Elon Musk at LZ-1 standing next to one of the two Falcon Heavy side boosters.
Source: SpaceX via Instagram (https://t.co/UyiNd2fmi5)
SpaceX has updated its launch coverage video to include onboard video of F9 both side boosters
Reminds me of the days of the Apollo launches.
What will 2018 bring?
Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO of SpaceX speaking at TAMEST 2018 Annual Conference AEROSPACE on the FRONTIER OF COMMERCIAL SPACEFLIGHT.
Also note that today SpaceX successfully relaunched a previously launched F9 booster to place the GOVSAT-1 satellite into Geostationary Transfer Orbit (http://www.spacex.com/webcast) This is the second launch this year. UPDATE – first stage was not intended to land on a drone ship but survived the water landing (“This rocket was meant to test very high retrothrust landing in water so it didn’t hurt the droneship, but amazingly it has survived. We will try to tow it back to shore.” https://mobile.twitter.com/elonmusk/status/958847818583584768)
FRONTIER OF COMMERCIAL SPACEFLIGHT
Note the last video shown is appears to be the first concept 2016 “ITS” video, NOT the 2017 somewhat scaled back “BFR” video.
Falcon Heavy is scheduled to launch this upcoming Tuesday February 6.
Ran into a guy a few weeks back wearing an Occupy Mars T-shirt and asked him if he worked for SpaceX. Turns out he was a machinist at the McGregor facility. I shook his hand and thanked him for keeping the dream alive. He protested saying he was just a machinist and I told him that every job mattered in building rockets.
I actually tried to visit the McGregor facility a few years ago on a road trip back from Denver. They had just installed the new guard shack at the entrance and they turned me away. Apparently you can schedule a tour in advance but I haven’t figured out how to do that yet. I suspect they have the occasional “open house” for the local residents of McGregor.
Full article at Futurism.com
Inter-Continental Balistic Transport
From today’s SpaceX presentation (see previous post)
“Fly to most places on Earth in under 30 mins and anywhere in under 60. Cost per seat should be about the same as full fare economy in an aircraft. Forgot to mention that.” ~ Elon Musk via twitter
This will revolutionize travel.
This is how SpaceX funds the Mars missions.
… and commercial travel to anywhere on Earth in less than an hour
Elon Musk updates the plan for getting to Mars by revolutionizing space travel (and Earth travel). This talk concluded at 12:30 CDL Friday.
It’s all about reusability!
An official SpaceX video …
Elon has quite the sense of humor.
SpaceX launch of the US Air Force “minishuttle” Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) X-37B
Another successful launch and landing for Falcon 9. It is beginning to remind me of watching planes take off and land at the airport.
SpaceX Press Kit
This is really cool …
Six SpaceX Launches Synchronized To The Landing
OK … somebody had to do it. The complete list of every Falcon 9 launch is on Wikipedia!
As of June 25, 2017
- 37 launches
- 2 failures (one in flight, one on the launch pad pre-flight)
- 13 successful landings (8 droneship, 5 Landing Zone 1)
- 2 resused Falcon 9 boosters (both of which re-landed successfully – one on droneship, the other at LZ-1)
- 1 reused Dragon capsule
So … compare this to the Blue Origin numbers also care of Wikipedia (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Origin)
- 1 launch and crash landing of the New Shepard 1
- 5 launches and landings of the same New Shepard 2 booster (up and down – no payload to orbit)
Watch (almost) EVERY SpaceX Falcon 9 landing attempted … in 80 seconds
And that doesn’t even count two back-to-back landings last week on an Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (Atlantic AND Pacific) plus the landing at LZ-1 at the beginning of June. Oh … and don’t forget the May 1st landing at LZ-1. So that makes it 18 landings?
And another successful launch and recovery – this time from Vandenburg CA (polar orbit). Back to back launch and landings.
New titanium grid fins (as opposed to the original aluminum grid fins) for better heat tolerance.
SpaceX does it again … relaunch and landing of another Falcon 9
Falcon 9’s first stage for the BulgariaSat-1 mission previously supported the Iridium-1 mission from Vandenberg Air Force Base in January of this year. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will attempt a landing on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
Personal observation … I cannot believe the bozos who comment that this is all faked based on video dropouts. When I “watched” the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions live video was rare to non-existent after the initial live launch video.
You go SpaceX!
See also LZ-1 vs ASDS, also by Every Day Astronaut
Extant has a very high density of Tesla Model S cars … or perhaps just one used over and over again. Set in the future, all of the vehicles sound electric – overlain in the soundtrack. Not sure if the sound is that of a Tesla Model S, but it could be. I am almost to the end of Season 1. Model X and BWM i3 are also shown (maybe in Season 2?).
