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Thread: SpaceX Falcon Heavy updates (Q3 2017, hot-fire!)

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    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Cool SpaceX Falcon Heavy updates (Q3 2017, hot-fire!)

    Falcon Heavy launches this summer. They're targeting July 1st for the wet dress rehearsal (fueled up, practice countdown) and launch soon after.

    The test stand at their McGregor Texas facility is nearing completion, and the 3 cores (center core and 2 liquid fueled boosters, all based on Falcon 9R) are under construction at Hawthorne, California. The pad mods at KSC LC-39A are progressing rapidly.

    Falcon Heavy will be the most powerful rocket on Earth, capable of sending 53,000 kg to low Earth orbit, 21,200 kg to geostationary orbit, or 13,200 kg to Mars.

    53,000 kg is more than the weight of a fully loaded Boeing 737-200.

    Falcon Heavy concept of operations (CONOPS) video below, showing how the cores will return and land at KSC-13 after launch.

    The plan for the booster cores to return to LC-13 immediately after separation, about 4-5 minutes after launch. The center core is to return a few minutes later when launching lower mass payloads. For heavier payloads it'll continue downrange, land on an Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (ASDS), partially refuel, then relaunch and fly back to LC-13.



    There is currently one ASDS stationed at Jacksonville, Florida. Another is under construction for their Vandenberg AFB launch site in California, and a third is likely for their Mars Crossing spaceport near Brownsville, Texas.





    The new launch platform under construction at KSC LC-39. Looks like they're going to build a ramp to it over the old Saturn V/Shuttle gravelway.

    The new horizontal integration facility (HIF) will be built just outside that pad perimeter gate. Its foundation is curing and should be occupied in a few weeks..



    Did some screen caps from the video,





    LC-13




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    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    @SpaceX
    Continued progress on Pad 39A and its hangar that will house Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy at KSC:



    Dr. Mordrid
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    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Crop of a larger image showing the work on the pad ramps. Once they're prepped the mega-ramps go up to the elevated launch platform, complete with rails for the transporter-erector.

    Dr. Mordrid
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    Last year's CRS-7 oopsie delayed both F9 Full Thrust and Falcon Heavy, and the LC-39A pad construction is just wrapping up due to funding delays caused by Congresscritters diverting Commercial Crew funds to SLS and Orion last year.

    Falcon Heavy is now up for a November 2016 debut, and in 2018 it's scheduled to launch the Red Dragon Mars landing mission.

    In addition to that, SpaceX is going to try landing all 3 cores of FH after the launch.

    https://twitter.com/dannysparker/sta...43746543587329

    @dannysparker
    @elonmusk For 1st launch of Falcon Hvy will there be effort to simultaneously land all 3 booster stages? #FalconHeavy

    https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/726301598398312448

    @elonmusk
    @dannysparker yes
    Dr. Mordrid
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    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Now that LC-39A, the pad used to launch Apollo 11, is ready to go Falcon 9 flights resume soon. Then about Q2 2017.....the sound from 5.1 million pounds of thrust rumble across the Florida coast.

    The 3 cores, a massively reinforced center core is on the shop floor. The boosters will be reused Falcon 9's. It's due to launch military and commercial missions first, then a Red Dragon mission to Mars in mid-2018. A modded Cargo Dragon 2, which has about 12% more internal volume than Cargo Dragon 1.

    "Falcon Heavy interstage being prepped at the rocket factory. When FH flies next year, it will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two."

    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 28th December 2016 at 14:16.
    Dr. Mordrid
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    .With the recent Falcon 9 thrust upgrades,

    Max to Low Earth orbit: 63.8 tonnes
    Max to GTO: 26.7 tonnes
    Max to Mars: 16.8 tonnes (Curiosity & MSL: 3.8 tonnes)
    Max to Pluto: 3.5 tonnes (a medium commsat)

    One side booster done, one in waiting and the mighty Falcon Heavy center core (#1033) on the McGregor, TX test stand.

    Chris B - NSF @NASASpaceflight
    SpaceX McGregor now has 1033 on the test stand. Falcon Heavy Center!
    https://t.co/t5eh9E4xd3

    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 22nd April 2017 at 04:48.
    Dr. Mordrid
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    IT'S ALIVE!!!

    The other two cores will be flight proven boosters, and they've already been tested; the F9 cores used for Dragon CRS-9 and Thaicom-8. Now need to upgrade the pad - needs 4 more stage hold-downs.

    Once the pad mods are finished they can integrate the 3 cores into an FH, then comes initial rollout for pretty pictures etc. and some static fires to check vibration modes, plume interactions, acoustics etc. before flying.

    It’s gonna be LOUD!!!

    SpaceX ✔ @SpaceX
    First static fire test of a Falcon Heavy center core completed at our McGregor, TX rocket development facility last week.
    2:51 PM - 9 May 2017

    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 9th May 2017 at 14:40.
    Dr. Mordrid
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    Yeeesssssss!!!!

    And Falcon Heavy is a candidate to replace the Delta IV Heavy after it retires in 2023. Delta IV Medium ends in 2018. Delta is getting too expensive for the USAF at $400m plus for the Heavy and $250m for the Medium. FH will start at $90m.

    Johnny Grinter @JohnnyZenith
    @elonmusk Please Elon, please tell us when the Falcon Heavy will launch.

    Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
    @JohnnyZenith All Falcon Heavy cores should be at the Cape in two to three months, so launch should happen a month after that
    2:51 PM - 8 Jun 2017
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 8th June 2017 at 21:47.
    Dr. Mordrid
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    An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

    I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

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