Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon Heavy : STP-2 mission : LC-39A : NET Apr 30, 2018  (Read 128317 times)

Online Chris Bergin

DISCUSSION thread for STP-2 mission.

NSF Threads for STP-2 : Discussion / ASDS / Party
NSF Articles for STP-2 :

NET April 30 of 2018 on Falcon Heavy from LC-39A at Cape Canaveral.  This will be the third flight of Falcon Heavy.

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




http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/12/spacex-foot-eelv-door-double-launch-contract-win/

UGordan with the find on the description of STP-2 payload: https://www.fbo.gov/utils/view?id=36de6af7670d2636c8c195173dd500e1

Offline simonbp

Wow, this looks like a complicated mission. Two primary spacecraft inserted into different orbits (one LEO, one 12,000 km) and a ton of secondaries. Looks like every spare spacecraft the USAF could think of...

Offline Lee Jay

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Interesting article.  Thanks!

"With these two missions supporting the EELV certification process for both the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, SpaceX noted they will be able to prove the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles are designed for exceptional reliability, meeting the stringent US Air Force requirements for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program."

Exceptional reliability?  To me, that would mean better than ULA, and that would require a very long string of successful missions, not just one successful demonstrator.  Is this just marketing/PR speak from SpaceX?

Offline Lars_J

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Of course it is marketing speak - until they can back it up.

But this will certainly be an interesting mission. It doesn't sound like a something pushing the lift capability to the limit, but they'll certainly give everything else a workout.

Offline spectre9

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Very cool!

Great article.

It's good to see support coming for Falcon Heavy.

Stacking all the payloads together is going to be the way to do it until somebody is willing to utilise the maximum payload to GTO. I think it's 12 tons? Not sure. Does anybody really know? With or without Merlin 1D and tank stretch  :P

Offline cleonard

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It's a wonderful opportunity for Spacex, but they need to execute.  It might seem like it's a long way off in 2015, but it's really not that far off for a vehicle that has not flown yet.

Offline Jason1701

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Very cool!

Great article.

It's good to see support coming for Falcon Heavy.

Stacking all the payloads together is going to be the way to do it until somebody is willing to utilise the maximum payload to GTO. I think it's 12 tons? Not sure. Does anybody really know? With or without Merlin 1D and tank stretch  :P

The quoted FH figures for the last few years have all been with 1D and stretch, but not always admitting that.

Online Comga

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It's a wonderful opportunity for Spacex, but they need to execute.  It might seem like it's a long way off in 2015, but it's really not that far off for a vehicle that has not flown yet.

and from a pad whose construction has not been started.
I will trust Chris that this confirms that SpaceX will launch the FH from the East coast using LC-40. 
This will be interesting.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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At the time the type was officially announced, it was implied very strongly that DoD or USAF had urged SpaceX to proceed with Falcon Heavy more quickly than they had initially planned.  I wonder if STP-2 was the mission that they had in mind, even then?
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Online john smith 19

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But this will certainly be an interesting mission. It doesn't sound like a something pushing the lift capability to the limit, but they'll certainly give everything else a workout.

IIRC the "on ramp" for new launchers (reported on nasaspaceflight.com previously) has a scale of mission reliability. I suspect these payloads are not at top end so the customers can take the hit if it does not work out.

This is a huge opportunity to go head to head with ULA and start to build credibility and the all important "mission assurance" that these customers want.

I'm presuming this won't be the first F9H launch and even if it's in Q415 that's only (best case) 23 months away, which is not long for a 2nd launch of a new LV.
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Online Chris Bergin

It's a wonderful opportunity for Spacex, but they need to execute.  It might seem like it's a long way off in 2015, but it's really not that far off for a vehicle that has not flown yet.

and from a pad whose construction has not been started.
I will trust Chris that this confirms that SpaceX will launch the FH from the East coast using LC-40. 
This will be interesting.

Yep, the plan is to have a Falcon Heavy hanger and ramp, clocked 90 degrees (could be 180, but the Cape guys say 90) from the Falcon 9 Hanger and ramp. Other options include 39A - I just made Jim frown ;D -or a new pad.....if they don't need it, they don't need it.

Was pretty specific in the presser too: "The DSCOVR mission will be launched aboard a Falcon 9 and is currently slated for late 2014, while STP-2 will be launched aboard the Falcon Heavy and is targeted for mid-2015. Both are expected to launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.".

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

It's a wonderful opportunity for Spacex, but they need to execute.  It might seem like it's a long way off in 2015, but it's really not that far off for a vehicle that has not flown yet.

and from a pad whose construction has not been started.
I will trust Chris that this confirms that SpaceX will launch the FH from the East coast using LC-40. 
This will be interesting.

Yep, the plan is to have a Falcon Heavy hanger and ramp, clocked 90 degrees (could be 180, but the Cape guys say 90) from the Falcon 9 Hanger and ramp. Other options include 39A or a new pad.

Was pretty specific in the presser too: "The DSCOVR mission will be launched aboard a Falcon 9 and is currently slated for late 2014, while STP-2 will be launched aboard the Falcon Heavy and is targeted for mid-2015. Both are expected to launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.".

But that sentence does not exclude the chances of building a new pad aside the current pad at SLC-40 (I've seen someone here call it "SLC-40B"), no?
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Offline Halidon

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At the time the type was officially announced, it was implied very strongly that DoD or USAF had urged SpaceX to proceed with Falcon Heavy more quickly than they had initially planned.  I wonder if STP-2 was the mission that they had in mind, even then?
I don't think this specific mission was on their minds, I think they pushed SpaceX to accelerate FH because F1v1 wasn't meeting their requirements in general. DoD's high valure payloads are big and may be getting bigger.

Online Chris Bergin

It's a wonderful opportunity for Spacex, but they need to execute.  It might seem like it's a long way off in 2015, but it's really not that far off for a vehicle that has not flown yet.

and from a pad whose construction has not been started.
I will trust Chris that this confirms that SpaceX will launch the FH from the East coast using LC-40. 
This will be interesting.

Yep, the plan is to have a Falcon Heavy hanger and ramp, clocked 90 degrees (could be 180, but the Cape guys say 90) from the Falcon 9 Hanger and ramp. Other options include 39A or a new pad.

Was pretty specific in the presser too: "The DSCOVR mission will be launched aboard a Falcon 9 and is currently slated for late 2014, while STP-2 will be launched aboard the Falcon Heavy and is targeted for mid-2015. Both are expected to launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.".

But that sentence does not exclude the chances of building a new pad aside the current pad at SLC-40 (I've seen someone here call it "SLC-40B"), no?

Sure, but I know the "plan" is to launch both from the same spot. What they eventually decide is "TBA". Point is, "SLC-40".

Offline woods170

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It's a wonderful opportunity for Spacex, but they need to execute.  It might seem like it's a long way off in 2015, but it's really not that far off for a vehicle that has not flown yet.

and from a pad whose construction has not been started.
I will trust Chris that this confirms that SpaceX will launch the FH from the East coast using LC-40. 
This will be interesting.
Construction for the combined Falcon 9 / Falcon Heavy launchpad at Vandenburg has been on-going for some time now.

Offline LouScheffer

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Wow, this looks like a complicated mission. Two primary spacecraft inserted into different orbits (one LEO, one 12,000 km) and a ton of secondaries. Looks like every spare spacecraft the USAF could think of...
From the document:

Insertion Orbit #1

Deliver the IPS to a circular orbit with an orbital altitude of 720 km and an orbital inclination of 24º. Deploy only the COSMIC-2 payload set, up to six APLs (TBR), and actuate up to eight P-PODs (TBR).

Insertion Orbit #2

Deliver the IPS (with remaining payloads) to the elliptical orbit with a perigee of 6,000 km, apogee of 12,000 km, and an orbital inclination of 45º. Deploy the DSX payload followed by remaining APLs and actuate remaining P-PODs. After deployment of these payloads, the LV shall enter a coast phase of [3 hours threshold, 5 hours objective]. After the coast phase, the LV shall execute an upper stage restart with a minimum duration of 5 seconds (TBR).

This looks like at least 5 burns of the second stage to me, over many hours.  #1, get into orbit with a 720 km apogee, 24 inclination.  #2, circularize at 720, release first payload.  #3, Next equator crossing, boost to a 6000 km perigee.  Coast until apogee, #4, boost to a 12000x6000 orbit and change plane to 45º.  Wait the required 3 hours for the final stage restart (#5).

I'm not an orbital mechanics guy, but you might get less delta-v by doing the last plane change at the 12,000 km apogee, rather than including it as part of burn #4.  That would be yet another burn, and a few more hours.

The Russian missions to GTO from their high latitude Proton launches are the only other ones I can think of with this many restarts, and they've had reliability problems over the years.   It's a lot of successive events, all of which must go right, and no alternatives....

Offline Jim

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At the time the type was officially announced, it was implied very strongly that DoD or USAF had urged SpaceX to proceed with Falcon Heavy more quickly than they had initially planned.  I wonder if STP-2 was the mission that they had in mind, even then?
I don't think this specific mission was on their minds, I think they pushed SpaceX to accelerate FH because F1v1 wasn't meeting their requirements in general. DoD's high valure payloads are big and may be getting bigger.

Huh?  Unwarranted speculation.  This is just a  mission made up to test the FH.  There is no pushing from the DOD either.  The onus is on Spacex to provide the vehicle, the DOD was not looking for another one.

Offline padrat

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It's a wonderful opportunity for Spacex, but they need to execute.  It might seem like it's a long way off in 2015, but it's really not that far off for a vehicle that has not flown yet.

and from a pad whose construction has not been started.
I will trust Chris that this confirms that SpaceX will launch the FH from the East coast using LC-40. 
This will be interesting.

Yep, the plan is to have a Falcon Heavy hanger and ramp, clocked 90 degrees (could be 180, but the Cape guys say 90) from the Falcon 9 Hanger and ramp. Other options include 39A - I just made Jim frown ;D -or a new pad.....if they don't need it, they don't need it.

Was pretty specific in the presser too: "The DSCOVR mission will be launched aboard a Falcon 9 and is currently slated for late 2014, while STP-2 will be launched aboard the Falcon Heavy and is targeted for mid-2015. Both are expected to launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.".
All I'm saying is that I'm hearing decisions for the Heavy pad havent been finalized yet. 39A would be nice but so far it comes with a lot of red tape, which I'm sure Spacex would like to avoid....
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Offline kevin-rf

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Well, sounds like SpaceX will have it's hands full managing the boil off. Hats off if they pull off this Hat Trick.
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Offline avollhar

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This looks like at least 5 burns of the second stage to me, over many hours.  #1, get into orbit with a 720 km apogee, 24 inclination.  #2, circularize at 720, release first payload.  #3, Next equator crossing, boost to a 6000 km perigee.  Coast until apogee, #4, boost to a 12000x6000 orbit and change plane to 45º.  Wait the required 3 hours for the final stage restart (#5).

I'm not an orbital mechanics guy, but you might get less delta-v by doing the last plane change at the 12,000 km apogee, rather than including it as part of burn #4.  That would be yet another burn, and a few more hours.


I am no orbital mechanics guy either, but had to do some math a few years ago. Indeed, changing planes is most efficient with lowest orbital velocity: high apogee, low perigee.

Therefore my best guess is:

- Launch into 720x250km transfer orbit 24 deg inclination. The 4.5 deg difference to KSC latitude could be included already.
- Burn 1: 720x720km, 24 deg incl.
- Burn 2: 720x12000km, 24 deg incl.
- Burn 3: 720x12000km, plane change to 45 deg incl.
- Burn 4: 6000x12000km, 45 deg incl.
- Burn 5: as required by contract

I don't think there is a way around separating Burn 2/3. But 3/4 could be possibly joined as they both happen at apogee.

As others noted: a hell of a launch sequence..

Offline mlindner

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I'm personally wondering about those cubesat P-PODs. My lab here has several nanosats in the pipeline that could be ready for launch in roughly that timeframe. Would be really cool to be on this launch. Only 1 of 3 planned is currently manifested.
« Last Edit: 12/06/2012 02:23 PM by mlindner »
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Offline baldusi

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I'm personally wondering about those cubesat P-PODs. My lab here has several nanosats in the pipeline that could be ready for launch in roughly that timeframe. Would be really cool to be on this launch. Only 1 of 3 planned is currently manifested.
I always joked that you could launch 25k cubesats on a Falcon Heavy for 6000USD/cubesat. Jokes aside, I don't know what sort of cubesat could use a 24deg 720km circular orbit, or a 45deg x 12.000km x 6.000km. But if somebody can use it there's that 5.000kg of ballast to fill.
And it will test some very exiting ESPA technology.

Offline LouScheffer

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This looks like at least 5 burns of the second stage to me, over many hours.  #1, get into orbit with a 720 km apogee, 24 inclination.  #2, circularize at 720, release first payload.  #3, Next equator crossing, boost to a 6000 km perigee.  Coast until apogee, #4, boost to a 12000x6000 orbit and change plane to 45º.  Wait the required 3 hours for the final stage restart (#5).

I'm not an orbital mechanics guy, but you might get less delta-v by doing the last plane change at the 12,000 km apogee, rather than including it as part of burn #4.  That would be yet another burn, and a few more hours.


[...] Indeed, changing planes is most efficient with lowest orbital velocity: high apogee, low perigee.   Therefore my best guess is:

- Launch into 720x250km transfer orbit 24 deg inclination. The 4.5 deg difference to KSC latitude could be included already.
- Burn 1: 720x720km, 24 deg incl.
- Burn 2: 720x12000km, 24 deg incl.
- Burn 3: 720x12000km, plane change to 45 deg incl.
- Burn 4: 6000x12000km, 45 deg incl.
- Burn 5: as required by contract

I don't think there is a way around separating Burn 2/3. But 3/4 could be possibly joined as they both happen at apogee.
Burns 3/4 in your sequence would definitely be combined, thanks to the triangle inequality (The vector sum of two vectors is shorter than the sum of the lengths of the two vectors, unless they are colinear, which does not apply here.)  Whether the saving from the plane change with the lower perigee outweighs the orbital-raising benefit of doing each burn at the highest velocity is not obvious, at least to me.

I suspect the true solution is to do some of the plane change at each relevant firing. Due to the sin/cos relation, you can get a sideways delta-v of 10% of the maneuver total by giving up only 0.5% in the main direction.  So you'd pick up some of the plane change on the 750 circ->750x6000, some on the 750x6000->6000x12000, and the remainder (if any) at apogee.  I'm sure that someone at SpaceX has worked this out in detail already, to make sure they have enough delta-v.

Offline Halidon

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At the time the type was officially announced, it was implied very strongly that DoD or USAF had urged SpaceX to proceed with Falcon Heavy more quickly than they had initially planned.  I wonder if STP-2 was the mission that they had in mind, even then?
I don't think this specific mission was on their minds, I think they pushed SpaceX to accelerate FH because F1v1 wasn't meeting their requirements in general. DoD's high valure payloads are big and may be getting bigger.

Huh?  Unwarranted speculation.  This is just a  mission made up to test the FH.  There is no pushing from the DOD either.  The onus is on Spacex to provide the vehicle, the DOD was not looking for another one.
You're misunderstanding me. I'm not saying SecDef called up Elon and said "build be a Heavy," I'm saying Falcon 9, at least V1, wasn't meeting requirements for the payloads DoD puts on EELVs.

DoD may not have been looking for another vehicle, but they are definitely looking to reduce costs. IF SpaceX can deliver lower costs with a reliable vehicle they'll get payloads.

Offline Antares

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Sounds like a 3 burn mission to me.
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Offline FinalFrontier

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Well between this, specualtion that FH might be the vehicle for GSC, ongoing CRS, ongoing CCDEV, and ongoing investigation into the engine one failure on the last flight, spacex sure has their hands full right now.

Really pulling for them to pull all this off.
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Offline ugordan

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Sounds like a 3 burn mission to me.

How do you get from 720x720 to 6000x12000 in one burn, because there is this final requirement for the insertion orbit #2 which accounts for an additional burn: After the coast phase, the LV shall execute an upper stage restart with a minimum duration of 5 seconds (TBR).?

Offline Robotbeat

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Sounds like a 3 burn mission to me.

How do you get from 720x720 to 6000x12000 in one burn, because there is this final requirement for the insertion orbit #2 which accounts for an additional burn: After the coast phase, the LV shall execute an upper stage restart with a minimum duration of 5 seconds (TBR).?
Agreed, I immediately thought it sounded more like a 4-burn mission.
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Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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The launch of NET August 2015 is probably prior to the Intelsat launch making this one the test launch for the East coast of FH.

Offline cleonard

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Sounds like a 3 burn mission to me.

Launch into  720x720km, 24 deg incl.
Restart 1: Increase altitude to 720x12000km, 24 deg incl.
Restart 2: Increase altitude to 6000x12000 and plane change to 45 deg
Restart 3: as required by contract

How do you get from 720x720 to 6000x12000 in one burn, because there is this final requirement for the insertion orbit #2 which accounts for an additional burn: After the coast phase, the LV shall execute an upper stage restart with a minimum duration of 5 seconds (TBR).?
Agreed, I immediately thought it sounded more like a 4-burn mission.

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Offline LouScheffer

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PDF on DSX

http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a531813.pdf

From this document:

DSX is slated to fly in a 6,000 km x 12,000 km elliptical orbit at 120 degrees retrograde.

Lucky they relaxed this requirement.  That would be the mother of all plane changes!

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

PDF on DSX

http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a531813.pdf

From this document:

DSX is slated to fly in a 6,000 km x 12,000 km elliptical orbit at 120 degrees retrograde.

Lucky they relaxed this requirement.  That would be the mother of all plane changes!

The original plan, IIRC, was to fly it along with the next DMSP mission to a polar orbit on an Atlas V (401!) with a lot of excess capability. A plane change from 98 to 120 degrees with such a payload at apogee isn't that difficult.
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Offline Orbiter

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PDF on DSX

http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a531813.pdf

From this document:

DSX is slated to fly in a 6,000 km x 12,000 km elliptical orbit at 120 degrees retrograde.

Lucky they relaxed this requirement.  That would be the mother of all plane changes!

The original plan, IIRC, was to fly it along with the next DMSP mission to a polar orbit on an Atlas V (401!) with a lot of excess capability. A plane change from 98 to 120 degrees with such a payload at apogee isn't that difficult.

It is if you're trying to get to a retrograde (ie. east to west) orbit instead of the normal prograde orbit from KSC! :) Unless I read what you guys are talking about wrong.
« Last Edit: 12/07/2012 02:27 PM by Orbiter »
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Offline LouScheffer

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PDF on DSX

http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a531813.pdf

From this document:

DSX is slated to fly in a 6,000 km x 12,000 km elliptical orbit at 120 degrees retrograde.

Lucky they relaxed this requirement.  That would be the mother of all plane changes!

The original plan, IIRC, was to fly it along with the next DMSP mission to a polar orbit on an Atlas V (401!) with a lot of excess capability. A plane change from 98 to 120 degrees with such a payload at apogee isn't that difficult.
Agreed, for a dedicated mission it's not hard.  But now it's a dual mission, and the satellite dropped off just before wants a 24 degree prograde orbit.

Offline smoliarm

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NBS reports more details on contracts:

The U.S. Air Force will pay $97 million for a Falcon 9 rocket to launch in 2014 the Deep Space Climate Observatory, a solar telescope that will be operated by NASA. It will also pay $165 million for a Falcon Heavy rocket for the military's Space Test Program-2 satellite, which is expected to fly in 2015.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/50094995/ns/technology_and_science-space/#.UMSQT3dacgp

Why are the prices so high?
-- Falcon 9: $M 97 / 54 = 1.8
-- Falcon H: $M 165 / 128 = 1.3

Is it because these missions are much more complex than typical satellite launch?
Or, do they request some additional services?

Offline Jim

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NBS reports more details on contracts:

The U.S. Air Force will pay $97 million for a Falcon 9 rocket to launch in 2014 the Deep Space Climate Observatory, a solar telescope that will be operated by NASA. It will also pay $165 million for a Falcon Heavy rocket for the military's Space Test Program-2 satellite, which is expected to fly in 2015.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/50094995/ns/technology_and_science-space/#.UMSQT3dacgp

Why are the prices so high?
-- Falcon 9: $M 97 / 54 = 1.8
-- Falcon H: $M 165 / 128 = 1.3

Is it because these missions are much more complex than typical satellite launch?
Or, do they request some additional services?

