Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Space Transportation Technology

New Photos of SpaceX's Falcon 9 Assembly 122

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the this-is-sorta-like-lame-porn dept.
RobGoldsmith writes "New images are now available of SpaceX's Falcon 9 being assembled. The images are accompanied with a small update from SpaceX. If there are no unexpected delays, it's possible Falcon 9 will be completely integrated by the end of the year. This update shows real flight hardware and really brings the rocket alive. View images of the Falcon 9 nearing completion now!"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

New Photos of SpaceX's Falcon 9 Assembly

Comments Filter:
  • by OglinTatas (710589) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @11:30AM (#26268077)

    as in the end of 2009? or tomorrow? Or somewhere in between, like the Chinese new year or Rosh Hashanah?

  • by inKubus (199753)

    This really shows the power of capitalism in this time of government failing. Yes, although the Congress and administration would like you to believe that the current "crisis" is a result of greed, the bottom line is that the money had to come from someplace, and it came from them. Anyway, by looking at Scaled Composites and SpaceX and seeing what they can do when freed from the binders of government "fairness" (corruption, really, since nothing is truely fair) has simply been fascinating. Space flight i

    • by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowsky@nOsPAm.gmail.com> on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @12:06PM (#26268413) Homepage Journal

      Next time free enterprise puts a man on the moon, you let me know.

      If you capitalists hadn't have f--- up with your stupid lending decisions and dumb investments, there wouldn't be a government bailout now, would there? There was no need for government to momentarily take control of everything, until the people that previously controlled things utterly screwed up.

      • What do you mean by "capitalist"? Someone who has capital (how much?)? Someone who blindly believes in an "ism" which promotes free market as the cure for everything? Someone who generally favours market friendly solutions to economic problems? And the meaning of "free market" have many interpretations too. Especially when applied to the financial sector. At least you didn't use the word globalization... :)
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jcr (53032)

        I've got a bit of news for you, sport. Google for "Federal Reserve", and try to figure out what effect they've had when they made an unlimited amount of credit available at an interest rate below the inflation rate.

        Capitalism didn't get us into this mess. We were regulated into it, just like we were in 1929.

        -jcr

        • by lysergic.acid (845423) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @01:59PM (#26269485) Homepage

          the Federal Reserve had nothing to do with predatory lending practices (which had been going on in the credit industry long before the mortgage crisis). and for the most part, the investment banking industry has been self-regulated--which is an inherent conflict of interest.

          do a little research into the history of industry regulations in the U.S., and you'll see exactly why these regulations are necessary. anyone who thinks a laissez-faire free market economy is the solution to all the world's problems is clearly ignorant of our past and needs a reality check.

          despite what many libertarians seem to believe, greed does not inherently promote public welfare or ethical/responsible behavior. the truth is quite the opposite, which is historically why regulations have been legislated in the first place.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by jcr (53032)

            the Federal Reserve had nothing to do with predatory lending practices

            Guess again.

            No matter how slipshod a mortgage lender is, it's the endless supply of credit from the Fed that makes it possible for him to hand out those loans. In a free market for credit, the more loans are made, the less money is available for lending, and the interest rates go up.

            anyone who thinks a laissez-faire free market economy is the solution to all the world's problems is clearly ignorant of our past and needs a reality check

            • by inKubus (199753)

              As for reality checks, we're in the midst of one right now, but sadly there are far too many people who believe it's possible to extinguish a fire by flooding it with gasoline.

              Yep... It's pretty hard to reinflate a popped balloon.

          • by jcr (53032) <jcr&mac,com> on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @03:35PM (#26270473) Journal

            despite what many libertarians seem to believe, greed does not inherently promote public welfare or ethical/responsible behavior.

            What a bizarre strawman you've built there. I don't know any libertarian who's made any claim to that effect. What we do claim, is that in a free market with the rule of law, the way to prosper is to offer what people want to buy. Doing business ethically is conducive to getting repeat business. People who fuck over their customers will suffer damage to their reputation, and their business will suffer as a result.

