Author Topic: Predictions for 2018  (Read 18696 times)

Online Svetoslav

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Predictions for 2018
« on: 11/27/2017 12:53 PM »
Okay, I love predictions and whether they will come true or not. Maybe a little earlier, but starting with my traditional predictions thread. Again, I remind that my comments are only opinions and interpretations about current trends in space exploration.

This time I prefer to err on the side of caution, especially after my debacle last year to predict what was going to happen in 2017.

Here I go again:

1. Smallsat launchers: we'll see more flights from Vector and Electron, perhaps we'll see the debut of Virgin Orbit. We may see a rocket going to orbit between December 2017 and January 2019.

2. SpaceX: Another good year with reusability and frequent rocket launches. Crewed Dragon will be delayed until 2019. Neither Boeing, nor SpaceX will send people to space. Falcon Heavy conducting a successful flight.

3. Virgin Galactic: There will be powered flights in 2018, but they will be less frequent than anticipated (once per three weeks). Manned flight to space (above 80kms, the boundary used in the USA for space) will occur in November 2018 at the earliest, more likely in 2019.

4. Blue Origin: More delays in 2018. Several unmanned tests in summer-autumn period. No manned flight yet.

5. Planetary exploration: Hayabusa and Osiris-REX reaching their asteroid targets. Both take photos. Japan has bad history with interplanetary exploration and rocket engines, and I don't expect things to have improved for Hayabusa - so I predict there could be trouble.  Osiris-ReX is fine. ExoMars-Trace Gas Orbiter starts delivering pictures and data. Another flawless year for Juno.

6. Lunar Exploration. More delays for the Google Lunar Xprize program. We may see a launch attempt in 2018, but I don't believe it will be successful. Landing on the Moon is hard, so I don't believe Chandrayaan-2 will make it to the surface flawlessly too. I'm quite pessimistic here.

7. Russian space : We'll see at least one flight from Vostochny. We'll see a flight test of an Angara rocket, perhaps the lightweight Angara-1.2. 2018 will be the decisive year for the Nauka module and we'll see either another big delay or (possibly) even cancellation.

8. Mars Exploration : InSight will launch and land successfully. NASA has experience, I don't expect nasty surprises here.

9. CubeSats: I expect this part of the industry to continue growing, with more than 200 CubeSats delivered into orbit.

10: Orion and SLS : Even more delays, launch date now firmly in 2020.

Online jebbo

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #1 on: 11/27/2017 01:23 PM »
Wondered if there was a thread for next year.  Anyway, I'm restricting myself to a few areas:

1. Number of orbital launches will exceed 100 for the first time since 1990.

2. SpaceX.
- Will miss their 30 launches target, but will exceed 25.
- FH will launch at least twice, with at least one success.
- Construction at Boca Chica will begin in ernest.
- First Starlink test satellites will launch

3. Blue Origin.
- More progress on BE-4.
- More New Shepard flights.
- Glimpses of new hardware when their factory at the Cape is open.
- Will demonstrate something unexpected and dramatic (like they did with NS)

4. Space science.
- TESS will launch and return 1st science data, with multiple exoplanets (easy win ;) ).
- More interstellar objects like `Oumuamua will be found (algorithms will be tweaked as we now know they exist).
- Another planet will be confirmed around Proxima Centauri (maybe; dependent on HARPS time allocation). Firm launch date for JWST before end Q2 2019.
- In the next observing run of LIGO (late 2018) there will be a 10+ minute alert before a NS/NS merger allowing much better observation of the kilonova.

--- Tony
« Last Edit: 11/27/2017 01:26 PM by jebbo »

Online ZachS09

Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #2 on: 11/27/2017 01:24 PM »
Here are my 10 predictions for 2018:

1: SpaceX will launch 29 missions during the year of 2018. All landing attempts are successful.

2: ULA’s last Delta II will fly successfully, giving the rocket 100 consecutive successes since May 1997.

3: ISRO’s Chandrayaan 2 will land successfully on the Moon, but stops transmitting after a few hours due to an unknown problem.

4: The Parker Solar Probe will be delayed into 2019 for whatever reason. Don’t know why I’m thinking this.

5: Blue Origin will continue to make progress, with hardly any delays, as to the development of New Glenn and eventual manned suborbital flights of New Shepard.

6: Orbital ATK’s NGL officially gets its first payload contracts, leading up to the retirement of Minotaur-C (Taurus).

7: Arianespace will launch 12 times during 2018; three of which are Vega, three of which are Soyuz, and the other six being Ariane 5.

8: NASA will do everything they can to change EM-1’s launch date from 2020 to December 2019.

9: Rocket Lab’s Electron mission, if it succeeds on its second test flight, will be certified for future cubesat launches.

10: NASA’s InSight launches successfully (props to Atlas V for its success rate), but fails to stick the landing due to one of its landing engines prematurely shutting down during the descent burn.
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #3 on: 11/27/2017 04:03 PM »
2018 will be the year RLVs really prove themselves as the way to go, so I'm gonna focus on SX first, with what I expect from them in a 'nominal' scenario. I don't like vague predictions, way more fun to try and guess the details:

With F9/FH, the partial reuse era is now mature:
- F9 + FH total 31 successful launches including the in-flight abort test, 1/3 of the overall worldwide attempts   
(>100 for the first time in 30 years);
- FH flies twice;
- Only 1 expendable flight, in Q1;
- Of the 29 F9 missions only 6 fly on a new booster: excluding FHs, only 5 B5 cores will make their maiden flight in 2018 (with the fifth one at the end of the year, only flying once or twice);
- 1st Block 5 flies Q1, DM-1 is the second one produced;
- After DM-1, in April/May, only 2 - 3 flight worthy used non-Block 5 cores remain, which get retired: space x now only flies B5; and has already launched 9-10 missions, 20 F9 left + 1 FH.
- These 20 mission fly on just 4 boosters: the DM-1 booster, the DM-2 booster, another built in between the two, which gets used in parallel with DM-1, and the last built in Q4, which gets used in parallel with DM-2 and only flies 1-2 missions in 2018.
- After its maiden flight, the DM-1 booster gets reused 4 times and is then retired. The DM-2 booster is the fourth overall B5 booster produced, and has its maiden flight in september, taking astronauts to the ISS from the US soil for the first time since 2011™. It also carries 6 of the 8 remaining F9 missions for the year.
- FH successfully launches STP-2 and Arabsat and the second mission to fly sports 3 reused B5 cores from the other one. (No more conversions between F9 boosters and FH side cores).
The takeaway is that almost 20 missions will fly on just 3 boosters in 2018, and that's only going to improve in 2019. SX stops selling expendable F9 boosters, stops discounting reused ones, and only offers 1 commercial price of a little less than 60M$ for 2019 for F9.

BFR/BFS: the era of full reuse is being developed:
-Raptor undergoes its first full-scale test in early 2018;
-SpaceX workforce continues shifting towards BFR and Mars development, with a major shift in the second half of the year: the 2nd FH launch has already occurred, block 5 is flying regularly and Dragon 2 DM-2 and certification are the only 'previous era' projects left.
-Mid to late 2018 SX begins construction of the first BFS, which lacks the heat-shield. The first hops will only occur in 2019 when Raptor is qualified for flight;
-Starlink demo sats get launched early 2018, testing goes well and SX is gearing up for production starting 2H 2018.
-At the 2018 IAC Elon Musk shows the progress SX has made with the BFR program (FS Raptor tests with guidance for production, updates on BFS production facilities and undergoing production, details about the suborbital testing program) and talks about yet another way of exploiting the BFR: orbital and lunar tourism.

BO:
-New Glenn production starts at the new CC facility, great progress with the launch/testing facilities;
-The BO landing ship shows up;
-NS launches its first astronaut, a month before SpaceX orbits the first crew;
-ULA downselects BE-4 for Vulcan after full throttle testing early 2018.

ULA:
-business as usual with their flying vehicles;
-Tory Bruno updates us more and more frequently about Vulcan production hardware;

Arianespace/ESA/EU:
-Demonstrated reusability is no longer something that can be ignored at an institutional level
« Last Edit: 11/27/2017 04:24 PM by AbuSimbel »
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Offline scienceguy

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #4 on: 11/27/2017 05:09 PM »
SpaceX will reach orbit 27 times with Falcon 9, and 2 times with Falcon Heavy.

SpaceX will recover 100% of the first stage boosters that they try to.

There will be a carbon nanotube/graphene production breakthrough. The effects will not be felt right away.

The NASA TESS spacecraft will launch without incident.

The NASA Insight lander will launch after a minor delay.

Mars will make it closest approach to Earth in 15 years, so there will be fake news circulating around Facebook about Mars being as big as a full moon, just like that email from 15 years ago.

An Earth-size planet will be found in the habitable zone of Epsilon Eridani, just 10.5 light years away. The discovery will not be 100% certain, though, as E. Eridani is quite an active star.

SpaceX's circumlunar tourist flight will be delayed till 2019.

SLS and Orion will be canceled, to be replaced by an orbital spaceplane.

Japan's SELENE-2 will launch without incident.
« Last Edit: 11/27/2017 05:33 PM by scienceguy »
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Online jebbo

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #5 on: 11/27/2017 05:14 PM »
Mars will make it closest approach to Earth in 15 years, so there will be fake news circulating around Facebook about Mars being as big as a full moon, just like that email from 15 years ago.

Lol, and I'd bet on another round of "Nibiru" nonsense. Also another discovery that isn't immediately 100% explicable will cause "it's aliens" froth.

--- Tony

Online Bubbinski

Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #6 on: 12/01/2017 02:15 AM »
Okay here goes....

- the balloon goes up in one of the big geopolitical hotspots and missiles go flying. Military satellites and their handlers “burn the midnight oil” and a few of them are destroyed or damaged. The world is saved from all out destruction in the barest nick of time but hundreds of thousands or even several millions of lives and a few cities are still lost. Space priorities change somewhat and space debris mitigation plus satellite replacements become top priority.

- despite the war, SpaceX gets in 22 F9 and 2 Falcon Heavy launches, all successful. The first Heavy flies in January and its payload delivers quite the “wow” factor that has the public talking. 2 SpaceX flights will be last minute satellite launches ordered up by the Pentagon. The Dragon 2 launches on an un-crewed flight successfully late in the year as does the Starliner, but crewed flights postponed till early 2019 due to delays.

- Blue Origin flies people above the Karman line on New Shepard in the fall. Virgin Galactic also flies above the Karman line with a limited load to prove its space capabilities.

- Stratolaunch makes its first flight and is pressed into service late in the year launching Pegasus rockets to fly a couple of urgently needed satellites, also contracted by the Pentagon to fly outsized cargo.

- Electron, ULA, Orbital ATK, Arianespace all fly (most of) their manifests successfully, though a few payloads are delayed to 2019. China comes back from 2017’s problems, so does India. Russia suffers at least one failure. Japanese program shines as a bright spot for that country with successful military launches.

- ISS makes it through the year crewed and undamaged though with plenty of anxious moments due to debris concerns and world politics. The crew members serve as an inspirational example of international cooperation that is frequently commented on in the media, their impassioned plea for world peace is broadcast worldwide during the worst of the global crisis.

- Insight launches successfully in May and lands safely on Mars too, the landing is cheered on by an American public (and world) in need of something to cheer for, and Osiris-Rex, BepiColombo, Chandrayaan, Chang’e, Hayabusa 2 also make positive headlines and inspire the world, and the Mars rovers and Juno keep on trucking.

- One Lunar X-prize flight launches into space, but the prize award conditions aren’t met.

- Planet 9 is discovered. TESS launches and starts its discoveries. At least one possible Earth-like planet is discovered nearby (less than 20 light years from us), and an exomoon is finally confirmed.

- I finally make it to at least one launch. (TESS, Insight, Dragon, Starliner are possibilities). I also finish at least one space related model. The Lego Space Shuttle in same scale as the Saturn is green lighted and I get one after some difficulty.
I'll even excitedly look forward to "flags and footprints" and suborbital missions. Just fly...somewhere.

Online brickmack

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #7 on: 12/01/2017 05:21 AM »
Fun, I think I hit about half my guesses for 2017...

FH flies by the end of January. The first successful Falcon upper stage recovery is performed by June, but no upper stage (maybe components) will be reflown in 2018, probably never (not until BFR). Over 30 total Falcon missions are flown, over half of which are reflights, and Block 3 and 4 are retired. Flight-like Raptor is successfully test fired

SpaceX performs both Dragon 2 demo flights. Boeing will complete the unmanned demo of Starliner, probably not the manned flight. Commercial contracts will be signed using both systems.

SLS and Orion are canceled. Lockheed will propose a commercial version of Orion to compete for lunar Commercial Crew. The cancelation of SLS puts the final nail in the coffin for OrbitalATKs EELV bid. Blue Origin and SpaceX will fight over LC-39B. DSG development continues, but the program is drastically restructured now that its no longer bound to SLS-Orions performance

Blue Origin flies passengers on NS, and rides the hype train to announce their orbital crew vehicle (a propulsively landing lifting body). Full-scale ground test articles for New Glenn are built, and manufacturing of flight hardware begins.

ULA and Arianespace both admit the futility of their current "next gen" vehicles, and drastically redesign them (in ULAs case, requiring a relaxation of RD-180 imports as Vulcan is delayed by at least a year). Atlas V and Ariane 5 receive upgrade plans to bridge the gap. Vega evolution concepts beyond Vega C are terminated. ACES development continues

Electron has a successful orbital flight, and manages an average cadence of 1 per month, approaching twice a month by the end of the year. A reusable derivative is announced. LauncherOne has a successful orbital flight. Firefly makes progress. Vector fizzles, as do most other smallsat launchers

Nauka, again, fails to be delivered on schedule. Roscosmos formally cancels the program, and realigns to replace it with an NEM-derived module, which will hopefully fly eventually

Hubble will experience a critical equipment failure. NASA begins formal planning (likely an RFP for a commercial solution) for either a deorbit or a repair mission

Online Svetoslav

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #8 on: 12/05/2017 10:12 AM »
More predictions please ;) I am reading the thread actively and I'm a little disappointed it's less active than previous years ;)

Offline EgorBotts

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #9 on: 12/05/2017 10:19 AM »
I think it's not, and I'll participate as last year, but if I may, you started it rather early (usually it's in the mid-december range).

Offline jgoldader

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #10 on: 12/15/2017 04:55 PM »
Looks like I ended up 5/9 for 2017, which isn't too bad.  We weren't as DOOOMED as I thought.  So putting on my tinfoil hat:

1) Falcon Heavy demo lost in stage 1 flight (this is an obligatory holdover from 2017).  (Edit: happily, 0/1!)

2) SLS EM-1 slip to mid-2020

3) EM-2 slips to NET 2024

4) By year's-end, rumors of a 2020 slip for JWST (Edit: ugh, +1)

5) Big budget troubles for WFIRST result in loss of coronagraph or even threatened mission cancellation

6) No Falcon 9 losses.

7) Renewed emphasis on small missions at NASA following JWST/WFIRST experiences

8.) Another interstellar asteroid is discovered, this one with a spectrum resembling an M-class asteroid (metal), starting "space alien invasion" rumors.  Asteroid rounds the Sun and heads back into interstellar space, bringing sighs of either relief or disappointment.

9) Major shake-up in Russian space following another launch failure in 2018.

10) Both Commercial Crew missions fly flawlessly.

11) Voyager 2 crosses heliopause (added 12/31/17)
« Last Edit: 03/27/2018 06:31 PM by jgoldader »
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Online Lar

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #11 on: 12/15/2017 07:09 PM »
Predictions for 2018

- SpaceX will not lose any payloads this year and will end the year with a robust flight cadence.  (I guessed 30 in the poll)
- SpaceX will launch less than 3 missions with expendable cores
- SpaceX will recover at least 95% of the cores they attempt to recover
- FH will launch at least twice, at least once successfully
- BC will not launch anything in 2018 but progress will be made
- We'll see a "full duration" firing of a Raptor in essentially flight configuration
- We'll see a testbed vehicle using Raptors to reduce BFS risk unveiled but it won't fly
- CommsX constellation will see at least the first two test satellites launched (rideshare)
- TBC will win at least one major infrastructure project and start serious tunneling
- Dragon 2 will enter service, or at least trials, including with passengers
- Tesla will unveil a rover prototype
- SpaceX will solve fairing recovery and by the end of the year (say, last 4 missions) at least 1/2 of recoverable fairings will be recovered
- Elon will keynote IAC again but the 17->18 changes in BFR/S will be less than the 16->17 changes, indicating design maturity

- Starliner will not launch any passengers in 2018

- ULA will select BE4 over AJ for Vulcan
- ULA will get closer to ACES but won't be all the way there
- ULA will launch at least one IVF experiment on a Centaur
(repeats of last year)
- ULA will remain in denial about reuse even as SpaceX eats their lunch

- Blue will launch New Shepard at least 4 times, all with paying cargo. no humans though.
- Blue will unveil a New Glen vehicle of some sort (fit test, static test article, etc) and make progress on their pad.
- Jeff Bezos will make at least one snarky and patently false comment about SpaceX, or will be snarky instead of congratulatory when SpaceX does something historic
- Blue will continue to be way less open than SpaceX

- SLS will not be cancelled but will slip in some way...

- Rocketlabs Electron will launch at least 4 times. At least two launches will be a success.

- VG won't launch paying passengers

- NSF will debut a new look and many people will whinge about it
- Tapatalk signatures will continue to plague forum posts
"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

Online Johnnyhinbos

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #12 on: 12/15/2017 07:50 PM »
Okay - here's my thoughts...

- SpaceX will have no payload losses
- They will launch a total of 31 times (I predicted 18 for 2017, which is not too far off...). This will include two FH flights. Of the 29 F9 flights, 18 will be flight proven and will use 10 distinct cores (due to introduction of Block 5)
- Block 5 will be introduced (duh)
- Of the 35 cores, 29 will be recovered - three failures and three expendable Block 3/4
- Full duration Raptor test
- In-flight abort will be awesome
- Elon will announce ISRU hardware
- Flight suit will be fully revealed
- Test crewed flight to ISS
- Antennas at BC will become operational
- re-announcement of tourist flight around moon for 2019. Still no names.
- Boca Chica will actually begin construction in earnest. On land, not water, BFR facility.
- There WILL actually be a Tesla orbiting the sun - amazing.

-------

- Tory will make another big announcement about space habs with Bigelow, but no actual hardware
- ULA will continue to fly slowly and with no failures
- Good but status quo

-------

The Europeans will push on with the Ariane 6, even though no one in the world who cares about such things as rockets thinks it makes any sense in this new age of reusable. But what can they do (they think), they've already bet on the wrong horse...

-------

Another 200+ exoplanets are added to the known list and it's pretty much taken for granted that it's more unusual for starts to be devoid of planets then vice versa.

JWST will NOT slip further and the boon of exoplanets and interstellar interlopers will fuel the funding of WFIRST

Russia will still be struggling with corruption

China silently pushes ahead

Two missions actually launch landers to the moon for the XPrize, though both after March. One succeeds. Neither is Moon Express.

--------

NSF will retain it's terrible name instead of biting the bullet and changing it to something more accurate. Possibly having something to do with being run by a Brit...

The _Other_ NSF will throw up its hands in despair and change its name to Notional Science Foundation and then realize it made no difference - though perhaps more accurate in this climate (so - climate change)

I will keep flogging people to read my excellent novel...

- Brought to you Not By TapATalk...

Edit: Fixed my bad math - 29 cores recovered not 30 (only 35 cores launched on 31 missions)

« Last Edit: 12/16/2017 07:28 PM by Johnnyhinbos »
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Offline Gliderflyer

Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #13 on: 12/16/2017 09:48 AM »
Couple of easy ones, but I’m trying to be better than my 2017 predictions.

Orbital Vehicles:
- Falcon Heavy will fly, but not in January.
- No Falcon 9 will be reused more than 3 times.
- BFR will drop the cradle landing, and the ship design will change again.
- Agile Aero won’t make any major progress.
- At least one group will have a LOX and carbon/epoxy ignition event.
- Rocket Lab will fly at least 3 times.
- Blue Origin will get to full power and duration on BE-4, and unveil some New Glenn hardware.
- ULA will downselect to BE-4 / RL10 for Vulcan and ACES.
- No private companies will successfully land on the Moon.

Suborbital Vehicles:
- While some of the XCOR IP may trickle into the world, it won’t have a Firefly / EXOS type of restart.
- Masten will continue to fly, but won’t do any major envelope expansion.
- Masten will get to thermal steady state on their 25k methane engine, but won’t integrate pumps.
- SS2 will get to 80 km “space”, but not 100 km space.
- SS2 will do at least one powered flight from Spaceport America.
- Vector will get above 100 km, but not to orbit.
- Blue Origin will do 7 New Shepard flights, but only one with people.
I tried it at home

Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #14 on: 12/16/2017 04:26 PM »
I’ll give this a go

SX
- There is at least one successful Falcon Heavy flight
- 20<X<30 Falcon 9 flights. One of the boosters they try to land crashes
- At IAC 2018 Elon displays several things about BFR, but none of those pieces are fitting together yet
- Boca Chika is prepared with the intention of the first flight from there in Q1 2019
- An Unmanned Dragon II test flight
- Dragon II Manned either happens in December or is pushed to 2019, probably the latter
- No Manned Lunar flyby :(

BO
- 1 or 2 Manned (trained test pilots) New Shepard Flights
- BE-4 declared “complete”
- Activity in the new Cape factory
- Shocking amounts of progress towards a flying New Glenn

NASA (isn’t it weird that we no longer put them at the top of the list?)
- EM-1 goes to Q-2 2020
- SLS and Orion are not, for better or worse, cancelled
- A commercial crew model program for a Lunar Lander is created and even funded due to a well timed Dragon II test quieting dissent
- An official international agreement on the Deep Space Gateway is reached. There ends up being a shockingly small amount of US involvement. The US will build a lander and transport the modules on SLS and Orion. International partners will build the modules themselves.
- Planning for a DSG commercial resupply contract begins, but there is no funding
- slightly off topic but important, Democrats gain a reasonable majority in both houses of the United States congress

ULA
- Continues successful flight streak
- Finally picks BE-4 for Vulcan
- By the end of the year Vulcan actually starts to FEEL like a thing that’s going to happen

Aerojet Rocketdyne
- Panic due to above

OATK
- All flights are successful
- Success with satellite servicing after minor issues
- For OATK it’s “the year of NGL”. The design is finalized, contracts are signed, further solid tests are conducted, and a real name is finally picked

Rocket Lab
- “Still Testing” succeeds and operations begin

Relativity Aerospace
- Surprise News involving how near they are to having a launcher, maybe even a launch

Firefly Aerospace
- See Relativity

Google Lunar XPrize
- At least two launch. They may or may not be successful, give it a 25% chance each

Russia
- At least one failure

China
- More Manned flight

India
- more robotic exploration

Ongoing flights
- Most continue to be successful
- At least one research spacecraft is lost, likely something to do with reaction wheels

Offline hkultala

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #15 on: 12/16/2017 04:30 PM »
NASA:

SLS will continue being developed, and the first rocket is getting ready
to be launched at early 2019.

SpaceX:

* F9/Dragon will fly a crewed mission
* Falcon Heavy will launch 3 times.
* The lunar flyby tourist mission will slip to 2019
* F9 will launch >25 times. Most launches will happen from SLC-40.
* More than half of the F9 launches will use already used 1st stage.

* F9 will get one first stage engine failure which does not cause LOM but causes Loss of the 1st stage, compensating for the lost thrust means too much fuel burned to get back, OR the failing engine is the center engine. Following flights are delayed couple of weeks while they investigate the reason for the engine failure. The failure happens to branch new, not reused engine.

* F9 1st stage landing accuracy keeps getting better slowly. All landings on 2018H2 are less than meter away from the center of the pad.

* Full-size raptor being tested.

* SpaceX shows images of the first sub-orbital BFS prototype being manufactured, but it does not yet fly during 2018.

BO:

* New Shepard flies multiple commercial tourist hops

* New Glenn 1st stage makes a successful static burn but the whole rocket does not perform orbital mission yet

Russians:

* Angara-5 will fly one flight.

* Soyuz and Proton keep launching many times and manage to survive a year without failures

Others:

* Rocket lab Electron flies multiple successful flights.

* BE-3 officially selected for Vulcan


Offline MikeAtkinson

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #16 on: 12/16/2017 04:40 PM »
SpaceX

1. SpaceX will be the largest launch provider, in terms of number, mass to LEO equivalent and mass to GTO (GEO-1500m/s)
2. FH flies a customer mission so SpaceX will have the largest operational launcher.
3. Raptor flight engine completes its major development phase, qualification test in 2019.
4. BFR design past CDR equivalent, tooling and factory in process of being commissioned by year end.
5. BFS cargo design past PDR equivalent.
6. Some test articles for BFR/BFS components completed.
7. majority of F9 launches will use refurbished boosters.
8. More than one core has flown three times.
9. No F9 core flies more than 3 times.
10. StarLink makes steady progress.

Commercial Spaceflight
11. More large GEO spacecraft orders than this year (but still at a low level).
12. More large GEO spacecraft launched than ordered, so launch backlog is reduced.
13. More cubesats, nanosats and other satellites under 100kg launched than ever before. Total mass of those satellites is also a record.
14. At least one more LEO constellation announced (>5 sats).
15. Consolidation in GEO satellite operators.
16. GEO satellite operators start announcing tie-ups with OneWeb and SpaceX Starlink.
17. Direct broadcast satellite revenues fall.
18. Total space economy grows by 3%
19. Chinese commercial activity grows much faster than the rest of the world, which has basically no growth.
20. First commercial response to BFR and NG, not much money invested, but lots of talk about applications when launch costs are greatly reduced.

Human Spaceflight
21. ISS extended until 2028
22. Talk of new modules for ISS, RPI issued as a first step.
23. Talk of (plan for) Chinese visit to ISS or 2021.
24. Chinese make slow steady progress, lots of talk of future station and moon activity, but nothing finalised.
25. SpaceX circum-lunar mission delayed to 2019, but we learn who the customers are, more similar missions are announced.
26. Elon Musk uses IAC to announce moon architecture based on BFR/BFS starting in 2024, Mars delayed until 2026.
27. NASA completes pivot to moon before mars, but funding other than SLS/Orion not available.
28. ESA continue to push moon village idea, start funding various precursor projects and studies (at a fairly low level).
29. Lunar Gateway continues, architecture widely seen as expensive for its utility with SLS/Orion missions used for buildup and some lunar mission plans bypassing it completely.
30. Commercial human spaceflight growing rapidly with CRS, commercial crew and the first of the new wave of space tourism.

Other
31. At least one new well-funded smallsat launcher will be announced, and probably several other less well funded launchers.
32. A 5 tonne to LEO launcher announced, reusable 1st stage.
33. China, India, ESA and Japan will all greatly enhance their reusable rocket programs.
34. Both total profits and revenues will go down for space launch, due to continued fierce competition and price erosion.
35. No surprises in science missions, observatories, robotic probes and rovers. Programs do not go a lot over budget or get pushed to the right more than the general expectations for such missions, lots of good science performed but nothing really startling discovered.
36. Tabby's star continues to puzzle.
37. Lots of new extra-solar planets discovered.
38. NSS starts to pivot to using constellations of smaller, cheaper, dis-aggregated satellites.
39. Ariane 6 widely seen as a temporary stopgap, while ESA gets its reusable plans in order.
40. ULA starts Vulcan redesign with the aim of a fully reusable rocket, current Vulcan design continues but SMART is dropped.
41. Blue Origin makes progress on NG, BE-4 and NS, but at a slow pace. Announces preliminary specs for NA.

Online envy887

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #17 on: 12/16/2017 07:14 PM »
NASA:

SLS will continue being developed, and the first rocket is getting ready
to be launched at early 2019.
...

This one is already wrong. NASA is trying valiantly to keep the SLS schedule from slipping out of 2019 into 2020. They aren't even trying to claim it's going to fly in early 2019 anymore.

Offline saliva_sweet

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #18 on: 12/16/2017 07:59 PM »
Vulcan CDR will be "making progress", but will not complete in 2018. Engine downselect will not occur officially. The reality is that Vulcan is not going to happen.

Instead, New Glenn launch site will be completed and hardware will materialize. New shapard will make one unmanned flight.

Both commercial crew companies (Boeing and SpaceX) will complete uncrewed tests, neither will fly with crew.

SpaceX will have a launch failure of a brand new core.

Other countries beside US will not make appreciable progress the field of space.

edit: except, debatably, New Zealand. Rocket lab will launch three times.
« Last Edit: 12/16/2017 08:21 PM by saliva_sweet »

Offline Darkseraph

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #19 on: 12/16/2017 11:03 PM »
SpaceX:
-22 SpaceX missions including one Falcon Heavy.
Falcon Heavy first launch is a partial failure. //center core landing failed
-  First StarLink constellation test sats go up
-  BFR undergoes another downsizing to fit the available budget and near term applications.
-  BFR proposed for NASA's new moon detour and EELV use.
- 19 out of 22 missions have successful landings.
- Unmanned Dragon 2 mission delayed to late 2018. Manned dragon 2019.
- SpaceX Lunar Mission slips to 2020.//cancelled
- Cradle landing is going to be tested on a previously landed F9 booster that has been converted.

Rocket Lab:

-Next flight succeeds
-At least 8 flights this year including 1 test flight.

Blue Origin

- Successful test program for BE4. It is picked for ULA's Vulcan.
- New Shepard has the first successful manned flights before the fall.
- New Shepard has at least 12 flights in 2018.
- New Glenn reusable second stage teased.
- Plans for an additional launch site are unveiled.
- First details of Blue's orbital capsule revealed.

Virgin Galactic


- SS2 has three powered suborbital flight by the years end. No accidents.
- First flight above 50 miles before the fall.

Google X-Prize


- Two attempts this year. Both will fail on landing.//cancelled

Russia

- Russia has two launch failures.
- MLM Nauka flies to the station by December.
- Negative perceptions of Russia after 2016's election put under pressure cooperation in the ISS, RD180 usage on Atlas V.
- Russia proposes at least one design for a future reusable rocket. 

ESA


- A pretty much flawless year of missions for ArianeGroup/ESA
- A number of European politicians call for cancelling or changing course on Ariane 6.
- Several programs for reusable technologies are given significant funding boosts.
- By the end of the year, a contingency plan for Ariane 6 will emerge for competing with reusable vehicles.
- This will be a 5m reusable booster powered by a cluster of Prometheus engines, using the same production line and pads as current Ariane 6 to keep costs low. The upper stage will be identical to A6.
- The first full scale test booster will be tested in 2022 and based on the Callisto program.

NASA


- NASA has a year of flawless missions but will be in a state of flux due to the incoming administration.
- SLS/Orion get a temporary funding surge to close the gap between missions.
- A second MLP is ordered. EUS is expedited with additional funding.
- Deep Space Gateway is cancelled.//wrong, continued as "LOP-G"
- NASA puts out a request for proposals for a crewed lunar lander.
- Lockheed Martin proposes a lander derived from Orion.
- Planet 9 is discovered.
- Curiosity discovers a completely unexpected chemical on Mars.

China

- No launch failures
- Chang'e 5 sample return is pushed forward to December and is successful.
- In 2018, they fly 30 missions
- The announcement of a U.S lunar return spurs China to accelerate its own manned lunar missions.
- China will initiate a contract to buy RD-180 engines to expedite Long March 9.


Iran


- They have a single successful launch.
- Work on a booster capable of lifting 1 metric ton to LEO begins.


Turkey

- Fraying international relations convinces Turkey to starting the process of developing independent access to space.

Japan
- A successful year with no failures.
- JAXA proposes to contribute a cargo lander to a future U.S lunar program.

India
- Record number of launches for India
- Increased privatization of the Indian space industry.
- One launch failure.
- Plans for a human capsule resurface.
- A deal is made with NASA to allow an Indian astronaut visit the ISS on a commercial crew vehicle in 2020.


ULA

- ULA picks BE4 for Vulcan.
- ULA proposes for distributed launch in 2018 as a means to support a human lunar return in collaboration with SLS/Orion.
- There is a contingency program under study at ULA for powered stage recovery.


Bonus Prediction

- Before the end of the year a new startup pursuing RLVs is revealed. The initial vehicle is designed for launching small-sats.

GREEN - CORRECT

ORANGE - MIXED
RED -WRONG
   
« Last Edit: 03/04/2018 09:22 PM by Darkseraph »
"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." R.P.Feynman

Offline vapour_nudge

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #20 on: 12/17/2017 07:36 AM »
More predictions please ;) I am reading the thread actively and I'm a little disappointed it's less active than previous years ;)

1) OK, me too. Exactly 100 successful orbital launches worldwide

2) No manned launches from US soil

3) Boeing beats SpaceX and launches Starliner first

4) Falcon Heavy fails and all other SpaceX launches and planned landings are successful

5) MLM is delayed further to 2020

6) No Russian launch failures

7) A surprise Israeli orbital launch

8 ) 3 moons found orbiting 2014 MU69

9) 1 Indian launch failure

10) 10 successful Atlas launches

11)  :) Blue Origin offer to launch Europa Clipper free albeit later

12)  :'( BepiColombo launch is delayed

13) SETI finds nothing (I needed to be certain I'd get at least one right)



« Last Edit: 12/20/2017 08:57 AM by vapour_nudge »

Offline DeanG1967

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #21 on: 12/17/2017 12:57 PM »
I predict that 2018 will end on December 31st

Offline EgorBotts

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #22 on: 12/18/2017 02:26 PM »
Here we are, after a 2017 prediction list that was not all wrong but lacked foresight on SpaceX and GLXP
So, for 2018:

Russia
- 1 loss, as usual. Probably on a soyuz.
- Vostochny picks up with at least 4 launches
- No new contract for ILS, commercial Proton is a deadend.
- Glonass continues to grow old, may see multiple failures one after another.

Japan
- Will succeed to launch the smallest orbital rocket in the world
- Announces the H3 is late (officially)
- Hayabusa 2 is flawless and Ryugu is inspiringly weird.

China
- Record year without any problems on the launcher side (24+ launches)
- At least one mission to the moon, full success triggers an americain politician sitting at WH
- Officially one mission coop with ESA astronauts in space for 2022.

- No launches from North Korea but maybe one from Iran.
- GLXP fails without any teams ready in March. Maybe Moon Express launches at mid-year.

Europe
- Arianespace becames fully Arianegroup and finally beats achieves 12 rocket launches in 2018.
- No problems at all, but politicians wrestles with public opinion and industrials on the fate of Ariane 6. Calm comes back when the first tests are successful. July 2020 date is maintained.
- BepiColombo launches, ExoMars TGO releases first results above expectations.

US/Private
- No new launch provider reaches orbit (vector, etc), except RocketLab with 4 success, paving the way for an increase in production.
- Falcon 9 flies 28 times. Falcon Heavy 3 times (first launch is a failure at booster sep). Commercial crew kicks off nicely with Dragon 2 unmanned success, but manned version delayed (pad not ready, administrative failure) to early 2019.
- Elon details his plan to reach Mars, yet advertises its (delayed) moon tourist mission and a new BFRish adventure on the moon.
- Vulcan has big announcements, but stalls in production. Still no realistic launch date. BE-4 is certified after full length burn on Q1.
- InSight launches and lands successfully on Mars. Mission is amazing yet still lacks the hype of a 4K video rendition rover.
- Osiris-rex has some problems and won't be able to gather Bennu material. Still performs a nice mission around Bennu.
- Oppy sadly dies mid-year at the least expected moment.
- SLS get delayed to end of 2020. Close to be cancelled because the commander in chief thinks it could be done tremendously better.
- Blue Flies New Shepard 7 times and proves a quick 2 weeks turnaround with this version. Details are disclosed at seat prices under 200k/person. Preparations ongoing but no manned launch til 2019.
- Virgin achieves two 50 miles high flights but suffers motor problems and cannot start the tourism operations until at least a year.
- CST-100 doesn't see a launchpad.

- Near-miss on the 100 launch targets. Still an upgrade with 98 launches.

- I resubscribe in L2 in January and this year a reliable source will appear on the Blue Origin side, finally answearing our thousands of questions.


Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #23 on: 12/19/2017 05:58 AM »
Last year's predictions:

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41823.0;all

Mine from last year:

1 - Falcon Heavy first flight will successfully happen near the end of the year.  - Missed this by maybe a little

2 - SLS/Orion lumbers through the year with some additional delays announced. - Wasn't too difficult

3 - Manned Dragon has already been pushed to May of 2018 so easy prediction that it will not fly in 2017. - stated the obvious

4 - Some version of an Augustine commission convenes and recommends return to the Moon.  - National Space Council close enough

5 - Cis-Lunar habitat concept advances with multiple proposals but no final selection - Correct

6 - NASA proposes COTS type effort for a lunar lander - not approved yet in 2017 - maybe in 2018

7 - ARM redirected to Phobos sample return - wrong just canceled

8 - No realism appears in SpaceX ITS schedule - Correct

9 - Blue Origin flies with people and announces timeline for tourist flights - Wrong too optimistic
 
10 - Virgin Galactic reaches space again and firms up their timeline for tourist flights trying to beat Blue Origin (neither will have a customer on board in 2017) - Wrong too optimistic
 


New Predictions for 2018

1 - Falcon Heavy will fly successfully in Q1

2 - US, ESA, JAXA & RUSSIA try to negotiate deal to work together to return to Moon.  No deal finalized in 2018 as concepts not worked out.
     2a - Trump tries to include China with Congress balking.
     2b - Trump tries to include India, Israel and UAE as possible partners (not settled in 2018)

3 - New Shepard and Spaceship 2 both reach space with test pilots on board.  Blue Origin does it first.  No tourists on either

4 - NASA puts out requests for proposals on how aerospace companies could support lunar effort with COTS approach

5 - SLS/Orion lumbers through the year with some more delays announced.

6 - Proposal for putting Orion on Vulcan or New Glenn is considered - Senator from Alabama throws fit

7 - Dragon & CST-100 fly to ISS

8 - Elon surprises people again with announcement at IAC

9 - Tesla Roadster on Falcon Heavy has HD dash-cam that broadcasts for a month

10 - Congress tries to block ideas that could show SLS is a waste of money and obsolete in comparison.

11- BE-4 engine is officially picked for Vulcan

12- Blue Origin advances Lunar lander concept revealing much more to public hoping for COTS shared cost development with NASA   

13-BE-4 fired at full thrust for projected mission duration.  Deep throttling for landing not fully tested until 2019

14-ESA determines Ariane 6 cannot compete on price or performance with SpaceX or Blue Origin, but continues with program anyways.

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #24 on: 12/19/2017 03:43 PM »
US, ESA, JAXA & RUSSIA try to negotiate deal to work together to return to Moon.  No deal finalized in 2018 as concepts not worked out.
     2a - Trump tries to include China with Congress balking.
     2b - Trump tries to include India, Israel and UAE as possible partners (not settled in 2018)

I don't have any great psychic impressions of the year ahead, but I am seriously under the impression that, at least per some of the recent statements that have come out relative to this new space directive, the current management of the country has no interest whatsoever in working with any other nations in space.  I get the feeling they would back out of the ISS agreements, if they could.

I base this on the recent statements that the US "now feels" that space is not a common inheritance of mankind, and is fair game to be grabbed, used and (likely) militarized at America's whim.  All in service of making America the permanent pre-eminent space power on the planet.  The theme seems to be that partnerships are seen by America's current management as weakening America's leadership position in space, rather than strengthening mankind's toehold in the solar system, and that the former is all the matters.

With public statements along those lines, I would think it would be highly, highly unlikely that, at least under its current management, America would seek -- or even allow -- any new international partnerships on space exploration.  So, my only real prediction is that, instead of seeing the US seeking new partnerships, as Eric suggests, we will see a lot of rhetoric about America needing to go it alone -- especially in a return to the Moon -- to ensure no one takes our "lead" away from us.

The associated prediction, of course, is that Congress will approve no new funding to achieve an "America-forever-first-in-space" goal -- whether they think that's the goal we should be pursuing, or not...
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Online envy887

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #25 on: 12/21/2017 01:07 AM »
US, ESA, JAXA & RUSSIA try to negotiate deal to work together to return to Moon.  No deal finalized in 2018 as concepts not worked out.
     2a - Trump tries to include China with Congress balking.
     2b - Trump tries to include India, Israel and UAE as possible partners (not settled in 2018)

I don't have any great psychic impressions of the year ahead, but I am seriously under the impression that, at least per some of the recent statements that have come out relative to this new space directive, the current management of the country has no interest whatsoever in working with any other nations in space.  I get the feeling they would back out of the ISS agreements, if they could.

I base this on the recent statements that the US "now feels" that space is not a common inheritance of mankind, and is fair game to be grabbed, used and (likely) militarized at America's whim.  All in service of making America the permanent pre-eminent space power on the planet.  The theme seems to be that partnerships are seen by America's current management as weakening America's leadership position in space, rather than strengthening mankind's toehold in the solar system, and that the former is all the matters.

With public statements along those lines, I would think it would be highly, highly unlikely that, at least under its current management, America would seek -- or even allow -- any new international partnerships on space exploration.  So, my only real prediction is that, instead of seeing the US seeking new partnerships, as Eric suggests, we will see a lot of rhetoric about America needing to go it alone -- especially in a return to the Moon -- to ensure no one takes our "lead" away from us.

The associated prediction, of course, is that Congress will approve no new funding to achieve an "America-forever-first-in-space" goal -- whether they think that's the goal we should be pursuing, or not...

That's an interesting opinion, since the recent directive specifically instructs the NASA Administrator to seek international partnerships as part of a return to the Moon.

Online envy887

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #26 on: 12/21/2017 05:58 PM »
I'll try my hand at this:

ULA:
Vulcan CDR complete, BE-4 chosen officially
More details on upper stage(s) emerge
Structural qual articles for Vulcan booster are built
15 Delta and Atlas flights, all succeed
Uncrewed test launch of Starliner succeeds

SpaceX:
Launches 28 or more times successfully, with no failures
Falcon Heavy launches 2 or more times, all are successful
16 or more launches include at least one used booster
More than 30 individual booster landings are attempted, only 2 or fewer fail
Dragon 2 abort and uncrewed tests fly successfully, crew slips to 2019
BFR updated at IAC with details converging on an initial build

Other commercial:
Blue launches NS 5+ times, crewed flights slip to 2019
BE-4 completes full power/duration testing
Many more details on New Glenn/manufacturing/LC-36 are released, but no sign of stage hardware
Virgin flies under power at least once, no crewed flights to space
RL launches 3+ times, at least 2 successful

NASA:
SLS Block 1 hardware progresses but the launch officially slips to 2020
JWST slips to 2019
No major issues on or near ISS

Europe:
Ariane 5 flies 7 or more times with no failures
Progress on Ariane 6 continues unabated
No failures on flights out of Kourou

Russia:
21 or more total launches, including at least 1 failure.

China:
24 or more launches with at least 1 failure

India:
8 or more launches, no failures.
« Last Edit: 12/21/2017 07:45 PM by envy887 »

Online Johnnyhinbos

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #27 on: 12/21/2017 06:30 PM »
General question regarding prediction threads. I see a lot of posts where people make statements along the lines of "X number of flights or more". Is that an acceptable prediction? If so, what's the limit? Is "SpaceX will fly 1 or more times" acceptable?

My take is you need to predict a specific outcome with little to no plus or minus. But that's my take and how I try to approach it - just didn't know if there was a forum consensus. I believe I even saw Lar make predictions with that sort of nomenclature.

I predict there will be zero or more responses to this post...
John Hanzl. Author, action / adventure www.johnhanzl.com

Online envy887

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #28 on: 12/21/2017 07:43 PM »
General question regarding prediction threads. I see a lot of posts where people make statements along the lines of "X number of flights or more". Is that an acceptable prediction? If so, what's the limit? Is "SpaceX will fly 1 or more times" acceptable?

My take is you need to predict a specific outcome with little to no plus or minus. But that's my take and how I try to approach it - just didn't know if there was a forum consensus. I believe I even saw Lar make predictions with that sort of nomenclature.

I predict there will be zero or more responses to this post...

You can predict whatever you want. The only reward for getting anything correct is bragging rights, and if you can nail the exact number of launches, kudos to you. But if you want to predict "SpaceX launches once or more", you get no more kudos than if you predict the sun will rise in the east tomorrow.

Personally, I like seeing predictions that are both easy to grade and entail some risk of being wrong.

Offline saliva_sweet

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #29 on: 12/21/2017 09:40 PM »
Is "SpaceX will fly 1 or more times" acceptable?

Totally. There will be no formal winner and you yourself will be the judge of how you did. My favorite was Lar's prediction that Blue Origin would do at least four New Shepard flights this year. They only did one so he considered the prediction 25% right  ;D

Offline deruch

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #30 on: 12/22/2017 09:09 AM »
I predict that 2018 will end on December 31st

Some predictions are more of a stretch than others.  Nothing tangible is riding on them, so, IHMO, do as you will.  If nothing else, we'll have a chance to laugh.
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #31 on: 12/22/2017 02:54 PM »
2018 is the year NASA returns.

To the public NASA went away with the crash of Columbia in 2003. A few more missions occurred and then the Space Shuttles stopped. As the readers of this website know since then NASA has been returning to manned flight by getting companies to develop new space vehicles.

The business press has discovered that California is going into recession. When companies fire people and close down the ordinary press will report it. Bad news in an election year is disliked by politicians, so they will look for good news. In 2018 NASA may have lots of good news.

In previous years COTS and Commercial Resupply Services have transported cargo to the International Space Station (ISS).

In January/February the Falcon Heavy is due to have a test flight. This will be the biggest American rocket currently flying. (Saturn V has retired and SLS is still in development.)

In the spring/summer Lunar CATALYST partner Moon Express hopes to land 30kg of payload on the Moon.

Commercial Crew Program company SpaceX plans to send a Dragon 2.0 to the ISS in spring 2018. A Boeing CST-100 is due at the ISS in summer 2018. Later flights will carry people.

In 2018 NASA's back. It will return to the International Space Station and is preparing to return to the Moon.

Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #32 on: 12/22/2017 05:02 PM »
2018 is the year NASA returns.

To the public NASA went away with the crash of Columbia in 2003. A few more missions occurred and then the Space Shuttles stopped. As the readers of this website know since then NASA has been returning to manned flight by getting companies to develop new space vehicles.

The business press has discovered that California is going into recession. When companies fire people and close down the ordinary press will report it. Bad news in an election year is disliked by politicians, so they will look for good news. In 2018 NASA may have lots of good news.

In previous years COTS and Commercial Resupply Services have transported cargo to the International Space Station (ISS).

In January/February the Falcon Heavy is due to have a test flight. This will be the biggest American rocket currently flying. (Saturn V has retired and SLS is still in development.)

In the spring/summer Lunar CATALYST partner Moon Express hopes to land 30kg of payload on the Moon.

Commercial Crew Program company SpaceX plans to send a Dragon 2.0 to the ISS in spring 2018. A Boeing CST-100 is due at the ISS in summer 2018. Later flights will carry people.

In 2018 NASA's back. It will return to the International Space Station and is preparing to return to the Moon.

Oh the good ol' days, seriously people they're not gonna come back, not how you want them to
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moSFlvxnbgk&feature=youtu.be&t=59s
« Last Edit: 12/22/2017 05:06 PM by AbuSimbel »
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Online William Graham

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #33 on: 12/22/2017 06:49 PM »
Haven't done one of these for a few years, so why not...

1.  There will be more than 100 orbital launches worldwide
3.  The United States will make at least one third of the world's launches in 2018
2.  China will make the second-most launches, Russia third
4.  SpaceX will fail to recover a core on an otherwise successful mission - the mass media will jump on it and claim it as major setback
5.  Electron will reach orbit on its second or third flight
6.  Falcon Heavy will fail on its maiden flight (sorry Elon) but SpaceX will bounce back quickly and be at least preparing for another launch by the end of the year
7.  Delta II will successfully launch ICESat II, bringing the curtain down on sixty years of Thor launches
8.  Dragon v2 and Starliner will make unmanned test flights, but will not carry crew into space
9.  At least two Russian launches and one Chinese launch will fail
10. Iran will place at least one satellite into orbit
11. Nauka will be no closer to launch than it is now (i.e. it will not launch, and launch will be NET December 2019)
12. SLS will slip into late 2020. At least one private company will stake its reputation on flying a lunar orbit/landing mission before EM-2
13. SpaceX will launch between 24 and 28 Falcon 9 rockets
14. Vector-R and LauncherOne will not reach orbit in 2018
15. Nobody will win the Google Lunar X-Prize by the March deadline - although if the deadline is extended again the prize may still be won

For the purpose the above predictions, Electron counts towards the US launch total, Zenit and all Soyuz - including Arianespace launches from Kourou - count towards the Russian total
« Last Edit: 12/22/2017 06:51 PM by William Graham »

Online Lar

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #34 on: 12/23/2017 01:23 AM »
Is "SpaceX will fly 1 or more times" acceptable?

