Author Topic: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?  (Read 28957 times)

Offline ZachF

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #40 on: 05/21/2021 07:53 pm »
It looks like Ariane will launch about 3 times each in 2021 and 2022 (Vega is too small to even really make a dent either way). This means that Europe's market share for launch this year will have fallen to ~6%.

According to the schedule thread 12 A5/A6 launches are planned for 2022, which would be roughly in line with the launch rate A6 was designed for. Not sure how accurate that is.

The Ariane schedule thread has been wildly inaccurate for as long as it has existed, and you may be mistaking payloads for launches (remember A5 launches two payloads at a time)

There are only 8 Ariane 5 launches left. After this year it will be 5.

There are NOT going to be several Ariane 6 launches next year.  No new rocket has ever ramped like that... ever. There will be one maybe two if they are lucky, and the 64 probably wont launch until 2023+. The first 62 launch is scheduled for Q2-22, which probably means Q3. And remember, Ariane 62 only lifts about half the tonnage that 5/64 does.

Ariane 6 really isn't selling well, which is why the grumblings about more state subsidies continue to get louder. Unfortunately it's also an especially poor platform for LEO constellation work.
« Last Edit: 05/21/2021 08:09 pm by ZachF »
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Offline ZachF

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #41 on: 05/21/2021 08:05 pm »

Much as I always liked STS, wasn't America's attempt to rely on it exclusively the whole reason Arianespace became so competitive in the first place?

Yes, that is one of the prime drivers behind the succesful rise of Ariane and Arianespace. And although the USA reversed course after Challenger, it was already too late. Europe was flying a fairly affordable and reliable family of launchers by then.

By the time Boeing and LockMart got their EELVs ready to compete, they had become so expensive that they stood no chance against Ariane. Arianespace subsequently enjoyed almost 3 decades of massive market domination.

Delta IV and Atlas V are still horrendously expensive. But the thing is that another US company managed to produce a working reuseable launcher, thus lowering the cost of a launch to such a low level that even Ariane stood no chance.
Full role reversal... Market dominiation is now firmly back in US hands.

And yes, ESA and Arianespace should have sleepless nights over that. Because it makes Ariane 6 unaffordable in both the short and long term. The rocket will never attract as much commercial business as Ariane 5 and Ariane 4 did. Meaning that a disproportionally large part of the cost comes down on the shoulders of ESA and CNES. And the whole point of Ariane 6 was to finally get rid of the need for subsidies for European launchers.

But the flawed development decision from 2014 (go for conventional expendable instead of development of reuse) has had the opposite effect, courtesy of the rise of Falcon 9: Ariane 6 will need much more subsidies than were ever given to Ariane 5.

Short version:
ESA and CNES shot themselves in the foot with their shortsightedness and lack of imagination.

Indeed.

I want to express that Europe's collapse in the market share of global launch isn't some far-off hypothetical based on Starship appearing... It's happening right now.

Attached below is the table I put in the SpaceX manifest thread comparing the delta-v adjusted tonnage to orbit of various providers. DV-adjusted payload takes the rocket equation and the ISP of hypergolic orbit raising rockets, and the DV difference in delivered orbit vs LEO to adjust it to a LEO-equivalent standard.

Taking these numbers, Europe's share of global adjusted tonnage to orbit is this:

2014: 22.4%
2015: 20.5%
2016: 21.9%
2017: 19.3%
2018: 16.7%
2019: 14.1%
2020: 8.0%

It looks like Ariane will launch about 3 times each in 2021 and 2022 (Vega is too small to even really make a dent either way). This means that Europe's market share for launch this year will have fallen to ~6%.

Next year, if Starship launches only a few times, this number will drop to 3-4%.... A few years from now it is not hyperbole for Europe to have <1% of global launch market share. one percent...

this year, SpaceX is on track to deliver ~600 adjusted tonnes to orbit. That's equal to Europe's totals in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and projected 2021... combined.

