Author Topic: Impact of SpaceX rideshare on small sat launchers market  (Read 59533 times)

Offline AmigaClone

I speculate that SpaceX could offer an on-demand service if asked. They would basically need to keep one ready-to-go F9 in the queue, replacing it every time they do another Starlink launch. If/when NSSL demands a mission, bump the Starlink launch and fly the NSSL mission. Logistics would be a PITA so SpaceX would charge a monthly fee for the service whether or not a launch occurred. They might also need additional floor space at Roberts Road or Hangar X or both, to allow for queueing. Again, they would charge for it. NSSL would also need to arrange for preemptive use of the range on short notice if the next preempt-able F9 launch is too far in the future.
It's not quite that simple.

Every payload is subject to a Coupled Loads Analysis, to ensure the payload isn't shaken to bits on the ascent and it can't excite the rocket into a vibration that shakes it to bits.

If SX wasn't the original launch provider that's going to be time consuming. It typically takes 3 iterations of this process to refine a payload design that will survive the launch and won't harm the rocket. This process is AFAIK unique to rocket launch. I'm unaware of large payloads on aircraft going through anything as detailed as CLA but I'm not sure if that's because no aircraft operates through 23 Mach numbers or if no aircraft has the levels of vibration or noise a rocket imposes on the payload.

A third factor might be related to the cost per unit of mass.  I suspect that in many cases a payload being transported by air had more mass devoted to vibration-absorption materials than a similar payload being launched into orbit.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Impact of SpaceX rideshare on small sat launchers market
« Reply #341 on: 11/12/2023 07:39 am »
twitter.com/13ericralph31/status/1723486650519732648

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SpaceX's Rideshare Program has now launched roughly 800 payloads in less than three years!

https://twitter.com/spaceabhi/status/1723503278867235038

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Many of those 800 once appeared on the “backlog slide” of small rocket launchers pitch decks shown to investors.

twitter.com/13ericralph31/status/1723529088722501898

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I was gonna add something about how F9 + Smallsat has launched several times more payloads than every small LV combined, but it just felt too cruel 😅

https://twitter.com/13ericralph31/status/1723531134901088711

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Was also gonna mention how I wouldn't be surprised if being able to point to SpaceX ridesharing as a ubiquitous, reliable, cheap launch option has made investors far more willing to put $ into space apps startups - possibly to the extent that dozens wouldn't exist without it.

I agree. What’s making the smallsat launch market very tough is simultaneously lowering barriers to new space apps.

Offline XRZ.YZ

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Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: Impact of SpaceX rideshare on small sat launchers market
« Reply #343 on: 02/09/2024 07:36 pm »
In pertinent part...

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“The Transporter program was created a few years ago with, in my opinion, the sole purpose of trying to kill new entrants like us,” said Sandy Tirtey, director of global commercial launch services at Rocket Lab, during a panel at the SmallSat Symposium here Feb. 7. “Yet, we are still flying because we offer something unique.”

Seems like thin gruel...

Online DanClemmensen

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Re: Impact of SpaceX rideshare on small sat launchers market
« Reply #344 on: 02/09/2024 07:51 pm »
In pertinent part...

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“The Transporter program was created a few years ago with, in my opinion, the sole purpose of trying to kill new entrants like us,” said Sandy Tirtey, director of global commercial launch services at Rocket Lab, during a panel at the SmallSat Symposium here Feb. 7. “Yet, we are still flying because we offer something unique.”

Seems like thin gruel...
If Sandy Tirtey or anyone else at RL can show that SpaceX is operating Transporter missions at a loss, then they have a case that the "sole purpose" may be anti-competitive, and they can go to court. If SpaceX operates these missions at a profit, then it's not the "sole purpose", it's the way a competitive market works.
« Last Edit: 02/10/2024 12:54 am by DanClemmensen »

Offline Nomadd

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Re: Impact of SpaceX rideshare on small sat launchers market
« Reply #345 on: 02/10/2024 12:19 am »
 If you really want a contrast, consider the SpaceX and RL cost of launching those payloads. Most serious people are figuring under $20 million for a 2nd hand Falcon launch.
« Last Edit: 02/10/2024 12:31 am by Nomadd »
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.

Offline XRZ.YZ

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Re: Impact of SpaceX rideshare on small sat launchers market
« Reply #346 on: 02/14/2024 07:29 pm »
Some comments from Rocket Lab on this topic
RL is nominally booked but also demand constraint.
Meanwhile you need to wait 2 years for SpaceX

https://twitter.com/SpaceEquities/status/1757826077227884803

https://twitter.com/SpaceEquities/status/1757826079337615727
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