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Featured B "Space and Stuff"

  1. Aug 21, 2017 #341
    This was generally the case in this business for its entire history: prices were not publicly stated at all. There was no page on the ULA homepage with a price. SpaceX was the first company which did put a definite price on their official website, instead of asking potential customers to give them a call.

    In years past, this did not stop people interested in the topic from digging for data and discovering approximate prices of launches. One source is launch costs for government payloads, such as NASA planetary probes. By looking at various data, it was determined that Delta IV Heavy costs $400m a pop. Atlas V used to start at around $180m in the least powerful configuration. Now they are forced by competition to lower the costs and now they say the price is $109 million for the smallest configuration (Atlas 401) up to $153 million for Atlas 551. They also followed SpaceX example and set up a website with pricing information (RocketBuilder). It's amazing what happens when you suddenly have a competitor.
     
  2. Aug 21, 2017 #342

    mfb

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    SpaceX lists a price publicly - but only for missions that allow first stage recovery.

    Using this price for the higher capacity of a more expensive expendable flight is wrong. It is like using a Delta IV price and the Delta IV Heavy payload.
     
  3. Aug 23, 2017 #343

    mfb

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    A surprisingly reasonable article by futurism.com: NASA Chief: "There is More Going on Right Now in Space Than I've Ever Seen in My Career"
    Mentioning new rockets, new manned spaceflight options, and some unmanned spaceflight projects.

    SpaceX will launch Formosat-5 tomorrow (18:50–19:34 UTC). Originally planned to launch on a Falcon 1, it has a mass of only 475 kg. It launches from Vandenberg, where SpaceX doesn't have permission to land on the ground pad yet, so the first stage will land on the drone ship, increasing the potential payload mass even more. As far as I know, this is the most overpowered rocket launch (with actual payload) ever. The rocket can launch 50 times the payload (expendable), and it has launched more than 20 times the payload with a first stage landing. It makes me wonder if SpaceX will try to do something special after the nominal mission. The second stage should have enough fuel left to change its velocity by 3 to 4 km/s - enough to halve its speed for a softer re-entry, and potentially enough to reach escape velocity. The FH maiden flight is supposed to test second stage recovery, but this mission could be used for initial tests at lower speeds or with second stage modifications.

    A small advertisement: The Wikipedia list of Falcon 9 / FH launches was nominated to become a featured list. If you have suggestions how to improve the list, feel free to add them here. You don't even need a Wikipedia account to add a comment there.


    Edit: For the watchlist: Rumors that a binary neutron star merger might have been observed by LIGO+VIRGO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  4. Aug 24, 2017 #344
    DSCOVR is also very light (only 570 kg) and it was launched by F9 in 2015.
     
  5. Aug 24, 2017 #345

    mfb

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    DSCOVR was launched to nearly escape velocity, Formosat-5 is launched to LEO.

    T-1h 40min, 90% chance of favorable launch conditions.
     
  6. Aug 24, 2017 #346

    1oldman2

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  7. Aug 24, 2017 #347

    OmCheeto

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  8. Aug 24, 2017 #348

    1oldman2

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    Ya... you think they would fix a leaky fuel tank. :wink:
    Me too! :sorry:
    (Sooo.... How about that Eclipse!):woot:
     
  9. Aug 24, 2017 #349

    OmCheeto

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    I almost suffocated.......
    It took me about 30 seconds to remember to breathe.
     
  10. Aug 24, 2017 #350

    mfb

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    All liquid fuel rockets have that - you cannot fully close the tank, heat would make the pressure rise too fast. The tanks allow some propellant to boil off, where the cold gas streams out into the atmosphere you get water vapor.

    The mission was a success, the landing worked as well - the 11th consecutive landing that worked.
     
  11. Aug 24, 2017 #351

    1oldman2

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    Me 2, I was videoing when I saw the shadow racing across towards us. from there on out it was so surreal I couldn't believe what I was seeing. As you can see in my still life shot the crowds (cows) were really pushing us around.
    IMG_20170821_113112.jpg
     
  12. Aug 24, 2017 #352

    OmCheeto

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    Cows, coyotes, and flying monkeys. What a grand adventure astro-science can be. :heart:

    I too, took a "still life" of the junk required to do astro-science.

    2017.08.21.1025.post.eclipse.png
    Just 5 minutes after totality.

    ps. Pretty much missed the "shadow race". I was in a valley, surrounded completely by 500 ft tall hills. (44.52353 N 120.04811 W)
    Doh!
     
  13. Aug 25, 2017 #353

    mfb

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    The special thing was the mission profile. The satellite was put in an orbit 700 km high. The typical flight profile would launch it to an orbit with 200 km perigee and 700 km apogee, coast for half an orbit and then circularize an orbit.

    The rocket was massively overpowered, they didn't have to follow the usual approach. They could launch much more vertically to gain height quickly, and let the second stage gain nearly all the horizontal velocity. That way they didn't need a coast phase. It reduces the risk a bit as the second stage doesn't have to reignite its engine.
    The first stage typically reaches a height of ~130 km. This time it reached 247 km, a very high speed, and a very steep descent angle. It looks like a stress-test of the first stage re-entry procedure.

    It worked. The rocket landed less than a meter away from the center. The barge can tolerate ~10 meter deviation according to this article. Musk estimates that ITS has to land with an accuracy of about 2 meters to land in its mount. They are practicing already?
     
  14. Aug 25, 2017 #354

    1oldman2

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    You can count on it.
     
  15. Sep 13, 2017 #355
    One question comes to mind,
    How much does it cost to meet regulatory requirements to launch rockets?
     
  16. Sep 13, 2017 #356

    mfb

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    In which country?

    Typically there will be a large initial cost to get a rocket certified and then a smaller cost per launch. None of these numbers is public as far as I know.
     
  17. Sep 13, 2017 #357
    The USA, unless you know of what legal hurdles lie in other western countries. The thing that I find confusing is how do you manage aspects that are classified/ information not for export? If you want to show off parts of the rocket to impress the market/file patents it comes into conflict with legislation that restricts what you can publish......
     
  18. Sep 13, 2017 #358

    mfb

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    In the US that is regulated by ITAR. Some things you cannot show/describe publicly, what exactly will be decided on a case-by-case basis.
     
  19. Sep 13, 2017 #359
    Launch vehicles are not Iphones: people who buy rides to orbit are almost certainly knowledgeable enough to not be easily impressed by marketing tricks. They are impressed by past reliability record and price.
     
  20. Sep 14, 2017 at 9:35 AM #360

    Borg

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