SpaceX teams in Vandenberg Air Force Base in California are preparing to launch a Falcon 9 rocket in orbit Sunday, operated by a reused first stage explosion flying on their third mission, first for the company when engineers are still pursuing a long-term goal of re-flipping the same rocket in back days.
That heading goal is still far away – SpaceX's prime minister, Elon Musk, said in May that 24 hours of rocket could take place in 2019 – but it is for the companies to gradually cut the time between flights of the same first stage.
Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX's vice president of SpaceX's building and flight reliability, said in October that the Falcon 9 rockets will soon begin to collect more flights using the same frame, step by step forward, with a large mission to promote the Vandenberg's Sunday mission, a military base about 140 miles (225 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles.
"So far, we've just flew a second time," Koenigsmann said on October 3 in a speech at the International Astronautics Congress in Bremen, Germany. "Initially we will begin to fly forward three times, and then take it four times, five times, so on and so on. We obviously have to be very careful about evaluating the advertisers who return after several flights. We want to make sure we do not You see red and unloadings in the wrong spots. "
SpaceX is now launching what it says is the final version of the Falcon 9 – known as Block 5 – which debuted May 11 with a 39A pad release at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The operation that launched this mission – taking the Bangabandhu 1 orbit for Bangladesh – landed on SpaceX naval ships in the Atlantic Ocean, returned to Florida for inspections and renovations, and then flew again on August 7 with a flight of glass 40 at Cabavavena Cabo Air Force Station with the communication spaceship Merah Putih.
Following another landing on the Atlantic ship in the Atlantic, the rocket returned to the shore, and SpaceX transported it a passport to California ready for its third flight, now set up for Sunday.
Liftoff of the Falcona 9 rocket is scheduled at 10:31:47 pST (1:31:47 pm EST; 1831: 47 GMT) of Space Launch Complex 4th at Vandenberg, at the opening of approximately half-hour launch window Sixty-four small Birds that extend from Rubik's bucket to refrigerator are mounted on the rocket, about 17 nations, with customers that include the US Defense Department, the Earth's business computing, international space agencies, universities and art museums.
Spaceflight, a Seattle-based company that provides launch services for small satellites, has reserved the full capacity of the Falcon 9 mission in 2015, has signed contracts with small owners to fill the route to a 357-mile-high (575km) sun polar orbit synchronized.
SpaceX plans to disembark the first stage, for a third time, on a ship shiped in the Pacific Ocean from the coast at Vandenberg, possibly for the next quarter launch.
While the new version of Block 5 of the Falcon 9 rocket introduced changes to make the first stage easier to recover and reuse, the flight wings continue to be a learning process for SpaceX, said in October of Koenigsmann.
"One of the problems is fatigue," he said. "You have to look at the live cycle on components. They vibrate, basically, and you have to look at a fracture and make sure that you do not have any fractures on these components. , and they track the number of cycles, and they know exactly when they have to go in maintenance or preventive maintenance.
"Something similar to us can do here on the rocket," Koenigsmann continued. "We can basically record the flight, and then register this to the history of the part, and we can understand when the share must be exchanged, if it has to be exchanged in effect. Ideally, you do not want to change parts."
Asked about how well the Blok-5 explosions are in place after each launch, Koenigsmann said: "I'm really surprised. The launch is, of course, the motors see a pretty warm trigger, so that the engines in the re-envelope should flow well. I'm surprised, how good the motors are in. There are details. We get damaged, and we have made arrangements, I would say. This is part of the reason why we have these blocks. We basically roll in changes to … improve the cart. At this point, I'm really happy. "
In missions launching satellite to a geostationary orbit, more than 22,000 miles (almost 36,000 kilometers) over Earth, the first stage can reach speeds of more than 5,000 mph, submersing it to warmer reaction conditions on the way back to Earth. For loads destined for low ground orbit, some hundred miles up, the first stage does not need to travel so fast.
"There are some of the warmest inscriptions, it's still something we work to make them perfect and make sure," said Koenigsmann. "In the end, the goal is to take the rocket and move it and throw it again. We have the goal of launching, basically within two days, and that would be terrible if we do it."
"The bulk of the work is the engine," he said. "We renew the engine. Most of it is actually unqualified parts for the next flight, so we simply exchange the parts. It is not a real damage. It is a preventive maintenance, where we know that this part can fail the next time so we just do not risk and we'll exchange it. We have some effective damage to things that fly from the hot shield and hit the air cover. It's very much what it is. It's not really bad. "
"The air cover is the thing that basically is the race at the side," he said. "We look at the tanks to make sure there are no surprises in the tank, and so far we have found only clean tanks inside. We sometimes see damage to the thermal protection system that affects the air covers, so they strengthen to make sure that we Do not break anything about landings. "
"With regard to renewing and building a new rocket, it's cheaper to renew," said Koenigsmann.
"This did not happen all night," Koenigsmann said about the reusability effort. "We've been working for it for many years, and we've put a lot of money there, and it was our own money we put in there."
SpaceX had some financial assistance, not only of Musk's fortune, but also from Google's investing capital and monetary infusion. The company's net revenue activity also generated money from business customers, plus NASA and the US Air Force, which has $ 1 billion in contracts with SpaceX.
SpaceX offered discounts from the sales price announced by Falcon 9 of $ 62 million for customers ready to place their satellites on a reused rocket, or as SpaceX-likes say, air conditioned. Mosk said in May that SpaceX had accused about 50 million dollars for flights using a pre-flown first phase, and he expected a "constant price reduction", because the company manages to experience rockets, and how SpaceX pays what Masc said was Milliardal investments in the ability to reclaim and fly advertisements.
In May, Musk said that the launch of Falcono 9 would cost less than $ 5 million or USD 6 million by a flight in about three years, assuming that SpaceX quickly re-used the first stage explosions, load loads and finally Falcon 9-second stadiums . But after considering updates to lay the Falcon 9-second stage for re-entry – it travels faster than the first stage, and would need to survive to higher temperatures. – Musk tweeted Nov. 16: "SpaceX is no longer planning to update Falcon 9 a second stage for rejection."
He said in May that about 60 percent of the marginal cost of the launch of Falcon 9 comes from the first stage, 20 percent of the second stage, 10 percent of the load load – an aerodynamic cover that protects the airplane's satellites while the removal – and about 10 percent of the operation, testing and assembly of a flight rocket.
SpaceX has successfully landed one of its rockets 31 times after an orbit launch – all since December 2015 – giving back the 15th producers from the edge of space and speeds of more than 5,000 mph (almost 2.3 kilometers per second). The company has reused a rocket 17 times so far, starting in March 2017.
SpaceX sent thirty-six missions since the company started resuming flights in January 2017 following the explosive explosion of the Falcon 9 rocket the previous September. The company's record since returning to flight for almost two years is perfect, after two failures in 2015 and 2016 – one in flight and one on the pad – resulted in the destruction of a space station and Israeli satellite communication.
The Sunday mission will mark the 64th Falcono 9 rocket flight since the first variant of SpaceX's workout debuted in June 2010. If the SSO-A mission is good, SpaceX aims to follow it with the launch of a new brand Falcon 9 rocket from Kabo Canaveral on Tuesday with another cargo flight leading to the space station.
"It's a further benefit or late impact, apart from just the economy of reuse," said Koenigsmann. "And that's, basically, you look at the acceleration after the flight, and you can find things that you would not see otherwise. You may see everything that leaks or where heat goes through, or something like that. You may find light articles , which have been tightened before you need to protect more. This is really incredibly valuable to make a more reliable rocket. You can actually inspect it.
"If you do not know what to do, you can simply put GoPro into the place and watch it at the launch. This is what we do, let's just pull it out and look at it and go, well, it seems good or we understand that That's something that needs to be reinforced. Telemetry is typically limited by bandwidth. We only register the telemetry locally, and we get the entire fast data exactly from a solid state basically on the vehicle and use it to watch all loads , which the vehicle sees, all the data that are important to us, and try to improve the vehicle based on these data.
"That's not just an economic part," he said. "This is the part I'm really interested in. My job is trustworthy, and reliability benefits greatly from reuse."
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