a thoughtful web.
Good ideas and conversation. No ads, no tracking.   Login or Take a Tour!
comment by WanderingEng
WanderingEng  ·  1661 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Falcon Heavy Static Fire Successful!

In what ways does Falcon Heavy change the space launch game? Yet more competition for more types of launches?

demure  ·  1661 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Well, let's see. For one, it will be the most powerful operational rocket in the world (second only to the Saturn V in terms of historical lifting capability).

For two, this kind of capability has never been reusable. The payload it can take to geostationary transfer orbit and still return its three first stages to earth (8000 kg) will be more than double that of the Space Shuttle (roughly 3900 kg). Shuttle was not a fully reusable vehicle, and Heavy will be significantly lower cost to operate.

Reusability of orbital class rockets outright--not to mention Heavy's lifting capability-- has been a relatively recent phenomenon anyways, with the Orbcomm 2 first orbital rocket use and successful landing and the SES-10 first orbital rocket reuse and landing.

Cheaper flights to space have always meant more innovation and a lower barrier to entry for new, daring projects. Additionally, the traditional space companies now have competition in the super-heavy lift market. This is good for everyone. Competition is always better than monopolies when it comes to spurring innovation.

A new space age has dawned.

(all this stuff is available publicly on wikipedia and spacex.com and all opinions my own)