Author Topic: Is this really a Age of Reflight?  (Read 7728 times)

Online edkyle99

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Re: Is this really a Age of Reflight?
« Reply #40 on: 05/10/2017 02:24 PM »
STS flew 6-8 times per year during the 1990s.

STS brought steady long-term HSF budgets.

Just listen to what you just said. "STS was good because it has a fixed cost of $4bn per year for 4-8 flights". You *literally* argue that having a very financially inefficient system is somehow a good thing.

This is the key difference.
For a business, providing a service cheaply is a good thing (because competition).
For a govt program, some parts of the program are in fact incentivized to provide a service in the most expensive way possible.

And you just gave us one example how this can be phrased as seemingly a good thing. "We brought steady long-term budgets". I betcha STS also "helped local economy" and "created a ton of secondary jobs" all over the country. :/

Steady in the sense that the STS costs did not spiral upward, as many other government programs did during that time.  Will Commercial Crew budgets be so steady, or will the players raise prices as time passes to recoup costs?  Just look at the CRS-2 contract versus CRS-1.  CRS-2 averages up to $2.8 billion per year just for cargo.  Once Crew is added, the total for crew and cargo could surpass STS.

 - Ed Kyle 
« Last Edit: 05/10/2017 02:31 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline tdperk

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Re: Is this really a Age of Reflight?
« Reply #41 on: 05/10/2017 02:55 PM »
I should have specified that it did have to be economically viable, but I did assume many would know Space X's intentions of launching, landing and re launching the same core (to "dramatically reduce cost").

I know of supposedly competent aerospace professionals who studiously avoid acknowledging the need for the cost of access to LEO to be lower.

Online john smith 19

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Re: Is this really a Age of Reflight?
« Reply #42 on: 05/10/2017 03:59 PM »
Steady in the sense that the STS costs did not spiral upward, as many other government programs did during that time.  Will Commercial Crew budgets be so steady, or will the players raise prices as time passes to recoup costs?  Just look at the CRS-2 contract versus CRS-1.  CRS-2 averages up to $2.8 billion per year just for cargo.  Once Crew is added, the total for crew and cargo could surpass STS.
One moment. What was the basis of the contract price NASA offered to pay the winners?Was that what NASA expected they could do it for based on their BAU contractor price models?

 My sense is that with experience that price should go down as development costs are recouped, not up.

But I keep forgetting this is the aerospace business, where substantial price inflation is BAU.  :(
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Offline Cherokee43v6

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Re: Is this really a Age of Reflight?
« Reply #43 on: 05/10/2017 04:27 PM »
To the original posed question, I would say 'not yet' but almost.

SpaceX has reflown 1 booster so far.  Blue Origin has yet to fly an orbital booster once.  We are still in the experimental stage for this process. 

I would say that the 'age' begins once a significant fraction of the flights are reflights and more than one company, organization, etc is doing it successfully.

On the other hand, others here have given you great places to research the evolution that has lead us to the cusp of this age.  The Dreams of Van Braun.  What the Shuttle taught us about reusability (for good and ill).  The false starts leading to the current successes. 

I'd love to see what you write.
"I didn't open the can of worms...
        ...I just pointed at it and laughed a little too loudly."

Online Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Is this really a Age of Reflight?
« Reply #44 on: 05/10/2017 05:37 PM »
It's not a question of hardware flown. Never was.

It's a question of exploiting advantages.

Reuse/reflight presents advantage.

Current iteration (F9) of this is being exploited by geosat vendors for medium size, max on-orbit propellant/life, frequent launches.

Potentially, another effect might be that Antares is flying less frequently, because a better economic trade of bigger Cygnus on Atlas V additional margin beats it.

Now, viewing that as a trend, you'd possibly label it "Age of Economic Consolidation"? Not as snazzy, but perhaps more accurate.


Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Is this really a Age of Reflight?
« Reply #45 on: 05/10/2017 11:08 PM »
Steady in the sense that the STS costs did not spiral upward, as many other government programs did during that time.  Will Commercial Crew budgets be so steady, or will the players raise prices as time passes to recoup costs?  Just look at the CRS-2 contract versus CRS-1.  CRS-2 averages up to $2.8 billion per year just for cargo.  Once Crew is added, the total for crew and cargo could surpass STS.
One moment. What was the basis of the contract price NASA offered to pay the winners?Was that what NASA expected they could do it for based on their BAU contractor price models?

 My sense is that with experience that price should go down as development costs are recouped, not up.

But I keep forgetting this is the aerospace business, where substantial price inflation is BAU.  :(

An additional variable here is the number of flights. Has the cost per flight gone down, stayed the same or increased? Compare with aerospace inflation. Adjust for payload mass.

Offline Krankenhausen

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Re: Is this really a Age of Reflight?
« Reply #46 on: 05/11/2017 12:23 AM »
Sorry if this is off topic, but I can't help myself to correct this.  I remember the CRS-2 discussion, the $2.8 billion for CRS-2 is overly pessimistic. The discussion can be found in this topic (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39317.400.)


The gist was that the $2.8 billion was based on a maximum possible cost due to how the contracts were structured. All three contractors have a contract for a maximum of 4 flights per year* (this to give Nasa the flexibility to order more Dragon missions if the Dreamchaser is grounded for example.) The 2.8 billion per year figure is the cost when Nasa orders all those 12 missions in that year, which will never happen. It is likely Nasa will order about half that number of flights per year (for example 3 Dragons, 2 Cygni and 1 Dreamchaser) and the cost will be something like $1.4 billion, or 230 million per mission. Which is indeed somewhat more expensive than CRS-1, but the vehicles are also more capable (and there's almost 10 years of inflation to account for.)

In the end in $/kg I believe that OATK is significantly cheaper than during CRS-1, while Spacex is somewhat more expensive. I don't know about Dreamchaser.

*It is actually a maximum of 20 flights over 5 years
« Last Edit: 05/11/2017 10:42 AM by Krankenhausen »

Offline deruch

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Re: Is this really a Age of Reflight?
« Reply #47 on: 05/12/2017 02:42 AM »
Hi! I am currently doing a American history project on anything that happened during America's history. I decided to choose the period 2015- Present (Starting with Space X's landing of 11 Orbcomm-OG2!) because I see it as a monumental achievement for America and shows how far we have come from the Space Race.

Now I am trying to find ways to convince my teacher that "Age of Reflight" (Kudos to the commentator on the webcast!) is a actual thing and how that can be something I can do my project on, because Blue Origin, Space X, China and ULA have been scrambling to launch cheaper and bigger and is going to revolutionize spaceflight.

I was just wondering if anyone had any input if this is truly the "Age of Reflight"  and if anyone thinks this will eventually become a official name for this period (Like the Space Race) that will end up in textbooks.

Thanks!
Space X      THERE IS NO SPACE BETWEEN THE "SPACE" AND "X"!!

SpaceX (no separation). 

Good luck with your project.  Sorry my only input was a small nitpick. 
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Is this really a Age of Reflight?
« Reply #48 on: 05/12/2017 06:14 PM »
SpaceX throws away its entire rocket on some flights.  In the future, as more customers want more mass lifted to orbit for those low, low SpaceX prices, the company will likely have to perform an increasing number of expendable flights.

Uh-huh. Let me introduce you to FH. If you truly think that SpaceX is going to fly a higher proportion of expendable flights verses reused in the future, you are in denial.

This is not meant to minimize the achievements.

You? Minimizing SpaceX achievements? Never!  ;D
« Last Edit: 05/12/2017 06:15 PM by Lars-J »

Online edkyle99

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Re: Is this really a Age of Reflight?
« Reply #49 on: 05/12/2017 08:08 PM »
SpaceX throws away its entire rocket on some flights.  In the future, as more customers want more mass lifted to orbit for those low, low SpaceX prices, the company will likely have to perform an increasing number of expendable flights.

Uh-huh. Let me introduce you to FH. If you truly think that SpaceX is going to fly a higher proportion of expendable flights verses reused in the future, you are in denial.
I truly believe what I said.  The first eleven v1.2s were, or would have been, recoverable.  Two of the next four (including the Inmarsat 4 F5 booster on the pad now) were expendable.  More are planned.  Block 5 will be able to lift more than 8 tonnes to GTO, but only less than 5.5 tonnes in recoverable mode.  There will be those who will want to fly on the single-stick rather than the Heavy for reasons of reliability and schedule.

 - Ed Kyle

Online LastStarFighter

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Re: Is this really a Age of Reflight?
« Reply #50 on: 05/12/2017 09:05 PM »
SpaceX throws away its entire rocket on some flights.  In the future, as more customers want more mass lifted to orbit for those low, low SpaceX prices, the company will likely have to perform an increasing number of expendable flights.

Uh-huh. Let me introduce you to FH. If you truly think that SpaceX is going to fly a higher proportion of expendable flights verses reused in the future, you are in denial.
I truly believe what I said.  The first eleven v1.2s were, or would have been, recoverable.  Two of the next four (including the Inmarsat 4 F5 booster on the pad now) were expendable.  More are planned.  Block 5 will be able to lift more than 8 tonnes to GTO, but only less than 5.5 tonnes in recoverable mode.  There will be those who will want to fly on the single-stick rather than the Heavy for reasons of reliability and schedule.

 - Ed Kyle

I think it's all just going to come down to pricing... Customers have shown that they follow the money IMO. That's why SpaceX has so many launches to begin with and they have (mostly) stuck with them through all the delays. If SpaceX incentivizes large satellites towards a recoverable FH with below expendable F9 prices then satellites will take it. Even with the higher risk and delays.

Offline Chasm

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Re: Is this really a Age of Reflight?
« Reply #51 on: 05/12/2017 11:27 PM »
I have a box of known size and weight, I need delivery to a specific orbit, not exceeding a given set of environmental conditions during delivery. - These conditions apply to all delivery vehicles. Rockets but also air and land transport before that.
When can I get it delivered to orbit, how certain is it that my box will arrive in good working condition, how much does it cost?

The rest is not really that important.
Yes, there are long lists of restrictions for national and political reasons but those are not new.


So, when will is the age of reflight arrive?
When there is more than one commercial operator doing reflight as a matter of normal operations, for years.
Very likely the first two will be SpaceX and Blue Origin.

Why more than one? One is a monopoly, not an age. (Not that two is much better...)
Why also in normal operation? Too easy to do a few reuses for PR value. Reflight as normal operation over time means that it is actually financially viable over expendable systems of the same vintage and technology and not just another STS.

Offline Brovane

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Re: Is this really a Age of Reflight?
« Reply #52 on: 05/14/2017 06:41 AM »

SpaceX throws away its entire rocket on some flights.  In the future, as more customers want more mass lifted to orbit for those low, low SpaceX prices, the company will likely have to perform an increasing number of expendable flights.


 - Ed Kyle

The beauty of how the F9 is recovered is that the hardware to recover is an add-on kit.  Want to recover the 1st stage, add grid fins, RCS, and landing legs.  Don't want to recover the booster, then launch without these systems.  Already in expendable mode, the F9 as you said has industry leading low prices. 

The launch prices are negotiable.  If a customer wants to launch more mass than an F9 can handle and still recover the first stage booster, charge appropriately.   Notice how on the SpaceX web page when you go to pricing for the F9, it says $62M for up to 5.5 mT to GTO even though the full performance is 8.3 mT to GTO.  Want to launch a 8 mT satellite, be prepared to pay more than $62M.  What we are seeing right now is SpaceX working through a manifest of customers that had purchased launches several years ago.  Some of these launches might have been intended to fly on the FH, but had switched to the F9 because with the increased performance of the F9 6.1 mT satellite can be launched to GTO.  The full impact of re-usability on pricing and launch manifest for SpaceX will not be felt for several years. 
"Look at that! If anybody ever said, "you'll be sitting in a spacecraft naked with a 134-pound backpack on your knees charging it", I'd have said "Aw, get serious". - John Young - Apollo-16

Offline Hog

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Re: Is this really a Age of Reflight?
« Reply #53 on: 05/15/2017 11:55 AM »
Hi! I am currently doing a American history project on anything that happened during America's history. I decided to choose the period 2015- Present (Starting with Space X's landing of 11 Orbcomm-OG2!) because I see it as a monumental achievement for America and shows how far we have come from the Space Race.

