Author Topic: Falcon Heavy Test Flight  (Read 4813 times)

Offline nomuse

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #15 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.

Offline JayUtah

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #16 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.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline Apollo 957

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #17 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.

Offline JayUtah

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #18 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.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline jfb

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #19 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

Offline bknight

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #20 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.
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Offline JayUtah

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #21 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.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline onebigmonkey

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #22 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:



and do a bit of perspective warping, you get:


Offline Glom

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #23 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.

Offline Jason Thompson

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #24 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.
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Offline Allan F

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #25 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.
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Offline LunarOrbit

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #26 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

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Offline smartcooky

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #27 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.   
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Offline smartcooky

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #28 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.   
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Offline sts60

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #29 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.