Author Topic: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 11)  (Read 254286 times)

Offline Lars_J

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 11)
« Reply #40 on: 08/15/2014 10:37 PM »
Yes, that has already been concluded.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 11)
« Reply #41 on: 08/17/2014 01:47 PM »
Is there any talk or hint of a crew access and evacuation structure being built at SLC-40 or should we expect a lot of work to start happening at LC-39A over the next few months?
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Online CraigLieb

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 11)
« Reply #42 on: 08/17/2014 02:18 PM »
Regarding Boeing and the like developing reusability:

I think over the next year we will see projects start up at all the various large rocket companies that start as feasibility studies into various ways of developing their own reusable technology.

A few might decide it is not worth it yet, and a few will decide that since they were thinking of developing a new rocket anyway, they will blank-slate a new reusable rocket similar to the f9, but probably a different size.

Most companies will remain a few years behind SpaceX due to their aggressive R&D, but after 10-15 years almost no one will have willfully chosen not to integrate SpaceX's technology refinements to better their own line of products.


Especially if the stars keep aligning in SpaceX's favor.

Is it possible that SpaceX might follow the Toyota Prius model with reusability by licensing the earlier versions of their reusability technology to competitors to help grow the industry. There are hybrid Fords, Chevrolets etc using Toyota tech. Toyota can use competitor sales dollars to offset further research into the next advance. And, an industry with 5 different brands of hybrid looks more stable and legitimate to retail customers. Likewise, SpaceX could license control software packages for vertical landing stage one while they develop Raptor, Mars mission hardware, and such. Advantage remains with SpaceX since the competitors are still going to slower to adopt the tech. An industry where everybody reflies their first stage could become common and more accepted.
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Offline SoulWager

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 11)
« Reply #43 on: 08/17/2014 03:18 PM »
Regarding Boeing and the like developing reusability:

I think over the next year we will see projects start up at all the various large rocket companies that start as feasibility studies into various ways of developing their own reusable technology.

A few might decide it is not worth it yet, and a few will decide that since they were thinking of developing a new rocket anyway, they will blank-slate a new reusable rocket similar to the f9, but probably a different size.

Most companies will remain a few years behind SpaceX due to their aggressive R&D, but after 10-15 years almost no one will have willfully chosen not to integrate SpaceX's technology refinements to better their own line of products.


Especially if the stars keep aligning in SpaceX's favor.

Is it possible that SpaceX might follow the Toyota Prius model with reusability by licensing the earlier versions of their reusability technology to competitors to help grow the industry. There are hybrid Fords, Chevrolets etc using Toyota tech. Toyota can use competitor sales dollars to offset further research into the next advance. And, an industry with 5 different brands of hybrid looks more stable and legitimate to retail customers. Likewise, SpaceX could license control software packages for vertical landing stage one while they develop Raptor, Mars mission hardware, and such. Advantage remains with SpaceX since the competitors are still going to slower to adopt the tech. An industry where everybody reflies their first stage could become common and more accepted.
Probably not. The only way to license reusability that would save significant money or time would be to license production of the whole first stage. Also, their customers don't really care if the stage is reused, or how many launch providers are flying reused stages. They care about reliability (how much insurance for the launch costs), and how much the launch it's self costs.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 11)
« Reply #44 on: 08/17/2014 06:05 PM »
The only way to license reusability that would save significant money or time would be to license production of the whole first stage.

I think there are other models that would work.  Just like Boeing builds aircraft that they then sell to transportation providers for cargo and passengers, SpaceX could do the same.  In fact such an arrangement would likely see the rise of a new industry, which is launch providers that don't build their own rockets, and launch other peoples payloads.  That is essentially what Delta and FedEx do.

Quote
Also, their customers don't really care if the stage is reused, or how many launch providers are flying reused stages.

In today's business model it is not conducive to a lot of risk, but as SpaceX has shown with the early launch orders it accumulated, customers are willing to assume some risk if the payoffs down the road are substantial.

Quote
They care about reliability (how much insurance for the launch costs), and how much the launch it's self costs.

For some customers that would be true, but with others their business case may not close unless they can launch their payloads for significantly less than non-SpaceX launch providers offer.

I think we are in a period where SpaceX can gain up to 50% of the current market with their lower prices, but payload owners do not want to be locked into just one service provider (for a number of reasons), so they will continue to order launches from higher priced providers too.  But at some point new business models that use the less expensive launch prices (including reusable rockets) will allow new entrants to experiment with reusable launchers, and that will encourage others too if successful.

Unfortunately the lead time for satellite hardware is measured in years, so the market is going to be slow to adapt.  But I think it will over time, and reusable rockets will become yet another way to access space.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline JimNtexas

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 11)
« Reply #45 on: 08/17/2014 06:56 PM »
Quote
Is it possible that SpaceX might follow the Toyota Prius model with reusability by licensing the earlier versions of their reusability technology to competitors to help grow the industry. There are hybrid Fords...

Just to set the record straight, Ford developed all its own hybrid technology.   This urban myth arose because Toyota and Ford agreed to not sue each other over their respective hybrid related patents.

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 11)
« Reply #46 on: 08/17/2014 07:03 PM »
In other news, I accidentally bumped into the NASA Launch Service Program Launch Vehicle Performance Website again after last visiting some time ago - it seems that they have updated the information about the rockets lately.

Well, here's the latest results for the F9 v1.1:  ;)

200 km LEO, 28.5 deg. - 16625 kg
750 km SSO - 11820 kg
185 x 35786 x 28.5 deg. GTO - 6090 kg (!)
C3 10.78 km^2/s^2 (MSL's heliocentric transfer orbit) - 2555 kg
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Offline Llian Rhydderch

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 11)
« Reply #47 on: 08/17/2014 07:59 PM »
Is there any talk or hint of a crew access and evacuation structure being built at SLC-40 or should we expect a lot of work to start happening at LC-39A over the next few months?

From what I've read, and seen discussed here on NSF, the answer would seem to be no, at least initially.  SpaceX intends to do all of their human spaceflight Falcon 9 launches from KSC pad 39A.

Obviously, things will evolve as they refine their technology, and as the market changes in response to the lower prices SpaceX is offering to human passengers, and as reliability and robustness of their designs become better known over time.  So no telling where else it might go in the long term, or how soon SpaceX might decide it is in their interest to have a second pad ready to have even some limited/occasional capability for human passenger launches.
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Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 11)
« Reply #48 on: 08/18/2014 01:57 AM »
In other news, I accidentally bumped into the NASA Launch Service Program Launch Vehicle Performance Website again after last visiting some time ago - it seems that they have updated the information about the rockets lately.

Well, here's the latest results for the F9 v1.1:  ;)

200 km LEO, 28.5 deg. - 16625 kg
750 km SSO - 11820 kg
185 x 35786 x 28.5 deg. GTO - 6090 kg (!)
C3 10.78 km^2/s^2 (MSL's heliocentric transfer orbit) - 2555 kg

Wow.  In looking at just the U.S. elements of the ISS, that would mean the Falcon 9 v1.1 would be capable of lifting all of them to 200 km.  That's not high enough to get them to the ISS today (it's at 400 km), but if a tug motor was part of the package (like the Cygnus Service Module) that might be enough.

And yes, some existing elements may not fit in the existing Falcon 9 fairing, but it's rather remarkable to think that we could duplicate our part of the ISS by paying $61.2M per launch versus the Shuttle's average of $1.2B.  The math on that is pretty remarkable too, just 5% of the Shuttle.

So when we're ready to start building more structures in space, transportation costs are going to be a much smaller percentage that they have been.  And that's the direction we have to go if we want to expand humanity out into space.

My $0.02
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Jim

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 11)
« Reply #49 on: 08/18/2014 02:48 AM »

Wow.  In looking at just the U.S. elements of the ISS, that would mean the Falcon 9 v1.1 would be capable of lifting all of them to 200 km.  That's not high enough to get them to the ISS today (it's at 400 km), but if a tug motor was part of the package (like the Cygnus Service Module) that might be enough.

And yes, some existing elements may not fit in the existing Falcon 9 fairing, but it's rather remarkable to think that we could duplicate our part of the ISS by paying $61.2M per launch versus the Shuttle's average of $1.2B.  The math on that is pretty remarkable too, just 5% of the Shuttle.

So when we're ready to start building more structures in space, transportation costs are going to be a much smaller percentage that they have been.  And that's the direction we have to go if we want to expand humanity out into space.

My $0.02

Wrong data, wrong take away, wrong comparison

a.  Shuttle was not 1.2B per launch

b.  The payload would have to be redesigned to take the higher g loads and the loads from one end. More mass.

c.  The shuttle launch included rendezvous and docking.  A tug at one end of a long payload cannot produce pure translations.   it would have trouble getting near the ISS

d.  the Shuttle included a crew of 7 and 2-3 EVA's. 

e.  And the aforementioned tug would be of size and mass to preclude flying the payloads into orbit, much less the ISS.

f.  The capability to 51.6 deg inclination and ISS altitude is 15050kg. 

Also, the take away:  "cheaper capability to launch shuttle class payloads" existed long before Falcon 9 with Atlas V and Delta IV and even Titan IV.  So there is no new revelation.
« Last Edit: 08/18/2014 02:00 PM by Jim »

Offline Jim

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 11)
« Reply #50 on: 08/18/2014 03:05 AM »

Obviously, things will evolve as they refine their technology, and as the market changes in response to the lower prices SpaceX is offering to human passengers, and as reliability and robustness of their designs become better known over time.  So no telling where else it might go in the long term, or how soon SpaceX might decide it is in their interest to have a second pad ready to have even some limited/occasional capability for human passenger launches.

Exactly, there is no telling where it might go.  It might lead to nothing more than the status quo, which is more likely than not.
« Last Edit: 08/18/2014 03:06 AM by Jim »

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 11)
« Reply #51 on: 08/18/2014 01:28 PM »
Maybe I should be a bit clearer in my question. We know that SpaceX plans to launch humans for the first time on Falcon-9 some time next year. Will they be using Pad 39A as-is (and I consider that unlikely) and, if not, have they already started work on the necessary modifications and additions (including, I expect a SLC-4E-style HIF and T/E road on the crawler-way)?
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Offline QuantumG

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 11)
« Reply #52 on: 08/18/2014 01:40 PM »
Maybe I should be a bit clearer in my question. We know that SpaceX plans to launch humans for the first time on Falcon-9 some time next year.

Huh?
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Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 11)
« Reply #53 on: 08/18/2014 01:43 PM »
Maybe I should be a bit clearer in my question. We know that SpaceX plans to launch humans for the first time on Falcon-9 some time next year.

Huh?

They ARE still saying '2015' aren't they? If they aren't then it's passed me by.
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Offline QuantumG

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 11)
« Reply #54 on: 08/18/2014 01:45 PM »
Maybe I should be a bit clearer in my question. We know that SpaceX plans to launch humans for the first time on Falcon-9 some time next year.

Huh?

They ARE still saying '2015' aren't they? If they aren't then it's passed me by.

The last I heard they were saying "three more years" like they've always been saying. Obviously if you go mining for schedule back in 2012 you'll find some claims of 2015 flights...
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Offline guckyfan

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 11)
« Reply #55 on: 08/18/2014 01:51 PM »
The last I heard they were saying "three more years" like they've always been saying.

That would be after full certification by NASA and for the first Commercial Crew flight to the ISS. Next year for the first manned testflight should still be in the cards.


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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 11)
« Reply #56 on: 08/18/2014 01:57 PM »
Next year for the first manned testflight should still be in the cards.

I'll believe that when I see it.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 11)
« Reply #57 on: 08/18/2014 01:59 PM »
The last I heard they were saying "three more years" like they've always been saying.

That would be after full certification by NASA and for the first Commercial Crew flight to the ISS. Next year for the first manned testflight should still be in the cards.

Source? During the V2 reveal Elon said the first manned test flight will be with NASA astronauts.
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Online Galactic Penguin SST

Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 11)
« Reply #58 on: 08/18/2014 02:05 PM »
I remember that someone asked about that at the Dragon v2 reveal, and it was mentioned that SpaceX is targeting 2015 for the unmanned test flight and 2016 for the 1st manned flight.
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Re: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 11)
« Reply #59 on: 08/18/2014 02:36 PM »
Is there any talk or hint of a crew access and evacuation structure being built at SLC-40 or should we expect a lot of work to start happening at LC-39A over the next few months?

From what I've read, and seen discussed here on NSF, the answer would seem to be no, at least initially.  SpaceX intends to do all of their human spaceflight Falcon 9 launches from KSC pad 39A.

Obviously, things will evolve as they refine their technology, and as the market changes in response to the lower prices SpaceX is offering to human passengers, and as reliability and robustness of their designs become better known over time.  So no telling where else it might go in the long term, or how soon SpaceX might decide it is in their interest to have a second pad ready to have even some limited/occasional capability for human passenger launches.

I suspect the breakdown of pad use will go along these lines:

Boca Chica - Primary choice for Commsats (permit states 12 per year)
Vandenberg - Polar orbits for NASA, USAF, Constellation satellites and test flights
SLC40 - NASA, USAF missions, secondary Commsats location (anything more than 12) and test flights
LC39A - FH, Crewed F9

Edit: Quote mistake
« Last Edit: 08/18/2014 02:36 PM by wannamoonbase »
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