DarkKnight5
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu May 31, 2018 6:05 am

Nomadd wrote:
DarkKnight5 wrote:
It's not plagiarism if you link to it. Gwynne Shotwell interview highlights.
https://www.bizjournals.com/bizwomen/news/latest-news/2018/05/shes-got-the-scoop-on-spacexs-plans-for-mars.html


4. SpaceX can produce one rocket engine per day and two Falcon 9 rockets per month. Shotwell said that this year the company will produce about 14 first-stage boosters, which SpaceX can recover for reuse, and 30 second stages. Those rates pale in comparison to Musk’s electric carmaker Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), which is “producing thousands of cars a week,” Shotwell said.

I would guess this means about 250 engines per year, based on working days. That means enough engines to power 25 rocket stacks (both stages). However, they're going to need spares at some point, so I don't know if they'll be able to increase booster production until they can speed up engine production. There's also a real chance that there is not demand at this point to increase either production rate.


14 first stages and 30 2nd stages comes to 156 engines, and they can make up to 250 engines a year. How do you come up with needing to speed up engine production? Even if they book more launches, they don't need to increase 1st stage production since there will be plenty of used boosters piling up.

I didn’t say that they needed to, from a business standpoint, build more rockets per year. I said that their booster production maximum is nearly at its limit based on their engine production maximum. I also noted there’s is not demand to speed up production of either booster or engine.

Summary: I was simply noting stack construction was limited by engine production. Engine construction is the limiting factor in their construction process. I didn’t state it clearly.

There might be some ambiguity in Shotwell’s statement of “2 F9 rockets per month”. I took that to mean the body of the booster since it was differentiated from the engine production. That’s how I read the statement. If taken as a whole, meaning two F9 = 2 stacks + 10 engines, then yeah, I’m wrong and the opposite is true and the booster bodies are the limiting factor and the engines are not.

Boy I’ve tied myself up in knots here. Somebody send her an email to clarify.
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Thu May 31, 2018 11:41 am

I believe the idea is to produce enough reusable F9 engines so they can concentrate on building the BFR Raptor engines.Gonna need loads of them fairly soon based on their extraordinary time lines.
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:36 pm

For hoseinteested Spacex have released a batch of new photographs of the fairings coming into sea landings just by Mr Stephens boat -50 Mars they say.They are posted on the Teslerati website.
Did get me thinking about the previous discussion in this thread.
Ok clearly it was a calm day -however.
A half faring really is a boat shape and clearly If lands softly and floats like a boat.You can stall a paraglider down at 0 mph for the softest of landings.
Now I totally accept that salt water is nasty stuff.But this is a fairing.It sits on the Cape Canaveral launch pad right by the sea and protects the sat from the wind rain and no doubt some spray.it can protect shooting through the clouds and atmosphere at thousands of miles an hour into space.
Are we saying that it (the exterior)- actually a very small part of the exterior- can't handle 30-60 mins of water on the exterior?I guess we are.
Since the boat is along side it would take no longer than that to hoist it on board and a spray down with fresh water.I am really surprised the exterior casing can't handle that (see pics on website).
 
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Tugger
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:27 pm

parapente wrote:
I am really surprised the exterior casing can't handle that (see pics on website).

It could be that though it could handle that customers are unwilling to have anything that is not guaranteed pristine near/around their multi-million dollar payloads.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
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Nomadd
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:23 pm

Tugger wrote:
parapente wrote:
I am really surprised the exterior casing can't handle that (see pics on website).

It could be that though it could handle that customers are unwilling to have anything that is not guaranteed pristine near/around their multi-million dollar payloads.

Tugg

Exactly. Launches have been delayed because of tiny possibilities of tiny amounts of contamination in the fairing. Everything is assembled in clean rooms. Salt isn't the only thing in seawater, and cleaning a fairing that had been immersed to new standard would be almost impossible. Even cleaning launch contamination and incidental spray won't be easy.
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:29 pm

Well these fairing go through a lot both on the way up and very much so on the way down.A 'flight proven' fairing is never going to be 'clean room' standards.
Perhaps Spacex want to use them themselves for their low Earth orbit sats?
 
