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N328KF
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SpaceX Wins Intelsat Contract

Wed May 30, 2012 11:00 am

SpaceX has won a key contract to loft an Intelsat bird with the Falcon Heavy. Their prospects are now such that one of their critics at FlightGlobal has come around. Basically, SpaceX is now cheap enough to undercut ULA and Arianespace, and is cheap enough to give people who fly on Russian or Chinese hardware a reason to stick with a Western launcher:

Links:

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...CFGFG%7Ctwitterfeed%7CFlightglobal

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/hy...rce=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' -Theodore Roosevelt
 
travelavnut
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RE: SpaceX Wins Intelsat Contract

Wed May 30, 2012 11:52 am

Haha nice going SpaceX!!! As soon as they go public I'm buying stock!
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connies4ever
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RE: SpaceX Wins Intelsat Contract

Wed May 30, 2012 3:45 pm

It's interesting to see a design philosophy in SpaceX that looks to be copied from the Soviets/Russians: multiple relatively low thrust chambers on each components of Falcon 9/Falcon 9 Heavy. The R-7 has a similar conceptual design. Gives you an engine out capability (or perhaps multiple engine out), and by using lower thrust (and presumably lower chamber pressure) components, I'm thinking reduced mission risk
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RE: SpaceX Wins Intelsat Contract

Wed May 30, 2012 3:58 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 2):

It's interesting to see a design philosophy in SpaceX that looks to be copied from the Soviets/Russians: multiple relatively low thrust chambers on each components of Falcon 9/Falcon 9 Heavy. The R-7 has a similar conceptual design. Gives you an engine out capability (or perhaps multiple engine out), and by using lower thrust (and presumably lower chamber pressure) components, I'm thinking reduced mission risk

Well, the Russians ran into some resonance issues on some of their boosters.

I think SpaceX's intent is to use as few distinct parts as possible. Using a larger number of smaller boosters lets them use very similar engines on both the upper and lower stages.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' -Theodore Roosevelt
 
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ssteve
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RE: SpaceX Wins Intelsat Contract

Wed May 30, 2012 5:50 pm

^ They do have thoughts of replacing the 9 Merlin-1 engines with a single Merlin-2. Will be interesting to see where that goes.
 
connies4ever
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RE: SpaceX Wins Intelsat Contract

Wed May 30, 2012 7:34 pm

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 4):
^ They do have thoughts of replacing the 9 Merlin-1 engines with a single Merlin-2. Will be interesting to see where that goes.

Probably more efficient, but efficiency comes with a cost. And less redundancy.
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nomadd22
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RE: SpaceX Wins Intelsat Contract

Wed May 30, 2012 8:22 pm

Engine out is a compromise. Some missions, like the one this week need all engines for the first part of the boost, meaning that they have nine times the chance of losing the mission then. Part of the reason for the Merlin was to have a common engine with the Falcon 1 before it was put in the closet.
When the run out of M1Cs and start with the M1Ds they should have more slack on most missions.
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rwessel
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RE: SpaceX Wins Intelsat Contract

Thu May 31, 2012 5:22 am

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 2):
It's interesting to see a design philosophy in SpaceX that looks to be copied from the Soviets/Russians: multiple relatively low thrust chambers on each components of Falcon 9/Falcon 9 Heavy. The R-7 has a similar conceptual design. Gives you an engine out capability (or perhaps multiple engine out), and by using lower thrust (and presumably lower chamber pressure) components, I'm thinking reduced mission risk

Only partially. The RD-107s (and derivatives), are clusters of four combustion chambers and expansion nozzles driven off one set of turbopumps. In general they can't fail independently. The reason for the somewhat odd design is difficulties with combustion instability in a larger combustion chamber (this was a major issue on the F-1). So an R-7 is really a five engine rocket, not the 20 it appears to be. Plus four of those are in the boosters, which drop off while the core stack continues.

The nine Merlin-1s on the Falcon-9 are nine truly independent engines.

The eight H-1s of the S-I and S-1B Saturn stages are probably closer.

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