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  SpaceX NASA COTS Demo Flights: Demo 1 (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   SpaceX NASA COTS Demo Flights: Demo 1
Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-25-2010 10:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX update (Oct. 4, 2010)
Since the successful inaugural launch of Falcon 9 in June, we have been busy preparing for our next launch, which includes the first flight of an operational Dragon spacecraft.

This is also the first launch under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. Under COTS, NASA is partnering with commercial companies like SpaceX to develop and demonstrate space transportation capabilities.

The upcoming demonstration mission will launch from Cape Canaveral and should follow a flight plan nearly identical to the first Falcon 9 launch, but this time the Dragon spacecraft will separate from the second stage and will demonstrate operational communications, navigation, maneuvering and reentry. Although it does not have wings like Shuttle, the Dragon spacecraft is controlled throughout reentry by the onboard Draco thrusters which enable the spacecraft to touchdown at a very precise location – ultimately within a few hundred yards of its target.

For this first demo flight, Dragon will make multiple orbits of the Earth as we test all of its systems, and will then fire its thrusters to begin reentry, returning to Earth for a Pacific Ocean splashdown off the coast of Southern California. The entire mission should last around four hours.

While Dragon will initially make water landings, over the long term, Dragon will be landing on land. For this first demo flight, Dragon will make multiple orbits of the Earth as we test all of its systems, and will then fire its thrusters to begin reentry, returning to Earth for a Pacific Ocean splashdown off the coast of Southern California. The entire mission should last around four hours.

Robert Pearlman
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Space News: SpaceX Demo Slips Another 10 Days
Hawthorne, Calif.-based Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has slipped a planned Nov. 8 launch of its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo vessel to Nov. 18.

“SpaceX is targeting November 18th for our next launch with the 19th and 20th as backup dates,” SpaceX spokeswoman Kirstin Brost said in an Oct. 23 e-mail.

Robert Pearlman
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NASA release
NASA Sets Coverage For Cots 1 Launch Targeted For Dec. 7

The first Falcon 9 demonstration launch for NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program is targeted for liftoff on Tuesday, Dec. 7. Liftoff will occur from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch window extends from 9:03 a.m. to 12:22 p.m. EST. If necessary, launch opportunities also are available on Dec. 8 and Dec. 9 with the same window.

Known as COTS 1, the launch is the first flight of the Dragon spacecraft and the first commercial attempt to re-enter a spacecraft from orbit. This is the first of three test launches currently planned in the Falcon 9 test flight series. It is intended as a demonstration mission to prove key capabilities such as launch, structural integrity of the Dragon spacecraft, on-orbit operation, re-entry, descent and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.

NASA established the COTS program to procure a commercial launch service to stimulate the commercial space industry, to facilitate a private industry cargo capability to the International Space Station as soon as achievable, and to achieve cost effective access to low Earth orbit that will attract private customers.

Pre-Launch News Conference

The prelaunch news conference for the COTS 1 Falcon 9 launch is planned for L-1, currently Monday, Dec. 6 at 1:30 p.m., at the press site at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA Television will provide live coverage.

The prelaunch news conference participants will be:

  • Phil McAlister, acting director, Commercial Space Flight Development NASA Headquarters, Washington
  • Alan Lindenmoyer, manager, Commercial Crew and Cargo Program, NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston
  • Gwynne Shotwell, president, SpaceX, Hawthorne, Calif.
  • Mike McAleenan, Falcon 9 Launch Weather Officer, 45th Weather Squadron, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
A post-mission news conference will be held at Kennedy Space Center approximately one hour after splashdown occurs.

Robert Pearlman
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SpaceX release (updated)
SpaceX to webcast static fire on Friday

On Friday, December 3rd, SpaceX will webcast its static fire test of the Falcon 9 rocket engines at spacex.com.

