Author Topic: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2  (Read 27364 times)

Online Chris Bergin

Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« on: 10/17/2017 07:03 PM »
Thread 2 for this general Blue Origin thread. A new update only thread will be added later.

Thread one: (Over 800,000 views!)
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=10685.0

Will fill this opening post out with more content later.

Online Navier–Stokes

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1 on: 10/19/2017 04:45 PM »
According Eric Berger (Senior Space Editor at Ars Technica), Blue Origin was once interested in buying ULA but such a move is no longer being considered:
Quote
Jacob Teufert @jteufert

My bet is BO buys ULA.
Eric Berger‏ @SciGuySpace 

they've looked at this in the past, but it's off the table for now.

Offline abaddon

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #2 on: 10/19/2017 04:59 PM »
The tweet says "they've looked at this in the past, but it's off the table for now".  This suggests such a strategy is something they might consider in the future.

Online rcoppola

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #3 on: 10/19/2017 05:26 PM »
There's not much ULA has that BO needs at this point. They have the pad, hardware, manufacturing...etc..
And they don't need to buy them to acquire any of their talent/experience, if needed.

Too many legacy entanglements with that purchase. Not worth it IMO.
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Offline woods170

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #4 on: 10/20/2017 06:03 AM »
There's not much ULA has that BO needs at this point. They have the pad, hardware, manufacturing...etc..
And they don't need to buy them to acquire any of their talent/experience, if needed.

Too many legacy entanglements with that purchase. Not worth it IMO.
Agreed. ULA only becomes interesting to Blue again once Delta IV is gone, Atlas V is on its way out, the overhead in launchpads is gone as well as the personnel count. Also, ULA will have to become agile, not depending on just government work to stay in business. Once they succeed in doing that (and I think they eventually will) than they will be IMO interesting to Blue again.
« Last Edit: 10/20/2017 08:10 AM by woods170 »

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #5 on: 10/20/2017 11:34 AM »
VAFB pad ... SLC-2
« Last Edit: 10/20/2017 11:50 AM by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline Brovane

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #6 on: 10/20/2017 05:31 PM »
There's not much ULA has that BO needs at this point. They have the pad, hardware, manufacturing...etc..
And they don't need to buy them to acquire any of their talent/experience, if needed.

Too many legacy entanglements with that purchase. Not worth it IMO.

The technology around ACES like IVF? 
"Look at that! If anybody ever said, "you'll be sitting in a spacecraft naked with a 134-pound backpack on your knees charging it", I'd have said "Aw, get serious". - John Young - Apollo-16

Online guckyfan

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #7 on: 10/22/2017 06:33 AM »
There's not much ULA has that BO needs at this point. They have the pad, hardware, manufacturing...etc..
And they don't need to buy them to acquire any of their talent/experience, if needed.

Too many legacy entanglements with that purchase. Not worth it IMO.

The technology around ACES like IVF?

Only if they want to use LH2 extensively and for long duration missions. Not needed for methane.

Online Prettz

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #8 on: 10/22/2017 04:26 PM »
Only if they want to use LH2 extensively and for long duration missions. Not needed for methane.
They do. Their proposed third stage is hydrogen.

Online guckyfan

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #9 on: 10/22/2017 04:45 PM »
Only if they want to use LH2 extensively and for long duration missions. Not needed for methane.
They do. Their proposed third stage is hydrogen.

Proposed is not the same as in use. Also it is unlikely that a third stage would be refueled. It could be useful to have a loiter time in the range of 3 days, for getting to lunar orbits or EM-L points. But that does not necessarily need an ICE, like ACES.

Offline ZachF

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #10 on: 10/22/2017 08:57 PM »
Only if they want to use LH2 extensively and for long duration missions. Not needed for methane.
They do. Their proposed third stage is hydrogen.

I would bet that they go for a reusable US before a hydrolox 3rd stage.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Hydrolox 3S never gets built.

Offline Svetoslav

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #11 on: 10/25/2017 08:20 PM »
Jeff Foust‏ @jeff_foust  3m3 minutes ago
More
Gunderson: we’re developing New Shepard primarily to get practice in reusability; think there’s a suborbital market to sustain it. #vonbraun

Jeff Foust‏ @jeff_foust  2m2 minutes ago
More
Gunderson: we’ll be launching the human-rated version of New Shepard starting later this year. Intend to be flying people next yr. #vonbraun

Online sanman

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #12 on: 10/31/2017 04:27 AM »
So will New Shepard more or less be competing with Virgin's SpaceShipTwo for customers?


Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #13 on: 10/31/2017 07:08 AM »
So will New Shepard more or less be competing with Virgin's SpaceShipTwo for customers?

I believe so. They are both aiming to launch tourists above 100 km.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline woods170

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #14 on: 10/31/2017 08:40 AM »
So will New Shepard more or less be competing with Virgin's SpaceShipTwo for customers?

I believe so. They are both aiming to launch tourists above 100 km.
Yes, both on suborbital trajectories and both allowing the tourists to enjoy unrestricted "floating around the cabin" for roughly 5 minutes.
The main difference is in how they get up there: Rocketplane with glider landing vs rocket with propulsive landing.

Offline jpo234

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You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #16 on: 11/04/2017 07:17 AM »
Someone certainly thinks it’s for Blue:

Quote
@JeffBezos congrats on cashing in $1.1B of Amazon Stock to fund Blue Origin. The future of Humanity is better for your investment! Thank U.

https://twitter.com/peterdiamandis/status/926592734743314433

Offline Mike Jones

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #17 on: 11/04/2017 08:38 AM »
Impressive if that is the case ... 2 bn$ invested by Jeff Bezos in Blue Origin in 2017 alone !  That should bring a strong momentum to their major development programmes : New Shepard and New Glenn. Maybe Blue Moon lander as well ?
According to Crunchbase, SpaceX has only raised 1,5bn$ in equity in total (mainly in 2015 and 2017 to be fair).
https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/space-exploration-technologies

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #18 on: 11/04/2017 08:55 AM »
Yeah, maybe they'll double their pace!  8)
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline jpo234

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #19 on: 11/04/2017 11:21 AM »
Impressive if that is the case ... 2 bn$ invested by Jeff Bezos in Blue Origin in 2017 alone !  That should bring a strong momentum to their major development programmes : New Shepard and New Glenn. Maybe Blue Moon lander as well ?
According to Crunchbase, SpaceX has only raised 1,5bn$ in equity in total (mainly in 2015 and 2017 to be fair).
https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/space-exploration-technologies
Or something spooked Bezos and he suddenly thinks New Glenn will not be enough?

Maybe they skip the reusable second stage for NG and go straight for NA.
« Last Edit: 11/04/2017 11:23 AM by jpo234 »
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Offline Mike Jones

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #20 on: 11/04/2017 01:10 PM »
What will New Armstrong look like ?
Is it supposed to use the same BE-4, BE-4U and BE-3U engines than New Glenn ? 

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #21 on: 11/04/2017 01:15 PM »
What will New Armstrong look like ?
Is it supposed to use the same BE-4, BE-4U and BE-3U engines than New Glenn ?

No one outside Blue Origin knows. Thread for NA here.

Offline mme

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #22 on: 11/04/2017 04:27 PM »
Impressive if that is the case ... 2 bn$ invested by Jeff Bezos in Blue Origin in 2017 alone !  That should bring a strong momentum to their major development programmes : New Shepard and New Glenn. Maybe Blue Moon lander as well ?
According to Crunchbase, SpaceX has only raised 1,5bn$ in equity in total (mainly in 2015 and 2017 to be fair).
https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/space-exploration-technologies
Or something spooked Bezos and he suddenly thinks New Glenn will not be enough?

Maybe they skip the reusable second stage for NG and go straight for NA.
I seriously doubt it. He has no reason to rush. He was no reason to be profitable by some deadline. The money is probably for all the infrastructure NG will need.  Launch pad, Control Center, fancy landing ship with Champagne fountains, etc.
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #23 on: 11/05/2017 12:26 AM »
Considering how much capital Blue Origin required just to get New Shepard to work, it's not surprising New Glenn is going to require a lot more given the way Blue Origin operates.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline Mike Jones

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #24 on: 11/05/2017 01:31 PM »
Why should they be incentivized to be cost efficient ? They will have Jeff ‘Sugar Daddy’ Bezos (at least for the next few years) to compensate any development overcosts and to pay the difference between their initial ultra low prices on New Glenn and the real cost of building such a giant orbital vehicle.

Online Lar

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #25 on: 11/05/2017 01:38 PM »
Fat budgets are not good from a project management perspective. Better to run lean.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline DJPledger

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #26 on: 11/05/2017 01:59 PM »
Fat budgets are not good from a project management perspective. Better to run lean.
JB's fat budget can be used to dev. NA as soon as possible.
« Last Edit: 11/05/2017 01:59 PM by DJPledger »

Online Lar

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #27 on: 11/05/2017 02:09 PM »
Fat budgets are not good from a project management perspective. Better to run lean.
JB's fat budget can be used to dev. NA as soon as possible.

Can be. No evidence to support *is*, though.  lots of gradatim. (VERY gradual) Lots of ferociter (directed as snark at the achievements of others) ... not a lot of launch...
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline AlexP

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #28 on: 11/05/2017 02:18 PM »
Can be. No evidence to support *is*, though.  lots of gradatim. (VERY gradual) Lots of ferociter (directed as snark at the achievements of others) ... not a lot of launch...
They also have a pretty large rocket factory under construction, and a pretty large american made SC engine on the test stand.

I realise we've gotten pretty spoiled with the amazing things SpaceX have achieved, but if you imagine they'd never existed and Blue were here, proposing a reusable first stage the size of New Glenn within a few years, people would be cutting them a hell of a lot more slack.

Second place is just the first loser, I guess. Maybe they invite that on themselves by not being nice and friendly looking, I don't know.

Online AncientU

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #29 on: 11/05/2017 03:33 PM »
Fat budgets are not good from a project management perspective. Better to run lean.
JB's fat budget can be used to dev. NA as soon as possible.

Can be. No evidence to support *is*, though.  lots of gradatim. (VERY gradual) Lots of ferociter (directed as snark at the achievements of others) ... not a lot of launch...

Blue has taken on a big challenge -- several of them in fact -- so should be to their credit.  Results after 15 years are good okay but not remotely disruptive.  Best to show the World the advantage(s) of their approach before claiming its superiority (or validity). 

Launching an orbital rocket is the ante to sit at this table.  Spectators should keep mouths shut.
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Online Lar

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #30 on: 11/05/2017 03:35 PM »
I am reminded of that ad with half a microphone and half a rocket. (the company that ran it is now mostly talk, so that's some irony I think)...
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline dror

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #31 on: 11/05/2017 03:54 PM »
Why should they be incentivized to be cost efficient ? They will have Jeff ‘Sugar Daddy’ Bezos (at least for the next few years) to compensate any development overcosts and to pay the difference between their initial ultra low prices on New Glenn and the real cost of building such a giant orbital vehicle.
Any evidence of overcosts or info about their prices? or is this just handwaving (like the rest of this thread)?
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Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #32 on: 11/05/2017 04:06 PM »
I liked the secretive Blue that only said something when they had operational HW to show off.  Now there is lot of hype but very little new operational HW. A NS flight or two would be nice, was expecting lots this year especially after Blues hype and NS flight history.

Offline su27k

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #33 on: 11/06/2017 01:51 AM »
Any evidence of overcosts or info about their prices? or is this just handwaving (like the rest of this thread)?

Yeah, there seems to be a lot of handwaving in this thread. We don't know how much of Bezos' money was invested into Blue Origin or what are the timelines, I don't think we have enough evidence to say Blue has a fat budget or is particularly slow even comparing to SpaceX. At least in terms of BE-4 their timeline is ok, not super fast but not super slow either.

But at the risk of repeating myself, I do find it unfortunate that Bezos chose "Gradatim Ferociter" as mantra of Blue (I would choose something like "Getting of this rock asap"). It's perplexing that Bezos is not pushing Blue as hard as he can even if he only views this as a hobby, surely he wants to see some great things accomplished here, and he's not young anymore, he really doesn't have time to wait for "Gradatim Ferociter"...

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #34 on: 11/06/2017 01:57 AM »
A little tiny part of me (the part I've yet to trap in a dark corner and smother with a pillow) still thinks that maybe sometime in the mid-2020s, maybe the mid-2030s, Blue Origin will stop getting ready to change the space industry and actually change the space industry.

I have hope.

Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #35 on: 11/06/2017 02:15 AM »
A little tiny part of me (the part I've yet to trap in a dark corner and smother with a pillow) still thinks that maybe sometime in the mid-2020s, maybe the mid-2030s, Blue Origin will stop getting ready to change the space industry and actually change the space industry.

I have hope.
I feel like they're just a backup to SpaceX at this point. Which is good, as Musk is almost reckless in his doubling-down of bets when he gets a whiff of success.

No one else is even on the field when it comes to developing an affordable space launch solution, so I'm glad Blue Origin is around.

I kind of doubt Blue would have a huge New Glenn factory being built right now if it weren't for SpaceX. It was always in Blue's plans, sure, but SpaceX has forced them to expedite things, IMHO.
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Offline Proxima_Centauri

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #36 on: 11/06/2017 03:41 AM »
Any evidence of overcosts or info about their prices? or is this just handwaving (like the rest of this thread)?

Yeah, there seems to be a lot of handwaving in this thread. We don't know how much of Bezos' money was invested into Blue Origin or what are the timelines, I don't think we have enough evidence to say Blue has a fat budget or is particularly slow even comparing to SpaceX. At least in terms of BE-4 their timeline is ok, not super fast but not super slow either.

But at the risk of repeating myself, I do find it unfortunate that Bezos chose "Gradatim Ferociter" as mantra of Blue (I would choose something like "Getting of this rock asap"). It's perplexing that Bezos is not pushing Blue as hard as he can even if he only views this as a hobby, surely he wants to see some great things accomplished here, and he's not young anymore, he really doesn't have time to wait for "Gradatim Ferociter"...
There's a lot of obfuscation from people in this thread about how "little" Blue Origin has accomplished since its founding.

There seems to be a perception here that BO has had billions in funding per year for nearly two decades, which is not only flat out wrong, but it reflects poorly on this site, which is usually on-point as far as facts go compared to the rest of the riffraff out there.

The "$1 billion per year" policy only started this year as far as I can tell
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/849742099805343753?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theverge.com%2F2017%2F4%2F5%2F15200102%2Fjeff-bezos-amazon-stock-blue-origin-space-travel-funding

Blue Origin had only approximately $525 million in total investments from 2000 to mid-2014.
http://spacenews.com/41299bezos-investment-in-blue-origin-exceeds-500-million/
In that same space of time SpaceX had in excess of $3 billion in investments (and it's $5-6 billion today).

This is reflected in the amount of employees at each company. Blue Origin had only 600 employees in 2016 and only has 1000 today.
http://spacenews.com/blue-origin-plans-growth-spurt-this-year/
By comparison SpaceX has more than 6000 employees
https://www.spaceintelreport.com/blue-origins-older-than-spacex-in-more-ways-than-one/

Considering how limited their resources were and are, I think they had every reason to rub it in Musk's face when they stuck the landing and reuse (and re-reuse...) before SpaceX did.

Quite frankly, the people complaining about how "slow" they are going are acting pretty spoiled and childish...

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #37 on: 11/06/2017 05:37 AM »
Uhh.. thanks for you concern but we're as aware how much Bezos has poured into Blue Origin as anyone else is. I prefer to think of it terms of multiples of $100M (by which it's 5 up to 2014 and something like 5 since then). Why $100M? Because that's the grand total that Elon put into SpaceX and having a restricted budget like that really shows... they had to go out and find these things called "customers" and do these things called "launches".
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Online sanman

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #38 on: 11/06/2017 06:23 AM »
Maybe Bezos is selling more stock because it's gone up so much in recent times. Blue Origin can then benefit more from his windfall. But I think Bezos should start selling those New Shepard vehicles to 3rd-party operators ASAP in order to reap the revenues of that, after some minimal trial-effort in proving the reliability/performance of the vehicle.

Firstly, having multiple 3rd-party operators would improve the space tourism market more quickly than having just the one Blue Origin company operating them. Let Bezos become more Musk-like and nimble with the times, and change course to allow Virgin or somebody else who's more tourist-oriented take care of the suborbital tourism business, which is merely a stepping-stone or speed-bump along Blue's greater path.

Nextly, this would provide revenue that Blue can pump into their real goal of reusable orbital rockets as the enablers for a space-based economy, so that this can be achieved more quickly. It's great that Bezos has loads of cash, but monetizing New Shepard by cashing out from it early could help facilitate the climb to orbit, where the better markets are. Why over-indulge on the appetizer when the main course is more filling?

Once Blue Origin has a more viable satellite-launching business, then Bezos might not have to sell as much stock, or at least if he does, he'll be able to spend it on further development that will take Blue's capabilities to even greater levels even faster.

Offline daveklingler

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #39 on: 11/06/2017 06:36 AM »
I kind of doubt Blue would have a huge New Glenn factory being built right now if it weren't for SpaceX. It was always in Blue's plans, sure, but SpaceX has forced them to expedite things, IMHO.

I really can't point to any evidence that Blue would go at a different pace if SpaceX didn't exist.  To anyone who plays serious chess, Blue Origin's schedule doesn't really stand out as slow. 

Admittedly, they can't move fast enough to suit my personal taste, but I'd like to see O'Neill space colonies before 2020.  That's probably not realistic.

Offline Svetoslav

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #40 on: 11/06/2017 02:20 PM »
Meh. If John Carmack hadn't pulled the plug Armadillo Aerospace probably would have cleared 100 km, fully reusable, back in 2014... for less than $10 million spent. It's nice that Blue Origin has flown anything but it's not a billion dollar achievement.
I kind of think that Bezos is building things on his own terms, not what a bunch of people on the internet think. I really don't get why people have to get on BO's case all the time when it comes to their timescales.


Bezos did state that he expected manned flights in 2017. Earlier it was also said to expect New Shepart flights to resume in late summer or early fall.
It's mid fall now.

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #41 on: 11/06/2017 05:31 PM »
Blue Origin seems to be moving along quite nicely to me.  The company did not announce plans for New Glenn (then called Very Big Brother) until September 15, 2015 - only a bit more than two years ago.  Since then it has test fired BE-4, built most of its factory at the Cape, and begun work on the launch and test complex nearby. 

SpaceX announced plans for Falcon 9 during September 2005.  It moved into its Hawthorne factory during October 2007.  Merlin 1C development finished one month later, but Merlin Vacuum testing extended into 2009.  Full scale Falcon 9 first stage firings at McGregor took place during mid to late 2008.  The first Falcon 9 launch took place on June 4, 2010.

 - Ed Kyle

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #42 on: 11/06/2017 05:50 PM »
Blue Origin seems to be moving along quite nicely to me.  The company did not announce plans for New Glenn (then called Very Big Brother) until September 15, 2015 - only a bit more than two years ago.  Since then it has test fired BE-4, built most of its factory at the Cape, and begun work on the launch and test complex nearby. 

SpaceX announced plans for Falcon 9 during September 2005.  It moved into its Hawthorne factory during October 2007.  Merlin 1C development finished one month later, but Merlin Vacuum testing extended into 2009.  Full scale Falcon 9 first stage firings at McGregor took place during mid to late 2008.  The first Falcon 9 launch took place on June 4, 2010.

 - Ed Kyle

Pretty sure they announced NG in Sept 2016, just over one year ago. Also seems like the expected date of its first launch has slipped about a year in that time :)

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #43 on: 11/06/2017 06:50 PM »
Blue Origin seems to be moving along quite nicely to me.  The company did not announce plans for New Glenn (then called Very Big Brother) until September 15, 2015 - only a bit more than two years ago.  Since then it has test fired BE-4, built most of its factory at the Cape, and begun work on the launch and test complex nearby. 

SpaceX announced plans for Falcon 9 during September 2005.  It moved into its Hawthorne factory during October 2007.  Merlin 1C development finished one month later, but Merlin Vacuum testing extended into 2009.  Full scale Falcon 9 first stage firings at McGregor took place during mid to late 2008.  The first Falcon 9 launch took place on June 4, 2010.

 - Ed Kyle

Pretty sure they announced NG in Sept 2016, just over one year ago. Also seems like the expected date of its first launch has slipped about a year in that time :)
Yes, they announced the name and more details of its design on September 12, 2016, but on September 15, 2015 Blue Origin first announced general plans for the rocket, for its Merritt Island factory, and for its Cape Canaveral test and launch site.  Blue told us then that the rocket would be BE-4 powered, but did not say how many engines would be used, etc..

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 11/06/2017 06:52 PM by edkyle99 »

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #44 on: 11/06/2017 07:43 PM »
Blue Origin seems to be moving along quite nicely to me.  The company did not announce plans for New Glenn (then called Very Big Brother) until September 15, 2015 - only a bit more than two years ago.  Since then it has test fired BE-4, built most of its factory at the Cape, and begun work on the launch and test complex nearby.

Good progress no doubt. Definitely seeming to be moving faster than ULA on Vulcan.

Quote
SpaceX announced plans for Falcon 9 during September 2005.  It moved into its Hawthorne factory during October 2007.  Merlin 1C development finished one month later, but Merlin Vacuum testing extended into 2009.  Full scale Falcon 9 first stage firings at McGregor took place during mid to late 2008.  The first Falcon 9 launch took place on June 4, 2010.

