Author Topic: Falcon 9 Mission & Launch Success Records  (Read 7939 times)

Offline ZachS09

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Falcon 9 Mission & Launch Success Records
« on: 02/05/2022 04:42 am »
After the Starlink Group 4-7 mission, there's been some talk on said thread about how many consecutive launch & mission success records for Falcon 9 have been achieved.

Let's use this thread for further discussion.
« Last Edit: 02/05/2022 04:44 am by ZachS09 »
Liftoff for St. Jude's! Go Dragon, Go Falcon, Godspeed Inspiration4!

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Falcon 9 Mission & Launch Success Records
« Reply #1 on: 02/05/2022 05:57 am »
Here is an Ars Technica article that talks about this topic:

The Falcon 9 may now be the safest rocket ever launched | Ars Technica

Quote
Since the year 2020, the Falcon 9 has been the most experienced, active rocket in the United States, when it surpassed the Atlas V rocket in total launches.

...

Speaking of safety, this is where the Falcon 9 rocket has really shone of late. Since the Amos-6 failure during its static fire test, SpaceX has completed a record-setting run of 111 successful Falcon 9 missions in a row. It probably will be 112 after Thursday.


Pretty good value, and pretty safe bet for any payload customer.
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Offline DreamyPickle

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Re: Falcon 9 Mission & Launch Success Records
« Reply #2 on: 02/05/2022 06:28 am »
This is a very big deal.

In the early 2010 cadence and reliability were the biggest weaknesses of the Falcon 9 and they have since turned into major strengths.

Many people in the industry were proven wrong by the reliability of the Falcon 9. When Ariane 6 and Vulcan will start flying they will have to compete without the advantage of a reliability record. Any failure in those programs would be absolutely disastrous and so this will further increases internal concerns about reliability and raise costs.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Falcon 9 Mission & Launch Success Records
« Reply #3 on: 07/16/2022 05:41 am »
Nice twitter thread by Eric on current F9 cadence relative to the R-7 family:

twitter.com/spacex/status/1548057271745200130

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Targeting Sunday, July 17 for a Falcon 9 launch of 53 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit from SLC-40 in Florida → spacex.com/launches/sl4-2…

twitter.com/13ericralph31/status/1548063885080440832

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Barring delays, this will be SpaceX's 8th launch in 30 days 😳 this is actually not that far away from what I believe is the all-time 30-day cadence record, which is likely 10 R--7 family launches from Sept 2 to Oct 1 1975.

https://twitter.com/13ericralph31/status/1548064466712940555

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If we want to be more literal, four different R-7 variants completed those 10 launches. So I honestly don't think it would be inaccurate to say that Falcon 9 will hold the record for number of launches completed in 30 days by a single rocket if Starlink 4-22 launches on time.

twitter.com/13ericralph31/status/1548068884460097538

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F9 has a few more hills to climb to truly trounce most of the R-7 family's records, though. 6 Soyuz-U launches in 15 days, for example. SpaceX has managed 5 F9 launches in 18 days.

But F9 is now halfway through its July manifest of 6 launches in 17 days, so it's not far off...

https://twitter.com/13ericralph31/status/1548068886662094848

Quote
At this point, the only R-7 variant record Falcon 9 is unlikely to break is total lifetime launches, as Soyuz-U has flown 786 times.
« Last Edit: 07/16/2022 05:41 am by FutureSpaceTourist »

Online vaporcobra

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Re: Falcon 9 Mission & Launch Success Records
« Reply #4 on: 07/16/2022 08:34 am »
Slight correction: Falcon 9 will only tie what I believe is the 30-day launch record. Soyuz-U once managed 8 launches in a bit less than 28 days. Still incredibly impressive, though :)

https://twitter.com/13ericralph31/status/1548082507622465539

Offline Comga

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Re: Falcon 9 Mission & Launch Success Records
« Reply #5 on: 07/18/2022 06:00 pm »
This may be a good thread for this or OT.

Quote
Falcon 9 has completed 31 missions so far this year, delivering ~351 metric tons to orbit – carrying astronauts & research to the @space_station, deploying Starlink to provide global high-speed internet, as well as many other critical payloads for our commercial & gov customers

For our statistically gifted contributors:
In 1969 NASA’s Saturn V launched Apollo 9, 10, 11, & 12.
The total mass to orbit that year, the peak of the Apollo program, must have been comparable to the above 351 metric tons (387 of those scrawny “tons” NASA still likes to use) orbited by the Falcon 9 in little more than a half year.
Anyone have a more accurate total mass?
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Online DanClemmensen

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Re: Falcon 9 Mission & Launch Success Records
« Reply #6 on: 07/18/2022 07:12 pm »
This may be a good thread for this or OT.

Quote
Falcon 9 has completed 31 missions so far this year, delivering ~351 metric tons to orbit – carrying astronauts & research to the @space_station, deploying Starlink to provide global high-speed internet, as well as many other critical payloads for our commercial & gov customers

For our statistically gifted contributors:
In 1969 NASA’s Saturn V launched Apollo 9, 10, 11, & 12.
The total mass to orbit that year, the peak of the Apollo program, must have been comparable to the above 351 metric tons (387 of those scrawny “tons” NASA still likes to use) orbited by the Falcon 9 in little more than a half year.
Anyone have a more accurate total mass?
Elon claimed in a tweet that F9 carried two thirds of the Earth's payload mass to orbit in 2021. I wonder what it will be this year?

Online AmigaClone

Re: Falcon 9 Mission & Launch Success Records
« Reply #7 on: 07/18/2022 07:35 pm »
This may be a good thread for this or OT.

Quote
Falcon 9 has completed 31 missions so far this year, delivering ~351 metric tons to orbit – carrying astronauts & research to the @space_station, deploying Starlink to provide global high-speed internet, as well as many other critical payloads for our commercial & gov customers

For our statistically gifted contributors:
In 1969 NASA’s Saturn V launched Apollo 9, 10, 11, & 12.
The total mass to orbit that year, the peak of the Apollo program, must have been comparable to the above 351 metric tons (387 of those scrawny “tons” NASA still likes to use) orbited by the Falcon 9 in little more than a half year.
Anyone have a more accurate total mass?
Elon claimed in a tweet that F9 carried two thirds of the Earth's payload mass to orbit in 2021. I wonder what it will be this year?

I can see Elon claiming around 75% of Earth's payload mass to orbit if China successfully launches into orbit both modules of it's space station and Starship doesn't launch this year. If both modules fail to reach orbit this year, and Starship has 2-3 fully orbital missions that number could go up considerably (85-90%?).

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Re: Falcon 9 Mission & Launch Success Records
« Reply #8 on: 07/18/2022 08:39 pm »
I can't see Falcon 9 surpassing some records of the R-7 family, especially the total number of launches of specific members of that family, such as total number of launches.

I also can't see SpaceX refurbishing a pad fast enough to launch twice within 50 hours - which the Soviet Union managed to do (in one case in 1969).

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Falcon 9 Mission & Launch Success Records
« Reply #9 on: 07/18/2022 09:37 pm »
For our statistically gifted contributors:
In 1969 NASA’s Saturn V launched Apollo 9, 10, 11, & 12.
The total mass to orbit that year, the peak of the Apollo program, must have been comparable to the above 351 metric tons (387 of those scrawny “tons” NASA still likes to use) orbited by the Falcon 9 in little more than a half year.
Anyone have a more accurate total mass?
Apollo 9:  36.553 tonnes to 185 x 187 km x 32.3 deg LEO
Apollo 10:  42.827 tonnes to TLI
Apollo 11:  43.952 tonnes to TLI
Apollo 12:  44.053 tonnes to TLI
These payload masses are CSM+LM at injection.

Hard to compare directly, since Apollo 9 also sent its S-IVB stage into solar orbit.  (The S-IVB/IU/Apollo 9 stack weighed 134.9 tonnes at orbit insertion,)  Falcon 9 has only boosted two missions beyond LEO so far this year totaling something less than 7.5 tonnes I think.  Apollos 10-12 sent 170.832 tonnes of actual payload beyond LEO.  Apollo 12's S-IVB used 71.687 tonnes of propellant to go from LEO to TLI, suggesting a LEO-equivalent "payload" of 115.74 tonnes for that mission.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 07/18/2022 10:21 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline Stan-1967

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Re: Falcon 9 Mission & Launch Success Records
« Reply #10 on: 07/18/2022 10:39 pm »

For our statistically gifted contributors:
In 1969 NASA’s Saturn V launched Apollo 9, 10, 11, & 12.
The total mass to orbit that year, the peak of the Apollo program, must have been comparable to the above 351 metric tons (387 of those scrawny “tons” NASA still likes to use) orbited by the Falcon 9 in little more than a half year.
Anyone have a more accurate total mass?

If you count the mass of the SIV & propellant that made it to parking orbit, plus the payloads of Apollo 9,10,11,& 12, I add up a mass of around 531 tons. 

Offline Redclaws

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Re: Falcon 9 Mission & Launch Success Records
« Reply #11 on: 07/18/2022 10:44 pm »

For our statistically gifted contributors:
In 1969 NASA’s Saturn V launched Apollo 9, 10, 11, & 12.
The total mass to orbit that year, the peak of the Apollo program, must have been comparable to the above 351 metric tons (387 of those scrawny “tons” NASA still likes to use) orbited by the Falcon 9 in little more than a half year.
Anyone have a more accurate total mass?

If you count the mass of the SIV & propellant that made it to parking orbit, plus the payloads of Apollo 9,10,11,& 12, I add up a mass of around 531 tons.

531 tons to where, though?  I guess I’m wondering about total delta v rather than just mass.  Man the Saturn V was a big rocket.

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Falcon 9 Mission & Launch Success Records
« Reply #12 on: 07/18/2022 11:14 pm »

For our statistically gifted contributors:
In 1969 NASA’s Saturn V launched Apollo 9, 10, 11, & 12.
The total mass to orbit that year, the peak of the Apollo program, must have been comparable to the above 351 metric tons (387 of those scrawny “tons” NASA still likes to use) orbited by the Falcon 9 in little more than a half year.
Anyone have a more accurate total mass?

If you count the mass of the SIV & propellant that made it to parking orbit, plus the payloads of Apollo 9,10,11,& 12, I add up a mass of around 531 tons.

531 tons to where, though?  I guess I’m wondering about total delta v rather than just mass.  Man the Saturn V was a big rocket.

To the LEO parking orbit before the TLI burn.
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Offline meekGee

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Re: Falcon 9 Mission & Launch Success Records
« Reply #13 on: 07/19/2022 12:22 am »
The only thing abnormal here is that these records stood for so long, attesting to the terrible stagnation that overtook the aerospace industry.

All we do is compare everything to the Apollo program...  Where else is this normal?  What other industry still holds the accomplishments of the 60s in awe and whispers quietly that one day, maybe...

The kind of progress SpaceX is making should have could have would have happened 20 years earlier at the very least.

Generation lost.

Glad we're finding it now, but it's still singular. I hope it'll become the norm again at some point.
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: Falcon 9 Mission & Launch Success Records
« Reply #14 on: 07/19/2022 01:53 am »
If you count the mass of the SIV & propellant that made it to parking orbit, plus the payloads of Apollo 9,10,11,& 12, I add up a mass of around 531 tons. 
Well yeah, but then you would need to include the burnout mass of the Falcon 9 second stage too for that comparison.

