October 15, 2010 – 13th Edition

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SpaceX’s Scott Henderson – Featured Speaker – Message from MSRP President

Rocket Reunion Fall Banquet Will Honor SpaceX And Falcon 9

SpaceX Launch Control Center

SpaceX Launch Control Center

The Fall Banquet of the Pioneers will honor the SpaceX Falcon 9 team at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS). Plan to join us. This Fall event is set for Friday 12 November 2010


 

MSRP President’s Message

About six months has passed since our Spring Newsletter and the last Gathering of the Pioneers. The Spring Event paid tribute to the USAF MOL program and was a great success. I would like to thank all of the people that worked hard to make that event happen, especially our four presenters that really made the evening. If you missed the spring event you really missed a wonderful night.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Launch Vehicle

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Launch Vehicle

While the MOL Program dated back the 1960s, the MSRP Fall Banquet will pay tribute to a much newer Space Pioneer: SpaceX and the Falcon 9. While SpaceX is new, much of their launch team here at the Cape are veteran Space Pioneers. I know, like the Spring MOL tribute, this too will be a very informative and fun evening for our Pioneers. It also demonstrates that we continue to have new generations of Space Pioneers and that is exciting.

So, if there are new Space Pioneers out there, and obviously there are, shouldn’t they be joining the Missile, Space and Range Pioneers? To me, it is just as obvious: YES THEY SHOULD.

Therefore, please consider this letter from the President of the MSRP as open invitation to all the new Space and Range Pioneers to join the club. And if you are already a member, please pass the word to those that are not, and ask them to join us. The goal of the Pioneers is simply to provide an opportunity for people associated with missile, space and range activities to meet socially and renew acquaintances. There is lot to learn from the past and there much to be excited about the future. Space is a big frontier and because of that there will always be more Space Pioneers. Jim Lewis – President MSRP


 Scott Henderson – SpaceX Director & Former 45th Launch Group Commander

Col Scott Henderson, USAF(Ret)

Col Scott Henderson, USAF(Ret)

Scott Henderson – SpaceX Director & Former 45th Launch Group Commander

Scott Henderson joined SpaceX as Director, Mission Assurance, after 25 years in the United States Air Force (USAF), an experience that began by earning a degree in Astronautical Engineering from the US Air Force Academy. His career in the USAF included assignments in a wide variety of high level space operations and acquisition positions. A certified acquisition professional, Henderson has also earned a masters degree in Engineering Management from the Florida Institute of Technology and was a National Defense Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Prior to SpaceX, Henderson held the position of Commander with the 45th Launch Group at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida. His responsibilities in this position focused on Department of Defense (DoD), civil, and commercial space launch-related activities.


SpaceX Program Overview

In an era when most technology based products follow a path of ever-increasing capability and reliability while simultaneously reducing costs, launch vehicles today are little changed from those of 40 years ago. SpaceX aims to change this paradigm by developing a family of launch vehicles which will ultimately reduce the cost and increase the reliability of space access by a factor of ten. Coupled with the newly emerging market for private and commercial space transport, this new model will re-ignite humanity’s efforts to explore and develop Space.

Falcon 9 Vehicle on SLC-40

Falcon 9 Vehicle on SLC-40

Our company is based on the philosophy that simplicity, low-cost, and reliability can go hand in hand. By eliminating the traditional layers of management, internally, and sub-contractors, externally, we reduce our costs while speeding decision making and delivery. Likewise, by keeping the vast majority of manufacturing in house, we reduce our costs, keep tighter control of quality, and ensure a tight feedback loop between the design and manufacturing teams. And by focusing on simple, proven designs with a primary focus on reliability, we reduce the costs associated with complex systems operating at the margin.Established in 2002 by Elon Musk , the founder of PayPal and the Zip2 Corporation, SpaceX has already developed two brand new launch vehicles, established an impressive launch manifest, and been awarded COTS funding by NASA to demonstrate delivery and return of cargo to the International Space Station. Supported by this order book and Mr. Musk’s substantial resources, SpaceX is on an extremely sound financial footing as we move towards volume commercial launches.

Although drawing upon a rich history of prior launch vehicle and engine programs, SpaceX is privately developing the Dragon crew and cargo capsule and the Falcon family of rockets from the ground up, including main and upper stage engines, the cryogenic tank structure, avionics, guidance & control software and ground support equipment.

With the Falcon 1, Falcon 9 and Falcon 9 Heavy launch vehicles, SpaceX is able to offer a full spectrum of light, medium and heavy lift launch capabilities to our customers. We are able to deliver spacecraft into any inclination and altitude, from low Earth orbit to geosynchronous orbit to planetary missions. The Falcon 9 and Falcon 9 Heavy are the only US launch vehicles with true engine out reliability. They are also designed such that all stages are reusable, making them the world’s first fully reusable launch vehicles. And our Dragon crew and cargo capsule, currently under development, will revolutionize access to space by providing efficient and reliable transport of crew and cargo to the ISS and other LEO destinations.

Our design and manufacturing facilities are located near the Los Angeles International airport, leveraging the deep and rich aerospace talent pool available in Southern California . Our extensive propulsion and structural test facilities are located in Central Texas. We currently have launch complexes available in Vandenberg and Kwajalein Island , and in April 2007 we were granted use of and began developing Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral.The Falcon launch vehicle family is designed to provide breakthrough advances in reliability, cost, flight environment and time to launch. The primary design driver is and will remain reliability. We recognize that nothing is more important than getting our customer’s spacecraft safely to its intended destination.

Like Falcon 1, Falcon 9 is a two stage, liquid oxygen and rocket grade kerosene (RP-1) powered launch vehicle. It uses the same engines, structural architecture (with a wider diameter), avionics and launch system.