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Thread: SpaceX COTS-2/3 Flight

  1. #181
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    Drat, I got mixed up on the time and missed watching it live, but great to hear.

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  2. #182
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    Great launch. Watched it live.

  3. #183
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    So once Dragon gets to ISS, that's how many suppliers it has?

    Dragon (USA), ATV (Europe), Progress (Russia), HTV (Japan).

  4. #184
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    I really hope it will get at least one more supplier this year - Orbital/Antares/Cygnus

  5. #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zvezdichko View Post
    I really hope it will get at least one more supplier this year - Orbital/Antares/Cygnus
    According to thier updates, I doubt it. Even the demo flight has been pushed 6 months to the end of 2012. And; that's only since the update 6 months ago.

    Look how long it's been between the Dragon rendezvous mission and this actual mission. That should also give some additional insight as to how long it really will be.

    I do wish them well though. I never realized they were as far along as they are.

  6. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    According to thier updates, I doubt it. Even the demo flight has been pushed 6 months to the end of 2012. And; that's only since the update 6 months ago.

    Look how long it's been between the Dragon rendezvous mission and this actual mission. That should also give some additional insight as to how long it really will be.

    I do wish them well though. I never realized they were as far along as they are.
    The latest update is from May 2012 and according to the flight schedule they posted in April they are aiming for two flights this year, rocket test flight in third quarter, COTS flight in the fourth. Strikes me as seriously ambitious but at this point they are playing serious catchup.

  7. #187
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    Got to see a video of the launch, is there anything showing the Dragon in orbit? Just have to hope all goes well the next couple of days and all those artists impressions of Dragon rendezvousing can be replaced with real pictures.

  8. #188
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    Here is the schedule, from the SpaceX website
    May 22/Launch Day: SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launches a Dragon spacecraft into orbit from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
    May 23: Dragon orbits Earth as it travels toward the International Space Station.
    May 24: Dragon’s sensors and flight systems are subjected to a series of complicated tests to determine if the vehicle is ready to berth with the space station; these tests include maneuvers and systems checks in which the vehicle comes within 1.5 miles of the station.
    May 25: NASA decides if Dragon is allowed to attempt berthing with the station. If so, Dragon approaches. It is captured by station’s robotic arm and attached to the station, a feat that requires extreme precision.
    May 25 - 31: Astronauts open Dragon’s hatch, unload supplies and fill Dragon with return cargo.
    May 31: After approximately two weeks, Dragon is detached from the station and returns to Earth, landing in the Pacific, hundreds of miles west of Southern California.
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  9. #189
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    Was there any effort to recover the first stage? I seem to recall this is part of SpaceX's long term plan.

    BTW: I took a look at the SpaceX website, and that Falcon-heavy, with 27 engines looks...um, interesting.
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  10. #190
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    Not this time, no - they didn't pack chutes into the first stage to attempt a recovery.

  11. #191
    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
    Got to see a video of the launch, is there anything showing the Dragon in orbit? Just have to hope all goes well the next couple of days and all those artists impressions of Dragon rendezvousing can be replaced with real pictures.
    You can see some SpaceX videos of 2nd stage and Dragon separation here.
    http://vimeo.com/spacexlaunch/videos
    According to the SpaceX site, they will be adding more as the mission progresses.

  12. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by KB73RR View Post
    You can see some SpaceX videos of 2nd stage and Dragon separation here.
    http://vimeo.com/spacexlaunch/videos
    According to the SpaceX site, they will be adding more as the mission progresses.
    Thanks!

  13. #193
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    I can't wait to see the footage from the ISS crew as it approaches!
    In space PR and Politics are as important as engineering and science. And no-one can hear you screaming about it.

    "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

    Exploring other worlds with people is a great idea, but look at what has happened since the end of Apollo: How much could unmanned exploration (and astronomy) have discovered with all that money blown on paper rockets?

  14. #194
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    Dang, I missed it. Well, glad it's up. Huzzah Space-X!

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    I saw the replay on the news while eating breakfast this morning. The other kids at the table were mildly amused by how excited I was. Oh, PolySci majors...

  16. #196
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    I tried to see it from the air, but being over Turkey at the time, the planet blocked my view. Where's the Illudium?

  17. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    I tried to see it from the air, but being over Turkey at the time, the planet blocked my view. Where's the Illudium?
    Right next to the electronic brain, Marvin.

