PPRuNe Forums

PPRuNe Forums (https://www.pprune.org/)
-   Jet Blast (https://www.pprune.org/jet-blast-16/)
-   -   SpaceX Falcon 9 Live Landing Attempt (https://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/554107-spacex-falcon-9-live-landing-attempt.html)

wiggy 31st May 2020 08:10

Originally Posted by donotdespisethesnake (Post 10798094)
, USA has more pressing issues I guess, in that sense not so much change.

Isn't that the truth..from way back..

TIME Magazine Cover: Anders, Borman, Lovell, Men of the Year - Jan. 3, 1969 - Person of the Year - NASA - Space Exploration - Astronauts

as much as anything because, as a member of public told one of the crew - "you saved 1968"


ORAC 31st May 2020 08:54

Wondering if there is any news on SN4, appeared to be a problem with ground equipment?
Discussion and photo analysis on the NASA forums seems to indicate the Ground Service Equipment (GSE) rapid disconnect fuelling/defuelling connectors failed and allowed methane and LOX to mix below SN4 which then ignited. Consensus is that there was nothing wrong with SN4 itself before the explosion.

Pad itself will need repair, and debris landed in the tank farm. But Spacex have redundancy as they have prototypes being built on both coasts.

yakker 31st May 2020 14:25

Docked, well done SpaceX and NASA, brilliant to watch.

TURIN 1st Jun 2020 00:29

What a week. Amazing performance all round. The Crew Dragon-Endeavour looks so much more comfotable than the Soyuz.
Glad to hear the explosion during the SN4 test was not a rupture of the pressure vessel itself.
Did you see how high the 'mass simulator' went when it blew?

Can't wait for the SN5 hop. That will be a hell of a sight..

ORAC 1st Jun 2020 07:37

For those interested this is a link to the relevant NASA forum thread.


Weeds round the prop 1st Jun 2020 10:20

Spectacular achievement. The entry to the space station was made a little more 'workaday' when the second astronaut through the hatch (Bob Behnken?) seemed to have bashed his head on something sharp and it was bleeding. He dabbed at it several times as they set up a photo op, and eventually was handed a tissue or cloth to stem the bleeding!

ORAC 2nd Jun 2020 17:50

It really is non-stop operations isn’t it?


SpaceX targets Wednesday night for next Starlink launch

Days after launching astronauts for the first time, SpaceX is set to resume a speedy cadence of satellite launches Wednesday night with liftoff of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s next batch of Starlink broadband relay stations.

A Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled for takeoff Wednesday, likely around 9:25 p.m. EDT (0125 GMT Thursday), from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 40 launch pad. A weather forecast issued by the U.S. Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron on Monday indicates there is a 70 percent probability of favorable conditions for launch Wednesday night.

The weather forecast lists a 61-minute launch window for the Starlink mission opening at 8:55 p.m. EDT (0055 GMT), but SpaceX typically targets liftoff in the middle of the window for Starlink flights.

SpaceX has launched 420 Starlink satellites on seven dedicated Falcon 9 launches since May 2019, with each rocket carrying 60 Starlink spacecraft. This week’s launch is expected to loft around 60 additional Starlink satellites, which each weigh about a quarter-ton.

This eighth launch devoted to the Starlink network was previously scheduled for mid-May. SpaceX delayed the launch after Tropical Storm Arthur brought high winds and rough seas to the downrange recovery area northeast of Cape Canaveral in the Atlantic Ocean, where SpaceX’s drone ship needs to be positioned for landing of the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage booster.

Once Tropical Storm Arthur forced the initial launch delay, SpaceX decided to keep the Starlink mission on the ground until after the company launched the Crew Dragon spacecraft from nearby pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. The Crew Dragon launched Saturday with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, the first crewed mission to launch into orbit from U.S. soil since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011.

SpaceX’s drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You” was deployed in the Atlantic Ocean for the landing of the Falcon 9’s first stage booster after the Starlink launch. The drone ship was later used for the landing of the Falcon 9 first stage after the Crew Dragon launch.

Another drone ship in SpaceX’s fleet — named “Just the Read Instructions” — has completed upgrades and departed Port Canaveral, Florida, to support the booster landing for the next Starlink launch. Meanwhile, SpaceX’s “Of Course I Still Love You” recovery vessel is on the way back to Port Canaveral with the first stage recovered after the Crew Dragon launch......

Asturias56 2nd Jun 2020 17:54

Thats what happens when it's your money being spent rather than the taxpayers........

Lost on the Tundra 3rd Jun 2020 00:10

Speaking of Starlink, we happen to live almost directly under the orbital path in central BC. Having paid no attention to news of their launch I was greatly surprised one very dark early morning when I saw one after another after another flare into daylight overhead. A little hurried research revealed what they were. I figured they were some kind of surveillance orbiters! My little still half asleep conspiracy theory died a quick, merciful death.

But I look forward to Starlink coming online. Should work very well for us up here methinks. As a long time sci-fi addict I find the sight of them absolutely thrilling.

