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Second SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Now Being Assembled 65

FleaPlus writes "Six weeks after the first launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, the first stage of the second rocket has finished production/testing, and has arrived at Cape Canaveral for a launch as early as September, depending on the pace of a methodical review of the Dragon capsule systems and minor rocket modifications/fixes being made based on data from the inaugural launch. The rocket will launch the first operational unmanned Dragon cargo/crew spacecraft into orbit, where it will perform tests and then reenter off the California coast. CEO/CTO Elon Musk made the intriguing remark that Dragon's heat shield is strong enough to enable a return not only from Earth orbit, but also lunar orbit or Mars velocities as well."
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Second SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Now Being Assembled

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  • Stories today (Score:4, Insightful)

    by instagib ( 879544 ) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @08:52AM (#32936288)

    I see 6 great aircraft & space related stories on /. at the moment, but the single Apple story has way more comments than all these combined. Go figure ...

  • Sweet (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tibit ( 1762298 ) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @09:08AM (#32936344)

    I think that SpaceX are really in business of making affordable LEO deliveries. Their low costs are an indication of what we should really be expecting from corporations. Many people have raised the non-issue of lack of bureaucracy somehow making their efforts less safe. That is quite laughable -- NASA's illogical bureaucracy for its own sake (papers and presentations without real content) and internal isolation are some of the factors pointed out by Feynman as contributing to a culture that's set up for failure.

    Just think of the bills you'd be getting had Elon Musk founded a major hospital and medical center somewhere. I'm pretty sure some procedures would cost about as much as some people are paying in "copays".

  • Re:reusability (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tibit ( 1762298 ) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @09:29AM (#32936452)

    They don't only reduce costs in assembly and manufacturing. Their whole corporate culture is, AFAIK, built on achieving understandable goals and working towards the end result, not towards placating external or internal politicians. All of their costs are lower, across the board -- sometimes by as much by an order of magnitude. That includes R&D, facility management, you name it. Not only that, but I'm pretty sure their employee morale beats any government bureaucracy hands-down, and also should be beating that of other government contractors.

    SpaceX's immediate future may be mostly funded from government checks. Yet their long-term future in absence of another brilliant startup is pretty much destined to be global market takeover for launch services. That's my opinion at this point. On one hand I wish they went public sometime, on another hand part of their success is their independence...

  • by mostly_functional ( 1803306 ) on Saturday July 17, 2010 @03:17PM (#32938286)
    You didn't look very hard then, its in TFA. My very first slashdot post and you're making say RTFA. Shame on you *grins*. Quoted from TFA:

    A few minutes later, the second stage began a dramatic spin as the rocket reached space. The roll was captured in views from an on-board camera.

    "The roll on the second stage was also a non-fatal situation. We think the actuator may have overheated due to radiative heating from the nozzle," Musk said. "This is speculative, but we can trace the problem down to the roll actuator itself."

    More insulation will be added around the actuator to prevent the same problem on the next launch.

"My sense of purpose is gone! I have no idea who I AM!" "Oh, my God... You've.. You've turned him into a DEMOCRAT!" -- Doonesbury