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Thread: Spacex Reusable Booster Tests Getting Serious

  1. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by shuredgefan View Post
    Um, you know that reusable rocket production capital costs are divided by the number of times you can use them, while expendable rocket costs are divided by the number one. Fuel being about 0.5% of launch cost.


    Here's the full speech to the NPC, it's pretty good:


    Talks about the reusable program around 16:00 and the economies at 20:45.
    I know what exactly I am talking about, but I failed to make you understand my point.
    The situation here is too much idealized talk but still struggling in fixing the math problem. With as much as 40% penalty you pretty much looking at firing a Saturn 5V for every Soyuz delivery. While on other hand, powered glide use aerodynamic forces to deliver the vehicle, involving a much greater efficiency in using fuel thus has a better chance in this direction.
    For example two equivalent reusable design. Case 1, equals in cost per launch, Grasshopper $50k/1.3tonne vs Glider $50k/(1.3*1.4)tonne. Case 2, equals in payload per launch, Grasshopper $50k*1.05/1.3 vs Glider $50*C/1.3. Which C is always smaller than 1.05 as long as T/W is not equals to 1. In any case, Grasshopper losses.

  2. #17
    Senior Member Xaito's Avatar
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    I would not have expected somebody to put research into rockets these days. If we really want to breathe new life into space travel, we should be looking at new ways to do that instead of trying to squeeze out a few more percent out of available tech. Personally I find space elevators / space tethers and mass drivers / space guns most interesting.

  3. #18
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    It's not about a slow down from orbit...LOL...it's about recovering the first stage of the rocket. Man ... that's something what the Zenith was designed for 30 years ago, with a different principle but basicaly the same purpose. And yes it's very much worht it, rocket engines of the first stage, and the stage/tank it self make quite a fine percent in launch price. So may I recommend a quick read on Energia launcher (I hope you know that Zenith was used as a booster stage on Energia and that todays USA space workhorse the Atlas rocket is using Zeniths engines) and some highschool textbooks on physics, cheers.
    Easy tiger http://www.hw.ac.uk/ I got my BEng there.

    It's been some time since I actually used orbital mechanics. Rocket science is, funnily enough, actually quite easy. The energies involved not so.
    Turbomachinery does not last forever. Yes it's expensive to design and build but if the recovery costs are low enough it becomes viable to retrieve them. At higher launch prices the cost of recovery versus the benefit of overhauling the engines (or rather the associated systems) can become, ahem, prohibitive.

    I tried for an overall supportive tone, I do find the field interesting, just not my day job.
    Last edited by skiplicker; 12-27-2012 at 07:13 PM. Reason: clarity

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    Quick question could this technology be created for use on ”asteroids” or places where gravity differs from earth’s gravity for instance Moon or Mars as part of some other system.

    Considering Elon Musk is involved in spacex and seeing that he usually aims a bit further down the road than what he usually publicly states could it be for use in something else than “reusable rockets on earth” or is this his “Spruce goose” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hughes_H-4_Hercules

  5. #20
    Senior Member Martel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tadeus View Post
    (I hope you know that Zenith was used as a booster stage on Energia and that todays USA space workhorse the Atlas rocket is using Zeniths engines)
    FYI, Zenith uses RD-171 [SIZE=1](non-steerable RD-170 as Energia booster)[/SIZE] which is a four combustion chambers engine, Atlas uses RD-180 which is a two chambers version of the RD-170/171

  6. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Martel View Post
    FYI, Zenith uses RD-171 [SIZE=1](non-steerable RD-170 as Energia booster)[/SIZE] which is a four combustion chambers engine, Atlas uses RD-180 which is a two chambers version of the RD-170/171
    Yes, I know all that, I was trying to point to something else. I have been following the SpeceX's advance and development for some time. It's really pleasing to see them advance so well. In my opinion the key of their sucess lies in (beside a very prominent and competent CEO) engineering and development of unique technologies.

    But have you noticed a new feature of the Dragon vehicle that was shown on the animations. I didn't find or noticed anything writen on the subject and If we assume it's not just for easier animation sequence it looks like the Dragon will soon get an automated rendezvous and docking capability. So far only Soyuz has it , also Chinese copy and the ESA vehicles are using Russian build systems. I'm look forward to see the SpaceX designed system in real action.

  7. #22
    Senior Member Einhander's Avatar
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    The whole Uragan idea was about saving costs - each booster involved would return on its own, automatically gliding back to airfield.




    SpaceX variant, however, could provide proven technologies to make a completely "returnable" rocket to visit lowgrav bodies like the Moon or Mars.

  8. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Einhander View Post
    The whole Uragan idea was about saving costs - each booster involved would return on its own, automatically gliding back to airfield.




    SpaceX variant, however, could provide proven technologies to make a completely "returnable" rocket to visit lowgrav bodies like the Moon or Mars.
    I think we have to call it almost completely "returnable" rocket since the service and engine compartment of the Dragon or any other cargo that actualy reaches orbit is not returnable. Anyway SpaceX is on the right track. Wish them space free of any debris.
    And on the topic in the animation we can see that only rocket engines are used for deceleration. Why not combine it with parachutes like on the Zenith boosters? I must guess that they have already run all the cost-weight simulations on that in SpaceX, did they?

  9. #24
    Senior Member Martel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tadeus View Post
    But have you noticed a new feature of the Dragon vehicle that was shown on the animations. I didn't find or noticed anything writen on the subject and If we assume it's not just for easier animation sequence it looks like the Dragon will soon get an automated rendezvous and docking capability.
    The manned version will have it, the cargo version doesn't have it because it uses the "big" CBM which can't be "hard-docked". That's why Dragon and Japanese HTV are captured and berthed to the ISS.

    Quote Originally Posted by tadeus View Post
    So far only Soyuz has it , also Chinese copy and the ESA vehicles are using Russian build systems. I'm look forward to see the SpaceX designed system in real action.
    ATV uses the mechanical Russian probe & drogue design, but the automated RDV system is European and not Russian. It uses LIDAR, but KURS is still used as informational only system.

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    Senior Member metberkut's Avatar
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    Not sure if we ever had thread about Falcon 9's v1.1 launch that happened on 29/9. Anyway, v.1.1 is stretched and redesigned version of Falcon 9, with more payload and much more powerful engines.

    A few things from different sources:

    Recoverable F9 will have to fly 15% less payload for water landing, 30% less for land touchdown
    Rocket booster relit twice (supersonic retro & landing), but spun up due to aero torque, so fuel centrifuged & we flamed out
    *it was a great day. All satellites placed in their orbits. Demoed all tech.
    *Attempted relight of upper stage, encountered anomaly. Understand what it is and will fix before next flight.
    *Lower stage 3-engine relight went well, reentered. Single-engine relight went well, but exceeded roll control of ACS.
    *rolling "centrifuged" propellant, shut down engine early. Did recover "portions" of 1st stage after splashdown.
    *despite that, we have all the pieces in place to accomplish recovery of stages in the future, "full and rapid reusability" of stage.


    *all 1st and 2nd stage engines performed "slightly better than expected.
    *new pad at Vandenberg AFB also performed well.
    *on track for next launch, of SES satellite, next month; may wait a few weeks to finalize second stage relight issue.
    *won't attempt recovery on next 2 launches to give customers for those missions maximum performance
    *will next attempt recovery on 4th F9 v1.1 launch, of CRS-3. That vehicle may also have landing legs.(!!!)
    *[but] won't hold up CRS-3 launch to install legs on F9. Schedule driven by upgrades to Dragon. Probably Feb '14 launch.


    *working with Air Force and FAA on identifying landing sites for F9 1st stage, looking at eastern tip of Cape Canaveral.
    *did recover video of the first stage reentry, hope to post it online later this week.(!)
    *still working on 3rd launch site, "quite likely" to be Texas but not resolved yet.
    *Also pursuing LC-39A at KSC for NASA (cargo and crew). Current Cape launch site would be used for other customers.
    *hoping to do a test firing of Falcon Heavy at Texas test site by 2nd quarter of 2014.
    *huge relief to have successfully delivered CASSIOPE to orbit. It had been weighing on me quite heavily.
    *goal is to attempt 1st stage recovery on all future CRS launches and many others; next two (w/out recovery) more of an anomaly.
    *if things go "super well", could refly a Falcon 9 1st stage by the end of next year.
    ***** me. At the end of the next year?!? Awesomesause. Heck, i would take at the end of 2015 too. Cool video:



    SpaceX video of stage 1 returning will be uploaded next week.

  11. #26
    Senior Member Martel's Avatar
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    Getting higher ...


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