Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Demo - Discussion and Speculation  (Read 135876 times)

Offline abaddon

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - Demo Mission - May 2017 - Discussion
« Reply #20 on: 02/07/2017 05:01 PM »
IIRC we don't even know if there will even be a "new" booster, or if both will be previously-flown and modified for FH booster duty.

Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - Demo Mission - May 2017 - Discussion
« Reply #21 on: 02/07/2017 05:23 PM »
IIRC we don't even know if there will even be a "new" booster, or if both will be previously-flown and modified for FH booster duty.

I'll be surprised if they aren't both repurposed experienced cores. 

SpaceX is not a cash rich company, they need to be cost effective. 
Excited to be finally into the first Falcon Heavy flow, we are getting so close!

Offline CraigLieb

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - Demo Mission - May 2017 - Discussion
« Reply #22 on: 02/07/2017 06:25 PM »
IIRC we don't even know if there will even be a "new" booster, or if both will be previously-flown and modified for FH booster duty.

I'll be surprised if they aren't both repurposed experienced cores. 

SpaceX is not a cash rich company, they need to be cost effective.

And if they reuse one or two cores, they
 - increase their re-use experience base,
 - demonstrate their own confidence in their strategy,
 -  and do so in a way that doesn't impact a specific customer's orbital payload
    (so they don't have to get a customer to agree).

Beautiful. So excited to see actual hardware from Heavy after these years of waiting. Go SpaceX!
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Offline matthewkantar

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - Demo Mission - May 2017 - Discussion
« Reply #23 on: 02/07/2017 07:30 PM »
There has to be another, right? Will they get done with this one at McGregor before they ship the next or is another close behind?



Offline ATPTourFan

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - Demo Mission - May 2017 - Discussion
« Reply #24 on: 02/07/2017 08:24 PM »
Wouldn't they have to do a standard fairing payload to satisfy the Air Force qualifications of consecutive successful flights using common configuration?

I would think they could do a direct GEO insertion with a mass simulator. That would certainly demonstrate a "talent" few present day launch systems have.
« Last Edit: 02/07/2017 08:24 PM by ATPTourFan »

Offline AncientU

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - Demo Mission - May 2017 - Discussion
« Reply #25 on: 02/07/2017 08:37 PM »
Wouldn't they have to do a standard fairing payload to satisfy the Air Force qualifications of consecutive successful flights using common configuration?

I would think they could do a direct GEO insertion with a mass simulator. That would certainly demonstrate a "talent" few present day launch systems have.

Would seem they have sufficient fairing demonstrations to satisfy anyone interested.  After center stage drops off, second stage is as already demonstrated dozens of times.

Problem with delivering a mass simulator to GEO is what do you do next... leave it there?
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Offline CameronD

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - Demo Mission - May 2017 - Discussion
« Reply #26 on: 02/07/2017 08:55 PM »
Would seem they have sufficient fairing demonstrations to satisfy anyone interested.  After center stage drops off, second stage is as already demonstrated dozens of times.

Problem with delivering a mass simulator to GEO is what do you do next... leave it there?

I still think they should fly a school bus (fully instrumented, of course, with de-orbit thrusters if necessary) ..preferably a bright yellow one, with fluffy dice hanging from the rear-view mirror.  :)
 
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Online Herb Schaltegger

Wouldn't they have to do a standard fairing payload to satisfy the Air Force qualifications of consecutive successful flights using common configuration?

I would think they could do a direct GEO insertion with a mass simulator. That would certainly demonstrate a "talent" few present day launch systems have.

Would seem they have sufficient fairing demonstrations to satisfy anyone interested.  After center stage drops off, second stage is as already demonstrated dozens of times.

Problem with delivering a mass simulator to GEO is what do you do next... leave it there?

Exactly. Besides which, the paperwork to get a GEO "slot" assigned takes years; they are limited, much in demand, and subject to a lot of competition among national telecom entities via the ITU.
 