Totally. There will be no formal winner and you yourself will be the judge of how you did. My favorite was Lar's prediction that Blue Origin would do at least four New Shepard flights this year. They only did one so he considered the prediction 25% right  ;D

Told ya I grade on a curve. I gave myself a participation medal too.  But I'm not planning on ever bragging about my crappy predictions.

If you want high grade bragging rights level predictions, you need to link to your comments on the various poll threads explaining your vote  there (which is a specific number) and have lots of predictions that are easily graded zero.

Do as I say, not as I do.
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Offline koshvv

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #35 on: 12/23/2017 01:40 AM »
* YARF (Yet Another Russian Failure)
* MLM Nauka will continue to rust on ground
* SLS will continue to snail at glacial speed

* There will be no crewed Boeing Starliner mission
* SpaceX will launch uncrewed Dragon-2 mission to ISS

* SpaceX will miss its manifest of 30 launches (There will be at least 20 launches, or at least 10 in case of failure)
* SpaceX will develop fairing recovery
* There will be no tourist flight around the Moon
* Finally, Falcon Heavy flies

* Blue Origin will launch a man into space
* Rocketlab will begin commercial launches

Offline cd-slam

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #36 on: 12/25/2017 04:04 AM »
Haven't posted for a while, but now's as good a time as any.

I will buck the trend and predict that SpaceX will squeeze in a manned Dragon before the end of the year, maybe as a Christmas present? Falcon Heavy fails to deliver the Tesla to Mars but flies successfully later in the year. 24 Falcon missions in 2018 with no failures.

No flights for Starliner next year; NASA is forced to eat humble pie and buy more seats on Soyuz in 2019.

Planet Nine is not found next year, but 2007OR10 gets a name (pet peeve of mine).

Team India win the Google Lunar X prize, but not until after March, with some creative rewriting of the T&C.

Successful flight for RocketLab, but no-one cares.

The Russians continue making big promises about Nauka, Federatsiya and Angara, but nothing happens.

Both China and India make successful flights to the Moon, following which the Japanese announce a new mission.

Lastly, I predict a very Merry Christmas and a great year ahead for NASASpaceflight and all contributors! 😁

Offline Rebel44

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #37 on: 12/25/2017 05:44 AM »
* 1 failure of Russian LV
* 1 failure of Chinese LV
* 1 failure of US LV
* SLS hit by further delays - 1st launch pushed to NET 2021

* There will be no crewed Boeing Starliner mission

* SpaceX will launch uncrewed and crewed Dragon-2 demo mission to ISS
* SpaceX will launch 28 orbital missions - 26x Falcon 9, 2x Falcon Heavy
* SpaceX will recover both fairing halves on 7 mission
* SpaceX will reuse both fairing halves on 3 mission
* There will be no tourist flight around the Moon

* Blue Origin will launch a man into space

* OATK NGLV will be canceled

Online philw1776

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #38 on: 12/30/2017 08:56 PM »
1. FH finally flies with 2 or more successful flights in 2018
2. No crewed Dragon 2 flight to ISS in 2018
3. No crewed flight around the moon in 2018
4. 2 or more Falcon class recovered cores re-used at least 2 times
5. Raptor @ full BFR design level thrust fired successfully, shown at IAC
6. No actual launch pad construction at Boca Chica
7. SpaceX begins launching their satellite constellation
8. No Raptor upper stage being developed for F9 or FH
9. SpaceX recovers fairings successfully, but no 2018 re-flight.
10. SLS slips into 2020
11. BO makes additional flights, but no commercial customer flights in 2018
12. No Google Lunar prize winner
13. No SETI signal received
14. No Planet 9 discovery
15. Virgin Galactic finally makes powered test flights
16. Congress finally confirms NASA Administrator
17. ITER continues to suck up money employing physicists in a jobs program


« Last Edit: 01/01/2018 04:22 PM by philw1776 »
“When it looks more like an alien dreadnought, that’s when you know you’ve won.”

Offline tonyq

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #39 on: 12/31/2017 07:26 AM »
I’ll keep my contribution short, and specific. I hope to be able to publish a little more detail, in early 2018, but I wanted to initiate it, prior to the end of 2017, in the spirit of the ‘predictions’ threads!

I anticipate, that during 2018, this woman will be revealed as the next ‘Space Tourist’ or perhaps more correctly, as a Commercial Astronaut.

Her name is Johanna Maislinger.  She is 32, and lives in Munich, but she is actually Austrian. She is an airline pilot (Boeing 777-200 Aerologic), a mechanical engineer, and is almost qualified, as a  medical doctor. For hobbies, she is an aerobatic pilot, sky-diver, mountaineer, cross-country, and downhill skier. A generally very smart and adventurous lady!

After being eliminated from the German ‘Die Astronautin’ project, she has spent much of 2017 involved with a major German conglomerate, as a possible ‘sponsor’ for her to make a commercial spaceflight to the ISS, in 2019 or 2020.

At present, the availability of ‘commercial’ Soyuz seats to the ISS, hinges upon SpaceX and Boeing reducing NASA’s reliance on Soyuz. Let’s see what happens with this one! 😉


Offline Star One

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Predictions for 2018
« Reply #40 on: 12/31/2017 09:32 AM »
The maiden flight of FH will fail spectacularly damaging the launch pad in the process. Otherwise all other Space X launches will be successful.

The launch of JWST will be delayed again until 2020.

Blue Origin will continue to make slow & steady progress. But will fly no humans.

ULA will pick BE-4 for Vulcan.

Insight will successfully land on Mars.

Electron will get into orbit on its second flight.

Planet 9 will finally be discovered.
« Last Edit: 12/31/2017 09:34 AM by Star One »

Offline Kaputnik

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #41 on: 12/31/2017 01:53 PM »
I'm just going to focus on the areas that I follow most closely, rather than sounding off on matters that I have no knowledge of :)

99 launches in total worldwide. 5 failures.

SpaceX
- FH flies in February, nominally successful mission but some anomalies lead to the next flight being 3elayed until towards the end of the year.
- F9 remains the most flown vehicle in the world, with 23 flights. I think there's an even chance of a failure. Fewer landings than expected as backlog of old boosters is used up, but all landing attempts are successful. Most hot GTO missions are flown in expendable mode by older boosters.
- they finally get some fairings back, and fly a reused one by the end of the year
- Raptor makes progress but does not yet meet design goals for mass and isp
- a boilerplate BFS grasshopper will be unveiled as the 'wow' moment of 2018, but will not yet fly
-D2 flies unmanned;  crewed flight pushed back to 2019

SLS/Orion will continue, inexplicably, as the govt is too busy dealing with more pressing matters.

JWST will slip into 2019
Waiting for joy and raptor

Offline Star One

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #42 on: 12/31/2017 03:15 PM »
I'm just going to focus on the areas that I follow most closely, rather than sounding off on matters that I have no knowledge of :)

99 launches in total worldwide. 5 failures.

SpaceX
- FH flies in February, nominally successful mission but some anomalies lead to the next flight being 3elayed until towards the end of the year.
- F9 remains the most flown vehicle in the world, with 23 flights. I think there's an even chance of a failure. Fewer landings than expected as backlog of old boosters is used up, but all landing attempts are successful. Most hot GTO missions are flown in expendable mode by older boosters.
- they finally get some fairings back, and fly a reused one by the end of the year
- Raptor makes progress but does not yet meet design goals for mass and isp
- a boilerplate BFS grasshopper will be unveiled as the 'wow' moment of 2018, but will not yet fly
-D2 flies unmanned;  crewed flight pushed back to 2019

SLS/Orion will continue, inexplicably, as the govt is too busy dealing with more pressing matters.

JWST will slip into 2019

JWST has already slipped into 2019.

Offline Avron

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #43 on: 12/31/2017 03:52 PM »
Prediction 2018

FH flies twice - both successful
Spacex F9 flies 21 times
Spacex get fairings back undamaged but does re fly them
JWST slips
SLS / Orion slips
BO flies first person
ULA - nothing new for year
Boeing Starliner and D2 both fly

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #44 on: 12/31/2017 04:26 PM »
Here's a one-off prediction:

Insight will launch and land with no problems.  Upon deployment, it will become obvious that some idiot, in an attempt to make absolutely certain that the seismometer instrument will not shift during launch, has spot-welded it to the lander deck.  Thus making the entire experiment useless.
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline FishInferno

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #45 on: 12/31/2017 05:21 PM »
- SpaceX flies more than 20 times but less than 30, all successful
- All attempted booster landings are successful
- Falcon Heavy does not fail
- Reused boosters are now the norm, but SpaceX doesn't reuse any non-Block V boosters more than once, and several are simply expended on their second flight
- By 2019, reused boosters are not sold at a discount; the customer doesn't choose whether they fly on a new core
- Lunar flyby slips to 2019
- Dragon 2 flies with crew
- At least one, but less than five Starlink satellites are launched for testing
- Announcement of full-scale Starlink deployment beginning in 2018, but this will likely slip
- Full-scale Raptor firing, construction begins on a suborbital BFS test vehicle
- Elon presents minor changes/progress updates at IAC 2018, but the overall architecture is still the same
- SpaceX submits BFR into the EELV competition; it will eventually be selected by the USAF but not necessarily in 2018. BFR ends up being funded primarily by the Air Force

- SLS slips to 2020

- BO does not fly a human in 2018, but there are several unmanned flights
- New Glenn factory is completed
- Full-duration BE4 firing in 2H 2018
- Unveiling of a manned orbital spacecraft to be flown on New Glenn
- BO needs to pick up the pace if they are to become a real competitor to SpaceX

- ULA continues with Vulcan
- ULA selects BE4, although Aerojet doesn't let go easily

- Arianespace continues with Ariane 6
- Ariane and ULA remain in denial about SpaceX

- China shows progress developing a reusable launcher in the same class as Falcon 9

- Russia unveils the design for a reusable launcher, but no significant progress is made

- Electron successfully reaches orbit, followed by one commercial mission
Comparing SpaceX and SLS is like comparing paying people to plant fruit trees with merely digging holes and filling them.  - Robotbeat

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #46 on: 12/31/2017 08:46 PM »
2018 Predictions

Worldwide
- 100+ launches
- 5 Failures

ESA
- Continues progress on Ariane 6 based on current design targeting 2020 launch.

ISRO
- Announces a reusable booster program for a future generation of launch vehicles expected operational sometime after 2025.

China
- Continues reusable booster development but in 2018 we won't hear much more than they are working on it.

ULA
- Continues progress on Vulcan, no modifications related to reusability, double down on SMART "in the future."
- Continues successful launch streak.
- Down selects to the BE-4.

Blue
- Flies NS tests with humans before SpaceX launches astronauts.  Regular service to start in 2019.

SpaceX
- 30 successful launches including 2 by FH.
- Dragon Crew will complete test flight with astronauts.
- Tests a full scale pre-production Raptor at mission thrust and duration.

Boeing
- CST-100 crewed test will slip to 2019.
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Online yokem55

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #47 on: 12/31/2017 11:56 PM »
I'll get one of these in:

SpaceX:
- 24 Falcon 9 flights using 10 boosters. All successful.
- 1 landing failure on an especially hot GTO flight. 2 boosters are ditched at sea without attempting recovery.
- Falcon Heavy first flight is mostly successful, but with enough anomalies that Falcon 9 is grounded for a month to clear any commonalities. Second FH flight with all Block 5 cores happens towards end of year.
- Crewed Dragon 2 flight happens at the very end of the year.
- Fairing recovery happens, but the recovered fairings are proving difficult to recertify for flight
- Production size Raptor gets to full chamber pressure.
- The first 25 production Starlink sats have been made, but are awaiting launch.
- Construction of a BFS structural test article has begun, with a test facility at Boca Chica being built.

