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SpaceX Eyeing June 4 Window For Falcon 9 Launch

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the road-trip-time dept.

NASA 67

PeterBrett writes "SpaceX has finally announced the window for its first much-awaited Falcon 9 launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral. Subject to good weather, the company plans to launch either on Friday, June 4, or Saturday, June 5, with the window opening at 12:00 UTC on each day. As usual, SpaceX will be broadcasting the launch live from its website."

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OT: something I've always wondered about... (0, Offtopic)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430826)

The summary says "SpaceX are..." When referring to a single entity, shouldn't it be "is"? As in SpaceX is instead of are?

This has always bugged me, and I'm sure I'm wrong on this, but when referring to a single thing, is instead of are just makes sense.

Ok, carry on talking about launches and all that happy fun stuff.

Re:OT: something I've always wondered about... (0, Offtopic)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430866)

God Bless, I'm half retarted*. I meant has instead of "have". Same principle though. /waits 2 minutes... /drinks more coffee

*yeah, I know, shut up AC.

Re:OT: something I've always wondered about... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32430900)

Also OT: isnt it funny how some people trawl the internet looking for grammatical errors to point out to others, FREAKS!

Re:OT: something I've always wondered about... (2, Informative)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430966)

I believe that is a US vs British situation.

Re:OT: something I've always wondered about... (2, Informative)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 4 years ago | (#32432660)

I believe that is a US vs British situation.

Confirming that I'm British, if that helps.

Re:OT: something I've always wondered about... (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#32446768)

I believe that is a US vs British situation.

Slashdot vs British?

Re:OT: something I've always wondered about... (0, Offtopic)

Enry (630) | more than 4 years ago | (#32431040)

IIRC, this is a UK thing. Google is failing me, but I'm sure someone will be able to provide a link.

Re:OT: something I've always wondered about... (3, Informative)

Eponymous Crowbar (974055) | more than 4 years ago | (#32431456)

Yes, the Brits see a corporation as a collection of individuals, and Americans see it as a wholly new entity. Insert snarky joke about recent US Supreme Court decisions here....

Re:OT: something I've always wondered about... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32432536)

Do you not mean 'Google are failing me'?

Re:OT: something I've always wondered about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32432614)

nah, cuz it's the Google Search Product that is failing him, not the employees of Google that are failing him :-P

Re:OT: something I've always wondered about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32434144)

Yeah, but like employees, there are multiple instances and even types. So it must be are, not is, based on the original comment.

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32430930)

Pretty cool. Aren't some new little cubesats going up with this launch? Any other payload info?

Weak Handshake (0, Offtopic)

s31523 (926314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32431172)

In the picture titled "Meeting the President at the Falcon 9 launch site, from left: Neil G. Hicks, Florence Li, Brian Mosdell, President Obama, Leslie Woods Jr., and Elon Musk. Credit: Getty Images"

What's up with that chics handshake? Reminds me of that episode of King of The Hill when hank meets the president and gets distressed about the weak handshake...

What, did some stupid European write this summary? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32431194)

4th June lol!! This is why in the USA we use M/D/Y.

1200 UTC? (4, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32431338)

According to SpaceX, the launch windows will open at 11:00 EDT (10 CDT for those of us in NOLA), which is 1500 UTC.

Re:1200 UTC? (5, Funny)

Koohoolinn (721622) | more than 4 years ago | (#32431494)

Their website states 1500 UTC too. So its one of those rare occasions where there is an error in the summary.

Re:1200 UTC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32431840)

If the submitter was able to copy a value correctly, he would be writing articles for a newspaper, not submitting stories to slashdot. Worker pool depletion can be a bitch.

Blasphemy! (1)

youn (1516637) | more than 4 years ago | (#32435954)

The summary is never wrong, please, you have hurt me in my core beliefs :p

Re:1200 UTC? (2, Funny)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 4 years ago | (#32432688)

According to SpaceX, the launch windows will open at 11:00 EDT (10 CDT for those of us in NOLA), which is 1500 UTC.

Yeah, sorry -- I'm an idiot who, apparently, can neither read the e-mail in my inbox nor the website I linked to.

Hey, you get what you pay for. :-P

Nice (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 4 years ago | (#32431472)

I'd been under the impression that other issues at the Cape had pushed it further back and I'd miss it. If they can hit either of these dates I'll be able to watch it.

