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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Video: The World's Biggest Bomb - Watch Secrets of the Dead Online - PBS Video

This is an Episode of Secrets of the Dead.  The World's Biggest Bomb. It is very enlightening. A Video about the events and the History of the Arms Race between the USA and the Soviet Union. It starts with the first Atom Bombs in the 1940's and goes on to tell the Stories of the Hydrogen Bombs of the 50's, 60's and 70's. We called them the H-Bombs when I was a kid growing up in the 60's and 70's. And if I had known all of this at the time... I would have been afraid, very afraid!:O 

Don


Watch the full episode of Secrets of the Dead: The World's Biggest Bomb. Minimize

Program: Secrets of the Dead
Episode: The World's Biggest Bomb
Beginning in the 1950s, American and Soviet scientists engaged in a dangerous race to see who could build and detonate the world's largest bomb.

Your purchase helps support PBS and the programs you love.
Buy DVD

Duration: (53:30)
Premiere Date: 05/17/2011
Episode Expires: Never
TV Rating: NR


Watch The World's Biggest Bomb on PBS. See more from Secrets of the Dead.



Watch Video here...
http://video.pbs.org/video/1923035514


Video: The World's Biggest Bomb | Watch Secrets of the Dead Online | PBS Video

More Videos from Secrets of the Dead


Full episodes


27 VIDEOS


The World's Biggest Bomb

53:30Air Date 05/17/11


China's Terracotta Warriors

53:40Air Date 05/04/11


Lost in the Amazon

53:42Air Date 04/20/11


Lost Ships of Rome

52:24Air Date 11/17/10


Slave Ship Mutiny

52:24Air Date 11/10/10


The Silver Pharaoh

52:25Air Date 11/03/10

+MORE FULL EPISODES

Previews

19 VIDEOS


Japanese SuperSub - Preview

0:30Air Date 02/29/12


Slave Ship Mutiny Preview

0:30Air Date 11/29/11


Mumbai Massacre - Preview

0:30Air Date 11/22/11


Deadliest Battle - Preview

0:30Air Date 11/22/11


Churchill's Deadly Decision - Preview

0:30Air Date 11/15/11


Aztec Massacre - Preview

0:30Air Date 10/26/11

+MORE PREVIEWS
Shorts

1 VIDEOS


Go Behind the Scenes of Slave Ship Mutiny

30:02

More PBS Video Links...
watch secerets of the dead bom race - Google Search

Video: What Darwin Never Knew | Watch NOVA Online | PBS Video

NOVA | PBS Video

PBS | Watch Video From Your Favorite PBS ProgramsFRONTLINE: bad voodoo's war: video extras | PBS

PBS | Search . Search Results

The National Parks: America's Best Idea: Watch Video | PBS

Video: What Darwin Never Knew | Watch NOVA Online | PBS Video

Video: The Fabric of the Cosmos: Universe or Multiverse? | Watch NOVA Online | PBS Video

Video: Amelia Earhart | Watch American Experience Online | PBS Video

American Experience | Watch Online | PBS VideoSearch for Amelia Earhart

Video: Amelia Earhart | Watch American Experience Online | PBS Video

Video: What Darwin Never Knew | Watch NOVA Online | PBS Video

Missing in MiG Alley | NOVA | PBS Video

Video: What Darwin Never Knew | Watch NOVA Online | PBS Video

Video: The Fabric of the Cosmos: Universe or Multiverse? | Watch NOVA Online | PBS Video

Video: Amelia Earhart | Watch American Experience Online | PBS Video

Video: Amelia Earhart | Watch American Experience Online | PBS Video

Missing in MiG Alley | NOVA | PBS Video

Saturday, May 26, 2012

HIPAA - Can I have another person pick up my prescription drugs, medical supplies, or X-rays?



Ever heard of HIPAA? That was the very rudely asked question. Which the sales clerk asked me at my local Pharmacy today, when I was picking up some Prescriptions for my self and my Mother. The Clerk wanted me to tell her my Mothers Birth Date. Now, I don't remember those kinds of things. I do well to remember my own info, much less anyone else. And even if I did remember. The month, day and year that someone is born. Is not something to be speaking out loud in Public. Not with Identity Theft being one of the most common Crimes in the World Today!:O I said, I don't know that. Then she proceeds over to ask the Pharmacist what to do. As if this was a matter of "National Security"! Now, I have been Purchasing all of my Prescription Drugs from this Pharmacy for over 12 years and I know she recognizes me and knows who my Mom is too. And the whole point of the thing, according to HIPAA. Is to make sure that I am authorized to pick up my Mothers Medicine. And I know that she (the clerk) is just going to ask for my Phone Number and Address. Like she always does... Mind you, no one else at this Pharmacy makes any a big deal out of this HIPAA thing. Most of them, say "Hi Mr. Bishop, how are you today"? When I arrive and are quite courteous and kind through out the transaction. I don't remember ever having this kind of problem with any one else there, in the past. But, not this young lady. She has always been rude (she has been there for several years now) or on her good days completely agnostic towards my Mother and my self when we shop there. This attitude really got to me today. So, I let her know it. I don't remember my exact words now. But, I mentioned Identity Thief and that asking my Phone Number and Address is quite enough of a security measure. If not too much info, for that purpose. She, boldly announced "I'm just doing my Job"! She went on with the Transaction, saying this and that (I can't remember the details of what else was said here). And then I mentioned that she was rude and she had been rude to my Mother in the Past (that's the crux of my anger, right there). And instead of Apologizing (even if she didn't mean it, that is the smart thing to do when dealing with customers, who are the reason you stay in business and even have a job). She, made a face and flat denied being rude at all. I asked her if she would prefer that I take my business elsewhere. She, said... "That's your Prerogative"... "They will just ask you"... (something to the effect of the same security questions). With such an official voice. As if she worked for some Special Branch of the Government (instead of the local Pharmacy)! Then she motioned to the Pharmacist and he came over to "explain" things to me. He really only said, that this was their way of making sure that they don't give us the wrong Prescription. Of course, a Phone Number and or Address will do just fine for this Purpose. But, buy this time I was just to angry to continue with a Civil Tongue. And the Pharmacist is fairly new. I have only spoken to him one other time and hes was very polite. So, for some reason. I just said, that she was rude. As if that was the biggest problem I had with it all. And mostly, I guess that would be the biggest problem here. A Diss Respectful Store Clerk. I was the only Customer in the Pharmacy the whole time. I suppose one reason why I even said as much as I did. I really don't like making a scene in public. The Pharmacist, only replied that he "didn't see it" (her rudeness). And then he walked away. I couldn't help but get in the last word and say... "Well, I say she is, and I'm the customer"!

When I got home. I looked up HIPAA? I of course had told her... Yes, I have herd of HIPAA... And I had, though I couldn't remember any Specifics at the time. But, I knew that she was being rude and asking too much information. Just to Pick up a Prescription! When I looked up HIPAA. I found out that I was exactly right and that they don't even have to ask your Phone Number or Address. All that they are required to do According to HIPAA, is...

"HIPAA allows health care providers (such as pharmacists) to give prescription drugs, medical supplies, X-rays, and other health care items to a family member, friend, or other person you send to pick them up."

"When someone other than a friend or family member is asking about you, your health care provider must be reasonably sure that you
asked the person to be involved in your care or payment for your care." (Notice, not only Family but Friends too. Read More Below.)

"A pharmacist may give your prescription to a friend you send to pick it up."

Tell that to the Rude Young Lady at the Pharmacy. Next Time she acts like the Pharmacy's Secrete Police! They have no need or right to be asking a Parsons Birth Date. Just to allow you to Pickup a Prescription. Giving out your Phone Number and Address is Risky Enough. Especially in Public. With other People standing by listing. Your Birth Date, may just be the last piece of info that they need to Steal Your Identity!...

Don

Can I have another person pick up my prescription drugs, medical supplies, or X-rays?

Answer:

Yes. HIPAA allows health care providers (such as pharmacists) to give prescription drugs, medical supplies, X-rays, and other health care items to a family member, friend, or other person you send to pick them up.
Created 9/16/08
Go there...
http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/faq/disclosures_to_friends_and_family/527.html

A PATIENT’S GUIDE TO THE HIPAA PRIVACY RULE: See PDF Attached or Download Online here... http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/consumer_ffg.pdf

When Health Care Providers May Communicate About You
with Your Family, Friends, or Others Involved In Your Care
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services • Office for Civil Rights
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) enforces the Federal privacy regulations commonly
known as the HIPAA Privacy Rule (HIPAA). HIPAA requires most doctors, nurses, pharmacies, hospitals,
nursing homes, and other health care providers to protect the privacy of your health information. Here is a list
of common questions about HIPAA and when health care providers may discuss or share your health
information with your family members, friends, or others involved in your care or payment for care.

COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT HIPAA
1. If I do not object, can my health care provider share or discuss my health information with my
family, friends, or others involved in my care or payment for my care?
Yes. As long as you do not object, your health care provider is allowed to share or discuss your health
information with your family, friends, or others involved in your care or payment for your care. Your
provider may ask your permission, may tell you he or she plans to discuss the information and give you an
opportunity to object, or may decide, using his or her professional judgment, that you do not object. In any
of these cases, your health care provider may discuss only the information that the person involved needs to
know about your care or payment for your care.
Here are some examples:
• An emergency room doctor may discuss your treatment in front of your friend when you ask that
your friend come into the treatment room.
• Your hospital may discuss your bill with your daughter who is with you at the hospital and has
questions about the charges.
• Your doctor may talk to your sister who is driving you home from the hospital about your keeping
your foot raised during the ride home.
• Your doctor may discuss the drugs you need to take with your health aide who has come with you to
your appointment.
• Your nurse may tell you that she is going to tell your brother how you are doing, and then she may
discuss your health status with your brother if you did not say that she should not.

BUT:
• Your nurse may not discuss your condition with your brother if you tell her not to.
When Health Care Providers May Communicate About You With Your
Family, Friends, or Others Involved In Your Care

WHEN HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS MAY COMMUNICATE ABOUT YOU WITH YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS, OR OTHERS INVOLVED IN YOUR CARE
2. If I am unconscious or not around, can my health care provider still share or discuss my health
information with my family, friends, or others involved in my care or payment for my care?
Yes. If you are not around or cannot give permission, your health care provider may share or discuss your
health information with family, friends, or others involved in your care or payment for your care if he or she
believes, in his or her professional judgment, that it is in your best interest. When someone other than a
friend or family member is asking about you, your health care provider must be reasonably sure that you
asked the person to be involved in your care or payment for your care. Your health care provider may share
your information face to face, over the phone, or in writing, but may only share the information that the
family member, friend, or other person needs to know about your care or payment for your care.

Here are some examples:
• A surgeon who did emergency surgery on you may tell your spouse about your condition, either in
person or by phone, while you are unconscious.
• A pharmacist may give your prescription to a friend you send to pick it up.
• A doctor may discuss your drugs with your caregiver who calls your doctor with a question about
the right dosage.

BUT:
• A nurse may not tell your friend about a past medical problem that is unrelated to your current
condition.
3. Do I have to give my health care provider written permission to share or discuss my health
information with my family members, friends, or others involved in my care or payment for my care?

HIPAA does not require that you give your health care provider written permission. However, your
provider may prefer or require that you give written permission. You may want to ask about your
provider’s requirements.
4. If my family or friends call my health care provider to ask about my condition, will they have to give
my provider proof of who they are?

HIPAA does not require proof of identity in these cases. However, your health care provider may have his
or her own rules for verifying who is on the phone. You may want to ask about your provider’s rules.
5. Can I have another person pick up my prescription drugs, medical supplies, or X-rays?
Yes. HIPAA allows health care providers (such as pharmacists) to give prescription drugs, medical supplies,
X-rays, and other health care items to a family member, friend, or other person you send to pick them up.
6. Can my health care provider discuss my health information with an interpreter?
Yes. HIPAA allows your health care provider to share your health information with an interpreter who
works for the provider to help communicate with you or your family, friends, or others involved in your
care. If the interpreter is someone who does not work for your health care provider, HIPAA also allows
your provider to discuss your health information with the interpreter so long as you do not object.

When Health Care Providers May Communicate About You With Your
Family, Friends, or Others Involved In Your Care

WHEN HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS MAY COMMUNICATE ABOUT YOU WITH YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS, OR OTHERS INVOLVED IN YOUR CARE
7. How can I help make sure my health care providers share my health information with my family,
friends, or others involved in my care or payment for my care when I want them to?
Print a copy of this document and discuss it with your health care provider at your next appointment. You
may also want to share this information with your family members, friends, or others involved in your care
or payment for your care.
8. Where can I get more information about HIPAA?

The HHS Office for Civil Rights Web site at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa/ has a variety of resources to
help you understand HIPAA.

When Health Care Providers May Communicate About You With Your
Family, Friends, or Others Involved In Your Care

Health Information Privacy

The Office for Civil Rights enforces the HIPAA Privacy Rule, which protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information; the HIPAA Security Rule, which sets national standards for the security of electronic protected health information; and the confidentiality provisions of the Patient Safety Rule, which protect identifiable information being used to analyze patient safety events and improve patient safety.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules 

Learn about the Rules' protection of individually identifiable health information, the rights granted to individuals, OCR’s enforcement activities, and how to file a complaint with OCR. 

The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (PSQIA) Patient Safety Rule

Learn about the Patient Safety Rule's protection of confidential patient safety work product, the permitted disclosures of patient safety work product, OCR's enforcement activities, and how to file a complaint with OCR. 

Read More...
http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) enforces the Federal privacy regulations commonly known as the HIPAA Privacy Rule (HIPAA).
gov requirements for picking up prescription drugs for another person - Google Search
Can I have another person pick up my prescription drugs, medical supplies, or X-rays?
consumer_ffg.pdf (application/pdf Object)
Health Information Privacy
Understanding Health Information Privacy
Understanding Patient Safety Confidentiality

Friday, May 25, 2012

fail2ban Intrusion Prevention Framework - a good Tutorial, with some good examples on how to set up fail2ban

This is a very good Tutorial, with some good examples on how to set up fail2ban...

Don


fail2ban Intrusion Prevention Framework - Linux Magazine Online

By Chris Binnie

For its size, fail2ban, a utility that scans logfiles and bans suspicious IP addresses, punches well above its weight.

I dare say that only a few sys admins haven’t heard of fail2ban – maybe those starting out or those who have focused on different areas. In my experience, it’s quite rare that really small utilities can affect the way you run your servers to the extent that fail2ban has. It certainly explains its popularity.

fail2ban is a feather-weight set of scripts that can easily integrate with popular firewalls and, amongst many other things, catch any failed logins for services that you’re running and then ban the IP address after a certain number of failed attempts. Admittedly that sounds like quite simple functionality, but when you get down to the innards of the software, it’s a truly powerful tool.

I had been using fail2ban on SSH login failures, probably it’s most common usage, before I became increasingly annoyed with web server logs filling up with nefarious probes attempting to compromise PHP with remote exploits (and a myriad of other HTTP attacks). It got to the point at which a large proportion of the Apache logs were failed attempts to find hidden directories or non-existent Joomla installations among the legitimate hits on the websites.

I also ran a few mail servers that allowed mail relaying via SASL password authentication, which (and there are other ways of running the authentication side) had system user accounts with PAM checking for correct passwords. I had set the SASL user accounts so that a shell login couldn’t be used to access the server, but I was still more than aware than having a piece of software so readily open to abuse by brute force was far from ideal. So, fail2ban stepped forward yet again; I could simply ban any IP that entered the wrong password three times for as long as I wanted.

From the scenarios above, I hope you will agree that fail2ban can be applied in all sorts of ways. To give you a head start in this article, I’ll offer some examples, ranging from those straight out of the documentation to those that were hard won. (Those of you who speak regular expressions, or regex, as your second language would have found them easy, I’m sure, but I prefer a cogent language that doesn’t involve an aching head coupled with eye strain!)

It Must Be Magic

Read More...
http://www.linuxpromagazine.com/Online/Features/fail2ban-Intrusion-Prevention-Framework

Fail2ban scans log files (e.g. /var/log/apache/error_log) and bans IPs that show the malicious signs -- too many password failures
Fail2ban
HOWTOs - Fail2ban
FAQ english - Fail2ban
MANUAL_0_8
Fail2Ban - Fail2ban
fail2ban Intrusion Prevention Framework - Linux Magazine Online
Fail2ban
FAQ english - Fail2ban
Category:Configuration - Fail2ban
Category:FTP - Fail2ban
Vsftpd - Fail2ban
Fail2ban
HOWTOs - Fail2ban
FAQ english - Fail2ban
MANUAL_0_8
Fail2Ban - Fail2ban
Fail2ban
Fail2ban
Fail2ban
Category:Configuration - Fail2ban
Vsftpd - Fail2ban
HOWTOs - Fail2ban
Weekend Project: Keep Out Repeat Offenders with Fail2ban on Linux | Linux.com - fail2ban.conf: This file contains the general options for fail2ban. Most likely the default options will work just fine.
Weekend Project: Keep Out Repeat Offenders with Fail2ban on Linux | Linux.com
Fail2ban
FAQ english - Fail2ban
Category:Configuration - Fail2ban
Category:FTP - Fail2ban
Vsftpd - Fail2ban
Fail2ban
HOWTOs - Fail2ban
FAQ english - Fail2ban
MANUAL_0_8
Fail2Ban - Fail2ban
Fail2ban
Fail2ban
Fail2ban
Category:Configuration - Fail2ban
Vsftpd - Fail2ban
HOWTOs - Fail2ban
Weekend Project: Keep Out Repeat Offenders with Fail2ban on Linux | Linux.com
Weekend Project: Keep Out Repeat Offenders with Fail2ban on Linux | Linux.com
fail2ban Intrusion Prevention Framework - Linux Magazine Online

Password Protection Act of 2012 filed | TechRepublic

Password Protection Act of 2012 filed

Takeaway: A new bill is filed to prevent employers from asking employees and job candidates for their passwords to social networking sites.

Back in March, I wrote a blog about how some potential employers were asking job candidates for their social media passwords in order to screen their accounts.

On May 9, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Representative Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and a number of cosponsors filed the Password Protection Act of 2012 (PPA) in the Senate and House. The bill is meant to prevent employers from strong-arming employees and job applicants into sharing information from their personal social networking accounts.

Who and what is covered

Read More...
http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/career/password-protection-act-of-2012-filed/4322?tag=nl.e075

Well... It's about TIME!:O

Don

Employers were asking job candidates for their social media passwords
Password Protection Act of 2012 filed | TechRepublic
Can an employer ask for your Facebook login and password? | TechRepublic

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fan Fix - Rebuilding an HTF3110A Oscillating Fan Motor

Crazy Pete's Projects



May 20th 2012:

Ever had a cheap oscillating fan stop working? I had an HTF3110A tower fan , and figured, "They cost thirty bucks, how hard could it be to fix it?"

Materials:

Part no. Description QTY Price Source
270-1322 Thermal Fuse 1 $0.75 Radio Shack
n/a 12Ga butt connectors about 6 n/a local hardware store
n/a pop rivets (size may vary) 2 n/a local hardware store
n/a Engine builders lube n/a n/a local auto parts store
n/a WD-40 n/a n/a local auto parts store
n/a Zip ties about 12 n/a local hardware store

Tools:
  • Wire Strippers
  • Phillips head #1
  • Flat head for prying
  • Soldering iron
  • Butt connector crimper
  • Multimeter
  • Drill and bits
Repair procedure:

  1.  Remove 9 screws that hold the rear cover on:
  2. Remove the fan blades assembly by loosening a locking screw at the base of the fan, connecting it to the motor. Then, lift the fan assembly off the motor shaft. The metal bracket holding the upper bearing on the fan blades may bend abit, no big deal, bend it back if needed:
  3. The motor is held in place by four screws on it's flanges. They can be removed to pull out the motor. Some wire restraints may also need to be removed here:

Read More...
http://www.crazypete.net/fanfix/fanfix.html

Interesting... I this one should be helpful for other fan types too...

Don

Rebuilding an HTF3110A Oscillating Fan Motor
Rebuilding a fried fan motor - Hack a Day
Fan Fix
Amazon.com: Holmes HTF3110A-WM 31-Inch Oscillating Tower Fan: Home & Kitchen
DonsDeals Amazon Associates Store. Same Great Deals! Clean and Easy to Read Pages. - Search Results - Tools & Hardware
DonsDeals Amazon Associates Store. Same Great Deals! Clean and Easy to Read Pages. - Holmes HTF3110A-WM 31-Inch Oscillating Tower Fan
DonsDeals Amazon Associates Store. Same Great Deals! Clean and Easy to Read Pages. - Search Results - Tools & Hardware

SpaceX - Launch of SpaceX Falcon 9 on it's way to ISS! Videos, with Dragon Grappled and Berthed to Station and Entering the Dragon!

Launch of SpaceX Falcon 9  on it's way to the International Space Station (ISS)! 

The SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon capsule lift off May 22, 2012, from Cape Canaveral Air Force station in Florida to begin a demonstration mission to the International Space Station.

