Author Topic: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)  (Read 582251 times)

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #940 on: 01/04/2011 12:23 am »
This discussion has gotten so far off track that you're gonna need a passport to get back in. These last few pages have zero to do with SpaceX, Falcon & Dragon.

Come on guys - stow it!
Agreed. We can take it to private messages (I already have).
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Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #941 on: 01/04/2011 12:34 am »

 higher future SpaceX prices will be more from underestimating costs/overestimating revenue

Bingo

Offline blairf

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #942 on: 01/04/2011 12:52 am »
Not sure I agree with you clongton.

The debate is about prices, and how you compare them from date X to date Y, that strikes me as very relevant for SpaceX, Falcon and Dragon. The fact this is not seen as relevant show the *technical* bent of these fora. Pays your money and takes your pick I guess ;-)

So how should you compare utility in a space system from year X to year Y? The crudest is $/Kg to orbit XX. But is that right? If the utility/kg of the item has doubled and the launch price/kg has also doubled hasn't the price of the system stayed constant? You get the same Mb/sec/$, so price is constant no? Also no-one buys Kg to orbit they buy a launch, so the base unit has to be the launch price.

To bring it back to SpaceX ask how much did USG pay to launch 3 people to orbit four times a years in 1965/66. According to here http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1579/1
the cost was $130 million per launch in 1967 money, and the shuttle kicks in at a tasty $1400 million per launch.

So if SpaceX can deliver Gemini type functionality at $130 million a launch, then despite all the hand wringing about 'aerospace inflation' for HSF the real appropriate deflator will be precisely Zero, and anyone who is charging otherwise needs to have a long look at themselves.


 

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #943 on: 01/04/2011 02:30 am »
All that sidetrack about inflation and all is interesting, even if it is somewhat besides the point of the thread.  But still, the CPI is broken; it doesn't reflect reality well enough.  It seems that inflation is relatively low, but launch services can buck that trend because since there are so few providers, there is not that much downward pressure on their prices.

As to the idea of $/lb as a pricing scheme, remember that propellant is the biggest mass item being launched; therefore the utility/lb doesn't really change over time.  Same with astros.  Arguably, an astro from 1969 has the same value as an astro from 2010; people don't inflate in value.  The 1969 astro had cutting edge skills, as does the 2010 astro.

And take a lander.  The 1969 lander cost what it did to do what it did.  And Altair?  It just kept on costing money, and hasn't done anything yet.  At some point one has to ask, what capability are we spending money on?  The CPI is absolutely no help in understanding this matter.  The various inflationary indices are only but so useful.

If everyone would just compare prices as dollar amounts, life would be so much simpler.

But anyhow...
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Chris Bergin

All that sidetrack about inflation and all is interesting, even if it is somewhat besides the point of the thread. 

Correct. Off topic. SpaceX only on this thread. This is a no-rambling area.
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Offline Chris Bergin

Split off continued inflation cost posts into this thread:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=21348.0
« Last Edit: 01/05/2011 05:57 pm by Chris Bergin »
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Offline jabe

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #946 on: 01/05/2011 06:11 pm »
Any ideas when F9 will launch with payload fairing? Or are they so focused on COTS they will tackle that when done?  Do you think the design of the merlin for F9 is finalized and they can start making them in mass?  They will be needed a whole whack of them... :)
jb

Offline notherspacexfan

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #947 on: 01/05/2011 06:56 pm »
Any ideas when F9 will launch with payload fairing?

CASSIOPE (MDA) is still listed as 2011. This isn't necessarily an indication that it will launch, but at least no one is admitting to a schedule slip yet.

http://mertensiana.phys.ucalgary.ca/schedule.html
http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/satellites/cassiope.asp

Given the 300 x 1500 km, 80 inclination orbit, at 500kg it doesn't seem like it could launch as a secondary payload under an ISS-bound dragon so it would need the fairing.


Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #948 on: 01/05/2011 07:33 pm »
Any ideas when F9 will launch with payload fairing?

CASSIOPE (MDA) is still listed as 2011. This isn't necessarily an indication that it will launch, but at least no one is admitting to a schedule slip yet.

The ASC-CSA page was a bit vague.  However, it seems to be a twin-spacecraft mission, the sensor platform, Cassiope, and a communiations relay platform, Cascade.  I might be reading the page wrong.

Given the 300 x 1500 km, 80 inclination orbit, at 500kg it doesn't seem like it could launch as a secondary payload under an ISS-bound dragon so it would need the fairing.

That's a very steep and high orbit.  Some kind of sun-synchronous pseudo-polar?
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Offline go4mars

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #949 on: 01/05/2011 07:42 pm »
Do you think the design of the merlin for F9 is finalized and they can start making them in mass? 

I think Block 2 will first be tested on Falcon1e.  So no.  Not there yet.  Maybe for block one style they are okay to build lots until phase-out.  As I understand it.
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Offline notherspacexfan

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #950 on: 01/05/2011 07:58 pm »

The ASC-CSA page was a bit vague.  However, it seems to be a twin-spacecraft mission, the sensor platform, Cassiope, and a communiations relay platform, Cascade.  I might be reading the page wrong.


1 sat, 2 payloads (Cascade and ePOP)

http://epop.phys.ucalgary.ca/cassiope.html

Offline Antares

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #951 on: 01/06/2011 04:25 am »
I think a fairing is at least a year away.
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Offline ugordan

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #952 on: 01/06/2011 12:20 pm »
I think a fairing is at least a year away.

Development delays again or an actual flight with one?

Offline Space Junkie

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #953 on: 01/06/2011 06:23 pm »
Will the payload fairing likely make its first flight with a paying
customer? Or will it require a demo/test flight first? How significant
is the effect of the fairing's shape on the vehicle's flight?

Offline Lars_J

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #954 on: 01/06/2011 06:31 pm »
I would assume it would fly first with a paying customer.

One question I am curious about, though... I know they will be offering a 5m payload fairing. But if the payload is smaller than that, would they use a 4m or 3.66m fairing?

Perhaps it is simpler to design and qualify just one kind of fairing. But then again many LVs have a variety of fairings.

Offline jabe

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #955 on: 01/06/2011 06:37 pm »
Perhaps it is simpler to design and qualify just one kind of fairing. But then again many LVs have a variety of fairings.
My WAG, I would say a single design from a cost and time stand point . I figure a paying customer as well.  Lets hope they pull off 3 F9 launches this year... 2 Cots and one Fairing  launch...
jb

Offline ugordan

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #956 on: 01/06/2011 06:40 pm »
How significant is the effect of the fairing's shape on the vehicle's flight?

A 5m fairing will put more significant demands on vehicle controlability during transsonic flight than what the Dragon configuration requires. For example I noticed in the past two flights (based on condensation clouds visible) that F9 maintains a noticeable angle of attack when going supersonic. This may be undesirable for a big fairing both from the fairing structural standpoint and drag on the vehicle already mentioned. Likely also tighter upper level wind launch commit criteria.

Offline ugordan

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #957 on: 01/06/2011 06:46 pm »
But if the payload is smaller than that, would they use a 4m or 3.66m fairing?

They haven't talked about a smaller fairing recently, although a 3.66 m one was on the books back when F5 was still envisioned. Given F9's lifting power to GTO, 5 m is definitely overkill and I figure a smaller one would buy them at least an additional couple of hundred kg of payload, but it's also an additional development cost.

Offline Antares

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Re: SpaceX: General Falcon and Dragon discussion (Thread 2)
« Reply #958 on: 01/07/2011 02:19 am »
I don't take many things on faith on these boards, but SpaceX's business analysis acumen wouldn't miss what the best size (first) fairing is for their global competitiveness.  They've done pretty well optimizing their architectures for profit otherwise.

Also, given that Delta IV and Atlas V had a (way below market value) paying customer on their first flights of rockets that had zero flight history compared to F9 which will have 3+ flights, I think they'll be able to sell the ride to someone.
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Offline Space Pete

The SpaceX manifest has been updated!
www.spacex.com/launch_manifest.php

With regard to Dragon, it shows:

2011:
2x COTS demo flights (with one going to ISS).
2x CRS flights to ISS.

2012:
2x CRS flights to ISS.
1x DragonLab flight.

2013:
3x CRS flights to ISS.
1x DragonLab flight.

2014:
3x CRS flights to ISS.

2015:
2x CRS flights to ISS.
NASASpaceflight ISS Editor

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