Author Topic: Falcon Heavy Demo Mission: NET Dec '17 :Updates/Relevant Discussion  (Read 70897 times)

Online gongora

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NSF Threads for Falcon Heavy Demo : Demo Mission Updates & Non-speculative Discussion / FH Demo Discussion and Speculation / FH Demo Payload Speculation / L2 Coverage / ASDS / Party
NSF Articles for Falcon Heavy Demo :
   [April 12, 2017] Falcon Heavy build up begins; SLC-40 pad rebuild progressing well
   [April 25, 2017] SpaceX Static Fire spy sat rocket and prepare to test Falcon Heavy core
NET November 2017 on the first Falcon Heavy from LC-39A at Cape Canaveral.  Launch vehicle will have a new center booster (10xx) and reused side boosters (1023.2, 1025.2?).



Now that we're starting to see hardware flow for the first FH, let's keep discussion in this new mission thread a bit more focused.  Discussion here should be about stuff we actually know about the mission.  Any speculation about Dragons carrying school buses made of cheese will be deleted.  There is still a thread you can use for speculation.

We're waiting for photos, but Gary for L2 McGregor is reporting FH side booster on the test stand! :)



Other SpaceX resources on NASASpaceflight:
   SpaceX News Articles (Recent)  /   SpaceX News Articles from 2006 (Including numerous exclusive Elon interviews)
   SpaceX Dragon Articles  /  SpaceX Missions Section (with Launch Manifest and info on past and future missions)
   L2 SpaceX Section
« Last Edit: 10/12/2017 01:49 PM by gongora »

Online Chris Bergin

Hi Res set from Gary Blair (taken from a public area...as always) going into L2 over the coming hours, but this is a big milestone, so passing on at least a preview as "Conehead" is cool.

We believe this is 1023 (formerly the leaning Tower of Thaicom-8). One of the two flight proven S1's that will be with the Falcon Heavy debut.

Offline Comga

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"Conehead"  Very good.  "We're NOT from France!" ;)

It is interesting that the guy wires are attached outside of the cone. 
Would this make for more rapid processing, not needing to take off the cone for test firing? 
Can they transport the stage from Hawthorne and to Florida with the cone attached? 
Isn't it said that the first stage is already at the length limit for transport? 
If they have to take off the cone for transport, why not use the standard (or slightly modified) cap for test firing? 
Why build this capability into flight hardware?
« Last Edit: 04/09/2017 05:18 PM by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Online cppetrie

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"Conehead"  Very good.  "We're NOT from France!" ;)

It is interesting that the guy wires are attached outside of the cone. 
Would this make for more rapid processing, not needing to take off the cone for test firing? 
Can they transport the stage from Hawthorne and to Florida with the cone attached? 
Isn't it said that the first stage is already at the length limit for transport? 
If they have to take off the cone for transport, why not use the standard (or slightly modified) cap for test firing? 
Why build this capability into flight hardware?
Does the first stage normally transports with an interstage? If so, it might be that the cone replaces the interstage and doesn't add to the overall length of the rocket for transport. There is no reason for the nosecap to be easily removable since it isn't coming off inflight so it makes some sense to attach it semi-permanently at the factory and design a rig for testing with the cone already in place.

Just my 2 cents.

Offline rberry

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"Conehead"  Very good.  "We're NOT from France!" ;)

It is interesting that the guy wires are attached outside of the cone. 
Would this make for more rapid processing, not needing to take off the cone for test firing? 
Can they transport the stage from Hawthorne and to Florida with the cone attached? 
Isn't it said that the first stage is already at the length limit for transport? 
If they have to take off the cone for transport, why not use the standard (or slightly modified) cap for test firing? 
Why build this capability into flight hardware?

I believe it was transported from Hawthorne to McGregor with the nose cone attached, so presumably it could also be transported to Florida.

*Edit Attached Image https://imgur.com/a/Vbxrx#zPdInH5
« Last Edit: 04/09/2017 05:34 PM by rberry »
-Ryan

Offline old_sellsword

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Does the first stage normally transports with an interstage?

Yes.

If so, it might be that the cone replaces the interstage and doesn't add to the overall length of the rocket for transport.

The nose cone replaces the interstage, and it appears to be quite a bit shorter.