Blue Origin:
- Crewed New Shepherd flights begin. At least 4 paid flight participants ride it.
- BE-4 reaches full chamber pressure, but has substantial anomalies in the firing.
- The first New Glenn test articles are manufactured.
- DOJ begins an anti trust compliant against Amazon. This causes a large decline in Amazon's stock value, and thus Bezos dramatically slows down his spending on Blue.

ULA:
- Has 1 Seriously Off Nominal mission that requires extraordinary measures to salvage.
- Centaur V is announced to be powered by BE-3U.
- Vulcan CDR happens assuming a 5.4m methalox core.
- Down select on Vulcan main propulsion happens, and AR-1 is removed from consideration. However at the Air Force's prodding after the anomalous BE-4 firing, and with grimaces from both SpaceX and ULA, Raptor is added for consideration. ULA openly uses this to get Blue to be a little less Gradatim with BE-4 but expresses deep skepticism of a Raptor based design due to the need for multiple engines with each needing a second turbopump and the hard requirement for sub-cooled propellent. They also make a lot of snide comments about Raptor's 'design stability'.
- Following Sen. McCain's death, and with some pressure from the White House, the RD-180 ban is lifted all together during the lame duck after the November elections. ULA presses on with Vulcan none the less.

Boeing:
- Uncrewed Starliner is delayed due to investigation of ULA's off nominal flight.
- Begins talks to buy AJR for assets related to SLS.
 
Grumman-OATK:
- NGLV is cancelled.
- Makes noises of needing a lot of committed up front money soon for SLS Black Knight boosters.
- Cygnus continues to be the only payload for Antares. There is a lot of talk of canceling Antares for CRS-2 and just launching on ULA.

ILS/Proton:
- Rumors of a suspension of operations due to a lack of orders are circulating.

Arianespace:
- Keeps doing the same thing.
- It becomes openly expected that Ariane 6 will be an interim vehicle.

NASA:
- SLS/Orion is all but officially delayed to 2021 but continues to plod on due to support in Congress.
- Europa Clipper is formally delayed to 2025. Congress puts a hard requirement it be launched on SLS and bans consideration of other launch vehicles. The follow on lander is cancelled.
- JWST is slightly damaged during shipment to Kourou and delayed to 2020.
 - The initial images of MU69 from New Horizons' approach are highly confusing.
- Opportunity continues to trudge along.
- Curiosity gets itself stuck for a couple of months but is able to be freed.
- Insight launches and lands successfully.
- TESS launches successfully.
- Dawn reaches a successful EOM.
- One of the Voyagers detects via odd/unexpected trajectory shift that it has flown by a small body at fairly close range. A search finds the small body.

Misc. Astronomy:
- A Planet 9 candidate is leaked prior to it being confirmed. It is ultimately found not to be a planet. The search for Planet 9 continues.
- Another extra-solar body passing through the solar system is detected.
- A super earth sized exoplanet in a star's habitable zone is observed to have an atmosphere containing water.
- A mostly predictable theory for the behavior of  Tabby's star is published and confirmed.

We'll see how I do....

Offline deruch

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #48 on: 01/01/2018 12:09 AM »
I'm trying to avoid any wishy-washy predictions this year, so these will only be about things I feel like I can make a specific guess at.

World
-104 total orbital launch attempts.
-3 failures

SpaceX:
-27 orbital launches (2 FH + 25 F9), all successful.
-Dragon 2 DM-1 (uncrewed) launches after June 1st, DM-2 (crewed) is first publicly rescheduled for 2nd half of December before moving into 2019. 
-In-flight abort takes place and is (awesomely) successful, but the booster used is destroyed.   
-Reuse adoption continues to expand for commercial launches, NASA/SpaceX have discussions to allow all CRS missions to reuse boosters (NASA reserves veto for specific missions).  However, not yet accepted for NASA Launch Services or USAF EELV missions.
-First fully intact fairing half is recovered in April but not reused.  Will be put through its testing paces so that future fairings can be reused (which doesn't happen until 2019).   
-Elon doesn't speak at IAC 2018.
-Commercial circumlunar flight delayed to 2019Q4.

ULA:
-10 orbital launches, all successful.
-Vulcan selects BE-4. 
-Sells first Atlas V launch for Cygnus as part of CRS2.

Boeing:
-OFT launches in October.

NASA:
-TESS launches in late April.
-Insight launches and successfully lands at Mars.
 
Russia
-No launch failures. 
-Nauka delayed to 2019. 

China:
-CZ-5 launches successfully in November. 
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline vapour_nudge

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #49 on: 01/01/2018 07:02 AM »
More predictions please ;) I am reading the thread actively and I'm a little disappointed it's less active than previous years ;)

1) OK, me too. Exactly 100 successful orbital launches worldwide

2) No manned launches from US soil

3) Boeing beats SpaceX and launches Starliner first

4) Falcon Heavy fails and all other SpaceX launches and planned landings are successful

5) MLM is delayed further to 2020

6) No Russian launch failures

7) A surprise Israeli orbital launch

8 ) 3 moons found orbiting 2014 MU69

9) 1 Indian launch failure

10) 10 successful Atlas launches

11)  :) Blue Origin offer to launch Europa Clipper free albeit later

12)  :'( BepiColombo launch is delayed

13) SETI finds nothing (I needed to be certain I'd get at least one right)

Doing well so far for 2018, one day in and no Russian launch failures

Online Lar

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #50 on: 01/01/2018 04:11 PM »
Although humor is not necessarily a bad thing, the idea of this thread is that predictions should be ones you sincerely believe have at least a chance of happening, and that have some rational basis.

Purely silly predictions, or counterfactual ones, or ones that only a diehard conspiracy theorist would find plausible, are not really welcome in this thread. A prediction that involved, among other things, space microbes that cause global warming, was removed.

If you have difficulty with that, use the Report to Mod and make the case that this action should be overturned.
"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

Online Johnnyhinbos

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #51 on: 01/02/2018 01:57 AM »
Although humor is not necessarily a bad thing, the idea of this thread is that predictions should be ones you sincerely believe have at least a chance of happening, and that have some rational basis.

Purely silly predictions, or counterfactual ones, or ones that only a diehard conspiracy theorist would find plausible, are not really welcome in this thread. A prediction that involved, among other things, space microbes that cause global warming, was removed.

If you have difficulty with that, use the Report to Mod and make the case that this action should be overturned.
(I hope you moved it to a party thread? Sometimes it’s fun to read wild musings...)
John Hanzl. Author, action / adventure www.johnhanzl.com

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #52 on: 01/02/2018 02:43 AM »
Falcon Heavy will reach orbit but they may not recover the center core and the performance may not be perfect think the Delta IV Heavy demo flight.

Electron's next test flight will be successful and they start commercial operations.

SS2 powered flights.

BO will make more flights with New Shepard and all landings will be successful.

It'll be a race as to which vehicle first carries someone into space.

Announcement of development of a lunar lander possible commercial competition.

Test of a full scale Raptor engine though at reduced chamber pressure

BFR will go through another revision though maybe not as major as the first one.

Full duration firing of BE-4.

Full scale test of AR-1 power head though BO will probably get the contract for Vulcan's first stage engines.

ARJ still gets the contract for Vulcan's upper stage.

ESA embraces RLVs there's no more denying they're the future.

Russia quickly follows with a similar announcement.
Fly back planned for Angara and a maybe quick and dirty parachute recovery of Soyuz 5 boosters.
Maybe even an announcement of a resurrection of some Soviet era projects such as MAKS.

Stratolaunch high speed taxi tests.

Bigelow announces a launch date of their first full scale station module.

Both Spacex and Boeing will have a crew vehicle visit ISS unmanned but I can't say which will be first but one will quickly follow the other.

Someone wins the Google lunar X prize but only after the deadline was extended a bit.

Spacex will beat their previous record with 22 to 24 launches for 2018.




« Last Edit: 01/02/2018 03:12 AM by Patchouli »

Offline jongoff

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #53 on: 01/02/2018 05:23 AM »
I only did so-so last year (about half of my predictions were mostly or all the way right, but a third were completely or mostly wrong), so let me take another shot at it this year:

1- SpaceX: I predict they'll have a successful Falcon Heavy first flight, and will have at least 20 flights, including at least an uncrewed Dragon 2 flight to ISS. I predict they won't have any outright flight failures again this year, showing that they've arrived when it comes to maintaining a high flight rate with good reliability. They'll continue to recover most first stages, and will continue to refly reused first stages. I'll even go so far as to say they'll succeed in recovering intact at least one PLF half. Their flight around the Moon will get delayed by at least a year. I'll predict that they won't have a crewed Dragon V2 flight before the end of the year but they'll be close.

2- Blue Origin: I predict they'll finally get BE-4 to a full-throttle test this year, though development will continue to take longer than expected. I expect them to also carry out at least a half dozen more New Shepard flights, but won't get to a crewed flight during 2018, but will be almost there.

3- ULA: I predict they'll have a successful year with no failures or major anomalies. They'll finally downselect to BE-4 for Vulcan propulsion, though potentially not till late in the year. Steady progress, but relative to SpaceX they'll be seen as falling further and further behind.

4- Boeing: Their XS-1 project will not go off the rails this year, though I'm skeptical it'll make it to flight. CST-100 will have an uncrewed flight before the end of the year, but will not have a crewed flight in 2018.
 
5- VG/VO: VG will finally get to powered flight testing of SS2, but once again won't get into commercial operations in 2018. They'll get to captive carry testing early in the year, with a first launch attempt late in the year. With the historical data on launcher first flights, I'll guess they don't make it all the way to orbit, but can gather enough data that their second flight will (but likely in 2019).

6- RocketLabs: RL will successfully get Electron into orbit by mid-year, on one of its next three launches. After that, they'll begin regular launches, though at a low rate--say 3 successful orbital launches this year.

7- Other Smallsat Launchers: Vector will not make an orbital launch attempt (with a vehicle with enough performance to actually have a shot of reaching orbit) this year. However either they or someone else will make at least one launch that crosses the Karman line this year (if I had to bet, I'd say Ventions beats them to this feat). At least one US venture will raise at least $10M to go after a partially reusable smallsat launch vehicle (with at least first-stage full-stage recovery).

8- Masten: Still ticking, but with no major new launch vehicle initiatives

9- Bridenstine will get re-nominated for NASA Admin, and will get confirmed in the Senate by a squeaker (with Mike Pence having to cast a tie-breaking vote). They may wait until a Dem or two is out sick to hold the vote.

10- Moon: In the NASA budget request, there will not be a dramatic (>$1B) increase to NASA's budget to pay for the new Moon focus. There'll be some reshifting of priorities, and slightly more emphasis on public-private partnerships, but nothing so drastic as the previous two direction changes (CxP and FY2011). Nobody will win the GLXP before it expires.

11- Mars: Mars Insight launch and landing will go off without a hitch.

10- Megaconstellations: At least two of the three of OneWeb, SpaceX, and Telesat will launch pathfinder satellites in 2018. OneWeb will finish closing the financing necessary to launch their first constellation. At least one other megaconstellation will get FCC approval before the end of the year.

11- Exoplanets: like last year I'll predict that at least one new earth-like exoplanet will be found within the habitable zone of a star within 25LY of earth. Also, the TESS spacecraft will successfully launch.

12- Mergers: At least one other major aerospace M&A event will occur this year. I wish it would be someone buying ULA off its parents, but I'm not holding my breath.

13- SLS/Orion: Neither will be canceled again, but there will be at least another 6 months of slippage.

I could try guessing on other things, but I'll stick with that for now.

~Jon

[Edit1: Added SLS/Orion prediction]
« Last Edit: 01/02/2018 05:34 AM by jongoff »

Offline woods170

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #54 on: 01/02/2018 12:34 PM »
I predict that, like all previous prediction threads, most predictions in this thread will be wrong.

