Author Topic: Fairing reuse  (Read 862949 times)

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #2200 on: 07/17/2021 11:53 am »
https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1416364061479034884

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Some new hardware is parked by the docks. Perhaps the fairing transport trailers have evolved? #SpaceX

Edit to add:

https://twitter.com/farryfaz/status/1367194648872116228

https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1416425590207483909

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It seems I was busy with work and caretaking and missed their initial arrival. Great video!
« Last Edit: 07/17/2021 07:15 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline su27k

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #2201 on: 07/31/2021 06:01 am »
https://twitter.com/SpaceXFleet/status/1421166804081299460

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Believe in yourself and you can achieve anything. Don't stop at being a nosecone, become the boat you always wanted to be.

thank u fairing half for the motivation today o7 

Silly highlight clip from NSF Fleetcam. Live 24/7 here:


Offline Adriano

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #2202 on: 12/07/2021 07:33 pm »
Great idea returning the fairings by leaving them attached to the first stage! How will Spacex respond to Roketlab move? Obviously the Falcon 9 business is threatened, but Spacex has plenty of options.

First option is to attach to the top of the Falcon 9 a shell enclosing the second stage and connecting the fairings to the booster. The diameter of the shell will be perhaps the same as the current fairings, allowing it to encase a second stage of the same size of the current second stage. The problem is the new rocket will be very thin and long, making a landing more complicated, and of course the weight penalty, reducing the max payload to orbit.

Second option is a variation of the Falcon Heavy, where the center rocket will be of greater diameter and shorter than the Falcon 9, so matching or exceeding the Rocketlab max payload.

A third option is to create s shorter version of the Superheavy booster and placing on top of it a shell that will encase payload and second stage and return home the fairings attached to the booster. The second stage will be ejected from the shell by compressed gas and will be powered by vacuum Merlin engines. So all the Raptors will be recovered and the Raptor production problem will be alleviated. This will add the complexity of adding to Starbase a kerosene fueling for the second stage. And, of course, FAA permit for frequent launches needs to be obtained for Boca Chicage.

Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #2203 on: 12/07/2021 08:51 pm »
Great idea returning the fairings by leaving them attached to the first stage! How will Spacex respond to Roketlab move? Obviously the Falcon 9 business is threatened, but Spacex has plenty of options.

First option is to attach to the top of the Falcon 9 a shell enclosing the second stage and connecting the fairings to the booster. The diameter of the shell will be perhaps the same as the current fairings, allowing it to encase a second stage of the same size of the current second stage. The problem is the new rocket will be very thin and long, making a landing more complicated, and of course the weight penalty, reducing the max payload to orbit.

Second option is a variation of the Falcon Heavy, where the center rocket will be of greater diameter and shorter than the Falcon 9, so matching or exceeding the Rocketlab max payload.

A third option is to create s shorter version of the Superheavy booster and placing on top of it a shell that will encase payload and second stage and return home the fairings attached to the booster. The second stage will be ejected from the shell by compressed gas and will be powered by vacuum Merlin engines. So all the Raptors will be recovered and the Raptor production problem will be alleviated. This will add the complexity of adding to Starbase a kerosene fueling for the second stage. And, of course, FAA permit for frequent launches needs to be obtained for Boca Chicage.


I see almost zero reason for SpaceX to be wary of what Rocket labs is doing with Neutron.  Best of luck to them though, it's an interesting concept.


Neutron is years from flying then they have to learn how to fly it reliably and frequently..


Even if F9 and Neutron are flying at the same time, SpaceX has a flight rate that will have paid off the development of the vehicle and ware proficient at flying.  Basically, things are paid for, Neutron would have to be cheaper and fly more often to catch up to F9.


By that time that happen SpaceX maybe on the moon and flying Starship regularly, and Starship, does have a reuseable fairing attached to the upper stage. 
« Last Edit: 12/07/2021 08:53 pm by wannamoonbase »
Superheavy + Starship the final push to launch commit!

Offline AC in NC

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #2204 on: 12/07/2021 09:09 pm »
Great idea returning the fairings by leaving them attached to the first stage! How will Spacex respond to Roketlab move? Obviously the Falcon 9 business is threatened, but Spacex has plenty of options.

First option is to attach to the top of the Falcon 9 a shell enclosing the second stage and connecting the fairings to the booster. The diameter of the shell will be perhaps the same as the current fairings, allowing it to encase a second stage of the same size of the current second stage. The problem is the new rocket will be very thin and long, making a landing more complicated, and of course the weight penalty, reducing the max payload to orbit.

