May 6 from Cape Canaveral specialists of the company SpaceX Elon musk with the support of the combat crews of the 45th Space wing of the U.S. air force successfully launched a carrier rocket Falcon-9 with the Japanese telecommunications satellite JCSAT-14. And most importantly – managed for the second time to get stage booster on a platform in the Atlantic ocean. About the perspectives of the project, we talked to an expert.
To analyze the success of American developers and how this might affect plans space Russia “MK” asked Pavel Pushkin — General Director of the company “Cosmocats”, which is engaged in similar studies: the creation of reusable rockets, and suborbital reusable complex to fly tourists.
– When you start to argue about how many failed launches have Elon musk and his company, the truth is, this is an incorrect formulation of the question, – says our expert. – Virtually all of its launches were successful, except, maybe one. Each start-up, for which the firm paid the money, fulfills its specific task — displays any satellite in orbit. And quite accurately. And already further — the descent stage of the rocket back, the so-called “landing on feet” — this is a separate issue. And then have the Mask, of course, there were failures.
However, it should be understood that he actually coached for free this fit. That is, it performs the main task of the conclusion of the satellite, and at the same time also returns the stage of the rocket back. When he is with this landing stage was beating, it was just a side stage testing. We are working on the ground on the stands — which, incidentally, is more expensive — and he fulfills it in flight. Thus Elon Musk and he was trapped.
By the way, to be precise, regarding landing stage Falcon-9, this is not the second, as write mass media, and is the third successful landing. Once in the return flight it was put on dry land is the most energy-consuming option, when the output space is small enough, the mass of the payload (a small satellite) and there’s plenty of fuel to return back. Recently there was a variant, when the rocket successfully landed on the barge in the ocean. Moreover, during severe pitching. Then the rocket in orbit a satellite of medium size.
And here may 6 — for the second time successfully landing stage on a barge. Here is the satellite was larger, and therefore the speed of separation was quite large. If in previous times, when the second stage separated from the first, it was about 1800 — 1900 m/s, now 2 300 m/h. So it was a more difficult task: the heavier the satellite, respectively, remained less fuel in the landing rockets.
Now as for the prospects of this project. Elon Musk promises that through the planting stage will reduce the cost of removal of cargo into orbit somewhere around thirty percent. The only question is, will he be able to implement technically: again securely and safely start to already used step. And at least ten times on a stage to fly away.
Let’s assume that the Mask will succeed. In this case, the launches, which he will implement with this reusable rocket would carry a smaller payload, so as to return the level required to spend extra fuel. But then we must remember that satellites are not always under the limit score rocket.
Here, for example, our rocket “proton” can bring to geosynchronous transfer orbit a satellite weighing about 6.2 tons. But due to the fact that we just don’t have the smaller rockets, “proton” often, it flies with less stress: 4.5 t, or 5 t And the Falcon 9 for one-time start-up (without landing stage) to geosynchronous transfer orbit the stated weight load of 5.5 tons. That is now on the Falcon 9 can deliver to space those small satellites that were previously given to our “Proton”.
Thus Musk and his firm compete with us in the first place at the conclusion of satellites, weighing less than 5.5 tons. In this case, now he could still bring satellites weighing up to 4.5 tonnes and at the same time has yet to land a stage. But if he still turns this stage then be run many times, he wins from us and the cost of such a launch.
Today, the Center Khrunichev puts the price for launching satellites on a geotransfer, geostationary orbit approximately the same as on the SpaceX Falcon-9 — $60-65 million And if it turns out SpaceX to reuse the rocket stage, Musk will lower the startup costs by 30% and can display the satellites that are theoretically claimed our “proton”. All: we find ourselves in the grip of a serious competition. We don’t have a reusable “Proton”, and no missiles that could bring into space a small satellite for a lower price.
However, the Khrunichev Center is currently working on a modernization of “Proton” under the lighter version. However, what happens — until the matter. In any case, it will take time, and SpaceX rockets are already flying. In addition, they have in the hangar already on the three-stage rocket, which flew and can be used a second time is a tremendous success.
There is also such nuance: Musk displays can small satellites using reusable rockets, and the last, 10-th start to produce without landing stage. When it launched Sputnik may by weight to be almost the same, which displays the “proton”. That is, the old stage, who more than once flew away, he can send in the last journey forever for the withdrawal of the heavier satellite. Moreover, such heavy satellites now appears about one to five and one to ten in relation to small.
In fact, the current success of the company SpaceX collapsing us commercial market of space launches. This, of course, will not happen today, we have a few more years will bring the satellites “Proton”, as the orders are formed in the next few years. However, it is clear that SpaceX, with its Falcon-9 creates a tough competition for all means of launch satellites into space in the first place our.
Watch the video on “Posted video of the successful landing of the lower stage of the Falcon 9 on a floating platform”
The American company Space X has made the successful landing of the lower stage of the rocket Falcon 9 on a floating platform in the ocean. The launch was made from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
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