Unveils Dragon V2 reusable capsule
At SpaceX headquarters, Musk unveils Dragon V2, a cone-shaped reusable capsule designed to carry cargo and up to seven astronauts at a time to and from the International Space Station. The first manned test flight for Dragon V2 is expected before the end of 2016. According to a SpaceX, Dragon V2 will touch down on land with the accuracy of a helicopter.
Falcon 9 launch0 Comments
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasts off Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, after being delayed for close to two months as a result of technical difficulties. The rocket is tasked with putting commercial communication devices into orbit, in satellites.
Falcon 9 met 100 percent of mission objectives.
Leaves Google for SpaceX
Wyler leaves Google to work with Space Exploration Technologies Corp. In his departure, he takes rights to certain radio spectrum that could be used to provide Internet access. This could hurt Google’s aspirations in this area in the short term, but there are many alternatives to spreading Internet connectivity globally.
Lifts off with ISS supplies
An unmanned Dragon capsule from SpaceX lifts off from Cape Canaveral, FL, and rockets to the International Space Station, carrying the first 3D printers for astronauts in orbit. In addition, the ship had batteries for spacesuits, clothes, food and a device which measures the speed of the winds in the ocean. The launch went smoothly. NASA:
What a beautiful morning it was.
Booster launch succesful, landing fails
SpaceX successfully launches a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket carrying an uncrewed Dragon cargo spacecraft on a flight from Cape Canaveral, Florida, to theISS International Space Station. The attempted landing of the spent first stage on a barge in the Atlantic ocean is unsuccessful. The Falcon lands on the barge, but it tips over after the landing. Musk:
Ascent successful. Dragon enroute to Space Station. Rocket landed on droneship, but too hard for survival.
Looks like Falcon landed fine, but excess lateral velocity caused it to tip over post landing pic.twitter.com/eJWzN6KSJa
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 14, 2015
Musk releases a video of the landing.
Will attempt ground landing
Shotwell says the Company will attempt to land the Falcon 9 on land, although no time and place are stated. The hope is that the added stability of landing on ground would allow a safe landing.
Just purely the boat moving, even in a low sea state, it’s hard to imagine that vehicle is going to stay vertical. That vehicle is big and tall, compared to the itty-bity-greater-than-a-football-field-size ship.
On risks of ground return:
The risk of damage to the public of ascent is far greater than return. There’s a lot of propellant going up, and there’s very little propellant coming back.
She also notes that there is a flight termination system in place:
It’s a lot harder to think about blowing up that rocket when you’re going up and it has a payload on board. But when it’s coming back, if things look wonky, blow it up.
Dragon abort test successful
The company tests the Dragon abort system at Cape Canaveral. The abort system is designed to save the crew in the event of a launchpad emergency. The capsule is powered by Draco engines for five seconds. After reaching apogee at 90 seconds, falls by parachute into the Altantic ocean
Rocket explodes after launch
A SpaceX rocket on a mission to resupply the International Space Station explodes two minutes and thirty seconds into its flight from Cape Canaveral Florida. The Falcon 9 is carrying about 5,000 pounds of cargo for the space station’s astronauts, including a docking port that would allow future crew missions to dock with the station more easily. The launch was planned to be been the third attempt to land the first-stage booster safely on a barge in the Atlantic ocean. Initial reports said the vehicle had an “anomaly on ascent”, with Musk reporting that the craft experienced a problem shortly before first-stage shutdown related to an “over-pressure event in the upper-stage liquid oxygen tank”. NASA:
SpaceX has demonstrated extraordinary capabilities in its first six cargo resupply missions to the station, and we know they can replicate that success. We will work with and support SpaceX to assess what happened, understand the specifics of the failure and correct it to move forward. This is a reminder that spaceflight is an incredible challenge, but we learn from each success and each setback.
Support strut probably caused failure
Musk says a support strut holding one of the helium tanks likely fractured near a bolt attach point, and wanted to move to the top of the Falcon 9’s second stage. Several helium tanks, each pressurized to about 5,500 pounds per square inch, are mounted inside the rocket’s second stage liquid oxygen tank. The helium is routed through the second stage’s Merlin engine, where the helium warms up and injected into the rocket’s propellant tanks to pressurize the stage as the launcher burns fuel, keeping the tanks structurally sound. Musk:
It may seem sort of counterintuitive that, as the rocket’s accelerating, that something immersed in the tank would actually want to go up more, but that’s basically what happened. The buoyancy increases proportionate to the G-loading. At approximately 3.2 Gs, this strut holding down one of the helium bottles appears to have snapped, and as a result, releasing a lot of helium into the upper stage oxygen tank and causing an over-pressure event quite quickly…Within the course of a second, this caused enough helium to be released, we believe, to over-pressurize the liquid oxygen tank in the upper stage. You don’t really need to release a lot of helium because there’s only about 2 percent gaseous volume in the stage because the upper stage propellant is not being consumed.
Crew Dragon capsule images
The company releases interior photos of the Dragon Crew spacecraft, as well as a video showing closeups of its control panels and crew seats. The capsule seats seven and is fitted out with carbon fiber and Alcantara cloth. Video displays in front of the seats will provide information to the astronauts about the vehicle’s position in space and the environment on board.
Lands Falcon 9 booster
SpaceX lands the first stage of its Falcon 9 booster on a pad at Cape Canaveral, eleven minutes after the rocket launched. The control room fills with cheers and chants of “U-S-A, U-S-A”. The space-bound section of the rocket successfully delivers 11 satellites. CEO Musk says he is optimistic that Falcon re-flights will become “pretty straightforward,” and will make sense because of the roughly $60 million cost to build a Falcon 9, only about $200,000 is propellant that can’t be recovered. The bulk of the cost is embedded in the first stage and its nine Merlin engines.
