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SpaceX General Section / Re: Upcoming Talks - SpaceX Related
« Last post by jpo234 on Today at 05:08 AM »
Is it just me or has SpaceX (mostly Gwyenne but sometimes others) been participating in more talks lately than in the past?

On that note, is there any word on if Elon (or perhaps someone else) will be at the IAC this year? When did we learn that Elon was going to be at the last one- i think it was around June ish that we found out?

I wonder about the possibility of SpaceX holding off on IAC this year and doing a presentation of BFR(S) in the new LA factory when that's built sometime next year - kind of like how they originally showcased Dragon 2... tho this being on a much larger scale...
Thought the very same thing. It seems there is a coordinated PR campaign going on.
On April 23rd,  Landspace announced their Methalox Medium-lift launch vehicle, Zhuque-2(Vermilion Bird-2) and its powerplant, the in-house manufactured Methalox Engine Tianque-2 (magpie-2) in the first China Astronautical Congress.

The specifications are from the presentation PPT attached below.

Deliver in 2020
2 Stages
Payload Capacity 1.5t @500km SSO
                         1.1t @700km SSO
                         3.6t @200km LEO
Length 48.8 meter
Diameter 3.35m
Lift-off mass 230t
Lift-off thrust 270t
Basically, the rocket looks like a Methalox powered, stretched CZ-2. However, the payload ratio is terrible for a methalox launcher,  even we regard this as the recoverable mod payload. And it looks like the rocket does not have restart capacity and require direct insertion to SSO.

Here is the source, from Landspace's Official Wechat page.
SpaceX Mars / Re: Elon The Boring Company
« Last post by CuddlyRocket on Today at 04:59 AM »
TBC is a subsidiary of SpaceX, not Tesla.

I don't think that's true. It's a separate company, as demonstrated by its need to file papers with the SEC concerning its recent funding round.
 Any particular reason to think the engines were all from one core?
Q&A Section / Re: Launch windows
« Last post by Nomadd on Today at 04:57 AM »
 I might need a few more glasses to picture it. It seems like being off the earth's equator plus the difference between equatorial and ecliptic could put your launch trajectory so far off the ecliptic, you'd lose a lot. I'm thinking of going from leo instead of direct because of refueling.
SpaceX Mars / Re: Power options for a Mars settlement
« Last post by CuddlyRocket on Today at 04:54 AM »
"Did I just spend half a million dollars to sit in a pressurized trailer and eat potatoes for the rest of my life?"

Hah! We have problems stopping people eating potatoes; especially in the form of crisps/chips and chips/fries! People like potatoes and plenty have some most every day. But, I assume you meant a diet solely of potatoes?
SpaceX Mars / Re: SpX Mars Communication Constellation?
« Last post by CuddlyRocket on Today at 04:30 AM »
Of course. Long-term, Mars will not rely just on the existing Mars relay orbiters. But likewise they’re not just going to use ground stations direct to Earth! They’ll use relay satellites, just better, SpaceX ones.

Likewise (right back at ya :) ) they're not just going to use relay satellites; they'll use ground stations, just better, SpaceX ones!

The DSN has functions other than Mars. It connects to probes far out and needs very large antenna dishes for the very weak signals. It needs multiple dishes for continuous coverage.

I wasn't proposing they actually use the DSN; I'm sure SpaceX will want their own assets (unless they buy them off NASA!). Any antennas on Earth need not be as big because the ones on Mars will be bigger! And yes, you'll need at least three; but they're much cheaper than satellites.

Multiple dishes on Mars are not an option. Not yet and not for a long time. So a local constellation ensures continues connectivity from a Mars location. Laser links ensure high data rates without the need of very large dishes.

I assume you mean dishes at multiple locations? Because you could easily have more than one at a single location. But yes, continuous connectivity requires relay satellites - as I've said - but not necessarily a constellation. As for lasers, you can also use them from the ground; much more powerful ones!

I know we're all space enthusiasts here, but let's not fall into the trap of thinking that space-based assets are automatically superior to ground-based ones. They each have their advantages and disadvantages. The optimal solution is likely to involve a mix between the two. The precise mix will depend on what the communication needs are, which brings me back to my original point - before designing your communication system, identify your communication needs.
SpaceX Mars / Re: Building BFR
« Last post by catdlr on Today at 04:19 AM »
Might be a good summary video of the BFR from a fan site.

SpaceX BFR Update: Construction Begins!

Published on Apr 20, 2018

Was it known that the Falcon Heavy center core engines were reused? Hans Koenigsmann mentions it in his NEAF talk and I don’t recall hearing about that before.

4:06:39 into the video if that doesn't take you right to the point where Hans mentions it.

99% sure it's new info.
Perhaps the JCSAT-14 or -16 engine set? The timing would be about right, they flew around the same time as the side

This photo of the JCSAT-16 booster in March 2017 suggests that it was probably scavenged for the center core's Merlins. As far as I can tell, that booster has no engines installed.