The webcast is set to begin at 11:45 a.m. Eastern/8:45 a.m. Pacific, with the actual static fire targeted for 12:45 p.m. Eastern/9:45 a.m. Pacific.

This first stage firing is part of a full launch dress rehearsal at the Space Launch Complex 40 at the U.S. Air Force Station at Cape Canaveral in preparation for the first Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) launch of the Dragon spacecraft. The rehearsal will exercise the countdown processes and end after the engines fire at full power for two seconds, with only the hold-down system restraining the rocket from flight.

After the test, SpaceX will conduct a thorough review of all data as engineers make final preparations for the upcoming launch.

Using rocket-grade kerosene and liquid oxygen, the nine Merlin engines generate one million pounds of thrust in vacuum. The Merlin engine is the highest performing American hydrocarbon rocket engine ever flown.

SpaceX uses a hold-before-release system -- a capability required by commercial airplanes but rarely implemented on launch vehicles. After the first stage engine ignites, the Falcon 9 is held down and not released for flight until all propulsion and vehicle systems are confirmed to be operating normally. An automatic safe shut-down will occur and propellants will be unloaded if any issues are detected.

SpaceX plans to launch its Dragon spacecraft into low-Earth orbit atop a Falcon 9 rocket. The Dragon capsule is expected to orbit the Earth at speeds greater than 17,000 miles per hour, reenter the Earth's atmosphere, and land in the Pacific Ocean a few hours later. This will be the first attempt by a commercial company to recover a spacecraft reentering from low-Earth orbit. It is a feat performed by only six nations or government agencies: the United States, Russia, China, Japan, India, and the European Space Agency.

It is also the first flight under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program to develop commercial supply services to the International Space Station. After the Space Shuttle retires, SpaceX will fly at least 12 missions to carry cargo to and from the International Space Station as part of the Commercial Resupply Services contract for NASA. The Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft were designed to one day carry astronauts; both the COTS and CRS missions will yield valuable flight experience toward this goal.

If launch is a go, SpaceX plans to broadcast the entire launch live at spacex.com between December 7th and 9th.

Robert Pearlman
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SpaceX statement
Today, the first static fire attempt aborted at T-1.1 seconds due to high engine chamber pressure. We are reviewing data now and will make a second attempt tomorrow.
According to SpaceX, Tuesday, Dec. 7 is still targeted for the COTS-1 launch.

Robert Pearlman
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Saturday's 9:30 a.m. EST first attempt at a static fire ended in another abort. From SpaceX's Twitter updates:
Static fire aborted. Standby.

Abort was at T-1.9 seconds. Reviewing data. Hope to make another attempt today.

The countdown clock has been recycled to T-13 minutes. More info shortly.

Abort due to low gas generator pressure on engine 6.

Robert Pearlman
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On their third attempt in two days, SpaceX performed a successful static fire of all nine Merlin engines at 10:50 a.m. EST.
Full duration static fire! We'll continue to review data, but today's static fire appears to be a success.

Robert Pearlman
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Due to an issue with the second stage engine nozzle, launch of SpaceX's COTS Demo-1 mission is now scheduled for no earlier than Thursday, Dec. 9.

According to SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell, "porosity and potentially cracking in a weld joint" was found this morning during a final check of the closeout photos.

SpaceX lowered the Falcon 9 rocket from its erect position on the pad this morning.

If the nozzle requires replacement, the launch will take place no earlier than Friday or Saturday.

Update: Per NASA, there is a chance that SpaceX may be able to attempt a launch as early as Wednesday based on inspections proceeding at the pad.

Robert Pearlman
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Photographs of SpaceX's Falcon 9 COTS Demo-1 launch vehicle on Space Launch Complex 40 showing on-going inspections of the second stage.

Robert Pearlman
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SpaceX update
SpaceX engineers are analyzing two small cracks in the aft end of the second stage engine nozzle extension. These cracks are in a region near the end of the nozzle extension where there is very little stress and so they would not cause a flight failure by themselves. However, further investigation is warranted to ensure that these cracks are not symptomatic of a more serious problem.

