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It occurs to me this is the first SpaceX launch that hasn't been delayed since the previous launch... am I right in that? Today was the day even back when NROL76 went up, right?

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Spaceception    2730

Somehow didn't run out of likes during the launch. 

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StrandedonEarth    1988
5 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

It occurs to me this is the first SpaceX launch that hasn't been delayed since the previous launch... am I right in that? Today was the day even back when NROL76 went up, right?

I do believe you're right. And the delay to the NROL launch may not have been SpaceX'

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CastleKSide    54

I must say, I did miss the excitement of a landing attempt

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Well, this is interesting...

 

Quote

Monday’s launch debuted an upgrade to the Falcon 9 rocket’s second stage intended to speed up fueling during launch countdowns, allowing liquid oxygen and helium pressurant to be simultaneously loaded into the launcher.

Investigators blamed a Falcon 9 rocket explosion at Cape Canaveral’s pad 40 last September on voids in the skin of high-pressure helium tanks immersed in super-cold liquid oxygen inside the launcher’s second stage. Liquid oxygen became trapped, and perhaps froze, in the openings, leading to friction that eventually caused the rocket to explode, destroying an Israeli-owned communications satellite during a countdown rehearsal.

After an engineering inquiry settled on a probable cause for the mishap, SpaceX said future countdown sequences would change to load helium into the rocket before liquid oxygen, a modification the company said would avoid the problem. At the same time, SpaceX said it would make hardware changes to the rocket to permanently fix the helium tank concern.

Those unspecified safety upgrades made their way into the Falcon 9 that launched Monday.

A SpaceX official said the next two Falcon 9 flights in June will not have the helium tank modification, but then all future rockets will incorporate the change.

 

 

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KSK    4302

It's those darned unknown unknowns - they'll get you every time. Good to see there's a hardware fix in place and fingers crossed the next two flights go to plan. Although I doubt either SpaceX or their customers would be going ahead unless they were confident in the revised fueling procedures.

I don't think it's news but I was interested in this part too:

Quote

SpaceX ground crews are preparing for four more launches by the end of June, with the next Falcon 9 flight slated for June 1 with a Dragon supply ship to ferry experiments and equipment to the International Space Station. Liftoff of the Dragon capsule — the first SpaceX cargo craft to be reused after a previous space station mission — is scheduled for approximately 5:55 p.m. EDT (2155 GMT) June 1 from pad 39A.

Emphasis added. Even if F9 upper stages can't be recovered, this is starting to add up to quite the orbital transportation system with capsule, first stage booster and possibly payload fairings (when applicable) being recovered. Falcon Heavy launches are going to be a real spectacle too if everything goes to plan. BigS rocket launch, two strap-on boosters returning to landing site, first stage core booster landing on a barge and two payload fairings paragliding onto giant ocean-going  'bouncy castles'!

Bring it on!

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TheEpicSquared    1880
7 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Well, this is interesting...

Spoiler

the next two Falcon 9 flights in June will not have the helium tank modification

 

One of those is probably the Iridium-1 first stage that'll be used for the Bulgaria-Sat mission. And maybe the CRS-11 rocket was manufactured before the changes were finalized?

 

Now I'm wondering about the two reused boosters on the FH maiden flight. Hmmm...

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Spaceception    2730

Oh wow, @KSK, didn't see that, all of those savings! 

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StrandedonEarth    1988
3 hours ago, KSK said:

the first SpaceX cargo craft to be reused after a previous space station mission

So would this be under the second CRS contract? I believe the first contract stipulated all new Dragons, but I hadn't heard if the second round does. Wiki tells me the first contract was for 12 flights, and they lost one...

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KSK    4302
7 minutes ago, StrandedonEarth said:

So would this be under the second CRS contract? I believe the first contract stipulated all new Dragons, but I hadn't heard if the second round does. Wiki tells me the first contract was for 12 flights, and they lost one...

Not a clue I'm afraid. My understanding was the same as yours regarding a new Dragon for each CRS flight but we might both be reading the wrong source. :) 

It's a result for SpaceX either way - having  NASA comfortable with them flying a refurb Dragon is a pretty big endorsement.

1 hour ago, Spaceception said:

Oh wow, @KSK, didn't see that, all of those savings! 

Yep! I recall reading that F9 block 5 will have a more easily replaceable TPS for the first stage. Wonder if they'll be able to use something similar for Dragon? At least for the capsule walls - the main heat shield is another matter altogether I would think.

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Going off memory here, which I assure you is like a steel trap (rusted full of holes and illegal in 27 states), CRS-2 starts up in 2019. SpaceX probably got special dispensation to refly a Dragon so they can focus on D2 production. 

IIRC, the Dragon heat shields, or at least the one on the D2, is supposed to be good for several uses (it's meant to be lunar-capable, after all).

2 hours ago, TheEpicSquared said:

Now I'm wondering about the two reused boosters on the FH maiden flight. Hmmm...

It sounds like the modification is only on the second stage, right now. 

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TheEpicSquared    1880

So I was looking through the SpaceX Wikipedia article and I came across this:

Quote

In 2001, Elon Musk conceptualized Mars Oasis, a project to land a miniature experimental greenhouse and grow plants on Mars, "so this would be the furthest that life’s ever traveled"[22] in an attempt to regain public interest in space exploration and increase the budget of NASA.[23][24][25]

Is this "Mars Oasis" project still active? The latest news I can find on it is from 2014.

