SpaceX sticks the landing perfectly!

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Uwe

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   #62  

vreihen

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http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/moon-mars/a25425/spacex-announces-moon-mission/

SpaceX Announces Plan to Send Two People Around the Moon

The two private citizens want to fly around the moon in a Dragon 2 in 2018.

By Jay Bennett
Feb 27, 2017

SpaceX today announced a mission to send a pair of wealthy patrons around the moon by the end of 2018. Two private citizens, not astronauts, will fly in the Dragon 2 spacecraft, which will be launched by a Falcon Heavy rocket. Both the Dragon 2 capsule and the Falcon Heavy are still under development, and the first Falcon Heavy launch is expected sometime this summer.

The two unnamed passengers "have already paid a significant deposit to do a moon mission," according to a SpaceX press release. They will go on a week-long spaceflight, taking them around the far side of the moon and back to Earth. The Dragon 2 spacecraft will be completely automated during the flight, although it is possible that the passengers will have to operate controls in the event of an emergency. SpaceX says the first two passengers are to begin fitness tests and training later this year, and more manned spaceflights on the Dragon 2 will follow in the years to come.

A number of things need to happen before SpaceX can launch two private citizens around the moon. First, the Dragon 2 spacecraft and Falcon Heavy rocket—which uses three Falcon 9 first stage boosters to achieve five million pounds of thrust—need to be completed. SpaceX also needs to launch the Falcon Heavy for the first time this summer and send an unmanned Dragon 2 capsule to the International Space Station later this year. If the private spaceflight company can achieve those goals, it might be in position to launch astronauts to the International Space Station, which it hopes to accomplish by the second quarter of 2018.

It is highly unlikely that the FAA will approve a spaceflight with private citizens before SpaceX successfully delivers astronauts to the International Space Station. And to launch astronauts to the ISS, SpaceX needs to receive approval from NASA, something that the Government Accountability Office said might not happen until 2019.

It's an incredibly ambitious goal, but SpaceX has made a habit of announcing highly ambitious deadlines, such as sending colonists to Mars before 2030. If you can land a rocket on a barge, maybe you can send paying customers flying around the moon on short notice.
 
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Uwe

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^^^^ Reminds of one of my favorite commercials of all time:

 
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Since I'm on their e-mail list, I'll pass it along:

WATCH LIVE: ECHOSTAR XXIII MISSION

SpaceX is targeting launch of the EchoStar XXIII mission tomorrow, Thursday, March 16th, from the historic Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch window opens at 1:35 am ET or 5:35 am UTC, and the launch will be broadcast live at www.spacex.com/webcast beginning at approximately 1:15 am ET or 5:15 am UTC.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket will deliver EchoStar XXIII, a commercial communications satellite for EchoStar Corporation, to Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). For more information, visit www.spacex.com.
 
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vreihen

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After my bedtime.....
sleeping-smiley-face.gif
 
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Uwe

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After my bedtime.....
sleeping-smiley-face.gif
Yeah, mine too, although if I was in Florida, I might stay up -- it looks like it's going to be a cool and very clear night down there.

Then again, this is going into a geostationary orbit, so it won't be coming up the coast like ISS missions do.

Do you know if the 1st stage is coming back to LZ1, or the drone ship, or?...

-Uwe-
 
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Do you know if the 1st stage is coming back to LZ1, or the drone ship, or?...
No recovery attempt at all. It's a heavy payload to GTO. S1 will burn to near depletion and isn't carrying legs or grid fins.

Supposedly this is the very last, or next to last time they'll have to do that before additional thrust upgrades (and Falcon Heavy) make expendable launches fully obsolete.

Jason
 
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Uwe

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No recovery attempt at all. It's a heavy payload to GTO. S1 will burn to near depletion and isn't carrying legs or grid fins.
Then they should use a recycled one that's already flown once before. :D

-Uwe-
 
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Success!

They lost the live feed for the landing but they did it! Flew and landed it a second time. :thumbs: :cool:
 
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vreihen

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FYI, I saw your post as Jack was pulling up outside for steak night. Thanks to the power of Fruitphone and unlimited LTE, I saw the whole thing..... :thumbs:
 
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vreihen

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https://www.yahoo.com/news/spacex-wants-try-recycling-more-falcon-9-rocket-133725826.html

SpaceX wants to try recycling more of Falcon 9 rocket

AFP
April 1, 2017

Washington (AFP) - SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk said he wants to go further in the reuse of his rockets after successfully launching the first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket that was recycled from a previous flight.

