Author Topic: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3  (Read 649872 times)

Offline whitelancer64

With two east coast ASDS, I'm thinking that they could also, usually, support both spaceports (Brownsville and the Cape.) Basically, added flexibility.

And for some pure, fact-free wild speculation, I predict that the new ASDS will be at least as different from the current pair as the current pair are from JRTI pre-upgrade (JRTI Block 1). So, it would not surprise me at all if it's not Marmac-based. Perhaps it might be longer, double the length of a current ASDS, in order to be capable of catching two cores? I can't find any deck barges that big, but some ore barges are.
Another possibility is self-propelled.

Cruising from the Atlantic coast of Florida to the Gulf coast of Texas would eat up a lot of time. If their launch cadence increases to the rate everyone thinks it will, there will be no way to support both Brownsville and Kennedy / Canaveral. Brownsville will need its own ASDSes.
"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 John Alan

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 624
  • Central IL - USA - Earth
  • Liked: 307
  • Likes Given: 1480
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2321 on: 02/12/2018 11:30 PM »
And for some pure, fact-free wild speculation, I predict that the new ASDS will be at least as different from the current pair as the current pair are from JRTI pre-upgrade (JRTI Block 1). So, it would not surprise me at all if it's not Marmac-based. Perhaps it might be longer, double the length of a current ASDS, in order to be capable of catching two cores? I can't find any deck barges that big, but some ore barges are.
Another possibility is self-propelled.

McDonough does catalog a 400' x 100' ocean barge with the same deck loading specs (22T/m2)
Put wings on it and a blast wall divider down the middle crossways... MAYBE two pads...  :P
Source...
http://www.mcdonoughmarine.com/assets/pdfs/mcd-8.5x11-catalog-v13-perfectbound.pdf#page=19

Online CameronD

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1285
  • Melbourne, Australia
    • Norton Consultants
  • Liked: 408
  • Likes Given: 307
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2322 on: 02/12/2018 11:43 PM »
Any hints that Marmac has a new one under construction? They might want to consider it...

It takes quite a while to get a new build commissioned and in survey, so unless an order was placed a long time ago.. so it's not out of the question, but surely they'd select one of their existing fleet first?? Especially if there's even a tiny chance it might be sunk by a falling rocket.


And for some pure, fact-free wild speculation, I predict that the new ASDS will be at least as different from the current pair as the current pair are from JRTI pre-upgrade (JRTI Block 1). So, it would not surprise me at all if it's not Marmac-based. Perhaps it might be longer, double the length of a current ASDS, in order to be capable of catching two cores? I can't find any deck barges that big, but some ore barges are.
Another possibility is self-propelled.

McDonough does catalog a 400' x 100' ocean barge with the same deck loading specs (22T/m2)
Put wings on it and a blast wall divider down the middle crossways... MAYBE two pads...  :P
Source...
http://www.mcdonoughmarine.com/assets/pdfs/mcd-8.5x11-catalog-v13-perfectbound.pdf#page=19

I'm happy to be proved wrong, but am less inclined to agree.  Elon's actual quote was "East, to support high flight rates for F9 and dual ocean landings for FH side boosters" which reads to me as if they're literally planning a new ASDS to match OCISLY.

Hate to pour cold water on your speculation, but there are many reasons why they might not want to change their current ASDS design, including:
1. The current size and draft suits their port operations, including towing up and down the channel, and loading and unloading alongside.
2. The current layout and systems are something their tug and support vessel operators are familiar with.
3. New design and ABS design approvals can take significant amounts of time and money.
4. The current design is known and understood by their maintenance crews, including USCG and ABS inspectors.
5. Their current shore-support infrastructure (hoses, cables, gangways, etc.) would need modification or replacement to suit a different size/shape/draft vessel.
6. System spares (including thrusters and containerised systems) would be interchangeable between vessels.
7. The current design appears to meet their requirements for "F9" and "FH side boosters" as specified (nothing about BFR in there)

...but that's an arm-chair perspective from the other side of the planet. YMMV. :)
 

EDIT: PS:  Perhaps someone else can measure their berth and confirm, but ISTM parking a 400' long ASDS in their current location would be sure to upset the neighbours! ;D
« Last Edit: 02/13/2018 12:06 AM by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline ClayJar

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 354
  • Baton Rouge, LA, USA
  • Liked: 718
  • Likes Given: 67
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2323 on: 02/13/2018 12:55 AM »
What are the odds, do we think, that ASoG will follow the pair of JRTIs and OCISLY when it comes to where the ASDSing is done?  I mean, I haven't taken a kayak excursion to Morgan City in a while. ;D

Online Kabloona

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4186
  • Velocitas Eradico
  • Fortress of Solitude
  • Liked: 2391
  • Likes Given: 497
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2324 on: 02/13/2018 01:08 AM »
What are the odds, do we think, that ASoG will follow the pair of JRTIs and OCISLY when it comes to where the ASDSing is done?  I mean, I haven't taken a kayak excursion to Morgan City in a while. ;D

Probably good odds, since the guys who did it first time around will presumably know what they're doing now and be able to work more efficiently.

