I also posted the Falcon 9 Launch Vehicle question on LinkedIn in the NASA group. Here are some of the questions and comments that arose in that group. Thomas So, can the Falcon 9 launch an Orion capsule? If not, why not? Orion has already qualified their launch abort system. Dragon still has to qualify […]
I also posted the Falcon 9 Launch Vehicle question on LinkedIn in the NASA group. Here are some of the questions and comments that arose in that group.
So, can the Falcon 9 launch an Orion capsule?
If not, why not?
Orion has already qualified their launch abort system.
Dragon still has to qualify a launch abort system.
Thomas, mating an Orion capsule to a Falcon would be a challenge. The Orion capsule is a lot larger than the Dragon capsule. Could it be done? possibly, but that’s a lot of engineering.
The Ares 1 design is already man rated, and builds on the legacy of ATK and Morton Thiokol and the current shuttle boosters.
Look at the ARES mating and you would see something similar for an Orion, with a second stage that is larger than the first stage.
I’m sure a Falcon Heavy could lift it, but how much payload would be left?
The ARES V heavy lift under development now, would be the largest rocket ever built in the world and would carry 5 times as much weight as the current shuttle into orbit. AND one of the few rockets that has the capability to reach transfer orbit for interplanetary escape.
Falcon 9 does not have the abililty for anything other than LEO and possibly Falcon Heavy could reach GEO, but it takes a Russian Proton 5 burns to reach geostationary.
NOTHING but a ARES V or Satern V has the get up to push to transfer orbit…
The ARES V will be the largest, tallest, most powerful rocket ever made on earth.
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On June 4, 2010 , SpaceX’s first Falcon 9 has successfully achieved Earth orbit. This has been a great day for SpaceX and a promising step forward for the US space program, as we make progress towards expanding the human presence in space. ATI has several courses focusing on Space Launch and options Launch Vehicle […]
On June 4, 2010 , SpaceX’s first Falcon 9 has successfully achieved Earth orbit. This has been a great day for SpaceX and a promising step forward for the US space program, as we make progress towards expanding the human presence in space.
ATI has several courses focusing on Space Launch and options
Launch Vehicle Selection, Design, Performance & Use
Liquid Rocket Engines for Spacecraft Pressure-Fed Propulsion Systems
Launch Vehicle Systems – Reusable Vehicles
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The following are quotes from http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/06/04/4465072-spacex-fans-and-foes-speak-out
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, who once said he would do everything in his power to make sure SpaceX and other commercial launch companies were successful:
“Congratulations to Space X on today’s launch of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Space X’s accomplishment is an important milestone in the commercial transportation effort and puts the company a step closer to providing cargo services to the International Space Station. Preparations are proceeding for the first NASA-sponsored test launch under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services project later this year. COTS is a vital development and demonstration partnership to create a commercial space transportation system capable of providing cargo to the station. This launch of the Falcon 9 gives us even more confidence that a resupply vehicle will be available after the space shuttle fleet is retired.”
• The Planetary Society, which has championed the “flexible path” space exploration strategy now favored by the White House:
“It’s hard not to launch into hyperbole at the success of the first Falcon 9 test flight. It is a tremendous achievement. Hats off to our Planetary Society Board member, Elon Musk, and his SpaceX team. In advancing commercial spaceflight, today’s flight of Falcon 9 could be the first small step towards relieving NASA launchers of the burden of low-Earth orbit, thus freeing the U.S. space agency to reach new worlds. …”
• The Commercial Spaceflight Federation passed along praise from an assortment of space heavyweights, including former NASA astronauts Rusty Schweickart (Apollo 9) and Byron Lichtenberg (STS-9, STS-45):
Schweickart: “As a former Apollo astronaut, I think it’s safe to say that SpaceX and the other commercial developers embody the 21st-century version of the Apollo frontier spirit. It’s enormously gratifying to see them succeed today.”
Lichtenberg: “I expect that there will be a lot more astronauts in the future because of today’s success. Lower cost launches means more flights, which means more astronauts. We’ve only had 500 astronauts in the history of the Space Age, but I hope to see thousands more in the decades to come.”
• Space consultant Charles Lurio, a tireless campaigner for the New Space movement and a tireless critic of the way NASA operates:
“Today’s flight should go a long way toward countering the hoary, ‘magical negative thinking’ of the past that led many to deride commercial spaceflight efforts. Of course, some will attempt to keep purveying those old myths, but their squawking should now be seen clearly than ever as the pitiful gasps of another era. The Falcon 9 flight, like that of SpaceShipOne, and like many others quietly being marked at pioneering venues around the country, shows that the path to practical spaceflight and commercial innovation driving a ‘space PC revolution’ is wide open.”
• X Prize Chairman/CEO Peter Diamandis, who helped put together the $10 million Ansari X Prize to reward private-sector spaceflight and counts Musk as a member of his board of trustees:
“The maiden voyage of the Falcon 9 marks an important milestone in commercial spaceflight, proving what is achievable by privately-owned companies that are dedicated to pioneering new technologies and making space more accessible. Overcoming the high cost of launching to orbit continues to be a challenge faced by space-related ventures, and the emergence of launch vehicles such as the Falcon 9 contributes to an increasingly competitive environment in the launch vehicle market – a condition which has the potential to drive costs down and open the space frontier to the rest of us. In the not-too-distant future, we hope to see SpaceX and other commercial launch providers transporting crew and cargo to orbiting outposts, the moon, asteroids, and even Mars.”
• The Space Frontier Foundation issued a news release that ended with this quote from one of its always-quotable founders, Rick Tumlinson:
“Some have decried the new American space program and harkened back to the good old elitist days of Apollo, and what they see as the end of the ‘right stuff’ mindset that took us to the moon. Well, they are dead wrong. You want to see excitement and drive of the early days of Apollo? You want to see the Right Stuff right now? Go visit SpaceX or any of the other NewSpace firms and teams out there reaching for the stars. It is alive and well!”
• Sen. Richard Shelby, the Alabama Republican who once said commercial launch providers “cannot even carry the trash back from the space station,” was quoted by Politico as saying that today’s launch merely replicated what “NASA accomplished in 1964”:
“Belated progress for one so-called commercial provider must not be confused with progress for our nation’s human spaceflight program. As a nation, we cannot place our future spaceflight on one fledgling company’s definition of success.”
• Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, a Florida Democrat whose district includes NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, sounded ambivalent about one of the Space Coast’s up-and-coming employers:
“The successful test launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is a significant step in the development of the commercial space industry. There is no doubt that commercial spaceflight will play an important role in the future of our efforts in space, and I believe private companies can bring new job opportunities for the Space Coast’s highly skilled workforce. But we must both support the emerging commercial space industry and ensure a robust, NASA-led human spaceflight program in order to maintain our international leadership in space and keep our economy strong. I will continue fighting at every opportunity to minimize the human spaceflight gap, protect jobs, and ensure a bright future for the Space Coast.”
• Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Texas Republican, set a new standard for faint praise:
“This first successful test flight of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is a belated sign that efforts to develop modest commercial space cargo capabilities are showing some promising signs. While this test flight was important, the program to demonstrate commercial cargo and crew transport capabilities, which I support, was intended to enhance not replace NASA’s own proven abilities to deliver critical cargo and humans to low Earth orbit. Make no mistake, even this modest success is more than a year behind schedule, and the project deadlines of other private space companies continue to slip as well. This test does not change the fact that commercial space programs are not ready to close the gap in human spaceflight if the space shuttle is retired this year with no proven replacement capability and the Constellation program
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