Author Topic: SpaceX customers' views on reuse  (Read 98335 times)

Offline edkyle99

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #380 on: 12/02/2017 03:13 PM »
http://spacenews.com/glavkosmos-denies-launch-vehicle-caused-cubesat-failures/

So not a launch vehicle failure based on currently-available information.

 - Ed Kyle

From your own link: "one of Spire’s Lemur satellites was injected into the wrong orbit."

By your own definition - a failed launch. No?
It depends on the circumstances.  We need details on the specific cubesat deployment mechanism, who "owned" the deployer, who commanded it, whether it was actually the problem, is it part of the launch vehicle or part of the payload.  On which side did the problem occur?  It sounds like the satellite in question did deploy, but not at the correct time.  There isn't enough information to date, but an investigation report has been promised, it seems.  It does seem that the upper stage went to the orbits that it was supposed to reach.

 - Ed Kyle 

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #381 on: 12/02/2017 03:38 PM »
OT.

How does this relate to customers's views on reuse?

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #382 on: 12/07/2017 12:04 PM »
I've tidied up the summary list on the first post and now added known future booster reuse flights.

As always please let me know if I've missed any confirmed reuses.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #383 on: 12/11/2017 03:36 PM »
Interesting, NASA and SpaceX started talking about re-use in January and nearly didn't complete in time for CRS-13:

Working with NASA [on re-use] since Jan.  Equivalent risk established.  All groups meeting for several months.

2 weeks before launch was when the decision had to be made.

NASA went off on their own to come up with what they wanted to see for Falcon 9 reuse.  NASA put on constraints.  Only single reflight agreed to. Only a CRS-like mission is where that booster could come from.  Decision was made so finely.   Re-flgiht Readiness Review (RFRR).

NASA was so late making decision because RFRR came in so only allow official decision.

New booster could have effected the launch date.

The first public mention by NASA of potential reuse logged in this thread was in April.
« Last Edit: 12/11/2017 03:41 PM by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #384 on: 12/11/2017 10:27 PM »
Transcript of the Pre-Launch presser:

https://gist.github.com/theinternetftw/23433626cb5ff08b0c6ad87ae33e9aeb

Expanding on the previous post, quite a bit more detail in the CRS-13 press conference (iíve edited out non-reuse Qs and As):

Quote
Marcia Dunn: Marcia Dunn, Associated Press. For Kirk, if I might. Do you expect your anxiety level to be slightly higher tomorrow, given that this is a reused rocket that you'll be reusing for the first time at NASA?

Kirk Shireman: Every time we launch a rocket, I'm anxious. It's still a dangerous business, so I will be anxious tomorrow. I can tell you a number of things. First off, reusability. The shuttle was reused, we reused the boosters, we reused the main engines. And so the notion of reusability is not new. We did an extensive review, and by we I mean the entire agency. We engaged rocket experts from around the agency, to define, first off, what NASA would like to see in terms of data, and analysis, and testing, and even inspection in between the flights. And then we met with SpaceX and reviewed what they did. And we're very comfortable that the risk posture is not significantly greater than a new booster. The way we look at it, we've retired some risks, some risks are actually less on a re-flown booster, and some risks are actually a little greater, and the net result is about equivalent risk. So we think of it as equivalent risk. Which is not to say zero risk. So we'll be anxious, but I wouldn't say a higher level of anxiety for this reflown booster than a new booster.

James Dean: James Dean, Florida Today. For Kirk Shireman. [...] And regarding reuse, do you also see this as important to the future of spaceflight, reducing costs, the things Jessica mentioned earlier? Or are you really just doing it because SpaceX wants to and you verified that their data looks good?

Kirk Shireman: [...] As for reuse, I think there's no question that reusability, especially reusability without a tremendous amount of hardware replacement, can change the economics of launch, and the reality is that the business of space is dominated by launch costs. Certainly in the human space flight world it's dominated by launch costs. So getting the costs down is important for everyone. It's important for NASA. It's important for the future of human spaceflight. It's important for commerce in space, and so it's certainly a positive thing. So we're very much supportive of this activity. What we need to be careful about is, from a NASA perspective, that we understand the risk. So we get to decide the risk level that we will accept, and we are doing that. SpaceX has been very cooperative with us in answering all of our questions and sharing data with us. We've even had people participate in some of the testing. So I think the effort going on between NASA and SpaceX is excellent with respect to reuse, and we certainly see that as an avenue for reduced costs in the future.

