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  [Discuss] SpaceX Falcon Heavy maiden launch (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   [Discuss] SpaceX Falcon Heavy maiden launch
Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-27-2017 04:43 PM     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 the first launch of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket from Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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.

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
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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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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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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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."

Headshot
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posted 12-15-2017 11:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any word when Heavy Lift will be moved out and erected at 39A?

cspg
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posted 12-20-2017 07:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
An Elon Musk tweet:
Falcon Heavy at the Cape.

oly
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posted 12-20-2017 08:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can't wait for the first flight.

I see on the second photo of the Falcon Heavy there are numbers (23 and 33) painted on two of the rockets at the aft end viewed through the landing gear fork. Are these identification numbers? Are they modifier Falcon 9 rockets and do they have previous flight history?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-20-2017 06:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The booster pictured on the right previously flew as the first stage of the Falcon 9 that launched the CRS-9 Dragon in July 2016; the booster on the left launched Thaicom 8 in May 2016. The core is new.

The 23 and 33 are the booster ID numbers. The other side booster is number 25.

oly
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posted 12-20-2017 10:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you Robert for your reply, I had not noticed the identification numbers before on Falcon 9 flights. I wish I was able to visit the cape for the first Falcon Heavy launch, one way or another it will be spectacular.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-21-2017 08:19 AM     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 Twitter:
Falcon Heavy launching from same NASA pad as the Saturn V Apollo 11 moon rocket. It was 50% higher thrust with five F-1 engines at 7.5M lb-F. I love that rocket so much.

Max thrust [of Falcon Heavy] at lift-off is 5.1 million pounds or 2300 metric tons. First mission will run at 92%.

If things go perfectly, all three rocket booster cores will come back and land. Sides back at the Cape, center on the droneship.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-22-2017 02:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Seen on Reddit...

328KF
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posted 12-22-2017 12:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The rear tire looks oval and the the front tire looks flat-spotted. Photoshopped?

Perhaps Musk and others are having some fun with us.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-22-2017 01:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Reportedly, this is a leaked photo from an employee, not something that Musk authorized for release. (Could the tires be deflated to avoid them bursting when exposed to vacuum?)

GACspaceguy
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posted 12-22-2017 01:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That would make sense. I would assume all fluids would be drained, even though that would be minimal in an electric vehicle.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-22-2017 01:46 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:
A Red Car for the Red Planet

Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks. That seemed extremely boring.

Of course, anything boring is terrible, especially companies, so we decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel.

The payload will be an original Tesla Roadster, playing Space Oddity, on a billion year elliptic Mars orbit.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-22-2017 01:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
More photos from Elon Musk on Instagram:

tegwilym
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posted 12-22-2017 02:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've learned now that when Musk comes up with some crazy idea (like landing a first stage booster), we shouldn't laugh and say "yeah, right...!" since he's never joking about his ideas!

I can't wait to see the photos of the Tesla with the full Earth behind it.

328KF
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posted 12-22-2017 04:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Unreal. I hope they shook that thing like mad and flipped it around to make sure nothing comes loose. It would be tragic if Musk's "crazy idea" lost a mirror, say, and somehow damaged the booster.
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Could the tires be deflated to avoid them bursting when exposed to vacuum?
Deflated tires? Maybe, but unless they're vacuumed to zero, there will still be air in them that will inflate them to 14.7 psi at altitude.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-26-2017 11:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From a tourist (Emiliano C. Diaz de Leon) on Twitter:
We got a sneak peek at SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket while taking the bus tour.

Jim Behling
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posted 12-26-2017 12:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 328KF:
...there will still be air in them that will inflate them to 14.7 psi at altitude
Don't think the tires are an issue. Let's say nominal pressure is 35 psi. It probably can be over inflated at sea level to 50 psi with no issues. Take the same tire at 35 psi at sea level and expose it to vacuum and it will be at 50 psia.

SpaceAholic
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posted 12-26-2017 02:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Except that thermodynamic conditions also get a vote.

328KF
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posted 12-26-2017 04:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The gas tank comes to mind too, although it is typically vented. I suppose the overall question to Musk would be, "What modifications and tests have been done to ensure that the car payload does not endanger the launch vehicle?"

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-26-2017 05:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am sure that question, and ones like it, will be asked during any available media opportunity, but I also think it is safe to say that if Musk and company can figure out how to assemble and successfully launch a 27-engine, heavy-lift, reusable rocket, then they can probably figure out the mechanics needed to fly an automobile safely.

SpaceAholic
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posted 12-26-2017 06:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 328KF:
The gas tank comes to mind too.
Tesla... Gas tank?

328KF
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posted 12-26-2017 07:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ah. Good point.

GACspaceguy
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posted 12-27-2017 06:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am with Robert and am sure they have thought of all of this and removed the fluids. I am thinking windshield washer fluid, a gear fluid similar to transmission fluid, brake fluid, A/C coolant, and any coolant required for the battery.

As far as the tires, if they remove the air to atmospheric seal level pressure when they mount the Tesla in the payload bay as shown in the photos, then the tire beads would most likely not seat going uphill and thus vent the residual air to a vacuum.

alanh_7
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posted 12-27-2017 07:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As Robert says, I am pretty sure they have it figured out. Little more than a large paperweight. Do we know if it even has an engine or any other components? I would bet it does not.

A very interesting publicity stunt which I am sure will grab some attention of the media closer to launch date. And why not? Aside from the lunar rover, this will be the first car in space. If you are the CEO of a car company and a rocket company why not?

SpaceAholic
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posted 12-27-2017 11:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by alanh_7:
Do we know if it even has an engine...
It's a Tesla — no engine (electric motors do the work).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-27-2017 11:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by alanh_7:
A very interesting publicity stunt...
Calling this a PR stunt is a bit like calling the reading of Genesis on Apollo 8 a PR stunt; sure, it grabs press and public attention, but to an activity that's already going to be squarely in the press and public's eye.

This is the maiden launch of a 27-engine rocket. Even before the announcement of the payload (mass simulator), SpaceX was warning it might have to turn away press requests to view the launch due to capacity concerns. As Elon Musk is fond of saying, whether it works or not, it is going to be spectacular.

The Tesla Roadster is both literally and figuratively the cherry on top.

alanh_7
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posted 12-27-2017 06:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think it is a PR stunt but a very good one. They are going to have to launch a payload simulator anyway. Why not a car? It is sure to grab more attention than if they were to launch another form of payload simulator. I only meant that it was likely to garner even more headlines for what should be an extremely interesting launch.

Motors, I stand corrected.


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