Poll

What can we expect when the Falcon Heavy launches?

Catastrophic failure before clearing the launch tower
5 (1%)
Clearing launch tower but failure to reach orbit
83 (16.2%)
Successful flight to orbit
425 (82.8%)

Total Members Voted: 513

Voting closed: 01/28/2018 10:13 PM


Author Topic: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!  (Read 11159 times)

Offline Oersted

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Pretty self-explanatory poll...

I consciously kept the options simple to keep their number down. No differentiation beyond "reaching orbit". For the purposes of this poll that is considered a success. I think Elon feels the same!

Looking forward to see what confidence level NSF members have in this launch attempt.

Good luck SpaceX!
« Last Edit: 12/29/2017 07:09 PM by Lar »

Offline scienceguy

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Re: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #1 on: 12/29/2017 05:23 PM »
In the "Predictions for 2018" thread, I predicted  a successful flight to orbit, but this being a new rocket and all...
e^(pi*i) = -1

Offline mheney

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Re: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #2 on: 12/29/2017 05:23 PM »
OK, I'll start things off optimistically.  There may be a post-ignition pad abort or three, but once they actually release the hold-downs, I'm feeling pretty good about the flight.

Offline nacnud

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Re: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #3 on: 12/29/2017 05:23 PM »
 8) Can we have some options that include the fate of the boosters?

Offline envy887

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Re: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #4 on: 12/29/2017 05:31 PM »
I think it will reach orbit, though that does not mean it will be 100% successful.

Shouldn't this be in the polls section?

Offline drunyan8315

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Re: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #5 on: 12/29/2017 05:34 PM »
Yes, I think Spacex knows how to do precision timings of events. May be a pad abort or three as said above, but I think she’ll fly once off the hold downs. The initial roll onto launch azimuth should be straightforward, having been done on DIVH and Titan 3/4 for years.

80% chance of success, my guess.

Offline ncb1397

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Re: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #6 on: 12/29/2017 05:35 PM »
The beer spilled in the back seat will seed Mars with life, thus fulfilling Musk's goal of colonizing Mars.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #7 on: 12/29/2017 05:39 PM »
I think it will successfully make it to orbit but there is a chance of anomalies causing less than idea performance like on the Delta IV Heavy demo flight where cavitation caused early shut down of the boosters and core stage.
https://spaceflightnow.com/delta/d310/050316rootcause.html
« Last Edit: 12/29/2017 05:40 PM by Patchouli »

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #8 on: 12/29/2017 05:44 PM »
Successful flight to orbit whatever the parameters are...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Online docmordrid

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Re: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #9 on: 12/29/2017 05:45 PM »
Success.
DM

Offline John Alan

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Re: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #10 on: 12/29/2017 05:54 PM »
Do I think the payload will be hurled out into space... likely on the correct trajectory.. Yes... 8)
Do I think there may be some snags or issues either seen, or hidden in the data obtained...  I do...  ???
Will the result be a delay on the next FH launch... Maybe... Maybe not...  ;)

Offline Barrie

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Re: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #11 on: 12/29/2017 05:56 PM »
All the delays have been time spent working all foreseeable issues, so I am hopeful it will be a successful launch to an orbit...

Offline Oersted

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Re: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #12 on: 12/29/2017 06:12 PM »
I am surprised that 67 out of the first 77 voters predict successful flight to orbit. Seems NSF'ers believe very much in SpaceX' ability to pull this off.

Offline Tuts36

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Re: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #13 on: 12/29/2017 06:19 PM »
I am surprised that 67 out of the first 77 voters predict successful flight to orbit. Seems NSF'ers believe very much in SpaceX' ability to pull this off.

I'm not.  FH has been "6 months away" for years - not rushed to the pad at all.  Meanwhile, 2017 was a showcase for what F9 can do as a mature launcher.  We haven't been hearing as much lately from the "But 27 ENGINES! It's almost as bad as N1!" folks.

I am going to try SOOO hard to drive down and see this launch.

Offline deruch

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Re: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #14 on: 12/29/2017 06:21 PM »
Voted for success to orbit, but I'm including the caveat that they will fail to recover one of the 3 boosters.  This can come from any cause, separation failure, landing error, etc.
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline pb2000

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Re: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #15 on: 12/29/2017 06:23 PM »
I went with success, insofar as that I don't think the rocket will explode, however I expect a few hiccups that may require some design tweaks and another demo mission before a paying customer puts a payload on top. If Elon's team nails it 100% though (perfect flight, pinpoint TMI, 3 recovered boosters), it'll be one for the record books and prove that SpaceX has what it takes to get us to Mars.
Launches attended: Worldview-4 (Atlas V 401), Iridium NEXT Flight 1 (Falcon 9 FT), PAZ+Starlink (Falcon 9 FT)

Offline Oersted

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Re: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #16 on: 12/29/2017 06:49 PM »
Given this years' record in first stage landings I don't see why the boosters wouldn't land just fine as long as the separation event is succesful. Smooth sailing from there.

Offline Johnnyhinbos

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Re: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #17 on: 12/29/2017 06:50 PM »
I'll answer in the accepted poll justification discussion format:

I think this launch will result in one or fewer successes, with zero or more boosters sticking a landing, and not more than one (but maybe fewer) Teslas injected into orbit around the sun or some other orbit, or not. I'll report back on how I did after the launch!

(Just kidding - I'm feeling good that this beast will have 100% mission success with the two side boosters completing a RTLS and the center core RUDing on the ASDS due to a hot entry)
John Hanzl. Author, action / adventure www.johnhanzl.com

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #18 on: 12/29/2017 07:00 PM »
I am surprised that 67 out of the first 77 voters predict successful flight to orbit. Seems NSF'ers believe very much in SpaceX' ability to pull this off.

I'm not.  FH has been "6 months away" for years - not rushed to the pad at all.  Meanwhile, 2017 was a showcase for what F9 can do as a mature launcher.  We haven't been hearing as much lately from the "But 27 ENGINES! It's almost as bad as N1!" folks.

I am going to try SOOO hard to drive down and see this launch.

I wouldn't say it's nearly as bad as the N1 as you don't have all 27 engines sharing the same plumbing and Merlin is a relatively low pressure engine compared to the NK-15 that has less tendency RUD in a spectacular manner.

« Last Edit: 12/29/2017 07:14 PM by Patchouli »

Offline Lar

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #19 on: 12/29/2017 07:21 PM »
POLL added to the title.... I think it got moved already (on my phone so... )

I voted complete success. I think they will recover all the boosters and put the roadster in a useful orbit.

This vehicle won't fly again, though. Per comments by Elon and Gwynne.

(Coming to you from Fishlips!!!! )
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"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline drunyan8315

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Re: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #20 on: 12/29/2017 07:24 PM »
Somebody on one of the space shows on YouTube was talking about 27 engines, N1, etc and said hey the venerable Soyuz has 20 engines, 5 clusters of 4.
I stand to be corrected but I believe those engines have 4 chambers each, much like the “single engine” Atlas 5 has two chambers. Not sure what difference it makes, but it doesn’t have 20 fully independent engines like the FH has 27. Bottom line is could a chamber fail and the other three keep running?

The N1’s problem was not “30 engines” per se, but:
A. Having 30 mostly untested engines, and
B. Trying to control them with a computer reputed to be in the PDP-8 class.

Offline Pete

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #21 on: 12/29/2017 07:45 PM »
I predict this bird will fly perfectly to orbit.
.
.
.
.
After weeks and weeks and weeks of delays.
(Feb, maybe even March)
« Last Edit: 12/29/2017 07:46 PM by Pete »

Offline mme

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #22 on: 12/29/2017 07:54 PM »
I think it will succeed but I'll be nervous each step of the way.
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Offline Orbiter

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #23 on: 12/29/2017 07:57 PM »
Complete mission success: port and starboard boosters successfully return to LZ-1, core booster fails to land.
Attended space missions: STS-114, STS-124, STS-128, STS-135, Atlas V "Curiosity", Delta IV Heavy NROL-15, Atlas V MUOS-2, Delta IV Heavy NROL-37, Falcon 9 CRS-9, Falcon 9 JCSAT-16, Atlas V GOES-R, Falcon 9 SES-11, Falcon Heavy Demo.

Offline subzero788

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #24 on: 12/29/2017 08:16 PM »
SpaceX have had two failures in the last few years, so surprised by how optimistic everyone is here about the launch (current complete success vote is 85%).


That said, I am feeling good about this one and am going with the majority.

Offline Oersted

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #25 on: 12/29/2017 08:28 PM »
POLL added to the title.... I think it got moved already (on my phone so... )

My first poll ever on NSF. Thanks, mods, for helping me out with the format!

Seems that the "failure on the way to orbit" option is picking up more votes. That makes sense to me: I think most of the risk around lift-off is removed with the static test fire. The ascent to orbit, though... Lots of unknowns. And as Musk said: it is basically trying to fly three Falcon 9s in tight formation!

Offline jongoff

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #26 on: 12/29/2017 10:21 PM »
For all of Elon's downplaying their odds of success with FH, I don't think they'd be launching if they weren't pretty sure it would work. First launches are always riskier, but I think they have a >80% chance of a flawless first launch, and a >90% chance of at least making orbit (even if they have to fight through some underperformance or anomalies).

~Jon

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #27 on: 12/29/2017 10:45 PM »
I think they'll do okay. But I'm going to be terrified from the terminal count, all the way to the final second stage shutdown.
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Offline RocketLover0119

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #28 on: 12/29/2017 10:47 PM »
I honestly feel this will be all out successful, for a huge launch like this, SpaceX probably has taken everything both good and bad about F9 and tweaked or boosted that to make this as flawless as it possibly could be. But if my prediction is wrong, as Elon said, it will be interesting one way or another.
"The Falcon has landed"

Offline Norm38

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #29 on: 12/29/2017 10:54 PM »
SpaceX have had two failures in the last few years, so surprised by how optimistic everyone is here about the launch (current complete success vote is 85%).


That said, I am feeling good about this one and am going with the majority.

Two failures that both involved the second stage and were 18+ launches ago. Seem to be ironed out.
The computers should be able to fly it. So unless something physically snaps, they should make orbit.

Offline AllenB

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #30 on: 12/29/2017 10:58 PM »
Like many others, I believe they'll make it to orbit with this launch. The planned orbit? Maybe not, but probably good enough to burn for Mars. Will it launch on the first attempt of the campaign? Now that would really be a surprise.

Oh, and there's no way (IMHO) that Elon will launch if there's felt to be any significant risk of destroying 39A.

Can't wait to see it!

Offline georgegassaway

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #31 on: 12/29/2017 11:51 PM »
I think it'll make orbit.  But would have liked to have seen an option to cover between clearing the tower, and separating the boosters safely.

 Once it's made it past Max-Q and booster sep (the areas I'm most concerned about), no big reason why not the rest of the way.

However, clearing the launch tower is not the same as avoiding severely damaging the pad.  For example, first N-1 launch, and  the Antares  ORS-3 launch.  Both cleared the tower. Then the engines shut down (or blew), and the rockets fell right back down onto the pad.

I would never think of 39A as being "clear" of damage till FH has pitched a few degrees toward the ocean so that if it had any sort of shutdown or catastrophic failure, it would crash far enough away.

BTW - "Tower Clear" was a callout during Gemini and onwards to mark when control of the flight was handed off between the Cape (everything leading to the launch, ignition, liftoff, and clearing the tower), and the Manned Spacecraft Center (later JSC) taking control of the rest of the mission after Tower clear. I do not recall if that callout "Tower Clear" as used before then, perhaps so.  It's also notable of course that it didn't collide with the tower, but offhand I do not recall a case where that happened (at least with a rocket not already in trouble due to low thrust or guidance problems, where the rocket was not going into space that day anyway)

In any case,  Tower Clear is more relevant as a time to hand over control of the rest of the flight (at least to orbit), for certain vehicles, organizations and companies, if applicable.   Not a "Pad will OK if it blows now" callout.
« Last Edit: 12/30/2017 12:08 AM by georgegassaway »

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #32 on: 12/30/2017 12:11 AM »
I voted that it will make it to orbit. I think that is the more likely scenario, since otherwise SpaceX would not proceed with the launch.

That said, though I think the odds are better than 50:50, they are not close to 100%.

I'll have my fingers crossed for the entire flight...
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Offline Bob Shaw

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #33 on: 12/30/2017 12:11 AM »

The N1’s problem was not “30 engines” per se, but:
A. Having 30 mostly untested engines, and
B. Trying to control them with a computer reputed to be in the PDP-8 class.
I believe that the consensus of opinion is that there were three main N-1 issues:

No all-up stage testing
Poor quality control
Underfunding

Add in bad luck, and things were bound to go wrong at first. But - and this is a big 'BUT' - this is a Western analysis. The Soviets (and, oddly, SpaceX and other NewSpace entities) adopted a 'build a little, fly a little' philosophy, and this tended to either demonstrate that something couldn't be done or to eventually prove that it could. Soviet aerospace certainly worked well in that regard for decades. In many respects we're comparing apples and oranges, and forgetting that Soviet analog spacecraft and rockets were wildly succesful.

