Author Topic: Progress on rapid booster reuse  (Read 134581 times)

Offline DanClemmensen

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Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #360 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.

Offline alugobi

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Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #361 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. 

Online whitelancer64

Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #362 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.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #363 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)
Superheavy + Starship the final push to launch commit!

Online r8ix

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Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #364 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!

Online whitelancer64

Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #365 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.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #366 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.
Superheavy + Starship the final push to launch commit!

 

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