SpaceX

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Boac
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Re: SpaceX

#801 Post by Boac » Thu Jan 19, 2023 4:28 pm

You'll never guess what - today another faultless launch and barge first stage recovery - only 5 launches this tear..................and it's only the 19th.

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Re: SpaceX

#802 Post by TheGreenAnger » Thu Jan 19, 2023 8:12 pm

Boac wrote:
Thu Jan 19, 2023 4:28 pm
You'll never guess what - today another faultless launch and barge first stage recovery - only 5 launches this tear..................and it's only the 19th.
If only Musk stuck with SpaceX he would be a hero! ;))) The Pretoria boy lets himself down with the Twitter drivel.

The company, SpaceX that is, has every right to be hugely proud of its extraordinary technical record.
My necessaries are embark'd: farewell. Adieu! I have too grieved a heart to take a tedious leave.

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Re: SpaceX

#803 Post by Boac » Tue Jan 24, 2023 8:23 am

A step closer to launch. Yesterday SpaceX conducted a full refuel/defuel of the stacked rocket. With FAA launch authority granted it is getting close!

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Re: SpaceX

#804 Post by Boac » Thu Jan 26, 2023 8:55 am

S24 now de-stacked from B7 in preparation for the B7 static fire test.

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Re: SpaceX

#805 Post by PHXPhlyer » Thu Jan 26, 2023 5:46 pm

SpaceX launches heaviest payload on reused rocket's 9th flight
The first-stage Falcon 9 booster that lifted 56 new Starlink internet satellites to low Earth orbit was on its ninth mission.

https://www.space.com/spacex-starlink-s ... SmartBrief

SpaceX's workhorse Falcon 9 rocket lifted its heaviest payload ever into low Earth orbit on Thursday morning (Jan. 26), launching 56 new Starlink internet-beaming satellites.

The Falcon 9 first-stage booster that propelled the mission during its ascent through Earth's atmosphere had been used eight times previously, including on two crewed missions to the International Space Station (Crew 3 and Crew 4, which launched in November 2021 and April 2022 respectively).

The 56 Starlink satellites, weighing a combined 17.4 metric tonnes (19.4 tons), according to a SpaceX commentator, were protected by a five times reused fairing during the ascent.

The rocket lifted off smoothly from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida after a ten-minute delay at 4:32 a.m. EST (0922 GMT).

The first stage separated about 2 minutes and 30 seconds after lift-off and commenced its controlled descent back to Earth. The veteran first stage stuck its landing faultlessly about eight minutes and 40 seconds after lift-off when it touched down on SpaceX's drone ship 'Just Read the Instructions' off the Florida coast.

The two fairing halves, one on its fifth and the other on the sixth flight, dropped off from the upper-stage nose cone shortly after the first stage's separation and fell into the Atlantic Ocean. SpaceX said in the webstream it intended to recover the fairing for further reuse.

About 55 minutes after lift-off, SpaceX confirmed on Twitter(opens in new tab) that the satellites were successfully released into orbit.

The launch will add yet more satellites to SpaceX's giant Starlink constellation, which provides internet service to customers around the world.

Starlink already consists of more than 3,400 operational satellites(opens in new tab), and that eye-popping number will continue to grow far into the future. Elon Musk's company already has permission to loft 12,000 Starlink spacecraft, and it has applied for approval to deploy nearly 30,000 more satellites on top of that.

Thursday's launch wias the sixth of 2023 already for SpaceX and the company's 205th overall. If the company keeps up this cadence — a big if, given that it's still only January — it will break its single-year launch record of 61, which it set in 2022.

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Re: SpaceX

#806 Post by G-CPTN » Thu Jan 26, 2023 5:52 pm

PHXPhlyer wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2023 5:46 pm

Elon Musk's company already has permission to loft 12,000 Starlink spacecraft, and it has applied for approval to deploy nearly 30,000 more satellites on top of that.
Who is the arbitrator of such activity?

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Re: SpaceX

#807 Post by PHXPhlyer » Mon Feb 06, 2023 8:22 pm

SpaceX put a Tesla sportscar into space five years ago. Where is it now?

https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/06/world/sp ... index.html

It’s now been half a decade since SpaceX turned heads around the world with its decision to launch Elon Musk’s personal Tesla roadster into outer space, sending the car on an endless journey into the cosmic wilderness where it’s expected to remain for millennia to come.

As of Monday, February 6, the cherry-colored sports car has officially been in space for exactly five years.

At the time of its anniversary, data estimates show that it had completed about three and one quarter loops around the sun and was positioned about 203 million miles (327 million kilometers) from Earth, according to the tracking website whereisroadster.com.

The roadster has logged more than 2.5 billion miles in space (4 billion kilometers), mostly through a barren vacuum. Though, in 2020, the vehicle made its first close approach to Mars, passing within 5 million miles of the planet, or about 20 times the distance between the Earth and the moon.

