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(The Verge)   SpaceX prepares to launch Falcon Heavy for the first time, plans to land all 3 Falcon 9 rockets back on Earth and put payload of Musk's own Tesla Roadster in orbit around the Sun. So, just another Tuesday. Launch window updated to between 3:45 and 4 PM ET   ( theverge.com) divider line
    More: Live, Kennedy Space Center, Falcon Heavy, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, International Space Station, Space exploration, Rocket, Spacecraft propulsion, NASA  
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3532 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Feb 2018 at 3:54 PM (23 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2018-02-05 03:35:25 PM  
I hope his rockets are better built than his cars.
 
2018-02-05 03:38:29 PM  
What a momentous event! On Tuesday 2/6 in this demonstration fight, SpaceX straps 3 of its Falcon 9 rockets together for a total of 27 Merlin engines for the first time and will launch Musk's car into orbit around the Sun. The launch window runs from 1:30PM to 4PM ET. Weather so far is 80% favorable but there's always a chance some glitches will postpone the launch.

Previous rumors included a Mars orbit but that ran the risk of contamination. This will be the most powerful rocket ever launched if it doesn't, you know, blow up. And if it does blow up at least clear the launchpad so as to not take that out with it (Musk says he'd consider that a "Win"). Crossing fingers.

The 2 outer core rockets will be landed back at the launchpad, while the 3rd center core will be landed on a drone ship in the Atlantic. The 2 outer cores are both used rockets - I mean, "flight-proven", sorry Elon.

Lots of info and an embedded video of the webcast is in the linked article, and the YouTube webcast is direct-linked here along with its brief write-up:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbSwF​U​6tY1c
"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 into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lb)---a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel--Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost. Falcon Heavy draws upon the proven heritage and reliability of Falcon 9.

Its first stage is composed of three Falcon 9 nine-engine cores whose 27 Merlin engines together generate more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft. Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973, delivered more payload to orbit. Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the Moon or Mars."


Good luck Falcon Heavy (or as it prefers to be called, Falcon Voluptuous). We're all counting on you.
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-02-05 03:47:21 PM  
I want to go on record that I think it's going to go BANG in a very big way. Hopefully downrange enough from 39A that it doesn't cause any/much damage.
 
2018-02-05 04:02:16 PM  
Falcon Heavy Animation
Youtube Tk338VXcb24

Modmins redlit my submission about the video animation... or the best music video of Bowie's Life on Mars? EVER.
 
2018-02-05 04:02:50 PM  
At least we have something exciting to watch tomorrow..  The weekdays are a bit depressing this year thus far.
 
2018-02-05 04:08:00 PM  

null: [YouTube video: Falcon Heavy Animation]
Modmins redlit my submission about the video animation... or the best music video of Bowie's Life on Mars? EVER.


Paging Kittypie070  please report to SpaceX thread.
 
2018-02-05 06:21:23 PM  

null: null: [YouTube video: Falcon Heavy Animation]
Modmins redlit my submission about the video animation... or the best music video of Bowie's Life on Mars? EVER.

Paging Kittypie070  please report to SpaceX thread.


set out a bowl of milk... nudge it toward the door a little.
 
2018-02-05 06:47:56 PM  
I'll be working, so super glad my new phone & plan has a factor of 10 more data than I had, I'm gonna burn through hopefully about a half hour or so of that tomorrow afternoon...
I saw in the last thread that they were sending a one of their suits up in the car.  Brilliant!  All the environmental and flight endurance testing they can do on the shiny new suit as a pure bonus to having the literally throw away payload on the test flight, have an actual seat.
 
2018-02-05 08:27:46 PM  
<heavy breathing>
 
2018-02-05 08:51:50 PM  
I bet the first stages go fine but something goes haywire when a stray gamma ray sets off an airbag.
 
2018-02-05 10:39:49 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-02-05 10:42:11 PM  
Falcon Heavy countdown timer [for those interested]
 
2018-02-05 11:07:17 PM  
Here's hoping SpaceX can post this tomorrow

img.fark.netView Full Size


Instead of this one

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-02-05 11:38:10 PM  

Gubbo: I want to go on record that I think it's going to go BANG in a very big way. Hopefully downrange enough from 39A that it doesn't cause any/much damage.


I think it will launch OK and get to Mars safely. Acquiring orbit - ??. And I'd say if they get 2 out of 3 boosters back, they will be doing well.

What I want to know is if SpaceX is prepared for a mission that drags on for months on end. Up until now all the missions (for them) have ended a few hours after launch.
 
2018-02-06 12:04:21 AM  
I have a question.

If the rocket blows up and Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster turns into a flaming fireball and crashes into something, particularly another car, is that covered under auto insurance?

More importantly, does Musk get insurance through Farmers?

Because the rocket blowing up and his car crashing down on top of someone's parked car, with Farmers Insurance being involved, would become the greatest commercial for Farmers Insurance ever.

/we covered it
//we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two
///Bum ba-dum bum bum bum
 
2018-02-06 12:28:09 AM  

null: I have a question.

If the rocket blows up and Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster turns into a flaming fireball and crashes into something, particularly another car, is that covered under auto insurance?

More importantly, does Musk get insurance through Farmers?

Because the rocket blowing up and his car crashing down on top of someone's parked car, with Farmers Insurance being involved, would become the greatest commercial for Farmers Insurance ever.

/we covered it
//we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two
///Bum ba-dum bum bum bum


Cave Johnsons speech on Safe Science at Aperture
Youtube VPpIjhtgGj0
 
2018-02-06 05:58:22 AM  

null: [Youtube Tk338VXcb24 image 480x270][Youtube-video https://www.youtube.com/embed/Tk338VXc​b24]
Modmins redlit my submission about the video animation... or the best music video of Bowie's Life on Mars? EVER.


And it looks like there might be a Starman aboard, too.

My favorite cover of Starman:
HOTEI (布袋寅泰) STARMAN  ORCHESTRA ver.
Youtube oZAN21Nlx5Q
 
2018-02-06 06:40:02 AM  
1981 Heavy Metal movie introduction RADAR RIDER by RIGGS
Youtube t_KXgFpguE0
 
2018-02-06 07:33:26 AM  

Archie Goodwin: Gubbo: I want to go on record that I think it's going to go BANG in a very big way. Hopefully downrange enough from 39A that it doesn't cause any/much damage.

I think it will launch OK and get to Mars safely. Acquiring orbit - ??. And I'd say if they get 2 out of 3 boosters back, they will be doing well.

What I want to know is if SpaceX is prepared for a mission that drags on for months on end. Up until now all the missions (for them) have ended a few hours after launch.


They already fly the Dragon for several months at a time, so I think the logistics side of it will be fine.

There's a lot going on in this mission, so there's several things that could go wrong. But, that's space flight. Wrangling the awesome power of chemistry to make physics cry.

It's my undergrad all over again.
 
2018-02-06 07:42:36 AM  

Tr0mBoNe: Wrangling the awesome power of chemistry to make physics cry.


best single sentence ever.
 
2018-02-06 07:42:39 AM  

null: I have a question.

If the rocket blows up and Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster turns into a flaming fireball and crashes into something, particularly another car, is that covered under auto insurance?


My insurance does not cover astronomical phenomena nor plane crashes. I would likely have to crowdfund a new car, or get lucky and get an out of court settlement from Musk before he grinds me into the ground with 1,000 lawyers.
 
2018-02-06 07:42:46 AM  
Good day to be a Bond villain.
 
2018-02-06 07:56:25 AM  

Tr0mBoNe: They already fly the Dragon for several months at a time, so I think the logistics side of it will be fine.


Forgot about those. But for 95% of the time it's docked at the ISS.

Wrangling the awesome power of chemistry to make physics cry.

But physics is still peering over chemistry's shoulder ever step of the way waiting for it to screw up.
 
2018-02-06 08:16:20 AM  

Tr0mBoNe: My insurance does not cover astronomical phenomena nor plane crashes.


Pretty much guarantee you Musk has some form of insurance for payouts. They wouldn't allow him to launch without it.
 
2018-02-06 08:27:55 AM  

Archie Goodwin: Tr0mBoNe: They already fly the Dragon for several months at a time, so I think the logistics side of it will be fine.

Forgot about those. But for 95% of the time it's docked at the ISS.


True, but for 99% of the transit time to Mars, the screen saver is on.

Wrangling the awesome power of chemistry to make physics cry.

But physics is still peering over chemistry's shoulder ever step of the way waiting for it to screw up.


Math is a cruel mistress.
 
2018-02-06 08:29:54 AM  

Destructor: Tr0mBoNe: My insurance does not cover astronomical phenomena nor plane crashes.

Pretty much guarantee you Musk has some form of insurance for payouts. They wouldn't allow him to launch without it.


img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-02-06 08:43:05 AM  
People are actually camped out right now to watch this thing.
 
2018-02-06 09:25:59 AM  
I'm waiting for them to post the morning weather update.  As of yesterday, weather forecast was 80% GO.
 
2018-02-06 09:26:21 AM  

Mugato: People are actually camped out right now to watch this thing.


Imagine the crowds for the BFR.
 
2018-02-06 09:30:16 AM  

Gubbo: I want to go on record that I think it's going to go BANG in a very big way. Hopefully downrange enough from 39A that it doesn't cause any/much damage.


How Not to Land an Orbital Rocket Booster
Youtube bvim4rsNHkQ
 
2018-02-06 09:34:48 AM  

abhorrent1: Gubbo: I want to go on record that I think it's going to go BANG in a very big way. Hopefully downrange enough from 39A that it doesn't cause any/much damage.

[Youtube bvim4rsNHkQ image 480x270][Youtube-video https://www.youtube.com/embed/bvim4rsN​HkQ]


Thanks! That got my explosion fix out of the way for the day. Now I can enjoy a nice, problem-free, clean rocket launch and recovery.
 
2018-02-06 09:42:51 AM  

Mugato: People are actually camped out right now to watch this thing.


A huge space launch really can capture the imagination still.

Ok it helps that the Cape is really the only accessible place to watch launchrs. But still.
 
2018-02-06 10:12:52 AM  
Good luck SpaceX!
 
2018-02-06 10:59:48 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size


/this is totally not a bookmark.
 
2018-02-06 11:03:01 AM  
Fueling starts in 1 hour.
 
2018-02-06 11:23:41 AM  

null: null: [YouTube video: Falcon Heavy Animation]
Modmins redlit my submission about the video animation... or the best music video of Bowie's Life on Mars? EVER.

Paging Kittypie070  please report to SpaceX thread.


*POP*

If Elon the Mad can pull off even half of this utterly glorious deed, I shall declare him a god.
 
2018-02-06 11:24:53 AM  
KSC's twitter feed says still 80% GO for weather.
 
2018-02-06 11:25:44 AM  
Moar struts:

"Musk was asked whether SpaceX can increase the Falcon Heavy's performance over time, much like it has with the Falcon 9. That's when the CEO suggested the possibility of a Falcon Super Heavy - a Falcon Heavy with extra boosters. "We could really dial it up to as much performance as anyone could ever want. If we wanted to we could actually add two more side boosters and make it Falcon Super Heavy," Musk said. This five-rocket Falcon Super Heavy would have around 9 million pounds of thrust, Musk said, nearly doubling the rocket's current capability, and putting it in line with the Saturn V as the most powerful rocket ever built..."

https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/5/169​7​5850/spacex-falcon-heavy-launch-elon-m​usk-tesla-questions
 
2018-02-06 11:38:29 AM  

Mad_Radhu: Moar struts:

"Musk was asked whether SpaceX can increase the Falcon Heavy's performance over time, much like it has with the Falcon 9. That's when the CEO suggested the possibility of a Falcon Super Heavy - a Falcon Heavy with extra boosters. "We could really dial it up to as much performance as anyone could ever want. If we wanted to we could actually add two more side boosters and make it Falcon Super Heavy," Musk said. This five-rocket Falcon Super Heavy would have around 9 million pounds of thrust, Musk said, nearly doubling the rocket's current capability, and putting it in line with the Saturn V as the most powerful rocket ever built..."

https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/5/1697​5850/spacex-falcon-heavy-launch-elon-m​usk-tesla-questions


So would that be a cross-shaped architecture or 5 boosters in a row?  I'm not sure their transporter-erector could handle 5 boosters in a cross shape, or what they'd have to do to beef things up while stacking and transporting that kind of layout.
 
2018-02-06 11:40:41 AM  

Mad_Radhu: Moar struts:

"Musk was asked whether SpaceX can increase the Falcon Heavy's performance over time, much like it has with the Falcon 9. That's when the CEO suggested the possibility of a Falcon Super Heavy - a Falcon Heavy with extra boosters. "We could really dial it up to as much performance as anyone could ever want. If we wanted to we could actually add two more side boosters and make it Falcon Super Heavy," Musk said. This five-rocket Falcon Super Heavy would have around 9 million pounds of thrust, Musk said, nearly doubling the rocket's current capability, and putting it in line with the Saturn V as the most powerful rocket ever built..."

https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/5/1697​5850/spacex-falcon-heavy-launch-elon-m​usk-tesla-questions


Scheduled to launch in November 2018 ---- actual launch date in 2026
 
2018-02-06 11:42:32 AM  
On a technical note, I can't get clear answers on the orbits. Does anyone know exactly what Earth orbit they are going for (I read that they are going GEO rather than GTO to prove to the military they can do it).

And all any news report says is that the car is going into orbit around Mars and the Sun (is it some kind of Earth Mars cycler or what).

/isn't every orbit technically around the sun?
 
2018-02-06 11:43:02 AM  

FrancoFile: Mad_Radhu: Moar struts:

"Musk was asked whether SpaceX can increase the Falcon Heavy's performance over time, much like it has with the Falcon 9. That's when the CEO suggested the possibility of a Falcon Super Heavy - a Falcon Heavy with extra boosters. "We could really dial it up to as much performance as anyone could ever want. If we wanted to we could actually add two more side boosters and make it Falcon Super Heavy," Musk said. This five-rocket Falcon Super Heavy would have around 9 million pounds of thrust, Musk said, nearly doubling the rocket's current capability, and putting it in line with the Saturn V as the most powerful rocket ever built..."

https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/5/1697​5850/spacex-falcon-heavy-launch-elon-m​usk-tesla-questions

So would that be a cross-shaped architecture or 5 boosters in a row?  I'm not sure their transporter-erector could handle 5 boosters in a cross shape, or what they'd have to do to beef things up while stacking and transporting that kind of layout.


Turn it 45 degrees and add an adapter so you're still holding on to 3 rockets at once? That's an engineering problem, not an impossibility.
 
2018-02-06 11:46:06 AM  

Gubbo: On a technical note, I can't get clear answers on the orbits. Does anyone know exactly what Earth orbit they are going for (I read that they are going GEO rather than GTO to prove to the military they can do it).

And all any news report says is that the car is going into orbit around Mars and the Sun (is it some kind of Earth Mars cycler or what).

/isn't every orbit technically around the sun?


They're launching direct to GEO and then doing a burn into a heliocentric transfer orbit. The timing isn't right to get anywhere close to Mars. It'll be up there for a long time, until it hits a planet or something else significant.

The real purpose of this test is to demonstrate to the US Government that they're ready to launch their heavy "national security" satellites.
 
2018-02-06 11:47:32 AM  

FrancoFile: So would that be a cross-shaped architecture or 5 boosters in a row? I'm not sure their transporter-erector could handle 5 boosters in a cross shape, or what they'd have to do to beef things up while stacking and transporting that kind of layout.


Holy hells. I...am completely agog just imagining that. And I come up short.

Wouldn't they have to learn how to stack that giant beast vertically as the Apollo techs did in the VAB with the Saturns?
 
2018-02-06 11:49:31 AM  
It's easy to spot the people who have never played Kerbal.
 
2018-02-06 11:50:40 AM  
Now it's time for me to get my moment of being scared out of the way.

Because I really am.

I shall do so for the next ten minutes.
 
2018-02-06 11:53:44 AM  

Tr0mBoNe: FrancoFile: Mad_Radhu: Moar struts:

"Musk was asked whether SpaceX can increase the Falcon Heavy's performance over time, much like it has with the Falcon 9. That's when the CEO suggested the possibility of a Falcon Super Heavy - a Falcon Heavy with extra boosters. "We could really dial it up to as much performance as anyone could ever want. If we wanted to we could actually add two more side boosters and make it Falcon Super Heavy," Musk said. This five-rocket Falcon Super Heavy would have around 9 million pounds of thrust, Musk said, nearly doubling the rocket's current capability, and putting it in line with the Saturn V as the most powerful rocket ever built..."

https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/5/1697​5850/spacex-falcon-heavy-launch-elon-m​usk-tesla-questions

So would that be a cross-shaped architecture or 5 boosters in a row?  I'm not sure their transporter-erector could handle 5 boosters in a cross shape, or what they'd have to do to beef things up while stacking and transporting that kind of layout.

Turn it 45 degrees and add an adapter so you're still holding on to 3 rockets at once? That's an engineering problem, not an impossibility.


Everything is ultimately an engineering problem & an economic problem.

Turning it like that means the bottom booster is holding the weight of 2 other boosters above it.  Can they handle that much lateral load?  Or do they add in fingers & brackets for the transporter/erector that then get withdrawn after the rocket goes vertical?
 
2018-02-06 11:57:39 AM  

FrancoFile: Tr0mBoNe: FrancoFile: Mad_Radhu: Moar struts:

"Musk was asked whether SpaceX can increase the Falcon Heavy's performance over time, much like it has with the Falcon 9. That's when the CEO suggested the possibility of a Falcon Super Heavy - a Falcon Heavy with extra boosters. "We could really dial it up to as much performance as anyone could ever want. If we wanted to we could actually add two more side boosters and make it Falcon Super Heavy," Musk said. This five-rocket Falcon Super Heavy would have around 9 million pounds of thrust, Musk said, nearly doubling the rocket's current capability, and putting it in line with the Saturn V as the most powerful rocket ever built..."

https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/5/1697​5850/spacex-falcon-heavy-launch-elon-m​usk-tesla-questions

So would that be a cross-shaped architecture or 5 boosters in a row?  I'm not sure their transporter-erector could handle 5 boosters in a cross shape, or what they'd have to do to beef things up while stacking and transporting that kind of layout.

Turn it 45 degrees and add an adapter so you're still holding on to 3 rockets at once? That's an engineering problem, not an impossibility.

Everything is ultimately an engineering problem & an economic problem.

Turning it like that means the bottom booster is holding the weight of 2 other boosters above it.  Can they handle that much lateral load?  Or do they add in fingers & brackets for the transporter/erector that then get withdrawn after the rocket goes vertical?


Like the great sage once said: Add more struts.

I would think the engineering required to continue assembling them horizontally would still be more affordable and practical than changing their entire assembly program to a vertical one. The building they could do it in has been (or is to be) reconfigured for the next NASA rocket.

I doubt it will ever come to anything. Their excessively large rocket will overtake this for huge loads.
 
2018-02-06 11:57:40 AM  

Twilight Farkle: [img.fark.net image 735x711]

/this is totally not a bookmark.


If only we funded Nasa as much as other programs they could be building things this glorious.
 
2018-02-06 11:58:14 AM  
That rocket ain't heavy, it's my brother.

The Hollies - He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother
Youtube Jl5vi9ir49g
 
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