Author Topic: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations  (Read 39598 times)

Offline cscott

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #200 on: 03/13/2017 06:44 PM »
Unlikely, but maybe still least unlikely, they have advanced the legs so much that they can do reentry without firing by using the legs partially deployed as aerobrakes and for a lifting trajectory.

Given that it almost looks like New Glenn will attempt this with the rudimentary wings maybe not too outlandish. It would explain a large jump in reusable performance.
This might also explain why falcon 9 will always have legs (it returns in earth atmosphere, they will use block 5 to develop leggy aerobraking) and cradle-landing will be restricted to ITS (required leg sizes don't yield enough aerobraking due to scaling issues).  The Mars lander might use the result of the leggy aerobraking developed on F9, although Mars atmosphere is thin enough that I'm not positive it's worth it there.

Offline butters

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #201 on: 03/13/2017 06:47 PM »
Was there a post somewhere in this thread about what is known about Block 5 upgrades and how they add up to impressive performance gains?

Offline Jcc

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #202 on: 03/13/2017 07:07 PM »
Was there a post somewhere in this thread about what is known about Block 5 upgrades and how they add up to impressive performance gains?

That's what "search" is for.
Mainly, it will be to improve reliability, manufacturability and reuse.

Offline spacenut

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #203 on: 03/13/2017 07:14 PM »
I tried the search, but it has it's limitations.  I too would like to know the block 5 performance gains.  I thought that they have already gone to full thrust engines.  I would assume it would be strengthening weak components, like the helium tanks on the second stage. 

Offline fthomassy

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #204 on: 03/13/2017 07:23 PM »
I tried the search, but it has it's limitations.  I too would like to know the block 5 performance gains.  I thought that they have already gone to full thrust engines.  I would assume it would be strengthening weak components, like the helium tanks on the second stage.
It's not always on NSF
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falcon_9#Falcon_9_Block_5
gyatm . . . Fern

Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #205 on: 03/13/2017 07:33 PM »
I tried the search, but it has it's limitations.  I too would like to know the block 5 performance gains.  I thought that they have already gone to full thrust engines.  I would assume it would be strengthening weak components, like the helium tanks on the second stage.
It's not always on NSF
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falcon_9#Falcon_9_Block_5

I love that page, i was looking at it a few weeks ago.  It's a wonderful table summarizing the evolution of the F9. 

Very impressive growth in capability.
I know they don't need it, but Crossfeed would be super cool.

Offline envy887

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #206 on: 03/13/2017 07:39 PM »
I tried the search, but it has it's limitations.  I too would like to know the block 5 performance gains.  I thought that they have already gone to full thrust engines.  I would assume it would be strengthening weak components, like the helium tanks on the second stage.
It's not always on NSF
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falcon_9#Falcon_9_Block_5

The highlighted part of the Wiki table is incorrect. The 7607 kN thrust is Block 5 at liftoff, and is not flying yet AFAIK. There is no Falcon upgrade that will have 8451 kN, that is the VACUUM thrust of the same vehicle that gets 7607 kN at sea level (plus error from multiple unit conversions with rounding). All this is obvious from the SpaceX Falcon 9 page:
« Last Edit: 03/13/2017 07:40 PM by envy887 »

Offline envy887

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #207 on: 03/13/2017 07:46 PM »
Was there a post somewhere in this thread about what is known about Block 5 upgrades and how they add up to impressive performance gains?

The performance improving changes that known for sure are the Merlin thrust upgrades (to 7607 kN at SL) and expected changes to the COPVs to allow rapid filling (which will lighten the upper stage).

There is a updated version of the fairing and of the landing legs coming. It's not clear if those are lighter for performance gains, but that seems likely.

Offline rsdavis9

Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #208 on: 03/13/2017 08:20 PM »
I heard a while back improvements for restartability after being roasted on reentry. I think it was Hans that mentioned it. Not sure what block it will show up in. Could be just better insulation of plumbing which might not require a block number to change.
bob

Offline JazzFan

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #209 on: 03/13/2017 08:48 PM »
Was there a post somewhere in this thread about what is known about Block 5 upgrades and how they add up to impressive performance gains?

The performance improving changes that known for sure are the Merlin thrust upgrades (to 7607 kN at SL) and expected changes to the COPVs to allow rapid filling (which will lighten the upper stage).

There is a updated version of the fairing and of the landing legs coming. It's not clear if those are lighter for performance gains, but that seems likely.

8,451 kN is a 24.2% increase from the initial full thrust capability. 
« Last Edit: 03/13/2017 11:09 PM by JazzFan »

Offline feynmanrules

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #210 on: 03/15/2017 09:40 PM »

*ALL* SpaceX has to do is increase reliability as fast as possible to close to Atlas levels, get cadence and predictability down pat, and prove out that reuse lets them get their costs to 30M a launch or so... *ALL* they have to do is all of that and there isn't much room for a 150M a launch provider except for very high end specialty/government payloads.


and, and, and, and......

Yeah, and if a frog had wings

The bet would be straight up.  There is no weasling out with odds.  Either you put up or ....

And becoming the American Proton doesn't count.  That is a pyrrhic victory.

Lar is also discounting how market will change if SpaceX does what it intends.   The bet is that lowering launch costs will grow the launch market so that it's not just a few companies fighting for a fixed pie.   Lowering costs can help... maybe you'll get a lot more cube sats and more com sats.

Also SpX's own multi-thousand-sat venture...  intent here is to have a service in a much higher revenue/profit market that can leverage disruption.   Eg if their internet service can be upgraded 2x as fast as next comparable provider bc of launch costs...  other companies will have to upgrade more, launch more and the launch market grows.    Space tourism could also be a completely new and significant market created that is incredibly tiny today.   

Point is... if you increase the market growth rate, investments there will attract more capital bc it can support more competition.   

Disruptor companies sometimes market themselves in david-and-goliath ways.   It's mostly marketing tho.... investors don't typically pump in large sums hoping to capture 100% of a flat market.    They're fine with a nice chunk of an inflating one.   

If somehow an investment turns into a monopoly business then great but it's rarely the expectation outside of  cheap marketing from fan boys who love telling tales of good-vs-evil. ;)

In reality.... If spaceX "wins" then ULA should win too.   This isn't Highlander.


Offline smfarmer11

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #211 on: 03/20/2017 03:28 PM »
A partially redesigned fairing to better suit the deployment of the constellation would make economic sense if they could fit even one or two more satellites per launch. Since that would reduce the number of required launches around 10%.

Offline watermod

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #212 on: 03/20/2017 03:35 PM »
A partially redesigned fairing to better suit the deployment of the constellation would make economic sense if they could fit even one or two more satellites per launch. Since that would reduce the number of required launches around 10%.

For the sat network why not just turn the question around - how can they make the whole faring end of the second stage rocket a specialized MIRV sort of dispenser.  Maybe not a pair of fairing but rather a dispenser cap that needs opening?

Offline envy887

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #213 on: 03/20/2017 03:47 PM »
Was there a post somewhere in this thread about what is known about Block 5 upgrades and how they add up to impressive performance gains?

The performance improving changes that known for sure are the Merlin thrust upgrades (to 7607 kN at SL) and expected changes to the COPVs to allow rapid filling (which will lighten the upper stage).

There is a updated version of the fairing and of the landing legs coming. It's not clear if those are lighter for performance gains, but that seems likely.

8,451 kN is a 24.2% increase from the initial full thrust capability.

8,451 kN is NOT a real number. Elon tweeted "1.9 million lbf" and somebody converted that to kN, which is 8,451.62... but Elon was referring to the vacuum thrust of the vehicle that gets 7,607 kN at liftoff. Which is 1.85 million lbf. This is why rounding, unit conversion, dropping and adding significant figures, and conflating SL and Vac numbers is misleading.

Look at the published numbers here: http://www.spacex.com/falcon9

Offline Nomadd

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #214 on: 03/20/2017 04:43 PM »
Was there a post somewhere in this thread about what is known about Block 5 upgrades and how they add up to impressive performance gains?

The performance improving changes that known for sure are the Merlin thrust upgrades (to 7607 kN at SL) and expected changes to the COPVs to allow rapid filling (which will lighten the upper stage).

There is a updated version of the fairing and of the landing legs coming. It's not clear if those are lighter for performance gains, but that seems likely.

8,451 kN is a 24.2% increase from the initial full thrust capability.

8,451 kN is NOT a real number. Elon tweeted "1.9 million lbf" and somebody converted that to kN, which is 8,451.62... but Elon was referring to the vacuum thrust of the vehicle that gets 7,607 kN at liftoff. Which is 1.85 million lbf. This is why rounding, unit conversion, dropping and adding significant figures, and conflating SL and Vac numbers is misleading.

Look at the published numbers here: http://www.spacex.com/falcon9
Wikipedia depends on people like you to correct those things.

Offline Toast

Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #215 on: 03/20/2017 05:51 PM »
Wikipedia depends on people like you to correct those things.

Agreed. Whenever you see something wrong on Wikipedia, don't complain, fix it. It doesn't take long to learn how, you can even use visual editors if you don't want to learn the markup. When I read this thread the other day, I went ahead and added the [citation needed] flag to that number, but I just went ahead and deleted it altogether today now that envy887 has tracked down the source for the 8,451 number.

Offline DOCinCT

Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #216 on: 03/24/2017 08:16 PM »
Was there a post somewhere in this thread about what is known about Block 5 upgrades and how they add up to impressive performance gains?

The performance improving changes that known for sure are the Merlin thrust upgrades (to 7607 kN at SL) and expected changes to the COPVs to allow rapid filling (which will lighten the upper stage).


There is a updated version of the fairing and of the landing legs coming. It's not clear if those are lighter for performance gains, but that seems likely.

8,451 kN is a 24.2% increase from the initial full thrust capability.
The major updates to the fairing are likely for recover-ability and a larger size with enhanced PAF for the Falcon Heavy.

Offline Asmegin

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #217 on: 03/30/2017 11:28 AM »
Didn't see this posted anywhere - sorry if it has been discussed.

Reddit user /em-power, who is a ex-SpaceX employee, has claimed that SpaceX has switched from welding to bolting the Octaweb.

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/62c5c6/f9_octawebs_not_being_welded_anymore/

He had previously posted the rumour with the following posts:

Quote
each octaweb takes about 3 months to go through the welding process from start to finish, there are MULTIPLE NDE checks at each step of the process'.

Quote
the octaweb team is typically 5-6 welders working day shift and 2-3 night shift. at any time there are about 5-6 octawebs in different stages of build, but each one spends roughly 3-4 months in that department from start to finish.



Offline spacenut

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #218 on: 03/30/2017 01:19 PM »
What would the LEO payload be if they went expendable on a Block 5 F9 and FH.   Would FH do 60 or 70 tons, say if NASA needed a payload that heavy and could fit.  Seems like SpaceX can up their capabilities, but their fairing size could be larger.  They also are limited by the diameter of the vehicle. 

Offline Eagandale4114

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #219 on: 03/31/2017 12:17 AM »
Musk: New design coming for Grid Fin.  Will be largest titanium forging in the world.  Current Grid Fin is aluminum and gets so hot it lights on fire... which isn't good for reuse.

Seems like the fins will be a part of this upgrade.

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