A better "demo", if all you're doing is trying to impress people, would be to lob a dragon on a circum-lunar flight to qualify the TPS for high-speed entries. Or even just toss something into an escape trajectory and use it for practice with deep-space TT&C.
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Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - Demo Mission - May 2017 - Discussion
« Reply #28 on: 02/07/2017 09:39 PM »
A better "demo", if all you're doing is trying to impress people, would be to lob a dragon on a circum-lunar flight to qualify the TPS for high-speed entries. Or even just toss something into an escape trajectory and use it for practice with deep-space TT&C.

I like this idea best. 

Probably not a Dragon, we'd likely have heard of that by now. 

Maybe just a US with a appropriate mass attached.  Free return around the moon and let it burn up in the atmosphere.
Excited to be finally into the first Falcon Heavy flow, we are getting so close!

Offline Wolfram66

Will they be doing a Fully integrated FH at McGregor. ??

a) 3 Core integrated static fire on stand 
b) 3 Core integrated full duration burn on stand
c) full duration burn on each of the 3 cores individually
d) static fire and eval of each of the 3 cores individually
e) WRD Tank/Fill/Drain of 3 core stack to test TSM integration, disassemble & then test fire each individually?

this will be fun to watch

Offline old_sellsword

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - Demo Mission - May 2017 - Discussion
« Reply #30 on: 02/07/2017 09:53 PM »
Will they be doing a Fully integrated FH at McGregor. ??

a) 3 Core integrated static fire on stand 
b) 3 Core integrated full duration burn on stand
c) full duration burn on each of the 3 cores individually
d) static fire and eval of each of the 3 cores individually
e) WRD Tank/Fill/Drain of 3 core stack to test TSM integration, disassemble & then test fire each individually?

this will be fun to watch

The first time Falcon Heavy will be assembled is in the 39A HIF; no earlier, no later. McGregor has none of the relevant GSE for integrating the cores, much less testing them all at once.

As for how they're going to test the cores individually, we'll have to wait and see. I predict just a normal Falcon 9 testing flow for all of them.

Offline IanThePineapple

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - Demo Mission - May 2017 - Discussion
« Reply #31 on: 02/07/2017 09:59 PM »
A better "demo", if all you're doing is trying to impress people, would be to lob a dragon on a circum-lunar flight to qualify the TPS for high-speed entries. Or even just toss something into an escape trajectory and use it for practice with deep-space TT&C.

I like this idea best. 

Probably not a Dragon, we'd likely have heard of that by now. 

Maybe just a US with a appropriate mass attached.  Free return around the moon and let it burn up in the atmosphere.

Why waste some random mass on a FH mission? I'm almost certain no Dragon will fly, but if they could fit some college, international and NASA experiments in Dragon and the trunk and fly it to the Moon, they could have an extremely useful mission, both testing FH and having some useful experiments along the way.
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Online Herb Schaltegger

A better "demo", if all you're doing is trying to impress people, would be to lob a dragon on a circum-lunar flight to qualify the TPS for high-speed entries. Or even just toss something into an escape trajectory and use it for practice with deep-space TT&C.

I like this idea best. 

Probably not a Dragon, we'd likely have heard of that by now. 

Maybe just a US with a appropriate mass attached.  Free return around the moon and let it burn up in the atmosphere.

Why waste some random mass on a FH mission? I'm almost certain no Dragon will fly, but if they could fit some college, international and NASA experiments in Dragon and the trunk and fly it to the Moon, they could have an extremely useful mission, both testing FH and having some useful experiments along the way.

All that would have had to have been coordinated years in advance if it was going to happen.
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Online testguy

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - Demo Mission - May 2017 - Discussion
« Reply #33 on: 02/08/2017 12:31 AM »
A better "demo", if all you're doing is trying to impress people, would be to lob a dragon on a circum-lunar flight to qualify the TPS for high-speed entries. Or even just toss something into an escape trajectory and use it for practice with deep-space TT&C.

I like this idea best. 

Probably not a Dragon, we'd likely have heard of that by now. 

Maybe just a US with a appropriate mass attached.  Free return around the moon and let it burn up in the atmosphere.

