Author Topic: SpaceX vs BlueOrigin - Whose Approach / Business Strategy is Better?  (Read 69131 times)

Offline Robotbeat

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NG is 3 stages.
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 Lars-J

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NG is 3 stages.

Not initially, the 2 stage version with a 5m fairing will fly first. But I have my doubts that the 3 stage version of NG will ever fly, I think they are working on a reusable 2nd stage instead.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Okay, I just want to point out that Blue Origin's orbital rocket is NOTIONAL. Got that? It doesn't exist. It's a paper rocket.

Personally I don't think that's what matters, to me what matters is what's the likelihood that it will exist?

In my mind that likelihood is very high, albeit with more uncertainty about how close it gets to its paper specs. Jeff Bezos is clearly very serious about this and has the resources to make it happen. For me the biggest unknown is whether Blue Origin have the people capable of fully achieving the vision. NS shows they know what they're doing. Yes of course they'll have issues and failures. So did SpaceX and so would anyone being this ambitious.

Online high road

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It seems to me that the arrival (operationalization) of New Glenn will be the landmark moment which alters the relative perceptions of the 2 companies. At that point, we'll be seeing this whole other new orbital rocket reusably launching and landing - something nobody else in the world can do, except SpaceX. At that point, the optics will undergo a sea-change, along with overall public perceptions. And given the size of New Glenn, it's going to make quite a splash, to make F9R seem small. New Glenn will then be seen as competing with Falcon Heavy, rather than with the smaller F9R.

At that juncture, who's going to dominate the headlines more, and be seen as the 'space leader'?

(Or will it just come down to who blows up less often?)
SpaceX will be testing ITS at around that time. So SpaceX. (Not that I'm worried about Blue Origin. Doesn't really matter that SpaceX will have a bunch of advantages, as Bezos is stupendously wealthy and so will be able to keep up just fine.)

The real crazy thing is what it implies when you have TWO very competitive reusable and then fully reusable launch companies with very similar capabilities:

now F9 then FH then fully reusable FH then New Glenn the fully reusable New Glenn. Then at about the same time as New Glenn starts flying, ITS will also fly and then some time later, New Armstrong which will likely be about the same capability.

Nobody else in the entire world is anywhere near just that first level of partially reusable Falcon 9. By the time Europe and others will have /started/ comparable partial RLV programs, we'll be watching ITS and probably the beginnings of New Armstrong. America will have like crazy scifi space capabilities compared to everyone else (and kind of already does with the regular F9 landings). Poor ULA, Ariane, Roscosmos, CNSA, etc...

People are just barely starting to realize where this is headed. I can see why they'd have been skeptical before SpaceX had started sticking landings and before New Shepard (and the announcement of New Glenn, all backed by the insanely rich Bezos), but now it should be pretty obvious the direction things are going. Everything larger than a refrigerator and competitively bid (without being sold at a loss) will be launched on an (at least partial VTVL) RLV within 5-7 years, and almost certainly by either SpaceX or Blue Origin.

Well, well. Seems that both sides of the comparison are quickly losing touch with reality. NG starting to fly makes BO the new champion of spaceflight? When FH has been working out the kinks, literally on the fly, for a few years? Not likely at all. It'll all come down to the lowest failure rate and prices, and it'll probably be a hard fought battle. Let's hope so at least, cause that's what brings prices down.

And ITS flying at about the same time as NG? When do you expect NG to fly? Agreed that it will likely be delayed, but SpaceX isn't exactly immune to that either.

It will indeed be interesting to see how those other agencies react. Get their governments to keep their workforce employed by investing in new launcher designs, pressure their governments to not purchase launch services commercially (although governments don't have much of a say in most of the launches).

I'm wondering what will hapen to all the engineers going out of a job. Hopefully, they'll get a job in designing more payloads to send uphill.

Offline Robotbeat

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It should be noted that SpaceX is already much larger in employment than ULA, and Blue Origin will likely employ nearly as many people. And both will grow a lot.

Also, what stands in the way of NG eventually flying? SpaceX's problem was technical and financial. No one had done first stage VTVL recovery like that, and running out of money was always possible especially in the F1 days. Well, neither of those things are a problem for Blue Origin.

The fact that something hasnt happened yet doesn't mean we can assume it probably won't happen. Assuming it won't happen is what a lot of SpaceX's competitors thought, and it's really a guaranteed way to be caught flat footed when disruptive innovation occurs.

I'm saying that Blue Origin and SpaceX are going to have the competitive medium and heavy lift markets nearly entirely to themselves within 7 years unless something dramatically changes with the course of their competitors, which I find unlikely right now.
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 edkyle99

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NG is 3 stages.

Not initially, the 2 stage version with a 5m fairing will fly first. But I have my doubts that the 3 stage version of NG will ever fly, I think they are working on a reusable 2nd stage instead.
Right, and the numbers given for LEO and GTO payload are for the two-stage version (with first stage recovery).  A three-stage version would boost a lot more to GTO.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 05/19/2017 06:16 PM by edkyle99 »

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