IIRC, it was LAD Services (shipyard) that did the outfitting of the Marmacs. I have some feelers out to see what we can learn about the new ASDS.

Meanwhile, it seems the U.S. DOT Maritime Administration is just now updating its list of US-flagged barges large enough to service offshore oil rigs, giving us a convenient list of potential candidates for ASDS conversion. On the list is our old friend Marmac 300, the original ASDS that was returned to its owner McDonough Marine. And absent from the list are Marmac 303 and 304, the current ASDS barges, presumably because they're on permanent ASDS duty.

So, the next ASDS may well be from this list (last 2 pages of the pdf):

https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2018-02885.pdf
https://www.marad.dot.gov/ships-and-shipping/domestic-shipping/launch-barge-program/
« Last Edit: 02/13/2018 03:03 AM by Kabloona »

Online CameronD

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1285
  • Melbourne, Australia
    • Norton Consultants
  • Liked: 408
  • Likes Given: 307
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2325 on: 02/13/2018 04:45 AM »
Meanwhile, it seems the U.S. DOT Maritime Administration is just now updating its list of US-flagged barges large enough to service offshore oil rigs, giving us a convenient list of potential candidates for ASDS conversion. On the list is our old friend Marmac 300, the original ASDS that was returned to its owner McDonough Marine. And absent from the list are Marmac 303 and 304, the current ASDS barges, presumably because they're on permanent ASDS duty.

So, the next ASDS may well be from this list (last 2 pages of the pdf):

https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2018-02885.pdf
https://www.marad.dot.gov/ships-and-shipping/domestic-shipping/launch-barge-program/

FWIW, nothing was ever said at the time but I'm starting to wonder if there weren't other reasons 'ol faithful Marmac 300 was retired early: There are differences (small, I'll admit) in design between '300 and '302/'303/'304..

Marmac 300 is kinda unique in the fleet... and is no longer classified as an Industrial/Research Vessel
« Last Edit: 02/13/2018 04:52 AM by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Online matthewkantar

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 726
  • Liked: 463
  • Likes Given: 507
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2326 on: 02/13/2018 06:36 AM »
What are the chances the new ASDS does not have the wing extensions? They may need them so that can maneuver around the stage, but they don't seem to need them to account for landing inaccuracy. Or maybe just narrower extensions?

Matthew

Online Kabloona

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4186
  • Velocitas Eradico
  • Fortress of Solitude
  • Liked: 2391
  • Likes Given: 497
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2327 on: 02/13/2018 01:07 PM »
What are the chances the new ASDS does not have the wing extensions? They may need them so that can maneuver around the stage, but they don't seem to need them to account for landing inaccuracy. Or maybe just narrower extensions?

Matthew

It's an interesting question. Smaller is better from the standpoint of berthing, maneuvering, etc, so it's worth wondering whether they'll go in that direction. The newest Marmacs on the list I posted (Marmac 24 & 25) are 260' x 72', shorter and narrower than the 300 series.

Narrower is probably low-risk,  but shorter  increases the risk of damage to thrusters or equipment pods if the stage topples towards either end.

There's also the question of stability in high seas, and that's been an issue on several missions. I'd imagine smaller is less stable in high seas, and for that reason alone SpaceX might not want to go that route.
« Last Edit: 02/13/2018 01:14 PM by Kabloona »

Offline cscott

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2746
  • Liked: 1881
  • Likes Given: 664
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2328 on: 02/13/2018 02:36 PM »
The need for a third ASDS to support center-core-expended FH launches has been obvious for a while, so I wouldn't let long lead time weigh much as a factor against building a new MARMAC from scratch.  It could have been under construction for as long as FH has been. ;)

I would think that external factors would tip the balance for SpaceX here.  If another MARMAC can be leased (best) or built for a reasonable price/lead time (okay) then I'd think they'd go with what they're familiar with, with parts interchangeable with the rest of the fleet.

