Author Topic: Is reusability worth it for commercial crew?  (Read 32086 times)

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Is reusability worth it for commercial crew?
« Reply #80 on: 09/10/2014 02:34 AM »
They "can", yes. I'm saying they won't, because SpaceX doesn't care for space tourism.
SpaceX doesn't care. But SpaceX will take the money. I'm sure Space Adventures has talked to SpaceX.

I know they have..
When someone is wishing for a pony, there's little to be gained by suggesting a unicorn would be ever better.. ya know, unless it's sarcasm.

Offline woods170

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Re: Is reusability worth it for commercial crew?
« Reply #81 on: 09/10/2014 08:02 AM »
They "can", yes. I'm saying they won't, because SpaceX doesn't care for space tourism.
SpaceX doesn't care. But SpaceX will take the money. I'm sure Space Adventures has talked to SpaceX.

I know they have..

Yes, and (as expected) they got stone-walled.

Offline Oli

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Re: Is reusability worth it for commercial crew?
« Reply #82 on: 09/10/2014 01:26 PM »
Oh dear, another conspiracy theory  ::). MirCorp ran out of money, simple as that.

It's a fact that NASA intervened in the MirCorp deal with Russia and said Mir had to go before they would talk on ISS.

Source please.

Offline topsphere

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Re: Is reusability worth it for commercial crew?
« Reply #83 on: 09/10/2014 01:49 PM »
They "can", yes. I'm saying they won't, because SpaceX doesn't care for space tourism.
SpaceX doesn't care. But SpaceX will take the money. I'm sure Space Adventures has talked to SpaceX.

I know they have..

Yes, and (as expected) they got stone-walled.

Source please.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Is reusability worth it for commercial crew?
« Reply #84 on: 09/10/2014 08:52 PM »
Oh dear, another conspiracy theory  ::). MirCorp ran out of money, simple as that.

It's a fact that NASA intervened in the MirCorp deal with Russia and said Mir had to go before they would talk on ISS.

Source please.

Ed Hudgins wrote about it 2001. I'm sure you can find the reference. If not, there's dozens of others, numerous in print. Here's Seth Borenstein writing about it in 1998! Any other historic facts you'd like to argue over? Perhaps you'd like to dispute that Nixon proposed cancelling Apollos 16 and 17?

When someone is wishing for a pony, there's little to be gained by suggesting a unicorn would be ever better.. ya know, unless it's sarcasm.

Offline Oli

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Re: Is reusability worth it for commercial crew?
« Reply #85 on: 09/11/2014 02:55 AM »
Oh dear, another conspiracy theory  ::). MirCorp ran out of money, simple as that.

It's a fact that NASA intervened in the MirCorp deal with Russia and said Mir had to go before they would talk on ISS.

Source please.

Ed Hudgins wrote about it 2001. I'm sure you can find the reference. If not, there's dozens of others, numerous in print. Here's Seth Borenstein writing about it in 1998! Any other historic facts you'd like to argue over? Perhaps you'd like to dispute that Nixon proposed cancelling Apollos 16 and 17?

As I expected. NASA wanted Russia to fulfill its obligations with regard to the ISS. Russia could not afford to operate MIR and ISS and MirCorp ultimately could not afford to take over operation from Russia. There's no need to spin that into a NASA-hating conspiracy theory.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Is reusability worth it for commercial crew?
« Reply #86 on: 09/12/2014 12:44 PM »
As I expected. NASA wanted Russia to fulfill its obligations with regard to the ISS. Russia could not afford to operate MIR and ISS and MirCorp ultimately could not afford to take over operation from Russia. There's no need to spin that into a NASA-hating conspiracy theory.

No-one did, except you.

When someone is wishing for a pony, there's little to be gained by suggesting a unicorn would be ever better.. ya know, unless it's sarcasm.

Offline Oli

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Re: Is reusability worth it for commercial crew?
« Reply #87 on: 09/12/2014 01:17 PM »
As I expected. NASA wanted Russia to fulfill its obligations with regard to the ISS. Russia could not afford to operate MIR and ISS and MirCorp ultimately could not afford to take over operation from Russia. There's no need to spin that into a NASA-hating conspiracy theory.

No-one did, except you.

I had the impression you wanted to say that NASA deliberately torpedoed private plans to operate/service a space station with Russian hardware. If not I apologize.

 

Offline Alexsander

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Re: Is reusability worth it for commercial crew?
« Reply #88 on: 03/09/2015 07:02 PM »
I keep seeing this argument for reusable vehicles: "you'll save money by not throwing the vehicle away and having to make a new one"

But I also keep seeing this argument against them: "flight rates aren't high enough to justify the development and maintenance costs of reusable spacecraft"

Depends on the cost to build a new vehicle, and the cost to refurbish a vehicle that has just returned from a flight.

For Dream Chaser it's pretty straightforward, since they said they have built it for reusability with regard to consumables.  And if the heat shield works as planned and they don't have to do any maintenance between flights, then reusability makes sense.

For the two capsules, if they land in water it's a tougher calculation, but both Dragon and CST-100 are supposed to be able to land on terra firma.  Both Boeing and SpaceX have said they plan to reuse their vehicles up to 10 times, so for now we'll have to take them at their word that they understand the issues involved.

Quote
So my questions are:
- How frequently are these commercial vehicles (e.g. Dream Chaser, reusable Dragon/DragonRider) going to fly?
- What would they do to justify that frequency?

Because right now, Soyuz is flying about four times per year to the ISS, carrying 3 astronauts per flight (a total of 12/year). Is that enough? Space tourism (to a Bigelow hotel) might be an idea, but is there a sufficient market of millionaires/billionaires for orbital space tourism? (the number of space tourists/private space travelers that have gone into orbit is a single digit)

Depending on the launch vehicle situation for both CST-100 and Dream Chaser (i.e. Atlas V availability), it may be that demand initially will be low.  But considering that they use an existing launch vehicle, their overhead to maintain the services won't be extremely high depending on how they staff.

For SpaceX, being the low cost leader has advantages, and I think they will see demand beyond just the normal ISS support.  But they too can likely weather low demand at first, especially since they can spread their labor base over both the Dragon Crew and the Dragon Cargo versions.

Currently SpaceX charges US$ 60 M per flight and they say the 1st Stage is 70% of that; the remaining 30% would be US$ 18 M. SpaceX has said in the past they could charge close to US$ 7 M with reusability, so we have a US$ 7-18 M price range. The Dragon can carry up to 7 passengers, or US$ 1-2.5 M per seat. Probably less if the flights are weekly. Elon has mentioned the 500,000 ticket (for Mars, I know).

The most expensive hotel suite on Earth is priced US$ 80,000 per night. A space hotel could charge, say, US$ 100,000+ per night. Options: one week = US$ 1 M or two weeks = US$ 1.5 M. Of course, the hotel would have a spare Dragon all the time as a lifeboat.

Now imagine a flight per week, 1 hotel crew (for rotation) + 6 guests.



Offline Mariusuiram

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Re: Is reusability worth it for commercial crew?
« Reply #89 on: 03/10/2015 05:56 AM »
If you want to dream about space tourism its better to avoid the wild far future stuff (full re-usability, etc) and stick with more near term dreaming.

If F9 + Dragon 2 costs about US$150 million. Say 6 people + "Crew" so US$25 million per person.

People would need training and logistics along with profit for the broker (SpaceX wont be organized this stuff). Say $500k per person for training. Say another $1.5 million for profit / operations for Space Adventures or whoever.

Now in this price range people would probably want to do more than go up in a cramped Dragon and orbit a few times. They need a station (and the ISS isnt offering), so probably need to assume a Bigelow module.

Whats that cost to put up? And what would be the charge for say a 2 week stay? Its more like an operating asset, so hopefully cheaper than the launch costs, but still maybe around US$10-12 million per person.

So for 35-40 million you could spend 2 weeks in space. The market size is probably still in the 1,000s, but I bet there would be a business there.

Offline Alexsander

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Re: Is reusability worth it for commercial crew?
« Reply #90 on: 03/10/2015 02:17 PM »
If you want to dream about space tourism its better to avoid the wild far future stuff (full re-usability, etc) and stick with more near term dreaming.

I don't think 1st Stage reusability is "wild far future". SpaceX is testing it right now and soon they will land the 1st Stage on pad. Today the Dragon Capsule is recovered on water but after the Pad Abort Test they could being the tests of a powered landing on pad. Not full reusability but a huge cost saving.

Bigelow is flying the BEAM habitat this year. SpaceX will human-rate the Dragon this year, too.

Offline didacticus

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Re: Is reusability worth it for commercial crew?
« Reply #91 on: 03/10/2015 08:21 PM »
People would need training and logistics along with profit for the broker (SpaceX wont be organized this stuff). Say $500k per person for training.

Why would training cost this much? How much training is really needed? You're not talking about people going to the ISS, and it's not like they're going to need to go to Russia to to study with cosmonauts for it. For a tourist going to a Bigelow module for a week, or just spending a couple days in orbit, shouldn't need more than a couple of week, if that - emergency procedures, what to expect, how to use the facilities.

I think the perception of the amount of "training" needed, and what screening should be done, will change drastically as the number of people spending time in space and the frequency of their trips increases. Recall that the first astronauts and cosmonauts were subject to what are now considered extreme and unnecessary requirements and levels/types of training, because it was a completely unknown field.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Is reusability worth it for commercial crew?
« Reply #92 on: 03/11/2015 12:50 AM »
People would need training and logistics along with profit for the broker (SpaceX wont be organized this stuff). Say $500k per person for training.

Why would training cost this much? How much training is really needed? You're not talking about people going to the ISS, and it's not like they're going to need to go to Russia to to study with cosmonauts for it. For a tourist going to a Bigelow module for a week, or just spending a couple days in orbit, shouldn't need more than a couple of week, if that - emergency procedures, what to expect, how to use the facilities.

I think the perception of the amount of "training" needed, and what screening should be done, will change drastically as the number of people spending time in space and the frequency of their trips increases. Recall that the first astronauts and cosmonauts were subject to what are now considered extreme and unnecessary requirements and levels/types of training, because it was a completely unknown field.

You get trained to go on civilian airliners - the flight attendant shows you how to put on a life jacket and where the doors are. The training of passengers on space craft will get considerably simpler.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Is reusability worth it for commercial crew?
« Reply #93 on: 03/11/2015 01:25 AM »
If you want to dream about space tourism its better to avoid the wild far future stuff (full re-usability, etc) and stick with more near term dreaming.

If F9 + Dragon 2 costs about US$150 million. Say 6 people + "Crew" so US$25 million per person.

People would need training and logistics along with profit for the broker (SpaceX wont be organized this stuff). Say $500k per person for training. Say another $1.5 million for profit / operations for Space Adventures or whoever.

Now in this price range people would probably want to do more than go up in a cramped Dragon and orbit a few times. They need a station (and the ISS isnt offering), so probably need to assume a Bigelow module.

Whats that cost to put up? And what would be the charge for say a 2 week stay? Its more like an operating asset, so hopefully cheaper than the launch costs, but still maybe around US$10-12 million per person.

So for 35-40 million you could spend 2 weeks in space. The market size is probably still in the 1,000s, but I bet there would be a business there.

According to a press release "Sarah Brightman will pay $52 million" for her trip to the ISS. So $35-$40 million for trips to the ISS is a valid estimate but still very high. There will be a few people at that price but it needs to come down a lot more. I hope the costs follow the learning curve the way aircraft ticket prices did.

Offline Alexsander

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Re: Is reusability worth it for commercial crew?
« Reply #94 on: 03/11/2015 01:02 PM »
Quote
It will be two or three years before Boeing or SpaceX launches NASA astronauts from Florida to the International Space Station, but they’re already looking to what comes after the station.
(...)
“Post-space station, we do need additional destinations to go to,” added Barry Matsumori, SpaceX’s senior vice president for sales and business development. “There’s a lot of development work to do, but it’s certainly a demand that exists.”
(...)
NASA hopes to begin flights to the ISS by late 2017. SpaceX has targeted a test flight with a crew early in 2017, and Boeing by middle of that year.
(...)
Bigelow Aerospace figures to play a major role in both companies’ opportunities for commercial crew flights to destinations other than the ISS, and for customers other than NASA.

[1] http://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/local/2015/03/10/boeing-spacex-look-beyond-nasa-space-customers/24724977/


Offline erioladastra

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Re: Is reusability worth it for commercial crew?
« Reply #95 on: 03/12/2015 12:11 AM »


Bigelow is flying the BEAM habitat this year.

> Hopefully.

SpaceX will human-rate the Dragon this year, too.

> Doubtful.

Offline yg1968

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Re: Is reusability worth it for commercial crew?
« Reply #96 on: 03/16/2015 10:15 PM »


Bigelow is flying the BEAM habitat this year.

> Hopefully.

SpaceX will human-rate the Dragon this year, too.

> Doubtful.

I am not sure what you mean by human rating Dragon but SpaceX's first crewed flight is scheduled for early 2017 (not this year).

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