Author Topic: Largest FH Payloads?  (Read 4191 times)

Online david1971

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Largest FH Payloads?
« on: 02/07/2018 11:54 pm »
Assumption - It's the year 202X, BFR is now up and running, and we've all shed a little tear with the final launch of the Falcon Heavy.

What was the largest (in mass) payload it sent to LEO?  To GEO?  Beyond?

For each region, was this larger than what a Falcon 9 could have done in expendable mode?  Larger than a Delta IV Heavy?

In other words, did FH make things otherwise impossible possible, or did it just make them cheaper?
I flew on SOFIA four times.

Offline hkultala

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Re: Largest FH Payloads?
« Reply #1 on: 02/08/2018 08:14 am »
My guesses:

8-9-tonne GTO satellites. Possible also with Delta IHV, Atlas V 554, Vulcan, Long March 5 and Ariane V ECA. Almost possible also with F9 expendable.

~25-tonne LEO spy satellites. Possible also with Delta IVH and Vulcan (Heavy or ACES)


And never needing to expend any side boosters. However, might need to expend center core on some missions.


Online M.E.T.

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Re: Largest FH Payloads?
« Reply #2 on: 02/08/2018 08:41 am »
Given its volume rather than mass constraints, could there conceivably be a 40-ton load of fuel for some multi-stage space mission to the moon or other destination delivered to LEO during FH's lifespan?


Offline Vahe231991

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Re: Largest FH Payloads?
« Reply #3 on: 03/20/2023 06:54 pm »
Given its volume rather than mass constraints, could there conceivably be a 40-ton load of fuel for some multi-stage space mission to the moon or other destination delivered to LEO during FH's lifespan?
To answer this question, the second stage of the Falcon Heavy has a fueled mass of 246,000 pounds, so a 40 ton load of fuel would probably suffice because the Dragon XL spacecraft that will be carried by the Falcon Heavy to lunar orbit to provide supplies to the planned Lunar Gateway space station is to have a payload capacity of 11,000 pounds to lunar orbit.

Offline Jim

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Re: Largest FH Payloads?
« Reply #4 on: 03/20/2023 07:46 pm »
For each region, was this larger than what a Falcon 9 could have done in expendable mode?  Larger than a Delta IV Heavy?

No where close to a Delta IV Heavy or Atlas V 551

Offline Jim

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Re: Largest FH Payloads?
« Reply #5 on: 03/20/2023 07:50 pm »
What was the largest (in mass) payload it sent to LEO?  To GEO?  Beyond?
won't know until they all fly.   HALO PPE will likely be the heaviest overall.


For each region, was this larger than what a Falcon 9 could have done in expendable mode?

Always


In other words, did FH make things otherwise impossible possible, or did it just make them cheaper?

Cheaper because SLS wasn't needed. 

Offline pathfinder_01

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Re: Largest FH Payloads?
« Reply #6 on: 03/20/2023 09:42 pm »
Assumption - It's the year 202X, BFR is now up and running, and we've all shed a little tear with the final launch of the Falcon Heavy.

What was the largest (in mass) payload it sent to LEO?  To GEO?  Beyond?

For each region, was this larger than what a Falcon 9 could have done in expendable mode?  Larger than a Delta IV Heavy?

In other words, did FH make things otherwise impossible possible, or did it just make them cheaper?

Making things cheaper sometimes has the effect of making them possible. I suspect that given the number of F9 expendable flights that any FH flight likely is something that just can't be carried by F9 as there are plenty of high millage F9 boosters to be expended and landing the core seems to be a bit difficult. FH made it possible to pick up launch contracts such as the ones for the Gateway that Space X would otherwise lack.

Online david1971

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Re: Largest FH Payloads?
« Reply #7 on: 03/21/2023 05:33 am »
Assumption - It's the year 202X, BFR is now up and running, and we've all shed a little tear with the final launch of the Falcon Heavy.

What was the largest (in mass) payload it sent to LEO?  To GEO?  Beyond?

For each region, was this larger than what a Falcon 9 could have done in expendable mode?  Larger than a Delta IV Heavy?

In other words, did FH make things otherwise impossible possible, or did it just make them cheaper?


While Falcon Heavy has some big payloads on the manifest, so far we are looking at Arabsat 6A (6,465kg) as the largest satellite launched.

Falcon 9 has launched multiple satellites in the 6500-7000kg range to GTO.  Early practice was to expend the booster in favor of a higher-energy orbit, but more recently they've been recovering the boosters.  So up to this point Falcon Heavy hasn't launched any satellites that couldn't have been launched by a F9, and for that matter, an F9 that was recovered.  It seems like the utility of the F9H is getting the satellite to GEO faster/having more station-keeping fuel when you get there (extending lifetime).

All of this changes when EchoStar-24 launches later this year, 9,200 kg to GTO.  That is beyond an expendable F9's capabilities.
I flew on SOFIA four times.

Offline sebk

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Re: Largest FH Payloads?
« Reply #8 on: 03/21/2023 11:35 am »
For each region, was this larger than what a Falcon 9 could have done in expendable mode?  Larger than a Delta IV Heavy?

No where close to a Delta IV Heavy or Atlas V 551

Europa Clipper with it's chosen trajectory is beyond either DIV-H or AV 551.

Offline Jim

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Re: Largest FH Payloads?
« Reply #9 on: 03/21/2023 12:56 pm »
For each region, was this larger than what a Falcon 9 could have done in expendable mode?  Larger than a Delta IV Heavy?

No where close to a Delta IV Heavy or Atlas V 551

Europa Clipper with it's chosen trajectory is beyond either DIV-H or AV 551.

Because it was an SLS payload

 

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