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Thread: Falcon 9 obtains orbital insertion.

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    Default Falcon 9 obtains orbital insertion.

    A Dragon test payload made it into orbit yesterday on a Falcon 9 by SpaceX.

    This is somewhat significant, with the Shuttle retirement coming up.

    You may now return to drooling over 445 nm blue.

    Steve
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    Lightbulb

    It would be nice if the shuttle workers could migrate over to a private project like this.
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    I watched the launch live. Very cool. An hour before they stopped the clock at T-2s. LOL...

    Seems like a step back though. Doesn't look much bigger than the Mercury rockets. Sure, it's cheaper to launch but I would have figured we would have space planes by now.

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    When I was in DC, I went to the Air and Space museum. They've got a mock-up of Skylab in there. You wouldn't believe how friggin' huge that damn thing is! I'm talking massive...

    And all I could think about was, "Damn - we lofted this thing into orbit back in the 1970's, and here we are, nearly 40 years later, and we can't seem to do shit..." Sigh.

    Adam

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    I think the big advantage to Falcon 9 is the reusable rockets. This would seem to be an important step toward space planes.

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by blowfly View Post
    I think the big advantage to Falcon 9 is the reusable rockets. This would seem to be an important step toward space planes.

    Mike
    True, but everything on the space shuttle was reusable except for the tank. I wonder what we are going to do for large payloads? I guess we'll have to rely on Russia or china.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 300EVIL View Post
    I wonder what we are going to do for large payloads? I guess we'll have to rely on Russia or china.
    Delta 4 Heavy?

    Yea a military rocket, single use and not man rated, but it is capable of lofting a very large payload to LEO or a small one all the way to escape velocity. Payload cowl size may be an issue for some things.

    Everyone seems to forget about the Delta series when discussing earth to orbit, probably because they are in no way sexy, just big boring, get the job done rockets.

    Regards, Dan.

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    Of course the advantage to Falcon 9 is the fact that it is private. There is a clear profit motive associated with the development and hence a requirement to build a clean, efficient system. Some might read a profit motive as a cheap, dangerous vehicle but in actuality it forces the company to build systems that do not blow up on the launch pad. To maintain profit they have to recover, intact, as much as possible and get payloads to orbit.

    Furthermore, heavy lift capability does not necessarily result in gargantuan launch vehicles. There are a number of factors that weigh in on the ultimate size of the system. I think rocketry in general will move forward faster with private launch companies and design firms than under the weight of government red tape and the associated military industrial complex. This is not wishful thinking, it is a requirement of the industry as the U.S. Government is counting on these private firms to take up the supply slack to the ISS due in part to myopic governmental thinking in the development of cost effective launch platforms.

    I, for one, am looking forward to more private launch capability, and real use and growth of the commercial space ports.
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    my biggest problem with any space adventure whether private or government run is ROI.

    We have astronomical problems right here on terra firma that this expense could be applied to.

    Colonize Space? - only a very few will benefit, humanity or the human species "may" survive when (not if) we destroy ourselves.

    Private Companies? - only the very wealthy and large corporations will benefit.

    NASA - only governments and the war machine will benefit.

    yeah its cool and everything... *steps off soapbox* for now
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    Quote Originally Posted by 300EVIL View Post
    True, but everything on the space shuttle was reusable except for the tank. I wonder what we are going to do for large payloads? I guess we'll have to rely on Russia or china.
    You could always call ESA. Ariane 5 ECA is pretty sweet, and they even have a Soyuz facility now- uprated with European avionics.

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