How about a theoretical capability comparison?  Falcon 9 has been launching, what, 15.9 tonnes to LEO on Starlink missions while recovering the first stage downrange?  That's almost 493 tonnes of payload possible for 31 launches, the current year-to-date total, though SpaceX says it has only lifted 351 tonnes.  If Saturn V could lift about 116 tonnes to LEO (see above), that would be almost 463 tonnes of possibility for 1969.  I would say roughly equivalent with Falcon 9 pulling ahead - and there are still 5.5 months to go this year.

Now, about that year NASA put nine 100 tonne Space Shuttle orbiters into orbit ....

 - Ed Kyle

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Re: Falcon 9 Mission & Launch Success Records
« Reply #15 on: 07/19/2022 03:51 am »
The only thing abnormal here is that these records stood for so long, attesting to the terrible stagnation that overtook the aerospace industry.

All we do is compare everything to the Apollo program...  Where else is this normal?  What other industry still holds the accomplishments of the 60s in awe and whispers quietly that one day, maybe...

The kind of progress SpaceX is making should have could have would have happened 20 years earlier at the very least.

Generation lost.

Glad we're finding it now, but it's still singular. I hope it'll become the norm again at some point.

There was a major slump in orbital launches worldwide between 2001 and 2005 caused by several factors. 2004 only saw 50 successful orbital launches globally. The four most used families (Delta, Long March, R-7 (which includes Soyuz) and Proton rockets launched a combined total of 32 times.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Falcon 9 Mission & Launch Success Records
« Reply #16 on: 07/19/2022 03:55 am »
A different first from Eric that I hadn’t considered:

https://twitter.com/13ericralph31/status/1549232977229467650

Quote
There's an increasingly good chance that in 2022, Falcon 9 will become the first rocket in history to launch the payload equivalent of its full liftoff mass into orbit in a single year! For F9, that's about 550 tons.

Online AmigaClone

Re: Falcon 9 Mission & Launch Success Records
« Reply #17 on: 07/19/2022 12:52 pm »
A different first from Eric that I hadn’t considered:

https://twitter.com/13ericralph31/status/1549232977229467650

Quote
There's an increasingly good chance that in 2022, Falcon 9 will become the first rocket in history to launch the payload equivalent of its full liftoff mass into orbit in a single year! For F9, that's about 550 tons.

Depending on the actual payload mass to orbit, Soyuz-U might have done that in 1979. Since many of the payloads it launched were military satellites, the true mass that rocket placed in orbit may never be known.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Falcon 9 Mission & Launch Success Records
« Reply #18 on: 07/19/2022 03:06 pm »
I can't see Falcon 9 surpassing some records of the R-7 family, especially the total number of launches of specific members of that family, such as total number of launches.

I also can't see SpaceX refurbishing a pad fast enough to launch twice within 50 hours - which the Soviet Union managed to do (in one case in 1969).
Falcon 9 won’t be operating long enough at current rates to surpass the >1000 launches record for the R7 family. Starship will take over the vast majority and eventually they’ll retire Falcon 9.

But why don’t you think they could “refurbish” a pad fast enough to turn around in 50 hours? Seems challenging, but not particularly groundbreaking compared to what they’ve already achieved. After all, as you say, the Soviets did it.

Maybe they just will never bother, but I don’t see any particular challenge to it.
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Offline Jim

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Re: Falcon 9 Mission & Launch Success Records
« Reply #19 on: 07/19/2022 03:11 pm »
The only thing abnormal here is that these records stood for so long, attesting to the terrible stagnation that overtook the aerospace industry.

All we do is compare everything to the Apollo program...  Where else is this normal?  What other industry still holds the accomplishments of the 60s in awe and whispers quietly that one day, maybe...

The kind of progress SpaceX is making should have could have would have happened 20 years earlier at the very least.

Generation lost.

Glad we're finding it now, but it's still singular. I hope it'll become the norm again at some point.

Meh.

There was no need.   Also, spacecraft were lasting longer

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