Author Topic: SpaceX Core Spotting  (Read 144083 times)

Offline vaporcobra

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Re: SpaceX Core Spotting
« Reply #320 on: 12/03/2018 11:25 pm »
I'll post this as well, spotted on (I believe) Nov. 27 in Wekiva, FL by Instagram user @giamaz000. Headed East per the sunset and evening post time.

That may well be B1051 for DM-1 given the timeline they usually work.

Yep. 99% chance it's either B1051 or B1054. I'd guess B1054 given Hans' DM-1 comments today and the new booster recently spotted inside the 39A hangar

Online gongora

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Re: SpaceX Core Spotting
« Reply #321 on: 12/03/2018 11:29 pm »
I'd guess B1054 given Hans' DM-1 comments today and the new booster recently spotted inside the 39A hangar

Neither of those is really inconsistent with it being 1051.

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: SpaceX Core Spotting
« Reply #322 on: 12/04/2018 02:24 am »
That picture was taken through a tinted bus window so I think that has something to do with it. Here is the full size picture along with a couple of other shots of things sitting around.

What is the hardware in the fourth picture? cropped here:

looks like the cap placed on the second stage for the static fire tests.....
It is.

Offline vaporcobra

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Re: SpaceX Core Spotting
« Reply #323 on: 12/19/2018 12:28 am »
Just to summarize the core spottings today, B1051 & S2, B1048, and Dragon C201 & trunk are all in the 39A hangar as of Dec 18.

Attached photo is from Emre Kelly/Florida Today.

Offline deruch

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Re: SpaceX Core Spotting
« Reply #324 on: 12/19/2018 02:35 am »
Just to summarize the core spottings today, B1051 & S2, B1048, and Dragon C201 & trunk are all in the 39A hangar as of Dec 18.

Attached photo is from Emre Kelly/Florida Today.

How sure are we that this Dragon is getting the C201 number instead of that going to some of the structural or other test articles?  For example, what was the number for the article which was used for the Pad Abort?
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline vaporcobra

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Re: SpaceX Core Spotting
« Reply #325 on: 12/19/2018 04:43 am »
Just to summarize the core spottings today, B1051 & S2, B1048, and Dragon C201 & trunk are all in the 39A hangar as of Dec 18.

Attached photo is from Emre Kelly/Florida Today.

How sure are we that this Dragon is getting the C201 number instead of that going to some of the structural or other test articles?  For example, what was the number for the article which was used for the Pad Abort?

I'm building off of /r/SpaceX's very well-maintained core and capsule lists, which tend to be based off of real internal numbering. Just like Cargo Dragon and Falcon, vehicles only tend to get their own numbers if they are flightworthy, which rules out STAs and other partial fidelity test articles.

Online Alexphysics

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Re: SpaceX Core Spotting
« Reply #326 on: 12/19/2018 10:15 pm »
Just to summarize the core spottings today, B1051 & S2, B1048, and Dragon C201 & trunk are all in the 39A hangar as of Dec 18.

Attached photo is from Emre Kelly/Florida Today.

How sure are we that this Dragon is getting the C201 number instead of that going to some of the structural or other test articles?  For example, what was the number for the article which was used for the Pad Abort?

Olaf and gongora have you covered on this, as always  ;) It is on this thread for the NAC meeting from March 2018. Slides 9 and 10 on this presentation is where the serial number is for both capsules for DM-1 (C201) and DM-2 (C203). IIRC, C202 is the one that was used for the ECLSS testing.


Online Alexphysics

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Re: SpaceX Core Spotting
« Reply #327 on: 12/19/2018 10:18 pm »
Just to summarize the core spottings today, B1051 & S2, B1048, and Dragon C201 & trunk are all in the 39A hangar as of Dec 18.

Attached photo is from Emre Kelly/Florida Today.

How sure are we that this Dragon is getting the C201 number instead of that going to some of the structural or other test articles?  For example, what was the number for the article which was used for the Pad Abort?

I'm building off of /r/SpaceX's very well-maintained core and capsule lists, which tend to be based off of real internal numbering. Just like Cargo Dragon and Falcon, vehicles only tend to get their own numbers if they are flightworthy, which rules out STAs and other partial fidelity test articles.

Just as a reminder. Falcon Heavy Center Core STA was B1027.

And now that I'm talking about Falcon Heavy. The first FH Block 5 side booster, B1055, was spotted on the road in Louisiana, probably going to Florida to join her sisters B1048 and B1051 at LC-39A.

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/a7quuj/fh_booster_xpost_looked_like_a_sub_seen_in_rural/

Offline Jakusb

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Re: SpaceX Core Spotting
« Reply #328 on: 12/22/2018 01:01 pm »
Just to summarize the core spottings today, B1051 & S2, B1048, and Dragon C201 & trunk are all in the 39A hangar as of Dec 18.

Attached photo is from Emre Kelly/Florida Today.

How sure are we that this Dragon is getting the C201 number instead of that going to some of the structural or other test articles?  For example, what was the number for the article which was used for the Pad Abort?

I'm building off of /r/SpaceX's very well-maintained core and capsule lists, which tend to be based off of real internal numbering. Just like Cargo Dragon and Falcon, vehicles only tend to get their own numbers if they are flightworthy, which rules out STAs and other partial fidelity test articles.

Just as a reminder. Falcon Heavy Center Core STA was B1027.

And now that I'm talking about Falcon Heavy. The first FH Block 5 side booster, B1055, was spotted on the road in Louisiana, probably going to Florida to join her sisters B1048 and B1051 at LC-39A.

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/a7quuj/fh_booster_xpost_looked_like_a_sub_seen_in_rural/

Until someone can convince me this actually is 1055, I am strongly considering this first FH-side might as well be 1056... ;)
Thusfar I have asked for comments openly several times, but no solid info, PM or other signals have reached me to take out this possibility...

Still unseen (No hard evidence as in photo of coreNr or confirmation by people in the know) and very much uncertain of their targeted mission:
- 1052
- 1053
- 1055
- 1056 (until other info reaches me: first FH-side)
- 1057 (unless serious delays in production, currently at McGregor as second FH-side)
- 1058 (should be ready any day now... FH-center??)

Of course, I also do consider the obvious situation that their production pace did delay significantly and they have produces one less core then expected. In that case, 1055 is this first FH-side, 1056 the second, and 1057 is about to leave Hawthorne.. 

Also to figure out:
- Which core to fly DM-2?
- Which core to fly Inflight Abort?

Online Alexphysics

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Re: SpaceX Core Spotting
« Reply #329 on: 12/24/2018 12:27 am »
Just to summarize the core spottings today, B1051 & S2, B1048, and Dragon C201 & trunk are all in the 39A hangar as of Dec 18.

Attached photo is from Emre Kelly/Florida Today.

How sure are we that this Dragon is getting the C201 number instead of that going to some of the structural or other test articles?  For example, what was the number for the article which was used for the Pad Abort?

I'm building off of /r/SpaceX's very well-maintained core and capsule lists, which tend to be based off of real internal numbering. Just like Cargo Dragon and Falcon, vehicles only tend to get their own numbers if they are flightworthy, which rules out STAs and other partial fidelity test articles.

Just as a reminder. Falcon Heavy Center Core STA was B1027.

And now that I'm talking about Falcon Heavy. The first FH Block 5 side booster, B1055, was spotted on the road in Louisiana, probably going to Florida to join her sisters B1048 and B1051 at LC-39A.

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/a7quuj/fh_booster_xpost_looked_like_a_sub_seen_in_rural/

Until someone can convince me this actually is 1055, I am strongly considering this first FH-side might as well be 1056... ;)
Thusfar I have asked for comments openly several times, but no solid info, PM or other signals have reached me to take out this possibility...

Still unseen (No hard evidence as in photo of coreNr or confirmation by people in the know) and very much uncertain of their targeted mission:
- 1052
- 1053
- 1055
- 1056 (until other info reaches me: first FH-side)
- 1057 (unless serious delays in production, currently at McGregor as second FH-side)
- 1058 (should be ready any day now... FH-center??)

Of course, I also do consider the obvious situation that their production pace did delay significantly and they have produces one less core then expected. In that case, 1055 is this first FH-side, 1056 the second, and 1057 is about to leave Hawthorne.. 

Also to figure out:
- Which core to fly DM-2?
- Which core to fly Inflight Abort?

I'm still on the side (pun intended) that this is B1055 because of the testing schedule at McGregor left a gap to retest B1051 at the test stand after B1054 left it, that means delaying the next booster to arrive and that means that when B1055 should have left, it didn't and it left around the time B1056 should have left. I'm still on that thinking but until we see the boosters on the launchpad we won't know. That or someone with good sources throws something here. Until then, it is still somewhat risky to tell if it is one number or the other. I will be happy anyways to see a Falcon Heavy at LC-39A again :)

Offline Jakusb

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Re: SpaceX Core Spotting
« Reply #330 on: 12/24/2018 11:40 am »
FH-side (1055 or 1056) arrived at LC39A-HIF:
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/a8mf59/possible_arabsat6a_booster_arriving_in_ksc_florida/

Regarding the FH-center.. I most definitely do not rule out a 1052 or 1053 being a FH-center core...

Arguments Pro:
- No clear mission in near future for 2 brand new cores..

Arguments Against:
- Why not then ship the center core first?
- No obvious delay in production pace? 1051-1054 have left Hawthorne in 60 days, thus 20 days between each..
- No tweet claiming all hardware for next FH at McGregor.. Would have been a nice media moment..

Online Alexphysics

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Re: SpaceX Core Spotting
« Reply #331 on: 12/27/2018 12:03 am »
Drove by McGregor facility today.  Didn't see any boosters vertical.  Rain, low ceiling, but surface vis was OK to see the cranes, test area, etc.

Test stand may be empty which could mean the next booster should go out very soon from Hawthorne. Let's hope we get another round of spottings on the road

Online Alexphysics

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Re: SpaceX Core Spotting
« Reply #332 on: 12/31/2018 03:00 pm »
And just as expected, a new booster has arrived at McGregor. Bump on the interstage indicates it is the next Falcon Heavy Center Core. This should be B1057.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsFkuNyI9jm/

Edit: Changing the link. The content creator, Abby Garrett, took down the other post and edited her video to add credits to it citing lack of them either on facebook and reddit and because I don't want to get on another dicussion with her here too about what is the difference between taking credit of content and sharing something that someone made, I edit this post in respect to her decision. The screenshot with the arrow will stay the same as I'm on mobile and I don't really want to make this more annoying than it is.
« Last Edit: 01/01/2019 03:00 pm by Alexphysics »

Offline Skylab

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Re: SpaceX Core Spotting
« Reply #333 on: 01/01/2019 10:21 am »
Just read the whole discussion, and it was a bit of a mess. Thanks for sharing, though!

Offline Jakusb

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Online Alexphysics

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Re: SpaceX Core Spotting
« Reply #335 on: 01/18/2019 06:42 pm »
We don't usually see a lot of pictures of boosters on the test stand at McGregor outside of L2 but here we have two from instagram user Ryan Gardner who overflew the test site recently and posted a few pictures of that on his instagram account.

This is the link to his post: https://www.instagram.com/p/BsedWS7h2CZ/

Booster on the test stand should be B1057, the next FH Center Core. One thing that can be clearly seen: it has no SpaceX logo on it

« Last Edit: 01/18/2019 06:43 pm by Alexphysics »

Offline gemmy0I

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Re: SpaceX Core Spotting
« Reply #336 on: 01/21/2019 11:18 pm »
Booster on the test stand should be B1057, the next FH Center Core. One thing that can be clearly seen: it has no SpaceX logo on it
It looks like it has a white interstage, too. Perhaps this could be that mystery "block 5 with white interstage" core that was seen at Hawthorne during the #dearMoon announcement?

Omitting the SpaceX logo makes sense because it'll always be paired with two side cores that have the logo. But the white interstage is a fascinating change because it suggests they're using the old Block 4 TPS (cork painted white for water resistance, IIRC) instead of the new Pyron Zoltec material that debuted on Block 5.

