Tech Bytes: Space-X Rocket Launch, Selling Rockets

February 06 12:41 2018

When are they launching it and how can I watch?

SpaceX leases Launch Complex 39A from NASA. Eastern, and on YouTube. The launch is also a milestone in US-based efforts to send astronauts to space, a capacity lost when the U.S. space shuttle program was retired in 2011. The dispatch is booked to happen in the vicinity of 1:30 and 4:30 pm ET, however there is dependably a shot of postponements. Forecasters have expected an 80 percent chance of favorable conditions.

If you can’t make it to Florida, SpaceX offers a webcast of their launches here. “The rocket is looking good”.

The maverick entrepreneur, whose SpaceX company has shaken up the space industry since its foundation in 2002, shared new details of today’s planned blast-off, which will test the integrity of the world’s most powerful rocket but could end in an explosion that would “blow the launch pad to smithereens”.

The Falcon Heavy it will be sitting on top of will have no trouble lifting the 2 ton weight of the vehicle.

Aluminum-lithium alloy tanks fuel 27 Merlin engines with liquid oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene propellant, generating more than 5 million pounds of thrust. The company had an unfunded Space Act Agreement with NASA where the space agency would provide technical support to SpaceX for the mission in exchange for engineering data from the spacecraft’s landing on Mars.

The rocket is 230 feet in height and can carry about 141,000 pounds of payload.

And, compared to rockets that better rival the Falcon Heavy’s power, it’s a bargain.

The cherry-red convertible will have a space-suited dummy at the wheel and David Bowie’s Space Oddity on its soundtrack.

In a report via CNET, Elon Musk has said that: “We’ve done all the (computer) modelling we could think of“, and that “In theory it should work.” .

SpaceX has not been without some notable challenges involving Falcon 9 rockets.

With a little less than four hours remaining until lift off, there are apparently cars queuing for miles, hoping to get a seat at the launchpad in Florida.

“Like a lot of people don’t understand what’s the objective of sending a vehicle to Mars”.

The vehicle, Musk’s own example of his auto company’s first model, will be mounted in the tip of the new rocket and thrust into an orbit around the Sun.

It’s also enough thrust to launch payloads to the Moon or Mars, so the Falcon Heavy is the key component in SpaceX’s bigger ambitions.

According to Mr. Musk, a lot. Musk said that will simulate a mission to insert a payload directly into geostationary orbit, a requirement for some Air Force and National Reconnaissance Office payloads.

“It’s guaranteed to be exciting, one way or another”, Musk said Monday in a phone conference with reporters.

Damage from a launchpad explosion would take nine to 12 months to fix, Mr. Musk estimated.

Musk said he was feeling “giddy” about Tuesday’s launch, and was not feeling the dread and anxiety he usually experiences ahead of time. He added that perhaps that was a bad sign. When it reaches orbit, the side boosters detach, turn around, and land back at Cape Canaveral while the central booster shoots out the Tesla Roadster and returns to a floating launch pad in the Atlantic Ocean.

Falcon Heavy is a small step on that journey but it is still a very large machine.

The greatest unknown is the aerodynamical interactions of the three boosters as they accelerate though through the sound barrier during ascent, with shock waves bouncing between them.

The announcement came after NASA said it was studying putting a crew on the first flight of its Space Launch System, then scheduled for late 2018.


Tech Bytes: Space-X Rocket Launch, Selling Rockets
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