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34
votes
3answers
7k views

Why is there any launch window at all for the Falcon Heavy test flight?

Why is the window only ~3 hours long, why not 2? why not 5? why not "until it launches"? I'm guessing range safety, they could only get a TFR that long?
7
votes
2answers
712 views

What will the Falcon Heavy maiden flight launch as its payload?

I know that Elon Musk has stated that SpaceX will try to launch the "silliest thing imaginable" on the maiden flight of the Falcon Heavy, but will it be a Dragon capsule on top or a special SpaceX ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is the F9-029 Amos 6 case more complex than the F9-020 CRS-7 explosion?

In the F9-029 Amos 6 mission failure at the launch pad, a "fast fire" happened near the 2nd stage of Falcon 9 FT. In F9-020 CRS-7 mission, an explosion happened in flight (again in the 2nd stage) a ...
1
vote
0answers
46 views

Why was the payload placed on the rocket for a test? [duplicate]

The payload for the Falcon 9, the Amos 6 satellite, was placed on top of the rocket during the static fire test. Why was this done?
36
votes
3answers
4k views

Why was AMOS-6 mounted on the rocket for a test fire?

I understand that the static test is a general test of pre-launch procedures, but risking a multi-million dollar payload for a test seems remarkable. Couldn't they use a mass simulator or something? ...
27
votes
1answer
3k views

Was Amos 6 insured for pre-launch operations?

The Falcon 9 rocket, complete with the Amos 6 payload, just blew up (Or RUDed) on the launch pad. I believe the standard language for most launch insurances is that it is only covered after "...
6
votes
2answers
377 views

Deluge system refresh rates

SpaceX has said they will take the recovered CRS-8 Falcon 9 first stage and test fire it 10 times at LC-39A. There is lots of discussion as to what that means. 10 full 2+ minute duration fires? 10 3 ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

How does static test firing before launch affect design of rocket mass and structure?

Some launchers, like Falcon 9 recently as in a video clip linked to below, and I think some other launchers since long ago in the space race history, test their engines before launch by firing them ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does SpaceX have a launch window for a pad abort test?

SpaceX has announced a pad abort test for the Dragon crew capsule on May 5th. They have a 4 hour launch window for the test. There is no destination, so why would there be a launch window in this ...
4
votes
2answers
939 views

What is this structure at the SpaceX McGregor, TX test site?

After an overflight of the McGregor site, in a thread at NASA Space Flight.com someone noticed an interesting structure: The theory being presented is that the size and hexagon pattern at the top ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What is simulated payload and why are they used?

I read that Angara 5 will carry a "payload simulator" on its first test flight tomorrow Dec. 23, 2014. But the Indian GSLV mk.III recently flew for the first time with a prototype of the ISRO crewed ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Documentation and testing for a CubeSat launch?

If I had a CubeSat sitting on my desk ready to go today, what documentation and testing would I need to do before I could get it launched? Presumably the launch provider won’t just launch anything I ...
6
votes
1answer
240 views

What boosters/launchers conduct hot fire tests before launch?

SpaceX has a practice of a hot fire test before the real launch. This gives them a chance to test any number of things, similar to launch, to identify possible issues. They test: Fueling Launch ...
13
votes
1answer
385 views

Primary payload influence on hitchhiking CubeSat integration and testing?

Integration is the process of assembling or otherwise combining the separate subsystems into your final overall system. Testing involves making sure your components, subsystems, and overall system ...