Author Topic: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?  (Read 17655 times)

Offline sojourner

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Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« on: 04/21/2011 07:08 pm »
Hi,
  Long time lurker on this forum.  I am not in the industry, just a space flight enthusiast, so I make no claim to knowing if this is possible. 

Any way,  since the Merlin 1D has been  touted as having this incredible boost in thrust over Merlin 1c,  couldn't they remove some engines from F9 when  launching smaller payloads?  Thus lowering cost?

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #1 on: 04/21/2011 07:11 pm »
I believe Shotwell said that they don't want to go back to Falcon 5 because it's unstable.
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #2 on: 04/21/2011 07:21 pm »
Hi,
  Long time lurker on this forum.  I am not in the industry, just a space flight enthusiast, so I make no claim to knowing if this is possible. 

Any way,  since the Merlin 1D has been  touted as having this incredible boost in thrust over Merlin 1c,  couldn't they remove some engines from F9 when  launching smaller payloads?  Thus lowering cost?

Merlin 1D only offers a 12% increase in thrust from the previously announced plans for Merlin 1C (140K versus 125K), so no engine reduction is possible for the Falcon 9 Block 2 currently cataloged in the SpaceX User's Guide. 

It might be possible to launch a Block 1 Falcon 9 using only seven Merlin 1D engines, but SpaceX is not publicly offering Block 1 as a "buy" option. 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 04/21/2011 07:21 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline sojourner

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #3 on: 04/21/2011 07:31 pm »
^Ah, thanks for the reply!

Offline aquanaut99

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #4 on: 04/21/2011 07:34 pm »
Also, doesn't having a more powerful engine (Merlin 1D) while keeping the 9-engine config reduce LOM by offering better engine-out capacity?
« Last Edit: 04/21/2011 07:35 pm by aquanaut99 »

Offline Nomadd

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #5 on: 04/22/2011 01:44 pm »
 It depends on the how much SpaceX is spending to produce engines. There's a pretty big market hole between F1e and F9 they might like to fill, but if they're cranking out Merlins at $2 million each, it might not reduce overall launch costs enough to be worthwhile. Spending $200 million to develop a vehicle that would save you $8 million a launch probably wouldn't make much sense today.
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Offline Giovanni DS

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #6 on: 04/22/2011 01:55 pm »
Perhaps a "F6" or "F7" without tank stretch would be possible offering the current F9 performance at a reduced cost.

F9 would jump to the mentioned 16T payload capability (with tank stretch) and that would most likely not be required for some payloads, this reduced version could make sense.

Offline Sen

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #7 on: 04/23/2011 12:25 am »
What would be the point of spending the money? To save 2-4 merlin (1-2 million per) engines? Cheaper to Fly a stock Falcon 9 "light" on payload, or with small/microsats.
« Last Edit: 04/23/2011 01:10 am by Sen »

Offline DaveH62

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #8 on: 04/23/2011 12:57 am »
Would it make more sense to have a Falcon 1 Heavy, using the Falcon 9 Heavy tech fuel sharing technology on the smaller rocket? I doubt its feasible to slice the market this thin, but it might be a cheaper path than a separate Falcon 5 platform.

Offline Jim

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #9 on: 04/23/2011 01:00 am »
No, 3 cores and a new pad is not going to cheaper

Offline neilh

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #10 on: 04/23/2011 01:33 am »
There's plenty of downsides. The only advantage I see is saving the cost of a few engines, but considering the effort they're putting into mass-producing engines, the marginal cost per engine is likely to be a relatively low portion of their total launch costs.
« Last Edit: 04/23/2011 01:33 am by neilh »
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Offline RocketEconomist327

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #11 on: 04/23/2011 02:30 am »
There will be no Falcon 5 of any iteration.

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Offline sdsds

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #12 on: 04/24/2011 06:34 am »
The piece of Falcon 5 I would most like to see resurrected would be the upper stage with two upgraded Kestrel engines.  Used as a third stage atop Falcon Heavy, a stage with 8 tonnes of propellant might take 9 tonnes of payload all the way to GEO!
« Last Edit: 04/24/2011 01:58 pm by sdsds »
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Offline gospacex

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #13 on: 04/24/2011 01:26 pm »
I don't see why it is impossible to fit unmodified F9 first stage with less than 9 engines. DIRECT proposed to do the same technique with J130.

Offline neilh

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #14 on: 04/24/2011 04:34 pm »
Sure, it's not impossible to have a wide array of engine configurations, but right now SpaceX wants to standardize as much as possible. 

Another way to think of the issue: Over the next 10 years, how much additional revenue could SpaceX get from spending the development and testing dollars to get a proven Falcon 5, that they wouldn't be able to get otherwise? What is the return on investment?
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Offline Comga

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #15 on: 04/25/2011 12:29 am »
Merlin 1D only offers a 12% increase in thrust from the previously announced plans for Merlin 1C (140K versus 125K), so no engine reduction is possible for the Falcon 9 Block 2 currently cataloged in the SpaceX User's Guide. 

It might be possible to launch a Block 1 Falcon 9 using only seven Merlin 1D engines, but SpaceX is not publicly offering Block 1 as a "buy" option. 

 - Ed Kyle

That doesn't sound right.  Merlin 1-C is 95 klbf AFAIK.  Merlin 1-D is 140 klbf as you say.  (Up from 135 klbf in a January projection)

9*95=855  5*140=700 so a Falcon 5(1D) would have have only 82% of the thrust of the Falcon 9(1C).

On the other hand, The Falcon 9 will require significant structural redesign to accommodate the higher thrust.  This may be part of what we are seeing in the longer stages of the Falcon Heavy.  If they could grow the Merlin 1-D to 165-170 klbf, about a 20% additional increase, they would have a proven structure and launch facility and a less expensive rocket with existing tooling.  Would it be worth it?  I wouldn't know.

Then there remains Shotwell's comment about instability.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #16 on: 04/25/2011 02:32 am »
Merlin 1D only offers a 12% increase in thrust from the previously announced plans for Merlin 1C (140K versus 125K), so no engine reduction is possible for the Falcon 9 Block 2 currently cataloged in the SpaceX User's Guide. 

It might be possible to launch a Block 1 Falcon 9 using only seven Merlin 1D engines, but SpaceX is not publicly offering Block 1 as a "buy" option. 

 - Ed Kyle

That doesn't sound right.  Merlin 1-C is 95 klbf AFAIK.  Merlin 1-D is 140 klbf as you say.  (Up from 135 klbf in a January projection)

9*95=855  5*140=700 so a Falcon 5(1D) would have have only 82% of the thrust of the Falcon 9(1C).

On the other hand, The Falcon 9 will require significant structural redesign to accommodate the higher thrust.  This may be part of what we are seeing in the longer stages of the Falcon Heavy.  If they could grow the Merlin 1-D to 165-170 klbf, about a 20% additional increase, they would have a proven structure and launch facility and a less expensive rocket with existing tooling.  Would it be worth it?  I wouldn't know.

The "Merlin" (I'm not sure SpaceX ever specifically gave it a name*) version shown in the SpaceX User's Guide for Falcon 9 Block 2 was to produce 125Klbs thrust at sea level.  That's the 12% difference compared to Merlin 1D.  The Merlin 1C version used on the first two Falcon 9 launches (Block 1 versions) produced 95Klb thrust at sea level.  That version is not shown in the Guide or, really, on the SpaceX web site, at least not in complete form.

The only way to gain significant performance improvement from higher thrust is to make the rocket carry more propellant, which means that it either has to be stretched or "fattened". 

 - Ed Kyle

*The Users Guide still posted on the SpaceX web site says "Nine SpaceX Merlin engines power the Falcon 9 first stage with 125,000 lbf sea level thrust per engine, for a total thrust on liftoff of just over 1.1 million lbf."

The Guide also states that "The initial flights of the Falcon 9, currently planned in 2009 and 2010, use the Falcon 9 Block 1.  Beginning in late 2010/early 2011, SpaceX will begin launching the Falcon 9 Block 2. Block 2 features increased engine thrust, decreased launch vehicle dry mass, and increased propellant load ‐ combined with lessons learned from the flights of the Falcon 9 Block 1. This results in increased mass‐to‐orbit performance for the Falcon 9 Block 2 when compared with Block 1 performance. This performance is shown in the Falcon 9 performance tables presented later in this document."
« Last Edit: 04/25/2011 02:41 am by edkyle99 »

Offline notsorandom

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #17 on: 04/25/2011 02:56 am »
Then there remains Shotwell's comment about instability.
What was the context of that quote? Is she saying that it would be unstable in flight? I would be interested in hear why that would be so.

Offline Comga

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #18 on: 04/25/2011 03:51 am »
Ed,
SpaceX documentation on the web is inconsistent and incomplete. 
All SpaceX vehicle performance projections are moving targets, as are availability dates.
Can we agree on this?

As such, the latest statements about the thrust of the Merlin 1D is that it will not be 9/5 of the value for which the current Falcon 9 was designed.  Therefore, the answer to the question in the title of this thread is "Not directly and without another another complete redesign." 
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline sojourner

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #19 on: 01/18/2012 08:58 pm »
So, now with the announcement of Stratolaunch, what do you guys think?

Offline dcporter

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #20 on: 01/18/2012 09:28 pm »
I think someone else is paying the development costs, and SpaceX is happy to be able to hire a bunch of engineers on someone else's dime. =)

Offline Danderman

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #21 on: 01/18/2012 09:35 pm »
So, now with the announcement of Stratolaunch, what do you guys think?

I think that relying on any one quote from someone at SpaceX is not too reliable.    >:(
« Last Edit: 01/18/2012 09:35 pm by Danderman »

Offline MikeMelga

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #22 on: 01/18/2012 11:13 pm »
Paul Allen is backing it all the way. IMO SpaceX looked to be a versatile partner and my guess is that they want this to increase their launch numbers. Let's face it, it is the most exciting company out there but they need to launch more and broaden the client list.

Offline Jim

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #23 on: 01/18/2012 11:53 pm »
Let's face it, it is the most exciting company out there


not really

Offline oiorionsbelt

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #24 on: 01/19/2012 12:06 am »
In all seriousness, what company is currently more "exciting"?

Offline Jim

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #25 on: 01/19/2012 12:07 am »
In all seriousness, what company is currently more "exciting"?

the one with the most hype is Spacex.

If one reads or knows what is really going on, and not focusing on spin.

Lockheed is building the MPCV, built Juno, GRAIL and the entry vehicle for MSL, has two milcomsats at the launch site being prepared for launch, is designing the next generation weathersat and Mars orbiter and working on a mission to return samples from an asteriod, while being a partner in a launch vehicle company that will launch one to three different commercial manned spacecraft.
« Last Edit: 01/19/2012 12:15 am by Jim »

Offline oiorionsbelt

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #26 on: 01/19/2012 12:32 am »
Thanks for that reply 

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #27 on: 01/19/2012 12:36 am »
In all seriousness, what company is currently more "exciting"?

the one with the most hype is Spacex.

If one reads or knows what is really going on, and not focusing on spin.

Lockheed is building the MPCV, built Juno, GRAIL and the entry vehicle for MSL, has two milcomsats at the launch site being prepared for launch, is designing the next generation weathersat and Mars orbiter and working on a mission to return samples from an asteriod, while being a partner in a launch vehicle company that will launch one to three different commercial manned spacecraft.

Then there's Boeing, which currently has the contract to develop the largest rocket stage the world has ever seen, which builds super-powerful satellites based on a lineage that traces back to the first geo-sats, which is working on CST-100 for commercial crew, and oh, which built that X-37B thing that everyone wonders about, among many other things. 

SpaceX is interesting, but I find all of this work, by all of these companies, exciting.  :)

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 01/19/2012 12:45 am by edkyle99 »

Offline oiorionsbelt

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #28 on: 01/19/2012 12:45 am »
Would it be "good" for space flight if these two companies were to "hype" themselves more? SpaceX seems to generate interest in our favorite subject .

Offline spectre9

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #29 on: 01/19/2012 12:48 am »
SpaceX is exciting because of Elon Musk.

He comes out and says he's making the species interplanetary, building reusable launch vehicles and launching the most powerful rocket the world has seen since the Saturn V.

Yes it's all spin but people eat it up.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #30 on: 01/19/2012 12:49 am »
Would it be "good" for space flight if these two companies were to "hype" themselves more? SpaceX seems to generate interest in our favorite subject .

My guess is that the advertising budgets of either Lockheed Martin or Boeing vastly dwarf the ad budget of SpaceX.  On the other hand, space is only a relatively small part of what the "Big Two" do while SpaceX does nothing else. 

 - Ed Kyle

Online Patchouli

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #31 on: 01/19/2012 01:12 am »
I believe Shotwell said that they don't want to go back to Falcon 5 because it's unstable.

I think it was because of concerns of instability if there was an outboard engine failure during the first seconds of flight.

Musk wants a vehicle that can handle a T+0 engine failure.
« Last Edit: 01/19/2012 01:14 am by Patchouli »

Offline Jim

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #32 on: 01/19/2012 03:24 am »
In all seriousness, what company is currently more "exciting"?

the one with the most hype is Spacex.

If one reads or knows what is really going on, and not focusing on spin.

Lockheed is building the MPCV, built Juno, GRAIL and the entry vehicle for MSL, has two milcomsats at the launch site being prepared for launch, is designing the next generation weathersat and Mars orbiter and working on a mission to return samples from an asteriod, while being a partner in a launch vehicle company that will launch one to three different commercial manned spacecraft.

should have said
while being a partner in a launch vehicle company that launched or will launch all of the aforementioned and will launch one to three different commercial manned spacecraft.

Offline friendly3

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #33 on: 01/19/2012 05:44 am »
I thought Falcon 5 will de facto be back with Stratolaunch.


Offline MikeMelga

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #34 on: 01/19/2012 10:18 am »
SpaceX is exciting because of Elon Musk.

He comes out and says he's making the species interplanetary, building reusable launch vehicles and launching the most powerful rocket the world has seen since the Saturn V.

Yes it's all spin but people eat it up.
50 years ago a guy said we would put a man on the moon. We need guys like Elon musk, trying to push the envelop. I'm not excited with Lockheed and others because they are focused on money and job maintenance. Nothing wrong with both objectives, but we've had the same for the past 40 years with no innovation.

Offline RDoc

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #35 on: 01/19/2012 01:52 pm »
SpaceX is exciting because of Elon Musk.

He comes out and says he's making the species interplanetary, building reusable launch vehicles and launching the most powerful rocket the world has seen since the Saturn V.

Yes it's all spin but people eat it up.

Perhaps, but it takes a lot of omega to actually achieve orbital flights.
« Last Edit: 01/19/2012 01:55 pm by RDoc »

Offline Jim

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #36 on: 01/19/2012 02:03 pm »
Nothing wrong with both objectives, but we've had the same for the past 40 years with no innovation.

A Jupiter probe with no nuclear power source is not innovative? 

What is innovative about Falcon 9?  Dragon?  They are no different than existing systems.
« Last Edit: 01/19/2012 02:04 pm by Jim »

Offline ChefPat

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #37 on: 01/19/2012 02:31 pm »
Can this thread be brought back on track?
Playing Politics with Commercial Crew is Un-American!!!

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #38 on: 01/19/2012 02:55 pm »
Can this thread be brought back on track?

As above. Much easier when everyone self moderates a thread, so when someone - like above - says that, class it the same as if I said it (not that some of you take any notice of me ;D).

Offline MikeMelga

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #39 on: 01/19/2012 03:48 pm »
Nothing wrong with both objectives, but we've had the same for the past 40 years with no innovation.

A Jupiter probe with no nuclear power source is not innovative? 

What is innovative about Falcon 9?  Dragon?  They are no different than existing systems.
Price. And SpaceX is not a government job creation scam. Jeez, for such a capitalist country, your space program is the most socialist thing you have, can't you see that? Now it is a job creation industry and NASA is the money dispenser.

Online Patchouli

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #40 on: 01/19/2012 04:12 pm »
Nothing wrong with both objectives, but we've had the same for the past 40 years with no innovation.

A Jupiter probe with no nuclear power source is not innovative? 

What is innovative about Falcon 9?  Dragon?  They are no different than existing systems.
Price. And SpaceX is not a government job creation scam. Jeez, for such a capitalist country, your space program is the most socialist thing you have, can't you see that? Now it is a job creation industry and NASA is the money dispenser.

More specifically the the vertical integration and the approach SpaceX is taking to build an RLV is what is innovative.
traditional aerospace companies tend to outsource things and you have to sometimes go three even four subcontractors deep to find someone bending metal.

It doesn't take a degree in economics to know why this is expensive.
Every middleman you get involved is going to add a markup.

The other innovative thing is their incremental approach to an RLV by starting with an ELV.

Past efforts tried to go strait to an SSTO RLV which made the R&D funding part nearly unsurmountable.
They also neglected kerolox engines which are much easier then hydrogen.

Back on topic I don't think Dragon LVs will be change from F9 but an F5 could fill the payload gap between F1 and F9.

The Kestrel second stage proposed for F5 could be useful as a third stage on F9-H or even as a propulsion module for BEO missions with Dragon.

It would be a lot easier to add more restarts to Kestrel then Merlin Vac.
« Last Edit: 01/19/2012 04:16 pm by Patchouli »

Offline Comga

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #41 on: 01/19/2012 06:01 pm »
This is off-topic.
We don't have to respond to every SpaceX boosterism post.
Generic opinions about SpaceX go in the General thread.
Opinions are subjective.  They cannot be wrong, but they can be unfounded or contrary to facts.
And we all know what opinions are like, don't we?  But that's my opinion.  ;-)
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #42 on: 01/19/2012 06:13 pm »
Whether you'd save any money going from Falcon 9 to Falcon 5 depends on several things.

First of all, if the flight rate is low enough, Falcon 5 doesn't make sense.

If the flight rate is high enough, you may be able to find plenty of opportunities for dual- (or triple-, etc) manifesting payloads. (Maybe)

Also, if the cost of a Merlin 1D (and testing and integration, etc) is low enough, it may not be worth the hassle. Vertical integration seems likely to encourage Falcon 9 versus Falcon 5, since a factory is more efficient if it just keeps popping out engines, while if you aren't vertically integrated and just did a bulk buy of engines (or buy them a few at a time), it makes sense to stretch as much goodness as you can from a few engines.
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Offline krytek

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #43 on: 02/04/2012 09:37 am »
I thought Falcon 5 will de facto be back with Stratolaunch.


Illustration is outdated, they've recently settled on a 4 engine version I think.

Offline gospacex

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #44 on: 02/04/2012 11:47 am »
I don't see why SpaceX can't have Falcon 8...7...6...5...4 configurations by simply omitting a few engines. 3x3 engine layout even allows all of these options with symmetric thrust.

Granted, it might be not worthwhile for NASA missions - the cost of re-qualification paperwork for each of these configs can easily surpass the cost of the engines not used on such a flight. But for comsat launches it may work.

Offline Jim

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #45 on: 02/04/2012 12:02 pm »

Granted, it might be not worthwhile for NASA missions - the cost of re-qualification paperwork for each of these configs can easily surpass the cost of the engines not used on such a flight. But for comsat launches it may work.

no, spacex would have do design, configuration control and "re-qualification" paperwork for each of these configs for themselves to ensure that there are no issues.  And that could since surpass the cost of engines. 
There would be little use multiple configs.

Falcon 4 for Statolaunch is not going to be a Falcon 9 with 5 less engines.   The structure is going to have to be redesigned to take the loads from being hung horizontally.
« Last Edit: 02/04/2012 12:04 pm by Jim »

Offline gospacex

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #46 on: 02/05/2012 02:13 am »

Granted, it might be not worthwhile for NASA missions - the cost of re-qualification paperwork for each of these configs can easily surpass the cost of the engines not used on such a flight. But for comsat launches it may work.

no, spacex would have do design, configuration control and "re-qualification" paperwork for each of these configs for themselves to ensure that there are no issues.

Doing that for themselves and doing it for NASA are very different. For themselves, they can use common sense. For NASA, they need to follow a ton of requirements, many of them redundant and/or ridiculous.

Offline Jim

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #47 on: 02/05/2012 02:22 am »

Doing that for themselves and doing it for NASA are very different. For themselves, they can use common sense. For NASA, they need to follow a ton of requirements, many of them redundant and/or ridiculous.

Wrong, you have no proof of that and it is only your biased unsubstantiated conjecture.  Do you know this from experience?  Have you asked ULA or OSC whether this is true?  Do you know how NASA buys launch services?



« Last Edit: 02/05/2012 02:23 am by Jim »

Offline go4mars

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #48 on: 02/06/2012 03:16 pm »
Illustration is outdated, they've recently settled on a 4 engine version I think.
Any sources on that?  If so, the implication is that future 1st stage reusability is very unlikely (5 could perhaps use the center engine to land).  Unless there's a central kestrel or something on the f4 it seems unlikely to be reusable (in the grasshopper manner). 
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Offline Jim

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #49 on: 02/06/2012 03:23 pm »
  If so, the implication is that future 1st stage reusability is very unlikely

that is a given, since the launch point is likely not near land


Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?
« Reply #50 on: 02/06/2012 03:52 pm »
  If so, the implication is that future 1st stage reusability is very unlikely

that is a given, since the launch point is likely not near land


Why?

It allows reuse with out having to do a boost back... Though the thermal environment is more extreme than boost back, and you do have an overflight issue.

Though I suspect you are right for other cost and not technical reasons.
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