            -jcr

            • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

              by Poingggg (103097)

              People who fuck over their customers will suffer damage to their reputation, and their business will suffer as a result.

              True...but people who fuck over their employees and/or the environment to get things done cheaper, especially if they do it in places the customer is not (directly) affected by it, will only suffer from a bad concience and the problem how to spend all that money they earn, while their businesses flourish because they help their customers so well with their low prices. That has NOTHING to do with promoting ethical business, but just the contrary. But if the rule of law says that what you are doing is unethic

            • by tjstork (137384)

              What a bizarre strawman you've built there. I don't know any libertarian who's made any claim to that effect. What we do claim, is that in a free market with the rule of law, the way to prosper is to offer what people want to buy. Doing business ethically is conducive to getting repeat business. People who fuck over their customers will suffer damage to their reputation, and their business will suffer as a result.

              This argument suffers from so many oversimplifications that have failed it boggles the mind.

              Fun

              • by jcr (53032)

                The fact is, in a country of 300 million people of wildly differing values and beliefs

                Go read Henry Hazlett's parable of the pencil. It's markets that make it possible for us to cooperate without caring what other people's values or beliefs are. You don't have to approve of what someone eats, what drugs they take, or who they sleep with to decide whether you're willing to pay they price they want for what they're selling.

                -jcr

                • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

                  by tjstork (137384)

                  You don't have to approve of what someone eats, what drugs they take, or who they sleep with to decide whether you're willing to pay they price they want for what they're selling.

                  But that's the thing. You do do that, and a person's values are considered as a part of the exchange. Let's say you owned a software company. Would you hire someone that showed up to work not wearing a suit to an interview? Would you hire a felon? Would you hire someone who was a staunch socialist? Or would you hire someone w

      • There was no need for government to momentarily take control of everything, until the people that previously controlled things utterly screwed up.

        Which must be why the government forced banks that didn't want or need bailouts to take them. Or don't you remember that part?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Next time free enterprise puts a man on the moon, you let me know.

        Part of the reason it hasn't happened yet is that there's nothing to be gained from putting another man on the moon right now. Most of the scientifically valuable data either has been gathered already or can be gathered by remote-controlled probes; and other uses for the moon (mining, colonization) are economically or technically infeasible right now.

        Governments, on the other hand, are mostly free from such constraints. They can (for example) spend fantastic amounts of taxpayer money to send men to the Mo

        • Once the benefits of sending a man to the Moon exceeded the costs, free enterprise would have done so, and more cheaply than NASA ever could.

          I think it is time that we challenge some basic assertions thrown around here.

          I really have to dispute the idea that free enterprise is inherently less expensive than the government. Innately, the government has enormous economies of scale, and, the ability to offer its workers additional power in addition to economic compensation.

          While it may have been fashionable in

    • by Allicorn (175921) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @12:08PM (#26268443) Homepage

      All that NASA is good at doing these days is burning money.

      Deary me - isn't that a little unfair? The only thing they can do is burn money? You don't see any value at all in the various Mars missions, the fascinating output of Cassini-Huygens, or SOHO, or...? And so on.

      Check out the NASA Current Missions [nasa.gov] for a bit of an overview of some of the amazing work that NASA are doing.

      Whilst I don't disagree with your main point that small, nimble, commercial outfits can often work smarter and quicker than monolithic government departments, I don't think it's fair cast NASA as nothing but a bottomless sinkhole for cash.

      It might also be worth considering how many of those current projects would never even get to the drawing board stage if the only space enterprises we had were entirely commercial.

      • Small, nimble is a bit idyllic anyway. A lot of what the private sector does with government contracts can be called a lot of things, but smarter and/or quicker might not be it.

        Spacex is kind of an oddity and certainly inspiring but lets not get so inspired that we begin to believe all private sector ventures have the public good at heart.
        • by lwsimon (724555)

          Where did the parent say anything about the "public good"?

          There is no public good. It is merely the aggregate of all of the individuals' good.