Gov't launches are always more expensive.  They ask for more data  and services since they are self insured.

This has been stated many times on this forum, the govt does not get the website price.
« Last Edit: 12/09/2012 01:12 PM by Jim »

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I'm wondering why the "premium" is higher for the Falcon 9, a flown vehicle with probably more flight history, than the Falcon Heavy, which will need not only more analysis, but also has a way more complicated integration work.

Offline ugordan

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* v1.1 has not flown. From a propulsion standpoint it's sufficiently different than a v1.0 that it shouldn't be called a flown vehicle. Especially if you throw the 5 m fairing into the mix.

* FH premium is only lower if you assume the price advertised for "Greater than 6.4 ton to GTO", otherwise the listed "commercial" price is $83 M

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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The whole intent of STP-2 is to demonstrate the full capability of the booster. So it would be a cross feed FH at a commercial price of $125M.

Notice that the add on services seem to be a fixed amount regardless of booster at about $40M.

BTW even this service done by ULA seems to be $40M. So it is a well defined manpower intensive service (lots of paperwork) that dosen't vary by booster or provider.


Offline baldusi

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* v1.1 has not flown. From a propulsion standpoint it's sufficiently different than a v1.0 that it shouldn't be called a flown vehicle. Especially if you throw the 5 m fairing into the mix.

* FH premium is only lower if you assume the price advertised for "Greater than 6.4 ton to GTO", otherwise the listed "commercial" price is $83 M
v1.1 is quite similar to v1.0. The environment is sort of known. Even engine out has some history. In fact, next year should have at least two launches from two pads, may be even three launches, which would allow for a Category 2 certification.
FH might get to fly once before this mission, and probably from another pad. No vehicle has flown with three cores and more than one engine per core. They have no experience on the cross feed. They have very little history to extrapolate. They have very little insight on engine out for a booster case.
They will even need a new hangar, modify a pad and demonstrate a new process, since they can't just copy the VAFB hangar/pad combo.
And DSCOVR is a simple mission. Burn till close to escape and release. I think  will not even need a second US burn. And they have to integrate a single payload.
STP-2 on the other hand, will have to demonstrate at least four burns, integrate some ten to twelve payloads, do a circular orbit, change plane, get to a new elliptical orbit and dispose the US.
Just the analysis and integration work should be over 50M. May be SpaceX is selling at cost and they are actually charging 85M for the launch and 80M for the rest of the services.

Offline ugordan

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v1.1 is quite similar to v1.0. The environment is sort of known.

Never underestimate the headaches even "slight" changes can give you in this business. Sort of known doesn't quite cut it. Case in point: the mere choice of location of a vent on F9 has already bitten them in the rear twice, once causing a frozen roll nozzle and once damaging a niobium nozzle extension. The engines are arranged differently, different plumbing and thrust structure, probably different gimbals (single plane?), etc.

In fact, my uneducated opinion would be that it's a bigger jump from v1.0 to v1.1 than from v1.1 to a FH (without crossfeed, at least).

I will grant you that STP-2 is a much more challenging flight profile, obviously designed as a FH shakedown flight.

Offline Mader Levap

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v1.1 is quite similar to v1.0.
I think thrid mission of F1 wants to talk with you. Something about ablative vs regenerative cooling and thrust transients, I dunno.
Be successful.  Then tell the haters to (BLEEP) off. - deruch
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Presumably the USAF certification efforts will occur for the first launch.  The FH launch will only require certification of the differences.  So if things like avionics, engines, structures, sep mechanisms, power, etc. are the same between the two, they won't have to be re-rubber-stamped.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline baldusi

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v1.1 is quite similar to v1.0.
I think thrid mission of F1 wants to talk with you. Something about ablative vs regenerative cooling and thrust transients, I dunno.
How many separation events had they had before flt 3?

Offline MP99

Why are the prices so high?
-- Falcon 9: $M 97 / 54 = 1.8
-- Falcon H: $M 165 / 128 = 1.3

Or, maybe it's not a coincidence that the increment is similar for the two:-

-- Falcon 9: $M 97 - 54 = +$43m
-- Falcon H: $M 165 / 128 = +$37m

...especially when you also bear in mind Antares later post

Presumably the USAF certification efforts will occur for the first launch.  The FH launch will only require certification of the differences.  So if things like avionics, engines, structures, sep mechanisms, power, etc. are the same between the two, they won't have to be re-rubber-stamped.

cheers, Martin

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From the document:

Insertion Orbit #1

Deliver the IPS to a circular orbit with an orbital altitude of 720 km and an orbital inclination of 24º. Deploy only the COSMIC-2 payload set, up to six APLs (TBR), and actuate up to eight P-PODs (TBR).

Insertion Orbit #2

Deliver the IPS (with remaining payloads) to the elliptical orbit with a perigee of 6,000 km, apogee of 12,000 km, and an orbital inclination of 45º. Deploy the DSX payload followed by remaining APLs and actuate remaining P-PODs. After deployment of these payloads, the LV shall enter a coast phase of [3 hours threshold, 5 hours objective]. After the coast phase, the LV shall execute an upper stage restart with a minimum duration of 5 seconds (TBR).

This looks like at least 5 burns of the second stage to me, over many hours.  #1, get into orbit with a 720 km apogee, 24 inclination.  #2, circularize at 720, release first payload.  #3, Next equator crossing, boost to a 6000 km perigee.  Coast until apogee, #4, boost to a 12000x6000 orbit and change plane to 45º.  Wait the required 3 hours for the final stage restart (#5).

That is an answer to an open question: How many restarts a Merlin-1D-Vac can perform.  Five seems to be a pretty big number. 
Are they limited by the number of onboard "start cartridges" or can they be repeated as long as there are supplies like pressurization and power and fuel?
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Jim

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TEB for ignition and Helium for spin limit number of restarts

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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If I remember correctly the M1C (not the MVAC) was mentioned having 10 TEB's to support multiple rapid countdown reset starts. The M1D would probably have the same, which would mean the M1DVAC would have the same capability of the M1D causing the limiting factor primarily being the spin-up. A larger or second Helium tank could allow for more starts. Remember that during thrust the prop tank pressure must be maintained for structural strength.

Offline ugordan

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If I remember correctly the M1C (not the MVAC) was mentioned having 10 TEB's to support multiple rapid countdown reset starts.

I thought that was implied for ground storage at the pad, not onboard TEA/TEB?

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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If I remember correctly the M1C (not the MVAC) was mentioned having 10 TEB's to support multiple rapid countdown reset starts.

I thought that was implied for ground storage at the pad, not onboard TEA/TEB?

If someone who knows which thread the discussion of TEB count on the M1C was on then the actual source (if any) for the reference can be determined and maybe part of the answer for just how many restarts a M1DVAC can do will be answered. Adding extra Helium tanks is not difficult. Redesing the engine is.

edit fix grammer
« Last Edit: 12/14/2012 04:45 PM by oldAtlas_Eguy »

Offline LouScheffer

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If I remember correctly the M1C (not the MVAC) was mentioned having 10 TEB's to support multiple rapid countdown reset starts.

I thought that was implied for ground storage at the pad, not onboard TEA/TEB?

If someone who knows which thread the discussion of TEB count on the M1C was on then the actual source (if any) for the reference can be determined and maybe part of the answer for just how many restarts a M1DVAC can do will be answered. Adding extra Helium tanks is not difficult. Redesing the engine is.

edit fix grammer
Presumably the engine needs to re-ignite the gas generator as well.  How is this done?  If pyro, it would need as many sets as the main ignitors...

Offline Jim

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same chemical and supply

Offline simonbp

That is an answer to an open question: How many restarts a Merlin-1D-Vac can perform.  Five seems to be a pretty big number.

How many can Centaur or DCSS do? I'd be willing to bet it's the same as MVAC...

Offline kevin-rf

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How many can Centaur or DCSS do? I'd be willing to bet it's the same as MVAC...
Doesn't the RL-10 use LH boil off to spin up the turbine, and a spark plug as an igniter, so the answer would be as many as it has fuel and battery for ;)
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Offline Jim

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How many can Centaur or DCSS do? I'd be willing to bet it's the same as MVAC...
Doesn't the RL-10 use LH boil off to spin up the turbine, and a spark plug as an igniter, so the answer would be as many as it has fuel and battery for ;)

and Helium for tank pressurization

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TEB for ignition and Helium for spin limit number of restarts

Is the TEB stored in bulk or in discrete format, like "cartridges"?
Is it a significant issue to have sufficient TEB for many restarts?
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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The FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), H.R. 4310 seems to contain funding for STP so this flight is being funded (maybe).

http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/house-and-senate-agree-on-fy2013-defense-authorization-bill-update-2

With a real reason for existing, funding for STP looks to be continued in FY2013 and later appropriations.

Offline Moe Grills

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OK! A revival of this topic.
I'm trying to sort out the facts, few as they are.
The STP-2 mission, hopefully in 2015, will involve a Falcon Heavy attempting to launch a....?
(please fill in the blank).
I've checked wikipedia, spacex.com, etc., and there is supposedly
an earlier test flight at Vandenberg this year.

   I'm interested in the Falcon Heavy test-flight payloads.
Boilerplate (mockup) payloads? That's how they used to do it for
new untried launchers.

  Or maybe Elon Musk is waiting on Facebook for one of you
to suggest to him a payload to mount on a Falcon Heavy test-flight.  ;D

Rats!  :'(  I've put off registering for an account on Facebook for too long.
It's not easy trying to send Elon Musk an email with suggestions
or questions without Facebook; maybe one of you, like me have tried.

Anyways! I'm puzzled why Elon Musk hasn't planned to mount a mockup,
fullsized unmanned Dragon on the first or second Falcon Heavy and send it
on a free-return trajectory around the Moon.
What other commercial firm has ever sent any payload to the Moon at its
own expense? Did you say, Hughes Aerospace? Yes, they were the only ones so far to do it.
« Last Edit: 03/28/2013 08:56 PM by Moe Grills »


Offline grythumn

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OK! A revival of this topic.
I'm trying to sort out the facts, few as they are.
The STP-2 mission, hopefully in 2015, will involve a Falcon Heavy attempting to launch a....?

Read the PDF in the first post; it has a lot of details.

COSMIC-2, DSX, between 2 and 6 auxiliary (unnamed, max 181 kg each)  payloads, up to 8 P-PODs carrying a TBD number of cubesats, and ballast.

http://www.spacex.com/press.php?page=20121205

-R C

Offline Moe Grills

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OK! A revival of this topic.
I'm trying to sort out the facts, few as they are.
The STP-2 mission, hopefully in 2015, will involve a Falcon Heavy attempting to launch a....?

Read the PDF in the first post; it has a lot of details.

COSMIC-2, DSX, between 2 and 6 auxiliary (unnamed, max 181 kg each)  payloads, up to 8 P-PODs carrying a TBD number of cubesats, and ballast.

http://www.spacex.com/press.php?page=20121205

-R C

As you've confirmed, few details available.

But regarding the other matter; (I repeat this) It's most mysterious why Elon Musk hasn't decided to mount a fullsize/full-weight mockup of the Dragon (with basic radio transmitters) and send it on a free-return trajectory around the Moon using a test-launch Falcon Heavy. I assume he's planning two FH test flights at least; one of them STP-2.
Surely people from all over the world, and from this forum
would have flooded his email box with similar suggestions?
   The Falcon Heavy is more than capable of doing the job.

There are a lot of skeptics out there who believe that SpaceX is not up to the task of sending spacecraft and crew to the Moon. They are much more
skeptical about his Mars ambitions. One Falcon Heavy test-flight with an unmanned Dragon to the Moon would silence many critics. It might not be bad if he "bumps" the Cosmic-2, DSX and cubesat payloads off that mission for just that agenda.
  ;)   I think I stirred up an hornet's nest with that one.

Online Lar

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There are a lot of skeptics out there who believe that SpaceX is not up to the task of sending spacecraft and crew to the Moon. They are much more
skeptical about his Mars ambitions. One Falcon Heavy test-flight with an unmanned Dragon to the Moon would silence many critics. It might not be bad if he "bumps" the Cosmic-2, DSX and cubesat payloads off that mission for just that agenda.
  ;)   I think I stirred up an hornet's nest with that one.

I'm not sure that Elon cares a lot what the skeptics think, unless they have launch contracts or some other decision making authority that impacts him. My view is that SpaceX have their roadmap mapped out a ways, subject to change, and don't think they have a lot to prove now, except to themselves about the things they want to refine.

"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Skyrocket

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It might not be bad if he "bumps" the Cosmic-2, DSX and cubesat payloads off that mission for just that agenda.
  ;)   I think I stirred up an hornet's nest with that one.

You must be joking. What could be the reason to bump a military contract, which serves as a door-opener for the EELV-class business, for a publicity stunt?
« Last Edit: 03/30/2013 08:12 PM by Skyrocket »

Offline Lars_J

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Yep, at this point they need more commercial and government payloads launched rather than stunts.

There's only going to be one FH demo where they have the leeway to test out as many features of the LV as possible - presumably they do not want to waste it on a risky BLEO Dragon stunt.
« Last Edit: 03/30/2013 08:33 PM by Lars_J »

Offline Moe Grills

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Yep, at this point they need more commercial and government payloads launched rather than stunts.

There's only going to be one FH demo where they have the leeway to test out as many features of the LV as possible - presumably they do not want to waste it on a risky BLEO Dragon stunt.

There's nothing wrong with your asssertion,....to a point.
Commercial launches will pad Elon's bank account. Nothing wrong with that.
But he knows, I know, you know that serious, commercial, human crew
missions to either the Moon or Mars will drain bank accounts of billions, not
pad them.
There's no doubt that Mr. Musk designed and is building Falcon Heavy
boosters for commercial purposes; but his greater agenda with the development of the FH is and was to send humans to the Moon and Mars;
a big financial drain.

OK! I'm starting to drift off topic. So to draw back, suffice to say that whether 2013, 0r 2015, the first Falcon test-flight is most unusual
in that it risks payloads built and paid for by others. Lack of insurance
must be an issue addressed here.

Offline Kabloona

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the first Falcon test-flight is most unusual
in that it risks payloads built and paid for by others. Lack of insurance
must be an issue addressed here.

It's not unusual at all. Launch vehicles don't insure payloads. If the payload wants insurance, they purchase it themselves.

US gov't payloads are self-insured, which means the gov't doesn't bother to purchase insurance. If the payloads are lost, the gov't can choose to build another one. Both primary payloads here fall in that category.

Pegasus and Taurus carried payloads "built and paid for by others" on their first flights. It's common for a first flight to carry an "expendable" payload for a discounted price. The payload gets a cheap ride in exchange for the risk they take by being first in line.

What *is* unusual is the complexity of the mission with 2 primaries and multiple secondary payloads.
« Last Edit: 04/05/2013 10:29 PM by Kabloona »

Offline arachnitect

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the first Falcon test-flight is most unusual
in that it risks payloads built and paid for by others. Lack of insurance
must be an issue addressed here.

It's not unusual at all. Launch vehicles don't insure payloads. If the payload wants insurance, they purchase it themselves.

US gov't payloads are self-insured, which means the gov't doesn't bother to purchase insurance. If the payloads are lost, the gov't can choose to build another one. Both primary payloads here fall in that category.

Pegasus and Taurus carried payloads "built and paid for by others" on their first flights. It's common for a first flight to carry an "expendable" payload for a discounted price. The payload gets a cheap ride in exchange for the risk they take by being first in line.

What *is* unusual is the complexity of the mission with 2 primaries and multiple secondary payloads.

STP-2 isn't the first Falcon Heavy.

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OK! A revival of this topic.
I'm trying to sort out the facts, few as they are.
The STP-2 mission, hopefully in 2015, will involve a Falcon Heavy attempting to launch a....?

Read the PDF in the first post; it has a lot of details.

COSMIC-2, DSX, between 2 and 6 auxiliary (unnamed, max 181 kg each)  payloads, up to 8 P-PODs carrying a TBD number of cubesats, and ballast.

http://www.spacex.com/press.php?page=20121205

-R C

As you've confirmed, few details available.

But regarding the other matter; (I repeat this) It's most mysterious why Elon Musk hasn't decided to mount a fullsize/full-weight mockup of the Dragon (with basic radio transmitters) and send it on a free-return trajectory around the Moon using a test-launch Falcon Heavy. I assume he's planning two FH test flights at least; one of them STP-2.
Surely people from all over the world, and from this forum
would have flooded his email box with similar suggestions?
   The Falcon Heavy is more than capable of doing the job.

There are a lot of skeptics out there who believe that SpaceX is not up to the task of sending spacecraft and crew to the Moon. They are much more
skeptical about his Mars ambitions. One Falcon Heavy test-flight with an unmanned Dragon to the Moon would silence many critics. It might not be bad if he "bumps" the Cosmic-2, DSX and cubesat payloads off that mission for just that agenda.
  ;)   I think I stirred up an hornet's nest with that one.

MANY Cubesats as a ballast? Seems like a cheap way to offer some quality space! ;)
« Last Edit: 07/11/2013 09:48 PM by ClaytonBirchenough »
Clayton Birchenough
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Offline Skyrocket

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COSMIC-2, DSX, between 2 and 6 auxiliary (unnamed, max 181 kg each)  payloads, up to 8 P-PODs carrying a TBD number of cubesats, and ballast.

http://www.spacex.com/press.php?page=20121205

-R C

One of the (up to) 6 auxiliary payloads is GPIM (Green Propellant Infusion Mission).

The NASA video shows it as part of the STP-2 stack:


Offline Jason1701

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Great video, I think it's the first animation of the actual Falcon Heavy design.

Offline jongoff

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But regarding the other matter; (I repeat this) It's most mysterious why Elon Musk hasn't decided to mount a fullsize/full-weight mockup of the Dragon (with basic radio transmitters) and send it on a free-return trajectory around the Moon using a test-launch Falcon Heavy.

Simple. In spite of his sometimes bombastic manner, Elon's actually trying to not piss off those in Congress who already hate SpaceX anymore than he already has to. He's already fighting a huge battle with the Shelby's of the world to keep them from completely cutting Commercial Crew, and he doesn't need to provide them any more reason to hate and actively oppose SpaceX at the moment. This is also probably a big part of why SpaceX hasn't been supportive of Inspiration Mars, BTW. It's "bad enough" for SpaceX that us commercial people are constantly pointing out how Falcon Heavy might make SLS obsolete--the last thing he wants to do is to make it look like SpaceX is trying to make that argument too. You may not get this impression from following his Twitter feed, but Elon's actually quite capable of keeping his mouth shut and not intentionally antagonizing people in Congress who could screw his company (he's a better man than I in that regard).

Plus as others mentioned, flying paying payloads from customers that helps on-ramp them into the EELV program instead of a non-paying stunt is all the more reason not to do it.

~Jon

Offline newpylong

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Considering the FH is estimated to be only good for 10 metric tons to TLI and the fully loaded Dragon is also 10 mt he might have a hard time doing that. They would look pretty bad sending the Dragon on a heliocentric or elliptical orbit because the US ran out of fuel before the full burn.

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Considering the FH is estimated to be only good for 10 metric tons to TLI and the fully loaded Dragon is also 10 mt he might have a hard time doing that. They would look pretty bad sending the Dragon on a heliocentric or elliptical orbit because the US ran out of fuel before the full burn.

Hmmm... I seem to remember the Falcon Heavy being able to throw more to TLI than 10 mt...
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Offline jongoff

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Considering the FH is estimated to be only good for 10 metric tons to TLI and the fully loaded Dragon is also 10 mt he might have a hard time doing that. They would look pretty bad sending the Dragon on a heliocentric or elliptical orbit because the US ran out of fuel before the full burn.

Hmmm... I seem to remember the Falcon Heavy being able to throw more to TLI than 10 mt...

I think it's a little more than 10mT to TLI, but it's much more amazing at getting big stuff to LEO than shoving big stuff up the hill beyond LEO. Someone pointed out recently that Atlas V Heavy, if it flew, would have a greater TLI payload than Falcon Heavy using the currently planned upper stage. I'm a huge SpaceX fan, but ULA's Centaur upper stage is still my favorite for BEO missions (though an ACES stage would obviously win if it ever flies).

~Jon

Offline QuantumG

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For either vehicle you get better performance using a third stage to do the TLI burn. Something like a Blok DM, which has a propellant mass fraction of 85% using LOX/RP-1, launched on a Falcon Heavy could throw 15 tons to TLI. Probably something like 20 tons using LOX/LH2.

