SpaceChampion

SpaceX's Big Falcon Topic 2

32 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Musk’s Tesla Roadster will be placed in a transfer orbit to Mars.

Not quite, actually. It seems it is going to a "Mars-like orbit", instead of actually going to Mars. Meaning it will probably go into an orbit that approximates Mars's orbit around the sun, or thereabouts, without actually going to Mars itself.

It is all academic, though, as the purpose of the mission is to test the functionality of the Falcon Heavy. Musk is content if his Tesla Roadster floats through space for a billion years.

As an aside, it is quite remarkable to think that this Tesla Roadster will quite possibly be the last remaining car ever produced by humans. Meaning that it will likely outlast every other vehicle ever produced in the history or mankind. If the Earth is utterly destroyed, this Tesla will still be floating serenely through space, for a visiting alien race to discover long after we are gone.

That is, unless someone else launches another car into space at some point in the future. In which case it will join the Tesla as a billion year reminder of our existence.

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Anyone else disappointed they aren't sending up a teapot? 

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9 hours ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Not quite, actually. It seems it is going to a "Mars-like orbit", instead of actually going to Mars. Meaning it will probably go into an orbit that approximates Mars's orbit around the sun, or thereabouts, without actually going to Mars itself.

It is all academic, though, as the purpose of the mission is to test the functionality of the Falcon Heavy. Musk is content if his Tesla Roadster floats through space for a billion years.

As an aside, it is quite remarkable to think that this Tesla Roadster will quite possibly be the last remaining car ever produced by humans. Meaning that it will likely outlast every other vehicle ever produced in the history or mankind. If the Earth is utterly destroyed, this Tesla will still be floating serenely through space, for a visiting alien race to discover long after we are gone.

That is, unless someone else launches another car into space at some point in the future. In which case it will join the Tesla as a billion year reminder of our existence.

Very cool indeed. I’m assuming it’s still going to take about 3 months to reach the distance where they will then go into the pseudo-Mars orbit? In that sense it will kinda still be like going to Mars. 

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Posted (edited)

13 hours ago, Ghjhero said:

Very cool indeed. I’m assuming it’s still going to take about 3 months to reach the distance where they will then go into the pseudo-Mars orbit? In that sense it will kinda still be like going to Mars. 

It's technically in that elliptical orbit as soon as it's second stage engines shut down leaving Earth, just on the perihelion side of it.  It's possible the second stage will remain attached to the Tesla and could restart at some point to make adjustments to the flight but I don't see why they'd want to other than to test their equipment.  We don't know anything about the specific orbit it'll be going into, other than it's a sun-orbit not a Mars-orbit, and don't know how fast it is getting to its aphelion.  Could be a fast 3-month trajectory, could be a slow 9-month one, but since the Falcon Heavy has so much thrust, and the Roadster does not mass all that much compared to FH's capacity of 64 metric tonnes to low Earth orbit, it should have a lot of thrust available to go fast there and make headlines regarding how fast to Mars a journey can be.  I think it would be wise to go as fast as possible, to demonstrate a short trip time for future customers, and potential colonists.

Edited by SpaceChampion

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7 hours ago, SpaceChampion said:

It's technically in that elliptical orbit as soon as it's second stage engines shut down leaving Earth, just on the perihelion side of it.  It's possible the second stage will remain attached to the Tesla and could restart at some point to make adjustments to the flight but I don't see why they'd want to other than to test their equipment.  We don't know anything about the specific orbit it'll be going into, other than it's a sun-orbit not a Mars-orbit, and don't know how fast it is getting to its aphelion.  Could be a fast 3-month trajectory, could be a slow 9-month one, but since the Falcon Heavy has so much thrust, and the Roadster does not mass all that much compared to FH's capacity of 64 metric tonnes to low Earth orbit, it should have a lot of thrust available to go fast there and make headlines regarding how fast to Mars a journey can be.  I think it would be wise to go as fast as possible, to demonstrate a short trip time for future customers, and potential colonists.

Sorry I meant a sun orbit, just at the distance from the Sun that Mars is at. But yeah the faster the better!

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ZUMA mission launch -- queued up to the 2 minute mark before liftoff.  Rewind to hear the host talk about the details:

 

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Posted (edited)

Conflicting reports: ZUMA mission is either dead in orbit or fell to Earth.  Either way SpaceX performed "nominally" so the problem appears to have been with the satellite, or maybe it was hit by random debris or targetted anti-satellite weapon.

If Zuma has anything to do with gathering intelligence on the North Korea situation, China could have used it's previously demonstrated anti-sat capability on NK's behalf.  Or claims that it failed is deliberate misinformation to cloak what the US government is doing with it.  Wild speculation, but that's all I got right now.

 

Edited by SpaceChampion

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Posted (edited)

Static fire test (running the engines at full thrust for a few seconds while holding the rocket down) might be at early as tomorrow.

Edited by SpaceChampion

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Posted (edited)

I didn't know this before, but the faring on the Zuma mission was built by Northrup Grumman, who also built the Zuma satellite.  There were issues with the faring a few weeks ago, which is why the mission was delayed.  Now it is being said this is the source of the failure -- the faring failed to separate properly.  The video seems to show at least one half of the faring flying away from the upper stage, but no indication of the other half.  On the other hand, it may have been (more likely I think) the payload adapter that was the problem.

Edited by SpaceChampion

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Falcon Heavy still on the pad...

Here's a view looking down at it from space!

Info on the wet dress rehearsal today, which might proceed with static fire if the rehearsal goes well:

 

Edited by SpaceChampion

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NASA's miniature nuclear reactor apparently tested without a hitch, so that's good news. They designed it for Mars habitation but the applications obviously are universal (eh!?!).

Jace has noticed a lack of attention devoted to the Martian turf. Isn't the sand/dirt going to be like ungodly coarse because of no weathering?

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The Martian regolith is weathered.  Plenty of winds, though weak, but enough to smooth the edges.  It's the Moon that has the abrasive regolith.  Also there is cycles of melting and freezing, especially at the poles (dry ice and water ice), that will weather the rocks.  Past flowing liquid water is a certainty.  Impact-induced melting would release floods of water too even in present times.  The water is there, just got to clear off the top layers of dust and scoop it up by the truck-full.

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