View Full Version : SpaceX F9R Dev-1 test hops & flights

2014-Mar-29, 01:08 AM
F9R Dev-1 is the following to Grasshopper. The FAA permit will allow for short hops at SpaceX's McGregor TX facility, then it moves to SpacePort America in New Mexico for flights to 300,000 feet at hypersonic speeds.

The F9R Dev-1's pad obviously has 2 zones; a launch fixture and a landing zone. F9R Dev-1 left, Grasshopper right.


F9R Static Fire

Published on Mar 28, 2014

SpaceX successfully test fired the first stage of F9R—an advanced prototype for the world's first reusable rocket—in preparation for its first test flight in the coming weeks. Unlike airplanes, a rocket's thrust increases with altitude; F9R generates just over a million pounds of thrust at sea level but gets up to 1.5 million pounds of thrust in the vacuum of space.

The F9R testing program is the next step towards reusability following completion of the Grasshopper program last year. Future testing, including that in New Mexico, will be conducted using the first stage of a Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) as shown here, which is essentially a Falcon 9 v1.1 first stage with legs. F9R test flights in New Mexico will allow us to test at higher altitudes than we are permitted for at our test site in Texas, to do more with unpowered guidance and to prove out landing cases that are more-flight like.

F9R Dev-1 static fire

2014-Mar-29, 01:16 PM
Good to see they're still making progress despite the launch range issues holding up the CRS flight and the test of the systems on that flight.

2014-Mar-29, 02:36 PM
Thanks for the info docmordrid. However, if you review our rules (rule 8) you will see that though the software allows embedded video, we ask that people not do so; I've changed your video to a link. Thanks,

2014-Mar-29, 10:33 PM
Hmmmm....on my Android Tapatalk app it showed as a link. Sorry for that.

Sent from my LG-E980 using Tapatalk

2014-Mar-30, 08:50 PM
Wow, that's tall...

I really wish he had gone with a more squat Phil Bono plug design.

2014-Apr-18, 05:11 AM
F9R Dev-1 FLIES!!

Which means it must have landed on those previously untested legs.

We should get a video soon.


Grasshopper's successor flies at SpaceX's McGregor site

Reports have been confirmed that SpaceX's Falcon 9-R development vehicle made its first free flight today at McGregor taking off, hovering, moving sideways and landing. I've seen video of it (though it turns out that video wasn't supposed to be made public yet and is no longer available).

SpaceX McGregor will be testing the rocket the three-engine successor to the single-engine Grasshopper at lower altitudes before sending it to Spaceport America in New Mexico for higher (and farther) flights.

The eventual idea is to have a rocket stage that can return to its launch site for re-use, rather than burning up on re-entry. SpaceX hopes to test different parts of that capability after a launch of the full nine-engine Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral, Fla., set for 2:25 p.m. CDT Friday (though the forecast is still iffy only a 40 percent of acceptable weather, rising to 60 percent for a Saturday attempt and 80 percent for a Tuesday launch).

After the Falcon 9's second stage sends the Dragon cargo ship on its way to the International Space Station, the first stage is planned to fire three of its nine engines for a controlled, non-burning-up descent from orbit, then fire one engine just before an Atlantic Ocean splashdown so it can drop into the water with minimal damage (a test over water means no one gets hurt if anything goes wrong, and SpaceX only gives about a 40 percent chance that the test will fully succeed).

The one time they tried this before, in a September launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, they got the stage most of the way home before it spun out of control. The landing legs added to the Falcon 9 this go-round are hoped to help stabilize the rocket during splashdown.

2014-Jun-19, 01:36 AM
F9R flies again!

Notice the deployable fins on the interstage.

They're called grid fins and have been used for the precision guidance of bombs and missiles for some time. These will help guide F9R back to the landing pad for re-use. They're a steerable multiple airfoil that's highly stall resistant.

They'll be particularly useful just after boost-back when F9R is still high and supersonic. They're also effective when subsonic, but less so in the trans-sonic range right around the speed of sound because of turbulence.


YouTube Link.... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgLBIdVg3EM)

Jun 18, 2014Video of Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) during a 1000m test flight at our rocket development facility in McGregor, TX. This flight was our first test of a set of steerable fins that provide control of the rocket during the fly back portion of return. The fins deploy approximately a minute and 15 seconds into the flight, and return to their original position just prior to landing. The F9R testing program is the next step towards reusability following completion of the Grasshopper program last year. Early flights of F9R will take off with legs fixed in the down position, however we will soon transition to liftoff with legs stowed against the side of the rocket with leg extension just before landing. Future test flights of F9R at our New Mexico facility will include higher altitudes, allow us to prove unpowered guidance and to prove out landing cases that are more flight-like.

2014-Jun-19, 04:07 AM
Grid fins are also used by Soyuz..:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=22651.0;attach=243 600;image

2014-Jun-19, 04:29 AM
Their Russian use dates back to N1.

For Soyuz they're used to stabilize launch aborts. Dragon V2 will use conventional low profile fins on its Trunk.