However Musk was not able to pump $1B a year into SpaceX like Bezos is with Blue Origin. SpaceX only had $65M in outside investment prior to 2010, so they had to grow while satisfying customer demand - difficult to do.

SpaceX did get an outside investment of $1B in 2015 (primarily from Google), and no doubt that has allowed them to accelerate not only Falcon 9 development, but also fund the comsat business they are starting up.

So I think people compare the available funding for both Blue Origin and SpaceX, and just based on that it would seem that Blue Origin would be further along than SpaceX. Still, not that it's a race, but it's good to have two competitors in the reusable rocket market space, so any critiques are really just wishes that Blue Origin would go faster...
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #45 on: 11/07/2017 03:06 AM »
Pointing it out repeatedly is just a bunch of snarky noise.

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #46 on: 11/07/2017 09:57 AM »
Pick one thread for criticism of Blue, (say the business model thread) and belay it in the others, and make sure it's not just repeating yourself.

My musing style didn't do it.... Gongora's warning didn't do it. Even to this SpaceX fanboy it is getting tiresome. Deletion ahead if there is more repetitive baseless snark.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
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Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #47 on: 11/07/2017 11:39 PM »
 ???
Alan Shepard; John Glenn; Neel Armstrong.
Could New Armstrong just be the BlueMoon lander?
Could a 3stage New Glenn launch a New Armstrong to the moon to bring people there?
Will New Armstrong use the BE-2 and BE-1 engines?
Was that Bezos the plan all along?

Could the New Glenn First stage with a 5m diameter BE-3U upperstage be capable of orbiting Orion?
And when the EU service module is replaced by a BE-2 powered one that also serves as pusher escape system?
New Glenn (or a 7-9 engine BFR) is way safer and could make SLS obsolete. Enables Cis-Lunar, ECLSS & human physiology prohibits further exploration. But maintaining the ISS/LLEO space lab is way more important for humanity than a CIS-lunar outpost. Don't forget that all ISS partners still rely on Russia for ISS crew transport.
0-humans in space is much closer than >10. (yes, I'm pessimistic about human spaceflight.)
« Last Edit: 11/07/2017 11:56 PM by Rik ISS-fan »

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #48 on: 11/08/2017 01:51 AM »
I think it's far-fetched to think that NA is a lander and not a bigger launcher. It also goes against a lot of the clues that were worked through.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #49 on: 11/08/2017 11:24 AM »
Sorry, here I go again:
I fooled around a bit with a image from Reddit and one from BlueOrigin.
I scaled the New Glenn so it has the same tank diameter as New Shepard.

This could be a representation of a rocket with a reusable first stage with one BE-4 engine. And as second stage a new stage that uses the tanks of New Shepard with BE-3U engine. I think this rocket can loft about 5mT to SSO 800km.
A less capable launcher could be developed with a different second stage. For example propelled by a BE-2 engine or a new LOxLNG Tap-off or Dual Expander cycle engine. (With this new methane engine BO could go back to a multiple engine configuration.)
Take off mass should stay below 200mT otherwise Solid's (GEM63?) have to be added.
This small rocket from BO could become a workhorse LEO launcher, for (EO) satellites.

Heavier payloads can be launched by developing a heavy configuration, like Falcon Heavy, or Delta IVH.
I think the configurations for the Soyuz 5 (Feniks) [methane] (now called Soyuz 7) could be suitable for this rocket idea.
The heavy variant could use two reusable boosters and a expendable booster, optionally a BE-3 upper-stage could be added. (I think 5.4m diameter would be beter in this case.)
Developing stage recovery with this rocket is much cheaper than with New Glenn, because only one instead of 7 engines are lost in case of a failure. I also think that this rocket is beter match with the current launch market. New Glenn is far to powerful for >90% of the payloads. A Soyuz 2.1B already can launches 36 Oneweb satellites, New Glenn can launch ~80 at once, but most likely have to do a orbit adjustment.   

Note: I'm speculating here!!!

Edit:
 :-[ I've changed a image.
 I think a larger payload fairing (4.5-5.4m) for the BO single stick could add value.

Another idea, could a Centaur V with BE-3U / NGL cryo upper-stage be used as second stage on the New Glenn Reusable first stage?
« Last Edit: 11/08/2017 11:30 AM by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline Darkseraph

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #50 on: 11/08/2017 02:51 PM »
I think it's far-fetched to think that NA is a lander and not a bigger launcher. It also goes against a lot of the clues that were worked through.

New Armstrong could be the name of the entire system including a lunar lander. New Sheppard is not the name of a launcher but their entire suborbital system including a human rated capsule. Perhaps NA will be a whole end-to-end architecture focused on reusuable transport to the moon.
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Offline mme

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #51 on: 11/08/2017 04:40 PM »
???
Alan Shepard; John Glenn; Neel Armstrong.
Could New Armstrong just be the BlueMoon lander?
...
No.  Blue has teased New Armstrong specifically as the bigger rocket that will follow New Glenn that is the bigger rocket that is following the New Shepard rocket.

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture sets its sights on trips to Mars and the moon
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #52 on: 11/08/2017 05:07 PM »
I can't extrapolate from that article that New Armstrong is a Launch Vehicle.
Geekwire:
Quote
“When we have millions of people living and working in space, we want them to be able to go to lots of destinations,” he said. “Mars would be one of them. The moon would be another. New Armstrong is really designed for that long-term vision.”
New Armstrong enables going to the moon and mars, is what I read.
Alan Boyle, the writer of the article, makes the assumption that New Armstrong is a larger rocket.
« Last Edit: 11/08/2017 05:11 PM by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline meberbs

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #53 on: 11/08/2017 05:21 PM »
I can't extrapolate from that article that New Armstrong is a Launch Vehicle.
Geekwire:
Quote
“When we have millions of people living and working in space, we want them to be able to go to lots of destinations,” he said. “Mars would be one of them. The moon would be another. New Armstrong is really designed for that long-term vision.”
New Armstrong enables going to the moon and mars, is what I read.
Alan Boyle, the writer of the article, makes the assumption that New Armstrong is a larger rocket.
Context matters. Blue has been quite clear that New Armstrong refers to a full new rocket.

The Blue Moon lander is named "Blue Moon" it is not named "New Armstrong." If Blue Moon was New Armstrong, they would have stated this in the original announcement of Blue Moon and would have never referred to New Armstrong again. Blue Moon also does not have "Mars" in its list of capabilities, while the above quote says that New Armstrong can send people to Mars.

Edit: Also, in the build up to New Glenn, Bezos stated repeatedly that New Glenn would be the smallest orbital rocket they ever build.
« Last Edit: 11/08/2017 05:41 PM by meberbs »

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #54 on: 11/09/2017 03:19 AM »
Sorry, here I go again:
I fooled around a bit with a image from Reddit and one from BlueOrigin.
I scaled the New Glenn so it has the same tank diameter as New Shepard.

Note that NS uses uses hydrolox while NG uses methalox which has a much greater propellant density. For the same tank volume, methalox has about twice the impulse than hydrolox. So scaling NG to the smaller size and comparing it the shorter NS needs to take this into account. The smaller NG would have much greater performance than NS since it would be using methalox and has a larger tank volume.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline envy887

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #55 on: 11/09/2017 01:39 PM »
Sorry, here I go again:
I fooled around a bit with a image from Reddit and one from BlueOrigin.
I scaled the New Glenn so it has the same tank diameter as New Shepard.

Note that NS uses uses hydrolox while NG uses methalox which has a much greater propellant density. For the same tank volume, methalox has about twice the impulse than hydrolox. So scaling NG to the smaller size and comparing it the shorter NS needs to take this into account. The smaller NG would have much greater performance than NS since it would be using methalox and has a larger tank volume.

The biggest difference vs. New Shepard would be better mass fractions and higher thrust... both of which improve performance at launch but make it very difficult to land. How would a single BE-4 booster be reusable?

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #56 on: 11/09/2017 03:14 PM »
Suggest BE-4, unlike BE-3, hasn't enough throttle/gimbal to do a single engine vehicle landing.

If you're going to do a single BE-4 vehicle, it'll be an expendable like a twin engine Vulcan.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #57 on: 11/10/2017 07:54 AM »
Suggest BE-4, unlike BE-3, hasn't enough throttle/gimbal to do a single engine vehicle landing.

If you're going to do a single BE-4 vehicle, it'll be an expendable like a twin engine Vulcan.

There are other ways to land boosters besides rockets. Air bags were considered for the Kistler K-1.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kistler_K-1_Flight_Profile.gif
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #58 on: 11/10/2017 11:47 AM »
Suggest BE-4, unlike BE-3, hasn't enough throttle/gimbal to do a single engine vehicle landing.

If you're going to do a single BE-4 vehicle, it'll be an expendable like a twin engine Vulcan.

There are other ways to land boosters besides rockets. Air bags were considered for the Kistler K-1.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kistler_K-1_Flight_Profile.gif

...considered.  So were wings and parachutes.
« Last Edit: 11/10/2017 11:48 AM by AncientU »
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Offline envy887

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #59 on: 11/10/2017 02:07 PM »
Suggest BE-4, unlike BE-3, hasn't enough throttle/gimbal to do a single engine vehicle landing.

If you're going to do a single BE-4 vehicle, it'll be an expendable like a twin engine Vulcan.

There are other ways to land boosters besides rockets. Air bags were considered for the Kistler K-1.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kistler_K-1_Flight_Profile.gif

Vertical landing of a booster has been demonstrated at least 3 times (DC-X, New Shepard, F9) and shown to be superior to at least parachute splashdown.

I don't think airbags have been seriously attempted, never mind demonstrated, though they have been proposed several times for vehicles as large as Zenit. It's possible they would work for a single BE-4 booster, as both parachutes and airbags scale better to small vehicles than large ones, but it doesn't seem to be something either Blue or ULA are interested in developing.

Offline GWH

Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #60 on: 11/10/2017 03:51 PM »
Suggest BE-4, unlike BE-3, hasn't enough throttle/gimbal to do a single engine vehicle landing.

If you're going to do a single BE-4 vehicle, it'll be an expendable like a twin engine Vulcan.

Landing of a single main engine rocket can always be accomplished by adding more little engines :) such as the 11,000 lb methalox thrusters planned for use in Blue Moon. I digress since this is off topic for the most part, but that "single engine can't land" comment always bugs me as being dismissive of other design possibilities.

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #61 on: 11/10/2017 04:48 PM »
Suggest BE-4, unlike BE-3, hasn't enough throttle/gimbal to do a single engine vehicle landing.

If you're going to do a single BE-4 vehicle, it'll be an expendable like a twin engine Vulcan.

