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SpaceX |OT| Reusable Rockets - To Mars!

Dan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,065
https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/07/russian-editor-our-space-program-is-entering-the-dark-ages/

I think this is a great article to read, just as we get to the end of the Summer launch "holiday" in the 'States. It shows how the Russian space program has suffered due to the evolution of the launch market - without reuse being a thing I can see the same happening to the ULA and Ariane in the long term - with smaller providers benefitting from microsat launches.

The fact so many organisations fail to take reuse seriously is just cementing their own downfall. It's happening right now/
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,075
Poetic justice. When Elon was originally trying to start SpaceX he tried to buy rockets from the Russians. They basically laughed at him and told him to leave. (This is covered in that Ashlee Vance biography.)

Elon decided he'll just build his own damn rockets, with blackjack and hookers. The rest is history.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,662
Reusability is something Government based Agencies should have been looking at for years but with fat government contracts etc. why worry about reusability is the mindset. It is going to doom governmental agencies and if it comes to that then it does. NASA especially in a Country they know is as fickle as it is when it comes to NASA funding should have been pursuing reusability decades ago as a way to pull more out of their budgets in the long run
 
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Crispy75
Oct 25, 2017
814
NASA has deep instituional scars from multiple failed attempts at reusable spacecraft. Shuttle ended up ridiculously expensive. X-30 and X-33 both got quite far along, the latter as far as prototype manufacturing, before cancellation due to overreach. From a cultural POV, reusability was killed stone dead at NASA 20 years ago.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,590
not sure if there is a general space thread, but just watching the New Shepard test. Why is it so small? Is it only designed for small payloads? Just looks odd
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,021
Sunderland
not sure if there is a general space thread, but just watching the New Shepard test. Why is it so small? Is it only designed for small payloads? Just looks odd
The payload is a suborbital passenger capsule for the most marginal kind of space tourism. The launch system doesn't need to get the capsule into orbit, just get it above the Kármán Line so the passengers can enjoy a brief period of weightlessness before the parachutes deploy. I suppose they then receive spaceflight certificates to commemorate the flight.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Shepard
 
Oct 26, 2017
7,286
The payload is a suborbital passenger capsule for the most marginal kind of space tourism. The launch system doesn't need to get the capsule into orbit, just get it above the Kármán Line so the passengers can enjoy a brief period of weightlessness before the parachutes deploy. I suppose they then receive spaceflight certificates to commemorate the flight.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Shepard
Sounds like they are just fufilling some easy altitude contracts and trying to earn some easy science to get some better parts from Kerbodyne.
 

Dan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,065
Yep New Shepherd is a basic proof of concept/Space Tourism hybrid project, a lot of the technical detail they're going to come up with is going to go on their New Glenn rocket.


And on the SpaceX subject, Telstar 19V mission is this weekend on the second Block 5 Falcon 9 to be launched. It's currently due to static fire. Of Course I Still Love You has left port for a sea based first stage recovery.

I just hope this launch (and those soon after - we're hitting a busy few weeks) isn't overshadowed by the owner's recent poor conduct on social media :/
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,021
Sunderland
One interesting new feature of the latest generation of Iridium satellites will be their ability to read air traffic beacon signals from the belly-mounted transmitters of commercial aircraft. This will improve in-flight tracking coverage, especially in the Southern hemisphere.

Flat earth proponents who say southern hemisphere coverage is patchy because Earth is flat are going to have to find new excuses.
 
Oct 27, 2017
471
Yep New Shepherd is a basic proof of concept/Space Tourism hybrid project, a lot of the technical detail they're going to come up with is going to go on their New Glenn rocket.


And on the SpaceX subject, Telstar 19V mission is this weekend on the second Block 5 Falcon 9 to be launched. It's currently due to static fire. Of Course I Still Love You has left port for a sea based first stage recovery.

I just hope this launch (and those soon after - we're hitting a busy few weeks) isn't overshadowed by the owner's recent poor conduct on social media :/
No New Grissom, huh?
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,021
Sunderland
Yep New Shepherd is a basic proof of concept/Space Tourism hybrid project, a lot of the technical detail they're going to come up with is going to go on their New Glenn rocket.

But for the Blue Origin logos, you could be excused for mistaking that video for a SpaceX F9 launch. Right down to the design of the recovery barge. Except SpaceX has already moved on to the F9 Heavy and has plans for the BFR, a heavy lift rocket system aimed at interplanetary transfer orbit capability as well as superseding the Falcon family in the satellite launch market.

So Bezos has a bit of catching up to do, it seems.
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,232
Shepherd = first American to reach space. Appropriate name for their rocket that just briefly goes to space
Glenn = first American to orbit. Appropriate name for their first rocket that will reach orbit

The really big rocket that they're planning to do next is New Armstrong. No details on that yet, but Bezos has said that he hopes to do delivery services to the moon in the future, so that name would be appropriate for a rocket capable of moon missions.
 
Oct 27, 2017
471
Shepherd = first American to reach space. Appropriate name for their rocket that just briefly goes to space
Glenn = first American to orbit. Appropriate name for their first rocket that will reach orbit

The really big rocket that they're planning to do next is New Armstrong. No details on that yet, but Bezos has said that he hopes to do delivery services to the moon in the future, so that name would be appropriate for a rocket capable of moon missions.
Makes sense. The video didn't really make it clear that New Glenn was orbiting.
 

Dan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,065
Makes sense. The video didn't really make it clear that New Glenn was orbiting.
Yep, it's going horizontal :) New Shepherd is literally straight up and straight down.

The thing I find the most interesting about New Glenn is the fact they are going to land on a moving ship :)
 

Dan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,065
Some nice new onboards in this mission - I don't think I've seen a Falcon 9 launch where we saw an onboard going through Max-Q.

I know they upgraded their cameras for Block 5 - I wonder if we'll see any 4k footage oO
 

Dan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,065
It should be noted that with Telstar 19 weighing in at 7075kg, SpaceX launched the heaviest commercial satellite ever.
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,021
Sunderland
It should be noted that with Telstar 19 weighing in at 7075kg, SpaceX launched the heaviest commercial satellite ever.
Interesting. Although the Dragon fully laden probably weighs a bit more than that, it's only destined for the ISS at an altitude of 400Km. These Telstar satellites live way up there in geosynchronous orbit, so the launch system needs enough punch to put it into geosynchronous transfer orbit which will take it right up to 35000Km and above.
 

Dan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,065
Interesting. Although the Dragon fully laden probably weighs a bit more than that, it's only destined for the ISS at an altitude of 400Km. These Telstar satellites live way up there in geosynchronous orbit, so the launch system needs enough punch to put it into geosynchronous transfer orbit which will take it right up to 35000Km and above.
you're not wrong. And they recovered that booster after launching to those orbital requirements!
 

cebri

Banned
Member
Oct 27, 2017
221
Yep, F9 is a beast. Although PAF limitation put a lot of restrain in how much payload is able to carry to orbit.
 

Dan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,065
So block 4 wasn't able to return the 1st stage safely when getting a payload in geosync orbit?
It was, but the previous iterations had GTO launches with ocean first stage recoveries with payloads up to 5,200kg. Going to block 5 with its performance boost meant that they could launch the much heavier payload and have increased margin to land on OCISLY
 

Dan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,065
Interesting. Although the Dragon fully laden probably weighs a bit more than that, it's only destined for the ISS at an altitude of 400Km. These Telstar satellites live way up there in geosynchronous orbit, so the launch system needs enough punch to put it into geosynchronous transfer orbit which will take it right up to 35000Km and above.
I just looked up - the heaviest CRS mission was CRS-12 at 3312kg. That Telstar 19 payload was more than double! Amazing.
 
Oct 28, 2017
127
I just looked up - the heaviest CRS mission was CRS-12 at 3312kg. That Telstar 19 payload was more than double! Amazing.
That's just the cargo mass. Add 4200kg for the dry mass of the Dragon capsule (plus a bit for propellants).

Max for a Dragon launch is up to 6000kg (cargo) + 4200kg (capsule).

Do they have any plans to recover the second stage?
I wouldn't go so far as to call them "plans". "Ideas", perhaps. The latest idea they floated was ablative balloon heat shields, IIRC.

Not a lot of point to it, though, considering the pace at which they're pursuing BFR. Better not to divert the engineering resources.
 
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Oct 27, 2017
7,021
Sunderland
I just looked up - the heaviest CRS mission was CRS-12 at 3312kg. That Telstar 19 payload was more than double! Amazing.
The total payload for that mission would probably be something like cargo load (3312Kg) plus the dry mass of the Dragon capsule itself (4200Kg, according to Wikipedia.)
 

Buran

Banned
Member
Oct 30, 2017
365
But for the Blue Origin logos, you could be excused for mistaking that video for a SpaceX F9 launch. Right down to the design of the recovery barge. Except SpaceX has already moved on to the F9 Heavy and has plans for the BFR, a heavy lift rocket system aimed at interplanetary transfer orbit capability as well as superseding the Falcon family in the satellite launch market.

So Bezos has a bit of catching up to do, it seems.

Not really. I was on the same boat, thinking that Blue Origin was being too small, too slow with their pace (compared to SpaceX). Then I learned about the shield, the motto (Gradatim Ferociter) and the philosophy of the company. They go step by step, mastering each stair, unrelenting in their approach. The New Glenn payload aims to 45 tm (the Falcon 9 is ~28 tm and the Falcon Heavy ~64 tm), so their "fisrt serious" commercial rocket is in the middle of two ones that SpaceX currently has. Ther's no specifications for the New Armstrong, but for sure will be a beast, and chances are that Blue Origin will produce the rockets for the ULA and future NASA projects.
 
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Crispy75
Oct 25, 2017
814
Ariane 5 just launched with 4 Gallileo staellites on board. In another 10 minutes, a Falcon 9 B5 will launch from Vandenberg with 10 Iridium satellites. They're going to attempt a booster landing and fairing capture, but it's windy at sea so hopes aren't high. Live stream:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsDknmK30C0

Really foggy at the launch site (typical for Vandenberg mornings) so no spectacular launch footage today.
 
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Crispy75
Oct 25, 2017
814
Ah. Didnt know they only had one of them - I understand it may have actually been used for that recovery too.
JRTI caught the Telstar core. That one doesn't have a "house" for the grabber. Last time it was used was on TESS back in April.