Straight from the Source

Well, after a bunch of posts about SpaceX that were mostly based on speculation and single-source anonymous rumors, it is nice to be able to report something right from the source. In comments to my previous question about why the Falcon V’s payload capacity was being lowered back to its original numbers, Elon Musk himself replied:

Falcon 5 has lower payload for two reasons:

1. SpaceX originally planned to upgrade the Merlin 1 to 100klbf sea level. Instead, the upgrade is only to 85klbf and resources are being focused on the Merlin 2.

2. The Falcon 5 is carrying a lot of extra tankage on the first stage.

The first reason explains about two thirds of the difference and the second reason one third.

Falcon 1 paylod dropped by 100kg due to no reliable Al-Li source.

So there you have it.

[Note to self–be careful what you write, you’d be amazed who might actually read what you’re saying…]

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Jonathan Goff

Jonathan Goff

President/CEO at Altius Space Machines
Jonathan Goff is a space technologist, inventor, and serial space entrepreneur who created the Selenian Boondocks blog. Jon was a co-founder of Masten Space Systems, and is the founder and CEO of Altius Space Machines, a space robotics startup in Broomfield, CO. His family includes his wife, Tiffany, and five boys: Jarom (deceased), Jonathan, James, Peter, and Andrew. Jon has a BS in Manufacturing Engineering (1999) and an MS in Mechanical Engineering (2007) from Brigham Young University, and served an LDS proselytizing mission in Olongapo, Philippines from 2000-2002.
Jonathan Goff

About Jonathan Goff

Jonathan Goff is a space technologist, inventor, and serial space entrepreneur who created the Selenian Boondocks blog. Jon was a co-founder of Masten Space Systems, and is the founder and CEO of Altius Space Machines, a space robotics startup in Broomfield, CO. His family includes his wife, Tiffany, and five boys: Jarom (deceased), Jonathan, James, Peter, and Andrew. Jon has a BS in Manufacturing Engineering (1999) and an MS in Mechanical Engineering (2007) from Brigham Young University, and served an LDS proselytizing mission in Olongapo, Philippines from 2000-2002.
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