Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
NASA Space Transportation Science

SpaceX Eyeing June 4 Window For Falcon 9 Launch 67

Posted by timothy
from the road-trip-time dept.
PeterBrett writes "SpaceX has finally announced the window for its first much-awaited Falcon 9 launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral. Subject to good weather, the company plans to launch either on Friday, June 4, or Saturday, June 5, with the window opening at 12:00 UTC on each day. As usual, SpaceX will be broadcasting the launch live from its website."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

SpaceX Eyeing June 4 Window For Falcon 9 Launch

Comments Filter:
  • Weak Handshake (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by s31523 (926314)
    In the picture titled "Meeting the President at the Falcon 9 launch site, from left: Neil G. Hicks, Florence Li, Brian Mosdell, President Obama, Leslie Woods Jr., and Elon Musk. Credit: Getty Images"

    What's up with that chics handshake? Reminds me of that episode of King of The Hill when hank meets the president and gets distressed about the weak handshake...
  • 1200 UTC? (Score:5, Informative)

    by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @09:23AM (#32431338)
    According to SpaceX, the launch windows will open at 11:00 EDT (10 CDT for those of us in NOLA), which is 1500 UTC.
  • I'd been under the impression that other issues at the Cape had pushed it further back and I'd miss it. If they can hit either of these dates I'll be able to watch it.

    The last Atlas launch I got to watch was very impressive. Not quite like a shuttle launch but still cool.

  • Kind fo sad really (Score:3, Interesting)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @09:33AM (#32431476)
    When I was a kid I always thought the first man to land on Mars would have a NASA logo on his uniform. Now I know that he won't. And whether that man is a commercial astronaut or one from some other country (or union), it's sad to think how far we've come (down) since those days when we used to believe that moon bases and giant space stations were just around the corner.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Nyeerrmm (940927)

      NASA still has a good shot... a better shot really, with things like Falcon 9 happening.

      If programs like COTS and CCDev can take the hassle of maintaining our basic LEO flight capability away from NASA, it makes it easier for them to pursue those things that are truly frontier-expanding. Think of something like the Odyssey (from 2001) built in orbit that we can get astronauts to and from (relatively) cheaply using simple capsules like Dragon or an LM Orion-lite.

      Commercial space isn't in competition with NA

    • by voss (52565)

      When Charles Lindbergh crossed the atlantic he wasnt doing it in a government plane he did it on a Ryan-NYP. NASA didnt exist back then.

      The fact that it was an American pilot flying an american plane was all that mattered.

      As for the rest we simply have to figure out how to do it for billions instead of trillions.

      What is past is prologue and the future is not yet written.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LWATCDR (28044)

        Well... Lindbergh got his training flying in the Air Mail service for the US government. The Engine he used was developed mainly for the US Navy because they wanted reliable air cooled engines.
        And Lindbergh was not the first to cross the Atlantic. The first planes to cross the Atlantic was the NC-4 flown by a crew of the US Navy. The first to fly none stop where two englishmen Alcock and Brown in a WWI Vickers Vimy bomber.

        Lindbergh made the first none stop flight from NY to Paris and even then he got a lot

    • by TrevorB (57780) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @11:09AM (#32432972) Homepage

      The journey to the moon happened in a rocket built jointly by Boeing, Douglas, and North American, in a spacecraft built by Boeing, and the landing on the moon happened in a spacecraft built by Grumman. Even those spacesuits with the NASA patches were manufactured by International Latex Corp.

      If NASA is paying the bills for a Mars mission and providing the Astronauts, everything will still have NASA patches on it, regardless of who builds the rocket.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DerekLyons (302214)

      it's sad to think how far we've come (down) since those days when we used to believe that moon bases and giant space stations were just around the corner.

      Believing that is kinda like still believing in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus. It's not realities fault that your unfounded childish fantasies didn't come to pass.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Late Adopter (1492849)
      We also thought we'd have jetpacks and flying cars. All that shows is how unrealistic we were (in some cases for reasons that should have been perfectly obvious at the time).
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by WindBourne (631190)
      Well, since Nixon killed Saturn, and botched the shuttle, which lead to the loss of the space lab, we have been downhill since then. However, I think that with the building of the Commercial space, that we will see Americans put on the moon in 2020 to start building a base. Likewise, we will put Americans on Mars to colonize it before 2030. The simple fact is, that LEO is expensive to be in, while putting a base on both the moon and mars is much cheaper. The reason is that ALL material must be brought to LE
      • !#(* Mars! Long before we drop ourselves into another giant gravity weel we need to open up High Earth Orbit manufacturing, and maybe a moonbase. Drop a couple of NiFe and H2O asteroids into orbit for materials and use solar reflectors for power/smelting. This idea has been around for in SF decades, and is still way better science than landing on another large rock.
      • Well, since Nixon killed Saturn

        This idiot legend again... Saturn production was capped in 1965 - and subsequent Congresses declined to restart it. At worst Nixon pulled the plug on a brain dead patient on full life support. For all intents and purposes it was already dead by the time he arrived on the scene.

