Author Topic: SpaceX: General status updates on Falcon and Dragon (Thread 2)  (Read 666025 times)

Offline kraisee

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Regarding a million pound thrust BFE:   I know that Space-X licensed the RS-84 designs from Rocketdyne over a year ago.

At that time, they were expecting to have some hot-flow component level testing by Xmas 08.   I suspect that schedule has probably slipped to 09, but there is little doubt they're working on it and I would suggest they're probably working quite hard on it too, albeit largely out of sight.

DoD has expressed concerns about the 27 engines on the 3-Core Falcon 9 Heavy.   And Space-X are fully aware that a 3-engine version would be much more satisfactory for that potential customer.

Ross.
« Last Edit: 10/03/2009 07:21 pm by kraisee »
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Offline SpacexULA

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Regarding a million pound thrust BFE:   I know that Space-X licensed the RS-84 designs from Rocketdyne over a year ago.

How many RS-84 class engines could fit under a Falcon 9 core?  Can a 3-5 engine Falcon still claim engine out capacity?
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Offline ugordan

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How many RS-84 class engines could fit under a Falcon 9 core? 

Thrust-wise? One.
Physically? One.

Quote
Can a 3-5 engine Falcon still claim engine out capacity?

Err, RS-84 is a ~500 ton thrust engine.


Offline Robotbeat

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Does anyone know what progress, if any, SpaceX has made with regard to first stage recovery? What is the mass of the recovery system? I know the SRBs have a few tons of parachutes, but the empty SRBs are about ten times as massive as a Falcon 9 empty first stage (and even more for a Falcon 1).

Has SpaceX ever done any saltwater immersion tests with a Merlin? Any other hardware? (It seems to me that the metallurgy required for a few hours of saltwater immersion would be far more mild than that for an oxygen-rich combustion chamber like the RS-84.)

Any new info with respect to reusability?
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Offline Ben the Space Brit

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How many RS-84 class engines could fit under a Falcon 9 core? 

Thrust-wise? One.
Physically? One.

Quote
Can a 3-5 engine Falcon still claim engine out capacity?

Err, RS-84 is a ~500 ton thrust engine.


FWIW and without wanting to go too OT, it sounds to me like you would be wise to build a wider core (mabye 5.5m/18ft) for an engine like that.
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Offline nooneofconsequence

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Space-X is successful due to evolution. Wouldn't the next step be replacing 9 engines with 1 per CCB?

Then doing a tank stretch/diameter increase?
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Offline ugordan

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FWIW and without wanting to go too OT, it sounds to me like you would be wise to build a wider core (mabye 5.5m/18ft) for an engine like that.

Why? What does that buy you, other than completely new tooling and subsequent tank qualification?

Note that the 475 ton (design) thrust level of RS-84 matches the already proposed Merlin 1c upgrade (x9) which would bring 1st stage thrust to the same ballpark. The F9 tank (and it's tentatively already sized for Block 2 propellant loads) will obviously be qualified for Block 2 long before any bigger engine comes along and reusing the same diameter tooling only makes sense. Makes sense as an evolutionary approach.

Thrust-wise, an engine such as RS-68 would fit on F9, requiring the thrust structure to be redone and maybe(?) tanks resized due to new engine mixture ratio requirements. Resizing them is probably something they'd want to avoid.
« Last Edit: 10/04/2009 07:56 pm by ugordan »

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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FWIW and without wanting to go too OT, it sounds to me like you would be wise to build a wider core (mabye 5.5m/18ft) for an engine like that.

Why? What does that buy you, other than completely new tooling and subsequent tank qualification?

A wider core means that you can fit two engines to it so you get back the engine out capability.
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Offline ugordan

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A wider core means that you can fit two engines to it so you get back the engine out capability.

That's a completely naive way of looking at it.

Offline docmordrid

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So....work with me here....

The military prefers a minimal engine count and SpX reacts by purchasing rights to use the RS-84 tech.  To use this they need a new thrust structure and perhaps to move a bulkhead for fuel proportioning purposes and redo the plumbing on the F9 tankage?  How much else, other than drastically reducing and reprogramming the avionics? 

Next question: how likely are they to get proactive and get a head start on an HLV bid? 

Could they build a modular thrust structure where several modules could be attached for 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 engine clusters?  Octagonal?  If so then how wide a tank would a 4 or 5 engine cluster need? 

Or would it be better to go Soyuz-style with 4 strap-ons and one in the core all using the same thrust structure?

« Last Edit: 10/05/2009 02:35 am by docmordrid »
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Offline Lars_J

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I don't think SpaceX will publicize/propose a HLV anytime soon. They work incrementally, which is a good thing. Once F9 is perfected and flying - *then* you can expect hear more from them about future launchers.

As for reducing the engine count and tank modifications - I 'big merlin' engine would probably run on a similar or identical fuel/oxidizer mixture, so the tanks wouldn't have to change much, if any. And using a single engine would just simplify the thrust structure and plumbing.

Offline SpacexULA

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That's a completely naive way of looking at it.

Not only naive, but a logistical nightmare.  How do you transport a double sized Falcon 9 core across the country?

The RS-84 seems like it would also cause major troubles for Spacex.  How do you machine a RS-84 class vehicle on the machines that are currently machining the Merlins?  The videos showed 15 plus machines building Merlin components, they would have to purchase all new (and likely very specialized) machines to build engines in the RS-84 class.

Does their purchasing of the RS-84 allow them to split the difference between the Merlin and RS-84 and building something halfway between?  Could the parts to an engine 3 times the size of Merlin be built on the machines they showed in the SpaceX tour?
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Offline SpacexULA

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SpaceX has added Astrium to their manifest in 2014 from Kwajalein.

Astrium  2014 Falcon 1e Kwajalein
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Offline Lars_J

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*If* they purchased the RS-84 rights, I doubt they will use it to build the RS-84 (or what it would have been). No, they would probably just use the design as a starting point, and applying technologies, methods, and lessons from Merlin development and shape it into what they need.

« Last Edit: 10/05/2009 04:10 am by Lars_J »

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SpaceX Announces Completion of Acceptance Testing for Falcon 9 First and Second Stages

 

Both Stages Headed To Cape Canaveral Next Month in Preparation for Launch


McGregor, Texas (October 5, 2009) – Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) announces the successful completion of acceptance testing of both the Falcon 9 first and second stages in preparation for the first flight of Falcon 9.  Acceptance testing took place at SpaceX’s Texas Test Site, a 300-acre structural and propulsion testing facility, located just outside of Waco, Texas. 

 

This recent series of tests subjected both stages to a variety of structural load and proof pressure tests to verify acceptability for flight.  Acceptance testing began in late summer with the first stage and concluded last week at SpaceX’s Texas facility with completion of acceptance testing for the second stage. 

 

“The successful completion of these tests marks another key milestone in our preparation for Falcon 9’s first flight,” said Elon Musk, CEO and CTO of SpaceX.  “Our team will now move forward with a static fire of the first and second stages, the last major milestone before hardware is transferred to SpaceX’s launch pad at Cape Canaveral.”

The inaugural flight of Falcon 9 is a demonstration flight, and is expected to occur one to three months after Falcon 9 arrival at Cape Canaveral next month.  The final launch date will depend on range scheduling, weather conditions and time required to make adjustments for any vehicle-to-ground equipment interactions. For its first flight, Falcon 9 will launch a Dragon spacecraft qualification unit into orbit to provide SpaceX with valuable aerodynamic and performance information. 

The second flight of the Falcon 9/Dragon system is the first flight under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, a new commercial-government partnership under which SpaceX will demonstrate the ability to dock with the International Space Station, transfer cargo, and return cargo safely to Earth. 
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Offline robertross

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Congrats SpaceX!!!!!

Offline docmordrid

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Goes along with this local paper story....

"bright lights" and "loud noises" indeed

Link....

Quote
SpaceX testing rocket engines this week
>
>
They advise the public to stay calm during the testing which may involve bright lights in the sky and loud noises.
« Last Edit: 10/06/2009 05:20 am by docmordrid »
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Offline kevin-rf

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I think you messed up the link, corrected link :

http://www.kxxv.com/Global/story.asp?S=11256251&quot
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Offline Comga

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Nice photo in that SpaceX news release.

That's a looooooooong interstage.  And green.
Real hardware, but do I see some non-flight wiring or tubing near the top?  Anyone have a guess?
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Robotbeat

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...
That's a looooooooong interstage.
...
No kidding! It's about twice as long than the upper stage tank!

EDIT: is that where they keep the first stage recovery system?
« Last Edit: 10/06/2009 03:58 am by Robotbeat »
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