 Video on NASA - Multimedia - Video Gallery



Go there...
http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?collection_id=39551&media_id=70171431

See inside          SpaceX's private Dragon space capsule and Falcon 9 rockets in          this SPACE.com infographic.
Source SPACE.com: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration

NASA TV Live Covered it, but I missed it!:O We could have Watched the Birthing (Docking) live on Thursday Morning 05-24-12...

But you can still see it on Video.

NASA Live TV, Go there...
http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html

Dragon Grappled and Berthed to Station

  video

Grabbing the Dragon (close view)
video


Enter the Dragon
video

From Within the Dragon

  video


More NASA Videos here (look for the SpaceX Videos)...
http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html
 













May 22, 2012

Successful Launch Kicks off SpaceX's Historic Mission



Hawthorne, CA – Today, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon spacecraft to orbit in an exciting start to the mission that will make SpaceX the first commercial company in history to attempt to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station — something only a handful of governments have ever accomplished.
At 3:44 a.m. Eastern, the Falcon 9 carrying Dragon launched from SpaceX’s launch pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Now Dragon heads toward the International Space Station. On that journey it will be subjected to a series of tests to determine if the vehicle is ready to berth with the station.
Broadcast quality videos, including video inside of the SpaceX factory, may be downloaded at vimeo.com/spacexlaunch and high-resolution photos are posted at spacexlaunch.zenfolio.com.
At a press conference held after the launch, SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer Elon Musk began, “I would like to start off by saying what a tremendous honor it has been to work with NASA. And to acknowledge the fact that we could not have started SpaceX, nor could we have reached this point without the help of NASA… It’s really been an honor to work with such great people.”
The vehicle’s first stage performed nominally before separating from the second stage. The second stage successfully delivered the Dragon spacecraft into its intended orbit. This marks the third consecutive successful Falcon 9 launch and the fifth straight launch success for SpaceX.
“We obviously have to go through a number of steps to berth with the Space Station, but everything is looking really good and I think I would count today as a success no matter what happens with the rest of the mission,” Musk said.

Read More...
http://www.spacex.com/press.php?page=20120522



Our updated Terms of Use will become effective on May 25, 2012. Find out more.

SpaceX

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
SpaceX
Type Private
Industry Aerospace
Founded 2002
Headquarters Hawthorne, California, USA
Key people Elon Musk (CEO and CTO)
Gwynne Shotwell (President)[1]
Tom Mueller Co-Founder and VP of Propulsion [2]
Products Orbital rocket launch
Commercial Orbital Transportation Services
Employees > 1,800 (2012)[3]
Website www.spacex.com
Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX, is a space transport company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. It was founded in 2002 by former PayPal entrepreneur Elon Musk. It has developed the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 space boosters, both of which are built with a goal of becoming reusable launch vehicles. SpaceX is also developing the Dragon spacecraft to be flown into orbit by the Falcon 9 launch vehicle.
In order to control quality and costs, SpaceX designs, tests and fabricates the majority of its components in-house, including the Merlin, Kestrel, and Draco rocket engines used on the Falcon launch vehicles and the Dragon spacecraft. In 2006, NASA awarded the company a Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) contract to design and demonstrate a launch system to resupply cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). On 9 December 2010, the launch of the COTS Demo Flight 1 mission, SpaceX became the first privately funded company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft. On May 22, 2012, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket carried the unmanned Dragon capsule into space, marking the first time a private company has sent a spacecraft to the space station.
NASA has also awarded SpaceX a contract to develop and demonstrate a human-rated Dragon as part of its Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program to transport crew to the ISS. SpaceX is planning its first crewed Dragon/Falcon9 flight in 2015, when it expects to have a fully certified, human-rated launch escape system incorporated into the spacecraft.
Besides NASA contracts, SpaceX has signed contracts with private sector companies, non-American government agencies and the American military for its launch services. It has already launched, for a paying customer, a low earth orbiting satellite with its Falcon 1 booster in 2009. The company plans to launch its first commercial geostationary satellite in 2013 from a Falcon 9.
Future projects that are in the planning stages or in development include the Falcon Heavy launch system, as well as a NASA robotic mission to Mars in 2018. The Heavy is based on Falcon 9 technology, and if construction goes as planned, it will be the most powerful rocket in the American inventory since the Apollo-era Saturn V. Falcon Heavy can be used to send a crewed Dragon spacecraft on lunar orbiting missions – such as the Apollo 8 mission; or be used to send a modified unpiloted Dragon on a Mars landing mission. Musk has stated that his intention for the company is to help in the creation of a permanent human presence on Mars.

