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  [Discuss] SpaceX Dragon: First flight to the ISS (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   [Discuss] SpaceX Dragon: First flight to the ISS
Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-18-2011 05:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Editor's note: In an effort to keep the topic SpaceX Dragon: First flight to the space station focused on status updates, reader's feedback and opinions are directed to this thread.

Please use this topic to discuss SpaceX's first mission designed to demonstrate that a privately-developed space transportation system can deliver cargo to and from the International Space Station (ISS).

Jay Chladek
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posted 08-19-2011 04:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well then, now they have to really prove they are as good as they say they are. I think they can do it, but there is a lot riding on this one launch. For SpaceX's sake, failure of the Falcon 9 is literally not an option.

Jay Chladek
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posted 08-26-2011 10:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So, with the loss of a full load of supplies from a Progress craft, does SpaceX plan to fully outfit their Dragon capsule intended for the first ISS docking test to carry up a bit more than just a test load? Granted they can't carry up everything that the Progress could (such as the fuel for the ISS), but they could potentially bring up a few of the other consumables.

issman1
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posted 08-27-2011 02:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dragon will just carry dry-cargo, since it only attaches to the U.S. Orbital Segment.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-09-2011 07:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX has acknowledged to Space News that its Falcon 9 rocket experienced an engine anomaly during its December launch of the company's reusable Dragon space capsule.
"I'd call it an oxidizer-rich shutdown," former NASA astronaut Ken Bowersox, SpaceX's vice president of astronaut safety and mission assurance, told Space News in a Sept. 9 interview. "So because of that, when you get that mixture change happening, the temperatures can go up higher than you want inside the gas generator."

Bowersox added that "those temperatures could have damaged the turbines in the turbopump." That presents an obstacle for SpaceX, which eventually intends to reuse the nine Merlin engines that power the Falcon 9...

SpaceX spokeswoman Kirstin Brost Grantham said that the anomaly poses no threat to the company's upcoming COTS demonstration, a flight to the international space station (ISS) targeted for late November.

Spacecowboy12
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posted 10-19-2011 10:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacecowboy12   Click Here to Email Spacecowboy12     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great to see a small company taking on the biggies like Lockheed and Boeing. A successful flight to the ISS will be great for all of us.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-20-2012 06:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bill Harwood (CBS) reports that SpaceX's first Dragon flight to the space station is not expected to fly before March 20 and it could slip to early-to-mid April.
NASA sources said the company ran into problems with the planned rendezvous profile needed to guide the Dragon capsule to the space station. NASA dispatched a veteran flight director and trajectory analysts to Hawthorne to help SpaceX get to the bottom of the issue. Sources also said SpaceX engineers had encountered an electromagnetic interference issue with one or more components in the Dragon capsule.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-10-2012 10:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bill Harwood (CBS) reports that work to test critical flight software has forced SpaceX to slip its first launch to the space station by at least another month, from late March to late April at the earliest, to make sure complex fault routines and other critical components will work properly.
"SpaceX is continuing to work with NASA to set a new target date for launch, expected to be late April," the company said in a brief statement. "The primary driver for the schedule continues to be the need to conduct extensive software testing. This is a challenging mission, and we intend to take every necessary precaution in order to improve the likelihood of success."

Late last month, the company announced that launch of SpaceX's unmanned Dragon cargo ship atop the company's Falcon 9 rocket, originally targeted for Feb. 7, would be delayed to at least the end of March, primarily because of unspecified software testing.

The latest "no-earlier-than" planning date is little more than a placeholder on the Air Force Eastern Range, which orchestrates all launchings from the East Coast. Because of potential conflicts with Russian Progress supply ship dockings and departures and a variety of other factors, sources say, the SpaceX flight could slip into May even if the spacecraft is ready in April.

issman1
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posted 02-10-2012 10:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA excuses for SpaceX delays are becoming as similar and as repetitive as those for Roscosmos, it grieves me to say.

SkyMan1958
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posted 02-10-2012 05:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With all due respect, this is a new system, and delays, and even outright failures, are to be expected.