        • by QuantumG (50515) *

          Yeah, all the "woop for the free market" crap that comes out in every SpaceX story is starting to piss me off too. SpaceX is what it is and what it will be because Elon Musk has a vision and enough capital to make it happen. Why are you guys cheering the capital and ignoring the vision?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Yes, although the Congress and administration would like you to believe that the current "crisis" is a result of greed, the bottom line is that the money had to come from someplace, and it came from them.

      Yes, in a way it did come from the government -- it's called deregulation. IOW, "freer" free enterprise. Since the bad boys in the banks didn't have Big Brother looking over their shoulder, they were free to do very risky things -- bordering on outright fraud -- with other people's money. That's what caused the bailout, that's what caused the economic collapse. Don't just take my word for it -- read what's been coming out of the mouths of economists.

      Look at this project in comparison to "Orion". A small team vs. thousands. A few designers vs. hundreds of engineers using bulky project management. It goes to show that you really only need project management to do something the first time (IE, not knowing where the major failing points will be). After that, you need something lightweight and agile so that you aren't throwing away the experience of your people by second guessing them until they are unable to make quick decisions.

      You can't compare the two. Orion's eventual goal is go

      • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

        by jcr (53032)

        Yes, in a way it did come from the government -- it's called deregulation.

        I see that you're swallowing the party line. The fact of the matter is, regulations grew just as much under Bush as under any president before him. The key factor to this bubble was the unlimited credit that the Federal Reserve issued, and the Fed is a government-established monopoly. The lesson here is that central planning is a recipe for disaster, whether it's the Soviet bureaucracy setting grain quotas and prices, or the Feder

        • I'm afraid that you're the one swallowing the 'party line'.

          Here's what really happened: Banks started giving out mortgages to lenders who didn't qualify from a credit score (risk) standpoint. They then packaged these into securities and traded them foreign investors. Understand that the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act [wikipedia.org] allowed them to do this and that's the key to the whole thing.

        • >or the Federal Reserve setting interest rates for fiat currency.

          Just a quick clarification; The U.S. currency is not a "fiat" currency. A fiat currency is based on nothing. If you want an example of that, google "zimbabwe economy."

          The U.S. dollar is based on debt. I'd go into further detail, but I am technically supposed to be working right now.

          Also, the key factor was legislature mandating that credit be given out to bad risks, not that credit be given out in and of itself.

          A debt based economy is more

          • by ppanon (16583)
            Not exactly. My understanding is that the legislation was that location could not be used as a criteria for evaluating debt risk and that a certain portion of loans had to be provided to people living in areas that, on average, had worse debt ratings. It would have still been possible to meet the regulatory constraints while limiting risk exposure and a number of banks did that. What happened is that this legislative change was used as an opening by banks and other lenders to accept risky loans from everywh
      • by mangu (126918)

        Since the bad boys in the banks didn't have Big Brother looking over their shoulder, they were free to do very risky things -- bordering on outright fraud -- with other people's money.

        No, the current crisis wasn't created by deregulation, it was created by regulation that prohibited banks from denying credit to people based on the neighborhood where they live. That's what the "sub-prime" market is all about, people who borrow money to buy houses without the means to pay their loans.

      • by QuantumG (50515) *

        Elon Musk.. learn to spell. And yes, he's planning to go to Mars. That's what is so cool. Rather than just being an "advocate" of space colonization and wondering when NASA is going to get around to it, he's putting his money where is mouth is and aiming to do it himself.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by CommandoCody (1154955)

      Of course, the 50 years of accumulated NASA research and experience has been completely useless to SpaceX, an organization that has accomplished everything so far by starting from Newtonian first principles.

      I mean, think about it. "Delete it entirely and create a new space agency" - so, where shall we get experienced scientists and engineers to man this agency? And, where shall we find contractors to build everything this agency designs? Hey, this is all looking kinda familiar...

    • You are aware that there are government mandates that require NASA to use private enterprise if that private enterprise can do it cheaper than NASA can? Unfortunately, there are not a ton of companies chomping at the bit to take on the risk to make use of this mandate. Hopefully, this is the start.
    • by damburger (981828) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @01:12PM (#26269033)

      I knew clicking on these thread it would be full of libertarians mentally wanking themselves off.

      This really shows the power of capitalism in this time of government failing. Yes, although the Congress and administration would like you to believe that the current "crisis" is a result of greed, the bottom line is that the money had to come from someplace, and it came from them. Anyway, by looking at Scaled Composites and SpaceX and seeing what they can do when freed from the binders of government "fairness" (corruption, really, since nothing is truely fair) has simply been fascinating. Space flight is finally coming of age.

      The "power" of capitalism is what caused the current financial crisis, not teh evil government. Banking institutions collapsed after regulations were removed, not whilst they were in place. To go from that to claiming that a 50-years-behind corporate spaceflight program (that is hardly capitalist anyway as it is driven largely by Musk's cash and optimism, not genuine returns) shows a lack of grasp of reality.

      Oh, and never forget that his only real customer is the government. Its practically socialism!

      Look at this project in comparison to "Orion". A small team vs. thousands. A few designers vs. hundreds of engineers using bulky project management. It goes to show that you really only need project management to do something the first time (IE, not knowing where the major failing points will be). After that, you need something lightweight and agile so that you aren't throwing away the experience of your people by second guessing them until they are unable to make quick decisions.

      Retard. Their "small team" and "quick decisions" are what caused them to blow up the first 3 rockets they launch with hilariously simple mistakes. Your beloved capitalist market tends to interpret redundancy and quality control as waste and bureaucracy, when in fact they are necessary for space flight.

      Will the NASA craft be somehow safer as a result of this rigor? I doubt it. Because the project is so tedious it's probably likely some things were just given up on. SpaceX will get it through testing, trial and error, and will find out more in two throw-away tests than NASA will in 10 years of rigorous development. And because they are only supporting one application, a proprietary one, they don't have to be "fair", and spend 10x as much to ensure compatibility with vendor specifications.

      Thanks, but I'd rather take facts over the uninformed ranting of a teenage Ayn Rand fanboy. The facts are, SpaceX have a 75% failure rate and NASA have been putting people into space for decades with relatively few mistakes.

      Now I'm not saying the government should get out of the space business, but I do think they need to lean it out and put more on the contractors, and open it up to more competition. The fact that this is finally possible is in large part due to the decrease in cost of computers. From project management software to CAD to anything else, it's now possible to wield the same level of computational and data harnessing power on your desktop that was previously limited to only government-sized resources. The gap is closing because there's really not a lot they can do that we can't (with computers). In fact, the increase in the size of government recently seems to be it trying to preserve itself by creating more jobs. "Let's move those computers to something the private industry will never be trusted to do", they think, "such as listening to all the telephone and internet traffic or studying weapons."

      If you actually approached some kind of understanding of the subject and weren't just trotting out capitalist dogma like a mindless drone, you might know that a lot of the early problems NASA had were due to competition between contractors and insufficient (government, gasp!) management of them. Sorry if the facts interrupt your little

      • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

        by ScentCone (795499)
        The "power" of capitalism is what caused the current financial crisis, not teh evil government. Banking institutions collapsed after regulations were removed, not whilst they were in place.

        You mean, when the congress (see Barney Frank's ranting assurances that Fannie and Freddie were no risk at all, and perfectly well capitalized, etc) - for entirely political reasons, essentially forces the capital market to make irrational loans to people who cannot possibly afford them, that's regulations being remove
        • by damburger (981828)
          Capitalism retard misses the point once more. If what you claim is true, what is happening now would've happened a long time ago. You fail.
          • by ScentCone (795499)
            If what you claim is true, what is happening now would've happened a long time ago.

            Wrong. The risk was accumulating (which is why the representatives from the administration are seen in congressional hearings, in front of Franks, telling him there's a serious problem looming). The only thing that delayed the results was the unusually long period of time that property values continued to go up on the market. When that stopped, as it always does, the empty loan values - the ones backed up by vague governme
            • by damburger (981828)
              You've got a nice little thought-stopper there. By claiming that causative events are radically separated in time from their consequences, you can pin the global crisis on 'teh gubment' just as easily as you could pin global warming on a lack of pirates. You do not understand logic or reason, you ignorant little cretin. You also seem to fail to understand that every respected economic expert on the planet disagrees with your amateur assessment. Idiot.
              • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

                by jcr (53032)

                You've got a nice little thought-stopper there

                If he does, you're the one it's affecting.

