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SpaceX & Orbital Sciences Win Nasa Cargo Contract  
User currently onlineTugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5672 posts, RR: 10
Posted (5 years 10 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 4298 times:

OK, so it's official:
NASA Taps SpaceX, Orbital Sciences to Haul Cargo to Space Station

Quote:
NASA has awarded a pair of contracts worth $3.5 billion through 2016 to two private aerospace firms seeking to haul vital supplies to and from the International Space Station, the space agency announced late Tuesday.

The Hawthorne, Calif.-based firm Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and Orbital Sciences Corp., of Dulles, Va., beat a third competitor for NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contracts with their proposals to privately develop and launch spacecraft capable to delivering cargo to the space station and returning supplies back to Earth.

"This is a contract that we really need to keep space station flying, and to service space station," NASA's space operations chief Bill Gerstenmaier told reporters in a teleconference. "I think it's exciting we're doing this from a commercial side."

http://www.space.com/news/081223-nasa-spacestation-cargo-contract.html

Now all they have to do is fly the rockets successfully.

Tugg


I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineNomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 10 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4277 times:

Spacex advertises F9 launches at $36 million, but they're getting around $130 million for each of these missions. I wonder if their advertised price was way too low, the Dragon costs that much to use or they'll have a great profit margin.
Nasa doesn't have too many choices since part of the contract is bringing cargo back down, and their aren't many ways to do that that are more than concepts right now.



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineBoeing4ever From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4022 times:

Meanwhile SpaceX has integrated the first Falcon 9 at LC-40. It's expected to go verticle sometime early 2009.

http://www.spacex.com/updates.php



A mite more impressive than Falcon 1 no?

 airplane B4e-Forever New Frontiers airplane 


User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3627 posts, RR: 29
Reply 3, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3995 times:

The small engines look quite weak. This is, of course, a quite rediculous remark, but the more engines you use, the higher risk you take that some will fail, right?

I hope they will succeed, but I have some doubts.


User currently offlineNomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3986 times:



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 3):
The small engines look quite weak. This is, of course, a quite rediculous remark, but the more engines you use, the higher risk you take that some will fail, right?

I hope they will succeed, but I have some doubts.

The theory is, if the engine failure rate is low enough, then you might increase the chances of a single engine failing, but the odds of two failing will be much lower than the odds of one engine failing on a one or two engine rocket. And, the F9 can still complete the job with a single failure, whereas a failure on any other rocket would cost you the mission.
The pictured F9 isn't a flight vehicle but was assembled for testing and training. Some of the components will be used in flight vehicles.
The Merlin engines have been perfect so far. The failures have come from a broken fuel line fitting and some bad decisions on timing and fuel tank design.
Spacex isn't just building new hardware, but trying to reinvent the business from the ground up. ( I really didn't intend that pun). Unfortunately, that's led them to ignore some retrospectively obvious things that would have easily prevented all three F1 failures. It's hoped they've gotten a little smarter since then.



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3842 times:



Quoting Nomadd22 (Reply 4):
Spacex isn't just building new hardware, but trying to reinvent the business from the ground up. ( I really didn't intend that pun). Unfortunately, that's led them to ignore some retrospectively obvious things that would have easily prevented all three F1 failures. It's hoped they've gotten a little smarter since then.

I'm hoping that they took their "eye off the ball" with Falcon 1 and were "looking downfield", putting too much of their too-limited resources on Falcon 9 before all the systems integration for F1 was finished.

Otherwise it is going to be ugly when SpaceX starts flying Falcon 9. Same explosions, bigger rocket. And this time right there in plain sight at the Cape, instead of hidden away from the public eye at Kwajalein where reporters can't get pictures of the catastrophes.

At least SpaceX and its crowd of internet enthusiasts aren't trumpeting F9 as the greatest thing since sliced bread and how it is going to make all the established players obsolete overnight, like they foolishly (and hugely prematurely) did with their Falcon 1 hype.


User currently offlineBoeing4ever From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (5 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3822 times:



Quoting Thorny (Reply 5):
I'm hoping that they took their "eye off the ball" with Falcon 1 and were "looking downfield", putting too much of their too-limited resources on Falcon 9 before all the systems integration for F1 was finished.

The systems integration considerations and the engineering effort that was pourced into Falcon 1 pales in comparison to the efforts put into F9 and Dragon. I'm not going to say the first flight is a guaranteed slam dunk, but the eye was somewhat "off the ball" with F1.

At least there will be no engine changes between flights.  Smile Merlin 1C has also now been operationally tested. 9 engine mission length firing was tested in McGreggor. 1C vacuum will be seen when F9 flight 1 proceeds. Overall, I think the job with F9 was done much better than with F1. Systems integration considerations are much stronger with F9 than with F1 as well, and of course the lessons of 1C and F1 Flight 3 are fresh, so I would doubt that the thrust transient problem will creep up again.

Meanwhile on the COTS front, Dragon's qual unit has been built as can bee seen on the SpaceX site. Demo C1 is scheduled to fly this year along with Demo C2. It's going to be a big year for SpaceX! Make or break!

 airplane B4e-Forever New Frontiers airplane 


User currently offlineDiamondFlyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1565 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3505 times:



Quoting Boeing4ever (Reply 2):
It's expected to go verticle sometime early 2009.

Is there any more info out about the predicted launch date for the Falcon 9? I'd like to take the drive down towards KSC to see the launch. I'd love to see the show, regardless of what happens.

-DiamondFlyer


User currently offlineNomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3483 times:



Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 7):
Is there any more info out about the predicted launch date for the Falcon 9? I'd like to take the drive down towards KSC to see the launch. I'd love to see the show, regardless of what happens.

Probably not until June. Unless you belive their website, which still lists 4Q 2008. Apparently, they have a time machine on hand.



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineBoeing4ever From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 3349 times:



Quoting Nomadd22 (Reply 8):
Probably not until June. Unless you belive their website, which still lists 4Q 2008. Apparently, they have a time machine on hand.

The dates on SpaceX's manifest are all target dates for launch hardware to arrive at the launch site. They met the 4Q 2008 target to get F9 components to the Cape.

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 7):
Is there any more info out about the predicted launch date for the Falcon 9? I'd like to take the drive down towards KSC to see the launch. I'd love to see the show, regardless of what happens.

Probably around the middle of the year.

 airplane B4e-Forever New Frontiers airplane 


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