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SpaceX's Falcon-9 Dragon successfully lifts off to resupply ISS [One of 9 Engines "shuts down"]
The Weather Space ^ | October 8, 2012 | Staff Reporter

Posted on 10/08/2012 12:40:54 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

SpaceX says Engine No. 1 on the Falcon 9 rocket's first stage experienced some sort of anomaly about 80 seconds into the launch, but lift-off did occur.

Elon Musk, SpaceX's CEO and chief designer, said the engine was shut down by the rocket's on-board computers.

"Falcon 9 detected an anomaly on one of the nine engines and shut it down," Musk said. "As designed, the flight computer then recomputed a new ascent profile in realtime to reach the target orbit, which is why the burn times were a bit longer."

The first stage burned nearly 30 seconds longer than planned. Nine Merlin 1C engines power the Falcon 9's first stage, generating nearly a million pounds of thrust. The kerosene-fueled engines are built by SpaceX at the company's headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif.

Engine No. 1, positioned on one of the corners of the tic-tac-toe pattern of first stage engines, was shut down earlier than planned, according to Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX's president. Shotwell said she was not sure of the cause of the problem, but the engine was turned off.

"Like the Saturn 5, which experienced engine loss on two flights, the Falcon 9 is designed to handle an engine flameout and still complete its mission," Musk said. "I believe Falcon 9 is the only rocket flying today that, like a modern airliner, is capable of completing a flight successfully even after losing an engine. There was no effect on Dragon or the space station resupply mission."

SpaceX has long touted the Falcon 9's ability to recover from the loss of a first stage engine at any point during launch. A company spokesperson said more details on the problem would be released Monday.

The Falcon 9 deployed the Dragon cargo spacecraft in a nearly perfect orbit ranging in altitude from 122 miles to 203 miles, according to SpaceX.

The rocket's second stage later deployed a two-way data communications satellite for Orbcomm Inc., according to Shotwell. No information was immediately available on its state of health.

The Orbcomm satellite rode into orbit as a piggyback payload.

Meanwhile, the Dragon spacecraft is in good condition.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: isssupply; space; usspaceprogram
The "anomaly" and "shut dowm" quite clearly looks like an explosion.

Slow motion VIDEO of the "shut down" - at :30 of YouTube video of SpaceX video [SpaceX clock embedded on screen shows 1:19]

1 posted on 10/08/2012 12:41:03 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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Comments at NASA Watch
2 posted on 10/08/2012 12:44:43 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: All


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3 posted on 10/08/2012 2:09:34 AM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Let me get this straight. They had an explosion of one of the first stage rockets and the space craft still made it to their designated orbit?

If so that is fantastic

4 posted on 10/08/2012 2:10:35 AM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric Cartman voice* 'I love you, guys')
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To: Steve Van Doorn
"fantastic"?

The U.S. Space program is in deep trouble if the spin [it was an "anomaly"] of Elon Musk (the Tesla Elec Car, Solar City, Space X taxpayer subsidy king) on a blown engine is seen as "fantastic."

5 posted on 10/08/2012 2:22:25 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Looks like material ejected from spacecraft.


6 posted on 10/08/2012 2:44:17 AM PDT by The_Media_never_lie (Actually, they lie when it suits them! The crooked MS media must be defeated any way it can be done!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife; KevinDavis

good luck SpaceX


7 posted on 10/08/2012 3:17:49 AM PDT by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

lets look for another private space contractor

Elon Musk is a POS crony capitalist zer0bama bundler

EFFFFF Musk.


8 posted on 10/08/2012 4:05:52 AM PDT by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

SpaceX Head Obama Bundler?

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2932694/posts


9 posted on 10/08/2012 4:25:46 AM PDT by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: Vaquero

http://www.newspacewatch.com/articles/spacex-crs-1-dragon-is-orbit-and-solar-panels-deployed.html#comment

More “buzz” at that site on the “shut down.”

Someone commented that if it had been an “explosion” they should have aborted the mission vs if it was a “shut down” of a defective engine, you go with a longer burn and proceed.

To my untrained eye, it looks like an explosion to me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6zsZiVa998


10 posted on 10/08/2012 4:42:36 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Congratulations to Elon Musk and SpaceX. Good work!

Too bad your electric car is such a looser.

11 posted on 10/08/2012 4:51:33 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Galileo: In science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of one individual)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Yep, definitely an explosion. You could see large pieces of debris blow back through the exhaust.


12 posted on 10/08/2012 4:53:16 AM PDT by 2111USMC (aim small, miss small)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
One of the stiffing bands may have broken early. In this video http://youtu.be/Mfdk_VZMjQI starting at the 6:15 mark shows the proper sequence for the band release. If it goes early, in atmosphere and under full thrust, I would expect to see what we saw at the :30 mark in the video at post #1.
13 posted on 10/08/2012 5:42:58 AM PDT by SunTzuWu
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To: 2111USMC; All

Redundancy! The design was so robust that issues such as a blown engine wouldn’t have been enough to scrub the mission. The design was so robust that an exploded engine didn’t take out the whole vehicle like cascading dominoes. Lets curb the criticisms just because one of the backers was a Obamamite turd!. The vehicle functioned as designed!(now lets see if the return vehicle functions).


14 posted on 10/08/2012 5:49:42 AM PDT by mdmathis6 (We have grieved the Holy Spirit, with our Dark hearts and dark minds turned against God!)
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To: mdmathis6
.....Lets curb the criticisms just because one of the backers was a Obamamite turd! The vehicle functioned as designed!.....

On another site someone praised the rocket "anomaly" as showing that it is "fault tolerant!" That is rich.

An exploding engine during launch is not by any stretch of the imagination "functioning as designed." The fact that Musk issued a statement claiming that the "engine was shut down," without any mention of an explosion, is troubling -- it lends credence to the idea that he's a self-promoter. Note: all Musk's (and members of his extended family's) government a$$isted "businesses" [also receiving huge tax-credits on their "green-ness"] are or will go public (issue stock) -- and HE will profit. We are stuck with a HUGE chunk of the bill -- regardless of success or failure. This is crony capitalism in the flesh.

I do not blame SpaceX for having an engine explode -- rockets are dangerous and explosions happen. I will hold them accountable if they try to cover up the realities of what happened during their launch. From their initial response, basically "waving off" the idea of an explosion [we've recently come off the Benghazi U.S. Embassy murder cover-up exercise by the White House/State Dept - so this pattern of deflection is fresh in my mind], one senses that they are amateurs playing at a game they do not fully understand.

In the meantime Obama and Holdren are dismantling our national space infrastructure and scattering our technical workforce - and calling it their gift to "free market capitalism." Odd. Everywhere else this administration is growing government and killing capitalism. Why dismantle NASA's manned space program in the name of progress? I think we're beginning to see why.

15 posted on 10/08/2012 6:36:55 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
From the Spacex website:

First Stage

The Falcon 9 tank walls and domes are made from aluminum lithium alloy. SpaceX uses an all friction stir welded tank, the highest strength and most reliable welding technique available. Like Falcon 1, the interstage, which connects the upper and lower stage for Falcon 9, is a carbon fiber aluminum core composite structure. The separation system is a larger version of the pneumatic pushers used on Falcon 1.

Nine SpaceX Merlin engines power the Falcon 9 first stage with 147,000 lbs-f sea level thrust per engine for a total thrust on liftoff of just over 1.3 Million lbs-f. After engine start, Falcon is held down until all vehicle systems are verified to be functioning normally before release for liftoff.

Spacex Merlin Engine

The main engine, called Merlin, was developed internally at SpaceX, but draws upon a long heritage of space proven engines. The pintle style injector at the heart of Merlin was first used in the Apollo Moon program for the lunar module landing engine, one of the most critical phases of the mission.

Propellant is fed via a single shaft, dual impeller turbo-pump operating on a gas generator cycle. The turbo-pump also provides the high pressure kerosene for the hydraulic actuators, which then recycles into the low pressure inlet. This eliminates the need for a separate hydraulic power system and means that thrust vector control failure by running out of hydraulic fluid is not possible. A third use of the turbo-pump is to provide roll control by actuating the turbine exhaust nozzle (on the second stage engine).

Combining the above three functions into one device that we know is functioning before the vehicle is allowed to lift off means a significant improvement in system level reliability.

Designed for Maximum Reliability

The vast majority of launch vehicle failures in the past two decades can be attributed to three causes: engine, stage separation and, to a much lesser degree, avionics failures. An analysis (p. 23) of launch failure history between 1980 and 1999 by Aerospace Corporation showed that 91% of known failures can be attributed to those subsystems.

Engine Reliability

Falcon 9 has nine Merlin engines clustered together. This vehicle will be capable of sustaining an engine failure at any point in flight and still successfully completing its mission. This actually results in an even higher level of reliability than a single engine stage. The SpaceX nine engine architecture is an improved version of the architecture employed by the Saturn V and Saturn I rockets of the Apollo Program, which had flawless flight records despite losing engines on a number of missions.

Another notable point is the SpaceX hold-before-release system — a capability required by commercial airplanes, but not implemented on many launch vehicles. After first stage engine start, the Falcon is held down and not released for flight until all propulsion and vehicle systems are confirmed to be operating normally. An automatic safe shut-down and unloading of propellant occurs if any off nominal conditions are detected.

NASA'S CHOICE TO RESUPPLY THE SPACE STATION

In December 2008, NASA announced the selection of SpaceX's Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon Spacecraft to resupply the International Space Station (ISS). The $1.6 billion contract represents a minimum of 12 flights, with an option to order additional missions for a cumulative total contract value of up to $3.1 billion.

NASA CITED SPACEX'S SIGNIFICANT STRENGTHS AS FOLLOWS:

First stage engine-out capability

Dual redundant avionics system

Structural safety factor in excess of industry standards

Enhanced schedule efficiencies

Reduced overall technical risk to ISS cargo supply

16 posted on 10/08/2012 6:50:39 AM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: Vince Ferrer
You forgot to add a fawning Elon Musk promotional pose.


17 posted on 10/08/2012 7:10:49 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I used the term redundancy. No one wants an engine to shut down on a launch, crap happens sometimes. It was a testament to the redudancies built into the design that the computers were able to recompute the tractory on the fly; extending the burn so that the ship got to where it was going. It shows that private space ventures may be well the way to go when extending our commercial ventures into space.

I don’t disagree with your other views.


18 posted on 10/08/2012 7:35:19 AM PDT by mdmathis6 (We have grieved the Holy Spirit, with our Dark hearts and dark minds turned against God!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

After a failed booster rocket engine the space craft was still able to make it to orbit is fantastic. That doesn’t change the bundling and Tesla Motors possible criminal actives.


19 posted on 10/08/2012 10:45:00 AM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric Cartman voice* 'I love you, guys')
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Obama funder gets insider deal at NASA

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2943659/posts


20 posted on 10/12/2012 3:40:53 AM PDT by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: Vaquero

BUMP!


21 posted on 10/12/2012 4:26:40 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Vaquero
“MR. MUSK: The ideal thing to do would be to tax CO2. But taxes are difficult to implement. So, we’re doing an indirect thing, which is to subsidize electric cars to some degree, and other sort of renewables.” Wall Street Journal "What's holding back energy innovation?"
22 posted on 10/12/2012 4:34:57 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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