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Found 17 results

  1. The latest NASA budget suggests the Europa Clipper, an orbiter mission to the Jovian-system to study Europa, won’t fly on the SLS, but instead on commercial rockets: https://mobile.twitter.com/SpcPlcyOnline/status/1105131948903747584 However, instead of just an orbiter mission, by using commercial rockets, we can do it as an actual lander mission at a fraction of the cost of the SLS-based orbiter mission. In fact, it could be so low cost so as to be fully privately financed and at a profit. http://exoscientist.blogspot.com/2015/02/low-cost-europa-lander-missions.html This written in 2015. Since then the F9 has been increases in payload nearly 50% and the FH by nearly 25%. So the landers could be made larger or more capable in-space stages could be used to shorten the flight time. I had assumed that the Falcon Heavy couldn't carry the full Europa Clipper orbiter at 6 ton gross mass to Jupiter. And speculation had been the addition of a Star 48 solid-stage would allow the EC mission on a FH but it would require an Earth gravity-assist that would lengthen the flight time to 6 years. However, I was surprised when I ran the numbers that the upgraded version of the FH could do the mission with plenty of margin with the addition of one of the existing cryogenic upper stages. The extra margin would actually allow you to shorten the flight time from the 2.7 years expected with the SLS. Bob Clark
  2. For the first time a SpaceX project on Lego Ideas is about to finally hit 10,000 supporters. At which time it will go in front of a Lego review board to be green-lighted. Elon Musk will also have to give it his blessing. It only has a few hundred supporters to go. Check out the updates tab to see the upgrades (including the FH Block 5). The creator is a STEM teacher who built the set to inspire his students. Let's support him and get him the rest of the way!
  3. Starman's Tesla Roadster On February 6th, 2018 this very Tesla Roadster along with an assortment of other things began their billion year journey around the Sun. Fortunately, the Kerbals discovered this amazing piece of history and brought it back to their homeworld of Kerbin. Now you can control the launch, and send Starman to whichever planet or moon you desire. Features: Detailed model of Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster and Starman based off of the real car. Craft file for the stand with the car pre-mounted. (Fixed as of 2.1.1) Don't Panic sign. This mod was designed purely for entertainment and has no real functionality yet. Changes in latest update v2.1.1: The craft a file has been updated and added back to the mod. Changes in latest update v2.1: Removed rearview mirror and windshield wiper. They are not on the real car. Fixed the side reflector colors. They now appear orange and red like they are supposed to. Slightly adjusted the tires. About 2% larger and fit nicer in the wheel well. Completely new Starman model and other visual improvements are on the way in a future update. Download from SpaceDock Download from CurseForge Requires: SpaceX Launch Vehicles by @Kartoffelkuchen HullcamVDS by @Albert VDS; @linuxgurugamer
  4. Well, I've finally completed it to my satisfaction. Here is the Falcon Heavy Test Flight, set to an original piece:
  5. I was looking on the around and noticed there isn't a thread for re-usable rockets not even Falcon 9 replicas so I decided to start one. I don't care if they just reuse the first stage or the whole thing, POST IT HERE! PS I will have mine up soon.
  6. With the first Falcon Heavy static fire test complete, I think it's time to get some input on the song I'm writing for it's maiden flight. Tell me, do you think this theme will provide sufficient hype from T- 1:00 minute to T- 0? If you could please assign it a Hype Percentage based on your own judgement of the song, do so in the poll. Critique the piece in the comments. A revision: I would like to know if this much is sufficiently Hyped so that I can strive to provide maximum Hype throughout the video of the launch.
  7. I created this challenge yesterday: And I just managed to complete it. I didn't score all the possible points, but I did successfully complete my main goal, which was propulsively landing all three booster cores within the same save. It's very challenging. The trick is to use a highly lofted initial burn, followed by a flat boostback on the first booster, an even-more-lofted boostback on the second booster, and a high-apogee downrange loft on the core. If timed properly, each booster can be landed before the following booster drops out. I suppose it doesn't look very Tesla-esque, but oh well. It can do about 50 mph, so we'll just chalk that up to it being a little on the old side. Corners ridiculously well, though, thanks to the low center of gravity. It survived this jump, surprisingly, though I believe it lost a headlight. Then came time to mate to the rocket! It's a big rocket. I could have made it smaller with Tweakscale, but didn't want to use mods. The Roadster takes its rightful place. The three cores are virtually identical, except for the fairings up top. Not shown: nine Vectors, thrust-limited to 92% (because Falcon Heavy will launch Elon's Tesla at 92% of its max thrust), with 100% gimbal on the core engine and 75% gimbal on the circle of engines. Time to head to the pad! Sitting pretty. Ignition before clamp release. Each of the 12 landing legs are an aligned pair of landing struts covered by elevons (with control authority turned off), keyed to the gear action group. "Check ignition "And may God's love be with you..." Starting a very, very mild turn at 100 m/s. Going to have a very lofted trajectory. At around Mach 1, I used an action group to cut thrust on all but the core's center engine. It's not perfect; the real Falcon Heavy will throttle all nine engines down to the minimum throttle together, but I couldn't be QUITE that perfect. Up, up, and away! I would have liked to use a reskin but oh well. Cutting all engine thrust to around 65% at 500 m/s to help loft the trajectory a bit more. Coming up on staging. The goal will be to separate and flip the first booster for boostback as soon as possible after apoapsis exceeds 70 km; that's when I know I'll be able to switch back and forth without problems. Am I correct that the navball automatically switches from Surface to Orbit as soon as your apogee exceeds 70 km? I suppose I'll have to test that another time. Anyway, it was the indicator I used. MECO and stage sep! Action groups are your friend. Leaving the core engine firing until I clear the two side boosters. I would have liked to have a single RCS thruster set to "fore by throttle" connected to a single monoprop tank, just to aid in separation, but there's no good way to do it. The core engine will fire until I am 2.5 km out of range, which should give me a bit of a loft. Using the engines to help with the flip on the first booster. The trick here is to get as flat a boostback as possible, but still keep my apoapse over 70 km so I'll be able to switch to the other booster in the brief window of time that I'm officially out of the atmosphere. All right, this boostback is almost done. Waiting to be able to switch back to the other booster... This one takes a much more lofted boostback burn, because I need a bit of hang time. I will only have a few seconds after I land the first booster before the second one would unload. Lofted boostback on the second booster, complete. Rapidly switched back to the core; I'd already crossed apoapse so I really have to gun these engines to get back onto a good trajectory. After getting my core to the desired trajectory, it was back to the first booster...with just seconds to spare. Already dropping like a rock. Used action groups to turn off the ring of outside engines but manually reactivated two of them for the three-engine burns to come. The first booster has a very gentle entry and doesn't need an entry burn. Landing burn starts pretty high, though. These engines are still limited to 92% thrust. I would have liked to come down closer to the beach, but I'll take what I can get. Booster is transonic. I'd toyed with using the airbrakes for control, but it never really worked right so I just made them fixed. Made sure to switch to radial-out at the right time; otherwise you end up going haywire at landing. Opening up those elevons and lowering the legs. Legs down; final approach. Throttling for landing. Dropping throttle lower. This will be a perfect hoverslam. And down! Still wobbly, but safe. And again, with seconds to spare, I switch to the next booster core. This time I'm already in re-entry while I'm switching my engines back on. Despite a higher-energy entry (given the more lofted boostback), I didn't need an entry burn on this one either. Starting the landing burn at roughly the same altitude; drag is the great equalizer here. Subsonic. Should have good fuel reserves. Still firing full-throttle. Legs down early this time...not really possible in real life, due to drag on the legs, but the drag from my airbrakes is so much higher than leg drag here that it doesn't matter. Less slam, more hover. I had enough fuel to counter gravity losses; my real concern was getting down fast enough to get back to the core before it hit the atmosphere. Made it! Couldn't resist a glamour shot with this core here and the other one in the distance. I really should have used Tweakscale to bump up the authority on the RCS thrusters, but I wanted to do it pure-stock. Uh oh; the core (and upper stage) have already dropped out of the atmosphere. This is going to be REALLY tight. Glad I didn't blow that fairing earlier. Boosting the upper stage free as soon as possible. I'm going to let the upper stage burn on its own while I switch back to the core. The engine will continue to fire until there is 2.5 km between the two vehicles; then the engine firing sequence is unloaded even though the vehicle persists on its trajectory. With luck, this will be just enough to get out of the atmosphere, but not so much that I waste all my fuel. Back to the core, switching to my three recovery engines. On this one, I'm DEFINITELY going to need an entry burn. (Spoiler: I tried without one, and most of the engines survive but all the airbrakes burn up.) "This is Ground Control to Major Tom "You've really made the grade" Thankfully it doesn't take a very long entry burn, though. Coming down in a mountainous region is going to be REALLY tricky. Deploying legs early to help me slow down, even though again this is NOT SpaceX kosher. Missed most of the landing burn, but here's the very last bit. A good deal of hovering and translation here to find a flat enough landing spot. Yikes! ....but I made it, didn't I. Now to see what happened to the upper stage! Hah! Still in the atmosphere, but with an exoatmospheric apoapsis. I'll go ahead and blow the fairing, though there's not much to see on the dark side. Should be a piece of cake from here on out. Getting ready to circularize. Stable orbit achieved! There she is! Roadster perched atop the upper stage. Now for the exit burn. POW. Five gees is a bit much for the real-life Tesla, but autostrut is our friend here. Pushing out of the system. And there we go! Hohmann transfer above Dunian orbit! Finally, the money shot. "Can you hear me, Major Tom? Can you hear me, Major Tom?" "Though I'm past one hundred thousand miles "I'm feeling very still "And I think my spaceship knows which way to go"
  8. With the Falcon Heavy's first test fire just days away, Elon's personal Tesla already mounted to the PAF, and the launch to Mars expected next month, what better time than Christmas break to build a Falcon Heavy in KSP and use it to send a battery-powered sports car to Duna? The Challenge: Build a battery-powered two-seat rover (with a probe core, please; this IS a Tesla we're talking about), mount it on the single-engine upper stage of a three-stick parallel-staged launch vehicle, and send it to a Duna-intersecting orbit! Recover as many components of your launch vehicle as possible. All mods are allowed, but try to keep it as close to stock as you can, and name whatever mods you use. Scoring is based on accumulation of points as follows: Gone For a Spin (10 points): Before the launch, demonstrate your Roadster's moves by driving it around the KSC. Speed Demon (15 points): Test your Roadster at speeds over 100 mph (45 m/s). Falcon Nine (27 points): Use nine engines on each of your booster cores. Autonomic (13 points): Use drone cores; nothing manned. Looking Easy (16 points): Recover at least one parallel booster. Insane Mode (42 points): Recover both parallel boosters with boostback, RTLS (anywhere on KSC continent), and propulsive landing. Downrange (19 points): Recover your center core. Supercruise (18 points): Recover your center core by landing on a boat. Tru Lyfe (33 points): All booster recoveries without chutes. Hail Mary (28 points): Bring back the upper stage. Double Trouble (26 points): Build your own fairings and recover at least one. Purity (30 points): No mods. Destination (22 points): Land your Roadster on Duna and take it for a spin! Leaderboard: @Ultimate Steve: 277 points @LightBender: 196 points @sevenperforce: 190 points
  9. This is my first post, and with the upcoming December Falcon Heavy launch, I decided to share the SpaceX Falcon Heavy replica I made. I couldn't get an image here, but here's the download: Falcon Heavy Download A few mods are required for it to work though: -Kerbal Reusability -Kerbal Engineer Redux -FMRS If anyone else wants to take a screenshot and upload it, that would be appreciated. Thanks!
  10. Does anyone have tips on how to land 2 seperate boosters decoupled at the sametime in the lower atmosphere?
  11. there are currently 2 drone-ships that works for SpaceX. 1 on the Pacific and 1 on the Atlantic. if falcon heavy was ever needed for any high-velocity missions such as new horizon, the two side boosters might need to land on drone-ships. if they come back to land, there might not be enough velocity to mach the requirements of the mission. would they make 2 more drone-ships or will they just not reuse the boosters at all.
  12. I am wanting to present to NASA and others a mission architecture for a combined Phobos-Deimos (PhD) mission using Falcon Heavy launches, Dragon capsule(s), maybe BEAM habitat, maybe a Centaur upper stage, and maybe solar electric propulsion. The mission could preposition a hab and supplies at Phobos, use aerobraking, and leaving all but a capsule in a highly elliptical Mars orbit (HEMO) in order to minimize the propellant needed. Transfer between Phobos and Deimos could be done via Dragon capsule or if not sufficiently capable then just the crew with a propulsion pack. This project could be part of the work of a Space Development Group which develops a set of mission architectures for the low-cost development of the inner solar system. Check out LunarCOTS.com. Thx.
  13. Alright guys and gals, here's the situation. Despite being an engineer, I'm not up on orbital math like some of you, so this is mostly a "Can anyone tell if this is even within the realm of possibility?" type question. Enjoy. As we all know, or are learning now, the Hubble Space Telescope is in Low Earth Orbit at around 300 miles altitude. For reference the ISS is at about 250 miles. Hubble weighs about 24,500 lbs (11,110 kg) and is described as being 43x14 ft (13.2x4.2 meters) in size. What I propose as a possibility is the following: In short, utilize the Falcon Heavy as an unmanned recovery platform for the Hubble. The FH incidentally is 39.9 ft (12.2 m) in diameter. http://www.spacex.com/falcon-heavy I think the problem should be broken down into three aspects, the first is, regardless of HOW we go about attaching, securing, landing this whole thing together, does the FH have the dV to get up there to that orbit and land with that increased payload? The second is, can the FH carrying such a weight land at all? The third is, what sort of difficulties could we run into with the part where we attach and secure the Hubble to the FH? I've got a few random ideas on this, but do not take them as requirements for your solutions and proposals. First off, at current time how much effort, if any, is going into establishing a reusable 2nd stage rocket at SpaceX, is largely up for debate. I've heard reports that they are still working on it, others that say the effort has been shelved for the near term, etc. Given this, I posit that rather than attempting to use a system that doesn't exist yet (somewhat ironic of course, given that the FH has yet to fly, but it at least has prototypes under construction), we proceed along the lines of utilizing the FH without it's second stage rocket. Obviously this changes a lot of the equations a fair bit, that's for you all to discuss. I would state that the second stage is likely replaced by an extension to the main core of the FH, providing it with extra fuel for both the main rockets as well as the orbital maneuvering jets. Obviously any such system is going to need a some form of robotic arm/grappler, if only to help close up the satellite. For re-entry shielding purposes, I think one of NASAs deployable doughnut shields fit around the interface between the FH and the Hubble will suffice. Assorted possibilities to consider, if Hubble has any usable amount of propellant on board, it could be used to intentionally lower Hubble's orbit for the intercept with FH, thus reducing the dV requirements of the mission AND reducing Hubble's mass.
  14. 2 hours ago SpaceX announced on their Twitter page that they are launching the first Red Dragon to Mars (to land) by 2018. According to Elon Musk's previous tweets, they expect Europa landings to follow, and other extra planetary landings in general. Falcon Heavy is also the confired lifter. More information will follow during the Mexico space conference this September.
  15. NASA scientists say we could colonise the Moon by 2022... for just $10 billion. What are we waiting for? FIONA MACDONALD 22 MAR 2016 Quote: All of the papers in the special edition of New Space are freely available online for you to peruse and use to plan your future in space. Get dreaming, because it's closer than you think. "It is time to go back to this Moon, this time to stay," concludes the journal's preface. "and funding is no longer the main hurdle." http://www.sciencealert.com/nasa-scientists-say-we-could-colonise-the-moon-by-2022-for-just-10-billion
  16. Altitude compensation has importance beyond just SSTO's. It can improve payload even for multistage rockets. For the Falcon 9 the payload can be increased by approx. 25%. However, the increase is especially marked for triple-cored rockets such as the Falcon Heavy and Delta IV Heavy, in the range of 40%. Moreover, there is an especial synergy when it is used in conjunction with cross-feed fueling for triple-cored rockets. This is because with cross-feed the center core stage spends a larger amount of time at high altitude and vacuum conditions. So the higher vacuum Isp has a greater effect in this case. Indeed, for triple-cored rockets, using both cross-feed and altitude compensation can double the payload: Altitude Compensation Improves Payload for All Launchers. http://exoscientist.blogspot.com/2016/01/altitude-compensation-improves-payload.html Then it is important to develop altitude compensation even if you don't believe in SSTO's. Ironically, though, once altitude compensation is developed, then it will be realized how valuable SSTO's are. Bob Clark