Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Space Transportation

SpaceX Sets Feb. 24th Target Date For Next Launch 42

Rei writes: After some consternation about the pacing of Falcon 9 upgrades, SpaceX has announced that it plans to launch again from Cape Canaveral with a target date of February 24th. While the primary mission will be to place the SES-9 communications satellite in orbit, this will also mark their fourth attempt to land the first stage on an autonomous drone ship, after their last launch touched down softly but fell over when one leg failed to latch. SpaceX is working to significantly accelerate the rate of production and launches — they are reportedly moving the factory from 6-8 cores produced per year to 18 at present, and expect to reach 30 by the end of the year. After the upcoming launch, they expect to launch one rocket every two to three weeks.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

SpaceX Sets Feb. 24th Target Date For Next Launch

Comments Filter:
  • We have enough landing crash videos to last us a while. Might as well land one successfully now.
    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      If they keep giving us crash videos, someone's going to have to make a compilation video set to the song "Yakity Sax" ;)

      Seriously though, they've made clear progress every time. So there's good reason to be hopeful here.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    they are reportedly moving the factory from 6-8 cores produced per year to 18 at present, and expect to reach 30 by the end of the year

    Hooray for more space junk!

    • Re:Kessler, anyone? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Rei ( 128717 ) on Monday February 08, 2016 @10:14AM (#51461951) Homepage

      Not seeing the connection. Somebody's going to be launching satellites either way, whether it's SpaceX or a competitor.

      Also, don't confuse cores with launches. The Falcon Heavy is three cores. Of course, offsetting that, there's the potential for reuse of rockets...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by legRoom ( 4450027 )

        Not seeing the connection. Somebody's going to be launching satellites either way, whether it's SpaceX or a competitor.

        Not that I am at all opposed to more satellite launches, but... how can you possibly believe that SpaceX increasing the global supply of (relatively) cheap rocket launches won't affect the quantity of stuff launched into orbit?

        This is like, economics 101 - when supply goes up and prices go down, demand increases in response.

        • by Rei ( 128717 )

          I wouldn't expect a huge shift in the size of the global launch market at current Falcon 9 pricing. Now, with reusable Falcon 9s, or multiple payloads from Falcon Heavies at current quoted launch prices, that could be a different story...

          • Arianespace and United Launch Alliance have both basically announced that they're replacing their current launch vehicles specifically to be more competitive with SpaceX (although perhaps not in so many words). Clearly, SpaceX is having a real impact.

            It may not be a world-changing impact, but all the OP said was, "more space junk!" Even the Kessler syndrome allusion is not that unreasonable, considering that some people think we may have already crossed the point of no return.

            • by Rei ( 128717 )

              Of course they're taking business from other players - but that's not the question. The question is if they're making new business that otherwise wouldn't be there. Thusfar, I haven't seen anything to suggest that.

              But, the potential is there in the future if they can keep bringing down costs, as they're hoping.

              And IMHO, we're not even remotely near the point where space junk is going to stop us from launching things into space. Not even close. Particularly in LEO where orbits decay relatively quickly.

              • Of course they're taking business from other players - but that's not the question. The question is if they're making new business that otherwise wouldn't be there. Thusfar, I haven't seen anything to suggest that.

                But, the potential is there in the future if they can keep bringing down costs, as they're hoping.

                Again, economics 101 - they have already brought costs down across the industry, and the burden is on you to prove that demand for satellite launch services is completely inelastic in this price range. Otherwise, the OP's claim of "more space junk" cannot be reasonably rejected.

                • by Rei ( 128717 )

                  No, they're making the claim that there will be an increase in the launch rate, an increase that we haven't seen. The burden falls on them to prove that one is suddenly going to materialize. It's their claim. My counter is simply: "where is it?" Where is this supposed surge?

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          One of the things SpaceX and others are emphasizing for "the future" is small, expendable cubesats in LEO, e.g. for SpaceX's Internet plan. This is low enough that atmospheric drag brings things down relatively quickly. If launch costs are low enough, and SpaceX's satellite factory and general commoditization of satellite components keeps progressing, this could be beneficial as far as the space debris problem is concerned.

          • by D.McG. ( 3986101 )
            The SpaceX internet communication satellites are expected to be in the smallsat-class of 100-to-500 kg (220-to-1,100 lb) mass; which are intended to be orbiting at an altitude of approximately 1,100 km (680 mi). There's far less drag at 1,100 km than on the ISS; which has an apogee of 416 km (258 mi).
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Perhaps, but it also increases the cheapness/opportunities of sending up debris cleaning satellites as well. The space faring nations of the planet should develop/build several classes (cubesat, small, medium, large) of debris cleanup satellites. Form cooperative agreements with the launch companies to the effect that whenever a space launch has some capacity that would otherwise go wasted fill out that spare capacity with the appropriate debris cleanup satellites as a secondary payload.

    • by Eloking ( 877834 )

      they are reportedly moving the factory from 6-8 cores produced per year to 18 at present, and expect to reach 30 by the end of the year

      Hooray for more space junk!

      And since when this is a problem?

      • Hooray for more space junk!

        And since when this is a problem?

        What about all the poor animals who have to live in the environment up there, polluted with space-junk? Particularly if that space junk ends up in their breeding grounds?

  • - 100% of the Falcon 9 Full Thrust landings have been successful.
    - 0% of the Falcon 9 v1.1 landings have been successful.
    - There has been one F9 FT flight so far.
    - The F9 FT has (among others) improved thrust (and thus more reserves for the return flight) and improved landing gear.
    - After the successful return of the F9 FT some things were noted about the FT drives and launches were pushed back 4-6 weeks as it looks right now.

    • - 100% of the Falcon 9 Full Thrust landings have been successful.
      - 0% of the Falcon 9 v1.1 landings have been successful.
      - There has been one F9 FT flight so far.
      - The F9 FT has (among others) improved thrust (and thus more reserves for the return flight) and improved landing gear.
      - After the successful return of the F9 FT some things were noted about the FT drives and launches were pushed back 4-6 weeks as it looks right now.

      Or the ground landing was a "Oops! We accidentally landed successfully! Let's blame the equipment! Back to the barge! Arrrrrr, maties!".

      Multiple successful ground landings would have been good. But they aren't planning to refly the thing even if it's a successful landing at this point. But that does move us 3 launches to reuse from first landing to probably 6 launches to reuse. If they have money to burn on it because they are rolling it into launch costs, it makes sense to roll as much of it as you

  • Judging from many comments posted so far in this topic it looks like the presence of Olgino trolls / bots is increasing on /. This is even more evident in politically charged discussions. So, congratulations to /. -- it's finally has been noticed and taken seriously.
    • WTF are you talking about? I've just checked, your recent posts are basically the same thing over and over and over again, just with somewhat different wording.
      Seems that you are an actual bot. Or insane.

  • Is SpaceX taking a page out of AMD's playbook now?

  • Both SpaceX and United Launch Alliance plan 14 launches this year according to nasa launch maniefest. Antares and Orbital two each. Russia plans 17 Soyuz and Proton launches.
    • The point of the second article was that SpaceX wants to Dramatically Accelerate Its Launch Frequency [fool.com] and, if all goes as planned, the company will achieve a launch rate of once every two to three weeks. They have 40 Falcon 9 missions and 6 Falcon Heavy missions on their manifest. The more launches, the more chances for problems but for now the only constraining factor appears to be the number of cores they can produce. They need 61 cores for their current manifest (40 x1 F + 7 x3 FH) so even if they inc

"The chain which can be yanked is not the eternal chain." -- G. Fitch

Working...