Skip to comments.SpaceX rocket glitch puts satellite in wrong orbit
Posted on 10/09/2012 7:57:08 PM PDT by cruise_missile
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Oct 9 - A prototype communications satellite flying as a secondary payload aboard a Space Exploration Technologies Falcon 9 rocket was sent into the wrong orbit because of a problem during launch Sunday evening, officials said Tuesday.
One of the nine Merlin engines powering the Falcon 9 rocket shut down early, though the other engines burned longer to make up for the loss of thrust, saving the primary mission of delivering a Dragon cargo capsule to the International Space Station for NASA.
The rocket blasted off at 8:35 p.m. EDT Sunday (0035 GMT Monday) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, restoring a U.S. supply line to the $100 billion orbital outpost, a project of 15 nations, following the end of the shuttle program last year.
The Dragon freighter is due to arrive at the space station, which flies about 250 miles above Earth, on Wednesday.
Space Exploration Technologies said its rocket, which was created by Internet entrepreneur Elon Musk and his team at SpaceX, as the company is known, could lose two engines and still make its intended orbit.
"Like the Saturn 5 (moon rocket) and modern airliners, Falcon 9 is designed to handle an engine-out situation and still complete its mission. No other rocket currently flying has this ability," privately owned SpaceX said in a statement.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
Not a problem - only one engine needed - it’s in its proper orbit now.
Is that true? Musk is always a little fast an easy on facts.
But, I work in the satellite telcom biz, and yes it ~might~ get higher - but at the expense of not having enough fuel to remain in its assigned spot as long as it was supposed to.
I checked their web site.
Apparently it still was able to make intended orbit.
Thanks, I was hoping they were able to get the comm sat into it’s proper orbit after the article went to bed.
They do seem to need to fix a problem in the Merlin engine.
Oops, I was wrong. I read another article, and it seemed to be referring to two launches. This launch was successful in its primary mission, but the secondary mission was not successful.
No other rocket currently flying has this ability," privately owned SpaceX said in a statement.
Is actually what I was talking about.
I thought other rockets had this capability?
The thing is....with the Falcon 9, they said it's designed to keep flying with an engine gone, and they mean any engine. What impressed me was the fact that the sucker kept going when the engine in question exploded. When you look at the video of this most recent launch, there's no other conclusion you can come up with.
I daresay that if something like that happened with a Delta IV, you'd have catastrophic failure of the whole vehicle.
I have to say that after witnessing a rocket stay together even after the explosive failure of an engine, I feel a heck of a lot better about them man-rating the thing for ferrying people to orbit.