WATCH LIVE: SpaceX will try landing its Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship again Tuesday [Updated]

February 19, 2016 – 03:23 am

spacex-reusable-rocket-test

Share This article

Update 4/13/15: The NASA live stream is embedded at the bottom of the post. The launch is still scheduled for 4:33PM EDT.

The launch was aborted with 2m 39s left due to approaching thunderstorms. They’ll give it a shot again tomorrow (4/14) at 4:10PM EDT.

SpaceX is on a quest to get things into orbit and be less wasteful doing it. After a less than successful test a few months ago, Elon Musk’s private space firm is set to test its reusable Falcon 9 first stage on Monday, April 13th as it launches a new International Space Station resupply mission. SpaceX will attempt to land that first stage vertically on its “spaceport drone ship” in the Atlantic Ocean after seeing the Dragon capsule safely to orbit.

Most of the launch platforms developed thus far have relied upon at least one or two stages, which decouple from the payload during the assent and drop harmlessly into the ocean. It’s necessary for the launch vehicle to shed this dead weight on its way to orbit, but it would be nice if these stages could be refueled and sent up again rather than being smashed. That’s the goal of SpaceX’s reusable rocket.

After the first stage has expended most of its fuel, it will detach from the Dragon capsule and the smaller second stage. The Falcon 9 will perform a flip and begin a retrograde burn to bring its descent trajectory in-line with the drone ship. The rocket will then deploy a series of hypersonic grid fins that can steer the craft during its descent. Another burst from the engines will slow the rocket so the grid fins can do their job. At this point, another burn just above the deck of the ship should allow the rocket to set down vertically.

The last test of this system during the January resupply launch ended with the rocket exploding on the deck of SpaceX’s drone ship (see below). According to CEO Elon Musk, this failure was due to the grid fins running out of hydraulic fluid. The fins were unable to steer the rocket during the final approach, causing it to be slightly off-target. Monday’s launch will include much larger reserves of hydraulic fluid, which should eliminate at least that one issue.

If SpaceX can perfect rapidly reusable rockets, it could reduce the cost of reaching orbit by a huge margin. SpaceX’s cost per kilogram is currently around $4, 000, but Musk has said on several occasions that he believes launches could be made about one quarter as expensive.

The main goal on Monday is for SpaceX to complete the sixth of its 12-mission NASA contract to fly supplies to the space station. The automated Dragon capsule will deliver 4, 387 pounds of food, equipment, and scientific instruments to the ISS before returning to Earth in a few weeks. Dragon is designed to land softly in the ocean so it can be reused. If all goes well, it might not be the only reusable launch component for long. The launch is scheduled for 4:33 p.m. EDT Monday from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.


Source: www.extremetech.com

NASA Commercial Crew Human Spaceflight Program for Transport to the International Space Station (ISS): SpaceX Dragon and Boeing CST-100 Contracts, Safety Reviews, History and Update Reports
eBooks (Progressive Management)

You might also like:

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Finally Makes It Into Space
SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Finally Makes It Into Space
SpaceX Falcon 9 blasts off for ISS
SpaceX Falcon 9 blasts off for ISS
Falcon 9 - Space-X CRS4 launch stream
Falcon 9 - Space-X CRS4 launch stream
NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services: A New Era in Spaceflight - History of International Space Station (ISS) Cargo and Crew, SpaceX, Orbital Sciences, Bigelow
eBooks (Progressive Management)
ACESR Spacex Year Of The Dragon Mouse Pad / Mouse Mat / Mousepad / Mousemat
Office Product (ACESR)
  • Excellent tracking for all mice
  • Smooth Cloth Surface
  • Non-skid base securely holds the mouse pad in place
  • Create Personalized Photo Mouse Pads
  • Dye Sublimation imprinted
SamSingl Samsingl Women Spacex Dragon Capsule Flip-flop 5.5 B(m) Us Rubber Colorful
Sports (SamSingl)
  • Cozy, beach-ready
  • SamSingl
  • Cozy, beach-ready sandal
  • Women
ACESR iPhone 6 Plus Case, Spacex - Year Of The Dragon Iphone Customize Photo Case for iPhone 6 Plus 5.5inch with TPU Black Border
Wireless (ACESR)
  • Designed for the Lastest iPhone 6 Plus(5.5inch), NOT for Apple iPhone 6 (4.7inch)
  • Durable TPU Materia
  • Access to all ports, controls & sensors.
  • Create a custom case with your favorite photos and designs
  • Thermal transfer, Photo Printed in the plastic plate

Related posts:

  1. SpaceX Falcon 9 Flight 3
  2. SpaceX Falcon 9 Stream
  3. SpaceX Live Stream
  4. SpaceX Dragon Live Stream
  • avatar Who would win out of 1 lv9 Jiggs and 3 lv6 Captain Falcons on SSB?
    • Jigglypuff, with 53 kills & 34 deaths if it were for 30 minutes