Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 - CASSIOPE - September, 2013 - GENERAL DISCUSSION THREAD  (Read 374870 times)

Offline Prober

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10313
  • Save the spin....I'm keeping you honest!
  • Nevada
  • Liked: 700
  • Likes Given: 728
No hot fire test today, scheduled for Wednesday Sept 18.
That’s why Elon is taking a break in Vegas  ;D

@elonmusk: Supporting @FloydMayweather in Vegas w @justinbieber, @Shervin, @Kimbal and @TalulahRiley. Am behind JB's fist. http://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/379009738324729856/photo/1
hmmm good spend some major $$ while in town.    For those that don't know the fight is scheduled because its Mexico's independence day.  Its Floyd Mayweather vs the best of Mexico.
« Last Edit: 09/15/2013 01:36 PM by Prober »
2017 - Everything Old is New Again.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~ by Thomas Alva Edison

Offline WHAP

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 795
  • Liked: 104
  • Likes Given: 8
But they do seem to be having a lot of problems with this new rocket Chris.
Couldn't it be because... it's a new rocket? Did you follow Atlas V's or Delta IV's inaugural launch with this detail?

IIRC Atlas V was better (not so many slips).  Delta IV's was about the same as v.1.1 is now, but we'll see when v1.1 launches.
ULA employee.  My opinions do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.

Offline go4mars

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3745
  • Earth
  • Liked: 146
  • Likes Given: 3034
I'm surprised nobody is admiring Elon's dauntlessness.
You are wrong.  Most of the nerds on here do admire it.  Even a lot of the ones who think it's a bad idea. 

It's bold, but the praise may be understated because it's a relatively small step along the extremely bold path of Mars colonization.
Elasmotherium; hurlyburly Doggerlandic Jentilak steeds insouciantly gallop in viridescent taiga, eluding deluginal Burckle's abyssal excavation.

Offline Garrett

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1106
  • France
  • Liked: 104
  • Likes Given: 74
Per Elon's recent tweet (see update thread) launch is now NET Sept 29th.
- "Nothing shocks me. I'm a scientist." - Indiana Jones

Offline Silmfeanor

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1163
  • Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Liked: 216
  • Likes Given: 455
Per Elon's recent tweet (see update thread) launch is now NET Sept 29th.

full text - reflecting not only the need for a 2nd test but the range being busy ( testing ICBMs as Elon puts it )
Quote
Elon Musk ‏@elonmusk 1h

Will do another static fire of rocket to make sure all is good & AF needs to test ICBMs, so probable launch Sept 29/30.

Offline geza

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 130
  • Budapest
    • Géza Meszéna's web page
  • Liked: 27
  • Likes Given: 30
Why static fire is often referred to as hot fire? Is there such thing, that cold fire? :-)

Offline R7

  • Propulsophile
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2738
    • Don't worry.. we can still be fans of OSC and SNC
  • Liked: 944
  • Likes Given: 663
Is there such thing, that cold fire? :-)

Sort of, wet dress rehearsals are also known as cold flow tests.
ADˇASTRAˇASTRORVMˇGRATIA

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31276
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 9559
  • Likes Given: 299
going after a huge leap in technology like the F9.1.


It isn't a leap in technology much less a huge one, it is just a different configuration.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31276
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 9559
  • Likes Given: 299

Sort of, wet dress rehearsals are also known as cold flow tests.

Cold flow test are usually done with inert gases vs propellants
A hot flow would be with propellants and no launch vehicle.

Offline yg1968

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9136
  • Liked: 1158
  • Likes Given: 771
going after a huge leap in technology like the F9.1.


It isn't a leap in technology much less a huge one, it is just a different configuration.

The fact that it will (eventually) be reusable is a big leap.

Offline Avron

  • Canadian Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4915
  • Liked: 147
  • Likes Given: 150
going after a huge leap in technology like the F9.1.


It isn't a leap in technology much less a huge one, it is just a different configuration.

The fact that it will (eventually) be reusable is a big leap.

There is one thing making it reusable, its another thing to do so in a cost effective way so as to reduce costs of the whole program proportionally to the cost of disposable LV.

Offline yg1968

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9136
  • Liked: 1158
  • Likes Given: 771
Apparently, you will get a 25% discounted price for using a reusable rocket.

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 27018
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 6909
  • Likes Given: 4872
Apparently, you will get a 25% discounted price for using a reusable rocket.
That's a start! The nice thing about fast-turnaround reusability is it restores elasticity, allowing the supplier to give deep discounts who buy lots of flights. And /that/ is potentially a game changer.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3117
  • Florida
  • Liked: 1513
  • Likes Given: 117
The CASSIOPE mission will test, if everything goes correctly, all the hardware/software needed to make the vehicle reusable except for landing legs. Adding legs is not much of a complexity, but more of a performance penalty. Some software changes are necessary in the feedback flight control loops possibly, at least changes of the constants.

If the legs are designed such that they can be attached/detached as part of the pad flow then the difference in reusable and expendable vehicles would actually be minor.

Offline IRobot

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1170
  • Portugal & Germany
  • Liked: 207
  • Likes Given: 196
Apparently, you will get a 25% discounted price for using a reusable rocket.
That's a start! The nice thing about fast-turnaround reusability is it restores elasticity, allowing the supplier to give deep discounts who buy lots of flights. And /that/ is potentially a game changer.
From Elon's words, he seemed to imply that 25% is on the long run, not for the first customer...

That makes me wonder how much Falcon 9 2nd stage costs and why is he so eager to make the 2nd stage recoverable. At first I though the engines (at $1M each) were by far the biggest part of the cost, so first stage would be much more expensive than 2nd stage. If that is not the case, all this effort will not revolutionize space access.

Still, FH benefits a LOT more, 27 engines, 3 cores and the same 2nd stage. The discount for FH should be much larger.

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 27018
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 6909
  • Likes Given: 4872
Apparently, you will get a 25% discounted price for using a reusable rocket.
That's a start! The nice thing about fast-turnaround reusability is it restores elasticity, allowing the supplier to give deep discounts who buy lots of flights. And /that/ is potentially a game changer.
From Elon's words, he seemed to imply that 25% is on the long run, not for the first customer...
...
Citation? My statement was a general statement, not a specific one. The upper stage isn't the biggest cost, the issue is that SpaceX HAS to be profitable, so they need a certain number of launches per year to pay for their staff and overhead. There aren't an infinite number of commercial payloads out there. They cannot lower their costs by much until the market grows or they'll go out of business. However, if someone wanted a LOT of launches with streamlined processing, I'd imagine SpaceX could offer them deep discounts if they got fast-turnaround reusability working even with an expendable upper stage. Deep as in 50% below offered price. But if you still have standard processing flow that commercial customers expect and only have payloads one at a time, it's much harder to make enough money to offer more than say a 25% discount. Full reusability doesn't make sense unless SpaceX can launch 40+ times a year (which is basically EVERY commercial payload, and that's a range of payload classes), while partial reusability can be profitable at a fraction of that (8-10 times a year according to Lockheed Martin).

And I really don't think engines are as important to total costs as many make them out to be. A rocket is so much more than the sum of its parts.


Think about it this way: If SpaceX is currently viable at 8 launches per year (at, say, 50 million a year for 16 metric tons $3125/kg), offering a 25% discount (on cost per kg, assuming a 75% as big payload...$2344/kg) will give them the same revenue ($400 million) at 14 flights per year, but now they have a more complicated flow which can be compensated by not having to manufacture as many cores every year (and possibly having lower testing costs?). But would it really be worth the risk? They probably would want at least 16 or 18 launches if they get reusability working. Then it'd be worth the hassle for them. Full reuse is much harder. If they offered, say, a 57% discount on the partially reusable (with a 33% reduction in payload, so 8mT per flight and thus $1000/kg), they'd need at LEAST 50 flights to equal the same revenue as they had before. That is a huge number of flights, again it's the entire commercial market and maybe a little more. In order to make it profitable, they'd need to get more flights than that (say, 80 flights/year) or they'd have to charge more.

This is all terribly risky, so now you see why most companies have stuck with expendable. It's not that reusable is impossible, it's that there's just not enough demand out there. This is a very imperfect market. A company like SpaceX, if they really can hit their advertised rates while doing it on schedule and with comparably low risk all at the same time (which may be questionable), will end up owning nearly the whole market and thus has no real incentive to lower costs.

ULA (and before that their parent companies) was in this situation earlier, and realized they would be no less profitable if they simply let Russia and China (and subsidized Europe) take the commercial market, and so decided to serve just gov't customers. They could get away with this because there are high barriers to entry and because, well, to be honest, space launch isn't very profitable.

SpaceX may get around this by finding other revenue sources, such as crewed spaceflight and ISS logistics (ULA cannot build spacecraft because of anti-trust or somesuch) and possibly by increasing profitability with partial reuse. I personally believe that full reuse will require either a significant beyond-LEO exploration program by NASA (provided NASA doesn't firmly decide to use just their own launchers) or a significantly expanded commercial market.

SpaceX overcame the barrier to entry partially by having a rich guy who wanted to do cool stuff with connections to other rich friends (who also wanted to do stuff) who could finance the capital and by finding NASA in need of space station logistics after Shuttle's loss. Blue Origin may also overcome the barrier to entry in much the same way, except Jeff Bezos is more of a loner but he's a much richer loner so Blue Origin can tinker for longer than SpaceX can without being concerned with things like "customers." But once Blue Origin is successful, they could compete with SpaceX in cost in the partial reusability regime, perhaps giving customers the confidence to invest in the new business opportunities that lower launch costs enable. If the market grows significantly because of this (perhaps toward orbital tourism, I don't know), then conditions would be ripe for full reuse.


(BTW, the situation is obviously more complex... Not all payloads need the full v1.1 expendable capacity and not all payloads would fit on F9R, and some payloads will need FH, which could bring in significantly more profit... Gov't customers are really helpful in this way since they have complicated requirements that help revenue significantly. It'd be even better if they had simple requirements but lots of launch need.)
« Last Edit: 09/15/2013 09:32 PM by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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

Offline Kabloona

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4025
  • Velocitas Eradico
  • Fortress of Solitude
  • Liked: 2204
  • Likes Given: 445
While we twiddle out thumbs for two more weeks, here's a somewhat informative article on weather considerations for launch at VAFB. And while Capt Weiss says a launch has never been cancelled due to weather during her tenure there, the FAA waiver for this particular launch states that there's only a 40% probability of weather meeting the FAA safety criteria at any given time in September. (The waiver did not say whether that probability changes in later months in case of slips.)

http://www.vandenberg.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123363212

Online Chris Bergin

This thread is now way too long and starting to wander a bit.

Time for Thread 2:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32859.0

Tags: