Author Topic: Predictions for 2022  (Read 9450 times)

Online Lar

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Re: Predictions for 2022
« Reply #20 on: 11/05/2017 03:42 AM »
All the cool kids are doing it... My predictions for (the end of) 2022

SpaceX:
- 100+ F9 and FH launches a year, with over 50% of the total world wide commercial market
- Launch cadence very predictable, backlog mostly worked through, most launches within 2 weeks of originally projected schedule
- No Raptor upper stage
- Pricing switched around, first launch now cheaper, flight proven block 5 more expensive
- There will be 3 ASDS on the east coast, not because of FH but just to keep cadence going
- Starlink very actively being deployed to hit the deadlines, and using a good chunk of the total launch cadence
- Commercial Crew hitting stride, cargo bubbling along nicely, with a mix of D1 and D2
- The D2 hull production line is shut down, lots of D1 and D2 hulls in stock and refurbishment working out
- F9/FH production line still up and running, producing S2:S1 at 10:1
- SpaceX chooses to submit only BFR to the Airforce launch capability programme and gets funding.
- BFR (9m version) will have had several suborbital and orbital test flights.
- Ed Kyle still won't believe their numbers
- Two tourist flights around the moon so far, more on manifest
- Jim still will think success is mostly due to young people working crazy hours
- No Raptor upper stage (did I repeat myself?)

Virgin
- After another major upset, Branson will exit, sell assets to whoever will take them

Blue
- Flying some suborbital flights for tourists with New Shepard but not high frequency
- New Glenn in test phase but no more than 1/2 dozen paid launches so far
- QuantumG will still be throwing shade on their speed (er, lack thereof)
- We still won't know exactly what is in New Armstrong
- Bezos will have invested at least 8B by now as he continues to sell 1B a year of Amazon stock.

OrbitalATKNorthrupGrumman
- Still delivering cargo with Cygnus. Now on Antares again, no more Atlas
- Next Gen Rocket not selected by Airforce for development, still a paper rocket
- Still launching from MARS
- L1011 still flying and launching Pegasi

ULA
- Delta Heavy "almost" retired... any year now.
- Atlas still flying but ULA rationing engines
- ULA selects BE4, Aerojet lobbies to force them to choose theirs but fails
- Vulcan in early test, using dual engine Centaur.
- ACES with IVF still in the future... always "next year"
- Jongoff keeps hinting about future awesome stuff...  but can't tell us about it.
- SMART reuse abandoned as not that smart
- LazyB and LockMart refuse to give ULA any extra capital, or freedom to innovate, milk it for revenue.
- ULA stops advertising their schedule as a feature after studies show their current predictability is no better than SpaceX

Sierra Nevada
- DreamChaser cargo flying
- SN uses F9 for a launch to validate it's doable but mostly sticks to Atlas
- Crew DreamChaser still in the future

SLS
- Alabama Mafia has too much clout, so it doesn't get killed, again. And again. And again.
- Still no missions to speak of.
- Europa Clipper slips to 2024
- Projected frequency 1 per 2 years.
- Launched once so far, EM2 slipped due to tower construction taking too long. Talk of using ICPS on EM2

Ariane
- Ariane 5 still flying but mostly government missions. Few commercial customers willing to dual manifest or pay price
- Ariane 6 in development
- Ariane 7 being mooted (fully reusable)
- Another strike at Kourou will have taken it out of service for at least 3 months by now

Satellites
- almost all Geo birds are all electric
- So many cubesats no one can count them all except NORAD
- PRI and DSI both will have launched probes but not yet actually mined anything.

ISS
- Now extended to 2028.
- Russians still threatening to leave
- Russian module no closer to launching, new leaks found
- Bigelow BEAM still there, much to everyone's surprise. Used for storage
- Bigelow still shopping a new module to be added to ISS, but NASA not interested.
- NanoRacks sponsors a commercial astronaut to tend fiber production (for others) and launch/babysit cubesats and generally be a dogsbody for the rest of the crew.
- At least one Cygnus retained on station instead of deorbited, used for automated experiments that need to be sealed off
- Still a crunch with docking/berthing/airlocks/expansion
 
Space Science
- INSight slipped to 2024
- JWST launched, but almost out of helium already after not seeing anything much
- Hubble still functioning but limping, SpaceX proposed service mission, not taken yet
- 2020 sample gathering mission slipped to 2026
- All the rovers are still working but the wheels showing serious wear
 
« Last Edit: 11/05/2017 02:27 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

Offline MikeAtkinson

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Re: Predictions for 2022
« Reply #21 on: 11/05/2017 08:49 AM »
A few observations first:

A. the total space market is growing in real terms, but at a slower rate than in the recent past.

B. the price for launch has fallen recently and is likely to fall further. This is only just starting to feed through into payloads and applications, except perhaps LEO internet constellations (StarLink is probably predicated on cheap launch, not sure about the others). This means that launch as a proportion of the total space market is falling.

C. there is a trend for satellites to both get bigger and smaller, bigger for GEO payloads (excluding propulsion), smaller for LEO constellations.

D. it takes a long time to develop space hardware, few things that are not in development now will be deployed in 5 years time.

E. several areas including mil/intel, human space flight and launch are on the cusp of major changes, because of the long development time changes in these areas will not be complete.

F. there has been a general shift from government to commercial, which has occurred over decades, this is likely to continue, but this shift does not mean reduction in total government spend.

G. there is a trend to more players, with the advent of smallsat launchers launch is not longer the preserve of big countries and there large contractors. Similarly medium and small organisations can launch and operate satellites.

H. there is a shortage of profit, the combination of only a modest increase in total market, lower prices, large development costs and an increase in the number of players means that profits will be hard to come by. This is only likely to get worse.

I. a shortage of profit should make access to venture capital (and other forms of capital) hard to come by, this does not seem to currently be the case, but could change rapidly.

J. there are large market distortions caused by national interests, this is not likely to change over the next few years. Nations do not like spending money outside their borders, leading to barter and workshare agreements.

K. aerospace projects often suffer delays, this can happen to any organisation, recent experience with similar projects can help but is not a guarantee of being on-time and on-budget.

L. some projects can blow their budget and timescale by massive amounts (e.g. JWST, Angara). Generally slowing a project causes its total budget to increase, as does changing the specification. A trend to faster development and more churn in applications should lead to more projects being cancelled if they are late or are overtaken by other developments, but this does not seem to be the case.

M. because cubesats are relatively cheap to design and operate they are in the reach of universities, small and medium companies and developing nations.

Some more specific predictions, based on these general observations, later.

Offline gorgon69

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Re: Predictions for 2022
« Reply #22 on: 11/05/2017 10:34 AM »
I really like the idea, but I don't think that in 5 years we will be seeing any space missions, rather reconstruction of roads and basic infrastructure if the geopolitical world doesn't change its' current course

Online jebbo

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Re: Predictions for 2022
« Reply #23 on: 11/05/2017 01:23 PM »
SpaceX:
- 100+ F9 and FH launches a year, with over 50% of the total world wide commercial market

That's a very aggressive one, given we're likely to see ~90 orbital launches this year (~20 from SpaceX) and launch rate seems to be growing linearly at about 2 per year (looking at 2001+ numbers).

It implies not just SpaceX growing from 20/yr, but everything else growing from 70 to 100.

But eminently testable and I'd like it to be true! Definitely one to watch.

--- Tony

Online Lar

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Re: Predictions for 2022
« Reply #24 on: 11/05/2017 02:30 PM »
SpaceX:
- 100+ F9 and FH launches a year, with over 50% of the total world wide commercial market

That's a very aggressive one, given we're likely to see ~90 orbital launches this year (~20 from SpaceX) and launch rate seems to be growing linearly at about 2 per year (looking at 2001+ numbers).

It implies not just SpaceX growing from 20/yr, but everything else growing from 70 to 100.

But eminently testable and I'd like it to be true! Definitely one to watch.

--- Tony

I count Starlink in the commercial launch column. It requires a LOT of launches.  So will its competitors.

Another prediction....  in 2022, NSF will still be plagued with anti-science trolls ranting about Oort clouds and stuff.
"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 TakeOff

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Re: Predictions for 2022
« Reply #25 on: 11/05/2017 03:08 PM »
SpaceX:
- 100+ F9 and FH launches a year, with over 50% of the total world wide commercial market

That's a very aggressive one, given we're likely to see ~90 orbital launches this year (~20 from SpaceX) and launch rate seems to be growing linearly at about 2 per year (looking at 2001+ numbers).

It implies not just SpaceX growing from 20/yr, but everything else growing from 70 to 100.

