zanl188
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Falcon I Launch Scrubbed For Today

Tue Mar 20, 2007 8:22 am

Falcon I launch scheduled for today was scrubbed, apparently due to a communications issue.

http://www.nasawatch.com/archives/2007/03/falcon_i_launch.html#more
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zanl188
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RE: Falcon I Launch Scrubbed For Today

Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:39 am

Todays launch attempt seemed to go well until well into second stage and fairing sep. It appears comm has been lost.
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zanl188
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RE: Falcon I Launch Scrubbed For Today

Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:19 am

SpaceX says the launch was a 90% "Success" although it did not achieve it's intended orbit and, apparently, they are out of contact with the vehicle.

"When asked to speculate on the fate of the second stage and its payload Musk said "it is premature [right now] to say anything. We did not achieve the desired orbit. I do not know the fate of the second stage. We got to 300 kilometers. It is not in the intended orbit. The likehood is that it re-entered after half an orbit. That is all I know right now. We retired 90% of the risk associated with the rocket. This was a test launch - not a satellitel launch."

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Thorny
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RE: Falcon I Launch Scrubbed For Today

Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:12 pm

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 2):
SpaceX says the launch was a 90% "Success" although it did not achieve it's intended orbit and, apparently, they are out of contact with the vehicle.

If NASA tried to call such a flight a "success", they'd be crucified by the media. Even Boeing took heat for calling the Delta IV-Heavy demo flight a success, and it actually got into orbit.
 
zanl188
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RE: Falcon I Launch Scrubbed For Today

Thu Mar 22, 2007 6:11 am

Quoting Thorny (Reply 3):
If NASA tried to call such a flight a "success", they'd be crucified by the media. Even Boeing took heat for calling the Delta IV-Heavy demo flight a success, and it actually got into orbit.

Well yeah. Boeing, with hundreds of launches under its belt, should know better. Spacex on the other hand did have a successful flight on the first stage and apparently the guidance and comm all worked correctly until the failure. Given that this is first time the second stage flew on its own power - and the unforgivening nature of space flight - I can see why Spacex would call it a partial success.

edit: Spacex speaks for itself


The second test launch of Falcon 1 took place today at 6:10 pm California time. The launch was not perfect, but certainly pretty good. Given that the primary objectives were demonstrating responsive launch and gathering test data in advance of our first operational satellite launch later this year, the outcome was great. Operationally responsive (i.e. fast) launch has become an increasingly important national security objective, so demonstrating rapid loading of propellants and launch in less than an hour, as well as a rapid recycle following the first engine ignition are major accomplishments.

We retired almost all of the significant development risk items, in particular:

- 1st stage ascent past max dynamic pressure

- avionics operation in vacuum and under radiation

- stage separation

- 2nd stage ignition

- fairing separation

- 2nd stage nozzle/chamber at steady state temp in vacuum

Falcon flew far beyond the "edge" of space, typically thought of as around 60 miles. Our altitude was approximately 200 miles, which is just 50 miles below the International Space Station. The second stage didn't achieve full orbital velocity, due to a roll excitation late in the burn, but that should be a comparatively easy fix once we examine the flight data. Since it is impossible to ground test the second stage under the same conditions it would see in spaceflight, this anomaly was also something that would have been very hard to determine without a test launch.

All in all, this test has flight proven 95+ percent of the Falcon 1 systems, which bodes really well for our upcoming flights of Falcon 1 and Falcon 9, which uses similar hardware. We do not expect any significant delay in the upcoming flights at this point. The Dept of Defense satellite launch is currently scheduled for late Summer and the Malaysian satellite for the Fall.

I'd like to thank DARPA and the Air Force for buying the two test flights and helping us work through a number of challenges over the past year. I'd also like to express my appreciation for the efforts of the Kwajalein Army Range (Reagan Test Site) and we look forward to many more launches in the future.

Finally, thank you to everyone at SpaceX for working so hard to make this a great test. This is a big leap forward for commercial spaceflight!

--Elon--


http://www.spacex.com/updates.php#demoflight_2_launch_update_12

[Edited 2007-03-21 23:16:19]

[Edited 2007-03-21 23:17:27]
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Thorny
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RE: Falcon I Launch Scrubbed For Today

Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:07 am

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 4):
edit: Spacex speaks for itself


The second test launch of Falcon 1 took place today at 6:10 pm California time. The launch was not perfect, but certainly pretty good. Given that the primary objectives were demonstrating responsive launch and gathering test data in advance of our first operational satellite launch later this year, the outcome was great.

I don''t believe in double standards. Anyone else in the industry (NASA, Boeing, LockMart, Arianespace, SeaLaunch, etc.) attempting to spin the outcome like this would be taking terrific flak from the media and we armchair rocketeers. Who you are and how much you spent does not determine success/failure... When Ariane 517 dumped Hot Bird 7 and Stentor in the Atlantic, it was a failure, not "pretty good". When the Titan IV dumped Milstar 2 in a useless orbit it was not "almost successful", it was a failure. When the Delta IV-Heavy ended up in a lower orbit, it was recorded by the industry as a failure, despite Boeing's own song and dance routine. Falcon 1 Flight 2 was a failure by the definition established by the industry... the industry in which SpaceX must compete. The attempt to spin the outcome will not help their cause at all.

Fess up, SpaceX. Put away the champaign bottles you prematurely uncorked last night. Shut down the spin cycle. Give up the song and dance routine. Fix the problems, and try, try, again. Hopefully, the third time will be the charm.
 
zanl188
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RE: Falcon I Launch Scrubbed For Today

Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:18 am

Quoting Thorny (Reply 5):
Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 4):
edit: Spacex speaks for itself


The second test launch of Falcon 1 took place today at 6:10 pm California time. The launch was not perfect, but certainly pretty good. Given that the primary objectives were demonstrating responsive launch and gathering test data in advance of our first operational satellite launch later this year, the outcome was great.

For the record I didn't say that - it was a quote from Spacex.

Here's the launch video:

http://mfile.akamai.com/22165/wmv/sp...2165/F1-002-Launch-WebcastHigh.asx

Looks to my laymans eye that the first stage whacked the second stage nozzle pretty good at sep, followed by a progressively worsening coning motion of the second stage engine nozzle

[Edited 2007-03-22 00:19:23]
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Thorny
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RE: Falcon I Launch Scrubbed For Today

Thu Mar 22, 2007 9:31 am

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 6):
For the record I didn't say that - it was a quote from Spacex.

I didn't mean to imply that you did.

And also for the record, I wish SpaceX well and hope they succeed completely and soon. I'm just not a fan of the politician-like spin game they'd initiated.
 
zanl188
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RE: Falcon I Launch Scrubbed For Today

Mon Mar 26, 2007 6:01 am

Some more info on the Falcon I launch from MSNBC.

Apparently there was contact between the first and second stage after sep.

Also the first stage was not recovered...

http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/03/23/99714.aspx
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