Author Topic: 5 core (4 booster) variant of FH  (Read 18926 times)

Offline moralec

5 core (4 booster) variant of FH
« on: 01/27/2015 09:56 PM »
The Falcon Heavy flight and booster recovery Video shows 5 landing pads. This may be an indication that Space X is working on a 5 core (4 booster) variant.

- What would be the capacity of this booster?
- Would it make sense from a technical perspective (rocket equation)?
- Would this be a reasonable thing to do from a Business Perspective?

What do you think?



Online meekGee

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Re: 5 core (4 booster) variant of FH
« Reply #1 on: 01/27/2015 10:10 PM »
I think you want more pads than cores.  Otherwise it is too easy to run out of pads if something is not nominal.

I think this is actually a 4 pad system.  The center pad is the crash pad, and the cores normally divert to the side pads, so you have 4 active pads, and one extra pad in case you're otherwise full.

So if for whatever reason you're launching FHs fast, you don't absolutely have to get the cores out of the way before the next one comes in.
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Offline nadreck

Re: 5 core (4 booster) variant of FH
« Reply #2 on: 01/27/2015 10:17 PM »
hmm, what about a 5 booster single core where the core reaches orbit? I think that technically could work, the cross feed would be quite tricky and all boosters have to drop at the same time (a 4 booster one could have a complicated cross feed and drop two and then another two for greater efficiency but probably would not yield as useful a payload).

I think the 1 technical advantage would be to deliver something with a larger volume as well as weight to LEO, without the existing 2nd stage you could make a wider, longer fairing and support it's weight better with the single core.

 However let me suggest that SpaceX starts painting them orange  8) (ducks and covers)
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Offline Lars-J

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Re: 5 core (4 booster) variant of FH
« Reply #3 on: 01/27/2015 10:47 PM »
The Falcon Heavy flight and booster recovery Video shows 5 landing pads. This may be an indication that Space X is working on a 5 core (4 booster) variant.

- What would be the capacity of this booster?
- Would it make sense from a technical perspective (rocket equation)?
- Would this be a reasonable thing to do from a Business Perspective?

What do you think?

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Offline macpacheco

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Re: 5 core (4 booster) variant of FH
« Reply #4 on: 01/27/2015 11:07 PM »
Falcon Heavy with cross feeding, side boosters RTLS center booster barge landing offer massive payload, very few missions would require sacrificing the center booster, then why an even bigger FH ? They need the advantages of Raptor to go full reusability and have a single first stage booster instead.
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Offline CJ

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Re: 5 core (4 booster) variant of FH
« Reply #5 on: 01/27/2015 11:19 PM »
Hrmmm....

Okay, 5 pads, one larger than the others. That's intriguing, but, we also should bear in mind that landing pads like these are cheap - easier and cheaper to built what you might need all at once. 

The larger pad is interesting. I'm going to hazard a wild guess that it could be for Dragon?

IMHO, the first thing we ought to look at regarding a hypothetical 5 core FH is, is it possible? That IMHO depends on how the hard attach points are designed; if designed so that a stage structural redesign is needed for 5 cores, it ain't happening. Second issue, cost; is there a financial reason to go 5 core? If not, it ain't happening.

On the flip side, if a future FH variant with 5 cores is even being considered, it'd make financial sense to pour all 5 pads at once. 




Offline Damon Hill

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Re: 5 core (4 booster) variant of FH
« Reply #6 on: 01/27/2015 11:21 PM »
Requires launch pad/transporter/erector/assembly building to handle this configuration.

Launches on four boosters, core ignites at altitude or shuts down after liftoff and restarts at separation (in-flight shutdown/restarts have been demonstrated multiple times).  No crossfeed needed, core could run on five engines with expanded nozzles (will octoweb support this?).  Excessive energy means no core recovery.  Presumed higher payload could require semi-custom core with strengthening.

Serious high energy upper stage needed?  Could boosters separate as pairs and return un-separated?

Not really seeing this; this is what BFR is for.  But fun to speculate if BFR is delayed and an interim solution might be needed for some heavy/high energy mission.

Don't know how to do the math, so little idea of potential payloads/missions a hypothetical F9DoubleH could meet.
« Last Edit: 01/27/2015 11:23 PM by Damon Hill »

Offline Jim

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Re: 5 core (4 booster) variant of FH
« Reply #7 on: 01/28/2015 12:00 AM »
The Falcon Heavy flight and booster recovery Video shows 5 landing pads. This may be an indication that Space X is working on a 5 core (4 booster) variant.

- What would be the capacity of this booster?
- Would it make sense from a technical perspective (rocket equation)?
- Would this be a reasonable thing to do from a Business Perspective?

What do you think?

Wrong assumption.  There is no such thing.  This is the second time you posted this nonsense.

Offline moralec

Re: 5 core (4 booster) variant of FH
« Reply #8 on: 01/28/2015 12:17 AM »

The Falcon Heavy flight and booster recovery Video shows 5 landing pads. This may be an indication that Space X is working on a 5 core (4 booster) variant.

- What would be the capacity of this booster?
- Would it make sense from a technical perspective (rocket equation)?
- Would this be a reasonable thing to do from a Business Perspective?

What do you think?

Wrong assumption.  There is no such thing.  This is the second time you posted this nonsense.

Three comments about this
1) I was not the one that originally came with the hypothesis.: I just opened the thread for the fun of speculation.
2) Nether you and me have enough evidence to either confirm and discard this. That means that, even if minor, is a possibility.  Rewind 5 months: You were attacking me in a similar way saying we will never see a falcon booster landing on a barge.... and then, here we  are....
3) Even is Space X is not planing to do this it is very entertaining to speculate about these sort of things.

Offline Jim

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Re: 5 core (4 booster) variant of FH
« Reply #9 on: 01/28/2015 12:40 AM »

2) Nether you and me have enough evidence to either confirm and discard this. That means that, even if minor, is a possibility.  ..
3) Even is Space X is not planing to do this it is very entertaining to speculate about these sort of things.

2.  yes, it is very easy to discard this.  There is no need, they have the MCT

3. No, it isn't.  It dilutes the speculation of things that are really going happen.  There is still a lot of FH to look into vs a vehicle that is not going to exist.  There is even the MCT to speculate about.

Offline Karlman

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Re: 5 core (4 booster) variant of FH
« Reply #10 on: 01/28/2015 01:03 AM »
The Falcon Heavy flight and booster recovery Video shows 5 landing pads. This may be an indication that Space X is working on a 5 core (4 booster) variant.

- What would be the capacity of this booster?
- Would it make sense from a technical perspective (rocket equation)?
- Would this be a reasonable thing to do from a Business Perspective?

What do you think?

I'd guess a more likely possibility is returning boosters from both a F9 and a FH on the same day or something like that.. that would be 4 boosters..leaving 1 spare pad.
They will soon have 2 launch pads that could utilize the landing area.
(assuming things like return to land is approved, and other issues that currently keep launches separated by a couple of days are also changed).


Offline Ohsin

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Re: 5 core (4 booster) variant of FH
« Reply #11 on: 01/28/2015 05:02 AM »
The Falcon Heavy flight and booster recovery Video shows 5 landing pads. This may be an indication that Space X is working on a 5 core (4 booster) variant.

- What would be the capacity of this booster?
- Would it make sense from a technical perspective (rocket equation)?
- Would this be a reasonable thing to do from a Business Perspective?

What do you think?

May be UAE can have some answers for you.
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Offline moralec

5 core (4 booster) variant of FH
« Reply #12 on: 01/28/2015 11:55 AM »
What a crazy video!

Any possibility that the HF transporter/erector/assembly building could support one extra booster? Or new ground infrastructure would still be needed?
« Last Edit: 01/28/2015 11:59 AM by moralec »

Offline Jim

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Re: 5 core (4 booster) variant of FH
« Reply #13 on: 01/28/2015 12:01 PM »
What a crazy video!

żAny possibility that the HF transporter/erector/assembly building could support one extra booster? Or new ground infrastructure would still be needed?


It would require new hangar, new GSE, new erector and new pad.  nothing that currently exists or is in design for FH can be used for this concept
« Last Edit: 01/28/2015 12:01 PM by Jim »

Offline moralec

Re: 5 core (4 booster) variant of FH
« Reply #14 on: 01/28/2015 12:07 PM »

What a crazy video!

żAny possibility that the HF transporter/erector/assembly building could support one extra booster? Or new ground infrastructure would still be needed?


It would require new hangar, new GSE, new erector and new pad.  nothing that currently exists or is in design for FH can be used for this concept

It's a no go then, just like the 4 booster version. Thanks Jim.