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JetBuddy
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:07 pm

Maybe they'll get to a solution where you could re-use the outer shell of the fairing, and swap out the material on the inside after every use.
 
DarkKnight5
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:41 pm

SpaceX successfully launched SES-12 to GTO last night. Webcast:
http://youtu.be/2hcM5hqQ45s
Apparently the stack included a Block 4 reused booster and a new Block 5 second stage. That second stage apparently has some impressive new capability which was news to me.
http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2018/06/02/spacex-still-targeting-late-night-launch-unique-hybrid-falcon-9-rocket-cape-canaveral-florida-ses/663729002/
"The first stage is a Block 4, and the upper stage is a Block 5," Martin Halliwell, chief technology officer for SES, said during a pre-launch conference Thursday at Port Canaveral's Exploration Tower. "We get a lot of performance from this vehicle."

He wasn't exaggerating: By firing the Merlin engine on that second stage an additional three to five seconds during its second burn, the spacecraft could achieve up to seven more years of operational life in geostationary orbit. The spacecraft won't need to use as much of its own fuel to achieve its target altitude 22,300 miles above the equator, likely extending its ability to stay on orbit from 15 to 22 years.

“It’s such a powerful upper stage," Halliwell said. "That engine is a monster. So five seconds more to burn, a little bit more fuel, and it completely changes the dynamics of the project.”

I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around the increased efficiency of the Block 5 upper stage. My understanding of Block 5 is that most of the improved performance was a result of an improved booster, but it appears the second stage improved as well. Does this mean that Falcon 9 now the most cost-efficient single-stack rocket to GTO (by single-stack I obviously mean excluding Delta-IV and FH)? I don't know how else to read those comments.

Wiki stats coming on Atlas V pricing - be warned:
Falcon 9 (fully expended, including one previously launched booster) - 5,400kg to GTO with improved station life of 50% = $62,000,000 (SWAG) OR 8,400kg to GTO (Link: http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities) - price could be lower due to flying reused booster stage.
Atlas V 431 - 5,400kg to GTO - $130,000,000 (per Rocketbuilder.com, three strap-on SRMs required) (Price per Wikipedia)
Atlas V 531 - 5,400kg to GTO - $145,000,000 (per Rocketbuilder.com, three strap-on SRMs required)(Price per Wikipedia)
Atlas V 551 - 6,695kg to GTO - $153,000,000 (limited by Rocketbulder.com to 6,695kg (per Rocketbuilder.com, five strap-on SRMs required) (Price per Wikipedia)

Each company offers various add-ons and extra services if the customer desires and is willing to pay for it. ULA's rocketbuilder likes to highlight "ULA Value" of about $75 million per rocket, even though that $75 million won't show up in the customer's books in any tangible sense. I guess you really do pay a premium for proven reliability. As SpaceX closes the reliability gap, ULA is going to have to bring costs down, or they're going to have to give up commercial launches all together.
 
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SeJoWa
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:31 pm

Fascinating.
 
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Nomadd
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:19 am

DarkKnight5 wrote:
SpaceX successfully launched SES-12 to GTO last night. Webcast:
http://youtu.be/2hcM5hqQ45s
Apparently the stack included a Block 4 reused booster and a new Block 5 second stage. That second stage apparently has some impressive new capability which was news to me.
http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2018/06/02/spacex-still-targeting-late-night-launch-unique-hybrid-falcon-9-rocket-cape-canaveral-florida-ses/663729002/
"The first stage is a Block 4, and the upper stage is a Block 5," Martin Halliwell, chief technology officer for SES, said during a pre-launch conference Thursday at Port Canaveral's Exploration Tower. "We get a lot of performance from this vehicle."

He wasn't exaggerating: By firing the Merlin engine on that second stage an additional three to five seconds during its second burn, the spacecraft could achieve up to seven more years of operational life in geostationary orbit. The spacecraft won't need to use as much of its own fuel to achieve its target altitude 22,300 miles above the equator, likely extending its ability to stay on orbit from 15 to 22 years.

“It’s such a powerful upper stage," Halliwell said. "That engine is a monster. So five seconds more to burn, a little bit more fuel, and it completely changes the dynamics of the project.”

I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around the increased efficiency of the Block 5 upper stage. My understanding of Block 5 is that most of the improved performance was a result of an improved booster, but it appears the second stage improved as well. Does this mean that Falcon 9 now the most cost-efficient single-stack rocket to GTO (by single-stack I obviously mean excluding Delta-IV and FH)? I don't know how else to read those comments.

Wiki stats coming on Atlas V pricing - be warned:
Falcon 9 (fully expended, including one previously launched booster) - 5,400kg to GTO with improved station life of 50% = $62,000,000 (SWAG) OR 8,400kg to GTO (Link: http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities) - price could be lower due to flying reused booster stage.
Atlas V 431 - 5,400kg to GTO - $130,000,000 (per Rocketbuilder.com, three strap-on SRMs required) (Price per Wikipedia)
Atlas V 531 - 5,400kg to GTO - $145,000,000 (per Rocketbuilder.com, three strap-on SRMs required)(Price per Wikipedia)
Atlas V 551 - 6,695kg to GTO - $153,000,000 (limited by Rocketbulder.com to 6,695kg (per Rocketbuilder.com, five strap-on SRMs required) (Price per Wikipedia)

Each company offers various add-ons and extra services if the customer desires and is willing to pay for it. ULA's rocketbuilder likes to highlight "ULA Value" of about $75 million per rocket, even though that $75 million won't show up in the customer's books in any tangible sense. I guess you really do pay a premium for proven reliability. As SpaceX closes the reliability gap, ULA is going to have to bring costs down, or they're going to have to give up commercial launches all together.


The first thing on your list is pretty confusing. The F9 can do 5,500kg to GTO recoverable and 8,300 expendable.
 
DarkKnight5
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:23 am

Nomadd wrote:
DarkKnight5 wrote:
SpaceX successfully launched SES-12 to GTO last night. Webcast:
http://youtu.be/2hcM5hqQ45s
Apparently the stack included a Block 4 reused booster and a new Block 5 second stage. That second stage apparently has some impressive new capability which was news to me.
http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2018/06/02/spacex-still-targeting-late-night-launch-unique-hybrid-falcon-9-rocket-cape-canaveral-florida-ses/663729002/
"The first stage is a Block 4, and the upper stage is a Block 5," Martin Halliwell, chief technology officer for SES, said during a pre-launch conference Thursday at Port Canaveral's Exploration Tower. "We get a lot of performance from this vehicle."

He wasn't exaggerating: By firing the Merlin engine on that second stage an additional three to five seconds during its second burn, the spacecraft could achieve up to seven more years of operational life in geostationary orbit. The spacecraft won't need to use as much of its own fuel to achieve its target altitude 22,300 miles above the equator, likely extending its ability to stay on orbit from 15 to 22 years.

“It’s such a powerful upper stage," Halliwell said. "That engine is a monster. So five seconds more to burn, a little bit more fuel, and it completely changes the dynamics of the project.”

I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around the increased efficiency of the Block 5 upper stage. My understanding of Block 5 is that most of the improved performance was a result of an improved booster, but it appears the second stage improved as well. Does this mean that Falcon 9 now the most cost-efficient single-stack rocket to GTO (by single-stack I obviously mean excluding Delta-IV and FH)? I don't know how else to read those comments.

Wiki stats coming on Atlas V pricing - be warned:
Falcon 9 (fully expended, including one previously launched booster) - 5,400kg to GTO with improved station life of 50% = $62,000,000 (SWAG) OR 8,400kg to GTO (Link: http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities) - price could be lower due to flying reused booster stage.
Atlas V 431 - 5,400kg to GTO - $130,000,000 (per Rocketbuilder.com, three strap-on SRMs required) (Price per Wikipedia)
Atlas V 531 - 5,400kg to GTO - $145,000,000 (per Rocketbuilder.com, three strap-on SRMs required)(Price per Wikipedia)
Atlas V 551 - 6,695kg to GTO - $153,000,000 (limited by Rocketbulder.com to 6,695kg (per Rocketbuilder.com, five strap-on SRMs required) (Price per Wikipedia)

Each company offers various add-ons and extra services if the customer desires and is willing to pay for it. ULA's rocketbuilder likes to highlight "ULA Value" of about $75 million per rocket, even though that $75 million won't show up in the customer's books in any tangible sense. I guess you really do pay a premium for proven reliability. As SpaceX closes the reliability gap, ULA is going to have to bring costs down, or they're going to have to give up commercial launches all together.


