Author Topic: Falcon Heavy Demo Mission Payload Speculation  (Read 151817 times)

Online oiorionsbelt

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Re: Falcon Heavy Demo Mission Payload Speculation
« Reply #220 on: 11/10/2017 09:47 PM »
Most likely they would launch something that helps them achieve their Mars aspirations.
It may just be a mass simulator payload with the second stage Frankinstiened in order to get re-entry data.
However SpaceX have had a long, long, long time to think about and build the payload for the FH demo mission so I doubt it will be a dumb mass simulator. Satellite to orbit Mars is possible and just getting something into Mars orbit would be a huge boost on their Mars ambitions.

Online nacnud

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Re: Falcon Heavy Demo Mission Payload Speculation
« Reply #221 on: 11/10/2017 10:23 PM »
A working model of the Valley forge from Silent Running, complete with greenhouses! ;)

Online Lar

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Re: Falcon Heavy Demo Mission Payload Speculation
« Reply #222 on: 11/10/2017 11:15 PM »
A working model of the Valley forge from Silent Running, complete with greenhouses! ;)


They'd have to update AA's logo :)
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Kaputnik

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Re: Falcon Heavy Demo Mission Payload Speculation
« Reply #223 on: 11/11/2017 12:05 AM »
Most likely they would launch something that helps them achieve their Mars aspirations.
It may just be a mass simulator payload with the second stage Frankinstiened in order to get re-entry data.
However SpaceX have had a long, long, long time to think about and build the payload for the FH demo mission so I doubt it will be a dumb mass simulator. Satellite to orbit Mars is possible and just getting something into Mars orbit would be a huge boost on their Mars ambitions.

Next Mars launch window opens c. April next year. I don't think anybody wants them to wait that long.
Waiting for joy and raptor

Offline alang

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Re: Falcon Heavy Demo Mission Payload Speculation
« Reply #224 on: 11/11/2017 02:44 PM »
I'm sticking to my opinion that they'll want to re-enter a scale model of the BFS at some point, but I have to admit it would be difficult now.
It seems that computation and current wind tunnels are not fully up to the job of demonstrating the reality of hypersonic flight and the new BFS has fins.
The obvious problem to me for an early scale model is attitude control, so the conservatives may be right.

Offline NX-0

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Re: Falcon Heavy Demo Mission Payload Speculation
« Reply #225 on: 11/12/2017 08:38 PM »
Perhaps the FH payload will be something...Boring.

Offline speedevil

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Re: Falcon Heavy Demo Mission Payload Speculation
« Reply #226 on: 11/13/2017 02:15 AM »
Perhaps the FH payload will be something...Boring.
How deep will a 70 ton half meter rod of tungsten go at 8km/s?

Online IanThePineapple

Re: Falcon Heavy Demo Mission Payload Speculation
« Reply #227 on: 11/13/2017 02:18 AM »
Perhaps the FH payload will be something...Boring.
How deep will a 70 ton half meter rod of tungsten go at 8km/s?

I think SpaceX wants to stay on all of Earth's good side, making a nuclear-like impact wouldn't be too good

Offline CapitalistOppressor

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Re: Falcon Heavy Demo Mission Payload Speculation
« Reply #228 on: 11/13/2017 04:49 AM »
Ok, if this thread is partyesque in its rigor I'll bite.  FWIW I'm posting from memory about an article I was considering writing on the subject back in 2013/14, and I'm on my phone without access to source materials.  So some minor details might be mixed up.

And to be certain, I did not write the article because it's fundamentally a conspiracy theory I concocted that would be difficult to prove and could easily, and convincingly, be denied.  But there have been similar suggestions recently, and I am still suspicious, though my operating assumption has been that it's almost certainly wrong.

The core of the conspiracy theory rests on the simple fact that the Lunar X-Prize team named Synergy Moon named their rovers Tesla Prospector and Tesla Surveyor back around 2010.  Against all odds Synergy Moon remains one of the few contestants still in the contest.

That is a simple fact that can be easily Googled.  The rest is my opinion or just suspicious looking.

First, a little digging showed that Synergy Moon took over/joined with  an older LXP team around 2010.  At this time the rover concept of the older team changed and was renamed for Nikola Tesla.  The team members who made up Synergy Moon had in many cases CV's that read more like people doing a documentary or filming a commercial.

The impetuous for the Tesla name appeared to come from what appeared to be financial backing by a brand new Philadelphia non-profit named Tesla Science Foundation (there is also a Tesla Foundation, which is a different entity, and I might have them backwards since I'm going from memory).

That entity was headed by a private investigator who purportedly had a long time interest in Nikola Tesla.  But suddenly in 2010 he became the head of the TSF and had contacts with the Croatian Space Agency (iirc), and had decided to fund the new Tesla Rovers.  His LinkedIn page was pretty barebones and the only conversations/links were with some accounts based in San Francisco.

The CFO for the organization was a Ted Talking tech world VC bigwig lawyer in the Philadelphia area.