                Read and learn [mises.org]

                The Federal Reserve is the root of the problem. When you inflate the currency, it causes market distortions. In this case, the biggest distortion was the housing bubble. Fannie and Freddie are their chief accomplices, and the mortgage originators are like the corner drug dealers.

                every respected economic expert on the planet disagrees

                When you try to argue ad veracundiam, you might want to cite specifi

                • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

                  by damburger (981828)

                  mises.org? Are you shitting me? Fringe lunatic economics don't impress me one bit. If you want a respected commentator on the situation try Robert Peston

                  Oh, and don't throw around the Latin like it makes you look smart. I learned that shit at school and it doesn't impress me at all.

                  • by jcr (53032)

                    Fringe lunatic economics don't impress me one bit

                    You can toss off epithets all you want, but the fact is that the Austrian school economists were the ones who predicted this mess while everybody else was denying the problem.

                    -jcr

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GameMaster (148118)

      Of course, as has been mentioned by other posters here, SpaceX (like all the other companies in the industry) has only been able to accomplish so much in such a short amount of time because they have had 50+ years of government funded rocket/space reasearch at their disposal (not just NASA or US reasearch, but also German reasearch funded during WWII as well as Russian research released after the end of the Cold War). Nothing ever stopped private companies from developing spacecraft. The reason they didn'

      • by inKubus (199753)

        I don't care what they did in the past, that is not justification to keep them in existance now when they are more administration than science. I specifically said I am FOR government space programs, just not NASA. A new organization needs to be built. Right now they are still using a military model which is outmoded in today's world. We will fall behind the newer space programs of India and China for no other reason than people wanting to keep their jobs, which is not a good reason. If you fired every

    • by ruin20 (1242396)
      inKubus,

      I couldn't agree with you more, however I would like to point out the reasons why the bureaucracies exist and why we pay so much more on government programs than private ones. Having worked in both sectors I understand what's going on and the advantages and disadvantages on both sides.

      The reason government programs are so costly is accountability. Unlike private organizations, government institutions are nothing more than organizational structures. Therefore their setup must assume minimal compe

      • by Karrde45 (772180)
        ISO 9000 and ISO 9001 are not limited to the government. There are many industry standards regarding record keeping and paper trails of critical hardware.
    • by goontz (1441623)
      Senator Sexton from Dan Brown's Deception Point [danbrown.com]? Is that you?!
    • by sgage (109086)

      "This really shows the power of capitalism in this time of government failing."

      It is capitalism that is failing.

    • by kwikrick (755625)

      On the other hand, commercial space flight, especially in its development stage, needs investors. The economy is currently in a bit of a depresession, and commercial space flight is quite a risky investment (engineers make a mistake somewhere, booom, millions of dollars up in smoke). So I expect things will progress quite slowly in commercial space flight for a while.

      Capitalist economies are inherently unstable, and therefore, I'm glad that there are government sponsored space agencies.

    • by psymonet (828844)
      It's going to be many, many years before space flight "comes of age." We're now picking ourselves up from a fall during our very early experiments with crawling. Get back to me when we're making routine trips to Mars from one of our several moon bases.
  • here's a spec. sheet (Score:4, Informative)

    by operator_error (1363139) <spztoid@nOsPAm.gmail.com> on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @11:57AM (#26268335)
    http://www.spacex.com/falcon9.php [spacex.com] (Please make source articles more complete)
  • Better Link (Score:4, Informative)

    by tibman (623933) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @11:59AM (#26268353) Homepage

    The offical site and news: http://www.spacex.com/updates.php [spacex.com] It says exactly what the article links to, just a bit more offical ;)

    I know a lot of people never thought SpaceX would get this far. I watched the first three Falcon1's explode like everyone else before this last successful launch in Sept (even though it had no real payload). I'm hopeful their Falcon9 starts out successful.

  • NASA isn't that bad. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ElSupreme (1217088)
    But how much of this rocket is cherry picked from NASA devolpments. Their rockets probably are. And I would imagine that most of the whole project came from the NASA/Military complex in this country. They are standing on the shoulders of NASA and the Military to get to where they are. As for NASA they really do a lot with the money they get. They get peanuts compared to Army/Navy/Airforce and produce so much more. Probably because the A/N/AF is in the business of destroying stuff. They are pieceing togeth
    • Actually, much of the rocket design is fresh thinking with extreme reliability in mind. This includes reducing failure modes by design but also extreme monitoring of each of the rocket's systems. Of course, the very nature of technological advance is building on the shoulders of what came before. It's why every generation doesn't start with stone tools and move up from there. NASA had German V2 rocket technology and its designers at its disposal, for instance.
      • by damburger (981828)
        75% failure is not extreme reliability
        • by jcr (53032)

          "75% failure" isn't a very enlightening statistic. If that's the rate of failure over their entire development program, and they've been steadily improving then it's rather better than NASA did over the same amount of time when they started.

          -jcr

          • by damburger (981828)
            When NASA started they were working with transistors and no clue if what they were doing was possible. SpaceX gets to draw on all the decades of work done by bad old government and they still fuck it up the first few times.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Karrde45 (772180)
      SpaceX has developed their own engines. 4 at last count: Merlin, Merlin Vac, Kestrel, and Draco. They are using common dome tanks, which NASA (as far as I know) is not using in their current programs. SpaceX started as little more than an assembler of outsourced and off the shelf parts, but these days they pretty much design and build as much in house as they can. They may be relying on a lot of NASA's theoretical research of years past, but they are definitely designing their own rocket rather than jus
    • by osu-neko (2604)

      But how much of this rocket is cherry picked from NASA devolpments. [...] For my car to get better I have to get GM to devolp me a better engine.

      Depends on what you mean by "better", which is of course relative to your goals. I think that, given the goals we're shooting for here, what you actually mean above is "worse". It will be worse if it doesn't make use of cheap, proven, and most importantly, off-the-shelf parts I can get from my local auto store.

      The "Space Renaissance" doesn't come from developing new rockets. It comes from making them cheap and relatively common. The world didn't change the day the Wright Brothers flew. It changed the d

      • by Whiteox (919863)

        It changed the day you could go to the local airport and catch a flight to London.

        I'd rather go to the Greek Islands. Maybe even live there, drinking coffee, eating souvlaki, pouring retsina down the drain and sampling their myriad forms of Ouzo. Although I appreciate Rembetika from a distance, I'd be listening to Bonzo Dog instead while watching Falcon 9 pass overhead.

  • mammy (Score:4, Funny)

    by ionix5891 (1228718) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @12:06PM (#26268417)

    whats a "cockblock" tag mean?

  • Daaaamn (Score:3, Funny)

    by Sir_Lewk (967686) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (kwelris)> on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @12:07PM (#26268423)
    One of the sexiest things I've seen in a long time...
  • Somebody might want to tell them to move the cabana next time. It isn't rocket science...oh wait...it is.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DY-lyoPP3go [youtube.com]
    (little cabana too close to launch site gets blown away)

  • neither in TFA nor on SpaceX's own site are there any pictures of the 9-engine cluster, just loads of boring photos of large cylinders.

  • Let me know when they get around to making a Falcon Punch!
  • a giant engorged penis without testicles except it's white.

    Disclaimer: I'm not a non-rocket scientist.

    • by BigGerman (541312)
      You just discovered one of the reasons men build rockets in the first place.
      • by Whiteox (919863)

        Maybe. I was wondering if there will be balls of fire on takeoff. That would be a sight.
        Hope someone takes a pic.

An Ada exception is when a routine gets in trouble and says 'Beam me up, Scotty'.

Working...