Author Topic: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started  (Read 114111 times)

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #300 on: 08/05/2018 03:53 am »
It seems to me, a P2P trip from Florida to Japan or Australia would give you more than 20 minutes of zero-G compared to the 5 minutes you would get buying a ride on VG.

As designed, the BFS would not have windows to look out of during a flight like Virgin Galactic offers, and if you've flown on any short airline trips you'll know that 20 minutes is not very much time. We'll see what they actually offer, but I would think SpaceX would keep hundreds of passengers in their seats - herding that many people back into their seats before crushing re-entry gravity might end up with lots of bad press.

Quote
And even if SpaceX couldn't meet 'business class' prices, '1st class' prices would still be a fraction of the cost of a ride on VG, no?  So why bother with a tourist trip?

When I take a flight to get to my vacation destination I like to look out the window at the scenery below, yet I don't consider the flight part of my vacation.

As for whether there will be multiple classes of seats, I would imagine to start that they will all be high end to start, since there won't be much happening on such short flights. My guesses of course, and it will fun to see who has the best guess on what is actually offered...  ;)
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline envy887

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #301 on: 08/05/2018 04:44 am »
You might consider the flight part of your vacation if it went to space :D

Offline meekGee

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #302 on: 08/05/2018 05:40 am »
>
Or, Virgin Galactic could be maxing out the market with their service, which is why we haven't seen more than 800 reservations for such flights.
>
It's also a sign that there is no market.
>
Transportation on the other hand is MASSIVELY big, with demonstrated markets for:

- Fast cargo transportation - FedEX pioneered this with guaranteed overnight delivery, and Amazon is promising same day delivery today.
>

VG's $B deal with the Saudis includes fast point to point.

 http://www.arabnews.com/node/1183586/saudi-arabia
VG is blowing smoke.

P2P "suborbital" requires what is essentially orbital technology.  Such a system has practically nothing in common with SS1/2.

As for SpaceXs p2p vehicle, I'm pretty sure passenger experience will factor into the design...



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« Last Edit: 08/05/2018 06:10 am by meekGee »
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Offline DigitalMan

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #303 on: 08/05/2018 07:44 am »
It seems to me, a P2P trip from Florida to Japan or Australia would give you more than 20 minutes of zero-G compared to the 5 minutes you would get buying a ride on VG.

As designed, the BFS would not have windows to look out of during a flight like Virgin Galactic offers, and if you've flown on any short airline trips you'll know that 20 minutes is not very much time. We'll see what they actually offer, but I would think SpaceX would keep hundreds of passengers in their seats - herding that many people back into their seats before crushing re-entry gravity might end up with lots of bad press.

Quote
And even if SpaceX couldn't meet 'business class' prices, '1st class' prices would still be a fraction of the cost of a ride on VG, no?  So why bother with a tourist trip?

When I take a flight to get to my vacation destination I like to look out the window at the scenery below, yet I don't consider the flight part of my vacation.

As for whether there will be multiple classes of seats, I would imagine to start that they will all be high end to start, since there won't be much happening on such short flights. My guesses of course, and it will fun to see who has the best guess on what is actually offered...  ;)

Where did you get the idea there aren't any windows?  The animation shows a normal BFR/BFS with the windows as you would expect, including the forward panorama.  That will be a view to behold.  Granted, there certainly isn't a window for each passenger.


I would be surprised if folks would be willing to pay $100,000 or more for a ride on VG when they could get a ride on BFS for $10,000 or less (being conservative, business class is less than that!).  You could get multiple round trips for those prices.

We'll have to see what VG's new plans with Saudi Arabia turn into.  They are in a bad spot with Blue closing in on operational flights (Blue will certainly undercut VG prices) and SpaceX revealing BFS p2p ideas.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #304 on: 08/05/2018 08:55 am »
VG is blowing smoke.
Given that VG has actual flight hardware in actual flight test and regulatory approval to do what it's planning to do that's not very fair.  :(

But SX does have a really nice video.
Much better than their one in 2011.
Quote from: meekGee
P2P "suborbital" requires what is essentially orbital technology.  Such a system has practically nothing in common with SS1/2.
True.
Quote from: meekGee
As for SpaceXs p2p vehicle, I'm pretty sure passenger experience will factor into the design...
Depends.

Musk really didn't want wings on BFR but had to have them for the mission.

OTOH windows are a point of structural weakness. Putting a few in common areas for a 3-4 month journey to Mars is a reasonable compromise, but putting many more in the body for passengers?

