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Falcon 9 Delivers Dragon Into Orbit, Flubs Landing



 
 
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  #11  
Old December 7th 18, 07:03 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Fred J. McCall[_3_]
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Posts: 9,896
Default Falcon 9 Delivers Dragon Into Orbit, Flubs Landing

Jeff Findley wrote on Fri, 7 Dec 2018
07:17:04 -0500:

In article ,
says...

Niklas Holsti wrote on Thu, 6 Dec 2018
19:01:58 +0200:

On 18-12-06 13:06 , Jeff Findley wrote:

Also, the stage managed to land very well on the ocean (as can be seen
in a video posted by an observer on social media). SpaceX also released
the on board camera footage from the stage which showed that once the
landing burn started, the engines were able to negate the roll caused by
the stuck grid fin.

I thought the landing uses only one engine, therefore probably the
center engine -- then how can the engine control roll? I don't understand.


The same way any other single engine booster controls roll, I would
think. The engine gimbals.


That would be a neat trick.


Or not.


On Falcon 1, that version of Merlin had a gimbal on the turbo-pump
exhaust for roll control. As far as I know, they deleted that feature
on Merlins used for Falcon 9 since the extra complexity wasn't needed
anymore.


Wiki indicates that the ability to gimbal was removed as of the Merlin
1C engine. Everything else I find, including the Payload User's
Guide, indicates that the Merlin 1D engines on a Falcon 9 do indeed
still have the ability to gimbal and gimballing is used to control
pitch, yaw, and roll for the first stage.


--
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I'm a desperate man.
Send lawyers, guns and money.
The **** has hit the fan."
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  #12  
Old December 7th 18, 09:12 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Jeff Findley[_6_]
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Posts: 1,826
Default Falcon 9 Delivers Dragon Into Orbit, Flubs Landing

In article ,
says...

Jeff Findley wrote on Fri, 7 Dec 2018
07:17:04 -0500:

In article ,
says...

Niklas Holsti wrote on Thu, 6 Dec 2018
19:01:58 +0200:

On 18-12-06 13:06 , Jeff Findley wrote:

Also, the stage managed to land very well on the ocean (as can be seen
in a video posted by an observer on social media). SpaceX also released
the on board camera footage from the stage which showed that once the
landing burn started, the engines were able to negate the roll caused by
the stuck grid fin.

I thought the landing uses only one engine, therefore probably the
center engine -- then how can the engine control roll? I don't understand.


The same way any other single engine booster controls roll, I would
think. The engine gimbals.


That would be a neat trick.


Or not.


On Falcon 1, that version of Merlin had a gimbal on the turbo-pump
exhaust for roll control. As far as I know, they deleted that feature
on Merlins used for Falcon 9 since the extra complexity wasn't needed
anymore.


Wiki indicates that the ability to gimbal was removed as of the Merlin
1C engine. Everything else I find, including the Payload User's
Guide, indicates that the Merlin 1D engines on a Falcon 9 do indeed
still have the ability to gimbal and gimballing is used to control
pitch, yaw, and roll for the first stage.


I agree that the center engine can gimbal. But during the final phase
of landing, only the center engine is firing. So how can you generate a
torque in the direction of the vertical axis of the rocket when the
center engine is located on that same vertical axis?

Jeff
--
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These posts do not reflect the opinions of my family, friends,
employer, or any organization that I am a member of.
  #13  
Old December 24th 18, 01:39 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Jeff Findley[_6_]
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Posts: 1,826
Default Falcon 9 Delivers Dragon Into Orbit, Flubs Landing

In article ,
says...

On 2018-12-06 06:06, Jeff Findley wrote:

Now obviously there was a failure. Musk tweeted that a grid fin pump
failed.



I wonder if they would be considering increasing redundancy for the
fins. (either adding another one so that there is enough aerodynamic
authority to ovveride 1 fin stuck in wrong direction) or working on the
hydraulics (or electric) modtors for the fins to increase redundancy.


Musk has already Tweeted that they're looking into adding another pump
for redundancy.

When you bet your business model on the ability to recover the stages,
it's the weakest link that jeoperdizes this, so they might have to look
at increasing redundancy for the fins.


A Falcon 9 first stage costs about $25 million to manufacture (by
unofficial estimates based on the price they're charging for a launch).
Losing one every once in a while isn't the end of the world. It's far
more important to achieve success on the primary mission. Recovering a
Falcon 9 booster is still very much a secondary mission.

Yesterday SpaceX launched a GPS III satellite for DOD. This is there
first launch of a DOD satellite deemed critical for active military
troops. There was no attempt at recovering the first stage as the Air
Force wanted to reserve all available additional propellant in order to
achieve the primary mission. No grid fins or landing legs were
installed.

So, even if SpaceX wants to reuse first stages, sometimes the customer
simply won't allow it (hint: GPS III satellites cost a hell of a lot
more to make than a Falcon 9 first stage).

Jeff
--
All opinions posted by me on Usenet News are mine, and mine alone.
These posts do not reflect the opinions of my family, friends,
employer, or any organization that I am a member of.
  #14  
Old December 28th 18, 01:23 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Greg \(Strider\) Moore
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Posts: 633
Default Falcon 9 Delivers Dragon Into Orbit, Flubs Landing

"Jeff Findley" wrote in message
...
So, even if SpaceX wants to reuse first stages, sometimes the customer
simply won't allow it (hint: GPS III satellites cost a hell of a lot
more to make than a Falcon 9 first stage).

Jeff


As an aside, a friend of mine has been working on this project (on the GPS
III sat). I'm not 100% sure of her role, but she's been quite frustrated
that the delays ruined her planned Christmas week off, but she's quite happy
to see it on orbit now!


--
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CEO QuiCR: Quick, Crowdsourced Responses. http://www.quicr.net
IT Disaster Response -
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  #16  
Old December 29th 18, 04:17 AM posted to sci.space.policy
Fred J. McCall[_3_]
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Posts: 9,896
Default Falcon 9 Delivers Dragon Into Orbit, Flubs Landing

JF Mezei wrote on Fri, 28 Dec 2018
20:13:31 -0500:

On 2018-12-28 08:57, Jeff Findley wrote:

I'm sure the delays were frustrating everyone, but this was the first
"critical" DOD flight on a Falcon 9, so best to get it right.


I have to wonder how "critical" this really was for DoD. Certaintly not
a secret launch, and not secret hardware or orbit.

I can see that it is important to get the first of a new constellation
up to test it.


It was 'critical' enough that they elected to fly it on a Falcon 9
rather than wait to get the originally planned Delta IV launcher.


BTW, in terms of not landing the stages. Was this on a leftover Block4
or a new Block5 ?


It was a Block 5.


I was told the goal was to stop poduction of Falcon9
in order to focus on BFR/BFS. If they get too many request for
expendanbvle Falcon9, won't they have to review their manufacturing plan
for Falcon9?


I'm sure things are under constant review based on current demand.
This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.


--
"Some people get lost in thought because it's such unfamiliar
territory."
--G. Behn
  #17  
Old December 29th 18, 01:23 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Jeff Findley[_6_]
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Posts: 1,826
Default Falcon 9 Delivers Dragon Into Orbit, Flubs Landing

In article ,
says...

On 2018-12-28 08:57, Jeff Findley wrote:

I'm sure the delays were frustrating everyone, but this was the first
"critical" DOD flight on a Falcon 9, so best to get it right.


I have to wonder how "critical" this really was for DoD. Certaintly not
a secret launch, and not secret hardware or orbit.


SpaceX close out 2018 with GPS III launch
written by Chris Gebhardt December 23, 2018
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018...gps-iii-first-
national-security-mission/

From above:

first US. National Security mission

and

Launch of the GPS III-SV01 spacecraft marked SpaceX's first
competitively awarded EELV, Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle,
contract with the US. Air Force and is the first of the new
generation of GPS III satellites to launch.

Prior DOD launches on Falcon 9 were not considered "National Security"
launches, from every article I've read. GPS III is considered to be
critical for US forces, unlike prior DOD launches on Falcon 9.

I can see that it is important to get the first of a new constellation
up to test it.


