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  [Discuss] SpaceX Falcon Heavy heavy-lift rocket

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Author Topic:   [Discuss] SpaceX Falcon Heavy heavy-lift rocket
Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 04-01-2011 09:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Please use this topic to discuss SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket, the company's entry into the heavy-lift launch vehicle category.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-01-2011 09:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX has been teasing on its website that "Something Big is Coming" on April 5. They also posted a teaser video...

It appears the announcement relates to their Falcon Heavy, which SpaceX describes as follows:

The Falcon Heavy will be SpaceX’s entry into the heavy lift launch vehicle category. Capable of lifting over 32,000 kg to Low Earth Orbit (LEO), and over 19,500 kg to Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO), the Falcon Heavy will compete with the largest commercial launchers now available. It consists of a standard Falcon 9 with two additional Falcon 9 first stages acting as liquid strap-on boosters. With the Falcon 9 first stage already designed to support the additional loads of this configuration and with common tanking and engines across both vehicles, development and operation of the Falcon Heavy will be highly cost-effective.
  • Length: 54.9 m (180 ft)
  • Width: 3.6 m (12 ft)
  • Mass: 885,000 kg (1,950 klb)
  • Thrust on liftoff: 15 MN (3,375 klbf)

SpaceAholic
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From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
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posted 04-05-2011 11:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Falcon Heavy will carry more payload to orbit or escape velocity than any vehicle in history, apart from the Saturn V moon rocket, which was decommissioned after the Apollo program.
In addition to the Saturn V, the Energia had a higher rated payload to orbit and lunar insertion...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-27-2015 01:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From SpaceX on Twitter:
Updated animation of Falcon Heavy flight and booster recovery.

cspg
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From: Geneva, Switzerland
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posted 01-27-2015 02:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To all Florida residents: Incoming Missiles!

More seriously, what happens if one goes off track and "lands" where it wasn't supposed to?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-27-2015 02:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The same thing that happens if a rocket veers off course during launch, i.e. flight termination.

SpaceX's proposed landing site at the Cape is Complex 13, which is located away from populated areas. A recent environmental assessment noted:

Should there be a need to activate the FTS, it would occur over the open ocean and would result in a much smaller explosion and less debris.

...an anomaly on the landing pads such as an explosion could injure or kill wildlife found adjacent to the launch pad or within debris impact areas. However payloads would not be involved and the fuel load would be substantially less than a typical launch.

An improbable mishap from downrange would occur over the open ocean and would not likely jeopardize any wildlife, given the relatively low density of species within the surface waters of these open ocean areas. Debris from launch failures has a small potential to adversely affect managed fish species and their habitats in the vicinity of the project area.

SkyMan1958
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posted 01-27-2015 08:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While I am not at all surprised that this vehicle is taking longer to have it's first test flight than originally planned, I am starting to wonder what year it's maiden launch will occur. Do you think it will be 2015, or do you think it will slip into another year yet again?

COR482932
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posted 09-18-2016 07:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for COR482932   Click Here to Email COR482932     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX has said that Falcon Heavy will launch in the first quarter of 2017. Personally I'm not so sure if this target will be met either, but let's hope they do!

Has anyone any idea what the first payload will be for the maiden voyage?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-18-2016 12:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In May, SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell said the first payload was still undecided.
The destination and passenger for the Falcon Heavy's first flight remains undecided, said Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX's president and chief operating officer.

"There have been a number of customers interested in flying on that (mission)," Shotwell said in an interview with Spaceflight Now. "We're trying to balance, does it make sense for this to just be our mission, so we own it completely?"

SpaceX officials have previously said the first launch of the Falcon Heavy will be strictly a test flight, but Shotwell said the company's growing customer base has signaled a desire to fly a satellite on the mission.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-28-2016 06:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From SpaceX:
When Falcon Heavy flies for the first time next year, it will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two. Here's an FH interstage being prepped at the rocket factory recently.

lspooz
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From: Greensboro, NC USA
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posted 12-28-2016 09:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lspooz   Click Here to Email lspooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Spaceflight Now had noted a launch for the Falcon Heavy in the third quarter of 2017, and more recently the site notes planned second quarter launch. I'm interested since they should be including the small (Planetary Society's) LightSail 2.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-28-2016 10:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
LightSail 2 is manifested for the second flight of the Falcon Heavy, which according to The Planetary Society is "not expected to launch until at least Fall 2017."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-27-2017 10:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Elon Musk on Instagram:
Falcon Heavy maiden launch this November.

