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  SpaceX Falcon Heavy demonstration mission

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Author Topic:   SpaceX Falcon Heavy demonstration mission
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 38846
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-05-2018 11:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Falcon Heavy Demonstration Mission

SpaceX is poised to launch its Falcon Heavy demonstration mission from Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

According to the company, when Falcon Heavy lifts off, it will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two, with the ability to lift more than twice the payload of the next vehicle, at one-third the cost. Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit.

Three cores make up the first stage of Falcon Heavy. The side cores, or boosters, are connected to the center core at its base and at the vehicle's interstage. With a total of 27 Merlin engines, Falcon Heavy's three cores are capable of generating more than 5 million pounds of thrust.

For this test flight, Falcon Heavy's two side cores are both flight-proven. One launched the Thaicom 8 satellite in May 2016 and the other supported the Dragon CRS-9 mission in July 2016. SpaceX will attempt to land all three of Falcon Heavy's first stage cores during this test.

Following booster separation, Falcon Heavy's two side cores will attempt to land at SpaceX's Landing Zones 1 and 2 (LZ-1 and LZ-2) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Falcon Heavy's center core will attempt to land on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

The payload for Falcon Heavy's demonstration mission is SpaceX CEO and lead designer Elon Musk's midnight-cherry Tesla Roadster. Demonstration missions like this one typically carry steel or concrete blocks as mass simulators, but SpaceX decided it would be more worthwhile to launch something fun and without irreplaceable sentimental value: a red Roadster for the red planet.

Following launch, Falcon Heavy's second stage will attempt to place the Roadster into a precessing Earth-Mars elliptical orbit around the sun.

This mission is a test flight. Even if SpaceX does not complete all of the milestones that are being attempted during this test, the company will be gathering data throughout the mission. Ultimately, a successful demonstration mission will be measured by the quality of information SpaceX can gather to improve the launch vehicle for its existing and future customers.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38846
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-06-2018 12:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
SpaceX's first Falcon Heavy rocket poised to launch 4th electric car to leave Earth

SpaceX is poised to make history by launching the world's fourth electric car into space.

"We decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel," Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO and chief designer, said. "The payload will be an original Tesla Roadster, playing [the song] 'Space Oddity,' on a billion-year elliptic Mars orbit."

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38846
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-06-2018 06:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SpaceX is targeting launch of the Falcon Heavy demonstration mission on Tuesday, February 6 from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The primary launch window opens at 1:30 p.m. EST, or 18:30 UTC, and closes at 4:00 p.m. EST, or 21:00 UTC.
The forecast from the 45th Space Wing Weather Squadron, calls for an 80 percent chance of acceptable conditions at lift off, with the main concerns being winds and thick clouds.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38846
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-06-2018 11:07 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 Twitter:
T-0 delayed to 2:20 p.m. EST, 19:20 UTC due to upper level wind shear. Continuing to monitor winds and will update as info becomes available.
Update: Now 3:45 p.m. EST (2045 GMT). According to Elon Musk on Twitter:
Upper atmosphere winds currently 20% above max allowable load.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38846
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-06-2018 12:51 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:
Continue to monitor the upper level wind shear. New T-0 is 3:45 p.m. EST, 20:45 UTC.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38846
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-06-2018 01:48 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 (at 2:45 p.m. EST):
T-60 minutes until Falcon Heavy’s first test flight. Launch webcast will go live about 20 minutes before liftoff.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38846
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-06-2018 03:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy lifts off on maiden flight of 'most powerful operational rocket'

At T-5 seconds left in the countdown, 18 rocket engines — nine on each side-mounted booster — were given a go to start. Two seconds later, another nine on the vehicle's center core were commanded to do the same.

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy, now the world's most powerful operational rocket, lifted off on Tuesday (Feb. 6), riding atop the thrust of 27 engines on its first test flight.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 38846
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-07-2018 10:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
'A car in deep space': Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster leaves Earth with 'easter eggs'

Starman is traveling through the solar system, riding in the driver's seat of a midnight cherry Tesla Roadster with the top down.

The improbable, if also surreal scene, captured in a video broadcast back to Earth, unfolded live on Tuesday evening (Feb. 6) as a finale to SpaceX's maiden launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket.

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