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Space Businesses ISS

SpaceX Resupply Mission To Launch March 30 48

Posted by samzenpus
from the ready-to-go dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Originally scheduled to launch on March 16, SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft will now launch March 30. From the article: 'Officials delayed launch from March 16 after engineers raised concerns that petroleum stains discovered on thermal blankets could contaminate sensitive components on a high-definition imaging camera and an optical communications experiment mounted inside the Dragon spacecraft's trunk. "After careful review and analysis, engineering teams representing both the ISS and SpaceX have determined Dragon is ready to fly 'as-is.' All parties agree that the particular constituents observed in Dragon's trunk are in line with the previously defined environments levels and do not impose additional risk to the payloads," SpaceX said in a statement.'"
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SpaceX Resupply Mission To Launch March 30

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  • Faster please (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sixoh1 (996418) on Monday March 24, 2014 @11:46AM (#46564859) Homepage

    Also per Rand Simberg and others, it appears that Space X is going to launch their 54-ton capable heavy launch vehicle THIS year - thats something like 6 years ahead of NASA's porkbarrel SLS.

    Lets cross our fingers and hope that Elon's engine of creative destruction will blow up the market for government directed launch vehicle technology, and start using the Billions allocated for 1960s rocket technology for something like permanent cis-Lunar habitation, asteroid visits, and/or experimenting with off-planet manufacturing so we can start learning how to build and stay beyond LEO.

    • Also per Rand Simberg and others, it appears that Space X is going to launch their 54-ton capable heavy launch vehicle THIS year

      That's what they said last year. Rand, and other space bloggers, are very unreliable sources as their predictions are generally based on what they hope will happen and less on any form of concrete analysis. They live inside a fishbowl inside an echo chamber inside a reality distortion field.

      • by Teancum (67324)

        Gwynne Shotwell already announced [thespaceshow.com] it won't launch until 1st quarter of next year at the earliest. I would take her word over Rand Simberg any day.

        One of the big things that needs to happen with the Falcon Heavy is to complete the engine test stand in McGregor that will fire all 27 engines for a full mission burn simulation. There appears to be some construction going on that may get that to happen this summer, so I don't think this is something you can shrug off and suggest will never happen, but there ce

    • Re:Faster please (Score:5, Insightful)

      by taiwanjohn (103839) on Monday March 24, 2014 @12:30PM (#46565299)

      Hear, hear! And if their test with landing legs [universetoday.com] succeeds, we might even be able to skip a few steps toward that goal. It's about time we stopped letting senators design rockets and hired actual rocket scientists to do that instead.

      • by Virtucon (127420)

        To paraphrase.. "No bucks, no Buck Rodgers." Congress et. al. will never allow that to happen, it's too much fun playing with budgets and screwing things up in general.
           

        • by Teancum (67324)

          To paraphrase.. "No bucks, no Buck Rodgers." Congress et. al. will never allow that to happen, it's too much fun playing with budgets and screwing things up in general.

          This is unusual even for Congress though. The excellent engineering firm known as the upper house of the American legislature went so far as to specify faring sizes, metallurgy requirements, engine thrust ISP numbers, and concrete mixes being used in the construction the manufacturing plants to make these parts. They really outdid themselves even for typical pork barrel projects to absolutely ensure that there was no possibility that any other contractor could have possibly met the RFP requirements. By t

          • by Virtucon (127420)

            Nothing new. When the ASRM project was scoped by Congress over NASA's objections there were quite a few congressmen and senators who
            thought they new what rocket science was. They even stipulated that the new ASRM motors had to be delivered by a barge to KSC to cut Thiokol out of
            the bidding process altogether. It's how congress works and if they want to fuck with something or someone they'll figure out a way to do it.

            • by Teancum (67324)

              This is what you get when the contractors themselves write the RFP before the bid itself goes out. It is a form of corruption that IMHO should be illegal.

