Poll

September 2027: will either, neither or both SpaceX's BFR and NASA's SLS be operational?

SLS will be operational, BFR will not.
23 (9.4%)
BFR will be operational, SLS will not.
131 (53.5%)
Both BFR and SLS will be operational.
79 (32.2%)
Both BFR and SLS will not be operational.
12 (4.9%)

Total Members Voted: 245

Voting closed: 10/30/2017 05:15 PM


Author Topic: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR  (Read 30809 times)

Offline darkenfast

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10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« on: 09/30/2017 02:50 AM »
September 29th's announcement of the "refined" BFR (commonly referred to as the 9m version, or informally on this forum as the ITSy), has generated a lot of comment in the space-following Internet.  This vessel, if completed, could have an effect on NASA's future, as well as being a huge liability for SpaceX if it was to fail.  So, get out your crystal balls and choose.

The question is pretty simple.  We are looking ten years ahead, to September 2027.  "Operational" means that the rocket is now carrying the type of payload and conducting the type(s) of missions for which it was designed.

This is my first attempt at a poll.  Thanks in advance for participating.  Comments on why you chose your answer are welcome, of course.

Online RonM

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #1 on: 09/30/2017 03:45 AM »
I picked both will be operational because there will be delays before BFR is operational and Congress won't cancel SLS until BFR has a proven flight record. If Congress approves the DSG plan, they'll probably want to keep SLS flying until DSG is complete.

Offline ZachS09

Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #2 on: 09/30/2017 03:47 AM »
I don't see both launch vehicles competing against each other or suffering from development problems that could lead to cancellation.

Instead, the future as I see it involves SLS doing interplanetary missions for the U.S. government while the ITS/BFR does the same albeit for commercial customers.

That's right. Both flying at the same time. Not side by side, mind you.
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Offline butters

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #3 on: 09/30/2017 04:02 AM »
SLS won't be cancelled at least until BFS lands crew on Mars. I'll blindly speculate that odds of crew landing in 2024 synod are less than 10%, and crew landing in 2026 synod less than 50% inclusive. I think it's just a bit more likely that the first crew landing will be after the 2027 threshold, probably in the 2029 or 2031 synods.

SLS will probably survive the 2020s. Maybe not too much longer than that.

Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #4 on: 09/30/2017 04:04 AM »
I voted both operational.  I think NASA will be too far down their path to cancel SLS.  I also think that BFR will just becoming operational.  I think development will take longer that Elon Musk has stated.  BFR will not have had a long enough track record yet to get NASA to Cancel SLS by 2027.

I think there is a good chance that SLS will fade out in the 2030s after maybe a dozen flights.  I think there also is a good chance that by the early 2030s the only US launch providers flying anything EELV class or larger will be SpaceX and Blue Origin.  I think ULA will either dissolve or be sold to Blue Origin.  I think it will be good to have the competition from the two.  The other interesting part of the equation is what will the rest of the world be doing.  Will Russia, Europe, China, Japan,etc try to come up with something reusable?  Or will they settle for buying rides elsewhere?

Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #5 on: 09/30/2017 04:10 AM »
Glad to see this poll made. Looking forward to more polls on the new BFR details.

Voted that neither will be operational. SLS will almost certainly be cancelled sometime in the next ten years, and it most certainly SHOULD be cancelled as it is nothing more than a money draining jobs program. Money saved from SLS could go make a huge difference if it were used to build exploration hardware (such as DSG) and NASA simply used a COTS model for launch services for that hardware.

I do not think BFR will be completely operational in terms of its maximum intended use or its intended missions or flight rate within ten years, but I do think there are good chances for a few of them to fly in that time period. I have posted why I am so cynical in this regard in other threads. To keep it short, the main reason is two fold.

1. Technical challenges involved. There is a very high likelyhood spacex is going to discover as they go through the development process for this vehicle, the need to significantly re-design parts of it. This will result in an iteration process similar to F9 development, but due to the size of the vehicle and the expense involved each iteration will probably take longer to produce. 2-3 years for each revision may be on the harsh side but it seems reasonable.

2. Funding. SpaceX has limited funding and is taking a significant and perhaps un-necessary risk by hedging all their bets on this one vehicle and stating they will cancel F9 production. If they are smart and they "stockpile" enough F9 vehicles to absorb unexpected failures and design changes in the BFR program, this may not be an issue. If however they only plan for limited or no margin, they risk losing contracts to competitors which will reduce revenue and put significant pressure on the BFR program.

Real world experience has made me perhaps a bit more cynical than most, so of course I hope I am wrong and they do it successfully, and faster than I think .
« Last Edit: 09/30/2017 04:11 AM by FinalFrontier »
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Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #6 on: 09/30/2017 04:14 AM »
I voted both operational.  I think NASA will be too far down their path to cancel SLS.  I also think that BFR will just becoming operational.  I think development will take longer that Elon Musk has stated.  BFR will not have had a long enough track record yet to get NASA to Cancel SLS by 2027.

I think there is a good chance that SLS will fade out in the 2030s after maybe a dozen flights.  I think there also is a good chance that by the early 2030s the only US launch providers flying anything EELV class or larger will be SpaceX and Blue Origin.  I think ULA will either dissolve or be sold to Blue Origin.  I think it will be good to have the competition from the two.  The other interesting part of the equation is what will the rest of the world be doing.  Will Russia, Europe, China, Japan,etc try to come up with something reusable?  Or will they settle for buying rides elsewhere?

Not sure about re-usability but we must not discount the CZ9 vehicle which may be very far along at this point, at least if the Chinese government is to be believed. So at least in the case of China it seems there will be a vehicle of similar size.
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Online Coastal Ron

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #7 on: 09/30/2017 04:18 AM »
I voted for the BFR being operational and the SLS not.

Not because of any competition, but because Elon Musk has a business plan that supports building and operating the BFR/ITS in 10 years, but the U.S. Government (i.e. the President and Congress) have yet to propose, agree upon, and fund a reason for the SLS to be operational in 10 years.

At most the BFR/ITS inspires a conversation within Congress that should have happened years ago, but otherwise there is no "SLS vs BFR".
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline redliox

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #8 on: 09/30/2017 04:25 AM »
I believe within 10 years both the SLS and BFR/ITS will be simultaneously operating.  There will likely be further delays to both systems but before '27 we will have seen their first flights.  Once they are operating it will, as much as NASA will decline to admit it, become a performance contest.  It could go either way, but by default SLS is already expected to aim for 2 to 4 flights yearly, so there would be a slight tilt in favor of BFR if SpaceX indeed plans to use it as heavily as planned.

The SLS will eventually phase out, no differently than either Saturns or Titans were.  I won't expect it to run as long as the STS/Shuttle but I'd assume 15 years for a possible lifetime once operating.
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Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #9 on: 09/30/2017 04:30 AM »
I think that by then BFR will more likely than not be flying (though I'm not very confident about it).

Once BFR is flying, it will be able to do everything SLS can do and more for far, far less money.  That will be too much for SLS.  There will be enough of a public outcry about that that people in congress who never cared before will get on the "dump SLS" bandwagon because being anti-SLS will be popular.

