SpaceX Falcon 9 historic landing thread (1st landing attempt & most recent missions)

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davel

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Looks like the Turksat launch has been pushed off to Thursday, at 2028 ET.
 

boatgeek

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The Arstechnica article may say to save mass, but I thought it was to avoid having to get landing precision down from feet to inches and to reduce exhaust impingement on the launch stand. Hovering over a spot +/- the spread of the grids vs directly setting back down on the launch stand.
You're probably right. Concrete doesn't really like having a blowtorch applied. It's a little different with a steel boat deck.
Mass savings probably depend on what kind of legs they are intending to install. They probably would be more like the New Shepard legs, since the booster can hover and wouldn't need to set down from a foot or five above the pad. I would actually think that they'll need legs along those lines anyway for handling/storing the rocket.

If it's a problem of concrete vs. steel, they could just put a steel plate on top of the concrete pad. I'm a little surprised they didn't do that after the test fire failure where shards of <stuff> cut lines on the Raptor engine. If the steel gets eaten after a while, you can always make it replaceable. 1" steel plate is pretty cheap in the grander scheme of things.
 

DAllen

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Is this some sort of meme saying in the Muskiverse? I googled it and seriously didn't learn much other than it seems to be a saying among people deeply into all things Musk.
It's a reddit thing. Was curious if anyone here was going to understand it or have seen it before. Makes me chuckle every time I see it.
 

Nytrunner

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Isnt it from Everyday Astronaut? Like when he gets all fanboy giddy and loses grasp of the English language?
 

georgegassaway

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Well, two Falcon-9 launches this past week. Wednesday, Starlink-16, with a booster that landed successfully for the 8th time.

Sunday. "Transporter-1", launching 143 smallsats. IIRC that booster landed for the 5th time. And it launched southward for a Polar orbit, flying over Cuba and Central America.

Oh, someone quipped that if the mission had launched 1 more satellite, it woulda been Gross. For that reason alone I'm sorta surprised SpaceX didn't add just one more payload.


Monday, Starship prototype #9 might fly from Boca Chica. No official launch time, but expected to be no sooner than noon.

Flight profile may be like SN#8's, except this time hopefully the solved the header tank pressure issues and it will land safely.

Not even gonna try to pick a video stream link to post here. I suggest go to Youtube and keyword search for SpaceX Starship, and/or SN#9, and look for some well known sources such as NasaSpaceFlight and Everyday Astronaut doing livestreams.

The best video should be from SpaceX, but they won't go live until minutes before the unscheduled launch time, so it's still useful to monitor other sources for when the launch is finally expected (like say 5 minutes notice) and then try SpaceX's webcast shortly before launch.
(currently it shows the Transporter-1 launch, but if they do like last time the previous flight video will go away and be updated for the Starship test a few minutes before launch is expected).
 

Mushtang

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Here's a stream that's been live all day and the commentators seem to know quite a bit about the rocket and the program.

They said there's a village nearby that needs to be evacuated before they launch the SN9, and the village hasn't even been told to evacuate yet (as of 3:37 pm Eastern) so it's unlikely to launch today. I'd like them to be wrong and see it launch this afternoon, but I'd also prefer that the launch be successful and if that means waiting a day or two that's definitely best.


 

DaveHein

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I've been staying at South Padre Island for about 2 weeks, it was very windy today and the visibility isn't very good. The wind did die down about 3pm, but SpaceX decided not the launch by that time. I'm guessing the poor visibility had something to do with their decision. I hope they launch tomorrow, but I suspect it will be in the afternoon. This time of the year it's common that it is foggy in the morning, and the fog burns off by late morning.
 

georgegassaway

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For Starship SN-9:

"Launch is currently No Earlier Than Wednesday January 27th on a window that starts at 8am CST (9am EST, 6am PST, 14:00 UTC) and lasts for 9 hours. "

Gonna be windy Wednesday, up to 21 mph avg and cloudy. By 4 PM, wind may be down to about 15 mph and about 70% clear sky. They flew SN-8 about 4 PM last time, anyway. So if they fly Wednesday I'd expect around 4-ish, or closer to 4 than noon.

Update - launch probably not until Thursday. A Boca Chica resident posted that they were notified no launch attempt until Thursday at soonest. As I looked at the 10 day forecast, nothing looks very good.

After all, this is not an orbital launch with a proven rocket. Even with onboard cameras, they can't show everything you'd want to see in a rocket development program, so highly zoomed ground cameras are pretty important for documenting the flight. At least for a partly-cloudy day, they can literally wait for clouds to move past for a clear view, like we sometimes do in our own hobby for other reasons. This does show how fortunate they were for the great weather for SN-8's flight.

Forecast from Wunderground for Brownsville, TX (nearby). The solid gray filled pattern is cloud cover percentage: https://www.wunderground.com/forecast/us/tx/brownsville



BTW - I use Wunderground's 10-day forecast like above for nearly every time I plan to go out to fly. Including whether to even choose to fly or not, or to choose what day and what time of day (or for a club launch, to plan out what models I want to fly in that weather given the field size and drift distance of various models). It's pretty accurate for the windspeed and direction, as well as precipitation and temp. So, you oughta try it for your own launches if you have not already. Note the little rotated arrows in the wind cahrt, that point in the direction the wind is blowing towards ("up" = north, models would be blown north. NOT weathervane which is 180 degrees opposite).

The only other site with info as useful, sometimes more useful is USairnet, which is an aviation oriented site. Their charts have info hour by hour but only cover a 2.75 day span. So more useful for planning for a couple of days out or less, not many days out. https://www.usairnet.com/cgi-bin/launch/code.cgi?sta=KBRO&state=TX
 
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Huxter

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Thank you sir! I'll look Thursday for sure. I agree Wunderground is fairly accurate within 1-3 days. The forecast can change widely 4-7 days out.

Where does everyone get info on when SN9 launches? I'm trying not to miss it?!
- Space.com
- SpaceX webcast - https://www.spacex.com/launches/
- Twitter? Elon, SpaceX?
- Just come here and wait to see what George posts! :p
 

georgegassaway

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This story says they'll try Wednesday the 27th.

.

Do not have time to check for more info.

UPDATE - now it seems that road closures for Wednesday have been cancelled, so no flight Wednesday.
 
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DaveHein

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It was foggy all day yesterday along the coast. It will probably be that way today. There is a front coming through that might clear the fog. Hopefully it will be clear enough soon so they can launch.
 

georgegassaway

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They might try Thursday. They have road closures and FAA TFR's scheduled for Thursday & Friday.

It just seems to me to be pretty effed up that SpaceX rarely does any launch announcements for Boca Chica testing. That it ends up as "reading tea leaves" at times to get an idea if they are likely to launch on a given day or not.

Here's a link to one of the sources I use, NASAspaceflight with this thread about SN-9's launch. https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=52514.400

Another source I use at times if the SpaceX group on Facebook (unofficial fan-run, not officially Space-X.).

I suggest for Thursday, search Youtube for livestreams by Everyday Astronaut or NASAspaceflight, as they won't be doing a livestream if there is not a launch expected. Same for Friday if no flight Thursday.

 

boatgeek

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What obligation are they under to do so?
On the one hand, none at all.

On the other hand, they have a large fan base that would like to be able to tune in when it’s ready to launch, and it would be nice to serve that base.

On the third hand, their schedule is probably pretty loose so it might be hard to give a countdown. Why risk bad press about delays when Everyday Astronaut can be your press office and give the schedule?
 

georgegassaway

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What obligation are they under to do so?
Well, here's one. They are imposing on a PUBLIC highway, and PUBLIC airspace, by carving out a whole week's worth of road closures and airspace closures.

So, nobody could plan on traveling that road to the beach, or fly near it, or heck even travel in a boat nearby, for that whole week.

So, I do think they have an obligation to indicate whether or not they actually intend to test or fly anything, or not, on those days they took away from the public to travel freely on a public road, public airspace, and public waters.

And then of course there's also the nearby residents that have to get evacuated every time (although I had thought by now they had all moved out since SpaceX pretty much forced them to sell their homes to SpaceX some time ago).

BTW - saw another source indicate that SN-9 may fly Thursday.

And before closing out, I saw this and thought it would be neat to post:
"The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, with its two lit crew windows, is pictured docked to the Harmony module's international docking adapter." (That's the second Crew Dragon mission, Crew-1, launched last November, during a planned 180 day mission)
 
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georgegassaway

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So, the media people with "insider connections" that the public are not privy to, or have skilled tea-leaf readers, are acting like there is indeed a launch attempt for SN-9 today (Thursday the 28th);


Just because they go live at around 8 AM does not necessarily mean the launch will be before noon, and I'd bet more on the afternoon.
 

TomJo

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Well, here's one. They are imposing on a PUBLIC highway, and PUBLIC airspace, by carving out a whole week's worth of road closures and airspace closures.

So, nobody could plan on traveling that road to the beach, or fly near it, or heck even travel in a boat nearby, for that whole week.

So, I do think they have an obligation to indicate whether or not they actually intend to test or fly anything, or not, on those days they took away from the public to travel freely on a public road, public airspace, and public waters.

And then of course there's also the nearby residents that have to get evacuated every time (although I had thought by now they had all moved out since SpaceX pretty much forced them to sell their homes to SpaceX some time ago).