The Air Force wanted to reserve as much propellant as possible to insure
the success of the primary mission. They dictated no landing attempt,
so no grid fins or landing legs on this mission.

BTW, in terms of not landing the stages. Was this on a leftover Block4
or a new Block5 ? I was told the goal was to stop poduction of Falcon9
in order to focus on BFR/BFS. If they get too many request for
expendanbvle Falcon9, won't they have to review their manufacturing plan
for Falcon9?


New Block 5. All flights going forward will be Block 5.

Also, Falcon production lines are obviously not shut down as the
"hopper" prototype for Starship hasn't even flown once yet. So no, I
doubt this impacts their manufacturing plan one iota. The plan,
especially for the US Air Force, is to keep flying Falcon as long as
there is demand. If a customer is paying, there will be a Falcon to
launch.

No sane company stops selling the previous model abruptly. There is
always a transition period, often of many years. They just keep jacking
up the price of the previous model (that they really don't want to
support) until the customers switch to the new model.

Without giving away the details, the company I work for still builds and
ships an "old product" even though its "replacement product" (actually a
rebranding of another product) started sales in 2002. Note that this
was way back when Windows XP was still relatively "new". In the "old
product", there aren't any new features added or bugs fixed, we just
build it, test it, and ship it.

Even when Starship starts flying, Falcon will be no different, IMHO.
DOD/US Air Force especially will no doubt want to stick with the
"proven" launch vehicle for several years.

Jeff
--
All opinions posted by me on Usenet News are mine, and mine alone.
These posts do not reflect the opinions of my family, friends,
employer, or any organization that I am a member of.
  #18  
Old December 29th 18, 11:02 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Jeff Findley[_6_]
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Posts: 1,826
Default Falcon 9 Delivers Dragon Into Orbit, Flubs Landing

In article ,
says...

On 2018-12-29 08:23, Jeff Findley wrote:

Prior DOD launches on Falcon 9 were not considered "National Security"
launches, from every article I've read. GPS III is considered to be
critical for US forces, unlike prior DOD launches on Falcon 9.


I have to wonder what the "critical" designation is. Adding 1 satellite
to existing GPS constellation simply complements an existing service.


Soldiers in battle would depend on the new GPS III satellites. DOD
doesn't want to lose anything that soldiers would depend upon directly.
The payloads SpaceX launched before this weren't critical for soldiers
in battle.

The Air Force wanted to reserve as much propellant as possible to

insure
the success of the primary mission. They dictated no landing attempt,
so no grid fins or landing legs on this mission.


From an actual performance point of view, would legs and fins make a
noticeable dent in performance? (akaL is the dead weight worth the cost
or removing them ?


Any extra mass on the first stage impacts performance, a bit. It's not
1:1 like on the upper stage, but it still has an impact.

Since this was a new build, it is a no brainer to simply not install
them during assembly, but had this been a re-used block 5, would SpaceX
have bothered removing them?


DOD is currently specifying new Falcon 9 hardware only. DOD has not
certified already flown Falcon 9 first stages for DOD use.

Also, Falcon production lines are obviously not shut down as the
"hopper" prototype for Starship hasn't even flown once yet. So no, I
doubt this impacts their manufacturing plan one iota.


OK, so so far, all that has changed was the end of development for Falcon9 ?

I had read here that there were plans to sut down production of Falcon9
now that block 5 could be re-used many times.


If they did this, they would need maybe 50 first stages (my guess) to
take into account stages lost to mishaps (like the recent stage that
landed in the ocean instead of on land) and to take into account
customers specifying new stages only (i.e. DOD). If this happens, it
won't be for quite some time. They don't have anywhere near that many
Block 5 first stages built yet.

Do you have a cite which says exactly when they plan on stopping Falcon
9 first stage production? I certainly don't.

If DoD becomes a major
customer and insists on wasting perfectly good stages, won't that force
SpaceX to change its plans and continue to produce them for much longer
than originally anticipated?


Like I said above, I personally think they're a few years away from
making this decision.

I take it that the floor/building space and tooling for Falcon9
construction isn't going to be needed for BFR/BFS and that the two can
proceed at the same time ?


From what has been reported, BFR/BFS is being built at a different
facility, so I would think Falcon production could most certainly
continue in parallel (at least as far as facilities are concerned).

GPS satellites are about halfway to geosync and not at equatotial
inclination, so no need to "undo" the latitude you are launching from.
Or are those satellites much heavier than what is normnally launched to
geosync ?


I believe this launch was to a much higher inclination than due east
from KSC (55 degrees inclination according to the article below).

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018...gps-iii-first-
national-security-mission/

According to above, the Falcon 9 placed the GPS III satellite into an
orbit that was 1,200 km x 20,000 km. Another source says that GPS
satellites operate at 20,200 km (12,550 miles) in altitude.

So no, not as high as geosynch, but into a "medium" earth orbit, which
isn't terribly easy to reach.

No sane company stops selling the previous model abruptly.


What I had been told here was that Musk planned to shut production of
new block 5s and just keep re-using the ones that were built.


Yes, eventually. But SpaceX has only produced a handful of Falcon 9
Block 5 first stages so far.

BTW, once BFR is running, if the Falcon9 is truly at its performance
limit for GPS satellites, won't it become cheaper to launch on BFR which
will have pklenty fo spare performance to return and be re-used, thuse
lowering price ?


Maybe, if BFR/BFS is as successful as planned. That's not a given. The
BFS "hopper" hasn't even flown once, let alone the full up BFR/BFS.

Jeff
--
All opinions posted by me on Usenet News are mine, and mine alone.
These posts do not reflect the opinions of my family, friends,
employer, or any organization that I am a member of.
  #19  
Old December 29th 18, 11:28 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Fred J. McCall[_3_]
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Posts: 9,896
Default Falcon 9 Delivers Dragon Into Orbit, Flubs Landing

JF Mezei wrote on Sat, 29 Dec 2018
13:01:49 -0500:

On 2018-12-29 08:23, Jeff Findley wrote:

Prior DOD launches on Falcon 9 were not considered "National Security"
launches, from every article I've read. GPS III is considered to be
critical for US forces, unlike prior DOD launches on Falcon 9.


I have to wonder what the "critical" designation is. Adding 1 satellite
to existing GPS constellation simply complements an existing service.


There is a lot more to GPS than you're aware of.


But it is critical in that being the first of new generation, they want
to test/evaluate it likely before launching the rest.


No. It is 'critical' because it is a Block III bird.


The Air Force wanted to reserve as much propellant as possible to insure
the success of the primary mission. They dictated no landing attempt,
so no grid fins or landing legs on this mission.


From an actual performance point of view, would legs and fins make a
noticeable dent in performance? (akaL is the dead weight worth the cost
or removing them ?

Since this was a new build, it is a no brainer to simply not install
them during assembly, but had this been a re-used block 5, would SpaceX
have bothered removing them?


Since they're easily removed and designed for that, why wouldn't you?


Also, Falcon production lines are obviously not shut down as the
"hopper" prototype for Starship hasn't even flown once yet. So no, I
doubt this impacts their manufacturing plan one iota.


OK, so so far, all that has changed was the end of development for Falcon9 ?

I had read here that there were plans to sut down production of Falcon9
now that block 5 could be re-used many times.


You're like a two-year-old. Everything is RIGHT NOW. What you've
read here is that there are plans to reduce and eventually shut down
Falcon 9 production. This hasn't really changed. Once a sufficiently
large stock of Falcon 9 exists I'd still expect them to shut down that
production line.


If DoD becomes a major
customer and insists on wasting perfectly good stages, won't that force
SpaceX to change its plans and continue to produce them for much longer
than originally anticipated?


I would currently anticipate that BFR/BFS will be ready around
2024-25. Add another 5-10 years for them to become 'routine' and
demonstrated reliable.


I take it that the floor/building space and tooling for Falcon9
construction isn't going to be needed for BFR/BFS and that the two can
proceed at the same time ?


The biggest bottleneck is skilled workers.


Also, while it is mentioned that this "had" to be expendable due to
performance, is that really really the case? Reading that article,
especially the section about lawsuits, I get the feeling that someone
wanted the SpaceX flights to be more expensive so as to not make the ULA
costs look so absurd.


Your 'feelings' are not evidence. This launch was to an excessively
high inclination, so they still had to do a large plane change. I
seriously doubt ULA costs had anything to do with it beyond Congress
telling USAF that they need to get cheaper launches.


GPS satellites are about halfway to geosync and not at equatotial
inclination, so no need to "undo" the latitude you are launching from.
Or are those satellites much heavier than what is normnally launched to
geosync ?


A plane change is a plane change. They had to make a large plane
change to get this bird on orbit.


No sane company stops selling the previous model abruptly.


What I had been told here was that Musk planned to shut production of
new block 5s and just keep re-using the ones that were built.


Yes, ONCE THERE IS A SUFFICIENTLY LARGE EXISTING INVENTORY. Doh!


BTW, once BFR is running, if the Falcon9 is truly at its performance
limit for GPS satellites, won't it become cheaper to launch on BFR which
will have pklenty fo spare performance to return and be re-used, thuse
lowering price ?


Once it has demonstrated reliability it will be cheaper to launch
EVERYTHING on BFR/BFS because of the order of magnitude increase in
reusability.


--
"Some people get lost in thought because it's such unfamiliar
territory."
--G. Behn
  #20  
Old December 30th 18, 03:27 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Jeff Findley[_6_]
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Posts: 1,826
Default Falcon 9 Delivers Dragon Into Orbit, Flubs Landing

In article ,
says...

On 2018-12-29 18:02, Jeff Findley wrote:

Soldiers in battle would depend on the new GPS III satellites.


A single satellite with additional features does not make those
additioanl features useful because you can't triangulate with those
extra features with only 1 satellite.


This is the very first of the Block III satellites. They include many
improvements to prevent jamming, improve accuracy, and etc. And, since
this is a DOD satellite, perhaps this block includes other "features"
that aren't openly discussed that are critical to war-fighters.

The satellite will become part of the standard GPS constellation
broadcasting the public signals like other GPS satellites and will be
included in the almanach and ephemeris broadcasts. Adding and removing
GPS satellites has been done many times before so this isn't a
"critical" thing.

Once this new satellite is accompanied by other Block 3, then there will
be times where there will be sufficient new GPS satellites visible to a
soldeier to enable whatever new military features have been added.

I really suspect the "critical" nature is more a question of needing to
test this new generation of satellites before you launc the rest of the
constellation.


Suspect all you want. DOD disagrees with you. I'll side with DOD on
this one.

DOD is currently specifying new Falcon 9 hardware only. DOD has not
certified already flown Falcon 9 first stages for DOD use.


Consider the lawsuits resulting from DoD originally gifting the launch
contract to buddies at ULA. DoD would be hurting ULA if it allowed
SpaceX to sell affordable launch services on re-usable launchers since
that would put ULA out of business. So their write contract specs to
ensure the SPaceX costs are as high as the specs can make them. This
makes it easier for ULA to continue to win contracts with the same specs
(everything new, use only once etc)


This makes zero sense. Check when SpaceX won this contract. Also, ULA
didn't even bother bidding on this one (DOD made a *huge* stink about
that). ULA wanted to "save" its very limited number of DOD allocated
RD-180 engines for far more profitable DOD launches.

Also, check the date when SpaceX won this contract. How far along was
SpaceX with landings and reuse? Please put some facts into your
"reasoning".

And with the new Secretary of Defence expected to be ex-Boeing VP, one
can expect the "swamp" to continue to steer contracts towards ULA
instead of more affordable/competitive services, and only give token
launches to SpaceX and Blue Origin (eventually) once in a while to give
the appearance of conpetition.


Again, ULA didn't even bother to bid on this launch. That's on ULA and
on Congress for finally growing a pair and telling ULA they can't use
Russian engines on Atlas V.

Do you have a cite which says exactly when they plan on stopping Falcon
9 first stage production? I certainly don't.


I'd have to go back through all the insults McCall sends me to sift
through it.


I'll take that as a no.

It is possible that when the initial BFR/BFS schedule was announced,
bridging launches between then and start of BFR/BFS commecial flighst
would have required far fewer Fakcon9s at which point pre-building them
and shuttong down production was more realistic. Or just Elon Musk doing
some marketing theatricals.

Also back then, they didn't have those military contract requiring new
launchers each time. So that changes the equation.

As you may recall, I was blasted for stating that re-usability of
Falcon9 had not been proven yet. And it was in that context where I
didn't believe that they could shut down Falcon9 production because once
they had enough they could just re-use them until BFR/BFS was launching
payloads.


You'd better check your dates on these things. SpaceX, especially Elon
Musk, states aspirational goals all the time.

My aspirational goal is to ride into at least LEO on a spacecraft before
I die. Are you going to come back at me in a few years, when I'm still
on the ground, and tell me I was lying when I stated that goal?

If you had a quote from Shotwell with an actual date, that would hold
*far* more weight than a Tweet or offhand comment by Musk. Musk knows
where he wants to go, but hard schedules are clearly not his forte.

From what has been reported, BFR/BFS is being built at a different
facility, so I would think Falcon production could most certainly
continue in parallel (at least as far as facilities are concerned).


One of the arguments that had been made was refocusing resources/budgets
towards BFR/BFS so produce enough Fancon9s to bridge the gap and then
move all budgets to BFR/BFS. I suspect this was reviewed when you
consider that Falcon9s provide the funding for BFR/BFS development.


You're muddling this up. Research and development is *not* the same as
production!

SpaceX has frozen the design of the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy at the
Block 5 model. This has been openly stated by SpaceX on several
occasions. Therefore, there will be no more significant research and
development work done on Falcon series of launch vehicles.

Production, however, will absolutely continue for some time to come
because BFR/BFS hasn't even started flying, let alone proven itself yet!
SpaceX still has both external customers with contracts to launch on
Falcons. So they need to build more Falcons. Also, internally SpaceX
needs to start launching a lot of Starlink satellites before the FCC
deadline.

In conclusion, there will be plenty of opportunities for Falcon to
continue to fly for at least the next 5 years, IMHO.

The point is that all of the research and development teams are now
focusing on BFR/BFS. That's precisely why we keep seeing substantive
changes to the design, because the engineers are actually putting a lot
of R&D effort into the design. There was an announcement recently that
there has been a significant change to the Raptor engine design (no
details yet). All of this change just shows that BFR/BFS is nowhere
near done with research and development.

I believe this launch was to a much higher inclination than due east
from KSC (55 degrees inclination according to the article below).


From 28", is there a huge performance difference launching north east to
55° vs launching due east and then steering to circularize at 0°
latitude over equator? Both require basically 28° correction from a due
east launch.


I'm not awake enough to explain orbital mechanics to you. If you want
to know the answers, "do the math" yourself.

Maybe, if BFR/BFS is as successful as planned. That's not a given. The
BFS "hopper" hasn't even flown once, let alone the full up BFR/BFS.


But ! But ! it wasn't so long ago that it was a given, that the tanks
had been fully tested and anyone not believing this (me) was blasted and
insulted to smitereens. So now, people are starting to see that building
the largest ever rocket stage and spaceship capable of holding 100
people may p]ossibly be so delayed and changed that it may not happen on
schedule and project may get scaled back ?


Clearly SpaceX had not done enough development work on exactly how
BFS/Starship would reenter. They've now done enough work to realize
that the design would work better with stainless steel as the material
in order to reduce the amount of thermal protection required for
reentry. That's an engineering trade-off.

At this point it's not clear if SpaceX will use composite tanks on the
BFR/Super Booster (or whatever they're calling the first stage). All we
know for certain is that they've changed the material for the upper
stage (BFS/Starship) to a 300 series of stainless steel. The pictures
of the "hopper" out in Texas are pretty damn shiny, so I'm guessing
stainless steel.

If I were an engineer, I'd use the same material in the first stage just
for the commonality. But who knows. Maybe they'll stick with
composites because the first stage really doesn't experience much
heating on reentry because it's staging at suborbital velocities.

Jeff
--
All opinions posted by me on Usenet News are mine, and mine alone.
These posts do not reflect the opinions of my family, friends,
employer, or any organization that I am a member of.
 




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