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #10 on: 09/30/2017 04:52 AM »
It could go either way, but by default SLS is already expected to aim for 2 to 4 flights yearly...

In 2015, the outgoing Boeing SLS Program Manager stated:

Quote
Boeing has Michoud set up to stamp out enough stages for one SLS a year — two at most with the factory’s current manufacturing capabilities, and then only if NASA pours more money and personnel into the facility.

So even getting up to two per year would cost more money - and that can only come from Congress.

Quote
...so there would be a slight tilt in favor of BFR if SpaceX indeed plans to use it as heavily as planned.

Slight? It literally takes an act of Congress to fly an SLS. All SpaceX needs is to gas n' go.
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Offline redliox

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #11 on: 09/30/2017 05:12 AM »
It could go either way, but by default SLS is already expected to aim for 2 to 4 flights yearly...
So even getting up to two per year would cost more money - and that can only come from Congress.

Quote
...so there would be a slight tilt in favor of BFR if SpaceX indeed plans to use it as heavily as planned.

Slight? It literally takes an act of Congress to fly an SLS. All SpaceX needs is to gas n' go.

So implying I was overly generous toward SLS' position?  ;)
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Online hop

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #12 on: 09/30/2017 05:59 AM »
I voted both, but IMO all the options are very much in play.

If they are both built and BFR proves itself quickly, it could replace SLS by 2027, but lead times for missions on this scale are long enough that my bet is they would still both be flying.

For other outcomes:

SLS could be cancelled irrespective of BFR, there's a lot of election cycles between now and 2027.

On the SpaceX side, a lot of things Elon has made similar presentations about have ended up not being built (remember Falcon 1e? Falcon 5? F9 second stage recovery? Red Dragon?) SpaceX will likely develop some new vehicle by 2027, but it might not look anything like the BFR. To date, most of SpaceX major developments have had an anchor customer, and IMO quite possible they will build something much less ambitious if they don't get any outside commitment for the Moon or Mars.


Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #13 on: 09/30/2017 06:02 AM »
Really don't see the SLS, Orion or DSG surviving if the ITSy (BFS) manages to fly multiple times with a single vehicle among a multi unit fleet. Which I think will happen by 2022.

As for why the DSH will also get axed. Why do you need it when you can outfit an ITSy to do all the tasks required of the DSG. With other ITSy as TDY Lunar  landers.

I also don't see the current ITSy design  in service for too long before being retired. There will be a limited number of ITSy to test out the vehicle's operational capabilities. Followed by a revised and larger ITS design resulting from Cis-Lunar & Areocentric operational experience.

So both the SLS and BFR (current design) will not be operational in 2027


Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #14 on: 09/30/2017 07:06 AM »
I agree with the comment that each of the four options are still possible. Makes for an interesting poll!

In the end I went for BFR yes and SLS no. SLS may die without BFR, as it is too expensive and the only real need it satisfies is job creation. So if BFR succeeds then I think that will be the final nail for SLS. That leaves the question of whether SpaceX will succeed. I’m going to be optimistic and say yes. The lesson I take from the last 10 years is that given enough time (I think 10 more years is enough) SpaceX will get there in the end.

Offline high road

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #15 on: 09/30/2017 09:13 AM »
Ten years is a long time. I went for both still being operational, with a few caveats

- BFR, and certainly the upper stage, will probably look quite different than we expect it to today.
- SLS will still be the reference launch vehicle for NASA missions, but they might not actually be launching every year, due to not getting money to do any missions that require SLS.

Online spacenut

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #16 on: 09/30/2017 09:25 AM »
I think BFR will be sooner than some think.  Raptor is in the final stages of development.  Tooling from what I understand is already being set up, bending metal could begin as early as next year.  Also, Boca Chica will need completing since it may be the first location to launch one. 

Offline Johnnyhinbos

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #17 on: 09/30/2017 11:46 AM »
I think SLS will be operational in 6 years - and then be canceled before ten years is out. How many SSMEs are available - I forget, but not many.

BFR will be off the ground and running. I may not have said that last year, but if SpaceX truly pivots to this platform and away from F9/FH/D2 and puts the bulk of their fairly considerable development effort into BFR then this beast will definitely be a fairly mature system in a decade.

However I also think we’ll see BO NG and the Chinese CZ9 as the other two heavy contenders. Russia will still be floundering with theirs, as they will be busy trying to get the MLM finished
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Offline su27k

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #18 on: 09/30/2017 12:32 PM »
Chose the option BFR operational, SLS not. We're fortunate to have this site where history is just a button away, so use it to get some historical perspective. For SpaceX, 10 years ago they haven't even reached orbit yet, they were still finding out why the 2nd Falcon 1 flight failed, and Merlin 1C test fire was the great news. For NASA, 10 years ago they were busy building Ares I and Orion (which they still haven't finished btw), but rumors already started about the problems, and we all know how that went.
« Last Edit: 09/30/2017 12:32 PM by su27k »

Online Lar

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #19 on: 09/30/2017 01:25 PM »
(fan)
Wanted to vote for choice 2 (SLS not, BFR/S yes) because I would hope that Congress would come to their senses.

Then I thought about Congress for a bit (about 3 seconds) and went with choice 3 (both operational) because I know that wasteful inefficient programs don't get canceled immediately (or ever) so I expect SLS to continue "creating jobs" for quite a while.

PS, I'm happy to see my view is not the predominant one. But I'm old and cynical.

(mod)
This is my first attempt at a poll. 

You did well. The only thing I would have done differently is set for 30, not 90, days, as that is our custom, usually. You can edit to change that if you want.
« Last Edit: 09/30/2017 01:34 PM by Lar »
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Offline darkenfast

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #20 on: 09/30/2017 02:04 PM »
Thanks!  I don't mind seeing the expiration changed to thirty days, but "edit poll" doesn't give me that option.

Edit/Lar: I changed it. Anyone can always PM me if they need a poll edited...
« Last Edit: 09/30/2017 06:19 PM by Lar »

Offline david1971

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #21 on: 09/30/2017 05:10 PM »
I have no idea what is things are going to look like in 10 years.  But the past 10 years have shown me that SpaceX and Congress/NASA look at sunk costs differently.

Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #22 on: 09/30/2017 05:27 PM »
I think SLS will be operational in 6 years - and then be canceled before ten years is out. How many SSMEs are available - I forget, but not many.
There are 16 SSME engines available, but last year NASA signed a contract to build more:

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-contract-to-restart-development-of-engines-to-power-agency-s-journey-to

Offline rockets4life97

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #23 on: 09/30/2017 06:11 PM »
In 10 years, I think BFR will be operational. In 10 years, I expect SLS to have flown and been cancelled.

It seems likely to me that we will have many different political configurations in terms of control of the presidency and congress in that time. That is a lot of hurdles for SLS to get over without being cancelled.

Offline savuporo

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #24 on: 09/30/2017 07:58 PM »
Neither, as neither has a business case. The market is all going towards smaller payloads, not bigger.
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Online tyrred

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #25 on: 09/30/2017 11:15 PM »
BFR will be operational, SLS will not. 