Offline Comga

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"Conehead"  Very good.  "We're NOT from France!" ;)

It is interesting that the guy wires are attached outside of the cone. 
Would this make for more rapid processing, not needing to take off the cone for test firing? 
Can they transport the stage from Hawthorne and to Florida with the cone attached? 
Isn't it said that the first stage is already at the length limit for transport? 
If they have to take off the cone for transport, why not use the standard (or slightly modified) cap for test firing? 
Why build this capability into flight hardware?

I believe it was transported from Hawthorne to McGregor with the nose cone attached, so presumably it could also be transported to Florida.

I didn't "fix" your quote.  Just colored it. ;)
I had forgotten that photo.  Thanks
So what are people's opinion of having the hold-down's as part of the "conehead"?
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Online cppetrie

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So what are people's opinion of having the hold-down's as part of the "conehead"?

I don't think there are hard connections from the wires to the cone. It looks like there is just the gray metal ring that "sits" on/around the cone and the wires attach to the ring. Since the ring sits nearly all the way down where the cone attaches to the stage it should be able to carry the load into the stage without fixed attachment points. Think of it as a crown for the conehead. That's my impression from the photo anyway.
« Last Edit: 04/09/2017 11:43 PM by cppetrie »

Online Chris Bergin

Article for the side booster at McGregor, by Chris Gebhardt:

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/04/falcon-heavy-build-up-slc-40-pad-rebuild-progressing/

1023.2 may static fire at McGregor as early as today (Wednesday).

Online vaporcobra

In light of reports that a core stage may have been set to static fire last week, I browsed the SpaceX tag on Instagram and came across this. Photo posted (not sure if taken) Saturday of the McGregor test site, and strongly suggests that 1023.2 did indeed have an apparently successful SF.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BS6nzBPDwed/

Online DLK

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It appears that it 'consumed mass quantites' of propellant indeed.

Offline Flying Beaver

In light of reports that a core stage may have been set to static fire last week, I browsed the SpaceX tag on Instagram and came across this. Photo posted (not sure if taken) Saturday of the McGregor test site, and strongly suggests that 1023.2 did indeed have an apparently successful SF.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BS6nzBPDwed/

Wrong stand. You can see the old tripod stand to the right, the booster stand is right beside it, further to the right out of frame.

This test's vapor plume is better placed for Raptor, as it's stand is a ways to the north of the booster, as well as Merlin, testing areas.
Saw OG-2 Booster Land in person 21/12/2015.

Offline old_sellsword

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In light of reports that a core stage may have been set to static fire last week, I browsed the SpaceX tag on Instagram and came across this. Photo posted (not sure if taken) Saturday of the McGregor test site, and strongly suggests that 1023.2 did indeed have an apparently successful SF.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BS6nzBPDwed/

Wrong stand. You can see the old tripod stand to the right, the booster stand is right beside it, further to the right out of frame.

This test's vapor plume is better placed for Raptor, as it's stand is a ways to the north of the booster, as well as Merlin, testing areas.

With the water tower on the right of the tripod, this is likely looking south-ish, not north. Meaning the plume is probably coming from the small site where they test Merlins.

Offline Flying Beaver

Interesting note on the supposed FH core sighted yesterday. Around the aft engine section there seems to be loads of coloured tape.

Without a closer look it's only guessing, but I was thinking they could be messages from Hawthorne employees, sending the first FH core on it's way.

It's a bit out there ;D

From here: https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/65z8yi/falcon_spotting_sighting_in_marana_az_im_pretty/?ref=share&ref_source=link
Saw OG-2 Booster Land in person 21/12/2015.

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Here is an image of the core back at Hawthorne:

https://www.instagram.com/roninchausti/

Edit more:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BS-PgO-FX6L/
« Last Edit: 04/19/2017 04:20 PM by Ronsmytheiii »
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Online enzo

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Interesting note on the supposed FH core sighted yesterday. Around the aft engine section there seems to be loads of coloured tape.

Without a closer look it's only guessing, but I was thinking they could be messages from Hawthorne employees, sending the first FH core on it's way.

It's a bit out there ;D

From here: https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/65z8yi/falcon_spotting_sighting_in_marana_az_im_pretty/?ref=share&ref_source=link
Would be cute, but I think some kind of color artifact due to the reflective qualities of the black plastic combined with cheap phone camera.

Online Chris Bergin

1023.2 has been taken off the McGregor stand and look who's taken its place, 1033.

(The bit you want to see from Gary Blair's L2 McGregor set:)


Offline AncientU

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Five days from Hawthorne to on stand at McGregor.
Nice.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline Kaputnik

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I've never been so excited by the letter 'H' before. Makes it seem suddenly very real.
Waiting for joy and raptor

Offline sevenperforce

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Oh, that's a beautiful sight. Love seeing where the core connections are.

Online Chris Bergin

People keep asking for a wider shot (I thought the logo would be the thing people really wanted to see, so rushed that on the turnaround), so here's one from Gary Blair's L2 McGregor collection...well the one that's got as much of the core in it as trees and distance allow. Remember these shots are from a public area outside of the test center (obviously).

Article for this event (the static firing of the FH Center - we're not sure when it's due) and the Static Fire for NROL-76) will be early next week.

Online matthewkantar

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So I guess the fold up struts that stayed on the center core in the FH CGI video are no longer the plan? It never made sense to me to have the weight of those on the core, better to send em home with the boosters.

Matthew

Offline old_sellsword

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So I guess the fold up struts that stayed on the center core in the FH CGI video are no longer the plan? It never made sense to me to have the weight of those on the core, better to send em home with the boosters.

Matthew

That's definitely still the plan. But like fins and legs, they won't be attached until everything is ready for integration at the launch site. No reason to put them on for a static fire.

Online mme

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So I guess the fold up struts that stayed on the center core in the FH CGI video are no longer the plan? It never made sense to me to have the weight of those on the core, better to send em home with the boosters.

Matthew
Nose cone vs. interstage: They cant't fold up on the boosters as there is no place to latch. I don't know if folding down is an option.

The interstage also has a lot more volume for whatever mechanical systems are involved and there may be tradeoffs related to sharing the mechanical systems in the center booster vs. duplicating them on the two side boosters.
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Online Lars-J

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So I guess the fold up struts that stayed on the center core in the FH CGI video are no longer the plan? It never made sense to me to have the weight of those on the core, better to send em home with the boosters.

Matthew
Nose cone vs. interstage: They cant't fold up on the boosters as there is no place to latch. I don't know if folding down is an option.

The interstage also has a lot more volume for whatever mechanical systems are involved and there may be tradeoffs related to sharing the mechanical systems in the center booster vs. duplicating them on the two side boosters.

A good reason to have most of the mechanical booster attachment hardware on the center core is aerodynamic and mass balance... Yes, you add some mass to the center core (FH has margin), but it will at least make the side boosters "cleaner" from an aerodynamic point of view. Sure, the center core will have some extra hardware sticking out from the FH trunk, but it will be balanced there as well.

Offline JasonAW3

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Ok, I'm a bit confused.

      I thought the idea with the first demo flight was to try to recover all three cores.

      Has that changed, or are they simply waiting until they have the cores at the Cape to mount the landing legs?
My God!  It's full of universes!

Ok, I'm a bit confused.

      I thought the idea with the first demo flight was to try to recover all three cores.

      Has that changed, or are they simply waiting until they have the cores at the Cape to mount the landing legs?

They always attach landing legs, fins, etc at the Cape IIRC. Also, Elon said that the two side boosters will land at LZ-1 and the centre core will land on OCISLY.
« Last Edit: 04/24/2017 07:46 PM by tvg98 »

Online Chris Bergin

Added a round up of the FH milestones at McGregor into the NROL-76 Static Fire article. Thanks again to Gary for his L2 McGregor coverage. Looks like they are close to firing up this center booster. Also another of Nathan's cool L2 renders for the booster landings.

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/04/spacex-static-fire-tests-spy-sat-rocket-falcon-heavy-core/

Offline Sesquipedalian

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People keep asking for a wider shot (I thought the logo would be the thing people really wanted to see, so rushed that on the turnaround)

I suspect that if you had rushed the wider shot, people would have been clamoring to see the logo.

Offline dcporter

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People keep asking for a wider shot (I thought the logo would be the thing people really wanted to see, so rushed that on the turnaround)

I suspect that if you had rushed the wider shot, people would have been clamoring to see the logo.

Confirmed I got very excited for the logo closeup.

Offline qralt

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SpaceX tweeted a video of the center core static fire:

https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/862017305911320577

Online sanman

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Somebody put it up on Youtube, so here it is embedded:



Online FutureSpaceTourist

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SpaceX show video of side booster 1023.2 in action at McGregor:

https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/867568781928701954

Video attached.

Offline Silmfeanor

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Tweet by Elon Musk, confirmation of combined static fire - or perhaps a few static fires:

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/867667009839931393

Quote
Quote
Felix Beuster‏ @FBeuster
Will there be a static fire test of the combined boosters as well, or will Heavy static fires always be separated?

Elon Musk @elonmusk
Replying to @FBeuster

There will be a combined booster static fire. Maybe a few.

Online abaddon

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Presumably that's just the regular static fire that SpaceX conducts at the pad before all launches, with the "perhaps a few" reflective of this being the maiden launch of a new configuration and (center) core variant?  Last I remember hearing, the McGregor core test capability wasn't sized for Heavy.

Offline wannamoonbase

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Presumably that's just the regular static fire that SpaceX conducts at the pad before all launches, with the "perhaps a few" reflective of this being the maiden launch of a new configuration and (center) core variant?  Last I remember hearing, the McGregor core test capability wasn't sized for Heavy.

Given it's a 3 body vehicle I could see them trying some simulated inputs to verify engine response.  But maybe they can do that with out the engines firing.
Excited to be finally into the first Falcon Heavy flow, we are getting so close!

Online Navier–Stokes

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Elon Musk‏Verified account
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Replying to @JohnnyZenith

All Falcon Heavy cores should be at the Cape in two to three months, so launch should happen a month after that

11:51 AM - 8 Jun 2017

Offline envy887

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Replying to @JohnnyZenith

All Falcon Heavy cores should be at the Cape in two to three months, so launch should happen a month after that

11:51 AM - 8 Jun 2017

For those following along at home, that puts the launch NET Aug 8 to Sept 8, Standard Elon Time; which is roughly November, real world time.

Online cwr

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Replying to @JohnnyZenith

All Falcon Heavy cores should be at the Cape in two to three months, so launch should happen a month after that

11:51 AM - 8 Jun 2017

For those following along at home, that puts the launch NET Aug 8 to Sept 8, Standard Elon Time; which is roughly November, real world time.

Actually, that sounds like all cores at the Cape between Aug 8 and Sep 8 and the launch between Sep 8 and Oct 8 taking Elon's quote at face value.

Carl

Offline mn

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Replying to @JohnnyZenith

All Falcon Heavy cores should be at the Cape in two to three months, so launch should happen a month after that

11:51 AM - 8 Jun 2017

This ignores that fact that they are waiting for LC40 to be ready and then another 60 days to make LC39A ready for FH.

Of course the ever optimistic EM will tweet as if the pad is ready, doesn't mean it will be. (neither does this post mean it won't be)

Offline leetdan

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Alternatively, didn't Chris G recently quote SpaceX saying LC-40 was already "active"?  The 60 day window could start after Intelsat and still meet this projection.

Offline envy887

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Replying to @JohnnyZenith

All Falcon Heavy cores should be at the Cape in two to three months, so launch should happen a month after that

11:51 AM - 8 Jun 2017

This ignores that fact that they are waiting for LC40 to be ready and then another 60 days to make LC39A ready for FH.

Of course the ever optimistic EM will tweet as if the pad is ready, doesn't mean it will be. (neither does this post mean it won't be)

I highly doubt that Elon is ignoring pad availability, in his tweets or otherwise. I'm sure 3 to 4 months is aggressive, but possible if everything goes to plan.

Online gongora

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Alternatively, didn't Chris G recently quote SpaceX saying LC-40 was already "active"?  The 60 day window could start after Intelsat and still meet this projection.

No

Alternatively, didn't Chris G recently quote SpaceX saying LC-40 was already "active"?  The 60 day window could start after Intelsat and still meet this projection.

I asked him about that, and it turns out that when they said "active" they actually meant there was a lot of activity at the pad.
« Last Edit: 06/09/2017 01:15 AM by tvg98 »

Offline mn

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@elonmusk 

Replying to @JohnnyZenith

All Falcon Heavy cores should be at the Cape in two to three months, so launch should happen a month after that

11:51 AM - 8 Jun 2017

This ignores that fact that they are waiting for LC40 to be ready and then another 60 days to make LC39A ready for FH.

Of course the ever optimistic EM will tweet as if the pad is ready, doesn't mean it will be. (neither does this post mean it won't be)

I highly doubt that Elon is ignoring pad availability, in his tweets or otherwise. I'm sure 3 to 4 months is aggressive, but possible if everything goes to plan.

I don't suspect that he's ignoring it, he just chose not to mention it in his tweet, so I thought it's worth mentioning in case anyone reads his tweet and forgets about that elephant in the room.

Yes it's definitely possible, nobody is denying that, but from reading the LC40 repair thread I got the impression that it's a long shot, (just my impression, I know the official word is it will be 'activated' in august)

See here: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41060.msg1683397#msg1683397

Offline Eric Hedman

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Hi Res set from Gary Blair (taken from a public area...as always) going into L2 over the coming hours, but this is a big milestone, so passing on at least a preview as "Conehead" is cool.

We believe this is 1023 (formerly the leaning Tower of Thaicom-8). One of the two flight proven S1's that will be with the Falcon Heavy debut.
From the picture it looks like the guy wires are attached to some kind of ring placed over the cone.  Does the center core have attach points for the wires that the side cores don't or are covered up by the cone?

Offline old_sellsword

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Hi Res set from Gary Blair (taken from a public area...as always) going into L2 over the coming hours, but this is a big milestone, so passing on at least a preview as "Conehead" is cool.

We believe this is 1023 (formerly the leaning Tower of Thaicom-8). One of the two flight proven S1's that will be with the Falcon Heavy debut.
From the picture it looks like the guy wires are attached to some kind of ring placed over the cone.  Does the center core have attach points for the wires that the side cores don't or are covered up by the cone?

The center core (and normal F9s for that matter) have those same guy wires attach to their interstage separation mechanisms. Since the side boosters don't have those, they use that special ring solution.

Offline wredlich

Hope this isn't a stupid question. I'm planning to drive up to watch the Falcon Heavy launch (and landings) in the fall. Thinking the best view might be from a boat.

There must be rules about how close boats can get to the launch site, but I can't find them. I searched on Google and also in the forums here. So far I can't find anything.

Can anyone point me to such rules?

Offline BruceM

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Hope this isn't a stupid question. I'm planning to drive up to watch the Falcon Heavy launch (and landings) in the fall. Thinking the best view might be from a boat.

There must be rules about how close boats can get to the launch site, but I can't find them. I searched on Google and also in the forums here. So far I can't find anything.

Can anyone point me to such rules?

The restrictions for Cape Canaveral launches are generally temporary and depend on launch date and time among other things.

Temporary restrictions are published as Notices to Mariners (and they also have similar Notices to Airmen).  You can access them for the entire US (along with much other navigation info) at Department of Homeland Security Navigation Center at: https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=lnmMain.  For USCG District 7 which includes Cape Canaveral and much more north and south go here:  https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=lnmDistrict&region=7.  You can also subscribe and DHS will send them to you as they are issued.

Offline Kabloona

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Hope this isn't a stupid question. I'm planning to drive up to watch the Falcon Heavy launch (and landings) in the fall. Thinking the best view might be from a boat.

There must be rules about how close boats can get to the launch site, but I can't find them. I searched on Google and also in the forums here. So far I can't find anything.

Can anyone point me to such rules?

You can see the hazard areas designated as keep-out zones for previous launches on this map made by one of the forum members:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1GwvMWuWyokeVZJWqy9nNMH_Pug4&ll=28.60369278482171%2C-80.25713888830194&z=10

Just click the box for the particular mission to see the associated hazard map. You'll see the hazard area varies depending on the launch azimuth, etc. Don't know how the FH hazard areas will compare, but this should give you an idea of minimum allowable approach distances. Since FH carries much more propellant than F9, the FH hazard areas may be larger.

And if you do go, please don't be the "wayward boat" that wanders into the box and causes a launch scrub.  ;)
« Last Edit: 06/11/2017 01:12 AM by Kabloona »

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Sorry if it's been answered - but what's the payload going to be on this demo mission? Or will it be kept secret until close to the launch date? Will a Dragon capsule be involved in this demo flight?

Online KaiFarrimond

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Sorry if it's been answered - but what's the payload going to be on this demo mission? Or will it be kept secret until close to the launch date? Will a Dragon capsule be involved in this demo flight?

Gwynne has stated that there won't be a customer for the first FH flight during the LC-39A press conference before the CRS-10 launch. So most likely just a mass simulator.
« Last Edit: 06/11/2017 09:37 AM by KaiFarrimond »
Of Course I Still Love You; We Have A Falcon 9 Onboard!

Online gongora

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Just a reminder, payload speculation for the mission can go here:
Falcon Heavy Demo Mission Payload Speculation
« Last Edit: 06/11/2017 03:32 PM by gongora »

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Offline ThePonjaX

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Elon Musk‏
@elonmusk
Side booster rockets return to Cape Canaveral. Center lands on droneship.

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/890774088104370176

Another confirmation

Offline ChrisC

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Not really news to us, but another confirmation for the record:

Q to Elon:  who lands first?

A from Elon: Sides run high thrust, center is lower thrust until sides separate & fly back. Center then throttles up, keeps burning & lands on droneship.  ... If we're lucky

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/890810308326940672
« Last Edit: 07/29/2017 02:56 AM by ChrisC »
NASA TV in HD:  history, FAQ and latest status

Offline macpacheco

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Not really news to us, but another confirmation for the record:

Q to Elon:  who lands first?

A from Elon: Sides run high thrust, center is lower thrust until sides separate & fly back. Center then throttles up, keeps burning & lands on droneship.  ... If we're lucky

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/890810308326940672
Side boosters land first.
Center booster flies longer and higher, so when it finishes burning it has more energy => higher apogee => longer flight time
Looking for companies doing great things for much more than money

Offline jpo234

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« Last Edit: 08/31/2017 01:40 PM by jpo234 »
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

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Cross post from core spotting:
FH side booster in McGregor:
https://m.facebook.com/groups/spacexgroup/permalink/10155786087011318/
Beautiful shot.Can't wait to see the demo flight of FH.

It seems that the preliminary date for the launch is 11/28, but it is subject to change as we all know.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/spacexgroup/permalink/10155786131776318/
« Last Edit: 08/31/2017 01:42 PM by tvg98 »

Online gongora

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 ;D FCC Application for Launch Vehicle Communications Mission 1346 - Falcon Heavy

Quote
This STA is necessary to authorize launch vehicle communications for SpaceX Mission 1346, Complex 39a, Kennedy Space Center. Application includes three sub-orbital first stage boosters, and an orbital second stage. Trajectory data will be provided directly to NTIA, USAF, and NASA. All downrange Earth stations are receive-only. The launch licensing authority is FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation.

Different frequencies are listed for communication with first stage, second stage, S1-a, and S1-b.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Quote
spacex Falcon Heavy’s three first stage cores have all completed testing at our rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas. This side booster previously launched SpaceX’s ninth resupply mission to the @ISS.

https://instagram.com/p/BYheQbWF0dm/

Edit to add video
« Last Edit: 09/02/2017 03:16 AM by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline guckyfan

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It is on YouTube now


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FCC Permit Application for FH Demo Stage Recovery
Quote
This STA uses information from previous application 0739-EX-ST-2017, and covers three experimental first-stage recovery operations following a Falcon 9 launch from Cape Canaveral. This request for authority is limited to two functions: 1) pre-launch checkout test of the TC uplink from an onshore station at CCAFS (less than five minutes in duration) 2) experimental uplink testing from the an onshore station at CCAFS during first-stage descent (less than five minutes in duration) Both operations are pre-coordinated with the launch Range. Launch vehicle flight communications for this mission are covered by a separate STA.

The ASDS is closer to shore for this mission than it is normally stationed for GTO flights:
North  29  0  20    West  77  7  55

Offline CJ

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FCC Permit Application for FH Demo Stage Recovery
Quote
This STA uses information from previous application 0739-EX-ST-2017, and covers three experimental first-stage recovery operations following a Falcon 9 launch from Cape Canaveral. This request for authority is limited to two functions: 1) pre-launch checkout test of the TC uplink from an onshore station at CCAFS (less than five minutes in duration) 2) experimental uplink testing from the an onshore station at CCAFS during first-stage descent (less than five minutes in duration) Both operations are pre-coordinated with the launch Range. Launch vehicle flight communications for this mission are covered by a separate STA.

The ASDS is closer to shore for this mission than it is normally stationed for GTO flights:
North  29  0  20    West  77  7  55

Anyone know why the ASDS might be closer to shore? The center core, all things being equal, would have a higher speed at MECO than a F9 ist stage. My SWAG would be far greater margins for this mission (so, a bit of a boostback) or, lofted trajectory.

Offline stcks

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Anyone know why the ASDS might be closer to shore? The center core, all things being equal, would have a higher speed at MECO than a F9 ist stage. My SWAG would be far greater margins for this mission (so, a bit of a boostback) or, lofted trajectory.

The center core should have a higher MECO speed -- but remember it can also have more gas left in the tank which allows for a boostback burn. It could also simply be a much loftier trajectory.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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No third pad for core to RTLS (yet), so barge landing.

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Also it could have a max payload size dummy weight 20+mt. The max size for the current standard payload attach fittings. This would put the trajectory as a high LEO or even a GTO but with significant prop remaining in center stage. AF would be interested in the 20+mt real data lofting capabilities. SpaceX wants to know it too.