That means either a) A completely separate P2P BFR or b) A BFR with significantly raised risk of structural failure.

Especially with HDTV cameras and displays able to give the feel of a large window without the risks.
MCT ITS BFR SS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFSC engined CFRP SS structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of Earth & Mars atmospheric flight.First flight to Mars by end of 2022 2027?. T&C apply. Trust nothing. Run your own #s "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" R. Simberg."Competitve" means cheaper ¬cheap SCramjet proposed 1956. First +ve thrust 2004. US R&D spend to date > $10Bn. #deployed designs. Zero.

Offline envy887

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #305 on: 08/05/2018 12:07 pm »
VG is blowing smoke.
Given that VG has actual flight hardware in actual flight test and regulatory approval to do what it's planning to do that's not very fair.

Not for anything useful for P2P. Falcon/Dragon are closer to that than SS2 is.

Offline TripleSeven

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #306 on: 08/05/2018 12:39 pm »
Coastal Ron had in my view one of the best comments here

"As designed, the BFS would not have windows to look out of during a flight like Virgin Galactic offers, and if you've flown on any short airline trips you'll know that 20 minutes is not very much time. "

exactly.  thats about the time of the cruise phase from say Dallas to San Antonio...

few here seem to grasp 1) the issue of price point 2) the shape of the passengers after a 3 g climb up the hill and then sudden micro g and 3) the demands those people are going to put on a cabin crew.

on a typical B737 or any short haul flight the cabin crew "unstraps" at 5000 feet agl while the airplane is still under significant climb thrust...at most airlines the seat belt sign does not go off until 20K and for a flight between the two cities mentioned that means the airplane is going to climb say another 10000 feet .

(likewise the seat belt sign goes back on at Flight level 200 (on the way down) and the cabin must be seated by 5000 feet)

that means that the cabin crew has enough time before the "cattle" start moving to do everything which makes the "service" possible in that short period of time

in any sort of point to point at least for a very long time there will be 1) significant numbers of the passengers "sick" during the powered flight and during the transition to micro g...2) more will get sick as the micro g goes on and 3) during the  climb and descent there will be zero chance of any cabin crew member helping anyone who does get sick

only a fool would allow passengers to unstrap during those 20 minutes...

the cabin crew numbers in the transport category world are there has to be 1 over 23 people and for every 50 after that...

a guess is that in any point to point the numbers of crew to pax would be much smaller ...I am guessing maybe 1 for 20...

I dont think most people here grasp the enormity of the task...

Offline speedevil

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #307 on: 08/05/2018 01:55 pm »
a guess is that in any point to point the numbers of crew to pax would be much smaller ...I am guessing maybe 1 for 20...

I dont think most people here grasp the enormity of the task...
Not forgetting that crew wages may drop below airline ones, if you count it per flight, due to flight rate.

Offline meekGee

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #308 on: 08/05/2018 02:10 pm »


VG is blowing smoke.
Given that VG has actual flight hardware in actual flight test and regulatory approval to do what it's planning to do that's not very fair.  :(

Cessna has "actual flight hardware in actual use and regulatory approval to do what it's planning to do" and yet you don't see them producing videos about how their next model will be an orbital-class manned transport.

VG is now 20 years into their development of a minimal suborbital vehicle that can't even make 100 km, and not for lack of trying.

In that time frame SpaceX happened, and even BO is regularly shooting their capaule into suborbit, and actually does have enough cred at this point to at least make claims of future glory.

So yeah, smoke.

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Offline john smith 19

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #309 on: 08/05/2018 02:13 pm »
Coastal Ron had in my view one of the best comments here

"As designed, the BFS would not have windows to look out of during a flight like Virgin Galactic offers, and if you've flown on any short airline trips you'll know that 20 minutes is not very much time. "

exactly.  thats about the time of the cruise phase from say Dallas to San Antonio...

few here seem to grasp 1) the issue of price point 2) the shape of the passengers after a 3 g climb up the hill and then sudden micro g and 3) the demands those people are going to put on a cabin crew.
Yes. It's looking as if James Follett's 1997 novel "Sabre"
 was quite accurate in what a space plane (orbital or sub orbital) P2P trip would be like.
MCT ITS BFR SS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFSC engined CFRP SS structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of Earth & Mars atmospheric flight.First flight to Mars by end of 2022 2027?. T&C apply. Trust nothing. Run your own #s "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" R. Simberg."Competitve" means cheaper ¬cheap SCramjet proposed 1956. First +ve thrust 2004. US R&D spend to date > $10Bn. #deployed designs. Zero.

Offline meekGee

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #310 on: 08/05/2018 02:16 pm »


VG is blowing smoke.

But SX does have a really nice video.
Much better than their one in 2011.

...

Musk really didn't want wings on BFR but had to have them for the mission.


Calling it instead of gettting into it.

You're bored on a Sunday morning and trying to pick an argument, either with an obviously ridiculous statement, or with a completely irrelevant and misleading one over which you've been practially chased out of town numerous times before.

Have a happy Sunday morning then...

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Offline TripleSeven

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #311 on: 08/05/2018 02:22 pm »
a guess is that in any point to point the numbers of crew to pax would be much smaller ...I am guessing maybe 1 for 20...

I dont think most people here grasp the enormity of the task...
Not forgetting that crew wages may drop below airline ones, if you count it per flight, due to flight rate.

if there is a future for "large" numbers of humans going into space; it really is not the airline model in my view, it is more like "offshore rig flying"

in 2003 I was finishing with my new employer ISO9000 safety certification,  my employer at the time had deals with Shell oil where they would trade "safety folks" for certification completion so I got to go to the MARS and URSA rigs off the LA coast

I knew about offshore flying of course, but how it worked was fascinating to me.  there was (and I assume still is) a safety training center in LA where everyone goes to 1) get certified to be on the rigs and 2) fly out in the choppers and 3) go out on the "crew boats"

the training is two weeks, includes a rather complete medical, including seriousEKG stuff and of course the water survival training.  I was ex military but that didnt matter, one went through the entire course.  the hotel was nice, got a lot of LA chow and well at the end of it was all ready to go. I could fight fires, get out from a helo that was 15 feet (yes) underwater and, do all the rig safety stuff...

so then I went down to Port Fourchon and got in line, they did a mass check of me and my bags, looked at my card and I got on the helicopter.   when we got to the rig they took us "right to" the four hour "rig course" we meet the "company man" and the "tool pusher" and got our outfits, bunks and wow what a fun four weeks it was

If there is a future in space for humans (and its unclear now there is) my view is if we are lucky it will look like that. 

I am 52.  And plan on another 40 at least.  I dont expect to see "airline style" passenger flights in my lifetime :) or :(  but I hope there is something like this...in maybe oh 5 years

Offline john smith 19

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #312 on: 08/05/2018 02:23 pm »
Cessna has "actual flight hardware in actual use and regulatory approval to do what it's planning to do" and yet you don't see them producing videos about how their next model will be an orbital-class manned transport.
Perhaps because they are not planning on making such a vehicle?
Quote from: meekGee
VG is now 20 years into their development of a minimal suborbital vehicle that can't even make 100 km, and not for lack of trying.
Perhaps you can remind me how many fully crewed 2 stage sub orbital aerospace planes have ever been built?

OTOH a VTO TSTO LOX/Kero ELV has been done between 20-40 times before SX built F1.

Has VG's progress been under impressive? Yes. The same could be said of SX's upper stage recovery and reusability.  Then again if you're committed to not sticking wings on it....

BTW VG was formed in 2004, 14 years ago, not twenty.

Quote from: meekGee
In that time frame SpaceX happened, and even BO is regularly shooting their capaule into suborbit, and actually does have enough cred at this point to at least make claims of future glory.

Then I will be cheering for all 3 of them as they make their way to orbit, or sub orbit with actual fare paying passengers.

Sometime in the next 10 years there will be exciting times ahead.  :)
MCT ITS BFR SS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFSC engined CFRP SS structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of Earth & Mars atmospheric flight.First flight to Mars by end of 2022 2027?. T&C apply. Trust nothing. Run your own #s "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" R. Simberg."Competitve" means cheaper ¬cheap SCramjet proposed 1956. First +ve thrust 2004. US R&D spend to date > $10Bn. #deployed designs. Zero.

Offline TripleSeven

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #313 on: 08/05/2018 02:27 pm »
Coastal Ron had in my view one of the best comments here

"As designed, the BFS would not have windows to look out of during a flight like Virgin Galactic offers, and if you've flown on any short airline trips you'll know that 20 minutes is not very much time. "

exactly.  thats about the time of the cruise phase from say Dallas to San Antonio...

few here seem to grasp 1) the issue of price point 2) the shape of the passengers after a 3 g climb up the hill and then sudden micro g and 3) the demands those people are going to put on a cabin crew.
Yes. It's looking as if James Follett's 1997 novel "Sabre"
 was quite accurate in what a space plane (orbital or sub orbital) P2P trip would be like.

I just got it on Kindle...thanks to you.  the thumbnail sounds like a sort of Airport movie...what was the one where Lee Majors (not airport) was a pilot on a HST and they did a lot of strange things :)

Offline spacenut

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #314 on: 08/05/2018 02:52 pm »
The topic was how BFR earth to earth might get started.  As I stated, it would be cargo first, probably for the military, maybe medical supplies, but only to a base or landing pad that has access to natural gas for methane refueling to get back to orbit empty.  It can refuel in orbit to land back at the proper landing site.  Once landing zones have been established around the world, then point to point for emergency cargo and medicines would begin, later once safety has been established passengers. 

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #315 on: 08/05/2018 03:15 pm »
The topic was how BFR earth to earth might get started.  As I stated, it would be cargo first, probably for the military, maybe medical supplies...

The U.S. military already has the best military logistics system in the world, so I'm having trouble understanding how medical supplies would be in such large demand for P2P transportation. And since medical supplies are not in high demand during peace time, that only leaves disaster assistance and war as the two periods of time that additional supplies would merit such fast (and expensive) transportation.

Do you have some scenarios in mind for this?

Quote
...but only to a base or landing pad that has access to natural gas for methane refueling to get back to orbit empty.  It can refuel in orbit to land back at the proper landing site.  Once landing zones have been established around the world, then point to point for emergency cargo and medicines would begin, later once safety has been established passengers.

A BFR taking off is going to be easy pickings for any semi-sophisticated military, and even for a lot of insurgents. I think BFR's will be kept well clear of any areas of conflict.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline speedevil

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #316 on: 08/05/2018 04:13 pm »
A BFR taking off is going to be easy pickings for any semi-sophisticated military, and even for a lot of insurgents. I think BFR's will be kept well clear of any areas of conflict.
Maybe.
An overflight, descending to mach 3/120000ft,  with 120 tons of supplies that is then dropped off, burn 30 tons of fuel to pop back up ballistically with a landing 200km downrange - possibly on a sea platform - or established secure area would be somewhat plausible, and very hard to kill for any but the best equipped.

It would of course require development of suitable capsules, or other hardware, but that is another question.

Offline su27k

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #317 on: 08/05/2018 04:43 pm »
in any sort of point to point at least for a very long time there will be 1) significant numbers of the passengers "sick" during the powered flight and during the transition to micro g...2) more will get sick as the micro g goes on and 3) during the  climb and descent there will be zero chance of any cabin crew member helping anyone who does get sick

only a fool would allow passengers to unstrap during those 20 minutes...

the cabin crew numbers in the transport category world are there has to be 1 over 23 people and for every 50 after that...

a guess is that in any point to point the numbers of crew to pax would be much smaller ...I am guessing maybe 1 for 20...

I dont think most people here grasp the enormity of the task...

Well I think we'll have a nice demonstration of this hopefully next year, when New Shepard starts flying passengers. Remember New Shepard has: 1) similar g-load to BFS 2) no cabin crew 3) fairly short training (1 day) 4) allows passengers to floating around in zero-g.
« Last Edit: 08/05/2018 04:47 pm by su27k »

Offline TripleSeven

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #318 on: 08/05/2018 04:52 pm »
in any sort of point to point at least for a very long time there will be 1) significant numbers of the passengers "sick" during the powered flight and during the transition to micro g...2) more will get sick as the micro g goes on and 3) during the  climb and descent there will be zero chance of any cabin crew member helping anyone who does get sick

only a fool would allow passengers to unstrap during those 20 minutes...

the cabin crew numbers in the transport category world are there has to be 1 over 23 people and for every 50 after that...

a guess is that in any point to point the numbers of crew to pax would be much smaller ...I am guessing maybe 1 for 20...

I dont think most people here grasp the enormity of the task...

Well I think we'll have a nice demonstration of this hopefully next year, when New Shepard starts flying passengers. Remember New Shepard has: 1) similar g-load to BFS 2) no cabin crew 3) fairly short training (1 day) 4) allows passengers to floating around in zero-g.

yes I will be curious to see how that works out

the training while short no doubt will include some serious medical "checks" (or have them before) to make sure that no one as we call it "checks out" on them during the flight (a real downer for the well heeled people who are along for the ride)  AND I bet there is some "cabin crew"...ie is it just going to be X number of ride alongs or will there be X plus someone in charge from BO?

if its the latter, that person is the cabin crew :)

I will be curious to see what their experience is with this. 


Offline john smith 19

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Re: How BFR Earth-to-Earth Might Actually Get Started
« Reply #319 on: 08/05/2018 07:05 pm »
Coastal Ron had in my view one of the best comments here

"As designed, the BFS would not have windows to look out of during a flight like Virgin Galactic offers, and if you've flown on any short airline trips you'll know that 20 minutes is not very much time. "

exactly.  thats about the time of the cruise phase from say Dallas to San Antonio...

few here seem to grasp 1) the issue of price point 2) the shape of the passengers after a 3 g climb up the hill and then sudden micro g and 3) the demands those people are going to put on a cabin crew.
Yes. It's looking as if James Follett's 1997 novel "Sabre"
 was quite accurate in what a space plane (orbital or sub orbital) P2P trip would be like.

I just got it on Kindle...thanks to you.  the thumbnail sounds like a sort of Airport movie...what was the one where Lee Majors (not airport) was a pilot on a HST and they did a lot of strange things :)
The film you're talking about is  "Starflight One" made in 1983, where the HST achieves orbit, but (being an HST) lacks the TPS to survive re-entry. Yes it's grossly implausible, but it is a neat puzzle. And leaving Earth's atmosphere is considerably easier than coming back, as SX's efforts at US recovery have demonstrated.

Actually SABRE is about an orbital plane, a single stage HTOL vehicle (loosely) modeled on Reaction Engines Skylon. There's quite a lot going on but I'll skip the details. Given that it's 20 years old I don't think it feels particularly dated. I do think it works because it's less about the technology and more about how the people act, and react, to it, as most good SF is.

Returning to the topic of this thread there are several stages of issues that would need to be worked through, starting with ITAR, given it's flight profiles resemblance to an ICBM and its advanced engine design (The fact no one in their right mind has designed an ICBM with LOX as the oxidizer since the early 60's at latest is irrelevant. Rules are rules).
You might sidestep that by offering P2P within the US (Washington DC to anywhere would butter up the politicians.  NYC to LA  & vice versa?  NYC is close to 8000 Km from Hawaii so that might be a possibility).

But now you're talking FAA rules on "Spaceflight Participants" (you don't get astronaut wings).

My instinct is it will be on SX to prove it's safe.  I'd expect that means
a) Cargo first
b) A carrier who is comfortable with an (initially) unknown failure rate and at the very least substantially increased risk of failure.

But who has cargo like that? Something it's worth working pretty hard to deliver much faster, but is replaceable if anything goes wrong?

I know SX are aiming to make BFR substantially more safer than current ELV's/semi RLV's but to take a random example let's consider Concorde.

Roughly speaking from Kitty Hawk to Concorde was from 1903-1963. That encompassed 3 shifts in materials (wood/fabric -->metal frame/fabric --> metal frame/skin), multiple versions of the internal combustion engine (then shifting to gas turbines) and 2 World Wars to help accelerate progress through military spending.

What is that ? 10 generations of aircraft? Each one gradually improving passenger safety, bearing in mind the first commercial passenger carriers didn't start till the early 20's

While I can accept a fully reusable LV could (should?) be safer than a semi or fully expendable I have real trouble believing it will hit modern airline safety levels. We simply don't really know what the problems are that make upper stages fail. We know about the ones we've got telemetry for, because those are the ones we expected  to be a problem in the first place.

This suggests a lengthy test programme.

I believe there is a surprisingly large market for very fast P2P transport that will pay Executive ticket prices for the reduction in time. but

I don't believe most of them are prepared to play Russian roulette with their lives (although they might with their employees, if they thought they were expendable enough*)  :(

So SX will have to demonstrate it's got a rock solid safety record before such people start putting money down.

*"I don't gamble with my life. I'd rather gamble with yours" as Ice Cubes character puts it in XXX 2. Sorry if that sounds a little callus.
« Last Edit: 08/05/2018 07:14 pm by john smith 19 »
MCT ITS BFR SS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFSC engined CFRP SS structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of Earth & Mars atmospheric flight.First flight to Mars by end of 2022 2027?. T&C apply. Trust nothing. Run your own #s "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" R. Simberg."Competitve" means cheaper ¬cheap SCramjet proposed 1956. First +ve thrust 2004. US R&D spend to date > $10Bn. #deployed designs. Zero.

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