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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 aka DSFP aka "Dr. Dave" 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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justin fiaschetti 12 Feb 18
Any plan to complete with rocket lab using a small scale rocket? You could test BFR tech on it. 1 raptor engine, all composite tanks
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Nir 12 Feb 18
Waste of time and engineering resources. Better to focus on BFR.
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Arco Hollestelle 12 Feb 18
Is it also possible to land the boosters on drone ships and have the core land very far downrange? or would the core burn to a crisp on re-entry? and does this give any performance increase?
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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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VANKOLİK 12 Feb 18
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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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Snake Carl Sagan 🐍 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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