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The coolest thing about Falcon Heavy... I CAN'T WAIT!! :D

oneday

Active Member
Nov 29, 2014
1,149
4,991
Bay Area
I too am excited about this. I expect to have some stuff going up on the second Falcon-H launch from the Cape. I think I'll drive my Model S cross-country for this one. I do hope they attempt the triple landing.

You "expect to have some stuff going up," that must be a pretty spectacular feeling. Congrats!

You must have some involvement with:
A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will launch the U.S. Air Force’s Space Test Program-2 mission with a cluster of military and scientific research satellites.

The Falcon Heavy launches are something I've looked forward to since I first saw their video simulation a few years ago. CANT WAIT!!
 

ggnykk

Active Member
Feb 7, 2016
1,573
807
Earth
I too am excited about this. I expect to have some stuff going up on the second Falcon-H launch from the Cape. I think I'll drive my Model S cross-country for this one. I do hope they attempt the triple landing.
It will be a triple landing for sure. The first Falcon Heavy flight is for testing/demonstration. Expect it to be in Dec of this year or early next year.
 

HVM

Savolainen
Oct 30, 2012
1,456
2,733
Finland
For reference similar vid of the Space Shuttle Boosters...
+with this:

Mike Kitaif - July 18th launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9 &... | Facebook
13737696_1247334521944673_6661269290132452819_o.jpg
 
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ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Moderator
For me personal, I am more excited about what Elon will reveal in September about the detail plan to get to Mars. Including the Mars rocket which will be larger and more powerful than the Saturn 5 rocket. It will be the biggest rocket human has ever made.
Yes I am eagerly anticipating Elon's presentation this coming September. However, the Falcon Heavy is a necessary step on the path to preparing to send humans to Mars, and the FH will be used to send Red Dragon capsules to Mars in 2018 and for several years thereafter. So I am looking forward to seeing FH flights in the near future!

In the "Elon Musk" thread on TMC, some have posted that Elon is "all head and no heart". Elon's repeated statements about his Mars colonization goal, that it is driven not just by a rational analysis of the need to ensure that humanity does not remain bound to earth (with the attendant risks of that scenario) but because human exploration of our solar system would be "the greatest adventure ever" (his words) reveals that he also values the emotional experience of venturing literally "where no man has gone before" (to quote a line from the original Star Trek series). I'm totally onboard with that!
 

ggnykk

Active Member
Feb 7, 2016
1,573
807
Earth
Yes I am eagerly anticipating Elon's presentation this coming September. However, the Falcon Heavy is a necessary step on the path to preparing to send humans to Mars, and the FH will be used to send Red Dragon capsules to Mars in 2018 and for several years thereafter. So I am looking forward to seeing FH flights in the near future!

In the "Elon Musk" thread on TMC, some have posted that Elon is "all head and no heart". Elon's repeated statements about his Mars colonization goal, that it is driven not just by a rational analysis of the need to ensure that humanity does not remain bound to earth (with the attendant risks of that scenario) but because human exploration of our solar system would be "the greatest adventure ever" (his words) reveals that he also values the emotional experience of venturing literally "where no man has gone before" (to quote a line from the original Star Trek series). I'm totally onboard with that!
Elon said in the Recode conference that he will launch a mission every 26 months starting in 2018 (2020, 2022, 2024...) since that's the time frame where earth is closest to Mars. Definitely excited about that.
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
9,138
13,856
United States

Larry Chanin

President, Florida Tesla Enthusiasts
Moderator
Aug 22, 2011
4,937
813
Sarasota, Florida
I wonder what kind of launch would allow a triple landing... it would have to be a very very heavy launch into LEO. Seems like cargo like that (like a payload to Mars) would need to get to GTO which means a sea landing... unless it catches Florida after a circumnavigation.
SPACEX MAIDEN FALCON HEAVY LAUNCH MAY CARRY SATELLITE IN NOVEMBER

One of the main attractions to the Falcon Heavy is its ability to deliver larger payloads to geostationary orbit (GEO). This is the orbit occupied by communications and weather satellites. These types of satellites, and the companies that build and operate them, are an important customer base for SpaceX. SpaceX claims that the Falcon Heavy will be able to place payloads of 22,200 kg (48,940 lbs) to GEO. This trumps the Delta-4 Heavy (14,200 kg/31,350 lbs) and the Ariane5 (max. 10,500 kg/23,100 lbs.)

There’s a catch to these numbers, though. The Falcon Heavy will be able to deliver larger payloads to GEO, but it’ll do it at the expense of reusability. In order to recover the two side-boosters and central core stage for reuse, some fuel has to be held in reserve. Carrying that fuel and using it for recovery, rather than burning it to boost larger payloads, will reduce the payload for GEO to about 8,000 kg (17,637 lbs.) That’s significantly less than the Ariane 5, and the upcoming Ariane 6, which will both compete for customers with the Falcon Heavy.

This suggests to me that if SpaceX decides to recover all three boosters that the payload for GEO would have to be rather limited.

SpaceX undecided on payload for first Falcon Heavy flight

Here's some comments from Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer:

“There have been a number of customers interested in flying on that (mission),” Shotwell said in an interview with Spaceflight Now. “We’re trying to balance, does it make sense for this to just be our mission, so we own it completely?”

SpaceX officials have previously said the first launch of the Falcon Heavy will be strictly a test flight, but Shotwell said the company’s growing customer base has signaled a desire to fly a satellite on the mission.

She said SpaceX will make the first Falcon Heavy launch “useful” by proving its capabilities to future customers, such as heaving a hefty payload to geostationary transfer orbit, the targeted drop-off orbit for communications satellites heading for stations 22,300 miles (nearly 36,000 kilometers) over the equator.

“Regardless of whether we fly a customer or a purely demonstration mission, we’ll make that mission useful, whether it’s to demonstrate something for a GTO (geostationary transfer orbit) capability for our commercial customers, or whether it’s to demonstrate some requirement for national security space,” Shotwell said.

So I interpret this to be if SpaceX wants to demonstrate the maximum heavy lift for GTO that none of the boosters might be recovered. On the other hand if they want to make the flight "useful" in carrying a client's payload and demonstrate reusability, then they would have to greatly reduce the payload.

Larry
 

nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
9,138
13,856
United States
This suggests to me that if SpaceX decides to recover all three boosters that the payload for GEO would have to be rather limited.

Yep... whenever they return the booster to the cape it's always a LEO launch... I don't see why a Falcon 9 wouldn't work for a LEO launch. The payload to LEO for the heavy is twice that of the 9 so you're using 3x the rocket for 2x the payload...

They can recover all 3 boosters but it'll be 2 by land and 1 by sea.
 
<snip>

So I interpret this to be if SpaceX wants to demonstrate the maximum heavy lift for GTO that none of the boosters might be recovered. On the other hand if they want to make the flight "useful" in carrying a client's payload and demonstrate reusability, then they would have to greatly reduce the payload.

Larry
An alternative theory is that SpaceX would take a client's civilian payload all the way to geosynchronous orbit, not just GTO. DOD, NSA, etc. are quite interested in such a capability as I understand it.

Depending on the mass of such a satellite, it might well be possible to recover all 3 boosters, although, again, one might be at sea.
 

ICUDoc

Active Member
May 19, 2015
1,836
1,362
Sydney NSW
Yep... whenever they return the booster to the cape it's always a LEO launch... I don't see why a Falcon 9 wouldn't work for a LEO launch. The payload to LEO for the heavy is twice that of the 9 so you're using 3x the rocket for 2x the payload...

They can recover all 3 boosters but it'll be 2 by land and 1 by sea.
So the question is: how much does the fuel cost compared to the booster
AND / OR: How much does the fuel cost compared to the extra cost of launching one booster, then cleaning and re-testing it...
 

GoTslaGo

Learning Member
Dec 25, 2015
3,063
4,740
US
Yep... whenever they return the booster to the cape it's always a LEO launch... I don't see why a Falcon 9 wouldn't work for a LEO launch. The payload to LEO for the heavy is twice that of the 9 so you're using 3x the rocket for 2x the payload...

They can recover all 3 boosters but it'll be 2 by land and 1 by sea.

Wasn't there a famous quote in history?

2(if) by land and 1 (if) by sea... (or visa versa?).;)

So the question is: how much does the fuel cost compared to the booster
AND / OR: How much does the fuel cost compared to the extra cost of launching one booster, then cleaning and re-testing it...

This article mentions Musk's estimates for fuel costs:

SpaceX's reusable Falcon 9: What are the real cost savings for customers? - SpaceNews.com

quote:

Musk said the fuel used on a Falcon 9 is between $200,000 and $300,000. Reserving fuel in the first stage for landing adds mass to the vehicle and deprives it of performance, effectively carrying fuel instead of extra payload — a penalty that expendable rockets do not need to pay. Musk was addressing not the performance penalty, but the issue of fuel cost, which is a non-issue in the overall economics of reusability. - See more at: SpaceX's reusable Falcon 9: What are the real cost savings for customers? - SpaceNews.com

end quote.

Rest of the article talks about booster costs, etc... Don't know if that answers your question.
 

VolkerP

EU Model S P-37
Jul 6, 2011
2,464
27
Germany
Have they considered a split reusability/expendable operation? Seems to me they might be able to return the two boosters even if they can't recover the core.

I am sure they did. It might be necessary to launch a FH under conditions where the middle core cannot be retrieved: Severe weather in the landing zone, preventing the drone ship to operate. A demanding mission where the core takes excessive damage during reentry burn and needs heavy refurbishment - I would consider this a partially expended core.
 
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Larry Chanin

President, Florida Tesla Enthusiasts
Moderator
Aug 22, 2011
4,937
813
Sarasota, Florida
SpaceX to lease building at Port Canaveral, may build another one

SpaceX is moving some of its operations to Port Canaveral, port Chief Executive Officer John Murray said Wednesday.

The space launch company plans to lease the now-vacant former Spacehab building on the north side of the port, and is looking at constructing a second building on vacant land adjacent to that site, Murray told port commissioners.

SpaceX is expected to process and refurbish rockets, as well as potentially perform other functions, at the port, Murray said.


Larry
 
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