Tag Archives: Elon Musk

SpaceX | CRS-7 Investigation Update

Via email

 
  

CRS-7 Investigation Update

On June 28, 2015, following a nominal liftoff, Falcon 9 experienced an overpressure event in the upper stage liquid oxygen tank approximately 139 seconds into flight, resulting in loss of mission. This summary represents an initial assessment, but further investigation may reveal more over time.

 
Prior to the mishap, the first stage of the vehicle, including all nine Merlin 1D engines, operated nominally; the first stage actually continued to power through the overpressure event on the second stage for several seconds following the mishap. In addition, the Dragon spacecraft not only survived the second stage event, but also continued to communicate until the vehicle dropped below the horizon and out of range.

 
SpaceX has led the investigation efforts with oversight from the FAA and participation from NASA and the U.S. Air Force. Review of the flight data proved challenging both because of the volume of data —over 3,000 telemetry channels as well as video and physical debris—and because the key events happened very quickly. 

 
From the first indication of an issue to loss of all telemetry was just 0.893 seconds. Over the last few weeks, engineering teams have spent thousands of hours going through the painstaking process of matching up data across rocket systems down to the millisecond to understand that final 0.893 seconds prior to loss of telemetry.

 
At this time, the investigation remains ongoing, as SpaceX and the investigation team continue analyzing significant amounts of data and conducting additional testing that must be completed in order to fully validate these conclusions. However, given the currently available data, we believe we have identified a potential cause.

 
Preliminary analysis suggests the overpressure event in the upper stage liquid oxygen tank was initiated by a flawed piece of support hardware (a “strut”) inside the second stage. Several hundred struts fly on every Falcon 9 vehicle, with a cumulative flight history of several thousand. The strut that we believe failed was designed and material certified to handle 10,000 lbs of force, but failed at 2,000 lbs, a five-fold difference. Detailed close-out photos of stage construction show no visible flaws or damage of any kind.

 
In the case of the CRS-7 mission, it appears that one of these supporting pieces inside the second stage failed approximately 138 seconds into flight. The pressurization system itself was performing nominally, but with the failure of this strut, the helium system integrity was breached. This caused a high pressure event inside the second stage within less than one second and the stage was no longer able to maintain its structural integrity. 

 
Despite the fact that these struts have been used on all previous Falcon 9 flights and are certified to withstand well beyond the expected loads during flight, SpaceX will no longer use these particular struts for flight applications. In addition, SpaceX will implement additional hardware quality audits throughout the vehicle to further ensure all parts received perform as expected per their certification documentation.
As noted above, these conclusions are preliminary. Our investigation is ongoing until we exonerate all other aspects of the vehicle, but at this time, we expect to return to flight this fall and fly all the customers we intended to fly in 2015 by end of year.  

 
While the CRS-7 loss is regrettable, this review process invariably will, in the end, yield a safer and more reliable launch vehicle for all of our customers, including NASA, the United States Air Force, and commercial purchasers of launch services. Critically, the vehicle will be even safer as we begin to carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station in 2017.

 
This message was sent from SpaceX to xxx It was sent from: emily@spacex.com, SpaceX, 1 Rocket Road, Hawthorne, CA 90250. If you would like to modify or update your subscription, please do so via the “Manage Your Subscription ” link below. For more information on SpaceX, please visit http://www.spacex.com

How We’ll Live on Mars

In the same way we can draw a line from Wernher von Braun straight to Apollo 11, when a spaceship carrying astronauts lands on Mars in 2027, we may well be able to draw a line straight to Elon Musk—because that Mars lander will most likely have the SpaceX logo on it.

Musk is arguably the most visionary entrepreneur of our time. Seven years after he quit a PhD program in applied physics at Stanford University, he sold his share of PayPal and Zip2, companies he cofounded, giving him a reported net worth of $324 million. He rolled his money into Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX), a company he founded in 2002, then went on to cofound Tesla Motors, which is poised to revolutionize the automobile world. He is a devout environmentalist and proponent of solar energy—his Teslas can literally be driven on sunlight. In 2013, Musk proposed a unique high-speed transportation system in a vacuum tube called Hyperloop, which he put into the public domain. A Hyperloop tube running between Los Angeles and San Francisco could reduce travel time to thirty minutes.

Musk formed SpaceX just when it seemed as if NASA was slipping into irrelevance. Like von Braun, he is a transplant, in this case from South Africa and Canada. Musk, like von Braun, is a perfectionist who is convinced of his vision and determined to achieve it. And as with von Braun, no one seems to understand how serious Musk is when he says we must get to Mars. Against all advice and all odds, he has managed to do the impossible: find enough capital to finance Space Exploration Technologies and to keep it afloat and moving forward even when its first three rockets blew up. Along the way, he has raised a truly revolutionary question: Who needs NASA to get to Mars?

 
Excerpt From: Petranek, Stephen. “How We’ll Live on Mars.” TED Conferences LLC. iBooks. 

This material may be protected by copyright.

 
Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itun.es/us/5DUPZ.l

Also available from Amazon and all of the usual sources.

  

 
I am currently reading … and listening … to this book (via Audible.com).

Will the 3rd time be the charm?

THE WHY AND HOW OF LANDING ROCKETS (SpaceX)

http://www.spacex.com/news/2015/06/24/why-and-how-landing-rockets

Even given everything we’ve learned, the odds of succeeding on our third attempt to land on a drone ship (a new one named “Of Course I Still Love You”) are uncertain, but tune in here this Sunday as we try to get one step closer toward a fully and rapidly reusable rocket.

Stay tuned …

Escargot

After reading I want x2, wherein I comment on test driving the bullet-fast Tesla Model S P85D, my lifelong friend emailed me and commented:

Just be glad that you can’t afford it, because everybody will call you a snail …

… they’ll say “Look at that escargot!”

🙂

Now you know where my pun-ishing skills come from.

X Marks the Spot

Via email from


 

X Marks the Spot:  Falcon 9 Attempts Ocean Platform Landing

During our next flight, SpaceX will attempt the precision landing of a Falcon 9 first stage for the first time, on a custom-built ocean platform known as the autonomous spaceport drone ship. While SpaceX has already demonstrated two successful soft water landings, executing a precision landing on an unanchored ocean platform is significantly more challenging.

The odds of success are not great—perhaps 50% at best. However this test represents the first in a series of similar tests that will ultimately deliver a fully reusable Falcon 9 first stage.

Video of previous first stage reentry test with soft water landing

 

Returning anything from space is a challenge, but returning a Falcon 9 first stage for a precision landing presents a number of additional hurdles. At 14 stories tall and traveling upwards of 1300 m/s (nearly 1 mi/s), stabilizing the Falcon 9 first stage for reentry is like trying to balance a rubber broomstick on your hand in the middle of a wind storm.

To help stabilize the stage and to reduce its speed, SpaceX relights the engines for a series of three burns. The first burn—the boostback burn—adjusts the impact point of the vehicle and is followed by the supersonic retro propulsion burn that, along with the drag of the atmosphere, slows the vehicle’s speed from 1300 m/s to about 250 m/s. The final burn is the landing burn, during which the legs deploy and the vehicle’s speed is further reduced to around 2 m/s.

Landing legs deployed just before soft water landing in the Atlantic Ocean

To complicate matters further, the landing site is limited in size and not entirely stationary. The autonomous spaceport drone ship is 300 by 100 feet, with wings that extend its width to 170 feet. While that may sound huge at first, to a Falcon 9 first stage coming from space, it seems very small. The legspan of the Falcon 9 first stage is about 70 feet and while the ship is equipped with powerful thrusters to help it stay in place, it is not actually anchored, so finding the bullseye becomes particularly tricky. During previous attempts, we could only expect a landing accuracy of within 10km. For this attempt, we’re targeting a landing accuracy of within 10 meters.

A key upgrade to enable precision targeting of the Falcon 9 all the way to touchdown is the addition of four hypersonic grid fins placed in an X-wing configuration around the vehicle, stowed on ascent and deployed on reentry to control the stage’s lift vector. Each fin moves independently for roll, pitch and yaw, and combined with the engine gimbaling, will allow for precision landing – first on the autonomous spaceport drone ship, and eventually on land.

Similar steerable fins can also be seen in this test video:

The attempt to recover the first stage will begin after stage separation, once the Dragon spacecraft is safely on its way to orbit. The concept of landing a rocket on an ocean platform has been around for decades but it has never been attempted. Though the probability of success on this test is low, we expect to gather critical data to support future landing testing.

A fully and rapidly reusable rocket—which has never been done before—is the pivotal breakthrough needed to substantially reduce the cost of space access. While most rockets are designed to burn up on reentry, SpaceX is building rockets that not only withstand reentry, but also land safely on Earth to be refueled and fly again. Over the next year, SpaceX has at least a dozen launches planned with a number of additional testing opportunities. Given what we know today, we believe it is quite likely that with one of those flights we will not only be able to land a Falcon 9 first stage, but also re-fly.

http://www.spacex.com

The Near Future of Space Travel

An Essay

This week saw the crash and burn of two commercial space ships; one manned, the other unmanned. Regardless of how commonplace spaceflight seems to have become it is still dangerous business. As Elon Musk quipped when a SpaceX test vehicle self-destructed (as intended) when something went haywire over the McGregor Texas test site, “Rockets are tricky“.

Continue reading The Near Future of Space Travel

100th Merlin 1D Engine

In stark* contrast to both Orbital Sciences and United Launch Alliance, both of which use Russian-made main engines, 100% of SpaceX vehicles, are designed, manufactured, assembled, and tested in the U.S. at SpaceX-owned or leased facilities. SpaceX recently announced completion of it 100th Merlin 1D engine in two years.

Continue reading 100th Merlin 1D Engine

Russian rocket engines suspected in launch blast

http://m.phys.org/news/2014-10-russian-rocket-blast.html

The AJ26 engines—modified and tested in the U.S.—originally were designed for the massive Soviet rockets meant to take cosmonauts to the moon during the late 1960s.

The massive explosion of the Russian Moon rocket dashed the Russian bid for the Moon. Faulty AJ26 engines … the same used on the Antares booster … most likely caused the Russian Moon rocket explosion. [my comment]

In 2012, SpaceX’s billionaire founder and CEO, Elon Musk, called the Antares rocket “a punchline to a joke” because of the Russian engines. SpaceX, by contrast, makes its own rocket parts.

“I mean they start with engines that were literally made in the ’60s and, like, packed away in Siberia somewhere,” Musk said in an interview with Wired magazine.

Elon Musk

is the next Steve Jobs. 

There … I said it.

Where to begin? Have you ever watched  a Steve Jobs product unveiling? Watch Elon Musk as he unveils the model D or Dragon V2. They are both on this blog.

Jobs: changed the industry with his first company; Apple.

Musk: changed the industry with his first company; PayPal.

Jobs: was simultaneously CEO of two companies; Apple and Pixar

Musk: is CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, and … Solar City.

Jobs: gave us amazing technology that changed our lives

Musk: electric cars, coast to coast free charging stations, freakin’ rocket ships, man. How amazing is that!

Jobs: “the journey is the reward”

Musk: “Mars”

I could go one, but you get the idea.

Elon Musk is the next Steve Jobs.


Superchargers come to Europe

Via Twitter

Superchargers come to Europe

 

I was fortunate to travel to Norway (Stavanger) on business several times in the early 2000s. It is an extremely beautiful country. I wish I could afford to live there. I was also fortunate to know a native Norwegian whom I had previously worked with in the States. He was kind enough to take me on a day trip to the Norwegian country side. I was amazed that most of the back roads are effectively one lane wide, as can be seen in the video.

See also SUPERCHARGER

A Brief History of Mars

Copyright © 2014 by Christian Bergman, All rights reserved.

All people, places, and events are fictional … except when they aren’t.

• • •

In the distant past, a forgotten shepherd stares up at the sky, studying the bright red dot that drifts night to night among the background of stars.

20140805-203000-73800544.jpg

Continue reading A Brief History of Mars

We Choose To Go To The Moon

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

President John F. Kennedy, September 12, 1962, speaking to incoming freshman students at Rice University, Houston, Texas

Continue reading We Choose To Go To The Moon

SpaceX Soft Lands Falcon 9

SpaceX Soft Lands Falcon 9 Rocket First Stage

IMG_2991.PNG

Following last week’s successful launch of six ORBCOMM satellites, the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage reentered Earth’s atmosphere and soft landed in the Atlantic Ocean. This test confirms that the Falcon 9 booster is able to consistently reenter from space at hypersonic velocity, restart main engines twice, deploy landing legs and touch down at near zero velocity.

 

After landing, the vehicle tipped sideways as planned to its final water safing state in a nearly horizontal position. The water impact caused loss of hull integrity, but we received all the necessary data to achieve a successful landing on a future flight. Going forward, we are taking steps to minimize the build up of ice and spots on the camera housing in order to gather improved video on future launches.

At this point, we are highly confident of being able to land successfully on a floating launch pad or back at the launch site and refly the rocket with no required refurbishment. However, our next couple launches are for very high velocity geostationary satellite missions, which don’t allow enough residual propellant for landing. In the longer term, missions like that will fly on Falcon Heavy, but until then Falcon 9 will need to fly in expendable mode.

We will attempt our next water landing on flight 13 of Falcon 9, but with a low probability of success. Flights 14 and 15 will attempt to land on a solid surface with an improved probability of success.

 

This message was sent from SpaceX to […]. It was sent from: […], SpaceX, 1 Rocket Road, Hawthorne, CA 90250. For more information on SpaceX, please visit http://www.spacex.com

Tesla Recruiting US Vets to Build Cars

Click the image below to read the entire article at Green Car Reports.

IMG_2922.PNG

Quotes from the article:

The Silicon Valley electric carmaker is poised to become a leading employer of veterans, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Tesla now has more than 6,000 employees, of whom 300 are veterans. A further 600 veterans are “in the hiring pipeline,” according to the company.

Tesla […] has made Veterans Day a company-wide paid holiday.

Read the entire article at Green Car Reports.

Did I mention that Elon Musk is my hero?

SpaceX F9R Fin Test

F9R 1000m Fin Flight | Onboard Cam and Wide Shot

From the YouTube details section:

Jun 19, 2014
Video of Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) during a 1000m test flight at our rocket development facility in McGregor, TX. This flight was our first test of a set of steerable fins that provide control of the rocket during the fly back portion of return. The fins deploy approximately a minute and 15 seconds into the flight, and return to their original position just prior to landing. The F9R testing program is the next step towards reusability following completion of the Grasshopper program last year. Early flights of F9R will take off with legs fixed in the down position, however we will soon transition to liftoff with legs stowed against the side of the rocket with leg extension just before landing. Future test flights of F9R at our New Mexico facility will include higher altitudes, allow us to prove unpowered guidance and to prove out landing cases that are more flight-like.

 

See also

SpaceX Falcon9

F9R First Flight Test

744

SpaceX RTLS

SpaceX Launch LIVE

UPDATE

Technical problems scrub SpaceX launch attempt

An issue with pressures in the Falcon 9 rocket’s upper stage propellant tanks resulted in a scrub today. […] awaiting confirmation on timing of the next launch attempt, possibly within 24 hours.

Source http://www.floridatoday.com/

😦

===============================

Screen shots from email (the links don’t work, but touching either of the images will take you to the webcast sight).

20140620-113841-41921370.jpg
20140620-113908-41948679.jpg

Elon Musk: an exceptional innovator

My hero 🙂

World Of Innovations

Elon Musk

Elon Musk is the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla. In these two companies, products manufactured have never been proposed before. For SpaceX (USA), the company is able to sell a rocket launch for satellites for 12000 dollars / kg as cost for Ariane 5 (Europa) is 23000 dollars / kg and for Proton (Russia), 18000 dollars / kg.

As ILIAD for French Telecommunication, SpaceX is completely redefine the market of space rocket launch. He obliges restructuring Safran (Ariane) into Airbus group in June 2014.

Elon Musk is also the CEO of Telsa, a company selling only electric cars in USA! Elon Musk is a serial creator, as he was the creator of Paypal sold to Ebay in the 2000’s years.

“If a company depends on its patents is that it does not innovate or when it does not innovate fast enough.” It is with these words Elon Musk justifies his…

View original post 127 more words

Mars or bust

The Register is reporting that Elon Musk expects to have space-farers on Mars within the next twelve years. Only when the “interplanetary mission gets underway” does he expect to “float [SpaceX] on Earth-bound stock exchanges.”

Read the full story at The Register.

 

Previously posted videos
In case you missed them … or just want to watch them again.

 

 

I feel like a kid again.

Elon Musk is my hero.

All Our Patent Are Belong To You

I just can’t say it enough …

ELON MUSK IS MY HERO

Today Elon Musk open-sourced all of Tesla’s patents. In a bow to the famous internet meme “All Your Base Are Belong To Us“, Elon Musk released the following blog post (click the title to go to the post):

All Our Patent Are Belong To You
By Elon Musk, CEO

Yesterday, there was a wall of Tesla patents in the lobby of our Palo Alto headquarters. That is no longer the case. They have been removed, in the spirit of the open source movement, for the advancement of electric vehicle technology.

Tesla Motors was created to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport. If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles, but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal. Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.

When I started out with my first company, Zip2, I thought patents were a good thing and worked hard to obtain them. And maybe they were good long ago, but too often these days they serve merely to stifle progress, entrench the positions of giant corporations and enrich those in the legal profession, rather than the actual inventors. After Zip2, when I realized that receiving a patent really just meant that you bought a lottery ticket to a lawsuit, I avoided them whenever possible.

At Tesla, however, we felt compelled to create patents out of concern that the big car companies would copy our technology and then use their massive manufacturing, sales and marketing power to overwhelm Tesla. We couldn’t have been more wrong. The unfortunate reality is the opposite: electric car programs (or programs for any vehicle that doesn’t burn hydrocarbons) at the major manufacturers are small to non-existent, constituting an average of far less than 1% of their total vehicle sales.

At best, the large automakers are producing electric cars with limited range in limited volume. Some produce no zero emission cars at all.

Given that annual new vehicle production is approaching 100 million per year and the global fleet is approximately 2 billion cars, it is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis. By the same token, it means the market is enormous. Our true competition is not the small trickle of non-Tesla electric cars being produced, but rather the enormous flood of gasoline cars pouring out of the world’s factories every day.

We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform.

Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined competitor, but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers. We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.

20140513-150059-54059392.jpg

Toyota to buy Tesla?

First clue …

20140514-002345-1425957.jpg

Touch the image above to read the full article.

The above article recounts that Toyota already owns shares in Tesla and sold Tesla the plant where the Model S is made. Furthermore Tesla provides the entire electric drivetrain for the Rav4 EV, a “compliance car” sold only in California to satisfy regulations requiring auto manufactures sell a certain number of zero-emission vehicles. Tesla expects to finish supplying Toyota this year.

Continue reading Toyota to buy Tesla?