Author Topic: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?  (Read 27901 times)

Offline woods170

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #80 on: 06/01/2021 08:53 am »
I understand that this results in eye-popping total cost figures for Europe to keep up, especially since European industry's spending efficiency is nowhere near SpaceX's.  But that may be just the cost of doing business in this new world.

Where does this nonsense come from that "Europe" needs a constellation? If satellite operators feel there's a market opportunity, they're free to pursue it. And of course to some extent they are, e.g. SES builds mPower and Eutelsat has invested in Oneweb.

If anything Europeans should drop the government-to-the-rescue attitude.

Emphasis mine.

Disagree with that statement. Europe won't drop that until the rest of the world does the same (including the USA).

Having said that I fully agree with you that "Europe" does not need its own internet satellite constellation. Or at least, not one initiated and paid for by European governments.

Offline woods170

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #81 on: 06/01/2021 08:56 am »
What is the point of competing for Europe ?

The priority for Europe should be to make sure they can timely launch their own payloads at a reasonable cost without having to beg for a launch from a foreign partner.

A commercially competitive launcher reduces the public cost of assured access to space by spreading the fixed costs over more launches and more private customers.

Absolutely. The prime driver behind the Ariane series of launchers was assured independent access to space for Europe. However, it was well understood in Europe that for such a launch system to be affordable it would have to pay for itself by attracting as much commercial business as possible, ON TOP OF the purely institutional and government launches.


This has not changed for Ariane 6. Nor will it change for any other future Ariane launcher.
This requirement is exactly why Ariane 6 is already failing. By being expendable it is still too costly to operate and it is already losing business to SpaceX. Despite this being well understood by both ESA and CNES, there is still not a large enough sense of urgency to accelerate the limited reuseability efforts (Themis and Prometheus).
« Last Edit: 06/01/2021 09:12 am by woods170 »

Offline libra

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #82 on: 06/01/2021 11:37 am »
Quote
Absolutely. The prime driver behind the Ariane series of launchers was assured independent access to space for Europe. However, it was well understood in Europe that for such a launch system to be affordable it would have to pay for itself by attracting as much commercial business as possible, ON TOP OF the purely institutional and government launches.

In fact in the 1977-79 era this very point nearly sunk the ESA-managed Ariane program and directly led to the creation of Arianespace by a small group of CNES "mavericks" led by Frederic D'Allest.

Short story: back in 1973 and until 1976 Ariane developments and early test flights (the first four or five ones that happened between 1979 and 1982 with two failures along the way)  had been funded by ESA members.
But there were more and more "grunts" about the launcher cost and lack of payloads.
An early success with Intelsat circa 1977 wasn't enough to turn the tide and Ariane was really in trouble past flight 5 or booster 5: there was no way ESA members states united again to grant the money.  Arianespace was thus created to develop the commercial side of the whole thing; and it suceeded tremendously; greatly helped in passing by NASA Shuttle deliberate screwing of the proven and reliable Atlas Centaur.
In the 2000's a retired D'Allest very honestly acknowledged that the Atlas would have otherwise been quite hard to tackle for Intelsat contracts, even with the 1977 success.

Offline libra

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #83 on: 06/01/2021 05:10 pm »
What is the point of competing for Europe ?

The priority for Europe should be to make sure they can timely launch their own payloads at a reasonable cost without having to beg for a launch from a foreign partner.

A commercially competitive launcher reduces the public cost of assured access to space by spreading the fixed costs over more launches and more private customers.

Absolutely. The prime driver behind the Ariane series of launchers was assured independent access to space for Europe. However, it was well understood in Europe that for such a launch system to be affordable it would have to pay for itself by attracting as much commercial business as possible, ON TOP OF the purely institutional and government launches.

This has not changed for Ariane 6. Nor will it change for any other future Ariane launcher.
This requirement is exactly why Ariane 6 is already failing. By being expendable it is still too costly to operate and it is already losing business to SpaceX. Despite this being well understood by both ESA and CNES, there is still not a large enough sense of urgency to accelerate the limited reuseability efforts (Themis and Prometheus).

