Sunday , December 5 2021

Launch & # 39; SpaceX Sunday will mean a new breakthrough in rocket rehabilitation – Spaceflight Now



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The rocket began to launch the mission & # 39; & # 39 riflettment of; the space mission SSO A & # 39; rideshare previous two twice – on 11 & # 39; May the pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, and August 7 from pad 40 at Station Cape Canaveral Air Force. Credit: SpaceX

The teams & # 39; SpaceX at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California are preparing to launch a Falcon 9 rocket in orbit Sunday, powered by & # 39; & # 39 booster again; used in the first stage on his third mission, the first for the company as engineers continue to meet long-term goal of & # 39; – the flight & # 39; the same rocket on days & # 39; after.

That emotional goal is still some time & # 39; away – the chief executive of & # 39; SpaceX Elon Musk said in & # 39; May that changes & # 39; & # 39 rockets; 24 hours can & # 39; happening in 2019 – but lead the company's efforts to reduce the time between flights & # 39; the same stage.

Hans Koenigsmann, the vice-president & # 39; SpaceX building and flight reliability, said in & # 39; October for the Falcon rockets 9 will soon begin to capture more flights with the same frame & # 39 ; aircraft, step approach that would take a great leap with the mission & # 39; Ħandenberg from Vandenberg, military base & # 39; about 140 miles (225 kilometers) northwest of & # 39; Los Angeles.

"S & # 39; now, we just gave two booster", said Koenigsmann on 3 & # 39; & # 39 October in; speech at the International Congress Astronawtiku f & # 39; Bermen, Germany. "Starting soon, we will start to fly boost three times, and then neħduh four & # 39; times, five times, etc. and others. We are obviously extremely careful in assessing & # 39; boosters to come back after flights multiple. We must ensure that clothing and tear in seeing & # 39; wrong places. "

SpaceX is now launching what it says is the final version of the Falcon 9 – known as Block 5 – to debuttat 11 & # 39; May with a re-39A pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The booster launched on that mission – which carried the Bangabandhu 1 Comsat to orbit to Bangladesh – landed on the ship & # 39; & # 39 space craft; SpaceX in the Atlantic Ocean, yet & # 39; back to Florida for inspections and adjustments, then re & # 39; opened August 7 on by the impending flight & # 39; Station of Force & # 39; Air & # 39; Cape Canaveral with & # 39; space & # 39; communication Merah Putih.

After another landing on the ship & # 39; air in the Atlantic, the rocket again & # 39; back to shore, and SpaceX ittrasportaha to the country to California in preparation for its third flight, now set for Sunday.

Liftoff of Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled at 10: 31: 47 am PST (1:31:47 pm EST; 1831: 47 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 4 East at & # 39; Vandenberg, in opening & # 39; hike about a half hour window. Sixty smallsats, ranging in size from cube & # 39; Rubik's a refrigerator, are mounted on the rocket, from 17 nationwide, with & # 39; customers include the Department of Defense & # 39; United States, universities and museums & # 39; art.

Flightflight, a company based in & # 39; September to organize services & # 39; launching small satellites, recorded the full capacity of the Falcon 9 mission in 2015, then signed contracts with & # 39; owners & # 39; smallsat to fill the ride to Sun & # 39; 357 miles (575 kilometers) – polar synchronous orbit.

SpaceX plans to re & # 39; download the first stage, for the third time, on a ship & # 39; drone stationed in the Pacific Ocean & # 39; the offshore f & # 39; Vandenberg, potentially for future launch fourth & # 39 ;.

While the new version of Block 5 of the Falcon 9 rocket has introduced changes to the first stage is easier to recover and re & # 39; is used, again flying boosters still process & # 39; learning to SpaceX, said in & # 39; & # 39 Okenigsmann in, in October.

"One of the problems is fatigue," he said. "You should see the certificate of life on components. They vibrate, basically, and I eye on the control of the breach and make sure m & # 39; have some infringement on those components. This actually not new. Helicopters do it now. they basically vibration machines, and they follow, in fact, the number of & # 39; cycles, and know exactly when they come in & # 39; maintenance or preventive maintenance.

"Something similar is what we can do here on the rocket," he Koenigsmann. "We basically to register the flight load, and then illoggjawha in the history of the party, and we can figure out where the party is exchanged, if in fact be exchanged. Ideally, do not want to change the parts."

Asked about how well the boosters of Block 5 is keep after each launch, Koenigsmann said: "I am actually surprised. Launch of course, the machines watching Gas & # 39; quite hot exhaust to start, to b & # 39; so the engines engage in income (again) be good … I'm surprised how many machines keep. There are details. we receive damage, and we made adjustments, I say. That's part of the reason because we have these blocks. We basically discuss changes to … improve vehicle. F & # 39; this moment, I'm very happy. "

Falcon 9 rocket lands on the drone ship & # 39; SpaceX & # 39; s after 15 & # 39; November following the most recent launch of the company from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Credit: SpaceX

On a mission to launch satellites into geostationary orbit, perch of & # 39; more than 22,000 miles (almost 36,000 kilometers) & # 39; above Earth, the first stage can & # 39; & # 39 reaches speeds; more than 5,000 mph, and submit to conditions & # 39; revenues from faster new road to the World. For loads & # 39; cargo destined for low orbit Earth, a few hundred & # 39; filling, the first stage m & # 39; not have to travel fast.

