Poll

When will SpaceX conduct 1st full power/duration firing of full-scale Raptor?

before end of 2017
2 (2.6%)
H1 2018
15 (19.5%)
H2 2018
20 (26%)
H1 2019
15 (19.5%)
H2 2019
8 (10.4%)
2020
9 (11.7%)
2021 or later
6 (7.8%)
Never as the project will fail, be cancelled, etc, prior to the first full power/duration firing.
2 (2.6%)

Total Members Voted: 77

Voting closed: 09/07/2017 07:49 PM


Author Topic: POLL: When will SpaceX conduct 1st full power/duration test of fullscale Raptor?  (Read 1855 times)

Offline Rebel44

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When do you think SpaceX will conduct 1st full power/duration firing of full-scale Raptor?

My guess is June 2018

Offline Lar

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Same., well almost, I went 2H so call it July.

However I added a "never" option for our more skeptical members... I was tempted to add a few more years before we got to Never....
« Last Edit: 08/08/2017 10:34 PM by Lar »
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Online IanThePineapple

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I voted H2 2018, I think there will be a few more sub-scales and more fires before a full one is made.
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Online AncientU

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1H2018.

Should take 6 months starting in September 2016 to validate models with sub-scale firings, few months to tweak full scale design (which I'd assume existed concurrently with sub-scale build), and then start into procuring long lead items such as turbo shafts for the full scale engine.  This would have begun this summer.  Fab of full scale prototype should be done by 1Q2018.  Full scale firings commence immediately on Raptor Stand #2 (which is being built as we type); a couple months of 'uneventful' full scale firings validate models again and lead to full power firings by next summer.

Flight qualified by summer 2019.
« Last Edit: 08/08/2017 11:39 PM by AncientU »
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Online FutureSpaceTourist

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I'm rather more cautious/pessimistic on this: H2 2019.

I expect there'll be more than one issue that'll each add months to the schedule. Full scale Raptor is ambitious. I do believe SpaceX will achieve it but even with their skills and experience my feeling is that this is enough into uncharted territory (for them) to take a couple more years.
« Last Edit: 08/09/2017 03:20 AM by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline Barrie

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I'm one of the jerks that went 'Never', because I think they will have a better idea, decide they don't need it, or some such.  I don't think they will fail.

Offline savuporo

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I'm one of the jerks that went 'Never', because I think they will have a better idea, decide they don't need it, or some such.  I don't think they will fail.

Ah, the coveted option of 'Before Red Dragon first landing on Mars but after regular Falcon 1 flights start' ?
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Offline MikeAtkinson

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2020 - testing and qualification of the sub-scale raptor will keep them busy for a time, then there will be the normal development problems associated with a very ambitious engine. ~3 years does not seem unreasonable.

Offline StvB

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1H2018.

Should take 6 months starting in September 2016 to validate models with sub-scale firings, few months to tweak full scale design (which I'd assume existed concurrently with sub-scale build), and then start into procuring long lead items such as turbo shafts for the full scale engine.  This would have begun this summer.  Fab of full scale prototype should be done by 1Q2018.  Full scale firings commence immediately on Raptor Stand #2 (which is being built as we type); a couple months of 'uneventful' full scale firings validate models again and lead to full power firings by next summer.

Flight qualified by summer 2019.

Thanks for the detailed estimate. When you say `procure', is there any mention that they'll use an external contractor for the turboshafts? I thought they were bringing as much as they could in-house. Any idea who will supply these components?

I'll put my estimate a year or so later, around 2020. It's a very ambitious undertaking and 3 years still feels fast; 2020 gives more room for unanticipated setbacks.
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Online john smith 19

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I also went with the first half of 2019, but the far end. I'd thought I was pessimistic. Imagine my surprise at seeing this was the most common vote.  :o

Yes the SX engine team has a lot of experience in the upgrading process on Merlin but GG cycle LOX/RP1 are pretty well known in the US. There's a big knowledge base of the pitfalls and the ways to deal with them.

But AFAIK Raptor will only be the 3rd SC cycle engine ever developed in the US (as opposed to probably 30-40 in the various sizes of orbital and sub orbital GG engines over the decades). It will be the first Methane engine and AFAIK be the first SC with sub cooled propellants as standard (SSME was fired with sub cooled propellants to speed up the chill down cycle. Worked fine).

Methane is neither UDMH or LH2 (what the other 2 SC engines burned). If it's close enough to them there should not be too many surprises.

Trouble is if something does come out of the woodwork there will likely be knock on effects to the whole schedule.

Time will tell if we were all pessimists or if Methane SC engine development is a case of "Here be monsters." :(

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Online AncientU

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1H2018.

Should take 6 months starting in September 2016 to validate models with sub-scale firings, few months to tweak full scale design (which I'd assume existed concurrently with sub-scale build), and then start into procuring long lead items such as turbo shafts for the full scale engine.  This would have begun this summer.  Fab of full scale prototype should be done by 1Q2018.  Full scale firings commence immediately on Raptor Stand #2 (which is being built as we type); a couple months of 'uneventful' full scale firings validate models again and lead to full power firings by next summer.

Flight qualified by summer 2019.

Thanks for the detailed estimate. When you say `procure', is there any mention that they'll use an external contractor for the turboshafts? I thought they were bringing as much as they could in-house. Any idea who will supply these components?

I'll put my estimate a year or so later, around 2020. It's a very ambitious undertaking and 3 years still feels fast; 2020 gives more room for unanticipated setbacks.

Back when they were putting the sub-scale engines together, there was mention of the timeline being dictated by 'long lead' items/procurements.  Could be that some of the high-strength alloys are unique forge or mill runs, even if they do the machining in house.  Turbo-shafts are my best guess at a flavour of unique components which would be needed and not able to be created in-house with additive manufacturing.
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