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SpaceX Goes To ISS - COTS2/3 Launch Date  
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3504 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 20896 times:
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It appears SpaceX has gotten the go ahead to send Dragon to ISS for the first time.

7 Feb 2012 is the launch date.

Should be a milestone mission I think.

http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011...c/HQ_11-413_SpaceX_ISS_Flight.html

[Edited 2011-12-09 10:59:00]


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176 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinenomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1832 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 20698 times:

It's a lot to ask on the first try, but the first time they launched a working Dragon, it went about as perfect as they could hope. Here's to another.
They could probably double the mass they're contracted to deliver per mission, even before the M1D is on line, if volume limits don't kick in. Orbital had better be on the ball if they want to stay competitive.



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3504 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 20682 times:
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Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 1):
It's a lot to ask on the first try, but the first time they launched a working Dragon, it went about as perfect as they could hope. Here's to another.

yes a big mission. But I see the point of going ahead and doing the berthing... Once they've done the rendevouz they may as well berth it...



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User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 20665 times:

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 1):
It's a lot to ask on the first try, but the first time they launched a working Dragon, it went about as perfect as they could hope. Here's to another.

The European ATV went to the ISS on its' first mission. And the second.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3504 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 20663 times:
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Quoting connies4ever (Reply 3):
The European ATV went to the ISS on its' first mission. And the second.

Ariane 5 was an established booster however. Everything is new with Falcon 9 & Dragon.



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User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3504 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 19705 times:
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Dragon delayed.

No estimate of how long however...

http://www.space.com/14251-launch-delay-spacex-dragon-spaceflight.html



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User currently onlinezanl188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3504 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 19363 times:
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Looks like late March now... Due to additional testing required...

From Bill Harwoods site:

Launch of a SpaceX commercial cargo ship on an initial test flight to the International Space Station, originally planned for Feb. 7, is expected to slip to at least the end of March, officials said Friday, to give engineers time to complete additional hardware and software testing in the wake of a recent simulation, software analysis and work in Florida to close out the craft for flight.

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/003/120120delay/



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User currently onlinezanl188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3504 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 18765 times:
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Further delay expected... Probably until April... Related to the damaged Soyuz and the Russian launch delay? IDK but that would be my guess...

Makes me wonder why SpaceX pushed to combine COTS 2 & 3 if they were so unready?

http://www.space.com/14460-spacex-dragon-spacecraft-launch-delay.html

More info:

SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk said Friday the first Dragon spacecraft will likely reach the International Space Station in April, echoing a senior NASA manager's comments earlier this week as engineers update the spaceship's operating software after problems surfaced during a simulation in January.

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/003/120203update/

[Edited 2012-02-05 06:01:53]


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User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10893 posts, RR: 37
Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 18748 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 4):
Everything is new with Falcon 9 & Dragon.

It seems that they are rushing and they really want an American vehicle to take American crews to the ISS rather than using Soyuz and calling on Russia. Maybe a question of pride?

Docking on a second try seems a bit early to me. The second try might work and not the third one. We don't know. I hope they will test and make sure of total safety before they send astronauts to the ISS with this new carrier.

Seeing an entrepreneur going from Paypal to human Space flight technlogy has always seemed odd. They are two totally different ventures.

They should give Arianespace the power to send humans to the ISS as they already have perfected the technique with the ATV and they are a long reputed Space business with innumerable successful satellite launches and placements.



There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently onlinezanl188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3504 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 18738 times:
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Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 8):
It seems that they are rushing and they really want an American vehicle to take American crews to the ISS rather than using Soyuz and calling on Russia.

This is the cargo variant of Dragon... a crewed version is some ways off yet... if it happens at all... Better to work the bugs out on the cargo variant don't you think?

Speaking of Soyuz, what do you think about the accident the Russians just had with the Soyuz spacecraft?



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User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10893 posts, RR: 37
Reply 10, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 18694 times:

Quoting zanl188 (Reply 9):
Speaking of Soyuz, what do you think about the accident the Russians just had with the Soyuz spacecraft?

You mean the Progress that was lost with the cargo that was goiing to go to the ISS?
If old confirmed technology fails - there is nothing like 100% certainty in anything - this is why I am thinking the Space X and their new launcher and capsule should not be rushed. If a Soyuz fails a SpaceX will have even more risk of failure I suppose as it is very little tested in the real situation. As with everything new I always say: wait and see. I wish the SpaceX good luck.



There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently onlinezanl188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3504 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 18682 times:
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Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 10):
You mean the Progress that was lost with the cargo that was goiing to go to the ISS?

