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posted by CoolHand on Wednesday February 07 2018, @07:55PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the can't-keep-track-of-our-stuff dept.

SpaceX pulled off quite the feat today when it launched the Falcon Heavy rocket. What's more, it landed the two flanking boosters in perfect synchronized formation. But the fate of the core booster was unclear; now it appears that the center booster, which was supposed to land on a drone ship, was lost.

Elon Musk said on a conference call with reporters that the launch "seems to have gone as well as one could have hoped with the exception of center core. The center core obviously didn't land on the drone ship" and he said that "we're looking at the issue."

Source: Engadget

Elon has stated during the post launch Press Conference (aired live by ABC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cygUnhAGdWc ) that the center core ran out of TEA-TEB ignition fluids. These are used to restart the Merlin 1D engines in flight. The central engine relit, but the outer two failed to reignite. The resultant loss of thrust cause the center core to hit the water at 300mph/500kph and explode. Elon reports two drone ship thrusters on OCISLY were damaged or destroyed.

Source: Reddit.

TEA-TEB is a reference to triethylaluminium-triethylborane.

takyon: Instead of becoming an Earth-Mars cycler, it appears that the car has overshot its intended orbit and will reach far into the asteroid belt:

Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster, which launched on top of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy earlier today, is going farther out into the Solar System than originally planned. The car was supposed to be put on a path around the Sun that would take the vehicle out to the distance of Mars' orbit. But the rocket carrying the car seems to have overshot that trajectory and has put the Tesla in an orbit that extends out into the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. [...] SpaceX CEO Musk tweeted out a map of the Roadster's final orbit after the burn, showing just how far out the car will travel. And it looks like it's going so far into the asteroid belt that it will get relatively close to the orbit of the dwarf planet Ceres.

Previously: Falcon Heavy Maiden Launch Successful (Mostly)


Original Submission

Related Stories

SpaceX Picks Up New Customers for the Falcon Heavy 18 comments

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket seems to be a hit with satellite companies

When the Falcon Heavy rocket launched for the first time in February, some critics of the company wondered what exactly the rocket's purpose was. After all, the company's Falcon 9 rocket had become powerful enough that it could satisfy the needs of most commercial customers. One such critic even told me, "The Falcon Heavy is just a vanity project for Elon Musk."

[...] Last week, the Swedish satellite company Ovzon signed a deal for a Falcon Heavy launch as early as late 2020 for a geostationary satellite mission. And just on Thursday, ViaSat announced that it, too, had chosen the Falcon Heavy to launch one of its future ViaSat-3 satellite missions in the 2020 to 2022 timeframe.

[...] In explaining their rocket choice, both Ovzon and ViaSat cited the ability of the Falcon Heavy to deliver heavy payloads "direct"—or almost directly—to geostationary orbit, an altitude nearly 36,000km above the Earth's surface. Typically, rockets launching payloads bound for geostationary orbit drop their satellites into a "transfer" orbit, from which the satellite itself must spend time and propellant to reach the higher orbit. (More on these orbits can be found here).

[...] The demonstration flight of the Falcon Heavy apparently convinced not only the military of the rocket's direct-to-geo capability but satellite fleet operators as well. The Falcon Heavy rocket now seems nicely positioned to offer satellite companies relatively low-cost access to orbits they desire, with a minimum of time spent getting there in space.

See also: SpaceX heading to two to four Falcon Heavy paid launches per year

Related: How to Get Back to the Moon in 4 Years, Permanently
Falcon Heavy Maiden Launch Successful (Mostly)
SpaceX Confirms it Lost the Center Core of the Falcon Heavy
After the Falcon Heavy Launch, Time to Defund the Space Launch System?
NASA's Chief of Human Spaceflight Rules Out Use of Falcon Heavy for Lunar Station
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Could Launch Japanese and European Payloads to Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway


Original Submission

Breaking News: Falcon Heavy Maiden Launch Successful (Mostly) 103 comments

Update: Launch seems to have been successful. The two side boosters landed nearly simultaneously. Footage from the drone ship was cut off. The car made it into space; but the third stage will need to coast through the Van Allen radiation belts for around six hours before it makes the final burn for trans-Mars injection.

Update 2: The middle booster of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket failed to land on its drone ship
Falcon Heavy Post-Launch Media Briefing - Megathread

SpaceX's newest rocket, the Falcon Heavy, is set to be launched at around 1:30 PM EST (6:30 PM UTC) today. The launch window extends to 4:00 PM EST (9:00 PM UTC).

SpaceX will attempt to recover all three boosters during the launch. The two previously-flown side boosters will attempt to land nearly simultaneously at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Landing Zones 1 and 2. The center core will attempt to land on a drone barge hundreds of miles off the coast of Florida.

The dummy payload for the Falcon Heavy is Elon Musk's personal 2008 Tesla Roadster. It is carrying a mannequin wearing SpaceX's space suit flight suit that will be used when the company begins to send astronauts to the International Space Station. The car will be launched into a heliocentric orbit that will bring it close to Mars (and back near Earth) periodically, and is equipped with three cameras. Its stereo system will be playing David Bowie's Space Oddity.

If the launch is successful, the Falcon Heavy could be flown within the next 3 to 6 months for a customer such as the U.S. Air Force, Arabsat, Inmarsat, or ViaSat.

Falcon Heavy will be capable of launching 63,800 kg to low-Earth orbit (LEO), 26,700 kg to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO), 16,800 kg to Mars, or 3,500 kg to Pluto (New Horizons was 478 kg). It will supplant the Delta IV Heavy, which is capable of launching 28,790 kg to LEO or 14,220 kg to GTO. Space Launch System Block 1 will be capable of launching 70,000 kg to LEO (Block 1B: 105,000 kg to LEO, Block 2: 130,000 kg to LEO).

Musk has suggested that an additional two side boosters could be added to Falcon Heavy (perpendicularly?) to make a "Falcon Super Heavy" with even more thrust. This may not happen if SpaceX decides to focus on the BFR instead, which as planned would be able to launch 150,000 kg to LEO while being fully reusable and potentially cheaper than the Falcon 9 (or capable of launching 250,000 kg to LEO in expendable mode).

The webcast can be seen here or directly on YouTube.


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Immerman on Wednesday February 07 2018, @08:07PM (5 children)

    by Immerman (3985) on Wednesday February 07 2018, @08:07PM (#634535)

    Are we sure it actually overshot and this wasn't the original plan? My understanding was that it was going to be put on an orbit that "brought it near Mars" - which an elliptical orbit to the asteroid belt would certainly do. It might even still be a Mars cycler - quite a few such orbits go well outside Mars' orbit, and/or well inside Earth's, in order to make the orbital timings line up nicely over the long term, without requiring frequent course adjustments.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bob_super on Wednesday February 07 2018, @08:44PM (2 children)

      by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday February 07 2018, @08:44PM (#634558)

      I had read that last experimental burn as "we'll give it all we can and see how far it goes, hopefully to Mars".
      The primary goal was to show direct GEO insertion for .mil. The secondary goal was to reach Mars despite not pushing the FH dynamics too far on the first test. Getting to the asteroid belt is just a bonus.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07 2018, @09:27PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07 2018, @09:27PM (#634574)

        I wouldn't be surprised if reaching the asteroid belt was the actual goal, as there is a fortune out there.

        However, it wasn't what was promised; we were promised a car flying past Earth and Mars on a periodic basis.

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by frojack on Thursday February 08 2018, @02:55AM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @02:55AM (#634649) Journal

          Well, maybe he has more fuel, and can turn around and slow his roll.

          By the way, watch this Youtube to get a sense of the sound of this rocket, and the triple sonic booms as the boosters land.
          https://youtu.be/ImoQqNyRL8Y [youtu.be]
          Play this video with headphones, or at least your best ear buds. Turn it up.

          It uses BINAURAL AUDIO IMMERSION [theverge.com]

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday February 08 2018, @05:50AM (1 child)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @05:50AM (#634705) Journal
      The trajectories described didn't go further than Mars orbit from the Sun (aphelion). So an oops on someone's part. But pretty sweet to get to the point where they could mess up like that.
      • (Score: 2) by martyb on Friday February 09 2018, @02:21AM

        by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 09 2018, @02:21AM (#635357) Journal

        The trajectories described didn't go further than Mars orbit from the Sun (aphelion). So an oops on someone's part. But pretty sweet to get to the point where they could mess up like that.

        Might want to take a look at this diagram from Elon Musk: https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/961083704230674438/photo/1 [twitter.com].

        On the diagram, I see: "Apohelion (AU) 2.61" and "Perihelion (AU) 0.98".

        The path goes far enough beyond Mars that it nearly approaches the orbit of Ceres [wikipedia.org]!

        --
        Wit is intellect, dancing.
  • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07 2018, @08:08PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07 2018, @08:08PM (#634538)

    She screamed. Oh, she screamed. In response, the sound of little boys cheering was heard. Chairs. A tile floor. A chalk board. It was a classroom.

    The man was vigorously moving his hips and slamming his fist into the woman's face. It might be more accurate to say that he could stop neither his fists nor his hips. The woman screamed for help. However, the children only cheered. Rather than caring about the woman's well-being, it would be more accurate to say that the boys were actively cheering for her demise.

    Every time the fist collided with the woman, mankind took a microscopic step forward towards a future where men's rights were respected. The children knew this, which is why they were so excited. A bright future awaited them.

    When silence finally descended upon the woman, the children could no longer contain their excitement. Endless cheers and clapping were heard from within the classroom. The woman's motion had been completely replaced by the children's desire for freedom.

  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07 2018, @08:51PM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07 2018, @08:51PM (#634565)

    So can we look forward to the Tesla Roadster getting another world planetary-system record first? The first car to hit an asteroid!

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Wednesday February 07 2018, @08:54PM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Wednesday February 07 2018, @08:54PM (#634566) Journal

      They would be extremely lucky to hit an asteroid with the car. Asteroid fields are not densely packed like in the movies.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by DECbot on Thursday February 08 2018, @12:56AM

        by DECbot (832) on Thursday February 08 2018, @12:56AM (#634580) Journal

        If you end up crashing and totaling a roadster by collision with an asteroid in the asteroid belt, (1) could you file an insurance claim and (2) will your rates go up because of the statistical improbability of it occurring again?

        --
        cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
    • (Score: 4, Funny) by bob_super on Thursday February 08 2018, @12:53AM (5 children)

      by bob_super (1357) on Thursday February 08 2018, @12:53AM (#634578)

      Elon decided to really piss off his insurance company.
      "Asteroid does not count as 'Act of God', you gotta pay"

      • (Score: 2) by pkrasimirov on Thursday February 08 2018, @04:09PM

        by pkrasimirov (3358) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 08 2018, @04:09PM (#634972)

        "Alright, sir, get your car over here for damage assessment."

      • (Score: 2) by Rivenaleem on Thursday February 08 2018, @04:22PM (3 children)

        by Rivenaleem (3400) on Thursday February 08 2018, @04:22PM (#634982)

        Asteroid hits you, you can make a claim. You hit asteroid on the other hand...

        • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday February 09 2018, @01:42AM (2 children)

          by bob_super (1357) on Friday February 09 2018, @01:42AM (#635344)

          Elon can afford Full Coverage, and a spacesuit is not proven to count as Driving While Impaired.

          • (Score: 2) by Rivenaleem on Friday February 09 2018, @08:53AM (1 child)

            by Rivenaleem (3400) on Friday February 09 2018, @08:53AM (#635450)

            True, but the insurance company might argue that he was travelling at an unsafe speed, in excess of 30,000 km/h at the time of the accident.

            • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday February 09 2018, @05:18PM

              by bob_super (1357) on Friday February 09 2018, @05:18PM (#635580)

              Not his fault that the speed limit was written in black on a black sign posted in the shade of a black asteroid which was subsequently hurled into the Sun.
              It's known to happen when music and space are combined.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:14AM

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Thursday February 08 2018, @01:14AM (#634588) Homepage Journal

    Aluminum really really wants to burn. It wants to burn so badly that it will suck the oxygen away from ferrous oxide - rust - when Thermite ignites.

    There is a large scorch mark on the wall of one of Caltech's lecture halls. During a lecture on organometallic aluminum, the instructor squirted some out of a syringe. It burst into flames immediately upon exiting the syringe's tip then stuck to the wall until it had all burned up.

    --
    Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
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