Two things can and must be distinguished, more or less this way

- ESA & CNES independant access to space can't be thrown under a bus
BUT
- Arianespace tremendous commercial success certainly was a "sweetener" that helped the above in many different ways (money, payloads for the flight manifest)

I agree this place Europe in a quandary - basically, the "commercial sweetener bonus" is seriously eroded by SpaceX.

But as long as CNES will keep kicking ESA in its rear end, Ariane rockets will carry on flying. As far as French presidents, past, present and future go, even the worst and dullest of the lot (to you Marine L.P)  basically knows the value of Ariane at many different levels (technology, space job, soft power).

The real worry is, well, what will happen to Arianespace. Note that the russian government did not allowed ILS to die despite the Proton repeated mishaps and Ukraine quagmire. Same for Sea Launch, at least the assets. Although Europe is not Putin, and Arianespace is still far from being a moribund corpse.

Two examples from the past

Giscard, 1974-1981: tried to screw Ariane and put Deltas or Atlas in Kourou instead. by 1977 had turned into an Ariane groupie.

Mitterrand 1981-1995 : watched an Ariane... failure in september 1985 in Kourou. It hurt tremendously, for sure but Mitterrand played the game and Ariane carried on.

Since then, no French president ever dared to threaten Ariane.  But I readily agree Arianespace loosing its vantage market share that brought tons of money, will hurt... "ça va piquer au porte monnaie" ("it's gonna ache the wallet" for sure)
« Last Edit: 06/01/2021 05:18 pm by libra »

Offline libra

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #84 on: 06/01/2021 05:25 pm »
Quote
Having said that I fully agree with you that "Europe" does not need its own internet satellite constellation.

gimme a break... the point of Starlink, Kuiper and others is global broadband Internet access - I mean, for the unfortunate 2 or 3 billion people living in poor countries not rich enough to get the same high broadband Internet via ground networks.

Now if we agree on this point, indeed, Europe has an ultra-dense and up-to-date ground network perfectly able to bring broadband internet into european smartphones anywhere on the continent... no ? for example in france, the 5G certainly goes through updated ground networks - people are even protesting or even going conspiracy nut about it.

Or maybe it is just a matter of not staying behind a potential revolution that are spaceborne megaconstellations (think Concorde or... Ariane or Eutelsat or Galileo) ?
Don't forget Galileo is not only "a GPS for Europe" but also a soft power tool "You don't like America and GPS ? go Galileo !" China is doing the same, they are creating their own GPS (Beidu ? can't remember) just for the technology, the jobs, and soft power.
Does this apply to broadband internet mega-constellations ? Does europe needs a "broadband Internet Galileo or Eutelsat" ?
There is certainly an old tradition of creating an "European matching capability" as far as satellites systems and markets go: Inmarsat (at sea) , Eutelsat (TV), Meteosat (weather), SPOT (remote sensing), Galileo (GPS)... 
« Last Edit: 06/01/2021 05:28 pm by libra »

Offline woods170

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #85 on: 06/02/2021 07:35 pm »
Quote
Having said that I fully agree with you that "Europe" does not need its own internet satellite constellation.

gimme a break... the point of Starlink, Kuiper and others is global broadband Internet access - I mean, for the unfortunate 2 or 3 billion people living in poor countries not rich enough to get the same high broadband Internet via ground networks.

Now if we agree on this point, indeed, Europe has an ultra-dense and up-to-date ground network perfectly able to bring broadband internet into european smartphones anywhere on the continent... no ? for example in france, the 5G certainly goes through updated ground networks - people are even protesting or even going conspiracy nut about it.

Or maybe it is just a matter of not staying behind a potential revolution that are spaceborne megaconstellations (think Concorde or... Ariane or Eutelsat or Galileo) ?
Don't forget Galileo is not only "a GPS for Europe" but also a soft power tool "You don't like America and GPS ? go Galileo !" China is doing the same, they are creating their own GPS (Beidu ? can't remember) just for the technology, the jobs, and soft power.
Does this apply to broadband internet mega-constellations ? Does europe needs a "broadband Internet Galileo or Eutelsat" ?
There is certainly an old tradition of creating an "European matching capability" as far as satellites systems and markets go: Inmarsat (at sea) , Eutelsat (TV), Meteosat (weather), SPOT (remote sensing), Galileo (GPS)... 

Two things:

- You left out my disclaimer: "Or at least, not one initiated and paid for by European governments."
- All the "European matching capability" stuff you mentioned is government-initiated. Starlink isn't.

European governements initiating Galileo, to match the US goverment-initiated GPS, makes perfect sense.
European governments initiating Meteosat, to match the US government-initiated NOAA sats, makes perfect sense.
European governments initiating SPOT, to match the US government-initiated LandSat, makes perfect sense.

However, European governments initiating a European satellite internet constellation, to match the SpaceX PRIVATELY initiated Starlink constellation, makes no sense at all.

What the EU and ESA are proposing to do, is to compete with a PRIVATE COMPANY instead of other nations. That is silly. Not to mention a downright stupid way to spend European taxpayers' money.
So, if Europe really wants to compete with Starlink....let a private company do it.
« Last Edit: 06/02/2021 07:39 pm by woods170 »

Offline gosnold

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #86 on: 06/03/2021 08:08 pm »
What the EU and ESA are proposing to do, is to compete with a PRIVATE COMPANY instead of other nations.

Not exactly, the EU constellation seems to have a focus on quantum key distribution, which is targeted towards governments and very large commercial customers, not individuals.

Offline libra

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #87 on: 06/04/2021 06:32 am »
We all know sometimes governments start massive projects and investments for good and bad reasons altogether.

Apollo was done for the wrong reasons. And Concorde economic case... sweet jesus. Even the TGV 40 years later remains controversial.

I wouldn't be surprise if an European mega-constellation would be justified through a mixed bag of arguments
- there is a strategic value hidden into that (Gosnold post gives a hint)
- we don't want to be left behind
- we need to fill Ariane manifest
- we want the advanced technologies that goes along mega-constellations
- we want the aerospace jobs

I know those reasons are a mixed bag, don't start me on this...

(hey, by the way - I'm an European taxpayer, too.)

Offline su27k

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #88 on: 06/05/2021 10:31 am »
So what is this Ariane Ultimate stuff? Monopropellant with 450s Isp seems too good to be true.

https://twitter.com/stromgade/status/1098676265844920321

Quote
Interesting Ariane Ultimate concept from @CNES's #ArianeWorks
SSTO, using a 450s Isp monopropellant, reusable. It seems to be more of a research roadmap than an actual concept to replace Ariane 6 with. Source is the latest @aerospatium

Offline soyuzu

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #89 on: 06/05/2021 11:08 am »
So what is this Ariane Ultimate stuff? Monopropellant with 450s Isp seems too good to be true.

https://twitter.com/stromgade/status/1098676265844920321

Quote
Interesting Ariane Ultimate concept from @CNES's #ArianeWorks
SSTO, using a 450s Isp monopropellant, reusable. It seems to be more of a research roadmap than an actual concept to replace Ariane 6 with. Source is the latest @aerospatium
Pentazole or some other kinds of Pentazenium salt, it seems. It was first synthesized by a Chinese group back in 2017
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jccs.201800363
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentazenium

Though I don’t think bypassing difficulty of RLV design by using very expensive (and potentially dangerous) propellant is a good idea.

Offline envy887

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #90 on: 06/05/2021 05:31 pm »
So what is this Ariane Ultimate stuff? Monopropellant with 450s Isp seems too good to be true.

Quote
Interesting Ariane Ultimate concept from @CNES's #ArianeWorks
SSTO, using a 450s Isp monopropellant, reusable. It seems to be more of a research roadmap than an actual concept to replace Ariane 6 with. Source is the latest @aerospatium

Also, how is that supposed to reenter? Tailfirst with a deployable heatshield in the base?

Online Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #91 on: 06/06/2021 02:03 am »
Its a salt compound with the formula N5+SbF6-. The fluorine is a worry, as it might make this toxic or the exhaust toxic if the fluorine reacts with water in the atmosphere to make HF, which is extremely toxic. It can be reacted with other compounds for example to make  N5+B−.
« Last Edit: 06/06/2021 02:08 am by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Michel Van

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #92 on: 06/06/2021 08:55 am »
Reading the Twitter about Ariane ULTIMATE
my reaction was:

follow by "what to hell they smoked ?"

Hull tanks and rest build from Carbon Nano tube
a Monopropellant with ISP 450 !

I hope it's not that Nitrogen Hydrogen stuff what is study als new explosive

This here screams: EXTREM EXPENSIVE and DANGEROUS EXPLOSIVE

I prefer SpaceX & ULA approach for cheaper Methane/Lox and reusable Rockets build from Steel


Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #93 on: 06/06/2021 05:17 pm »
Trying to use too many unproven advance technologies in design is asking for failure.  It was demise of Venture star. Cost JSWT lot time budget overruns.

F9R works because SpaceX used tried a true technologies, they just refined engineering. RL plan to use same approach, maybe few surprises on recovery side, but technology for launch isn't likely to be anything new.


Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk


Offline Hobbes-22

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #94 on: 06/06/2021 06:49 pm »
A bit more detail on Ariane Ultimate, via Parabolic Arc:



Quote
    reflections for the post-2040 are well underway with the Ariane Ultimate project . At this stage, it is still only a concept, that is to say a pool of new technologies which are in an embryonic state but which we want to make mature by this time, in order to develop a launcher that must be carbon neutral, fully reusable and at almost zero marginal launch cost. It is also a question of projecting on the new uses of space in the coming decades as we can imagine them on this horizon: for example the need for high speeds to reach the low orbits which could serve as hubs of exchange towards the Moon or towards Mars.


        Ariane Ultimate will represent a departure from previous generations of launchers. It is about finding the ideas and technologies to meet these objectives and these future uses.

    Cheaper, simpler, more efficient, easier to recover: this type of single-stage launcher would be the holy grail! However, it is not currently possible, especially because the materials we use are too heavy. We must therefore find a way to lighten the structures,” explains Nathalie Girard.

    Initial research is therefore oriented towards the development of new, lighter and extremely resistant materials such as carbon nanotubes, graphene, or architectural materials made possible by 3D manufacturing. Another avenue is to work on propulsion, with new high energy density propellants which would make it possible to drastically reduce the mass and the cost on the launcher. Ariane Ultimate finally incorporates reflections on avionics and software that will benefit from emerging technological advances, such as “many cores” processors or the quantum computer.

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #95 on: 06/08/2021 08:37 am »
In other words, it is a science fiction rocket...
Why wouldn't they go with Skylon instead? That is much closer to being doable and would still be a novel and potentially competitive approach. Also much closer to reality.
« Last Edit: 06/08/2021 08:38 am by Elmar Moelzer »

Offline ZachF

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #96 on: 06/08/2021 02:45 pm »
Messing around with 450isp monoprops seems like a good way to get left completely behind by the US/China
artist, so take opinions expressed above with a well-rendered grain of salt...
https://www.instagram.com/artzf/

Offline su27k

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #97 on: 06/08/2021 03:07 pm »
Why wouldn't they go with Skylon instead?

Not-invented-here syndrome?

Offline DreamyPickle

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #98 on: 06/08/2021 03:37 pm »
Skylon is UK based which is no longer part of the EU. ESA can only lose by treating the UK as an adversary but this is what they're going to do: notice recent squabbles over OneWeb.

Offline Welsh Dragon

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #99 on: 06/08/2021 04:20 pm »
Skylon is UK based which is no longer part of the EU. ESA can only lose by treating the UK as an adversary but this is what they're going to do: notice recent squabbles over OneWeb.
ESA ≠ EU. UK is still a member of ESA.

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