Poll

September 2027: will either, neither or both SpaceX's BFR and NASA's SLS be operational?

SLS will be operational, BFR will not.
23 (9.4%)
BFR will be operational, SLS will not.
131 (53.5%)
Both BFR and SLS will be operational.
79 (32.2%)
Both BFR and SLS will not be operational.
12 (4.9%)

Total Members Voted: 245

Voting closed: 10/30/2017 05:15 PM


Author Topic: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR  (Read 12442 times)

Offline QuantumG

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #60 on: 10/04/2017 09:47 AM »
considering EM wasn't even born in America, I don't see any reason for him to be loyal to a country that stifles his dreams.

That's a really terrible thing to say, man.

Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #61 on: 10/04/2017 09:58 AM »
Loyalty is a fuzzy logic in this case. I can't speak for Elon, though I imagine he loves America for several reasons - not the least of which it is the country that was best suited to realizing his ambitious dreams and aspirations for Space and transport. The traditional, 'Old Space' companies have been in turn irritated by him, angry with him, and scared of him. He is bootstrapping a new paradigm in the world for Aerospace. Well... Mostly just Space... Forcing them to play catch-up and spend money to try stabilize the universal boat that Elon has rocked. Elon Musk wont always succeed in all of his ambitions - or bring them in on time - but he has proved time and time again that he is someone not to be underestimated.

When molds are broken; sometimes we don't fully understand what it took to break them - nor make new ones.
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Offline Port

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #62 on: 10/04/2017 10:01 AM »
considering EM wasn't even born in America, I don't see any reason for him to be loyal to a country that stifles his dreams.

That's a really terrible thing to say, man.

in essence, it is. but i find the notion that he would be obliged to have a reason to be loyal to the country if he was born in it equally worrisome - especially in the US, where the countries government doesn't give two f***s about you at this point - it's a different matter when you would consider him to be loyal to the people that make up the businesses that made him successful, but I have the feeling this is getting off-topic :D

edit/Lar: (mod) it is. Don't keep going down this path. It is off topic even for Space Politics.
« Last Edit: 10/05/2017 05:04 PM by Lar »

Offline shm6666

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #63 on: 10/04/2017 12:57 PM »
First, I like to state that I am a huge Apollo fan and SpaceX fan. Being born in 1975, I missed the lunar landings but at 6 years old, I did see when space shuttle Colombia took off. Apollo showed that if politicians decide to go, it will happened. As I see it now there is not the political will to land on the moon and to land on mars. As of now, there is no dedicated lander that I know of for ether moon or mars. Therefor I do not think that SLS will be operational in 10 years’ time. Like Ares 1-X, EM-1 and Em-2 will fly. Then the crystal ball gets murky.

For BFR I don´t think that it will be operational in 10 years’ time. In the current incarnation, I do not think it will fly. I think that BFR will undergo additional sliming. What Elon Musk is a master of doing is to take proven technology, improve it and package it in a new package. BFR is uncharted territory. There will be design hurdles that will take time. Government have almost an unlimited supply of taxpayer’s money. Private company’s do not. In my opinion the BFR and ITS is too big. It is going to be very complex to get it airborne, safe and reliably. I don´t think it is the right way to go if we want to get to the moon or mars.

What I think will happened is that Falcon Heavy will play a large role. Launching modules to get to our destination. Modules that in itself is not that expensive. Doing so will be more easy to pay for and you will get incremented results faster.

Offline savuporo

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #64 on: 10/05/2017 04:32 AM »
Anyone wanna do a 10-year bet that there will be no operational 30+ ton launchers ? Beyond one or two test flights ala Energia or Falcon 1
I'll happily put down like a hundred dollars, collecting interest too
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Offline Patchouli

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #65 on: 10/05/2017 07:37 AM »
First, I like to state that I am a huge Apollo fan and SpaceX fan. Being born in 1975, I missed the lunar landings but at 6 years old, I did see when space shuttle Colombia took off. Apollo showed that if politicians decide to go, it will happened. As I see it now there is not the political will to land on the moon and to land on mars. As of now, there is no dedicated lander that I know of for ether moon or mars. Therefor I do not think that SLS will be operational in 10 years’ time. Like Ares 1-X, EM-1 and Em-2 will fly. Then the crystal ball gets murky.

For BFR I don´t think that it will be operational in 10 years’ time. In the current incarnation, I do not think it will fly. I think that BFR will undergo additional sliming. What Elon Musk is a master of doing is to take proven technology, improve it and package it in a new package. BFR is uncharted territory. There will be design hurdles that will take time. Government have almost an unlimited supply of taxpayer’s money. Private company’s do not. In my opinion the BFR and ITS is too big. It is going to be very complex to get it airborne, safe and reliably. I don´t think it is the right way to go if we want to get to the moon or mars.

What I think will happened is that Falcon Heavy will play a large role. Launching modules to get to our destination. Modules that in itself is not that expensive. Doing so will be more easy to pay for and you will get incremented results faster.

I think we will see something like BFR in ten years but I feel the development path will change yet a again and as reality sets in Spacex will probably fly a variant of the booster with an interim expendable upper stage or a much simplified orbital vehicle at first.
The first BFR may even have half the propellant and number of engines which would still be enough to replace Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy
I expect it's name to change or it officially be called big falcon rocket or Falcon XL etc.
« Last Edit: 10/05/2017 08:08 AM by Patchouli »

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #66 on: 10/05/2017 03:24 PM »
Jim's prediction of less than 5 SLS flights puts the last flight of the 4 (EM-1 [2020], EM-2 [2023], EC [2024], EM-3 [2025]) ~2025. That is less than 10 years. It flies all of the left over RS-25's. The reason I specify these 4 is that NASA could cancel the RS-25 line restart contract before it produces any engines around 2020 because of evident progress being made on BFR saving as much as $750M. Actual RS-25"E" engines would be produced and available for qualification testing NET 2022. The 4 flights are NASA saying until the BFR is flying we will continue our BEO plans (hedging the bet) by prototyping BEO hardware placing it in BEO and testing it (PPE and DSG habitat) which would have some usefulness even with BFR.
« Last Edit: 10/05/2017 03:28 PM by oldAtlas_Eguy »

Online envy887

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #67 on: 10/05/2017 05:44 PM »
Anyone wanna do a 10-year bet that there will be no operational 30+ ton launchers ? Beyond one or two test flights ala Energia or Falcon 1
I'll happily put down like a hundred dollars, collecting interest too

You are aware that there are 6 such launchers in various stages of serious and active development in the US alone?  Vulcan, New Glenn, Falcon Heavy, NGL, SLS, and BFR all fit that description. The Chinese and Russians are also working on similar vehicles. The chance that any particular vehicle gets to operational status is relatively low, but at least one will almost certainly get there.

Offline savuporo

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #68 on: 10/05/2017 08:39 PM »
Anyone wanna do a 10-year bet that there will be no operational 30+ ton launchers ? Beyond one or two test flights ala Energia or Falcon 1
I'll happily put down like a hundred dollars, collecting interest too

You are aware that there are 6 such launchers in various stages of serious and active development in the US alone?  Vulcan, New Glenn, Falcon Heavy, NGL, SLS, and BFR all fit that description. The Chinese and Russians are also working on similar vehicles. The chance that any particular vehicle gets to operational status is relatively low, but at least one will almost certainly get there.
I'd take these odds.
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Online envy887

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #69 on: 10/05/2017 11:04 PM »
Anyone wanna do a 10-year bet that there will be no operational 30+ ton launchers ? Beyond one or two test flights ala Energia or Falcon 1
I'll happily put down like a hundred dollars, collecting interest too

You are aware that there are 6 such launchers in various stages of serious and active development in the US alone?  Vulcan, New Glenn, Falcon Heavy, NGL, SLS, and BFR all fit that description. The Chinese and Russians are also working on similar vehicles. The chance that any particular vehicle gets to operational status is relatively low, but at least one will almost certainly get there.
I'd take these odds.

1:1 odds only. But what would you consider operational, exactly? Say Vulcan flies many times in configurations that cannot lift 30 tonnes, but a 30+ tonne version is available for purchase (e.g. would you consider Atlas V an operational 20+ tonne rocket since the 552 can lift 20,560 kg, even though it never has flown)?

