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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