Landing of a single main engine rocket can always be accomplished by adding more little engines :) such as the 11,000 lb methalox thrusters planned for use in Blue Moon. I digress since this is off topic for the most part, but that "single engine can't land" comment always bugs me as being dismissive of other design possibilities.

And your comment strikes me as dismissive of design *practicalities*. Adding several smaller landing engines is not trivial, and it will effect the performance of the vehicle.
« Last Edit: 11/10/2017 04:49 PM by Lars-J »

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #62 on: 11/10/2017 04:52 PM »
FWIW, think you can just about do it with 3. Smallest number where a "hoverslam" becomes vaguely possible.

Offline Jim

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #63 on: 11/10/2017 04:54 PM »
Suggest BE-4, unlike BE-3, hasn't enough throttle/gimbal to do a single engine vehicle landing.

If you're going to do a single BE-4 vehicle, it'll be an expendable like a twin engine Vulcan.

Landing of a single main engine rocket can always be accomplished by adding more little engines :) such as the 11,000 lb methalox thrusters planned for use in Blue Moon. I digress since this is off topic for the most part, but that "single engine can't land" comment always bugs me as being dismissive of other design possibilities.

No, single engine means one only and no other little engines.  Using engines that are not of the same design and are special purpose defeat the purpose and cost savings

Offline Rabidpanda

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #64 on: 11/10/2017 04:57 PM »
Considering that there is *zero* evidence that Blue is developing a single BE-4 powered launch vehicle, this whole discussion seems pointless.

Offline GWH

Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #65 on: 11/10/2017 05:08 PM »
And your comment strikes me as dismissive of design *practicalities*. Adding several smaller landing engines is not trivial, and it will effect the performance of the vehicle.

Of course it will, don't take my comment as dismissive of that.  it is simply a statement that just because one design philosophy (clustered engines with center engine used to land) has seem to become "the way things are always done" - over a sample size of two - doesn't mean alternatives should be dismissed either.

Performance effects could be mitigated somewhat - having the landing engines ignite at lift off can help mitigate the incurred dry mass and improve TWR. Perhaps a simplified fixed nozzle main engine could be used, where the clustered secondary engines provide all attitude and roll control.

Off hand I just don't see reasons why it can't be done - the very nature of a vertical landing booster has many complexities, and off hand I can't see why the above would be significantly more complicated than the alternative.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #66 on: 11/10/2017 05:39 PM »
Considering that there is *zero* evidence that Blue is developing a single BE-4 powered launch vehicle, this whole discussion seems pointless.
Perhaps.

Boils down to ... if you do smallest ELV first, does that accelerate or retard NG?

Argument for current course of action - BO has already enough flight/staff experience with suborbital NS, so all on/up focus on NG means first mission complete success is 95+ % likely.

Argument for alternative - BO doesn't want to do a complete redesign of LV/GSE/pad/recovery at scale because of flaw that requires such a costly "retry", so potentially "crawl/walk" of smaller LV (if it is and GSE/pad difference can be kept small - like with a "milkstool" etc) means you prove the less capability to potentially speed larger. And, if you have to respin larger, you're still launching likely with smaller while you respin.

Choice of different "gradatim". Are they better at gradual vehicles or gradual with a vehicle?

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #67 on: 11/10/2017 06:11 PM »
I thought Bezos said they were considering optional US for NS booster so it could service cubesat and smallsat market.

Besides this I can't see the point in another booster, better to use NG with lower cost BE3 US for smaller payloads. 

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #68 on: 11/10/2017 06:26 PM »
I thought Bezos said they were considering optional US for NS booster so it could service cubesat and smallsat market.
S for smaller payloads.

No, he has never said that. It may have been speculated by forum members, though.

Offline GWH

Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #69 on: 11/10/2017 06:58 PM »
I thought Bezos said they were considering optional US for NS booster so it could service cubesat and smallsat market.
S for smaller payloads.

No, he has never said that. It may have been speculated by forum members, though.

Yes, he did.
Quote from: Jeff Bezos
“I’m thinking it might be interesting to build a small second stage for this New Shepard booster because we could use it to put smallsats into orbit. It would be perfectly capable of being a first stage for a small orbital vehicle."
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3213/1

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #70 on: 11/10/2017 07:36 PM »
I stand corrected!

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #71 on: 11/10/2017 08:51 PM »
There are other ways to land boosters besides rockets. Air bags were considered for the Kistler K-1.
I don't think airbags have been seriously attempted, never mind demonstrated, though they have been proposed several times for vehicles as large as Zenit.
Thanks to both of you for bringing this up.

What happened when a Falcon 9 fell over on its side? Boom!

That's what would happen also with an airbag landing. You can't passivate the booster fast enough, and the landing area as well as the engine/stage is still hot and extremely dangerous - how do you mitigate those?

Also, what's the parasitic weight gain for the airbag/deployment mechanism? Reuse following burn through? How does the engine spin down / tale off during the "topple"?

Offline envy887

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #72 on: 11/11/2017 02:01 AM »
There are other ways to land boosters besides rockets. Air bags were considered for the Kistler K-1.
I don't think airbags have been seriously attempted, never mind demonstrated, though they have been proposed several times for vehicles as large as Zenit.
Thanks to both of you for bringing this up.

What happened when a Falcon 9 fell over on its side? Boom!

That's what would happen also with an airbag landing. You can't passivate the booster fast enough, and the landing area as well as the engine/stage is still hot and extremely dangerous - how do you mitigate those?

Also, what's the parasitic weight gain for the airbag/deployment mechanism? Reuse following burn through? How does the engine spin down / tale off during the "topple"?

Has anyone proposed a retroburn immediately followed by airbag landing? Everything I have seen uses chutes to reduce terminal velocity to something the airbags can handle, which would leave the booster hanging in cool air for a long time, enough to cool at least the really hot surfaces. And maybe even long enough to fully passivate and dump all props and fluids.

Small chutes are lighter than landing fuel; they just don't scale to EELV sizes.
« Last Edit: 11/11/2017 02:02 AM by envy887 »

Offline envy887

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #73 on: 11/11/2017 02:08 AM »
I thought Bezos said they were considering optional US for NS booster so it could service cubesat and smallsat market.
S for smaller payloads.

No, he has never said that. It may have been speculated by forum members, though.

Yes, he did.
Quote from: Jeff Bezos
“I’m thinking it might be interesting to build a small second stage for this New Shepard booster because we could use it to put smallsats into orbit. It would be perfectly capable of being a first stage for a small orbital vehicle."
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3213/1

"Would be interesting" does not equal seriously considering doing it. This would be the ultimate LEGO rocket as the upper stage would have to provide almost all the delta-v. Possibly interesting for very small payloads, but this would be competing against Electron etc.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #74 on: 11/11/2017 02:28 AM »
There are other ways to land boosters besides rockets. Air bags were considered for the Kistler K-1.
I don't think airbags have been seriously attempted, never mind demonstrated, though they have been proposed several times for vehicles as large as Zenit.
Thanks to both of you for bringing this up.

What happened when a Falcon 9 fell over on its side? Boom!

That's what would happen also with an airbag landing. You can't passivate the booster fast enough, and the landing area as well as the engine/stage is still hot and extremely dangerous - how do you mitigate those?

Also, what's the parasitic weight gain for the airbag/deployment mechanism? Reuse following burn through? How does the engine spin down / tale off during the "topple"?

Has anyone proposed a retroburn immediately followed by airbag landing? Everything I have seen uses chutes to reduce terminal velocity to something the airbags can handle, which would leave the booster hanging in cool air for a long time, enough to cool at least the really hot surfaces. And maybe even long enough to fully passivate and dump all props and fluids.

Yes - the alternative to an undeployable chute. Please note all the difficulties with large chutes, even at transonic speeds. Even things like ballutes are not as predictable as propulsion systems to deploy and detach.

Quote
Small chutes are lighter than landing fuel; they just don't scale to EELV sizes.
Indeed. Thus the above post.

add:

By the way, the burns are "boost back burn", "entry burn", and "braking burn".  Entry burn for dealing with the entry shock and bringing the relative stage trajectory velocity (horizontal and vertical) down to transonic, boost back to RTLS (most costly because you're cancelling your downrange or horizontal velocity), and braking/landing burn to cancel terminal velocity (vertical)  to keep from crashing into the ground.

All are retro or cancelling velocity.
« Last Edit: 11/11/2017 03:09 AM by Space Ghost 1962 »

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #75 on: 11/11/2017 02:44 AM »
I thought Bezos said they were considering optional US for NS booster so it could service cubesat and smallsat market.
S for smaller payloads.

No, he has never said that. It may have been speculated by forum members, though.

Yes, he did.
Quote from: Jeff Bezos
“I’m thinking it might be interesting to build a small second stage for this New Shepard booster because we could use it to put smallsats into orbit. It would be perfectly capable of being a first stage for a small orbital vehicle."
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3213/1

"Would be interesting" does not equal seriously considering doing it. This would be the ultimate LEGO rocket as the upper stage would have to provide almost all the delta-v. Possibly interesting for very small payloads, but this would be competing against Electron etc.

This LEGO rocket will be a money loser against many other small launchers. But Bezos could still under cut the rest of the market with negative profit launch prices. That is  his M.O. with Amazon on how to deal with competitors.

Offline DreamyPickle

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #76 on: 11/11/2017 02:26 PM »
Quote from: Jeff Bezos
“I’m thinking it might be interesting to build a small second stage for this New Shepard booster because we could use it to put smallsats into orbit. It would be perfectly capable of being a first stage for a small orbital vehicle."
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3213/1

"Would be interesting" does not equal seriously considering doing it. This would be the ultimate LEGO rocket as the upper stage would have to provide almost all the delta-v. Possibly interesting for very small payloads, but this would be competing against Electron etc.

While the New Shepard's flight profile doesn't look impressive it carries a very large and heavy capsule on top. They claim a pressurized volume of 530 cubic feet, larger than Dragon 2 or CST-100. If that capsule is replaced with a light-weight solid motor (STAR-48?) the flight profile could look much more like Falcon 9 RTLS.

Offline GWH

Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #77 on: 11/11/2017 02:56 PM »



"Would be interesting" does not equal seriously considering doing it. This would be the ultimate LEGO rocket as the upper stage would have to provide almost all the delta-v. Possibly interesting for very small payloads, but this would be competing against Electron etc.

While the New Shepard's flight profile doesn't look impressive it carries a very large and heavy capsule on top. They claim a pressurized volume of 530 cubic feet, larger than Dragon 2 or CST-100. If that capsule is replaced with a light-weight solid motor (STAR-48?) the flight profile could look much more like Falcon 9 RTLS.

This has all been discusses and looked at before, such as this post by Jon Goff: http://selenianboondocks.com/2016/01/random-thoughts-new-shepard-for-pop-up-tsto-nanosat-launch/

Discussing exactly how seriously Blue is considering it is a circular conversation that can't be resolved. Maybe they merely gave it enough consideration to check if the numbers worked, maybe more, maybe Jeff Bezos just made an off the cuff comment. Regardless a statement was made suggesting the possibility.

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #78 on: 11/25/2017 02:40 PM »
Bezos just regained title of world's richest man. Considering that just last Friday his fortune went up by a paltry $2.4 billion, I guess his $1 billion annual burn rate on Blue Origin isn't that concerning for the company's long term plans...

http://money.cnn.com/2017/11/24/technology/jeff-bezos-100-billion/index.html
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Offline yg1968

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #79 on: 11/25/2017 05:45 PM »
I thought Bezos said they were considering optional US for NS booster so it could service cubesat and smallsat market.
S for smaller payloads.

No, he has never said that. It may have been speculated by forum members, though.

Yes, he did.
Quote from: Jeff Bezos
“I’m thinking it might be interesting to build a small second stage for this New Shepard booster because we could use it to put smallsats into orbit. It would be perfectly capable of being a first stage for a small orbital vehicle."
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3213/1

Incidentally, here is a link to the presser where he said this:

« Last Edit: 11/25/2017 05:46 PM by yg1968 »

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #80 on: 12/05/2017 07:07 PM »
Quote
PARC to Partner with Commercial Space Leader to Accelerate Space R&D
Partnership to Explore Advanced Technologies and Launch Suborbital Space R&D Projects
5 December 2017

Palo Alto, CA: PARC, a Xerox company, today announced its partnership with Blue Origin to enhance awareness and interest in the vast possibilities made possible by conducting R&D in space. The partnership will leverage PARC’s expertise in technology innovation and Blue Origin’s reusable suborbital rocket, New Shepard, to push new frontiers in four areas of technology R&D: advanced manufacturing, energy systems, human-machine interaction, and predictive analytics.
 
“This is an exciting partnership at an exciting time,” said Austin Pugh, Senior Director of Global Business Development at PARC. “We look forward to working with Blue Origin’s world class team of scientists and engineers on gaining new insights from performing R&D in space. When a truly multi-disciplinary team of scientists come together to think about how to tackle big challenges, the possibilities are endless.”
The two will work together in “Accelerating Research in Space” (ARIS) to market joint R&D opportunities to PARC’s global 1000 partners and government agencies. The ultimate goal is to include an advanced technology R&D experiment on one of Blue Origin’s upcoming suborbital flights.
“PARC’s history of innovation makes them a fantastic partner for Blue Origin’s vision of opening the space frontier to new technologies, new science, and new people,” said Erika Wagner, Blue Origin’s Business Development Manager. “We look forward to adding space access to PARC’s toolbox of R&D capabilities.”
PARC will establish an ARIS working group to focus on generating new technology concepts that would benefit from performing investigations in spaceflight environments. Together, the multidisciplinary group of scientists will build an understanding of commercial space Payload Lockers and begin scoping potential experiments to bring new understandings about how technologies behave in space, as well as how they may enable future generations of advanced space systems that support PARC’s commercial and government partners.

https://www.parc.com/news-release/146/parc-to-partner-with-commercial-space-leader-to-accelerate-space-rd.html

Offline vaporcobra

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #81 on: 12/22/2017 07:31 PM »
Hm, Blue was just granted a license for New Shepard Flight 8, NET Dec 25 (Christmas Day!). I have doubts that that NET has any actual meaning, but it would certainly be impressive if they manage to refly NS that quickly.

https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/GetApplicationInfo.cfm?id_file_num=1769-EX-ST-2017
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Offline Confusador

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #82 on: 12/23/2017 01:48 AM »
Hm, Blue was just granted a license for New Shepard Flight 8, NET Dec 25 (Christmas Day!). I have doubts that that NET has any actual meaning, but it would certainly be impressive if they manage to refly NS that quickly.

https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/GetApplicationInfo.cfm?id_file_num=1769-EX-ST-2017

Seeing as it has a 6 month duration, I think skepticism that they'll launch next week is warranted.  Still good to see that they're already moving on it.

Offline vaporcobra

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #83 on: 12/23/2017 03:03 AM »
Hm, Blue was just granted a license for New Shepard Flight 8, NET Dec 25 (Christmas Day!). I have doubts that that NET has any actual meaning, but it would certainly be impressive if they manage to refly NS that quickly.

https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/GetApplicationInfo.cfm?id_file_num=1769-EX-ST-2017

Seeing as it has a 6 month duration, I think skepticism that they'll launch next week is warranted.  Still good to see that they're already moving on it.

I agree, that's most likely with respect to Blue. Only reason I'm not certain is that SpaceX have set a precedent for the permit start date as almost always being equivalent to the NET launch. BRB checking NOTAMs
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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #84 on: 12/24/2017 07:45 AM »
The recent flight, #7, had an STA with the operation start date of November 1st.  It launched almost 6 weeks later.  The best that can be inferred from the new STA is that they could potentially launch again before New Year's, can't really use it to say what the likelihood is.
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Offline Chasm

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #85 on: 12/24/2017 11:29 AM »
I think not very likely.

The major reasons are to push the launch count to two and to demonstrate fast turnaround.
Better to send everyone home now and then launch in January. Considerations go beyond Blue staff. They have payloads and those are unlikely to be something entirely unattended that got mailed in for a launch.

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #86 on: 12/28/2017 06:15 AM »
Quote
Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ rocket venture, buys land for expansion in Kent
Originally published December 27, 2017 at 3:47 pm Updated December 27, 2017 at 4:17 pm

The Kent-based rocket maker last week spent $14.1 million on 31 acres of agricultural land near its headquarters.

Matt Day By Matt Day
Seattle Times technology reporter

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/amazon/blue-origin-jeff-bezoss-rocket-venture-buys-land-for-expansion-in-kent/

Attached map from this separate tweet:

Quote
Blue Origin, the Kent-based aerospace firm owned by Jeff Bezos, has added to its holdings in Kent with a 31-acre land purchase just southwest of its headquarters. owl.li/YfGI30hsd81
https://twitter.com/SeattleDJC/status/946233009010888704
« Last Edit: 12/28/2017 06:16 AM by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline envy887

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #87 on: 12/29/2017 07:54 PM »
Space companies always state unrealistic projects developing cost&time. Taking into account that Blue Origin is a really newcomer for heavy launch vehicles busyness, without collective experience in developing complex projects, I am pretty skeptical about when we will see New Glen flying, but  we will eventually , it is to much many invested u project.
What would be your best guess, when we will see the first successful reusable flight of New Glen?

Blue hired a lot of ARJD and ULA employees that have plenty of experience. I doubt Bezos worries about sunk cost, but the amount he spent on engine development and manufacturing and launch facilities shows that he is serious about New Glenn (and well-heeled).

I expect New Glenn will fly in 2020 and be reused a year or two after that. Blue has enough funding that they don't have to iterate as much on customer flights as SpaceX did. Plus, from flying New Shepard and watching Falcon 9, they have a much better idea what it takes to reuse.

Offline loki

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #88 on: 12/29/2017 08:52 PM »
Space companies always state unrealistic projects developing cost&time. Taking into account that Blue Origin is a really newcomer for heavy launch vehicles busyness, without collective experience in developing complex projects, I am pretty skeptical about when we will see New Glen flying, but  we will eventually , it is to much many invested u project.
What would be your best guess, when we will see the first successful reusable flight of New Glen?

Blue hired a lot of ARJD and ULA employees that have plenty of experience. I doubt Bezos worries about sunk cost, but the amount he spent on engine development and manufacturing and launch facilities shows that he is serious about New Glenn (and well-heeled).

I expect New Glenn will fly in 2020 and be reused a year or two after that. Blue has enough funding that they don't have to iterate as much on customer flights as SpaceX did. Plus, from flying New Shepard and watching Falcon 9, they have a much better idea what it takes to reuse.

I am sure that Blue Origin hires the best available experts, but limiting factor is needed time to make fully effective teams for production, design, testing ,launching… Also additional time is needed to build facilities, pad, order special tools, train the employees to work on new equipment, etc . Development of such a big  engine (BE-4), which are  prone to combustion instability  by lаw of physics, is really big feat.
That are the reasons I am skeptical about New Glenn deadlines for demo launch.

Offline envy887

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #89 on: 12/29/2017 10:19 PM »
Space companies always state unrealistic projects developing cost&time. Taking into account that Blue Origin is a really newcomer for heavy launch vehicles busyness, without collective experience in developing complex projects, I am pretty skeptical about when we will see New Glen flying, but  we will eventually , it is to much many invested u project.
What would be your best guess, when we will see the first successful reusable flight of New Glen?

Blue hired a lot of ARJD and ULA employees that have plenty of experience. I doubt Bezos worries about sunk cost, but the amount he spent on engine development and manufacturing and launch facilities shows that he is serious about New Glenn (and well-heeled).

I expect New Glenn will fly in 2020 and be reused a year or two after that. Blue has enough funding that they don't have to iterate as much on customer flights as SpaceX did. Plus, from flying New Shepard and watching Falcon 9, they have a much better idea what it takes to reuse.

I am sure that Blue Origin hires the best available experts, but limiting factor is needed time to make fully effective teams for production, design, testing ,launching… Also additional time is needed to build facilities, pad, order special tools, train the employees to work on new equipment, etc . Development of such a big  engine (BE-4), which are  prone to combustion instability  by lаw of physics, is really big feat.
That are the reasons I am skeptical about New Glenn deadlines for demo launch.

Blue has been working on most of those things for several years. The production and launch facilities are well under way. I think they will at least attempt to launch in the next 36 months.

Offline loki

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #90 on: 12/30/2017 12:08 PM »


Blue has been working on most of those things for several years. The production and launch facilities are well under way. I think they will at least attempt to launch in the next 36 months.

Thanks!
My guess is close : After BE-4 qualification for one flight, they will need at least three years for demo and another two for established booster recovery.

Offline woods170

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #91 on: 12/30/2017 01:33 PM »


Blue has been working on most of those things for several years. The production and launch facilities are well under way. I think they will at least attempt to launch in the next 36 months.

Thanks!
My guess is close : After BE-4 qualification for one flight, they will need at least three years for demo and another two for established booster recovery.

The fact that Blue is rather secretive hides the fact that Blue is very much accelerating. To get New Shepard off the ground took them 11 years (from project start in 2004 to first flight in 2015).
If Blue makes the 2020 initial launch for New Glenn (and all the indications are they will) than they will have gotten that system off the ground in just eight ( 8 ) years.
That's a vast improvement given that New Glenn is orbital (in stead of sub-orbital); has multiple engines in the booster (in stead of just one); has multiple stages (in stead of just one); is using a different fuel (LNG in stead of LH2); has two production lines (Alabama and KSC in stead of just Kent); has a new engine that is five times more powerfull than the previous one; etc, etc.

Bezos is right: Slow is smooth. And smooth is fast. IMO they really are the turtle that will eventually overtake the hare.

Personally I can't wait until they start revealing details about New Armstrong. IMO it will rival (if not surpass) BFR/BFS.
« Last Edit: 12/30/2017 01:33 PM by woods170 »

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #92 on: 12/30/2017 01:57 PM »
Pet peeve is when people say NET (No Earlier Than) dates, or even projections, are "deadlines."

No, they're not. Please stop doing that. It's called NET for a reason.
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Offline loki

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #93 on: 12/30/2017 02:52 PM »
I have tried to estimate NET time for established recovery of New Glenn booster considering and describing how much of effort to be done.
If my guess of NET middle of 2023 stands test of time, New Glenn could be already obsolete without reusable second stage?

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #94 on: 12/30/2017 03:09 PM »
Pet peeve is when people say NET (No Earlier Than) dates, or even projections, are "deadlines."

No, they're not. Please stop doing that. It's called NET for a reason.

In my opinion Bezos, as well as Branson and Musk should stop giving dates.

No NETs. No Deadlines. No dates at all.

Manned suborbital spaceflight is always one-two years in the future. It has been always "next year" since 2010. And I think there's still a big chance to be one year away in the future in the end of 2018.

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #95 on: 12/30/2017 03:20 PM »
...

The fact that Blue is rather secretive hides the fact that Blue is very much accelerating. To get New Shepard off the ground took them 11 years (from project start in 2004 to first flight in 2015).
...

Nit: Blue started that project in 2000 with its founding.  15-16 years.
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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #96 on: 12/30/2017 03:26 PM »
Pet peeve is when people say NET (No Earlier Than) dates, or even projections, are "deadlines."

No, they're not. Please stop doing that. It's called NET for a reason.

In my opinion Bezos, as well as Branson and Musk should stop giving dates.

No NETs. No Deadlines. No dates at all.

Or... you could just keep calm and not take any dates to heart. I don't believe you're that much younger than me, but this instant gratification attitude of yours over the past just reeks of this instant gratification internet generation mentality. Guess what, they don't owe you (or me) anything. Read what Robotbeat said, it's a NET date.

So they're delayed, so what? So are Boeing and SpaceX crew launches. So is fusion power and humans landing on Mars. Always 20 years in the future, la-di-da. SLS is just around the corner (rrright...), and it's a government operation, so...

If you don't like knowing about their aspirational dates, just don't read about them and then be pleasantly surprised once they finally accomplish something big. Or maybe you'd prefer a scenario where they move forward faster than they ought to and get some people killed in the process?

Offline Svetoslav

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #97 on: 12/30/2017 03:44 PM »
Although I'm definitely part of the instant gratification generation (and I wrote about this on The Space Review), this risk aversion is getting annoying.

NASA is risk averse because it has a culture born of two high-profile failures. And private companies are risk averse because they're careful not to bite the hand that's feeding them (SpaceX and NASA) or they're developing capsules for space tourism and they should be as safe as airliners.

But should I remind you what Burt Rutan said years ago about moving forward?

Offline cscott

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #98 on: 12/30/2017 03:47 PM »
Given scaled's safety record, I'm not sure Rutan is the one you should be invoking here.

Offline Svetoslav

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #99 on: 12/30/2017 03:53 PM »
Ayeh, but Blue Origin is moving quite well and there are no failures. It would be quite nice if we see them doing more than they're currently doing. And being... more brave than they appear to be.

Offline testguy

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #100 on: 12/30/2017 04:45 PM »
OK we are way off topic here but I just got to get in.  Management MUST set dates in order to develop a program plan.  It is a key metric to measure your progress and is used to help make wise decisions when and how to alter the program when situations develop.  Setting dates keeps everyone on the same page working towards the same goal.  Without setting dates a program will grow and grow in cost unnecessarily and take much longer to accomplish even with unlimited budget.  Who would fund a program going in not knowing what the financial exposure was.  Those dates set internal to an organization and funding entity will leak out and see the light of day.

This is off topic, just wanted to express my view and will not post again on this.

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #101 on: 12/30/2017 05:26 PM »
Although I'm definitely part of the instant gratification generation (and I wrote about this on The Space Review), this risk aversion is getting annoying.

Like I alluded to above, it's all fun and games untill someone gets killed. Would you want to be the person ultimately responsible for that death? Risk aversion getting annoying? What if it turned out that it was your subsystem that caused someone's death?

Launching uncrewed hardware is all fun and games, but there comes a time when the decision needs to be made that you're really confident and ready to commit to putting actual people on board. You think that decision comes easy and it should be rushed? We're living in a day and age where people can cry foul that a SpaceX launch is "responsible" for a multiple car crash in L.A. because drivers should't really be expected to watch the goddamn road on their own? As private businesses, they need to take this kind of shit into account, pardon my French.

Go back to as far as Apollo 8 (say "Moon Machines", episode Saturn V) and you'll see even those engineers had second thoughts the moment they realized they were committing the lives of three astronauts to the hardware they built.

Offline Svetoslav

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #102 on: 12/30/2017 05:33 PM »

Like I alluded to above, it's all fun and games untill someone gets killed. Would you want to be the person ultimately responsible for that death? Risk aversion getting annoying? What if it turned out that it was your subsystem that caused someone's death?


While I agree that it's quite responsible thing to do... in the end you have to risk and launch the capsule with humans onboard. This is somewhat a leap of faith - you trust that the machine is stable enough to carry astronauts.

But excuse me, how many times do we need to launch the rocket in unmanned mode, before finally daring to launch it with people? How many times does Falcon 9 have to fly? Right now it has tens of flights behind its back, and only a single in-flight failure.

How many times will Blue Origin have to fly the New Shepard capsule, before sending a test astronaut?

Well I tell you ... if you think waaay too much about the risks, you aren't going anywhere.

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #103 on: 12/30/2017 05:40 PM »
How many times does Falcon 9 have to fly? Right now it has tens of flights behind its back, and only a single in-flight failure.

And how many of those tens of flights have been of the same configuration? They are literally now introducing the next version of F9 with who knows what kind of under-the-hood changes compared to previous hardware. In fact, I wouldn't venture to bet that there have ever been 10 exact same vehicles flown altogether.

How many times will Blue Origin have to fly the New Shepard capsule, before sending a test astronaut?

As many times as BO deem necessary. They aren't launching them for shits and giggles.

Offline Svetoslav

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #104 on: 12/30/2017 05:52 PM »
When I'm in the lab, occasionally I have to work with toxic chemicals and machines that could theoretically explode in my face, blind me... or even kill me.

These are the risks I take.

Tests astronauts take higher risks, but guess what - they're aware of them. And they still want to fly.

I'm happy I'm not a test astronaut though :) I will literally have no options if I want to fly a new vehicle, because noone will will let me go.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #105 on: 12/30/2017 06:20 PM »
Attempting to return to topic.

BO is a very proud organization. They don't want half measures. Or "booms". They find "agile" as suspect or "half assed".

ULA admires BO for this as of like kind.

(SX, in contrast, doesn't, more impatient, has a far more narrow objective.)

All three mentioned here have different motivators - BO wants "six sigma" spaceflight with reuse,  ULA wants survival w/o RD180 and economic NSS/institutional mission bidding, SX wants dominant global launch market share.

They conflict mostly due to "pride overlap". BO:"SX, that's not how to do reuse!", ULA:"SX, that's not how to do NSS/institutional!", "SX:WTF! None of you know anything about hard driving the global market!".

So its not "fear of failure" as much as "if you've a failure you didn't do/assess the job properly in the first place".

Offline Svetoslav

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #106 on: 12/30/2017 06:38 PM »
Actually, Blue Origin is one of my top favourite companies (I even place them above SpaceX). I guess it's also overexpectation from my side.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #107 on: 12/30/2017 07:10 PM »
One fatal flight can setback HSF industry by years or decades. Companies would closeup or kill programs as investment money disappears. Virgin Galatic were lucky to survive their fatal SpaceShipOne test flight accident.

Unlike VG, Blue hasn't sold any NS tickets so they are beholding to nobody but their owner. When they do sell tickets the NS will be ready to fly with small fleet and lead time of few months.

Offline Comga

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #108 on: 12/30/2017 07:52 PM »
It’s funny. People are in two camps.
Some think BO is being duly careful taking most of two decades to develop a system to take tourists and experiments briefly out of the atmosphere.
The other group believes that BO will fly a very large, fully reusable, LOX-LCH4, composite, TSTO, orbital launcher by 2020.
While supplying the next generation, high performance, high reliability, disposable cryogenic rocket engine to ULA.

Mind you I have a friend who works at Blue. I wish her and them the best, even while I remain skeptical.

What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #109 on: 12/30/2017 07:53 PM »
Pet peeve is when people say NET (No Earlier Than) dates, or even projections, are "deadlines."

No, they're not. Please stop doing that. It's called NET for a reason.

In my opinion Bezos, as well as Branson and Musk should stop giving dates.

No NETs. No Deadlines. No dates at all.

They give dates for their own reasons, not ours. Everyone just has to remember that. I mean gosh, how many dates has Elon Musk thrown out about Falcon Heavy?

Maybe because I've been in jobs where I have to issue No-Early-Than dates that I'm not bothered by them when they pass in silence. But if anything they provide a window into the current thinking, and I'd rather have that than silence.

Quote
Manned suborbital spaceflight is always one-two years in the future. It has been always "next year" since 2010. And I think there's still a big chance to be one year away in the future in the end of 2018.

To race is on to see who will make it to space first - the sub-orbital folks (i.e. Virgin Galactice & Blue Origin), or the orbital ones (i.e. Boeing & SpaceX).

2018 is going to be another fun year!!  :D
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 Svetoslav

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #110 on: 12/30/2017 08:08 PM »
I agree. What a fun year 2018 will be! :) I also wish Blue Origin all the best, but please... all hurry :) I want to fly to space some day :)

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #111 on: 12/30/2017 08:29 PM »
I agree. What a fun year 2018 will be! :) I also wish Blue Origin all the best, but please... all hurry :) I want to fly to space some day :)

I see no reason for them to hurry. I admire their slow and steady approach complete with their controlled releases of information.

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #112 on: 12/30/2017 09:55 PM »
Attempting to return to topic.

BO is a very proud organization. They don't want half measures. Or "booms". They find "agile" as suspect or "half assed".

ULA admires BO for this as of like kind.

(SX, in contrast, doesn't, more impatient, has a far more narrow objective.)



It is hard to compare SX and BO because they both have very different financial situations.

SX has to produce a revenue stream to fund development of new technology.  SpaceX has to stay agile and has a large customer base waiting on launches.

BO is self funded by Bezos and is not dependent on any revenue stream from customer. 

This key difference drives a lot of decision making at both companies. 

 
"Look at that! If anybody ever said, "you'll be sitting in a spacecraft naked with a 134-pound backpack on your knees charging it", I'd have said "Aw, get serious". - John Young - Apollo-16

Offline envy887

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #113 on: 12/30/2017 10:18 PM »
It’s funny. People are in two camps.
Some think BO is being duly careful taking most of two decades to develop a system to take tourists and experiments briefly out of the atmosphere.
The other group believes that BO will fly a very large, fully reusable, LOX-LCH4, composite, TSTO, orbital launcher by 2020.
While supplying the next generation, high performance, high reliability, disposable cryogenic rocket engine to ULA.

Mind you I have a friend who works at Blue. I wish her and them the best, even while I remain skeptical.

I have seen zero evidence that New Glenn will be primarily composite, or that it will be TSTO fully reusable.

Offline Comga

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #114 on: 12/30/2017 10:23 PM »
It’s funny. People are in two camps.
Some think BO is being duly careful taking most of two decades to develop a system to take tourists and experiments briefly out of the atmosphere.
The other group believes that BO will fly a very large, fully reusable, LOX-LCH4, composite, TSTO, orbital launcher by 2020.
While supplying the next generation, high performance, high reliability, disposable cryogenic rocket engine to ULA.

Mind you I have a friend who works at Blue. I wish her and them the best, even while I remain skeptical.

I have seen zero evidence that New Glenn will be primarily composite, or that it will be TSTO fully reusable.

 ::)
OK Leave those two two words out.  (fully & composite)
How about the rest of it?
« Last Edit: 12/30/2017 10:38 PM by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Comga

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #115 on: 12/30/2017 10:38 PM »
Belay that
Quote
According to Mr. Henderson, the facility will contain the largest carbon AFP (Automated Fiber Placement – advanced method of manufacturing composite materials) machine and the largest autoclave in the world as well as a stir welding machine
Composite
Not that it matters
NG represents a host of breakthrough attributes
There is a good Air Force study, done after the X-33 fiasco, that details the obvious problem with relying on multiple breakthroughs.
There will be plenty of issue to work through.
Money will buy them time, but time will be spent.
2020 is right around the corner.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline envy887

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #116 on: 12/31/2017 01:35 AM »
Belay that
Quote
According to Mr. Henderson, the facility will contain the largest carbon AFP (Automated Fiber Placement – advanced method of manufacturing composite materials) machine and the largest autoclave in the world as well as a stir welding machine
Composite
Not that it matters
NG represents a host of breakthrough attributes
There is a good Air Force study, done after the X-33 fiasco, that details the obvious problem with relying on multiple breakthroughs.
There will be plenty of issue to work through.
Money will buy them time, but time will be spent.
2020 is right around the corner.

For interstages and fairings, IMO. Fiber is state-of-art there, but nothing new. SpaceX and ULA use it there all the time.

I don't think Blue is trying anything really aggressive with New Glenn, mostly state-of-art at lower cost. Look at the design of BE-4: yes, it's ORSC, but at low pressure. New Glenn is a very large rocket to only launch 45 tonnes to LEO with downrange recovery, which suggests reasonably conservative mass fractions and design choices.

Edit: "as well as a stir welding machine" strongly suggest Al or more likely Al-Li tanks. Stir welding is only especially useful for tanks. It's also state-of-art. No breakthroughs at all. Almost everything Blue is trying to do has been done before, they are just scaling some of it up.
« Last Edit: 12/31/2017 01:50 AM by envy887 »

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #117 on: 12/31/2017 02:07 AM »
Attempting to return to topic.

BO is a very proud organization. They don't want half measures. Or "booms". They find "agile" as suspect or "half assed".

ULA admires BO for this as of like kind.

(SX, in contrast, doesn't, more impatient, has a far more narrow objective.)



It is hard to compare SX and BO because they both have very different financial situations.
Likewise ULA. Kind of "in between".

Quote
SX has to produce a revenue stream to fund development of new technology.  SpaceX has to stay agile and has a large customer base waiting on launches.
They have to also generate ROI on those developments as a "going concern", so it matters what they choose to attempt.

Quote
BO is self funded by Bezos and is not dependent on any revenue stream from customer.
Nor when/how they need to do so.

Quote
This key difference drives a lot of decision making at both companies.
That's another thread here.

In short, I've always found that companies that do actual business progress better than those who don't need to.

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #118 on: 12/31/2017 10:13 AM »
Attempting to return to topic.

BO is a very proud organization. They don't want half measures. Or "booms". They find "agile" as suspect or "half assed".

ULA admires BO for this as of like kind.

(SX, in contrast, doesn't, more impatient, has a far more narrow objective.)



It is hard to compare SX and BO because they both have very different financial situations.
Likewise ULA. Kind of "in between".

Quote
SX has to produce a revenue stream to fund development of new technology.  SpaceX has to stay agile and has a large customer base waiting on launches.
They have to also generate ROI on those developments as a "going concern", so it matters what they choose to attempt.

Quote
BO is self funded by Bezos and is not dependent on any revenue stream from customer.
Nor when/how they need to do so.

Quote
This key difference drives a lot of decision making at both companies.
That's another thread here.

In short, I've always found that companies that do actual business progress better than those who don't need to.

Kind of ignoring the fact that Amazon is a very successful business and that Blue Origin should be seen as more a part of that overall umbrella even if it’s nominally separate.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #119 on: 12/31/2017 03:02 PM »
In short, I've always found that companies that do actual business progress better than those who don't need to.

Kind of ignoring the fact that Amazon is a very successful business and that Blue Origin should be seen as more a part of that overall umbrella even if it’s nominally separate.

No. Amazon did actual business from the start, was never like BO. (Firephone, OTOH, "flamed out" because Bezos didn't want to "do the business" from the start.)

He also has many business failures. Not the thread/site to discuss then. He doesn't $hit gold, trust me on this. Nor does Musk.

Offline Star One

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #120 on: 12/31/2017 03:13 PM »
In short, I've always found that companies that do actual business progress better than those who don't need to.

Kind of ignoring the fact that Amazon is a very successful business and that Blue Origin should be seen as more a part of that overall umbrella even if it’s nominally separate.

No. Amazon did actual business from the start, was never like BO. (Firephone, OTOH, "flamed out" because Bezos didn't want to "do the business" from the start.)

He also has many business failures. Not the thread/site to discuss then. He doesn't $hit gold, trust me on this. Nor does Musk.

I just don’t get your seemingly negative take on any analysis of Blue Origin of late. No one is asking for a remorselessly upbeat message but surely some balance is required.

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #121 on: 12/31/2017 04:04 PM »
Blue is already winning launches (seven NG launches so far on their manifest) and likely has a customer for engines.  We'll see if their 'doing business' picks up tempo as the BE-4 moves toward a production start date.  They could become the exclusive launch provider for OneWeb*, for instance, which would instantly make for a head-to-head business competition worth watching.


* Especially if OneWeb gets the Boeing constellation licensing hand-off -- would put OneWeb's effort at equivalent level as Starlink
« Last Edit: 12/31/2017 04:07 PM by AncientU »
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Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #122 on: 12/31/2017 05:50 PM »
Winning launches is irrelevant, as they'll just rebook when things go long. Performing launches is all that matters.

Woods170 is right in saying that BO is quiet due to becoming serious about entry into the business i.e. launch. However, this additional attention hasn't yet resulted in the necessary gains to insure that they'll get there. Still in a "provider business free fall".

(Note we haven't heard of the BE-4 recently. Isn't ULA supposed to do an engine downselect about now? Shoe to drop?

add:
A successful FH demo and STP-2 will cause many of those on the BO manifest to switch IMHO. Between Ariane and FH, expect significant attrition as NG first flight slips by five years as my current estimates suggest.

Sure hope that BE-4 announcement happens soon.
« Last Edit: 12/31/2017 06:00 PM by Space Ghost 1962 »

Offline Star One

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #123 on: 12/31/2017 07:23 PM »
Winning launches is irrelevant, as they'll just rebook when things go long. Performing launches is all that matters.

Woods170 is right in saying that BO is quiet due to becoming serious about entry into the business i.e. launch. However, this additional attention hasn't yet resulted in the necessary gains to insure that they'll get there. Still in a "provider business free fall".

(Note we haven't heard of the BE-4 recently. Isn't ULA supposed to do an engine downselect about now? Shoe to drop?

add:
A successful FH demo and STP-2 will cause many of those on the BO manifest to switch IMHO. Between Ariane and FH, expect significant attrition as NG first flight slips by five years as my current estimates suggest.

Sure hope that BE-4 announcement happens soon.

A bunch of unsupportable supposition. There is nothing to say any of this will happen.

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #124 on: 12/31/2017 07:37 PM »
Sure hope that BE-4 announcement happens soon.

From September 12 on a ULA Vulcan thread:

Quote
Tory Bruno, CEO @ulalaunch: CDR for Vulcan rocket by end this yr; we'll determine engine choice - @AerojetRdyne v @blueorigin before then.

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/907629989377576962

IF ULA stuck to their schedule we may hear soon, but I suspect they’re waiting for more BE-4 progress (as I’d expect Blue Origin to publicise any major milestone, such as a successful full thrust and/or full duration firing).

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #125 on: 12/31/2017 09:18 PM »
Winning launches is irrelevant, as they'll just rebook when things go long. Performing launches is all that matters.

Woods170 is right in saying that BO is quiet due to becoming serious about entry into the business i.e. launch. However, this additional attention hasn't yet resulted in the necessary gains to insure that they'll get there. Still in a "provider business free fall".

(Note we haven't heard of the BE-4 recently. Isn't ULA supposed to do an engine downselect about now? Shoe to drop?

add:
A successful FH demo and STP-2 will cause many of those on the BO manifest to switch IMHO. Between Ariane and FH, expect significant attrition as NG first flight slips by five years as my current estimates suggest.

Sure hope that BE-4 announcement happens soon.

That's what Jim said about the first 20 launches that SpaceX added to its manifest.  I don't doubt that BE-4 and NG could (will) be delayed... OneWeb and Eutelsat know that, too.  Yet prices plus capability (or something else?) appeared attractive enough for each customer to go out on the limb and announce their intention to fly early on NG.  That's not nothing.

So, is your estimate that NG first flight will slip to 2025?  What is your basis for that prediction? -- just curious.
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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #126 on: 12/31/2017 09:55 PM »
There's some L2 information regarding BE-4 testing progress:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42173

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #127 on: 12/31/2017 10:17 PM »
Winning launches is irrelevant, as they'll just rebook when things go long. Performing launches is all that matters.

Woods170 is right in saying that BO is quiet due to becoming serious about entry into the business i.e. launch. However, this additional attention hasn't yet resulted in the necessary gains to insure that they'll get there. Still in a "provider business free fall".

(Note we haven't heard of the BE-4 recently. Isn't ULA supposed to do an engine downselect about now? Shoe to drop?

add:
A successful FH demo and STP-2 will cause many of those on the BO manifest to switch IMHO. Between Ariane and FH, expect significant attrition as NG first flight slips by five years as my current estimates suggest.

Sure hope that BE-4 announcement happens soon.

That's what Jim said about the first 20 launches that SpaceX added to its manifest.
Jim is wise.

SX has lost missions to Ariane 5. And you know, it does make sense that the same logic fits the *any* LV introduction, including FH and NG, as it did Ariane 5's early issues.

Quote
I don't doubt that BE-4 and NG could (will) be delayed... OneWeb and Eutelsat know that, too.  Yet prices plus capability (or something else?) appeared attractive enough for each customer to go out on the limb and announce their intention to fly early on NG.  That's not nothing.
No, it isn't.

Who knows, maybe everything just comes together smoothly, passes all tests/qualifications, and flies the first time (haven't experienced this joy yet but I'd love to see it). I'd even like to see it on NS RSN.

Quote
So, is your estimate that NG first flight will slip to 2025?  What is your basis for that prediction? -- just curious.
Can give you some.

First, everything falls out of the propulsion and plumbing aspects of this, as "long poles". From the artifacts in the brief BE-4 video we've been allowed to see, they were straining at the time to have a marginal "safe" test burn.

So the work to progress to the point where ULA can accept the engine for Vulcan and downselect AR-1 is still a considerable challenge. Having BE-4 be used by Vulcan means that BO can skip an interim vehicle development to prove the engine on, to reduce schedule pressure. As that delays, everything else backs up, as you can't get certain information you need to advance designs.

Next, other subsystems that you might refine on NS that might be re-implemented for NG possibly need more flight history and application before you can move on, and this also appears to be stalled.

Next, your GSE and pad infrastructure needs a structural test item to be fabricated to layout and build key elements of the facility, for the others to come together. Don't see it.

More like this. In general, its a lack of specific items that have to be present that aren't present, and also the fact that a partner also isn't crowing about what they badly need being provided as expected.

Am all ears to hear that these have been done and everything is on schedule.

As to my 5 year assessment, its from things I'm hearing as to how others are "managing expectations". I don't see the confidence and I do see alternative paths considered. These often shift, but seem pretty consistent at the moment.

There's some L2 information regarding BE-4 testing progress:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42173
Am aware of non-public information. Have been asked to offer an opinion on it too.

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Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #128 on: 12/31/2017 10:56 PM »
Winning launches is irrelevant, as they'll just rebook when things go long. Performing launches is all that matters.

Woods170 is right in saying that BO is quiet due to becoming serious about entry into the business i.e. launch. However, this additional attention hasn't yet resulted in the necessary gains to insure that they'll get there. Still in a "provider business free fall".

(Note we haven't heard of the BE-4 recently. Isn't ULA supposed to do an engine downselect about now? Shoe to drop?

add:
A successful FH demo and STP-2 will cause many of those on the BO manifest to switch IMHO. Between Ariane and FH, expect significant attrition as NG first flight slips by five years as my current estimates suggest.

Sure hope that BE-4 announcement happens soon.

That's what Jim said about the first 20 launches that SpaceX added to its manifest.
Jim is wise.

SX has lost missions to Ariane 5. And you know, it does make sense that the same logic fits the *any* LV introduction, including FH and NG, as it did Ariane 5's early issues.

Quote
I don't doubt that BE-4 and NG could (will) be delayed... OneWeb and Eutelsat know that, too.  Yet prices plus capability (or something else?) appeared attractive enough for each customer to go out on the limb and announce their intention to fly early on NG.  That's not nothing.
No, it isn't.

Who knows, maybe everything just comes together smoothly, passes all tests/qualifications, and flies the first time (haven't experienced this joy yet but I'd love to see it). I'd even like to see it on NS RSN.

Quote
So, is your estimate that NG first flight will slip to 2025?  What is your basis for that prediction? -- just curious.
Can give you some.

First, everything falls out of the propulsion and plumbing aspects of this, as "long poles". From the artifacts in the brief BE-4 video we've been allowed to see, they were straining at the time to have a marginal "safe" test burn.

So the work to progress to the point where ULA can accept the engine for Vulcan and downselect AR-1 is still a considerable challenge. Having BE-4 be used by Vulcan means that BO can skip an interim vehicle development to prove the engine on, to reduce schedule pressure. As that delays, everything else backs up, as you can't get certain information you need to advance designs.

Next, other subsystems that you might refine on NS that might be re-implemented for NG possibly need more flight history and application before you can move on, and this also appears to be stalled.

Next, your GSE and pad infrastructure needs a structural test item to be fabricated to layout and build key elements of the facility, for the others to come together. Don't see it.

More like this. In general, its a lack of specific items that have to be present that aren't present, and also the fact that a partner also isn't crowing about what they badly need being provided as expected.

Am all ears to hear that these have been done and everything is on schedule.

As to my 5 year assessment, its from things I'm hearing as to how others are "managing expectations". I don't see the confidence and I do see alternative paths considered. These often shift, but seem pretty consistent at the moment.

There's some L2 information regarding BE-4 testing progress:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42173
Am aware of non-public information. Have been asked to offer an opinion on it too.

You know it’s pointless debating this topic with you as you constantly move the goalposts to justify your opinions. Even when someone goes to the trouble of actually countering your arguments you just move the goalposts again or come up with more hypothetical hoops for BO to leap through.
« Last Edit: 12/31/2017 10:56 PM by Star One »

Offline woods170

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #129 on: 12/31/2017 11:28 PM »
...

The fact that Blue is rather secretive hides the fact that Blue is very much accelerating. To get New Shepard off the ground took them 11 years (from project start in 2004 to first flight in 2015).
...

Nit: Blue started that project in 2000 with its founding.  15-16 years.

Not quite. The first four years of Blue were spent on seeking alternatives for chemical rockets and next exploring VTVL principles and technologies via the Charon and Goddard vehicles. It wasn't until both had validated Blue's newly-developed VTVL technology that New Shepard began serious development. The first POC for New Shepard took nearly seven years to fly in August 2011. And then another 4 years until the actual New Shepard system.

Offline woods170

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #130 on: 12/31/2017 11:31 PM »
One fatal flight can setback HSF industry by years or decades. Companies would closeup or kill programs as investment money disappears.


This is a fallacy in the case of Blue. With pockets as deep as Bezos' a fatal flight in their HSF program is not going to kill their HSF program.

Online AncientU

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #131 on: 01/01/2018 12:04 PM »
Both Blue and OneWeb seem to be getting on with the process, so we'll just have to watch as pieces come together.

Quote
“New Glenn has the capability and performance to launch customers into polar orbit from Florida,” the company said in a statement. “We are working diligently to finish our launch site at Launch Complex 36 so we can meet the market demands of commercial, civil, and national security customers from the Space Coast.”

Brian Holz, CEO of OneWeb Satellites, which next year will start building satellites at KSC, said a polar launch option from Florida would benefit rocket and satellite providers.

“From a OneWeb Satellites perspective, having the satellite manufacturing located next door to a launch facility that has such flexibility would be a huge benefit,” he said.

http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2017/12/31/southbound-cape-rockets-may-fly-new-path-toward-poles/975027001/

On another note concerning Jim being 'wise':  SpaceX lost a flight and swapped a flight with Ariane, mostly because FH was delayed.  What lost missions were associated with F9's initial manifest* of 20 flights?


* I believe this is on topic because of the claim above that the initial set of flights booked by Blue are fluff(irrelevant) -- going away if/when NG is delayed.  OneWeb, who placed five of those seven orders and is quoted above, seems to still be in the game with Blue/NG.
« Last Edit: 01/01/2018 01:06 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
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Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #132 on: 01/01/2018 05:40 PM »
* I believe this is on topic because of the claim above that the initial set of flights booked by Blue are fluff(irrelevant) -- going away if/when NG is delayed.  OneWeb, who placed five of those seven orders and is quoted above, seems to still be in the game with Blue/NG.
Missed the point.

Any new launcher's manifest is irrelevant because its a new launcher, not because the missions "are fluff". Just because it is a new launcher, nothing else. If you want, the mission is built around the "plan B", while the "plan A" is exercised as a timely option.

Remember, a sat recognizes revenue on orbit. So while the clock ticks down "plan A", at some point "plan B" starts looking attractive.

Starlink/OneWeb are a half decade or more from real revenue too.

Online gongora

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #133 on: 01/01/2018 05:47 PM »
Oneweb's initial constellation doesn't rely on Blue, it would be some of their second generation constellation launching on New Glenn.  The Eutelsat contract is for a payload to be determined later depending on when New Glenn actually comes into service.  They aren't contracts for specific payloads or schedules, more encouraging a new entrant into the market and probably taking advantage of new customer discounts.

Online ugordan

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #134 on: 01/01/2018 05:52 PM »
What lost missions were associated with F9's initial manifest* of 20 flights?

I can think of one right off the top of my head: Avanti HYLAS-1. In 2007 they were the first customer to sign up with SpaceX for a GTO launch.

As a cautionary tale of what might also happen to some signed BO customers, it actually took 3 *years* from the moment Avanti was *launched* on a replacement rocket (Ariane) till the day SpaceX made their first ever GTO delivery.
« Last Edit: 01/01/2018 05:53 PM by ugordan »

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #135 on: 01/01/2018 06:33 PM »
Oneweb order isn't like GEO sat mission where it is specific satellite. For example OneWeb may target satellites No50-60 for first NG but if expected delays happen then it maybe No100-110 or even No200-210 that fly. OneWeb will be launching so many satellites over a few years it doesn't matter. 

Unlike GEO satellites, losing ten satellites on low cost flight is just minor setback, probably few weeks of production.

NB OneWeb could be good candidate for Vulcan maiden flights, especially if price is right. 

Online gongora

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #136 on: 01/01/2018 07:02 PM »
Oneweb order isn't like GEO sat mission where it is specific satellite. For example OneWeb may target satellites No50-60 for first NG but if expected delays happen then it maybe No100-110 or even No200-210 that fly. OneWeb will be launching so many satellites over a few years it doesn't matter. 

They wouldn't be 50-60, or 200-210.  They'd be 800-850, or 1000-1050.  The initial OneWeb constellation is launching on Soyuz.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #137 on: 01/09/2018 06:47 PM »
There’s video at the link. Buzz said “I expect to work more with Jeff Bezos”, not “I’d rather work with Jezz Bezos”, but still interesting:

Quote
Buzz Aldrin I’d Rather Work With Bezos than SpaceX or NASA
 
1/9/18 2:02 PM PST

http://m.tmz.com/#!article/2018/01/09/buzz-aldrin-jeff-bezos-space-exploration/

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