Skylon

SpaceX Discussion Thread

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Ninja’d. 
Kinda bummed about not seeing the test sats, tho. That’s the part I was looking forward to. ;.;
Edited by CatastrophicFailure

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5 minutes ago, Ultimate Steve said:

Anyone know if the ship can catch both halves, or will they need two ships for that?

There's been a lot of speculation about this, but two ships is the most likely solution.

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19 minutes ago, tater said:

My friend in LA could see it.

He sent me a pic.

Videos are starting to pop up online. Not quite as spectacular as the other time, but definitely visible:

 

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So close, so close.

A bigger chute means more mass at launch, though I suppose it's not too terribly much.

I want to see the video of the fairing in the water!

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I was in class when the launch happend, 13 minutes before school was out.

Anyways, did the fairing thing go wrong?

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18 minutes ago, sevenperforce said:

So close, so close.

A bigger chute means more mass at launch, though I suppose it's not too terribly much.

I want to see the video of the fairing in the water!

It can be balanced though. More weight to chutes, if recovered can allow more cost/recovery potential in lowering weight in other structural parts. If it can be recovered consistently, then investing in lighter materials becomes possible.

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Still, they did something for the first time.  Now, only the second stage is expendable.  

Edited by DAL59

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I watched Gemini flights as a baby (which I don't remember). One of my first memories is Apollo 11 (nursery school age). I watched all the Apollo flights. I watched many Shuttle flights, and have had private tours of KSC years ago. The only real launch I saw was one of Deke Slayton's here in NM (got passes from him). I've been a space geek for a long time.

Falcon 9, and SpaceX is by far the most interesting stuff I have seen in the development of space since the first Shuttle launches (when I had no idea it'd not match the expectations they painted).

Smart people since the 1960s have said that reuse---full reuse---was the ticket to space getting really interesting. Phil Bono at Douglas, and even Boeing in the 1970s, McDonnell Douglas in the 1990s. This was not a rare, oddball opinion, this was what people in the know thought.

We're finally making actual progress.

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@Topic: I wonder how badly the fairing is damaged after the splashdown. Maybe its easier to design its with salt water contact in mind than to hit the boat out there to catch it...

Edited by monstah
Removed part that was replying to hidden off-topic discussion, left relevant part, unhid

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Salt water is nasty.

I think their goal is not to refubish them, but to just reuse them with almost no effort. Dry makes that far easier.

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9 minutes ago, tater said:

Salt water is nasty.

I think their goal is not to refubish them, but to just reuse them with almost no effort. Dry makes that far easier.

If you could pop a couple of airbags such that the whole thing was held out of the water, with a little water splashing up onto the outside but not the interior, would there be any damage?

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2 minutes ago, sevenperforce said:

If you could pop a couple of airbags such that the whole thing was held out of the water,

I guess the mass penalty is still going to be larger than leaving some drops of fuel...

 

In any case, does anyone know whether that was close to their limits of expendable SSO/Polar launch mass ?

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5 minutes ago, sevenperforce said:

If you could pop a couple of airbags such that the whole thing was held out of the water, with a little water splashing up onto the outside but not the interior, would there be any damage?

Good question. I'd imagine that aerodynamics result in it moving through the air in much the same way we see it in the water, outside down. The chutes, etc are necessarily inside, so on the "up" side. The problem with an airbag is that it would also deploy on the side where the chutes are necessarily attached. That seems like it would be non-trivial to deal with (or the airbags have to deploy out of the shell, which for strength is likely monolithic).

Edited by tater

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3 hours ago, Kerbal7 said:

It's not like we haven't been doing this routinely since the 1960s or anything.

Not as routine as flying an aircraft or driving still... You'd still have problems trying to board one from statistics alone.

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A reality check. Much has said that the fairings cost 6M. Call it 5M. If every launch this year reused fairings, they'd pocket almost 150 Million dollars. Their launch prices are about the same, reused or not. Every reused booster is 10s of millions they pocket. The whole point of this revenue is to develop the next gen vehicle. Fairing reuse is free money (minus dev costs, which seem to be fairly minimal), and once accomplished, moves BFR forward (since the composite people then partially move to making the grasshopper).

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Yeah, saving a 150 megafunds is a word.

Corrosion/delamination/alteration of plastic in salt water depends on the type of plastic and the care that was taken when making it. Inclusions and bubbles will accelerate the decay, but i doubt that these relatively basic things are a problem here. Plastic boats swim for decades, if taken care of. I would say that a short swim will have no negative influence on the structural integrity of the egg shells.

Salt water is more a problem for metals, corroding them chemically and through electrolysis if a current is present.

It astonishes me that the thing has no visible traces of reentry, like a burnt surface.

Edited by Green Baron

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