FYI: cislunar “lying between the earth and the moon or the moon’s orbit”
FYI: cislunar “lying between the earth and the moon or the moon’s orbit”
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)
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!
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
… 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:
08.8/ 2064 PPM
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.
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.
Vibrant yellow, blinding in its brightness.
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.
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.
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.
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.
• • •
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.
See also OCTOMORE 06.3/ 258 PPM
Thirty-fourth and Vine
Revolution in progress
Let’s occupy Mars!
But, no air or gasoline …
Use electric cars … 🙂
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, 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
SpaceX launch you up
For complete information about this song, Cinesaurus, lyrics, and other trivia click >> HERE <<
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).
2012 CBS News
This was recorded before the first ISS re-supply mission.
Via Zero-G News
Mathew Travis has done an excellent job of covering this. Check out his complete coverage at
If you watched the previous post, ABORT ABORT ABORT, you should have noticed one of the reasons that SpaceX will be most cost effective (cheaper) commercial space carrier. The Crew Dragon capsule contains the SuperDraco thrusters used both for abort and terrestrial landing. Every other manned system to date with the exception of the Space Shuttle used or uses a disposable abort escape tower. Look at the tower used for Orion. What a monster … and it is thrown away with very launch!
THE WHY AND HOW OF LANDING ROCKETS (SpaceX)
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 …
The post was originally titled Landing Complex 1, however SpaceX now refers to it as Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1).
Maggie asked me where I had been in a comment to the previous post.
Hmm … yeah … well …
Work … home … hospital … doctor appointments … road trip … life.
Mrs was briefly hospitalized due to an MS flare up. Followed by endless doctor appointments.
Despite the drop in the price of oil and the associated domestic oil industry cutbacks and drilling curtailment, I still have a job. Many of my friends and associates weren’t so lucky. Still waiting for the other shoe to fall.
Took a road trip to Denver for a wedding that almost didn’t happen due to a lost pet. Long story.
Saw a big wiener …
Drove through Roswell.
Saw the place I lived in during college. My how it has changed (more on that in a later post).
Ate breakfast near the Denver Capitol.
Drove home through Waco and visited the Texas Ranger Museum then drove out to McGreggor to find the SpaceX test facility.
The guards politely told us to turn around and leave. The guard shack looked new, but they wouldn’t let me take a picture of it or the big SpaceX sign in front of it. Talk about high security. I’ll have to be satisfied with the YouTube tour.
The security was obviously much higher than when this next video was filmed in 2010.
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.
Elon Musk wants to put a million people on Mars.
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“.
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.
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.
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”
I could go one, but you get the idea.
Elon Musk is the next Steve Jobs.
Metal comes in one door.
Rockets go out another.
Via USA Today and YouTube
The SpaceX three engine F9R development rocket exploded during a test today at the McGregor, Texas test facility.
In a post on Twitter, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said: “Three engine F9R Dev1 vehicle auto-terminated during test flight. No injuries or near injuries. Rockets are tricky”
Boeing’s answer to the SpaceX Dragon V2 (although technically unveiled first).
The next space race will be commercial.
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.
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
SpaceX Soft Lands Falcon 9 Rocket First Stage
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
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.
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.
Screen shots from email (the links don’t work, but touching either of the images will take you to the webcast sight).
My hero 🙂
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
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.
EELV: The Right to Compete | SpaceX
On April 28, 2014, SpaceX filed a bid protest in the United States Court of Federal Claims to challenge the U.S. Air Force’s latest Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) contract with United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The long-term contract, which guarantees the purchase of 36 rocket cores from ULA to be used in national security launches, was granted to ULA on a sole-source basis without any competition from other launch providers.
This gives me goosebumps – guess I’m still just a starry-eyed kid from the 60s.
Elon Musk will be known as the “Father of Modern Commercial Space Flight”.
Stay tuned … The future will be
televised on the web.
Elon Musk wins the RD-80 ban by default
From The Telegraph
Click the above image to read full article.
Russia will also ban its rocket engines from being used to launch US military payloads, possibly giving Elon Musk’s SpaceX a chance at the US military launch market currently monopolized by United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint-venture between aeronautics industry leaders Boeing and Lockheed-Martin.
Elon Musk … Mars
Putting the excitement back in space travel