If they can't get another MARMAC and end up doing a redesign, then I'd expect them to take the opportunity to buy down some risk by incorporating some features they think they'll need for BFS hops.  This might then influence their decisions about Boca Chica hops vs offshore hops.  I don't know which features are highest priority for risk buydown.  I'd wager "cradle landing", but that seems incompatible with current Falcon operations (unless there are surprises coming with Block 5).  Maybe foldable wings or integral crane or some other feature to speed dock processing.

But even OctaGrabber seems to be progressing very slowly, so it seems DockX is not an R&D priority at this time.  Or maybe it's progressing slowly because the DockX tiger team is off working on ASoG? SpaceX policy seems to not try to multitask or staff up, but instead to put their most talented guys (like the west coast TEL welder or the pad construction team) on one project at a time.
« Last Edit: 02/13/2018 02:39 PM by cscott »

Offline testguy

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 122
  • Clifton, Virginia
  • Liked: 83
  • Likes Given: 129
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2329 on: 02/13/2018 03:50 PM »
Let me speculate further and state that the new ASDS under construction may actually ultimately be used for BDF/S.

First here is what we know:
A. SpaceX is flexible and is uses continuing improvement as seen in Falcon 9 airframe and engines, GSE, and ASDS.
B. There has surprisingly has been less construction activity at BC than we would have expected by now considering the schedule for BFS.
C. BC EIS currently has limits on numbers of launches per year.  Yes we know this could be modified but we have not seen evidence of that yet.
D. SpaceX wants to retire Falcon 9 and Falcon 9 Heavy as soon as BFR/S comes on line, ASAP.
E. SpaceX has stated that they are looking at BFS hopes possibly from shore to ship or even ship to ship.
F. The 2017 IAC video shows the point to point BFR/S being launched off a large sea platform that also contains the GSE for refueling.

Given all of the above, I would speculate that the ASDS under construction is much larger than OCISLY and ultimately could develop into the sea point to point configuration shown in the 2017 IAC video. 
Here is why:
1. Why would you spend capital funds on a OCISLY clone when you already know you want to retire it ASAP.  Possibly before you could recover your return on investment (ROI)?
2.  Building a large ASDS now that could ultimately be modified to a full sea launch BFR/S could explain why construction at BC currently appears sparse.
3.  The large ASDS could initially be used for Falcon Heavy recoveries.  We know already that will not be in high demand and will be relatively short lived.
4. The large ASDS  if used for BFS would get around the EIS restrictions and could explain the lack of EIS modification activity.
5.  BFS hops, I believe could be launched of a concrete pad just as Grasshopper was.  After all that is a better platform that it will initially have on MARS.  The initial hoppers could land on the large ASDS to midegate  fears of the BC community.
6. Fuel/oxidizer tanks an GSE equipment could be added to the large ASDS latter when it could be used for BFR/S launches.
7. Not sure I see a need for a causeway or fuel and oxidizer lines running out to the large ADDS.  Why not just transport by ship to fill the tanks on the ASDS.  Control of GSE could simply be performed from a shore control room linked via a fire optic network.

It would be exciting, at least to me if SpaceX was using this approach because it would indicate that they are progressing faster than many perceive.

Thoughts?




Online speedevil

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 994
  • Fife
  • Liked: 466
  • Likes Given: 490
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2330 on: 02/13/2018 04:39 PM »
1. Why would you spend capital funds on a OCISLY clone when you already know you want to retire it ASAP.  Possibly before you could recover your return on investment (ROI)?
Thoughts?

Because, the cost in obtaining a stock unmodified barge - adding wings (possibly),  railings, thrusters and blast wall may be paid off with a several percent chance of catching one rocket once.

It is sufficiently 'boring' in construction that you can probably get a competent dockyard to quote on construction of it, completely hands-off.
All you then do is to hook up the thrustmasters to  your control container, and you're pretty much done.

You can even (especially if you've not added wings) resell the whole lot for a reasonable slice of the purchase price.

A larger ASDS, perhaps with onboard cyrogenic storage, or stage-catchers, or .... is going to involve a lot more actual thought and investment, versus what may literally be a ten minute phone call and wait three months.

Online AC in NC

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 269
  • Raleigh NC
  • Liked: 219
  • Likes Given: 238
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2331 on: 02/13/2018 10:37 PM »
Let me speculate further and state that the new ASDS under construction may actually ultimately be used for BDF/S.

Thoughts?

Very little of that has anything to do with reality and is simply speculation in search of justification.
« Last Edit: 02/14/2018 01:44 AM by AC in NC »

Offline deruch

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1866
  • California
  • Liked: 1419
  • Likes Given: 2252
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2332 on: 02/14/2018 11:13 AM »
aSoG... doesn't abbreviate as well as JRTI or OCISLY

ASGrav.
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline cscott

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2746
  • Liked: 1881
  • Likes Given: 664
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2333 on: 02/14/2018 02:06 PM »
aSoG... doesn't abbreviate as well as JRTI or OCISLY

ASGrav.
Pronounced "a sog", spelled ASoG. Don't see anything hard about that.

Much more pronounceable than JRtI ("jerr tee"?) or OCISLY ("oh sis lee"?).
« Last Edit: 02/14/2018 02:08 PM by cscott »

Online Kabloona

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4186
  • Velocitas Eradico
  • Fortress of Solitude
  • Liked: 2391
  • Likes Given: 497
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2334 on: 02/14/2018 02:12 PM »
A reliable source tells me the new ASDS is not being leased from McDonough Marine, which owns the two ASDS Marmac barges. So the new one won't be one of the other Marmacs.

I'll keep digging and see what else I can find out.

Clarification: not being leased/purchased/whatever, from McDonough Marine...
« Last Edit: 02/14/2018 11:46 PM by Kabloona »

Online meekGee

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8000
  • N. California
  • Liked: 4244
  • Likes Given: 851
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2335 on: 02/14/2018 04:53 PM »
aSoG... doesn't abbreviate as well as JRTI or OCISLY

ASGrav.
Pronounced "a sog", spelled ASoG. Don't see anything hard about that.

Much more pronounceable than JRtI ("jerr tee"?) or OCISLY ("oh sis lee"?).

A-Sog, absolutely.
O'Cisly was definitely pronounceable, the Irish way. O'Cisely.  Like Mos Isley.  Precisely.
I can live with Jerr-Tee for JRtI.
ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Online CameronD

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1285
  • Melbourne, Australia
    • Norton Consultants
  • Liked: 408
  • Likes Given: 307
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2336 on: 02/14/2018 09:25 PM »
Pronounced "a sog", spelled ASoG. Don't see anything hard about that.

Much more pronounceable than JRtI ("jerr tee"?) or OCISLY ("oh sis lee"?).

A-Sog, absolutely.

Only problem I see with "A Sog" is that it likely describes both (a) the behaviour of an ASDS under tow in a storm and (b) conditions on board of said ASDS at the time:

sog. (n.) "soft or marshy place," Also as a verb, "to become soaked; to soak"


 ;D
« Last Edit: 02/14/2018 09:35 PM by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Online CameronD

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1285
  • Melbourne, Australia
    • Norton Consultants
  • Liked: 408
  • Likes Given: 307
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2337 on: 02/14/2018 09:28 PM »
A reliable source tells me the new ASDS is not being leased from McDonough Marine, which owns the two ASDS Marmac barges. So the new one won't be one of the other Marmacs.

Well that DOES open up the playing field a little, but doesn't rule out them actually buying a hull from McD (or someone else) rather than leasing..

It'll be interesting to see what comes of this.  :)

 
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Online Kabloona

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4186
  • Velocitas Eradico
  • Fortress of Solitude
  • Liked: 2391
  • Likes Given: 497
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2338 on: 02/14/2018 11:36 PM »
A reliable source tells me the new ASDS is not being leased from McDonough Marine, which owns the two ASDS Marmac barges. So the new one won't be one of the other Marmacs.

Well that DOES open up the playing field a little, but doesn't rule out them actually buying a hull from McD (or someone else) rather than leasing..

Let me clarify: McDonough Marine is not supplying the barge/hull/whatever, by any means.


Online CJ

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 820
  • Liked: 598
  • Likes Given: 180
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2339 on: 02/15/2018 06:05 PM »
A reliable source tells me the new ASDS is not being leased from McDonough Marine, which owns the two ASDS Marmac barges. So the new one won't be one of the other Marmacs.

Well that DOES open up the playing field a little, but doesn't rule out them actually buying a hull from McD (or someone else) rather than leasing..

Let me clarify: McDonough Marine is not supplying the barge/hull/whatever, by any means.

Thank you, Kabloona, for this info. Very intriguing.

I'm still guessing (I have no proof whatsoever) that the news ASDS will be of a bit different design than the current ASDSII (I assume this is the correct plural of ASDS?) so I'm very interested to see what they end up with.

I also wonder if SpaceX might have commissioned a purpose-built hull, now that they have experience as to what's needed? 

Tags: