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SpaceX Falcon 9 FT launch - CRS-10 - LC-39A

Discussion in 'SpaceX' started by Grendal, Jan 18, 2017.

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  1. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    There was a lengthy discussion about this on FB SpaceX group. TEL is actually incorrect. Transporter Erector (TE) is correct. Because SpaceX uses their TE as a horizontal transporter then actually launches from it (sort of), a lot of people incorrectly was referring to it as a TEL (as in Transporter Erector Launcher). Technically the erector pulls away from the launch vehicle just before launch which is why TEL is incorrect.

    Hopefully I explained it well enough.
     
  2. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that explanation. So when the TE pulls back from the F9 just before launch, the rocket is held vertical by some sort of assembly at the base. I haven't seen clear close up photos of that. I understand that the rocket is clamped down in some way because the when the engines ignite and throttle up the onboard computers monitor them for about a second to make sure they are operating properly before allowing the clamps to be released and liftoff occurs.

    In searching for videos showing closeups of the base of the F9 at launch I haven't found any yet but of course that sucks me into watching 1st stage landings again. Even with all the insanity emanating from Washington DC these days, videos like this cheer me up .
     
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  3. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    A reminder that one of those hold down launch aborts actually occurred during one of the SES-9 attempted launches last year. Here is a video of that event:



    I go on vacation in a couple days so I will likely miss this CRS-10 launch and landing if it goes off on schedule or even with a delay. I'm sure someone else will pick up the reigns and get all the videos and information from the launch for everyone to share. If I'm very lucky and have Wi-Fi access available in a foreign country then....maybe.
     
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  4. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    And we have another possible launch date and time:

    NET February 14th, Tuesday
    Launch time: 1634 GMT (11:34 a.m. EST) or 9:34 AM on the West Coast
    Launch site: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
    A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the 12th Dragon spacecraft on the 10th operational cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station. The flight is being conducted under the Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA. Delayed from Feb. 13, June 10 and Aug. 1. Moved up from Nov. 21. Delayed from Nov. 11, Jan. 22 and Feb. 8. Moved up from Feb. 15. [Jan. 30]

    So a Valentine's Day launch!
     
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  5. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I have never felt that you "reigned" over us but do appreciate your efforts in keeping a firm hand on the "reins" in this forum and staying up on the latest launch schedule updates and changes. Enjoy your vacation!
     
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  6. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    Ha! :) Thanks for the correction.

    Since I knew I wouldn't be here and I'm aware that I tend to hoard the play by play of the SpaceX action, I thought it would be only fair to warn everyone ahead of time.

    Good luck to SpaceX for another successful launch, landing, and Dragon resupply run.
     
  7. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

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    I'm dense cause I still don't see why they are making this change. I surmise it is due to a cost saving, time saving, risk/complexity reduction, but the engineer in me really wants to know why. If I knew more about the function maybe it would be obvious but it currently escapes me.
     
  8. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    Ah. I think I now understand. I first thought you were asking about the terminology. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you are asking about why SpaceX has changed to a Transporter Erector from whatever they used before? The answer is that this is what they used before. SpaceX has always used a transporter erector to transport the rocket to the launch pad then raise the rocket to a vertical position. Then the "strongback" would tilt away just prior to launch. Strongback is just another term for the transporter erector launch platform. The testing going on is due to the fact that the old TE was destroyed at LC-40 during the anomaly. The new TE is capable of transporting and launching both the F9 and the Falcon Heavy. So it is a bit different from the old one but functionally the same.

    As to why SpaceX uses this system over another type is probably due to all the things you mentioned: cost, time saving, complexity, and multi-tasking. Risk is too tricky a question for me to answer, however there have been no anomalies due to transport or moving the rocket into launch position that I am aware of.

    Hopefully this time I answered your question.
     
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  9. Bgarret

    Bgarret Model S ownin' Michigan scofflaw

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    Thanks for that link...I hadn't watched that video. My kids and I were there for the launch and landing in December 2015, standing with hundreds on the piers just East of the cruise ships in Port Canaveral. When the first stage fired up for its final burn, it looked like it was right above us and going to land a few feet away. There was a loud, sonic boom right as it landed and we were afraid it had exploded until we heard the cheers. Fun to relive that.
     
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  10. macpacheco

    macpacheco Member

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    I think TEL is correct. The whole contraption carries the rocket sideways from hangar to pad, erects the rocket and the base still supports the rocket while the sideways part retracts, but its still a single articulated equipment that does the trifecta.
    Look at this pic:
    http://www.collectspace.com/review/spacex_f9rollout01-lg.jpg
     
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  11. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I think I understand that, but does the base of the "TEL" then lock into the launch pad in some way? I assume it does because at launch the engines ignite and throttle up for a fraction of a second before the F9 lifts off.
     
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  12. emchen

    emchen Member

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    For those with the same question:

    This is also probably where you got it in your head that there would be more landing pads.
     
  13. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    Yes. The rocket is held down through the ignition sequence and engines have fired. Sensors give the okay that everything is working properly and then the rocket is released. Watch the FH video that emchen just posted and you can see an animated example of what they do. Take note of the green glow that happens just prior to ignition. That is the first stage igniter source known as triethylaluminum-triethylborane (TEA-TEB). Here is an explanation of why it is used:

    Why is TEA-TEB chemical ignition used instead of spark ignition?
    and here:
    https://www.quora.com/A-rocket-engine-uses-fuel-oxidizer-and-must-have-an-ignition-source-So-how-does-NASA-or-anyone-start-a-rocket-engine
     
  14. moezilla

    moezilla Member

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    So February 14? I so desperately want t-want to go within viewing range, but I will be in London. I binged-watched the NG docu/drama series. I would have loved to be there, especially at 2:10 in the video It feels like 1969 gain and it is great!
     
  15. macpacheco

    macpacheco Member

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    Lots of activity on LC39A. The TEL has been spotted up several times in the last week. Launch date still holding so far.
     
  16. Mike1080i

    Mike1080i Member

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    Static Fire has slipped to the 9th, currently no impact to launch date.
     
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  17. YellyYeti

    YellyYeti Member

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    Hello all! The wife and I were thinking about heading over there on Tuesday (Valentine's Day Lunch Date?) to watch the launch and landing. It is just over an hour drive for us. Based on some searches, it appears the closest spot to pad 39A is the fence line at Playalinda Beach, but the closest spot to LZ-1 is Port Canaveral, maybe the piers Bgarret mentioned? I'd be most interested in seeing the landing, any opinions on which is best? Does it get crowded?
     
  18. mkjayakumar

    mkjayakumar Active Member

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    Why at 1:56 looking at the first stage descent, Elon is stating "This is bad" ? Everything is going exactly according to script, but Elon somehow thinks something is afoot. The tremble and nervouness on his voice when he said that, brings a chill down me. Not sure what went through his mind, looking up when he said that.
     
  19. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Well, we always could conjecture he was on the verge of saying "This is bad for ULA"......
     
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  20. Mike1080i

    Mike1080i Member

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    #40 Mike1080i, Feb 7, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
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