Author Topic: Predictions 2020  (Read 23526 times)

Offline scienceguy

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Predictions 2020
« on: 11/01/2019 04:22 pm »
It's that time of year again. What will happen in spaceflight next year?

Link to 2019 thread:

Predictions for spaceflight 2020

Evidence of a nitrogen and carbon dioxide atmosphere found at an extrasolar planet

Starship Hopper hops twice, each time higher than before

SpaceX reaches orbit at least 6 times with Falcon 9 and one time with Falcon Heavy

SpaceX will start taking astronauts to the ISS

NASA’s Mars 2020 rover suffers some mishap, technical or political, that delays its launch till the next launch window

NASA’s Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 both keep transmitting

NASA’s Curiosity rover gets stuck somewhere, due to terrain or wheel failure. Engineers figure it out and the rover is soon mobile again.

ESA’s ExoMars rover launches without incident

Virgin Orbit/Galactic will start taking paying passengers into space

Blue Origin will do exactly the opposite of what I predict for them

Blue Origin will launch people into space before the end of the year

A large meteor will burn up over Canada. It will be caught on video

Elon Musk will get a NASA Spaceflight account, but not post much because of a barrage of questions

There will be some kind of technology breakthrough that will really help spaceflight

edit: adjusted prediction for Falcon Heavy number of launches
« Last Edit: 12/05/2019 04:58 pm by scienceguy »
e^(pi*i) = -1

Offline Broken_Soap

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Re: Predictions 2020
« Reply #1 on: 11/03/2019 02:24 pm »
Alright here's my version


-Falcon 9 will fly roughly 20 times, 7 of which will be Starlink launches, with 2 of these launches being 4th reflights
-DM-2 will fly in April on an almost perfect mission
-Falcon Heavy will only fly once just before the end of the year
-Starship prototype Mk1 will fly it's 20 km test flight in January but it will have a major failiure of some kind
-Mk2 will fly a similar test flight in April and it will be succesful
-The Mk3 and Mk4 prototypes will finish construction in Q3/4 and they will start performing high altitude suborbital flight tests near the end of the year


-Commercial crew will first fly crew with DM-2 in April and Starliner CFT will fly in June
-Mars 2020 will launch to Mars with no issues
-Artemis lunar landers will only get some of the money NASA requested for 2024 and NASA will be forced to downselect to only one contractor
-SLS CS-1 will perform the Green run hotfire test in April with no major issue and will ship to KSC in August with Artemis 1 rolling out to the pad for pre-flight testing just before the end of the year
-Artemis 1 Orion will return to KSC from Ohio in March and will be stacked on SLS in October
-ISS will keep operating in orbit as usual
-JWST will remain roughly on track for it's March 2021 launch
-OSIRIS-REx will succesfully collect a sample from asteroid Bennu
-InSight will not manage to get it's heat probe working


-All Atlas and Delta flights will be succesful
-Vulcan will win NSSL funding as well as SpaceX but it will slip a little bit because of delays with the BE-4

-Blue Origin

-New Sheppard will finally fly people into space near June
-New Glenn will slip to early 2022 but there will be progress even though Blue Origin won't tell anyone about it
-New Glenn will not get an NSSL contract


-Long March 5 will return to flight in January and it will launch China's Mars rover in the summer
-Chang'e 5 will launch near the end of the year but it won't land until 2021
-In total there will be over 25 Chinese launches


-There will be another Soyuz launch failiure
-Angara A5 will fly again in Q2
-Nauka will slip into 2021 but it will be finally be sent to the launch site by the end of the year


-ExoMars 2020 will have an uneventful launch to Mars
-Ariane 5 will have a partial failiure to inject a satelite to GTO but it will be able to compensate
-Vega will return to flight
-Vega C will fly for the first time but Ariane 6 will slip into early 2021
« Last Edit: 11/03/2019 02:32 pm by Broken_Soap »

Offline niwax

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Re: Predictions 2020
« Reply #2 on: 11/03/2019 03:40 pm »
Let's see...

