Tuesday, February 06, 2018

SpaceX Launches Falcon Heavy

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy took flight Tuesday, and everything appears to be going seamlessly. Around 3:45 pm ET, the world's most powerful rocket took off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. About two and a half minutes after launch, the two side boosters on the rocket detached and headed back to Earth. Thousands of onlookers could be heard cheering through SpaceX's livestream.

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Comments

I am pretty amped up for this flight. Hope all goes well.

#1 | Posted by Daniel at 2018-02-05 09:53 AM

That makes the Falcon Heavy capable of putting around 140,000 pounds of cargo into lower Earth orbit, earning the title of the most powerful rocket in the world.

The reinvented the wheel.

A much more complex (read chance for failure) wheel that can lift only about half the payload to LEO as the Saturn V, a wheel nonetheless.

#2 | Posted by jpw at 2018-02-05 10:13 AM

Saturn V. The wheel that runs once and you throw it away.

#3 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2018-02-05 10:28 AM

Elon Musk is, if nothing else, a gutsy guy willing to put his money where his mouth is. Good luck!

#4 | Posted by danni at 2018-02-05 10:30 AM

Saturn V. The wheel that runs once and you throw it away.

#3 | POSTED BY SITZKRIEG

The Heavy is reusable?

#5 | Posted by jpw at 2018-02-05 10:41 AM

Yes. All 3 stages land independently. The 2 side boosters have already flown as Falcon 4 stacks.

#6 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2018-02-05 10:46 AM

Rather, all 3 lifters land independently. The upper stage is off to mars.

#7 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2018-02-05 10:46 AM

Elon Musk is, if nothing else, a gutsy guy willing to put his money where his mouth is. Good luck!

#4 | POSTED BY DANNI AT 2018-02-05 10:30 AM | FLAG:

He actually put $5.5 billion of our tax money where his mouth is. Good thing he was right.

#8 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2018-02-05 10:47 AM

#7 I knew it was three Falcon 9 cores strapped together. All three landing independently though? It'll be an impressive feat that's for sure.

#9 | Posted by jpw at 2018-02-05 11:24 AM

#8: And what a hell of a deal we got for that. Well, it's actually NASA and USAF that invested in SpaceX. The Falcon Heavy can launch for $90 million and is reuseable. The #2 company ULA, cost $350 million to launch half the payload as the FH and it's used one time and trashed. Talking about a waste of tax payer dollars, the SLS has cost $10 billions to date and will cost $1 billion to launch and only can be used once.

#10 | Posted by Daniel at 2018-02-05 11:27 AM

Yes it's the poster-person for privatization. Their first 3 rockets exploded, and right as they were running out of money the final attempt worked. Then we opened the cash faucet.

#11 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2018-02-05 11:41 AM

#7 I knew it was three Falcon 9 cores strapped together. All three landing independently though? It'll be an impressive feat that's for sure.

#9 | POSTED BY JPW AT 2018-02-05 11:24 AM | FLAG:

I think it's planned as 2 on land, 1 by boat. They also landed 1 on the water recently as test, which it survived, and is/was being towed back to the cape. A rocket that flies twice is a very, very rare thing until now.

#12 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2018-02-05 11:42 AM

I think it's planned as 2 on land, 1 by boat.

They should nickname it the Paul Revere.

#13 | Posted by madscientist at 2018-02-05 11:51 AM

Had to read a little and verify the details. The two side boosters, previously flown Falcon 9 Full Thrust boosters will land in Florida. The core is upgraded to handle the additional stress, and is planned to land on one of their barges. That's assuming it works, even Musk is downplaying it, saying he'll be happy if it just gets off the ground without destroying the pad.

#14 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2018-02-05 12:03 PM

Kinda stacking the deck against themselves using previously flown side stacks.

Refurbished motors is one thing but I would think the vastly greater complexity of engines would increase the risk of failure considerably, especially with 9 engines per stack.

#15 | Posted by jpw at 2018-02-05 01:02 PM

Have you played Kerbal? It's an "asparagus" rocket. While all 3 cores are running, they're pumping their fuel into the center core to keep it topped off, so when you dump the boosters the center core is as full as it was at takeoff and gets a tremendous boost to deltaV. If you lose any of the engines in any of the boosters, it will automatically balance the thrust and keep going. I can't remember the minimum to make orbit but you'd need a tremendous cascade failure following a single engine out for it to be a serious issue.

#16 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2018-02-05 01:12 PM

Falcon 9 has had independent engines malfunction on the way up, but it didn't impact the flight. Even on the mighty Saturn V, there were occasions where 2 of the 5 engines in the first stage fell to 40% thrust, and it still completed the mission successfully. Not that big a deal.

The Russians went a bit wackier with N1. 30 first stage engines. It didn't go so well.

#17 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2018-02-05 01:16 PM

Sitz, I remember hearing that FH will not be using cross-feeding to the core. Instead, they will throttle back the center core engines by 40% after liftoff. This will give similar results as cross-feeding but much less riskier. Something to do with the plumbing reliability.

#18 | Posted by Daniel at 2018-02-05 02:17 PM

Musk just released an animated music video of the FH.

www.youtube.com

#19 | Posted by Daniel at 2018-02-05 02:56 PM

The N1 is what I was thinking about actually

#20 | Posted by jpw at 2018-02-05 04:28 PM

saying he'll be happy if it just gets off the ground without destroying the pad. #14 | POSTED BY SITZKRIEG

I'm definitely excited to see whatever happens. Wishing SpaceX the best on their mission.

#21 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2018-02-05 08:16 PM

The upper stage is off to mars.

#7 | POSTED BY SITZKRIEG

I read somewhere that it had one of his cars tied down in the cargo hold for weight.

#22 | Posted by donnerboy at 2018-02-06 01:14 AM

Someone placed an ad on Craigs List to sell this thing.

#23 | Posted by lfthndthrds at 2018-02-06 07:04 AM

I read somewhere that it had one of his cars tied down in the cargo hold for weight.

#22 | POSTED BY DONNERBOY AT 2018-02-06 01:14 AM | REPLY

It's his original 2008 Tesla Roadster.

#24 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2018-02-06 07:39 AM

It worked all three boosters have landed

#25 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2018-02-06 04:07 PM

That was impressive. Thanks, Obama.

#26 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2018-02-06 04:23 PM

It was amazing to watch.

#27 | Posted by gracieamazed at 2018-02-06 04:30 PM

Very nice, and at a lower cost than the US gov's competition.

#28 | Posted by bat4255 at 2018-02-06 04:30 PM

Twitter reports are saying the center core was destroyed on landing. Nothing from SpaceX yet.

#29 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2018-02-06 04:51 PM

Pretty cool, I just watched it, did they get confirmation that the core landed on the Drone Ship?

#30 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2018-02-06 05:01 PM

#4

That's what I was asking on the other thread. Still amazingly impressive though.

#31 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2018-02-06 05:06 PM

Congratulations Elon.

Well done!

#32 | Posted by donnerboy at 2018-02-06 05:08 PM

Self-made billionaire immigrant from a "s***hole" country and he's testing rockets all the time? Dotard must hate this guy.

#33 | Posted by IndianaJones at 2018-02-06 06:04 PM

why the car and the dummy?...is this a reanimation effort?

#34 | Posted by ichiro at 2018-02-06 06:23 PM

ICHIRO

FTA

"On board the rocket that's now headed deeper into space is Musk's personal Tesla (TSLA) roadster. At the wheel is a dummy dressed in a spacesuit, and the car is blaring David Bowie's "Space Oddity" on an endless loop. Cameras on board the car showed it headed deeper into space. Musk plans to put the car into orbit around the sun.
Musk announced last year he planned to put his car on the inaugural Falcon Heavy flight. When asked on Twitter why he wanted to throw away a $100,000 vehicle, he replied, "I love the thought of a car drifting apparently endlessly through space and perhaps being discovered by an alien race millions of years in the future."

#35 | Posted by Twinpac at 2018-02-06 06:37 PM

One small step for a billionaire, one giant leap for privatization.

#36 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2018-02-06 06:42 PM

It was cool. I watched until the side boosters returned to earth and landed, but the video on the drone ship cut out before the middle booster returned to it. Anyone know if it survived?

#37 | Posted by mOntecOre at 2018-02-06 07:24 PM

" 'I love the thought of a car drifting apparently endlessly through space and perhaps being discovered by an alien race millions of years in the future.' "

#9 | POSTED BY TWINPAC

I always thought cars would be a great technology to "represent" humanity, if you will. They demonstrate so much about us; our physical size and attributes, our life support necessities/temperatures, our knowledge of newtonian physics like grip and aerodynamics, chemistry in the fuel systems, electricity throughout (as both energy and data), the general standardization of parts globally, and (why it beats airplanes) our aesthetic tastes.

#38 | Posted by IndianaJones at 2018-02-06 07:36 PM

Man, woke up this morning to read about a huge American bombing in Afghanistan this morning. Grew up during Vietnam and race riots and assassinations. All sorts of other ----.

I don't come to tears but this really struck me. And it happened today. Maybe humanity can focus on all life. Thank you Elon.

www.youtube.com

#39 | Posted by bruceaz at 2018-02-06 08:38 PM

Kudos to Daniel for already posting the bowie video.

I was seconding the motion.

#40 | Posted by bruceaz at 2018-02-06 08:58 PM

www.youtube.com

Was watching this launch date for the past year or so hoping to catch it in person.

Will definitely be looking forward to the next one.

Also, we're finally back to 1960's capabilities, let's hope we get back to 1960's aspirations.

#41 | Posted by jpw at 2018-02-06 11:50 PM

It's really too bad no one tried convincing Orange Adolf that Mars needs a Trump Tower and the martians are willing to fund it if he personally shows up to sign the deal. I'm sure we could have convinced wrongocenter or Fishypaws to be his co-pilot since they worshship "Tiny Hands" Don.

#42 | Posted by aborted_monson at 2018-02-07 07:19 AM

News on the center core. It landed... 300 feet from the drone ship, going 300mph after engine failure prior to the final burn.

#43 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2018-02-07 07:31 AM

"Also, we're finally back to 1960's capabilities, let's hope we get back to 1960's aspirations.
#41 | POSTED BY JPW"

Lol! Another one who thinks we actually went to the moon in the 60's.
BeefaloBob

#44 | Posted by mOntecOre at 2018-02-07 01:39 PM

#44 | POSTED BY MONTECORE AT 2018-02-07 01:39 PM | REPLY

Of course we went to the moon, how else did we get those pictures...er, I mean video of the smokestacks???

#45 | Posted by bartimus at 2018-02-07 06:56 PM

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