Author Topic: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations  (Read 59084 times)

Offline edkyle99

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #300 on: 05/12/2017 07:47 PM »
I'm wondering if "Block 4" hasn't already flown, during the NROL 76 launch.  That rocket used a new type second stage that performed a long coast exercise after NROL 76 deployment.  The next Falcon 9 slated to launch Inmarsat 5 F4 appears to use the same type second stage (based on a low resolution image of the static test - I'll withhold final judgement until launch day). 

Perhaps "Block 4" uses this improved second stage while "Block 5" will incorporate the improved first stage to boost this "Block 4" second stage.  Guessing, of course.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline RDMM2081

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #301 on: 05/12/2017 07:51 PM »
As for Block 4, how many flights is that version going to have, 1 or 2?  Either the window for Block 4 is shrinking or the Block 5's are further away than we think.

I didn't quite get to this point in my first post,  but I've been wondering the same thing, it basically boils down to these two options right?  This was part of my tick/tock speculation, is block 4 the initial implementation to these bolted vs welded structures, and block 5 the refinement?  Might a block 4 be refurbishable/upgradeable into a block 5?

Offline RDMM2081

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #302 on: 05/12/2017 07:59 PM »
Re: EdKyle,  I've wondered whether US blocks/versions are different than cores.  I don't know enough about integrating rockets, stages and payloads to know whether this is possible or even likely, but it seems as long as certain requirements are met, there could also be "block" type changes in the US that could fly on different cores, thereby allowing an incremental phase in of the different versions, even allowing states to be upgraded from one core level to the next.

Offline macpacheco

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #303 on: 05/12/2017 08:34 PM »
Hypothetically, if NROL-76 were the first Block IV launch (by request of NRO), could the NRO impose a gag on SpaceX so they would only acknowledge a few launches later that somewhere over the last few launches F9 were upgrades to Block IV and that they couldn't say exactly when...
Is there any logic in this ? Would the NRO impose such obfuscation of information to try to create as much uncertainty as possible on the launch mass of the payload ?
Just thinking out loud...
I think it was more likely NROL-76 was the pathfinder of a smaller payload that will be launched in multiples after successfully tested.
Perhaps a 2-3 ton launch mass. Would that justify the extra performance seen ?
« Last Edit: 05/12/2017 08:36 PM by macpacheco »
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Offline Brovane

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #304 on: 05/14/2017 04:01 AM »
I'm wondering if "Block 4" hasn't already flown, during the NROL 76 launch.  That rocket used a new type second stage that performed a long coast exercise after NROL 76 deployment.  The next Falcon 9 slated to launch Inmarsat 5 F4 appears to use the same type second stage (based on a low resolution image of the static test - I'll withhold final judgement until launch day). 

Perhaps "Block 4" uses this improved second stage while "Block 5" will incorporate the improved first stage to boost this "Block 4" second stage.  Guessing, of course.

 - Ed Kyle

The new type of 2nd stage, could simply have been the testing of an "add-on" kit to allow a long coast added to the 2nd stage for direct to GSO insertion.   
"Look at that! If anybody ever said, "you'll be sitting in a spacecraft naked with a 134-pound backpack on your knees charging it", I'd have said "Aw, get serious". - John Young - Apollo-16

Offline gongora

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #305 on: 05/14/2017 04:09 AM »
Hypothetically, if NROL-76 were the first Block IV launch...  Would that justify the extra performance seen ?

You completely lost me. Where have you seen any indication that the flight had extra performance?

Online Robotbeat

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #306 on: 05/14/2017 04:28 AM »
Block 5 will have reusable TPS (my guess: carbon-carbon at least for parts of it) and legs that can fold back (i.e. without needing to be removed).
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Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #307 on: 05/14/2017 07:54 AM »
Block 5 will have reusable TPS (my guess: carbon-carbon at least for parts of it) and legs that can fold back (i.e. without needing to be removed).

For those that haven't seen it, this is from Tom Mueller's recent talk.

