Airlock

SpaceX: Current missions and future plans. (Renamed thread.)

7967 posts in this topic

6 hours ago, StupidAndy said:

RE-launch? does that mean they are reusing the stage (as in using it again, not trying to land it(successfully))?

have they done this before? I should really look this stuff up!

Yes, they are actually reflying a previously-flown first stage.

No, they have not done this before. Nobody has done this before on an orbital launch (Blue Origin has done it repeatedly with a smaller suborbital vehicle). Everyone's pretty excited for this. :)

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26 minutes ago, Streetwind said:

Yes, they are actually reflying a previously-flown first stage.

No, they have not done this before. Nobody has done this before on an orbital launch (Blue Origin has done it repeatedly with a smaller suborbital vehicle). Everyone's pretty excited for this. :)

Um ... except for some Space Shuttles that were relaunched dozens of times.

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20 hours ago, Streetwind said:

Oh hey, looks like SES-10 it is, and the date appears to be holding too! :)

 

Oh cmon its in the middel of the night MIDDEL and i am going to school the next day

Anybody know the backup launch window? 

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Just now, mikegarrison said:

Um ... except for some Space Shuttles that were relaunched dozens of times.

That was a completely different vehicle, fulfilling a completely different purpose, IMHO.

Not to lessen the achievements of the shuttle program, of course. :)

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1 minute ago, Streetwind said:

That was a completely different vehicle, fulfilling a completely different purpose, IMHO.

Not to lessen the achievements of the shuttle program, of course. :)

Yeah. But what is a first-stage rocket if not a rocket engine (or three) that ignites on the pad? I think it's nifty what SpaceX and Blue Origin are doing, but it's a very strange reinterpretation of history to claim that this will be the first reused orbital rocket stage....

The shuttle was the first reused orbital launch system. And no, they didn't reuse all of it, but neither does SpaceX.

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Posted (edited)

14 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

Yeah. But what is a first-stage rocket if not a rocket engine (or three) that ignites on the pad? I think it's nifty what SpaceX and Blue Origin are doing, but it's a very strange reinterpretation of history to claim that this will be the first reused orbital rocket stage....

The shuttle was the first reused orbital launch system. And no, they didn't reuse all of it, but neither does SpaceX.

I disagree. The way I (and I would imagine SpaceX) would argue it is as follows:

 

SpaceX 1st stage: launch, land, inspection, refuel, relaunch. One fully self contained stage that can be (in theory) relaunched many times.

Space Shuttle: launch, land, inspection, build a brand new external fuel tank, refuel, relaunch. "Stage" is not self contained, requires a new fuel tank to be built for every launch.

 

By that logic you can see why SpaceX are claiming it's the first reusable stage. The shuttle orbiter being reused is a bit like that plan for the Vulcan to reuse the engines of the first stage, and ESA would definitely not claim that just saving the engines was reusing the whole first stage.

Edited by Steel

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Shuttle contained the fuel tanks and engines for orbital insertion, so even by your definition it was a reused stage.

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Posted (edited)

Falcon 9 is a fully reusable first stage. The launch system as a whole isn't fully reusable.

Space shuttle was neither fully reusable nor a first stage.

They are two different things. They both are/were reusable in one way or another. I don't think they should be compared. For me the most important part is how much each of these cost/costed. F9 is much simpler. Space Shuttle was much more complicated than F9.

Edited by Veeltch

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29 minutes ago, Kryten said:

Shuttle contained the fuel tanks and engines for orbital insertion, so even by your definition it was a reused stage.

Yes, but those engine were not used at launch, they were glorified (and highly complicated) RCS thrusters. My point was that to launch the shuttle again you have to build a new fuel tank, to launch a F9 again you do not. 

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2 hours ago, mikegarrison said:

Yeah. But what is a first-stage rocket if not a rocket engine (or three) that ignites on the pad? I think it's nifty what SpaceX and Blue Origin are doing, but it's a very strange reinterpretation of history to claim that this will be the first reused orbital rocket stage....

It's also claimed that Falcon1 was the first privately funded rocket rocket to reach orbit, apparently Pegasus never existed.

Welcome to the posmodernism :/

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Posted (edited)

10 minutes ago, kunok said:

It's also claimed that Falcon1 was the first privately funded rocket rocket to reach orbit, apparently Pegasus never existed.

Welcome to the posmodernism :/

Privately-developed, not privately funded.

 

EDIT: no I'm still wrong. I think most people just misquote "first privately-developed liquid-fuel launch vehicle" as "first privately-developed launch vehicle"

Edited by Steel

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Isnt the biggest difference in reusability, that the shuttle was more or less reassembled each time they reused it?

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12 minutes ago, Elthy said:

Isnt the biggest difference in reusability, that the shuttle was more or less reassembled each time they reused it?

AFAIK later on yes. Especially after the accidents. This and the fact that parts were made by different companies made it so expensive to fly.

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Steel said:

Privately-developed, not privately funded.

EDIT: no I'm still wrong. I think most people just misquote "first privately-developed liquid-fuel launch vehicle" as "first privately-developed launch vehicle"

That's what I was trying to say.