Yet Another Falcon 9 Landing Video
(No sound, aerial view)
June 3rd landing close up
Via a tweet from Elon Musk
Yet another Falcon 9 landing (from yesterday June 3rd) at LZ-1. Note the arrival of the sonic boom just before landing. Starting to get routine (as it should). This was also the first re-use of a Dragon capsule (Woo Hoo).
For more info on LZ-1 see:
For more on the CRS-11 mission see:
Feels like the 60s again.
SCRUBBED DUE TO WEATHER
New milestones for SpaceX
- First reflight of a Dragon capsule
- Another re-landing of Falcon 9 booster at Landing Zone 1
- 100th Launch from LC-39A
Primary Thursday June 1 at 5:55pm EDT (21:55 UTC)
- Backup Saturday June 3 at 5:07pm EDT (21:07 UTC)
Or Blue Origin vs SpaceX*
Note the dates of the quotes and video clips
Props to Jeff Besos and Blue Origin for effort … but seriously?
* compare to Soapbox Derby vs NASCAR
I am replaying the video for your convenience
Falcon 9 first stage by the numbers
Speed of sound = 343 m/s
Max speed on ascent = 1685 m/s (Mach 4.9 @ 68 km)
Max altitude (apogee) = 166 km
Max speed on descent = 1407 m/s (Mach 4.1 @ 65km)
Stage separation (2:47) to touchdown (9:24) = 6m 37s
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Go back and rewatch the video while paying close attention to SPEED and ALTITUDE
The Falcon 9 first stage trajectory is quite interesting …
SpaceX – today’s launch and landing. Fourth return to Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral. SpaceX makes this look easy!
I really should have commented on this sooner
SpaceX to send two paying customers around the moon next year
SpaceX will be returning to flight on January 8th.
SpaceX is targeting return to flight from Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex 4E (SLC-4E) with the Iridium NEXT launch on January 8. SpaceX greatly appreciates the support of our customers and partners throughout this process, and we look forward to fulfilling our manifest in 2017 and beyond.
In preparation for the next launch, we present for your enjoyment and enlightenment a series of videos summarizing the five year history of SpaceX Falcon 9 reusability.
I never get tired of watching this. It 60s Sci-Fi realized at last.
On November 14, the National Geographic Channel will debut the the new mini-series MARS by executive producer Ron Howard. MARS is a novel alternation of fiction and documentary featuring commentary by Elon Musk, Andy Weir, Robert Zubrin, and other experts on Mars and space flight.
But why wait until November 14? You can stream the prequel BEFORE MARS and the first episode NOVO MUNDO right now (below). You can also watch THE MAKING OF MARS with Ron Howard and other short videos – behind the scenes and other related videos.
This is great stuff! Watch it. Seriously. I mean it.
1hr : 58min (actual content begins at 21min)
And it …
As part of Friday’s CRS-8 successful resupply launch to the International Space Station, SpaceX accomplished its first ever ocean landing of the Falcon 9 on the ASDS (Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship) Of Course I Still Love You. Prior to this SpaceX successfully returned to Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral. See The Falcon Has Landed.
Another take on Friday’s landing
TESLA MODEL 3 UNVEIL MARCH 31
… some of the background for last nights successful Falcon 9 landing
A lot about how things work in space is counter-intuitive, as all of our intuition is gained from daily experiences where the air is thick, gravity doesn’t seem to change and movement is relatively slow. We do see lots of movies about space, but, unless you’re watching an IMAX documentary, they vary from slightly wrong, like The Martian (good movie!), to mostly absurdly wrong, like Red Planet (don’t watch this, it will hurt your brain), which also doesn’t help intuition.
• • •
In the case of the Falcon 9 rocket, the boost stage is able to accelerate a payload mass of 125 metric tons to 8000 km/h and land on an ocean platform or to 5000 km/h and land back at the launch site. The second one is lower because the rocket is moving super fast away from the launch site, so it has to do a screetching U-turn with nitrogen attitude thrusters, then fire the engines to create a reversed ballistic arc, then reorient again for atmospheric entry and have the engines pointed in the right direction for the landing burn. Since the propellant is liquid, it wants to centrifuge out during these maneuvers, so there has to be a system of baffles and internal holding tanks to keep it in place. It also needs three axis control surfaces that don’t melt easily and work well from hypersonic through subsonic speeds.
For a sea platform landing, the Falcon 9 figure of merit is therefore roughly 300 gigajoules (GJ) of kinetic energy and for a return to launch site landing, the number is about 120 GJ. These are fairly sizable by terrestrial standards. To put it into perspective, the city of San Francisco uses about 1 GJ per second of electricity, so the Falcon 9 booster transfers enough energy to power a city of almost a million people for five minutes.
• • •
Read more about the physics and technology involved in first stage Return To Launch site, plus a short history of SpaceX’s efforts in this regard at: