Author Topic: SpaceX customers' views on reuse  (Read 144870 times)

Online cppetrie

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #380 on: 12/16/2017 01:13 PM »
The article posits they may have received a discount for flying on flight-proven booster. I think queue jumping was the driving factor as we have seen with some others. A couple million saved on launch cost is a drop in the bucket. Getting your stuff to orbit sooner is more important. Thereís even been some suggestion that SpaceX is no longer shopping discounts as an incentive to fly reused.

There are two inflection points that Iím interested in seeing: 1) the point where customers ask SpaceX for used before SpaceX asks them and 2) the point where no one cares whether itís used or not and itís just a ride to space. It may be difficult to know exactly when we cross each of those but they seem like significant landmarks of the shift in thinking about reuse.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #381 on: 12/16/2017 01:29 PM »
There are two inflection points that Iím interested in seeing: 1) the point where customers ask SpaceX for used before SpaceX asks them and 2) the point where no one cares whether itís used or not and itís just a ride to space. It may be difficult to know exactly when we cross each of those but they seem like significant landmarks of the shift in thinking about reuse.

I suspect your 1st inflection point has happened. Itís not clear from this report in June whether customers approached SoaceX first or not. But if they hadnít by then Iíd be surprised if it hadnít happened since, especially with more reports since June of schedule benefits and NASA on-board.

Online cppetrie

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #382 on: 12/16/2017 01:44 PM »
There are two inflection points that Iím interested in seeing: 1) the point where customers ask SpaceX for used before SpaceX asks them and 2) the point where no one cares whether itís used or not and itís just a ride to space. It may be difficult to know exactly when we cross each of those but they seem like significant landmarks of the shift in thinking about reuse.

I suspect your 1st inflection point has happened. Itís not clear from this report in June whether customers approached SoaceX first or not. But if they hadnít by then Iíd be surprised if it hadnít happened since, especially with more reports since June of schedule benefits and NASA on-board.
I suspect youíre right that it has occurred, but since itís not confirmed and it seems an important one I included it. It also strikes me as nothing short of amazing as to how fast this has become normalized. It was just 9 months ago that we were watching the first reuse happen. It almost seems old hat at this point. And it seems to have rapidly gained momentum amongst customers.

Offline rockets4life97

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #383 on: 12/16/2017 01:46 PM »
The important distinction to me is re-use of boosters that went to LEO. We haven't seen a re-used GTO flight or a third flight of the same booster. Those are important milestones that hopefully will happen in 2018. They may require block 5.

Online cppetrie

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #384 on: 12/16/2017 01:54 PM »
The important distinction to me is re-use of boosters that went to LEO. We haven't seen a re-used GTO flight or a third flight of the same booster. Those are important milestones that hopefully will happen in 2018. They may require block 5.
I agree those are important technical milestones. Given the thread is about customer views I was focused on the customer-related milestones. I would think this first LEO-LEO booster is a candidate for a third reflight but I wonít be surprised if both of your scenarios wait until Block 5 sometime next year.

Offline Elthiryel

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #385 on: 12/16/2017 09:33 PM »
The important distinction to me is re-use of boosters that went to LEO. We haven't seen a re-used GTO flight or a third flight of the same booster. Those are important milestones that hopefully will happen in 2018. They may require block 5.
The booster that previously flew during the Thaicom-8 mission is going to fly as a Falcon Heavy side booster, so this is going to be the first GTO reflight, not as a Falcon 9 though. Anyway, the supply of once-flown LEO mission boosters is limited, and with more and more customers willing to use a flight-proven booster, I think they may want to fly a GTO booster for the second time or a double-LEO booster for the third time even before introducing Block 5. And I'm almost sure I've seen it mentioned that Block 4 may actually fly more than twice.
GO for launch, GO for age of reflight

Offline macpacheco

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #386 on: 12/16/2017 11:53 PM »
The important distinction to me is re-use of boosters that went to LEO. We haven't seen a re-used GTO flight or a third flight of the same booster. Those are important milestones that hopefully will happen in 2018. They may require block 5.
A distinct possibility is a test launch for 2nd stage reuse or launching the first SpaceX Starlink satellites. Probably OR.
The upper stage costs might be less than the savings of not having to build a bunch of boosters to reuse the remaining Block IIIs and IVs.
Perhaps first demonstrate 2nd,3rd and 4th flights of GTO recoveries, with the same booster. Of course in that case the destination orbit will be LEO/Polar.
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Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #387 on: 12/18/2017 04:38 PM »
There are two inflection points that I’m interested in seeing: 1) the point where customers ask SpaceX for used before SpaceX asks them and 2) the point where no one cares whether it’s used or not and it’s just a ride to space. It may be difficult to know exactly when we cross each of those but they seem like significant landmarks of the shift in thinking about reuse.

