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-   -   SpaceX Falcon 9 Live Landing Attempt (https://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/554107-spacex-falcon-9-live-landing-attempt.html)

ORAC 23rd Feb 2020 12:07


SpaceX sets date for first Florida launch of its kind in more than half a century

ORAC 1st Mar 2020 14:48


SpaceX's Starship SN1 prototype appears to burst during pressure test

SpaceX's new Starship prototype appeared to burst during a pressure test late Friday (Feb. 28), rupturing under the glare of flood lights and mist at the company's south Texas facility.

The Starship SN1 prototype, which SpaceX moved to a launchpad near its Boca Chica, Texas, assembly site earlier this week, blew apart during a liquid nitrogen pressure test according to a video captured by SPadre.com.

A separate video posted by NASASpaceflight.com member BocaChicaGal clearly shows the Starship SN1's midsection buckle during the test, then shoot upward before crashing back to the ground.

Space.com has reached out to SpaceX for details of Friday's test. This story will be updated as more information is available.

ORAC 7th Mar 2020 06:36

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida — SpaceX successfully launched an uncrewed Dragon spacecraft for NASA today (March 6), sending fresh supplies toward the International Space Station (ISS) — and also sticking another rocket landing, the 50th for the company overall.

The two-stage Falcon 9 rocket used in today’s flight is a veteran; its first stage also lofted the previous Dragon cargo mission, in December 2019. The rocket blasted off from Pad 40 here at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 11:50 p.m. EST (0450 GMT on Saturday, March 7), illuminating the skies above Florida’s Space Coast.......

This Dragon capsule is a veteran as well, having reached the ISS twice before, in February 2017 and December 2018. If all goes according to plan, the capsule will arrive at the ISS for the third time early on Monday morning (March 9).

The mission that kicked off tonight, dubbed CRS-20, is the final flight under SpaceX's first commercial resupply services contract with NASA, which was signed in 2008 and is valued at $1.6 billion. The first Dragon reached the ISS in 2012, becoming the first commercial spacecraft ever to do so. Twenty flights later, this version of the Dragon will soon retire.

Beginning in October of this year, all future resupply missions will feature SpaceX's upgraded Dragon 2 capsule. That version will be capable of flying five times whereas each Dragon 1 was rated to fly just three times. Dragon 1 has to berth with the space station via robotic arm, whereas Dragon 2 will dock itself to the orbital outpost. The new capsule features many other upgrades as well.

SpaceX has also built a crew-carrying capsule, called (appropriately enough) Crew Dragon. Crew Dragon first flew a year ago, reaching the space station on SpaceX's uncrewed Demo-1 mission. The crew spacecraft will soon fly astronauts to the orbiting lab on a mission called Demo-2, which could launch as soon as early May. SpaceX holds a multibillion-dollar NASA contract to fly astronauts to and from the ISS. This deal is separate from the company's cargo contract.

TURIN 7th Mar 2020 10:38

That first stage boost back and landing never gets old. They make it look so easy but it is still one of the most remarkable things to witness.

Can't wait to see the Starship prototype do the same. That will be a hell of a sight.

ORAC 14th Mar 2020 19:18


SpaceX to launch next 60 Starlink internet satellites Sunday.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The private spaceflight company SpaceX will launch 60 new Starlink satellites to join its ever-growing broadband internet megaconstellation Sunday (March 15) and you can watch it live online.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Starlink mission from Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Liftoff is scheduled for no earlier than 9:22 a.m. EST (1322 GMT). You can watch SpaceX's Starlink launch webcast here and on the Space.com homepage, courtesy of SpaceX, beginning about 15 minutes before liftoff. You'll also be able to watch the launch directly from SpaceX here.

This is SpaceX's sixth launch of the year and the sixth Starlink launch to date. The mission will star a veteran Falcon 9 rocket that will do what no other Falcon has done before: launch and land five times. The booster, dubbed B1048.5, previously launched a bevy of satellites including part of the Iridium NEXT constellations, an Israeli lunar lander a communications satellites for Argentina and Indonesia, and a previous Starlink mission.