Falcon 9 will break 20 launches with at least 20 successes

Starship will achieve orbit before the end of Q3

Starship will land from orbit or at least successfully simulate a water landing

Both CC providers will fly meat but NASA will still be in a political mess over Soyuz seats

A Starlink product with pricing will be announced before the end of Q3

Select customers will have Starlink access

Elon Musk will present a future plan either at IAC or with Maezawa

Both BO and Virgin tourist offerings will get pushed to Q4 at the earliest

There will be at most one tourist flight and it will be explicitly presented as experimental

Vector or its former CEO will come back with something space related and just as dodgy

BO will announce another concept, either lander, rocket configuration or tourist product

SpaceX will fly a rideshare in H2

EELV2 contracts will be awarded with old vehicles expected to fly some missions

Vulcan development will continue on track

SLS won't

Starship will appear in an official NASA presentation
Which booster has the most soot? SpaceX booster launch history! (discussion)

Offline Falcon H

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Re: Predictions 2020
« Reply #3 on: 11/03/2019 06:10 pm »

- The passenger variant of Starship will loose its giant window.
- At least one major design change will happen.
- The first flight of MK I will be in 2020.

Blue Origin

- There is a good chance that New Sheppard will be shelved.
- There will be a Blue Moon style unveiling of some New Armstrong models late 2020. No actual hardware will be seen. I am 100% certain that New Armstrong will be unveiled before the first New Glen flight.


- SLS will slip but survive. It is immortal.

Small Sat Stuff

- Firefly will not reach orbit.
- Virgin Orbit will reach orbit.

Offline cro-magnon gramps

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Re: Predictions 2020
« Reply #4 on: 11/04/2019 02:05 am »
2 starlink flights will happen before Dec 31st 2019
4 minimum flights are required for coverage over the Northern US/Southern Canada. by March 2nd.
The ground stations along the Northern US border will be vetted and licensed by end of first quarter.
After testing the satellites, people in those areas will be offered Receivers/Transmitters at about 200 dollars US and a "plan" at competitive prices with Land Base ISP. 75-80 dollars US and 60-100 dollars for Canadians. Effective starting date for first plans: April 20th 2020 (4 20 20 20) He may announce it on a Joe Rogan Podcast, or with Tim Dodd :)

Star Ships Mk 3-4-5 and Super Heavy will launch multiple times, separately. Only at pad 39a will they launch together. This will be in the first 5 months, And Mk 6 will launch on a Super Heavy, in June - July, Super Heavy will land, and Star Ship will orbit at least 10 times and return. Again from Pad 39a. This is not because of Boca Chica Village. This will be because of the environmental habitats and the other pressures on the FAA.  Musk will keep his cool, but announce an alternative sometime in the 3rd quarter to be initiated in the first quarter of 2021.

At some time in the Summer Musk will announce a launch to GSO, with an accelerated return, to simulate a hot reentry to test the heat shield and EDL at 1/2 the speed of a Moon return... There may be some primitive experiments in orbital refueling prior to this... then a full up demonstration for the GSO launch.

The NASA Admin. will again be prodded into complaining about SS/SHB. Which reminds me, Crew Dragon will finally take crew to the ISS once in a demo mission, and once on an operational mission.

In his Fall presentation, Musk will unveil an interior shot of the Star Ship, that will take the first astronauts into space the following year. There will be either images or actual proto type vehicles from SpaceX for roving on Mars and the Moon. There will be more details of the first 2 ships to land on the Moon and Mars in 2022, what they will carry and the plans for what they will do. He may mention a Lunar Base, but only as a testing ground for Mars. It will be low key. He could be prodded into discussing the base's energy sources. But I'm certain the BIG reveal will come in 2021...

Starlink will make only enough of the launches to cover the populate centers, due to politics delaying the flights...

Musk will announce satellite vendors with contracts for the SS/SHB to fly in 2021. As well as a NASA mission to send a number of robotic probs, build by SpaceX in conjunction with NASA, out to the Kuiper Belt Objects, in 2026.

Early infrastructure development for ISRU production of Methane and Lox, will start to appear at Boca Chica and Pad 39a. Musk will announce that it will be in production the following year, and of course no one will believe him on any of this LOL... In fact everything I have written, if he announces it, will be called out, by the experts in the media. My point is, that as we get closer and closer to any mission or missions, with SS/SHB, or the implementation of Starlink, the pace of announcements has to pick up.