Offline redliox

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #34 on: 12/30/2017 12:22 AM »
I voted that it will make it to orbit. I think that is the more likely scenario, since otherwise SpaceX would not proceed with the launch.

That said, though I think the odds are better than 50:50, they are not close to 100%.

I'll have my fingers crossed for the entire flight...

I play it just a hair pessimistic since this is an obviously new configuration SpaceX hasn't done before.  However, SpaceX is no amateur anymore, so I believe any complications will happen after it clears the tower.  Of course, I hope for a raging success.  That, and also hearing the exact launch date soon!
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Offline vapour_nudge

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #35 on: 12/30/2017 12:25 AM »
Failure when the side boosters separate. This post definitely won’t get any likes. Perhaps it’s time to add a dislike option to the forum 🥕

Offline koshvv

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #36 on: 12/30/2017 02:24 AM »
Botched boosters separation.

Offline yokem55

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #37 on: 12/30/2017 03:52 AM »
Here's my speculative prediction:
1) Ignition, lift-off, and transit through Max-Q go well.
2) Boosters shut down early (Unpredicted vibration mode?)
3) They also separate early.
4) The core gets away, but the boosters recontact during their flips, destroying each other.
5) Due to the early separation, the core goes into expendable mode, burns longer to make up the lost performance and makes no attempt to land downrange.
6) The rest of the mission is more or less nominal, with the Roadster inserted into its solar orbit within a few km of target.
7) Political news media gets a bunch of op-eds calling the demo a complete failure and a massive waste of tax dollars.

Offline hkultala

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #38 on: 12/30/2017 08:33 AM »
This poll is missing at least one major option:

* Performing mission but having some other major trouble (1st stage engines failing or landing failing)

Offline Oersted

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #39 on: 12/30/2017 09:17 AM »
Too many options would make the poll less interesting. Got to keep the options few and clear. You have the "posts" section to specify what you think will happen in detail.

Offline cebri

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #40 on: 12/30/2017 09:38 AM »
Chose fail to reach orbit because i know my prediction capabilities are horrible. Good luck SpaceX.  :)

Offline brihath

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #41 on: 12/30/2017 10:00 AM »
I am actually voting for clearing the tower but failing to reach the intended orbit.  My main concerns are robustness of control authority with the two strap on boosters flying for the first time, having a clean separation event, and unknowns regarding acoustic loads on the vehicle at engine start/liftoff. 

I believe that the SpaceX folks have learned a lot as demonstrated by their string of successful launches, and the more you fly, the more you learn.  However, this is a totally new vehicle, so I am skeptical that everything will go perfectly.  I wish SpaceX all the best with this launch and hope they have a completely successful flight. 

Offline Rebel44

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #42 on: 12/30/2017 11:01 AM »
I voted complete success. I think they will recover all the boosters and put the roadster in a useful orbit.

Offline Lar

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #43 on: 12/30/2017 11:14 AM »
Mode note: We don't leave polls open indefinitely. We tend to end them either at the 30 day mark (how it is set now after I edited it) or before the event (if a firm launch date is announced, I'll move the end date to just before that date, (remind me via PM if I forget), or if that date is past 28 Jan, leave it).
« Last Edit: 12/30/2017 11:19 AM by Lar »
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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #44 on: 12/30/2017 11:19 AM »
Just can't bring myself to vote on any of these options.
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Offline Hauerg

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #45 on: 12/30/2017 11:48 AM »
Success.

But I will br really nervous around maxQ this time.

Offline Lar

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #46 on: 12/30/2017 11:49 AM »
Just can't bring myself to vote on any of these options.

Happily, voting in this poll is not required to remain an NSF user in good standing, trust me, I checked.

However, to make your post more interesting maybe you could edit it to say why, or what option (not present) you WOULD vote for if it were present?
"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 Paul451

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #47 on: 12/30/2017 01:44 PM »
Voted for the second option. Aerodynamics, vibration, and side-booster separation seem to be the shiny new things.

The number of engines doesn't concern me. (How are these 27 engines any different than the last 162?) So I'm not expecting an explosion on the pad. And after side-booster separation, it's just a F9 launch. The window for problems is therefore in the middle.

But I'm hardly going to disappointed by a total success.



Re: Options.

I think the ideal format for options would be a multi-choice type of poll. Ie, select all the options you think will occur. But I don't think the site's polling format works for multi-choice.

Ie,

Will there be a successful...

(x) Engine start
(x) Lift-off
(x) Tower clearance
(x) Max-Q passage
(x) Both side-booster separation
(x) MECO & core staging
(  ) No engine failures
(x) Second stage ignition
(x) Fairing separation
(  ) Both side-booster landing
(  ) Core booster landing
(  ) Fairing recovery
(x) SECO with sufficient velocity to not re-enter Earth's atmosphere
(x) BEO trajectory
(  ) Mars orbit crossing trajectory

With an example of how someone might vote: Successful launch, but problems with at least one stage landing, and an early engine shut-down or multi-engine throttle-down leading to insertion into a non-Mars-crossing solar orbit.

My own vote would be the first three options, suspecting failure on the fourth of fifth. (Which precludes the rest.)

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #48 on: 12/30/2017 03:30 PM »
I voted successful to orbit. SpaceX has done significant careful engineering work and not assumed stuff is correct but assumes something can go wrong and therefor approached everything about the launch carefully. But unlike some NASA tasking it doesn't have an obsessive POV for "cannot fail". There is a bad cultural item with the "cannot fail" POV and that is assuming that all the work on some subsystem and it testing means that you can relies on that subsystem to not fail and therefore the design and work on this other subsystem that is dependent dose not have to compensate if it can for failure of the other subsystem. This can change a failure that can be survived into catastrophic failure. I am glad SpaceX has avoided this culture.

Offline Oersted

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #49 on: 12/30/2017 04:16 PM »
However, this is a totally new vehicle, so I am skeptical that everything will go perfectly.

It is far from a totally new vehicle. So many parts are tried and tested... It is just the whole that is unproven.

Offline Proponent

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #50 on: 12/30/2017 04:46 PM »
Count me among the crowd:  it'll reach orbit.

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #51 on: 12/30/2017 07:26 PM »
Just can't bring myself to vote on any of these options.

Happily, voting in this poll is not required to remain an NSF user in good standing, trust me, I checked.

However, to make your post more interesting maybe you could edit it to say why, or what option (not present) you WOULD vote for if it were present?
Well; it's just nervousness and the fact I think it needs at least one or two more options. Mission Success: but with a couple of caveats. Or Mission Failure with a couple of caveats, also etc.
« Last Edit: 12/30/2017 07:26 PM by MATTBLAK »
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Online hop

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #52 on: 12/30/2017 07:49 PM »
Voted failure to orbit, but my gut feeling is more like
5% - Catastrophic before clearing tower
40% - Failure to orbit
25% - Orbit, but significantly off-nominal
30% - Nominal

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #53 on: 12/30/2017 08:11 PM »
I feel it is like 80% likely that the thing goes off exactly as planned, and that's the option I voted for.  Now, of the 20% off-nominal possibilities, I'm thinking, ranked irrationally in order of how likely I think they will happen (purely by gut feel):

-  Side cores land fine RTLS, center core goes through just too hot of an entry to be recovered.  It hits OCISLY.  I didn't say it lands on OCISLY, I say it hits the droneship.

-  Supersonic shock waves from the side cores have an unanticipated synergistic effect, teaching SpaceX the lesson that they have to space the cores' final descents about 90 to 120 seconds apart.  This could cause complete loss of one or both of the side cores.

-  Someone accidentally loads the exact same GPS co-ordinates for RTLS landing points in each of the side cores, and we get to see the fascinating -- but brief-- spectacle of two cores trying to each land on the exact same postage stamp of landing zone.  With, um, mixed degrees of success.  As in "It did land, just not all in one piece"... ;)

-  Upper stage has some kind of unforeseen issue dealing with unanticipated increased vibration loads, and fails.  I'd say, though, that this is the last item you could apply to the FH config.  Everything beyond this -- fairings, upper stage restart, etc. -- are common with current F9 operations.

I truly don't think they will have issues with the engine start, lift-off, tri-core flight or side booster sep.  I'll be keeping fingers and toes crossed throughout, though.... just in case.
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline philw1776

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #54 on: 12/30/2017 08:34 PM »
Successful LEO
Successful BEO

Make it so!
“When it looks more like an alien dreadnought, that’s when you know you’ve won.”

Offline OxCartMark

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #55 on: 12/31/2017 12:53 AM »
I voted "Clearing launch tower but failure to reach orbit" but that's not necessarily the outcome I believe has the highest probability of occurring.  The reason I voted that way is that I think the voting so far (at least from the text reports (didn't get to see poll results until I voted)) has been higher than the probability I would project and I wanted to move that group average down a bit.  I honestly don't know what outcome to expect.  Very much looking forward to seeing what happens and hearing / feeling it.  Some other predictions and thoughts:

- There are going to be a frustrating number of cycles of loading propellant, adrenalating for flight, propellant unloading, re-scheduling.

- I will go and spend 5 days in Florida and perhaps do it again but will end up watching it on this screen.

- I drastically hope they don't destroy the pad.  That would be vastly bad.  History.  Crew delay. Long rebuild period.
 Really bad.

- If it does fail I'll bet one of the outcomes will be that they say they could have done X or Y with the software to have gotten a better outcome.  Similar to the way that they may have been able to land the CRS-7 Dragon if the software had been able to deploy parachutes in that scenario.

- (a general comment whether F9 or FH from 39A) I'm uncomfortable with the ramp leading downhill from the pad to the HIF, a failure on or onto the pad could result in the HIF being taken out by a tsunami of fire.

- For reasons I can't pin down some part of me says this could be Musk's Spruce Goose.  One flight and then an announcement that its not worth continuing with the program ~ wait for BFR.  Low probability I know.

- Since this launch should draw a number of NSFers I suggest someone designate a hotel for all to be together, organize a dinner, situation room, common watching mob etc.

- I don't share the view some have posted above that the center core stands a significant chance of failing to land because of a super high re-entry speed.  The roadster is significantly lighter than max load for Mars so the center core should be able to have a generous amount of fuel with which to do a super long boost back burn even after pushing the upper stage up to a safe margin of speed, perhaps enough delta V (based on seat of the pants feel only) to arrest all forward motion and re-enter with no horizontal component of velocity.

All just a bunch of words now this which is serious - I wish them the best of luck with this launch.


Offline Oersted

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #56 on: 12/31/2017 01:47 AM »
I voted "Clearing launch tower but failure to reach orbit" but that's not necessarily the outcome I believe has the highest probability of occurring.  The reason I voted that way is that I think the voting so far (at least from the text reports (didn't get to see poll results until I voted)) has been higher than the probability I would project and I wanted to move that group average down a bit.

What is this desire to project anything? To show what you think are NSF'ers idea?

- Honestly I don't see any need to try to game the poll. It is not as if it is very important... Just vote what you think is most likely and let the voting totals take care of themselves.

Offline Stan-1967

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #57 on: 12/31/2017 02:16 AM »
I voted that it will be a success, although I will not be surprised if it fails.  It's just how I see the probabilities.

If they release the hold down clamps, I think that means they have worked out the transients of engine startup,  load paths, & resonance issues.   I think the Merlin engine has proven itself plenty, & do not think the 27 engine beast will fail because of engine count.  Max-Q is where I would put my bets to watch for failure, if it occurs.  Plenty of things that can go wrong with a new design in that regime.

Good luck to SpaceX.  I plan on being at the Cape for that launch.  FH will be my first launch I hope to witness firstand, unless I can somehow make it to the Zuma launch.  Was thinking of watching from Fishlips or Jetty park.   Not sure if Playalinda would be bettter.

Offline Lar

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #58 on: 12/31/2017 02:53 AM »

Good luck to SpaceX.  I plan on being at the Cape for that launch.  FH will be my first launch I hope to witness firstand, unless I can somehow make it to the Zuma launch.  Was thinking of watching from Fishlips or Jetty park.   Not sure if Playalinda would be bettter.
Playalinda would definitely be better but rumor has it that it will be closed for this launch as it is so close.  The normal entrance to Jetty Park seems to be under construction right now but there is another way in I think. 

(in Canaveral as I type this)
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"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Bynaus

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #59 on: 12/31/2017 04:55 AM »
I voted success to orbit. Any failures would most likely come from elements which are different to a normal F9 launch, so as mentioned by others before:

- firing 27 engines at the same time during launch
- new forces during flight, especially max-Q
- at booster separation
- aerodynamics of the nose-capped side-boosters
- very hot re-entry of the center core

Problems at launch can be mitigated against by test firings and hold-down before launch, so I doubt that will be the problem, although this also increases the chance of a pad explosion somewhat (if they can only fire all 27 engines simultaneously at the pad, and this leads to a RUD, then it WILL necessarily be a pad explosion). If there is a problem that shows up during the test firings without leading to a RUD, they can always call off the launch in January and postpone to later that year or so. Forces during flight, I think they have studied this thoroughly (from the special-buildt central core) and seem to be confident in their design - if it fails there, long delays will follow before the next FH launch. Booster separation is a variant on first stage separation of an F9, they are good at that, I think that will go well. I am most skeptical that all three booster returns will go well (especially the side-cores), but that wasn't the question - the upper stage and payload, I think, will make it to orbit.

Offline Rhyshaelkan

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #60 on: 01/01/2018 03:51 PM »
I don't see an option for Falcon Heavy curing cancer and Alzheimer's, and inventing perpetual motion.
I am not a professional. Just a rational amateur dreaming of mankind exploiting the universe.

Offline Paul451

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #61 on: 01/01/2018 03:57 PM »
I don't see an option for Falcon Heavy curing cancer and Alzheimer's, and inventing perpetual motion.

They've deferred that to BFR.

Offline IanThePineapple

I don't see an option for Falcon Heavy curing cancer and Alzheimer's, and inventing perpetual motion.

They've deferred that to BFR.

Wait, using BFR as a temporary on-orbit laboratory would be genius...

Especially docking it to the ISS
Proud creator of Ian's Paper Model Rocket Collection:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42383.0

Offline Oersted

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #63 on: 01/01/2018 04:29 PM »
and inventing perpetual motion.

Launching the Roadster into that orbit comes pretty close, though...

Seems we're landing at just over a fifth thinking the mission will fail and four fifths believing it will go well. Sign of realism or optimism? - You be the judge...

Offline ZachS09

I think that the Falcon Heavy will go all the way to orbit despite Elon Musk's doubts of the mission succeeding or even clearing the tower.
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

Offline Avron

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #65 on: 01/01/2018 10:48 PM »
There is no reason not to expect a successful flight - the only issue is booster separation that the have not tested - however, that could easily been tested in wind tunnel and definitely by simulation 

Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #66 on: 01/02/2018 11:38 PM »
Successful LEO
Successful BEO

Make it so!

First planet to the right and straight on till morning.

Edit: I think this specific bird flys a second time.
« Last Edit: 01/02/2018 11:38 PM by wannamoonbase »
Excited to be finally into the first Falcon Heavy flow, we are getting so close!

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #67 on: 01/03/2018 12:25 AM »
;)
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Offline TripD

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #68 on: 01/04/2018 11:41 PM »
I voted for complete success, so I thought I would break it down in steps:

1)  Successfully keeping eyes open as the count goes to zero (squinting is completely acceptable).

2)  Successfully keeping my blood pressure below destructive over-pressure (despite multitask clenching).

3)  Successfully not imagining parts flying off or inappropriate venting of gasses (this includes the rocket).

4)  Successfully not freaking the dog out or exceeding maximum allowed cursing (the least likely to happen).

Offline seeya later navigator

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #69 on: 01/05/2018 10:50 AM »
I'm not voting in favour of a successful flight because I claim to know anything about rocket science and I don't for a moment have a bromance crush on Elon. I just think that spaceX have worked very hard to get where they are and they are so underestimated that they deserve to be credited for their achievements. So I think they will clear the tower of Pad 39A by about 1 million klicks.  8)
It's the one in a million chance that always happens nine times out of ten.

Offline bad_astra

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #70 on: 01/05/2018 03:26 PM »
and inventing perpetual motion.

Launching the Roadster into that orbit comes pretty close, though...

Seems we're landing at just over a fifth thinking the mission will fail and four fifths believing it will go well. Sign of realism or optimism? - You be the judge...
It will in very short order take away the current mileage world record from Irv Gordon's world record holding Volvo. Irv Gordon will still have the world record ostensibly, whereas Musk and his Roadster will have the solar record.
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Offline Asteroza

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Re: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #71 on: 01/06/2018 04:24 AM »
OK, I'll start things off optimistically.  There may be a post-ignition pad abort or three, but once they actually release the hold-downs, I'm feeling pretty good about the flight.

So Elon also gets the chance to say "I'd thought we'd be a lot higher at MECO..."

Offline Mader Levap

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #72 on: 01/08/2018 02:25 PM »
Full success. Reason is simple, I think it is most probable outcome of all three options, so voted accordingly.
Be successful.  Then tell the haters to (BLEEP) off. - deruch
...and if you have failure, tell it anyway.

Offline cd-slam

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #73 on: 01/10/2018 03:37 AM »
There's an old Engineering adage that says "never buy anything with a serial number less than 10".
I have my doubts about stage separation. Just hoping that SpaceX have crunched the numbers right on POGO and this thing doesn't do an N-1.
Space is hard.

