Author Topic: Could Merlin 1D lead to the return of Falcon 5?  (Read 17662 times)

Offline 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?

Offline Robotbeat

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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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