No, the pressure test that recently went wrong and damaged descent module that was scheduled to go to ISS shortly. Crew on station now will have a delayed return as a result. I'm thinking this gave SpaceX some breathing room on the Dragon launch - just a guess on my part

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/station/exp30/120202/



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User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10893 posts, RR: 37
Reply 12, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 18677 times:

Quoting zanl188 (Reply 11):
No, the pressure test that recently went wrong and damaged descent module that was scheduled to go to ISS shortly.

They can easily extend crew stays on the ISS for as long as they have got enough supplies for them on board the Station. As for the damaged equipment would the Russians not have a spare that can be used shortly? They will not have to rebuild an all new launcher and modules from scratch I hope?

And also the SpaceX will have to take even more care that all their testing is successful and they don't have failure on second try or they might lose it all. I am sure there are some behind them waiting, such as Boeing and probably others too if the intention is to develop more US commercial launchers/vehicles and leave the Soyuz aside to be used exclusively for Russian and European crews.

I still wish there was a push for Arianespace for human Space flight as they have such a high rate of success with the ATV and all the satellites and now even have Russian launchers at their space port in French Guyane.



There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2312 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 18507 times:
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Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 12):
They can easily extend crew stays on the ISS for as long as they have got enough supplies for them on board the Station.

No they can't. The two Soyuz docked at ISS have a limited life in orbit, about 210 days. TMA-22 launched November 14th, and will need to reenter by June 11th (currently planned for March 16th), TMA-03M launched December 21st, and will need to reenter by July 18th (currently planned for some time in June). So there's some slack, but it's definitely finite.

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 12):
As for the damaged equipment would the Russians not have a spare that can be used shortly? They will not have to rebuild an all new launcher and modules from scratch I hope?

There's no stock. They're going to use the next one off the assembly line. It's not finished, but it's not being built from scratch. IIRC the lead time on Soyuz correctly, the next spacecraft* will have been under construction in some fashion for a bit over two years (at least counting some of the long lead time parts).

Presumably this will have repercussions down the line as well, although, a repair to the TMA-04M hardware has not been ruled out (which would them make it available for a later mission).


*what should have been TMA-05M for Expedition 32 (originally planned for late May, to replace TMA-03A), will now fly the TMA-04M/Expedition 31 mission (replacing TMA-22), although I don't know if they're going to call the flight -04M or -05M.


User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2312 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 18468 times:
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Quoting rwessel (Reply 13):
The two Soyuz docked at ISS have a limited life in orbit, about 210 days. TMA-22 launched November 14th, and will need to reenter by June 11th (currently planned for March 16th), TMA-03M launched December 21st, and will need to reenter by July 18th (currently planned for some time in June). So there's some slack, but it's definitely finite.

An update on the timeline: The replacement Soyuz for TMA-04M/Expedition 31 likely won't launch before May 15th, which leaves only 27 days of slack* before TMA-22 needs to return to earth. No word yet on the status of the Soyuz after that on the assembly line, TMA-03A needs to come back not long after.

There's a definitely a possibility that the ISS crew will need to drop to three for a few months (probably alternately three and six for a while) to accommodate the Soyuz production schedule, although I've no way to assign a probability to that occurring.


*A few less if you want the crews to overlap at the station, as is usually done.


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 15, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 18425 times:

Quoting rwessel (Reply 14):
An update on the timeline: The replacement Soyuz for TMA-04M/Expedition 31 likely won't launch before May 15th, which leaves only 27 days of slack* before TMA-22 needs to return to earth. No word yet on the status of the Soyuz after that on the assembly line, TMA-03A needs to come back not long after.

There's a definitely a possibility that the ISS crew will need to drop to three for a few months (probably alternately three and six for a while) to accommodate the Soyuz production schedule, although I've no way to assign a probability to that occurring.

More and more, partly related to the vulnerability of ISS to Soyuz issues, I think (with 20/20 hindsight of course) that the partner nations would have been better served to have built a man-tended lab, along the lines of Skylab, than the $100B monstrosity we've created.

What _actual_ science is being done ? What papers have been written based on research performed ? Seems to me a huge amount of the person-hours aloft are spent on maintenance, both personal and station-related. I'd like to see a tally of how many hours per week are devoted to doing actual research.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineGST From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2008, 930 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 18420 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 15):

What _actual_ science is being done ? What papers have been written based on research performed ? Seems to me a huge amount of the person-hours aloft are spent on maintenance, both personal and station-related. I'd like to see a tally of how many hours per week are devoted to doing actual research.