BFR will enable large constellations of small satellites, satellite replacements, debris mitigation measures, and larger more ambitious goals such as making people look really cool in space selfies on their vacation to the moon and back.  Doubt it will do point to point passenger service by 2027.

SLS will have launched, Orion will visit the ISS once.  Congratulations to all involved.  Rocket to nowhere is then cancelled and 39B is leased to Spacex for BFR use.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #26 on: 10/01/2017 12:21 AM »
I expect EM-1 to fly.

I also expect EM-2 and EC to fly.

But EM-3 is questionable as well as anything after.

Why?

Because if BFR is demoed successfully in 2022 or 2023 with EC penciled in in 2024 and EM-3 in NET 2026. Four years is a long time in politics these days. But to use something else for an already designed mission based on SLS for the EC flight would be just more spending for less or same capability.

So I voted for #2.

SpaeX is in it for the long haul. And BFR is their future. If BFR fails to exist in 10 years so will SpaceX not exist.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #27 on: 10/01/2017 12:27 AM »
I think there will be some overlap as Spacex's timeline on the BFR/BFS combo is optimistic.
« Last Edit: 10/01/2017 12:32 AM by Patchouli »

Online AncientU

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #28 on: 10/01/2017 12:42 PM »
SLS will be cancelled during the 3-year hiatus between EM-1 and EM-2.  It will never carry crew, as I've stated before.
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Offline KelvinZero

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #29 on: 10/01/2017 01:30 PM »
I chose both operational. Im a pessimist. It should be BFR only and frankly NASA should be doing it, Instead Constellation/SLS has survived 12 years with no plausible justification. Clearly lobbying power, not merit, is in the driving seat.alsoglobalwarmingisrealandeveryothernationcanafforduniversalhealthcarejustsaying.

Offline dlapine

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #30 on: 10/01/2017 03:42 PM »
BFR yes, SLS no. Once BFR is operational (always reuse), even at $50M a flight, even congress will admit that SLS serves no useful purpose. SLS will get it's first flight in, and that'll be the end of it. And yes, NASA will lose the $2B a year for SLS development. Not sure what happens to Orion, but the BFR 2nd stage would seem to remove any need for that, either.

As other have noted, Elon is planning for the first flight of BFR a lot sooner than 2022, in order to achieve the goal of people on Mars by that time. Even if the first flight is only in 2022, that's still early enough to kill SLS.

As to why BFR would still be around itself in 2027:

BFR has 4 defined revenue streams right now:
satellites to LEO
satellites to GTO
passenger transit to Moon/Mars
passenger point to point on Earth

While I've listed them in order by terms of earliest probability in service, they are all potential revenue makers to keep BFR flying.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #31 on: 10/01/2017 07:46 PM »
Hmm.

Currently in the pol:
Only 14% BFR will not be operational in 10 years.
But 57% that SLS will not be operational in 10 years.

A little reading between the lines. Is that more faith in commercial to build a 100+mt monster rocket and successfully operate it than for the US government to do so.

Offline sanman

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #32 on: 10/02/2017 06:32 AM »
So I was looking for some thread to ask this, and this thread is the closest one I could find.

What size of Bigelow module could BFR carry, based on its lift capacity to LEO?

Bigelow bases their module sizes on the carrying capacities of available launch vehicles. Their largest module, the BA2100 (with a volume of 2100m^3) is sized for the maximum lift capacity of the SLS to LEO.

But with BFR looming as a possible space truck or general purpose heavy lifter, what size of hab module could Bigelow potentially create to match the lift capacity of BFR to LEO?

Offline vapour_nudge

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #33 on: 10/02/2017 07:31 AM »
Hmm.

Currently in the pol:
Only 14% BFR will not be operational in 10 years.
But 57% that SLS will not be operational in 10 years.

A little reading between the lines. Is that more faith in commercial to build a 100+mt monster rocket and successfully operate it than for the US government to do so.
My suspicion (2c worth) is it might be that the voters have no faith in the continuation of SLS. I.e. Funding might be slashed a few years in and it goes the way of its predecessor

Offline John Alan

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #34 on: 10/02/2017 08:56 AM »
I voted both in operation...
...although SLS will be on it's deathbed...  :P
... and BFR will be fruitful, multipling, and launching one at least weekly by then...  ;D

So I was looking for some thread to ask this, and this thread is the closest one I could find.

What size of Bigelow module could BFR carry, based on its lift capacity to LEO?

Bigelow bases their module sizes on the carrying capacities of available launch vehicles. Their largest module, the BA2100 (with a volume of 2100m^3) is sized for the maximum lift capacity of the SLS to LEO.

But with BFR looming as a possible space truck or general purpose heavy lifter, what size of hab module could Bigelow potentially create to match the lift capacity of BFR to LEO?
My guess is Bigelow will design a new module that is tailored to the flying cargo BFR after it''s design is frozen...
He will build the first after the same version has then flown...
A tailored oddball shape that just fits the available bay volume and still be ejected would not surprise me...  ;)
At some point...
...a BFS left set up and dedicated to carrying these to LEO... and then on to their point of use will follow...  8)

On edit... to clarify
My guess is it will not be weight constrained... but volume in payload bay...
And they will decide that is ok based on delivered cost to destination and be happy about it...  :)
Someone will then build a hotel/casino in orbit and space tourism is born...  ;D
« Last Edit: 10/02/2017 09:28 AM by John Alan »

Offline alexterrell

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #35 on: 10/02/2017 09:04 AM »
At this stage, I can't see SLS being cancelled.

However, when it comes to being used, what will the marginal cost of the SLS be compared to the marginal cost of the BFR - outsourced to NASA.

I think NASA programs will switch to using the BFR on cost grounds. SLS will be there - unless a President wants to blame his predecessor and make a point of laying it out on the lawn - but I don't think it will be operational. NASA will eventually classify it as a reserve capability.

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #36 on: 10/02/2017 09:13 AM »
So I was looking for some thread to ask this, and this thread is the closest one I could find.

What size of Bigelow module could BFR carry, based on its lift capacity to LEO?

Bigelow bases their module sizes on the carrying capacities of available launch vehicles. Their largest module, the BA2100 (with a volume of 2100m^3) is sized for the maximum lift capacity of the SLS to LEO.

But with BFR looming as a possible space truck or general purpose heavy lifter, what size of hab module could Bigelow potentially create to match the lift capacity of BFR to LEO?

The BA2100 is given as 70 tons.

A 150 ton variant would scale to about a BA-7000. However, at that point, Bigelow might want to consider some options like shaping it as a torus.
« Last Edit: 10/02/2017 09:14 AM by alexterrell »

Offline Endeavour_01

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #37 on: 10/02/2017 07:40 PM »
I voted that both SLS and BFR will be operational when 2027 rolls around. I can easily foresee circumstances where only one of the two would be operational but I think the option I picked is the most likely outcome given all the variables.
I cheer for both NASA and commercial space. For SLS, Orion, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, Starliner, Cygnus and all the rest!
I was blessed to see the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-99. The launch was beyond amazing. My 8-year old mind was blown. I remember the noise and seeing the exhaust pour out of the shuttle as it lifted off. I remember staring and watching it soar while it was visible in the clear blue sky. It was one of the greatest moments of my life and I will never forget it.

Offline Jim

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #38 on: 10/02/2017 07:45 PM »

I think NASA programs will switch to using the BFR on cost grounds.

What programs?

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #39 on: 10/02/2017 07:47 PM »
Order of most likely to most unlikely.

BFR will be operational, SLS will not.
Both BFR and SLS will not be operational.
SLS will be operational, BFR will not.
Both BFR and SLS will be operational.

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #40 on: 10/02/2017 08:56 PM »
Well that was unexpected.
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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #41 on: 10/02/2017 09:47 PM »
I voted both because I expect BFR to be operational but it's HSF Mars ambitions to slip a bit. I think Congress will be able to keep SLS alive until a non-Nasa rocket safely delivers self-loading cargo to the Moon or Mars. At that point it's supposed raison d'ętre is no more.
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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #42 on: 10/03/2017 05:01 AM »
Well that was unexpected.
I even saw a defense from Jim that the prop transfer wouldn't be that hard. I think someone hacked his account

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #43 on: 10/03/2017 06:03 AM »
Voted BFR operational, SLS not.

Because once BFR flies its first payload - at some point in the early 2020ies - SLS will look like a giant waste of money in comparison (also to New Glenn and New Armstrong, the latter of which Bezos will certainly have announced by then). I think there is a narrow chance that SLS will get a"spruce goose" moment around 2023 or so, but by 2027 its cancellation will already be (near-forgotten) history, and instead we will all be exicted by the "commercial" Moon and Mars program the then-president has announced.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #44 on: 10/03/2017 07:48 AM »
Well that was unexpected.
So do we know if @jim participate in this poll?  :o

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #45 on: 10/03/2017 08:14 AM »
Order of most likely to most unlikely.

BFR will be operational, SLS will not.
Both BFR and SLS will not be operational.
SLS will be operational, BFR will not.
Both BFR and SLS will be operational.

Well, coming from you, that says a lot. Considering the sequence, that means you think SLS will be cancelled in ten years regardless of BFR?

Offline alexterrell

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #46 on: 10/03/2017 08:55 AM »

I think NASA programs will switch to using the BFR on cost grounds.

What programs?

Any programs. If there aren't any programs, then SLS is there, but not operating*. If there are programs, they'll switch to BFR, and SLS will be there, but not operating.

Whether it's "operational" is a matter of definition.

What will be the marginal cost of a BFR flight, and what will be the marginal cost of a SLS flight?
« Last Edit: 10/03/2017 08:56 AM by alexterrell »

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #47 on: 10/03/2017 03:00 PM »
Well that was unexpected.
I even saw a defense from Jim that the prop transfer wouldn't be that hard. I think someone hacked his account

Always supported prop transfer

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #48 on: 10/03/2017 03:01 PM »
Order of most likely to most unlikely.

BFR will be operational, SLS will not.
Both BFR and SLS will not be operational.
SLS will be operational, BFR will not.
Both BFR and SLS will be operational.

Well, coming from you, that says a lot. Considering the sequence, that means you think SLS will be cancelled in ten years regardless of BFR?

in less than 5 launches

Offline JDTractorGuy

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #49 on: 10/03/2017 03:19 PM »
I'm sure that I'm going to get fact checked a bunch for posting this, but keep in mind this is my personal opinion being an observer/hobbyist for the past 4 years.  I put that I think SLS will be operational, BFR/BFS will not. 

I'm sorry, but I have very little faith in SpaceX.  I think that Musk puts forth extremely unreasonable dates, and that having the BFR operational by 2022 is absolutely absurd.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't we supposed to have Falcon Heavy by 2015?  2017 is here and I haven't seen a launch date yet.  I wouldn't be surprised if it slips again to next year. 
Secondly, I am not a fan of SpaceX's rapid launch pace and accident investigations.  I think it's a great idea to increase launch cadence, but I think they're moving way too fast, especially for such a new company.  Also, I don't think they ever found a root cause for the CRS failure.  And then another one blew up on the pad later that year.  And THEN Shotwell says they'll be flying again within a month???  Granted that didn't happen, but still, I think that's ridiculous and shows a lack of safety concern.  I personally wouldn't ever fly on a SpaceX rocket.

I think SLS will fly.  I think the signing of this Russia treaty finally gives it some kind of mission and puts pressure on the program to launch DSG.  I expect that they will be "competing" with Blue Origin at this point (2027).  I think SpaceX will have failed long before that, which will allow SLS to continue flying.  I also think that Blue, focusing on Lunar, will not truly compete with SLS in the deep space regions, justifying it's existence.  I wouldn't be surprised if we see SLS landing humans on Mars, not BFS.

I also wouldn't be surprised if I'm completely wrong in 10 years.  Go easy on me, I'm not an engineer.

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #50 on: 10/03/2017 04:49 PM »
Almost twice as many of us think BFR will be operational (taking both poll options where it is) as think SLS will be (again, taking both poll options where it is)... the SLS Yes, BFR No is the second least popular option of all so you've staked out some interesting ground.

What makes me happy is that the option where neither is flying?  Less than 1 in 15 of us so far. Yaay for optimism.

I personally doubt that SpaceX will fail entirely in the conventional sense, they will be a going concern for some time even if BFS fails.
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"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Firehawk153

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #51 on: 10/03/2017 07:26 PM »
Order of most likely to most unlikely.

BFR will be operational, SLS will not.
Both BFR and SLS will not be operational.
SLS will be operational, BFR will not.
Both BFR and SLS will be operational.

Well, coming from you, that says a lot. Considering the sequence, that means you think SLS will be cancelled in ten years regardless of BFR?

in less than 5 launches


Not sure if you know this Jim but do you get the sense that those working on the vehicle itself share that assessment?  Not that I'm disagreeing with you (quite the opposite), just wonder if everyone working on SLS feels the same way.
« Last Edit: 10/03/2017 07:27 PM by Firehawk153 »

Offline Jim

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #52 on: 10/03/2017 07:37 PM »
Order of most likely to most unlikely.

BFR will be operational, SLS will not.
Both BFR and SLS will not be operational.
SLS will be operational, BFR will not.
Both BFR and SLS will be operational.

Well, coming from you, that says a lot. Considering the sequence, that means you think SLS will be cancelled in ten years regardless of BFR?

in less than 5 launches


Not sure if you know this Jim but do you get the sense that those working on the vehicle itself share that assessment?  Not that I'm disagreeing with you (quite the opposite), just wonder if everyone working on SLS feels the same way.

they are oblivious

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #53 on: 10/03/2017 07:43 PM »
they are oblivious
This is really a fascinating bit of insight. Thanks Jim. 

It's almost as if they drank the SLS Kool-aid or something.
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Offline jg

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #54 on: 10/03/2017 07:51 PM »
they are oblivious
This is really a fascinating bit of insight. Thanks Jim. 

