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SpaceX Launch Achieves Geostationary Transfer Orbit 131

Posted by Soulskill
from the tip-of-the-hat dept.
SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket this afternoon in a bid to deliver a large commercial satellite into geostationary orbit. The flight was successful: "Approximately 185 seconds into flight, Falcon 9’s second stage’s single Merlin vacuum engine ignited to begin a five minute, 20 second burn that delivered the SES-8 satellite into its parking orbit. Eighteen minutes after injection into the parking orbit, the second stage engine relit for just over one minute to carry the SES-8 satellite to its final geostationary transfer orbit. The restart of the Falcon 9 second stage is a requirement for all geostationary transfer missions." This is a significant milestone for SpaceX, and it fulfills another of the three objectives set forth by the U.S. Air Force to certify SpaceX flights for National Security Space missions.
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SpaceX Launch Achieves Geostationary Transfer Orbit

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  • Re:Oh great (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @09:16PM (#45590803)

    The United Launch Alliance, at its heart, is just a way for Boeing and Lockheed to monopolize the defense launch market and then charge whatever the hell prices they want. Having at least one competitor in the space is important, if you as a taxpayer don't like getting ripped off.

    olol or the gummit could stop launchin military satt-lites

    Yes, yes, whatever.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @09:27PM (#45590851)

    > What if one day Russia or Iran or China ends up owning SpaceX ?

    What if one day large corporations could pay-off american politicians, on a large and wide scale, with many people knowing it happens. And those people end up determining how the country is run?

    We both know that already happens, and *this* is what your worried about?

    What does it even matter if Russia or the Chinese own SpaceX, they dont, but who cares. They have their own space agencies... ones that actually still operate.

  • by benjfowler (239527) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @09:50PM (#45590983)

    I see oldspace are busy busy busy slagging off Elon.

    There was an ad by Astrotech (or something similar) in the trade press, publically accusing SpaceX of talking a big game but not delivering.

    With this GTO commercial satellite launch -- these old, cost-plus, subsidy-munching dinosaurs should be shitting themselves by now. It'll be fun to watch them squirm.

    It's time for the subsidy queens to eat crow.

  • by schwit1 (797399) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @09:56PM (#45591033)

    When you accomplish something of this complexity for near half the price of the competition the media better be extolling the accomplishment.

  • Re:Oh great (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:51PM (#45591393)

    No, he's suggesting that all government satellites be launched directly by the government.

    You know, the way all government ground vehicles are built by the government, the way they make all their own computers, their own lightbulbs, their own paper, the way all government cafeteria food is grown by government workers.

  • Re:Oh great (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @11:06PM (#45591475)

    You're being deliberately obtuse. Computers, lightbulbs, paper and cafeteria food are all commodities produced by companies who thrive from supplying a wide range of customers.

    Lockheed in particular, and Boeing in great part, are doing custom round-trip design to deployment work often exclusively for the US government. There is no reason not to employ engineers directly, except (from a political PoV) ideological and (from a pragmatic PoV) that Uncle Sam is private business' bitch.

    There is one similarity between Lockheed+Boeing and the businesses you list: all these enterprises began their work decades ago, using their own expertise. SpaceX started merely as a loss-making venture poaching ex-government and contractor employees, and taking government money - it really had nothing meritocratic to bring to the table.

    (Also, "she".)

  • by router (28432) <> on Wednesday December 04, 2013 @01:43AM (#45592161) Homepage Journal

    Poor track record? How so? They haven't popped one on the pad, as all the majors did getting to this point. They built an EELV class launcher for less than ULA charges to keep the manufacturing base available for DeltaIV/Atlas V.

    These posts are so three years ago. SpaceX is bi-coastal and in business. All legacy launch companies are done. SLS? Done. It will go to the real commercial world for 3B$ instead of 30+. Lockmart and Boring cannot compete in any non rigged contest (CPFF what?). No more white collar welfare in the launch business.

    Oh, and birds don't have to be 1/4B$ if launch costs drop by an order of magnitude. You don't have to be that careful. You can afford to lose a few. And, you can afford to use technologies developed this century as a bonus. "Flight Proven" == 1960's tech.

    And we might get humans living off this rock this century, as a bonus. Or we can keep paying the tards to keep tarding.


  • by tibit (1762298) on Wednesday December 04, 2013 @02:23AM (#45592339)

    Forrest M. Mims, III. Caught a NASA satellite's instrument mis-calibration. Very much an amateur when it comes to astroscience anything. A rather decent educator, and man, does he have good handwriting or what.

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