Tag Archives: Falcon 9

FH Launch in (( STEREO ))

This is really cool. It’s true – the sound is even more mind blowing than the imagery.

Listen with headphones.

https://youtu.be/ImoQqNyRL8Y

But … as impressive as the sound of the video above is with headphones on … you still miss the full body sensation of your innards vibrating from the low frequency rumble. Perhaps listening with headphones AND a really powerful sub-woofer?

360 Launch Video

Everyday Astronaut (Tim Dodd) has posted his 360 degree video of his experience three miles away from the Falcon Heavy launch. He is standing exactly where I was at the final Saturn V launch of Skylab. This is very nostalgic for me and I understand the emotions he must have been feeling.

You can watch it here in full 360 degrees: https://youtu.be/tBhuSTXMCaI *

Tim is doing a fantastic job covering SpaceX and spaceflight in general. His videos are simultaneously highly informative – and – entertaining! His enthusiasm is contagious.

Please check out Tim’s home page (https://everydayastronaut.com) and his YouTube channel.

You can support him via Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/EverydayAstronaut)

Also be sure to check out his online shop (https://everydayastronaut.com/shop/)

If you have not already done so, check out A Blast (off) From My Past  for an accounting of my experience at the Saturn V launch, some 45 years ago.

Related: https://contrafactual.com/2018/02/06/a-blast-off-from-my-past-2/

* I tried to embed the video, but WordPress and/or iOS Safari wouldn’t support 360 in the embedded version.

Synchronized Landing

Unless you have been living under a rock, you now know that yesterday SpaceX accomplished something spectacular. That being the launch and partially successful landing of the Falcon Heavy boosters and the delivery of “Starman” in Elon Musk’s vintage cherry red Tesla Roadster. Both side boosters landed successfully back at the Cape as shown below. Unfortunately the core section failed to initiate the final landing burn and crashed next to the recovery drone ship. YouTube, Reddit, and Twitter are replete with coverage and discussion.

I have selected a few choice (short) videos below for your enjoyments.

Note that even though the bottom videos from the returning side boosters shown above are supposed to be from each individual booster, someone goofed and we see the same video stream displayed on the left and right. SpaceX corrected this with a later video, but that is not currently available on YouTube.

Below is one of the better spectator videos of the landings. (There are many)

Let the New Space Race begin!

A Blast (off) From My Past

In honor of today’s Falcon Heavy Launch

Originally published https://contrafactual.com/2017/02/19/a-blast-off-from-my-past/

The image below is a screen capture from one the videos in the previous post on today’s SpaceX CRS-10 launch.


Life comes full circle. In a much earlier post I described what it was like to be standing at the water’s edge in the foreground at the last ever Saturn V launch.

  • The Saturn V F1 engines were the most powerful rocket engines ever made. Each one produced over 1.5 million pounds of thrust. The five F1 engines on the Saturn V made it the most powerful launch vehicle ever at over 7.6 million pounds of thrust. Just over forty years ago on May 14, 1973 [almost 44 years as of this writing], I was lucky enough to be among the press and dignitaries sitting on the bleachers or standing in front of the turning basin at the Launch Complex 39 Press Site for the last ever Saturn V launch. I was 19 years old. My best friend’s aunt was a professional photographer. She got each of us a press pass for the launch of the Skylab space station. For a teenage space fan, who had watched every manned launch since Alan Shepard’s first suborbital Mercury launch, this was truly “dying and going to heaven”. For several days before the launch we got to go on exclusive tours of the launch site. We were able to see Walter Cronkite’s broadcast booth. NASA loaded us up with press packets and thick tomes of specifications. I can not begin to tell you how totally cool this was.


On launch day I was one of the throng of people standing to the left of the countdown clock in the picture above.

  • I was just three miles away from the launch pad. When the engines fired up, the sound of the F1 engines was felt as much as heard. The low base rumbling seemed to reach directly into my chest and vibrate my heart and lungs [dare I say it was nearly orgasmic?]. As the Saturn V rose into the sky, I could smell the burned kerosene of the exhaust as I felt the waves of warm air wafting over me. 
  • This was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The SpaceX image inspired me to search the Internet and YouTube for Skylab launch images. I scored big time. The second image is screen shot from the video below. Back in the day I had a fetish for white jeans (probably expressing my inner John Lennon). Trust me – I am in there somewhere.

Full video from 1973

https://youtu.be/JzCXYd2v3xE

The Internet is amazing. Welcome to the future.



Links

https://contrafactual.com/2013/07/20/apollo-11-main-engines-found/

SpaceX 2018

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.

SpaceX Texas

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.

SpaceX OTV-5

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.

 

 

Side note: the contract to launch OTV-5 was awarded to SpaceX directly, without bid

SpaceX Press Kit

List of Falcon 9 Launches

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

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Falcon_9_and_Falcon_Heavy_launches

 

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)

 

    Just sayin’

    80 Seconds

    Watch (almost) EVERY SpaceX Falcon 9 landing attempted … in 80 seconds 

    https://youtu.be/Gum4EVbg7_0

    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?

     

    See also

    https://contrafactual.com/2017/06/25/spacex-iridium-2/

    https://contrafactual.com/2017/06/23/bulgariasat-1/

    https://contrafactual.com/2017/06/13/yaf9lv/

    https://contrafactual.com/2017/06/07/crs-11-falcon-9-landing-close-up/

    https://contrafactual.com/2017/06/04/crs-11-falcon-9-landing/

    https://contrafactual.com/2017/05/01/best-footage-ever/

    SpaceX – Iridium 2

    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.

     

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomous_spaceport_drone_ship (ASDS)

    http://www.teslarati.com/spacex-set-second-weekend-launch-new-titanium-grid-fins-tested/

    http://www.spacex.com/news/2017/06/24/iridium-2-press-kit

    BulgariaSat-1

    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.

    Link to the Press Kit

     

    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!

    PS


    CRS-11 Falcon 9 Landing

    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.

    CRS-11 ISS Resupply

    SCRUBBED DUE TO WEATHER 

    From http://www.spacex.com/webcast


       

    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

    Click to access crs11finalpresskit.pdf

    Launch windows:

    • Primary Thursday June 1 at 5:55pm EDT (21:55 UTC) 
    • Backup Saturday June 3 at 5:07pm EDT (21:07 UTC)

    Falcon 9 Re-entry … How it survives

    The video below does an excellent job of explaining exactly how the Falcon 9 survives re-entry

    The heat of re-entry is due to the compression of the atmosphere ahead of the re-entering vehicle, NOT air friction. Think of a diesel engine that works by highly compressing the air in the cylinder above the ignition temperature of the diesel fuel which is then injected at maximum compression and temperature.

    Credit XKCD

    Latest SpaceX Mission Notes

    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 …

    Second time is the charm

    SpaceX successfully launches CRS-10 from LC-39A | Falcon 9 first stage lands at LZ-1 

    Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Airforce Station

     

    Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A, the southern most of the two most northerly pads) with SpaceX modifications 


     


    Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1 formerly LC-13 midway down ICBM road )


    LC-39A launch

     

    Aerial view of LZ-1 landing

     

    Full coverage with some SpaceX provided historical clips

     
    Links

    Aerial snapshots from Apple Maps (TOMTOM)

    Welcome to the Future – the revolution will be Tweeted 



    Reusability | SpaceX

    SpaceX will be returning to flight on January 8th.

    From http://www.spacex.com/news/2016/09/01/anomaly-updates

    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.

    Enjoy …

    I never get tired of watching this. It 60s Sci-Fi realized at last.

    Related

    https://contrafactual.com/2016/12/26/iridium-next/

    Falcon 9

    OMG I am just a little kid in old man’s body. Tears are running down my cheeks as I watch this. It is like being back in the 60s watching the moon launches or 2001 A Space Odyssey. I have always been very emotional about spaceflight (and music).

    Less than four years. I have been blogging on SpaceX since the inception of this blog in 2013.

    People of SpaceX and Elon Musk … thank you for a great ride!

     

    … sticks the landing

    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 

    Elon Explains

    … 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:

    http://www.spacex.com/news/2015/12/21/background-tonights-launch

    OCTO X Whiskey Review

    OCTO X
    08.8/ 2064 PPM
    88% ABV

    From the website:

    Peated to an exospheric 2064 PPM, eight times that of the previous record holder OCTOMORE 06.3/, this extraordinary dram embodies its Islay origins and carries its phenol count like a Falcon soaring into the sky.

    TASTING NOTES

    Character
    Mind blowing in potency with perfect balance. The texture is like molten gold straight out of the furnace, the taste rich with an intense character that can only be found on Islay and the Atlantic beaches of sunny Florida.

    Colour
    Vibrant yellow, blinding in its brightness. 

    Nose
    It opens with a roar of ignition, thundering pulsing waves of searing heat driving a scorching hurricane onto the beach and incinerating the wild plants before it. Notes of charred concrete and superheated rebar drift across the nose, followed by an onslaught of smoke as if all of the peat bogs of Scotland were ablaze at once. Ozone and a hint of unburned kerosene dance in perfect harmony with the strong uplifting peatiness of the Islay grown barley. It is literally unlike anything else.

    Palate 
    Heat. Heat and flame and more heat. Heat infused with smoke and heat and more smoke. The lips and tongue are reminded of the sensation of smoking a pipe – an exhaust pipe. As the heat builds it is accompanied by the spontaneous detonation of road flares and flash bangs. It is a taste like no other, a whiskey on fire, uncut, unfiltered, unthrottled. This is scorchery.

    Finish
    Long and hard. The ears continue to ring long after lips, tongue, and throat have lost the ability to feel pain. It evokes memories of every rocket that ever exploded on the launch pad or during flight. Join us as we look to the past while rocketing into the future.

    Mood
    The heat and smoke just keep increasing to the point where it is driving you crazy with joy and you want to call the paramedics and tell them what is happening. Relax and keep it to yourself – no one will believe you. 

    • • •

    OCTO X is the result of a unique collaboration between Bruichladdich – the makers of OCTOMORE and SpaceX – the worlds preeminent commercial space launch company. After traditional roasting at Bruichladdich’s Port Charlotte distillery, the malt is flown by chartered private jet (flying non-stop zero-G parabolas) to the SpaceX launch facility at Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on the South Florida East Coast. Here it is lovingly shoveled into the flame trough of the SLC 40 launch pad for a second roasting during the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket. 

    After launch, the roasted malt is then returned to Islay for additional roasting, fermentation, and distillation. For five long slow years it rests in octuple-charred barrels of American White Oak breathing in the sea air of Islay and mellowing the fires of its birth. It is then “finished” in the reclaimed fuel tanks of a used Falcon 9 first stage.

    The name OCTO X pays homage to the Octomore farm from which its barley was produced, the OCTOWEB engine arrangement of the latest generation on Falcon 9 rocket, and of course SpaceX without who’s cooperation this unique dram would not have been possible.

    Sláinte

      

     

     • • •

     

    This is of course a work of pure fiction. Parody. Satire. 

    As you know I love peated whisky. The smokier the better. The Islay whiskies are the smokiest of all. My whisky cabinet is replete with a variety of Islay whiskies. When I can find it (and afford it) one of my favorites is Bruichladdich OCTOMORE. I am also a big fan of Elon Musk and SpaceX. A quick search of this blog will reveal many posts covering Bruichladdich, OCTOMORE, and SpaceX.

    While researching my post on OCTOMORE 06.3/ 258 PPM I ran across a YouTube review of OCTOMORE by someone who clearly did NOT like peated whisky. That got me thinking about writing a review for a fictitious peated whisky that was so clearly over the top that even peat lovers would get a chuckle out of it. OCTO X is this whisky.

    This post is a tribute to Bruichladdich and SpaceX, whose forward thinking are propelling us into the 21st century and beyond.

    See also  OCTOMORE 06.3/ 258 PPM