Tag: SpaceXPage 2 of 109

Musk to Discuss Falcon 9 Failure Monday

12 Comments

NASA Selects 4 Astronauts to Train for First Commercial Spaceflights

32 Comments
NASA has selected experienced astronauts Robert Behnken, Eric Boe, Douglas Hurley and Sunita Williams to work closely with The Boeing Company and SpaceX to develop their crew transportation systems and provide crew transportation services to and from the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

NASA has selected experienced astronauts Robert Behnken, Eric Boe, Douglas Hurley and Sunita Williams to work closely with The Boeing Company and SpaceX to develop their crew transportation systems and provide crew transportation services to and from the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected four astronauts to train and prepare for commercial spaceflights that will return American launches to U.S. soil and further open up low-Earth orbit transportation to the private sector. The selections are the latest major milestone in the Obama Administration’s plan to partner with U.S. industry to transport astronauts to space, create good-paying American jobs and end the nation’s sole reliance on Russia for space travel.

Continue reading ‘NASA Selects 4 Astronauts to Train for First Commercial Spaceflights’

Space Access Society Update on Station Supply, Commercial Crew & SpaceX Investigation

10 Comments
Progress 60P on approach to ISS. (Ctedit: NASA TV)

Progress 60P on approach to ISS. (Ctedit: NASA TV)

Space Access Update #144 7/6/15
copyright 2015 by Space Access Society
__________________________________________

Contents This Issue:

Station Supply Update

Latest From SpaceX

__________________________________________

Station Supply Update

A Russian Progress cargo ship successfully docked with Station in the early hours of Sunday morning. This adds a month to International Space Station’s supply reserves, sufficient now for roughly through November.

Continue reading ‘Space Access Society Update on Station Supply, Commercial Crew & SpaceX Investigation’

Musk: Engineers Still Unsure Why Falcon 9 Failed

18 Comments
Dragon capsule separated from Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

Dragon capsule separated from Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

Speaking at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in Boston on Tuesday, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said engineers are still trying to determine why a Falcon 9 rocket broke up in flight on June 28.

“Obviously, this is a huge blow to SpaceX, and we take these missions incredibly seriously,” Musk said in a question and answer session Tuesday at an International Space Station conference in Boston. “Everyone that can engage in the investigation at SpaceX is very, very focused on that. In this case, the data does seem to be quite difficult to interpret. Whatever happened is clearly not a simple, straightforward thing, so we want to spend as much time as possible just reviewing the data.”

He said engineers will “look at both what we think most likely happened, and then anything that’s a close call, and then try to address all of those things and maximize the probability of success on future missions.”

“At this point, the only thing that’s really clear was there was some kind of over-pressure event in the upper stage liquid oxygen tank, but the exact cause and sequence of events, there’s still no clear theory that fits with all the data,” Musk said. “So we have to determine if some of the data is a measurement error of some kind, or if there’s actually a theory that matches what appear to be conflicting data points.”

Musk said he hopes to have preliminary results of the investigation by the end of the week.

SpaceX’s Philosophy: Reliability Through Continual Upgrades

39 Comments
falcon9_debris

Remains of a Falcon 9 rocket fall to Earth.

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

To succeed in the launch business, you need to be very, very good and more than a little bit lucky. Eventually, there comes a day when you are neither.

That is what happened to SpaceX on June 28. A string of 18 successful Falcon 9 launches was snapped as the company’s latest rocket broke up in the clear blues skies over the Atlantic Ocean. A Dragon supply ship headed for the International Space Station was lost, SpaceX’s crowded manifest was thrown into confusion, and the company’s reputation for reliability was shattered.

Continue reading ‘SpaceX’s Philosophy: Reliability Through Continual Upgrades’

Critical Progress Resupply Mission Set for Friday Launch

Comments

progress_on_approach

UPDATE: Looks like the launch went well. Progress is in orbit, solar arrays deployed.

Russia’s preparing to launch a critical Progress resupply mission containing more than 3 tons of food, fuel, water, oxygen and other supplies to the International Space Station on Friday. The launch of Progress M-28M is set for 0455 GMT (12:55 a.m. EDT).

Progress flights usually attract little attention. However, this flight is seen a crucial following the loss of SpaceX’s Dragon freighter last summer in a launch accident. It was the third launch failure involving an ISS resupply ship in eight months.

On April 28, a Progress vehicle began tumbling out of control after it reached orbit. The mission was eventually abandoned. Last Oct. 28, an Orbital Sciences Antares rocket exploded shortly after liftoff, destroying a Cygnus cargo ship.

Russians officials have blamed a problem with the third stage of the Soyuz-2.1a rocket for the Progress failure. For this launch, they have switched to a Soyuz-U launch vehicle that is not susceptible to the same problem.

The resupply ship is scheduled to arrive on Sunday at 0713 GMT (3:13 a.m. EDT) with an automatic docking to the space station’s Pirs compartment.

Space Access Update: Falcon 9 Failure

29 Comments

falcon9_debris
Space Access Update #143 7/2/15

copyright 2015 by Space Access Society
__________________________________________

Sunday’s Commercial Cargo Mission Loss

Background

Sunday’s (6/28/15) SpaceX cargo resupply launch to Station failed, breaking up a little over two minutes into the flight. (More here and here.) This was SpaceX’s eighth such flight; their initial test mission then six commercial-contract cargo flights had essentially gone as planned. This was SpaceX’s nineteenth launch of the Falcon 9 booster; the first eighteen F9 launches all reached orbit successfully.
Continue reading ‘Space Access Update: Falcon 9 Failure’

SpaceX, NASA Agree to Delay Dragon In-Flight Abort Test

17 Comments
Dragon pad abort test. (Credit: NASA)

Dragon pad abort test. (Credit: NASA)

By Stephanie Martin,
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Following the successful pad abort test in May, SpaceX began developing a plan that would move its in-flight abort test to provide higher fidelity data and reduce risk to future crews launched to the International Space Station in the Crew Dragon spacecraft. NASA and SpaceX agreed to consider this proposed change prior to the mishap of SpaceX’s seventh commercial resupply services mission.

Continue reading ‘SpaceX, NASA Agree to Delay Dragon In-Flight Abort Test’

Falcon 9 Launch Failure Scrambles Schedule

32 Comments
Dragon capsule separated from Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

Dragon capsule separated from Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

With the failure of the Falcon 9 on Sunday, SpaceX’s only launch vehicle will be grounded for an unknown number of months while engineers identify the cause of the crash and make necessary changes to ensure that failure won’t happen again.

Continue reading ‘Falcon 9 Launch Failure Scrambles Schedule’

NASA Says ISS Supply Situation Good, Crew in No Danger

28 Comments

Some notes from the NASA press conference covering the loss of Falcon 9 and the Dragon resupply ship on Sunday morning.

Cause of the Accident & Investigation

The cause is as yet undetermined. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who was not at the press conference, Tweeted that there was an overpressure event in the second stage liquid oxygen (LOX) tank prior to the launch vehicle breaking up. “Data suggests counterintuitive cause,” he wrote. Video of the accident appears to show the breakup of the vehicle beginning there.

Continue reading ‘NASA Says ISS Supply Situation Good, Crew in No Danger’