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SpaceX Falcon 9 FT launch - CRS 8 - SLC-40

Discussion in 'SpaceX' started by Grendal, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    Next up March 29th or March 30th as long as there is no delay:

    Launch time: 0038:13 GMT on 30th (8:38:13 p.m. EDT on 29th)
    Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

    A SpaceX Falcon 9 FT rocket will launch the 10th Dragon spacecraft on the eighth operational cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station. The flight is being conducted under the Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA. Delayed from Aug. 13, Sept. 2, Jan. 3, Feb. 7 and March 20.

    There will be a landing attempt. We shall see whether it is on the landing pad or the ASDS. I expect SpaceX to try for an ASDS until they get it done.

    There is also a commercial satellite launch tentatively planned for April.
     
  2. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

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    I disagree. I think the value to them of a re-usable booster is very high, and unless the mission requires a sea landing, they'll go for land again. They didn't expect SES-9's booster to be a success, but I think their confidence on a normal (lower re-entry speed, fuel margin) ASDS landing is already quite high.

    Also, there might have been damage to OCISLY that will take more than a couple of weeks to repair. I guess we'll find out.
     
  3. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    You make an excellent point. I suppose SpaceX has to decide how big a priority it is to get the ASDS landings working. They will certainly have plenty of opportunities for future attempts in the coming year. My thinking was that they really want to get it down before the Falcon Heavy test. If they get the landing down that is three full cores they will be able to save. I seem to remember reading an article saying that SES is willing to buy from SpaceX using a used booster.
     
  4. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    #4 Grendal, Mar 10, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016
    The launch date has been moved out to April 4th:

    Launch Schedule | Spaceflight Now

    It makes some sense since the other date would be in conflict with the debut of the Model 3. Elon can only stretch so far...

    Also, Facebook SpaceX says that they intend to do a Return To Landing Site (RTLS) on this flight.

    ggr had it right. It might be hard to land on a ship with a big hole in it. :)
     
  5. adiggs

    adiggs Active Member

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    Sure, there's a big hole in it, but it's off in a corner. And we've seen how precisely they can land! Wouldn't that be slick - landing over on the side without the hole in it?
     
  6. Milaim

    Milaim Member

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    Why they are attempting to land on the ship, though not directly at sea !!!!!
    I don't understand :(
     
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  7. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    SpaceX is trying to reduce the cost to get into orbit. Their plan is to reuse their main booster by having it land, either on land near the launch site or, if that is not possible because of fuel or too much speed, land on a floating platform called the ASDS. The ASDS can be placed in the ocean where it is needed depending on where the rocket needs to go. SpaceX has successfully made a landing on the ASDS once. That rocket was still lost when a support leg failed to lock and it toppled over after the successful landing.

    The booster is a significant part of the cost of the rocket. The rocket is probably around $50 million complete and the booster is probably half of that cost at $25 million. The fuel for the booster costs around $200,000. Recovering the booster and reusing it apparently can reduce the cost to LEO by 30%. How many times a booster can be reused is something that will be learned over time. The more it is reused the lower the overall cost to orbit will be.

    The overall goal according to Elon is to make the cost for a trip to Mars around $1000 per pound. That will allow a colonist to afford to emigrate to Mars. The idea is if you make costs reasonable enough then people will emigrate and a colony can be formed on another planet. That protects the human race from an extinction event occurring on Planet Earth.
     
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  8. LargeHamCollider

    LargeHamCollider Battery cells != scalable

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    The first stage is usually ~80% the cost of the rocket, often more.
     
  9. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    The date has been bumped out to April 8th. I'm reading that this delay is not SpaceX's fault. This probably has more to do with the fact that Orbital delayed their resupply run recently and NASA and the ISS has rules for docking times.
     
  10. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

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    That's already about the same cost as the Space Shuttle to Low Earth Orbit...
     
  11. Oil4AsphaultOnly

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    Actually, that was their targetted price, but due to accidents, redesigns, not getting as many shuttles built as planned, and other factors, the actual cost was ~$7500/lb (as of 2011): Space Shuttle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Even now, Falcon 9 is the cheapest, but is still a few thousand dollars per lb. Musk targetted $500/lb initially (before reuse). Reaching space is expensive.
     
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  12. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    Yes. My comment above is that Elon wants the cost to get to Mars to be $1000 per pound. $500 pounds to LEO and probably less would be absolutely necessary to achieve that low price to get to Mars.

    More updates on where SpaceX is their launch schedule and growth at McGregor to support that breakneck pacing:

    SpaceX prepares for next two missions via McGregor testing | NASASpaceFlight.com
     
  13. Oil4AsphaultOnly

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    Right, but ggr was under the mistaken impression that the Space Shuttle was already near those price points.
     
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  14. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    What's really terrifying is what the cost will be for the SLS, if and when that thing ever debuts.
     
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  15. Oil4AsphaultOnly

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    If looked at through the eyehole of a jobs program, I suppose it wouldn't be too bad. :p
     
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  16. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    There is a picture of the Bigelow Space Habitat being loaded into the trunk of the Dragon on SpaceX's twitter page:

    SpaceX (@SpaceX) | Twitter
     
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  17. Two9A

    Two9A Member

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    There's also a picture of the first stage en route to the Cape; gives a good sense of scale for the thing, if you consider the diameter is around 12ft.
     
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  18. aronth5

    aronth5 Long Time Follower

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  19. GoTslaGo

    GoTslaGo Learning Member

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    Love the wrap! Recyclable?:)
     
  20. aronth5

    aronth5 Long Time Follower

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