I suspect your 1st inflection point has happened. It’s not clear from this report in June whether customers approached SoaceX first or not. But if they hadn’t by then I’d be surprised if it hadn’t happened since, especially with more reports since June of schedule benefits and NASA on-board.
I suspect you’re right that it has occurred, but since it’s not confirmed and it seems an important one I included it. It also strikes me as nothing short of amazing as to how fast this has become normalized. It was just 9 months ago that we were watching the first reuse happen. It almost seems old hat at this point. And it seems to have rapidly gained momentum amongst customers.

Here's a comment for perspective:
Quote
Ashby: recalling being in a meeting 10 years ago with Air Force Space Command Gen. Chilton, along with AFRL and NASA personnel, who concluded that flyback boosters were not viable. Technology and private funding changed that. #NSRC2017
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/942789272507158533

A bit of commentary:
Quote
Sorry but that's Incorrect. The technology is not all that revolutionary, it's been an engineering issue more than anything. And in terms of money, private reusability systems will cost a fraction of what NASA spends on just a capsule! Reuse is really about VISION and GUTS.
https://twitter.com/JonathanOC/status/942790926115643392
« Last Edit: 12/18/2017 04:41 PM by AncientU »
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Offline Tomness

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #388 on: 12/19/2017 01:37 AM »
If they are running out of cores to be reused and about to go into Block V? Could they say we can pay full price  if your able to recover & reuse it. we could get 10% credit that could be used on a future flight or something.

Offline macpacheco

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #389 on: 12/20/2017 04:15 AM »
If they are running out of cores to be reused and about to go into Block V? Could they say we can pay full price  if your able to recover & reuse it. we could get 10% credit that could be used on a future flight or something.
They aren't running out of cores to be reused.
They have too many cores available for reuse, and Block V which seems to be close to maiden launch which should support 10 relaunches with refurb so quick it should eventually be done in a day or two (however the first few Block V refurbs will likely be longer to be triple sure everything is performing as designed).
Block III boosters that are doing their 2nd flight aren't valuable enough to keep at this point.
Block IVs might fly 3 times. Maybe.
In my view the main use for 2nd flights of Block IVs will be to perform expendable missions that can't be performed by Block V with ASDS landing. Save the Block Vs as much as possible for reuse. Block IV does have more performance than Block IIIs, and likely will be launched with Block V upper stages which should have more performance too.
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Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #390 on: 12/20/2017 05:03 PM »
If they are running out of cores to be reused and about to go into Block V? Could they say we can pay full price  if your able to recover & reuse it. we could get 10% credit that could be used on a future flight or something.
They aren't running out of cores to be reused.
They have too many cores available for reuse, and Block V which seems to be close to maiden launch which should support 10 relaunches with refurb so quick it should eventually be done in a day or two (however the first few Block V refurbs will likely be longer to be triple sure everything is performing as designed).
Block III boosters that are doing their 2nd flight aren't valuable enough to keep at this point.
Block IVs might fly 3 times. Maybe.
In my view the main use for 2nd flights of Block IVs will be to perform expendable missions that can't be performed by Block V with ASDS landing. Save the Block Vs as much as possible for reuse. Block IV does have more performance than Block IIIs, and likely will be launched with Block V upper stages which should have more performance too.

I bet that, if the upcoming FH launch goes off as planned, you will also see some of the remaining used Block 3's pressed into service for their final missions as FH side cores.  Eventually, the side cores will be the final flights of the Block 4's, and then, maybe two or three years down the line, you'll see FH's flying with three Block 5's.

But it would not surprise me to see a Block 5 center core on an FH as early as the second FH launch.  Especially if the Block 4 center core RUD's on entry/landing on the first flight next month...


p.s. -- I know it's still premature, but it feels good to be able to say "the first FH flight next month" and have a reasonable chance of being correct... :)
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Online Prettz

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #391 on: 12/21/2017 06:06 AM »
Shotwell said the only FH to ever fly with non-Block 5 cores will be the maiden launch.

Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #392 on: 12/21/2017 04:06 PM »
Shotwell said the only FH to ever fly with non-Block 5 cores will be the maiden launch.

STP-2 should fly three new cores* and possibly keep flying the same three on FHs down the road.  I think we'll all be surprised to find how few Block 5 cores it takes to fly a 30-launch manifest.  My guess is three for FH, and a pair of F9 at each of three three pads.  About ten total...  easily fab'd by mid-2018.

* assumes the maiden launch goes well enough to not need repeating.
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Online wannamoonbase

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #393 on: 12/21/2017 04:09 PM »
Shotwell said the only FH to ever fly with non-Block 5 cores will be the maiden launch.

STP-2 should fly three new cores* and possibly keep flying the same three on FHs down the road.  I think we'll all be surprised to find how few Block 5 cores it takes to fly a 30-launch manifest.  My guess is three for FH, and a pair of F9 at each of three three pads.  About ten total...  easily fab'd by mid-2018.

* assumes the maiden launch goes well enough to not need repeating.

Agreed in part, they will not have to build too many FH cores or boosters.  Maybe a few sets.

Regarding the F9, they will start somewhat slowly, as they still need to finish the Block 5, fly it, learn from it and improve the process flow. 

I think 2018 will still require a similar production flow as 2017.
SpaceX, just a few things planned for 2018: FH, Starlink Prototypes, Block 5, Dragon 2, Increased launch rate.

Offline Lar

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #394 on: 12/21/2017 06:07 PM »
I think 3 F9 first stages per launch site is more likely as at times one stage will have to be undergoing its every 10 launches refurbishment.  But 2018 may continue to see a skew in the S1:S2 ratio (we have no hard evidence, nothing except inference but it surely has already started)
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Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #395 on: 12/21/2017 07:32 PM »
I think 3 F9 first stages per launch site is more likely as at times one stage will have to be undergoing its every 10 launches refurbishment.  But 2018 may continue to see a skew in the S1:S2 ratio (we have no hard evidence, nothing except inference but it surely has already started)

Well, for hard evidence, they've just fab'd their 400th M1-D engine and have flown(or attempted to) 45 times, have at least three boosters plus FH ready to fly, and more being produced.  Four of those flights were previously-flown boosters and two of the FH cores are too.  We'll see the numbers of M1-Ds fall far behind 10xnumber of flights as Block 5 comes on line.  These numbers even make me think they might be reusing some previously flown engines on new boosters (never heard this was true and cannot keep track of which booster is where any more).
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Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #396 on: 12/21/2017 07:43 PM »
I think we may have strayed a little from customer views on reuse ...

Iím hoping someone can find info on another customer electing to reuse?

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #397 on: 12/21/2017 09:30 PM »
A type of reuse I havenít noticed customers discussing before:

Quote
@IridiumBoss with the move to allow using flight proven cores, would Iridium now be open to being the first company to use reused Fairings?

https://twitter.com/beeberunner/status/943544314096955397

Quote
We're open to anything if it can be proven to improve risk, schedule and cost.  We're about getting our amazing next generation network in space as fast and safely as we can, not creating history for its own sake (though happy to do that this week with our fourth launch)!

https://twitter.com/iridiumboss/status/943547579001987073

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #398 on: 12/22/2017 09:04 PM »
Iím hoping someone can find info on another customer electing to reuse?

SpaceX have now announced that the PAZ launch in January will be on a flight proven booster :)

A good sign:

SpaceX Opens Media Accreditation for PAZ Mission


HAWTHORNE, Calif. Ė December 22, 2017. Media accreditation is now open for SpaceX's PAZ mission from Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The launch is targeted for no earlier than late January 2018.

A flight-proven Falcon 9 will deliver PAZ to a low-Earth orbit (LEO).

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
« Reply #399 on: 12/22/2017 09:47 PM »
With GovSat -1 also a reuse booster that means of the first 4 launches in 2018 3 of them use used boosters. FH, Govsat-1 and Paz.

In the first 3 months 1Q2018 there could be as many as 8 used boosters launched out of a possible 10 launches. Because of the FH there will be 4 new boosters with 8 used. That is a used to total rate of 67%. But obviously not all of those possible 10 launches will occur in the first 3 months.

Key is that the acceptance is growing and will be represented by the number of used boosters flown to the total number flown in 2018.

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