Poll

  In which calandar year will Falcon 9/Falcon Heavy launch the most?

2022
2023
2024
2025
After 2025

Author Topic: Which year will have the most Falcon 9/Falcon Heavy launches?  (Read 17031 times)

Online DanClemmensen

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Falcon 9 will eventually retire as Starship operations increase, and at some point the F9 launch cadence will decline. Since Starlink forms a large percentage of F9 launches, this might happen soon.

To be pedantic, for purposes of this poll a F9 launch shall count as one launch, and a FH launch shall count as one launch. A launch counts if the vehicle clears the pad, whether or not the mission is successful and whether or not a recovery is attempted or succeeds.

Offline intelati

Next year will still be the buildup for Starship. So I see this cadence staying for a while more... 2024
Starships are meant to fly

Online M.E.T.

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Voted 2023. By 2024 Starship will start reducing the F9 Starlink manifest.

Online DanClemmensen

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I voted 2022. SpaceX wants to shift to Starlink V2.2 as soon as possible and I think they will begin launching them on Starship even before Starship is really reliable, including on deliberately expended Starship test launches. There's a reason the very first orbital test Starship is a Starlink dispenser. But Starlink accounts for almost 50% of F9 launches.

Offline marsbase

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I voted 2022. SpaceX wants to shift to Starlink V2.2 as soon as possible and I think they will begin launching them on Starship even before Starship is really reliable, including on deliberately expended Starship test launches. There's a reason the very first orbital test Starship is a Starlink dispenser. But Starlink accounts for almost 50% of F9 launches.
You've convinced me Dan.  If one Starship replaces 10 F9 Starlink launches, it might take only two or three Starship launches to drop below the number of launches in 2022, depending on distribution in different orbital planes.

Offline VaBlue

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So far, I'm the only schmuck to choose 'after 2025'.  My reasoning is that SH/SS will start getting additional payloads beyond Starlink once it's reliability is proven a little more.  Especially if the cost point is below a recovered F9 (as it's widely expected to be).  Another reason is tanker launches - OP didn't say those were not included in 'launch'!

Online DanClemmensen

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So far, I'm the only schmuck to choose 'after 2025'.  My reasoning is that SH/SS will start getting additional payloads beyond Starlink once it's reliability is proven a little more.  Especially if the cost point is below a recovered F9 (as it's widely expected to be).  Another reason is tanker launches - OP didn't say those were not included in 'launch'!
You seem to be proposing that there will not be enough Starship launches to meet the demand, so SpaceX will continue to launch F9: do I understand you correctly?

This poll is strictly about the F9 and FH launches. Starship launches are not included.

Online DanClemmensen

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I voted 2022. SpaceX wants to shift to Starlink V2.2 as soon as possible and I think they will begin launching them on Starship even before Starship is really reliable, including on deliberately expended Starship test launches. There's a reason the very first orbital test Starship is a Starlink dispenser. But Starlink accounts for almost 50% of F9 launches.
You've convinced me Dan.  If one Starship replaces 10 F9 Starlink launches, it might take only two or three Starship launches to drop below the number of launches in 2022, depending on distribution in different orbital planes.
But they won't be direct replacements. Instead, they will quit flying any new V1.x satellites completely, and will start flying V2.x satellites instead. I think (but am not sure) that a V2.x can occupy a slot in the existing constellation that could have been occupied by a V1.x, and SpaceX will eventually replace all V1.x with V2.x. A Starship launch does not replace 10 F9 launches (about 10x50 satellites). A Starship "Pez dispenser" carries about 54 satellites, we think. so: one-for-one launch replacement, but with satellites that are more than 10 times as capable. But by the end of 2023 they may be launching once a day.

Offline marsbase

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I voted 2022. SpaceX wants to shift to Starlink V2.2 as soon as possible and I think they will begin launching them on Starship even before Starship is really reliable, including on deliberately expended Starship test launches. There's a reason the very first orbital test Starship is a Starlink dispenser. But Starlink accounts for almost 50% of F9 launches.
You've convinced me Dan.  If one Starship replaces 10 F9 Starlink launches, it might take only two or three Starship launches to drop below the number of launches in 2022, depending on distribution in different orbital planes.
But they won't be direct replacements. Instead, they will quit flying any new V1.x satellites completely, and will start flying V2.x satellites instead. I think (but am not sure) that a V2.x can occupy a slot in the existing constellation that could have been occupied by a V1.x, and SpaceX will eventually replace all V1.x with V2.x. A Starship launch does not replace 10 F9 launches (about 10x50 satellites). A Starship "Pez dispenser" carries about 54 satellites, we think. so: one-for-one launch replacement, but with satellites that are more than 10 times as capable. But by the end of 2023 they may be launching once a day.
I did not realize that the pez dispenser only carries 54 Starlinks.  So most of the volume in the payload section is empty?  And given weight capacities, that means the Starships will carry only a fraction of the possible weight to orbit? Or are the V2 starlinks very heavy?

Online DanClemmensen

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I voted 2022. SpaceX wants to shift to Starlink V2.2 as soon as possible and I think they will begin launching them on Starship even before Starship is really reliable, including on deliberately expended Starship test launches. There's a reason the very first orbital test Starship is a Starlink dispenser. But Starlink accounts for almost 50% of F9 launches.
You've convinced me Dan.  If one Starship replaces 10 F9 Starlink launches, it might take only two or three Starship launches to drop below the number of launches in 2022, depending on distribution in different orbital planes.
But they won't be direct replacements. Instead, they will quit flying any new V1.x satellites completely, and will start flying V2.x satellites instead. I think (but am not sure) that a V2.x can occupy a slot in the existing constellation that could have been occupied by a V1.x, and SpaceX will eventually replace all V1.x with V2.x. A Starship launch does not replace 10 F9 launches (about 10x50 satellites). A Starship "Pez dispenser" carries about 54 satellites, we think. so: one-for-one launch replacement, but with satellites that are more than 10 times as capable. But by the end of 2023 they may be launching once a day.
I did not realize that the pez dispenser only carries 54 Starlinks.  So most of the volume in the payload section is empty?  And given weight capacities, that means the Starships will carry only a fraction of the possible weight to orbit? Or are the V2 starlinks very heavy?
V2.x satellites are heavy at 1375 kg, but not heavy enough to worry a Starship much. All we have to go on is one SpaceX video, but from that video the constraint is the way the Pez dispenser fits into the cargo space, which is not very space-efficient. the dispenser holds 27 layers of satellites, 2 per layer. If they try to add a layer, it gets too tall to fit in the cylindrical portion of the cargo area. When a launch is inexpensive, the tradeoffs change. For example, they might use the extra delta-V to put the satellites into their operational orbits more quickly. Caveat: when an amateur (me) is trying to extract valid information from a promotional video, you need to be careful with the results.

Online niwax

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I voted 2022. SpaceX wants to shift to Starlink V2.2 as soon as possible and I think they will begin launching them on Starship even before Starship is really reliable, including on deliberately expended Starship test launches. There's a reason the very first orbital test Starship is a Starlink dispenser. But Starlink accounts for almost 50% of F9 launches.
You've convinced me Dan.  If one Starship replaces 10 F9 Starlink launches, it might take only two or three Starship launches to drop below the number of launches in 2022, depending on distribution in different orbital planes.

Even if Starship didn't exist, it's entirely possible Falcon has fewer launches next year. While Starlink makes up a good chunk, they have an astonishing number of customer launches this year, on pace for a record. That alone is a good reason to expect a peak in 2022 or 2023, Starship would only extend it to be the final peak.
Which booster has the most soot? SpaceX booster launch history! (discussion)

Offline hplan

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Falcon 9 will eventually retire as Starship operations increase, and at some point the F9 launch cadence will decline. Since Starlink forms a large percentage of F9 launches, this might happen soon.

To be pedantic, for purposes of this poll a F9 launch shall count as one launch, and a FH launch shall count as one launch. A launch counts if the vehicle clears the pad, whether or not the mission is successful and whether or not a recovery is attempted or succeeds.

How will we know when the peak is achieved? Couldn't there be 50 in 2022, 49 in 2023, and 51 in 2024, or some later year?

Offline marsbase

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Falcon 9 will eventually retire as Starship operations increase, and at some point the F9 launch cadence will decline. Since Starlink forms a large percentage of F9 launches, this might happen soon.

To be pedantic, for purposes of this poll a F9 launch shall count as one launch, and a FH launch shall count as one launch. A launch counts if the vehicle clears the pad, whether or not the mission is successful and whether or not a recovery is attempted or succeeds.

How will we know when the peak is achieved? Couldn't there be 50 in 2022, 49 in 2023, and 51 in 2024, or some later year?
You will receive notice in a certified mailing from Dan Clemmensen. :)  So watch your mailbox.

Online crandles57

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I voted 2023 but low confidence

h2 2022 has 30 commercial launches per wikipedia
whole of 2023 only 29.

2022 could reach 60: q1 13 q2 16 so another 31 in h2 seems doable.

some will slip from 2022 to 2023 and there will be more not yet announced
People won't be comfortable or even able to book starship for a while yet

So I am guess / suggesting
2022 60
2023 62
2024 onward dropping - possibly to under 50, under 25, under 10, 0

and I will probably be miles out with these numbers and pattern.

Offline Redclaws

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Falcon 9 will eventually retire as Starship operations increase, and at some point the F9 launch cadence will decline. Since Starlink forms a large percentage of F9 launches, this might happen soon.

To be pedantic, for purposes of this poll a F9 launch shall count as one launch, and a FH launch shall count as one launch. A launch counts if the vehicle clears the pad, whether or not the mission is successful and whether or not a recovery is attempted or succeeds.

How will we know when the peak is achieved? Couldn't there be 50 in 2022, 49 in 2023, and 51 in 2024, or some later year?

I think the pool sort of presupposes that a reason for the peak would be F9 being gradually eclipsed by some other launch system.  So, yes, it could wiggle around like that, but … maybe “but that’s not what the poll is thinking about”?  If we wanted it to be way longer winded it could be something like “when will F9 launches start to meaningfully decline from whatever the peak rate is?”.  But I’m happy as is.

Online DanClemmensen

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I voted 2023 but low confidence

h2 2022 has 30 commercial launches per wikipedia
whole of 2023 only 29.

2022 could reach 60: q1 13 q2 16 so another 31 in h2 seems doable.

some will slip from 2022 to 2023 and there will be more not yet announced
People won't be comfortable or even able to book starship for a while yet

So I am guess / suggesting
2022 60
2023 62
2024 onward dropping - possibly to under 50, under 25, under 10, 0

and I will probably be miles out with these numbers and pattern.
There will be F9 launches for one Crew Dragon and two(?) Cargo Dragons per year probably until 2029 at least, because NASA crew qualification and ISS docking permission for Starship will be tedious. There will likely be about 14 total NSSL flights for F9 and FH between now and 2026. Unless Artemis changes, there will be an FH for Gateway PPE-HALO, and one FH Dragon XL mission per year(?) for several years. SpaceX will make it economically very attractive to move to Starship for everything else, I think.

Online DanClemmensen

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Falcon 9 will eventually retire as Starship operations increase, and at some point the F9 launch cadence will decline. Since Starlink forms a large percentage of F9 launches, this might happen soon.

To be pedantic, for purposes of this poll a F9 launch shall count as one launch, and a FH launch shall count as one launch. A launch counts if the vehicle clears the pad, whether or not the mission is successful and whether or not a recovery is attempted or succeeds.

How will we know when the peak is achieved? Couldn't there be 50 in 2022, 49 in 2023, and 51 in 2024, or some later year?

I think the pool sort of presupposes that a reason for the peak would be F9 being gradually eclipsed by some other launch system.  So, yes, it could wiggle around like that, but … maybe “but that’s not what the poll is thinking about”?  If we wanted it to be way longer winded it could be something like “when will F9 launches start to meaningfully decline from whatever the peak rate is?”.  But I’m happy as is.
:) The winner will be formally declared when F9/FH is retired or at the heat death of the universe, whichever comes first. :)

I think the decline will be dramatic and will occur when SpaceX quits launching Starlink on F9.

Online crandles57

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I voted 2023 but low confidence

h2 2022 has 30 commercial launches per wikipedia
whole of 2023 only 29.

2022 could reach 60: q1 13 q2 16 so another 31 in h2 seems doable.

some will slip from 2022 to 2023 and there will be more not yet announced
People won't be comfortable or even able to book starship for a while yet

So I am guess / suggesting
2022 60
2023 62
2024 onward dropping - possibly to under 50, under 25, under 10, 0

and I will probably be miles out with these numbers and pattern.
There will be F9 launches for one Crew Dragon and two(?) Cargo Dragons per year probably until 2029 at least, because NASA crew qualification and ISS docking permission for Starship will be tedious. There will likely be about 14 total NSSL flights for F9 and FH between now and 2026. Unless Artemis changes, there will be an FH for Gateway PPE-HALO, and one FH Dragon XL mission per year(?) for several years. SpaceX will make it economically very attractive to move to Starship for everything else, I think.


My 0 could well be too soon. 0-5 might well be more sensible for a few more years

If Starship goes well quickly getting to 50+ consecutive successful missions, they will want Starship certified as quickly as possible even if it is long and tedious process. If there are delays creating like 3 year gaps in Artemis missions could SpaceX just say we are scrapping Falcon9 and Falcon Heavy and refuse any further *and long delayed* bookings?

Is that just inappropriate pressure to get certification done quickly or would it work?


An additional poll might be when will be the last F9 Starlink launch?

Online DanClemmensen

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My 0 could well be too soon. 0-5 might well be more sensible for a few more years

If Starship goes well quickly getting to 50+ consecutive successful missions, they will want Starship certified as quickly as possible even if it is long and tedious process. If there are delays creating like 3 year gaps in Artemis missions could SpaceX just say we are scrapping Falcon9 and Falcon Heavy and refuse any further *and long delayed* bookings?

Is that just inappropriate pressure to get certification done quickly or would it work?
I doubt SpaceX will be that brutal. If Gateway ever gets launched, SpaceX will likely propose a system to deliver an unpowered reusable Dragon XL using Starship, for an attractive price: same for Cargo Dragon (maybe even the same system). I see Crew Dragon replacement as the hard one.
Quote
An additional poll might be when will be the last F9 Starlink launch?
Feel free, but I think it's nearly the same question. If you really want a fun new question, what is the last Falcon 9 booster that SpaceX will ever build?

Offline edkyle99

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After 2025.   After the first Falcon 9 launch, it took 7-8 12-13 years or so before the system reached even 20 launches in a calendar year and began to hit its stride.  It flew less than 10 times per year for the first 7 11 years.  Why should we expect Superheavy/Starship to come up to speed as fast or faster?   Or ever, given the uncertainty of this business and of the economy?

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 06/22/2022 04:29 pm by edkyle99 »

 

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