Author Topic: Falcon Heavy test flight speculation on the payload  (Read 104410 times)

Offline Downix

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Re: Falcon Heavy test flight speculation on the payload
« Reply #200 on: 08/30/2012 06:58 AM »
Mission will be to GTO because that's where potential customers will be looking to go.

Payload fairing will have to be demonstrated.

Some sort of demosat will need to be built if there is nobody out there willing to put a very expensive bird on a cheap ride. I think somebody will take the risk, there's already payloads riding on Zenit and Proton which aren't exactly 100% reliable even after many years of operation.
Hell, if they want a GTO payload, I'll build one for them.

Deadly serious.
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Offline ugordan

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Re: Falcon Heavy test flight speculation on the payload
« Reply #201 on: 08/30/2012 07:41 AM »
And by the way, I believe SpaceX has some pretty crazy foreign-object-debris tests, including chucking a bolt into the turbopump blades.

M1c was said to be able to swallow bolts "easily", but that doesn't imply M1d will be as tolerant. It is running at much higher performance specs and the engine is not correspondingly larger/heavier, quite the opposite. Reduced parts count should overall increase reliability, but ingesting bolts - I don't know.

Offline Archer

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Re: Falcon Heavy test flight speculation on the payload
« Reply #202 on: 08/30/2012 08:42 AM »
N1 failed because its NK-33 engines failed because their turbopump failed (blade of the pump touched the chamber* and that resulted in a spark which leaded to explosion) because of vibration that 30 working NK-33 were producing.

So N1 failure has nothing to do with the large amount of engines. It was caused by lack of test fires.

*inner part of the pump where difference in pressure is created by rotating blades; I don't know how it is called in English (

Moon flyby would be awesome, but dummy payload is much more likely.

Save the 4 N-1 launches never used the NK-33.

They flew with NK-15 engines:


Ooops, my mistake (
Further, the engines did not fail. One failed due to a busted feed pipe causing a fire. One failed due to a bolt not being tightened properly being sucked into the turbopumps. Two failed due to issues with the control computer.
I read in "Rockets and People" that it was turbopump to blame.
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Online Robotbeat

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Re: Falcon Heavy test flight speculation on the payload
« Reply #203 on: 08/30/2012 12:09 PM »
And by the way, I believe SpaceX has some pretty crazy foreign-object-debris tests, including chucking a bolt into the turbopump blades.

M1c was said to be able to swallow bolts "easily", but that doesn't imply M1d will be as tolerant. It is running at much higher performance specs and the engine is not correspondingly larger/heavier, quite the opposite. Reduced parts count should overall increase reliability, but ingesting bolts - I don't know.
I actually thought it was the Merlin 1d, since SpaceX didn't make the pump for 1c. Have to check, now. :)
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Offline baldusi

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Re: Falcon Heavy test flight speculation on the payload
« Reply #204 on: 08/30/2012 03:12 PM »
N1 failed because its NK-33 engines failed because their turbopump failed (blade of the pump touched the chamber* and that resulted in a spark which leaded to explosion) because of vibration that 30 working NK-33 were producing.

So N1 failure has nothing to do with the large amount of engines. It was caused by lack of test fires.

*inner part of the pump where difference in pressure is created by rotating blades; I don't know how it is called in English (

Moon flyby would be awesome, but dummy payload is much more likely.

Save the 4 N-1 launches never used the NK-33.

They flew with NK-15 engines:


Ooops, my mistake (
Further, the engines did not fail. One failed due to a busted feed pipe causing a fire. One failed due to a bolt not being tightened properly being sucked into the turbopumps. Two failed due to issues with the control computer.
I read in "Rockets and People" that it was turbopump to blame.
Same source, flight 4 had an explosion on the position of the engine 14, a few seconds short of MECO. Main assumed culprit was the TNA.
BTW, next flight (N-1L7 I believe) was to have the NK-33.
Main problem with the NK-15, beside the TNA, was that it could only be used once. So they took batches of eight, tested upto six, and installed the other two only if everything went ok.
On the other hand, the NK-33 would have something like 10 uses, which would have allowed for an acceptance test of each engine, an integrated on pad test plus margin for aborted launches before lift off.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Falcon Heavy test flight speculation on the payload
« Reply #205 on: 08/30/2012 06:32 PM »
N1 failed because its NK-15 engines failed because their turbopump failed (blade of the pump touched the chamber* and that resulted in a spark which leaded to explosion) because of vibration that 30 working NK-15 were producing.

So N1 failure has nothing to do with the large amount of engines. It was caused by lack of test fires.

*inner part of the pump where difference in pressure is created by rotating blades; I don't know how it is called in English (



Moon flyby would be awesome, but dummy payload is much more likely.

I can see them possibly crashing the FH second stage into the moon if it has fuel and restarts left over after releasing the primary payload.
That way they can say to put something on the moon.

Offline Star One

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Re: Falcon Heavy test flight speculation on the payload
« Reply #206 on: 08/31/2012 10:46 PM »
N1 failed because its NK-15 engines failed because their turbopump failed (blade of the pump touched the chamber* and that resulted in a spark which leaded to explosion) because of vibration that 30 working NK-15 were producing.

So N1 failure has nothing to do with the large amount of engines. It was caused by lack of test fires.

*inner part of the pump where difference in pressure is created by rotating blades; I don't know how it is called in English (



Moon flyby would be awesome, but dummy payload is much more likely.

I can see them possibly crashing the FH second stage into the moon if it has fuel and restarts left over after releasing the primary payload.
That way they can say to put something on the moon.

Rather untidy crashing a rocket stage on the moon. ;D

Offline go4mars

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Re: Falcon Heavy test flight speculation on the payload
« Reply #207 on: 09/01/2012 02:14 AM »
Lunar archiologists in the distant future will appreciate the trash.  ;)
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Offline Proponent

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Re: Falcon Heavy test flight speculation on the payload
« Reply #208 on: 09/06/2012 04:20 AM »
If they don't send a Google Moon candidate, I would place my bets on a dummy paylaod to GTO. In fact, if they have been developing a dual payload adapter, that would be the perfect moment to test it. Short of a paying customer, what's better than validating the whole process for the paying customers?

One problem I see with putting Google Lunar X-Prize payloads on the inaugural flight is that it could constrain launch windows, meaning that a minor problem could turn into a lengthy delay.  I suspect a dummy GTO payload is more likely.

Offline dbhyslop

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Re: Falcon Heavy test flight speculation on the payload
« Reply #209 on: 09/06/2012 04:37 AM »
Rather untidy crashing a rocket stage on the moon. ;D

Are there not already SIVB remains there?

Online Helodriver

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Re: Falcon Heavy test flight speculation on the payload
« Reply #210 on: 09/06/2012 05:21 AM »
They should use the flight to test the fairing, and with the same mindset that put the first wheel of cheese in space, under that fairing should be a Tesla roadster. The first car in space and with a reignition of the second stage, the first car in solar orbit or on an escape trajectory out of the solar system. Inside the car, cameras and a telemetry system, powered by the car's lithium ion cells, which should last while a while if low powered enough or indefinitely with solar panels on the hood, roof and rear deck lid. Imagine the marketing and PR buzz.

Offline simonbp

Re: Falcon Heavy test flight speculation on the payload
« Reply #211 on: 09/06/2012 03:03 PM »
Ferrets. A big old box of ferrets, 50 tonnes of them. They shall be called the space ferrets and frolic in space forever, until their orbit decays a week later.

And tell me that's less speculative than 99.9% of this thread. ;)

Offline peter-b

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Re: Falcon Heavy test flight speculation on the payload
« Reply #212 on: 09/06/2012 03:41 PM »
I for one welcome our new space ferret overlords.

More seriously, a fairing test with one or more boilerplate payloads seems to be the logical answer.
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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Falcon Heavy test flight speculation on the payload
« Reply #213 on: 09/06/2012 03:45 PM »
Huh? Won't the MDA launch test the fairing, or is it still august and I am still on vacation?
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Offline baldusi

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Re: Falcon Heavy test flight speculation on the payload
« Reply #214 on: 09/06/2012 04:08 PM »
Huh? Won't the MDA launch test the fairing, or is it still august and I am still on vacation?
I said that they might have a dual payload solution for the FH flight. Else, it will already be demonstrated by CASSIOPE, ORBCOMM, Thaicom and, may be, SES.

Offline daver

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Re: Falcon Heavy test flight speculation on the payload
« Reply #215 on: 09/06/2012 04:13 PM »
They should use the flight to test the fairing, and with the same mindset that put the first wheel of cheese in space, under that fairing should be a Tesla roadster. The first car in space and with a reignition of the second stage, the first car in solar orbit or on an escape trajectory out of the solar system. Inside the car, cameras and a telemetry system, powered by the car's lithium ion cells, which should last while a while if low powered enough or indefinitely with solar panels on the hood, roof and rear deck lid. Imagine the marketing and PR buzz.

I like the Tesla in orbit idea.  Its been thought of before @:45 seconds in this video. 

Offline go4mars

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Offline DaveH62

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Re: Falcon Heavy test flight speculation on the payload
« Reply #217 on: 09/06/2012 06:33 PM »
Ferrets. A big old box of ferrets, 50 tonnes of them. They shall be called the space ferrets and frolic in space forever, until their orbit decays a week later.

And tell me that's less speculative than 99.9% of this thread. ;)
A Tesla full of ferrets and cheese slamming into the moon.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Falcon Heavy test flight speculation on the payload
« Reply #218 on: 09/06/2012 07:08 PM »
A Tesla full of ferrets and cheese slamming into the moon.

PETA will be all over you for smashing Billion's upon Billion's of cheese microbes into oblivion!
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Offline rjholling

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Re: Falcon Heavy test flight speculation on the payload
« Reply #219 on: 09/07/2012 04:54 AM »
The choice is obvious to me ;)

Realistically though, probably a dummy payload.  They want to show potential customers they can deliver.

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