There will be more announcements of cross over innovations from his other companies to SpaceX infrastructure on Earth and in Space: Tesla A.I., Fully Autonomous Self Driving, Battery Storage and Solar Panels, Neuralink, The Boring Co.  This will fuel more speculation and rumors on his tweet this year, about Area 59...
Gramps "Earthling by Birth, Martian by the grace of The Elon." ~ "Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but it has not solved one yet." Maya Angelou ~ Tony Benn: "Hope is the fuel of progress and fear is the prison in which you put yourself."

Offline jebbo

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Re: Predictions 2020
« Reply #5 on: 11/04/2019 08:47 am »
100+ orbital launch attempts worldwide.

SpaceX (edited post-mk1 "RUD")
-   >20 F9/FH launches
-   At least one booster achieves 5+ launches
-   At least one fairing half is reused for the 2nd time.
-   Starlink enters limited service (US only)
-   Starship manages a 20km belly-flop in Q4
-   No orbital Starship launches

Blue Origin
-   First crewed launch of New Shepard
-   Completion of LC-36
-   First New Glenn flight hardware seen
-   First hints of New Armstrong emerge (because of Artemis / lunar stuff)

Artemis / Lunar
-   Artemis 1 slips to 2021
-   Increased commercial involvement

Other US
-   Rocket Labs successfully catch a booster
-   LauncherOne first launch attempt

-   First Ariane 6 launch
-   Commit to a reusable ArianeNEXT (possibly in 2019 at Ministerial Council)

-   40+ launches
-   Long March 5B flights resume in Q1
-   Chang’e 5 launches successfully
-   More progress on reuse (no successful landing but boost-back/landing burns; legs fitted)

-   Iran finally launch successfully

-   I’m not making any detailed exoplanet predictions, but TESS discoveries continue and CHEOPS refines the mass/radius/density relationship
-   LIGO adds the Japanese Kagra instrument and detects at least 1 NS-NS merger with an EM counterpart

« Last Edit: 11/22/2019 07:09 am by jebbo »

Offline Tobias_Corbett

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Re: Predictions 2020
« Reply #6 on: 11/04/2019 09:59 am »
Ive never done one of these and I don't think my predictions will be very accurate but it seems like fun so I'll give it a go.

- Atleast two of the artists scheduled to fly on DearMoon are offcially confirmed and announced.
- SpaceX DM-2 flies with crew in Q1, USCV-1 flies Expedition 63/64 crew to station in June.
- First commercial payload to fly on SS/SH officially announced.
- Starships Mk1 and Mk2 fly suborbital hops.
- Starships Mk3 and Mk4 complete construction.
- First Super Heavy booster completes construction.
- Another private DearMoon like (but not DearMoon) SS/SH lunar flyby is booked for launch in 2024.

- NASA officaly secures atleast one payload on a future SS/SH flight.
- Rumours of NASA seriously considering Starship for future Lunar/Martian crewed missions start to circulate.
- Towards the end of the year the agency starts the early stages of selecting the 23rd Astronaut group.

- Tianhe 1 successfully launches.
- Shenzhou 12 crew launches to the station, followed by Shenzhou 13 later in the year, both flying 30-60 day missions.
- Permanant habitation of Chinese Space Station starts Q4 2020 with the docking of Shenzhou 14
- Chang'e 5 launches on sample return mission to the Moon.

- First launch from Wallops LC-2 successful.
- A location for LC-3 is selected.
- Progress towards booster recovery continues.
- First booster recovered Q4, followed by the first reflight in 2021.

Virgin Orbit/Galactic
- Virgin Orbit flies first commercial flight (For NASA's ELANA program).
- VSS Unity flies first commercial customers on spaceflight.
- Second SpaceShip Two is offcially named Q1 or 2 and begins flight testing in November or December.

- ISRO continues planning and development of Chandryaan 3, mission and spacecraft fundimentally changed and launch date moved up to 2021 following crash landing of Vikram.
- Chandryaan 4 begins to be planned, with a very similar mission plan to the current Chandryaan 3.

- Boe-CFT flies in Q1 or 2, followed by USCV-2 in Dec 2020 to Feb 2021.
- New Sheapard flies crew for the first time, followed by paying passengers towards the end of the year or in 2021.
- One-three high profiles celebrities announce their intentions on securing flights to the ISS (or other stations) in the mid 2020s, several other wealthy people secure tickets aswell.

Online ZachS09

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Re: Predictions 2020
« Reply #7 on: 11/04/2019 11:37 pm »
I'm changing things up for my prediction posts. For this year, I'm going to lay out a random number of different predictions for almost every nation's space program and their subsections. Here we go.


27 Falcon 9 rockets are flown; 10 of which are Starlink missions.

3 Falcon Heavy rockets will be flown; AFSPC-52 will be one of the FH missions. Also, on the very next FH mission (#4), the center core will FINALLY be recovered safely without tipping over.

The Inflight Abort Test mission is a complete success with all the tracking cameras capturing every moment of the abort.

The DM-2 mission with Behnken and Hurley is extended to six months and the astronauts are launched to the ISS somewhere between March and April.

At least two atmospheric tests of Starship Mk.1 are conducted before Mk.2 does the last test of the year.


NASA begins to reconsider the status of Artemis and mulls over the possibility of relying solely on SpaceX's SH/SS stack for interplanetary missions, realizing that the billions of dollars spent on the Space Shuttle hardware composing of Artemis are a waste.

The Mars 2020 rover is launched on time towards the Red Planet (July 17), but the RD-180 shuts down one second early, forcing the Centaur to burn longer; however, the planned speed is achieved and the launch is constituted as a success.

After seeing Boeing and SpaceX conduct their Orbital and Crewed Flight Tests, NASA declares that they will NOT buy more Soyuz seats as they feel confident about the Crew Dragon and Starliner.


10 missions are flown within 2020; two of them are Delta IV Heavys.

The SMART package concept is dropped, having seen Rocket Lab and SpaceX recover first stage boosters in their entirety (I mean, why only recover the engines?).

With extra performance available on the maiden Vulcan flight, which is launching the Peregrine lander, ULA decides to use a Cygnus spacecraft as a primary payload (as seen on an earlier launch profile video; except it was showing an Atlas V).


Development of the Ariane 6 continues as planned.

Twelve missions will be flown; two are Vega-C, three are Vega, three are Soyuz, and the remaining four are Ariane 5. All are successful with no failures at all.


Eleven missions are flown; seven are PSLV, two are GSLV Mk.2, and the remaining two are GSLV Mk.3. Only one PSLV is a partial failure.

ISRO announces the first astronauts to be flown on their Gaganyaan spacecraft.


Twenty missions are flown successfully; eight of them fly from Wallops Island, and two of them involve the first stage boosters being recovered.


The Orbital Flight Test is a success with the parachute sequence during landing performing as planned (all three chutes deploying).

The Crewed Flight Test is also successful with Mike Fincke commanding the next ISS expedition after three of the Soyuz members leave.


Two New Shepard missions are flown with tourists onboard. On the second flight, one of the tourists vomits all over the place due to motion sickness.  ;D

More details on New Armstrong are announced.

The first New Glenn is launched somewhere between November and December; the first stage booster fails to stick the landing.


Four crewed ISS missions are flown using the new Soyuz-2 rocket.

Two Angara 5 missions and two Angara 1.2 rockets are launched. All of them are launched in secrecy; no live coverage.


Three Long March 5s are launched successfully; one of them carries Chang'e 5 to the Moon.

Shenzhou 12 is launched somewhere in the second quarter.

Two ESA astronauts are selected to each fly on subsequent Shenzhou missions.
« Last Edit: 11/18/2019 10:34 pm by ZachS09 »
Liftoff for St. Jude's! Go Dragon, Go Falcon, Godspeed Inspiration4!