Whether Dragon with some extra tankage, could throw itself to TLI, depends on what isp you think the Draco thruster has on-orbit, the mass of the Dragon, and a bunch of other stuff no-one knows.

Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? The slowest possible.

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The Inspiration Mars paper gives a good wrap of the FH BEO capabilities.

IIRC they concluded 10mt to whatever C3 they calculated for their Mars flyby trajectory was a good guess.

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A while back on the Falcon Heavy Master Update thread someone poster:

Has SpaceX said (or has anyone surmised) what payload mass Falcon Heavy can push through TLI?

Wikipedia lists 16,000 kg through TLI, but as far as I can tell there is no basis for this figure.

16MT is what you get from mass fraction calculations using 53MT starting at LEO, a 350 ISP engine and adding the DV for TLI. Basicly thats the best. For a 450 ISP you get ~21MT TLI. Direct assent increase performance only slightly, enough to acomodate for whatever is being used as a TLI stage's dry weight.

Wikipedia did say 16,000 kg through TLI and it seems to be removed now.
Clayton Birchenough
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Offline Rabidpanda

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In order to get 16MT you would need an additional stage.  What would Falcon Heavy's TLI performance be with just it's standard upper stage? 10MT doesn't seem like a bad guess.
Julian

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In order to get 16MT you would need an additional stage.  What would Falcon Heavy's TLI performance be with just it's standard upper stage? 10MT doesn't seem like a bad guess.

Mmmm... maybe I'm being too optimistic; I think Falcon Heavy can throw more than 10mt to TLI.
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Offline smoliarm

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In order to get 16MT you would need an additional stage. 
...

IF we assume 53 t to LEO, then 16 t to TLI is a consistent proportional estimate (w/o any additional stage).

Actually, a while ago in Wiki there was full set of performance numbers for FH:
LEO -- 53 t
GEO -- 19 t
TLI -- 16 t
TMI -- 14 t
C3=0 -- 13 t
(as I recall it)
also, as I understand, TLI and TMI numbers were calculated by wiki contributors.

However, later SpaceX changed their estimate of GEO performance for FH to 13 t, leaving LEO unchanged.
Wiki changed numbers accordingly.
This set is kind of strange, the proportion GEO/LEO is too low, but we do not know their reasons.
And the rocket is not built yet, many things can change.

Ed Kyle's site gives performance for FH here
http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/falcon9v1-1.html
in the table "Vehicle Configurations"

-----------
Correction:
Should be GTO, not GEO.
« Last Edit: 07/14/2013 10:30 PM by smoliarm »

Online ClaytonBirchenough

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IF we assume 53 t to LEO, then 16 t to TLI is a consistent proportional estimate (w/o any additional stage).

Actually, a while ago in Wiki there was full set of performance numbers for FH:
LEO -- 53 t
GEO -- 19 t
TLI -- 16 t
TMI -- 14 t
C3=0 -- 13 t
(as I recall it)
also, as I understand, TLI and TMI numbers were calculated by wiki contributors.

However, later SpaceX changed their estimate of GEO performance for FH to 13 t, leaving LEO unchanged.
Wiki changed numbers accordingly.
This set is kind of strange, the proportion GEO/LEO is too low, but we do not know their reasons.
And the rocket is not built yet, many things can change.

Ed Kyle's site gives performance for FH here
http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/falcon9v1-1.html
in the table "Vehicle Configurations"


C3 = 0 is less than TMI of 14 t... am I missing something? ???
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Offline smoliarm

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...

C3 = 0 is less than TMI of 14 t... am I missing something? ???

Well, may be you are not, may be it is my recollection :)
Now you mentioned it, perhaps it was 12 t for TMI...
or 14 t for C3=0 ...
Sorry :)

I'm not an expert in orbital calculus, although I passed my exam with A, but it was 17 years ago, and I never used these formulas since.

Offline Rabidpanda

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However, later SpaceX changed their estimate of GEO performance for FH to 13 t, leaving LEO unchanged.
Wiki changed numbers accordingly.
This set is kind of strange, the proportion GEO/LEO is too low, but we do not know their reasons.
And the rocket is not built yet, many things can change.

The upper stage on Falcon Heavy is not really optimized for GEO or GTO performance.

According to SpaceX, FH can send 12mT to GTO.  The delta V for LEO to GTO is around 2.5 km/s.  Considering that TLI delta V is slightly more than that (Apollo was 3.05-3.25 km/s) 10mt to TLI seems realistic.

Of course you're right, this rocket doesn't even exist yet and a lot could change.  Honestly, if they just used a larger upper stage they would get much better BLEO performance.  But maybe that's not necessary for any of their future plans, 12mT is plenty for commercial GEO launches.
« Last Edit: 07/14/2013 08:08 PM by Rabidpanda »
Julian

Offline Lars_J

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However, later SpaceX changed their estimate of GEO performance for FH to 13 t, leaving LEO unchanged.
Wiki changed numbers accordingly.
This set is kind of strange, the proportion GEO/LEO is too low, but we do not know their reasons.
And the rocket is not built yet, many things can change.

The upper stage on Falcon Heavy is not really optimized for GEO or GTO performance.

According to SpaceX, FH can send 12mT to GTO.  The delta V for LEO to GTO is around 2.5 km/s.  Considering that TLI delta V is slightly more than that (Apollo was 3.05-3.25 km/s) 10mt to TLI seems realistic.

Of course you're right, this rocket doesn't even exist yet and a lot could change.  Honestly, if they just used a larger upper stage they would get much better BLEO performance.  But maybe that's not necessary for any of their future plans, 12mT is plenty for commercial GEO launches.

But the v1.1 and FH upper stage *IS* larger... It appears to be almost twice the tank volume of the v1.0 upper stage.

Offline Excession

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They could just add another stage. A wide-body centaur placed ought to be able to put twenty or thirty tons into GTO when starting from LEO, and FH could definitely put it there...

But the v1.1 and FH upper stage *IS* larger... It appears to be almost twice the tank volume of the v1.0 upper stage.

They mean relative to the V1.1.

Offline SpacexULA

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We have a Falcon Heavy speculation thread guys.
No Bucks no Buck Rogers, but at least Flexible path gets you Twiki.

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We have a Falcon Heavy speculation thread guys.

You're right. Sorry for contributing to OT conversation.

Here's an appropriate thread to discuss Falcon Heavy TLI payload:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=20615.0
Clayton Birchenough
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Offline Skyrocket

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Another payload on this mission is the SSTL built OTB satellite

https://directory.eoportal.org/web/eoportal/satellite-missions/d/dsac

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Quote
The DSAC mission will be a hosted payload onboard a Surrey Satellite Technology (SST-US) Orbital Test Bed (OTB) spacecraft, currently planned for launch into LEO (Low Earth Obit) in early 2016
looks like this has slipped to early 2016

Online wannamoonbase

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They could just add another stage. A wide-body centaur placed ought to be able to put twenty or thirty tons into GTO when starting from LEO, and FH could definitely put it there...

But the v1.1 and FH upper stage *IS* larger... It appears to be almost twice the tank volume of the v1.0 upper stage.

They mean relative to the V1.1.

Now that may allow the development of re-useability technology.   
I know they don't need it, but Crossfeed would be super cool.

Offline MTom

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Quote
The DSAC mission will be a hosted payload onboard a Surrey Satellite Technology (SST-US) Orbital Test Bed (OTB) spacecraft, currently planned for launch into LEO (Low Earth Obit) in early 2016
looks like this has slipped to early 2016

Not sure it has slipped:
SpaceX launch manifest speaking always about "Year indicates vehicle arrival at launch site."
Launch Early 2016 could easy mach with an arrival in 2015 (+ STP-2 US Air Force is the last but one in the manifes for 2015).
« Last Edit: 05/29/2014 08:22 PM by MTom »

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Quote
The DSAC mission will be a hosted payload onboard a Surrey Satellite Technology (SST-US) Orbital Test Bed (OTB) spacecraft, currently planned for launch into LEO (Low Earth Obit) in early 2016
looks like this has slipped to early 2016

Not sure it has slipped:
SpaceX launch manifest speaking always about "Year indicates vehicle arrival at launch site."
Launch Early 2016 could easy mach with an arrival in 2015 (+ STP-2 US Air Force is the last but one in the manifes for 2015).
First half of 2015 per Shotwell.  Also, tanks and engines currently being built at Hawthorne.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34884.msg1209634#msg1209634
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34884.msg1209997#msg1209997
« Last Edit: 06/05/2014 11:46 AM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
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Offline MTom

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Quote
The DSAC mission will be a hosted payload onboard a Surrey Satellite Technology (SST-US) Orbital Test Bed (OTB) spacecraft, currently planned for launch into LEO (Low Earth Obit) in early 2016
looks like this has slipped to early 2016

Not sure it has slipped:
SpaceX launch manifest speaking always about "Year indicates vehicle arrival at launch site."
Launch Early 2016 could easy mach with an arrival in 2015 (+ STP-2 US Air Force is the last but one in the manifes for 2015).
First half of 2015 per Shotwell.  Also, tanks and engines currently being built at Hawthorne.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34884.msg1209634#msg1209634
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34884.msg1209997#msg1209997

You mean the demo flight, it's ok.

The question was if STP-2 for US Air Force slipped also or it isn't.
Can be found any information about the original planned launch date?
"Early 2016" is the actual date.
« Last Edit: 06/05/2014 09:14 PM by MTom »

Online AncientU

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Quote
The DSAC mission will be a hosted payload onboard a Surrey Satellite Technology (SST-US) Orbital Test Bed (OTB) spacecraft, currently planned for launch into LEO (Low Earth Obit) in early 2016
looks like this has slipped to early 2016

Not sure it has slipped:
SpaceX launch manifest speaking always about "Year indicates vehicle arrival at launch site."
Launch Early 2016 could easy mach with an arrival in 2015 (+ STP-2 US Air Force is the last but one in the manifes for 2015).
First half of 2015 per Shotwell.  Also, tanks and engines currently being built at Hawthorne.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34884.msg1209634#msg1209634
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34884.msg1209997#msg1209997

You mean the demo flight, it's ok.