Offline mheney

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There's a line somewhere between "Relevant Discussion" and "No Speculation" - we may be nearing that fuzzy boundary ....

Offline jfallen

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Has there been any movement on the date, since the tentative date of 11/28.  I am going to be in Orlando around then and I will change all plans to go see this.

Offline envy887

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Has there been any movement on the date, since the tentative date of 11/28.  I am going to be in Orlando around then and I will change all plans to go see this.

We're waiting for confirmation that LC-40 will be a go for KoreaSat; if it is, then 11/28 is still roughly on track since it's 57 days after the last F9 off 39A.

Offline edkyle99

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Has there been any movement on the date, since the tentative date of 11/28.  I am going to be in Orlando around then and I will change all plans to go see this.

We're waiting for confirmation that LC-40 will be a go for KoreaSat; if it is, then 11/28 is still roughly on track since it's 57 days after the last F9 off 39A.
But let's be realistic.  Facility mods have to be completed and tested, and then SpaceX is going to start doing something that it has never done.  It is going to try to join three stages together on a new transporter, test them electrically and otherwise, then move them to the pad and fill them with nearly 2.7 million pounds of propellant, then fire all 27 engines at once, producing more than 5 million pounds of thrust.  The potential for delay should be apparent. 

I don't even want to think about the risk of the launch itself.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 09/21/2017 02:13 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline ugordan

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My 2c is that expecting LC-39A to be converted and FH ready to launch in November, especially on that specific date is ludicrous.

Offline jfallen

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I would be happy to drive by and see it on the stand, maybe there is still a chance that will happen by 28 Nov.  I imagine they will have it up a few times before lighting up the candle(s).

Online vaporcobra

I would be happy to drive by and see it on the stand, maybe there is still a chance that will happen by 28 Nov.  I imagine they will have it up a few times before lighting up the candle(s).

I suspect there is a good chance of pad tests by then, even if the launch slips into 2018. But the likelihood of those tests being on the same days you're available are rather tiny 😬

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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What to watch for:
1. TE/L tests at LC40
2. Fit checks at both
3. WDR FH
4. F9 launch from LC40
5. Payload for FH ;)
6. FH hotfire(s)
...
Launch!

My "cup of coffee" bet is launch before February, assuming November for 1. Redeemable only in Lompoc after a Falcon/Atlas launch.

Offline woods170

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What to watch for:
1. TE/L tests at LC40
2. Fit checks at both
3. WDR FH
4. F9 launch from LC40
5. Payload for FH ;)
6. FH hotfire(s)
...
Launch!

My "cup of coffee" bet is launch before February, assuming November for 1. Redeemable only in Lompoc after a Falcon/Atlas launch.
That's a pretty good bet considering what I keep hearing from SpaceX folks. Chances of FH being launched before this year is out are slim. End of November 2017 is a NET. Very much a NET. And will shift several more times.

Offline cscott

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LC39A still has significant chunks of the RSS as well, and my understanding is that needs to be down before FH can launch.  If the issue is vibration, probably needs to be down before FH static test.

Offline old_sellsword

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LC39A still has significant chunks of the RSS as well, and my understanding is that needs to be down before FH can launch.  If the issue is vibration, probably needs to be down before FH static test.

It doesn’t have to be, but it probably will be anyways at the rate it’s coming down.

Offline envy887

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What to watch for:
1. TE/L tests at LC40
2. Fit checks at both
3. WDR FH
4. F9 launch from LC40
5. Payload for FH ;)
6. FH hotfire(s)
...
Launch!

My "cup of coffee" bet is launch before February, assuming November for 1. Redeemable only in Lompoc after a Falcon/Atlas launch.

So you are saying KoreaSat-5A isn't going off 40 in mid October?

Offline Comga

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There's a line somewhere between "Relevant Discussion" and "No Speculation" - we may be nearing that fuzzy boundary ....

Right
This is rabidly veering into rampant speculation.  All we know about FH is the NET date.  No one has spotted anything relevant at LC-40 or LC-39A.  No official FH announcements. KoreasSat-5A has its own threads.

Mods: Delete this if you wish.  It's admittedly not an update or a discussion of an update, which we haven't had since perhaps gongora's post two weeks ago.
I am as anxious as anyone for this to happen but can we stop posting questions here?
When there is something, it will be posted here.  Asking won't make it happen any sooner.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline leetdan

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Is this post considered less-than-definitive? (Re: SES-11 on 39 / Koreasat on 40)

L2 KSC schedule has updated for the first time since Irma:

Oct 2 is the NET.