Offline AndrewRG10

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Re: Predictions 2020
« Reply #8 on: 11/05/2019 12:32 am »
-  Mk1 lifts off successfully but suffers a failure with the flip manouver causing in a hard landing and the vehicle falling over after engine shut down.
- JRTI arrives at Cape Canaveral and first mission is SAOCOM 1b
- MK2 makes successful first flight. Does a second flight to altitude above 50km.
- Super Heavy construction begins
- First smallsat rideshare in March sees very limited amount of customers
- SpaceX awarded 60% of NSSL2
- Fifth flight of booster in Q2 Other fifth flight and a sixth flight in H2.
- Starship Super Heavy reaches orbit in late 2020
- Starlink enters service for the USA and Canada
- SpaceX suffers no landing failures for the first time since 2017

- ULA win 40% of NSSL2
- Mars 2020 launches successfully
- Vulcan remains on track and Tory releases info and pictures of nearly completed Vulcan scheduled for 2021

Ariane Space
- Vega returns to flight
- Ariane 6 suffers partial failure on first flight
- Ariane Recieves funding to develop a reusable technology concept rocket by 2026

- Long March 5 return to flight
- Tiangon 3 first module is launched
- Long March 3B suffers failure
- Grid fins seen on 40% of flights with a engine re-ignition test
- Change 5 launches perfectly

Rocket Lab
- First launch from LC-2
- After two splashdowns of Electron in Early 2020 and one in late 2019, the first attempt to catch the booster is a success
- Photon makes flight debut

Virgin Group
- Non-tourist demonstration flight suffers engine failure and achieves 50km apogee, no one hurt
- Launcher one achieves orbit on first try
- Richard Branson announces first tourist flight with him onboard will happen in 6 months

- First orbit attempt ends in failure following stage seperation
- Beta launch vehicle officially revealed
- Orbit attempt 2 is successful in December 2020

Blue Origin
- First tourists fly in July 2020
- New Glenn delayed to 2022
- New Armstrong announced
- Recieve contract to make lander for Artemis 3

Northrup Grumman
- Minotaur 4 suffers partial failure, no harm to NROL satellite
- OmegA has successful test fire, given a proper launch date
- Artemis Ascent stage revealed

- Angarra takes second flight in Early 2020
- Soyuz 2 suffers failure with OneWeb satellites
- Announcement and fullfunding for a return to Venus mission

- Dates announced for uncrewed flight of Gaganyaan. Manned Gaganyaan pushed to 2022
- GSLV MKIII suffers failure
- Vikram lander failure finally found in several pieces

- Insight fails to release heat probe
- Uncrewed Starliner in January
- DM-2 happens in April and spends a month in space
- Crewed flight in June
- Curiosity has half a wheel break, continues journey after 2 months of trouble shooting
- Juno's camera falls to the effects of radiation
- USCV-1 in August
- SLS Green run shut down early due to engine problem, recycle happens 2 months later
- Artemis 1 given mid 2021 launch date

- Nearly 200 Orbital launches
- Two dead satellites collide in LEO

Offline freddo411

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Re: Predictions 2020
« Reply #9 on: 11/05/2019 05:09 am »
It's groundhog day for predictions.   So similar to last year:

18 right out of 22

* JWST does not launch in 2020

* SLS does not launch in 2020.

* Ariane does not field a reusable rocket. 

* ULA does not field a reusable rocket. 

* Blue Origin does not launch an orbital rocket in 2020.

* 48 years after the end of Apollo program, no human will have gone beyond LEO.

* A Full scale Starship DOES launch to at least 20km in 2020.   * 12km, close, but no cigar on this one

* Falcon Heavy flies again *  not in 2020.

* Crew Dragon flies at least once

* Falcon 9 continues to fly more than Atlas V.  Falcon 9 reliability in 2020 is as perfect as Atlas V's.

* A reused F9 S1 will fly on it's fifth flight, and it's sixth flight.  Very happy to be right about this

* Starlink satellites #500 - ?? will reach orbit.   SX will demonstrate a limited, but functional Starlink service.  SX sets record for largest constellation, and becomes the largest operator of satellites in the world.  An ambitious prediction, but right on the mark

* SpaceX wins fewer Air Force contracts than it's competitors, despite their lower costs, and high demonstrated historic reliability, and existing launch hardware.  sadly correct on this

* Boeing flies a manned Starliner, it has problems (different than the MET timer and parachute connections), but NASA and Boeing put on smiles and call the mission a success. Nope, didn't even fly another unmanned SL.

* Rocket lab flies to orbit at least 6 times

* Rocket lab has success in it's reusable first stage development program.   Recovers a booster.   Stretch prediction: it reflies a first stage.  except for the stretch prediction

* Another small sat launcher flies successfully to orbit  C'mon guys ...  (not counting Chinese military companies)

* A small sat launcher fails to achieve an attempted orbital flight .

* A Russian rocket or spacecraft suffers a significant problem  Leaky ISS

* A European speaks out (again) against "subsidies" for SpaceX from the US government

* A European asks for (more) subsidies for Ariane from European states.

* Ariane launches 5 or fewer rockets ( not including VEGA or soyuz)

« Last Edit: 12/11/2020 04:57 pm by freddo411 »

Offline high road

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Re: Predictions 2020
« Reply #10 on: 11/06/2019 07:16 am »
- Smallsat launcher companies that didn't launch in 2019 see very limited action in 2020.
- Rocket lab continues to increase their launch rate.
- SpaceX doesn't bother enough with dedicated smallsat launches to put anyone at risk of going out of business. Not enough revenue for the extra effort.
- few space tourists are launched in 2020, if any at all.

- ULA continues to be the only company with a significantly reduced number of launches since the dawn of newspace. (Although I might include Arianespace if they don't get their missions planned for 2019 off the ground in the next two months). --> okay, including Arianespace now. Don't know how much of that is due to the Vega launch failure.
« Last Edit: 12/10/2019 12:59 pm by high road »

Offline woods170

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Re: Predictions 2020
« Reply #11 on: 11/06/2019 08:30 am »
I predict that most predictions here will turn out to be wrong.

Offline Toast

Re: Predictions 2020
« Reply #12 on: 11/06/2019 04:02 pm »
I predict that most predictions here will turn out to be wrong.

As is tradition.

My predictions:
-Artemis I gets another delay.
-Russia has at least two launch failures.
-No space tourism launches from Blue Origin or Virgin Galactic.
-SpaceX loses at least one Starship prototype to failure, but successfully reaches orbit by end of year.

Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: Predictions 2020
« Reply #13 on: 11/06/2019 05:58 pm »
My 2019 predictions weren’t as good as my 2018 predictions.  Most of my misses were from being too optimistic on timelines for things to happen.  So here goes:

NASA planetary program
        Mars 2020 launches as planned.

Space Tourism
        Blue Origin  (everything a year later than last year’s predictions)
                Manned flights of New Shepard by end of Q2
                Jeff Bezos takes flight in Q3 to show customers ready
                Commercial flights with tourists start in Q4
                Jeff Bezos Offers Elon Musk a ride – Musk passes on opportunity
        Virgin Galactic
                Richard Branson takes flight in Q2
                First tourist flight in Q3

Commercial Crew
                Demo 2 with crew on board flies by end of April
                One crew rotation flight by end of year
                Crewed test flight pushed to October and successful

        Production contracts SLS including EUS move forward
        Stays on schedule for 2021 launch

       Discuss with ESA possibility of bigger service module with greater Delta-V
       Will be ready for 2021 flight of Artemis 1

        Falcon 9 perfect record - One first stage gets to its fifth flight (finally in 2020)
        Two more Falcon Heavy launches
        Dragon - See above
                Steady development, but slower than expected
                Quiet discussions with NASA about possible alternative to SLS - specific Senator blows his top

Blue Origin
        New Glenn
                First stage prototype built and fit checked on launch pad that is not done
                Second stage details emerge - future version will be refuelable for Moon and beyond
        New Moon Lander
                Team with Lockheed, NGIS and Draper gets NASA funding

        All launches successful
        Vulcan development continues on schedule 

Small Launchers
        Virgin Orbit
                Two successful launches (prediction will finally happen in 2020)
        Rocket Lab
                Continues to grow (same prediction as last year)

        New owner moves forward with test flights of carrier aircraft
        Will remain very secretive about plans

Lunar landers
        NASA will fund initial development of both Blue Origin’s team and Boeing’s concept

