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SpaceX Vehicles and Missions => SpaceX Reusability => Topic started by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/04/2019 03:22 pm

Title: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/04/2019 03:22 pm
This thread is to record updates and discuss any progress SpaceX is making on rapid booster reuse. Elon Musk has stated a long-term aim of 24 hrs between reuse, but I'll take rapid to mean at most a few days.

Creating the thread now due to the (so far) fastest recovery of a booster for the first Starlink launch. Also SpaceX is looking to ramp up Starlink launches in the coming months/year, so there's potentially a driver for achieving more rapid reuse.

A new article on booster recovery time:

Quote
SpaceX beats Falcon 9 recovery records after company’s heaviest launch ever
By Eric Ralph
Posted on June 4, 2019

Completed on May 30th, SpaceX’s latest Falcon 9 booster recovery smashed several internal speed records, unofficially cataloged over the years by watchful fans.

In short, as the company’s experienced recovery technicians continue to gain experience and grow familiar with Falcon 9 Block 5, the length of booster recoveries have been consistently [reduced] in the 12 months since Block 5’s launch debut.

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-beats-falcon-9-recovery-records/

Edit to add: current fastest booster turnaround times (times rounded to nearest hour)

Ever:27 days,4 hours(Block 5 booster 1060, used for Türksat 5A and Starlink 18 launches)
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: intelati on 06/04/2019 06:05 pm
And the most remarkable thing is that the 29 hour horizontal time is without the foldable legs. Assuming the recovery has a similar procedure for the LZ, then you can shave a couple hours off that without removing the legs
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: wannamoonbase on 06/04/2019 07:37 pm
And the most remarkable thing is that the 29 hour horizontal time is without the foldable legs. Assuming the recovery has a similar procedure for the LZ, then you can shave a couple hours off that without removing the legs

The 24 hr goal almost has to be a RTLS landing.  That should be doable with the process at this point, now that they can fold the legs up.

Launch in the morning back in the hangar by night fall.  That would be a hell of an accomplishment, that we should see happen soon.

The ASDS by default are days in towing.  I still think they need a new self propelled vessel that can return to port faster.  The F9 will be making landings for years to come they'll lose more boosters to weather and rough seas in that time. 

And if they do get to 26+ launches a year the length of time to get out and back with the barges will eventually be a bottle neck.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 06/04/2019 08:20 pm
For the record, the fastest turnaround time (launch to launch) is 72 days, for the Block 4 booster number 1045, used for Tess / CRS-15.

The record turnaround time for Block 5 is 74 days, for booster number 1048, between Iridium Next #7 and Saocom 1A.

Turnaround time for the Block 5 currently averages 112 days, however, I expect that to decrease as this year goes on.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/05/2019 12:22 am
For the record, the fastest turnaround time (launch to launch) is 72 days, for the Block 4 booster number 1045, used for Tess / CRS-15.

The record turnaround time for Block 5 is 74 days, for booster number 1048, between Iridium Next #7 and Saocom 1A.

Turnaround time for the Block 5 currently averages 112 days, however, I expect that to decrease as this year goes on.
There are a few launches close at hand that should reduce that to 1 or 2 months.

FWIW, I consider turnaround time a reasonable proxy for refurb cost.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: ZachS09 on 06/05/2019 01:02 am
The Arabsat 6A side boosters' turnaround time between the previous mission and STP-2 will be 72 days, 4 hours, 55 minutes.

This is a period between April 11, 2019 at 22:35 UTC and June 23, 2019 at 03:30 UTC.

https://www.timeanddate.com/date/durationresult.html?m1=4&d1=11&y1=2019&m2=6&d2=23&y2=2019&h1=22&i1=35&s1=0&h2=3&i2=30&s2=0
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/06/2019 10:31 am
Thanks for the booster reuse stats. I've now inlucded them in the first post and will update as reuse times decrease. I suspect Starlink launches next year may give SpaceX the opportunity to demonstrate significantly reduced turnaround times.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Clyde on 06/06/2019 10:48 am
You might already be aware of
https://www.spacexstats.xyz/#reuse
"Day intervals" tab.
At some point the running average will be block 5 only
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Tulse on 06/11/2019 02:42 pm
How good a proxy for refurbishment time is relaunch?  At what point is the bottleneck in relaunch time the availability of actual payload, rather than booster refurbishment?  In other words, even if SpaceX could turn around a booster in 24 hours, would it have payloads to launch with that rapid a cadence?
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: freddo411 on 06/11/2019 03:28 pm
How good a proxy for refurbishment time is relaunch?  At what point is the bottleneck in relaunch time the availability of actual payload, rather than booster refurbishment?  In other words, even if SpaceX could turn around a booster in 24 hours, would it have payloads to launch with that rapid a cadence?

SX averages about a launch per two or three weeks.    So at current launch rates, with a fleet of about 7 boosters, the current refurb rate would match the launch cadence pretty well.     With FH in the mix, using 3 boosters at once, a more rapid refurb rate might be needed

Starlink may be on a manufacturing cadence where rapid launches are possible and desirable.

In the future, when orbital refueling is needed, the shortest possible launch cadence is desirable.

Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: niwax on 06/11/2019 03:29 pm
How good a proxy for refurbishment time is relaunch?  At what point is the bottleneck in relaunch time the availability of actual payload, rather than booster refurbishment?  In other words, even if SpaceX could turn around a booster in 24 hours, would it have payloads to launch with that rapid a cadence?

Maybe having a Starlink launch bunched up right behind a customer launch can save them some money on the range fees and mission control/payload processing employees?
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: intelati on 06/11/2019 03:29 pm
How good a proxy for refurbishment time is relaunch?  At what point is the bottleneck in relaunch time the availability of actual payload, rather than booster refurbishment?  In other words, even if SpaceX could turn around a booster in 24 hours, would it have payloads to launch with that rapid a cadence?

A Starlink launch could definitely be the second leg of a two day crunch. Have the stack and second stage ready to integrate with the freshly RTLS booster.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: tdperk on 06/22/2019 03:56 pm
For the record, the fastest turnaround time (launch to launch) is 72 days, for the Block 4 booster number 1045, used for Tess / CRS-15.

The record turnaround time for Block 5 is 74 days, for booster number 1048, between Iridium Next #7 and Saocom 1A.

Turnaround time for the Block 5 currently averages 112 days, however, I expect that to decrease as this year goes on.

Anyone have any idea what the largest number of people who can work on a booster towards re-launch is?  And how many labor hours that relaunch requires?

I have the impression most boosters are laying around after recovery waiting for something to need done.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 06/25/2019 10:06 pm
Average turnaround time for Block 5 is now 104 days.

Thank you, side cores on the Falcon Heavy, even though you missed the record fastest turaround by a couple of days.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/28/2019 08:22 pm
Quote
Hofeller said SpaceX plans to reuse a single Falcon 9 booster five times by the end of this year.

https://spacenews.com/spacex-targets-2021-commercial-starship-launch/

Not clear whether they mean 5 flights total or 5 reuses for 6 flights total. Either way that’s at least 2 more flights of the same booster that’s already flown. 

(BTW main thread for commercial Starship news in the article is here (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=48441.0).)
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: lonestriker on 06/28/2019 08:42 pm
Quote
Hofeller said SpaceX plans to reuse a single Falcon 9 booster five times by the end of this year.

https://spacenews.com/spacex-targets-2021-commercial-starship-launch/

Not clear whether they mean 5 flights total or 5 reuses for 6 flights total. Either way that’s at least 2 more flights of the same booster that’s already flown. 

(BTW main thread for commercial Starship news in the article is here (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=48441.0).)

The article says SpaceX has reused a single booster 3 times, so "reuse" = "use + reuse" since I only see 3 total uses so far for any single F9 core in Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Falcon_9_first-stage_boosters) (B1046, B1048, B1049, and B1056 all have flown 3 times).  If they say reuse 5 times by the end of the year, I assume it means 1 brand new launch + 4 reused launches, so one of those 4 boosters will be launched two more times this year.  Guessing Starlink will be the customer for one or both of those launches.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/29/2019 12:12 pm
Quote
Published by Eric Ralph in News SpaceX
SpaceX retracts Falcon 9 booster’s landing legs a second time after speedy reuse

Following the Falcon 9 booster’s second successful NASA launch in less than three months, SpaceX recovery technicians have once again rapidly retracted B1056’s four landing legs, also reused from the booster’s May 2019 launch debut.

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-retracts-falcon-9-landings-legs-second-time/

Eric Ralph’s article notes that successful reuse of all four landing legs, in the same position, plus second leg retraction after booster recovery indicate that one more piece needed for rapid reuse seems to be making progress.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: edkyle99 on 07/29/2019 01:31 pm
Quote
Hofeller said SpaceX plans to reuse a single Falcon 9 booster five times by the end of this year.

https://spacenews.com/spacex-targets-2021-commercial-starship-launch/

Not clear whether they mean 5 flights total or 5 reuses for 6 flights total. Either way that’s at least 2 more flights of the same booster that’s already flown. 

(BTW main thread for commercial Starship news in the article is here (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=48441.0).)

The article says SpaceX has reused a single booster 3 times, so "reuse" = "use + reuse" since I only see 3 total uses so far for any single F9 core in Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Falcon_9_first-stage_boosters) (B1046, B1048, B1049, and B1056 all have flown 3 times).  If they say reuse 5 times by the end of the year, I assume it means 1 brand new launch + 4 reused launches, so one of those 4 boosters will be launched two more times this year.  Guessing Starlink will be the customer for one or both of those launches.

B1056 has only flown twice, on May 4 and July 25 of this year.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 07/30/2019 01:14 am
Quote
Hofeller said SpaceX plans to reuse a single Falcon 9 booster five times by the end of this year.

https://spacenews.com/spacex-targets-2021-commercial-starship-launch/

Not clear whether they mean 5 flights total or 5 reuses for 6 flights total. Either way that’s at least 2 more flights of the same booster that’s already flown. 

(BTW main thread for commercial Starship news in the article is here (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=48441.0).)

The article says SpaceX has reused a single booster 3 times, so "reuse" = "use + reuse" since I only see 3 total uses so far for any single F9 core in Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Falcon_9_first-stage_boosters) (B1046, B1048, B1049, and B1056 all have flown 3 times).  If they say reuse 5 times by the end of the year, I assume it means 1 brand new launch + 4 reused launches, so one of those 4 boosters will be launched two more times this year.  Guessing Starlink will be the customer for one or both of those launches.

B1056 has only flown twice, on May 4 and July 25 of this year.

 - Ed Kyle
True. But replace B1056 with B1047 since by next week it should also have the 3 flight count. But B1047 will never fly again past flight 3 due to being expended on this upcoming flight.

So the question is which of the other three will be the flight 4 used on the next upcomming Starlink flight in Sept? My most likely pick is  B1049. But it could be another booster doing it's flight #3.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Stefan.Christoff.19 on 07/30/2019 02:44 pm
I'm torn between 1048 and 1049 for first to complete a fourth mission. 1046 is (as far as I know) slated for the IFA mission. 1048 is now at 160 days since last mission (PSN VI/Space IL). 1049 is at 68. The rest  are under 50 days and two are FH boosters, and I assume these may take a little more time to convert to regular cores.
With that said 1049 was somewhat a surprise choice for the last Starlink mission as it wasn't the most "senior" core available. So maybe they will keep flying the rest of the Starlink flights on it, just like NASA will be using 1056 as a dedicated core for CRS missions (at least for CRS-19).

Also 1050 is a wild card at this point. All signs point to it being scrapped after CRS-16, but I still haven't written it off in my reuse schedule. It's been 237 days since that mission and that's long enough for the extra refurbishment required.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: jebbo on 07/31/2019 05:04 am
Here's a quick graph on reuse. Show reuse time for each core & average of last 5 launches

--- Tony
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/19/2019 04:37 pm
https://twitter.com/stephenclark1/status/1163480704019238912

Quote
Koenigsmann on booster reuse: “We're going to go to 10 (flights per vehicle), possibly even more, depending on what we see at 10 … We will have an opportunity pretty soon to push the number of re-flights up.” Will see what’s technically possible with more flight data.

Presumably refer to increased frequency of Starlink launches in the coming months/next year. So I expect booster reuse frequency to increase.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: speedevil on 08/20/2019 12:46 am
https://twitter.com/stephenclark1/status/1163480704019238912

Quote
Koenigsmann on booster reuse: “We're going to go to 10 (flights per vehicle), possibly even more, depending on what we see at 10 … We will have an opportunity pretty soon to push the number of re-flights up.” Will see what’s technically possible with more flight data.

Presumably refer to increased frequency of Starlink launches in the coming months/next year. So I expect booster reuse frequency to increase.
I would not be very astonished to see the first 50 day booster reflight being SH.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: RobW on 08/20/2019 01:23 am
I would not be very astonished to see the first 50 day booster reflight being SH.

Starlink launches on F9s should give them scope to push the booster reuse count up. I suspect that's what he's referring to.
We don't know (at least I don't think we do) that current F9 booster reuse turnaround times are constrained by refurb/inspection time. More likely, there's just not enough launches going to make faster turnarounds worth it.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: meekGee on 08/21/2019 04:46 pm
I would not be very astonished to see the first 50 day booster reflight being SH.

Starlink launches on F9s should give them scope to push the booster reuse count up. I suspect that's what he's referring to.
We don't know (at least I don't think we do) that current F9 booster reuse turnaround times are constrained by refurb/inspection time. More likely, there's just not enough launches going to make faster turnarounds worth it.
I thought that was a given.

If there are say 15 launches in a year and 5 active cores, then each core only flies 3 times a year.  Can't beat that math, and you don't want a fleet of only 2 cores.

Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Robotbeat on 08/22/2019 12:05 am
I think SpaceX has implied in the past they might use a Falcon 9 for many Starlink launches, just to show how many reflights can be done. So you can get like 20 flights per year with like 6 active cores but one of them flies 10 times while the others 2.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: meekGee on 08/25/2019 02:36 am
In the mean time, SpaceX have cornered the market for reusable ships that will be the workhorses for taking cargo and people to space and back...

Hardly. They have demonstrated technically successful first stage re-use (if you ignore FH cores), with the jury still out on financial success until enough re-use occurs to demonstrate that. They've dabbled with capsule re-use and are experimenting with fairings. They're deliberately expending all second stages.

SpaceX has managed some interesting technical achievements for sure, but they have no more cornered the market than Boeing did with the technologically advanced 247D in the 1930s. That's the problem with next-generation designs -  they may be coming from the competition who's been learning valuable lessons from the pathfinders. In spite of all the high tech features of the DC3 having been pioneered in the 247, the DC3 came from Douglas, not Boeing.

I may have been slightly over eager with that statement, but perhaps not...I would say that Spacex's successes in reusability go beyond interesting technical achievements. At this point in time, no other company or government can offer anything that resembles the reusability of F9. I would consider that market cornered for now. Fairing experimentation has resulted in successful fairing recovery. Second stage reusability was considered but axed in favor of focusing on the next generation fully reusability vehicle. Regardless, OT...
If refurbishing a core costs anything similar to fabricating a new one, what is this money being spent on?  Where are the people and machinery and space where this money is spent?

I didn't get the impression that SpaceX has that much capability in Florida...

"Proven" is the wrong goal here.  They're clearly turning the cores around with minimal work, and some people don't want to believe it.  Luckily, they don't have to "prove" it to anyone.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: speedevil on 08/25/2019 12:10 pm
]If refurbishing a core costs anything similar to fabricating a new one, what is this money being spent on?  Where are the people and machinery and space where this money is spent?

I didn't get the impression that SpaceX has that much capability in Florida...

"Proven" is the wrong goal here.  They're clearly turning the cores around with minimal work, and some people don't want to believe it.  Luckily, they don't have to "prove" it to anyone.

It would be interesting to see the process as closely as we are seeing Cocoa SH construction.

It's hard to argue there that most of the production expense is readily calculable if you can see flat stock coming in and rockets coming out, and the cars on site are readily countable.
At least in that case, there is a hard cap on cost, as if you can land it at all, swapping the engines over to a new chassis caps the cost at single digit millions, unless production of SH does not go as expected.


Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/12/2019 03:28 am
https://twitter.com/stephenclark1/status/1163480704019238912

Quote
Koenigsmann on booster reuse: “We're going to go to 10 (flights per vehicle), possibly even more, depending on what we see at 10 … We will have an opportunity pretty soon to push the number of re-flights up.” Will see what’s technically possible with more flight data.

Presumably refer to increased frequency of Starlink launches in the coming months/next year. So I expect booster reuse frequency to increase.

Hans has now confirmed next Starlink launch will be first time a booster flies for the 4th time, as reported here:

https://twitter.com/SpaceflightNow/status/1182827251185995781 (https://twitter.com/SpaceflightNow/status/1182827251185995781)

First booster to make its 4th launch.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/20/2019 03:36 pm
Paul Wooster confirmed SpaceX are getting ready to fly a booster for the 4th time, see at about 4:18

Video of Wooster's Mars Society presentation.  Q&A.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bysu8XN5OfY
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/21/2019 07:41 pm
Hmm, I thought 4th flight of a booster was meant to be sooner, if not next, flight?

https://twitter.com/trevormahlmann/status/1186360219137400832

Quote
SpaceX’s Gary Henry confirms the 4th time reuse of a Falcon 9 booster (B10XX.4) will be in the 1st quarter of 2020, likely on “one of our many Starlink launches in 2020* #IAC2019
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: HiHatWhenItsClosed on 10/22/2019 04:15 am
In my opinion, this is not a good review of Block 5’s reusability. Both the next Starlink flight and the IFA Test were assumed to fly on 4th flight boosters so I’m not sure what happened.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: envy887 on 10/23/2019 01:57 pm
In my opinion, this is not a good review of Block 5’s reusability. Both the next Starlink flight and the IFA Test were assumed to fly on 4th flight boosters so I’m not sure what happened.

Where do you see that IFA isn't going to be a 4th flight? Also, "the next Starlink flight being a 4th flight" and "the first time a booster does a 4th orbital flight will be in Q1 2020" aren't mutually exclusive, if the next Starlink flight slipped ~6 weeks to early January 2020.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: edkyle99 on 10/23/2019 03:47 pm
Given the three-month gap in Falcon 9 flights that we're going to see here, and the total of only eight Falcon 9 launches so far this year (one of those expending its first stage), why is there a need for "rapid booster reuse"?

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Confusador on 10/23/2019 05:55 pm
Given the three-month gap in Falcon 9 flights that we're going to see here, and the total of only eight Falcon 9 launches so far this year (one of those expending its first stage), why is there a need for "rapid booster reuse"?

 - Ed Kyle

Time spent is a proxy for labor costs.  Even with no other considerations, faster reuse implies greater profit margins.  This is amplified as these efforts teach lessons that can be applied to future vehicles.

But in the long term, it's half of what's required for the paradigm shift to a high volume low cost market.  Lots of people are skeptical that that shift will happen, at least soon, but if you're saving money anyway there's no reason not to be ready for it before the payloads are ready
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: GreenShrike on 10/23/2019 06:09 pm
Given the three-month gap in Falcon 9 flights that we're going to see here, and the total of only eight Falcon 9 launches so far this year (one of those expending its first stage), why is there a need for "rapid booster reuse"?

I would venture that depends on how typical a "three-month gap" and "only eight Falcon 9 launches" (as of near the end of October in a given year) will be. Rapid reuse isn't necessary for Atlas and Ariane-like flight rates, but that's really not what Falcon 9 aspires to, perhaps as evidenced by the fact that in only the last three and a half years Falcon 9 has launched 50+ missions --  two-thirds of Atlas V's total flight history and half of Ariane 5's (and in a couple more years will have quite possibly surpassed both).

The real goal of "rapid reuse" is, of course, reducing launch costs via minimal refurbishment after a flight -- which would then perhaps permit a booster to be re-flown quickly. However, launching the same booster, for example, twice in one day would never be an actual operational requirement, and would rather just be a stunt by SpaceX (albeit a very impressive one. ;-) ), meant to prove a point.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: kenny008 on 10/23/2019 06:22 pm
Given the three-month gap in Falcon 9 flights that we're going to see here, and the total of only eight Falcon 9 launches so far this year (one of those expending its first stage), why is there a need for "rapid booster reuse"?

 - Ed Kyle
Are you assuming this 3-month gap is the norm, and that, from here on out, SpaceX will only be launching every 3 months?
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: edkyle99 on 10/25/2019 03:19 am
Given the three-month gap in Falcon 9 flights that we're going to see here, and the total of only eight Falcon 9 launches so far this year (one of those expending its first stage), why is there a need for "rapid booster reuse"?

 - Ed Kyle
Are you assuming this 3-month gap is the norm, and that, from here on out, SpaceX will only be launching every 3 months?
No, but I'm noting that the total this year will be substantially less than the totals during the past two years.  It makes me wonder if we've seen the peak launch rate already for this launch vehicle.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: spacenut on 10/25/2019 03:50 am
SpaceX plans on launching 1000 Starlink satellites next year.  They are actually starting in November this year.  It will take 17 launches between now and the end of 2020 to get these satellites up.  Not counting NASA, air force, or commercial launches.  Ms Shotwell said they could do 30 a year without any major problems.  So, they may get close next year.  I think they are using the current lull to build Starships. 

It all depends on how fast they can manufacture the Starlink satellites. 
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: woods170 on 10/25/2019 07:19 am
Given the three-month gap in Falcon 9 flights that we're going to see here, and the total of only eight Falcon 9 launches so far this year (one of those expending its first stage), why is there a need for "rapid booster reuse"?

 - Ed Kyle
Are you assuming this 3-month gap is the norm, and that, from here on out, SpaceX will only be launching every 3 months?
No, but I'm noting that the total this year will be substantially less than the totals during the past two years.  It makes me wonder if we've seen the peak launch rate already for this launch vehicle.

 - Ed Kyle

Very likely we have not.

The prior two years SpaceX was busy eating thru a very substantial backlog of waiting payloads.
Currently SpaceX still have a very substantial backlog but instead of payloads waiting for F9/FH to be ready it is now the other way around: F9/FH is waiting for the payloads to be ready.

But Starlink is coming. IMO the peak launch rate for F9/FH will be experienced during the Starlink launch campaign, given that Starship/SuperHeavy is at least 18-24 months away from entering the Starlink launch campaign in full force.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: jebbo on 11/12/2019 11:03 am
This long hiatus is playing havoc with their reuse times :-)

--- Tony
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/03/2019 08:42 pm
https://twitter.com/spacebrendan/status/1201977656780177411

Quote
SpaceX's Jessica Jensen says because of Block 5 efficiency and re-usability, the company has actually scaled back manufacturing of new Falcon 9 boosters. #SpaceX #CRS19 #Falcon9

(H/T @EmreKelly for the Q)

Not a surprise but nice to have it confirmed.

Also I think, given the imminent increase in launch frequency for Starlink, this provides more evidence of SpaceX’s confidence in being able to reuse more rapidly.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: groundbound on 12/04/2019 03:00 am
Not a surprise but nice to have it confirmed.

Also I think, given the imminent increase in launch frequency for Starlink, this provides more evidence of SpaceX’s confidence in being able to reuse more rapidly.

The motivation may also be partly due to a record pace of S2 and Mvac production being required for 2020. They might have a need to reallocate some Hawthorne production space.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/23/2019 09:29 am
Fastest ever booster recovery from ASDS (by a few hours):

Quote
Published by Eric Ralph in News
SpaceX wraps up a decade of reusable rocketry with fastest booster recovery yet

SpaceX has completed its 13th and final launch and landing of the year and decade, marked by a Falcon 9 booster’s successful return to Port Canaveral and subsequent processing to prepare it for another orbital-class mission.

Over the course of that recovery, SpaceX broke the record for the fastest Falcon 9 processing by several hours, a small but significant step towards the company’s ultimate goal of launching and landing the same Falcon 9 booster in less than 24 hours.

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-fastest-booster-recovery-ever-2019/

Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Hog on 12/23/2019 10:03 pm
Fastest ever booster recovery from ASDS (by a few hours):

Quote
Published by Eric Ralph in News
SpaceX wraps up a decade of reusable rocketry with fastest booster recovery yet

SpaceX has completed its 13th and final launch and landing of the year and decade, marked by a Falcon 9 booster’s successful return to Port Canaveral and subsequent processing to prepare it for another orbital-class mission.

Over the course of that recovery, SpaceX broke the record for the fastest Falcon 9 processing by several hours, a small but significant step towards the company’s ultimate goal of launching and landing the same Falcon 9 booster in less than 24 hours.

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-fastest-booster-recovery-ever-2019/

I commend the actual SPace X accomplishment, but that title is misleading.  Should read "Space X Ends the decade with its quickest recovery"   But its typical of the "media" these days.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Kansan52 on 12/23/2019 10:21 pm
Except there is no year Zero in our calender. 2020 is the end of the decade. Simple math. Too bad purported science reporting like Teslarati.com cannot understand.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: aero on 12/23/2019 11:40 pm
Except there is no year Zero in our calender. 2020 is the end of the decade. Simple math. Too bad purported science reporting like Teslarati.com cannot understand.
While correct, that math has been pointed out and ignored for each of the 7 end-of-decades that I can remember.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 12/24/2019 03:04 am
Except there is no year Zero in our calender. 2020 is the end of the decade. Simple math. Too bad purported science reporting like Teslarati.com cannot understand.

Complaining that someone is somehow wrong or ignorant to refer to the years 2010-2019 as a decade is just as silly as complaining that someone is wrong to talk about the 31st year of their life because it doesn't start on an even multiple of 1 year from the starting point of our calendar.

A decade is a valid label for any range of time that lasts 10 years.  2010-2019 is a perfectly good decade.  So is June 3, 2014 through June 2, 2024.

Decades demarcated by calendar years with only the last digit of the year changing resonate with most people, and that's what most people are more interested in than decades that start on an even multiple of the starting point of our calendar.  That doesn't make them wrong or ignorant.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: ThomasGadd on 12/28/2019 03:29 am
The fastest booster reuse is three months.  I remember either Musk or Shotwell said they wanted booster reuse under a month.   
The fastest launch site reuse is two weeks. 

We are living in interesting times. 
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 12/28/2019 06:14 am
The fastest booster reuse is three months.  I remember either Musk or Shotwell said they wanted booster reuse under a month.   
The fastest launch site reuse is two weeks. 
Noted.

That would mean the "fleet leader" at 4 launches could potentially rack up 8 by years end 2020.

Unless SX have found some new short cuts to shorten the process a bit more, which I suspect they will continue to pursue.
Quote from: ThomasGadd
We are living in interesting times.
We do indeed.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: alang on 12/28/2019 07:37 pm
I did wonder if SpaceX would be willing to take more risks with booster reuse for StarLink than it would for other launches with a view that losing one launch out of many for a large constellation was a price worth paying.
I then realised that a launch failure is likely to cause a six month launch hiatus whatever the reason for launch failure and damage its position as a human rated launcher and reduce the confidence of other customers.
Maybe all they can do is use StarLink as a showcase for up to ten reuses so that other customers no longer worry about it. Trouble is that StarShip could be flying by then. Ten reuses plus fairing reuse could be relatively cheap for them if they get the refurb interval down. I wonder what their marginal launch cost will be if they get the refurb period down to six weeks.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: ThomasGadd on 12/28/2019 08:00 pm
Remember the Falcon 9 block 5 were designed for ten flights before refurb as they approach that number 6 or 8 they'll start looking at them more carefully.  It is possible that they can do more than ten flights. 
Wouldn't that be cool. 
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: wannamoonbase on 12/29/2019 04:50 am
Remember the Falcon 9 block 5 were designed for ten flights before refurb as they approach that number 6 or 8 they'll start looking at them more carefully.  It is possible that they can do more than ten flights. 
Wouldn't that be cool. 


Every time they reach a new number of reuse I think they will be super cautious.  Any failure would be a big problem. 

I can see logic behind aging several boosters at the same time.  Having 2 or more at 4,5,6 flights each at the same time so they can compare them and get a baseline. 

We could see steady increase in flight numbers in 2020

Very exciting.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: alang on 12/29/2019 10:42 am
I heard a claim recently by someone presenting on Sabre engine testing that falcon 9 reuse involved replacing the engine bells on each reuse.
It seemed plausible at the time but it wasn't her area of expertise, I don't recall seeing it discussed here and if true does anyone have any thoughts about time and cost?
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 12/29/2019 11:22 am
I heard a claim recently by someone presenting on Sabre engine testing that falcon 9 reuse involved replacing the engine bells on each reuse.
It seemed plausible at the time but it wasn't her area of expertise, I don't recall seeing it discussed here and if true does anyone have any thoughts about time and cost?
That's very interesting. Where did you see or hear this?

