Two SpaceX Falcon Heavy launches will use the same set of first stage booster cores. SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket will launch the Arabsat-6A spacecraft in March.
The NASA Space Environment Testbed payload will launch on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy no earlier than April as part of the U.S. Air Force’s Space Test Program 2 mission.
Rapid Reusability Will Be Shown for 90+% of the Rocket
SpaceX will try to how the Falcon Heavy reusing three first stages. I have seen it by I think they could try to reuse the faring as well.
I think the rough costs of components are
$30 million for each of the three first stage boosters.
$7.5 million for the second stage
$6 million for the faring. This is the nose cone cover of the payload.
Reusing three engines and a faring would be $96 million out of $103.5 million.
These are Block 5 first stage boosters. Those are being shown on a Falcon 9 to be reusable for at least four launches and SpaceX has designed them for ten reuses.
The three first stage boosters would be $12 million for the ten reuse assumption. $30 million each and then $10 million for ten recoveries and repairs.
The $7.5 million second stage is thrown away. The faring is waterproof and can be reused. The reuse of a recovered faring has not been demonstrated. I assume $1 million costs for reusing farings. A ten reuse Falcon Heavy would be $20.5 million.
The Falcon Heavy has more fuel and can get satellites to far more orbits than the Falcon 9. The Falcon Heavy can reach tough orbits. The satellites will not need to use up a lot of fuel to reposition.
If SpaceX Pulls This Off
If SpaceX pulls this is off in 2019 and then is able to consistently reuse first stages for ten times each then they will have about a fifteen to twenty-year lead on competitors like Blue Origin and United Launch Alliance.
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.
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18 thoughts on “SpaceX Falcon Heavy Will Demo Rapid Reusability of 90% of the Rocket in 2019”
I believe it was you who made and deleted the first unintelligent post in this sub-thread, some nonsense about a $6 part making a F9 fail and then SpeceX’s insurance rates go up catastrophically.
And here you are posting nonsense to the effect you think SpaceX can’t engineer a life cycle, and that with the parts in hand to measure and test, to observe if they have done that correctly.
The error is in your thought process, the mental disease of pathological skepticism.
I’m concerned about Musk’s health. He needs to exercise and take care of his body, or he’ll burn himself out, mentally and physically. He’s a genius, but still has to deal with a frail, human body like the rest of us.
Who is they???
No possible combination of those talking about it could do it. Simply not happening, it’s about 7 bridges too far.
I sure hope so. And yet they are talking about nationalizing Tesla.
Elon is more in the Edison class than HH. HH accomplished little using his dad’s company’s enormous amount of money. Fortunately he was too busy with the actresses and flying planes to mess with that huge money engine. I would not place HH in the top 100.
Been waiting for FH launches with real payloads. When they have a few more successes with FH with 80%+ of reuse (we do have to charge a bit for recovery, inspection, refirb, integration …) it will be a great money maker with the stacking of two or three payloads. I you have a 10 time reuse of the first stage then you are maxed at 90% reuse. Subtract the disposable second stages then maybe 85% if you can reuse the fairing 10 times as well. Then you would have a monthly FH launch rate and a handful of F9s until the new class of payloads show up. Starlink and FH seen like a natural fit. Fuel to orbit … which is heavy and compact. In the long run to get the most out of FH they will also need a second stage with more fuel and a longer/wider fairing … so maybe another $300M in R&D there. Is Starship does not show up in 5 years … imagine a 5 rocket FH = Falcon Super Heavy = FSH. 95%+ reuse could drive the cost of lifting 150,000 Kg to LEO down to as low as $25M. Recall that the entire BFR upper stage, without fuel, is less than 100,000 kg. In a few flights you could lift a quite a multi-part-solar-system class ship and stuff it fuel. Or you could loft a 50 person set of a few lunar hab modules – with landing engines and fuel … to the moon. As much as I love the Starship/Super Heavy (SSH) idea I hope they don’t forget the high potential of what they have with FH and simply go-for-broke with SSH.
I guess we should also throw away every 747 after we fly it once.
They’re winning if they re-use one once. Ten times is a magic money machine.
No possibility of it. Not even slightly. The government can no more nationalize SpaceX than they could get away with nationalizing Home Depot.
I sure hope the left leaning brain trust that wants to nationalize Tesla doesn’t grab SpaceX too.
(Wonders if Warren The Ape was right…)
Why would you miss him? To you he is the filthy businessman who tricks people like NASA and the Air Force in to using his services.
Any reuse is better than throwing the whole rocket away each launch.
Yes they have and will lose rockets due to pushing the margins. In the end they are winning even if they can only relaunch a core five times.
In case you haven’t been reading the news articles they are placing him way above Howard Hughes and pretty much everyone else in the last 100 years. And they say if he keeps up the pace, the greatest in history.
Wow, GreenSeaHorse that comment WAS boring!
Component valuation should be adjusted, as F9H core stage is substantially different/unique from regular F9 first stage due to changes from reinforced parts (mostly thrust structures and octaweb differences). F9H side boosters are basically the same as F9 first stage however (I believe Elon said they can easily switch roles).
Elon musk is the Howard Hughes of the 21st century… I could see him pissing in jars on the planet mars…
Yes, you never know when you might need to get off this planet or bore yourself to a protective bunker.
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