Author Topic: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy  (Read 14156 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.

Online 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. 

Online 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.
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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.

Online 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.

Online 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

Online 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)?

Online 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.

Online 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 »

Online 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.

Online 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?

Online 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.

Offline Jim

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #20 on: 06/08/2017 09:56 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.


Not true

Offline MP99

Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #21 on: 06/08/2017 09:57 PM »
ISTM the question is whether NG can be cheaper than F9.

F9 is where the volume is in the market. For all its complexity, FH gets the benefit of reducing F9 costs.

If NG can undercut F9, then it has the volume of business to reduce its costs. But, ISTM it will start out more expensive, and will never have that volume of sales to meet its potential.

OTOH, all bets are off if NG/FH open up big new markets.

Cheers, Martin

Online edkyle99

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #22 on: 06/09/2017 12:58 AM »
Ed has a history of pessimistic performance projections for Falcon 9 that are later disproven by actual flights.
On the contrary.  In the past I have pointed out that payload projections given by SpaceX were not possible for the rocket designs that the company had divulged.  It turned out that the payload projections were for the yet-to-be-divulged versions.  I projected that Falcon 9 had to be stretched from the original version to do the then-claimed 5 tonnes GTO, for example.  Then we learned about v1.1.  Etc.  Subsequently, I've kept track of the payloads actually flown and compared them to the claimed capabilities.  The two sets of numbers are getting closer to converging finally for GTO, but not for LEO.

Currently, my only questions are about Falcon Heavy.  I can't figure it out for the announced capabilities using what I think is known about Falcon 9 v1.2 as a starting point.  Maybe there are some more changes coming that have yet to be divulged (upper stage or something).  Maybe I just haven't figured it out yet.  ;)

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 06/09/2017 01:03 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline Dante80

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #23 on: 06/09/2017 01:08 AM »
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

Some of those campaigns were GTO+. The 5.5t block 5 number corresponds to a GTO-1800 goal with DPL. It seems their claim for F9 is pretty well founded this time around. Figuring out FH though is a much more difficult proposition.  ;)

Regarding NG vs FH, we will have to see how this unfolds. I think it will also depend on the payload at hand. For starters, if everything goes well for both then NG will have to shed a much bigger (and more expensive) S2 on every launch. And that is assuming NG will use the 2 stage configuration for commercial GTO (it is not readily assumed it will, since Blue has talked about a possible 3 stage configuration for high energy campaigns).

On the other hand, NG should be able to put a much larger payload to GTO-1800 with S1 re-use (this is more difficult for FH, since the center core would have to be discarded to match). Meaning, we may get a situation where NG does a dual launch (vs a single launch for FH), or produce a much better $/kg in future missions that have easily dividable payloads (water, fuel?).

Fuel is a small consideration imo. The main point of contention is S2 cost vs payload to orbit capability. And given the LVs at hand, I am willing to bet that Blue will have something interesting in the mix for S2 recovery sooner than SpaceX does.

The two sets of numbers are getting closer to converging finally for GTO, but not for LEO.

SpaceX does not give a S1 re-usable quote for F9 LEO missions. If you add the fact that they don't have a PAF that can support more than 10t, or that they don't have the fairing length for some payloads that would warrant said PAF (Dream Chaser cargo or BA-330 comes to mind), I think it will be some time before we can validate the theoretical expendable (or unofficially derived re-usable) performance of F9 in LEO.

Which is fine, since we can partly derive said capability from the GTO numbers (especially given the fact that F9 is a priori more capable in LEO campaigns due to its propulsion and stage design).

Rockets tend to almost never lift what is the maximum theoretical they can manage.
 
« Last Edit: 06/09/2017 01:17 AM by Dante80 »

Offline Hyperion5

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #24 on: 06/09/2017 03:16 AM »
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.


Not true

It would be fairer to say Ed has been something of a SpaceX performance skeptic for awhile now. 

And that second stage ....  Suffice to say the world's never seen anything like this.

Can 8.3 tonnes be real?

The Shuttle External Tank had a crazy PMF too, 0.965. Ok that's only the tank and it's much larger, but on the other hand it's LH2/LOX.

To my knowledge SpaceX uses Al-Li too and to a layman like me it seems built in a similar way looking at the interior. Of course NASA dropped that manufacturing method for SLS because it was considered to expensive.

But, as you say, no engines!  Falcon 9 obviously has engines, but they must weigh almost nothing!  The first stage model suggests something like the Atlas 2A sustainer stage mass fraction, except somehow having all of those Merlins only weigh the same as the single LR-105 type Atlas sustainer engine (which was unable to lift a fully loaded sustainer stage) on a percentage basis.  And Atlas was a balloon! 

If 8.3 tonnes is correct, and I'm hedging my bets until someone gets to work on Monday, then there is a lot of magic in those Merlins.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline su27k

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #25 on: 06/09/2017 03:26 AM »
Subsequently, I've kept track of the payloads actually flown and compared them to the claimed capabilities.  The two sets of numbers are getting closer to converging finally for GTO, but not for LEO.

Has the LEO numbers ever converged for other launch vehicles in the F9 class? What about Atlas V 551 or Delta IV M+(5,4)?

Offline M.E.T.

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #26 on: 06/09/2017 05:13 AM »
How about for payloads up to FH's RTLS limit? 8 tonnes I think it was. So for such payloads, where no ASDS costs need to be added, and where no cores are expended, would FH be quite cost competitive with NG? This would likely be the vast majority of launches in any case, leaving perhaps only larger payloads as NG's sole playground.

This is assuming they don't launch dual payloads when they have spare capacity, of course.
« Last Edit: 06/09/2017 05:15 AM by M.E.T. »

Offline AncientU

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #27 on: 06/09/2017 12:25 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.

Bezos/BO is the only one who will need to take losses to gain market share.  When Bezos enters the market, SpaceX will probably have a 50% world-wide share (with Falcon family alone) of competed payloads, plus 50-100 ConnX launches per year.  New Glenn is scheduled for a monthly launch, single pad AFAIK.  As they take market share, those payloads are taken off the table for ALL launch services providers. 

The real question is who can survive without their piece of that dozen launches.

Notes: NG's first payloads, for Eutelsat and OneWeb, are likely payloads taken from Ariane V (Arianespace) and Soyuz(Roscosmos)/Launcher One(Virgin Galactic/Orbit) respectively.
« Last Edit: 06/09/2017 02:24 PM by AncientU »
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Online edkyle99

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #28 on: 06/09/2017 01:52 PM »
Subsequently, I've kept track of the payloads actually flown and compared them to the claimed capabilities.  The two sets of numbers are getting closer to converging finally for GTO, but not for LEO.

Has the LEO numbers ever converged for other launch vehicles in the F9 class? What about Atlas V 551 or Delta IV M+(5,4)?
Both have never flown to LEO, but both have lifted near their capabilities to GTO and beyond.  Atlas 551 has lifted 6.74 tonne MUOS satellites almost to GEO-1500 m/s versus a 6.695 tonne stated capability for that insertion.  551 also boosted 478 kg trans-Pluto.  Delta 4M+5,4 has launched 5.987 tonne WGS satellites to 440 x 66,854 km x 24 deg orbits versus a listed 6.89 tonne capability to GEO-1800 m/s.   In recent years the orbits have only been 435 x 44,377 km x 27 deg for some reason.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 06/09/2017 01:54 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Stan-1967

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #29 on: 06/09/2017 04:42 PM »

Bezos/BO is the only one who will need to take losses to gain market share.  When Bezos enters the market, SpaceX will probably have a 50% world-wide share (with Falcon family alone) of competed payloads, plus 50-100 ConnX launches per year.  New Glenn is scheduled for a monthly launch, single pad AFAIK.  As they take market share, those payloads are taken off the table for ALL launch services providers. 

The real question is who can survive without their piece of that dozen launches.

Notes: NG's first payloads, for Eutelsat and OneWeb, are likely payloads taken from Ariane V (Arianespace) and Soyuz(Roscosmos)/Launcher One(Virgin Galactic/Orbit) respectively.

Agreed on most of these points.  Ariane looks to be the taking the brunt of losses for now.  What exactly do you mean that "those payload are taken off the table for ALL launch service providers"?  I see the big commercial players picking two winners ( 3 at most ) and strategically awarding payloads to keep competition strong & pricing low. ( just as in the commercial jet aircraft )   Eutelsat pretty much said they were picking Blue Origin as future winner when they awarded the contract.

I also sense the need to parse "who will survive" by keeping to the thread topic on FH vs. NG, not SpaceX vs. Blue Origin.   ( & add in Ariane 6, Proton, Angara, GSLV etc.)

These vehicles are intertwined differently for each entity.  Certainly Blue Origin fails if NG fails.  SpaceX can succeed quite well, for the immediate future,  with F9 alone.  If FH gets outclassed by NG, & there is a business need, SpaceX has the option to make a Raptor derived vehicle to outcompete NG.  There are other threads here that can be summarized at "Who will survive, FH or mini Raptor BFR" that have arguments relevant against FH vs. mini BFR that are also shared with the arguments for NG vs. FH.



Online Lars-J

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New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #30 on: 06/11/2017 08:35 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.

About #2 - In my opinion the big unknown about NG is the cost of the upper stage. It is HUGE. 7m in diameter. NG - as we currently know it - will be throwing away an upper stage the size of Apollo's S-IVB for every launch, even for small payloads. That is a lot of hardware.

In comparison for FH, the upper stage (only disposable element) is relatively small and has a high production volume.
« Last Edit: 06/11/2017 08:37 PM by Lars-J »

Offline Nomadd

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #31 on: 06/11/2017 08:45 PM »
 I notice a lot of talk about Bezos' deep pockets. Aren't there antitrust issues in pricing below cost?

Offline dlapine

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #32 on: 06/12/2017 04:14 AM »
Hmmm, as much as I love a good discussion, isn't it premature to be comparing these two when BO hasn't put a payload into orbit yet on any of its own vehicles? Or recovered a stage from an orbital launch? To be fair, recovering stages is not a widespread endeavor.

Just getting New Glenn to successfully fly at all will be a major accomplishment for BO; no other launch provider started their orbital flights with 7m+ vehicle. Do we really expect BO's first year of flight operations to be that much more successful than the first year of Falcon 9 flights?

Or am I missing something obvious?

Edit: typo
« Last Edit: 06/12/2017 04:29 AM by dlapine »

Offline woods170

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #33 on: 06/12/2017 06:24 AM »
I notice a lot of talk about Bezos' deep pockets. Aren't there antitrust issues in pricing below cost?
Who says Bezos is pricing below cost...

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #34 on: 06/12/2017 06:25 AM »
Hmmm, as much as I love a good discussion, isn't it premature to be comparing these two when BO hasn't put a payload into orbit yet on any of its own vehicles? Or recovered a stage from an orbital launch? To be fair, recovering stages is not a widespread endeavor.

Just getting New Glenn to successfully fly at all will be a major accomplishment for BO; no other launch provider started their orbital flights with 7m+ vehicle. Do we really expect BO's first year of flight operations to be that much more successful than the first year of Falcon 9 flights?

Or am I missing something obvious?

Edit: typo

No, you are not missing anything. A lot of people seem to assume that Blue Origin will execute their vision without any problems. I'm not one of them.

Offline M.E.T.

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #35 on: 06/12/2017 07:00 AM »
I also read that they only expect to reach a rate of a dozen flights per year by 2023. A rate Spacex is expected Reach and exceed this year.

That gives Spacex an effective 6 year advantage during which to improve iterations, learn from experience, rake in cash and potentially design a new vehicle.
« Last Edit: 06/12/2017 07:01 AM by M.E.T. »

Offline AncientU

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #36 on: 06/12/2017 09:50 AM »

Bezos/BO is the only one who will need to take losses to gain market share.  When Bezos enters the market, SpaceX will probably have a 50% world-wide share (with Falcon family alone) of competed payloads, plus 50-100 ConnX launches per year.  New Glenn is scheduled for a monthly launch, single pad AFAIK.  As they take market share, those payloads are taken off the table for ALL launch services providers. 

The real question is who can survive without their piece of that dozen launches.

Notes: NG's first payloads, for Eutelsat and OneWeb, are likely payloads taken from Ariane V (Arianespace) and Soyuz(Roscosmos)/Launcher One(Virgin Galactic/Orbit) respectively.

Agreed on most of these points.  Ariane looks to be the taking the brunt of losses for now.  What exactly do you mean that "those payload are taken off the table for ALL launch service providers"? 

By this I mean that FH and NG are not competing in a vacuum.  NG doesn't necessarily take a payload away from FH when it wins an award... it takes the payload from the pool of available payloads for the collective of launch service providers.  Each provider has a different floor for number of commercial launches needed to remain viable -- especially critical when (like now) there is a supply-demand imbalance, more launch capacity than payload demand.

Quote
I also sense the need to parse "who will survive" by keeping to the thread topic on FH vs. NG, not SpaceX vs. Blue Origin.   ( & add in Ariane 6, Proton, Angara, GSLV etc.)

Good point.

« Last Edit: 06/12/2017 09:52 AM by AncientU »
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Offline TrevorMonty

Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #37 on: 06/12/2017 10:53 AM »
NG is designed for low cost HSF, if GEO sats were its primary target it would be 30-50% smaller.

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #38 on: 06/12/2017 02:12 PM »
Hmmm, as much as I love a good discussion, isn't it premature to be comparing these two when BO hasn't put a payload into orbit yet on any of its own vehicles?
In order to compare them, we have to think 10 years ahead, when both are (presumably) flying after having completed development (which may or may not have been excruciatingly difficult).  Yes, Blue has a long way to go, but Falcon Heavy also has yet to fly.

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« Last Edit: 06/12/2017 02:13 PM by edkyle99 »

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #39 on: 06/12/2017 02:24 PM »
Hmmm, as much as I love a good discussion, isn't it premature to be comparing these two when BO hasn't put a payload into orbit yet on any of its own vehicles? Or recovered a stage from an orbital launch? To be fair, recovering stages is not a widespread endeavor.

Just getting New Glenn to successfully fly at all will be a major accomplishment for BO; no other launch provider started their orbital flights with 7m+ vehicle. Do we really expect BO's first year of flight operations to be that much more successful than the first year of Falcon 9 flights?

Or am I missing something obvious?

Edit: typo

No, you are not missing anything. A lot of people seem to assume that Blue Origin will execute their vision without any problems. I'm not one of them.

Their vision will undoubtedly change in the details, but I have no doubt they will eventually get there. Bezos has the willingness and ability to push this through. He's not building a huge factory with a launch pad in it's back yard just to mess around.

Offline launchwatcher

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #40 on: 06/12/2017 02:57 PM »
Aren't there antitrust issues in pricing below cost?

Not necessarily.   According to the FTC:

Quote
Pricing below your own costs is also not a violation of the law unless it is part of a strategy to eliminate competitors, and when that strategy has a dangerous probability of creating a monopoly for the discounting firm so that it can raise prices far into the future and recoup its losses.

reference:

https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws/single-firm-conduct/predatory-or-below-cost

(if you sell something at the same price as your competitors, you'll be accused of illegal price fixing, but if you charge more, you'll be accused of exercising illegal monopoly power, and if you charge less, you'll be accused of predatory pricing to drive your competitors out of business.   Really, it's not about price, it's about strategy/intent.    Not coincidentally, all of the business conduct training classes I've had at various employers over the years had a section about things one should never say about your competition and your competitors...)

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #41 on: 06/12/2017 02:58 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.

About #2 - In my opinion the big unknown about NG is the cost of the upper stage. It is HUGE. 7m in diameter. NG - as we currently know it - will be throwing away an upper stage the size of Apollo's S-IVB for every launch, even for small payloads. That is a lot of hardware.

In comparison for FH, the upper stage (only disposable element) is relatively small and has a high production volume.

They're unlikely to be throwing that upper stage away forever. It has been mentioned more than once that the second stage will be "initially expendable". Considering the size of the booster and second stage, there is likely a lot of margin left over to attempt recovery of second stage and deliver a useful payload to orbit. I wouldn't be particularly surprised if this is the next step in their 'step by step' approach.

Falcon Heavy could potentially be fully reusable but for very obvious reasons that is going to be far more complicated than doing the same with New Glenn:

28 engines vs 8 engines
Landing 4 stages vs 2

SpaceX can likely pull it off, but it probably won't be as economicaly to operate as New Glenn. From Day One, New Glenn will have the advantage of using a cheaper, cleaner burning, higher isp fuel. The fact that Blue Origin seems behind SpaceX today doesn't mean that will be true in 10 years time. With New Sheppard, they appeared to be hopelessly behind Virgin Galactic in suborbital transport until they shot right ahead of Branson's Company in 2015.
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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #42 on: 06/12/2017 03:27 PM »
I notice a lot of talk about Bezos' deep pockets. Aren't there antitrust issues in pricing below cost?

I think in the general case there are. Proving this specific case might be hard as determining the cost might not be easy (that discovery bill will be huge!)
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Offline spacenut

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #43 on: 06/12/2017 04:42 PM »
From what you guys are saying, I gather that FH can beat NG for LEO capabilities, but NG, especially with 3rd stage, can beat FH for GTO or GSO, TLI and TMI. 


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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #44 on: 06/12/2017 05:59 PM »
From what you guys are saying, I gather that FH can beat NG for LEO capabilities, but NG, especially with 3rd stage, can beat FH for GTO or GSO, TLI and TMI. 
That's our current estimate, but since little is really known about New Glenn details it might be better to say that Falcon Heavy expendable and New Glenn 3-stage (with first stage recovery) appear to have generally comparable performance.
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43073.msg1688579#msg1688579

 - Ed Kyle

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #45 on: 06/12/2017 06:03 PM »
That's our current estimate, but since little is really known about New Glenn details it might be better to say that Falcon Heavy expendable and New Glenn 3-stage (with first stage recovery) appear to have generally comparable performance.
Neither "has."  Both "are expected to have."  Let's not advance our clocks prematurely.
An Apollo fanboy . . . fifty years ago.

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #46 on: 06/12/2017 07:31 PM »
From what you guys are saying, I gather that FH can beat NG for LEO capabilities, but NG, especially with 3rd stage, can beat FH for GTO or GSO, TLI and TMI.
The thread that Ed linked has an ongoing discussion of this, but my summary for high-energy orbits would be:
3-stage NG > FH expendable > FH w/ all ASDS > NG 2-stage = FH w/ ASDS & 2x RTLS > FH all RTLS.

For LEO it's similar but FH expendable should beat 3-stage NG.

Offline M.E.T.

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #47 on: 06/12/2017 09:34 PM »
From what you guys are saying, I gather that FH can beat NG for LEO capabilities, but NG, especially with 3rd stage, can beat FH for GTO or GSO, TLI and TMI.
The thread that Ed linked has an ongoing discussion of this, but my summary for high-energy orbits would be:
3-stage NG > FH expendable > FH w/ all ASDS > NG 2-stage = FH w/ ASDS & 2x RTLS > FH all RTLS.

For LEO it's similar but FH expendable should beat 3-stage NG.

That's a nice summary there. But just a question for my own edification.

What is the general timeline for the various NG variants? If I recall correctly first NG flight is estimated for 2020, with them expecting to reach 12 launches per year by 2023 only. But I had assumed that meant 2-stage NG. Is 3-stage NG planned to be operational at the same time?

If not, then FH may not even be in operation anymore by the time NG reaches its 3-stage performance levels. Then 3-stage NG should rather be compared to whatever the FH's successor vehicle will be.

Offline spacenut

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #48 on: 06/13/2017 12:54 AM »
SpaceX's Mars rocket may come on line within 5-7 years.  If it can be used for launching satellites, may put NG out of work. 

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #49 on: 06/13/2017 02:27 AM »
Hmmm, as much as I love a good discussion, isn't it premature to be comparing these two when BO hasn't put a payload into orbit yet on any of its own vehicles?
In order to compare them, we have to think 10 years ahead, when both are (presumably) flying after having completed development (which may or may not have been excruciatingly difficult).  Yes, Blue has a long way to go, but Falcon Heavy also has yet to fly.

 - Ed Kyle

I know its been a long time coming for FH, but are you currently of the opinion that FH won't be flying this year or next? If FH starts flying missions within the next 18 months, they would seem to have an insurmountable lead over New Glenn in heavy lift operations by the 2023 timeframe mentioned earlier by BO.

Personally, I don't really expect SpaceX to still be flying FH in 10 years time, so we may not be able to see them side by side.   F9 they may keep for a long time, but FH would seem to have short lifespan given their intended expansion to ITS and derivatives.

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #50 on: 06/13/2017 02:15 PM »
I know its been a long time coming for FH, but are you currently of the opinion that FH won't be flying this year or next? If FH starts flying missions within the next 18 months, they would seem to have an insurmountable lead over New Glenn in heavy lift operations by the 2023 timeframe mentioned earlier by BO.

Personally, I don't really expect SpaceX to still be flying FH in 10 years time, so we may not be able to see them side by side.   F9 they may keep for a long time, but FH would seem to have short lifespan given their intended expansion to ITS and derivatives.
Demo Heavy might make it to launch by year's end.  It has to finishing testing at McGregor, wait for SLC 40, X-37B, etc., and only then begin what will likely be a long testing campaign at LC 39A before launching.

I don't see Falcon Heavy having a "lead" over New Glenn because I don't see these two launch vehicles competing with one another.  Heavy is being designed primarily to win EELV contracts.  New Glenn is being designed to, as near as I can tell, fulfill Jeff Bezos dreams of, whatever he is dreaming - most likely beyond LEO.  It is going to need a really big customer at some point to continue.  There is only one really big customer.

If Falcon Heavy only flies 10 years, SpaceX is fiscally irresponsible.  I don't think that SpaceX is fiscally irresponsible.  This rocket has to outlast Delta 4 Heavy by many years to make money.  Delta 4 Heavy is going to be around until at least 2023, and maybe longer.

I see ITS as a long-range, still hazy goal at this point.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 06/13/2017 02:16 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #51 on: 06/13/2017 02:24 PM »
If Falcon Heavy only flies 10 years, SpaceX is fiscally irresponsible.  I don't think that SpaceX is fiscally irresponsible.  This rocket has to outlast Delta 4 Heavy by many years to make money.  Delta 4 Heavy is going to be around until at least 2023, and maybe longer.

I don't think Musk in any way subscribes to the sunk cost fallacy.

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #52 on: 06/13/2017 02:52 PM »
If Falcon Heavy only flies 10 years, SpaceX is fiscally irresponsible.  I don't think that SpaceX is fiscally irresponsible.  This rocket has to outlast Delta 4 Heavy by many years to make money.  Delta 4 Heavy is going to be around until at least 2023, and maybe longer.

I don't think Musk in any way subscribes to the sunk cost fallacy.
Falcon 9 looks set to fly for well more than a decade.  Why would the company develop Falcon Heavy to fly for less time?

 - Ed Kyle

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #53 on: 06/13/2017 03:05 PM »
I know its been a long time coming for FH, but are you currently of the opinion that FH won't be flying this year or next? If FH starts flying missions within the next 18 months, they would seem to have an insurmountable lead over New Glenn in heavy lift operations by the 2023 timeframe mentioned earlier by BO.

Personally, I don't really expect SpaceX to still be flying FH in 10 years time, so we may not be able to see them side by side.   F9 they may keep for a long time, but FH would seem to have short lifespan given their intended expansion to ITS and derivatives.
Demo Heavy might make it to launch by year's end.  It has to finishing testing at McGregor, wait for SLC 40, X-37B, etc., and only then begin what will likely be a long testing campaign at LC 39A before launching.

I don't see Falcon Heavy having a "lead" over New Glenn because I don't see these two launch vehicles competing with one another.  Heavy is being designed primarily to win EELV contracts.  New Glenn is being designed to, as near as I can tell, fulfill Jeff Bezos dreams of, whatever he is dreaming - most likely beyond LEO.  It is going to need a really big customer at some point to continue.  There is only one really big customer.

If Falcon Heavy only flies 10 years, SpaceX is fiscally irresponsible.  I don't think that SpaceX is fiscally irresponsible.  This rocket has to outlast Delta 4 Heavy by many years to make money.  Delta 4 Heavy is going to be around until at least 2023, and maybe longer.

I see ITS as a long-range, still hazy goal at this point.

 - Ed Kyle

FH may be targeting EELV contracts, while NG is not (at this point). But I don't think EELV is the biggest reason SpaceX is developing FH... I think it's primarily commsats, then BLEO Dragon, then EELV.

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #54 on: 06/13/2017 03:09 PM »
Falcon 9 looks set to fly for well more than a decade.  Why would the company develop Falcon Heavy to fly for less time?

Falcon Heavy is being developed to fly for as long as nothing better is available.  That time may be short.  Raptor may be too good of an engine to not fly.

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #55 on: 06/13/2017 03:21 PM »
If Falcon Heavy only flies 10 years, SpaceX is fiscally irresponsible.  I don't think that SpaceX is fiscally irresponsible.  This rocket has to outlast Delta 4 Heavy by many years to make money.  Delta 4 Heavy is going to be around until at least 2023, and maybe longer.

I don't think Musk in any way subscribes to the sunk cost fallacy.
Falcon 9 looks set to fly for well more than a decade.  Why would the company develop Falcon Heavy to fly for less time?

 - Ed Kyle

To support the allow them to build up their Mars infrastructure (red dragon missions, comm sats, sample return, fuel production, and whatever else NASA would be willing to pay for that Spacex need anyway for their end goal) while amassing funds for their huge rocket. Whether they succeed to build it in ten years or not, they're unlikely to want to wait a decade for lower hanging fruit required for a Mars base with an existing paying customer.

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #56 on: 06/13/2017 03:24 PM »
Falcon 9 looks set to fly for well more than a decade.  Why would the company develop Falcon Heavy to fly for less time?

Falcon Heavy is being developed to fly for as long as nothing better is available.  That time may be short.  Raptor may be too good of an engine to not fly.
I don't see the time being "short".  The company has only test fired a subscale, developmental (battleship) engine to date.  The biggie engine is well down the road.  Making the yet to be seen full scale Raptor "too good" will take a lot of time and effort and - since it is staged combustion - heartbreak.   It will have to prove better than Merlin 1D not just in performance, but in cost.  Merlin 1D is pretty darn good on both counts.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 06/13/2017 03:25 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline M.E.T.

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #57 on: 06/13/2017 03:43 PM »
I think FH was conceived at a time when F9 had far lower capability, and as a result FH's greater payload capacity would have been required to make reusability possible for a large percentage of payloads.

With F9 Block V now being more powerful than the original FH concept, it seems a lot of the payload spectrum that would have been covered by FH has been absorbed by F9. As a result, FH almost looks like a legacy project with less and less of a Business Case. Especially after Musk's admission that it proved much harder to build than originally expected.

Essentially, FH was originally seen as a low hanging fruit that could, with minimal added effort, significantly expand the range of SpaceX's reusable payloads. Fast forward to today and it may end up fulfilling only a limited function, largely focused on the smallish number of satellite payloads too heavy for F9 reuse, and for dropping rather modest (by Musk's ambitions) payloads on Mars.

It would seem that unless ITS gets significantly delayed, FH may operate for  around 10 years only, and even then at a lower launch frequency that may have originally been envisaged.

That's just my view. While FH is exciting and much anticipated by all of us, it is kind of filling a niche that has been squeezed by the upgraded  F9 Block V from below, and will be squeezed out of existence by the ITS from above.
« Last Edit: 06/13/2017 03:44 PM by M.E.T. »

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #58 on: 06/13/2017 03:54 PM »
Making the yet to be seen full scale Raptor "too good" will take a lot of time and effort and - since it is staged combustion - heartbreak.   It will have to prove better than Merlin 1D not just in performance, but in cost.  Merlin 1D is pretty darn good on both counts.

No doubt Raptor will have to earn its flight time, allowing for some forward-leaning by SpaceX.  We only see glimpses of this process, so don't know for sure.

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #59 on: 06/13/2017 04:13 PM »
I think FH was conceived at a time when F9 had far lower capability, and as a result FH's greater payload capacity would have been required to make reusability possible for a large percentage of payloads.

With F9 Block V now being more powerful than the original FH concept, it seems a lot of the payload spectrum that would have been covered by FH has been absorbed by F9. As a result, FH almost looks like a legacy project with less and less of a Business Case. Especially after Musk's admission that it proved much harder to build than originally expected.
I'm not seeing the crossover.  From the outset, Falcon Heavy was announced to be capable of lifting next-generation EELV Heavy class missions (17+ tonnes GTO).  The number was 19 tonnes when announced in 2011, then 18 tonnes without crossfeed by 2015, now 26.7 tonnes, etc..  Block 5 Falcon 9 will only lift 8.3 tonnes. 

I agree that Heavy will fly infrequently compared to Block 5.  The same is true of Atlas 401 versus 551, etc.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 06/13/2017 04:14 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline M.E.T.

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #60 on: 06/13/2017 05:12 PM »
I think FH was conceived at a time when F9 had far lower capability, and as a result FH's greater payload capacity would have been required to make reusability possible for a large percentage of payloads.

With F9 Block V now being more powerful than the original FH concept, it seems a lot of the payload spectrum that would have been covered by FH has been absorbed by F9. As a result, FH almost looks like a legacy project with less and less of a Business Case. Especially after Musk's admission that it proved much harder to build than originally expected.
I'm not seeing the crossover.  From the outset, Falcon Heavy was announced to be capable of lifting next-generation EELV Heavy class missions (17+ tonnes GTO).  The number was 19 tonnes when announced in 2011, then 18 tonnes without crossfeed by 2015, now 26.7 tonnes, etc..  Block 5 Falcon 9 will only lift 8.3 tonnes. 

I agree that Heavy will fly infrequently compared to Block 5.  The same is true of Atlas 401 versus 551, etc.

 - Ed Kyle

Fair point. I just wonder if EELV launches are a sufficient Business Case for the FH's existence. How many launches can it realistically expect per year from this source?

I keep reading uninformed articles in the media about how SpaceX's"rocket that will take men to Mars" is about to undergo its first flight this year. Meanwhile we know FH is nothing of the sort.

FH seems to have become a sort of placeholder between the F9 - with its massive launch market - and the ITS - which will fly thousands of times.  And there it sits, with maybe a dozen launches a year for the next 10 years. A somewhat pitiful number compared to its smaller and larger cousins.

And we know SpaceX is all about economies of scale. In that model the FH seems like a rocket with a somewhat limited lifespan. Unless LEO refuelling of its 2nd stage becomes a viable option. But that seems like too large an investment for a rocket that will be replaced once the ITS comes online in the mid 2020's.

I sense that estimates for the FH's longevity largely correlate with pessimism about the timeline for ITS's introduction. Sure, if you believe that ITS will only see its first flight in 20 years time then I can see a 20 year useful life for FH.  But otherwise, probably not.
« Last Edit: 06/13/2017 05:14 PM by M.E.T. »

Offline gospacex

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #61 on: 06/13/2017 05:27 PM »
FH seems to have become a sort of placeholder between the F9 - with its massive launch market - and the ITS - which will fly thousands of times.  And there it sits, with maybe a dozen launches a year for the next 10 years. A somewhat pitiful number compared to its smaller and larger cousins.

And we know SpaceX is all about economies of scale. In that model the FH seems like a rocket with a somewhat limited lifespan.

FH is not a wholly separate rocket. It's F9 with some modifications. That's how economies of scale is implemented by SpaceX.

Online envy887

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #62 on: 06/13/2017 05:45 PM »
I just wonder if EELV launches are a sufficient Business Case for the FH's existence. How many launches can it realistically expect per year from this source?
...

I suspect they are altogether welcome and are being pursued, but neither sufficient nor necessary to justify FH.

NG is apparently moving forward in the same market with no EELV contract expectations.

Offline high road

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #63 on: 06/13/2017 05:56 PM »
I think FH was conceived at a time when F9 had far lower capability, and as a result FH's greater payload capacity would have been required to make reusability possible for a large percentage of payloads.

With F9 Block V now being more powerful than the original FH concept, it seems a lot of the payload spectrum that would have been covered by FH has been absorbed by F9. As a result, FH almost looks like a legacy project with less and less of a Business Case. Especially after Musk's admission that it proved much harder to build than originally expected.
I'm not seeing the crossover.  From the outset, Falcon Heavy was announced to be capable of lifting next-generation EELV Heavy class missions (17+ tonnes GTO).  The number was 19 tonnes when announced in 2011, then 18 tonnes without crossfeed by 2015, now 26.7 tonnes, etc..  Block 5 Falcon 9 will only lift 8.3 tonnes. 

I agree that Heavy will fly infrequently compared to Block 5.  The same is true of Atlas 401 versus 551, etc.

 - Ed Kyle

Fair point. I just wonder if EELV launches are a sufficient Business Case for the FH's existence. How many launches can it realistically expect per year from this source?

I keep reading uninformed articles in the media about how SpaceX's"rocket that will take men to Mars" is about to undergo its first flight this year. Meanwhile we know FH is nothing of the sort.

FH seems to have become a sort of placeholder between the F9 - with its massive launch market - and the ITS - which will fly thousands of times.  And there it sits, with maybe a dozen launches a year for the next 10 years. A somewhat pitiful number compared to its smaller and larger cousins.

And we know SpaceX is all about economies of scale. In that model the FH seems like a rocket with a somewhat limited lifespan. Unless LEO refuelling of its 2nd stage becomes a viable option. But that seems like too large an investment for a rocket that will be replaced once the ITS comes online in the mid 2020's.

I sense that estimates for the FH's longevity largely correlate with pessimism about the timeline for ITS's introduction. Sure, if you believe that ITS will only see its first flight in 20 years time then I can see a 20 year useful life for FH.  But otherwise, probably not.

Could you enlighten this uninformed person about who is going to pay for thousands of ITS launches? And especially how many per year, as you confusingly use 'many' for the 24 per pad per year for falcon 9 and a dozen per year for FH.

Offline M.E.T.

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #64 on: 06/13/2017 06:08 PM »
I think FH was conceived at a time when F9 had far lower capability, and as a result FH's greater payload capacity would have been required to make reusability possible for a large percentage of payloads.

With F9 Block V now being more powerful than the original FH concept, it seems a lot of the payload spectrum that would have been covered by FH has been absorbed by F9. As a result, FH almost looks like a legacy project with less and less of a Business Case. Especially after Musk's admission that it proved much harder to build than originally expected.
I'm not seeing the crossover.  From the outset, Falcon Heavy was announced to be capable of lifting next-generation EELV Heavy class missions (17+ tonnes GTO).  The number was 19 tonnes when announced in 2011, then 18 tonnes without crossfeed by 2015, now 26.7 tonnes, etc..  Block 5 Falcon 9 will only lift 8.3 tonnes. 

I agree that Heavy will fly infrequently compared to Block 5.  The same is true of Atlas 401 versus 551, etc.

 - Ed Kyle

Fair point. I just wonder if EELV launches are a sufficient Business Case for the FH's existence. How many launches can it realistically expect per year from this source?

I keep reading uninformed articles in the media about how SpaceX's"rocket that will take men to Mars" is about to undergo its first flight this year. Meanwhile we know FH is nothing of the sort.

FH seems to have become a sort of placeholder between the F9 - with its massive launch market - and the ITS - which will fly thousands of times.  And there it sits, with maybe a dozen launches a year for the next 10 years. A somewhat pitiful number compared to its smaller and larger cousins.

And we know SpaceX is all about economies of scale. In that model the FH seems like a rocket with a somewhat limited lifespan. Unless LEO refuelling of its 2nd stage becomes a viable option. But that seems like too large an investment for a rocket that will be replaced once the ITS comes online in the mid 2020's.

I sense that estimates for the FH's longevity largely correlate with pessimism about the timeline for ITS's introduction. Sure, if you believe that ITS will only see its first flight in 20 years time then I can see a 20 year useful life for FH.  But otherwise, probably not.

Could you enlighten this uninformed person about who is going to pay for thousands of ITS launches? And especially how many per year, as you confusingly use 'many' for the 24 per pad per year for falcon 9 and a dozen per year for FH.

Why, Elon Musk did a whole presentation on this. According to him it will be the 1 million people who will each pay $200k for a ticket to Mars. Personally I am a bit skeptical about this. So I'm hoping for some kind of new Space Race where governments start a rush to colonize Mars before anyone else can. That will pay for the million man city faster than 1 million private citizens could, in my view. We just heard about the UAE who want to use their oil trillions to build a city on Mars. Hopefully that wakes other governments up to want to do the same or lose out.

Anyway, the entire Mars plan is based on mass transport for economies of scale. It is the premise on which everything else is built.

Offline high road

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #65 on: 06/13/2017 09:29 PM »
Ah, it's the sales pitches you're getting this from. In that case, I think Blue Origin has the most convincing pitch. A sales pitch that doesn't even need them to succeed to become a reality.

Offline rpapo

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #66 on: 06/13/2017 09:34 PM »
Ah, it's the sales pitches you're getting this from. In that case, I think Blue Origin has the most convincing pitch. A sales pitch that doesn't even need them to succeed to become a reality.
Whether it becomes reality or not, it appears it won't be for lack of funding.

IMHO, I think they have bitten off way more than they can chew.  Bezos seems to be smarting still from the "unicorns" comment a few years back.
« Last Edit: 06/13/2017 09:35 PM by rpapo »
An Apollo fanboy . . . fifty years ago.

Offline Mader Levap

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #67 on: 06/14/2017 12:15 AM »
ITS is something that "they have bitten off way more than they can chew".

While "mini-ITS" is at this stage complete rumour, I find this idea perfectly believable. ITS as presented by Musk is too big, too ambitious, too hard. I think there will be intermediate vehicle between FH and fullfledged ITS (taking aside that by time ITS materializes, it will be pretty different from vision shown by Musk).

And yes, anyone thinking ITS will happen in 202X is... how to say it gently... hopelessly optimistic on basis of Elon Time alone, not mentioning anything else! So I have no worries about FH service time.
Be successful.  Then tell the haters to (BLEEP) off. - deruch
...and if you have failure, tell it anyway.

Online envy887

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #68 on: 06/14/2017 01:46 AM »
202X covers the next 13 years... I wouldn't count SpaceX launching something say, twice the size of SLS in the next 13 years as hopelessly optimistic at all.

Offline speedevil

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #69 on: 06/14/2017 02:33 AM »
I've seen no evidence of plans to do "3x downrange recovery", which would require quite a fleet!

It seems at least plausible to land a couple on the same barge.
For all(?) landings which were successful, and Jason-9 which was not, the error distance between the craft and the X seems to be enough to permit a couple of rockets landing each towards a corner.
(neglecting the fact that a new ASDS may be cheaper than a core)

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #70 on: 06/14/2017 06:22 AM »

Falcon Heavy is being developed to fly for as long as nothing better is available.  That time may be short.  Raptor may be too good of an engine to not fly.

Falcon Heavy uses merlin engines and is basically a Falcon 9 plus two half Falcon 9s. A variant heavy can use the raptor engine.

Offline speedevil

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #71 on: 06/14/2017 10:28 PM »
I've seen no evidence of plans to do "3x downrange recovery", which would require quite a fleet!

It seems at least plausible to land a couple on the same barge.
For all(?) landings which were successful, and Jason-9 which was not, the error distance between the craft and the X seems to be enough to permit a couple of rockets landing each towards a corner.
(neglecting the fact that a new ASDS may be cheaper than a core)
It would have to be one gigantic barge!  Did you see the debris flying during the latest first stage landing?   The second rocket would shred the first unless separated by hundreds of feet.

Agreed - if there is any significant debris. Not leaving large unsecured sheets of steel out would of course be a first step.

Online Lars-J

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #72 on: 06/14/2017 10:42 PM »
I've seen no evidence of plans to do "3x downrange recovery", which would require quite a fleet!

It seems at least plausible to land a couple on the same barge.

No. No. And No. Not unless you are imagining a much larger barge. It just isn't happening with the current barges.

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #73 on: 06/14/2017 11:23 PM »
Leasing, outfitting, and operating an ASDS for several years is probably less than half the cost of throwing away a single booster, if you consider the future value of the booster if they recover it and use it for more revenue-generating launches.

If FH has a payload that is beyond its capability with just one down range landing, but within its capability with multiple down range landings, them the obvious solution is another ASDS.

The only question is whether such payloads exist. I think Red Dragon and any DoD payloads headed for GEO insertion fall in that range.
« Last Edit: 06/14/2017 11:24 PM by envy887 »

Offline Nathan2go

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #74 on: 06/15/2017 05:39 AM »
If FH has a payload that is beyond its capability with just one down range landing, but within its capability with multiple down range landings, them the obvious solution is another ASDS.

The only question is whether such payloads exist....

Depending on how much they can optimize booster staging, the penalty for having the two side booster RTLS may be very low.  I can think of 4 ways to reduce this penalty (they all involve making the mass of the separating boosters small compared to the mass of the remaining stack):
1) throttle down the center core (or even shutdown some engines early). - Delta IV solution.
2) propellant cross-feed.
3) land side-boosters downrange too.
4) increase the mass of 2nd stage and payload (e.g. use two Merlins or one Raptor and stretch tanks).

Some ballpark guesstimates at side-booster staging might be:
- mass of side-boosters and propellant: 140 klbs (i.e. about 10% of propellant used for flyback & landing).
- mass of center core and propellant: 140k+200 k lbs=340 klbs (assuming throttling to 70% at T+50 sec)
- mass of stage 2 + payload:  250k + 140k lbs = 390 klbs

The staging efficiency is (mass continuing forward)/(total mass) = (340+390)/(340+390+140*2)=72%, so it is not a huge penalty as is.  Of course there is additional efficiency loss when the center core stages off (about 390/(390+130)=75%.  The combination is 54%.  Cross-feed helps with side-booster staging efficiency, as does a downrange side-booster landing;  but increasing stage 2 mass helps with both staging efficiencies.

That's why I think a stage 2 tank stretch is really likely.

Offline Nathan2go

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #75 on: 06/15/2017 05:42 AM »
Regarding FH vs NG:

Having both vehicle on the market to carry Delta IV class payloads, but at a lower price, could grow the market substantially.  That's good news for both companies.

Offline Jim

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #76 on: 06/15/2017 02:58 PM »

That's why I think a stage 2 tank stretch is really likely.

But it isn't.  They aren't changing tank sizes.

Offline Jim

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #77 on: 06/15/2017 02:58 PM »
Regarding FH vs NG:

Having both vehicle on the market to carry Delta IV class payloads, but at a lower price, could grow the market substantially.  That's good news for both companies.

what market?

Online envy887

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #78 on: 06/15/2017 03:45 PM »
Regarding FH vs NG:

Having both vehicle on the market to carry Delta IV class payloads, but at a lower price, could grow the market substantially.  That's good news for both companies.

what market?

DIVH exists and flew 7 paying missions, so obviously there's a market... but its market is super heavy DOD payloads, which aren't really likely to "grow substantially" with cheaper launch (You knew all that and could have just said as much)...

FH and NG will have medium-heavy and heavy commsats will get them going in the beginning, but have to open up new markets to use their full potential and see any major growth. What are those: perhaps BLEO HSF and logistics? LEO tourism support? extra-heavy GEO commsats? LEO and VLEO constellations?

Offline Chasm

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #79 on: 06/15/2017 07:38 PM »
Little is known about the cost of the extra heavy DOD/NROL satellites but the launch cost seems to be a rounding error in the total budget cost. (The several billion, perhaps even double digit, estimate -each- that get thrown around.)
If those numbers are anywhere close to the truth cheap launch can't be a concern for the high end of the market.


What could NG be used for?
With the large fairing space infrastructure seems to be the thing. Expandable modules are nice but some parts are simply unwieldy. Looking pictures of ISS and MIR it seems that you could launch most modules with the bolt on accessories already in place. Almost 1 meter more radius is a whole lot of room.

Over sized satellites is another option but I doubt it. The commercial companies really like to have at least two launch vehicles for their platforms.

Moon landers and crew capsules are always an option. Still far fetched though.

Online envy887

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #80 on: 06/15/2017 08:02 PM »
There are two current options for oversized GSO commsats up to 11 tonnes: Ariane 5 ECA and DIVH. But DIVH costs far more than a commsat that size, so operators only have A5 ECA as a viable choice right now. With FH there will be 2 viable launch options, and with NG 3 viable options for GTO sats up to 11t.

Offline gosnold

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #81 on: 06/15/2017 08:19 PM »
Little is known about the cost of the extra heavy DOD/NROL satellites but the launch cost seems to be a rounding error in the total budget cost. (The several billion, perhaps even double digit, estimate -each- that get thrown around.)
If those numbers are anywhere close to the truth cheap launch can't be a concern for the high end of the market.


What could NG be used for?
With the large fairing space infrastructure seems to be the thing. Expandable modules are nice but some parts are simply unwieldy. Looking pictures of ISS and MIR it seems that you could launch most modules with the bolt on accessories already in place. Almost 1 meter more radius is a whole lot of room.

Over sized satellites is another option but I doubt it. The commercial companies really like to have at least two launch vehicles for their platforms.

Moon landers and crew capsules are always an option. Still far fetched though.

Actually large fairings makes building those NRO GEO sats easier. Part of their cost is maintaining an industrial infrastructure for large unfurlable reflectors, and then manufacturing those reflectors. With a longer and larger fairing, simpler, less expensive solution could be envisioned.

Offline Chasm

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #82 on: 06/15/2017 11:14 PM »
I was after physically oversized, utilizing the 7m fairing.
With another affordable 10t GTO class launcher and F9 at 8t heavier satellites may become more of an option. Unless all electric finally drops weights as long expected. - As always there are lots of trades to decide on.


No idea how much specialized technology is required for the folding antennas, or how much of it is kept under wraps. Since they seem to unfurl to ~100m diameter there will still be some folding even with a 7m fairing. More space obviously helps, as would more payload. (Which NG does not have at this time.)

Offline Patchouli

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #83 on: 06/16/2017 05:05 AM »


Actually large fairings makes building those NRO GEO sats easier. Part of their cost is maintaining an industrial infrastructure for large unfurlable reflectors, and then manufacturing those reflectors. With a longer and larger fairing, simpler, less expensive solution could be envisioned.

I remember reading that was one of the things the Shuttle was to promise by allowing a communications satellites to be partly assembled in LEO.
If they were not as contained by packaging a lot of the design becomes a lot easier and allowing them to use more standardized COTS parts vs designing one off components to make the mass/volume budget.
« Last Edit: 06/16/2017 05:06 AM by Patchouli »

Online Lars-J

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #84 on: 06/16/2017 10:44 AM »


Actually large fairings makes building those NRO GEO sats easier. Part of their cost is maintaining an industrial infrastructure for large unfurlable reflectors, and then manufacturing those reflectors. With a longer and larger fairing, simpler, less expensive solution could be envisioned.

I remember reading that was one of the things the Shuttle was to promise by allowing a communications satellites to be partly assembled in LEO.
If they were not as contained by packaging a lot of the design becomes a lot easier and allowing them to use more standardized COTS parts vs designing one off components to make the mass/volume budget.

But that also has to be weighed against transport complexity. Payloads that large will be difficult to transport.

Also, please don't fall into the trap of believing that larger and heavier payloads will somehow magically be cheaper. It was/is one of the main arguments of the Ares/SLS crowds, and it is based more on wishful thinking rather than any connection to reality.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #85 on: 06/16/2017 04:04 PM »
A payload not being able to fit on a standard tractor trailer or train is not a deal breaker since a barge or aircraft like the super guppy or beluga can be used.
Even use of the latter would be an almost trivial cost compared to the cost of a typical comsat.
As for over ground transport solutions already exist.
If you can save just a few million on the construction it would more than offset the cost of bulky transport.
Plus simpler deployment mechanisms would mean less chance for failure so you might even have savings on insurance.
« Last Edit: 06/16/2017 04:12 PM by Patchouli »

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #86 on: 06/16/2017 04:29 PM »
The comsat owners want LV redundancy. They will only build satellite for 7m fairing if there are two LVs with this size fairing.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #87 on: 06/16/2017 04:36 PM »


Actually large fairings makes building those NRO GEO sats easier. Part of their cost is maintaining an industrial infrastructure for large unfurlable reflectors, and then manufacturing those reflectors. With a longer and larger fairing, simpler, less expensive solution could be envisioned.

I remember reading that was one of the things the Shuttle was to promise by allowing a communications satellites to be partly assembled in LEO.
If they were not as contained by packaging a lot of the design becomes a lot easier and allowing them to use more standardized COTS parts vs designing one off components to make the mass/volume budget.

But that also has to be weighed against transport complexity. Payloads that large will be difficult to transport.

Also, please don't fall into the trap of believing that larger and heavier payloads will somehow magically be cheaper. It was/is one of the main arguments of the Ares/SLS crowds, and it is based more on wishful thinking rather than any connection to reality.
In case of JWST not sure where all cost overruns went but having to squeeze it into 5m fairing probably didn't help. Extra savings of 8.4 fairing might of covered launch costs SLS if it had existed.

Offline calapine

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #88 on: 06/16/2017 10:15 PM »
In case of JWST not sure where all cost overruns went but having to squeeze it into 5m fairing probably didn't help. Extra savings of 8.4 fairing might of covered launch costs SLS if it had existed.

I think this is a case of [citation needed]. The sunshield has a size of 21 m × 14 m so some degree of folding is required in any case. Whether the difference between 8.4m and 5.4m fairing is enough to make up for the SLS launch cost would have to been proven.

The second issue is, depending on how high one assumes the SLS launch cost, is whether certifying a 8.4m fairing for Ariane wouldn't be cheaper than paying for SLS.
« Last Edit: 06/16/2017 10:15 PM by calapine »

Offline gin455res

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Re: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy
« Reply #89 on: 10/02/2017 02:14 PM »
Do New Glenn's wings imply that it will have a flat enough trajectory that it will re-enter as a hypersonic glider?


If so, is this an advantage over Falcon Heavy because it means the booster is a larger fraction* of the system mass, and a smaller fraction needs to be expended?


*Larger, because the New Glenn booster ends up providing a greater share of the dV to orbit, having to fly much faster horizontally than the Falcon Heavy boosters
« Last Edit: 10/02/2017 02:31 PM by gin455res »

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