This would indeed be interesting. I would also like to take a representative sample of the research done up there and see a detailed analysis of why this could only be done in space. I'm thinking along the lines of the moths in space experiment carried out a few years back, where it could arguably have been done perfectly well in one of the zero g training aircraft.

Don't get me wrong, I am actually all in favour of the ISS as a lab, technology demonstrator and springboard to more ambitious space escapades in the future, but wonder if we are misusing the potential of it being up there by wasting time and launch volume/payload on experiments that strictly speaking could be done in specialist labs on aircraft or terrestrially.


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 17, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 18410 times:

Quoting GST (Reply 16):
This would indeed be interesting. I would also like to take a representative sample of the research done up there and see a detailed analysis of why this could only be done in space. I'm thinking along the lines of the moths in space experiment carried out a few years back, where it could arguably have been done perfectly well in one of the zero g training aircraft.

Don't get me wrong, I am actually all in favour of the ISS as a lab, technology demonstrator and springboard to more ambitious space escapades in the future, but wonder if we are misusing the potential of it being up there by wasting time and launch volume/payload on experiments that strictly speaking could be done in specialist labs on aircraft or terrestrially.

   Can't disagree with much of the above.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2312 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 18350 times:
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Quoting connies4ever (Reply 15):
More and more, partly related to the vulnerability of ISS to Soyuz issues, I think (with 20/20 hindsight of course) that the partner nations would have been better served to have built a man-tended lab, along the lines of Skylab, than the $100B monstrosity we've created.

That's a little unfair to Soyuz. The glitches we've seen with Soyuz during the ISS program are trivial compared to the Shuttle issues. Heck, the Shuttle has actually been killed, how's that for a performance issue? During all the shuttle issues it was Soyuz that kept the station alive. The may have lost an entire spacecraft, and it's only setting them back three months.

The real problem now is funding. When there were two launch vehicles, there was backup, and in the early days, the Russians *did* keep some equipment stock, especially during the pre-ISS days. Now with only Soyuz, things are still scheduled on the minimum-cost/nothing-will-go-wrong basis, and one failed mission creates a mess. Paying Roscosmos to be a bit further ahead in their construction cycle would be an obvious solution, but that would make to much sense for politicians in either country.

Quoting GST (Reply 16):
Don't get me wrong, I am actually all in favour of the ISS as a lab, technology demonstrator and springboard to more ambitious space escapades in the future, but wonder if we are misusing the potential of it being up there by wasting time and launch volume/payload on experiments that strictly speaking could be done in specialist labs on aircraft or terrestrially.

You're making the assumption that there *are* many experiments that can (only) be usefully conducted on ISS. Sure there are a few, but it's thin. There are certainly a few things that you might like to try in microgravity, but the vibrations on ISS rules many of them out. As do safety issues, mass issues, cost, limited staff, limited down load, insane schedules, and...

As for workload, back in the 3-crew days, NASA semi-official position was that it was taking 2.5 people to run/maintain the station. And the crew was pretty busy then. I suspect with a six person crew you've got no more than the equivalent of thee people to do non-station related work.

BTW, a reasonably complete list of science on ISS:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_research_on_the_ISS

Most of the stuff is not well described, but almost everything has links to sources.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3504 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 18207 times:
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Now penciling in 20 Apr for range time.....

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/003/status.html



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User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10893 posts, RR: 37
Reply 20, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 18149 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 19):
Now penciling in 20 Apr for range time.....

Can't they dock the Space X capsule without needing to use the robotic arm?
Why can't they just take it close-up to a port and dock it directly as they do with the other ships?

 



There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5426 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 18129 times:

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 20):
Can't they dock the Space X capsule without needing to use the robotic arm?
Why can't they just take it close-up to a port and dock it directly as they do with the other ships?

The nations involved with the ISS are not willing to let some new, essentially untested, capsule fly straight at their multi billion dollar creation and risk the lives of those on board "hoping" the Space-X capsule will stop in time.

All it takes is some thruster or sensor problems, or bad software or calculations to make it a very bad situation.

To minimize risk the capsule will be basically doing a "fly by" in its trajectory, i.e. not heading directly towards the station, as it comes to a stop. Then once it is safely stopped the space stations robotic arm will grapple it.

Everything has to be precise, the capsule docking has to be accurate within 3 inches in all dimensions (well that was the space shuttles requirement). that takes practice and testing to prove that you can do that reliably and repeatedly. In the future, once the system has proven itself it will be allowed to dock directly with the space station.

Tugg

[Edited 2012-02-10 09:43:23]


I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlinekalvado From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 490 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 18117 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 21):

Everything has to be precise, the capsule docking has to be accurate within 3 inches in all dimensions (well that was the space shuttles requirement). that takes practice and testing to prove that you can do that reliably and repeatedly. In the future, once the system has proven itself it will be allowed to dock directly with the space station.

