Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Discussion (Thread 4)  (Read 398790 times)

Offline Chris Bergin


Offline rocx

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Discussion (Thread 4)
« Reply #1 on: 12/30/2015 12:09 PM »
the year she should debut
We are in 2015 already, Chris. Or was that 2014? No wait, I guess the first announced launch date for Falcon Heavy was 2013: http://spacelaunchreport.com/falconH.html.

Anyway, what use is 53 metric tons of payload capacity to LEO? It's not even enough to lift an M1 Abrams, which weighs 54 tons! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1_Abrams
Any day with a rocket landing is a fantastic day.

Offline rliebman

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Discussion (Thread 4)
« Reply #2 on: 12/30/2015 12:46 PM »
That would certainly take space warfare to a different level
« Last Edit: 12/30/2015 01:56 PM by rliebman »

Offline Bargemanos

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Discussion (Thread 4)
« Reply #3 on: 12/30/2015 02:06 PM »
the year she should debut
We are in 2015 already, Chris. Or was that 2014? No wait, I guess the first announced launch date for Falcon Heavy was 2013: http://spacelaunchreport.com/falconH.html.

Anyway, what use is 53 metric tons of payload capacity to LEO? It's not even enough to lift an M1 Abrams, which weighs 54 tons! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1_Abrams

Where do you need a battle tank in space for?

The Kibo module, the largest single module of the ISS is ~16 metric tons.
« Last Edit: 12/30/2015 02:06 PM by Bargemanos »

Offline clongton

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Discussion (Thread 4)
« Reply #4 on: 12/30/2015 02:08 PM »
Anyway, what use is 53 metric tons of payload capacity to LEO?

The average mass of most of the ISS modules was <20 tons. I'd say that 53 tons is quite useful.
« Last Edit: 12/30/2015 02:10 PM by clongton »
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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Discussion (Thread 4)
« Reply #5 on: 12/30/2015 02:16 PM »
How close to the cross-fed enabled 53mt payload to LEO is the non-cross-fed fully expended full thrust falcon heavy? I'm guessing it's fairly close...

Offline rpapo

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Discussion (Thread 4)
« Reply #6 on: 12/30/2015 02:25 PM »
Anyway, what use is 53 metric tons of payload capacity to LEO?

The average mass of most of the ISS modules was <20 tons. I'd say that 53 tons is quite useful.
There is one minor problem with that (the less than 20 tons part): with the exception of the original Russian modules (Zarya & Svezda), none of the other ISS modules have had propulsion of their own.  Without the Space Shuttle, any new modules will require a tug or their own propulsion in order to rendezvous with the ISS.  The hardware and fuel required costs weight.

Even so, 53 metric tons is about three times the weight of any single module currently attached to the ISS.
An Apollo fanboy . . . fifty years ago.

Offline rocx

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Discussion (Thread 4)
« Reply #7 on: 12/30/2015 02:30 PM »
How close to the cross-fed enabled 53mt payload to LEO is the non-cross-fed fully expended full thrust falcon heavy? I'm guessing it's fairly close...
According to Ed Kyle's site it will be 45 tons to LEO from Cape Canaveral. That's not even one T-90.
Any day with a rocket landing is a fantastic day.

Offline spacenut

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Discussion (Thread 4)
« Reply #8 on: 12/30/2015 02:53 PM »
What does a Bigelow 330 module weigh?  If FH can get these to LEO, 2-4 of these would be as large as ISS at a lot less expensive cost than ISS was.  Army tanks won't be used in space.  Way too heavy.  Can't fire the cannon as the opposite reaction would take one out of it's intended orbit. 

Offline AncientU

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Discussion (Thread 4)
« Reply #9 on: 12/30/2015 03:07 PM »
What does a Bigelow 330 module weigh?  If FH can get these to LEO, 2-4 of these would be as large as ISS at a lot less expensive cost than ISS was.  Army tanks won't be used in space.  Way too heavy.  Can't fire the cannon as the opposite reaction would take one out of it's intended orbit.

The module is listed around 20mT. (Fully reusable FH will easily deliver a BA-330.)
Should think of the FH LEO capability in terms of propellant... this is where launch rate and payload capability will be most impactful.
« Last Edit: 12/30/2015 03:09 PM by AncientU »
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Offline punder

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Discussion (Thread 4)
« Reply #10 on: 12/30/2015 03:15 PM »
How many solid plutonium unicorns can FH put in orbit? In other words, can we stop this tank BS right here, please?

Offline baldusi

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Discussion (Thread 4)
« Reply #11 on: 12/30/2015 04:10 PM »
AIUI, the FT+Densification would enable FH to hit the performance numbers without cross feeding. But this is an estimation. In any case the real metric would be 6.5tonnes to a 1,500m/s GTO with full booster and core recovery.

Offline llanitedave

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Discussion (Thread 4)
« Reply #12 on: 12/30/2015 05:27 PM »
The LEO standard is not really ISS elevation anyway.  It's not really that useful a metric.
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Online Comga

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Discussion (Thread 4)
« Reply #13 on: 12/30/2015 05:47 PM »
The LEO standard is not really ISS elevation anyway.  It's not really that useful a metric.

Agreed
One might want to start with the BEO habitat studies..

(Thank you, llanitedave, for bringing this thread back from the realm of gibberish.  Please, people, take the goofy stuff to the party threads.)

PS The first reference for the Falcon 9 Heavy on my list was posted in February of 2011 for launch in late 2012.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline rcoppola

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Discussion (Thread 4)
« Reply #14 on: 12/30/2015 06:40 PM »
Both personally and in the grand scheme I couldn't care less when FH was "supposed" to fly. It's clear that the F9-FT and all its subsequent enhancements leading to a successful RTF & landing , is now in a much better position to transition into a 3 core FH-FT.

By the time FH launches, they'll most likely have returned and inspected a few more cores feeding even more data back into F9/FT and subsequent FH. A reusable F9 is one thing, with the ability to return all 3 cores of FH or even just the boosters, giving them a partially reusable Heavy Lift to LEO will be quite disruptive. IMO.

Specifically disruptive to Human BEO exploration plans.  Scimemi, the ISS director for NASA, says he wants to build the HAB Congress just directed NASA to study and have a prototype ready for 2018. Why would we do that, when for a fraction of the cost, we could send up a prototype BA330 on a FH? (that's a rhetorical question)

FH is still theoretical to most people. But once she launches and those cores return, the very real and enabling contributions for cost-effective Human BEO exploration will be unavoidable. I'm an SLS supporter but to think FH will not have a place to further advance NASA's BEO goals, is to deny the inevitable.

The battle lines within NASA, its' centers, its' current Primes and corresponding Congressional districts will be drawn in even starker relief. I do not think I am overstating the impact this system will have when successfully brought on-line.
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Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Discussion (Thread 4)
« Reply #15 on: 12/30/2015 06:55 PM »
I think it's going to be 18+ months till we start to see how much the FH can benefit SpaceX.  They need to develop the F9 reuse and apply that to FH.  And then seeing how the FH can provide the large comsat market. 

None of this is a given and anyone that says they know the economics of a fully reuseable FH doing the same work as expendable F9 is using is making to many assumptions to know for sure.

It's going to be exciting to see develop.  That's the most interesting part of SpaceX.  We get to see the their incremental and real time development.
Excited to be finally into the first Falcon Heavy flow, we are getting so close!

Offline baldusi

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Discussion (Thread 4)
« Reply #16 on: 12/30/2015 07:21 PM »
[...]
Specifically disruptive to Human BEO exploration plans.  Scimemi, the ISS director for NASA, says he wants to build the HAB Congress just directed NASA to study and have a prototype ready for 2018. Why would we do that, when for a fraction of the cost, we could send up a prototype BA330 on a FH? (that's a rhetorical question)
[...]
A Hab would really have to be tested in EML1/2 space. LEO is very different from deep space. For example, you have 45min of hotness and 45min of coldness. In deep space you have a hot side and a cold side, permanently. So the thermal environment is completely different. You have to worry about MMOD and free oxygen in LEO which are not an issue in deep space. You have a lot less radiation, which you actually want to prove the hab design. You need completely different comm system. And a long list of requirements.
Why I'm saying this? Because for such an Hab, unless you are also including a SEP tug (which has no budget), you are going to worry about the C3=-1kmē/sē performance. How much could the Falcon Heavy do? If it can, in fact, do 13 to TMI, then it should be able to do between 17 and 20 tonnes to TLI. The problem is, SLS can do something like 45tonnes with EUS and well more than 25 tonnes with the ICPS. So the prototype would have to have less than half the mass of the final hab if it were to fit into a FH.
And I didn't get into the fact that SLS will have an 8.4m fairing (7.5m internal) vs the 5.2m (4.7 internal) of the FH. I rather see FH as an opportunity to send something commercial to LEO very cheaply or a Cygnus derived module to TLI, rather than the full Hab.

Offline vulture4

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Discussion (Thread 4)
« Reply #17 on: 12/30/2015 08:14 PM »
I have difficulty understanding the need for a habitat to be launched directly into a lunar or Mars trajectory. Earth orbit rendezvous (as originally proposed by von Braun) for refueling or mating a departure stage could be used at lower cost. Wasn't that even the original plan for Constellation? As to the habitat diameter, the FH could be equipped with a wider fairing should that be needed, or an inflatable habitat could be used.

Close attention to sustainable overall cost is essential if we are going to maintain a foothold on Mars, rather than just leaving a few footsteps, which on Mars, with its blowing dust, will not last long.
« Last Edit: 12/30/2015 08:14 PM by vulture4 »

Offline sdsds

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Discussion (Thread 4)
« Reply #18 on: 12/30/2015 08:28 PM »
I have difficulty understanding the need for a habitat to be launched directly into a lunar or Mars trajectory. Earth orbit rendezvous (as originally proposed by von Braun) for refueling or mating a departure stage could be used at lower cost. Wasn't that even the original plan for Constellation? As to the habitat diameter, the FH could be equipped with a wider fairing should that be needed, or an inflatable habitat could be used.

Close attention to sustainable overall cost is essential if we are going to maintain a foothold on Mars, rather than just leaving a few footsteps, which on Mars, with its blowing dust, will not last long.

What's essential are close attention to cost, and not building in a reliance on unfunded parts of the architecture. The "1.5 launch" CxP architecture would have used Earth Orbit Rendezvous, yes. But the rendezvous would have been with an "Earth Departure Stage" with a long-duration loitering capability. Development of that component is not funded.
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Offline baldusi

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy Discussion (Thread 4)
« Reply #19 on: 12/30/2015 09:16 PM »
Not to mention the fact of relying on an inexistent fairing which:
A) It's not clear that FH can handle a fairing 2.3 times its core and;
B) Even if possible would add significant mass (stock is 4tonnes) and;
C) Is not clear that the HIF, TEL, LC-39A ramp nor any other GSE can handle and it would definitely not be road portable.

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