Dr. C. Scott Ananian (cananian) wrote,
Dr. C. Scott Ananian
cananian

SpaceX preliminary verdict: nozzle hit & tank slosh

For any of you who've been following the flight tests of SpaceX's Falcon rocket, you may be interested to hear that:

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has noted that the preliminary assessment of the Falcon I flight shows that the second stage shut down only a minute before schedule - and still managed to deploy its satellite mass simulator ring.

The shutdown appears to have been caused by the sloshing of propellant in the LOX tank, increasing observed oscillation, which would normally have been successfully dampened out by the second stage Thrust Vector Control (TVC) system. However, the impact on the second stage nozzle during separation caused a 'hard slew' correction, over-compensating previously simulated scenarios.

This analysis is preliminary, and SpaceX hasn't posted it in its official updates page yet. But, if confirmed, this buttresses the case that their recent test was largely successful.

Tags: spacex
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