SpaceX Falcon Heavy inaugural launch could happen as early as September

Discussion in 'SpaceX' started by Eric Ralph, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. Eric Ralph

    Eric Ralph Member

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    Elon Musk has confirmed via Twitter that SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy vehicle may be ready to launch from Cape Canaveral as early as September. All three Falcon Heavy cores will reportedly be at the Cape in two to three months, with Musk stating that the Heavy’s launch will occur one month after all three cores are present.



    Currently, one of the side boosters of the vehicle is known to have conducted two full-length 867568781928701954[/MEDIA]]static fires at SpaceX’s McGregor, Texas testing facilities. This core previously launched the Thaicom-8 geostationary satellite and has since been refurbished and structurally modified for its upcoming role in Falcon Heavy’s inaugural launch. The center core of the Falcon Heavy has also 862017305911320577[/MEDIA]]conducted a static fire, with the final side core the only one yet to be tested.

    The main bottleneck for Falcon Heavy’s inaugural launch is the readiness of pads to launch it. SpaceX is currently focused intensely on pushing through the launch manifest backlog created by the Amos-6 loss in September of last year. Teams are working hard to reactivate Launch Complex 40, which was severely damaged in the static fire anomaly.

    Once LC-40 is reactivated, it will support SpaceX’s commercial launches while LC-39A is used for Falcon Heavy integration fit checks, static fire(s), and eventually launch. This is a precautionary measure to protect against the inflated possibility of a launch vehicle failing during its first launches, which could destroy the launch pad. With two pads activated, the destruction of one would be far less trying for the company’s manifest.

    Falcon Heavy, a combination of three modified Falcon 9 first stages and one second stage, will be capable of launching more than double the mass to orbit than ULA’s Delta Heavy, and at less than a third of the cost. It will also enable SpaceX to begin its initial exploration of Mars, beginning with the first Red Dragon mission currently scheduled for 2020.

    Article: SpaceX Falcon Heavy inaugural launch could happen as early as September
     
  2. macpacheco

    macpacheco New Member

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    Dont forget Elon time dialation. My money is on Oct to Dec 2017 for this launch. Plus the LC40 pad needs to be up (still isn't) before LC39A can be reconfigured for the Heavy. The pads are likely to be the pacing elements.
     
  3. Eric Ralph

    Eric Ralph Member

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    Of course. It's very likely that there will be delays, and the clear priority is pushing through their backlog, which requires most of the attention of the test facilities at McGregor. Nevertheless, the trope of Elon's time dilation factor and the whole "always-6-months-away Falcon Heavy" are quite overdrawn and were no longer applicable once real hardware was being tested. Now that 2/3 cores are likely on their way to the Cape, FH is very likely to launch sometime this year unless something unplanned occurs.
     
  4. Eric Ralph

    Eric Ralph Member

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    In all honesty, I'm pretty sure the time dilation trope arose simply because Musk was willing to transparently provide the public the internal and highly aggressive goals of his companies. Those aggressive goals have likely helped them to succeed and to do so rapidly and consistently, it just so happens that the average member of his audience probably isn't a rational engineer who can substitute instant gratification and inflated expectations with comprehension of the difficulty of the tasks at hand and subsequent likelihood of delays from aggressive timelines.
     
  5. Allan Honeyman

    Allan Honeyman New Member

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    I wouldn't bet against Musk.
     
  6. macpacheco

    macpacheco New Member

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    Predicting a 2-3 month delay is hardly betting against him. Musk himself admits his timetables are more often wrong than right. I'm a huge Musk/SpaceX/Tesla fan by the way. I'd like to think I'm as big a fan as one can be without being irrational.
     

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