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Old June 2 2012, 09:39 PM   #129
Rear Admiral
Re: SpaceX is a go for April 30th: 1st commercial launch to space stat

I'd call 100 tons an HLLV. But F9 heavy comes in at what--40-53 tons is what i've heard. The reason I support a true HLLV isn't just mass but payload shrouds. A hydrolox core allows wide payload shrouds. F9 heavy is based on a denser kerolox platform. Also Josh Hopkins expressed certain "Doubts upon Depots" in an article for The Space Review, and an Aviation Week and Space Technology blurb I linked to over at months back cited a need for 36 Delta IV heavies--(or 24 F9s) for a depot. Moreover, it was shown that boil-off was a major stumbling block for now. An HLV allows less complex BEO missions in that all the fuel goes up at once, and is staged off as thrust--traded for inertia that cannot leak.

The current trend is for comsats to lose any on board liquid propellant for electric drives due to the problems many sat providers have had with thrusters going out and being forced to limp to orbit using electric systems--which will be a boon for Musk BTW:

It's just best not to have a lot of plumbing and liquids sloshing around up there--with a lot of Rube Goldberg docking. An HLV allows for more direct missions with as few rendevous as needed. The Falcon XX is a possibility.
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