Second option is a variation of the Falcon Heavy, where the center rocket will be of greater diameter and shorter than the Falcon 9, so matching or exceeding the Rocketlab max payload.

A third option is to create s shorter version of the Superheavy booster and placing on top of it a shell that will encase payload and second stage and return home the fairings attached to the booster. The second stage will be ejected from the shell by compressed gas and will be powered by vacuum Merlin engines. So all the Raptors will be recovered and the Raptor production problem will be alleviated. This will add the complexity of adding to Starbase a kerosene fueling for the second stage. And, of course, FAA permit for frequent launches needs to be obtained for Boca Chicage.

Are you serious?  If so, these are ludicrous.  If not, why waste everyone's time?  Is this funny for some reason that escapes me?  Either way, I'm not sure what you are after here.

Offline Adriano

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #2205 on: 12/09/2021 03:20 am »
Great idea returning the fairings by leaving them attached to the first stage! How will Spacex respond to Roketlab move? Obviously the Falcon 9 business is threatened, but Spacex has plenty of options.

First option is to attach to the top of the Falcon 9 a shell enclosing the second stage and connecting the fairings to the booster. The diameter of the shell will be perhaps the same as the current fairings, allowing it to encase a second stage of the same size of the current second stage. The problem is the new rocket will be very thin and long, making a landing more complicated, and of course the weight penalty, reducing the max payload to orbit.

Second option is a variation of the Falcon Heavy, where the center rocket will be of greater diameter and shorter than the Falcon 9, so matching or exceeding the Rocketlab max payload.

A third option is to create s shorter version of the Superheavy booster and placing on top of it a shell that will encase payload and second stage and return home the fairings attached to the booster. The second stage will be ejected from the shell by compressed gas and will be powered by vacuum Merlin engines. So all the Raptors will be recovered and the Raptor production problem will be alleviated. This will add the complexity of adding to Starbase a kerosene fueling for the second stage. And, of course, FAA permit for frequent launches needs to be obtained for Boca Chicage.


I see almost zero reason for SpaceX to be wary of what Rocket labs is doing with Neutron.  Best of luck to them though, it's an interesting concept.


Neutron is years from flying then they have to learn how to fly it reliably and frequently..


Even if F9 and Neutron are flying at the same time, SpaceX has a flight rate that will have paid off the development of the vehicle and ware proficient at flying.  Basically, things are paid for, Neutron would have to be cheaper and fly more often to catch up to F9.


By that time that happen SpaceX maybe on the moon and flying Starship regularly, and Starship, does have a reuseable fairing attached to the upper stage.

Offline Adriano

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #2206 on: 12/09/2021 03:44 am »
I fully concur it will take time before Spacex will see competition. But your second point is an accounting argument: Spacex by then will have fully amortized the cost of developing the Falcon 9 rocket and can afford without risking bankruptcy to cut the prices of launching satellites on Falcon 9 and hence can cut prices without reducing their reported profitability. True, if the only vehicle flying by then were the Falcon 9. But by then they will be also flying starship and Starship development costs will be far from being fully amortized when they are forced to cut launching fees across all their launching programs. And reducing the cash flows from satellite launching services will reduce their ability to finance flights to Mars…  Competition is always great for the market. Less so for the market leader.


Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #2207 on: 12/09/2021 03:02 pm »
I fully concur it will take time before Spacex will see competition. But your second point is an accounting argument: Spacex by then will have fully amortized the cost of developing the Falcon 9 rocket and can afford without risking bankruptcy to cut the prices of launching satellites on Falcon 9 and hence can cut prices without reducing their reported profitability. True, if the only vehicle flying by then were the Falcon 9. But by then they will be also flying starship and Starship development costs will be far from being fully amortized when they are forced to cut launching fees across all their launching programs. And reducing the cash flows from satellite launching services will reduce their ability to finance flights to Mars…  Competition is always great for the market. Less so for the market leader.



Agreed that SpaceX will be able to go cheaper as more flights bring the cost per flight down.  But they may not do it until there is actual competition.  No need to drop sooner than needed.

Neutron seems like the only real competition on the horizon. 
Superheavy + Starship the final push to launch commit!