Lot of misinformtion on here. The quality of this forum is really going down the drain.
Let's correct some statements, with links to news releases.
Conveniently forgetting they're getting $4B development fund for Ariane 6 and Vega-C for free.
ESA, Ariane 6 and Vega-C begin development
Today, ESA signed contracts for the development of the Ariane 6 new‑generation launcher, its launch base and the Vega C evolution of the current small launcher.

The contracts, signed at ESA’s Paris Head Office with Airbus Safran Launchers (ASL), France’s CNES space agency and ELV, respectively, cover all development work on Ariane 6 and its launch base for a maiden flight in 2020, and on Vega C for its 2018 debut.

The contract amounts are: €2400 million for Ariane 6 (ASL), €600 million for the launch base (CNES) and €395 million for Vega C (ELV).

So the development of Ariane 6 on the heritage of Ariane 5 cost €2400mln, not 4 billion. (€ to $ conversion is useless because the value fluctuates a lot.) The Vega-C isn't developed for free. And the new ELA-4 cost €600mln.

Let's also add this SpaceNews Article written by Peter B. de Selding.
With so many elements borrowed from other programs, the Ariane 6 could be operational as soon as 2019 or 2020 — just a year or two later than the Ariane 5 ME — at a cost that government officials said would be around 3 billion euros ($3.9 billion).

Ariane 5 ME’s development cost has been estimated at 1.2 billion euros. With self-imposed spending limit on rockets of 8 billion euros over 10 years, ESA likely cannot afford to build both Ariane 5 ME and Ariane 6 at the same time. The 8-billion-euro ceiling includes all launcher spending at ESA, including ESA’s share of Ariane 5 and Vega operations.
What's odd to me is nearly every French language media source qualifies A6 challenges by explicitly saying that because SpaceX charges more for government launches they can afford breaks on commercial ones. Subsidies, subsidies I tell you! Nevermind that inconvenient fact that their government rates are still cheaper than the competition even if they were allowed to bid. Spacex can charge whatever  to whomever, so long as they have customers and as long as they remain a going concern. Oheah, and a few billion in getting started money from Daddy and annual EGAS allowance. It's awe inspiring, in a way, how someone like Stephane can sit there saying this with a straight face.
- EGAS allowances (cost of maintaining the facilities at CSG) will end during the transition to Ariane 6. And actually the DoD/NASA pay the bill for the same services at VdBAFB, Cape and KSC. 
- The whole point is that Arianespace (non US launch service providers) can't compete in US institutional launches . In China and Russia, and if I'm not mistaken India and Japan, institutional payloads are launched with their own launchers. A buy European launch service act would level the playingfield in the launchers market.
AFAIK if Arianespace would compete for US institutional payloads, launch cost even on Ariane 5 would drop considerably. But the launch has to be shared with another satellite.
In some cases a Vega or Vega-C could do the launch, in this case a Falcon 9 launch is more expansive than a Vega launch. Vega is really limited by it's launch rate. This will change with the investments made for Ariane 6 and Vega C. 
- AFAIK there are three European institutional launches awarded to SpX; PAZ and the SARah constellation. Besides this you have ExoMars going on Proton, and three missions using Atlas V, LM-2 and  PSLV. These launches went outside Europe because Arianespace couldn't offer a launch (or only on Soyuz, = outside Europe.)
I agree that the current numbers could be misleading, because it's valid for the current backlog. A lot of institutional payloads haven't booked their launch jet (officially).

I think Macron didn't use the right words. In case of Ariane 6 guaranteed institutional demand, it's payloads for a launch. If a institutional satellite requires a GTO launch, that launch can be shared with a second payload (when launching on a A64 instead of A62. The most likely case is that the second satellite will be commercial. And if it's a institutional satellite, I think this has to count for two launches.
The guaranteed demand will be like the agreement that the launchers program wouldn't exceed 8 billion in a decade. (I don't know the period for this agreement)
I think the guaranteed demand for launches will replace the EGAS allowances. I think it will work along these lines:
> In the preparation period for a ESA minitsterial conference the member-states will evaluate their institutional launch demand, and acces which payloads are suitable for the Guaranteed demand.
> During the ESA conference the payloads brought in by the member-states are grouped and a large order for launches is awarded to Arianespace. (the guaranteed demand). Currently there is only one launch service provider in Europe, so only Arianespace can receive the grouped launch order.
> In exchange for the guaranteed institutional demand, NO annual payments are made to Arianespace, and the launches are sold at a discounted rate. (Large volume discount)

If institutional payloads are launched by Arianespace, the cost of these launches flow back into the nations  via taxes. If the launch service provider is non-European a launch would only cost, it doesn't generate additional GDP in Europe, thus no tax income. Institutional launch contracts can be viewed as stimuli for the economy, but only if it works internally. I think the economy stimulus effect justifies abandoning the open market.
But the fact that it only works when the institution is also involved in the production of the launcher (or funded by a nation that has a company that...).   

This post is far to long again.  ::) :-X
From here it just looks like Ariane group is making up excuses and bitter about being derided in the media as having been caught with their pants down, same as ULA, over new space players. 2.4B for A6, 0.6B for Arianespace's launch facilities, and 0.4B for Vega sure does add up to close enought to 4B, who's counting millions at that point, of investment that benefits ArianeGroup.
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