SpaceX - The Quest For Mars


Another SpaceX first this weekend: 2 launches and recovery of the 1st stage in 48 hours.

1st Launch at 18:00 UTC from the East coast Kennedy Space Centre Launch site on Friday June 23rd with landing back on land.


2nd Launch on Sunday 25th from the West coast site @ Vandenberg at 20:25 UTC with landing on the Drone ship.


Another launch this Sunday will make it three launces in 9 days 8DD

They recovered the last two booseters bringing the total number of recovered satges to 13.

As the next satelite is very heavy no attempt will be made to recover Sundays booseter.


I’m not sure about the $1billion number but its an interesting look at the possible profits to be made


Will the Falcon Heavy fly this year? It could carry twice the payload of ULA’s Delta IV Heavy at a quarter of the price per launch, but it’s more complicated. Musk says getting it off the ground is proving “challenging” but it could launch in the autumn. … arly-fall/


I think the Heavy will launch this year and I assume it will be a success

But I don’t think it will last longer than a few years, once the Raptor engine is finished I expect to see it put to use in a single core rocket to replace the Falcon Heavy


Anyone know how far in advance SpaceX nail down a launch date? (Obviously I understand everything is still subject to weather etc. up to the last second). Kennedy Space Center are still showing “TBD” for the August CRS-12 launch. … 20Launches

SpaceX would be icing on the cake, but I’m toying with the idea of lashing over to Cape Canaveral for the ULA launch on August 20, then back up to Tennessee for the solar eclipse on the 21st. I saw one shuttle launch in Florida in 1989, and I missed the 1999 eclipse in Ireland due to a business trip. Would be nice to relive both of them in one mad dash. :smiley:


I think ULA are a better bet, SpaceX still get the odd delay so unless you have a few days to wait around you might miss it

Looks like they will have to launch before the 17th


Ta for the info. I probably can’t get there before August 17/18.


New smaller BFR being worked on now

First flights to Mars in 2022, first crew in 2024

A good summary of the system


Uneventful SES-11 launch. This is getting boring. You know things are becoming routine when:

  • Neither the BBC nor thepropertypin remark on it
  • Even the person doing the countdown sounds bored
  • The most nail biting part is a brief camera outage
  • It’s the 18th successful first stage landing, the 12th this year, the second this week, and the third time a first stage has been reflown.
  • The space nerds in the youtube comments are gradually being edged out by the inevitable “fake x” conspiracists.


Brilliant, isn’t it ?


just an observation:

I remember the wall to wall coverage of the Voyager 2 flyby of Uranus and Neptune.

fast forward 8 years there was some coverage of the launch of cassini mission in 1997. the media goes cock-a-hoop over the end of the cassini mission when the craft plummets into the Saturnian atmosphere a whole 15 years after the great discoveries.


It is, and it looks like Blue Origin are their only serious competitors but they won’t reach orbit until 2020, and they seem to be having engine problems, I also expect them to have a few landing failures along the way like SpaceX

SpaceX are now bigger than ULA and dominate the US launch market, next they will dominate the world launch market, I would love to know what their profit per launch is, a while back one of the SpaceX investors said reading the SpaceX financials was like reading financial porn, and if I remember right that was before they perfected first stage reuse

But of course Musk is a scam artist and SpaceX will never reach Mars :smiley:


The long anticipated Falcon Heavy is scheduled for a static test fire late December and an actual launch No Earlier Than Dec 29th

8DD … con-heavy/


The fairing recovery attempts are maturing.

Meet Mr Stevens:

Mr Stevens is a highly advanced and powerful boat, 35 kn top speed, capable of within 1 m station keeping in rough seas and has an advanced autopilot. It’s not confirmed, but the speculation is that SpaceX hangs a net between the 4 posts and uses the autopilot function on the ship to meet the falling fairing which is controlled by the steerable parachute to “catch” it prior to hitting the ocean.

The big catcher arms are fixed and don’t articulate.

SpaceX is very quiet about these attempts but its hard to hide a ship like Mr Stevens. The last attempt appeared unsuccessful but to paraphrase Elon if you’re not blowing up shit you’re not trying hard enough.

Otherwise, SpaceX had an amazing year with a 100% success rate of 18 launches and a 100% success rate for landing the 1st stages. They now have a storage problem of used boosters!

The Falcon Heavy which will attempt to Launch Elon’s Tesla Roadster into space will Launch likely in Jan 2018 but we may see it rolled out onto the pad before the end of the year.

As an aside Elon’s Roadster would only be the 4th EV launched into Space but it would be the 1st commercial EV (the other 3 Ev’s are still on the Moon).

Assuming no launch failures 2018 should be SpaceX’s best year. They alone will be responsible for almost 40% of the total launches by any entity next year.

Exciting times.


I’m hearing rumours that the falcon Heavy launch will be Jan 15th.

With landing attempts of all three cores almost simultaneously and a Tesla roadster launched to Mars orbit it will be quite a sight.

Get the popcorn and beer ordered.


Challenger was a January launch :nin


I missed where Musk had tweeted some pics a couple of weeks back. It’s some beast!


A layman’s intro to SpaceX, followed by some interesting stuff about computational fluid dynamics. Specifically about applying wavelet compression on GPU hardware in modelling turbulence. They’re using it to look at combustion inside Merlin and Raptor engines, and shockwaves during atmospheric reentry.


Sounds like a few billion up in smoke: … destroyed/

Bet Lockheed and the rest were celebrating that one.