Contents

Background


The company's current headquarters, located in Hawthorne, California.
SpaceX was founded in June 2002 by PayPal and Tesla Motors co-founder Elon Musk who had invested $100 million USD of his own money by March 2006.[4] In January 2005, SpaceX bought a 10% stake in Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.[5] On 4 August 2008, SpaceX accepted a further $20 million USD investment from the Founders Fund.[6] The company has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2002, growing from 160 employees in November 2005 to more than 500 by July 2008, to over 1,100 in 2010.[7][8] Two-thirds of the company is owned by its founder[9] and his 70 millions of shares are worth $875 million on private markets,[10] which roughly value SpaceX at $1.3 billion as of February 2012.[11] An initial public offering may happen by the end of 2013.[12]
Musk believes the high prices of other space-launch services are driven in part by unnecessary bureaucracy. He has stated that one of his goals is to improve the cost and reliability of access to space, ultimately by a factor of ten.[13] SpaceX became the first private company to successfully launch and return a spacecraft from orbit on 8 December 2010, after its Dragon capsule returned from a two-orbit flight.[14] Space Foundation recognized SpaceX for its successful Dragon launch and recovery with the Space Achievement Award in 2011.[15]
At various conferences, SpaceX has revealed concept slides for future engine, stage, and launch vehicle designs. Development of these designs would be predicated on demand for increased performance. Company plans in 2004 called for "development of a heavy lift product and even a super-heavy, if there is customer demand" with each size increase resulting in a significant decrease in cost per pound to orbit. CEO Elon Musk said: "I believe $500 per pound ($1,100/kg) or less is very achievable."[16]
Elon Musk has stated the personal goal of eventually enabling human exploration and settlement of Mars.[17] He stated in a 2011 interview that he hopes to send humans to Mars' surface within 10–20 years.[17].

Flight operations and contracts

Flight operations


The first Falcon 1 at Vandenberg AFB. This vehicle was removed from VAFB due to delays and eventually launched from Kwajalein.
SpaceX has utilized a number of launch sites, including:
All Falcon 1 launches have taken place at Omelek Island. Falcon 9 launches on the SpaceX manifest are planned for Cape Canaveral SLC-40 and Vandenberg AFB SLC-4E (Polar Launches);[18] both the Falcon 9 maiden flight on 4 June 2010, and the December 8, 2010 flight also took place at Cape Canaveral SLC-40.
The company purchased the McGregor, Texas, testing facilities of defunct Beal Aerospace, where it refitted the largest test stand at the facilities for Falcon 9 testing. SpaceX plans to upgrade the facility for launch testing a VTVL rocket in 2012.[19]
On 16 June 2009, SpaceX announced the opening of its Astronaut Safety and Mission Assurance Department. It hired former NASA astronaut Ken Bowersox to oversee the department as a vice president of the company.[20]
SpaceX broke ground on their own launch site, located at Vandenberg Air Force Base, on 13 July 2011.[21] The launch site is intended for use by the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle, which is scheduled to be brought on site in 2012 with a test flight to follow soon after.[22] The project is expected to cost between $20 to $30 million USD for the first 24 months of construction and operation; thereafter, operational costs are expected to be $5–10 million USD per year. The site is said to be a natural fit for SpaceX, as they attempted to schedule a Falcon 1 launch from there previously but had to move the launch to the Reagan site due to scheduling conflicts.[21] SpaceX plans to launch up to 16 flights per year by 2015 from Vandenberg.[21]

New commercial-only launch site

As of April 2012, SpaceX is considering five potential locations around the country for a new commercial launch pad. Potential locations include "sites in Alaska, California, Florida, Texas and Virginia." Although preliminary environmental assessment regulatory documents have been filed for a south Texas location, that site has not yet been selected as the site for construction of the private spaceport facility.[23]
One of the proposed locations for the new commercial-mission-only spaceport is south Texas, which was revealed in April 2012, via preliminary regulatory documentation. The FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation initiated a Notice of Intent to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement[24] and public hearings on the new launch site, which would be located in Cameron County. The site would support up to 12 commercial launches per year, including two Falcon Heavy launches. [25] "Before anything could be done on the project, an environmental impact statement, a public scoping period and a public scoping meeting would need to be held."[26] The first public meeting is scheduled for May 15, 2012[26]

Contracts

On 2 May 2005, SpaceX announced that it had been awarded an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract for Responsive Small Spacelift (RSS) launch services by the United States Air Force, which could allow the Air Force to purchase up to $100 Million USD worth of launches from the company.[27] On 22 April 2008, NASA announced that it had awarded an IDIQ Launch Services contract to SpaceX for Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 launches. The contract will be worth up to $1 billion USD, depending on the number of missions awarded. The contract covers launch services ordered by 30 June 2010, for launches through December 2012.[28] Musk stated in the same 2008 announcement that SpaceX has sold 14 contracts for flights on the various Falcon vehicles.[28] On 18 August 2006, NASA announced that SpaceX had won a NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) contract to demonstrate cargo delivery to the International Space Station (ISS) with a possible option for crew transport.[29] This contract, designed by NASA to provide "seed money" for development of new boosters, paid SpaceX $278 million USD to develop the Falcon 9 launch vehicle, with incentive payments paid at milestones culminating in three demonstration launches.[30] On 23 December 2008, SpaceX announced that it had won a Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract, for at least 12 missions for $1.6 billion USD to carry supplies and cargo to and from the ISS.[31]
SpaceX announced on 15 March 2010 that it will launch SES-8, a medium-sized communications satellite for SES, on a Falcon 9 vehicle in 2013.[32] SES is SpaceX's first contract for a geostationary communications satellite launch.[32] In June 2010, SpaceX was awarded the largest-ever commercial space launch contract, worth $492 million USD, to launch Iridium satellites using Falcon 9 rockets.[33]

Funding

As of May 2012, SpaceX has operated on total funding of approximately one billion dollars in its first ten years of operation. Of this, private equity has provided about $200M, with Musk investing approximately $100M and other investors having put in about $100M. The remainder has come from progress payments on long-term launch contracts and development contracts. NASA has put in about $400-500M of this amount, with most of that as progress payments on launch contracts. SpaceX currently has contracts for 40 launch missions, and each of those contracts provide down payments at contract signing, plus many are paying progress payments as launch vehicle components are built in advance of mission launch, driven in part by US accounting rules for recognizing long-term revenue.[34]

NASA collaborations

COTS program

In 2006, NASA awarded the company a Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) contract to design and demonstrate a launch system to resupply cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) On 9 December 2010, the launch of the COTS Demo Flight 1 mission, SpaceX became the first privately funded company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft.
The original NASA contract called for the COTS Demo Flight 1 to occur the second quarter of 2008;[35] this flight was delayed several times, occurring at 1543 UTC on 8 December 2010.[36] Dragon was successfully deployed into orbit, circling the Earth twice, and then made a controlled reentry burn that put it on target for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico.[37] With Dragon's safe recovery, SpaceX become the first private company to launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft; prior to this mission, only government agencies had been able to recover orbital spacecraft.[37]
According to the original schedule, in the second flight the Dragon spacecraft would rendezvous with the ISS but not be berthed. The third flight would see Dragon being berthed to the ISS.[35] However, after the success of the first mission, NASA conditionally agreed on 15 July 2011 that the two flights would be combined. The next Dragon mission will now see Dragon being berthed with the ISS.[38] On 9 December 2011, NASA formally approved the merger of the COTS 2 and 3 missions into the COTS 2 flight, but yet again delayed the tentative launch date by another month to 7 February 2012.[39] However, on 16 January 2012, SpaceX announced it needed more time for engineering tests, and postponed the launch date again, with no replacement date initially announced.[40] On 19 May at approximately 4:55AM EDT the launch for the COTS 2+ mission was automatically aborted when the pressure in one of the engine chambers was higher than expected. The launch was postponed to 22 May, at which point it succeeded in putting the Dragon spacecraft into orbit. [41]

CCDev program

NASA's Commercial Crew Development program intends to develop commercially operated manned spacecrafts capable of delivering crew to the ISS, during the second phase of the program NASA awarded SpaceX with a contract to further develop their launch escape system, test a crew accommodations mock-up and to further progress the Falcon 9/Dragon crew transportation design.[42] SpaceX has submitted a proposal for the third round of the CCDev program.[43] SpaceX is planning a crewed Dragon/Falcon9 flight in future years when it expects to have a fully certified, human-rated launch escape system incorporated into the spacecraft.[44]

"Red Dragon" Mars mission concept

In addition to SpaceX's privately funded plans for an eventual Mars mission, as of July 2011 NASA Ames Research Center is developing a concept for a low-cost Mars mission that would utilize Falcon Heavy as the launch vehicle and trans-Martian injection vehicle, and the Dragon capsule to enter the Martian atmosphere. The concept, called 'Red Dragon', would be proposed for funding in 2012/2013 as a NASA Discovery mission, for launch in 2018 and arrival at Mars several months later. The science objectives of the mission would be to look for evidence of life — detecting "molecules that are proof of life, like DNA or perchlorate reductase ... proof of life through biomolecules. ... Red Dragon would drill 3.3 feet (1.0 m) or so underground, in an effort to sample reservoirs of water ice known to lurk under the red dirt." The mission cost is projected to be less than $425,000,000, not including the launch cost.[45]

Space vehicles


SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon spacecraft, lifts off during the COTS Demo Flight 1 on 8 December 2010.
SpaceX is manufacturing two main space launch vehicles: the Falcon 1, which made its first successful flight on 28 September 2008,[46][47] and the large Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV)-class Falcon 9, which flew successfully into orbit on its maiden launch on 4 June 2010.[47] A Falcon 5 launcher was also planned, but its development was stopped in favor of the Falcon 9.[48] SpaceX also developed the Dragon, a pressurized orbital spacecraft that is launched on top of a Falcon 9 booster, that can carry cargo, and is in the process of being human-rated.[49]

Launch vehicles

Falcon 1


The Falcon 1 prototype at SpaceX's assembly facilities].
The Falcon 1 is a small, partially reusable rocket capable of placing several hundred kilograms into low earth orbit.[47] It also functioned as a testbed for developing concepts and components for the larger Falcon 9.[47] Initial Falcon 1 flights were launched from the US government's Reagan Test Center on the island atoll of Kwajalein in the Pacific Ocean, and represented the first attempt to fly a ground-launched rocket to orbit from that site.[50]
On 26 March 2006, the Falcon 1's maiden flight failed only seconds after leaving the pad due to a fuel line rupture.[51] After almost a full-year, the second flight was launched on 22 March 2007 and also ended in failure, due to a spin stabilization problem that automatically caused sensors to turn off the Merlin first stage engine.[50] The third Falcon 1 flight used a new regenerative cooling system for the first stage Merlin engine, and its development was responsible for the almost 17-month flight delay.[52] The new cooling system turned out to be the major reason the mission failed; because the first stage rammed into the second stage engine bell at staging, due to excess fuel, left over from the cooling system, powering the engine a few seconds longer than it was supposed to.[52] On 28 September 2008, the Falcon 1 succeeded in reaching orbit on its fourth attempt, becoming the first privately funded, liquid-fueled rocket to do so.[53] The Falcon 1 carried its first successful commercial payload, RazakSAT, into orbit on 13 July 2009, on its fifth launch.[54]

