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Blue Origin Thread (merged)


Aethon
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39 minutes ago, CptRichardson said:

Not really, no. This was an explosion in the PAD, not the launcher. This wasn't a launch failure.

Failure still occurred somewhere in the whole launch system, regardless if it was booster or second stage or pad or operational procedures. If the satellite had been on top of an ariane5 would it have been lost?

Of course the failure could have been caused by the payload, in which case it is not spacex's problem, but at this stage we just do not know.

Edited by codepoet
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A launch isn't just a rocket (which is also why the cost of a launch isn't just the rocket hardware). Pre and post-launch operations, including payload and pre-launch testing are all part of the launch campaign. So this should certainly be counted as a launch failure. Both the vehicle and the payload were destroyed, as well as a large part of the pad. Whether it happened on the pad or 10 meters above the pad is irrelevant, it's still a LOM.

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SpaceX already has a good handle on the cause, and will post something later. They have telemetry, and likely HD video (a plus of it being on the pad). A video alone would allow us here to narrow it down a great deal were one available (we'd know the time, and location, which would reduce the suspect causes massively

 

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LC-40 is going to need serious reconstruction work, putting it out of service for months (maybe a year). Assuming there is nothing wrong with the launcher and they can resume F9 flights ASAP, they are going to have to expedite LC-39A operations and the delays are going to increase their backlog even more. If there is any redesign work, that will mean more delays before RTF, that will mean more backlog and they will absolutely need both pads.

This probably means that FH will be postponed again, which is also likely to push back the 2018 Mars launch target (which was overly optimistic anyway) to at least 2020. 

It also means that the big September MCT reveal probably isn't going to happen. They will delay it at least until they get back on track with a successful F9 flight and recovery. You don't announce Big F. Plans when you have just destroyed a customer's payload.

Edited by Nibb31
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Mr Musk has spoken... or tweeted: "Loss of Falcon vehicle today during propellant fill operation. Originated around upper stage oxygen tank. Cause still unknown. More soon."

Three years on this forum and I still don't know how to embed tweets.

EDIT: Oh nevermind, apparently it does it automatically.

Edited by Frida Space
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Just now, insert_name said:

So it seems like it was a second stage failure, not good for SpaceX, but hopefully the first stages do not suffer from this issue as well

We don't know yet. It could still be a problem with the ground equipment or a procedural error.

Edited by Nibb31
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11 minutes ago, Frida Space said:

Crazy video (skip to 1 minute)

 

Holy ****. 

SpaceX Static Fire Anomaly directed and produced by Michael Bay. 

This sucks.

Edit:

Is SpaceX the only launch provider that does pre-launch static fires?

Why do they leave the payload on for the static fire? Vibration measurements? 

Edited by Robotengineer
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In case anyone wants to embed it here is a 2.5 MB Twitter-friendly gif I made from that video.

spacex+%25281%2529.gif

Link to higher-res, not sped up version (44 MB).

12 minutes ago, Robotengineer said:

Why do they leave the payload on for the static fire? Vibration measurements? 

They do that at the customer's discretion. They've done it before for Dragon. It helps with the schedule (liftoff was planned for tomorrow) and, from what some people say, it also allows them to run basic tests on the satellite too.

Edited by Frida Space
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10 minutes ago, Robotengineer said:

Is SpaceX the only launch provider that does pre-launch static fires?

Currently, yes. Most other providers have a simulated launch with tanking but without firing (a so-called wet dress rehearsal, WDR).

10 minutes ago, Robotengineer said:

Why do they leave the payload on for the static fire? Vibration measurements? 

It's faster. This thing was supposed to be going up in two days, not much time for rolling the stage back and doing extra integration work.

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I say this in all seriousness - hopefully not another busted strut. If it was that again, then I'd think SpaceX would need to look at redesigning the upper stage tank - which wouldn't be a quick or easy task. 

:(

 

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Highly unlikely. The strut failed under acceleration. There was no acceleration happening here.

Still, what a quick and hard explosion. I've no idea how it can just go off like that. Wouldn't you need at least two or three concurrent faults? Like a short circuit next to a fuel leak?

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16 minutes ago, Streetwind said:

Still, what a quick and hard explosion. I've no idea how it can just go off like that. Wouldn't you need at least two or three concurrent faults? Like a short circuit next to a fuel leak?

Yeah, what caused it? One second it's there, the next it's replaced with a fireball.

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23 minutes ago, Streetwind said:

Highly unlikely. The strut failed under acceleration. There was no acceleration happening here.

It was an engine test, right? Had they already lit off the engines? If so, that's a lot of vibrational energy. Never mind, I just watched that video.

Edited by mikegarrison
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