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Old 10th April 2019, 03:49 PM   #1
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First commercial launch of Falcon Heavy

Being the space nerd that I am, this is looking exciting

Launch has been pushed back to the end of the current launch window at 8:32 pm in Florida (00:32 UTC) due to high level winds at the original time of 6:30. If there is a hold for any reason now, the launch will be scrubbed.

SpaceX will be attempting to recover all three boosters; the two side boosters back to LZ1 and LZ2 at The Cape, and the core booster to the drone ship OCISLY positioned 1000k/m downrange. If this all works it will be the first time that three boosters have been recovered, and the longest range booster recovery to date. If they succeed, that is around 90% hardware recovery for reuse.

You can watch the launch live here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXMGu2d8c8g
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Old 10th April 2019, 04:20 PM   #2
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Launch has been scrubbed.

Come back tomorrow, same time, same place
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Old 11th April 2019, 12:03 PM   #3
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18:35 EDT / 22:35 UTC today is the new launch window if the weather is good.
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Old 11th April 2019, 12:29 PM   #4
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Scheduled launch is 22:35, that is about three ours from now.

Weather looks good; partly cloudy, 25°C, gentle breeze, 4 m/s from the east, but high altitude winds are still a concern.
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Old 11th April 2019, 03:40 PM   #5
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All 3 cores nailed the landing.
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Old 11th April 2019, 03:41 PM   #6
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All three boosters landed safely. and Arabsat 6A is in nominal orbit.

Outstanding!

I know that what they are doing here is not easy, but they sure make it look that way.
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Old 11th April 2019, 03:57 PM   #7
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But that attempt for the first private industry probe landing on the Moon did not go so well....
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Old 11th April 2019, 04:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
But that attempt for the first private industry probe landing on the Moon did not go so well....

Descent engine shut down 10Km up. They got it restarted, but too late.

It was a bit of a budget attempt though, by the new boys on the block.
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Old 11th April 2019, 04:50 PM   #9
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Well, nuts! I've missed yet another live launch. I'd have sworn they said something like 8:30 Eastern. Replay was still pretty cool.
Too bad about Beresheet but still quite an accomplishment.
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Old 11th April 2019, 05:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Well, nuts! I've missed yet another live launch. I'd have sworn they said something like 8:30 Eastern. Replay was still pretty cool.
Too bad about Beresheet but still quite an accomplishment.
Yeah, I was on the bus at the time. But it's okay. It's Friday here, so I'll pour myself a drink and watch it tonight.
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Old 11th April 2019, 06:43 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by phunk View Post
All 3 cores nailed the landing.
They recovered the fairing halves too, and plan on reusing them for the first time on their Starlink launch later this year (https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1116514068393680896). That means the only thing actually expended on this launch was the second stage.
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Old 11th April 2019, 06:53 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
They recovered the fairing halves too, and plan on reusing them for the first time on their Starlink launch later this year (https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1116514068393680896). That means the only thing actually expended on this launch was the second stage.
That is quite frankly amazing. They were recovered from the water, rather than being caught by the big net ships, but still.
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Old 11th April 2019, 07:05 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
They recovered the fairing halves too, and plan on reusing them for the first time on their Starlink launch later this year (https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1116514068393680896). That means the only thing actually expended on this launch was the second stage.
And they are planning to reuse these three cores in the upcoming Falcon Heavy STP-2 mission in June
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Old 11th April 2019, 07:05 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
And they are planning to reuse these three cores in the upcoming Falcon Heavy STP-2 mission in June
And the fairings. Don't forget the fairings. This'll be the first time they'll be reused.
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Old 11th April 2019, 07:47 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
And they are planning to reuse these three cores in the upcoming Falcon Heavy STP-2 mission in June
The two side cores. They weren't sure the center core would make it, and planned to use another one.

The center core set a record for highest reentry energy recovery, about 25% higher than the previous record from the numbers I've seen. It may need some work.
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Old 11th April 2019, 08:00 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
The two side cores. They weren't sure the center core would make it, and planned to use another one.
The fact that they can re-use them at all is just stunning.
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Old 12th April 2019, 01:00 AM   #17
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I was asleep, being on the east side of the Atlantic, and therefore didn't see the launch live (unlike the first).

But this is so cool and exciting.
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Old 12th April 2019, 10:14 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
And the fairings. Don't forget the fairings. This'll be the first time they'll be reused.
Not for STP-2 though. That'll get new fairings. First fairing reuse will be on their own payload (starlink) not a customer.
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Old 12th April 2019, 10:32 AM   #19
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It is amazing to watch the two first stages landing in almost perfect sync.
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Old 12th April 2019, 01:08 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by phunk View Post
Not for STP-2 though. That'll get new fairings. First fairing reuse will be on their own payload (starlink) not a customer.
And here are those two fairing halves on the recovery boat shortly after being hauled out of the sea.

Note the silvery material on the tip. I've never seen that before.... heat shielding?

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Old 12th April 2019, 01:17 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
It is amazing to watch the two first stages landing in almost perfect sync.
It's exceptionally beautiful. Looks like something out of Thunderbirds, but it's really happening.

Must be an amazing experience to be involved in making machines which can do that and then have people all over the world watch as they pull off the ultimate party trick.
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Old 12th April 2019, 01:19 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by phunk View Post
Not for STP-2 though. That'll get new fairings. First fairing reuse will be on their own payload (starlink) not a customer.
This is possibly why Starlink has been delayed until NET May (was originally planned for Mid April.

I'm guessing that those two fairings are going to get a very thorough inspection. Just because they have parachutes for the landing doesn't mean the impact energy with the water is not significant. A fairing failure during launch is likely to have disastrous consequences.

Its worth them making the effort though. Those fairings cost about US$6m a pair, so even if they spend a $million or so recovering and refurbishing them, its still a significant cost reduction per launch
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Old 12th April 2019, 01:51 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Note the silvery material on the tip. I've never seen that before.... heat shielding?
GPS III Falcon 9 launch in December had similar. Launch commentary at the time mentioned it as thermal protection due to increased heating on that launch trajectory.
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Old 12th April 2019, 02:06 PM   #24
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Watched it from outside the VAB. Nice and crisp and bright and loud.

Things are getting busier and busier at KSC/CCAFS. SpaceX and ULA launching unmanned payloads, SLS grinding toward flight, OmegA starting work to use the VAB/Crawler/39B infrastructure, Blue Origin expanding, SpaceX and Boeing nearing Commercial Crew flights, Dreamchaser underway, a host of other outfits getting after it...
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Old 14th April 2019, 01:32 AM   #25
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Wait, what is going on with the VAB and Crawler?
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Old 14th April 2019, 02:12 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by sts60 View Post
Watched it from outside the VAB. Nice and crisp and bright and loud.

Things are getting busier and busier at KSC/CCAFS. SpaceX and ULA launching unmanned payloads, SLS grinding toward flight, OmegA starting work to use the VAB/Crawler/39B infrastructure, Blue Origin expanding, SpaceX and Boeing nearing Commercial Crew flights, Dreamchaser underway, a host of other outfits getting after it...
Including Stratolaunch getting their aircraft off the ground:

Stratolaunch: 'World's largest plane' lifts off for the first time
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Old 14th April 2019, 02:23 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
Including Stratolaunch getting their aircraft off the ground:

Stratolaunch: 'World's largest plane' lifts off for the first time
Will come in handy when we have to lift whales to their spaceships.
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Old 14th April 2019, 02:25 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
Wait, what is going on with the VAB and Crawler?
Northrop Grumman are using it for their new Omega rocket, which is sort of a revamp of the Ares I and Liberty designs. USAF has put up money towards development and apparently they will be using the VAB.
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Old 14th April 2019, 02:55 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Will come in handy when we have to lift whales to their spaceships.

As long as they can swim that last little bit from 10km to LEO.
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Old 14th April 2019, 03:00 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
As long as they can swim that last little bit from 10km to LEO.
A diet of beans should provide sufficient thrust.
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Old 14th April 2019, 06:42 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
Including Stratolaunch getting their aircraft off the ground:

Stratolaunch: 'World's largest plane' lifts off for the first time
Geez, Louise, the first thing I see when clicking on that is the caption:
"If successful the jet would be a cheaper way to launch objects into space than using rockets." So much fail.
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Old 14th April 2019, 08:13 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Geez, Louise, the first thing I see when clicking on that is the caption:
"If successful the jet would be a cheaper way to launch objects into space than using rockets." So much fail.
Just read a little further.
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Old 14th April 2019, 12:05 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Geez, Louise, the first thing I see when clicking on that is the caption:
"If successful the jet would be a cheaper way to launch objects into space than using rockets." So much fail.
Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Just read a little further.
I did. The caption writer didn't.
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Old 14th April 2019, 01:24 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
I did. The caption writer didn't.
Sounds like you didn't read to the point where it said: "The idea is to fly the plane to 10 km (6.2 miles) high before releasing satellites into orbit."

Or even to "the aircraft is designed to act as a flying launch pad for satellites".

Actually, the article's only direct reference to rockets being involved in air launch is in reference to Virgin Orbit.
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Old 15th April 2019, 01:57 AM   #35
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Is this available on youtube or something?
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Old 15th April 2019, 02:10 AM   #36
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Yep

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


Or if you mean the Stratolaunch thing:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
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Old 15th April 2019, 02:40 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
Including Stratolaunch getting their aircraft off the ground:

Stratolaunch: 'World's largest plane' lifts off for the first time

This think looks so Kerbal, and this method works brilliantly in KSP.

Of course, in KSP, I can reach a reasonable fraction of orbital velocity with a plane and zoom climb to really, really thin air.

I real life, not so much.

KSP is much more fun.
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Old 15th April 2019, 05:42 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
It's exceptionally beautiful. Looks like something out of Thunderbirds, but it's really happening.

Must be an amazing experience to be involved in making machines which can do that and then have people all over the world watch as they pull off the ultimate party trick.
Agreed!
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Old 15th April 2019, 05:54 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
Wait, what is going on with the VAB and Crawler?
Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
Northrop Grumman are using it for their new Omega rocket, which is sort of a revamp of the Ares I and Liberty designs. USAF has put up money towards development and apparently they will be using the VAB.
Sorry for not coming back to the thread, but thanks to Garrison for the answer.

OmegA (as it is styled) uses a Shuttle-derived solid first stage and a cryogenic second stage, with options for additional stages and strap-on boosters. NG has leased or bought an unused Mobile Launch Platform and is starting to modify it for their rocket. So they’ll process it in the VAB (they’re leasing High Bay 2), and use the Crawler to transport it to Pad 39B for launch.

They’ll also control the launch from the Launch Control Center‘s Firing Room 4, which was reconfigured to support multiple commercial users and is in fact also being used by SpaceX for their Falcon Heavy launches.

This means that NASA’s Multi-User Spaceport concept for Launch Complex 39 is becoming a reality, which surprises me (and I support the development project on the SLS side), but it is a pleasant surprise. I’m a sucker for all that hardware.

To get a feel for the OmegA processing description, here’s the SLS Mobile Launcher in one of the VAB bays. The vertical doors are 456 feet (about 150 meters for you soccer fans) tall.
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Last edited by sts60; 15th April 2019 at 05:59 AM.
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Old 15th April 2019, 06:03 AM   #40
sts60
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Also, here’s one of the side cores an hour and a half or so after landing.
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