Author Topic: Blue Origin's New Glenn Payload/Capsule Speculation  (Read 16219 times)

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.

Offline 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 »

Offline 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 »

Offline 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 »

Online 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

Online 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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Online 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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Offline 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.

Online 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".

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