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SpaceX Vehicles and Missions => SpaceX Mega Thread Archive Section => Topic started by: Chris Bergin on 12/30/2015 11:52 AM

Title: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/30/2015 11:52 AM
Thread 13 for general discussion on SpaceX's Falcon and Dragon vehicles.

Previous threads (now over 3.5 million views for these 12 SpaceX threads alone):

Thread 1:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=19228.0

Thread 2:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22769.0

Thread 3:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=24179.0

Thread 4:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=25597.0

Thread 5:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=28006.0

Thread 6:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=29476.0

Thread 7:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30385.0

Thread 8:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31402.0

Thread 9:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32719.0

Thread 10:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=33598.0

Thread 11:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35364.0

Thread 12:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36815.0


SpaceX news articles on this site:
Old: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=21862.0 (links)

Then recent news articles, not linked above, as we moved to a tag group system:
All recent: http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/tag/spacex/


L2 SpaceX - Dedicated all-vehicle (Falcon to BFR/MCT) section:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?board=60.0


NOTE: Posts that are uncivil (which is very rare for this forum), off topic (not so rare) or just pointless will be deleted without notice.

And no, this is not a ULA vs SpaceX thread. This is about general posts about Falcon and Dragon.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: docmordrid on 01/01/2016 12:09 AM
Copied from the ORBCOMM mission updates

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/682717803166695425

Falcon 9 back in the hangar at Cape Canaveral. No damage found, ready to fire again. https://t.co/7w6IfJGtXM

Images: as posted, and gamma boosted for the shadows
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 01/01/2016 12:18 AM
Interesting. Examine the defects in the paint. Are those wear patterns around the upper grid fin?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: ugordan on 01/01/2016 12:25 AM
I don't know what to make of the interstage look. There's blistering in the paint, but it doesn't look like heat damage to me - I'd expect the decals to be fried if it was. Could it trapped air expanding in vacuum?
The decals appear weirdly sandblasted, but the effect is very localized. I can see why from a distance it looked like the "l" in Falcon got torn off.

The effect on the fins kinda looks like a fairly thick coating was coming off. Ablative paint?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: oiorionsbelt on 01/01/2016 12:35 AM
The things they must know now that they didn't know before.


Happy New Year!
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: oiorionsbelt on 01/01/2016 12:42 AM
This looks as though something was removed, any ideas as to what?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cscott on 01/01/2016 12:57 AM
My bet is that the "decals" aren't painted the same way as the rest of the tank.  Not the same care to avoid air bubbles, maybe a different paint, maybe not baked on.  So the decals wear off, but the base paint is solid.  In fact the base paint is bright white and clean under where the decal bubbled off.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: realtime on 01/01/2016 01:03 AM
The top defect on the interstage looks like paint bubbling off of plain old rust.  Surely that can't be right.  Maybe some flexing?  Aero forces?

The overall impression is of a vehicle that has endured hard use in a brutal flight regime.  We saw what it did to Shuttle and the SRBs but this is the first time anyone has had the opportunity to examine a used, intact first stage booster.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: 411rocket on 01/01/2016 01:21 AM
Interesting. Examine the defects in the paint. Are those wear patterns around the upper grid fin?

Possibly the cleaning process, had increased the defects seen? Pressure washer & pole mounted scrub brushes, in addition to whatever soap/cleaner used.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: ugordan on 01/01/2016 01:28 AM
Possibly the cleaning process, had increased the defects seen? Pressure washer & pole mounted scrub brushes, in addition to whatever soap/cleaner used.

I don't see any evidence of cleaning.

Extra high res image via reddit:

The fins definitely seem to have been sprayed with some material. Maybe it's SPAM (remember that?) In fact, the linear-ish patterns to the left of the lower fin suggest it's the particles blown off the fins that did the sandblasting. The L/D set up by the fins for corridor control could explain why the streaks don't run parallel to the stage length.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/01/2016 02:20 AM
Looks like a layer of SPAM over the metal but under the paint.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: darkenfast on 01/01/2016 03:27 AM
Notice the thickness of the broken-off coating to the right of the "o" and "n" of "Falcon".  More than one layer there, and it will no doubt be a part of the re-flight process to have a system for the diagnosis and repair of such things (if they haven't already).  A big factor will be, of course, how much that coating is contributing to the health and survival of the stage.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: intrepidpursuit on 01/01/2016 06:16 AM
Possibly the cleaning process, had increased the defects seen? Pressure washer & pole mounted scrub brushes, in addition to whatever soap/cleaner used.

I don't see any evidence of cleaning.

Extra high res image via reddit:

The fins definitely seem to have been sprayed with some material. Maybe it's SPAM (remember that?) In fact, the linear-ish patterns to the left of the lower fin suggest it's the particles blown off the fins that did the sandblasting. The L/D set up by the fins for corridor control could explain why the streaks don't run parallel to the stage length.

Thanks for the big image! We do need to remember that this is the composite interstage and it gets toasted with a direct hit from the S2 engine. I've wondered previously if the interstages would be reused at all because of this. This one looks like it is in great shape all things considered!
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Darkseraph on 01/01/2016 06:26 AM
I think they picked the part of the rocket least crudded up with re-entry scorch marks for this lovely instagram!

The fact they said there was no damage was a bit astonishing. Could they have done such a thorough analysis of all the structures and internal parts in just under two weeks?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: intrepidpursuit on 01/01/2016 06:35 AM
I think they picked the part of the rocket least crudded up with re-entry scorch marks for this lovely instagram!

The fact they said there was no damage was a bit astonishing. Could they have done such a thorough analysis of all the structures and internal parts in just under two weeks?

I beg to differ. They picked the only part of the rocket that said "Falcon". The middle of the rocket where the ice from the oxygen protected the stage was the least crudded up. The interstage and the base should be the worst since they take direct hits from engines.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Earendil on 01/01/2016 08:50 AM
....

The fact they said there was no damage was a bit astonishing. Could they have done such a thorough analysis of all the structures and internal parts in just under two weeks?

Well, they did say it is OK to be "fired" again. Not "launched". I can see them checking the parts of the engines subject to wear in two weeks since they are so familiar with them and have fired and tested engines many times.
However readiness for flight is quite different and not mentioned yet. Full structural testing and/or disassembly should be needed which we all doubt can be done in such short time.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: the_other_Doug on 01/01/2016 05:53 PM
....

The fact they said there was no damage was a bit astonishing. Could they have done such a thorough analysis of all the structures and internal parts in just under two weeks?

Well, they did say it is OK to be "fired" again. Not "launched". I can see them checking the parts of the engines subject to wear in two weeks since they are so familiar with them and have fired and tested engines many times.
However readiness for flight is quite different and not mentioned yet. Full structural testing and/or disassembly should be needed which we all doubt can be done in such short time.

The whole and entire point of the SpaceX Falcon architecture is to be able to launch these rockets over and over again without requiring a full teardown of the stage and its engines.  "Gas and go" is the goal for this architecture.

It's long been recognized that the need to do such a teardown of the RS-25's after each Shuttle flight guaranteed that STS would never be a low-cost reusable system.  Musk took that as a Lesson Learned.  This system is not designed to require the kind of disassembly you suggest.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: matthewkantar on 01/01/2016 06:09 PM
They are definitely going to need more robust coatings for short turnarounds.

Matthew
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: billh on 01/01/2016 06:19 PM
The great thing is, since they will be recovering many boosters they have the opportunity to experiment with new coatings and application methods to perfect this.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/01/2016 11:37 PM
They are definitely going to need more robust coatings for short turnarounds.

Matthew
Why? Do you have any solid evidence that the coating as-is right now make flight impossible for that stage?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lars-J on 01/02/2016 12:43 AM

They are definitely going to need more robust coatings for short turnarounds.

Matthew
Why? Do you have any solid evidence that the coating as-is right now make flight impossible for that stage?

No, but having a rougher surface does impact the performance slightly (increased air friction) in the first part of the flight. The top paint layer also protects the stage against the elements while waiting to be launched (corrosion and more). So at some point it will need to be re-applied, and it would be in their interest to have a top layer paint that requires less maintenance.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: matthewkantar on 01/02/2016 01:04 AM
I didn't say anything about possible or impossible. If that much paint is bubbled, missing or pitted on one flight, I'd guess that another flight would result in much greater losses. The coatings on the vehicle are there for a variety of reasons, having them endure more than one flight is important if the goal is to refly in a couple of days.


Matthew
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cscott on 01/02/2016 01:12 AM
It's a good day when rocket reusability has come down to a matter of painting the rocket better.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AncientU on 01/02/2016 01:28 AM
'Ready to be fired' means tanks have integrity(which was also demo'd by propulsive landing), and valves, pumps, engines all survived in working order -- which is amazing if it is taken at face value.  I'm curious how the wiring, sensors, and electronics fared... especially in the octoweb area.

Multi-use paint probably wasn't on the top ten list of critical systems, but it may be now.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AncientU on 01/02/2016 01:37 AM
The top defect on the interstage looks like paint bubbling off of plain old rust.  Surely that can't be right.  Maybe some flexing?  Aero forces?

The overall impression is of a vehicle that has endured hard use in a brutal flight regime.  We saw what it did to Shuttle and the SRBs but this is the first time anyone has had the opportunity to examine a used, intact first stage booster.

The interstage is composite material, so no rust (hopefully).
I'm not sure what you see that indicates hard use in a brutal flight regime
Looks mostly like soot to me... let's call it post-flight patina.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: oiorionsbelt on 01/02/2016 02:18 AM
There's a lot of rocket that isn't in the picture, wonder how it looks?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: clongton on 01/02/2016 11:12 AM
The top defect on the interstage looks like paint bubbling off of plain old rust.  Surely that can't be right.  Maybe some flexing?  Aero forces?

The overall impression is of a vehicle that has endured hard use in a brutal flight regime.  We saw what it did to Shuttle and the SRBs but this is the first time anyone has had the opportunity to examine a used, intact first stage booster.

The interstage is composite material, so no rust (hopefully).
I'm not sure what you see that indicates hard use in a brutal flight regime
Looks mostly like soot to me... let's call it post-flight patina.

It's a pretty good day when post flight examination turns up nothing more exciting than soot coatings.
I'm loving it!
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Earendil on 01/02/2016 11:54 AM
....

The fact they said there was no damage was a bit astonishing. Could they have done such a thorough analysis of all the structures and internal parts in just under two weeks?

Well, they did say it is OK to be "fired" again. Not "launched". I can see them checking the parts of the engines subject to wear in two weeks since they are so familiar with them and have fired and tested engines many times.
However readiness for flight is quite different and not mentioned yet. Full structural testing and/or disassembly should be needed which we all doubt can be done in such short time.

The whole and entire point of the SpaceX Falcon architecture is to be able to launch these rockets over and over again without requiring a full teardown of the stage and its engines.  "Gas and go" is the goal for this architecture.

It's long been recognized that the need to do such a teardown of the RS-25's after each Shuttle flight guaranteed that STS would never be a low-cost reusable system.  Musk took that as a Lesson Learned.  This system is not designed to require the kind of disassembly you suggest.

We are all well aware of the "gas and go" end goal.

What I meant was that disassembly will be needed (initially) in order to fully understand how the structure of the rocket fared a launch-landing cycle.

Multiple engine firing could be and was tested on the ground many times, so I guess they have pretty good idea what to expect from the engines after 20 or even 40 firings..

What they had no way of knowing is how the structure/materials will bare a reentry and landing. So to check for slacks and cracks they will need disassembly, but they did not yet had time to do it.

Hence I made the suggestion that the mere 10 days they've had so far are quite enough to make sure they can fire, but launching is quite a different animal.. 

Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Okie_Steve on 01/02/2016 01:38 PM
Multiple engine firing could be and was tested on the ground many times, so I guess they have pretty good idea what to expect from the engines after 20 or even 40 firings..
One of my Engineering Professors had a saying "Some numbers are better than no numbers" It's an interesting question if a Full duration firing on the ground and an actual flight with acceleration, in flight harmonics and decreasing pressure do in fact produce the same conditions/wear on the engines. Now they can find out for sure. I'd wager that not all of those flight engines are going to stay in that stage.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: llanitedave on 01/02/2016 02:22 PM
There's a lot of rocket that isn't in the picture, wonder how it looks?


Beautiful!
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Dante80 on 01/02/2016 02:39 PM
Gas 'n' go is the end goal. To reach that, a lot of returned cores are going to get a CSI:McGregor treatment in the hands of their creator.

The data obtained will serve to provide the next iterations in the Falcon architecture.

The first news coming from SX are positive. Saying that the stage looks good enough to fire statically means that they have plugged it in to check the electronics, the telemetry and the health of many components. It also means that they are confident enough with the structure and the engines to go for a static fire.

From what we understand, this stage will not be disassembled before it is fired again. It will stay at the Cape until that happens.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: guckyfan on 01/02/2016 03:38 PM
They must be confident enough. They really don't want that much needed pad engulfed in a big fireball. Commercial crew depends on it.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AncientU on 01/03/2016 01:56 AM
Gas 'n' go is the end goal. To reach that, a lot of returned cores are going to get a CSI:McGregor treatment in the hands of their creator.

The data obtained will serve to provide the next iterations in the Falcon architecture.

The first news coming from SX are positive. Saying that the stage looks good enough to fire statically means that they have plugged it in to check the electronics, the telemetry and the health of many components. It also means that they are confident enough with the structure and the engines to go for a static fire.

From what we understand, this stage will not be disassembled before it is fired again. It will stay at the Cape until that happens.

I suspect that at least one core will go to McGregor for full load testing as they have done on various core/tankage upgrades.  That's a go-no go test, but I think they are confident enough to settle for it... wouldn't be taking a flown core to 39A for cryo-fueling system shakedown and static firing if they weren't fairly confident in their design. 

Could be that getting the core back on the ground without an explosion was the toughest nut to crack. 
It was no small feat.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: macpacheco on 01/03/2016 03:55 AM
Gas 'n' go is the end goal. To reach that, a lot of returned cores are going to get a CSI:McGregor treatment in the hands of their creator.

The data obtained will serve to provide the next iterations in the Falcon architecture.

The first news coming from SX are positive. Saying that the stage looks good enough to fire statically means that they have plugged it in to check the electronics, the telemetry and the health of many components. It also means that they are confident enough with the structure and the engines to go for a static fire.

From what we understand, this stage will not be disassembled before it is fired again. It will stay at the Cape until that happens.

Gas n' go is a long term goal, which is very unlikely to be achieved with F9R generation rockets.
Gas n' go is of very limited use without 2nd stage reuse.
There isn't much of a scenario where there are enough launches to use the 2 Florida pads even for one launch every week each. And then there's the nagging problem of monopolizing the range while ULA needs to do their launches too.
That's 12 launches in just 6 weeks.

But if you want to obsess, continue obsessing... Sorry to bring some realism to the discussion. Can't help it.

The first huge barrier is eliminating static fires at least for re launches. Actually the barrier is eliminating human review of static fire data. If everything could be computer analysed, perhaps the static fire could be done just before the launch.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: meekGee on 01/03/2016 05:11 AM
Gas 'n' go is the end goal. To reach that, a lot of returned cores are going to get a CSI:McGregor treatment in the hands of their creator.

The data obtained will serve to provide the next iterations in the Falcon architecture.

The first news coming from SX are positive. Saying that the stage looks good enough to fire statically means that they have plugged it in to check the electronics, the telemetry and the health of many components. It also means that they are confident enough with the structure and the engines to go for a static fire.

From what we understand, this stage will not be disassembled before it is fired again. It will stay at the Cape until that happens.

Gas n' go is a long term goal, which is very unlikely to be achieved with F9R generation rockets.
Gas n' go is of very limited use without 2nd stage reuse.
There isn't much of a scenario where there are enough launches to use the 2 Florida pads even for one launch every week each. And then there's the nagging problem of monopolizing the range while ULA needs to do their launches too.
That's 12 launches in just 6 weeks.

But if you want to obsess, continue obsessing... Sorry to bring some realism to the discussion. Can't help it.

The first huge barrier is eliminating static fires at least for re launches. Actually the barrier is eliminating human review of static fire data. If everything could be computer analysed, perhaps the static fire could be done just before the launch.

I know it is against common wisdom, but I don't see the static fires going away.

Today there are two burns - acceptance at McGregor, and still another static fire on the pad.  And then there are the real-time hold-down tests.

I think the one that's going away is the acceptance burn - since it will be replaced by the previous flight that just landed.

A static fire is simple common sense, since it takes place when you know that no further events happen to the core between the test and the launch.

What I think will happen is that static fires won't happen 3 days early, but maybe a few hours: Fire, analyze, ok, launch.

You could say that the hold-down tests are good enough, but there are two issues with this:  First, you don't get to see the shut-down transients, and second, you have very little time to figure it out.    Suppose you want to take a second look at something.  If it's the hold-down scenario, then you miss the launch window.  If it's a static fire, then no problem.

So the key here is to turn-around after the static fire in a matter of hours/minutes, not days.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Dante80 on 01/03/2016 08:34 AM
Gas n' go is a long term goal, which is very unlikely to be achieved with F9R generation rockets.
Gas n' go is of very limited use without 2nd stage reuse.
There isn't much of a scenario where there are enough launches to use the 2 Florida pads even for one launch every week each. And then there's the nagging problem of monopolizing the range while ULA needs to do their launches too.
That's 12 launches in just 6 weeks.

But if you want to obsess, continue obsessing... Sorry to bring some realism to the discussion. Can't help it.

The first huge barrier is eliminating static fires at least for re launches. Actually the barrier is eliminating human review of static fire data. If everything could be computer analysed, perhaps the static fire could be done just before the launch.

I don't know where the "obsessing" part came from. My post was about the fact that the F9-21 core will not leave the cape for disassembly before doing a WDR/static fire. As well as that to reach the goal SpaceX has set, they will have to check a lot of cores and do iterations to the vehicle.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: guckyfan on 01/03/2016 09:22 AM
If it's the hold-down scenario, then you miss the launch window.  If it's a static fire, then no problem.

So the key here is to turn-around after the static fire in a matter of hours/minutes, not days.

If they are better than 80% confident it will launch they can chance the hold down. That would not come immediately but may well come sooner than expected. They may chose a separate static fire for interplanetary probes and flights to the ISS where a lot is involved in delays.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: meekGee on 01/03/2016 11:58 AM
If it's the hold-down scenario, then you miss the launch window.  If it's a static fire, then no problem.

So the key here is to turn-around after the static fire in a matter of hours/minutes, not days.

If they are better than 80% confident it will launch they can chance the hold down. That would not come immediately but may well come sooner than expected. They may chose a separate static fire for interplanetary probes and flights to the ISS where a lot is involved in delays.
That was not the only consideration....

I don't see why a static fire is an impediment to fast turn around of let's say once per day.   I do see a reliability benefit.

When you get to truly land-gas-go, multiple times per day, then sure.

In the meanwhile, it is not the what's holding them back, IMO.  With a reusable rocket, it should add 15 minutes or less to the cycle time.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: meekGee on 01/03/2016 12:15 PM
I'll put it differently...

As long as it takes 3 days to recover from a static fire, the impediment to one day turn-around is not the existence of the static fire, but the fact that even from a lowly static fire you still need 3 days...

And conversely, if the rocket can be fully turned around in a day, then surely it can do static fires almost at will...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Dante2121 on 01/03/2016 01:21 PM
I'll put it differently...

As long as it takes 3 days to recover from a static fire, the impediment to one day turn-around is not the existence of the static fire, but the fact that even from a lowly static fire you still need 3 days...

And conversely, if the rocket can be fully turned around in a day, then surely it can do static fires almost at will...

You don't actually need one day stage turn around to fly once a day.   I can easily envision a scenario where spacex has a fleet of 7+ first stages and launches one per day.  This gives them a week to turn around each stage, while still maintaining a daily launch cadence. 
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: BigDustyman on 01/03/2016 01:28 PM
anyone heard anyting else about onboard camera I think chris hinted that he heard there was good footage
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: guckyfan on 01/03/2016 01:34 PM
I'll put it differently...

As long as it takes 3 days to recover from a static fire, the impediment to one day turn-around is not the existence of the static fire, but the fact that even from a lowly static fire you still need 3 days...

And conversely, if the rocket can be fully turned around in a day, then surely it can do static fires almost at will...

True.

However I am assuming that they will be able to evaluate the engine data real time, so they can make the go/no go decision while firing the engines up. Wether it is 80% chance for go or 95% to omit hot fire will be their technical and business decision.

If they do a dedicated hot fire it involves some cost and time. They said the engines can do 40 cycles before they need refurbishment. A hot fire will expend 2,5% of that. Also when they do the hot fire an hour before launch and it is no go, then likely they cannot fix the problem in one hour. To be useful as a separate step in getting the vehicle launch ready they need to do it a day early so they can detank, repair and go. Without that buffer they are no better off with a negative hot fire result than they would be with a launch abort.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: clongton on 01/03/2016 02:12 PM
The key to the quick turn-around is going to be engine reliability and robustness. Elon has often cited the airline industry as his model and I note that the aircraft don't do static fires - they wind up the engines on the tarmac in preparation for takeoff and watch the gauges. If all the pressures and temperatures are steady and in the acceptable range, they let the tower know they are ready and wait for clearance. The key is the confidence in the engines. That's where SpaceX is going to have to invest its effort - the engines.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: meekGee on 01/03/2016 02:47 PM
I'll put it differently...

As long as it takes 3 days to recover from a static fire, the impediment to one day turn-around is not the existence of the static fire, but the fact that even from a lowly static fire you still need 3 days...

And conversely, if the rocket can be fully turned around in a day, then surely it can do static fires almost at will...

True.

However I am assuming that they will be able to evaluate the engine data real time, so they can make the go/no go decision while firing the engines up. Wether it is 80% chance for go or 95% to omit hot fire will be their technical and business decision.

If they do a dedicated hot fire it involves some cost and time. They said the engines can do 40 cycles before they need refurbishment. A hot fire will expend 2,5% of that. Also when they do the hot fire an hour before launch and it is no go, then likely they cannot fix the problem in one hour. To be useful as a separate step in getting the vehicle launch ready they need to do it a day early so they can detank, repair and go. Without that buffer they are no better off with a negative hot fire result than they would be with a launch abort.
Yes.  To the extent that a static fire eats up engine lifetime, that will eventually be a factor.

But I doubt that it is near equivalent to a launch.  It's not just cycles, it is also runtime in seconds.  Some combination of the two.

And Musk said at some point that even when they hit the limit, the refurb is straightforward.

As for the airplane comparison - it's a desirement, but there are fundamental differences.

Airplanes have much higher thrust margins, and can lift off with an engine out, can circle around, burn off fuel, and land, all those little luxuries.

With rockets, even reusable Falcons, a good health check before takeoff is more important.

So yes, I agree eventually maybe they'll drop them, but it is not one of the next barriers on the way to rapid reusability which is what I was reacting to.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: dorkmo on 01/03/2016 08:43 PM
would it make since to invest in a test stand near the landing site?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: HIP2BSQRE on 01/03/2016 09:14 PM
I'll put it differently...

As long as it takes 3 days to recover from a static fire, the impediment to one day turn-around is not the existence of the static fire, but the fact that even from a lowly static fire you still need 3 days...

And conversely, if the rocket can be fully turned around in a day, then surely it can do static fires almost at will...

You don't actually need one day stage turn around to fly once a day.   I can easily envision a scenario where spacex has a fleet of 7+ first stages and launches one per day.  This gives them a week to turn around each stage, while still maintaining a daily launch cadence. 

Please remember the whole industry is not doing 100 flights in 2016.  It will be awhile before SpaceX gets to 50 flights a years, let alone 300+ years.  Remember SpaceX is currently at 6 6- 7 flights a year, this year we expect 10  -  15.  I do not expect 50+ flights a year before at least 2022. The whole industry has grow and need more flights.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: rpapo on 01/03/2016 09:52 PM
Would it make sense to invest in a test stand near the landing site?
Why go the effort of taking the rocket down from the landing site to erect it on a test stand, then take it back down from the test stand to transport it to whichever facility will be used to prepare it for its next flight?  And if you put the test stand so close as to be able to transport the stage to the stand vertically (hanging from a crane), then you are potentially putting more hardware in harms way if a landing goes wrong.  The landing site is pretty barren for a reason.

Keep in mind that a test stand requires fuel tanks, oxidizer tanks, a flame trench, hold-downs and perhaps other things, at the least.  Some of those things could get rather explosive if disturbed inappropriately.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: wannamoonbase on 01/03/2016 11:37 PM
I'll put it differently...

As long as it takes 3 days to recover from a static fire, the impediment to one day turn-around is not the existence of the static fire, but the fact that even from a lowly static fire you still need 3 days...

And conversely, if the rocket can be fully turned around in a day, then surely it can do static fires almost at will...

Let's recognize that SpaceX is still a relatively young company and are on the 3rd iteration of the F9.  They don't have that many cycles on the vehicle and are still learning. 

The F9 doesn't have to much tinkering left in it.  Going forward, I think, SpaceX's development will shift to hardware and process refinements as flight history and launch rate increase.  At some point when there is enough history and process improvement that some elements like the McGregor testing or Static fire are simplified, combined or eliminated.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Saabstory88 on 01/04/2016 06:15 PM
I'll put it differently...

As long as it takes 3 days to recover from a static fire, the impediment to one day turn-around is not the existence of the static fire, but the fact that even from a lowly static fire you still need 3 days...

And conversely, if the rocket can be fully turned around in a day, then surely it can do static fires almost at will...

Let's recognize that SpaceX is still a relatively young company and are on the 3rd iteration of the F9.  They don't have that many cycles on the vehicle and are still learning. 

The F9 doesn't have to much tinkering left in it.  Going forward, I think, SpaceX's development will shift to hardware and process refinements as flight history and launch rate increase.  At some point when there is enough history and process improvement that some elements like the McGregor testing or Static fire are simplified, combined or eliminated.

Based on some job descriptions popping up, they are ramping up for faster turnaround technology, as well as more automated production.

Production:
http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/8732
http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/8527
http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/8567

Processing:
http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/8642
http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/8560
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AncientU on 01/05/2016 01:13 AM
I'll put it differently...

As long as it takes 3 days to recover from a static fire, the impediment to one day turn-around is not the existence of the static fire, but the fact that even from a lowly static fire you still need 3 days...

And conversely, if the rocket can be fully turned around in a day, then surely it can do static fires almost at will...

Let's recognize that SpaceX is still a relatively young company and are on the 3rd iteration of the F9.  They don't have that many cycles on the vehicle and are still learning. 

The F9 doesn't have to much tinkering left in it.  Going forward, I think, SpaceX's development will shift to hardware and process refinements as flight history and launch rate increase.  At some point when there is enough history and process improvement that some elements like the McGregor testing or Static fire are simplified, combined or eliminated.

Actually, the launch sequence gives them a 'static fire' -- then they release the holddowns if everything checks out nominal.  As experience with the system grows, and the time between launches of gently-used stages decreases, this could become their static fire equivalent.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 01/05/2016 01:41 AM

I'll put it differently...

As long as it takes 3 days to recover from a static fire, the impediment to one day turn-around is not the existence of the static fire, but the fact that even from a lowly static fire you still need 3 days...

And conversely, if the rocket can be fully turned around in a day, then surely it can do static fires almost at will...

Let's recognize that SpaceX is still a relatively young company and are on the 3rd iteration of the F9.  They don't have that many cycles on the vehicle and are still learning. 

The F9 doesn't have to much tinkering left in it.  Going forward, I think, SpaceX's development will shift to hardware and process refinements as flight history and launch rate increase.  At some point when there is enough history and process improvement that some elements like the McGregor testing or Static fire are simplified, combined or eliminated.

Actually, the launch sequence gives them a 'static fire' -- then they release the holddowns if everything checks out nominal.  As experience with the system grows, and the time between launches of gently-used stages decreases, this could become their static fire equivalent.
Except you don't get the shutdown data. And you don't have any window for data analysis beyond the realtime bit.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AncientU on 01/05/2016 01:44 AM

I'll put it differently...

As long as it takes 3 days to recover from a static fire, the impediment to one day turn-around is not the existence of the static fire, but the fact that even from a lowly static fire you still need 3 days...

And conversely, if the rocket can be fully turned around in a day, then surely it can do static fires almost at will...

Let's recognize that SpaceX is still a relatively young company and are on the 3rd iteration of the F9.  They don't have that many cycles on the vehicle and are still learning. 

The F9 doesn't have to much tinkering left in it.  Going forward, I think, SpaceX's development will shift to hardware and process refinements as flight history and launch rate increase.  At some point when there is enough history and process improvement that some elements like the McGregor testing or Static fire are simplified, combined or eliminated.

Actually, the launch sequence gives them a 'static fire' -- then they release the holddowns if everything checks out nominal.  As experience with the system grows, and the time between launches of gently-used stages decreases, this could become their static fire equivalent.
Except you don't get the shutdown data. And you don't have any window for data analysis beyond the realtime bit.

At some point, you don't need it.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: TomTX on 01/05/2016 02:09 AM
I don't know what to make of the interstage look. There's blistering in the paint, but it doesn't look like heat damage to me - I'd expect the decals to be fried if it was. Could it trapped air expanding in vacuum?
The decals appear weirdly sandblasted, but the effect is very localized. I can see why from a distance it looked like the "l" in Falcon got torn off.

The effect on the fins kinda looks like a fairly thick coating was coming off. Ablative paint?

Trapped air is quite unlikely to cause blistering, let alone blisters that big. I've put plenty of paint chips in vacuum ovens at 110C or thereabouts and even with vacuoles of gas, no issues. On the other hand, entrapped solvent can readily cause blistering upon heating. You've got that liquid -> gas transition and an approximate 1000x increase in volume.

If the paint matters, they really need to get a good paint chemist to look at what's going on and see what they need to do to fix it. Maybe it's localized cleaning/surface prep issues. Maybe entrapped solvent. Maybe a bunch of things. Needs analysis. Microscopy.  GCMS for solvents, FTIR of whole ground chip to verify composition and possibly mix ratio, FTIR of the back surfaces of the blisters to look for contamination, et cetera et cetera.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: yg1968 on 01/16/2016 04:34 PM
One thing that was mentionned in a presentation by SpaceX last fall (at 26:10 of the video) is that Dragon1 would increase its upmass capability through a more efficient use of the volume of the spacecraft. Do we know what the number of upmass will be through this more efficient use of the capsule?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNXXzFlJuHQ

Incidentally, it was also mentionned in the video that they were working with NASA to reuse the Dragon1 spacecrafts in future missions. This isn't news. But that is one of the forums where this was specifically mentionned by SpaceX.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Dante80 on 01/25/2016 04:47 PM
Quote
SpaceX Falcon 9 upgrade certified for National Security Space launches

by  Space and Missile Systems Center Public Affairs
 Space and Missile Systems Center
 
1/22/2016 - LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, El Segundo, Calif. -- Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, Air Force Program Executive Officer for Space and Space and Missile Systems Center commander, updated the certified baseline configuration of SpaceX's Falcon 9 Launch System to Falcon 9 Upgrade, for use in National Security Space (NSS) missions. The baseline configuration of the Falcon 9 Launch System was updated to the Falcon 9 Upgrade on Jan. 25.
 
 SpaceX is eligible for award of NSS launch missions, in accordance with the updated Certification Letter, as one of two currently certified launch providers.
 
 The partnership between SpaceX and the Air Force continues as they focus on SpaceX's newest vehicle configuration, Falcon 9 Upgrade. SpaceX and Air Force technical teams will jointly work to complete the tasks required to prepare SpaceX and the Falcon 9 Upgrade for NSS missions.
 
 This certification update takes into account all of the Spring 2015 Independent Review Committee's recommendations, including clarification that the SMC commander, as the certifying official, has the authority to grant certification and updates based on a New Entrant's demonstrated capability to design, produce, qualify and deliver their launch system. This includes allowing New Entrant certification with some open work, provided there are jointly approved work plans in place that support potential NSS mission processing timelines.
 
 "The certification process provides a path for launch-service providers to demonstrate the capability to design, produce, qualify, and deliver a new launch system and provide the mission assurance support required to deliver NSS satellites to orbit," Greaves said.  "This gives the Air Force confidence that the national security satellites will safely achieve the intended orbits with full mission capability."
 
 The purpose of certification is to provide high confidence for successful NSS launches by determining that New Entrants are capable of meeting Air Force established launch requirements for the complex NSS challenges and environments. The Air Force has established launch standards that all launch providers must meet to become certified. Formal design and mission reliability assessments ensure the launch system's capability to provide the necessary payload mass-to-orbit, orbital insertion accuracy, and other requirements to place a healthy payload into its intended orbit.
 
 The Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the U.S. Air Force's center for acquiring and developing military space systems. Its portfolio includes the Global Positioning System, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control networks, space based infrared systems and space situational awareness capabilities.
 
 Media representatives can submit questions for response regarding this topic by sending an e-mail to [email protected]

http://www.losangeles.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123467492 (http://www.losangeles.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123467492)

I'll attach a pretty good OG2 picture from the article.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/25/2016 04:58 PM
DOD certification of the FT upgrade is welcome news. I'm slightly surprised 1 flight was sufficient and also that it only took 1 month. Was that expected? Anything to do with the more 'appropriate' DOD oversight following the drawn out issues getting F9 certified originally?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Dante80 on 01/25/2016 05:02 PM
DOD certification of the FT upgrade is welcome news. I'm slightly surprised 1 flight was sufficient and also that it only took 1 month. Was that expected? Anything to do with the more 'appropriate' DOD oversight following the drawn out issues getting F9 certified originally?

There are four reasons for it.

1. The provider is already certified.
2. The certification procedure has changed after the investigation.
3. This was not a different LV, but an updated variant of the same LV.
4. USAF and SpaceX have been working on this for months already.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: rocx on 01/25/2016 06:51 PM
It seems to me the Falcon 9 v1.1 FT now has a more official name, the 'Falcon 9 Upgrade'.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Llian Rhydderch on 01/25/2016 11:29 PM
It seems to me the Falcon 9 v1.1 FT now has a more official name, the 'Falcon 9 Upgrade'.

That's the problem, this new version has had a half-dozen names, all of them sourced to SpaceX official pubs, or Shotwell, or Musk, or NSF, or Aviation Week, SpaceNews, etc. sources.  Here's just a half dozen or so of them that are noted in the Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falcon_9_full_thrust):  "Falcon 9 full thrust", "Falcon 9 v1.1 Full Thrust,[1] Falcon 9 v1.2, Enhanced Falcon 9, Full-Performance Falcon 9,[2] Upgraded Falcon 9,[3] and Falcon 9 Upgrade[4]"

And Chris has said that SpaceX have asked him, as a publisher, to just call the new rocket a "Falcon 9".

So I don't think it is clear, at all, that 'Falcon 9 Upgrade' is now the more official name.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: edkyle99 on 01/26/2016 04:37 AM
It seems to me the Falcon 9 v1.1 FT now has a more official name, the 'Falcon 9 Upgrade'.

That's the problem, this new version has had a half-dozen names, all of them sourced to SpaceX official pubs, or Shotwell, or Musk, or NSF, or Aviation Week, SpaceNews, etc. sources.  Here's just a half dozen or so of them that are noted in the Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falcon_9_full_thrust):  "Falcon 9 full thrust", "Falcon 9 v1.1 Full Thrust,[1] Falcon 9 v1.2, Enhanced Falcon 9, Full-Performance Falcon 9,[2] Upgraded Falcon 9,[3] and Falcon 9 Upgrade[4]"

And Chris has said that SpaceX have asked him, as a publisher, to just call the new rocket a "Falcon 9".

So I don't think it is clear, at all, that 'Falcon 9 Upgrade' is now the more official name.
SpaceX has used "Falcon 9 Upgrade" in its recent webcasts.  I have seen it used in official SpaceX conference presentations.  Now the U.S. Air Force has used the name officially.  I'm beginning to think that this may be the real name.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: dorkmo on 01/26/2016 04:54 AM
is there already or can we start a falcon naming thread? this always pops up and predictably doesnt go very far.

i have an itch to reckon but i feel its just distracting
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lars-J on 01/26/2016 06:04 AM
SpaceX has used "Falcon 9 Upgrade" in its recent webcasts.  I have seen it used in official SpaceX conference presentations.  Now the U.S. Air Force has used the name officially.  I'm beginning to think that this may be the real name.

 - Ed Kyle

No, "Falcon 9" is the official name. The upgrade part is likely just so they can differentiate it from the previous model. In a few launches the "upgrade" part will be dropped. No other F9 will be available.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: sewebster on 01/26/2016 06:29 AM
No, "Falcon 9" is the official name. The upgrade part is likely just so they can differentiate it from the previous model. In a few launches the "upgrade" part will be dropped. No other F9 will be available.

Yep, but there must be some nomenclature for differentiating the previous versions, for instance when you are having a discussion about the differences between F9 versions.

SpaceX must have some internal terminology as it seems fairly clear that they will have had to deal with inventory from several versions at the same time. But they have decided they want the "branding" to be clear or something like that and therefore want the terminology to be simple and consistent, hence the request for just "Falcon 9". Doesn't seem unreasonable from a public PR perspective.. just a little frustrating when you are trying to discuss the different versions!

Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cscott on 01/26/2016 01:43 PM
SpaceX must have some internal terminology as it seems fairly clear that they will have had to deal with inventory from several versions at the same time.

I suspect what we are missing is that SpaceX has a continual improvement process, and no two Falcon rockets are exactly alike.  So our v1.1, v1.2, etc is version 8 or 9 or 23 or 678 or whatever internally.  Some of these changes appear bigger than others, so (from the outside) we want to give them a name.  But internally at SpaceX it's just "revision 3618" in their internal change management system.  They make up names on the fly when they have to communicate with outsiders.  I bet they have an ongoing delta review process with their customers (NASA, USAF), who somewhat arbitrarily decide when to make a big press release about it.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: JamesH on 01/26/2016 01:47 PM
SpaceX must have some internal terminology as it seems fairly clear that they will have had to deal with inventory from several versions at the same time.

I suspect what we are missing is that SpaceX has a continual improvement process, and no two Falcon rockets are exactly alike.  So our v1.1, v1.2, etc is version 8 or 9 or 23 or 678 or whatever internally.  Some of these changes appear bigger to others, so (from the outside) we want to give them a name.  But internally at SpaceX it's just "revision 3618" in their internal change management system.  They make up names on the fly when they have to communicate with outsiders.  I bet they have an ongoing delta review process with their customers (NASA, USAF), who somewhat arbitrarily decide when to make a big press release about it.

Indeed. I do wonder why people get apparently so het up about something as simple as naming - if you need to distinguish, there are plenty of ways of doing it to make it unambiguous. When you don't, use F9 by itself. SpaceX clearly know what they are doing internally, and that's the most important bit.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 01/26/2016 01:54 PM

Good. Looks like we can finally dispense with the "It's-a-different-rocket-so-it-needs-to-fly-3-times-to-be-certified" b*llsh*t.


That is the USAF certification.  NASA still hasn't certified it. 
The fact that it is a different rocket is the reason that it had to be recertified.  The method to certification is depended on the number of launches.   It can be 1, 3, 6 or 14 launches depending on the payload class and the LV risk category for NASA missions.  The USAF methodology is slightly different.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Comga on 01/26/2016 03:11 PM
Indeed. I do wonder why people get apparently so het up about something as simple as naming -

"The naming of things is the beginning of wisdom."
You want to see "het up" over naming?  Go to the "Pluto-Planet debate" thread. (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37818.msg1390109#msg1390109)

Quote
if you need to distinguish, there are plenty of ways of doing it to make it unambiguous. When you don't, use F9 by itself. SpaceX clearly know what they are doing internally, and that's the most important bit.

Personally, I think about the current version as "F9D" and I am no longer even sure why.  It's clean and succinct.
What is your "unambiguous" distinction and can you say it in a single breath?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cscott on 01/26/2016 03:17 PM
What is your "unambiguous" distinction and can you say it in a single breath?

F9-21
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: abaddon on 01/26/2016 03:46 PM
SpaceX has used "Falcon 9 Upgrade" in its recent webcasts.  I have seen it used in official SpaceX conference presentations.  Now the U.S. Air Force has used the name officially.  I'm beginning to think that this may be the real name.
Sure, it's the real name.  It will also be the real name the next time the Air Force has to do a delta certification on the next F9 variant.

In other words, this is just a way of describing the version they are upgrading to, relative to the previous version.  In the future these will all just be Falcon 9 and Falcon 9 Upgrade.  So we shouldn't rely on that name being any kind of permanent thing.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Dante80 on 01/26/2016 07:18 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6glAvN5APh4 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6glAvN5APh4)

Some new stuff in this video. Full S1-S2 sep test, and a Dragon 2 main parachute test.

The poster is a SpaceX employee (https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-izquierdo-250b5978). He must have a permission for this..I presume.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: GalacticIntruder on 01/26/2016 07:34 PM
Quote
First flights to Mars, we’re hoping to do that in 2025,” drawing some gasps in the room from people who may not have been familiar with Musk’s declared ambitions before. The reporter was probably the most surprised by the comment, though it sounded a bit feigned: “That’s just around the corner, my goodness,” she said.

“Well, nine years,” Musk bounced back dryly, drawing laughs from the crowd. Short timetable or not, the proposition of sending a handful of people or several thousand (which he said back in 2011), he is not trying to hide one of the most intense risks-worth-the-rewards arguments in human history.

“It’s going to be hard and dangerous. If you care about being safe and comfortable, going to Mars would be a terrible choice.”

http://www.geektime.com/2016/01/26/elon-musk-talks-superchargers-for-hong-kong-a-martian-future-for-humanity/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIRqB5iqWA8\

27:50 mark for SpaceX thoughts.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Dante80 on 01/26/2016 07:47 PM
We have a possible date for unveiling the Mars Architecture plan. IAC-2016, Sep 26-30.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Chris_Pi on 01/26/2016 07:55 PM
Took a close look at the stage separation test with the video fullscreen. Besides the decoration on the counterweight :) There's a center pusher present. So if anyone wants a good look at the Full-thrust vacuum motor here's your chance.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lars-J on 01/26/2016 08:28 PM
Took a close look at the stage separation test with the video fullscreen. Besides the decoration on the counterweight :) There's a center pusher present. So if anyone wants a good look at the Full-thrust vacuum motor here's your chance.

Here is a screen capture...

According to my measured estimates from that image, the M1D-Vac nozzle extension is ~2.8m wide.  :)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: abaddon on 01/26/2016 10:00 PM
Video has been removed...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/26/2016 10:35 PM
Video has been removed...

That answers that question then, but no doubt it will have been captured before it was removed so no doubt a mirror will turn up. Nothing people can do about that and having seen it there's not anything sensitive in it. A bit more Dragonfly (longer burn) and that sep test, per the screenshot above. Rest we've seen.

Anyway, We can't "host" a mirror, but youtube is external, if someone notices it.....
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: catdlr on 01/27/2016 03:22 AM
Video has been removed...

That answers that question then, but no doubt it will have been captured before it was removed so no doubt a mirror will turn up. Nothing people can do about that and having seen it there's not anything sensitive in it. A bit more Dragonfly (longer burn) and that sep test, per the screenshot above. Rest we've seen.

Anyway, We can't "host" a mirror, but youtube is external, if someone notices it.....

Captured and posted here: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3ZbLznMiws
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: guckyfan on 01/27/2016 05:28 AM
I had not seen the parachute test with 4 chutes and a dummy load. Interesting.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: MikeAtkinson on 01/27/2016 09:48 AM
It seems to show two dragonfly tests. The first one is shorter and has some rotation of dragon, the second seen from two angles has no rotation.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: woods170 on 01/27/2016 10:47 AM

Good. Looks like we can finally dispense with the "It's-a-different-rocket-so-it-needs-to-fly-3-times-to-be-certified" b*llsh*t.


That is the USAF certification.  NASA still hasn't certified it. 
The fact that it is a different rocket is the reason that it had to be recertified.  The method to certification is depended on the number of launches.   It can be 1, 3, 6 or 14 launches depending on the payload class and the LV risk category for NASA missions.  The USAF methodology is slightly different.
I was referring to the USAF certification, not NASA. I was also referring to the fact that some folks here were 'certain' that F9 upgrade (or whatever it is called) would have to fly 3 times before being certified by USAF, because it is a different rocket.
I don't agree that it is a different rocket. But the "it-has-to-fly-3-times-to-be-certified" mantra has now decisively been proven wrong for USAF certification.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: OnWithTheShow on 01/27/2016 02:47 PM
Quote
I was referring to the USAF certification, not NASA. I was also referring to the fact that some folks here were 'certain' that F9 upgrade (or whatever it is called) would have to fly 3 times before being certified by USAF, because it is a different rocket.
I don't agree that it is a different rocket. But the "it-has-to-fly-3-times-to-be-certified" mantra has now decisively been proven wrong for USAF certification.

To be fair the new certification policy includes certifying with "open items" one of those items could be two more successful flights...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cscott on 01/27/2016 03:19 PM
...and I think we "know" that one of those open items is vertical integration facilities.  But the point is that they are certified and can compete for contracts now, even if two launches, construction of a vertical integration facility, etc, have to occur before the contracted launch can occur.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: dror on 01/28/2016 06:12 PM
I have two general Falcon question;

With full thrust, does Falcon 5 now make sense?
Or specifically,
 could a theoretical F5FT with RTLS lift a Dragon2 to ISS and could it lift a 3ton sat to GTO?

Same question for a theoretical F1-Raptor.

Thanks
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lars-J on 01/28/2016 06:23 PM
I have two general Falcon question;

With full thrust, does Falcon 5 now make sense?
Or specifically,
 could a theoretical F5FT with RTLS lift a Dragon2 to ISS and could it lift a 3ton sat to GTO?

No, an "F5FT" could not. It's going to be a pretty close for the *F9* FT to deliver Dragon 2 to ISS with RTLS.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: rpapo on 01/28/2016 06:29 PM
I have two general Falcon question;

With full thrust, does Falcon 5 now make sense?
Or specifically,
 could a theoretical F5FT with RTLS lift a Dragon2 to ISS and could it lift a 3ton sat to GTO?

Same question for a theoretical F1-Raptor.

Thanks
If by "F5FT" you mean a Falcon with five Merlin 1D engines on it, I would say probably not.  With only five engines, the rocket would have to be smaller, both in total weight and in fuel carried, or it would not be able to get off the ground at launch time.  And the full size F9FT has enough problem with landing because of even one motor generating more thrust than the nearly empty first stage.  This problem would be worse with a lighter stage.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: MP99 on 01/28/2016 06:40 PM


I have two general Falcon question;

With full thrust, does Falcon 5 now make sense?
Or specifically,
 could a theoretical F5FT with RTLS lift a Dragon2 to ISS and could it lift a 3ton sat to GTO?

Same question for a theoretical F1-Raptor.

Thanks

A while ago Gwynne Shotwell said that they would not build an F5 because it didn't have the stability during ascent of F9.

I think this may have been in relation to the upgrade from M1C to M1D, but same principle would apply.

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: DJPledger on 01/30/2016 09:02 AM
SpaceX are never going to get a smooth and rapid launch cadence if they keep changing their F9 every couple of years or so. Every revision of F9 introduces new bugs which cause more delays to missions. They need to stick to one version of F9 for at least 5-7 years and preferably longer for a smooth and rapid launch cadence to be possible. SpaceX's idea of regular upgrades to their rockets could also be their undoing in the long term.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Earendil on 01/30/2016 10:47 AM
SpaceX are never going to get a smooth and rapid launch cadence if they keep changing their F9 every couple of years or so. Every revision of F9 introduces new bugs which cause more delays to missions. They need to stick to one version of F9 for at least 5-7 years and preferably longer for a smooth and rapid launch cadence to be possible. SpaceX's idea of regular upgrades to their rockets could also be their undoing in the long term.

Exactly my thoughts in the past few days..  It has been repeated many time here in the forum, but they really need to get on with the launches.. they could come up with a leg redesign for CRS-8 for example.. launch the others meanwhile either by taking some risks (for unsuccessful landing) or even with no landing attempt at all.. just to catch up with the launches a bit.. after all they are being paid for expandable rockets..

They have been repeating that the landings are "experiments".. so they should start treating them as such.. and meanwhile launch launch launch...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cscott on 01/30/2016 02:01 PM
I think you folks are missing the fact that these improvements are not all for landing: the last big stand down (RTF) were upgrades for reliability.  The Falcon is still a "new" rocket---it's never going to get to the desired levels of performance and reliability if SpaceX can't fix things as they find them.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Roy_H on 01/30/2016 02:54 PM
Gwynne also said they were working on an engine to get out of the galaxy. I don't think she's really the authority to settle a technical question.

She did not. She only speculated that this could be a possibility someday. (and I think she meant to say solar-system)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: eriblo on 01/30/2016 03:14 PM
Gwynne also said they were working on an engine to get out of the galaxy. I don't think she's really the authority to settle a technical question.

She did not. She only speculated that this could be a possibility someday. (and I think she meant to say solar-system)
Yeah, IIRC it was more on the theme of "we have interesting coffee break discussion topics..."
[/sarcasm] And it's not like she would have neither the insight nor the background to understand the trades involved with a F5, being only the President/COO with a MSc in ME and Applied Mathematics [/sarcasm] :)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: intrepidpursuit on 01/30/2016 04:22 PM


I have two general Falcon question;

With full thrust, does Falcon 5 now make sense?
Or specifically,
 could a theoretical F5FT with RTLS lift a Dragon2 to ISS and could it lift a 3ton sat to GTO?

Same question for a theoretical F1-Raptor.

Thanks

A while ago Gwynne Shotwell said that they would not build an F5 because it didn't have the stability during ascent of F9.

I think this may have been in relation to the upgrade from M1C to M1D, but same principle would apply.

Cheers, Martin
Gwynne also said they were working on an engine to get out of the galaxy. I don't think she's really the authority to settle a technical question.

Suggesting that the president of a space flight company has no idea what she's talking about when it comes to the technology her own company is working on is pretty damned insulting. What is your beef with Gwynne that you would attack her so?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Bynaus on 01/30/2016 05:27 PM


I have two general Falcon question;

With full thrust, does Falcon 5 now make sense?
Or specifically,
 could a theoretical F5FT with RTLS lift a Dragon2 to ISS and could it lift a 3ton sat to GTO?

Same question for a theoretical F1-Raptor.

Thanks

A while ago Gwynne Shotwell said that they would not build an F5 because it didn't have the stability during ascent of F9.

I think this may have been in relation to the upgrade from M1C to M1D, but same principle would apply.

Cheers, Martin
Gwynne also said they were working on an engine to get out of the galaxy. I don't think she's really the authority to settle a technical question.

Suggesting that the president of a space flight company has no idea what she's talking about when it comes to the technology her own company is working on is pretty damned insulting. What is your beef with Gwynne that you would attack her so?

Also, it's not true. Shotwell never said that.

See here: http://www.businessinsider.com/spacex-will-dominate-the-solar-system-in-2100-2014-7?IR=T

Quote from: Business Insider article
In as little as ten years, SpaceX could be sending people to Mars, she said, fulfilling CEO Elon Musk's ambition to make the human race "multiplanetary."

But why stop there? She went on to predict that by 2100 or 2200, SpaceX would be the "most widely used space transport company in the... let's call it the Solar System."

The she added that it would be "great if it were in the galaxy."

EDIT: In fact, there was another instance when she mentioned the "galaxy", at a panel discussion where she was asked about what the world will look like in 2035 (see here: http://livestream.com/AIAAvideo/SPACE2015 - scroll down until you find her name). But also there, she never said that they are actively developing an engine to take us out of the galaxy. She said she was hoping that by that time, this would be the kind of thing people are talking about. I am not even sure she meant literally "out of the galaxy" as opposed to "out into the galaxy", but that's my personal opinion.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Coastal Ron on 01/30/2016 06:11 PM
SpaceX are never going to get a smooth and rapid launch cadence if they keep changing their F9 every couple of years or so. Every revision of F9 introduces new bugs which cause more delays to missions. They need to stick to one version of F9 for at least 5-7 years and preferably longer for a smooth and rapid launch cadence to be possible. SpaceX's idea of regular upgrades to their rockets could also be their undoing in the long term.

Exactly my thoughts in the past few days.. It has been repeated many time here in the forum, but they really need to get on with the launches..

I'm not sure you understand what their motivations are.  Their goal is to put customer payloads into the right places in space, and from everything I've heard the delays that they have had in launches have been related to being able to safely do that goal.  And obviously it makes no sense to launch if you know you have an issue.

Quote
They have been repeating that the landings are "experiments".. so they should start treating them as such.. and meanwhile launch launch launch...

Where are you hearing that the next launch, or any future launch, is being delayed by recovery issues?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Earendil on 01/30/2016 08:22 PM
Exactly my thoughts in the past few days.. It has been repeated many time here in the forum, but they really need to get on with the launches..

I'm not sure you understand what their motivations are.  Their goal is to put customer payloads into the right places in space, and from everything I've heard the delays that they have had in launches have been related to being able to safely do that goal.  And obviously it makes no sense to launch if you know you have an issue.

Quote
They have been repeating that the landings are "experiments".. so they should start treating them as such.. and meanwhile launch launch launch...

Where are you hearing that the next launch, or any future launch, is being delayed by recovery issues?

Just speculating of course..  but usually if is some other reason they tend to be a bit  more forthcoming.. like "payload issue" or "ground issue" etc.. At least my impression...

Furthermore, the last couple of launches after RTF were great launch wise.. so that's why I am hunting for other reasons..

Anyway.. we'll wait and see..
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Coastal Ron on 01/30/2016 10:00 PM
Just speculating of course..

Which is fine, but you might want to be more clear that you are speculating.

Quote
...so that's why I am hunting for other reasons..

If you want more information about things that are not public with SpaceX then I suggest you join L2 - you might find what you are looking for there (or might not).  Unfortunately what you do find you won't be able to share outside of L2...   ;)

Quote
Anyway.. we'll wait and see..

I think the one takeaway we should have by now with Elon Musk and SpaceX is that they have a plan, and they are the most capable ones of executing that plan.  So if they are not meeting our excitement expectations there must be a good reason.  Patience is a virtue here.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cscott on 01/31/2016 01:44 AM
Just bringing the two threads here together: in my opinion, Gwynne is the main factor in SpaceX's practical success in making those plans and doggedly achieving them.  We know Elon can be a bit of a space cadet.  Gwynne started out selling the rocket and making deals and has been the one responsible for ensuring SpaceX continues to win contracts and have money to do the things it wants to do.  She'll keep the customers happy, don't you worry.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/31/2016 04:05 AM
SpaceX does tend to modify their Falcon rockets fairly regularly, but they've done so at a slower per-rocket rate.

The first 2 Falcon 1 flights flew with the ablative Merlin 1A.

Then the much-improved Merlin 1C regenerative engine was used on the next 3 flights.

Then Falcon 9 with 9 Merlin 1C engines flew 5 times.

Then Falcon 9 v1.1, introducing VTVL recovery attempts, flew 15 times before being retired.

Extrapolate that (exponentially, in this case) on a log plot, and you have Falcon 9 full thrust completing 24 flights before being significantly upgraded (though v1.1 to FT was a much smaller upgrade than v1.0 to v1.1). Though that could be almost any number depending on a range of factors. Since it's going to be their first rocket to carry crew (most likely), they'll probably keep it around for longer (even perhaps serving alongside an upgraded Falcon 9, like one with a reusable Raptor upper stage perhaps), since NASA is understandably conservative when it comes to launching crew on new rockets (at least rockets that aren't their own!).
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: JamesH on 01/31/2016 08:11 AM
SpaceX are never going to get a smooth and rapid launch cadence if they keep changing their F9 every couple of years or so. Every revision of F9 introduces new bugs which cause more delays to missions. They need to stick to one version of F9 for at least 5-7 years and preferably longer for a smooth and rapid launch cadence to be possible. SpaceX's idea of regular upgrades to their rockets could also be their undoing in the long term.

ULA change their rockets regularly as well. I doubt there is a launcher in existence that hasn't changed considerably in your 5-7 years. And remember we are still in the development stage, where changes are frequent and necessary. Once it all works to SpaceX's and their customers satisfaction (soon I expect), the launch cadence will increase.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: krschultz on 01/31/2016 09:23 PM
SpaceX are never going to get a smooth and rapid launch cadence if they keep changing their F9 every couple of years or so. Every revision of F9 introduces new bugs which cause more delays to missions. They need to stick to one version of F9 for at least 5-7 years and preferably longer for a smooth and rapid launch cadence to be possible. SpaceX's idea of regular upgrades to their rockets could also be their undoing in the long term.

This is exactly the opposite of SpaceX's engineering philosophy [1]. That are all in on continuous improvement and I'm pretty certain you will never see a 'finished' design from them.