A decision on whether or not to attempt launch on Wednesday will be provided tomorrow evening.

The bell-shaped Merlin Vacuum nozzle extension is made of niobium sheet alloy, measures nine feet tall and eight feet at the base diameter, and thins out to about twice the thickness of a soda can at the end. Although made of an exotic refractory alloy metal with a melting temperature high enough to boil steel, this component is geometrically the simplest part of the engine.


Merlin Vacuum engine expansion nozzle, used on the second stage.

It is important to note that the niobium nozzle extension increases the efficiency of the Merlin engine in vacuum and is installed by default on all upper stage Merlin engines, but that efficiency increase is not required for this mission. The nozzle extension is most helpful when launching very heavy satellites or to maximize throw mass to distant destinations like Mars.

The most likely path forward is that we will trim off the thinnest portion of the nozzle extension, which is where the cracks are located, perform a thorough systems check and resume launch preparation.

Robert Pearlman
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NASA release
Demonstration Flight Of Falcon 9 Rocket Set For Wednesday

The first demonstration flight of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule for NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program has been scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 8, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch window extends from 9 a.m. to 12:22 p.m. EST.

During a routine inspection this week, SpaceX engineers observed two small cracks in the rocket's second stage engine nozzle. SpaceX completed repairs to the cracked nozzle Tuesday.

Live coverage of the launch will air on NASA TV and the agency's website.

SpaceX update
SpaceX engineers are currently performing their final inspections before launch. So far everything looks good, but we won't have the final all-clear until around 9 p.m. EST.

Robert Pearlman
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SpaceX update
Still looks good for tomorrow. Get some rest, it’s going to be an early morning!

Robert Pearlman
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NASA Twitter updates
6:15 a.m. CST - SpaceX is fueling the Falcon 9. First stage is 15% complete and second stage is 20% complete. Launch window opens at 8 a.m. CST.

Robert Pearlman
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SpaceX release
TODAY: SpaceX to Make First Launch Attempt for COTS Demo 1

Today SpaceX released the following information on today's launch day activities for the first SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon demonstration launch for NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program.

SpaceX will make its first launch attempt on TODAY, December 8th from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch window extends from 9:03 AM to 12:20 PM. EST/ 6:03 AM to 9:20 AM PST. We are now counting down for a 9:03 AM EST attempt.

SpaceX has discovered the root cause of the two small cracks in the aft end of the 2nd stage engine nozzle extension. A GN2 vent line caused fluttering of the the thinnest portion of the nozzle extension, creating the cracks. SpaceX engineers repaired the extension by trimming off the end where the cracks are located and corrected the root cause by diffusing the vent.

SpaceX plans to launch its Dragon spacecraft into low-Earth orbit atop a Falcon 9 rocket. The Dragon capsule is expected to orbit the Earth at speeds greater than 17,000 miles per hour, reenter the Earth's atmosphere, and land in the Pacific Ocean roughly 3 1/2 hours later. This will be the first attempt by a commercial company to recover a spacecraft reentering from low-Earth orbit. It is a feat performed by only 6 nations or government agencies: the United States, Russia, China, Japan, India, and the European Space Agency.

It is also the first flight under NASA's COTS program to develop commercial supply services to the International Space Station. After the Space Shuttle retires, SpaceX will fly at least 12 missions to carry cargo to and from the International Space Station as part of the Commercial Resupply Services contract for NASA. The Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft were designed to one day carry astronauts; both the COTS and CRS missions will yield valuable flight experience toward this goal.

Webcast

The COTS Demo 1 launch will be webcast at spacex.com.

The webcast will begin approximately 45 minutes prior to the opening of the daily launch window, at 8:15 a.m. EST / 5:15 a.m. PST / 13:15 UTC. During the webcast, SpaceX hosts will provide information specific to the flight, an overview of the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft and commentary on the launch and flight sequences.

