Author Topic: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations  (Read 80682 times)

Offline Jim

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #40 on: 03/07/2017 03:17 PM »

I'm not sure about certification, since Atlas and Delta are not certified per each configuration of SRBs, right?

Yes, they are

Offline Jim

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #41 on: 03/07/2017 03:26 PM »

But anyway, any legless flights won't interfere with certification of flights that fly with legs.


Yes, it does because they are going to be flying two different cores.  That is the whole point of Block 5.  To stop wholesale changes and settle down to a configuration that they can produce "like sausages".  The problem with playing with the design is that it prevents them from achieving the flight rate they want.

Here is everything against cradle testing
1.  Block 5
2.  Move engineers to ITS
3.  Flight rate desires
4.  lack of need for F9
5.  This is a weak one (they could use GH2 and lift off and land right back on a cradle)  No need to do it from a launch trajectory. 

Offline StuffOfInterest

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #42 on: 03/08/2017 12:39 PM »
I'll give another reason why I don't think you will see cradle landing with F9, thrust to weight.  The F9 can't hover as its thrust is always greater than weight requiring it to hit zero velocity right at landing.  That will always make it hard to target a precise point.  ITS, with so many engines, should be able to control its throttle rate better.  That will allow it to come in slower and exert more lateral control just before landing to target a cradle.

Offline rsdavis9

Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #43 on: 03/08/2017 01:07 PM »
Just as a question.
I thought the newest versions of merlin 1d had a throttle range from 30%-100%?
With ELV best efficiency was the paradigm. The new paradigm is reusable, good enough, and commonality of design.
Same engines. Design once. Same vehicle. Design once. Reusable. Build once.

Offline Razvan

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #44 on: 03/08/2017 01:48 PM »
ITS presumably brings an entirely different equation to the mix, in terms of cost per pound to orbit.

Only if you are launching a lot of pounds! Beyond what it is designed far, large payloads to Mars, it's not clear there's any other likely use for it for many years to come. SpaceX have said it's only for Mars.

Ok if something like CISLunar1000 took off then maybe there will be demand for large payloads to the moon and/or space stations. But that's rather OT.

It seems at the moment that SpaceX think F9 B5 and FH will cover likely demands for years.
Having in mind the next space big business is going to be related to mining, SpaceX better be prepared to lift heavy hardware to deep space

Offline Jim

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #45 on: 03/08/2017 01:50 PM »

Having in mind the next space big business is going to be related to mining, SpaceX better be prepared to lift heavy hardware to deep space

That is not a given.

Offline cscott

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #46 on: 03/08/2017 04:39 PM »
Just as a question.
I thought the newest versions of merlin 1d had a throttle range from 30%-100%?
Please let's not restart that debate.

Offline Moderas

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #47 on: 03/08/2017 05:51 PM »
Just as a question.
I thought the newest versions of merlin 1d had a throttle range from 30%-100%?

Merlin 1d vac can throttle down to 81,000 lbf (~360 kn) as confirmed on the most recent launch live stream.

Offline rsdavis9

Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #48 on: 03/08/2017 07:31 PM »
Just as a question.
I thought the newest versions of merlin 1d had a throttle range from 30%-100%?

Merlin 1d vac can throttle down to 81,000 lbf (~360 kn) as confirmed on the most recent launch live stream.

So 360 kN thrust and the stage weighs dry 22.2 tonnes.
so 22.2 * 9.8 = 217 kN
So one engine still too much thrust.
With ELV best efficiency was the paradigm. The new paradigm is reusable, good enough, and commonality of design.
Same engines. Design once. Same vehicle. Design once. Reusable. Build once.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #49 on: 03/08/2017 09:28 PM »
Cross-posting as discussion of refurbishment improvements post SES-10 seems better here:

Quote
@SpaceX's Shotwell: Took us 4 months to refurbish the stage that we'll refly at end of this month. Going forward, it'll be sub that.#SATShow

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/839598801375608832

Offline Lar

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #50 on: 03/08/2017 11:30 PM »
My thinking? Grandiose plans for huge B5 changes are fanboy folderol.

SpaceX has a chance to stabilize, and crank through their manifest, and get piles of cash.... if they do a B5 that is only minor refinement. No provisions for thrusters to do cradle landings, no changes in S1/S2 sep points, etc. Just make them "like sausages" and tweak the S1/S2 production ratio balance as the barn full of used S1s swells.

Blue is maybe 3 years away from first NG flight. maybe more, MAYBE LESS. I think Bezos wants desperately to surprise people.  But what matters is not first NG date.... what matters is what happens next. if NG is oversize enough, they may be able to do a reusable S2 at the same payload lift specs that SpaceX has to throw the S2 away. Meaning NG fixed costs go way down and so do launch prices, eating SpaceX margin.

If that happens, look out. SpaceX has to get ITS up and running FAST. Amazon knows how to do fast-follower better than anyone. (as I have been saying for years now).   regardless of whatever idle dreaming others are saying that ITS is 10 years away....

Because if ITS is 10 years away, SpaceX is toast. Blue will have NA which will then dominate the heavy lift market.

As for ULA, Ariane, and the rest? Specialty providers or subsidized will be their niche. Still can survive but they all, collectively, will have to survive on 15% market share, Blue and SpaceX get 85%

Like MeekGee I can see a future in which Blue does to SpaceX what SpaceX is doing to ULA (Jim will chime in with "not yet they aren't" and he's right, but it's in the cards that ULA is toast except for very high end specialty government payloads)
« Last Edit: 03/08/2017 11:31 PM by Lar »
"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 meekGee

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #51 on: 03/09/2017 02:03 AM »
FWIW, in none of the above posts I tried to post "what's likely IMO", but just "what's possible".

The advantage Blue Origin has is that they're starting "from scratch".  SpaceX has baggage - it comes from being first.

The advantage SpaceX has is that they had to claw their way to where they are, while dragging everyone else (kicking and screaming) towards reusability.  They have a culture of leadership, and they're used to earning their keep.  They are not a "funded as needed" lab company (no offense!).

These sort of things permeate to the very core of the company's DNA. So while SpaceX has to definitely assume that Blue Origin will be highly competent, I wouldn't say that's it's likely that Blue Origin will catch up.

The likely scenario is that SpaceX, FH, and CommX will be ahead of the competition by about 3 years.
ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Offline Jim

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #52 on: 03/09/2017 02:17 AM »
but it's in the cards that ULA is toast except for very high end specialty government payloads)

That is not true either.  Your crystal balls are Spacex tinted and hence not valid opinions.

Offline Lar

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #53 on: 03/09/2017 02:32 AM »
but it's in the cards that ULA is toast except for very high end specialty government payloads)

That is not true either.  Your crystal balls are Spacex tinted and hence not valid opinions.

Fair enough, but it is a possible outcome, that you cannot deny.

*ALL* SpaceX has to do is increase reliability as fast as possible to close to Atlas levels, get cadence and predictability down pat, and prove out that reuse lets them get their costs to 30M a launch or so... *ALL* they have to do is all of that and there isn't much room for a 150M a launch provider except for very high end specialty/government payloads.

If you say there's zero chance I'll take that bet any day.... just give me the right odds.

The likely scenario is that SpaceX, FH, and CommX will be ahead of the competition by about 3 years.

Not indefinitely. Amazon will whittle that advantage down by a year every 2 years, I expect... so SpaceX better have ITS close to flying in 6 years or Amazon wins fast-follower.

Wait, did I say Amazon, I meant Blue. Same guy calling the shots. He's already eaten the lunch of how many different industries  by being good at fast-follow?????
« Last Edit: 03/09/2017 02:35 AM by Lar »
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Jim

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #54 on: 03/09/2017 02:37 AM »

*ALL* SpaceX has to do is increase reliability as fast as possible to close to Atlas levels, get cadence and predictability down pat, and prove out that reuse lets them get their costs to 30M a launch or so... *ALL* they have to do is all of that and there isn't much room for a 150M a launch provider except for very high end specialty/government payloads.


and, and, and, and......

Yeah, and if a frog had wings

The bet would be straight up.  There is no weasling out with odds.  Either you put up or ....

And becoming the American Proton doesn't count.  That is a pyrrhic victory.
« Last Edit: 03/09/2017 02:39 AM by Jim »

Offline Danderman

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #55 on: 03/09/2017 02:41 AM »

Having in mind the next space big business is going to be related to mining, SpaceX better be prepared to lift heavy hardware to deep space

The Kool-Ade is strong in this one!

Not that space mining doesn't have a future, but it is many years down the road.

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #56 on: 03/09/2017 02:51 AM »
The advantage Blue Origin has is that they're starting "from scratch".  SpaceX has baggage - it comes from being first.

That assumes that they were assuming SpaceX had a successful business model to follow years ago when they committed to their current design series, and that BO had enough information about what worked and what didn't work to innovate in ways that SpaceX can't with it's current design.  I'm not sure that is the case, and I could make the argument that BO has been on a parallel path that just happens to end up with the same result, but not necessarily "steals SpaceX thunder".

Quote
The advantage SpaceX has is that they had to claw their way to where they are, while dragging everyone else (kicking and screaming) towards reusability.  They have a culture of leadership, and they're used to earning their keep.  They are not a "funded as needed" lab company (no offense!).

These sort of things permeate to the very core of the company's DNA. So while SpaceX has to definitely assume that Blue Origin will be highly competent, I wouldn't say that's it's likely that Blue Origin will catch up.

I see this as an important point.  In my experience in manufacturing the development phase is quite different than the production phase.  BO has not yet reached operational status yet, nor do they have their new factory up and running, so they have a lot to grow.  No doubt they can grow, but it will take time to put everything together.

Quote
The likely scenario is that SpaceX, FH, and CommX will be ahead of the competition by about 3 years.

Initially I think more, but I'm not worried about the prospects of SpaceX, I'm more concerned with the prospects of ULA not having enough commercial business to support the declining amount of USG business they'll have due to lower USG launch needs and SpaceX slowly taking more and more of their USG business.  I'm not sure how many launches per year are their minimum with the Vulcan, but BO potentially taking away business is not a good thing for ULA.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Lar

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #57 on: 03/09/2017 03:01 AM »

*ALL* SpaceX has to do is increase reliability as fast as possible to close to Atlas levels, get cadence and predictability down pat, and prove out that reuse lets them get their costs to 30M a launch or so... *ALL* they have to do is all of that and there isn't much room for a 150M a launch provider except for very high end specialty/government payloads.


and, and, and, and......

Yeah, and if a frog had wings

The bet would be straight up.  There is no weasling out with odds.  Either you put up or ....

And becoming the American Proton doesn't count.  That is a pyrrhic victory.

I think it's a possible outcome that it's how I outlined. But I'm not so confident that I'd give even odds, no. I gave a long list of really hard things for SpaceX to do that ALL have to happen for it to work. Blow even one and it comes out differently. "in the cards" to me, means, it's a possible outcome but the cards may fall differently.

When someone says "thing X is impossible but I will only give you 50:50 odds", what that says to me is that thing X isn't impossible. Might be pretty improbable, sure. but not impossible.

I used to win dollar bets with people that I gave 1:1,000,000 odds to because I knew the thing was actually impossible. Once I thought there was any chance at all, I wouldn't take the bet at any odds unless I didn't mind losing.

(Would I mind losing a bet to you where I owe you a case of Founders or whatever? not in the least, but only if it's a fair bet.... even odds for that? no way. The odds are more like 100:1 that SpaceX blows at least one of those many hard things. Just not impossible they get them all)
« Last Edit: 03/09/2017 03:13 AM by Lar »
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline guckyfan

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #58 on: 03/09/2017 07:32 AM »
I doubt that Blue Origin can upset SpaceX. SpaceX has the Raptor coming which will be a far superior engine to BE-4. They have the manufacturing experience to pull even on production.

What might happen is that they have to concentrate on an equivalent of the New Glenn ahead of ITS. I am sure their plan is to have it and cancel the Falcon family but after ITS.


Online Semmel

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Re: F9 Block 5 Updates, Discussions, and Speculations
« Reply #59 on: 03/09/2017 08:01 AM »
One rocket company doesnt crumble to dust just because an other rocket company has a better or cheaper rocket. Especially not foreign ones. SX and BO might take a big part of the launch pie, but they will not eat the entire cake. Not even close. They might dominate the USA launch market though.

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