Eventful Friday for SpaceX amid Static Fire and Test Failure

October 27, 2017 – 08:24 am

Z3SpaceX has had a dramatic end to the week, with a successful Static Fire test of their Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket at Cape Canaveral, concluded just hours after the F-9R Dev-1 test rocket failed during testing in Texas. The test failure holds no impact to next week’s ASIASAT-6 mission, currently targeting Wednesday.

Falcon 9 Static Fire:

A key processing milestone for the launch vehicle was the Static Fire test, a requirement that is used to ensure the pad’s fueling systems – and the rocket – function properly in a fully operational environment.

Numerous requirements have to be successfully proven via such a test, such as the engine ignition and shut down commands, which have to operate as designed, and that the Merlin 1D engines perform properly during start-up.

The flow towards the ignition of the nine engines appears to have proceeded without issue, with a short burst of the nine engines confirmed at 7:41pm Eastern, slightly ahead of the the predicted opening of what was a four hour long test window.

Z9Once inside the barn, she will be mated with the satellite and fairing, both of which did not ride out to the pad for this test.

ASIASAT has confirmed the satellite is now encapsulated inside the Falcon 9 v1.1 fairing in the hanger.

Next up is a data review, which will be fed into the Launch Readiness Review (LRR) – a key meeting that will confirm the launch date.

The current projected launch date has held relatively firm on the schedule during this flow, only moving slightly to the right to what is now the August 27 target, within a launch window ranging from 00:50 to 04:05 Eastern.

2014-07-31 20_46_38-SpaceX Webcast - SES8 Falcon 9 Launch Success!- 3rd Attempt December 3, 2013 - YSporting 28 high-powered C-band transponders, with a design life of 15 years.

After being lofted into a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO), she will be positioned at the 120 degrees East orbital slot, with a global beam and a regional beam to offer enhanced power and look angles for video distribution and broadband network services in the region.

F-9R Dev-1 Failure:

The successor to the Grasshopper test vehicle, the F-9R Dev-1 vehicle was employed to demonstrate a more aggressive set of objectives, feeding directly into the ongoing efforts that will hopefully result in Falcon 9 first stages returning back to terra firma.

The first sightings of this test vehicle were shown via photos taken by several local people from a public road in the vicinity of the test site – some of which were provided to L2 (along with videos) – at the time providing the first glimpse of the landing leg structures.

The legs were closely based on the hardware that SpaceX is now employing on their latest Falcon 9 missions – bar the two ASIASAT missions, due to performance requirements.

The F9-R Dev-1 vehicle enjoyed several hops into the Texas air, providing impressive controllability, while refining the use of fins for stability and the pinpoint soft landing on her four legs.

The loss should not come as a major surprise, given SpaceX had already admitted they intended to push their test vehicles to the limits.

“So we’re 5-for-5 testing on this Grasshopper. But, but that means we’re not pushing hard enough. We’ve got to tunnel one of those vehicle into the ground by trying something really hard, ” noted SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell just over a year ago.

2014-07-28 11_06_02-asiasat 6 - Google Search 2014-08-23 03_13_13-gray-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com_ftpupl_kwtx_839c12f5211f48bea0bddacf61f246ac_Space

Source: www.nasaspaceflight.com

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