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US Space Program - A Thread

Discussion in 'The Americas' started by SvenSvensonov, Feb 18, 2017.

  1. sanjeevkc

    sanjeevkc IDF NewBie

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    Elon says it took 15 years to reach this point. What an amazing feat!! Hats off SpaceX!
     
  2. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    Air Force Space Chief Open to Flying on Recycled SpaceX Rockets
    (Source: Voice of America News; issued April 07, 2017)

    COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO --- The U.S. Air Force is open to buying rides on previously flown SpaceX rockets to put military satellites into orbit, a move expected to cut launch costs for the Pentagon, the head of the Air Force Space Command said on Thursday.

    The idea of flying on recycled rockets became a reality a week ago when privately owned Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, launched a communications satellite on a Falcon 9 booster that previously put a cargo ship into orbit for NASA.

    That Falcon main stage had been recovered from a successful return landing on an ocean platform shortly after its maiden flight last April, then was relaunched and salvaged again last Thursday, marking a spaceflight first.

    "I would be comfortable if we were to fly on a reused booster," General John "Jay" Raymond told reporters at the U.S. Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. "They've proven they can do it. ... It's going to get us to lower cost."

    SpaceX has so far won three launch contracts to fly military and national security satellites - business previously awarded exclusively to United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Lockheed Martin and Boeing. All those flights will take place on new Falcon 9 rockets.

    SpaceX, owned and operated by technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, has a backlog of more than 70 missions worth more than $10 billion.

    After last week's landmark launch, Musk said the company planned to fly about 20 more rockets this year, including the debut blastoff of its new heavy-lift vehicle. Up to six of those missions, including the Falcon Heavy, will use previously flown boosters, he said.

    Speaking at the symposium on Wednesday, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said the cost of refurbishing and reflying the Falcon 9 first stage was "substantially less than half" the cost of manufacturing a new booster - the most expensive part of the rocket. SpaceX's website lists the cost of a basic Falcon 9 launch at $62 million. SpaceX expects to reduce costs even further.

    The company's next goal is to launch and return a rocket and relaunch it within 24 hours. "That's when we'll really feel like we've got reusability right," Shotwell said.

    Raymond said the Air Force would need to certify that a used booster could safely deliver its satellites into orbit.

    "I'm pretty comfortable we'll get comfortable with doing it," Raymond said. "This is just beginning."

    Source
     
  3. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    [​IMG]<img width="678" height="381" src="https://assets.cdn.spaceflightnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/14210635/jounrnal_homepage-
    Live coverage: Atlas 5 countdown journal and launch webcast
    April 16, 2017


    A logistics-delivery vessel for the International Space Station, launched and operated privately by commercial companies on behalf of NASA, is scheduled for liftoff today at 11:11 a.m. EDT (1511 GMT) from Cape Canaveral. A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket will boost the eight-ton Cygnus freighter into space for Orbital ATK.

    upload_2017-4-18_9-31-48.png
     
    layman likes this.
  4. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    This is a 360 degree video, you can click the upper left and move the screen.

     
  5. BMD

    BMD Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Dream_Chaser_Spacecraft_Passes_Major_Milestone_999.html

    Dream Chaser Spacecraft Passes Major Milestone

    [​IMG]
    The spacecraft's unique cargo design transports more cargo mass (5,500 kilograms) to the ISS each mission. In addition, a significant amount of cargo, almost 2,000 kilograms is directly returned from the ISS to a gentle runway landing at a pinpoint location.


    Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) successfully passed the third integration milestone for the Dream Chaser program under the NASA Commercial Resupply Services (CRS2) program, bringing it a major step closer to providing resupply services to the International Space Station (ISS).

    CRS2 Integration Review #3 (IR3) confirmed SNC's Dream Chaser Cargo System design meets NASA's key requirements and maximizes probability of mission success during future flights. The spacecraft is scheduled for at least six missions between 2019 and 2024.

    The reliability of the Dream Chaser design was also thoroughly reviewed as part of NASA's Phase I Safety Review Process, which successfully demonstrated safety and mission assurance criteria.

    The reviews covered all stages of mission operations including ground, launch, flight and landing.

    "Passing the third CRS2 integration milestone is a really big deal for the program and its future," said Steve Lindsey, vice president of Space Exploration Systems for SNC's Space Systems business area.

    "We are proud of this accomplishment and are well on our way towards completing the next critical milestone and the remaining developmental phases. It's a great feeling to be executing all our milestones on schedule and to be moving forward to our operational flight."

    The spacecraft's unique cargo design transports more cargo mass (5,500 kilograms) to the ISS each mission. In addition, a significant amount of cargo, almost 2,000 kilograms is directly returned from the ISS to a gentle runway landing at a pinpoint location.

    Dream Chaser's all non-toxic systems design allows personnel to simply walk up to the vehicle after landing, providing immediate access to time-critical science as soon as the wheels stop.

    The complex and thorough review process found no significant design, build or system issues and underscored the Dream Chaser's readiness for flight.

    The major elements of Milestone 3 included:

    + Successful completion of the NASA Phase 1 Safety Review

    + 32 Hazard Reports and 16 Safety Data Packages approved by NASA

    + Dream Chaser Architectural Design's met all CRS2 requirements (hardware, software, flight dynamics, thermal control, etc.)

    + More than 100 detailed design documents were delivered to NASA along with 30+ design reviews

    + During the three-day IR3 review, more than 1,000 charts were briefed to the approximate 45 member NASA and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) team, which demonstrated that Dream Chaser is at Preliminary Design Review level of maturity

    + Launch vehicle operations, outside subcontracts and agreements

    + Range safety plan, as well as FAA, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) licensing

    + 5 Safety Review Phase 1 meetings were conducted prior to the IR3 review and involved the delivery of 46 individual Safety Data Packages developed under our S and MA team.

    In addition to completing this milestone, the Dream Chaser atmospheric test vehicle is in preparations for flight testing that will help verify these designs.

    The spacecraft is currently testing at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, having just successfully completed Phase One ground testing leading up to its second free flight test later this year.
     

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