  18. #198
    More SpaceX links. They are very active on the social media sites. There are some nice new on orbit pics on their Facebook page.
    http://twitter.com/spacex
    http://twitter.com/elonmusk
    https://www.facebook.com/SpaceX
    https://plus.google.com/104512038508075599339/posts
    http://www.youtube.com/spacexchannel

  19. #199
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    Mission briefing starts at 10 EDT

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    I found the press conference very informative and the questions from the press were very technical.

  21. #201
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrkeller View Post
    ...and the questions from the press were very technical.
    Of course. They need to be able to dumb it down and find the parts they can highlight that could doom the mission.

  22. #202
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    So its go for tomorrow:

    SpaceX Dragon set for rendezvous with station

    And there's a comparison at the bottom of the article between the SpaceX and OSC vehicles.

  23. #203
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    Good luck for the berthing...

    I hope NASA doesn't fumble around like they do with the life stream.

  24. #204
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    O.k. Who here knows a lot about ballistics and trajectory? I watched the launch of the Falcon from my back yard. I've seen in the neighborhood of 60 or so Shuttle launches, and am quite familiar with the way it would gently transition from a vertical takeoff, to eventually a near parallel course with regard to the horizon as it climbed higher. When I watched the Falcon launch, it appeared to climb VERY steeply for the first minute and a half (Just guessing in the 80 degree range), and then suddenly in pitched over to a very shallow climb. The 'right turn' (viewed from the south) was so sudden and extreme, I thought it had lost control. Does anyone know why the trajectory would have such a profile? I've considered the possibility that it was an optical illusion, but as I said, I've seen a bunch. I almost have to believe what I saw. Does anyone have an explanation that would make sense of what I witnessed?

  25. #205
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    Today's the day?

  26. #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polyrealastic Observer View Post
    O.k. Who here knows a lot about ballistics and trajectory? I watched the launch of the Falcon from my back yard. I've seen in the neighborhood of 60 or so Shuttle launches, and am quite familiar with the way it would gently transition from a vertical takeoff, to eventually a near parallel course with regard to the horizon as it climbed higher. When I watched the Falcon launch, it appeared to climb VERY steeply for the first minute and a half (Just guessing in the 80 degree range), and then suddenly in pitched over to a very shallow climb. The 'right turn' (viewed from the south) was so sudden and extreme, I thought it had lost control. Does anyone know why the trajectory would have such a profile? I've considered the possibility that it was an optical illusion, but as I said, I've seen a bunch. I almost have to believe what I saw. Does anyone have an explanation that would make sense of what I witnessed?

    Without knowing any details of the trajectory, I have two guesses. One possibility is that it was doing it to get above as much of the atmosphere as possible before accelerating significantly to avoid as much atmospheric drag as possible. Another possibility is that it was flying a lofted trajectory to orbit. This is common among vehicles with a somewhat underpowered second stage - if the first stage intentionally gives the vehicle a fairly substantial (larger than usual) upward velocity, the second stage engine can be smaller than usual, and the vehicle's upward momentum after first stage burnout will keep it ascending for a while until the second stage has burned off enough fuel to have a decent thrust to weight ratio. This allows for a smaller second stage engine and less second stage structural mass. However, it is somewhat bad for a manned flight, as during this "lofted" portion of the trajectory, a launch abort would involve a very steep reentry and thus high G forces for astronauts. Given that the Falcon 9 was designed from the start with manned spaceflight in mind, my guess would be that it was to avoid lower atmospheric aerodynamic drag, but it is possible that it flies a lofted trajectory for unmanned flights only (it might provide a payload benefit, allowing for more mass to orbit than the depressed trajectory flown on most manned missions).

  27. #207
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    Spaceflight Now: "Astronaut Don Pettit will grapple the Dragon at about 7:59 a.m. EDT (1159 GMT)."
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  28. #208
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    150 meters and hodling - live video @ http://www.slashgear.com/spacex-drag...live-25230014/

  29. #209
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    Resuming approach. Moving from 150 meters to 30, etc 30 minutes.

  30. #210
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    Awsome. What a awsome sight. I bet the people at SpaceX love this!
    Seeing their Dragon spacecraft in orbit closing in on the ISS in this way!

    Go SpaceX.

    -- Dennis

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