Author Topic: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?  (Read 28962 times)

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #60 on: 05/29/2021 03:59 pm »
But what will happen when the constellation is complete and only replenishment / renewal of the fleet is needed ?

Musk has proposed a constellation that is always on the investment treadmill.  No spending holidays, unlike what some constellations now enjoy.  So year 6 will have no fewer launches than year 4, for example.

Europe should size its constellation and therefore its completely reusable launch vehicle with that in mind.  A smaller constellation with a partially reusable launch vehicle and 15-year satellite lifetimes may not be competitive.

I'm not fully convinced, but perhaps we should take Gwynne Shotwell at her word -- that the 42,000-satellite figure is more for maximum flexibility than for what they actually intend.  If they can't get the 30,000 satellite Gen2 system approved at the FCC (certainly possible), they will just make the satellite bigger for the original 4,408-satellite constellation.  Regardless, Europe has a total mass figure to shoot for.

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. Or Europe could simply choose to sit this out.
« Last Edit: 05/29/2021 04:37 pm by RedLineTrain »

Offline Oli

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #61 on: 05/29/2021 04:43 pm »
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.

Offline DreamyPickle

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #62 on: 05/29/2021 05:57 pm »
Let's ignore bad decisions of the past. Europe still wants independent access to space and is willing to pay for it.

Historically Ariane mostly competed in the commercial geostationary market but now there is considerable demand for LEO constellation launches that is not being properly served. OneWeb lauches with Soyuz and Amazon lauches with Atlas V, both of those customers would be happy to consider Ariane for future launches.

There is a real opening for a provider that is not SpaceX, and simply copying them as much as possible could be a very successful strategy. The top contender used to be New Glenn but they stumbled badly.

It would even be possible to compete against Starship by simply building a smaller version. Almost any mission could be accomplished by a vehicle 1/3rd the size except for the colonization of Mars.

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #63 on: 05/29/2021 07:52 pm »
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.

Agreed that it is nonsense and the Europeans don't need a megaconstellation.  But if you insist on having a reusable rocket (because that is the definition of having an independent launch capability), then it needs to be paired with one or more megaconstellations.

Offline envy887

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #64 on: 05/29/2021 11:02 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.

Offline envy887

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #65 on: 05/29/2021 11:12 pm »
So reusability mentioned six times in two paragraphs, including four quotes.   Seems like they got the message.
Yeah.... only eight years late...
What do you want, a country in an alternate timeline that does it ten years earlier than SpaceX?

No, what I want is an ESA and a CNES and an Arianspace that know how to read the writing on the wall. Because they failed to do so in 2014. They had the perfect opportunity to become close followers of SpaceX and thus remain competitive within the global LSP market.

But ESA, CNES and Arianespace failed to read the writing on the wall. And now Europe is stuck with a 'new' launcher which is obsolete by the time it starts flying, having wasted 5 billion Euros and 8 years. Current ESA and CNES efforts for reusability developement are severely being hampered by the money pit that is Ariane 6. Had those Euros been spent on a (partially) reusable launcher eight years ago, than Ariane 6 would be a close follower of Falcon 9, instead of a launcher with no chance of competing.
They didn't have engines then to do RLV.  A6 was best ELV they could do with what they had and most importantly cheaper and more versatile than A5.


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They could have started on Prometheus in 2014.

And they aren't even moving very fast on that now. SpaceX had not just an engine, but an entire stage hotfired 3 years after starting on Merlin. ESA started funding Prometheus 4 years ago. How far are they from firing a stage?

Offline GreenShrike

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #66 on: 05/30/2021 03:56 am »
Agreed that it is nonsense and the Europeans don't need a megaconstellation.  But if you insist on having a reusable rocket (because that is the definition of having an independent launch capability), then it needs to be paired with one or more megaconstellations.

Exactly. How can anyone look at a thousand-odd Starlink sats and hundreds of OneWeb sats on orbit, be aware of OneWeb's and Amazon's and Telesat's future plans, and keep thinking "But where will the market demand needed for a reusable launcher come from?"

If Europe/Ariane is now "joining the re-usability bandwagon", then it's about time -- the time to develop a reusable launcher was years ago.

Their Ariane 6 mis-step has done them -- and Starlink's competitors -- no favours. As it stands today, the lack of a non-SpaceX reusable launcher is forcing constellation developers to either award launches to a direct competitor, or pay current non-SpaceX launch prices. Launch may be the "cheapest part of a satellite's cost", but -- as the ex-bankrupt OneWeb knows from experience -- at a mega-constellation's scale the current retail launch costs can be ruinous.

As I pointed out in the OneWeb thread, OneWeb's second gen constellation is 6000+ sats. Assuming a hundred sats per launch, and you're looking at 60 launches.

Unless another reusable launcher comes online, Falcon 9 will continue to lead in pricing. New Glenn might help, but between Kuiper and the Telesat contracts, free slots will likely be difficult to come by as Blue ramps New Glenn's cadence. If SpaceX is to be avoided, then OneWeb is looking at paying the high cost of Ariane 64. Note that A64, a GTO-optimized launcher, isn't great at bulk LEO deliveries, performing between a Falcon 9 Reusable and F9 Expendable.  At maybe something like $125M * 60 launches, that's $7.5B in launch costs alone.

If ArianeNext can reusably lift what Ariane 64 can put into LEO for Falcon 9's ~$50M price rather than A64's ~$125M, that's a $4.5B difference.

Starlink gets rockets at cost; it's obvious any mega-constellation which needs to pay retail for launch will be operating at a major disadvantage.

As such, I'd suggested that Bharti, the Indian co-owner of OneWeb, might partner with ISRO to develop a Falcon 9-class (or bigger) reusable launcher. OneWeb can either pay $7.5B for lift, or pay $4.5B for a reusable launcher and $3B for lift. It's $7.5B either way, but the latter gets them an asset which will reduce their launch costs from then on -- and replenishment of the constellation will give the launcher steady work.

However, such a scheme would work for ArianeGroup, too -- just develop ArianeNext under a Bharti/OneWeb/ArianeGroup partnership. The European taxpayers would get a break, Europe would get its independent access to space at pricing that's actually competitive, and OneWeb would neutralize one of Starlink's biggest advantages.
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Offline GalacticIntruder

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #67 on: 05/30/2021 04:14 am »
People, politicians, bureaucrats,  fan boys can rationalize anything they want to but it really boils down to ego and honor and  pride.  This matters as much if not more than hyper efficiency and hyper utility of market theory. China, Russia, EU, UK, Jeff Bezos are all intent on wasting money chasing Musk's dreams and fantasies. Reusable rockets, methane engines, SHLV, Sat constellations, even stainless steel.  Everyone wants a Starship now. No one wants SLS copy. Whether or not these space adventures becomes a real product or market or something useful or good is not relevant. 
"And now the Sun will fade, All we are is all we made." Breaking Benjamin

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #68 on: 05/30/2021 09:47 am »
A european RLV could compete for Kupier launches. AWS has lot of european servers and customers, would be in their interest to spread these launches around, especially if RLV is competitively priced with other RLVs AWS is using.

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Offline Pipcard

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #69 on: 05/30/2021 05:52 pm »
Agreed that it is nonsense and the Europeans don't need a megaconstellation.  But if you insist on having a reusable rocket (because that is the definition of having an independent launch capability), then it needs to be paired with one or more megaconstellations.

Exactly. How can anyone look at a thousand-odd Starlink sats and hundreds of OneWeb sats on orbit, be aware of OneWeb's and Amazon's and Telesat's future plans, and keep thinking "But where will the market demand needed for a reusable launcher come from?"

If Europe/Ariane is now "joining the re-usability bandwagon", then it's about time -- the time to develop a reusable launcher was years ago.

This leads me to wonder, how early could a market for megaconstellations + RLVs have happened? There were the failed constellations of the 1990s (like Teledesic), and VTVL reusable rockets have been demonstrated in the 90s with the DC-X.

If a partially reusable Falcon 9-like two-stage rocket was available back then, could those constellations have been more viable from a business perspective? Would an internet megaconstellation and Starship-like vehicle have made sense in the late 2000s with the rise of user-generated streaming video? Or were they destined to fail until the Internet grew in bandwidth and potential userbase, so they could only work starting from the late 2010s/early 2020s?
« Last Edit: 05/30/2021 06:30 pm by Pipcard »

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #70 on: 05/30/2021 06:20 pm »
A european RLV could compete for Kupier launches. AWS has lot of european servers and customers, would be in their interest to spread these launches around, especially if RLV is competitively priced with other RLVs AWS is using.

I think we have to shift our thinking from an expendable world.  In a reusable world, it is not in their interest to spread these launches around, since the marginal cost of launch is so low.  It is better to put all of your launches on one rocket and demand a huge price discount for doing so.
« Last Edit: 05/30/2021 06:28 pm by RedLineTrain »

Offline groundbound

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #71 on: 05/31/2021 12:39 am »
I'm surprised that no one has pointed out one other significant miscalculation that is happening now and applies to launchers/payloads especially in the latter half of this decade.

The cost of launch is going down and the supply of launch is going up fast. We don't even need to talk about who is behind it: it's not important for this issue.

Various charts on these forums have illustrated that space revenue has almost never been dominated by launch. It has always been a fairly small piece of the pie. In an era of falling cost and exploding supply for launch, that is likely to be even more true for a number of years.

So an oversimplification says that throwing money at launchers is a fools game. Anyone is much better off financially in spending money on spacecraft, space businesses, any other larger slices of the space revenue pie. If anyone (Europe or Russia especially) wants to invest in the launch business it should not be in the context of "winning" what looks like a ruinous global competition. Instead it should be in the context of how a self-owned portion of the launch market will facilitate the part of the business that can actually make money. I suspect that even that one US company everyone keeps referring to will lose money on the strictly launch portion of their business in many future years but offset it with insane profits on almost everything else they do.

Now to REALLY go out on a limb, I wonder if Europe has forgotten to seriously revisit the assumptions that originally got Arianegroup started. Relative to back in the day, there are launcher alternatives all over the place. In a business that operates in a world where most parts of the supply chain are in massive global oversupply you do not guarantee assurance of supply by investing in your own assets. You spend a fraction of that money on redundant supply agreements and invest your own money only on things that are or might go into shortage. With ISRO, multiple Chinese entities, Russia, Jaxa, two or three American suppliers, and innumerable startups to choose from, a bombproof assurance to space should be an easy thing to assemble even without your own rocket.

Offline libra

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #72 on: 05/31/2021 07:02 am »
Agreed that it is nonsense and the Europeans don't need a megaconstellation.  But if you insist on having a reusable rocket (because that is the definition of having an independent launch capability), then it needs to be paired with one or more megaconstellations.

Exactly. How can anyone look at a thousand-odd Starlink sats and hundreds of OneWeb sats on orbit, be aware of OneWeb's and Amazon's and Telesat's future plans, and keep thinking "But where will the market demand needed for a reusable launcher come from?"

If Europe/Ariane is now "joining the re-usability bandwagon", then it's about time -- the time to develop a reusable launcher was years ago.

This leads me to wonder, how early could a market for megaconstellations + RLVs have happened? There were the failed constellations of the 1990s (like Teledesic), and VTVL reusable rockets have been demonstrated in the 90s with the DC-X.

If a partially reusable Falcon 9-like two-stage rocket was available back then, could those constellations have been more viable from a business perspective? Would an internet megaconstellation and Starship-like vehicle have made sense in the late 2000s with the rise of user-generated streaming video? Or were they destined to fail until the Internet grew in bandwidth and potential userbase, so they could only work starting from the late 2010s/early 2020s?

A very interesting question. Having grown as a teen space nerd in the 90's and remembering that era, I looked for an answer.

The constellations of the 90's were smaller and with a different purpose. Back then the Internet was in infancy with only tiny "band" needs (28K !); smartphones did not existed (before 2007 and Iphone, how far away that sounds... only 14 years !)
- and thus the colossal "broadband everywhere on Earth" requirement did not existed either.

Instead, it was a matter of cell phones and networks.

It was very much a case of two different networks for cell phones battling:
- GSM, ground networks  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GSM
- satellite phones

What happened is the following. GSM negociations started as early as 1982 but got bogged down and thus, ground-based networks with them for the next decade. Nobody was sure GSM (and more generally, ground networks and their many millions antennas needed across the world)  would prevail as it ultimately did, including across different governments and frontiers. It finally did, but not before the mid-90's.

And thus in June 1990 Motorola took their chance with a different approach and disclosed  Iridium (started in 1987), a 77 satellites constellation hence the name (Iridium is element 77 in Mendeleyiev)

The gist of the proposal was to screw the bogged-down GSM & ground networks; going over frontiers through space.  GSM negociations were stalled because the many countries couldn't get over a common standard across their frontiers; the risk was GSM ending like Betamax vs VHS: fractioned rival fiefdoms and very unhappy consumers.

As soon as Motorola started Iridium, a host of satphones constellations apeared: notably Teledesic and Globalstar, and that included Bill Gates one and only, ever space venture: Teledesic:  a mega-constellation before the date, but failed to takeoff.

Just like broadband Internet today, LATENCY ensured GEO global coverage with three satellites (as done since the 60's for TV) was not tolerable for the future consumers.

 Even at the speed of light (300 000 km per second) going up (36000 km) and down (36000 km again) takes two tenth of a second - and yes, when discussing in a mobile phone, that's a PITA.

And thus the satellites had to lower their orbits from GEO to MEO or LEO, getting much smaller latency of course, but also much smaller individual coverage... and the numbers skyrocketed to include global cover. While Iridium stuick with one hundred sats, Teledesic went the full Starlink way, thousands or even ten thousands satellites.

After all Bill Gates was the richest man on Earth in the 90's - before Musk and Bezos come in the 2000's of course, so on paper at least he had the money to make it happen. He instead ended badly burned in 2002.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teledesic

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globalstar

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iridium_satellite_constellation

With Iridium, Teledesic and Globalstar and a bunch of others in the pipeline, the sleepy rocket launch business crippled by the Shuttle and STS-51L suddenly awoke and RLV concepts were everywhere. NASA started a massive effort: DC-X, X-33, X-34, Bantam... The US military quickly followed, and then the private sector: Roton, Black Horse, Eclipse Astroliner, Kistler K-1, Andrew Beal BA-1 / BA-2  - and a bunch of others. The X-prize was also started by Peter Diamandis in May 1996 - right in the middle of all this, stimulating the launch industry even more. In July, it was NASA X-33 / Venture : hell of a year, very much the peak of all this.

Unfortunately (for satphones, not for us !!) GSM got out of his misery and after a decade, Iridium and the very concept of "satellite phone" went away with the Dot-com boom in 2000. More exactly: it survived on a small niche, where ground networks couldn't go economically or when they were knocked down: Antarctica, natural disasters, Africa... and Thuraya, too. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thuraya

An issue with satphones that doomed them against GSM was that, since the signal come from above, they had difficulties working in, said, New York / Manhattan with all the skyscrappers. People had to go outside to get a better signal !

By 2001 the game was over, and constellations would not return until 2007 with what become OneWeb and Greg Wyler. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greg_Wyler

This time, not for mobile phones (GSM and smartphones had buried the idea): for global broadband internet.


Sorry for the long post, maybe I should open a thread in the "historical" section of the forum.

Offline Star One

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Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #73 on: 05/31/2021 09:49 am »
Agreed that it is nonsense and the Europeans don't need a megaconstellation.  But if you insist on having a reusable rocket (because that is the definition of having an independent launch capability), then it needs to be paired with one or more megaconstellations.

Exactly. How can anyone look at a thousand-odd Starlink sats and hundreds of OneWeb sats on orbit, be aware of OneWeb's and Amazon's and Telesat's future plans, and keep thinking "But where will the market demand needed for a reusable launcher come from?"

If Europe/Ariane is now "joining the re-usability bandwagon", then it's about time -- the time to develop a reusable launcher was years ago.

Their Ariane 6 mis-step has done them -- and Starlink's competitors -- no favours. As it stands today, the lack of a non-SpaceX reusable launcher is forcing constellation developers to either award launches to a direct competitor, or pay current non-SpaceX launch prices. Launch may be the "cheapest part of a satellite's cost", but -- as the ex-bankrupt OneWeb knows from experience -- at a mega-constellation's scale the current retail launch costs can be ruinous.

As I pointed out in the OneWeb thread, OneWeb's second gen constellation is 6000+ sats. Assuming a hundred sats per launch, and you're looking at 60 launches.

Unless another reusable launcher comes online, Falcon 9 will continue to lead in pricing. New Glenn might help, but between Kuiper and the Telesat contracts, free slots will likely be difficult to come by as Blue ramps New Glenn's cadence. If SpaceX is to be avoided, then OneWeb is looking at paying the high cost of Ariane 64. Note that A64, a GTO-optimized launcher, isn't great at bulk LEO deliveries, performing between a Falcon 9 Reusable and F9 Expendable.  At maybe something like $125M * 60 launches, that's $7.5B in launch costs alone.

If ArianeNext can reusably lift what Ariane 64 can put into LEO for Falcon 9's ~$50M price rather than A64's ~$125M, that's a $4.5B difference.

Starlink gets rockets at cost; it's obvious any mega-constellation which needs to pay retail for launch will be operating at a major disadvantage.

As such, I'd suggested that Bharti, the Indian co-owner of OneWeb, might partner with ISRO to develop a Falcon 9-class (or bigger) reusable launcher. OneWeb can either pay $7.5B for lift, or pay $4.5B for a reusable launcher and $3B for lift. It's $7.5B either way, but the latter gets them an asset which will reduce their launch costs from then on -- and replenishment of the constellation will give the launcher steady work.

However, such a scheme would work for ArianeGroup, too -- just develop ArianeNext under a Bharti/OneWeb/ArianeGroup partnership. The European taxpayers would get a break, Europe would get its independent access to space at pricing that's actually competitive, and OneWeb would neutralize one of Starlink's biggest advantages.

You seem to be forgetting the other co-owner of One Web is the U.K. government who have also an interest in ESA. I am pretty sure any decision on a future launcher will be one that brings as much business and jobs to the U.K. as possible, or keeps as many such jobs in the U.K. Especially now that our intelligence agencies are starting to invest in it as well they’ll want an according to say over its future direction.
« Last Edit: 05/31/2021 09:54 am by Star One »

Offline libra

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #74 on: 05/31/2021 12:10 pm »
Quote
If a partially reusable Falcon 9-like two-stage rocket was available back then, could those constellations have been more viable from a business perspective?

Two words: "Kistler" and "K-1". 

More words (LOL) 
If there ever was an earlier Falcon 9 in the 90's, it was them (and Beal BA-2, admittedly: that one in the role of the expendable, early Falcon 9 :p  Andrew Beal and Elon Musk perfectly know each others, how surprising !)

Kistler started as early as 1993 and even hired George Mueller, NASA "father of the Space Shuttle". The K-1 was much smaller than Falcon 9, LEO only, Aerojet / Russian / N-1 / Kuznetsov engines, only 10 000 pounds BUT it was to be fully reusable, second stage included: since it only went to LEO, second stage could be recovered via a heatshield, parachutes and airbags either downrange or after a single orbit, in Australia (they planned to launch from Woomera)

The company however was a money pit and black hole and could never finish their first rocket, not even in 2007 when NASA handled them COTS money - they were kicked out by OSC Cygnus and Antares and ended in bankrupcy.


Offline Hobbes-22

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #75 on: 05/31/2021 12:36 pm »

Now to REALLY go out on a limb, I wonder if Europe has forgotten to seriously revisit the assumptions that originally got Arianegroup started. Relative to back in the day, there are launcher alternatives all over the place. In a business that operates in a world where most parts of the supply chain are in massive global oversupply you do not guarantee assurance of supply by investing in your own assets. You spend a fraction of that money on redundant supply agreements and invest your own money only on things that are or might go into shortage. With ISRO, multiple Chinese entities, Russia, Jaxa, two or three American suppliers, and innumerable startups to choose from, a bombproof assurance to space should be an easy thing to assemble even without your own rocket.

US commercial suppliers: no go. They're under the thumb of ITAR.
China, Russia: hostile enough that you don't want to depend on them without an alternative. Soyuz in Kourou is an interesting experiment, but it's one diplomatic spat away from its supply line being cut off.
Startups: the only ones that have a proven launch capability are US-based and under ITAR.

That leaves ISRO and JAXA, and the political quagmire of outsourcing your launch needs to India.

Offline baldusi

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #76 on: 05/31/2021 03:24 pm »

Now to REALLY go out on a limb, I wonder if Europe has forgotten to seriously revisit the assumptions that originally got Arianegroup started. Relative to back in the day, there are launcher alternatives all over the place. In a business that operates in a world where most parts of the supply chain are in massive global oversupply you do not guarantee assurance of supply by investing in your own assets. You spend a fraction of that money on redundant supply agreements and invest your own money only on things that are or might go into shortage. With ISRO, multiple Chinese entities, Russia, Jaxa, two or three American suppliers, and innumerable startups to choose from, a bombproof assurance to space should be an easy thing to assemble even without your own rocket.

US commercial suppliers: no go. They're under the thumb of ITAR.
China, Russia: hostile enough that you don't want to depend on them without an alternative. Soyuz in Kourou is an interesting experiment, but it's one diplomatic spat away from its supply line being cut off.
Startups: the only ones that have a proven launch capability are US-based and under ITAR.

That leaves ISRO and JAXA, and the political quagmire of outsourcing your launch needs to India.

I think the US puts a restriction on the resolution of commercial EO satellites. For foreign intelligence payloads, l would guess you'd have to get a special license from DoD to launch on US LV, correct?

Offline envy887

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #77 on: 06/01/2021 12:17 am »
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.

The point of Starlink is to make money. If putting some Starlinks on other LVs helps SpaceX make Starlink profitable, they would do it.

Those LVs would have to be cheaper than the internal cost of F9. The fact that nobody else has a LV that currently does compete with that cost does not mean that it's impossible to beat that cost, or that they couldn't pull some Starlinks off F9 if they did beat that cost.

That's a market segment that is almost entirely captured by price, rather than by politics or national security concerns. It's a market segment a European RLV could compete in, if costs were sufficiently low.
« Last Edit: 06/01/2021 12:18 am by envy887 »

Offline joek

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #78 on: 06/01/2021 01:37 am »
I think the US puts a restriction on the resolution of commercial EO satellites. For foreign intelligence payloads, l would guess you'd have to get a special license from DoD to launch on US LV, correct?

The restriction is primarily on what can be observed (and at what spectrum-resolution), and who has access to the data. Expect the blocker would be foreign intelligence services being willing to provide the necessary information, and verifiable safeguards to constrain observation and data. Expect few-none foreign intelligence services would be willing to do either. Not sure about a "special license from DoD "; IIRC that would be covered by other agencies who would consult with DoD, State, etc.

Offline joek

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Re: Europe joins the re-usability bandwagon?
« Reply #79 on: 06/01/2021 01:55 am »
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.

Again, as I mentioned upthread, this depends on definition of "addressable" market. For example, US, Russian, Chinese national security launches are not globally competed (not addressable) as they are required to launch on their respective national launchers; no one else gets to compete (at least on a global level).

To the question of how eliding Starlink launches would affect SpaceX 2019-2020 numbers (non-Starlink/Starlink):
2019: 12/1
2020: 13/13

The point of Starlink is to make money. If putting some Starlinks on other LVs helps SpaceX make Starlink profitable, they would do it.

Those LVs would have to be cheaper than the internal cost of F9. The fact that nobody else has a LV that currently does compete with that cost does not mean that it's impossible to beat that cost, or that they couldn't pull some Starlinks off F9 if they did beat that cost.

That's a market segment that is almost entirely captured by price, rather than by politics or national security concerns. It's a market segment a European RLV could compete in, if costs were sufficiently low....

Agree, although think there are national security concerns with some countries (e.g., China).

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