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John W

Falcon Heavy launch

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Just walked outside to see the Falcon Heavy rocket launch.  Pretty cool and easy to see from Orlando area.  They're better at night but still worth seeing.  Really great when you're close, but tons of traffic and they don't always go as planned.


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Elon Musk is a visionary, and I think in years to come will be spoken about in the same breath as the Wright Brothers, Lindbergh, Gagarin, Armstrong and so on.

I noticed he got a name check in the latest Star Trek TV series, which I thought was super cool.


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40 minutes ago, wHiTeHaT said:

First Car in space

What about the 'Moon Buggy' (Lunar Roving Vehicle) ?


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Maybe not, but it probably cost more than the Tesla :rolleyes:


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I agree Elon Musk is a visionary and remember, he started Paypal, which is regularly discussed here.  One thing, is Musk was saying it had a reasonable chance of exploding on its way up.  There was a Titan rocket in 98 that exploded 13 seconds in.  I didn't see that in person, but people said it was huge.  I'm about 60-70 miles from the launch pad and you could easily see the rocket go up today.  Skies were clear blue today also making it perfect for viewing.  When I lived in Tampa, you could still see the shuttle easily at night.  One time I saw the shuttle launch at night from about 10 miles away, and it was like sudden sunrise.  I still love seeing these.

A lot of the great inventors in the US come from other countries.  It's sad that some like Tessla die penniless.  Of course, those were hard times in his last years.


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I'm not terribly happy that Musk stroked his ego by launching a Tesla (car) rather than a real satellite that could be doing something useful out in space. Yes, it was a high-risk First Flight, but still, couldn't some college kids have knocked together an astronomy platform, or a bunch of cubesats, or something? Even if it didn't work all that well, it would be better than nothing. It's almost like Elon couldn't bear to send his beloved personal Tesla to the crusher, so he figured it could go out with a bang (but it didn't).


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On 7-2-2018 at 12:40 AM, ArtcoInc said:

Maybe not, but it probably cost more than the Tesla :rolleyes:

Tesla spent over $1.5 billion to develop the vehicle

Lunar Roving Vehicle

The original cost-plus-incentive-fee contract to Boeing (with Delco as a major sub-contractor) was for $19 million and called for delivery of the first LRV by 1 April 1971, but cost overruns led to a final cost of $38 million.

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Only a 100% cost overrun on a gummit project? Plus, on-time and worked right? Ah, those were the days! People tried harder back then. Today you couldn't build the same LRV for less than $2bn ($500mn or so in 1971 dollars).

In the early '70s I was given a small piece of sawed-off stainless steel rod stock that supposedly came from LRV assembly. I think my mother threw it out when I went off to college. She also took a near-mint "Indian Head" nickel off my bedroom shelf when she needed some change...

Does anyone know if the Tesla roadster was thoroughly sterilized before launch? Supposedly it crosses Mars's orbit, and potentially could crash into the planet and deliver a load of bacteria.


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I remember, I worked on the Titan IV program in the 90's. The solid rocket booster had a fine crack in the solid propellant, the "fuel" in those things burnt in radial direction so a small crack had created an uneven burnt and a large delta pressure. It tore the case apart. You don't wanna be around when one of those blows up because it's extreme toxic. UDMH fuel, a big orange cloud. I still remember I used to stood outside of my office, directly across from the Shuttle pads to watch the launches, they were awesome, but the AF finally had decided it was too dangerous and cleared us out.

If you think about it, $90 millions for the first Heavy launch as a validation to the potential customers really isn't that bad, plus he's getting a lot of marketing mileage for the Tesla; the cost of a typical lunch is around $300 millions. Plus, who would wanna be the first and put their payload on it, and I doubt the launch can even be insured. One bird many stones.

So the end result was they lost one booster in the sea, and said Starman had overshot its Mars approach. I kinda got a feeling that Mars was never the intended target, and probably it was misunderstood when someone said it may reach Mars. Yeah, without a real intention it may be hard to define a success or failure. I am just wondering how long they plan on live feeding Starman back to us. Plastic out gas and the outter space is extremely harsh without the protection of radiation shields. I would like to see the outer space effects on the Tesla.

Oh, @John W, I grew up in the Tampa Bay area, I remember seeing the Challenger "Y" trail...I was in high school and my AP Physics teacher was one of the finalists for the teacher in space program. I guess She was glad that she wasn't chosen, and she was a little bitter when she was lost to a "history" teacher.

 

 

 

On 2/6/2018 at 3:41 PM, John W said:

I agree Elon Musk is a visionary and remember, he started Paypal, which is regularly discussed here.  One thing, is Musk was saying it had a reasonable chance of exploding on its way up.  There was a Titan rocket in 98 that exploded 13 seconds in.  I didn't see that in person, but people said it was huge.  I'm about 60-70 miles from the launch pad and you could easily see the rocket go up today.  Skies were clear blue today also making it perfect for viewing.  When I lived in Tampa, you could still see the shuttle easily at night.  One time I saw the shuttle launch at night from about 10 miles away, and it was like sudden sunrise.  I still love seeing these.

A lot of the great inventors in the US come from other countries.  It's sad that some like Tessla die penniless.  Of course, those were hard times in his last years.

