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ugordan
I don't know if this is the right place to post this, but here goes:

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=18353

http://www.spacex.com/

Looking forward to launch videos... cool.gif
ljk4-1
QUOTE (ugordan @ Nov 19 2005, 01:28 PM)
I don't know if this is the right place to post this, but here goes:

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=18353

http://www.spacex.com/

Looking forward to launch videos...  cool.gif
*


A Falcon One rocket will be sending James Doohan's ashes into the Final Frontier next February:

http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?showtopic=1692
AlexBlackwell
From the December 8, 2005, issue of Nature:

Internet star shoots for a rocket revolution
Tony Reichhardt
Nature 438, 736-737 (2005)
doi:10.1038/438736a
Full Text

Excerpt:

"For the past 20 years, most start-up rocket companies have followed the same sad trajectory. They produce an artist's concept of an innovative vehicle while promising to cut launch costs by a factor of ten. Scrounge for money, mostly without success. Badmouth NASA and established rocket manufacturers such as Boeing. Fail, usually before reaching the launch pad. And disappear.

"The names may be different AMROC, Conestoga, Rotary Rocket, Beal Aerospace but the stories are essentially the same. And their combined impact on the economics of spaceflight has been zero. It still costs tens of millions of dollars to place even a modest satellite in orbit.

"Enter Elon Musk, the latest comer with long-shot dreams of revolutionizing the launch business..."
Comga
From the SpaceX website Updates page:

Posted December 7, 2005: The new launch date is approximately December 20, depending on when the Missile Defense Agency testing is complete. As soon as we have a firm time, it will be posted on the SpaceX website.

Liquid Oxygen

Regarding liquid oxygen (LOX) supplies, we expect to have enough on hand this time to fill the rocket four or five times over. This should account for almost any issue with a particular storage tank as well as an extended hold on the pad. There is an engineering term known as a s*load. I have asked that we have at least two s*loads on hand in case one s*load is not enough.

We chartered a C-17 to fly two of our empty high quality LOX containers to Hawaii, sourced another high quality LOX container on Hawaii and put all three on the barge to Kwajalein. In addition, our LOX plant on Kwajalein has been repaired and is producing LOX on island again.

Some might be wondering why we were so dumb as to run out of LOX on a remote tropical island on the last launch attempt. Believe me, we tried hard to avoid it, but several issues conspired to create the problem:

* The additional month of Merlin testing resulted in additional LOX boil-off on island. Even though it is stored in vacuum jacketed containers, LOX at -300F degrees does not like being on a tropical island at 85F.
* The SpaceX LOX plant on island broke down a few weeks prior to launch, which meant we could not top up.
* We ordered replacement LOX from Hawaii, but the container quality was poor, so only 20% of what we ordered actually arrived.
* Ground winds were unusually high on launch day, which amplifies the boil-off rate significantly, since the Falcon's first stage LOX tank is uninsulated.
* All of the above would not have mattered if our final storage tank did not have a small, manual vent valve incorrectly in the open position. Somewhat agonizingly, we were only a few percent away from being full. We just needed a little sip from the last tank.
* After a while, we were able to close the vent and fill the vehicle's LOX tanks. However, we use LOX to chill our onboard helium and the absence of ground LOX to do so resulted in the helium heating up and venting back to storage. In the end, we did not have enough LOX to stay filled on the rocket and chill & pressurize the helium.

Engine Computer

The engine computer reboot anomaly was definitively traced to a ground power problem. Importantly, this would have had no effect on flight, since we switch to vehicle power before the autosequence begins. The reason it cropped up at Kwajalein was that the higher load on the longer umbilical (three times longer than in prior tests) coupled with high temperatures in Kwajalein resulted in increased resistance in the ground umbilical. This was just enough to lower the voltage below minimums and cause an engine computer reset when drawing maximum power. The same max power test was repeated on internal vehicle batteries with no problem at all.

This problem has been solved by slightly increasing voltage on the ground umbilical.