This is a major milestone for SpaceX. The upgraded version of their workhorse was introduced in 2018, launching the first communications satellite for Bangladesh. Company founder and CEO, Elon Musk said that the souped up booster would be able to fly ten times with little refurbishment in between. Sunday's flight marks the first time a Falcon has reached the halfway point.

To date, four Falcons have four successful flights under their belts, but today’s booster will be the first to launch five times. However, of those four, two were not recovered and will not fly again. One was intentionally destroyed during the company’s in-flight abort test and the booster used in the latest Starlink mission before this one, was lost after narrowly missing the drone ship.......

Approximately eight minutes after launch, the Falcon’s first stage will return to Earth. It’s scheduled to touch down on the deck of SpaceX’s drone ship, Of Course I Still Love You, stationed out in the Atlantic Ocean.

The company has also deployed its two fairing-catching ships: GO Ms. Tree and GO Ms. Chief in hopes of snagging the payload fairings as they fall back to Earth. The fairing used in today’s launch attempt was previously used on the first Starlink mission. (It was refurbished after gently splashing down in the ocean.)

SpaceX aims to catch and refurbish fairings to cut down on costs and reuse more of its launch hardware. Currently the company has successfully recovered 50 first stage boosters and GO Ms. Tree has made three successful fairing catches. With any luck, the company will see its first double catch Sunday.....

TURIN 15th Mar 2020 23:27


Well that's a shame.

ORAC 16th Mar 2020 06:28

.......The countdown for a planned launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida automatically aborted in the last second before liftoff Sunday after an on-board computer detected unexpected data during an engine power check.

The dramatic last-second abort occurred at 9:22 a.m. EDT (1322 GMT) Sunday, moments after the Falcon 9’s main engines ignited on launch pad 39A. A member of launch team announced engine start and liftoff. A second later, she said: “Disregard. We have an abort.”

This was an instantaneous launch opportunity Sunday, so the abort meant SpaceX had to scrub the day’s launch attempt........

SpaceX tweeted later Sunday morning that a “standard auto-abort triggered due to out of family data during engine power check.”

Last-second aborts after engine ignition during SpaceX countdowns are rare, but they have happened before on several occasions. On the Falcon 9’s inaugural launch in June 2010, SpaceX aborted the countdown just before engine start and tried again the same afternoon, resulting in a successful mission that reached orbit.

The company said it will announce a new target launch date once the schedule is confirmed with the U.S. Space Force’s 45th Space Wing, which runs the Eastern Range that oversees all launch activity at Cape Canaveral.

An updated launch weather forecast released by the 45th Space Wing on Sunday suggested the next launch opportunity for the Falcon 9 rocket might be Wednesday at 8:21 a.m. EDT (1221 GMT).

The weather forecast shows an 80 percent chance of acceptable conditions for launch Wednesday morning with scattered clouds, light easterly winds, and a temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The primary weather concern is with cumulus clouds........

ORAC 20th Mar 2020 14:52

Belated post. Successful launch last Wednesday. First stage, on 5th flight, lost one engine during flight but the other 8, as designed, compensated.

No attempt made to land the first stage due to the engine failure.


TURIN 3rd Apr 2020 12:47

Well that's a shame, looks like they depressurised the lower section while the upper tank was still full.

SN3 Test Fail

ORAC 4th Apr 2020 15:04

Starship prototype 4 on the pad in a couple of weeks......


On a more positive note, SpaceX has continued to churn out steel rings and bulkheads and assemble them into sections of Starship SN4 – the rocket’s next full-scale prototype – for the last two or so weeks. If Starship SN1, SN2, and SN3 are anything to go by, the fourth full-scale Starship prototype could be ready to head to the pad for testing just a handful of weeks from now, picking up where Starship SN3 left off. Thankfully, the latter rocket’s April 3rd failure appears to have been relatively benign as far as pad hardware goes, likely requiring minimal repair work to be ready for its next test campaign.

While unfortunate, it’s critical to remember that this is all part of SpaceX’s approach to developing new and unprecedented technologies. Be it Falcon 1, Falcon 9 booster recovery, or Falcon 9 fairing recovery, all groundbreaking SpaceX efforts have begun with several consecutive failures before the first successes – and the first streaks of consecutive successes. Given Musk’s September 2019 claim that SpaceX is putting just ~5% of its resources into Starship, prototypes like Mk1, SN1, and SN3 are being fabricated for pennies on the dollar.

