Author Topic: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 14)  (Read 181762 times)

Online Chris Bergin

Thread 14 (Blimey!) for general discussion on SpaceX's Falcon and Dragon vehicles.

Previous threads (now over 4 million views for these 13 SpaceX previous threads alone):

Thread 1:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=19228.0

Thread 2:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22769.0

Thread 3:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=24179.0

Thread 4:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=25597.0

Thread 5:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=28006.0

Thread 6:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=29476.0

Thread 7:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30385.0

Thread 8:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31402.0

Thread 9:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32719.0

Thread 10:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=33598.0

Thread 11:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35364.0

Thread 12:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36815.0

Thread 13:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39180.0


SpaceX news articles on this site:
Old: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=21862.0 (links)

Then recent news articles, not linked above, as we moved to a tag group system:
All recent: http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/tag/spacex/


L2 SpaceX - Dedicated all-vehicle (Falcon to BFR/MCT) section:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?board=60.0


NOTE: Posts that are uncivil (which is very rare for this forum), off topic (not so rare) or just pointless will be deleted without notice.

And no, this is not a ULA vs SpaceX (vs SLS, heh) thread. This is about general posts about Falcon and Dragon.

Offline su27k

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 14)
« Reply #1 on: 08/28/2016 04:39 PM »
Saw these images posted on reddit, seems to be a second stage being prepared for transport from HQ, but it looks like one of the tank dome has mirror coating? Have we seen anything like this before?

Photo credit goes to /u/redbeard4

Offline AncientU

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 14)
« Reply #2 on: 08/28/2016 04:51 PM »
Strange that it isn't covered or protected.
Won't be a mirror finish for long if heading cross-country.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline Gliderflyer

Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 14)
« Reply #3 on: 08/28/2016 04:53 PM »
It looks like insulation for the LOX tank dome. I don't think we have seen this before, but it is usually covered by the payload adapter.
I tried it at home

Offline rockets4life97

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 14)
« Reply #4 on: 08/28/2016 05:53 PM »
There is a new article up on the front page with details the Orion heat shield. I'm curious to know how SpaceX's heat shield for dragon is similar or different.

Offline intrepidpursuit

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 14)
« Reply #5 on: 08/28/2016 06:09 PM »
There is a new article up on the front page with details the Orion heat shield. I'm curious to know how SpaceX's heat shield for dragon is similar or different.

It is completely different in almost every way. Orion is now using tiles which SpaceX has been doing from the beginning. They both reject heat.

SpaceX uses PICA-X which is based on a modern technology invented in the 90's by NASA. Orion uses AVCOAT which is exactly the same heat shield used on Apollo. PICA-X is about a third of the weight of AVCOAT for roughly similar protection.

http://www.space.com/22036-nasa-orion-spacecraft-heat-shield-photos.html
https://linuxacademy.com/blog/space/comparing-heat-shields-mars-science-lab-vs-spacex-dragon/

Offline gongora

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 14)
« Reply #6 on: 08/28/2016 06:33 PM »
Saw these images posted on reddit, seems to be a second stage being prepared for transport from HQ, but it looks like one of the tank dome has mirror coating? Have we seen anything like this before?

Photo credit goes to /u/redbeard4

In the photo that SpaceX posted on Instagram a while back showing tank domes under construction they looked pretty shiny.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BH48RQcjiei/?taken-by=spacex

Offline matthewkantar

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 14)
« Reply #7 on: 08/28/2016 08:24 PM »
The Shiny stuff looks like window tint the way it is wrinkled. Maybe I.R. protection for densified propellants.

Matthew

Online Zardar

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 14)
« Reply #8 on: 08/28/2016 09:05 PM »
Saw these images posted on reddit, seems to be a second stage being prepared for transport from HQ, but it looks like one of the tank dome has mirror coating? Have we seen anything like this before?

Photo credit goes to /u/redbeard4

Doesn't the stage look a bit unfinished to be sending to Texas? i.e. no raceway, no separators, no thrust structure?
Perhaps they are moving it to a different building nearby for 'finishing'?
Or have they started to do final assembly in Texas too?

Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 14)
« Reply #9 on: 08/28/2016 09:49 PM »
The simple plastic and blue painters tape over the manhole would indicate that this isn't exactly ready for a cross country road trip.
Excited to be finally into the first Falcon Heavy flow, we are getting so close!

Online abaddon

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 14)
« Reply #10 on: 08/30/2016 12:47 PM »
It's official: SES-10 will be the first launch of a previously used Falcon 9 first stage.  Story at SpaceNews.  I'd link but on mobile...

Offline bdub217

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 14)
« Reply #11 on: 08/30/2016 02:30 PM »
It's official: SES-10 will be the first launch of a previously used Falcon 9 first stage.  Story at SpaceNews.  I'd link but on mobile...

http://spacenews.com/spacex-to-launch-ses-10-satellite-on-reused-falcon-9-by-years-end/

So by my count, the next F9 launch from the Cape after Amos 6 will be on the used rocket.  They will have the Iridium Vandenberg launch before the SES launch. 
« Last Edit: 08/30/2016 02:35 PM by bdub217 »

Offline cuddihy

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 14)
« Reply #12 on: 08/30/2016 11:46 PM »
I believe most schedules are showing Echostar 23 is after Amos and before SES 9.

😉 Qualified my statement.
« Last Edit: 08/31/2016 01:49 AM by cuddihy »

Offline gongora

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 14)
« Reply #13 on: 08/31/2016 12:12 AM »
The launch order after the first Iridium flight has not been announced.  It all seems to be a bit fluid.

Offline AncientU

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 14)
« Reply #14 on: 08/31/2016 11:51 AM »
So, do reused booster flights cut the queue?
Seems they should, since the queue is historically for sequentially produced cores (the only way to get a core up to now, unless re-purposing ICBMs or whatever).
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline ClayJar

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 14)
« Reply #15 on: 08/31/2016 12:40 PM »
So, do reused booster flights cut the queue?
Seems they should, since the queue is historically for sequentially produced cores (the only way to get a core up to now, unless re-purposing ICBMs or whatever).
I'd foresee it as the same queue, but with additional earlier launch availability being added for those willing to fly on a "flight-proven" stage.  Everyone flies in order, but you can pass if you don't want that particular rocket.  (It then becomes a question of weighing the cost of the slower new-and-shiny lane versus your analysis of any potential risks of reused versus new stages.  As more stages are reused, the costs of waiting in the slow lane will eventually become more and more significant, taking an assumption of equal reliability.)

Of course, it's more complicated that that.  If the queue starts moving fast enough, payload readiness comes into play.  You can't launch before you've built, tested, and so on.  At some point, you could theoretically invert the process and have a queue of rockets waiting for the next available spacecraft.

Online abaddon

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 14)
« Reply #16 on: 08/31/2016 01:35 PM »
What about second stages and payload fairings?  Seems like those could be limiting factors just as much as first stages depending on production rates.  So I am not sure how much "queue cutting" is possible.

Offline IntoTheVoid

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 14)
« Reply #17 on: 08/31/2016 02:19 PM »
What about second stages and payload fairings?  Seems like those could be limiting factors just as much as first stages depending on production rates.  So I am not sure how much "queue cutting" is possible.
On the other hand, if they up the production rate of 2nd stages and fairings to match the expected booster reuse, that could slow the production of first stages and make the 'queue cutting' even more significant. Unless they have excess capacity, which seems unlikely, they'll need to do this to up the launch rate overall.

Offline rpapo

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 14)
« Reply #18 on: 08/31/2016 03:56 PM »
Thinking of second stages... We have seen many pictures on this forum of Falcon first stages being trucked around the country.  Likewise fairings and legs.  What I don't recall ever seeing any pictures of the second stages being trucked around.  Presumably, over time, we will begin seeing more second stages on the road than first stages.  Comments?
« Last Edit: 08/31/2016 04:05 PM by rpapo »
An Apollo fanboy . . . fifty years ago.

Offline bstrong

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 14)
« Reply #19 on: 08/31/2016 09:36 PM »
https://www.instagram.com/p/BJyZ73vDawJ/

Quote
The nine engines that power the Falcon 9 first stage are arranged in the most efficient pattern possible for delivering power (thrust) and managing heat (thermal dynamics). We call this arrangement the “octaweb” – eight engines around the edge and one in the center. The octaweb could be considered the backbone of the Falcon 9 – a massive metallic structure that holds the engines in place, each in their own separate bay. Its weight, combined with that of the nine Merlin engines, gives a landing first stage an extremely low center of gravity.

The octaweb structure is put together using a series of welds. Pictured here is one of our robotic welders going to work. But don’t worry – all of our robotic welders are closely monitored and overseen by people.

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