Author Topic: New Glenn vs Falcon Heavy  (Read 14184 times)

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

Offline 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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Offline 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.



Offline 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 »

Online 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...

Offline Lars-J

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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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Offline edkyle99

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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.

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

Offline envy887

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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.

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