Author Topic: SpaceX vs BlueOrigin - Whose Approach / Business Strategy is Better?  (Read 151600 times)

Offline hektor

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1309
  • Liked: 41
  • Likes Given: 3
AFAIK Blue Origin is planning to convert a /several surplus panamax tankers into landing vessels. This is the maximum vessel size (800') that can utilize the spaceport berth, planned by port Canaveral. VLCC are far larger.

Any idea why a tanker is preferable to - say - a container ship ?
« Last Edit: 01/05/2018 04:24 PM by hektor »

Offline Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9456
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 6211
  • Likes Given: 4145
AFAIK Blue Origin is planning to convert a /several surplus panamax tankers into landing vessels. This is the maximum vessel size (800') that can utilize the spaceport berth, planned by port Canaveral. VLCC are far larger.

Any idea why a tanker is preferable to - say - a container ship ?
Total guesswork
- cost
- easier to convert to having a landing platform since the deck extends all the way across (a container ship has a cavernous hole that goes several containers down into the hull)
- easier to refit to allow taking on ballast water if desired to lower or increase mass
- double hull is more resistant to sinking than a single hull
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Chasm

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 261
  • Liked: 117
  • Likes Given: 0
Another plus are systems to flood the tanks with inert gas. (AKA exhaust)
OTOH you have to deal with nasty residue during the conversion.

My thought was a general cargo ship. Something already designed to carry deck cargo.

Online Space Ghost 1962

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2670
  • Whatcha gonna do when the Ghost zaps you?
  • Liked: 2658
  • Likes Given: 2095
Different than the barge. It's a ship underway, achieving stability by forward thrust.

Although in increases drag (no so much of a problem), you flood compartments to bring the CG lower in the water while underway.

This creates the effect of like a moving sea anchor, which is rock solid and can accept the transient load of landing with the least wear/tear on booster and ship.

After load is safed and secured, pump out to lessen drag and increase speed to return to port.

Geometry also important here of cross section against CG of landing/landed booster, so it won't topple in cross winds.

Online AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5447
  • Liked: 3308
  • Likes Given: 4678
Lightly loaded ships handle horribly in any swell at all... wallowing in any cross swell.  They'll need to keep this vessel at least half loaded or comparably ballasted for stability purposes.
« Last Edit: 01/06/2018 11:38 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline Rik ISS-fan

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 806
  • the Netherlands
  • Liked: 166
  • Likes Given: 70
AFAIK Blue Origin is planning to convert a /several surplus panamax tankers into landing vessels. This is the maximum vessel size (800') that can utilize the spaceport berth, planned by port Canaveral. VLCC are far larger.

Any idea why a tanker is preferable to - say - a container ship ?
I think it's easier to convert the oil tanks into ballast tanks. This way the ship becomes heavier, lies lower in the water and becomes more stable. During the voyage back to port, the ballast tanks could be empty to lower drag and thus fuel consumption.
Container ships typically have their bridge placed more to the center of the ship. This way the containers can be stacked higher at the front, before the front view is distorted to much.
Bulk carriers and oil tankers have their bridge at the rear or at the front.





I think this could also be a interesting solution. A lowered center section that can be submerged a couple about a feet. This eleviates cooling requirements for the landing deck, but you risk exposing the rockets engines to salt water. (Really good corrosion environment; salt water)


Let me add that BlueOrigin has announced they will, land on a moving vessel. They'll use stabalizer fins to stabilize the vessel. (this is used on cruiseships)
« Last Edit: 01/10/2018 03:55 PM by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline sanman

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3989
  • Liked: 550
  • Likes Given: 7
What opportunities are there for Blue Origin to draw lessons from SpaceX's successes and failures, to modify its strategies accordingly?

In what ways is SpaceX most likely to influence what Blue does?

While SpaceX may have a "first mover" advantage in many ways, it also has to bear the risks of being a pathbreaker. Like the old saying goes, "the pioneers get the arrows, the settlers get the land".

Where can Blue benefit from being a "second mover" following behind SpaceX?

Tags: