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SpaceX |OT| Reusable Rockets - To Mars!

Oct 27, 2017
7,637
Sunderland
In case anyone else is up, SpaceX launch, Merah Putih, happening soon at 1:18am ET. Stage 1 landing planned.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjfQNBYv2IY
I spotted this post just in time to tune in and watch stage 1 coming in to land on Of Course I Still Love You. They lost visual just before the landing but fortunately it does seem to have parked on the barge. Amazing to think that very same booster last flew just three months ago to deliver Bangabandhu Satellite 1 into orbit.

Stage 2 now in parking orbit awaiting the burn to put this satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit.
 

Dan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,311
Yes, as LL mentioned above, it was used to launch Bangabandhu 1 a few months ago.

And it'll be used again, as the landing on OCISLY was successful.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,759
Was this a 'flight-proven' stage 5?
Yep. It was the first reuse of a Block 5. They are saying by next year they want only a 24 hour downtime between reuse available. So that will be something to see.

It was taken apart after its first flight to just verify everything worked properly. Going forward they will only do a teardown when its refurbish time after 10 or so flights.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,813
Chesire, UK
First Block 5 to be reused, also planned to be the first F9 1st stage to be flown 3 times, more excitingly that third flight is planned for this year.

Rapid reusability here we come!
 
Oct 27, 2017
443
I was pretty skeptical they'd be able to safely get the refurb and turnaround costs down that much so soon, but it really looks like they're doing it. Super impressive.
 
Oct 27, 2017
6,522
Bit of a generic question, but do KSC launches slow down over winter? I’m there the second half of January and was looking at the calendar which appears pretty empty for a block from Nov to Feb.
 

FliXFantatier

Master of the Reality Stone
Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,003
Los Angeles
I took the maiden/reflight dates from here: https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/wiki/cores

And made this:



Blue = Maiden. Red = Reflight.

(Those two early outliers are the FH side boosters, which were in the factory for a long time)

They're definitely turning them round quicker and quicker.
That graph is messing with my mind, I am so used to seeing time on the abscissa...
 

Dan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,311
Bit of a generic question, but do KSC launches slow down over winter? I’m there the second half of January and was looking at the calendar which appears pretty empty for a block from Nov to Feb.
I think there is a Christmas holiday, but in general the only major slowdown is actually in July (we've just gone through it) when CCAFS perform a lot of ground maintenance.

Looking at a blog, theres the following listed as December or Late 2018:

Vehicle: ULA: Delta IV 5,2
Payload: WGS10
Pad: CCAFS LC 37B
Date: December 13th

Vehicle: SpaceX Falcon Heavy
Payload: ArabSat 6A
Pad: KSC LC 39A
Date: Late 2018

Vehicle: ULA Atlas V
Payload: Boeing Starliner CST-100
Pad: CCAFS LC 41
Date: Late 2018


So you have two beefy launches there in Falcon Heavy and Starliner. Personally I think Falcon Heavy is the more likely given Starliner's recent issues. That's a good one to target :)
 
Oct 27, 2017
6,522
I think there is a Christmas holiday, but in general the only major slowdown is actually in July (we've just gone through it) when CCAFS perform a lot of ground maintenance.

Looking at a blog, theres the following listed as December or Late 2018:

Vehicle: ULA: Delta IV 5,2
Payload: WGS10
Pad: CCAFS LC 37B
Date: December 13th

Vehicle: SpaceX Falcon Heavy
Payload: ArabSat 6A
Pad: KSC LC 39A
Date: Late 2018

Vehicle: ULA Atlas V
Payload: Boeing Starliner CST-100
Pad: CCAFS LC 41
Date: Late 2018


So you have two beefy launches there in Falcon Heavy and Starliner. Personally I think Falcon Heavy is the more likely given Starliner's recent issues. That's a good one to target :)
Well it’s a family vacation for two weeks in January so I can’t schedule around it, unfortunately.

From experience that’s not a great thing to do anyway - years ago I booked a trip to Orlando to coincide with the launch of Atlantis, only to have it postponed twice and ultimately rolled back into the VAB due to a hurricane.

It’s a shame, I would love to see the Falcon Heavy - let’s hope it’s delayed a bit ;-)
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,405
Dragon crews announced

the crew of SpaceX’s first human mission, NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken. Likewise, the din continued as she welcomed Mike Hopkins and Victor Glover, crew members for the second flight of the Dragon spacecraft.
https://arstechnica.com/science/201...-of-its-dragon-spacecraft-for-the-first-time/

Close up shots of the space suit



https://everydayastronaut.com/up-close-and-personal-with-spacexs-space-suit/

Shots of the simulator



https://everydayastronaut.com/inside-spacex/
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,637
Sunderland
I’m sure it looks scifi because it’s only v1.0. I can see more developed versions getting less clean and more practical.
I'm not seeing a lot of pockets and loops. I appreciate that these suits are solely for use during ascent and descent, though. They're not that different from cabin suits used in Soyuz and the like.
 

Dan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,311
I think a lot of the functional features are discreetly hidden - There is a flap that you can't make out in those photos where the life support systems plug into, for example.
 
Oct 30, 2017
252
Italy
Surprised it hasn't been posted here:
SpaceX Crew access arm has been put in place on pad 39A, a big step towards returning the historic launchpad to human spaceflight.
The arm also looks awesome, following the usual SpaceX trend of recognizing the value of aesthetics even in spaceflight. This is a crucial point in transitioning spaceflight from a mere govt'/military endeavor to a commercial and widespread activity.


Also Elon confirmed they're going to cover the old Apollo tower to make the contrast with the shiny new arm less evident:

Nice Article from Nasaspaceflight.com.
 
Last edited:

Dan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,311
The crew arm looks amazing. As mentioned - Elon's stated that the tower will get cladding as it doesn't look great in comparison.

Quite how that'll work with the kind of forces generated by F9/FH is interesting.
 
Oct 27, 2017
834
TX
Block 5 spec is going to be amazing when it is perfected. BFR here we come!! Truly excited times! Ill be 60 in 30 more years, I wonder what kind of amazing things I will see if the average lifespan is 80.
 

Dan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,311
Yep, landed.

Gwynne Shotwell also stated that the Block 5 first stages have been in better condition than they expected, and turnaround is currently at 4 weeks (!). Amazing.
 
Oct 27, 2017
632
Didn’t watch the video yet, did it land? If so, it’s crazy how fast things have evolved in a few years, can’t wait for the unmanned Dragon test.
Yup, landed on the drone ship with no apparent problems. They lost video feed as usual just before it landed, but the camera was a bit messed up when it came back and only showed the top of the booster in very poor focus. Later on in the mission they showed a clear shot of the booster on the ship.

Based on the Everyday Astronaut livestream, it sounds like they still haven't flown the new COPV tanks yet, which is unfortunate. They have to fly 7 rockets with the same configuration before they can fly humans on it, and I'm not sure NASA will allow the old COPV tanks at all for crewed flights. I have to assume it'll be ready for the Dragon tests at least.

Yep, landed.

Gwynne Shotwell also stated that the Block 5 first stages have been in better condition than they expected, and turnaround is currently at 4 weeks (!). Amazing.
Wow, that's pretty amazing.
 
OP
OP
Crispy75
Oct 25, 2017
863
I wouldn't worry about the COPV test flights. There's 9 launches manifested just this year and there'll be no Dragon 2 flights till next year.
 

cebri

Banned
Member
Oct 27, 2017
221
Can't wait.

Btw r/spacex has an official discord for all things related space travel. If you'd like, i could share the link, is better to follow events than forums.