It is difficult, however, to say where the vehicle is with absolute certainty — or to determine if it’s still in one piece, as it’s possible the car may have been dinged or obliterated by a meteoroid or eroded beyond recognition by radiation. There haven’t been any direct observations of the roadster since 2018, in the weeks just after it was blasted into orbit atop a three-million-pound Falcon Heavy rocket. Current data is based only on calculated estimates of the car’s trajectory.

Astronomers don’t have much incentive to actively track the car, as it doesn’t offer much scientific value.

The Tesla was ultimately intended to serve as a throw-away “dummy payload” for the Falcon Heavy’s first mission in February 2018, a launch that even Musk had predicted would have only a 50-50 shot at success.

But the launch did, after all, go off without a hitch. And the car has been circling the sun ever since, taking an oblong path that swings as far out as Mars’ orbital path and as close to the sun as Earth’s orbit.

As of Monday, it was just intersecting with Mars’ path, though the planet itself was on the opposite side of the sun.

Before its 2018 launch, SpaceX loaded up the car with various Easter eggs. Behind the wheel was a spacesuit-clad mannequin, nicknamed Starman, and on the dashboard, a sign that read “Don’t Panic,” a reference to the famed science fiction story, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” There was also a data storage device loaded with the works of sci-fi writer Isaac Asminov and a plaque inscribed with the names of thousands of SpaceX employees.

Musk said at the time of launch that he hoped humans will one day establish settlements on other planets in the solar system — a long-running Musk fantasy that also underpins SpaceX’s stated mission to colonize Mars. If and when that happens, Musk said he hopes his “descendants will be able to drag (the roadster) back to a museum.”

For now, however, the roadster isn’t likely to pass near another planet until 2035 when it’ll brush by Mars again. It’ll then make two passes within a few million miles of Earth in 2047 and 2050, according to NASA data.

One 2018 academic paper also estimated that the chances the car collides with the Earth within the next 15 million years at about 22%. The odds of it crashing into Venus or the Sun each stand at 12%.

If the car does wind up taking a crash course with Earth, we’ll have to hope it’s ripped into pieces as it slams back into the thick atmosphere. (Spaceborne objects running into Earth are actually fairly common, and typically burn up in the atmosphere during entry. Such hits rarely impact populated areas.)

To keep tabs on the roadster’s predicted location, it has its own entry in NASA’s Horizons database, which follows all the “bodies” of the solar system, including exploration probes, planets, moons, comets and asteroids. The Tesla is listed as object -143205, “SpaceX Roadster (spacecraft) (Tesla).”

To view a simulation of the Tesla’s orbit (based on the data in Horizons), go to OrbitSimulator.com and search for “roadster.”

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Re: SpaceX

#808 Post by llondel » Mon Feb 06, 2023 8:37 pm

I wonder how many people wish that Musk had accompanied it?

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Re: SpaceX

#809 Post by G-CPTN » Mon Feb 06, 2023 8:54 pm

llondel wrote:
Mon Feb 06, 2023 8:37 pm
I wonder how many people wish that Musk had accompanied it?
What? with a 22% chance of him returning to Earth?

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Re: SpaceX

#810 Post by Boac » Thu Feb 09, 2023 9:28 pm

They have just done a 31 engine Static Fire - 1 motor 'withdrawn' just before fire and 1 shut down on the fire. A record for number and thrust! Well done SpaceX. So far no visible damage on any of the cameras.

Pick it up at 7:15 https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1BdGYygbWbAGX

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Re: SpaceX

#811 Post by PHXPhlyer » Fri Feb 10, 2023 3:04 am

SpaceX attempts static fire of massive Super Heavy rocket

https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/09/business ... index.html

SpaceX just attempted to ignite all 33 engines in a test fire of its gargantuan Super Heavy rocket booster. The trial marks the company’s first “static fire” test for what is expected to be the most powerful launch vehicle ever built.

The Super Heavy booster started its engines for less than 10 seconds while still strapped to the launchpad. The blast sent up a massive plume of smoke and dust as birds scattered around the launch site.

Only 31 engines were lit, however, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk confirmed Thursday in a tweet.

“Team turned off 1 engine just before start & 1 stopped itself, so 31 engines fired overall,” he wrote. “But still enough engines to reach orbit!”

The engine test marked the next major step forward in the development of the Starship system — comprised of the Super Heavy booster and a spacecraft — that is designed to ferry people and large amounts of cargo into deep space, including missions to the moon and Mars.

SpaceX conducted the test fire without the Starship spacecraft mounted on top of the booster.

Development of Starship has been the sole focus of SpaceX’s activities at a facility called Starbase, outside the city of Brownsville, Texas, where Thursday’s test occurred.

Gwynne Shotwell, the company’s president and chief operating officer, had called the test “a big day for SpaceX” during a Wednesday conference in Washington, DC.

Shotwell also noted that the static fire is “the final ground test we can do before we light (the engines) up and go for that first flight test.” That test, which could send the Starship spacecraft to orbit for the first time, could “happen within next month or so,” she said.