As a schedule setback, SpaceX is building ships so quickly that any single prototype failure shouldn’t cause more than a handful of weeks of delays, and the goal is to produce an entire Starship every week by the end of 2020. For now, SpaceX will hopefully learn from each failure during developmental testing and roll those lessons learned into each future prototype.

ORAC 7th Apr 2020 17:44

Starship payload - 150 tons to LEO


SpaceX's Starship Can Lift a Lot More Than We Thought


ORAC 18th Apr 2020 06:57


NASA announces first SpaceX crewed flight for May 27

Washington (AFP) - A SpaceX rocket will send two American astronauts to the International Space Station on May 27, NASA announced on Friday, the first crewed spaceflight from the US in nearly a decade.

"On May 27, @NASA will once again launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil!" Jim Bridenstine, head of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, said in a tweet..........

Astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley will fly to the ISS on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft also built by SpaceX, the company founded by tech entrepreneur Elon Musk. They will lift off at 4:32 pm (2032 GMT) on May 27 from historic launch pad 39A, the same one used for the Apollo and space shuttle missions, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA said.......

meadowrun 18th Apr 2020 08:38

Hugely significant task for SpaceX.
Glorious future or a very questionable one. Country could use a brilliant success.
All depends on safe delivery of the cargo.
Haven't read that they're bringing anyone back.

Asturias56 18th Apr 2020 08:46

Originally Posted by meadowrun (Post 10754062)
Hugely significant task for SpaceX.
Glorious future or a very questionable one. Country could use a brilliant success.
All depends on safe delivery of the cargo.
Haven't read that they're bringing anyone back.

Since its a test they'll probably just take some supplies along and stay a couple of days - they won't want to change the long term ISS crew rotations until the new craft is in regular service

Trouble is I can hear Mr Trump instantly sounding off about how much better US technology is than Russian stuff (and there'll be a Chinese plot in there somewhere)

ORAC 18th Apr 2020 09:00

More than a couple of days stay....

Behnken and Hurley have been completing training for the mission, such as a series of simulations from launch to docking as well as undocking and preparations for re-entry and splashdown. They have also been training for ISS operations, given that their mission, which originally was to spend only a couple weeks at the ISS, will now likely last for two to three months.”......

NASA has already named the crew for the first operational Crew Dragon missionto follow the Demo-2 launch. That flight would launch NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Jr., Shannon Walker and Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi to the space station sometime after Demo-2.

VP959 18th Apr 2020 09:26

A joke that Tesla owners will immediately get:

3 Astronauts are sitting in a Dragon Capsule atop a Falcon-9.
It's T minus 20 minutes and counting.
Their mobile phones all ding at the same time.
They look at their screens...
"An update will start in 1 minute and take approximately 25 minutes to complete...."

Asturias56 19th Apr 2020 08:57

Originally Posted by VP959 (Post 10754122)
A joke that Tesla owners will immediately get:

3 Astronauts are sitting in a Dragon Capsule atop a Falcon-9.
It's T minus 20 minutes and counting.
Their mobile phones all ding at the same time.
They look at their screens...
"An update will start in 1 minute and take approximately 25 minutes to complete...."

was it John Glenn who was asked what was passing though his mind as the countdown reached 10.... "I'm sitting on a machine built from 2 million plus parts - every one of which was built by the lowest bidder..."

The AvgasDinosaur 20th Apr 2020 09:28

Originally Posted by Asturias56 (Post 10755214)
was it John Glenn who was asked what was passing though his mind as the countdown reached 10.... "I'm sitting on a machine built from 2 million plus parts - every one of which was built by the lowest bidder..."

I always believed John Glenn’s famous quote was ‘I’m sitting on top of the biggest pile of lowest bids ever assembled’ but I’m old and grey so no guarantees.

ORAC 25th Apr 2020 20:23

Video of Wednesday’s successful launch and first stage recovery.

Meanwhile Starship SN4 is already on the test pad and SN5 and SN6 are under construction.



TURIN 28th Apr 2020 17:05

SN4 pressure test passed.
A single Raptor engine to be attached and a short hop within a couple of weeks.

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