Red Dragon perhaps? 

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7 minutes ago, TheEpicSquared said:

So I was looking through the SpaceX Wikipedia article and I came across this:

Is this "Mars Oasis" project still active? The latest news I can find on it is from 2014.

Red Dragon perhaps? 

No. Mars Oasis was Musk's original plan. It fell apart when he tried to buy a refurbished Soviet ICBM, and realized it would be prohibitively expensive to do so. It was this that motivated him to found SpaceX and drastically decrease launch costs.

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TheEpicSquared    1880
7 minutes ago, IncongruousGoat said:

No. Mars Oasis was Musk's original plan. It fell apart when he tried to buy a refurbished Soviet ICBM, and realized it would be prohibitively expensive to do so. It was this that motivated him to found SpaceX and drastically decrease launch costs.

Makes sense... but would it be possible to take a few plants to Mars, along with life support for them? Judging that the payload in the Dragon v2 hasn't been revealed yet, I think it seems possible.

I wonder how much the contraption would weigh, though.

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Does anybody know how Red Dragon is supposed to generate power once it arrives at Mars? In transit it has the solar panels on the trunk, but once it lands is it going to deploy solar panels from some internal compartment? Is it going to carry an RTG? Is it going to run on batteries?

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Spaceception    2730
6 minutes ago, IncongruousGoat said:

Does anybody know how Red Dragon is supposed to generate power once it arrives at Mars? In transit it has the solar panels on the trunk, but once it lands is it going to deploy solar panels from some internal compartment? Is it going to carry an RTG? Is it going to run on batteries?

 

Solar, they don't have RTG's and batteries won't last long enough :)

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TheEpicSquared    1880
17 minutes ago, IncongruousGoat said:

Does anybody know how Red Dragon is supposed to generate power once it arrives at Mars? In transit it has the solar panels on the trunk, but once it lands is it going to deploy solar panels from some internal compartment? Is it going to carry an RTG? Is it going to run on batteries?

Probably solar, RTGs are expensive and batteries won't last long, like @Spaceception said.

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20 minutes ago, IncongruousGoat said:

Does anybody know how Red Dragon is supposed to generate power once it arrives at Mars? In transit it has the solar panels on the trunk, but once it lands is it going to deploy solar panels from some internal compartment? Is it going to carry an RTG? Is it going to run on batteries?

Anything beyond "it's a Dragon and it's going to land on Mars" is pure speculation at this point. If SpaceX can only do that much with it, it will still be a win. Anything it actually does on the surface beyond saying "I'm here! I made it!" is just icing. 

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Scotius    1574
9 hours ago, KSK said:

It's those darned unknown unknowns - they'll get you every time. Good to see there's a hardware fix in place and fingers crossed the next two flights go to plan. Although I doubt either SpaceX or their customers would be going ahead unless they were confident in the revised fueling procedures.

I don't think it's news but I was interested in this part too:

Emphasis added. Even if F9 upper stages can't be recovered, this is starting to add up to quite the orbital transportation system with capsule, first stage booster and possibly payload fairings (when applicable) being recovered. Falcon Heavy launches are going to be a real spectacle too if everything goes to plan. BigS rocket launch, two strap-on boosters returning to landing site, first stage core booster landing on a barge and two payload fairings paragliding onto giant ocean-going  'bouncy castles'!

Bring it on!

Jeff Bezos and his Blue Origin will have to work very hard to grab a slice of  space pie for themselves :) BO will have to either offer even lower prices than SpaceX, or grab flights SpaceX can't do due to the lack of available hardware. Interesting times ahead :D 

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sevenperforce    1459
1 hour ago, CatastrophicFailure said:
1 hour ago, IncongruousGoat said:

Does anybody know how Red Dragon is supposed to generate power once it arrives at Mars? In transit it has the solar panels on the trunk, but once it lands is it going to deploy solar panels from some internal compartment? Is it going to carry an RTG? Is it going to run on batteries?

Anything beyond "it's a Dragon and it's going to land on Mars" is pure speculation at this point. If SpaceX can only do that much with it, it will still be a win. Anything it actually does on the surface beyond saying "I'm here! I made it!" is just icing. 

Actually, we do have a bit more than pure speculation. There is already NASA-related mission planning regarding spacecraft contact duration with the Deep Space Network; expected post-landing contact lifetime is something like 30 hours. So it will be on internal battery power until it dies.

The mission is mostly about testing hypersonic and supersonic retropropulsion with landing on unprepared surfaces.

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StupidAndy    1179
3 hours ago, IncongruousGoat said:

No. Mars Oasis was Musk's original plan. It fell apart when he tried to buy a refurbished Soviet ICBM, and realized it would be prohibitively expensive to do so. It was this that motivated him to found SpaceX and drastically decrease launch costs.

Elon Musk: if he doesn't get what he wants, he just makes a multi-billion dollar company and does it himself

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cubinator    3494
2 hours ago, insert_name said:
Turns out that the faring was recovered

Where can I see the full video from the fairing?

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StupidAndy    1179
47 minutes ago, cubinator said:

Where can I see the full video from the fairing?

this is from two years ago:

basically the same, but different music, and spinning

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