Robert Pearlman
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SpaceX is now targeting for a 9:06 a.m. EST (1406 GMT) liftoff for the Falcon 9.

Robert Pearlman
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NASA/SpaceX Twitter updates
NASA, 7:41 a.m. CST: Both stages of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle are loaded with fuel and are being topped off. Weather looks good for 9:06 a.m EST liftoff.

NASA, 7:46 a.m. CST: T-20 minutes and counting. The range is being cleared for the Falcon 9 launch.

SpaceX, 7:48 a.m. CST: Chief Engineer has completed his poll to enter terminal count -- all systems report GO.

NASA, 7:54 a.m. CST: SpaceX is initiating its terminal countdown for the Falcon 9 launch.

Updates pausing for launch photography...

Robert Pearlman
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NASA/SpaceX Twitter updates
NASA, 8:03 a.m. CST: Countdown has been aborted. Standing by for details.

SpaceX, 8:07 a.m. CST: We are recycling, update shortly.

NASA, 8:11 a.m. CST: SpaceX controllers are reviewing data and are working toward a new tentative launch time of 10:42 a.m. EST. Countdown clock is reset to T-13 minutes.

NASA, 8:13 a.m. CST: SpaceX confirming it will try again for the next window. Window opens at 9:38 a.m. CST with a launch time of 9:42 a.m. CST.

SpaceX, 8:20 a.m. CST: Countdown clock is recycled and held at T-13 minutes. We have two more launch opportunities today. 10:38 - 10:42 a.m. EST and 12:16 - 12:28 p.m. EST.

NASA, 8:24 a.m. CST: SpaceX controllers have resumed liquid oxygen loading. Working towards 10:42 a.m. launch depending on resolution of issue that caused abort.

Robert Pearlman
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NASA/SpaceX Twitter updates
NASA, 8:39 a.m. CST: SpaceX launch control reports a new launch time of 10:43 a.m. EST. Launch team reports it has fixed the issue that prompted the earlier abort.

SpaceX, 8:40 a.m. CST: We had a false abort on the Ordnance Interrupter (OI) ground feedback on position in our terminal count. We've corrected the terminal count and will make another attempt.

Robert Pearlman
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SpaceX Twitter updates
SpaceX, 9:30 a.m. CST: Countdown clock restarting NOW at T-13 minutes.

The clock has picked up. SpaceX Launch Director gives "go" to enter terminal countdown.

SpaceX, 9:33 a.m. CST: Merlin engine pre-valves open and engine chilling underway.

SpaceX, 9:36 a.m. CST: Command flight computer entering alignment state. Transfer to internal power on stage one and stage two at T-4 minutes, 46 seconds.

SpaceX, 9:37 a.m. CST: Command flight computer entering alignment state. Transfer to internal power on stage one and stage two at T-4 minutes, 46 seconds.

SpaceX, 9:38 a.m. CST: Falcon 9 is on internal power.

SpaceX, 9:39 a.m. CST: Flight Termination System being armed. Terminate liquid oxygen propellant topping at T-3 minutes, two seconds.

SpaceX, 9:40 a.m. CST: SpaceX Launch Director verifies we're "go" for launch!

Range Officer verifies we're "go" for launch.

SpaceX, 9:41 a.m. CST: Flight computer command thrust vector control actuator checks on stage one.

SpaceX, 9:42 a.m. CST: Tanks pressurizing.

Robert Pearlman
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SpaceX Twitter updates
SpaceX, 9:43 a.m. CST: Liftoff!


Credit: collectSPACE/Robert Pearlman

SpaceX, 9:45 a.m. CST: First Stage shut down (main engine cutoff)

SpaceX, 9:46 a.m. CST: Stage separation

SpaceX, 9:47 a.m. CST: Second stage engine is firing

SpaceX, 9:48 a.m. CST: Dragon separates from Falcon 9 and initializes propulsion

SpaceX, 9:52 a.m. CST: On-orbit operations underway

SpaceX, 9:54 a.m. CST: Beautiful launch! Dragon is in orbit. Will provide status updates as available.