Paul78zephyr
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posted 08-03-2017 08:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul78zephyr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Has LZ-1 been upgraded to add additional booster landing pads and are there any aerial pics of the new configuration? (Google Maps still shows only the one pad.)

And when the Falcon Heavy boosters return to land at LZ-1 do they land at exactly the same time? (Based on this SpaceX video they will land simultaneously.)

cspg
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posted 09-01-2017 10:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Falcon Heavy maiden launch this November.
And in an article from Space.com, Elon Musk says that he hopes the launcher will make it off the pad in one piece.

One way to lower expectations!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-28-2017 03:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Gwynne Shotwell, talking to Aviation Week, the first launch of Falcon Heavy is now (officially) in 2018:
We wanted to fly Heavy this year. We should be able to static fire this year and fly a couple of weeks right after that.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-01-2017 08:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Elon Musk on Twitter:
Falcon Heavy to launch next month from Apollo 11 pad at the Cape. Will have double thrust of next largest rocket. Guaranteed to be exciting, one way or another.
And then he added:
Payload will be my midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity. Destination is Mars orbit. Will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-02-2017 01:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Elon Musk has now emailed The Verge to say that he "totally made it up" about launching a Tesla Roadster on the first Falcon Heavy.

On the other hand, he just emailed Eric Berger at Ars Technica that "the Tesla to Mars mission is '100% real.'"

And Musk responded to a tweet asking why he wanted to launch the Roadster:

I love the thought of a car drifting apparently endlessly through space and perhaps being discovered by an alien race millions of years in the future.

SkyMan1958
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posted 12-02-2017 06:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It reminds me of the sports car re-entry in the "Heavy Metal" animated movie.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-02-2017 06:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Phil Plait was able to get some more details from Elon Musk:
1) Yes, he's serious. He's putting a Tesla Roadster in the top of the Falcon Heavy and launching it into space.

2) No, it's not going to Mars. It's going near Mars. He said it'll be placed in "a precessing Earth-Mars elliptical orbit around the sun." What he means by this is what's sometimes called a Hohmann transfer orbit, an orbit around the Sun that takes it as close to the Sun as Earth and as far out as Mars. This is a low-energy orbit; that is, it takes the least amount of energy to put something in this orbit from Earth. That makes sense for a first flight.

Plait also says Musk is open to possibly flying other payloads, too.
He added that they may put other items in it as well. "We're open to ideas from the public, he wrote me. "Just bear in mind that there is a good chance this monster rocket blows up, so I wouldn't put anything of irreplaceable sentimental value on it."

SPACEFACTS
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posted 12-03-2017 12:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SPACEFACTS   Click Here to Email SPACEFACTS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A PR gag. Nothing more.

SpaceAholic
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From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
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posted 12-03-2017 06:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not if Musk also launches battery recharging stations with the vehicle...

GACspaceguy
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From: Guyton, GA
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posted 12-03-2017 07:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SPACEFACTS:
A PR gag. Nothing more.
That is OK, spaceflight can use plenty of PR these days!

SkyMan1958
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posted 12-03-2017 05:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Personally I LOVE a space program that has a sense of humor. I QUITE enjoyed the launching of the big wheel of cheese on the first launch of the Dragon capsule.

oly
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posted 12-03-2017 09:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I quite like the thought that here is a guy that has a team building a rocket and when it comes time to launch looks around and sees a car and says "We need a payload, lets launch that."

It makes the effort that little bit more relatable to the general public and something that gets people talking.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 12-08-2017 09:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On Twitter, Elon Musk was asked if the glove box in his Tesla Roadster will contain a copy of "The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy." Musk replied, "Yes..."
Plus a towel and a sign saying "Don't Panic."

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