Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon Heavy : USSF-52 : KSC LC-39A : 2023  (Read 42245 times)

Offline Nehkara

Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - AFSPC-52 - 39A - Sept. 2020
« Reply #40 on: 06/23/2018 04:26 am »
Wow,what kind of payload needs the lifting power of FalconHeavy?
That must be a very large satellite.  :o

It's 6350 kg.  I believe SpaceX going forward will not be expending rockets unless absolutely necessary and Elon intimated at the press conferences surrounding the FH demo launch that going forward the price for an expendable Falcon 9 is the same as the price for a reusable Falcon Heavy.

Falcon 9 is capable of this launch - its largest GTO launch was 6761 kg with Intelsat-35e - but it would have to be expended.  Therefore, SpaceX bid Falcon Heavy.

There's probably also some measure of wanting to establish the market for Falcon Heavy.

Offline su27k

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - AFSPC-52 - 39A - Sept. 2020
« Reply #41 on: 06/23/2018 04:44 am »
The current stated contracting policy for the AF which has not changed is that prior to contract award the LV must be AF certified. This is only excepted by demo's and some experimental payload waivers: example STP-2.

The AF may have delayed the award to gain the time to complete certification of FH since that was the LV that the source selection favored.
It will have the required flights by September 2020.
You are confusing AF contracting policy with NASA. If the LV has not been certified it cannot be awarded a contract (AF contracting policy). If AF did not follow this policy then ULA can sue and probably win and be awarded the contract by the courts.

IIRC after the lawsuit AF changed the certification process to allow some issues to be closed after certification, but before launch. So it's possible that while FH is certified, SpaceX still need to do some additional work (like flying Block 5 FH twice) before they can launch this thing.

Offline AncientU

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - AFSPC-52 - 39A - Sept. 2020
« Reply #42 on: 06/23/2018 02:17 pm »
In Phase 2, USAF will be awarding flights to a launch vehicle that has never launched.  The rules are evolving, to say the least, since the Phase 1 Block Buy.
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Offline Chris Bergin

Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - AFSPC-52 - 39A - Sept. 2020
« Reply #43 on: 06/23/2018 03:22 pm »
We have high confidence (higher than I could portray in this article) that FH beat out Atlas V 551, not Delta.


https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/06/falcon-9-static-fire-test-crs-15/
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Offline AncientU

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - AFSPC-52 - 39A - Sept. 2020
« Reply #44 on: 06/23/2018 03:33 pm »
We have high confidence (higher than I could portray in this article) that FH beat out Atlas V 551, not Delta.


https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/06/falcon-9-static-fire-test-crs-15/

This is exactly the niche FH was built to cover... heavy launches that were within range for an expendable F9.  The price of the reusable FH was reported long ago to be less than the expendable F9.  Took a while, but the goal appears to have been met.
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Offline sanman

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - AFSPC-52 - 39A - Sept. 2020
« Reply #45 on: 06/23/2018 07:05 pm »

It's 6350 kg.  I believe SpaceX going forward will not be expending rockets unless absolutely necessary and Elon intimated at the press conferences surrounding the FH demo launch that going forward the price for an expendable Falcon 9 is the same as the price for a reusable Falcon Heavy.

Falcon 9 is capable of this launch - its largest GTO launch was 6761 kg with Intelsat-35e - but it would have to be expended.  Therefore, SpaceX bid Falcon Heavy.

There's probably also some measure of wanting to establish the market for Falcon Heavy.

But there's also probably the fact that SpaceX will need to more fully re-purpose its production lines towards the new BFR hardware, and that's why they'll need to maintain a healthy supply of F9Rs, rather than launching them disposably.

Offline marsbase

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - AFSPC-52 - 39A - Sept. 2020
« Reply #46 on: 06/23/2018 07:17 pm »
I think this tells you that, beyond all the hype and marketing, SpaceX really thinks they can re-use the B5 many times (thus it's too valuable to expend until it's 8th or 9th launch) and they have real confidence in their ability to recover all three cores from FH.  SpaceX will be risking 3 cores in order to not expend 1 core.  So they REALLY believe in their launch vehicle.

How does ULA ever win another contract?  If FH can beat the Atlas, there is nothing ULA can do but cut their price and their profit.  I guess we'll find out what their profit margin has been all these years.
« Last Edit: 06/23/2018 07:36 pm by marsbase »

Offline rpapo

Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - AFSPC-52 - 39A - Sept. 2020
« Reply #47 on: 06/23/2018 07:32 pm »
How does ULA ever win another contract?
They're hoping to do so with Vulcan.  Whether that will be too little, too late is another question entirely.  For another forum thread, not this one.
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Offline TrevorMonty

Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - AFSPC-52 - 39A - Sept. 2020
« Reply #48 on: 06/23/2018 07:49 pm »




How does ULA ever win another contract?  If FH can beat the Atlas, there is nothing ULA can do but cut their price and their profit.  I guess we'll find out what their profit margin has been all these years.

DOD will spread the contracts around regardless of price difference. They can't afford to have ULA go out of business and lose an alternative supplier.




