SpaceX, Falcon 9, Cape Canaveral, Space launch, Rocket ship rolls off assembly line ahead of "Major Upgrades" | Falcon Heavy bags Lunar Gateway
. Today we are back with some interesting SpaceX updates.. Our First news is based on unstoppable SpaceX, with its amazing Starship SpaceX has already mounted the steel nosecone atop serial number 11 SN11 Starship prototype. Mary of BocaChicaGal tweeted on 8th February 2021, SN11 nosecone stacking in the high bay. NASASpaceflight. Mary also shared a photo of nosecone Stacking., This actually completes the prototype rocket and marks the end of production of a succession of four nearly indistinguishable prototypes SN8 SN9 SN10 and SN11. SpaceX has gone through a limited production run of four full height Starship prototypes with a nearly similar design.. All of these preliminary prototypes of SpaceX Starships are serving as a test run for ultimately developing safe and secure high reliability prototypes for the high altitude flight tests.. One thing is really noticeable in SpaceX and is also viewed publicly. That is, SpaceX employs to work on multiple Starship parts at any given moment of time.. Naturally, this takes a short time for them to switch from one Starship to another. After spotting of parts of SN12, some of the unfinished parts of SN13 and SN14 were also spotted.. This really proves the amount work they are carrying on. Last year in November, Elon Musk has stated in twitter that Many small improvements, but overall similar. Wiring is more robust. Engines are more mature, nosecone is sealed, better, etc. Musk had also said that Major upgrades are slated for SN15 and all future prototypes coming after SN15.
, Though Musk has said about upgrades, yet he has not revealed how the upgrades or designs will be.. It is expected that those new designs, specifically the nosecone design, will be easily produced.. The upgrades that SpaceX is going to made will very soon become clearer if they follow. The current rate of progress.. Spacex has already started stacking of Starship SN15 and is accumulating parts and hardwares for SN16, SN17 and SN18 over the last few months.. That is again going to prove that once SN10 and SN11 will complete their test flight, their successors will be ready at the doorstep.. That means non stop test flights, recovery, attempts of Starships and impelling the Starship prototypes to higher altitudes with more velocity after their first successful soft landing. SpaceX had already officially produced three Starships in series SN8 SN9 amp SN10, to establish that a different approach to rocket landings Could be worked out as they have planned.. If SN10 also fails like its predecessors, then they will have Starships SN11 and its successors to carry out tests to get either success or attain necessary information to make their next flight a success. Lets move to our second news. As NASA selects SpaceXs Falcon Heavy to launch first Gateway elements. On 9th February 2021, SpaceX got a contract from NASA for the launch of the first two elements of its lunar Gateway aboard a Falcon Heavy rocket in 2024.. The contract, which will launch two key pieces of the Gateway, a space station that NASA intends to deploy in the lunar orbit as part of their Artemis program, is worth more than 330 million.
. This contract plainly reveals that NASA’s human settlement missions on the moon will greatly depend on SpaceX’s rockets. In a tweet on 10th February, NASA said Weve selected SpaceX to provide launch services for the Power and Propulsion Element, PPE and Habitation and Logistics Outpost, HALOthe. Foundational elements of the Artemis Gateway. NASA stated that the combined launch contract of both Power and Propulsion Element and Habitation and Logistics Outpost using a SpaceX Falcon Heavy will cost around 332 million. Report says that the amount also covers other mission related costs. NASA had previously planned To launch PPE and HALO one by one and later joining them around the moon through autonomous docking. Maxar Technologies, was also awarded the contract of building the PPE.. Later NASA officials said that combining the two modules before launch and launching them together will reduce the overall launch cost. Merging the two modules before conducting launch will also decrease the in space hazards, as there will be no need of autonomous docking in space. Doug Loverro NASA Associate administrator for human exploration and operations had said Weve saved a lot of money by going ahead and putting those together on a single launch vehicle as well as knocked down both technical and operational risk for the program.. The Artemis name was taken from the Greek mythology. Artemis was the twin sister of Greek God. Apollo. NASA’s Artemis program aims to send a male and a female astronaut to the lunar surface by the year 2024.
, When NASA announced that revised approach regarding Artemis program in mid 2020 NASA had said it determined. There was at least one company that could support the launch of the combined Gateway elements, but they did not revealed the name of that company. SpaceXs Falcon Heavy vehicle now emerged as the leading candidate given the performance requirements for the Artemis subsidiary Gateway mission.. According to the 10th November 2020 report, NASA expected to launch the Gateway modules in May 2024., The 9th February contract announcement confirmed that the launch is now scheduled for no earlier than May 2024.. The revised launch approach date, as stated in the report, says that the Gateway would not be in the position required to keep up the Artemis 3 lunar landing mission that NASA planned to fly by the end of 2024.. The lunar Gateway launch will need a new extended payload fairing, which will be much bigger than the standard Falcon Heavy vehicle expected to be used. Psyche mission. SpaceX is already building an extended payload fairing for national security. Missions. SpaceX also got a contract from NASA for building a Dragon. Xl capsule an upgraded version of the Dragon capsule SpaceX presently using for sending astronauts and cargo to and from the International Space Station to take supplies to the Gateway. Station. SpaceX is also one of the competitors to build NASA’s Human Landing System.. This vehicle will be later used for landing astronauts from the Gateway to the moon’s surface.. Our last segment is based on SpaceX smallsat rideshare launch services.
. On February 9th 2021, a SpaceX spokesperson said during a panel discussion at the SmallSat Symposium 2021. That SpaceX has two more dedicated rideshare missions scheduled in 2021.. The strong demand of SpaceX rockets for its dedicated smallsat rideshare missions has laid a tremendous pricing pressure on all the small launch vehicle companies. SpaceXs fast, launching cadence, low cost launch and high end service has attracted widespread interest from all over the world.. It is also seen that having SpaceX as a major competitor for these missions, the rising number of small launch vehicle developer companies cant match the per kilogram price of launching payloads.. Those companies are now focusing on their aptitude to meet specific customer requirements, which is not possible on rideshare missions. Stephen Eisele. Vice president of Virgin Orbit said To do that. You need different types of mission, solutions and thats. Where Virgin Orbit comes, in., Jarrod, McLachlan senior manager of rideshare sales of SpaceX said Customer demand has been extremely strong.. Demand is growing, so were certainly going to have some very full rockets coming up.. He turned down to guess whether future rideshare missions will exceed the number 143 satellites sent on Transporter 1.. He said the number of satellites in rideshare missions depends on the number of customers and their payloads.. This shows the practical attitude of McLachlan.. He also said that the future rideshare missions may have a reduced number of satellites in comparison to Transporter 1.. The reason he gave for this reduction in number of satellites is slightly larger microsats, which will gobble up larger space.
McLachlan said that some customers are designing their spacecrafts to use those rideshare launches, based on the configurations and interface necessities that SpaceX provides for those launches.. To quote McLachlan Were seeing some people who are optimizing, their spacecraft and their constellation design around that volume, as well as some of the integrator or broker partners out there, who are doing multiple spacecraft in a single port. Being so public with our pricing and our requirements Is really enabling people to be creative.? Mclachlan also said that the forthcoming SpaceX rideshare mission will head towards Sun Synchronous Orbit in accordance with customer demand.. Spacex is also providing rideshare services to mid inclination orbits by launching satellites as secondary payloads on their Starlink launches. McLachlan said at last.