SpaceX

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Re: SpaceX

#941 Post by Boac » Thu Mar 14, 2024 4:00 pm

A very successful third test with what appears to be a flawless launch, stage separation and insertion into orbit. However, both bodies lost during recovery, but the ensuing data will be priceless. Well done SpaceX!

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Re: SpaceX

#942 Post by Boac » Fri Mar 15, 2024 8:27 am

Watching the on-board video during the SS re-entry it was concerning to see large black chunks flying off! Tiles, I guess?

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Re: SpaceX

#943 Post by Archer » Fri Mar 15, 2024 10:23 am

Could well have been tiles. The SS tumbled as it re-entered the atmosphere and the resulting forces on various bits of the craft could have dislodged many things.
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Re: SpaceX

#944 Post by Boac » Mon Mar 18, 2024 10:50 am

The awaited report from SpaceX should be very interesting. One would hope that the apparent failure to sustain ignition on the B and the loss of attitude control on the SS should be relatively simple to cure.

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Re: SpaceX

#945 Post by PHXPhlyer » Thu Mar 21, 2024 5:01 pm

Whee! Zip down from the launch tower in SpaceX's new emergency-escape slide

https://www.space.com/spacex-astronaut- ... SmartBrief

SpaceX just tested a new astronaut ride — one that takes folks down to the ground rather than high above it.

I wonder if Elon will offer the paying public a chance to do the zipline when no launch activities are going on. :-?

That ride is a deployable slide installed atop the tower at Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40), a pad at Florida's Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. It's designed to get astronauts off the tower in a hurry in the event of an emergency before liftoff.

We just got to see the slide in action, thanks to a video SpaceX posted on X on Tuesday (March 19). The 24-second video provides an astronaut's-eye view of the slide experience, which — though serious business — wouldn't be out of place at an amusement park.

"Even though it’s meant to be used for emergencies, it looks like a lot of fun!" SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said via X on Tuesday, in a post responding to the slide video.

SpaceX tests its new emergency-escape astronaut slide at Pad 40 at Florida's Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. This is a screenshot from a video SpaceX posted to X on March 19, 2024. (Image credit: SpaceX via X)
The recent slide test is part of SpaceX's effort to certify SLC-40 for astronaut launches. SpaceX has launched 13 crewed missions to date, all of them from Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, which is next door to Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

To evacuate from Pad 39A's launch tower, astronauts jump into baskets that slide down wires to terra firma. The SLC-40 system is different, as the new video shows: It's an enclosed chute that deploys from the top of the tower when needed, riding already-emplaced cables to the ground.

SpaceX has launched many (uncrewed) missions from SLC-40 over the years. And another one will lift off on Thursday (March 21), if all goes according to plan.

A Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to launch a robotic Dragon cargo capsule toward the International Space Station from the pad on Thursday at 4:55 p.m. EDT (2055 GMT). You can watch the action here on Space.com when the time comes.

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Re: SpaceX

#946 Post by llondel » Thu Mar 21, 2024 9:58 pm

I thought they'd had something similar for the Shuttle, given its lack of other obvious escape mechanisms - down the line, take cover in a shelter and hope to survive the pressure wave of the blast.

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Re: SpaceX

#947 Post by PHXPhlyer » Fri Mar 22, 2024 6:43 pm

SpaceX launches its 30th Dragon cargo mission to the ISS (video)
Dragon is scheduled to arrive at the space station on Saturday morning (March 23).

https://www.space.com/spacex-nasa-crs-3 ... SmartBrief

SpaceX launched its 30th cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA this afternoon (March 21), carrying 3 tons of supplies and scientific hardware to the orbiting lab.

A Falcon 9 rocket carrying an uncrewed Cargo Dragon spacecraft lifted off today at 4:55 p.m. EDT (2055 GMT) from Space Launch Complex-40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

The mission, known as CRS-30, was the first cargo launch from SLC-40 since March 2020. Since then, the pad has been outfitted with a new launch tower, which allows for more efficient cargo loading and upgrades the facility to support crewed launches as well.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Dec. 6, 2020, carrying the uncrewed cargo Dragon spacecraft on its journey to the International Space Station for NASA and SpaceX’s 21st Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-21) mission. (Image credit: NASA/SpaceX)
Before the SLC-40 upgrades, "we loaded cargo while the vehicle was still horizontal using a mobile cleanroom before we would take the vehicle vertical for lunch, but thanks to this new state of the art crew tower, required for our human spaceflight missions, that late-load cargo operation got a massive upgrade, too," Sarah Walker, director of SpaceX Dragon mission management, said during a pre-launch press briefing on Tuesday (March 19).

"It's much easier to load a huge complement of time-critical NASA science into our Dragon spacecraft in the flight orientation," she added.

The Falcon 9's first stage booster came back to Earth as planned today, making a vertical touchdown at SpaceX's Landing Zone-1, at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, about eight minutes after launch. It was the sixth launch and landing for the booster, according to a SpaceX mission description.

The CRS-30's Cargo Dragon capsule separated from the rocket's upper stage just under 12 minutes after launch. The spacecraft will spend around two days en route to the ISS, with a rendezvous and docking scheduled for 7:30 a.m. EDT on Saturday (March 23). You can watch that orbital meetup live here at Space.com, courtesy of NASA, beginning at 5:30 a.m. EDT (0930 GMT) on Saturday.

Over 6,000 pounds (2,721 kilograms) of scientific supplies, maintenance equipment, two new coffee kits, fresh fruits and vegetables and other food for the station's inhabitants are stowed aboard Dragon on CRS-30. Included in that haul is a new spare pump stored in Dragon's trunk, which will be integrated into the space station's external thermal loop system.

The first stage of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket rests at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida shortly after launching a robotic Dragon spacecraft on the company's 30th contracted cargo mission to the International Space Station for NASA on March 21, 2024. (Image credit: NASA/SpaceX)
In addition to materials to support ongoing research aboard the orbital laboratory, a number of new science investigations are also aboard CRS-30 to enrich our understanding of the effects of microgravity on a range of biological and technological processes.

The Nano Particle Haloing Suspension experiment, for example, will study nanoparticles' reaction to electrical fields, and their use to help synthesize semiconductor material known as "quantum dots," which holds the potential to greatly increase the efficiency of solar panel technology.

The Multi-resolution Scanner (MRS) experiment will utilize the existing autonomous Astrobee robots aboard the ISS to test 3D mapping technology. "The team has big plans for future applications [of this technology] in spaceflight," said Heidi Parris, associate program scientist at NASA's ISS Program Research Office. "If it works well inside the ISS, this technology could be developed to use for scanning of exterior hull damage on the ISS or other space stations, as well as lunar and Martian surface scanning."

Parris highlighted a number of other investigations during Tuesday's press call as well, including the APEX-09 experiment to examine the genetic makeup of plants in microgravity.

CRS-30 "is also going to launch research into many, many other areas, including cellular microbiology, crystal growth, astrophysics, human research, material science and much more," Parris said.

CRS-30 will remain docked to the Harmony module's zenith (upward-facing) port for about a month before deorbiting and returning to Earth. Dragon is the only cargo vehicle currently able to withstand reentry forces through Earth's atmosphere, and it's therefore used to return a number of research materials and other spent items from the space station.

The other two currently operational cargo vehicles — Northrup Grumman's Cygnus spacecraft and Russia's Progress vessel — are designed to burn up upon reentry.

pp

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