Author Topic: What's gonna happen with all the boosters?  (Read 7360 times)

Offline CorvusCorax

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What's gonna happen with all the boosters?
« on: 02/23/2017 09:35 PM »
SpaceX is accumulating used boosters.

That's a bit of a problem, since the block 3 and 4 designs are superseded by block 5, which includes all the upgrades for "real" reuseability.

The boosters recovered so far are going to have to either...

- get upgraded to block 5 specs
- remain at block 3/4 techlevel and possibly need much more time consuming refurbishment
- get to fly expendable
- get scrapped
- a combo of above

So far only three boosters are even publicly considered to be reflown. SES 10 and the FH demo sidebooster(s?)

But in the same time period they are gonna accumulate the same amount of more flown boosters again. That's going to be a lot of deprecated hardware.

Are we gonna see "booster boneyards" in Arizona at some point?

Offline rpapo

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Re: What's gonna happen with all the boosters?
« Reply #1 on: 02/23/2017 09:39 PM »
If they aren't going to use them, then they can be treated the same way we treat old cars: the valuable parts are removed, and the rest sent to the mill to be recycled.  The question is actually, just how recyclable is aluminum-lithium alloy painted with SPAM?
An Apollo fanboy . . . fifty years ago.

Offline meekGee

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Re: What's gonna happen with all the boosters?
« Reply #2 on: 02/23/2017 10:01 PM »
They can start a brewery.
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Offline vapour_nudge

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Re: What's gonna happen with all the boosters?
« Reply #3 on: 02/23/2017 10:18 PM »
Next time an ASDS goes out to recover a block 5 booster, put the older boosters on board and push them overboard when out at sea before the recovery attempt.

Online IanThePineapple

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Re: What's gonna happen with all the boosters?
« Reply #4 on: 02/23/2017 10:28 PM »
Next time an ASDS goes out to recover a block 5 booster, put the older boosters on board and push them overboard when out at sea before the recovery attempt.

Genius. I'll call Elon.

But honestly, wouldn't it be cool to display them at museums? It's not that often you get to see a rocket stage that maneuvered itself to land on a barge. Perhaps make exhibits at museums similar to the Saturn V building at KSC
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Online ZachS09

Re: What's gonna happen with all the boosters?
« Reply #5 on: 02/23/2017 10:43 PM »
Personally, I would fly the Block 3/4 boosters a second time; they would go the expendable route instead of using JRTI or OCISLY.
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

Online John Alan

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Re: What's gonna happen with all the boosters?
« Reply #6 on: 02/23/2017 10:58 PM »
Reuse some... but scrap out the rest...  ;)

Stages sitting in hangers for over 6 months are a liability IMHO and need to be disposed of as recycled scrap...  ???


They parked the first one at HQ... good enough for me...  8)
« Last Edit: 02/23/2017 11:00 PM by John Alan »

Offline Darkseraph

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Re: What's gonna happen with all the boosters?
« Reply #7 on: 02/23/2017 11:00 PM »
Perhaps they could refly some of them for internal SpaceX missions like Red Dragon, Dragon-Lab, In-Flight Abort or Internet Constellation test sats.
"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." R.P.Feynman

Online spacenut

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Re: What's gonna happen with all the boosters?
« Reply #8 on: 02/23/2017 11:04 PM »
Of all the accumulated boosters, what block numbers are they?

  Like someone said.  Take off the legs and fly the older block numbers as expendable.  Still cuts launch costs if only flown twice. 

Online ZachS09

Re: What's gonna happen with all the boosters?
« Reply #9 on: 02/23/2017 11:33 PM »
I still have no idea which of the boosters are Block 3 or 4.
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Online IanThePineapple

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Re: What's gonna happen with all the boosters?
« Reply #10 on: 02/23/2017 11:42 PM »
Perhaps they could refly some of them for internal SpaceX missions like Red Dragon, Dragon-Lab, In-Flight Abort or Internet Constellation test sats.

