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SpaceX — what does it cost to build the Falcon Heavy. Who is it all
Material posted: Publication date: 22-02-2018
Elon Musk is surprised, and can say that and amused the scientific community in April 2011. The entrepreneur first announced the Falcon Heavy and told how it should work. Since then began the development stage of "the exploration of deep space" from SpaceX. The company gradually began to implement his plan. "This missile is really huge," he said as the Mask without much specifics. Any of these characteristics was given a little later.

He also told US (because in this country the company operates SpaceX) will be proud of not one or two, and plenty of launches of new rockets. According to Mask, heavy rockets and private space exploration has a great future. Speaking of which, Musk called one of the advantages is the ability to launch people to the moon and Mars. To the moon is no flying over the last few decades. Humanity simply was not even a suitable rocket that could send a payload and humans away from Earth. In addition, the Falcon Heavy can fly to Mars, but also to send a man there with a payload. Mars attracts the Mask, he repeatedly said that without the exploration of the red planet humanity is doomed.

The Mask with her usual sense of purpose engaged in the development of a new launch vehicle. However, since the development of such a vehicle is extremely complicated, the launch was constantly postponed. So, initially Elon Musk said that the rocket will be built by 2012 and then to try it. But it did not, because " it was more difficult than we could even think." Technical problems were many, one of them is the simultaneous launch of the whole array of engines.

Since then, the launch was repeatedly rescheduled, and only recently it managed to launch into space with the payload delivery into space. We are talking about the Tesla electric car, which, by the way, there is a nonzero probability of returning to Earth.

The speed of development of the company can just envy. Ten years ago, SpaceX launched a rocket into space , the Falcon 1. It was a rocket with only one engine. And even she was able to deliver a payload into Earth orbit. Until SpaceX was one of the representatives of private business did nothing of the sort. This success allowed the company to sign a contract with NASA to develop the current version of rocket, called the Falcon 9. In fact, Musk was able to equal the capabilities of its missiles with native speakers of the largest aerospace firms in the world.

After the Falcon 9 began to land and take off punctually, it became clear that Musk will not stop there. And just after the landing of the returned first stages of the accelerator Elon Musk and company were already engaged in the practical implementation of the heavy carrier rocket Falcon Heavy project and technical specifications were prepared earlier. The missile has allowed US to obtain a new type of missile that can fly to the moon and Mars, despite the fact that the government has not paid a penny for its creation.

However, as mentioned above, the launch of Falcon Heavy all the time postponed. But the missile launched, and once with a payload. You can be surprised to the company's decision to send in the electric space, but any surprise will disappear, if we remember that SpaceX originally proposed, the military and NASA to send some cargo to space, and completely free. It could be, for example, the satellite for sending to the orbit the customer usually pays millions of dollars. However, both the military and the Agency refused. The reasons for this are different. The military is just afraid to lose your satellite, as the rocket was launched for the first time. But NASA refused, as he believes the Falcon Heavy competitor to its own carrier rocket SLS. In the end, the electric car fell into space, and Tesla Inc., the manufacturer of these vehicles, presumably, increased the number of customers.

As for NASA, the Falcon Heavy is really a competitor to the Agency, since its running costs are many times cheaper than SLS. In the first case we are talking about $90 million, the second about $500 million In principle, one can immediately understand which media will be selected by the customers. Especially if the Falcon Heavy is successfully launched and in the second, third, fourth time.

The Falcon 9 will improve

Yes, despite the success with the Falcon Heavy, Musk with the team does not forget about their current "workhorse" — the Falcon 9. This is a reliable rocket that can send into orbit more than 23 tons of useful cargo. Most likely, the new booster will be used to send heavy satellites commercial customers are relatively far from the Ground, and the Falcon 9 will be used in order to launch to a lower orbit satellites with a smaller mass. By the way, until 2015, the Falcon rocket could send into orbit is only about 13 tons of cargo. But using new materials, updating the Merlin engine, the company was able to double the capacity of the media.

And work on the improvement of its construction continues. Now the company is preparing a new version of the Falcon 9, called Block 5. It will allow us to send cargo into orbit with less cost, also decrease the time required to bring the missiles in order to launch. As for duty, it will increase by 10 percent, no more.

Who will use the Falcon Heavy?

Customers wishing to take advantage of the Falcon Heavy, SpaceX is already there. The first client company Arabsat, planning to launch into earth orbit 6-ton satellite Arabsat 6A. The launch is planned for the second quarter of this year. Then will be realized the mission Space Test Program-2 for the U.S. air force. It is a cluster of research satellites (that they will examine — secondary questions), which will soon become a permanent neighbor of the Earth. And that seems to be all the other customers not yet claimed. Of course, maybe the company is trying to keep secret its negotiations with potential customers. But anyway, while this is not known.

But it is clear that "Holy place is never empty". Yet the Falcon Heavy can be a lot, because the cost of launching the rocket very attractive, as was mentioned above. One of the potential customers — the Ministry of defense. The intelligence services have an interest in launching satellites into different orbits nine that are important to the national security of the country. Currently, only the launch vehicle Delta IV Heavy from United Launch Alliance can deliver the spacecraft in these orbits.

But now SpaceX can apply for the cooperation with the Ministry of defence and the intelligence services. For the latter, the ability to work directly with the two "operators" space transport — a great opportunity to implement all their projects. If one company fails, is the second.

In addition to military customers, SpaceX can become scientists. Speech first of all about NASA. If the Agency will begin to work with the Falcon Heavy, it will get a number of options, previously unavailable. Of course, NASA may rely on their own heavy carrier rocket Space Launch System (SLS). But it does not exist yet, and most likely will be able to start work only in mid-2020 years, that is almost 10 years. But Falcon Heavy is already operational.

Heavy booster Elon musk can send cargo to Mars, or one of interest to scientists of the moons of the giant planets: Europa, Enceladus, Titan.

According to some specialists, Musk launched into space relatively heavy load because he wanted to attract the attention of the scientific community, the public to the possibilities of the company. As mentioned above, instead of the electric vehicle, the Falcon Heavy could send to the "place of service" military or scientific satellites. If NASA or the military were entrusted to SpaceX any of their useful loads, any machine could already be in orbit, performing its functions.

Now heavy rocket can dramatically decrease the implementation time, flight missions of any scientific apparatus to the interested scientists. These possibilities are impressive, because science will be able to move forward with the idea of what are water worlds, covered with an ice crust. Now there are just all sorts of assumptions, but "the truth is still out there somewhere".

At the outset of SpaceX Elon musk threw questions about the cost start. Somewhere in 2011, he said that the launch of Falcon 9 will cost the customer $50 million, and the same service using the Falcon Heavy is already at $100 million.

Then, few believed him, but as it turned out, Musk was right. Now the price tag — $62 million for a Falcon 9 and $90 million for Falcon Heavy. This is a very low cost compared to sentences for all other companies.

Academic life successful launches SpaceX is just a breakthrough. The fact that the same booster SLS will not be ready to fly in the next five years. And in the US and other countries ready to fly to the moon, and now. And such missions have become more than real, due to the modest (compared to other companies) the price tag.

Of course, the Musk really wants to send colonists to Mars. But now that goal still seems unattainable. But the flight to the moon, returning to Earth's natural satellite — it is a real mission, which will cost a relatively small (in comparison with the Mars mission) amount.

According to many experts, if humanity plans to ever establish colonies on the moon and Mars, then it should use the services of private, not public, space companies. In this case, the cost of the launch will be much lower, and all the processes within the company — optimized, as commercial organisations to make money, not throw them to blame NASA.

By the way, Musk is preparing another rocket, even more powerful. It's called BFR (eng. Big Falcon Rocket or Big Fucking Rocket), and conversations on it go not the first year. While the rocket is being developed, but if this project is implemented, the horizons of outer space will become man even more extensive. This rocket can become an entry ticket to a man on Mars or any other planets and planetoids of the Solar system. However, while the judge about this option before, because there are too many technical problems and technical issues.

But anyway, private space has become quite a serious competitor in relation to government organizations. Soon it may happen that the same NASA have nothing to oppose SpaceX. Actually, this is not the future, but almost real.


Tags: USA , space

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