Author Topic: Who will compete with SpaceX? The last two and next two years.  (Read 118427 times)

Online AncientU

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Michael Bloxom started the original thread at end of 2013, asking:

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Now that SpaceX is heading full-steam into demonstrating recovery of the first-stage, I was wondering whether there might be potential for current competitors to "quickly" develop similar first-stage recovery capability? E.g. perhaps adding retro-rockets and attempting a water recovery? And if it is not possible to adapt any existing LVs, what kind of vehicles might arise to compete with SpaceX in the longer term, and by who? (e.g. will it be any of the "old boys" or new space?) If these are silly questions then may I ask, what's the space launch industry going to look like in the next 5-10 years if SpaceX is successful? Who will try to directly compete with SpaceX?
bold mine

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=33472.msg1131158#msg1131158

The two bolded questions ask about reusable launch technology and overall market.

Two intervening years have revealed much evidence to inform these questions.

Blue Origin, ULA, and a European group are developing various approaches to the technology which are slated to be flying in the early-2020s.  SpaceX has demonstrated much of the cycle and is approaching the ultimate test... is it economically feasible?  Indications are that at least SES is interested in flying one of their spacecraft on a reuse booster.

A couple months into the thread, the following was posted:

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Don't know why this thread keeps expanding.  The answer is obvious, it is OSC, ULA, Boeing, LM, Arianespace, Energia, Krunichev, Blue Origin, SNC, etc.  The base assumption that Spacex is taking over the market is just wrong.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=33472.msg1164393#msg1164393

Two years later, have we gained any clarity in market direction? I believe we have.

OSC has 10 of 30 CRS-1 launches; SpaceX the remainder.  Each has a piece of the CRS-2 pie.
ULA has ended the Delta Medium line and Heavy is slated to end. Atlas is fighting for RD-180s. Vulcan is being developed on a short leash. A substantial piece of the USG market is being competed by newly-certified SpaceX.
Boeing has half of the Crew award (launches-wise) and lost out on cargo competition.  They continue to build the embattled SLS which some say is at risk by the BFR.  ULA won many launches for Boeing crew and SNC cargo, and serves as fall-back launcher for OSC.
LM lost out in cargo competition and has no part of the crew contracts. They continue to build the Orion capsule.
Arianespace has lost half of the high-end commercial market.
Energia and Krunichev have quality-control issues and politically troubling commercial backing.  National space program is being slashed. Their market share is dropping. 
Blue Origin continues to make progress toward orbital engines and launch capability with due dates still a few years distant. Plans for reusable orbital boosters are continuing and sub-orbital demos are making great progress.
SNC has a piece of the CRS-2 pie and continues reusable spacecraft development.
(SeaLaunch and Zenit are done.)

Overall, SpaceX has taken market share away from nearly everyone in the business over the last two years. 

What do the next two years look to reveal -- more of the same or end of the SpaceX market share growth?

« Last Edit: 02/27/2016 09:05 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline Mike Jones

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Arianespace did not loose half of the High-end commercial market: they still have 50+% of gto market with Ariane 5 dual launches (market now Shared with spaceX instead of ILS) and they  dominate the non-GTO market as well with Soyuz and Vega allowing them to launch once a month on a continuous Basis. All this with a far smaller institutional demand than SpaceX or ULA.

Offline Jim

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Overall, SpaceX has taken market share away from nearly everyone in the business over the last two years. 


ULA hasn't lost any to Spacex yet.

Proton and Sealaunch issues have nothing to do with Spacex
« Last Edit: 02/27/2016 10:58 PM by Jim »

Online MikeAtkinson

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Arianespace did not loose half of the High-end commercial market: they still have 50+% of gto market with Ariane 5 dual launches (market now Shared with spaceX instead of ILS) and they  dominate the non-GTO market as well with Soyuz and Vega allowing them to launch once a month on a continuous Basis. All this with a far smaller institutional demand than SpaceX or ULA.

Ariane 5 had 12 competed satellites + 1 undisclosed + 2 non-competed
SpaceX had 14 competed satellites + possibly the Iridium Next launch in July (if the contract was signed last year)
Atlas V had 1 competed satellite
ILS (Proton) had 1 competed satellite

So Ariane 5 had 41 - 45% of the GEO market.

See the SpaceX Launch Manifest Analysis thread for details.

Offline Mike Jones

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Exactly, Jim. The main victims from SpaceX are un fact ILS and SEa Launch both impacted by the ukrainian crisis and failures. SpaceX has only dominated ULA on NASA CRS 1 market (huge support from NASA with 20 missions despite all their long delays and a failure) but the situation is much more balanced on CRS 2 round awarded last month. SpaceX Will also take a first EELV Mission from ULA with the GPS mission but it is by default as ULA did not Bid. ULA manifest has never Been as Packed as this year and probably next year proving that the impact of SPaceX on their market share is marginal until today. Obviously if the RD 180 engine is banned, that Will be another story.

Offline Mike Jones

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Arianespace did not loose half of the High-end commercial market: they still have 50+% of gto market with Ariane 5 dual launches (market now Shared with spaceX instead of ILS) and they  dominate the non-GTO market as well with Soyuz and Vega allowing them to launch once a month on a continuous Basis. All this with a far smaller institutional demand than SpaceX or ULA.

Ariane 5 had 12 competed satellites + 1 undisclosed + 2 non-competed
SpaceX had 14 competed satellites + possibly the Iridium Next launch in July (if the contract was signed last year)
Atlas V had 1 competed satellite
ILS (Proton) had 1 competed satellite

So Ariane 5 had 41 - 45% of the GEO market.

