Author Topic: How could Falcon Heavy do distributed launch?  (Read 7234 times)

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: How could Falcon Heavy do distributed launch?
« Reply #40 on: 07/15/2018 03:32 PM »
You just added another requirement to my original list
5) US needs to be able to power payload for a month.






Offline RyanC

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Re: How could Falcon Heavy do distributed launch?
« Reply #41 on: 07/15/2018 03:35 PM »
Any launch vehicle can do distributed launch.  All is takes its a tank for a payload.

The reason nobody's done distributed launch is until Falcon Heavy, the cost(s) were incredibly marginal for the utility.

FH makes it possible to equal about maybe 75% of SLS performance on 25% of the cost (roughly). That makes the case for distributed list close for the first time.

We'll see more and more interest as more Falcon Heavies fly.

Online envy887

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Re: How could Falcon Heavy do distributed launch?
« Reply #42 on: 07/15/2018 04:53 PM »
Not possible with current US and doubt it can be modified to support DL.
Here is what it needs to do.
1) last upto month in LEO without significant boiloff.
2) needs power for month.
3) robotic arm for catching the 2nd US and fuel transfer
4) maneuvering thrusts for 3.

I don't see the first couple - in principle you can have a couple of FHs on the pad, or FH and F9, and do simultaneous launches with both aborting if the other does.

3 is somewhat debatable - you don't need to do fuel transfer to get many of the benefits of distributed launch.

As outlined earlier in the thread you can get lots of extra performance without bothering to transfer fuel at all - yes, you get 5 tons less or so payload than if you can as you're lugging along a second stage, but it's a nontrivial development and at the very least one test flight.

You do need to ideally test 'docking' with a test object, to verify you can get next to each other.
You will need more cold gas, but they've already put more cold gas on as a test.

In principle, you can with no extra hardware shadow a stage in HEO with another stage, greatly reducing boiloff, but this will freeze the kerosene.
Even with 2 FH pads there is no guarantee 2nd one will launch on time. Weather, stray boats or technical issues can delay it by days if not weeks.

Can't dock with most payloads, they would need transferring with robotic arm. Not sure which is less risk, fuel transfer or payload transfer.

With current RP1 US, He for tank pressurisation would also need transferring.
Most payloads don't need distributed launch performance, and those that do are usually 1) custom designed and/or 2) able to dock with another spacecraft anyway (e.g. Orion).

Offline Negan

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Re: How could Falcon Heavy do distributed launch?
« Reply #43 on: 07/15/2018 11:09 PM »
Why not just send up enough hypergolic propellant tanks using FH to get Dragon 2 where it needs to go?

Online rakaydos

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Re: How could Falcon Heavy do distributed launch?
« Reply #44 on: 07/16/2018 04:47 PM »
Why not just send up enough hypergolic propellant tanks using FH to get Dragon 2 where it needs to go?

I'm resisting the urge to post kerbal screenshots.

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