Online DanClemmensen

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #2208 on: 12/09/2021 03:18 pm »
I fully concur it will take time before Spacex will see competition. But your second point is an accounting argument: Spacex by then will have fully amortized the cost of developing the Falcon 9 rocket and can afford without risking bankruptcy to cut the prices of launching satellites on Falcon 9 and hence can cut prices without reducing their reported profitability. True, if the only vehicle flying by then were the Falcon 9. But by then they will be also flying starship and Starship development costs will be far from being fully amortized when they are forced to cut launching fees across all their launching programs. And reducing the cash flows from satellite launching services will reduce their ability to finance flights to Mars…  Competition is always great for the market. Less so for the market leader.



Agreed that SpaceX will be able to go cheaper as more flights bring the cost per flight down.  But they may not do it until there is actual competition.  No need to drop sooner than needed.

Neutron seems like the only real competition on the horizon.
SpaceX has no economic incentive to reduce prices unless the market is elastic. If the market is elastic, providers with higher cost are going to be in trouble as SpaceX optimizes revenue by reducing price. SpaceX may have non-economic reasons to maintain a higher price. In particular they may need to keep the price high enough that other providers can survive in order to avoid being sanctioned for monopolistic practices.

Online freddo411

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #2209 on: 12/09/2021 03:24 pm »
I fully concur it will take time before Spacex will see competition. But your second point is an accounting argument: Spacex by then will have fully amortized the cost of developing the Falcon 9 rocket and can afford without risking bankruptcy to cut the prices of launching satellites on Falcon 9 and hence can cut prices without reducing their reported profitability. True, if the only vehicle flying by then were the Falcon 9. But by then they will be also flying starship and Starship development costs will be far from being fully amortized when they are forced to cut launching fees across all their launching programs. And reducing the cash flows from satellite launching services will reduce their ability to finance flights to Mars…  Competition is always great for the market. Less so for the market leader.



Agreed that SpaceX will be able to go cheaper as more flights bring the cost per flight down.  But they may not do it until there is actual competition.  No need to drop sooner than needed.

Neutron seems like the only real competition on the horizon.
SpaceX has no economic incentive to reduce prices unless the market is elastic. If the market is elastic, providers with higher cost are going to be in trouble as SpaceX optimizes revenue by reducing price. SpaceX may have non-economic reasons to maintain a higher price. In particular they may need to keep the price high enough that other providers can survive in order to avoid being sanctioned for monopolistic practices.

Microsoft invested a huge amount of money in Apple in order to keep some plausible competition going.   I don’t think that is going to happen here. I think that the government will happily invest money or spend money on expensive launchers that are not part of SpaceX.  This will keep valid competitors going for SpaceX for at least a medium term

Offline alugobi

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #2210 on: 12/09/2021 04:10 pm »
You wrote "valid", but "subsidized" might be more appropriate.  The Congress has its jobs/reelection/districting favorites. 

Online DanClemmensen

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #2211 on: 12/10/2021 01:01 am »
I fully concur it will take time before Spacex will see competition. But your second point is an accounting argument: Spacex by then will have fully amortized the cost of developing the Falcon 9 rocket and can afford without risking bankruptcy to cut the prices of launching satellites on Falcon 9 and hence can cut prices without reducing their reported profitability. True, if the only vehicle flying by then were the Falcon 9. But by then they will be also flying starship and Starship development costs will be far from being fully amortized when they are forced to cut launching fees across all their launching programs. And reducing the cash flows from satellite launching services will reduce their ability to finance flights to Mars…  Competition is always great for the market. Less so for the market leader.



Agreed that SpaceX will be able to go cheaper as more flights bring the cost per flight down.  But they may not do it until there is actual competition.  No need to drop sooner than needed.

Neutron seems like the only real competition on the horizon.
SpaceX has no economic incentive to reduce prices unless the market is elastic. If the market is elastic, providers with higher cost are going to be in trouble as SpaceX optimizes revenue by reducing price. SpaceX may have non-economic reasons to maintain a higher price. In particular they may need to keep the price high enough that other providers can survive in order to avoid being sanctioned for monopolistic practices.

Microsoft invested a huge amount of money in Apple in order to keep some plausible competition going.   I don’t think that is going to happen here. I think that the government will happily invest money or spend money on expensive launchers that are not part of SpaceX.  This will keep valid competitors going for SpaceX for at least a medium term
What does this mean? If the US government or any other entity chooses to subsidize launchers, SpaceX will benefit because they can charge slightly less than the subsidized price for any launches that are not subsidized. If the launch price is elastic for launches that are not sujbsidized, then SpaceX may choose a lower price. Eventually the subsidizing agency will give up, either due to external pressure or due to "cheating" as third parties use the cheaper solution  through "interesting" contract mechanisms.