The last Atlas launch I got to watch was very impressive. Not quite like a shuttle launch but still cool.

Kind fo sad really (2, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32431476)

When I was a kid I always thought the first man to land on Mars would have a NASA logo on his uniform. Now I know that he won't. And whether that man is a commercial astronaut or one from some other country (or union), it's sad to think how far we've come (down) since those days when we used to believe that moon bases and giant space stations were just around the corner.

Re:Kind fo sad really (2, Informative)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 4 years ago | (#32431638)

NASA still has a good shot... a better shot really, with things like Falcon 9 happening.

If programs like COTS and CCDev can take the hassle of maintaining our basic LEO flight capability away from NASA, it makes it easier for them to pursue those things that are truly frontier-expanding. Think of something like the Odyssey (from 2001) built in orbit that we can get astronauts to and from (relatively) cheaply using simple capsules like Dragon or an LM Orion-lite.

Commercial space isn't in competition with NASA, its supporting it.

Re:Kind fo sad really (3, Informative)

sconeu (64226) | more than 4 years ago | (#32431838)

There was no ship called Odyssey in 2001. That's the name of the movie. The ship was Discovery.

Re:Kind fo sad really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32456278)

Sir, would you be so kind as to point me to the right Slashdot? I think I may have been given the wrong address...

Why? (1)

voss (52565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32431722)

When Charles Lindbergh crossed the atlantic he wasnt doing it in a government plane he did it on a Ryan-NYP. NASA didnt exist back then.

The fact that it was an American pilot flying an american plane was all that mattered.

As for the rest we simply have to figure out how to do it for billions instead of trillions.

What is past is prologue and the future is not yet written.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#32432350)

Well... Lindbergh got his training flying in the Air Mail service for the US government. The Engine he used was developed mainly for the US Navy because they wanted reliable air cooled engines.
And Lindbergh was not the first to cross the Atlantic. The first planes to cross the Atlantic was the NC-4 flown by a crew of the US Navy. The first to fly none stop where two englishmen Alcock and Brown in a WWI Vickers Vimy bomber.

Lindbergh made the first none stop flight from NY to Paris and even then he got a lot of help from the NACA.

Re:Kind fo sad really (4, Informative)

TrevorB (57780) | more than 4 years ago | (#32432972)

The journey to the moon happened in a rocket built jointly by Boeing, Douglas, and North American, in a spacecraft built by Boeing, and the landing on the moon happened in a spacecraft built by Grumman. Even those spacesuits with the NASA patches were manufactured by International Latex Corp.

If NASA is paying the bills for a Mars mission and providing the Astronauts, everything will still have NASA patches on it, regardless of who builds the rocket.

Re:Kind fo sad really (2, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32433246)

it's sad to think how far we've come (down) since those days when we used to believe that moon bases and giant space stations were just around the corner.

Believing that is kinda like still believing in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus. It's not realities fault that your unfounded childish fantasies didn't come to pass.

Re:Kind fo sad really (2, Insightful)

Late Adopter (1492849) | more than 4 years ago | (#32434024)

We also thought we'd have jetpacks and flying cars. All that shows is how unrealistic we were (in some cases for reasons that should have been perfectly obvious at the time).

Re:Kind fo sad really (1, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#32434292)

Well, since Nixon killed Saturn, and botched the shuttle, which lead to the loss of the space lab, we have been downhill since then. However, I think that with the building of the Commercial space, that we will see Americans put on the moon in 2020 to start building a base. Likewise, we will put Americans on Mars to colonize it before 2030. The simple fact is, that LEO is expensive to be in, while putting a base on both the moon and mars is much cheaper. The reason is that ALL material must be brought to LEO, while ultimately both the moon and mars will produce much of their own goods.

Re:Kind fo sad really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32435462)

We may well be working on a moon base in 2020, but if so it will only be because the Japanese or the Chinese beat us there and we feel compelled to catch up. Otherwise, it just won't happen.

Re:Kind fo sad really (1)

Minion of Eris (1574569) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437914)

!#(* Mars! Long before we drop ourselves into another giant gravity weel we need to open up High Earth Orbit manufacturing, and maybe a moonbase. Drop a couple of NiFe and H2O asteroids into orbit for materials and use solar reflectors for power/smelting. This idea has been around for in SF decades, and is still way better science than landing on another large rock.

