Comment 4G Re: Reusability is really, really hard.


Next Falcon 9 Rocket to Attempt Water Landing


Reusability is really, really hard. (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-02-21 21:06 (#49)

Making a reusable crew transport vehicle like the Dreamcatcher (or, for that matter, what the Shuttle was originally supposed to be) is "easy" enough, for certain values of that word. Making a heavy-lift system that's fully reusable ... isn't. Full reusability is a great long-term goal, but maybe that's something for the next generation?

Re: Reusability is really, really hard. (Score: 2, Informative)

by on 2014-02-22 05:42 (#4F)

At this point, they're going for landing the 1st stage, with an eye to eventually reusing it. Full reusability (i.e. including the 2nd stage), probably is waiting till the next generation.

Of course it's all a bit experimental at this point -- nobody's ever soft-landed their heavy-lift liquid-fuel boosters (though the SSMEs are close, in a way), so what sort of damage they receive and what economical refurbishing practices will look like is not really known... depending on how many (and which) components turn out to be cheaper to replace every flight than to overbuild and maintain for repeated uses, "full" reuse may never happen.

Re: Reusability is really, really hard. (Score: 2, Interesting)

by on 2014-02-22 06:56 (#4G)

I think that the engines will prove capable of multiple uses. They've ground tested them extensively for multiples of the flight time. While its definitely not the real thing I believe it to be good enough to reasonably assume they'll work for multiple flights. And the F9 first stage does have engine out capability. I'm more concerned with how the stage as a whole will deal with multiple cycles through the transonic re-entry regime and with landing system. We'll see how things play out, though.



Time Reason Points Voter
2014-03-11 19:27 Interesting +1

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