Poll

How many flights do you expect from SpaceX in 2012?

1
2
3
4
None of the above (other)

Author Topic: POLL: Number of SpaceX flights in 2012  (Read 163465 times)

Offline thomson

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 108
  • Gdansk, PL
  • Liked: 3
  • Likes Given: 49
Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX flights in 2012
« Reply #20 on: 01/26/2012 08:51 am »
Voted 2. Too bad it's not possible to give two votes: one for "i hope it will be X" and second "i'm afraid it will be Y".

Offline pippin

  • Regular
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2571
  • Liked: 305
  • Likes Given: 42
Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX flights in 2012
« Reply #21 on: 01/26/2012 09:07 am »

The hardest part about rocketry is getting a design and it's manufacturing process debugged.


True in a general sense, yet I'm not completely sure it's SpaceX's biggest problem right now.
I'm under the impression (no more than that) that they are still in a kind of R&D mode where they build a vehicle and launch it and then they focus on the next one, at least in terms of launch processing.
I don't see that they have something like a logistics flow to handle regular flights which will probably be the next challenge to get flight rates up.

If they have payloads, of course.

Offline MP99

Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX flights in 2012
« Reply #22 on: 01/26/2012 09:16 am »
Voted one.

Guessing COTS 2/3 will fly before the end of the year (perhaps June/July), but enough fixes will come out of it that CRS #1 will be 2013. Will need that contingency (OK, through end 2012) from the final Shuttle flight.

Neither Orbcomm (Canaveral) or MDA (Vandenburg) will fly this year (and no FH from Vandenburg next year). Continued shift of the manifest to the right.

Given that CRS is "up to 12" flights, I suspect we must get to the point where there isn't time to fit them all in before the end of the contract in 2015 - there are already five in the final year. Could see the first CRS flight being the one which is currently listed as "NASA Resupply to ISS Flight 3" in 2013 (ie just lose #1 & #2).  :(

cheers, Martin

Offline SF Doug

  • Member
  • Posts: 40
  • Dreamer
  • Fremont, California
  • Liked: 7
  • Likes Given: 48
Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX flights in 2012
« Reply #23 on: 01/26/2012 09:37 am »
2
They are accelerating.
Golf on Mars! (Beach balls and baseball bats? )

Offline Ben the Space Brit

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7202
  • A spaceflight fan
  • London, UK
  • Liked: 801
  • Likes Given: 894
Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX flights in 2012
« Reply #24 on: 01/26/2012 10:37 am »
I'd say three as an absolute maximum, all Dragon to ISS.
"Oops! I left the silly thing in reverse!" - Duck Dodgers

~*~*~*~

The Space Shuttle Program - 1981-2011

The time for words has passed; The time has come to put up or shut up!
DON'T PROPAGANDISE, FLY!!!

Offline Voyager4DK

  • Member
  • Posts: 27
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Liked: 8
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX flights in 2012
« Reply #25 on: 01/26/2012 10:41 am »
Right now I think they will launch 2 this year.
I hope 3 (as i predicted in the 2012 prediction thread), but it dosn't seem likely right now.

So we will properly have the COTS 2/3 flight between 20th March and 31th May.
Depending on the outcome of that flight, we will have COTS 3 or CRS 1 some time in the second half of the year.

I think CRS 2 will slip to January-March 2013.
And I think first dedicated commercial satelite launch, will happend March-May 2013.
And then Falcon Heavy, would launch second half of 2013.
So about 4 launched in 2013 (I hope more).

Offline aquanaut99

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1049
  • Liked: 33
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX flights in 2012
« Reply #26 on: 01/26/2012 11:18 am »
I voted "none of the above", as I believe they will launch ZERO flights in 2012.

Lately, I'm feeling extremely let down by SpaceX. They have made lots of promises, but they failed to deliver anything these past 12 months or so.

I'm expecting continued delays and shifts to the right until the year is done and still nothing has left the launch pad.

Yes, pessimistic. But, at least, I can then be pleasantly surprised if I turn out to be wrong and they DO lauch something.


Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11878
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 17132
  • Likes Given: 11228
Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX flights in 2012
« Reply #27 on: 01/26/2012 11:26 am »
I voted two, mostly for reasons already cited by previous posters in this thread.

Offline Voyager4DK

  • Member
  • Posts: 27
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Liked: 8
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX flights in 2012
« Reply #28 on: 01/26/2012 11:35 am »
SpaceX has pretty many 1st, in the next many flights, this will also make the flight rate lower than it should at this point in time.

#1 Inital launch
#2 COTS-1
#3 COTS-2/3
#4 CRS-1
#5 CRS-2
#6 1. Commercial launch with payload faring.
#7 1. launch with Merlin 1D - commercial, CRS or Falcon Heavy?
#8 (7 or later) Falcon Heavy.

Offline mr. mark

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1996
  • Liked: 172
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX flights in 2012
« Reply #29 on: 01/26/2012 11:48 am »
They have a total staff of 1500 people. You can't expect them to churn out rockets at a fever pace when you only have so many staff members. I'm not even sure what their production staff totals are. They will be lucky to put out 2 Falcon 9's and Dragons for this year. For a very small company, that's not bad. I'm thinking that they will have to increase their production staff and facilities by over a third to see a slight increase in production rates. I'm not even sure that their current facilities could even handle the load.

Offline tigerade

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 718
  • Low Earth Orbit
  • Liked: 51
  • Likes Given: 36
Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX flights in 2012
« Reply #30 on: 01/26/2012 12:30 pm »
They have a total staff of 1500 people. You can't expect them to churn out rockets at a fever pace when you only have so many staff members. I'm not even sure what their production staff totals are. They will be lucky to put out 2 Falcon 9's and Dragons for this year. For a very small company, that's not bad. I'm thinking that they will have to increase their production staff and facilities by over a third to see a slight increase in production rates. I'm not even sure that their current facilities could even handle the load.

The problem is, not only do they have the CRS flights they need to do, but also they have a lot of customers lined up that need flights too.  They are mitigating that a bit with adding satellites onto the future CRS flights (like Orbcomm).  Still, I doubt their customers are going to want to wait 20 years to get their satellite up, so SpaceX is going to need to pickup the flight rate soon enough anyway.

I plan on bumping this thread at the end of the year and we will see how accurate our predictions are.

Offline apace

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 812
  • Liked: 4
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX flights in 2012
« Reply #31 on: 01/26/2012 12:37 pm »
Let's be a little bit more optimistic ;D my prediction: after a successful COTS2/3 they will get momentum and will launch 3 more rockets in the following 12 months.

Offline Garrett

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1133
  • France
  • Liked: 128
  • Likes Given: 112
Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX flights in 2012
« Reply #32 on: 01/26/2012 12:42 pm »
I voted two.

Note that the pole is about how many SpaceX flights will occur, not how many missions will be successful.

COTS Demo 2/3 will launch.
Even if there is an issue with D2/3 that prevents it from berthing with ISS, I expect SpaceX not to wait too long before launching a follow-up mission to ISS (either a D3 or CRS 1).

I wasn't aware that the new launch complex at Vandenberg would actually be ready before the end of 2012, so I do not expect any F9 or F9H launches from there this year.
« Last Edit: 01/26/2012 12:42 pm by Garrett »
- "Nothing shocks me. I'm a scientist." - Indiana Jones

Offline Nate_Trost

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 435
  • Liked: 47
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX flights in 2012
« Reply #33 on: 01/26/2012 02:21 pm »
Two. COTS 2/3 and CRS1.

Offline go4mars

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3748
  • Earth
  • Liked: 158
  • Likes Given: 3463
Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX flights in 2012
« Reply #34 on: 01/26/2012 03:11 pm »
I voted 3. 

Yes they have a lot to think about and do (grasshopper, new engines, FH, new pad, commercial pad, stratolaunch (F5 designs), crew dragon, IPO timing, reusable F9 successor, expanding production capacity, giant underground test stand in Texas, etc. etc. etc.). 

But if I recall correctly, they have 5 more launches using 1c F9, before they even get to the 1d version.  Again, IIRC, they want the 1d for FH.  And I suspect they'll want a F9 -1D launch before the FH. 

Not sure, but assuming that the FH pad is 18 months away, that's 6 F9 launches that they'll want to do between now and the FH attempt 18+ months from now (by my uneducated guess). 

The big determinant of this poll question (I suspect) is this question: "Will they make big changes on F9 between the next flight and the following one?" 
I don't foresee major design changes to F9-1c version (it's limited production run anyways and seems to work).  1d F9 version is more likely to get some tweaking before it gets to attempt cross-feed on FH.  Presumably even 1d version for single-stick rocket is limited production run also (staged combustion engine coming), but if it remains in operation for a while with FH it might get optimized more than the 1C version. 

If it is fair to assume that FH is desirable to have ASAP, then they are probably aiming for 6 flights over the next year and a half.  Will that be 3 by the end of 2012?  More?  We'll have to wait and see. 

But if I was betting on this, I'd go with whatever Jim guesses. 
Elasmotherium; hurlyburly Doggerlandic Jentilak steeds insouciantly gallop in viridescent taiga, eluding deluginal Burckle's abyssal excavation.

Offline peter-b

  • Dr. Peter Brett
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 651
  • Oxford, UK
  • Liked: 18
  • Likes Given: 74
Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX flights in 2012
« Reply #35 on: 01/26/2012 03:42 pm »
I voted two.

I suspect that they currently are sitting on a glut of hardware; photos of the Hawthorne plant from mid-2011 showed 5-8 Dragons in various stages of construction, and IIRC around 4-5 Falcon 9 first stages.  Based on that, I would expect them to have at least two complete launchers and Dragon spacecraft in final outfitting, in addition to the hardware already at the Cape.

Based on what progress I've seen on construction at VAFB, I don't expect them to launch from VAFB during 2012.  OTOH I *do* expect a Falcon 9 to be delivered there later this year.

That leaves ISS missions and LEO launches from CCAFB. IMHO, SpaceX have no choice but to fly COTS 2/3 within the next 3-4 months, giving at least 1 flight during 2012. The question, then, is whether that flight goes well enough that they're able to fly CRS-1 or even CRS-2 during the second half of 2012; my prognostication is that CRS-1 will fly, but CRS-2 will be early 2013.

I don't expect any non-NASA flights during 2012; this expectation is based purely on the fact that I haven't seen or heard anything to suggest that they are building a fairing. ;)
Research Scientist (Sensors), Sharp Laboratories of Europe, UK

Offline simonbp

  • Science Guy
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7138
  • Liked: 314
  • Likes Given: 183
Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX flights in 2012
« Reply #36 on: 01/26/2012 03:49 pm »
Well, if you count Grasshopper...

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10197
  • Liked: 646
  • Likes Given: 715
Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX flights in 2012
« Reply #37 on: 01/26/2012 04:06 pm »
I voted for "none of the above", since 0 flights was not an option.

Offline Space Pete

Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX flights in 2012
« Reply #38 on: 01/26/2012 04:37 pm »
Two, both to ISS.
NASASpaceflight ISS Editor

Offline kevin-rf

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8807
  • Overlooking the path Mary's little Lamb took..
  • Liked: 1313
  • Likes Given: 306
Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX flights in 2012
« Reply #39 on: 01/26/2012 05:14 pm »
Well, if you count Grasshopper...

For that, I would vote zero untethered flights in 2012.
If you're happy and you know it,
It's your med's!

Tags:
 

Advertisement NovaTech
Advertisement Northrop Grumman
Advertisement
Advertisement Margaritaville Beach Resort South Padre Island
Advertisement Brady Kenniston
Advertisement NextSpaceflight
Advertisement Nathan Barker Photography
1