The company — and the public — has been waiting for the orbital flight test for well over a year, as Musk at one point suggested on his Twitter feed that the test would occur as early as July 2021. Musk is well known for suggesting timelines for his projects that don’t pan out, though blowing past deadlines is a notorious issue for the aerospace industry at large.

It should be noted that SpaceX is still awaiting a license from the Federal Aviation Administration to move forward with an orbital flight test.

When reached for comment on Thursday, the agency shared the same statement it has been sharing for months: “The FAA will make a license determination only after the agency is satisfied SpaceX meets all licensing, safety and other regulatory requirements.”

In 2022, the FAA also gave SpaceX a list of 75 “mitigating actions” it needed to undertake for environmental approval. The Starship test program — and the company’s plans to launch out of its South Texas facilities, which are surrounded by wildlife reserves — has elicited fierce pushback from conservationists, as well as locals that have routinely lost access to a nearby public beach.

“There will always be work to do there,” Shotwell said Wednesday, referring to the FAA licensing process. “I think we’ll be ready to fly right at the time frame that we get the license.”

Shotwell acknowledged the tendency to share unmet deadlines for launches in her remarks when discussing SpaceX’s goal of getting the first Starship mission to Mars.

“We’re so bad at guessing time frame. … For sure, this decade we will be landing people on the moon. For sure. If not a few years from now. And then Mars? Hopefully this decade? Maybe early next decade? 2030?” Shotwell surmised. “Let’s try that. 2030.”

SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft will also serve a major role in NASA’s Artemis moon program. The space agency selected SpaceX in 2021 to provide a Starship vehicle to serve as the lunar lander for the first crewed mission to the moon since the Apollo program.

The road to orbit
Starship development at SpaceX facilities in South Texas began years ago with brief “hop tests” of early spacecraft prototypes. Those tests started with brief flights that lifted just a few feet off the ground before evolving to high-altitude flights, most of which resulted in dramatic explosions as the company attempted to land them upright.

One suborbital flight test in May 2021, however, ended in success.

Since then, SpaceX has also been working to get its Super Heavy booster prepared for flight. That’s a massive, 230-foot-tall (69-meter-tall) cylinder packed with 33 of the company’s Raptor engines — boasting more thrust at liftoff than any rocket ever made. The rocket booster is expected to be stacked with the Starship on top in order to vault the vehicle toward orbit.

Leading up to Thursday, SpaceX had conducted a series of static fires, making use of increasingly large number of engines. The previous static fire of 14 engines, in November 2022, left the company’s ground pad with some damage.

“We’ll continue to test and learn,” Shotwell said. “I don’t expect the pad to have the same issues … because we’ve done some work on the pad.”

It was not immediately clear how the ground systems fared in the immediate aftermath of Thursday’s test.

Shotwell previously said she hopes the company will conduct more than 100 orbital test flights of Starship before putting humans on board, as the company will need to do in order to help NASA carry out its moon landing with the Artemis III mission, slated for 2025.

“I think that would be a great goal,” Shotwell said Wednesday, when asked whether that target was still feasible. “I don’t think we will do 100 flights of Starship next year, but maybe (in) 2025 we will do 100 flights.”

The Starship system is far different than anything SpaceX has flown before. The company has flown about 200 missions with its Falcon rockets, including trips that have sent military satellites and crews of astronauts to orbit, among other things. But Starship is far more powerful and designed for the specific purpose of venturing deeper into the solar system, such as to the moon and Mars.

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Re: SpaceX

#812 Post by PHXPhlyer » Sun Feb 26, 2023 10:51 pm

SpaceX, NASA to launch new crew of international astronauts to space station

https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/26/world/sp ... index.html

SpaceX and NASA are preparing to launch a fresh crew to the International Space Station, continuing the public-private effort to keep the orbiting laboratory fully staffed and return astronaut launches to US soil. This mission will include crew members from all over the world — two NASA astronauts, a Russian cosmonaut and an astronaut from the United Arab Emirates.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule are expected to take off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 1:45 a.m. ET Monday.

The Crew Dragon, the vehicle carrying the astronauts, will detach from the rocket after launch and spend about one day maneuvering through orbit before linking up with the ISS. The capsule is slated to dock with the space station at 2:38 a.m. ET Tuesday.

This mission will mark the seventh astronaut flight SpaceX has carried out on NASA’s behalf since 2020.

The Crew-6 team on board will include NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen, a veteran of three space shuttle missions, and first-time flyer Warren Hoburg, as well as Sultan Alneyadi, who will be the second astronaut from the UAE ever to travel to space, and Russian cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev.

Once Bowen, Hoburg, Fedyaev and Alneyadi are on board the ISS, they’ll work to take over operations from the SpaceX Crew-5 astronauts who arrived at the space station in October 2022.

They’re expected to spend up to six months on board the orbiting laboratory, carrying out science experiments and maintaining the two-decade-old station.

