“This reduces the reliability”: the expert pointed out the weaknesses of the Falcon Heavy

“This reduces the reliability”: the expert pointed out the weaknesses of the Falcon Heavy

The loss of the Central stage — the only thing that marred the successful launch of the Falcon Heavy. Experts told the “Газете.Ru” what other weaknesses can have a design of a new rocket Elon musk.


The loss of the Central stage was, perhaps, the only event is slightly overshadowed by the launch of the first super-heavy rocket, the Falcon Heavy, which the day before had seen around the world. Himself Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, on the eve of the historic launch put the odds of success at “50-50” — too many technical issues needed to solve when creating and launching a new rocket into space.

The new character of the vibrations, the effects associated with the impact of the three lower levels on top of each other and all 27 engines, chunks of ice falling at the start from the height of the second stage, and also the phenomena associated with the undocking of the two side boosters from the more Central working is all that it was necessary to consider and calculate.

“One of my concerns due to the interaction of the accelerator, said Mask before the start — There is a lot of complex dynamics. These missiles are much bent, and if they will bend in an unpredictable manner, they can damage each other”.

All three lower level planned soft back — side ground pad near the launch site, and one Central, about 20 seconds later on a platform in the ocean.

As planned, the side of the stage and sat down almost simultaneously at the surface site, and their simultaneous landing literally amazed the audience and commentators start. However, when it became clear that the second stage of the rocket payload — electric vehicles Tesla — went on the reference orbit, a message about successful saving the Central stage had not arrived.

Third burn successful. Exceeded Mars orbit and kept going to the Asteroid Belt. pic.twitter.com/bKhRN73WHF

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 7, 2018

During the download an error has occurred.

Only later did it become known that she fell into the ocean, but amid the General success of the mission it has not attracted much attention. According to the newspaper The Verge, this stage missed the barge and crashed into the ocean at a speed of 480 km/h, which is later recognized in the company SpaceX. For successful braking at landing stage needs to use three of its nine engines, but this time was able to start only one, which was not enough. The level has hit the surface of the water just a hundred meters from the ship that has not passed for it completely.

“It was enough to incapacitate two of his engine and to strew the deck with debris,” said Elon Musk.

Audio: “We lost the center core” #FalconHeavy @SpaceX pic.twitter.com/OaJhMa7f2U

— Drew King (@King_Drew16) February 6, 2018

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“We’ve lost center stage,” said someone during the broadcast run.

The bottom three stairs, nine rocket engines in each is as many as 27 engines running on kerosene and oxygen. According to Alexander Zheleznyakov, academician of the Russian Academy of cosmonautics, this design feature may be one of the weaknesses of the new missile.

“This reduces the reliability of the rocket. Remember the story of our lunar media N-1, whose lower level was set thirty engines. It was vulnerable in the first place due to the fact that engineers are unable to achieve a full synchronization of their work, and in the bottom of the rocket, there were some aerodynamic processes which negated all efforts to start — says the expert — the Musk said that the tests, while running 27 engines, they have interesting effects. But I think that modern computing technology allows to solve such problems, but still, the more engines — the lower the reliability.

View from SpaceX’s Launch Control. Apparently, there is a car in orbit around Earth. pic.twitter.com/QljN2VnL1O

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 6, 2018

During the download an error has occurred.

Because of the need to consider all emerging effects rocket, the Falcon Heavy required structural modifications to the Central stage, so the rocket is not just a “package” of three identical Falcon 9, proven at the start and at landings.

“Because of the aerodynamic processes occurring at the efflux of the gases needed improvements in design to the jet engines do not create a spin capable of tilting the rocket itself — said Zheleznyakov. — Musk has never talked about it, but they did change the rudder at the bottom of the rocket. Because just how to connect the three missiles would be absurd.”

During the download an error has occurred.

Anyway, the successful launch showed the missile capabilities and its ability to remove heavy loads into space. The company hopes that, at first, the startup costs will be around $90 million, however the re-use of accelerators should significantly reduce the cost of launches.

During the download an error has occurred.

“If we succeed, it will mean the end of the game for other heavy missiles,” — said Musk.

Roscosmos said that the launch of the Falcon Heavy with the Roadster on Board the “good trick»