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SeJoWa
Posts: 427
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:55 pm

The launch license has been issued by the FAA today. See:

https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/he ... 6_2017.pdf

Quote/ According to Virginia-based Iridium Communications, SpaceX will attempt a launch on Monday, January 9, if weather permits. /Unquote

Source: http://arstechnica.com/science/2017/01/ ... alifornia/

I've waited quite a while for this. It's up to SpaceX to dot the i's and mumble helpful mantras.

Wiederling, so the tank liner was used as mandrel for the CFRP [logical, but still...]? Is there anything available online going into details?
 
WIederling
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:47 pm

SeJoWa wrote:
Wiederling, so the tank liner was used as mandrel for the CFRP [logical, but still...]? Is there anything available online going into details?

good start here:
https://www.freelists.org/post/arocket/ ... y-analysis
Murphy is an optimist
 
SeJoWa
Posts: 427
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:24 pm

Thank you.
 
maxter
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:37 pm

From SpaceX yesterday on Twitter...
"Launch moving due to high winds and rains at Vandenberg. Other range conflicts this week results in next available launch date being Jan 14."
maxter
 
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KarelXWB
Crew
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:10 pm

Yet another interesting article on the Falcon Heavy:

SpaceX details its plans for landing three Falcon Heavy boosters at once
Close, but no cigar http://vine.co/v/OjqeYWWpVWK
 
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Francoflier
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:23 am

KarelXWB wrote:
Yet another interesting article on the Falcon Heavy:


Interesting that they would want to go through the effort of building 3 landing pads.
Most of the Falcon 9 first stage recoveries seem to happen at sea, and relatively rarely on land, since most of the launches tend to be for high energy trajectories.

Is there something different about the Falcon heavy architecture or mission profile that will enable all boosters to land back on land every time?
I was assuming they were just going to build more barges.
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
iamlucky13
Posts: 494
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:20 am

Landing pads are cheap compared to rocket stages. Barges are definitely more expensive, but could still pay for themselves pretty quickly if more are needed.

The main thing different about the Falcon Heavy is there has yet to be a commercial satellite that will max out its payload capacity, which they claim will be 54 tonnes to LEO and 22 tonnes to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. That's twice the Ariane V or Delta IV Heavy, two of the highest capacity launch vehicles currently on the market. More payload margin means more missions will be able to retain sufficient first stage fuel to return to the Cape.

There's some potential to dual manifest heavier satellites, but even then, I'm pretty sure they'll run out of fairing volume before they reach the payload capacity of the Heavy.

Ultimately, the availability of the Heavy may lead to larger satellites, especially for geostationary orbits. When that happens, they will presumably want more barges, but the satellites will take longer to design and build than the barges will.
 
mxaxai
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:42 am

iamlucky13 wrote:
The main thing different about the Falcon Heavy is there has yet to be a commercial satellite that will max out its payload capacity, which they claim will be 54 tonnes to LEO and 22 tonnes to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. That's twice the Ariane V or Delta IV Heavy, two of the highest capacity launch vehicles currently on the market. More payload margin means more missions will be able to retain sufficient first stage fuel to return to the Cape.

There's some potential to dual manifest heavier satellites, but even then, I'm pretty sure they'll run out of fairing volume before they reach the payload capacity of the Heavy.

Ultimately, the availability of the Heavy may lead to larger satellites, especially for geostationary orbits. When that happens, they will presumably want more barges, but the satellites will take longer to design and build than the barges will.


Couldn't they simply enlarge the fairing? Assuming you have plenty of payload mass to spare to compensate for the higher drag, I assume you could fit either larger or more satellites. That could be especially useful for communication satellite networks like Iridium, Inmarsat or the envisioned OneWeb.

Going much further, why not use a Falcon Heavy for large lunar or martian rovers or even crewed vehicles? ~ 22 tonnes would be much more than any past autonomous vehicle has ever fielded, already accounting for some fuel to reach the final destination.
 