And I think that is very easy to misquote that wording, and I think is very naive to think that easy to misquote wording wasn't done in purpose. Nowadays most people believe that SpaceX had developed the first private orbital rocket ever.

Edited by kunok

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2 minutes ago, kunok said:

That's what I was trying to say.

And I think that is very easy to misquote that wording, and I think is very naive to think that easy to misquote wording wasn't done in purpose. Nowadays most people believe that SpaceX had developed the first orbital rocket ever.

I believe you're right. Interesting and completely off topic (hence in spoiler box) musing below:

Spoiler

SpaceX is rightly entitled to call their rocket the "first privately-developed liquid-fuel launch vehicle", so surely the misquoting is the fault of the lack of effort people put into fact-checking these days. SpaceX have never deliberately tried to mislead people, they (or whoever else it might be) are just using the fact that very few people actually read things properly these days.

 

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We are derailing but

Spoiler

"SpaceX have never deliberately tried to mislead people, they (or whoever else it might be) are just using the fact that very few people actually read things properly these days. " @Steel

This is a contradiction, if you are using the fact that most people don't really read things, you are actually deliberately trying to mislead people.

PD: I don't know how to properly quote inside a spoiler

Anyway in the actual topic

1 hour ago, Elthy said:

Isnt the biggest difference in reusability, that the shuttle was more or less reassembled each time they reused it?

Do we really know what is done to a future reused stage in SpaceX? How much is reassembled?

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3 minutes ago, kunok said:

Do we really know what is done to a future reused stage in SpaceX? How much is reassembled?

We dont know the current procedure, but Elon Musk wants a rocket that can be reused like a plane. I would bet they are way close to that goal for the first stage than the spaceshuttle ever was...

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Just now, Elthy said:

We dont know the current procedure, but Elon Musk wants a rocket that can be reused like a plane. I would bet they are way close to that goal for the first stage than the spaceshuttle ever was...

The spaceshuttle was also planned that way, that doesn't mean that will be achievable.

Time will say, but I think that Blue origin will be far better than SpaceX in this, and that we wouldn't be discussing any of this if the DC-X were funded in the 90's.

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7 minutes ago, kunok said:

but I think that Blue origin will be far better than SpaceX in this

Why? SpaceX seems way ahead in most fields, while Blue Origin only has their New Shepard, which about equals the old grasshopper.

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3 hours ago, Steel said:

Yes, but those engine were not used at launch, they were glorified (and highly complicated) RCS thrusters. My point was that to launch the shuttle again you have to build a new fuel tank, to launch a F9 again you do not. 

Grasshopper never got above a kilometre altitude.

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6 hours ago, mikegarrison said:

it's a very strange reinterpretation of history to claim that this will be the first reused orbital rocket stage

It's a series relaunch. This happened to Batman dozen times.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, kunok said:

The spaceshuttle was also planned that way, that doesn't mean that will be achievable.

Time will say, but I think that Blue origin will be far better than SpaceX in this, and that we wouldn't be discussing any of this if the DC-X were funded in the 90's.

Reusing first stage is way easier than reusing the upper. First you don't have to do reentry, second is that one ton extra weight on first stage probably only reduce cargo with 200 kg, perhaps less.

Second issue is that the shuttle was so over optimized it became an hangar queen, resulting in fewer launches and driving up cost. 

SpaceX has an launcher with an launch date, Blue origin has not build their orbital rocket yet. 
No this does not imply that Blue origin will fail just that they will not be first.

DC-X was an SSTO, it would fail no matter how well funded. You can not build an practical ssto with rocket engines. Skylon might work, same with beamed power, not rockets. 
Fully reusable two stage rockets should also work, 
 

 

Edited by magnemoe

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3 hours ago, Elthy said:

We dont know the current procedure, but Elon Musk wants a rocket that can be reused like a plane. I would bet they are way close to that goal for the first stage than the spaceshuttle ever was...

The designers of the Space Shuttle *wanted* that too.

Orville and Wilbur didn't make a 787 the first time they flew. But that doesn't mean they didn't actually fly. It's crazy to be such a fanboy that you can't accept that the Space Shuttle was a reused orbital launcher. Of course the first one ever designed, built, and used had some problems. It was using technology from 40 years ago, it didn't have its own lessons learned to work with, it was forced to be designed to try to do everything, etc. SpaceX's next design will probably be better than Falcon, but that isn't a dig against Falcon. It's just progress.

But it's simply a fact that they were launched to orbit, landed, launched again, landed again, lather, rinse, repeat.

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F9 is the first fully reused first stage, STS is the first partially reusable launch system. There really doesn't need to be a page long argument.

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2 hours ago, insert_name said:

F9 is the first fully reused first stage, STS is the first partially reusable launch system. There really doesn't need to be a page long argument.

Fully? Not a single bolt or linkage replaced?

Look guys, I'll be as impressed as anyone when SpaceX relaunches one of their Falcons. But in this thread people continually seem to pile on the hyperbole about them as if everything they do is completely unprecedented. It's not. Like every other engineering outfit, they are standing on the shoulders of people who are standing on the shoulders of other people who stood on some shoulders of their own. That's how this stuff works.

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