Author Topic: Countdown to new smallsat launchers  (Read 338600 times)

Online HVM

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1020 on: 09/21/2022 06:24 pm »
Is this the famous Kiwi banter:

Offline c4fusion

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1021 on: 09/22/2022 10:47 am »
Is this the famous Kiwi banter:

Just a bit surprised that there is no mention of ABL since that is other company that is most likely to launch this year.  Maybe not considered a threat?

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1022 on: 09/24/2022 11:56 am »
There are quite few Euporean small LVs in development, enough to expect a few make to launch pad.

https://twitter.com/AndrewParsonson/status/1573567925243486208?t=FdHPKzpvzTVGuKyx5jgXIw&s=19

Offline DeimosDream

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1023 on: 09/24/2022 01:08 pm »
Is this the famous Kiwi banter:

Just a bit surprised that there is no mention of ABL since that is other company that is most likely to launch this year.  Maybe not considered a threat?

That did seem odd in a small-lift context, but Firefly and Relativity have plans for medium lift rockets that will compete with Neutron. Dumping on their small-liflt designs felt like a cheap shot, but hey, marketing.

The other pair, Astra and Virgin Orbital, have made orbit and of course had to be acknowledged.

Offline Vultur

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1024 on: 09/26/2022 05:10 pm »
So there are 3 that might launch in the next 2 months? Firefly, ABL, and Terran?

Offline PM3

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1025 on: 09/26/2022 05:30 pm »
So there are 3 that might launch in the next 2 months? Firefly, ABL, and Terran?

Terran won't launch this year, no matter what nonsense launch dates their PR department  is publishing. Launch NET Q2 2023 IMHO. But Chinese Kuaizhou-11 and Jielong-3 might launch soon.
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Offline Vultur

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1026 on: 09/26/2022 05:56 pm »
Why not Terran (specifically vs ABL - Firefly's prior launch attempt I can see making them more likely)?

Offline PM3

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1027 on: 09/26/2022 07:40 pm »
Why not Terran (specifically vs ABL - Firefly's prior launch attempt I can see making them more likely)?

Take a look at the first post on this page. And please use this thread to discuss the Terran 1 launch.
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Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1028 on: 10/01/2022 08:41 am »
https://twitter.com/cosmic_penguin/status/1576129460755054592

Quote
Private orbital LSPs started in the 2010s reaching orbit:
1. @RocketLab Electron (2018/01/21)
2. @VirginOrbit LauncherOne (2021/01/17)
3. @Astra Rocket 3.x (2021/11/20)
4. @Firefly_Space Alpha (2022/10/01)
a. iSpace Hyperbola-1 (2019/07/25)
b. Galactic Energy Ceres-1 (2020/11/07)

Offline Vultur

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1029 on: 10/03/2022 06:21 pm »
Firefly joins the club, is ABL up next?

Offline PM3

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1030 on: 10/04/2022 10:21 am »
Firefly joins the club, is ABL up next?

When you scroll up to the top of this page, you will always find an up-to-date small launcher schedule. ABL is most likely the next commercial inaugural launch, presuming they are granted a launch license and there is no surprise by Chinese Kuaizhou-11.

[Edit:] Some old post in this thread was deleted. This shifted all the last three schedule posts to the end of the previous page. The current one is now here.

[Another edit:] The small launcher history and schedule is now maintained in a separate thread: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=57429.0
« Last Edit: 10/20/2022 08:03 am by PM3 »
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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1031 on: 10/19/2022 04:31 pm »
Re lower entry price point for 50kg payloads on F9 rideshare:

https://twitter.com/spaceabhi/status/1582770402488504321

Quote
This is yet another direct blow to all small and medium size rocket startups.  Most will go out of business as their TAM [Total Available Market] shrinks further.  Payloads will re-orient strategies to take advantage of rideshare costs, first on F9 and later on Starship.

Offline edzieba

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1032 on: 10/19/2022 05:38 pm »
Re lower entry price point for 50kg payloads on F9 rideshare:

https://twitter.com/spaceabhi/status/1582770402488504321

Quote
This is yet another direct blow to all small and medium size rocket startups.  Most will go out of business as their TAM [Total Available Market] shrinks further.  Payloads will re-orient strategies to take advantage of rideshare costs, first on F9 and later on Starship.
The same cries of imminent sky-falling were made when the Transport rideshares were announced (reiterating the same doom-and-gloom from when SSA-A was announced in 2015). The bottom has resolutely continued to fail to fall out of the dedicated small launch market, because small launch customers are not using price-per-unit mass alone for choosing their launches. For example, their satellites actually need to get to their desired target orbit, of which Transporter missions offer only a limited selection and limited launch opportunities.

Offline trimeta

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1033 on: 10/19/2022 06:32 pm »
Re lower entry price point for 50kg payloads on F9 rideshare:

https://twitter.com/spaceabhi/status/1582770402488504321

Quote
This is yet another direct blow to all small and medium size rocket startups.  Most will go out of business as their TAM [Total Available Market] shrinks further.  Payloads will re-orient strategies to take advantage of rideshare costs, first on F9 and later on Starship.
The same cries of imminent sky-falling were made when the Transport rideshares were announced (reiterating the same doom-and-gloom from when SSA-A was announced in 2015). The bottom has resolutely continued to fail to fall out of the dedicated small launch market, because small launch customers are not using price-per-unit mass alone for choosing their launches. For example, their satellites actually need to get to their desired target orbit, of which Transporter missions offer only a limited selection and limited launch opportunities.
That said, there's a reason that Rocket Lab (for example) designed Electron to launch weekly, but now their goal is launching twice a month by the end of Q4 2024. As Peter Beck himself has said, their cadence is limited by demand. So anything that lowers demand reduces the number of companies which can break even selling launch.

There will likely remain enough demand for at least one company to find it worthwhile to serve this segment (if only for the free launches to test hardware for their spacecraft components business), but it's looking less and less likely there's room for a second provider, let alone a third or fourth.

Offline Asteroza

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1034 on: 10/19/2022 11:35 pm »
Re lower entry price point for 50kg payloads on F9 rideshare:

https://twitter.com/spaceabhi/status/1582770402488504321

Quote
This is yet another direct blow to all small and medium size rocket startups.  Most will go out of business as their TAM [Total Available Market] shrinks further.  Payloads will re-orient strategies to take advantage of rideshare costs, first on F9 and later on Starship.
The same cries of imminent sky-falling were made when the Transport rideshares were announced (reiterating the same doom-and-gloom from when SSA-A was announced in 2015). The bottom has resolutely continued to fail to fall out of the dedicated small launch market, because small launch customers are not using price-per-unit mass alone for choosing their launches. For example, their satellites actually need to get to their desired target orbit, of which Transporter missions offer only a limited selection and limited launch opportunities.

I would argue the lack of "off the shelf" OTV services compatible with Transporter rideshare ports was limiting the exodus of small payloads due to specific orbit requirements of the individual customers. With now at least 2 Transporter mission compatible OTV's available and more soon, the previous thinking no longer applies (though that was dependent on commercial OTV availability and not simpler/easier chances to ride on Transporter in a more ad hoc/slot available manner by not having to be grouped with others into a larger port mounted dispenser first).

This announcement seems to be more a symptom of payload cat herding dragging payload launch dates due to dispenser filling (so a substantial to SpaceX determined number of sats that are ready to fly but waiting on others in a grouping), so trying to be more customer-centric from SpaceX's perspective (which operates a bus, not a paratransit van).

Online niwax

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1035 on: 10/20/2022 12:25 am »
Re lower entry price point for 50kg payloads on F9 rideshare:

https://twitter.com/spaceabhi/status/1582770402488504321

Quote
This is yet another direct blow to all small and medium size rocket startups.  Most will go out of business as their TAM [Total Available Market] shrinks further.  Payloads will re-orient strategies to take advantage of rideshare costs, first on F9 and later on Starship.
The same cries of imminent sky-falling were made when the Transport rideshares were announced (reiterating the same doom-and-gloom from when SSA-A was announced in 2015). The bottom has resolutely continued to fail to fall out of the dedicated small launch market, because small launch customers are not using price-per-unit mass alone for choosing their launches. For example, their satellites actually need to get to their desired target orbit, of which Transporter missions offer only a limited selection and limited launch opportunities.
That said, there's a reason that Rocket Lab (for example) designed Electron to launch weekly, but now their goal is launching twice a month by the end of Q4 2024. As Peter Beck himself has said, their cadence is limited by demand. So anything that lowers demand reduces the number of companies which can break even selling launch.

