Author Topic: SpaceX advances drive for Mars rocket via Raptor power  (Read 521959 times)

Offline R7

  • Propulsophile
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2738
    • Don't worry.. we can still be fans of OSC and SNC
  • Liked: 948
  • Likes Given: 662
Re: SpaceX advances drive for Mars rocket via Raptor power
« Reply #20 on: 03/07/2014 07:25 PM »
Great work baldusi!
I 2nd that ;)

I 3rd.

Other sites: copypaste yet another site and publish
NSF: indepth volunteer group work resulting breaking news combined with encyclopedic information bomb.
AD·ASTRA·ASTRORVM·GRATIA

Offline mrmandias

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 507
  • US
  • Liked: 29
  • Likes Given: 32
Re: SpaceX advances drive for Mars rocket via Raptor power
« Reply #21 on: 03/07/2014 07:35 PM »
Very, very good article.

Offline Lee Jay

  • Elite Veteran
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6666
  • Liked: 970
  • Likes Given: 139
Re: SpaceX advances drive for Mars rocket via Raptor power
« Reply #22 on: 03/07/2014 07:43 PM »
Great article!  And I agree - very "meaty".

Offline CJ

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 850
  • Liked: 620
  • Likes Given: 180
Re: SpaceX advances drive for Mars rocket via Raptor power
« Reply #23 on: 03/07/2014 07:55 PM »
An absolutely superb article!

That the super-heavy lifter would certainly have a lot of commercial applications if its launch cost per pound is low. Launching a large number of satellites per launch would be just one. 


Offline HarryM

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 406
  • California
  • Liked: 20
  • Likes Given: 29
Re: SpaceX advances drive for Mars rocket via Raptor power
« Reply #24 on: 03/07/2014 07:59 PM »
Very good and interesting article!

Offline RocketmanUS

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2226
  • USA
  • Liked: 71
  • Likes Given: 31
Re: SpaceX advances drive for Mars rocket via Raptor power
« Reply #25 on: 03/07/2014 08:00 PM »
Quote from article "MCT project, which he later revealed to be an acronym for Mars Colonial Transport. This system"

The key word is system. This opens up more possibilities. We maybe looking at in space fueling in LEO and Mars orbit.

Sound like BFR to take crew up to LEO and tankers to LEO. With a transhab going between LEO and Mars orbit. On Mars have reusable SSTO vehicles crew and tankers. This would seem to support flexible and long term for a two world system and beyond.

If SpaceX goes with a 27 engine tri-core they would have to launch from a remote island. I think they will just go with a two stage reusable HLV with similar configurations like Sat-INT-20/21.

To quote my favorite Vulcan (one eyebrow rises) Fascinating.

Question: If SpaceX builds a this or any HLV, will NASA then be legally required to give up SLS and begin purchasing from SpaceX? Would it depend upon how far along they are with SLS? I could see certain senators wanting to protect SLS. With SpaceX costs being lower and the HLV all made in US, I could also see a lot of pressure to dump SLS. I wonder how many within NASA would want to preserve their HLV and how many would want to drop it in favor of the lower cost LV to enable payload/mission funding. Say SLS has flown 4 times and now needs RS-25e and possibly advanced boosters as well at the same time the new SpaceX HLV comes on line, SLS needs to move to a new block, yet its proponents are citing its performance record as evidence it should continue in a new block rather than being replaced by SX-HLV.

How do you see any or all of these scenarios playing out?
Lets first get the Raptor on the test stand. ( I would prefer to roll the dice with SpaceX and NASA move onto in space hardware ).

An absolutely superb article!

That the super-heavy lifter would certainly have a lot of commercial applications if its launch cost per pound is low. Launching a large number of satellites per launch would be just one. 


Five plus payloads of F9 in one launch on BFR to LEO. Payloads then could use SEP to higher orbits.

Offline MATTBLAK

  • Elite Veteran & 'J.A.F.A'
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4217
  • 'Space Cadets' Let us; UNITE!! (crickets chirping)
  • New Zealand
  • Liked: 1034
  • Likes Given: 1925
Re: SpaceX advances drive for Mars rocket via Raptor power
« Reply #26 on: 03/07/2014 08:10 PM »
Thanks Chris for giving me the opportunity to write on your site. You've been a wonderful editor and brought the best parts. BTW, those graphics are awesome. I can't believe I was part of this  :P

It was an excellent article and I hope, an historic one.
"Those who can't, Blog".   'Space Cadets' of the World - Let us UNITE!! (crickets chirping)

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7144
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 1035
  • Likes Given: 6877
Re: SpaceX advances drive for Mars rocket via Raptor power
« Reply #27 on: 03/07/2014 08:19 PM »
Question: If SpaceX builds a this or any HLV, will NASA then be legally required to give up SLS and begin purchasing from SpaceX?
I think in theory NASA has a legal responsibility to use commercial LV's if they meet it's requirements (see Robotbeats sig)

But of course that leaves a lot of wiggle room for wheather a commercial LV "meets" their needs.