Offline Nilof

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #55 on: 01/02/2018 03:15 PM »
- More than 95 total launches
- At least one failure

- Electron will launch successfully this year.
- Falcon Heavy will launch successfully this year.
- New Shepherd will make its first manned flight this year.
- Bezos will act cocky and say "welcome to the club" to Musk again when Dragon 2 makes its first manned flight.


- Musk will make another major update to the BFR architecture.
- At least one new big announcement from Jeff Bezos. Possibly more on Lunar plans?
For a variable Isp spacecraft running at constant power and constant acceleration, the mass ratio is linear in delta-v.   Δv = ve0(MR-1). Or equivalently: Δv = vef PMF. Also, this is energy-optimal for a fixed delta-v and mass ratio.

Offline Oumuamua

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #56 on: 01/02/2018 05:18 PM »
There may be better topics for a first forum post.. But nevertheless I will start by showing my ignorance by posting baseless predictions for the comming year.

-Over a 100 orbital launches this year (but less than a hundred successful flights.)
-6 or more failures, There are a lot of new launchers on the market, last year there were five failures; with more launches the number will be higher this year.
-No manned launches from the USA this year (not for spacex and  boeing, but also no suborbital ones  for Blue origin or virgin)
-Less than 20 launches for SpaceX
-Spacex will succesfuly recover a fairing, but will not refly any yet. details will emerge on falcon stage 2 recovery plans.
-China will start experimenting with grid fins, not (yet) for landing stages, but for having more control over where the first stages end up in their drop zones, to prevent damage to inhabited areas.
-None of the google lunar x prize competitors will be succesful this year, also not after the deadline has passed.
-Planet nine will not be found

Offline yg1968

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #57 on: 01/02/2018 07:51 PM »
Here are my predictions for 2018:

1- FH will fly at least twice successfully (the second one with the block 5 version).

2- The uncrewed demo flights for SpaceX and Boeing will fly towards the end of 2018 (but not the crewed flight).

3- Blue Origin will fly people towards the end of 2017 (but not paying passengers)

4- SpaceShip2 will make powered test flights but will not reach space.

5- Rocketlab will have a successful flight.

6- F9 will fly 20 times.

7- Bridenstine will eventually get confirmed.

 
« Last Edit: 01/05/2018 03:52 PM by yg1968 »

Offline NGC 4258

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #58 on: 01/02/2018 08:48 PM »
Hello, I'm new here. Probably not a good first post, but I'll do it anyway.

SpaceX: They will launch Falcon Heavy without a hitch, but the Roadster will have some sort of issue with its orbit. Dragon 2 will first launch uncrewed in June or July, and it will launch crewed late in the year. I think we will see a BFR prototype coming off the production line late Q4.

Blue Origin: Everything will continue along, but a manned mission will not happen.

Boeing: Starliner will launch uncrewed Q3/Q4 but won't go manned until 2019.

Rocketlab: Electron will launch February, marking their first success. One more launch will happen Q4.
"The wheel of Time is rolling for an end, and let's hope we're on Mars by then!"

Offline bad_astra

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #59 on: 01/03/2018 05:04 PM »
predictions: (ill try 3 categories)

the easy money:
VG will hit 328k at least once.   
Electron will fly successfully
Starliner and Dragon2 will both have minor schedule slips.


Half court shots:
New Shep (correction.. had Armstrong written) flies crewed
Falcon Heavy flies successfully twice
A crowd funding drive for a MEGAdrive or EMdrive cubesat achieves its goal

The Hail Mary:
New NASA administrator and White house set agenda for DSG and lunar missions.
Sandia Z-Machine hits breakeven.
Tabby's Star hypotheses veer away again from natural phenomenon and back to new ETI conjectures.
« Last Edit: 01/03/2018 05:07 PM by bad_astra »
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Offline moreno7798

Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #60 on: 01/08/2018 03:59 AM »
Alright. Here's what I believe will come true for 2018:

1.  SpaceX has 31 scheduled launches for 2018. I say they complete 30 successful launches.

2.  SpaceX's FH maiden launch and Midnight Cherry’s Mars insertion are both successful.

3.  At AIC 2018, Musk unveils the details of the ISRU machinery as well as the first habitats for the first missions to Mars. He also details the life support systems for BFR.

4.  SpaceX Crewed Circumlunar is pushed back to 2019.

5.  EMDrive technology will stagnate with no progress made for the whole year.

6.  Virgin Galactic continues it’s extremely slow work on SS2. No manned Suborbital flights in 2018

7.  Blue Origin achieves it’s first manned Suborbital flight just to claim a “Perceived” victory on SpaceX.

8.  Given SpaceX’s E2E BFR plans, Blue origin announces its own plans for E2E trips.

9.  TESS Launches in June rather then March

10.  At AIC 2018, eight months into it’s voyage to Mars, Musk unveils that he installed some 4K, 60fps, 15 stops of DR cameras on the Midnight Cherry Roadster. Glorious HDR video of Mars is played on the large screens. ;D

11.  A concrete resolution to the Tabby's Star mystery remains elusive with ETI coming back into the picture.

12.  SpaceX does not test fly a crewed dragon 2 in 2018

13.  Running prediction 2017-present:  SLS starts to suffer a slow dragged out death once BFR starts to fly and the price per flight to orbit and re-usability becomes grossly evident of NASA's dressed-up 1960's tech.
« Last Edit: 01/12/2018 11:09 PM by moreno7798 »

Online Johnnyhinbos

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Predictions for 2018
« Reply #61 on: 01/08/2018 01:44 PM »
I like all these predictions, but a question for the mods...

Is there a cutoff date for this? [1] Or will this thread become like the hiring of the next NASA Administrator [2]...?

[1] I have an idea, let’s create a prediction thread to predict when the prediction thread will be closed . [3]

[2] I.E., lasting well into 2018

[3] Of course, then we’ll have to have a prediction thread that will predict when the prediction thread of when the prediction thread of when the prediction thread will close. [1][4]

[4] You’re welcome Lar, though of course the irony is that this footnote will never get hit, so you’ll (justly)[5] never get your thank you.

[5] Justly because of all the infinite recursive loops you’ve created over time with no concern for the consequences...
« Last Edit: 01/08/2018 01:45 PM by Johnnyhinbos »
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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #62 on: 01/08/2018 01:56 PM »
To be topical, I was going to raise the spectre of speculative predictions but my brain suffered from meltdown  ;D

--- Tony

Offline moreno7798

Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #63 on: 01/08/2018 08:45 PM »
I like all these predictions, but a question for the mods...

Is there a cutoff date for this? [1] Or will this thread become like the hiring of the next NASA Administrator [2]...?

[1] I have an idea, let’s create a prediction thread to predict when the prediction thread will be closed . [3]

[2] I.E., lasting well into 2018

[3] Of course, then we’ll have to have a prediction thread that will predict when the prediction thread of when the prediction thread of when the prediction thread will close. [1][4]

[4] You’re welcome Lar, though of course the irony is that this footnote will never get hit, so you’ll (justly)[5] never get your thank you.

[5] Justly because of all the infinite recursive loops you’ve created over time with no concern for the consequences...

First week of January will be good cutoff.

Online Lar

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #64 on: 01/08/2018 09:59 PM »
End of this week (Friday 12 Jan 2018 at 23:59:59 UTC) for "new" predictions. ... not going to delete them or lock the thread[1] but you have my blessing to mock anyone predicting things after that...[2]

The 2017 prediction thread isn't locked, but the people posting there are posting their tallies of successes/fails ...

1 -  we could lock this thread and then unlock it in early 2019, but that seems like actual work...
2 - I never actually said that. I would never bless someone mocking someone else.
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Offline Kryten

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #65 on: 01/12/2018 10:24 PM »
 Nearly missed the deadline due to illness, and had a terrible run for last year's prediction, so just going to keep this brief.

USA
SpaceX have between 25 and 30 launches
LauncherOne flies to orbit towards the end of the year
OrbATK NGL survives the year
SLS and Orion survive essentially unscathed, other than delays
EXOS breach the Karman line
FH maiden launch is broadly successful

India
Chandrayaan 2 is successful
SCE-200 testing is promising, but won't reach full design power in 2018

China
CASIC make vague hints about a 100+ ton SHLV design
CASC shows detailed plans for reusability

Russia
SHLV basic design settles, and a name is chosen.

Other nations
NK has at least one orbital sucess
As does Iran
Electron reaches orbit but doesn't establish a regular launch cadence before the end of the year

General
Launch totals are USA>China>Russia
Another small rocket company comes 'out of nowhere' for most people with a high-altitude test launch, 10+km
3 or less complete failures from established players (i.e. excluding NK and Iran)

Online Toast

Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #66 on: 01/12/2018 10:43 PM »
I'll keep it short:

SpaceX will launch more than 24 times
Bridenstine's nomination will be withdrawn
Russia will have at least two failures
ULA will select BE-4
Both Boeing and SpaceX's crewed flights will slip to 2019

Offline TheKutKu

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #67 on: 01/12/2018 10:49 PM »
-100+ launches in 2018 (both successful and failed)

SpaceX:

-25-27  launches for SpaceX, DM-1 flies in the last two months of the year, 2 Falcon Heavies are launched.
-Block 5 core flies in June
-"Full scale" raptor is tested, we get an update for the BFR with minimal changes of the rocket, but there will be more information on the ISRU
-At the end of the year the Boca Chica launch center won't be oppened until mid- 2019
-They will fly more than half their missions with reused cores (at least one for FH), a core will be reused two times this year.
-We will see an official Starlink announcement. Lot of hype around it.
-Falcon Heavy launch will have a lot of media coverage.
-Fairings will be reused in the second half of the year.

ULA:

- No launch failure
- 9-11 launches
- BE-4 will be officially selected for Vulcan but the rocket will look less realistic than ever at the end of the year.

Blue Origin:

-10-15 New Shepard launches, including one that doesn't go completly as planned but doesn't result in a LOV
- They don't launch anyone to space in 2018

Rocket Lab:

-3 launches in 2018, one is a total failure.

US:

-Stratolaunch flies
-No vector rocket reaches orbit
-XS-1 will still be in development
-Lunar X prize competitors will not land on the moon

NASA:

-Both Insight, Osiris Rex succeed
-Plans to land on the moon aren't more serious in december 2018 than they were one year before
-TESS is launched around may
-We will hear more about launching Europa Clipper on a FH or NG
-A titan probe will be considered

Russia:

-17-22 launches, 2 failures.
-Nauka isn't launched

China:

-25-27 launches
-Chang'e 4 will succeed
-We won't hear much from their RLV program but they will keep working on it

Europe:

-10 launches, no failure
-Ariane 6 will still be in development, official statement is that reuse is still uneconomical
-Callisto will receive more funding and will have a more optimistic schedule, around early 2020, At the end of the year prometheus is scheduled to test fire in early 2019.

Other:

-5 Japanese launches
-5 indian launches
-1 israeli and 1 iranian launch
-1 NK orbital launch and at least 2 ICBM test including one that goes quite a bit further downrange and survives reentry. In one year there will be no doubt that they have working ICBM with megaton warheads.
« Last Edit: 01/13/2018 04:40 PM by TheKutKu »

Online Svetoslav

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #68 on: 01/22/2018 11:26 AM »
My first prediction for 2018 came true, for smallsat launchers: "We may see a rocket going to orbit between December 2017 and January 2019."

And it happened earlier than I personally expected.

Online Bubbinski

Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #69 on: 01/22/2018 04:17 PM »
One of my predictions already bit the dust. No LEGO shuttle, the Ideas Shuttle stack did not get approved. :(
I'll even excitedly look forward to "flags and footprints" and suborbital missions. Just fly...somewhere.

Online Lar

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #70 on: 01/22/2018 06:55 PM »
One of my predictions already bit the dust. No LEGO shuttle, the Ideas Shuttle stack did not get approved. :(
We're both in mourning.  However my wallet is dancing for joy.
"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

Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #71 on: 01/24/2018 04:07 PM »
Well, looks like those of you who said Google Lunar XPrize will be won were wrong, as were those of you who thought it would be delayed. The GLX is over.

However, if you made a prediction as to how many will fly, like I did, there is hope yet!
« Last Edit: 01/24/2018 04:10 PM by JEF_300 »

Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #72 on: 01/24/2018 06:39 PM »
Well, looks like those of you who said Google Lunar XPrize will be won were wrong, as were those of you who thought it would be delayed. The GLX is over.

However, if you made a prediction as to how many will fly, like I did, there is hope yet!
Here's an article about it:  https://www.ien.com/product-development/video/20989914/googles-20m-lunarx-prize-will-end-with-no-winner?utm_medium=email&utm_source=Industrial%20Technology%20Today%2001242018&utm_term=18801&[email protected]

Online Svetoslav

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #73 on: 01/24/2018 06:52 PM »
My prediction was : "More delays for the Google Lunar Xprize program. We may see a launch attempt in 2018, but I don't believe it will be successful."

So far, the Google Xprize was canceled, but Moon Express still hopes to launch in 2018. I never meant the prize anyway :)

Offline StealthGhost

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #74 on: 01/26/2018 05:38 PM »
Expect allot of delays. Allot of these missions might be pushed to the 2020’s. SLS was going to launch Orion around the moon by late 2018 but since has been delayed to 2020.

Offline vapour_nudge

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #75 on: 01/27/2018 02:17 AM »
More predictions please ;) I am reading the thread actively and I'm a little disappointed it's less active than previous years ;)

1) OK, me too. Exactly 100 successful orbital launches worldwide


So does the Ariane launch count as a success?? That old dilemma. Does the Zuma launch count as a success? We're either at 10, 11 or 12 successes - which is it?

Online mme

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #76 on: 01/27/2018 05:44 AM »
More predictions please ;) I am reading the thread actively and I'm a little disappointed it's less active than previous years ;)

1) OK, me too. Exactly 100 successful orbital launches worldwide


So does the Ariane launch count as a success?? That old dilemma. Does the Zuma launch count as a success? We're either at 10, 11 or 12 successes - which is it?
10.  Zuma is a failure (as far as we can tell). We can go in circles about whose failure it was, but it was a failure.  The Ariane launch is a partial failure - separation was no where near the intended orbit.
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #77 on: 01/28/2018 10:43 PM »
10.  Zuma is a failure (as far as we can tell). We can go in circles about whose failure it was, but it was a failure.  The Ariane launch is a partial failure - separation was no where near the intended orbit.

Launch success. Mission status still unclear but probable failure of payload or customer provided equipment.
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #78 on: 01/28/2018 11:37 PM »
Zuma is definitely a launch success. Any failure is not on Falcon 9. Heck, there's even a, say, 5% chance it succeeded and we've all been misled. There's been no official acknowledgement of even a payload failure.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline deruch

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #79 on: 01/29/2018 12:06 AM »
Zuma: Mission failure/Launch Success  (/5% chance of the old CIA double bluff). 

Ariane 5-VA241: Mission success (partial or full depending on updated Al Yah-3 expected lifetime in planned orbit)/Launch failure. 

Weird year so far.
« Last Edit: 01/29/2018 12:08 AM by deruch »
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Offline Zingpc

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #80 on: 02/02/2018 04:30 AM »
Just one thing.

NASA rejects the use of LOX enclosed COPVs for human flight.

This could be an instant conclusion if there is another COPV popping, say due to fuel loading rate mixup/ limits violation coupled with a quality control lapse at manufacturing.

This could have interesting consequences... Musk goes for raptor conversion of Falcons for human flight. The commercial kero fuels will continue for a while.  The falcon heavy could be the vehicle on which to prove this system for risk taking customers as in the recent flights. 

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #81 on: 02/03/2018 08:18 AM »
Apparently I underestimated the smallsat vehicles - now there are two small rocket - Electron and the Japanese who conducted a successful orbital flight. It would be interested if the Japanese rocket will have a commercial future (as far as I know, it's not considered, just a tech demonstrator)

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #82 on: 02/05/2018 10:51 PM »
Japanese who conducted a successful orbital flight

I guess you mean SS-520-4 flight 2. Yeah, it's a great achievement but it's not really the same category.
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 Athrithalix

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #83 on: 02/06/2018 09:51 AM »
I track these small launchers fairly closely, and I'm almost certain we won't see the SS-520 enter commercial service. It sounds like a technology piece to allow them to explore moving on to something else.

Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #84 on: 02/14/2018 03:01 PM »
Since no one has mentioned it here yet, yay Falcon Heavy! Flew successfully on Feb. 6th
Video!:

I predicted at least one successful FH flight. That turns out to have been a rather low bar.

I also predicted at least one Falcon 9 would be lost while attempting to land. Are there bonus points for two in one?

Offline K-P

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #85 on: 03/04/2018 07:53 PM »
Not a prediction but just a thought:
What would you expect from manned space exploration in 2018 and in the upcoming years if SpaceX didn't exist?

I try not to be a SpaceX fanboy too much, but still I can not help to think about, how things have changed after shuttle retired and NASA launched it's latest (or last...?) manned mission. Without SpaceX and its plans, there would be very little to look for in the coming decade.

Russia:
After ISS is abandoned, there's no destination for Soyuz to go. Maybe 1 solo flight per year for "research" or tourism in LEO. Maybe 1 flight per year to Chinese space station if politics allow. But that's it.
And there's always a chance their entire space program is forgotten once Putin goes out of the picture and another turmoil in Russia begins...

China:
The always exciting one manned flight per 2 years to their LEO station.

Europe:
Nothing.

NASA:
SLS gets delayed more and more every year and it seems more and more unlikely to fly ever.
Manned EM-2 might happen, but building DSG is a stretch. Regular DSG operations are even less likely.
Moon landers and/or Mars ships are never gonna happen by current funding/system/architecture.
So, nothing to look forward there really.
(sorry for being cynical, but this is the reality today)

Other:
Delta IV Heavy is phased out pretty soon.
So is Ariane 5.
So there goes away two major heavy-lift vehicles in the world.
What and when will replace that lost capability for alternative solutions to SLS, is anyone's guess.
Vulcan maybe, maybe not. But without NASA's input there won't be too many Boeing spaceships flying to Boeing gateways in space...
Bigelow seems to be on a back burner.
Blue Origin might have some aces in the sleeve, but so far nothing too mind-blowing has been realised. And their schedules with New Glenn etc. will most certainly move to the right anyway.

So all in all. No matter how you feel about SpaceX or Elon Musk, things would be looking pretty bad (or at least bleak) without their rocket fleet and future missions. It's like 1975 again. But much worse.

Now we bring SpaceX back in the equation. And things suddenly look somewhat brighter. For 2018. For 2019. For the 2020s.
It's not just about having another reliable rocket family in the medium/heavy category.
It's a freaking revolution.
And it's a program with a mission, with a plan, with a leader.
And it is flying, flying again, and bending metal for future missions.

I haven't been this excited for years about the future of manned space exploration.
And boy, I am a cynical person, really. And I used to follow each and every shuttle mission and ISS construction flight. And I used to love NASA hands down. But last 15 years of this nonsense has made me lost my trust and hopes for the rocket/spacecraft program they are putting together after shuttle program.

The main reason behind all this might be of course that the organization and program still tries to do things as were done during the days of Apollo. But it is a different world now. And after Falcon 9 / FH, it is also a different space now...

All the said above applies of course only to manned spaceflight.
What NASA or parts of it (JPL...) does good is robotic exploration and I love that.
But manned spaceflight and rocket business...
At the moment I feel it will be 50/50 odds between STS-135 and EM-2 for which will be written in the history books as the final NASA manned spaceflight...

Offline JH

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #86 on: 03/04/2018 09:11 PM »
A few things worth noting:

Without SpaceX, Arianespace would probably be going forward with the Ariane 5 ME, rather than retirement of the Ariane 5. Also, The Ariane 64 design has similar performance to the Ariane 5 ECA for GTO and Ariane 5 ES for LEO, but at a lower price. Therefore, I don't know that it is fair to call the retirement of the Ariane 5 a loss, even if you only care about specifically European launch capacity... The caveat of course being that the Ariane 5 was designed to launch the Hermes shuttle, and some would argue is more aligned with the needs of HSF than the Ariane 6 as a result.

As for the D4H retiring, I don't think that there is any reason to believe that ULA would have changed their stable of rockets without the emergence of SpaceX. Also, much like the A5/A6 situation, the Vulcan with just a Centaur V upper stage (not even ACES) is expected to come close to D4H performance, but at a much lower price. So again, there isn't really anything being lost. In fact, as Vulcan is intended to carry astronauts, while the D4H never was, HSF is gaining a powerful launch vehicle, rather than losing one.

I guess my point is that you can't double count things. Yes, some rockets are going away, but they are only going away because of SpaceX's existence, and they are being replaced by things that are arguably better.

Offline dpspaulding

Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #87 on: 03/07/2018 11:29 AM »
I truly understand people's cynicism in regards to NASA and the SLS/Orion program. I'm a young employee at Cape Canaveral, too young to have been here in person for the end of Shuttle, and driving around out here is like exploring a place of abandoned history. Brevard County has many towns that sprung up solely due to the space program and now many of them look like old mining boom towns with empty store fronts and deteriorating homes. We are approaching the longest gap in American manned spaceflight since the period between Apollo and Shuttle. With that said, my feelings are changing because I can tell you first hand that the Space Coast is on the rise. There are new homes/apartments, new shopping centers, and new restaurants/bars being built everywhere around the Space Center, even towns impacted the worst by the end of Shuttle, such as Titusville.

I'm excited about the future of SpaceX and Blue Origin here and have friends who work for both as pad technicians and engineers. Boeing and Sierra Nevada are getting closer everyday to being man-rated with the Starliner and Dream Chaser. I'm also here to say that SLS and Orion are here for the long haul. The VAB has completed a massive restoration and repurposing to support SLS. The new MLP (mobile launch platform) for SLS is almost completed with the crew access arm being installed a couple of weeks ago. The new KSC Headquarters building is in the final phase of construction and work on support facilities increases every month. It seems like there are more and more construction vehicles lined up at the gates to the base every week. Orion continues to be the headline project in my company, Lockheed Martin. The Michoud Assembly plant in Louisiana is up and running building the fuel tanks for the SLS first stage. The Stennis Space Center in Mississippi has completed work on new engine test stands and support facilities for SLS. In Huntsville, AL (I grew up near here), the MSFC is buzzing with levels of activity not seen since the days when the ISS was being built and assembled in space by the shuttle.

Lastly, NASA is absolutely suffocated by its meager budget, congress, and the opinion of American constituents. NASA receive's 0.4% of the U.S. Government's annual budget yet everyone jumps to complain about their tax dollars being used for space flight. If you add up every annual budget in NASA's history you'll get a number that is slightly lower than the annual budget of the DoD in 2016 alone. NASA is trying to compete with billionaire entrepreneurs and regain the lead in space transportation/exploration with both hands tied behind its back. NASA put a man on the moon with the same computing power as an iPhone and created the most sophisticated and beautiful spacecraft, the Space Shuttle, against every demand and restriction you could think of. Without NASA none of that happens and there would be no ISS. SpaceX, Blue Origin, etc. talk about doing things and achieving great strides in manned spaceflight, but NASA has achieved these things, is achieving, and will continue to beat the odds. Until these private companies put astronauts in space, NASA is humanity's space exploration golden boy.

Online Svetoslav

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #88 on: 03/08/2018 07:58 PM »
Looks like my original tenth prediction came true:

10: Orion and SLS : Even more delays, launch date now firmly in 2020.

Online Lar

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #89 on: 03/09/2018 12:42 AM »
This is a place to make predictions (or was, technically I think we draw a metaphorical line somewhere in the very early part of the year, which almost anyone would say we are past) ... not to debate SLS or commercial crew.

I was moved by dpspaulding's initial post. Inclined to trim the rest of the back and forth away.
"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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Online Bubbinski

Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #90 on: 04/21/2018 10:49 PM »
One prediction of mine came true this week, I got in a launch trip and saw TESS (and AFSPC-11) blast off :)

I'll even excitedly look forward to "flags and footprints" and suborbital missions. Just fly...somewhere.

Online philw1776

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Re: Predictions for 2018
« Reply #91 on: 04/22/2018 03:30 PM »
I just hit in this one this week...

16. Congress finally confirms NASA Administrator

None falsified yet unlike last year when I predicted in 2017 "No gravitational waves yet detected" which unknown to me was false before being posted.  Love it when pessimism gets trashed by accomplishments.
“When it looks more like an alien dreadnought, that’s when you know you’ve won.”

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