Offline Yggdrasill

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #2212 on: 12/10/2021 12:40 pm »
I fully concur it will take time before Spacex will see competition. But your second point is an accounting argument: Spacex by then will have fully amortized the cost of developing the Falcon 9 rocket and can afford without risking bankruptcy to cut the prices of launching satellites on Falcon 9 and hence can cut prices without reducing their reported profitability. True, if the only vehicle flying by then were the Falcon 9. But by then they will be also flying starship and Starship development costs will be far from being fully amortized when they are forced to cut launching fees across all their launching programs. And reducing the cash flows from satellite launching services will reduce their ability to finance flights to Mars…  Competition is always great for the market. Less so for the market leader.
You generally don't amortize development costs. It's pretty much always a part of R&D and comes right out of the gross profit. Since SpaceX is private we don't know exactly how they do their accounting, but it would surprise me greatly if development costs were defined as capex and then amortized instead of being included in R&D.

This means that there is no point in time where Falcon 9 becomes cheaper to launch just through accounting trickery. And there is similarly no such point in time for Starship either. Or Neutron, for that matter.
« Last Edit: 12/10/2021 12:43 pm by Yggdrasill »

Offline AC in NC

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #2213 on: 12/10/2021 11:06 pm »
This means that there is no point in time where Falcon 9 becomes cheaper to launch just through accounting trickery. And there is similarly no such point in time for Starship either. Or Neutron, for that matter.
And there's no chance at all that SpaceX is going to open up the R&D spigots trying to wrest some incremental savings from the F9 program because of anything Neutron does.

Offline su27k

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #2214 on: 06/12/2022 03:23 am »
https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/space/spacex-building-airline-type-flight-ops-launch

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SpaceX Building Airline-Type Flight Ops For Launch

June 10, 2022

FIRST IN A SERIES When SpaceX debuted the Block 5 version of its Falcon 9 rocket in 2018, it expected to fly the reusable boosters 10 times before taking them out of service for major refurbishment. But last summer, the company quietly moved the goalpost. “We got to 10 [flights] and the vehicles...

Under a photo of a fairing facility (maybe at Roberts Roads?), it is mentioned in this article that SpaceX currently has 36 fairing halves in its fleet, and the fairings are currently qualified to fly 10 times, and they plan to extend that to 15 times.

Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #2215 on: 06/12/2022 12:49 pm »
https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/space/spacex-building-airline-type-flight-ops-launch

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SpaceX Building Airline-Type Flight Ops For Launch

June 10, 2022

FIRST IN A SERIES When SpaceX debuted the Block 5 version of its Falcon 9 rocket in 2018, it expected to fly the reusable boosters 10 times before taking them out of service for major refurbishment. But last summer, the company quietly moved the goalpost. “We got to 10 [flights] and the vehicles...

Under a photo of a fairing facility (maybe at Roberts Roads?), it is mentioned in this article that SpaceX currently has 36 fairing halves in its fleet, and the fairings are currently qualified to fly 10 times, and they plan to extend that to 15 times.

Wow, if we see fairings fly 15 times the cost per flight, that would be $400K per flight (if a fairing set is still $6M)

These are significant savings per flight, especially with a weekly launch cadence. 
Superheavy + Starship the final push to launch commit!

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #2216 on: 07/06/2022 06:09 pm »
https://twitter.com/spaceoffshore/status/1544738462523424769

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Doug has departed Port Canaveral with a big red.... thing... on the stern...!

A fairing is onboard for a potential sea trial. I wonder if they are testing a new recovery method. The way it's strapped on makes me think it's an inflatable of some sort.

nasaspaceflight.com/fleetcam

Offline alugobi

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #2217 on: 07/06/2022 06:12 pm »
Maybe they need something to keep the fairing from banging the side of the hull when they're lifting it out.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #2218 on: 07/14/2022 07:32 pm »
https://twitter.com/thejackbeyer/status/1547645511473045506

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I *think* these might be the closest public pictures of the inside of a fairing half. This one appears to be SN179. @NASASpaceflight

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #2219 on: 07/26/2022 04:42 pm »
https://twitter.com/gregscott_photo/status/1551965951989792768

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SpaceX support ship Bob has spent the morning doing practice maneuvers with the fast boats & a fairing floating in the port. Never an dull moment in Port on Lab Padre's Gator Cam. #SpaceX #NASA

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