Musk tweeted on Friday that he is looking into a test to bring home the second stage of the company's new Falcon 9 Heavy rocket for reuse when the rocket debuts late in the summer.

SpaceX blasted off the recycled first stage, or booster, of a Falcon 9 rocket for the first time on Thursday, a feat that could dramatically lower the cost of space travel.

The Falcon 9 Heavy has a first stage composed of three Falcon 9 engine cores and "will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two," according to the company website.

"Considering trying to bring upper stage back on Falcon Heavy demo flight for full reusability," Musk wrote Friday on Twitter.

"Odds of success low," he said, "but maybe worth a shot."

He then added: "Falcon Heavy test flight currently scheduled for late summer."

SpaceX has for 15 years been honing the technology of powering its boosters back to careful Earth landings on solid ground and in the water.

The goal is to make rocket parts as reusable as cars, planes or bicycles, Musk has said.

Reusing a first-stage booster rocket as was done on Thursday results in an estimated 30 percent savings on the cost of more than $60 million.

If SpaceX also manages to reuse the second stage of the rocket, costs will drop even further.

A Twitter user asked if Musk could say what will be in the test payload.

"Silliest thing we can imagine! Secret payload of 1st Dragon flight was a giant wheel of cheese. Inspired by a friend & Monty Python," Musk answered.

The Dragon is the company's spacecraft that is launched on top of SpaceX rockets. Dragons have delivered cargo to the International Space Station and safely returned to earth.
 
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Uwe

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Recovering the second stage strikes me as considerably more difficult, due to the much higher speeds it achieves. I'm curious how they plan to manage the heat of re-entry at orbital speeds? I gather they'll have to run/burn the engine during most of the re-entry to deflect the air they're falling back into?

I'm also a bit hard pressed on the economics. With a regular F9 launch and first-stage recovery, they're getting 9 out of 10 rocket engines back. How does this only save 30% compare to throwing the whole thing in the ocean? Seems like the savings should be higher.

With the new F9 Heavy, they'll get 27 out of 28 engines back (assuming of course they manage to land all three of the 1st stage booster cores). Is it really worth the performance penalty on the second stage to the last one back?

I suppose Elon has a better handle on these numbers than I do.... :D
 
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vreihen

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Their second stage engine is a custom version of the Merlin ones used on the booster. They refer to it as the "Merlin Vacuum" engine. I suspect that this one engine has the same cost as several of the booster variants, due to smaller production numbers.

I'm wondering where he plans to land it? He already has the two side boosters returning to KSC, and the center core landing on the drone ship. Could the second stage make it to a pad landing in Europe? Barge landing in the Indian/Pacific Ocean? Do a full orbit and RTLS back to KSC?????
 
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Their second stage engine is a custom version of the Merlin ones used on the booster. They refer to it as the "Merlin Vacuum" engine. I suspect that this one engine has the same cost as several of the booster variants, due to smaller production numbers.
Several times? My gut says they're doing something wrong if that's the case.

I'm wondering where he plans to land it? He already has the two side boosters returning to KSC, and the center core landing on the drone ship. Could the second stage make it to a pad landing in Europe? Barge landing in the Indian/Pacific Ocean? Do a full orbit and RTLS back to KSC?????
Hmm, since the second stage reaches full orbital velocity, pretty much any spot on earth within its orbital inclination would be doable, no? Once fully in orbit, there's no rush to land it, right?
 
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Several times? My gut says they're doing something wrong if that's the case.

The exhaust and expansion parts of the nozzle are much larger, the nozzle cooling is different (simpler?), it needs to run over twice as long as the first stage engines, needs the ability to restart multiple times, has a much wider throttle range (39-100% versus 70-100%), and most importantly the Falcon second stage only has one engine...so it better not fail! I'm sure that it shares a lot of common parts with the booster engines, but my gut feeling is that they are built on a separate line..by a separate crew...and with much tighter QA than the booster model that they are turning out at a pace of about one per day.....
 
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That's a lotta launches!

One of their goals is to take a booster and turn it around for re-flight in 24 hours. :popcorn:

Did you see that they plan to re-fly a used cargo Dragon capsule to ISS this spring?????
 
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