Author Topic: Falcon Heavy Test Flight  (Read 7902 times)

Offline AtomicDog

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #165 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?
« Last Edit: May 15, 2019, 12:15:42 AM by AtomicDog »
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Offline ka9q

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #166 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.

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #167 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.

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #168 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.

Offline ka9q

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #169 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.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2019, 04:03:38 AM by ka9q »

Offline Jason Thompson

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #170 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?
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 03:56:10 AM by Jason Thompson »
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Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #171 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.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 05:13:14 AM by Dalhousie »

Offline smartcooky

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #172 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.
 

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Offline jfb

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #173 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, if MTV didn't suck now. 

Offline Jason Thompson

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #174 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....  ::)
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 05:34:06 AM by Jason Thompson »
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Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #175 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?

Offline Zakalwe

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #176 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. ;)
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Offline AtomicDog

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #177 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?
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Offline jfb

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Re: Falcon Heavy Test Flight
« Reply #178 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.