Robert Pearlman
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SpaceX Twitter updates
SpaceX, 10:48 a.m. CST: Dragon performing nominally.

SpaceX, 11:16 a.m. CST: Dragon is in orbit, communicating with TDRSS, performing maneuvers, operations nominal.

SpaceX, 11:17 a.m. CST: First stage recovery -- they have telemetry and radar on one of the Talon Pods -- boat steaming that way.

Robert Pearlman
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SpaceX Twitter updates
SpaceX, 12:17 p.m. CST: Four Draco thrusters performing deorbit burn now.

SpaceX, 12:22 p.m. CST: De-orbit burn complete!

SpaceX, 12:23 p.m. CST: Dragon is in reentry attitude.

SpaceX, 12:52 p.m. CST: Drogue chutes deployed.

SpaceX, 12:55 p.m. CST: THREE MAIN PARACHUTES DEPLOYED!!!!

Robert Pearlman
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SpaceX Twitter updates
SpaceX, 1:04 p.m. CST: SPLASHDOWN!!!

SpaceX, 1:21 p.m. CST: Splashdown on target. Mission is a success!

SpaceX, 1:27 p.m. CST: Recovery crew has put the floats on the Dragon already.

Robert Pearlman
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SpaceX release
SpaceX's Dragon Spacecraft Re-Enters Successfully

Today, SpaceX became the first commercial company in history to re-enter a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit.

SpaceX launched its Dragon spacecraft into low-Earth orbit atop a Falcon 9 rocket at 10:43 AM EST from the Air Force Station at Cape Canaveral.

The Dragon spacecraft orbited the Earth at speeds greater than 17,000 miles per hour, reentered the Earth's atmosphere, and landed in the Pacific Ocean shortly after 2:00 PM EST.

This marks the first time a commercial company has successfully recovered a spacecraft reentering from low-Earth orbit. It is a feat performed by only six nations or government agencies: the United States, Russia, China, Japan, India, and the European Space Agency.

It is also the first flight under NASA's COTS program to develop commercial supply services to the International Space Station. After the Space Shuttle retires, SpaceX will fly at least 12 missions to carry cargo to and from the International Space Station as part of the Commercial Resupply Services contract for NASA. The Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft were designed to one day carry astronauts; both the COTS and CRS missions will yield valuable flight experience toward this goal.

Jay Chladek
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posted 12-08-2010 01:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice launch!

Looks like there was a bit of leftover fuel in the (what I believe to be) first stage feed line after it pulled away from the booster just prior to liftoff. When the Falcon 9 lit, it ignited the fuel in the line and created a little orange fireball next to the pad. Glad to see it got up safely.

moorouge
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posted 12-08-2010 02:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX will have completed the first demonstration under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program, and will match a feat only earlier achieved by the governments and space agencies of the U.S., Russia, Europe, Japan, China and India.
What about the UK with Black Arrow and Prospero? We did that by ourselves and NOT part of Europe.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-08-2010 02:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by moorouge:
What about the UK with Black Arrow and Prospero?
Unless I am mistaken, Black Arrow/Prospero was not designed to reenter nor was recovered back on Earth, which is the feat that SpaceX is heralding today.

issman1
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posted 12-08-2010 03:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
First class job by the entire SpaceX team. You've proven the naysayers wrong, and shown that orbital spaceflight is no longer the preserve of governments.

Jay Chladek
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posted 12-08-2010 03:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a great day for SpaceX. This is what they needed, another success. In two launches, they have shown the booster as a good design and Dragon apparently being a workable spacecraft design. Results are what they need, not talk. Keep doing what they did today and the sky will no longer be the limit.