This is nothing new. Here's a piece (ex: Deke Slayton) from my collection (if you look closely you'll notice that each astronaut was signed by one of the Mercury 7). It was a cartoon, circa 1960, showing how long NASA was taking trying to launch the Mercury system. Space flight is a highly demanding field, and getting rid of bugs takes time.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-14-2012 08:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX is now aiming for an April 30 launch, leading to a May 3 docking with the International Space Station, according to comments made by president Gwynne Shotwell at a conference this week in Washington, DC.

A formal date will be set at a flight readiness review, scheduled for April 16.

Shotwell said the Falcon-Dragon will have "almost an instantaneous window," and due to the orbital mechanics needed to rendezvous with the station, "we only have the [launch] opportunity every three days."

"We may have to have a couple of [launch] attempts, but we're certainly looking forward to getting that flight off," said Shotwell, according to NewSpace Journal.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-02-2012 03:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA, SpaceX Announce NASA Social for Falcon 9 Launch Attempt

NASA and Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) will invite 50 of their social media followers to a two-day NASA Social April 29-30 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The event is expected to culminate in the launch of SpaceX's second Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) demonstration flight. SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket is targeted to lift off at 12:22 p.m. EDT on April 30, in an attempt to become the first commercial company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station.

Registration opens at noon EDT Thursday, April 5, and closes at noon Friday, April 6. Fifty participants will be selected from online registrations.

A NASA Social is an event for people who use NASA's social media accounts. For this event, fans and followers on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ are eligible to register. Participants will have unique in-person experiences with SpaceX and NASA, which they are encouraged to share with others through their favorite social network. Guests will view the launch, tour NASA facilities at Kennedy, speak with representatives from both organizations, view the SpaceX launch pad, meet fellow space enthusiasts who are active on social media, and meet members of SpaceX and NASA's social media teams.

SpaceX will launch its Dragon spacecraft atop its Falcon 9 launch vehicle to test and prove its systems for a rendezvous with the space station. The flight's objectives include a fly-under of the station to validate operation of sensors and flight systems necessary for a safe rendezvous, berthing to the station and returning the Dragon spacecraft to Earth.

Because portions of this event may take place in restricted areas, registration is limited to U.S. citizens.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-01-2012 10:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bill Harwood is reporting that SpaceX's May 7 launch date is in doubt.
Multiple NASA sources said the current May 7 target had been ruled out, although there was confusion in some quarters as to whether there might be a slim chance of keeping on schedule if additional analyses could be completed in time.

That did not appear likely, but NASA had no official comment on the launch date discussions because the SpaceX flight is being billed as a commercial operation and "it's up to SpaceX to make any announcements," one official said. Kirstin Brost Grantham, a SpaceX spokeswoman, had no immediate comment.

Because of test requirements and the nature of the space station's orbit, SpaceX cannot attempt back-to-back launch attempts on successive days. For this demonstration flight, attempts can only be made every third day.

For a launch on May 7, SpaceX would have a backup opportunity on May 10. After that, the company would have to stand down until May 19 or even later to make way for launch of a Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying three fresh station crew members. The Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft is scheduled for launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 11:01 p.m. EDT (GMT-4) on May 14 with docking expected two days later.

Multiple sources said May 7 was no longer a viable launch target for SpaceX but that the company was still holding out hope for May 10. A final decision was expected by the end of the week, if not sooner.

NASA space station managers would prefer to delay the flight until after the Soyuz docking because there would be no backup opportunity if the weather or a technical problem prevented takeoff May 10 and because SpaceX would not have a second chance to dock with the station if something went awry during the rendezvous.

Glint
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posted 05-17-2012 04:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would think that with launch currently scheduled for Saturday May 19 at 04:55 a.m. EDT during morning twilight, the powered ascent might be visible along the east coast of the U.S. as the Falcon 9 climbs to an ISS-inclined orbit.

With 2nd stage engine cut off planned to occur 9 minutes after launch, there should be ample opportunity to see it. In addition, any expelled unburned exhaust gases might be visible due to backlighting from the morning sun below the observer's horizon.

Jay Chladek
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posted 05-19-2012 03:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well well well, this is the big day (we hope). Whatever happens, I wish SpaceX good luck. Of course, more than ever I wish them good success since this seems to be the way of things. But first they have to get it off the pad.