Just because it might meet all of NASA's needs does not necessarily mean it would meet the Legislatures needs.  :(  :(

The other issue is schedule.  Right now SLS is due for 1st flight in (IIRC) 2018. Spacex's offering is (presumably) much further out.  :( :(
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C Apply So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline darkenfast

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 790
  • Liked: 442
  • Likes Given: 1048
Re: SpaceX advances drive for Mars rocket via Raptor power
« Reply #28 on: 03/07/2014 08:20 PM »
THIS is why I tell people to come to NASASpaceFlight.com if they want real writing on space flight developments that isn't written by clueless journalists for clueless readers. Good job!

Offline dlapine

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 220
  • University of Illinois
  • Liked: 68
  • Likes Given: 66
Re: SpaceX advances drive for Mars rocket via Raptor power
« Reply #29 on: 03/07/2014 08:34 PM »
Excellent article. I now have a basic understanding of what FFSC is for a rocket engine, and why it might be useful. Keep up the good work.

Is this the engine the SpaceX guys are testing at Stennis? Well, testing the components anyways...

Offline arachnitect

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1440
  • Liked: 387
  • Likes Given: 461
Re: SpaceX advances drive for Mars rocket via Raptor power
« Reply #30 on: 03/07/2014 08:42 PM »
Has anybody run the numbers on a rocket using 1 of these as a first stage engine?

Offline Rocket Science

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8565
  • NASA Educator Astronaut Candidate Applicant 2002
  • Liked: 2628
  • Likes Given: 6691
Re: SpaceX advances drive for Mars rocket via Raptor power
« Reply #31 on: 03/07/2014 08:42 PM »
Exciting news and a masterpiece, bravo baldusi! :)
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline DJPledger

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 440
  • Liked: 126
  • Likes Given: 2745
Re: SpaceX advances drive for Mars rocket via Raptor power
« Reply #32 on: 03/07/2014 08:58 PM »
Excellent article. I now have a basic understanding of what FFSC is for a rocket engine, and why it might be useful. Keep up the good work.

Is this the engine the SpaceX guys are testing at Stennis? Well, testing the components anyways...
Yes they will be testing components of Raptor at Stennis. Don't know yet where the full Raptor will be tested.

Offline R7

  • Propulsophile
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2738
    • Don't worry.. we can still be fans of OSC and SNC
  • Liked: 948
  • Likes Given: 662
Re: SpaceX advances drive for Mars rocket via Raptor power
« Reply #33 on: 03/07/2014 09:54 PM »
Has anybody run the numbers on a rocket using 1 of these as a first stage engine?

What would be the point of such vehicle? Inferior to F9 and almost certainly expendable.
AD·ASTRA·ASTRORVM·GRATIA

Offline Coastal Ron

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3750
  • I live... along the coast
  • Liked: 2494
  • Likes Given: 3182
Re: SpaceX advances drive for Mars rocket via Raptor power
« Reply #34 on: 03/07/2014 10:10 PM »

Question: If SpaceX builds a this or any HLV, will NASA then be legally required to give up SLS and begin purchasing from SpaceX? Would it depend upon how far along they are with SLS?

No, for a number of reasons.

From a contracts standpoint the contracts have already been awarded, and there was no provision for re-competing the original need in case alternatives showed up later.

From a political standpoint, in my opinion, the SLS was only conceived to stop layoffs from the cancellation of the Constellation program, and not to address a known amount of approved or funded HLV-sized payloads that needed to be moved to space.  No need to debate this point, I'm just pointing out that this would be yet another reason why even if SpaceX had an HLV sitting on the pad ready to launch today, Senator Shelby would not vote to end the SLS.

The only thing that will stop the SLS at this point is the realization that there is no need for an HLV, regardless who owns it.

So why is SpaceX building their own?  For their own needs, and not anyone else's.  Certainly not to compete against the SLS.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Roy_H

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 855
  • Liked: 246
  • Likes Given: 1404
Re: SpaceX advances drive for Mars rocket via Raptor power
« Reply #35 on: 03/07/2014 10:34 PM »

Question: If SpaceX builds a this or any HLV, will NASA then be legally required to give up SLS and begin purchasing from SpaceX? Would it depend upon how far along they are with SLS?

