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For some reason that looks so hypnotic. I am sure if that was a loop I would look at it for at least 30 minutes.

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another video from SpaceX showing us some of previously unseen footage including close up of the central engine firing during landing burn

 

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There was a conference yesterday, and SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell dropped some delicious tidbits on reusability and the journey to Mars - flanked by some impressive (though unrelated) media releases.

 

For starters, there is now potential for two booster reflights before the end of the year, assuming things go according to plan. Which they may not, but hey, it's quite unlikely that both of them will get delayed... :P Shotwell said that in general, they are seeing increasing interest from customers in getting cheaper rides on reused boosters.

Then, she revealed that a fully assembled Raptor prototype has been shipped to McGregor for actual test-firings. This is big news because up until now, we didn't know that there even was a fully assembled Raptor yet. They've been in subscale and/or component testing at Stennis since 2014, validating the preburners and injectors and other such things... but they've now actually built the full thing? For real? Awesome. (They've promised video of a test firing, but not until more than a month from now. Perhaps together with the MCT announcement at the end of September?)

Meanwhile, they will also continue to weave static fires of the JCSat-14 booster in between regular pre-launch testing at McGregor. They want to fire it as many times as possible - ideally at least 10 times in the near future. (JCSat-14 was a GTO mission, and the first stage came in hot and landed hard. It's in the worst condition among all their recovered boosters, and they are being rough with it to see how much it can take.)

 

In the media department, there's that video that @Cuky just posted above; it is one of the most beautiful and impressive collections of detail footage that SpaceX has ever released, IMHO.

Those of you who have watched the CRS-9 launch stream may remember: after decoupling, the first stage did a very fast and aggressive flip, and you could in fact clearly see the boostback burn igniting less than a hundred meters away from the second stage, through the stage 2 aft cameras. This apparently produced quite the lightshow from the two exhaust plumes overlapping and interacting, as this instagram post shows in delicious detail. It is also part of the above video, but sometimes a simple embedded animation is more accessible to users than a full youtube video.

 

All in all, it was a good day for SpaceX fans :)

 

Edited by Streetwind

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I'm very curious how much thrust Raptor will produce during tests, and if SpaceX will actually publish the data. Merlin's capabilities in that matter were kept under tight wraps for a long time :) Still, it's very impressive what that engine can endure - stage used for re-firing was seriously mangled after landing. Yet it is still in working condition.

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58 minutes ago, Scotius said:

stage used for re-firing was seriously mangled after landing. Yet it is still in working condition.

Not really "mangled", no. Just at the limit of what could be called a "safe" landing.

 

18 minutes ago, Frozen_Heart said:
*snip*

I just posted that two posts above yours, and the video in the post before mine also had it... :P

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31 minutes ago, Streetwind said:

Not really "mangled", no. Just at the limit of what could be called a "safe" landing.

 

I just posted that two posts above yours, and the video in the post before mine also had it... :P

Sorry didn't see that bit. Mainly read the stuff about the Raptor engine.

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And a launch coming up very early Sunday morning (Saturday night, here in the west).

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3 hours ago, Streetwind said:

Not really "mangled", no. Just at the limit of what could be called a "safe" landing.

 

I just posted that two posts above yours, and the video in the post before mine also had it... :P

From the description, they certainly had to replace the whole landing leg structure.  Being within limits seems to mean that the damage was limited to the legs (relatively cheap).  They might have a ways to go before they are at the "gas and go" stage of the plan, but appear to be on schedule to go way beyond "shuttle-level" reuse (once they light this bird for real).

On 7/23/2016 at 9:35 AM, Frozen_Heart said:

I noticed that when I watched it. They were so close the exhaust from the two stages was hitting against each other.

I'm guessing they wanted maximum Oberth effect (or at least minimum gravity acceleration).  I suspect that is more an artifact from just how far away they are: you can't flip over a rocket fast enough to be "close" for the back burn.  I'm guessing if it worries them, they'll just light the second stage a little earlier.

 

Edited by wumpus

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One tidbit from the conference that hasn't turned up here is that the FH launch for STP-2 has been delayed to Q3 2017. Given that's only meant to be the second or maybe third FH flight, don't expect to see FH going up anytime soon...

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18 minutes ago, Kryten said:

One tidbit from the conference that hasn't turned up here is that the FH launch for STP-2 has been delayed to Q3 2017. Given that's only meant to be the second or maybe third FH flight, don't expect to see FH going up anytime soon...

This saddens me, if true. And they had been making such good, steady progress lately...:(

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Does anyone know where I can find information about JCSAT-16, like whether SpaceX is reflying a booster, or whether it's a barge landing or RTLS?

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2 hours ago, Jovus said:

Does anyone know where I can find information about JCSAT-16, like whether SpaceX is reflying a booster, or whether it's a barge landing or RTLS?

No reflight for a while yet. JCSAT-16 is just about identical to JCSAT-14 earlier this year, so barge landing. 

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Thanks, @Kryten. Where'd you get that info? (So I don't have to bother people in this thread with inane questions in the future.)

Am I just missing it on SpaceflightNow and SpaceX?

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Thanks guys, I appreciate it.

Looks like I have another forum to stalk.

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On 8/9/2016 at 1:31 AM, RainDreamer said:

For some reason that looks so hypnotic. I am sure if that was a loop I would look at it for at least 30 minutes.

I already did that on another site when I first saw it.  I literally got lost watching the intricate flow of hot gases.  If you overlayed a soft-spoken woman going on about technical details of the SRB I would be in ASMR sleepytime heaven.

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Successful test fire this morning, they're go for the early Sunday morning launch.

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5 hours ago, tater said:

early Sunday morning launch.

Just after midnight for me... gonna be a long night :D

 

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Just before midnight, here.

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On 8/12/2016 at 9:50 AM, tater said:

Successful test fire this morning, they're go for the early Sunday morning launch.

Test fire...

Set the rocket on fire?

Get it?

No... <sigh>

I'm just being a jerk.

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