See the SpaceX Launch Manifest Analysis thread for details.
Arianespace won 14 GTO satellites in 2015 (they did a press release in January) all competed but 2 of them for EUMETSAT (institutional). In addition a full Ariane 5 for JWST mission  and a lot of Soyuz missions (22 missions for commercial constellations) and 3 Vega missions (all commercial).
I wonder which are these 14 competed missions won by SpaceX that you refer to ? can anybody list them as almost all missions from SpaceX are undisclosed ? I guess you must count institutional non competed missions like the 8 CRS missions from NASA where Arianespace cannot Bid. Iridium contract dates back from 2010.
So Arainespace dominated SpaceX Clearly on the commercial market last year and the years before. And on the operational side, the Gap is huge with 3 Times more satellites launched in 2014 and in 2015. SpaceX Will probably close this Gap from 2016 onwards if they finally manage to increase Launch rate

Offline Jim

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ULA never lost on CRS because their solutions weren't allowed.  But they ended up taking away missions from OA and Spacex with dream chaser.  They also took away from antares with some Cygnus flights

Offline RocketGoBoom

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Overall, SpaceX has taken market share away from nearly everyone in the business over the last two years. 

What do the next two years look to reveal -- more of the same or end of the SpaceX market share growth?

I think we can only say that SpaceX has replaced Sea Launch and ILS so far.

Ariane still has their 50% market share (approximately)
ULA still has their block buy that will keep them busy for a few more years.

A large portion of SpaceX's manifest is NASA cargo missions to the ISS. Those can be considered an expansion of the market. Not really a loss to anyone else.

Maybe the ISS cargo missions could be considered a loss to ULA because if SpaceX didn't exist, it is logical to assume ULA would have won some of those launches.

As to the future, it really depends on SpaceX's ability to get their reliability and rate up. If they do that then lots of launch slots start opening up that the others cannot fill. So SpaceX will get them.

If SpaceX keeps operating on Elon time, then more of the same.

Online Robotbeat

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ULA and Ariane can definitely compete against SpaceX in the near term. Luckily, the launch market is still growing. I don't think SpaceX is likely to catch up with their launch manifest until 2 years from now, possibly slightly longer. SpaceX is likely to launch more every year, however, and eventually will squeeze ULA and Ariane.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline TrevorMonty

ULA and Ariane can definitely compete against SpaceX in the near term. Luckily, the launch market is still growing. I don't think SpaceX is likely to catch up with their launch manifest until 2 years from now, possibly slightly longer. SpaceX is likely to launch more every year, however, and eventually will squeeze ULA and Ariane.
ULA and Ariane are both very reliable when it comes to launching on time. They  don't need to match SpaceX for price,  just need to close the current large price gap.

LV price is not everything, satellites can cost their owners a lot of money sitting on ground waiting for LVs.
« Last Edit: 02/28/2016 03:48 AM by TrevorMonty »

Online Robotbeat

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...which I addressed. Did you read my post or just skim it and respond to the jist?
« Last Edit: 02/28/2016 04:08 AM by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline QuantumG

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...which I addressed. Did you read my post or just skim it and respond to the jist?

Sure, you can borrow it.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? The slowest possible.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Not sure where to post this, but seems to fit this thread:

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Roscosmos: Rocket reusability’s the future, but we can compete with SpaceX now
by Peter B. de Selding | Jul 4, 2017

PARIS — The head of Russia’s space agency on July 4 said Russia will remain commercially competitive in launch services by cutting prices of a newly designed rocket by 20% — the same reduction he expects to see from SpaceX’s reusable Falcon 9. [...]

https://www.spaceintelreport.com/roscosmos-rocket-reusabilitys-future-can-compete-spacex-now/

Offline Mike Jones

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Could you please provide a short summary of Roscosmos' views ?

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Could you please provide a short summary of Roscosmos' views ?

I don't want to take traffic away from spaceintelreport by parroting their freely available article (which isn't very long). However, some points made that I think are key/interesting are:

- Agreement that reusability is the longer-term future
- Says 20-odd launch contract with OneWeb shows they're still competitive
- Claims quality control issues from recent years have been addressed
« Last Edit: 07/04/2017 07:54 PM by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline GWH

- Says 20-odd launch contract with OneWeb shows their still competitive

Hehe that's cute.  No way it can have anything to do with SpaceX having split off from a partnership with OneWeb with their own competitive system.

Offline gospacex

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Could you please provide a short summary of Roscosmos' views ?

They plan to compete with SpaceX using new rocket, Soyuz-5. First flight is expected in 2022.  :o

Offline rpapo

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Could you please provide a short summary of Roscosmos' views ?

They plan to compete with SpaceX using new rocket, Soyuz-5. First flight is expected in 2022.  :o
And where will SpaceX be in five years?  Or China?  Or India?
An Apollo fanboy . . . fifty years ago.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Overall, SpaceX has taken market share away from nearly everyone in the business over the last two years. 


ULA hasn't lost any to Spacex yet.

I'm not sure how you can defend that statement.

Prior to SpaceX ULA was launching all of the GPS satellites, and now SpaceX has won at least one launch.

Prior to SpaceX ULA was launching all of the X-37 missions, and now SpaceX has won at least one launch.

And the Air Force in on record wanting competition, meaning ULA will continue to lose market share to SpaceX vs when they were a monopoly. The evidence is clear.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Mike Jones

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Soyuz 5 being a 100% Made in Russia Zenit launcher, I just don't see how this plan could work

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