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The SpaceX Thread

Arthur

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 7, 2003
Messages
22,475
#22
Frequent Q: What time is the Falcon Heavy launch tomorrow?

SAST 20h30. Watch live at spacex.com.
 
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Gordon_R

Expert Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
3,905
#23
It has Musk's Tesla on board. Listed as 'modified Tesla'
I know that, but anything else? There is not much point in testing a rocket that can lift 63 tons into low earth orbit, if you don't send something heavy up. Maybe they just want to test the recovery of the twin strap-on boosters, and then trans-Martian orbit insertion?

"Test flights of new rockets usually contain mass simulators in the form of concrete or steel blocks".
 

Gordon_R

Expert Member
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Jul 5, 2009
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#24
Seems Elon Musk us trying to downplay expectations, for an entirely new strap-on booster configuration: https://arstechnica.com/science/201...sizes-up-the-falcon-heavys-chance-of-success/

Because this is a test flight, Musk said it’s a “softball mission.” This means SpaceX won’t be pushing the envelope in terms of dynamic pressure during the launch. While the potential maximum dynamic pressure for a Falcon Heavy flight is “pretty high,” Musk said the peak dynamic pressure for this launch will be about 15- or 20-percent less than a Falcon 9 going to geostationary orbit.
Seems quite a lot of new boundaries being pushed with this rocket:
Despite the mixed potential for success, this won’t just be a test flight with a splashy payload. Musk said Monday he hopes to demonstrate the capability to send payloads directly to geostationary orbit. This is one of the primary requests of the US Air Force, which sets requirements for national security launches. So with this mission, the upper stage will coast for six hours before relighting a final time to send the Tesla Roadster into deep space.
 
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McT

The Humble Scot!
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
34,333
#25
The Falcon Heavy Packs A Huge Payload

Today, SpaceX's Falcon Heavy is due to blast off from the Kennedy Space Center on its maiden test flight. It has 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, making it the world's most powerful rocket by a factor of two and roughly equivalent to 18 Boeing 747 aircraft. Such an incredible level of thrust means the Falcon Heavy can carry an impressive payload of nearly 141,000 lbs into orbit.

That's nearly double the Delta IV Heavy (and at a third of the cost) according to SpaceX and the equivalent of lifting a Boeing 737 airliner fully loaded with crew, passengers, luggage and fuel. Only the Saturn V moon rocket which last flew in 1973, was able to deliver a heavier payload into orbit. The goal of Tuesday's flight is to prove that the Falcon Heavy can launch a payload into a hyperbolic deep space orbit which is known as the Hohmann transfer.

Historically, maiden rocket flights have a high failure rate so the Falcon Heavy will carry a dummy payload for its first launch. Elon Musk, the flamboyant founder of SpaceX, said he will consider it a win as long as the Falcon Heavy clears the launch pad without exploding. As a payload, the rocket will carry his beloved $100,000 red Tesla Roadster sports car, complete with a mannequin in a space suit at the wheel and Bowie's Space Oddity playing on a loop. Musk spoke to reporters on Monday, saying that the Tesla "will get about 400,000 million km away from Earth and be doing 11km/s. We estimate it will be in that orbit for several hundred million years, maybe in excess of a billion years".

Statista: https://www.statista.com/chart/12810/the-falcon-heavy-packs-a-huge-payload/
 

Gordon_R

Expert Member
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Jul 5, 2009
Messages
3,905
#27
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43063379

The Tesla car that Elon Musk launched into space is likely to stay there for tens of millions of years before crashing into the Earth or Venus.

That's the conclusion of an analysis by Czech and Canadian researchers.

They calculated that the roadster has a 6% chance of colliding with Earth and a 2.5% probability of hitting Venus over the next million years.
 

Sugarman

Making Sugar
Joined
Feb 24, 2016
Messages
21,899
#29
The First SpaceX BFR Should Make Orbital Launches by 2020

Elon Musk has a reputation for pushing the envelop and making bold declarations. In 2002, he founded SpaceX with the intention of making spaceflight affordable through entirely reusable rockets. In April of 2014, his company achieved success with the first successful recovery of a Falcon 9 first stage. And in February of this year, his company successfully launched its Falcon Heavy and managed to recover two of the three boosters.

But above and beyond Musk’s commitment to reusability, there is also his longer-term plans to use his proposed Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) to explore and colonize Mars. The topic of when this rocket will be ready to conduct launches was the subject of a recent interview between Musk and famed director Jonathon Nolan, which took place at the 2018 South by Southwest Conference (SXSW) in Austin, Texas.

During the interview, Musk reiterated his earlier statements that test flights would begin in 2019 and an orbital launch of the full BFR and Big Falcon Spaceship (BFS) would take place by 2020. And while this might seem like a very optimistic prediction (something Musk is famous for), this timeline does not seem entirely implausible given his company’s work on the necessary components and their success with reusability.

[video=youtube;0qo78R_yYFA]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qo78R_yYFA[/video]
More At: https://www.universetoday.com/138821/first-spacex-bfr-make-orbital-launches-2020/
 

Sugarman

Making Sugar
Joined
Feb 24, 2016
Messages
21,899
#30
Elon Musk Just Shared an Image of the Main Body Tool for Building the BFR. That Thing

In September of 2016, Elon Musk announced the latest addition to the SpaceX rocket family. Known then as the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS) – now know as the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) – this massive launch vehicle is central to Musk’s vision of sending astronauts and colonists to Mars someday. Since that time, the space community has eagerly waited for any news on how the preparations for this rocket are going.

Musk further inflamed people’s anticipation by recently announcing that the BFR would be ready to conduct orbital flights by as early as 2020. While admittedly an optimistic deadline, Musk indicated that his company was building the presently building the ship. And according to a recent post on Musk’s Instagram account, a key component (the main body tool) for making the BFR interplanetary spaceship has just been completed.

It is important to note, however, that what is being shown here is not actually a part of the rocket. As Ryan Whitwam of Extreme Tech noted, what we are seeing in the post is a tool “that SpaceX will use to fabricate the rocket from carbon fiber composite materials that are lighter than traditional materials. Flexible resin sheets of carbon fiber will be layered on the tool and then heated to cure them. After heating, you’re left with a solid section of rocket fuselage. It’s essentially a carbon fiber jig.”
More At: https://www.universetoday.com/13900...-for-building-the-bfr-that-thing-is-fing-big/
 

garyc

Expert Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
2,456
#31
SpaceX has been using carbon composites on some of their existing rockets in order to prove the technologies and develop them further for future rockets. An example is the Falcon 9, which uses a carbon interstage that is 3.6m in diameter and 8m tall. The material is a Toray T-700 carbon for the facesheets with a vented aluminium honeycomb core. This is oven cured rather than being cured in an autoclave. A lot of coupon level testing has gone into determining manufacturing processes that will not introduce voids into the structure.

SpaceX have installed laser projection systems from Laser Projection Technologies and Assembly Guidance Systems to help with the material layup. The inputs are generated using the FiberSIM software.

They are also moving towards composite fairings and have a thermoforming press for smaller components.

In 2016 SpaceX signed a multi-year deal with Toray worth about USD 2 billion for the supply of carbon fibre for future rockets. My personal speculation would be that the BFR may use a cost effective out-of-autoclave manufacturing process for the following reasons:

1 - They have already been developing the manufacturing processes for the Falcon 9
2 - Toray has been doing a lot of research into materials suitable for this process that meet aerospace certification requirements.
3 - The building that tool is in looks a bit small to hold a suitably sized autoclave.
 

Sugarman

Making Sugar
Joined
Feb 24, 2016
Messages
21,899
#32
SpaceX announces new plan to send tourist around Moon

SpaceX on Thursday announced a new plan to launch a tourist around the Moon using its Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), a massive launch vehicle that is being designed to carry people into deep space.
"SpaceX has signed the world's first private passenger to fly around the Moon aboard our BFR launch vehicle—an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space," the company said on Twitter.
SpaceX gave no further details, but said more information would follow on Monday.
This is not the first time the California-based company, headed by Internet entrepreneur and Tesla electric car CEO Elon Musk, has touted plans to send tourists around the Moon.
In February, 2017, SpaceX announced it would send the world's first two space tourists around the Moon in late 2018.
That plan called for them to ride on a Dragon crew vehicle, similar to the cargo ships that SpaceX routinely sends loaded with supplies to the International Space Station.
They would have blasted off aboard a Falcon Heavy rocket.
However, the company has remained mum about those plans in recent months.
The names and identities of those two tourists—and how much they intended to pay—were never revealed.
SpaceX declined an AFP request for more details, but said further information would follow Monday at an event lasting from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm (0030 GMT to 0200 GMT).
Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-09-spacex-tourist-moon.html#jCp
 

Sugarman

Making Sugar
Joined
Feb 24, 2016
Messages
21,899
#33
Japanese billionaire businessman revealed as SpaceX's first Moon traveler

A Japanese billionaire and online fashion tycoon, Yusaku Maezawa, will be the first man to fly on a monster SpaceX rocket around the Moon as early as 2023, and he plans to bring six to eight artists along.
Maezawa, 42, will be the first lunar traveler since the last US Apollo mission in 1972. He paid an unspecified amount of money for the privilege.
"Ever since I was a kid, I have loved the Moon," Maezawa said at SpaceX headquarters and rocket factory in Hawthorne, California, in the middle of metropolitan Los Angeles, late Monday.
"This is my lifelong dream."
Maezawa is chief executive of Japan's largest online fashion mall, and is the 18th richest person in Japan with a fortune of $3 billion, according to the business magazine Forbes.
Maezawa's other hobby is amassing valuable works of modern art and last year, he announced the acquisition of a Jean-Michel Basquiat masterpiece worth $110.5 million.
Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-09-japanese-billionaire-businessman-revealed-spacex.html#jCp
 

Sugarman

Making Sugar
Joined
Feb 24, 2016
Messages
21,899
#34
Musk Gives an Update on When a Mars Colony Could be Built

Elon Musk is well-known for his ability to create a media sensation. Scarcely a week goes by that the founder of SpaceX and Tesla doesn’t have an announcement or update to make – often via his social media outlet of choice, twitter. And as a major figure in the NewSpace industry, anything he says is guaranteed to elicit reactions (both critical and hopeful) from the space community and general public.

Just last week (on Monday, Sept. 17th), he revealed new information about the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) and who its first passenger would be when it conducts its first lunar mission (which is planned for 2023). And on Friday (Sept. 21st), Musk shared some updated plans on when a SpaceX Martian colony could be established. According to the tweet he posted, his company could build a base on Mars (Mars Base Alpha) as early as 2028.


 
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