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Author Topic: SpaceX Heavy  (Read 21426 times)

Offline Johnbr

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SpaceX Heavy
« on: April 05, 2011, 02:03:47 pm »
SpaceX Announces Launch Date for the World's Most Powerful Rocket

Falcon Heavy will lift more than twice as much as any other launch vehicle

WASHINGTON – Today, Elon Musk, CEO and chief rocket designer of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) unveiled the dramatic final specifications and launch date for the Falcon Heavy, the world’s largest rocket.

“Falcon Heavy will carry more payload to orbit or escape velocity than any vehicle in history, apart from the Saturn V moon rocket, which was decommissioned after the Apollo program. This opens a new world of capability for both government and commercial space missions,” Musk told a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

"Falcon Heavy will arrive at our Vandenberg, California, launch complex by the end of next year, with liftoff to follow soon thereafter.  First launch from our Cape Canaveral launch complex is planned for late 2013 or 2014.”

Musk added that with the ability to carry satellites or interplanetary spacecraft weighing over 53 metric tons or 117,000 pounds to orbit, Falcon Heavy will have more than twice the performance of the Space Shuttle or Delta IV Heavy, the next most powerful vehicle, which is  operated by United Launch Alliance, a Boeing-Lockheed Martin joint venture.

Just for perspective, 53 metric tons is more than the maximum take-off weight of a fully-loaded Boeing 737-200 with 136 passengers. In other words, Falcon Heavy can deliver the equivalent of an entire airline flight full of passengers, crew, luggage and fuel all the way to orbit.

View the launch simulation video at www.spacex.com/multimedia/videos.php?id=59 or on YouTube at

Falcon Heavy’s first stage will be made up of three nine-engine cores, which are used as the first stage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle.  It will be powered by SpaceX’s upgraded Merlin engines currently being tested at the SpaceX rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas.  Falcon Heavy will generate 3.8 million pounds of thrust at liftoff.  This is the equivalent to the thrust of fifteen Boeing 747s taking off at the same time.

Above all, Falcon Heavy has been designed for extreme reliability.  Unique safety features of the Falcon 9 are preserved, such as the ability to complete its mission even if multiple engines fail. Like a commercial airliner, each engine is surrounded by a protective shell that contains a worst case situation like fire or a chamber rupture, preventing it from affecting other engines or the vehicle itself.

Anticipating potential astronaut transport needs, Falcon Heavy is also designed to meet NASA human rating standards, unlike other satellite launch vehicles.  For example, this means designing to higher structural safety margins of 40% above flight loads, rather than the 25% level of other rockets, and triple redundant avionics.

Falcon Heavy will be the first rocket in history to do propellant cross-feed from the side boosters to the center core, thus leaving the center core with most of its propellant after the side boosters separate. The net effect is that Falcon Heavy achieves performance comparable to a three stage rocket, even though only the upper stage is airlit, further improving both payload performance and reliability.  Crossfeed is not required for missions below 100,000 lbs, and can be turned off if desired.

Despite being designed to higher structural margins than other rockets, the side booster stages will have a mass ratio (full of propellant vs empty) above 30, better than any vehicle of any kind in history.

Falcon Heavy, with more than twice the payload, but less than one third the cost of a Delta IV Heavy, will provide much needed relief to government and commercial budgets. In fact, Falcon Heavy at approximately $1,000 per pound to orbit, sets a new world record in affordable spaceflight.

This year, even as the Department of Defense budget was cut, the EELV launch program, which includes the Delta IV, still saw a thirty percent increase.

The 2012 budget for four Air Force launches is $1.74B, which is an average of $435M per launch. Falcon 9 is offered on the commercial market for $50-60M and Falcon Heavy is offered for $80-$125M. Unlike our competitors, this price includes all non-recurring development costs and on-orbit delivery of an agreed upon mission. For government missions, NASA has added mission assurance and additional services to the Falcon 9 for less than $20M.

Vehicle Overview

Mass to Orbit (200 km, 28.5 deg):      53 metric tons (117,000 lbs)
Length:                                            69.2 meters (227 ft)
Max Stage Width:                             5.2 m (17 ft)
Total Width:                                     11.6 meters (38 ft)
Weight at Liftoff:                               1,400 metric tons or 3.1 million lbs
Thrust on Liftoff:                                1,700 metric tons or 3.8 million lbs

Please note that Falcon Heavy should not be confused with the super heavy lift rocket program being debated by the US Congress.  That vehicle is intended to carry approximately 150 tons to orbit.  SpaceX agrees with the need to develop a vehicle of that class as the best way to conduct a large number of human missions to Mars.




