Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Static Fire!!

You know all those times I told you I was broadcasting from Boulder, CO?

Well, I wasn't really. I was somewhere else. I can't say where, or they would have to kill me, and then someone would have to kill you; but I wasn't in Boulder.

This time, sadly, I am in Boulder.

I know you don't believe me, so I did what any other person would do when they need to verify location and date.

See, we can learn from the terrorists...

Of course, for whatever reason the MacBook Pro camera shoots in mirror-image. But if you stare at it for a few minutes, it changes back. Try it. You'll see.

The static fire just went off. It looked successful from the secret webcam, and I'll get an update from control room in a minute.

In the meantime, here's Elon's comments on why the Static Fire was pushed back a few days:

"The countdown and static fire this weekend went smoothly, except that we had a ground helium supply quick disconnect check itself prematurely during engine startup, preventing the engine from reaching full thrust. The next day, we had a glitch with one of our vehicle video cameras. Neither are difficult to fix, but they pushed back our timeline by a few days.

We are planning on another static fire today at about 4pm (CA time), followed by a 1pm launch on March 23 or March 24, provided no issues are detected following analysis of the static fire data.

Another lesson learned for Falcon 9 development: we will test the first flight unit with its actual flight launch mount on our big test stand in Texas (http://www.spacex.com/bfts.jpg). When development is done, the launch mount and the vehicle will be shipped together to the launch site. For Falcon 1, the test stand was quite different from the launch stand, because its primary purpose was engine development of Merlin (http://www.spacex.com/nl/vertical.gif). That forced us to do a lot of launch mount debugging, such as the helium QD problem, in Kwajalein."

Now if I was in Kwaj, I would have been able to say that first hand. And I would be able to tell you right now what is going on in the Control Room.

Sadly, I can't.

But I'll tell you as I get updates.


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1 comment:

Justine Musk said...

Yay. The Blog is Back!

(I was a bit worried because I, unlike many others, already knew that this time you are truly, and tragically, in Boulder...)