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SpaceX Falcon 9

SpaceX Falcon 9

(OP)
I recently did a lot of research on the SpaceX Falcon 9 for an article I wrote:

SpaceX Article

It is pretty amazing how far SpaceX has come in such a short time.

When Elon Musk founded SpaceX, he envisioned a tenfold reduction in launch vehicle payload costs. One way to achieve this goal was to develop reusable launch vehicles, particularly the first stage, which represents 70% of the vehicle’s cost.

SpaceX has implemented its reusable launch system development program over the past several years. This program has included development of the Grasshopper and the F9R Dev classes of test vehicles. The Grasshopper was a 106-foot-tall, single-engine (Merlin 1D) vertical takeoff and vertical landing (VTVL) vehicle that made eight successful test flights in 2012 and 2013. On its final launch, the Grasshopper reached an altitude of 2,441 feet before it descended under a controlled thrust to the launch pad with the accuracy of a helicopter.

The larger and more powerful F9R Dev test vehicle began VTVL flights in 2013. It consisted of a Falcon 9 v1.1 first stage with three engines (Merlin 1D). It made a successful VTVL test flight to an altitude of 3,281 feet. The F9R Dev was destroyed on August 20 when a blocked sensor caused the flight computer to initiate an auto-terminate procedure. Construction of a F9R Dev 2 is underway for VTVL testing.

RE: SpaceX Falcon 9

This Spacecraft engineering form has a lack of visitors... Your article was interesting. Are you the IHS standard guys?
Hope the other folks, Orbital Science and Virgin Galactic, resolve their issues and get back on track too.
G-Pa Dave
pipe

RE: SpaceX Falcon 9

GrandpaDave,

I would not say the forum has a lack of visitors, but rather self imposed gag orders due to ITAR restrictions and competitive nature of the aerospace business. Other sites such as SpaceFlightNow has an active comments community comprised of mostly hypothesizing, name calling and poo tossing.

RE: SpaceX Falcon 9

Monkey Business... Everyone is an expert in their own minds.

RE: SpaceX Falcon 9

Grandpa,
I believe you are confusing me with a once Colorado senator and presidential wanna-be.

RE: SpaceX Falcon 9

(OP)
Grandpa Dave,

I'm not one of the IHS Standard Guys but I have the same boss and have a similar position. I'm an Engineer in what is now IHS Engineering360 but what used to be GlobalSpec. The commercial space race is really interesting. After researching it I think that SpaceX is head and shoulders above the others (Orbital Science, Virgin Galactic, and even Boeing). The only reason, as far as I can see, that NASA has contracts with anyone other than SpaceX is because the whole point of commercial spaceflight is for market economics to take hold. Not to sound like a cult of personality, but there is something special about Elon Musk that makes SpaceX special. That's not to say the other space companies cant catch up, but it's SpaceX that seems to be leading the way. As crazy as a rocket to Mars sounds, I bet SpaceX pulls it off in our lifetime and somehow makes money off of it.

Anyway, thanks for reading my article. At IHS we also have an Engineering forum you might want to check out. As with all forums there is a lot of dissonance, but there is also a lot of great engineers who like to talk shop.

http://cr4.globalspec.com/

Best Regards,
Roger

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