Online sferrin

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2011, 02:11:25 pm »
Given that there are scores (if not hundreds) of designs as powerful or more powerful than this thing that never made it to flight I'm going to have to go with "I'll believe it when I see it". 
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Offline blackstar

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2011, 03:45:57 pm »
How do they define "most powerful"?

N-1, Energia and Saturn V all lifted more weight, right?

Online sferrin

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2011, 04:20:09 pm »
How do they define "most powerful"?

N-1, Energia and Saturn V all lifted more weight, right?

Not to mention the Shuttle.  (They seem to forget the Shuttle went into orbit along with it's payload every time.)
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Offline XP67_Moonbat

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2011, 04:24:33 pm »
I soundly concur!!!
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2011, 04:30:20 pm »
Given that there are scores (if not hundreds) of designs as powerful or more powerful than this thing that never made it to flight I'm going to have to go with "I'll believe it when I see it". 

I can be as skeptical as the next guy but I am excited by this era of entrepreneurial space development. Also Elon Musk can use his billions and won't cut his own funding. The top ten US billionaires have 30 times the worth of NASA's budget so I say go for it.
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Online sferrin

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2011, 05:05:08 pm »
Given that there are scores (if not hundreds) of designs as powerful or more powerful than this thing that never made it to flight I'm going to have to go with "I'll believe it when I see it". 

I can be as skeptical as the next guy but I am excited by this era of entrepreneurial space development. Also Elon Musk can use his billions and won't cut his own funding. The top ten US billionaires have 30 times the worth of NASA's budget so I say go for it.

Definitely more power to them.  I'm just saying let's keep it in perspective is all.
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Offline blackstar

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2011, 05:26:21 am »
I can be as skeptical as the next guy but I am excited by this era of entrepreneurial space development. Also Elon Musk can use his billions and won't cut his own funding. The top ten US billionaires have 30 times the worth of NASA's budget so I say go for it.

Although this is exciting, it's important to keep it in perspective and to understand the limitations.  Musk cannot keep self-financing this stuff forever.  Right now he has a few investors and apparently a bunch of bank loans based upon the orders he has received.  That's probably fine for a little while.  But at some point he's going to need to raise more capital, meaning selling stocks.  Once the company goes public, they will have to start showing real returns on the money.  They will not be able to essentially run a charity to open up the final frontier.

Offline blackstar

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2011, 06:54:17 am »
How do they define "most powerful"?

N-1, Energia and Saturn V all lifted more weight, right?

Not to mention the Shuttle.  (They seem to forget the Shuttle went into orbit along with it's payload every time.)

Well, I think I get it now.  They don't mean "most powerful" ever, they mean most powerful in service (when it gets into service).  Press releases are supposed to be a little bombastic, but I've noticed that too many people swallow these press releases without question.

Offline LowObservable

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2011, 10:49:58 am »
I took a short tour at SpaceX a couple of years ago and was pretty impressed.

Where it differs from a lot of aerospace startups is that the vehicle technology is not the centerpiece. The Merlin is a simple as a liquid rocket can get - much more so than an RD-180. The tank and interstage structures are as efficient as they need to be, but the bigger concern is to make them robust and easy to make. So far, Musk has two basic motor designs and two tank sizes, and one GNC system.

Another big difference is that they have to perform, but not negotiate FAA certification. That's the Valley of Death for most aerospace startups.

Online sferrin

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2011, 01:17:35 pm »
I can't help but wonder if anybody will ever try the Big Dumb Booster concept for real.
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Offline Nik

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2011, 05:37:51 pm »
I suppose they must have a sketch some-where of a super-heavy with *four* flanking boosters, in pairs...

Kudos to them for keeping quiet about it until a suitable customer emerges...

Offline blackstar

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2011, 06:08:21 pm »
I took a short tour at SpaceX a couple of years ago and was pretty impressed.

Where it differs from a lot of aerospace startups is that the vehicle technology is not the centerpiece. The Merlin is a simple as a liquid rocket can get

Me too.  I was there about a year ago.  It's impressive, but they are still a boutique operation.  From what I saw, they looked like they were assembling their engines and clusters by hand.  At some point they are going to have to ramp up production, and then the question is if they can adjust their processes to keep up.  I think there are other questions as well, such as the wisdom of clustering nine engines with all that piping (27 for the Heavy).  That's where their simplicity works against them.

Offline JimK

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2011, 10:00:01 am »
I toured the Space X facility in Hawthorne as part of the local SAE chapter two weeks ago.  What is impressive is the cultural difference between them and the aerospace industry for whom I formerly worked.  Their workforce is noticeably young, receptive to new ideas, unfazed by the "it can't be done" attitude, and willing to put in long hours. Their leadership, being businessmen, are vigorously pushing to reduce the costs of their launch vehicles:  They are looking into methods of dramatically reducing the manufacturing costs of the Merlin engine and simplifying the engine/structure interface.  They use composite components which cure without the use of expensive autoclaves.

Although the Falcon Heavy was not a central point of the tour, I should imagine that their business model has evaluated what market exists for a 117,000-pound-to-LEO capable vehicle.  The announcement that the initial launch site will be the Western Test Range at Vandenberg should indicate that it has a market for customers requiring heavy payloads to polar or sun-syncronous orbits.

There is an interesting application of cost v. capability.  If the Falcon Heavy is successful in reducing launch costs to $1000/pound, it will not be done by having engines with the highest Isp or by the applications of expensive, exotic materials, but by the previously mentioned cost-consious decisions.  While Space X's original goal of recovery and reuse of their boosters is still given lip service, if the original cost of the components can be reduced far enough, the expense of refurbishment may not be worth it.  But with 27 engines per Falcon Heavy launch, who knows?

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2011, 01:11:38 pm »
From what I saw, they looked like they were assembling their engines and clusters by hand.  At some point they are going to have to ramp up production, and then the question is if they can adjust their processes to keep up.

SpaceX have acknowledged the ramp up and said they're actively working to go from the current tens of engines per year to several hundred! They also talked about Merlin changes being for ease of manufacturing as well as increased performance (although I've not seen any details on that).

Out of interest, who assembles their rocket engines or clusters automatically?

Offline Byeman

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2011, 04:52:33 am »
willing to put in long hours.

Which is not sustainable for a production program.

Offline Grey Havoc

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Offline bobbymike

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"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Offline Michel Van

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Offline bobbymike

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2015, 09:30:19 am »
Apparently from Space X's tumblr account
"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Offline Michel Van

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2015, 12:18:19 pm »
I got confirmation from SpaceX Twitter account.
Elon Musk wears a cool Spacesuit.

https://twitter.com/search?f=images&vertical=default&q=spaceX
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Offline quellish

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #23 on: September 25, 2015, 01:35:59 pm »
I got confirmation from SpaceX Twitter account.
Elon Musk wears a cool Spacesuit.

https://twitter.com/search?f=images&vertical=default&q=spaceX


Photo was done for a Vanity Fair magazine photo shoot, so maybe it is a real spacesuit, maybe not.

Offline Byeman

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #24 on: September 25, 2015, 02:01:45 pm »
What does a spacesuit have to do with the Heavy?

Offline blackstar

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #25 on: September 26, 2015, 07:22:51 am »
What does a spacesuit have to do with the Heavy?

Elon is our Savior and the Heavy is his Chariot.

Offline bobbymike

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Offline fredymac

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2015, 05:06:23 am »



Offline bobbymike

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"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." - Leonardo da Vinci

Offline blackstar

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2015, 07:05:55 pm »

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Offline flanker

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #31 on: October 14, 2015, 01:33:03 pm »
http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/10/within-80-days-elon-musk-should-reveal.html


he... he.. goes for NOVA SIZE rocket ?!

This is news? They want to have 100 tonnes of useful payload to Mars, so it needs to be larger than Nova. And Gwynne said BFR/MCT will have 3-4 times the thrust of FH;

https://youtu.be/QHLrfNDCzgk?t=10m55s

Which is between 14 and 18 million lbf. (61-82000kN), 1.8-2.4 times larger than Saturn V. It is speculated "236" is the magic number for its LEO performance.
Push the envelope,watch it bend.

Online sferrin

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #32 on: October 14, 2015, 01:40:02 pm »
http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/10/within-80-days-elon-musk-should-reveal.html


he... he.. goes for NOVA SIZE rocket ?!

This is news? They want to have 100 tonnes of useful payload to Mars, so it needs to be larger than Nova. And Gwynne said BFR/MCT will have 3-4 times the thrust of FH;

https://youtu.be/QHLrfNDCzgk?t=10m55s

Which is between 14 and 18 million lbf. (61-82000kN), 1.8-2.4 times larger than Saturn V. It is speculated "236" is the magic number for its LEO performance.

The Nova series went significantly higher than that.  And 1,000,000lbs to LEO.   :o
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 01:43:29 pm by sferrin »
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Offline flanker

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #33 on: October 14, 2015, 02:01:15 pm »
Meh, i too can draw napkin drawings of some rockets with random numbers. The actual, semi real, Nova had 8 F-1's.
Push the envelope,watch it bend.

Online sferrin

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #34 on: October 14, 2015, 03:09:24 pm »
Meh, i too can draw napkin drawings of some rockets with random numbers. The actual, semi real, Nova had 8 F-1's.

Ah, now I see the source of your confusion.  You're thinking of the old one intended to go to the moon (which those I posted clearly are not).  Nova was suppose to go to Mars post Apollo.  There were many designs looked at and they were "real" enough that the M-1 was uprated to fly on them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-1_%28rocket_engine%29

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Offline blackstar

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #35 on: October 14, 2015, 03:38:33 pm »
Meh, i too can draw napkin drawings of some rockets with random numbers. The actual, semi real, Nova had 8 F-1's.

You take that back!

Elon is the new Messiah!

Online sferrin

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #36 on: October 14, 2015, 04:13:30 pm »
Meh, i too can draw napkin drawings of some rockets with random numbers. The actual, semi real, Nova had 8 F-1's.

You take that back!

Elon is the new Messiah!

He wasn't talking about Elon.  He was trying to dismiss subsequent Nova efforts.
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Offline flanker

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #37 on: October 14, 2015, 04:34:28 pm »
Yeah, i was thinking of the Moon Nova. I have actually never heard/seen about M-1 before, sorry for ignorance here.  :-X

And besides, Elon is not the new Messiah. He is Our Lord and Savior you heathen.

Praise be, praise be.

On topic, SpaceX updated the renders on their site of FH not too long ago, now showing the real version with with all the Falcon 9 v1.1FT related changes: http://www.spacex.com/falcon-heavy
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 04:39:53 pm by flanker »
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Offline antiquark

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #38 on: October 14, 2015, 07:48:22 pm »
Another contemporary Nova illustration. Look at the size of that thing!


Offline Hobbes

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #39 on: October 15, 2015, 02:46:02 am »
In the images attached to Sferrin's post there are two Nova configurations that look like they borrowed an N-1 first stage  ;D

Online sferrin

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #40 on: October 15, 2015, 04:57:18 am »
In the images attached to Sferrin's post there are two Nova configurations that look like they borrowed an N-1 first stage  ;D

Yes, anything conical clearly ripped off the N-1s design.  ::)
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Offline George Allegrezza

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #41 on: October 15, 2015, 08:16:49 am »
After the selection of LOR as the moon-landing mode, MSFC re-oriented the Nova project to larger launchers of about a million pounds payload to LEO, for Mars missions and lunar base development, and renamed the effort Post-Saturn.  MM and General Dynamics were the contractors for the main effort, with Douglas and Boeing having a secondary role.

Class I types were extrapolations of Saturn -- two stages with F-1A and M-1 propulsion, or solid first stages with M-1 upper stages.

Class II introduced recoverable stages and an greater variety of propulsion options, such as plug nozzles and high-pressure hydrogen engines.

Class III was primarily comprised of single-stage designs, fully recoverable, with more advanced propulsion such as air augmentation (as showin in the Renova/R10R-2 option in the "MM Advanced Designs" pic).  The conical Martin jobs were the S10 single stage versions, S10E (expendable) and S10R (recoverable).

Class IV was very advanced, often with integrated chemical and nuclear propulsion (such as GD's Nexus).

Boeing continued to develop the solid-boosted Nova concept after the end of the post-Saturn project, first showing a single-stage hydrogen vehicle with massive solid boosters in 1965, and refining that concept into AMLLV in 1967-68, with a range of solid and liquid boosters coupled to a hydrogen core.

Douglas developed OOST and ROOST single stage boosters, which eventually led to ROMBUS and ICARUS.

The basic elements of the Class I post-Saturn systems briefly re-appeared in the SEI era, with Lockheed's review of the "Case 4" in-line tandem-staged launchers with re-born F-1A or M-1 propulsion.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2015, 08:18:24 am by George Allegrezza »



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Offline blackstar

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #45 on: May 01, 2016, 02:47:38 pm »
http://www.theverge.com/2016/4/29/11526886/spacex-red-dragon-spacecraft-mars-propulsive-landing


On another note:

ORIGINAL CAPTION: Falcon Heavy concept art
Battle Over Space Launch Heating Up (UPDATED) [National Defense magazine]

A decent article on the subject. Except that I'd like to see a little more discussion about terminal guidance. RD is going to need a downward looking radar and maybe a lidar for precision landing. How do you point that out of the vehicle? (Maybe that sticks out of a hatch in the heat shield?) And I don't fully trust John Rummel's comment about planetary protection. Rummel should know, but one of the issues with sterilizing the vehicle is KNOWING that you have sterilized it, and his comment seems to imply that they would launch it dirty and assume that space would sterilize it. I doubt that is what he meant and I suspect that they left out a lot of context.