It's almost as if they drank the SLS Kool-aid or something.

When you are working on a project, the cool aid is easiest to swallow.  If you don't swallow, you start thinking about other employment.

Offline high road

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #55 on: 10/03/2017 09:49 PM »
The national debt will be well above the GDP.  The industry is in a tail spin after the ISS is defunded.  Common day themes of CO2 emissions from rockets are brought to bear against the dichotomy of Elon’s views with climate change. 

HSF has already been down on the boxing ring floor for too long.  New astronauts are only recommended to fly space qualified flight systems.  The costs for human rating in the us just exceed what is available due to national debt crises.

BFR and SLS are museum models, 1:50th scale.

Quite gloomy. However, BFR is a methane rocket, and SpaceX is run by the same guy that is also investing in solar power and power storage. If emissions ever do become an issue for space flight, they are in a good position to make their activities as carbon neutral as possible.

BFR doesn't need government funded missions to have a healthy number of launches (although they would obviously help), let alone crewed missions. If the US regulates its own crewed space program out of existence, which I doubt given all the hubbub about having to buy Russian launches, there are plenty of other governments willing to allow SpaceX to launch from their soil. And there are other countries that would pay to get their astronauts launched, even if it's only to earth orbit.

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #56 on: 10/04/2017 01:32 AM »
, there are plenty of other governments willing to allow SpaceX to launch from their soil.

not possible

Offline Stan-1967

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #57 on: 10/04/2017 06:08 AM »
The national debt will be well above the GDP.  The industry is in a tail spin after the ISS is defunded.  Common day themes of CO2 emissions from rockets are brought to bear against the dichotomy of Elon’s views with climate change. 


I share the assessment that economic catastrophe has a very real probability, & can halt all progress on all ventures into space, BFR & SLS being no exception.  I think Musk is aware of that, as well as the political  optics of a Methane burning, CO2 producing rocket fleet.  With those potential pitfalls, SpaceX is doing exactly the right things.
1.  Accelerate BFR to a plan that is achievable much sooner that the 12m ITS design
2.  See Musk at the 34 minute mark to 34:40. ( IAC 2017 address)  He mentioned that the Sabatier process is needed on Mars, but can also be used on Earth to make the CH4 fuel. 

While I would not expect it to be an immediate priority for current limited resources, Musk at least shows he has thought through the potential political problem of a C02 emitting rocket.  BFR could be made carbon neutral if politics drifted that direction.  If ( when) a political battle ensues over SLS vs. BFR & maybe NG, I would not put it past Musk to play up making BFR carbon neutral vs. SLS.  He will need to pull every trick possible if it comes to that battle.

It could also benefit SpaceX to have internal expertise, or to partner closely with a company with expertise in running the Sabatier process here on Earth, so that it can be scaled and operated on Mars.  BFR can't go to Mars until ISRU equipment for CH4 production is available.   It would fit within SpaceX modus operandi of vertical integration to have a stake in fuel production.

Offline high road

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #58 on: 10/04/2017 09:00 AM »
, there are plenty of other governments willing to allow SpaceX to launch from their soil.

not possible

SpaceX would not exactly be an American company anymore, if that's why you say 'impossible'. Not that I can imagine the US ever making it so difficult for the leading space launch company to launch people, that it would go through the trouble of illegaly transfering all the necessary knowledge, irreplaceable assets and people towards a foreign shell company. But this was the assumption of the post I replied to. And although illegal, there are plenty of historical precedents of technology of which the export has been forbidden by government, crossing those borders regardless. And considering EM wasn't even born in America, I don't see any reason for him to be loyal to a country that stifles his dreams.

Like I said, I can't imagine this happening. The post I replied to was quite dystopian.

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #59 on: 10/04/2017 09:47 AM »
considering EM wasn't even born in America, I don't see any reason for him to be loyal to a country that stifles his dreams.

That's a really terrible thing to say, man.

Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #60 on: 10/04/2017 09:58 AM »
Loyalty is a fuzzy logic in this case. I can't speak for Elon, though I imagine he loves America for several reasons - not the least of which it is the country that was best suited to realizing his ambitious dreams and aspirations for Space and transport. The traditional, 'Old Space' companies have been in turn irritated by him, angry with him, and scared of him. He is bootstrapping a new paradigm in the world for Aerospace. Well... Mostly just Space... Forcing them to play catch-up and spend money to try stabilize the universal boat that Elon has rocked. Elon Musk wont always succeed in all of his ambitions - or bring them in on time - but he has proved time and time again that he is someone not to be underestimated.

When molds are broken; sometimes we don't fully understand what it took to break them - nor make new ones.
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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #61 on: 10/04/2017 10:01 AM »
considering EM wasn't even born in America, I don't see any reason for him to be loyal to a country that stifles his dreams.

That's a really terrible thing to say, man.

in essence, it is. but i find the notion that he would be obliged to have a reason to be loyal to the country if he was born in it equally worrisome - especially in the US, where the countries government doesn't give two f***s about you at this point - it's a different matter when you would consider him to be loyal to the people that make up the businesses that made him successful, but I have the feeling this is getting off-topic :D

edit/Lar: (mod) it is. Don't keep going down this path. It is off topic even for Space Politics.
« Last Edit: 10/05/2017 05:04 PM by Lar »

Offline shm6666

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #62 on: 10/04/2017 12:57 PM »
First, I like to state that I am a huge Apollo fan and SpaceX fan. Being born in 1975, I missed the lunar landings but at 6 years old, I did see when space shuttle Colombia took off. Apollo showed that if politicians decide to go, it will happened. As I see it now there is not the political will to land on the moon and to land on mars. As of now, there is no dedicated lander that I know of for ether moon or mars. Therefor I do not think that SLS will be operational in 10 years’ time. Like Ares 1-X, EM-1 and Em-2 will fly. Then the crystal ball gets murky.

For BFR I don´t think that it will be operational in 10 years’ time. In the current incarnation, I do not think it will fly. I think that BFR will undergo additional sliming. What Elon Musk is a master of doing is to take proven technology, improve it and package it in a new package. BFR is uncharted territory. There will be design hurdles that will take time. Government have almost an unlimited supply of taxpayer’s money. Private company’s do not. In my opinion the BFR and ITS is too big. It is going to be very complex to get it airborne, safe and reliably. I don´t think it is the right way to go if we want to get to the moon or mars.

What I think will happened is that Falcon Heavy will play a large role. Launching modules to get to our destination. Modules that in itself is not that expensive. Doing so will be more easy to pay for and you will get incremented results faster.

Offline savuporo

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #63 on: 10/05/2017 04:32 AM »
Anyone wanna do a 10-year bet that there will be no operational 30+ ton launchers ? Beyond one or two test flights ala Energia or Falcon 1
I'll happily put down like a hundred dollars, collecting interest too
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline Patchouli

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #64 on: 10/05/2017 07:37 AM »
First, I like to state that I am a huge Apollo fan and SpaceX fan. Being born in 1975, I missed the lunar landings but at 6 years old, I did see when space shuttle Colombia took off. Apollo showed that if politicians decide to go, it will happened. As I see it now there is not the political will to land on the moon and to land on mars. As of now, there is no dedicated lander that I know of for ether moon or mars. Therefor I do not think that SLS will be operational in 10 years’ time. Like Ares 1-X, EM-1 and Em-2 will fly. Then the crystal ball gets murky.