Offline Mader Levap

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #74 on: 01/10/2018 11:53 AM »
I have my doubts about stage separation. Just hoping that SpaceX have crunched the numbers right on POGO and this thing doesn't do an N-1.

Comparing FH to N1 is as informative as comparing F9 to SLS.
Be successful.  Then tell the haters to (BLEEP) off. - deruch
...and if you have failure, tell it anyway.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #75 on: 01/10/2018 01:08 PM »
I think that the only real possible new problem Falcon Heavy will have is the simultaneous descent of the booster cores. There must be a non-zero possibility of either a error in the pre-programmed trajectory, GNC issue or cross-wind that causes a contact and loss of both boosters during EDL.
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Offline Lar

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #76 on: 01/11/2018 03:13 AM »
conventional wisdom says a staggered boostback or slightly different trajectories will keep the two boosters separated (distance while in flight, and staggered arrival times at the LZ)
"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 Jet Black

conventional wisdom says a staggered boostback or slightly different trajectories will keep the two boosters separated (distance while in flight, and staggered arrival times at the LZ)

I think a staggered boost back will be the best to keep them apart and it wouldn't even have to be by much. side-to-side separations can be subject to wind, responses of the cores to tilt and such, but vertical separation, for most of the return, is down to gravity and air resistance.
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Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #78 on: 02/07/2018 04:20 PM »
It worked a lot better than I thought it would but I did vote successful to orbit.

Offline deruch

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Re: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #79 on: 02/07/2018 11:27 PM »
Voted for success to orbit, but I'm including the caveat that they will fail to recover one of the 3 boosters.  This can come from any cause, separation failure, landing error, etc.

100%, though I cheated a bit by giving a bit of a wishy-washy prediction.  If I had been pressed for a hard call, I probably would have said that a less than perfectly clean booster sep would cause the failure.  Internally, I viewed landing error as lower probability.  Still, pretty good.
« Last Edit: 02/07/2018 11:28 PM by deruch »
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline Paul451

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #80 on: 02/08/2018 01:34 AM »
I was wrong! Wooo!

Offline Johnnyhinbos

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #81 on: 02/08/2018 01:37 AM »
conventional wisdom says a staggered boostback or slightly different trajectories will keep the two boosters separated (distance while in flight, and staggered arrival times at the LZ)
Wrong!

(I always wanted to say that!)

Huh - it’s kinda Trumpy too tho.

Don’t like it anymore.

John Hanzl. Author, action / adventure www.johnhanzl.com

Offline Johnnyhinbos

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #82 on: 02/08/2018 01:40 AM »
I'll answer in the accepted poll justification discussion format:

I think this launch will result in one or fewer successes, with zero or more boosters sticking a landing, and not more than one (but maybe fewer) Teslas injected into orbit around the sun or some other orbit, or not. I'll report back on how I did after the launch!

(Just kidding - I'm feeling good that this beast will have 100% mission success with the two side boosters completing a RTLS and the center core RUDing on the ASDS due to a hot entry)
I think I’m going to just pat myself on the back with a 100% accurate and fully qualified prediction!

Where’s my t-shirt?
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Online jebbo

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #83 on: 02/08/2018 10:36 AM »
Well, I got this one wrong. I though it would clear the tower,  but fail at MaxQ or booster sep ...

--- Tony
« Last Edit: 02/08/2018 10:36 AM by jebbo »

Offline deruch

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Re: POLL: Falcon Heavy launch - How will it go? Vote here!
« Reply #84 on: 02/14/2018 04:10 PM »
I'll answer in the accepted poll justification discussion format:

I think this launch will result in one or fewer successes, with zero or more boosters sticking a landing, and not more than one (but maybe fewer) Teslas injected into orbit around the sun or some other orbit, or not. I'll report back on how I did after the launch!

(Just kidding - I'm feeling good that this beast will have 100% mission success with the two side boosters completing a RTLS and the center core RUDing on the ASDS due to a hot entry)
I think I’m going to just pat myself on the back with a 100% accurate and fully qualified prediction!

Where’s my t-shirt?

97%.  Center core missed the ASDS and, so far as Elon is willing to tell via Twitter, the crash wasn't due to a hot entry.  You're being docked points not for being incorrect but, rather, for being over-specific in your prediction.  Or at least for being over-specific wherever you weren't being under-specific.   ;D
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline Bubbinski

I voted successful flight to orbit and it happened that way :) Good luck Arabsat and STP!
I'll even excitedly look forward to "flags and footprints" and suborbital missions. Just fly...somewhere.

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