Offline FishDaddyFlex

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #308 on: 05/16/2017 02:17 AM »
I cant seem to find it anywhere, but did Elon once say that Block V would enable return to launch site landings after many GTO launches?  For some reason I thought he said that early on in a tweet.  Perhaps it would have enabled a drone ship landing of today's launch?
« Last Edit: 05/16/2017 02:21 AM by FishDaddyFlex »

Offline macpacheco

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #309 on: 05/16/2017 01:53 PM »
Hypothetically, if NROL-76 were the first Block IV launch...  Would that justify the extra performance seen ?

You completely lost me. Where have you seen any indication that the flight had extra performance?
I was observed that the NROL-76 mission had an unusually short S1 burn. Either a tiny payload or more thrust ?????????
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #310 on: 05/16/2017 02:06 PM »
I'm wondering if "Block 4" hasn't already flown, during the NROL 76 launch.  That rocket used a new type second stage that performed a long coast exercise after NROL 76 deployment.  The next Falcon 9 slated to launch Inmarsat 5 F4 appears to use the same type second stage (based on a low resolution image of the static test - I'll withhold final judgement until launch day). 

Perhaps "Block 4" uses this improved second stage while "Block 5" will incorporate the improved first stage to boost this "Block 4" second stage.  Guessing, of course.

 - Ed Kyle

The new type of 2nd stage, could simply have been the testing of an "add-on" kit to allow a long coast added to the 2nd stage for direct to GSO insertion.   
It was more than that.  There were physical changes visible on the outside of the stage.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline gongora

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #311 on: 05/16/2017 04:38 PM »
Hypothetically, if NROL-76 were the first Block IV launch...  Would that justify the extra performance seen ?

You completely lost me. Where have you seen any indication that the flight had extra performance?
I was observed that the NROL-76 mission had an unusually short S1 burn. Either a tiny payload or more thrust ?????????

It was most likely a small payload.

Offline biosehnsucht

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #312 on: 05/16/2017 11:15 PM »
Per a couple of posters on the r/spacex subreddit (who have heard from people who should know but can't out their sources, of course) supposedly the last two launches were Block 3 first stage, Block 4 second stage.

Offline AC in NC

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #313 on: 05/16/2017 11:36 PM »
Per a couple of posters on the r/spacex subreddit (who have heard from people who should know but can't out their sources, of course) supposedly the last two launches were Block 3 first stage, Block 4 second stage.

How close can Block 5/Block 5 get to "Direct to GSO" from a practical standpoint with respect to a deltaV deficit?
« Last Edit: 05/17/2017 01:19 PM by AC in NC »

Offline gongora

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #314 on: 05/17/2017 12:28 AM »
If Block 4 is the thrust upgrade then the performance of Block 5 shouldn't be much better than Block 4.

Offline Mongo62

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #315 on: 05/17/2017 01:10 AM »
If Block 4 is the thrust upgrade then the performance of Block 5 shouldn't be much better than Block 4.

This is what I am expecting as well.

Block 4 : most of the remaining payload improvement, some of the remaining reusability improvement.

Block 5 : some payload improvement, most of the reusability improvement.


Offline deruch

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #316 on: 05/17/2017 01:14 AM »
If Block 4 is the thrust upgrade then the performance of Block 5 shouldn't be much better than Block 4.
(pure speculation) Block 5 hardware/design changes may also allow a return to fast load-n-go launches, meaning that they would re-gain some performance through increased LOX load (due to lower avg. temp) that they lost after changes made post AMOS-6 mishap.
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Online Craftyatom

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #317 on: 05/17/2017 03:00 AM »
If Block 4 is the thrust upgrade then the performance of Block 5 shouldn't be much better than Block 4.

Entirely possible, since we know NASA has some small human-rating issues with the current F9.  May be that Block 4 is the last big performance upgrade and Block 5 addresses reusability/longevity and NASA's human-rating concerns.  This lets SpaceX get characteristic data on any major changes before implementing the "final" iteration.
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