Chris Gebhardt: Chris Gebhardt with NasaSpaceFlight. I'm wondering, for Kirk and maybe Jessica, if you could talk a little bit more about the decision for the flight-proven booster? When was that decision made? It was only confirmed last week, so I'm wondering, was there a contingency plan to use a new core if NASA had decided to not to use the re-flown booster?

Jessica Jensen: So I guess I can start with that one. So we've been working with NASA since January of this year on the process for insuring that a flight-proven booster is of equivalent risk to a new booster. And so like Kirk mentioned, we've been having technical meetings with NASA for each different group. So for example, dynamics on the vehicle, propulsion, avionics, each of those different groups have been meeting with their NASA counterparts for several months. So we've been working at this for many, many months. And as we get closer to the launch date, the way it works, as you know we can have turnaround times of roughly two weeks. So about two weeks before launch is the absolute, drop dead of when a decision needs to be made to not impact the launch date.

Kirk Shireman: I wanted to add to that, if I could. [...]. But in terms of reusability, absolutely, we have. What I described earlier, NASA went off on their own and said hey, if we were going to fly a Falcon 9, reuse a Falcon 9, what would we like to see in terms of analysis, testing, inspection between the flights and so on. And so we did that. We laid it out ourselves, independently. We then met with SpaceX and went through their data and their certification package. We put on some constraints, by the way, I didn't mention earlier. We agreed to a single re-flight, and at this point we've agreed to a single re-flight of a booster that's flown to a benign mission, like ours. Like a CRS-1 flight. So we only agreed to a single re-flight, and a Low Earth Orbit mission for the first launch. The reason the decision was made so finely is, like we said, there's the general certification. And then there's the actual inspection of the booster. And then finally there's a review conducted by SpaceX, a Re-flight Readiness Review. Think of it as a Flight Readiness Review for that particular booster. And so NASA was part of the generic certification. NASA reviewed the inspection plan in between the flights. And we were waiting for that Re-flight Readiness Review to be complete, to go over all the issues, and make sure at that point we were still comfortable with the risk level for this flight. And that's why the actual official decision. The letter, we sent a contract letter to SpaceX here, I think a week and a half ago, two Wednesdays ago, if I'm not mistaken, I can look that up if you need it, but very, very recently. At some point in time, we knew that there would be a change. We told SpaceX that we were heading down this path, but we weren't ready to commit until that final Re-flight Readiness Review was conducted, and that we understood that if we changed position, if we changed paths and used a new booster, it might affect the launch date. SpaceX understood, and we were partnering all along. And so we were waiting for that final decision, that final Re-flight Readiness Review, and then NASA decided and sent the letter.
« Last Edit: 12/11/2017 10:31 PM by FutureSpaceTourist »


Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #386 on: 12/16/2017 09:05 AM »
And another one, Canadian eh:
https://spaceq.ca/radarsat-constellation-mission-to-fly-on-refurbished-spacex-falcon-9-rocket/

Great spot, thank you! Iíve updated first post in this thread accordingly.

Online cppetrie

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #387 on: 12/16/2017 01:13 PM »
The article posits they may have received a discount for flying on flight-proven booster. I think queue jumping was the driving factor as we have seen with some others. A couple million saved on launch cost is a drop in the bucket. Getting your stuff to orbit sooner is more important. Thereís even been some suggestion that SpaceX is no longer shopping discounts as an incentive to fly reused.

There are two inflection points that Iím interested in seeing: 1) the point where customers ask SpaceX for used before SpaceX asks them and 2) the point where no one cares whether itís used or not and itís just a ride to space. It may be difficult to know exactly when we cross each of those but they seem like significant landmarks of the shift in thinking about reuse.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #388 on: 12/16/2017 01:29 PM »
There are two inflection points that Iím interested in seeing: 1) the point where customers ask SpaceX for used before SpaceX asks them and 2) the point where no one cares whether itís used or not and itís just a ride to space. It may be difficult to know exactly when we cross each of those but they seem like significant landmarks of the shift in thinking about reuse.

I suspect your 1st inflection point has happened. Itís not clear from this report in June whether customers approached SoaceX first or not. But if they hadnít by then Iíd be surprised if it hadnít happened since, especially with more reports since June of schedule benefits and NASA on-board.

Online cppetrie

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #389 on: 12/16/2017 01:44 PM »
There are two inflection points that Iím interested in seeing: 1) the point where customers ask SpaceX for used before SpaceX asks them and 2) the point where no one cares whether itís used or not and itís just a ride to space. It may be difficult to know exactly when we cross each of those but they seem like significant landmarks of the shift in thinking about reuse.

I suspect your 1st inflection point has happened. Itís not clear from this report in June whether customers approached SoaceX first or not. But if they hadnít by then Iíd be surprised if it hadnít happened since, especially with more reports since June of schedule benefits and NASA on-board.
I suspect youíre right that it has occurred, but since itís not confirmed and it seems an important one I included it. It also strikes me as nothing short of amazing as to how fast this has become normalized. It was just 9 months ago that we were watching the first reuse happen. It almost seems old hat at this point. And it seems to have rapidly gained momentum amongst customers.

Online rockets4life97

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #390 on: 12/16/2017 01:46 PM »
The important distinction to me is re-use of boosters that went to LEO. We haven't seen a re-used GTO flight or a third flight of the same booster. Those are important milestones that hopefully will happen in 2018. They may require block 5.

Online cppetrie

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #391 on: 12/16/2017 01:54 PM »
The important distinction to me is re-use of boosters that went to LEO. We haven't seen a re-used GTO flight or a third flight of the same booster. Those are important milestones that hopefully will happen in 2018. They may require block 5.
I agree those are important technical milestones. Given the thread is about customer views I was focused on the customer-related milestones. I would think this first LEO-LEO booster is a candidate for a third reflight but I wonít be surprised if both of your scenarios wait until Block 5 sometime next year.

Offline Elthiryel

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #392 on: 12/16/2017 09:33 PM »
The important distinction to me is re-use of boosters that went to LEO. We haven't seen a re-used GTO flight or a third flight of the same booster. Those are important milestones that hopefully will happen in 2018. They may require block 5.
The booster that previously flew during the Thaicom-8 mission is going to fly as a Falcon Heavy side booster, so this is going to be the first GTO reflight, not as a Falcon 9 though. Anyway, the supply of once-flown LEO mission boosters is limited, and with more and more customers willing to use a flight-proven booster, I think they may want to fly a GTO booster for the second time or a double-LEO booster for the third time even before introducing Block 5. And I'm almost sure I've seen it mentioned that Block 4 may actually fly more than twice.
GO for launch, GO for age of reflight

Offline macpacheco

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #393 on: 12/16/2017 11:53 PM »
The important distinction to me is re-use of boosters that went to LEO. We haven't seen a re-used GTO flight or a third flight of the same booster. Those are important milestones that hopefully will happen in 2018. They may require block 5.
A distinct possibility is a test launch for 2nd stage reuse or launching the first SpaceX Starlink satellites. Probably OR.
The upper stage costs might be less than the savings of not having to build a bunch of boosters to reuse the remaining Block IIIs and IVs.
Perhaps first demonstrate 2nd,3rd and 4th flights of GTO recoveries, with the same booster. Of course in that case the destination orbit will be LEO/Polar.
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Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #394 on: 12/18/2017 04:38 PM »
There are two inflection points that I’m interested in seeing: 1) the point where customers ask SpaceX for used before SpaceX asks them and 2) the point where no one cares whether it’s used or not and it’s just a ride to space. It may be difficult to know exactly when we cross each of those but they seem like significant landmarks of the shift in thinking about reuse.

I suspect your 1st inflection point has happened. It’s not clear from this report in June whether customers approached SoaceX first or not. But if they hadn’t by then I’d be surprised if it hadn’t happened since, especially with more reports since June of schedule benefits and NASA on-board.
I suspect you’re right that it has occurred, but since it’s not confirmed and it seems an important one I included it. It also strikes me as nothing short of amazing as to how fast this has become normalized. It was just 9 months ago that we were watching the first reuse happen. It almost seems old hat at this point. And it seems to have rapidly gained momentum amongst customers.

Here's a comment for perspective:
Quote
Ashby: recalling being in a meeting 10 years ago with Air Force Space Command Gen. Chilton, along with AFRL and NASA personnel, who concluded that flyback boosters were not viable. Technology and private funding changed that. #NSRC2017
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/942789272507158533

A bit of commentary:
Quote
Sorry but that's Incorrect. The technology is not all that revolutionary, it's been an engineering issue more than anything. And in terms of money, private reusability systems will cost a fraction of what NASA spends on just a capsule! Reuse is really about VISION and GUTS.
https://twitter.com/JonathanOC/status/942790926115643392
« Last Edit: 12/18/2017 04:41 PM by AncientU »
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Offline Tomness

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #395 on: 12/19/2017 01:37 AM »
If they are running out of cores to be reused and about to go into Block V? Could they say we can pay full price  if your able to recover & reuse it. we could get 10% credit that could be used on a future flight or something.

Offline macpacheco

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #396 on: 12/20/2017 04:15 AM »
If they are running out of cores to be reused and about to go into Block V? Could they say we can pay full price  if your able to recover & reuse it. we could get 10% credit that could be used on a future flight or something.
They aren't running out of cores to be reused.
They have too many cores available for reuse, and Block V which seems to be close to maiden launch which should support 10 relaunches with refurb so quick it should eventually be done in a day or two (however the first few Block V refurbs will likely be longer to be triple sure everything is performing as designed).
Block III boosters that are doing their 2nd flight aren't valuable enough to keep at this point.
Block IVs might fly 3 times. Maybe.
In my view the main use for 2nd flights of Block IVs will be to perform expendable missions that can't be performed by Block V with ASDS landing. Save the Block Vs as much as possible for reuse. Block IV does have more performance than Block IIIs, and likely will be launched with Block V upper stages which should have more performance too.
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Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #397 on: 12/20/2017 05:03 PM »
If they are running out of cores to be reused and about to go into Block V? Could they say we can pay full price  if your able to recover & reuse it. we could get 10% credit that could be used on a future flight or something.
They aren't running out of cores to be reused.
They have too many cores available for reuse, and Block V which seems to be close to maiden launch which should support 10 relaunches with refurb so quick it should eventually be done in a day or two (however the first few Block V refurbs will likely be longer to be triple sure everything is performing as designed).
Block III boosters that are doing their 2nd flight aren't valuable enough to keep at this point.
Block IVs might fly 3 times. Maybe.
In my view the main use for 2nd flights of Block IVs will be to perform expendable missions that can't be performed by Block V with ASDS landing. Save the Block Vs as much as possible for reuse. Block IV does have more performance than Block IIIs, and likely will be launched with Block V upper stages which should have more performance too.

I bet that, if the upcoming FH launch goes off as planned, you will also see some of the remaining used Block 3's pressed into service for their final missions as FH side cores.  Eventually, the side cores will be the final flights of the Block 4's, and then, maybe two or three years down the line, you'll see FH's flying with three Block 5's.

But it would not surprise me to see a Block 5 center core on an FH as early as the second FH launch.  Especially if the Block 4 center core RUD's on entry/landing on the first flight next month...


p.s. -- I know it's still premature, but it feels good to be able to say "the first FH flight next month" and have a reasonable chance of being correct... :)
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline Prettz

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #398 on: 12/21/2017 06:06 AM »
Shotwell said the only FH to ever fly with non-Block 5 cores will be the maiden launch.

Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #399 on: 12/21/2017 04:06 PM »
Shotwell said the only FH to ever fly with non-Block 5 cores will be the maiden launch.

STP-2 should fly three new cores* and possibly keep flying the same three on FHs down the road.  I think we'll all be surprised to find how few Block 5 cores it takes to fly a 30-launch manifest.  My guess is three for FH, and a pair of F9 at each of three three pads.  About ten total...  easily fab'd by mid-2018.

* assumes the maiden launch goes well enough to not need repeating.
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