Re:Kind fo sad really (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32439122)

Well, since Nixon killed Saturn

This idiot legend again... Saturn production was capped in 1965 - and subsequent Congresses declined to restart it. At worst Nixon pulled the plug on a brain dead patient on full life support. For all intents and purposes it was already dead by the time he arrived on the scene.
 

[Nixon] botched the shuttle

As above, the basic Shuttle design (essentially what we have today) was already nearly complete by the time Nixon took office. By the time NASA signed the development contracts in July of 1968 (while Apollo 11 was on the way to moon as it happens), it was way too late for Nixon to have any significant effect.
 
Etc... etc... I could write a full debunking of the balance of your comment, but such a debunking can usefully be summed up thusly "not one single thing you wrote as factual is correct or bears any relation to reality".
 
It's frightening actually - Slashdot in theory prides itself on being smarter than Joe Sixpack, but this same ignorant and erroneous crap on Shuttle history keeps getting modded up.

Re:Kind fo sad really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32476508)

First, it would appear that you need to re-write wiki [wikipedia.org] as well as .edu and a number of gov documents to go along with what you are saying concerning the design. [si.edu]
First, it says that Spiro Agnew was the person chairing the group that recommended to keep us in LEO. Then it claims that Nixon was the person who chose to keep us in LEO. Last time, I checked, Agnew was VP for Nixon.
In addition, it says that the initial design was radically different, but the costs were going to be too high. It appears that the ONLY real design idea previous to Nixon was to have something about the size of a DC-3 (which is what the shuttle is).


As to the saturn V, the second run of the Saturn V was stopped in 1968 (pre-nixon). [spacelaunchreport.com] However, it was Nixon's budget submissions that followed that choked NASA of even using the final saturns for what they were intended: to launch multiple space labs. In addition, it was Nixon's lack of budget the prevented the Shuttle from arriving on time, which then led to the destruction of skylab.

Nixon bears a great deal of responsibility for the downfall of NASA.

Re:Kind fo sad really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32436440)

It's sad to wake up to reality? Those space stations and moon bases were never anything but dreams and hype and artist's impressions. There's simply no need and no use for such things. Space is empty. Why would you go there?
And don't give me the tired old "space mining" clichés that went along with the aforementionned pictures. Also completely unrealistic.

It's sad to see that we no longer have room-sized computers and boat-sized cars? Or rush people to the hospital in the back of station wagons and hope they don't die on the way?

The 1960s Space Age is dead. Wake up. Computers totally came out of left-field and replaced the Space Age nuttery with realistic, useful technologies.

Next stop? Biotechnology. Life extension.

Space? As dead as Santa Claus, and as realistic.

Re:Kind fo sad really (1)

Minion of Eris (1574569) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437772)

Don't forget the robot maids and flying cars

Delta Hey Max Nine (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 4 years ago | (#32431544)

We will be fine (we will be fine)
Falcon 9! (Falcon 9!)
Even though NASA say
"Way out of line!" (outta line!)


.

One large step... (1)

Covalent (1001277) | more than 4 years ago | (#32431640)

This may prove to be one of the most important stories of the 21st century...the opening of space (beyond LEO) to commerce and industry and (hopefully) colonization.

Re:One large step... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#32433104)

No doubt about it. He is actually doing things, and not just stealing other ppl's work or using that money to make their name.

Re:One large step... (1)

Chris Gunn (1336847) | more than 4 years ago | (#32443228)

No doubt about it. He is actually doing things, and not just stealing other ppl's work or using that money to make their name.

Not just that, but he has invested all his own remaining money, which inspires other investors: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/05/musk-says-i-ran-out-of-cash/ [wired.com]

Re:One large step... (1)

dlgeek (1065796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32433206)

As cool as it is, the Falcon9 doesn't really "open up" space beyond LEO for commerce and industry. There are plenty of solutions on the market that already offer this capability. However, the Falcon9 is much cheaper, so it makes space much more available.

Re:One large step... (3, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32434000)

As cool as it is, the Falcon9 doesn't really "open up" space beyond LEO for commerce and industry.

Note, for reference, that the Falcon 9 can put 4500+ kg into GEO, and the Falcon 9 Heavy can put 19500 kg into GEO.

Note further that the total deltaV required to put something into GEO (the insertion into the transfer orbit, plus the final burn to circularize the orbit) is slightly greater than escape speed.

Re:One large step... (1)

dlgeek (1065796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32434116)

Did you read the next sentence which said "There are plenty of solutions on the market that already offer this capability." The Falcon9 doesn't "open up" space because it's ALREADY OPEN TO THE COMMERCIAL MARKET (just expensive).

Re:One large step... (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32434438)

just expensive

When you change the price point of something, you open the market again. There are things that can't be done in the commercial market because it costs too much. "Cheaper" means some of those things can now (well, "now" meaning after Falcon 9 is operational) be done.

Re:One large step... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32436650)

Really? More important than fusion power? Or curing cancer? Or life extension? You're impressed by tossing the same old tin cans in space since the last four decades? Except now instead of being affordable only to governments, now it's affordable to multi-millionaires?

Who gives a damn? Give me better medicines! Give me better energy! (And NO, space-based solar arrays are NOT better!) Give me the damn leisure society I was promised!

Fuck overgrown children and their rockets, give me useful progress HERE. On Earth, where people can use it!

What commercial really means (0, Flamebait)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 4 years ago | (#32432240)

Commercial companies are currently contracted for Constellation. LM is the primary. What this 'commercial push' really means is NASA will no longer be in the driving seat for requirements and the public will no longer own the design, drawings, etc. So what you say? Well, currently Constellation is an ITAR program, which makes it fall under export restrictions. This means no foreign nationals, no outsourced jobs. An American rocket built by Americans. Ask yourself this. How many programmers does Elon have at paypal who are foreign nationals. This is the future of American space flight. Something to really be proud of. Nice way to drive yet another industry out of the country.

Re:What commercial really means (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32432454)

I am certainly not an ITAR expert, but I believe anything done in the US with or without government money is covered by ITAR.

Re:What commercial really means (0)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 4 years ago | (#32432750)

Certainly not true. ITAR is export controlled only. Typically DoD stuff. The model being looked into will be that of procurement only. The government will no longer have any ownership of the systems. Just like government cars and trucks that are bought for every day use are assembled in Mexico/Canada from parts from China or wherever GM/Ford builds them. Oh the contract winning company may be US based, but that's where it stops. There is no protection for the workers underneath. In this case, Commercial Space means Outsourced.

Re:What commercial really means (1)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 4 years ago | (#32433182)

Certainly not true. ITAR is export controlled only. Typically DoD stuff. The model being looked into will be that of procurement only. The government will no longer have any ownership of the systems. Just like government cars and trucks that are bought for every day use are assembled in Mexico/Canada from parts from China or wherever GM/Ford builds them. Oh the contract winning company may be US based, but that's where it stops. There is no protection for the workers underneath.

Oh, sure, this is entirely correct. Maybe I should apologise for calling you an idiot, despite your hideously misinformed opinions on the constitution of the SpaceX workforce and supply chain. :-P

But think about it this way. If you, the US taxpayer, have just spent a billion dollars on a set of instruments for use in orbit and have four of your best and brightest young people sitting on top of it, surely you'll want to make sure that you have the best performing and most reliable launcher money can buy?

If that can be sold to you by a company based in the US and doing all of its manufacturing and assembly in the US, so much the better. After all, this is exactly the type of very high tech project that your country still prides itself on. But given that the cost of the launch is a relatively small proportion of the cost of a space mission, but contributes a very large proportion of the risk, wouldn't it be reasonable to buy flights from the best provider available, whether based in the US or not, in order to minimize the risk to the taxpayer's investment in the equipment and personnel to be launched?

This all depends on how you perceive the US space programme. If you consider the missions to be a good in themselves (e.g. provision of high quality meteorological data, monitoring of high-altitude ash clouds from volcanos, measuring ground displacement and urban damage in the wake of an earthquake), weighing up only the results of each programme against its final budget, then you come to one conclusion. On the other hand, if you -- like several US Senators, apparently -- consider it most important that NASA is the mechanism for a large taxpayer subsidy towards jobs in the high-tech industries, then you'll come to another.

In this case, Commercial Space means Outsourced.

And, I ask, is this an inherently bad thing?

Re:What commercial really means (1)

CraftyJack (1031736) | more than 4 years ago | (#32434264)

ITAR is export controlled only.

...which includes "deemed export", e.g. exporting information by permitting a foreign national access to it.

Typically DoD stuff.

Most of the categories in the list of "munitions [gpoaccess.gov] " covered by ITAR are pretty clearly military. Category XV, however, covers "Spacecraft Systems and Associated Equipment", including non-military equipment.

Just like government cars and trucks that are bought for every day use are assembled in Mexico/Canada from parts from China or wherever GM/Ford builds them.

See "deemed export". Sending drawings and technical data to an overseas supplier would get you in trouble.

Re:What commercial really means (3, Informative)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#32434524)

Certainly not true. ITAR is export controlled only.

Which, if you take the time to read the ITAR documentation, you would know also includes any and all spacecraft systems. I used to help on a small, local satellite project at the university where I went to school. We designed and built 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm cubesats that were primarily constructed from commercial off the shelf components. Even our cubesat systems were subject to ITAR control and all of our projects, developed entirely for civilian, educational purposes, were inspected by national security officials regularly to ensure we met ITAR compliance. I guarantee you that Falcon 9, and all of SpaceX's systems are also ITAR restricted and, probably, even more heavily scrutinized. Furthermore, SpaceX does all of its development in-house which is precisely why they have managed to keep their production costs so low. They don't rely on subcontractors (and thus, outsourcing). So your original point is moot. ITAR applies to every space system developed within American borders. Circumventing such heavy restrictions costs millions of dollars in legal wrangling and an indescribably painful court battle (that will probably earn you a lot of enemies in the government).

In short, you, sir, are a terribly misinformed fool.

Re:What commercial really means (1)

zerospeaks (1467571) | more than 4 years ago | (#32432764)

Elon sold Paypal years ago. SpaceX is all american workers. Way to keep up!

Re:What commercial really means (4, Insightful)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 4 years ago | (#32432940)

Parent is a complete idiot. Elon no longer has any involvement in PayPal. SpaceX's technology is completely covered by ITAR; I should know, because I considered applying for a job there and was told that, as a non-US citizen, I shouldn't even bother. The Falcon 9 is very much an American rocket built by Americans. There are indeed "no foreign nationals, no outsourced jobs."

It's unusual to hear someone praising ITAR. ITAR is the reason that non-US organisations generally don't use US launchers for their payloads -- they can't work closely with the launch provider, particularly with respect to the sort of detailed technical information that's often very important in ensuring payload-launcher compatibility. People I've spoken to in the space industry while at conferences in the US frequently bemoan the fact that ITAR heavily restricts their hiring practices, meaning that they often miss out on being able to employ top people.

ITAR is what's holding the US space programme back.

Re:What commercial really means (1)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436660)

ITAR is what's holding the US space programme back.

Oh cheer up.. the next Von Braun is simply another World War away..

Re:What commercial really means (3, Informative)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437064)

It's unusual to hear someone praising ITAR. ITAR is the reason that non-US organisations generally don't use US launchers for their payloads -- they can't work closely with the launch provider, particularly with respect to the sort of detailed technical information that's often very important in ensuring payload-launcher compatibility. People I've spoken to in the space industry while at conferences in the US frequently bemoan the fact that ITAR heavily restricts their hiring practices, meaning that they often miss out on being able to employ top people. ITAR is what's holding the US space programme back.

Completely agreed. It's particularly silly when one notes that the US would have almost certainly lost the 1960s space race if it weren't for Von Braun [thespacereview.com] and his team of rocket engineers from Germay, and the Canadian and British engineers from Avro [avroarrow.org] .

It also makes it considerably more difficult when a launch provider like SpaceX wants to sell launch services, which is a large part of why Russian and European launch providers are currently creaming US launch providers on the international market. For example, the following difficulty occurred when SpaceX's Falcon 1 was launching a Malaysian satellite:

http://www.hobbyspace.com/nucleus/?itemid=13078 [hobbyspace.com]

Technicians discovered the satellite and the Falcon 1 upper stage rocket share a nearly identical vibrational mode, which could set up a damaging resonance. SpaceX is bound by ITAR restrictions from assisting with any technical problems on the foreign-owned payload, so the company delayed the launch to add some vibration isolation equipment between the rocket's upper stage and the payload adapter.

"The easiest thing would actually be to make some adjustment to the satellite . . . but that's not allowed," Musk says.

Re:What commercial really means (2, Interesting)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437282)

It also makes it considerably more difficult when a launch provider like SpaceX wants to sell launch services, which is a large part of why Russian and European launch providers are currently creaming US launch providers on the international market. For example, the following difficulty occurred when SpaceX's Falcon 1 was launching a Malaysian satellite:

http://www.hobbyspace.com/nucleus/?itemid=13078 [hobbyspace.com]

Technicians discovered the satellite and the Falcon 1 upper stage rocket share a nearly identical vibrational mode, which could set up a damaging resonance. SpaceX is bound by ITAR restrictions from assisting with any technical problems on the foreign-owned payload, so the company delayed the launch to add some vibration isolation equipment between the rocket's upper stage and the payload adapter.

"The easiest thing would actually be to make some adjustment to the satellite . . . but that's not allowed," Musk says.

Just one of many examples, sadly. Unless Congress acts promptly to introduce some sanity into the ITAR provisions, I fear that ITAR is inevitably going to drive innovative and competitive launch providers like SpaceX out of business, and prove to be the final nail in the coffin of the US space industry.

Re:What commercial really means (2, Informative)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32433240)

You are in fact an idiot of epic proportions. You couldn't be any more wrong, from their website:

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, SpaceX hires only U.S. citizens and U.S. Permanent Residents.

Re:What commercial really means (2, Insightful)

tsotha (720379) | more than 4 years ago | (#32439604)

As others have pointed out, this is not how things work in the real world. As far as the US government is concerned, all rocket development is "munition" development. Not only must you get permission to export any rocket or rocket technology developed in the US, as a US national you can't go to another country to work on a rocket project without running afoul of the law. Having foreign nationals working on your rocket falls under the "exporting rocket technology" part.

This came up a few years back when Armadillo was suffering because they government refused to get its act together. The suggestion made was "well, why don't you start a company in another country and build your rocket there." The answer was eventually determined to be "because everyone would end up in jail".

Counting going up. (1)

Bugamn (1769722) | more than 4 years ago | (#32432950)

Only 991 launches untill they release the Millenium Falcon.

Re:Counting going up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32435722)

No, no. Its not the number of launches, but the number of engines. So the Millennium Falcon really has 1000 Merlin engines on it!

Now for some reason I'm left considering the Beowulf Falcon. Thanks.

Re:Counting going up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32439870)

Actually, since this would be the first launch, don't you mean 999 more lauches? Or are you referring to the fact it's called Falcon 9?

The Falcon 1 had one engine on the first stage. The Falcon 9 has nine. The millenium Falcon would then have 1000 engines. That would
be something to see.

Cool rocket (5, Interesting)

joh (27088) | more than 4 years ago | (#32433064)

If you compare the Falcon 9 to other rockets you can't fail to see that this thing is quire cleverly designed in a very straight way.

It has only two stages and uses Kerosine/LOX in both stages. Kerosine is much denser than LH and makes for smaller tanks and easier handling. Both stages are essentially identical, with the second stage much shorter but using the same diametre tanks and domes and the same tools for fabrication. Both stages use the very same engines, too. 9 on the first stage, one in the second stage. This allows them to be build assembly-line style, much cheaper than to build several differently sized engines in small numbers.

The Falcon 9 Heavy will add to this two boosters consisting of just two first stages strapped to the center one. This thing will still use the same tools and the same tanks and domes and engines (28 of them) for all stages and for the boosters. Compare this to other similar launchers which often use two (or even three) different engines and tanks for their stages plus solid boosters, all expensively build in small numbers.

Re:Cool rocket (1)

kubitus (927806) | more than 4 years ago | (#32435966)

I fully agree!

principle copied from the Soviet. now Russian launch arsenal: same engine bundled.

keep it simple

the Russians however have a variety of tanks

- engineers in their younger years tend to invent things for the fun of it

when growing older, they appreciate matured technology and also matured wine *g*

Why does this suck me in? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32433208)

I don't know why, but this just sucks me in. NASA has a space launch (shuttle perhaps) and I go pfffft. But these guys push a rocket up and BANG! I'm right there. Why does it seem that these guys are doing something new, and NASA seems to be a re-run of something I saw (many years ago) when I was a kid. I suppose there is danger, exploration, breaking new ground, something new and fresh about it. When you go to an airport now, ho hum. But in the 1920's when it was all new, AIRPLANE! I saw an airplane!

Unconventional countdown procedure (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436530)

In retrospect, NASA officials have decided that the time-honoured countdown-to-launch procedure is overly complicated - so this time around the flight controller will simply say "FALCON... LAUNCH!" and it will take off.

Mars, the Corporation route (1)

Wardish (699865) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437174)

I would give better than 50% that the first person on Mars will be wearing a space/mars suit that has sponsor logo's like a race driver.

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