The rovers themselves used the same NVidia Tegra chips used to run the Model S and were being programmed with self driving capability by a guy whose doctoral thesis was about using those chips to power a Moon rover, who again was hired in the late 2010-2011 time frame.

The Croatian Space Agency has apparently built test articles of the purported rovers.  The launch provider is a company that builds real rockets and was the core of the older team before being joined by SM.

Nikola Tesla is a national hero in the Balkans there is a clear air of legitimacy about the project outside of the listed Synergy Moon members, so I've always assumed they are likely to be legitimate contestants, if presumed longshots.

But as a layman I was skeptical of the ability of the launch provider to actually get them to the moon.  I still remain skeptical, and the teams ability to be one of the few teams able to keep advancing in the competition has always been somewhat suspicious. 

Also, while I doubt the ability of the launch provider to get them to the moon, they look like they'd be perfect to develop a Moon lander for Elon as part of a highly deniable Moon project done in plain sight outside of the spotlight on Tesla and SpaceX.  They've been testing rocket engines and everything.

I never ran down the technical specs of their engines or got a professional opinion on their suitability for landing Model S derived Moon buggies, so I expect to be confronted shortly with some rocket equation hoodoo saying why it's nuts.  Like I said, I never really believed the theory myself.

P.S. There were potential legal issues as well that I didn't get far enough to resolve.  i.e. iirc Elon is a member of the LXP board, which has repeatedly extended the competition (which dates accommodated the then current timeline for FH).

So I'm not sure he can even participate/win the prize.  I'm also not certain they could subsistute Model S derived Moon buggies for the hardware that has supposedly been being scored this whole time.

I did think it would be an amazing marketing opportunity for Tesla.  The Synergy Moon team has talked at times about teleoperation, which could be branded as the ultimate "test drives."  I also considered the value of putting a crash test dummy in the car and streaming the descent from in the car.  If it crashes you still get awesome commercials about your safety testing program.

There are also two Teslas listed in the team (prospector/surveyor).  The early release dates that were discussed for Model X also corresponded with early plans for Falcon Heavy and LXP deadlines.

Part of the reason I didn't FOIA the Tesla Science Foundation IRS disclosures was because if it was true I wasn't sure I wanted to spoil the surprise.  Even just a month out from the launch I'm somewhat ambivalent, but I figure it's highly unlikely to be true, and blowing their cover right before the launch might actually be helpful.

Offline biosehnsucht

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Re: Falcon Heavy Demo Mission Payload Speculation
« Reply #229 on: 11/13/2017 06:15 AM »
If someone outside of LXP competition more-or-less fulfills the goals of the LXP competition, does the competition keep going (where 1st place in LXP is 2nd place in reality now) ? Or does LXP just throw in the towel?

Online Semmel

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Re: Falcon Heavy Demo Mission Payload Speculation
« Reply #230 on: 11/13/2017 06:52 AM »
SpaceX said often enough that they are not going to launch a customer on FH maiden flight due to the low probability of success and uncertain schedule. It's something that is provided by SpaceX that doesn't has its own critical schedule.

Online Johnnyhinbos

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Re: Falcon Heavy Demo Mission Payload Speculation
« Reply #231 on: 11/13/2017 08:14 AM »
Lol - Zuma maybe...? ( kidding I guess)
John Hanzl. Author, action / adventure www.johnhanzl.com

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Falcon Heavy Demo Mission Payload Speculation
« Reply #232 on: 11/20/2017 05:20 PM »
They won't be sending a Dragon: there's no practical way to fit one in the fairing.
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Offline AncientU

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Re: Falcon Heavy Demo Mission Payload Speculation
« Reply #233 on: 11/20/2017 06:43 PM »
What if...
 'Hail Mary' + attempting to land the second stage + 'frankenstein' vehicle = a lunar lander
 ...uses pieces of existing technology such as super-dracos, vertical landing, etc., but not Dragon 2
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Offline speedevil

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Re: Falcon Heavy Demo Mission Payload Speculation
« Reply #234 on: 11/27/2017 03:47 PM »
I was initially going to post a rather silly suggestion involving stage 1 boosting to orbit with the aid of S2 flipping backwards, then propellant transfer to enable a full F9 stack in orbit with 8 or so launches.
However, BFS largely fills this niche, and though it might be technically feasible, it's at best unlikely.

For a test payload, that will do several orbits in GTO:

What can be designed and made with small teams of engineers in off-times with minimal budgets that doesn't have to work, but will at least fail in interesting ways that may advance SpaceXs future capabilities in a future world where launch prices are crashing.

Some things that come to mind, in no particular order.

Safety:
Single person emergency reentry capsules. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOOSE )
Data recovery capsules (minimum mass to get a recoverable SD card down from orbit)

Control:
The $100 star-tracker.
Earth tracker: with a coastline database and webcam, how good can you get?

Control moment gyros and reaction wheels made from lightly modified parts from the RC toy industry.

Robotics:
Tests in orbit of nearly unmodified off-the shelf industrial robotic arms and spotwelding equipment.

ECLSS:
Can you keep a 12h candle 'alive', and what's the minimal mass.

Comms:
Tests of the optical parts of Starlink in orbit.