Offline bobbymike

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Offline Dragon029

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #47 on: May 03, 2016, 09:25:53 am »
A decent article on the subject. Except that I'd like to see a little more discussion about terminal guidance. RD is going to need a downward looking radar and maybe a lidar for precision landing. How do you point that out of the vehicle? (Maybe that sticks out of a hatch in the heat shield?)
I wonder if it would be possible to ditch the heatshield entirely? Make the propulsive landing require less fuel / last longer and allow for a sensor payload to be located on the bottom of the capsule without having to potentially compromise the heatshield. Or of course, considering that this is just a test and the capsule isn't carrying a 'real' payload, you could probably easily fit millimeter radar / LIDAR sensors that pop out of the sides after having decelerated.

Offline fredymac

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #48 on: May 04, 2016, 04:13:01 am »
Spacex still targeting first flight of Falcon Heavy before year end.

https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/05/03/spacex-undecided-on-payload-for-first-falcon-heavy-flight/
"The long-awaited Falcon Heavy rocket could blast off on its first flight as soon as November from launch pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, returning the storied Apollo- and shuttle-era launch complex to service for the first time since the last space shuttle mission took off in 2011."


Offline bobbymike

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Offline blackstar

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #50 on: June 11, 2016, 04:37:24 am »
Spacex still targeting first flight of Falcon Heavy before year end.



So what has taken them so long? This should be a pretty straightforward upgrade--or at least the fanboys have been saying so for years. It's just strapping three Falcon 9s together (they gave up on crossfeed years ago).

My guess is that it is several things:

-they keep changing the Falcon 9 design, which then forces the people working on Falcon Heavy to reconfigure
-they don't have enough people to work on Falcon 9 and FH at 100%, so FH lags
-Falcon Heavy does not have as many customers, no pressing requirement
-bigger rockets are harder to develop

Add up all those things and it may explain the delay.


Offline fredymac

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #51 on: June 11, 2016, 05:57:01 am »
Spacex still targeting first flight of Falcon Heavy before year end.



So what has taken them so long? This should be a pretty straightforward upgrade--or at least the fanboys have been saying so for years. It's just strapping three Falcon 9s together (they gave up on crossfeed years ago).


I am a fan of people spending their own money and working towards a long term objective of making space more affordable.   To the extent that ULA is self-financing development of a new, lower cost rocket, I applaud that as well.  I am agnostic on who as long as the process doesn't involve the usual political-tax based funding.  As for how long they are taking, I don't care since it doesn't cost me anything.  Companies that expose themselves to risk and failure will show greater motivation than those living off the public dole.  I know they are ultimately chasing government launch contracts (initially) but they are developing the means on their own.  I am perplexed that people can be disturbed by this.

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #52 on: June 11, 2016, 06:16:58 am »
Spacex still targeting first flight of Falcon Heavy before year end.



So what has taken them so long? This should be a pretty straightforward upgrade--or at least the fanboys have been saying so for years. It's just strapping three Falcon 9s together (they gave up on crossfeed years ago).


I am a fan of people spending their own money and working towards a long term objective of making space more affordable.   To the extent that ULA is self-financing development of a new, lower cost rocket, I applaud that as well.  I am agnostic on who as long as the process doesn't involve the usual political-tax based funding.  As for how long they are taking, I don't care since it doesn't cost me anything.  Companies that expose themselves to risk and failure will show greater motivation than those living off the public dole.  I know they are ultimately chasing government launch contracts (initially) but they are developing the means on their own.  I am perplexed that people can be disturbed by this.

I suspect some have nightmares about SpaceX 's success.  ;)  This will go into overdrive once they launch the Heavy and land the capsule on Mars.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2016, 06:19:38 am by sferrin »
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Offline blackstar

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #53 on: June 16, 2016, 02:50:21 pm »
Spacex still targeting first flight of Falcon Heavy before year end.



So what has taken them so long? This should be a pretty straightforward upgrade--or at least the fanboys have been saying so for years. It's just strapping three Falcon 9s together (they gave up on crossfeed years ago).


I am a fan of people spending their own money and working towards a long term objective of making space more affordable.   To the extent that ULA is self-financing development of a new, lower cost rocket, I applaud that as well.  I am agnostic on who as long as the process doesn't involve the usual political-tax based funding.  As for how long they are taking, I don't care since it doesn't cost me anything.  Companies that expose themselves to risk and failure will show greater motivation than those living off the public dole.  I know they are ultimately chasing government launch contracts (initially) but they are developing the means on their own.  I am perplexed that people can be disturbed by this.

I asked a question. You wrote an opinion.

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #54 on: June 16, 2016, 03:19:00 pm »
Spacex still targeting first flight of Falcon Heavy before year end.



So what has taken them so long? This should be a pretty straightforward upgrade--or at least the fanboys have been saying so for years. It's just strapping three Falcon 9s together (they gave up on crossfeed years ago).


I am a fan of people spending their own money and working towards a long term objective of making space more affordable.   To the extent that ULA is self-financing development of a new, lower cost rocket, I applaud that as well.  I am agnostic on who as long as the process doesn't involve the usual political-tax based funding.  As for how long they are taking, I don't care since it doesn't cost me anything.  Companies that expose themselves to risk and failure will show greater motivation than those living off the public dole.  I know they are ultimately chasing government launch contracts (initially) but they are developing the means on their own.  I am perplexed that people can be disturbed by this.

I asked a question. You wrote an opinion.

You answered your own question.
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Offline Hobbes

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #55 on: June 17, 2016, 12:29:52 am »
Spacex still targeting first flight of Falcon Heavy before year end.



So what has taken them so long? This should be a pretty straightforward upgrade--or at least the fanboys have been saying so for years. It's just strapping three Falcon 9s together (they gave up on crossfeed years ago).

My guess is that it is several things:

1. they keep changing the Falcon 9 design, which then forces the people working on Falcon Heavy to reconfigure
2. they don't have enough people to work on Falcon 9 and FH at 100%, so FH lags
3. Falcon Heavy does not have as many customers, no pressing requirement
4. bigger rockets are harder to develop

Add up all those things and it may explain the delay.

I'd say at least 2 and 3. Item 1 makes the F9 more capable, shrinking the market for FH. The F9 launch failure also accounts for some of the delay.
Then there's lack of production capacity - they need every rocket they can produce to work through the backlog in their launch contracts.
And there's one more factor. Elon Musk likes to give very optimistic (or downright impossible) deadlines, the idea being everyone will feel the pressure to meet the deadline.

Offline fredymac

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #56 on: June 17, 2016, 04:00:24 am »

I asked a question. You wrote an opinion.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



The question was framed with "fanboy" which I assume connotes a juvenile boosterism absent of intellectual merit.  As for a guess as to why the delays, I would say low priority is the most likely.  The manned Dragon capsule development should be receiving the highest support given the contractual schedules and financial obligations.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2016, 04:03:05 am by fredymac »

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #57 on: June 17, 2016, 02:48:08 pm »
http://www.americaspace.com/?p=93456

That's an exhaustive look at their manifest over the years and how lots of things have slipped. (One amusing aspect is that if they were to hold to their original manifest, they would have to launch 33 rockets in the next five and a half months.)

What we only see there, however, is the public information. Missing is all the financial behind-the-scenes stuff. For instance, a few years ago I heard a NASA official explain why NASA pays a lot more for Falcon 9 launches than the website price. There are a bunch of things that go into it, but part of what NASA is paying is for no major slips in the launch date.

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #60 on: February 27, 2017, 02:26:53 pm »
Two people have paid "significant" deposits to make a weeklong circumlunar flight aboard an automated Dragon, launched by Falcon Heavy, next year: http://www.spacex.com/news/2017/02/27/spacex-send-privately-crewed-dragon-spacecraft-beyond-moon-next-year

Offline fredymac

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #61 on: April 05, 2017, 01:41:03 am »
Falcon Heavy first flight scheduled for late summer.  Side boosters will be pre-flown.  All 3 boosters will be recovered.  Side boosters return to Kennedy while core booster lands on drone ship.  Musk says flight will be high risk and will not carry a customer payload.  There is a possibility that an attempt will be made to also bring back the 2nd stage although it would be considered a low probability of success.

https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/04/04/musk-previews-busy-year-ahead-for-spacex/

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Offline fredymac

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #63 on: May 04, 2017, 10:08:57 pm »
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/New_Russian_Medium_Class_Carrier_Rocket_Could_Compete_With_SpaceXs_Falcon_999.html

Salt may be required.

Whatever happened to Angara?  It was supposed to be a modular concept allowing coverage of small to heavy payload classes.  It has been almost 2 years since the last flight.

Offline Michel Van

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #64 on: May 05, 2017, 11:18:13 pm »
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/New_Russian_Medium_Class_Carrier_Rocket_Could_Compete_With_SpaceXs_Falcon_999.html

Salt may be required.

Whatever happened to Angara?  It was supposed to be a modular concept allowing coverage of small to heavy payload classes.  It has been almost 2 years since the last flight.

On that new russian rocket, there for Moment zillion rocket proposals By russian companies,
But no money by the government to Build them.

Angara next launch is sceduld for "middle 2017" if that happen is unclear.
For moment they Work on second Angara-5 to get it launch ready
But problems at subcontractors, Budget cuts and Design changes delay the program
Like use of old Block-D stage for Angara, instead the Briz or Fregat stages, do use of Toxic propellants.
Next to that the manufactor has move the Production into new Factory.
By the beginning of the 2020s, this factory in the city of Omsk should take over the entire manufacturing process for the Angara

more here
http://www.russianspaceweb.com/angara.html
« Last Edit: May 07, 2017, 09:35:51 am by Michel Van »
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Offline blackstar

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #65 on: May 08, 2017, 04:54:02 am »
Whatever happened to Angara?  It was supposed to be a modular concept allowing coverage of small to heavy payload classes.  It has been almost 2 years since the last flight.

Go look at russianspaceweb.com for more on Angara. The program was started (I think) back in the 1980s. It took forever to get ready. The Russians have had big plans for it, but have not progressed very far. It is not just money, but also construction problems and corruption. There have been lots and lots of problems. Plus, the Russian economy is not doing well because of low oil prices and the Russian economy and Russian government depend heavily upon oil sales. (The reason that oil prices have stayed low is a rather fascinating one. Saudi Arabia tried to drive American oil fracking companies out of business. They only managed to drive less efficient ones out of business and drove others to become more efficient, thus keeping prices down. Just goes to show how unpredictable economics can be, huh?)

Offline Michel Van

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #66 on: May 09, 2017, 08:37:49 pm »
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Offline bobbymike

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Offline Hobbes

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #68 on: May 16, 2017, 12:08:12 pm »
yes, but they didn't use an FH to do it.

Offline Flyaway

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #69 on: June 27, 2017, 01:11:08 pm »
SpaceX’s final Falcon 9 design coming this year, two Falcon Heavy launches next year

http://spacenews.com/spacexs-final-falcon-9-design-coming-this-year-two-falcon-heavy-launches-next-year/

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #70 on: June 27, 2017, 01:13:00 pm »
SpaceX’s final Falcon 9 design coming this year, two Falcon Heavy launches next year

http://spacenews.com/spacexs-final-falcon-9-design-coming-this-year-two-falcon-heavy-launches-next-year/

That's what they said last year.  :P
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Offline TomS

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #71 on: June 27, 2017, 07:47:44 pm »
SpaceX’s final Falcon 9 design coming this year, two Falcon Heavy launches next year

http://spacenews.com/spacexs-final-falcon-9-design-coming-this-year-two-falcon-heavy-launches-next-year/

That's what they said last year.  :P

What they actually are saying now is that the Falcon Heavy demo will fly by the end of this year, with two commercial flights next year.

https://www.spaceintelreport.com/spacexs-shotwell-1-falcon-heavy-demo-year-satellite-broadband-remains-side/

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #72 on: June 27, 2017, 07:57:01 pm »
SpaceX’s final Falcon 9 design coming this year, two Falcon Heavy launches next year

http://spacenews.com/spacexs-final-falcon-9-design-coming-this-year-two-falcon-heavy-launches-next-year/

That's what they said last year.  :P

What they actually are saying now is that the Falcon Heavy demo will fly by the end of this year, with two commercial flights next year.

https://www.spaceintelreport.com/spacexs-shotwell-1-falcon-heavy-demo-year-satellite-broadband-remains-side/

What about the USAF mission that is (currently) scheduled for this year after the demo flight?
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Offline TomS

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #73 on: June 27, 2017, 08:26:06 pm »
Not mentioned but STP-2 is a secondary payload set, not aprimary.  It could fly alo g with another Falcon Heavy, I think.