 

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On 8-2-2018 at 11:02 PM, MrPhil said:

Does anyone know if the Tesla roadster was thoroughly sterilized before launch? Supposedly it crosses Mars's orbit, and potentially could crash into the planet and deliver a load of bacteria.

I think the Atmosphere on Mars works same as on Earth when entering it, so it will probably gonna burn up in it.

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I moved to Tampa from Louisiana in May 86, but my wife had lived there for a while.  She saw the Challenger from there too.


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12 hours ago, clustersolutions said:

I remember, I worked on the Titan IV program in the 90's. The solid rocket booster had a fine crack in the solid propellant, the "fuel" in those things burnt in radial direction so a small crack had created an uneven burnt and a large delta pressure. It tore the case apart. You don't wanna be around when one of those blows up because it's extreme toxic. UDMH fuel, a big orange cloud.

You're talking about two different things here. UDMH is a liquid, hypergolic propellant. Very nasty stuff, forming a big orange cloud if spilled. The Russians call it "the Devil's venom". NoKo is using it in their ICBMs. Solid fuels can behave unexpectedly, as you said, if there's a crack leading to much exposed burnable surface.


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Yeah, MrPhil, the solids were the boosters so when they split, the first stage core carrying UDMH was destroyed leading to a big orange puff. Thats what happened to that flight. I was a propulsion system flight engineer for the upperstage, and I loaded Hydrazine in SCAPE at pad 40 and 41. The old timer contractors called us whims for being in SCAPE, they would carry out working on UDMH equipment unprotected, and dripping in orange sweat in the summer time. Some of them were dying from cancer at the end. Hydrazine is much more "potent" than UDMH, and when you can smell it, you already have taken a lethal dosage. So SCAPE was mandatory.

I wasn't always a code monkey, but you know, you are better in seeing the big picture buy reading the flight software than the mechanical manual.

 

1 hour ago, MrPhil said:

You're talking about two different things here. UDMH is a liquid, hypergolic propellant. Very nasty stuff, forming a big orange cloud if spilled. The Russians call it "the Devil's venom". NoKo is using it in their ICBMs. Solid fuels can behave unexpectedly, as you said, if there's a crack leading to much exposed burnable surface.

 

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Your right! The 98 Cape failure I was already in CA. @john W, I definitely had another senior moment. Getting old...there were two Titan failures during that time frame. I was thinking about the one at Vandenberg. We lost 3 Atlas/Centaur and that Titan when I was there. I had always felt like I was there for the Cape one as I had always occasional nightmares on one of those thing blowing up during ascent just like what had happened. So many things can go wrong during the countdown and take off and to me its a miracle when everything works. I remember thinking that to myself as I stood at the base looking up at the 20 stories high rocket.

 

On 2/10/2018 at 9:41 AM, John W said:

@clustersolutions  Were you there when the Titan blew up in 1998?

 

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They don't call it Rocket Science for nothing!

Re my previous post, I read that NASA and USAF both turned down offers to fly a satellite for free (due to risk of loss). I'm still a bit annoyed that something useful wasn't launched, but at least it wasn't a friggin' disco ball.


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I saw where they often will use concrete or the like to simulate the load.  I have to say that a Tesla is way cooler, and yes, I am that easily impressed. 

@clustersolutions  After the launch Elon went to Fishlips to have a beer to celebrate.  I don't know if you've ever been there, but it's a 2 story bar & grill in Port Canaveral.  I used to play poker on Suncruise and we'd go to Fishlips before for apps and beer.  Pretty good calamari and a great place to watch the cruise ships go out.  I imagine the bar was packed for this launch as it always was for the shuttle.  Went on Suncruise one night for a shuttle launch, which was pretty cool to see from 3 miles out.  The shuttle and a poker tourney!


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@MrPhil, yeah, you really can't blame them, as putting anything useful up would required $$$ to support it pre and post the launch. I wonder if that Tesla is fully functional. Plus, that rocket was going for a passage that probably not very ideal for LEO or even GEO orbit.

@John W, Frankies Wings, that's where we use to go for our post launch party. Their 911 wings were GOOD! I wonder if it's still there. Fishlips, I have never been to. Another place I like in Titusville I think it was Dixie Crossroad. Awesome rockshrimp!!!

Yeah, any night launch is always good. You know, the fastest take offs are those Altas and Delta med size rockets, the shuttle and the Titan sometimes I felt like they were hanging in mid air slow in coming up to speed. Hey, how about being woken up by the sonic booms when the shuttle was returning for landing?

I don't know if I ever seen a test launch as such, this may be the first one for me. There's reasons on the $300 and $90 mil price tags. I bet the cost of the Falcon Heavy will be a lot more expensive by the time its ready for the real deal, and not to mention should it ever became ready for manned space flight.

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@clustersolutions  Yes, the sonic booms always seemed to be at 3AM or such.  Dogs would freak out barking their asses off!  Dixie Crossroads is still there, and in my restaurant management days I worked with some managers from there when I worked for Bennigan's.  I was at the one near SeaWorld, but we had a bunch in Orlando.  Never heard of Frankies though.

Time flies, doesn't it Tim? 


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