Part of me also has this weird image in my head of Leslie Nielson as the doctor from Airplane opening a door to SpaceX's launch control facility. Everybody turns to see him as he says "I just wanted to let you know, good luck. We're all counting on you." Then he closes the door and things continue.

GoesTo11
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posted 05-19-2012 04:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Aaaaand...no go. Aborted; try again Tuesday at the earliest.

Spaceguy5
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posted 05-19-2012 04:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Oh boy, terminal countdown launch abort about 2-3 seconds after the engines fired. I believe they said it was caused by an abnormally high combustion chamber pressure in engine 5.

Jay Chladek
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posted 05-19-2012 04:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I heard the same thing. Pity, but failures (even the little ones) come with the game as one can learn from them as much as the successes. At least the computers did their job in not letting the craft fly UNTIL they were ready to let it fly.

Granted at this time I don't think SpaceX quite knows what triggered the abort (they just have the data). But there are going to be A LOT of overtime minutes burned at Canaveral if they want to turn around for a May 22 launch window.

Spaceguy5
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posted 05-19-2012 04:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceguy5   Click Here to Email Spaceguy5     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Musk posted on Twitter not long ago that it was the chamber pressure in engine 5 (which he said was slightly too high), and that they're going to adjust the limits the computer will go by for the next launch attempt.

issman1
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posted 05-19-2012 04:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was slightly amusing how George Diller announced a "lift off" then a "cut off".

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-19-2012 06:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell, early indications are that this is not a sensor glitch, but something misconfigured or wrong with engine no. 5.

Teams will get their first visual inspection of the engine this afternoon.

If they need to swap out the engine (using one from their next Falcon 9 to fly, which is already at the cape), they will need two days, allowing for a next launch attempt either on Tuesday, May 22 at 3:44 a.m. EDT (0744 GMT) or Wednesday, May 23 at 3:22 a.m. EDT (0722 GMT).

GACspaceguy
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posted 05-19-2012 06:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
...not a sensor glitch, but something misconfigured or wrong with engine no. 5.
Robert, do you know if there was any work done on engine no. 5 after the test firing? If no work was done or the engine untouched I think a misconfig could be ruled out.(just my thoughts)

Also, it is a credit to the design that an engine can be swapped out so quickly.

quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
It was slightly amusing how George Diller announced a "lift off" then a "cut off".
I thought so too. For those who have seen a large numbers of launches you can just tell when things do not look correct. That is what I got from that "Lift-off" announcement.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-19-2012 06:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to Shotwell, engine no. 5 performed without issue during the static fire. She did not say if any post-firing work was done.

She explained that the over-pressurization may be a sign that not enough fuel was getting to the engine, but the indications are the feedline valve was open.

J Blackburn
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posted 05-19-2012 01:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for J Blackburn   Click Here to Email J Blackburn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I look at this mornings abort as positive. A system that is in place worked allowing the Falcon 9 to abort launch. Whatever problem is discovered the fact remains that the computer detected a problem and aborted the launch. It (the computer) did its job.

My fingers are crossed for a Tuesday or Wednesday launch.

Larry McGlynn
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posted 05-19-2012 02:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am beginning to view this as a sixty year step backward. It's the Vanguard Project all over again. This is the fifth or sixth scrub since Nov 2011. An entire ISS station crew has transited the station.

I hope that some entity like ATK, Boeing or Orbital Sciences will act like von Braun and eventually step forward to take over the program.

If this bird doesn't fly soon, there probably will be a Congressional investigation as to why SpaceX has received approximately $344 million dollars in tax payer funding. If I were their VC, I would be starting to ask questions too.

I hope they are successful and prove me wrong next week. The pressure is definitely on them now.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-19-2012 02:55 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 Larry McGlynn:
This is the fifth or sixth scrub since Nov 2011.
I think you may be conflating scrubs and delays. Today was the first scrub for the COTS 2 mission — to scrub you need to be into the countdown.

Launch delays are normal for any rocket. Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle all had more launch delays than one probably could count, as has EELV flights (Atlas V and Delta IV), which will fly their 50th mission next month.

That underscores that spaceflight — regardless who owns or operates the rocket — is complicated.

But this, SpaceX's COTS-2 mission, is a test flight.

There's a saying about test flights: if nothing goes wrong, you haven't learned anything. This is when you want to discover what it is you don't know you don't know, rather than after you've moved into operational missions (in SpaceX's case, the dozen cargo deliveries for which they are contracted, which does not include this flight).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-19-2012 04:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk writes on Twitter:
Engine pressure anomaly traced to turbopump valve. Replacing on engine 5 and verifying no common mode.
More on the status thread: SpaceX finds root cause of abort, repairs underway

Larry McGlynn
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posted 05-19-2012 05:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
I think you may be conflating scrubs and delays. Today was the first scrub for the COTS 2 mission — to scrub you need to be into the countdown.
Delay or scrub, we are still waiting for all the hype to come true.

"Space is really hard." At least that is what Mike Griffin said a couple of weeks ago at the HBS Space Business Conference. It is hard and it isn't a money maker either, so says the people in attendance at the conference. I will clarify that by saying they don't think launching to the ISS is a money maker.

The trouble is that COTS is really just the taxpayer paying with a little help from VC or angel investor money.

I would define a scrub as a missed launch date. That is what Boeing, OS, ATK, Virgin, Arianne and a few others described it as during the conference that day.

Frankly, I would love to see Dragon go. Prior experience shows us that Falcon was shut down after five launches. The Falcon launch costs increased beyond Musk's original estimate by 100%. That was described to us by the former funds development manager at SpaceX.

Like I said, I hope that Boeing will finish their crew vehicle and use ATK's Liberty System to get US humans back in space from KSC.

Yes, space is hard, but Elon doesn't seem to be saying that yet. Too much hype and not enough action for $344 Million in cash and $1.6B in contracts. It's time to light the candle either successfully or with a final big bang and leave it for the pros.

Also, do you realize that the US has not launched a commercial satellite in over two and half years. That is because Russia, China, India and the ESA are government entities that can cut the costs below US commercial launch attempts. Also, they can wait out any COTS program operation and undercut the pricing until the operator goes out of business. Yes, Space Business is hard too.

I wish Elon luck but I would not bank my entire space program on a "disruptive billionaire entrepreneur" as he was described as at Harvard two weeks ago.

As I said, stop screwing around and light the candle.

GoesTo11
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posted 05-19-2012 05:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Larry McGlynn:
I am beginning to view this as a sixty year step backward. It's the Vanguard Project all over again. This is the fifth or sixth scrub since Nov 2011. An entire ISS station crew has transited the station.

Wow, seriously? Leaving aside Robert's appropriate differentiation between "scrub" and "delay," let's keep in mind that a) the ISS crews to which you refer went up and down born by hardware not fundamentally different from what SpaceX has built, and b) when, exactly, would you expect ATK, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, etc. to have anything on the pad, and c) how many more billions of taxpayer dollars (that's SpaceX millions, but with a "b" in front) would it take to make it happen? And what odds would you lay on its survival in this economic climate?

I've had my come-to-Jesus moment with the US human spaceflight program, and nostalgia lost. We need a new model, and SpaceX is, ironically per your reference, the vanguard. Big Aerospace is otherwise occupied.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-19-2012 05:33 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 Larry McGlynn:
I would define a scrub as a missed launch date. That is what Boeing, OS, ATK, Virgin, Ariane and a few others described it as during the conference that day.
I think you may have misunderstood them. All those companies have experienced launch delays, and none of them would describe them as scrubs.

But semantics aside, I think what SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell said in response to a reporter's question about Mike Griffin is point-on with regards to those looking to criticize SpaceX:

You know, it is really easy to criticize and it is very difficult to solve a problem and actually do something. So, I tend to focus on the business and getting our jobs done and not focus on those who want to criticize me or my company.
With regards to "screwing around" and lighting the candle, let's not catch launch fever. To quote Shotwell from this morning's post-scrub press conference:
This is not a failure. It would be a failure if we were to have lifted off with an engine trending in this direction.

Larry McGlynn
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posted 05-19-2012 05:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was hard to misunderstand the comments made at the conference. They used things like numbers and facts and not hopeful sayings and gestures. My comment was just a point of view as concerns another failure to launch.

I actually made another comment, but it was edited without being advised of the editing.

