Author Topic: SpaceX customers' views on reuse  (Read 40124 times)

Offline Star One

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #120 on: 05/16/2017 10:04 PM »
Keep in mind that reused boosters are likely faster to orbit, because they're already at the launch site.

So for say Inmarsat, they have additional consideration of waiting for a "fresh" one.

But doing what might be seen as penalising the customer could just lead them to go elsewhere for their launcher.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #121 on: 05/16/2017 10:22 PM »
Keep in mind that reused boosters are likely faster to orbit, because they're already at the launch site.

So for say Inmarsat, they have additional consideration of waiting for a "fresh" one.

But doing what might be seen as penalising the customer could just lead them to go elsewhere for their launcher.
SpaceX is lining up to be a volume provider. Overly picky customers are welcome to go elsewhere where they will be coddled from 2X the price.

SpaceX business model is volume and quick turnaround. Dealing with NASA and DOD may end being a short romance being that they are very picky customers even compared to Inmarsat. What SpaceX will tell NASA and DOD is you take it or leave it, we have other customers for those slots/dates just as well.

It could very well change again from the FFP one at a time to contracts to blocks of launches per year of generic capability with options for adding specific engineering support for specified payloads once gov knows (about 6 months in advance) when and what they want launched. Same for NASA. A update to the NLS II contract methodology. Almost a pay up front and then use or loose launch capability. The launch costs then for DOD becomes a fixed cost every year even when number of launches vary. DOD would have multiple providers on such a contract allowing DOD to manage the launch resources just by juggling who launch what and when without haveing a long multi-month or even year long acquisition cycle for each launch. Just a 30 day contract mod specifying what and when to a specific providers existing launch contract. This is what the DOD wanted for the EELV contracts but could never quite get there. Currently there is still way too much customization for each launch to be able to write such a contract. The payloads have to become more general more commoditized.

Offline Star One

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SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #122 on: 05/16/2017 10:26 PM »
Keep in mind that reused boosters are likely faster to orbit, because they're already at the launch site.

So for say Inmarsat, they have additional consideration of waiting for a "fresh" one.

But doing what might be seen as penalising the customer could just lead them to go elsewhere for their launcher.
SpaceX is lining up to be a volume provider. Overly picky customers are welcome to go elsewhere where they will be coddled from 2X the price.

SpaceX business model is volume and quick turnaround. Dealing with NASA and DOD may end being a short romance being that they are very picky customers even compared to Inmarsat. What SpaceX will tell NASA and DOD is you take it or leave it, we have other customers for those slots/dates just as well.

It could very well change again from the FFP one at a time to contracts to blocks of launches per year of generic capability with options for adding specific engineering support for specified payloads once gov knows (about 6 months in advance) when and what they want launched. Same for NASA. A update to the NLS II contract methodology. Almost a pay up front and then use or loose launch capability. The launch costs then for DOD becomes a fixed cost every year even when number of launches vary. DOD would have multiple providers on such a contract allowing DOD to manage the launch resources just by juggling who launch what and when without haveing a long multi-month or even year long acquisition cycle for each launch. Just a 30 day contract mod specifying what and when to a specific providers existing launch contract. This is what the DOD wanted for the EELV contracts but could never quite get there. Currently there is still way too much customization for each launch to be able to write such a contract. The payloads have to become more general more commoditized.

There's nothing down the line stopping someone like BO who aren't quite as beholden to their bottom line because of the way they are financed coming in and at least at first undercutting Space X with fresh first stages for the more discerning customer.
« Last Edit: 05/16/2017 10:27 PM by Star One »

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #123 on: 05/16/2017 10:56 PM »
Keep in mind that reused boosters are likely faster to orbit, because they're already at the launch site.

So for say Inmarsat, they have additional consideration of waiting for a "fresh" one.

But doing what might be seen as penalising the customer could just lead them to go elsewhere for their launcher.
SpaceX is lining up to be a volume provider. Overly picky customers are welcome to go elsewhere where they will be coddled from 2X the price.

The reason they are coddled is because they are used to a different cadence. They likely will adapt in order to dominate in a different way.

Quote
SpaceX business model is volume and quick turnaround. Dealing with NASA and DOD may end being a short romance being that they are very picky customers even compared to Inmarsat. What SpaceX will tell NASA and DOD is you take it or leave it, we have other customers for those slots/dates just as well.