The mission comes as the Crew-5 astronauts currently on the ISS have been grappling with a separate transportation issue. In December, a Russian Soyuz spacecraft that had been used to transport two cosmonauts and one NASA astronaut to the space station sprang a coolant leak. After the capsule was deemed unsafe to return the astronauts, Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, launched a replacement vehicle on February 23. It arrived at the ISS on Saturday.

Working with the Russians
Russian cosmonaut Fedyaev joined the Crew-6 team as part of a ride-sharing agreement inked last year between NASA and Roscosmos. The agreement aims to ensure continued access to the ISS for both Roscosmos and NASA: Should either the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule or the Russian Soyuz spacecraft used to transport people there experience difficulties and be taken out of service, the other can handle getting astronauts from both countries to orbit.

This will mark Fedyaev’s first mission to space.

Despite ongoing geopolitical tensions spurred by its invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, Russia remains the United States’ primary partner on the ISS. NASA has repeatedly said the conflict has had no impact on cooperation between the countries’ space agencies.

“Space cooperation has a very long history, and we are setting the example of how people should be living on Earth,” Fedyaev said during a news briefing on January 24.

Bowen, the 59-year-old NASA astronaut who will serve as Crew-6 mission commander, also weighed in.

“I’ve been working and training with the cosmonauts for over 20 years now, and it’s always been amazing,” he said during the briefing. “Once you get to space it’s just one crew, one vehicle, and we all have the same goal.”

Bowen grew up in Cohasset, Massachusetts, and studied engineering, obtaining an bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the United States Naval Academy in 1986 and a master’s degree in ocean engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in 1993.

He also completed military submarine training and served in the Navy before he was selected for the NASA astronaut corps in 2000, becoming the first submarine officer to be chosen by the space agency.

He previously completed three missions between 2008 and 2011, during NASA’s Space Shuttle Program, logging a total of more than 47 days in space.

“‘I’m just hoping my body retains the memory from 12 years ago so I can enjoy it,” Bowen said of the Crew-6 launch.

Meet the rest of the Crew-6 team
Hoburg, who is serving as pilot for this mission, is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, native who completed a doctorate degree in electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, before becoming an assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT. He joined NASA’s astronaut corps in 2017.

“We’re going to be living in space for six months. I think back to six months ago and think — OK, that’s a long time,” Hoburg told reporters about his expectations for the journey.

But, Hoburg added, “I’m deeply looking forward to that first look out the cupola,” referring to the well-known area on the ISS that features a large window offering panoramic views of Earth.

Alneyadi, who served as backup in 2019 for Hazza Al Mansouri, the first astronaut from the UAE to travel to orbit, is now slated to become the first UAE astronaut to complete a long-duration stay in space.

In a January news conference, Alneyadi said he planned to bring Middle Eastern food to share with his crewmates while in space. A trained Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, he’ll also be packing along a kimono, the martial art’s traditional uniform.

“It’s hard to believe that this is really happening,” Alneyadi said at a news conference after arriving at Kennedy Space Center on February 21. “I can’t ask for more of a team. I think we are ready — physically, mentally and technically.”

What they’ll do in space
During their stint in space, the Crew-6 astronauts will oversee more than 200 science-oriented projects, including researching how some substances burn in the microgravity environment and investigating microbial samples that will be collected from the exterior of the ISS.

They will play host to two other key missions that will stop by the ISS during their stay. The first is the Boeing Crew Flight Test, which will mark the first astronaut mission under a Boeing-NASA partnership. Slated for April, the flight will carry NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore and Sunita Williams to the space station, marking the last phase of a testing and demonstration program Boeing needs to carry out to certify its Starliner spacecraft for routine astronaut missions.

Then, in May, a group of four astronauts will arrive on a mission called AX-2 — a privately funded tourism mission to the space station. That mission, which will be carried out by a separate SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, will include former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, now a private astronaut with the Texas-based space tourism company Axiom, which brokered and organized the mission.

It will also include three paying customers, similar to the AX-1 mission that visited the ISS last year.

Both the Boeing CFT mission and AX-2 will be major milestones, Bowen said in January.

“It’s another paradigm shift,” he said. “Those two events — huge events — in spaceflight happening during our increment, on top of all the other work we get to do, I don’t think we’re going to fully be able to absorb it until after the fact.”

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Re: SpaceX

#813 Post by PHXPhlyer » Mon Feb 27, 2023 2:06 pm

Last-minute problem keeps SpaceX rocket and astronauts grounded
The countdown was halted with just two minutes remaining until liftoff from Kennedy Space Center.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/la ... -rcna72409

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Last-minute technical trouble forced SpaceX to call off Monday’s attempt to launch four astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA.

The countdown was halted with just two minutes remaining until liftoff from Kennedy Space Center. With just a split second to blast off, there was no time to deal with the problem, which involved the engine ignition system.

SpaceX did not immediately say when it would try again. The next attempt could come as early as Tuesday, although poor weather was forecast up the East Coast in the emergency recovery area.

Strapped into the capsule atop the Falcon rocket were two NASA astronauts, one Russian cosmonaut and one astronaut from the United Arab Emirates. They had to wait until all the fuel was drained from the rocket — an hourlong process — before getting out.

“We’ll be sitting here waiting,” commander Stephen Bowen assured everyone. “We’re all feeling good.”

Bowen and his crew — including the first astronaut from the United Arab Emirates assigned to a monthslong mission, Sultan al-Neyadi — will replace four space station residents who have been up there since October.

Officials said the problem involved ground equipment used for loading the engine ignition fluid. The launch team could not be sure there was a full load. A SpaceX engineer likened this critical system to spark plugs for a car.

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Re: SpaceX

#814 Post by PHXPhlyer » Wed Mar 01, 2023 10:41 pm

SpaceX 'go' to launch Crew-6 astronauts for NASA on March 2 after rocket review
By Elizabeth Howell published about 6 hours ago
The next launch opportunity is Thursday, March 2 at 12:34 a.m. EST (0554 GMT).

https://www.space.com/spacex-crew-6-ast ... SmartBrief

SpaceX's next astronaut mission is back on track for launch.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is now officially set to launch the Crew-6 mission Thursday (March 2) at 12:34 a.m. EST (0534 GMT) and you can watch the liftoff at Space.com, courtesy of NASA Television.

A launch attempt Monday (Feb. 27) to the International Space Station (ISS) had been called off 2.5 minutes before T-0 due to a ground-system issue.

"NASA's SpaceX Crew-6 mission is 'Go' for launch to the International Space Station following completion of a launch readiness review, weather briefing, and mission management meeting," agency officials wrote in a blog post(opens in new tab) Wednesday (March 1).

"Weather officials with Cape Canaveral Space Force Station's 45th Weather Squadron continue to predict a 95% chance of favorable weather conditions," the agency added of the forecast at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in coastal Florida, where the mission will lift off for a one-day journey to the orbital outpost.

Crew-6, the sixth operational mission SpaceX will fly for NASA, will send NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) Sultan Al-Neyadi and Russian cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev to the ISS aboard the Dragon capsule Endeavour. (Al-Neyadi will be the first person from the UAE to spend a long-duration mission on the space station.)

The mission was delayed Monday due to a ground issue with ignition fluid, called triethylaluminum triethylboron or TEA-TEB, that sparks the oxidizer for the engines to ignite.

"During prelaunch, the TEA-TEB fluid⁠—which originates in a ground supply tank⁠— flows to the rocket's interface and back to a catch tank to remove gas from the ground plumbing," NASA officials wrote.

"During engine start, the fluid then flows to the engines for ignition. Flow into the catch tank is one of several parameters used to determine that the fluid has been properly bled into the system."
The ground issue cause delaying Monday's launch has been traced to a clogged ground filter reducing the flow to a TEA-TEB catch tank, NASA officials added.

"This clogged filter fully explained the signature observed on the launch attempt. SpaceX teams replaced the filter, purged the TEA-TEB line with nitrogen, and verified the lines are clean and ready for launch."

Following launch, assuming all goes on time, Crew-6 and its four astronauts are scheduled to dock with the Harmony module at the ISS at 1:17 a.m. EST (0617 GMT) on Friday (March 3). Hatch opening is expected at 3:27 a.m. EST and the welcome ceremony at 3:40 a.m. EST. Space.com will carry these events, courtesy of NASA.

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Re: SpaceX

#815 Post by Boac » Sat Mar 11, 2023 9:09 am

Crew 5 undocked this morning and are on their way home.

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Re: SpaceX

#816 Post by PHXPhlyer » Tue Mar 14, 2023 6:10 pm

SpaceX 'go' to launch Dragon cargo ship to space station for NASA tonight.
Here's how to watch it live.

Liftoff is scheduled for Tuesday (March 14) at 8:30 p.m. ET.

https://www.space.com/spacex-go-crs-27- ... SmartBrief

SpaceX is all set to launch its latest cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday (March 14), provided Mother Nature cooperates.

NASA and SpaceX held a launch readiness review (LRR) on Monday (March 13) for the company's CRS-27 resupply flight, which will send a robotic Dragon capsule to the orbiting lab atop a Falcon 9 rocket.

The LRR revealed no pressing issues, so CRS-27 remains on track to launch Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. EDT (0030 GMT on March 15) from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

"The vehicle is healthy, and all the systems are go for launch," Sarah Walker, SpaceX's Dragon mission management director, said during a post-LRR press conference on Monday evening. "The main thing that the teams continue to monitor over the next 24 hours is weather."

You can watch the launch here at Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX(opens in new tab) and NASA; coverage will start about 15 minutes before liftoff. We'll also carry footage of Dragon's ISS rendezvous and docking, which is expected to occur Thursday (March 16) at 7:52 a.m. EDT (1152 GMT).
And don't worry too much about a weather-related scrub; the weather is looking good as well, having cleared up quite a bit as Monday wore on.

