Merlin 1C in its Falcon 9 first stage configuration has a thrust at sea level of 95,000 lbs, a vacuum thrust of over 108,000 pounds, vacuum specific impulse of 304 seconds and sea level thrust to weight ratio of 92. In generating this thrust, Merlin consumes 350 lbs/second of propellant and the chamber and nozzle, cooled by 100 lbs/sec of kerosene, are capable of absorbing 10 MW of heat energy. In 2008, SpaceX targets the manufacture of approximately 50 booster engines, a number that exceeds the output of any country except Russia. New cooling for the Merlin 1C allows for higher performance without significantly increasing engine mass compared to the Merlin 1A.
A planned turbopump upgrade in 2009 will improve the thrust by over 20% and the thrust to weight ratio by approximately 25%.
Colony Worlds discusses the space based solar power plans. He suggests placing the earth based collection systems over the ocean. I believe that using lasers to transmit the power from space would be better and then the system would not need large collection rectennas.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
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