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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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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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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.

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.

Paul78zephyr
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From: Hudson, MA
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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.)

Blackarrow
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From: Belfast, United Kingdom
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posted 12-04-2018 09:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Whatever happened to Falcon Heavy? I hope it isn't going to be the "Spruce Goose" of the launcher world.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-04-2018 10:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The next two Falcon Heavy launches are slated for early 2019, carrying the Arabsat 6A communications satellite and U.S. Air Force's Space Test Program-2 (with The Planetary Society's LightSail 2).

The Swedish satellite company Ovzon and California-based ViaSat each have announced plans for Falcon Heavy launches between 2020 and 2022. And the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is considering the Falcon Heavy for the Europa Clipper.

Blackarrow
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posted 12-05-2018 08:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You may be a better internet searcher than I am, but I couldn't see any of that on the SpaceX Falcon Heavy page.

I also seem to remember Elon Musk talking about a second launch between July - October, 2018. Why the delay? I realise there may have been technical issues arising from the first launch needing resolved; or perhaps some planned customer got cold feet. There are clearly many potential problems in developing a new rocket. I just like to keep track of how things are progressing, and SpaceX don't seem to be bending over backwards to do that.

It concerns me that if the second launch of a rocket which seemed to work perfectly has been delayed well beyond the original predictions, there must be grounds for significant scepticism about SpaceX predictions for the "BFR."

Ben
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posted 12-05-2018 09:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another Falcon Heavy is also contracted to launch the Air Force's AFSPC-52 mission in late 2020.

oly
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posted 12-05-2018 09:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Blackarrow:
You may be a better internet searcher than I am, but I couldn't see any of that on the SpaceX Falcon Heavy page.
I count five future Falcon Heavy missions listed on the SpaceX website.

SpaceX also stated prior to the launch of the Falcon Heavy that they had found the development of the vehicle to be more difficult than originally thought, and that the learning experience of Falcon Heavy led to their change of plans and the intention to focus on the BFR design.

The space industry also seems to have taken up cubesat technology that often piggyback other mission launch vehicles, meaning the Falcon Heavy, heavy lift performance, may be a somewhat niche ability that may not be required with any regularity.

Combine this with SpaceX prioritizing Crew Dragon preparation and BFR development could mean that SpaceX may be busy with other things.

Also, unlike NASA, SpaceX don't have any requirement to report plans and progress for activities, and national security and commercial in confidence requirements probably limit what they can say about future heavy lift missions.

Blackarrow
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From: Belfast, United Kingdom
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posted 12-06-2018 06:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by oly:
I count five future Falcon Heavy missions
Yes, but without predicted launch dates, those five entries look aspirational and need to be seen in the context of the original talk about a second launch in the second half of this year. However, I think you may have hit the nail on the head about SpaceX concentrating on Dragon and BFR — I hope I'm wrong to think of Falcon Heavy as a "Spruce Goose" and I will be delighted to see future FH launches.

Ben
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posted 12-06-2018 12:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Arabsat and STP-2 launches are just a few months away. Falcon Heavy boosters have been seen in transit to the Cape in recent weeks.

Blackarrow
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posted 12-06-2018 04:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is good news, and from your address I'm happy to accept what you say!

Blackarrow
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posted 03-16-2019 02:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It looks like the next Falcon Heavy launch is now scheduled for 7th April.

GACspaceguy
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posted 03-21-2019 10:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Viewing packages just went on sale at KSC.

oly
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posted 04-08-2019 12:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I note that the next Falcon Heavy rocket carrying the Arabsat 6A satellite was erected at Pad 39A and has completed the Static Fire Test. Have any results of the test been released, and has a launch date been selected?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-08-2019 04:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From SpaceX (on April 5) on Twitter:
Static fire of Falcon Heavy complete — targeting April 9 launch of Arabsat-6A from Launch Complex 39A in Florida.
The launch window for the Arabsat 6A mission extends from 6:36 to 8:33 p.m. EDT.

GACspaceguy
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posted 04-08-2019 10:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looks like a bad weather threat has moved the launch to Wednesday.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-08-2019 03:44 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:
Now targeting Falcon Heavy launch of Arabsat-6A on Wednesday, April 10 – weather forecast improves to 80% favorable.
The launch window for the Arabsat 6A mission extends from 6:35 to 8:32 p.m. EDT.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-10-2019 04:27 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:
Falcon Heavy and Arabsat-6A are vertical on Launch Complex 39A. Currently targeting liftoff at 8:00 p.m. EDT; monitoring upper-level winds that could push us to the end of the window (8:32 p.m. EDT).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-10-2019 06:37 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:
Standing down from today’s Falcon Heavy launch attempt; next opportunity is tomorrow, April 11.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-11-2019 05:24 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:
All systems and weather are currently go ahead of tonight's Falcon Heavy launch of Arabsat-6A from Pad 39A; launch window opens at 6:35 p.m. EDT, or 22:35 UTC.

oly
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posted 04-11-2019 06:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congratulations to SpaceX for landing all three first stage rockets.

GACspaceguy
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From: Guyton, GA
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posted 04-11-2019 08:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are my photos from today's launch. I could not make it yesterday so a scrub was a blessing for me. Beautiful day and the sound from the Saturn V Center shook the stands way more than a shuttle launch from the same place. The landing was amazing and the sonic booms loud!

J Blackburn
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From: Riner, Virginia USA
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posted 04-11-2019 08:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for J Blackburn   Click Here to Email J Blackburn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Really disappointing NASA TV did not carry coverage of the launch especially since it was from KSC. I guess SpaceX wanted all coverage on their webcast?

GACspaceguy
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From: Guyton, GA
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posted 04-11-2019 09:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is typical for NASA TV, they only broadcast NASA missions.

SkyMan1958
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posted 04-11-2019 11:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congratulations to SpaceX for yet another Awesome First!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-15-2019 04:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Though the core landed successfully, it was ultimately toppled by rough seas, SpaceX told The Verge.
Over the weekend, due to rough sea conditions, SpaceX's recovery team was unable to secure the center core booster for its return trip to Port Canaveral. As conditions worsened with eight to ten foot swells, the booster began to shift and ultimately was unable to remain upright. While we had hoped to bring the booster back intact, the safety of our team always takes precedence. We do not expect future missions to be impacted.

All times are CT (US)

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