Historically engines are made with a short nozzle downstream of the throat and the rest is then bolted or welded on. If you're testing an upper stage engine you can run it without the full nozzle at sea level without worrying about flow separation.

IIRC Merlin's nozzle is a mix of regenerative cooling and radiation cooling, The radiation cooled part sounded quite fragile (when there were concerns about it fitting technicians simply trimmed it with a pair of metal snips, like heavy grade scissors).

I would expect the goal is to keep as much hardware on the stage as possible but I wouldn't rule removal out, especially if there was foreign object damage involved.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: alang on 12/29/2019 11:32 am
I heard a claim recently by someone presenting on Sabre engine testing that falcon 9 reuse involved replacing the engine bells on each reuse.
It seemed plausible at the time but it wasn't her area of expertise, I don't recall seeing it discussed here and if true does anyone have any thoughts about time and cost?
That's very interesting. Where did you see or hear this?

Historically engines are made with a short nozzle downstream of the throat and the rest is then bolted or welded on. If you're testing an upper stage engine you can run it without the full nozzle at sea level without worrying about flow separation.

IIRC Merlin's nozzle is a mix of regenerative cooling and radiation cooling, The radiation cooled part sounded quite fragile (when there were concerns about it fitting technicians simply trimmed it with a pair of metal snips, like heavy grade scissors).

I would expect the goal is to keep as much hardware on the stage as possible but I wouldn't rule removal out, especially if there was foreign object damage involved.

I recall the statement being made at this event:
https://www.aerosociety.com/events-calendar/sir-richard-fairey-named-lecture-sabre-a-new-class-of-propulsion/
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: woods170 on 12/29/2019 01:04 pm
I heard a claim recently by someone presenting on Sabre engine testing that falcon 9 reuse involved replacing the engine bells on each reuse.
It seemed plausible at the time but it wasn't her area of expertise, I don't recall seeing it discussed here and if true does anyone have any thoughts about time and cost?

You only need to have one look at the Merlins of the reflown stages to know that this claim is false.

We've seen this before: outsiders making all kinds of wild claims with regards to SpaceX reuse. Some wild statements by (former) ULA and Boeing folks come to mind.

What happened on many of the earlier reuse missions is that the engines were taken apart for inspection, just to see how they were holding up. Those engines that were OK were reassembled and put back on a F9 booster stage. Not necessarily the same core the engine was originally mounted on btw.

On current reuse missions the engines are inspected in-situ. Only those that do not pass inspection are taken off the vehicle for repair/refurbishment. And only very seldom does any engine need a replacement engine bell.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: alang on 12/29/2019 03:09 pm
Thank you woods170.
I'll take that as occasional engine bell replacement then. The 'wild claim' might just be my poor memory as I didn't record it, but I don't think I was that far out.
John's speculation about foreign object damage was interesting as I guess it is relevant to Lunar and Martian landing and launch.
Maybe I should start a thread about how to change an engine bell in near vacuum and low G and whether it's worth carrying a spare..:-)
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Barley on 12/30/2019 01:37 am
I then realised that a launch failure is likely to cause a six month launch hiatus whatever the reason for launch failure … .
What would prevent SpaceX doing an internal, Starlink launch shortly after a failure?  Isn't it mostly SpaceX's call on whether they want to take the risk?

Delay may be the NASA/DoD way, but how much say do they get when they are not the customer?  The FAA appears to mostly care about not hurting bystanders, and the normal launch procedures should see to that (or they would object to things like in flight abort tests.)
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 12/30/2019 05:25 am
What would prevent SpaceX doing an internal, Starlink launch shortly after a failure?  Isn't it mostly SpaceX's call on whether they want to take the risk?
It's a fair question. However the worst case risk is not the loss of payload but the damage to SX's reputation twice in a row.
Quote from: Barley
Delay may be the NASA/DoD way, but how much say do they get when they are not the customer?  The FAA appears to mostly care about not hurting bystanders, and the normal launch procedures should see to that (or they would object to things like in flight abort tests.)
True, but AFAIK the FAA still issues licenses for every individual launch. It would depend what sort of case SX could put that they had a pretty good idea of what cause the failure and how sure they were that they would avoid repeating it.

It's an interesting question a) Wheather SX would take that risk and b) Wheather the FAA would let them take it.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: livingjw on 12/31/2019 10:08 pm
Thank you woods170.
I'll take that as occasional engine bell replacement then. The 'wild claim' might just be my poor memory as I didn't record it, but I don't think I was that far out.
John's speculation about foreign object damage was interesting as I guess it is relevant to Lunar and Martian landing and launch.
Maybe I should start a thread about how to change an engine bell in near vacuum and low G and whether it's worth carrying a spare..:-)

The Merlin 1D booster engine's Main Combustion Chamber and bell nozzle are one piece. You cannot replace just the bell.

John
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 01/01/2020 01:53 pm
Although that does sound like it would escalate relatively minor damage to the bell to an engine replacement event. Obviously the benefit is the improved strength of unitized construction and the lower weight of eliminating any joint hardware.
The Merlin 1D booster engine's Main Combustion Chamber and bell nozzle are one piece. You cannot replace just the bell.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: woods170 on 01/01/2020 06:50 pm
Thank you woods170.
I'll take that as occasional engine bell replacement then. The 'wild claim' might just be my poor memory as I didn't record it, but I don't think I was that far out.
John's speculation about foreign object damage was interesting as I guess it is relevant to Lunar and Martian landing and launch.
Maybe I should start a thread about how to change an engine bell in near vacuum and low G and whether it's worth carrying a spare..:-)

The Merlin 1D booster engine's Main Combustion Chamber and bell nozzle are one piece. You cannot replace just the bell.

John
That is entirely correct. Replacing a bell automatically means replacing the entire engine.
As I had already pointed out - in my previous post - the story about reuse requiring replacing the bells (and thus the entire engine) is false. It is just another one of many b*llshit stories thrown into the world to deliberately throw a false shade on the success of booster reuse.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 01/02/2020 05:37 pm
That is entirely correct. Replacing a bell automatically means replacing the entire engine.
As I had already pointed out - in my previous post - the story about reuse requiring replacing the bells (and thus the entire engine) is false. It is just another one of many b*llshit stories thrown into the world to deliberately throw a false shade on the success of booster reuse.
That is why I asked exactly where that comment was supposed to have been made. It's not even clear if that was the actual statement made as it was not recorded.

I think there is a lot of speculation about exactly what SX inspects and replaces given that it took a long time for NASA to stop doing it after every Shuttle flight (which is the only other reference point for reuse).  And outside the team in SX that does it no one actually knows the truth.

So much folklore and old wives tales abound in rocket engineering. IRL No liquid fuel rocket engine is ever ignited only on the launch stand when it takes its payload to orbit.  It's just so many have been designed for single use weapon systems that designers have gotten into the (bad) habit of designing single use parts that have to be replaced (or refilled in the case of the TEA tank, which is a very odd design choice for a reusable engine IMHO) after a firing.

Personally I'd be more worried about coking in the cooling channels with RP1. I'd definitely want a pressure sensor checking on that. OTOH coke buildup inside the GG might actually protect the walls better after a flight than during the first one.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: rakaydos on 01/06/2020 06:04 pm
I then realised that a launch failure is likely to cause a six month launch hiatus whatever the reason for launch failure … .
What would prevent SpaceX doing an internal, Starlink launch shortly after a failure?  Isn't it mostly SpaceX's call on whether they want to take the risk?

Delay may be the NASA/DoD way, but how much say do they get when they are not the customer?  The FAA appears to mostly care about not hurting bystanders, and the normal launch procedures should see to that (or they would object to things like in flight abort tests.)

I would imagine something like, "Regularly schedualed rideshares to SSO will continue during the investigation, though we will waive rebooking fees for any customer who wishes to delay. We will make the results of our investigation known after it's completion."

let people make informed choices with their payloads, fill empty slots with Starlink.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Norm38 on 01/08/2020 01:44 pm
Maybe this is the best place to ask this question, rather than in a Starlink thread or in a stand-alone thread.

Is it possible that SpaceX will eliminate static fires for Starlink launches?

Per what we've been told, SpaceX plans to launch Starlink every two weeks.  At that pace, static fires become a significant portion of the workload and schedule.  Booster reflights are common now, the IFA will be the 3rd 4th flight.

I'm not aware of the static fires catching any issues in a long time (correct me if I'm wrong).  Is SpaceX reaching the point where static fires are not useful enough to continue?  Another cycle on tanks and engines that doesn't put payload on orbit.
I can see them rolling the dice on Starlink launches and going straight to launch.

What do you guys think?
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 01/08/2020 02:45 pm
Maybe this is the best place to ask this question, rather than in a Starlink thread or in a stand-alone thread.

Is it possible that SpaceX will eliminate static fires for Starlink launches?

Per what we've been told, SpaceX plans to launch Starlink every two weeks.  At that pace, static fires become a significant portion of the workload and schedule.  Booster reflights are common now, the IFA will be the 3rd 4th flight.

I'm not aware of the static fires catching any issues in a long time (correct me if I'm wrong).  Is SpaceX reaching the point where static fires are not useful enough to continue?  Another cycle on tanks and engines that doesn't put payload on orbit.
I can see them rolling the dice on Starlink launches and going straight to launch.

What do you guys think?

ULA eliminated the WDR (Wet Dress Rehearsal) from its Atlas launch campaigns, except for high profile launches (like to Mars, crew flights, etc.), several years ago for that very reason, they weren't finding issues by doing them.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 01/09/2020 06:07 am
ULA eliminated the WDR (Wet Dress Rehearsal) from its Atlas launch campaigns, except for high profile launches (like to Mars, crew flights, etc.), several years ago for that very reason, they weren't finding issues by doing them.
I'm interested in what proportion of ULA flights they deem "high profile," and wheather they also caught any anomalous behavior.

It is interesting that a company that only flies fully expendable LV's should feel they are confident enough in their processes (and the build quality and existing sub system tests) that they no longer regard this as essential.

For SX I'd have said the static fire would be the few seconds before launch. A key benefit of LRE's being if you do pick something odd you can still shut the launch down. Not something you can do easily once SRB's are involved.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: envy887 on 01/09/2020 01:19 pm
ULA eliminated the WDR (Wet Dress Rehearsal) from its Atlas launch campaigns, except for high profile launches (like to Mars, crew flights, etc.), several years ago for that very reason, they weren't finding issues by doing them.
I'm interested in what proportion of ULA flights they deem "high profile," and wheather they also caught any anomalous behavior.

It is interesting that a company that only flies fully expendable LV's should feel they are confident enough in their processes (and the build quality and existing sub system tests) that they no longer regard this as essential.

For SX I'd have said the static fire would be the few seconds before launch. A key benefit of LRE's being if you do pick something odd you can still shut the launch down. Not something you can do easily once SRB's are involved.

A SF in the seconds before launch is not a SF. It's already the standard launch procedure, where the engines are spun up and have to meet health checks before the clamps release.

SF is for schedule. If it's hurting the schedule more than helping it, it will go.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: meekGee on 01/12/2020 04:42 am
ULA eliminated the WDR (Wet Dress Rehearsal) from its Atlas launch campaigns, except for high profile launches (like to Mars, crew flights, etc.), several years ago for that very reason, they weren't finding issues by doing them.
I'm interested in what proportion of ULA flights they deem "high profile," and wheather they also caught any anomalous behavior.

It is interesting that a company that only flies fully expendable LV's should feel they are confident enough in their processes (and the build quality and existing sub system tests) that they no longer regard this as essential.

For SX I'd have said the static fire would be the few seconds before launch. A key benefit of LRE's being if you do pick something odd you can still shut the launch down. Not something you can do easily once SRB's are involved.

A SF in the seconds before launch is not a SF. It's already the standard launch procedure, where the engines are spun up and have to meet health checks before the clamps release.

SF is for schedule. If it's hurting the schedule more than helping it, it will go.
SFs are SFs iff there's a chance for review that is not available during the hold-down of a real launch.  This review can be manual or automated, it doesn't matter.

IMO SFs will go once SpaceX feels that data from the previous launch can replace them.  New boosters will therefore still get SFs.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 01/12/2020 09:51 am
A SF in the seconds before launch is not a SF. It's already the standard launch procedure, where the engines are spun up and have to meet health checks before the clamps release.

SF is for schedule. If it's hurting the schedule more than helping it, it will go.
That sounds likely.
SFs are SFs iff there's a chance for review that is not available during the hold-down of a real launch.  This review can be manual or automated, it doesn't matter.
Good point, and of course it means you have to have some data from a correctly functioning vehicle to compare it against.
Quote from: meekGee
IMO SFs will go once SpaceX feels that data from the previous launch can replace them.  New boosters will therefore still get SFs.
That sounds quite plausible, unless their consistency is so good they can designate a particular stage (or engine) and simply compare all future stages and engines against these archetypal test sets.

Again a small but significant step on the way to space launch being more like every other transportation system on the planet.

Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: wannamoonbase on 01/14/2020 12:35 pm

IMO SFs will go once SpaceX feels that data from the previous launch can replace them.  New boosters will therefore still get SFs.

Agreed, with lower flight cores.  But with the increase in flights per core they have a long way to go to baseline what a healthy booster looks like as they approach 10 flights each.

But with Starlink’s flight rate and busy schedule something may need to give.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Norm38 on 01/15/2020 02:36 am
IMO SFs will go once SpaceX feels that data from the previous launch can replace them.  New boosters will therefore still get SFs.

A new booster will have just been fired in Texas.  So is the SF to check for damage during transport?  Setup damage?  If not, what else?

To launch every two weeks this year, the pad has to be robust already.  If SFs are needed to check out the pad, beef up the pad.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/07/2020 12:57 pm
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-next-rocket-launch-new-booster-reuse-record/

Quote
SpaceX's next rocket launch on track to break a 20-month-old booster reusability record
By Eric Ralph
Posted on February 7, 2020

Scheduled as early as next week, SpaceX’s next rocket launch could see the company break a 20-month-old record that is closely intertwined with the reusability of its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy boosters.

[…]

Now, SpaceX wants to launch B1056 for the fourth time as early as February 15th. Close observers will note that that would imply just 61 days between B1056’s Kacific-1 and Starlink V1 L4 launches, a feat that would make it SpaceX’s fastest ‘booster turnaround’ ever.

Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Stefan.Christoff.19 on 02/07/2020 04:58 pm
[quote

[…]

Now, SpaceX wants to launch B1056 for the fourth time as early as February 15th. Close observers will note that that would imply just 61 days between B1056’s Kacific-1 and Starlink V1 L4 launches, a feat that would make it SpaceX’s fastest ‘booster turnaround’ ever.[/quote]
[/quote]

Interesting decision to use 1056 on a record turnaround of 61 days vs. 1048 on 96 days (as of 2/15). That would have been a record 5th mission for 1048. Also they have definitely decided not to use the FH side boosters 1052-3 for a single stick use. Both are sitting at 227 days as of today. The info on the turnaround time also said they had 11 boosters at the Cape, but obviously not all used boosters are equally usable.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 02/07/2020 05:08 pm
The info on the turnaround time also said they had 11 boosters at the Cape, but obviously not all used boosters are equally usable.

That's not obvious at all.

If they have lots of boosters to choose from, just because they choose to use booster A instead of booster B doesn't mean B isn't perfectly usable.  If all 11 of those boosters are perfectly usable, they have to choose some to use and some not to.  There might be very marginal differences.  They might choose to reuse a particular booster several times in a relatively short period just to show that they can.

We don't really know why they choose any particular booster for any particular launch, so we can't reasonably draw any conclusions from their choices.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: edkyle99 on 02/07/2020 07:12 pm
The info on the turnaround time also said they had 11 boosters at the Cape, but obviously not all used boosters are equally usable.

That's not obvious at all.

If they have lots of boosters to choose from, just because they choose to use booster A instead of booster B doesn't mean B isn't perfectly usable.  If all 11 of those boosters are perfectly usable, they have to choose some to use and some not to.  There might be very marginal differences.  They might choose to reuse a particular booster several times in a relatively short period just to show that they can.

We don't really know why they choose any particular booster for any particular launch, so we can't reasonably draw any conclusions from their choices.

If Falcon Heavy side boosters are not considered for Falcon 9 flights, SpaceX currently only has five previously-flown first stages on-hand.  They are 1048, 1049, 1051, 1056, and 1059.  These last flew on Nov 11, Jan 7, Jan 29, Dec 17, and Dec 5, respectively.  For me the puzzle is why they would fly 1056 before 1048 or 1059.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/10/2020 07:16 pm
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1226962206169948163

Quote
Euroconsult tracked SpaceX's reuse of Falcon 9 rocket boosters and found that the company has cut its turnaround time from ~250 days between flights to ~75 days between flights.

That's about a 70% reduction in reusability time:
spacenews.com/op-ed-spacexs-…

https://spacenews.com/op-ed-spacexs-adaptation-to-market-changes/
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/15/2020 04:00 pm
Quote
Elon Musk’s SpaceX is about to land its 50th Falcon 9 booster

Once thought impossible, reusing rocket boosters has become routine

By
Christian Davenport
Feb. 14, 2020 at 8:21 p.m. GMT

The effort to return booster rockets to Earth had been tried and had failed several times; it turns out landing a rocket back on Earth safely is pretty difficult. So Elon Musk was not deluding himself in 2014 when he calculated the odds that his company, SpaceX, would eventually get it right: “not great — perhaps 50 percent, at best.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/02/14/elon-musks-spacex-is-about-land-its-50th-falcon-9-booster/
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 02/16/2020 09:17 pm
This next launch makes the turnaround for 3rd relaunch at 63 days which seems to be the average for turnaround for 1st relaunch.

Meaning taking it easy and no rushing turnaround is ~2 months so far through to 3rd reflight. Enough data seemingly has been collected to make SpaceX comfortable with a 2 month turnaround process that includes multiple flights sea landings.

Soon we should see 4th reflight since a backlog of 4 total flight boosters exits.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/17/2020 07:39 am
What’s also impressive is B1056’s first launch bring early May last year. So this will be the 4th flight in less than 10 months.

New Teslarati article on today’s milestone:

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starlink-monday-launch-crucial-resuability-record/

Quote
SpaceX Starlink launch ready to set crucial rocket reusability record on Monday

By Eric Ralph
Posted on February 16, 2020

One of SpaceX’s newest Falcon 9 rockets is just a day away from setting one of the most important rocket reusability records after successfully firing up its booster engines – the last major step before the third Starlink launch of 2020
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: envy887 on 02/17/2020 12:31 pm
This next launch makes the turnaround for 3rd relaunch at 63 days which seems to be the average for turnaround for 1st relaunch.

Meaning taking it easy and no rushing turnaround is ~2 months so far through to 3rd reflight. Enough data seemingly has been collected to make SpaceX comfortable with a 2 month turnaround process that includes multiple flights sea landings.

Soon we should see 4th reflight since a backlog of 4 total flight boosters exits.

I though SpaceX's current turnaround record for any relaunch was over 70 days?
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Lar on 02/17/2020 03:18 pm
And now we see why this still isn't routine... All the articles saying "50th landing" are wrong, that will be next mission or beyond, since this booster did not successfully land on the ASDS.

(yes I suppose they might fish it out this time but that's not the way to bet)
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 02/17/2020 06:19 pm
And now we see why this still isn't routine... All the articles saying "50th landing" are wrong, that will be next mission or beyond, since this booster did not successfully land on the ASDS.

(yes I suppose they might fish it out this time but that's not the way to bet)
And now their comfort on 60 day turnaround for fourth flight has diminished. It may be awhile (a couple dozen landings) before we get back to 60 day turnaround or the introduction of more redundancy in certain landing only critical components.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/17/2020 07:20 pm
And now their comfort on 60 day turnaround for fourth flight has diminished. It may be awhile (a couple dozen landings) before we get back to 60 day turnaround or the introduction of more redundancy in certain landing only critical components.

I think that depends on what the reason for the failed ASDS landing was. We don’t yet know it had anything to do with turnaround time or even to do with having had multiple flights. Sure that’s possible, but we need more info first. Even if it was related to reuse it may just become another item to check for as part of turnaround without adding noticeable extra delay.

My hunch is that boosters spend most of their turnaround time in storage with nobody working on them.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: abaddon on 02/18/2020 05:08 pm
And now we see why this still isn't routine... All the articles saying "50th landing" are wrong, that will be next mission or beyond, since this booster did not successfully land on the ASDS.
It absolutely is routine, it's just not perfect.  That's not really a bad thing with a rocket that can fly expendable or not as befits the mission.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 02/23/2020 09:57 am
It absolutely is routine, it's just not perfect.  That's not really a bad thing with a rocket that can fly expendable or not as befits the mission.
Quite true.

Stage recovery currently has a 16% failure rate.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Robotbeat on 02/24/2020 01:27 am
It absolutely is routine, it's just not perfect.  That's not really a bad thing with a rocket that can fly expendable or not as befits the mission.
Quite true.

Stage recovery currently has a 16% failure rate.
And probably better than that if you exclude the more challenging missions.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: su27k on 02/24/2020 02:56 am
It absolutely is routine, it's just not perfect.  That's not really a bad thing with a rocket that can fly expendable or not as befits the mission.
Quite true.

Stage recovery currently has a 16% failure rate.
And probably better than that if you exclude the more challenging missions.

Yes, envy887 calculated 95% success rate in this post (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41146.msg2047697#msg2047697).
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: wannamoonbase on 02/24/2020 12:37 pm
95% is very impressive for a new capability that no other company has ever even tried before.

With a booster family design for reuse from day 1 the success rate should be close to 100%.

I’m looking forward to a reuseable 2 stage vehicle and the impact that will have on launch costs.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: 2megs on 02/24/2020 01:07 pm
95% is very impressive for a new capability that no other company has ever even tried before.

With a booster family design for reuse from day 1 the success rate should be close to 100%.

That "should be" is a "must be". They're planning to put people on it all the way through the vertical propulsive lending, after a hotter reentry than any F9 first stage, with no abort or escape mechanism.

Crewed flight changes everything. 95% isn't impressive; it's a stochastic suicide booth. 99.5% is "Godspeed. Your nation thanks you for your brave service."  99.99995% is commercial airlines. Each of those nines may require an order of magnitude more engineering.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: envy887 on 02/24/2020 01:33 pm
95% is very impressive for a new capability that no other company has ever even tried before.

With a booster family design for reuse from day 1 the success rate should be close to 100%.

That "should be" is a "must be". They're planning to put people on it all the way through the vertical propulsive lending, after a hotter reentry than any F9 first stage, with no abort or escape mechanism.

Crewed flight changes everything. 95% isn't impressive; it's a stochastic suicide booth. 99.5% is "Godspeed. Your nation thanks you for your brave service."  99.99995% is commercial airlines. Each of those nines may require an order of magnitude more engineering.

Boosters are never going to carry people at landing. Your comment is certainly applicable to Starship, but that has a totally different landing profile and mission criteria, and is somewhat off topic for this thread.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: 2megs on 02/24/2020 01:59 pm
Mea culpa. To bring it back to this thread, I'll add that if they can manage soft, accurate, vertical propulsive landings at the reliability rates required to put humans on top, the first-stage reuse case ends up 100% nailed down along the way. 95% can't and won't be the stopping point.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: envy887 on 02/24/2020 02:05 pm
Mea culpa. To bring it back to this thread, I'll add that if they can manage soft, accurate, vertical propulsive landings at the reliability rates required to put humans on top, the first-stage reuse case ends up 100% nailed down along the way. 95% can't and won't be the stopping point.

That does seem likely, although the margin and redundancy needed for five or six 9's of reliability will always trade against cost and performance. Unlike ships carrying people, where five(ish) 9's is required at all costs, it's not entirely clear that running five 9's of landing reliability is worthwhile it on a booster.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: tbellman on 02/24/2020 03:17 pm
That does seem likely, although the margin and redundancy needed for five or six 9's of reliability will always trade against cost and performance. Unlike ships carrying people, where five(ish) 9's is required at all costs, it's not entirely clear that running five 9's of landing reliability is worthwhile it on a booster.

There's a psychological/perception part of it as well, though.  Even if it doesn't really matter if the first stage manages to land 99% of the times, or 99.999% of the times, people might feel uneasy flying on the former, thinking that those landing failures reflect on the safety of the launch as well.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 02/24/2020 08:51 pm
And probably better than that if you exclude the more challenging missions.
Why would you do that?

SX expected to recover all those flights otherwise they wouldn't have fitted them with landing legs or grid fins and loaded them with landing propellant.

Obviously with more landings the success rate should improve. The question is wheather those failures have some systemic cause that can eliminate a significant number of future failures or if it's going to be a long slow grind to gradually drive out each failure mode one at a time.

Time will tell which is a more accurate description of SX's progress.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Mandella on 02/25/2020 02:24 am
And probably better than that if you exclude the more challenging missions.
Why would you do that?

SX expected to recover all those flights otherwise they wouldn't have fitted them with landing legs or grid fins and loaded them with landing propellant.

Obviously with more landings the success rate should improve. The question is wheather those failures have some systemic cause that can eliminate a significant number of future failures or if it's going to be a long slow grind to gradually drive out each failure mode one at a time.

Time will tell which is a more accurate description of SX's progress.

That's not entirely accurate. The two center core flights in particular were given poor odds of a successful landing, but SpaceX tried anyway. But they were not at all surprised to have missed them.

If there is a chance of recovery, they get legs, but that does not mean all recovery chances are equal. Some are very high risk trajectories and go into a class of their own.

On the other hand, the recent loss should have been a high odds of recovery, so that one definitely counts against the "good" trajectory score.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/02/2020 10:52 am
Slightly off-topic but interesting to see how reuse turnaround times have reduced for Dragon capsules as well as F9 boosters:

CRS-20 will be the fastest reuse turnaround of a Dragon capsule, by several months

Quote
SpaceX's first orbital spacecraft set to smash reusability record on last launch
By Eric Ralph
Posted on March 2, 2020

The first orbital spacecraft designed and built by SpaceX is set to smash a reusability record on its 20th and final International Space Station (ISS) resupply launch, hopefully ending an exceptional career with yet another noteworthy achievement.

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-first-orbital-spacecraft-reusability-record/
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Robotbeat on 03/03/2020 03:29 pm
It's frustrating when articles don't get to the point right away.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 03/06/2020 07:50 am
That's not entirely accurate. The two center core flights in particular were given poor odds of a successful landing, but SpaceX tried anyway. But they were not at all surprised to have missed them.
Presumably they wanted to quantify that risk so they will be better able to asses wheather they even want to bother trying to recover in future, or use the released mass for additional margin on fuel or payload mass growth.
Quote from: Mandella
If there is a chance of recovery, they get legs, but that does not mean all recovery chances are equal. Some are very high risk trajectories and go into a class of their own.

On the other hand, the recent loss should have been a high odds of recovery, so that one definitely counts against the "good" trajectory score.
On the upside a 16% failure rate is an 84% success rate, which is considerably better than the 100% failure rate of all previous full ELV's.

Perspective is quite important in this.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: AndrewRG10 on 03/08/2020 10:03 am
Does anyone know the progress on B1052/B1053. Elon did say in 2017 or 2016, whatever that FH side boosters were just F9 which were converted. I understand it would take some time but 7+ months seems a while, hardly good progress for rapid booster reuse. Have they abandoned that idea of converting and those boosters are gone or can we expect them on missions soon (Starlink L6 or Saocom 1b??)
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: niwax on 03/08/2020 11:53 am
Does anyone know the progress on B1052/B1053. Elon did say in 2017 or whatever that FH side boosters are just F9 which can be converted. I understand it would take some time but 7+ months seems a while, hardly good progress for rapid booster reuse. Have they abandoned that idea of converting and those boosters are gone or can we expect them on missions soon (Starlink L6 or Saocom 1b??)

Unless it costs more to store a booster than to convert it or they're running out of single sticks, it makes sense to just store them for the next FH launch.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: anof on 03/08/2020 05:04 pm
Does anyone know the progress on B1052/B1053. Elon did say in 2017 or whatever that FH side boosters are just F9 which can be converted. I understand it would take some time but 7+ months seems a while, hardly good progress for rapid booster reuse. Have they abandoned that idea of converting and those boosters are gone or can we expect them on missions soon (Starlink L6 or Saocom 1b??)

Unless it costs more to store a booster than to convert it or they're running out of single sticks, it makes sense to just store them for the next FH launch.

I believe that the next Falcon Heavy launch requires all new boosters.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: cppetrie on 03/09/2020 04:11 pm
Does anyone know the progress on B1052/B1053. Elon did say in 2017 or whatever that FH side boosters are just F9 which can be converted. I understand it would take some time but 7+ months seems a while, hardly good progress for rapid booster reuse. Have they abandoned that idea of converting and those boosters are gone or can we expect them on missions soon (Starlink L6 or Saocom 1b??)

Unless it costs more to store a booster than to convert it or they're running out of single sticks, it makes sense to just store them for the next FH launch.
We should also keep in mind that the time between reuses represents the max time to prep for the next mission not the minimum. Just because a booster isn’t used for 7 months doesn’t mean it isn’t ready to be used. I imagine there are numerous factors that go into deciding which available booster gets assigned to a particular mission. We have virtually zero insight into that process. It is possible they are turning around boosters in substantially less time than we have seen for the current turnaround record (as measured by launch to launch duration) which is around 60 days if memory serves.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 03/10/2020 08:39 pm
We should also keep in mind that the time between reuses represents the max time to prep for the next mission not the minimum.
Quite true.

I guess the real question is what is the trend over time, and of course is there a lower bound, and if so what is it?
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Lar on 03/10/2020 10:30 pm
SX expected to recover all those flights otherwise they wouldn't have fitted them with landing legs or grid fins and loaded them with landing propellant.
No they didn't "expect to recover"... they hoped they might, and putting legs and gridfins on was a gamble.

Expect to recover? That's not how SpaceX does things. Failure IS an option and envelope expansion is a perfectly acceptable use for something everyone else throws away.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: CorvusCorax on 03/12/2020 01:02 am

No they didn't "expect to recover"... they hoped they might, and putting legs and gridfins on was a gamble.

Expect to recover? That's not how SpaceX does things. Failure IS an option and envelope expansion is a perfectly acceptable use for something everyone else throws away.

Sometimes it pays off:

Quote
    Envelope expanded https://t.co/WIuWUTAAnh
    — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 7, 2020

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1236156567449305089
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: abaddon on 03/12/2020 02:47 pm
So, I hadn't really put two and two together yet... apologies if this is a "duh" moment, but:

A) Starlink booster waves off landing due to high winds at the droneship, performs water landing.
B) SpaceX "expands the envelope" of the high winds at landing constraint on land with CRS-20 booster landing.  (Nice timing on those higher winds).

So, presumably, the Starlink booster could have landed successfully, if the constraints had been less restrictive, and future landing attempts in similar conditions wouldn't wave off  That bodes well for future recoveries in wider conditions.

(I'm assuming here that "expanding the envelope" would have covered the Starlink wave-off conditions, although that hasn't been explicitly stated that I know of).

Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: XenIneX on 03/12/2020 03:18 pm
So, I hadn't really put two and two together yet... apologies if this is a "duh" moment, but:

A) Starlink booster waves off landing due to high winds at the droneship, performs water landing.
B) SpaceX "expands the envelope" of the high winds at landing constraint on land with CRS-20 booster landing.  (Nice timing on those higher winds).

So, presumably, the Starlink booster could have landed successfully, if the constraints had been less restrictive, and future landing attempts in similar conditions wouldn't wave off  That bodes well for future recoveries in wider conditions.

(I'm assuming here that "expanding the envelope" would have covered the Starlink wave-off conditions, although that hasn't been explicitly stated that I know of).


Quote from: Elon Musk's Twitter of Terror
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1236117435905785856
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk)
Recent missed landing (at sea) was due to incorrect wind data. If this (land) landing fails, it will most likely be for a different reason.
9:32 PM · Mar 6, 2020

https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1236040847575134209

Quote
Hans: Last launch had a landing failure due to the winds that the booster encountered not being as predicted. Therefore, the booster decided to divert to a water landing to protect the droneship.

https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1236041023324897281

Quote
SpaceX has made improvements to their wind predictions since that incident.

I recall someone (can't remember who) saying the problem would be prevented/mitigated in the future by sourcing wind data from additional sources.  Might have been on a recent-ish Twitch.tv stream by Scott Manley, but I won't swear to that...
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: rockets4life97 on 03/12/2020 03:34 pm

I recall someone (can't remember who) saying the problem would be prevented/mitigated in the future by sourcing wind data from additional sources.  Might have been on a recent-ish Twitch.tv stream by Scott Manley, but I won't swear to that...

Hans at the pre-launch press conference for the CRS-20 mission.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 03/13/2020 02:45 pm
No they didn't "expect to recover"... they hoped they might, and putting legs and gridfins on was a gamble.
Every landing is a roll of the dice. So far roughly 4 in every 5 have worked out. IMHO That's excellent for a first of its kind vehicle.
Quote from: Lar
Expect to recover? That's not how SpaceX does things. Failure IS an option and envelope expansion is a perfectly acceptable use for something everyone else throws away.
I'm sure SX have learned something on every F9 flight. But if they really thought it would have been destroyed before it got close they wouldn't have bothered with the grid fins and landing legs. They might have put some weights on to simulate them.

Musk hoped for the best (like the FH US recovery attempt) but it didn't happen.

Best to just move on and accept some don't make it  :(. Keep in mind this also sets the expected minimum success rate for anyone who wants to follow SX with a recoverable booster.  Any future LV mfg who plans booster recovery will be judged on how well (or badly) they can match this performance.

As always the key question is what is the trend doing?  Length of time between launches of the same booster Vs survival rate.  I don't have the figures to hand but I'm sure someone here tracks them.  That would be very interesting.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: freddo411 on 03/13/2020 05:57 pm
No they didn't "expect to recover"... they hoped they might, and putting legs and gridfins on was a gamble.
Every landing is a roll of the dice. So far roughly 4 in every 5 have worked out. IMHO That's excellent for a first of its kind vehicle.
Quote from: Lar
Expect to recover? That's not how SpaceX does things. Failure IS an option and envelope expansion is a perfectly acceptable use for something everyone else throws away.
I'm sure SX have learned something on every F9 flight. But if they really thought it would have been destroyed before it got close they wouldn't have bothered with the grid fins and landing legs. They might have put some weights on to simulate them.

Musk hoped for the best (like the FH US recovery attempt) but it didn't happen.

Best to just move on and accept some don't make it  :(. Keep in mind this also sets the expected minimum success rate for anyone who wants to follow SX with a recoverable booster.  Any future LV mfg who plans booster recovery will be judged on how well (or badly) they can match this performance.

As always the key question is what is the trend doing?  Length of time between launches of the same booster Vs survival rate.  I don't have the figures to hand but I'm sure someone here tracks them.  That would be very interesting.

I agree with this take.

Here's another take on things:    So since 2017 or so SX has successfully launched over 50 flights (100% success), landed over 40 boosters ( roughly 90% successfully) and reused boosters over 30 times.    In aerospace terms, they are moving, very, very, very fast.
Such a cadence builds experience and confidence in the workers, the hardware, the processes, and the customers.    It's important to also say that there are failures (Amos 6 and CRS7 and some landing attempts) that are part of going fast, learning fast, and improving quickly.

Contrast this with both Commercial Crew and the SLS program.   Hardly any flights, extensive reviews and reviewers, long delays while plans are changed, culture audits and so on.   In these cases there is such a desire to avoid mistakes, criticism and perceived failure that it begins to  paralyze the program from doing anything.   As we've seen in OFT 1, the go slow approach leads to failures too.    It doesn't lead to quick successes.

So what is the net take away?   F9 booster program is a rousing success in a short period of time, with many tangible results.   The others, not successful over long periods with zero tangible results.

Conclusion?   Going fast might be a superior way of doing business.
 
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: TrevorMonty on 03/13/2020 06:40 pm
Have to think of booster recovery in terms of early aviation, when safe landings weren't given like today. F9 is Kittyhawk of RLVs.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/15/2020 12:19 pm
From today’s Starlink launch livestream by SpaceX

Current booster refurbishment time is about 8 weeks. Still working to reduce that, so long term get to something more like commercial aircraft operation

Went on to reiterate Elon’s recent statement of aiming for 3 launches of a Starship in a day
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 03/31/2020 05:35 am
I agree with this take.

Here's another take on things:    So since 2017 or so SX has successfully launched over 50 flights (100% success), landed over 40 boosters ( roughly 90% successfully) and reused boosters over 30 times.    In aerospace terms, they are moving, very, very, very fast.
Such a cadence builds experience and confidence in the workers, the hardware, the processes, and the customers.    It's important to also say that there are failures (Amos 6 and CRS7 and some landing attempts) that are part of going fast, learning fast, and improving quickly.
Yes, SX have been very good at knowing when they don't have all the answers IE when to go to flight test, and abandoning ineffective solutions (like the F9 US) when they've realized it won't give anything like the yield they need.

Quote from: freddo411
Contrast this with both Commercial Crew and the SLS program.   Hardly any flights, extensive reviews and reviewers, long delays while plans are changed, culture audits and so on.   In these cases there is such a desire to avoid mistakes, criticism and perceived failure that it begins to  paralyze the program from doing anything.   As we've seen in OFT 1, the go slow approach leads to failures too.    It doesn't lead to quick successes.

So what is the net take away?   F9 booster program is a rousing success in a short period of time, with many tangible results.   The others, not successful over long periods with zero tangible results.

Conclusion?   Going fast might be a superior way of doing business.
For a business that actually wants to make money by charging for a service.

For a government cost plus contract programme that enjoys solid support of the politicians who oversee it (who also happen to be the politicians representing the areas in which it is based) and for Boeing it's producing
<monty burns>
excellent
</monty burns>
 results.

And will no doubt continue producing them long into the future.  :( 
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Robotbeat on 03/31/2020 05:09 pm
I agree with this take.

Here's another take on things:    So since 2017 or so SX has successfully launched over 50 flights (100% success), landed over 40 boosters ( roughly 90% successfully) and reused boosters over 30 times.    In aerospace terms, they are moving, very, very, very fast.
Such a cadence builds experience and confidence in the workers, the hardware, the processes, and the customers.    It's important to also say that there are failures (Amos 6 and CRS7 and some landing attempts) that are part of going fast, learning fast, and improving quickly.
Yes, SX have been very good at knowing when they don't have all the answers IE when to go to flight test, and abandoning ineffective solutions (like the F9 US) when they've realized it won't give anything like the yield they need.
...
You keep making that false assertion. Repeating it at every opportunity as if it's an indisputable fact doesn't make it a fact. The issue is opportunity cost, not that it'd be "ineffective." Better to invest in Starship than reusable F9 upper stage.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/01/2020 06:08 am
The issue is opportunity cost, not that it'd be "ineffective."
Just to be clear being an effective solution includes being economically effective as well.

Building a US that can (for example) only put 100Kg into GTO would demonstrate that making a more or less conventional US reusable is possible, but who would buy such a capability?
Quote from: Robotbeat
Better to invest in Starship than reusable F9 upper stage.
Which we are in violent agreement on.  :)

WRT to this thread I think the questions remain what is the maximum number of flights a booster can do without needing serious refurbishment or scrapping. I suspect it's a balancing act. SX know they cannot shut down booster production entirely, so they need to preserve skills while shortening turnaround time.  It's important to remember that turnaround reduction is not the goal. It is what that reduced turnaround enables SX to do.

My instinct is they are have a stepped graph of headcount needed versus number of reuses (and allowances for failed recoveries) and   will be looking to move their reuse number up to the next point they can reassign booster mfg staff onto other things.

I also expect that as usual there is an "aspirational" figure for this and a figure which is viewed as viable but extremely demanding. I note currently it takes under 12 days to refurb a pad but the shortest interval between re-flights (so far) is 63 days for the JCSAT18 and the last Startlink mission. I'm also sure they will be working on reducing pad refurb time.

The fact it was a 5th flight is extremely encouraging that things are trending downward but booster refurb/inspection is the pacing item.

So the current short term aspirational target is obvious.

Bring a booster back and have it ready in time for when the same pad is ready to launch again.  My instinct is that for that to happen a lot more stuff will need to be done on the ship ride coming back to base.
[EDIT Checking the wiki page for autonomous drone ships I see it takes about 4 days from being on station to returning to home port. 4 days out of a 63 schedule is not much. 4 out of 12 (assuming they started refurbing the launch pad immediately) is quite a lot.]
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/02/2020 02:40 pm
The issue is opportunity cost, not that it'd be "ineffective."
Just to be clear being an effective solution includes being economically effective as well.
...
If they didn't have Starship, it WOULD be economically effective.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/03/2020 05:51 am
The issue is opportunity cost, not that it'd be "ineffective."
Just to be clear being an effective solution includes being economically effective as well.
...
If they didn't have Starship, it WOULD be economically effective.
Do you have a reference for that claim?
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/04/2020 03:04 am
The issue is opportunity cost, not that it'd be "ineffective."
Just to be clear being an effective solution includes being economically effective as well.
...
If they didn't have Starship, it WOULD be economically effective.
Do you have a reference for that claim?
https://lmgtfy.com/?q=opportunity+cost
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/04/2020 11:45 am
The issue is opportunity cost, not that it'd be "ineffective."
Just to be clear being an effective solution includes being economically effective as well.
...
If they didn't have Starship, it WOULD be economically effective.
Do you have a reference for that claim?
https://lmgtfy.com/?q=opportunity+cost
Yes and no.

Yes if your goal is is solely to build a successful launch service company and the technology doesn't eliminate too much of your payload to GTO.

No if you want to land a megaton of payload on mars.

Since all indications are that the TPS and propellant masses for US recovery (along with whatever landing system you are planning to use) rob so much payload that no one would want to use it it its market would be zero.

You're also missing the big picture. The SX website say an F9 can send 4080Kg to Mars. Let's say you cand do US reusability with no loss of payload. Let's say it only takes a 100Kg of that for the TPS, fuel etc to get you to the surface, 3980Kg on mars.

That is 251,257  flights to land 1 megatonne on Mars.

MCT/BFR/SS/SH (or something that size) was always going to be needed to meet Musks ambition.
It may prove an unexpected stroke of luck that US reuse is not viable as it's allowed him to accelerate his timetable.

WRT to this threads title I think the challenge is to bring booster refurb time down to pad refurb time.
That's currently 12 days Vs (at most) 63 days for the booster. Obviously it's unclear how much of that time the booster is sitting around the shop waiting for a crew to get to it and how much of that is actual work time

But assuming that is possible and SX dedicate a pad to putting stuff on mars that's 8261 years to put that mass on mars. Or you build 28261 pads (and drone ships) and put it on mars with a year of launches on a 12 day cycle. Certainly physically possible, but plausible?

SS/SH was always going to happen.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: spacexfanatic on 04/13/2020 11:51 am
I'm just wondering about what SX do when a landed boosters is in the hangar? what do they check, what is removed and what is not? do they make a full scanning of the structure? do they do some kind of engine cleaning?  what is the process to make a booster ready for another flight and if possible at what costs.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/17/2020 06:23 am
I'm just wondering about what SX do when a landed boosters is in the hangar? what do they check, what is removed and what is not? do they make a full scanning of the structure? do they do some kind of engine cleaning?  what is the process to make a booster ready for another flight and if possible at what costs.

Thanks.
That would be the question.

It seems those who know do not speak and those who speak do not know.  :(
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: woods170 on 04/17/2020 07:26 am
I'm just wondering about what SX do when a landed boosters is in the hangar? what do they check, what is removed and what is not? do they make a full scanning of the structure? do they do some kind of engine cleaning?  what is the process to make a booster ready for another flight and if possible at what costs.

Thanks.
That would be the question.

It seems those who know do are not allowed to speak and those who speak do not know.  :(

There. Accurized that for ya!
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/17/2020 09:11 pm
There. Accurized that for ya!
True

But unfortunately it makes no practical difference to the answer.  :(
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/22/2020 04:47 pm
Update from Elon on the Merlin failure/early shutdown:

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1252985622219960327

"Can you tell us what happened with Merlin on last starlink mission?"

Quote from: Elon Musk
Small amount of isopropyl alcohol (cleaning fluid) was trapped in a sensor dead leg & ignited in flight


So doesn’t sound like issue was to do with the number of times engine was reused, unless they only need to clean after a certain number of launches?

Clearly some extra care / checks needed with cleaning, but doesn’t sound like a notable impact to booster turnaround times (or engine longevity for that matter).
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Norm38 on 04/23/2020 04:06 am
If the goal is rapid reuse and higher reliability, I have a suggestion.
Reduce sensors and reduce cleaning.

Oh sure they’ll get better at procedures. But I’d love to see the DFMEA line item which listed loss of booster as a risk of cleaning the engine. Most likely cleaning was recommended.
Mature designs don’t need as many sensors, and the best part is no part.
Keep dialing it in.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: JamesH65 on 04/23/2020 08:17 am
If the goal is rapid reuse and higher reliability, I have a suggestion.
Reduce sensors and reduce cleaning.

Oh sure they’ll get better at procedures. But I’d love to see the DFMEA line item which listed loss of booster as a risk of cleaning the engine. Most likely cleaning was recommended.
Mature designs don’t need as many sensors, and the best part is no part.
Keep dialing it in.

Disagree entirely. Any device that exists on the limits of its materials (like, a rocket engine), needs to be monitored. You need to make the monitoring better/robust/unbreakable, not get rid of it. Mature design or not. Good procedures or not. Better monitoring = less procedures = cheaper.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/27/2020 06:35 am
Disagree entirely. Any device that exists on the limits of its materials (like, a rocket engine), needs to be monitored. You need to make the monitoring better/robust/unbreakable, not get rid of it. Mature design or not. Good procedures or not. Better monitoring = less procedures = cheaper.
As always there is a trade off. 

Carry the weight of the monitoring so you can always have a data point if nothing goes wrong (which maybe it never has, due to robust margins)
Remove the monitoring as there's never been a problem and (possibly) do some on-the-ground inspection
Keep the monitoring and redesign the structure to save weight. Now the monitoring is no longer redundant, it's checking the structure is still safe and you've still gained some payload.

But note booster mass trades with payload somewhere between 6:1 and 13:1. So you need to save a lot of mass on the booster before it starts showing up as significantly improved payload.

My instinct is the F9 design is pretty stable and structural engineering staff time is better spent on SS/SH. However that data is being collected so while they may not be tweaking individual boosters they are in a position to look at (if requested) a block upgrade, probably wrt to turnaround time. 

It's silly to be able to reset a pad in13-14 12-13 days and have a booster take months to be ready for re-launch.
So getting booster refurb down to the same time as current pad refurb time would seem an obvious goal.

This whole process continues to remind me of Jon Goff's discussion about how "single digit minute tool changes" came into the car industry. How they went from taking weeks to change  production line models to a week, then days, then hours, then less than 10 minutes.

Each stage built on the last, with a deep understanding of what's important and necessary investment in hardware to facilitate the next.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/29/2020 11:09 am

It's silly to be able to reset a pad in13-14 12-13 days and have a booster take months to be ready for re-launch.
So getting booster refurb down to the same time as current pad refurb time would seem an obvious goal.

This is a minor clarification, but as the number of boosters notably exceeds the number of pads I would expect pad turnaround to be the practical limiting factor. So given Falcon-family demand levels I don’t see the need for booster turnaround to be as fast as pad time. I do agree that desired Starlink flight frequency likely pushes them to still improve further (although maybe range support becomes the limiting factor?)

Things get more interesting with SS & SH, due to on orbit feeling for BEO / inter-planetary missions.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/29/2020 05:08 pm
This is a minor clarification, but as the number of boosters notably exceeds the number of pads I would expect pad turnaround to be the practical limiting factor. So given Falcon-family demand levels I don’t see the need for booster turnaround to be as fast as pad time. I do agree that desired Starlink flight frequency likely pushes them to still improve further (although maybe range support becomes the limiting factor?)

Things get more interesting with SS & SH, due to on orbit feeling for BEO / inter-planetary missions.
Well the thread title is rapid booster reuse....

TBH I expect SX has multiple goals associated with every part of the launch service puzzle. Booster turnaround just seemed so much bigger than pad turnaround (although we don't really know how much was "waiting around" time in the factory) that it was an obvious target for work.

Given SX's stated goal of "3 flights a day from the same pad" I'm quite sure they are working out the stages to get it down to a pad refurb within an 8 hour shift.

An obvious interim target would be to be ready to launch once the booster has come off the ship and driven back to site (how you refurb the booster while in transit on a ship will be an exciting challenge) so about 3 days?

As always not being able to meet this goal is not the end of the world. Then they will have discovered what needs to be changed in order to make this work on SS/SH. 
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: spacenut on 04/29/2020 05:13 pm
It should also be easier to refurbish a metholox engine vs a kerolox (sooty) engine.  Same with the rocket and other components not being sooty. 
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/02/2020 05:48 am
It should also be easier to refurbish a metholox engine vs a kerolox (sooty) engine.  Same with the rocket and other components not being sooty.
True, so while there's more of SH to inspect and refurb it should be substantially easier to do so.

"Soot" sounds bad but in the right places it can be quite useful.  If it's between the steel of the combustion chamber and the burning gas core it can knock down the temperature quite a few degrees.

TBH The winning way to do a reusable thrust chamber is go with LOX cooling, as proved to at least the 40 000lb by NASA in the early 90's. But generations of ingrained prejudice is not easily overcome.  :(
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/16/2020 10:56 pm
With Starlink currently dominating the launch manifest, speed of booster recovery from an ASDS will be a factor in turn around time. Seems like SpaceX just set a new record:

twitter.com/baserunner0723/status/1273008166859616257

Quote
B1059.3 going horizontal #SpaceXFleet

https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1273010167492329475

Quote
B1059.3 has gone horizontal at Port Canaveral - 10 hours after arriving on 'Of Course I Still Love You' droneship.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/17/2020 10:33 am
Quote
SpaceX’s rocket reusability dream is within reach after fastest recovery yet
By Eric Ralph
Posted on June 17, 2020

SpaceX and CEO Elon Musk’s rocket reusability dream appears to be within reach for the first time ever after technicians managed to retract the most recently-launched Falcon 9 booster’s landing legs and bring it horizontal in record time.

On the heels of a SpaceX’s second orbital-class Falcon 9 launch, landing, and recovery just this month, the recovery milestone could mean that booster B1059 is being prepared for the fastest turnaround in the company’s history.

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-reusability-dream-fastest-recovery/
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/21/2020 11:33 am
If the next Starlink launch goes as planned on Tuesday, then it will set a new record for a booster turnaround by about 13 hours! As I make the turnaround time 62 days and 2 hours between Starlink v1.0 L6 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=50679.0) (1051.4) and Starlink v1.0 L9 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=51150.0) (1051.5)
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 06/21/2020 02:08 pm
If the next Starlink launch goes as planned on Tuesday, then it will set a new record for a booster turnaround by about 13 hours! As I make the turnaround time 62 days and 2 hours between Starlink v1.0 L6 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=50679.0) (1051.4) and Starlink v1.0 L9 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=51150.0) (1051.5)
It's the principle of "Single digit minute" tool changes.

Setting interim goals to ratchet down the time, possibly with some big ones in there as well.

The big question (as it's always been) is how much of that time is spent doing the refurb and how much queuing  for resources to become available? If the current bottleneck is some special purpose fixture or machine, and they buy or build a second one that could bring about a step change in turnaround times.

My instinct is a 60 day turnaround will be a big milestone here.   :) OTOH the record for Shuttle was 54 days, so also a bit of a milestone.

So all being well the fleet leader should hit 8 flights this year, possibly 9, but 10 would need major surgery on turnaround time.

Ooops. Should have checked what happened to the landing of the 6th flight.  :(
With B1048 gone does anyone know which one was #2 in launches made and is therefore "fleet leader"?
[EDIT And that looks like B1049.5 on June 4th.
Godspeed and good flying for B1049.5]
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: lykos on 07/09/2020 08:16 am
F9 leg retraction anomaly ?
(reddit)
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: meekGee on 07/09/2020 07:25 pm
Yeah the vid is illustrative...  fast forward to 4:45

https://youtu.be/IhUpDvHI1bE
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: leetdan on 07/09/2020 07:50 pm
This wasn't the first time the legs were dropped during port processing.  It looks to me like it was intentional the first time around.

https://viewsync.net/watch?v=wFGzLidT_ns&t=563&v=IhUpDvHI1bE&t=295&mode=solo
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: AndrewRG10 on 07/10/2020 01:59 am
This wasn't the first time the legs were dropped during port processing.  It looks to me like it was intentional the first time around.

https://viewsync.net/watch?v=wFGzLidT_ns&t=563&v=IhUpDvHI1bE&t=295&mode=solo

Yeh B1049 did a couple leg retractions tests and drops after her first flight. Probably general tests to see what needed to be changed so that we got to now where leg retraction is just the standard.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: erv on 07/10/2020 01:34 pm
What tomorrow's and July 14 launch would do to the rapid reuse records (if they do not get delayed of course)?
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: envy887 on 07/10/2020 01:56 pm
What tomorrow's and July 14 launch would do to the rapid reuse records (if they do not get delayed of course)?

A launch of B1058 on July 14 would be 45 days after the previous flight on May 30. The current record for reflying a vehicle in an orbital launch is 54 days, by Atlantis in 1985, so 45 days would be a substantial improvement, and also would be the first time SpaceX has bettered that particular Shuttle record.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/20/2020 09:43 pm
So with a good launch of ANASIS-II a new record has indeed been set of 51 days and a bit over 2 hours between launches of the B1058 booster.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: sdsds on 07/20/2020 09:59 pm
What an amazing achievement! It leaves one to wonder whether availability of upper stages and payloads will soon become (or already has become) the pacing factor?
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 07/20/2020 10:16 pm
So with a good launch of ANASIS-II a new record has indeed been set of 51 days and a bit over 2 hours between launches of the B1058 booster.

B1060 may soon be angling for that record, if it's used to launch the Sirius XM-7 satellite in early August.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 07/20/2020 10:23 pm
What an amazing achievement! It leaves one to wonder whether availability of upper stages and payloads will soon become (or already has become) the pacing factor?

I think payload and range availability are still the current choke points - AFAIK they have been for a while now - but that may not be by much, presumably SpaceX is cranking out 2nd stages like there's no tomorrow. Also the turnaround time of the recovery ships is becoming a major pacing item.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 07/20/2020 11:02 pm
Prior to today's launch, and excluding the outliers (today's record and the in flight abort test), the average turnaround time for boosters flown this year is 134 days.

Including today's launch, the average turnaround time for boosters flown this year drops to 124.8 days.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/21/2020 07:25 am
Elon as relentless as ever

twitter.com/flcnhvy/status/1285328667258826753

Quote
SpaceX just broke the turnaround record for an orbital rocket! B1058, which previously launched @AstroBehnken & @Astro_Doug to the ISS, was reused after only 51 days — beating Space Shuttle Atlantis’ record of 54 days. Congrats @elonmusk & @SpaceX 🚀🚀

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1285331502381715456

Quote
Still long way to go. Reuse only matters to degree that it’s rapid & complete.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Hog on 07/21/2020 05:00 pm
The OV-104  Atlantis supposed "record" that was broken was 54 days between the launch of STS-51-J which launched on October 3 1985(a DoD flight launching 2 sats) and OV-104's next mission STS-61B which launched on November 26, 1985(launching 3 satellites).  Both missions were of course crewed flying with 5 and 7 crewmembers respectively.

Congrats Space X, and Musk has it totally correct when he replied "Still long way to go. Reuse only matters to degree that it’s rapid & complete."  Which was perhaps THE major failing with the resultant Space Transportation System.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Norm38 on 07/23/2020 05:13 pm
The steamroller is accelerating.

First reuse flight in 2017.
First 3rd flight was in 2018.
First 4th flight was in 2019.

2020 has first 5th flight already, will get 6th and likely first 7th in Oct on Starlink L14 if 1049.6 lands successfully.

A couple other interesting observations.
SpaceX intentionally expended 4 boosters in 2017.
Expended 9 boosters in 2018.
Only expended 1 booster in 2019.
And per the manifest, possibly only expending a Heavy center core in 2020 (IFA doesn't count)
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 07/26/2020 06:38 am
I think payload and range availability are still the current choke points - AFAIK they have been for a while now - but that may not be by much, presumably SpaceX is cranking out 2nd stages like there's no tomorrow. Also the turnaround time of the recovery ships is becoming a major pacing item.
While refurb time between launches is still measured in weeks I don't think that's going to be too big an issue.

Obviously you can use the travel time to do telemetry analysis, diagnose areas for detailed inspection and schedule various tasks but nothing happens till the ship actually arrives at port.

The question has to be can you do more while the barge is in transit?
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 07/26/2020 06:53 am
The steamroller is accelerating.

First reuse flight in 2017.
First 3rd flight was in 2018.
First 4th flight was in 2019.

2020 has first 5th flight already, will get 6th and likely first 7th in Oct on Starlink L14 if 1049.6 lands successfully.

A couple other interesting observations.
SpaceX intentionally expended 4 boosters in 2017.
Expended 9 boosters in 2018.
Only expended 1 booster in 2019.

And per the manifest, possibly only expending a Heavy center core in 2020 (IFA doesn't count)
Nice re-cap of the highlights. Thanks for that.

Indeed provided they perform nominally we will be looking at an 8 flight total by years end with turn around times below 50 days. 

One possible way to look at turn around times is how they have to change to give X launches a year from the same booster.  So
91 days 4
73 days 5
60 days 6
52 days 7
45 days 8
40 days 9
36 days 10
33 days 11
30 days 12
.
.
.
12 days 30 (roughly current pad turnaround time).
So on that basis 45 days is the next big milestone to go for.
Onward to 45.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: edkyle99 on 07/26/2020 04:16 pm
How much does booster turnaround time really matter when Falcon 9 is only flying 20 or so times per year, (once every 19 days or so)?

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: yoram on 07/26/2020 04:27 pm
How much does booster turnaround time really matter when Falcon 9 is only flying 20 or so times per year, (once every 19 days or so)?

 - Ed Kyle

Likely not that much yet, but I can see it matter longer term

- Faster turnaround likely corresponds to cheaper turnaround, as in less work hours needed (assuming single shift)
- Faster turnaround allows them to give more schedule options to their customers, which they like.
- Once they shut down the Falcon first stage production and only run on left over stages, the turnaround time will be more important to meet customer's schedule.
 
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: tbellman on 07/26/2020 05:45 pm
How much does booster turnaround time really matter when Falcon 9 is only flying 20 or so times per year, (once every 19 days or so)?

First of all you have the assumption that they are only flying every 18-19 days.  We know they were aiming for 24 Starlink launches in 2020, and in addition there are about a dozen other launches done or scheduled for Falcon 9 in 2020.  Having a short turnaround time allows them to at least aim for that, with just a few boosters.  If turnaround times are long, it's meaningless to even try.

Having few boosters "live" means less capital tied up in them, and you get quicker return on the investment of building a booster.  And you need less storage space for boosters.

As already mentioned, short turnaround time is and indirect indication of how much work is needed, and thus how much it costs, to retrieve, check, refurbish, process, and launch a Falcon 9.

Work on bringing down turnaround times for Falcon 9 probably also helps in informing Starship/SuperHeavy development (of both the rocket hardware, and operations), to bring down its turnaround time.  SS/SH will need fairly frequent launches for refueling missions, so it is even more important there to be able to reuse quickly, even if actual payload missions don't increase as much as they hope.


Bottlenecks in launch cadences affects not only how often you can launch on average (your 20 launches per year), but importantly also peak cadence.  If there are several missions that need to launch within a short launch window (e.g to Mars, to take a topical example), then you can't take them on at all without being able to launch often.  If you bid on them all, and happen to win them all, you might need to go back to some of the customers and cancel.  Even just bidding on all of them could be problematic, as the customers could consider your bid risky, and you might lose them all.

Booster reuse turnaround time is of course only one factor affecting peak launch cadence, and probably not even the most important one, since you can "just" build one or two more new boosters, but then you need to tie up more capital in hardware.


There are many reasons for wanting short turnaround times for reuse.  As for how much money that translates to currently, good question.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 07/26/2020 10:05 pm
At one time in June the possibility was 4 lanches each for July, August, and Sept. But enter small technical issues and weather. And will do good to have 2 launches in July. And booster availability was not the issue.

Another general note is the booster was available for a 14 July launch at a 45 day cycle. But issues caused delays that were not associated with the booster.

There is the ability for boosters to easily support 4 a month launch rate but other things get in the way: weather, other range users, technical issues that crop up, travel time for the SpaceX Navy, pad cycling, ...
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Welsh Dragon on 07/26/2020 11:09 pm
How much does booster turnaround time really matter when Falcon 9 is only flying 20 or so times per year, (once every 19 days or so)?

 - Ed Kyle
Only 20 times a year?! How many other rockets are running at that cadence? Yes, part of is in internal launches, but still. In 2019 China had 34 launches and Russia 22 with all their rockets combined. SpaceX did 13 out of a total of 21 US launches.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: edkyle99 on 07/26/2020 11:58 pm
How much does booster turnaround time really matter when Falcon 9 is only flying 20 or so times per year, (once every 19 days or so)?

 - Ed Kyle
Only 20 times a year?! How many other rockets are running at that cadence? Yes, part of is in internal launches, but still. In 2019 China had 34 launches and Russia 22 with all their rockets combined. SpaceX did 13 out of a total of 21 US launches.
Only China's DF-5 based CZ 2-4 family has averaged more than 20 per year (21) since the start of 2015, with much of that average raised by its record 34 launches in 2018.  Russia's R-7 was second at 15 per year during the same span.  Falcon 9 averaged 13.5 per year during the same period, but is up to almost 17 per year since the start of 2017 (and about 17.7 per year if Falcon Heavy is included).

I used the word "only" because that is still an infrequent rate in the bigger picture.  That's less than two flights per month, even for the world's busiest rockets.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/27/2020 01:01 am
Yup. And on an annual-tons-IMLEO perspective, we're still I think below 500 tons/annum... We haven't reached the peak of around 1000 tons per annum in 1969...  (Well, might have gotten to that level in the 1980s and 90s, depending on how generous you are with what counts as "payload" with Shuttle, since the orbiters WERE a very important part of the payload.)

We should get there pretty soon. There are several new heavy or super heavy launch vehicles being fielded, and if Starship works as anything but a demonstration, we should zoom well past 1000 tons per year. (And as Ed notes, China is launching a lot, too...)
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 07/27/2020 05:47 am
At one time in June the possibility was 4 lanches each for July, August, and Sept. But enter small technical issues and weather. And will do good to have 2 launches in July. And booster availability was not the issue.

Another general note is the booster was available for a 14 July launch at a 45 day cycle. But issues caused delays that were not associated with the booster.

There is the ability for boosters to easily support 4 a month launch rate but other things get in the way: weather, other range users, technical issues that crop up, travel time for the SpaceX Navy, pad cycling, ...
True, but a shorter turnaround always improves your flexibility

It also depends on how the staff time is charged to refurb. If X staff are permanently assigned on refurb duty when they're not working they are not productive. OTOH if they are on other tasks when not refurbing then there is a financial incentive to shorten the refurb per booster.

The joker in this pack is Starlink.

While SX is getting closer to a minimum operating configuration they are dozens of F9 launches away from a full deployment.  Obviously we're all hoping SH/SS will take over but it's nowhere near reaching orbit yet so SX have to plan on using F9 for the foreseeable future.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Norm38 on 08/08/2020 05:05 am
How much does booster turnaround time really matter when Falcon 9 is only flying 20 or so times per year, (once every 19 days or so)?

 - Ed Kyle

Great point. SpaceX is running a five booster rotation right now. So each booster has to fly four times.
They’re getting there.

I just realized that B1056 was the first booster to have three flights in a year in 2019.  Sadly lost in Feb.

But this year B1051 has three and the next two launches of B1049 and B1059 will be their third.

They may all get a 4th flight this year.
So they’re on target.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: wannamoonbase on 08/08/2020 02:43 pm
How much does booster turnaround time really matter when Falcon 9 is only flying 20 or so times per year, (once every 19 days or so)?

 - Ed Kyle

Great point. SpaceX is running a five booster rotation right now. So each booster has to fly four times.
They’re getting there.

I just realized that B1056 was the first booster to have three flights in a year in 2019.  Sadly lost in Feb.

But this year B1051 has three and the next two launches of B1049 and B1059 will be their third.

They may all get a 4th flight this year.
So they’re on target.

Ed Kyle is right on point.  The stated goal is not the goal.

The stretch goal of a faster turn around I think is a way for Elon to push everyone to look at where they can improve and engineer out things that needed to turn a booster around.

It's the same as some of the lofty but pointless goals Elon has stated for Hawthorne such as 50 boosters a year or whatever the number was for Merlin production, 200 or 500 a year or whatever it was. 
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: RonM on 08/08/2020 02:50 pm
Might as well keep improving F9 turnaround times to apply lessons learned to SS/SH. If it's going to take five launches to refuel SS in orbit it would be nice to be able to do it with less than five tankers and five boosters. Five flights from one tanker and one booster would be great.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: JamesH65 on 08/08/2020 05:10 pm
How much does booster turnaround time really matter when Falcon 9 is only flying 20 or so times per year, (once every 19 days or so)?

 - Ed Kyle

Great point. SpaceX is running a five booster rotation right now. So each booster has to fly four times.
They’re getting there.

I just realized that B1056 was the first booster to have three flights in a year in 2019.  Sadly lost in Feb.

But this year B1051 has three and the next two launches of B1049 and B1059 will be their third.

They may all get a 4th flight this year.
So they’re on target.

Ed Kyle is right on point.  The stated goal is not the goal.

The stretch goal of a faster turn around I think is a way for Elon to push everyone to look at where they can improve and engineer out things that needed to turn a booster around.

It's the same as some of the lofty but pointless goals Elon has stated for Hawthorne such as 50 boosters a year or whatever the number was for Merlin production, 200 or 500 a year or whatever it was.

Surprising how many people don't get this. If they get the turnaround time down to 24 hours, they save money. Lots of money. Just in man hours. Of course, they really don't need it to be that fast just because it's fast, the demand is not there, but they do need it to be cheap, and fast equals cheap. Fast is a side effect.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 08/08/2020 10:24 pm
Take a look at the 2021 SpaceX Manifest thread. There is 41 launches listed for F9 assuming 24 Starlinks launches to be attempted in a year off of 39A and 40 while awaiting Starship. Also there is 7 listed for launch from SLC-4 in 2021 as well and non of those are Starlink. Even if you do not launch any Starlink sats there is still 17 for east coast and 7 west coast for a total of 24. 2021 could easily see an average of very close to 3 a month  for east coast. That is because payloads will be stacked up awaiting a LV, range slot, and good weather (60% that is since about half the time SpaceX has actually launched with a 60% good weather chance). An average of 5 launches per booster. Some will make it to 6 or even 7 but others may not make it to even 3. Meaning due to the existing boosters at end of 2020 will already be up in the number of launches and only 1 with just 1 launch already designated for use on Crew-2. In order to support a total of 40 launches both east and west coast. SpaceX will need 8 new boosters. Which leave them in same approximate end of year situation as they will be in this year 2020. 30 day or less turnaround for boosters will occur since the new booster deliveries are at about 1 every 2 months. And the high rate of launch will demand it.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: meekGee on 08/09/2020 10:57 pm
How much does booster turnaround time really matter when Falcon 9 is only flying 20 or so times per year, (once every 19 days or so)?

 - Ed Kyle

Great point. SpaceX is running a five booster rotation right now. So each booster has to fly four times.
They’re getting there.

I just realized that B1056 was the first booster to have three flights in a year in 2019.  Sadly lost in Feb.

But this year B1051 has three and the next two launches of B1049 and B1059 will be their third.

They may all get a 4th flight this year.
So they’re on target.

Ed Kyle is right on point.  The stated goal is not the goal.

The stretch goal of a faster turn around I think is a way for Elon to push everyone to look at where they can improve and engineer out things that needed to turn a booster around.

It's the same as some of the lofty but pointless goals Elon has stated for Hawthorne such as 50 boosters a year or whatever the number was for Merlin production, 200 or 500 a year or whatever it was.

It's "pointless" right now since "there's no market/demand for it".  Same battle cry that was used with respect to re-use in general.

Something old-space is not getting - even if the customer is not writing a check for it, there's value for development and improving technology for the sake of being better, since this enables customer demand and market growth later on.

In a year or two either F9 turn-around time will matter, or SS will take over which is simply a case of being beaten by your own excellence...  But note that there was no "customer demand" for SS either.  Too big.  Too rapid.  Too risky. 

Old Space.  We put the "Old" in "Space".   Shrug. 
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 08/10/2020 05:33 am
Something old-space is not getting - even if the customer is not writing a check for it, there's value for development and improving technology for the sake of being better, since this enables customer demand and market growth later on.
"Old" space sees no market elasticity. Therefore any improvement, in their PoV, must be paid for directly by the customer.
Quote from: meekGee
In a year or two either F9 turn-around time will matter,
I think it already does.  :(  With 12000 sats in the full Starlink constellation it's going to take a long time to launch them at 60 per F9 launch.  I'm quite sure SX had a $ cost for every month Starlink is not operating and a $ increase for every increment to its coverage and customer numbers.
Quote from: meekGee
or SS will take over which is simply a case of being beaten by your own excellence...  But note that there was no "customer demand" for SS either.  Too big.  Too rapid.  Too risky. 
Quite true.

And it will take years for SS specific payloads to appear. Anyone working on such designs is doing so out-of-hours.

However there is a significant backlog of F9 and FH launches that will slot straight into it.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Robotbeat on 08/12/2020 12:05 am
Something old-space is not getting - even if the customer is not writing a check for it, there's value for development and improving technology for the sake of being better, since this enables customer demand and market growth later on.
"Old" space sees no market elasticity. Therefore any improvement, in their PoV, must be paid for directly by the customer.
That’s meekgee’s point, kinda. Oldspace doesn’t care about growing the market, so belief in inelastivity becomes self-fulfilling. SpaceX realizes the market left to its own devices might be inelastic so they CREATE massive demand by deciding to develop a ridiculously big constellation that pushes even their partially reusable F9 rocket to its limits of capacity and turnaround time, therefore justifying the development of a larger and fully reusable launcher (Starship).
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: TomH on 08/12/2020 04:53 am
...there's value for development and improving technology for the sake of being better,...

Spot on!!!
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: LouScheffer on 08/12/2020 04:18 pm
How much does booster turnaround time really matter when Falcon 9 is only flying 20 or so times per year, (once every 19 days or so)?
Surprising how many people don't get this. If they get the turnaround time down to 24 hours, they save money. Lots of money. Just in man hours. Of course, they really don't need it to be that fast just because it's fast, the demand is not there, but they do need it to be cheap, and fast equals cheap. Fast is a side effect.
Also, it's much better for presentation and retention.   How many people can you crowd around a booster during refurbishment?  Maybe 100? So if SpaceX can turn around a booster in 24 hours, they can spend at most 2400 person-hours.  If these cost $100 per hour, then that's a maximum cost of $240,000.  But "we aim to turn around a booster in a day" is much crisper and more memorable than "our aim is a refurbishment cost of $240,000 or less" or the even more bureaucratic "our aim is to refurbish a booster with 2,400 or fewer person-hours of labor".
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: goretexguy on 08/12/2020 05:00 pm
How much does booster turnaround time really matter when Falcon 9 is only flying 20 or so times per year, (once every 19 days or so)?
Surprising how many people don't get this. If they get the turnaround time down to 24 hours, they save money. Lots of money. Just in man hours. Of course, they really don't need it to be that fast just because it's fast, the demand is not there, but they do need it to be cheap, and fast equals cheap. Fast is a side effect.
Also, it's much better for presentation and retention.   How many people can you crowd around a booster during refurbishment?  Maybe 100? So if SpaceX can turn around a booster in 24 hours, they can spend at most 2400 person-hours.  If these cost $100 per hour, then that's a maximum cost of $240,000.  But "we aim to turn around a booster in a day" is much crisper and more memorable than "our aim is a refurbishment cost of $240,000 or less" or the even more bureaucratic "our aim is to refurbish a booster with 2,400 or fewer person-hours of labor".

Fast turnaround lets you take advantage of periods of good weather, too. Launch complexes have to choose location over weather. Edwards AFB, by comparison, chose weather over location.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 08/12/2020 11:08 pm
Because SpaceX has been manufacturing Starlink sats at 120/month since April or before there are more than 5 sets of 60 sats in storage right now. This suggests that they could launch as often as they can: booster availability, 60% good weather, pad availability (min turnaround a possible 9 days for a pad or even less), range availability, SpaceX Navy availability, payload ready/available, and US availability. But because of that long list of constraints doing even 4 launches from 2 pads on the east coast in a month is difficult with mostly good weather and no range difficulties (June example, only 3 launches occured). When everything works against you getting even 1 launch in a month is difficult (July example). NOTE booster turnaround did not even effect either outcome. Boosters were available to support 4 launches in June and July.

But now things have gotten complex. Is SpaceX desires to only use high usage boosters for Starlink to get another Starlink launch at the end of this month or the beginning of next month booster turnaround will have to be 30 days or less. They boxed themselves into a corner because launches that should have happened have all bunched up into September/October leaving no boosters with high usage except 2. And both of those currently have 5 flights with one about to do it's 6th.

Also September and October are the two worst weather months in the year for the Cape. So schedules may get scrambled and pushing the envelope of booster reuse may fade way back in the background again until November/December.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Norm38 on 08/17/2020 05:51 pm
While we wait for B1049.6 to take flight, I thought it'd be nice to take a look back at where we are now vs when she first took flight, as she's the old gal of the fleet now.

Almost 2 years ago on 9/10/18 B1049 first flew.  Back then no booster had flown more than twice, and all boosters were retired/expended after their 2nd flight.  Then starting with B1046 boosters were no longer expended, with only two exceptions in two years (B1054, B1047.3).  And barring accidental loss (B1050, B1056.4, B1048.5), the boosters have been incredibly stable and robust workhorses.  B1049 has been there for all of it.

Now 6 flights in two years isn't terribly rapid reuse, but they are smoothly accelerating and the flight counts are racking up.  How does where we are at today match up to predictions from a few years ago?

So godspeed B1049, you're not done yet.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: jebbo on 08/20/2020 07:07 am
I've not posted it for a while, so here's a reuse graph.

Overall average reuse time: 179 days
Min reuse time: 51 days

--- Tony
 
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: smoliarm on 08/20/2020 08:33 am
I've not posted it for a while, so here's a reuse graph.

Overall average reuse time: 200 days
Min reuse time: 62 days

--- Tony

It should be "51 days" - for booster B1058 (Dragon DM2) - B1058.2 (Anasis II), and it seems the graph this data point correctly.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: jebbo on 08/20/2020 09:24 am
t should be "51 days" - for booster B1058 (Dragon DM2) - B1058.2 (Anasis II), and it seems the graph this data point correctly.

Doh! Mistake in my spreadsheet ... also, the overall average is ~179 days not 200.

--- Tony
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Brovane on 08/31/2020 12:19 am
Any thoughts if SpaceX will try and set a new turn around record for booster 1059.4?

Since it was a RTLS it would be fairly easy to get the booster quickly and turned around for Starlink L12. 
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 08/31/2020 03:21 am
Any thoughts if SpaceX will try and set a new turn around record for booster 1059.4?

Since it was a RTLS it would be fairly easy to get the booster quickly and turned around for Starlink L12.
More likely it would be used on L13 in the first week of October. Which may be the only Starlink in October with the CRS2 and Crew-1 in late October. 1049.7 and 1058.6 are available for a just over 30 day turnaround for about mid month flights for L11 and L12.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/31/2020 02:21 pm
Cool block 5 reuse graphic, including periods between uses:

https://twitter.com/spacenosey/status/1300355406607380480

Google translate:

Quote
After yesterday's launch, this is the summary of the propellants of the #Falcon9 .
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: AJW on 08/31/2020 03:39 pm
Cool block 5 reuse graphic, including periods between uses:

https://twitter.com/spacenosey/status/1300355406607380480

Google translate:

Quote
After yesterday's launch, this is the summary of the propellants of the #Falcon9 .


This is a fantastic chart.  In this context, 'propulsores' would be more accurately translated as 'boosters' not 'propellants'.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Okie_Steve on 08/31/2020 07:18 pm
I wish it differentiated between landing not attempted due to weather and landing attempt resulted in a miss/splat. Otherwise very nice!

Edit - Maybe a red X or slash through the chevrons for not attempted?
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: AC in NC on 08/31/2020 07:26 pm
I wish it differentiated between landing not attempted due to weather and landing attempt resulted in a miss/splat. Otherwise very nice!

Edit - Maybe a red X for not attempted?

Doesn't it do that by omitting the OCISLY?  I went through and reminded myself of how the failures manifesting but I don't have them well in mind to map them to booster or mission.

I do wish there was a sort of visual reminder (like the payload icon) of what caused the landing failure.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Okie_Steve on 08/31/2020 07:29 pm
I was thinking expendable where there was no recovery planned vs bad weather at sea resulting in recovery being cancelled but not "failing" like a miss or splat.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 08/31/2020 11:21 pm
There is a possibility that in the first week of October a launch of L14 on 1059.5 with a <40 cycle could be achieved. But that also needs to have the September launches occur close to expected. Otherwise L13 could be the one to launch around the beginning of October on another booster. But we can always be surprised by SpaceX.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: jebbo on 09/01/2020 08:03 am
This is a fantastic chart.  In this context, 'propulsores' would be more accurately translated as 'boosters' not 'propellants'.

My flight history chart isn't quite as pretty ;-)

Edit: future launches are probably incomplete

--- Tony
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Norm38 on 09/08/2020 04:27 am
Cross-post:
Finally, the last test/rehearsal for SAOCOM-1B before launch won't be simultaneous to the static fire, so it will probably be a "regular" SF (no payload attached).
Transfer of the Falcon 9 to the pad and Static Fire should be next.
Noting as of now: We're less than 43 hours from launch and there is no outward sign reported of an impending Static Fire, with or without payload.
SAOCOM-1B launched with no Static Fire.
***

This is a huge step towards rapid reuse.  If you can setup and fuel for a static fire, you can launch.  If the computer aborts, what was lost?

Dress rehearsal for highly fixed critical launch dates is okay. But Starlink and bulk cargo don’t need rehearsals. Just go.

And engine startup stress and wear is cut in half for free.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: WormPicker959 on 09/14/2020 08:18 pm
Cool block 5 reuse graphic, including periods between uses:

https://twitter.com/spacenosey/status/1300355406607380480

Google translate:

Quote
After yesterday's launch, this is the summary of the propellants of the #Falcon9 .

I'm procrastinating making figures for a paper so I've decided instead to make a "figure" from these data. Let me know if you have suggestions.

From this plot, you can see that, while there's considerable variation in the time-to-next-launch, it gets more consistent over time, and later and later boosters have lower and lower numbers. Looks like evidence of improvement over time.

Edit: Decided to add whether the boosters are in service or not.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/06/2020 12:08 pm
twitter.com/ppathole/status/1313447578881589248

Quote
There's been a significant reduction in the turnaround time of Falcon 9, which is a pretty significant implication for re-use. I know it's still a long way off, but could we see that 24hr turnaround time of Falcon 9 soon?

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1313448952499367936

Quote
Roughly a week or two turnaround is all that’s needed to meet max launch demand. Starship Super Heavy is designed for reflight in less than an hour.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: niwax on 11/07/2020 01:19 pm
Some light statistics for your weekend. Number of F9 Block 5 first stage missions, grouped by flight number.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: theprotobe on 11/09/2020 03:54 am
Some light statistics for your weekend. Number of F9 Block 5 first stage missions, grouped by flight number.
SpaceX boosters starting to get old. Worried that there's a big roadblock coming up in the near future that prevents them from reusing it more. Something like when they'd need to replace the engines, and respective equipment.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 11/09/2020 05:29 am
Some light statistics for your weekend. Number of F9 Block 5 first stage missions, grouped by flight number.
SpaceX boosters starting to get old. Worried that there's a big roadblock coming up in the near future that prevents them from reusing it more. Something like when they'd need to replace the engines, and respective equipment.
Welcome to the site.

Engine replacement is one area there are no worries. SX have done engine swaps on various occasions and it's a well understood process. 
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: macpacheco on 11/13/2020 11:52 pm
SpaceX boosters starting to get old. Worried that there's a big roadblock coming up in the near future that prevents them from reusing it more. Something like when they'd need to replace the engines, and respective equipment.
Even if that were an issue (so far it isn't), in 2020 alone SX added 3 new F9 boosters to the fleet (flown and recovered) and has 2 more to be flown in Nov-2020 alone.
There's no difficulty in building new boosters, except for the cost.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: TomMul on 12/08/2020 07:42 pm
Some light statistics for your weekend. Number of F9 Block 5 first stage missions, grouped by flight number.
SpaceX boosters starting to get old. Worried that there's a big roadblock coming up in the near future that prevents them from reusing it more. Something like when they'd need to replace the engines, and respective equipment.
It would be great if SpaceX tell us before each mission, how long refurbishment exact booster needed and describe this refurb in more detail. 

I never saw that leaked video, where SpaceX allegedly said that refurb takes now only 1 month, but from Everyday Astronaut Starlink 14, 15 live streams it sounds like record is still 50 days and 1 month is just goal for the future. B1049 had turnaround 98 days before 7th flight. I know that refurbished boosters must wait some time for their mission, but since SpaceX had 10 block 5 boosters right now and 5 large hangars in CC ( including maybe even Astrotech hangars ) where they cold refurbish them, it doesn't need to be long time. Virtually few days after refurbishment ended they could integrate them with 2stage and payload and fly to mission.

Is there some new info about how this refurb looks right now. I remember some quotes of Shotwell, Musk and SpaceX VP about refurbishment of old block 4 boosters, but nothing new.

How long it could take now scanning used booster HW and cleaning Merlin turbines. And how big part of this refurb is swapping parts, that are not qualified for the next flight. F9R booster was design for easy parts replacement so in 90 day refurb they could replace almost all of them.

As for cost of refurbishment. I know that EM mentioned in AW interview figure 250K worth of refurbishment, but this could refer only to some part of overall refurbishment cost.

For example Shuttle solid boosters refurbishment took always about 1-2 month ( they were refurbished simultaneously ) and average cost per 1refurb was 50 ml$. Not remember now, if it was just for one solid or both. So 250K would be 100 times improvement over Shuttle solids, while F9R boosters refurb time is not much better than SRBs.

If 1stage refurb include swapping many parts like helium COPVs, valves, turbine wheels, feedlines ( which are relatively expensive ) it should be always in ml$ not just 250K.

Big difference is also that ATK didn't produce 10 new solid boosters each year like SpaceX is doing right now. Purpose of reusability is always limit number of workers, who work on your production lines to have as much cost savings as possible. But this can result also in high cost increase of any substitute parts, that you need to replace used HW which is not qualified for the next flight.


Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: RotoSequence on 12/08/2020 11:08 pm
Big difference is also that ATK didn't produce 10 new solid boosters each year like SpaceX is doing right now. Purpose of reusability is always limit number of workers, who work on your production lines to have as much cost savings as possible. But this can result also in high cost increase of any substitute parts, that you need to replace used HW which is not qualified for the next flight.

The second stage and booster use mostly common parts, and they still need a new second stage for every flight; they shouldn't have any worries about retaining otherwise idle workers that only occasionally put together a booster.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Lars-J on 12/08/2020 11:58 pm
Big difference is also that ATK didn't produce 10 new solid boosters each year like SpaceX is doing right now. Purpose of reusability is always limit number of workers, who work on your production lines to have as much cost savings as possible. But this can result also in high cost increase of any substitute parts, that you need to replace used HW which is not qualified for the next flight.

The second stage and booster use mostly common parts, and they still need a new second stage for every flight; they shouldn't have any worries about retaining otherwise idle workers that only occasionally put together a booster.

Bingo. People keep missing that brilliant aspect in how SpaceX has introduced reusability without cutting back their work force. Stage 1 and stage 2 are built on the same assembly line, by the same workers. The same for M1D and M1DVac. All F9 flights were expendably initially, but as flight rates increased, the reuse increased. So the workers now simply build more upper stages and M1DVacs.

For ESA/Arianespace and other more traditional orgs, each stage is often built by its own sub-contractor or workforce. They can't cut down the production of their boosters/stage 1 without laying off a lot of people. SpaceX can just shift workers around on the assembly line, or move them to other projects. (Raptor / Starship)
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: dondar on 12/10/2020 10:13 am
to TomMul.

you compare Ferrari F1 to "Tesla Semi". You compare technological cycle of vehicles which are built using fundamentally different technologies using fundamentally different designed specifications and were/are governed by actually opposite in key factors managerial mindsets.
Apples&Oranges.

More to it.
Comparing Shuttle to anything is very erroneous. Shuttle had remained half-baked never finished crippled by monthtomonth politics project. The project which was frozen in it's initial "temporal" design iteration.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: spacenut on 12/10/2020 02:40 pm
Shuttle never developed flyback liquid boosters they talked about for years. 

They also never developed a launch escape system for the crew in the nose of the shuttle. 

They never developed an in space tile repair procedures with spare tiles. 

They didn't use stainless steel on the construction of the shuttle to give a little more heat resistance in case of tile loss on re-entry.  Aluminum melts at half the temperture of stainless steel. 

They could have made a 75 ton heavy lifter with Shuttle side mount. 

Lots of things could have evolved with shuttle, but NASA didn't allow evolution of the shuttle. 

F9 started as an expendable. 

They increased the thrust of Merlin.

They stretched the booster to handle more kerolox for the improved engines.

They stretched the booster to the maximum road handling capabilities.

They added landing legs.

They added grid fins.

They made titanium grid fins. 

They changed the layout of the engines from a square to the octogrid with more heat resistance on the bottom.

They evolved F9 a reusable rocket that is now flying into more reused flying than new. 

Now they are designing Starship/Superheavy into fully reusable from this experience. 

NASA just really froze after shuttle.  Now they are developing a huge expensive expendable rocket to nowhere but a money pit.  Reuse is working and working for SpaceX. 
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: david1971 on 12/10/2020 03:55 pm
SpaceX will hopefully get a second booster to seven flights on Saturday.  Granted that this has been a great week for them, but the 7th flight will be the third most notable thing for the company this week, after SN8 and the FCC award. 
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 12/10/2020 07:03 pm
SpaceX will hopefully get a second booster to seven flights on Saturday.  Granted that this has been a great week for them, but the 7th flight will be the third most notable thing for the company this week, after SN8 and the FCC award.
I wonder if there's time enough to do an 8th launch?
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 12/10/2020 07:23 pm

Lots of things could have evolved with shuttle, but NASA didn't allow evolution of the shuttle. 
Indeed.   :(  There were many possible improvements that could have been made over the years, most of which would have left it unchanged on the outside but radically easier to maintain and service.

One of the key things I sensed about the Shuttle programme was the siloed nature of the programme. There was no sense of a Von Braun. Not so much a Chief Designer (it had already been built and delivered to NASA by then) but a Chief of Support and Maintenance who could say "This is good. Keep it. This is marginal and needs work in this areas. This is a PITA. It has to go and soon." 

I get the impression that Musk is such a person. I'm not sure how you measure the benefits of having someone with a wide breadth of understanding who can make decisions quickly (which is the impression I get from listening to some interviews people who've worked for him and with him give) but I think they are quite substantial given how much progress SX have made.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Jansen on 12/11/2020 10:51 am
SpaceX will hopefully get a second booster to seven flights on Saturday.  Granted that this has been a great week for them, but the 7th flight will be the third most notable thing for the company this week, after SN8 and the FCC award.
I wonder if there's time enough to do an 8th launch?

Prob B1049.8 in January
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: DreamyPickle on 12/11/2020 11:05 am
Was there ever a serious proposal to build shuttle orbiters continuously like they did for Falcon 9? Even building one orbiter every 5 years would have allowed for improvements over time.

People keep bringing up the Shuttle as an example of what to expect for Falcon 9 and Starship but that program operated in a completely different environment.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: su27k on 12/12/2020 11:44 am
Was there ever a serious proposal to build shuttle orbiters continuously like they did for Falcon 9? Even building one orbiter every 5 years would have allowed for improvements over time.

People keep bringing up the Shuttle as an example of what to expect for Falcon 9 and Starship but that program operated in a completely different environment.

No, neither has any theoretical reusable launch vehicle study made this assumption AFAIK. Pretty much all the papers assume you build a handful of vehicles then stop the production line, which introduces a lot of problems, for example you can't afford to lose a vehicle and everything has to work perfectly from the start.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: TrevorMonty on 12/12/2020 04:49 pm
SpaceX will hopefully get a second booster to seven flights on Saturday.  Granted that this has been a great week for them, but the 7th flight will be the third most notable thing for the company this week, after SN8 and the FCC award.
I wonder if there's time enough to do an 8th launch?

Prob B1049.8 in January
Will these boosters keep flying pass flight No10?.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: macpacheco on 12/12/2020 05:10 pm
Will these boosters keep flying pass flight No10?.
Elon said it looks like they should be able to fly those boosters way beyond their 10th flight and they intend to keep going.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Norm38 on 12/13/2020 07:28 pm
Today SpaceX quietly tied their record for consecutive successful booster landings, with 19 in a row successful.  Tying the previous record from CRS SpX-9 to the side boosters of FH Demo (not counting intentional expendatures)

The last streak ended with the center core of FH Demo.  Now they have a chance to reach 20 successful consecutive landings.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: AndrewRG10 on 12/14/2020 01:43 am
Today SpaceX quietly tied their record for consecutive successful booster landings, with 19 in a row successful.  Tying the previous record from CRS SpX-9 to the side boosters of FH Demo (not counting intentional expendatures)

The last streak ended with the center core of FH Demo.  Now they have a chance to reach 20 successful consecutive landings.

Glad to see someone else noticed the significance of this landing.
Previous streaks
2015:1
2016:3
2016-2018:19
2018:9
2019:11
2019-2020:6
2020:1
2020(so far):19
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: theprotobe on 12/14/2020 04:26 pm
Can Falcon 9 ever use the starship landing pad on 39A, disregarding the vicinity of the HIF and the launch tower? What would be the implication if they ever landed there, and would SpaceX ever do it?
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: SteveU on 12/17/2020 04:19 pm
...snip

The difference in time between when a booster is ready for another use and when it is actually used again are not directly related. The time between reuses only sets an upper limit not a lower limit on refurb time. Time between reuses will be effected by many things that have nothing to do with refurb time (payload readiness, pad readiness, launch priorities of payloads, etc). We also have no insight into why they order the reuses the way they do. Assuming it’s because a booster takes longer to refurb is just that, an assumption. There are likely a myriad of reasons the first available booster isn’t used.

Thank you - Been wanting to point this out but you said it better than I could!
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Jansen on 12/18/2020 11:36 am
...snip

The difference in time between when a booster is ready for another use and when it is actually used again are not directly related. The time between reuses only sets an upper limit not a lower limit on refurb time. Time between reuses will be effected by many things that have nothing to do with refurb time (payload readiness, pad readiness, launch priorities of payloads, etc). We also have no insight into why they order the reuses the way they do. Assuming it’s because a booster takes longer to refurb is just that, an assumption. There are likely a myriad of reasons the first available booster isn’t used.

It’s important to note that refurbishment does not just mean cleaning. There is a lot of data analysis   and physical inspections that are conducted.

For a flight leader like B1049, you can expect an occasional disassembly of components to check for wear and tear, as well as X-ray and ultrasound  inspections.

SpaceX can already theoretically go to a 45 day booster turnaround. Previous launches would’ve been 47 and 49 days if not for weather delays.

I posted recently a number of SpaceX jobs that may indicate hiring of a significant number of technicians specifically for refurbishment.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Jansen on 12/18/2020 04:23 pm
How you know, that it is not about 40 days in the best case and 50, 60 days or more for other reflights of other boosters, like in case of B1049 7th flight. Somebody on Twitter said to me that average refurb time is 50 days.

That someone on Twitter lied to you.

There has never been a booster turnaround less than 51 days. It could’ve turned around at 47 days, but was delayed for weather. That has been the absolute fastest we’ve seen so far. There has been no magical 40 day turnaround.

Quote
2. As for average refurbishment time vs turnaround time. They have so many block 5 boosters and hangars in CC available simultaneously for refurbishment, that there shouldn't be big difference.

There are only six boosters available for general use. As you can see, the majority of them are being held for reprocessing.

B1049 - Reprocessing (mid Jan)
B1051 -  ASDS unloading (early Feb)
B1058 - Reprocessing (late-Jan)
B1059 - NROL-108 LC-39A
B1060 - Turksat 5A
B1063 - Reprocessing (mid-Jan)

Refurbishment is the biggest block in the turnaround process.

Quote
ASDS trip to CC and transport to hangar could take 3-4 days max. Putting payload inside fairing could be done simultaneously. Launch pad refurb is also always done simultaneously. Stage, PF integration, preflight checks and test firings that is another 3-4 days.

Your information is incorrect. See the chart below for the standard launch campaign workflow.

Quote
In Spacenews someone wrote that 1 and 1/2 month long inspections ( which is overkill for F9R 1stage ) should cost about 1ml$ per 1refurb. But shouldn't then even 23 days of inspection itself cost about 500K.

Please don’t use the comments section as a reference.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: cppetrie on 12/18/2020 04:48 pm
...snip

The difference in time between when a booster is ready for another use and when it is actually used again are not directly related. The time between reuses only sets an upper limit not a lower limit on refurb time. Time between reuses will be effected by many things that have nothing to do with refurb time (payload readiness, pad readiness, launch priorities of payloads, etc). We also have no insight into why they order the reuses the way they do. Assuming it’s because a booster takes longer to refurb is just that, an assumption. There are likely a myriad of reasons the first available booster isn’t used.

It’s important to note that refurbishment does not just mean cleaning. There is a lot of data analysis   and physical inspections that are conducted.

For a flight leader like B1049, you can expect an occasional disassembly of components to check for wear and tear, as well as X-ray and ultrasound  inspections.

I never suggested that refurb was just cleaning. In the full post quoted it says inspections. I would guess that cleaning is actually a minority of the work time involved and inspections are the vast majority of time.

I also have no doubt that flight leaders get additional work done as part of the learning process but that isn’t representative of refurb in general as it represents a special case.

Quote
SpaceX can already theoretically go to a 45 day booster turnaround. Previous launches would’ve been 47 and 49 days if not for weather delays.

I posted recently a number of SpaceX jobs that may indicate hiring of a significant number of technicians specifically for refurbishment.

From the chart you posted in a post above, launch site processing of any booster (used or otherwise) is 10-15 days. As you indicated booster turnaround as measured between launches would have been as little as 47 days had there not been weather delays. That means that the booster was refurbished in approximately 30 days as there was 2-3 days from launch to return on ASDS and 10-15 days in non-refurb processing at the launch site prior to launch. So as far as refurbishment time (to be distinguished from turnaround time) we have strong indications from observations that it is consistent with the times provided by Elon of about a month.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Jansen on 12/18/2020 11:44 pm
I never suggested that refurb was just cleaning. In the full post quoted it says inspections. I would guess that cleaning is actually a minority of the work time involved and inspections are the vast majority of time.

I also have no doubt that flight leaders get additional work done as part of the learning process but that isn’t representative of refurb in general as it represents a special case.

Those were additional supporting points to your argument, not a rebuttal.

Especially when the person you were replying to was wondering why B1049 took so long between flights.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: cppetrie on 12/19/2020 12:43 am
I never suggested that refurb was just cleaning. In the full post quoted it says inspections. I would guess that cleaning is actually a minority of the work time involved and inspections are the vast majority of time.

I also have no doubt that flight leaders get additional work done as part of the learning process but that isn’t representative of refurb in general as it represents a special case.

Those were additional supporting points to your argument, not a rebuttal.

Especially when the person you were replying to was wondering why B1049 took so long between flights.
My apologies for the misinterpretation. Carry on.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 12/19/2020 06:10 am
Booster turnaround, on the other hand, takes about 45-50 days. That’s due to ASDS recovery, road transportation, LV integration, TE loading, payload LV mate, integrated system checkout, static fire, etc.
This suggested a 3 pronged attack on reduction.

Do some (more?) of the work while in transit

Speed up the transporting stages with faster vehicles (or transferring the landed stage to faster vehicles).

Work on reducing the time to carry out the tasks when they get there.

Without knowing specifics it's difficult to say what the flow bottlenecks are. Obviously some of these options need serious investment. Some need a bit of investment and  others should be viable by reassigning staff and/or equipment. If a thing takes 10 hours and you half it that's 5 hours saved. That's useful. Halving a thing that takes 5 days is rather better. 

I'm betting SX will continue to refine their processes and the average turnaround time will gradually fall, but it won't be that obvious. A day here, a day there. "Suddenly" less than 30 days is the norm. 
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/19/2020 06:37 pm
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1340375809098313728

Quote
On reuse, Falcon first stage B1051 flew five missions in 2020 – equaling the number flown by all of the expendable Atlas V rockets. SpaceX's fleet-leading boosters are now on seven flights, up from four in 2019.

5 flights with the same booster in a year is very impressive, but I fully expect that reco4d to b3 broken in 2021.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Jansen on 12/19/2020 09:56 pm
Booster turnaround, on the other hand, takes about 45-50 days. That’s due to ASDS recovery, road transportation, LV integration, TE loading, payload LV mate, integrated system checkout, static fire, etc.
I'm betting SX will continue to refine their processes and the average turnaround time will gradually fall, but it won't be that obvious. A day here, a day there. "Suddenly" less than 30 days is the norm.

A lot of changes are coming as a result of Elon’s site visit in October. The recent hiring spree is one, as well as the speed up and night operations in booster unloading from the ASDS.

I’m expecting to see a booster turnaround of 45-47 days soon.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 12/20/2020 05:46 am
A lot of changes are coming as a result of Elon’s site visit in October. The recent hiring spree is one, as well as the speed up and night operations in booster unloading from the ASDS.

I’m expecting to see a booster turnaround of 45-47 days soon.
And so it begins....

I think Jon Goffs analogy with the automotive industries development of single minute tool changes of their press tools for different models is still an excellent model. Roughly from a week to a day to an hour to less than 10 minutes.

The joker in the pack is when do they think SS will be payload ready? You don't want put a big bag of cash down on a long leadtime piece of new infrastructure which will be unnecessary within say six months.

OTOH Elon is very well aware of the sunk cost fallacy and may push on with turnaround reduction as F9  and FH are known quantities so hope for the best (payload ready by Q221 ?) but plan for the worst.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: steveleach on 12/20/2020 09:21 am
A lot of changes are coming as a result of Elon’s site visit in October. The recent hiring spree is one, as well as the speed up and night operations in booster unloading from the ASDS.

I’m expecting to see a booster turnaround of 45-47 days soon.
And so it begins....

I think Jon Goffs analogy with the automotive industries development of single minute tool changes of their press tools for different models is still an excellent model. Roughly from a week to a day to an hour to less than 10 minutes.

The joker in the pack is when do they think SS will be payload ready? You don't want put a big bag of cash down on a long leadtime piece of new infrastructure which will be unnecessary within say six months.

OTOH Elon is very well aware of the sunk cost fallacy and may push on with turnaround reduction as F9  and FH are known quantities so hope for the best (payload ready by Q221 ?) but plan for the worst.
Any investment in rapid turnaround tooling and operations for F9 will be at least partially applicable to Starship, so I don't see that being a problem.  They'd probably just view it as a sub-scale proof of concept :-)
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Jansen on 12/20/2020 12:20 pm
The joker in the pack is when do they think SS will be payload ready? You don't want put a big bag of cash down on a long leadtime piece of new infrastructure which will be unnecessary within say six months.

OTOH Elon is very well aware of the sunk cost fallacy and may push on with turnaround reduction as F9  and FH are known quantities so hope for the best (payload ready by Q221 ?) but plan for the worst.

F9 and FH will be flying until at least 2027 due to NASA and NSSL2 contractual obligations.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 12/20/2020 03:29 pm
The joker in the pack is when do they think SS will be payload ready? You don't want put a big bag of cash down on a long leadtime piece of new infrastructure which will be unnecessary within say six months.

OTOH Elon is very well aware of the sunk cost fallacy and may push on with turnaround reduction as F9  and FH are known quantities so hope for the best (payload ready by Q221 ?) but plan for the worst.

F9 and FH will be flying until at least 2027 due to NASA and NSSL2 contractual obligations.
Interesting. That suggests continuing schedule pressure to lower turnaround time.

Of course once SS returns from full LEO for the first time it won't be long before SX are contacting NASA to revisit those clauses. In the meantime IMHO BAU for SX will be to shave those days one way or another.

Recall the original CRS contract specified new boosters for all flights.  I don't recall how long it was after SX first flew a booster for the second time NASA waived that requirement but my impression is "Not long."

That said I'm not sure how well ISS can handle an object as big as SS. More to the point it's huge size gives it also a huge moment of inertia. That suggests putting a Dragon 2 in the cargo hold and letting it handle the docking problem, as it already has.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 12/20/2020 03:36 pm
Any investment in rapid turnaround tooling and operations for F9 will be at least partially applicable to Starship, so I don't see that being a problem.  They'd probably just view it as a sub-scale proof of concept :-)
Good point. Probably more so the operations side than the tooling, as SS is very different.

But figuring out where the big wins, and also spotting the things that shouldn't have given trouble but have proved (for whatever reason) very persistent annoyances.  The sort of things that look ok on paper but you learn (by using them) really aren't.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: hektor on 12/20/2020 03:39 pm
Once upon a time Space Shuttle orbiters were docking with the ISS. How did their inertia compare to the Starship ones ?
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: nacnud on 12/20/2020 03:55 pm
Dry mass shuttle orbiter 78,000kg
Dry mass starship 120,000kg

Starship would also have a much larger payload fraction. My SWAG would be on orbit at station starship could be double the mass of a shuttle, depending on payload (220,000 vs 110,000 kg)
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 12/20/2020 07:09 pm
Dry mass shuttle orbiter 78,000kg
Dry mass starship 120,000kg

Starship would also have a much larger payload fraction. My SWAG would be on orbit at station starship could be double the mass of a shuttle, depending on payload (220,000 vs 110,000 kg)
Given Shuttle was about 1.14% of GTOM (IE the level of a VTO SSTO without the simplicity of a single stage) Musk said SS is about 2%, which is pretty good assuming they make full reusability work.

The benefits are obvious. The question is can the ISS coupling handle anything close to that level of load, or how that mass is distributed? The higher diameter, longer length and greater weight give you a lot more mass with a lot longer moment IE lever arm.

Think of it as the difference between carrying a large can of paint down by your side and holding it out in front of you (yes, it's a stupid way to carry a large can of paint, but suppose...). Same mass, different moment. Very different load on your arm.

However this is pretty much OT for the thread title. Although it does suggest that while SX would like to end all  F9 and FH flights (and the need for their associated single use upper stages) ASAP that may simply be impossible.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 12/20/2020 07:19 pm

No, neither has any theoretical reusable launch vehicle study made this assumption AFAIK. Pretty much all the papers assume you build a handful of vehicles then stop the production line, which introduces a lot of problems, for example you can't afford to lose a vehicle and everything has to work perfectly from the start.
Well, Skylon is planned with a minimum production run of 30 units to be sold on the open market.

Presumably after the first ten or so are flying some improvements will suggest themselves (or customers will suggest them).
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/21/2020 05:32 pm
SpaceX have come a long way in 5 years

https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1341088596598525952

Quote
First landing of an orbital class rocket booster was five years ago today
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/27/2020 09:01 am
https://twitter.com/spacecoast_stve/status/1342994724345569281

Quote
SpaceX carried out a record-breaking 26 launches this year, but how many boosters did it take to get it done?

The answer is 11. And here they are!

Falcon 9 is quite the workhorse, but do you know which booster saw the most action in 2020?
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/04/2021 11:46 pm
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1345443329065025536

Quote
Trevor Sesnic (@124970MeV) provides an overview of SpaceX's milestones in 2020 in its pursuit of rapid reusability.

In 2021, SpaceX is targeting an ambitious goal of 48 launches.

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2021/01/spacex-reuse-records-2020-ambitious-2021/

Lead photo by Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight)

Some great info & stats in the article, including:

Quote
The ambitious reuse goals of Block 5 have become increasingly realistic throughout 2020. Early in the year, B1058 took the reuse turnaround time world record from Space Shuttle Atlantis, with a 51 day turnaround time between SpaceX’s Crew Demo-2 and ANASIS-II. Shortly after taking the world record from Atlantis, B1060 was turned around in just under 51 days.

The average turnaround time of boosters is also significantly lower in 2020, especially in the second half of the year. Since July of 2020, the average turnaround time of Falcon boosters has been 75 days, which is significantly lower than the 225, 224, and 139 day average turnaround times in 2017, 2018, and 2019 respectively.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: RyanC on 01/08/2021 01:59 pm
So looks like next year they'll hit 30-35 days or so between reuses; and maybe by 2023 or so something like 15 to 18 days with an ultimate goal by 2025 of a one week launch turn around...which is I think a reasonable goal for something as horridly complex and demanding as a space booster launch system.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Jansen on 01/09/2021 08:46 am
So looks like next year they'll hit 30-35 days or so between reuses; and maybe by 2023 or so something like 15 to 18 days with an ultimate goal by 2025 of a one week launch turn around...which is I think a reasonable goal for something as horridly complex and demanding as a space booster launch system.

There are a lot of assumptions and misconceptions if you just look at the numbers without understanding their cause.

Average turnaround is actually not very useful. A large chunk of turnaround time for the flight leaders was detailed teardowns and inspections. As more data has become available, the newer boosters don’t require that.

We are also seeing boosters being reserved for months due to NASA and USSF requirements. That will skew average turnaround times as well.

The most relevant metric is actually the fastest turnaround time possible. With the latest round of Elon Musk driven improvements being implemented since the October site visit, that number is around 45 days + weather delays.

The rate of improvement is not linear. Eventually you hit the wall of diminishing returns.

There are some process improvements that can bring it down lower, but the capital expenditures  that would really cut down turnaround times are unlikely to occur due to SS.

SpaceX is also contractually obligated to perform certain workflows for institutional customers. That’s why you see NASA Dragon launches taking up to 3 weeks on a pad. That’s in addition to the 30 day booster refurbishment cycle, and not likely to change.

Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/10/2021 01:56 am
Part of the diminishing returns is that they're limited by upper stage production anyway, and they're not short on boosters, and (as you say) their greatest reuse efforts have now shifted toward Starship.

(Which isn't to say they aren't facing difficulties doing better, only that there's no longer a ton of incentive to overcome those difficulties with fast F9 turnaround.)
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: JamesH65 on 01/11/2021 01:02 pm
The most relevant metric is actually the fastest turnaround time possible. With the latest round of Elon Musk driven improvements being implemented since the October site visit, that number is around 45 days + weather delays.

Actually, that is the fastest turnaround we have seen, not the fastest that might be possible at present.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Jansen on 01/14/2021 09:22 pm
NextSpaceFlight is now reporting B1051.8 will launch Starlink v1.0 L16 on Jan 18. That would be
36 days since its previous launch on December 13.

That’s a reduction in turnaround of almost 30%. The Elon Musk site visit in October had a bigger effect than expected.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/17/2021 05:56 pm
SpaceX confirmation that it is an 8th flight:

https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1350876908867620864

Quote
Targeting Monday, January 18 at 8:45 a.m. EST for Falcon 9 launch of 60 Starlink satellites from LC-39A; Falcon 9’s first stage previously supported seven missions. Team is keeping an eye on launch and recovery weather → spacex.com/launches

So must be either 1051.8 or 1049.8
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: klod on 01/17/2021 06:08 pm
https://www.spacex.com/launches/index.html
Quote
The Falcon 9 first stage rocket booster supporting this mission previously flew on seven other missions: the SXM-7 mission in December 2020
B1051
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: gemmy0I on 01/17/2021 10:28 pm
(I think this is the right thread for booster assignment discussion/speculation, right? Apologies if not.)

Now that SpaceX has officially confirmed that Starlink-v1.0L16 is flying on B1051.8, does anyone have an idea why they passed over 1049 and went with 1051 as the leading-edge to the first .8 flight?

I can think of a few possible reasons off the top of my head, but they're purely speculative:

1. The teardown/inspection/refurb flow for leading-edge boosters is known to be more intense than for others, so maybe it's taking them longer to put 1049 back together again for its 8th flight, even though they're far enough in its flow to have gathered the data they need to confidently proceed to the 8th flight on some booster. Per this hypothesis, 1051, having undergone a less extreme teardown, could be ready to go sooner based on the detailed data gathered from 1049.7 (and the less-comprehensive data from 1051.7's non-leading-edge refurbishment).

2. If I'm remembering correctly, aren't 1049's Merlin engines of an earlier design that was still susceptible to the minor turbopump cracking issue that they had to fix for crew flights? I know 1051 was supposedly the first "crew spec" booster, being for Demo-1, although in reality there were further tweaks between that and 1058 before they fully resolved the issues to NASA's and their own satisfaction for actually flying crew. I definitely remember that 1051 was when they introduced COPV 2.0 (although it's understood they've since upgraded the older boosters to COPV 2.0 since those can be switched out easily enough). But it's also been stated that they haven't, as a general rule, been switching out engines on these reflown boosters, which suggests that if 1049 had engines still susceptible to turbopump cracking, it's still flying with those. SpaceX was content to fly with the susceptible engine design on cargo flights because the cracks were understood to grow slowly enough that they couldn't grow big enough during one flight to jeopardize the mission (except in extreme edge cases which were unlikely enough to be acceptable without crew on board). But after 7 flights, one would expect those cracks to have continued to grow, bit by bit. At some point it has to cross the line of "this isn't going to survive another flight"...or at least require more detailed inspection/analysis. So this possibility has been in the back of my mind as a life-limiter 1049 may eventually have to face, that newer boosters won't. (1049 is the only pre-Demo-1-spec booster remaining in the fleet.) Also, the simple fact (if indeed true) of 1049's engines being different could make it more complicated to refurb by virtue of its wear-and-tear modeling diverging from its siblings.

Again, this is all purely speculative - but I wanted to throw my ideas out there in case anyone had more information in these directions. In particular, I'd be interested if anyone can answer for sure whether 1049 actually has a substantially different engine design by virtue of being "pre-crew-spec", or whether I'm getting that confused with the COPV 2.0 upgrade and the engine changes were introduced at different SNs. (I say "substantially" because we know that SpaceX is constantly introducing, and delta-certifying, minor changes with each booster; nonetheless, there were a few "bigger" changes to address the turbopump cracking issues that rose to the level of getting mentioned repeatedly in ASAP/NASA reports as being introduced with certain SNs.)

edit/gongora: moved from manifest discussion
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: rsdavis9 on 01/18/2021 01:13 pm
Haven't read all the posts!
Here is my 2 cents.
Booster inspection and reuse will for a time be extensive.
As they inspect the boosters multiple times they gather a database of wear and tear and possible problems. Just light the aircraft industry does. As time goes on they soon see an inspection procedure yields no problems found.
Then they eliminate that procedure or extend it to less frequent.
So with lots of data, refurbishment gets faster.
 
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 01/20/2021 03:00 pm
With today's launch - a new record low 38 day turnaround time - the overall total average turnaround time (51 reflights) drops to 155.8 days.

The average turnaround time from January 01, 2020 to now (23 reflights) is 108.8 days. Excluding the In Flight Abort test, the turnaround time is 95 days.

The average turnaround time from January 20, 2020 to now (21 reflights) is 88.7 days.

The average turnaround time for the last 10 reflown booster launches (Starlink 11 to now) is 70.6 days.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 01/20/2021 03:05 pm
Turnaround times (in days) for booster 1051

51.2   102
51.3   231
51.4   84
51.5   107
51.6   72
51.7   56
51.8   38
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: klod on 01/20/2021 04:58 pm
B5 F9/H 1st stages
      Flight                  
#   Cores   2   3   4   5   6   7   8
1   B1046   88   118   412   -   -   -   -
2   B1047   116   264   -   -   -   -   -
3   B1048   75   137   262   128   -   -   -
4   B1049   123   133   228   149   75   99   -
5   B1050   -   -   -   -   -   -   -
6   B1051   99   231   84   107   72   56   38
7   B1052   75   -   -   -   -   -   -
8   B1053   75   -   -   -   -   -   -
9   B1054   -   -   -   -   -   -   -
10   B1055   -   -   -   -   -   -   -
11   B1056   82   145   62   -   -   -   -
12   B1057   -   -   -   -   -   -   -
13   B1058   51   78   61   -   -   -   -
14   B1059   93   98   78   111   -   -   -
15   B1060   65   51   76   -   -   -   -
16   B1061   -   -   -   -   -   -   -
17   B1062   -   -   -   -   -   -   -
18   B1063   -   -   -   -   -   -   -
19   B1064   -   -   -   -   -   -   -
20   B1065   -   -   -   -   -   -   -
Avg days - 99, excluding 1046 (IFA) - 94.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Jansen on 02/03/2021 09:22 pm
According to information from SpaceX, Starlink v1.0 L18 launching from CCSFS SLC-40 on 4 Feb 2021 at 0619 UTC will use booster B1060.5

If it is B1060.5, it would be a new record turnaround of 27 days, 4 hours, and 4 minutes from the launch of Turksat 5A on 08 Jan 2021 at 0215 UTC.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 02/04/2021 07:36 am
1060.5 has now set a new minimum <28 days or very close to just 27 days. Meaning it is possible for 3 boosters to support 3 flights a month every month. Since 3 booster are at only .5 that is 5 months of flights.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/04/2021 02:22 pm
Nice bit of trivia from Eric:

twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1357341602419671045

Quote
SpaceX achieved this milestone on the road to rapid reuse last night. Impressive to see a Falcon 9 first stage turned around for a new launch in less than four weeks. It used to be four months.

https://twitter.com/13ericralph31/status/1357347074790940678

Quote
My favorite trivia: at 27 days, Falcon 9 halved the Space Shuttle's 54-day turnaround record just six months after it narrowly beat it for the first time :)
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: steveleach on 02/04/2021 09:27 pm
So they could now theoretically do almost 50 launches a year with just 4 boosters.

I'd love to know the lifetime revenue for each of the cores. Is the data available to work that out?
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: thirtyone on 02/06/2021 08:36 pm
I saw this post a while ago on Reddit:
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/elzp52/falcon_boosters_entry_energy_comparison/

I was wondering if anyone has found any other more updated estimates of "booster wear"? I could have sworn someone made an estimate in these forums before, but I can't seem to find it. Maybe it'd be useful to put it all in one place on the reusability forum?

May be useful to start looking at this now that boosters look like they're getting close to their initial life estimates (~10 reuses)
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: JamesH65 on 02/16/2021 11:37 am
10 wasn't the life estimate - Musk said they could probably go on indefinitely IIRC.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: spacenut on 02/16/2021 01:28 pm
I thought Musk said they should get 10 before rebuilding the booster or replacing engines. 
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: AC in NC on 02/16/2021 06:10 pm
10 wasn't the life estimate - Musk said they could probably go on indefinitely IIRC.
I thought Musk said they should get 10 before rebuilding the booster or replacing engines. 

He said both.

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1296158590646939649
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: niwax on 02/16/2021 06:22 pm
10 wasn't the life estimate - Musk said they could probably go on indefinitely IIRC.
I thought Musk said they should get 10 before rebuilding the booster or replacing engines. 

He said both.

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1296158590646939649

Back in the day, they successfully put a booster through ten full mission duration static fires, so that's part of where the number came from. Since reuse that far was still a long way in the future, they might well have assumed the worst and just scheduled maintenance at that point. I wouldn't count statements from back then as concrete plans, more like achievable minimums and estimations.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: abaddon on 02/18/2021 04:04 pm
Back in the day, they successfully put a booster through ten full mission duration static fires, so that's part of where the number came from. Since reuse that far was still a long way in the future, they might well have assumed the worst and just scheduled maintenance at that point. I wouldn't count statements from back then as concrete plans, more like achievable minimums and estimations.
Pretty sure they stopped at seven.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: envy887 on 02/19/2021 06:16 pm
Back in the day, they successfully put a booster through ten full mission duration static fires, so that's part of where the number came from. Since reuse that far was still a long way in the future, they might well have assumed the worst and just scheduled maintenance at that point. I wouldn't count statements from back then as concrete plans, more like achievable minimums and estimations.
Pretty sure they stopped at seven.

Plus the full duration acceptance test burn and the actual flight burn.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/04/2021 08:51 am
Nice graphic on reuse status of all block 5s. Can really see how the time between reuses has dropped (the white diamonds).

https://twitter.com/spacenosey/status/1367410019277414400
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: su27k on 03/09/2021 02:05 am
https://spaceflightnow.com/2021/03/03/launch-companies-range-officials-reassessing-weather-constraints-at-cape-canaveral/

Quote
“I feel like there is a whole slew of things that we need to improve on, and not just a single thing, in order to get launch (schedule) reliability up,” Koenigsmann said. “It’s a combination of how we work together, our infrastructure, our logistics.”

“Success is defined for us as moving from a biweekly, or every other week launch, to a weekly launch, and then later on to a daily launch while safely reusing the same hardware,” Koeingsmann said. “That’s a tall order. We are, I think, halfway along the way here.”

Sounds like 24 hours turnaround is still the goal.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: steveleach on 03/09/2021 07:27 am
https://spaceflightnow.com/2021/03/03/launch-companies-range-officials-reassessing-weather-constraints-at-cape-canaveral/

Quote
“I feel like there is a whole slew of things that we need to improve on, and not just a single thing, in order to get launch (schedule) reliability up,” Koenigsmann said. “It’s a combination of how we work together, our infrastructure, our logistics.”

“Success is defined for us as moving from a biweekly, or every other week launch, to a weekly launch, and then later on to a daily launch while safely reusing the same hardware,” Koeingsmann said. “That’s a tall order. We are, I think, halfway along the way here.”

Sounds like 24 hours turnaround is still the goal.
Presumably in the context of Starship rather than F9 though, yes?
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: rpapo on 03/09/2021 11:11 pm
https://spaceflightnow.com/2021/03/03/launch-companies-range-officials-reassessing-weather-constraints-at-cape-canaveral/

Quote
“I feel like there is a whole slew of things that we need to improve on, and not just a single thing, in order to get launch (schedule) reliability up,” Koenigsmann said. “It’s a combination of how we work together, our infrastructure, our logistics.”

“Success is defined for us as moving from a biweekly, or every other week launch, to a weekly launch, and then later on to a daily launch while safely reusing the same hardware,” Koeingsmann said. “That’s a tall order. We are, I think, halfway along the way here.”

Sounds like 24 hours turnaround is still the goal.
Presumably in the context of Starship rather than F9 though, yes?
Twenty-four hours was the stated goal for Falcon, but that will never happen, especially when nearly all missions are recovered at sea.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Jansen on 03/10/2021 05:44 pm
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2021/03/spacex-fairing-recovery-octagrabber/

Good overview of recent developments with Octograbber, fairing recovery, and ASDS.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/11/2021 11:28 am
twitter.com/ppathole/status/1369929691629457408

Quote
Falcon 9's turnaround time has been decreased phenomenally. As the demand grows, do we expect to see its turnaround time to get much shorter (24hrs)? Or by the time we reach that kind of demand SpaceX would've transitioned to Starship which will have ~ >1 hour of turnaround time?

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1369933283174318082

Quote
If 2021 manifest is met, SpaceX will do ~75% of total Earth payload to orbit with Falcon.

A single Starship is designed to do in a day what all rockets on Earth currently do in a year.

Even so, ~1000 Starships will take ~20 years to build a self-sustaining city on Mars.

Given Elon’s focus now on Starship, it sounds to me like he’s not interested in reducing F9 turnaround time much more? I expect times will still decrease, just because they’ve not needed to go as fast as they could go.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: steveleach on 03/11/2021 10:16 pm
Given Elon’s focus now on Starship, it sounds to me like he’s not interested in reducing F9 turnaround time much more? I expect times will still decrease, just because they’ve not needed to go as fast as they could go.
Elon probably doesn't care that much anymore, but I bet there are a fair number of people within SpaceX who are almost entirely focused on F9 reuse, and they'll likely continue working on faster/cheaper turnaround until F9 is retired completely.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: su27k on 03/12/2021 02:00 am
Continue to push for faster turnaround of F9 will also produce valuable lessons for Starship, F9 is the reuse pathfinder.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Jansen on 03/15/2021 12:51 am
https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1371258068617543680

Getting underway around 12 hours after landing is one of the ways SpaceX is speeding up reuse.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/14/2021 12:36 pm
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1382307666400219136

Quote
Graphic from @edzapata showing clear trend lines in Falcon 9 reuse. Days between reuse going down, frequency of booster use going up. Big milestone later this month when humans launch on a used Falcon 9 for the first time.

https://zapatatalksnasa.com/2021/04/14/launcher-reusability-priceless/amp/
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/23/2021 12:15 pm
twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1385566159764819968

Quote
Musk says he is increasingly confident about the possibility of full and rapid reuse of orbital rockets: "It’s only recently that I feel like full and rapid reusability can be accomplished. I wasn’t sure for a long time, but I am now."

Edit to add:

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1385598863399129090

Quote
This is important
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/23/2021 06:05 pm
Limited launch windows may endup slowing SS launch rate.

Peter Beck said Wallops has 12 slots are year, while Mahia has 120 due to empty airspace. What is airspace like for launching out of Boca?.


Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: freddo411 on 04/25/2021 02:53 pm
Limited launch windows may endup slowing SS launch rate.

Peter Beck said Wallops has 12 slots are year, while Mahia has 120 due to empty airspace. What is airspace like for launching out of Boca?.


Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk



BC has some pretty tight limits on launches.   

These limits on launches are not based on physics, they are arbitrary administrative rules.   

One possibility is that these rules could be changed.   Granted, this is difficult to do.

I imagine that the flight rules for flying from an offshore platform won't be as problematic
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/25/2021 08:46 pm
Limited launch windows may endup slowing SS launch rate.

Peter Beck said Wallops has 12 slots are year, while Mahia has 120 due to empty airspace. What is airspace like for launching out of Boca?.


Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk



BC has some pretty tight limits on launches.   

These limits on launches are not based on physics, they are arbitrary administrative rules.   

One possibility is that these rules could be changed.   Granted, this is difficult to do.

I imagine that the flight rules for flying from an offshore platform won't be as problematic
Still need clear air space and sea space. Why should other businesses put their business on hold to vacant sea and airspace so SpaceX can make money.




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Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: freddo411 on 04/26/2021 02:49 am
Limited launch windows may endup slowing SS launch rate.

Peter Beck said Wallops has 12 slots are year, while Mahia has 120 due to empty airspace. What is airspace like for launching out of Boca?.


BC has some pretty tight limits on launches.   

These limits on launches are not based on physics, they are arbitrary administrative rules.   

One possibility is that these rules could be changed.   Granted, this is difficult to do.

I imagine that the flight rules for flying from an offshore platform won't be as problematic
Still need clear air space and sea space. Why should other businesses put their business on hold to vacant sea and airspace so SpaceX can make money.


Sea lanes and airspace are used as commons as I’m sure you know.   It reasonable for it to be used by anyone with the usual coordination measures.   
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Norm38 on 04/29/2021 03:06 pm
B1060 has quietly become the 2021 workhorse.   2021 total:  12 flights, 6 different boosters.

B1061: 1 (Crew)
B1060: 4
B1059: 1 (Landing failure)
B1058: 3
B1051: 2 (Flight leader at 9)
B1049: 1

B1060 Flights this year:  01-07-2021,  02-04-2021,  03-24-2021,  04-28-2021.

It will be interesting to see what pace B1060 can hold and how many flights it racks up.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Norm38 on 05/12/2021 02:32 am
First third of 2021:  13 of 14 boosters recovered, 93%. 

Basically, they’re on track to build as few as 3-4 boosters a year as replacements.
DOD and NASA new booster purchases will cover their losses.

*Falcon Heavy not included
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/15/2021 11:18 pm
Current state of booster fleet (including Starlink launch 20 minutes ago)

https://twitter.com/spacenosey/status/1393705040423104512
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 05/18/2021 02:45 pm
Time for some statistics. There have been 15 launches by SpaceX so far this year. All flights have been with previously flown boosters - that will change within the next month, but that is remarkable nonetheless.

12 of the 15 launches have been Starlink satellites (plus some ride-alongs). Of the remaining three, one launch was a satellite for Turkey, one was a dedicated rideshare flight, and one launch was with crew for NASA. 

May 15th was the 135th day of the year, which means there have been an average of 9 days between launches in this calendar year. Again, remarkable.

The shortest turnaround between flights from the same launch pad was 10 days, which happened three times, twice on SLC-40 and once on LC-39A. First on SLC-40 betweeen the Transporter-1 and Starlink 18 launches. Then on LC-39A between Starlink 17 and Starlink 21. Then again on SLC-40 between Starlink 24 and Starlink 27.

The average turnaround time for the boosters that have flown this year is 58.2 days. A new record shortest turnaround time happened this year, with two different cores achieving a turnaround time of 27 days. First booster 1060 between Turksat 5A and Starlink 18, then booster 1058 between Starlink 20 and Starlink 23.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Jansen on 05/21/2021 05:52 pm
The average turnaround time for the boosters that have flown this year is 58.2 days. A new record shortest turnaround time happened this year, with two different cores achieving a turnaround time of 27 days.

Average turnaround is a useless statistic when you have launches like Crew-2 and GPS III SV05 skewing the numbers. Those boosters were sitting around because of contractual obligations, not any kind of operational reuse limitations.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: rpapo on 05/21/2021 08:19 pm
The average turnaround time for the boosters that have flown this year is 58.2 days. A new record shortest turnaround time happened this year, with two different cores achieving a turnaround time of 27 days.

Average turnaround is a useless statistic when you have launches like Crew-2 and GPS III SV05 skewing the numbers. Those boosters were sitting around because of contractual obligations, not any kind of operational reuse limitations.
It is also a moving target.  Better than a whole fleet average turnaround, you might want to think about using a trailing average.  Pick a number of the most recent launches and average over that.  Plot a moving average.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: niwax on 05/21/2021 08:33 pm
The average turnaround time for the boosters that have flown this year is 58.2 days. A new record shortest turnaround time happened this year, with two different cores achieving a turnaround time of 27 days.

Average turnaround is a useless statistic when you have launches like Crew-2 and GPS III SV05 skewing the numbers. Those boosters were sitting around because of contractual obligations, not any kind of operational reuse limitations.
It is also a moving target.  Better than a whole fleet average turnaround, you might want to think about using a trailing average.  Pick a number of the most recent launches and average over that.  Plot a moving average.

Looking at the Starlink fleet of 1049, 1051, 1058 and 1060, there have been 13 launches this year (3.25 per booster) making it on every 43 days. Taking pad availability into account, I see no reason for turnaround taking more than 30 days regardless of booster age.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 05/27/2021 04:34 am
The average turnaround time for the boosters that have flown this year is 58.2 days. A new record shortest turnaround time happened this year, with two different cores achieving a turnaround time of 27 days.

Average turnaround is a useless statistic when you have launches like Crew-2 and GPS III SV05 skewing the numbers. Those boosters were sitting around because of contractual obligations, not any kind of operational reuse limitations.

It's not useless, absent insider information from SpaceX, it's a reasonable indicator of general processing time, and discarding the outliers still gets you close to the average.

If you look through past posts you will see the overall turnaround time decreasing significantly. IIRC, the last time I posted the numbers in this thread it was 88 days. Now it's 58. It's a decreasing trend, which was expected, but it's nice to see that reflected in the numbers.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 05/27/2021 04:38 am
The average turnaround time for the boosters that have flown this year is 58.2 days. A new record shortest turnaround time happened this year, with two different cores achieving a turnaround time of 27 days.

Average turnaround is a useless statistic when you have launches like Crew-2 and GPS III SV05 skewing the numbers. Those boosters were sitting around because of contractual obligations, not any kind of operational reuse limitations.

It is also a moving target.  Better than a whole fleet average turnaround, you might want to think about using a trailing average.  Pick a number of the most recent launches and average over that.  Plot a moving average.

I should note, my average number there is based only on the boosters that have launched this year, it's not the whole fleet turnaround time.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: JamesH65 on 05/27/2021 03:33 pm
Why average at all? The important metric is what's the fastest time.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: klod on 05/28/2021 07:51 am
Why average at all? The important metric is what's the fastest time.
Important metric - successful launch. Others - just for fun.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 06/02/2021 03:28 am
Why average at all? The important metric is what's the fastest time.

Record fastest is nearly never a useful metric for logistics, inputs based on record fastest X gives you unrealistic outputs. An average gives you a better sense of what to expect.

For example. The record pad turnaround times of 10 days implies you could get 36 launches per year from each pad, which is unrealistic. There's a whole host of separate things that make 72 launches per year from Canaveral / KSC combined effectively impossible.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: wannamoonbase on 06/05/2021 04:48 am
Why average at all? The important metric is what's the fastest time.

Record fastest is nearly never a useful metric for logistics, inputs based on record fastest X gives you unrealistic outputs. An average gives you a better sense of what to expect.

For example. The record pad turnaround times of 10 days implies you could get 36 launches per year from each pad, which is unrealistic. There's a whole host of separate things that make 72 launches per year from Canaveral / KSC combined effectively impossible.

Yeah like weather causing launch or recovery zone problems.  That tough weather season is about to start up again for the next 5-6 months.

Regarding booster turnaround is seems each booster has it’s own personality with newer boosters having faster turnaround times.  We know know what they’ve continued to improve on the F9, but each new one seems to be getting turned around faster.

It’s really a shame they can’t do more RTLS flights, those would save a week or so.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Redclaws on 06/05/2021 05:27 am
Limited launch windows may endup slowing SS launch rate.

Peter Beck said Wallops has 12 slots are year, while Mahia has 120 due to empty airspace. What is airspace like for launching out of Boca?.


BC has some pretty tight limits on launches.   

These limits on launches are not based on physics, they are arbitrary administrative rules.   

One possibility is that these rules could be changed.   Granted, this is difficult to do.

I imagine that the flight rules for flying from an offshore platform won't be as problematic
Still need clear air space and sea space. Why should other businesses put their business on hold to vacant sea and airspace so SpaceX can make money.


Sea lanes and airspace are used as commons as I’m sure you know.   It reasonable for it to be used by anyone with the usual coordination measures.

Yes, but space launch is very disruptive to that commons, because it requires exclusive access.  So reasonable conditions on space launch are probably going to be “not too often because this is a commons”.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: steveleach on 06/05/2021 08:02 am
Limited launch windows may endup slowing SS launch rate.

Peter Beck said Wallops has 12 slots are year, while Mahia has 120 due to empty airspace. What is airspace like for launching out of Boca?.


BC has some pretty tight limits on launches.   

These limits on launches are not based on physics, they are arbitrary administrative rules.   

One possibility is that these rules could be changed.   Granted, this is difficult to do.

I imagine that the flight rules for flying from an offshore platform won't be as problematic
Still need clear air space and sea space. Why should other businesses put their business on hold to vacant sea and airspace so SpaceX can make money.


Sea lanes and airspace are used as commons as I’m sure you know.   It reasonable for it to be used by anyone with the usual coordination measures.

Yes, but space launch is very disruptive to that commons, because it requires exclusive access.  So reasonable conditions on space launch are probably going to be “not too often because this is a commons”.
Well, space launch itself doesn't require exclusive access, the safety regulations around space launch do.

If space launch becomes a several-times-a-day thing, as SpaceX are planning for, then I imagine that will change. Especially as with Starship there won't be any uncontrolled vehicle elements crashing down anywhere.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: LouScheffer on 06/05/2021 02:10 pm
Why average at all? The important metric is what's the fastest time.

Record fastest is nearly never a useful metric for logistics, inputs based on record fastest X gives you unrealistic outputs. An average gives you a better sense of what to expect.
Not just logistics, but anything where statistics are involved.   Take sports - in American baseball, the record fastest rate for home runs is 4 per game, which extrapolates to 648 per year.  The annual record is roughly a tenth of that.

You can't judge a book by its cover, and you can't judge a distribution by its highest value.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: JamesH65 on 06/16/2021 11:33 am
Why average at all? The important metric is what's the fastest time.

Record fastest is nearly never a useful metric for logistics, inputs based on record fastest X gives you unrealistic outputs. An average gives you a better sense of what to expect.

For example. The record pad turnaround times of 10 days implies you could get 36 launches per year from each pad, which is unrealistic. There's a whole host of separate things that make 72 launches per year from Canaveral / KSC combined effectively impossible.

Average is no good for this system, where they have been learning how to make it faster as they go along. We have the fastest time - which gives us how quickly it COULD be done, and I suppose a rolling average of the last 10 flights would be a possibility. But you cannot average over all the flights, that would be wildly inaccurate given current knowledge.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: ehb on 06/16/2021 01:59 pm
Why average at all? The important metric is what's the fastest time.

Record fastest is nearly never a useful metric for logistics, inputs based on record fastest X gives you unrealistic outputs. An average gives you a better sense of what to expect.

For example. The record pad turnaround times of 10 days implies you could get 36 launches per year from each pad, which is unrealistic. There's a whole host of separate things that make 72 launches per year from Canaveral / KSC combined effectively impossible.

Average is no good for this system, where they have been learning how to make it faster as they go along. We have the fastest time - which gives us how quickly it COULD be done, and I suppose a rolling average of the last 10 flights would be a possibility. But you cannot average over all the flights, that would be wildly inaccurate given current knowledge.

An improvement would be an SES model finding an alpha to minimize SSE.
e.g. https://otexts.com/fpp2/ses.html (https://otexts.com/fpp2/ses.html)
(lots of other refs available, just picked the first reasonable link found).

Some years back, I implemented this strategy for a manufacturer for sales forecasting for inventory purchasing.
Was told by a colleague that this derived from work to predict locations of enemy subs.

-e



Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/18/2021 02:05 pm
Current reuse state of play:

https://twitter.com/spacenosey/status/1405573838210011139
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: intrepidpursuit on 06/24/2021 08:16 pm
Why average at all? The important metric is what's the fastest time.

Record fastest is nearly never a useful metric for logistics, inputs based on record fastest X gives you unrealistic outputs. An average gives you a better sense of what to expect.

For example. The record pad turnaround times of 10 days implies you could get 36 launches per year from each pad, which is unrealistic. There's a whole host of separate things that make 72 launches per year from Canaveral / KSC combined effectively impossible.

Yeah like weather causing launch or recovery zone problems.  That tough weather season is about to start up again for the next 5-6 months.

Regarding booster turnaround is seems each booster has it’s own personality with newer boosters having faster turnaround times.  We know know what they’ve continued to improve on the F9, but each new one seems to be getting turned around faster.

It’s really a shame they can’t do more RTLS flights, those would save a week or so.

I wonder if it would make sense for them to launch fewer starlink satellites per launch in order to be able to RTLS. It would use more upper stages but it could increase cadence if the ships are the bottleneck. I'm sure someone there has done that math and it doesn't add up yet.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: ChrML on 06/24/2021 08:58 pm
I wonder if it would make sense for them to launch fewer starlink satellites per launch in order to be able to RTLS. It would use more upper stages but it could increase cadence if the ships are the bottleneck. I'm sure someone there has done that math and it doesn't add up yet.
As long as they are not constrained by available boosters, I think this would have a negative impact on the Starlink throughput. If they have enough boosters, one or two boosters in transit in the pipeline won't make a difference. They can rig the next launch independently.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: joek on 06/24/2021 11:10 pm
I wonder if it would make sense for them to launch fewer starlink satellites per launch in order to be able to RTLS. It would use more upper stages but it could increase cadence if the ships are the bottleneck. I'm sure someone there has done that math and it doesn't add up yet.
As long as they are not constrained by available boosters, I think this would have a negative impact on the Starlink throughput. If they have enough boosters, one or two boosters in transit in the pipeline won't make a difference. They can rig the next launch independently.

Agree. Not to mention think we have an existence proof that more sats using ASDS is more cost effective then fewer stats using RTLS--otherwise think SpaceX would have changed from the the former to the latter.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/27/2021 06:13 am
Agree. Not to mention think we have an existence proof that more sats using ASDS is more cost effective then fewer stats using RTLS--otherwise think SpaceX would have changed from the the former to the latter.

I think that’s most likely true but it is making the assumption that SpaceX are optimising for cost. It is possible that they’re optimising getting as many Starlink satellites in orbit as quickly as possible, even if that’s (a bit) more expensive.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: TrevorMonty on 06/27/2021 10:43 am
Agree. Not to mention think we have an existence proof that more sats using ASDS is more cost effective then fewer stats using RTLS--otherwise think SpaceX would have changed from the the former to the latter.

I think that’s most likely true but it is making the assumption that SpaceX are optimising for cost. It is possible that they’re optimising getting as many Starlink satellites in orbit as quickly as possible, even if that’s (a bit) more expensive.
F9 launch costs pale when compared to potential revenue stream from Starlink network.

Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/30/2021 08:28 pm
twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1410331066871779331

Quote
Is SpaceX spending much time or money refurbishing the Falcon 9 boosters between launches, or is it just cleaning and inspection still? I know 10 reflights was the expected milestone for needing significant refurbishment.

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1410332515613687819

Quote
Work needed between flights is less & less, as shown by shortening time between reflights. Required work between flights for Starship & Super Heavy is zero.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: ChrML on 06/30/2021 08:46 pm
I think that’s most likely true but it is making the assumption that SpaceX are optimising for cost. It is possible that they’re optimising getting as many Starlink satellites in orbit as quickly as possible, even if that’s (a bit) more expensive.
Pad preparations, pad schedule and available launch windows seem to be the main bottlenecks. Hence as much payload per launch as possible should also increase the throughput to orbit, even if it means more post processing (which can be done independently without schedule impact assuming available booster abundance).
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: freddo411 on 06/30/2021 09:27 pm
Agree. Not to mention think we have an existence proof that more sats using ASDS is more cost effective then fewer stats using RTLS--otherwise think SpaceX would have changed from the the former to the latter.

I think that’s most likely true but it is making the assumption that SpaceX are optimising for cost. It is possible that they’re optimising getting as many Starlink satellites in orbit as quickly as possible, even if that’s (a bit) more expensive.

My speculation:   SX is most certainly optimizing for getting SL sats in orbit as quickly as possible.   

They are in a race to be the dominate LEO comsat constellation.    It's a game of mindshare, and one GREAT way to win the mindshare game is to actually have satellites orbiting, and actually have a working service, and actually have the most customers.

There are other decent competitors ;   Iridium has a unique niche,  OneWeb could grab Arctic business before SX gets there.

Because of the high fixed costs in building SL, getting the most customers as quickly as possible is a crucial part of the business plan.

Reusability of F9 has been the secret sauce that will allow SX to win this market.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/30/2021 10:26 pm
One amazing stat that shows the progress made. This one booster is averaging a launch every 52 days over a whole year:

https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1410323594710716416

Quote
Since its first flight 1 year ago today, this Falcon 9 first stage has completed 8 launches and landings
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/01/2021 03:48 pm
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1410609638295306241

Quote
When eight times to space you launch, look as good you will not!

These before and after photos of Falcon 9 booster 1060 by @TrevorMahlmann show the toll taken by eight spaceflights in a year.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/07/after-eight-flights-to-space-in-a-year-heres-what-a-falcon-9-looks-like/

Quote
After 8 flights to space in a year, here’s what a Falcon 9 looks like
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket has gone through a stunning transformation over the last year.

by Eric Berger - Jul 1, 2021 2:25pm GMT
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/04/2021 04:39 am
Agree. Not to mention think we have an existence proof that more sats using ASDS is more cost effective then fewer stats using RTLS--otherwise think SpaceX would have changed from the the former to the latter.

I think that’s most likely true but it is making the assumption that SpaceX are optimising for cost. It is possible that they’re optimising getting as many Starlink satellites in orbit as quickly as possible, even if that’s (a bit) more expensive.

My speculation:   SX is most certainly optimizing for getting SL sats in orbit as quickly as possible.   

They are in a race to be the dominate LEO comsat constellation.    It's a game of mindshare, and one GREAT way to win the mindshare game is to actually have satellites orbiting, and actually have a working service, and actually have the most customers.

There are other decent competitors ;   Iridium has a unique niche,  OneWeb could grab Arctic business before SX gets there.

Because of the high fixed costs in building SL, getting the most customers as quickly as possible is a crucial part of the business plan.

Reusability of F9 has been the secret sauce that will allow SX to win this market.
F9 is working extremely effective at launching Starlink.

However, there are other reasons to get Starship working launching Starlink as fast as possible: they can start operationally testing newer, larger designs, plus they also can prove to investors that yeah, it really DOES make sense to use their Starlink investment money to help pay for /Starship/ development.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: libra on 07/04/2021 06:57 am
This thread is fascinating - even more when you read it, thinking "Falcon 9 is accomplishing what NASA tried to do with the Space Shuttle" - payload: check; 10 days turnaround: check, and on.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: freddo411 on 07/04/2021 07:27 pm
Agree. Not to mention think we have an existence proof that more sats using ASDS is more cost effective then fewer stats using RTLS--otherwise think SpaceX would have changed from the the former to the latter.

I think that’s most likely true but it is making the assumption that SpaceX are optimising for cost. It is possible that they’re optimising getting as many Starlink satellites in orbit as quickly as possible, even if that’s (a bit) more expensive.

My speculation:   SX is most certainly optimizing for getting SL sats in orbit as quickly as possible.   

They are in a race to be the dominate LEO comsat constellation.    It's a game of mindshare, and one GREAT way to win the mindshare game is to actually have satellites orbiting, and actually have a working service, and actually have the most customers.

There are other decent competitors ;   Iridium has a unique niche,  OneWeb could grab Arctic business before SX gets there.

Because of the high fixed costs in building SL, getting the most customers as quickly as possible is a crucial part of the business plan.

Reusability of F9 has been the secret sauce that will allow SX to win this market.
F9 is working extremely effective at launching Starlink.

However, there are other reasons to get Starship working launching Starlink as fast as possible: they can start operationally testing newer, larger designs, plus they also can prove to investors that yeah, it really DOES make sense to use their Starlink investment money to help pay for /Starship/ development.

I agree.   F9 allows SX to build Starlink better, faster, cheaper than anyone stuck with expendables.   Starship promises to be be better, faster, cheaper than F9.   Starlink will need many, many more launches even after the full constellation is in orbit -- and Starship will make that reasonably cheap.   

Investors trust Elon (and Gwynn and SX) to run a business and make rational business decisions.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: AC in NC on 07/05/2021 12:59 am
However, there are other reasons to get Starship working launching Starlink as fast as possible: they can start operationally testing newer, larger designs, plus they also can prove to investors that yeah, it really DOES make sense to use their Starlink investment money to help pay for /Starship/ development.

Point of Order.  There really isn't "Starlink investment money".  Not sure why that characterization bothers me but it does.  AFAIK investors know and fully (if tacitly) accept what SpaceX is using their SpaceX investment money for.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: libra on 07/05/2021 03:48 pm
Starship major advantage sounds obvious: the second stage is reusable ;)
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/07/2021 06:30 pm
In the latest instalment of Elon’s Starbase interview with Tim Dodd, Elon talks a bit about F9 block 5. Elon says the early Block 5s are more of a pain to get ready for flight than later block 5s. So if they need to expend a booster they pick an early block 5 to use.

So it sounds like improving reuse turnaround times are at least partly down to later block improvements.

See about 28:35

https://youtu.be/SA8ZBJWo73E
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: gemmy0I on 08/07/2021 08:54 pm
In the latest instalment of Elon’s Starbase interview with Tim Dodd, Elon talks a bit about F9 block 5. Elon says the early Block 5s are more of a pain to get ready for flight than later block 5s. So if they need to expend a booster they pick an early block 5 to use.

So it sounds like improving reuse turnaround times are at least partly down to later block improvements.
I knew there was something fishy about B1049's turnaround times - nice to see this confirmed.

1049 consistently spends substantially longer in the shop between flights than its peers; it just happens to be the last remaining pre-human-rated booster (that having been introduced with 1051, although further crew-focused refinements were introduced with 1058 for Demo-2) which represented a major point of design maturity (particularly with respect to the turbopumps, cleaning of which is known to be the main driver of turnaround time). They seemed awfully eager to get rid of the other pre-1051 boosters on expendable missions, even when they were "lower-mileage" than other boosters in the fleet; likely 1049 has stuck around as long as it has only because they haven't had a good excuse to splash it (and because the boosters older than it were likely even more finicky). The refurb team will probably be quietly happy when it finally bites the dust, even though it's evidently too good to be worth proactively scrapping.

The current turnaround record (27 days) is held jointly by B1058 and B1060, both "late-model" full-human-spec boosters. 1051 hasn't been far behind (its record is 37 days, and the sample size is small enough that for all we know it may have been able to keep up with the youngsters if not for other factors driving launch cadence). 1049 is the only really consistent outlier in the data (not counting the "reserved" boosters for NASA, Space Force, etc.).

Edit: @FutureSpaceTourist, I think you have the wrong YouTube link in your OP. Guessing you meant to link the Tim Dodd video (since you referenced timestamp 28:35 which doesn't exist in the one you linked):

https://youtu.be/SA8ZBJWo73E
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/20/2021 04:26 pm
Current F9 booster turnaround time:

I watched Gwynne speak at the Space Warfighting Industry Forum yesterday. 

[…]
3.5 weeks to refurbish a booster today.
It cost $1M to re-deck the barge (she did not say ASDS) after each landing failure.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Norm38 on 11/11/2021 02:14 am
Maybe best asked here.  Is it possible to get F9 crewed booster landings back to LZ1?  Either through relaxed margins or performance upgrades / weight reductions?

Eliminating downrange recovery would be significant savings.  Is there anything left to get out of the F9 platform?  Or is this it?  Meaning, all crew F9 will always be downrange booster recovery?
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: ajmarco on 11/11/2021 12:16 pm
Maybe best asked here.  Is it possible to get F9 crewed booster landings back to LZ1?  Either through relaxed margins or performance upgrades / weight reductions?

Eliminating downrange recovery would be significant savings.  Is there anything left to get out of the F9 platform?  Or is this it?  Meaning, all crew F9 will always be downrange booster recovery?

Per the flight plan that NASA wants for Crew Dragon flights there is not enough margin for RTLS. If my memory serves correct this flight plan was come up with to minimize G-forces in the event of an abort scenario.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Barley on 11/11/2021 08:33 pm
Maybe best asked here.  Is it possible to get F9 crewed booster landings back to LZ1?  Either through relaxed margins or performance upgrades / weight reductions?

Eliminating downrange recovery would be significant savings.  Is there anything left to get out of the F9 platform?  Or is this it?  Meaning, all crew F9 will always be downrange booster recovery?
Starlink does not use return to launch site.  Reducing the number of satellites per launch would allow a RTL.  They have not done this, which suggests that downrange recovery gives a cheaper $/kg.  I.e. the cost savings of RTL are less than you think.

Most recent CRS flights have been downrange landings, which supports the hypothesis.

In that case the first choice should be to use any increased performance to add cargo to a crewed flight rather than   for RTL.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: dondar on 11/20/2021 11:11 am
Maybe best asked here.  Is it possible to get F9 crewed booster landings back to LZ1?  Either through relaxed margins or performance upgrades / weight reductions?

Eliminating downrange recovery would be significant savings.  Is there anything left to get out of the F9 platform?  Or is this it?  Meaning, all crew F9 will always be downrange booster recovery?
It is quite possible LZ1 landings are more expensive for Spacex financially than see landings (plus keeping fleet, barges etc.).
Perks of vertical integration + not dealing with NASA/Air Force bureaucracy extra time.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 12/21/2021 02:44 pm
Year end round up!

Earlier this morning, SpaceX launched its final flight of this calendar year (unless there's a big surprise in the next two weeks), so we can take a look at the numbers and do some math.

Total launches this year: 31, a new record for SpaceX.

Only one booster was lost this year: 1059.6. This is a new record low for SpaceX. No boosters were intentionally expended, a first for SpaceX. In fact, it has been nearly two years since a booster was intentionally expended, that being 1046.4 on the in-flight abort test January 19, 2020.

Remarkably, only two new boosters have flown this year: 1067 and 1069, (booster 1068 is a Falcon Heavy core that is scheduled to fly later in 2022), all of the rest of the launches have been re-flown boosters.

This was achieved in spite of two long periods with no launches: 59 days between June 30 and August 29, and 54 days between September 16 and November 10. However, even with this handicap the overall launch cadence for the year was superb: 11.67 days between launches.

Eliminating those two outliers, the launch cadence for the year was extremely high: 8.59 days between launches.
Fifteen of the 31 launches occurred within 10 days of eachother. Indeed, the year was ended with a trio of launches within 4 days from all three of SpaceX's launch sites.

This year we also saw the record fastest turnaround time twice: 27 days between Turksat 5A and Starlink 18 with booster 1060, and between Starlink 20 and Starlink 23 with booster 1058.

However, since June there has been an increase in booster turnaround time, primarily due to the two two-month-long launch droughts. The average core turnaround time since June has been 135.5 days.

Keeping the above in mind, the total average core turnaround time for the year was 94 days.

This is a sharp increase from what I reported back in May:


The average turnaround time for the boosters that have flown this year is 58.2 days.


The longest turnaround time for a single booster was 228 days for 1051.11, which may indicate that it underwent a longer period of inspection or refurbishment between its 10th and 11th flights. We will have to take note of the booster turnaround times for other boosters that exceed 10 flights to see if this is indeed the case.

Also, the second longest turnaround time was 224 days for booster 1062.2, which was held in reserve for the GPS III A-05 satellite launch.

Eliminating those two outliers, we get an average core turnaround time for the year of 84.22 days.

As previously noted, I believe this higher number is due to the two launch droughts, which combined added 113 days to the booster turnaround times for many of the Falcon 9 cores.

I'm expecting the average booster turnaround times to drop back down to sub-60 days in short order, as SpaceX's rapid-fire launch pace seems to have resumed.

Here's to a prosperous new year!! Happy holidays, everyone, and please take care to be safe this winter season! Best wishes and good health to you all :)
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: DanClemmensen on 12/21/2021 03:32 pm
Maybe best asked here.  Is it possible to get F9 crewed booster landings back to LZ1?  Either through relaxed margins or performance upgrades / weight reductions?

Eliminating downrange recovery would be significant savings.  Is there anything left to get out of the F9 platform?  Or is this it?  Meaning, all crew F9 will always be downrange booster recovery?
It is quite possible LZ1 landings are more expensive for Spacex financially than see landings (plus keeping fleet, barges etc.).
Perks of vertical integration + not dealing with NASA/Air Force bureaucracy extra time.
Interesting. Does anyone have information about the cost to SpaceX of an RTLS to a government site? If it is too high, the economics of a droneship/platform landing changes. This will clearly affect Starship also, and make the use of an offshore platform for both launch and landing more attractive.

The fee to the government for a landing site consists of a per landing fee and fixed site "rental", and the "fee" is money plus the cost of any paperwork.  If the per-landing "fee" drops to zero versus the fixed fee, the economics change yet again, because it appears that the consensus here on NSF is that NASA and USSF cargo and crewed missions will launch from government sites, which more or less requires the RTLS site to be rented anyway.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: spacenut on 12/21/2021 03:43 pm
I think the gaps in launches was because of chip shortages for Starlink satellites, otherwise, they may have launched 40+ times.  Maybe the chip shortage is behind us and they will launch even more next year as well as getting Starship testing out of the way. 
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 12/21/2021 03:51 pm
Maybe best asked here.  Is it possible to get F9 crewed booster landings back to LZ1?  Either through relaxed margins or performance upgrades / weight reductions?

Eliminating downrange recovery would be significant savings.  Is there anything left to get out of the F9 platform?  Or is this it?  Meaning, all crew F9 will always be downrange booster recovery?
It is quite possible LZ1 landings are more expensive for Spacex financially than see landings (plus keeping fleet, barges etc.).
Perks of vertical integration + not dealing with NASA/Air Force bureaucracy extra time.
Interesting. Does anyone have information about the cost to SpaceX of an RTLS to a government site? If it is too high, the economics of a droneship/platform landing changes. This will clearly affect Starship also, and make the use of an offshore platform for both launch and landing more attractive.

The fee to the government for a landing site consists of a per landing fee and fixed site "rental", and the "fee" is money plus the cost of any paperwork.  If the per-landing "fee" drops to zero versus the fixed fee, the economics change yet again, because it appears that the consensus here on NSF is that NASA and USSF cargo and crewed missions will launch from government sites, which more or less requires the RTLS site to be rented anyway.

SpaceX's landing sites, LZ-1 and LZ-2, are on the former site of LC-13 on Cape Canaveral. SpaceX also has a couple other facilities at LC-13, including the Dragon 2 processing facility, so the site sees use even when boosters are not landing at it.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 12/21/2021 03:56 pm
I think the gaps in launches was because of chip shortages for Starlink satellites, otherwise, they may have launched 40+ times.  Maybe the chip shortage is behind us and they will launch even more next year as well as getting Starship testing out of the way.

Chip shortage, COVID related logistics / supply chain issues, and the redesign of Starlink to Versions 1.5 and 2.0 - probably other things as well.

If they had been able to maintain that average launch rate of 8.5 days, SpaceX could have launched 42 times.

I am anticipating 40+ launches of Falcon 9 / Falcon Heavy in 2022.

For the future of Starlink a lot depends on how well (or poorly) Starship testing goes. If they can launch a full Starlink payload with Starship by year's end (ambitious, but may be possible) then Starlink will shift to Starship in 2023.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: DanClemmensen on 12/21/2021 04:49 pm

Interesting. Does anyone have information about the cost to SpaceX of an RTLS to a government site? If it is too high, the economics of a droneship/platform landing changes. This will clearly affect Starship also, and make the use of an offshore platform for both launch and landing more attractive.

The fee to the government for a landing site consists of a per landing fee and fixed site "rental", and the "fee" is money plus the cost of any paperwork.  If the per-landing "fee" drops to zero versus the fixed fee, the economics change yet again, because it appears that the consensus here on NSF is that NASA and USSF cargo and crewed missions will launch from government sites, which more or less requires the RTLS site to be rented anyway.

SpaceX's landing sites, LZ-1 and LZ-2, are on the former site of LC-13 on Cape Canaveral. SpaceX also has a couple other facilities at LC-13, including the Dragon 2 processing facility, so the site sees use even when boosters are not landing at it.
Thanks. Any insight as to per-landing fees or paperwork?

Also, The F9 experience is different than the SpaceX model, which (currently) seems to assume that a Mechazilla can operate as both a launcher and a catcher.  After Starship is fully operational, each Mechazilla only needs one SH (plus maybe one in reserve) to launch as many SS per day as it is capable of.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 12/21/2021 05:26 pm

Interesting. Does anyone have information about the cost to SpaceX of an RTLS to a government site? If it is too high, the economics of a droneship/platform landing changes. This will clearly affect Starship also, and make the use of an offshore platform for both launch and landing more attractive.

The fee to the government for a landing site consists of a per landing fee and fixed site "rental", and the "fee" is money plus the cost of any paperwork.  If the per-landing "fee" drops to zero versus the fixed fee, the economics change yet again, because it appears that the consensus here on NSF is that NASA and USSF cargo and crewed missions will launch from government sites, which more or less requires the RTLS site to be rented anyway.

SpaceX's landing sites, LZ-1 and LZ-2, are on the former site of LC-13 on Cape Canaveral. SpaceX also has a couple other facilities at LC-13, including the Dragon 2 processing facility, so the site sees use even when boosters are not landing at it.
Thanks. Any insight as to per-landing fees or paperwork?

Also, The F9 experience is different than the SpaceX model, which (currently) seems to assume that a Mechazilla can operate as both a launcher and a catcher.  After Starship is fully operational, each Mechazilla only needs one SH (plus maybe one in reserve) to launch as many SS per day as it is capable of.

I don't know, but it's probably relatively minimal. Rumors suggest that SpaceX is paying very, very little for leasing the launch / landing sites at Cape Canaveral, but the numbers are not public.

We DO, however, know the numbers for their lease of a launch and landing pad at Spaceport America, which they built but never used. That was $6,600 per month plus $25,000 per Grashopper flight.

We also know some numbers for SpaceX's leases at Port Canaveral.

November 2016
"Under the letter of intent between the port and SpaceX, the rocket company will pay the port $306,880 a year in rent for the SpaceHab building. It also will pay a port infrastructure fee of $26,680 a year, plus $60,990 a year for use of additional land for roadway access and retention ponds."

https://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/spacex/2016/11/23/spacex-plans-five-year-lease-complex-port-canaveral/94231520/

March 2017 update
"The Canaveral Port Authority commissioners voted Wednesday to approve the lease, which will cost SpaceX $35,181 a month for the first year. The rent will increase to $50,639 a month by the fifth year of the lease, which contains two five-year renewal options. The port will reimburse SpaceX up to $10,000 a month for up to 28 months for improvements that the company needs to make to the property, reports Florida Today. This will offset the cost of the company’s plan to build a new 44,000 square-foot hangar on the property to expand its rocket refurbishing operation."

https://www.inverse.com/article/29504-spacex-port-canaveral-five-year-lease

And we DO know that SpaceX objected to a proposed fee of $15,000 every time it brought a booster back to port (the proposal was later retracted):

June 2016
https://www.universetoday.com/129542/port-canaveral-considers-charging-spacex-14-times-normal-fee-booster-return/

Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: TrevorMonty on 12/22/2021 12:09 pm
Maybe best asked here.  Is it possible to get F9 crewed booster landings back to LZ1?  Either through relaxed margins or performance upgrades / weight reductions?

Eliminating downrange recovery would be significant savings.  Is there anything left to get out of the F9 platform?  Or is this it?  Meaning, all crew F9 will always be downrange booster recovery?

Per the flight plan that NASA wants for Crew Dragon flights there is not enough margin for RTLS. If my memory serves correct this flight plan was come up with to minimize G-forces in the event of an abort scenario.
Year end round up!

Earlier this morning, SpaceX launched its final flight of this calendar year (unless there's a big surprise in the next two weeks), so we can take a look at the numbers and do some math.

Total launches this year: 31, a new record for SpaceX.

Only one booster was lost this year: 1059.6. This is a new record low for SpaceX. No boosters were intentionally expended, a first for SpaceX. In fact, it has been nearly two years since a booster was intentionally expended, that being 1046.4 on the in-flight abort test January 19, 2020.

Remarkably, only two new boosters have flown this year: 1067 and 1069, (booster 1068 is a Falcon Heavy core that is scheduled to fly later in 2022), all of the rest of the launches have been re-flown boosters.

This was achieved in spite of two long periods with no launches: 59 days between June 30 and August 29, and 54 days between September 16 and November 10. However, even with this handicap the overall launch cadence for the year was superb: 11.67 days between launches.

Eliminating those two outliers, the launch cadence for the year was extremely high: 8.59 days between launches.
Fifteen of the 31 launches occurred within 10 days of eachother. Indeed, the year was ended with a trio of launches within 4 days from all three of SpaceX's launch sites.

This year we also saw the record fastest turnaround time twice: 27 days between Turksat 5A and Starlink 18 with booster 1060, and between Starlink 20 and Starlink 23 with booster 1058.

However, since June there has been an increase in booster turnaround time, primarily due to the two two-month-long launch droughts. The average core turnaround time since June has been 135.5 days.

Keeping the above in mind, the total average core turnaround time for the year was 94 days.

This is a sharp increase from what I reported back in May:


The average turnaround time for the boosters that have flown this year is 58.2 days.


The longest turnaround time for a single booster was 228 days for 1051.11, which may indicate that it underwent a longer period of inspection or refurbishment between its 10th and 11th flights. We will have to take note of the booster turnaround times for other boosters that exceed 10 flights to see if this is indeed the case.

Also, the second longest turnaround time was 224 days for booster 1062.2, which was held in reserve for the GPS III A-05 satellite launch.

Eliminating those two outliers, we get an average core turnaround time for the year of 84.22 days.

As previously noted, I believe this higher number is due to the two launch droughts, which combined added 113 days to the booster turnaround times for many of the Falcon 9 cores.

I'm expecting the average booster turnaround times to drop back down to sub-60 days in short order, as SpaceX's rapid-fire launch pace seems to have resumed.

Here's to a prosperous new year!! Happy holidays, everyone, and please take care to be safe this winter season! Best wishes and good health to you all :)
Excellent summary. Does NASA have upper reuse limit for crew and cargo flights?
Can't image them being happy with x10 at this stage.

Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 12/22/2021 03:08 pm
Maybe best asked here.  Is it possible to get F9 crewed booster landings back to LZ1?  Either through relaxed margins or performance upgrades / weight reductions?

Eliminating downrange recovery would be significant savings.  Is there anything left to get out of the F9 platform?  Or is this it?  Meaning, all crew F9 will always be downrange booster recovery?

Per the flight plan that NASA wants for Crew Dragon flights there is not enough margin for RTLS. If my memory serves correct this flight plan was come up with to minimize G-forces in the event of an abort scenario.

*removed my long post*

Excellent summary. Does NASA have upper reuse limit for crew and cargo flights?
Can't image them being happy with x10 at this stage.

Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk

Nothing publicly stated. The highest reuse count that has been used to launch a NASA mission is five -- when booster 1061.5 recently launched the IXPE satellite.

CRS-21 launched on 1058.4

Notably, the NROL-108 also launched on a booster on its fifth reuse - 1059.5

The highest reuse for Crew has been two, this having been done twice -- booster 1061.2 for Crew-2 and 1067.2 for Crew-3

I personally thought it might take years for NASA to risk putting crew on a reused booster. What is very clear - and should be celebrated, frankly - is that NASA has shown it is has become comfortable with both booster and capsule reuse.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: rsdavis9 on 12/22/2021 05:21 pm
So do we have any knowledge of engine replacements on boosters.
As far as I can tell is that it is zero. Because we never hear about them.

So if that is true then the 11th flight of a booster is amazing but it is my opinion even more amazing for a merlin.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: TrevorMonty on 12/22/2021 05:48 pm
Maybe best asked here.  Is it possible to get F9 crewed booster landings back to LZ1?  Either through relaxed margins or performance upgrades / weight reductions?

Eliminating downrange recovery would be significant savings.  Is there anything left to get out of the F9 platform?  Or is this it?  Meaning, all crew F9 will always be downrange booster recovery?

Per the flight plan that NASA wants for Crew Dragon flights there is not enough margin for RTLS. If my memory serves correct this flight plan was come up with to minimize G-forces in the event of an abort scenario.

*removed my long post*

Excellent summary. Does NASA have upper reuse limit for crew and cargo flights?
Can't image them being happy with x10 at this stage.

Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk

Nothing publicly stated. The highest reuse count that has been used to launch a NASA mission is five -- when booster 1061.5 recently launched the IXPE satellite.

CRS-21 launched on 1058.4

Notably, the NROL-108 also launched on a booster on its fifth reuse - 1059.5

The highest reuse for Crew has been two, this having been done twice -- booster 1061.2 for Crew-2 and 1067.2 for Crew-3

I personally thought it might take years for NASA to risk putting crew on a reused booster. What is very clear - and should be celebrated, frankly - is that NASA has shown it is has become comfortable with both booster and capsule reuse.
More boosters SpaceX can get to x15 mark more confident NASA will be in x5 and x10 boosters. For crew may will be capped at x5, cargo and moderate value missions x10. 

Sent from my SM-T733 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: TrevorMonty on 12/22/2021 05:55 pm
Flights on NS boosters must be up around x10 mark. Not sure what flights on one carrying passengers is.

Sent from my SM-T733 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Robotbeat on 12/22/2021 07:28 pm
Flights on NS boosters must be up around x10 mark. Not sure what flights on one carrying passengers is.

Sent from my SM-T733 using Tapatalk
I think Masten’s Xombie has done over 100 flights.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: geekesq on 12/22/2021 07:35 pm
Flights on NS boosters must be up around x10 mark. Not sure what flights on one carrying passengers is.

I think Masten’s Xombie has done over 100 flights.
"Xombie (pictured here) is the oldest vehicle in the Masten fleet, with a world record 227 rocket powered VTVL flights." -- https://masten.aero/terrestrial-vehicles/

However, it's not a booster.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Robotbeat on 12/22/2021 07:37 pm
Flights on NS boosters must be up around x10 mark. Not sure what flights on one carrying passengers is.

I think Masten’s Xombie has done over 100 flights.
"Xombie (pictured here) is the oldest vehicle in the Masten fleet, with a world record 227 rocket powered VTVL flights." -- https://masten.aero/terrestrial-vehicles/

However, it's not a booster.
Sure it is. Just doesn’t get to space. And New Shepard is nowhere near orbital. Just keeping with the theme of boosters that have high reuses which aren’t orbital class boosters. ;)
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 12/23/2021 03:08 pm
So do we have any knowledge of engine replacements on boosters.
As far as I can tell is that it is zero. Because we never hear about them.

So if that is true then the 11th flight of a booster is amazing but it is my opinion even more amazing for a merlin.

SpaceX swaps engines, as well as various component parts, and presumably does so on a regular basis. Indeed, we do not hear about this type of activity very much, unless it is an issue that causes a launch delay.

As an example of what we know for sure, some engines and / or their components have been swapped out in order to give some of them more flight time. We explicitly know this is the case for the boot cover that failed on landing during the February 15, 2021 flight of Starlink satellites.

Quote
During a NASA press conference March 1 about the upcoming Crew-2 commercial crew flight, Benji Reed, senior director for human spaceflight programs at SpaceX, said that while the booster used on that Feb. 15 launch was making its sixth flight, some components on it were “life leaders” that had flown more often than any other in the Falcon 9 fleet.

That included “boots,” or covers around parts of the Merlin engines in the first stage. “This was the highest count number of flights that this particular boot design had seen,” he said.

https://spacenews.com/engine-shutdown-led-to-failed-falcon-9-booster-landing/

SpaceX swapped out two engines on the Falcon 9 used to launch GPS III-4

Quote
SpaceX confirms it has successfully fired up a Falcon 9 rocket after swapping two of its first stage (booster) engines, putting the company’s third US military GPS satellite launch back on track after about a month of delays.

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-falcon-9-engine-swap-static-fire-gps-iii-sv04/

SpaceX also swapped out two engines on the Falcon 9 used to launch the NASA Crew-1 mission, as a result of the issue found on the GPS launch abort.

Quote
SpaceX is replacing two engines on its Falcon 9 rocket that will soon carry four astronauts to the International Space Station. The change is being made after SpaceX found a substance in the engines that could have caused them to start earlier than planned.

https://www.theverge.com/2020/10/28/21539060/spacex-falcon-9-rocket-merlin-engines-crew-1-nasa-swap
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: jebbo on 02/02/2022 06:58 am
Repurposing B1052 has really messed with my reuse graph :-)

--- Tony
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: DanClemmensen on 02/02/2022 03:02 pm
Repurposing B1052 has really messed with my reuse graph :-)

--- Tony
As an operations analyst once told me: "torture the data! it will confess!"

In this case, add a separate fudge factor for "repurposing".  Time spent "repurposing" is not counted against reuse. The "repurposing" factor shall be the actual time between the two flights minus the average reuse time of the non-repurposed boosters over the year prior to the flight. Thou shalt recompute this factor each time a booster is repurposed.  Thus thy reuse graph is redeemed, and you get to start a separate "repurposing" graph with very, very few data points.  :)
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: jebbo on 02/02/2022 05:27 pm
As an operations analyst once told me: "torture the data! it will confess!"

I know what I should do to torture the data properly ... just can't be bothered right now as it a lot of work to add all the auxiliary state-change data per booster. I'll get around to it eventually as it's things like time on ship, transport, refurb, etc. Oh, and in this case temporary retirement ;)

Some state changes are effectively automatic after a fixed (ish) time, others not. So a bunch of UI work as well :/

--- Tony
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Bob Niland on 02/02/2022 06:26 pm
Repurposing B1052 has really messed with my reuse graph :-)

--- Tony

Y-axis might need to be logarithmic.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 03/15/2022 04:22 pm
It's mid-march, but SpaceX has been launching frequently enough that I think a quick update is warranted.

So far, SpaceX's launch cadence has been nothing short of spectacular. They have already flown 10 times this year, four times in both Janaury and February, twice in March (seven of these launches have been Starlink flights). The result of this rapid-fire launch cadence is that there has been an average of 7 days between launches this year. There have been two launches from Vandenberg SLC-4E, four launches from KSC LC-39A, and four launches from Cape Canaveral SLC-40.

Note: I do not expect this rapid cadence to continue unabated. There are a couple of crew launches scheduled in the upcoming month, which will slow down turnaround time due to longer pad processing. There are also several Falcon Heavy launches scheduled that also require longer pad processing times. Pad operations at LC-39B for the SLS rollout, WDR, and the Artemis I launch may also slow down some operations at KSC for SpaceX. That said, I am still anticipating 40+ launches of Falcon 9 / Falcon Heavy in 2022.

We also have a remarkable situation in that the core with the longest turnaround time EVER (951 days), also has the shortest turnaround time this year (37 days). Kudos to Booster 1052 for that achievement, and welcome back from retirement. :D

Disregarding that huge turnaround time, the current average turnaround time for this year is 61.1 days. Compared to my year-end round up, we can already see in the effect that this rapid turnaround for Starlink launches is having. Multiple launches have had turnaround times of less than 40 days, and I think that it is likely we will see a rapid decrease in the average turnaround time before the middle of this year.

Note: That massive 951 day outlier will also be discarded in my future statistical posts.

I also want to follow up on something that I made a note of in my previous post - that we'd have to watch and see if other boosters have a longer period of down time between their 10th and 11th flights - this has already been shown to not be the case. 1058.11 flew 39 days after 1058.10, and 1060.11 flew 43 days after 1060.10. I think we can safely conclude that SpaceX did not take these boosters out of service for any extended refurbishment after their 10th flights.
 