I imagine that we’re going to have a whole fleet of booster rockets accumulating quite rapidly. Then we’ll figure out how to make the reuse as easy as possible, so that really no work is required between reuses, apart from refilling the propellant tanks.
Falcon 9 launches 52 Starlink satellites to orbit
SpaceX launches 52 Starlink satellites to orbit, on a Falcon 9 rocket. The launch was SpaceX’s 43rd orbital mission this year. Viewers close by the launchpad witnessed Falcon 9’s first stage falling back to Earth for a soft landing atop the SpaceX droneship, A Shortfall of Gravitas, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. The company has already sent nearly 3,400 Starlinks into space and has a plan to bring thousands more aloft.
Falcon 9 launches 52 Starlink satellites to orbit pic.twitter.com/A4eGu4lmz0
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 25, 2022
Iran blocks SpaceX Starlink website
The government of Iran blocks SpaceX’s Starlink website following Elon Musk activating Starlink for Iranians.
The website https://t.co/yZnnlfljYg has been blocked in Iran, according to media reports and users. pic.twitter.com/19HwQ2j1Tk
— Iran International English (@IranIntl_En) September 24, 2022
One million Starlink terminals manufactured
After its recent launch of 52 Starlink satellites, Musk announces that SpaceX has manufactured one million Starlink terminals. The one-million milestone has been achieved less than two years after Starlink began taking pre-orders for the satellite broadband service in February 2021.
Starlink now over 1M user terminals manufactured
Starlink now over 1M user terminals manufactured
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 25, 2022
SpaceX, NASA move ahead with second Dragon launch pad
SpaceX and NASA officials confirm they are moving forward with plans to modify the LC-40 launch pad to support Crew and Cargo Dragon missions. SpaceX began studying the possibility of modifying the pad earlier this year, after NASA raised concerns about the risks posed by plans to operate its next-generation Starship rocket out of LC-39, which is currently used for Dragon missions. Likely modifications include building a new crew access tower, crew access arm, escape system (39A uses baskets and ziplines), and an on-site bunker for astronauts.
NASA's Steve Stitch says that SpaceX and NASA continue to look at outfitting SLC-40 for Dragon missions given Starship work at 39A. SpaceX's Gerst says that hardware is already in work to prepare SLC-40. Starship will only come to 39A after it is proven reliable in Texas.
— Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) September 26, 2022
SpaceX Dragon Capsule docks with ISS
Elon Musk shares a video of the SpaceX Dragon capsule docking with the International Space Station. The docking took place 29 hours after the Falcon 9 spacecraft took off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX Crew-5 is the fifth crewed NASA flight, carrying two NASA astronauts, one Japanese astronaut and one Russian cosmonaut. During their time on the orbiting laboratory, the crew will conduct over 200 science experiments.
SpaceX Dragon docking with @Space_Station (extended video) pic.twitter.com/AFBDKHddgI
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 7, 2022
SpaceX loses Starlink Mexican domain battle
SpaceX loses a cybersquatting challenge against StarGroup, a 60-year-old Mexican telecommunications and entertainment services company in Mexico that registered the domain name starlinkmx.com. StarGroup’s brands include Star TV, Star Go, Star Line and Star Group.
The company applied for trademarks in Mexico for Starlink for communications starting in 2015. In November 2017, SpaceX legal representatives contacted StarGroup, initially not naming its client, to see if StarGroup would sell its Star Line and Starlink marks.
In finding for StarGroup, the WIPO panel noted that the company’s brand name starts with star, and it has a history of naming products that start with star. The panel also pointed out that StarGroup applied for trademarks in 2015, which predates SpaceX’s intentions to use the mark. The panel found that SpaceX did not show that StarGroup lacked rights or legitimate interests in the domain and did not show that StarGroup registered the domain in bad faith.
SpaceX fully stacks Starship rocket
For the first time in more than six months, SpaceX stacks both stages of Starship, creating the largest and most powerful launch vehicle ever fully assembled. SpaceX has conducted three other full-stack Starship demonstrations: in August 2021 and February and March 2022. This stack includes Super Heavy Booster 7 (B7) and Starship 24 (S24). The stacking is taking place at Starship’s orbital launch pad in Boca Chica, Texas.
After an aborted predawn attempt on October 11th, the Starship was lifted at sunset about 80 meters (250 ft) off the ground, translated over to Booster 7, and lowered on top of the 69-meter-tall (225 ft) first stage. After about two more hours of robotically tweaking their positions, the two Starship stages were secured together.
According to Musk, Booster 7 and Ship 24 will attempt Starship’s first full-stack wet dress rehearsal (WDR) once all is in order, which is a fully loaded countdown up to the point of launch.
Starship 24 and Booster 7 fully stacked on the orbital launch pad at Starbase pic.twitter.com/1VKn6juQor
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 12, 2022
Dennis & Akiko Tito join second SpaceX Moon mission
Dennis and Akiko Tito are the first two crewmembers announced on Starship’s second commercial spaceflight around the Moon. The flight will be Dennis’ second mission to space after becoming the first commercial astronaut to visit the International Space Station, for 7 days at a cost of $20 million, in 2001, and Akiko will be among the first women to fly around the Moon on a Starship. Over the course of a week, Starship and the crew will travel to the Moon, fly within 200 km of the Moon’s surface, and complete a full journey around the Moon, before returning to Earth. This mission is expected to launch after the Polaris Program’s first flight of Starship and dearMoon. Dennis:
I think another first that’s very important is that we’ll be the first married couple to fly around the moon. And hopefully that’ll be inspiring to other couples to do the same. And I think I probably will end up being the oldest person to go beyond Earth orbit, so that will be nice.