They switched to the Zoltec stuff because it can last many more flights without replacement, but the Block 4 interstages were clearly good for at least two flights without having to replace the TPS (most pre-B5 reflights had toasty-looking interstages indicating the TPS hadn't been replaced), maybe three or four in theory. So, a Block-4-style interstage should be enough for their near-term plans for B1057, but it suggests that they aren't expecting to get a lot of flights out of this core.

That brings to mind a few possibilities:

1. Since FH is expected to fly infrequently (only once or twice a year), this booster may not get many opportunities to fly before Starship replaces it, particularly if they build a second center core to join it in the rotation (a backup would be wise to have, especially since they are planning to stockpile F9/FH cores and shut down production). If Falcon Heavy turns out to be more popular than expected, they can just replace the cork TPS every few flights. It'll be more expensive but probably not too bad.

2. They might be planning to expend this core after 2-3 flights. As far as we know, both Arabsat-6A and STP-2 are going to allow recovery of all three cores, but maybe they know something we don't about the flights they have planned after that? According to the Reddit manifest, the next two FH flights will be AFSPC-22 (Sept. 2020) and ViaSat-3 (H2 2020). AFSPC-22 is listed as GTO with a mass of ≤6350 kg, which should permit 3x recovery even if they go significantly supersynchronous. ViaSat-3 has a similar mass (~6400 kg) but IIRC, they are flying an "almost direct insertion" profile which partially circularizes the orbit*. That could definitely account for an expended center core. If the Block 4 TPS is good for (say) 3 flights, they wouldn't need to replace it if the fourth is going to be expended, since that TPS only exists to preserve the interstage for re-use.

3. Given how challenging it was to rework the Falcon 9 design for center cores so they can take the side loads from boosters, it's possible they just aren't structurally capable of the same number of reuses as a regular Falcon 9. If they know internally that the Block 5 FH center core design (in its current iteration as of 1057's production) is only able to handle a few flights, there's no reason to put the Zoltec TPS on it.

*(I'm not actually positive that it was announced that ViaSat-3 would be "almost direct insertion", but since ViaSat's Atlas V order around the same time is doing that, and Falcon Heavy could offer similar performance, it seems logical.)

Online gongora

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Re: SpaceX Core Spotting
« Reply #337 on: 01/22/2019 12:04 am »
Booster on the test stand should be B1057, the next FH Center Core. One thing that can be clearly seen: it has no SpaceX logo on it
It looks like it has a white interstage, too. Perhaps this could be that mystery "block 5 with white interstage" core that was seen at Hawthorne during the #dearMoon announcement?
...

It may just have a white wrapping on the interstage.  See here for an example:
https://www.teslarati.com/new-spacex-falcon-9-booster-cape-canaveral-florida/s1-stand-and-booster-071818-aero-photo/

Offline gemmy0I

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Re: SpaceX Core Spotting
« Reply #338 on: 01/22/2019 01:09 am »
It may just have a white wrapping on the interstage.  See here for an example:
https://www.teslarati.com/new-spacex-falcon-9-booster-cape-canaveral-florida/s1-stand-and-booster-071818-aero-photo/
Ah, I'd forgotten about that picture, thanks. So much for my complicated theories. ;)

Now I'm curious all over again what the deal is with that white interstage we saw in the factory. If not for this, then what... ???

Online Alexphysics

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Re: SpaceX Core Spotting
« Reply #339 on: 01/22/2019 05:26 am »
Booster on the test stand should be B1057, the next FH Center Core. One thing that can be clearly seen: it has no SpaceX logo on it
It looks like it has a white interstage, too. Perhaps this could be that mystery "block 5 with white interstage" core that was seen at Hawthorne during the #dearMoon announcement?
...

It may just have a white wrapping on the interstage.  See here for an example:
https://www.teslarati.com/new-spacex-falcon-9-booster-cape-canaveral-florida/s1-stand-and-booster-071818-aero-photo/

And also: that booster at Hawthorne had the SpaceX logo painted on it so it can't be the one seen on these pictures

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