Author Topic: Predictions 2017  (Read 24836 times)

Online envy887

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Re: Predictions 2017
« Reply #80 on: 12/27/2017 08:39 PM »
I like the idea of BO being first back to space next year (although: "space", and yes, we will get a few more tweets from Elon telling us the difference between space and orbit). I think Bezos will push for that. And we will all be delighted!

I think FH will not fly 2017. At some point in early summer, Elon will announce that the inaugural flight of FH will be the Red Dragon flight in 2018, says that priority is on avoiding further scheduling slips for F9 customers. F9 will do a record number of flights, 12 would be my guess but wouldn't be surprised if it was more (up to 16?). Crew Dragon unmanned flight test will happen in early December.

Dream Chaser flies again!

Trump Administration sets up review board for ARM, SLS, Orion. Board recommends to end ARM (but keep SEP elements for a general-purpose deep space tug), and to keep SLS and Orion for now, but EM-1 as planned now (2018) is canceled and only the EUS-variant (1B Crew/Cargo) of the SLS will be developed (it also gets a name in the process), EM-1 rescheduled for 2020 or so, to be followed in 2022 by EM-2 (manned). Keep Mars as a long-term goal (we will soon see the first manned NASA landing pushed officially to the 2040ies), but "proving ground" strategy around the Moon (also with an eye towards China) fleshed out in more detail (including commercial resupply of the lunar orbital habitat).

More Russian mishaps. More Chinese sucesses (including launch of Tianzhou, the first chinese space station re-supply ship, and Chang-E 5, the latter towards the end of the year).

More discoveries in the outer solar system in support of the Planet Nine hypothesis (whether that means I think they will find it, I leave that up to you to decide ;) ).

Planet around one of the main Centauri stars found. Its a rocky world too hot for life.

BO sending people to space - nope.
No FH - yep.
FH inaugural flight = Red Dragonn - nope.
F9 record number of flights - yep.
(up to 16) - yep. yay!
Crew Dragon unmanned test in December - nope.
Dream Chaser - yep.
SLS rescheduled for 2020 - certainly looks like it now. I count this as yep.
Proving ground around the moon, commercial resupply for lunar orbital habitat - yep.
Russian mishaps - one mishap, not mishaps - mixed.
China successes, incluing Tianzhou and Chang'E 5 - mixed (yep and nope).
More support for Planet Nine, but also some works speaking against it - mixed.
Alpha Centauri planet - nope.

So, out of 13 claims, 4 nope, 3 mixed, 6 yep. Okay, but compatible with luck. :)

"Mishaps" is pretty vague. I might suggest losing both Meteor and Angosat would qualify.

Offline Kaputnik

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Re: Predictions 2017
« Reply #81 on: 12/30/2017 03:45 PM »
FH will make it on to the pad but not launch (shades of F9 at the Cape in 2009).
SpaceX achieve 10 or 11 launches. Taking thing cautiously after the two failures.
More Raptor demo test firings, but still subscale.
Test ITS composite Lox tank not yet successfully demonstrated with full cryo load.

Another good year for ULA, with new commercial contracts for Atlas V and no failures to deliver a payload to required orbit.

Hard to say what the new administration will do. I could see something big and controversial affecting a big project (JWST, SLS, Orion). Anything related to climate change is at risk.

I was right about FH, just!
Low balled F9 and very happy about that.
Raptor arguably remains subscale seeing as the full size one has now been scaled back.
But no major revisions to flagship programs- JWST slipped, HSF redirect to the moon, but no cancellations.
Waiting for joy and raptor

Re: Predictions 2017
« Reply #82 on: 12/31/2017 10:32 PM »
Launch Vehicles:
Falcon 9 will launch 12±2 times. (I'm predicting delays, but not another CRS-7 or AMOS-6)
At least one booster reflown in the second half of the year.
Falcon Heavy will be delayed until 2018.
SpaceShipTwo will not break the Kármán line before October 4th, and will not carry tourists on any flight. I (like many other people) will make sarcastic comments.
Far too pessimistic for SpaceX, as I was 3 sigma under(!) for launch rates, and there were 5 reuses starting in March. Still counting Falcon Heavy as correct, since from context it was hopefully obvious that I meant a launch. SpaceShipTwo continues to live down to expectations, seemingly having done no powered flight tests this year.

Policy:
NASA is officially refocused on Moon instead of Mars (or an asteroid). Meanwhile, robots continue to constitute the bulk of space exploration.
Yes, though the actual announcement proved distinctly underwhelming.

Science robots:
NEOWISE ends due to passive cooling becoming increasingly untenable.
Cassini will collide with Saturn on September 15. The last few minutes of data won't show anything exciting about the atmosphere, sadly.
OSIRIS-REx will perform a close flyby of a very large rock on September 17. Too large to grab a sample, really.
TESS's launch date gets pushed to January 2018.
Nope (will last to at least spring 2018), yes (I think), yes, and yes/no (March 2018).

Other:
1-2 GLXP teams launch. Any teams using all-new rockets experience launch failures, the rest contend with probe failures that shorten mission lifetimes. No one wins. (I hope I'm wrong on this one)
0 launches, delays mean there might still be a winner?

edit: forgot. August 21, 2017 will be a remarkably cloudy day in the US.
Pretty average, but I did miss greatest (80-odd percent) eclipse where I was because of a brief shower.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Predictions 2017
« Reply #83 on: 01/01/2018 05:16 AM »
30% chance of another F9 failure.
10% chance of ULA failure.
SpaceX at least equals ULA for launch rate, 60% chance.
US launches more than any other country.
At least 90 global launches.
Falcon Heavy launches.
Reused booster(s) launch.
Well, the outcome I rated as most likely occurred in every case but Falcon Heavy. So a pretty good win, I think, though I made some pretty safe bets for the most part.
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Offline jongoff

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Re: Predictions 2017
« Reply #84 on: 01/02/2018 04:48 AM »
I was going to do a "how did I do" reply a few weeks ago, but got sick over the break, so didn't have time to get to it till now.

I'll make a few predictions, in no particular order. Note these are predictions, not always what I *want* to see happen, but what I think is most likely.

1- SpaceX will return to flight successfully, and finally break 10 flights this year. Falcon Heavy will make it to the pad, but might not fly. They won't lose another flight outright this year, but something will happen that will keep them from getting more than say 15 flights. They will successfully refly at least one booster, and recover many more boosters. SpaceX will formally slip their first Red Dragon flight to the next Mars window after 2018.

Check on successful RTF, breaking 10 flights (by a large margin!), check on FH making it to the pad but not flying. Wrong on something delaying them from getting more than 15 flights. They didn't get as many as they had originally predicted, but definitely did far better than I had expected last year. My priors are shifting. Check on them reflying at least one booster and recovery several more. As for slipping Red Dragon, they slipped it first, and then outright canceled it to go straight to BFR.

I didn't get this perfect, but I think I did reasonably well. B+?

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2- ULA will keep plugging along, with no outright failures. They'll announce their Vulcan propulsion choice before the summer, and I'm guessing it'll be BE-4. They'll make at least one RapidLaunch sale for a commercial satellite launch that will fly in 2017.

Check on no failures, but while BE-4 is still the preferred solution, they haven't selected their Vulcan propulsion choice yet. Also, I don't have any data indicating that they made any RapidLaunch sales to-date. They might have, but they haven't publicly said so (which makes me think the answer is no).

Not as good on this one--maybe only a C+/B-

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3- Blue Origin will fly at least half a dozen successful unmanned New Shephard flights in 2017, including at least 2-3 with paying research customers. They will successfully get to a full-throttle, full-duration BE-4 test before the end of the year.

I didn't expect Blue to take things so slow on getting NS back into flight. They did get one flight, with research customers (I can't remember if they were paying), not the half dozen I predicted. Also they didn't get to a full-duration BE-4 test this year.

Much worse guessing on my part. D?

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4- RocketLabs will successfully fly their Electron vehicle in Q1 or Q2, and will have at least 3-4 successful flights this year. They'll also have at least one failure or flight anomaly though.

They did have a failure, but it was on their first flight, and the second flight got delayed into 2018. Once again, I think somewhere in the C- range.

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5- VG will get back into powered flight testing of SS2 before the end of the year, but not commercial service. LauncherOne will make at least a captive carry test of a flight article by the end of the year, but will not do a full orbital flight by the end of the year, though they'll be close. (Once again, I hope I'm being pessimistic).

Once again I was overoptimistic. SS2 isn't in powered flight testing yet, though they claim they're close. LauncherOne isn't yet at the captive carry point, but getting closer. Not even sure I deserve a D for this one.

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6- DARPA will pick Boeing for XS-1 in spite of how things went with ALASA, and will end up regretting it. (I hope I'm wrong here--I'd much rather see Masten get it)

Hey, I got one right! Of course it was the one I was most hoping would be wrong. I'm pretty skeptical Boeing will actually make it to flight with their XS-1 vehicle, but at least they'll spend a lot of DARPA money...

I got an A on that one, but wish I didn't.

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7- XCOR will still be not dead, and may make progress on a few fronts, but will not have Lynx flying, and probably won't have wings on it by the end of the year. Though they may have a hot-fire test of a full-scale RL-10 class LOX/LH2 thrust chamber (not necessarily with a fully integrated power head).

Fail. XCOR is outright dead and in the process of being auctioned off. :-(

F

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8- Masten will also not be dead, in spite of not winning XS-1. They'll continue to do flights of Xodiac and Xaero-B, and will have at least one impressive big step for the year -- either a successful landing cradle landing, or a high altitude flight with aerodynamic drag flaps used for steering during recovery.

Masten is still kicking, and I think they may have had some flights this year, but they didn't pull off an impressive big step this year. I heard rumors they'd try a cradle landing, but never heard if they actually got to trying that--my guess is either no, or that it was unsuccessful, as they would've been bragging if they had got it. I guess they did land a Tipping Point Technologies award for their LOX/Methane 25klbf engines. Not sure if that counts as an impressive big step or not.