But eminently testable and I'd like it to be true! Definitely one to watch.

--- Tony
I bet it won't happen, because the F9 core will be old already in 2022. Most mass will be launched by other rockets then. And SpaceX will have more like 80% global market share than 50%.
« Last Edit: 11/05/2017 03:09 PM by TakeOff »

Offline meberbs

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Re: Predictions for 2022
« Reply #26 on: 11/05/2017 04:05 PM »
- JWST launched, but almost out of helium already after not seeing anything much
JWST running out of helium is not a major failure mode. Overall, JWST is passively cooled. Only one instrument (out of 4) has active cooling, and the helium used is a closed loop system, not like Spitzer.

https://jwst.nasa.gov/cryocooler.html

Offline deruch

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Re: Predictions for 2022
« Reply #27 on: 11/06/2017 12:02 AM »
- BFR (9m version) will have had several suborbital and orbital test flights.

- Hubble still functioning but limping, SpaceX proposed service mission, not taken yet

Curious about these two.  SpaceX has fielded BFR/BFS could they go grab Hubble and bring it back home? 
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Online Lar

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Re: Predictions for 2022
« Reply #28 on: 11/06/2017 12:31 AM »
- BFR (9m version) will have had several suborbital and orbital test flights.

- Hubble still functioning but limping, SpaceX proposed service mission, not taken yet

Curious about these two.  SpaceX has fielded BFR/BFS could they go grab Hubble and bring it back home? 
I'm dubious that it could be returned to gravity/atmosphere without suffering major damage. Grabbing it means bringing it to a museum. Servicing it would be in place.
"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 Zed_Noir

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Re: Predictions for 2022
« Reply #29 on: 11/06/2017 03:06 PM »
- BFR (9m version) will have had several suborbital and orbital test flights.

- Hubble still functioning but limping, SpaceX proposed service mission, not taken yet

Curious about these two.  SpaceX has fielded BFR/BFS could they go grab Hubble and bring it back home? 
I'm dubious that it could be returned to gravity/atmosphere without suffering major damage. Grabbing it means bringing it to a museum. Servicing it would be in place.

Slightly far-fetch. But in theory as long as the current Hubble primary mirror is intact after a trip back to Earth. You could rebuild the telescope with new components and return it back to back to service at a new location with the BFS cargo. Like the Martian Lagrange points.

Online Lar

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Re: Predictions for 2022
« Reply #30 on: 11/06/2017 03:40 PM »
Let the mods deal with users, let's not get into detailed analysis of individual users by other users.
"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 saliva_sweet

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Re: Predictions for 2022
« Reply #31 on: 11/06/2017 06:40 PM »
Vulcan was cancelled in 2018. The math came in and there was no market for it. ULA continues to fly the Atlas which is allowed to not let SpaceX get a monopoly. It will be retired in a couple of years when New Glenn becomes operational.

New Shepard flew with people precisely once, in september 2018, two months before Dragons crewed test flight. The mainstream media trumpets this as the first private company taking a man to space and Bezos beating Musk once again. Only these forums and some other corners of the internet will remember Spaceship one and mumble disgruntedly into their beards. Musk goes critical on twitter. The next flight is promised, but never happens. A year later, while talking about some other things Bezos reveals that New Shepard is cancelled (no market) and the company is focused on the New Glenn.

Europe: Ariane 6 is kind of a success - higher flight rate (>10/year) and lower cost than Ariane 5 (retired). Attractive option for commercal customers. Arianespace can't trumpet about this too much though, because every time they do someone points out that government subsidies have actually increased, souring the mood. Spacex is still on everyones mind, they are nearing 50 flights/year. The economics of reusability are fairly understood and a reusable launcher is in work. EU will find the money for it.

edit: a couple of small additions

Virgin galactic will be doing regular suborbital flights (3-6 per year) at 500000 per ticket (in 2017 dollars).

BFR will have the first test flight "in the next year or so" according to musk.
« Last Edit: 11/06/2017 06:57 PM by saliva_sweet »

Offline calapine

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Re: Predictions for 2022
« Reply #32 on: 11/06/2017 09:17 PM »
All the cool kids are doing it... My predictions for (the end of) 2022

- 100+ F9 and FH launches a year, with over 50% of the total world wide commercial market

- BFR (9m version) will have had several suborbital and orbital test flights.

- We still won't know exactly what is in New Armstrong

- Ariane 6 in development



I can tell you are a SpaceX fan....  :P
« Last Edit: 11/06/2017 09:19 PM by calapine »

Online Lar

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Re: Predictions for 2022
« Reply #33 on: 11/06/2017 09:26 PM »
All the cool kids are doing it... My predictions for (the end of) 2022

- 100+ F9 and FH launches a year, with over 50% of the total world wide commercial market

- BFR (9m version) will have had several suborbital and orbital test flights.

- We still won't know exactly what is in New Armstrong

- Ariane 6 in development



I can tell you are a SpaceX fan....  :P

You know what they say
"You can always tell a SpaceX fan... you just can't tell him or her MUCH"

As for Hubble, I can see a service mission, mostly as a demo of what's doable.... But rather than bringing it back and rebuilding it, with the very low $/kg to LEO price BFR brings, it's more likely that a fleet of similar, but cheaper, (much cheaper), instruments would be launched. Maybe not in 2022, but not that long afterwards.
"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 calapine

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Re: Predictions for 2022
« Reply #34 on: 11/06/2017 09:40 PM »
Well, since all the cool kids are doing it.

My shorter list, modelled after Lar's predictions:

SpaceX
- Falcon 9 has surpassed >100 flights total, with one RUD since 2017
- Falcon Heavy flying but with low cadence due to adequate performance of F9
- F9 and Falcon Heavy still in production
- BFR still in development, has been re-scoped again.

Virgin
- Closed shop or sold off

Blue Origin
- New Glenn has seen successful first flight and several commercial ones
- New Armstrong specs announced

Orbital
- Cygnus still flying but on Atlas
- Antares retired due to lack of business case
- NGL project dead

ULA
- Delta IV and Heavy have been retired
- Atlas V is still flying, but with end in sight
- Vulcan flying, with Centaur 5 upper stage
- ACES still in development

SLS
- EM-1 successful
- EM-2 pushed to 2023

Arianespace
- Ariane 5 using up the last construction batch and has it's last launch in 2022 (one year earlier than planned)
- Ariane 6 debuts successfully within +/- 2 months of target date (July 2020), production ramped up.
- Arianegroup claims Ariane 6 needs to be upgraded with a reusable first stage (no solids) to stay competitive.
- Arianegroup calls this Ariane 6+ although it's really a new launcher. Asks ESA for € 3bn+ Euro

SpaceScience
- ISS extended to 2028
- DSG deeply controversial with Space geeks
- JWST launched, working and producing science
- ESA Mars rover landed successfully to the big relief of ESA

Edit: spelling

« Last Edit: 11/06/2017 09:51 PM by calapine »

Offline raketa

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Re: Predictions for 2022
« Reply #35 on: 11/06/2017 10:42 PM »
SpaceX:
- 100+ F9 and FH launches a year, with over 50% of the total world wide commercial market

That's a very aggressive one, given we're likely to see ~90 orbital launches this year (~20 from SpaceX) and launch rate seems to be growing linearly at about 2 per year (looking at 2001+ numbers).

It implies not just SpaceX growing from 20/yr, but everything else growing from 70 to 100.

But eminently testable and I'd like it to be true! Definitely one to watch.

--- Tony
Spacex:
2014    6
2015    7
2016    7(if no failure probably 11)
2017    20
They double their flight cadence( 3 missing flight from 2016 and 3 reuse booster) their production of new S1 speed up by 40%.
But if they reuse F9S1 block 5 10 times. If they are producing them right now. They will have in 2 year fleet to do 100 flights a year easy.

Offline Asteroza

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Re: Predictions for 2022
« Reply #36 on: 11/08/2017 01:35 AM »
SpaceX
- Nearly exclusively F9H missions, no more standalone F9 missions wherever possible
- BFR late
- Starlink deployment late due to deployer failure(s)

Virgin
- Branson refunds suborbital tourists and shuts down Virgin Galactic (likely after another accident)
- Launcher One survives to first launch, but may face forced merger with Stratolaunch

Blue Origin
- New Shepard based commercial reusable sounding rocket service starts, but suborbital tourism is dead
- New Glenn has strong start but has spectacular accident forcing long standdown
- New Armstrong canceled
- Bezos officially has burned $10+ billion on New Glenn, validating the old saw "$10 billion for a new space vehicle"

Orbital
- Cygnus flies Atlas only (Antares dies)
- NGL DOA
- Offload Pegasus to Stratolaunch completely