For BFR I don´t think that it will be operational in 10 years’ time. In the current incarnation, I do not think it will fly. I think that BFR will undergo additional sliming. What Elon Musk is a master of doing is to take proven technology, improve it and package it in a new package. BFR is uncharted territory. There will be design hurdles that will take time. Government have almost an unlimited supply of taxpayer’s money. Private company’s do not. In my opinion the BFR and ITS is too big. It is going to be very complex to get it airborne, safe and reliably. I don´t think it is the right way to go if we want to get to the moon or mars.

What I think will happened is that Falcon Heavy will play a large role. Launching modules to get to our destination. Modules that in itself is not that expensive. Doing so will be more easy to pay for and you will get incremented results faster.

I think we will see something like BFR in ten years but I feel the development path will change yet a again and as reality sets in Spacex will probably fly a variant of the booster with an interim expendable upper stage or a much simplified orbital vehicle at first.
The first BFR may even have half the propellant and number of engines which would still be enough to replace Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy
I expect it's name to change or it officially be called big falcon rocket or Falcon XL etc.
« Last Edit: 10/05/2017 08:08 AM by Patchouli »

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #65 on: 10/05/2017 03:24 PM »
Jim's prediction of less than 5 SLS flights puts the last flight of the 4 (EM-1 [2020], EM-2 [2023], EC [2024], EM-3 [2025]) ~2025. That is less than 10 years. It flies all of the left over RS-25's. The reason I specify these 4 is that NASA could cancel the RS-25 line restart contract before it produces any engines around 2020 because of evident progress being made on BFR saving as much as $750M. Actual RS-25"E" engines would be produced and available for qualification testing NET 2022. The 4 flights are NASA saying until the BFR is flying we will continue our BEO plans (hedging the bet) by prototyping BEO hardware placing it in BEO and testing it (PPE and DSG habitat) which would have some usefulness even with BFR.
« Last Edit: 10/05/2017 03:28 PM by oldAtlas_Eguy »

Offline envy887

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #66 on: 10/05/2017 05:44 PM »
Anyone wanna do a 10-year bet that there will be no operational 30+ ton launchers ? Beyond one or two test flights ala Energia or Falcon 1
I'll happily put down like a hundred dollars, collecting interest too

You are aware that there are 6 such launchers in various stages of serious and active development in the US alone?  Vulcan, New Glenn, Falcon Heavy, NGL, SLS, and BFR all fit that description. The Chinese and Russians are also working on similar vehicles. The chance that any particular vehicle gets to operational status is relatively low, but at least one will almost certainly get there.

Offline savuporo

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #67 on: 10/05/2017 08:39 PM »
Anyone wanna do a 10-year bet that there will be no operational 30+ ton launchers ? Beyond one or two test flights ala Energia or Falcon 1
I'll happily put down like a hundred dollars, collecting interest too

You are aware that there are 6 such launchers in various stages of serious and active development in the US alone?  Vulcan, New Glenn, Falcon Heavy, NGL, SLS, and BFR all fit that description. The Chinese and Russians are also working on similar vehicles. The chance that any particular vehicle gets to operational status is relatively low, but at least one will almost certainly get there.
I'd take these odds.
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Offline envy887

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #68 on: 10/05/2017 11:04 PM »
Anyone wanna do a 10-year bet that there will be no operational 30+ ton launchers ? Beyond one or two test flights ala Energia or Falcon 1
I'll happily put down like a hundred dollars, collecting interest too

You are aware that there are 6 such launchers in various stages of serious and active development in the US alone?  Vulcan, New Glenn, Falcon Heavy, NGL, SLS, and BFR all fit that description. The Chinese and Russians are also working on similar vehicles. The chance that any particular vehicle gets to operational status is relatively low, but at least one will almost certainly get there.
I'd take these odds.

1:1 odds only. But what would you consider operational, exactly? Say Vulcan flies many times in configurations that cannot lift 30 tonnes, but a 30+ tonne version is available for purchase (e.g. would you consider Atlas V an operational 20+ tonne rocket since the 552 can lift 20,560 kg, even though it never has flown)?

What if Falcon Heavy flies 5 times in the next 5 years and is de facto retired but still available for purchase and not explicitly canceled?
 Or are you saying that in the next 10 years no 30+ tonne capable rocket will achieve operational status anywhere in the world? This still seems rather ambiguous.

Offline Mader Levap

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #69 on: 10/06/2017 12:33 AM »
Voted "BFR will be operational, SLS will not."

Assumptions:
- SLS won't survive. It already has problems on its own and BFR will be just final (but not only one) nail in its coffin.
- BFR will not get downscoped again. It will be sufficiently similiar to what was just envisioned to be same BFR. Very risky assumption.
- Definition used in opening post:

"Operational" means that the rocket is now carrying the type of payload and conducting the type(s) of missions for which it was designed.

means money-making ventures mentioned in presentation like sats, space stations etc. 2027 is pretty unlikely as date for manned Mars mission activity - too early.

having the BFR operational by 2022 is absolutely absurd.
Uhh, you know that this poll is about 2027, not 2022, riiight?
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Offline savuporo

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #70 on: 10/06/2017 12:42 AM »
Yeah you can split hairs to no end. No i don't think Atlas 552 can be called an operational capability quite yet. Dual engine centaur isn't a done deal.

If a thing flies more than 2 times, and has hit at least 1 flight a year cadence at some point, I'd say its properly operational.

Quote
Or are you saying that in the next 10 years no 30+ tonne capable rocket will achieve operational status anywhere in the world?

That is what I'm saying.
« Last Edit: 10/06/2017 12:43 AM by savuporo »
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Offline envy887

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #71 on: 10/06/2017 02:28 AM »
Yeah you can split hairs to no end. No i don't think Atlas 552 can be called an operational capability quite yet. Dual engine centaur isn't a done deal.

If a thing flies more than 2 times, and has hit at least 1 flight a year cadence at some point, I'd say its properly operational.

Quote
Or are you saying that in the next 10 years no 30+ tonne capable rocket will achieve operational status anywhere in the world?

That is what I'm saying.

This seems like a terrible bet for you, since you can't win for 10 years. But if you really think it worthwhile, I'll bet 6 months of L2 membership (or equivalent value when the bet ends, but not more than $100 US). Conditions: a launch vehicle in a configuration nominally capable of 30,000 kg of separable payload to LEO must successfully fly 3 times including at least 2 times in less than 2 consecutive calendar years before today's date in 2027. And the vehicle can't be explicitly considered experimental, even if completing those flights. Once those flights are complete, I win. If the end date passes without those flights happening, you win. Good?

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #72 on: 10/06/2017 04:34 AM »
Carbon footprint is so tangentially related that long diatribe didn't stick.
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Offline savuporo

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #73 on: 10/06/2017 07:21 AM »
Yeah you can split hairs to no end. No i don't think Atlas 552 can be called an operational capability quite yet. Dual engine centaur isn't a done deal.

