Author Topic: Countdown to new smallsat launchers  (Read 72316 times)

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #280 on: 09/08/2017 03:05 PM »
Lots of Soviet Union SLBM ignite pumpfed liquid engines underwater, with no problem.
So not an issue in the FSU, and therefore in principal solvable elsewhere.
Quote from: Katana
Getting out of water is harder,  with large dynamic forces disturbing GNC. Modern GNC software may solve it easier, north Korea have SLBM now.
Given the UUSR was prepared to have a significant fraction of their ICBM fleet sea launched I think they solved it as well. Not to mention the semi-commercial ROKOT launches, from a re-purposed SLBM.

Quote from: Katana
More problem occurs on reliability, assembling/testing/debugging, scrub after filling propellants, etc.
I'd suggest it's more a different set than a more extensive set. I'd also note Russian liquid fuel SLBMs used the highly toxic NTO/UDMH combination. These are liquids with exposure limits on the same ROM as nerve gases, and need full body suits, like nerve gases, to be handled.   :( That may be acceptable to the military but is deeply unwise in any kind of commercially funded LV design.
Quote from: Katana
Generally, SLBM are neither cheaper nor easier than land based ICBM counterparts. Even silo based / TEL vehicle based ICBM tend to begin with launch pad during development.
Maybe not, but this is not actually an SLBM, it's a big rocket that seems to be relying on the density of sea water to allow them to build a big rocket and then move it afterward. There are very substantial differences.
Better to start the BDB concept on launchpad first and move to sea later, instead of combining two risky attempt together.
Not really. The ConOps is so different you might as well develop the whole process as you go. It also means you've fixed a problem in test that would have occurred in an actual launch, rather than it being due to the test conditions being different from an actual launch.
Quote from: Katana
Without launchpad, the vehicle have to integrate certain functions of launchpad inside, and assembling / tesing on launchpad becomes impossible.
Keep in mind there will be at least one ship towing this and SeaLaunch managed to successfully launch from floating platforms.

I think you'll find not assembling on the launch pad is actually a design goal, as long as you can unload propellant if the launch is aborted you can safely tow it home for analysis.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Offline meberbs

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #281 on: 09/08/2017 03:32 PM »
9.2 kps LEO speed also seems unusual.
That's actually explainable. 9200 m/s is a rule of thumb orbital speed for LO2/LH2 rockets including all losses, which are usually expected to be a bit higher with LO2/LH2, in the same way old rocket engineering books list 30kfps (9144m/s) as the round number to achieve orbit.

What's rare is quoting it as it's a placeholder. Smart rocket developers optimize their trajectories to reduce losses because every m/s you can reduce them by means you can either deliver the payload with a smaller rocket or a bigger payload.
I'd assumed that the number was referring to a sub-sync GTO or something, so I didn't comment on it. That number on the diagram should be the final speed after losses, I am not sure how anyone could be expected to interpret it differently. If it is what you suggest, and it is listing the final rocket delta-V, it calls into question every number on the diagram, because if they did a simulation or calculations to get the rest of the numbers, they should have a real estimate for final velocity as well.

Also, I am not sure why they have a different altitude listed for "equatorial" is that supposed to represent the performance boost if it launched from the equator?

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #282 on: 09/09/2017 09:54 AM »
Also, I am not sure why they have a different altitude listed for "equatorial" is that supposed to represent the performance boost if it launched from the equator?

I'd guess so, Equatorial boost is anything up to about 450m/s from a standing start IIRC.

I've got doubts about the whole thing.  :( They've got the fairing staying attached till orbit, whereas SOP is to drop it after maximum dynamic pressure (which is mostly what it's there to protect the payload against to begin with), close to or shortly after first stage MECO. 

My instinct is that it was either
Done by someone with graphic skills who wasn't given a very detailed description (and it should have been very detailed if they are not familiar with the details) and used a lot of "creative license" to interpret their brief.
or
A very early iteration of the design.

In either case they should get it updated ASAP if they want to look credible and knowledgeable.  :(

This is amateur hour.  :(
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Online savuporo

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #283 on: 09/14/2017 06:12 PM »
Wow, who would have thought ?

http://spacenews.com/big-launch-companies-predict-doom-for-upcoming-smallsat-launchers/

Quote
“I think it’s a function of time,” Bruno said. “Initially, they will begin and they will try and service the small satellite launch market. But as that becomes a real market, that attracts the rest of us.  I think the real economics will favor rideshares as a solution so then it flips to the other side.”

Notably absent from the panel were anyone trying to build a smallsat launcher, Shotwell's Falcon 1 saga notwithstanding
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Online ringsider

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #284 on: 09/16/2017 07:37 AM »
Looks like Black Arrow 2 is dead.

From what I can see on UK Companies House they have effectively closed down Horizon Space Technologies Limited as of a few days ago, Ross Tiernay and most of the directors have resigned it seems:-

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/09331949/filing-history

I am guessing that means they did not get any funding from the UK space launch initiative.

Which begs the question: who did?
« Last Edit: 09/16/2017 07:37 AM by ringsider »

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #285 on: 09/16/2017 10:02 AM »
Wow, who would have thought ?

http://spacenews.com/big-launch-companies-predict-doom-for-upcoming-smallsat-launchers/

Quote
“I think it’s a function of time,” Bruno said. “Initially, they will begin and they will try and service the small satellite launch market. But as that becomes a real market, that attracts the rest of us.  I think the real economics will favor rideshares as a solution so then it flips to the other side.”

Notably absent from the panel were anyone trying to build a smallsat launcher, Shotwell's Falcon 1 saga notwithstanding
A dedicated small LV means smallsat gets delivered direct to its target orbit so doesn't need any extra DV. In case of rideshare typically main payload will not be going to smallsats target orbit. So additional DV will be required.
Option 1) Use 2t US to deliver 50kg smallsat to target orbit after main mission. Not very efficient use of expensive US.
2) Use space tug eg Spacefight Services Sherpa. More efficient but definitely not free.
3) Add extra propulsion to smallsat which adds costs. Launch by small LV is now an expensive option as smallsat is heavier and more expensive.

Rideshare reduces launch opportunities, look at delays with Spaceflight Services dedicated F9 launch.

While initially ELV, small LV companies will most likely move to reuseable LVs to be more responsive and lower launch costs. They may start to grow and threaten lower end of main stream launch market.




Offline john smith 19

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #286 on: 09/16/2017 10:50 AM »
A dedicated small LV means smallsat gets delivered direct to its target orbit so doesn't need any extra DV. In case of rideshare typically main payload will not be going to smallsats target orbit. So additional DV will be required.
Option 1) Use 2t US to deliver 50kg smallsat to target orbit after main mission. Not very efficient use of expensive US.
In an ELV it will be expended anyway.
Quote from: TrevorMonty
2) Use space tug eg Spacefight Services Sherpa. More efficient but definitely not free.
Is anyone proposing to launch payloads on a smallsat LV for free?
Quote from: TrevorMonty
3) Add extra propulsion to smallsat which adds costs. Launch by small LV is now an expensive option as smallsat is heavier and more expensive.
Depends on mission.
Quote from: TrevorMonty
Rideshare reduces launch opportunities, look at delays with Spaceflight Services dedicated F9 launch.
That's an interesting one. Some say Ariane 5's problem is that it could launch 2 max size comm sats that was fairly easy to schedule. Now they've grown it's 1 full size and 1 medium size. IOW A5 would be fine if the people doing the developing had upgraded it's payload at the right time.

OTOH FH is expected to be all ride share for comm sats. So how many will need to get together to do that?
Can the US deliver the necessary delta V to spread them out across the sky?
Quote from: TrevorMonty
While initially ELV, small LV companies will most likely move to reuseable LVs to be more responsive and lower launch costs. They may start to grow and threaten lower end of main stream launch market.
Do you have any references for that?

If you're thinking of SX they "moved" to a (semi) reusable LV by ending production of their small LV and moving to a much bigger one. Doing it on an F1 would mean needing to throttle down 90-95% on landing. There are valves rated at 99:1 throttling, but the pressure loss through the injectors is a major PITA.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Offline Katana

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #287 on: 09/16/2017 05:14 PM »
A dedicated small LV means smallsat gets delivered direct to its target orbit so doesn't need any extra DV. In case of rideshare typically main payload will not be going to smallsats target orbit. So additional DV will be required.
Option 1) Use 2t US to deliver 50kg smallsat to target orbit after main mission. Not very efficient use of expensive US.
In an ELV it will be expended anyway.
Quote from: TrevorMonty
2) Use space tug eg Spacefight Services Sherpa. More efficient but definitely not free.
Is anyone proposing to launch payloads on a smallsat LV for free?
Quote from: TrevorMonty
3) Add extra propulsion to smallsat which adds costs. Launch by small LV is now an expensive option as smallsat is heavier and more expensive.
Depends on mission.
Quote from: TrevorMonty
Rideshare reduces launch opportunities, look at delays with Spaceflight Services dedicated F9 launch.
That's an interesting one. Some say Ariane 5's problem is that it could launch 2 max size comm sats that was fairly easy to schedule. Now they've grown it's 1 full size and 1 medium size. IOW A5 would be fine if the people doing the developing had upgraded it's payload at the right time.

OTOH FH is expected to be all ride share for comm sats. So how many will need to get together to do that?
Can the US deliver the necessary delta V to spread them out across the sky?
Quote from: TrevorMonty
While initially ELV, small LV companies will most likely move to reuseable LVs to be more responsive and lower launch costs. They may start to grow and threaten lower end of main stream launch market.
Do you have any references for that?

If you're thinking of SX they "moved" to a (semi) reusable LV by ending production of their small LV and moving to a much bigger one. Doing it on an F1 would mean needing to throttle down 90-95% on landing. There are valves rated at 99:1 throttling, but the pressure loss through the injectors is a major PITA.
If SX "moved" to a (semi) reusable LV by ending production of their small LV and moving to a much bigger one, production of F1 should be discontinued AFTER success recovery of F9, instead of many years earlier.

I have heard rumors that F1 can't compete with low price of OSC Minotaur.

Online Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #288 on: 09/18/2017 11:43 PM »
Here's another space launch company from Australia. They are called Space Ops Australia. Rocket is called Rocky 1 and can launch 10 kg to 600 km orbital altitude. Vehicle is fully reusable two stage LOX/Kero. Both stages return to the launch site. Looking at suborbital flights in 2018 with orbital flights in 2019.

http://spaceops.com.au/
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Online Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #289 on: 09/19/2017 12:10 AM »
Australian company Equatorial Launch Australia is looking to set up a launch site in the Northern Territory. They already have a US$10,000 contract from NASA (I believe this is for launching suborbital payloads). The launch site is to be called the "Arnhem Space Centre".

https://www.northernstar.com.au/news/235m-plan-launch-space-industry-nt/3203973/

http://government-contractors.insidegov.com/l/3770968/Equatorial-Launch-Australia-Pty-Ltd

https://www.facebook.com/equatoriallaunchaustralia/
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Offline CameronD

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #290 on: 09/19/2017 02:01 AM »
Australian company Equatorial Launch Australia is looking to set up a launch site in the Northern Territory. They already have a US$10,000 contract from NASA (I believe this is for launching suborbital payloads). The launch site is to be called the "Arnhem Space Centre".

https://www.northernstar.com.au/news/235m-plan-launch-space-industry-nt/3203973/

ISTM this plan has been around for a while now, and in each case the remoteness of the site has been an  unsurmountable hurdle.  Will it get off the ground this time?  I guess we'll have to wait and see.

https://www.facebook.com/equatoriallaunchaustralia/

..but that's just embarrassing.

With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline Comga

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #291 on: 09/19/2017 04:17 AM »
Re: Space Ops Australia

Quote
Apart from funding, two key issues for ELA involve security of land tenure and the demand for service.
Apparently the ability to build an orbital rocket is not in dispute.  It must be quite easy.

Quote
NASA and the Defence Department appear likely clients, although a number of private companies including SpaceX, Rocket Lab, Virgin Galactic and Vector Space could also create demand.
How do SpaceX, RL, and VG "create demand"?  RL and VG will fulfill demand, orbital and sub-orbital, respectively, and well before any new start-ups.

Quote
The site provides a commercial advantage, given the proposed facilities would be 12 degrees from the equator.
The proximity to the equator lowers the launch costs by up to 50 per cent.
No it doesn't.
It reduces the required velocity by some fraction but increases the payload fraction more per the rocket equation.
However, it doesn't reduce the required number of engines, or computers, or tanks, RF links, control actuators, fuel lines, flame trenches, or hold down systems.
It does pretty much rule out polar orbits, which is a big part of any orbital launch market.
The only difference it make for suborbital is that it will be very inconvenient to get to and to support.

Quote
The suborbital market is said to be worth US$2 billion and is concentrated in the US.
That valuation is far from proven, although the latter part is probably true.  Most of the suborbital money comes from NASA, and if it ever hits billions, which is highly unlikely, it won't be spent in overseas, never mind the NT.

Is it possible that these people are sincere in believing that they will be a successful and competitive launch provider?
« Last Edit: 09/19/2017 04:19 AM by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline CameronD

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #292 on: 09/19/2017 04:44 AM »
Re: Space Ops Australia

I think you mean ELA - not SOA..  they're nearly 3000 miles apart.

....
It does pretty much rule out polar orbits, which is a big part of any orbital launch market.

Fair point.. and it's an interesting comparison against SouthernLaunch, South Australia (posted about upthread) who are targeting almost entirely polar orbits.

Is it possible that these people are sincere in believing that they will be a successful and competitive launch provider?

Quite possible..  with Rio Tinto pulling out it seems the locals are keen for something (anything!) to happen and hence are right behind the proposal - plus they have a $10,000 grant from NASA, right?  ::)


EDIT:  What I find extraordinary is an apparent (to me anyways) sudden upsurge in interest in commercial launch from down under.   Is the government, dormant for so long, finally waking up?  Or is it just because IAC2017 is on next week in Adelaide? ???

http://www.iac2017.org/

« Last Edit: 09/19/2017 04:58 AM by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline Comga

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #293 on: 09/19/2017 04:58 AM »
Re: Space Ops Australia

I think you mean ELA - not SOA..

You are correct.
So many of these popping up.  Steven has his work cut out just posting links to them all.
« Last Edit: 09/19/2017 04:58 AM by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline CameronD

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #294 on: 09/19/2017 05:00 AM »
You are correct.
So many of these popping up.  Steven has his work cut out just posting links to them all.

Very true!.. but he's doing a great job and I hope he can keep it up.  :)
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Online savuporo

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #295 on: 09/19/2017 05:54 AM »
In other news, for those touting rideshare as solution to all smallsat launch needs

http://spacenews.com/minotaur-4s-canceled-commercial-cubesat-rideshares-could-spark-policy-changes/

Quote
“I believe we’ve lost five launches in two years,” Barna said of the company’s overall efforts to launch its cubesat constellation. “We’ve been bumped to other launches just as many times because of failures or delays, or just because the primary customer asked. If you haven’t consciously built an entire infrastructure around the flexibility to move launches, absorb delays and cancellations, and even adapt to geopolitical and regulatory challenges, then you just aren’t prepared to launch a satellite constellation.”
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Online Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #296 on: 09/19/2017 09:25 AM »
Quite possible..  with Rio Tinto pulling out it seems the locals are keen for something (anything!) to happen and hence are right behind the proposal - plus they have a $10,000 grant from NASA, right?  ::)

I don't know exactly what the NASA money is for, but I do know that NASA has been looking at other southern hemisphere launch sites besides Woomera, which is being used for defence tests quite often now, making availability for civil launches hard to squeeze in. For example, the  Australian Space Research Institute no longer have permission to launch their rockets from Woomera.

Quote
EDIT:  What I find extraordinary is an apparent (to me anyways) sudden upsurge in interest in commercial launch from down under.   Is the government, dormant for so long, finally waking up?  Or is it just because IAC2017 is on next week in Adelaide?

This has nothing to do with the Australian Federal government. They are brain dead on space, hence the lack of an Australian space agency. There's no doubt that the IAC is creating a huge interest in space in Australia and South Australia (SA) in particular. The SA government is providing a lot of support for space here via its DefenceSA organisation. They have even managed to attract Neumann Space here. There's also been a big push from the space industry here for a space agency, which the SA government strongly supports. The SA government has said that if the Federal government doesn't create one, they'll got it alone and create an agency here in SA. If they do, a cool name I think would be SpaceSA. :-)
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Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #297 on: 09/19/2017 06:56 PM »
In other news, for those touting rideshare as solution to all smallsat launch needs

http://spacenews.com/minotaur-4s-canceled-commercial-cubesat-rideshares-could-spark-policy-changes/

Quote
“I believe we’ve lost five launches in two years,” Barna said of the company’s overall efforts to launch its cubesat constellation. “We’ve been bumped to other launches just as many times because of failures or delays, or just because the primary customer asked. If you haven’t consciously built an entire infrastructure around the flexibility to move launches, absorb delays and cancellations, and even adapt to geopolitical and regulatory challenges, then you just aren’t prepared to launch a satellite constellation.”
I can understand why they were dropped from Minotaur, no commercial payloads allowed.

In other cases the primary may see them as potential commercial rival even though they are not direct threat now.

Unfortunately for Spiral its take what you can get until likes of RL are operational.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #298 on: 09/20/2017 07:37 AM »
In other news, for those touting rideshare as solution to all smallsat launch needs

http://spacenews.com/minotaur-4s-canceled-commercial-cubesat-rideshares-could-spark-policy-changes/

Quote
“I believe we’ve lost five launches in two years,” Barna said of the company’s overall efforts to launch its cubesat constellation. “We’ve been bumped to other launches just as many times because of failures or delays, or just because the primary customer asked. If you haven’t consciously built an entire infrastructure around the flexibility to move launches, absorb delays and cancellations, and even adapt to geopolitical and regulatory challenges, then you just aren’t prepared to launch a satellite constellation.”

Because smallsat launchers can't have failures or delays?  Paper rockets always look bad compared to launchers that actually exist and fly.

Anyway, the probems noted here are all issues with rideshare as secondary payloads on launches of large satellites.  Nobody is touting that as "solution to all smallsat launch needs".  What some of us are saying is that dedicated rides of large numbers of smallsats (no primary payload) together on large launch vehicles is compelling compared to smallsat launchers.  Such dedicated rideshare is only in its infancy right now, so of course it's not yet a compelling alternative, but the point is that if there is enough demand to support more than a small niche of dedicated smallsat launchers, dedicated rideshare on large launchers will grow and dominate that market.

Edited to fix a typo.
« Last Edit: 09/20/2017 07:47 AM by ChrisWilson68 »

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #299 on: 09/20/2017 07:46 AM »
Wow, who would have thought ?

http://spacenews.com/big-launch-companies-predict-doom-for-upcoming-smallsat-launchers/

Quote
“I think it’s a function of time,” Bruno said. “Initially, they will begin and they will try and service the small satellite launch market. But as that becomes a real market, that attracts the rest of us.  I think the real economics will favor rideshares as a solution so then it flips to the other side.”

Notably absent from the panel were anyone trying to build a smallsat launcher, Shotwell's Falcon 1 saga notwithstanding
A dedicated small LV means smallsat gets delivered direct to its target orbit so doesn't need any extra DV. In case of rideshare typically main payload will not be going to smallsats target orbit. So additional DV will be required.
Option 1) Use 2t US to deliver 50kg smallsat to target orbit after main mission. Not very efficient use of expensive US.
2) Use space tug eg Spacefight Services Sherpa. More efficient but definitely not free.
3) Add extra propulsion to smallsat which adds costs. Launch by small LV is now an expensive option as smallsat is heavier and more expensive.

Rideshare reduces launch opportunities, look at delays with Spaceflight Services dedicated F9 launch.

While initially ELV, small LV companies will most likely move to reuseable LVs to be more responsive and lower launch costs. They may start to grow and threaten lower end of main stream launch market.

On the one hand, you're talking about the need for extra delta-v for rideshare, but on the other hand you're also mentioning the Spaceflight Services dedicated F9 launch.  Those things are contradictory.

What Bruno is talking about is dedicated launches of many small payloads on one larger launch vehicle, like the dedicated Spaceflight Services launch.  Those kinds of launches do directly where the payloads want to go, so no extra delta-v is required.

The delays of the Spaceflight Services launch have to do with Falcon 9 being way behind on its manifest.  That happened partly because SpaceX has still been working on ramping up and partly because they had a failure and they were down for a good long time because of it.  There is every indication that they are working through their backlog and delays will be reduced in the future, and no reason to believe that they will be more delayed or less reliable in the future than the paper rockets of the new small launch vehicles.

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