Author Topic: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation  (Read 19993 times)

Offline GWH

I think the sheer size of the New Glenn has taken pretty much everyone by surprise, with the expectation being for a single BE-4 SI and BE-3 SII.  So far there has been a lot of discussion so far on how this might serve the commercial launch market.  But what about Blue Origin's? What could they possibly need such a heavy lift for as a first step given their desire for space tourism in the near term?

They still list on the website that the New Glenn is intended to bring a capsule to orbit; previous indications were that it would be an average sized biconic capsule:   
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/c/cb/Blue_Origin_orbital_spacecraft.jpg/220px-Blue_Origin_orbital_spacecraft.jpg
But seems a lot has changed so why not speculate:

Possible Blue Origin payloads:
1. 3-stage rocket putting a 4-7 person capsule to lunar orbit or fly by for the space tourism market. It's been rumored that the capsule is not to be used for a BEO vehicle, and they have a 2 or 3 stage vehicle planned that , by thrust comes out to be about half the size of Saturn V.  A payload to TLI of about 20mT is probably pretty close to  its capability.  This one pretty well seems like a given but is a massive leap away from something as far out as LEO tourism.

2. 2-stage rocket launching a very large biconic capsule to LEO.  Fully loaded and massing as much as an empty shuttle orbiter (~70mt).  Rather than hope that the tourism market would be fulfilled by 5-7 tourists in a capsule paying $5-8M each they go big with the goal of 20-30 more paying $1-3M.  For this I would base speculation on the sheer size of the second stage engine. 550,000 lb thrust at sea level (~600,000 lb + in vacuum?).  Compared to the F9/FH Merlin Vac at 110,000 lb, or the J2-X at 294,000 lb, or (4) RL-10C engines at 100,000 lb, the second stage is a beast with limited use for smaller payloads.   

3. Initial flights are with a smaller 4-7 person capsule with a long duration habitat launched to LEO, perhaps these habitats are left in orbit to build up a hotel one piece at a time.  Later flights are to bring supplies.

4. There are no secretive plans to utilize this capacity, initial test flights of the BEO capsule are flown with a boiler plate or the BE-4 upper stage is capable of some very high throttling to keep g-forces down on any potential passengers.   They're building a lunar/deep space rocket and possibly hoping to replace the SLS.  Any potential customers for the 2-stage variant are just icing on the cake.

Anyone else care to speculate?

 
« Last Edit: 09/13/2016 01:08 AM by GWH »

Offline meberbs

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #1 on: 09/13/2016 04:11 AM »
I think they likely will do something like option 2 or 3 that you listed for a crew vehicle.

I am wondering if they might be able to launch a Bigelow BA 2100. They show what appear to be 5 m and 7 m fairings on the two stage and 3 stage rockets. They would need to develop at least an 8m as well to launch the BA 2100. Wiki lists the crew capacity of the BA 2100 as 16, and I am guessing the New Glenn's capsule could launch that many people at one go. They may even make a station of a couple BA 2100 hooked together in this case.

Note: This is my pure speculation, while I had foreknowledge of the size of this rocket, I do not know anything else about their forward plan at this point, and I am not likely to get such advanced knowledge again in the near future.

Offline Ludus

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #2 on: 09/13/2016 04:57 AM »
If SpaceX internet constellation is doing well in the 2020's there will a lot of demand for comparable Comsat launch that can compete with SpaceX internal costs. Amazon AWS is of course the leading player in Cloud computing infrastructure so might also choose to do this as an in house project directly going up against SpaceX.

Just as with the SpaceX constellation this could involve dozens of launches a year indefinitely to put up and constantly replace/upgrade thousands of Internet satellites.

Amazon is a giant global consumer brand so Space activities that generate halo publicity have much more potential benefit than for SpaceX per se (unless and until SpaceX launches ISP/Communication services as a consumer product).
« Last Edit: 09/13/2016 05:27 AM by Ludus »

Offline Ludus

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #3 on: 09/13/2016 05:14 AM »
I think they likely will do something like option 2 or 3 that you listed for a crew vehicle.

I am wondering if they might be able to launch a Bigelow BA 2100. They show what appear to be 5 m and 7 m fairings on the two stage and 3 stage rockets. They would need to develop at least an 8m as well to launch the BA 2100. Wiki lists the crew capacity of the BA 2100 as 16, and I am guessing the New Glenn's capsule could launch that many people at one go. They may even make a station of a couple BA 2100 hooked together in this case.

Note: This is my pure speculation, while I had foreknowledge of the size of this rocket, I do not know anything else about their forward plan at this point, and I am not likely to get such advanced knowledge again in the near future.

The BA 2100 was just an arbitrary demo design. There could certainly be a version optimized for whatever New Glenn can effectively lift (eg a BA 1600) especially since space stations and manufacturing facilities fit the Blue Origin vision better than Spacex's.
« Last Edit: 09/13/2016 05:29 AM by Ludus »

Online sanman

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #4 on: 09/13/2016 07:21 AM »
So Robert Zubrin quickly tweeted this after Blue's announcement:

Quote
Here is my estimate of New Glenn performance. 70 tons to LEO, 20 tons to TMI. #Space #Science #Mars #MarsSociety





So he's saying the regular 2-stage New Glenn will send 70 tons to LEO, and the 3-stage version will send just over 20 tons to Trans-Mars Injection.

That compares against Falcon Heavy's 54 tons to LEO, and 13.6 tons to Trans-Mars Injection.

Still doesn't tell us who's cheaper.

« Last Edit: 09/13/2016 07:22 AM by sanman »

Offline TrevorMonty

Sticking with Blue incremental approach, a 7 crew LEO capsule is likely first followed by a larger capsule that uses fully RLV payload capability.

 Question is how well do biconic capsules scale, I thought normal capsules don't scale up well.  Wings definitely do ie shuttle but that is not Blues area of expertise.

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Offline AncientU

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #6 on: 09/13/2016 11:54 AM »
Perfect launcher for Dream Chaser... instant orbital tourism.  Buy a dozen or so copies and you're in business.

I don't expect to see a fleet of capsules parachuting into the desert -- landing will be pinpoint and turn-around rapid which can only be provided by Dream Chaser or a Dragon-like reentry scheme.  Amazon doesn't print its own books or fabricate it's products, so Bezos might not build all of his own hardware.
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Online Nibb31

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #7 on: 09/13/2016 12:25 PM »
Perfect launcher for Dream Chaser... instant orbital tourism.  Buy a dozen or so copies and you're in business.

I don't expect to see a fleet of capsules parachuting into the desert -- landing will be pinpoint and turn-around rapid which can only be provided by Dream Chaser or a Dragon-like reentry scheme.  Amazon doesn't print its own books or fabricate it's products, so Bezos might not build all of his own hardware.

If it's scaled for 12 flights per year, you don't necessarily need fast turnaround.

Offline AncientU

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #8 on: 09/13/2016 01:01 PM »
Perfect launcher for Dream Chaser... instant orbital tourism.  Buy a dozen or so copies and you're in business.

I don't expect to see a fleet of capsules parachuting into the desert -- landing will be pinpoint and turn-around rapid which can only be provided by Dream Chaser or a Dragon-like reentry scheme.  Amazon doesn't print its own books or fabricate it's products, so Bezos might not build all of his own hardware.

If it's scaled for 12 flights per year, you don't necessarily need fast turnaround.

The initial ask at the Cape is for one flight per month.  Nothing limits the number of launch sites or the pace of flights to that 'down payment.' 

Bezos isn't imagining millions of people in space at 12 launches per year.  (IMO, he's thinking of daily or more frequent flights at some point down the road, just as SpaceX is envisioning.)

Note: If that is hard to imagine, remember that today sixth graders have smart phones and several million people per day fly across the continent; a hundred years ago, only a few people had experienced powered flight, and the rotary dial telephone wasn't yet invented/sold.  Steam powered auto-mobiles were being overtaken by those powered by internal combustion engines as the Model-T ramped up in production.
« Last Edit: 09/13/2016 01:24 PM by AncientU »
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Offline mfck

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #9 on: 09/13/2016 02:19 PM »
Perfect launcher for Dream Chaser... instant orbital tourism.  Buy a dozen or so copies and you're in business.

I don't expect to see a fleet of capsules parachuting into the desert -- landing will be pinpoint and turn-around rapid which can only be provided by Dream Chaser or a Dragon-like reentry scheme.  Amazon doesn't print its own books or fabricate it's products, so Bezos might not build all of his own hardware.
Isn't it oversized for DC, thus being pricier than a appropriately sized LV, e.g. non-perfect?

Also, I doubt BO would outsource the most critical HSF component, which the crew carrying spacecraft is, to another vendor. The management, testing and integration overhead would seem prohibitive, or at least non-optimal for BO.

Offline Ludus

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #10 on: 09/13/2016 03:58 PM »
Perfect launcher for Dream Chaser... instant orbital tourism.  Buy a dozen or so copies and you're in business.

I don't expect to see a fleet of capsules parachuting into the desert -- landing will be pinpoint and turn-around rapid which can only be provided by Dream Chaser or a Dragon-like reentry scheme.  Amazon doesn't print its own books or fabricate it's products, so Bezos might not build all of his own hardware.

If it's scaled for 12 flights per year, you don't necessarily need fast turnaround.

The initial ask at the Cape is for one flight per month.  Nothing limits the number of launch sites or the pace of flights to that 'down payment.' 

Bezos isn't imagining millions of people in space at 12 launches per year.  (IMO, he's thinking of daily or more frequent flights at some point down the road, just as SpaceX is envisioning.)

Note: If that is hard to imagine, remember that today sixth graders have smart phones and several million people per day fly across the continent; a hundred years ago, only a few people had experienced powered flight, and the rotary dial telephone wasn't yet invented/sold.  Steam powered auto-mobiles were being overtaken by those powered by internal combustion engines as the Model-T ramped up in production.

12 Flights a year is also what the SpaceX filed for at Boca Chica and nobody thinks that's their long term planned limit either.

Online Lars-J

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #11 on: 09/13/2016 04:03 PM »
So Robert Zubrin quickly tweeted this after Blue's announcement:

Quote
Here is my estimate of New Glenn performance. 70 tons to LEO, 20 tons to TMI. #Space #Science #Mars #MarsSociety





So he's saying the regular 2-stage New Glenn will send 70 tons to LEO, and the 3-stage version will send just over 20 tons to Trans-Mars Injection.

That compares against Falcon Heavy's 54 tons to LEO, and 13.6 tons to Trans-Mars Injection.

Still doesn't tell us who's cheaper.

And I'm not sure he takes into account the margins needed for reusability. (at least there is no mention of it) I suspect his numbers are on the optimistic side, but I haven't run any numbers myself.

Offline GWH


Isn't it oversized for DC, thus being pricier than a appropriately sized LV, e.g. non-perfect?

Exactly - New Glenn is far larger than what is required for Dream Chaser or commercial crew vehicles or any vehicles of equivalent size.  70mT to LEO, even if one assumed a 30% penalty to booster reuse that is still 49mT to LEO -  triple what is required for an equivalent sized vehicle.
Unless BO's end goal is for a fully reusable upper stage with the expendable being an interim step and anticipating a whopping 70% payload hit on that 49mT number for a 16mT LEO launcher.... they must be planning for something larger than a 7 person CC sized vehicle or not even bothering with LEO base space tourism.  Otherwise why not at least propose a BE-3 based upper on the 2 stage rocket - it would be more than sufficient.

Regarding costing, I believe ULA had quoted that a pair of BE-4's would cost them $18M (someone correct me if I'm wrong please).  So for the New Glenn booster there is 7 engines with a "market" value of $63M, or $2.52M per flight at a total of 25 uses assuming zero refurb.  And then a disposable upper stage BE-4, with a "$9M" engine - although I'm sure Blue Origin has a mark up on it's actual cost to produce.  Getting acceptable operational cost for tourism if they are only taking up 7 people at a time would be tough there.

Offline notsorandom

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #13 on: 09/13/2016 04:23 PM »
My guess is that the spacecraft will be able to preform "demanding beyond-LEO missions" like the BE-3 upper stage is being designed to support. I bet that it will be sized to whatever amount of mass New Glenn can throw through TLI. I doubt that Blue would adopt a spacecraft design that is limited to LEO, and specifically LEO reentry velocities.

Online shooter6947

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #14 on: 09/13/2016 04:36 PM »
They might be intended to use the 3-stage version for robotic lunar prep.  It would seem that they plan a larger rocket for sending people/tourists to the Moon ("New Armstrong").  But until then they need to send lunar surface habs, remote bulldozers, and such to emplace the systems that those future missions will need.   Kind of maybe like how SpaceX is sending Red Dragons to Mars on FH before they send people on BFR/BFS.

Offline AncientU

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #15 on: 09/13/2016 04:36 PM »
My guess is that the spacecraft will be able to preform "demanding beyond-LEO missions" like the BE-3 upper stage is being designed to support. I bet that it will be sized to whatever amount of mass New Glenn can throw through TLI. I doubt that Blue would adopt a spacecraft design that is limited to LEO, and specifically LEO reentry velocities.

This probably is not a maximum-performance-based design decision, it is a marketing decision.  The max capability of the vehicle will be used for BEO at some point, but not at first.  Bezos in the business of selling rides.

Where are the customers with cash in hand?  That is where Blue will be found.
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Offline LouScheffer

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #16 on: 09/13/2016 05:52 PM »
So Robert Zubrin quickly tweeted this after Blue's announcement:
[...]

So he's saying the regular 2-stage New Glenn will send 70 tons to LEO, and the 3-stage version will send just over 20 tons to Trans-Mars Injection.


And I'm not sure he takes into account the margins needed for reusability. (at least there is no mention of it) I suspect his numbers are on the optimistic side, but I haven't run any numbers myself.
Seems very optimistic to me.  ULA says the ISP of BE-4 will not quite reach RD-180 levels, which are 311 at sea level and 338 in vacuum.  Zubrin is using numbers that are much higher, so the payload will be quite a bit lower if the ULA numbers are correct - and since they are designing a rocket around the engine, surely they have realistic numbers.

Offline notsorandom

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #17 on: 09/13/2016 06:59 PM »
My guess is that the spacecraft will be able to preform "demanding beyond-LEO missions" like the BE-3 upper stage is being designed to support. I bet that it will be sized to whatever amount of mass New Glenn can throw through TLI. I doubt that Blue would adopt a spacecraft design that is limited to LEO, and specifically LEO reentry velocities.

This probably is not a maximum-performance-based design decision, it is a marketing decision.  The max capability of the vehicle will be used for BEO at some point, but not at first.  Bezos in the business of selling rides.

Where are the customers with cash in hand?  That is where Blue will be found.
I think Bezos's sights are set higher than LEO. I don't see how you get thousands living and working in space just by developing a large taxi for tourists to a space hotel in low orbit. That might be a stop along the way towards the end goal, but space tourism is not Blue's reason for existence. I know Bezos hinted at an even larger New Armstrong rocket but the New Glenn is just way bigger than necessary to send a dozen people into space or assemble a space station in LEO. Given the size of New Glenn and it's high performance upper stage it makes sense that they will at least use it to get started with their BEO plans. So the crew vehicle then won't use a design that dead ends in LEO even if it isn't their ultimate BEO craft. My guess is no wings, solar powered not exclusively batteries, and significant deltaV capability. SpaceX designed Dragon with an eye to BEO from the start. I'd expect Blue to do the same.

Offline rayleighscatter

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #18 on: 09/13/2016 07:22 PM »
It depends on what BO views as the bulk of people they intend to put into space in the next 20 years. If it's astronauts/workers than a capsule design seems most likely on cost. If its tourists then a winged design seems more likely as your average space tourists will tend to be of.... advanced years, and not necessarily up to a higher G reentry.

Offline Oli

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #19 on: 09/13/2016 07:49 PM »
So Robert Zubrin quickly tweeted this after Blue's announcement:

Quote
Here is my estimate of New Glenn performance. 70 tons to LEO, 20 tons to TMI. #Space #Science #Mars #MarsSociety





So he's saying the regular 2-stage New Glenn will send 70 tons to LEO, and the 3-stage version will send just over 20 tons to Trans-Mars Injection.

That compares against Falcon Heavy's 54 tons to LEO, and 13.6 tons to Trans-Mars Injection.

Still doesn't tell us who's cheaper.

Where are the gravity/drag losses? These specs give me 71.3t to LEO with 8.5km/s delta-v but ~42t with a realistic ~9.5km/s (2-stage version).

The specs of the first stage are pretty bad so I guess they include reusability somehow..(?).

The T/W ratio of the 3-stage Glenn at liftoff would be less than 1.1.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #20 on: 09/14/2016 01:49 AM »
So Robert Zubrin quickly tweeted this after Blue's announcement:
[...]

So he's saying the regular 2-stage New Glenn will send 70 tons to LEO, and the 3-stage version will send just over 20 tons to Trans-Mars Injection.


And I'm not sure he takes into account the margins needed for reusability. (at least there is no mention of it) I suspect his numbers are on the optimistic side, but I haven't run any numbers myself.
Seems very optimistic to me.  ULA says the ISP of BE-4 will not quite reach RD-180 levels, which are 311 at sea level and 338 in vacuum.  Zubrin is using numbers that are much higher, so the payload will be quite a bit lower if the ULA numbers are correct - and since they are designing a rocket around the engine, surely they have realistic numbers.
I agree.  I'm guesstimating 40-45 tonnes LEO (2 stage) and up to 25 tonnes GTO (3 stage) for New Glenn, making it Falcon Heavy class.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 09/14/2016 01:50 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline GWH

I'm guesstimating 40-45 tonnes LEO (2 stage) and up to 25 tonnes GTO (3 stage) for New Glenn, making it Falcon Heavy class.

 - Ed Kyle

Fully expendable or with booster reuse margins?

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #22 on: 09/14/2016 03:06 AM »
The 3-stager should be able to put a Dragon or CST-100 or whatever around the Moon. Orion will need dual-launch, though.
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Offline ArbitraryConstant

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #23 on: 09/14/2016 03:20 AM »
I agree.  I'm guesstimating 40-45 tonnes LEO (2 stage) and up to 25 tonnes GTO (3 stage) for New Glenn, making it Falcon Heavy class.
I am curious what you think the 2 stage GTO number would be. Or 3 stage direct injection (assuming for the sake of argument it would have the lifetime for it).

Offline GWH

Thinking more on this I think they will go with #3.
Start flying passengers with a station module  and "transit hab" underneath to start building out a LEO station.  Of course this is a massive step up from simply flying tourists in an LEO capsule in a smaller rocket- but the potential in that market is already limited with Dragon & Starliner should anyone choose to persue those.
So a 7m module based off the New Glenn tooling, the preliminary images of Blue Origin's biconic capsule would work well with that with it's rearward docking port not requiring re-docking on orbit to access the modules when used in transit.  Allows Blue Origin to start building up LEO infrastructure immediately while paying tourists cover a portion of the launch costs and ops.

Co manifesting payloads in a cargo module underneath the capsule could also be an option with fast transits to a Blue Origin station, but here a system of in space tugs would be required (enter ULA & ACES).  And yes I think transporting propellant to LEO will be a major element of their business model.

The image attached is from Space.com - is several years old and internal configuration is speculative.  But I think would work well for the capsule/station modules.

« Last Edit: 09/14/2016 03:38 PM by GWH »

Offline mfck

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #25 on: 09/14/2016 09:39 PM »
The seats in the slide must be in reentry position, not suitable for ascent?

What are their positions for liftoff and how is the change from one position to another performed?

Offline brickmack

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #26 on: 09/15/2016 12:13 AM »
The seats in the slide must be in reentry position, not suitable for ascent?

What are their positions for liftoff and how is the change from one position to another performed?

The seating arrangement graphic shown there is NOT from Blue Origin, its from a European proposal from the 90s, the "Blunt Biconic Crew Return Vehicle". It wasn't intended to ever launch manned, it would only be used as a contingency landing vehicle from the space station (and maybe cargo), so ascent seating wasn't a concern

Offline Oli

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #27 on: 09/15/2016 12:19 AM »
Orion will need dual-launch, though.

An expendable first stage should do it. I don't think New Glenn will fly often enough to justify the reuse of the first stage.

So a 7m module based off the New Glenn tooling, the preliminary images of Blue Origin's biconic capsule would work well with that with it's rearward docking port not requiring re-docking on orbit to access the modules when used in transit.  Allows Blue Origin to start building up LEO infrastructure immediately while paying tourists cover a portion of the launch costs and ops.

Developing a crewed vehicle is very expensive. Just look at what SpaceX or Boeing will spend on their reentry capsules in total.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #28 on: 09/15/2016 02:55 AM »
Orion will need dual-launch, though.

An expendable first stage should do it. I don't think New Glenn will fly often enough to justify the reuse of the first stage.
...
It doesn't appear that New Glenn is designed to operate expendably, but I'll take your bait:

Your comment (that New Glenn will be hungry for payloads) is the best support for my thesis that New Glenn, if it's successful, will end up competing for some of the same stuff ULA is competing for (remember ULA is hoping to do more commercial launch, too...).
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Offline GWH

Regarding comments on whether Blue Origin will develop a capsule, here is what is known:

1. From Blue's website:
ORBITAL SPACEFLIGHT
We’ve designed our suborbital vehicle to feed directly into our orbital program. With every suborbital launch, we’re reaching toward orbital spaceflight.

How it will work
The New Glenn family of orbital launch vehicles will carry astronauts and payloads to low-Earth orbit destinations and beyond. Similar to our suborbital vehicle, the first stage booster will separate and land back on Earth. Expendable second and third stages will propel the capsule into orbit, toward scientific research and exploration. At the completion of its flight, the capsule will reenter Earth’s atmosphere and land under parachutes, enabling reuse, improved reliability and lower cost access to space.

https://www.blueorigin.com/technology

2. Space act agreements with NASA:
https://www.nasa.gov/content/commercial-crew-program-the-essentials/#.V9vsYcup7qA

If you click the amount that Blue has been funded for in either CCDev1 or CCDev2 it opens a PDF of the contract, for brevity I've taken an excerpt out of that starting at the appendices focusing on the summary and milestones (attached).

In summary the CCDev1 contract focused on Blue Origin's conceptual follow up to their Sub-Orbital New Shepard system with a composite biconic capsule with a solid motor pusher escape system initially launching on an Atlas 402.  Funded milestones were for the escape system motor and composite crew cabin.

The CCDev2 contract makes specific mention of Blue transitioning to their own reusable booster after initially flying on an Atlas V.  Mention of a land landing of the capsule is made in this contract.  Further development on the biconic capsule through aerodynamic analysis, testing of the pusher escape motor, and development work on the BE-3 was all part of the contract.  .


Now obviously that leaves a huge gap between then (2011) and now, I haven't tried to find if three is more recent information coming form NASA.  Just on the launch vehicle alone like the one I posted earlier in the thread look like what would expect a 5xBE-3 booster to look like, and then initial rumors coming from ULA suggested BO was working on a 1xBE-4 booster.  Some major changes on their capsule program could be very possible.

Is anyone aware of more recent info that might give some clues as to what they are working on?

Also I'm really unsure how a single centrally mounted pusher escape motor like the one shown by BO for their upcoming test would work with a rear docking capsule. 
« Last Edit: 09/16/2016 02:51 PM by GWH »

Online Kryten

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #30 on: 09/16/2016 03:35 PM »
 There's some info in the launch site application docs (attached); it's pretty sparse, but we can assume it's up-to-date. Launch of the capsule (referred to as the Space Vehicle or SV) is the primary purpose of New Glenn with sat launch a secondary concern; the SV is intended to carry 'participants and/or crew' the SV is intended to land somewhere in Texas via parachute; and the SV is to be refurbished at the same CCAFS complex used for New Glenn launch and booster refurbishment.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #31 on: 09/16/2016 04:10 PM »
The capsule maybe using a service module like Starliner which also provides LAS. With tunnel in service module the hatch could still be used to access something like a cygnus module.

Alternatively there are a ring of solid or liquid motors inside capsule mounted around hatch. I think this might be better option as there is no expendable service module. Blue is all about reusability to reduce operational costs.

For extended missions ( days), having access to extra accommodation like a Cygnus module would make capsule more versatile. In case of LEO station visits the extra module would carry consumables on way up and rubbish on way down to be burnt up on reentry.
With capsule providing all propulsion and lifesupport , this extra module would be not much more than low cost tin can.

In case BLEO missions an additional propulsion/ service module could be added to Cygnus type module. Giving more DV and life support endurance + redundancy.

Blue has hinted at lunar missions so any capsule they design will need to support crew for typically a week in cislunar space.


« Last Edit: 09/16/2016 04:14 PM by TrevorMonty »

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #32 on: 09/16/2016 10:59 PM »
Capsule scaling is interesting.

If you can get 7 people in a capsule that has a 3.66m diameter then enlarge it to 7m while maintaining all aspects the volume for the passengers increases by a factor of 7 such that you could actually house 49 people in that capsule. But here are the caveats:
Although the structural weight of the vehicle increases by only the square of the diameter increase such that a 6mt 3.66m diameter capsule structure would be a 22mt structural weight for a 7m diameter vehicle, the weight added per passenger does not change. This is an estimated .56mt per passenger for the passenger+equipment+supplies. So on a 40mt max payload limited flight the number of passengers is only 32.
This then gives a range of the number of passengers a larger 7m capsule on a NG of 30<[Number of passengers]<49.

Next is what is the cost of a NG and capsule per flight.
Based on the $9M per BE-4 engine price:
- a derived 1st stage manufacture cost of $126M
- a derived second stage manufacture cost of $18M
- a 1st stage refurbishment /flight cost of $10M
- all other launch costs of $20M
- a life of 25 flights
- a profit margin of 20%
Yields a $64M/flight price.

Actually more appropriate would be to express this in a range from this best case to the worse case:
$64M<Flight Price<$100M (As a pure expendable it would be $200M/flight). Interestingly the cost of manufacture of the 1st stage is not the dominating costs for the flight costs but the refurbishment cost. A less expensive to manufacture 1st stage would not effect much change in the per flight price.

This range yields a range of the per seat price to LEO of $1.3M<seat price<$3.4M. But now you must add the costs associated with the capsule. Estimate of manufacture cost of the 7m capsule comes out to 4 times that of the smaller capsule again a function primarily of weight. Making the cost of $200M to $300M. If each is reused 10 times and costs $20M to refurbish between flights this increases the seat price by $.8M to $1.7M giving a final seat price range of $2.1M to $5.1M.

From a business case such a larger capsule to gain a 10x cheaper seat price is in line with BO goals. So this is a viable business case for tourism to LEO vs the >$20M /seat of the CC program.

But that is not the end. The smaller 7 person size capsule very similar to the CC designs but made as a BEO vehicle would be a good starting point for the 3 stage NG. But the per seat price on such flights would be at best about $20M and worse case possible >$50M.

It is a mater of market. The number of customers increase more rapidly than the decrease in price. Such that for every 1 BEO flight of 7 passengers there could be 2 or 3 LEO flights of 30 to 40 passengers.

The remaining item of consideration for the sizing of a larger capsule is that if you make it the correct size that it is a LEO craft on a NG but can be a BEO craft on a NA the advantages is saved engineering development costs is tremendous.



Offline Ludus

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #33 on: 09/17/2016 04:01 PM »
Capsule scaling is interesting.

If you can get 7 people in a capsule that has a 3.66m diameter then enlarge it to 7m while maintaining all aspects the volume for the passengers increases by a factor of 7 such that you could actually house 49 people in that capsule. But here are the caveats:
Although the structural weight of the vehicle increases by only the square of the diameter increase such that a 6mt 3.66m diameter capsule structure would be a 22mt structural weight for a 7m diameter vehicle, the weight added per passenger does not change. This is an estimated .56mt per passenger for the passenger+equipment+supplies. So on a 40mt max payload limited flight the number of passengers is only 32.
This then gives a range of the number of passengers a larger 7m capsule on a NG of 30<[Number of passengers]<49.

Next is what is the cost of a NG and capsule per flight.
Based on the $9M per BE-4 engine price:
- a derived 1st stage manufacture cost of $126M
- a derived second stage manufacture cost of $18M
- a 1st stage refurbishment /flight cost of $10M
- all other launch costs of $20M
- a life of 25 flights
- a profit margin of 20%
Yields a $64M/flight price.

Actually more appropriate would be to express this in a range from this best case to the worse case:
$64M<Flight Price<$100M (As a pure expendable it would be $200M/flight). Interestingly the cost of manufacture of the 1st stage is not the dominating costs for the flight costs but the refurbishment cost. A less expensive to manufacture 1st stage would not effect much change in the per flight price.

This range yields a range of the per seat price to LEO of $1.3M<seat price<$3.4M. But now you must add the costs associated with the capsule. Estimate of manufacture cost of the 7m capsule comes out to 4 times that of the smaller capsule again a function primarily of weight. Making the cost of $200M to $300M. If each is reused 10 times and costs $20M to refurbish between flights this increases the seat price by $.8M to $1.7M giving a final seat price range of $2.1M to $5.1M.

From a business case such a larger capsule to gain a 10x cheaper seat price is in line with BO goals. So this is a viable business case for tourism to LEO vs the >$20M /seat of the CC program.

But that is not the end. The smaller 7 person size capsule very similar to the CC designs but made as a BEO vehicle would be a good starting point for the 3 stage NG. But the per seat price on such flights would be at best about $20M and worse case possible >$50M.

It is a mater of market. The number of customers increase more rapidly than the decrease in price. Such that for every 1 BEO flight of 7 passengers there could be 2 or 3 LEO flights of 30 to 40 passengers.

The remaining item of consideration for the sizing of a larger capsule is that if you make it the correct size that it is a LEO craft on a NG but can be a BEO craft on a NA the advantages is saved engineering development costs is tremendous.

The few space tourists on Soyuz were paying on the order of $20M so your estimates are an order of magnitude lower price. That ought to break into more demand if it exists. The only "Minimum Viable Product" test was Virgin Galactic taking several hundred reservations for flights that are another order of magnitude cheaper around $200k and they never tested how firm they were. I don't think it's clear there is much of a market for SpaceTourism at a couple million dollars a ticket. There isn't really any precedent for selling experiences at that price. Your analysis sets up the challenge. Could you sell 30-40 tickets? If you could, how long before you could do it again? I'm kinda skeptical that there is any sustained market for space tourism at the necessary price point.

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #34 on: 09/17/2016 05:18 PM »
There is another customer (the US government) that if the number of people and amount of cargo is expanded by a factor of 7 but at the same price as current then a spending of $3B/yr would support a continuous LEO presence of 30 people (2 30(person) CC flights and 4 (10.5mt of supllies) CRS flights per year. That is half of NG's launch rate capability right there.

A follow on commercial LEO station could have 30 government employees in the NG price point scenario. How many other of other nations and corporations even doing Manufacturing-In-Space would there be as well. Enough to keep NG  booked and a competitor as well? A LEO station presence of 100+ persons in the mid to late 2020's? The tourist market may be only a portion of this market at only 30-60 passengers/yr vs the gov/corporate of 120 passengers/yr.

This scenario does not require more spending as now but the same spending from all sources but expanded by  a factor of 10 number of persons from the current 6 to a total of 60 because the price/costs of operations dropped by a factor of 10.

Offline leaflion

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #35 on: 09/17/2016 06:13 PM »
A reduction in the cost of human access to space would be revolutionary.  It goes right in line with Blue's stated goals too.

Imagine if New Armstrong is another order of magnitude cheaper than New Glenn!  That starts to become accessible to regular people if they're willing to save up most of they're lives.

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #36 on: 09/17/2016 06:33 PM »
A reduction in the cost of human access to space would be revolutionary.  It goes right in line with Blue's stated goals too.

Imagine if New Armstrong is another order of magnitude cheaper than New Glenn!  That starts to become accessible to regular people if they're willing to save up most of they're lives.
As far as the price point for 1yr/person on orbit of LEO current is at $1B dropping to $100M using NG. The use of NA could set the price point for L2  or Lunar surface 1yr/person to <$200M. Remember there is another $3B US budget line for BEO operations as well which could support continuous occupation in BEO of 15 persons at that price point (5 at L2 and 10 on the Lunar surface).

Actually when looked at the nominal stay/rotation of crew time of 6 months the price point is current at $500M and would drop using NG to $50M and for L2 or Lunar surface at ~$100M. How many contries and corporations even could supoort continuous presence at these locations for these prices. Also remember that with the competitor of SpaceX MCT that a second system that is capable of nearly identical services for near identical prices meets the 2 provider viable sustainment rule.

Another look at L2 and Lunar surface is that the NG could support with SpaceX FH the two provider sustainment rule a presence at L2 and Lunar surface. The price point for this would be close to the current LEO of $500M/person for 6 months. Or in other words a continuous presence BEO of 3 people by NASA by mid 2020s. Once MCT and NA start providing BEO services the BEO continuous presence could increase to 15 without an increase of the budget.

Added: Looking at USG as a revenue stream:
BO
     NG to LEO              $800M
            Cargo services $500M
            Crew services  $300M

     NA to BEO              $800M
            Cargo services $500M
            Crew services  $300M
    Total from USG     $1,600M/yr
    Profit at 20%           $320M/yr

SpaceX
     MCT to LEO            $800M
            Cargo services $500M
            Crew services  $300M

     MCT to BEO            $800M
            Cargo services $500M
            Crew services  $300M
    Total from USG     $1,600M/yr
    Profit at 20%          $320M/yr
« Last Edit: 09/17/2016 07:02 PM by oldAtlas_Eguy »

Offline Ludus

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #37 on: 09/17/2016 06:59 PM »
I agree there might be a market for those numbers of people in orbit supported by governments, institutions  and corporations. A few million isn't that bad a price to send a researcher up with an experiment. Even before there is a killer app for space manufacturing, that kind of price would encourage a lot of effort to look for it.

Trying to usefully automate experiments is more expensive than sending a human along at those ticket prices.

Offline Ludus

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #38 on: 09/17/2016 07:04 PM »
Another selling point occurred to me for space tourism. At first the passenger list would be a who's who of rich tech and investment folk. How much is it worth to have a several day bonding experience with people you'd otherwise kill to get an elevator pitch to? It would be worth it to some people just to hang out with the other tourists.

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #39 on: 09/17/2016 07:19 PM »
Yes as a revenue and profit source NASA HSF support for an expanded human presence (10x) BO could be cash positive with NG operations. Then add a few additional flights of support for other countries an a 1 or 2 flights of sat deployment and BO's profit from NG operations could easily reach $500M/yr without creation of new large tourist market. A factor of 10 increase HSF presence in orbit does equate to a 10x increase in science experiments, prototype equipment testing, and manufacturing-in-space. At the moment these are very small but could become the major drivers for additional rapid expansion.

The free market usually will expand to the reasonable level of availability to the point just before where additional expansion causes prices to increase. In the space markets this is a mostly a decreasing cost going from the initial to a 10x expansion but also mostly increase after that making an optimal price point until a new service comes along to change the optimal price point.

The problem is that the HSF market is not operating as a free market yet. CC and CRS will start it but it also needs other in-space infrastructure. Once all elements have a commercial footing the free-market dynamics will start driving expansion or contraction. We hope it will be a rapid expansion. SpaceX and BO does as well.

Offline baldusi

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #40 on: 09/19/2016 05:59 PM »
I believe that your are doubling the BE-4 price. The less than 50% of an RD-180 was for two BE-4. So they should be around 5~6M each, for ULA. Making them in tens might lower the cost under 30M in propulsion for a first stage.
Also, please remember that you can't cram people in 3D. You have to consider all escape contingencies and that sort of forces you to have escape aisles and such. So you might stay volume limited. You also fall into the problem of surface to mass escalation factors that affect reentry. I believe that for 20+ for LEO a lifting body would make much more sense.
But then you would not really lower that much the cost. If we are talking about LEO only, and you want a reusable upper stage, there's not point in separating it from the crew carrying payload, unless there's an emergency. I believe that for LEO you will always end up with integrating the second stage and crew module, and landing them together. There's very little propellant mass saved from separating them, and the structural mass (as long as both are reusable) might even be lower when integrated.

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #41 on: 09/19/2016 07:38 PM »
In my cost model it only drops the reuse price by $10M to as low as $50M/filght but it makes the expendable price drop by ~$70M to a value of <$130M. The key note here is that reuse prices of different vendor and even sizes of LV would generally have very closely the same reuse price since the major costs of a launch once the cost of the 1st stage is dramaticly reduced. The fixed costs pretty much identical for all vehicles + cost of the US which is dominated by engine and avionics costs. The primary difference in price of reuse vehicles will be the refurbishment costs of the 1st stage not the payload capability. It is possible that the reuse price of an NG could be very close to that of the reuse price of an F9.

The drop is an up to 17% drop in the seat price.

As far as the pack them in like sardines the 7 times larger volume going from 3.66m to 7m and 7 passengers would then be 49 passengers. But you are correct that space gets "wasted" for safety so I used a passenger count of 30 with a possible max of 40 depending on the efficiency of layout of seats.
« Last Edit: 09/19/2016 07:39 PM by oldAtlas_Eguy »

Offline ZachF

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #42 on: 09/23/2016 02:42 AM »
Capsule scaling is interesting.

If you can get 7 people in a capsule that has a 3.66m diameter then enlarge it to 7m while maintaining all aspects the volume for the passengers increases by a factor of 7 such that you could actually house 49 people in that capsule. But here are the caveats:
Although the structural weight of the vehicle increases by only the square of the diameter increase such that a 6mt 3.66m diameter capsule structure would be a 22mt structural weight for a 7m diameter vehicle, the weight added per passenger does not change. This is an estimated .56mt per passenger for the passenger+equipment+supplies. So on a 40mt max payload limited flight the number of passengers is only 32.
This then gives a range of the number of passengers a larger 7m capsule on a NG of 30<[Number of passengers]<49.

Next is what is the cost of a NG and capsule per flight.
Based on the $9M per BE-4 engine price:
- a derived 1st stage manufacture cost of $126M
- a derived second stage manufacture cost of $18M
- a 1st stage refurbishment /flight cost of $10M
- all other launch costs of $20M
- a life of 25 flights
- a profit margin of 20%
Yields a $64M/flight price.

Actually more appropriate would be to express this in a range from this best case to the worse case:
$64M<Flight Price<$100M (As a pure expendable it would be $200M/flight). Interestingly the cost of manufacture of the 1st stage is not the dominating costs for the flight costs but the refurbishment cost. A less expensive to manufacture 1st stage would not effect much change in the per flight price.

This range yields a range of the per seat price to LEO of $1.3M<seat price<$3.4M. But now you must add the costs associated with the capsule. Estimate of manufacture cost of the 7m capsule comes out to 4 times that of the smaller capsule again a function primarily of weight. Making the cost of $200M to $300M. If each is reused 10 times and costs $20M to refurbish between flights this increases the seat price by $.8M to $1.7M giving a final seat price range of $2.1M to $5.1M.

From a business case such a larger capsule to gain a 10x cheaper seat price is in line with BO goals. So this is a viable business case for tourism to LEO vs the >$20M /seat of the CC program.

But that is not the end. The smaller 7 person size capsule very similar to the CC designs but made as a BEO vehicle would be a good starting point for the 3 stage NG. But the per seat price on such flights would be at best about $20M and worse case possible >$50M.

It is a mater of market. The number of customers increase more rapidly than the decrease in price. Such that for every 1 BEO flight of 7 passengers there could be 2 or 3 LEO flights of 30 to 40 passengers.

The remaining item of consideration for the sizing of a larger capsule is that if you make it the correct size that it is a LEO craft on a NG but can be a BEO craft on a NA the advantages is saved engineering development costs is tremendous.

The few space tourists on Soyuz were paying on the order of $20M so your estimates are an order of magnitude lower price. That ought to break into more demand if it exists. The only "Minimum Viable Product" test was Virgin Galactic taking several hundred reservations for flights that are another order of magnitude cheaper around $200k and they never tested how firm they were. I don't think it's clear there is much of a market for SpaceTourism at a couple million dollars a ticket. There isn't really any precedent for selling experiences at that price. Your analysis sets up the challenge. Could you sell 30-40 tickets? If you could, how long before you could do it again? I'm kinda skeptical that there is any sustained market for space tourism at the necessary price point.

According to Credit Suisse here is the population of the world's wealthiest:
http://publications.credit-suisse.com/tasks/render/file/index.cfm?fileid=C26E3824-E868-56E0-CCA04D4BB9B9ADD5

$1,000,000,000+: 1,722
$100,000,000+:  44,860
$10,000,000+: 1,461,560
$1,000,000+: 33,718,363
$100,000+: 416,363,000

$20m per flight puts this in the realm of hundred-millionaires and above in terms of affordability, dropping it to $2m puts it in the reach of ten-millionaires and above, of which there are 33 times more. There are also 23 times more millionaires and above than ten-millionaires.
« Last Edit: 09/23/2016 02:48 AM by ZachF »

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #43 on: 09/23/2016 02:58 AM »
So basically if you get 1 tourist per year at $20M, then at $2M you would get 30 tourists per year.

The difference is that at $20M the revenue is only $20M.
And at $2M the revenue is $60M.

Offline John-H

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #44 on: 09/23/2016 03:12 AM »
It costs more to carry 30 people.

Offline jongoff

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #45 on: 09/23/2016 04:04 AM »
Although the structural weight of the vehicle increases by only the square of the diameter increase such that a 6mt 3.66m diameter capsule structure would be a 22mt structural weight for a 7m diameter vehicle, the weight added per passenger does not change.

Is this scaling law true? I'd think that structure mass of a capsule would be driven primarily by the pressure vessel, and for a given pressure, don't pressure vessels tend to scale fairly linearly with volume?  While the surface area goes up with the 2nd power of radius and volume goes up with the 3rd power of radius, the wall thickness goes up linearly with radius, so the tank volume (surface area times thickness) usually scales pretty linearly.

Or am I missing something obvious (I screw around more with rockets than with capsules so that's totally possible).

~Jon

Offline baldusi

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #46 on: 09/23/2016 01:39 PM »
Although the structural weight of the vehicle increases by only the square of the diameter increase such that a 6mt 3.66m diameter capsule structure would be a 22mt structural weight for a 7m diameter vehicle, the weight added per passenger does not change.

Is this scaling law true? I'd think that structure mass of a capsule would be driven primarily by the pressure vessel, and for a given pressure, don't pressure vessels tend to scale fairly linearly with volume?  While the surface area goes up with the 2nd power of radius and volume goes up with the 3rd power of radius, the wall thickness goes up linearly with radius, so the tank volume (surface area times thickness) usually scales pretty linearly.

Or am I missing something obvious (I screw around more with rockets than with capsules so that's totally possible).

~Jon
Capsules are more complicated, since they are not all pressure vessel. And even the PV are not spheres, but rather drop like. And they don't use smooth walls, they are machined with ribs, so things are not so lineal to volume.
The best actual compartison I can think of are the HL20 -> HL42, which increase scales by 42%, but mass increased by 82%, a bit less than square. Not exactly a capsule, either.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #47 on: 09/23/2016 05:08 PM »
Blue are using Biconic capsule, more of cross between capsule and spaceplane , looks like bullet/shell. May scale a lot better than capsule as doubling width should also double length.

Not a lot of info on web about them, I don't think any have gone and return from space.
« Last Edit: 09/23/2016 05:08 PM by TrevorMonty »

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #48 on: 09/23/2016 05:53 PM »
My model has two scaling factors to get to an end weight.

The first is the basic structure factor which a square of the diameter is used to scale basic structure.

The next is a linear scale based on number of passengers. This is a value of 560kg per passenger. It includes things like chairs, consumables, supplies, the person, and propellant. Actually about 200kg of propellant per person.

The end weight of a 7 passenger capsule is 6mt of structure and ~4mt of passenger related for a total weight at liftoff of 10mt.

For a 30 person capsule the structure is 22mt + 18mt for the 30 passengers for a total weight of 40mt.

Capsule propellant DV assumption is 1.3km/s of storable propellant.

Capsules are very difficult to scale unless you are using a CAD program with the original design and you just scale up its size and let the CAD tell you the weight. Propellant tanks weight scale by square but increase in volume by cube. But the propellant needed is a linear increase based on the end weight goal. So the tank volume is more likely to scale based on passenger count. That is why propellant loads are associated with passengers and only partially to structure.

The model gives a good estimate but may be off +- 30% on the number of passengers the capsule can carry for the end goal weight.

The model was used to get a value of how many passengers you could get on a 40mt total weight capsule. If you went solely on volume you could get 49 passengers and not the 30. Passenger count is weight limited by the LV. If the LV (in this case the NG) is capable of more weight to LEO then passenger count could be more than 30.

Its a WAG. And nothing more in order to get a range of possible per seat pricing which is based on another WAG the price per launch of both the LV and capsule divided by the number of passengers. The price per seat has an upper and lower 3 sigma value of likelihood. But those values range form ~$5M ($100M and 20 passengers) to ~$2M ($80M and 40 passengers). Both 1st stage and capsule rapid reuse are assumed. If more extensive (more expensive as well) refurbishment then the LV prices become even higher making the per seat upper limit to be as high as $10M ($200M with 20 passengers).

Tourists using for every 1 tourist at $20M/seat there would be ~
2 at $10M
8 at $5M
33 at $2M
86 at $1M
212 at $.5M
660 at $.2M

That is ignoring one factor and that is the more people taking trips the percentage of those that can afford it will go up increasing the rate of number of tourists as seat prices decrease above the floor related to just the number with an income level. This is the popularity factor that many tourist industry sectors depend on.

At some point the value of $1M per seat may become feasible such that 3 or more 30 seat flights to orbit per year would be just tourists. If there is a requirement to have on orbit 1 person for every 2 to 3 that visit per flight then you will need an extra flight per year to handle the every 6 month crew rotations. So instead of just 3 flights there would be 4 flights per year (once a quarter) with 5 on-orbit rotation crew and 25 tourists per flight. The station would need an occupancy capacity for the tourist industry just in LEO of 40 (10-15 crew and 25 tourists).

In number of BA330's you would need 7 of them. And also you would need provisioning/replacement equipment for the station and the permanent crew (10-15) of 1 flight per year. So now you are up to 5 flights per year just for tourist industry in LEO. That is if the total price per flight becomes as low as $30M. It will take a lot of work and experience/upgrades to LV and capsule to get to that point. May require a fully reusable LV to reach that price point.


Offline ZachF

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #49 on: 09/23/2016 07:47 PM »
So basically if you get 1 tourist per year at $20M, then at $2M you would get 30 tourists per year.

The difference is that at $20M the revenue is only $20M.
And at $2M the revenue is $60M.


Also, you have to factor in that those populations posted above are probably increasing by about 2-3% per year adjusted for inflation.

Offline GWH

At some point the value of $1M per seat may become feasible such that 3 or more 30 seat flights to orbit per year would be just tourists. If there is a requirement to have on orbit 1 person for every 2 to 3 that visit per flight then you will need an extra flight per year to handle the every 6 month crew rotations. So instead of just 3 flights there would be 4 flights per year (once a quarter) with 5 on-orbit rotation crew and 25 tourists per flight. The station would need an occupancy capacity for the tourist industry just in LEO of 40 (10-15 crew and 25 tourists).

In number of BA330's you would need 7 of them. And also you would need provisioning/replacement equipment for the station and the permanent crew (10-15) of 1 flight per year. So now you are up to 5 flights per year just for tourist industry in LEO. That is if the total price per flight becomes as low as $30M. It will take a lot of work and experience/upgrades to LV and capsule to get to that point. May require a fully reusable LV to reach that price point.

This in orbit capacity is why I would speculate that the 7(ish) person capsule that they have been (or are) working on would actually be sufficient and jive with the high LEO lift.  If they were to co-manifest a hab with the capsule - either Bigelow or a 7m tooling derived hab (with windows, unlike BA330s) - then they can start building up the in orbit infrastructure with partial tourist flights. 

As the station(s) are built up development work on a fully reusable and larger system could take place (New Armstrong?).  Co-flying tourist flights along with station modules and construction activities could help bring the overall costs down vs. individual cargo or crew flights.
« Last Edit: 09/24/2016 03:51 AM by GWH »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #51 on: 09/24/2016 03:02 AM »
So basically if you get 1 tourist per year at $20M, then at $2M you would get 30 tourists per year.

The difference is that at $20M the revenue is only $20M.
And at $2M the revenue is $60M.


Also, you have to factor in that those populations posted above are probably increasing by about 2-3% per year adjusted for inflation.
...maybe even faster. World real GDP growth has hovered around 4%, plus or minus ~1%, since at least 1999 (with the exception of 2009). http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=xx&v=66

(...which would mean almost a billion millionaires (in real terms) by the end of the century)
« Last Edit: 09/24/2016 03:04 AM by Robotbeat »
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Offline ZachF

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #52 on: 09/24/2016 10:19 PM »
So basically if you get 1 tourist per year at $20M, then at $2M you would get 30 tourists per year.

The difference is that at $20M the revenue is only $20M.
And at $2M the revenue is $60M.


Also, you have to factor in that those populations posted above are probably increasing by about 2-3% per year adjusted for inflation.
...maybe even faster. World real GDP growth has hovered around 4%, plus or minus ~1%, since at least 1999 (with the exception of 2009). http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=xx&v=66

(...which would mean almost a billion millionaires (in real terms) by the end of the century)

Well, world average GDP-PPP per head was about $4,000 in todays dollars in the 50s, and ~$20,000 in the world's wealthiest countries (USA, Switzerland). Today it is about $12,500 for the world and $55,000 for USA/Switzerland. In the USA and Switzerland roughly 5-6% of the population are millionaires. IF world GDP-PPP per head a little over triples again by the end of the century you're talking about probably ~4% of world population or 400 million millionaries+, and ~15 million ten plus-millionaires, and ~500,000 hundred-millionaires (In today's dollars).

So you have ~$20m cost for spaceflight today that ~45,000 people could afford, If Bezos&co can drop that to $2m by 2025, the number of ten-millionaires will probably grow to 2-3 million by then, and if it drops to $200k by 2100 with perfection of reusability, then your possible customer pool is in the hundreds of millions!

hopefully this is our future...  ;D

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #53 on: 09/25/2016 12:54 AM »
We're concerned with GDP overall, not just GDP per capita. More people means more people become millionaires. More people to watch some dumb reality TV show about colonists on Mars (hey, I'd watch it...). More tax revenue. More overall resources (and yes, I realize this goes against Malthus, but guess what, he was wrong).

I think that overall, with trade, world economies will tend to all grow, with the poorest growing fastest (in general, but not all at once). This means the rich countries with get richer, but still currently-poor countries will get pretty close to rich countries on a per-GDP basis (within, say, a factor of 3).

Anyway, I really think that we'll make spaceflight cheap enough that, by the end of the century, basically anyone  of the ~10 billion people in the world who really, really wants to do spaceflight (and who is an overall healthy human being) will have the opportunity to fulfill that on some level.

And it WILL take a healthy world economy for spaceflight to be reasonably priced. It might not be feasible for humanity to be spacefaring (at least initially) if we were just, say, 300 million people in the US. With 10 billion people living ~middle class lives? It's possible.

Spaceflight is scale-dependent.

There's manufacturing scale. Building 1 rocket a year is probably an order-of-magnitude more expensive per-rocket than building 100 rockets per year. And a cubesat launcher is at least an order of magnitude more expensive per kg than an EELV-class rocket at same launch rate, and an HLV is probably cheaper still at the same launch rate. Reuse furthers this trend, especially for full reuse. And in-space infrastructure ALSO requires similar scale to be worthwhile.

So we need as many people as we can to be as rich as possible for spaceflight to work.
« Last Edit: 09/25/2016 02:17 AM by Robotbeat »
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Offline AncientU

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #54 on: 09/25/2016 07:22 AM »
<snip>

So we need as many people as we can to be as rich as possible for spaceflight to work.

Not spaceflight, but space tourism.

For spaceflight to become routine, millions-of-people-in-space routine, there must be fundamental economic activity supporting the demand, I believe.  (I'm not sure what this demand will be, but I doubt billionaire tourism will carry us very far -- in fact it could doom NASA spaceflight as a public outlay 'for the rich' only.)

Possibly the airline industry is a partial analog... millions of people fly each day, but it is the business traveler that keeps airlines solvent -- and that is way less than half of the occupied seats.

Note: Frequent flyer miles... out of this world!!!
« Last Edit: 09/25/2016 07:24 AM by AncientU »
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Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #55 on: 09/25/2016 05:57 PM »
Ok lets scale the payloads on NG for a tourist industry.

For every 5 tourists, 2 permanent crew, and 1 capsule pilots (assuming a 7 person capsule) [In a single capsule 5 tourists, 1 permanent crew, and 1 pilot - assumes 4 such tourist flights per year].

For every 5 tourists, 2 permanent crew and 1 visiting pilot and 1 double up crew awaiting return there would be 2 BA330s.

For each BA330 there would be 1 cargo flight of 10mt of delivered pressurized supplies [requires a capsule to deliver]

Initially 2 NG launches to put up the BA330s.

After each BA330 launch an installation and checkout crew visits the station (2 crew remain on station).

Station established for tourism current total NG launches 4.

Next is first resupply flight.
Then normal tourist flights every quarter and resupply every 6 months.

After 5 years total flights = 34, Revenue [at $20M per seat] = $2,000M.

Costs of flights would need to be ~$1,800M or just $53M/flight.

Although this case closes the number of tourists/yr doesn't. Would need 20 tourists/yr but the price only suggest at best 2 tourists/yr.

Before this type of tourist business for its own sake and not a parasite on existing support for other business would require seat prices to drop to $5M. In order to do this a larger 20+ passenger capsule is needed.

Regular on-orbit  research/business/gov would work in the 7 person sized capsule 6 flights per year model but not tourist on its own. Tourists would fill occasional empty seats only.

edit: forgot a 0 2,000 not 2,00

« Last Edit: 09/25/2016 07:26 PM by oldAtlas_Eguy »

Offline GWH

Why seperate flights for BA330 and crew? A BA330 supposedly masses 20mt and using Dragon2 as an example of 6.4mt the stacked payload would still be sub 30mt with a stacked adapter.
This should be in the range of the very large LEO payload of New Glenn, would provide economies of scale (cutting # of flights in half) and why I would speculate they are going with such a large rocket vs an EELV class launcher.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #57 on: 10/01/2016 05:45 AM »
One thing I noticed is New Glenn is about the perfect size to lift a space plane the size of the HL-42.
http://www.astronautix.com/h/hl-42.html

Even though it was down played in an earlier post partnering with SNC could be one way BO could close the gap with Spacex and Boeing.
« Last Edit: 10/01/2016 05:51 AM by Patchouli »

Offline TrevorMonty

One thing I noticed is New Glenn is about the perfect size to lift a space plane the size of the HL-42.
http://www.astronautix.com/h/hl-42.html

Even though it was down played in an earlier post partnering with SNC could be one way BO could close the gap with Spacex and Boeing.
The Dreams Chaser is based on HL-20/42. Blue are using Biconic capsule last they released any info commercial crew.

Offline jsgirald

One thing I noticed is New Glenn is about the perfect size to lift a space plane the size of the HL-42.
http://www.astronautix.com/h/hl-42.html

Even though it was down played in an earlier post partnering with SNC could be one way BO could close the gap with Spacex and Boeing.
The Dreams Chaser is based on HL-20/42. Blue are using Biconic capsule last they released any info commercial crew.

What if Blue Origins take a leaf out of SpaceX's book and design a biconic second stage designed to land like ITS?
That would surely lower dramatically the pricetag of spaceflight, which is Bezos' stated target.
I can think of a lot of uses for a fully reusable TSTO capable of say 20-30 tons to LEO, from space station assembly/maintenance to satellite constellations or crew taxi ...
"For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert".

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #60 on: 10/01/2016 05:01 PM »
One thing I noticed is New Glenn is about the perfect size to lift a space plane the size of the HL-42.
http://www.astronautix.com/h/hl-42.html

Even though it was down played in an earlier post partnering with SNC could be one way BO could close the gap with Spacex and Boeing.
The Dreams Chaser is based on HL-20/42. Blue are using Biconic capsule last they released any info commercial crew.

What if Blue Origins take a leaf out of SpaceX's book and design a biconic second stage designed to land like ITS?
That would surely lower dramatically the pricetag of spaceflight, which is Bezos' stated target.
I can think of a lot of uses for a fully reusable TSTO capable of say 20-30 tons to LEO, from space station assembly/maintenance to satellite constellations or crew taxi ...
Yes such a system available for operations in the early 2020s at 4-5 years prior to the ITS operational status would be a leapfrog of the F9/FH prices and capabilities. A 20mt to LEO for a price of $30M or less would be an excellent driver of reducing access to LEO costs ~$1,500/kg or $10M per passenger seat vs F9(reusable) at $3,000/kg and $20M per passenger seat.

Offline TrevorMonty

Blue a systematic in their approach to LV design, each new LV will build on last. This maybe why they decided on Biconic capsule, the shape scales.


Offline Patchouli

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #62 on: 10/01/2016 09:56 PM »
Blue a systematic in their approach to LV design, each new LV will build on last. This maybe why they decided on Biconic capsule, the shape scales.



A Biconic does allow an evolutionary path to a space plane type design see the Russian Kliper spacecraft.
« Last Edit: 10/01/2016 10:02 PM by Patchouli »

Offline TrevorMonty

After seeing NS LAS test I was wondering what Blue will use for NG capsule. They have few options.
1) place it on NG 1st stage and hope the 1st stage survives. Expensive test if stage doesn't survive.
2) use modified expendable 2nd stage with sea level BE4. May need to lower fuel load but should have enough DV to hit MaxQ.
 3) Use NS booster, assuming it can lift heavier orbital capsule. Would need extensive modifications to mount capsule.

Offline Chasm

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Re: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation
« Reply #64 on: 10/15/2016 11:59 PM »
A manned capsule escape test is not the first (or third) thing they would launch on NG.
By that time they should(tm) have one or more well used 1st stages. Then add a stock 2nd stage and do the test for real. Maybe do that launch partially fueled to keep the environmental impact small.

Blue is primarily interested in selling seats to tourists, they need to convince the public that their safety systems work. Easiest to do that using the actual flight configuration. For NASA they could go with a cobbled up rocket and try to save some money, but that is more difficult to explain. Also, once the booster is "free" the cost for such a test go down by a good margin. - If reuse does not work out Blue has a bigger problem.

Convincing the public is why I think that we may see another NS abort test in the future, once a booster and capsule combination reaches their end of life. Reinforcing the message that the safety systems work as intended over the full lifetime of the system.

Offline TrevorMonty

Public wouldn't care what  booster was used, just that capsule abort system worked and most important hope it isn't needed on their flight.

But you are right Blue will most likely fly a few cargo missions with crew capsule before passenger flights. Unlike Boeing I doubt they will rely on computer simulations.

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