Author Topic: 9m ITS Development Updates and Discussion Thread  (Read 109124 times)

Offline watermod

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Re: 9m ITS Development Updates and Discussion Thread
« Reply #20 on: 07/22/2017 10:40 PM »
Since we know the use of existing factory and launch pad, how will SpaceX transport it between the two? Road, train or water still seem very difficult for 9m diameter booster.
Airlift it similar to Energia/Buran booster?

Airlift is likely out because the SpaceX factory is next to a general aviation airport whose only runway is just 4,956 ft in length, which is about half the length needed for an Antonov An-225 Mriya.

I think instead we can look to the experience of the Shuttle Endeavour and it's External Tank (ET), where both of those traveled 16 miles inland on surface streets from either the Los Angeles International Airport (Shuttle) or the Marina del Rey harbor (the ET) to the California Science Center.

SpaceX may have already surveyed possible routes to the LAX airport or the harbor in order to ensure that if they built a 9m diameter ITS at their Hawthorne facility that it wouldn't end up as a permanent exhibit there...  :o
8) This calls for Elon's boring machine to make an underground path to the port!   8)

Offline guckyfan

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Re: 9m ITS Development Updates and Discussion Thread
« Reply #21 on: 07/22/2017 10:42 PM »
The ET was a one time only and not something that would  be regular

Very true. ITS  is not a fragile Shuttle ET. It is a rugged design for many reuses. They can drive it fast and during the night with minimal interrruption of traffic.

Offline Pipcard

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Re: 9m ITS Development Updates and Discussion Thread
« Reply #22 on: 07/22/2017 10:46 PM »
It's as if "road transportability" didn't even matter as a factor.
« Last Edit: 07/22/2017 10:47 PM by Pipcard »

Offline RotoSequence

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Re: 9m ITS Development Updates and Discussion Thread
« Reply #23 on: 07/22/2017 10:55 PM »
The ET was a one time only and not something that would  be regular

Very true. ITS  is not a fragile Shuttle ET. It is a rugged design for many reuses. They can drive it fast and during the night with minimal interrruption of traffic.

Just stop.  Making inane, non sensical comments like that discredit this fine forum.
It has nothing to do with the construction of the object.  It has to do with the objections of cities to the traffic shutdown. They can't drive faster because of the size.

It might be manageable to do it a few times, but not with the frequency of Falcon 9 by any stretch of the imagination. I guess the next question is, is the number of boosters needed by SpaceX reasonably small enough to build and transport them out of Hawthorne?

Online cppetrie

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Re: 9m ITS Development Updates and Discussion Thread
« Reply #24 on: 07/22/2017 10:58 PM »
The ET was a one time only and not something that would  be regular

Very true. ITS  is not a fragile Shuttle ET. It is a rugged design for many reuses. They can drive it fast and during the night with minimal interrruption of traffic.

Just stop.  Making inane, non sensical comments like that discredit this fine forum.
It has nothing to do with the construction of the object.  It has to do with the objections of cities to the traffic shutdown. They can't drive faster because of the size.

It might be manageable to do it a few times, but not with the frequency of Falcon 9 by any stretch of the imagination. I guess the next question is, is the number of boosters needed by SpaceX reasonably small enough to build and transport them out of Hawthorne?
Initially, probably yes. Long-term, probably depends how big the fleet needs the be and how frequently new ones are added.

Online jpo234

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Re: 9m ITS Development Updates and Discussion Thread
« Reply #25 on: 07/22/2017 11:09 PM »
The ET was a one time only and not something that would  be regular
How many boosters would there be? If they are fully reusable for 1000 flights, SpaceX would only need a handful.
« Last Edit: 07/22/2017 11:10 PM by jpo234 »
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Online Robotbeat

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Re: 9m ITS Development Updates and Discussion Thread
« Reply #26 on: 07/22/2017 11:10 PM »
They'll probably make only like one per year from now until 2020. If it becomes a major constraint, they could batch them so they only move them every 3 months one time during the night with modifications to the route to reduce the disruption.

But how many ITSes do they even need? They're supposed to be fully reusable. So, like 3 per launch site?
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Online M.E.T.

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Re: 9m ITS Development Updates and Discussion Thread
« Reply #27 on: 07/22/2017 11:13 PM »
They'll probably make only like one per year from now until 2020. If it becomes a major constraint, they could batch them so they only move them every 3 months one time during the night with modifications to the route to reduce the disruption.

But how many ITSes do they even need? They're supposed to be fully reusable. So, like 3 per launch site?

I note your production estimate until 2020. It raises the obvious question: If they start today - or have already started actually, as they have on the Raptor engine etc - when would you expect the first 9m ITSy to be ready for flight? By your above comment I assume in less than three years time?

Offline 2552

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Re: 9m ITS Development Updates and Discussion Thread
« Reply #28 on: 07/22/2017 11:21 PM »
This ITS will be used for missions in the Earth-Moon system as well as Mars to better amortize the spacecraft manufacturing costs. While it may only be able to send 50 people to Mars, Moon trips are only 3 days instead of 3 to 5 months, so ITS, even at 9m instead of 12m may be able to send 100 to 150 people to the Moon in one flight if the passenger layout is configured more like a passenger aircraft.
« Last Edit: 07/22/2017 11:24 PM by 2552 »

Offline CTC

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Re: 9m ITS Development Updates and Discussion Thread
« Reply #29 on: 07/22/2017 11:22 PM »
Since we know the use of existing factory and launch pad, how will SpaceX transport it between the two? Road, train or water still seem very difficult for 9m diameter booster.
Airlift it similar to Energia/Buran booster?

Airlift is likely out because the SpaceX factory is next to a general aviation airport whose only runway is just 4,956 ft in length, which is about half the length needed for an Antonov An-225 Mriya.

I think instead we can look to the experience of the Shuttle Endeavour and it's External Tank (ET), where both of those traveled 16 miles inland on surface streets from either the Los Angeles International Airport (Shuttle) or the Marina del Rey harbor (the ET) to the California Science Center.

SpaceX may have already surveyed possible routes to the LAX airport or the harbor in order to ensure that if they built a 9m diameter ITS at their Hawthorne facility that it wouldn't end up as a permanent exhibit there...  :o
8) This calls for Elon's boring machine to make an underground path to the port!   8)
Tunnel to the port seems also too difficult. Tunnel to the airport more likely, but that brings back the original question.
A plane of  AN-225 size was needed for the Buran orbiter, not the Energia booster.
 If I remember correctly , each tank was airlifted separately and the booster final assembly was done in a facility close to the pad out of 3 pieces. With this approach, a lighter plane could be used.

Online M.E.T.

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Re: 9m ITS Development Updates and Discussion Thread
« Reply #30 on: 07/22/2017 11:26 PM »
This ITS will be used for the Moon as well as Mars to better amortize the spacecraft manufacturing costs. While it may only be able to send 50 people to Mars for, Moon trips are only 3 days instead of 3 to 5 months, so ITS, even at 9m instead of 12m may be able to send 100 to 150 people to the Moon in one flight if the passenger layout is configured more like a passenger aircraft.

My view is that this is also intended to be a "New Glenn killer" while at the same time earning funding for SpaceX's Mars ambitions. If the full ITS took 10 years to develop, it would have left Blue Origin with a superior vehicle to anything SpaceX has to offer for maybe 5 of those 10 years.

And any major setbacks in the ITS development process would have put them even further behind. Now they can move much faster, with existing factories and launch facilities, and bring a superior vehicle online not long after New Glenn has its maiden flight.

Basically cornering the market that F9 has captured, for another rocket generation. And also taking over the market for any payloads that FH was too small to service.

This is a smart move. And if it works as planned, it obsoletes New Glenn within the first year or two of its existence.
« Last Edit: 07/22/2017 11:28 PM by M.E.T. »

Online Robotbeat

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Re: 9m ITS Development Updates and Discussion Thread
« Reply #31 on: 07/22/2017 11:38 PM »
They'll probably make only like one per year from now until 2020. If it becomes a major constraint, they could batch them so they only move them every 3 months one time during the night with modifications to the route to reduce the disruption.

But how many ITSes do they even need? They're supposed to be fully reusable. So, like 3 per launch site?

I note your production estimate until 2020. It raises the obvious question: If they start today - or have already started actually, as they have on the Raptor engine etc - when would you expect the first 9m ITSy to be ready for flight? By your above comment I assume in less than three years time?
I have no idea, but I suspect the first to leave the ground and reach space will be the upper stage/BFS prototype because that's the one that has the most questionable flight regime (and so needs more testing) and also simply the fact it'll need a lot fewer Raptors and is smaller, and so should be faster to make (minus the TPS).

It takes a year to make a Falcon 9, so the earliest they could possibly make an ITS if they started now is middle of 2018. More likely much longer (2020?). But maybe they could do a simple prototype BFS useful for suborbital tests sometime next year.
« Last Edit: 07/22/2017 11:43 PM by Robotbeat »
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Offline IanThePineapple

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Re: 9m ITS Development Updates and Discussion Thread
« Reply #32 on: 07/23/2017 12:03 AM »
So it's almost certain this is going by barge through Panama to the Cape?
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Online M.E.T.

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Re: 9m ITS Development Updates and Discussion Thread
« Reply #33 on: 07/23/2017 12:08 AM »
They'll probably make only like one per year from now until 2020. If it becomes a major constraint, they could batch them so they only move them every 3 months one time during the night with modifications to the route to reduce the disruption.

But how many ITSes do they even need? They're supposed to be fully reusable. So, like 3 per launch site?

I note your production estimate until 2020. It raises the obvious question: If they start today - or have already started actually, as they have on the Raptor engine etc - when would you expect the first 9m ITSy to be ready for flight? By your above comment I assume in less than three years time?
I have no idea, but I suspect the first to leave the ground and reach space will be the upper stage/BFS prototype because that's the one that has the most questionable flight regime (and so needs more testing) and also simply the fact it'll need a lot fewer Raptors and is smaller, and so should be faster to make (minus the TPS).

It takes a year to make a Falcon 9, so the earliest they could possibly make an ITS if they started now is middle of 2018. More likely much longer (2020?). But maybe they could do a simple prototype BFS useful for suborbital tests sometime next year.

More specifically, how many years and billions of dollars does it shave off the original ITS schedule and budget, to not have to build a new factory or new launch pads for the mini-ITS?

If ITS cost $10 billion, does this halve that cost? Reduce it even more? In 2010 Elon told the US government he could design and develop a 150 ton to LEO rocket for $2.5b. Is that the range that mini-ITS's cost has now come down to?

As for schedule, I'd imagine that quite a few years are saved by utilizing existing infrastructure (largely) instead of having to build from the ground up.
« Last Edit: 07/23/2017 12:09 AM by M.E.T. »

Offline envy887

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Re: 9m ITS Development Updates and Discussion Thread
« Reply #34 on: 07/23/2017 12:45 AM »
The ET was a one time only and not something that would  be regular

The even larger S-II was trucked on LA area streets regularly.

It's 11 miles on roads with no bridges, mostly over the same route ET-94 took, from SpaceX to Marina Del Rey. Not an easy trip by any means, but something that could be done every few months without too much disruption.

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Re: 9m ITS Development Updates and Discussion Thread
« Reply #35 on: 07/23/2017 01:10 AM »
At 100t to LEO it is little big for GTO market, really depends on launch price.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: 9m ITS Development Updates and Discussion Thread
« Reply #36 on: 07/23/2017 01:22 AM »
At 100t to LEO it is little big for GTO market, really depends on launch price.
That's to LEO. Since it has all that heavy reuse equipment, the payload to GTO will be disproportionately reduced. Any excess performance would be useful for reducing delta-V-to-go and for making reentry less stressful for the upperstage/BFS.
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Re: 9m ITS Development Updates and Discussion Thread
« Reply #37 on: 07/23/2017 05:01 AM »
The ET was a one time only and not something that would  be regular

Of course it was "one time" - why would anyone expect another Shuttle to be given to Los Angeles?

That doesn't mean they wouldn't want to accommodate a special project that SpaceX is doing though.

I'm sure Musk won't commit to building the 9m ITS in Hawthorne until they get commitments from local government agencies that they can move it to wherever they need to go, and I wouldn't be surprised if they haven't already been making inquiries.
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Offline guckyfan

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Re: 9m ITS Development Updates and Discussion Thread
« Reply #38 on: 07/23/2017 05:49 AM »
It might be manageable to do it a few times, but not with the frequency of Falcon 9 by any stretch of the imagination. I guess the next question is, is the number of boosters needed by SpaceX reasonably small enough to build and transport them out of Hawthorne?

The advantage of building it in Hawthorne is mostly in the design phase. Once they have a mature design, I expect them to move airframe production elsewhere.

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: 9m ITS Development Updates and Discussion Thread
« Reply #39 on: 07/23/2017 06:24 AM »
What's the capacity and capability of an Airbus Beluga - in context of the speculative 9 meter ITS? I guess we don't know the final length of the stage yet. Perhaps Elon could lease or even buy one - using it or a similar aircraft to transport the stage to the launch site.
« Last Edit: 07/23/2017 06:26 AM by MATTBLAK »
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