Sound a bit strange, since European ATV was docking directly to the ISS, while Japanese HTV is using arm capture approach. Both are well established programs, but without too much of docking experience. How would that correlate with what you said?


User currently offlineJBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4488 posts, RR: 21
Reply 23, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 18074 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 21):
The nations involved with the ISS are not willing to let some new, essentially untested, capsule fly straight at their multi billion dollar creation and risk the lives of those on board "hoping" the Space-X capsule will stop in time.

Incorrect, or more specifically, this doesn't really answer her question.

The simple answer is that the ports on the Dragon are not designed for an autonomous Soyuz or Shuttle-style docking. Dragon uses the Common Berthing Mechanism. This is the same mechanism that attaches the US segment modules as well as the MPLMs when Shuttle was flying. The Dragon is designed to be grappled by Station's robot arm, aligned and docked to a CBM very precisely. With this method, there is zero impact force and less moving parts in the berthing mechanisms. The advantage to this is that Dragon can carry standard-sized racks whereas Soyuz/Progress and ATV cannot. It is impossible for a CBM to accept a docking, it has to be berthed by the arm.

HTV and ATV also did stationkeeping tests with ISS; this is nothing new.

The Japanese HTV also uses the CBM method.

Docking using APAS (Shuttle) or LIDS (the "future") is much more dynamic, involves a body with lots of mass "impacting" the station...impact that must be dampened via the docking mechanism, which requires some complexities. The advantage to this approach is that the Station is "passive," i.e., nothing special is required of it when a vehicle docks in this way.

[Edited 2012-02-10 15:14:49]


I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3504 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 16474 times:
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Flight Readiness Review was held today. There are still testing matters to be taken care of.

However, the static fire is still scheduled for 25 Apr followed by launch on 30 Apr.