Falcon 9

On 8 September 2005, SpaceX announced the development of the medium-lift Falcon 9 rocket, which can deliver up to 10,450 kilograms (23,000 lb) to orbit. It has nine Merlin engines in its first stage.[55] The design is an EELV-class vehicle, intended to compete with the Delta IV and the Atlas V rockets.
On 22 November 2008, SpaceX fired the nine Merlin 1C engines of the Falcon 9 at their McGregor test facility. Delivering 350 metric-tons-force (3.4-meganewtons) of thrust, the engines were well under the test stand's capacity of 1,500 metric-tons-force (15 meganewtons).[56]
The first Falcon 9 vehicle was integrated at Cape Canaveral on 30 December 2008. NASA was planning for a flight to take place in January 2010;[57] however the maiden flight was postponed several times and took place on 4 June 2010.[58] At 2:50pm EST the Falcon 9 rocket successfully reached orbit. The second flight for the Falcon 9 vehicle was the COTS Demo Flight 1, the first launch under the NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) contract designed to provide "seed money" for development of new boosters.[28]

Falcon Heavy

The Falcon Heavy is a planned heavy-lift configuration using a cluster of three Falcon 9 first stage cores with a total 27 uprated Merlin 1D engines and propellant cross-feed.[59] SpaceX is aiming for the first demo flight of the Falcon Heavy in 2013.[59]

Dragon


The Dragon capsule at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
In 2005, SpaceX announced plans to pursue a human-rated commercial space program through the end of the decade.[60] The Dragon spacecraft is intended to carry up to seven astronauts into orbit and beyond.[61] It is a conventional blunt-cone ballistic capsule, which is capable of carrying 7 people or a mixture of personnel and cargo to and from low Earth orbit.[61] It is launched atop a Falcon 9 launch vehicle, the spacecraft's nosecone is jettisoned shortly after launch. For NASA cargo missions, Dragon will be equipped with a Common Berthing Mechanism, and will be berthed to the U.S. segment of the ISS by the Canadarm2.[62] For NASA manned missions, Dragon will be equipped with the NASA Docking System and dock to the U.S. segment.[63]
In 2006, NASA announced that the company was one of two selected to provide crew and cargo resupply demonstration contracts to the ISS under the COTS program.[64] SpaceX will demonstrate cargo resupply and eventually crew transportation services using the Dragon. NASA's original plan called for COTS demonstration flights between 2008 and 2010.[65][66] SpaceX was not able to meet that schedule, but eventually began test-flights in 2010.
The first flight of a Dragon structural test article took place 4 June 2010, from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station during the maiden flight of the Falcon 9, although the mock-up Dragon lacked avionics, heat shield, and other key elements.[67] An operational Dragon spacecraft was launched on 8 December 2010 aboard COTS Demo Flight 1, the Falcon 9's second flight, and safely returned to Earth after two orbits, completing all its mission objectives.[49]
In 2009 and 2010, Musk suggested on several occasions that plans for a human-rated variant of Dragon were proceeding and had a 2- to 3-year time line to completion.[68][69] On 18 April 2011, NASA granted SpaceX $75 million to develop Dragon's integrated launch escape system in preparation for human-rating it as a crew transport vehicle to the ISS as part of its second-round CCDev Space Act funding.[70] This Space Act Agreement runs from April 2011 until May 2012, when the next funding round grants are to be awarded.[70] NASA approved the technical plans for the system in October 2011, and SpaceX began building prototype hardware.[44]

Under development

Grasshopper

The Grasshopper reusable launch vehicle (RLV) is a vertical takeoff, vertical landing (VTVL) technology demonstrator rocket[71] being built in 2011 for low-altitude testing scheduled to begin in 2012.[72] The rocket "consists of a Falcon 9 first stage tank, a single Merlin-1D engine, four steel landing legs and a support structure, plus other pressurization tanks attached to the support structure" and will stand at 106 feet (32 m) tall.[19]

Air-launched rocket

In December 2011 Stratolaunch Systems announced that it would contract with SpaceX to develop an air-launched, four or five engine, multiple-stage launch vehicle, as a derivative of Falcon 9 technology, called the Falcon 9 Air,[73] as part of the Stratolaunch project.[74] Stratolaunch will initially place satellites of up to 6,100 kg (13,000 pounds) into low-earth orbit; and once it is established as a reliable system, a human-rated version will also be explored.[75] The system can take-off from airfields with a minimum 3,700 m (12,100 feet) length, and the carrier aircraft is supposed to fly to 9,100 m (30,000 feet) and travel to a launch point up to 2,200 km (1,200 nautical miles) away from the airfield.[74]
Stratolaunch Systems is a project funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen's Vulcan investment and project management company.[76] The whole system will be the largest aircraft ever built; with the first test flight of the carrier aircraft expected in 2015 from Scaled Composites' facilities in Mojave, California,[75] and the first test launch of the rocket not expected before 2016.[77]

Concept vehicles

In a presentation to the Joint Propulsion Conference in July 2010, SpaceX revealed preliminary, but unfunded, design concepts for a larger Merlin 2 engine. The Merlin 2 would be used on conceptual heavy-lift launch vehicles Falcon X, Falcon X Heavy, and Falcon XX.[78] By mid-August, the SpaceX CEO Elon Musk clarified that while the Merlin 2 engine architecture was a key element of any effort SpaceX would make toward their objective of "super-heavy lift" launch vehicles—and that SpaceX indeed did want to "move toward super heavy lift"—the specific potential design configurations of the particular launch vehicles shown by Markusic at the propulsion conference were merely conceptual "brainstorming ideas", just a "bunch of ideas for discussion."[79]

See also

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