Why does SpaceX not cancel FH? Too much invested already? They didnt follow that fallacy in the past. Do they need FH for LEO performance? If so, for what? The only thing that I can come up with at moment is: Tourists around the Moon and some DOD flights. Is that enough to justify FH financially? Someone smarter than me will have to answer that. Is it enough to justify FH emotionally? Maybe. If it starts flying tourists around the Moon, this could have a very positive effect politically. Is this enough to justify FH? Dont know. Hmm...
FH guarantees that no F9 first stages are wasted except for launch or landing failures.
The pivot to BFR doesnít change that F9 and FH will still be flying for many years and will be paying for BFR.
FH more or less exists right now. BFR does not. It is worth continuing to produce and use until BFR is working because nothing else fills that roll otherwise.
With that being said, there do not appear to be too many payloads for it.
Same could be said for the SLS or the Armstrong. It's always a chicken-and-the-egg game: no one will build something without the other something, in this case payloads/rockets. However, it's undeniable that SpaceX and Falcon 9 has been catching eyes. If the FH succeeds, even if it ends up being a short-lived vehicle, this will encourage clients to create payloads applicable to either FH or BFR.I believe we'll see a handful of FHs, but I wouldn't expect more than 10 all together.
(But also: absolutely no sense at all to stop manufacturing/supporting it. BFR is only ready after 5 year or something, and SpaceX has multiple missions in it's manifest that either require FH or that require FH for stage1 reusability)
Quote from: hkultala on 10/04/2017 04:23 pm(But also: absolutely no sense at all to stop manufacturing/supporting it. BFR is only ready after 5 year or something, and SpaceX has multiple missions in it's manifest that either require FH or that require FH for stage1 reusability)SpaceX years are like inverse dog years or something (kind of like the Microsoft minute). FH was harder than they anticipated, resulting in significant delay, and it wasn't using new/exotic materials or engine cycles like BFR will. They will hit roadblocks on this new system, so I wouldn't bet real money on that 5 year timeline. They'll want to build up a pretty beefy inventory of F9/FH cores and Dragons before completely switching production over to BFR.
Falcon Heavy sounds like a bit of a dead end. There seems to be a problem with balancing the boosters. If as is quite likely the first launch is unsuccessful what is to be gained from continuing development ?
Do you need a new FH if you are transitioning to BFR?Weíre building Falcon Heavy and we are going to fly it this year. The hardware has been through testing and almost everything is at the launch site. At this point we are just waiting to clear out the launch manifest on Pad 39A and to start flying Falcon 9s from Pad 40, which will allow us a little time to convert 39A for Falcon Heavy.Is it a weeks-long conversion of the pad?Itís a matter of weeks. The hardware is ready, itís a matter of a swap. Because Falcon Heavy is such a big vehicle, we cannot really test all 27 engines on the three cores at our Texas launch site, so the idea is to put it up there on 39A and do a lot of testing before we actually lift.