• patb2009

    These things slip but, SpaceX has been able to execute…
    I wouldn’t be surprised if this flies in 1Q18… Now does it land all three cores?
    Are there any odd structural issues/resonances that damage the cores?
    Are there thermal issues that cook a core? Hard to say…

    But, it will be interesting to watch when it flies.

  • Robert G. Oler

    let us all hope

  • therealdmt

    Under 6 months means it’s gonna happen. Not necessarily in November, but at this point it’s really coming bar a major setback.

    As far as I can tell, 6 months is the new 30 years. (Ya know, “The best thing about 30 years is it’s always 30 years away…”)

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    I’m actually a bit bullish on Nov. So many years of 6 months out we’re ripe for over-pessimism on schedule. The hardware is already built and at the Cape. Mostly comes down to getting the pad ready. That said all bets are off if:

    1) SpaceX has another RUD
    2) SLC-40 re-build is delayed (We know getting it basically done and tuned in for actual operation are two different things. Lots of delicate work to get the TEL and Reaction Frame all locked in at the end.)
    3) FH Static Fire Issue (If giant vibrations are detected, similar to Antares after the re-engine, that will send them back to the drawing board for a few months minimum.

    4) Getting 39A upgraded for FH, should be pretty straightforward to add the additional service masts and hold-downs but you never know until you do it and then go through an actual FH flow on the pad.

  • delphinus100
  • https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d9d708fd9061ad4fb3b1232c03e417f0c1d0fcb49046ddfd1f19971a8203cdb5.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7944a0fe993942a681fcba05fe6e0e8ad9d8c993491556622dd86c06dc164bb1.jpg I am constructing a full-scale mock-up (inflatable) of a lunar lander that could be launched on the Falcon Heavy. The purpose of the mock-up is to display it near Port Canaveral when the FH launches and to invite space & science journalists to include the question of whether the Falcon Heavy should be America’s Moon rocket.

  • windbourne

    a year ago, I would have agreed with you.
    But so far, this year, they have been doing pretty darn good.
    It looks like they are making headway on schedules.

  • windbourne

    Interesting design.
    Is the forward propellant used PRIOR to landing and disposed, or do you use it on the way down?
    After all, you have the back-end with multiple engines.

  • Jacob Samorodin

    Tell me again why we need NASA’s gratuitously expensive alternative to the FH, the SLS booster?

  • redneck

    To keep the parking lots full in the right districts. Do try to keep up.

  • Yes. FH is not presently cryogenic so it launches the lander with external drop tank to LEO. Then the lander’s engines burn for TLI using the drop tank’s propellant first so that it can drop the tank and only then start using the propellant within the lander for decelerating towards Thr Moon. The four main engines zero out all of the horizontal velocity and the six landing engines do the final small landing burn. The lander is based upon ULA’s ACES-DTAL. The length of the stack would require stretching of the FH fairing and the FH upper stage would be replaced by the cryogenic stack thereby making everything reusable.

  • Jimmy S. Overly

    Neat, Doug. I’m thinking of making a road trip/vacation to the area for FH. I’ll keep an eye out for your demo.

  • Great! I hope to meet you there. If you had a mind to help (e.g. set-up, take down, or interact with the public), let me know.

  • windbourne

    Why would a fairing be used?

  • windbourne

    Lol. That’s funny

  • https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6d505f87b74e31b820e16127bba2e29e39032c73cb268b304cfce1ec6bbc2fbb.jpg You are correct, there would be no fairing. What I’m saying is that the lander, cargo module, and crew module would be the same diameter as the FH’s current fairing (so no affect on the aerodynamics there) but the length of the stack would be longer than the current fairing so there would probably be a small impact on aerodynamics.