Offline Michel Van

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #74 on: June 27, 2017, 08:36:25 pm »
The second Falcon Heavy flight is for USAF Space Test Program the STP-2

STP-2 will carrying more than 30 satellites.

The payload should include ISAT (Innovative Space-based Radar Antenna Technology)
flight demonstrator satellite with a mass of over 5000 kg,
The ISAT program aims to deploy extremely large (up to 300 yards) electronically scanning radar antennas in orbit.

COSMIC-2, a cluster of six satellites, with a mass of 277.8 kg each.
The primary role of the COSMIC-2 satellite constellation is to provide radio occultation data with an average latency of 45 minutes.
The six satellites will be placed on an orbit with an inclination of 24 to 28.5 degrees with six separate orbital planes with 60 degree separation between them.
The integrated payload stack will be integrated using EELV Secondary Payload Adapter. Two ESPA Grande rings will be used to mount the six COSMIC-2 satellites beneath the ESPA ring hosting the DSX payload and avionics modules.

STP-2 will also host up to 8 CubeSat nanosatellites deployed with P-PODs (Poly Picosatellite Orbital Deployers).
Other secondary payloads include LightSail, Prox-1 nanosatellite, Oculus-ASR nanosatellite, GPIM
and the Deep Space Atomic Clock.

source: Wikipedia

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Offline TomS

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #75 on: June 28, 2017, 03:18:06 am »
That's what I get for posting late at night.

Per Space Intel Report, STP-2 is now the second 2018 flight, which will actually be the third Falcon Heavy mission.  I'd missed a couple of the payloads and thought it was just the COSMIC cluster and some nanosats, which could have been a ride-along on another launch.  It's actually got a bunch more going on.

Edit: So here is the actual mission description: https://www.fbo.gov/utils/view?id=36de6af7670d2636c8c195173dd500e1 

Very complex, it calls for deploying the six COSMIC-2 sats in a low circular orbit inclined at 24 degrees, along with a bunch of smaller satellites (up to six auxiliary payloads and a bunch of cubesats).  Then the second stage burns again to put DSX in a highly elliptical MEO orbit with a 45-degree inclination (a major plane change from the initial orbit).  That's a LOT of delta-v.  Then it burns again for five seconds, just because. The second stage will get a serious workout on this flight.

And it does this carrying five tonnes of ballast in addition to all the payloads.   If it was just a matter of launching the payloads, I think they could have flown it on a Falcon 9.  But this is designed as a stressor mission to test the full capacity of FH, so it carries ballast.  My understanding is that, assuming the first two FH flights go as planned, this should be the last of three flights needed to certify FH for national security missions?

« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 07:46:29 am by TomS »

Offline Byeman

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #76 on: June 28, 2017, 09:18:51 am »
My understanding is that, assuming the first two FH flights go as planned, this should be the last of three flights needed to certify FH for national security missions?

They have to do more than just certification.  They need a west coast capability, a longer fairing and vertical payload integration

Offline Michel Van

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #77 on: June 28, 2017, 11:41:02 am »
My understanding is that, assuming the first two FH flights go as planned, this should be the last of three flights needed to certify FH for national security missions?

They have to do more than just certification.  They need a west coast capability, a longer fairing and vertical payload integration

According Falcon 9 Launch manifesto on Wikipedia.
1. Demo-flight in September - October 2017
2. Arabsat 6A in 2018
3. USAF STP-2 in 2018
4. Private circumlunar trip with 2 person in Dragon2 on end of 2018.

Makes four flight, enough for NRO qualification for a Key Hole Satellite launch by Falcon Heavy from 2019 on.
source
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Falcon_9_and_Falcon_Heavy_launches#2017_2
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #79 on: July 07, 2017, 06:45:14 am »

Makes four flight, enough for NRO qualification for a Key Hole Satellite launch by Falcon Heavy from 2019 on.
source


They are all booked on Delta IV Heavy until 2023.

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #83 on: August 07, 2017, 05:25:26 pm »
That video is several years old.  I'm surprised it's not already in this thread.
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Offline Michel Van

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Re: SpaceX Heavy
« Reply #84 on: August 07, 2017, 08:36:51 pm »
you mean this 2015 video ?


it show old Mission profile
the November 2017 test flight will feature booster landings at Cape
but the core will land on Drone Ship, while Payload faring make recuperation test
Musk tweeted and interview talked about option landing second stage test
and use of a "Silly payload"

like first Dragon capsule carry a wheel of French Le Broučre cheese
A homage to "the Cheese Shop sketch" from Monty Python's Flying Circus.



 
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