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25 jollo : I second that. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be much of a push in progress: precursory programs like EXPERT (reentry vehicle) are not stopped,
26 connies4ever : Back in the 1990s we had an underground research lab bored straight into 1,500 ft of granite. Used to demonstrate underground storage of used nuclear
27 Post contains links kalvado : Well, current approach is opposite -there are towers which are used for zero-g, not bores. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drop_tube is a list of such f
28 connies4ever : Interesting entry. The advantage the URL had was it was much longer than the towers, so had a longer period of weightlessness - or would have. My back
29 ZANL188 : Another delay. Posted on SpaceXs facebook page about 20 minutes ago: "Our launch is likely to be pushed back by one week to do more testing on Dragon
30 connies4ever : No surprise to me. Code verification and validation is much more time consuming than actually designing and developing the software itself. The is in
31 Post contains images ZANL188 : Static Fire now set for 30 Apr. Launch no earlier than 7 May. Unfortunately "no earlier than" tells me they aren't sure how long the extra work is goi
32 TheSonntag : NET is standard Nasa terminology. This is a very ambitious mission - better to do it right.
33 ZANL188 : True, but NASA usually had a fixed date two weeks out.
34 Post contains links ZANL188 : SpaceX will webcast the static fire on Monday... On Monday, April 30, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) will webcast a static fire test of the F
35 Post contains links ZANL188 : The Falcon 9 was erected on the launch pad today. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/003/status.html
36 Post contains links ZANL188 : First attempt at static fire was aborted. Second attempt successful. Video here.... http://new.livestream.com/accounts/142499/events/849384
37 kordcj : Unless SpaceX is using more than one GPC which I doubt, it's more than likely a 2. If I recall correctly a crit 1 is loss of crew/vehicle. 2 is loss
38 Post contains links ZANL188 : Looks like a May 7 launch is out. More delay... http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/003/120501delay/
39 nomadd22 : It's officially NET 5/10 now. 5/19 is a possibility. It probably would have been cheaper to see what might go wrong by flying the rocket like they did
40 Post contains links ZANL188 : 19 May is official.... RELEASE : 12-149 NASA Issues Statement on New SpaceX Launch Date WASHINGTON -- In response to today's SpaceX announcement final
41 Post contains links ZANL188 : 19 May looks a little more promising now with software validation completed... http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/...asses-software-validation-proces
42 Post contains links ZANL188 : NASA ISS management team approves 19 May, 0455 EDT, launch... http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/003/status.html Press kit available here: http://w
43 maxter : Excellent stuff, 0455 EDT, what is that in UTC? Cheers and thanks,
44 connies4ever : I believe it should be 0955 UTC. Cheers,
45 Post contains links ZANL188 : Launch is at 0855UTC as the east coast of the US is now on Eastern Daylight Time. http://www.timeanddate.com/worldcloc...12&hour=4&min=55&
46 maxter : 04:55 launch, 16:55 my time (WAT) Saturday Excellent stuff.
47 ZANL188 : A little more than 20 minutes to launch. Weather is go.
48 Post contains links ZANL188 : SpaceX streaming live on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DB8GbQaBDxM Launch vehicle & spacecraft are go
49 ZANL188 : Launch aborted after ignition and before liftoff. Eng #5 chamber pressure high They are scrubbed for today.[Edited 2012-05-19 02:01:29]
50 Aesma : Man, I thought it was this afternoon ! After ignition but before liftoff ? Is that common for this machine ?
51 ZANL188 : Next launch opportunity: 22 May 0344EDT 0744UTC
52 ZANL188 : Still early days for Falcon 9 & SpaceX. I'm sure as they gain flight experience they'll adjust the parameters required for liftoff. SpaceX was es
53 Post contains images MadameConcorde : I watched what was going to be the liftoff but the rocket stayed on the ground. I thought it was going to be good for "go" but it wasn't. Launch Abort
54 ZANL188 : According to SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell at the post abort presser: High eng #5 chamber pressure was also the cause of the only other Falcon 9 la
55 Post contains links ZANL188 : Scotty the first to ride a Dragon into space??? http://www.giantfreakinrobot.com/sci...-space-historic-spacex-launch.html
56 ZANL188 : Per SpaceX FB page: Engineers replacing failed valve on engine #5 following today’s abort. Data review Sunday, if all looks good next attempt is Tue
57 kalvado : Not unique for Falcon, that's for sure. There were 1 or 2 scrubs after main engine ignition on Space Shuttle as well.
58 Aesma : I watched a dozen of Shuttle launches and never knew that. Never saw it happen in around 20 Ariane 5 launch either. What happens to the solid fuel boo
59 GST : You either clamp the craft down really well and have plenty of kit to keep things cool, or you fly. I suspect the latter case is always the one chose
60 ZANL188 : Liquids are generally lit BEFORE the solids. This gives them a chance to stabilize and their condition to be assessed before the solids are lit &
61 Post contains links kalvado : Actually wiki mentions 5 aborts after SSME ignition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_S..._Launch_Sequencer_.28RSLS.29_Abort Once solid rockets are
62 GST : Sorry, proofreading fail on my part, that is what I meant to say. Thanks for the correction. Fascinating, I've never come across this, I'll have to h