No, for a number of reasons.

From a contracts standpoint the contracts have already been awarded, and there was no provision for re-competing the original need in case alternatives showed up later.

From a political standpoint, in my opinion, the SLS was only conceived to stop layoffs from the cancellation of the Constellation program, and not to address a known amount of approved or funded HLV-sized payloads that needed to be moved to space.  No need to debate this point, I'm just pointing out that this would be yet another reason why even if SpaceX had an HLV sitting on the pad ready to launch today, Senator Shelby would not vote to end the SLS.

The only thing that will stop the SLS at this point is the realization that there is no need for an HLV, regardless who owns it.

So why is SpaceX building their own?  For their own needs, and not anyone else's.  Certainly not to compete against the SLS.

And one other point: Boeing/LM/ULA are "commercial" providers. Just because they get all their funding from NASA to build the SLS does not mean they are a government owned department. Does NASA do 100% of the design and they just build the parts to NASA's specs? If so then maybe you can claim NASA is the builder and not ULA.
"If we don't achieve re-usability, I will consider SpaceX to be a failure." - Elon Musk

Offline Coastal Ron

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3750
  • I live... along the coast
  • Liked: 2494
  • Likes Given: 3182
Re: SpaceX advances drive for Mars rocket via Raptor power
« Reply #36 on: 03/07/2014 10:48 PM »

Question: If SpaceX builds a this or any HLV, will NASA then be legally required to give up SLS and begin purchasing from SpaceX? Would it depend upon how far along they are with SLS?

No, for a number of reasons.

From a contracts standpoint the contracts have already been awarded, and there was no provision for re-competing the original need in case alternatives showed up later.

From a political standpoint, in my opinion, the SLS was only conceived to stop layoffs from the cancellation of the Constellation program, and not to address a known amount of approved or funded HLV-sized payloads that needed to be moved to space.  No need to debate this point, I'm just pointing out that this would be yet another reason why even if SpaceX had an HLV sitting on the pad ready to launch today, Senator Shelby would not vote to end the SLS.

The only thing that will stop the SLS at this point is the realization that there is no need for an HLV, regardless who owns it.

So why is SpaceX building their own?  For their own needs, and not anyone else's.  Certainly not to compete against the SLS.

And one other point: Boeing/LM/ULA are "commercial" providers. Just because they get all their funding from NASA to build the SLS does not mean they are a government owned department. Does NASA do 100% of the design and they just build the parts to NASA's specs? If so then maybe you can claim NASA is the builder and not ULA.

NASA is contracting to have a rocket built for them, they are not buying launch services.

So from that standpoint Boeing is just a contractor.  ULA has nothing to do with the SLS program, and if anything is a competitor for future NASA payload launches.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online Chris Bergin

Let's stay focused on this engine, which is what the article is about.

Offline arachnitect

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1440
  • Liked: 387
  • Likes Given: 461
Re: SpaceX advances drive for Mars rocket via Raptor power
« Reply #38 on: 03/08/2014 12:04 AM »
Has anybody run the numbers on a rocket using 1 of these as a first stage engine?

What would be the point of such vehicle? Inferior to F9 and almost certainly expendable.

What's the point of the 9 engined beast they say it is for?

I'm trying to figure out if this thing fits anywhere else.

Offline aero

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2898
  • 92129
  • Liked: 774
  • Likes Given: 266
Re: SpaceX advances drive for Mars rocket via Raptor power
« Reply #39 on: 03/08/2014 12:16 AM »
Has anybody run the numbers on a rocket using 1 of these as a first stage engine?

What would be the point of such vehicle? Inferior to F9 and almost certainly expendable.

What's the point of the 9 engined beast they say it is for?

I'm trying to figure out if this thing fits anywhere else.

Well, the one Raptor rocket, 1 Mlb, cf the Falcon 9 at 1.5 Mlb, is not much but the 3, 5 and 7 Raptor rockets start to become respectable. I think many would like the 5 Raptor rocket. At 5 Mlb thrust it is closing in on the FH. In fact, with the superior Isp and a single Raptor on the US, it might surpass the FH. I don't feel like calculating it now, someone else can.

Edit:  Just looking at the SpaceX web pages , F 9 and FH, tells me that I should be careful about mixing vac thrust with sea level thrust.

The Raptor's 1 Mlbf thrust is where, sea level or vac? The numbers above assume it is vaccum thrust of the first stage Raptor engine.
« Last Edit: 03/08/2014 12:27 AM by aero »
Retired, working interesting problems

Tags: