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Skylon
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Interesting useless factoid I just made up compiled:

Out Of 90 worldwide launch attempts this year, 18 were from SpaceX. That’s Around 20%. So they, alone, launched as many rockets as China (more, if ignoring China’s 2 failures), nearly as many as Russia (20), and about 2/3 of all US launches (29). 

So they were effectively the third busiest launch provider in the entire world, and their only real competition in terms of numbers were the world’s second and third largest economies:cool:  Russia’s still the third largest behind China and us, right?

...and people said they’d never even hit double digits this year. :wink:

lies, damned lies, and statistics pilfered from Wikipedia.

Edited by CatastrophicFailure
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11 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Russia’s still the third largest behind China and us, right?

9th in 2015, behind such superpowers as Brazil and Italy, according to one of the many lists here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_economy

I don't think Russia alone, without the other soviet republics, has ever been in the top 3.

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7 minutes ago, monophonic said:

9th in 2015, behind such superpowers as Brazil and Italy, according to one of the many lists here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_economy

I don't think Russia alone, without the other soviet republics, has ever been in the top 3.

This, we do not speak of. <_<

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Other Soviet republics' industries have been built by the Russia (republic) industrial and scientific abilities in 1930s-1950s (Donetsk region - since 1880s).
Also don't forget that in WWII all European part of USSR was devastated, and almost no significant industry was there at all.
So, this is not true.

Though, it will start being politics.

Edited by kerbiloid
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37 minutes ago, softweir said:

Given that this will become political, is best to avoid comparing national achievements with each other or with private concerns such as SpaceX. Any actual politics may incur Moderator Displeasure. *wags finger*

So. Neat how many rockets SpaceX launched this year! :) Here's hoping to many more in years to come! Including rockets I can fly on.

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"This [static fire] test is currently expected to take place on January 6, although – as always – these dates can move around due to numerous factors such as readiness, range authority and weather."

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/12/falcon-heavy-maiden-static-fire-test/

Looks like the static fire test for Falcon Heavy is scheduled for Saturday.

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On 12/31/2017 at 5:36 PM, softweir said:

Given that this will become political, is best to avoid comparing national achievements with each other or with private concerns such as SpaceX. Any actual politics may incur Moderator Displeasure. *wags finger*

Ooooh a wagging finger. I have to say that the government of Antartica is definitely not producing as many rocket flights per year as Iceland. :P

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13 minutes ago, IncongruousGoat said:

According to r/SpaceX, the launch date for FH has been set for the 15th, but none of the provided references seem to indicate that date. Do we have a good reference for that date, or is it just something someone made up?

pleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweeked... :unsure:

Actual question:

NSF_20171230_191404.jpg

any speculation on that that doodleybop just above the flag is? On other photos, it doesn’t seem connected to anything even in the complete stack. 

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4 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

pleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweeked... :unsure:

Actual question:

NSF_20171230_191404.jpg

any speculation on that that doodleybop just above the flag is? On other photos, it doesn’t seem connected to anything even in the complete stack. 

That would be the CSEAP - Command Seat External Attachment Point.

On a more serious note, I have no good idea.

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6 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

pleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweeked... :unsure:

Actual question:

NSF_20171230_191404.jpg

any speculation on that that doodleybop just above the flag is? On other photos, it doesn’t seem connected to anything even in the complete stack. 

Space_X_Falcon_9_X_Wings_Wide.jpg

Looks like an attach point for the ring in the picture above.

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12 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Actual question:

any speculation on that that doodleybop just above the flag is? On other photos, it doesn’t seem connected to anything even in the complete stack. 

Well I'm not sure what this is a picture of, but it says FH on it so its part of the Falcon Heavy, probably the centre core
I was about to say that it was an attachment point for the side-boosters, but then it shouldn't be in line with the flag.
Now that I've seen it there, you can just about make it out on this picture:

Spoiler

aHR0cDovL3d3dy5zcGFjZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kvMDAwLzA3Mi83ODQvb3JpZ2luYWwvc3BhY2V4LWZhbGNvbi1oZWF2eS1yb2NrZXQtdG9wLXZpZXcuanBnPzE1MTM3ODA3MzU=

...though without the black/grey square around it.
Looking at this picture: 

Spoiler

Image result for falcon heavy new features

...you can see there are two smaller struts coming off of the attachment struts (I know there is a proper word for 'strut' but I can't remember what it is at the moment). I presume these will push the attachment struts down after the side boosters separate. So the thing above the flag may be for attaching the smaller struts.

Edited by Skylon
I was wrong
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10 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

pleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweeked... :unsure:

Actual question:

NSF_20171230_191404.jpg

any speculation on that that doodleybop just above the flag is? On other photos, it doesn’t seem connected to anything even in the complete stack. 

I was just admiring their struts. errrr guy-wires

PS. whoever submitted this image . . . . nice.

Edited by PB666
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10 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

pleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweekedpleasebeonaweeked... :unsure:

Actual question:

NSF_20171230_191404.jpg

any speculation on that that doodleybop just above the flag is? On other photos, it doesn’t seem connected to anything even in the complete stack. 

The doodleybop just above the flag is the retaining attachment for the upper horizontal struts. The struts fold from horizontal up to vertical using pneumatic pistons:

index.php?action=dlattach;topic=42705.0;

The pistons pull up on the center of the strut, rotating them in toward the booster, where they latch into the doodleybop you identified.

 

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2 hours ago, sevenperforce said:

The doodleybop just above the flag is the retaining attachment for the upper horizontal struts. The struts fold from horizontal up to vertical using pneumatic pistons:

index.php?action=dlattach;topic=42705.0;

The pistons pull up on the center of the strut, rotating them in toward the booster, where they latch into the doodleybop you identified.

 

Are you sure its a piston, it maybe motor driven, or pull wires on the inside.

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