63 Post contains links SSTeve : I don't generally watch them live, but my recollection indicated there was a significant example of this relatively recently. So a little googling, a
64 rwessel : The Titan-IIIC, for example. Although it's more then the second stage (it ignites after the boosters burn out). The why-and-when is more complicated.
65 kalvado : Another extreme is a so-called "cold start" technology, used for some silo missiles (MX and SS-18 come to mind). Idea is to have missile out of silo b
66 rwessel : ...and most submarine launched ballistic missiles, for largely the same reason.
67 Post contains links ZANL188 : SpaceX press release for tommorrows launch attempt: Hawthorne, CA – Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 22nd, at 3:44 AM Eastern, Space Exploration Technologies
68 Post contains links and images MadameConcorde : Falcon 9 countdown timeline SPACEFLIGHT NOW Posted: May 15, 2012 NOTE: All times approximate http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/003/countdowntimeli
69 rwessel : A picture-perfect launch for SpaceX. Falcon 9 appeared to perform perfectly. Dragon is in orbit, with the solar panels deployed.
70 ZANL188 : Just a tad early for me this morning. Catching the launch replays now. Nothing like kerolox for a spectacular nighttime launch...
71 Post contains links and images MadameConcorde : I missed it. I had construction workers in my place and all electric devices had to be turned off. It was the wrong time for it but there was nothing
72 Post contains links tugger : Awesome! Congratulations to SpaceX and everyone involved! There really is something amazing about it when I watch it. This is a private space venture
73 GDB : A fine start to what is, truly, a new era in space exploration. .....From small acorns grow great trees. Lots more has to work of course but we have t
74 Post contains links and images MadameConcorde : I like the flames that come out of the main engines after take off. There is a lot of power there. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHjPMg-Lin8&feat
75 gigneil : Its designed to be FULLY reusable - the whole rocket and the Dragon. For the moment, they're just recovering the Dragon. NS
76 ZANL188 : The Dragon is designed to be reusable - however NASA apparently wants a new sapcecraft for every flight. Not sure if it was intended to stock SpaceXs
77 DiamondFlyer : SpaceX gets paid some amount of money per flight to ISS, plus the development costs they were given up to now. What the per flight number is, I have
78 Post contains links and images eksath : It was indeed! Awfully bright when she cleared the pad. After having gone through numerous STS night launches, i got to say that this was a lot brigh
79 Post contains images travelavnut : Can't agree more, while a lot of nay-sayers are constantly reminding us bringing cargo to LEO has been done for 50 years, those people are missing th
80 nomadd22 : 1st stage would be using one Merlin. Returning to the launch site seemed kind of impractical, but launching from Texas and landing the 1st stage in F
81 Post contains images MadameConcorde : Now one thing I don't understand is all the hype around this Space X. NASA has done this procedure lots of times, so have ESA and Roscosmos. Progress,
82 ZANL188 : All government owned and operated vehicles. Funded by seemingly unlimited tax dollars. Run as well as a government operation can be run. Subject to t
83 Post contains links and images travelavnut : You only forget the Japanese HTV In al the previous projects you mentioned the national space agencies of those countries was very deeply involved in
84 Post contains images travelavnut : I am convinced of this, and it gets me VERY excited!!
85 travelavnut : Dragon going to 150 meter hold point!!! All systems in the Green, go SpaceX, GO!!!!
86 ZANL188 : I agree with your post generally. However in this case SpaceX is the airline (spaceline might be more appropriate) as well as the vehicle manufacture
87 ZANL188 : Go to close to 30 meters!!
88 Post contains images travelavnut : Yeah I knew it wasn't the best metaphor The excitement is getting the better of me haha
89 travelavnut : They are holding at 70 meters, anybody know why? My video stream crapped out on me for a minute so I missed the reason.
90 ZANL188 : They are having a problem with LIDAR getting reflections off of the Japanese lab. SpaceX will narrow the LIDARS field of view and continue momentarily
91 ZANL188 : Due to lighting constraints it appears that the grapple will occur at 1040EDT or about an hour and 30 minutes from now
92 travelavnut : Got it, good that they could fix/change this on the run. She's getting closer!!! At 30 meters now!
93 Post contains images MadameConcorde : Oh that's a great one by all respects. I have been following JAXA a long time and I am a big fan of Japanese and Korean Astronauts. Not for a long ti
94 Post contains images ZANL188 : Depends on how you define "ordinary people" I define at as anyone that's not a professional astro/cosmo naut. Cost will come down dramatically as the
95 travelavnut : Let's wait and see.... It's a start MadameConcorde, and that's something to be enthusiastic about. Air travel used to be for the rich for almost 50 y
96 travelavnut : Closing to 10 meters now! Expected grapple in about 25 minutes, woohoo!
97 travelavnut : Auto-dock is impossible in this setup. Dragon uses the Commen Berthing Mechanism which is also used to connect all the modules together, Progress, So
98 ZANL188 : Autodocking would require docking with KURS on the russian end or via a PMA at the US end, either way the ports are small and not a lot of cargo can
99 travelavnut : A bit off topic, but what kind of docking mechanism is used for the ATV? The hatch looks kinda big.
100 ZANL188 : Houston says: go to capture!
101 Post contains images MadameConcorde : Go for capture! It is nice to see this operation in the hands of 3 women! Quite unusual isn't it?
102 Post contains images travelavnut : I am going to say it; FUCK YEAH!!
103 Post contains images MadameConcorde : Is there cargo inside for the ISS re-supply? ... I mean beside the 300 or so people's ashes inside the capsule! [Edited 2012-05-25 06:54:08]
104 ZANL188 : ATV uses the Russian docking system which has a smaller hatch than a CBM
105 Post contains links JFKTOWERFAN : Yes, here is the manifest. http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/640968main_spacex_manifest_042012.pdf
106 Post contains images MadameConcorde : The capsule grab is getting very close!!! Woops they did it!!!![Edited 2012-05-25 06:56:39]
107 ZANL188 : Don Pettit: We've got a Dragon by the tail! capture confirmed!!
108 Post contains images travelavnut : WOOOOHOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
109 Post contains images MadameConcorde : Is this capsule combo bigger or smaller than the ATV the HTV or Progress? Which one is the biggest one of all - that can carry more cargo? How does th
110 Post contains links ZANL188 : In 1968 I saw a movie that depicted a commercial spacecraft arriving at an international space station in 2001 - complete with "Blue Danube" mood musi
111 ZANL188 : Hard to compare. Neither ATV or Progress can carry external, unpressurized cargo. Dragon and HTV can. Dragon also has a downmass capability which the
112 Post contains images MadameConcorde : The Space X people in the control room look a lot younger and a lot more relaxed than their NASA counterparts - their clothing is nowhere as formal as
113 litz : Hehe ... well, remember NASA was born in the 50/60s, and retains much of that conformity/government/structure thing. SpaceX, otoh, is very much a Mil
114 ZANL188 : It's not so much NASA that's tightly laced, it's Mission Control. Check out the JPL flight controllers, they're NASA but they'll be in t-shirts and j
115 ZANL188 : Very happy crowd at SpaceX Hawthorne during mission status briefing!!
116 SSTeve : This capability combined with the larger door mentioned earlier is HUGE. The fact that it comes with a rocket that promises so much from a cost stand
117 Post contains links bennett123 : Not sure, but is this linked, or another project. http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...nters-system-design-review-372344/
118 ZANL188 : Related to SpaceX yes, but not to the COTS project this thread refers to.
119 gigneil : Its not just that. This is a flight being made under contract to NASA on its way to a NASA facility. If anything, NASA is overseeing their results. N
120 ZANL188 : Dragons hatch was opened about 40 minutes ago. ISS crew is running about an hour early this morning...
121 maxter : That's great news, I was trying to find it on NASA TV but couldn't for some reason. Cheers and thanks for the heads up.
122 Post contains images ZANL188 : Yeah, I understand. I got up early to watch the hatch opening and it had already occurred.
123 Post contains links tugger : Here's some good video on the hatch opening: http://www.slashgear.com/space-stati...-smell-of-dragon-capsule-26230286/ That is a BIG capsule. Of cours
124 nomadd22 : The hatch is big enough, but I don't think Dragon interior is really suitable for full size rack transport. Of course, SpaceX does seem to be able to
125 Post contains links tugger : Actually those were not in the capsule, they went up in the second stage: http://www.chron.com/news/article/Be...ar-Trek-actor-in-orbit-3577781.php A
126 757gb : I didn't expect to be so excited about this mission. It is absolutely fabulous to see a private company making things really work. There is a long roa
127 maxter : Fantastic, thanks for the link. She's certainly a decent sized ship. It was great to hear Elon's comment yesterday saying that if Dragon was not big e
128 eksath : He also went almost broke due to SpaceX I agree! NASA's role may need a bit of clarification NASA acted like a patron or grant providing institution.
129 Post contains links tugger : And so the end of Dragon's time at the ISS is drawing near: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/29/452...tv-coverage-for-spacex-dragon.html Tugg
130 Post contains images travelavnut : Nice, I'll be following the livestream at work. So nice my boss is a huge space-nerd as well It looks like this is turning ot to be a highly succesfu
131 nomadd22 : No, he didn't. He invested about 25% of his net worth into SpaceX. Tesla cost him more. It was great to finally see one of the .com billionaires fina
132 travelavnut : So for a layman like myself, an obsessive follower of everything concerning space travel, but not an expert; - How do the launch systems compare? In
133 Post contains images MadameConcorde : I can't understand why there is all this excitement and hype over the SpaceX and Falcons/Dragons when we have sent men on the Moon back in 1969 witho
134 jollo : Let me gently disagree: in my opinion, all the excitement about SpaceX being a commercial enterprise is fully justified. The main drive for the advan
135 maxter : I believe that once you have analysed and recognised the different players, economics and reasons or drivers behind both the programs, you will under
136 ZANL188 : To get back on topic.... Dragon was released a few minutes ago. Wasted no time moving away from iss. Splashdown set for 1144EDT.
137 travelavnut : I had a meeting during this event so I couldn't watch the livestream. I take it everything went smooth up untill now?
138 Post contains links and images MadameConcorde : I see the Dragon has left the ISS and is on her way back to Earth. I wish them a successful rest of the mission without any incident until the capsule