Offline dante2308

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - AFSPC-52 - 39A - Sept. 2020
« Reply #49 on: 06/23/2018 08:25 pm »




How does ULA ever win another contract?  If FH can beat the Atlas, there is nothing ULA can do but cut their price and their profit.  I guess we'll find out what their profit margin has been all these years.

DOD will spread the contracts around regardless of price difference. They can't afford to have ULA go out of business and lose an alternative supplier.

Aren't there multiple providers aiming for the next round of EELV? The DoD doesn't have enough launches to spread around to float that many companies. They said as much in the hearing.

Offline gongora

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - AFSPC-52 - 39A - Sept. 2020
« Reply #50 on: 06/23/2018 08:36 pm »
Aren't there multiple providers aiming for the next round of EELV? The DoD doesn't have enough launches to spread around to float that many companies. They said as much in the hearing.

The plan is to guarantee a minimum number of launches to two providers for (five years?) and maybe let others also bid if more missions are available.

Offline WindnWar

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - AFSPC-52 - 39A - Sept. 2020
« Reply #51 on: 06/23/2018 08:37 pm »
How does ULA ever win another contract?
They're hoping to do so with Vulcan.  Whether that will be too little, too late is another question entirely.  For another forum thread, not this one.

They can also still win contracts that require vertical integration or longer fairings than SpaceX provides for the time being, at least until SpaceX can offer those as well. But that's a much smaller subset of payloads.

Offline marsbase

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - AFSPC-52 - 39A - Sept. 2020
« Reply #52 on: 06/23/2018 08:44 pm »

DOD will spread the contracts around regardless of price difference. They can't afford to have ULA go out of business and lose an alternative supplier.
If that's true The Air Force is not going to save much money, which is their other stated goal.  Unlike commercial launches, government contracts are public record.  When SpaceX loses to ULA, they then know the price to charge for the next contract bid.  That is exactly what SpaceX did in the most recent round of contracts for CRS supply missions.  SpaceX suddenly discovered that they had not been charging enough.

Offline envy887

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - AFSPC-52 - 39A - Sept. 2020
« Reply #53 on: 06/23/2018 09:09 pm »




How does ULA ever win another contract?  If FH can beat the Atlas, there is nothing ULA can do but cut their price and their profit.  I guess we'll find out what their profit margin has been all these years.

DOD will spread the contracts around regardless of price difference. They can't afford to have ULA go out of business and lose an alternative supplier.

Aren't there multiple providers aiming for the next round of EELV? The DoD doesn't have enough launches to spread around to float that many companies. They said as much in the hearing.

There are four providers that have announced they are competing for EELV: SpaceX, ULA, NGIS (formerly OATK), and Blue Origin.

Offline gongora

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - AFSPC-52 - 39A - Sept. 2020
« Reply #54 on: 06/23/2018 09:27 pm »
Someone on Reddit helpfully linked this old SpaceNews article from July 2017 with quotes from Claire Leon:
Air Force asks SpaceX, ULA to bid on a five-launch contract
Quote
“It would need to be certified by the time that we awarded the contract,” Leon said. “We want to see one flight, and before we would actually fly a mission we would want to see three flights.”

edit: That just reminded me that she is no longer with the Air Force, don't remember if we ever posted about that here:
http://seavernews.lmu.edu/2018/02/12/lmu-appoints-former-boeing-executive-director-of-systems-engineering-program/
« Last Edit: 06/23/2018 09:33 pm by gongora »

Offline Star One

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - AFSPC-52 - 39A - Sept. 2020
« Reply #55 on: 06/23/2018 10:48 pm »

DOD will spread the contracts around regardless of price difference. They can't afford to have ULA go out of business and lose an alternative supplier.
If that's true The Air Force is not going to save much money, which is their other stated goal.  Unlike commercial launches, government contracts are public record.  When SpaceX loses to ULA, they then know the price to charge for the next contract bid.  That is exactly what SpaceX did in the most recent round of contracts for CRS supply missions.  SpaceX suddenly discovered that they had not been charging enough.

Guaranteed access is more important than price.

Offline aero

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - AFSPC-52 - 39A - Sept. 2020
« Reply #56 on: 06/23/2018 10:53 pm »
But there is Blue and Orbital that could come into the mix if the price was right. Who else?
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Offline Star One

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - AFSPC-52 - 39A - Sept. 2020
« Reply #57 on: 06/23/2018 10:57 pm »
But there is Blue and Orbital that could come into the mix if the price was right. Who else?

Orbital’s offering looks dead in the water to me unless the preservation of solid motor production factors into it.

Offline intrepidpursuit

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - AFSPC-52 - 39A - Sept. 2020
« Reply #58 on: 06/23/2018 11:09 pm »
If they gurantee payloads for a second provider then the second provider doesn't necessarily need to compete with SpaceX on price. That could be the strength of the NGIS offering, experienced provider with derivative hardware and infrastructure. They may hope they can beat out Blue on risk and ULA on price.

Offline gongora

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Re: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - AFSPC-52 - 39A - Sept. 2020
« Reply #59 on: 06/23/2018 11:28 pm »
There is a thread for the EELV-2 solicitation.
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43924.0

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