If a thing flies more than 2 times, and has hit at least 1 flight a year cadence at some point, I'd say its properly operational.

Quote
Or are you saying that in the next 10 years no 30+ tonne capable rocket will achieve operational status anywhere in the world?

That is what I'm saying.

This seems like a terrible bet for you, since you can't win for 10 years. But if you really think it worthwhile, I'll bet 6 months of L2 membership (or equivalent value when the bet ends, but not more than $100 US). Conditions: a launch vehicle in a configuration nominally capable of 30,000 kg of separable payload to LEO must successfully fly 3 times including at least 2 times in less than 2 consecutive calendar years before today's date in 2027. And the vehicle can't be explicitly considered experimental, even if completing those flights. Once those flights are complete, I win. If the end date passes without those flights happening, you win. Good?

You are on.
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Online calapine

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #74 on: 10/06/2017 04:44 PM »
Voted with Neither Operational with the qualifier that I can very well see a new SpaceX rocket by 2027, but it wont be the 31-Raptor-5400tons concept presented at IAC2017.

-cala

Offline Jim

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #75 on: 10/06/2017 04:57 PM »
Jim's prediction of less than 5 SLS flights puts the last flight of the 4 (EM-1 [2020], EM-2 [2023], EC [2024], EM-3 [2025]) ~2025. That is less than 10 years. It flies all of the left over RS-25's. The reason I specify these 4 is that NASA could cancel the RS-25 line restart contract before it produces any engines around 2020 because of evident progress being made on BFR saving as much as $750M. Actual RS-25"E" engines would be produced and available for qualification testing NET 2022. The 4 flights are NASA saying until the BFR is flying we will continue our BEO plans (hedging the bet) by prototyping BEO hardware placing it in BEO and testing it (PPE and DSG habitat) which would have some usefulness even with BFR.

I actually for got about the limited quantity of existing engines.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #76 on: 10/06/2017 08:37 PM »
Jim's prediction of less than 5 SLS flights puts the last flight of the 4 (EM-1 [2020], EM-2 [2023], EC [2024], EM-3 [2025]) ~2025. That is less than 10 years. It flies all of the left over RS-25's. The reason I specify these 4 is that NASA could cancel the RS-25 line restart contract before it produces any engines around 2020 because of evident progress being made on BFR saving as much as $750M. Actual RS-25"E" engines would be produced and available for qualification testing NET 2022. The 4 flights are NASA saying until the BFR is flying we will continue our BEO plans (hedging the bet) by prototyping BEO hardware placing it in BEO and testing it (PPE and DSG habitat) which would have some usefulness even with BFR.

I actually for got about the limited quantity of existing engines.
Yes, it is hard to understand sometimes what the actual limitations are on the flights past the first four are. The RS-25 engine restart contract is for a build rate of 2 per year with first set of flight engines NET 2025 available for integration to vehicle at the plant. Do not expect their use in a launch for at least a year after their delivery. This build rate does not support more than 1 flight every 2 years past the first 4 flights. More money will have to be allocated to increase the build rate if a flight rate of even just once per year is wanted. And that has to occur at that same decision point of around 2020. There is probably a greater than 5 year lead time for some parts on the engine.

The other item is SRB segments. The SRBs for the early flights use existing refurbished segments. This is also enough only for 4 flights. So new segments have to be manufactured as well for flight #6. Primarily these are the caps and tails which are the most expensive to manufacture. The other center segments are easier to manufacture which will be needed as well for the earlier flight #5. So this line must also be restarted. I do not remember any contract yet for this restart. Although it could be embedded in the existing SRB contract as an option/line item.

So the basic item is without a bigger budget in 2020 than now the out year flight rate will be once every other year starting with flight #5. That unwillingness to spend more on SLS and Orion in FY2020 when not even EM-1 has happened yet may be SLS downfall and it's slow choking off of funds delaying launches even more until outright cancellation a few years latter. This was a similar occurrence with Constellation because it could not keep Congress in general happy enough to not suffer a political backlash by their constituents for funding an expensive program that seemingly is not making progress.
« Last Edit: 10/06/2017 08:42 PM by oldAtlas_Eguy »

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #77 on: 10/08/2017 03:38 AM »
Your views did a 360? So, back where you started. Sill not making much sense though, sadly.

Also, you don't test reliability in. It is designed in and then verified.


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Offline Johnnyhinbos

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #78 on: 10/08/2017 03:58 AM »
Last post plus the renewed dreamyness of the National Space Council has brought my views around 360 degrees.

I voted that neither BFR or SLS will NOT be able to deliver in 10 years.  But now I’m thinking it is just a matter of too much optimism, heightened desire for things not achievable.

The dream keeps changing while the CDR has already occurred.  Mission creep while over-constraining/over-specifying eventually grounds hardware. 

Think about it!  You’ve got your moonbase, your Mars ISRU, Phobos station, Mars transfer vehicle, Mars lander, Moon lander, man rated craziness, lunar return vehicles, and then add twenty other flagship vehicles.  Modularity requirements, ultra high reliability that a lifetime of testing couldn’t achieve...

Come on!
Wait, I need to unpack this a bit. You say, “I voted that neither BFR or SLS will NOT be able to deliver in 10 years.”

So you are saying neither BFR or SLS will NOT be able to deliver. So a double negative. Which means you believe one of them will, but you just don’t specifically say which one will not. So you believe one will. But which one?
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Offline savuporo

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #79 on: 10/08/2017 04:02 AM »
Your views did a 360? So, back where you started. Sill not making much sense though, sadly.


I, personally, liked that post. It doesn't really discriminate, you can read it forwards or backwards, and it gives about the same result. Also, it's got the best words, believe me
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Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #80 on: 10/08/2017 04:32 PM »
Your views did a 360? So, back where you started. Sill not making much sense though, sadly.

Also, you don't test reliability in. It is designed in and then verified.



Exactly.  In order to get near perfect reliability, the design is going to have to iterate. 

But the tests to demonstrate the required reliability are going to need more than a couple thousand hours (which is typical). In other words, how long would reliability testing need to run to demonstrate a service life on Mars for about two years?

Demonstrating the required reliability to get to a moon base for 'just' 28 days would be quite a challenge.
The estimate I have for such manned testing occurring in LEO with small crew on-board (quick return to Earth if required because of any failures in any of the redundancy systems is 2 1/2 years. Which is any element of a redundant system fails but still leaves the system operable would still require a return. It is these failures while on-orbit that is being seeked. Between each test is the time it takes to determine and fix the root cause of the failure. Testing is iterated until the small crew is able to stay on-orbit in LEO (possibly L2 durring latter tests) for 1 year without any systems failing.

So the system would be qualified for long duration usage for such as a manned Mars flight after 2 1/2 years from first manned flight.

At that point usage for Lunar mission conveyance of larger crews (25) would not be out of question with stays on Lunar surface of 6 months as temp habitat for them.

Offline intrepidpursuit

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #81 on: 10/25/2017 07:23 PM »
I voted BFR and not SLS. Though I think it is equally likely that they will both be "operational" as much as SLS is ever even planned to fit that term.
BFR has no bearing on SLS being canceled because SLS has no real purpose for BFR to usurp other than "creating jobs" which BFR will not do (in Alabama anyway). But, I think SLS can't survive past its first two launches because we already know there is not enough money for it plus a worthy payload.

BFR might have more bearing on whatever the next rocket is since a vague "mars rocket" or "moon rocket" claim is harder to make arbitrarily when there is actually an operation system laying around. Congress and NASA's engineers and mission planners (so Congress) have long since forgotten that was the stated purpose of Ares V and SLS respectively, despite NASA's marketing department's mindless droning about it. I just hope that makes the new jobs program go under a different budget so NASA can work on mars tech to put on BFR.

Offline Craftyatom

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #82 on: 10/26/2017 03:22 AM »
I said BFR and not SLS, but it was a hard decision, and I don't put it far out from 50/50 between that and them both being operational.  I'm pretty sure BFR will be operating as an orbital launcher within the next 10 years (even a pessimistic take on schedule would have a hard time introducing that many delays without major changes to SpaceX's plans, imo), but SLS is a bit of a different beast.

I agree that SLS has its steadfast congressional proponents, and only exists today because of them.  However, I think that once BFR has any commercial mission complete - that is, someone buys a launch, pays SpaceX the money, and then gets their payload delivered to orbit for $X - it will be difficult to defend SLS in congressional hearings, even more so than it is now.  Keep in mind that many American news sites opposed to the party in control of Congress at the time will immediately run an article reading "the government is wasting your tax dollars on a rocket when they could be using BFR".

Shuttle was built because it was supposed to be cheap, but then it wasn't cheap so instead it was called assured American access, but then 51L happened so instead it was billed as "the manned American launcher" until its reputation as a manned launcher degraded and it was retired.  SLS will suffer the same fate: it was the "only manned deep space launcher" until it wasn't (see recent panels on Lunar economy, and SpaceX's moon flyby customer on FH), now it's "the only rocket big enough" until BFR or NA fly, and then...?  There are only so many metrics to measure a launch system by, and though you only need one to make a case, soon there won't be any left.  BFR will take the last leg SLS had to stand on.

So that's why I don't think SLS will be flying 10 years from now.  BUT, that said, I don't think Congress is going to roll over and hand SpaceX their launch contracts.  I think, in their infinite wisdom, the U.S. government is going to try and make NASA build a new launcher - SLS clearly isn't cutting it (note that some of its proponents may not be in office a decade from now), so NASA will be told to do it again, but better.  I'll let you imagine how that one goes.

I don't like saying that SLS is going away so soon, because it feels like wishful thinking, but perhaps the above scenario is proof that a future without it could theoretically still be incredibly bleak.
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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #83 on: 10/26/2017 12:54 PM »
If SLS is to continue, I predict NASA will build kerolox reusable boosters for it with SpaceX landing technology.  They will probably use 5 AR-1's.  This would cost less in the long run.  They will probably expend the core, but, going back to the SSME, and either maybe parachuting them down.  It may lower costs, but still not be fully reusable.  If not it will be cancelled and NASA will use BFR for things they want to do in space.  They will have to design to fit the payload bay of a cargo BFR.  By then there will also be New Glenn and Vulcan for larger payloads, in space assembly of something. 


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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #84 on: 10/28/2017 10:29 AM »
For SLS,  I think it will be flying in 10 years, but it will have on average at best one flight a year. I think NASA will delay the advanced booster competition, and as a result stretch out existing SLS launches. Then as new and bigger commercial lv's enter the market (Falcon Heavy, New Glen, and even Ariane 6) NASA will move payloads like Orion and resupply flights to the DSG and the moon to "supplement SLS". Eventually they will cancel the advanced booster competition, and simply end SLS after the current booster cases are expended, and will instead use New Armstrong and BFR.

All of which will take more than a decade, so I might be alone but I can easily see SLS flying in 10 years and BFR not.
« Last Edit: 10/28/2017 10:29 AM by Ronsmytheiii »
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Offline darkenfast

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #85 on: 10/30/2017 04:55 AM »
Thank you for participating in my poll and for the high-quality comments.  The poll will close tomorrow morning.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #86 on: 10/30/2017 03:04 PM »
Even though SLS planning dates for launch events may be earlier, the actual occurrence of those launch events may never meet those dates. Having an earlier planning date when the event is several years away and in the case of all of the launch events possible planning dates (EM-1->Dec 2019 = 2+ years away, EC ->Jun 2022= 4.5 years away, EM-2 -> Jun 2023 = 5.5 years away) will help in minimizing slips. But that leaves what are the reality of when the high likelihood of those events occurring: EM-1 -> May 2020, EC -> Mid 2023, EM-2 ->Mid 2024. The first manned launch at 12+ years after program start and ~$40B spent SLS/Orion since SLS program started in 2012. The sad part is that Constellation could possibly have been done with that amount of time and money resulting in a 200mt cargo launcher not just a 100mt cargo launcher.

Offline envy887

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #87 on: 02/09/2018 04:51 PM »
Yeah you can split hairs to no end. No i don't think Atlas 552 can be called an operational capability quite yet. Dual engine centaur isn't a done deal.

If a thing flies more than 2 times, and has hit at least 1 flight a year cadence at some point, I'd say its properly operational.

Quote
Or are you saying that in the next 10 years no 30+ tonne capable rocket will achieve operational status anywhere in the world?

That is what I'm saying.

This seems like a terrible bet for you, since you can't win for 10 years. But if you really think it worthwhile, I'll bet 6 months of L2 membership (or equivalent value when the bet ends, but not more than $100 US). Conditions: a launch vehicle in a configuration nominally capable of 30,000 kg of separable payload to LEO must successfully fly 3 times including at least 2 times in less than 2 consecutive calendar years before today's date in 2027. And the vehicle can't be explicitly considered experimental, even if completing those flights. Once those flights are complete, I win. If the end date passes without those flights happening, you win. Good?

You are on.
That's one.
« Last Edit: 02/09/2018 07:42 PM by envy887 »

Offline DJPledger

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #88 on: 03/01/2018 07:56 PM »
If SLS is to continue, I predict NASA will build kerolox reusable boosters for it with SpaceX landing technology.  They will probably use 5 AR-1's.  This would cost less in the long run.  They will probably expend the core, but, going back to the SSME, and either maybe parachuting them down.  It may lower costs, but still not be fully reusable.  If not it will be cancelled and NASA will use BFR for things they want to do in space.  They will have to design to fit the payload bay of a cargo BFR.  By then there will also be New Glenn and Vulcan for larger payloads, in space assembly of something. 
SLS likely to be cancelled long before 2027 with BFR flying frequently by then. If NASA wants to build kerolox reusable boosters for SLS then have them use 17-20 Merlins rather than 5 AR-1's. BE-4 more likely to fly than AR-1. Merlin already has an extensive flight history while AR-1 has not even reached full engine testing.

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