Author Topic: Progress on rapid booster reuse  (Read 134577 times)

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Progress on rapid booster reuse
« 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)
« Last Edit: 02/04/2021 02:27 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline intelati

Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #1 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
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Online wannamoonbase

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Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #2 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.
Superheavy + Starship the final push to launch commit!

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #3 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.
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #4 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.
« Last Edit: 06/05/2019 12:23 am by Robotbeat »
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Online ZachS09

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Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #5 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
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Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #6 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.

Offline Clyde

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Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #7 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

Offline Tulse

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Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #8 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?

Offline freddo411

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Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #9 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.


Online niwax

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Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #10 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?
Which booster has the most soot? SpaceX booster launch history! (discussion)

Offline intelati

Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #11 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.
Starships are meant to fly

Offline tdperk

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Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #12 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.

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #13 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.
"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
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Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #14 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.)

Offline lonestriker

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Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #15 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.)

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 (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.

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Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #16 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.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #17 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.)

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 (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.

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Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #18 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.)

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 (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.

Offline Stefan.Christoff.19

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Re: Progress on rapid booster reuse
« Reply #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.

 

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