Author Topic: Musk lays out plans for reusability of the Falcon 9 rocket  (Read 103644 times)


Offline AndyX

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Thanks for writing that article Yves!

I really hope they think about video coverage for that first attempt.  Would be amazing to see that coming back down!

Offline yg1968

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Thanks for writing that article Yves!

I really hope they think about video coverage for that first attempt.  Would be amazing to see that coming back down!

Thanks. They will have video of part of the descent of the Cassiope flight. They said in about a week (last Sunday) which means any day now.
« Last Edit: 10/03/2013 11:33 PM by yg1968 »

Offline Martin FL

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Obviously saw the raw transcript in L2, but you did a very good job creating an article out of that. I personally hope they concentrate more on making sure F9 and FH are into regular flights, but if they can do landings, great!

Offline QuantumG

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The part that really got me was that it seems SpaceX is actually considering a return to launch site attempt at KSC, in February.

Ya know, 4 months from now.

I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline Rangers75

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He's probably going to have failures. But at least he's trying. I think we really need an Elon.

Offline oiorionsbelt

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The part that really got me was that it seems SpaceX is actually considering a return to launch site attempt at KSC, in February.

Ya know, 4 months from now.


I know, it's great that they are pushing ahead post haste.

Offline SpaceX David

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Very good coverage again. Have been reading here for some time. Very no nonsense coverage that is appreciated by most.

You don't really get to know what a site intends with its coverage, because media tend to look for the negatives, but this site appears to be supportive, without pandering. I like that.

And when the managing editor posts the following during the first few seconds of launch....

GO ON GET UP THERE.

You know the intent is positive.

Offline go4mars

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considering a return to launch site attempt at KSC, Ya know, 4 months from now.
For the last few years people on this site have said, "Look at the manifest.  I think this next year will be a big one where they..."   Well, these have been impressive years by other metrics, but 2014 and 2015...   I have high expectations.  I feel about SpaceX today about how I felt about Tesla when I bought $17 shares.  For different reasons, but my conviction feels familiar.  Though I'm way more interested in SpaceX.
Elasmotherium; hurlyburly Doggerlandic Jentilak steeds insouciantly gallop in viridescent taiga, eluding deluginal Burckle's abyssal excavation.

Offline Jason A

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Fascinating read, but is it really worth it to go for reusability of stages, when SpaceX have shown they can mass produce them?

I wonder how they balance potential customers for full use of F9 v1.1, versus dropping capability so they can get the stages back?

If it was a good idea, why have no other companies pressed on with it? Such as Arianespace, etc?

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Musk lays out plans for reusability of the Falcon 9 rocket
« Reply #10 on: 10/04/2013 03:29 AM »
I think you're asking good questions, but I don't think they're relevant to SpaceX.

They want reusability, so they're pursuing it.

That's the power of owning your own company.
I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline joek

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Re: Musk lays out plans for reusability of the Falcon 9 rocket
« Reply #11 on: 10/04/2013 03:34 AM »
The part that really got me was that it seems SpaceX is actually considering a return to launch site attempt at KSC, in February.

Ya know, 4 months from now.

Yeah, I did a triple-take on that.  Won't bet against it, but ... ummm ... wow ... really!?  Even a return-closer-to-launch-site (e.g., a few miles off the CCAFS coast) would be a giant step forward.  In any case, congratulations and best of luck SpaceX.

Thanks QG for the transcript and to all who helped.  Great job with the article Yves.  That should provide plenty of fuel for the speculative fires during the intervening months.

Offline rickl

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Re: Musk lays out plans for reusability of the Falcon 9 rocket
« Reply #12 on: 10/04/2013 03:42 AM »
I'm not sure whether I should post this here or in a discussion thread, but here goes:


From what I have read, the turnaround maneuver and the three-engine retrograde burn were successful, and the first stage re-entered the atmosphere intact.  They even managed to restart the center engine for the landing, before the roll got out of hand.


That sounds like they almost pulled off a soft landing in the ocean on the very first attempt, which is nothing short of astonishing.  I pretty much expected that the vehicle would break up during the high-speed part of the flight, and it would take several attempts to get through that portion of the recovery.


But it sounds like all they have to do is figure out a way to overcome the roll, and they've got it.


That suggests that they may not even need Grasshopper 2.
The Space Age is just starting to get interesting.

Offline yg1968

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Re: Musk lays out plans for reusability of the Falcon 9 rocket
« Reply #13 on: 10/04/2013 03:43 AM »
Fascinating read, but is it really worth it to go for reusability of stages, when SpaceX have shown they can mass produce them?

I wonder how they balance potential customers for full use of F9 v1.1, versus dropping capability so they can get the stages back?

If it was a good idea, why have no other companies pressed on with it? Such as Arianespace, etc?

Re-usability of the first stage is only worth it if you launch often enough. From what I recall, if you launch about once a month, it becomes worth it. Blue Origin is also pursuing re-usability and their intent is to launch once a month.

Offline CardBoardBoxProcessor

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Re: Musk lays out plans for reusability of the Falcon 9 rocket
« Reply #14 on: 10/04/2013 03:53 AM »
but Blue Origin is quite far behind in the game and much slower at said game. No? Though their BE-3 is pretty nice :)

I ponder is this stage ultimately crashing the same as BO's test article being terminated? Though I suppose that would only be comparable to GH2 being terminated. And the fact that they had a Mach 1 Test before GH2 means they might not be slow as the game after all no?

But anyway February for landing on land eh? pretty snazzy.

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Musk lays out plans for reusability of the Falcon 9 rocket
« Reply #15 on: 10/04/2013 03:55 AM »
Excellent article and great news there! I really hope they pull it off. It would be fantastic to see the F9R first stage land successfully already 4 months from now!

Offline Kabloona

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Re: Musk lays out plans for reusability of the Falcon 9 rocket
« Reply #16 on: 10/04/2013 03:58 AM »

That suggests that they may not even need Grasshopper 2.

Just speculating, but Air Force Range Safety and/or FAA may want GH2 demo(s) of a flight-like re-entry/landing before they approve an F9R return to pad attempt. I'd be surprised if they didn't.

Offline yg1968

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Re: Musk lays out plans for reusability of the Falcon 9 rocket
« Reply #17 on: 10/04/2013 04:27 AM »
but Blue Origin is quite far behind in the game and much slower at said game. No? Though their BE-3 is pretty nice :)

I ponder is this stage ultimately crashing the same as BO's test article being terminated? Though I suppose that would only be comparable to GH2 being terminated. And the fact that they had a Mach 1 Test before GH2 means they might not be slow as the game after all no?

But anyway February for landing on land eh? pretty snazzy.

Blue Origin is aiming for 2018. But I was just trying to make the point that you don't need to fly every day for reuse of the first stage to be worth it. Both Blue Origin and SpaceX seem to believe that.

Offline spectre9

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Re: Musk lays out plans for reusability of the Falcon 9 rocket
« Reply #18 on: 10/04/2013 06:03 AM »
Incredible step towards reuse.

Seems like confidence with engine restarts has gone up now.

Will be interesting to see when they put the landing legs on.

Offline daveklingler

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Re: Musk lays out plans for reusability of the Falcon 9 rocket
« Reply #19 on: 10/04/2013 06:08 AM »
While it sounds as if their first attempt worked better than most would have dared hope, there could be years of engineering roadblocks still to be overcome. 

They haven't yet launched a first stage with the legged configuration, nor would they be likely to have a final leg design by now.  A leg configuration capable of being reliable in all phases of flight will likely require quite a bit of further refinement and testing.

Once the leg configuration is finalized, there may still be slosh (or other unforeseen) problems.

Once those problems are solved, they may run into fatigue problems with reusing a first stage that's otherwise successfully landed and appears to be ready to go.  The legs and body of the stage will have been to hell and back.  Flight recertification may turn out to be a nasty and expensive task.

I'm cautiously optimistic that SpaceX is capable of coming up with a reusable first stage.  Whether it's worth reusing may turn out to be in doubt.

Sorry, just thought I'd throw out a little doom and gloom to temper the happy optimism.  May the issues turn out to be minor ones!  :)

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