The question was if STP-2 for US Air Force slipped also or it isn't.
Can be found any information about the original planned launch date?
"Early 2016" is the actual date.
Sorry, missed that. You're correct.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Online DaveJes1979

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Does anyone actually believe that the demo flight is going to be out of KSC?  I know that is what they are currently saying, but it doesn't seem likely that that pad will be ready in time if they are sticking with a "first half of 2015" time frame.

Offline QuantumG

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Does anyone actually believe that the demo flight is going to be out of KSC?  I know that is what they are currently saying, but it doesn't seem likely that that pad will be ready in time if they are sticking with a "first half of 2015" time frame.

I don't think there's any point doing the demo until they have this while lawsuit business sorted out, anyway.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? The slowest possible.

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Does anyone actually believe that the demo flight is going to be out of KSC?  I know that is what they are currently saying, but it doesn't seem likely that that pad will be ready in time if they are sticking with a "first half of 2015" time frame.

I don't think there's any point doing the demo until they have this while lawsuit business sorted out, anyway.

I don't see why that would be the case. They need to demo FH if they want to attract customers for it.
I'm am curious about why they switched to KSC though, maybe they have a payload that needs to launch east.

Offline QuantumG

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I don't see why that would be the case. They need to demo FH if they want to attract customers for it.

Unless there's been a drastic change, the only customer for this behemoth is the US air force.

The commsat folks would demand a lot more than just the one demonstration flight.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? The slowest possible.

Offline ChefPat

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I don't see why that would be the case. They need to demo FH if they want to attract customers for it.

Unless there's been a drastic change, the only customer for this behemoth is the US air force.

The commsat folks would demand a lot more than just the one demonstration flight.

Bigelow.
Playing Politics with Commercial Crew is Un-American!!!

Offline QuantumG

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Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? The slowest possible.

Offline docmordrid

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I don't see why that would be the case. They need to demo FH if they want to attract customers for it.

Unless there's been a drastic change, the only customer for this behemoth is the US air force.

The commsat folks would demand a lot more than just the one demonstration flight.

Bigelow, if the 5.2x19m fairing is any indication.  Seems perfect, if not purpose built, for BA-330.
« Last Edit: 06/13/2014 02:39 AM by docmordrid »
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Offline Antares

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There is a very good reason not to do demos out of the Cape, now that a Vandy launch site is available: the lack of beaches full of tourists and news crews, all filming the possible unscheduled fireworks display.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline docmordrid

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Go check YouTube for videos of the CASSIOPE launch at Vandy.  There are plenty of places where a launch accident there could be seen & filmed by the public and news mongers
« Last Edit: 06/13/2014 03:03 AM by docmordrid »
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Offline king1999

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There is a very good reason not to do demos out of the Cape, now that a Vandy launch site is available: the lack of beaches full of tourists and news crews, all filming the possible unscheduled fireworks display.
I think the last few words were what you wanted to say, but tried to dress it unsuccessfully. An old Russian engine is more likely to make it a July 4  for the US then 27 newly built and tested ones.

Offline Antares

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I think the last few words were what you wanted to say, but tried to dress it unsuccessfully. An old Russian engine is more likely to make it a July 4  for the US then 27 newly built and tested ones.

No, unlike what I'm typing right now, I said exactly what I wanted to say.  I will assume you're just new and don't realize that my moniker preceded the renamed launch vehicle by more than 4 years.

Pros know the relative reliability of the two launch systems, and pros in any business seek to minimize PR fall out.  SpaceX is in a high-stakes PR match with FAR 15 Old Space right now.  The Cape is much more accessible than Vandenberg.  Places to watch from are less important than opportunity to do so.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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I'm am curious about why they switched to KSC though, maybe they have a payload that needs to launch east.

I'm guessing that KSC was chosen so that a used Dragon could be sent around the Moon on FH's first flight. I'm sure the connection to LC-39A having launched Apollo will not be lost on some.
« Last Edit: 06/13/2014 05:29 AM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Online Jcc

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I'm am curious about why they switched to KSC though, maybe they have a payload that needs to launch east.

I'm guessing that KSC was chosen so that a used Dragon could be sent around the Moon on FH's first flight. I'm sure the connection to LC-39A having launched Apollo will not be lost on some.

Nice thought, but they won't want to get NASA angry by upstaging Orion/SLS.
Speaking of NASA, they are a potential customer for interplanetary missions, including Mars.

First flight out of 39A is likely to have pad issues, maybe they want to shake those out on a demo flight rather than a CRS mission.

Offline woods170

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I'm am curious about why they switched to KSC though, maybe they have a payload that needs to launch east.

I'm guessing that KSC was chosen so that a used Dragon could be sent around the Moon on FH's first flight. I'm sure the connection to LC-39A having launched Apollo will not be lost on some.

Nice thought, but they won't want to get NASA angry by upstaging Orion/SLS.
Speaking of NASA, they are a potential customer for interplanetary missions, including Mars.
That would not actually upset NASA but mostly Congress critters.

Offline Jim

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I'm am curious about why they switched to KSC though, maybe they have a payload that needs to launch east.

I'm guessing that KSC was chosen so that a used Dragon could be sent around the Moon on FH's first flight. I'm sure the connection to LC-39A having launched Apollo will not be lost on some.

Np, they chose it for this payload, STP-2.

Offline MTom

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I'm am curious about why they switched to KSC though, maybe they have a payload that needs to launch east.

I'm guessing that KSC was chosen so that a used Dragon could be sent around the Moon on FH's first flight. I'm sure the connection to LC-39A having launched Apollo will not be lost on some.

Np, they chose it for this payload, STP-2.

Jim's post is a good point to come back on topic: STP-2 and not FH demo flight.   ;)

Offline Jim

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Jim's post is a good point to come back on topic: STP-2 and not FH demo flight.   ;)

They will be one and the same

Offline Galactic Penguin SST


Jim's post is a good point to come back on topic: STP-2 and not FH demo flight.   ;)

They will be one and the same

Is there any written source that can confirm this? (although it is an obvious choice for the FH maiden flight)
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline MTom

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Jim's post is a good point to come back on topic: STP-2 and not FH demo flight.   ;)

They will be one and the same

Is there any written source that can confirm this? (although it is an obvious choice for the FH maiden flight)

SpaceX launch manifest (still) says there will be two launches: FH demo flight and STP-2 for USAF.
Something changed?

Offline Dudely

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I don't see why that would be the case. They need to demo FH if they want to attract customers for it.

Unless there's been a drastic change, the only customer for this behemoth is the US air force.

The commsat folks would demand a lot more than just the one demonstration flight.

Bigelow, if the 5.2x19m fairing is any indication.  Seems perfect, if not purpose built, for BA-330.

Yes, they have been building hardware to fly on FH specifically. They already have some completed and are waiting in storage to launch (remember FH has been delayed 2 years+).

Offline docmordrid

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Anyone know if Thin Red Line in Canada is still working with Bigelow?
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Offline sublimemarsupial

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I don't see why that would be the case. They need to demo FH if they want to attract customers for it.

Unless there's been a drastic change, the only customer for this behemoth is the US air force.

The commsat folks would demand a lot more than just the one demonstration flight.

Bigelow, if the 5.2x19m fairing is any indication.  Seems perfect, if not purpose built, for BA-330.

Yes, they have been building hardware to fly on FH specifically. They already have some completed and are waiting in storage to launch (remember FH has been delayed 2 years+).

Do you have a source for that?

Online Chris Bergin

Right then.

Let's all get on topic with THIS mission.

From this point onwards. Don't make me get out my big stick.

Offline Llian Rhydderch

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Jim's post is a good point to come back on topic: STP-2 and not FH demo flight.   ;)

They will be one and the same

Is there any written source that can confirm this? (although it is an obvious choice for the FH maiden flight)

So, do we have a source for the idea that the STP-2 payload will fly on the FH demo flight, the maiden flight of Falcon Heavy???

Jim claims it will be.

I realize that there are some insiders here, and that they may possibly have, and then choose to make public, such inside information.   But we are all better off if we know if a claim is from someone who is claiming inside knowledge, or if the information has been publically stated.

Let's make the implicit, explicit!
Re arguments from authority on NSF:  "no one is exempt from error, and errors of authority are usually the worst kind.  Taking your word for things without question is no different than a bracket design not being tested because the designer was an old hand."
"You would actually save yourself time and effort if you were to use evidence and logic to make your points instead of wrapping yourself in the royal mantle of authority.  The approach only works on sheep, not inquisitive, intelligent people."

Offline QuantumG

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Quote
1.3  MISSION OBJECTIVES
The goals of the SM-2.4 mission are to launch an Integrated Payload Stack (IPS) to the required
orbits and to provide an EELV New Entrant opportunity.


Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? The slowest possible.

Offline Llian Rhydderch

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Quote
1.3  MISSION OBJECTIVES
The goals of the SM-2.4 mission are to launch an Integrated Payload Stack (IPS) to the required
orbits and to provide an EELV New Entrant opportunity.

Thanks QG. 

So I don't have the full context for the quote you provided..., but as I read it, it says nothing about the SM-2.4 mission (STP-2, I guess, based on the title of this thread) flying on the maiden flight of the Falcon Heavy.  In fact, that statement doesn't seem to indicate which ordinal FH flight STP-2 will fly on.

So I either Jim is not correct with his statement of "They will be one and the same" on a post following a substantive comment about "STP-2 and not FH demo flight" that immediately preceded his comment:


Jim's post is a good point to come back on topic: STP-2 and not FH demo flight.   ;)

They will be one and the same

... or, if he didn't mean what that locution seemed to say, then I don't understand Jim's abbreviated prose.  In this case, Galactic Penquin, MTom and I all seemed to take it as FH flight 1 == STP-2 USG payload.

But actually, understanding Jim seems to be a problem many of us on these forums often seem to run into :o.   Communication is hard!   :D 
Re arguments from authority on NSF:  "no one is exempt from error, and errors of authority are usually the worst kind.  Taking your word for things without question is no different than a bracket design not being tested because the designer was an old hand."
"You would actually save yourself time and effort if you were to use evidence and logic to make your points instead of wrapping yourself in the royal mantle of authority.  The approach only works on sheep, not inquisitive, intelligent people."

Offline baldusi

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He's the guy with most insight into this things. I would tend to think that he simply knows.

Offline MTom

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Quote
1.3  MISSION OBJECTIVES
The goals of the SM-2.4 mission are to launch an Integrated Payload Stack (IPS) to the required
orbits and to provide an EELV New Entrant opportunity.