WIederling
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:10 am

iamlucky13 wrote:
Ultimately, the availability of the Heavy may lead to larger satellites, especially for geostationary orbits. When that happens, they will presumably want more barges, but the satellites will take longer to design and build than the barges will.


I don't think that will happen.
The trend is towards lighter sats ( at least for GEO applications.) enabled by tech progress.
Reason why Ariane V always lifts two ore more in one go except for the ISS resupply missions.

The stacking structure has weight and reliability impact.

Then, look into the lifting capability designed into the future Ariane VI.
Murphy is an optimist
 
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Francoflier
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:07 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
Landing pads are cheap compared to rocket stages. Barges are definitely more expensive, but could still pay for themselves pretty quickly if more are needed.

The main thing different about the Falcon Heavy is there has yet to be a commercial satellite that will max out its payload capacity, which they claim will be 54 tonnes to LEO and 22 tonnes to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. That's twice the Ariane V or Delta IV Heavy, two of the highest capacity launch vehicles currently on the market. More payload margin means more missions will be able to retain sufficient first stage fuel to return to the Cape.


Thanks. It does make sense, although I'll echo other posters here in wondering why they aimed that big if there isn't a market yet.

As Wlederling said, Ariane V struggles to find enough payloads to fill a launch schedule as it needs to find 2 satellites of the right size every time. And it's only half the size.
Not that I mind... Big rockets are cool.
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
WIederling
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:48 pm

Francoflier wrote:
Thanks. It does make sense, although I'll echo other posters here in wondering why they aimed that big if there isn't a market yet.

LOTS of material into LEO. Structure, fuel, payload, ... for to go to Mars and onwards.

As Wlederling said, Ariane V struggles to find enough payloads to fill a launch schedule as it needs to find 2 satellites of the right size every time. And it's only half the size.
Not that I mind... Big rockets are cool.


I don't think that the Ariane business struggles. But there also is no business case for more payload per flight if you are looking at commercial communications payloads. Originally Ariane V was sized with an eye to lifting the Hermes Space Plane. No idea how much of the man rating has been incorporated into the hardware as flown today.
Murphy is an optimist
 
iamlucky13
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:27 am

Francoflier wrote:
Thanks. It does make sense, although I'll echo other posters here in wondering why they aimed that big if there isn't a market yet.


The Ariane V has launched a few payloads too heavy for Falcon 9, although I think all dual manifest missions. I don't recall any single commercial payloads too heavy for the Falcon 9 that have flown so far, at least for the latest version. There have been a couple, however, that were too heavy for SpaceX to recover the first stage had they been the launch provider. The Falcon Heavy might be able to not only avoid throwing away a stage, but even dual-manifest those larger satellites (avoiding throwing away two first stages and a second stage), but SpaceX also has to prove they can recover all 3 stages and that their refurbishment costs are low enough that doing so makes sense.

This shouldn't require as much lift as the Falcon Heavy provides, at least not yet. However, if the chosen method to beat the recoverable capacity of the Falcon 9 is strapping two more first stages to the sides, that's basically what you get (2nd stage is also longer, but that's a simpler modification).

I think Musk is also hoping for an "if you build it, they will come" effect. Lastly, the commercial market isn't the only thing he has in mind...

WIederling wrote:
iamlucky13 wrote:
Ultimately, the availability of the Heavy may lead to larger satellites, especially for geostationary orbits. When that happens, they will presumably want more barges, but the satellites will take longer to design and build than the barges will.


I don't think that will happen.
The trend is towards lighter sats ( at least for GEO applications.) enabled by tech progress.
Reason why Ariane V always lifts two ore more in one go except for the ISS resupply missions.


Average mass has been trending upwards for GEO as demand for more capabilities increases faster than improved tech reduces mass. There's been a recent dip in masses as all-electric propulsion became the norm, but the longer term trend is still upwards. See pages 8-11:
https://www.ida.org/idamedia/Corporate/ ... 242v2.ashx

Whether or not that leads to a market sufficient to sustain the Falcon Heavy I'm not sure of, but the commonality with the Falcon 9 will help. Besides, there's that other goal of Musk's...

WIederling wrote:
I don't think that the Ariane business struggles.


Somewhat. They've commented about a need to significantly cut costs to stay in the market in the long term, and as I understand it, the Ariane V is still subsidized by the ESA to ensure it's ongoing availability for government launches. However, they do get a lot of the medium-mass GEO customers because they can dual-manifest those at much better pricing.

As you mentioned above, there's some technical risk to dual manifesting, but Arianespace has proven that one thing they are good at is reliability. The last Ariane V failure was 15 years ago, and they've had almost three times as many successful launches since then as SpaceX has total, with around 80% of them involving multiple payloads.

Fortunately for them, in addition to the Ariane V having proven reliability, SpaceX is years behind schedule, and Arianespace has been one of the beneficiaries of this. Immarsat and Viasat each switched a GEO satellite launch from SpaceX to Arianespace in the last year. Both were too heavy to allow Falcon 9 to attempt a first stage recovery and were previously planned to launch on Falcon Heavies.

mxaxai wrote:
Couldn't they simply enlarge the fairing? Assuming you have plenty of payload mass to spare to compensate for the higher drag, I assume you could fit either larger or more satellites. That could be especially useful for communication satellite networks like Iridium, Inmarsat or the envisioned OneWeb.

Going much further, why not use a Falcon Heavy for large lunar or martian rovers or even crewed vehicles? ~ 22 tonnes would be much more than any past autonomous vehicle has ever fielded, already accounting for some fuel to reach the final destination.


They can enlarge the fairing, but not simply. The Falcon 9 stages were sized in order to be road transportable without too much fuss (fairly standard oversized load permit). A fairing that is very large compared to the stage diameter shifts the center of pressure forward, which reduces stability. I'm fairly certain it can be lengthened somewhat, but there's limits to that, too.

And now you've also brought up that other idea Musk has...

Mars is and always has been Musk's long term dream. Falcon Heavy is supposed to be able to launch a Dragon spacecraft on a Mars trajectory with enough fuel to land on the surface. Musk envisions both selling this capability to NASA to land rovers or other science payloads so they don't have to develop a custom lander each mission, or to support his hoped for manned Mars mission.
 
salttee
Posts: 557
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:11 am

SpaceX is targeting launch of the Iridium-1 mission tomorrow, January 14, from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The instantaneous launch window opens at 9:54:39 am PST or 5:54:39 pm UTC, and the launch will be broadcast live at www.spacex.com/webcast beginning at approximately 9:34 am PST or 5:34 pm UTC.

From Launch Alert
 
zanl188
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:08 pm

Stage 1 of the Iridium-1 mission has landed successfully on the ASDS. Very good video thru the entire descent and landing. Second stage currently in coast phase prior to second engine start,
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Tugger
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:37 pm

Very nice! Smooth launch. Beautiful landing! And we voyeurs were treated to the best live video of the entire process, from launch to landing, so far!

Very cool.

And more importantly for SpaceX it puts them back on track o make successful launches and use refurbished boosters.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
zanl188
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Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:05 pm

Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:10 pm

Curious, no video of the satellite deploy... at least on the technical webcast...
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SeJoWa
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:10 pm

Money in the kitty! I'm greatly relieved. Here's to a smooth series of accomplished missions in the Year of our Launches 2017. :highfive:
 
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AirlineCritic
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:39 pm

Congratulations!
 
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Francoflier
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:24 am

Congrats to SpaceX and Iridium!

I'll never get tired of seeing those first stages land on those tiny barge in the middle of the ocean.
First successful recovery for 'Just read the Instructions' as well, since most launches had been happening on the Atlantic side lately, which is 'Of course I still love you's turf.

Now let's see if they can start reusing these first stages.

Really cool stuff. Keep it coming, SpaceX.
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
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Tugger
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:25 pm

A good batch of pics of the booster's return to San Pedro:
http://photos.dailybreeze.com/2017/01/p ... os-angeles

Now looking forward to the next launch on January 26 from Florida, of the EchoStar 23 payload.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
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