Author Topic: Musk lays out plans for reusability of the Falcon 9 rocket  (Read 105097 times)

Offline joek

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Re: Musk lays out plans for reusability of the Falcon 9 rocket
« Reply #260 on: 12/14/2013 09:24 pm »
Jim is correct that increasing square footage for the HIF to be able to process 2 or more F9's or F9R's in about 2 week or less intervals can easily get the launch rate to about 2 or more a month. From previous flows the payload was not mated until the last 2 weeks of the flow after the F9 was fully processed which takes about 2 weeks. So by doubling the HIF floor space size and almost doubling the manpower without changing any of the process tasks or even not eliminating any, can easily double your launch rate on a single pad.

The problem is that a launch or launch attempt stops work on the follow-on vehicle during the launch day. So you lose a few days of processing the next F9/F9R if the next F9/F9R is close to the pad as in the current HIF arrangement. A facility farther away that does not have to be evacuated during launch ops where a fully assembled F9/F9R is then transported to the closer HIF after the launch. The work interruption would then be reduced to a matter of hours instead of several days.

Why do you think the VAB was designed with four assembly bays?

Good points, and I'd agree that a much higher launch rate seems a reasonable goal based on the evidence (assuming manufacturing and test or pad R&R are not the limiting factors).

Note that the SES-8 static fire test without payload was Nov 21; the first launch attempt with payload was Nov 25.  I've no idea of the time breakdown, but that suggests final payload integration, checkout, and rollout is on the order of a few days (?).

Also, additional facilities should not only be farther away from LC-40, but far enough that other range activities do not unduly interrupt or delay LV or payload processing.
« Last Edit: 12/14/2013 09:25 pm by joek »

Offline TrevorMonty

With renewed discussions on the lunar ice threads I was wondering if a reusable 2nd stage (LOX-LH2 fueled version) for FH could deliver a Dragon to L1 or a lunar orbit, partially refuel and return to earth.  Trip scenario would be
1) Earth to L1, passenger or cargo transfer to lunar lander.
2) 2nd stage with Dragon still attached would partially refuel using lunar supplied fuel.
3) Return passengers would transfer from lander to Dragon
4) Dragon would separate from 2nd stage just before earth re entry. 2nd stage may have to do a burn to slow its re entry speed.

This may be OT but can't find a home for it else where.

Offline TrevorMonty

I was more interested in whether a reusable 2nd stage would be technically possible for this mission.
There 's a few lunar ice threads available for ISRU discussions.

Offline KelvinZero

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Re: Musk lays out plans for reusability of the Falcon 9 rocket
« Reply #263 on: 12/19/2013 07:09 am »
Oops sorry, I probably misread your post. Thought you were suggesting SpaceX change to hydrogen to allow ISRU. I wasn't trying to turn the conversation to ISRU, but pointing out there is more CO there than water.

... I meant to just say we could keep talking about a methane/hydrocarbon fueled stage and didn't need to hypothesize a change to hydrogen.

Offline TrevorMonty

No problem KelvinZero