Tag: SpaceX

SpaceX Faces Another Lawsuit Over Mass Firings

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Elon Musk (Credit: SpaceX)

Elon Musk (Credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX has been sued again over the mass firing of at least 200 workers in July. A second class action suit has been filed alleging a violation of California’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, which requires 60-days notice of the firing of 50 or more workers, according to Law360.com

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. was hit with another proposed class action in California state court on Tuesday over the aerospace company’s alleged failure to give workers notice of a mass layoff in July, marking at least the second suit over the firings.

A class action lawsuit filed earlier in August made the same allegation. SpaceX claims WARN doesn’t apply because the workers were not laid off but were let go for cause after the company finished its annual performance reviews.

SpaceX faces two other lawsuits filed in August. One claims the company broke the law by failing to provide regular rest and meal breaks. The other alleges racial discrimination in employment and promotions.

SpaceX has denied all these allegations and said it will vigorously defend itself in court.

Generation Orbit Hires Structures Lead Engineer

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generation_orbit_logoATLANTA, GA, Aug. 28, 2014 (GO PR) — Generation Orbit Launch Services, Inc. (GO) is pleased to welcome Mr. Zack Rubin to the team as the Lead Engineer of the Engineering Team’s Structures Division. Mr. Rubin will be responsible for leading the design, prototyping, integration and testing of flight structures, mechanisms, and separation systems for the GOLauncher family of vehicles. Mr. Rubin began his position with GO in early August.

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Steve Jurvetson Talks Investments in SpaceX, Tesla

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CNBC’s Josh Lipton speaks to Steve Jurvetson, Draper Fisher Jurvetson managing director, about his investment in all things Elon Musk and the future of Tesla.

Elon Musk Updates Status of Satellite Launch, Falcon 9R Destruction

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Elon Musk (Credit: SpaceX)

Elon Musk (Credit: SpaceX)

A message from SpaceX:

SpaceX has decided to postpone tomorrow’s flight of AsiaSat 6. We are not aware of any issue with Falcon 9, nor the interfaces with the Spacecraft, but have decided to review all potential failure modes and contingencies again. We expect to complete this process in one to two weeks.

The natural question is whether this is related to the test vehicle malfunction at our development facility in Texas last week. After a thorough review, we are confident that there is no direct link. Had the same blocked sensor port problem occurred with an operational Falcon 9, it would have been outvoted by several other sensors. That voting system was not present on the test vehicle.

What we do want to triple-check is whether even highly improbable corner case scenarios have the optimal fault detection and recovery logic. This has already been reviewed by SpaceX and multiple outside agencies, so the most likely outcome is no change. If any changes are made, we will provide as much detail as is allowed under US law.

– Elon Musk

SpaceX Postpones AsiaSat6 Launch

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Falcon 9 launches AsiaSat8 into orbit. (Credit: SpaceX)

Falcon 9 launches AsiaSat8 into orbit. (Credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX has postponed a Falcon 9 launch planned for this evening. The rocket was to have launched the AsiaSat6 satellite.

Early reports are that engineers need more time to review data from a failed test flight last week of its Falcon 9R reusable test vehicle in McGregor, Texas. The vehicle was blown up in flight after it suffered an anomaly. The Falcon 9 launch could be rescheduled for sometime next week.

Update: NASASpaceflight.com reports that SpaceX has provided no official reason for the delay. However, it reports that “engineers had been working on a helium leak throughout the past 24 hours or so.” That problem had been resolved with the replacement of two valves, but Elon Musk apparently then called a scrub to allow engineers to check the health of the vehicle. It’s not clear why.

Falcon 9 launches have been dogged by helium leaks this year. Reliable reports say the company brought helium tank production in house earlier this year.

 

NASA to Test Green Thruster Propellant in Space

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Artist rendition of NASA’s Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) that will demonstrate and test the capabilities of a high-performance, non-toxic, “green” fuel on orbit. (Credit: Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.)

Artist rendition of NASA’s Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) that will demonstrate and test the capabilities of a high-performance, non-toxic, “green” fuel on orbit. (Credit: Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Milestone progress is being made in readying NASA’s Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) for launch in 2016, a smallsat designed to test the unique attributes of a high-performance, non-toxic, “green” fuel on orbit.

The GPIM marks the first time the United States will use a spacecraft to test green propellant technology, thereby showcasing the innovation needed to develop a fully domestic, green propellant solution for the next generation of space flight.

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SpaceX Responds to Latest Lawsuit Over Employment Practices

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elon_musk_control_panelSpaceX spokesman John Taylor emailed me the following statement last night concerning a lawsuit alleging racist practices at the company:

“SpaceX rejects these allegations and will vigorously defend itself in court. At SpaceX, we don’t care about your gender, race, ethnic background, sexual orientation, age or anything else of that nature—to succeed here, the only requirement is to work hard and produce outstanding results.

“Earlier this year SpaceX completed its annual review cycle and as a result of those reviews, approximately 4% of our workforce were let go.  Given the ambitious goals of the company, the standards for work performance at SpaceX are very high.  It is critical that all employees meet this standard.

“SpaceX is committed not only to providing an awesome work environment where employees do exciting and meaningful work, but also to ensuring that everyone pulls their own weight and is held accountable for failing to do so.  Unfortunately some people who succeed at other companies do not succeed here.

“Developing the technology to put human life on Mars requires the best efforts of a uniquely talented team.  SpaceX continues to seek out the best and brightest individuals across all disciplines, with an expected net positive employee growth in 2014 of approximately 20 percent.”

SpaceX also faces two other lawsuits resulting from the firing of employees last month. One alleges SpaceX broke the law by not notifying employees in advance about the mass firings. The other claims that SpaceX violates labor laws by not providing regular breaks during work hours.

FSDC Opens Nominations for 2014 Bumper Award

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FSDC PR – The Florida Space Development Council, a statewide chapter of the National Space Society, invites nominations for the 2014 Bumper Award, provided annually to individuals or organizations that have had the greatest positive impact on Florida’s space industry, or to Floridians who have had the greatest impact nationally. FSDC members and non-members are encouraged to submit 2014 nominees using a simple online form, available here. Nominations will be accepted through November 1, 2014.

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Video of SpaceX Rocket Explosion in McGregor

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SpaceX Statement on McGregor Rocket Explosion

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An official statement from SpaceX:

Earlier today, in McGregor, Texas, SpaceX conducted a test flight of a three engine version of the F9R test vehicle (successor to Grasshopper). During the flight, an anomaly was detected in the vehicle and the flight termination system automatically terminated the mission.

Throughout the test and subsequent flight termination, the vehicle remained in the designated flight area. There were no injuries or near injuries. An FAA representative was present at all times.

With research and development projects, detecting vehicle anomalies during the testing is the purpose of the program. Today’s test was particularly complex, pushing the limits of the vehicle further than any previous test. As is our practice, the company will be reviewing the flight record details to learn more about the performance of the vehicle prior to our next test.

SpaceX will provide another update when the flight data has been fully analyzed.