Stratolaunch
- Acquihires Launcher One/Virgin Galactic
- Teams up with SNC for Dreamchaser launches

ULA
- DIV done
- Atlas limping
- Vulcan has major redesign to improve reusability causing delays
- In unexpected move, ACES tech being shopped around to others for OEM/licensed build to gain stranglehold on orbital ops and as a precursor to managed tug services

Rocketlab
- Good launch cadence
- Announce work on reusable first stage

NASA
- SLS canned after 4 manifested flights
- ISS slugging along, commercial ops takeover discussion dragging feet but Nanoracks sponsored commercial astronaut onboard
- ISS Axiom module demo scheduled
- DSG buildout actually starts but buildout delayed
- LunarCOTS becomes a thing, partially in support of DSG

ESA/Ariane
- Soyuz ST continues despite Vega launches
- Ariane 5 order book closed
- Ariane 6 happens but is a market failure
- Heavy infighting on doing a Ariane 6+ or a fresh design Ariane 7 with better reusability, no decision yet
- Partially funds Skylon NTV to hedge bets

JAXA/Japan
- New private rockets start, but are market failures
- H3 delayed
- HTV based capsule development starts
- Closer cooperation with South Korea

China
- shakeout in newspace players relying on ICBM solid cores, some mergers
- Tiangong station initial construction completed, reserved for government/domestic commercial payloads/research
- Shenzhou followon program formally announced for larger crew/cargo vehicle
- Will launch a commercial space station core block/truss at ISS inclination, invite foreign government and commercial modules/hosted payloads to link up. Bigelow will take them up on their offer. First commercial ZBLAN optical fiber production occurs here. First SpiderFab/Archinaut type 3D printing external structure fabrication demo occurs here.
- Sea launch of a newspace rocket happens

Russia
- Soyuz marches along but has a major failure
- Proton has another failure and plans are afoot to retire
- Federatsia/Fenix delayed but actually moving along, not a paper project
- Angara/Vostochny still a hot mess, some managers arrested for corruption
- Push for a commercial followon in the vein of Dnepr/Rockot for Topol/Bulava ICBM families
- Sea Launch flies once more, then canned

India
- PSLV has another embarrassing failure, blamed on privatization
- Fly their man rated capsule empty once

North Korea
- Detonates orbital EMP in show of force to demonstrate nuclear capabilities, causing significant satellite losses and Van Allen belt strengthening (possible micro-kessler syndrome precursor)

General
- Another major in-orbit collision
- Somebody finally demos a working electrodynamic tether propulsion demo
- VASIMR demo a resounding disappointment
- E-sails are the new hotness
- Commercial repair/refuel of GEO sats starting with sats that have appropriate bus design/receptacles
- Serious GEO Lasercomm discussion in parallel with space corral payload hosting bus/service
- Most of the US smallsat launchers do poorly, lots of consolidation/mergers/bankruptcies
- Brazil will make efforts to expand commercialization of Alcantara spaceport, by declaring it a free-trade zone including inviting foreign providers to setup without a local joint venture
- New defacto small cargo standard emerges, mix of cargo spec (roughly JEM airlock sized with room temp support), delivery spec (2 day launch/delivery fast rendezvous and 2 day retrieval/reentry), and a delivery vehicle interface spec (external docking point/idle hard mount, cargo transfer ops including door/airlock interface, close approach with arm capture for hard dock/berthing)
- XS-1 program surprising success, but leads nowhere
- Micro-Kessler Syndrome event of a specific orbital band requires big changes in trajectory design/planning for megaconstellations and anybody heading higher.
- Unexpected strengthening of Van Allen belts forces spacecraft redesigns, serious talk of draining the belts.

Online saliva_sweet

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Re: Predictions for 2022
« Reply #37 on: 11/08/2017 09:04 AM »
Vulcan was cancelled in 2018. The math came in and there was no market for it. ULA continues to fly the Atlas which is allowed to not let SpaceX get a monopoly. It will be retired in a couple of years when New Glenn becomes operational.

I will elaborate that this will happen because ULA and Blue Origin will effectively be the same entity by 2022. Either one buys the other or an umbrella company is created. Either way, Bezos will be in control. The merger has been postponed thus far because they want to get two DOD contracts to develop both Vulcan and the New Glenn. New Glenn contract will go towards developing New Glenn and Vulcan contract will be used to develop the BE-4.

Offline STS-200

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Re: Predictions for 2022
« Reply #38 on: 11/08/2017 04:19 PM »
Some serious predictions, some less so...

US Commercial
-Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy flying regularly with recovery and reuse, no reusable upper stage.
-BFR will fly “next year”.
-New Glenn flying.
-Blue actively developing their 150t-to-LEO New Armstrong.
-Vulcan in service, but without the full ACES package.
-Delta IV down to its last couple of launches.
-Atlas V still in service, production being shut down.

-Commercial Cargo in operation, with SpaceX, Orbital/ULA
-Cygnus flying on Atlas, stretched version proposed for Vulcan.
-Commercial Crew in operation with SpaceX, Boeing
-Dragon 2 in service for both crew and cargo.
-Dreamchaser has flown unmanned on New Glenn.

NASA
-Budget still flat in constant-dollar terms.
-ISS extended to 2028.
-SLS is cancelled in 2021. It flew once.
-Orion still nominally intended as a multi-purpose deep space vehicle, now re-re-purposed to facilitate long-duration flight and allow launch on other rockets.
-DSG is being developed for launch on Vulcan, ESA and JAXA are making all the right noises of support.

Europe
-Ariane 5 down to its last 2-3 flights.
-Ariane 6 in service. ESA/Sierra still talking about putting Dreamchaser on it.
-Ariane 7, a two-stage liquid rocket with a reusable lower stage, is in the late stages of being authorised for development. Everyone says how uncompetitive it will be…
-REL have built components or licenced their technology for use on aircraft engines.

Russia
-Soyuz, Proton launchers still in service.
-Soyuz, Progress spacecraft still in service.
-Development of the Soyuz & Proton replacement is still underway.
 
China
-Has completed a small modular space station, with crews visiting 2-3 times/year

Missions
-Hubble out of service, JWST working well.
-Curiosity now a static base station, Opportunity still working!!
-2020 ESA and NASA Mars rovers still working.
-Both Voyagers still working.
-NASA lunar sample return mission in development.
-“Ocean Moon” (of Jupiter/Saturn) orbiter being built.

Adventurous Stuff
-Two sub-orbital tourist providers are flying regularly.
-Tourists have flown to the ISS on commercial vehicles.
-A circumlunar tourist flight has been made.
-An unmanned privately-funded probe has landed on the Moon.
-SpaceX say their manned Mars flight will launch in 2026. Everyone believes them.
-A private space station is attracting some funding, for both tourists and research.
-Indications of molecular Oxygen have been detected in the atmosphere of an exoplanet.
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Offline Stellvia

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Re: Predictions for 2022
« Reply #39 on: 11/08/2017 08:57 PM »
UK Spaceflight in 2022:

* 

Post-Brexit, UK still an ESA member, but pivoting progressively towards increased cooperation with India, Australia, Canada. Informal talks around creation of Commonwealth Space Cooperation Agency. Nigeria expresses interest in joining, advancing own plans for domestic spaceport.

* At least one UK domestic smallsat LV firm has conducted a successful suborbital spaceflight from a range in Scotland. Launch to orbit next year.

* SABRE Core 1 successfully completes first phase of ground test firings. REL moving to construction of first SABRE flight engines.

* BAE Systems passes PDR for a hypersonic reconnaissance/strike drone using SABRE engine. DARPA quietly orders three airframes for evaluation. A variant of the vehicle can serve as an operationally-responsive smallsat launcher using a piggyback expendable upper stage, similar to XS-1.

* Virgin announces (with much fanfare) MOU with Reaction Engines on study of use of SABRE engines in SpaceShipThree, but so far it remains a paper spaceplane.

* SSTL launches ‘Ice Mapper’ mission to conduct laser illumination studies of permanently shadowed craters at lunar poles.

* National Space Propulsion Test Facility at Westcott complete and in full operation. Neighbours complain about the noise.

* Seraphim Space Fund latest round exceeds $1 billion. Rumours in London VC investment circles that “something huge” is planned, to do with BFR applications.

* Brian Cox [British particle physicist, TV science presenter] takes suborbital flight on New Shepard for BBC science programme, but is “unwell” mid-flight. Footage leaks on YouTube.
Rocketeers: A British view of commercial spaceflight:
http://www.rocketeers.co.uk/ + @Rocketeer_UK

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