Thanks QG. 

So I don't have the full context for the quote you provided..., but as I read it, it says nothing about the SM-2.4 mission (STP-2, I guess, based on the title of this thread) flying on the maiden flight of the Falcon Heavy.  In fact, that statement doesn't seem to indicate which ordinal FH flight STP-2 will fly on.

So I either Jim is not correct with his statement of "They will be one and the same" on a post following a substantive comment about "STP-2 and not FH demo flight" that immediately preceded his comment:


Jim's post is a good point to come back on topic: STP-2 and not FH demo flight.   ;)

They will be one and the same

... or, if he didn't mean what that locution seemed to say, then I don't understand Jim's abbreviated prose.  In this case, Galactic Penquin, MTom and I all seemed to take it as FH flight 1 == STP-2 USG payload.

But actually, understanding Jim seems to be a problem many of us on these forums often seem to run into :o.   Communication is hard!   :D

Yes, that is also my question, because SpaceX launch manifest lists (still?) 2 FH flights.
(With the information mentioned before: STP-2 launch date is early 2016...)
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30544.msg1205265#msg1205265
« Last Edit: 06/14/2014 12:12 PM by MTom »

Offline russianhalo117

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The title needs to be updated to reflect the move of FH from SLC-40 to SLC-39A.


Offline MTom

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The title needs to be updated to reflect the move of FH from SLC-40 to SLC-39A.

... and the launch date could be also: Mid 2015 --> Early 2016

Edit/CR: updated from SLC-40 to SLC-39A in post title
« Last Edit: 09/14/2014 09:47 AM by CuddlyRocket »

Offline docmordrid

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Space News reports a slip into 2016

Link....

Quote
SpaceX’s public manifest shows the STP-2 mission launching in 2015, but Ball [Aerospace] said it has pushed to 2016.
DM

Offline tobi453

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So there will be a different payload on the FH maiden flight.

Offline Skyrocket

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Interessting document on the FORMOSAT-7/COSMIC-2 satellites with info on the payload stack

Offline somepitch

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That's a remarkable failed attempt at spelling "courtesy" on that slide...

Offline arachnitect

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Interessting document on the FORMOSAT-7/COSMIC-2 satellites with info on the payload stack

I didn't recognize that at first.

I thought the previous design looked really cool. But I guess the new version (using ESPA rings) is probably a good choice.

Offline ugordan

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So there will be a different payload on the FH maiden flight.

Or (gasp!) FH will slip into 2016...

Offline veblen

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That's a remarkable failed attempt at spelling "courtesy" on that slide...

And it gets replicated. He probably relied on spell check. Typical result.
« Last Edit: 10/19/2014 08:07 PM by veblen »

Online Lars-J

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That's a remarkable failed attempt at spelling "courtesy" on that slide...

And it gets replicated. He probably replied on spell check. Typical result.

Intentional irony?  ;D

Offline veblen

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That's a remarkable failed attempt at spelling "courtesy" on that slide...

And it gets replicated. He probably replied on spell check. Typical result.

Intentional irony?  ;D

That sounds much better than brain fart;)
« Last Edit: 10/19/2014 08:31 PM by veblen »

Offline Moe Grills

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The title needs to be updated to reflect the move of FH from SLC-40 to SLC-39A.

... and the launch date could be also: Mid 2015 --> Early 2016

Edit/CR: updated from SLC-40 to SLC-39A in post title
Could, maybe, likely, but still an opinion until the launch schedule firms up.

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From page 25 of that Formosat 7/Cosmic 2 presentation, launch is scheduled for May 2016.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.


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From page 25 of that Formosat 7/Cosmic 2 presentation, launch is scheduled for May 2016.

Sounds about right.  With the launch pad due for completion in mid 2015, FH Demo will be Q4 of 2015 leaving a few months to review flight data for STP-2.

I recon they will be fully recovering the side cores by then, even of the Demo flight.
« Last Edit: 10/22/2014 10:20 PM by Karloss12 »

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I hope I can say this much. Interesting news on L2 about this.
Let's hope Chris doesn't slap me for saying this little.
 ;D
« Last Edit: 01/27/2015 12:01 PM by macpacheco »
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BTW, I have to say that it gives me a silly thrill to once again see in a launch discussion thread Launch Complex 39A. ;D
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Offline llanitedave

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The TE seems to be sheathed with sheet metal in the video.  Is that new?
« Last Edit: 01/27/2015 07:28 PM by llanitedave »
"I've just abducted an alien -- now what?"

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Verry nice!
Of course everyone wants something different.  I would have liked to see the center core land on the barge "Instructions".  Butif we wait until we see what SpaceX will really do we won't need these spectatular annimations, so this is a wonderful preview. 

edit: The grid fins droop after touchdown like F9R-Dev1!  Fantastic detailing.
« Last Edit: 01/27/2015 07:35 PM by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

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The TE seems to be sheathed with sheet metal in the video.  Is that new?

New, or the modeling/animation crew avoiding modeling the TE accurately. ;)

Offline Space OurSoul

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NERD CHILLS
Did y'all catch the braces retracting back into the center core after booster sep? (0:36s or so)

Edit: My bad. There's a stand-alone thread for the video:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36660.0

« Last Edit: 01/27/2015 08:24 PM by Space OurSoul »
A complete OurSoul

Offline guckyfan

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Is the Mid 2015 in the thread title new?

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re.: The FH promo video: I wouldn't be surprised if, for the heaviest payloads, the central core landed on the barge in the mid-Atlantic somewhere.

Still, for average-sized payloads, the boosters and the main core should all make it back to KSC. Seeing them landing all in a neat row IRL will be quite the sight!
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Re the FH video: Are there any concerns with sound waves bouncing off the fixed srevice structure, if it is enclosed and given its size, as the vehicle launches?  Would it be correct to assume enclosing it would be an attempt to lower maintenance costs by reducing the number of components exposed to the elements? 

Deadman
« Last Edit: 01/27/2015 09:45 PM by deadman719 »

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Is the Mid 2015 in the thread title new?

Nope, it's actually very old. I've changed the title to reflect what was reported one page back.  ;)
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Offline guckyfan

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Is the Mid 2015 in the thread title new?

Nope, it's actually very old. I've changed the title to reflect what was reported one page back.  ;)

Thanks. That is what I meant. It is new in the title, not that the data is new.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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There seems to be a "bump" about 1/3 of the way up on the boosters. I wonder if this has anything to with the cross-feed mechanism.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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There seems to be a "bump" about 1/3 of the way up on the boosters. I wonder if this has anything to with the cross-feed mechanism.

No, that exists on all F9s, although it is usually not very visible since it faces the erector at launch. (See image below) It is placed right around the common bulkhead, so it may be some kind of emergency tank vent.

Offline Rebel44

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How much delta v will this mission require?

thx

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Here's a JPL press release on the Deep Space Atomic Clock mission which is flying on STP-2. Only says it is flying in 2016 on Falcon Heavy.

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4567
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Skyrocket

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Here's a JPL press release on the Deep Space Atomic Clock mission which is flying on STP-2. Only says it is flying in 2016 on Falcon Heavy.

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4567

The Deep Space Atomic Clock is a hosted experiment on the OTB 1 satellite: http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/otb-1.htm

Offline Jakusb

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According to Jeff Foust:
Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX: expect first Falcon Heavy launch now late this year, three more to follow in subsequent 6 months. #satshow

Anybody care/dare to speculate on what this means?

Offline Robotbeat

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According to Jeff Foust:
Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX: expect first Falcon Heavy launch now late this year, three more to follow in subsequent 6 months. #satshow

Anybody care/dare to speculate on what this means?
Sounds like they're realigning the projected Falcon Heavy launch date to realign with reality.

However, 3 more Falcon Heavies within 6 months from that shows a big ramp-up production. That's a total of 12 boosters, and 112 Merlin engines and 48 legs and 48 fins. But many are likely to RTLS at least the boosters, which they've already shown they can pull off...

...which implies to me at least SOME components could be reused.
« Last Edit: 03/09/2016 08:48 PM by Robotbeat »
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Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Attached is an ELaNa presentation giving a launch date of 1 March 2017 (under review) for STP 2. This flight is carrying three cubesats on ELaNa XV; ARMADILLO, LEO and StangSat.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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Planetary Society: Ground finale? Deployment test moves LightSail 2 closer to handoff
Quote
The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 spacecraft completed what may have been its final end-to-end systems test today here at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo...
LightSail 2 is nearly ready to be integrated with its P-POD, the spring-loaded box that will carry it to space. After integration takes place, the loaded P-POD will be shipped to the Air Force Research Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Shipping may occur in January. At AFRL, LightSail's P-POD will be installed inside Prox-1, a Georgia Tech-built SmallSat that will hitch a ride to orbit aboard the second flight of SpaceX's new Falcon Heavy rocket.

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https://mobile.twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/824371954559836160
Quote
In talk on COSMIC-2, NOAA says Falcon Heavy demo launch scheduled for 2nd Q; STP-2 mission (with COSMIC-2) planned for Sept. 30. #AMS2017

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Is this mission still okay following the last-minute issues with the 2017 authorization bill?

It seemed that the STP program was flagged as one of the concerns for the WH/DOJ?

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https://mobile.twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/824371954559836160
Quote
In talk on COSMIC-2, NOAA says Falcon Heavy demo launch scheduled for 2nd Q; STP-2 mission (with COSMIC-2) planned for Sept. 30. #AMS2017

Where would they launch it when they have no pad ready for it?

Offline Jim_LAX

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Quote from Shotwell at Satelite 2017 on March 8th:
Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex-40 should be operational again this summer.
"I don't go along with going to the Moon first in order to build a launch pad to go to Mars.  We should go to Mars from Earth orbit."

Offline woods170

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Quote from Shotwell at Satelite 2017 on March 8th:
Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex-40 should be operational again this summer.
August was publically mentioned by SpaceX. After that, SpaceX will need at least 60 days to modify the current LC-39A reaction frame to host the additional TSM's and holddown posts needed for FH. That period is also from public SpaceX statements.
So, assuming LC-40 is back in action this August, and assuming the 60-day modification period goes off without a hitch, it will be NET november 2017 for first FH launch attempt.
But that is assuming that the notorious SpaceX time dilation factor does not rear it's ugly head. If it does (like it almost always does) we could be looking at first FH launch attempt somewhere in Q1 of 2018.
« Last Edit: 03/11/2017 02:50 PM by woods170 »

Offline DOCinCT

Quote from Shotwell at Satelite 2017 on March 8th:
Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex-40 should be operational again this summer.
....After that, SpaceX will need at least 60 days to modify the current LC-39A reaction frame to host the additional TSM's and holddown posts needed for FH. That period is also from public SpaceX statements.
So, assuming LC-40 is back in action this August, and assuming the 60-day modification period goes off without a hitch, ....
Do you have some references for that statement?

Offline old_sellsword

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Quote from Shotwell at Satelite 2017 on March 8th:
Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex-40 should be operational again this summer.
....After that, SpaceX will need at least 60 days to modify the current LC-39A reaction frame to host the additional TSM's and holddown posts needed for FH. That period is also from public SpaceX statements.
So, assuming LC-40 is back in action this August, and assuming the 60-day modification period goes off without a hitch, ....
Do you have some references for that statement?

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/03/spacex-falcon-9-echostar-23-slc-40-return/

Quote from: Chris Bergin
It was also noted that SpaceX is working a plan that involves returning operations to SLC-40 before then working on 39A to prepare it for the maiden launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket.

This work will take “at least 60 days” to complete, focusing on the 39A TEL table – which is currently specific to the single core Falcon 9 – and Tail Service Masts (TSM).

Offline Pete

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...So, assuming LC-40 is back in action this August, and assuming the 60-day modification period goes off without a hitch, it will be NET november 2018 for first FH launch attempt.
But that is assuming that the notorious SpaceX time dilation factor does not rear it's ugly head.
...
One would have to look hard to find a time dilation factor as bad as yours.
"this August" + 60 days == NET November 2018?

Offline ugordan

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...So, assuming LC-40 is back in action this August, and assuming the 60-day modification period goes off without a hitch, it will be NET november 2018 for first FH launch attempt.
But that is assuming that the notorious SpaceX time dilation factor does not rear it's ugly head.
...
One would have to look hard to find a time dilation factor as bad as yours.
"this August" + 60 days == NET November 2018?

Well, he did get the year right at least...

Offline woods170

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...So, assuming LC-40 is back in action this August, and assuming the 60-day modification period goes off without a hitch, it will be NET november 2018 for first FH launch attempt.
But that is assuming that the notorious SpaceX time dilation factor does not rear it's ugly head.
...
One would have to look hard to find a time dilation factor as bad as yours.
"this August" + 60 days == NET November 2018?
Good catch. Corrected in the original post. And thanks for pointing out.

Offline sdsds

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Although the launcher isn't explicitly mentioned, this article belongs here. (Yes?)

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6784

Last month, the space agency's next-generation atomic clock was joined to the spacecraft that will take it into orbit in late 2017.

That instrument, the Deep Space Atomic Clock was developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. On Feb. 17, JPL engineers monitored integration of the clock on to the Surrey Orbital Test Bed spacecraft at Surrey Satellite Technology in Englewood, Colorado.
« Last Edit: 03/21/2017 07:44 PM by sdsds »
-- sdsds --

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A recent presentation on the Cosmic-2 payload by Wei Xia-Serafino/NOAA.  PDF file is attached below.  There is an updated graphic of the STP-2 payload stack, and much information/pictures on Cosmic-2 of course.

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What is the purpose of the 5 tonnes of ballast on this mission? Is it simply to ensure that FH is capable of meeting the EELV New Entrant specifications?

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What is the purpose of the 5 tonnes of ballast on this mission? Is it simply to ensure that FH is capable of meeting the EELV New Entrant specifications?
No. The launcher is too powerfull for just the payload alone. It requires additional payload mass (provided by means of ballast) to prevent over-performance.

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About the date for this mission, it reminds me of a movie .

"Mission Impossible"?  no, that's not it
.
"Back to the Future"?  closer
.
"Days of our Lives"? almost
.
I have it.. Annie, singing "Tomorrow, Tomorrow, i love ya, your only a day away"



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Offline Star One

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That date appears again in this tweet from Jeff Foust showing a chart of educational nanosatellites missions.

https://mobile.twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/894608571186388992
« Last Edit: 08/07/2017 07:00 PM by Star One »

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I'm not going to believe any dates on this one yet, let's see how the first couple flights go.

Offline Star One

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I'm not going to believe any dates on this one yet, let's see how the first couple flights go.

Isn't this the second FH flight.

I'm not going to believe any dates on this one yet, let's see how the first couple flights go.

Isn't this the second FH flight.

I thought Arabsat 6A was the second flight no?

Online vaporcobra

I'm not going to believe any dates on this one yet, let's see how the first couple flights go.

Isn't this the second FH flight.

Based on the link in my response above, the AF has reason to believe STP-2 could be the third FH launch. But it's understandably in flux and highly dependent upon the first launch. As gongora said, our best bet is to just wait for the first launch.

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I'd talk with NSPO (Taiwan) team today. It's NET Apr,2018 right now.
Titus

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I'd talk with NSPO (Taiwan) team today. It's NET Apr,2018 right now.
Titus

Thanks! Tentatively indicates that the inaugural launch is still relatively stable for now. Can't really read far into future schedules until FH's first success, but SpaceX is clearly relatively confident in the vehicle, at least internally.

Offline Kenp51d

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I'd talk with NSPO (Taiwan) team today. It's NET Apr,2018 right now.
Titus

Thanks! Tentatively indicates that the inaugural launch is still relatively stable for now. Can't really read far into future schedules until FH's first success, but SpaceX is clearly relatively confident in the vehicle, at least internally.
Mr. Musk puplicly lowered expectations, but I'd bet internally they are very confident of at least safely clearing the pad at minimum. So is NASA, they sure as heck are not willing to loose the pad for manned flights.
If they can make it past Max Q, and can throttle down for that, then my bet is successful booster sep, stage sep, and they then make orbit.
This is gonna be way cool!
Just unimagenabl to me they'd risk the pad.

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They wouldn't be launching if they thought the chance of failure was high.
Think about it...
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Online Space Ghost 1962

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It's logistics/operations that one should fear before T0. So much has to go right before you make it to ignition. Could sit on the pad for a month. Complex beast, more like 5x the trouble for three boosters.

Next, it's the hold down time and validating vehicle before launch and after ignition. Static fire?

Then its that all the clamps go. Otherwise engine shutdown.

After off the pad, very likely to clear the tower, and find out how well the acoustics worked. Very loud as things don't scale linearly (overtones).

At some point leading up to MaxQ, the torques between the three boosters will attempt to tear apart the stack. But likely the oscillations will be damped and fall by flight software (to be later analyzed to improve vehicle performance). This starts where the most critical phase begins, ending with engine shutdown and side booster separation.

If they get through that, FH is a success as far as having a potential alternative to DIVH, which we haven't yet had ever. (Ironically, it increases DIVH's value because you have multiple alternatives so more payloads can be considered, although doubtful that has any meaning.)

Having three returning boosters land after that would be a showy tour de force.

Online gongora

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Ya'll realize this isn't the Demo Mission thread, right?

Online Space Ghost 1962

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Applies to both. Actually, to the third flight as well, but lesser.

Offline IainMcClatchie

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....After off the pad, very likely to clear the tower, and find out how well the acoustics worked. Very loud as things don't scale linearly (overtones).

Can you elaborate how overtones don't scale linearly?  That is, how three cores would produce more than three times as much accoustic pressure in some direction.

My best guess is that you might get a bit of a phased array effect normal to the axis of attachment.

I'm also expecting something interesting to happen to the core plume as all three get underexpanded in the upper atmosphere.  A single core plume gets to expand in two dimensions.  A center core of three really only  expands along one dimension.  My guess is they'll get more of the plume crawling it's way up the sides of the rocket.  Combined with a longer burn time from running throttled down part of the way, and that center core is going to see a significantly toastier ride on the way up.  But maybe that's dominated by re-entry and landing.

Offline tyrred

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It would be interesting if the combined exhaust plumes have the appearance of the three-engine landing burns, three hydras expanding perpendicular to the core arrangement. Great big eye of Sauron?

Offline Mike_1179

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It would be interesting if the combined exhaust plumes have the appearance of the three-engine landing burns, three hydras expanding perpendicular to the core arrangement. Great big eye of Sauron?


Would have to fire up the CFD to do more than arm-waving, but remember that the 3-engine re-entry burn is done when the stage is traveling supersonic and engine first, so you get some pretty interesting shockwaves and boundary conditions. A stage accelerating up with three cores burning would look, well, different.

There's no shockwaves forcing the exhaust and firey bits into a small cone shape when the stage is going up. Instead the exhaust expands outward radially like you see from the 9 engines of a F9 as it gets closer to MECO. However, the boosters are gone well before the stage gets up as high as the F9 MECO, so we won't see the super-wide plumes we're used to seeing from all three boosters firing simultaneously. Might just be a more orange and more sooty version of a Delta IV Heavy.

Offline Jim

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It would be interesting if the combined exhaust plumes have the appearance of the three-engine landing burns, three hydras expanding perpendicular to the core arrangement. Great big eye of Sauron?


It shouldn't be much different than the two RD-180 nozzles.  Just a large scale..

Online OneSpeed

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My best guess is that you might get a bit of a phased array effect normal to the axis of attachment.

That would be very likely for the shock wave interaction between the plumes. However, acoustic phased array effects are strongest when each source is outputting the same waveform, like in a PA system. In the case of rocket engines, the flow is turbulent, so although the spectrum is reasonably consistent over time, the waveforms are independent. The rms response can be obtained by combining those waveforms, but the result, especially at higher frequencies, can be quite chaotic, leading to effects like the crackling sound we hear from Falcon 9 and others.

It would be interesting if the combined exhaust plumes have the appearance of the three-engine landing burns, three hydras expanding perpendicular to the core arrangement. Great big eye of Sauron?
... Instead the exhaust expands outward radially like you see from the 9 engines of a F9 as it gets closer to MECO. However, the boosters are gone well before the stage gets up as high as the F9 MECO, so we won't see the super-wide plumes we're used to seeing from all three boosters firing simultaneously ...

Although the FH boosters will stage earlier, due to FH's phenomenal T/W, they will do so at a similar altitude and higher velocity than the F9 core. Forgive the crude rendering, but the plume could be quite spectacular.

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