"Models have definitely trended in our favor," Arlena Moses, the launch weather officer for Cape Canaveral Space Force Station's 45th Weather Squadron, said during Monday's press conference.

"While earlier we were looking at a potential probability of violation around 50%, I can now say that we're coming down to only 20%," Moses said. The primary weather concern, she added, is the possibility of mid-level clouds thick enough to carry an electric charge.

As its name indicates, CRS-27 is the 27th operational resupply mission that SpaceX will fly to the International Space Station for NASA. Tuesday's launch will be the third for this particular Dragon capsule and the seventh for the Falcon 9's first stage.

Dragon will carry up nearly 6,300 pounds (2,860 kilograms) of cargo on CRS-27, including spacewalk equipment and vehicle hardware, as well as about 60 new scientific experiments, NASA officials said.

Among the scientific gear are the final two experiments for Tissue Chips in Space, a project run by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the International Space Station National Laboratory.

"Both studies, Cardinal Heart 2.0 and Engineered Heart Tissues-2, use small devices containing living cells that mimic functions of human tissues and organs to advance the development of treatments for cardiac dysfunction," NASA officials wrote in an update on March 9(opens in new tab).

Another scientific payload going up on CRS-27 is the HUNCH Ball Clamp Monopod, which was built by Houston-area high school students. The monopod could make it easier to film in space, agency officials said.

Dragon will also haul up food, including some rare treats for astronauts accustomed to eating preserved foods out of a box or bag.

"The crews requested some fresh fruit and refrigerated cheeses," Phil Dempsey, NASA's International Space Station Program transportation integration manager, said during Monday's press conference. "So on board are apples, blueberries, grapefruit, oranges [and] cherry tomatoes, as well as a few different cheeses."

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Re: SpaceX

#817 Post by PHXPhlyer » Fri Mar 24, 2023 5:35 pm

SpaceX launches 56 Starlink satellites, lands rocket on ship at sea
By Mike Wall last updated about 1 hour ago
It was SpaceX's 20th launch of 2023 already.

https://www.space.com/spacex-starlink-s ... SmartBrief

SpaceX launched its 20th mission of the year on Friday (March 24), sending 56 of its Starlink internet satellites skyward and landing the returning rocket on a ship at sea.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket topped with 56 Starlink spacecraft lifted off Friday at 11:43 a.m. EDT (1543 GMT) from Florida's Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

The Falcon 9's first stage came back to Earth as planned 8.5 minutes after liftoff, making a pinpoint touchdown off the Florida coast on the SpaceX droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas.

The first stage of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket rests on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas shortly after landing on March 24, 2023.

The first stage of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket rests on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas shortly after landing on March 24, 2023. (Image credit: SpaceX)
It was the 10th launch and landing for this particular booster, SpaceX wrote in a mission description(opens in new tab). Among its previous flights were the Crew-3 and Crew-4 astronaut missions to the International Space Station for NASA, which lifted off in November 2021 and April 2022, respectively.

The Falcon 9's upper stage, meanwhile, continued carrying the 56 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit (LEO). If all goes according to plan, all 56 will deployed about 65 minutes after launch.

Before Friday's mission, SpaceX had launched 4,105 Starlink satellites to LEO, more than 3,750 of which are currently operational, according to astrophysicist and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell(opens in new tab).

And those numbers will continue to grow: SpaceX has permission to deploy 12,000 Starlink craft in orbit and has applied for approval for another 30,000 on top of that.

Friday's launch was SpaceX's 20th of the year already. Company founder and CEO Elon Musk said last summer that SpaceX could launch as many as 100 orbital missions in 2023.

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Re: SpaceX

#818 Post by PHXPhlyer » Tue Apr 11, 2023 3:51 pm

SpaceX eyeing 3rd week of April for Starship orbital launch, Elon Musk says
An April 20 liftoff could really happen.


https://www.space.com/spacex-starship-o ... SmartBrief

SpaceX's huge Starship vehicle could launch on its first-ever orbital test flight by the end of next week, if all goes according to plan.

SpaceX has been gearing up for the pioneering flight for months, and the prep work has accelerated recently. Last week, for example, technicians stacked the spacebound Starship, placing its Ship 24 upper-stage prototype atop its Booster 7 first stage on the orbital launch mount at Starbase, SpaceX's South Texas facility.

Such activity implies that Starship is in the home stretch, and SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has repeatedly reinforced that notion via Twitter. He did so again on Monday (April 10), stressing that launch could be less than two weeks away.

"Starship launch trending towards near the end of third week of April," Musk tweeted on Monday morning(opens in new tab).

Musk didn't give a more specific date range, but he may well be targeting April 20, which is a holiday for cannabis culture. The billionaire entrepreneur likes making 4/20 references and jokes(opens in new tab), and he gave an apparent nod to the possibility of an April 20 launch in a tweet last month(opens in new tab).

SpaceX isn't entirely in control of the schedule, however: The company is still waiting on an orbital launch license from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. So you probably shouldn't book any flights to South Texas just yet.

SpaceX is developing Starship to take people and cargo to the moon, Mars and beyond. The enormous vehicle is designed to be fully reusable, a breakthrough that Musk believes will usher in a spaceflight revolution.

Starship's Super Heavy first stage is powered by 33 of SpaceX's new Raptor engines, while the upper-stage spacecraft, known as Starship, sports six Raptors. Those 33 first-stage engines will generate about 16.5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, meaning Starship will become the most powerful rocket in history when it flies successfully for the first time.

The current record is held by NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket, which produces about 8.8 million pounds of thrust at liftoff. The SLS debuted in November 2022, launching for the first time on NASA's Artemis 1 moon mission.

Starship is also the biggest rocket ever built, standing 394 feet (120 meters) tall when fully stacked. But it's going to get even bigger, Musk revealed recently.

"Ship will probably stretch by another 10m or so," he tweeted on Saturday(opens in new tab) (April 8).

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Re: SpaceX

#819 Post by PHXPhlyer » Fri Apr 14, 2023 11:22 pm

SpaceX’s Starship rocket, the most powerful ever built, receives government approval for launch

https://www.cnn.com/2023/04/14/world/sp ... index.html

SpaceX has cleared the final regulatory hurdle standing before the inaugural launch of its Starship rocket — the most powerful rocket ever constructed.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which licenses commercial rocket launches, announced Friday that it granted the company’s request for an uncrewed flight test of the rocket out of the SpaceX facilities in South Texas. The vehicle, which has already undergone preflight ground testing, is poised to take off as soon as Monday.

“After a comprehensive license evaluation process, the FAA determined SpaceX met all safety, environmental, policy, payload, airspace integration and financial responsibility requirements,” the agency said in a statement.

Earlier Friday, the FAA issued an air traffic restriction for the area surrounding the launch. The Notice to Air Missions, or NOTAM, orders planes and other air traffic to steer clear of the launch area — which lies due East of Brownsville, Texas — on Monday between 7 a.m. and 10:05 a.m. CT (8 a.m. and 11:05 a.m. ET).

This will be SpaceX’s first attempt to put Starship into orbit, building on a yearslong testing campaign to work out the design of the rocket.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has talked about Starship for about a decade, making elaborate presentations about its design and describing it as the vehicle that underpins SpaceX’s founding purpose: sending humans to Mars for the first time.

Additionally, NASA has already awarded SpaceX contracts and options — worth more than $3 billion — to use Starship to ferry government astronauts to the surface of the moon under the space agency’s Artemis program.

The inaugural flight test will not complete a full orbit around Earth. If successful, however, it will reach orbital speeds and travel about 150 miles above Earth’s surface, well into altitudes deemed to be outer space.

Starship consists of two parts: the Super Heavy booster, a gargantuan rocket that houses 33 engines, and the Starship spacecraft, which sits atop the booster during launch and is designed to break away after the booster expends its fuel to finish the mission.

On this flight, the rocket booster will be discarded into the ocean shortly after liftoff. In future flights, however, SpaceX plans to recover the vehicle by guiding it to an upright landing back at the launch site. The Starship spacecraft will complete nearly one full lap of the planet, ending its flight with a splashdown off Hawaii.

Getting here
Development of Starship has been based at SpaceX’s privately held spaceport about 40 minutes outside Brownsville, Texas, on the US-Mexico border. Testing began years ago with brief “hop tests” of early spacecraft prototypes. The company began with brief flights that lifted a few dozen feet off the ground before evolving to high-altitude flights, most of which resulted in dramatic explosions as the company attempted to land them upright.

One suborbital flight test in May 2021, however, ended in success.

Since then, SpaceX has also been working to get its Super Heavy booster prepared for flight. The massive, 230-foot-tall (69-meter-tall) cylinder is packed with 33 of the company’s Raptor engines.

Fully stacked, Starship and Super Heavy stand about 400 feet (120 meters) tall.

SpaceX has been waiting more than a year to get FAA approval for an orbital launch attempt.

The company, and federal regulators tasked with certifying SpaceX launches won’t pose risks to people or property in the area surrounding the launch site, have faced significant pushback from the local community, including from environmental groups.

In June, the FAA granted SpaceX one key approval for launching Starship, though it laid out a list of “mitigating actions” the company would need to take before the first launch.

During a call with reporters this week, an FAA official, who declined to be named for publication, said that the agency has been overseeing SpaceX’s compliance with the mitigating actions, some of which are still in the works, even as the launch license is issued.

The FAA official said government personnel will be on the ground to ensure SpaceX complies with its license during the test launch.

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Re: SpaceX

#820 Post by PHXPhlyer » Sun Apr 16, 2023 4:05 pm

What to know about 1st test flight of SpaceX's big Starship
CEO Elon Musk promised that the massive rocket's debut "won't be boring."

https://www.12news.com/article/news/nat ... 4714036344

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is about to take its most daring leap yet with a round-the-world test flight of its mammoth Starship.

It's the biggest and mightiest rocket ever built, with the lofty goals of ferrying people to the moon and Mars.

Jutting almost 400 feet into the South Texas sky, Starship could blast off as early as Monday, with no one aboard. Musk's company got the OK from the Federal Aviation Administration on Friday.

It will be the first launch with Starship's two sections together. Early versions of the sci-fi-looking upper stage rocketed several miles into the stratosphere a few years back, crashing four times before finally landing upright in 2021. The towering first-stage rocket booster, dubbed Super Heavy, will soar for the first time.

For this demo, SpaceX won’t attempt any landings of the rocket or the spacecraft. Everything will fall into the sea.

“I’m not saying it will get to orbit, but I am guaranteeing excitement. It won’t be boring,” Musk promised at a Morgan Stanley conference last month. “I think it’s got, I don’t know, hopefully about a 50% chance of reaching orbit.”

Here’s the rundown on Starship’s debut:

SUPERSIZE ROCKET
The stainless steel Starship has 33 main engines and 16.7 million pounds of thrust. All but two of the methane-fueled, first-stage engines ignited during a launch pad test in January — good enough to reach orbit, Musk noted. Given its muscle, Starship could lift as much as 250 tons and accommodate 100 people on a trip to Mars. The six-engine spacecraft accounts for 164 feet of its height. Musk anticipates using Starship to launch satellites into low-Earth orbit, including his own Starlinks for internet service, before strapping anyone in. Starship easily eclipses NASA’s moon rockets — the Saturn V from the bygone Apollo era and the Space Launch System from the Artemis program that logged its first lunar trip late last year. It also outflanks the former Soviet Union’s N1 moon rocket, which never made it past a minute into flight, exploding with no one aboard.

GAME PLAN
The test flight will last 1 1/2 hours, and fall short of a full orbit of Earth. If Starship reaches the three-minute mark after launch, the booster will be commanded to separate and fall into the Gulf of Mexico. The spacecraft would continue eastward, passing over the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans before ditching near Hawaii. Starship is designed to be fully reusable but nothing will be saved from the test flight. Harvard astrophysicist and spacecraft tracker Jonathan McDowell will be more excited whenever Starship actually lands and returns intact from orbit. It will be "a profound development in spaceflight if and when Starship is debugged and operational,” he said.

LAUNCH PAD
Starship will take off from a remote site on the southernmost tip of Texas near Boca Chica Beach. It's just below South Padre Island, and about 20 miles from Brownsville. Down the road from the launch pad is the complex where SpaceX has been developing and building Starship prototypes for the past several years. The complex, called Starbase, has more than 1,800 employees, who live in Brownsville or elsewhere in the Rio Grande Valley. The Texas launch pad is equipped with giant robotic arms — called chopsticks — to eventually grab a returning booster as it lands. SpaceX is retooling one of its two Florida launch pads to accommodate Starships down the road. Florida is where SpaceX's Falcon rockets blast off with crew, space station cargo and satellites for NASA and other customers.

THE ODDS
As usual, Musk is remarkably blunt about his chances, giving even odds, at best, that Starship will reach orbit on its first flight. But with a fleet of Starships under construction at Starbase, he estimates an 80% chance that one of them will attain orbit by year’s end. He expects it will take a couple years to achieve full and rapid reusability.

CUSTOMERS
With Starship, the California-based SpaceX is focusing on the moon for now, with a $3 billion NASA contract to land astronauts on the lunar surface as early as 2025, using the upper stage spacecraft. It will be the first moon landing by astronauts in more than 50 years. The moonwalkers will leave Earth via NASA’s Orion capsule and Space Launch System rocket, and then transfer to Starship in lunar orbit for the descent to the surface, and then back to Orion. To reach the moon and beyond, Starship will first need to refuel in low-Earth orbit. SpaceX envisions an orbiting depot with window-less Starships as tankers. But Starship isn't just for NASA. A private crew will be the first to fly Starship, orbiting Earth. Two private flights to the moon would follow — no landings, just flyarounds.

OTHER PLAYERS
There are other new rockets on the horizon. Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin is readying the New Glenn rocket for its orbital debut from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in the next year or so. Named after the first American to orbit the world, John Glenn, the rocket towers over the company’s current New Shepard rocket, named for Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard’s 1961 suborbital hop. NASA will use New Glenn to send a pair of spacecraft to Mars in 2024. United Launch Alliance expects its new Vulcan rocket to make its inaugural launch later this year, hoisting a private lunar lander to the moon at NASA’s behest. Europe’s Arianespace is close to launching its new, upgraded Ariane 6 rocket from French Guiana in South America. And NASA’s Space Launch System moon rocket that will carry astronauts will morph into ever bigger versions.

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