They need to move now

What does 2019 and 2020 look like if you don't include Starlink launches? Since those are SpaceX satellites including them in the launch market tonnage skews the numbers. No one else gets to compete for those launches.

It doesn't make sense to not count Starlink, because the only reason Starlink is possible is the ultra low cost of Falcon 9. OneWeb has already gone bankrupt once using Soyuz.

Ariane 64 could lift ~75 Starlink satellites for $140m. Thats $1.9m in launch costs per satellite.
Ariane 62 is even worse... ~$90m for ~35 satellites... $2.6m each.

SpaceX's cost for F9 is about $28m for 60 satellites... <$500k each.
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Offline RonM

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #42 on: 05/21/2021 08:33 pm »

Much as I always liked STS, wasn't America's attempt to rely on it exclusively the whole reason Arianespace became so competitive in the first place?

Yes, that is one of the prime drivers behind the succesful rise of Ariane and Arianespace. And although the USA reversed course after Challenger, it was already too late. Europe was flying a fairly affordable and reliable family of launchers by then.

By the time Boeing and LockMart got their EELVs ready to compete, they had become so expensive that they stood no chance against Ariane. Arianespace subsequently enjoyed almost 3 decades of massive market domination.

Delta IV and Atlas V are still horrendously expensive. But the thing is that another US company managed to produce a working reuseable launcher, thus lowering the cost of a launch to such a low level that even Ariane stood no chance.
Full role reversal... Market dominiation is now firmly back in US hands.

And yes, ESA and Arianespace should have sleepless nights over that. Because it makes Ariane 6 unaffordable in both the short and long term. The rocket will never attract as much commercial business as Ariane 5 and Ariane 4 did. Meaning that a disproportionally large part of the cost comes down on the shoulders of ESA and CNES. And the whole point of Ariane 6 was to finally get rid of the need for subsidies for European launchers.

But the flawed development decision from 2014 (go for conventional expendable instead of development of reuse) has had the opposite effect, courtesy of the rise of Falcon 9: Ariane 6 will need much more subsidies than were ever given to Ariane 5.

Short version:
ESA and CNES shot themselves in the foot with their shortsightedness and lack of imagination.

Indeed.

I want to express that Europe's collapse in the market share of global launch isn't some far-off hypothetical based on Starship appearing... It's happening right now.

Attached below is the table I put in the SpaceX manifest thread comparing the delta-v adjusted tonnage to orbit of various providers. DV-adjusted payload takes the rocket equation and the ISP of hypergolic orbit raising rockets, and the DV difference in delivered orbit vs LEO to adjust it to a LEO-equivalent standard.

Taking these numbers, Europe's share of global adjusted tonnage to orbit is this:

2014: 22.4%
2015: 20.5%
2016: 21.9%
2017: 19.3%
2018: 16.7%
2019: 14.1%
2020: 8.0%

It looks like Ariane will launch about 3 times each in 2021 and 2022 (Vega is too small to even really make a dent either way). This means that Europe's market share for launch this year will have fallen to ~6%.

Next year, if Starship launches only a few times, this number will drop to 3-4%.... A few years from now it is not hyperbole for Europe to have <1% of global launch market share. one percent...

this year, SpaceX is on track to deliver ~600 adjusted tonnes to orbit. That's equal to Europe's totals in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and projected 2021... combined.

They need to move now

What does 2019 and 2020 look like if you don't include Starlink launches? Since those are SpaceX satellites including them in the launch market tonnage skews the numbers. No one else gets to compete for those launches.

It doesn't make sense to not count Starlink, because the only reason Starlink is possible is the ultra low cost of Falcon 9. OneWeb has already gone bankrupt once using Soyuz.

Ariane 64 could lift ~75 Starlink satellites for $140m. Thats $1.9m in launch costs per satellite.
Ariane 62 is even worse... ~$90m for ~35 satellites... $2.6m each.

SpaceX's cost for F9 is about $28m for 60 satellites... <$500k each.

You're just biasing the numbers to make your point. What's Ariane's percentage of the available market?

Offline joek

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #43 on: 05/21/2021 08:35 pm »
What does 2019 and 2020 look like if you don't include Starlink launches? Since those are SpaceX satellites including them in the launch market tonnage skews the numbers. No one else gets to compete for those launches.

Depends on how you define and compare the "addressable" launch market, and whether that is a relevant discriminator for "tonnage" (or whatever metric). If simply comparing raw tonnage launched, addressable market is generally not a discriminator; it is simply the total tonnage launched by provider X or country Y. If you start adding "addressable" as a discriminator, then you need to more precisely define what that means.

If you want an apples-to-apples comparison, then you need to look at the total global addressable launches, and then a rank order by tonnage (or whatever) of each provider. For SpaceX Starlink, you might omit those as non-addressable, as SpaceX has not competed those.  Unfortunately, that requires a bit of work; the FAA use to provide an annual report which broke those out, but the last appears to have been in 2018, but still work a read as to how to slice-and-dice.

Offline joek

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #44 on: 05/21/2021 08:43 pm »
You're just biasing the numbers to make your point. What's Ariane's percentage of the available market?

Sorry, too much hand-waving. You run the numbers and then come back and tell us what you think the numbers mean, and what they are base on.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #45 on: 05/21/2021 09:26 pm »
But for the longest time, people in most space industries in the US, Europe, or other countries thought "developing and operating a reusable launch vehicle, especially a fully-reusable super heavy launch vehicle, would cost too much and there is not enough demand for the flight rate to make it worthwhile. So it is best to stick with expendable medium lift launchers."

SpaceX creates its own demand. How many launches would SpaceX do at this point without Starlink?
Quite a lot. They would’ve been launching OneWeb satellites, probably Kuiper, too (if that existed) and probably there would’ve been more GSO satellite demand as well if GSO satellites weren’t facing Starlink competition.
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Offline RonM

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #46 on: 05/21/2021 09:44 pm »
You're just biasing the numbers to make your point. What's Ariane's percentage of the available market?

Sorry, too much hand-waving. You run the numbers and then come back and tell us what you think the numbers mean, and what they are base on.

2019 Starlink launch payload = 15,600 kg. World total 671,350 kg - 15,600 kg = 655,750 kg. Ariane percentage = 93,518 kg / 655,750  kg = 14.2%

2020 Starlink launches payload = 217,382 kg. World total 807,255 kg - 217,382 kg = 589,873 kg. Ariane percentage = 63,709 kg / 589,873 kg = 10.8 %

No Ariane launches in 2021 yet, so zero is still zero.

The 2020 number isn't as bad when you take out the SpaceX Starlink launches (10.8% versus 8.0%), but Ariane's market share is still dropping fast.

Offline jbenton

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #47 on: 05/21/2021 09:49 pm »
Taking these numbers, Europe's share of global adjusted tonnage to orbit is this:
...
2020: 8.0%
...
They need to move now
What does 2019 and 2020 look like if you don't include Starlink launches? Since those are SpaceX satellites including them in the launch market tonnage skews the numbers. No one else gets to compete for those launches.
It doesn't make sense to not count Starlink, because the only reason Starlink is possible is the ultra low cost of Falcon 9. OneWeb has already gone bankrupt once using Soyuz.
...
You're just biasing the numbers to make your point. What's Ariane's percentage of the available market?

US gov't launches are also not a part of the available market to Ariane - except in rare instances where NASA asks ESA to pay to arrange the launch for a joint mission.

It doesn't make sense to not count Starlink, because the only reason Starlink is possible is the ultra low cost of Falcon 9. OneWeb has already gone bankrupt once using Soyuz.

Wasn't OneWeb a startup though?
Would OneWeb have gone bankrupt if:
1) They were an established company with the resources of SpaceX or Amazon
2) If their competition didn't move as fast as Starlink - i.e. no faster or slower than Kuiper?

