Saturday, August 02, 2008

Update: Initial post-launch analysis

It has been a tough day. Falcon 1 Vehicle 3 did not reach orbit today.

A problem occurred with stage separation, causing the stages to hold together. On the plus side, the new Merlin 1C engine in the first stage performed flawlessly. This engine will be used on Falcon 9, the SpaceX rocket that will take cargo to the International Space Station.

Falcon 1 Vehicle 4 is almost ready for flight and Vehicle 5 is right behind it. I'll post expected launch dates as I have them.

Onward and upward!

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remoford said...

In case you missed the webcast:

lppa2006 said...

man that sucks they lost the rocket.. was it lost at the moment the video feed was lost? cause i certainly couldn't see anything that looked out of the ordinary (from what i seen during flight 2 in archives). I hope flight 4 makes orbit..

Anyway good luck SpaceX and glad to see you are all keeping your heads high..

Oh and you can strap me to the nosecone on flight 4.

ザイツェヴ said...

They obviously delay the webcast and thus cut it before public can see the failure itself. It's difficult to imagine that a separation failure would cause the camera to die.

Elon made the point that separation failures account for a significant number of launch mishaps, in the publicized analysis of reliability. You don't need to go further than Proton failure last year (traced down to a defective command cable). In Proton, just like Falcon, the same separation mechanism worked previously.