Falcon X first stage discarded after the tenth use.
With a track record of 42 and 2…I think we know what the problem is just as well as I do…“Yes…we can.”
Monkey’s Throwing Bones Into Space
Falcon 9 and Iridium-4 went vertical last night on Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Falcon 9’s first stage booster for this mission previously launched 10 satellites to low-Earth orbit for Iridium in June of this year. SpaceX will not attempt to land Falcon 9’s first stage after launch. Today’s instantaneous launch is at 5:27 p.m. PST, 1:27 UTC
Why wouldn’t you continue to attempt to land the first stage? Don’t you want to have a complete data set for each first stage from the first landing to the last landing to develop algorithms from to produce exact calculations regarding fatal structural failures that would then be used to develop next generation stages that would last longer than ten landings?
You simply do not throw away the bone once the meat has been eaten from it. You turn it into something else.
A first stage on its tenth use could be configured in the following manner to be used as section of a space station.
An IMM (Integrated Management Module) would sit atop the first stage. The IMM would include a suit lock, docking system and PCBM.
The used first stage would then dock with the ISS or other space based facility where the following procedures would take place to use it as a habit module or possibly a dedicated module to grow food necessary for the the station to survive on.
After docking with the ISS:
1.First stage tank is vented.
2.Tank is pressurized with air.
3.Connecting access tunnel is attached.
4.Built in tank access hatch is removed.
With the overall diameter of the first stage being 12 feet, more than enough for a human and the first stage being 139 feet tall, approx, the cost savings and use are enormous.
The Destiny module is 28 feet long and 14 feet in diameter.
With one launch of a used and discarded first stage Falcon X booster docking with the ISS the cost of launching 4 Destiny Module missions is reduced to one mission where the overall costs of the other 3 delivery missions being rolled back into adding components to the Falcon Habitat Module.
Just one or two Falcon X first stage modules docked with the ISS could be used as re-supply point for missions to the Moon. Smaller less expensive missions to stock the Falcon X modules docked with the ISS would reduce the cost of sending a Falcon Super Heavy to the Moon each time that a re-supply mission was needed.
Instead a dedicated and automated cargo tug (with crew capabilities in case it was needed for a rescue mission) would make runs back and forth between the Moon and the ISS delivering cargo to a lunar colony at a greatly reduced overall cost.
You could even converted the used Falcon 1st stages into cargo delivery systems themselves for delivery to the Moon.
The same set up for the used Falcon X first stage for ISS habitat use would be used. Instead of habitat use it would be used for cargo storage after being converted at the ISS.
The first stage uses 276,600 kg of liquid oxygen (LOX), which is 242,418 L or 64,040 gallons which then converts into 534,430.713 56 pounds of cargo that can be loaded into the converted Falcon X/ Cargo module.
Because the cargo system would already be in space the cargo tug would only need to have enough fuel and thrust to break away from LEO gravity with the Cargo X module being pushed and entry into Lunar orbit.
The need to have a lot of cargo on hand for a Lunar mission at any time is a necessity to reduce cargo re-resupply missions and to facilitate more manned missions to the Moon for lunar construction.
Many nations on Earth could pay to send cargo to the Moon using the Cargo X delivery system that would open the access to to space and the Moon for many more nations that could collectively launch their cargo to the ISS / Cargo X module to save money on more expensive launches.
" I know that you know what the problem is."