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Doug Ellison 2 Feb 18
I’ve got to do a deep dive into the launch requirements of mission designs beyond LEO and compare F9 Arlas V 401, 551, FHeavy and FHeavy Expendable. I think a lot of people will be VERY surprised. Specific Impulse on the upper stage is everything.
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David S. F. Portree 2 Feb 18
Replying to @doug_ellison
I keep hearing the FH isn't that great when it comes to tossing things beyond LEO, and at a higher cost than competitors.
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Doug Ellison 2 Feb 18
Replying to @dsfpspacefl1ght
Basically a recovered FHeavy is out performed by the high end Atlas Vs, and an expendable FHeavy is probably more expensive than those Atlas Vs. the performance numbers are at
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Elon Musk 12 Feb 18
The performance numbers in this database are not accurate. In process of being fixed. Even if they were, a fully expendable Falcon Heavy, which far exceeds the performance of a Delta IV Heavy, is $150M, compared to over $400M for Delta IV Heavy.
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Elon Musk 12 Feb 18
Both exhaust velocity (Isp) and mass ratio drive the rocket equation. Also thrust/mass matters a lot for Oberth effect. Delta upper stage Isp is good, but mass ratio and thrust are not.
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Davide 12 Feb 18
How much does a Falcon Heavy cost if only the center core is expendable?
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Elon Musk
Side boosters landing on droneships & center expended is only ~10% performance penalty vs fully expended. Cost is only slightly higher than an expended F9, so around $95M.
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Thiago V Goncalves 12 Feb 18
Does this (the cost) depend on whether the cores have flown before or no?
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Giles 12 Feb 18
When they started the re-flown boosters I think I remember he said they gave a modest discount (maybe about 10%) but with their push to block-5 and basically unlimited reusability I would suspect that costs would be pretty static despite new/reused boosters.
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Doug Ellison 12 Feb 18
Don't confuse cost and price.
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Nova Spivack 12 Feb 18
I don’t know if you saw this already, but here’s another way to bring down the costs. I’ve been working on a new concept design for Falcon Heavy 2.0, which is
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Blacktom 12 Feb 18
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Josh Etkind 12 Feb 18
These prices all assume fairing recovery/reuse, no?
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Miguel Gurrea 12 Feb 18
No, I think they don’t but I’m not sure
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Blacktom 12 Feb 18
That's a big question mark, I left them white because there was no mention of that.
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Miguel Gurrea 12 Feb 18
It seems kinda weird to me that the the central booster recovery only saves ~5 millon. Maybe they are assuming that by the point in which they do one of those (around a year from now as they have this year’s FHs covered) they will have already mastered fairing recovery & reuse.
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Blacktom 12 Feb 18
The $90M figure is pretty old, maybe it's actually lower by now. A while ago Ariane boss tweeted that the price (probably the $62M) for F9 is also actually lower.
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Miguel Gurrea 12 Feb 18
And how would the Ariane boss know that? Besides, 90 million for Falcon Heavy already accounts for reuse, so I don’t think it is under that by now (of course it is below because of profit margins)
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Blacktom 12 Feb 18
It's their business, they pretty much know everything behind the curtains, directly learn or indirectly math it out. There are like ~10 big customers and ~5 service providers, they all play Starfarers of Catan with real money :)
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Shawn Champagne 12 Feb 18
Wait, so that means we will get a 3rd Droneship for side boosters at sea? (Assuming JRTI stays in the Pacific) Lol if so, did SpaceX come up with a name for it Elon?
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100% Star Stuff 12 Feb 18
They certainly need to. It takes so long for an ASDS to make a round-trip back to port that it's already interfering with the launch cadence. GovSat-1's booster was landed in the water OCISLY was needed for the Falcon Heavy test. Block 5 will just make that worse.
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Davide 12 Feb 18
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100% Star Stuff 12 Feb 18
Thanks for the heads-up. I just happened to find it right as you were tweeting it to me.
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SDM 12 Feb 18
Titanium grid fins.
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