Author Topic: Aviation week article on SpaceX reusability  (Read 32931 times)

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Aviation week article on SpaceX reusability
« Reply #60 on: 09/06/2022 07:32 pm »
It's been 6 years to get to a SS/SH on the OLM.  I would love to be wrong, but I think SS will be in the single digits in 2023 and maybe even 2024.

F9/FH are going to be carrying the mail in 2023.
That's my view as well.   :(

The simple fact is it's 116 days to 2023 and SS has not reached orbit yet.

Obviously it could launch tomorrow, and the era of Starship will have finally dawned, but it could just as easily stay on the ground till next year.

I'm not really clear what the delay is at this point. The economics from SX's PoV are get SS to orbit and start winding down the whole expendable infrastructure.
As of right now, it’s just the nitty gritty of getting 33 powerful engines to work at the same time. Have to static fire until they get there.

That’s the necessary (but not sufficient) step needed right now. If they can do that reliably, test Starship as well, then they’ll be well-positioned for an FAA launch license. Although there are a bunch of other things needed as well.

Could come by the end of the year if all goes well.
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Offline DanClemmensen

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Re: Aviation week article on SpaceX reusability
« Reply #61 on: 09/06/2022 07:33 pm »

I suspect that SpaceX might do a more intensive inspection on at least B1058 and B1060 in view of potentially requalifing those boosters and the ones that follow to 20 flights. I'm not certain if B1051 would also undergo that inspection or not.
Well Musk is saying 100 launches next year so that number of flights is not nealy as much leeway as it appeared. Looking to get the fleet up to 20 each would be a sensible precaution.

We'll see.

I suspect it will take a combination of certifying at least some of the boosters to 20 flights and converting some FH side boosters to F9 to reach that goal of 100 Falcon 9 launches. Note that booster B1052 flew twice as a FH side booster and this year has flown 5 times as a Falcon 9, so it's something that's been done with a Block 5
In steady state, they would need to add five new boosters a year to maintain a launch cadence of 100/yr. I know that the analyses you guys are doing are for the wind-down, not steady state, but 5/yr is not a lot. As I understand it, SpaceX uses the same production line for boosters and second stages, so they would need to build one booster for every 20 second stages in steady state. This does not count FH, which basically throws all the computations off. You also need to consider that as F9 nears EOL, most or all of the remaining flights post-2028 will be CCP. CCP will probably not fly on boosters older than 5 flights, and they will need at least one reserve booster.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Aviation week article on SpaceX reusability
« Reply #62 on: 09/06/2022 07:35 pm »

I suspect it will take a combination of certifying at least some of the boosters to 20 flights and converting some FH side boosters to F9 to reach that goal of 100 Falcon 9 launches. Note that booster B1052 flew twice as a FH side booster and this year has flown 5 times as a Falcon 9, so it's something that's been done with a Block 5
Yes. Being able to flip an FH booster back to regular F9 booster is turning out to be quite handy.

I never really bought into the the idea that "Block 5" was going to be the end of F9 development and it would be completely frozen, although I don't expect we'll be seeing major obviously bigger/wider boosters like we did in earlier years.  I do expect ongoing operational tweaks, both on the launch and the refurb, and (when justified) build changes.

The thing is building/launching/recovering/refurbing a rocket stage is so complex that with every launch an alert team should find ways to make things run just a little bit better, or see ways it could have been built a bit better. Coupled with a management that wants to innovate (which seems to be SX's default style) that pretty much guarantees that what's launching at the end of a year is not-quite what was launching in January, whatever it's called.
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Offline john smith 19

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Re: Aviation week article on SpaceX reusability
« Reply #63 on: 09/07/2022 06:58 am »
As of right now, it’s just the nitty gritty of getting 33 powerful engines to work at the same time. Have to static fire until they get there.

That’s the necessary (but not sufficient) step needed right now. If they can do that reliably, test Starship as well, then they’ll be well-positioned for an FAA launch license. Although there are a bunch of other things needed as well.

Could come by the end of the year if all goes well.
Except FH manages to start up 27 Merlins in a few seconds, with each group of 9 under control of a different processor.  Multiple times so far.

Compared to the troubles of working out the SSME start sequence (LH2 is the only compressible liquid at these pressures, everything else should behave more like water) the issues should be relatively straightforward.

I'd have bet more on TPS issues, or the Cp/Cg shift through re-entry.
« Last Edit: 09/07/2022 07:00 am by john smith 19 »
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Offline Nomadd

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Re: Aviation week article on SpaceX reusability
« Reply #64 on: 09/07/2022 07:54 am »
As of right now, it’s just the nitty gritty of getting 33 powerful engines to work at the same time. Have to static fire until they get there.

That’s the necessary (but not sufficient) step needed right now. If they can do that reliably, test Starship as well, then they’ll be well-positioned for an FAA launch license. Although there are a bunch of other things needed as well.

Could come by the end of the year if all goes well.
Except FH manages to start up 27 Merlins in a few seconds, with each group of 9 under control of a different processor.  Multiple times so far.

Compared to the troubles of working out the SSME start sequence (LH2 is the only compressible liquid at these pressures, everything else should behave more like water) the issues should be relatively straightforward.

I'd have bet more on TPS issues, or the Cp/Cg shift through re-entry.
There's a reason everybody doesn't use ssfc engines. They're much harder to start up exactly the way you want than Merlin type engines. FH isn't really proof that the Raptor booster is easily doable.
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Online Robotbeat

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Re: Aviation week article on SpaceX reusability
« Reply #65 on: 09/07/2022 01:09 pm »
As of right now, it’s just the nitty gritty of getting 33 powerful engines to work at the same time. Have to static fire until they get there.

That’s the necessary (but not sufficient) step needed right now. If they can do that reliably, test Starship as well, then they’ll be well-positioned for an FAA launch license. Although there are a bunch of other things needed as well.

Could come by the end of the year if all goes well.
Except FH manages to start up 27 Merlins in a few seconds, with each group of 9 under control of a different processor.  Multiple times so far.

Compared to the troubles of working out the SSME start sequence (LH2 is the only compressible liquid at these pressures, everything else should behave more like water) the issues should be relatively straightforward.

I'd have bet more on TPS issues, or the Cp/Cg shift through re-entry.
falcon 9 had a lot of scrubs trying to get all 9 engines working at the same time. By the time they got to 27 engines on FH, they had done dozens of Falcon 9 launches so had gotten the bugs worked out.

With Super Heavy, they only have the experience of the suborbital Starship hops which used at most 3 engines, and they never achieved much of a flight rate.

So I expect a bunch of scrubs getting 33 going at once, and being full flow staged combustion probably doesn’t make it easier.

They’ll get it done, of course. But it’s a lot of work.
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Online ZachS09

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Re: Aviation week article on SpaceX reusability
« Reply #66 on: 09/07/2022 01:15 pm »
So what's with the overestimating SpaceX guys on Twitter that question Starship/Super Heavy, believing that it's already ready to go?
« Last Edit: 09/07/2022 01:48 pm by ZachS09 »
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Online Robotbeat

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Re: Aviation week article on SpaceX reusability
« Reply #67 on: 09/07/2022 01:17 pm »
So what's with the overestimating SpaceX amazing peoples on Twitter that question Starship/Super Heavy, believing that it's already ready to go?
They may be able to get ready for launch within a month or two.
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Online ZachS09

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Re: Aviation week article on SpaceX reusability
« Reply #68 on: 09/07/2022 01:22 pm »
So what's with the overestimating SpaceX guys on Twitter that question Starship/Super Heavy, believing that it's already ready to go?
They may be able to get ready for launch within a month or two.

We'll see.
« Last Edit: 09/07/2022 01:49 pm by ZachS09 »
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Offline DanClemmensen

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Re: Aviation week article on SpaceX reusability
« Reply #69 on: 09/07/2022 01:32 pm »
As of right now, it’s just the nitty gritty of getting 33 powerful engines to work at the same time. Have to static fire until they get there.

That’s the necessary (but not sufficient) step needed right now. If they can do that reliably, test Starship as well, then they’ll be well-positioned for an FAA launch license. Although there are a bunch of other things needed as well.

Could come by the end of the year if all goes well.
Except FH manages to start up 27 Merlins in a few seconds, with each group of 9 under control of a different processor.  Multiple times so far.

Compared to the troubles of working out the SSME start sequence (LH2 is the only compressible liquid at these pressures, everything else should behave more like water) the issues should be relatively straightforward.

I'd have bet more on TPS issues, or the Cp/Cg shift through re-entry.
There's a reason everybody doesn't use ssfc engines. They're much harder to start up exactly the way you want than Merlin type engines. FH isn't really proof that the Raptor booster is easily doable.
I'm sure you are correct, but Raptors have started up hundreds of times on the test stands. Thus, you must be thinking about things that make it harder to start them when they are clustered. Can you describe those interactions and their effects for those of us who are not experts?

Offline Hog

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Re: Aviation week article on SpaceX reusability
« Reply #70 on: 09/07/2022 04:24 pm »
As of right now, it’s just the nitty gritty of getting 33 powerful engines to work at the same time. Have to static fire until they get there.

That’s the necessary (but not sufficient) step needed right now. If they can do that reliably, test Starship as well, then they’ll be well-positioned for an FAA launch license. Although there are a bunch of other things needed as well.

Could come by the end of the year if all goes well.
Except FH manages to start up 27 Merlins in a few seconds, with each group of 9 under control of a different processor.  Multiple times so far.

Compared to the troubles of working out the SSME start sequence (LH2 is the only compressible liquid at these pressures, everything else should behave more like water) the issues should be relatively straightforward.

I'd have bet more on TPS issues, or the Cp/Cg shift through re-entry.
There's a reason everybody doesn't use ssfc engines. They're much harder to start up exactly the way you want than Merlin type engines. FH isn't really proof that the Raptor booster is easily doable.
bold mine
SSFC? 
Paul

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Offline Nomadd

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Re: Aviation week article on SpaceX reusability
« Reply #72 on: 09/07/2022 05:42 pm »
SSFC?
FFSC

OAMOE420 (Organic Acronym Memory Overflow Error)
« Last Edit: 09/09/2022 01:41 am by Nomadd »
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Online Robotbeat

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Re: Aviation week article on SpaceX reusability
« Reply #73 on: 09/07/2022 09:13 pm »
So what's with the overestimating SpaceX guys on Twitter that question Starship/Super Heavy, believing that it's already ready to go?
They may be able to get ready for launch within a month or two.

We'll see.
I wouldn’t bet a launch attempt (ie clamps release) of Starship before the end of the year, but it’s a significant possibility. I also wouldn’t bet on an SLS launch attempt before November.
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Offline OTV Booster

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Re: Aviation week article on SpaceX reusability
« Reply #74 on: 09/07/2022 10:18 pm »
Current booster reuse status, following Starlink launch few hours ago:

Interesting.

So B1051,1058 and 1060 are the flight leaders.

It'll be interesting to see what happens when they reach 15 flights.
Notice that boosters going over 10 flights are doing only StarLinks. My guess is it'll stay this way up to 15 flights. Then do a deep dive on one or two and decide if 20 would work. If it's a go, from 16 to 20 will be starlinks only but they might decide paying customers can go up to 15. Repeat every increase of five. Just guessing.
« Last Edit: 09/07/2022 10:19 pm by OTV Booster »
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Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: Aviation week article on SpaceX reusability
« Reply #75 on: 09/07/2022 10:30 pm »
So what's with the overestimating SpaceX guys on Twitter that question Starship/Super Heavy, believing that it's already ready to go?
They may be able to get ready for launch within a month or two.

We'll see.
I wouldn’t bet a launch attempt (ie clamps release) of Starship before the end of the year, but it’s a significant possibility. I also wouldn’t bet on an SLS launch attempt before November.

No one has flown anything like or as large as Starship before.  So who knows how many things SpaceX will learn before they to clamp release.

I think we all know they will get there, and so will SLS.

I've been 6 years working to get to this point from the first presentation for the ITS that became SLS, a few more months on booster on stand testing is pretty exciting itself.
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Offline OTV Booster

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Re: Aviation week article on SpaceX reusability
« Reply #76 on: 09/07/2022 10:30 pm »
As of right now, it’s just the nitty gritty of getting 33 powerful engines to work at the same time. Have to static fire until they get there.

That’s the necessary (but not sufficient) step needed right now. If they can do that reliably, test Starship as well, then they’ll be well-positioned for an FAA launch license. Although there are a bunch of other things needed as well.

Could come by the end of the year if all goes well.
Except FH manages to start up 27 Merlins in a few seconds, with each group of 9 under control of a different processor.  Multiple times so far.

Compared to the troubles of working out the SSME start sequence (LH2 is the only compressible liquid at these pressures, everything else should behave more like water) the issues should be relatively straightforward.

I'd have bet more on TPS issues, or the Cp/Cg shift through re-entry.
Merlin is a much more benign engine. And they had a lot of experience lighting off nine at a time before trying 27. I can get my head around Raptor steady state running but starting it makes my brain hurt.
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Online Robotbeat

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Re: Aviation week article on SpaceX reusability
« Reply #77 on: 09/07/2022 11:07 pm »
So what's with the overestimating SpaceX guys on Twitter that question Starship/Super Heavy, believing that it's already ready to go?
They may be able to get ready for launch within a month or two.

We'll see.
I wouldn’t bet a launch attempt (ie clamps release) of Starship before the end of the year, but it’s a significant possibility. I also wouldn’t bet on an SLS launch attempt before November.

No one has flown anything like or as large as Starship before.  So who knows how many things SpaceX will learn before they to clamp release.

I think we all know they will get there, and so will SLS.

I've been 6 years working to get to this point from the first presentation for the ITS that became SLS, a few more months on booster on stand testing is pretty exciting itself.
27 engine Falcon Heavy is pretty comparable, actually, just without the advantage of an intermediate Falcon 9.
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Online AmigaClone

Re: Aviation week article on SpaceX reusability
« Reply #78 on: 09/08/2022 01:12 am »
Current booster reuse status, following Starlink launch few hours ago:

Interesting.

So B1051,1058 and 1060 are the flight leaders.

It'll be interesting to see what happens when they reach 15 flights.
Notice that boosters going over 10 flights are doing only StarLinks. My guess is it'll stay this way up to 15 flights. Then do a deep dive on one or two and decide if 20 would work. If it's a go, from 16 to 20 will be starlinks only but they might decide paying customers can go up to 15. Repeat every increase of five. Just guessing.

Non-Starlink launches appear to be fairly rare even between the 6th and 10 launch of a booster. There is potentially one booster which might launch a commercial satellite after it's 10th launch which happened nearly a year ago.

Two are planned for the future:
B1049 - 11th flight? (Potentially expended after launching a commercial satellite.)
B1052 - ?th flight (Viasat-3 Americas)

Half of the non-Starlink launches for boosters between their 6th and 10th launch were Transporter launches (dozens of cubesats), with only 4 major payloads assigned to boosters with that range of launches.

B1051 - 7th flight (SXM 7)
B1052 - 6th flight (Danuri (KPLO))
B1061 - 9th flight (Globalstar FM15)
B1062 - 7th flight (Nilesat-301)

B1058 - 10th flight (Transporter-3)
B1060 - 8th Flight (Transporter-2)
B1061 - 7th flight (Transporter-4)
B1061 - 8th flight (Transporter-5)

In comparison, boosters that have flown six or more times launched 35 groups of Starlink satellites as their primary payload.
« Last Edit: 09/08/2022 01:13 am by AmigaClone »

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Aviation week article on SpaceX reusability
« Reply #79 on: 09/08/2022 07:50 am »
27 engine Falcon Heavy is pretty comparable, actually, just without the advantage of an intermediate Falcon 9.
But with the knowledge gained from the process of learning how to make 27 engines start reliably.

However there is another issue with Raptor.

AFAIK when FH debuted the Merlin design was stable. No major plumbing changes, no major changes in mfg methods, and IIRC the boosters were pre-flown, so demonstrated they could get the job done.

But AIUI Raptor is now in it's second generation and is actually Raptor II. With continual development of both the components (IE mfg methods and materials) and the configuration (IE how the parts fit together) continuing to change you have a paradox. IIRC Musk said he expcted Raptor development to be done by SN50 but I think they are way past that and it's still evolving.

You have 100s of Raptor tests but how many of them are of exactly the same engine design?

On that basis I can see why Raptor development could be the long pole in the SS tent.
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