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SpaceX Update

Elon Musk has a long update on progress on the new Merlin engine, the Falcon 9 and Dragon. Those are the first pictures I've seen of the Hawthorne facility. It sounds like they have a lot of room to grow.

I'm disappointed, but not surprised, that they've gone with hypergolics for reaction control. That's going to complicate turnaround.

But overall, (in contrast to Orion/Ares) progress seems to be good. Note that they're continuing to hire, and even offering bounties, if you know anyone to refer to them.

[Update a few minutes later]

SpaceX should look into this engine for RCS. Presumably, the hypergolics were chosen for reliability (no igniter required) and storability, but XCOR has pretty reliable engines, and they don't use such nasty propellants, and they have been working on well-insulated LOX tanks.

Posted by Rand Simberg at December 12, 2007 07:41 AM
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