Science:
How do off-the-shelf components perform.
http://www.dunlap.utoronto.ca/instrumentation/dragonfly/ - for example as a terrestrial example of a world-beating telescope. (for high contrast only)

Manufacturing:
3d printing metal - how does SLS work in orbit, perhaps with the powder restrained magnetically.

Assembly:
Try rolling the above robots along an i-beam with power and data umbillicals, while doing things to the beam.

Offline edzieba

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Re: Falcon Heavy Demo Mission Payload Speculation
« Reply #235 on: 01/29/2018 11:10 AM »
Boring option: Tesla will be in the fairing for launch. Was removed for static fire to allow for static fire using maximum-payload mass-simulator, i.e. a big chunk of iron sitting on the payload adaptor.

Offline Roy_H

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Re: Falcon Heavy Demo Mission Payload Speculation
« Reply #236 on: 01/29/2018 01:05 PM »
I have to admit that I am very disappointed with the simple goal of throwing the Tesla Roadster into a very vague orbit similar distance as Mars. No attempt to provide long distance communication. No attempt to demonstrate precision trajectory to Mars orbit or better still landing on Phobos. They have had years to plan something of value where they can demonstrate or learn something beyond the ability to lift some mass clear of earth's gravitational field. I thought they would land something on our Moon.  :(
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Offline speedevil

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Re: Falcon Heavy Demo Mission Payload Speculation
« Reply #237 on: 01/29/2018 02:09 PM »
I have to admit that I am very disappointed with the simple goal of throwing the Tesla Roadster into a very vague orbit similar distance as Mars. No attempt to provide long distance communication. No attempt to demonstrate precision trajectory to Mars orbit or better still landing on Phobos. They have had years to plan something of value where they can demonstrate or learn something beyond the ability to lift some mass clear of earth's gravitational field. I thought they would land something on our Moon.  :(

I agree - there are much more interesting things they could have done, that may be on the path to other interesting things that are required, from demonstrating bits of Starlink, to on-orbit assembly, to repurposing Starlink sats as Martian comsats.

However, anything more than what they have apparently chosen to do would have taken some effort, even though others may quantify that as minimal.

Actually landing on a body, or precision mid-course guidance as would be required to get actually to Mars would be quite involved indeed.
See above for some of my ideas on other options. It seems a missed opportunity - hopefully BFS will be along soon.

Online ValmirGP

Re: Falcon Heavy Demo Mission Payload Speculation
« Reply #238 on: 01/29/2018 03:33 PM »
I have to admit that I am very disappointed with the simple goal of throwing the Tesla Roadster into a very vague orbit similar distance as Mars. No attempt to provide long distance communication. No attempt to demonstrate precision trajectory to Mars orbit or better still landing on Phobos. They have had years to plan something of value where they can demonstrate or learn something beyond the ability to lift some mass clear of earth's gravitational field. I thought they would land something on our Moon.  :(

I agree - there are much more interesting things they could have done, that may be on the path to other interesting things that are required, from demonstrating bits of Starlink, to on-orbit assembly, to repurposing Starlink sats as Martian comsats.

However, anything more than what they have apparently chosen to do would have taken some effort, even though others may quantify that as minimal.

Actually landing on a body, or precision mid-course guidance as would be required to get actually to Mars would be quite involved indeed.
See above for some of my ideas on other options. It seems a missed opportunity - hopefully BFS will be along soon.
Although they could have made more of this payload, there was no point in doing very elaborate things for a flight that could "blow on the pad," as Mr. Musk taunted. Maybe they have some thing extra nice for the Demo 2 flight.

Online goretexguy

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Re: Falcon Heavy Demo Mission Payload Speculation
« Reply #239 on: 01/29/2018 03:41 PM »
I have to admit that I am very disappointed with the simple goal of throwing the Tesla Roadster into a very vague orbit similar distance as Mars. No attempt to provide long distance communication. No attempt to demonstrate precision trajectory to Mars orbit or better still landing on Phobos. They have had years to plan something of value where they can demonstrate or learn something beyond the ability to lift some mass clear of earth's gravitational field. I thought they would land something on our Moon.  :(

I agree - there are much more interesting things they could have done, that may be on the path to other interesting things that are required, from demonstrating bits of Starlink, to on-orbit assembly, to repurposing Starlink sats as Martian comsats.

However, anything more than what they have apparently chosen to do would have taken some effort, even though others may quantify that as minimal.

Actually landing on a body, or precision mid-course guidance as would be required to get actually to Mars would be quite involved indeed.
See above for some of my ideas on other options. It seems a missed opportunity - hopefully BFS will be along soon.
Although they could have made more of this payload, there was no point in doing very elaborate things for a flight that could "blow on the pad," as Mr. Musk taunted. Maybe they have some thing extra nice for the Demo 2 flight.
Agreed. Of all the things they can do with this flight, success would be the most awesome. With the Heavy, SpaceX is moving from "space is hard" to "space is super hard." If they achieve success here, they get membership in the Big Boys' Rocket Club, which is critical for BFR.

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