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CPMcGraw 04-05-2011 09:21 AM

SpaceX Video Conference Today
 
Got this email from SpaceX today:

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceX
Something Big is Coming

Elon Musk Holding Press Conference on Tuesday, April 5th

Elon Musk, CEO and Chief Technical Officer of SpaceX, will hold a press conference on Tuesday, April 5th at 11:20am EST to discuss SpaceX's latest venture.

Get a sneak peak of the discussion on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=th6HQ9RtVCE.

The press conference will be webcast live at: http://www.visualwebcaster.com/spacex. The press conference will also be accessible via the home page of SpaceX.com by clicking the main banner. If you are unable to watch live, the press conference will be archived at http://www.visualwebcaster.com/spacex for future viewing.


I looked at the preview on YouTube, and at the very end of the run, they show in silhouette the tri-core Falcon Heavy, now known as "FH".

Maybe in the conference they'll say when the first launch will take place.

luke strawwalker 04-05-2011 10:25 AM

Please post back with the results... The web player doesn't seem to like me... LOL:)

Wonder if it's on the NASA channel?? Later! OL JR :)

CPMcGraw 04-05-2011 11:59 AM

I had to leave after the first 5 minutes (RATS! :mad: ), but the points Elon wanted to draw attention to about FH can be found in print form on the SpaceX website.

Points:
  • FH is being designed for man-rating.
  • Has more than 2X the capacity of the Delta IV Heavy and the Space Shuttle.
    • Capable of 117K-120K lbs (53,000 kg) to LEO of 200 km.
    • Delta IV Heavy compares at 22,980 kg to a 407 km orbit.
    • Space Shuttle compares at 24,400 kg to LEO of 200 km.
  • Cores are cross-fed.
    • Multi-engine-out capability.
  • Mission prices from $80-$125 Million.
    • Projected launch prices of $1000 per lb (overly optimistic?)

I'm hoping the conference will be available for viewing again (that's what the email said, anyway) so I can hear the rest of it.

luke strawwalker 04-05-2011 12:37 PM

Interesting stuff! Thanks!

You know, a lot of folks knock SpaceX (especially "insiders" in the space industry/NASA) but think for a second about what they're doing--

Falcon 9 Heavy would be about on-par with Saturn IB... that's no small accomplishment. Falcon 9 is already more powerful than Titan II. If he can get the performance he's claiming, F9H will be better than Saturn IB. That's pretty good for 'right out of the gate'. Even if the numbers he's quoting are overly optimistic, it's STILL a formidable launch vehicle!

Especially when one considers the amount of time and money he's spent to get where he is so far... which is a LOT farther along than NASA's gotten in the same time with FAR, FAR less money, by even the WORST estimates of what he's spent...

THAT is what I REALLY think that the SpaceX bashers are afraid of... He's putting them to shame. (PSSS... don't tell the taxpayers about this!!! ;) )

I don't buy everything Elon says hook/line/sinker, but I'll say this-- he's accomplished what he set out to do, which is more than I can say for NASA... and he's done it on a fraction of the budget and MUCH closer to the original timeline, (IE with much smaller delays) than NASA has in the last 30 years...

That says something to me right there... :)

later! OL JR :)

CPMcGraw 04-05-2011 01:52 PM

Was able to get the conference - poor feed stream... :mad:

Additional points:
  • Merlin engine being uprated:
    • From 90K to 140K lbs each.
    • New engine called "Merlin 1D".
    • Engine production being ramped up:
      • Initially looking for 400-per-year.
      • Possible volume of 700+ per year.
  • 40% structural rating above flight loads.
  • 3X redundancy in avionics.
  • Potential missions:
    • Single-flight Mars sample-return.
    • Two-flight lunar manned mission.
    • Lunar fly-by capable with FH and Dragon (lunar circumnavigation).
    • Dragon capable of re-entry from high-velocity (Mars-return) mission.
  • Launch sites:
    • Vandenberg (under construction)
    • SLC-40
    • SLC-39!!!
  • First possible FH launch in 2013.
  • Business news:
    • SpaceX might go public next year.
    • Already in "advanced stages of discussion" with Government and Commercial customers.
    • 10 F9 flights already booked.
    • Pricing potential:
      • $1K per lb requires minimum 4 flights per year.
      • Targeting <$1K per pound!
    • Planned production of 10 F9 and 10 FH vehicles each year.
    • 15-20% growth of company per year, looking at 30% per year.
    • Company "growing like the Borg"; already purchasing the buildings around their CA site.
  • Developing a rocket 50% larger than SatV, called Falcon Super-Heavy (150 metric ton capacity).

CPMcGraw 04-05-2011 01:56 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by luke strawwalker
...when one considers the amount of time and money he's spent to get where he is so far... which is a LOT farther along than NASA's gotten in the same time...


As for criticism that SpaceX is using NASA technology to get where they are...

At least someone is using it! :D

tbzep 04-05-2011 02:38 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CPMcGraw
As for criticism that SpaceX is using NASA technology to get where they are...

At least someone is using it! :D

That's what NACA was all about; science and technology for others to use....and NASA has touted it too, for that matter. I'm with you, who cares if they get the technology from NASA, spies in Russia, or the Asguard. :p

CPMcGraw 04-05-2011 03:01 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by luke strawwalker
Interesting stuff! Thanks!


You're welcome!

Quote:
Falcon 9 Heavy would be about on-par with Saturn IB... that's no small accomplishment. Falcon 9 is already more powerful than Titan II. If he can get the performance he's claiming, F9H will be better than Saturn IB.


At a total of 3.8 mil lbs thrust, that's more than 2X the launch power of the Sat1B. Those uprated Merlin 1D engines will be over 50% more powerful than the current 1C. An additional point Elon tried to get across is the new 1D is easier to manufacture than the 1C.

One of Elon's "jokes" was that SpaceX already produces more engines than the combined production of all the other manufacturers around the world, and this new design should only increase that ability...

Quote:
I don't buy everything Elon says hook/line/sinker, but I'll say this-- he's accomplished what he set out to do, which is more than I can say for NASA... and he's done it on a fraction of the budget and MUCH closer to the original timeline...


A reporter at the conference questioned Elon about that "$1000-per-lb" figure, reminding him that NASA made the same claims at the beginning of the Shuttle program. Elon's reply was essentially that the costs for the F9 were already low (about $50 mil per flight), and that with standardized use of components (same basic core elements between F9 and FH), the cost of an FH flight was only about $100 mil. The website suggests an upper value of $125 mil.

What got my attention was Elon's suggestion that he was shooting for a below $1000-per-lb price tag for future operations (like FSH). His remarks were on the order of "can't get there from here at the prices being charged/must get prices under control if we are to become a true spacefaring nation"...

nvrocketeer 04-05-2011 07:16 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CPMcGraw
[*]Business news:
  • Company "growing like the Borg"; already purchasing the buildings around their CA site.


And if it didn't come up, they struck a deal to double the land holdings around the Texas facility as well.

CPMcGraw 04-05-2011 08:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by nvrocketeer
And if it didn't come up, they struck a deal to double the land holdings around the Texas facility as well.


Elon did, along with that comment about "they've already purchased all of the buildings surrounding their California facility", and a hint they are still looking for additional property.

If anything Elon said troubled me most, it was actually that part of the program. I worry about expanding too fast and outpacing the revenue stream...


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