              Sadly I've been involved with similar kinds of government contract manipulations... both being in the government agency handing out the money as well as being an engineer in the company trying to win the contract and "helping" to write the RFP before it is made public. I always needed to take a long shower after getting involved in one of these projects

              • by Virtucon (127420)

                Well you forget that while journalists and bloggers nowadays will generate outrage over a subject, if the retards in congress are doing well by their constituents' standards then they get re-elected, over 70% of the time. That why you have loons running the show either denying things like Harry Reid or playing fucking video poker games during important hearings like McCane. These idiots keep getting re-elected and because of the seniority reward system they get more authority to completely fuck things up.

    • by Megane (129182)
      If they don't launch a FH by the end of this year, my understanding from what I've heard is it will simply be because they're already doing so much other stuff this year that they literally won't have time to get around to it.
    • While I agree with the sentiment, I'd point out that NASA's will, in theory, be able to lift 70 or 130 tons [nasa.gov]. So it is a bit better.

      • by Teancum (67324)

        While I agree with the sentiment, I'd point out that NASA's will, in theory, be able to lift 70 or 130 tons [nasa.gov]. So it is a bit better.

        By which time SpaceX will have the MCT close to completion. This is a rocket so large that pad 39 at the Cape can't be used because the flame trench is too small. I don't know what 100 tons of payload to the surface of Mars translates in terms of tonnage to LEO, but it is safe to say a little bit more than 130 metric tons.

        Besides, the 130 ton version of the SLS will still be a couple of years away even after the first launch happens for the 70 ton version, assuming it flies at all.

    • It won't launch in 2014, but I believe it will launch in 2015. SpaceX has been pretty busy, and they must prioritize fulfilling the current high volume Falcon 9v1.1 launches rather than getting the new rocket ready. This is what happens when you don't have the one billion dollar per year subsidy that ULA enjoys just to upkeep its infrastructure or the billions that SLS suppliers make to rehash old space shuttle rocket technology for the Ares rocket.
      We need to remember that SpaceX has advanced the space indu

  • by frank249 (100528) on Monday March 24, 2014 @12:11PM (#46565117)

    SpaceX,will also achieve a spaceflight first. [technologyreview.com]

    After delivering cargo to the International Space Station, the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket used for the flight will fire its engines for the second time. The burn will allow the rocket to reenter the atmosphere in controlled flight, without breaking up and disintegrating on the way down as most booster rockets do.

    After recovering the rocket from the water on Sunday, SpaceX engineers and technicians will study it to determine what it would take to refurbish such a rocket for reuse. SpaceX also has plans to recover and reuse the second stage rocket, but for now, it will recover only the first stage and its nine Merlin engines, which make up the bulk of the cost of the rocket.

    • Now, not only do our brave astronauts go to space in a vehicle on top of 10,000 tons of highly explosive chemicals, built by the lowest bidder, now they also get refurbished components, too!

      I keed...
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Its that or every flight of the rocket is a test flight.

      • by phayes (202222)

        Now, not only do our brave astronauts go to space in a vehicle on top of 10,000 tons of highly explosive chemicals, built by the lowest bidder, now they also get refurbished components, too!

        So many things wrong in only a single sentence...
        Space-X's Dragon is not currently ready to be used to launch astronauts, so no astronauts.
        Space-X builds over 80% of the Falcon launcher in-house so no bidder & lowest cost is not the determining factor. Mission success is.
        Re-use is not stupid if it brings costs down. Have you never taken a plane? Do you think that the engines are new for every flight? Do you replace your car engine before every trip? Do you throw your keyboard away after each use?

    • In case anyone hasn't seen it yet, here's their video animation [youtube.com] of the flight profile for a completely "reusable" mission.

  • Kent: My condolences on your meltdown, Knight.
    Chris Knight: What meltdown, Kent?
    Kent: I'm not saying you had one, because how would I know? But just in case you do.
    Chris Knight: You slime!
    Kent: It's your own fault, Knight. Didn't anyone ever tell you to make sure your optics are clean?

  • Paraphrasing: Dragon has junk in the trunk; we're all still ready to launch.

    Proof that everyone loves a little junk in the trunk.

  • by Ecuador (740021) on Monday March 24, 2014 @02:15PM (#46566555) Homepage
    It is a good change to hear "hey we will delay the launch because our camera might be affected", from the old "- ehh, we should delay launch after that freezing weather, the O-rings might fail - shut up, we are already late, from what I see in this powerpoint it should be ok"

Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.

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