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Blue Origin Thread (merged)

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You don't see that jagged line in the first picture?  Looks like the tank cracked.

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1 hour ago, sojourner said:

You don't see that jagged line in the first picture?  Looks like the tank cracked.

It looks that way but I think it's just dirt/soot/etc. If the tank had cracked that badly, the rest of the rocket wouldn't be there...

 

2 hours ago, Arcturusvfx said:

That's what it looks like to my old eyes, especially on and around the thermal blankets .

Irony of a thermal blanket catching fire and burning....

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1 minute ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

If the tank had cracked that badly, the rest of the rocket wouldn't be there...

That depends on when the crack occurred.

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2 hours ago, sojourner said:

You don't see that jagged line in the first picture?  Looks like the tank cracked.

Silly, thats a rubber smear from being grappled. Its superficial. 

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Even if it is smear, I see hairline cracks in the paint on the right hand side of the picture. The shape of the charring points to some sort of deformation, maybe a crease. The rivets seem to have gone through some thermal trauma which might include dilatation and fragilisation.

At the bottom, it's a shame that we can't see the state of the nozzles. I suspect that they are not in too good shape either.

It survived the landing, but would you want to put it through the same ordeal a second time with a customer's valuable payload? Probably not.

 

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3 hours ago, Nibb31 said:

Even if it is smear, I see hairline cracks in the paint on the right hand side of the picture. The shape of the charring points to some sort of deformation, maybe a crease. The rivets seem to have gone through some thermal trauma which might include dilatation and fragilisation.

At the bottom, it's a shame that we can't see the state of the nozzles. I suspect that they are not in too good shape either.

It survived the landing, but would you want to put it through the same ordeal a second time with a customer's valuable payload? Probably not.

 

Your control is the other launch core, pictures of which we haven't seen at either angle, you would have to put the two side by side and compare. 

Edited by PB666

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Glad they can get these back to inspect. With most rockets you have no clue how close they are to failing as they are always discarded. Being able to look at them again in detail after the launch will really help SpaceX make Falcon a lot more reliable.

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9 hours ago, sojourner said:

:unsure: Then I can't help you.

You could try paintbrushing a box and little arrows pointing to you percieved anomaly next time. 

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That frame is the lifting fixture that is attached to the interstage latches where the upper stage would go. Not sure what the boxes are for, but I'm guessing they could be hydraulic or electrical systems that command the latches from the ground. They need to be able to control the latching system, while the fixture is dangling from the crane hook, to guide it and attach it to the rocket.

Edited by Nibb31

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27 minutes ago, KerbonautInTraining said:

What's in these boxes though?

T6IZ5JP.jpg

My curiosity is reaching critical mass

The side mounts maybe pitot tubes, IAS determination. The boxes control the decouplers, one may be also a flight controllerl of sorts. 

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1 hour ago, PB666 said:

The side mounts maybe pitot tubes, IAS determination. The boxes control the decouplers, one may be also a flight controllerl of sorts. 

Nah, this was added on top of the interstage after it landed. Unless they want to measure MaxQ during the sub-10m/s transport... :P

@Nibb31Looks like the boxes might be for some sort of telemetry? There's an antenna sticking out to the right of the frame. Couldn't be anything high power as the boxes are topped with solar panels.

Edit: Whoa, 5000th post in this thread.

Edited by KerbonautInTraining

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1 hour ago, KerbonautInTraining said:

What's in these boxes though?

C'mon guys, they're quite obviously probe cores: Cube1.png  With OX-STAT's on top, even!

 

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20 hours ago, Kryten said:

There are plenty of cubesat operators with money, it's not just highschool students. Take PlanetLabs or Spire, people are doing real commercial work with them.

Kryten, you are right.  There are a lot of CubeSat collaborators with money.  Here is a world map of collaborators including companies and government organizations.  Even JPL and NASA are involved with CubeSat designs leaving Earth orbit!  JPL and NASA include companies and universities in the CubeSat mission so that many different groups benefit.

http://www.cubesat-propulsion.com/cubesat-propulsion-delivery/#more-465

http://www.cubesat.org/collaborate/

http://www.cubesat-propulsion.com/jpl-marco-micro-propulsion-system/

Edited by ChrisDayVACCO
More specificity of organizations

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1 hour ago, KerbonautInTraining said:

Nah, this was added on top of the interstage after it landed. Unless they want to measure MaxQ during the sub-10m/s transport... :P

@Nibb31Looks like the boxes might be for some sort of telemetry? There's an antenna sticking out to the right of the frame. Couldn't be anything high power as the boxes are topped with solar panels.

Edit: Whoa, 5000th post in this thread.

Yeah could be cameras for the driver.

 

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4 hours ago, PB666 said:

You could try paintbrushing a box and little arrows pointing to you percieved anomaly next time. 

LOL, "Do I have to draw you a picture?"

 

Apparently, yes.

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Changing the subject, I found this gem.

zgrether_Hunting%20Island_spacex%202-XL.

That is JCSAT-14 as time-lapsed from the shore of South Carolina. Large streak is the upper stage burning for orbit, and the red scratch between the tree limbs is the first stage going in for barge landing.

Photo shot, edited, and assembled by Zach Grether (not me), all rights reserved.

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I guess these are 2 or 3 different pictures merged in one... I cant imagine other way to do it.

Edited by AngelLestat

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32 minutes ago, AngelLestat said:

I guess these are 2 or 3 different pictures merged in one... I cant imagine other way to do it.

There are details of how he captured it on his site. A few snippets:

Quote

My current method of nightscape shooting involves capturing a series of images and then doing some advanced stacking techniques in Photoshop to remove the noise (rather than using Adobe or other 3rd party noise removal software) and Sony’s mirrorless line of cameras has a decent application that you can install directly on the camera (called Sony PlayMemories Time-lapse) that allows you to automatically capture a series of images, like I want, without having to resort to an external intervalometer. I’m all for less gear, so I’ve been doing it this way for a few weeks now. The downside is that the minimum number of images the application allows is 30, and while that’s more than I need, it still works out to only about 5 minutes of shooting (I’ve settled into 10 second exposures with my current setup)

Quote

As the camera slowly ticked down to its final few frames, I saw out of the corner of my eye what looked like a firework going off in the distance. I could make out a vertical red trail going straight up to the south of me. From the horizon, it was maybe a couple of fists tall before it disappeared and my timelapse completed while I shrugged my shoulders, wondering.

Quote

It was very reminiscent of a satellite in orbit so I got to thinking that maybe, just maybe, it was some sort of rocket launch. Too bad it was almost due south and I was facing to the east. So I stood there dumbfounded… and waited for about two minutes before I came to grips with what was unfolding. The rocket was no longer going up, but had made a turn and was maneuvering towards my frame. Without hesitation, I hit the shutter button and started another 5 minute timelapse.

 

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SpaceX maybe capturing defense contracts for reasons other than cost. 

Theres a wall street artcle arguing the ULA will have trouble using RD-180 engines ti fulfill their defense related launch contracts. 

http://www.wsj.com/articles/rocket-engine-row-threatens-some-civil-space-programs-1463607075?mod=rss_Business

This may sound like good for SpaceX side projects, but given the ground settlong delays at BC site, they would have no choice put delay those Mars plans unless the DOD offers them other launch site options. 

Related: http://www.space.com/32922-nro-spacex-launch-contract-surprise-announcement.html

 

 

Edited by PB666

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18 hours ago, PB666 said:

This may sound like good for SpaceX side projects, but given the ground settlong delays at BC site, they would have no choice put delay those Mars plans unless the DOD offers them other launch site options. 

Honestly, even if the current projected timeline ends up doubling in length (on top of existing delays), Boca Chica is going to be finished up long before the MCT architecture is implemented. I'd be highly surprised if MCT flew before 2025.

Until then, SpaceX doesn't strictly need the site. They currently have two launchpads, with a third one ready for qualification testing. They are not bottlenecked by places on which to erect rockets. They're more bottlenecked by needing multiple launch teams from here on out... they've never made use of Vandenberg and the Cape in parallel, for example, because the people involved in launches can only be in one place at a time. But coming this summer, they will need to have two separate teams, if they want to get Iridium NEXT into space while continuing to catch up on their geostationary and COTS backlog. Iridium has publicly stated that they believe their launch won't be delayed, since there is no backlog in Vandenberg. So either they've been given that assurance, or they're practically demanding it...