139 nomadd22 : Orbital's Antares can put around 6,000kg into LEO. Falcon 9 can do anywhere from 10,000kg today to 16,000kg when the Merlin 1D engine starts flying.
140 travelavnut : Thanks Nomadd22! Sounds a lot like the Lockheed Skunkworks, where they combined all aspects of the design and building under one roof. I remember a d
141 tugger : Splashdown! Just saw the headline banner on CNN. Almost home! Tugg
142 Post contains images 757gb : I would call that an excellent excuse to miss the event... ENJOY!!! About Dragon's return... this is ABSOLUTELY AWESOME! Best of luck on your future
143 Post contains links and images tugger : Pic of Dragon floating in the water is here: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Latest-...hip-splashes-down-in-Pacific-Ocean A larger version is available a
144 connies4ever : Completely correct. A total tour de force by SpaceX -- way to go ! Looking forward to the manned taxi version.
145 maxter : Has there been any vision of the Dragon under the chutes? Cheers,
146 Post contains links rwessel : There's a couple here: http://spacexlaunch.zenfolio.com/p208064181 but they're not great. There's some video of one of the test drops here: http://vi
147 sweair : Looks very charred? Maybe all capsules get that way? Anyway very impressive, done for a lot less money than one could imagine, anyone has any cost est
148 Post contains links and images rwessel : Pretty much they do. The Shuttle was definitely unusual in that regard, although even that tended to look a bit dingy after a flight. But things like
149 sweair : Those Soyuz have a different shape than American capsules, never seen that before, any reason for this?
150 rwessel : Probably mainly that they're not at the front of the rocket. The fact that the Soyuz reentry module is designed to be the minimal size needed to hous
151 sweair : Would the Apollo capsule have more lift?
152 GDB : Remember that the Apollo CSM's re-entered at much higher speeds, coming in from Trans Earth injection, from the Moon. This influenced the design of th
153 nomadd22 : The Russians have a little less faith in their control systems. The Soyuz is shaped so it could hit the atmpsphere at any orientation and would self
154 sweair : SpaceX seems to be the new player in this field. They can even take cargo down with them, not something to sneeze at?
155 rwessel : To be sure. Their own launcher, docking at ISS, and downlift, not to mention their reported costs, instantly makes them a first tier* player. Their o
156 GST : Is this not a benefit in disguise? In that by arm capture and mating they are able to pass much larger cargo into the ISS than would be possible usin
157 jollo : I thought ESA had yet to achieve non-destructive re-entry (both EXPERT and IXV haven't flown yet)? Mind you, I 'm happy to learn my "home team" is a
158 ZANL188 : ESA & JAXA? Need dates & missions please... I must have missed it....
159 nomadd22 : When has ESA, JAXA ULA or CNSA ever had the ability to return payload? And Dragon being berthed instead of docking isn't a minus. It lets them use th
160 Post contains images rwessel : (and the others who asked the same question) CNSA has obviously flown several manned missions. JAXA managed HyFlex and Hayabusa (just barely, but sti
161 Post contains links maxter : Hmmmm, that's a bit disingenuous methinks... http://www.spacex.com/launch_manifest.php would lead me to believe that they have quite a bit in the tan
162 ZANL188 : No. Using the "not all in one mission" logic is pretty vague - you could add a lot of organizations, that you did not list, to that particular club.
163 Post contains images ZANL188 : All of the Apollo CMs had their remaining mylar film (reflective) removed before they were displayed in museums. The Apollo CM had an offset center o
164 rwessel : It remains unclear that SpaceX can actually conduct launches profitably (at least at the prices they appear to be quoting). It *looks* good, but unti
165 ZANL188 : Well ok maybe not a lot but let's start with say and DoD work from there.... On the COTS contract SpaceX got paid as they made checklist milestones.
166 sweair : How about the dream chaser? A 7 crew LEO taxi? More lift with the liftingbody, no sea recovery. Some sort of new TPS, ceramic like the shuttles had bu
167 travelavnut : This. Actually the biggest question I have. I also wonder how these programs compare and if there any partnerships possible or already in place. Like
168 GDB : God, what an awful name. Who thought that up? Disney?
169 nomadd22 : Dreamchaser is set to go on an Atlas V. A lot more expensive than a Falcon, but SES must have thought Atlas was a safer choice. Plus, it's a competit
170 maxter : I thought that SpaceX was going to partner with Bigelow Aerospace but that would be SpaceX doing the transportation side of things with Bigelow suppl
171 Post contains links travelavnut : I seem to remember that as well. But I know Bigelow is also partnering with Boeing on the CTS-100 program (a direct competitor of Dragon so it seems)
172 Post contains images maxter : I don't believe that NASA will restrict themselves to one provider, but will eventually pay on a cost per pound/kg basis. It certainly is exciting ti
173 sweair : Would the dream chaser have ability to take cargo down? or is it purely a taxi? Why couldn't they use other rockets? I think its better to have many p
174 gigneil : Both are required by US GAAP for long term recognition of revenue to do so. NS
175 sweair : Those inflatable modules seem to work? Two have been in orbit for a few years now? Would be a nice asset for ISS?
176 nomadd22 : The elephant in the room as far as ISS expansion goes is power. Since Russia canceld their power tower and NASA agreed to supply them with juice, the
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