SpaceX Shows Off Their Falcon Heavy on NASA Launchpad

DooKey

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SpaceX has lifted the new Falcon Heavy from a horizontal position and placed it on the launchpad at Cape Canaveral. The first launch is scheduled in a few weeks and Elon Musk has promised his own Tesla is going to be onboard as cargo. However, Elon isn't real optimistic about this flight, but I'd certainly like to see this one be successful. The US space program needs a heavy lift capability and the sooner the better. Check out this instagram link for a drone's eye view of this massive rocket.

With more than 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff—equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft at full power—Falcon Heavy will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two.
 

daglesj

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Well as it's a first try if it just manages to leave the launchpad before anything happens the telemetry etc. will be very very useful.

I bet a lot of folks in that industry don't feel comfortable till at least one test model tears itself up due to a design flaw.

"Are we just being lucky each time?"
 

sirmonkey1985

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success or failure, the launch or will awesome to watch... hope they get some useful data out of it.
 

gamerk2

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Well as it's a first try if it just manages to leave the launchpad before anything happens the telemetry etc. will be very very useful.

I bet a lot of folks in that industry don't feel comfortable till at least one test model tears itself up due to a design flaw.

"Are we just being lucky each time?"
I think only the Saturn V had a perfect launch record, and even that had issues with nearly tearing itself apart due to pogo.
 
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While it's a badass rocket no doubt it still doesn't compare to the Saturn V.
 
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I wasn't referring to the Saturn Vs size, but its power. Nothing has been as powerful as the Saturn V.
 

travisty

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I wasn't referring to the Saturn Vs size, but its power. Nothing has been as powerful as the Saturn V.
Size was a poor word choice. Thrust or 'Payload to LEO' would have been better. My comment more or less stays correct though. Just wait a few years for the BFR ;)
 

sirmonkey1985

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I wasn't referring to the Saturn Vs size, but its power. Nothing has been as powerful as the Saturn V.
Right now nothing needs to be. While the Saturn V was powerful it was ungodly heavy compared to what we use now. The technology is better and more efficient compared to what was used in the 60's.
 
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no big boom... please.
As big as this is, the SLS heavy planned for the Mars Missions contains enough chemical fuel power, to be considerably bigger than the A-bombs dropped during WWII
 
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daglesj

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I think only the Saturn V had a perfect launch record, and even that had issues with nearly tearing itself apart due to pogo.

Yeah I bet a few guys at NASA breathed a sigh of relief when Skylab project was the last launch.
 

daglesj

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Right now nothing needs to be. While the Saturn V was powerful it was ungodly heavy compared to what we use now. The technology is better and more efficient compared to what was used in the 60's.
Yeah a modern industrial design team asked NASA to look at one of the engines/boosters from the Saturn project that was in storage (maybe a stage 2) and they found that with modern construction techniques the individual parts of that booster could be reduced from (not the exact figures as I cant remember them but the basis of them is similar) 1500 parts to around 150!
 

Exercate

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I can't wait to see that candle get lit up! Even Musk was quoted as saying that no matter what, this will be a sight to behold.
 

BSmith

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Right now nothing needs to be. While the Saturn V was powerful it was ungodly heavy compared to what we use now. The technology is better and more efficient compared to what was used in the 60's.
The Saturn V could lift nearly 3 times what the Falcon Heavy can, but the Saturn V was not designed to be reuseable, which is the big problem. Makes the cost prohibitive compared to the Falcon Heavy.

There are newer F1B rocket engines, which would be used in place of the F1 motors of the original Saturn V, which are lighter, less complicated and produce more thrust. Reuse will always be the major stumbling block for these designs.
 

CombatChrisNC

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As big as this is, the SLS heavy planned for the Mars Missions contains enough chemical fuel power, to be considerably bigger than the A-bombs dropped during WWII

Umm, I don't know about that. Assuming 22kt blast, that's 44,000,000 lbs TNT equivalent. BFR will have ~2,400,000 lbs of fuel. I don't know if rocket fuel is 20x as potent as TNT when it comes to energy density...

STILL, FH and BFR are amazing and I'm excited to see SpaceX doing what they are.
 

CombatChrisNC

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The Saturn V could lift nearly 3 times what the Falcon Heavy can, but the Saturn V was not designed to be reuseable, which is the big problem. Makes the cost prohibitive compared to the Falcon Heavy.

There are newer F1B rocket engines, which would be used in place of the F1 motors of the original Saturn V, which are lighter, less complicated and produce more thrust. Reuse will always be the major stumbling block for these designs.

I gotta wonder... what about 1st stage not exactly coming back for re-use, but making it all the way to LEO? Then you send up the 2nd rocket with a payload to refuel the 1st - and the 1st goes off to Mars or whatnot while the 2nd rocket waits for it's re-fuel from the 3rd rocket. Yea, you're not exactly launching them again, but you ARE getting more than 1 use out of them.

EDIT from post below: Turns out I was looking at the capacity of the FUELING module for the proposed BFR - not the actual fuel tank used BY the BFR. So, who knows. It's a lot though.
 
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Umm, I don't know about that. Assuming 22kt blast, that's 44,000,000 lbs TNT equivalent. BFR will have ~2,400,000 lbs of fuel. I don't know if rocket fuel is 20x as potent as TNT when it comes to energy density...

STILL, FH and BFR are amazing and I'm excited to see SpaceX doing what they are.
NASA told me so when I went on the tour two years ago. They are trying to figure out what to do with the houses that are in the blast circle (that was formally safe under Saturn V)
 

CombatChrisNC

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NASA told me so when I went on the tour two years ago. They are trying to figure out what to do with the houses that are in the blast circle (that was formally safe under Saturn V)
Turns out I was looking at the capacity of the FUELING module for the proposed BFR - not the actual fuel tank used BY the BFR. So, who knows. It's a lot though.
 

BSmith

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I gotta wonder... what about 1st stage not exactly coming back for re-use, but making it all the way to LEO? Then you send up the 2nd rocket with a payload to refuel the 1st - and the 1st goes off to Mars or whatnot while the 2nd rocket waits for it's re-fuel from the 3rd rocket. Yea, you're not exactly launching them again, but you ARE getting more than 1 use out of them.
I feel comfortable saying there is no way you are going to reuse an F1 or F1B, without a complete teardown and rebuild first. The fuel pump alone is going to need a thorough going over.

These engines are operating at insane levels of pressure and velocities. Think about the explosive forces they are containing and pumping fuel fast enough to keep it from reaching the tanks. It's just nuts. I mean,...1.8 million pounds of force per engine. Sheeesh.
 
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Mike89

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Damn, Elon could have saved some bucks and just given me that Tesla. Hope the launch goes off well, looking forward to it.
 

BSmith

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It is a tax write-off putting on the rocket. Giving to someone,...not so much. Then you would have to pay the taxes on the gift.
 
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Rebel44

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NASA told me so when I went on the tour two years ago. They are trying to figure out what to do with the houses that are in the blast circle (that was formally safe under Saturn V)
I was told the same during the tour last year and when others went to look at equipment around VAB I asked about that claim because it seemed incorrect and that guy admitted to exaggerating that claim.
 
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