Author Topic: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles  (Read 162392 times)

Offline envy887

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #520 on: 03/13/2017 12:15 PM »
Well we know the engines came off for one.

Based on what?

Offline AncientU

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #521 on: 03/13/2017 12:22 PM »
I think SpaceX should be open about how much of the stage was replaced or rebuilt before announcing any world records. I am going to call this the Stage of Theseus until we know what happened during those 4 months.
Simple question, not to say that I am not also curious - why?

And in terms of relative comparison, has Blue Origin?  If they did I honestly missed it...

Thank you -
I believe Bezos tweeted about his first reuse and there was a small skirmish with Musk over the scale of the achievement. This has all been discussed ad nauseum. Jim has extensively pointed out that the Shuttle was in some sense the first reused orbital stage.

What I'm saying is that there's a lot of hype over this flight, while we are not really sure to what extent it will be any more remarkable than, say, a space shuttle flight. Knowing Musk he will tweet out something about it being the first orbital booster reuse. But if it was subject to an extensive rebuild, then it is not unlike the Ship of Theseus, that is, not the same ship it once was.

For a launch of a young booster to be comparable to a shuttle flight is no small praise.
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Offline douglas100

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #522 on: 03/13/2017 12:28 PM »

...That said, the first reusable booster in US spaceflight history...

You mean the Shuttle SRB's weren't boosters and were never reused? And what about New Shepard's booster?

Quote
It will be some time before the reconditioning process is streamlined enough to demonstrate whether the promised cost savings will actually happen.

Yep, this is the important point, not who had the first reusable booster. But we simply don't know how much SpaceX has learned about the economics of reuse so far.
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Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #523 on: 03/13/2017 12:32 PM »

...That said, the first reusable booster in US spaceflight history...

You mean the Shuttle SRB's weren't boosters and were never reused? And what about New Shepard's booster?

I don't believe that New Shepherd's booster has flown yet, only the hydrolox upper stage. As for the SRBs, weren't they melted down and recast? At the very least, the only  thing recovered were the propellent casings and parachute securing points.
« Last Edit: 03/13/2017 12:32 PM by Ben the Space Brit »
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Online abaddon

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #524 on: 03/13/2017 12:40 PM »

...That said, the first reusable booster in US spaceflight history...

You mean the Shuttle SRB's weren't boosters and were never reused?
Uhoh, now you've done it...last time I suggested that [edit: to clarify, I stated that the Shuttle SRBs were reusable boosters] it resulted in a very long and unproductive discussion.
Quote
And what about New Shepard's booster?
I think it's helpful to mentally add "orbital class" in the discussion here.
« Last Edit: 03/13/2017 12:46 PM by abaddon »

Offline Herb Schaltegger

Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #525 on: 03/13/2017 12:42 PM »

...That said, the first reusable booster in US spaceflight history...

You mean the Shuttle SRB's weren't boosters and were never reused? And what about New Shepard's booster?

I don't believe that New Shepherd's booster has flown yet, only the hydrolox upper stage.

Um, what? New Shepherd is their hydrolox suborbital VTVL vehicle. It's already reflown and performed an in-flight abort test of their capsule.
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Offline rpapo

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #526 on: 03/13/2017 12:43 PM »
I don't believe that New Shepherd's booster has flown yet, only the hydrolox upper stage.
AFAIK, New Shepherd never will have a 'booster', as you seem to be thinking of it.  It is a single stage suborbital hydrolox rocket, a rather strange, over-engineered combination enabled by the particular talent set the DC-X team brought with them.

Most of us would think of a hydrolox rocket as being useful as a second or third stage.  And it may have been serving as a step in evolving such a thing, except that Blue Origin pivoted and chose to pursue methalox instead.
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Offline douglas100

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #527 on: 03/13/2017 12:48 PM »
...I don't believe that New Shepherd's booster has flown yet, only the hydrolox upper stage...

Yes it has, multiple times. You seem to be confusing New Shepard with New Glenn.

Quote
...As for the SRBs, weren't they melted down and recast? At the very least, the only  thing recovered were the propellent casings and parachute securing points.

No, the cases were refurbished and refilled with solid propellant. They were most certainly reused. But it doesn't matter who was "first." The point is, will reusing F9 and FH cores save money, and enough to make it worthwhile? Personally I believe it will, based on no insight whatsoever. But I'll bet SpaceX will keep the numbers to themselves.
EDIT: fixed quotes
« Last Edit: 03/13/2017 12:51 PM by douglas100 »
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Offline envy887

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #528 on: 03/13/2017 12:52 PM »
I think SpaceX should be open about how much of the stage was replaced or rebuilt before announcing any world records. I am going to call this the Stage of Theseus until we know what happened during those 4 months.
Simple question, not to say that I am not also curious - why?

And in terms of relative comparison, has Blue Origin?  If they did I honestly missed it...

Thank you -
I believe Bezos tweeted about his first reuse and there was a small skirmish with Musk over the scale of the achievement. This has all been discussed ad nauseum. Jim has extensively pointed out that the Shuttle was in some sense the first reused orbital stage.

What I'm saying is that there's a lot of hype over this flight, while we are not really sure to what extent it will be any more remarkable than, say, a space shuttle flight. Knowing Musk he will tweet out something about it being the first orbital booster reuse. But if it was subject to an extensive rebuild, then it is not unlike the Ship of Theseus, that is, not the same ship it once was.

In many ways it is far less remarkable than a Space Shuttle flight. The Falcon 9 itself is tiny compared to a STS stack. There are no people on board, no Orbiter coming back, no on-orbit operations. Just a commsat going to GTO.

The only interesting thing about this flight is the first time a particular first stage will launch a second time on an orbital flight.

That's true regardless of how much refurbishment it had (unless they took apart the airframe and replaced lot of it, which they didn't).

Offline rockets4life97

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #529 on: 03/13/2017 12:56 PM »
Considering that it takes a year or so to make a Stage 1 booster, 4 months of refurbishment seems like it should cost less than making a new one. If that is the case, SpaceX is already making more profit on this launch.

Offline envy887

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #530 on: 03/13/2017 01:05 PM »

...That said, the first reusable booster in US spaceflight history...

You mean the Shuttle SRB's weren't boosters and were never reused?

Yes they were, and no they were not. Falcon 9 will fly the same main stage repeatedly. Shuttle did not.The SRB parts were used to make new SRBs, which is very different in practice than what Falcon 9 is designed to do.

This will be the first RE-FLIGHT of an orbital main stage.

Offline Jim

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #531 on: 03/13/2017 01:07 PM »

This will be the first RE-FLIGHT of an orbital main stage.

No, Columbia qualifies as the first

Offline envy887

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #532 on: 03/13/2017 01:32 PM »

This will be the first RE-FLIGHT of an orbital main stage.

No, Columbia qualifies as the first

I have a hard time calling something that doesn't carry it's own fuel and can't get off the ground by itself a main stage. What Columbia did (orbit and back while and carrying people!) was far more impressive but obviously quite different than the Falcon 9 booster.

Offline woods170

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #533 on: 03/13/2017 01:39 PM »

This will be the first RE-FLIGHT of an orbital main stage.

No, Columbia qualifies as the first

I have a hard time calling something that doesn't carry it's own fuel and can't get off the ground by itself a main stage. What Columbia did (orbit and back while and carrying people!) was far more impressive but obviously quite different than the Falcon 9 booster.
No, Jim is correct. The orbiter, along with the ET was the main stage of STS. The only difference from a "regular" rocket is that upon MECO the tankage was separated from the propulsion unit.

Offline rsdavis9

Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #534 on: 03/13/2017 01:39 PM »
How about a completely intact and independent stage. In other words what goes up is what comes down. Of course minus fuel.
With ELV best efficiency was the paradigm. The new paradigm is reusable, good enough, and commonality of design.
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Offline envy887

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #535 on: 03/13/2017 01:44 PM »

This will be the first RE-FLIGHT of an orbital main stage.

No, Columbia qualifies as the first

I have a hard time calling something that doesn't carry it's own fuel and can't get off the ground by itself a main stage. What Columbia did (orbit and back while and carrying people!) was far more impressive but obviously quite different than the Falcon 9 booster.
No, Jim is correct. The orbiter, along with the ET was the main stage of STS. The only difference from a "regular" rocket is that upon MECO the tankage was separated from the propulsion unit.

That definition is fine, but Columbia never re-flew an ET. So SES-10 is still the first re-flight of an orbital main stage, just not the first re-flight of the propulsion section of a orbital main stage.

Online eriblo

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #536 on: 03/13/2017 03:43 PM »
Regarding 4 months of refurbish: another data point is ORBCOMM-2, which IIRC landed on 2015-12-22, was back in the hangar on 2016-12-31 and out again on the pad 2016-01-14 for a static fire a day or two later. So 1+2 weeks of work maximum. Sure, they had likely only done the bare minimum and the firing was not 100% successful, but I doubt they would have risked the pad instead of taking another few weeks if needed (even before AMOS-6).

My guess is that they are simply going full out on this one - aiming for everything to look as good or better than when the stage came in for its first flight. The longer time might also be a sign of them keeping as much of the original parts as possible, they could have switched out all the engines for new ones in a week if they wanted to.
« Last Edit: 03/13/2017 03:44 PM by eriblo »

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #537 on: 03/13/2017 04:06 PM »
I don't think that the engines are a problem for a static fire, presuming that there is no damage to the plumbing or tank integrity. The issue is more overall soundness of the vehicle: Will the stage survive prolonged vibrations (IIRC, the main engine burn is ~150 seconds) plus the aerodynamic stresses transit through various atmospheric layers (in both directions) up to hypersonic speeds, both powered and unpowered? I can't blame SpaceX for checking every rivet and every joint twice at a microscopic level (and possibly with an x-ray) before risking a paying customer's payload!
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Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #538 on: 03/13/2017 04:19 PM »

This will be the first RE-FLIGHT of an orbital main stage.

No, Columbia qualifies as the first

I have a hard time calling something that doesn't carry it's own fuel and can't get off the ground by itself a main stage. What Columbia did (orbit and back while and carrying people!) was far more impressive but obviously quite different than the Falcon 9 booster.
No, Jim is correct. The orbiter, along with the ET was the main stage of STS. The only difference from a "regular" rocket is that upon MECO the tankage was separated from the propulsion unit.

That definition is fine, but Columbia never re-flew an ET. So SES-10 is still the first re-flight of an orbital main stage, just not the first re-flight of the propulsion section of a orbital main stage.

STS's first stage is the SRBs.  They were reflown.
STS's second stage is the ET + SSME's.  The SSME's were reflown.
STS's third stage is the OMS system.  It was reflown.

I would argue that the conversion from STS to Falcon looks like this:

SRBs = Falcon 9 first stage
ET = Falcon 9 second stage tank
SSME's = MVAC
OMS system (and orbiter) = Dragon.

So, STS did one thing Falcon 9 will never do (re-fly second stage propulsion system), and STS did everything Falcon 9 will soon do (hopefully), with the exception of the first-stage landing destination (sea versus barge or land).  Someday, hopefully, Dragon will make its first land landing.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #539 on: 03/13/2017 04:33 PM »
@Lee Jay,

I disagree but this isn't the place.
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