SpaceX Falcon 9 historic landing thread (1st landing attempt & most recent missions)

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by georgegassaway, Dec 11, 2014.

Help Support The Rocketry Forum by donating:

  1. Jul 26, 2019 #3,511

    georgegassaway

    georgegassaway

    georgegassaway

    Lifetime Supporter TRF Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,338
    Likes Received:
    223
    OK, I had the Everyday Astronaut youtube live video playing in the background, volume low, while I did other stuff. Tim got excited about a LOT of venting going on, then suddenly flames and it disappeared, and noise, but no "Boom". A continuous roar. But the flames seemed to disappear as the roar continued, either flames obscured by smoke or more likely the camera's autoexposure changed and darkened everything for awhile. Then it looked bright again as roaring continued and then no more flame and finally no roar. And when the smoke cleared...... it was sitting about 30 to 50 feet to the left of where it was.

    So, it HOPPED.

    Just it was a "stealth hop in plain view", with all the smoke/steam/whatever obscuring what was going on. Tim made many references to SpaceX Drones taking off and landing, presumably to get video of the Hop and so when they were up, likely there could be a launch, and when they landed (batteries low or launch delayed), that indicated no launch imminent. So, maybe SpaceX has some airborne video that will show the hop decently, that they'll release soon. I do not think any ground camera likely got anything good no matter what direction it was pointed from. Unless Tim Dodd's camera was zoomed in so close that it somehow missed seeing it fly higher up (our of his camera view), but in that case I'd have expected more flame brightness if it made it "above" the ground level smoke/steam (its highest point was perhaps when Tim's camera had that near blackout in the middle of the flight). They said the hop would be about 20 meters, about 65 feet, probably NOT above the smoke/steam along the ground.

    [​IMG]

    Hop was around 10:45 PM or so, Central time. Don't know how to time index that to Tim's still-live video. Well, about 5 hours after the start of the video. Update - livestream ended. Go to 4:40 into the video, or a bit before 4:40, when Tim thought the extreme venting was de-tanking and then, ignition. Apparently, was over-flowing ready for launch much as F-9 vents a LOT shortly before launch.

    UPDATE - started a grass fire. Probably no danger to anything. But the hopper may not be "safed" for some time, so fire crews can't go put out the grass fire till it's safe for humans to go out there. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
  2. Jul 26, 2019 #3,512

    manixFan

    manixFan

    manixFan

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,137
    Likes Received:
    198
    So the CRS-18 flight was successful. 44th returned booster. Pretty incredible it seems so routine.


    Tony
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
  3. Jul 26, 2019 #3,513

    georgegassaway

    georgegassaway

    georgegassaway

    Lifetime Supporter TRF Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,338
    Likes Received:
    223
    A bit different angle. Exposure holds up better. Can JUST see the top of the hopper dome for a second or so among the exhaust smoke/vapor/dust as it moves leftwards at about max altitude.

    On second viewing, looks like the hop was more like an upside down curved "U" shape, it moved left and rose to apogee then immediately began to descend about halfway there (still moving left). I can recall when DC-X, and IIRC also Grasshopper, did rectangular type hops, straight up, then move sideways, stop, then descend vertical. But those were also longer flights, this one makes more sense for a short duration low altitude hop (actually, I think the guidance software might have a harder task to do it this way than the simple rectangular type hops. If so, this test perhaps proved more for the guidance and control responses).
    [​IMG]

    Jumping back to CRS-18,
    A photo by Jim Poppino of the CRS-18 booster "gliding" using the grid fins, before the landing burn began. The white stuff is vapor condensation, not necessarily shock wave induced, it can happen subsonic and supersonic.
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10214336846081364&set=a.1077233577411&type=3&theater&ifg=1

    [​IMG]

    Oh, this nice pic from the re-entry burn earlier:

    [​IMG]
    And... the landing.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
  4. Jul 26, 2019 #3,514

    BDB

    BDB

    BDB

    Absent Minded Professor

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2015
    Messages:
    1,864
    Likes Received:
    214
    Gender:
    Male
    I agree. But the video feed keeps improving. Last night’s footage of the landing was incredible.
     
  5. Jul 26, 2019 #3,515

    Charles_McG

    Charles_McG

    Charles_McG

    Ciderwright

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Messages:
    1,967
    Likes Received:
    256
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Umm, George. The molecular weight of methane is 16, while air is about 29. The reason it’s denser is only because it’s cold. At room temp, it’s lighter.
     
  6. Jul 26, 2019 #3,516

    georgegassaway

    georgegassaway

    georgegassaway

    Lifetime Supporter TRF Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,338
    Likes Received:
    223
    Thanks for the correction.

    A better image of the Hop (different angle), and an article on ARS Technica:
    https://arstechnica.com/science/201...GtfZzUVE4uGWHXGYs2mO1o8QroBjUv1Z-fj3UiMNQ6ig8

    [​IMG]

    Back to CRS-18:
    Every time SpaceX launches a NASA payload, NASA uses their cameras and also carries it on NASA TV (I forgot to set the DVR to record NASA TV, I had done so the day before when it was scrubbed). I'm not sure if the better images from ground cameras yesterday were NASA cameras or not, but certainly in the past for some NASA missions that has been true. Up until the landings, that is - The close-up cameras at the Landing Zone are SpaceX cameras

    The onboard camera worked nicely. Also the gentler re-entry helped to keep the lens more clear of muck (they do have a system that IIRC has a sacrificial layer/filter that is retracted/jettisoned after re-entry, but even so , often there's some stuff on the lens anyway).
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
  7. Jul 26, 2019 #3,517

    georgegassaway

    georgegassaway

    georgegassaway

    Lifetime Supporter TRF Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,338
    Likes Received:
    223
    Video from SpaceX. Shot from a multicopter plus onboard camera aimed at engine.

     
  8. Jul 26, 2019 #3,518

    ThirstyBarbarian

    ThirstyBarbarian

    ThirstyBarbarian

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Messages:
    7,775
    Likes Received:
    229
    I’m looking forward to some higher hops that will actually clear the smoke cloud.
     
  9. Jul 27, 2019 #3,519

    OverTheTop

    OverTheTop

    OverTheTop

    Forum Supporter TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,824
    Likes Received:
    497
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    That's a great outcome for the early testing.
     
  10. Jul 27, 2019 #3,520

    mpitfield

    mpitfield

    mpitfield

    Lifetime Supporter Staff Member TRF Lifetime Supporter Global Mod

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Messages:
    4,406
    Likes Received:
    197
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Wow, those are fantastically clear and detailed pics, especially when you consider the distance and velocity.

     
  11. Aug 6, 2019 #3,521

    georgegassaway

    georgegassaway

    georgegassaway

    Lifetime Supporter TRF Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,338
    Likes Received:
    223
    AMOS-17 launch TODAY, 6:62 PM EDT. Weather 40% GO, but may improve later in the 3 hour launch window.

    "August 6 with launch window from 18:52-20:20 EDT (22:52-00:20 UTC) on reused Falcon 9 (1047.3) to GTO. This will be an expendable launch."


     
  12. Aug 7, 2019 #3,522

    georgegassaway

    georgegassaway

    georgegassaway

    Lifetime Supporter TRF Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,338
    Likes Received:
    223
    Launch in 2 minutes
     
  13. Aug 7, 2019 #3,523

    manixFan

    manixFan

    manixFan

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,137
    Likes Received:
    198
  14. Aug 7, 2019 #3,524

    RocketGeekInFL

    RocketGeekInFL

    RocketGeekInFL

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2013
    Messages:
    1,590
    Likes Received:
    148
    Can anyone confirm if last nights core was a block 4 or 5? I know the interstage was black and therefore not painted, but I don't think that necessarily guarantees its B5 anymore.
     
  15. Aug 7, 2019 #3,525

    dhkaiser

    dhkaiser

    dhkaiser

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2014
    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    7
  16. Aug 10, 2019 #3,526

    georgegassaway

    georgegassaway

    georgegassaway

    Lifetime Supporter TRF Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,338
    Likes Received:
    223
    Only Block 5's now. B-4's ended well over a year ago

    i am puzzled that while SpaceX claimed that Block 5 would be able to fly 10 times without a major overhaul, then fly another 10, they have not flown any Block 5 more than 3 times. This one was expended on it's 3rd flight. Beginning to suspect that the 10 flight thing is not going to happen. Otherwise they'd have some booster at around flight 6 by now to prove it can be done.

    Some Musk worshippers would say F9 boosters would not need to fly 10 times with BFR/Starship flying in 2 years to "take over" (seen one already say so). I would roll my eyes and chant "6 months, 6 months, 6 months...." , and "get real, people".

    They have MASSIVE work to do at 39A to convert it for BFR/Starship (a 100 foot tall pad for it to sit on top of, where 39A's pad is now). Not only would that end Falcon Heavy's ability to fly, but end the NASA contract to send crews on Dragon-2 since only 39A is configured for that. Something ain't right, they have conflicting/overlapping timelines and hard difficult logistics issues, WAY harder than adapting 39A for Falcon which took years longer than they claimed it would. That's not going to happen anytime soon.
     
  17. Aug 11, 2019 #3,527

    SpaceManMat

    SpaceManMat

    SpaceManMat

    Space Nut

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Messages:
    627
    Likes Received:
    38
    If they have to retire a booster on an expendable mission they are always going to retire the most used, the loss of value per use is pretty high (millions). The booster age of the fleet is going to be a question of how many do they keep on hand and how often do they need to fly expendable missions (or otherwise loose them). Once starlink swings into full production we are going to see boosters with much higher number of flights.

    As for pad 39A I’m pretty sure they would have though well ahead with regards to the tower for Crew Dragon (possibly falcon heavy too, however this won’t have the same priority I suspect). Lots of the pad modifications are simply moving storage facilities further away etc. At any rate there will be plenty of modification that can be made with little to no impact on current launch facilities. In fact they are probably doing the modifications early for the exact reason that they don’t want to impact launches.
     
  18. Aug 15, 2019 #3,528

    georgegassaway

    georgegassaway

    georgegassaway

    Lifetime Supporter TRF Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,338
    Likes Received:
    223
    I see logic in that. BUT, they made such a big deal out of bragging B5 can fly 10 times without major refurbishment, then fly another 10, that for R&D purposes they ought to be flying the hell out of one of them in any case. But they're not. I'm suspecting they've found out they won't last as long as they said, at least not without major refurbishing in-between 2-3 flights. Maybe they are finding ways to solve those issues with later newer boosters but keeping silent about it, while hardly anyone bothers to question why no Block 5 booster has many flights on it more than a year later. And maybe such fixes only extend the number of flights a few more, with 10 being unobtainable.

    Now, they have had some "extra-hot" re-entries and landings that may have rendered some specific boosters incapable of being flown more than 2-3 times. And I didn't look up the history of the one they just expended. But the ones that do RTLS landings, those are more gentle, to the point that if what they said about Block 5 was true, they could in theory fly every planned RTLS landed mission with the same single booster - as long as there was not another RTLS landing needed in less than say a 2 month period (Oh yeah, this reminds me of Elon Musk saying that he'd go for launching the same booster twice in 24 hours "next year". He said that.... last year).

    But there was a notable reflight of two boosters not long after they flew before. Falcon Heavy 2, and Falcon Heavy 3, both missions used the same side boosters , flown 2.5 months apart. Unfortunately FH-4 won't be till next year, not a rocket thing but a payload thing. Also for that matter no Falcon launches at all for about 2 months, they caught up with their long backlog and are waiting for customer payloads to be ready.

    But "Star Hopper" may be flying in a few days at Boca Chica. A 200 meter (650-ish feet) flight, which they say will also be its last. They say the first Starship (upper stage) prototype will be ready to fly by the end of the year. Meaning a lot higher "hops". And I expect eventually a test of the re-entry belly flop and transition to tail-first vertical descent.
     
  19. Aug 16, 2019 #3,529

    Reinhard

    Reinhard

    Reinhard

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    847
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Austria
    They have no motivation to do so, besides bragging rights. It will increase risks and costs for no good reason. No paying customer is interested in becoming the guinea pig in such a series of accelerated aging tests. If SpaceX spreads its usage over multiple boosters and a longer period, they are less likely to get surprised by something that might happen on older boosters. Besides that, flying the snot out of a particular booster, puts scheduling pressure on this booster for launch, refurbishment and tests and the associated transportation across the country between various sites (FL, CA, TX), while other more readily available boosters sit idly.

    Depending on launch cadence, attrition/replacement and number of boosters in inventory, it might take years before the first booster reaches 10 flights.

    Reinhard
     
  20. Aug 16, 2019 #3,530

    manixFan

    manixFan

    manixFan

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,137
    Likes Received:
    198
    My guess is they'll get to 10 refights when then start launching their network satellites in earnest. I believe the plan is eventually to use Starship since it can launch so many more at once, but in the meantime using re-flown Falcon 9s would be a good way to get the fleet started. And of course if they lose a mission, the ramifications are only internal.

    In spite of how you feel about Musk and his posturing, he has undeniably completely changed the space business for good. It is really sad watching billions of dollars going to an expendable launch system when we know there are much better alternatives available.


    Tony
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
    Mugs914 and Mushtang like this.
  21. Aug 17, 2019 #3,531

    OverTheTop

    OverTheTop

    OverTheTop

    Forum Supporter TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,824
    Likes Received:
    497
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    It is interesting the paradigm shift he has started. When he got the F9 going there was a large launch manifest with lots of things waiting to fly. They were flying almost every few weeks. Now the manifest is down and there is nothing currently scheduled for that rocket till November. That is an enormous gap compared to what we have seen the past few years. It also indicates that the extra work is going onto things like Starship.

    Now the launches are cheap the customers will be designing what they can fly and hopefully the capability of the F9 (or Starship) will drag the customers into the 21st century, with its responsive and accessible space capability, and get more things happening in space. It really is an enabling technology. There seems to be a bit of a phase lag on that currently.
     
  22. Aug 17, 2019 #3,532

    SpaceManMat

    SpaceManMat

    SpaceManMat

    Space Nut

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Messages:
    627
    Likes Received:
    38
    Yeah, I’ve sort of always wondered about the sustainability of large number of launches, I think what we need now is a the same rapid development in payload. When you spend like half a billion dollars building a satellite, the launch costs become pretty insignificant and aren’t the limiting factor. Sort of makes me think that what rocketlab is doing with turning their upper kick stages into a vehicle for their customers to utilise is perhaps a direction SpaceX should be pursuing. It also makes me worry that Starship isn’t going to really be suitable for doing much other than long duration missions and I’m not sure how SpaceX are going to find enough customers to make it worthwhile. Sort of think that it is perhaps a bit too far ahead of its time.
     
  23. Aug 17, 2019 #3,533

    OverTheTop

    OverTheTop

    OverTheTop

    Forum Supporter TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,824
    Likes Received:
    497
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    I think it is likely the bellwether of the rocket industry. Its lift capability to LEO opens up new possibilities also, not just interplanetary missions. The Energia rocket was ahead of its time and died because of no customers. Times have changed however.
     
  24. Aug 17, 2019 #3,534

    Peartree

    Peartree

    Peartree

    Cyborg Rocketeer Staff Member Administrator Global Mod

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Messages:
    4,310
    Likes Received:
    154
    Location:
    Alliance, Ohio
    A new, bigger, rocket opens up new possibilities, but I don't think it's a sustainable business model if Falcon and Falcon Heavy are replaced by it as Musk has forecast. Currently FH flies once or twice a year. Starship is even bigger. Can you really be profitable launching once or twice per year? Doubtful. It would make more sense for Starship to be an addition to the fleet but that's not what Elon has said is going to happen.
     
  25. Aug 19, 2019 #3,535

    boatgeek

    boatgeek

    boatgeek

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,828
    Likes Received:
    402
    If Starship is really cheaper to fly than F9, then it could still supplant F9 and FH. If someone offered you a 40' moving truck for less than a 20' truck, you'd probably take it unless there were weird issues with twisty roads. That said, I have trouble believing that Starship will ever be cheaper than F9. If F9 used liquid hydrogen fuel, perhaps, but I don't see the fuel cost difference between kerosene and LNG being high enough to make it worth lifting all that extra rocket mass.
     
  26. Aug 19, 2019 #3,536

    Reinhard

    Reinhard

    Reinhard

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    847
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Austria
    I suspect this is where Starlink comes into play. SpaceX' current launch business seems to have a short time revenue potential of maybe $2B per year. Until cheaper launches also lead to cheaper payloads, flight rates and therefore revenue will probably not increase dramatically. $2B p.a. is a nice chunk of money for pretty much everybody else, but if your big plan is to eventually colonialize Mars, it's a drop in the bucket.

    Global internet access on the other hand is a much bigger market. I have no idea how much bigger, but, for comparison, the biggest telecoms boast yearly revenues in excess of $100B with profits eclipsing NASAs budget. Getting a slice of the market would help a lot to finance Elons long term ambitions.

    Reinhard
     
    OverTheTop likes this.
  27. Aug 25, 2019 #3,537

    georgegassaway

    georgegassaway

    georgegassaway

    Lifetime Supporter TRF Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,338
    Likes Received:
    223
    If things go as planned, the "Hopper" will launch Monday, between 4:00 and 4:15 PM, Central time, at Boca Chica. The flight plan is to fly to an altitude of 200 meters (about 650 feet). Then it will be retired, as the second (and more accurate) Starship prototype gets full attention there. There was a statement some time back of flying it before the end of the year, we'll see.

    Photo by BocaChicaGal: [​IMG]
     
  28. Aug 25, 2019 #3,538

    Sooner Boomer

    Sooner Boomer

    Sooner Boomer

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Messages:
    2,430
    Likes Received:
    83
  29. Aug 26, 2019 #3,539

    OverTheTop

    OverTheTop

    OverTheTop

    Forum Supporter TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,824
    Likes Received:
    497
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    Pretty much a heads-up launch warning on the paper :)
     
  30. Aug 26, 2019 #3,540

    spigalau

    spigalau

    spigalau

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2019
    Messages:
    420
    Likes Received:
    39
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Livestream of StarHopper test

     

Share This Page