39A is the pad (last one before FH).

Sept 29 is the Static Fire NET.

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Some FH update here.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/09/spacex-realign-manifest-double-launch-salvo/

Quote
Depending on any potential get-ahead work SpaceX can conduct on the 39A TEL inbetween Falcon 9 mission, it is also becoming more unlikely Falcon Heavy will debut in November.

The November target was always notional based on the milestones the new rocket will have to pass before it even reaches launch day.

Offline Comga

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Quote
Tweet from Stephen Clark
SpaceX sets Oct. 7 & 9 launch dates for next two Falcon 9 flights from East and West Coasts. Koreasat 5A in late Oct. confirmed from pad 39A

Unless SpaceX can reduce the estimated 60 days minimum rework for 39A, that puts the FH demo NET late December which means likely 2018.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Online gongora

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Obviously November is extremely unlikely but we might as well wait a little longer for an updated estimate before we start changing the listed date.

Offline envy887

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Three SpaceX leaders seem pretty confident that FH will fly in December:

Elon at IAC 2017.

Gwynne at Stanford yesterday:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43934.msg1735739#msg1735739

Tom Ochinero, in this article by Peter B. de Selding:
https://www.spaceintelreport.com/spacex-reassures-commercial-satellite-market-falcon-9-wont-soon-scrapped-bfr/

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...and, in related news, there are now zero scheduled launches of Falcon 9 in December.  So it does seem likely they are serious about at least getting Falcon Heavy on the pad at 39-A this calendar year.

Maybe also a sign that SLC-40 isn't going to be ready until next year.  Or maybe they just want all hands on deck for the Falcon Heavy maiden launch campaign.
« Last Edit: 10/12/2017 01:39 PM by abaddon »

Online gongora

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We really don't know yet if there will be East Coast Falcon 9 launches in December.  Right now I could just as easily see them clearing out November instead of December.

Offline envy887

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We really don't know yet if there will be East Coast Falcon 9 launches in December.  Right now I could just as easily see them clearing out November instead of December.

If CRS-13 is Nov 28 and it bumps HispaSat back, I could easily seen both dropping into December. But both are tentatively expected to go from 40, so 39A could go into full FH demo mode once KoreaSat launches in a few weeks.

Offline octavo

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...and, in related news, there are now zero scheduled launches of Falcon 9 in December.  So it does seem likely they are serious about at least getting Falcon Heavy on the pad at 39-A this calendar year.

Maybe also a sign that SLC-40 isn't going to be ready until next year.  Or maybe they just want all hands on deck for the Falcon Heavy maiden launch campaign.

Crossposting:

Yes. According official FCC application issued last week (3th Oct) SpaceX plans launch CRS-13 mission from Complex 40.

They're serious about late Nov for slc - 40

Offline Michael Baylor

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A look at progress on the new landing zone over the last month.

Online vaporcobra

A look at progress on the new landing zone over the last month.

Worth a repost.

Offline Comga

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The last two images make a nice sequence.
It indeed looks like SpaceX started with the 200' square.
They poured the arc (or "lune") farthest from the road before the image above.
Then they poured the "side arcs" before the image above that one.
If we have the dates from the EXIFs we could guess if they have the last piece in place already.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Online vaporcobra

The last two images make a nice sequence.
It indeed looks like SpaceX started with the 200' square.
They poured the arc (or "lune") farthest from the road before the image above.
Then they poured the "side arcs" before the image above that one.
If we have the dates from the EXIFs we could guess if they have the last piece in place already.

I wish Instagram preserved original EXIF data :( It was posted on 9 October and I expect it was taken a couple hours or days before at most.

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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core 1025 headed to the cape!

https://imgur.com/gallery/RJfT5
"Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace." - Robert Goddard

Online Herb Schaltegger

core 1025 headed to the cape!

https://imgur.com/gallery/RJfT5

That's exciting an all, but weren't we told weeks ago (longer maybe?) that all three FH cores were already there? 
Ad astra per aspirin ...

Offline old_sellsword

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core 1025 headed to the cape!

https://imgur.com/gallery/RJfT5

That's exciting an all, but weren't we told weeks ago (longer maybe?) that all three FH cores were already there?

Yes, but this one hadn’t gone back to Texas yet for testing. Now they’re all at the Cape and they’ve all been tested.

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