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Is spaceX planning on giving up on reusability?

Posted by: coal_burner - Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:36 pm
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Is spaceX planning on giving up on reusability? 
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Space Station Commander
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Post Re: Is spaceX planning on giving up on reusability?   Posted on: Fri May 03, 2013 2:26 pm
Looks like carbon fibre to me, like the interstage. Here's a picture of the new 65-foot carbon fibre boat that will be used for the next Volvo Ocean Race for comparison, or perhaps its mast is even more similar.

I was thinking that post-separation, the first stage would flip over, then fire its engines to stop its forward motion, coast farther up with the nose pointed upwards, reach apogee, then start falling back to Earth tail-first. You could crack open the landing gear a bit at that point for a shuttlecock effect, slowing down the re-entry and therefore reducing heating.

Come to think of it though, that would definitely lower the centre of drag, perhaps to below the centre of gravity, making the whole thing aerodynamically unstable. So perhaps not such a good idea. Unless you want it to come down nose-first, but I imagine that the engine end can take more aerodynamic heating than the top, and coming down right side up you also avoid flipping the vehicle over while moving at speed through the denser parts of the atmosphere.

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Post Re: Is spaceX planning on giving up on reusability?   Posted on: Sat May 04, 2013 6:24 pm
All the carbon fiber I've seen would crack under that weight, and under the force of landing - metal would be needed. Of course, I'm not sure that carbon arrows count . . .

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Post Re: Is spaceX planning on giving up on reusability?   Posted on: Sat May 04, 2013 7:04 pm
SuperShuki wrote:
All the carbon fiber I've seen would crack under that weight, and under the force of landing - metal would be needed. Of course, I'm not sure that carbon arrows count . . .

I think there is a metal A-frame inside the carbon fibre fairing.

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Post Re: Is spaceX planning on giving up on reusability?   Posted on: Sat May 04, 2013 9:27 pm
At least it's cool looking. We have to keep in mind the important things.

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Post Re: Is spaceX planning on giving up on reusability?   Posted on: Sun May 05, 2013 4:19 pm
By mass, carbon fibre is actually much stronger than any kind of metal. However, it is also much stiffer, and that sometimes causes problems. A metal part that encounters excessive stress will deform, whereas carbon fibre will splinter or delaminate (the different layers of carbon fibres, normally held together by the resin, will come apart). There have been quite a lot of problems with these carbon fibre boats delaminating for example due to repeatedly slamming into waves at high speed. Steel sailing boats don't have that problem, but they are much heavier and therefore slower, which is of course not good in a race.

In the case of the landing leg, I imagine that the telescoping cylinder will work like a shock absorber and cushion the bulk of the impact by gas compression, meaning that the forces on the carbon fibre will be somewhat limited. There will be a bending force on the leg of course, but that's just a matter of making the carbon fibre thick enough. I don't know why the piston rod is made out of metal, perhaps carbon fibre can't withstand the compressive forces?

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Post Re: Is spaceX planning on giving up on reusability?   Posted on: Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:57 pm
Elon Musk just tweeted this picture of the first F9-R being tested. And yes, that R stands for Reusable. I wonder if they'll fly it as a side booster on the inaugural Falcon Heavy launch? Or perhaps that hardware is down at Vandenberg already? Looks like reusability is very much alive at SpaceX anyway :-).

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Post Re: Is spaceX planning on giving up on reusability?   Posted on: Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:54 pm
I can't see the pic! Can someone post it?

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Post Re: Is spaceX planning on giving up on reusability?   Posted on: Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:39 pm
And i thought my settings were paranoid or is it that your system cant handle https links?


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Post Re: Is spaceX planning on giving up on reusability?   Posted on: Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:33 am
totally . . . awesome . . .

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