They will need a LOT of F9s for the internet constellation...
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Offline RonM

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Re: What's gonna happen with all the boosters?
« Reply #11 on: 02/23/2017 11:50 PM »
For one thing, they are not boosters, they are F9 first stages. That said, they could be converted to be FH boosters.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: What's gonna happen with all the boosters?
« Reply #12 on: 02/24/2017 12:17 AM »
For one thing, they are not boosters, they are F9 first stages. That said, they could be converted to be FH boosters.
The term "booster" has long been used to refer to the first stage of a multi-stage rocket (and sometimes informally even when discussing the entire multi-stage rocket), so yes, they are boosters.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 02/24/2017 12:22 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline Darkseraph

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Re: What's gonna happen with all the boosters?
« Reply #13 on: 02/24/2017 12:20 AM »
Perhaps they could refly some of them for internal SpaceX missions like Red Dragon, Dragon-Lab, In-Flight Abort or Internet Constellation test sats.

They will need a LOT of F9s for the internet constellation...
Yes they will, which is why I qualified that  withtest sats. AFAIK, they intially plan to fly test versions of these internet sats before beginning to deploy the full system. That will take dozens of flights on what I presume will be Block 5 F9.
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Re: What's gonna happen with all the boosters?
« Reply #14 on: 02/24/2017 12:32 AM »
For one thing, they are not boosters, they are F9 first stages.     ...
Sorry, that claim won't fly. Not only does Elon Musk refer to the first stage as a booster, but so does ULA for both the Atlas V and the Delta IV.
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Online IanThePineapple

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Re: What's gonna happen with all the boosters?
« Reply #15 on: 02/24/2017 12:37 AM »
For one thing, they are not boosters, they are F9 first stages.     ...
Sorry, that claim won't fly. Not only does Elon Musk refer to the first stage as a booster, but so does ULA for both the Atlas V and the Delta IV.

So much so that the Atlas' first stage cutoff is BECO- booster engine cutoff.
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Online SweetWater

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Re: What's gonna happen with all the boosters?
« Reply #16 on: 02/24/2017 12:53 AM »
Next time an ASDS goes out to recover a block 5 booster, put the older boosters on board and push them overboard when out at sea before the recovery attempt.

I enjoy scuba diving in my free time, and I get a particular kick out of wrecks and artificial reefs. I would definitely go out of my way to dive on a spent Falcon 9 stage. I'm not sure about the practicalities of sinking one, but compared to a controlled landing on a barge at sea, it seems like a solvable problem...

Offline RonM

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Re: What's gonna happen with all the boosters?
« Reply #17 on: 02/24/2017 01:06 AM »
Ok, I stand corrected. They're all boosters.

The block 3 and 4 boosters could be used as side boosters on FH if SpaceX only wants block 5 boosters for F9 or the FH core.

Offline macpacheco

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Re: What's gonna happen with all the boosters?
« Reply #18 on: 02/24/2017 01:47 AM »
Block 3/4 boosters will be used as follows:
1 - Remanufacture them as FH side boosters (already done for at least one of FH demo launch side boosters).
2 - Expend them on a full performance GTO launch. Excellent opportunity for SpaceX to show what the F9 stack can do even without Block 5 performance. SES-10 first case.
3 - Use them for non CRS LEO/Polar launches like Iridium/Orbcomm/first SX Internet sat launch. I'm excluding CRS as NASA should at least require a full year until it oks a process to reuse boosters for CRS missions. Recover. Refurb. Relaunch. Do 2 reflights like this, then expend it as item 2.

In the end I expect most block 3/4 boosters to be remanufactured into FH side sticks.
« Last Edit: 02/26/2017 06:03 AM by macpacheco »
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Offline Ludus

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Re: What's gonna happen with all the boosters?
« Reply #19 on: 02/25/2017 03:11 PM »
SpaceX is focused on getting to Block 5 and standardizing rapid reusability processes around it so they can build up the launch cadence. Every exception for reusing the pre-block 5 makes that a little harder. I don't think it's a bad thing to just leave them in storage and decide what to do with them later. Once block 5 is in production later this year there won't be any more added.

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