And perhaps, by the time that is launched, they'll have qualified SLC-39A by doing static fire tests with their recovered boosters. At least, that's the plan right now. If that works out, and they manage to set up and run two largely independent launch teams by summer, then they could start launching from two CCAFS pads in parallel. Since that's where 90% of their manifest wants to launch from, it'll be extremely useful.

Of course, Hawthorne probably can't keep up with building rockets for that. Two independent launch teams, each with a 30-day turnaround, could launch two rockets per month - the factory would just barely keep up with that. And SpaceX has shown shorter pad turnaround times than that multiple times in the past. With two teams at a 20-day turnaround each, the factory's capacity is outstripped by 50%. In that case, some of the launches will have to happen on reused first stages... which conveniently also could happen as soon as this summer...

 

It kind of smells like it's all coming together, but well, it remains to be seen if SpaceX can pull it off this soon. It's a really, really tall order for a company known to be chronically overconfident with their timelines. :P

Edited by Streetwind

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35 minutes ago, Streetwind said:

Honestly, even if the current projected timeline ends up doubling in length (on top of existing delays), Boca Chica is going to be finished up long before the MCT architecture is implemented. I'd be highly surprised if MCT flew before 2025.

Until then, SpaceX doesn't strictly need the site. They currently have two launchpads, with a third one ready for qualification testing. They are not bottlenecked by places on which to erect rockets. They're more bottlenecked by needing multiple launch teams from here on out... they've never made use of Vandenberg and the Cape in parallel, for example, because the people involved in launches can only be in one place at a time. But coming this summer, they will need to have two separate teams, if they want to get Iridium NEXT into space while continuing to catch up on their geostationary and COTS backlog. Iridium has publicly stated that they believe their launch won't be delayed, since there is no backlog in Vandenberg. So either they've been given that assurance, or they're practically demanding it...

And perhaps, by the time that is launched, they'll have qualified SLC-39A by doing static fire tests with their recovered boosters. At least, that's the plan right now. If that works out, and they manage to set up and run two largely independent launch teams by summer, then they could start launching from two CCAFS pads in parallel. Since that's where 90% of their manifest wants to launch from, it'll be extremely useful.

Of course, Hawthorne probably can't keep up with building rockets for that. Two independent launch teams, each with a 30-day turnaround, could launch two rockets per month - the factory would just barely keep up with that. And SpaceX has shown shorter pad turnaround times than that multiple times in the past. With two teams at a 20-day turnaround each, the factory's capacity is outstripped by 50%. In that case, some of the launches will have to happen on reused first stages... which conveniently also could happen as soon as this summer...

 

It kind of smells like it's all coming together, but well, it remains to be seen if SpaceX can pull it off this soon. It's a really, really tall order for a company known to be chronically overconfident with their timelines. :P

You mean their success is about to get in their way. I can see what you are saying, but i think there has been a state change, it may have to do with the launch team, in which case if they split it may drop them back in the past a few months whike they try to get their momentum back, but if they want to operate bc in a couple of years they have to do it anyway. They are going to have to have a second, refurbishment, team and second stage group, I don't see a problem as long as growth is less than 40% per year. 

By chronically overconfident do you mean better or wrse than ESA? This year at least they are keeping on a schedule. 

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I'd say the bigger worry for SpaceX is if their production/launch rate out paces demand.  Eventually they'll work through that backlog. If demand does not pickup the way they hope due to cheaper launch costs they'll have lots of excess capacity to deal with and insufficient income to cover it.

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3 hours ago, sojourner said:

I'd say the bigger worry for SpaceX is if their production/launch rate out paces demand.  Eventually they'll work through that backlog. If demand does not pickup the way they hope due to cheaper launch costs they'll have lots of excess capacity to deal with and insufficient income to cover it.

It aint gonna happen ULA is going to have to give up some of their contracts. 

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