What if Falcon Heavy flies 5 times in the next 5 years and is de facto retired but still available for purchase and not explicitly canceled?
 Or are you saying that in the next 10 years no 30+ tonne capable rocket will achieve operational status anywhere in the world? This still seems rather ambiguous.

Offline Mader Levap

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #70 on: 10/06/2017 12:33 AM »
Voted "BFR will be operational, SLS will not."

Assumptions:
- SLS won't survive. It already has problems on its own and BFR will be just final (but not only one) nail in its coffin.
- BFR will not get downscoped again. It will be sufficiently similiar to what was just envisioned to be same BFR. Very risky assumption.
- Definition used in opening post:

"Operational" means that the rocket is now carrying the type of payload and conducting the type(s) of missions for which it was designed.

means money-making ventures mentioned in presentation like sats, space stations etc. 2027 is pretty unlikely as date for manned Mars mission activity - too early.

having the BFR operational by 2022 is absolutely absurd.
Uhh, you know that this poll is about 2027, not 2022, riiight?
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Offline savuporo

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #71 on: 10/06/2017 12:42 AM »
Yeah you can split hairs to no end. No i don't think Atlas 552 can be called an operational capability quite yet. Dual engine centaur isn't a done deal.

If a thing flies more than 2 times, and has hit at least 1 flight a year cadence at some point, I'd say its properly operational.

Quote
Or are you saying that in the next 10 years no 30+ tonne capable rocket will achieve operational status anywhere in the world?

That is what I'm saying.
« Last Edit: 10/06/2017 12:43 AM by savuporo »
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Online envy887

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #72 on: 10/06/2017 02:28 AM »
Yeah you can split hairs to no end. No i don't think Atlas 552 can be called an operational capability quite yet. Dual engine centaur isn't a done deal.

If a thing flies more than 2 times, and has hit at least 1 flight a year cadence at some point, I'd say its properly operational.

Quote
Or are you saying that in the next 10 years no 30+ tonne capable rocket will achieve operational status anywhere in the world?

That is what I'm saying.

This seems like a terrible bet for you, since you can't win for 10 years. But if you really think it worthwhile, I'll bet 6 months of L2 membership (or equivalent value when the bet ends, but not more than $100 US). Conditions: a launch vehicle in a configuration nominally capable of 30,000 kg of separable payload to LEO must successfully fly 3 times including at least 2 times in less than 2 consecutive calendar years before today's date in 2027. And the vehicle can't be explicitly considered experimental, even if completing those flights. Once those flights are complete, I win. If the end date passes without those flights happening, you win. Good?

Offline Lar

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #73 on: 10/06/2017 04:34 AM »
Carbon footprint is so tangentially related that long diatribe didn't stick.
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Offline savuporo

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #74 on: 10/06/2017 07:21 AM »
Yeah you can split hairs to no end. No i don't think Atlas 552 can be called an operational capability quite yet. Dual engine centaur isn't a done deal.

If a thing flies more than 2 times, and has hit at least 1 flight a year cadence at some point, I'd say its properly operational.

Quote
Or are you saying that in the next 10 years no 30+ tonne capable rocket will achieve operational status anywhere in the world?

That is what I'm saying.

This seems like a terrible bet for you, since you can't win for 10 years. But if you really think it worthwhile, I'll bet 6 months of L2 membership (or equivalent value when the bet ends, but not more than $100 US). Conditions: a launch vehicle in a configuration nominally capable of 30,000 kg of separable payload to LEO must successfully fly 3 times including at least 2 times in less than 2 consecutive calendar years before today's date in 2027. And the vehicle can't be explicitly considered experimental, even if completing those flights. Once those flights are complete, I win. If the end date passes without those flights happening, you win. Good?

You are on.
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Online calapine

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #75 on: 10/06/2017 04:44 PM »
Voted with Neither Operational with the qualifier that I can very well see a new SpaceX rocket by 2027, but it wont be the 31-Raptor-5400tons concept presented at IAC2017.