I didn't follow OneWeb's bankruptcy closely, though, so I wouldn't know.
« Last Edit: 05/21/2021 09:56 pm by jbenton »

Offline joek

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #48 on: 05/21/2021 10:11 pm »
2019 Starlink launch payload = 15,600 kg. World total 671,350 kg - 15,600 kg = 655,750 kg. Ariane percentage = 93,518 kg / 655,750  kg = 14.2%

2020 Starlink launches payload = 217,382 kg. World total 807,255 kg - 217,382 kg = 589,873 kg. Ariane percentage = 63,709 kg / 589,873 kg = 10.8 %
...

Thanks for the numbers, but how much of that tonnage was actually addressable? As in, how much of that tonnage was  launches not competed? If you want an apples-to-apples comparison; need to factor those out. Again, you appear to be conflating "world total" with a fuzzy definition of "addressable".

Offline RonM

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #49 on: 05/21/2021 10:36 pm »
2019 Starlink launch payload = 15,600 kg. World total 671,350 kg - 15,600 kg = 655,750 kg. Ariane percentage = 93,518 kg / 655,750  kg = 14.2%

2020 Starlink launches payload = 217,382 kg. World total 807,255 kg - 217,382 kg = 589,873 kg. Ariane percentage = 63,709 kg / 589,873 kg = 10.8 %
...

Thanks for the numbers, but how much of that tonnage was actually addressable? As in, how much of that tonnage was  launches not competed? If you want an apples-to-apples comparison; need to factor those out. Again, you appear to be conflating "world total" with a fuzzy definition of "addressable".

I'm not conflating anything, I'm basing it on the numbers used by ZachF because I was questioning one of his assumptions. Go look at the graphic ZachF posted.

Offline Oli

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #50 on: 05/21/2021 10:43 pm »
The Ariane schedule thread has been wildly inaccurate for as long as it has existed, and you may be mistaking payloads for launches (remember A5 launches two payloads at a time)

There are only 8 Ariane 5 launches left. After this year it will be 5.

There are NOT going to be several Ariane 6 launches next year.  No new rocket has ever ramped like that... ever. There will be one maybe two if they are lucky, and the 64 probably wont launch until 2023+. The first 62 launch is scheduled for Q2-22, which probably means Q3. And remember, Ariane 62 only lifts about half the tonnage that 5/64 does.

Ariane 6 really isn't selling well, which is why the grumblings about more state subsidies continue to get louder. Unfortunately it's also an especially poor platform for LEO constellation work.

A6 was delayed and the last A5 order was placed years ago. Hence fewer launches were to be expected. I doubt the lack of demand constrains the launch rate now or in the near future, but if you have source saying so, I wouldn't be surprised either.
« Last Edit: 05/21/2021 10:44 pm by Oli »

Offline floss

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #51 on: 05/28/2021 07:05 pm »
One question who will pay for the massive increase in launch mass that space x are offering ?

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #52 on: 05/28/2021 11:40 pm »
You will have ask SpaceX or their one eyed amazing peoples. amazing peoples think 1000s tonnes per year of payloads a will appear once SS is flying.

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Offline joek

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #53 on: 05/28/2021 11:59 pm »
You will have ask SpaceX or their one eyed amazing peoples. amazing peoples think 1000s tonnes per year of payloads a will appear once SS is flying.

If the projected Starlink constellation of ~40K sats is achieved, with a life expectancy of ~5yr/sat and ~250kg/sat = ~2000t/yr. SpaceX is making their own LV market.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #54 on: 05/29/2021 04:56 am »
It’s astounding to me how often that’s repeated and yet how rarely anyone seems to even acknowledge that point.

Starlink’s volume alone is enough to justify reusability.

Why is Starlink so big? Well, it’s just big enough to justify a fully reusable Starship vehicle. As far as I can tell, justifying Starship is one of the key design parameters of the full Starlink constellation.

SpaceX solved the “???” step of the:
1) steal underpants
2) ???
3) profit!
plan.

“Launch Starlink” is the ???. Chicken vs the egg conundrum is solved. And this is pretty much the only way to realistically do it as a pioneer, dear people who complain about SpaceX being so vertically integrated. Otherwise you’d be building an RLV without customers or a constellation too expensive to launch without going bankrupt.
« Last Edit: 05/29/2021 04:57 am by Robotbeat »
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Offline su27k

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #55 on: 05/29/2021 06:24 am »
You will have ask SpaceX or their one eyed amazing peoples. amazing peoples think 1000s tonnes per year of payloads a will appear once SS is flying.

If the projected Starlink constellation of ~40K sats is achieved, with a life expectancy of ~5yr/sat and ~250kg/sat = ~2000t/yr. SpaceX is making their own LV market.

Also SpaceX's Starlink based missile warning satellite already weights one metric ton, I expect future generation of Starlink to be a lot heavier than 250kg.

And of course each lunar or Mars mission will require at least 1,200 metric tons of propellant in LEO.

Offline libra

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #56 on: 05/29/2021 07:54 am »
Just want to ask one question. Robotbeat certainly has a point - Starlink and its enormous number of satellites feed Starship-BFR at two levels
- massive numbers of things to launch in orbit
- as a cash cow for the Mars project

That's Musk basic plan, really.

But what will happen when the constellation is complete and only replenishment / renewal of the fleet is needed ?

Starlink certainly provides a huge number of satellites to be launched, but Falcon 9 and Starship capabilities are so enormous, they will eat the "Starlink cake" pretty fast.

Then again, it was NASA (risky) bet with the Shuttle: "bring it and they will come" - in the sense of "build the correct vehicle to open the high frontier on the cheap and en masse, and new markets / new payloads will appears ".  In the case of Musk he has, first, $200 billion in his pocket to keep his company running, plus MArs will probably creates, too, its own "launch needs". Plus the "new markets" I mentionned earlier.

Offline ZachF

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #57 on: 05/29/2021 02:08 pm »
You will have ask SpaceX or their one eyed amazing peoples. amazing peoples think 1000s tonnes per year of payloads a will appear once SS is flying.


Low quality post.

You will have ask SpaceX or their one eyed amazing peoples. amazing peoples think 1000s tonnes per year of payloads a will appear once SS is flying.

If the projected Starlink constellation of ~40K sats is achieved, with a life expectancy of ~5yr/sat and ~250kg/sat = ~2000t/yr. SpaceX is making their own LV market.

This, plus I think it's likely Starlink sats will grow to 1000-2000kg when Starship comes online.

2000 tonnes a year is about 4x the current global satellite market.

« Last Edit: 05/29/2021 02:11 pm by ZachF »
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Offline Oli

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #58 on: 05/29/2021 03:12 pm »
20 flights per year it arguably at the lower end of what makes a fully reusable vehicle profitable. Starlink isn't guaranteed to succeed on that scale either.

But SpaceX has managed to sell Starship to NASA, so I have no worries about Starship's future.

Offline yoram

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #59 on: 05/29/2021 03:47 pm »
Why is Starlink so big? Well, it’s just big enough to justify a fully reusable Starship vehicle. As far as I can tell, justifying Starship is one of the key design parameters of the full Starlink constellation.

I assuming it is planned to just be big enough that they could still launch it on (reusable) F9 if SS didn't work out. But with SS working they'll have a lot more profitability long term, as long at least they are able to offset the SS development costs.

Even though Musk likes to appear in public as if he always does "bet the company" style moves I suspect he usually has a plan B.

Likely there is also some threshold where if they have enough sats they can move from serving only sparsely populated areas to more dense areas, with always enough sats being in sight. I assume they carefully tuned it that they have enough bandwidth for most areas, except perhaps densely populated cities, while F9 can still do the needed replacement rates.

Back to the topic, the interesting question is really how this basic constraint works out for the more expensive launch providers. For example what can ViaSat do with their planned ~300 sats? What can the planned European constellation do?
« Last Edit: 05/29/2021 04:18 pm by yoram »

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