NSS needs still are a significant amount of payloads. It's in the area of US performance/capability/services that things will differentiate such customers. In some cases the additional needs can be dealt with differently, in that "buying a ticket" for payload way.

Others by batching, so the additional services/"needs" can fit provider against customer. The batch makes it tenable,  because the "repeat business" is what is desired, not the one offs.

Quote
It could very well change again from the FFP one at a time to contracts to blocks of launches per year of generic capability with options for adding specific engineering support for specified payloads once gov knows (about 6 months in advance) when and what they want launched.
That seems to be gearing up. Watch the sourcing on the sats to see how it matches up.

Quote
Same for NASA. A update to the NLS II contract methodology. Almost a pay up front and then use or loose launch capability. The launch costs then for DOD becomes a fixed cost every year even when number of launches vary.
Where payload budgets apply. Less of a uniform distribution.

Quote
DOD would have multiple providers on such a contract allowing DOD to manage the launch resources just by juggling who launch what and when without haveing a long multi-month or even year long acquisition cycle for each launch.
Excepting certain "long poles".

Quote
Just a 30 day contract mod specifying what and when to a specific providers existing launch contract. This is what the DOD wanted for the EELV contracts but could never quite get there.
Absolutely. So did/does Congress. At least McCain's complaints.

Quote
Currently there is still way too much customization for each launch to be able to write such a contract. The payloads have to become more general more commoditized.
Oh, such a battle over exactly that. Old ways die hard.

We're a long way from commodity rapid launch. Or whistling up from the sat factory the left handed blivet that needs to go up over 65 degrees x 165 W.

But it also presents different ways to use the capabilities. If you can catch the right interest.

There's nothing down the line stopping someone like BO who aren't quite as beholden to their bottom line because of the way they are financed coming in and at least at first undercutting Space X with fresh first stages for the more discerning customer.

Unless fresh first stages are considered more suspect because they may still hide flaws.

Then the "more discerning customer" might not want them.

Perhaps this is "stuck in the past thinking"? Would you like to fly in Russia's latest new airliner design? I hear its just getting off the ground ...  :D

Seriously, what BO has to worry about is actually having a business to capture by the time they arrive, late on the scene.

My guess is they'll lose manifest, like what happened to SX, and have to earn it back gradually, not like SX but with a more fierce competitor than currently is present. At least that would worry me.

You're right, he can under price and get away with it. But he can't under perform, that's the rub and its serious.

Offline Mader Levap

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #124 on: 05/16/2017 11:42 PM »
SpaceX business model is volume and quick turnaround. Dealing with NASA and DOD may end being a short romance being that they are very picky customers even compared to Inmarsat. What SpaceX will tell NASA and DOD is you take it or leave it, we have other customers for those slots/dates just as well.
Disagree. They won't do that. Instead they will say "sure, but that will cost x mln $ extra". In fact, it already happened many times.
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Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #125 on: 05/16/2017 11:58 PM »
SpaceX business model is volume and quick turnaround. Dealing with NASA and DOD may end being a short romance being that they are very picky customers even compared to Inmarsat. What SpaceX will tell NASA and DOD is you take it or leave it, we have other customers for those slots/dates just as well.
Disagree. They won't do that. Instead they will say "sure, but that will cost x mln $ extra". In fact, it already happened many times.
In many cases what happened when commercial services were used by government is that a shell company with the "extra services" was added as a level of interface to keep the gov "customer" from bothering the core business. The core business then no longer bid on the contracts only the shell. In some cases this shell was even a third party.

Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #126 on: 05/19/2017 10:04 AM »
From Inmarsat thread:

Inmarsat CEO Rupert Pearce praises "absolutely exceptional performance from SpaceX" and announces that they will use a flight proven core in the future:
https://www.universetoday.com/135614/will-launch-reuseable-rocket-exceptional-spacex-performance-inmarsat-ceo-tells-universe-today/

Choice quote: "They hit the ball out of the park with this launch for us"

Quote
...the company CEO told Universe Today that Inmarsat was willing to conduct future launches with SpaceX – including on a “reusable rocket in the future!”

“This has obviously been an absolutely exceptional performance from SpaceX, Inmarsat CEO Rupert Pearce told Universe Today in a post launch interview at the Kennedy Space Center on Monday, May 15.

“They have now earned themselves an immensely loyal customer.”

Wasn't this one of the customers that was discussed as leaving SpaceX due to FH delays? 
A feature: Reusability is being sold, even when flying expendable.

Quote
“I’m sure we will be using a ‘reused rocket’, Pearce stated. “And we will be launching on a ‘reusable rocket’ in the future.”

“We will be looking to support them in any way we can with their new innovation programs.”

Best expendable launch ever!
« Last Edit: 05/19/2017 10:29 AM by AncientU »
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Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #127 on: 05/19/2017 11:16 AM »
Think this is now put to bed:
Here's a nice quote from Inmarsat's CEO, Rupert Pearce:

Quote
Mr Pearce said he was delighted to fly SpaceX for the first time, and looked forward to the occasion when an Inmarsat satellite would go up on one of the American provider's "second-hand" rockets.

"I'd like to see a longer track record of refurbished rockets being launched successfully without problems," the CEO told BBC News.

"At the moment, we don't put up satellites in sufficient numbers to be relatively sanguine about losing one. But I'm very encouraged by what I've seen in recent months, and once we feel that refurbished rockets are essentially the same as new rockets - we'll jump onboard and extend our relationship with SpaceX."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39929168

Glad you posted that as some people seem to think that every customer is just going to get onboard with reusability, when they just aren't at this stage. They can't afford to be so sanguine about it until its far, far more proven technology.

Because Pearce used this wording, "we'll jump on board and extend our relationship with SpaceX".

That is not cautionary, that is enthusiastic wording. He's saying, in my opinion, that they are just waiting on a bit more due diligence - i.e., more data through reuse - and then they are ready to sign up.

And it is near-term that he will have a longer track record... maybe 6 flights this year, something like 3/4ths of all flights in a year or two.  Inmarsat already has one more sat on orbit than constellation design.  They'll probably order again in -- wait for it -- a year or two.

« Last Edit: 05/19/2017 12:59 PM by AncientU »
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Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #128 on: 05/19/2017 01:21 PM »
Wasn't this one of the customers that was discussed as leaving SpaceX due to FH delays? 
A feature: Reusability is being sold, even when flying expendable.

A bit of caution on this.  No doubt he said very positive things about reuse.  But he was probably most happy that he got a much better than contracted orbit on this flight (I assume).  Because this will be a spare in orbit, excess performance on the rocket will lead to greater flexibility to move the satellite around for opportunistic use.

That said, would SpaceX have had the capability to do a better-than-contracted orbit had it not been for upgrading F9 for reusability?  Would any other launch provider even have been in a position where they had excess performance to release to their customer in this situation?
« Last Edit: 05/19/2017 01:37 PM by RedLineTrain »

Offline jpo234

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #129 on: 05/19/2017 01:36 PM »
Wasn't this one of the customers that was discussed as leaving SpaceX due to FH delays? 

Yes:
Citing SpaceX delays, Inmarsat moves satellite launch from Falcon Heavy to Ariane 5

Online AncientU

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Offline Lar

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #131 on: 05/19/2017 03:19 PM »
Yes, cheaper launches and satellites are opening up smaller markets.

From SES April 28 earnings call;

Quote
<snip>

But none of these factors is having a material effect on SES’s video business so far. McCarthy said pricing remains stable, with SES selling transponder capacity at an average rate of 1.7 million euros ($2 million) per year.
<snip>

Side question, what is the UOM here? 1.7M Euros/year per what?  Per transponder? Per so many channels down at such and such resolution? per ???

Maybe that's a question for a SES thread.
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Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #132 on: 05/19/2017 04:35 PM »
I think that's 36 MHz per transponder.  How many channels you can fit on that transponder depends a lot on the bitrate per channel and video codec used.  It might also depend on the modulation scheme.

As one comparison, a few years ago, satellite operators were complaining that some competitors were selling $500k per transponder in Asia and that this price was unsustainable for the industry.
« Last Edit: 05/19/2017 04:37 PM by RedLineTrain »

Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #133 on: 05/21/2017 12:19 AM »
Cross posting with emphasis mine:
We need to recruit some Indonesian members to watch the local media for us...