        Commercial crew delivers astronauts on both Dragon & CST-100
        Outside of commercial crew little attention will be paid to ISS

        PPE development on schedule
        Minimal habitation module moves forward on schedule
        ESA starts developing Esprit module
        Russia - talk but still no agreement to contribute
Artemis Program
        NASA gets budget estimate and timeline to Congress by end of May
               Includes concepts for lunar surface operations and initial habitat 
        Development of Nuclear Thermal engine continues still eyeing 2024 in space test
        Concepts for Mars missions using Nuclear Thermal in 2030s come out by year’s end
                Concept includes leaving from Gateway to Mars
        SpaceX’s plan to send cargo version of Starship gets moved from 2022 to 2024

I'm predicting another optimistic year with lots of positive activity

Offline Bubbinski

Re: Predictions 2020
« Reply #14 on: 11/14/2019 12:58 am »
Okay here goes.

- The world geopolitical situation remains tense but won’t go completely pear shaped this year like I’d been expecting, so no space warfare, no huge debris belts. Yet.
- NASA budget stays about the same, the impeachment drama sucks all the oxygen out of the air on Capitol Hill so to speak, leaving no room for big budgetary decisions. It’s an election year so no big cuts or increases. Fireworks with budget or world situation wait till 2021.
- First commercial lunar landers will be flight-ready by the end of 2020.
- SLS aces its green run and will be almost flight-ready by the end of 2020, but there will be whispers from the winning presidential team and Congress about cancelling the program or cutting it down to only a few flights due to escalating costs and increasingly viable alternatives
- Starship makes it to orbit atop Super Heavy a week or two before Christmas next year. A timetable will be announced for crewed flights.
- Elon will announce another paying human customer for Starship (like I’d expected this year).
- SpaceX Falcon 9 will fly 20 flights, all successful. Falcon Heavy will fly once.
- DM-2 will send Americans back to space from US soil this spring, and will “capture the flag”. Boeing CFT follows 2-3 months later. USCV rotation flights operational by end of 2020
- Mars 2020 and the UAE Hope mission will launch successfully to Mars. The ExoMars will be delayed to 2022 due to parachute issues and the Chinese will also need till 2022 to be ready to launch their orbiter/rover
- Solar Orbiter launches successfully this coming February
- JWST will be near flight readiness by the end of 2020
- Rocketlab will launch from Wallops near the end of 2020 and will recover one rocket by end of year. 10-12 flights.
- 2-4 failed launches between Iran, China, and Russia. Crewed Soyuz missions will fly safely though.
- Another TESS exoplanet find will have water vapor in the habitable zone, size of planet will be close to Earth
- Rumors of the “L” word (past or present life) on Mars, Europa, or Enceladus will be widely bandied about in the astronomy/planetary science community by the time Thanksgiving/Christmas roll around next year.
- Curiosity has a successful year of science
- InSight mole gets partially unstuck and able to drill down a few feet but no more. Newly discovered properties of Martian soil are confirmed as culprit of mole issues, which is a big discovery in itself
- Osiris-Rex successfully collects a sample from Bennu after some initial problems
- Hayabusa2 successfully returns its sample from Ryugu to Earth late next year
- An exomoon is confirmed
- Virgin Galactic FINALLY starts commercial flights just before Christmas next year.
- Blue Origin makes one or two New Shepard crewed test flights but does not yet start commercial service. First New Glenn pathfinder is rolled out late in the year and there will be more buzz about that from the company
- Virgin Orbit makes its first test launch after New Year’s and flies at least one operational flight before the end of 2020.
- Stratolaunch sadly goes nowhere, the aircraft is acquired by the DoD for outsize transport work and research by DARPA
- Starlink initial operational capability by the end of the year for North America. Progress will be made toward easing concerns about orbital debris and effect on astronomy (new coatings on spacecraft, shorter orbital lifetimes, paring down of satellites needed, etc.)
- On a personal level, I’ll build and finish at least 2 space models and will make at least one launch trip.
« Last Edit: 11/14/2019 01:08 am by Bubbinski »
I'll even excitedly look forward to "flags and footprints" and suborbital missions. Just fly...somewhere.

Offline Wargrim

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Re: Predictions 2020
« Reply #15 on: 11/15/2019 01:54 pm »
My prediction for 2020: The NASA Inspector General gets moved to a new position because he is doing his job too well and is too public about facts that nobody wants to hear.

Offline jebbo

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Re: Predictions 2020
« Reply #16 on: 11/22/2019 07:11 am »
Edited my SpaceX predictions to seriously downgrade Starship progress (unstable design, unstable construction techniques, poor quality control ==> no orbital flight next year).

--- Tony

Offline woog

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Re: Predictions 2020
« Reply #17 on: 12/20/2019 05:26 am »
Here are my predictions:
-SLS has a successful green run and is shipped to KSC by the end of the year, Orion is ready for stacking by Mid 2020 and Boosters will begin stacking Q1 2020
-JWST has some major milestones but stay on 2021 or have minor delays or a major delay if there's an "observation" or anything like that
-Commercial Crew will launch American astronauts from American soil, Crew Dragon will launch before Starliner
-HLS is Contracted to the Blue Origin National Team and maybe the SpaceX dragon derived lander (that or Boeing's proposal)
-Artemis Cadre of Astronauts is revealed by mid or late 2020
-Blue Origin begins major production progress on New Glenn and begins setting firm launch dates for New Glenn's Inaugural Flight.
-Starship MK3 is built but its role is reduced after SpaceX changes its mind on the design
-Mars 2020 launches (well duh)
-Orel Spacecraft begins production or gets delayed.
-NASA reveals Artemis Costs, Congress changes some of the numbers, gives NASA less money than it requests
a post handmade by woog

Offline jadebenn

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Re: Predictions 2020
« Reply #18 on: 12/21/2019 07:45 am »
I only have two predictions:

* Contract for 10+ SLS cores get inked
* Certain forum regulars continue to insist its cancellation is imminent

Needless to say, I'm pretty confident in these two.

Offline Prober

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Re: Predictions 2020
« Reply #19 on: 12/22/2019 09:00 pm »
2020 Land(s) of Confusion
Year of the Whistle-blower & Document Dump

External “Politics” effect internal forces in 2020 (worldwide).  Aerospace becomes highly affected by programs, and management calls in the past.  Decisions that were kicked down the road in the past, become “issues” in 2020.

Employee problems plague 2020 in most of the industry and NASA itself !


Much success in 2019 predictions
My 2019 hope: management would read it. Hope management were convinced to take a 2nd look, and improve safety, and prevent loss of life events.

Space Force Signed into law

Revised: a Whistle-blower has just come forward after Space Force was signed into law. (hope I understood his claims??)
Claims:  The real Space Force was created in 1947.  Captured NAZI scientists were offered, and traded work on research for not prosecution for their crimes.
Claims: Wernher Von Braun helped setup NASA as a cover story.  The real Space Program Aka Secret Space Program (SSP) was kept hidden.
Claims: The Space Force signed into law brings “transparency” to the SSP that's been operating in the black since 1947.
Claims: His father worked under high level Agreements but disclosed the material to his son for future history.  Both parents have passed, agreements no longer in force.
Claims: His Father worked at Martin Marietta located in Cole Creek Canyon Colorado.

USA Artemis Return to the Moon program brings excitement to many programs around the world.
Many countries wish to be part of it.

Commercial Crew continues to disappoint.   Prior flight contracted schedules no longer seem viable with ISS 2024 schedule.  Cost overruns (purchase of Soyuz seats) become problematic.  Possible outcomes: Down-select &/or revise the program.  Open the program to others with research grants.

problems in the west, and other events plague Boca Chia.  Was this a good site choice?

Notables, and possible surprises

long term Space Program see's returns and major excitement in 2020

ISRO advancement and growth continues. Looking forward to some surprises in 2020.

Ukraine finds some Joy in 2020. Possible growth with a space program.  Team up with an unlikely partner  ?

China shows the world some surprises in 2020
Stock up on popcorn folks 2020 will be a ride


2017 - Everything Old is New Again.
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant..." --Isoroku Yamamoto


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