"There are some entries of the hottest new, still something we strive to NIPP perfluawhom and secure", said Koenigsmann. "In the end, the goal is to take the rocket and launch and moved again. We aim to go into, basically, within two days, and it would be tremendous if we do it."

"The majority of the work is the engine," he said. "Irranġajna the machine. Most of it are actually not qualified parties for the next flight, so we simply inpartu parties. It is not real damage. It's kind of & # 39; preventive maintenance & # 39; thing, where we know that this party can & # 39; fail the next time, so we simply do not take the risk and we tpartitha. We have some damage & # 39; the impact of stuff flying through the shield of heat reaching coverage & # 39; the aeromu. that is quite what it is. it's actually not bad. "

"The coverage & # 39; the aeromettija is something which is basically the raceway on the side," he said. "We look at the tanks to ensure that there is no surprise in the tank, and & # 39; now found only clean tanks on the side of & # 39; inside. We sometimes see damage from system a & # 39; thermal protection impact on the coverage of & # 39; aerobic, and therefore strengthened to ensure that no fallen on the landing. "

"F & # 39; & # 39 terms, renovation and building & # 39; new rocket, is a cheaper way to get & # 39; be arranged," said Koenigsmann.

"It does not happen overnight," said Koenigsmann of effort & # 39; re. "We worked on this for many, many years, and we we put a lot of money there, and it was our own money we have we put there."

SpaceX had some financial help, not only by fortune & # 39; Musk, but also investments & # 39; capital & # 39; risk, and infusion & # 39; cash from Google. The activity & # 39; & # 39 launch; The company generated revenue and money from business customers, along with NASA and the US Air Force, which have billions & # 39; & # 39 in dollars, contracts & # 39; SpaceX.

SpaceX has offered discounts the price of & # 39; advertised sales & # 39; Falcon 9 & # 39; $ 62 million to customers who place their satellites on rocket again & # 39; use, or how space X likes to say, the flight proven booster. Musk said in & # 39; May to SpaceX then ċċarraġ about $ 50 million for flights using the previous stage was hovering, and he expected "a steady decline in prices" because the company has gained experience with & # 39; rojs reusable , and how to pay what SpaceX Musk said investment of & # 39; billion dollars in the ability to recover and resume flying boosters.

F & # 39; May, Musk said that launches & # 39; Falcon 9 can cost less than $ 5 million or $ 6 million per flight within three years, assuming that SpaceX can & # 39; again & # 39; use the first stage boosters, the payload shroud and eventually stage Falcon 9 side. But after considering improvements to improve the second stage Falcon 9 for re-entry – traveling faster than the first stage, and need to survive temperatures & # 39; higher income – Musk tweeted Nov. 16: "SpaceX m & # 39; still planning to update Falcon 9 second stage for reuse."

He said in & # 39; May that about 60 percent of the marginal cost of & # 39; launch Falcon 9 is the first stage, 20 percent from the second stage, 10 percent of the fairing of the payload – aerodynamic cover to protect satellites from the air rush during liftoff – and about 10 percent of the processing, testing and assembly & # 39; rocket for flight.

SpaceX has been replaced & # 39; successful one of its rockets 31 times after orbital launch – all from December 2015 – which brought back the boosters of & # 39; 15 story from the edge of space and speeds & # 39; more than 5,000 mph (nearly 2.3 kilometers per second). The company reused rocket 17 times today, begun in & # 39; March 2017.

Thirty-three mission launched by SpaceX as the company resumed flights in & # 39; in January 2017 after an explosion on pad & # 39; Falcon 9 rocket in September & # 39; before. The company's record since returning to the almost two years ago flight is perfect, after two failures in 2015 and 2016 – one in flight and one on the pad – resulted in the destruction of & # 39; ship supply & # 39; space station and & # 39; .

The mission Sunday will mark the 64th flight & # 39; Falcon 9 rocket general since the first variant of the working vessel & # 39; SpaceX debut in & # 39; June 2010. If the SSO-A mission well go, SpaceX aims to follow it up with the launch of & # 39; new Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral on Tuesday with & # 39; flight & # 39, load to go to the space station.

"There is an additional benefit or side effects besides just use the economy again," said Koenigsmann. "And that, basically, look at the booster after the flight, and you & # 39; find things that you do not see otherwise. You can & # 39; to see where leaking stuff or where heat carrier, or something like that. you can & # 39; find loose joints have been tightened before you need to protect more. This type of & # 39; thing is actually incredibly useful to make more reliable rocket. you can & # 39 ; really inspect.

"If you do not know x & # 39; is happening you can & # 39; just put GoPro spot and view during the launch. That's what we do, we simply inħatu and see it and go, well, it seems OK , or we find this is something that needs to be strengthened. telemetry is typically limited by bandwidth. We only log telemetry locally, in the event, and get all data & # 39; speed from there by solid state basically on vehicle, and use it to look at all loads to see the vehicle, all data are important to us, and try to improve the vehicle based on that data.

"So there is not only the economic part", he said. "There is the part that I'm interested in actually. My job is reliability, and reliability is & # 39; greatly benefit from reuse."

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @ StephenClark1.

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