The first thing on your list is pretty confusing. The F9 can do 5,500kg to GTO recoverable and 8,300 expendable.


Yeah sorry, there were a lot of variables in there that I was trying to capture. I basically used SES-12 mission profile because I was impressed with the statement of improved block 5 stage 2 performance.
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:28 am

Please correct me if I am wrong.This launch went to a super high geo orbit which as stated will extend the sat's life considerably.
This was all primarily possible because the whole veichle (esp stage1) was expendable.It appears to create a huge differential in performance.
Such a launch would not (I believe) have been possible if they were trying to land the stage one ( or two for that matter).
So what happens when such a mission comes up again? Do they simply use a block5 in a 'no legs/grid fins ' disposable mode? It looks from the figures that they would still be cheaper than the competition.
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:31 am

parapente wrote:
Please correct me if I am wrong.This launch went to a super high geo orbit which as stated will extend the sat's life considerably.
This was all primarily possible because the whole veichle (esp stage1) was expendable.It appears to create a huge differential in performance.
Such a launch would not (I believe) have been possible if they were trying to land the stage one ( or two for that matter).
So what happens when such a mission comes up again? Do they simply use a block5 in a 'no legs/grid fins ' disposable mode? It looks from the figures that they would still be cheaper than the competition.


If a customer is willing to pay for an expendable launch then SpaceX will do an expendable launch. I expect expendable launches will remain expensive while reuse launches come down in price. As SpaceX don't have the ability to amortise the cost across several launches. But who knows, maybe you can get a discount if you use a booster like this after it's 10th launch or something. Up to SpaceX and their customers.
 
aviationaware
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:44 pm

This was still a block 4, am I right?
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:45 pm

aviationaware wrote:
This was still a block 4, am I right?


DarkKnight5 wrote:
SpaceX successfully launched SES-12 to GTO last night. Webcast:
http://youtu.be/2hcM5hqQ45s
Apparently the stack included a Block 4 reused booster and a new Block 5 second stage. That second stage apparently has some impressive new capability which was news to me.
 
DarkKnight5
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:10 pm

parapente wrote:
Please correct me if I am wrong.This launch went to a super high geo orbit which as stated will extend the sat's life considerably.
This was all primarily possible because the whole veichle (esp stage1) was expendable.It appears to create a huge differential in performance.
Such a launch would not (I believe) have been possible if they were trying to land the stage one ( or two for that matter).
So what happens when such a mission comes up again? Do they simply use a block5 in a 'no legs/grid fins ' disposable mode? It looks from the figures that they would still be cheaper than the competition.

Small point of order: GEO as an orbit is a certain altitude: 22,236 mi with an orbital period of 1 day (to be specific, a sidereal day of 23 hours, 56 minutes, 4 seconds). That is constant.

So the extended life is not the result of the orbit being higher, because then it wouldn't be GEO, but a result of the Falcon 9 providing more velocity (known as Delta-V) to the satellite before releasing it, meaning the satellite has to use less of it's own fuel (50% less) to circularize that orbit. That saved fuel can then be used to keep the satellite in that orbit longer.

You're absolutely right that expendable launches have much higher performance than reusable launches. As has been stated above, if a customer is willing to pay for an expendable launch (meaning they're willing to compensate SpaceX for the potential lost revenue from reusing the booster, or the cost of producing another one depending on how you look at it), SpaceX will happily drop boosters to the bottom of the ocean. You're right that SpaceX will still probably be the cheaper option in most cases.
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:47 pm

Thanks for that technical clarification Dark Knight I find these contributions really helpful to my limited knowledge.
Also another comment above makes sense.If they are clever they can 'time' the odd really tough (high heavy)launches to coincide with a block 5 that has already done -say 4-8 launches.That way the loss of the hull is no big deal really.
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:43 pm

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... aunch.html

Thought some people might be interested in the 'phantom e press' or XS-1.Not a rocket I knew about.Anyway they have just finished building the main engine which is a derivative of a main shuttle engine (and why not -great engine).Whole thing supposed to be ready in 2 years.
What of course is of most interest is that it us another 'space plane' design for multiple reuse and cheap launching.
I find it interesting that Boeing/Lockheed/NASA have been totally consistent in their designs for reusable spacecraft whether it be the space shuttle,x-33 (SSTO as I recall),x-37b and now this XS-1 space/ Aircraft.All 4 'fly' back and land in a runway.Which is of course the total opposite of Spacex and J Bezos.Even Branson uses the space plane route.
I guess one big advantage is you use no fuel when coming back so no compromise of weight taken up to space.
 
LightningZ71
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:51 pm

Space Planes do have wasted mass. It takes energy to lift the wings and large thermal management system to orbit, which tends to negate a portion of the fuel weight that is used in a design like the Falcon 9.

Space planes give you an advantage on return in that you have more flexibility on when and where you land it. It's not a massive difference if the launch vehicle doesn't make it to orbit, but it's there. The referenced design for XS-1 still has an expendable second stage, so there is mass that is discarded during the launch process. The difference here is that that mass is smaller and easier to mass produce. Given the size of payload that this project is aimed at, it may make more economic sense to do it this way, though, Stratolaunch and Virgin Galactic's "plane carrying a rocket" may offer similar economics with additional launch flexibility as compared to XS-1.
 
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Nomadd
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:28 pm

A little cleaner article from Darpa itself. They started calling it the XS-P after an old guy pointed out that the XS-1 was the original Bell rocketplane.
https://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2017-05-24
 
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SeJoWa
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:55 am

Interesting reading about the DARPA/Boeing project.

One designed-in advantage of tail-landing rockets is that the the main thermal and mechanical stresses that result from de-orbit are taken up by the rocket thrusters.
Just think of what happens on the ground at ignition.
Those glowing grid fins come to mind too.
I do remember reading that SpaceX recently toughened either the Dragon's underside or thrusters to better withstand reentry and probably enhance reusability.
The design and construction of the Space Shuttle's ceramic tiles was both an engineering masterpiece and maintenance nightmare
Not to mention hellishly expensive.

By the way, while searching for images of the Merlin engine, I happened upon this:
OCTOBER 22, 2014 [!]
SPACEX COMPLETES 100TH MERLIN 1D ENGINE
http://www.spacex.com/news/2014/10/16/s ... -1d-engine
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:06 am

Thx for article Nomadd.
The central plank of this project -other than ultra low cost,is clearly the ability to launch at an unprecedented rate (one a day).
That in turn states that they have 'something' that they may wish to launch at that rate.Are they in effect stating that they will have a warehouse full of spare satellites??? Sounds horrendously expensive and unlikely.Confused.
Regarding ultra low cost.I guess the commercial sector can kiss goodbye to most US Military launches if this project succeeds.
 
tommy1808
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:56 pm

LightningZ71 wrote:
Space Planes do have wasted mass. It takes energy to lift the wings and large thermal management system to orbit, which tends to negate a portion of the fuel weight that is used in a design like the Falcon 9.


But if they use the wings to lift up fuel, they do so using much less fuel than the tail sitter. L/"D" is just one for those.
A horizontal lift off lifting body may have enough structural efficiency to make that usefull. But I'd rather add something along the lines of Sabre engines :)

Best regards
Thomas
This Singature is a safe space......
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:18 pm

I note on Teslerati that they have booked a Falcon Heavy using Block 5 first stages for end of year sometime.Clearly it's a semi commercial contract lifting a number of small sats plus 'concrete' (ballast).But none the less will be an exciting launch to watch.
It would appear that Spacex are keen to do this launch since it's only semi commercial (it could be better done with a F9).I personally think this is sensible.For Spacex going direct to BFR is an almighty leap and so much could (and may) delay it.After all FH was 3 years late.Kerping FH up to date and relevant does give them some heavy lifting ability.
I also note in a recent release that they have not given up on hurling two paying customers around the moon and back.They now talk about it being put back to next year.
One assumes they are banking on getting the F9 block5 man rated this year.
Does this mean that FH Block5 automatically becomes 'man rated'? Or will they have to put 'real' astronauts up first?
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:56 pm

parapente wrote:
I note on Teslerati that they have booked a Falcon Heavy using Block 5 first stages for end of year sometime.Clearly it's a semi commercial contract lifting a number of small sats plus 'concrete' (ballast).But none the less will be an exciting launch to watch.
It would appear that Spacex are keen to do this launch since it's only semi commercial (it could be better done with a F9).I personally think this is sensible.For Spacex going direct to BFR is an almighty leap and so much could (and may) delay it.After all FH was 3 years late.Kerping FH up to date and relevant does give them some heavy lifting ability.
I also note in a recent release that they have not given up on hurling two paying customers around the moon and back.They now talk about it being put back to next year.
One assumes they are banking on getting the F9 block5 man rated this year.
Does this mean that FH Block5 automatically becomes 'man rated'? Or will they have to put 'real' astronauts up first?


There's no need for the FH to become crew rated. Doing so would not add any benefit to a single Block 5 core. And I'm sure NASA would want a bunch of launches to prove reliability as the FH is different enough to the F9 to make findings with one not the same.

An important thing to consider is we now have quite a lot of practice with launching and docking in orbit for payloads from different payloads. There is much less of a need to launch everything in one go as was done in the Apollo days. So no need to put crew and the Earth escape ship on the same launch.
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:08 pm

I simply raised it as they are still actively talking about sending these 2 billionaires on they round the Moon trip on the FH and who knows maybe more of them.They have said that it has simply been postponed to 2019.

Ergo it needs to be human rated for this trip if they wish to use NSAA's launch facilities -which they do.
But no they don't need it at all for near Earth orbit/space station stuff.

But not NASA's new 'Trump' mission -The Moon. Elon lives of government money he can smell it miles away!
Moon missions have that scent.As of today he depicts them using the BFR which of course makes sense.But there is no plan B if it hits major delays which it might do.

FH with 3 block fives and the new uprated second stage would be v useful.Whilst expensive,think what it could lift in disposable foremat!
Just get this feeling that he is buying himself an insurance policy with FH.Remember he has previously suggested it's use for a Mars Return mission.Again it's not the up front plan but could be a fall back short term option,the Mars launch window only occurs once every 2 plus years.
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:07 pm

In the reader comments of a German news website, somebody wrote that the real cost-saving measure SpaceX employs is not reusability of the rocket itself, but their ability to inspect previously flown rockets. Otherwise, they just drown in the ocean, and nobody learns how much more (ab)use the rocket could have withstood.

So, SpaceX is able to gradually design lighter and more powerful engines.


David
Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:30 am

flyingturtle wrote:
In the reader comments of a German news website, somebody wrote that the real cost-saving measure SpaceX employs is not reusability of the rocket itself, but their ability to inspect previously flown rockets. Otherwise, they just drown in the ocean, and nobody learns how much more (ab)use the rocket could have withstood.

So, SpaceX is able to gradually design lighter and more powerful engines.


David

The biggest cost savings for SpaceX is vertical integration. SpaceX is perhaps unique in the space launch vehicle market in that it produces both the rocket and the engines that goes into the rocket themselves, while most other companies farms out the engine design work to a third party.

It is not only that; SpaceX generally prefers to design and build critical components in house rather than ask a contractor to do it unless the contractor comes in a lot cheaper than what they can build themselves. That way, they can control the cost and maintain control over the design elements of the components to their liking.

There's an article that makes specific mention of how much a Merlin engine is built in house:

http://www.webcitation.org/641B56u8L

Significantly, the Merlin engines—like roughly 80 percent of the components for Falcon and Dragon, including even the flight computers—are made in-house. That’s something SpaceX didn’t originally set out to do, but was driven to by suppliers’ high prices. Mueller recalls asking a vendor for an estimate on a particular engine valve. “They came back [requesting] like a year and a half in development and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Just way out of whack. And we’re like, ‘No, we need it by this summer, for much, much less money.’ They go, ‘Good luck with that,’ and kind of smirked and left.” Mueller’s people made the valve themselves, and by summer they had qualified it for use with cryogenic propellants.

“That vendor, they iced us for a couple of months,” Mueller says, “and then they called us back: ‘Hey, we’re willing to do that valve. You guys want to talk about it?’ And we’re like, ‘No, we’re done.’ He goes, ‘What do you mean you’re done?’ ‘We qualified it. We’re done.’ And there was just silence at the end of the line. They were in shock.” That scenario has been repeated to the point where, Mueller says, “we passionately avoid space vendors.”
 
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Tugger
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:25 am

ThePointblank wrote:
It is not only that; SpaceX generally prefers to design and build critical components in house rather than ask a contractor to do it unless the contractor comes in a lot cheaper than what they can build themselves. That way, they can control the cost and maintain control over the design elements of the components to their liking.

I would argue that part cost is not the real issue, it is acceptance of risk. A third party has to accept the risk for your program failure, if their part fails, even if you do something that causes or leads to its failure then they have the weight of the cost of your whole program failure. That is a HUGE cost and danger. No one can accept that easily, especially if they established they risk the failure of all their other programs etc.

Vertical/internal design and build means the same company accepts everything, all the risks, and all the costs. Public companies generally are forbidden from doing that. Spreading risk is the name of the game.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
parapente
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:50 pm

One might argue that none of the cost arguments are relevant to the bigger picture.On the face of it the rocket launch business is a bad area to get into full stop.You get to sell ,what, 12 -18 products a year wowee.Thrn you cut the launch price by half,so low volume low margin,the worst possible combination.
The historic profits have been circa 5%. For the rocket launch part of the process.10-20% for the satellite build part,but 70% for running the (commercial) satellite that ends up in space.ie Tv as an example.Thats the business you need to be in not hardware launches.
And guess what that's just where Elon is going to go.Ownership of a cloud of low Earth orbit broadband sats.If he achieves this he will make some (loads of) 'real' money not the cents he's making now.This is the real game.Although obviously with Musk he has his personal ( not profit) goal of going to Mars.
 
gtae07
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:11 am

Tugger wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:
It is not only that; SpaceX generally prefers to design and build critical components in house rather than ask a contractor to do it unless the contractor comes in a lot cheaper than what they can build themselves. That way, they can control the cost and maintain control over the design elements of the components to their liking.

I would argue that part cost is not the real issue, it is acceptance of risk. A third party has to accept the risk for your program failure, if their part fails, even if you do something that causes or leads to its failure then they have the weight of the cost of your whole program failure. That is a HUGE cost and danger. No one can accept that easily, especially if they established they risk the failure of all their other programs etc.

Vertical/internal design and build means the same company accepts everything, all the risks, and all the costs. Public companies generally are forbidden from doing that. Spreading risk is the name of the game.

Tugg


Risk acceptance. SpaceX was willing to accept a few rockets blowing up before they were successful, and they were willing to blow up a bunch more figuring out how to land them. Essentially, they started with an expendable rocket and figured out how to reuse it.

Everyone else would have started from the beginning to design something reusable, would have gone overkill on it, and spent countless hours on study after study trying to "prove" that it couldn't fail before they flew one. Any failure of anything along the line would have been absolutely unacceptable.


SpaceX understands two things--you sometimes learn more from a "failed" test than a "successful" one, and sometimes you just have to shoot the engineers and build the darned thing.
 
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Nomadd
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Re: SpaceX - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:45 am

gtae07 wrote:

Risk acceptance. SpaceX was willing to accept a few rockets blowing up before they were successful, and they were willing to blow up a bunch more figuring out how to land them. Essentially, they started with an expendable rocket and figured out how to reuse it.

Everyone else would have started from the beginning to design something reusable, would have gone overkill on it, and spent countless hours on study after study trying to "prove" that it couldn't fail before they flew one. Any failure of anything along the line would have been absolutely unacceptable.


Not exactly. The rockets were definitely designed to be reusable from the start. A lot of those design factors wound up being changed, but the hardest parts was the engines. There's no way to make those reusable many times without keeping reusability in mind every step of the way. There was a lot of grumbling that Elon's insistence on it was making everything about designing and building the engine three times as hard, but in the end, he was right. And it's no small part of the reason that Merlin 1Ds have now made 538 flights without a glitch. (as far as engines go)

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