ORAC 3rd Jun 2020 18:10


SpaceX rocket returns to shore after historic astronaut launch (photos)The rocket that launched SpaceX's first-ever crewed mission has returned to terra firma.

That mission, called Demo-2, lifted off atop a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket on Saturday (May 30) from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, sending NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley toward the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a Crew Dragon capsule.

About 9 minutes after liftoff, the Falcon 9 first stage aced a pinpoint landing on the SpaceX drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You," which was stationed a few hundred miles off the Florida coast. The ship soon started heading back toward shore, and on Tuesday (June 2) its sea voyage came to an end: "Of Course I Still Love You," with the rocket secured to its deck, arrived at Florida's Port Canaveral, SpaceX announced via Twitter.

SpaceX commonly refurbishes and reflies Falcon 9 first stages, as well as the first stages of the company's Falcon Heavy megarocket. Such reuse is a key priority of SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk, who wants to cut the cost of spaceflight dramatically enough to enable a variety of ambitious exploration feats — especially the colonization of Mars. (The one-engine Falcon 9 second stage remains expendable at the moment, but it's not nearly as expensive as the nine-engine first stage.)

We perhaps cannot assume that this particular booster will fly again, however. SpaceX had not announced its fate as of the time of this writing, and it's possible the company might want to preserve it as a historic artifact. The first Falcon 9 first stage that ever landed successfully, for example, now stands outside SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, California. And this particular Falcon 9 has a little bit of added historic appeal beyond Saturday's exploits: Emblazoned across its body is NASA's retro "worm" logo, which was brought out of retirement for Demo-2.



TURIN 4th Jun 2020 01:50

They just nailed another landing after launching the Starlink 8 mission.
It was the first time the same booster had landed five times. Impressive.
They are attempting to catch both fairings too...in the dark, mid atlantic. Incredible stuff.

tdracer 4th Jun 2020 02:29

And this particular Falcon 9 has a little bit of added historic appeal beyond Saturday's exploits: Emblazoned across its body is NASA's retro "worm" logo, which was brought out of retirement for Demo-2.
Personally, I don't consider the NASA 'worm' logo retro - I simply consider it ugly. And it's not exactly retro, given the current logo is also the original NASA logo. The worm was someone's idea of an updated 'modern' logo for NASA, which thankfully didn't last long (sort of like the short lived Pratt and Whitney "Pigs in Space" logo.
I have a few flying (or at least flyable) Space Shuttle model rockets. They came with the 'worm' logo decals - I didn't use them - I paid to get decals of the original/current logo.

wiggy 4th Jun 2020 07:22

Originally Posted by tdracer (Post 10801558)
Personally, I don't consider the NASA 'worm' logo retro - I simply consider it ugly.

Glad it's not just me then...

treadigraph 4th Jun 2020 15:45

Heavens Above have added a rather neat new feature to their excellent, Live Sky View, which shows potentially visible satellites passing over your location and their tracks - pity it's cloudy, would like to give it a go tonight!


ORAC 6th Jun 2020 14:52

Confirmation that the problem wasn’t with SN4 itself, rather that as theorised it was leakage from the quick disconnect GSE fuel lines.


SpaceX set for a swift return to testing following Starship SN4 anomaly

Following the May 29 explosive failure of the Starship SN4 prototype during a Static Fire test, SpaceX workers have been quickly making repairs to its Boca Chica, Texas launch facility. Starship SN5 is expected to roll to the launch site in the coming days in preparation for testing to begin on June 10.

The anomaly totaled the existing test stand used to hold down the vehicle during the testing milestones. On June 3, a replacement launch stand was installed at the launch site. SpaceX had already been working on a new launch stand before the May 29 accident – a factor that accelerated the recovery process.

The new stand appears to be similar in design to the original Starship launch mount.

In the coming days, teams will continue to repair Ground Support Equipment (GSE) at the launch site. There was significant damage to GSE infrastructure due to the anomaly, but SpaceX will have the GSE repaired in time for testing to resume on June 10, per the latest notice of road closures.

While the Starship SN4 anomaly was dramatic, the required corrective action is not expected to be too complicated. Early indications were that an issue with the umbilical connections to the vehicle leaked significant quantities of propellant near the base of the vehicle. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk later confirmed to Reuters reporter Joey Roulette that the problem was related to the quick disconnect system.

It is understood that one of the test objectives of the May 29 static fire was to test disconnecting the umbilicals ahead of a planned 150-meter test flight scheduled for the following week. The umbilicals must be able to quickly detach when the launch vehicle leaves the pad. During the testing of the quick disconnects, the system malfunctioned – spilling large amounts of propellant. This could be seen during NASASpaceflight’s live stream of the test.

The propellant eventually ignited, leading to a large explosion. It is not entirely clear what the ignition source was, but a still frame from the NASASpaceflight broadcast shows that the ignition occurred near the base of the vehicle.


Notably, the structural integrity of Starship is not believed to be the cause of the accident. SpaceX has had issues with the prototypes collapsing under high pressure in the past. All of the previous full-scale prototypes failed cryogenic pressurization testing.