Offline AncientU

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Re: 5 core (4 booster) variant of FH
« Reply #15 on: 01/28/2015 02:17 PM »
The Falcon Heavy flight and booster recovery Video shows 5 landing pads. This may be an indication that Space X is working on a 5 core (4 booster) variant.

- What would be the capacity of this booster?
- Would it make sense from a technical perspective (rocket equation)?
- Would this be a reasonable thing to do from a Business Perspective?

What do you think?

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Online GreenShrike

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Re: 5 core (4 booster) variant of FH
« Reply #16 on: 01/28/2015 05:23 PM »
I'd guess a more likely possibility is returning boosters from both a F9 and a FH on the same day or something like that.. that would be 4 boosters..leaving 1 spare pad.

Having five pads would be useful for a twin Falcon Heavy mission, with one launching the payload and the other launching an EDS or fuel tanker or something. The lighter FH could do a 3-core return, and the heavier a 2-core with downrange recovery of the center core on the Reader or other spaceport drone ship.

I'd guess that splitting up a mission so that a pair of FHs can fly it from LC-39A and 40 with an in-orbit rendezvous would be a hell of a lot cheaper than the dev and construction costs necessary to launch a 5-core Falcon.
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Offline JasonAW3

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Re: 5 core (4 booster) variant of FH
« Reply #17 on: 01/28/2015 07:06 PM »
I think you want more pads than cores.  Otherwise it is too easy to run out of pads if something is not nominal.

I think this is actually a 4 pad system.  The center pad is the crash pad, and the cores normally divert to the side pads, so you have 4 active pads, and one extra pad in case you're otherwise full.

So if for whatever reason you're launching FHs fast, you don't absolutely have to get the cores out of the way before the next one comes in.

Another guess?

Launching a Dragon on a 3 core launch, recovering all 3 cores, the second stage and Dragon from a previoust mission.  But as was told before, the main pad is just that, a main pad.  the other four are, at present, divert pads in case of problems.

Personally, I like the idea of a 5 core beast, as this should be able to boost 200 tons plus, although as far as I know, we don't have any payloads just yet, that would need that much oomph!
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Online meekGee

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Re: 5 core (4 booster) variant of FH
« Reply #18 on: 01/28/2015 07:40 PM »
I wouldn't go with any concept that requires 100% utilization of the pads.

In the CAD-based movie, everything is smooth and nice.  In reality, one pad may be undergoing re-surfacing, on pad may be closed down long-term because who knows what, and it takes forever to get permits, so if I was planning on returning only 2 cores at a time, I'd get a minimum of 4 pads built.  Just for kicks.  It's hardly more expensive.

Then the center pad, which is large and has a gravel "sump" around it, serves as the aim-to pad and can take a crash with less effect on the environment, and the 4 surrounding pads are for touchdowns.  The center pad can also be used for touchdowns, but as long as there's something on it, the entire complex is on "hold", so I think it will be used as little as possible.
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Offline Lobo

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Re: 5 core (4 booster) variant of FH
« Reply #19 on: 01/28/2015 11:36 PM »
The Falcon Heavy flight and booster recovery Video shows 5 landing pads. This may be an indication that Space X is working on a 5 core (4 booster) variant.

- What would be the capacity of this booster?
- Would it make sense from a technical perspective (rocket equation)?
- Would this be a reasonable thing to do from a Business Perspective?

What do you think?

Well, I do love building paper rockets, as my posts have shown over time.  :-)

But, when you have more than 2 outboard boosters, you can't put all of the cores inline any more like you can with 3.  Which means you cannot access umbilicals to all the boosters from one side, like you can with just 3.  You'll need a little more complex mast/ubilican arrangement.  So pad modifications to all of your pads that are launching 3-core FH.

But more importantly, SpaceX is building a fully reusable BFR.  There won't be any paylaods that a fully expendable FH cannot handle for quite some time I reckon. Once BFR is flying, any payload that a 3-core FH can't handle would be a great candidate to get some more flight rate on BFR.  As BFR will be fully reusable, it's not overly costly to put a 60mt payload on an LV that can handle 100mt or 150mt or whatever it's block 1  turns out to be.  And that gets it's flight rate up from whatever SpaceX will start out using it for.  Tt won't immediately be taking thousands of colonists to Mars.  There'll be a period that it'll be flying but MCT won't be ready for Mars yet, and they'll want to get it flying whatever they can on it.
That's where a 5-core FH payload would go.  So I just don't see a need for it.

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