Still, Space is really hard.

arjuna
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posted 05-19-2012 08:23 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't see what the big deal is. So they had to scrub and try again in a couple of days. How many times did the Shuttle have launch delays?

To answer my own question, there's this (from 2007, so incomplete):

A 2007 analysis of shuttle launch delays by the Associated Press found that the NASA spacecraft launched about 40 percent of the time. The AP analysis found that of the 118 shuttle flights that had flown at the time, 47 lifted off on time. More than half of the delays were caused by technical malfunctions, while foul weather made up about a third of the delays.

And

For every one-day scrub when a shuttle mission is called off after its external tank has been loaded with fuel, NASA spends about $1.3 million, said NASA spokeswoman Candrea Thomas. Paying for the wasted liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants costs about $500,000, and $700,000 goes toward paying personnel, she said.

I don't know what SpaceX's delay costs are, but my guess would be substantially less than those for the Shuttle.

Ross
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posted 05-20-2012 08:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ross   Click Here to Email Ross     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When talking about delays/scrubs one can go back as far as John Glenn's Mercury 6 flight. It had as many as a dozen delays/scrubs over a two month period and it was not a test flight. So 6 for such a test flight is not so bad.

Jim Behling
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posted 05-20-2012 11:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by arjuna:
How many times did the Shuttle have launch delays?
Shuttle comparison is not valid. Falcon's "peers" are Delta and Atlas and not shuttle.

BNorton
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posted 05-20-2012 03:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BNorton   Click Here to Email BNorton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Agreed. Falcon’s market peers are probably the Delta and Atlas, at best. In capability alone, shuttle was "light-years" ahead of any existing or proposed SpaceX vehicle.

Also, as others have stated, the scrub is no big deal... it is to be expected with all vehicles from time to time, and frequently with new vehicles no matter who designs and/or builds them.

I will add that the launch and mission, when it is successful (and it will be... lots of government help and too many with vested interest in making it successful), it will not be a big deal. The "commercial" space business have been started by NASA many times in the past (Orbital Sciences, anyone).

What will matter is not this launch, but whether SpaceX can make money at their contracted rate and whether it makes any real difference in the future, say five to ten years out.

More scrubs are sure to come on other vehicles... never a big deal.

arjuna
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posted 05-20-2012 04:35 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Behling:
Shuttle comparison is not valid. Falcon's "peers" are Delta and Atlas and not shuttle.
My comment wasn't about a comparison of launch vehicles - obviously Shuttle was an vastly more complicated machine.

Rather, I was making a point about people's response to a technology learning curve. It's to be expected that new vehicles face more scrubs as its operators find out what they didn't know about how to operate the vehicle safely.

Shuttle, for all its splendor in many ways, never did get any easier to operate as it matured as a technology. In fact, as we learned more about its inherent flaws, greater caution in the decision to launch or scrub a mission became paramount (and appropriately so). Yet this didn't seem to provoke the same hand-wringing as we see now in some places about SpaceX.

SpaceKSCBlog
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posted 05-20-2012 06:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSCBlog   Click Here to Email SpaceKSCBlog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the last couple weeks I've run into several people who've said that the ashes of deceased relatives are flying on the Dragon.

I've not seen anything official. Does anyone know anything about this?!

Greggy_D
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posted 05-20-2012 07:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ABC: The Secret Celebrities to be Launched on SpaceX Falcon Rocket
When SpaceX launches its Falcon 9 rocket it will secretly be carrying celebrities. Actor James Doohan, who played Scotty on the original "Star Trek" series, died in 2005. His ashes will be on board this mission -- as will those of Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper and 306 other people. If you have the money, Celestis, a space services company, will send your loved one's ashes up to orbit Earth.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-20-2012 10:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell confirmed there are secondary payloads aboard the Falcon (not the Dragon), but that the company is not discussing them publicly for this mission.

SpaceKSCBlog
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Posts: 112
From: Merritt Island, FL
Registered: Nov 2011

posted 05-21-2012 04:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSCBlog   Click Here to Email SpaceKSCBlog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When I heard it the first time, I thought this person might be a little loopy. But now I've run into three or four different people saying it, so it must be true.

The couple who said it yesterday were telling me how they were out on NASA Causeway East to watch their "dad" launch on the Falcon 9.


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