BTW - saw another source indicate that SN-9 may fly Thursday.

And before closing out, I saw this and thought it would be neat to post:
"The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, with its two lit crew windows, is pictured docked to the Harmony module's international docking adapter." (That's the second Crew Dragon mission, Crew-1, launched last November, during a planned 180 day mission)
It makes you think. Some space companies use mobile spaceports. This, of course, hardly applies to large rockets. But given the size of the company, why not build your own cosmodrome somewhere far from the settlement? And taking into account the capabilities of the company, they could come up with a cosmodrome deployed in a few days.
 

Peartree

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It makes you think. Some space companies use mobile spaceports. This, of course, hardly applies to large rockets. But given the size of the company, why not build your own cosmodrome somewhere far from the settlement? And taking into account the capabilities of the company, they could come up with a cosmodrome deployed in a few days.
That seems to be what they have in mind as they recently (reportedly) purchased a couple of offshore oil rigs. The rumor/speculation/scuttlebutt is that they plan on launching/landing from one or more of those rigs.
 

manixFan

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That seems to be what they have in mind as they recently (reportedly) purchased a couple of offshore oil rigs. The rumor/speculation/scuttlebutt is that they plan on launching/landing from one or more of those rigs.
Hmmm. Not rumor/speculation/scuttlebutt, SpaceX has for years shown launches using off-shore platforms. For example:


That article from a few days ago that recaps their plans and mentions that as far back as 2017 they showed animations using off-shore platforms. Not trying to be snarky, but it's been common/public knowledge for years.


Tony
 

Nytrunner

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On the other hand, they have a large fan base that would like to be able to tune in when it’s ready to launch, and it would be nice to serve that base.

On the third hand, their schedule is probably pretty loose so it might be hard to give a countdown. Why risk bad press about delays when Everyday Astronaut can be your press office and give the schedule?
They do have a large and info-hungry fan-base. Musk's social media presence keeps them stoked. The fan base provides free publicity for relative breadcrumbs of information
But another thread recently mentioned something to the effect of "scarcity increases value". The fanboys get a high from perceived leaks and gobble up the little bits of info available.

Folks like Dodd and labpadre have already gone through the trouble of setting up camera's pearing into your R&D space. Their web content fuels speculation, discussion, and traffic about your company, and you don't have to lift a finger other than popping on a stream when you're ready to go hot.

Your third hand nailed it. If their schedule slips to fix a technical issue, it slips. They coordinate with FAA and local authorities, and their ducks are in a row.
They'll tolerate what is essentially espionage on their activities, but they don't go out of their way to encourage it. Heck, a few years ago there was a guy on motorcycle around Mcgregor that would hop fences to take pictures for L2 or wherever else, then zoom away if someone looked like they were headed his way.


Well, here's one. They are imposing on a PUBLIC highway, and PUBLIC airspace, by carving out a whole week's worth of road closures and airspace closures.
So, I do think they have an obligation to indicate whether or not they actually intend to test or fly anything, or not, on those days they took away from the public to travel freely on a public road, public airspace, and public waters.
That's their testing timeframe. They believe they can be ready, so they carve out the time, but they also allow for tech issues or weather delays.
If there isn't a law obligating them to inform the public of their detailed plans, they're probably not going to do it. That's business
 

Peartree

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Hmmm. Not rumor/speculation/scuttlebutt, SpaceX has for years shown launches using off-shore platforms. For example:


That article from a few days ago that recaps their plans and mentions that as far back as 2017 they showed animations using off-shore platforms. Not trying to be snarky, but it's been common/public knowledge for years.


Tony
No worries. I was just trying not to say more than the article said and make someone think that I had more facts than I did. What I read was that they had actually *purchased* several oil rigs recently and it was *assumed* that they would, eventually, use them to launch Starship even though SpaceX had not explicitly said so at the time, or in that article.
 

Peartree

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Regarding today's possible SN9 launch, From Twitter:
Christian Davenport
@wapodavenport
Statement from the FAA just now re the SpaceX SN9 flight: “We will continue working with SpaceX to resolve outstanding safety issues before we approve the next test flight.”
 

cvanc

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As of 4PM Central time it looks like they have detanked. No frost on the bird.
 

georgegassaway

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So, looks like Monday at the earliest for SN-9. Meanwhile, SN-10 was rolled out to a second pad.




There may be a Falcon-9 launch Sunday for more Starlink satellites.

"Assuming a good test-firing Friday, SpaceX is expected to press ahead with launch of the Falcon 9 rocket Sunday. There is an instantaneous launch opportunity at 7:02 a.m. EST (1202 GMT), about 10 minutes before sunrise Sunday."

From: https://spaceflightnow.com/2021/01/...39a-for-sunrise-starlink-launch-this-weekend/
 
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