Tag Archives: rocket

North Korea launched its rocket today, despite indications earlier in the week that they were delaying the launch due to technical problems.

North Korea launched its rocket early Wednesday, despite indications earlier in the week that they were delaying the launch due to technical problems.

It appears those “technical problems” were a feint to distract everyone just prior to launch. Based on radar data it also appears the rocket did put an object into orbit.

The most powerful rocket presently in service, the Delta-4 Heavy, successfully launched a U.S. surveillance satellite this morning.

The most powerful rocket presently in service, the Delta-4 Heavy, successfully launched a U.S. surveillance satellite this morning.

The booster features three core rocket boosters and is topped with a second stage to place payloads into orbit. It is 235 feet tall (72 meters) and can carry payloads of up to 24 tons into low-Earth orbit and 11 tons to geosynchronous orbits.

SpaceX’s proposed Falcon Heavy would launch about 50 tons into low Earth orbit, making it twice as powerful, should it be built. The next obvious question, which I can’t answer at the moment, is how do these two rockets compare in terms of cost?

SpaceX Unveils Plan for World’s Most Powerful Private Rocket

SpaceX unveils its plan for the Falcon 9 Heavy, what would be the world’s most powerful private rocket.

The new rocket will be able to carry about 117,000 pounds (53,000 kilograms) of cargo to orbit – about twice the payload-carrying capability of the space shuttle. The Falcon Heavy would launch more than twice as much weight as the Delta 4 heavy, currently the most powerful rocket in operation. Only NASA’s Saturn 5 moon rocket, which last launched in 1973, could carry more cargo to orbit, SpaceX officials said.

Musk said the rocket should lower the launch cost of cargo to about $1,000 per pound, about one-tenth the cost per pound on NASA shuttle launches.

NASA submits its Heavy Lift rocket proposal to Congress

NASA has submitted its Heavy Lift rocket proposal to Congress. However, NASA also noted bluntly that:

“Neither Reference Vehicle Design currently fits the projected budget profiles nor schedule goals outlined in the Authorization Act.”

In other words, they can’t build it for the money or in the timeframe they’ve been given by Congress.

Didn’t someone say this already? Several times?

SpaceX to offer NASA its own plans for a heavy-lift rocket

SpaceX is putting together its own plans to provide NASA a heavy-lift rocket. Key quote:

Fast-track development, multi-use and low cost are key, says [SpaceX owner Elon] Musk. “The development timeframe is on the order of five years and would come to fruition before Obama’s likely second term ends. It has got to fit within a NASA budget that fits in 2008 levels, and it’s got to have operational costs when functioning that is as close to zero as you can make it. That latter point demands that whatever components are in use for super-heavy lift must be in use for launching other satellites for say, geostationary commercial and government customers. If not, then the likelihood of success in my opinion is zero.”