View Full Version : SpaceX's rocket Falcon1 launch window is open!

August 2nd, 2008, 07:53 PM

From Wired:

SpaceX has just released an alert that the launch window for the third launch attempt of the Falcon 1 will open at 7 pm Eastern and continue through 12 am Eastern. They have use of the range through August 5th if they have to postpone the launch for any reason. The launch facilities are located in the Kwajalein Atoll, about 2500 miles southwest of Hawaii.

From SpaceX's release:

The primary customers for the Falcon 1 launch are the Department of Defense, Government of Malaysia and NASA. Falcon 1 is carrying a payload stack of three separating satellites that will orbit at an inclination of 9 degrees:

Live feed of the potential launch is available at: www.spacex.com (http://www.spacex.com/index.php)

August 2nd, 2008, 08:35 PM
Privatization of the space industry... wouldn't that be awesome?

Then again, plain ol' airlines aren't exactly making it right now... what kind of a market is there for spaceflight?

August 3rd, 2008, 01:26 PM
Well, it looks like it didn't exactly go as planned. (http://www.spacex.com/updates.php)

However, In answer to Sequoia's point - I think there's a lot of market opening up out there for commercial space transport. Since the US government and the government of Malaysia are listed as some of the clients for this particular payload, not to mention NASA itself, it appears that the desire for the products and talent in these companies is even growing.

They're contractors, in a classic sense. They're doing it cheaper, faster, more efficiently because they aren't solely funded by a governmental agency and thereby have less bureaucratic red tape to cut through.

I think privatization and commercialization may very well save the space industry. NASA is so bogged down with a lack of funding and popular support, it barely managed to schedule 9 launch dates for 2008 - while companies like SpaceX will get that many launch dates by Halloween this year. (Three more payloads scheduled to go up this year.)

Japanese companies have been investigating commercial space transport for a few years already - I feel as though its a positive thing that technology in both the East and West remain comparable.

Here's hoping for better luck with the next launch of Falcon1 and their satellite, Dragon.

August 3rd, 2008, 05:03 PM
Oops. Well, that's too bad.

I suppose it will be interesting to see what privatization does for the space industry. If they can make leaps and bounds, it will be an awesome thing.

I wonder if NASA shared their blueprints and such with these guys, or if they're going at it from scratch?

August 3rd, 2008, 06:46 PM
The founder of the company, Elon Musk is also the man who founded PayPal, interestingly enough. This came from their company overview (http://www.spacex.com/company.php):

Although drawing upon a rich history of prior launch vehicle and engine programs, SpaceX is privately developing the Dragon crew and cargo capsule and the Falcon family of rockets from the ground up, including main and upper stage engines, the cryogenic tank structure, avionics, guidance & control software and ground support equipment.

August 3rd, 2008, 06:55 PM
Wow, that's pretty impressive!

August 3rd, 2008, 08:05 PM
Privatization of the space industry... wouldn't that be awesome?

Then again, plain ol' airlines aren't exactly making it right now... what kind of a market is there for spaceflight?

The main reason airlines are hurting is because of rising fuel costs and because of all the crap the government has imposed on them after 9/11. I mean yeah, security really did need to be tightened, but I think they went overboard with that to a ridiculous degree. It makes flying expensive and a lot less convenient than it used to be.

As for space travel, what we could really use one of these things (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_elevator). Unfortunately, constructing one of these would be very expensive, and there are major hurdles to work out first.

August 5th, 2008, 06:28 PM
In case anyone cares, Wired did an interview with Elon Musk about the latest rocket failure.

Musk: Optimism, pessimism, **** that; we're going to make it happen. As God is my bloody witness, I'm hell-bent on making it work.

I like this guy.

(He's damn cute, too!)