--Elon-
argv
anyone know of live information from the launch on the web other than spaceflightnow.com or spacex.com ?
edstrick
Not offhand. From spaceflightnow:

http://spaceflightnow.com/falcon/f1/status.html

"1900 GMT (2:00 p.m. EST)
Today's launch window is now open. However, the countdown has been stopped due to the strong winds at the launch site. Officials are waiting for the winds to ease before proceeding with the launch attempt of the first Falcon 1 rocket. "
lyford
SCRUBBED! mad.gif

QUOTE
Falcon 1 Maiden Flight Update: Posted December 18, 2005

The SpaceX launch is scrubbed until early next year, as there is a structural issue with the 1st stage fuel tank that will require repair.  SpaceX will provide further comment as soon as this has been carefully analyzed. 

Consistent with our policy, we must be 100% green for launch with no outstanding concerns whatsoever.  It is not just a matter of repairing the damage, but also understanding at a fundamental level how to ensure it never happens again.  SpaceX will also do another full review of all the vehicle systems, including propulsion, structures, avionics, software and ground support systems.  Therefore, we expect that the earliest that launch would occur is late January.

www.spacex.com
Comga
QUOTE (argv @ Dec 19 2005, 11:00 AM)
anyone know of live information from the launch on the web other than spaceflightnow.com or spacex.com ?
*


Elon Musk's brother Kimbal is posting at

http://kwajrockets.blogspot.com/

He has put up a lot of pictures and links, and was posting some information before the online relays from the press briefing. He does have a disclaimer not to trust a thing he posts, and that he could be posting from his "basement somewhere in Boulder", but he was the first one to announce the launch scrub. The attached image is from his blog.

Click to view attachment

There are also postings at

http://www.outofthecradle.net/

It is much the same as SpaceflightNow, with some minor differences.
Toma B
sad.gif I thought this rocket is supposed to be reliable and cheap...how much these scrubs cost? sad.gif
edstrick
....how much these scrubs cost?

a LOT less than one Space Shuttle Toilet!
djellison
It's the first one - it's going to be troublesome. Give them a chance to work it all out and THEN see how they do.

Doug
jaredGalen
QUOTE (Toma B @ Dec 20 2005, 07:15 AM)
sad.gif I thought this rocket is supposed to be reliable and cheap...how much these scrubs cost? sad.gif
*

Well in fairness it sounds like the scrub was caused by bad weather and the result of obeying their own launch criteria.
The fuel tank failure was not a problem with the rocket it seems but with the equipment for unloading the fuel.

The reliability and cheapness claims are still their to be...well...claimed, I think.

Rotten luck though. Bothersome Vacuums.... sad.gif
ljk4-1
I like those images of the rocket by the sea at sunset, but does anyone else think that all rockets should be launched from somewhere in the deserts of the Southwestern US, like they used to be depicted?

cool.gif
lyford

Either that is really bad video compression or they are using a palm tree as a service tower.

Does anyone have the link to that live webcam feed? For next time...
crabbsaline
From Spacex.com:

QUOTE
Falcon 1 Maiden Flight Update: Posted February 5, 2006

The new expected launch time is February 9 at 1:00 p.m. California time with Feb. 10 as a backup day.


Anybody see new info from external sources?
ljk4-1
QUOTE (crabbsaline @ Feb 6 2006, 02:22 AM)
From Spacex.com:
Anybody see new info from external sources?
*


This is from the February 1 edition of Brian Webb's Launch Alert:

APR-JUN 10:00-13:00? Falcon I SLC-3W

Payload is the Naval Research Laboratory's TacSat-1 satellite. The
vehicle will carry the ashes of U.S. astronaut Gordon Cooper, Star
Trek actor James "Scotty" Doohan and several other people into space.
The launch window is fixed and does not change if the launch date
changes.

http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.p...indpost&p=39790
crabbsaline
New update from Feb 6:

QUOTE
As an additional reliability measure, SpaceX will conduct a full test of vehicle systems, including initiating the flight countdown autosequence and briefly firing the main engine on the launch stand.  This test will take place Thursday, February 9 (California time).  If no flight critical anomalies are detected, launch will take place on Friday, February 10.
ljk4-1
* SpaceX Delays Inaugural Falcon 1 Launch at Least One Day

http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/06020...con1_delay.html

Space Exploration (SpaceX) Technologies' third attempt to launch the Falcon 1
rocket on its maiden flight has been pushed back roughly 24 hours to Friday,
Feb. 10 to allow for more tests.


* ASTRONOTES: Private Spaceflight Firm Partners With Japanese Researchers

http://www.space.com/astronotes/astronotes.html

Rocketplane Limited Inc. has entered into an agreement with a Japanese research
group to take experiment specimens into space.
jabe
Anyone know how the test fire went....or if the test fire has happened yet?
looking forward to the launch..hope it is broadcast somewhere tomorrow...
crabbsaline
QUOTE (jabe @ Feb 9 2006, 03:44 PM)
Anyone know how the test fire went....or if the test fire has happened yet?
looking forward to the launch..hope it is broadcast somewhere tomorrow...
*


Comga, in Post #8, made reference to:

kwajrockets.blogspot.com

Looks like some updates happening there.
crabbsaline
Looks like it'll be awhile before launch:

SpaceX Update
Comga
QUOTE (crabbsaline @ Feb 9 2006, 09:23 PM)
Looks like it'll be awhile before launch:

SpaceX Update
*


There is more step-by-step information at

http://kwajrockets.blogspot.com/

but not much more on their plans. Note that this is not an official SpaceX website and comes with a disclaimer that it could all be fiction from a stateside basement, but if it is, he has great graphics generating capability.
crabbsaline
Static Fire Video up on SpaceX Update Page
ljk4-1
Companies Prepare to Launch Remains into Space

http://www.space.com/news/ap_060221_space_ashes.html

Scotty will be blasted into space not beamed up and Gordo is returning for
his third flight. The craft also will hold the ashes of 185 others, including a
telephone technician, a nurse and a college student.
Bob Shaw
QUOTE (ljk4-1 @ Feb 22 2006, 07:42 PM) *
Companies Prepare to Launch Remains into Space

http://www.space.com/news/ap_060221_space_ashes.html

Scotty will be blasted into space not beamed up and Gordo is returning for
his third flight. The craft also will hold the ashes of 185 others, including a
telephone technician, a nurse and a college student.


Hmmm. Any marketing consultants, hairdressers or telephone sanitisers aboard, too? Is this the 'A' payload or the 'B' payload, anyway?

Bob Shaw
lyford
QUOTE (Bob Shaw @ Feb 22 2006, 03:01 PM) *
Hmmm. Any marketing consultants, hairdressers or telephone sanitisers aboard, too? Is this the 'A' payload or the 'B' payload, anyway?

LOL - you just made me do a spit take with my jynnan tonnyx.... tongue.gif

This is prolly old news to most of you, but I just stumbled across a Sci Fri panel discussion featuring Elon himself.
MP3 File of show

Still no updates on the SpaceX updates page.
crabbsaline
Update on Feb 24:

Tentative Launch Window
Bob Shaw
Article on the Space-X 'Dragon' manned/cargo vehicle:

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=1095

Bob Shaw
Bob Shaw
Some Dragon illustrations.

Bob Shaw
Bob Shaw
Another one, based on a Space.Com illustration.

Bob Shaw
Myran
Its not one exact carbon copy, but I cant help thinking its like a rebirth of the Gemini program.
Bob Shaw
QUOTE (Myran @ Mar 8 2006, 09:02 PM) *
Its not one exact carbon copy, but I cant help thinking its like a rebirth of the Gemini program.


In capability, more like 'Big G' perhaps - and nowt wrong with that! Only a few illustrations, and no technical details, have leaked out so far, so it may actually be quite unlike Gemini. The forebody shape is much like the Discoverer re-entry vehicle, so it may come into the atmosphere pointy-end first. The 'Service Module' might not be jettisoned, but could serve as the storage for parachutes or whatever it might take to bring the thing down - remember, these guys are stressing the reuseable aspect above much else.

Bob Shaw
edstrick
A case could be made for a design with a "service module" equivalent compartment inside the re-entry body behind the pressurized crew compartment (which is what I think SpaceX is doing here) ...

AND

with external "ports" that could connect to propellent, fuel-cell supplies, etc. to provide extend-mission capabilities. An "external service" module could be little more than an adaptor with throwaway tanks and almost nothing else. All the high-value reusable stuff and short-duration, low-delta-v mission consumables could be inside the entry-shell
crabbsaline
March 15th update available:

QUOTE
Falcon 1 has been removed from its hangar and erected on the launch pad. All systems are currently go for a static fire on March 17 or 18, followed by a launch between March 20 and 25.
Comga
QUOTE (crabbsaline @ Mar 15 2006, 07:54 PM) *
March 15th available:



Thanks for the notice. Good pictures.
How did you find out? I did not get an e-mail, and have signed up for their list at least twice.

Hoping for the best....
crabbsaline
I just check the site frequently. I signed up, too, but have never received an email from them. It might be a good idea to send them an email to check their mailing list sender.
Comga
It is now close to sundown on the 18th on Kwajalein. There was supposed to be a static firing yesterday or today. I can find no news more recent than Musk's 3/15 update. That update implied that they had accumulated enough LOX on the island and said again that the launch would be beteen the 20th and the 25th but....? His brother (http://kwajrockets.blogspot.com/) is off-line since 2/10. I do see on Space News that SpaceX has recruited another industry vet:

http://www.space.com/spacenews/ Sea Launch President Joining SpaceX

PARIS - Sea Launch LLC President Jim Maser is resigning his post at the end of this month and will become a manager at launcher startup company Space Exploration Technologies, known as SpaceX, according to industry officials.

This looks to me like quite an endorsement. A veteran of an incrimental plan to reduce launch costs jumping ship to a radical plan to lower launch costs. However, it is still not the news I was looking for.
crabbsaline
QUOTE (Comga @ Mar 18 2006, 01:00 PM) *
...Jim Maser is resigning his post at the end of this month and will become a manager at launcher startup company Space Exploration Technologies, known as SpaceX...

Another site has him as "...President and Chief Operating Officer": Freshnews.com article
edstrick
My take on the total lack of news from Kwaj... (no news atoll)... is that they're up to their (anatomical reference deleted) in fiddly stuff and too busy to take a breather and chat at us.

But of course, no news is no news. And that Jim Maser info is most interesting, as is the fact that Kistler's operation has been bought... was it the Rocketplane people, with... was it some French funding... (my brain's going.. I can't remember what I read yesterday)
odave
QUOTE (edstrick @ Mar 20 2006, 03:33 AM) *
Kwaj... (no news atoll)...


Groaaaaan. Way too early on a Monday morning for that!

biggrin.gif
dvandorn
QUOTE (edstrick @ Mar 20 2006, 02:33 AM) *
... (my brain's going.. I can't remember what I read yesterday)

Ah -- you're showing the early signs of a disability known as CRS. I, myself, have suffered from CRS for many years, and unfortunately in my case, it's progressing on to the more serious condition, CRAFT.

There's really no treatment available at present, either.

Oh, BTW -- CRS = Can't Remember S**t. CRAFT = Can't Remember a F***ing Thing.

Isn't it impressive how someone with such a serious condition as mine can actually use such technical, medical terms with such alacrity?

biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif

-the other... um, hold on, I'll get it...
argv
from nasawatch.com...

"SpaceX Update
Editor's note: According to SpaceX sources, the test firing countdown and static fire went fine except that they had a ground helium supply disconnect prematurely during engine startup. One of their flight video cameras also stop working. Neither event is seen as being a big issue, but these things will take a few days to correct. SpaceX is still working toward a launch in the next few days."
crabbsaline
Thanks argv,

I've not used nasawatch as a resource before. Some interesting stuff there.
edstrick
Beside NASA Watch, you want to monitor Cowing's companion site, SpaceRef.
http://www.spaceref.com/news/press.html is the link I usually use. From there, also go to the "Mission Status Reports" link near the top of the page.
crabbsaline
Thanks Ed,

I found a strangely worded March 21 Space.com article. It mentions "...tests will determine whether the firm shoots for a launch sometime between Monday and March 25. The launch window opens at 4:00 p.m. EST (2100 GMT)...". But later it states, "SpaceX is making its launch service debut with today's Falcon 1 launch." I wonder if the last two sentences were copied from a previous article.
jabe
http://kwajrockets.blogspot.com/ has the latest update
Comga
QUOTE (jabe @ Mar 21 2006, 07:41 PM) *



If I said anything that sounded paranoid and skeptical, I take it back. Nice update. But why do they have to rely on Elon's brother (now really in Boulder) to do "press releases"?

Thanks for the notice, jabe. Fourth time's the charm?
crabbsaline
There was an update at the SpaceX site last night:

March 21 update

A link to a static fire video (streaming) can be found under the March 21 post.
crabbsaline
Launch postponed until Friday at 13:00 PST:

March 22 Update
jabe
A web cast of launch?? mm..i lets hope its true

web cast??
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