Including the May 29 test, SpaceX completed five static fires with Starship SN4. No previous Starship had even gotten far enough to have an engine installed. The Raptor engines performed well throughout testing, and the vehicle’s primary structure held strong.

If structural issues had been the cause of the recent anomaly, the flight-worthiness of SpaceX’s upcoming prototypes might have been invalidated. Starship SN5 is scheduled to roll to the launch pad on Monday, Starship SN6 is undergoing final assembly, and a Starship SN7 bulkhead has already been spotted. It is unlikely that the quick disconnect issue will require significant changes to these vehicles – avoiding a prolonged setback for SpaceX.

The lack of a significant design flaw with the vehicle will mean that the largest delay with SpaceX’s Starship testing flow will be the time required to repair the pad. The exact length of this process is not currently known, but Starship SN5 is expected to roll to the test stand within a few days.

Starship SN5 is now expected to be the first Starship to fly. Most likely, it will attempt the 150-meter hop test originally planned to occur with Starship SN4. However, SpaceX had also been planning to install three Raptor engines and a nosecone on Starship SN5 as opposed to the single-engine and no nosecone on SN4. It remains to be seen if SpaceX will proceed with these plans in the wake of the SN4 anomaly, or if Starship SN5 will end up looking similar to SN4.

Whatever the case, Starship SN5 is currently scheduled to undergo proof testing starting as early as June 10, with a static fire following later next week. SpaceX will likely conduct a few static fires before attempting a flight test.

Based on FCC filings, it is believed that SpaceX plans to conduct a 150-meter hop, followed by a three-kilometer hop, and then a 20-kilometer hop. Not all of these flight tests will be done with Starship SN5 – with the higher altitude tests likely slated for later Starship prototypes.......

NutLoose 6th Jun 2020 19:05

2 hour special about it starting on Discovery channel 125 NOW

ORAC 8th Jun 2020 20:18

Starship Super Heavy Vertical Assembly Building and Spacex Starship Shipyard.......


SpaceX’s Starship Super Heavy booster needs a custom assembly tower

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has confirmed that Starship’s Super Heavy rocket booster will get its own tower-like vehicle assembly building (VAB) – and work on the structure may have already begun.

While the only visible work SpaceX has thus far completed on its next-generation Starship launch vehicle is related to the more complex and unproven upper stage of the rocket, its Super Heavy first stage (booster) is just as critical. For SpaceX, Starship was the perfect starting point, itself following on the footsteps of a largely successful multi-year Raptor engine development program. Substantially smaller than Super Heavy and requiring 5-10 times fewer engines, Starship serves as a testbed for an almost entirely new suite of technologies and strategies SpaceX is employing to build massive rockets out of commodity steel.

In recent months, particularly following the first successful pressure test of a full-scale Starship tank section in April, SpaceX has effectively proven that those uncharacteristically cheap and simple materials and methods can, in fact, build rocket structures that should stand up to orbital spaceflight. In theory, aside from the booster’s 31-engine thrust structure, the same methods and materials used to build Starships can be applied unchanged to manufacture Super Heavy. The booster’s almost unfathomable size, however, will necessitate its own dedicated assembly facilities.

While Starship itself is not exactly small at ~50m (165 ft) tall and 9m (30ft) wide, the Super Heavy booster tasked with launching the ship on its way to orbit will easily be the largest individual rocket stage ever built. Currently expected to measure 70m (230 ft) tall, Super Heavy – just the first stage of the Starship launch vehicle – will already be as tall as an entire Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy and weigh roughly three times more than the latter triple-booster rocket when fully fueled. At liftoff, Super Heavy will produce more than triple the thrust of Falcon Heavy and double the thrust of Saturn V, the most powerful liquid-fueled rocket to reach orbit.

Thanks to the sheer size of the booster, SpaceX’s existing Starship-sized vehicle/vertical assembly building (VAB) is far too small for Super Heavy and is even too short to fully stack a ~50m Starship. SpaceX’s contractor of choice started assembling that VAB around January 15th and the facility was able to begin supporting its first Starship stacking and welding operations on March 2nd, just a month and a half later, with the structure fully completed by March 18th. As such, assuming the in-work foundation is as close to completion as it seems and SpaceX uses the same contractor for the next building, Super Heavy’s VAB could be ready to build the first massive booster prototype as early as July or August.

Things could take a bit longer given that Musk says the booster VAB will be 81m (265 ft) tall, nearly twice the height of Starship’s VAB, but likely by no more than a few weeks.

That timeline meshes well with a senior SpaceX engineer and executive’s recent suggestion that the first orbital Starship launch attempt could still happen before the end of the year. .........

ORAC 8th Jun 2020 20:33


Elon Musk tells SpaceX employees that its Starship rocket is the top priority now

TURIN 8th Jun 2020 23:34

I do hope the travel ban is lifted by then, I really would like to see that.

I got a great view of Starlink 5/6 7/8 last night too. Quite a sight.

TURIN 13th Jun 2020 00:19

Another Falcon 9 launch scheduled for this morning. 0521 EDT, 1021 BST

If you're up really early there's also a Rocket Labs launch in New Zealand too.

All times are GMT. The time now is 19:12.

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.