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 17778 times)

Offline BeamRider

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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 »

Online 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.

Online 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!

Online 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

Offline MATTBLAK

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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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Online 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...
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online 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.

Online 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.

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