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Old 11-23-2013, 03:44 PM   #141
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SpaceX will make its first attempt to put a satellite in to a geosynchronous orbit tomorrow. It will require a restart of its second stage engine, if I read this right. They have not yet done that in space.
Today is Sunday? I never know..

Why Monday's Sat Launch Is So Crucial for SpaceX
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Old 11-23-2013, 04:06 PM   #142
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Today is Sunday? I never know..

Just Skyped with my son, and it was Sunday for him...
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Old 11-23-2013, 04:11 PM   #143
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Just Skyped with my son, and it was Sunday for him...
Thanks. I'll need to reset my calendar...
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Old 11-23-2013, 04:19 PM   #144
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Thanks. I'll need to reset my calendar...
Or, just hop over to Japan...
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Old 11-28-2013, 04:27 PM   #145
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The SpaceX launch is live here launch is 5:39 PM EST
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Old 11-28-2013, 05:58 PM   #146
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The made two attempts to launch the Falcon 9 today. The first one they actually shut down the engine after it had started. The restarted the countdown and tried again about 40 minutes later. I think that is remarkable, they could do that. Elon tweeted there was less than 50%, they'd make it through the diagnostics. They aborted again and will drain the fuel and inspect the engine.

I guess there is a reason they call something hard "rocket science".
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Old 11-28-2013, 06:21 PM   #147
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Successes like the Curiosity Mars rover make it look easy. It isn't. Challenger blew up in part because they made the launch decision while impatient.
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Old 11-28-2013, 10:41 PM   #148
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We were able to go on a tour of SpaceX yesterday (DIL works there) and met some of the people in her department. It's a pretty amazing company. We've also been watching the webcasts on the pending launch. Thought sure it was going to go today but the computer aborted the launch about 1 or 2 seconds into the burn while it was still contained. Then the second attempt was aborted at just under a minute left. I bet it's going to be a few more days before they schedule a retry.
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Old 12-03-2013, 11:39 PM   #149
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Well the 3rd time is charm. This time they managed to successful but the SES communication satellite in a geosynchronous orbit with no problems.

Quote:
SpaceX's strategy is to entice customers with lower prices—and simultaneously faster launch tempos—than the incumbents. "All of the commercial [satellite] operators have been waiting for something like SpaceX to come along," according to industry consultant Roger Rusch of TelAstra Inc.

Martin Halliwell, chief technical officer of SES, the world's second-largest commercial-satellite operator, earlier said SpaceX's drive for market share "is really a game changer" that is bound to "shake the industry to its roots."
SpaceX emphasizes that it developed the original Falcon 9 for under $300 million—or roughly half of the Pentagon's overall cost to launch a single spy satellite on the heavy-lift version of the Delta IV rocket initially developed by Boeing.
Industry officials estimate SES got a discount from the roughly $60 million SpaceX officials have talked about as the typical price tag for such a launch. Many industry officials, though, predict SpaceX's prices eventually will climb to about $100 million per launch
More here

It never occurred to me that commercial satellite launch was an industry that was overdue for a shake up.. Especially by a start up.
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:35 AM   #150
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Well the 3rd time is charm. This time they managed to successful but the SES communication satellite in a geosynchronous orbit with no problems.


More here

It never occurred to me that commercial satellite launch was an industry that was overdue for a shake up.. Especially by a start up.
Couldn't get in on WSJ.
Link for info on the launch.
SpaceX reaches milestone in rocket launch from Cape Canaveral - latimes.com
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:04 AM   #151
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...

It never occurred to me that commercial satellite launch was an industry that was overdue for a shake up.. Especially by a start up.
I would have thought so too, but I heard a podcast/interview with Musk a few years back. He talked about how the shuttle still used those big desk-sized Ampex tape drives for memory. NASA had to machine the repair parts, as they were out of production for years. He said a RAID configuration of a few thumb drives would out-perform those tape drives at a tiny, tiny fraction of the cost and weight. But it takes too much time/effort to qualify replacements through the NASA bureaucracy, so they still used the tape drives.

So now I can see where there is room for a start-up. It's hard to fathom ll the work and coordination to pull this off. Now where's that Hyperloop!

-ERD50
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:17 AM   #152
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I would have thought so too, but I heard a podcast/interview with Musk a few years back. He talked about how the shuttle still used those big desk-sized Ampex tape drives for memory. NASA had to machine the repair parts, as they were out of production for years. He said a RAID configuration of a few thumb drives would out-perform those tape drives at a tiny, tiny fraction of the cost and weight. But it takes too much time/effort to qualify replacements through the NASA bureaucracy, so they still used the tape drives.

So now I can see where there is room for a start-up. It's hard to fathom ll the work and coordination to pull this off. Now where's that Hyperloop!

-ERD50
How true. A buddy worked on shuttle software for 2 years. He managed to get zero changes implemented during that time. His first change was changing 1 instruction. He was too high strung for that many 'code reviews', and QC testing.

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Old 12-04-2013, 12:39 PM   #153
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I heard an interview with an ISS astronaut. He seemed to be quit impressed with the fit and finish of the Space X Dragon craft.

IIRC, Musk made a comment about Hyperloop development to the affect that he did not want to waste time with bureaucratic nonsense.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:27 PM   #154
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Okay so saying this probably won't make me any friends here but I've been disappointed by the lack of coverage in the American media of the landing of the Chinese moon rover.
It strikes me a little as sour grapes. If this had of been a NASA rover landing on the moon after an absence of human activity of 40 years there would be in-depth, non stop streaming coverage.
Think what you will of the Chinese government and how they operate, it is still a staggering achievement. They're only the third country to make an extra-planetary landing and they've built a space program up from nothing in a short period of time.
It probably won't be long before Taikonauts are on the moon as well.
(Granted, the scope of operation for the rover is fairly limited and it did apparently land off of target).
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:05 PM   #155
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Okay so saying this probably won't make me any friends here but I've been disappointed by the lack of coverage in the American media of the landing of the Chinese moon rover.
It strikes me a little as sour grapes. If this had of been a NASA rover landing on the moon after an absence of human activity of 40 years there would be in-depth, non stop streaming coverage.
Think what you will of the Chinese government and how they operate, it is still a staggering achievement. They're only the third country to make an extra-planetary landing and they've built a space program up from nothing in a short period of time.
It probably won't be long before Taikonauts are on the moon as well.
(Granted, the scope of operation for the rover is fairly limited and it did apparently land off of target).
You're disappointed in the lack of coverage in the US about their unmanned landing on the moon almost half a century after we landed men on the moon - and brought them back safely, multiple times?

Old news is always old news...
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:07 PM   #156
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Okay so saying this probably won't make me any friends here but I've been disappointed by the lack of coverage in the American media of the landing of the Chinese moon rover.
It strikes me a little as sour grapes. If this had of been a NASA rover landing on the moon after an absence of human activity of 40 years there would be in-depth, non stop streaming coverage.
Think what you will of the Chinese government and how they operate, it is still a staggering achievement. They're only the third country to make an extra-planetary landing and they've built a space program up from nothing in a short period of time.
It probably won't be long before Taikonauts are on the moon as well.
(Granted, the scope of operation for the rover is fairly limited and it did apparently land off of target).

I agree with you and I am disappointed. I watch the PBS Newshour every night and they have had zero coverage of the landing beyond announcing it. But they have manage to find time to talk about the on going controversy if the airspace over the island in the South China Sea several times.
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:26 PM   #157
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Nobody got killed. Had the Chinese lander killed Gidney and Cloyd, it would have been all over the news!

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Old 12-21-2013, 10:16 AM   #158
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FWIW, the space walk to fix the ISS, is live on NASA TV.

NASA Television | NASA
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:03 PM   #159
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Here is an interesting interview with Gwynne Shotwell the President and Chief Operating Officer of SpaceX.

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Old 01-04-2014, 03:34 PM   #160
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I know this sounds sexist but was anyone else surprised that President of SpaceX was woman? Doing a bit of googling on her. I wasn't surprised that she was High School cheerleader, and still describes herself that way. "Cheerleaders make great sales people" Of course she is also a real engineer and obviously very sharp.

Here is her Ted Talk on STEM and beer.
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