Have a nice day, everyone. Stay safe out there -- and beware the Ides of March!
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/19/2022 06:30 am
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1516167738909249539

Quote
SpaceX Falcon team making great progress! Aiming for 5 day launch cadence with many performance & refurb improvements.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: AmigaClone on 04/26/2022 02:32 am
I also want to follow up on something that I made a note of in my previous post - that we'd have to watch and see if other boosters have a longer period of down time between their 10th and 11th flights - this has already been shown to not be the case. 1058.11 flew 39 days after 1058.10, and 1060.11 flew 43 days after 1060.10. I think we can safely conclude that SpaceX did not take these boosters out of service for any extended refurbishment after their 10th flights.
 
Have a nice day, everyone. Stay safe out there -- and beware the Ides of March!

Boosters 1049 has not flown since its 10th launch in mid-September - Will be expended next launch.

Booster 1051 had 228 days between its 10th and 11th launch, although that included a trip to the West Coast for one launch.
Booster 1058 had an extended time (182 days) between the 7th and 8th launches
Booster 1060 also had a extended time (155 days) between 8th and 9th launches

Granted that those three cases were somewhat in line with refurbishment times of younger boosters launched in the same period. It could be they received some additional inspections at that time.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Rekt1971 on 04/26/2022 04:27 am
I also want to follow up on something that I made a note of in my previous post - that we'd have to watch and see if other boosters have a longer period of down time between their 10th and 11th flights - this has already been shown to not be the case. 1058.11 flew 39 days after 1058.10, and 1060.11 flew 43 days after 1060.10. I think we can safely conclude that SpaceX did not take these boosters out of service for any extended refurbishment after their 10th flights.
 
Have a nice day, everyone. Stay safe out there -- and beware the Ides of March!

Boosters 1049 has not flown since its 10th launch in mid-September - Will be expended next launch.

Booster 1051 had 228 days between its 10th and 11th launch, although that included a trip to the West Coast for one launch.
Booster 1058 had an extended time (182 days) between the 7th and 8th launches
Booster 1060 also had a extended time (155 days) between 8th and 9th launches

Granted that those three cases were somewhat in line with refurbishment times of younger boosters launched in the same period. It could be they received some additional inspections at that time.

That "extended time" had nothing to do with booster availability though, it was caused by LOX shortages and lack of payloads (SpaceX was preparing to fly Starlink v1.5 instead of v1.0).
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 04/26/2022 04:37 am
Last year (2021) there were two long periods with no launches: 59 days between June 30 and August 29, and 54 days between September 16 and November 10.

LOX shortages, delays on customer payloads, other supply chain issues, and the Starlink redesign all contributed.

The three launches that happened in the middle of that drought were CRS-28, Starlink 2-1 (the first launch of the v1.5 Starlinks, which underwent a period of evaluation after launch), and Inspiration 4.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: AmigaClone on 04/26/2022 06:33 am
Last year (2021) there were two long periods with no launches: 59 days between June 30 and August 29, and 54 days between September 16 and November 10.

LOX shortages, delays on customer payloads, other supply chain issues, and the Starlink redesign all contributed.

The three launches that happened in the middle of that drought were CRS-28, Starlink 2-1 (the first launch of the v1.5 Starlinks, which underwent a period of evaluation after launch), and Inspiration 4.

Could SpaceX have taken advantage of those issues you mentioned and done the more detailed inspections and maintenance originally planned after the 10th launch to all four oldest boosters that had between 7 and 10 flights at the start of the first period with no launches?
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/26/2022 07:45 am
Could SpaceX have taken advantage of those issues you mentioned and done the more detailed inspections and maintenance originally planned after the 10th launch to all four oldest boosters that had between 7 and 10 flights at the start of the first period with no launches?

Yes they could have done, but I don’t think we have anything to suggest they needed to. When Elon originally talked, years ago, about extra maintenance after 10 flights, I think the 10 was just a guess / what seemed prudent at the time.

I’d be surprised if there is a number now (be it 9, 10, 11 or more). My guess is that each booster is treated individually and based on what SpaceX see with normal inspections and data analysis they decide if more maintenance is needed. It wouldn’t surprise me if none of the more recent block 5s - even those with 10+ flights - have actually had an overhaul yet.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 04/26/2022 05:04 pm
Last year (2021) there were two long periods with no launches: 59 days between June 30 and August 29, and 54 days between September 16 and November 10.

LOX shortages, delays on customer payloads, other supply chain issues, and the Starlink redesign all contributed.

The three launches that happened in the middle of that drought were CRS-28, Starlink 2-1 (the first launch of the v1.5 Starlinks, which underwent a period of evaluation after launch), and Inspiration 4.

Could SpaceX have taken advantage of those issues you mentioned and done the more detailed inspections and maintenance originally planned after the 10th launch to all four oldest boosters that had between 7 and 10 flights at the start of the first period with no launches?

Quite possible. It is a good idea to leverage downtime to do deferred maintenance, and things like that, though we do already know that inspections and refurbishment are an ongoing thing that are done as needed.

Also, keep in mind that boosters being reused for NASA and military flights do get more thorough inspections, and that data will inform SpaceX's decisions about the amount of inspections that boosters they are using for Starlink, or other customers, needs.

However, this is more about the idea that something like a more complete teardown / inspection and rebuild might be needed after 10 (or some set number) flights, which doesn't seem to be the case.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Yggdrasill on 04/29/2022 04:54 am
https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/1519795840931360770

Potentially 21 day turnaround time for B1062. That's pretty good!
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/29/2022 08:18 pm
Cross-post:


SpaceX is working to make renewal times one week or less.
Quote
It is understood that this booster (B1062) is part of a special refurbishment treatment that SpaceX is experimenting with to increase its launch cadence, especially for Starlink missions. SpaceX aims to compress its booster refurbishment timeline from two or three weeks down to just five to seven days, allowing turnaround times as short as three weeks or perhaps less.
Via:NSF
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2022/04/starlink-4-16-turnaround-records/
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Zed_Noir on 05/01/2022 09:05 am
With the increase launch tempo SpaceX is going to need more landing barges and support ships than the current fleet size. They need some buffer for unexpected downtime for their boats. Just two drone landing barges currently on the East coast is really rolling the dice with each down range recovery attempt.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: DanClemmensen on 05/01/2022 09:27 am
With the increase launch tempo SpaceX is going to need more landing barges and support ships than the current fleet size. They need some buffer for unexpected downtime for their boats. Just two drone landing barges currently on the East coast is really rolling the dice with each down range recovery attempt.
Additional recovery boats have little effect on recovery success rate. Lack of assets would cause launches to be delayed, not recovery failure. If SpaceX believes Starship will begin replacing F9 within the next two years, then at most a few launches will be delayed and added recovery assets will not pay for themselves.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Zed_Noir on 05/01/2022 10:18 am
With the increase launch tempo SpaceX is going to need more landing barges and support ships than the current fleet size. They need some buffer for unexpected downtime for their boats. Just two drone landing barges currently on the East coast is really rolling the dice with each down range recovery attempt.
Additional recovery boats have little effect on recovery success rate. Lack of assets would cause launches to be delayed, not recovery failure. If SpaceX believes Starship will begin replacing F9 within the next two years, then at most a few launches will be delayed and added recovery assets will not pay for themselves.
For some launches, the lack of recovery assets doesn't matter. SpaceX will just have to build additional boosters for unexpected expended launches if a landing barge isn't available.

Hope is not something for planning purposes. SpaceX will have to planned as if the Starship will not show up on schedule.

Added recovery assets is insurance against unexpected events. AIUI replacing a booster that is lost unexpectedly is more than the annual operating cost of the SpaceX recovery fleet.
 
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: DanClemmensen on 05/01/2022 04:06 pm
With the increase launch tempo SpaceX is going to need more landing barges and support ships than the current fleet size. They need some buffer for unexpected downtime for their boats. Just two drone landing barges currently on the East coast is really rolling the dice with each down range recovery attempt.
Additional recovery boats have little effect on recovery success rate. Lack of assets would cause launches to be delayed, not recovery failure. If SpaceX believes Starship will begin replacing F9 within the next two years, then at most a few launches will be delayed and added recovery assets will not pay for themselves.
For some launches, the lack of recovery assets doesn't matter. SpaceX will just have to build additional boosters for unexpected expended launches if a landing barge isn't available.

Hope is not something for planning purposes. SpaceX will have to planned as if the Starship will not show up on schedule.

Added recovery assets is insurance against unexpected events. AIUI replacing a booster that is lost unexpectedly is more than the annual operating cost of the SpaceX recovery fleet.
But if they actually succeed in replacing even a moderate percentage of F9 launches within two years, the need for a bigger fleet goes away. Made-up example numbers: The current fleet appears to be able to support up to a launch a week in 2022 (52 launches/yr), perhaps with a bit of a strain, but supported 31 launches in 2021, probably with not much strain.  If Starship can replace enough F9s to keep the F9 launch rate below 30 launches/yr, the strain on the fleet will be reduced. If SpaceX were for example to project that the F9 launch cadence would drop below 30/yr by (say) Q2 2023, then the risk of a forced expenditure of a booster is constrained to the next 15 months. Furthermore, because half the launches are Starlink, SpaceX has the option of deferring a launch instead of expending a booster. Once Starship is even barely operational, SpaceX will shift all Starlinks to Starship. Finally, as F9 gets closer to EOL, the non-Starlink cadence will taper down and the number of boosters in the active fleet can be allowed to decrease, so the value of recovering a booster decreases.

To evaluate all this, you will need to plug in your own guesses to replace my made-up numbers, and this in turn will let you decide if you think more fleet assets are justified.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: alugobi on 05/01/2022 04:12 pm
Quote
With the increase launch tempo SpaceX is going to need more landing barges and support ships than the current fleet size.
And yet we see no evidence from them that they agree.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Zed_Noir on 05/01/2022 05:18 pm
With the increase launch tempo SpaceX is going to need more landing barges and support ships than the current fleet size. They need some buffer for unexpected downtime for their boats. Just two drone landing barges currently on the East coast is really rolling the dice with each down range recovery attempt.
Additional recovery boats have little effect on recovery success rate. Lack of assets would cause launches to be delayed, not recovery failure. If SpaceX believes Starship will begin replacing F9 within the next two years, then at most a few launches will be delayed and added recovery assets will not pay for themselves.
For some launches, the lack of recovery assets doesn't matter. SpaceX will just have to build additional boosters for unexpected expended launches if a landing barge isn't available.

Hope is not something for planning purposes. SpaceX will have to planned as if the Starship will not show up on schedule.

Added recovery assets is insurance against unexpected events. AIUI replacing a booster that is lost unexpectedly is more than the annual operating cost of the SpaceX recovery fleet.
But if they actually succeed in replacing even a moderate percentage of F9 launches within two years, the need for a bigger fleet goes away. Made-up example numbers: The current fleet appears to be able to support up to a launch a week in 2022 (52 launches/yr), perhaps with a bit of a strain, but supported 31 launches in 2021, probably with not much strain.  If Starship can replace enough F9s to keep the F9 launch rate below 30 launches/yr, the strain on the fleet will be reduced. If SpaceX were for example to project that the F9 launch cadence would drop below 30/yr by (say) Q2 2023, then the risk of a forced expenditure of a booster is constrained to the next 15 months. Furthermore, because half the launches are Starlink, SpaceX has the option of deferring a launch instead of expending a booster. Once Starship is even barely operational, SpaceX will shift all Starlinks to Starship. Finally, as F9 gets closer to EOL, the non-Starlink cadence will taper down and the number of boosters in the active fleet can be allowed to decrease, so the value of recovering a booster decreases.

To evaluate all this, you will need to plug in your own guesses to replace my made-up numbers, and this in turn will let you decide if you think more fleet assets are justified.
You make up numbers seems reasonable. If SpaceX only have to cover a couple of years before the Starship replaces much of the Falcon 9 launches. However Starship service introduction delays will strain the current recovery fleet. Things break on boats that stay out sea for extended periods of time with little breaks, besides the hazards of more or less catching a grain silo falling out of the sky. ;)
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Zed_Noir on 05/01/2022 05:30 pm
Quote
With the increase launch tempo SpaceX is going to need more landing barges and support ships than the current fleet size.
And yet we see no evidence from them that they agree.
SpaceX can disagree with my assessment until they find themselves short a boat unexpectedly. Then they have to reassess their recovery fleet size. Which with the exception of the landing barges can be expanded quickly with a few charters.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: alugobi on 05/01/2022 06:56 pm
I suspect that they've already considered the universe of possibilities regarding their fleet.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: gbl on 05/01/2022 07:36 pm
Or, they could do more RTLS launches. Since most launches are for Starlink, if they reduce the number of satellites launched (currently 57) to, say 40 (just guessing), they could return to launch site.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: DanClemmensen on 05/01/2022 09:03 pm
You make up numbers seems reasonable. If SpaceX only have to cover a couple of years before the Starship replaces much of the Falcon 9 launches. However Starship service introduction delays will strain the current recovery fleet. Things break on boats that stay out sea for extended periods of time with little breaks, besides the hazards of more or less catching a grain silo falling out of the sky. ;)
The strain (if any) we see now may be caused by Starship delays. Remember that Elon said in December(?) that he was basically counting on 20 Starlink-on-Starship launches in 2022 and he was upset by the surprise delays in the Raptors.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Robotbeat on 05/13/2022 04:25 pm
What’s the fastest time between hangar and launch for Falcon 9?
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: deadman1204 on 05/23/2022 04:07 pm
People are laboring under this false idea that starship will replace falcon 9 in a couple years - which totally ignores spaceX saying on multiple occasions that this is not true.

Falcon 9 will fly for as long as customers want it. Falcon 9 is the most reliable rocket since ever. Saving a few million dollars doesn't matter if you run a higher risk of losing years of time (time spent building satellites, and then the years it'll take to build the new one).
Until starship has a good level of reliability, it simply won't actually be able to compete well with falcon 9. This sort of thing takes years, because its about far more than a rocket going up and down a few times. Its all the process of mission assurance, build quality, deploying payloads in various orbits, operations over time, ect.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: DanClemmensen on 05/23/2022 05:09 pm
People are laboring under this false idea that starship will replace falcon 9 in a couple years - which totally ignores spaceX saying on multiple occasions that this is not true.

Falcon 9 will fly for as long as customers want it. Falcon 9 is the most reliable rocket since ever. Saving a few million dollars doesn't matter if you run a higher risk of losing years of time (time spent building satellites, and then the years it'll take to build the new one).
Until starship has a good level of reliability, it simply won't actually be able to compete well with falcon 9. This sort of thing takes years, because its about far more than a rocket going up and down a few times. Its all the process of mission assurance, build quality, deploying payloads in various orbits, operations over time, ect.
My uninformed guess: you are probably correct. However, this reasoning also applies to all new alternative medium and heavy launchers (New Glenn, Vulcan, Arianne 6) and to new small launchers, so basically the customers are left with F9/FH. SpaceX has a strong financial incentive to charge the F9/FH customers enough to make a profit, and the launch costs will rise as the infrastructure's ops cost must be amortized over ever-fewer launches. F9 will lose half of its launches by next year as its major customer, Starlink, moves to Starship. But SpaceX is in a position to make a much higher absolute profit per launch with Starship even at a much more attractive price to the customer, and even if they choose to launch exactly the same F9 payload to exactly the same orbit and leave the other 70,000 lb of launch mass unused. The comparison for an FH payload is even more in Starship's favor, of course. A customer that can consolidate payloads will of course see a much bigger difference.

Starlink-on-Starship will be more than "a few launches". By the end of 2023, There will probably be more of these than the rest of the US commercial launches combined. We'll see.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 05/23/2022 09:11 pm
What’s the fastest time between hangar and launch for Falcon 9?

I'm not sure what the fastest time is, but the Falcon 9 is at least theoretically capable of roll out and launch on the same day if there is no static fire test. After the rocket is raised to vertical, the time from power-on to launch is nominally 10 hours.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Norm38 on 06/22/2022 04:24 pm
I see that booster 1058-13 is scheduled for the next Starlink.  From launching the first crew (Bob & Doug) to tying the flight record in only two short years.  (Though 1060 did it faster).
Given the size of their booster fleet, 13 launches in two years on two boosters is a LOT.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 06/29/2022 11:13 pm
Hi Everyone! Welcome, welcome to the end of the sixth month of the year. And what a year it has been O__o

*edit* Hectic enough for me to not realize there was a flagrant error in my tracking spreadsheet. Thank you to Nomadd for pointing that out. Here, the post is corrected:

As of today yesterday, SpaceX has launched 26 27 times so far this year, matching surpassing their total from the entirety of 2020. Also, surpassing my expectations in terms of launch cadence, which was expressed in cautious tones in previous posts. We are very much on track to reach 50+ launches this year. Looking just a short bit ahead, July should be a veritable barrage of Starlink launches, with CRS-25 tossed in (or rather, up) for good measure.

Let's look at some numbers:

The average launch cadence so far this year has been 6.65 6.4 days between launches. This is pretty much a slack-jawed, eye-watering, brain-frying fact for me, it's just an astonishing pace.

15 of the 26 27 launches (57.7% 55.55%) have been dedicated Starlink launches.

Only two of the launches this year have utilized new boosters, the rest were all re-flights. No boosters have been lost or intentionally expended, for a 100% recovery rate.

There was a new record fastest turnaround time of 21 days for 1062.6

Excluding the huge 951 day outlier for 1052.3, the average core turnaround time for this half-year is 62.7 days. This defies my earlier (mid March) expectation that we would see a decrease in average turnaround time by this point. I will have to keep an eye on this. The boosters being reserved for crew launches are bumping the trend upward a bit, but there are a couple others that are also higher than average. The summer Starlink Barrage may push that trend back down. Something to look at for the next data-crunching post.

All of the launches this year have been completed by just 10 individual boosters, with three boosters, 1060, 1061, and 1062, having completed four flights each.

Three boosters, 1052, 1058, and 1071, have completed three flights each. Two boosters, 1063 and 1073, have completed two flights each. Two boosters have only had one flight this year: 1051 and 1067.

I can't think of anything else that I wanted to check with the data. Hopefully everyone finds these updates helpful. Take care and keep safe out there.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: Nomadd on 06/30/2022 02:59 am
 SES-22 was the 27th launch this year.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: woods170 on 06/30/2022 08:05 am
People are laboring under this false idea that starship will replace falcon 9 in a couple years - which totally ignores spaceX saying on multiple occasions that this is not true.

Falcon 9 will fly for as long as customers want it...

Almost correct.
It is in fact not up to the customers.

SpaceX fully intends to switch over to Starship, as soon as committed obligations allow it.

Outyear look: Falcon 9 will fly until roughly 2030, because NASA has committed SpaceX to flying Crew Dragon and Cargo Dragon until 2030. But with Starship operational by then, even for crewed launches, the retirement of ISS drops the sole remaining prime customer for F9 by then. Only FH will soldier on a few more years, after ISS retirement, because of running DoD and NASA commitments.

But by 2035 FH will absolutely be gone as well. Rationale behind this: The coming situation where FH is the only heavy lifter, available to NASA and DoD, will be short-lived, due to the arrival of Starship, the Heavy variant of Vulcan and New Glenn. A little further out there will be the heavy variant of Neutron as well. Lots of options becoming available to NASA and DoD in the next 5 years.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 06/30/2022 03:13 pm
SES-22 was the 27th launch this year.

... you are quite right, my spreadsheet somehow skipped adding a number in a line for my launches per year column.

Editing my post to correct errors now.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: DanClemmensen on 06/30/2022 03:48 pm
People are laboring under this false idea that starship will replace falcon 9 in a couple years - which totally ignores spaceX saying on multiple occasions that this is not true.

Falcon 9 will fly for as long as customers want it...

Almost correct.
It is in fact not up to the customers.

SpaceX fully intends to switch over to Starship, as soon as committed obligations allow it.

Outyear look: Falcon 9 will fly until roughly 2030, because NASA has committed SpaceX to flying Crew Dragon and Cargo Dragon until 2030. But with Starship operational by then, even for crewed launches, the retirement of ISS drops the sole remaining prime customer for F9 by then. Only FH will soldier on a few more years, after ISS retirement, because of running DoD and NASA commitments.

But by 2035 FH will absolutely be gone as well. Rationale behind this: The coming situation where FH is the only heavy lifter, available to NASA and DoD, will be short-lived, due to the arrival of Starship, the Heavy variant of Vulcan and New Glenn. A little further out there will be the heavy variant of Neutron as well. Lots of options becoming available to NASA and DoD in the next 5 years.
As the launch cadence slows, the amortized cost per launch of the Falcon infrastructure increases. SpaceX will raise the price of F9 and FH launches to compensate. In the mean time, the cost of Starship launches will start low and rapidly decline. It's not clear that SpaceX would even bother to bid FH and F9 for the next NSSL phase, because that commits them to maintain the infrastructure. Instead, SpaceX should strive to get Starship qualified for NSSL and other DoD launches.  Similarly, It makes economic sense for SpaceX to solve the problem of using Starship for the CRS, GLS, and CCP missions. CRS and GLS could use a big cargo capsule (motorless Cargo Dragon) delivered by a Cargo Starship. CCP is harder, but SpaceX is committed to launching crew eventually, so crewed Starship plus a Crew Dragon "taxi" that is launched separately as cargo would do it.   Based on all this, I think the last Falcon flight might occur before ISS is decommissioned.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: butters on 06/30/2022 04:43 pm
People are laboring under this false idea that starship will replace falcon 9 in a couple years - which totally ignores spaceX saying on multiple occasions that this is not true.

Falcon 9 will fly for as long as customers want it...

Almost correct.
It is in fact not up to the customers.

SpaceX fully intends to switch over to Starship, as soon as committed obligations allow it.

Outyear look: Falcon 9 will fly until roughly 2030, because NASA has committed SpaceX to flying Crew Dragon and Cargo Dragon until 2030. But with Starship operational by then, even for crewed launches, the retirement of ISS drops the sole remaining prime customer for F9 by then. Only FH will soldier on a few more years, after ISS retirement, because of running DoD and NASA commitments.
This is such a weird moment in time for Commercial LEO Destinations providers to bid on fixed-cost end-to-end service which will begin in 2030. Do they bid as if Starship crew launch/reentry by 2030 is a sure thing? Do they make a deal with SpaceX to ensure a smooth transition whether it occurs before or after station IOC? Do their design concepts even work, for example in terms of lifeboat/evac or attitude control, with a transition from small hypergolic spacecraft to a large cryogenic beast? Who knows what a 2030s space station should be like, but that question must be answered very shortly.

In other words, I'm not as optimistic that new Crew Dragon commitments will not be made stretching into the 2030s. I think there's a good chance that CLD will be the last straggling customer(s) for F9. It'll be maybe two missions per year, so forget about rapid booster reuse milestones, and it's possible that some of these station proposals (if selected) will use Dragon for their entire lifetimes. SpaceX will probably want to stockpile as many F9 upper stages as they can and have enough to ride out however long the CLD era might last. Maybe, once Starship crew launch/reentry is NASA human-rated, SpaceX could develop a Dragon Lifeboat Edition certified for several years of docked mission endurance to reduce or eliminate additional F9/Dragon launches.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: DanClemmensen on 06/30/2022 04:57 pm
People are laboring under this false idea that starship will replace falcon 9 in a couple years - which totally ignores spaceX saying on multiple occasions that this is not true.

Falcon 9 will fly for as long as customers want it...

Almost correct.
It is in fact not up to the customers.

SpaceX fully intends to switch over to Starship, as soon as committed obligations allow it.

Outyear look: Falcon 9 will fly until roughly 2030, because NASA has committed SpaceX to flying Crew Dragon and Cargo Dragon until 2030. But with Starship operational by then, even for crewed launches, the retirement of ISS drops the sole remaining prime customer for F9 by then. Only FH will soldier on a few more years, after ISS retirement, because of running DoD and NASA commitments.
This is such a weird moment in time for Commercial LEO Destinations providers to bid on fixed-cost end-to-end service which will begin in 2030. Do they bid as if Starship crew launch/reentry by 2030 is a sure thing? Do they make a deal with SpaceX to ensure a smooth transition whether it occurs before or after station IOC? Do their design concepts even work, for example in terms of lifeboat/evac or attitude control, with a transition from small hypergolic spacecraft to a large cryogenic beast? Who knows what a 2030s space station should be like, but that question must be answered very shortly.

In other words, I'm not as optimistic that new Crew Dragon commitments will not be made stretching into the 2030s. I think there's a good chance that CLD will be the last straggling customer(s) for F9. It'll be maybe two missions per year, so forget about rapid booster reuse milestones, and it's possible that some of these station proposals (if selected) will use Dragon for their entire lifetimes. SpaceX will probably want to stockpile as many F9 upper stages as they can and have enough to ride out however long the CLD era might last. Maybe, once Starship crew launch/reentry is NASA human-rated, SpaceX could develop a Dragon Lifeboat Edition certified for several years of docked mission endurance to reduce or eliminate additional F9/Dragon launches.
Cargo Starship can carry an uncrewed Crew dragon, which can be used as a taxi and lifeboat. Each CLD can have as many as it needs. Cargo Starship can return these to earth for periodic servicing, but they mostly just stay in space. Crew will use Crewed Starship but will transfer to CLD on the taxis. This scheme works for ISS and for any CLD that is designed to use Crew Dragon.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: alugobi on 06/30/2022 06:30 pm
Instead of blowing their wad on going to the moon with SLS, NASA should be working on a replacement for the ISS, which, at this point, is an albatross. 
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 06/30/2022 07:30 pm
Instead of blowing their wad on going to the moon with SLS, NASA should be working on a replacement for the ISS, which, at this point, is an albatross.

NASA is doing that. Have you not heard of the CLD (Commercial LEO Destinations) program?

Axiom is already under contract for space station modules that will attach to the ISS and then separate before the ISS is decommissioned.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: wannamoonbase on 06/30/2022 08:48 pm
Given we are 50% of the way through 2022 this is what I think is notable:

1) The launch cadence itself, less than 7 days, stunning
2) The 100% recovery success rate
3) The accuracy of the ASDS landings, they seem to be getting more and more precise with each landing and are placing the points of each leg in nearly the identical position each time (I think this bodes well for Starship and Superheavy recovery)
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: r8ix on 06/30/2022 08:51 pm
Given we are 50% of the way through 2022 this is what I think is notable:

1) The launch cadence itself, less than 7 days, stunning
2) The 100% recovery success rate
3) The accuracy of the ASDS landings, they seem to be getting more and more precise with each landing and are placing the points of each leg in nearly the identical position each time (I think this bodes well for Starship and Superheavy recovery)

Thanks for bringing us back on topic!
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: whitelancer64 on 06/30/2022 09:39 pm
Given we are 50% of the way through 2022 this is what I think is notable:

1) The launch cadence itself, less than 7 days, stunning
2) The 100% recovery success rate
3) The accuracy of the ASDS landings, they seem to be getting more and more precise with each landing and are placing the points of each leg in nearly the identical position each time (I think this bodes well for Starship and Superheavy recovery)

With respect to booster recovery, the last time a Falcon 9 booster core was intentionally expended was in January 2020, for the In-Flight Abort Test (booster 1046.4).

Since then, there have been three boosters lost:
In February 2020, the landing attempt for booster 1056.4 was aborted due to high winds in the landing zone.
In March 2020, booster 1048.5 (the first time a booster had flown 5 times) had an engine failure just before MECO.
And in February 2021, a hole in a life-leader flexible heat shield "boot" over an engine of booster 1059.6 caused its loss during descent.

Since the beginning of 2020, not counting the IFAT, the booster recovery success rate is 80 successes in 83 attempts, 96.38%

The 100% success rate dates back to March 2021, a streak of 53 landing / recovery successes.
Title: Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
Post by: wannamoonbase on 07/05/2022 09:12 pm
Given we are 50% of the way through 2022 this is what I think is notable:

1) The launch cadence itself, less than 7 days, stunning
2) The 100% recovery success rate
3) The accuracy of the ASDS landings, they seem to be getting more and more precise with each landing and are placing the points of each leg in nearly the identical position each time (I think this bodes well for Starship and Superheavy recovery)

Thanks for bringing us back on topic!

Sometimes I help, sometimes I wonder.

It has become common, but I still marvel at the landings and reuse.

A F9 class launch with only expending the upper stage, it's just astonishing.