It took 81 hours of printing followed by about 10–15 hours of assembly, integration, and testing. I lost count of all the test prints I ran, the bad prints I’ve stopped, and all the circuits I tested, but including those would push the numbers much, much higher. But it’s finally complete.
Tory Bruno wrote an op-ed in SpaceNews regarding Vulcan and its future, and he announced that ULA will be upgrading Centaur. Elon Musk spent some time on reddit talking about BFR and updating us on some of the details.
We’re seeing the same strategy from several players in the market with several launch vehicles—ULA with Atlas V, Arianespace with Ariane 6, and ILS with Proton Medium. Cutting costs and optimizing launch vehicles to compete at current Falcon 9 prices is going to work for the next few years, at least.
SpaceX’s Gwynne Shotwell gave a talk at Stanford last night, and several redditors were in attendance. They’ve posted their notes over at r/spacex, and there are some really interesting tidbits in there, specifically regarding BFR, its launch site, and its production.
If you’ve been listening to and/or reading my stuff for a bit, you probably know Jake Robins of WeMartians. He and I both do podcasts with fairly regular formats and topics we cover (he more than I…), and have been wanting an outlet with a loose format where we can discuss things outside of our typical realms (but still space-y). And most importantly, we wanted a place to hang out and talk space on a regular basis.
I speculated last week that there is potential for schedule tension between Falcon Heavy and Dragon 2 with the former seemingly slipping into 2018. This two month slip gives Falcon Heavy some breathing room.