There will likely remain enough demand for at least one company to find it worthwhile to serve this segment (if only for the free launches to test hardware for their spacecraft components business), but it's looking less and less likely there's room for a second provider, let alone a third or fourth.

Transporter 1 alone had about as many payloads as Electron in its entire life. Since then, each Transporter has carried more than the entire small launch industry that year combined, except SpaceX flies four of them. While there might well be a market for the occasional dedicated launch, they will always be at the disadvantage of low volume, which increases prices, which lowers volume...
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1036 on: 10/20/2022 12:59 am »
On the other hand, SpaceX's rideshare program gives a toe in the door for smallsat companies. F9 is a known quantity to investors. That creates permission for smallsats to be developed. That creates a certain volume for the smallsat industry overall. Which dedicated smallsat launchers can then upsell.

It's going to weed out the uncompetitive all-expendable smallsat launchers, but there's room for reusable ones, like Stoke, who should easily be able to beat the F9 rideshare price.
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Online DanClemmensen

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1037 on: 10/20/2022 01:46 am »
On the other hand, SpaceX's rideshare program gives a toe in the door for smallsat companies. F9 is a known quantity to investors. That creates permission for smallsats to be developed. That creates a certain volume for the smallsat industry overall. Which dedicated smallsat launchers can then upsell.

It's going to weed out the uncompetitive all-expendable smallsat launchers, but there's room for reusable ones, like Stoke, who should easily be able to beat the F9 rideshare price.
But they will not be competing against F9 rideshare. They will compete against Starship rideshare. SpaceX can substitute a rideshare dispenser for a single one of the 27 pairs of Starlink V2.0 in the Pez dispenser. That's more than 3 tonnes, so call it 2 tonnes of smallsats and one tonne of dispenser.

Offline M.E.T.

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1038 on: 10/20/2022 02:04 am »
The small launch industry is not viable. Period.

The bottom is not about to fall out. It already fell out when Electron lost ~80% of its market to SpaceX rideshare offerings and RL had to replace it with the hastily developed Neutron concept rocket.

Electron flying a dozen times a year at $7M revenue per launch is not a viable business. And at the moment they’re not even achieving that.

All small launchers are doomed - other than ones that are artificially kept alive by very limited government dedicated launch needs.

Ask yourself - if Neutron operates as claimed, will RL keep Electron alive? Does it warrant the ongoing cost? It is a very difficult financial case to make.



« Last Edit: 10/20/2022 02:06 am by M.E.T. »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Countdown to new smallsat launchers
« Reply #1039 on: 10/20/2022 03:07 am »
On the other hand, SpaceX's rideshare program gives a toe in the door for smallsat companies. F9 is a known quantity to investors. That creates permission for smallsats to be developed. That creates a certain volume for the smallsat industry overall. Which dedicated smallsat launchers can then upsell.

It's going to weed out the uncompetitive all-expendable smallsat launchers, but there's room for reusable ones, like Stoke, who should easily be able to beat the F9 rideshare price.
But they will not be competing against F9 rideshare. They will compete against Starship rideshare. SpaceX can substitute a rideshare dispenser for a single one of the 27 pairs of Starlink V2.0 in the Pez dispenser. That's more than 3 tonnes, so call it 2 tonnes of smallsats and one tonne of dispenser.
Yeah, but Starship won't be smooth and operational right away. May take a few years to get to F9 level of reliability, etc. I say about 5 years. So overall, I agree, but there's still room for a fully reusable medium/smallsat launcher like Stoke to compete with Starship rideshare.
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