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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Re: SpaceX

#948 Post by Boac » Sun May 12, 2024 9:47 am

B11 and SS29 both moved to the launch site yesterday. Quite a lot of road activity (closures) around the launch site, and May 20th seems to be the most active. Flight 4 seems to be not too far off.

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Re: SpaceX

#949 Post by Boac » Wed May 15, 2024 9:10 pm

Now stacked.

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Re: SpaceX

#950 Post by Boac » Wed May 22, 2024 8:49 pm

Looking like 1/6 for the launch.

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Re: SpaceX

#951 Post by Boac » Sat May 25, 2024 9:08 pm

Make that 5/6.

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Re: SpaceX

#952 Post by PHXPhlyer » Sun Jun 02, 2024 12:39 am

Japanese billionaire cancels private flight around the moon on SpaceX's giant Starship

Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa called off the dearMoon mission due to delays with SpaceX's Starship megarocket.

https://www.space.com/japanese-billiona ... oon-flight

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa won't shoot for the moon on SpaceX's Starship after all.

Maezawa, who booked a private trip around the moon on SpaceX's Starship megarocket in 2018, has now scrapped the project — which he called dearMoon — after the rocket wasn't ready to fly him and eight hand-picked artists in 2023.

"I signed the contract in 2018 based on the assumption that dearMoon would launch by the end of 2023," Maezawa said in a statement on X (formerly Twitter). "It's a developmental project so it is what it is, but it is still uncertain as to when Starship can launch."

If you can't see SpaceX's Starship in person, you can score a model of your own. Standing at 13.77 inches (35 cm), this is a 1:375 ratio of SpaceX's Starship as a desktop model. The materials here are alloy steel and it weighs just 225g.

SpaceX's Starship and Super Heavy booster make up the world's tallest and most powerful rocket ever to fly. The company launched its first uncrewed Starship test flight in April 2023, but failed to reach space. A second test in November 2023 flew higher but also failed. Starship reached space for the first time on March 14 of this year in a test that reached orbital velocity, but its Starship and Super Heavy booster did not survive to their intended splashdown points.

SpaceX is preparing to launch its fourth Starship test flight on June 5 as part of its development of a crewed Starship to land NASA Artemis astronauts on the moon by 2026.

Maezawa said the uncertainty over when Starship would be ready to fly his dearMoon mission led him to cancel the flight.

"I can't plan my future in this situation, and I feel terrible making the crew members wait longer, hence the difficult decision to cancel at this point in time," Maezawa wrote on X. "I apologize to those who were excited for this project to happen."

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Re: SpaceX

#953 Post by PHXPhlyer » Tue Jun 04, 2024 10:48 pm

SpaceX gets green light for fourth Starship test flight

https://www.cnn.com/2024/06/04/science/ ... index.html

SpaceX has received a launch license authorizing the fourth test flight of its massive moon rocket.

Starship, the most powerful launch vehicle ever built, is expected to take off Thursday, during a 120-minute launch window that opens at 8 a.m. ET. A livestream of the flight test will be available on SpaceX’s website about 30 minutes before liftoff.

The Starship vehicle, which includes the upper Starship spacecraft and a rocket booster known as the Super Heavy, will launch from the company’s private Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which licenses commercial rocket launches, gave SpaceX their approval for the flight test Tuesday and said the company “met all safety and other licensing requirements for this test flight.”

SpaceX proposed three scenarios involving Starship’s entry into the atmosphere that would not require an investigation if the vehicle is lost, according to the agency. Those potential mishaps include a failure of a thermal shield, some loss of control of the vehicle in midflight, and the failure of an engine during a landing burn.

“If a different anomaly occurs with the Starship vehicle an investigation may be warranted as well as if an anomaly occurs with the Super Heavy booster rocket,” the agency said in a statement.

“In addition, the FAA approved the mission profile that included a controlled and uncontrolled entry of the Starship vehicle. If SpaceX chooses to execute an uncontrolled entry, it must communicate that decision to the FAA prior to launch,” according to the statement. “As such, the loss of the Starship vehicle would be considered a planned event and an investigation will not be required.”

Each of Starship’s test flights have different objectives that build on lessons learned and milestones achieved during the previous flights.

This time, SpaceX is focused on “demonstrating the ability to return and reuse Starship and Super Heavy. The primary objectives will be executing a landing burn and soft splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico with the Super Heavy booster, and achieving a controlled entry of Starship,” according to a release shared by the company.

If successful, Starship is expected to splash down in the Indian Ocean.

SpaceX made multiple software and hardware upgrades on Starship to incorporate lessons learned from the third flight.

“The fourth flight of Starship will aim to bring us closer to the rapidly reusable future on the horizon,” according to SpaceX. “We’re continuing to rapidly develop Starship, putting flight hardware in a flight environment to learn as quickly as possible as we build a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond.”

Three wild test flights
The first two attempts to get Starship to orbital speeds in 2023 ended in explosions, with the spacecraft and booster erupting into flames before reaching their intended landing sites.

SpaceX is known to embrace fiery mishaps in the early stages of spacecraft development, saying these failures help the company rapidly implement design changes that lead to better results.

SpaceX has said its approach to rocket development is geared toward speed. The company makes use of an engineering method called “rapid spiral development.” This process essentially boils down to a desire to build prototypes quickly and willingly blow them up to learn how to construct a better one — faster than if the company solely relied on ground tests and simulations.

After the explosive first and second Starship test flights, the company immediately sought to frame these mishaps as successes.

The nearly hour-long third test flight, conducted in March, achieved several milestones before breaking apart after reentry, rather than splashing down in the Indian Ocean.

Much is riding on Starship’s eventual success. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has repeatedly characterized the rocket as central to the company’s founding mission: putting humans on Mars for the first time.

Crucially, the Starship spacecraft is also the vehicle NASA has selected to land astronauts launched from the United States on the moon for the first time in more than five decades as part of its Artemis program. The space agency is in a race with China, vying to become first to develop a permanent lunar outpost and set the precedent for deep-space settlements.

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Re: SpaceX

#954 Post by Boac » Mon Jun 10, 2024 8:36 pm

Next one in a month, says Elon, and he wants to reach Uranus with the Starship. I'll leave others to respond......

The launch performance of SpaceX is staggering. They have just completed 300 Falcon flights and now a 'monthly' Starship!!

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