Why waste some random mass on a FH mission? I'm almost certain no Dragon will fly, but if they could fit some college, international and NASA experiments in Dragon and the trunk and fly it to the Moon, they could have an extremely useful mission, both testing FH and having some useful experiments along the way.

All that would have had to have been coordinated years in advance if it was going to happen.

Just gotta way in here.  I seam to remember, although I haven't found it, some excitement on Chris's part 2-3 years ago about a SpaceX announcement that was supposed to happen soon but never materialized.  The speculation at that time was they would fly Dragon on a cis-lunar mission on FH.  It still makes perfect sense to me.  I just can't believe Spacex will fly a mass simulator on the demo flight.  It just isn't their style.  I know it is still speculation but I really hope I'm correct.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - Demo Mission - May 2017 - Discussion
« Reply #34 on: 02/08/2017 01:04 AM »
I believe the announcement that "never materialized" is Red Dragon (which did materialize).

Anyway, qualifying the Dragon heatshield for high speed reentry would be a useful demo payload. Doesn't necessarily have to go all the way around the Moon, just a very high (near escape) Earth orbit. Or possibly not that high, but using a second burn of the upper stage to accelerate the Dragon after sent on an initial lofting trajectory. That way, it wouldn't need solar arrays, just batteries, since the duration would be shorter.
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Offline deltaV

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - Demo Mission - May 2017 - Discussion
« Reply #35 on: 02/08/2017 01:18 AM »
I believe the announcement that "never materialized" is Red Dragon (which did materialize).

Anyway, qualifying the Dragon heatshield for high speed reentry would be a useful demo payload. Doesn't necessarily have to go all the way around the Moon, just a very high (near escape) Earth orbit. Or possibly not that high, but using a second burn of the upper stage to accelerate the Dragon after sent on an initial lofting trajectory. That way, it wouldn't need solar arrays, just batteries, since the duration would be shorter.

The approach of gaining velocity using a second burn would have two potential advantages:
1. It would allow them to test a reentry at beyond-Earth-escape speeds. Dragon may not be intended to every leave the Earth/Moon system but the data could be useful for designing ITS.
2. It would allow them to demo the capability of restarting after a multi-hour coast, which they would need for direct GEO missions.

Offline RonM

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - Demo Mission - May 2017 - Discussion
« Reply #36 on: 02/08/2017 01:25 AM »
SpaceX does have a collection of used Dragons. Using one as either a high speed reentry test or as a mass simulator would be a relatively cheap option. SpaceX could fix one up for a more complex test mission if they wanted.

Online testguy

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - Demo Mission - May 2017 - Discussion
« Reply #37 on: 02/08/2017 01:35 AM »
I believe the announcement that "never materialized" is Red Dragon (which did materialize).

Anyway, qualifying the Dragon heatshield for high speed reentry would be a useful demo payload. Doesn't necessarily have to go all the way around the Moon, just a very high (near escape) Earth orbit. Or possibly not that high, but using a second burn of the upper stage to accelerate the Dragon after sent on an initial lofting trajectory. That way, it wouldn't need solar arrays, just batteries, since the duration would be shorter.

I stand corrected.  I believe you are correct about RD.  Still hope it is around the moon and back.

Offline IanThePineapple

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - Demo Mission - May 2017 - Discussion
« Reply #38 on: 02/08/2017 01:50 AM »
I'm sure the could grab an old COTS/CRS Dragon, redo the heat shield, do some minor repairs, then test it on a lunar-velocity reentry. I'm pretty sure they'd do nothing with the old Dragons (If they haven't scrapped them yet), so why not toss one on and try it, maybe throw in an experiment or two! I'm certain they won't have a Dragon onboard FH Demo, but it's cool to theorize.
« Last Edit: 02/08/2017 01:52 AM by IanThePineapple »
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Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - Demo Mission - May 2017 - Discussion
« Reply #39 on: 02/08/2017 02:42 AM »
Dragon may not be intended to every leave the Earth/Moon system.

It might not even be design to be capable of leaving LEO

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