One benefit I see is their quick turnaround of the booster after problems occurred. Of course, a manned project will add a certain amount of red tape due to inspection and certification of the design if a problem crops up (stuff which may seem at a glance to be a waste, but really isn't as it only takes ONE failure to ruin things). But if the booster is that easy to erect and fold down, then that can be a big cost savings over other similar equipment.

yeknom-ecaps
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posted 12-08-2010 08:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yeknom-ecaps   Click Here to Email yeknom-ecaps     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Where did it land in the Pacific Ocean?

Various articles have:

  • 500 miles off the California coast
  • off Southern California
  • off the coast of Mexico
  • 800km off of Mexico
Was there a map that showed the target recovery area?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-08-2010 08:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX did not release the specific coordinates (or a map) of its splashdown site. Their statement was that it landed about 500 miles off the coast of southern California, near Baja.

According to SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell, Dragon splashed down with 10 kilometers (if not as close as 800 meters) of their target. Their target ellipse was 60 by 20 kilometers and they landed "well inside of that."

cspg
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posted 12-08-2010 11:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
You've proven the naysayers wrong, and shown that orbital spaceflight is no longer the preserve of governments.
With the notable exception that nobody was aboard...

cspg
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posted 12-08-2010 11:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
According to SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell, Dragon splashed down with 10 kilometers (if not as close as 800 meters) of their target.

I hope there's a typo here. It's a quite a stretch going from 800m to 10,000m. In French, we would call that statement "some sort of artistic blur".

issman1
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posted 12-09-2010 08:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
With the notable exception that nobody was aboard...

The same can be said of ESA's ATV and JAXA's HTV, with the notable exception neither can make an atmospheric re-entry and parachute landing.

For all intents and purposes Falcon 9 looked like a Soyuz during ascent. That's what it and Dragon represent: an American rival.

I think it's only a matter of time (3-4 years) before it launches crew to the ISS.

jasonelam
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From: Monticello, KY USA
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 12-09-2010 09:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jasonelam   Click Here to Email jasonelam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congratulations to SpaceX on this great accomplishment! They have had two successful launches of their Falcon 9 rocket (considering they went 0-3 with Falcon 1 before the first successful launch) and sent Dragon on it's first mission with success.

This really goes the extra mile to convince NASA to combine the next two COTS flights so the next Dragon flight can dock with the ISS.

I agree with issman1 in that this is an American rival to Soyuz, but I also feel that it will become a rival to Progress as well. From the stats it appears to have equal if not more cargo capability.

Spacefest
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Posts: 1056
From: Tucson, AZ USA
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 12-09-2010 01:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacefest   Click Here to Email Spacefest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Chinese would be better off buying Dragon capsules instead of Soyuz. Besides, the name works better for them.

music_space
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Posts: 1050
From: Canada
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 12-09-2010 03:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for music_space   Click Here to Email music_space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the Photo Gallery put up by Robert, I'm a bit puzzled by one of the pictures taken from inside the cockpit looking out. It says "T+00:53:50", which is well into the first orbit, yet it looks like it's taken at a few miles' altitude... What gives?

ejectr
Member

Posts: 1488
From: Brimfield, MA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 12-09-2010 03:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, I thought the same thing. Looks just above the clouds and the sky is not dark. Don't see that whisp of blue atmosphere, either. I enlarged it and it looks like what you'd see out an airliner's window at altitude.

Greggy_D
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Posts: 629
From: Michigan
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 12-09-2010 05:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ejectr:
I enlarged it and it looks like what you'd see out an airliner's window at altitude.
Anyone see a plume?

cspg
Member

Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 12-10-2010 12:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jasonelam:
this is an American rival to Soyuz
  • Playing catch-up (again)? The 60s are back.
  • Acknowledging after 50 years that the Soviets/Russians has a better approach to manned spaceflight than the US? They must be pleased - or laughing!


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