Author Topic: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans  (Read 88464 times)

Offline gosnold

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #480 on: 10/08/2017 09:39 PM »
I thought on the BFR thread it was calculated that the BFR could inject 20 tons to GTO without refueling and while still being fully reusable. If so it seems to easily meet the above requirements.
Yes for GTO it should be OK, I would be more worried about direct GEO and MEO if there is fine print somewhere saying that they are time-sensitive. You can send the tankers first to gain time if this is the case, but the approach maneuvers and the refueling will still take time.

Offline cppetrie

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #481 on: 10/08/2017 09:58 PM »
What would be time-sensitive? Only thing I can think of is time from sat going to internal power until it can open its solar arrays. But that is solved by letting the sat draw power from the ship until just before release. Otherwise just launch earlier to provide time before separation for on-orbit refueling. Are there payloads where even 24 hours (estimate for docking and fueling with already-launched refueling ship) between launch and separation would create a problem?

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #482 on: 10/08/2017 10:13 PM »
I thought on the BFR thread it was calculated that the BFR could inject 20 tons to GTO without refueling and while still being fully reusable. If so it seems to easily meet the above requirements.
Yes for GTO it should be OK, I would be more worried about direct GEO and MEO if there is fine print somewhere saying that they are time-sensitive. You can send the tankers first to gain time if this is the case, but the approach maneuvers and the refueling will still take time.
Consider that Centaur does direct GSO and uses the much-less-storable hydrogen for fuel. With refueling, GSO is no problem, and I am pretty sure MEO (depending on altitude) is doable without refueling.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline philw1776

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #483 on: 10/08/2017 10:36 PM »
Air Force RFP possible source of BFR funding...

http://www.teslarati.com/us-air-force-rfp-super-heavy-lift-rockets-spacex-bfr/

"The payload requirements necessitate heavy lift or even super-heavy lift launch vehicles capable of placing anywhere from 5,000 to 37,500 pounds into a variety of Earth orbits, ranging from low Earth orbit (~500 mi) to direct transfer geostationary orbits (~19,200 mi)."

" the RFP’s explicit goal of facilitating the creation of “at least three…prototypes as early as possible”. These four vehicles are SpaceX’s BFR, Blue Origin’s New Glenn, ULA’s Vulcan, and Orbital-ATK’s NGL, all of which already have tentative inaugural launch dates clustered from 2019 to 2022. Perhaps even more telling, all four vehicles can be expected to utilize several rocket propulsion systems (rocket engines) already funded by the Air Force, namely SpaceX’s Raptor, Blue Origin’s BE-4 and BE-3U, and Aerojet-Rocketdyne’s AR-1."

BFR is oversized for the tonnage.  Need to see all the specs to determine if viable.
Schedule a big factor.  Since Raptor has been test fired more than other contending engines, SpaceX could be in good shape.
I posted a summary of the RFP in the RFP thread there

Basically the Air force allows two proposals per company, but will only select one per company at most. If SpaceX submits the BFR (which they will most likely do since they want to retire F9), then it has to:
- be ready for 2021
- do vertical integration
- be based at Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg
- inject 9t to GTO
- inject 7t to GEO (and maybe there is a catch about the time for injection, preventing the use of refuelling and forcing to expend the booster, the ship or both)
- inject 5.5t to 18 000km MEO

Yet another SpaceX possibility would be a Raptor upper stage & fairing for the FH.
Even bidding expendable SpaceX could be in the price running, especially using "flight proven" cores.
I would hope not, as I see this as a diversion of top engineering resources and management attention from BFR.
“When it looks more like an alien dreadnought, that’s when you know you’ve won.”

Offline cppetrie

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Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #484 on: 10/09/2017 12:52 AM »
...
Yet another SpaceX possibility would be a Raptor upper stage
...
Not going to happen. It has been said implicitly by both Elon and Gwynn within the last two weeks. It’s dead now, if it in fact ever was alive.

Edit:typo
« Last Edit: 10/09/2017 12:53 AM by cppetrie »

Offline sanman

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #485 on: 10/10/2017 12:18 PM »
Air Force RFP possible source of BFR funding...

http://www.teslarati.com/us-air-force-rfp-super-heavy-lift-rockets-spacex-bfr/

"The payload requirements necessitate heavy lift or even super-heavy lift launch vehicles capable of placing anywhere from 5,000 to 37,500 pounds into a variety of Earth orbits, ranging from low Earth orbit (~500 mi) to direct transfer geostationary orbits (~19,200 mi)."

" the RFP’s explicit goal of facilitating the creation of “at least three…prototypes as early as possible”. These four vehicles are SpaceX’s BFR, Blue Origin’s New Glenn, ULA’s Vulcan, and Orbital-ATK’s NGL, all of which already have tentative inaugural launch dates clustered from 2019 to 2022. Perhaps even more telling, all four vehicles can be expected to utilize several rocket propulsion systems (rocket engines) already funded by the Air Force, namely SpaceX’s Raptor, Blue Origin’s BE-4 and BE-3U, and Aerojet-Rocketdyne’s AR-1."

BFR is oversized for the tonnage.  Need to see all the specs to determine if viable.
Schedule a big factor.  Since Raptor has been test fired more than other contending engines, SpaceX could be in good shape.
I posted a summary of the RFP in the RFP thread there

Basically the Air force allows two proposals per company, but will only select one per company at most. If SpaceX submits the BFR (which they will most likely do since they want to retire F9), then it has to:
- be ready for 2021
- do vertical integration
- be based at Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg
- inject 9t to GTO
- inject 7t to GEO (and maybe there is a catch about the time for injection, preventing the use of refuelling and forcing to expend the booster, the ship or both)
- inject 5.5t to 18 000km MEO

2021 is an ambitious timeline, but this RFP seems like the best way for SpaceX to get money upfront for BFR.

I certainly hope that SpaceX will at least try to make a go of it, because this looks like a golden opportunity.

Based on BFR's known specs, it sounds like it could clobber the USAF's performance requirements, if it can be made to work as desired.

Even if it strains SpaceX's capabilities, the fact is that the other competitors would also be hard-pressed too.

Based on track record, my money would be on SpaceX winning this competition.

This RFP is very well timed - I wonder if Musk knew it was coming down the pipeline, when he made his decision for the revised BFR?
This is the best chance of making BFR come to fruition.

Offline biosehnsucht

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #486 on: 10/11/2017 05:58 AM »
Will the RFP require that SpaceX use DoD style accounting (vs COTS or whatever)? If so, it might not be worth the value of money they get from it ... and if they can develop it separately, then win contracts anyways possibly ... ?

Online CapitalistOppressor

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #487 on: 10/13/2017 01:31 AM »
I had some discussions with Adam Jonas about how to value Tesla back in 2012-13 and he is one of the more informed analysts on the street about all things Elon.

Whenever he makes a public suggestion that Tesla take some action to raise capital it's often followed by Elon doing just that. 

Elon presumably still plans on keeping SpaceX private, but this report is both an invitation for an IPO, and a demonstration of the hype that would accompany it.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/12/morgan-stanley-sees-spacex-value-growing-to-more-than-50-billion.html

Offline sanman

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #488 on: 10/13/2017 11:58 AM »
I had some discussions with Adam Jonas about how to value Tesla back in 2012-13 and he is one of the more informed analysts on the street about all things Elon.

Whenever he makes a public suggestion that Tesla take some action to raise capital it's often followed by Elon doing just that. 

Elon presumably still plans on keeping SpaceX private, but this report is both an invitation for an IPO, and a demonstration of the hype that would accompany it.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/12/morgan-stanley-sees-spacex-value-growing-to-more-than-50-billion.html

But Musk has previously stated that he didn't want to take SpaceX public because that would put the company in the hands of interests who would only have a myopic view of quarterly earnings, causing the agenda for a multiplanetary humanity to be derailed.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #489 on: 10/13/2017 12:30 PM »
The satellite constellation (although it could provide necessary orbital infrastructure) isn't so central to Mars except as a cash cow and to provide sufficient demand for BFR. If it's successful, it might make sense to spin it out as a separate company to make money for Mars.

I kind of suspect Elon Musk has something else in mind, though.
« Last Edit: 10/13/2017 12:31 PM by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline philw1776

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Re: Financing SpaceX's Mars plans
« Reply #490 on: 10/13/2017 02:26 PM »
The satellite constellation (although it could provide necessary orbital infrastructure) isn't so central to Mars except as a cash cow and to provide sufficient demand for BFR. If it's successful, it might make sense to spin it out as a separate company to make money for Mars.

I kind of suspect Elon Musk has something else in mind, though.

Yes, he could spin it out in order to raise VC money and eventual public stock $ to finance the launches with SpaceX being the launch contractor.  That means (1) little SpaceX cash flow needed (2) plus a source of cash income to SpaceX for the flights.  His founders stock if the business is successful could be cashed in to finance Mars flight ops without diluting SpaceX control. He has to do something like this, undoubtedly far more sophisticated than this design engineer with an MBA can think of in a few minutes..
“When it looks more like an alien dreadnought, that’s when you know you’ve won.”

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