Author Topic: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy  (Read 14183 times)

Offline spacenut

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New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« on: 06/08/2017 01:48 PM »
If and when both get to launching.  Which one would win out for cost? 

NG is a single core 7 engine booster, FH is a 3 core booster with 27 engines. 

Musk said FH is "hard"?  Whatever that means. 

NG engines would be cleaner burning and have far less soot problems. 

NG engines cost more, probably as much or more than FH's 27 engines. 

NG as the potential of larger sized payloads with a wider fairing. 

FH's second stage maybe too small for very large payloads except to LEO. 

Still don't know the complete refurbishment costs.

Offline ThereIWas3

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #1 on: 06/08/2017 01:53 PM »
FH has three cores, which have to share stresses and then separate.  The more advanced original model even had propellant plumbing between the cores.  NG's single core design does not have those additional complexities.  FH's big advantage was seen to be that it was only a modification to the existing (and proven) F9 designs rather than an all new rocket.
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Offline spacenut

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #2 on: 06/08/2017 02:37 PM »
Both would have similar payloads (reusable).  FH would have greater payload expendible.  NG will not be expendable. 

I am a SpaceX fan, but New Glenn might be cheaper to operate and refurbish than 3 FH cores in the long run.  Didn't know if anyone had any prices or speculation on this. 

Offline whitelancer64

Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #3 on: 06/08/2017 03:11 PM »
The only ones who really know are Eutelsat and One Web - they've already made launch agreements with Blue Origin. However, I have not heard any public information about the cost to fly on New Glenn.

We will probably learn more as 2019 (first launch of New Glenn) approaches.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
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Offline ZachF

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #4 on: 06/08/2017 03:14 PM »
New Glenn wins on fuel cost.

Falcon Heavy will probably cost ~$600,000 to fuel up, NG will probably be under $200,000.

Methane/NG is dirt cheap like LOX. ITS probably wont cost that much more to fill up than FH.

Offline envy887

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #5 on: 06/08/2017 03:17 PM »
Blue is probably going to have to do some iterating as they learn how to recover and refurbish New Glenn.

We have little idea on any of these costs:
1) how much the booster is going to cost initially
2) how much the upper stage will cost
3) how much it will cost to recover and refurbish the booster
4) how many flights the booster can fly

Need answers or at least estimates for all of those to figure the recurring cost per flight.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #6 on: 06/08/2017 03:32 PM »
Both would have similar payloads (reusable). 
New Glenn 2-stg claims 13 tonnes to GTO versus Falcon Heavy only 8 tonnes when the boosters and core are recovered. 

 - Ed Kyle

Offline envy887

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #7 on: 06/08/2017 03:48 PM »
Both would have similar payloads (reusable). 
New Glenn 2-stg claims 13 tonnes to GTO versus Falcon Heavy only 8 tonnes when the boosters and core are recovered. 

 - Ed Kyle

That is comparing RTLS vs downrange landing. FH can likely do 16 or 17 tonnes to GTO with 3x downrange recovery and about 12 tonnes with just the center core downrange. All IMO of course.

Offline Stan-1967

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #8 on: 06/08/2017 04:35 PM »
I don't think we will ever know which one ends up winning on cost.   At best we may someday know which one will win out on price.

Both Musk & Bezos have great leeway to price their product based on their own individual tolerance for writing off past expenses.  Bezos has more leeway in that regard, but also has much greater future exposure to cost.

Musk & SpaceX just recently discussed their expectations to realize a return on nearly $1B spent to develop re-use technology.   They may have a short window to capture that return if Bezos waltzes in with New Glenn in 3-4 years and starts offering his services with no expectation to recover what he has sunk into Blue thus far. 

Think about that if as if you were Musk.  Somebody like Bezos could more or less drop a fully capitalized rocket company into the market with no debt, paid for facilities, paying cutomers, & a trained workforce.  Then he tells them it's time to stand on your own two feet and turns them loose to compete.

How do you predict "cost" when those possibilities exist?



Offline dror

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #9 on: 06/08/2017 04:38 PM »
I wonder which recovery method is cheaper -
A big boat vs a platform + tug boats, though most of the times 2/3 of the FH booster won't need that
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Offline gin455res

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #10 on: 06/08/2017 04:47 PM »
New Glenn wins on fuel cost.

Falcon Heavy will probably cost ~$600,000 to fuel up, NG will probably be under $200,000.

Methane/NG is dirt cheap like LOX. ITS probably wont cost that much more to fill up than FH.

Would it be feasible to convert the Merlin to run on butane?
And would this make much difference to fuel costs (a little early to worry about fuel costs, perhaps IMHO)?

Offline envy887

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #11 on: 06/08/2017 05:29 PM »
New Glenn wins on fuel cost.

Falcon Heavy will probably cost ~$600,000 to fuel up, NG will probably be under $200,000.

Methane/NG is dirt cheap like LOX. ITS probably wont cost that much more to fill up than FH.

Would it be feasible to convert the Merlin to run on butane?
And would this make much difference to fuel costs (a little early to worry about fuel costs, perhaps IMHO)?

10 flights of FH will cost about $5M in fuel, but EACH booster will cost about $50M. 10 flights of New Glenn would cost about $2M in fuel, while the booster will probably cost over $100M and probably more like $200M

We are nowhere near the point where a significant fraction of flight cost is fuel and not hardware amortization and refurbishment. Need to get to hundreds if not thousands of flights per vehicle for that.

Offline ZachF

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #12 on: 06/08/2017 05:37 PM »
I don't think we will ever know which one ends up winning on cost.   At best we may someday know which one will win out on price.

Both Musk & Bezos have great leeway to price their product based on their own individual tolerance for writing off past expenses.  Bezos has more leeway in that regard, but also has much greater future exposure to cost.

Musk & SpaceX just recently discussed their expectations to realize a return on nearly $1B spent to develop re-use technology.   They may have a short window to capture that return if Bezos waltzes in with New Glenn in 3-4 years and starts offering his services with no expectation to recover what he has sunk into Blue thus far. 

Think about that if as if you were Musk.  Somebody like Bezos could more or less drop a fully capitalized rocket company into the market with no debt, paid for facilities, paying cutomers, & a trained workforce.  Then he tells them it's time to stand on your own two feet and turns them loose to compete.

How do you predict "cost" when those possibilities exist?

Bezos/BO is probably also better able to take losses to gain marketshare than SX.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #13 on: 06/08/2017 07:22 PM »
Both would have similar payloads (reusable). 
New Glenn 2-stg claims 13 tonnes to GTO versus Falcon Heavy only 8 tonnes when the boosters and core are recovered. 

 - Ed Kyle

That is comparing RTLS vs downrange landing. FH can likely do 16 or 17 tonnes to GTO with 3x downrange recovery and about 12 tonnes with just the center core downrange. All IMO of course.
I've seen no evidence of plans to do "3x downrange recovery", which would require quite a fleet!  I'm not sure about center core downrange or what the SOP will be for Heavy GTO missions.  I'll note that no v1.2 GTO missions have done RTLS to date.  I don't remember SpaceX saying which recovery mode was linked to the 8 tonne capability.  I've always just assumed that it was the number for how the company planned to actually fly Falcon Heavy.

 - Ed Kyle 
« Last Edit: 06/08/2017 07:36 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline envy887

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #14 on: 06/08/2017 07:53 PM »
Both would have similar payloads (reusable). 
New Glenn 2-stg claims 13 tonnes to GTO versus Falcon Heavy only 8 tonnes when the boosters and core are recovered. 

 - Ed Kyle

That is comparing RTLS vs downrange landing. FH can likely do 16 or 17 tonnes to GTO with 3x downrange recovery and about 12 tonnes with just the center core downrange. All IMO of course.
I've seen no evidence of plans to do "3x downrange recovery", which would require quite a fleet!  I'm not sure about center core downrange or what the SOP will be for Heavy GTO missions.  I'll note that no v1.2 GTO missions have done RTLS to date.  I don't remember SpaceX saying which recovery mode was linked to the 8 tonne capability.  I've always just assumed that it was the number for how the company planned to actually fly Falcon Heavy.

 - Ed Kyle

They only need one more ASDS, which they probably need anyway once they start operating Boca Chica. JRTI is no longer too big to fit through the Panama with the wings attached.

They haven't explicitly stated the recovery method for the 8t FH launch, but RTLS is the only way it make sense with the claimed payload capabilities for both F9 and FH.

RTLS with F9 leaves very little margin with most GTO payloads, while FH has plenty of margins with even the heaviest commercial GTO payloads. It also makes the most sense to list the price for the cheapest launch that most customers can use, which is certainly 3-core RTLS with FH.

Offline Chasm

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #15 on: 06/08/2017 08:04 PM »
New Glenn is still quite a bit away from first flight, no BE-4 yet.
13t GTO is initial capability, Blue is very sure that they can deliver that from the start. (Something easy to forget, Falcon 9 went through a lot of upgrades and more are announced.)

I still think that the biggest thing is to start flying orbital rockets ASAP. Recovery would be very nice but is not that important in the grand scheme of things.

Landing ship. Not cheap but not that expensive either. Just throw one booster less into the drink and it will be fine. ;)
Most likely an used ship with light modifications to begin with. If the launch business warrants it there is the option to do a really nice custom or two in the future.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #16 on: 06/08/2017 08:57 PM »
They haven't explicitly stated the recovery method for the 8t FH launch, but RTLS is the only way it make sense with the claimed payload capabilities for both F9 and FH.
I disagree regarding Falcon 9.  The claim is 5.5 tonnes GTO with Stg 1 recovery.  To date they've demonstrated up to 5.282 tonnes GTO with downrange recovery and 5.6 tonnes and 6.086 tonnes GTO with the first stage expended.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Nomadd

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #17 on: 06/08/2017 09:08 PM »
 
They haven't explicitly stated the recovery method for the 8t FH launch, but RTLS is the only way it make sense with the claimed payload capabilities for both F9 and FH.
I disagree regarding Falcon 9.  The claim is 5.5 tonnes GTO with Stg 1 recovery.  To date they've demonstrated up to 5.282 tonnes GTO with downrange recovery and 5.6 tonnes and 6.086 tonnes GTO with the first stage expended.

 - Ed Kyle
So, NG specs are what they claim they'll do sometime in the future, but you'll only use what F9 has already demonstrated and not what they say the numbers will be once everything Block V is in place?

Offline envy887

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #18 on: 06/08/2017 09:13 PM »
They haven't explicitly stated the recovery method for the 8t FH launch, but RTLS is the only way it make sense with the claimed payload capabilities for both F9 and FH.
I disagree regarding Falcon 9.  The claim is 5.5 tonnes GTO with Stg 1 recovery.  To date they've demonstrated up to 5.282 tonnes GTO with downrange recovery and 5.6 tonnes and 6.086 tonnes GTO with the first stage expended.

 - Ed Kyle
I think you're underestimating just how large FH is, but at this point we don't have enough information to determine either way.

Hopefully the FH demo (which IIRC will be 3x RTLS), will throw something heavy to a high energy orbit, so we get a better understanding of its real capabilities.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #19 on: 06/08/2017 09:36 PM »
They haven't explicitly stated the recovery method for the 8t FH launch, but RTLS is the only way it make sense with the claimed payload capabilities for both F9 and FH.
I disagree regarding Falcon 9.  The claim is 5.5 tonnes GTO with Stg 1 recovery.  To date they've demonstrated up to 5.282 tonnes GTO with downrange recovery and 5.6 tonnes and 6.086 tonnes GTO with the first stage expended.

 - Ed Kyle
I think you're underestimating just how large FH is, but at this point we don't have enough information to determine either way.

Hopefully the FH demo (which IIRC will be 3x RTLS), will throw something heavy to a high energy orbit, so we get a better understanding of its real capabilities.

Ed has a history of pessimistic performance projections for Falcon 9 that are later disproven by actual flights.

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