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Off Topic => General Discussion => Topic started by: Bryanpoprobson on February 06, 2018, 04:05:18 PM

Title: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Bryanpoprobson on February 06, 2018, 04:05:18 PM
Wow, just amazing especially the simaultaneous landing of the two boosters.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Zakalwe on February 06, 2018, 04:29:57 PM
Epic. No other words.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Bryanpoprobson on February 06, 2018, 04:32:27 PM
Hearing unconfirmed reports that they have lost the centre core.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Apollo 957 on February 06, 2018, 04:45:16 PM
Seriously impressive.

Even if the centre core missed the barge, they seem to float OK. The previous launch, where they planned to simply abandon a used Falcon 9, it was found floating and recoverable.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Bryanpoprobson on February 06, 2018, 04:59:41 PM
Seriously impressive.

Even if the centre core missed the barge, they seem to float OK. The previous launch, where they planned to simply abandon a used Falcon 9, it was found floating and recoverable.
It seems that the report of losing the core was just referring to the telemetry feed. But there is no definitive news yet.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: AtomicDog on February 06, 2018, 05:23:30 PM
Watching the live feed of Starman in his Tesla. Earth's getting smaller and smaller.


Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Apollo 957 on February 06, 2018, 06:55:43 PM
Even if the core stage was lost ... to the tune of the Meatloaf song (italics are the chorus);

We launched it (launched it)
To orb-it (orb-it)
But it seems as if the core, it just didn't make it
But don't be sad (don't be sad)
'Cause two out of three ain't bad
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Apollo 957 on February 06, 2018, 06:57:02 PM
I've just read somewhere else there's a copy of Hitch-hiker's Guide and a towel in the glovebox ....
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Apollo 957 on February 06, 2018, 07:09:20 PM
RIP core stage; at press conference, Musk says not all its engines lit up, and it ditched in the drink ...
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: VQ on February 06, 2018, 10:57:54 PM
RIP core stage; at press conference, Musk says not all its engines lit up, and it ditched in the drink ...

With the longer burn before core stage separation, was this a more energetic reentry than they have done before on a 1st stage recovery attempt?
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: raven on February 07, 2018, 01:36:22 AM
Well, the core stage was the big unknown. The others were not only flight tested hardware, but also extensively flight tested procedurally.  Still, overall, I'd definitely call this a success in almost all parameters.
They'll get this.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on February 07, 2018, 02:49:21 AM
With the longer burn before core stage separation, was this a more energetic reentry than they have done before on a 1st stage recovery attempt?

Yes

Have a look at the broadcast, and take special note of the altitude and velocity telemetry of  the centre core/upper stage at staging.

=1500


It was 9500 km/hr at an altitude of 90km. Normal staging for a Falcon 9 is about 5,500 @ 115km for LEO and 7,500 @ 100 km for a launch to GTO. The centre core was travelling much faster and lower than usual, narrowing the margins for error.

Another thing to consider is that when cores land at sea on the drone ship, they usually use the existing ballistic trajectory (no boostback burn) and simply have a re-entry burn and landing burn. However at this case, with the extra velocity, the ballistic trajectory would have taken the centre core to over 1000miles off the Atlantic Coast, so they decided to use a boostback burn.

Perhaps the faster speed lower altitude and the need for and additional burn led to a miscalculation of the amount of triethylaluminium it needed to ignite the engines three times.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: VQ on February 07, 2018, 03:09:20 AM
Perhaps the faster speed lower altitude and the need for and additional burn led to a miscalculation of the amount of triethylaluminium it needed to ignite the engines three times.

Damage from reentry seems more likely to me if this was new territory velocity-wise.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: gwiz on February 07, 2018, 05:48:04 AM
Wasn't some guy going to ride a rocket to somehow prove the Earth is flat?  Looks like SpaceX just raised the bar on that one.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Count Zero on February 07, 2018, 09:16:35 AM
Wow, just amazing especially the simaultaneous landing of the two boosters.

THIS is what the 21st century was supposed to look like.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: nomuse on February 07, 2018, 10:31:35 AM
I'm waiting for the first person to recut that landing video with the music from U.F.O.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: JayUtah on February 07, 2018, 11:41:48 AM
Wow, I have to say that was a pretty stunning flight.  The last time I put anything on the record about SpaceX was years ago, and it was not complimentary.  But that was during their Falcon 1 days, when they were making the elementary mistakes.  Now is as good a time as any to update the record and say that I find the progress of SpaceX since then to be nothing short of astounding.  Full marks for making a giant rocket with next-generation capabilities, flying it successfully, and landing most of the boosters.  Having participated in some of the less successful members of the Delta family, I can sympathize with the problems of building and flying very large launch vehicles.

Success criteria for a test flight are all about the data.  It doesn't matter at all that the center booster didn't land safely.  (It matters that the drone recovery ship was damaged; that's already production hardware and you want that to keep working.)  It matters that SpaceX has data in hand that indicate whether the Falcon Heavy design predictions were met.  You fly the rocket for the first time because you simulated all you can and bench-tested all you can, and the only way to get more information about whether the design works is to try to fly it.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Apollo 957 on February 07, 2018, 12:24:08 PM
Jay, I would love to see you go head-to-head with the YouTube CT hoaxsters who think it was all CGI/holograms/smoke/mirrors.

But I'm sure you have more valuable things to do with your time.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: JayUtah on February 07, 2018, 01:11:46 PM
But I'm sure you have more valuable things to do with your time.

I could sound all self-important and say that's right, but here I am posting to web forums during working hours.  While some of our regulars here have found YouTube to be a workable forum for debating hoax claims, I have not.  I lack the follow-through to make rebuttal videos.  What I would say as a comment generally doesn't fit the character limit.  And that's for when the poster hasn't disabled comments and is kind enough not to just delete it.  I find forums such as this to be a more effective use of my time and my specific skills.  But I also have to add that I find YouTube conspiracy theorists to be some of the most ignorant, arrogant, and distasteful people I've ever encountered.  I just don't want that in my life.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: jfb on February 07, 2018, 01:34:46 PM
Wow, just amazing especially the simaultaneous landing of the two boosters.

THIS is what the 21st century was supposed to look like.

The image of the two boosters landing side-by-side was straight out of a Bradbury novel.  Juxtaposed with the Heavy Metal/Hitchhiker's guide mashup of the payload. 

And suddenly I am sad that MTV no longer does music videos, because a new bumper featuring Starman would be epic
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: bknight on February 07, 2018, 01:38:34 PM
I watched the launch and recovery of the outside boosters with sound muted.  The sight was spectacular sound would have been even better.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: JayUtah on February 07, 2018, 02:00:49 PM
We were fortunate to be able to watch it on the 70-inch HD monitor in one of the conference rooms, with the volume turned way up.  And I have to agree that the sight of both boosters landing in the same frame could be a classic sci-fi novel cover.  I think it's going to become one of the iconic images of this year.  When you have a roomful of crusty, hard-core, longtime engineers exclaim "wow!" and "yeah!" all at the same time, you know you've tapped into something.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: onebigmonkey on February 07, 2018, 04:51:22 PM
The tinfoil hatters are all over this, so naturally I had to show them they're wrong.

I found a GOES East image taken at 20:45 UTC yesterday.

http://rammb-slider.cira.colostate.edu/?sat=goes-16&sec=full_disk&x=10836&y=4253&z=5&im=12&ts=1&st=20180206193047&et=20180206230047&speed=130&motion=loop&map=1&lat=0&p%5B0%5D=16&opacity%5B0%5D=1&hidden%5B0%5D=0&pause=20180206221547&slider=-1&hide_controls=0&mouse_draw=0&s=rammb-slider

If you take the the cloud that can be seen in this SpaceX image immediately after the fairing is removed:

(http://i64.tinypic.com/2uqkmf5.jpg)

and do a bit of perspective warping, you get:

(http://i65.tinypic.com/zodd0k.jpg)
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Glom on February 07, 2018, 04:57:46 PM
We were fortunate to be able to watch it on the 70-inch HD monitor in one of the conference rooms, with the volume turned way up.  And I have to agree that the sight of both boosters landing in the same frame could be a classic sci-fi novel cover.  I think it's going to become one of the iconic images of this year.  When you have a roomful of crusty, hard-core, longtime engineers exclaim "wow!" and "yeah!" all at the same time, you know you've tapped into something.
Yes. Picture of the year.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Jason Thompson on February 07, 2018, 05:50:28 PM
It doesn't matter at all that the center booster didn't land safely.

I just made a Facebook post to that effect after seeing a few things making a big deal of it. Under flight conditions outside of any previously flown, that thing still only missed a landing point miles downrange by a few hundred feet. I'd call that a successful test flight.

I also pointed out that on Apollo 6 the rocket suffered huge pogo, two engine failures, one engine restart failure, a panel broke off the SLA and the LM mass simulator fell out! Even the best rockets don't have flawless records.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Allan F on February 07, 2018, 06:54:28 PM
Was the core booster on a trajectory which would make it miss the barge, if the landing burn didn't succeed? As I understand it, the core was set to overshoot, but the horizontal vector would be reduced to zero during the landing.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: LunarOrbit on February 07, 2018, 07:45:59 PM


THIS is what the 21st century was supposed to look like.

They did promise us we'd have flying cars... but this isn't quite what I had in mind.

Sent from my SM-T713 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on February 07, 2018, 09:48:02 PM
Was the core booster on a trajectory which would make it miss the barge, if the landing burn didn't succeed? As I understand it, the core was set to overshoot, but the horizontal vector would be reduced to zero during the landing.

Yes, the vector of a descending booster intended to land on one of the autonomous drone ships has a considerable horizontal component. If re-entry fails, the booster should carry on past the ADS and crash into the sea.

This is different from the boosters landing at LZ1 or LZ2. At the time of the re-entry burn, they are "aimed" to fall into the sea off the coast in case the re-entry burn fails. Once that burn is successful, they use the grid fins and cold gas thrusters to manoeuvre the booster over to the LZ.   
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on February 07, 2018, 10:10:20 PM
It doesn't matter at all that the center booster didn't land safely.

I just made a Facebook post to that effect after seeing a few things making a big deal of it. Under flight conditions outside of any previously flown, that thing still only missed a landing point miles downrange by a few hundred feet. I'd call that a successful test flight.

I also pointed out that on Apollo 6 the rocket suffered huge pogo, two engine failures, one engine restart failure, a panel broke off the SLA and the LM mass simulator fell out! Even the best rockets don't have flawless records.

There are a few things important to keep in mind about the centre core on Falcon Heavy.

Its not just a ordinary rocket core like those flown on Falcon 9. They have had extensive strengthening and modification to cope with the stresses of having two booster cores strapped on. SpaceX found very quickly that strapping three cores together is not as easy as it sounds. As Musk said ..."its way harder than we thought it would be". That's why its taken them five years longer than they thought it would to get it to work.

The side boosters are also modified, though not as extensively as the centre. Just putting the nose cones on the top of the interstage significantly reduces the control authority of the grid fins, so they had to be redesigned. Ordinary rocket cores can be quite easily converted into booster cores without a lot of trouble, but this is not so with the centre core. These are near as heck to an entirely new core that needs to be built from the ground up.   
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: sts60 on February 07, 2018, 11:33:10 PM
We were fortunate to be able to watch it on the 70-inch HD monitor in one of the conference rooms, with the volume turned way up.  And I have to agree that the sight of both boosters landing in the same frame could be a classic sci-fi novel cover.  I think it's going to become one of the iconic images of this year.  When you have a roomful of crusty, hard-core, longtime engineers exclaim "wow!" and "yeah!" all at the same time, you know you've tapped into something.
Yeah, we watched it in the newly renovated Goett Auditorium at Goddard on the theater-sized screen.  Same reaction from the NASA/contractor group. 
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: onebigmonkey on February 08, 2018, 04:16:59 PM
Nice shot of the pacific shown with a Hinawari 8 photo :)

(https://i.imgur.com/4cAoI3G.jpg)
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on February 09, 2018, 12:31:40 AM
If anyone tries to tell you this was all faked... show them this.



Uninterrupted and unedited footage by a private citizen.... continuous from FH lift off to booster landing.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: jfb on February 09, 2018, 10:00:18 AM
If anyone tries to tell you this was all faked... show them this.



Uninterrupted and unedited footage by a private citizen.... continuous from FH lift off to booster landing.

Doesn't stop multiple people in the comment thread from screaming "FAKE!".  One insists it has to be CGI, several insist that because it goes sideways it can't possibly be going to space, fake fake fake it's all fake sheeple wake up fake fake fake fake with emojis fake fake fake. 

Like I said in another thread, I'm convinced the vast majority of these people are just trolling for the lulz, but there are a few people who will insist that the sky is mauve in spite of all evidence to the contrary. 
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: AtomicDog on February 09, 2018, 07:36:07 PM
Of course, it doesn't occur to them to use their mad CG skillzs to duplicate a moonwalk or space launch and PROVE that space travel can be faked.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: nickrulercreator on February 09, 2018, 07:46:15 PM
Along with what Onebigmonkey has posted, I also decided to do my own research. This is copied from my original thread (yes, it is a FE forum): https://forum.tfes.org/index.php?topic=8695.msg140643#msg140643

Begin Post:

There's easy ways we can prove this happened. The easiest is by comparing the video with cloud data.

I did it here!: https://imgur.com/a/iMZMQ

(https://i.imgur.com/2y1yV3h.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/7xAA2kw.png)

Compare the top image (frame from video) and bottom image (Australian Bureau of Meteorology cloud data).

The top image is at 3:40:25. The live stream started about 15-20 minutes after launch, so we can say this frame is about 4 hours after launch. The rocket launched at 15:45 ET on Tuesday, meaning this frame was from 19:45 ET on Tuesday. This frame from the video shows Australia, so we know the frame was taken at 10:45 AEST on Wednesday (time zones are crazy).

Now, the bottom image shows the clouds at 13:30 AEST on Wednesday, about 3 hours AFTER the time in the video. Compare the cloud covers. Compare the shape of the clouds. Can't see it? Allow me to show you: https://imgur.com/a/dML4O

(https://i.imgur.com/zbna4II.png)
(https://i.imgur.com/VTTQeon.png)

How could SpaceX know what the cloud covers looked like in real time? You can even see them moving! Compare a frame from the beginning of the video (28:18) to the 3:40:25 one: https://imgur.com/a/Tv9hS

(https://i.imgur.com/HFM6Esk.png?1)
(https://i.imgur.com/XKqxcJo.png?1)

For the first image, you can see that Australia is MUCH closer to the terminator line than in the image 3 hours later. The clouds appear to have shifted slightly as well over the 3 hours. The top of the cloud band at the bottom of the first frame has moved between frames (in the latter image it moves with Australia), but if you look at the cloud's shape, it still changed. Compare any frame. Not only do they match up with the cloud cover data, but they match up with satellite imagery (fake tho, right? /s). It would be extraordinarily difficult to fake this in real time. All observation tools and data has some kind of delay, usually hourly, or quarter-hourly, and to predict where the clouds will be this precisely is impossible. The data shows it was live. The data matches with the video, showing the video to be real, or all the data and the video to be fake. The only other explanation I have is that Musk has a time machine and observed the cloud patterns before the launch.

Additionally, there were independent observers that saw the second stage fire up again to send the car into a heliocentric orbit. Check out this video from an observatory: https://twitter.com/te_pickering/status/961080240389832706

or this image: https://twitter.com/EricPeterson602/status/961066925521477632?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ksby.com%2Fstory%2F37444542%2Fbright-light-seen-in-california-southwestern-night-sky

or this image: https://twitter.com/dougrfolk/status/961065341903253504?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.12news.com%2Farticle%2Fnews%2Flocal%2Fvalley%2Flight-seen-over-valley-skies-may-be-spacex-rocket%2F75-515504890

You can even see the moon in some shots! 30:30 - 31:57 as it enters from the bottom left corner, passes behind the car, and reappears and leaves in the bottom right corner. 1:07:19 - 1:07:32 in the bottom under the engine bell. 1:14:17 - 1:14:32 to the left of the engine bell. 1:21:25 - 1:21:35 in the top left. 2:55:16 - 2:55:59 appearing from the top moving right. 3:18:22 - 3:18:34 in the bottom left. 3:19:54 - 3:20:00 in the bottom right. 3:41:21 - 3:41:36 above the engine bell moving down. Real faint. 3:41:37 - 3:41:46 in the bottom left. 3:48:36 - 3:48:46 in the left. 3:55:21 - 3:55:35 in the bottom left of the bell. 3:55:36 - 3:55:46 in the top left of the bell, real faint.

Those are all the ones I found. I'm sure there are a few more though.

End Post

I also found a video where an independent observer using a telescope spotted and tracked the car, calculating its orbit:
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Obviousman on February 10, 2018, 03:10:49 AM
I'm probably just a big sook, but this flight has stirred emotions in me I hadn't felt since Apollo or the Curiosity landings.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: onebigmonkey on February 10, 2018, 04:14:58 AM
I'm probably just a big sook, but this flight has stirred emotions in me I hadn't felt since Apollo or the Curiosity landings.