These seem to say there is a contract for SpaceX to launch Telkom 4 around June 2018 (although I can never be completely sure with Google Translate).

https://inet.detik.com/telecommunication/d-3424084/spacex-masih-dipercaya-luncurkan-satelit-telkom-4
http://www.cnnindonesia.com/teknologi/20170417152745-213-208098/telkom-bakal-lebih-hemat-berkat-roket-spacex/
http://www.cnnindonesia.com/teknologi/20170130174006-213-190081/satelit-telkom-berikutnya-bakal-gandeng-spacex/
Behold my Google foo:
https://seasia.co/2017/05/01/indonesia-to-use-spacex-to-launch-next-satellite
http://www.satellitetoday.com/telecom/2015/12/30/ssl-to-provide-next-satellite-for-telkom-indonesia/
Nice find! So not only is this a new launch contract, but it will also be on a flight-proven booster.
Quote
President Director of Telkom, Alex J. Sinaga mentioned to CNN, “Investment in Telkom-4 [satellite] will be cheaper as we use a reusable orbital rocket from SpaceX, so it will be cheaper as much as 40 percent.”

Edit: added relevant quote from seasia.co article.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
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Online envy887

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #134 on: 05/21/2017 01:25 AM »
Cross posting with emphasis mine:
We need to recruit some Indonesian members to watch the local media for us...

These seem to say there is a contract for SpaceX to launch Telkom 4 around June 2018 (although I can never be completely sure with Google Translate).

https://inet.detik.com/telecommunication/d-3424084/spacex-masih-dipercaya-luncurkan-satelit-telkom-4
http://www.cnnindonesia.com/teknologi/20170417152745-213-208098/telkom-bakal-lebih-hemat-berkat-roket-spacex/
http://www.cnnindonesia.com/teknologi/20170130174006-213-190081/satelit-telkom-berikutnya-bakal-gandeng-spacex/
Behold my Google foo:
https://seasia.co/2017/05/01/indonesia-to-use-spacex-to-launch-next-satellite
http://www.satellitetoday.com/telecom/2015/12/30/ssl-to-provide-next-satellite-for-telkom-indonesia/
Nice find! So not only is this a new launch contract, but it will also be on a flight-proven booster.
Quote
President Director of Telkom, Alex J. Sinaga mentioned to CNN, “Investment in Telkom-4 [satellite] will be cheaper as we use a reusable orbital rocket from SpaceX, so it will be cheaper as much as 40 percent.”

Edit: added relevant quote from seasia.co article.
40% less for the launch, or for the satellite?

Offline docmordrid

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #135 on: 05/21/2017 02:24 AM »
Either way, it sells itself.
DM

Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #136 on: 05/29/2017 04:25 PM »
Headline sounds interesting, but article text doesn't support it. 
Seems to be unspoken, yet logical link...

Quote
New study: Sensing satellite market banking on spacex – blue origin space rivalry to boost future demand

https://www.whatech.com/market-research/telecommunications/310359-sensing-satellite-market-banking-on-spacex-blue-origin-space-rivalry-to-boost-future-demand
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
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Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #137 on: 06/03/2017 03:47 PM »
Headline sounds interesting, but article text doesn't support it. 
Seems to be unspoken, yet logical link...

Quote
New study: Sensing satellite market banking on spacex – blue origin space rivalry to boost future demand

https://www.whatech.com/market-research/telecommunications/310359-sensing-satellite-market-banking-on-spacex-blue-origin-space-rivalry-to-boost-future-demand
It hints at that cheaper access to space will create more demand in their market since new business cases will open up. This is a free market view of low prices to consumers for new products enables new submarkets to be created that would not otherwise be able to thrive. Some of this is the low latency of the sensor or image and the higher repeat rates per day enable new uses. But these two items requires more sats and that requires both the sat and the launch to be cheaper.

It is a vision of the direction this industry is headed and the effect it will have ultimately on the demand for launch (not rideshare but dedicated constellation dispersement flights).

Offline Norm38

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #138 on: 06/06/2017 04:29 PM »
This is what the DOD wanted for the EELV contracts but could never quite get there.

When does ERLV become an acronym?

Offline woods170

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #139 on: 06/06/2017 07:45 PM »
This is what the DOD wanted for the EELV contracts but could never quite get there.

When does ERLV become an acronym?
Never. In time they will simply drop the second "E" and be done with it.

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