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SpaceX

SpaceX18 posts
11 Sep, 2015

Crew Dragon capsule images

Makes Statement

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.

20 Jul, 2015

Support strut probably caused failure

Makes Statement

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.

16 Apr, 2015

Will attempt ground landing

Makes Statement

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.

What's this? This is an unbiased just-the-facts news timeline ('newsline') about SpaceX, created by Newslines' contributors. Help us grow it by finding and summarising news. Learn more