed Dragon capsule on May 29:

Musk will personally introduce SpaceX’s ‘Space Taxi’ dubbed ‘Dragon V2’ at what amounts to sort of a world premiere event on May 29 at the company’s headquarters in Hawthorne, CA, according to an official announcement this evening (May 27) from SpaceX.

“SpaceX’s new Dragon V2 spacecraft is a next generation spacecraft designed to carry astronauts into space,” according to the SpaceX statement.

Read more: http://www.universetoday.com/111534/spa ... z330PyyNZU

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Re: SpaceX

#10  Postby DougC » May 31, 2014 12:15 am

B.B.C. - SpaceX unveil 'no runway' Dragon V2 space capsule
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Re: SpaceX

#11  Postby GT2211 » May 31, 2014 12:19 am

http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/05/ ... ce-capsule

Hoping to have it ready for use by 2016. Total cost expected to be around 1 billion USD, half of which was funded by NASA.

I like where this is going :)
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Re: SpaceX

#12  Postby DougC » May 31, 2014 12:36 am

GT2211 wrote:http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/05/spacex-shows-off-dragon-v2-its-brand-new-manned-space-capsule

Hoping to have it ready for use by 2016. Total cost expected to be around 1 billion USD, half of which was funded by NASA.

I like where this is going :)

Up? :ask:

No, all good stuff. :thumbup:
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Re: SpaceX

#13  Postby Made of Stars » Jun 03, 2014 11:08 am

Animation of Dragon 2:


Am I the only one who thinks this thing doesn't look big enough to carry 7 astronauts? :scratch:

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Re: SpaceX

#14  Postby patient zero » Jun 03, 2014 9:45 pm

I still think the Dragon has the best chance of taking people back into space from US soil first. I wouldn't mind NASA having Dream Chaser, CST-100, or even Blue Origin's spacecraft as backup, though.
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Re: SpaceX

#15  Postby Weaver » Jun 03, 2014 10:43 pm

Made of Stars wrote:Animation of Dragon 2:
Am I the only one who thinks this thing doesn't look big enough to carry 7 astronauts? :scratch:

Image

It's bigger on the inside.

But seriously, ever stood next to an Apollo capsule, and wondered how they fit inside? They actually had a lot of room between crew members, and around them. I'm not at all surprised to see 7 seats in this capsule - the mockups look consistent to me.
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Re: SpaceX

#16  Postby Made of Stars » Jun 04, 2014 12:35 pm

Weaver wrote:But seriously, ever stood next to an Apollo capsule, and wondered how they fit inside?

True, let alone spend multiple days in there. One of the museums I visited as a kid had an old Gemini (I think) capsule, and that was even smaller. Looked like a tin can too.
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Re: SpaceX

#17  Postby Matt_B » Jun 04, 2014 1:04 pm

Made of Stars wrote:
Weaver wrote:But seriously, ever stood next to an Apollo capsule, and wondered how they fit inside?

True, let alone spend multiple days in there. One of the museums I visited as a kid had an old Gemini (I think) capsule, and that was even smaller. Looked like a tin can too.


You should see a Mercury capsule sometimes. They make Gemini look like the lap of luxury in comparison.

Anyway, I'd think that the Dragon capsule would only have to accommodate 7 people for short trips, such as to and from the ISS. It's not like they'd have to live and work in the thing for several weeks, like with the Space Shuttle.
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Re: SpaceX

#18  Postby Weaver » Jun 04, 2014 3:49 pm

Gemini and Mercury were both limited by having to fit on top of an Atlas booster - that made them very, very small. Apollo was downright roomy in comparison.
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Re: SpaceX

#19  Postby Matt_B » Jun 04, 2014 5:03 pm

Weaver wrote:Gemini and Mercury were both limited by having to fit on top of an Atlas booster - that made them very, very small. Apollo was downright roomy in comparison.


Mercury had to fit on top of the, even smaller, Redstone missile for the first sub-orbital flights. You can see from pictures how the capsule is slightly wider even than the booster. You needed to be a pretty brave chimpanzee to ride one of those.
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Re: SpaceX

#20  Postby Weaver » Jun 04, 2014 5:07 pm

Pretty sure that Mercury was sized for the Atlas booster, and they made an adapter to fit on the Redstone missile used for Shepard's and Grissom's first flights.
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