You basically have a choice of a little bit of risk on every small design change, or a huge risk when you go back to the drawing board for a clean slate design. Most defense contractors generally follow the practice of not really revving a design, and then every few decades doing a full re-design. I suspect this is one of the primary drivers of the cost explosion in those complex systems. SpaceX is explicitly betting that the alternate approach leads to better outcomes - including a smooth and rapid launch cadence. The fact that it hasn't yet is not proof that it won't work in the long run.


[1] See slide 10 of this presentation: https://www.aiaa.org/uploadedFiles/Events/Conferences/2012_Conferences/2012-Complex-Aerospace-Systems-Exchange-Event/Detailed_Program/CASE2012_2-4_Muratore_presentation.pdf (https://www.aiaa.org/uploadedFiles/Events/Conferences/2012_Conferences/2012-Complex-Aerospace-Systems-Exchange-Event/Detailed_Program/CASE2012_2-4_Muratore_presentation.pdf)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: QuantumG on 01/31/2016 09:35 PM
Welcome to the forum! Great first post. Continuous improvement holds inherent the promise that reliability can be engineered. The alternate view is that it's all just process and procedures. These arguments were made to great effect during the Shuttle era.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: alang on 02/02/2016 02:48 AM
"Continuous improvement" may be informed by SpaceX's software culture.
It seems to me that you have to be very confident of your simulations and testing to ever make this work with physical hardware in something as marginal as a rocket stage.
On the other hand I can see how continuois improvement could work with a Marmac barge...
Early days though - I'll be happier when the worries are about how difficult it is to do an engine change.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: MikeAtkinson on 02/02/2016 09:45 AM
There are several improvements that SpaceX can make which should keep the price per launch and price per $/kg to LEO and GTO to be reduced over the next decade.

1. Methane second stage (probably 5.2m diameter) using some variant of Raptor.
    Approx 30% payload increase to LEO and perhaps more to GTO. This would mean that F9 could launch all
    current GTO payloads. About the same price as F9 FT.

1a. Reusable methane second stage (probably 5.2m diameter) using some variant of Raptor.
   Some payload improvement to LEO over F9 FT, about the same payload to GTO. Major reduction in cost
   (especially marginal cost).

2. Methane first stage (probably 5.2m diameter) using some variant of Raptor.
   Another 30% performance boost. All current payloads could use RTLS. Can retire FH and barge.
   Now fully reusable it can place about 20 tonnes of payload into LEO.

3. Raptor thrust increase, stage stretch.
   Another 30% performance boost, at no increase in launch cost.
   Now fully reusable it can place about 26 tonnes of payload into LEO.

3a. Second stage with integrated fairing, long duration kit and cis-lunar capability (mini-BFS)

These should keep the SpaceX Falcon team busy for the next 10 years.

Then for Dragon there are several options:

1. 5.2m diameter Dragon (about 3x the volume)
   Dragon is volume limited in many LEO applications, so a larger volume would be very useful, giving 3x the
   cargo capability to a LEO space station for instance.

2. Integrate Dragon with trunk
   Making the trunk reusable.

3. Integrate Dragon with trunk and second stage to form a mini-BFS (1/3 scale, so 1/27 the volume).
   This would be a very capable craft for cis-lunar operations with a crew of up to 20 (30 at a push), and duration
   of a couple of months (volume limited).

3a. Integrate Dragon with trunk and second stage to form a mini-BFS - lunar landing capable.

A big unknown in all this is the tank diameter. 5.2 m has been chosen because it is the same as the current fairing, however I think a slightly larger (6m ?) diameter would be better for long term scalability.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: GORDAP on 02/02/2016 10:28 AM
Mike, I'd add:

4. Replace the 3 FH cores with a single stick 5.2 (maybe 6?) meter methane 1st stage, powered by 7-9 Raptors.  Now all launches do RTLS, and no more stage integration.  Full, rapid reusability finally achieved.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: MikeAtkinson on 02/02/2016 10:40 AM
Mike, I'd add:

4. Replace the 3 FH cores with a single stick 5.2 (maybe 6?) meter methane 1st stage, powered by 7-9 Raptors.  Now all launches do RTLS, and no more stage integration.  Full, rapid reusability finally achieved.

Already in 2. above "Now can retire FH and barge"
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: GORDAP on 02/02/2016 10:55 AM
Argh, sorry.  My eyes just skipped over it.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Bynaus on 02/02/2016 02:28 PM
@Mike: Great post, great ideas (not all of them completely new, but still ;) ). The way you lay it out, it just seems so logical. That doesn't mean of course that SpaceX will follow this path, in particular because they only have limited engineering resources which are likely better spent on the MCT system if they want to keep their goal of Humans to Mars in 2025ish. But then, if they do indeed develop an upper stage with 5.2 m diameter (and I don't think this is a given - it don't even think the Raptor upper stage is a given, despite the DoD contract), the same tooling can easily be re-used for a 5.2 m first stage, with only the sea-level Raptor as a (minimally) new development. It would seem however that such a first stage would be difficult to transport - a short upper stage can be carried by a SuperGuppy as someone has suggested, but a first stage? I can't really see SpaceX renting the Roc to carry them around the country! :)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: sunbingfa on 02/03/2016 06:13 PM
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/694954313270038528

Spacex plans to re-fly a Dragon this year.....
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Geron on 02/04/2016 01:44 AM
Its hard for a SpaceX fan not to have a bit of anxiety about delays after the long delay after the failure in June.

Especially because of the fact that the first Falcon 9 full thrust carried such a light payload. It is great news that SES 9 is possible in the "next couple weeks."

Thank you for sharing this information! My blood pressure just fell about ten points and likely will remain low for fourteen days.

If they don't launch or reserve a time to launch within 14 days its going to start creeping back up again..
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Earendil on 02/04/2016 06:56 AM
Well,

Shotwell did say they are making mods based on the 2nd firing of the landed stage. There were speculation on other threads for heat blankets.. but these would have been apparent after the landing, not after the 2nd firing.
So my guess is minor engine tweaks maybe related to the fluctuations they've observed during that firing.

This is the reason for the hold up.. but she seems quite confident that they will build up the pace afterwards.

Moreover she said that from 3 production stands and ability to make about 15 cores per year, they now have 6 stands and will be able to produce up to 30-40 core per year by the end of this one.

So guys.. chill for a couple of weeks :) go for a ski or smth and they'll be back :)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 02/04/2016 07:12 AM
Yes, there's an awful lot of internet "but surely, they will fail" hysteria whenever SpaceX has even the tiniest delays that most other launch service providers experience. Reddit is the primary culprit here.

Minimising that on Nasaspaceflight.com is probably our best way of avoiding heartburn. If something stops it means something is being worked on to increase the likelihood of nominal launches. This is inherently good in itself.

People are fans of the wrong industry if they think it's all about the launches and that anything that detracts from a massive launch cadence is in some way damaging the industry.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: e.winsmore on 02/04/2016 08:10 AM
Yes, there's an awful lot of internet "but surely, they will fail" hysteria whenever SpaceX has even the tiniest delays that most other launch service providers experience. Reddit is the primary culprit here.

Minimising that on Nasaspaceflight.com is probably our best way of avoiding heartburn. If something stops it means something is being worked on to increase the likelihood of nominal launches. This is inherently good in itself.

Having lurked on both the r/spacex board and the NSF board for some while, I think both offer some interesting perspectives - realism bordering on optimism, which I don't see a problem with. Crucially, both of these boards seem well informed, more so than say the Facebook group which borders on being unreadable.

I think a lot of it has to do with perspective - no one remembers the huge gulf of delays that plagued SpaceX in 2009-2011. Everyone gets so used to a reasonable launch cadence that was established in 2014 and the early half of 2015, and then suddenly there's a month of delays and people lose their minds, as they try to air their frustrations as a fan.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: JamesH on 02/04/2016 09:33 AM
Its hard for a SpaceX fan not to have a bit of anxiety about delays after the long delay after the failure in June.

Especially because of the fact that the first Falcon 9 full thrust carried such a light payload. It is great news that SES 9 is possible in the "next couple weeks."

Thank you for sharing this information! My blood pressure just fell about ten points and likely will remain low for fourteen days.

If they don't launch or reserve a time to launch within 14 days its going to start creeping back up again..

I'm a fan, but don't have any problems with anxiety. I just now that Stuff happens, you need to live with it and accept that some of the best rocket engineers on the planet are working on it. It doesn't affect me directly, and I cannot do anything about it. Delays here and there are not worth getting high blood pressure about!

Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 02/04/2016 11:14 AM
Yes, there's an awful lot of internet "but surely, they will fail" hysteria whenever SpaceX has even the tiniest delays that most other launch service providers experience.

It is mostly the other extreme.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 02/04/2016 11:15 AM

This is the reason for the hold up.. but she seems quite confident that they will build up the pace afterwards.


No, she never said those were the reasons for the hold up
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cscott on 02/04/2016 02:34 PM

This is the reason for the hold up.. but she seems quite confident that they will build up the pace afterwards.


No, she never said those were the reasons for the hold up
I agree with Jim.

We don't even know that the hold up is related to the first stage.  If it is not, then the refire isn't going to bear on it at all.

Also: remember that there was a fuel leak from the vicinity of an engine during the landing attempt (after the reentry burn).  If we're going to read tea leaves, I'd suggest that the "lessons learned" from the refire are more likely to be related to that.  Presumably they repaired the leak before the refire, but perhaps their repair failed to hold up in a surprising way.  If they'd attempted similar repairs pre-launch before, this would be highly relevant to future launch campaigns.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: ugordan on 02/04/2016 03:05 PM
We don't even know that the hold up is related to the first stage.  If it is not, then the refire isn't going to bear on it at all.

That depends on the commonality between stages. For all we know, it could be an S2 issue/vulnerability that was uncovered by the S1 fire.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cscott on 02/04/2016 03:57 PM


That depends on the commonality between stages. For all we know, it could be an S2 issue/vulnerability that was uncovered by the S1 fire.

Seems like you're piling assumptions on top of each other.  Occam's Razor predicts reality is more likely to be simple.

Besides, we had indications that the SES launch was moving to the right even before the refire.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: ugordan on 02/04/2016 04:18 PM
That depends on the commonality between stages. For all we know, it could be an S2 issue/vulnerability that was uncovered by the S1 fire.

Seems like you're piling assumptions on top of each other.

I'm pointing out that it's you who are assuming no possible connection between 1st stage refire and 2nd stage.

Besides, we had indications that the SES launch was moving to the right even before the refire.

I'll grant you that.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: nadreck on 02/04/2016 05:03 PM
Its hard for a SpaceX fan not to have a bit of anxiety about delays after the long delay after the failure in June.

Especially because of the fact that the first Falcon 9 full thrust carried such a light payload. It is great news that SES 9 is possible in the "next couple weeks."

Thank you for sharing this information! My blood pressure just fell about ten points and likely will remain low for fourteen days.

If they don't launch or reserve a time to launch within 14 days its going to start creeping back up again..

I'm a fan, but don't have any problems with anxiety. I just now that Stuff happens, you need to live with it and accept that some of the best rocket engineers on the planet are working on it. It doesn't affect me directly, and I cannot do anything about it. Delays here and there are not worth getting high blood pressure about!

I was made more "anxious" by the statement that we would get new FH performance numbers soon. I am just as excited to get more information as I am by launches.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: dror on 02/04/2016 05:12 PM
http://spacenews.com/luxembourg-to-invest-in-space-based-asteroid-mining/

Quote
PARIS —The Luxembourg government on Feb. 3 announced it would seek to jump-start an industrial sector to mine asteroid resources in space by creating regulatory and financial incentives.

The incentives include co-investment in research and development and, eventually, direct capital investment in space resource-mining companies setting up shop in Luxembourg.

Announced by Vice Prime Minister Etienne Schneider, who is also the nation’s economics minister, the initiative has already lured U.S.-based Deep Space Industries of Mountain View, California, to create a Luxembourg subsidiary. Schneider said other U.S. companies, including SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, and Planetary Resources of Redmond, Washington, are in talks with Luxembourg authorities regarding the Spaceresources.lu venture.

???
Spacex is into asteroid mining??

Do we have other indications to support that?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Modal on 02/04/2016 05:24 PM
http://spacenews.com/luxembourg-to-invest-in-space-based-asteroid-mining/

Quote
PARIS —The Luxembourg government on Feb. 3 announced it would seek to jump-start an industrial sector to mine asteroid resources in space by creating regulatory and financial incentives.

The incentives include co-investment in research and development and, eventually, direct capital investment in space resource-mining companies setting up shop in Luxembourg.

Announced by Vice Prime Minister Etienne Schneider, who is also the nation’s economics minister, the initiative has already lured U.S.-based Deep Space Industries of Mountain View, California, to create a Luxembourg subsidiary. Schneider said other U.S. companies, including SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, and Planetary Resources of Redmond, Washington, are in talks with Luxembourg authorities regarding the Spaceresources.lu venture.

???
Spacex is into asteroid mining??

Do we have other indications to support that?

Spacex is interested in carrying their payloads, not mining.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: spacenut on 02/04/2016 05:28 PM
It looks like a payload for asteroid mining.  SpaceX would just be the launcher, probably with a future FH. 
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: dror on 02/04/2016 05:49 PM

Spacex is interested in carrying their payloads, not mining.

Quote
The incentives include co-investment in research and development and, eventually, direct capital investment in space resource-mining companies setting up shop in Luxembourg.

That is very specific. It does not include launch service providers.
Spacex's Seattle branch proves your assumption is not valid. Or do you have a source?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: JamesH on 02/04/2016 07:24 PM
There are going to need ways of getting the mined materials (could be ore, or processed in orbit) back to Earth. Only SpaceX is currently capable of bring more than people back.

Is there anyone else they could even talk to?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: rocx on 02/04/2016 07:55 PM
And besides, the initiative is about mining resources from outer space, not just asteroids. Asteroid mining makes the most sense for Earth use, but planetary mining probably shares a lot of technology, and SpaceX is likely going to develop planetary mining techniques. Combined with affordable interplanetary transportation, large reentry capsules and reusable launch, I would say SpaceX has a lot to offer, but also a lot to gain from this cooperation.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AncientU on 02/04/2016 08:10 PM
http://spacenews.com/luxembourg-to-invest-in-space-based-asteroid-mining/

Quote
PARIS —The Luxembourg government on Feb. 3 announced it would seek to jump-start an industrial sector to mine asteroid resources in space by creating regulatory and financial incentives.

The incentives include co-investment in research and development and, eventually, direct capital investment in space resource-mining companies setting up shop in Luxembourg.

Announced by Vice Prime Minister Etienne Schneider, who is also the nation’s economics minister, the initiative has already lured U.S.-based Deep Space Industries of Mountain View, California, to create a Luxembourg subsidiary. Schneider said other U.S. companies, including SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, and Planetary Resources of Redmond, Washington, are in talks with Luxembourg authorities regarding the Spaceresources.lu venture.

???
Spacex is into asteroid mining??

Do we have other indications to support that?

Spacex is interested in carrying their payloads, not mining.

Doesn't in situ resource use on Mars fall into this category?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Fan Boi on 02/04/2016 08:38 PM
Off Earth mining may be another skillset they can learn using other peoples money (wholly or partially). They are going to need it...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Hotblack Desiato on 02/04/2016 09:58 PM
Let's view this situation from another side.

Does Planetary Resources want to develop larger spacecraft? If they have no intention to learn how to design spacecrafts on their own, and that they just want to rent spacecrafts, and SpaceX has no intention to learn how to mine and process resources in space, then the only logical course is a cooperation. It helps both sides.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: QuantumG on 02/04/2016 10:20 PM
Let's view this situation from another side.

Does Planetary Resources want to develop larger spacecraft? If they have no intention to learn how to design spacecrafts on their own, and that they just want to rent spacecrafts, and SpaceX has no intention to learn how to mine and process resources in space, then the only logical course is a cooperation. It helps both sides.

Developing spacecraft is all Planetary Resources does. If I were to speculate about SpaceX involvement (beyond launch) I'd be imagining an acquisition to expand SpaceX's talent base in Seattle.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Mader Levap on 02/05/2016 12:54 AM
SpaceX are never going to get a smooth and rapid launch cadence if they keep changing their F9 every couple of years or so. Every revision of F9 introduces new bugs which cause more delays to missions. They need to stick to one version of F9 for at least 5-7 years and preferably longer for a smooth and rapid launch cadence to be possible.

Again with this old nonsense?

People were talking that about moving from v.1.0 to v1.1. If SpaceX listened to them, they would waste years with undersized rocket completely incapable of landing and incapable of launching many, many, very many payloads.

People were talking that about moving from v.1.1 to v1.2. If SpaceX listened to them, they would waste years with rocket that can land maybe one in five times - and could not land on many, many missions at all.

Currently, if SpaceX would listen to you, they would miss out not only more reliable landings, but also they would deliberaltely let themself have less reliable rocket in general. SpaceX said they already see some areas for improvement based on data from recovered stage, clearly indicating those improvments apply to launch.

SpaceX's idea of regular upgrades to their rockets could also be their undoing in the long term.
14 years and they are still alive and kicking. How this is about "undoing"?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: meekGee on 02/05/2016 02:06 AM


Well,

Shotwell did say they are making mods based on the 2nd firing of the landed stage.

I missed that.  That's good.  That static fire added a second burn to some engines, a third to two more, and a fourth to the center engine.   Plenty places to find daemons.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: JBF on 02/05/2016 02:17 AM


Well,

Shotwell did say they are making mods based on the 2nd firing of the landed stage.

I missed that.  That's good.  That static fire added a second burn to some engines, a third to two more, and a fourth to the center engine.   Plenty places to find daemons.

It's not additional burns on the stand  that will uncover things. These engines have all been through multiple burns already.  It's additional burns after the engines have been through the entire launch regime and associated stresses.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: meekGee on 02/05/2016 02:27 AM


Well,

Shotwell did say they are making mods based on the 2nd firing of the landed stage.

I missed that.  That's good.  That static fire added a second burn to some engines, a third to two more, and a fourth to the center engine.   Plenty places to find daemons.

It's not additional burns on the stand  that will uncover things. These engines have all been through multiple burns already.  It's additional burns after the engines have been through the entire launch regime and associated stresses.
That, and one more cryo cycle.  Two actually.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: S.Paulissen on 02/05/2016 02:33 AM


Well,

Shotwell did say they are making mods based on the 2nd firing of the landed stage.

I missed that.  That's good.  That static fire added a second burn to some engines, a third to two more, and a fourth to the center engine.   Plenty places to find daemons.

Quite a few more than that.

One qualification burn each. One first stage static fire in mcgregor. One first stage static fire in ksc. Launch. Boostback burn for three.  Reentry burn for three. Landing burn for one. Then static fire for landed stage.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: sewebster on 02/05/2016 03:02 AM
Quite a few more than that.

One qualification burn each. One first stage static fire in mcgregor. One first stage static fire in ksc. Launch. Boostback burn for three.  Reentry burn for three. Landing burn for one. Then static fire for landed stage.

Yeah, but similar to what JDF wrote... presumably they have data on re-firing test engines lots of times. The difference with these ones is that they have been flown and landed.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: dror on 02/05/2016 04:48 AM
If I were to speculate about SpaceX involvement (beyond launch) I'd be imagining an acquisition to expand SpaceX's talent base in Seattle.

That doesn't fit the SpaceNews report neither.

Quote
The incentives include co-investment in research and development and, eventually, direct capital investment in space resource-mining companies setting up shop in Luxembourg.
If we are to take this artical seriously, it could only mean that Spacex are in talks regarding opening a space resource mining RnD shop in Luxemburg, which is a big thing.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: JamesH on 02/05/2016 07:43 AM
14 years and they are still alive and kicking. How this is about "undoing"?

14 years and still haven't put anyone in space.

Biggest Strawman Ever.

Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: rocx on 02/05/2016 08:25 AM
If we are to take this artical seriously, it could only mean that Spacex are in talks regarding opening a space resource mining RnD shop in Luxemburg, which is a big thing.

For one, it would mean that Europeans now have a chance to work for SpaceX.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 02/05/2016 08:34 AM


14 years and still haven't put anyone in space.

Upgrading their rockets to make them more capable makes you less likely to get into space you say? You could put someone into space by packing somebody into the warhead of a V2 in 1944, but why the hell would you want to?


Putting someone into space is not a benchmark of success. It took humanity else a slightly over a thousand years of having chemical rocket technology to put a person into space. It's also a lot harder to put a satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit than to put a man into space, by the way. At this point putting a man into space is just a vanity statement - they could have done so if they wished in 2012, and they will do so in the next two years, despite whatever you grumble about the commercial crew program.

You make extremely good well informed posts most of the time. Don't be silly, QuantumG.  :P
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Zed_Noir on 02/05/2016 11:49 AM
Upgrading their rockets to make them more capable makes you less likely to get into space you say? You could put someone into space by packing somebody into the warhead of a V2 in 1944, but why the hell would you want to?


Only if you are using the human pilot as the guidance package for a special attack weapon, presuming the pilot can survive the G-load at liftoff. ;)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AncientU on 02/05/2016 11:59 AM
SpaceX are never going to get a smooth and rapid launch cadence if they keep changing their F9 every couple of years or so. Every revision of F9 introduces new bugs which cause more delays to missions. They need to stick to one version of F9 for at least 5-7 years and preferably longer for a smooth and rapid launch cadence to be possible.

Again with this old nonsense?

People were talking that about moving from v.1.0 to v1.1. If SpaceX listened to them, they would waste years with undersized rocket completely incapable of landing and incapable of launching many, many, very many payloads.

People were talking that about moving from v.1.1 to v1.2. If SpaceX listened to them, they would waste years with rocket that can land maybe one in five times - and could not land on many, many missions at all.

Currently, if SpaceX would listen to you, they would miss out not only more reliable landings, but also they would deliberaltely let themself have less reliable rocket in general. SpaceX said they already see some areas for improvement based on data from recovered stage, clearly indicating those improvments apply to launch.

SpaceX's idea of regular upgrades to their rockets could also be their undoing in the long term.
14 years and they are still alive and kicking. How this is about "undoing"?

14 years and they are still alive and kicking. How this is about "undoing"?

14 years and still haven't put anyone in space.

The original Dragon could have been the baseline for their crewed capsule... and v1.0 could have been the basis for FH... and BFR could have been expendable and based on a Kerlox gas gen engine.

Each option would have been a dead end or even their undoing.

They have chosen a path that has a longer term goal, so their near-term progress should be measured against that goal.  Their impact on established space organizations is merely collateral damage of that campaign.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: MikeAtkinson on 02/05/2016 01:10 PM
Quote
PARIS —The Luxembourg government on Feb. 3 announced it would seek to jump-start an industrial sector to mine asteroid resources in space by creating regulatory and financial incentives.

The incentives include co-investment in research and development and, eventually, direct capital investment in space resource-mining companies setting up shop in Luxembourg.

Announced by Vice Prime Minister Etienne Schneider, who is also the nation’s economics minister, the initiative has already lured U.S.-based Deep Space Industries of Mountain View, California, to create a Luxembourg subsidiary. Schneider said other U.S. companies, including SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, and Planetary Resources of Redmond, Washington, are in talks with Luxembourg authorities regarding the Spaceresources.lu venture.

Luxembourg is a high wage high cost of living economy, they are probably not looking for companies to set up R&D centers or manufacturing plants, instead to have their European offices there with R&D and manufacturing elsewhere in Europe.

Any company based in Luxembourg will be taxed in Luxembourg on their resource-mining profits.

E.g.  satellite operator SES is established in Luxembourg but has offices around the world.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: woods170 on 02/05/2016 01:33 PM
14 years and they are still alive and kicking. How this is about "undoing"?

14 years and still haven't put anyone in space.

That gives them a healthy 2-year lead on Bezos' efforts.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AncientU on 02/05/2016 01:59 PM
14 years and they are still alive and kicking. How this is about "undoing"?

14 years and still haven't put anyone in space.

That gives them a healthy 2-year lead on Bezos' efforts.

And 2.5 decades on Ariane.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Mader Levap on 02/07/2016 10:49 AM
14 years and they are still alive and kicking. How this is about "undoing"?
14 years and still haven't put anyone in space.

Do you know what "moving goalposts" means?

When they put someone in space you will complain "18 years and still haven't put anyone on Mars.". In NSF subthread of thread titled "General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 20)" with complains that SpaceX constantly changes something and they should stop with v1.6 pronto, v1.5 is enough.

Yawn.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: QuantumG on 02/07/2016 09:44 PM
Do you know what "moving goalposts" means?

I do.. They've been "two years away" from launching humans since the third Falcon 1 launch. They were saying they would do it on the Falcon 5. Every now and then the goalposts move and they go off serving the interests of NASA, the Air Force, and their customers. That is moving goalposts. Meanwhile they make these wild claims about colonizing Mars. It's a bit hard to colonize another planet when you can't even put people into space.


Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: kevinof on 02/07/2016 10:00 PM
They haven't been asked to put any in space yet - That's coming in 2017/2018. You think they should just go do it on their own dime just for the hell of it?

Also apply the same to the other providers - When was the last time ESA, ULA, Oribital or anyone else put humans into orbit?



Do you know what "moving goalposts" means?

I do.. They've been "two years away" from launching humans since the third Falcon 1 launch. They were saying they would do it on the Falcon 5. Every now and then the goalposts move and they go off serving the interests of NASA, the Air Force, and their customers. That is moving goalposts. Meanwhile they make these wild claims about colonizing Mars. It's a bit hard to colonize another planet when you can't even put people into space.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: QuantumG on 02/07/2016 10:03 PM
They haven't been asked to put any in space yet - That's coming in 2017/2018. You think they should just go do it on their own dime just for the hell of it?

NASA isn't the only potential customer.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: kevinof on 02/07/2016 10:19 PM

They haven't been asked to put any in space yet - That's coming in 2017/2018. You think they should just go do it on their own dime just for the hell of it?

NASA isn't the only potential customer.

Lots of potential customers. Problem is, Nasa is the only real customer.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: QuantumG on 02/07/2016 10:26 PM
Lots of potential customers. Problem is, Nasa is the only real customer.

Not at all. Real customers with real money in-hand have been knocking down SpaceX's door for crew launch ever since Elon made his few claims they he could do the job. At least one of them even paid a deposit. The difference is, NASA is willing to pay them to do development.. and boy, have they done a lot of development. Even then, they're straining the relationship with Dragonfly. It's the typical thing you see in companies run by engineers - the propensity to favour "interesting" to good enough.
 




Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: GalacticIntruder on 02/07/2016 10:31 PM
It is really only been circa 2011, that SpaceX has a realistic opportunity to put a human in a Dragon and into orbit. Now it will be sometime in 2017 (probably Q4).

Musk does sometimes suffer from the perfect is the enemy of the good, hence Dragon 2 (whatever the final iteration is) . No doubt it will be big step up from Soyuz.

How much is Musk's fault vs NASA bureaucracy and culture (who pay the bills) is open to debate.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 02/07/2016 10:48 PM


I do.. They've been "two years away" from launching humans since the third Falcon 1 launch. They were saying they would do it on the Falcon 5. Every now and then the goalposts move and they go off serving the interests of NASA, the Air Force, and their customers. That is moving goalposts. Meanwhile they make these wild claims about colonizing Mars. It's a bit hard to colonize another planet when you can't even put people into space.

Two years away from being capable or two years away from physically doing it? They've been capable for ages in terms of mass, expertise and finance, and for a few years in terms of physical hardware.

And which is better for the company and for their endgoal - serving the objectives of NASA, the Air Force, and their customers, or claiming "yeaaaa, we're the first, gonna' go down in the history books, first private company to do what the Russians did half a century ago, yeaaa" moments that probably nobody outside of the spaceflight fandom is going to care about, bankrupting their company whilst doing so? Stuff like that is why the Ansari X prize didn't really change anything. The SpaceX method is resulting in physical, measurable change.

And the customers which have offered to throw them money do not have the capability to throw them as much money as say, Nasa, the Air Force, and sat people.

If this is the definition of moving goalposts, then so be it. In fact, I'd go and say that SpaceX's success is because the entire company is optimised to move the goalposts faster than the competition can figure out the game rules, but they do so without tripping up over their own feet. This is why they exist.

Certainly, you are not going to get to Mars by playing the same game as the rest of the space launch industry has throughout its history, even if you play it better than everybody else. We need a bigger pitch and SpaceX knows it.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: QuantumG on 02/07/2016 11:10 PM
Two years away from being capable or two years away from physically doing it?

Talking about it instead of doing it.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 02/07/2016 11:50 PM

Talking about it instead of doing it.

In that case they're guilty as charged on just about everything. Falcon 9 (happened), 9 Heavy (definitely happening, all prerequisites either constructed or under construction), Falcon 1 (all done now). They talk about things long before they physically can do them, set a timescale which is possible if they 100% gunned for it (they usually can't due to other distractions/problems/simultaneous goals), and then do it when they can.

The only real deception is the nuances of how they do it, and when they're going to do it. That's a hell of a lot better on the promises-to-delivery ratio than is traditional in spaceflight (Kliper, Venture Star, NERVA, etcetera).
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Andy USA on 02/08/2016 03:14 AM
Site rules are to be followed at all times. Long time members should be setting an example.

Posts that do not follow those rules will be removed.

Thread trimmed.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 02/08/2016 03:35 AM
Uh, people, we are talking about a private space company, creating their own product(s), building a company up from scratch, overcoming basically obscene obstacles, and pushing past a national institution that has literally lifetimes of experience and probably trillions of dollars in funding, right? Perhaps we can cut SpaceX a little slack in their variability in timeline? Especially when they are actually pushing past said national institution who hasn't put a human past LEO in almost ten decades...?

EDIT: meant five decades, not ten...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: georgegassaway on 02/08/2016 03:49 AM
Especially when they are actually pushing past said national institution who hasn't put a human past LEO in almost ten decades...?

Wow, who launched humans past LEO in the 1920’s?  :)

Anyway, given all that SpaceX is trying to do,  yeah, they are not where they wanted to be schedule-wise.  But all of the plates they are spinning to do what they are planning, it's understandable.  Other than Apollo, there hasn't been a planned man-rated launch vehicle to meet its schedule.  Shuttle didn't (and I loved the shuttle).  None of the shuttle "replacements" have, and yes indeed most of those never got much past the drawing board or technology proof of concept test phase.  Ares-I flight number  two, anyone?

Orion  is over twelve years old. One orbital test flight, hitchhiking on somebody else's launch vehicle, without  human-mission-rated life support onboard , IIRC (contrast with multiple Dragon launches including many that have delivered supplies to ISS). And despite at least $6.7 Billion budget for just the spacecraft itself by the time of its first crewed flight,  Orion is still years away from a crewed flight, on a launch vehicle design that NASA didn't really want but the Senate mandated.

- George Gassaway
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: kch on 02/08/2016 04:53 AM
Especially when they are actually pushing past said national institution who hasn't put a human past LEO in almost ten decades...?

Wow, who launched humans past LEO in the 1920’s?


That would have been Flash Gordon?

"Almost ten decades" could've been as early as 1917 -- IIRC, neither Goddard nor Oberth were far enough along at that point to get the job done (that we know of ;) ).  Possibly Tsiolkovsky and the Russians ... or maybe the Chinese?  Inquiring minds and all that ... :)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: set321go on 02/08/2016 03:11 PM
Now if you could just finish the petty squabbles.

Something worth talking about out of ses. Do you think there looking at doing extra burns or longer burns? I assume they are going to try and get closer to the final on station orbit.

How close do you think f9ft can get them? How close would they want to get?

Press release from SES via BusinessWire: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160208005441/en/

Select Quotes:

Quote
In order to minimise the impact of moving the launch from late last year, SpaceX is supporting a mission modification. The changed mission will reduce the time needed for SES-9 to reach its orbital slot, keeping the Operational Service Date (OSD) in the third quarter of 2016, as previously foreseen.

Quote
LUXEMBOURG--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SES S.A. (NYSE Paris:SESG) (LuxX:SESG) announced today that it is targeting a 24 February 2016 launch date (with a backup date of the 25th) for its new satellite, SES-9. This date was mutually set by SES and the launch operator for SES-9, SpaceX
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 02/08/2016 03:29 PM
Now if you could just finish the petty squabbles.

Something worth talking about out of ses. Do you think there looking at doing extra burns or longer burns? I assume they are going to try and get closer to the final on station orbit.

How close do you think f9ft can get them? How close would they want to get?


Eliminate 1st stage return or boost back and apply the delta V to a super synchronous orbit or reduced inclination or other combinations.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: set321go on 02/08/2016 05:26 PM
So they could achieve a super synchronous orbit with an extended 1 stage burn, would they need to change the number of burns for the 2nd stage?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 02/08/2016 05:37 PM
So they could achieve a super synchronous orbit with an extended 1 stage burn, would they need to change the number of burns for the 2nd stage?

Changes to payload insertion would be done with the second stage.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: nadreck on 02/08/2016 05:46 PM
So they could achieve a super synchronous orbit with an extended 1 stage burn, would they need to change the number of burns for the 2nd stage?

see the discussion of specifics on the SES 9 thread

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34077.msg1489228#msg1489228 (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34077.msg1489228#msg1489228)

and

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34077.msg1489255#msg1489255 (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34077.msg1489255#msg1489255)

and my specific reply to this one:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34077.msg1489266#msg1489266 (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34077.msg1489266#msg1489266)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: sanman on 02/09/2016 01:41 AM
The Space Review gives their book review of SpaceX’s Dragon: America’s Next Generation Spacecraft, a book which chronicles the development of the Dragon spacecraft.

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2916/1
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Arb on 02/09/2016 05:46 PM
The trouble with The Space Review is the padding (IMO); most of their articles seem to be of the so-many-words-so-little-content variety. To save you all the tedium, the nub of Jeff Foust's article is:

Quote
Given that important role Dragon plays, its development is worthy of a book. Unfortunately, it probably deserves a better book than SpaceX’s Dragon: America’s Next Generation Spacecraft. Erik Seedhouse offers a history of Dragon’s development for cargo and crew missions, and its potential future on missions to Mars, but there’s very little insight about Dragon beyond what’s already publicly available, and even that information is sometimes wrong.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Baranquilla on 02/09/2016 06:47 PM
Anyone an Idea about where exactly the dragon itself is fueled on LC 40?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 02/09/2016 07:31 PM
Anyone an Idea about where exactly the dragon itself is fueled on LC 40?

Not at LC-40 but at the SPIF in the SMAB
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: MechE31 on 02/10/2016 12:45 AM
Anyone an Idea about where exactly the dragon itself is fueled on LC 40?

Not at LC-40 but at the SPIF in the SMAB

It has also previously been loaded in the SLC-40 hangar and the SLC-40 hangar annex.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Baranquilla on 02/10/2016 08:06 PM
Anyone an Idea about where exactly the dragon itself is fueled on LC 40?

Not at LC-40 but at the SPIF in the SMAB

It has also previously been loaded in the SLC-40 hangar and the SLC-40 hangar annex.

Okay Thank you both! I heard they are working on the hypergolic system for fueling (plumbing of that system) so I was wondering were exactly that would be right now.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Llian Rhydderch on 02/16/2016 05:20 AM
For the current Falcon 9 Full Thrust, we've seen info that it is 70 m in total length, including the payload fairing.

Have also seen that the length of the Dragon cargo (v1) spacecraft is 6.1 m.

Does anyone have info, even geometric estimates, of the length of the interstage? of the second stage? of the payload fairing? And would the first stage length just be the 70 m minus the (interstage + second stage + PL fairing)?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: GWH on 02/16/2016 05:40 AM
Interstage: 6.75m 2nd stage 14.3m estimated. Source:  http://spaceflight101.com/spacerockets/falcon-9-ft/
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: gongora on 02/16/2016 03:33 PM
Interstage: 6.75m 2nd stage 14.3m estimated. Source:  http://spaceflight101.com/spacerockets/falcon-9-ft/

It says the 14.3m is separated length for stage 2.  A lot of that (nearly half?) is inside the interstage when the rocket launches, and a little would be sticking up into the payload fairing.  If you're trying to figure out the height of the rocket you would only count the side walls of the propellant tanks on the second stage.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Llian Rhydderch on 02/16/2016 08:33 PM
Interstage: 6.75m 2nd stage 14.3m estimated. Source:  http://spaceflight101.com/spacerockets/falcon-9-ft/

It says the 14.3m is separated length for stage 2.  A lot of that (nearly half?) is inside the interstage when the rocket launches, and a little would be sticking up into the payload fairing.  If you're trying to figure out the height of the rocket you would only count the side walls of the propellant tanks on the second stage.

Yes, thanks! 

I was looking for the individual piece-parts dimensions, and for the data where SpaceX has not publicly released specs, the Spaceflight101 estimates are about as good as any.

So I get the vertical dimensions as: first stage: 41.2 metres; interstage: 6.7 m; second stage: 9.0 m visible 2nd stage on the outside of the rocket stack (but 14.3 m total separated  2nd stage length); payload fairing: 13.1 m.  This makes a total of the 70-metres length for the total assembled rocket, with the payload fairing. Rocket diameter is 3.7 m diameter, with a 5.2 m-diameter fairing.

With a Dragon 1 on it, the stack is of course a bit shorter than 70 m, and with a Dragon 2, will be different yet.

I think that sums it the basic dimensions.  I have a friend who imports hand-carved wood carvings from Indonesia, and he was interested in the dimensions.  He's going there next week, and I hope he'll have his guys carve me up a rocket.  We'll see how it looks.  If it is cool, maybe I'll take a photo and share it, as well as see if they want to make some more for others.


Edited to fix typo in diameter; should be 3.7 m
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: saliva_sweet on 02/21/2016 08:23 PM
The Orbcomm OG2-2 launch license has finally been posted on the faa website. It refers to the new vehicle as "Falcon 9 Version 1.2"

http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/LLS%2014-089%20Rev_1%20ORBCOMM-2%20-%20License%20and%20Orders%20-%20Signed.pdf
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: llanitedave on 02/21/2016 09:06 PM
Rocket diameter is 3.2 m diameter, with a 5.2 m-diameter fairing.



Typo on the diameter?  SpaceX web site shows it as 3.7m diameter
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cscott on 02/21/2016 09:44 PM
The Orbcomm OG2-2 launch license has finally been posted on the faa website. It refers to the new vehicle as "Falcon 9 Version 1.2"

http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/LLS%2014-089%20Rev_1%20ORBCOMM-2%20-%20License%20and%20Orders%20-%20Signed.pdf
Typical SpaceX: in the absence of an official name, unofficial names proliferate.

I expect every entity they interact with has a slightly different name for the rocket (we know the USAF uses a different name) since SpaceX won't call it anything but "Falcon 9."

Citing more places where unofficial names crop up didn't make any of them more official.

(Apple had this issue for a while, too, when they insisted that all their versions of the iPad were named "iPad".)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Llian Rhydderch on 02/21/2016 09:46 PM
Rocket diameter is 3.2 m diameter, with a 5.2 m-diameter fairing.



Typo on the diameter?  SpaceX web site shows it as 3.7m diameter

Yes, thanks!  Fixed in the original post.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: docmordrid on 02/24/2016 04:34 PM
http://spacenews.com/spacex-wins-5-new-space-station-cargo-missions-in-nasa-contract-estimated-at-700-million/

Quote
SpaceX wins 5 new space station cargo missions in NASA contract estimated at $700 million

NASA has awarded five additional space station cargo-supply missions to SpaceX in a late-December contract with an undisclosed value that industry officials estimate at around $700 million.
>
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: baldusi on 02/25/2016 03:24 PM
That means CRS-1 mission at least until 2018, adding the usual delay factor, 2019 should be covered. So CRS-2 Dragons should start at late 2019, early 2020. On a different note, at 22, the Cargo Dragon will be the most popular cargo craft after the venerable Progress. By a large margin.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Kabloona on 02/25/2016 08:49 PM
I haven't been following the threads much over the past week.

My understanding of the difficulty of this landing attempt is that the booster may not survive reentry to even attempt the barge landing because it will be going ~ twice as fast at stage separation as the last launch.

Is that about right?

On OG2, stage sep was at about 5000 km/hr. On this launch, stage sep will be at around 8000-9000 km/hr.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34077.msg1495022#msg1495022

So not quite twice as fast. But main issue is limited propellant reserve for the entry burn, which means stage can't bleed off as much speed as would be optimal, so it may be a bit of a dice-roll as to whether it survives entry.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: rickyramjet on 02/25/2016 09:41 PM
Question (if anyone knows): Going forward, will the F9FT always have to use super chilled fuels, or can SpaceX still opt for standard temperatures on lower performance launches?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: MrHollifield on 02/25/2016 09:53 PM
AIUI, the tanks were reconfigured for densified LOX, so loading with "standard" LOX would result in not enough LOX being loaded to burn all of the RP1. The turbopumps were also rebalanced for densified LOX, so the burn ratio probably wouldn't be right, either. So, I think they'll be using subcooled propellants on all future F9 flights (except maybe IFA on the old F9R Dev 2).
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: OxCartMark on 02/29/2016 02:59 AM
I wrote the following last week in the Falcon production rate thread after seeing the (seemingly intentionally) blurred hardware at the top end of one F9 stage in the foreground right of the first picture below.

- Here is what I see in the foreground blur, and its eye opening, at least to me - I see a conical structure which fits within the nozzle extension to hold the N2 tanks for thrusting and powering the grid fins and the hydraulic fluid supply, the center pusher, as well as whatever other bulky items are in the interstage. Perhaps that structure not only holds those items but also supports the nozzle during horizontal handling and launch, perhaps shipping too (does the interstage ship with the 2nd stage?).  It never dawned on me before that these items are not arrayed around the perimeter or on the lower bulkhead (if there is one) but it makes sense that they needed all of the diameter to make the nozzle extension as large  in diameter as possible.  I wonder if the tanks and other items have always been in the center or if they just got moved there with the revised interstage and revised larger Mvac nozzle?  I wonder why these items are mated but the cylindrical outer portion isn't there yet, what is the significance of this?

Then during the webcast tonight over John Insprucker's shoulder I saw something that I don't recognize (the second picture below) that may be the same thing.  Does anyone recognize what this is in the second image?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: dorkmo on 02/29/2016 04:26 AM
i think thats one of the first recovered dragons they have hanging from the ceiling
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: nrubin on 02/29/2016 05:20 AM
It's actually a Merlin Vacuum engine (a 1-C model).  You can see this engine hanging from the ceiling here: https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/426784049986682881 (https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/426784049986682881).  Some more detail on a similar engine can be found here: http://spacefellowship.com/news/art19992/preparations-for-first-falcon-9-launch.html (http://spacefellowship.com/news/art19992/preparations-for-first-falcon-9-launch.html).
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: OxCartMark on 02/29/2016 12:32 PM
Thanks.  So is that a Mvac 1D that we see on the front of the 1st stage?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cscott on 02/29/2016 01:52 PM
Thanks.  So is that a Mvac 1D that we see on the front of the 1st stage?
No, I think you were right the first time that it is the internal components of the interstage.  If you look at the less-finished stage on the back left corner in your photo I believe you see two concentric metallic rings which are the mounting hardware for this stuff.

The blurred-out front right stage has some components mounted to those rings.  I'm not sure it's actually a "conical structure", though: the blurry equipment might just be bolted directly to the ring.  The concentric mounting rings give it the conical appearance, perhaps, but I think that's misleading.  Can't tell if there's something mounted to the center dark area; there may or may not be.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: The Roadie on 02/29/2016 02:41 PM
Was just there for a tour on Saturday. The M1C-Vac hanging from the ceiling has the bottom part of its fuel tank (and some bafflery) as part of the mechanical structure that stays with it.

The Interstage barrel is integrated after the avionics, inboard grid fin actuators, N2 thrusters, and their associated kit, and tripod-looking center pusher, are all attached to the top of the first stage. The Interstage barrel now goes out the door on the truck attached to the first stage.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Kabloona on 02/29/2016 03:39 PM
The Interstage barrel is integrated after the avionics, inboard grid fin actuators, N2 thrusters, and their associated kit, and tripod-looking center pusher, are all attached to the top of the first stage.

The grid fins and GN2 thrusters are attached to the bottom of the interstage, not the top of the first stage.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: schaban on 03/10/2016 01:48 PM
Copied from elsewhere here:

Falcon 9 uses an open hydraulic system that has a separate tank of RP-1 (which is used as the hydraulic fluid) pressurized by Nitrogen near the interstage, which, after use, drains down back into the main RP-1 tank for "reuse" by the engines.

I don't believe this is correct, and in any case what does it have to do with the ASDS? Wrong thread.

Grid fin hydraulic thread is over here:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36536.0

Back to ASDS topics, please...

I'm not sure Wolfram66 meant fins. I think it is explanation of how engine gimbal hydraulic operates. Any thought on that?

Could it be that they run out of it on this flight and therefore were off center?

Also, would this idea work on methane based engines?


Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: abaddon on 03/10/2016 02:03 PM
It's been said here (and I believe confirmed) that the grid fins are powered by an "open" hydraulic system; open meaning that the hydraulic fluid (RP-1) is vented out of the rocket, rather than being collected or routed to the engines.  IIRC the first attempt at a soft landing in the ocean with grid fins failed due to an insufficient supply of fluid.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Robotbeat on 03/10/2016 02:12 PM
That it is RP-1 has not been confirmed. I'd suspect it is NOT RP-1 because they ran out of it, so it must be a separate reservoir and thus no reason to be RP-1.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: llanitedave on 03/10/2016 03:18 PM
That it is RP-1 has not been confirmed. I'd suspect it is NOT RP-1 because they ran out of it, so it must be a separate reservoir and thus no reason to be RP-1.


There's no reason for it to be RP-1 if it's a separate open system that does not drain into the fuel tank.  If it's dumped overboard, it could just as easily be canola oil. (http://www.plantservices.com/articles/2003/353/?show=all)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Kabloona on 03/10/2016 03:29 PM
Copied from elsewhere here:

Falcon 9 uses an open hydraulic system that has a separate tank of RP-1 (which is used as the hydraulic fluid) pressurized by Nitrogen near the interstage, which, after use, drains down back into the main RP-1 tank for "reuse" by the engines.

I don't believe this is correct, and in any case what does it have to do with the ASDS? Wrong thread.

Grid fin hydraulic thread is over here:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36536.0

Back to ASDS topics, please...

I'm not sure Wolfram66 meant fins. I think it is explanation of how engine gimbal hydraulic operates. Any thought on that?

Could it be that they run out of it on this flight and therefore were off center?

Also, would this idea work on methane based engines?

Wolfram66 may be confusing the main engine TVC actuator system, which does use RP-1 as the hydraulic fluid, and the grid fin actuator system, which is a separate system with good reasons *not* to use RP-1 as mentioned above.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 03/10/2016 03:34 PM

There's no reason for it to be RP-1 if it's a separate open system that does not drain into the fuel tank.

Yes, there is.  One less logistics item.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: abaddon on 03/10/2016 03:50 PM
Wolfram66 may be confusing the main engine TVC actuator system, which does use RP-1 as the hydraulic fluid, and the grid fin actuator system, which is a separate system with good reasons *not* to use RP-1 as mentioned above.
Those are not good reasons to not use RP-1.  Those are plausible reasons why it would be possible if you already have good reasons not to use RP-1 (none of which were stated above).  RP-1 makes a fine hydraulic fluid, and they have plenty of it around, so why wouldn't they use it?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Kabloona on 03/10/2016 06:37 PM
Wolfram66 may be confusing the main engine TVC actuator system, which does use RP-1 as the hydraulic fluid, and the grid fin actuator system, which is a separate system with good reasons *not* to use RP-1 as mentioned above.
Those are not good reasons to not use RP-1.  Those are plausible reasons why it would be possible if you already have good reasons not to use RP-1 (none of which were stated above).  RP-1 makes a fine hydraulic fluid, and they have plenty of it around, so why wouldn't they use it?

One possible reason is that the grid fin actuators are probably off-the-shelf items which were developed and tested for use with conventional hydraulic fluid, so why bother with a requal program for changing hydraulic fluid? (I'm not a hydraulics expert, so maybe RP-1 can be safely substituted for any hydraulic fluid in any system *without additional testing*, but maybe not, I don't know.)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: inventodoc on 03/10/2016 07:57 PM
Wolfram66 may be confusing the main engine TVC actuator system, which does use RP-1 as the hydraulic fluid, and the grid fin actuator system, which is a separate system with good reasons *not* to use RP-1 as mentioned above.
Those are not good reasons to not use RP-1.  Those are plausible reasons why it would be possible if you already have good reasons not to use RP-1 (none of which were stated above).  RP-1 makes a fine hydraulic fluid, and they have plenty of it around, so why wouldn't they use it?

One possible reason is that the grid fin actuators are probably off-the-shelf items which were developed and tested for use with conventional hydraulic fluid, so why bother with a requal program for changing hydraulic fluid? (I'm not a hydraulics expert, so maybe RP-1 can be safely substituted for any hydraulic fluid in any system *without additional testing*, but maybe not, I don't know.)

Don't forget that the grid fins are at the top of the stage (Interstage, I think?)    If you used RP1, you would have to pump it from the bottom.  Better to use a fluid reservoir near the grid fins.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Kabloona on 03/10/2016 08:08 PM
Quote
Don't forget that the grid fins are at the top of the stage (Interstage, I think?)    If you used RP1, you would have to pump it from the bottom.  Better to use a fluid reservoir near the grid fins.

I think we all believe that the reservoir is in the interstage. The question is, what do they fill the reservoir with?

The people who suggest it's RP-1 are saying so because there's plenty of RP-1 on hand at the launch site with which to load the reservoir before launch, not because they assume it gets pumped up from the rocket's main fuel tank.

Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: inventodoc on 03/10/2016 08:28 PM
Quote
Don't forget that the grid fins are at the top of the stage (Interstage, I think?)    If you used RP1, you would have to pump it from the bottom.  Better to use a fluid reservoir near the grid fins.

I think we all believe that the reservoir is in the interstage. The question is, what do they fill the reservoir with?

The people who suggest it's RP-1 are saying so because there's plenty of RP-1 on hand at the launch site with which to load the reservoir before launch, not because they assume it gets pumped up from the rocket's main fuel tank.

I got that.   I just wonder why you would risk using something that flammable if you did not have to.  (unless the dedicated hydraulic fluid is typically as flammable anyway.)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cambrianera on 03/10/2016 08:39 PM
RP-1 is a good oleodinamic fluid, with good compatibility with standard rubber seals.
Coming from a clean reservoir, it can easily dumped into RP-1 main tank.
Counterpressure of the main tank is not a problem, considering that operating pressure of the actuator will be over 100 bar (1500 psi).
Running a small line from interstage to main RP-1 tank is worth the mass of fuel recovered for landing burn.
But could easily be another way...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: the_other_Doug on 03/10/2016 10:00 PM
RP-1 is a good oleodinamic fluid, with good compatibility with standard rubber seals.
Coming from a clean reservoir, it can easily dumped into RP-1 main tank.
Counterpressure of the main tank is not a problem, considering that operating pressure of the actuator will be over 100 bar (1500 psi).
Running a small line from interstage to main RP-1 tank is worth the mass of fuel recovered for landing burn.
But could easily be another way...

Well, after the CRS-3 landing attempt, IIRC Musk tweeted that they had run out of hydraulic fluid, so on the next mission they were doubling the amount they carried.  That really, really doesn't sound like they're pumping it up from the main RP1 tank.  It sounds like they found they needed to increase the size of the reservoir and/or fill it fuller.

Also, if the grid fins were using RP1 from the fuel tank, how could CRS-3 have run out on the way down when the landing burn kept on going right up to the RUD upon impact with the ASDS?  Running out of hydraulic fluid in that case would imply the RP1 tank went dry, which was obviously not the case.  And the implication of "carrying twice as much" next time again is that it comes from a separate reservoir and not from the main RP1 tank.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 03/10/2016 10:23 PM
RP-1 is a good oleodinamic fluid, with good compatibility with standard rubber seals.
Coming from a clean reservoir, it can easily dumped into RP-1 main tank.
Counterpressure of the main tank is not a problem, considering that operating pressure of the actuator will be over 100 bar (1500 psi).
Running a small line from interstage to main RP-1 tank is worth the mass of fuel recovered for landing burn.
But could easily be another way...

Well, after the CRS-3 landing attempt, IIRC Musk tweeted that they had run out of hydraulic fluid, so on the next mission they were doubling the amount they carried.  That really, really doesn't sound like they're pumping it up from the main RP1 tank.  It sounds like they found they needed to increase the size of the reservoir and/or fill it fuller.

Also, if the grid fins were using RP1 from the fuel tank, how could CRS-3 have run out on the way down when the landing burn kept on going right up to the RUD upon impact with the ASDS?  Running out of hydraulic fluid in that case would imply the RP1 tank went dry, which was obviously not the case.  And the implication of "carrying twice as much" next time again is that it comes from a separate reservoir and not from the main RP1 tank.

I think cambrianera is indicating RP1 hydraulic fluid operates at high enough pressure that it may flow through the system and then down into the RP1 tank without tank pressurization being an issue. Personally I have a hard time believing SpX would bother with the the plumbing complexity. Either it would flow through the LOX tank (bad idea) to the RP1 tank, or down the side of the vehicle to the top of the RP1 tank through the side, also not great from a weight and complexity point of view. Dumping it upwards through the interstage ("aft" during descent) is the easiest thing in the world to implement, with the lowest cost in mass, complexity and mission risk.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Geron on 03/10/2016 10:58 PM
Does anyone have video for the Gwynne Shotwell talk at Sat Show 2016? I'm interested in watching it!

Thanks everyone...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 03/11/2016 12:11 PM
In other news.....if you like to estimate the number of launches SpaceX make in a certain period of time, you might like this new poll and guessing thread (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39777.0) I've just made.  ;)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Hirox on 03/16/2016 03:00 AM
Someone on Reddit uploaded a clip of the VP of Engineering at ULA talking about SpaceX and there is certainly some interesting quotes. He states that he believes that SpaceX loses a quater of a billion each launch, this must be very incorrect? right?

Here is the post:
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/4aldjb/spacex_is_likely_not_profitable_but_we_cant/ (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/4aldjb/spacex_is_likely_not_profitable_but_we_cant/)

https://soundcloud.com/user-556604054/ula-seminar

Quote

Post taken from FB SpaceX group, member posted about seminar he went to with VP of engineering from ULA

Originally posted by a SpaceX FB group member.

Today, I went to a seminar given by the VP of Engineering with ULA and heard an interesting story line not often heard in our group. Here are some of the key points communicated by their stance. I don't agree with many of them, but I did want to share them with you. Again, these are comments coming from the mouth of a ULA executive.

1) SpaceX is likely not profitable, but we can't verify this because it's a privately held company.

2) SpaceX is trying to artificially bolster their valuation (currently 5x greater than ULA) à la Facebook in order to subsidize cheap launches. Continued cheap launches in the short-term would drive competitors out of the business.

3) The Vulcan rocket is a business decision predicated on the above assumptions.

4) SpaceX does not have the same quality assurance or flexibility that ULA has/can provide. These services cost more than a single SpaceX launch. The adverb used to describe SpaceX's ability to offer these launch-supporting services is "never".

5) Centaur upper stage is going to be relatively innovative. It will be able to restart a limitless number of times, won't rely on batteries, and will be able to refuel/pump fuel if that capability becomes desired.

6) Elon Musk is a "master of propaganda"

7) Elon Musk bought congress by enlisting the help of "evil" and "rabid" John McCain. "Thank goodness for ULA's friend, Richard Shelby..."

8) It's "fascinating" that the RD180 motor is the subject of controversy, but the RD181 motor used for the Antares vehicle remains freely available.

9) He has ENORMOUS respect for Jeff Bezos and is incredibly excited to work with him and Blue Origin as they develop the BE-4 motor.

10) Boeing/Lockheed considered shuttering ULA instead of developing the Vulcan vehicle, but they ultimately decided to not cause a polticial crisis by eliminating the desired capabilities of the Delta and Atlas rockets. ULA, afterall, is a small blip in the portfolio of both enormous companies.

11) "Many higher-ups" in the defense department are strongly for access to the RD180 motor.

12) After speaking about how "cool" it was to watch them land a booster live, he followed up by saying that SpaceX has "not done anything".

hopefully this doesnt break any rules...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: QuantumG on 03/16/2016 03:21 AM
I bet this VP has a name, but I didn't see it.

Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Kabloona on 03/16/2016 03:22 AM
Quote
He states that he believes that SpaceX loses a quater of a billion each launch, this must be very incorrect? right?

He also admits that because SpaceX is privately held, no one really knows. But as pointed out in the comments on the other site, both Elon and Gwynne have said SpaceX is profitable.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: QuantumG on 03/16/2016 03:30 AM
He also admits that because SpaceX is privately held, no one really knows. But as pointed out in the comments on the other site, both Elon and Gwynne have said SpaceX is profitable.

.. and as I've pointed out a dozen times, the Silicon Valley idea of "profitable" is completely different to the aerospace idea of profitable. We know for a fact that SpaceX has lost money on some launches. They can't use a Falcon 9 to launch a payload that they sold a Falcon 1 launch for and still be turning a profit. If Elon told us that only the Dragon launches were profitable and every other launch has lost money, would you really be surprised?

Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Kabloona on 03/16/2016 03:35 AM
If Elon told us that only the Dragon launches were profitable and every other launch has lost money, would you really be surprised?

Not at all. I'd be surprised if they *weren't* losing money on $60M commercial launches.

But I would, however, be really surprised if they were losing $250M per launch. The reality is probably somewhere in between that and whatever "profitable" means.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Kabloona on 03/16/2016 03:43 AM
But I would, however, be really surprised if they were losing $250M per launch. The reality is probably somewhere in between.

$250k was the claim. How he arrived at that is anyone's guess. Personally I think that's the lowest number anyone could come up with for how much they're losing on some launches.

No, he said he thought SpaceX was losing a "quarter of a Billion dollars" per launch.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: nadreck on 03/16/2016 03:47 AM
But I would, however, be really surprised if they were losing $250M per launch. The reality is probably somewhere in between.

$250k was the claim. How he arrived at that is anyone's guess. Personally I think that's the lowest number anyone could come up with for how much they're losing on some launches.

No, he said he thought SpaceX was losing a "quarter of a Billion dollars" per launch.
Which would mean that the $1.5B total that SpaceX raised in the equity market (less the $100M in bonds that they bought from Solar City) would have supported the first 5 and 3/5ths Falcon Launches and that they somehow secretly printed, borrowed or stole another $7B

So he may have said a quarter of a billion, but it was hyperbole
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Kabloona on 03/16/2016 03:55 AM
No, he said he thought SpaceX was losing a "quarter of a Billion dollars" per launch.

No, you said that. I know the audio is terrible, but it's not so terrible that you should be hearing things that are obviously impossible.

I agree it's absurd, but that's what he said. He said it costs SpaceX "a whole lot more than $60 million" per launch, and mentions the $4 billion that "NASA gave them" for F9 development, then says he thinks they're losing 1/4 "billion" per launch. He says "billion" twice in a row, and I've amplified the audio and listened to it several times.

Also, in the context of his statement a loss of 1/4 "million" per launch would be trivial and inconsistent with his premise that it costs them "a whole lot more" than $60 million per launch. $250k is not "a whole lot more." $250 million ("a quarter billion") is "a whole lot more."

In his mind, maybe he's amortizing Falcon development costs, Dragon development costs, FH development costs, etc, over the 20 or so F9 launches they've done to date. I don't know what he's thinking, but he's clearly thinking that they're losing a lot more than a quarter "million" per launch, which is coffee fund spare change.

https://soundcloud.com/user-556604054/ula-seminar
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: QuantumG on 03/16/2016 04:06 AM
53:25 is where he says the "quarter of a million". There's no mistaking it.* The section you're talking about around the 13 minute mark, I'm guessing, where he's talking about how much ULA charges and he estimates how much SpaceX could be charging for what they're doing? That's the only time he says what you're saying. Maybe you should link to the audio you're listening to so I know it's the same as I'm listening to. I have:

https://soundcloud.com/user-556604054/ula-seminar

* Wow, this guy really is nuts. Whoever he is.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Kabloona on 03/16/2016 04:11 AM
Quote
53:25 is where he says the "quarter of a million". There's no mistaking it.

That's where I hear him say "quarter of a billion," and to my ears there's no mistaking it. Honestly.  ;)

Again, I agree it's absurd, but in the context of his statement that it costs them "a whole lot more" than $60M per launch, it's consistent with what he's saying.

He clearly thinks SpaceX is burning through vast sums of OPM (listen to his reference to the $40 billion valuation), and mentioning a loss of "a quarter million" per launch would be like mentioning the cost of free sodas in the lunch room.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: QuantumG on 03/16/2016 04:15 AM
He clearly thinks SpaceX is burning through vast sums of OPM (listen to his reference to the $40 billion valuation), and mentioning a loss of "a quarter million" per launch would be like mentioning the cost of free sodas in the lunch room.

I agree. You're right.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Kabloona on 03/16/2016 04:17 AM
He clearly thinks SpaceX is burning through vast sums of OPM (listen to his reference to the $40 billion valuation), and mentioning a loss of "a quarter million" per launch would be like mentioning the cost of free sodas in the lunch room.

I agree. You're right.

I'm also temporarily speechless.  ;)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 03/16/2016 04:20 AM
There's another way to look at "loss". Businesses often estimate what they'd charge for a comparable service/product, and then cite the difference as a loss.

Have been at ULA events on two different campuses where they've been trying to "up talk" themselves by "down talking" SX. Suggest the above best fit what was heard.

Have seen both (admittedly not in the same time frame) and I'll believe SX having a cheap kerolox architecture much more readily then Atlas / Centaur. High touch RL10 doesn't strike me as in the same costing category as Merlin 1D by any stretch. I think you could get a few Ferrari's for cheaper ...

The hard part of this is "long term costing". Someone can always arrive at a theory of "cheap" that never happens, but allows one to claim such.

He clearly thinks SpaceX is burning through vast sums of OPM (listen to his reference to the $40 billion valuation), and mentioning a loss of "a quarter million" per launch would be like mentioning the cost of free sodas in the lunch room.

I agree. You're right.

I'm also temporarily speechless.  ;)
;)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Kabloona on 03/16/2016 04:29 AM
By the way, at the beginning of the above audio clip, the guy calls himself "Brett" and gives a bio similar to the one below, so I believe we're hearing from Brett Tobey, ULA VP of Engineering.

http://www.ulalaunch.com/about_bios_btobey.aspx
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: LastStarFighter on 03/16/2016 04:42 AM
I'm guessing he meant $250m a year not per launch. If I remember correctly internal emails from Elon/SpaceX became public for some book and there was a statement about needing to fly/sell 8 F9 and 4 (FH or F9 Dragon) missions to make 10% profit.

8 x $62.5m              = $500m
4 x $133m               = $532m
Total w/ 10% profit   = $1032m
Total Break even       = $929m

I think the most years they've averaged less than about 7 launches a year so...

4 x $62.5m        = $250m
3 x $133m         = $399m
Total                  = $649m

The difference is $280m or about a quarter billion. Just my guess though.

Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Kabloona on 03/16/2016 04:49 AM
I'm guessing he meant $250m a year not per launch.

Don't try to rationalize his delusions. He clearly says he thinks they lose maybe a quarter billion dollars "every time they launch."

Remember, he's from a company whose Atlas V launches cost in the $200-$300M range, so from that perspective, an F9 launch priced at only $60M has gotta be losing big $$. Like, a quarter billion.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Robotbeat on 03/16/2016 04:49 AM
I hate it when people say a company which is undergoing expansion is "losing $250 million per" launch, etc. Such quotes give the opposite impression of reality, for they imply that SpaceX would actually save money by not launching, which is clearly false (except perhaps for a few of the old Falcon 1 type payloads).

If SpaceX burns through, say, $1.24 billion per year and only does 4 launches and charges $60 million per launch (with a rocket that has $40 million in marginal costs, included in that $1.24 billion), then technically they would be losing money at a rate of $250 million per launch, but every additional launch improves their financial picture. If you took that ULA guy verbatim, you'd think SpaceX would save money by not launching, which is false. SpaceX probably needs to launch about 10 times per year plus have several Dragon missions to maintain the company, though they'd have to cut development staff.

Additionally, I've heard people insinuate hardcore that even cargo Dragon is a pure subsidy in the context of launch, which is absurd. Launching a Dragon mission takes SIGNIFICANT resources, and is a product just like launch.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: S.Paulissen on 03/16/2016 04:51 AM
There's another way to look at "loss". Businesses often estimate what they'd charge for a comparable service/product, and then cite the difference as a loss.

This would at least take him down from 'completely insane' to 'oh that seems high still'.  In a way it kind of makes sense to speak in terms that still within your own capability.  In order for for YOU to match their service you'd be losing about 250m per launch.

The interesting thing about this is that it makes the corollary statement that they would charge on the order of 310m for a equivalent launch...which is a staggering amount of money. Ironically, this under cuts statements that Gass make in front of congress that their prices are not that high because EELV launch capability payments don't count towards prices for launch as put forth by spaceX.

Now I want to know if he was just spitballing numbers or accidentally letting on their costs/prices.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Robotbeat on 03/16/2016 04:55 AM
There's another way to look at "loss". Businesses often estimate what they'd charge for a comparable service/product, and then cite the difference as a loss.

This would at least take him down from 'completely insane' to 'oh that seems high still'.  In a way it kind of makes sense to speak in terms that still within your own capability.  In order for for YOU to match their service you'd be losing about 250m per launch.

The interesting thing about this is that it makes the corollary statement that they would charge on the order of 310m for a equivalent launch...which is a staggering amount of money. Ironically, this under cuts statements that Gass make in front of congress that their prices are not that high because EELV launch capability payments don't count towards prices for launch as put forth by spaceX.

Now I want to know if he was just spitballing numbers or accidentally letting on their costs/prices.
It's probably about right if you naively take, say, 2014's annual costs (including expansion, and next-gen R&D) and divide by the number of launches. It's a completely dishonest way to evaluate costs for a company that is clearly in growth mode, expanding capacity by building two new launch pads, multiple new test stands, a new engine, new satellite capability, crewed vehicle capability, reuse tests, ramping up factory production and launch rate, have a new heavy-lift launch vehicle getting metal bent, etc, etc...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: the_other_Doug on 03/16/2016 01:05 PM
The single most ironic statement quoted is that "Elon Musk is a master of propaganda," when this entire "briefing" is nothing more than corporate propaganda at it worst.

Note how the assumptions suddenly switch when Mr. Tobey speaks of ULA as opposed to speaking of SpaceX:

- SpaceX must be losing a quarter of a billion a launch and is low-balling their launch costs, while it's entirely reasonable to pay nearly a quarter of a billion per Atlas or Delta launch for ULA's "proven track record and flexibility."

- SpaceX has a non-viable re-use paradigm because they haven't proven they can re-use their stages yet, while ULA must be recognized as the masters of re-use based on the ACES stage, which is still paper technology.

- We already have ACES fuel depot technology (adroitly sidestepping the reality that ACES and its purported fuel depot capability is nothing but PowerPoint presentations at the moment), how could you possibly think that SpaceX re-using dirty, sooty stages sometime in the distant future can compete with that?

- SpaceX is subsidized by NASA and the DoD, and has bought unfair representation in Congress, while ULA would never, ever consider using government funding to fund development of new vehicles or low-ball their own bids (though they can't provide accounting to prove they don't do this), and is lucky to have their own completely impartial staunch supporter in the Senate... while Vulcan and ACES development sit idling, waiting for a big new government contract from which they can siphon off a large portion of monies to fund them.

Et cetera, et cetera...

This is a near-perfect example of Big Lie corporate propaganda, where you take each of your own weaknesses and project them onto your competitor; where you denigrate the other guy on failing to achieve things they are actually achieving, while pushing your own paper pipe dreams as actual achievements against them.

Sigh.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Hirox on 03/16/2016 01:19 PM
The video have been removed. Someone at /r/SpaceX made a transcript, i skimmed through it and it seems correct.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MTGfXjnFPKbd59uP0GaCiq0A6TO8FlbK9CrPtZO6LVs/edit

Edit: Here is a reupload https://www.dropbox.com/s/plq6t4hogvqej5k/ULA%20Seminar.m4a?dl=0
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: abaddon on 03/16/2016 01:27 PM
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that this is not really how ULA views SpaceX.  If they're really that delusional, they're screwed.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: the_other_Doug on 03/16/2016 01:43 PM
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that this is not really how ULA views SpaceX.  If they're really that delusional, they're screwed.

Well, to be fair, it seems to have been internal flag-waving type of propaganda, meant to raise the spirits of the troops.  It's not the kind of thing they could trot out as a set of public positions, I don't believe -- just look at how savagely each point has been taken apart here in this forum.

Still, though, if that's what they want their troops to believe, you're right -- it does seem a delusional piece of ground upon which to try and build one's dreams.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 03/16/2016 02:33 PM
Is Mr. Tobey ULA's "Donald Trump", at a private rally? ;) Be careful ...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Hirox on 03/16/2016 02:35 PM
Spacenews have posted a summary of the talk:

http://spacenews.com/ula-intends-to-lower-its-costs-and-raise-its-cool-to-compete-with-spacex/
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 03/16/2016 02:54 PM
In other news, The Tory has responded: :-X

btw. Tory has now weighted in:

https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/710125441529487360
Quote
[email protected] These ill-advised statements do not reflect ULA’s views or our relationship with our valuable suppliers. We welcome competition

Sounds like someone just was thrown under the bus.


P.S. Maybe it might be best to consolidate all future posts about this talk to the thread in the ULA section?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: chrisking0997 on 03/16/2016 03:20 PM
maybe he meant ULA loses $250m every time SpaceX launches?  ;)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: abaddon on 03/16/2016 03:25 PM
Where's the popcorn?  From the spacenews.com article:
Quote
“Compare it to having two fiancées, two possible brides,” Tobey said of ULA’s approach to the two. “Blue Origin is a super-rich girl, and then there is this poor girl over here, Aerojet Rocketdyne. But we have to continue to go to planned rehearsal dinners, buy cakes and all the rest with both.
:o
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: docmordrid on 03/16/2016 04:04 PM
So many feet and only one mouth. We need a popcorn emoticon.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 03/16/2016 04:24 PM
Where's the popcorn?  From the spacenews.com article:
Quote
“Compare it to having two fiancées, two possible brides,” Tobey said of ULA’s approach to the two. “Blue Origin is a super-rich girl, and then there is this poor girl over here, Aerojet Rocketdyne. But we have to continue to go to planned rehearsal dinners, buy cakes and all the rest with both.
:o
Poor girl on the biggest welfare check in history .. LOL!

As to the rich girl - "... and Malibu Barbie has a new hat!" ... or is that a BE-4 ;)

This guy has all at once made ULA a laughingstock! He's done more damage in one setting, then Musk in all congressional hearings ... still can't believe someone so out of control, from such a "button-down" place ...

Is he trying to turn everything about ULA into a party thread?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: rickyramjet on 03/16/2016 05:08 PM
So many feet and only one mouth. We need a popcorn emoticon.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: edkyle99 on 03/16/2016 05:09 PM
I just read through this, and found myself nodding my head in agreement most of the time.  The "quarter-billion" per launch loss estimate was clearly hyperbole, but I don't think that anyone really believes SpaceX is making a profit on $60 million per launch.  Perhaps the speaker was thinking of what it might cost to launch Falcon Heavy versus the price that SpaceX has listed for a launch.

Interesting to hear that Blue blew up an engine in testing.  It sounded like it may have been a BE-3 power head a while back.

I also was interested in how the speaker thought that the first stage landing was amazing, but that the entire idea of recovery is "dumb" given the lost payload capability and the costs of refurbishment. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Hirox on 03/16/2016 05:18 PM
I just read through this, and found myself nodding my head in agreement most of the time.  The "quarter-billion" per launch loss estimate was clearly hyperbole, but I don't think that anyone really believes SpaceX is making a profit on $60 million per launch.  Perhaps the speaker was thinking of what it might cost to launch Falcon Heavy versus the price that SpaceX has listed for a launch.

Interesting to hear that Blue blew up an engine in testing.  It sounded like it may have been a BE-3 power head a while back.

I also was interested in how the speaker thought that the first stage landing was amazing, but that the entire idea of recovery is "dumb" given the lost payload and the costs of refurbishment. 

 - Ed Kyle

Nobody believes SpaceX is making a $60 million profit on their launches, materials and working hours have costs. I've always thought that they make no profit on their ordinary launches, cost to produce and launch is $60million and selling price is 60$. I think the only launches they make anything on is government (NASA and soon DOD).
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: edkyle99 on 03/16/2016 05:21 PM
I just read through this, and found myself nodding my head in agreement most of the time.  The "quarter-billion" per launch loss estimate was clearly hyperbole, but I don't think that anyone really believes SpaceX is making a profit on $60 million per launch.  Perhaps the speaker was thinking of what it might cost to launch Falcon Heavy versus the price that SpaceX has listed for a launch.

Interesting to hear that Blue blew up an engine in testing.  It sounded like it may have been a BE-3 power head a while back.

I also was interested in how the speaker thought that the first stage landing was amazing, but that the entire idea of recovery is "dumb" given the lost payload and the costs of refurbishment. 

 - Ed Kyle

Nobody believes SpaceX is making a $60 million profit on their launches, materials and working hours have costs. I've always thought that they make no profit on their ordinary launches, cost to produce and launch is $60million and selling price is 60$. I think the only launches they make anything on is government (NASA and soon DOD).
I'm saying I don't think people believe SpaceX is making a profit when it sells Falcon 9 for (roughly) $60 million per launch.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Eric Hedman on 03/16/2016 05:37 PM
When figuring what profit a company makes on a product I am reminded of the joke I've heard a number of times from the accounting world.  In a job interview for an accounting position, if a person is asked what is two plus two, the correct answer is, "What would you like it to be?"
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: RyanC on 03/16/2016 06:27 PM
It's clear that ULA is having a hard time struggling with the changed market -- I find the comments regarding AJR pretty hilarious as well as the stuff concerning the RD-180, since well...

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=14224.0
RD-180 Co-Production Successfully Concluded (09/02/2008)

He does have a small point with the RD-181 for Antares; why isn't Orbital ATK not getting flak for that; whereas ULA is getting flak for RD-180?

But end of the day; the world's changed, because Musk and Bezos are willing to actually front their own money for engine/booster development, allowing a lot of seed work to be done; whereas ULA and AJR got lazy and wanted government contracts to fund almost everything; and were left holding an empty chair when the geopolitical situation changed with Crimea/Syria instead of being prepared (somewhat).
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: intrepidpursuit on 03/16/2016 06:28 PM
As I've said on here several times before; figuring the cost of manufacturing something when you do most of your manufacturing in house is not really possible. All the scales slide because a huge chunk of your costs are fixed per time while another huge chunk is fixed per unit. Setting the upper limit is difficult because you run into various bottlenecks that you have to overcome at various costs where building 16 units may cost more per unit than 15, but 20 brings it to a new low because you had to expand a capability somewhere. You could calculate it by material costs in which case it would probably be less than $1,000,000 per launch, or you could calculate it by dividing the total company expenses by the number of launches which would likely put it in the $100s of millions area.

A useful way to calculate would be the difference in cost to run the company when not building cores but maintaining the ability to do so and the cost of building cores, and I'm sure that number comes to less than $60 million per launch. That would mean that they are not losing money by launching, but they are also not necessarily (or likely) covering their overhead and expansion costs.

If they are good business people they probably know the number they need to sell in a year to break even and the number they need to sell to become efficient and achieve their goals. They also know how long they can go without meeting their minimum goal before they start struggling. These numbers are almost certainly in Gwynne's mind when she says how much they intend to launch this year and the year after.

All that being said, I'm sure that investors get to see at least some of this information before they make long term investments like the one Google made. If they weren't achievable, at least ambitiously, then they wouldn't be investing and SpaceX would have likely run out of money by now.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 03/16/2016 06:40 PM
Can we keep this to one thread?

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39809.msg1504551;topicseen#msg1504551
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Ohsin on 04/07/2016 08:48 PM
In CRS-8 pre-launch presser Hans said capability to salvage payload in case of any accident has been implemented i.e Dragon will deploy chutes and land softly on water. It is yet to be completely approved by FAA.

Quote
Marcia Dunn : So you are saying that you could for early in the flight you could salvage if necessary.

Hans: Its actually not that early I mean I would say its everything except last 20 ish seconds.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: whitelancer64 on 04/07/2016 09:18 PM
In CRS-8 pre-launch presser Hans said capability to salvage payload in case of any accident has been implemented i.e Dragon will deploy chutes and land softly on water. It is yet to be completely approved by FAA.

Quote
Marcia Dunn : So you are saying that you could for early in the flight you could salvage if necessary.

Hans: Its actually not that early I mean I would say its everything except last 20 ish seconds.
As unlikely as it is for the rocket to fail and the capsule to survive, but I suppose it's a nice option to have in your back pocket.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: jg on 04/07/2016 09:25 PM
In CRS-8 pre-launch presser Hans said capability to salvage payload in case of any accident has been implemented i.e Dragon will deploy chutes and land softly on water. It is yet to be completely approved by FAA.

Quote
Marcia Dunn : So you are saying that you could for early in the flight you could salvage if necessary.

Hans: Its actually not that early I mean I would say its everything except last 20 ish seconds.
As unlikely as it is for the rocket to fail and the capsule to survive, but I suppose it's a nice option to have in your back pocket.

This case is exactly what happened last year with SpaceX's failure: the Dragon was healthy until it hit the water, despite the disintegration of the rocket.  Had the software been smart enough to pop the chutes, the payload would have survived.

"Simple" programming change.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: whitelancer64 on 04/07/2016 09:43 PM
As unlikely as it is for the rocket to fail and the capsule to survive, but I suppose it's a nice option to have in your back pocket.

This case is exactly what happened last year with SpaceX's failure: the Dragon was healthy until it hit the water, despite the disintegration of the rocket.  Had the software been smart enough to pop the chutes, the payload would have survived.

"Simple" programming change.
I know, but that scenario where the rocket fails but the capsule survives is extraordinarily unlikely. Most rockets don't fail as slowly and gracefully as the Falcon 9 did.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lar on 04/07/2016 09:47 PM
As unlikely as it is for the rocket to fail and the capsule to survive, but I suppose it's a nice option to have in your back pocket.

This case is exactly what happened last year with SpaceX's failure: the Dragon was healthy until it hit the water, despite the disintegration of the rocket.  Had the software been smart enough to pop the chutes, the payload would have survived.

"Simple" programming change.
I know, but that scenario where the rocket fails but the capsule survives is extraordinarily unlikely. Most rockets don't fail as slowly and gracefully as the Falcon 9 did.
We had this debate before, you might want to review it.... Depending on the cost for the software mods (which at first glance ought to be low), it's a no brainer to make this change, because even if it's low probability, it's a cheap bet.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: whitelancer64 on 04/07/2016 09:51 PM
As unlikely as it is for the rocket to fail and the capsule to survive, but I suppose it's a nice option to have in your back pocket.

This case is exactly what happened last year with SpaceX's failure: the Dragon was healthy until it hit the water, despite the disintegration of the rocket.  Had the software been smart enough to pop the chutes, the payload would have survived.

"Simple" programming change.
I know, but that scenario where the rocket fails but the capsule survives is extraordinarily unlikely. Most rockets don't fail as slowly and gracefully as the Falcon 9 did.
We had this debate before, you might want to review it.... Depending on the cost for the software mods (which at first glance ought to be low), it's a no brainer to make this change, because even if it's low probability, it's a cheap bet.
I'm not saying it's a bad idea, not at all. It's nice to have it just in case. It's like me keeping an umbrella in my car even though I live in Southern California and we don't see rain very often here :p
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: mulp on 04/08/2016 01:41 AM
In CRS-8 pre-launch presser Hans said capability to salvage payload in case of any accident has been implemented i.e Dragon will deploy chutes and land softly on water. It is yet to be completely approved by FAA.

Quote
Marcia Dunn : So you are saying that you could for early in the flight you could salvage if necessary.

Hans: Its actually not that early I mean I would say its everything except last 20 ish seconds.
If no CRS rocket fails and thus tests this feature, will SpaceX need to cause a failure to validate for crew launch?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: 216pi on 04/08/2016 01:47 AM
In CRS-8 pre-launch presser Hans said capability to salvage payload in case of any accident has been implemented i.e Dragon will deploy chutes and land softly on water. It is yet to be completely approved by FAA.

Quote
Marcia Dunn : So you are saying that you could for early in the flight you could salvage if necessary.

Hans: Its actually not that early I mean I would say its everything except last 20 ish seconds.
If no CRS rocket fails and thus tests this feature, will SpaceX need to cause a failure to validate for crew launch?
Crew Dragon is a different vehicle (Dragon 2) with a completely different escape system.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lar on 04/08/2016 11:39 AM
In CRS-8 pre-launch presser Hans said capability to salvage payload in case of any accident has been implemented i.e Dragon will deploy chutes and land softly on water. It is yet to be completely approved by FAA.

Quote
Marcia Dunn : So you are saying that you could for early in the flight you could salvage if necessary.

Hans: Its actually not that early I mean I would say its everything except last 20 ish seconds.
If no CRS rocket fails and thus tests this feature, will SpaceX need to cause a failure to validate for crew launch?
No, because this is an added feature that wasn't otherwise present in cargo ships to date. Presumably firing chutes is part of the escape process for crew.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: enzo on 04/15/2016 01:57 AM
Don't think I've ever seen an official number on how much of the F9 is manufactured in-house. Via reddit, reportedly CFO Bret Johnsen said the number is 70% in-house. One could assume this is by # of components, but could be cost, or simply an invented number. Still, mildly interesting.

source: https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/4eq8cq/im_meeting_the_cfo_spacex_bret_johnsen_tomorrow/d2352dr
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: clongton on 04/16/2016 06:33 PM
I just read through this, and found myself nodding my head in agreement most of the time.  The "quarter-billion" per launch loss estimate was clearly hyperbole, but I don't think that anyone really believes SpaceX is making a profit on $60 million per launch.  Perhaps the speaker was thinking of what it might cost to launch Falcon Heavy versus the price that SpaceX has listed for a launch.

Interesting to hear that Blue blew up an engine in testing.  It sounded like it may have been a BE-3 power head a while back.

I also was interested in how the speaker thought that the first stage landing was amazing, but that the entire idea of recovery is "dumb" given the lost payload and the costs of refurbishment. 

 - Ed Kyle

Nobody believes SpaceX is making a $60 million profit on their launches, materials and working hours have costs. I've always thought that they make no profit on their ordinary launches, cost to produce and launch is $60million and selling price is 60$. I think the only launches they make anything on is government (NASA and soon DOD).
I'm saying I don't think people believe SpaceX is making a profit when it sells Falcon 9 for (roughly) $60 million per launch.

 - Ed Kyle

I personally have no idea how much money SpaceX is or is not making, but I will say that I hate it when people make an assertion that SpaceX is loosing money on every launch without offering even 1 shred of evidence. Nobody offers any proof of any kind to back up what they are saying, so I call total b.s. on any statement like that. If anyone wants to say things like that then let them back it up with verifiable numbers, like we always used to do on here. I don't care if one asserts they are making money or loosing money. Either way - I don't care. Just please do not spread such utter crap. Back it up or shut it down. But stop smearing the company. They are doing awesome things. When was the last pure NASA vehicle launch? Oh yea, I remember; Ares-1X. October 2009. Big PR flop. The last Shuttle flight was STS-135, last flown July 2011. Then NASA shut the system down. Since then the only thing NASA has produced other than a sinfully expensive and decade late boilerplate Orion is literally tons of paper and terabytes of power points and CGI's while SpaceX has been bending metal, building infrastructure, building and flying rockets and spacecraft and orbiting satellites in LEO, GEO and Sun Synchronous. So stop putting the company down. If it wasn't for the excitement generated by them none of you would be here on NSF because NASA isn't flying anything these days, and hasn't for years.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: woods170 on 04/16/2016 07:20 PM
I'm saying I don't think people believe SpaceX is making a profit when it sells Falcon 9 for (roughly) $60 million per launch.

 - Ed Kyle

I personally have no idea how much money SpaceX is or is not making, but I will say that I hate it when people make an assertion that SpaceX is loosing money on every launch without offering even 1 shred of evidence. Nobody offers any proof of any kind to back up what they are saying, so I call total b.s. on any statement like that. If anyone wants to say things like that then let them back it up with verifiable numbers, like we always used to do on here. I don't care if one asserts they are making money or loosing money. Either way - I don't care. Just please do not spread such utter crap. Back it up or shut it down. But stop smearing the company. They are doing awesome things. When was the last pure NASA vehicle launch? Oh yea, I remember; Ares-1X. October 2009. Big PR flop. The last Shuttle flight was STS-135, last flown July 2011. Then NASA shut the system down. Since then the only thing NASA has produced other than a sinfully expensive and decade late boilerplate Orion is literally tons of paper and terabytes of power points and CGI's while SpaceX has been bending metal, building infrastructure, building and flying rockets and spacecraft and orbiting satellites in LEO, GEO and Sun Synchronous. So stop putting the company down. If it wasn't for the excitement generated by them none of you would be here on NSF because NASA isn't flying anything these days, and hasn't for years.

What it basically boils down to is that some (most certainly not all) old-space folks are having a real hard time adjusting to the fact that a relatively new-and-young company, with no prior experience, is doing things that old-space companies never dared doing. What probably bugs those old-space folks the most is that this new-space company is doing all those exciting new things without really "needing" the old-space folks. And this new-space company also has the guts of throwing "the old-space way of doing things" out the window. That upsets even more old-space folks. The result is that some old-space folks here make it a habit of questioning everything this new-space company does, down to the level of calling them "wrong" or stating "it is not done this way".
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: testguy on 04/16/2016 07:48 PM
As one of the , certainly not all, old space people I couldn't be more trilled with the progress of the new space folks.  It gets me back to the 1960's when we made commitments to accomplish a task and then figured out how to do it.  Now it seams many are content on just studying a problem and just generating paper.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 04/16/2016 08:16 PM
I'm saying I don't think people believe SpaceX is making a profit when it sells Falcon 9 for (roughly) $60 million per launch.

 - Ed Kyle

I personally have no idea how much money SpaceX is or is not making, but I will say that I hate it when people make an assertion that SpaceX is loosing money on every launch without offering even 1 shred of evidence.
I share this wholeheartedly.

To balance Ed Kyle's assertion against SX, I'll bring one against ULA. McCain (and others) have been after ULA for accounting irregularities on pricing/costing/process/categorization, like the fast and loose things that large American primes have done for years. So it may be also true that ULA's not making money on launches too, perhaps with too much "pass back" to the parents.

There are two ways you can play that game. I doubt that if a US senator can't get to the bottom of launch accounting, any of us here (including Ed Kyle) will be able to do any better!

Quote

What it basically boils down to is that some (most certainly not all) old-space folks are having a real hard time adjusting to the fact that a relatively new-and-young company, with no prior experience, is doing things that old-space companies never dared doing.

Part of it. Also, that they never got squat consideration to even try much simpler things. Trivial IR&D!

Quote
What probably bugs those old-space folks the most is that this new-space company is doing all those exciting new things without really "needing" the old-space folks. And this new-space company also has the guts of throwing "the old-space way of doing things" out the window. That upsets even more old-space folks. The result is that some old-space folks here make it a habit of questioning everything this new-space company does, down to the level of calling them "wrong" or stating "it is not done this way".

Shades of grey here. Better put is that they don't have any involvement with it, so they over reach/claim assuming that the situation is out of control, and that the Very Bad Thing(tm) is about to happen, because that's what it feels like.

Some of us brought up some of what SX is doing now, back in the Shuttle days. And were unpolitely forced out, because no one wanted a loss to their "six sigma" idea of operational perfection.

The other unspoken part of this is that BA/LMT are fond of claiming that "launch is a tiny portion" of the aerospace market. This is/was an intentional creation in order to force control of the industry to allow domination by primes irregardless of outcome. For their business needs, a narrow definition of launch meant they could compel the industry as they saw fit.

I have no idea what the actual "truth" is in this hallway of funhouse mirrors. But I've watched as the intentionally distorted mirrors have been made by these jerks, "for the good of all" ;) and I can tell you why the AF's estimation tools get thrown off isn't a minor reason at all.

From what I've seen, SX has a cheap kerolox LV platform. For me that's good enough to assume they might make good eventually on the costing/pricing they have said. That's "good enough".
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 04/17/2016 06:29 PM
Being one of those old-space persons. I don't think a characterization of who is for or against SpaceX can be made by their association of pre or post "new-space". My old-space days started in 1980 on the Atlas E/F, where an old ICBM which had been in storage since the mid-early 1960's was used. It was dusted off, checked out, payload attachment ring welded on, new avionics, set on the pad, payload stacked on top and launched. All for a total cost to the gov of ~$25M. So I have no problem understanding how SpaceX can do it for $60M.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: S.Paulissen on 04/17/2016 07:26 PM
Being one of those old-space persons. I don't think a characterization of who is for or against SpaceX can be made by their association of pre or post "new-space". My old-space days started in 1980 on the Atlas E/F, where an old ICBM which had been in storage since the mid-early 1960's was used. It was dusted off, checked out, payload attachment ring welded on, new avionics, set on the pad, payload stacked on top and launched. All for a total cost to the gov of ~$25M. So I have no problem understanding how SpaceX can do it for $60M.

You've got my attention.  Is there any additional in-depth info around for this mission?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 04/17/2016 08:23 PM
Being one of those old-space persons. I don't think a characterization of who is for or against SpaceX can be made by their association of pre or post "new-space". My old-space days started in 1980 on the Atlas E/F, where an old ICBM which had been in storage since the mid-early 1960's was used. It was dusted off, checked out, payload attachment ring welded on, new avionics, set on the pad, payload stacked on top and launched. All for a total cost to the gov of ~$25M. So I have no problem understanding how SpaceX can do it for $60M.

That $25M would be more than doubled for today.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: S.Paulissen on 04/17/2016 08:52 PM
Good point Jim.  Industry agnostic CPI suggests that $25m in 1980 is just above $70m today.

EDIT: OT: Wow, if I ever needed a lesson in 1980's stagflation I learned it today.  The difference in cost to 2016 dollars between $25m 1980 dollars or 1982 dollars is shocking.  1980 in 2016 = ~$72  1982 in 2016 = ~$62m.  That's ~16% decrease in buying power difference in only two years!!!
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 04/18/2016 12:30 PM
With all due respect to oldAtlas_Eguy, the majority of the true "total mission cost" for that $25m mission back in 1980 was paid in the late 50's and 60's Cold War "Missile Gap" budgets that supported the design and mass production of those old Atlas ICBM's in the first place, along with all the basic science, engineering and operational lessons learned to go along with them.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: launchwatcher on 04/18/2016 02:32 PM
With all due respect to oldAtlas_Eguy, the majority of the true "total mission cost" for that $25m mission back in 1980 was paid in the late 50's and 60's Cold War "Missile Gap" budgets that supported the design and mass production of those old Atlas ICBM's in the first place, along with all the basic science, engineering and operational lessons learned to go along with them.
I think his point wasn't about the total mission cost, but a look at the operational cost to take an existing rocket, dust it off, bolt on a payload, fuel it, and launch it...   which is very relevant to economic questions around reuse.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: dlapine on 04/18/2016 05:25 PM

I think his point wasn't about the total mission cost, but a look at the operational cost to take an existing rocket, dust it off, bolt on a payload, fuel it, and launch it...   which is very relevant to economic questions around reuse.

True, but the insinuation was that it takes $50M in today's dollars just to launch an already built Atlas. I'm not sure how relevant that comparison is, given that SpaceX currently changes only $60M to build a completely new LV and to launch it.

It does point to fundamental differences in the way SpaceX manages its costs, both for launch operations and LV buildout, as opposed to other companies, assuming the quoted prices are real.

Perhaps more useful information might include an estimate as to the current launch-only cost for other providers. I realize that is hard question to answer for ULA, but information for other providers should be easier to acquire.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 04/18/2016 05:43 PM
The problem with accounting is that there are too many numbers to choose from.

And, as in politics/law, one can look selectively at one assemblage of numbers to make a rhetorical arguments about.

My SWAG on actual accounting here - there are multiple activities that roll up (partially/fully) under the launch services business, with others that fall under other activities including speculative businesses being developed/conceived. A fraction of immediate FTE/consulting/mfr/vendor/other gets incorporated into each launch, along with a sliver of development/capital/other per each revenue stream, and as a "net profit" accumulation feeds into the corporate finances, along with the other activities/needs. This isn't quite the way SX's rivals do it, BTW.

Probably the way things work, more outsource (yes I know about vertical business) and automation contributions are present than in the rivals, and that the actual labor side as accounted for is much less than the rivals. Suggest that volumes of scale (and possibly estimates of reuse) are used against this to support forwardly priced launch contracts, where the "base" is significantly lower and the "additional services" are a considerable part of the variability (and profitable - not unlike rivals). Having seen multiple such operations, I have no trouble in believing they can reach these levels assuming that everything goes well.

Its an entirely different matter to consider the surrounding company, its liabilities and its futures, which tell you of how its a "going concern". Those however are examined by, among others AF/govt. I don't see any obvious signs of this being a problem, unlike quite a few "new space" and even some "old space" firms.

What shows up as arguments as to viability/sustainability/"genuineness" of launch services pricing here on this forum usually comes down to conflation and/or "apples to oranges" comparisons, which are ... meaningless.

Now, OA, SX, and ULA all have had "bad days". Those affect (bump lower) profitability in the short term, then you ride them out. If they happen frequently, or, if the business is run erratically, then the launch cost is unsupportable and operations get stretched out and finally stop - like SeaLaunch. If you see stable launch cadence, little churn in manifest/personnel, then its very likely that the launch service provider's healthy.

And that the launch service is appropriately priced.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: joek on 04/18/2016 11:09 PM
The new SpaceX launch licenses finally showed up on the FAA site (http://www.faa.gov/data_research/commercial_space_data/licenses/)...

LLS 14-087 (Rev 1) (http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/LLS%2014-087%20Rev%201%20-%20License%20and%20Orders%20-%20FINAL%202016-02-26%20-%20Signed.pdf) -- Flights of Falon 9 Version 1.2 launch vehicles from Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in support of the NASA Commercial Resupply missions...

LLS 14-090 (Rev 2) (http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/LLS%2014-090%20Rev%202%20-%20License%20and%20Orders%20(FINAL)%2001_21_2016%20-%20signed%20copy.pdf) -- Six flights with the Falcon 9 Version 1.2 launch vehicle from Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) with each flight transporting one of the following payloads to geosynchronous orbit... SES-9... JCSAT-14.... ABS/Eutelsat-2.... AMOS-6... Thaicom-8... JCSAT-16...

Of note in both, Change Falcon 9 launch vehicle version from 1.1 to 1.2 (*cough*).

edit: correct second URL.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Chris_Pi on 04/21/2016 04:51 AM
Someone will probably be along in a bit with better (and mission-specific) info, But until then:

I have a very fuzzy recollection of about 1/3 of the fuel load for RTLS and a bit more than half that for downrange landing. You might want to look through SES-9 threads for comparisons of that flight to more typical recoverable fuel loads.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 04/21/2016 02:09 PM
Someone will probably be along in a bit with better (and mission-specific) info, But until then:

I have a very fuzzy recollection of about 1/3 of the fuel load for RTLS and a bit more than half that for downrange landing. You might want to look through SES-9 threads for comparisons of that flight to more typical recoverable fuel loads.

no, it is in single digit percentages.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cscott on 04/21/2016 04:07 PM
Someone will probably be along in a bit with better (and mission-specific) info, But until then:

I have a very fuzzy recollection of about 1/3 of the fuel load for RTLS and a bit more than half that for downrange landing. You might want to look through SES-9 threads for comparisons of that flight to more typical recoverable fuel loads.
Thank you.

I guess what I should really be asking is whether there is any information on how much fuel the Falcon Heavy side boosters will have upon separation, and whether a low margin RTLS like CRS-9 is possibly a close approximation for those kinds of margins?
Yes, but only insofar as any reduction in fuel margin for landing allows a corresponding performance increase to orbit.  So getting lower-margin landings working effectively upgrades the performance of the whole fleet, F9 and FH.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: nadreck on 04/21/2016 06:29 PM
Hello

I was wondering if there is any information on the fuel margins needed for RTLS and ASDS landings respectively (particularly as a percentage of the original fuel in the stage?) Specifically, I would like to know if there are any estimates as to the amount of fuel that will be left in the booster post-separation for the ASDS landing for JCSat-14, and for the RTLS landing for CRS-9.

Sorry if this has been mentioned before.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34077.msg1500227#msg1500227 (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34077.msg1500227#msg1500227)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Rebel44 on 04/22/2016 05:50 PM
Hello

I was wondering if there is any information on the fuel margins needed for RTLS and ASDS landings respectively (particularly as a percentage of the original fuel in the stage?) Specifically, I would like to know if there are any estimates as to the amount of fuel that will be left in the booster post-separation for the ASDS landing for JCSat-14, and for the RTLS landing for CRS-9.

Sorry if this has been mentioned before.

based on some calculations, that were posted on this forum, around 30 tons for barge landing and around 55 tons for RTLS.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Chris_Pi on 04/22/2016 08:35 PM
based on some calculations, that were posted on this forum, around 30 tons for barge landing and around 55 tons for RTLS.

That's where I must have gotten 30 stuck in my head from. Right-ish number, Very wrong units.  :-[
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: ugordan on 04/30/2016 10:59 AM
I... don't know what to make of these numbers.

(hat tip to /r/spacex for noticing the update (http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities))
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 04/30/2016 11:16 AM
I... don't know what to make of these numbers.


If this is true, and y'know, it has to be, the Falcon Nine can lift more payload to LEO in expendable mode than any other rocket in the world. To LEO, it's fractionally more capable than the Delta Four Heavy.

Well damn. Looks like Falcon Nine is a heavy lift vehicle.

Of course, once you get beyond LEO, the Delta Four becomes more capable again. Although when that raptor upper stage arrives, that might disappear too.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: RyanC on 04/30/2016 11:26 AM
So, Delta IV Heavy is seriously non competitive against Falcon Heavy, while Atlas V is a bit non competitive.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 04/30/2016 11:32 AM
So, Delta IV Heavy is seriously non competitive against Falcon Heavy, while Atlas V is a bit non competitive.

Well, not for extremely heavy GEO payloads, Delta IV wins out on that, as it does BEO on a purely performance stance - although it will lose much of that that niche to Falcon Heavy.  Atlas V does certainly lose some of its margins according to the new data.

Falcon 9 is irredeemably cheap by comparison to both, of course, which renders some of the payload performance figures mute.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Zed_Noir on 04/30/2016 11:34 AM
@Dintry_V_home post a link (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40168.msg1526242#msg1526242) in the Payload estimate for allowing routine re-entry thread earlier.

My comment (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40168.msg1526248#msg1526248) on the new performance figures in that thread.
Quote
Wow, the F9 have the same lift as the Delta IV Heavy with the RS-68A to LEO in the expandable mode. Does this mean that the Delta IV Heavy can be dispense with for polar missions out of VAFB? :o
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: ugordan on 04/30/2016 12:55 PM
Oh my. The first stage thrust has also gone up. Again... From 1530 klbf to 1710 klbf. M1D thrust 170 klbf -> 190 klbf.

What was it that someone said the other day, that the F9FT design was frozen for the time being?

Enter Falcon 9 Fuller Thrust?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AncientU on 04/30/2016 01:12 PM
F9: $978.54 per pound to LEO.
FH: $752.01 per pound to LEO.

Note 1: There is still that pesky caveat about $90M for up to 6.4mt to GTO -- so the per pound price for FH is questionable, though it should be less than F9.
Note 2: ...and that other pesky habit of sandbagging on this page...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/30/2016 01:13 PM
Am I remembering correctly that the previous Mars payload advertised for FH was under 12,000 kg? If so then that's a decent increase to help Red Dragon on it's way  :)

I do remember the LEO payload being 53,000 kg (so a smallish 2.6% increase there).

Edit: found older numbers, apparently it was 13,200 kg before to Mars for FH, so 3% increase.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: envy887 on 04/30/2016 01:16 PM
The F9 page http://www.spacex.com/falcon9

shows the same mass to GTO and Mars but only 13t to LEO:

PAYLOAD TO LEO
13,150kg
28,991lb
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Zed_Noir on 04/30/2016 01:18 PM
Interesting factroid. On the Falcon Heavy page (http://www.spacex.com/falcon-heavy) on the SpaceX web site.

Quote
PAYLOAD TO PLUTO
2,900kg  6,390 lb

Hmm, is that enough mass for an orbiter?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/30/2016 01:27 PM
Interesting factroid. On the Falcon Heavy page (http://www.spacex.com/falcon-heavy) on the SpaceX web site.

Quote
PAYLOAD TO PLUTO
2,900kg  6,390 lb

Hmm, is that enough mass for an orbiter?

Just for comparison, New Horizons' mass (including fuel) is less than 500 kg. So I'd like to think that something could be done for 6 times that mass budget.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: ugordan on 04/30/2016 01:36 PM
Interesting factroid. On the Falcon Heavy page (http://www.spacex.com/falcon-heavy) on the SpaceX web site.

Quote
PAYLOAD TO PLUTO
2,900kg  6,390 lb

Hmm, is that enough mass for an orbiter?

Without any kind of context/caveats to this like what C3 was used, whether a Jupiter gravity assist was implied, a final kickstage used, I can't help but think this number is bollocks highly suspect. Direct Pluto injection requires really high C3 and a kerolox stage (and a large one at that) really suffers there. I'm skeptical it could throw that much to Jupiter let alone Pluto.

According to NASA ELV performance site, Delta IV Heavy can throw 8x less mass to a C3 of 100 than a C3 of 15 km^2/s^2 (a typical Mars injection) and that is with a high performance upper stage. 8000 kg vs 1000 kg. According to this document (http://www.boulder.swri.edu/~tcase/Guo_AIAA2002-4722.pdf), a direct injection to Pluto needs at a minimum around 160 km^2/s^2, but NASA ELV performance site doesn't even allow selection of C3 higher than 100. However, extrapolating the curve the payload for DIVH goes to zero well before that.

I simply cannot fathom that even with a 2x larger throw weight to LEO than a DIVH, a FH can approach anything near 2.9 tonnes to Pluto, given that it would need to also carry its entire dry weight along to that energy. Postulating a Jupiter gravity assist makes it just slightly less implausible as the C3 still needs to be in excess of 100.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: camelNotation on 04/30/2016 02:15 PM
Oh my. The first stage thrust has also gone up. Again... From 1530 klbf to 1710 klbf. M1D thrust 170 klbf -> 190 klbf.

What was it that someone said the other day, that the F9FT design was frozen for the time being?

Enter Falcon 9 Fuller Thrust?

I am skeptical of these thrust numbers. Note how they increased thrust by 11.8% but kept the stage burn time at 162s. That means the stage has 11.8% more impulse, which would in turn imply the first stage tanks are 11.8% longer. This seems unlikely.

My best guess on how they got those numbers: they accidentally multiplied per engine thrust by 10 instead of 9. 7,607kN/10 = 760.7kN sea level and 830kN vacuum are very close to previous thrust for one M1D FT engine.

Also interesting is that the second stage thrust remained the same.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: ugordan on 04/30/2016 02:46 PM
Some rough numbers to show how difficult high C3 injections are. Perigee velocity at injection follows this formula:

v^2 = 2GM/r + C3

For some representative values of C3 and parking orbit of 100 nm (185 km) at injection, this works out to perigee velocities

C3 = 13 km^2/s^2 (Mars injection) -> v = 11.6 km/s
C3 = 85 km^2/s^2 (Jupiter direct) -> v = 14.37 km/s
C3 = 160 km^2/s^2 (Pluto direct)  -> v = 16.77 km/s


So while modest C3 injections don't go much above Earth escape trajectory velocity, high C3 injections really blow up the injection velocity fast.

For reference, a 3 tonne payload and assuming a 5 tonne dry mass, 348 s Isp and prop load of 111 tonnes, the F9 2nd stage can provide 9.2 km/s total delta V.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AncientU on 04/30/2016 03:10 PM
The F9 and FH LEO numbers appear to be inconsistent (28.8 vs 54.4).

Past calcs have always shown the relative payloads as near a factor of 3x higher for the tri-core, instead of less than 2x.
If 28.8 is for an expendable F9, is the FH number for partially reusable?  What would FH fully expendable yield, assuming numbers are correct for F9?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 04/30/2016 03:16 PM
The F9 and FH LEO numbers appear to be inconsistent (28.8 vs 54.4).

Past calcs have always shown the relative payloads as near a factor of 3x higher for the tri-core, instead of less than 2x.
If 28.8 is for an expendable F9, is the FH number for partially reusable?  What would FH fully expendable yield, assuming numbers are correct for F9?


That's what I heard, yeah. The FH number is for partially reusable use whilst the F9 figure is for expendable.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Mongo62 on 04/30/2016 03:39 PM
The F9 and FH LEO numbers appear to be inconsistent (28.8 vs 54.4).

Past calcs have always shown the relative payloads as near a factor of 3x higher for the tri-core, instead of less than 2x.
If 28.8 is for an expendable F9, is the FH number for partially reusable?  What would FH fully expendable yield, assuming numbers are correct for F9?


That's what I heard, yeah. The FH number is for partially reusable use whilst the F9 figure is for expendable.

So why would SpaceX give the "side boosters recovered" figure for FH LEO, instead of fully expendable? Could it be that the fully expendable FH to LEO payload is so large that it almost reaches the initial SLS Block I figure to LEO of 70,000 kg, at a tiny fraction of the cost? Maybe Elon does not want the political hassle of posing a direct threat to SLS at this time.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: woods170 on 04/30/2016 03:45 PM
Oh my. The first stage thrust has also gone up. Again... From 1530 klbf to 1710 klbf. M1D thrust 170 klbf -> 190 klbf.

What was it that someone said the other day, that the F9FT design was frozen for the time being?

Enter Falcon 9 Fuller Thrust?
The design is in fact pretty much frozen, for now. Earlier performance figures of F9 and FH were deliberately sandbagged by SpaceX. Now that F9 (both v1.1 and FT) has flown a number of missions the numbers no longer require sandbagging as they are confirmed with hard flight-data.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cambrianera on 04/30/2016 03:48 PM
Regarding FH LEO performance, I guess it is a structural limit.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: ugordan on 04/30/2016 03:52 PM
The design is in fact pretty much frozen, for now. Earlier performance figures of F9 and FH were deliberately sandbagged by SpaceX. Now that F9 (both v1.1 and FT) has flown a number of missions the numbers no longer require sandbagging as they are confirmed with hard flight-data.

Yeah, sandbagging performance is one thing, but they couldn't NOT be knowing about what thrust rating they are actually running the engines at now.

So there are only a couple of options. Either they were running the engines at 190 klbf at each of the 3 FT launches so far or that info is plain incorrect or it's correct and it's an upgrade - in which case the design can hardly be called frozen.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: woods170 on 04/30/2016 04:08 PM
The design is in fact pretty much frozen, for now. Earlier performance figures of F9 and FH were deliberately sandbagged by SpaceX. Now that F9 (both v1.1 and FT) has flown a number of missions the numbers no longer require sandbagging as they are confirmed with hard flight-data.

Yeah, sandbagging performance is one thing, but they couldn't NOT be knowing about what thrust rating they are actually running the engines at now.

So there are only a couple of options. Either they were running the engines at 190 klbf at each of the 3 FT launches so far or that info is plain incorrect or it's correct and it's an upgrade - in which case the design can hardly be called frozen.
Pardon my bluntness but what part of the word "sandbagging" did you not understand?
Both the thrust rating and the performance figures could have been sandbagged. SpaceX is good at that ya know...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: ugordan on 04/30/2016 04:18 PM
I'm saying that downplaying the actual thrust level they currently use sounds like another "innovation" SpaceX would bring to the launch industry. Although knowing them, no, I can't really put it past them...

But OK, judging from your answer I gather that you're just speculating on the engine thrust as much as anyone here.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: schaban on 04/30/2016 04:18 PM
Could FH LEO limit be due to 2nd stage limits?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: rocx on 04/30/2016 04:24 PM
The F9 performance to LEO is 53% of FH performance, to GTO it's 37%, and to MTO it's 30% of Falcon Heavy. There may be other factors at play, but a major one is that for kerolox two stages is most efficient to LEO, and three stages is most efficient to escape velocity.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Rebel44 on 04/30/2016 04:26 PM
Based on updated F9 1st stage Thrust at sea level and Thrust In Vacuum:
Merlin 1D+ thrust at sea level: 190 000lbf
Merlin 1D+ thrust in vacuum: 205 500lbf

So, if engines weight didnt change (1,030 lb), its trust-to-weight ratio is now 199.5  :o 8)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Mongo62 on 04/30/2016 04:29 PM
Could FH LEO limit be due to 2nd stage limits?

I can't see it. The stage is designed to handle a given thrust level from the MVac engine. The mass of the payload does not effect the force imparted by the engine and transmitted through the S2 structure. A greater mass just means a lower acceleration, with the total imparted kinetic energy per unit of time remaining the same.

I think that SpaceX is simply choosing not to mention the maximum payload to LEO with fully expendable FH, in order to avoid annoying certain members of Congress by making SLS Block I look like the white elephant it is.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 04/30/2016 04:40 PM
If the new performance numbers for F9 are correct then spaceX dose not need an FH to compete for payloads that would fly on a DIVH :-* :o

That could sink ULA faster than anything. Plus the F9 by itself can now handle all of the launch profiles for the DoD!!! If the numbers are true. ;D

A BTW since the LEO payload value is >20mt the F9 is now classed as a Heavy with that Atlas V only being a Medium. The FH is classed as a Super-Heavy.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cambrianera on 04/30/2016 04:43 PM
Could FH LEO limit be due to 2nd stage limits?

More likely interstage and first stage structural limits
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AllenB on 04/30/2016 05:09 PM
Yeah, sandbagging performance is one thing, but they couldn't NOT be knowing about what thrust rating they are actually running the engines at now.

So there are only a couple of options. Either they were running the engines at 190 klbf at each of the 3 FT launches so far or that info is plain incorrect or it's correct and it's an upgrade - in which case the design can hardly be called frozen.

Given numerous videos of the last few launches coupled with known height of the rocket & TE, it should be possible to workout the liftoff thrust fairly accurately, no? Or is there too much ambiguity to really be able to tell how high the rocket is for those first few T+seconds?

Either way, this is yet more exciting news. Glad i'm wearing my shiny new SpaceX shirt today. ;-)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: ugordan on 04/30/2016 05:15 PM
Given numerous videos of the last few launches coupled with known height of the rocket & TE, it should be possible to workout the liftoff thrust fairly accurately, no? Or is there too much ambiguity to really be able to tell how high the rocket is for those first few T+seconds?

In theory, yes, but I suspect the result of calculating acceleration might be very dependent on accurately nailing the vehicle release time. We can only work out the T/W ratio, but we don't have precise vehicle mass numbers, further complicated by LOX subchill considerations.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 04/30/2016 05:21 PM
Comparison of new F9 values and DIVH, Atlas V(551)
OrbitF9DIVHAtlas V (551)
LEO28,80028,37018,850
GTO 8,30013,8108,900


Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Craig_VG on 04/30/2016 05:30 PM
So Falcon 9 is now the world's most powerful rocket to LEO?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AncientU on 04/30/2016 05:32 PM
Comparison of new F9 values and DIVH, Atlas V(551)
OrbitF9DIVHAtlas V (551)
LEO28,80028,37018,850
GTO 8,30013,8108,900

You forgot the price row.
And the $/kg row...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/30/2016 05:39 PM
As pointed out elsewhere the LEO number on the F9 specific page is 13150 kg.

Clearly there's at least one error on the SpaceX website. It surprises me how apparently little checking they seem to do of the website ...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: atomic on 04/30/2016 05:42 PM
As pointed out elsewhere the LEO number on the F9 specific page is 13150 kg.

Clearly there's at least one error on the SpaceX website. It surprises me how apparently little checking they seem to do of the website ...

Yeah. looks to me like 13150 kg is with RTLS. And  28 880kg is expandable.

It is certainly impressive. I am *shocked*.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: sewebster on 04/30/2016 05:47 PM
Yeah. looks to me like 13150 kg is with RTLS. And  28 880kg is expandable.

Does that actually make sense though?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: atomic on 04/30/2016 05:53 PM
Yeah. looks to me like 13150 kg is with RTLS. And  28 880kg is expandable.

Does that actually make sense though?

I don't know. Please we need professional opinions here! Chris! We need help. ;)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: rockets4life97 on 04/30/2016 06:12 PM
The old numbers said for launches in 2016 and the new numbers say for launches in 2018. Seems to me like there will be an upgrade between now and 2018 in terms of thrust.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: GalacticIntruder on 04/30/2016 06:44 PM
New second stage in 2018? Maybe. But also anyone who signs a launch contract today will not be able to fly before 2018 because 2016 and 2017 manifests are full.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: TrueBlueWitt on 04/30/2016 06:49 PM
New second stage in 2018? Maybe. But also anyone who signs a launch contract today will not be able to fly before 2018 because 2016 and 2017 manifests are full.

That is the 54,400Kg Question.. 
Are these numbers for current F9/F9H or with a futrure Raptor based Upper Stage??? 
Although they're quoting Merlin-1D Vac thrust for 2nd stage.. So.. YMMV
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: rocx on 04/30/2016 06:50 PM
A Raptor upper stage in 2018 would be rather early, but not impossible. Let's make it 2019 to account for standard SpaceX time dilation and the focus they will have on another project in 2018, and I wouldn't be very surprised (but still quite a bit) this update turned out to be based on a methalox stage.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 04/30/2016 07:01 PM
I believe the reference to 2018 is for the price. The performance is the current not future. Although I could still be wrong about the performance but I don't think so.

The F9 can now do every DoD launch profile but 1, the >8mt GTO. That profile has historically been very seldom on the order of not more than 1 a year if even that many. The other item is that with the performance values F9 could launch 2 GPS III simultaneously. Instead of $82M for a GPS III how about $45M and not even using used booster.

The other item is that FH out of VAFB is not required any more if SpaceX does not want to do it.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Tuts36 on 04/30/2016 07:42 PM
Short article in Ars Technica this morning focused on the development of the superdraco engine - lots of pictures  :)

"From zero to 100mph in 1.2 seconds, the SuperDraco thruster delivers"
Ars takes a closer look at SpaceX's innovative and essential engine:

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/04/meet-spacexs-superdraco-thruster-the-key-to-landing-a-dragon-on-mars/ (http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/04/meet-spacexs-superdraco-thruster-the-key-to-landing-a-dragon-on-mars/)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: woods170 on 04/30/2016 07:47 PM
I'm saying that downplaying the actual thrust level they currently use sounds like another "innovation" SpaceX would bring to the launch industry. Although knowing them, no, I can't really put it past them...

But OK, judging from your answer I gather that you're just speculating on the engine thrust as much as anyone here.
That's a fact but you might wanna consider the possibility that even the initial FT flights might not actually have been flying at maximum thrust levels.
Designing an engine for a certain maximum thrust level is one thing. Operating the engine at the physically sustainable maximum thrust level is quite another. Take a look at RS-25 for just one example. It's currently being successfully tested for sustained operation at 109% of it's design maximum thrust level. It's a possibility that something similar is happening with Merlin 1D as well.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cebri on 04/30/2016 09:04 PM
I'm saying that downplaying the actual thrust level they currently use sounds like another "innovation" SpaceX would bring to the launch industry. Although knowing them, no, I can't really put it past them...

But OK, judging from your answer I gather that you're just speculating on the engine thrust as much as anyone here.
That's a fact but you might wanna consider the possibility that even the initial FT flights might not actually have been flying at maximum thrust levels.
Designing an engine for a certain maximum thrust level is one thing. Operating the engine at the physically sustainable maximum thrust level is quite another. Take a look at RS-25 for just one example. It's currently being successfully tested for sustained operation at 109% of it's design maximum thrust level. It's a possibility that something similar is happening with Merlin 1D as well.

That could explain that boost in performance. Hope to hear an official explanation soon.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: rocx on 04/30/2016 09:36 PM
Someone in L2 had another good explanation (nothing secret about this one): in 2018 they might be flying from Boca Chica, and since it's closer to the equator, that leads to better performance for equatorial orbits.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Kasponaut on 04/30/2016 10:23 PM
So Falcon 9 is now the world's most powerful rocket to LEO?
Comparison of new F9 values and DIVH, Atlas V(551)
OrbitF9DIVHAtlas V (551)
LEO28,80028,37018,850
GTO 8,30013,8108,900
Comparison of new F9 values and DIVH, Atlas V(551)
OrbitF9DIVHAtlas V (551)
LEO28,80028,37018,850
GTO 8,30013,8108,900




No that can't be true. Think about it ... the number two is just next to the number one on the keyboard.
It just can't be 28.800 kgs to LEO. It must be 18.800 kgs. A simple mistake :-)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 04/30/2016 10:35 PM

No that can't be true. Think about it ... the number two is just next to the number one on the keyboard.
It just can't be 28.800 kgs to LEO. It must be 18.800 kgs. A simple mistake :-)
The historical item is that the relationship of LEO to GTO performance on F9 has always been at about 3 to 1. So 28,800 and 8,300 is the correct ratio. If 28,800 is wrong then so is the 8,300 value and the 4,030 MTO value.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Brovane on 04/30/2016 10:38 PM
Comparison of new F9 values and DIVH, Atlas V(551)
OrbitF9DIVHAtlas V (551)
LEO28,80028,37018,850
GTO 8,30013,8108,900

Maybe there is some miscalculation between kg and lb.  I just went to the SpaceX site.  Maybe earlier SpaceX had put in the numbers for lb as kg.  However it is now correct on the website which the numbers make much more sense. 

I see the following

LEO 13,150kg 28,991lb
GTO 8,300kg 18,300lb

The Delta-IV Heavy can do 28,790kg to LEO and 14,220kg to GTO
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Rebel44 on 04/30/2016 10:40 PM
Comparison of new F9 values and DIVH, Atlas V(551)
OrbitF9DIVHAtlas V (551)
LEO28,80028,37018,850
GTO 8,30013,8108,900

Maybe there is some miscalculation between kg and lb.  I just went to the SpaceX site.

I see the following

LEO 13,150kg 28,991lb
GTO 8,300kg 18,300lb

The Delta-IV Heavy can do 28,790kg to LEO and 14,220kg to GTO
13,150kg  is number that was there before update - likely someone screwed up updating that value
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Endeavour_01 on 04/30/2016 10:53 PM
The historical item is that the relationship of LEO to GTO performance on F9 has always been at about 3 to 1. So 28,800 and 8,300 is the correct ratio. If 28,800 is wrong then so is the 8,300 value and the 4,030 MTO value.

Actually it has been a bit less than 3 to 1. v1.1 had 13,150 kg to LEO and 4,850 kg to GTO. This would be more than a 3 to 1 ratio.

I think there was a mistake made somewhere. If the LEO performance was 18,800 kg you would get around 6,400 kg for GTO, which would make sense given that FT has lofted a 5,300 kg satellite (SES-9) into GTO.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 04/30/2016 10:59 PM
The historical item is that the relationship of LEO to GTO performance on F9 has always been at about 3 to 1. So 28,800 and 8,300 is the correct ratio. If 28,800 is wrong then so is the 8,300 value and the 4,030 MTO value.

Actually it has been a bit less than 3 to 1. v1.1 had 13,150 kg to LEO and 4,850 kg to GTO. This would be more than a 3 to 1 ratio.

I think there was a mistake made somewhere. If the LEO performance was 18,800 kg you would get around 6,400 kg for GTO, which would make sense given that FT has lofted a 5,300 kg satellite (SES-9) into GTO.
But they also returned the stage for attempted landing. That eats a lot of performance. Plus the orbit the SES was sent to was a GTO-1500 not the ones being shown in the web page of GTO-1800. Meaning the F9 has a lot more GTO capability as an expendable going to just the GTO-1800 than only 5,300kg.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: docmordrid on 04/30/2016 11:04 PM
The 13.150kg number has been on the Falcon 9 page all day, but the Capabilities page has said 28,880kg the same time.

Perhaps 13,150kg is the RTLS number, or just didn't get updated.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Roy_H on 04/30/2016 11:06 PM
SpaceX has traditionally posted expected performance, so it makes perfect sense that the posted value of 13150kg to LEO was up long before V1.1 FT was launched. Any customer signing up would have been for the V1.1 FT a year or so before it actually launched.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Brovane on 04/30/2016 11:07 PM
The 13.150kg number has been on the Falcon 9 page all day, but the Capabilities page has said 28,880kg the same time.

Perhaps 13,150kg is the RTLS number, or just didn't get updated.

They misplaced kg for lb.  It is 28,880lb not kg.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Endeavour_01 on 04/30/2016 11:11 PM
But they also returned the stage for attempted landing. That eats a lot of performance. Plus the orbit the SES was sent to was a GTO-1500 not the ones being shown in the web page of GTO-1800. Meaning the F9 has a lot more GTO capability as an expendable going to just the GTO-1800 than only 5,300kg.

True but if memory serves it was a very hot re-entry so it was as close to expendable as they could get without actually expending it.

So maybe the 8,300kg number is correct but the 28,800kg number isn't. Maybe it was supposed to be "22,800kg" or "20,800kg." Could be it is actually 18,800kg. Sure the ratio would have dropped a bit but it is still between 2 to 1 and 3 to 1. Unless the 28,800kg is calculated using a Raptor US I don't see how this is possible.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Kasponaut on 04/30/2016 11:31 PM
Either way, something is still wrong somewhere in those numbers I think.
By the way they also increased the lift off mass of the FH by 20-30 metric tonnes.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 04/30/2016 11:44 PM
The 13.150kg number has been on the Falcon 9 page all day, but the Capabilities page has said 28,880kg the same time.

Perhaps 13,150kg is the RTLS number, or just didn't get updated.

They misplaced kg for lb.  It is 28,880lb not kg.
From all the previous discussion covering the v1.1 perfomance especially the available spaceX values from the performance Querry of the NASA NLS-II web site put s the v1.1 performance as 16,625 kg LEO and 5,725 kg GTO. So the FT values have to be larger. The performance improvement of FT over v1.1 is >30% from musk statements even before the flight of the first FT.

From all the math I believe the values as posted are the correct maximum (no margins) expendable performance. Now add margins for either stage return or engine out and the practical will be less.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 04/30/2016 11:49 PM
I find it difficult to believe they would have made a clerical error on their official website. There's probably multiple people under their employ which would have discovered that error by now if it truly is erroneous.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Mader Levap on 04/30/2016 11:52 PM
Judging by Musk's latest tweets, it is NOT mistake.

EDIT: It after all is mistake. 22,800 kg, not 28,800 kg.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: OxCartMark on 04/30/2016 11:54 PM
Seems as if Elon has been reading;

http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AncientU on 04/30/2016 11:56 PM
I find it difficult to believe they would have made a clerical error on their official website. There's probably multiple people under their employ which would have discovered that error by now if it truly is erroneous.

Proof reading their website is our job... crowd-sourcing at its finest.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Mader Levap on 05/01/2016 12:00 AM
Some important tweets:

Quote
@elonmusk wrote: Just posted latest max payload capabilities of Falcon 9 and Heavy https://t.co/Z45Y5V7G91

Quote
@mattyteare Basically current, but higher throttle setting. Good performance of recent launches allows us to reduce 3 sigma reserve margin. http://twitter.com/statuses/726559284306173952

Quote
@elonmusk Max performance numbers are for expendable launches. Subtract 30% to 40% for reusable booster payload. http://twitter.com/statuses/726559990480150528

Quote
@lukealization No physical changes to the engine. This thrust increase is based on delta qual tests. It is just tougher than we thought. http://twitter.com/statuses/726560848177561600

Quote
@lukealization No cross feed. It would help performance, but is not needed for these numbers. http://twitter.com/statuses/726561442636263425

Quote
@elonmusk F9 LEO payload on capabilities page (correct figure on main page) should be 22,800 kg http://twitter.com/statuses/726579536410734592
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Robotbeat on 05/01/2016 12:04 AM
Oh my. The first stage thrust has also gone up. Again... From 1530 klbf to 1710 klbf. M1D thrust 170 klbf -> 190 klbf.

What was it that someone said the other day, that the F9FT design was frozen for the time being?

Enter Falcon 9 Fuller Thrust?

I am skeptical of these thrust numbers. Note how they increased thrust by 11.8% but kept the stage burn time at 162s. That means the stage has 11.8% more impulse, which would in turn imply the first stage tanks are 11.8% longer. This seems unlikely....
Propellant densification and throttling down near the end of the burn. Also, they may just not have changed the burn time.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/01/2016 12:10 AM
So the values are real. Reducing by 40% for RTLS performance gives:

LEO - 17,280 kg
GTO - 4,980 kg

So for GTO they will have to do ASDS for those big ones ~5,300kg. And even then it is going to be a hot approach.

Estimate for ASDS: (30% case)
LEO - 20,160 kg
GTO - 5,810 kg
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Brovane on 05/01/2016 12:16 AM
The 13.150kg number has been on the Falcon 9 page all day, but the Capabilities page has said 28,880kg the same time.

Perhaps 13,150kg is the RTLS number, or just didn't get updated.

They misplaced kg for lb.  It is 28,880lb not kg.
From all the previous discussion covering the v1.1 perfomance especially the available spaceX values from the performance Querry of the NASA NLS-II web site put s the v1.1 performance as 16,625 kg LEO and 5,725 kg GTO. So the FT values have to be larger. The performance improvement of FT over v1.1 is >30% from musk statements even before the flight of the first FT.

From all the math I believe the values as posted are the correct maximum (no margins) expendable performance. Now add margins for either stage return or engine out and the practical will be less.

Are you saying the Max LEO is 28,800kg?  A 30% increase in performance over 16,625 v1.1 would be about 21,000 kg. 
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: S.Paulissen on 05/01/2016 12:21 AM
The 13.150kg number has been on the Falcon 9 page all day, but the Capabilities page has said 28,880kg the same time.

Perhaps 13,150kg is the RTLS number, or just didn't get updated.

They misplaced kg for lb.  It is 28,880lb not kg.
From all the previous discussion covering the v1.1 perfomance especially the available spaceX values from the performance Querry of the NASA NLS-II web site put s the v1.1 performance as 16,625 kg LEO and 5,725 kg GTO. So the FT values have to be larger. The performance improvement of FT over v1.1 is >30% from musk statements even before the flight of the first FT.

From all the math I believe the values as posted are the correct maximum (no margins) expendable performance. Now add margins for either stage return or engine out and the practical will be less.

Are you saying the Max LEO is 28,800kg?  A 30% increase in performance over 16,625 v1.1 would be about 21,000 kg.

The website specifically says 22800kg to LEO, not 28800kg.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Rebel44 on 05/01/2016 12:25 AM
The 13.150kg number has been on the Falcon 9 page all day, but the Capabilities page has said 28,880kg the same time.

Perhaps 13,150kg is the RTLS number, or just didn't get updated.

They misplaced kg for lb.  It is 28,880lb not kg.
From all the previous discussion covering the v1.1 perfomance especially the available spaceX values from the performance Querry of the NASA NLS-II web site put s the v1.1 performance as 16,625 kg LEO and 5,725 kg GTO. So the FT values have to be larger. The performance improvement of FT over v1.1 is >30% from musk statements even before the flight of the first FT.

From all the math I believe the values as posted are the correct maximum (no margins) expendable performance. Now add margins for either stage return or engine out and the practical will be less.

Are you saying the Max LEO is 28,800kg?  A 30% increase in performance over 16,625 v1.1 would be about 21,000 kg.

The website specifically says 22800kg to LEO, not 28800kg.

number in pounds fits 28800kg - guess, we will have to wait a day or so for messed up numbers to be fixed.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Craig_VG on 05/01/2016 12:26 AM

The website specifically says 22800kg to LEO, not 28800kg.

That's in the Falcon 9 section, we can assume that's for reuse. Check the capabilities and services page under About SpaceX for the full number, 28,800 kg.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: sewebster on 05/01/2016 12:27 AM
The website specifically says 22800kg to LEO, not 28800kg.

Not here... http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities (http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lars-J on 05/01/2016 12:30 AM
Something doesn't add up - there must be a typo so where.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Rebel44 on 05/01/2016 12:30 AM

The website specifically says 22800kg to LEO, not 28800kg.

That's in the Falcon 9 section, we can assume that's for reuse. Check the capabilities and services page under About SpaceX for the full number, 28,800 kg.

And even F9 page has value in pounds that = 28800kg
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/01/2016 12:32 AM
It looks like the 22,800 value is a typo since the value in lbs under it is 28,800 in kg.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Rebel44 on 05/01/2016 12:33 AM
Elons post, that there are no physical changes to engine, confirms earlier calculation, according to which Merlin now has around 199,5 trust-to-weight ratio
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Mader Levap on 05/01/2016 12:35 AM
Now webpage is fixed. 22,800 kg everywhere.

To be frank, SpaceX should be embarassed.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Nomadd on 05/01/2016 12:40 AM
 How long ago was it that people were wondering if the F9 would ever make that early 12,500kg LEO figure?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: OxCartMark on 05/01/2016 12:49 AM
It looks like the 22,800 value is a typo since the value in lbs under it is 28,800 in kg.
Inconsistencies in units and similar errors have a history of causing perfectly good landers to bonk into Mars.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/01/2016 12:50 AM
Now webpage is fixed. 22,800 kg everywhere.

To be frank, SpaceX should be embarassed.

Thanks for update correcting the 40% and 30% RTLS and ASDS estimate cases for LEO
RTLS 13,680
ASDS 15,960
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: joek on 05/01/2016 12:53 AM
Judging by Musk's latest tweets, it is NOT mistake.

So it seems... maybe... but still hard to believe.  At any rate they're going to need a new PAF, as the one in the last F9  Payload User's Guide (http://www.spacex.com/sites/spacex/files/falcon_9_users_guide_rev_2.0.pdf) is only good to 10,886kg.

Or maybe what we are seeing is the theoretical maximum, and does not account for other structural limits?  E.g., given the CG limits (see attached), is it feasible to launch a payload near 28000Kg?  Or maybe SpaceX has changed those limits?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: RyanC on 05/01/2016 01:03 AM
I don't know if this has been raised elsewhere, but what would happen if SpX converted Falcon 9 to methane for F9 v1.5 to complement a new Raptor Methane upper stage to maintain the "one set of fuels" commonality for lower costs?

Essentially, a minimum cost conversion for F9 and Merlin 1D to methane; accepting a lot of trade-offs in lower performance than you could get from the new propellant(s) in exchange for cheaper R&DT&E costs.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: GalacticIntruder on 05/01/2016 01:04 AM
Here are the official SpaceX numbers right now. All in kilograms. Earlier was a typo.

F9 LEO 22800 kg , GTO 8300kg.

FH LEO 54400kg, GTO 22200kg.

M1D+, SL 190,000lbf.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/01/2016 01:07 AM
Here are the official SpaceX numbers right now. All in kilograms. Earlier was a typo.

F9 LEO 22800 kg , GTO 8300kg.

FH LEO 54400kg, GTO 22200kg.

M1D+, SL 190,000lbf.
Thanks, that makes the F9 an equivalent LV to an Atlas V(551) in performance. That may not be something by chance but by design.

So payloads that needs a DIVH would need a FH.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AncientU on 05/01/2016 01:18 AM
Now webpage is fixed. 22,800 kg everywhere.

To be frank, SpaceX should be embarassed.

Webpages have been known to be incorrect... now fixed.

As to embarrassed, this puts the F9 up as the most efficient rocket ever at a payload mass fraction of 4.15%.  (22,800kg payload/549,054kg liftoff mass=0.0415)

They should hang their collective head in shame!
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lars-J on 05/01/2016 01:42 AM
Now webpage is fixed. 22,800 kg everywhere.

To be frank, SpaceX should be embarassed.

Webpages have been known to be incorrect... now fixed.

As to embarrassed, this puts the F9 up as the most efficient rocket ever at a payload mass fraction of 4.15%.  (22,800kg payload/549,054kg liftoff mass=0.0415)

They should hang their collective head in shame!

Indeed. Someone else should be embarrassed by seeing a web site typo as a major embarrassment for SpaceX. ::)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 05/01/2016 02:23 AM

As to embarrassed, this puts the F9 up as the most efficient rocket ever at a payload mass fraction of 4.15%.  (22,800kg payload/549,054kg liftoff mass=0.0415)



"But the ISP!"    ;D
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: mlindner on 05/01/2016 02:58 AM

As to embarrassed, this puts the F9 up as the most efficient rocket ever at a payload mass fraction of 4.15%.  (22,800kg payload/549,054kg liftoff mass=0.0415)



"But the ISP!"    ;D

If your throw mass is greater than the market's payloads then your ISP doesn't matter. Better payload fraction means less rocket mass which means less assembly cost (assuming optimal assembly).
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: mvpel on 05/01/2016 02:59 AM
"But the ISP!"    ;D

Risking mod wrath, but I can't resist.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: nadreck on 05/01/2016 03:10 AM
The F9 and FH LEO numbers appear to be inconsistent (28.8 vs 54.4).

Past calcs have always shown the relative payloads as near a factor of 3x higher for the tri-core, instead of less than 2x.
If 28.8 is for an expendable F9, is the FH number for partially reusable?  What would FH fully expendable yield, assuming numbers are correct for F9?

No past calcs have not always shown that. What is happening is that despite tripling the capacity of the booster cores* you are boosting the identical upper stage which has not been tripled. It can only add what it can add its total energy stays the same, and the performance it offers suffers quickly as you increase the payload mass.  This is one of the reasons many of us want to speculate about a Raptor upper stage with 210t of propellant rather than the 115t the current S2 has. It is not just about the modest increase in ΔV, it is about increasing the overall performance of the upper stage with larger payloads.

Oh and for those who say the Falcon Upper stage should not be able to perform as well as claimed for BEO here is my table for ΔV by payload mass on the upper stage and I am using very conservative numbers for upper stage mass compared to some reports (6t vs 4.5t I see some places).

Payload     ΔV (m/s)    Maximum accceleration
mass in
metric tons      
        1      9,754        13.6
        2      9,326        11.9
        3      8,952        10.6
        4      8,620        9.5
        5      8,322        8.7
        10    7,176        6.0
        15    6,375        4.5
        20    5,770        3.7
        25    5,288        3.1
        30    4,893        2.6
        35    4,560        2.3
        40    4,275        2.1
        45    4,028        1.9
        50    3,810        1.7
        55    3,616        1.6


*In fact you more than triple their performance energy wise because the centre core has roughly half the fuel left on it when the two side cores separate which is staging and providing all the energy from 2.5 cores to a half core)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: gongora on 05/01/2016 03:11 AM
Pretty sure Elon has mentioned that a major benefit of Raptor is better ISP...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: MATTBLAK on 05/01/2016 03:14 AM
I look forward to seeing the Falcon family evolve over time. I know there's lots of anecdotes and plans flying around over this and the B.F. rockets, but we have been discussing on this and that thread upper stage upgrades for the Falcon Heavy, powered by some sort of Raptor derivative. 'Oh no', some are scorning; 'No Rocket Lego here! Smack on wrist'. Trouble is, this speculation actually has technical merit and interest.

There's been talk of a subchilled LOX/CH4, 5.2 meter diameter upper stage to match the diameter of the payload fairing (How long? Same length as the current 3.6 meter diameter Dragon second stage?) with a Raptor predecessor of (currently) undefined thrust - I'm guessing about 50% percent greater than the current Merlin 1D vacuum. This would be the first step in developing a 650k thrust Raptor, which I have seen talked about elsewhere. The Falcon Heavy, either fully or partially expendable with the 5.2 meter methane stage might place more than 60 metric tons into L.E.O. and throwing about 20 tons on Trans Mars Injection.

This is the type of launcher that could allow small crew manned missions to Mars and decent-sized manned lunar missions in two launch architectures. And what of the Dragons? The Trunk section of the Dragon has so many useful possibilities and I know some people get annoyed when I and others advocate turning it into a 'Service Module'. No; what I have meant is mounting a propulsion set inside the Trunk - a hypergolic engine with vacuum nozzle peeking out of the Trunk and propellant tanks within. There has been a longer-Trunk concept which I'm not sure Space X is still talking about, that could hold more than twice the propellants. This Dragon 'CSM' could perform a variety of missions. A Mars architecture paper I wrote a few years back had a Long Trunked 'Service Module' Dragon docked to a Habitat module for transit to Mars. The Hab module has 2x attached propulsion Trunks and the combined Propellants were enough to brake the ships into Martian orbit for rendezvous with other Dragon landing craft waiting in Martian orbit.

Yada yada - but you get the ideas...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: su27k on 05/01/2016 04:43 AM
Now webpage is fixed. 22,800 kg everywhere.

To be frank, SpaceX should be embarassed.

Good thing nobody buy launches based on website numbers....

Maybe SpaceX should ask NSF members to proof-read their website changes before taking it live, this 28,800 mistake is very easy to spot for people who has been reading this section religiously.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: camelNotation on 05/01/2016 04:55 AM
Thank you Elon for clarifying the thrust increase.

However, the stage burn time has not been edited, and remains at 162s (2m 42s). It should decrease as thrust goes up.

Link http://www.spacex.com/falcon9 (http://www.spacex.com/falcon9)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lars-J on 05/01/2016 05:54 AM
Thank you Elon for clarifying the thrust increase.

However, the stage burn time has not been edited, and remains at 162s (2m 42s). It should decrease as thrust goes up.

Link http://www.spacex.com/falcon9 (http://www.spacex.com/falcon9)

The error in your assumption is assuming that the previous figures were any more accurate than these. And first stage burn time varies with trajectory and reuse profile. (expended/barge/RTLS)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: docmordrid on 05/01/2016 06:03 AM
And the tweets keep on coming

@elonmusk
F9 thrust at liftoff will be raised to 1.71M lbf later this year. It is capable of 1.9M lbf in flight.
>
Falcon Heavy thrust will be 5.1M lbf at liftoff --  twice any rocket currently flying. It's a beast...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: redliox on 05/01/2016 07:10 AM
I look forward to seeing the Falcon family evolve over time. I know there's lots of anecdotes and plans flying around over this and that B.F. rockets, but we have been discussing on this and that thread upper stage upgrades for the Falcon Heavy, powered by some sort of Raptor derivative. 'Oh no', some are scorning; 'No Rocket Lego here! Smack on wrist'. Trouble is, this speculation actually has technical merit and interest.

There's been talk of a subchilled LOX/CH4, 5.2 meter diameter upper stage to match the diameter of the payload fairing (How long? Same length as the current 3.6 meter Dragon second stage?) with a Raptor predecessor of (currently) undefined thrust - I'm guessing about 50% percent greater than the current Merlin 1D vacuum. This would be the first step in developing a 650k thrust Raptor, which I have seen talked about elsewhere. The Falcon Heavy, either fully or partially expendable with the 5.2 meter methane stage might place more than 60 metric tons into L.E.O. and throwing about 20 tons on Trans Mars Injection.

I am curious about adapting the 2nd stage to methane eventually.  The disadvantage is that there wouldn't be as much commonality between the 2nd and 1st stage components, and needing to keep more of the rocket chilled.  One possibility could be them using LOX-style tanks for methane, which just leaves ensuring an engine that can burn it.

Any way to crunch the numbers to see if a F9/FH would get much gain using methane in place of kerosene specifically for the 2nd stage?  Let's assume dry mass remains the same.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lars-J on 05/01/2016 07:19 AM
I look forward to seeing the Falcon family evolve over time. I know there's lots of anecdotes and plans flying around over this and that B.F. rockets, but we have been discussing on this and that thread upper stage upgrades for the Falcon Heavy, powered by some sort of Raptor derivative. 'Oh no', some are scorning; 'No Rocket Lego here! Smack on wrist'. Trouble is, this speculation actually has technical merit and interest.

There's been talk of a subchilled LOX/CH4, 5.2 meter diameter upper stage to match the diameter of the payload fairing (How long? Same length as the current 3.6 meter Dragon second stage?) with a Raptor predecessor of (currently) undefined thrust - I'm guessing about 50% percent greater than the current Merlin 1D vacuum. This would be the first step in developing a 650k thrust Raptor, which I have seen talked about elsewhere. The Falcon Heavy, either fully or partially expendable with the 5.2 meter methane stage might place more than 60 metric tons into L.E.O. and throwing about 20 tons on Trans Mars Injection.

I am curious about adapting the 2nd stage to methane eventually.  The disadvantage is that there wouldn't be as much commonality between the 2nd and 1st stage components, and needing to keep more of the rocket chilled.  One possibility could be them using LOX-style tanks for methane, which just leaves ensuring an engine that can burn it.

Any way to crunch the numbers to see if a F9/FH would get much gain using methane in place of kerosene specifically for the 2nd stage?  Let's assume dry mass remains the same.

There are entire threads on the subject, here is a 10+ page thread about a Raptor upper stage for F9: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39314.0
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: TheTraveller on 05/01/2016 01:02 PM
As F9 is currently rated at 4,020kg to Mars and 1st MSL cruise mass was 3,893kg, could F9 toss 2020 MSL to Mars?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: spacenut on 05/01/2016 01:59 PM
With the development of Raptor upper stage engine.  Some people have brought up numerous issues about the proposed 5.2m diameter.  How much of a stretch would a Raptor based upper stage be if they used the current tooling and diameter?  Would it be too much for Falcon 9 to adapt?  And would it be too long for stress purposes on top of the Falcon Heavy with a 50-60 ton payload to boot? 
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/01/2016 02:13 PM
I thought SpaceX had said in the past that they weren't looking to do purely expendable launches in the future? So all first stages have landing legs etc and if a payload is too heavy for F9 re-usable then have to use FH instead.

Does the publication of new expendable numbers on the website mean this has changed, or the numbers are just to give a like-for-like comparison with competitors, or something else?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lar on 05/01/2016 02:28 PM
With the development of Raptor upper stage engine.  Some people have brought up numerous issues about the proposed 5.2m diameter.  How much of a stretch would a Raptor based upper stage be if they used the current tooling and diameter?  Would it be too much for Falcon 9 to adapt?  And would it be too long for stress purposes on top of the Falcon Heavy with a 50-60 ton payload to boot? 

DIscussed in depth in the threads devoted to the topic. Probably  more effective to ask there (after review). But after review you'd learn that the consensus is that the current stage would not allow for a fully expanded bell, the raptor upper stage is believed to need a 5m bell
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Mader Levap on 05/01/2016 02:29 PM
As to embarrassed, this puts the F9 up as the most efficient rocket ever at a payload mass fraction of 4.15%.  (22,800kg payload/549,054kg liftoff mass=0.0415)
They should hang their collective head in shame!

Nice non-sequitur. Since you know very well why I think they should be embarassed, I find this kind of rethoric disingenuous.

Indeed. Someone else should be embarrassed by seeing a web site typo as a major embarrassment for SpaceX. ::)

Oh really? Their incorrect number (28,800 kg) caused quite a stir here and in other places. Some people called BS - quite rightly so. Musk posted link to page with incorrect values when those were already up many, many hours. Someone would think they would check page before posting info about it publicly.

It would be very different situation if page changed just before Musk's tweet. But as is, his tweet was seen by me and many others as confirmation that this number is not mistake.

So yes, it should be embarassing for SpaceX. Your downplay will not change that.

Does the publication of new expendable numbers on the website mean this has changed, or the numbers are just to give a like-for-like comparison with competitors, or something else?
It is bragging. AFAIK they do not plan any launches that are expendable. Every flight will have recovery try.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Prettz on 05/01/2016 02:31 PM
Does the publication of new expendable numbers on the website mean this has changed, or the numbers are just to give a like-for-like comparison with competitors, or something else?
It is bragging. AFAIK they do not plan any launches that are expendable. Every flight will have recovery try.
Not necessarily bragging. It's a very useful number to know.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Coastal Ron on 05/01/2016 02:40 PM
It is bragging. AFAIK they do not plan any launches that are expendable. Every flight will have recovery try.

Not bragging, since customers make the choice whether they require expendable or not, which I'm sure is based both on cost as well as physics (i.e. no choice for biggest payloads).
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AncientU on 05/01/2016 02:42 PM
Does the publication of new expendable numbers on the website mean this has changed, or the numbers are just to give a like-for-like comparison with competitors, or something else?
It is bragging. AFAIK they do not plan any launches that are expendable. Every flight will have recovery try.
Not necessarily bragging. It's a very useful number to know.

This is the only way to compare numbers with the existing launch vehicles -- and the Falcons can be flown expendable if someone has to stretch beyond recoverable payloads.  The comparisons have been informative.

When someone else publishes their equivalent numbers on the web, and rapidly evolves their launch vehicles, we'll see how well they do.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: rcoppola on 05/01/2016 02:42 PM
I thought SpaceX had said in the past that they weren't looking to do purely expendable launches in the future? So all first stages have landing legs etc and if a payload is too heavy for F9 re-usable then have to use FH instead.

Does the publication of new expendable numbers on the website mean this has changed, or the numbers are just to give a like-for-like comparison with competitors, or something else?
They're keeping it simple. As they should on the website. Those details are better discussed once a prospective client calls for a lift as there are too many variables. If you were to create a list (spreadsheet) of target orbit, payload mass, ASDS, RTLS, expendable, pre-flown, F9 or FH etc...you'd have an entire website dedicated to all the various divergent possibilities. Not effective for a clear marketing communications. That's why we have NSF.  :) Or should they put something like this together? Personally I get a seizure when I stare at it too long.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: stoker5432 on 05/01/2016 03:25 PM
As F9 is currently rated at 4,020kg to Mars and 1st MSL cruise mass was 3,893kg, could F9 toss 2020 MSL to Mars?

So far the Mars 2020 Rover looks to only be 51kg heavier so I don't see why not, but it looks like the planned LV is an Atlas V.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: baldusi on 05/01/2016 03:53 PM
Mars 2020 has an RTG and thus the LV needs Category 3 certification and Nuclear rating. F9 currently holds a Cat 2 certificate and no nuclear rating. Needs at least 14 straight successes for Cat 3 cert, btw. Could be done with 6 of a fixed design (they haven't yet flown that many F9FT and they already are planning on increasing the thrust). But that requires the sort of certification embbeding that ULA had and caused so much friction with USAF.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/01/2016 04:14 PM
Higher thrust and more payload.   So, is this Falcon 9 v1.3? 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: launchwatcher on 05/01/2016 04:18 PM
Higher thrust and more payload.   So, is this Falcon 9 v1.3? 
Well, do you bump the hardware version number after a software-only change?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: stoker5432 on 05/01/2016 04:19 PM
Mars 2020 has an RTG and thus the LV needs Category 3 certification and Nuclear rating. F9 currently holds a Cat 2 certificate and no nuclear rating. Needs at least 14 straight successes for Cat 3 cert, btw. Could be done with 6 of a fixed design (they haven't yet flown that many F9FT and they already are planning on increasing the thrust). But that requires the sort of certification embbeding that ULA had and caused so much friction with USAF.

This raises a whole bunch of questions as far as future missions with RTG's, but I don't want to derail the thread so I won't raise them here. Thank you for the info though.  :)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Rebel44 on 05/01/2016 04:27 PM
Higher thrust and more payload.   So, is this Falcon 9 v1.3? 

 - Ed Kyle

Since this upgrade is only different software settings, IMO there is no need for a new designation.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: rcoppola on 05/01/2016 04:36 PM
Higher thrust and more payload.   So, is this Falcon 9 v1.3? 

 - Ed Kyle

Since this upgrade is only different software settings, IMO there is no need for a new designation.
Agreed. As Elon said, based on latest launch data from recent flights, they can reduce margin and move to a higher thrust setting.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/01/2016 04:37 PM
Higher thrust and more payload.   So, is this Falcon 9 v1.3? 
Well, do you bump the hardware version number after a software-only change?
Software has a four item number Complete Rewirte.Major upgrade(using new engine version M1C->M1D).minor upgrade(such as FT).build(adjustments of parameters such as throttle change)
So this would equate to a 1.1.FT.x+1
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cscott on 05/01/2016 04:41 PM
I think "just a software change" is probably over-simplifying.  I bet there are additional hardware qualification steps at the higher thrust/higher stress levels, and perhaps there has been sent ongoing refinement of various parts which were seen to be the weak links.  If it were just tweaking a number, why delay?  In fact, the delay is probably because there is more data to gather, improved testing procedures to validate, etc.

The hardware may look identical, but it will have documented better material properties, etc.

Consider modern microprocessors available in several speed grades.  The clock frequency is set in software.  The only "hardware" difference is whether it was tested and validated at the higher frequency.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: rcoppola on 05/01/2016 04:49 PM
I think "just a software change" is probably over-simplifying.  I bet there are additional hardware qualification steps at the higher thrust/higher stress levels, and perhaps there has been sent ongoing refinement of various parts which were seen to be the weak links.  If it were just tweaking a number, why delay?  In fact, the delay is probably because there is more data to gather, improved testing procedures to validate, etc.
Could it be more of a manifest/payload issue? They may need to understand the acoustics of the the higher thrust and how it may or may not effect future payloads? Just a thought.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: ugordan on 05/01/2016 05:07 PM
Viewing this as "software only" is naive. Flight environments will change as a result of a higher liftoff thrust. Fairing aeroloads, structural loads tankage, etc.

No change exists in a vacuum by itself, not even a trivial software change. After F1-03, I hope (and assume) SpaceX is well aware of that as well. Hence the delay in introduction of the thrust upgrade.

The key takeaway from all this is that we really still aren't yet in the frozen design stage of "let's crank them out, launch them and expect no big surprises".
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 05/01/2016 05:08 PM

The key takeaway from all this is that we really still aren't yet in the frozen design stage of "let's crank them out, launch them and expect no big surprises".

Will that ever be the case? Should it?

If tweaking isn't seriously hampering your launch performance, it's a worthy pursuit.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: ugordan on 05/01/2016 05:10 PM
If tweaking isn't seriously hampering your launch performance, it's a worthy pursuit.

It is certainly hampering their schedule. As for the siren call of higher performance, yes, I'm sure it's tough to resist...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: nadreck on 05/01/2016 05:13 PM

The key takeaway from all this is that we really still aren't yet in the frozen design stage of "let's crank them out, launch them and expect no big surprises".

Will that ever be the case? Should it?

If tweaking isn't seriously hampering your launch performance, it's a worthy pursuit.

And with the Falcon family, because it will never be "mature LV" technology, that is fine. But mature LV technology (aka when it is like trains, planes and automobiles) will be when reusable LV come out of assembly lines the same (except for variations from a suite of standard ones that customers choose from) for a year or two at a time. And even when there is a difference between one generation and the next, either generation is fully usable and interchangeable for the core of uses out there.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 05/01/2016 05:16 PM

It is certainly hampering their schedule. As for the siren call of higher performance, yes, I'm sure it's tough to resist...

It certainly was, we don't know if it currently is. Tweaks always have an associated risk of disruption because they are inherently disruptive to operations in nature.

It should be eventually possible to create a culture where the infrastructure itself is optimised for the steady modification of the LV. That would be the true symbol of the commoditization of space launch.

It works for consumer electronics, but that's several orders of magnitude down the sophistication tree in comparison to an LV. Nevertheless I'm confident SpaceX is cracking it... steadily.

Indeed, reuse makes tweaking ever the more convenient because it creates a culture where you expect launch vehicles to have a service life beyond stage separation. You have to factor that a core may be deconstructed multiple times within its lifetime. Airframes can expect to have engine swaps, avionics replaced, all manner of components changed, within an aircraft's lifetime. What SpaceX is going for is somewhere between planes on the operations front and smartphones on the design front.

Be mindful, this may result in some ruds and occasional delays. It may also result in them having the cheapest, most capable launch vehicles and spacecraft in the world. Both go with the territory. Both are as of yet unproven, but there's evidence to support both sides. The philosophy doesn't need to be perfect - it just needs to be better than all of the incumbents, and, as current evidence would seem to imply, it is.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cscott on 05/01/2016 05:24 PM
I think a lot of folks misinterpreted "frozen design" from the start.  The goal was to reduce infrastructure changes, and presumably allow the ground ops team to move on from F9 to FH/Dragon 2/Boca Chica tasks.  You can freeze the parts of the design which interface with GSE and still do a lot of further tweaking... as SpaceX is demonstrating.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lar on 05/01/2016 05:40 PM
Mader Levap has a point about the website though. Having a constantly incorrect site (and inconsistent, it's not just that it's out of date, but different parts are inconsistent with each other, and there's no effective dating so you can judge this) is kind of embarassing. At least I'd be embarassed. But I'm not them. They may prefer a bit of confusion in the fan base.... and use of direct calls to actually sell things... who knows.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: llanitedave on 05/01/2016 05:43 PM
The webmaster should be embarrassed -- and probably is when Elon notices the discrepancy.  But the whole company?  Nah.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: ugordan on 05/01/2016 05:46 PM
You can freeze the parts of the design which interface with GSE and still do a lot of further tweaking... as SpaceX is demonstrating.

And those tweaks can still kill your schedule, which is my point. Case in point, there was over 2 months of delay between the first and 2nd F9 FT launches that were down to fleetwide vehicle issues.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: joek on 05/01/2016 05:50 PM
The capabilities page (http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities) also has a footnote that states:
Quote
* Performance represents max capability on fully expendable vehicle.

For F9, given that 8.3t to GTO is expendable and assuming the $62M for less than 5.5t to GTO is recoverable = 34% recovery penalty.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Rebel44 on 05/01/2016 06:04 PM
any info, about increased thrust of second stage, or increased isp?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: ArbitraryConstant on 05/01/2016 07:03 PM
Since this upgrade is only different software settings, IMO there is no need for a new designation.
Well we need to concisely discuss the thing and it's a significant difference from "v1.1FT" specs, which was already an absurd designation. I'm not calling it ""v1.1FT.1", and I'm not using a designation that doesn't even tell you what the thrust is, so "v1.3" it is. Even if you don't agree with it it's unambiguous.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lars-J on 05/01/2016 07:05 PM
Since this upgrade is only different software settings, IMO there is no need for a new designation.
Well we need to concisely discuss the thing and it's a significant difference from "v1.1FT" specs, which was already an absurd designation. I'm not calling it ""v1.1FT.1", and I'm not using a designation that doesn't even tell you what the thrust is, so "v1.3" it is. Even if you don't agree with it it's unambiguous.
Stop it. Just stop trying to rename/reversion the rocket for every minor tweaks.

ULA tweaks the Atlas V for every launch, yet we don't call it "Atlas V v1.0.2.4A".

This is simply the F9 FT, but without sandbagged performance data.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: ArbitraryConstant on 05/01/2016 07:41 PM
ULA tweaks the Atlas V for every launch, yet we don't call it "Atlas V v1.0.2.4A".
We call it RS-68A for a proportionally smaller increase.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: joek on 05/01/2016 08:08 PM
This is simply the F9 FT, but without sandbagged performance data.

Nominally agree, but how about we wait until we see what SpaceX calls it in their FAA filings (which may be a while)?  In the interim IMHO--until we have evidence of physical engine or structural changes--it's F9 v1.2 (as presently officially referenced) with the throttle stops increased a bit.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Coastal Ron on 05/01/2016 08:26 PM
Since this upgrade is only different software settings, IMO there is no need for a new designation.
Well we need to concisely discuss the thing and it's a significant difference from "v1.1FT" specs, which was already an absurd designation. I'm not calling it ""v1.1FT.1", and I'm not using a designation that doesn't even tell you what the thrust is, so "v1.3" it is. Even if you don't agree with it it's unambiguous.

No, no configuration changes since this was all software related, no hardware changes.  Version numbers only change for hardware capabilities.

My $0.02
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: joek on 05/01/2016 09:10 PM
No, no configuration changes since this was all software related, no hardware changes.  Version numbers only change for hardware capabilities.

Not necessarily.  But we're getting into pedant territory here... Whether an LV change needs to be identified depends on the customer (or the licensing agency).  DOD?  Probably every change needs a discrete identifier.  NASA?  Maybe every change needs a discrete identifier.  FAA?  Some changes need a discrete identifier.  NSF forum?  Hmmmm.... open to discussion.

Given that DOD and NASA are opaque and not generally available to the public, I use the FAA's designation in launch licenses as that is the only publicly available and consistent information available to distinguish LV differences (regardless of what the LV provider states in their PR) which I consider official.

Is the FAA a reasonable reference?  I believe so, as they have harmonized requirements with DOD and NASA.  Have there been any hardware changes between F9 v1.2 and what SpaceX is publishing on their web site today?  Hard to tell, but I doubt it.  But I would wait for the next tranche of SpaceX launch licenses.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cscott on 05/01/2016 09:12 PM
This is simply the F9 FT, but without sandbagged performance data.

Nominally agree, but how about we wait until we see what SpaceX calls it in their FAA filings (which may be a while)?  In the interim IMHO--until we have evidence of physical engine or structural changes--it's F9 v1.2 (as presently officially referenced) with the throttle stops increased a bit.
What it's called on FAA fillings just reflects the feelings of the guy filling out the paperwork on that day.  We've been told what the public name is.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: joek on 05/01/2016 09:30 PM
What it's called on FAA fillings just reflects the feelings of the guy filling out the paperwork on that day.  We've been told what the public name is.

No.  It is SpaceX who is "filling out the paperwork".  It is SpaceX which defines the designation.  It is not "the feelings of the [FAA] guy  filling out the paperwork on that day".  SpaceX chose to designate it F9 v1.2, not the FAA, regardless of what you may have been told the "public name" is.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: rcoppola on 05/01/2016 09:45 PM
Let it be known...that on this...the first day of the fifth month... of the year 2016...of the common era...it shall be named...The Falcon 9.

(and shall we now...please...move on.)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: WindnWar on 05/01/2016 10:40 PM
Given the new numbers that actually puts Falcon 9 at more payload to LEO than Saturn 1B in fully expendable mode. About 100,000 pounds more thrust too.

 :o
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/01/2016 11:14 PM
Let it be known...that on this...the first day of the fifth month... of the year 2016...of the common era...it shall be named...The Falcon 9.

(and shall we now...please...move on.)
That simply does not work.  In 2013, "Falcon 9" was a 68.4 meter tall, 505 tonne rocket with 600 tonne thrust engines that could lift 13.15 tonnes to LEO or 4.85 tonnes to GTO.  In 2015 "Falcon 9" was a 68.4 meter tall, 541 tonne rocket with 694 tonne thrust engines that could lift the same payload as before.  As of yesterday, "Falcon 9" is a 70 meter tall, 549 tonne rocket with 775.65 tonne thrust engines that can put 22.8 tonnes to LEO or 8.3 tonnes to GTO.  These are not identical machines.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cscott on 05/01/2016 11:21 PM
What it's called on FAA fillings just reflects the feelings of the guy filling out the paperwork on that day.  We've been told what the public name is.

No.  It is SpaceX who is "filling out the paperwork".  It is SpaceX which defines the designation.  It is not "the feelings of the [FAA] guy  filling out the paperwork on that day".  SpaceX chose to designate it F9 v1.2, not the FAA, regardless of what you may have been told the "public name" is.
I never said it was an FAA guy filling out the paperwork.

I'll never cease to be amazed at folks who think SpaceX is one monolithic entity (usually called "Elon") all the way from the webmaster to the guy who fills out FAA forms to the crew of the ASDS support ships to Hans in a press conference to whoever wrote the Air Force Raptor contract.

SpaceX has a multitude of people.  They don't always agree.  Some of them (even Elon) are sometimes wrong.

We've been told directly, SpaceX-to-Chris' ear, that the official SpaceX name for the rocket is "Falcon 9".  Ed Kyle has his own reasons for differentiating the rockets and he can call it what he wants for that purpose.  It doesn't change the official name of the rocket, even if one guy at SpaceX also calls it that when he fills out FAA paperwork.

I don't mind folks calling the rocket different things.  It's just the cockeyed reasons why everyone thinks their term is "best" or "the real name" that gets me.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: ugordan on 05/01/2016 11:26 PM
These are not identical machines.

Given SpaceX' propensity to tweak the vehicles, that probably holds true even for ones that did look identical from the outside. So now what?

A RS-68A Delta IV is still called a Delta IV.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: macpacheco on 05/01/2016 11:33 PM
I'd love to see SpaceX just once fly an 8 ton to GTO-1800 or equivalent (lower mass higher orbit) mission. Just once, forget about recovery and show the world what this baby can do !

8.3 tons to GTO... That is enough to put nightmares in the competitions dreams. Sleep tight, SpaceX is coming for your lunch !
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AncientU on 05/01/2016 11:36 PM
Let it be known...that on this...the first day of the fifth month... of the year 2016...of the common era...it shall be named...The Falcon 9.

(and shall we now...please...move on.)
That simply does not work.  In 2013, "Falcon 9" was a 68.4 meter tall, 505 tonne rocket with 600 tonne thrust engines that could lift 13.15 tonnes to LEO or 4.85 tonnes to GTO.  In 2015 "Falcon 9" was a 68.4 meter tall, 541 tonne rocket with 694 tonne thrust engines that could lift the same payload as before.  As of yesterday, "Falcon 9" is a 70 meter tall, 549 tonne rocket with 775.65 tonne thrust engines that can put 22.8 tonnes to LEO or 8.3 tonnes to GTO.  These are not identical machines.

 - Ed Kyle

I suspect the design is 'Frozen' more because they've run out of ways to jam more fuel into a 3.66m cylinder.

Oh wait, could make second stage 5.2m with a Raptor... ::)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: deruch on 05/01/2016 11:40 PM
What it's called on FAA fillings just reflects the feelings of the guy filling out the paperwork on that day.  We've been told what the public name is.

No.  It is SpaceX who is "filling out the paperwork".  It is SpaceX which defines the designation.  It is not "the feelings of the [FAA] guy  filling out the paperwork on that day".  SpaceX chose to designate it F9 v1.2, not the FAA, regardless of what you may have been told the "public name" is.

The fact that it is designated F9v1.2 in FAA filings is a legacy of the fact that they had to apply for launch licenses for the vehicle before they had settled on an official name.  And once they used it for the first application, they got stuck with it for future FAA license filings even after they had decided not to use that one.  It was only ever a placeholder of convenience (now one of inconvenience I guess, as it is leading to additional confusion).
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: joek on 05/01/2016 11:52 PM
The fact that it is designated F9v1.2 in FAA filings is a legacy of the fact that they had to apply for launch licenses for the vehicle before they had settled on an official name.  And once they used it for the first application, they got stuck with it for future FAA license filings even after they had decided not to use that one.  It was only ever a placeholder of convenience (now one of inconvenience I guess, as it is leading to additional confusion).

And you know that how?  There were two consecutive widely-spaced calendar filings with SpaceX using the designation F9 v1.2.  SpaceX could have changed the designation.  There is nothing stopping they from doing so.  They did not.  Its official designation is F9 v1.2, as chosen by SpaceX.  End of story.  Can we now stop this incessant debate?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/02/2016 12:08 AM
We've been told directly, SpaceX-to-Chris' ear, that the official SpaceX name for the rocket is "Falcon 9". 
A SpaceX guy told us on L2 at one point that the name was "Falcon 9 v1.1 Full Thrust".  Go figure.

I'm going to start using "v1.2" because I've already used "FT", which I now see as an interim "Upgrade" version with the stretched second stage.  This new thing revealed yesterday with much higher thrust and payload performance must be "v1.2".  At least we have that FAA bit saying so, which is more than SpaceX is telling us. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: joek on 05/02/2016 12:13 AM
It's not a debate, AFAICT you're the only one who believes that the FAA filing is somehow the Word of Elon.
FAA license is the Word of Elon, as passed down through those at SpaceX responsible for obtaining the FAA launch license.  And the Word was "Falcon 9 v1.2", as stated on the FAA launch license.  Anyway, enough of this.  Call it whatever you want.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Coastal Ron on 05/02/2016 12:25 AM
  Can we now stop this incessant debate?

It's not a debate, AFAICT you're the only one who believes that the FAA filing is somehow the Word of Elon.

Just to add a different perspective, the FAA filings likely to reflect what SpaceX internally designates the current Falcon 9, since I would not be surprised if SpaceX has just forwarded their internal configuration identifier to the FAA.

As someone that's been in manufacturing operations, and had to deal with the whole variety of designators (i.e. revision numbers, dash numbers, family numbers, meaningless identifiers, etc.), internally calling the latest version of the Falcon 9 the v1.2 would not surprise me, since the previous version was v1.1.

I think part of the reason for all the disagreement comes from what SpaceX communicates to the outside world, and I would advocate that those communications can be different from what they call it on the inside.

Regardless though, since all future Falcon 9 are just "Falcon 9" for now, so kind of academic.

My $0.02
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: rcoppola on 05/02/2016 12:35 AM
For the record, when referring to the F9s User's Guide on the Website. (It needs to be updated. I sent Elon a reminder to do so, I'm sure he'll get right on it.)

"As of summer 2015, Falcon 9 is upgraded from its previous v1.1 configuration (flown from 2013 – summer 2015)" Make of that what you will. As well as whatever they will call it when they update the Users Guide.

http://www.spacex.com/sites/spacex/files/falcon_9_users_guide_rev_2.0.pdf
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: IainMcClatchie on 05/02/2016 01:19 AM
For those of us who are trying to make models which match the reported performance numbers, a change in thrust corresponds to another set of parameters to match.

I suppose if I were doing this right I'd be trying to match against every known flight.  Those change due to the different orbit targets.  I still use the 1.0, 1.1, FT designations to guess the liftoff and vacuum thrust levels.

I've seen a statement that the LANDING burn for SES-9 used three engines.  That makes no sense to me, as it would greatly exacerbate the biggest problem with the landing manoever, which is that the stage control system has very hardly any time in which to make any corrections.

I'd also like confirmation that the re-entry burn uses three engines.  Once again, this doesn't make much sense to me, since with greater thrust during upper atmosphere re-entry you get less drag component.  To get zero-thrust drag equal to just one engine full throttle (914 kN), at 1000 m/s and Cd=1.0 you'd need to be at ~51,000 feet MSL (174 g/m^3), which is pretty low.  That suggests to me that they are re-entering with one engine at lowest throttle setting, and while doing so, they are probably losing at least half the available drag.  Drag would be basically zero at any throttle setting with three engines.

I understand that the velocity null burn is three engines.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 05/02/2016 01:25 AM
All of this and more has been confirmed. Do searches of past threads.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lars-J on 05/02/2016 01:33 AM
Let it be known...that on this...the first day of the fifth month... of the year 2016...of the common era...it shall be named...The Falcon 9.

(and shall we now...please...move on.)
That simply does not work.  In 2013, "Falcon 9" was a 68.4 meter tall, 505 tonne rocket with 600 tonne thrust engines that could lift 13.15 tonnes to LEO or 4.85 tonnes to GTO.  In 2015 "Falcon 9" was a 68.4 meter tall, 541 tonne rocket with 694 tonne thrust engines that could lift the same payload as before.  As of yesterday, "Falcon 9" is a 70 meter tall, 549 tonne rocket with 775.65 tonne thrust engines that can put 22.8 tonnes to LEO or 8.3 tonnes to GTO.  These are not identical machines.

 - Ed Kyle

Obviously not, but such is life. On the other hand, this "rocket" has the same exterior dimensions as F9 FT, but with engines running at higher thrust level. You can whine about it or accept it.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/02/2016 04:29 AM
Let it be known...that on this...the first day of the fifth month... of the year 2016...of the common era...it shall be named...The Falcon 9.

(and shall we now...please...move on.)
That simply does not work.  In 2013, "Falcon 9" was a 68.4 meter tall, 505 tonne rocket with 600 tonne thrust engines that could lift 13.15 tonnes to LEO or 4.85 tonnes to GTO.  In 2015 "Falcon 9" was a 68.4 meter tall, 541 tonne rocket with 694 tonne thrust engines that could lift the same payload as before.  As of yesterday, "Falcon 9" is a 70 meter tall, 549 tonne rocket with 775.65 tonne thrust engines that can put 22.8 tonnes to LEO or 8.3 tonnes to GTO.  These are not identical machines.

 - Ed Kyle

Obviously not, but such is life. On the other hand, this "rocket" has the same exterior dimensions as F9 FT, but with engines running at higher thrust level. You can whine about it or accept it.
I'm not going to accept it, because it is inaccurate and incomplete.  I'm not planning on "whining" either.  Until we learn the real designators, I'll use place-holder names on my web site.  Unless SpaceX provides the names, I'll have to guess.  Maybe "Rocket 1", "Rocket 2", etc.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Kabloona on 05/02/2016 04:40 AM
For those of us who are trying to make models which match the reported performance numbers, a change in thrust corresponds to another set of parameters to match.

I suppose if I were doing this right I'd be trying to match against every known flight.  Those change due to the different orbit targets.  I still use the 1.0, 1.1, FT designations to guess the liftoff and vacuum thrust levels.

I've seen a statement that the LANDING burn for SES-9 used three engines.  That makes no sense to me, as it would greatly exacerbate the biggest problem with the landing manoever, which is that the stage control system has very hardly any time in which to make any corrections.

I'd also like confirmation that the re-entry burn uses three engines.  Once again, this doesn't make much sense to me, since with greater thrust during upper atmosphere re-entry you get less drag component.  To get zero-thrust drag equal to just one engine full throttle (914 kN), at 1000 m/s and Cd=1.0 you'd need to be at ~51,000 feet MSL (174 g/m^3), which is pretty low.  That suggests to me that they are re-entering with one engine at lowest throttle setting, and while doing so, they are probably losing at least half the available drag.  Drag would be basically zero at any throttle setting with three engines.

I understand that the velocity null burn is three engines.

Yes, the landing burn used three engines. Yes, it would give less time for the stage to correct its attitude. But the rationale was, using three engines instead of one significantly reduces gravity losses and therefore the amount of propellant used. They probably calculated that, on this high-performance mission, their propellant margin would be negative with the usual single-engine landing burn, and the only way to have a chance of not running out of propellant was to do a three-engine landing burn. So they increased their odds of successful  landing from zero to some small non-zero number.

And yes, entry burn also uses three engines, for the same reason. The lower your thrust level, the more propellant you waste in gravity loss. The way to minimize propellant used to reach a target entry speed is to burn at as high thrust as possible, ie all three engines at full thrust.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: meekGee on 05/02/2016 05:18 AM
For those of us who are trying to make models which match the reported performance numbers, a change in thrust corresponds to another set of parameters to match.

I suppose if I were doing this right I'd be trying to match against every known flight.  Those change due to the different orbit targets.  I still use the 1.0, 1.1, FT designations to guess the liftoff and vacuum thrust levels.

I've seen a statement that the LANDING burn for SES-9 used three engines.  That makes no sense to me, as it would greatly exacerbate the biggest problem with the landing manoever, which is that the stage control system has very hardly any time in which to make any corrections.

I'd also like confirmation that the re-entry burn uses three engines.  Once again, this doesn't make much sense to me, since with greater thrust during upper atmosphere re-entry you get less drag component.  To get zero-thrust drag equal to just one engine full throttle (914 kN), at 1000 m/s and Cd=1.0 you'd need to be at ~51,000 feet MSL (174 g/m^3), which is pretty low.  That suggests to me that they are re-entering with one engine at lowest throttle setting, and while doing so, they are probably losing at least half the available drag.  Drag would be basically zero at any throttle setting with three engines.

I understand that the velocity null burn is three engines.

Yes, the landing burn used three engines. Yes, it would give less time for the stage to correct its attitude. But the rationale was, using three engines instead of one significantly reduces gravity losses and therefore the amount of propellant used. They probably calculated that, on this high-performance mission, their propellant margin would be negative with the usual single-engine landing burn, and the only way to have a chance of not running out of propellant was to do a three-engine landing burn. So they increased their odds of successful  landing from zero to some small non-zero number.

And yes, entry burn also uses three engines, for the same reason. The lower your thrust level, the more propellant you waste in gravity loss. The way to minimize propellant used to reach a target entry speed is to burn at as high thrust as possible, ie all three engines at full thrust.

The objective is not to maximize drag, because by that logic you would also maximize aero heating, which is what you are trying to minimize in the first place with the entry burn. The objective is to slow the stage *before* it experiences significant heating (and drag) using the minimum amount of propellant.

I think another objective (for which one engine would have sufficed) is to keep the stage straight in the area where there's enough air to cause heating, but not enough to give you control.  I don't think the gas thrusters are powerful enough for that. (remember the first few F9s?)

So basically keeping it steady and slowing it down.   

The magic ingredient is:  Secret Sauce!
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: MP99 on 05/02/2016 08:11 AM


Let it be known...that on this...the first day of the fifth month... of the year 2016...of the common era...it shall be named...The Falcon 9.

(and shall we now...please...move on.)
That simply does not work.  In 2013, "Falcon 9" was a 68.4 meter tall, 505 tonne rocket with 600 tonne thrust engines that could lift 13.15 tonnes to LEO or 4.85 tonnes to GTO.  In 2015 "Falcon 9" was a 68.4 meter tall, 541 tonne rocket with 694 tonne thrust engines that could lift the same payload as before.  As of yesterday, "Falcon 9" is a 70 meter tall, 549 tonne rocket with 775.65 tonne thrust engines that can put 22.8 tonnes to LEO or 8.3 tonnes to GTO.  These are not identical machines.

 - Ed Kyle

Obviously not, but such is life. On the other hand, this "rocket" has the same exterior dimensions as F9 FT, but with engines running at higher thrust level. You can whine about it or accept it.
I'm not going to accept it, because it is inaccurate and incomplete.  I'm not planning on "whining" either.  Until we learn the real designators, I'll use place-holder names on my web site.  Unless SpaceX provides the names, I'll have to guess.  Maybe "Rocket 1", "Rocket 2", etc.

 - Ed Kyle

Since they're calling it "full thrust", why not call yours the "1.71 mlbf thrust" version, etc?

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: yg1968 on 05/02/2016 05:40 PM
This isn't new but I noticed that SpaceX included a link for private crew transportation services on its website:

http://www.spacex.com/news/2013/05/19/spacex-crew-program

It would be interesting to find out if they have had any interest in these space tourism services.

Quote from: SpaceX
[...] SpaceX can also offer crew transportation services to commercial customers seeking to transport astronauts to alternate LEO destinations. This is a turn-key program that will encompass several elements as a service, and will be tailored to customer-specific needs and objectives:

•Training of crew for a variety of missions including nominal, contingency and emergency scenarios
•Development of custom programs
•Mission design
•Mission simulations
•Mission support during all phases
•Transport of astronauts to designated orbital destinations
•On-orbit science and educational payload support
•Logistics support
•Post de-orbit support
•Public affairs and educational outreach support
•Documentation of all phases of mission to support customer

This service relies upon the Falcon family of launch vehicles and the Dragon spacecraft. [...]

Falcon family of LV would include the FH, I would imagine. But the FH seems like overkill for a LEO destination.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: OxCartMark on 05/02/2016 06:46 PM
Can someone splain me why the upcomingly revised F9's thrust increases if flight from 1.7 mlbf to 1.9?  Is it caused by reduced atmospheric pressure?  By acceleration feeding the pumps with pre-pressurized fuel?  Is it that they aren't yet up to full power at the moment of release?

As for the name of the F9 version... SpaceX has some things they do well, some they don't, and some that they're utter failures at.  Version numbers and naming is something that they totally fail at.  I think they use some BOM configuration software that makes the composition of every individual rocket very apparent to those inside the company that have access to that software and they probably don't refer to it other than to piecemeal such as "this one has the new leg cylinders that Bob and his people have been working on".  Then when they are talking with outsiders and want to communicate a significant change whoever is talking makes something up to try to differentiate it from the previous and this making up isn't consistent.  It would be very easy for them to be better with this.  Perhaps appoint a communications major intern to chart the major changes and assign names and let the folks that have talking parts know what they have to say.  The biggest area of name faux pauxness in my mind is when Elon unveiled the Dragon 2 / D2 / Crew Dragon or whatever it is by calling it the V2.  The V2 rocket name was already used in the 1940s and it wasn't a good thing.  Kinda like the European rocket people calling their rocket the Aryan rocket, you know?

SpaceX's Website is for a company so into software nowhere near what it should be.  I'm not saying they have to give us more information, but they should at least keep what they have correct and consistent.  Not difficult since there is only basic info there.

Hard for me to reconcile with both SpaceX and Elon that you can be both the greatest and also incompetent in small areas that most people could manage.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: S.Paulissen on 05/02/2016 06:56 PM
The increased ISP you get from going from sea level to a vacuum is from gaining increased thrust for the same propellant mass.   So, yes, it's because of the decreased atmospheric pressure limiting your thrust.

EDIT:  Confirmed by:
http://www.spacex.com/falcon9
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Rebel44 on 05/02/2016 07:38 PM
.......  The biggest area of name faux pauxness in my mind is when Elon unveiled the Dragon 2 / D2 / Crew Dragon or whatever it is by calling it the V2.  The V2 rocket name was already used in the 1940s and it wasn't a good thing.  Kinda like the European rocket people calling their rocket the Aryan rocket, you know?......

its v2 - as in second version - not V2
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: kuldan on 05/02/2016 08:03 PM
.......  The biggest area of name faux pauxness in my mind is when Elon unveiled the Dragon 2 / D2 / Crew Dragon or whatever it is by calling it the V2.  The V2 rocket name was already used in the 1940s and it wasn't a good thing.  Kinda like the European rocket people calling their rocket the Aryan rocket, you know?......

its v2 - as in second version - not V2

Also, to mispronounce "Ariane", a relatively common female first Name, as "Aryan", you have to be a special kind of snowflake... like when german people rape "Jaqueline" as Schakkeline or something like that... or would you call your aunt Rachel up on that her name means Revenge in german (mispronouncing RAchel as RaCHe)...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: ClayJar on 05/02/2016 09:09 PM
My girlfriend's sister drove a Ford Mustang.  Looked nothing like the Ford Mustang our dive shop owner was restoring, which itself was nothing at all like the Ford Mustang he had already finished restoring.  Meanwhile, a coworker's wife just got a brand new Ford Mustang.

A Ford Mustang can be referred to as just "Ford Mustang" without being incorrect or dishonest.  It can be referred to by generation if differentiating between the boxy third generation, the much nicer fifth generation, or a vintage classic.  You can refer to model years, body styles, and trim levels if you want to differentiate more.  (Apparently there were three successively higher thrust versions of the fifth-generation Ford Mustang's Shelby GT500 variant in the space of four years, all called the same thing.)

All these repeated discussions about what to call a particular Falcon 9 seem to be flying opposing solos.  Yes, they're all just Falcon 9.  No, this Falcon 9 isn't the same generation Falcon 9 as the Falcon 9 that flew the first CRS flights, and that Falcon 9 isn't the same as the first one with the octaweb.  Sure, it can be handy to use some shorthand, but if there isn't a One True Designation available to us by divine fiat, where differentiation is helpful, we can use any method we'd like.

Personally, I'm waiting for the SpaceX Shelby Falcon 9 GTO1500 hardtop convertible.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: mfck on 05/02/2016 09:31 PM
Let it be known...that on this...the first day of the fifth month... of the year 2016...of the common era...it shall be named...The Falcon 9.

(and shall we now...please...move on.)
That simply does not work.  In 2013, "Falcon 9" was a 68.4 meter tall, 505 tonne rocket with 600 tonne thrust engines that could lift 13.15 tonnes to LEO or 4.85 tonnes to GTO.  In 2015 "Falcon 9" was a 68.4 meter tall, 541 tonne rocket with 694 tonne thrust engines that could lift the same payload as before.  As of yesterday, "Falcon 9" is a 70 meter tall, 549 tonne rocket with 775.65 tonne thrust engines that can put 22.8 tonnes to LEO or 8.3 tonnes to GTO.  These are not identical machines.

 - Ed Kyle

Obviously not, but such is life. On the other hand, this "rocket" has the same exterior dimensions as F9 FT, but with engines running at higher thrust level. You can whine about it or accept it.
I'm not going to accept it, because it is inaccurate and incomplete.  I'm not planning on "whining" either.  Until we learn the real designators, I'll use place-holder names on my web site.  Unless SpaceX provides the names, I'll have to guess.  Maybe "Rocket 1", "Rocket 2", etc.

 - Ed Kyle
May I suggest you name the rockets on your site after great scholasticists. "William of Okham" is a great name, imho.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: ethan829 on 05/02/2016 09:49 PM
its v2 - as in second version - not V2

That's not how they presented it though...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cf_-g3UWQ04 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cf_-g3UWQ04)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/02/2016 09:57 PM
By Spring 2015 SpaceX was calling it "Crew Dragon".  Five days ago, SpaceX issued a tweet that called it "Dragon 2".   I wonder what it will be called tomorrow.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AS-503 on 05/02/2016 10:11 PM
By Spring 2015 SpaceX was calling it "Crew Dragon".  Five days ago, SpaceX issued a tweet that called it "Dragon 2".   I wonder what it will be called tomorrow.

 - Ed Kyle

Some cried foul over "Manned Dragon" because that's sexist. 
Some cried foul over "Dragon V2" because that's Nazi. 
While others cry foul for....for what reason again?   ::)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: jongoff on 05/03/2016 04:22 AM
Dumb question that may have already been answered about the new performance numbers.

Looking at Falcon Heavy, they state that the GTO performance in fully expendable mode is ~22.2mT, but the $90M price point is only for launches with less than 8mT to GTO.

In the case of the latest single core Falcon 9, it says the $62M is for GTO launches of <5.5mT, when it says the max expendable GTO number is 8.3mT.

Now, downrating from 8.3mT to 5.5mT to GTO for Falcon 9 to account for first stage recovery/reuse seems to make sense. That's about a 34% hit, which is right in the range I've heard people talking about for first stage landing/recovery.

But downrating from 22.2mT to 8mT to GTO for FH for booster/first stage reuse seems kind of a steep penalty to me, or am I misunderstanding what their website is saying? If I'm not misunderstanding it, and reuse of all three first stages on FH is really that performance expensive, I wonder what the price would be if you only wanted to recover the two side boosters, but let the core booster be expended?

~Jon
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: rocx on 05/03/2016 04:43 AM
I suppose the 8mt to GTO for Falcon Heavy is with all three cores returned to the landing zone with some margin, which is why it's the cheapest. Recovering the center booster on an ASDS adds performance and cost. Expending the center booster even more.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: su27k on 05/03/2016 05:39 AM
Another random observation on the new GTO price, inspired by another thread: By bumping GTO capability to 5.5mT, they reduced $/kg for GTO to $11.27M/mT, this is actually cheaper than the earliest F9 web price (5.2m fairing $35M for 3,100kg to GTO [1]) of $11.29M/mT, a lot cheaper if you take inflation into account.

Good job for SpaceX to disprove the axiom that paper rocket is always cheaper than real ones.

[1] Earliest F9 web price found on the Internet Archive: http://web.archive.org/web/20050924022643/http://spacex.com/falcon_overview.php
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: GWH on 05/03/2016 05:53 AM
What I would really like to know is what the price for expendable flights at full capacity is?  Is that marked up with Spacex hoping to make up for pricing 1st flight recoverable cores at a loss? Cover development costs by pricing by mass, where the newly published full capacity comes at a premium?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Coastal Ron on 05/03/2016 06:36 AM
What I would really like to know is what the price for expendable flights at full capacity is?

The prices on the SpaceX website are for fully expendable launches.  Max capability.

Quote
Is that marked up with Spacex hoping to make up for pricing 1st flight recoverable cores at a loss? Cover development costs by pricing by mass, where the newly published full capacity comes at a premium?

Musk tweeted that recoverable stages would have 30-40% less capacity, and Shotwell stated that reused stages would be about 30% less than never flown stages.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: sewebster on 05/03/2016 06:39 AM
The prices on the SpaceX website are for fully expendable launches.  Max capability.

No? The prices are for the payload mass listed next to the price. The max capability is listed below, and presumably costs something different...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Zed_Noir on 05/03/2016 06:46 AM
What I would really like to know is what the price for expendable flights at full capacity is?  Is that marked up with Spacex hoping to make up for pricing 1st flight recoverable cores at a loss? Cover development costs by pricing by mass, where the newly published full capacity comes at a premium?

The price might also depends on if you are using previous flown cores.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: MP99 on 05/03/2016 06:50 AM


Dumb question that may have already been answered about the new performance numbers.

Looking at Falcon Heavy, they state that the GTO performance in fully expendable mode is ~22.2mT, but the $90M price point is only for launches with less than 8mT to GTO.

In the case of the latest single core Falcon 9, it says the $62M is for GTO launches of <5.5mT, when it says the max expendable GTO number is 8.3mT.

Now, downrating from 8.3mT to 5.5mT to GTO for Falcon 9 to account for first stage recovery/reuse seems to make sense. That's about a 34% hit, which is right in the range I've heard people talking about for first stage landing/recovery.

But downrating from 22.2mT to 8mT to GTO for FH for booster/first stage reuse seems kind of a steep penalty to me, or am I misunderstanding what their website is saying? If I'm not misunderstanding it, and reuse of all three first stages on FH is really that performance expensive, I wonder what the price would be if you only wanted to recover the two side boosters, but let the core booster be expended?

~Jon

Agree with rocx re possibly due to 3x RTLS.

But also, I wondered why they only quote a price for GTO launches, and I think the word of the day here is "commoditisation".

ISTM that GTO / super synchronous launches are pretty simple to integrate. They've either flown this bus already on a previous flight, or may expect to fly same in the future so they'll add it into their "library". The launch itself is constrained to a standard perigee, and choice of apogee which determines shortfall-from-GSO. The only other variable is launch time, which determines shadowing of the spacecraft in the early orbits.

So, basically, routine. But, if you're looking for routine, does the commodity ground processing exist for CommSats > 8t at the Cape? (Would be interested to hear answers on that, BTW.)

Ditto for Dragon launches to ISS. Been there, done that.

LEO / MEO launches are more likely to have an unusual spacecraft, and possibly a dispenser for multiple craft. Less commodity, more unique? Not sure if that also increases the ground handling that SpaceX would need to do, and the risk of spacecraft-driven delays?

Not sure re TLI & TMI launches? I'd think at least a greater level of cooperation with the spacecraft’s trajectory-planning team, and maybe other constraints on ground processing (planetary protection, etc)?

TL;DR CommSats < 8t may be more routine than any other category of spacecraft (except Dragon).

Thoughts?

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Zed_Noir on 05/03/2016 07:08 AM
...
But downrating from 22.2mT to 8mT to GTO for FH for booster/first stage reuse seems kind of a steep penalty to me, or am I misunderstanding what their website is saying? If I'm not misunderstanding it, and reuse of all three first stages on FH is really that performance expensive, I wonder what the price would be if you only wanted to recover the two side boosters, but let the core booster be expended?

~Jon

My guess is that SpaceX is sandbagging the reuse Heavy's GTO payload number until they get some data on how the recovered cores is holding up structurally. Brand new cores should be able to do 22.2mT to GTO once. Not so sure reuse cores can do repeated 8mT+ to GTO. After all no one had any data on re-flown cores with many flights in their service life.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cuddihy on 05/03/2016 11:09 AM
What would make a reused core have lowered payload on the second launch exactly? If the engines are still good, there's no reason to think the core is functionally any different the second time it launches... I think you're misunderstanding Gwenn when she's referring to the additional margin required for reusability each time it launches.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/03/2016 12:18 PM
10 posts about Crewed Dragon's name....it's Dragon 2. It was Dragon V2, but they dropped the V later on for obvious reasons. They dropped "Full Thrust" for another "awkward" reason. I got both of those from near the very top of SpaceX, enough for me to stop using both in articles. :P (Had to trim a bit as one member threw his toys out of the cot).

We've moved on since, so let that mooooove on, as the Rocket Cows would say.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/03/2016 01:20 PM
10 posts about Crewed Dragon's name....it's Dragon 2. It was Dragon V2, but they dropped the V later on for obvious reasons. They dropped "Full Thrust" for another "awkward" reason. I got both of those from near the very top of SpaceX, enough for me to stop using both in articles. :P (Had to trim a bit as one member threw his toys out of the cot).

We've moved on since, so let that mooooove on, as the Rocket Cows would say.
Thank you Chris.  You are a news hound!

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: envy887 on 05/03/2016 01:38 PM
They are probably sandbagged, but not because reused cores have lower performance. More likely they need to fly FH a few times to learn exactly what performance and margins they can get out of it... Just like they did with F9.

I doubt they are sandbagged too much though, because FH gets most of its performance by flinging the center booster as high and fast as possible (because the upper stage is undersized) which makes full recovery very difficult for GTO payloads over 10t or so.

I'd estimate that expending the center core gets 15 or even 18t to GTO but adds less 50% to the list price.

...
But downrating from 22.2mT to 8mT to GTO for FH for booster/first stage reuse seems kind of a steep penalty to me, or am I misunderstanding what their website is saying? If I'm not misunderstanding it, and reuse of all three first stages on FH is really that performance expensive, I wonder what the price would be if you only wanted to recover the two side boosters, but let the core booster be expended?

~Jon

My guess is that SpaceX is sandbagging the reuse Heavy's GTO payload number until they get some data on how the recovered cores is holding up structurally. Brand new cores should be able to do 22.2mT to GTO once. Not so sure reuse cores can do repeated 8mT+ to GTO. After all no one had any data on re-flown cores with many flights in their service life.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: GWH on 05/03/2016 02:37 PM
IMO it's $62M for 5.5mt to GTO on a new core at reuse capacity,as per what is listed on the website. Used cores $40M for same capacity. Expendable at new upgrade  capacity for some new higher number.  At least until I hear otherwise and the space news article didn't cite a source for the statement they made.
SpaceX made upgrades to allow for recovery at the same price per max payload they listed for the v1.1, costs to upgrade rocket and GSE for densified prop must have been expensive. So if their new expendable capacity is so much higher than charge for it and level the playing field for FH reuse pricing.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: nadreck on 05/03/2016 04:01 PM
I posted this on another thread but it is very relevant to the discussion in the last few posts and it does confuse me because I just don't see the numbers making perfect business sense with the sort of numbers we (many of us on NSF) have suggested before represent realistic assumptions for F9 first stage costs.

From my table (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39181.msg1521480#msg1521480) before the new thrust levels were announced it looked like all 3 FH cores RTLS could loft 7t to GTO - I am guessing that $90M price tag is RTLS on all 3 cores for some reason even though we know that the 5.5 on F9 is ASDS recovery at $62M.

Something I will point out is that the cost per kg to GTO is virtually the same if you are lofting 5.5t to GTO on an F9 or 8t on an FH, given the stated maximum on an expended F9 is stated at 8.3t I don't believe that this is consistent with S1 cores at the $20M - $25M price point to manufacture that many people here have settled on previously. Even if a brand new S1 costs $30M throwing away a core on an F9 should cost less than the $28M differential from an F9 to and FH recoverable, especially if the F9 launch was ASDS for its one core and the FH launch was RTLS for all 3.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: GWH on 05/03/2016 04:05 PM
I'd like to add some numbers to my opinions.
From the previous pricing of the F9 v1.1 we have this:
F9 v1.1 $61.2M for 4.85 mT to GTO =$12,600/kg .  FH v1.1 $90M for 6.4mT to GTO = $14,100/kg
http://wayback.archive.org/web/20160104000832/http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities

Now we have:
F9 v1.2 $62M for 5.5mT to GTO = $11,300/kg.  FH v1.2 $90M for 8.0mT to GTO = $11,300/kg
Nice, 10% lower cost from what was previously advertised, also note the $/kg for FH and F9 at recoverable capacity is the same.
Reused cores $40M for 5.5mT to GTO? = $7300/kg. 
A reused FH would be $58M at that $/kg rate.

If the F9 V1.2 was truly selling expendable flights at only $62M that would work out to $7500/kg - not much incentive there to fly used.
If instead that expendable rocket sold on a fixed $/kg price at the advertised $11,300/kg how much would it cost? $94M.  Sounds like a good incentive for a customer to bump up to the FH and allow SpaceX to try for recovery of the whole lot with 3 core RTLS.

What reason would SpaceX have to give away profitability on a $/kg basis on expendable flights when Elon's whole goal is to reduce costs through reuse?

Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: wannamoonbase on 05/03/2016 04:13 PM
I'd like to add some numbers to my opinions.
From the previous pricing of the F9 v1.1 we have this:
F9 v1.1 $61.2M for 4.85 mT to GTO =$12,600/kg .  FH v1.1 $90M for 6.4mT to GTO = $14,100/kg
http://wayback.archive.org/web/20160104000832/http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities

Now we have:
F9 v1.2 $62M for 5.5mT to GTO = $11,300/kg.  FH v1.2 $90M for 8.0mT to GTO = $11,300/kg
Nice, 10% lower cost from what was previously advertised, also note the $/kg for FH and F9 at recoverable capacity is the same.
Reused cores $40M for 5.5mT to GTO? = $7300/kg. 
A reused FH would be $58M at that $/kg rate.

If the F9 V1.2 was truly selling expendable flights at only $62M that would work out to $7500/kg - not much incentive there to fly used.
If instead that expendable rocket sold on a fixed $/kg price at the advertised $11,300/kg how much would it cost? $94M.  Sounds like a good incentive for a customer to bump up to the FH and allow SpaceX to try for recovery of the whole lot with 3 core RTLS.

What reason would SpaceX have to give away profitability on a $/kg basis on expendable flights when Elon's whole goal is to reduce costs through reuse?

Keep in mind that currently all estimates of refurbishment and re-useability costs have a wide margin of error.

If reuse works out, and as they acquire experience and make improvements it seems likely these numbers will improve.  Especially with the next generation family of vehicles follow the Falcon.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Stan-1967 on 05/03/2016 04:43 PM

What reason would SpaceX have to give away profitability on a $/kg basis on expendable flights when Elon's whole goal is to reduce costs through reuse?

A good reason would be that current customers are not booking "kilograms" to orbit, they book a payload to orbit.   Until a market evolves, such as propellant, water, etc., that has kilograms as the payload metric, & is scalable within a launch profile, it will remain the best path for SpaceX to price vehicles as they are.    For a given flight profile, i.e DPL, or RTLS, the price will be set by the ammortization rate on the boosters, drone ships +crew, landing pads etc.   Within the flight profile of each case, the costs will be treated as fixed.   
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: matthewkantar on 05/03/2016 04:57 PM
SpaceX is patiently retraining everybody who thinks about and uses rockets. Does Delta airlines publish a price for a "fully expendable" Boeing 787? The vision is to get the world to the point where you wouldn't think of throwing out a perfectly good machine, just about booking or building a more capable one.

Enjoy, Matthew
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: jongoff on 05/03/2016 05:03 PM
I doubt they are sandbagged too much though, because FH gets most of its performance by flinging the center booster as high and fast as possible (because the upper stage is undersized) which makes full recovery very difficult for GTO payloads over 10t or so.

I'd estimate that expending the center core gets 15 or even 18t to GTO but adds less 50% to the list price.

Envy,

Yeah, I haven't run the numbers, but my guess is the 8mT number is for booster recovery at LZ and core recovery by ASDS. It makes sense that if you're propulsively decelerating the core to get it slow enough for recovery to work, there's only so much more delta-V the core can provide the payload + upper stage before you hit diminishing returns. They might be sandbagging a bit while they try to figure out how how little prop they can get away with while still having a decent core stage recovery percentage, but probably not by a ton.

As it is though, 8mT to GTO covers all but the heaviest GEO satellites, and I agree with you that by expending the core stage, they ought to be able to get up to the 15-18mT range that would be able to cover pretty much anything else.

It'll be interesting to see how much the price comes down once they start figuring out reuse. Because these list prices are the prices they give if you keep the payload light enough to recover the first stages, but I don't think they yet factor in the savings they could provide by reusing those stages. If they can really get say a reusable Falcon Heavy (8mT to GTO) down by 30%, that would be ~$63M, which would be pretty impressive.

~Jon
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: GWH on 05/03/2016 05:05 PM
A good reason would be that current customers are not booking "kilograms" to orbit, they book a payload to orbit.   Until a market evolves, such as propellant, water, etc., that has kilograms as the payload metric, & is scalable within a launch profile, it will remain the best path for SpaceX to price vehicles as they are.    For a given flight profile, i.e DPL, or RTLS, the price will be set by the ammortization rate on the boosters, drone ships +crew, landing pads etc.   Within the flight profile of each case, the costs will be treated as fixed.

EXACT $/kg isn't a metric but they will still need some way to price to account for differences within each payload class that covers a given recovery method.  $/kg for a set max capacity seems like a logical way to do it.
For smaller payloads an F9 at RTLS will cost spaceX less variable cost to recover - higher chances of success, no costs for barge and GoQuest and more difficult unload in port.  My bet is these "easy" new F9s that are RTLS sell for less.  40% payload hit on 8.0mT = 5.0mT which would be $56.5M sale price at $11,300/kg. 

Same logic applies for FH, if you add ocean recovery of central core, expendable center and full expendable to meet larger payloads the selling price will need to rise to cover increased costs.  Some variation on $/kg pricing will be needed, how else do you quantify value?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: yg1968 on 05/03/2016 05:14 PM
SpaceX is patiently retraining everybody who thinks about and uses rockets. Does Delta airlines publish a price for a "fully expendable" Boeing 787? The vision is to get the world to the point where you wouldn't think of throwing out a perfectly good machine, just about booking or building a more capable one.

Enjoy, Matthew

Maybe that's why they are relunctant to give a precise discount number for reuse. The first flight of a reused F9 will get a huge discount but that reuse discount will get smaller and smaller, as time goes by, until it disapears completely. 
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: WindnWar on 05/03/2016 07:56 PM
With Falcon 9 able to launch 5.5mt payloads with reuse doesn't that start to go after the Ariane 5 business that previously either needed the larger upper berth as they were too big to fit in the lower berth under Sylda? I know they have discounted the lower berth payloads to be able to compete on price better and I seem to recall charging a premium for the upper berth payloads.

I wonder what effect this will have on future competitions, if your sat was too big for the lower position but small enough to now fit easily on Falcon 9. Viasat 2 was waiting on a Falcon Heavy but due to delays switched to Ariane, in expendable mode though a Falcon 9 should be able to lift it. Of course it all depends on flight rate.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Monomorphic on 05/03/2016 08:26 PM
Holy crap guys, my neighbor who i convinced to buy a Tesla was one of the 5 referrers to win a tour for four of the SpaceX headquarters in Los Angeles, including travel and accommodations. https://www.teslamotors.com/support/referral-program

He received a call today from the office of Elon Musk (not Musk but an assistant). He called me immediately and I am one of the four going!
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: RDMM2081 on 05/03/2016 08:28 PM
I think that part of SpaceX new pricing structure may include one little key that I don't think I've seen hypothesized yet.

What if SpaceX will only choose to expend previously flown/recovered cores?

Want or need F9 expendable capacity for $62m?  Sure, but we'll only expend a used core.

I don't have the accounting acumen to verbalize what this slight difference means to their pricing structure, but it seems to me anyways that it makes financial sense.

It just doesn't make sense that with recoverability and reflight so close to being proven that they would sell a new core for 62m expendably.

This assumes that they prove reflying cores successfully, and that a recovered F9 can refly the ~5.5mt to GTO for $40m at least 10 or so times.

Sorry if I'm not making sense here, I have trouble with economics and accounting apparently.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: GWH on 05/03/2016 08:45 PM
I think that part of SpaceX new pricing structure may include one little key that I don't think I've seen hypothesized yet.

What if SpaceX will only choose to expend previously flown/recovered cores?

Want or need F9 expendable capacity for $62m?  Sure, but we'll only expend a used core.

I don't have the accounting acumen to verbalize what this slight difference means to their pricing structure, but it seems to me anyways that it makes financial sense.

It just doesn't make sense that with recoverability and reflight so close to being proven that they would sell a new core for 62m expendably.

This assumes that they prove reflying cores successfully, and that a recovered F9 can refly the ~5.5mt to GTO for $40m at least 10 or so times.

Sorry if I'm not making sense here, I have trouble with economics and accounting apparently.

For now I don't think customer's being forced into used cores would be smart.
Previously mentioned costing estimate of reused core at $7300/kg, so for the full expendable capacity of 8.3mT sale price would be $60.6M.
For the costing to work out there would need to be a minimum # of flights to amortize cost I'm sure, and periodic recurring costs for refurbishment where it MAY work out best to expend core (10th flight? as mentioned by Elon for when heat shield refurbishment would be required) for best profitability.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Coastal Ron on 05/03/2016 08:57 PM
What if SpaceX will only choose to expend previously flown/recovered cores?

I don't recall if it was Musk or Shotwell, but they stated that customers will have the choice between new and reflown stages.

At the same time they were reminding everyone that it will take them some time to build up a level of trust in the marketplace for reusable rockets, so they understood the need to let customers use the type of service they feel comfortable with.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/03/2016 09:26 PM
When does this ultimate Falcon 9 v1.2 with the 190 klbf Merlins and more on-board propellant start flying?  Is there any indication that the JCSAT 14 booster uses the higher thrust levels?

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: ugordan on 05/03/2016 09:36 PM
Musk tweeted the upgrade will fly "later this year" so I assume not the next couple of flights.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: RDMM2081 on 05/03/2016 09:47 PM
I do agree that confidence in reflown cores must be earned and proven.  Someone else said earlier that these new prices and capabilities really are for 2018 flights at the earliest; manifest, cores, and pads are basically booked solid until then.  Might that be enough time to at least tell potential new customers with some degree of certainty that they will have any bugs worked out by the time they are ready to fly their payload?

I do still completely agree that no customer would be "forced" onto a used core against their will, but given the wide range of SpaceX capabilities across their (soon to be) fleet ranging from lowest capacity F9 RTLS, F9 DPL, FH RTLS, F9 Expendable, FH Partial RTLS/ASDS, FH Partial Expendable, depending on what they are willing to pay, or possibly settle on a different orbit, there are options available to customers that they should never feel forced onto a particular rocket other than in economic terms of "best $/kg" and "how can I pass up this deal!" which I think SpaceX will "enforce" by pricing any expendable rocket significantly higher than any recoverable rocket.

I'm just trying to justify their pricing in some way, so far we haven't seen any posted price higher than $62m for F9, and I haven't heard anything other than rumors and wild speculation about that higher price actually happening, and choosing to only expend used cores seems to make the puzzle pieces fit together in my head.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: wannamoonbase on 05/03/2016 09:54 PM
I do agree that confidence in reflown cores must be earned and proven.  Someone else said earlier that these new prices and capabilities really are for 2018 flights at the earliest; manifest, cores, and pads are basically booked solid until then.  Might that be enough time to at least tell potential new customers with some degree of certainty that they will have any bugs worked out by the time they are ready to fly their payload?

I do still completely agree that no customer would be "forced" onto a used core against their will, but given the wide range of SpaceX capabilities across their (soon to be) fleet ranging from lowest capacity F9 RTLS, F9 DPL, FH RTLS, F9 Expendable, FH Partial RTLS/ASDS, FH Partial Expendable, depending on what they are willing to pay, or possibly settle on a different orbit, there are options available to customers that they should never feel forced onto a particular rocket other than in economic terms of "best $/kg" and "how can I pass up this deal!" which I think SpaceX will "enforce" by pricing any expendable rocket significantly higher than any recoverable rocket.

I'm just trying to justify their pricing in some way, so far we haven't seen any posted price higher than $62m for F9, and I haven't heard anything other than rumors and wild speculation about that higher price actually happening, and choosing to only expend used cores seems to make the puzzle pieces fit together in my head.

If they can't move customers to refurbished cores then they could end up with a large stack of F9's filling hangers.  There must be something in launch contracts to allow using the capacity used cores will provide.

Maybe just jumping the queue. 

It can't be all discounted pricing, as whats the advantage of developing reuse if they can't increase profits.  And as I mentioned earlier, you don't want to discount the early flights if you don't have to as raising prices will be more difficult afterward.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Rebel44 on 05/03/2016 10:15 PM
I do agree that confidence in reflown cores must be earned and proven.  Someone else said earlier that these new prices and capabilities really are for 2018 flights at the earliest; manifest, cores, and pads are basically booked solid until then.  Might that be enough time to at least tell potential new customers with some degree of certainty that they will have any bugs worked out by the time they are ready to fly their payload?

I do still completely agree that no customer would be "forced" onto a used core against their will, but given the wide range of SpaceX capabilities across their (soon to be) fleet ranging from lowest capacity F9 RTLS, F9 DPL, FH RTLS, F9 Expendable, FH Partial RTLS/ASDS, FH Partial Expendable, depending on what they are willing to pay, or possibly settle on a different orbit, there are options available to customers that they should never feel forced onto a particular rocket other than in economic terms of "best $/kg" and "how can I pass up this deal!" which I think SpaceX will "enforce" by pricing any expendable rocket significantly higher than any recoverable rocket.

I'm just trying to justify their pricing in some way, so far we haven't seen any posted price higher than $62m for F9, and I haven't heard anything other than rumors and wild speculation about that higher price actually happening, and choosing to only expend used cores seems to make the puzzle pieces fit together in my head.

If they can't move customers to refurbished cores then they could end up with a large stack of F9's filling hangers.  There must be something in launch contracts to allow using the capacity used cores will provide.

Maybe just jumping the queue. 

It can't be all discounted pricing, as whats the advantage of developing reuse if they can't increase profits.  And as I mentioned earlier, you don't want to discount the early flights if you don't have to as raising prices will be more difficult afterward.

IMO, ability to jump the queue by using used cores might also be attractive, if another LV has an "anomaly" and has to stand down for duration of investigation and corrective action.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: macpacheco on 05/04/2016 02:46 AM
Reflights will be motivated both by cheaper and quicker launches. Assuming SpaceX nails at least 3 reflights in a row, some customers will likely accept already speculated normal reflight fees + quicker launches.
Eventually if enough customers go for reflights, SpaceX might argue they need manufacturing resources to make 2nd stages for all of those reflights and start charging extra for customers that require brand new boosters (perhaps a modest 10% surcharge over current everyday low prices).
That will be the point to officially announce the Raptor 2nd stage for F9, which would turn F9 into a fully reusable booster, with LEO missions doing RTLS for both stages.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: raketa on 05/04/2016 04:05 AM
Spacex will in future charge same rate for first or reused flight. Cost will go down as they learn how to make it faster and cheaper. They will charge, what give them 100% available market, at the moment, they will be able to launch any time, because reusability.
I think it will give them bigger and bigger profit until somebody else catch up with their reusability.
SpaceX is patiently retraining everybody who thinks about and uses rockets. Does Delta airlines publish a price for a "fully expendable" Boeing 787? The vision is to get the world to the point where you wouldn't think of throwing out a perfectly good machine, just about booking or building a more capable one.

Enjoy, Matthew

Maybe that's why they are relunctant to give a precise discount number for reuse. The first flight of a reused F9 will get a huge discount but that reuse discount will get smaller and smaller, as time goes by, until it disapears completely.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: darkenfast on 05/04/2016 07:24 AM
I'm going to guess that it's not just the matter of successful re-flights but also some sort of confidential briefings provided to engineers of the customer that can build confidence by demonstrating the condition of the hardware, steps taken to replace items and such.  I assume ITAR and any other restrictions on providing information to non-US citizens would be a problem.  Is there such a thing as an independent consultant who can be briefed and then provide a professional assesment to a foreign company, in effect saying something like: "I've examined SpaceXs procedures and I have X much confidence in the ability of a Falcoln 9 first stage with X flights to launch your payload"?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 05/04/2016 11:35 AM

Holy crap guys, my neighbor who i convinced to buy a Tesla was one of the 5 referrers to win a tour for four of the SpaceX headquarters in Los Angeles, including travel and accommodations. https://www.teslamotors.com/support/referral-program

He received a call today from the office of Elon Musk (not Musk but an assistant). He called me immediately and I am one of the four going!
Congrats. I think many of us would love to get that golden ticket to tour Willy Wonka's factory.

So now a laundry list of things to put eyes on should be generated... (Doubtful as getting your eyes on any of this is.)

- Second fairing size?
- Suspiciously large tooling
- Nose caps for FH boosters
- Any FH hardware really
- ?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: DatUser14 on 05/04/2016 12:08 PM
The capabilities section of the website appears to have been removed as of 08:07 EDT
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: spacenut on 05/04/2016 01:47 PM
Used cores for re-flights could be used and proven by reused by launching fuel to a fuel depot for the moon or Mars missions.  Just for moon missions it may take one or two F9 launches to refuel a second stage, or to send fuel an L1 fuel depot.  Then as re-flights are proven by fuel launches, they could get satellite launches at a lower cost. 
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/04/2016 03:58 PM
The capabilities section of the website appears to have been removed as of 08:07 EDT
You are correct the pricing/capabilities has been on F9 and FH has been blanked. But the capabilities is available on the main pages for F9 and FH.

This would indicate that they are changing the prices and are  not yet settled on standard prices.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: meekGee on 05/04/2016 05:40 PM
I re-read this old (by SpaceX standards) tweet:
"F9 thrust at liftoff will be raised to 1.71M lbf later this year. It is capable of 1.9M lbf in flight."

So what's the use of higher thrust mid-flight?

- Clearly useful for engine-out scenarios, so this capability no longer comes at the expense max payload.
- Maybe help with FH, since a throttle-up on the side boosters, even if it starts only after liftoff, will use them up faster and save center-core fuel.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: GWH on 05/04/2016 06:03 PM
Thrust is higher in vaccuum.

Capabilities now back up.
There is an asterisk that states expendable payloads shown for full capacity. Not sure if that is new.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: envy887 on 05/04/2016 06:14 PM
I re-read this old (by SpaceX standards) tweet:
"F9 thrust at liftoff will be raised to 1.71M lbf later this year. It is capable of 1.9M lbf in flight."

So what's the use of higher thrust mid-flight?

- Clearly useful for engine-out scenarios, so this capability no longer comes at the expense max payload.
- Maybe help with FH, since a throttle-up on the side boosters, even if it starts only after liftoff, will use them up faster and save center-core fuel.

For F9 it will help reduce gravity losses, especially on lofted trajectories. Not sure how much it will help on FH, which is already absurdly overpowered at liftoff.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: punder on 05/04/2016 06:32 PM
SSME liftoff and vacuum thrust figures were 418,000 lb and 512,300 lb at the same 109% thrust level, according to rocket.com. A ratio of 1.23.

The stated M1D figures give a ratio of 1.11.

So probably no throttling involved, just normal expansion differences between sea level and vacuum.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: mme on 05/04/2016 07:09 PM
I re-read this old (by SpaceX standards) tweet:
"F9 thrust at liftoff will be raised to 1.71M lbf later this year. It is capable of 1.9M lbf in flight."

So what's the use of higher thrust mid-flight?

- Clearly useful for engine-out scenarios, so this capability no longer comes at the expense max payload.
- Maybe help with FH, since a throttle-up on the side boosters, even if it starts only after liftoff, will use them up faster and save center-core fuel.

For F9 it will help reduce gravity losses, especially on lofted trajectories. Not sure how much it will help on FH, which is already absurdly overpowered at liftoff.
Wouldn't allow reduced thrust on the center core early in the flight, saving fuel for the center core after the side boosters separate?  I think that's what meekGee was suggesting for FH.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: BrianNH on 05/04/2016 08:46 PM
The SpaceX "Capabilities & Services" page is back up, but I don't see any differences with what had been posted previously.

http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: BrianNH on 05/04/2016 08:49 PM
I just found a difference.  It was:

Quote
SpaceX offers open and fixed pricing for its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch services

and is now:

Quote
SpaceX offers competitive pricing for its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch services
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: rocx on 05/04/2016 08:59 PM
I just found a difference.  It was:

Quote
SpaceX offers open and fixed pricing for its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch services

and is now:

Quote
SpaceX offers competitive pricing for its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch services

That goes neatly with all theories floated here about differential pricing on the basis of recovery chance.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/05/2016 11:11 AM
Quote
Peter B. de Selding ‏@pbdes 1m1 minute ago

SpaceX clarification on pricing: Published prices are for GEO missions only & don't cover all LEO missions or Mars.

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/728179482847281152 (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/728179482847281152)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: jongoff on 05/05/2016 02:44 PM
FWIW, I ran some more detailed numbers last night (staying up till 2am to try and prove Robotbeat wrong in an argument we were having on Twitter), and I think the 8mT to GTO figure for FH assumes RTLS of all three cores. My analysis made all sorts of simplifications, so I wouldn't trust it too heavily, but going to ASDS recovery of the central core made 11mT seem feasible, but going to ASDS recovery of all three cores made 12mT seem borderline maybe feasible. I'd be skeptical of FH getting much more than 12mT to GTO without expending the central core. I probably won't get a chance to write that analysis up until later, but I wanted to present some preliminary findings.

~Jon
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: abaddon on 05/05/2016 02:49 PM
FWIW, I ran some more detailed numbers last night (staying up till 2am to try and prove Robotbeat wrong in an argument we were having on Twitter), and I think the 8mT to GTO figure for FH assumes RTLS of all three cores. My analysis made all sorts of simplifications, so I wouldn't trust it too heavily, but going to ASDS recovery of the central core made 11mT seem feasible, but going to ASDS recovery of all three cores made 12mT seem borderline maybe feasible. I'd be skeptical of FH getting much more than 12klb to GTO without expending the central core. I probably won't get a chance to write that analysis up until later, but I wanted to present some preliminary findings.
That all seems pretty reasonable to me.  Personally I think the biggest bang for buck will be to RTLS the boosters and ASDS the center core.  But if they can do 8mT with RTLS on all three, hard to see all that many launches needing to do the ASDS for the center core.

BTW on that last one I think you mean 12mT, not 12klb.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: envy887 on 05/05/2016 03:01 PM
FWIW, I ran some more detailed numbers last night (staying up till 2am to try and prove Robotbeat wrong in an argument we were having on Twitter), and I think the 8mT to GTO figure for FH assumes RTLS of all three cores. My analysis made all sorts of simplifications, so I wouldn't trust it too heavily, but going to ASDS recovery of the central core made 11mT seem feasible, but going to ASDS recovery of all three cores made 12mT seem borderline maybe feasible. I'd be skeptical of FH getting much more than 12klb to GTO without expending the central core. I probably won't get a chance to write that analysis up until later, but I wanted to present some preliminary findings.

~Jon

What's the max GTO payload you get for 2 RTLS and center expended? I estimate it's close to 18t, which is a 50% GTO payload increase for probably 30% marginal price increase.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: jongoff on 05/05/2016 05:50 PM
FWIW, I ran some more detailed numbers last night (staying up till 2am to try and prove Robotbeat wrong in an argument we were having on Twitter), and I think the 8mT to GTO figure for FH assumes RTLS of all three cores. My analysis made all sorts of simplifications, so I wouldn't trust it too heavily, but going to ASDS recovery of the central core made 11mT seem feasible, but going to ASDS recovery of all three cores made 12mT seem borderline maybe feasible. I'd be skeptical of FH getting much more than 12klb to GTO without expending the central core. I probably won't get a chance to write that analysis up until later, but I wanted to present some preliminary findings.
That all seems pretty reasonable to me.  Personally I think the biggest bang for buck will be to RTLS the boosters and ASDS the center core.  But if they can do 8mT with RTLS on all three, hard to see all that many launches needing to do the ASDS for the center core.

BTW on that last one I think you mean 12mT, not 12klb.

Yeah, I'll fix that. I was up till 2am running the numbers, so I'm a little tired.

~Jon
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: jongoff on 05/05/2016 05:52 PM
FWIW, I ran some more detailed numbers last night (staying up till 2am to try and prove Robotbeat wrong in an argument we were having on Twitter), and I think the 8mT to GTO figure for FH assumes RTLS of all three cores. My analysis made all sorts of simplifications, so I wouldn't trust it too heavily, but going to ASDS recovery of the central core made 11mT seem feasible, but going to ASDS recovery of all three cores made 12mT seem borderline maybe feasible. I'd be skeptical of FH getting much more than 12klb to GTO without expending the central core. I probably won't get a chance to write that analysis up until later, but I wanted to present some preliminary findings.

~Jon

What's the max GTO payload you get for 2 RTLS and center expended? I estimate it's close to 18t, which is a 50% GTO payload increase for probably 30% marginal price increase.

I got quite a bit less than 18mT. With the two boosters ASDS recovered and the center core expended I was only getting 16mT. I didn't run RTLS for the boosters and expended core, but my guess is you'd be a bit lower since the boosters aren't providing as much boost in that case. Probably down in the 14-15mT to GTO range.

~Jon
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: tobi453 on 05/05/2016 06:26 PM
I disagree. I have done my own calculation and I think the 8 mT assumes RTLS of the boosters and landing the center core at sea.

I get a GTO payload of 15 mT with booster RTLS and center core expendable.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: jongoff on 05/05/2016 06:42 PM
I disagree. I have done my own calculation and I think the 8 mT assumes RTLS of the boosters and landing the center core at sea.

I get a GTO payload of 15 mT with booster RTLS and center core expendable.

We're pretty close. I'm getting enough excess performance in the 8mT case to allow the core to RTLS as well as the boosters, and for the expended core but booster RTLS case I was getting pretty close to what you had.

~Jon
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: acsawdey on 05/05/2016 08:57 PM
So, something I haven't seen a lot of discussion about is the potential increase in sea level Isp for the new M1D++ with 190k lbf. Here's what I was able to estimate with RPA-lite:


SL thrust (k lbf)     147    167    190
Pc (MPa)              9.7     11    12.5
SL Isp                282    286    289
Exit Pressure (MPa)   .0676  .0763  .0865


Methodology was to fiddle with the nozzle efficiency until I got the 282 and 286 sea level numbers for the known data points 147k/9.7MPa and 167k/11MPa. Then 12.5Mpa is what you need for the mass flux times exhaust velocity to be 190/167 of the same product for the 167k parameters. This then increases sea level Isp to 289. You can see the reason for this in that the exit pressure is creeping up towards atmospheric (0.1 MPa) so the nozzle gets increasing amounts of expansion at sea level.

I don't have any intuition how much a 1% increase in Isp helps vs the 13.8% increase in thrust (reduced gravity loss) but it can't hurt.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: nadreck on 05/05/2016 09:42 PM
So, something I haven't seen a lot of discussion about is the potential increase in sea level Isp for the new M1D++ with 190k lbf. Here's what I was able to estimate with RPA-lite:


SL thrust (k lbf)     147    167    190
Pc (MPa)              9.7     11    12.5
SL Isp                282    286    289
Exit Pressure (MPa)   .0676  .0763  .0865


Methodology was to fiddle with the nozzle efficiency until I got the 282 and 286 sea level numbers for the known data points 147k/9.7MPa and 167k/11MPa. Then 12.5Mpa is what you need for the mass flux times exhaust velocity to be 190/167 of the same product for the 167k parameters. This then increases sea level Isp to 289. You can see the reason for this in that the exit pressure is creeping up towards atmospheric (0.1 MPa) so the nozzle gets increasing amounts of expansion at sea level.

I don't have any intuition how much a 1% increase in Isp helps vs the 13.8% increase in thrust (reduced gravity loss) but it can't hurt.
When I stick 289 into my ascent model for the side booster thrust phase (I had already updated it with the new thrust) I get the engines running 3 seconds longer down to 15% fuel reserve for boost back etc and 45m/s higher horizontal velocity component.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: groundbound on 05/05/2016 11:51 PM
So, something I haven't seen a lot of discussion about is the potential increase in sea level Isp for the new M1D++ with 190k lbf. Here's what I was able to estimate with RPA-lite:


SL thrust (k lbf)     147    167    190
Pc (MPa)              9.7     11    12.5
SL Isp                282    286    289
Exit Pressure (MPa)   .0676  .0763  .0865


Methodology was to fiddle with the nozzle efficiency until I got the 282 and 286 sea level numbers for the known data points 147k/9.7MPa and 167k/11MPa. Then 12.5Mpa is what you need for the mass flux times exhaust velocity to be 190/167 of the same product for the 167k parameters. This then increases sea level Isp to 289. You can see the reason for this in that the exit pressure is creeping up towards atmospheric (0.1 MPa) so the nozzle gets increasing amounts of expansion at sea level.

I don't have any intuition how much a 1% increase in Isp helps vs the 13.8% increase in thrust (reduced gravity loss) but it can't hurt.

Did you consider GG losses which are likely to be higher at higher chamber pressures?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: acsawdey on 05/06/2016 01:27 AM
So, something I haven't seen a lot of discussion about is the potential increase in sea level Isp for the new M1D++ with 190k lbf. Here's what I was able to estimate with RPA-lite:


SL thrust (k lbf)     147    167    190
Pc (MPa)              9.7     11    12.5
SL Isp                282    286    289
Exit Pressure (MPa)   .0676  .0763  .0865


Methodology was to fiddle with the nozzle efficiency until I got the 282 and 286 sea level numbers for the known data points 147k/9.7MPa and 167k/11MPa. Then 12.5Mpa is what you need for the mass flux times exhaust velocity to be 190/167 of the same product for the 167k parameters. This then increases sea level Isp to 289. You can see the reason for this in that the exit pressure is creeping up towards atmospheric (0.1 MPa) so the nozzle gets increasing amounts of expansion at sea level.

I don't have any intuition how much a 1% increase in Isp helps vs the 13.8% increase in thrust (reduced gravity loss) but it can't hurt.

Did you consider GG losses which are likely to be higher at higher chamber pressures?

No, the free RPA-lite won't calculate that for you. However it did reproduce the 282/286 ratio which I think we know from the published numbers about the first two thrust levels of M1D. I leave this as an exercise to some reader who has access to a real rocket modeling program :-)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: baldusi on 05/06/2016 08:12 PM
So, something I haven't seen a lot of discussion about is the potential increase in sea level Isp for the new M1D++ with 190k lbf. Here's what I was able to estimate with RPA-lite:


SL thrust (k lbf)     147    167    190
Pc (MPa)              9.7     11    12.5
SL Isp                282    286    289
Exit Pressure (MPa)   .0676  .0763  .0865


Methodology was to fiddle with the nozzle efficiency until I got the 282 and 286 sea level numbers for the known data points 147k/9.7MPa and 167k/11MPa. Then 12.5Mpa is what you need for the mass flux times exhaust velocity to be 190/167 of the same product for the 167k parameters. This then increases sea level Isp to 289. You can see the reason for this in that the exit pressure is creeping up towards atmospheric (0.1 MPa) so the nozzle gets increasing amounts of expansion at sea level.

I don't have any intuition how much a 1% increase in Isp helps vs the 13.8% increase in thrust (reduced gravity loss) but it can't hurt.

Did you consider GG losses which are likely to be higher at higher chamber pressures?

No, the free RPA-lite won't calculate that for you. However it did reproduce the 282/286 ratio which I think we know from the published numbers about the first two thrust levels of M1D. I leave this as an exercise to some reader who has access to a real rocket modeling program :-)
If I can tell you a little trick: you can look up the Markusic presentation for Falcon X and XX. There they had the point schematic of a Merlin 2, which actually stated the massflow on the GG. You can estimate from there mass loss (and thus isp loss) wrt to a closed cycle.
Then you can assume that Pc increase * Massflow increase is the new power required from the turbopumps. Increase the proportion of mass lost to the GG accordingly and deduce from the closed cycle case. Now you will get a pretty reasonable estimate. When I did that I got basically the same isp as when you start.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: malu5531 on 05/07/2016 02:52 AM
So, something I haven't seen a lot of discussion about is the potential increase in sea level Isp for the new M1D++ with 190k lbf. Here's what I was able to estimate with RPA-lite:


SL thrust (k lbf)     147    167    190
Pc (MPa)              9.7     11    12.5
SL Isp                282    286    289
Exit Pressure (MPa)   .0676  .0763  .0865


Methodology was to fiddle with the nozzle efficiency until I got the 282 and 286 sea level numbers for the known data points 147k/9.7MPa and 167k/11MPa. Then 12.5Mpa is what you need for the mass flux times exhaust velocity to be 190/167 of the same product for the 167k parameters. This then increases sea level Isp to 289. You can see the reason for this in that the exit pressure is creeping up towards atmospheric (0.1 MPa) so the nozzle gets increasing amounts of expansion at sea level.

I don't have any intuition how much a 1% increase in Isp helps vs the 13.8% increase in thrust (reduced gravity loss) but it can't hurt.

I updated my model (https://goo.gl/z17cEv) according to these numbers and iterated a bit. Performance match if assuming massflow w. GG to be 105.2% of massflow to chamber.

I get the following:

M1D FT throttle112.5%100.0%88.9%
Pe, bar0.8580.7630.679
Pc, bar123.4109.797.4
Area throat0.041370.041370.04137
Nozzle diam, m0.890.890.89
Thrust, klbf190.1167.5147.1
Isp, SL, s288.7286282.56
Isp, Vac, s310310309.5
Massflow, kg/s298.9265.6236.2

I've assumed a q at 105.2% of chamber massflow to account for GG.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: jabe on 05/08/2016 01:09 PM
  There are still issues that have to be fixed that are fleet wide.
what are some of the concerns they have that need fixing?  Anything of major concern?
jb
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AC in NC on 05/09/2016 07:05 PM
Would not surprise me if SpaceX throws a few S1's away... now that the barn is filling up...

I'm sorry if this is general knowledge but would damage from these marginal profiles render the M1Ds not worth recovering?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cscott on 05/09/2016 07:30 PM
Would not surprise me if SpaceX throws a few S1's away... now that the barn is filling up...

I'm sorry if this is general knowledge but would damage from these marginal profiles render the M1Ds not worth recovering?
It's not general knowledge, and in fact even SpaceX might not (yet) know.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: mvpel on 05/10/2016 06:02 PM
  There are still issues that have to be fixed that are fleet wide.
what are some of the concerns they have that need fixing?  Anything of major concern?
jb
(http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160510/7c9e6cd2fd5069fb0ac6fdbbb326b87b.jpg)

;)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 05/10/2016 07:06 PM

It's not general knowledge, and in fact even SpaceX might not (yet) know.


...And the only way to find out is to, of course, recover them. Which they will certainly try to.

Storage space is easy as pie to create. If need be rent a warehouse, staff it with your own people, until you can build more volume for your cores. This is a non-issue.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 05/10/2016 07:19 PM

Storage space is easy as pie to create. If need be rent a warehouse, staff it with your own people, until you can build more volume for your cores. This is a non-issue.

Not that easy.  The warehouse has to accessible and large enough to hold 100' plus stage with cranes to offload it from the carrier.  And then there is the matter of cradles.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: wannamoonbase on 05/10/2016 07:24 PM

It's not general knowledge, and in fact even SpaceX might not (yet) know.


...And the only way to find out is to, of course, recover them. Which they will certainly try to.

Storage space is easy as pie to create. If need be rent a warehouse, staff it with your own people, until you can build more volume for your cores. This is a non-issue.

Door size and interior support columns, big problems.  Aircraft Hangars almost only option. 

Or rent some space and hang them like sausages in the VAB, ha ha.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: John Alan on 05/10/2016 08:41 PM
Set up a disassembly facility and start parting them out for scrap value...  ???

Honestly... how many customers do they have lined up for used stages at this point...
SES says they will take one later... Could use another for the planned Dragon abort partial flight...
Once you have so many "in the barn"... it will just get silly to keep any more on hand...

This is still very much a research and development phase... a work in progress...
Car companies build test mules... use them to test... then crush them as surplus...

"But it's flown in space"...  :'(
SO WHAT...  >:(
It's a machine... a thing... it's value is only if re-flown right away or scrapped for recycle...  ;)

It's only in the last 6 months they even laid eyes and hands on a used stage...
They can study them... dissect them... learn from them what works and what does not...
Redesign it and aim for their 10 flight refurb and 100 flight life stated goal...

Just my humble opinion...  :)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 05/10/2016 08:55 PM
Set up a disassembly facility and start parting them out for scrap value...  ???


Then why bother with retrieving them?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: jabe on 05/10/2016 09:09 PM

what are some of the concerns they have that need fixing?  Anything of major concern?
jb
(http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160510/7c9e6cd2fd5069fb0ac6fdbbb326b87b.jpg)

 ;)

Itar SmItar... I hate when that happens.. :)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: John Alan on 05/10/2016 10:02 PM
Set up a disassembly facility and start parting them out for scrap value...  ???


Then why bother with retrieving them?

Like I said in the rest of the quote you snipped...To study flown hardware...
The real value in the three stages retrieved to date is DATA... to be gleaned by tearing them apart...
I have also said in other threads (like the Manifest thread) that they will likely go back to expendable on Geo birds @ 5250kg and up... (IMHO)
Unless they need more data to test improved new build stages...  ;)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 05/10/2016 10:55 PM

Like I said in the rest of the quote you snipped...To study flown hardware...
The real value in the three stages retrieved to date is DATA... to be gleaned by tearing them apart...


The three are past history.  Talking about from now and on.  Reuse isn't happening in the next couple of months.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/10/2016 11:43 PM
I think some are thinking that recovery is a 100% item. It is not. What the exact recovery rate for what flight profiles is unknown. Plus for ASDS, weather in the Atlantic is a little unpredictable and usually fairly rough. It would not take much for the landing to fail. 50knot winds not withstanding. For flown FT version the recovery is 3 out of 4 or 75%. Recovery is defenitly a higher risk item than launch.By the end of the year there will have been enough attempts/recoveries to then be able to do a rough estimate of what the recovery rates will be. Hopefully SpaceX will increase their understanding of the recovery and improve even upon the rate as evidence then as well for the next year.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: CT Space Guy on 05/11/2016 12:17 AM
I wonder when and how they might start reusing just components or assembly's on new core builds? What customers might think of that? There is literary 100's if not 1000's of high value components on each core. How many times do you strip off a component or assembly and reuse it?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Coastal Ron on 05/11/2016 12:30 AM
I wonder when and how they might start reusing just components or assembly's on new core builds? What customers might think of that? There is literary 100's if not 1000's of high value components on each core. How many times do you strip off a component or assembly and reuse it?

Reuse of components is not simple, since once you touch them they need to be validated before you reuse them (handling issues, storage and transport issues, etc.).

Reuse of components would be better than being 100% expendable, but it's not as good as "gas n' go".
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: John Alan on 05/11/2016 12:55 AM

Like I said in the rest of the quote you snipped...To study flown hardware...
The real value in the three stages retrieved to date is DATA... to be gleaned by tearing them apart...


The three are past history.  Talking about from now and on.  Reuse isn't happening in the next couple of months.

Agree... the three cores they have now will never fly again...
1st as display... other 2 are R&D tear downs, parted out and scrapped...
My opinion... next 18 months or so...  ;)

SpaceX with do RTLS on all CRS flights for NASA just because they want NASA to see it play out as reliable...
Honestly, it's a hell of a PR stunt and shows the other launch providers... we got this covered...
With taxpayers footing the bill for NASA... PR is everything to get and keep funding for future NASA stuff...

SpaceX will selectively continue going to the ASDS when it serves an R&D purpose... going forward...
The need is really FH core catching down the road... they need to prove to themselves they can do this...
Root issue is how do they bid 2018+ flights... They need a price list that they can make money on after all...

SpaceX will (going forward shorter term) keep and offer the RTLS cores to already scheduled customers...
One at least to SES... one for the abort flight... the rest TBD...
My opinion is they can find enough flights to refly all CRS stages on Geo flights.. with many expended...

SpaceX will push most near term ASDS bound stages to it's limits... with several failing to make it past reentry...
They still have to explore the edges of the envelope on this... as this is DATA worth getting...
Most stages caught on a ASDS will end up as R&D scrap... next 18 months...
Unless customer demand for used stages forces them to back off R&D to meet the need (I highly doubt this)

The above is all just my opinion... take it all for what you think it's worth...  ;)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: mvpel on 05/11/2016 01:54 AM
A guy at work has a piece of bent isogrid Delta rocket hull as a memento of the test program he managed, and it's really cool.

They could make far more money selling souvenirs instead of scrap metal.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 05/11/2016 01:05 PM

1.  SpaceX with do RTLS on all CRS flights for NASA just because they want NASA to see it play out as reliable...
Honestly, it's a hell of a PR stunt and shows the other launch providers... we got this covered...
With taxpayers footing the bill for NASA... PR is everything to get and keep funding for future NASA stuff...

2.  SpaceX will selectively continue going to the ASDS when it serves an R&D purpose... going forward...
The need is really FH core catching down the road... they need to prove to themselves they can do this...
Root issue is how do they bid 2018+ flights... They need a price list that they can make money on after all...



1.  No, they won't do RTLS for NASA missions for awhile.  There are some complications lingering.

2. No, ASDS usage is based on performance requirements.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: ugordan on 05/11/2016 01:31 PM
1.  No, they won't do RTLS for NASA missions for awhile.  There are some complications lingering.

Are you able/allowed to expand a bit on this? What sort of complications?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: meekGee on 05/11/2016 03:30 PM
What I expect to happen is changes to Falcon 1.next based on what got damaged...

Not big things, but "reverse aerodynamic" streamlining, some heat protection, etc.

So plenty of reason to keep recovering until reuse.

Not to mention that the engines are 100% fine as far as we know, as are internal components such as a avionics.

Basicly, they (at a minimum) have Smart Reuse, but w/o the helicopters...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: ugordan on 05/11/2016 03:37 PM
Not to mention that the engines are 100% fine as far as we know

*We* know nothing, apart from the fact that one engine in the OG-2 refire showed "thrust fluctuations".
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: meekGee on 05/11/2016 03:43 PM


Not to mention that the engines are 100% fine as far as we know

*We* know nothing, apart from the fact that one engine in the OG-2 refire showed "thrust fluctuations".

True. Strike that.

So instead:

They tested one set of engines, and said they were generally happy with the results.

I dont think the increase in apparent damage to the soft parts of the rocket due to high speed reentry extend 1:1 to the engines.

We don't even know if the rocket body is toast, but I'd think the engines are more resilient to heat damage.  There's no flow into the nozzle, and most radiative heating would be of the nozzle wall.

I'm much less worried about them.

Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: mvpel on 05/11/2016 03:44 PM
*We* know nothing, apart from the fact that one engine in the OG-2 refire showed "thrust fluctuations".

I have it from a first-hand source that it was a very minor issue with a very easy fix.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: guckyfan on 05/11/2016 05:11 PM
I recently saw an old statement by Elon Musk. Very old, so very likely about 1.0 but should still be valid.

He said the thrust structure is very robust and has a practically unlimited life span. It is expensive enough that its recovery alone would be worth it.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Barrie on 05/11/2016 07:37 PM
I recently saw an old statement by Elon Musk. Very old, so very likely about 1.0 but should still be valid.

He said the thrust structure is very robust and has a practically unlimited life span. It is expensive enough that its recovery alone would be worth it.

iirc that was about Falcon 1
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: rst on 05/12/2016 04:03 PM
I recently saw an old statement by Elon Musk. Very old, so very likely about 1.0 but should still be valid.

He said the thrust structure is very robust and has a practically unlimited life span. It is expensive enough that its recovery alone would be worth it.

On the other hand, the thrust structure and engine mounts seem to have been pretty heavily revised between F9 v1.0 and v1.1 -- from square to round arrangement, with the center engine lower, perhaps following the tank bulkheads.  There's still stuff in there which might have considerable value (e.g., blast walls between engine compartments), but statements about earlier models don't necessarily apply to v1.2, or FT, or whatever we're calling it this week.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: sojourner on 05/13/2016 05:29 AM
Last I had read, the 3 engine f9rdev2 was going to be used for the launch abort test of Dragon 2. Has that changed recently? I've read a few posts alluding to it no longer being used.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Moderas on 05/13/2016 02:15 PM
If I recall correctly, it will no longer be used because it is not compatible with new infrastructure.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Nilof on 05/14/2016 07:08 PM
If I recall correctly, it will no longer be used because it is not compatible with new infrastructure.

Any chance that they'd do it with a reused core? If the core fails, you get a launch escape test with real-life conditions. ;D
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: mme on 05/14/2016 11:20 PM
If I recall correctly, it will no longer be used because it is not compatible with new infrastructure.

Any chance that they'd do it with a reused core? If the core fails, you get a launch escape test with real-life conditions. ;D
There's been a lot of discussion about this.  I don't think they would risk using a core that would fail.  The test is for an abort at maximum dynamic pressure if I recall.  I think a failure before then is not really a valid test.  It's valid for generic in flight abort, but not maximum dynamic pressure abort. [1]

That said, I think that if SpaceX is confident that the stage will not fail prior to the abort then I can't think of a good reason not to use one now that F9-DevR is out of the picture.

[1] Yes, I am aware of Little John and NASA deciding that was "good enough."
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: corrodedNut on 05/15/2016 06:35 PM
Where is the CRS-9 thread?

"Our next Dragon departing HQ, ready for Florida"

https://www.instagram.com/p/BFXcK_Cl8cO/
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: gongora on 05/15/2016 07:17 PM
Where is the CRS-9 thread?

If a thread hasn't been created yet in the Missions section you can make one yourself, one of the mods will clean up the formatting when they start paying attention to that mission.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: WizZifnab on 05/16/2016 12:38 AM
If I recall correctly, it will no longer be used because it is not compatible with new infrastructure.

Any chance that they'd do it with a reused core? If the core fails, you get a launch escape test with real-life conditions. ;D
There's been a lot of discussion about this.  I don't think they would risk using a core that would fail.  The test is for an abort at maximum dynamic pressure if I recall.  I think a failure before then is not really a valid test.  It's valid for generic in flight abort, but not maximum dynamic pressure abort. [1]

That said, I think that if SpaceX is confident that the stage will not fail prior to the abort then I can't think of a good reason not to use one now that F9-DevR is out of the picture.

[1] Yes, I am aware of Little John and NASA deciding that was "good enough."

If a used core is ready in time and deemed flight worthy seems reasonable to use it.  Does the flight profile allow for booster recovery?  If not, a used core would seem preferable.

Is there some SpaceX reference to not using the F9DevR? Or is that an assumption based on changed infrastructure at the Vandenburg pad?  Is there definitely no way to use the F9-DevR?  Again, if the flight profile doesn't allow booster recovery this would seem to be preferable over using even a used booster in my opinion.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 05/16/2016 12:40 AM
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/731984739012251648 (https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/731984739012251648)

Synopsis of the tweet: Most recently recovered stage (from JSCAT-14) is not going to be relaunched. Instead, it's going to be tested extensively and used as a benchmark against which the conditions of other stages are measured.

Effectively, it's going to provide a lot of good data. I get the impression that it's better toasted than raw at this stage.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: catdlr on 05/16/2016 01:25 AM
Where is the CRS-9 thread?

If a thread hasn't been created yet in the Missions section you can make one yourself, one of the mods will clean up the formatting when they start paying attention to that mission.

Done: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40310.0
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Ilikeboosterrockets on 05/16/2016 11:40 AM
Random question: How does the Dragon eject its nose cone on ascent?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: mfck on 05/16/2016 06:50 PM


If I recall correctly, it will no longer be used because it is not compatible with new infrastructure.

Any chance that they'd do it with a reused core? If the core fails, you get a launch escape test with real-life conditions. ;D
There's been a lot of discussion about this.  I don't think they would risk using a core that would fail.  The test is for an abort at maximum dynamic pressure if I recall.  I think a failure before then is not really a valid test.  It's valid for generic in flight abort, but not maximum dynamic pressure abort. [1]

That said, I think that if SpaceX is confident that the stage will not fail prior to the abort then I can't think of a good reason not to use one now that F9-DevR is out of the picture.

[1] Yes, I am aware of Little John and NASA deciding that was "good enough."

If a used core is ready in time and deemed flight worthy seems reasonable to use it.  Does the flight profile allow for booster recovery?  If not, a used core would seem preferable.

Is there some SpaceX reference to not using the F9DevR? Or is that an assumption based on changed infrastructure at the Vandenburg pad?  Is there definitely no way to use the F9-DevR?  Again, if the flight profile doesn't allow booster recovery this would seem to be preferable over using even a used booster in my opinion.

F9RDev2 is incompatible with FT pads and won't be used. IIRC it is not an assumption and has been confirmed with SX.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Prettz on 05/17/2016 03:21 PM
So is that core now just a complete write-off? What a waste.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: mme on 05/17/2016 03:35 PM
So is that core now just a complete write-off? What a waste.
As others have pointed out, SpaceX doesn't buy into the sunk cost fallacy.  If they did, they'd still be trying to recover boosters with parachutes. :)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: mvpel on 05/17/2016 03:49 PM
So is that core now just a complete write-off? What a waste.

It'll look really good next to Endeavor at the California Science Center.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cscott on 05/17/2016 04:35 PM
So is that core now just a complete write-off? What a waste.

It'll look really good next to Endeavor at the California Science Center.
So long as the KSC rocket garden gets the CRS-8 core.  (Hawthorne's getting OG2, as we know.)

The F9dev core was used for fit checks at Vandenberg and probably other testing/pathfinder work, so it wasn't a complete waste.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Prettz on 05/17/2016 06:32 PM
So is that core now just a complete write-off? What a waste.
As others have pointed out, SpaceX doesn't buy into the sunk cost fallacy.  If they did, they'd still be trying to recover boosters with parachutes. :)
Sure, but they never actually used this one for any testing. So it really is a waste.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 05/17/2016 06:40 PM

Sure, but they never actually used this one for any testing. So it really is a waste.

wrong, they used it for SLC-4 pad testing.  So it was a battleship stage instead of a flight stage.  So, it was not a waste.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: macpacheco on 05/18/2016 12:08 AM
So is that core now just a complete write-off? What a waste.
They though they wouldn't recover it at all, so they got way more than they bargained for. It won't fly but apparently it should be static fireable. No waste here.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: deruch on 05/18/2016 07:33 AM
So is that core now just a complete write-off? What a waste.
As others have pointed out, SpaceX doesn't buy into the sunk cost fallacy.  If they did, they'd still be trying to recover boosters with parachutes. :)
Sure, but they never actually used this one for any testing. So it really is a waste.

Plus there's no reason they can't pull a bunch of the parts off and still use them for regular launches.  We know some of the hardware on F9R-dev2 isn't exactly the same as what's on a F9 but there's a ton of common parts too.  Nothing keeping them from scavenging what's possible from it.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: GalacticIntruder on 05/18/2016 06:38 PM
Does anyone have anything to add, reject, amend, or verify this comment?:

Quote
Sapp also mentioned that the NRO has bought launches from SpaceX, appearing to indicate that this was new. I was unable to confirm whether that is accurate or not.

http://breakingdefense.com/ (http://breakingdefense.com/)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: JBF on 05/18/2016 06:57 PM
 A link to the actual article http://breakingdefense.com/2016/05/nro-tests-new-automatic-systems-that-analyze-data-move-satellites/
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: BobHk on 05/18/2016 09:28 PM
Random question: How does the Dragon eject its nose cone on ascent?

Why would you eject the cone?  There is no parachute to deploy.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: kevinof on 05/18/2016 09:30 PM
Random question: How does the Dragon eject its nose cone on ascent?

Why would you eject the cone?  There is no parachute to deploy.
Because it has to berth with the ISS and the cone needs to go.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: BobHk on 05/18/2016 09:32 PM
Random question: How does the Dragon eject its nose cone on ascent?

Why would you eject the cone?  There is no parachute to deploy.
Because it has to berth with the ISS and the cone needs to go.

Dragon 2s cone folds up and back.

Like this:
(https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQgJ_4WAK8spHSOQlI9flxxQDnwGdM5weWQ_oMJWlF68PKZaiPl)

Oh you must be talking Dragon, my bad.  I've 'seen' it at T+4 (maybe closer to 3 minutes) minutes on the launch before.  At least on the timelines.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: rpapo on 05/18/2016 09:47 PM
Oh you must be talking Dragon, my bad.  I've 'seen' it at T+4 (maybe closer to 3 minutes) minutes on the launch before.  At least on the timelines.
In at least one of the launch videos you can see the cone falling away behind the rocket.  I just don't remember which one...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: TomH on 05/18/2016 10:11 PM
Space was also "on track" for a Falcon Heavy launch to take place several years ago...delays occur and SpaceX is certainly no stranger to them, and probably will be reaquainted with them several more times, perhaps on commercial crew (again). A lot can happen and first launch of crew is still a long way off.  gloating over anyone's delays or difficulties is juvenile and unproductive.

I don't know what you are calling gloating. I just posted the most recent public statement from SpaceX about Crew Dragon schedule, sans commentary. SpaceX made that statement because they were asked the question.

I am also skeptical of 2017 for a SpaceX flight, but it's worth noting their publicly reaffirmed plan of record.

IMHO, the FH delay was intentional as well as productive. They kept seeing ways to improve F9. They also realized they really could achieve S1 recovery. Had they gone ahead with FH, they would have had to make changes to F9 and FH at the same time, which would have been costly. I personally believe now that they have about tweaked F9 all that's possible, and learned how to fly back and land, all those improvements will be incorporated into FH. The F-35 program started churning out production planes long before they finished evaluating the test planes. Now they have to retrofit all the production planes. SpaceX avoided this by perfecting F9 first, and now they will not have to apply all those changes retroactively to FH.

In a short time they have gone from RTLS to downrange landings on a barge to a hyper slam on a barge that was a perfect bulls-eye. FH and Dragon V2 follow shortly now. And FH will be far more capable than originally intended. I'm quite happy with the smart way they handled this.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: watermod on 05/18/2016 11:16 PM
Space was also "on track" for a Falcon Heavy launch to take place several years ago...delays occur and SpaceX is certainly no stranger to them, and probably will be reaquainted with them several more times, perhaps on commercial crew (again). A lot can happen and first launch of crew is still a long way off.  gloating over anyone's delays or difficulties is juvenile and unproductive.

I don't know what you are calling gloating. I just posted the most recent public statement from SpaceX about Crew Dragon schedule, sans commentary. SpaceX made that statement because they were asked the question.

I am also skeptical of 2017 for a SpaceX flight, but it's worth noting their publicly reaffirmed plan of record.

IMHO, the FH delay was intentional as well as productive. They kept seeing ways to improve F9. They also realized they really could achieve S1 recovery. Had they gone ahead with FH, they would have had to make changes to F9 and FH at the same time, which would have been costly. I personally believe now that they have about tweaked F9 all that's possible, and learned how to fly back and land, all those improvements will be incorporated into FH. The F-35 program started churning out production planes long before they finished evaluating the test planes. Now they have to retrofit all the production planes. SpaceX avoided this by perfecting F9 first, and now they will not have to apply all those changes retroactively to FH.

In a short time they have gone from RTLS to downrange landings on a barge to a hyper slam on a barge that was a perfect bulls-eye. FH and Dragon V2 follow shortly now. And FH will be far more capable than originally intended. I'm quite happy with the smart way they handled this.

they have about tweaked F9 all that's possible
No..   They have tweaked it to the point where they can actually look at flown hardware  and make logical evidence based decisions on future mods.    I suspect this is the beginning of  real tweaking and not educated guesswork.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: GalacticIntruder on 05/19/2016 12:53 AM
Does anyone have anything to add, reject, amend, or verify this comment?:

Quote
Sapp also mentioned that the NRO has bought launches from SpaceX, appearing to indicate that this was new. I was unable to confirm whether that is accurate or not.

http://breakingdefense.com/ (http://breakingdefense.com/)

Confirmed! NROL-76 March 2017.


https://twitter.com/Gruss_SN

http://spacenews.com/nro-discloses-previously-unannounced-launch-contract-for-spacex/ (http://spacenews.com/nro-discloses-previously-unannounced-launch-contract-for-spacex/)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: TomH on 05/19/2016 05:19 AM
No..   They have tweaked it to the point where they can actually look at flown hardware  and make logical evidence based decisions on future mods.    I suspect this is the beginning of  real tweaking and not educated guesswork.

I think they have tweaked about all the T/W performance they can. The tweaking from this point on changes to ways of increasing the lifespan of a reusable LV. I was referring to the former. I will agree with you if you mean the latter.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: watermod on 05/19/2016 10:54 AM
No..   They have tweaked it to the point where they can actually look at flown hardware  and make logical evidence based decisions on future mods.    I suspect this is the beginning of  real tweaking and not educated guesswork.

I think they have tweaked about all the T/W performance they can. The tweaking from this point on changes to ways of increasing the lifespan of a reusable LV. I was referring to the former. I will agree with you if you mean the latter.
In the main, the latter.  That doesn't leave out the chance of discovering something that improves the former.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: hamerad on 05/19/2016 11:02 AM
For all we know the new thrust figures coming later this year could be merlin going to 105% and internal data thinks they can do 110%, but they want more data from recovered stages before risking it.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Ilikeboosterrockets on 05/19/2016 11:49 AM
I was talking about Dragon 1. We can see the nose cone falling away, but how does it separate? It's on the top of the rocket. Small solid rocket motors? I remember it spinning end over end.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: ugordan on 05/19/2016 11:58 AM
It's spring-loaded at one end. SpaceX doesn't like using pyros unless they have to. See those two shadows near the top, that's the location of the mechanism.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: MattMason on 05/19/2016 01:25 PM
It's spring-loaded at one end. SpaceX doesn't like using pyros unless they have to. See those two shadows near the top, that's the location of the mechanism.

A great resource for the Falcon 9's general design, including their reasoning to use non-pyro actuators for stage and other separations, can be found in their official Payload Guide, attached.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: sevenperforce on 05/19/2016 02:18 PM
Do we have any figures whatsoever on the masses of the various components of Dragon 1? Mass of pressure vessel, mass of aeroshell, mass of trunk, mass of Draco thrusters, etc?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: WizZifnab on 05/19/2016 05:44 PM


If I recall correctly, it will no longer be used because it is not compatible with new infrastructure.

Any chance that they'd do it with a reused core? If the core fails, you get a launch escape test with real-life conditions. ;D
There's been a lot of discussion about this.  I don't think they would risk using a core that would fail.  The test is for an abort at maximum dynamic pressure if I recall.  I think a failure before then is not really a valid test.  It's valid for generic in flight abort, but not maximum dynamic pressure abort. [1]

That said, I think that if SpaceX is confident that the stage will not fail prior to the abort then I can't think of a good reason not to use one now that F9-DevR is out of the picture.

[1] Yes, I am aware of Little John and NASA deciding that was "good enough."

If a used core is ready in time and deemed flight worthy seems reasonable to use it.  Does the flight profile allow for booster recovery?  If not, a used core would seem preferable.

Is there some SpaceX reference to not using the F9DevR? Or is that an assumption based on changed infrastructure at the Vandenburg pad?  Is there definitely no way to use the F9-DevR?  Again, if the flight profile doesn't allow booster recovery this would seem to be preferable over using even a used booster in my opinion.

F9RDev2 is incompatible with FT pads and won't be used. IIRC it is not an assumption and has been confirmed with SX.

Sorry to harp on this, but again...no reference. You say 'IIRC' which implies you might recall incorrectly.  Certainly there is some place that SX has stated this? I'm far enough removed from the details of the Falcon9/pad upgrades that without some source reference somewhere, it seems possible that it could still be used.  Could it have undergone some modification to make it compatible? Some adapters at the pad? Etc.

Knowing for sure affects any speculation on using a used core.  Could you swap in used engines?  Or would it make sense to create an equivalent updated booster with just 1-3 used engines?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: docmordrid on 05/19/2016 06:03 PM
Its been reported in other threads. The Full Thrust mods for superchilled propellants included moving the common bulkhead, as well as changes to the umbilical. Dev 2 has none of these, so current pads cannot be used.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: mfck on 05/19/2016 06:14 PM


If I recall correctly, it will no longer be used because it is not compatible with new infrastructure.

Any chance that they'd do it with a reused core? If the core fails, you get a launch escape test with real-life conditions. ;D
There's been a lot of discussion about this.  I don't think they would risk using a core that would fail.  The test is for an abort at maximum dynamic pressure if I recall.  I think a failure before then is not really a valid test.  It's valid for generic in flight abort, but not maximum dynamic pressure abort. [1]

That said, I think that if SpaceX is confident that the stage will not fail prior to the abort then I can't think of a good reason not to use one now that F9-DevR is out of the picture.

[1] Yes, I am aware of Little John and NASA deciding that was "good enough."

If a used core is ready in time and deemed flight worthy seems reasonable to use it.  Does the flight profile allow for booster recovery?  If not, a used core would seem preferable.

Is there some SpaceX reference to not using the F9DevR? Or is that an assumption based on changed infrastructure at the Vandenburg pad?  Is there definitely no way to use the F9-DevR?  Again, if the flight profile doesn't allow booster recovery this would seem to be preferable over using even a used booster in my opinion.

F9RDev2 is incompatible with FT pads and won't be used. IIRC it is not an assumption and has been confirmed with SX.

Sorry to harp on this, but again...no reference. You say 'IIRC' which implies you might recall incorrectly.  Certainly there is some place that SX has stated this? I'm far enough removed from the details of the Falcon9/pad upgrades that without some source reference somewhere, it seems possible that it could still be used.  Could it have undergone some modification to make it compatible? Some adapters at the pad? Etc.

Knowing for sure affects any speculation on using a used core.  Could you swap in used engines?  Or would it make sense to create an equivalent updated booster with just 1-3 used engines?

The reference is buried somewhere in these fora. Sorry, I am mostly reading this from Tapatalk, so cannot help you with search much. Try the SpaceX Reusable Rockets section. I am pretty sure I do remember this correctly though.

As for modifications to F9RDev2, I highly doubt it will see such, bringing it to flight worthiness. SpaceX is trying hard to streamline things and tweaking a F9 1.1 obsolete core that was never meant for full flight regime seems a no-go to me. It would be a mere distraction by now, imo.  Also, I have difficulty to see any effect anything F9RDev2 could have on anything regarding returned FT cores. How do you figure?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lars-J on 05/19/2016 07:18 PM
Its been reported in other threads. The Full Thrust mods for superchilled propellants included moving the common bulkhead, as well as changes to the umbilical. Dev 2 has none of these, so current pads cannot be used.

Source??
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 05/19/2016 07:23 PM


If I recall correctly, it will no longer be used because it is not compatible with new infrastructure.

Any chance that they'd do it with a reused core? If the core fails, you get a launch escape test with real-life conditions. ;D
There's been a lot of discussion about this.  I don't think they would risk using a core that would fail.  The test is for an abort at maximum dynamic pressure if I recall.  I think a failure before then is not really a valid test.  It's valid for generic in flight abort, but not maximum dynamic pressure abort. [1]

That said, I think that if SpaceX is confident that the stage will not fail prior to the abort then I can't think of a good reason not to use one now that F9-DevR is out of the picture.

[1] Yes, I am aware of Little John and NASA deciding that was "good enough."

If a used core is ready in time and deemed flight worthy seems reasonable to use it.  Does the flight profile allow for booster recovery?  If not, a used core would seem preferable.

Is there some SpaceX reference to not using the F9DevR? Or is that an assumption based on changed infrastructure at the Vandenburg pad?  Is there definitely no way to use the F9-DevR?  Again, if the flight profile doesn't allow booster recovery this would seem to be preferable over using even a used booster in my opinion.

F9RDev2 is incompatible with FT pads and won't be used. IIRC it is not an assumption and has been confirmed with SX.

Sorry to harp on this, but again...no reference. Y

It was a V1.1 core.  They aren't flying any more V1.1's.    Jason-3 was the last V1.1 and they are modding the pad for FT version.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: WizZifnab on 05/19/2016 08:15 PM
Also, I have difficulty to see any effect anything F9RDev2 could have on anything regarding returned FT cores. How do you figure?
No idea.  As mentioned I don't understand the details well enough on what's changed in booster structure/tanks/engine to really know where compatibility/adaptability breaks down.  So was curious for others that might know.  I generally think assuming nothing is compatible is likely wrong.  Certainly could be that enough is incompatible that its unreasonable.  Thats where I'm landing at the moment, but checking that assumption.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: WizZifnab on 05/19/2016 08:23 PM
It was a V1.1 core.  They aren't flying any more V1.1's.    Jason-3 was the last V1.1 and they are modding the pad for FT version.
I get that.  However, in the field I work in, an update from 1.1 to 1.2 implies a minor change vs 1.1 to 2.0 being a major change.  So along with that being a minor update could imply a certain level of compatibility and adaptability.

Also, I wasn't implying any long term continual support for 1.1 when asking about ability to use the F9DevR2.  The context is around using in a one-off test.  So this is a question of how agile they can be.  Can temporarily accommodating a custom one-off usage of F9DevR2 being more reasonable than creating a whole new booster. Or throwing away a used booster if the flight profile prohibits recovery.

I just wasn't personally ready to fully assume its better to not use the F9DevR2 booster.  But I accept that those that understand the details better than I are assuming that.  However, this is a field where the old way of doing things constantly blurs the vision for being more agile and using 'out of the box' thinking.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 05/19/2016 09:09 PM
1.  I get that.  However, in the field I work in, an update from 1.1 to 1.2 implies a minor change vs 1.1 to 2.0 being a major change.

2.  So along with that being a minor update could imply a certain level of compatibility and adaptability.

3.  However, this is a field where the old way of doing things constantly blurs the vision for being more agile and using 'out of the box' thinking.

1.  There are no standards for revision conventions applicable here and certainly bot what is used in software.   The 1.2 is not official anyways, it is F9 FT

2.  It isn't "minor".  FT stages are longer, and the F9R dev 2 stage is shorter, it no longer fits on the launcher and there are other mods  Again, software conventions like "compatibility and adaptability." are not applicable to launch vehicle changes.

3. Unsubstantiated opinion.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 05/19/2016 09:26 PM

Also, I wasn't implying any long term continual support for 1.1 when asking about ability to use the F9DevR2.  The context is around using in a one-off test.  So this is a question of how agile they can be.  Can temporarily accommodating a custom one-off usage of F9DevR2 being more reasonable than creating a whole new booster. Or throwing away a used booster if the flight profile prohibits recovery.


They are being more agile about it by ignoring sunk costs and are moving on.

 They have done the same on other systems.  The launch erector at the Cape for the basic F9 was trashed after 5 flights.   the "new" launch erector was modified for the F9FT after only 15 flights of the V1.1.  The launcher at VAFB only saw one F9, upgraded and saw one V1.1 and now is going through another mod.

And....
F9R Dev 2 was never meant to be launched from a regular pad.  It was for hop flights tests at TX and NM.  Those became OBE when the Cape flight rate allowed for "regular" landing tests.  So, SX was being agile by shipping F9R Dev 2  to be used for subcooled propellant tanking tests. 

So, your premise that SX is not being agile by flying F9R Dev 2 is wrong.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: launchwatcher on 05/19/2016 10:18 PM
1.  I get that.  However, in the field I work in, an update from 1.1 to 1.2 implies a minor change vs 1.1 to 2.0 being a major change.

1.  There are no standards for revision conventions applicable here and certainly bot what is used in software.   The 1.2 is not official anyways, it is F9 FT
in software, release numbering is very often in the hands of marketing, and any message a release number conveys about what's different from the previous revision needs to be interpreted in that light.    There are no standards, only past practice, and marketing orgs generally care more about the immediate message than long term consistency.

Quote
2.  It isn't "minor".  FT stages are longer, and the F9R dev 2 stage is shorter, it no longer fits on the launcher and there are other mods  Again, software conventions like "compatibility and adaptability." are not applicable to launch vehicle changes.
The interface that matters for customer compatibility is the one between payload and launch vehicle.   As I understand it, anything built to launch on a F9 1.1 will still fit on an F9 FT or F9 fuller thrust or whatever they're calling the latest revision that hasn't flown yet.

For now, at least, SpaceX owns both the launch pads and launch vehicles; the interface between them is conceptually private to spacex.   Conceptually far larger changes to invisible internal interfaces ship in "minor" software revisions and only sometimes become customer visible...


Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: JamesH65 on 05/20/2016 08:52 AM

Also, I wasn't implying any long term continual support for 1.1 when asking about ability to use the F9DevR2.  The context is around using in a one-off test.  So this is a question of how agile they can be.  Can temporarily accommodating a custom one-off usage of F9DevR2 being more reasonable than creating a whole new booster. Or throwing away a used booster if the flight profile prohibits recovery.


They are being more agile about it by ignoring sunk costs and are moving on.

 They have done the same on other systems.  The launch erector at the Cape for the basic F9 was trashed after 5 flights.   the "new" launch erector was modified for the F9FT after only 15 flights of the V1.1.  The launcher at VAFB only saw one F9, upgraded and saw one V1.1 and now is going through another mod.

And....
F9R Dev 2 was never meant to be launched from a regular pad.  It was for hop flights tests at TX and NM.  Those became OBE when the Cape flight rate allowed for "regular" landing tests.  So, SX was being agile by shipping F9R Dev 2  to be used for subcooled propellant tanking tests. 

So, your premise that SX is not being agile by flying F9R Dev 2 is wrong.

This is very agile behaviour - make what you need for a particular point in time, and modify or do again as time goes by. The important thing is timescale, not making something that is straightaway a finished article. May seem counter intuitive - why not make a TE that works for all future models - but the costs do work out over time, and tends to produce better results more quickly.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AncientU on 05/20/2016 12:27 PM
You are also learning valuable lessons along the way, so what you rebuild is not only reconfigured, but improved.  F9 evolution is a great example.
FH will start from this foundation as will Boca Chica... and BFR.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 05/20/2016 01:42 PM
why not make a TE that works for all future models

Because one can't predict the future and the horizontal concop that SX uses is very sensitive to vehicle OML changes.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: JamesH65 on 05/20/2016 03:21 PM
why not make a TE that works for all future models

Because one can't predict the future and the horizontal concop that SX uses is very sensitive to vehicle OML changes.

Er, wasn't that the point?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AncientU on 05/20/2016 03:37 PM
why not make a TE that works for all future models

Because one can't predict the future and the horizontal concop that SX uses is very sensitive to vehicle OML changes.

Er, wasn't that the point?

The point is that the SpaceX design approach is iterative... some call it 'spiral' instead of 'waterfall.'  Long-term evolution is not planned down to the detail that imposes a fixed ground structure (GSE) or becomes a constraint. (The VAB door size is an example that constrains the SLS development path.)

Enough is done at each iteration to prove the design; a move to next is informed and improvements are initiated.  Ground structures are also advanced in an iterative manner. 

Look at the bottom line if you think this is foolish and/or wasteful.

If you are better at predicting the future than SpaceX, you should already be a billionaire and can start your own line of rockets -- based on fixed GSE, of course.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 05/20/2016 03:47 PM
why not make a TE that works for all future models

Because one can't predict the future and the horizontal concop that SX uses is very sensitive to vehicle OML changes.

Er, wasn't that the point?

It is more expensive to have a conop than isn't sensitive to vehicle OML changes.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: WizZifnab on 05/20/2016 04:14 PM
Thanks Jim for your replies.

They are being more agile about it by ignoring sunk costs and are moving on.
Well, assuming they are 'moving on', how agile that is isn't really about the sunk costs, its about the most efficient way to accomplish the next task, being the in-flight abort test in this case.  So how much does it cost (w/time and opportunity costs, and anything else being figured) to use a new booster, a used booster or somehow use the F9DevR2.  I've heard a booster is a tens of millions of dollars, and used booster maybe about 30% less than that.  How much would it cost to use the F9DevR2 with temporary infrastructure?  Would it really cost over ten million dollars? Honestly, how things cost so much in this business does baffle me.  I'm willing to believe any one of those is the right choice.  I'm just not going to assume its not F9DevR2.  If I saw some sources regarding the decision, or a comparison of those costs, I wouldn't be pressing the conversation.

They have done the same on other systems.  The launch erector at the Cape for the basic F9 was trashed after 5 flights.   the "new" launch erector was modified for the F9FT after only 15 flights of the V1.1.  The launcher at VAFB only saw one F9, upgraded and saw one V1.1 and now is going through another mod.
This could imply its not so costly to adapt/adjust things at the pad.  And again, I'm just talking about temporary infrastructure for a one-off test. Which means using a F9DevR2 may be more cost efficient than it might otherwise seem.  I've definitely have no issue when them moving their system forward continuously as needed and as is most efficient for ongoing operations.
And....
F9R Dev 2 was never meant to be launched from a regular pad.  It was for hop flights tests at TX and NM.  Those became OBE when the Cape flight rate allowed for "regular" landing tests.  So, SX was being agile by shipping F9R Dev 2  to be used for subcooled propellant tanking tests. 
But it was at one point intended to be used for the in-flight abort test right?  So use of it was expected to be a one-off all along?  So, again, how much has the costs for doing that changed with the pad upgrades that have occurred?  Could they also have considered the one-off F9DevR2 usage along the way when upgrading.
So, your premise that SX is not being agile by flying F9R Dev 2 is wrong.
Oh, wait.  Maybe some confusion here.  I've never said that.  I was implying that assuming the F9DevR2 would not be used without a reference/source from SpaceX might not be thinking about most agile approaches.  I've still not seen a source/reference from SpaceX saying this, and if that is their plan, I'd assume they are approaching it in the most agile way.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: WizZifnab on 05/20/2016 04:27 PM
1.  There are no standards for revision conventions applicable here and certainly bot what is used in software.   The 1.2 is not official anyways, it is F9 FT
It was just an analogy to simply call out the question of the nature of the differences.  They are not different rockets, it was an upgrade to the rocket.  Implies a certain level commonality.  I'm not sure minor vs major is the right distinction anyway.
3. Unsubstantiated opinion.
Absolutely :-)  I certainly don't work for SpaceX.  And I've stated I'm no rocket expert. 
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 05/20/2016 04:48 PM

1.  Well, assuming they are 'moving on',

2.  This could imply its not so costly to adapt/adjust things at the pad. 

3.  But it was at one point intended to be used for the in-flight abort test right? 

4.  So use of it was expected to be a one-off all along? 

5.  So, again, how much has the costs for doing that changed with the pad upgrades that have occurred?  Could they also have considered the one-off F9DevR2 usage along the way when upgrading.


1.  No assumption, they are. 

2.  It does no such thing.

3.  The test has been delayed and Spacex has a manifest backlog that they need to work off.   They don't need to incur delay penalties.  So the pad had to be upgraded for the latest vehicle.

4.  No, as I said it was to be used for hop flights tests at TX and NM

5. Makes no sense to scar a pad for a one off test.

The pad and vehicle are continually evolving.  When they are ready for the test, they will take a stage of the production line and use it.  And they will likely recovered it and hence not 'waste' a stage making the case for using F9R Dev3 moot. If the stage isn't recovered, they still will have saved money by not using an outdated configuration and the engineering and time keeping operational.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: WizZifnab on 05/20/2016 05:18 PM
1.  No assumption, they are. 
I'd love to have the source/reference for that.  Really.
2.  It does no such thing.
Well, ok maybe just implies that to me, a non-expert.  I did say 'could'.  You sure are emphatic.
3.  The test has been delayed and Spacex has a manifest backlog that they need to work off.   They don't need to incur delay penalties.  So the pad had to be upgraded for the latest vehicle.
4.  No, as I said it was to be used for hop flights tests at TX and NM
I totally agree with their moving forward.  I don't know that precludes using F9DevR2.  I'm not sure where all these assumptions are coming from.

Per this article (and I thought I'd read it also elsewhere), I thought the F9DevR2 was, at least at one-point, being leveraged for the in-flight abort test.
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/04/spacex-tanking-tests-in-flight-abort-falcon-9/
Is that incorrect?  The article said 'possibly'.  So maybe there was just a cascade of assumptions scattered around the internet that I picked up as being more fact.  See, that's why I hate to just take peoples statements as fact without a SpaceX source.
5. Makes no sense to scar a pad for a one off test.
By scar, I assume you mean to modify? Whether it makes sense or not comes down to a lot of factors, right? Being agile would imply you would consider, and then efficiently decide on the best approach, without getting locked into the assumption that to 'scar' in and of itself is necessarily wrong.  For example, if I could 'scar' in order to use the F9DevR2, and then fix back to previous condition afterwards, for say 5 million dollars, would that be worth it?
The pad and vehicle are continually evolving.  When they are ready for the test, they will take a stage of the production line and use it.  And they will likely recovered it and hence not 'waste' a stage making the case for using F9R Dev3 moot. If the stage isn't recovered, they still will have saved money by not using an outdated configuration and the engineering and time keeping operational.
Okay, so that last statement, you just state that like its a fact without any kind of reference/source or proposed summation of costs to validate it.  Earlier I mentioned my assumption of cost of a booster as tens of millions and a used booster maybe 30% less.  You really believe it would cost more than that to provide for a temporary one-off launch of a F9DevR2?

Thanks again for the replies.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Wolfram66 on 05/20/2016 05:52 PM
 :o ??? ::) ;)
Does anyone think this stage can be rehabilitated enough to go out to SpacePort America and perform the function of F9R-DEV2 and be used as testbed for S1 TPS materials performance testing and eval? this gives them a better means of testing entry profiles, burns and materials with max sensor and telemetry data
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: mme on 05/20/2016 06:03 PM
:o ??? ::) ;)
Does anyone think this stage can be rehabilitated enough to go out to SpacePort America and perform the function of F9R-DEV2 and be used as testbed for S1 TPS materials performance testing and eval? this gives them a better means of testing entry profiles, burns and materials with max sensor and telemetry data
They can't fly trajectories that look anything like a GTO launch from SPA so the reentry would not be anything like a GTO reentry.  And they are hoping to fly more than a dozen flights this year.  They are getting plenty of excellent real world data.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 05/20/2016 06:13 PM
1.    I don't know that precludes using F9DevR2.

2.   I'm not sure where all these assumptions are coming from.

3.  Per this article (and I thought I'd read it also elsewhere), I thought the F9DevR2 was, at least at one-point, being leveraged for the in-flight abort test.

4.  By scar, I assume you mean to modify? Whether it makes sense or not comes down to a lot of factors, right? Being agile would imply you would consider, and then efficiently decide on the best approach, without getting locked into the assumption that to 'scar' in and of itself is necessarily wrong.  For example, if I could 'scar' in order to use the F9DevR2, and then fix back to previous condition afterwards, for say 5 million dollars, would that be worth it?


1.  It is incompatible with version F9 FT pads
2.  Not assumptions
3.  Intentions from years ago are no longer valid.
4.  Scar means to design in a capability to accept a later change.  The "changes" that are designed in to accept the later changes can't be undone and hence the term scar. 
Extreme example.  Buying a stretch limo with the capability to remove the section that make it a stretch.  And then only using it once as a shortened limo.  You are stuck with all the joints and breaks in the body, frame and utilities for the rest of the limo's useful life, even though they will never be used again.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: abaddon on 05/20/2016 06:14 PM
The fact is F9R-Dev2 no longer has a place in SpaceX plans.

Should we try and invent reasons for SpaceX to resurrect Grasshopper next?  It's still sitting there at McGregor.  I'm sure they could do something useful with it!!!

Or... we could move on.  Please?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cambrianera on 05/20/2016 06:50 PM
Should we try and invent reasons for SpaceX to resurrect Grasshopper next?
Yes please !  :)

I'm sure they could do something useful with it!!!
Entertain us, for example...  ;D
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 05/20/2016 06:53 PM
The fact is F9R-Dev2 no longer has a place in SpaceX plans.

Should we try and invent reasons for SpaceX to resurrect Grasshopper next?  It's still sitting there at McGregor.  I'm sure they could do something useful with it!!!

Or... we could move on.  Please?
Oh come on. Admit it- it's always fun for people to slowly come to the realization that Jim isn't just talking out of his ass.  :)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: WizZifnab on 05/20/2016 07:03 PM
Well, I guess I'll let the question on potential use of F9DevR2 for in-flight abort go.  I really didn't get an answer that satisfies me.  But I think I might be rubbing people raw on this.

Knowing for a fact whether its possible to recover the booster would certainly affect the value of considering a F9DevR2.  Regardless, I don't personally care or prefer one choice over the other.  I really have just been asking the question sort of academically.  Its the making of the choice that matters more to me than what choice is made.

The response here smells a little of 'group think' to me.

Again, thanks Jim for replying.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: abaddon on 05/20/2016 07:17 PM
Oh come on. Admit it- it's always fun for people to slowly come to the realization that Jim isn't just taking out of his ass.  :)
I imagine Jim is not taking lots of things out of his ass.  I'm trying not to imagine anything of the sort, really.

Sorry, mods, I had to...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: abaddon on 05/20/2016 07:21 PM
I really didn't get an answer that satisfies me.  But I think I might be rubbing people raw on this.
[...]
The response here smells a little of 'group think' to me.
The Internet is full of people who don't know what they are talking about not trusting people who do.  I prefer to put my faith in the kind folks from the industry who do actually have real experience in this area, unlike myself, and take the time to post here for our education.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 05/20/2016 07:34 PM
Well, I guess I'll let the question on potential use of F9DevR2 for in-flight abort go.  I really didn't get an answer that satisfies me.  But I think I might be rubbing people raw on this.

Knowing for a fact whether its possible to recover the booster would certainly affect the value of considering a F9DevR2.  Regardless, I don't personally care or prefer one choice over the other.  I really have just been asking the question sort of academically.  Its the making of the choice that matters more to me than what choice is made.

The response here smells a little of 'group think' to me.

What group?  And who is thinking?

Plain and simple, cheaper not to use F9R Dev2 than to use it at this point in history.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 05/20/2016 07:50 PM
F9R Dev2 is a historical artifact now.

Shotwell says that Musk likes to accumulate stuff like this (and GH) such that the warehouse is full of SX artifacts/relics for like some future museum of "how I did it" - sounds a bit like the Totenkopf character from "Sky Captain" ;)

Although I will share that you probably could launch it from the unfinished facilities/tie down in SpacePort America, for all the good it would do. Although how you'd process it with a US, payload, shroud, and handle launch/range operations, let alone get a launch license (heh!) ... would be amusing to watch. Nah! Just kidding.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: rcoppola on 05/20/2016 08:01 PM
WizZifnab:

Before throwing around GroupThink comments, please take a moment and look at the profile of the person you have been going back and forth. You'll notice his location is listed as Cape Canaveral Spaceport. I assure you he's not cutting the lawns there.

So let's move on.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Wolfram66 on 05/20/2016 08:10 PM
Well, I guess I'll let the question on potential use of F9DevR2 for in-flight abort go.  I really didn't get an answer that satisfies me.  But I think I might be rubbing people raw on this.

Knowing for a fact whether its possible to recover the booster would certainly affect the value of considering a F9DevR2.  Regardless, I don't personally care or prefer one choice over the other.  I really have just been asking the question sort of academically.  Its the making of the choice that matters more to me than what choice is made.

The response here smells a little of 'group think' to me.

What group?  And who is thinking?

Plain and simple, cheaper not to use F9R Dev2 than to use it at this point in history.
:o ;D ;D ;D #Snarkasm ...another service provided by NSF.Jim() can we just fix &  paint JCSAT-14 S1 to look like a really cool space falcon & donate it to a museum? USAF Museum in Dayton, Smithsonian?  8) ???
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: obi-wan on 05/20/2016 09:05 PM
Well, I guess I'll let the question on potential use of F9DevR2 for in-flight abort go.  I really didn't get an answer that satisfies me.  But I think I might be rubbing people raw on this.

Knowing for a fact whether its possible to recover the booster would certainly affect the value of considering a F9DevR2.  Regardless, I don't personally care or prefer one choice over the other.  I really have just been asking the question sort of academically.  Its the making of the choice that matters more to me than what choice is made.

The response here smells a little of 'group think' to me.

What group?  And who is thinking?

Plain and simple, cheaper not to use F9R Dev2 than to use it at this point in history.
:o ;D ;D ;D #Snarkasm ...another service provided by NSF.Jim() can we just fix &  paint JCSAT-14 S1 to look like a really cool space falcon & donate it to a museum? USAF Museum in Dayton, Smithsonian?  8) ???

I had a meeting with some of the conservators at Udvar-Hazy a couple of weeks ago, and in general conversation said, "I don't see any SpaceX hardware here." (thinking specifically of the line of 1/15 scale launch vehicle models in the Space wing.) They got very sour looks and said, "Bad topic." Turns out SpaceX is asking for substantial payments from the Air & Space Museum (at least, don't know if that's true for other museums or just the Smithsonian) for any of their old hardware. They're much more used to having people donate historically significant items to them.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: WizZifnab on 05/20/2016 09:21 PM
WizZifnab:

Before throwing around GroupThink comments, please take a moment and look at the profile of the person you have been going back and forth. You'll notice his location is listed as Cape Canaveral Spaceport. I assure you he's not cutting the lawns there.

So let's move on.
I've assumed that Jim is quite knowledgeable.  Probably an understatement.  And he replied and quite clearly gave his input and perspective.  The group think comment was about the possibility dissenting opinion is stifled by the desire to not rock the boat on a topic or be ridiculed for a contrary view point.  One comment came close to ridicule.  So if anything it was a comment to those who might have had a different opinion but didn't speak up.

And of course, its entirely possibly there is no group think, and I'm entirely isolated in thinking there is any value in discussing the choice of possibly using the F9DevR2 for in-flight abort test at this point.  I am a layman on this topic.  So I accept that. 

But its generally not a good idea to tell people not to consider group think...thats kind of the point.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: eriblo on 05/20/2016 10:56 PM
WizZifnab:

Before throwing around GroupThink comments, please take a moment and look at the profile of the person you have been going back and forth. You'll notice his location is listed as Cape Canaveral Spaceport. I assure you he's not cutting the lawns there.

So let's move on.
I've assumed that Jim is quite knowledgeable.  Probably an understatement.  And he replied and quite clearly gave his input and perspective.  The group think comment was about the possibility dissenting opinion is stifled by the desire to not rock the boat on a topic or be ridiculed for a contrary view point.  One comment came close to ridicule.  So if anything it was a comment to those who might have had a different opinion but didn't speak up.

And of course, its entirely possibly there is no group think, and I'm entirely isolated in thinking there is any value in discussing the choice of possibly using the F9DevR2 for in-flight abort test at this point.  I am a layman on this topic.  So I accept that. 

But its generally not a good idea to tell people not to consider group think...thats kind of the point.
I can't speak for others comments or how they are interpreted by someone else (always a limitation when dealing with text) but I guess you can get that impression when questioning someone with such a concise style who is often the first hand source for his information. In many cases (this included) posters are also extra careful not to accidentally reveal information that is at least originally sourced in L2. This will certainly give an impression of "hush, don't disturb the Insightful one/Forgive him because he knows not what he does" at times ;).
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: llanitedave on 05/20/2016 11:56 PM
WizZifnab:

Before throwing around GroupThink comments, please take a moment and look at the profile of the person you have been going back and forth. You'll notice his location is listed as Cape Canaveral Spaceport. I assure you he's not cutting the lawns there.

So let's move on.
I've assumed that Jim is quite knowledgeable.  Probably an understatement.  And he replied and quite clearly gave his input and perspective.  The group think comment was about the possibility dissenting opinion is stifled by the desire to not rock the boat on a topic or be ridiculed for a contrary view point.  One comment came close to ridicule.  So if anything it was a comment to those who might have had a different opinion but didn't speak up.

And of course, its entirely possibly there is no group think, and I'm entirely isolated in thinking there is any value in discussing the choice of possibly using the F9DevR2 for in-flight abort test at this point.  I am a layman on this topic.  So I accept that. 

But its generally not a good idea to tell people not to consider group think...thats kind of the point.


Even Jim gets called out from time to time.  This forum is not an echo chamber.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: groundbound on 05/21/2016 12:08 AM
Quote from: llanitedave link=topic=39180.msg1537104#msg1537104
Even Jim gets called out from time to time.  This forum is not an echo chamber.

IMO he is the recipient of incoming fire fairly often.

I would guess he is actually wrong much less often.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Bob Shaw on 05/21/2016 12:47 AM
I had a meeting with some of the conservators at Udvar-Hazy a couple of weeks ago, and in general conversation said, "I don't see any SpaceX hardware here." (thinking specifically of the line of 1/15 scale launch vehicle models in the Space wing.) They got very sour looks and said, "Bad topic." Turns out SpaceX is asking for substantial payments from the Air & Space Museum (at least, don't know if that's true for other museums or just the Smithsonian) for any of their old hardware. They're much more used to having people donate historically significant items to them.

Er, remember that all other rocketry companies (bar a few tiny ones) consider flown items to be 'debris', while SpaceX thinks of them as 'assets', ready to gas and go...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: the_other_Doug on 05/21/2016 01:09 AM
All of that said, F9DevR2 simply doesn't fit properly on any of the F9 launch facilities any longer.  Because the latest version of the F9 has stretched tanks compared to those in the F9DevR2, and the various umbilical locations have changed (as well as the umbilical interfaces), you would have to re-engineer one of the current F9 pads back to the old F9 v1 style, and the locations of all of its various connections to the pad, just to launch this one core for a one-off flight that will never be repeated.

Overall, the cost of doing so might not be equal to the cost of a new core.  But keep in mind that the pads will be in fairly constant use -- so it will take time to modify them back to the current F9 configuration.  When you're trying to launch rockets every three to six weeks, the challenge and cost of pulling that off in the tight timeframes SpaceX would be allowed just don't justify the cost savings of using a different core.

I would bet that, by the time the in-flight abort test is run, there will be a used core available that SpaceX will be willing to part with for the test.  And, who knows, they could very possibly try and recover the core they use for the abort test.  The ASDS just might need to be closer to shore than normal...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: llanitedave on 05/21/2016 01:35 AM
Quote from: llanitedave link=topic=39180.msg1537104#msg1537104
Even Jim gets called out from time to time.  This forum is not an echo chamber.

IMO he is the recipient of incoming fire fairly often.

I would guess he is actually wrong much less often.


Right or wrong, it's a pretty good indication that of all our failings on this forum, groupthink is usually not one of them.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: macpacheco on 05/21/2016 03:06 AM
Just a reminder that SpaceX builds launchpads at a fraction of ULA/NASA costs.
They can afford to just throw it away and being anew if they think its better.
Trying to accuse SpaceX of falling prey to the Sunk Cost Fallacy makes very little sense. SpaceX is the epitome of doing things cost effectively, just saying.

Example, the Boca Chica Launch Complex is estimated at US$ 100 million total costs !
I would guesstimate LC40 costed less than the stated F9 FT first stage build cost.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 05/21/2016 05:19 AM
Just a reminder that SpaceX builds launchpads at a fraction of ULA/NASA costs.
They can afford to just throw it away and being anew if they think its better.
Trying to accuse SpaceX of falling prey to the Sunk Cost Fallacy makes very little sense. SpaceX is the epitome of doing things cost effectively, just saying.

Example, the Boca Chica Launch Complex is estimated at US$ 100 million total costs !
I would guesstimate LC40 costed less than the stated F9 FT first stage build cost.

Right. They could build a complex, abandon it and build another till the end of time with wanton abandon and it wouldn't cut into their profits in any critical way - and they have made a profit off all of their facilities so far, so such a scenario is rather unlikely.

SpaceX isn't very good at crappy economics.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 05/21/2016 01:14 PM
Just a reminder that SpaceX builds launchpads at a fraction of ULA/NASA costs.


Wrong.  Don't lump NASA and ULA in the same group.  Complex 40 and 41 costs would be the same since Spacex has now upgraded to an EELV equivalent vehicle and if they added vertical integration hardware.

ULA pads were driven by vertical integration requirements and vehicle size.  The original F9 wasn't close to either.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jcc on 05/21/2016 02:17 PM
Well, I guess I'll let the question on potential use of F9DevR2 for in-flight abort go.  I really didn't get an answer that satisfies me.  But I think I might be rubbing people raw on this.

Knowing for a fact whether its possible to recover the booster would certainly affect the value of considering a F9DevR2.  Regardless, I don't personally care or prefer one choice over the other.  I really have just been asking the question sort of academically.  Its the making of the choice that matters more to me than what choice is made.

The response here smells a little of 'group think' to me.

What group?  And who is thinking?

Plain and simple, cheaper not to use F9R Dev2 than to use it at this point in history.

Probably a true statement.
Next, they have a choice between storing it in perpetuity, donating it to a space museum or cutting it apart for spare parts and recycling the metals. I would suggest the last option, if anything to prove you can, which may indicate an end of life path for reused stages. (Other than going expendable).
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: woods170 on 05/21/2016 08:10 PM
I had a meeting with some of the conservators at Udvar-Hazy a couple of weeks ago, and in general conversation said, "I don't see any SpaceX hardware here." (thinking specifically of the line of 1/15 scale launch vehicle models in the Space wing.) They got very sour looks and said, "Bad topic." Turns out SpaceX is asking for substantial payments from the Air & Space Museum (at least, don't know if that's true for other museums or just the Smithsonian) for any of their old hardware. They're much more used to having people donate historically significant items to them.
What you was told is basically the same thing I was told last year when I had the chance to ask the Air & Space Museum a very similar question. Elon is clearly not in the business of giving away his old rocket & spacecraft hardware for free. I can understand that given the following example:
At our own little space museum over here in the Netherlands (and I don't mean ESTEC's Space Expo) we sought to obtain a (now defunct) piece of Columbus training hardware for our ISS exposition. Turned out that ESA had rented that particular piece of hardware from the manufacturer. Naturally the manufacturer was not interested at all in donating the training hardware to us. Despite the hardware being fully defunct they still expected us to pay a rather hefty sum of money to obtain the right to add it to the exposition. Given that our little museum works on a shoestring budget we declined.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: baldusi on 05/21/2016 08:39 PM
The reason might be an accounting/taxation issue. If they keep those items at the production cost (including certification and such), to keep a certain equity amount in their balance sheet, then taking them out would have consequences.
Say that they need a certain equity because they need it when they bid to the government. If they had lots of profits, then they would probably like to reduce their income tax through such donations.
But if they don't currently have profits against which to offset those "losses" of the donation, Then taking them out would be a loss of equity. And in the short term impact their bidding strength and in the longer term force them to pay more income tax.
So I wouldn't be surprised if they had would be willing to donate in the future.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: the_other_Doug on 05/21/2016 09:11 PM
The reason might be an accounting/taxation issue. If they keep those items at the production cost (including certification and such), to keep a certain equity amount in their balance sheet, then taking them out would have consequences.
Say that they need a certain equity because they need it when they bid to the government. If they had lots of profits, then they would probably like to reduce their income tax through such donations.
But if they don't currently have profits against which to offset those "losses" of the donation, Then taking them out would be a loss of equity. And in the short term impact their bidding strength and in the longer term force them to pay more income tax.
So I wouldn't be surprised if they had would be willing to donate in the future.

Yes, but you get around that kind of thing by placing the item in question "on loan" to the museum.  Thus it remains the property of the manufacturer, but is available for display.

I would imagine that such things might become a little more complicated if the manufacturer and the museum are in two different countries, though.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lars-J on 05/22/2016 12:56 AM
All of that said, F9DevR2 simply doesn't fit properly on any of the F9 launch facilities any longer.  Because the latest version of the F9 has stretched tanks compared to those in the F9DevR2

The upper stage tanks were stretched, yes, but I don't think that the first stage were.

Yet several people have made this assertion, but I have yet to see any real source for it. Can someone cite some real evidence of a 1st stage tank stretch after v1.1?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: mvpel on 05/22/2016 01:02 AM
1.  No assumption, they are. 
I'd love to have the source/reference for that.  Really.

Jim's post, above.  ;)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lars-J on 05/22/2016 02:59 AM
1.  No assumption, they are. 
I'd love to have the source/reference for that.  Really.

Jim's post, above.  ;)
I'm afraid I'm going to need something more, since it appears to contradict other things we have heard/seen since the FT F9 arrived.

See image describing F9 FT changes - a first stage tank change or tank change is not listed:(http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160522/8081191e93522676dd22d2bda57cc7c6.jpg)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Mongo62 on 05/22/2016 03:07 AM
I'm afraid I'm going to need something more, since it appears to contradict other things we have heard/seen since the FT F9 arrived.

See image describing F9 FT changes - a first stage tank change or tank change is not listed

One change not mentioned in that image is the location of the common bulkheads between the LOX and RP-1 tanks. With sub-cooling, the density of the RP-1 increases and the LOX/RP-1 volume ratio changes, hence requiring that the common bulkheads move to increase the volume of LOX and reduce the volume of RP-1.

I do not know this for certain, but it seems plausible that this might also require the locations of the propellant loading ports to shift as well.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lars-J on 05/22/2016 04:38 AM
See image describing F9 FT changes - a first stage tank change or tank change is not listed

One change not mentioned in that image is the location of the common bulkheads between the LOX and RP-1 tanks. With sub-cooling, the density of the RP-1 increases and the LOX/RP-1 volume ratio changes, hence requiring that the common bulkheads move to increase the volume of LOX and reduce the volume of RP-1.

I do not know this for certain, but it seems plausible that this might also require the locations of the propellant loading ports to shift as well.
Do we have any corroborating evidence that the common bulkhead has moved, other than a terse and possibly ambiguous Jim statement?

And propellant loading/dumping ports on the 1st stage are at the base.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: guckyfan on 05/22/2016 05:54 AM
One change not mentioned in that image is the location of the common bulkheads between the LOX and RP-1 tanks. With sub-cooling, the density of the RP-1 increases and the LOX/RP-1 volume ratio changes, hence requiring that the common bulkheads move to increase the volume of LOX and reduce the volume of RP-1.

I expect it to be the other way around. RP-1 is densified by cooling. However LOX is densified more than that and probably the RP-1 tank volume would increase. But I don't recall this ever mentioned before now.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/22/2016 03:03 PM
It is more of a structural strength problem and US weight problem in using the v1.1 tank with FT engines. The tank cannot handle the higher loads of a 20mt heavier US and the 16% higher thrust FT engines without thrust limiting at liftoff. With the heavier US optimized for the FT 1st stage not the v1.1 1st stage the resulting vehicle may even have less performance than the original v1.1.

For a tank that costs <$8M it is not worth using it with engines that do not exist on it as it was to be used (only 3 normal thrust [non-FT]) and must be added. If you add 6 other FT engines then it is best to also replace the other 3 but to use the 9 FT engines you need to modify the thrust structure or replace it now that tank savings gets less and less and the headaches mount. You end with a Frankenstein one of a kind stage neither a v1.1 or a FT.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/22/2016 03:13 PM
All of that said, F9DevR2 simply doesn't fit properly on any of the F9 launch facilities any longer.  Because the latest version of the F9 has stretched tanks compared to those in the F9DevR2

The upper stage tanks were stretched, yes, but I don't think that the first stage were.

Yet several people have made this assertion, but I have yet to see any real source for it. Can someone cite some real evidence of a 1st stage tank stretch after v1.1?
Only the second stage was stretched, not the first stage.  The erector tower had a section added to adapt to the slightly-taller rocket.  This was discussed at length last year.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: BobHk on 05/22/2016 03:13 PM
Just a reminder that SpaceX builds launchpads at a fraction of ULA/NASA costs.
They can afford to just throw it away and being anew if they think its better.
Trying to accuse SpaceX of falling prey to the Sunk Cost Fallacy makes very little sense. SpaceX is the epitome of doing things cost effectively, just saying.

Example, the Boca Chica Launch Complex is estimated at US$ 100 million total costs !
I would guesstimate LC40 costed less than the stated F9 FT first stage build cost.

Right. They could build a complex, abandon it and build another till the end of time with wanton abandon and it wouldn't cut into their profits in any critical way - and they have made a profit off all of their facilities so far, so such a scenario is rather unlikely.

SpaceX isn't very good at crappy economics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnbOUgmazxE&feature=youtu.be

Take this as an indication of agility - quick and cheap build of SLC40 for Spacex
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: douglas100 on 05/22/2016 03:50 PM
Just to point out that SpaceX hasn't actually built a pad from scratch yet. They have modified two existing pads and are working on a third modification currently. Only when the work in Texas is finished will they have completely built a pad. However I am making no claims about SpaceX's construction costs versus other launch providers.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: LouScheffer on 05/22/2016 04:05 PM
Well, I guess I'll let the question on potential use of F9DevR2 for in-flight abort go.  I really didn't get an answer that satisfies me.  But I think I might be rubbing people raw on this.
I think you are bugging folks by searching for a reasoning that is not publically available.

With only knowledge of how expensive technical decisions normally get made, I'd bet it was something like this one of these scenerios:

There was a meeting about "which booster for abort test?".  At this meeting, engineers outlines the pros and cons.  On the plus side, it already exists.  On the minus side, you'd need to retrofit the GSE, launch, re-fit the pad and re-qualify it.  They would have, or estimate at the meeting, the costs for this and any effects on follow-on schedules.  Also, the test is not as realistic with an old booster (does NASA care?).  Plus there may be operational problems, such as people trained for a 1.1 launch that have left.  Their replacements may only be trained for 1.2.  Another consideration, not known when they spec'd the F9DevR2, is that they have used boosters available.

Or maybe this all happened at the "GSE update for Vandenburg" meeting, when it was pointed out this would make using the F9DevR2 much harder.

At any rate, at some point they considered all these issues, and decided it was better to not use the F9DevR2.  Short of an insider, directly involved with this issue, writing some retrospective history of the F9, you are not likely to get a complete explanation.  It's also likely there is no "smoking gun" killer issue - any individual issue could have been addressed, but the combination of all the hassles made it  better to drop the F9devR2.  It may not be satisfying to you, but it's all you are likely to get.  Asking for more, as you yourself point out, is just bugging folks. 
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lar on 05/22/2016 04:22 PM
A bit less challenging each other would be good.  Also we don't need to dissect why Jim chose to be extraordinarily patient, either.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: the_other_Doug on 05/22/2016 04:38 PM
So, an odd question -- an in-flight abort test is usually a max-Q abort test.  An abort at max-Q is the toughest one to pull off, for obvious reasons.  I recall that Mercury and Apollo weren't qualified to fly crews until they had passed a max-Q abort test.

So, let's assume that the Dragon 2 in-flight abort test will happen at max-Q.  To "test as you fly," they will need to have the rocket carry a dummy second stage between the first stage and the Dragon 2 trunk, right?

So... what I'm trying to picture is how the first stage will handle after a max-Q abort, and is there a sequence of dumping the dummy stage 2 and then a boostback burn that would allow the first stage to be recovered?  Will the likelihood that stage 1 will only fly on three engines make a difference?

Unless the dummy second stage is more aerodynamic that your normal flat-ended top end of a real stage 2, when you pull the trunk and Dragon off, at max-Q, will the booster and dummy stage 2 be controllable?  Even if the engines are shut down right after the Dragon and trunk clear their path?  Or is that a recipe for the stage coming apart, no matter what you do?

I guess I'm trying to get some idea in my head as to how likely it is the booster used for this test can be recovered.  Any thoughts?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: OnWithTheShow on 05/22/2016 06:44 PM
So, let's assume that the Dragon 2 in-flight abort test will happen at max-Q.  To "test as you fly," they will need to have the rocket carry a dummy second stage between the first stage and the Dragon 2 trunk, right?

They have said the abort test would be at max drag which isnt quite the same time in flight as max q. In either case I dont see why the booster couldnt attempt a landing though I doubt it has the control authority in the thicker part of the atmosphere and likely wont be able to continue thrusting without an aerodynamic shape on top.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Robotbeat on 05/22/2016 06:59 PM
Just to point out that SpaceX hasn't actually built a pad from scratch yet. They have modified two existing pads and are working on a third modification currently. Only when the work in Texas is finished will they have completely built a pad. However I am making no claims about SpaceX's construction costs versus other launch providers.
Wrong. They certainly built the Kwaj pad from scratch.

#nitpicking
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: douglas100 on 05/23/2016 10:33 AM
Just to point out that SpaceX hasn't actually built a pad from scratch yet. They have modified two existing pads and are working on a third modification currently. Only when the work in Texas is finished will they have completely built a pad. However I am making no claims about SpaceX's construction costs versus other launch providers.
Wrong. They certainly built the Kwaj pad from scratch.

#nitpicking

You are right, I stand corrected.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: rpapo on 05/23/2016 12:16 PM
Wrong. They certainly built the Kwaj pad from scratch.
You are right, I stand corrected.
Perhaps it's a stretch, but the Grasshopper pad was certainly a launch pad, if very much a minimalist one.  It had no vertical supports, and no hold-downs.  They managed fueling somehow, albeit only a partial fuel load.  In this case, though, they paid the price for not paying the price.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Kabloona on 05/23/2016 12:33 PM
So, an odd question -- an in-flight abort test is usually a max-Q abort test.  An abort at max-Q is the toughest one to pull off, for obvious reasons.  I recall that Mercury and Apollo weren't qualified to fly crews until they had passed a max-Q abort test.

So, let's assume that the Dragon 2 in-flight abort test will happen at max-Q.  To "test as you fly," they will need to have the rocket carry a dummy second stage between the first stage and the Dragon 2 trunk, right?

So... what I'm trying to picture is how the first stage will handle after a max-Q abort, and is there a sequence of dumping the dummy stage 2 and then a boostback burn that would allow the first stage to be recovered?  Will the likelihood that stage 1 will only fly on three engines make a difference?

Unless the dummy second stage is more aerodynamic that your normal flat-ended top end of a real stage 2, when you pull the trunk and Dragon off, at max-Q, will the booster and dummy stage 2 be controllable?  Even if the engines are shut down right after the Dragon and trunk clear their path?  Or is that a recipe for the stage coming apart, no matter what you do?

I guess I'm trying to get some idea in my head as to how likely it is the booster used for this test can be recovered.  Any thoughts?

I'm trying to imagine a way to recover the vehicle after separation, and I can't see it happening. The engines must shut down for the abort, and once that happens the stage is going to tumble and come apart from aero loads. Even if you tried to restart after shutdown, that wouldn't work because all the propellant has been shoved into the top of the tanks by drag deceleration, and even just a second or two of loss of main engine thrust vectoring will probably be enough to send the vehicle into an unrecoverable tumble. It's hopeless, IMO.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: abaddon on 05/23/2016 02:32 PM
The engines must shut down for the abort
Why?  Isn't the capsule supposed to be able to outpace a potentially out-of-control booster?  Say there is damage to the rocket that takes out the command link or something (as unlikely as that is, given how robust that has to be).

(I still think the booster is going to break apart, mind you, whether they shut down the engines or not).
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: bstrong on 05/23/2016 03:39 PM
Wrong. They certainly built the Kwaj pad from scratch.
You are right, I stand corrected.
Perhaps it's a stretch, but the Grasshopper pad was certainly a launch pad, if very much a minimalist one.  It had no vertical supports, and no hold-downs.  They managed fueling somehow, albeit only a partial fuel load.  In this case, though, they paid the price for not paying the price.

The new test stand with FH-sized flame trench is a lot more similar to a real launch pad, though. Between it and the mods at the Cape and VAFB, I think you can basically give them credit for having built a launch pad from scratch.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Robotbeat on 05/23/2016 03:47 PM
Just to point out that SpaceX hasn't actually built a pad from scratch yet. They have modified two existing pads and are working on a third modification currently. Only when the work in Texas is finished will they have completely built a pad. However I am making no claims about SpaceX's construction costs versus other launch providers.
Wrong. They certainly built the Kwaj pad from scratch.

#nitpicking

You are right, I stand corrected.
Your original point basically stands, though. Falcon 1 and Grasshopper were like 1/50th the thrust of Falcon Heavy, building a pad for it is like nothing in comparison.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 05/23/2016 05:12 PM
So, an odd question -- an in-flight abort test is usually a max-Q abort test.  An abort at max-Q is the toughest one to pull off, for obvious reasons.  I recall that Mercury and Apollo weren't qualified to fly crews until they had passed a max-Q abort test.

So, let's assume that the Dragon 2 in-flight abort test will happen at max-Q.  To "test as you fly," they will need to have the rocket carry a dummy second stage between the first stage and the Dragon 2 trunk, right?

So... what I'm trying to picture is how the first stage will handle after a max-Q abort, and is there a sequence of dumping the dummy stage 2 and then a boostback burn that would allow the first stage to be recovered?  Will the likelihood that stage 1 will only fly on three engines make a difference?

Unless the dummy second stage is more aerodynamic that your normal flat-ended top end of a real stage 2, when you pull the trunk and Dragon off, at max-Q, will the booster and dummy stage 2 be controllable?  Even if the engines are shut down right after the Dragon and trunk clear their path?  Or is that a recipe for the stage coming apart, no matter what you do?

I guess I'm trying to get some idea in my head as to how likely it is the booster used for this test can be recovered.  Any thoughts?

I'm trying to imagine a way to recover the vehicle after separation, and I can't see it happening. The engines must shut down for the abort, and once that happens the stage is going to tumble and come apart from aero loads.

Lets just go with what you have stated with engine shutdown and  jettison of the capsule by the escape system.

The first issue will be the torques / bending moment on the top of the stage, as it still is within the flow around the departing capsule. If the deflection of the top of the stage exceeds a fraction of the radius of the vehicle, a shearing of the flow will a) asymmetrically aeroload the stage bulkhead, causing it to collapse, and b) deviate the stage into a tumble. This is the most likely way the stage is destroyed.

So there are many issues at play, including stability, aeroload shedding, and passive deceleration, long before you get to stage reorientation (possibly passively) before terminal braking burn (or boost back).

Suggest you examine New Shepard circular fin arrangement. Such an arrangement might allow a capsule escape and a reusable vehicle recovery, by addressing these issues.

Also, we have stabilizing controls on the stage already, in terms of grid fins and cold gas thrusters. In effect, when the jettison/stream separation occur, the rocket is flying backwards already (CoP/CoM flip quickly).

So you need to center the vehicle with increased control authority at the top the vehicle, and symmetrically shed aeroloads to the point that a reinforced dome can handle the remainder. It is mostly a dynamic stability problem.

Quote
Even if you tried to restart after shutdown, that wouldn't work because all the propellant has been shoved into the top of the tanks by drag deceleration, and even just a second or two of loss of main engine thrust vectoring will probably be enough to send the vehicle into an unrecoverable tumble. It's hopeless, IMO.

Nope, not hopeless. But it might not be economic. You don't want to restart the engine, and you can't flip the vehicle to brake at that pressure/altitude, so you're left with passive ballistic drag and passive reorientation as CoP migrates back to CoM, you reach the top of the ballistic arc, then passive reorientation bring propellant down to tank bottom, it falls tail first, and you can start engines.

So a extremely lofted trajectory leads to a recoverable scenario where you don't have to cancel much horizontal velocity, and the reorientation occurs at low density well above separation, where orientation won't be affected by aeroloads.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: llanitedave on 05/23/2016 05:48 PM
If the stage is recoverable, why are you aborting in the first place?  For the one-off in flight abort test it makes no sense to modify the stage for recovery.  Too much expense for something that's only going to happen once.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: groundbound on 05/23/2016 05:56 PM
If the stage is recoverable, why are you aborting in the first place?  For the one-off in flight abort test it makes no sense to modify the stage for recovery.  Too much expense for something that's only going to happen once.

I think there is a better question that you are not asking. Are there useful things that can be learned by trying to fly the stage after separation? If you learn some of this stuff (even if you lose the stage) does it eventually help some use case that will improve your business model?

If yes, then task a few people with it and instrument the heck out of the stage. If no, save yourself the effort.

This is potentially an opportunity for another (and unique) free experiment like core landing attempts have been. The value could be in the data more than the recovered core.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: mme on 05/23/2016 07:29 PM
The engines must shut down for the abort
Why?  Isn't the capsule supposed to be able to outpace a potentially out-of-control booster?  Say there is damage to the rocket that takes out the command link or something (as unlikely as that is, given how robust that has to be).

(I still think the booster is going to break apart, mind you, whether they shut down the engines or not).
I think there is an argument to made that shutdown the engines is part of the test.  Sure, engines on "chasing" the capsule is more exciting/impressive.  But it depends on the set of functionality that is being tested/proven.

I'm skeptical that S1 can survive the abort but I don't have the information or expertise to know.  And other's have pointed out to me that CRS-7 "kept chugging along" for a few seconds.  It did ultimately rupture and deflagrate without an external termination signal.  But who knows what damage it took when S2 disintegrated and the Dragon possibly smacked into it.

TL;DR

I have no clue what SpaceX and NASA want out of the test nor what's possible beyond the Dragon abort.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Modal on 05/23/2016 10:28 PM
The engines must shut down for the abort
Why?  Isn't the capsule supposed to be able to outpace a potentially out-of-control booster?  Say there is damage to the rocket that takes out the command link or something (as unlikely as that is, given how robust that has to be).

(I still think the booster is going to break apart, mind you, whether they shut down the engines or not).
I think there is an argument to made that shutdown the engines is part of the test.  Sure, engines on "chasing" the capsule is more exciting/impressive.  But it depends on the set of functionality that is being tested/proven.

I'm skeptical that S1 can survive the abort but I don't have the information or expertise to know.  And other's have pointed out to me that CRS-7 "kept chugging along" for a few seconds.  It did ultimately rupture and deflagrate without an external termination signal.  But who knows what damage it took when S2 disintegrated and the Dragon possibly smacked into it.

TL;DR

I have no clue what SpaceX and NASA want out of the test nor what's possible beyond the Dragon abort.

IIRC, CRS-7 auto-terminated like F9R-dev1, the manual signal was sent almost a full minute after failure.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 05/23/2016 10:31 PM
The engines must shut down for the abort
Why?  Isn't the capsule supposed to be able to outpace a potentially out-of-control booster?  Say there is damage to the rocket that takes out the command link or something (as unlikely as that is, given how robust that has to be).

(I still think the booster is going to break apart, mind you, whether they shut down the engines or not).
I think there is an argument to made that shutdown the engines is part of the test.  Sure, engines on "chasing" the capsule is more exciting/impressive.  But it depends on the set of functionality that is being tested/proven.

I'm skeptical that S1 can survive the abort but I don't have the information or expertise to know.  And other's have pointed out to me that CRS-7 "kept chugging along" for a few seconds.  It did ultimately rupture and deflagrate without an external termination signal.  But who knows what damage it took when S2 disintegrated and the Dragon possibly smacked into it.

TL;DR

I have no clue what SpaceX and NASA want out of the test nor what's possible beyond the Dragon abort.

IIRC, CRS-7 auto-terminated like F9R-dev1, the manual signal was sent almost a full minute after failure.

There is no indication - and SpaceX has never stated - that CRS-7 auto-terminated.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Modal on 05/23/2016 10:57 PM
We know that OrbitalATK has an atuo FTS on Minotaur I. And we know Spacex has one because of F9R-dev1.

Also, CRS-7 looked like an extremely clean destruction. Nothing like the past failures of Proton or Ariane which similarly disintegrated inflight without an auto FTS.

There may not have been a direct confirmation but it seems likely that the auto FTS was used.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: douglas100 on 05/23/2016 11:40 PM
The cause of the accident was stated to be rapid over pressurization of the second stage lox tank leading to rupture. That is entirely consistent with the appearance of the accident. There is no need to invoke auto destruct. And accidents to other launch vehicles are not relevant. 
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Coastal Ron on 05/23/2016 11:57 PM
We know that OrbitalATK has an atuo FTS on Minotaur I. And we know Spacex has one because of F9R-dev1.

Also, CRS-7 looked like an extremely clean destruction. Nothing like the past failures of Proton or Ariane which similarly disintegrated inflight without an auto FTS.

There may not have been a direct confirmation but it seems likely that the auto FTS was used.

This subject was covered - exhaustively - in other threads during the time of the accident.  I suggest you go look at those to see what facts were known at the time.

And from what I remember at the time, Herb Schaltegger has stated what we know publicly.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Modal on 05/24/2016 12:12 AM
The cause of the accident was stated to be rapid over pressurization of the second stage lox tank leading to rupture. That is entirely consistent with the appearance of the accident. There is no need to invoke auto destruct. And accidents to other launch vehicles are not relevant.

There is no doubt what caused the destruction of the US, obviously that was over pressurization and everybody knows that. I was only commenting that the destruction of the booster stage, which didn't over pressurize like the US.

And while the analogy of other LVs may not fit perfectly, it shows how disintegration looks like without FTS.

Quote
This subject was covered - exhaustively - in other threads during the time of the accident.  I suggest you go look at those to see what facts were known at the time.

Sure, but where to start?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lar on 05/24/2016 01:01 AM
<Mod hat on>
Whether CRS-7 auto terminated or not was covered elsewhere. That doesn't mean it's off topic in a general thread but it does mean those who wish to comment probably should do homework first. The search function can help but it's a bit weak, sadly. I recommend instead using Google search. That won't get you L2 posts but it can get a person started (I'm betting Modal doesn't have L2, could be wrong, so it may not be too much of a limitation....)
</mod hat on>

Here's a potential search. Should get you started

https://www.google.com/search?q=crs-7+auto+termination+site%3Anasaspaceflight.com
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: deruch on 05/24/2016 06:18 AM
Do we have any corroborating evidence that the common bulkhead has moved, other than a terse and possibly ambiguous Jim statement?

I had assumed that it had, based on unequal gains in prop density through subchilling but on further review I actually have some evidence that the common bulkhead hasn't moved.  Or, at most has moved only very little.

Values in bold are given from sources, normal text values are derived.  Sorry for the imperial units, but that was what was given in the direct sources.
VehicleStage-1 LOX (lbs.)Stage-1 RP-1 (lbs.)Stage-1 LOX (gal.)Stage-1 RP-1 (gal.)
F9v1.1     609,728262,570  257,920     64,000     38,500
F9FT     662,250     260,760     63,290     37,940

You can see that the tank volumes for F9FT are very close to those from the F9v1.1.  I'm assuming there's some error in my volume conversions due to not using the exact densities that SpaceX gets.  As well as the fact, judging by their roundness, that the volumes given for the F9v1.1 are not exact.  So, if there was a bulkhead move, it wasn't much of one.

Source for F9v1.1 values:  http://netspublic.grc.nasa.gov/main/Final_Falcon_Launch_EA.pdf  (table on pg.22; density conversion in table footnote)

Source for F9FT values: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/research/spacex_2016iha_draftea.pdf   (pg.21)

Density conversions for densified propellants:
LOX: 1.2539 kg/L (LOX high density at -206.7 C)   
RP-1: 0.8235 kg/L (RP-1 high density at -6.7 C)

Sources for density conversions:
LOX: http://www.nist.gov/srd/upload/jpcrd423.pdf  (equation in section 3.3)  [originally done by Steve Pietrobon in RTF Discussion Thread]
RP-1: http://atlasbases.homestead.com/Analysis_of_RP-1_Fuel_Density_-_SAWE0323.pdf  (equation on pg.3, uses API for CCAFS listed on last page)

EDIT: On looking at the numbers again, I'm a bit confused due to what seems a strange drop in the weight of RP-1 post densification.  So, there may be something wrong there.  I'll go back over my numbers to double check and compare my density equations with those given in the F9v1.1 source.

EDIT2: Using the same density equation for the RP-1 on the F9v1.1, though adjusting for a temperature of 70 oF, I get 257,920 lbs of RP-1.  So, there's still an obvious gain with densification.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: IainMcClatchie on 05/24/2016 11:05 AM
Wow, it looks like the first stage engines are running a lot less rich in the FT version compared to 1.1.

That means a greater temperature gain during the burn.  I suppose the colder RP-1 will do a better job chilling the engine walls.  Does anyone know the Isp effect of the different RP-1:LOX ratio?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Kabloona on 05/24/2016 02:53 PM
The engines must shut down for the abort
Why?  Isn't the capsule supposed to be able to outpace a potentially out-of-control booster?  Say there is damage to the rocket that takes out the command link or something (as unlikely as that is, given how robust that has to be).

(I still think the booster is going to break apart, mind you, whether they shut down the engines or not).
I think there is an argument to made that shutdown the engines is part of the test.  Sure, engines on "chasing" the capsule is more exciting/impressive.  But it depends on the set of functionality that is being tested/proven.

I'm skeptical that S1 can survive the abort but I don't have the information or expertise to know.  And other's have pointed out to me that CRS-7 "kept chugging along" for a few seconds.

Important to remember the difference in flight regime. CRS-7 was able to "keep chugging" because it was near the end of stage 1 burn, at high altitude and relatively low Q. Flight abort will happen earlier in stage 1 burn, in denser atmosphere near max Q (at max drag), and the consequences will likely be more sudden and dramatic.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: DatUser14 on 05/25/2016 03:13 PM
with regard to the article just posted, near the bottom. What does "Dragon OML Hardware" mean
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 05/25/2016 03:52 PM
with regard to the article just posted, near the bottom. What does "Dragon OML Hardware" mean
Outer Mold Line.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: BigDustyman on 05/27/2016 05:22 PM
falcon sighting in leesburg florida really awsome delayed me but was worth it got pics will post later
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: BobHk on 05/27/2016 09:35 PM
One of the hosts of the Thaicom 8 Mission on youtube SpaceX live cast of the launch just said they plan to relaunch the third landed core later this year.  Thought that was the most damaged one?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: RonM on 05/27/2016 10:18 PM
One of the hosts of the Thaicom 8 Mission on youtube SpaceX live cast of the launch just said they plan to relaunch the third landed core later this year.  Thought that was the most damaged one?

The second landed core.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lar on 05/31/2016 03:30 PM
This seems pretty significant to me

http://spacenews.com/spacex-to-brief-underwriters-on-the-road-to-falcon-9-reusability/

Getting insurers on board with reuse and how it affects risk seems like it's one of the key pieces of the reusability puzzle. If you (satellite company CEO) can't get insurance, your board will give you a hard time about choosing a reused stage even if it's cheaper....
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: david1971 on 05/31/2016 04:38 PM
This seems pretty significant to me

http://spacenews.com/spacex-to-brief-underwriters-on-the-road-to-falcon-9-reusability/

Getting insurers on board with reuse and how it affects risk seems like it's one of the key pieces of the reusability puzzle. If you (satellite company CEO) can't get insurance, your board will give you a hard time about choosing a reused stage even if it's cheaper....

I found these two paragraphs a little surprising:

“SpaceX’s pitch to underwriters comes at a time of historic softness in the satellite insurance business. Launch insurance premiums have fallen steadily, to less than 6 percent now for both the Falcon 9 and Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket.

One insurer said the buyer’s market in insurance has led to a situation where the Falcon 9 Full Thrust vehicle, which made its first flight only last March, is now afforded about the same premium rates as Europe’s Ariane 5, whose design has not changed in the 16 years since the vehicle’s last failure."

Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lar on 05/31/2016 05:15 PM
I found these two paragraphs a little surprising:

“SpaceX’s pitch to underwriters comes at a time of historic softness in the satellite insurance business. Launch insurance premiums have fallen steadily, to less than 6 percent now for both the Falcon 9 and Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket.

One insurer said the buyer’s market in insurance has led to a situation where the Falcon 9 Full Thrust vehicle, which made its first flight only last March, is now afforded about the same premium rates as Europe’s Ariane 5, whose design has not changed in the 16 years since the vehicle’s last failure."

So did I. Is it a valid conclusion that the similarity in rates is due to competitive pressure among insurers trying to win business? I would expect all rates to go down but ratios not to change much... that sounds like a ratio change.

Or is it actually more accurate that perceived risk is shifting?  I certainly don't know ( and suspect that even a direct question to an underwriter might not elicit an answer, as it may be competitive advantage to not speak clearly about risk )....
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AncientU on 05/31/2016 05:32 PM
This seems pretty significant to me

http://spacenews.com/spacex-to-brief-underwriters-on-the-road-to-falcon-9-reusability/

Getting insurers on board with reuse and how it affects risk seems like it's one of the key pieces of the reusability puzzle. If you (satellite company CEO) can't get insurance, your board will give you a hard time about choosing a reused stage even if it's cheaper....

I found these two paragraphs a little surprising:

“SpaceX’s pitch to underwriters comes at a time of historic softness in the satellite insurance business. Launch insurance premiums have fallen steadily, to less than 6 percent now for both the Falcon 9 and Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket.

One insurer said the buyer’s market in insurance has led to a situation where the Falcon 9 Full Thrust vehicle, which made its first flight only last March, is now afforded about the same premium rates as Europe’s Ariane 5, whose design has not changed in the 16 years since the vehicle’s last failure."

Wasn't Orbcomm in December 2015 (six months ago) the first FT flight/return to flight/ landing all in one go?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Rebel44 on 05/31/2016 05:35 PM
This seems pretty significant to me

http://spacenews.com/spacex-to-brief-underwriters-on-the-road-to-falcon-9-reusability/

Getting insurers on board with reuse and how it affects risk seems like it's one of the key pieces of the reusability puzzle. If you (satellite company CEO) can't get insurance, your board will give you a hard time about choosing a reused stage even if it's cheaper....

I found these two paragraphs a little surprising:

“SpaceX’s pitch to underwriters comes at a time of historic softness in the satellite insurance business. Launch insurance premiums have fallen steadily, to less than 6 percent now for both the Falcon 9 and Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket.

One insurer said the buyer’s market in insurance has led to a situation where the Falcon 9 Full Thrust vehicle, which made its first flight only last March, is now afforded about the same premium rates as Europe’s Ariane 5, whose design has not changed in the 16 years since the vehicle’s last failure."

Wasn't Orbcomm in December 2015 (six months ago) the first FT flight/return to flight/ landing all in one go?

Yes, it was.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: meekGee on 05/31/2016 07:05 PM
I found these two paragraphs a little surprising:

“SpaceX’s pitch to underwriters comes at a time of historic softness in the satellite insurance business. Launch insurance premiums have fallen steadily, to less than 6 percent now for both the Falcon 9 and Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket.

One insurer said the buyer’s market in insurance has led to a situation where the Falcon 9 Full Thrust vehicle, which made its first flight only last March, is now afforded about the same premium rates as Europe’s Ariane 5, whose design has not changed in the 16 years since the vehicle’s last failure."

So did I. Is it a valid conclusion that the similarity in rates is due to competitive pressure among insurers trying to win business? I would expect all rates to go down but ratios not to change much... that sounds like a ratio change.

Or is it actually more accurate that perceived risk is shifting?  I certainly don't know ( and suspect that even a direct question to an underwriter might not elicit an answer, as it may be competitive advantage to not speak clearly about risk )....

If I was an insurer, I'd feel safer with the F9 after SpaceX had a chance to inspect a landed booster.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lar on 05/31/2016 07:10 PM
which might be one reason why SpaceX want to talk to insurers....
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AncientU on 05/31/2016 07:19 PM
which might be one reason why SpaceX want to talk to insurers....

Wonder if they'll wade into the bathtub discussion?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: llanitedave on 05/31/2016 08:07 PM
which might be one reason why SpaceX want to talk to insurers....

Wonder if they'll wade into the bathtub discussion?

I suspect that people who calculate insurance risk are fairly familiar with statistics and bathtubs.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/31/2016 08:27 PM
Being able to insure a reuse launch is probably as important a milestone as being able to recover a stage. Without insurance the reusable booster would not be economically viable for a commercial LV.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: JamesH65 on 05/31/2016 08:44 PM
I found these two paragraphs a little surprising:

“SpaceX’s pitch to underwriters comes at a time of historic softness in the satellite insurance business. Launch insurance premiums have fallen steadily, to less than 6 percent now for both the Falcon 9 and Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket.

One insurer said the buyer’s market in insurance has led to a situation where the Falcon 9 Full Thrust vehicle, which made its first flight only last March, is now afforded about the same premium rates as Europe’s Ariane 5, whose design has not changed in the 16 years since the vehicle’s last failure."

So did I. Is it a valid conclusion that the similarity in rates is due to competitive pressure among insurers trying to win business? I would expect all rates to go down but ratios not to change much... that sounds like a ratio change.

Or is it actually more accurate that perceived risk is shifting?  I certainly don't know ( and suspect that even a direct question to an underwriter might not elicit an answer, as it may be competitive advantage to not speak clearly about risk )....

Perceived risk reduction due to better technology? Not talking reusability, just more reliable rockets due to better design, and in the case of F9 VS Ariane, 10 years extra worth of experience.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Kabloona on 05/31/2016 10:27 PM
Quote
Perceived risk reduction due to better technology?

And/or F9's conservative design margins with an eye towards human rating, eg factors of safety of 1.4 vs the usual 1.25.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 05/31/2016 10:39 PM
Inspecting a landed stage just validates that it survived landing. It doesn't increase its launch reliability appreciability
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lars-J on 05/31/2016 10:43 PM
Inspecting a landed stage just validates that it survived landing. It doesn't increase its launch reliability appreciability

If that was true you would not be able to validate that a *new* stage will launch reliably before it launches. But through testing you *clearly* can.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 05/31/2016 10:46 PM
They aren't going to structurally test it before launching again
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: JBF on 06/01/2016 12:55 AM
They aren't going to structurally test it before launching again

Jim do you know if they are going to do any structure testing at all?  I always assumed that they would at least run it through one of those giant airplane x-ray machines.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/01/2016 01:19 AM
Structural testing includes:
 * sampling of key components
 * wear/fatigue modelling
 * functional testing in the environment of use
 * destructive testing of entire / partial stage

High flight hours a/c frames usually are searched for microfractures to discover fatigue patterns that are classified to materials / application.

Given the stresses on these highly decelerated stage, and its unique bending moments encountered, it makes sense to sample the thrust structures and scan the exterior skin for microfractures. Tank domes also.

None of this would be that hard to do following stage recovery.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lar on 06/01/2016 02:42 AM
Inspecting a landed stage just validates that it survived landing. It doesn't increase its launch reliability appreciability
It does possibly increase its expected success rate .... if there are parts that get replaced.

It does possibly increase the expected success rate of all future stages .... if there are design changes that are made as a result of the findings that make improvements.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: meekGee on 06/01/2016 07:00 AM




If that was true you would not be able to validate that a *new* stage will launch reliably before it launches. But through testing you *clearly* can.

If you inspect a landed stage and find no "almost failures", you now know it survived both launch and landing without coming close to rudding...

So unless it fixed itself on the way down, you also have increased confidence in your margin allocation.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: JamesH65 on 06/01/2016 07:01 AM
Inspecting a landed stage just validates that it survived landing. It doesn't increase its launch reliability appreciability

I don't believe this statement can be correct.

Surely there must be much information gleaned from a landed stage that could be used to improve the launch success? Of course, the majority of information will likely be used to improve landing reliability, but I can see that at least some of those improvements will possibly benefit launching. Any engine improvement for example.

Of course, it could be argued that improving the F9's launchers reliability will be difficult given it fairly high success rate already.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jet Black on 06/01/2016 11:18 AM
Unsure. If they'd landed on before the doomed CRS mission, they may have been able to identify weaknesses in struts. There may be other things in there that are on a knife edge in terms of failing.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: rpapo on 06/01/2016 11:34 AM
Unsure. If they'd landed on before the doomed CRS mission, they may have been able to identify weaknesses in struts. There may be other things in there that are on a knife edge in terms of failing.
Who says?  The struts that failed were in the second stage, which they are far from being able to recover yet.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: guckyfan on 06/01/2016 11:53 AM
Who says?  The struts that failed were in the second stage, which they are far from being able to recover yet.

They said the same kind struts were used all over the first and second stage. Doesn't mean that they could have detected the problem on a landed stage. Maybe, maybe not.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: rpapo on 06/01/2016 12:05 PM
Who says?  The struts that failed were in the second stage, which they are far from being able to recover yet.
They said the same kind struts were used all over the first and second stage. Doesn't mean that they could have detected the problem on a landed stage. Maybe, maybe not.
Very true, though the loading may or may not be different.  It really depends on whether the helium tanks are submerged in liquid oxygen or exposed at the time of maximum acceleration.  If they are exposed, then their load is downward.  In the second stage, the loading was upward due to the buoyancy of the tanks while submerged in the full tank of liquid oxygen.  By that time, the first stage's tank is half empty, at least.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AncientU on 06/01/2016 01:06 PM
Inspecting a landed stage just validates that it survived landing. It doesn't increase its launch reliability appreciability

I thought the very first stage re-fire after landing found a weakness (found as a result of the thrust fluctuation) that they easily improved upon; they claimed it increased the reliability of the rocket on ascent, too.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 06/01/2016 01:09 PM
Any engine improvement for example.

That can be found on a test stand
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: vandersons on 06/01/2016 02:26 PM
Any engine improvement for example.

That can be found on a test stand

Correct me if I'm wrong here but would it not be near impossible to mimic flight conditions for an engine on a test stand? In my understanding a test stand is a far more rigid structure than a rocket itself so the vibration environments would be quite different. Wouldn't that difference introduce additional failure scenarios for the pumps?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lar on 06/01/2016 03:35 PM
Test as you Fly, Fly as you Test.

Jim's probably right in the general case, that the direct reliability impacts aren't going to be super high value from examining a stage, but wrong about specifics, that there might be examples of things that might be findable only by examining a flown stage, that no amount of test stand or preflight checks of an unflown stage will find. Things that if corrected, will improve reliability of future flights (new OR used)

Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AncientU on 06/01/2016 04:53 PM
Were there features of the Shuttle and RS-25 launch reliability that were improved upon as a result of recovering the spacecraft and examining it?  (Booster recovery certainly showed evidence of o-ring blow-by that could have been fixed but weren't, to tragic end.)  Seems a lot more promising development tactic (if you can do it, of course) than launching generations of rockets until your failures diminish toward zero. 
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 06/01/2016 05:07 PM
Were there features of the Shuttle and RS-25 launch reliability that were improved upon as a result of recovering the spacecraft and examining it?  (Booster recovery certainly showed evidence of o-ring blow-by that could have been fixed but weren't, to tragic end.)  Seems a lot more promising development tactic (if you can do it, of course) than launching generations of rockets until your failures diminish toward zero. 

Test stands for RS-25.  Solid motors are not applicable to this discussion.  There is no equivalent refurbish for a liquid rocket engine.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/01/2016 05:37 PM
Suggest that there are disagreements about reflight being better/worse statistics due to lack of flight experience.

Jim's position is very reasonable and proven, because launch is unlike "aircraft operation" in it's extremes, such that one can look at the systems engineering view is to create an air/thrust frame that takes launch stress and then is disposed of, and the rest is a recoverable engine and margin.

SX's position is also reasonable (but unproven), by expanding LV operational envelope to deal with the stresses of launch, return, landing, recovery, and relaunch. Margin is not preserved by reduction of dry mass and excess/recovery props, but by expending the vehicle (recovery fuel as an excess), with additional performance to handle the excess dry mass.

For SX's position to "win" alongside past "proven" in terms of "aircraft operations" (note - nothing about economics yet, just functional operations in "WAD"), thermal/fatigue/wear/other issues need to be a tiny fraction of total vehicle, and the growth rate every launch must be even smaller.

The original plan was to recover stages and destructively test them. What seems to have happened instead is that engines are being examined instead, and a series of static fires (eventually) will be done in place at CCAFS, and then a reflight will occur.

Suggest that engine issues dominate concerns, likely dealt with by production line changes. Suggest that airframe/thrust/thermal issues are being dealt with to a lesser degree by reprocessing/sampling/replacement, as they fall within expected bounds.

Suggest net/net that SX believes that the cost issues are with the engines, and that "normal" flight operations are within the acceptable structural bounds, and that where the remaining stress/wear issues are in getting to hundreds of flights, thus likely where they want to do tear down is after a reflight (or ten!), which is why they don't give a rat's a$$ about it at this point.

Which explains the difference in positions on this. Jim want's them to prove their position first.

As do I.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: meekGee on 06/02/2016 01:23 AM
The return flight does not help the stage.

If you see damage, you might wonder whether it is from the launch or return.

But if you eliminate doubt, see that margins were adequate, etc - that buys you confidence.

Nobody today has a chance to inspect their rockets post launch to know how close they came to failure... and this has to factor into how the underwriters see things.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: meekGee on 06/02/2016 02:22 AM
Not quite.

If you received a post-launch rocket, teleported to your lab as if by magic and without any damage (from teleportation) it would clearly be hugely useful.

An argument was made that because of damage during flyback, the evidence is basically erased, since you can't differentiate between "up damage" and "down damage".

So first, for many types of damage , yes you can.

Second, even if you can't, you know for sure that you're examining a "more damaged" rocket, so at a bare minimum, anything you inspect and comes out as expected, adds confidence to future first launches of the type.

Third, for re-launches, you have confidence that absolute fatal mistakes were not made.  Of course there may be mistakes that only manifest themselves on second or third flights, but those diminish with each successive flight.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: JamesH65 on 06/02/2016 11:12 AM
Not quite.

If you received a post-launch rocket, teleported to your lab as if by magic and without any damage (from teleportation) it would clearly be hugely useful.

An argument was made that because of damage during flyback, the evidence is basically erased, since you can't differentiate between "up damage" and "down damage".

So first, for many types of damage , yes you can.

Second, even if you can't, you know for sure that you're examining a "more damaged" rocket, so at a bare minimum, anything you inspect and comes out as expected, adds confidence to future first launches of the type.

Third, for re-launches, you have confidence that absolute fatal mistakes were not made.  Of course there may be mistakes that only manifest themselves on second or third flights, but those diminish with each successive flight.

My point is that is doesn't matter whether the damage was from up or down. If you ensure the damage no longer occurs, the the rocket will be more reliable, Up and Down.

Of course, since no-one has recovered a stage that has been through launch stress and been able to examine it before, this is all unknown territory. Existing knowledge is still applicable, but there is now MORE knowledge.

What I fail to understand in some posts above is why having extra knowledge WONT help reliability up and down. That sort of statement makes no sense, since is requires that the person making the statement has knowledge of stuff that HASNT HAPPENED YET (i.e. examination of the returned stage).

The only part that does make sense is that the rocket is already SO reliable that large improvements cannot be possible. Which I suppose is a good thing!
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 06/02/2016 12:45 PM

 My point is that is doesn't matter whether the damage was from up or down. If you ensure the damage no longer occurs, the the rocket will be more reliable, Up and Down.


And that takes X hundred pounds of performance off the vehicle.

And it still doesn't apply to the part of the vehicle that performs 75% of the mission.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: abaddon on 06/02/2016 01:32 PM
My point is that is doesn't matter whether the damage was from up or down. If you ensure the damage no longer occurs, the the rocket will be more reliable, Up and Down.
And that takes X hundred pounds of performance off the vehicle.
Well, yes.  X could be anything, even zero, so we're in agreement here.
Quote
And it still doesn't apply to the part of the vehicle that performs 75% of the mission.
It applies to the part of the vehicle that has to power the rocket through the most unforgiving parts of the mission (highest gravity drag, highest dynamic pressure, highest thrust) and is equally critical to mission success as the second stage.  Your little "75%" quip is cute but obviously the 1st stage is not only 25% of the success criteria.

Even if it were 25% it would be a benefit; although if that were the only payoff, it would not be worth the effort.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lar on 06/02/2016 01:36 PM
My point is that is doesn't matter whether the damage was from up or down. If you ensure the damage no longer occurs, the the rocket will be more reliable, Up and Down.
And that takes X hundred pounds of performance off the vehicle.
Well, yes.  X could be anything, even zero, so we're in agreement here.
X could actually be negative. Maybe mass of the octaweb could be reduced, for example....
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 06/02/2016 01:38 PM
  Your little "75%" quip is cute but obviously the 1st stage is not only 25% of the success criteria.

Even if it were 25% it would be a benefit; although if that were the only payoff, it would not be worth the effort.

Not cute but a fact
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 06/02/2016 01:39 PM
My point is that is doesn't matter whether the damage was from up or down. If you ensure the damage no longer occurs, the the rocket will be more reliable, Up and Down.
And that takes X hundred pounds of performance off the vehicle.
Well, yes.  X could be anything, even zero, so we're in agreement here.
X could actually be negative. Maybe mass of the octaweb could be reduced, for example....

it is going to be positive.  Reducing the octaweb would take disassembly of the stage and NDE of the components.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 06/02/2016 01:41 PM
It applies to the part of the vehicle that has to power the rocket through the most unforgiving parts of the mission (highest gravity drag, highest dynamic pressure, highest thrust) ffort.

Most failures have been upper stage related.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lar on 06/02/2016 01:42 PM
My point is that is doesn't matter whether the damage was from up or down. If you ensure the damage no longer occurs, the the rocket will be more reliable, Up and Down.
And that takes X hundred pounds of performance off the vehicle.
Well, yes.  X could be anything, even zero, so we're in agreement here.
X could actually be negative. Maybe mass of the octaweb could be reduced, for example....

it is going to be positive.  Reducing the octaweb would take disassembly of the stage and NDE of the components.

I do not mean for that particular stage, I mean for future stages as yet unbuilt. No disassembly (of these future stages) required since assembly hasn't happened yet. 

I knew you'd focus on the specific example. It was an example of a possible improvement you would only find from stage examination, not a suggestion for a specific improvement. Sigh.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: meekGee on 06/02/2016 01:42 PM
First, if somehing is close to failing, you need to fix it even if it adds weight.  Not knowing is not a good safety design practice. "What you don't know can't hurt you" doesn't apply here.

X can also be negative.  It takes a magician to always have just the right amount if margin if you never get to inspect things post flight.  If you leave too little margin, one day you might find out.  Too much, and you'll never find out.

Being able to inspect the real thing is priceless.  No amount of simulations, analysis or test stands can replace reality.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: abaddon on 06/02/2016 01:49 PM
Not cute but a fact
Sure, it's a fact.  It's also a fact that the first stage is 90% of the mission success criteria.  Depends on what metric you use to measure, and there are loads of possibilities, so we can throw around numbers that are chosen to bolster our own perspective all day.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 06/02/2016 01:49 PM

I do not mean for that particular stage, I mean for future stages as yet unbuilt. No disassembly (of these future stages) required since assembly hasn't happened yet. 

I knew you'd focus on the specific example. It was an example of a possible improvement you would only find from stage examination, not a suggestion for a specific improvement. Sigh.

sigh

Disassembly of a flown stage to inspect all the components.  Inspection of an intact whole stage is not going to provide the data to optimize individual components or structures.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 06/02/2016 01:50 PM
  It's also a fact that the first stage is 90% of the mission success criteria.

No, not true at all and not logic or data supports it.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 06/02/2016 01:52 PM
Adding weight because something is failing on entry is the point.  It is reducing the vehicle capabilities.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 06/02/2016 01:53 PM
Lets just end it here and not start another one of these.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: abaddon on 06/02/2016 01:55 PM
  It's also a fact that the first stage is 90% of the mission success criteria.

No, not true at all and not logic or data supports it.
There are 10 merlin engines on the rocket.  Nine of them have to work right on the first stage for the mission to be a success.  Okay, since Falcon 9 has engine-out capability, let's say eight of them.  One has to work on the second stage.  Since there is no backup on the second stage, that engine is more mission-critical than any one first stage engine.  (That only holds true for the F9 right now though).  So if I were to use engine success it would be less than 90%, it is true.  But it wouldn't be 75% the other way, either.

Logic and data supports it, it just doesn't fit your narrative.

Look, I get that the second stage is a critical mission component, second stage failures are more common (because they can't be tested as easily and are more optimized for weight and have lower margins as a result, I am sure other reasons too).  To say the first stage is only 25% of mission success criteria is reductive.  And even if it is it is still a benefit to get the first stage back, to be able to inspect it.  Given they are already recovering stages for future reuse, I would say it is a plus and leave it at that.
Lets just end it here and not start another one of these.
Too late...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lar on 06/02/2016 01:58 PM
Adding weight because something is failing on entry is the point.  It is reducing the vehicle capabilities.
No.

Examining a stage which has flown is the point.  There are many kinds of examinations possible and many reasons for them.

That examination may inform the future design. Some of the future changes may increase capabilities. Some may reduce them. Many of the changes may increase the overall product reliability. Some may deliberately decrease it (if the trades say that's a good idea).

I don't expect that every stage will be subject to teardown examination, only the first ones (and ones selected for some reason later, maybe random, maybe because they got 10 flights in, maybe because of an observed anomaly).

A less thorough examination of every flown stage is going to be done regardless (if only to the level of what we have now with airliners, the captain does a walkaround of the aircraft before he is willing to take off with a passenger load).  If that examination finds a component that is close to failing, replacing it improves reliability.

I'm kind of at a loss why we're arguing this.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: envy887 on 06/02/2016 02:13 PM
It applies to the part of the vehicle that has to power the rocket through the most unforgiving parts of the mission (highest gravity drag, highest dynamic pressure, highest thrust) ffort.

Most failures have been upper stage related.

Falcon 1 had two first stage failures and one second stage failure; Falcon 9 has had one first stage partial failure and one second stage failure. That's not a particularly big sample, but it's a little tilted to first stages.

Ariane 5 and Delta IV have had more upper stage failures though.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: envy887 on 06/02/2016 02:26 PM
Disassembly of a flown stage to inspect all the components.  Inspection of an intact whole stage is not going to provide the data to optimize individual components or structures.

Not all recovered stages will fly again. At least one of them has been at least partially disassembled already. Do you think
1) SpaceX will do extensive component testing (including destructive testing if needed) on parts of recovered stages?
2) Such testing will inform any changes to improve the reliability of future stages during launch?
2) Such testing will inform any changes to improve the performance of future stages during launch?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: John Alan on 06/02/2016 03:07 PM
My opinion... as of today...

First landed stage will go to plant as a gate guard... as already stated...

CRS-8 stage will be refurb'd and refly for SES later this year...
Airframe reused... but I suspect all new (or heavy rebuilt) engines for this one...

The rest so far... parted out for inspection and then scraped for recycle...
In short... RTLS stages are maybe refly if demand is there...
ASDS is only test mules for now and needs design changes to S1 to get to refly-able state...

All these high energy returns are just test mules... will not refly... in my opinion...
They likely plan to use the new building going up in McGregor as a refurb/recycle/temp storage type use...
Heck the AL-Li alone in one S1 is worth the labor cost to scrap them, instead of let them rot somewhere...
And SpaceX will do the recycle... as the IP is too great to let someone else get their hands on one...
Last thing they need is a competitor or the Chinese buying one out of a scrap yard and taking it apart... 

If there is nothing to test on some launches and the barn is full... expect them to go expendable...
But that will be a last resort I bet... as it just seems wrong in many ways...

JMHO on the question above...  ;)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/02/2016 05:11 PM
  Your little "75%" quip is cute but obviously the 1st stage is not only 25% of the success criteria.

Even if it were 25% it would be a benefit; although if that were the only payoff, it would not be worth the effort.

Not cute but a fact
But the fact that you count "amount of the mission" by raw per-stage burn time and not per-engine burn time or impulse or propellant, etc, is arbitrary, however. For instance, if SpaceX found a way to increase the thrust of the Merlin Vac 3x or so (for some payloads), that doesn't make the upper stage less important because it burns a shorter amount of time.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: RedLineTrain on 06/03/2016 02:11 PM
Crossposted with the S1 reuse thread, the LA Times has a detailed article about SpaceX briefing underwriters regarding plans for reuse.  Also mentioned (relevant here) was that SpaceX's insurance premium has almost halved over the last couple of years to be about the same as Arianespace.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-spacex-insurers-20160603-snap-story.html
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AC in NC on 06/03/2016 04:43 PM
detailed article about SpaceX briefing underwriters regarding plans for reuse.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-spacex-insurers-20160603-snap-story.html

Is there a resource that describes the manner in which insurance is handled within the industry?  Particularly I'm interested in how the cost of a relaunch is covered in the case of a SpaceX launch failure (eg:  Does SpaceX eat the cost, does SpaceX reinsure that, is it covered in the customer's insurance, ...)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 06/03/2016 04:48 PM
Right. Obviously Aspace is a significantly longer heritage LSP. Why so much confidence in SpaceX?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lar on 06/03/2016 05:17 PM
detailed article about SpaceX briefing underwriters regarding plans for reuse.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-spacex-insurers-20160603-snap-story.html

Is there a resource that describes the manner in which insurance is handled within the industry?  Particularly I'm interested in how the cost of a relaunch is covered in the case of a SpaceX launch failure (eg:  Does SpaceX eat the cost, does SpaceX reinsure that, is it covered in the customer's insurance, ...)
ISTR that SpaceX includes a free refly on commercial contracts if there is a launch vehicle failure. I have no idea why I recall that, I can't easily find where it was mentioned here and I could be all wet.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: pericynthion on 06/03/2016 05:21 PM
ISTR that SpaceX includes a free refly on commercial contracts if there is a launch vehicle failure. I have no idea why I recall that, I can't easily find where it was mentioned here and I could be all wet.

AIUI that varies with the contract.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: su27k on 06/03/2016 05:33 PM
Right. Obviously Aspace is a significantly longer heritage LSP. Why so much confidence in SpaceX?

http://spacenews.com/spacex-to-brief-underwriters-on-the-road-to-falcon-9-reusability/ says premium is less than 6%, let's say it's 5%, I think this is about correct for Falcon 9 if you consider 1.1 and 1.2 history together (20 launches, 1 failure). The question is why Ariane 5 still needs 5% premium when it has 69 successful launches.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: mme on 06/03/2016 05:42 PM
detailed article about SpaceX briefing underwriters regarding plans for reuse.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-spacex-insurers-20160603-snap-story.html

Is there a resource that describes the manner in which insurance is handled within the industry?  Particularly I'm interested in how the cost of a relaunch is covered in the case of a SpaceX launch failure (eg:  Does SpaceX eat the cost, does SpaceX reinsure that, is it covered in the customer's insurance, ...)
ISTR that SpaceX includes a free refly on commercial contracts if there is a launch vehicle failure. I have no idea why I recall that, I can't easily find where it was mentioned here and I could be all wet.
I think that Martin Halliwel talked about that in the SES-9 presser when discussing insurance and flying on a used booster.  But I could be misremembering.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 06/04/2016 12:00 AM
Right. Obviously Aspace is a significantly longer heritage LSP. Why so much confidence in SpaceX?

http://spacenews.com/spacex-to-brief-underwriters-on-the-road-to-falcon-9-reusability/ says premium is less than 6%, let's say it's 5%, I think this is about correct for Falcon 9 if you consider 1.1 and 1.2 history together (20 launches, 1 failure). The question is why Ariane 5 still needs 5% premium when it has 69 successful launches.

Any solid legal reason why that may be the case? Anything within European law that would maintain that particular state of affairs?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: baldusi on 06/04/2016 01:37 AM
May be offers are not exactly comparable, but at some point spacecraft failure probability also plays as much as LV. And Ariane 5 actually is 81/85 (95%). So it's not that huge a difference, if you use all the numbers. In primary missions F9 is also 95%.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 06/04/2016 01:51 AM
This whole discussion ... "Lies, damned lies, and statistics." :)

More seriously, actuarial calculations are a black art comprised of equal parts mathematics and factual data, with little a bit of hunch thrown in. Even setting aside legal and regulatory requirements for certain minimal levels of reserves to cover a worst-case scenario (say, independent launch vehicle failures costing two or more expensive payloads in the same fiscal year from within the same risk pool), there is always going to be some level the minimal level of premiums necessary to cover administrative overhead of the underwriting activity and regulatory oversight itself, plus some degree of profit to the insurers for their risk.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: bstrong on 06/04/2016 02:32 AM
It didn't occur to me until reading that article that all of SES's public statements in support of SpaceX might well have been intended primarily for the ears of insurers. They have a strong financial incentive to get the insurers as comfortable as possible.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Nomadd on 06/04/2016 04:11 AM
 Insurers aim to pay out about 50% of their premiums. Overhead, profit and bad currency exchange bets take the rest.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: meekGee on 06/04/2016 06:16 AM
It didn't occur to me until reading that article that all of SES's public statements in support of SpaceX might well have been intended primarily for the ears of insurers. They have a strong financial incentive to get the insurers as comfortable as possible.

The insurers should not trust their insured as far as assessing such things - for exactly the reason you state.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Rebel44 on 06/06/2016 07:11 AM
Now that Falcon 9 design is "frozen", is SpaceX going to prepare further improvements and add them all at the same time (F9 v1.3?), when they reduce their backlog of flights?

Are modifications to improve recovery also part of this design freeze, or only main rocket parts?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: douglas100 on 06/06/2016 08:16 AM
I'm sure there will be further refinements and modifications to improve recovery. There may be performance tweaks and changes to enhance reliability, just like any other LV.  But I doubt there will be a "v1.3" unless they go for a major upgrade, like a new second stage, for example.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cscott on 06/06/2016 12:16 PM
I do not believe the entire falcon 9 design is frozen, only the interface to GSE and the TEL.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lar on 06/06/2016 12:25 PM
This whole discussion ... "Lies, damned lies, and statistics." :)

More seriously, actuarial calculations are a black art comprised of equal parts mathematics and factual data, with little a bit of hunch thrown in. Even setting aside legal and regulatory requirements for certain minimal levels of reserves to cover a worst-case scenario (say, independent launch vehicle failures costing two or more expensive payloads in the same fiscal year from within the same risk pool), there is always going to be some level the minimal level of premiums necessary to cover administrative overhead of the underwriting activity and regulatory oversight itself, plus some degree of profit to the insurers for their risk.
As a note, the way to handle multiple failures (black swans) in a short period is to lay off risk... the primary insurer goes to a reinsurer and buys a policy from THEM to cover losses in excess of 1000 M USD (or whatever their number is).  Berkshire Hathaway owns at least 2 of these outfits, and they can be quite lucrative, as long as you can tolerate very lumpy payment streams.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: wannamoonbase on 06/06/2016 12:41 PM
Now that Falcon 9 design is "frozen", is SpaceX going to prepare further improvements and add them all at the same time (F9 v1.3?), when they reduce their backlog of flights?

Are modifications to improve recovery also part of this design freeze, or only main rocket parts?

Disciplined configuration control?  Would be nice but they have not shown a history of doing so.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: gongora on 06/06/2016 01:15 PM
ISTR that SpaceX includes a free refly on commercial contracts if there is a launch vehicle failure. I have no idea why I recall that, I can't easily find where it was mentioned here and I could be all wet.

There is a free reflight in the Iridium contract, makes more sense for constellation launches, especially considering how long ago SpaceX signed that contract.  I seriously doubt they've repeated that contract provision recently.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 06/06/2016 02:44 PM
Now that Falcon 9 design is "frozen", is SpaceX going to prepare further improvements and add them all at the same time (F9 v1.3?), when they reduce their backlog of flights?

Are modifications to improve recovery also part of this design freeze, or only main rocket parts?

Disciplined configuration control?  Would be nice but they have not shown a history of doing so.
Constant iteration of a design does not exclude disciplined configuration control. Unless you have insight into SpaceX's internal change management and design drawing release systems and how they integrate into their systems engineering and mission planning, you're talking out of your derrière.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/06/2016 03:36 PM
The people who "wrote the book" on systems engineering for launch vehicles do not have direct access to some Platonic form of ideal wisdom. They may be wrong.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: wannamoonbase on 06/06/2016 03:40 PM
Now that Falcon 9 design is "frozen", is SpaceX going to prepare further improvements and add them all at the same time (F9 v1.3?), when they reduce their backlog of flights?

Are modifications to improve recovery also part of this design freeze, or only main rocket parts?

Disciplined configuration control?  Would be nice but they have not shown a history of doing so.
Constant iteration of a design does not exclude disciplined configuration control. Unless you have insight into SpaceX's internal change management and design drawing release systems and how they integrate into their systems engineering and mission planning, you're talking out of your derrière.

Fair enough.  Configuration control wasn't the right term to use, Stabilized design would be better. 

I'm all for improvements, rolling them out continuously instead of doing releases is messy not just for production and manufacturing.  But I can imagine that insurers have a general level of unease with SpaceX.   

It's a young company doing new things, but they are creating problems for themselves if they keep up the same behavior.  Implementing reuse with a series of vehicles, each one potentially different than the others will be cost and schedule management nightmare.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: JamesH65 on 06/06/2016 03:46 PM
Now that Falcon 9 design is "frozen", is SpaceX going to prepare further improvements and add them all at the same time (F9 v1.3?), when they reduce their backlog of flights?

Are modifications to improve recovery also part of this design freeze, or only main rocket parts?

Disciplined configuration control?  Would be nice but they have not shown a history of doing so.
Constant iteration of a design does not exclude disciplined configuration control. Unless you have insight into SpaceX's internal change management and design drawing release systems and how they integrate into their systems engineering and mission planning, you're talking out of your derrière.

Fair enough.  Configuration control wasn't the right term to use, Stabilized design would be better. 

I'm all for improvements, rolling them out continuously instead of doing releases is messy not just for production and manufacturing.  But I can imagine that insurers have a general level of unease with SpaceX.   

It's a young company doing new things, but they are creating problems for themselves if they keep up the same behavior.  Implementing reuse with a series of vehicles, each one potentially different than the others will be cost and schedule management nightmare.

Whuh?  All launch providers rockets change design, almost every flight. Lots of tiny little changes.  Jim said this, and I believe him (just this once mind!). SpaceX don't appear to be doing much different. SpaceX have a stabilised design (The F9). They just make small changes as they go along. I see no problem, it's what they, and others, do.

What you seem to be saying is that SpaceX can only continue without problems if they stop innovating.  Which is a pointless thing to do.

Only this week, some Russian space thingy has encountered problems and is on hold. It's not like SpaceX have a monopoly.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: RedLineTrain on 06/06/2016 04:02 PM
I'm all for improvements, rolling them out continuously instead of doing releases is messy not just for production and manufacturing.  But I can imagine that insurers have a general level of unease with SpaceX.

Please no FUD.  Not a page ago in this thread, there was a link to article where an insurer stated that he was fine with it and that SpaceX had credibility to do these things.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 06/06/2016 04:03 PM
A design freeze would make SpaceX considerably less interesting for us fans, if you want to come at it from that perspective. Besides, a lack of changeability is no guarantee of reliability, especially when each and every modification is aimed at making the LV a better alternative to the LV that came before. There has been no proof of yet that SpaceX feature creep is the root cause of any past SpaceX reliability issues. SpaceX also has the ability to adapt rather rapidly if they do make a design err, which is unlikely. They have the culture and the facilities to deal with feature creep as the norm running order.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Lar on 06/06/2016 04:05 PM
The trick with continuous revision is managing what configuration each unit is currently, and managing what units get backported from their as built (or as last modified) to the desired current config. Some change items may not get applied and some may.

Interesting problem. But not unsolvable.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: kaiser on 06/06/2016 04:42 PM
The trick with continuous revision is managing what configuration each unit is currently, and managing what units get backported from their as built (or as last modified) to the desired current config. Some change items may not get applied and some may.

Interesting problem. But not unsolvable.

Exactly, and the rocket business is pretty good place for this.  Implement drawing change, replace drawings on floor for the next serial number.  File away travelers and red lines from build on that unit, and log drawing revision used to build it in the database.  Rinse, repeat.  Continually.  No need for it to be messy or confusing as long as you're disciplined about it (aka, not backporting unless mission critical, having good floor practices, etc).
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AncientU on 06/06/2016 05:15 PM
I'm all for improvements, rolling them out continuously instead of doing releases is messy not just for production and manufacturing.  But I can imagine that insurers have a general level of unease with SpaceX.

Please no FUD.  Not a page ago in this thread, there was a link to article where an insurer stated that he was fine with it and that SpaceX had credibility to do these things.

And you'd be wrong.
SpaceX insurance rates = Ariane V insurance rates
Read last page of thread.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: RotoSequence on 06/15/2016 04:12 PM
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/743099301174247424
Quote from: Elon Musk
Upgrades underway to enable rocket to compensate for a thrust shortfall on one of the three landing engines. Probably get there end of year.

Would a full, Dragon-2-esque bank of pressure fed SuperDracos be up to the task?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/15/2016 04:17 PM
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/743099301174247424
Quote from: Elon Musk
Upgrades underway to enable rocket to compensate for a thrust shortfall on one of the three landing engines. Probably get there end of year.

Would a full, Dragon-2-esque bank of pressure fed SuperDracos be up to the task?
NO. They are upgrading the thrust of the Merlin 1Ds so they could compensate for under-thrust of one of the 3 engines.

NO superdraco, that's a bunch of hypergols and super nasty. The first stage has no hypergols on it right now, which means the recovery crew doesn't need to don bunny suits.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: envy887 on 06/15/2016 04:27 PM
The first stage has TEA-TEB, which is about as nasty as hypergols... but superdracos definitely aren't the answer.

I'm thinking that fuel lines are being occasionally damaged on hot reentries, leading to both the loss of prop and thrust at landing and the residual fires.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: the_other_Doug on 06/15/2016 04:28 PM
I'm thinking that fuel lines are being occasionally damaged on hot reentries, leading to both the loss of prop and thrust at landing and the residual fires.

That's what I've been thinking since SES-9...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: abaddon on 06/15/2016 04:30 PM
From the Bingo thread:

Next one is LZ-1 (unless Elon wants another go at a CRS-to-ASDS).
IIRC, with CRS-8 Elon said that the droneship landing had a better chance of success due to margin being a little low for an RTLS.  Also, from a PR perspective, it's probably better to do a droneship landing than have a RUD like the one today at LZ-1.  Will be interesting to see which way they go.
But a landing would mean they have more time to do an inspection of the droneship. Also, a landing is a lot better recovery option, significantly cheaper.

Clearly a successful LZ-1 landing is the best option, for many different reasons.  I'm just listing reasons they might not choose to do so.  Definitely several good reasons the other way...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: AncientU on 06/15/2016 04:59 PM
The trick with continuous revision is managing what configuration each unit is currently, and managing what units get backported from their as built (or as last modified) to the desired current config. Some change items may not get applied and some may.

Interesting problem. But not unsolvable.

Exactly, and the rocket business is pretty good place for this.  Implement drawing change, replace drawings on floor for the next serial number.  File away travelers and red lines from build on that unit, and log drawing revision used to build it in the database.  Rinse, repeat.  Continually.  No need for it to be messy or confusing as long as you're disciplined about it (aka, not backporting unless mission critical, having good floor practices, etc).

The design changes currently in implementation to solve this single engine under-performance issue is a classic case of iterative improvements.  Change is probably making its way through testing and production modifications and will appear before the end of the year in new units coming off the line.  In contrast, when CRS-7 strut issue bit them, a backfit on all existing stages was probably implemented, and then all future stages once production was restarted.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: baldusi on 06/15/2016 07:07 PM
Let's not forget that their business is, first and foremost, launching payloads to orbit, not returning stages. So launch reliability mods have to be backported, landing mods are better deferred.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: te_atl on 06/15/2016 08:06 PM
The trick with continuous revision is managing what configuration each unit is currently, and managing what units get backported from their as built (or as last modified) to the desired current config. Some change items may not get applied and some may.

Interesting problem. But not unsolvable.

I am a configuration manager by trade.   Interestingly enough, modern formalized configuration management grew out of defense research and development projects in the 1950s... especially rocket development.  It became obvious that as projects became more complex a technical management discipline was necessary to keep track of exactly how the hardware was  put together, what parts were used, which changes were made and why, etc. etc..   Formalized Configuration Management (hardware configuration management... software came later) was born.  So this is a very solvable problem, and we have in part early rocket development to thank for the solutions.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: baldusi on 06/16/2016 12:04 AM
Yep, the book on the F-1 engine explained how each subcomponent had a binder folder with all the revision history and certificates.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: docmordrid on 06/16/2016 01:31 AM
Apparently SpaceX uses the Siemens system.

Siemens case study.... (https://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/about_us/success/case_study.cfm?Component=30328&ComponentTemplate=1481)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Kabloona on 06/16/2016 02:34 AM
I'm thinking that fuel lines are being occasionally damaged on hot reentries, leading to both the loss of prop and thrust at landing and the residual fires.

If it were a fuel line problem causing loss of landing thrust, they'd know that from telemetry and be making the appropriate fix. But according to Musk's tweet today, he says they'll be "upgrading" the vehicle to "compensate" for low-thrust anomalies at landing. Which makes it sound like the low-thrust problem may be an unavoidable result of landing with too-low propellant levels, possibly helium bubble ingestion caused by propellant slosh, etc.

If it were simply a matter of heat-damaged fuel lines, they'd be fixing that with more insulation, etc, rather than figuring out how to live with the problem. And it wouldn't be taking them 6 months to implement.

Musk's tweet:

Quote
Upgrades underway to enable rocket to compensate for a thrust shortfall on one of the three landing engines. Probably get there end of year.

So the only real "fix" may be having enough propellant margin to prevent helium bubbles from getting into the fuel line in the first place, and for high-performance missions where that's not possible, these "upgrades" that somehow may make a low-thrust anomaly less fatal.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: wannamoonbase on 06/16/2016 03:02 AM
I'm thinking that fuel lines are being occasionally damaged on hot reentries, leading to both the loss of prop and thrust at landing and the residual fires.

If it were a fuel line problem causing loss of landing thrust, they'd know that from telemetry and be making the appropriate fix. But according to Musk's tweet today, he says they'll be "upgrading" the vehicle to "compensate" for low-thrust anomalies at landing. Which makes it sound like the low-thrust problem may be an unavoidable result of landing with too-low propellant levels, possibly helium bubble ingestion caused by propellant slosh, etc.

If it were simply a matter of heat-damaged fuel lines, they'd be fixing that with more insulation, etc, rather than figuring out how to live with the problem. And it wouldn't be taking them 6 months to implement.

Musk's tweet:

Quote
Upgrades underway to enable rocket to compensate for a thrust shortfall on one of the three landing engines. Probably get there end of year.

So the only real "fix" may be having enough propellant margin to prevent helium bubbles from getting into the fuel line in the first place, and for high-performance missions where that's not possible, these "upgrades" that somehow may make a low-thrust anomaly less fatal.

Or a different sump design at the base of the S1 tanks.  But that gets rather complicated.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: deruch on 06/16/2016 03:38 AM
I'm thinking that fuel lines are being occasionally damaged on hot reentries, leading to both the loss of prop and thrust at landing and the residual fires.

If it were a fuel line problem causing loss of landing thrust, they'd know that from telemetry and be making the appropriate fix. But according to Musk's tweet today, he says they'll be "upgrading" the vehicle to "compensate" for low-thrust anomalies at landing. Which makes it sound like the low-thrust problem may be an unavoidable result of landing with too-low propellant levels, possibly helium bubble ingestion caused by propellant slosh, etc.

If it were simply a matter of heat-damaged fuel lines, they'd be fixing that with more insulation, etc, rather than figuring out how to live with the problem. And it wouldn't be taking them 6 months to implement.

Musk's tweet:

Quote
Upgrades underway to enable rocket to compensate for a thrust shortfall on one of the three landing engines. Probably get there end of year.

So the only real "fix" may be having enough propellant margin to prevent helium bubbles from getting into the fuel line in the first place, and for high-performance missions where that's not possible, these "upgrades" that somehow may make a low-thrust anomaly less fatal.

Or possibly only a change to the software as opposed to any hardware changes. 
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: JamesH65 on 06/16/2016 11:35 AM
I'm thinking that fuel lines are being occasionally damaged on hot reentries, leading to both the loss of prop and thrust at landing and the residual fires.

If it were a fuel line problem causing loss of landing thrust, they'd know that from telemetry and be making the appropriate fix. But according to Musk's tweet today, he says they'll be "upgrading" the vehicle to "compensate" for low-thrust anomalies at landing. Which makes it sound like the low-thrust problem may be an unavoidable result of landing with too-low propellant levels, possibly helium bubble ingestion caused by propellant slosh, etc.

If it were simply a matter of heat-damaged fuel lines, they'd be fixing that with more insulation, etc, rather than figuring out how to live with the problem. And it wouldn't be taking them 6 months to implement.

Musk's tweet:

Quote
Upgrades underway to enable rocket to compensate for a thrust shortfall on one of the three landing engines. Probably get there end of year.

So the only real "fix" may be having enough propellant margin to prevent helium bubbles from getting into the fuel line in the first place, and for high-performance missions where that's not possible, these "upgrades" that somehow may make a low-thrust anomaly less fatal.

Or possibly only a change to the software as opposed to any hardware changes.

Software change would be quicker than end of year. I thinking a minor redesign to reroute some components out of harms way.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: cuddihy on 06/16/2016 11:36 AM
If it was just software it wouldn't take the rest of the year... sensor improvements, and possibly throttle valve speeds and even gimbal actuators are likely also involved.

A 300 ms improvement in low thrust condition recognition plus a 300 ms faster ramp to higher thrust on the other two engines could turn a RUD landing into a perfect landing.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: philw1776 on 06/16/2016 02:25 PM
Apparently SpaceX uses the Siemens system.

Siemens case study.... (https://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/en_us/about_us/success/case_study.cfm?Component=30328&ComponentTemplate=1481)

Nice overview article.
"Teamcenter is the repository for all documentation related to the design and manufacture of the Falcon – CAD models, specifications and so on. “Having the ability to associate a Word document or a machine program with a part is helpful...if I have a system specification for a particular part, that document is now under revision control with that part. We’re not working off multiple databases to manage product information.” Teamcenter is also used to control processes such as engineering change and design release. “We use Teamcenter to manage the lifecycle of the part,”

as someone who developed and manufactured less complex hardware/software systems, this is a boon.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: deruch on 06/16/2016 10:09 PM
Or possibly only a change to the software as opposed to any hardware changes.

Software change would be quicker than end of year. I thinking a minor redesign to reroute some components out of harms way.

Unless they're not totally sure on the exact mechanism/root cause.  They may have to design a test bed that can induce the problem to then be able to test different changes and see what compensates most successfully.  Though, I agree that this interpretation depends on Elon being more Bear-ish on timelines than he has ever before shown, and as such is less likely.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: guckyfan on 06/23/2016 03:37 PM
Not sure where to place this.




http://www.fox35orlando.com/news/local-news/164663415-story

From an article that says, SpaceX wants to build a refurbishment facility for Falcon 9 stages on the grounds of Port Canaveral.

Quote
According to Commissioner Deardoff, SpaceX's goal in three years is to launch an average of 90 rockets a year.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: jpo234 on 06/23/2016 03:42 PM
Quote
According to Commissioner Deardoff, SpaceX's goal in three years is to launch an average of 90 rockets a year.

But not all of them out of CCAFS, surely...

Edit: 2015 saw 86 launches world wide. 2014 saw 92 launches, which was the highest numer since 1992.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 06/23/2016 03:58 PM
Quote
According to Commissioner Deardoff, SpaceX's goal in three years is to launch an average of 90 rockets a year.

But not all of them out of CCAFS, surely...
HMMM

4 pads into 90 is 22.5 launches average per pad. Or 2 a month per pad. They have shown before a short 13 day pad interval so its possible but to get that many off of one pad may prove more a problem with range capability and weather than in SpaceX's ability to process LVs. For the Eastern Range with 2 pads operating that's 45 launches per year or nearly 1 SpaceX launch per week. This will nearly blanket the Range's capability making it difficult for other LV's to schedule launches. The Range will have to upgrade significantly to keep up.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: guckyfan on 06/23/2016 04:19 PM

Edit: 2015 saw 86 launches world wide. 2014 saw 92 launches, which was the highest numer since 1992.

Yes, that's the twist. Not even launching their internet constellation gets them anywhere near that number.

It's also a bit early for numerous BFR flights.  ;)
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/23/2016 04:59 PM

Edit: 2015 saw 86 launches world wide. 2014 saw 92 launches, which was the highest numer since 1992.

Yes, that's the twist. Not even launching their internet constellation gets them anywhere near that number.

It's also a bit early for numerous BFR flights.  ;)
Launching the constellation may, actually, if they use Falcon 9 RTLS (and especially with a reusable upper stage... if they're working on one right now ala USAF Raptor contract but not telling us).
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: envy887 on 06/23/2016 05:25 PM

Edit: 2015 saw 86 launches world wide. 2014 saw 92 launches, which was the highest numer since 1992.

Yes, that's the twist. Not even launching their internet constellation gets them anywhere near that number.

It's also a bit early for numerous BFR flights.  ;)
Launching the constellation may, actually, if they use Falcon 9 RTLS (and especially with a reusable upper stage... if they're working on one right now ala USAF Raptor contract but not telling us).

Or orbital refueling to increase Red Dragon's Mars payload without expending any Heavy boosters... any indication that's in the works for the next few years?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: guckyfan on 06/23/2016 05:33 PM
Or orbital refueling to increase Red Dragon's Mars payload without expending any Heavy boosters... any indication that's in the works for the next few years?

No, except that one remark of Elon Musk that they may be able to send Red Dragon with all three cores recovered. That's really not possible unless there is some yet unknown factor.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/23/2016 05:37 PM
Or orbital refueling to increase Red Dragon's Mars payload without expending any Heavy boosters... any indication that's in the works for the next few years?

No, except that one remark of Elon Musk that they may be able to send Red Dragon with all three cores recovered. That's really not possible unless there is some yet unknown factor.
Huh? Sure it's possible. They're making continual improvements on recovering the cores from higher and higher velocities. They've already added some TPS.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: meekGee on 06/23/2016 05:50 PM

Edit: 2015 saw 86 launches world wide. 2014 saw 92 launches, which was the highest numer since 1992.

Yes, that's the twist. Not even launching their internet constellation gets them anywhere near that number.

It's also a bit early for numerous BFR flights.  ;)
Launching the constellation may, actually, if they use Falcon 9 RTLS (and especially with a reusable upper stage... if they're working on one right now ala USAF Raptor contract but not telling us).

Exactly right.  Constellation will be easily one flight per week IMO.

When you're talking about ~100 flights per year, and if you lose a stage after 10 flights, then you still have to build 10 stages per year, which is a respectable pace.  (plus upper stage).   And since some of these flights are heavies - the factory will not be idle as some people were concerned about...


Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: envy887 on 06/23/2016 06:03 PM
Or orbital refueling to increase Red Dragon's Mars payload without expending any Heavy boosters... any indication that's in the works for the next few years?

No, except that one remark of Elon Musk that they may be able to send Red Dragon with all three cores recovered. That's really not possible unless there is some yet unknown factor.
Huh? Sure it's possible. They're making continual improvements on recovering the cores from higher and higher velocities. They've already added some TPS.

Even without high velocity returns, Heavy can recover all boosters and still throw Dragon and some payload (2000-3000kg?) at Mars. But to send a fully loaded Dragon massing some 12 tonnes requires either expending all the boosters or a single refueling launch.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/23/2016 06:08 PM
Or orbital refueling to increase Red Dragon's Mars payload without expending any Heavy boosters... any indication that's in the works for the next few years?

No, except that one remark of Elon Musk that they may be able to send Red Dragon with all three cores recovered. That's really not possible unless there is some yet unknown factor.
Huh? Sure it's possible. They're making continual improvements on recovering the cores from higher and higher velocities. They've already added some TPS.

Even without high velocity returns, Heavy can recover all boosters and still throw Dragon and some payload (2000-3000kg?) at Mars. But to send a fully loaded Dragon massing some 12 tonnes requires either expending all the boosters or a single refueling launch.
Heavy can throw a HECK of a lot more than 2000-3000kg to Mars with center recovery. Heck, they probably could throw more than that even with center core RTLS.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/23/2016 06:09 PM
Expendable F9 can throw 4000kg to Mars. Reusable FH can far exceed that.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Confusador on 06/23/2016 06:15 PM

Even without high velocity returns, Heavy can recover all boosters and still throw Dragon and some payload (2000-3000kg?) at Mars. But to send a fully loaded Dragon massing some 12 tonnes requires either expending all the boosters or a single refueling launch.
Heavy can throw a HECK of a lot more than 2000-3000kg to Mars with center recovery. Heck, they probably could throw more than that even with center core RTLS.

The claim is for 12 tonnes, not 3.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/23/2016 06:25 PM

Even without high velocity returns, Heavy can recover all boosters and still throw Dragon and some payload (2000-3000kg?) at Mars. But to send a fully loaded Dragon massing some 12 tonnes requires either expending all the boosters or a single refueling launch.
Heavy can throw a HECK of a lot more than 2000-3000kg to Mars with center recovery. Heck, they probably could throw more than that even with center core RTLS.

The claim is for 12 tonnes, not 3.
That's ONE of the claims. Where does it say that RD is actually 12 tons? That itself is a claim I haven't seen backed up.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: envy887 on 06/23/2016 06:47 PM
Or orbital refueling to increase Red Dragon's Mars payload without expending any Heavy boosters... any indication that's in the works for the next few years?

No, except that one remark of Elon Musk that they may be able to send Red Dragon with all three cores recovered. That's really not possible unless there is some yet unknown factor.
Huh? Sure it's possible. They're making continual improvements on recovering the cores from higher and higher velocities. They've already added some TPS.

Even without high velocity returns, Heavy can recover all boosters and still throw Dragon and some payload (2000-3000kg?) at Mars. But to send a fully loaded Dragon massing some 12 tonnes requires either expending all the boosters or a single refueling launch.
Heavy can throw a HECK of a lot more than 2000-3000kg to Mars with center recovery. Heck, they probably could throw more than that even with center core RTLS.

Don't forget that Red Dragon will mass somewhere around 5000 kg without any payload.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: tleski on 06/23/2016 06:57 PM
A new tweet from SpaceX showing Crew Dragon testing.

SpaceX: Backbone of Crew Dragon, the crew-carrying version of Dragon 2 spacecraft, undergoing structural load testing https://t.co/FRgeWJVJ7z

https://twitter.com/spacex/status/746052988964200448
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: envy887 on 06/23/2016 07:11 PM
Where does it say that RD is actually 12 tons? That itself is a claim I haven't seen backed up.

Musk said around 10 (edit: around 9, actually) tonnes total to the surface of Mars. Add EDL fuel and the trunk, and FH probably has to use most of it's 13.6t expendable capability through TMI.

If Dragon can land more mass than FH with ASDS recovery can launch, then on-orbit refueling might make sense.

Quote
The Dragon spacecraft would become the largest object to land on the Martian surface “by a factor of 10,” Musk said.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/06/10/elon-musk-provides-new-details-on-his-mind-blowing-mission-to-mars/

Curiosity landed 900 kg, so that make Musk's order of magnitude estimate about 9000kg to the surface.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: guckyfan on 06/23/2016 07:15 PM
The first Dragon may not have that much payload and weigh less than 10t. However from 13t fully expendable already recovery of the side boosters takes away a lot. Hard for me to imagine that the central core can be recovered, which causes a heavier payload loss.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/23/2016 07:20 PM
Larger versions of the crew dragon structural test photos.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: stoker5432 on 06/23/2016 07:29 PM
Don't forget that Red Dragon will mass somewhere around 5000 kg without any payload.

Dragonfly weighed around 6400 kg unfueled so 5000 kg sounds too low.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Toast on 06/23/2016 07:59 PM
Don't forget that Red Dragon will mass somewhere around 5000 kg without any payload.

Dragonfly weighed around 6400 kg unfueled so 5000 kg sounds too low.

If I recall correctly, wasn't Red Dragon supposed to be stripped of several components (e.g. parachutes, docking/berthing ports, certain flight instruments and interior fixtures) to reduce weight? I don't remember where I heard that, so I could be wrong. They definitely wouldn't need them though, so if it's not too expensive to create a mission-specific Dragon 2 it would make sense not to include them.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: stoker5432 on 06/23/2016 08:53 PM
Don't forget that Red Dragon will mass somewhere around 5000 kg without any payload.

Dragonfly weighed around 6400 kg unfueled so 5000 kg sounds too low.

If I recall correctly, wasn't Red Dragon supposed to be stripped of several components (e.g. parachutes, docking/berthing ports, certain flight instruments and interior fixtures) to reduce weight? I don't remember where I heard that, so I could be wrong. They definitely wouldn't need them though, so if it's not too expensive to create a mission-specific Dragon 2 it would make sense not to include them.

That's only 800 kg more than the Cargo Dragon's dry mass. I certainly hope that 5000 kg is a better guess.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/23/2016 09:57 PM
Quote
According to Commissioner Deardoff, SpaceX's goal in three years is to launch an average of 90 rockets a year.

But not all of them out of CCAFS, surely...
HMMM

4 pads into 90 is 22.5 launches average per pad. Or 2 a month per pad. They have shown before a short 13 day pad interval so its possible but to get that many off of one pad may prove more a problem with range capability and weather than in SpaceX's ability to process LVs. For the Eastern Range with 2 pads operating that's 45 launches per year or nearly 1 SpaceX launch per week. This will nearly blanket the Range's capability making it difficult for other LV's to schedule launches. The Range will have to upgrade significantly to keep up.

In the original SX finance pitch for Falcon many years ago, Musk was touting reuse (then just engines) and a weekly flight rate. Also, that both ranges couldn't handle it thus a commercial only facility with a purpose built range that could.

It's beginning to sound like Shuttle all over again if there's to be a reprocessing facility - no "gas-n-go". You'd want to locate it where you'd use it the most. If commercial/foreign sourced launches were to be out of Texas, wouldn't that mean back to McGregor rather than to Florida?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Coastal Ron on 06/23/2016 11:14 PM
It's beginning to sound like Shuttle all over again if there's to be a reprocessing facility - no "gas-n-go".

Well, maybe during this next phase, where now they have to iterate their design (possibly many times) so they can finally achieve "gas-n-go".  But I don't see that they have changed their goals for reusability just because of what they are finding with these first recovered stages.

Quote
You'd want to locate it where you'd use it the most. If commercial/foreign sourced launches were to be out of Texas, wouldn't that mean back to McGregor rather than to Florida?

Not sure I've seen any plans that show where they would land at their Texas launch site, but you have to think they are making some sort of plans to recover stages from there.

Of course the Texas launch site is still years away from being ready, so maybe the assumption is that they will have perfected "gas-n-go" reusability, or close enough, by that time?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: GalacticIntruder on 06/23/2016 11:36 PM
Changes nothing. ASDS will be at least one week for turnaround times. Lower orbit missions  will be RTLS and can be 24 hour turnarounds.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: envy887 on 06/23/2016 11:52 PM
It's beginning to sound like Shuttle all over again if there's to be a reprocessing facility - no "gas-n-go". You'd want to locate it where you'd use it the most. If commercial/foreign sourced launches were to be out of Texas, wouldn't that mean back to McGregor rather than to Florida?

Gas-n-go might work for orbital refueling launches, but commercial payloads need processing for payload integration. And preflight inspection to reduce risk of kabloomies with expensive payloads onboard.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/24/2016 12:18 AM
Changes nothing. ASDS will be at least one week for turnaround times. Lower orbit missions  will be RTLS and can be 24 hour turnarounds.
...at first.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: meekGee on 06/24/2016 03:29 AM
It's beginning to sound like Shuttle all over again if there's to be a reprocessing facility - no "gas-n-go". You'd want to locate it where you'd use it the most. If commercial/foreign sourced launches were to be out of Texas, wouldn't that mean back to McGregor rather than to Florida?

Gas-n-go might work for orbital refueling launches, but commercial payloads need processing for payload integration. And preflight inspection to reduce risk of kabloomies with expensive payloads onboard.

I betcha anything that the 4000 satellites of commX will not be processed like today's commercial payloads.

Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Zed_Noir on 06/24/2016 02:48 PM
It's beginning to sound like Shuttle all over again if there's to be a reprocessing facility - no "gas-n-go". You'd want to locate it where you'd use it the most. If commercial/foreign sourced launches were to be out of Texas, wouldn't that mean back to McGregor rather than to Florida?

Gas-n-go might work for orbital refueling launches, but commercial payloads need processing for payload integration. And preflight inspection to reduce risk of kabloomies with expensive payloads onboard.

I betcha anything that the 4000 satellites of commX will not be processed like today's commercial payloads.
More like loading ordnance on a warship at a Naval base.

Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: RedLineTrain on 06/24/2016 03:08 PM
It's beginning to sound like Shuttle all over again if there's to be a reprocessing facility - no "gas-n-go".

It's unclear to me how much this "reprocessing facility" would actually reprocess versus being just another hangar.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: envy887 on 06/24/2016 03:09 PM
It's beginning to sound like Shuttle all over again if there's to be a reprocessing facility - no "gas-n-go". You'd want to locate it where you'd use it the most. If commercial/foreign sourced launches were to be out of Texas, wouldn't that mean back to McGregor rather than to Florida?

Gas-n-go might work for orbital refueling launches, but commercial payloads need processing for payload integration. And preflight inspection to reduce risk of kabloomies with expensive payloads onboard.

I betcha anything that the 4000 satellites of commX will not be processed like today's commercial payloads.
More like loading ordnance on a warship at a Naval base.
So... dockside?  :D It's a bit harder to trailer a warship into a HIF compared to a F9. Integration won't happen on a landing pad or launch pad, so there will be some processing facility in between.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: JamesH65 on 06/24/2016 03:20 PM
It's beginning to sound like Shuttle all over again if there's to be a reprocessing facility - no "gas-n-go".

It's unclear to me how much this "reprocessing facility" would actually reprocess versus being just another hangar.

Flush residual fuel, hose down the stage, prepare for trailing, stick on a trailer. As you suggest temporary storage as well.

Cannot see it being used for much more than housekeeping.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 06/24/2016 03:57 PM
It's beginning to sound like Shuttle all over again if there's to be a reprocessing facility - no "gas-n-go".

It's unclear to me how much this "reprocessing facility" would actually reprocess versus being just another hangar.

Flush residual fuel, hose down the stage, prepare for trailing, stick on a trailer. As you suggest temporary storage as well.

Cannot see it being used for much more than housekeeping.

There is more to refurbishment than that.  There is removal of TPS and reapplication of the same.  There is R&R of avionics.  There is some structural and propulsion system repair.  Maybe painting.  Stuff that takes more time, access, GSE and tools than what is done in the processing hangars. 
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Zed_Noir on 06/24/2016 04:34 PM
It's beginning to sound like Shuttle all over again if there's to be a reprocessing facility - no "gas-n-go". You'd want to locate it where you'd use it the most. If commercial/foreign sourced launches were to be out of Texas, wouldn't that mean back to McGregor rather than to Florida?

Gas-n-go might work for orbital refueling launches, but commercial payloads need processing for payload integration. And preflight inspection to reduce risk of kabloomies with expensive payloads onboard.

I betcha anything that the 4000 satellites of commX will not be processed like today's commercial payloads.
More like loading ordnance on a warship at a Naval base.
So... dockside?  :D It's a bit harder to trailer a warship into a HIF compared to a F9. Integration won't happen on a landing pad or launch pad, so there will be some processing facility in between.
In the sense that the ordnance (e.g. missile) is seal in their launch container is loaded into the launch silo or tube. Without further processing except for container alignment and monitoring & communications hook ups. After loading, the ordnance is ready for use for the shelf life of that system.

Or like re-arming a fighter jet for another mission.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: meekGee on 06/24/2016 04:46 PM
It's beginning to sound like Shuttle all over again if there's to be a reprocessing facility - no "gas-n-go". You'd want to locate it where you'd use it the most. If commercial/foreign sourced launches were to be out of Texas, wouldn't that mean back to McGregor rather than to Florida?

Gas-n-go might work for orbital refueling launches, but commercial payloads need processing for payload integration. And preflight inspection to reduce risk of kabloomies with expensive payloads onboard.

I betcha anything that the 4000 satellites of commX will not be processed like today's commercial payloads.
More like loading ordnance on a warship at a Naval base.
So... dockside?  :D It's a bit harder to trailer a warship into a HIF compared to a F9. Integration won't happen on a landing pad or launch pad, so there will be some processing facility in between.
In the sense that the ordnance (e.g. missile) is seal in their launch container is loaded into the launch silo or tube. Without further processing except for container alignment and monitoring & communications hook ups. After loading, the ordnance is ready for use for the shelf life of that system.

Or like re-arming a fighter jet for another mission.
I think they will have an integrated reusable second stage / dispenser.

The whole thing will integrate to the first stage.

For >50 launches per year, I see no other way.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/24/2016 05:06 PM
It's beginning to sound like Shuttle all over again if there's to be a reprocessing facility - no "gas-n-go".

It's unclear to me how much this "reprocessing facility" would actually reprocess versus being just another hangar.

Flush residual fuel, hose down the stage, prepare for trailing, stick on a trailer. As you suggest temporary storage as well.

Cannot see it being used for much more than housekeeping.

There is more to refurbishment than that.  There is removal of TPS and reapplication of the same.  There is R&R of avionics.  There is some structural and propulsion system repair.  Maybe painting.  Stuff that takes more time, access, GSE and tools than what is done in the processing hangars.
They will have to transition away from that in order to accomplish their goals.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 06/24/2016 05:19 PM

I think they will have an integrated reusable second stage / dispenser.

The whole thing will integrate to the first stage.

For >50 launches per year, I see no other way.

Having independent second stages makes it easier.  The payloads, second stages and first stages can be easily interchanged and be more responsive.  The vehicle can be ready to accept any payload and would be a higher throughput.  An integrated second stage / dispenser would require a separate facility from the pad hangar and the payload processing building.

Preparing the whole vehicle separately from the payload, as is done now, is much like artillery munitions, where the warhead and charge are kept separate until loaded into the piece.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: envy887 on 06/24/2016 06:00 PM
Even if payloads are integrated to the second stage separately, that whole package has to be integrated with S1 near the pad. That process can be pretty streamlined, but still requires some dedicated facilities and equipment.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: MP99 on 06/24/2016 06:15 PM


It's beginning to sound like Shuttle all over again if there's to be a reprocessing facility - no "gas-n-go".

It's unclear to me how much this "reprocessing facility" would actually reprocess versus being just another hangar.

Flush residual fuel, hose down the stage, prepare for trailing, stick on a trailer. As you suggest temporary storage as well.

Cannot see it being used for much more than housekeeping.

There is more to refurbishment than that.  There is removal of TPS and reapplication of the same.  There is R&R of avionics.  There is some structural and propulsion system repair.  Maybe painting.  Stuff that takes more time, access, GSE and tools than what is done in the processing hangars.
They will have to transition away from that in order to accomplish their goals.

I would expect a lot more instrumentation on the stages, to detect issues with stuff like avionics, structure and propulsion.
IMO, in the short term, all stages will go through refurb until they build up confidence in their correlation between instrumentation and the real world.

ISTM this will be the form that this transition takes.

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 06/24/2016 06:45 PM
I would expect a lot more instrumentation on the stages, to detect issues with stuff like avionics, structure and propulsion.


They have been trending the other way.  Instrumentation cost money and takes time to install. 
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: baldusi on 06/24/2016 08:14 PM
I would expect a lot more instrumentation on the stages, to detect issues with stuff like avionics, structure and propulsion.


They have been trending the other way.  Instrumentation cost money and takes time to install.
And time to analyze, and telemetry bandwidth. All costs, mass and complexity.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: meekGee on 06/24/2016 09:39 PM

I think they will have an integrated reusable second stage / dispenser.

The whole thing will integrate to the first stage.

For >50 launches per year, I see no other way.

Having independent second stages makes it easier.  The payloads, second stages and first stages can be easily interchanged and be more responsive.  The vehicle can be ready to accept any payload and would be a higher throughput.  An integrated second stage / dispenser would require a separate facility from the pad hangar and the payload processing building.

Preparing the whole vehicle separately from the payload, as is done now, is much like artillery munitions, where the warhead and charge are kept separate until loaded into the piece.
We'll see.

My guess is that commX will be such a full time job that it will have its own processing facility.


Since it's all LEO, they'd get the second stage back, and save mass by integrating the two. (Second stage and dispenser)

This is not some random launch.  This is 50-per-year on an ongoing basis...  at least...  It's almost like the rest of the launch market combined...

And if you can save the cost of the second stage and dispenser and fairing...  Aince you're your own customer, it's straight into your bottom line...
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 06/24/2016 10:23 PM

1.  My guess is that commX will be such a full time job that it will have its own processing facility.

2.  Since it's all LEO, they'd get the second stage back, and save mass by integrating the two. (Second stage and dispenser)

3.  This is not some random launch.  This is 50-per-year on an ongoing basis...  at least...  It's almost like the rest of the launch market combined...

And if you can save the cost of the second stage and dispenser and fairing...  Aince you're your own customer, it's straight into your bottom line...


1.  And that still doesn't play in this.  The spacecrafts and the dispensers can be off in a dedicated facility away from the launch pad, doing their own thing.    Launch vehicle and spacecraft processing are two separate tasks that have different requirements and environments.

2.  There is no mass to be saved by that.  It doesn't change that the second stage is still just tanks, forward skirt with avionics, adapter with dispenser, and fairing.   Making it "integral" doesn't change anything.

3.  And is the main reason for keeping the payload processing away from the pad and launch vehicle testing and doing the spacecraft mate late as possible.  Bringing the upperstage with the payload will push it to the right and increase pad time for the payload.  Booster and upperstage have not been tested together.  They are not separate vehicles that fly independently.  Most the time in the hangar is spent testing the whole vehicle and not just the parts.

4.  There is no savings from the integral design.  Just more since the design different than the others.  Spacex MO is to minimize configurations.   They aren't designing for LEO but for Mars
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: meekGee on 06/24/2016 11:21 PM

1.  My guess is that commX will be such a full time job that it will have its own processing facility.

2.  Since it's all LEO, they'd get the second stage back, and save mass by integrating the two. (Second stage and dispenser)

3.  This is not some random launch.  This is 50-per-year on an ongoing basis...  at least...  It's almost like the rest of the launch market combined...

And if you can save the cost of the second stage and dispenser and fairing...  Aince you're your own customer, it's straight into your bottom line...


1.  And that still doesn't play in this.  The spacecrafts and the dispensers can be off in a dedicated facility away from the launch pad, doing their own thing.    Launch vehicle and spacecraft processing are two separate tasks that have different requirements and environments.

2.  There is no mass to be saved by that.  It doesn't change that the second stage is still just tanks, forward skirt with avionics, adapter with dispenser, and fairing.   Making it "integral" doesn't change anything.

3.  And is the main reason for keeping the payload processing away from the pad and launch vehicle testing and doing the spacecraft mate late as possible.  Bringing the upperstage with the payload will push it to the right and increase pad time for the payload.  Booster and upperstage have not been tested together.  They are not separate vehicles that fly independently.  Most the time in the hangar is spent testing the whole vehicle and not just the parts.

4.  There is no savings from the integral design.  Just more since the design different than the others.  Spacex MO is to minimize configurations.   They aren't designing for LEO but for Mars

Concentrate on the cost savings.

In a conventional design.  Generic second stage reuse is not pursued, because there's a large mass penalty, and because most non-Dragon flights are currently GEO, which is even harder.

In CommX, it's LEO, and it's probably not mass constrained, because of the way orbital slots work.

So what they need is a very low cost to launch often, and launch light.

Everything comes together to make it the best case for re-using a second stage.

When you're throwing away a second stage, a dispenser, and fairing every time (and ocean fairing recovery is not exactly ideal) - EVERY WEEK - I'm sure you're starting to think about how to solve this.

Especially when you can't pass the cost to the customer, because the customer is you...

If they can do this, they can launch really really cheaply, and have a huge advantage on competitors.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 06/25/2016 02:42 AM


Concentrate on the cost savings.

In a conventional design.  Generic second stage reuse is not pursued, because there's a large mass penalty, and because most non-Dragon flights are currently GEO, which is even harder.

In CommX, it's LEO, and it's probably not mass constrained, because of the way orbital slots work.

So what they need is a very low cost to launch often, and launch light.

Everything comes together to make it the best case for re-using a second stage.

When you're throwing away a second stage, a dispenser, and fairing every time (and ocean fairing recovery is not exactly ideal) - EVERY WEEK - I'm sure you're starting to think about how to solve this.

Especially when you can't pass the cost to the customer, because the customer is you...

If they can do this, they can launch really really cheaply, and have a huge advantage on competitors.


And as stated there are no cost savings associated with an "integral" dispenser and upperstage.  Since they are manufactured separately and there is no advantage in joining them earlier.   A fairing is going to a separate item from the second stage.  The only way of eliminating the fairing and dispenser is to make them like the Dragon.   So take the original Orbcomm pancake spacecraft.  Make the outer edge with the ability to handle the ascent environment.  Stack ten to 20 of them and add a simple nose cone on the last one.  There is your integral dispenser and fairing.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jcc on 06/25/2016 03:04 AM
They are working on getting the fairing back and reusing it. I presume they have identified a viable way to do that, and we will be wonderfully surprised to see how that will happen. At least that is ejected at suborbital velocity. Getting the second stage back is a difficult problem since any additional mass or fuel retained on the second stage for the purpose of recovery directly subtracts from the usable payload capacity. It can be done, but at what cost? The dispenser would also be a great challenge to recover as it is at orbital velocity by the time it's used. Maybe if it stays with the second stage, but at what cost to payload capacity?
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Kabloona on 06/25/2016 03:45 AM
Quote
And as stated there are no cost savings associated with an "integral" dispenser and upperstage.  Since they are manufactured separately and there is no advantage in joining them earlier.   A fairing is going to a separate item from the second stage.  The only way of eliminating the fairing and dispenser is to make them like the Dragon.   So take the original Orbcomm pancake spacecraft.  Make the outer edge with the ability to handle the ascent environment.  Stack ten to 20 of them and add a simple nose cone on the last one.  There is your integral dispenser and fairing.

Like this. The satellites are their own "dispensers." With a regular fairing, of course.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: meekGee on 06/25/2016 04:02 AM


Concentrate on the cost savings.

In a conventional design.  Generic second stage reuse is not pursued, because there's a large mass penalty, and because most non-Dragon flights are currently GEO, which is even harder.

In CommX, it's LEO, and it's probably not mass constrained, because of the way orbital slots work.

So what they need is a very low cost to launch often, and launch light.

Everything comes together to make it the best case for re-using a second stage.

When you're throwing away a second stage, a dispenser, and fairing every time (and ocean fairing recovery is not exactly ideal) - EVERY WEEK - I'm sure you're starting to think about how to solve this.

Especially when you can't pass the cost to the customer, because the customer is you...

If they can do this, they can launch really really cheaply, and have a huge advantage on competitors.


And as stated there are no cost savings associated with an "integral" dispenser and upperstage.  Since they are manufactured separately and there is no advantage in joining them earlier.   A fairing is going to a separate item from the second stage.  The only way of eliminating the fairing and dispenser is to make them like the Dragon.   So take the original Orbcomm pancake spacecraft.  Make the outer edge with the ability to handle the ascent environment.  Stack ten to 20 of them and add a simple nose cone on the last one.  There is your integral dispenser and fairing.

Not unless you get them back.  Which is the whole rationale to do it.  In CommX, if you can get your 2nd stage dispenser back, then it doesn't matter you lost payload mass.  Just launch a lot.  You need many orbital planes anyway.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/25/2016 04:29 AM
The only way of eliminating the fairing and dispenser is to make them like the Dragon.   So take the original Orbcomm pancake spacecraft.  Make the outer edge with the ability to handle the ascent environment.  Stack ten to 20 of them and add a simple nose cone on the last one.  There is your integral dispenser and fairing.

The aeroloads would need to have load paths through each spacecraft. The thermal environments for ground, ascent, and LEO would have to be taken into account for the entire unit and as separate SC. The latching mechanism/seals for SC/cone would have to be qualified for launch environment including vibratory modes that would be induced due to external flows. The connectors between sats and ventilation/power signal umbilical attachment would require a base "segment" to attach to the payload adapter. You'd need to test the deployment mechanism in a vacuum chamber after a thermal cycle and a cold soak.

Cost/weight increase per sat likely better then with expendable shroud. Additional development costs and forced form factor might limit desirability of such a concept to a constellation where it fit, that had large enough deployments/launches.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: MP99 on 06/25/2016 06:57 AM


I would expect a lot more instrumentation on the stages, to detect issues with stuff like avionics, structure and propulsion.


They have been trending the other way.  Instrumentation cost money and takes time to install.
And time to analyze, and telemetry bandwidth. All costs, mass and complexity.

No need for telemetry - just plug into a laptop after recovery.

Yes, there would be some time spent analysing the data on earlier stages, but that's when I believe there will be inspection and refurb going on, anyway. Instrumentation could evolve to monitor those elements that experience shows would affect gas-and-go, ultimately reducing the hands-on to cycle a stage.

Cheers, Martin

Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: Jim on 06/25/2016 10:33 AM


I would expect a lot more instrumentation on the stages, to detect issues with stuff like avionics, structure and propulsion.


They have been trending the other way.  Instrumentation cost money and takes time to install.
And time to analyze, and telemetry bandwidth. All costs, mass and complexity.

No need for telemetry - just plug into a laptop after recovery.


Whether it is transmitted or kept on board, it is not much different.  There still has to be a data system with sensors and wiring.  That is where all the work is.  Keeping it onboard not only eliminates the transmitter but also impedes the ability to find out what went wrong.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: gongora on 06/25/2016 04:46 PM
I was looking for SpaceX stories on Google News and the Daily Mail has a "This date in history" article for next Tuesday, June 28.  It will be the one year anniversary of the CRS-7 launch.  With all the stuff SpaceX is busy working on now, a regular launch cadence going, and seven more flights under their belt it seems longer ago than that.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: the_other_Doug on 06/25/2016 04:51 PM


I would expect a lot more instrumentation on the stages, to detect issues with stuff like avionics, structure and propulsion.


They have been trending the other way.  Instrumentation cost money and takes time to install.
And time to analyze, and telemetry bandwidth. All costs, mass and complexity.

No need for telemetry - just plug into a laptop after recovery.


Whether it is transmitted or kept on board, it is not much different.  There still has to be a data system with sensors and wiring.  That is where all the work is.  Keeping it onboard not only eliminates the transmitter but also impedes the ability to find out what went wrong.

Yeah -- I mean, yes, maintaining a developmental instrumentation system to report on a lot of things is mildly helpful in establishing the data points for normal operations.  But keeping it all onboard means that, if you lose the vehicle, in the very case you might want all that data, it could easily go kabloom with the rest of the stage and leave nothing left to "plug into a laptop" once the debris settles.

And I don't see SpaceX hiring the kinds of resources needed to find a survivable black box on the deep ocean floor after a launch failure.  The NTSB might do that, especially on airline accidents that claimed hundreds of lives.  But SpaceX likely won't, so even putting your recorder into a black box isn't that much of a help.  You still have an overwhelming likelihood of losing the data you want in just the situations when you might really want it.

Cheaper to carefully select the critical parameters you want to monitor -- the ones from which you already know how to extrapolate the general health of the vehicle -- and make sure you get that data back real-time.
Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
Post by: IainMcClatchie on 06/26/2016 12:29 AM
I've never understood the problem with black boxes.

  • 3 to 5 cm diameter
  • overall density lower than water, biased center of gravity so that radio beacon is "up"
  • 1 cm outer layer of PICA-X
  • detaches from rocket on loss of power to solenoid magnet
  • radio beacon, pulses several watts for 1 ms every ten seconds for two weeks
  • 2 gram lithium-ion cell with 0.3 watt-hours
  • 1 GB/s write speed at 1 watt over something convenient like PCIe
  • TB of flash

  • It might be challenging to make it survive terminal-velocity impact with a granite slab, but otherwise this seems straightforward.  I'd probably put several of them on the rocket, just to avoid the weight of running instrumentation wiring for long distances.
    Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
    Post by: spacenut on 06/26/2016 12:33 AM
    The idea against black boxes is I think, that rockets have so many sensors giving real time signals.  More sensors than any other means of transportation, that there is no need for duplicate data from a black box.
    Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
    Post by: Jim on 06/26/2016 03:57 PM
    I've never understood the problem with black boxes.

  • 3 to 5 cm diameter
  • overall density lower than water, biased center of gravity so that radio beacon is "up"
  • 1 cm outer layer of PICA-X
  • detaches from rocket on loss of power to solenoid magnet
  • radio beacon, pulses several watts for 1 ms every ten seconds for two weeks
  • 2 gram lithium-ion cell with 0.3 watt-hours
  • 1 GB/s write speed at 1 watt over something convenient like PCIe
  • TB of flash

  • It might be challenging to make it survive terminal-velocity impact with a granite slab, but otherwise this seems straightforward.  I'd probably put several of them on the rocket, just to avoid the weight of running instrumentation wiring for long distances.

    That is why there are many non starters
     So what is going to keep the recorder in place when there is no power
    What going to keep it from breaking off during flight
    How is the EMI from the magnet not going to affect the data and systems near by
    who it going to keep replacing the batteries and maintain all the boxes
    There are regulation for such beacons.  Can't just pull parameters out of the air.
    How is the timing going to be maintained across all the boxes.
    And there is still the need for transmitted data and it can't be packeted (same goes for all the data), it needs to be streamed.
    All the data needs to be available, any one box missing would make reconstruction harder.

    Title: Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 13)
    Post by: Brovane on 06/26/2016 04:11 PM
    The idea against black boxes is I think,