I'll give myself a B- on this one.

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9- Trump will nominate Mike Griffin for NASA Administrator (this is one I really hope is wrong).

Thank goodness I was wrong on this one. I think this is the F I feel best about.

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10- ARM gets canceled.

Didn't have to be Nostradamus to get this one right. Easy A.

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11- NASA gets redirected in a more Return to the Moon fashion. But still isn't given a big enough budget to do things the way Congress will force them to do things.

I got the first part of this right, though the second part is still TBD (though likely IMO). I'll give myself an A- for this.

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12- At least one of the Megaconstellation players (OneWeb, SpaceX, or Boeing) will announce having raised enough money to launch at least an initial constellation that is at least 1/4 the size of their final proposed constellation. At least one of the players will launch one or more "pathfinder" spacecraft.

I was sort of right on this one. OneWeb raised $1.7B this year ($2.2B to-date), which is enough to develop and maybe build their constellation (though they'll likely need at least some debt to cover launching the constellation. I'll count that as close enough as that's a ton of investment. On the second part, Telesat almost pulled it off, but while they launched, the Russians "ate their homework". I'll give myself a B+/A-.

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13- No ISS cargo vehicles will be lost in 2017.

I think I got this right. IIRC the last Progress failure was Dec 2016. A.

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14- NASA will not cancel SLS or Orion in 2017.

Unfortunately I was right, though it wasn't a risky guess. A.

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15- At least one more potentially earthlike exoplanet (somewhere between 0.5 and 1.5x earth mass, in the habitable zone) will be found around a star within 20LY of Earth.

I thought for a second I had gotten this wrong, but it turns out Ross 128b was discovered in mid November while I wasn't paying attention. It's 1.35-1.5x earth mass, and in the "optimistic habitable zone" (ie in the inner edge of the habitable zone) of a red dwarf. It's 11LY from earth. Also the TRAPPIST-1 exoplanets that were discovered earlier this year have several that are both in the habitable zone and earth-sized, but it's at 39LY.

I'll call that an A.

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16- There will be at least one major space debris event this year (either a close call with the ISS that requires moving the astronauts into a Soyuz, or a collision that generates at least 100 new pieces of trackable debris). Governments still won't take the threat seriously.

Fortunately I think I was wrong on this one. The AMC-9 satellite anomaly might have been caused by debris (but I don't think they've publicly stated a cause), but even if it was, it only shed 2-4 pieces of debris according to most of the articles I saw. Governments still aren't really taking the threat seriously though. I'll call it a C because there was one event that might have been caused by debris, but it's ambiguous.


So a mixed bag overall. I got about half of them (8) right or mostly right, but about a third (5) completely or mostly wrong. I doubt I'll ever get as lucky with my guesses as I did a few years ago.

~Jon

Online Kryten

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Re: Predictions 2017
« Reply #85 on: 01/09/2018 12:18 PM »
US
* Falcon Heavy flies towards the end of the year Nope
* SpaceX completes between 10 and 14 orbital launches Nope
* SS2 has powered flight before the end of the year Nope. Not doing great so far.
* The New Glenn capsule will be revealed, either as a mock up or a test article Nope
* Be-4 is fired at full scale and is formally selected for Vulcan Nope
* OrbATK NGLV gets the formal go-ahead for development Nope
* Another LV project with Blue Origin engines is announced Nope
* Both SLS and Orion survive 2017 Yes
* ULA announces at least one commercial contract Yes, the peregrine lunar mission

European
* Arianespace have no launch failures Yes
* The first firm orders for Ariane 6 launches are filed  Yes
* Arianespace releases more details on micro-launcher plans Not much, but yes


Russia
* Russia (either ILS or government) suffers the first launch failure of 2017 Nope
* Zenit succesfully launches Angosat, but no more contracts are signed before the end of the year I'd say yes. S7 announced missions, but with no payloads...
* Proton has no complete failures Yes

China
* China has one launch failure in 2017, without major effect Nope
* The Chang'e 5 mission flies and is successful Nope
* The full-scale next-gen crew capsule is revelaed, but does not fly before the end of the year Nope
* KZ-11 flies successfully Nope

International
* GSLV Mk.3 flies successfully Yes
* The Indian crewed program is formally authorised Nope
* India has more launches than in any previous year, again Nope
* Iran and North Korea both make one orbital flight Nope
* All VEX launches are successful Nope
* By the end of the year, Brazil are not appreciably closer to orbital flight than at the start Yes
* Electron reaches orbit, but not on the first attempt Nope

Misc
* Total orbital launch attempts for the year are between 90 and 105 Yes, by a hair.
* No GLXP team reaches the lunar surface Yes
* Successful flight numbers show a US>China>Russia pattern Nope
* There are less than five launch failures, including partial failures Nope
36% correct, a miserable showing. Too optimistic in most cases.

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