Now I am trying to find ways to convince my teacher that "Age of Reflight" (Kudos to the commentator on the webcast!) is a actual thing and how that can be something I can do my project on, because Blue Origin, Space X, China and ULA have been scrambling to launch cheaper and bigger and is going to revolutionize spaceflight.

I was just wondering if anyone had any input if this is truly the "Age of Reflight"  and if anyone thinks this will eventually become a official name for this period (Like the Space Race) that will end up in textbooks.

Thanks!
Space X      THERE IS NO SPACE BETWEEN THE "SPACE" AND "X"!!

SpaceX (no separation). 

Good luck with your project.  Sorry my only input was a small nitpick.
The company is actually Space Exploration Technologies Corporation , but that does fit well on the sticks and isn't near as "cool" as Space-X.  Don't confuse a trademark with an actual proper word.
Paul

Offline Hog

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Re: Is this really a Age of Reflight?
« Reply #54 on: 05/15/2017 12:01 PM »
I have a box of known size and weight, I need delivery to a specific orbit, not exceeding a given set of environmental conditions during delivery. - These conditions apply to all delivery vehicles. Rockets but also air and land transport before that.
When can I get it delivered to orbit, how certain is it that my box will arrive in good working condition, how much does it cost?

The rest is not really that important.
Yes, there are long lists of restrictions for national and political reasons but those are not new.


So, when will is the age of reflight arrive?
When there is more than one commercial operator doing reflight as a matter of normal operations, for years.
Very likely the first two will be SpaceX and Blue Origin.

Why more than one? One is a monopoly, not an age. (Not that two is much better...)
Why also in normal operation? Too easy to do a few reuses for PR value. Reflight as normal operation over time means that it is actually financially viable over expendable systems of the same vintage and technology and not just another STS.
Is simply getting your box to orbit the only metric.   What if you need you box placed on orbit and retrieved and de orbited, with a possible on-orbit repair?  Functions such as this are where some of the abilities of STS come to light. 
Just another STS?  We should be so lucky to have such a capability.
Paul

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Is this really a Age of Reflight?
« Reply #55 on: 05/15/2017 04:30 PM »
Quote
Space X      THERE IS NO SPACE BETWEEN THE "SPACE" AND "X"!!

SpaceX (no separation). 

Good luck with your project.  Sorry my only input was a small nitpick.
The company is actually Space Exploration Technologies Corporation , but that does fit well on the sticks and isn't near as "cool" as Space-X.  Don't confuse a trademark with an actual proper word.

How can you nitpick and still get it wrong? SpaceX. Not Space-X.

Offline envy887

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Re: Is this really a[n] Age of Reflight?
« Reply #56 on: 05/15/2017 06:58 PM »
If I remember correctly, the resued stage for SES 10 was about half or less than half of what the first stage costs to make and the first stage makes up perhaps 60-70% of the rocket? I do not remember correctly.
...

It was "substantially less than half" the cost of a new first stage. And Musk stated several times that the booster is 75% of the cost of a launch.

Offline Hog

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Re: Is this really a Age of Reflight?
« Reply #57 on: 05/22/2017 08:03 PM »
Quote
Space X      THERE IS NO SPACE BETWEEN THE "SPACE" AND "X"!!

SpaceX (no separation). 

Good luck with your project.  Sorry my only input was a small nitpick.
The company is actually Space Exploration Technologies Corporation , but that does fit well on the sticks and isn't near as "cool" as Space-X.  Don't confuse a trademark with an actual proper word.

How can you nitpick and still get it wrong? SpaceX. Not Space-X.
Nit picking?  Wrong?  My spelling was shown as intended, hyphenated.
I'll try again.
Space Ex,  there.   
 It's a dry humour.

The age of reflight began the moment that the solids lit on STS-2.
Paul

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