        [Nixon] botched the shuttle

        As above, the basic Shuttle design (essentially what we have today) was already nearly complete by the time Nixon took office. By the time NASA signed the develop

    • Don't forget the robot maids and flying cars
  • We will be fine (we will be fine)
    Falcon 9! (Falcon 9!)
    Even though NASA say
    "Way out of line!" (outta line!)


    .
  • This may prove to be one of the most important stories of the 21st century...the opening of space (beyond LEO) to commerce and industry and (hopefully) colonization.
    • No doubt about it. He is actually doing things, and not just stealing other ppl's work or using that money to make their name.
    • by dlgeek (1065796)
      As cool as it is, the Falcon9 doesn't really "open up" space beyond LEO for commerce and industry. There are plenty of solutions on the market that already offer this capability. However, the Falcon9 is much cheaper, so it makes space much more available.
      • Re:One large step... (Score:4, Informative)

        by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @12:05PM (#32434000)

        As cool as it is, the Falcon9 doesn't really "open up" space beyond LEO for commerce and industry.

        Note, for reference, that the Falcon 9 can put 4500+ kg into GEO, and the Falcon 9 Heavy can put 19500 kg into GEO.

        Note further that the total deltaV required to put something into GEO (the insertion into the transfer orbit, plus the final burn to circularize the orbit) is slightly greater than escape speed.

        • by dlgeek (1065796)
          Did you read the next sentence which said "There are plenty of solutions on the market that already offer this capability." The Falcon9 doesn't "open up" space because it's ALREADY OPEN TO THE COMMERCIAL MARKET (just expensive).
          • just expensive

            When you change the price point of something, you open the market again. There are things that can't be done in the commercial market because it costs too much. "Cheaper" means some of those things can now (well, "now" meaning after Falcon 9 is operational) be done.

  • Commercial companies are currently contracted for Constellation. LM is the primary. What this 'commercial push' really means is NASA will no longer be in the driving seat for requirements and the public will no longer own the design, drawings, etc. So what you say? Well, currently Constellation is an ITAR program, which makes it fall under export restrictions. This means no foreign nationals, no outsourced jobs. An American rocket built by Americans. Ask yourself this. How many programmers does Elon have at
    • Elon sold Paypal years ago. SpaceX is all american workers. Way to keep up!
    • by PeterBrett (780946) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @11:07AM (#32432940) Homepage

      Parent is a complete idiot. Elon no longer has any involvement in PayPal. SpaceX's technology is completely covered by ITAR; I should know, because I considered applying for a job there and was told that, as a non-US citizen, I shouldn't even bother. The Falcon 9 is very much an American rocket built by Americans. There are indeed "no foreign nationals, no outsourced jobs."

      It's unusual to hear someone praising ITAR. ITAR is the reason that non-US organisations generally don't use US launchers for their payloads -- they can't work closely with the launch provider, particularly with respect to the sort of detailed technical information that's often very important in ensuring payload-launcher compatibility. People I've spoken to in the space industry while at conferences in the US frequently bemoan the fact that ITAR heavily restricts their hiring practices, meaning that they often miss out on being able to employ top people.

      ITAR is what's holding the US space programme back.

      • by mewsenews (251487)

        ITAR is what's holding the US space programme back.

        Oh cheer up.. the next Von Braun is simply another World War away..

      • by FleaPlus (6935) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @03:46PM (#32437064) Journal

        It's unusual to hear someone praising ITAR. ITAR is the reason that non-US organisations generally don't use US launchers for their payloads -- they can't work closely with the launch provider, particularly with respect to the sort of detailed technical information that's often very important in ensuring payload-launcher compatibility. People I've spoken to in the space industry while at conferences in the US frequently bemoan the fact that ITAR heavily restricts their hiring practices, meaning that they often miss out on being able to employ top people. ITAR is what's holding the US space programme back.

        Completely agreed. It's particularly silly when one notes that the US would have almost certainly lost the 1960s space race if it weren't for Von Braun [thespacereview.com] and his team of rocket engineers from Germay, and the Canadian and British engineers from Avro [avroarrow.org].

        It also makes it considerably more difficult when a launch provider like SpaceX wants to sell launch services, which is a large part of why Russian and European launch providers are currently creaming US launch providers on the international market. For example, the following difficulty occurred when SpaceX's Falcon 1 was launching a Malaysian satellite:

        http://www.hobbyspace.com/nucleus/?itemid=13078 [hobbyspace.com]

        Technicians discovered the satellite and the Falcon 1 upper stage rocket share a nearly identical vibrational mode, which could set up a damaging resonance. SpaceX is bound by ITAR restrictions from assisting with any technical problems on the foreign-owned payload, so the company delayed the launch to add some vibration isolation equipment between the rocket's upper stage and the payload adapter.

        "The easiest thing would actually be to make some adjustment to the satellite . . . but that's not allowed," Musk says.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by PeterBrett (780946)

          It also makes it considerably more difficult when a launch provider like SpaceX wants to sell launch services, which is a large part of why Russian and European launch providers are currently creaming US launch providers on the international market. For example, the following difficulty occurred when SpaceX's Falcon 1 was launching a Malaysian satellite:

          http://www.hobbyspace.com/nucleus/?itemid=13078 [hobbyspace.com]

          Technicians discovered the satellite and the Falcon 1 upper stage rocket share a nearly identical vibrational mode, which could set up a damaging resonance. SpaceX is bound by ITAR restrictions from assisting with any technical problems on the foreign-owned payload, so the company delayed the launch to add some vibration isolation equipment between the rocket's upper stage and the payload adapter.

          "The easiest thing would actually be to make some adjustment to the satellite . . . but that's not allowed," Musk says.

          Just one of many examples, sadly. Unless Congress acts promptly to introduce some sanity into the ITAR provisions, I fear that ITAR is inevitably going to drive innovative and competitive launch providers like SpaceX out of business, and prove to be the final nail in the coffin of the US space industry.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sir_Lewk (967686)

      You are in fact an idiot of epic proportions. You couldn't be any more wrong, from their website:

      To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, SpaceX hires only U.S. citizens and U.S. Permanent Residents.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tsotha (720379)

      As others have pointed out, this is not how things work in the real world. As far as the US government is concerned, all rocket development is "munition" development. Not only must you get permission to export any rocket or rocket technology developed in the US, as a US national you can't go to another country to work on a rocket project without running afoul of the law. Having foreign nationals working on your rocket falls under the "exporting rocket technology" part.

      This came up a few years back when

  • Only 991 launches untill they release the Millenium Falcon.
  • Cool rocket (Score:5, Interesting)

    by joh (27088) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @11:14AM (#32433064)

    If you compare the Falcon 9 to other rockets you can't fail to see that this thing is quire cleverly designed in a very straight way.

    It has only two stages and uses Kerosine/LOX in both stages. Kerosine is much denser than LH and makes for smaller tanks and easier handling. Both stages are essentially identical, with the second stage much shorter but using the same diametre tanks and domes and the same tools for fabrication. Both stages use the very same engines, too. 9 on the first stage, one in the second stage. This allows them to be build assembly-line style, much cheaper than to build several differently sized engines in small numbers.

    The Falcon 9 Heavy will add to this two boosters consisting of just two first stages strapped to the center one. This thing will still use the same tools and the same tanks and domes and engines (28 of them) for all stages and for the boosters. Compare this to other similar launchers which often use two (or even three) different engines and tanks for their stages plus solid boosters, all expensively build in small numbers.

    • by kubitus (927806)
      I fully agree!

      principle copied from the Soviet. now Russian launch arsenal: same engine bundled.

      keep it simple

      the Russians however have a variety of tanks

      - engineers in their younger years tend to invent things for the fun of it

      when growing older, they appreciate matured technology and also matured wine *g*

  • In retrospect, NASA officials have decided that the time-honoured countdown-to-launch procedure is overly complicated - so this time around the flight controller will simply say "FALCON... LAUNCH!" and it will take off.

  • I would give better than 50% that the first person on Mars will be wearing a space/mars suit that has sponsor logo's like a race driver.

"Ahead warp factor 1" - Captain Kirk

Working...