There has been quite a bit of feeling stirred on a number of facebook groups I'm on between Apollo enthusiasts and those enjoying more modern developments. Apparently there are people who believe it's strictly an either/or thing.

Frankly I think this attitude is dumb. As avid an enthusiast as I am about Apollo, I fail to see why this should stop me looking at a car leaving Earth orbit, or a pair of boosters landing back on the ground and going "Wow - that is ****ing amazing!".
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on February 10, 2018, 06:08:03 AM
I'm probably just a big sook, but this flight has stirred emotions in me I hadn't felt since Apollo or the Curiosity landings.

Nope you're not a sook. This is exciting stuff... I punched the air with delight as I watched those two boosters landing... that footage should have been set to the the theme of "Thunderbirds Are Go!"

As I have posted here before, rockets landing on a tail of flames this is right out of the pages of the 1960's sci-fi I read as a teenager.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Count Zero on February 10, 2018, 12:50:39 PM
I feel that thrill too.  I've ben trying to articulate it.  My first thought is what I posted up-thread:  "This is what the 21st century is supposed to look like."  I remember a time when the future was going to be so cool.

My second thought was a quote from Babylon 5:

"See, in the last few years, we've stumbled... And when you stumble a lot, you...you start looking at your feet. You know, we have to make people lift their eyes back to the horizon and see the line of ancestors behind us saying, "Make my life have meaning." And to our inheritors before us saying, "Create the world we will live in." We're not just...holding jobs and having dinner. We're in the process of building the future. That's what [it's] all about. Only by making people understand that can we hope to create a better world for ourselves, and our posterity.” -- J. M. Straczinski

Those words mean a lot to me, so it seems incongruous to attach them to something as sublimely silly as launching a car into space on a test flight... but I do.  It's more than just the technological achievement of the successful flight.  Maybe it's that the silliness brings the human element to the metal and fire.  Maybe it's the juxtaposition of something so familiar and ordinary as a car in such an exotic and awe-inspiring setting that re-kindles in me the hope - dream, really - that ordinary me can someday have my own adventure in the "final frontier".
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: onebigmonkey on February 10, 2018, 01:58:47 PM
The car was indeed a very silly thing to do, and Musk is not shy of throwing in cultural reference points in many of his ventures so I don't doubt he's seen Heavy Metal.

The main thing for me though is that people who have no real interest in space, knew nothing about the idea that you could land a booster rocket and use it again or any of the other fine achievements in orbit, were asking about this. People who otherwise couldn't care less went "Wow..".

Maybe this will be the catalyst for some young kid that will spark an interest that will lead to greater things, just like Apollo did.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on February 10, 2018, 11:40:50 PM
The car was indeed a very silly thing to do...
I don't think it was all that silly a thing to do. Would people be going to SpaceX's LIVE channel to see video of a block of concrete (with "Dummy Payload" stencilled on the sides) to check on its progress? It got plenty of publicity, and as the old saying goes, "any publicity is good publicity". Sure, it got a few of the Musk haters all riled up, but hey, the Musk haters are a lost cause anyway; they will always hate no matter how much SpaceX succeeds, and we really only hear from them when they crawl out from under their flat stones to whinge about something.
 
Musk is not shy of throwing in cultural reference points in many of his ventures so I don't doubt he's seen Heavy Metal.
He sure isn't.

His drone ships (Just Read the Instructions, and Of Course I Still Love You) are named for ships in Iain Banks' sci-fi series The Culture

The words DON'T PANIC in large friendly letters on the GPS display are, of course, a direct reference to Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

And the car, well, that actually wasn't his idea, it actually came from his staff, but its a great reference to Soft Landing from the anthology movie Heavy Meta

Also worth mentioning is the fact that this launch also put into space a Cultural Arch containing a special 5D, laser optical quartz storage device on which Isaac Asimov's "Foundation" series was encoded.   

The main thing for me though is that people who have no real interest in space, knew nothing about the idea that you could land a booster rocket and use it again or any of the other fine achievements in orbit, were asking about this. People who otherwise couldn't care less went "Wow..".

Maybe this will be the catalyst for some young kid that will spark an interest that will lead to greater things, just like Apollo did.

100%. Its got people talking about space again...
Most of these people to whom you refer were probably unaware that SpaceX manage to safely land rocket cores in 5 of 8 attempts in 2016 and 14 of 14 attempts last year... making it look routine and easy... its neither.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: onebigmonkey on February 11, 2018, 03:14:12 AM
The car was indeed a very silly thing to do...
I don't think it was all that silly a thing to do. Would people be going to SpaceX's LIVE channel to see video of a block of concrete (with "Dummy Payload" stencilled on the sides) to check on its progress? It got plenty of publicity, and as the old saying goes, "any publicity is good publicity". Sure, it got a few of the Musk haters all riled up, but hey, the Musk haters are a lost cause anyway; they will always hate no matter how much SpaceX succeeds, and we really only hear from them when they crawl out from under their flat stones to whinge about something.

I meant 'silly' as in crazy and wild, not 'stupid' - I totally get why he did it, and if you're going to stick a lump of crazy payload in then why not do some crazy stuff with it. Elon's just this guy, you know ;)
 
Quote
Musk is not shy of throwing in cultural reference points in many of his ventures so I don't doubt he's seen Heavy Metal.
He sure isn't.

His drone ships (Just Read the Instructions, and Of Course I Still Love You) are named for ships in Iain Banks' sci-fi series The Culture

I had a feeling they were Banks inspired but wasn't sure they were actual ones - I got weary of his Culture novels after a while, they became overly self-referential for me. Big fan of his work generally though - I went to a reading of his, and my autographed copy of 'Song of Stone' was the one he read from.

Quote
The words DON'T PANIC in large friendly letters on the GPS display are, of course, a direct reference to Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

I believe there's a towel in the glove box :)

I also love the fact that there is a little model of the roadster on the dash, complete with model starman in it. I'm just hoping that on the dashboard of that model...
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on February 11, 2018, 05:03:50 AM
I  believe there's a towel in the glove box :)

... and small packet of peanuts?  8)

I also love the fact that there is a little model of the roadster on the dash, complete with model starman in it. I'm just hoping that on the dashboard of that model...

Oooh. "wheels" within "wheels"! I like it.... a reference to Ezekiel's vision of a sky chariot, or an acknowledgement of the complexity of space flight?
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Glom on February 11, 2018, 09:51:02 AM
A sook? As in an Arabic market? What has Arabic markets got to do with Falcon Heavy?
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on February 11, 2018, 02:45:48 PM
A sook? As in an Arabic market? What has Arabic markets got to do with Falcon Heavy?

That's a souq.

"Sook" is Aussie, NZ, Canadian slang for someone who is is easily upset... ie. a "crybaby".

"Wimp" has a similar meaning in the US
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Apollo 957 on February 11, 2018, 03:15:55 PM
"Sook" is Aussie, NZ, Canadian slang for someone who is is easily upset... ie. a "crybaby".

As an aside, it's also Scots slang for a sycophant.

A "sook" would "sook up" (suck up) to somebody...
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Bryanpoprobson on February 11, 2018, 03:35:02 PM
(http://i66.tinypic.com/hwacdx.jpg)  >:( ;D
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on February 11, 2018, 05:46:51 PM
(http://i66.tinypic.com/hwacdx.jpg)  >:( ;D

This can't be for real!

ETA: it not. Musk's actual response is shown here

https://www.snopes.com/elon-musk-donald-trump-dumbass/
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: raven on February 11, 2018, 08:11:38 PM
That's a souq.

"Sook" is Aussie, NZ, Canadian slang for someone who is is easily upset... ie. a "crybaby".

"Wimp" has a similar meaning in the US
I've never heard that one. Must be more an Eastern Canada thing. Kind of like how saying something is Skookum is a Western Canada thing, specifically the Pacific North West. It often means something is strong or, more generally, just terrific. As in "I added some of my mickey to my double-double, and it was just skookum."
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Bryanpoprobson on February 12, 2018, 02:17:01 AM
(http://i66.tinypic.com/hwacdx.jpg)  >:( ;D

This can't be for real!

ETA: it not. Musk's actual response is shown here

https://www.snopes.com/elon-musk-donald-trump-dumbass/

It was a good fake though. :)
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Count Zero on February 12, 2018, 03:37:05 AM
A sook? As in an Arabic market? What has Arabic markets got to do with Falcon Heavy?

That's a souq.

"Sook" is Aussie, NZ, Canadian slang for someone who is is easily upset... ie. a "crybaby".

"Wimp" has a similar meaning in the US

No, I think "sap" or "sucker" are better US equivalents.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Zakalwe on February 12, 2018, 07:01:01 AM
I've never heard that one. Must be more an Eastern Canada thing. Kind of like how saying something is Skookum is a Western Canada thing, specifically the Pacific North West. It often means something is strong or, more generally, just terrific. As in "I added some of my mickey to my double-double, and it was just skookum."

It's also a central part of AvE's lexicon (https://www.avespeak.com/index.php?title=Main_Page)...

Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Obviousman on February 12, 2018, 02:56:28 PM
A sook? As in an Arabic market? What has Arabic markets got to do with Falcon Heavy?

That's a souq.

"Sook" is Aussie, NZ, Canadian slang for someone who is is easily upset... ie. a "crybaby".

"Wimp" has a similar meaning in the US

No, I think "sap" or "sucker" are better US equivalents.

I have to disagree with you there. Being a sook in no way implies the person is some type of fool; it implies they are being overly emotional, perhaps being childish, weak, etc.

An example might be:

"Listen - you made a challenge and you lost. Now stop being such a sook about it and accept the outcome."

Some good definitions are here:

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Sook
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on February 14, 2018, 06:26:34 AM
This evening, I was watching the movie "The Martian" with a couple of friends, and something happened that I had completely forgotten.

As the scene/sequence played where the Chinese were preparing to launch the Taiyang Shen resupply mission to Hermes, and Watney was preparing the Rover to leave for the Ares 4 MAV at Schiaparelli, the incidental music being played in the background was....





Starman by David Bowie
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: elskeeper on February 14, 2018, 12:35:21 PM
Hey, fellas. I haven't been around in a long while, just wanted to pop in and express my unbridled, giggling schoolgirl delight about this Falcon Heavy launch. I'm too young to remember Apollo, but I swear this must be what it felt like to watch that unfold.

Can't wait to see what they do next. Hopefully Musk is right and this kicks off a brand new space race! Hopefully without a lot of the negative political BS this time, though...
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: elskeeper on February 15, 2018, 04:10:26 PM
Whoops. Off topic, but in the interest of full disclosure, apparently I actually have two accounts on this board, my other account is DD Brock. It seems this is the older of the two accounts, but I have no memory of setting this up.

I wouldn't have even discovered this, but this is a new iPad, and as I hadn't been here in some time I forgot what my username actually was and took a wild guess it was elskeeper when I logged in.

My apologies if I have violated the forum rules, it was not intentional, and I wanted to state all of this publicly. I will sign out with this account and revert to using my DD Brock account within 24 hours, as I have been engaged with Onebigmonkey via private message.

Again, my apologies,

Jason.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Geordie on February 16, 2018, 04:40:49 AM
That's a souq.

"Sook" is Aussie, NZ, Canadian slang for someone who is is easily upset... ie. a "crybaby".

"Wimp" has a similar meaning in the US
I've never heard that one. Must be more an Eastern Canada thing. Kind of like how saying something is Skookum is a Western Canada thing, specifically the Pacific North West. It often means something is strong or, more generally, just terrific. As in "I added some of my mickey to my double-double, and it was just skookum."
"Twenty-seven engines? Talk about skookum!"
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Glom on February 18, 2018, 06:38:44 PM
(http://i66.tinypic.com/hwacdx.jpg)  >:( ;D

This can't be for real!

ETA: it not. Musk's actual response is shown here

https://www.snopes.com/elon-musk-donald-trump-dumbass/

It was a good fake though. :)
I wouldn't call it good. The font is all wrong.

Besides, it's a poor attack. The actual ingenuity was done by many Americans, so (for once) Trump is actually correct about that regardless of Musk's background.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Apollo 957 on February 27, 2018, 01:56:52 PM
Further analysis of cloud patterns, comparing screen-grabs from SpaceX's 'Live views of Starman' video to a Himawari-8 weather satellite image taken around 10 mins before.

This covers the dozen or so rotations that the craft made in an hour or so crossing the Australian region, and shows the orientation and location of the craft each time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sC8Yh3UT-Do&t=9s (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sC8Yh3UT-Do&t=9s)
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Apollo 957 on March 02, 2018, 04:19:24 PM
Is there any data, anywhere, that details the orbital height of the roadster as it coasted around Earth on these (almost) two orbits?

One source says the orbit varied from 180km to 6950km, but is there any indication of when it reached max distance, and at what point it came back to minimum?
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Glom on March 02, 2018, 06:07:56 PM
Apogee and perigee.

Just sayin'
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: ka9q on June 17, 2018, 05:54:55 PM
Here's a message I sent out at the time with some element sets I found for the parking orbit.

starman
1 43205U 18017A   18037.94189123  .00000283 -50857-6  00000+0 0  9991
2 43205  29.0185 287.3580 3404246 180.0270 180.5840  8.75540848    00

Or in readable AMSAT format:

NORAD 43,205
COSPAR 18017A
Eccentricity 0.3404246
Inclination, deg 29.0185
RA of Node, deg 287.3580
Arg of Perigee, deg 180.0270
Mean Anomaly, deg 180.5840
Mean Motion, r/day 8.75540848
Period, min 164.46976783
Semimajor axis, m 9,943,769.1
Apogee, m 6,950,737.7
Perigee, m 180,530.5
Ndot, r/day^2 0.00000283
Ndotdot, r/day^3 -0.00000051
Epoch age, days 0.090389
Epoch 18037.94189123
06 Feb 2018 22:36:19.402272 UTC

Confirmed by visual observation from San Diego before and during earth escape burn

NB: these elements were PRIOR to the burn and are no longer valid

Today I found a slightly younger version, but these are also for the parking orbit before the escape burn:


1 43205U 18017A   18038.05572533 +.00020608 -51169-6 +11058-3 0  9994
2 43205 029.0165 287.1006 3403068 180.4827 179.1544 08.75117793000017

Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on July 22, 2018, 07:33:17 PM
A friend of mine, who knows I am a space nerd, sent me a link to this, and I thought it was worth sharing here.

For those who are fans of James Horner's movie scores, in particular, his outstanding score for Ron Howard's "Apollo 13", I think you will enjoy this...

 
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Dalhousie on July 26, 2018, 08:20:16 AM
Unlike this stunt, Apollo 13 was actually inspiring
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on July 26, 2018, 05:33:21 PM
Unlike this stunt, Apollo 13 was actually inspiring

A stunt? Really?

Its sad that you feel that way.

Would you have preferred they launch a slab of concrete instead, or perhaps risk someone's multi-million dollar satellite on a test flight that could have blown up on the launch pad?
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: molesworth on July 27, 2018, 02:24:02 AM
Unlike this stunt, Apollo 13 was actually inspiring

A stunt? Really?

Its sad that you feel that way.

Would you have preferred they launch a slab of concrete instead, or perhaps risk someone's multi-million dollar satellite on a test flight that could have blown up on the launch pad?
Indeed!  I was just about to say the same thing.

Plus, the huge amount of publicity has helped inspire a lot of young people to think about their futures as being in space, science and technology, which is definitely a good outcome, whatever you might think about the "stunt" aspect of launching a car.

(Anyway, I thought it was cool and fun  :D )
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Zakalwe on July 27, 2018, 04:21:11 AM
Unlike this stunt, Apollo 13 was actually inspiring

If you weren't inspired by the sight of the two boosters simultaneously landing back at the launch site then you aren't easily affected by much!
Personally I thought that Starman was a great touch....the views were spectacular and I loved the whole sheer spectacle of it. If you went to someone 20 years ago and said that in the near future we'd have a quixotic billionaire trying to set up a Mars colony and in doing so he built the first reusable boosters that fly themselves back to their base, and in the first test of his new heavy booster he'd send an electric car into orbit as a laugh, they'd look at you with both envy and awe.

Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Jason Thompson on July 27, 2018, 10:11:32 AM
It wasn't a stunt, it was a test launch of a new booster. It's a shame people are so hung up about the imagery of a spacecman in a car and can't appreciate the actual purpose. It wasn't done to put a car into space, it was done to show the cabailities of a new, reusable rocket system, and it succeeded.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: jfb on July 27, 2018, 10:46:04 AM
Unlike this stunt, Apollo 13 was actually inspiring

Apples to kumquats.  Apollo 13 was a mission gone wrong, with extremely high cost for failure; the FH test flight was, well, a test flight with a whimsical mass simulator, and there was a non-zero chance it would kaboom on the pad.   

While I personally wouldn't use the word "inspiring" for the FH flight myself, it was exciting, and Starman was a pretty epic gag. 
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on July 27, 2018, 08:50:33 PM
If you went to someone 20 years ago and said that in the near future we'd have a quixotic billionaire trying to set up a Mars colony and in doing so he built the first reusable boosters that fly themselves back to their base, and in the first test of his new heavy booster he'd send an electric car into orbit as a laugh, they'd look at you with both envy and awe.

And shortly afterwards, they would be calling in the nice young men in their white coats!
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Glom on July 31, 2018, 07:42:06 AM
Unlike this stunt, Apollo 13 was actually inspiring

A stunt? Really?

Its sad that you feel that way.

Would you have preferred they launch a slab of concrete instead, or perhaps risk someone's multi-million dollar satellite on a test flight that could have blown up on the launch pad?
Indeed!  I was just about to say the same thing.

Plus, the huge amount of publicity has helped inspire a lot of young people to think about their futures as being in space, science and technology, which is definitely a good outcome, whatever you might think about the "stunt" aspect of launching a car.

(Anyway, I thought it was cool and fun  :D )
Noooo. I don't need the competition.

Though the other effect is an expansion of general interest leading to an expansion of the market leading to more demand for lil ole me.
Title: First Falcon Heavy Commercial Flight.
Post by: smartcooky on April 11, 2019, 07:08:54 PM
SpaceX have just gone one better, landing all three boosters, with centre core executing the longest downrange landing so far at 900km. Gosh, these guys make this look easy.

However, I have a couple of questions for the aerospace experts here

1. SpaceX talk about the landing of the centre core being particularly challenging. Is this because it burns for longer, therefore achieves a greater velocity, and therefore the re-entry is faster? Are there also other aspects that make it more challenging?

2. The payload size for a single Falcon 9 can reach a point where it would be required to expend the core. Am I right in suggesting that they ought never need to expend a core on a Falcon 9 flight, because any flight that would need this could simply be flown on Falcon Heavy, where all three cores can be recovered - effectively getting more than 90% of their hardware back.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: ka9q on April 11, 2019, 08:58:04 PM
I don't know for sure, but it certainly seems like anything flown on an expendable F9 could be flown on a fully recovered F9H. But I'd have to check the handbook. Launch vehicles generally have published user's handbooks that show payload capacity as a function of orbital apogee, perigee and inclination. For the F9, this would also specify which components are recovered or expended.

Last I looked, though, the F9 handbook didn't have a lot of the information I'd seen in the handbooks for other launch vehicles.

It remains to be seen exactly when a recovered F9H would be more economical than an expended F9. The economics of recovery depend on both the failure rate and the cost of refurbishment. If you lose just one of the three first stages of a F9H, as happened in the first flight, you're already worse off than had you flown a deliberately expended F9.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: VQ on April 11, 2019, 11:21:41 PM
I don't know for sure, but it certainly seems like anything flown on an expendable F9 could be flown on a fully recovered F9H. But I'd have to check the handbook. Launch vehicles generally have published user's handbooks that show payload capacity as a function of orbital apogee, perigee and inclination. For the F9, this would also specify which components are recovered or expended.

Last I looked, though, the F9 handbook didn't have a lot of the information I'd seen in the handbooks for other launch vehicles.

It remains to be seen exactly when a recovered F9H would be more economical than an expended F9. The economics of recovery depend on both the failure rate and the cost of refurbishment. If you lose just one of the three first stages of a F9H, as happened in the first flight, you're already worse off than had you flown a deliberately expended F9.

Particularly if the F9 boosters are not infinitely refurbishable. If reliability is not a concern, the end-of-life boosters could be used for the final, non-recovery high payload launches.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: bknight on April 12, 2019, 08:22:16 AM
Congratulations to SpaceX and their FH, recovering both boosters and the center core, then delivering the paid spacecraft into geo stationary orbit.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Apollo 957 on April 12, 2019, 12:22:06 PM
Congratulations to SpaceX and their FH, recovering both boosters and the center core, then delivering the paid spacecraft into geo stationary orbit.

This.

Seriously impressed. The FH test flight was still a creditable "two out of three ain't bad", though...
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: bknight on April 12, 2019, 12:27:38 PM
Congratulations to SpaceX and their FH, recovering both boosters and the center core, then delivering the paid spacecraft into geo stationary orbit.

This.

Seriously impressed. The FH test flight was still a creditable "two out of three ain't bad", though...

I heard on CQ that they also recovered both fairing halves, but I can't confirm that SpaceX web site isn't too helpful.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Zakalwe on April 12, 2019, 12:40:33 PM
Congratulations to SpaceX and their FH, recovering both boosters and the center core, then delivering the paid spacecraft into geo stationary orbit.

This.

Seriously impressed. The FH test flight was still a creditable "two out of three ain't bad", though...

I heard on CQ that they also recovered both fairing halves, but I can't confirm that SpaceX web site isn't too helpful.

It was on Teslarati.com earlier. They didn't use the Mr. Steven boat, but let them land in the sea. Looks like SpaceX have found a way to protect against saltwater exposure. They'll reuse the fairings in a Starling launch later.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: bknight on April 12, 2019, 03:35:32 PM
Congratulations to SpaceX and their FH, recovering both boosters and the center core, then delivering the paid spacecraft into geo stationary orbit.

This.

Seriously impressed. The FH test flight was still a creditable "two out of three ain't bad", though...

I heard on CQ that they also recovered both fairing halves, but I can't confirm that SpaceX web site isn't too helpful.
The person CQ, admits it was a mistake.  No recovery was attempted as Zakalwe posted.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on April 12, 2019, 04:13:11 PM
Here are the two fairing halves on the recovery boat.

Note the silvery material on the tip. I've never seen that before.... heat shielding?

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/yor7vhb9qfbvj2s/FH-ArabsatFairing1.jpg?raw=1)(https://www.dropbox.com/s/gifhp1px79ywm8h/FH-ArabsatFairing2.jpg?raw=1)
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: bknight on April 12, 2019, 04:51:59 PM
Here are the two fairing halves on the recovery boat.

Note the silvery material on the tip. I've never seen that before.... heat shielding?

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/yor7vhb9qfbvj2s/FH-ArabsatFairing1.jpg?raw=1)(https://www.dropbox.com/s/gifhp1px79ywm8h/FH-ArabsatFairing2.jpg?raw=1)

Don't know what the silvery stuff is, but you are correct.
https://www.universetoday.com/141972/spacex-does-it-again-with-second-retrieval-of-falcon-heavy-rocket/
See Tweet fron Elan about half way down.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on April 12, 2019, 07:31:01 PM
OK, so back to one of my original questions.

SpaceX say that the landing of the centre core is more "challenging" than a normal F9 downrange landing.

The only thing I can think of that would make this so, is that because it continues to burn for a minute two more, it attains a higher velocity, so in order to land, its re-entry energy will be higher. The side boosters effectively reverse direction with the boostback burn (well actually, they continue to climb and perform a 3/4 loop), but as far as I could tell, there were no additional burns for the centre core. It thumps along at whatever velocity it was doing at MECO, and gathers speed as it falls back to earth, and only performed the single entry burn,

Is this all there is to it, or are there other factors that make it more challenging?

ETA: I just found some interesting figures on a reddit post

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/bcdss4/some_meco_and_beco_speeds/

FH Block 5 Arabsat 6A
Booster Engine Cutoff (BECO) 5,800 km/h
Main Engine Cutoof (MECO) 10,730 km/h

Holy Crapola - and it would only get faster as it falls back to earth

I think this probably answers my question.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: ka9q on April 13, 2019, 03:02:21 AM
It loses a lot to the atmosphere; an empty, light rocket booster apparently makes a good parachute.

But there are limits. I think of the entry burn as a "landing on the atmosphere", necessary to keep the stage from breaking apart as the air gets exponentially thicker. I'm sure this has been analyzed to death, as you don't want to spend any more delta-V on this than absolutely necessary to keep the stage intact.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Peter B on April 13, 2019, 03:19:29 AM
ETA: I just found some interesting figures on a reddit post

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/bcdss4/some_meco_and_beco_speeds/

FH Block 5 Arabsat 6A
Booster Engine Cutoff (BECO) 5,800 km/h
Main Engine Cutoof (MECO) 10,730 km/h

Holy Crapola - and it would only get faster as it falls back to earth

I think this probably answers my question.

Just for comparison, on the FH Test Flight in 2018, the comparative figures were:

BECO: roughly 6850 km/h
MECO: roughly 9500 km/h

That means the core booster remained throttled up for longer while the boosters were attached (compared to the latest launch), doesn't it? Or the boosters were throttled down for longer?
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: JayUtah on April 13, 2019, 02:24:38 PM
Yeah, typically an unfilled, unpressurized stage fuselage is fairly susceptible to bending moments, but I haven't seen any figures for the F9.  And I don't know what precise aerodynamic loads SpaceX is most worried about.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: ka9q on April 13, 2019, 06:55:47 PM
I assume the stage is kept fully pressurized, since it still has to perform an landing burn. But even with the entry burn, you do see a lot of shaking as the stage falls into the lower atmosphere.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Peter B on April 14, 2019, 02:21:24 AM
For an interesting comparison, I just watched a couple of videos of the launch and landing of the side boosters simultaneously. One was the official SpaceX broadcast while the other was a video recorded by a visitor at the Cape, who was able to keep the boosters in view for their entire flight (search with "Falcon Heavy Launch and Landing - Nikon P1000"). With my amateur efforts I had the two videos synched to within about a second.

Fascinating to compare the views from the boosters with the view of the boosters from the ground.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Peter B on April 14, 2019, 02:23:48 AM
A quick question about the booster separation, please.

How are the boosters connected to the core stage, and how does separation occur? The reason I ask is that, watching the video, the separation process seems to take about two seconds. Initially the boosters seemed to push upwards relative to the core stage for about a second, pause, and then peel away.

Is that what happened or did my eyes deceive me?
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Dalhousie on April 14, 2019, 04:39:54 AM
Unlike this stunt, Apollo 13 was actually inspiring

A stunt? Really?

Its sad that you feel that way.

Would you have preferred they launch a slab of concrete instead, or perhaps risk someone's multi-million dollar satellite on a test flight that could have blown up on the launch pad?

Yes, because it would have actually done something useful. SpaceX/Musk had at least years to develop a useful payload.  There are many possibilities.  Is launching a car really the best they could have come with?

There have been 20 first launches in the past 30 years.  Only one (Angara) carried a mass simulator.  The rest, with the exception of the car stunt, carried useful functioning - satellites (Delta 2, Pegasus,  PLSV, Minotaur C, H-2, Ariane 5, GLSV, Delta IV,  KZ 1, F-1,  Long March 5, Electron, ZQ-1, OS-1B ), boilerplate spacecraft (F-5), or both (Antares, LM-5).  Even the previous first SpaceX launches carried useful payloads.

Of the 20 launches seven (35%) were failures.  This did not stop the launching entities maximising the launch opportunities
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Dalhousie on April 14, 2019, 04:41:02 AM
Unlike this stunt, Apollo 13 was actually inspiring

A stunt? Really?

Its sad that you feel that way.

It's more sad that people idolise point less stunts

Quote

Plus, the huge amount of publicity has helped inspire a lot of young people to think about their futures as being in space, science and technology, which is definitely a good outcome, whatever you might think about the "stunt" aspect of launching a car.

It seems to have worn off.  People are more inspired by actual achievements.

Quote
(Anyway, I thought it was cool and fun  :D )

You can think what you like of it, but when a rich narcissist builds the world's largest rocket and then, after 13 years or more to prepare for it, all he puts into orbit is a surplus car then yes, I call it a stunt.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Zakalwe on April 14, 2019, 07:34:31 AM
Unlike this stunt, Apollo 13 was actually inspiring

A stunt? Really?

Its sad that you feel that way.

Would you have preferred they launch a slab of concrete instead, or perhaps risk someone's multi-million dollar satellite on a test flight that could have blown up on the launch pad?

Yes, because it would have actually done something useful. SpaceX/Musk had at least years to develop a useful payload.  There are many possibilities.  Is launching a car really the best they could have come with?

There have been 20 first launches in the past 30 years.  Only one (Angara) carried a mass simulator.  The rest, with the exception of the car stunt, carried useful functioning - satellites (Delta 2, Pegasus,  PLSV, Minotaur C, H-2, Ariane 5, GLSV, Delta IV,  KZ 1, F-1,  Long March 5, Electron, ZQ-1, OS-1B ), boilerplate spacecraft (F-5), or both (Antares, LM-5).  Even the previous first SpaceX launches carried useful payloads.

Of the 20 launches seven (35%) were failures.  This did not stop the launching entities maximising the launch opportunities

Sense of humour failure alert.
Lighten up...it was most definitely a stunt, and an epic one at that. Thankfully not everything in life has to be worthy all the time.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on April 14, 2019, 08:08:22 AM
You can think what you like of it, but when a rich narcissist builds the world's largest rocket and then, after 13 years or more to prepare for it, all he puts into orbit is a surplus car then yes, I call it a stunt.

Oh, I get it now. You're a Musk hater... and that's OK, he's not everyone's cup of tea.

Frankly, I think he has done more to advance rocket science in the last 13 years than any person, group or entity has in the last 50...

is anyone else bringing 90% of their launch hardware back and reusing it?
has anyone else reduced the cost per kg to LEO by over 60%

There have been 20 first launches in the past 30 years.  Only one (Angara) carried a mass simulator.  The rest, with the exception of the car stunt, carried useful functioning - satellites (Delta 2, Pegasus,  PLSV, Minotaur C, H-2, Ariane 5, GLSV, Delta IV,  KZ 1, F-1,  Long March 5, Electron, ZQ-1, OS-1B ), boilerplate spacecraft (F-5), or both (Antares, LM-5).  Even the previous first SpaceX launches carried useful payloads.

Of the 20 launches seven (35%) were failures.  This did not stop the launching entities maximising the launch opportunities

That is a one in three chance of losing my multi-million dollar satellite.

Thanks, but no thanks Mr Musk, I'll have you launch mine on one of your standard Falcon 9FT's - I find their 97% success rate more appealing.


Now moving right along...

A quick question about the booster separation, please.

How are the boosters connected to the core stage, and how does separation occur? The reason I ask is that, watching the video, the separation process seems to take about two seconds. Initially the boosters seemed to push upwards relative to the core stage for about a second, pause, and then peel away.

Is that what happened or did my eyes deceive me?

SpaceX doesn't like using pyrotechnics for this sort of thing, because of the potential for damage and debris.

AIUI, they use pneumatic pushers to separate the boosters. The top set of latches release first and the pushers push the top of the booster so that they tilt away from the centre core, then the bottom latches & pushers are activated. Even though there is very little air at the booster separation altitude, the whole spacecraft is cracking along at about 6,000 km/h, so there is sufficient aerodynamic force to help push the booster away.

I think is a bit of an optical illusion that the boosters appear to come forwards.

If you go to this video, press pause, advance to exactly 24:30, click on the little gear icon and set the speed to .25 you can watch the separation in slo-mo.

Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: bknight on April 14, 2019, 10:25:41 AM
I assume the stage is kept fully pressurized, since it still has to perform an landing burn. But even with the entry burn, you do see a lot of shaking as the stage falls into the lower atmosphere.

While the stage may be pressurized there is a separate tankage system for the reentry burns.

https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthread.php?149827-SpaceX/page56
See post #1671 for cutaway drawing of the F9.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Apollo 957 on April 15, 2019, 09:43:24 AM
In amongst all the other amateur video of the recent launch/landing, I came across this one from a couple of pilots who flew just outside the "no-fly" zone in order to capture it ...

Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: gillianren on April 15, 2019, 11:20:03 AM
Gosh, what could there possibly be to hate about Elon Musk?
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: jfb on April 15, 2019, 05:11:34 PM
Gosh, what could there possibly be to hate about Elon Musk?

Narcissistic, thin-skinned, mercurial - basically a modern Howard Hughes in all the good and bad ways.  Tesla is successfully building and selling cars, but more often than not they're in the news because Elon has no filter between his brain and Twitter account.  He got on the wrong side of the SEC over a freaking weed joke (that just happened to move the stock price). 

Of course, the other major issue with Tesla is that they're applying the Silly Valley mentality (move fast, break things, fake it 'til you make it, go public before anyone looks too closely) to auto manufacturing, which has over a century's worth of inertia (and hard-won wisdom) behind it, so there's already some friction just in how the cars are being built.  Then you have a car company acting more like a software company in how they build and sell their product, which has everyone on their heels. 

I'm convinced SpaceX does so well precisely because Elon's not the CEO.  Gwynne runs the show day-to-day, while Elon sets the overall vision.  He needs an equivalent at Tesla. 
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: ka9q on April 15, 2019, 05:30:02 PM
I agree it was largely a stunt, though admittedly a fun one. (Seeing the escape burn from San Diego was certainly memorable.) But this test launch could have carried a substantial payload into a useful earth orbit, and that would have been very appealing to a lot of spacecraft operators even though it was a first launch. I know AMSAT would have gladly taken the risk.

Musk repeatedly said that the Tesla would go to Mars, but it became obvious to me that wouldn't be the case. First, there was no provision to decelerate into Mars orbit, so at most it would be a flyby. Then I noticed that the 2018 Mars launch window wouldn't open for another few months, which meant it couldn't go anywhere near Mars.  But Musk was obviously determined to do an escape trajectory,  and that was definitely much less interesting. I'm not even sure I'd have found a use for a random 1 x 1.5 AU solar orbit.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: ka9q on April 15, 2019, 05:47:04 PM
Oh, I get it now. You're a Musk hater... and that's OK, he's not everyone's cup of tea.

Frankly, I think he has done more to advance rocket science in the last 13 years than any person, group or entity has in the last 50...
He certainly has pushed both rocket and EV technology more than anyone recently. But my opinion of Musk has gone down in the past year or so. I really wish the guy would take a vacation. He needs one.

Quote
That is a one in three chance of losing my multi-million dollar satellite.

Thanks, but no thanks Mr Musk, I'll have you launch mine on one of your standard Falcon 9FT's - I find their 97% success rate more appealing.
Do you know how much launches normally cost? A free launch significantly affects the economics for all but the most expensive spacecraft.
Quote
SpaceX doesn't like using pyrotechnics for this sort of thing, because of the potential for damage and debris.
Pyros are pretty reliable and safe in practice. I think one reason SpaceX avoids them is to simplify launch preparations. Once stuff like hypergolic fuels and pyros are on a spacecraft or launch vehicle, safety and access rules become very strict and can really slow down operations.

Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: AtomicDog on April 15, 2019, 09:29:40 PM
What Elon Musk has done, or has enabled to be done, has earned my undying respect.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: gillianren on April 16, 2019, 11:05:03 AM
Gosh, what could there possibly be to hate about Elon Musk?

Narcissistic, thin-skinned, mercurial - basically a modern Howard Hughes in all the good and bad ways.  Tesla is successfully building and selling cars, but more often than not they're in the news because Elon has no filter between his brain and Twitter account.  He got on the wrong side of the SEC over a freaking weed joke (that just happened to move the stock price). 

Not to mention his pretty awful mistreatment of his employees that he wants people to just not talk about.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: AtomicDog on April 16, 2019, 01:44:27 PM
Gosh, what could there possibly be to hate about Elon Musk?

Nothing.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on April 16, 2019, 03:01:20 PM
Back on topic, r/space have reported that the centre core was lost over the side during heavy seas (8m swells). Apparently, the this octo-grabber robot thingy they use to anchor the core to the deck of the drone ship does not work with a centre core due to the extensive structure modifications required to use a F9 core as the centre of FH.

Unfortunate.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Zakalwe on April 16, 2019, 03:21:49 PM
Back on topic, r/space have reported that the centre core was lost over the side during heavy seas (8m swells). Apparently, the this octo-grabber robot thingy they use to anchor the core to the deck of the drone ship does not work with a centre core due to the extensive structure modifications required to use a F9 core as the centre of FH.

Unfortunate.

I saw that. What a shame to survive a 10,000Km/h re-entry, to find a tiny drone ship in the middle of the Atlantic, land on it and then to lose it due to heavy seas.

You would think that they would have planned a way to secure it...didnt they used to weld the footpads to the deck? Mind you, with 8 metre swells I'm not too sure that i'd fancy working to weld a 30 metre column to a deck especially if it was sliding all over the shop!
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Glom on April 16, 2019, 04:05:25 PM
It's proof that the sea is above all the most hostile.

Maybe a black hole is worse.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: jfb on April 16, 2019, 04:22:26 PM
Unlike this stunt, Apollo 13 was actually inspiring

A stunt? Really?

Its sad that you feel that way.

It's more sad that people idolise point less stunts

Quote

Plus, the huge amount of publicity has helped inspire a lot of young people to think about their futures as being in space, science and technology, which is definitely a good outcome, whatever you might think about the "stunt" aspect of launching a car.

It seems to have worn off.  People are more inspired by actual achievements.

Quote
(Anyway, I thought it was cool and fun  :D )

You can think what you like of it, but when a rich narcissist builds the world's largest rocket and then, after 13 years or more to prepare for it, all he puts into orbit is a surplus car then yes, I call it a stunt.
This was a test flight.  There was a non-zero chance that it would fail to leave the pad.  Up to that point nobody'd managed to successfully launch something with that many engines, and it was SpaceX's first flight with a multi-booster vehicle.  Nobody was 100% certain they'd got the aero modeling right, nobody was 100% certain booster separation would work properly, etc. 

Being a test flight, they weren't going to risk a paying customer's very expensive bird, so they needed a mass simulator.  It could have been a concrete block or another boilerplate Dragon carrying a wheel of cheese like the first COTS demo flight, but Elon's roadster with Starman was too good a gag to pass up. 

Cheap PR, sure, but not pointless
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: jfb on April 16, 2019, 06:03:12 PM
Gosh, what could there possibly be to hate about Elon Musk?

Nothing.

I appreciate what Musk has done with SpaceX and Tesla.  He is a visionary, and has some real smarts to go with it.

He's also a weapons-grade asshole.  I realize that comes with the territory - innovators like Thomas Edison and Henry Ford and Howard Hughes were also garbage human beings.  They accomplished great things, things that genuinely improved our standard of living, but as people they were truly awful. 

Cults of personality are bad.  Musk should not get a free pass on his behavior just because he's helping open access to space.  He should not be rewarded for being a dick. 
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: AtomicDog on April 16, 2019, 06:26:06 PM
Gosh, what could there possibly be to hate about Elon Musk?

Nothing.

I appreciate what Musk has done with SpaceX and Tesla.  He is a visionary, and has some real smarts to go with it.

He's also a weapons-grade asshole.  I realize that comes with the territory - innovators like Thomas Edison and Henry Ford and Howard Hughes were also garbage human beings.  They accomplished great things, things that genuinely improved our standard of living, but as people they were truly awful. 

Cults of personality are bad.  Musk should not get a free pass on his behavior just because he's helping open access to space.  He should not be rewarded for being a dick. 

And no one is. I am rewarding him for his accomplishments. I am giving him a pass for being human.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on April 16, 2019, 11:46:06 PM
This was a test flight.  There was a non-zero chance that it would fail to leave the pad.  Up to that point nobody'd managed to successfully launch something with that many engines, and it was SpaceX's first flight with a multi-booster vehicle.  Nobody was 100% certain they'd got the aero modeling right, nobody was 100% certain booster separation would work properly, etc. 

Being a test flight, they weren't going to risk a paying customer's very expensive bird, so they needed a mass simulator.  It could have been a concrete block or another boilerplate Dragon carrying a wheel of cheese like the first COTS demo flight, but Elon's roadster with Starman was too good a gag to pass up. 

Cheap PR, sure, but not pointless

“There’s, like, a lot that can go wrong there … it’s guaranteed to be exciting. There’s a lot of risk associated with Falcon Heavy, a real good chance that that vehicle does not make it to orbit.”
-Elon Musk, July 2017 (at the ISS R&D Conference in Washington DC)

“Just bear in mind that there is a good chance this monster rocket blows up, so I wouldn’t put anything of irreplaceable sentimental value on it,”
-Elon Musk, December 2017 (in an interview with Phil Plait)

Accordingly, if the guy who owns the rocket company is not very confident that the rocket won't fail, then I would not be risking my multi-million dollar satellite on top of it.

Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: ka9q on April 17, 2019, 12:50:46 AM
I keep trying to tell you guys that even though your satellite costs millions of dollars, so do rocket launches!

Let the satellite cost be $S and the usual launch cost $L. So the usual mission cost would be $(S+L). Now let's assume you can fly free to your desired orbit on a new launch vehicle with an estimated probability of success P. Then if you take in the cost of building a new satellite if the launch fails, your expected mission cost will be $(S/P), assuming you are offered a free reflight if the first launch fails. If $(S/P) < $(S+L), you still want to risk the test flight.

Of course, even operational launch vehicles can fail so you need to insert another factor into the right side of the inequality to account for that.

Obviously there are exceptions; if your mission is time sensitive, e.g., it must hit an interplanetary launch window, then you can't afford a launch failure because you can't afford to wait for a replacement spacecraft to be built.
 
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on April 17, 2019, 07:21:58 AM
I keep trying to tell you guys that even though your satellite costs millions of dollars, so do rocket launches!

Let the satellite cost be $S and the usual launch cost $L. So the usual mission cost would be $(S+L). Now let's assume you can fly free to your desired orbit on a new launch vehicle with an estimated probability of success P. Then if you take in the cost of building a new satellite if the launch fails, your expected mission cost will be $(S/P), assuming you are offered a free reflight if the first launch fails. If $(S/P) < $(S+L), you still want to risk the test flight.

Of course, even operational launch vehicles can fail so you need to insert another factor into the right side of the inequality to account for that.

Obviously there are exceptions; if your mission is time sensitive, e.g., it must hit an interplanetary launch window, then you can't afford a launch failure because you can't afford to wait for a replacement spacecraft to be built.
 

Unless of course, it has taken my company some years to build this satellite of mine, and it will take them more years to build another one if the launch fails. Meantime, I have lost not only the satellite, but some years of revenue from whatever the satellite was for until its replacement is built.

Its not just about the cost of the launch and the hardware. With a communications satellite, its lost customers, and under-utilised infrastructure; with a mining surviellance satellite, its about opportunities lost to competitors, with a scientific research satellite, it could be about discoveries and scientific research papers delayed. 

My point is, its not a one-size-fits-all situation. I would no more be willing to put my satellite on a new design of rocket that is being flown for the first time, than I would be willing to take a free ride on a new design of aeroplane that was being flown for the first time.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Peter B on April 17, 2019, 08:00:44 AM
In amongst all the other amateur video of the recent launch/landing, I came across this one from a couple of pilots who flew just outside the "no-fly" zone in order to capture it ...



Must be fake - how can we hear these guys over the sound of the engine (*cough* LM engines *cough*)!  ::)

Seriously, that's some spectacular footage.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Peter B on April 17, 2019, 08:50:07 AM
SpaceX/Musk had at least years to develop a useful payload.  There are many possibilities.  Is launching a car really the best they could have come with?

Perhaps it was. All sorts of people perform stunts to generate publicity. If in SpaceX's case that leads to more customers, or more competition for available launch slots (and thus higher launch revenues) then isn't that a good thing for SpaceX? Perhaps you could do a cost-benefit analysis and get back to us...

Quote
There have been 20 first launches in the past 30 years.  Only one (Angara) carried a mass simulator.  The rest, with the exception of the car stunt, carried useful functioning - satellites (Delta 2, Pegasus,  PLSV, Minotaur C, H-2, Ariane 5, GLSV, Delta IV,  KZ 1, F-1,  Long March 5, Electron, ZQ-1, OS-1B ), boilerplate spacecraft (F-5), or both (Antares, LM-5).  Even the previous first SpaceX launches carried useful payloads.

Of the 20 launches seven (35%) were failures.  This did not stop the launching entities maximising the launch opportunities

With the greatest of respect, perhaps it would be more illuminating to compare like with like. In the case of Falcon Heavy this means comparing it with other launchers which feature side-mounted boosters which are a significant proportion of the size of the first stage (or are common core boosters). Why so? Because of the additional problems such launches face when compared with single-stack rockets - stresses on the connections between the boosters and core stages during acceleration especially when they're operating at different thrust levels, separation mechanisms, and aerodynamic effects are just three which come to mind. So what were the payloads of the various FH equivalents:

Angara A5: mass simulator (success)
Ariane 5: live payload (failure)
Delta IV Heavy: boilerplate (failure)
Long March 5: unclear (success, although there were problems during launch)

Have I missed any? But even so, that's a far lower proportion of live payloads for this style of rocket, suggesting that first flights for these sorts of rockets are less attractive than they are for single-stack rockets. And, judging by the success rate, for good reason.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: jfb on April 17, 2019, 10:17:45 AM
I keep trying to tell you guys that even though your satellite costs millions of dollars, so do rocket launches!

Let the satellite cost be $S and the usual launch cost $L. So the usual mission cost would be $(S+L). Now let's assume you can fly free to your desired orbit on a new launch vehicle with an estimated probability of success P. Then if you take in the cost of building a new satellite if the launch fails, your expected mission cost will be $(S/P), assuming you are offered a free reflight if the first launch fails. If $(S/P) < $(S+L), you still want to risk the test flight.

Of course, even operational launch vehicles can fail so you need to insert another factor into the right side of the inequality to account for that.

Obviously there are exceptions; if your mission is time sensitive, e.g., it must hit an interplanetary launch window, then you can't afford a launch failure because you can't afford to wait for a replacement spacecraft to be built.

Actually, now that I think about it, I remember reading somewhere that SpaceX did offer a ride at a discount to several customers (including NASA), but had no takers.  Nobody wanted to risk it. 
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: gillianren on April 17, 2019, 10:26:55 AM
And no one is. I am rewarding him for his accomplishments. I am giving him a pass for being human.

I think ignoring the very real problems with Elon Musk the person goes a bit beyond "giving him a pass for being human," myself.  His factory is unsafe for its employees, and he wants that ignored because he's so important.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: AtomicDog on April 17, 2019, 11:18:22 AM
And no one is. I am rewarding him for his accomplishments. I am giving him a pass for being human.

I think ignoring the very real problems with Elon Musk the person goes a bit beyond "giving him a pass for being human," myself.  His factory is unsafe for its employees, and he wants that ignored because he's so important.

I assume that you have evidence of this.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Glom on April 17, 2019, 11:18:51 AM
Is it? I hadn't heard this. Have their been safety incidents?
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Peter B on April 17, 2019, 11:53:47 AM
And no one is. I am rewarding him for his accomplishments. I am giving him a pass for being human.

I think ignoring the very real problems with Elon Musk the person goes a bit beyond "giving him a pass for being human," myself.  His factory is unsafe for its employees, and he wants that ignored because he's so important.

I assume that you have evidence of this.

Googling tesla factory safety produces a bunch of articles published in the last six months or so from mainstream media sites: Fortune, Forbes, The Guardian, NY Times, CNBC. It's not the best reading.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: AtomicDog on April 17, 2019, 12:25:03 PM
And no one is. I am rewarding him for his accomplishments. I am giving him a pass for being human.

I think ignoring the very real problems with Elon Musk the person goes a bit beyond "giving him a pass for being human," myself.  His factory is unsafe for its employees, and he wants that ignored because he's so important.

I assume that you have evidence of this.

Googling tesla factory safety produces a bunch of articles published in the last six months or so from mainstream media sites: Fortune, Forbes, The Guardian, NY Times, CNBC. It's not the best reading.

I can Google, too. I have found articles claiming that these articles are anti-Tesla hit pieces, backed by big oil, union organizers, rival car manufacturers, and investors trying to bring down Tesla stock because they have a short interest. Who should I believe?
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: jfb on April 17, 2019, 01:06:03 PM
Per Forbes (https://www.forbes.com/sites/alanohnsman/2019/02/01/tesla-says-plant-worker-injuries-stayed-flat-in-2018-amid-production-hell/#4a9e0b415c46)

Quote
Data Tesla is filing with the Department of Labor shows the Fremont, California, factory that makes all its Model 3 and S sedans and X crossovers averaged 6.2 injuries per 100 workers last year, unchanged from 2017, safety chief Laurie Shelby told Forbes. That’s also identical to a 6.2-per-100 worker rate for overall automobile manufacturing in 2017, the latest year for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics has data. The rate across all industries, not just manufacturing, was 2.8 injuries per 100 workers, the BLS said in November.

Tesla isn't an unsafe working environment by auto manufacturing standards.  It may be an unpleasant work environment, or at least was during the Model 3 push, which by all accounts was a nightmare for everyone involved. 
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Peter B on April 21, 2019, 10:47:26 AM
And no one is. I am rewarding him for his accomplishments. I am giving him a pass for being human.

I think ignoring the very real problems with Elon Musk the person goes a bit beyond "giving him a pass for being human," myself.  His factory is unsafe for its employees, and he wants that ignored because he's so important.

I assume that you have evidence of this.

Googling tesla factory safety produces a bunch of articles published in the last six months or so from mainstream media sites: Fortune, Forbes, The Guardian, NY Times, CNBC. It's not the best reading.

I can Google, too. I have found articles claiming that these articles are anti-Tesla hit pieces, backed by big oil, union organizers, rival car manufacturers, and investors trying to bring down Tesla stock because they have a short interest.

I could say that's a very Elon Musk sort of thing to say, or I could settle for calling it poisoning the well.

Quote
Who should I believe?

I think most of the regulars here would have the answer for you - look at the evidence.

The Forbes article, for example, has a chart showing that the rate of reported safety violations and the level of fines for those violations per employee is considerably higher for the Tesla factory than for a bunch of other car manufacturers.

The Revealnews article provides evidence that Tesla has been under-reporting its workplace injury rate by not recording workplace accidents and injuries.

The other articles make similar sorts of statements, or comment on the way Musk has made a number of demonstrably wrong statements about Tesla, whether in terms of production rates or safety.

For the time being I'm happy to go with the evidence provided. Unless someone can show that evidence is wrong.

And this is actually a serious point: I worry when demonstrably skeptical people lay their skepticism to one side when it comes to a topic they particularly like. It was what caused me to leave the Australian Skeptics: there was a noisy group of otherwise impeccable skeptics who were utterly convinced global warming wasn't real, and their level of criticism of articles about global warming was so vociferous that the editor of the group's magazine was forced to publicly announce he wouldn't publish articles about global warming in the magazine.

I'd hate to think that admiration of Elon Musk might blind people to what appear to be genuine and serious safety problems at the Tesla factory in California.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: AtomicDog on April 21, 2019, 03:09:28 PM
And no one is. I am rewarding him for his accomplishments. I am giving him a pass for being human.

I think ignoring the very real problems with Elon Musk the person goes a bit beyond "giving him a pass for being human," myself.  His factory is unsafe for its employees, and he wants that ignored because he's so important.

I assume that you have evidence of this.

Googling tesla factory safety produces a bunch of articles published in the last six months or so from mainstream media sites: Fortune, Forbes, The Guardian, NY Times, CNBC. It's not the best reading.

I can Google, too. I have found articles claiming that these articles are anti-Tesla hit pieces, backed by big oil, union organizers, rival car manufacturers, and investors trying to bring down Tesla stock because they have a short interest.

I could say that's a very Elon Musk sort of thing to say, or I could settle for calling it poisoning the well.

Quote
Who should I believe?

I think most of the regulars here would have the answer for you - look at the evidence.

The Forbes article, for example, has a chart showing that the rate of reported safety violations and the level of fines for those violations per employee is considerably higher for the Tesla factory than for a bunch of other car manufacturers.

The Revealnews article provides evidence that Tesla has been under-reporting its workplace injury rate by not recording workplace accidents and injuries.

The other articles make similar sorts of statements, or comment on the way Musk has made a number of demonstrably wrong statements about Tesla, whether in terms of production rates or safety.

For the time being I'm happy to go with the evidence provided. Unless someone can show that evidence is wrong.

And this is actually a serious point: I worry when demonstrably skeptical people lay their skepticism to one side when it comes to a topic they particularly like. It was what caused me to leave the Australian Skeptics: there was a noisy group of otherwise impeccable skeptics who were utterly convinced global warming wasn't real, and their level of criticism of articles about global warming was so vociferous that the editor of the group's magazine was forced to publicly announce he wouldn't publish articles about global warming in the magazine.

I'd hate to think that admiration of Elon Musk might blind people to what appear to be genuine and serious safety problems at the Tesla factory in California.

The Reveal news article? The one that claims that there are no yellow caution tape on the Fremont factory floor or beeping forklifts because they offend Elon's sensibilities?
https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/5/29/1767826/-The-War-on-Tesla-Musk-and-the-Fight-for-the-Future


Quote
The first of their “personal stories” was about how a person involved in developing the factory was told that they can’t use yellow caution tape or beeping forklifts because they offend Musk’s sensibilities. The lack of these things, according to Reveal, could be to blame for the “high” rate of injuries.

Now, apparently Reveal never discovered The Google, or couldn’t allocate 30 seconds for fact checking, because literally you just go to Google Images or YouTube and search for the Tesla Fremont factory, and here’s what you see:
What follows is photo after photo of yellow safety tape all over the Tesla factory. Forgive me if I don't think much of Reveal's credibility.

Also from the Daily Kos article:

Quote
Reveal seems to have made it their goal to prove that Tesla’s Fremont factory is some horribly dangerous place — in a manner that’s covered with UAW’s fingerprints. Strangely, they never thought to bother to mention a single injury anywhere else in the auto industry, because I guess everyone else is spotless. They additionally push the notion that Tesla has been “keeping injuries off the books”, ignoring that Cal/OSHA is probably the most stringent auditor in the nation and Tesla has never been cited for doing so (while the Big Three have been repeatedly cited — but you wouldn’t know this from listening to them). Mainly, though, they focus on “personal stories”, which are nice and convenient because even if they’re false, the company can’t respond because it would interfere in any potential litigation.

So, Reveal accuses Tesla of keeping injuries off the books, but they've never been shown to do so by OSHA.

Now, you have accused me of poisoning the well, when all I have done is, when in response to a request for evidence is to "go google it" was to respond, "go google the opposite". That kind of behavior is not accepted when a moon hoax believer is asked for evidence, and I don't think it has any place in any other argument. If you have a position, provide links, quotes, and discuss the quotes, which is standard in discussions here.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Dalhousie on April 22, 2019, 02:47:32 AM
I keep trying to tell you guys that even though your satellite costs millions of dollars, so do rocket launches!

Let the satellite cost be $S and the usual launch cost $L. So the usual mission cost would be $(S+L). Now let's assume you can fly free to your desired orbit on a new launch vehicle with an estimated probability of success P. Then if you take in the cost of building a new satellite if the launch fails, your expected mission cost will be $(S/P), assuming you are offered a free reflight if the first launch fails. If $(S/P) < $(S+L), you still want to risk the test flight.

Of course, even operational launch vehicles can fail so you need to insert another factor into the right side of the inequality to account for that.

Obviously there are exceptions; if your mission is time sensitive, e.g., it must hit an interplanetary launch window, then you can't afford a launch failure because you can't afford to wait for a replacement spacecraft to be built.

Actually, now that I think about it, I remember reading somewhere that SpaceX did offer a ride at a discount to several customers (including NASA), but had no takers.  Nobody wanted to risk it.

They could have easily provided their own payload - a preflown Dragon would have flown a free return trajectory to the Moon or Mars and back. the 2018 Mars launch window would have been an excellent opportunity, with a 510 day free return.  Don't forget  they had years to prepare for this
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Zakalwe on April 22, 2019, 03:25:32 AM
Isn't this a watered-down version of "If I ran the zoo"? Endless debate on what SpaceX and Musk could or should have done if only we were in charge?
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Echnaton on April 22, 2019, 09:58:00 AM
You're a Musk hater

He is more or less an overaged sophomore frat boy. Just ask the Security and Exchange Commission about his unwise tweet. But people that have extraordinary visions and then implement them are often a bit over the top, off to the sides and generally all over the place.

I don't particularly care for him as a person. But you are right, he has done some extraordinary things in aviation and I'll add in auto manufacturing also. 
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: AtomicDog on April 22, 2019, 11:32:25 AM
You are known by the enemies you make:

https://electrek.co/2019/04/20/tesla-shorts-threaten-accidents-restraining-order/

This is what Musk and Tesla has to put up with; stalking, vehicular assaults on their personell, and intentional attempts to make their vehicles crash.

P.S. The stalker's brother, who shares his Twitter account, works for Volkswagen.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Echnaton on April 22, 2019, 01:02:56 PM
intentional attempts to make their vehicles crash.
At least no one has done this to a Falcon rocket....yet. 
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Peter B on April 23, 2019, 09:33:24 AM
The Reveal news article? The one that claims that there are no yellow caution tape on the Fremont factory floor or beeping forklifts because they offend Elon's sensibilities?
https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/5/29/1767826/-The-War-on-Tesla-Musk-and-the-Fight-for-the-Future


Quote
The first of their “personal stories” was about how a person involved in developing the factory was told that they can’t use yellow caution tape or beeping forklifts because they offend Musk’s sensibilities. The lack of these things, according to Reveal, could be to blame for the “high” rate of injuries.

Now, apparently Reveal never discovered The Google, or couldn’t allocate 30 seconds for fact checking, because literally you just go to Google Images or YouTube and search for the Tesla Fremont factory, and here’s what you see:
What follows is photo after photo of yellow safety tape all over the Tesla factory. Forgive me if I don't think much of Reveal's credibility.

Also from the Daily Kos article:

Quote
Reveal seems to have made it their goal to prove that Tesla’s Fremont factory is some horribly dangerous place — in a manner that’s covered with UAW’s fingerprints. Strangely, they never thought to bother to mention a single injury anywhere else in the auto industry, because I guess everyone else is spotless. They additionally push the notion that Tesla has been “keeping injuries off the books”, ignoring that Cal/OSHA is probably the most stringent auditor in the nation and Tesla has never been cited for doing so (while the Big Three have been repeatedly cited — but you wouldn’t know this from listening to them). Mainly, though, they focus on “personal stories”, which are nice and convenient because even if they’re false, the company can’t respond because it would interfere in any potential litigation.

So, Reveal accuses Tesla of keeping injuries off the books, but they've never been shown to do so by OSHA.

Now, you have accused me of poisoning the well, when all I have done is, when in response to a request for evidence is to "go google it" was to respond, "go google the opposite". That kind of behavior is not accepted when a moon hoax believer is asked for evidence, and I don't think it has any place in any other argument. If you have a position, provide links, quotes, and discuss the quotes, which is standard in discussions here.

Fair enough, and I'm willing to stand corrected on the Revealnews article.

Would you be willing to comment on the chart labelled "Safety Slap: Tesla Gets Fined More Than Other Auto Plants" in the article at https://www.forbes.com/sites/alanohnsman/2019/03/01/tesla-safety-violations-dwarf-big-us-auto-plants-in-aftermath-of-musks-model-3-push/#6750757854ce

The source of the data in the chart is the US OSHA, and it appears to show that, compared with 10 other car factories across the USA, the Tesla factory had one-third of the total employees of the other 10 put together (and only about an eighth of the production capacity), but had three times the OSHA violations and about 2.5 times the fines of the other 10 put together.

On the face of it that's a seriously bad comparison.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: ka9q on April 23, 2019, 12:44:17 PM
Unless of course, it has taken my company some years to build this satellite of mine, and it will take them more years to build another one if the launch fails. Meantime, I have lost not only the satellite, but some years of revenue from whatever the satellite was for until its replacement is built.
That's basically what I said, though I gave the example of hitting an interplanetary launch window. OTOH, if you decline the free test launch you still have to get in line for an operational launcher and wait.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: ka9q on April 23, 2019, 12:47:17 PM
Actually, now that I think about it, I remember reading somewhere that SpaceX did offer a ride at a discount to several customers (including NASA), but had no takers.  Nobody wanted to risk it.
Well, I can understand that when the flight is going to a useless solar orbit, not earth orbit or a planet.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on April 23, 2019, 04:31:57 PM
Actually, now that I think about it, I remember reading somewhere that SpaceX did offer a ride at a discount to several customers (including NASA), but had no takers.  Nobody wanted to risk it.
Well, I can understand that when the flight is going to a useless solar orbit, not earth orbit or a planet.

If course, that orbit would not have been used if a customer had been willing to pay for the test flight to put their own satellite in orbit

KoreatSat (5A to GTO)
NASA (CRS-13 & 14 to ISS & TSS to HEEO)
Iridium (Mission 4/31-40 and Mission 5 41/50 to Polar)
Zuma (LEO)
Hisdesat (Paz to SSO)
Hispasat (30W6 to GTO)

were all launching around the time of the Falcon Heavy test flight. FH launch date could easily have been changed to accommodate the required launch window for any one of them, or a compromise could have been reached.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: jfb on April 23, 2019, 06:15:21 PM
Actually, now that I think about it, I remember reading somewhere that SpaceX did offer a ride at a discount to several customers (including NASA), but had no takers.  Nobody wanted to risk it.
Well, I can understand that when the flight is going to a useless solar orbit, not earth orbit or a planet.

Obviously, the flight would have gone where the customer wanted it to go, had any taken up the offer. 
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: ka9q on April 24, 2019, 06:42:59 PM
Shortly before the F9H test flight, Musk tweeted that part of the test was to demonstrate a 4-hour "cold soak" ability to the US Air Force, since they are going to be the main customer. Falcon upper stages routinely go into parking orbits and do second burns, but LEO coast phases are never that long. That told me the parking orbit would be highly elliptical, and it was. I found it at space-track.org in the latest cataloged objects, though it wasn't labeled as the F9H. I then reasoned that since it was going to do an escape, the most efficient point to do that is at perigee. The second perigee (second complete elliptical orbit) was at roughly 4 hours, and then I figured out that it would be visible over southern California. So we rushed home from dinner and saw it.

It was very frustrating to have to mine important details about the mission from Musk's random tweets. NASA does this so much better with press kits that go into all the mission details.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: ka9q on April 24, 2019, 07:36:59 PM
Just for grins, I found four historical element sets for the F9H/Tesla during its parking orbit:

1 43205U 18017A   18037.94171953 +.01086538 -52473-6 +58861-2 0  9998
2 43205 029.0166 287.3637 3402738 180.0678 179.9492 08.75207321000009
1 43205U 18017A   18037.94171962  .02159520 -54079-6  11669-1 0  9999
2 43205  29.0166 287.3643 3402882 180.0750 179.9361  8.75195074    03
1 43205U 18017A   18037.94189123  .00000283 -50857-6  00000+0 0  9991
2 43205  29.0185 287.3580 3404246 180.0270 180.5840  8.75540848    00
1 43205U 18017A   18037.94189123  .00000283 -50857-6  00000+0 0  9991
2 43205  29.0185 287.3580 3404246 180.0270 180.5840  8.75540848    00

Interpretation of the last set: 43205 is the NORAD catalog number.
2018-017A is the international designator (17th launch of 2018, primary object).
The time at which the elements are valid is year 2018, day 37 plus 0.94189123 days (UTC).
The orbital inclination is 29.0185 degrees, slightly more than the latitude of the launch site -- so the launch was nearly due east.
The right ascension of the ascending node (northbound equator crossing) is 287.3580 degrees. This is set by the sidereal time of the launch, which had been delayed a few hours.
The eccentricity is 0.3404246. Zero is circular, >=1 is escape (though NORAD doesn't do escaped objects).
The argument of perigee is 180.0270 degrees, so both perigee and apogee were over the equator. Typical for geostationary comsat launches.
The mean anomaly at epoch is 180.5840 degrees, so at the cited epoch time, the satellite was slightly past apogee.
The mean motion was 8.75540848 rev/day. Dividing it into 1440 minutes/day, that's 164.47 minutes, or two hours 44.47 minutes.

When I found it during the parking orbit the object wasn't named so I had to figure out which element set was likely to be the F9H/Tesla. The unusual period stood out, and the other numbers were pretty much as expected so I figured this had to be it.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: bknight on April 25, 2019, 08:48:30 AM
Do you have a handy link to NORAD's site where you obtained those values?
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: ka9q on April 25, 2019, 08:53:06 AM
www.space-track.org

You do need to sign up for a free account.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: bknight on April 25, 2019, 09:13:38 AM
www.space-track.org

You do need to sign up for a free account.

Thanks

ETA:
Wow
Showing 1 to 10 of 61,652 entries
that is a lot of orbiting tracks.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Dalhousie on April 25, 2019, 08:21:02 PM
Actually, now that I think about it, I remember reading somewhere that SpaceX did offer a ride at a discount to several customers (including NASA), but had no takers.  Nobody wanted to risk it.
Well, I can understand that when the flight is going to a useless solar orbit, not earth orbit or a planet.

There are plenty of  things that can be done in such an orbit - Mars flyby,asteroid flyby, various free return missions.  There was seven years to plan a useful payload.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: ka9q on April 25, 2019, 08:59:32 PM
Exactly, if Musk had been willing to shoot for a precise trajectory on the first launch. That would also require shooting for a particular launch date and time, and holds are common during countdowns of new rockets (happened on this one).

I'm not sure, but the burn out of earth orbit might have been a burn-to-depletion as an engineering test, since normally the stage shuts down when the desired orbit is reached. So the final solar orbit was uncertain. And of course it all happened several months before the launch window opened to Mars, so there was no way it was going there.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Dalhousie on April 26, 2019, 07:23:35 PM
Exactly, if Musk had been willing to shoot for a precise trajectory on the first launch. That would also require shooting for a particular launch date and time, and holds are common during countdowns of new rockets (happened on this one).

I'm not sure, but the burn out of earth orbit might have been a burn-to-depletion as an engineering test, since normally the stage shuts down when the desired orbit is reached. So the final solar orbit was uncertain. And of course it all happened several months before the launch window opened to Mars, so there was no way it was going there.

Despite these constraints All most every first launch carries a useful payload. Except this one. Planetary launch windows, especially for small payloads on large rockets, extend over many weeks.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: jfb on April 30, 2019, 01:50:41 PM
Exactly, if Musk had been willing to shoot for a precise trajectory on the first launch. That would also require shooting for a particular launch date and time, and holds are common during countdowns of new rockets (happened on this one).

I'm not sure, but the burn out of earth orbit might have been a burn-to-depletion as an engineering test, since normally the stage shuts down when the desired orbit is reached. So the final solar orbit was uncertain. And of course it all happened several months before the launch window opened to Mars, so there was no way it was going there.

Despite these constraints All most every first launch carries a useful payload. Except this one.

First Falcon-9 launch carried a boilerplate Dragon containing a wheel of cheese.
Ares 1-X had a boilerplate upper stage.
First Antares launch carried a mass simulator for Cygnus.
First few Zenit launches carried mass simulators.

That's not an exhaustive list.

Again, I remember reading that SpaceX shopped for a customer for the FH maiden flight but had no takers.  So they created their own mission.
And they've blown up enough customer payloads that I don't blame anyone for not taking that risk.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on April 30, 2019, 06:21:56 PM
Exactly, if Musk had been willing to shoot for a precise trajectory on the first launch. That would also require shooting for a particular launch date and time, and holds are common during countdowns of new rockets (happened on this one).

I'm not sure, but the burn out of earth orbit might have been a burn-to-depletion as an engineering test, since normally the stage shuts down when the desired orbit is reached. So the final solar orbit was uncertain. And of course it all happened several months before the launch window opened to Mars, so there was no way it was going there.

Despite these constraints All most every first launch carries a useful payload. Except this one.

First Falcon-9 launch carried a boilerplate Dragon containing a wheel of cheese.
Ares 1-X had a boilerplate upper stage.
First Antares launch carried a mass simulator for Cygnus.
First few Zenit launches carried mass simulators.

That's not an exhaustive list.

Again, I remember reading that SpaceX shopped for a customer for the FH maiden flight but had no takers.  So they created their own mission.
And they've blown up enough customer payloads that I don't blame anyone for not taking that risk.

I'll also point out that Rocket Labs' first launch, "Just a test", carried no payload, and just as well, because it failed to reach orbit!

Clearly, from the research I have done, it seems that the first launch for a completely new type of spacecraft, a mass simulator of some kind (not a live, customer payload) seems to be normal. It is also clear that SpaceX offered rides on the test flight, and got no takers.

This doesn't seem matter to the haters, they're gonna hate. I'm disappointed to see them here too, in a fact-based place of reason and critical thinking.

Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: jfb on May 01, 2019, 12:39:50 PM
Exactly, if Musk had been willing to shoot for a precise trajectory on the first launch. That would also require shooting for a particular launch date and time, and holds are common during countdowns of new rockets (happened on this one).

I'm not sure, but the burn out of earth orbit might have been a burn-to-depletion as an engineering test, since normally the stage shuts down when the desired orbit is reached. So the final solar orbit was uncertain. And of course it all happened several months before the launch window opened to Mars, so there was no way it was going there.

Despite these constraints All most every first launch carries a useful payload. Except this one.

First Falcon-9 launch carried a boilerplate Dragon containing a wheel of cheese.
Ares 1-X had a boilerplate upper stage.
First Antares launch carried a mass simulator for Cygnus.
First few Zenit launches carried mass simulators.

That's not an exhaustive list.

Again, I remember reading that SpaceX shopped for a customer for the FH maiden flight but had no takers.  So they created their own mission.
And they've blown up enough customer payloads that I don't blame anyone for not taking that risk.

I'll also point out that Rocket Labs' first launch, "Just a test", carried no payload, and just as well, because it failed to reach orbit!

Clearly, from the research I have done, it seems that the first launch for a completely new type of spacecraft, a mass simulator of some kind (not a live, customer payload) seems to be normal. It is also clear that SpaceX offered rides on the test flight, and got no takers.

This doesn't seem matter to the haters, they're gonna hate. I'm disappointed to see them here too, in a fact-based place of reason and critical thinking.

Don't trust my recollection regarding no takers on the maiden FH flight - I can't remember where I saw that.  I do know that SpaceX lost a customer payload on the maiden Falcon 1 flight (FalconSAT), which may have informed the boilerplate Dragon on the maiden F9 launch. 

From what I've found so far, it's not uncommon to launch live payloads on a brand-new vehicle, but it's not an overwhelming majority, either.  For every example of a mass simulator I can point to, someone can probably point to a live payload (such as on Apollo IV, which carried a fully functional CM). 

It depends on the program, the customer, the vendor, everything. 

And, honestly, it shouldn't matter to anyone other than SpaceX whether the maiden FH flight carried a live payload or not.  F9's been hauling the mail for the better part of a decade now, they had the money to spend on a test, they were using discontinued F9s for the side boosters, etc. 
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Dalhousie on May 02, 2019, 04:50:12 AM
Exactly, if Musk had been willing to shoot for a precise trajectory on the first launch. That would also require shooting for a particular launch date and time, and holds are common during countdowns of new rockets (happened on this one).

I'm not sure, but the burn out of earth orbit might have been a burn-to-depletion as an engineering test, since normally the stage shuts down when the desired orbit is reached. So the final solar orbit was uncertain. And of course it all happened several months before the launch window opened to Mars, so there was no way it was going there.

Despite these constraints All most every first launch carries a useful payload. Except this one.

First Falcon-9 launch carried a boilerplate Dragon containing a wheel of cheese.
Ares 1-X had a boilerplate upper stage.
First Antares launch carried a mass simulator for Cygnus.
First few Zenit launches carried mass simulators.

That's not an exhaustive list.

Again, I remember reading that SpaceX shopped for a customer for the FH maiden flight but had no takers.  So they created their own mission.
And they've blown up enough customer payloads that I don't blame anyone for not taking that risk.

I'll also point out that Rocket Labs' first launch, "Just a test", carried no payload, and just as well, because it failed to reach orbit!

Clearly, from the research I have done, it seems that the first launch for a completely new type of spacecraft, a mass simulator of some kind (not a live, customer payload) seems to be normal. It is also clear that SpaceX offered rides on the test flight, and got no takers.

This doesn't seem matter to the haters, they're gonna hate. I'm disappointed to see them here too, in a fact-based place of reason and critical thinking.

Don't trust my recollection regarding no takers on the maiden FH flight - I can't remember where I saw that.  I do know that SpaceX lost a customer payload on the maiden Falcon 1 flight (FalconSAT), which may have informed the boilerplate Dragon on the maiden F9 launch. 

From what I've found so far, it's not uncommon to launch live payloads on a brand-new vehicle, but it's not an overwhelming majority, either.  For every example of a mass simulator I can point to, someone can probably point to a live payload (such as on Apollo IV, which carried a fully functional CM). 

It depends on the program, the customer, the vendor, everything. 

And, honestly, it shouldn't matter to anyone other than SpaceX whether the maiden FH flight carried a live payload or not.  F9's been hauling the mail for the better part of a decade now, they had the money to spend on a test, they were using discontinued F9s for the side boosters, etc.

Here is an exhaustive list from the last 30 years

1.   1989 Delta 2 - GPS satellite
2.   1990 Pegasus - satellite
3.   1993 PLSV - satellite (failed)
4.   1994 Minotaur C – satellites
5.   1994 H-2 - satellites
6.   1996 Ariane 5 – satellite (failed)
7.   2006 F-1 – satellite (failed)
8.   2010 F-9 – dragon boilerplate
9.   2001 GLSV satellite - (failed)
10.   2002 Delta IV – satellite
11.   2002 Atlas V – satellite
12.   2013 Antares – boiler plate + satellites
13.   KZ 1 - satellite
14.   2014 Angara – mass simulator
15.   2017 Long March 5 - satellite
16.   2017 Long March 7 - satellites + boilerplate spacecraft
17.   2018 Electron – engineering test satellite (failed)
18.   2018 FH – rich man’s toy
19.   2018 ZQ-1 – satellite (failed)
20.   2019 OS-1B –technology satellite (failure)

18 out of 20 launches carried functional payloads, that's 90%


Since when as criticism become hate? It's not a question of hate, it is a question of disappointment that an opportunity was wasted on putting a rich man's toy into space rather than something better. They have seven years or more to plan it,and this was the best they could come up with? 

It does matter when an opportunity to do something inspiring and technically useful was turned into an exercise in narcissism.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on May 02, 2019, 08:39:00 AM
18 out of 20 launches carried functional payloads, that's 90%

And 7 of the 18 failed... that's a 39% failure rate

Oops!

Since when as criticism become hate?

Nobody minds your criticism, so long as it remains fair. Yours isn't.

It is simply unreasonable to expect anyone to risk their expensive hardware on a completely new type of launch vehicle when new launch vehicles historically fail at a rate of 1 in 3, and which even the owner thought was a fair chance of exploding on the launch pad.

I also do not buy ka9q's argument that the free ride would offset the cost of a safer launch. If it was only about the money, he might have a valid argument, but it is also about development cost and build time. You might save on the cost of the launch, but you can never get back the loss of revenue (for a commercial satellite) or the missed discoveries (for a scientific one), that would be caused by the months, perhaps years of additional time it would take to build another one.

It's not a question of hate, it is a question of disappointment that an opportunity was wasted on putting a rich man's toy into space rather than something better. They have seven years or more to plan it,and this was the best they could come up with?

As has been stated, offers were made, there were no takers.

It does matter when an opportunity to do something inspiring and technically useful was turned into an exercise in narcissism.

Well guess what? I found it inspiring; my kids and grand-kids found it inspiring - and we all thought is a was a great bit of fun - we cannot be the only ones who did. Perhaps us mere laymen and our dumb kids are just too stupid to understand that rocket science is really serious business, with no room for fun.

For my oldest grandson (he's 11 now) it was the first time he has sat down with me and watched a rocket launch live as it happened. Over twelve months later, all he can talk about is how he wants to be a rocket engineer when he grows up and go to work at Rocketlabs.

Its clear that you think this was just a cheap publicity stunt. I disagree with that characterization, if it ignited a spark in just a few kids to encourage them into becoming engineers or rocket scientists, it will have been worth the effort.

Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Peter B on May 02, 2019, 10:15:17 AM
Exactly, if Musk had been willing to shoot for a precise trajectory on the first launch. That would also require shooting for a particular launch date and time, and holds are common during countdowns of new rockets (happened on this one).

I'm not sure, but the burn out of earth orbit might have been a burn-to-depletion as an engineering test, since normally the stage shuts down when the desired orbit is reached. So the final solar orbit was uncertain. And of course it all happened several months before the launch window opened to Mars, so there was no way it was going there.

Despite these constraints All most every first launch carries a useful payload. Except this one.

First Falcon-9 launch carried a boilerplate Dragon containing a wheel of cheese.
Ares 1-X had a boilerplate upper stage.
First Antares launch carried a mass simulator for Cygnus.
First few Zenit launches carried mass simulators.

That's not an exhaustive list.

Again, I remember reading that SpaceX shopped for a customer for the FH maiden flight but had no takers.  So they created their own mission.
And they've blown up enough customer payloads that I don't blame anyone for not taking that risk.

I'll also point out that Rocket Labs' first launch, "Just a test", carried no payload, and just as well, because it failed to reach orbit!

Clearly, from the research I have done, it seems that the first launch for a completely new type of spacecraft, a mass simulator of some kind (not a live, customer payload) seems to be normal. It is also clear that SpaceX offered rides on the test flight, and got no takers.

This doesn't seem matter to the haters, they're gonna hate. I'm disappointed to see them here too, in a fact-based place of reason and critical thinking.

Don't trust my recollection regarding no takers on the maiden FH flight - I can't remember where I saw that.  I do know that SpaceX lost a customer payload on the maiden Falcon 1 flight (FalconSAT), which may have informed the boilerplate Dragon on the maiden F9 launch. 

From what I've found so far, it's not uncommon to launch live payloads on a brand-new vehicle, but it's not an overwhelming majority, either.  For every example of a mass simulator I can point to, someone can probably point to a live payload (such as on Apollo IV, which carried a fully functional CM). 

It depends on the program, the customer, the vendor, everything. 

And, honestly, it shouldn't matter to anyone other than SpaceX whether the maiden FH flight carried a live payload or not.  F9's been hauling the mail for the better part of a decade now, they had the money to spend on a test, they were using discontinued F9s for the side boosters, etc.

Here is an exhaustive list from the last 30 years

1.   1989 Delta 2 - GPS satellite
2.   1990 Pegasus - satellite
3.   1993 PLSV - satellite (failed)
4.   1994 Minotaur C – satellites
5.   1994 H-2 - satellites
6.   1996 Ariane 5 – satellite (failed)
7.   2006 F-1 – satellite (failed)
8.   2010 F-9 – dragon boilerplate
9.   2001 GLSV satellite - (failed)
10.   2002 Delta IV – satellite
11.   2002 Atlas V – satellite
12.   2013 Antares – boiler plate + satellites
13.   KZ 1 - satellite
14.   2014 Angara – mass simulator
15.   2017 Long March 5 - satellite
16.   2017 Long March 7 - satellites + boilerplate spacecraft
17.   2018 Electron – engineering test satellite (failed)
18.   2018 FH – rich man’s toy
19.   2018 ZQ-1 – satellite (failed)
20.   2019 OS-1B –technology satellite (failure)

18 out of 20 launches carried functional payloads, that's 90%

[snip]

Dalhousie

As I already posted at Reply #111:

= = = =

With the greatest of respect, perhaps it would be more illuminating to compare like with like. In the case of Falcon Heavy this means comparing it with other launchers which feature side-mounted boosters which are a significant proportion of the size of the first stage (or are common core boosters). Why so? Because of the additional problems such launches face when compared with single-stack rockets - stresses on the connections between the boosters and core stages during acceleration especially when they're operating at different thrust levels, separation mechanisms, and aerodynamic effects are just three which come to mind. So what were the payloads of the various FH equivalents:

Angara A5: mass simulator (success)
Ariane 5: live payload (failure)
Delta IV Heavy: boilerplate (failure)
Long March 5: unclear (success, although there were problems during launch)

Have I missed any? But even so, that's a far lower proportion of live payloads for this style of rocket, suggesting that first flights for these sorts of rockets are less attractive than they are for single-stack rockets. And, judging by the success rate, for good reason.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on May 03, 2019, 12:13:22 AM
With the greatest of respect, perhaps it would be more illuminating to compare like with like. In the case of Falcon Heavy this means comparing it with other launchers which feature side-mounted boosters which are a significant proportion of the size of the first stage (or are common core boosters). Why so? Because of the additional problems such launches face when compared with single-stack rockets - stresses on the connections between the boosters and core stages during acceleration especially when they're operating at different thrust levels, separation mechanisms, and aerodynamic effects are just three which come to mind. So what were the payloads of the various FH equivalents:

When SpaceX and Musk first conceived the idea for FH in 2011, they rather naively thought "yeah, just strap three cores together and we're good to go - what could be hard about that"... then they started doing the engineering assessments, and found it was going to be much, much harder than they first thought. The complexity of the issues you mentioned; the stresses on the centre core with differential thrust, the joining attachments and the aerodynamics meant that the initial idea of simply strapping together three stock cores with a few mods quickly went out the window. It soon became apparent that the centre core would need to be modified so heavily it that it was essentially a different beast entirely, almost a specialist piece of equipment. Then there were low key changes that lead to problems, like the nose cones on the side boosters. A relatively simple change on the face of it, but what they didn't expect was for those nose cones to change the aerodynamic characteristics on the boosters as it returned to earth so dramatically, that it seriously impacted on the control authority of the grid fins.   

Due to all the complications, the initial projected launch date of 2013 kept getting pushed back and pushed back, and this goes to dalhousie's claim that they had "seven years or more to plan it, and this was the best they could come up with". This is just completely unfair and without any merit. Even if they had any takers for a free ride back in 2011, what company is going to stick with them for five years of delays and a risky launch at the end of it all? Once the development delays started happening, what company is going to look at Falcon Heavy and say, "Yeah, we'll risk our 20 million dollar satellite on a rocket that has had delay after delay after delay so that we keep missing our launch windows, and then the rocket has a high chance of blowing up anyway.

Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Dalhousie on May 04, 2019, 02:48:44 AM
Dalhousie

As I already posted at Reply #111:

= = = =

With the greatest of respect, perhaps it would be more illuminating to compare like with like. In the case of Falcon Heavy this means comparing it with other launchers which feature side-mounted boosters which are a significant proportion of the size of the first stage (or are common core boosters). Why so? Because of the additional problems such launches face when compared with single-stack rockets - stresses on the connections between the boosters and core stages during acceleration especially when they're operating at different thrust levels, separation mechanisms, and aerodynamic effects are just three which come to mind. So what were the payloads of the various FH equivalents:

Angara A5: mass simulator (success)
Ariane 5: live payload (failure)
Delta IV Heavy: boilerplate (failure)
Long March 5: unclear (success, although there were problems during launch)

Have I missed any? But even so, that's a far lower proportion of live payloads for this style of rocket, suggesting that first flights for these sorts of rockets are less attractive than they are for single-stack rockets. And, judging by the success rate, for good reason.

The trouble is you are not comparing like at like.  And you are being selective with data

First of all Long march 5 and Delta IV heavy were not failures.  Unless you equate slight under performance while still achieving orbit to be failure.

Secondly, of your four examples , only two are parallel boosters, Ariane 5 and Delta IV.  Angara 5 and LM5 both had four small strap-ons, a very different configuration.   LM-7 also had 4 strap-ons, functional payloads, and was successful.

If we are going to consider small strap on boosters as significant then we could consider the fact that Atlas V has many versions with different numbers of small strap-ons. First launch payloads of each were:

411 (1) - comsat
421 (2) - comsat   
431 (3) - comsat   
521 (2) - comsat   
531 (3) - comsat   
541 (4) - comsat
551 (5) – New Horizons   

All were successful.  Note the New Horizons launch-first launch of this variant and first launch of an Atlas V with three stages on a high priority science mission.

Delta II existed in multiple versions with anywhere between three and nine solid boosters. All carried functional pay loads on their first flight, all were successful.

If only large parallel boosters are comparable then the Space Shuttle and Titan variants IIIC/D/commerical, 34D and IV need to be thrown into the the pool. 

STS-1 - functional,crewed mission (success)
IIIC – boiler plate MOL and reflown Gemini (unmanned) – success (suborbital)
IIID – KH-9 – success
III Commercial – two comsats – success
34D – two comsats – success
IV – missile detection – success

The facts remain

1) Standard practice is to launch a useful payload on 1st launches. 
2) Most first launches are successful.
3) SpaceX had seven years to come up with one.  But they didn't.





Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on May 04, 2019, 03:42:47 AM
The facts remain

1) Standard practice is to launch a useful payload on 1st launches.
I don't believe it is. If it were, then why are boiler-plates and mass simulators even used at all... ever?
Are they ever used on launches other than first of type or test flights?

2) Most first launches are successful.
Even if this is technically true, it is still a misleading statement in the context of this discussion.

Even by your own admission with the launch stats you have provided, the failure rate of first flights is much higher than subsequent flights, therefore the risk to the payload is greater in first flights... and that IS a fact; one that you can take to the bank.

3) SpaceX had seven years to come up with one.  But they didn't.
As I stated earlier, this claim is unfair and completely without merit.. I will repeat what I said in my last post

Due to all the complications, the initial projected launch date of 2013 kept getting pushed back and pushed back. They offered free launches AND GOT NO TAKERS, no-one was interesting in risking it.

However, even if they did have any takers back in 2011, what company is going to stick with them for five years of delays and a risky launch at the end of it all? Once the development delays started happening, what company is going to look at Falcon Heavy and say, "Yeah, we'll risk our 20 million dollar satellite on a rocket that has had delay after delay after delay so that we keep missing our launch windows, and then the rocket has a high chance of blowing up anyway".

For a customer to wants to buy a launch, they have to have some idea when that launch would be. The development problems meant that once the NET July 2013 launch date slipped, SpaceX couldn't even come up with a projected launch date!

Oh, and before you try to tell us that they should have provided a payload themselves, I might point out that SpaceX are a launch provider, not a payload provider. Yes, they have Starlink, but that was nowhere near ready in 2018. Starlink-1 will be launched later this month. 

IMO, you have a problem with the idea of someone having a bit of fun. You glare down your nose at people like Musk and companies like SpaceX because the they don't fit your fixed idea of what an engineer or a commercial launch company should look like.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Jason Thompson on May 04, 2019, 09:14:35 AM
1) Standard practice is to launch a useful payload on 1st launches.

The use of the term 'standard practice' suggests this is an industry guideline or somesuch. It isn't. There have been many first (and other) launches that were no more than engineering tests. SA-1, SA-5 and AS-201 spring to mind. SA-1 had dummy upper stages. SA-5 was simply a test flight of a live S-IV second stage, and AS-201 was just to look at how the liquid hydrogen behaved during orbital coast and restart. No payload as such on any of them. The first Falcon Heavy can be considered an engineering test of the rocket with some good PR attached. If SpaceX had refused a functional satellite launch just to do the PR I'd be more inclined to agree with your characterisation but they didn't. They had no takers for funtional payloads, so they stuck their own on. And in doing so they created some nice imagery. And now they've had someone who wanted to launch a satellite on their now proven hardware.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Dalhousie on May 06, 2019, 06:23:34 AM
1) Standard practice is to launch a useful payload on 1st launches.

The use of the term 'standard practice' suggests this is an industry guideline or somesuch. It isn't. There have been many first (and other) launches that were no more than engineering tests. SA-1, SA-5 and AS-201 spring to mind. SA-1 had dummy upper stages. SA-5 was simply a test flight of a live S-IV second stage, and AS-201 was just to look at how the liquid hydrogen behaved during orbital coast and restart. No payload as such on any of them. The first Falcon Heavy can be considered an engineering test of the rocket with some good PR attached. If SpaceX had refused a functional satellite launch just to do the PR I'd be more inclined to agree with your characterisation but they didn't. They had no takers for funtional payloads, so they stuck their own on. And in doing so they created some nice imagery. And now they've had someone who wanted to launch a satellite on their now proven hardware.

The fact that 90% of first launches, not including variants, in the past 30 years, have carried meaningful payloads.

The fact remains that they had seven years to come up with some better than a stunt with a car.

Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Jason Thompson on May 06, 2019, 08:07:06 AM
The fact that 90% of first launches, not including variants, in the past 30 years, have carried meaningful payloads.

So 10% didn't. Were they stunts too?

Quote
The fact remains that they had seven years to come up with some better than a stunt with a car.

They were developing a launch vehicle. It wasn't up to them to design and develop a payload. That's not what SpaceX is doing. Regardless of the payload, they still proved the launch vehicle, which was the point.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on May 06, 2019, 08:14:37 AM
The fact that 90% of first launches, not including variants, in the past 30 years, have carried meaningful payloads.

The fact remains that more than 1 in 3 have failed

The fact remains that they had seven years to come up with some better than a stunt with a car.

This claim is false; that has been explained to you multiple times. Why do you keep repeating it?

1. They offered free launches. No-one took them up on that. Its pretty hard to launch a meaningful payload if no-one wants to take you up on the offer?

2. They are developing the spacecraft. It is not the spacecraft developer's responsibility to go the extra mile and come up with a meaningful payload just to satisfy the narrow-minded and the humorless.

Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Jason Thompson on May 06, 2019, 10:52:13 AM
If they had launched it with a plain old mass simulator as a pure engineering flight, would that have been acceptable? Just disappointing? I get the feeling the objection is more with the spectacular 'stunt' than the lack of payload per se.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Peter B on May 06, 2019, 11:09:56 AM
Dalhousie

As I already posted at Reply #111:

= = = =

With the greatest of respect, perhaps it would be more illuminating to compare like with like. In the case of Falcon Heavy this means comparing it with other launchers which feature side-mounted boosters which are a significant proportion of the size of the first stage (or are common core boosters). Why so? Because of the additional problems such launches face when compared with single-stack rockets - stresses on the connections between the boosters and core stages during acceleration especially when they're operating at different thrust levels, separation mechanisms, and aerodynamic effects are just three which come to mind. So what were the payloads of the various FH equivalents:

Angara A5: mass simulator (success)
Ariane 5: live payload (failure)
Delta IV Heavy: boilerplate (failure)
Long March 5: unclear (success, although there were problems during launch)

Have I missed any? But even so, that's a far lower proportion of live payloads for this style of rocket, suggesting that first flights for these sorts of rockets are less attractive than they are for single-stack rockets. And, judging by the success rate, for good reason.

The trouble is you are not comparing like at like.  And you are being selective with data

I would humbly lay the same charge against you.

Quote
First of all Long march 5 and Delta IV heavy were not failures.

First, please quote me where I said the LM5 was a failure.

Quote
Unless you equate slight under performance while still achieving orbit to be failure.

Second, sure, the initial D5H launch got into orbit. But this article suggests the various payloads were not placed in anything near the orbits intended: https://spaceflightnow.com/delta/d310/050316rootcause.html

Quote
That first burn of the Pratt & Whitney RL10 upper stage engine was supposed to...reach an initial parking orbit around Earth where a pair of university-built nanosatellites would be released into space...But even though the stage fired much longer than planned it still failed to reach a stable orbit, deploying the nanosats into a suborbital trajectory...

The [second] stage ran out of fuel about two-thirds of the way through the [circularisation] burn, leaving the instrumented satellite simulator payload -- the rocket's main cargo for this test flight -- with an orbit featuring a high point of 19,600 nautical miles (36,400 km), low point of 9,600 nautical miles (19,000 km) and inclination of 13.5 degrees. The orbit's low point was 10,000 miles off the target and inclination was 3.5 degrees higher than planned.

So instead of a circular 19,600nm orbit, it has a perigee of 9,600nm, and its orbital inclination is off by 3.5 degrees. How many clients would call either of those satellite outcomes a success, or even a "slight failure"?

Quote
Secondly, of your four examples , only two are parallel boosters, Ariane 5 and Delta IV.  Angara 5 and LM5 both had four small strap-ons, a very different configuration.

Third, you are wrong about the size of the Angara 5 boosters. They are the same URM-1 rockets as the first stage of the Angara 5.

Fourth, you are quibbling about the size of the LM5 boosters. They are more than 85% of the mass of the LM5 first stage. In my post you quoted above, I used the phrase "...significant proportion of the size of the first stage..." for a reason.

Quote
LM-7 also had 4 strap-ons, functional payloads, and was successful.

Yes, I'm happy to accept that. Thank you for pointing it out. That makes the list:

Angara A5: mass simulator (success)
Ariane 5: live payload (failure)
Delta IV Heavy: boilerplate (failure)
Long March 5: unclear (success, although there were problems during launch)
Long March 7: unclear (success)

Quote
If we are going to consider small strap on boosters as significant then we could consider the fact that Atlas V has many versions with different numbers of small strap-ons.

Come on, those chaps are nowhere near the same size as the first stage they're bolted to. So no, I'm not considering them.

Quote
If only large parallel boosters are comparable then the Space Shuttle and Titan variants IIIC/D/commerical, 34D and IV need to be thrown into the the pool. 

STS-1 - functional,crewed mission (success)
IIIC – boiler plate MOL and reflown Gemini (unmanned) – success (suborbital)

No. Its first launch was 18 months earlier than the MOL flight, with no payload recorded, and yes a success.

Quote
IIID – KH-9 – success
III Commercial – two comsats – success
34D – two comsats – success
IV – missile detection – success

Oh, come on, you're trying to credit each Titan family as something completely new? That all of the knowledge gained from launching the members of earlier Titan families counted for nothing when launching the first member of a new family?

Quote
1) Standard practice is to launch a useful payload on 1st launches. 
2) Most first launches are successful.
3) SpaceX had seven years to come up with one.  But they didn't.

If no one wanted to place a payload on top of the Falcon Heavy, what were they supposed to do? Steal a satellite?

How is this not an If I Ran The Zoo argument?
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: jfb on May 06, 2019, 03:58:40 PM
1) Standard practice is to launch a useful payload on 1st launches.

The use of the term 'standard practice' suggests this is an industry guideline or somesuch. It isn't. There have been many first (and other) launches that were no more than engineering tests. SA-1, SA-5 and AS-201 spring to mind. SA-1 had dummy upper stages. SA-5 was simply a test flight of a live S-IV second stage, and AS-201 was just to look at how the liquid hydrogen behaved during orbital coast and restart. No payload as such on any of them. The first Falcon Heavy can be considered an engineering test of the rocket with some good PR attached. If SpaceX had refused a functional satellite launch just to do the PR I'd be more inclined to agree with your characterisation but they didn't. They had no takers for funtional payloads, so they stuck their own on. And in doing so they created some nice imagery. And now they've had someone who wanted to launch a satellite on their now proven hardware.

The fact that 90% of first launches, not including variants, in the past 30 years, have carried meaningful payloads.

The fact remains that they had seven years to come up with some better than a stunt with a car.

Okay.  Fine.  For now, I'll accept your argument that the best they could come up with was a "stunt" with a car.  Totally meaningless PR.  No other value to the launch at all.  Pure fluff. 

So what?  Why would that be an issue?  Who would care?
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: bknight on May 06, 2019, 04:24:14 PM
"Why would that be an issue?"
Rather like I thought many posts ago.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Zakalwe on May 07, 2019, 04:58:44 AM


How is this not an If I Ran The Zoo argument?


Exactly. I made the same point earlier in the thread.
Elon Musk seems to invoke strong feelings, both positive and negative, in people and those people seem to find all sorts of routes to express their emotions. To me, this is just another way of doing this.....denigrating the FH launch just because it wasn't "worthy" enough in their opinions.

Personally I thought that it was an epic way to have a laugh. It also had a side effect of getting masses of publicity. I expect that legions of future engineers will say that seeing Spaceman in the roadster with Earth's reflection mirrored in his faceplate and on the panels of the car was the spark that started them on their career path.

Not everything in life has to be worthy. Would we still be talking about the FH launch if all they did was send a block f concrete into some random orbit?  The world would be infinitely duller if people didn't do things just for a giggle every now and then.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: jfb on May 07, 2019, 10:45:39 AM


How is this not an If I Ran The Zoo argument?


Exactly. I made the same point earlier in the thread.
Elon Musk seems to invoke strong feelings, both positive and negative, in people and those people seem to find all sorts of routes to express their emotions. To me, this is just another way of doing this.....denigrating the FH launch just because it wasn't "worthy" enough in their opinions.

Personally I thought that it was an epic way to have a laugh. It also had a side effect of getting masses of publicity. I expect that legions of future engineers will say that seeing Spaceman in the roadster with Earth's reflection mirrored in his faceplate and on the panels of the car was the spark that started them on their career path.

Not everything in life has to be worthy. Would we still be talking about the FH launch if all they did was send a block f concrete into some random orbit?  The world would be infinitely duller if people didn't do things just for a giggle every now and then.

Beyond being an epic gag, this launch pushed the envelope and provided some vital engineering data.  This gave them a chance to demonstrate long coast capability on the US, which is vital for natsec launches.  They pushed the payload to an aphelion past Mars.  It wasn't just PR, although it made for a good PR opportunity. 

But following Dalhousie's argument to its logical conclusion, test flights with mass simulators (whimsical or not) are somehow ... bad, or a waste of money.  That the right course of action when introducing a new vehicle is to always fly with a live, multi-million dollar payload and trust that this launch won't regress towards the mean.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Dalhousie on May 13, 2019, 06:20:35 PM
1) Standard practice is to launch a useful payload on 1st launches.

The use of the term 'standard practice' suggests this is an industry guideline or somesuch. It isn't. There have been many first (and other) launches that were no more than engineering tests. SA-1, SA-5 and AS-201 spring to mind. SA-1 had dummy upper stages. SA-5 was simply a test flight of a live S-IV second stage, and AS-201 was just to look at how the liquid hydrogen behaved during orbital coast and restart. No payload as such on any of them. The first Falcon Heavy can be considered an engineering test of the rocket with some good PR attached. If SpaceX had refused a functional satellite launch just to do the PR I'd be more inclined to agree with your characterisation but they didn't. They had no takers for funtional payloads, so they stuck their own on. And in doing so they created some nice imagery. And now they've had someone who wanted to launch a satellite on their now proven hardware.

The fact that 90% of first launches, not including variants, in the past 30 years, have carried meaningful payloads.

The fact remains that they had seven years to come up with some better than a stunt with a car.

Okay.  Fine.  For now, I'll accept your argument that the best they could come up with was a "stunt" with a car.  Totally meaningless PR.  No other value to the launch at all.  Pure fluff. 

So what?  Why would that be an issue?  Who would care?

Why is it an issue? Because there are far too many people who think that this was the biggest thing since Apollo 11. Because there are too many people who swallow the false justification that first launches are risky for payloads.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Dalhousie on May 13, 2019, 06:23:21 PM


How is this not an If I Ran The Zoo argument?


Exactly. I made the same point earlier in the thread.
Elon Musk seems to invoke strong feelings, both positive and negative, in people and those people seem to find all sorts of routes to express their emotions. To me, this is just another way of doing this.....denigrating the FH launch just because it wasn't "worthy" enough in their opinions.

Personally I thought that it was an epic way to have a laugh. It also had a side effect of getting masses of publicity. I expect that legions of future engineers will say that seeing Spaceman in the roadster with Earth's reflection mirrored in his faceplate and on the panels of the car was the spark that started them on their career path.

Not everything in life has to be worthy. Would we still be talking about the FH launch if all they did was send a block f concrete into some random orbit?  The world would be infinitely duller if people didn't do things just for a giggle every now and then.

Beyond being an epic gag, this launch pushed the envelope and provided some vital engineering data.  This gave them a chance to demonstrate long coast capability on the US, which is vital for natsec launches.  They pushed the payload to an aphelion past Mars.  It wasn't just PR, although it made for a good PR opportunity. 

But following Dalhousie's argument to its logical conclusion, test flights with mass simulators (whimsical or not) are somehow ... bad, or a waste of money.  That the right course of action when introducing a new vehicle is to always fly with a live, multi-million dollar payload and trust that this launch won't regress towards the mean.

Because, over the past 30 years, nine times out often, they have. Not counting sub-variants (some of which have carried extremely valuable payloads, like New Horizons).

Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: AtomicDog on May 13, 2019, 08:23:15 PM
1) Standard practice is to launch a useful payload on 1st launches.

The use of the term 'standard practice' suggests this is an industry guideline or somesuch. It isn't. There have been many first (and other) launches that were no more than engineering tests. SA-1, SA-5 and AS-201 spring to mind. SA-1 had dummy upper stages. SA-5 was simply a test flight of a live S-IV second stage, and AS-201 was just to look at how the liquid hydrogen behaved during orbital coast and restart. No payload as such on any of them. The first Falcon Heavy can be considered an engineering test of the rocket with some good PR attached. If SpaceX had refused a functional satellite launch just to do the PR I'd be more inclined to agree with your characterisation but they didn't. They had no takers for funtional payloads, so they stuck their own on. And in doing so they created some nice imagery. And now they've had someone who wanted to launch a satellite on their now proven hardware.

The fact that 90% of first launches, not including variants, in the past 30 years, have carried meaningful payloads.

The fact remains that they had seven years to come up with some better than a stunt with a car.

Okay.  Fine.  For now, I'll accept your argument that the best they could come up with was a "stunt" with a car.  Totally meaningless PR.  No other value to the launch at all.  Pure fluff. 

So what?  Why would that be an issue?  Who would care?

Why is it an issue? Because there are far too many people who think that this was the biggest thing since Apollo 11. Because there are too many people who swallow the false justification that first launches are risky for payloads.

We have had nearly 50 years of false starts, empty promises and broken dreams, and finally, FINALLY someone is putting his money where his mouth is and really pushing towards BEO human space exploration, and is showing the world that he means what he says. You're damn skippy that launching a car beyond Mars orbit, a feat that captured the imagination of the world, is the biggest thing since Apollo 11.

The fact that it is, is not Musk's fault. It is the fault of those who were SUPPOSED to be getting us out of LEO failing to do it for nearly 50 years. I think that your ire is misplaced.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on May 14, 2019, 02:29:08 AM
1) Standard practice is to launch a useful payload on 1st launches.

The use of the term 'standard practice' suggests this is an industry guideline or somesuch. It isn't. There have been many first (and other) launches that were no more than engineering tests. SA-1, SA-5 and AS-201 spring to mind. SA-1 had dummy upper stages. SA-5 was simply a test flight of a live S-IV second stage, and AS-201 was just to look at how the liquid hydrogen behaved during orbital coast and restart. No payload as such on any of them. The first Falcon Heavy can be considered an engineering test of the rocket with some good PR attached. If SpaceX had refused a functional satellite launch just to do the PR I'd be more inclined to agree with your characterisation but they didn't. They had no takers for funtional payloads, so they stuck their own on. And in doing so they created some nice imagery. And now they've had someone who wanted to launch a satellite on their now proven hardware.

The fact that 90% of first launches, not including variants, in the past 30 years, have carried meaningful payloads.

The fact remains that they had seven years to come up with some better than a stunt with a car.

Okay.  Fine.  For now, I'll accept your argument that the best they could come up with was a "stunt" with a car.  Totally meaningless PR.  No other value to the launch at all.  Pure fluff. 

So what?  Why would that be an issue?  Who would care?

Why is it an issue? Because there are far too many people who think that this was the biggest thing since Apollo 11. Because there are too many people who swallow the false justification that first launches are risky for payloads.

We have had nearly 50 years of false starts, empty promises and broken dreams, and finally, FINALLY someone is putting his money where his mouth is and really pushing towards BEO human space exploration, and is showing the world that he means what he says. You're damn skippy that launching a car beyond Mars orbit, a feat that captured the imagination of the world, is the biggest thing since Apollo 11.

The fact that it is, is not Musk's fault. It is the fault of those who were SUPPOSED to be getting us out of LEO failing to do it for nearly 50 years. I think that your ire is misplaced.


Amen to that

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/4dqybqfx85z7gmn/clapping.gif?raw=1)

NASA and the US goverment had the chance to push on with Lunar exploration in 1972. If they had, there might well have been a permanent human presence on the Moon by the 1980's, with the first missions reaching Mars by the mid-1990s.

Instead, they chose to end it in favour of the dead-end that was STS.

Politics and pork got in the way of science and human space exploration in the 1970's. We  must not let that happen again, which is why private enterprise of the likes of SpaceX and Blue Origin will be the way forward.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Jason Thompson on May 14, 2019, 04:58:43 AM
Because there are too many people who swallow the false justification that first launches are risky for payloads.

This has been pointed out already, but in the case of the Falcon Heavy, those people 'swallowing it' were the people building the satellites who were swallowing it from the engineers at SpaceX who told them it was a risky launch to stick a satellite on. If the engineers building the thing tell me there's a good chance it will fail, why would I risk it? SpaceX offered a free launch on their new rocket despite the risk and no-one took them up on it. That surely is pretty much the end of this argument.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: ka9q on May 14, 2019, 05:51:19 AM
As I've said before, even I would probably not be interested in a free launch if it took me into a random, useless solar orbit. Low earth orbit, yes. Geostationary orbit, most definitely. Even a Mars-intersecting trajectory, though it would take considerably more effort to plan and develop (I know a German group that would jump at the opportunity). But not solar orbit far from any planet.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: jfb on May 14, 2019, 08:47:13 PM
As I've said before, even I would probably not be interested in a free launch if it took me into a random, useless solar orbit. Low earth orbit, yes. Geostationary orbit, most definitely. Even a Mars-intersecting trajectory, though it would take considerably more effort to plan and develop (I know a German group that would jump at the opportunity). But not solar orbit far from any planet.

This is the objection I understand the least. 

If they had found a customer with a real payload, they would have put that payload in the customer’s desired orbit.  Why would they have done anything else?
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: AtomicDog on May 15, 2019, 12:13:28 AM
Elon, you magnificent bastard!

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-texas-florida-prototypes/

Why build one when you can have two for twice the price?
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: ka9q on May 15, 2019, 01:40:14 AM
This is the objection I understand the least. 

If they had found a customer with a real payload, they would have put that payload in the customer’s desired orbit.  Why would they have done anything else?
Because achieving a specific orbit gets in the way of doing a basic checkout of the rocket itself. Going to a specific orbit means sticking to a launch window and scrubbing if you can't make it. It might mean launching at night, which would interfere with photography. Adding all those constraints is a problem when you're still flushing out bugs in the design and its launch procedures, and schedules are slipping as you encounter and fix them. For last year's F9H test flight to go to Mars, it would have had to wait several months for the launch window to open. That would have meant waiting several months to begin analyzing flight test data and getting to work on fixing any problems that appeared.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Dalhousie on May 15, 2019, 02:11:04 AM
Because there are too many people who swallow the false justification that first launches are risky for payloads.

This has been pointed out already, but in the case of the Falcon Heavy, those people 'swallowing it' were the people building the satellites who were swallowing it from the engineers at SpaceX who told them it was a risky launch to stick a satellite on. If the engineers building the thing tell me there's a good chance it will fail, why would I risk it? SpaceX offered a free launch on their new rocket despite the risk and no-one took them up on it. That surely is pretty much the end of this argument.

This argument does not work. More it risky than the first flight of F1, which had a client payload? Than the first flight of F9, which carried a boiler plate Dragon?

Even if they could not find a client, is a car the best they could come up with themselves?

If it was so risky, why only one test flight? And what was so risky about it? The engines,first stages,second stage and fairing were all proven. Even the side by side configuration had been flown before,albeit in liquid plus solid configuration.

"Too risky" smacks of post hoc reasoning.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Dalhousie on May 15, 2019, 02:35:41 AM
This is the objection I understand the least. 

If they had found a customer with a real payload, they would have put that payload in the customer’s desired orbit.  Why would they have done anything else?
Because achieving a specific orbit gets in the way of doing a basic checkout of the rocket itself. Going to a specific orbit means sticking to a launch window and scrubbing if you can't make it. It might mean launching at night, which would interfere with photography. Adding all those constraints is a problem when you're still flushing out bugs in the design and its launch procedures, and schedules are slipping as you encounter and fix them. For last year's F9H test flight to go to Mars, it would have had to wait several months for the launch window to open. That would have meant waiting several months to begin analyzing flight test data and getting to work on fixing any problems that appeared.

Special pleading. This has not stopped other entities from meeting launch windows on first flights. Pleading that waiting a few months more for the launch window won't wash either. The first flight (and several client payloads) had already been delayed several years. A few additional months are going to matter now much? The Mars window lasts for several months, it is not instantaneous. Several attempts could be made in that period. In th eevent the launch went smoothly, with no delays. Nor did the first mission have to be Mars.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: ka9q on May 15, 2019, 03:54:54 AM
No, it's not special pleading because I don't know of any other launch vehicles that escaped into solar orbit on their very first test flights. An escape flight seemed quite important to Musk for promotional purposes, if not to SpaceX.

And he wasn't exactly forthcoming with accurate details. We had to glean important tidbits from his random tweets. He kept saying that his Tesla would go "to Mars", which had me wondering how it would decelerate into orbit. (Simply hitting the planet would be easier, but that would be a no-no under the planetary protection rules). Then I began to wonder how it was going to get anywhere *near* Mars given that the advertised launch date was several months before the Mars window even opened. Yet Musk kept touting it as a "Mars mission" long after it became obvious that it wasn't to be.

It finally turned out that by "Mars mission" he really meant "earth escape into a random solar orbit with aphelion around 1.5 au". Not very useful for most potential payloads.

Oh, another point just occurred to me. The burn out of earth orbit, which I saw from our front yard, was almost certainly timed so it could be observed from Hawthorne and engineering data collected in real time. This would seriously constrain the escape trajectory, making it even harder to go someplace useful.

The bottom line: given all the requirements and constraints (engineering as well as PR) it was probably next to impossible to send the F9H payload anywhere useful.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Jason Thompson on May 16, 2019, 02:37:34 AM
This argument does not work. More it risky than the first flight of F1, which had a client payload? Than the first flight of F9, which carried a boiler plate Dragon?

Surely that's the call of the engineers who actually build the thing? As we have said to hoax believers on this board often enough, the people actually doing the work are under no obligation to share your view of how things should be done.

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Even if they could not find a client, is a car the best they could come up with themselves?

No, a mass simulator was the best they could come up with, and since it doesn't matter what a mass simulator is made of, why not something with a little visual spectacle to create some great PR and iconic images?

You keep dancing around the question of whether you'd be objecting so much if they'd just put a simple mass simulator on it and made it a pure engineering test flight. Your whole objection seems to be based solely on the fact they made it a bit fun.

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If it was so risky, why only one test flight?

Because it was an untested configuration of otherwise proven hardware? Come on, the Saturn V only had two test flights and one of those suffered such problems that engines shut down and bits fell off it. And although they had CSMs to test the re-entry systems, they didn't put any kind of LM on board either of them. Was an inert test article the best they could come up with to pad out the payload? Is that somehow objectionable? (Yes, I know there wasn't an actual LM ready for Apollo 4, 6 or 8, but they had this thing with huge payload capacity that they could have shoved some other functional thing on, surely, if we follow this argument.) Risk management is a matter for the organisations running the launches, not the general public.

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And what was so risky about it?

Again, not your call.

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Even the side by side configuration had been flown before,albeit in liquid plus solid configuration.

Which is not at all the same as three large liquid cores strapped together.

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"Too risky" smacks of post hoc reasoning.

And your entire argument smacks of disdain for a bit of publicity that still does not detract from the success of a test flight. I ask again, if they had just flown a plain old boring mass simulator would you be objecting so strongly?
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Dalhousie on May 16, 2019, 05:11:15 AM
This argument does not work. More it risky than the first flight of F1, which had a client payload? Than the first flight of F9, which carried a boiler plate Dragon?

Surely that's the call of the engineers who actually build the thing? As we have said to hoax believers on this board often enough, the people actually doing the work are under no obligation to share your view of how things should be done.

Correct, but generally justification for civil space mission decisions can be found.The ones given for this one so don't hold water.


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Even if they could not find a client, is a car the best they could come up with themselves?

No, a mass simulator was the best they could come up with, and since it doesn't matter what a mass simulator is made of, why not something with a little visual spectacle to create some great PR and iconic images?

Why was it the best they could come up with?

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You keep dancing around the question of whether you'd be objecting so much if they'd just put a simple mass simulator on it and made it a pure engineering test flight. Your whole objection seems to be based solely on the fact they made it a bit fun.

Not dancing, jsuterepeating the core issue.  I object that they wasted an opportunity for a narcissistic gesture putting Musk's car into space. 

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If it was so risky, why only one test flight?

Because it was an untested configuration of otherwise proven hardware? Come on, the Saturn V only had two test flights and one of those suffered such problems that engines shut down and bits fell off it. And although they had CSMs to test the re-entry systems, they didn't put any kind of LM on board either of them. Was an inert test article the best they could come up with to pad out the payload? Is that somehow objectionable? (Yes, I know there wasn't an actual LM ready for Apollo 4, 6 or 8, but they had this thing with huge payload capacity that they could have shoved some other functional thing on, surely, if we follow this argument.) Risk management is a matter for the organisations running the launches, not the general public.

Except, again, the reasons for decisions are generally made public. 


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And what was so risky about it?

Again, not your call.

Correct,but it is my question.

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Even the side by side configuration had been flown before,albeit in liquid plus solid configuration.

Which is not at all the same as three large liquid cores strapped together.

None the less other risky configrations have carried serious payloads.

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"Too risky" smacks of post hoc reasoning.

And your entire argument smacks of disdain for a bit of publicity that still does not detract from the success of a test flight. I ask again, if they had just flown a plain old boring mass simulator would you be objecting so strongly?

Rich narcissist puts his car into space.  I am too old and done and seen too much to be impressed by such stunts.

If they had just flown a mass simulator I'd have been disappointed at a lost opportunity, but I would not have been annoyed.
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: smartcooky on May 16, 2019, 08:11:15 AM
No, a mass simulator was the best they could come up with, and since it doesn't matter what a mass simulator is made of, why not something with a little visual spectacle to create some great PR and iconic images?

You keep dancing around the question of whether you'd be objecting so much if they'd just put a simple mass simulator on it and made it a pure engineering test flight. Your whole objection seems to be based solely on the fact they made it a bit fun.

THIS

The owner of a space launch company launching his car into space on a test flight seems to be a rather strange and pointless thing to get your panties in a bunch over.
 

Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: jfb on May 16, 2019, 01:15:16 PM

No, a mass simulator was the best they could come up with, and since it doesn't matter what a mass simulator is made of, why not something with a little visual spectacle to create some great PR and iconic images?

Why was it the best they could come up with?

What do you think would have been better?   

The roadster didn't require them to spend time or money except to mount it to a PAF and add some cameras.  Even a boilerplate Dragon would have cost a little time and money. 

I will agree that people who compare this flight to Apollo 11 are engaging in hyperbole.  I personally wouldn't label it inspiring, but it was fun to watch.  And even you have to admit that shot of Starman looking at the Earth through the windshield is pretty iconic - that would make an awesome addition to MTV's original bumper (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqPBUrXgrTw), if MTV didn't suck now. 
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Jason Thompson on May 17, 2019, 04:09:42 AM
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Even if they could not find a client, is a car the best they could come up with themselves?

No, a mass simulator was the best they could come up with, and since it doesn't matter what a mass simulator is made of, why not something with a little visual spectacle to create some great PR and iconic images?

Why was it the best they could come up with?

Because designing satellites is not their job. Since, as has been pointed out many times, no-one wanted to put their satellite on Space X's Falcon Heavy on its first flight, what do you propose they expend additional time and resource doing just to make a flight that would satisfy you?

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Not dancing, jsuterepeating the core issue.  I object that they wasted an opportunity for a narcissistic gesture putting Musk's car into space.

Again, what was their alternative given that no-one wanted to put a satellite on their first launch? Leave a functional rocket sitting around until someone does decide to put something on it, or go ahead with the test launch with a dummy payload?
 
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Rich narcissist puts his car into space.

Rich narcissist uses his car as a mass simulator to make an otherwise fairly dull engineering test flight of a new rocket something rather more visually interesting to the masses.

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If they had just flown a mass simulator I'd have been disappointed at a lost opportunity, but I would not have been annoyed.

So pretty much what was said before: if they'd just made it a standard engineering flight with a plain mass simulator you'd be fine, but god forbid they should make it in any way fun. This is rocketry and science, it's serious! No frivolity allowed....  ::)
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Dalhousie on May 19, 2019, 11:58:11 PM

So pretty much what was said before: if they'd just made it a standard engineering flight with a plain mass simulator you'd be fine, but god forbid they should make it in any way fun. This is rocketry and science, it's serious! No frivolity allowed....  ::)

Fun is OK, but stupid narcissistic crassness turns me off.  Again, in 7 years is this the best they could come up with?
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: Zakalwe on May 20, 2019, 02:58:31 AM

So pretty much what was said before: if they'd just made it a standard engineering flight with a plain mass simulator you'd be fine, but god forbid they should make it in any way fun. This is rocketry and science, it's serious! No frivolity allowed....  ::)

Fun is OK, but stupid narcissistic crassness turns me off.  Again, in 7 years is this the best they could come up with?

Buzz Killington and a fun sponge all rolled up into one package. ;)
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: AtomicDog on May 20, 2019, 09:06:56 AM

So pretty much what was said before: if they'd just made it a standard engineering flight with a plain mass simulator you'd be fine, but god forbid they should make it in any way fun. This is rocketry and science, it's serious! No frivolity allowed....  ::)

Fun is OK, but stupid narcissistic crassness turns me off.  Again, in 7 years is this the best they could come up with?

The first Falcon 9/Dragon test payload was a wheel of cheese. Why is that fun, why is a block of concrete okay, but a car is "stupid narcissistic crassness"? WHY?
Title: Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
Post by: jfb on May 20, 2019, 01:59:52 PM

So pretty much what was said before: if they'd just made it a standard engineering flight with a plain mass simulator you'd be fine, but god forbid they should make it in any way fun. This is rocketry and science, it's serious! No frivolity allowed....  ::)

Fun is OK, but stupid narcissistic crassness turns me off.  Again, in 7 years is this the best they could come up with?

The first Falcon 9/Dragon test payload was a wheel of cheese. Why is that fun, why is a block of concrete okay, but a car is "stupid narcissistic crassness"? WHY?

Because it was Elon's personal roadster made by Elon's other company, so the payload might as well have had ELON spelled out in giant neon letters. 

At least that's what I'm assuming the complaint is.