-cala

Offline Jim

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #76 on: 10/06/2017 04:57 PM »
Jim's prediction of less than 5 SLS flights puts the last flight of the 4 (EM-1 [2020], EM-2 [2023], EC [2024], EM-3 [2025]) ~2025. That is less than 10 years. It flies all of the left over RS-25's. The reason I specify these 4 is that NASA could cancel the RS-25 line restart contract before it produces any engines around 2020 because of evident progress being made on BFR saving as much as $750M. Actual RS-25"E" engines would be produced and available for qualification testing NET 2022. The 4 flights are NASA saying until the BFR is flying we will continue our BEO plans (hedging the bet) by prototyping BEO hardware placing it in BEO and testing it (PPE and DSG habitat) which would have some usefulness even with BFR.

I actually for got about the limited quantity of existing engines.

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #77 on: 10/06/2017 08:37 PM »
Jim's prediction of less than 5 SLS flights puts the last flight of the 4 (EM-1 [2020], EM-2 [2023], EC [2024], EM-3 [2025]) ~2025. That is less than 10 years. It flies all of the left over RS-25's. The reason I specify these 4 is that NASA could cancel the RS-25 line restart contract before it produces any engines around 2020 because of evident progress being made on BFR saving as much as $750M. Actual RS-25"E" engines would be produced and available for qualification testing NET 2022. The 4 flights are NASA saying until the BFR is flying we will continue our BEO plans (hedging the bet) by prototyping BEO hardware placing it in BEO and testing it (PPE and DSG habitat) which would have some usefulness even with BFR.

I actually for got about the limited quantity of existing engines.
Yes, it is hard to understand sometimes what the actual limitations are on the flights past the first four are. The RS-25 engine restart contract is for a build rate of 2 per year with first set of flight engines NET 2025 available for integration to vehicle at the plant. Do not expect their use in a launch for at least a year after their delivery. This build rate does not support more than 1 flight every 2 years past the first 4 flights. More money will have to be allocated to increase the build rate if a flight rate of even just once per year is wanted. And that has to occur at that same decision point of around 2020. There is probably a greater than 5 year lead time for some parts on the engine.

The other item is SRB segments. The SRBs for the early flights use existing refurbished segments. This is also enough only for 4 flights. So new segments have to be manufactured as well for flight #6. Primarily these are the caps and tails which are the most expensive to manufacture. The other center segments are easier to manufacture which will be needed as well for the earlier flight #5. So this line must also be restarted. I do not remember any contract yet for this restart. Although it could be embedded in the existing SRB contract as an option/line item.

So the basic item is without a bigger budget in 2020 than now the out year flight rate will be once every other year starting with flight #5. That unwillingness to spend more on SLS and Orion in FY2020 when not even EM-1 has happened yet may be SLS downfall and it's slow choking off of funds delaying launches even more until outright cancellation a few years latter. This was a similar occurrence with Constellation because it could not keep Congress in general happy enough to not suffer a political backlash by their constituents for funding an expensive program that seemingly is not making progress.
« Last Edit: 10/06/2017 08:42 PM by oldAtlas_Eguy »

Offline Lar

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #78 on: 10/08/2017 03:38 AM »
Your views did a 360? So, back where you started. Sill not making much sense though, sadly.

Also, you don't test reliability in. It is designed in and then verified.


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Online Johnnyhinbos

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #79 on: 10/08/2017 03:58 AM »
Last post plus the renewed dreamyness of the National Space Council has brought my views around 360 degrees.

I voted that neither BFR or SLS will NOT be able to deliver in 10 years.  But now I’m thinking it is just a matter of too much optimism, heightened desire for things not achievable.

The dream keeps changing while the CDR has already occurred.  Mission creep while over-constraining/over-specifying eventually grounds hardware. 

Think about it!  You’ve got your moonbase, your Mars ISRU, Phobos station, Mars transfer vehicle, Mars lander, Moon lander, man rated craziness, lunar return vehicles, and then add twenty other flagship vehicles.  Modularity requirements, ultra high reliability that a lifetime of testing couldn’t achieve...

Come on!
Wait, I need to unpack this a bit. You say, “I voted that neither BFR or SLS will NOT be able to deliver in 10 years.”

So you are saying neither BFR or SLS will NOT be able to deliver. So a double negative. Which means you believe one of them will, but you just don’t specifically say which one will not. So you believe one will. But which one?
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