Poll

How many SpaceX flights do you anticipate in 2018?

1
0 (0%)
2
0 (0%)
3
0 (0%)
4
0 (0%)
5
0 (0%)
6
0 (0%)
7
0 (0%)
8
0 (0%)
9
0 (0%)
10
1 (0.3%)
11
0 (0%)
12
2 (0.7%)
13
1 (0.3%)
14
0 (0%)
15
1 (0.3%)
16
0 (0%)
17
2 (0.7%)
18
2 (0.7%)
19
3 (1%)
20
15 (5%)
21
4 (1.3%)
22
12 (4%)
23
15 (5%)
24
39 (12.9%)
25
33 (10.9%)
26
22 (7.3%)
27
32 (10.6%)
28
28 (9.3%)
29
20 (6.6%)
30
34 (11.3%)
31
6 (2%)
32
14 (4.6%)
33
4 (1.3%)
34
1 (0.3%)
35
5 (1.7%)
36
2 (0.7%)
37
0 (0%)
38
0 (0%)
39
0 (0%)
40
1 (0.3%)
More than 40!!!
3 (1%)
None (sometimes option 42 is the right answer, but this is not one of those times)
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 302

Voting closed: 01/19/2018 12:22 PM


Author Topic: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018  (Read 15864 times)

Offline Lar

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POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« on: 10/09/2017 08:39 PM »
Number of SpaceX orbital flight attempts in 2018

 Back by popular demand! (well, one guy asked me for it)... it's your chance to give us your best guess on how many orbital flight attempts SpaceX will have next year. Please read this post carefully, all the way to the bottom. The rules have been clarified (I used more colors, that's gotta help) and simplified (not really) and we have even more historical data for you to pore over than before. We had over 319 (320 is over 319) voters last year and there wasn't even a prize! Sadly, no prize this year either. But you want to vote anyway.

Companion poll for core recoveries in 2018:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44407.0

Some other fun polls (not by me):
Number of launches with a reused stage
Number of stages launched 3 times or more


Prior Results

Number of SpaceX flights in 2017 poll thread (actual total: 16 and 2 pending as of this writing)
      3 Dragons: CRS-10, 11,12 and one pending... CRS-13 (pending)
      13 non Dragon: Iridium-1 (1-10), EchoStar-23, SES-10, NROL-76, Inmarsat-5, BulgariaSat-1, Iridium-2 (11-20), Intelsat 35e, FORMOSAT-5, OTV-5 (X-37B), SES-11 / EchoStar 105, Iridium-3 (21-30) Koreasat 5A )
      1 non Dragon pending as of this writing: Iridium-4 (31-40)
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41824.0

Companion poll for core recoveries in 2017:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41825.0

Number of SpaceX flights in 2016 poll thread (actual total: 8,
      2 Dragons: CRS-8, and CRS 9
      6 non Dragon: Jason-3, SES-9, JCSAT-14, Thaicom 8, Eutelsat 117 West B/ABS-2A, JCSAT-16
      1 non Dragon pad anomaly: AMOS-6 )
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39071.0

Companion poll for core recoveries in 2016: (actual total: 5 successes of 8 tries)
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39219.0


Number of SpaceX flights in 2015 poll thread (actual total: 7,
        3 Dragons: CRS-5, CRS-6, and CRS-7 (failed),
        3 non Dragon: DSCOVR, ABS-3A/Eutelsat 115 West B, TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSAT )
        PLUS ORBCOMM-2 RTF which happened after the 2016 poll started and featured the first successful first stage landing.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36377.0

Number of SpaceX flights in 2014 poll thread (actual total: 6, 2 Dragons: CRS-3, and CRS-4)
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=33571.0

Number of SpaceX flights in 2013 poll thread (actual total: 3, 1 Dragon: CRS-2)
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30684.0

Number of SpaceX flights in 2012 poll thread (actual total: 2, 2 Dragons: C2+ and CRS-1)
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=27858.0


References

Totals: F9  from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Falcon_9_launches#Launch_history_and_manifest
           Dragon from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_(spacecraft)#List_of_Dragon_missions
Salo's US Flight Schedule
   http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=8184.0

gongora's manifest thread: (note, this periodically changes threads because it grows so rapidly, this is as of Dec '17):
   http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43418.0
Here's an "archival copy" of the manifest as it was at the end of 2017
   http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43418.msg1763346#msg1763346

SpaceX launch log:
   http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40544.msg1550541#msg1550541

SpaceX Official Flight Manifest
http://www.spacex.com/launch_manifest.php

Anik's Schedule of ISS flight events
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=61.0

NASA's Consolidated Launch Schedule
http://www.nasa.gov/missions/highlights/schedule.html


Current 2017 SpaceX Flights Scheduled

(According to gongora's manifest thread with modification, and my editorial comments, and I won't update it post 1 Jan... if I bobbled something let me know... I decided to switch to this thread as it is SpaceX specific. Salo's thread requires a lot of removals which I usually bobble somehow)


       Local        LV  Core   Ret- .                             .    Mass   .     Mis-
Est. Date,  Time/UTC.   S/N    urn  Payload(s)                    Orb  (kg)   Site sion
------------------- --- ------ ---  ----------------------------  ---  -----  ----- ----
2018-01-04  2000/-5F91043LNorthrop Grumman-ZumaLEO?C-40.
2018-early (NET)H.LLSFalcon Heavy Demo Flight..C-39A(50)
2018-01-30  1623/-5F9.SGovSat-1 (SES-16)GTO4000C.
2018-01-30F9..PAZ & (Microsat 2a/2b?)SSO1400V-4E.
2018-H1F9.XHispasat 1F (30W-6)GTO6092C.
2018-03F9RLCRS SpX-14LEO~10kC.
2018-03F9N.BangabandhuGTO~3500C.
2018-Q1F9R?Iridium NEXT (Flight 5)PLR9600V-4E.
2018-Q1F9.SSES-12GTO5300C.
2018-03-18F9N.NASA (TESS)HEO325C .
2018-03-21  1843/-7F9N.Iridium NEXT 6/GRACE-FOPLR~6kV-4E.
2018-04F9.?CCtCap DM1LEO.C-39A.
2018-Q2F9.?Telstar 18 Vantage/Apstar-5CGTO>5400C.
2018-Q2F9.?Telstar 19 VantageGTO>5400C.
2018-04F9..Spaceflight SSO-A (575km)SSO.V-4E.
2018-05 (NET)F9..USAF GPS III-1MEO3880C.
2018-midH.LLSSTP-2 (US Air Force)MEO~8k?C-39A.
2018-Q2F9..Iridium NEXT (Flight 7)PLR9600V-4E.
2018-06F9.LCRS SpX-15LEO~10kC.
2018-06F9..Iridium NEXT (Flight 8)PLR9600V-4E.
2018-06F9.?SAOCOM 1ASSO2800V-4E.
2018-H1F9.SEs'hail 2GTO~3kC.
2018-midF9..CCiCap In-Flight Abort TestSUB.CN/A
2018H..Arabsat 6AGTO~6kC-39A.
2018F9.?PSN-6 and co-passengerGTO5000C.
2018-08F9..Telkom 4GTO.C.
2018-08F9.LCRS SpX-16LEO~10kC.
2018-08F9..CCtCap DM2 (Crew)LEO.C-39A.
2018-Q3F9..RADARSAT ConstellationSSO~4.5kV-4E.
2018F9..OHB SARah 1SSO~2200V-4E.
2018-10F9.LCRS SpX-17LEO~10kC.
2018-Q4 (NET)F9..Spaceflight GTO (200x60k/km)GTO.C(70)
2018-12F9.LCRS SpX-18LEO~10kC.
Companies that appear to have contracts for unspecified payloads: Eutelsat, Inmarsat (x2?), Bigelow

Date: *=Local date differs from UTC date
Return: L=Land,S=Sea,X=Expendable,N/A=Not Applicable
Launch Vehicle: F9=Falcon 9, H=Falcon Heavy, F=Falcon 9 or Heavy
Core: FH core numbers in footnotes, N=New, R=Reused
Colors: Successful / Unsuccessful / Mars!!!! / Footnotes

NOTES:
(50) FH Demo - Serial Numbers: Center:1033  Side1:1023.2  Side2: 1025.2
(70) Spaceflight Industries : Upcoming Spaceflight Ind. schedule update
 
(any transcription errors from abridging this are mine, frefer to the original post here:
SpaceX Manifest Updates and Discussion Thread 5 header )



(Last year's list as of the time of the poll, for reference

NET December 16, 2016 early January - Iridium Next Flight 1 (x10), MicroSat-1a, MicroSat-1b - Falcon 9-030 - Vandenberg SLC-4E - 20:36
NET January 8 - Echostar 23 - Falcon 9-031 -  Kennedy LC-39A
NET January 22 - Dragon SpX-10 (CRS-10), SAGE-III, SAGE NVP, STP-H5/ISEM - Falcon 9 - Kennedy LC-39A (or spring)
NET February - SES-10 - Falcon 9 - Kennedy LC-39A
March - NROL-76 - Falcon 9 - Kennedy LC-39A
NET March - Dragon SpX-11 (CRS-11), ROSA, MUSES, NICER - Falcon 9 - Kennedy LC-39A
NET 1st quarter - Iridium Next Flight 2 (x10), MicroSat 1c, MicroSat 1d (or MicroSat 1a, MicroSat 1b) - Falcon 9 - Vandenberg SLC-4E
NET 1st quarter - KoreaSat 5A/Mugungwha 5A - Falcon 9 - Kennedy LC-39A
NET 1st half quarter- Inmarsat 5 F4 - Falcon 9 - Kennedy LC-39A/Canaveral SLC-40
1st half - SES-11 (EchoStar 105) - Falcon 9 - Canaveral SLC-40 (TBD)
1st half (TBD) - BulgariaSat 1 - Falcon 9 - Canaveral SLC-40 (TBD)
NET 2nd quarter - Intelsat 35e - Falcon 9 - Canaveral SLC-40 (TBD)
NET 2nd quarter - Iridium Next Flight 3 (x10) - Falcon 9 - Vandenberg SLC-4E
June 1 - Dragon SpX-12 (CRS-12), CREAM - Falcon 9 - Kennedy LC-39A 
midyear - Demo Flight (dummy payload, ballast) - Falcon Heavy - Kennedy LC-39A
August - Dragon v2 (unmanned test) (SpX-DM1)- Falcon 9 - Kennedy LC-39A (or 2018)
September 13 - Dragon SpX-13 (CRS-13), ASIM, TSIS, MISSE-FF - Falcon 9 - Kennedy LC-39A
3rd quarter - SES-16/GovSat-1 - Falcon 9 - Canaveral SLC-40
3rd quarter - Esíhail 2 - Falcon 9 - Canaveral SLC-40
3rd quarter - STP-02: DSX, COSMIC-2A (equatorial): FORMOSAT 7A/7B/7C/7D/7E/7F, GPIM, OTB 1, FalconSat 6, NPSat 1, Oculus-ASR, Prox 1, LightSail B, ARMADILLO, FalconSat 7, TBEx A, TBEx B, Prometheus 2-1, Prometheus 2-2, Prometheus 2-3, Prometheus 2-4, Prometheus 2-5, Prometheus 2-6, Prometheus 2-7, Prometheus 2-8, PSat 2, BRICSat 1, BRICSat 2, TEPCE 1, TEPCE 2, CP 9 (LEO), StangSat, DOTSI, CNGB, Ballast - Falcon Heavy - Kennedy LC-39A
NET 3rd quarter - Iridium Next Flight 4 (x10) - Falcon 9 - Vandenberg SLC-4E
2nd half - SES-14 - Falcon 9 - Canaveral SLC-40 (or 4th quarter)
NET 2nd half - Europasat (HellasSat-3) - Falcon 9 - Kennedy LC-39A (or Proton Ariane 5)
4th quarter -  ORS-6 (COWVR, WSGF), "2017 Sun Synch Express"/SHERPA: SpaceIL lunar lander, Eu:CROPIS, ICEYE-1 (TBC), BlackSky Global 1, BlackSky Global 2, BlackSky Global 3, BlackSky Global 4, STPSat-5,  SkySat (xTBD) + over 13 sats - Falcon 9 - Vandenberg SLC-4E
NET 4th quarter - Iridium Next Flight 5 (x10) - Falcon 9 - Vandenberg SLC-4E
October - SAOCOM-1A - Falcon 9 - Vandenberg SLC-4E 
late November - Early December - Hispasat 30W-6 (1F) Amazonas-5 - Falcon 9 - Canaveral SLC-40  (or 2018)
November - Dragon v2 (manned test) (SpX-DM2) - Falcon 9 - Kennedy LC-39A (or 2018)
December 16 - Bangabandhu-1 - Falcon 9 - Canaveral SLC-40
NET December 20 - TESS (Astro EX-1) - Falcon 9 - Canaveral SLC-40 (or January 2018)
December - GRACE-FO 1, GRACE-FO 2, Iridium Next (x5) - Falcon 9 - Vandenberg SLC-4E (or January NLT February 2018)
TBD - FORMOSAT 5, SHERPA SSO: eXCITe (PTB 1), Blacksky Global Pathfinder 2, Flock-2c (x56), Lemur-2 (x8), Corvus-BC 3, ICE-Cap, PropCube 2, Arkyd-6A, CNUSail 1, KAUSAT 5, SIGMA (KHUSAT 3), CANYVAL-X 1, CANYVAL-X 2, STEP Cube Lab, EcAMSat, ISARA, OCSD B, OCSD C, Fox 1C, Fox 1D, Nayif 1, skCUBE, ITASAT 1, Aalto 1, DIDO 1, 3Cat 1, LMPC (AeroCube 9), ROBUSTA 1B, SUCHAI - Falcon 9 - Vandenberg SLC-4E
TBD - PSN-6, U.S. government satellite - Falcon 9 - TBD



Poll Rules
- Poll closes same time as last year, around Jan 19.
- This allows time for those out of town during the holidays
- This also prevents the thread from going on so long to make the poll unfair to early voters.
- Early voters don't know if certain launches happen or don't... take that into account when voting.
- No do-overs... I can't change anyone's vote without closing and reopening, and it wouldn't be fair anyway
- No late votes... I am not reopening the poll because you forgot. You can still post a rationale if you want.
- Please PM me with any questions/comments/concerns.  I've done what I can to make this orderly.
- UTC time is considered for any launches on Dec 31st (of either 2015 or 2016). T-0 time determines what year the launch was in.

Guidelines for "Number of Launches" thread/poll
A "launch" in this case means:
- The liftoff of a launch vehicle from the pad, with a mission that includes the objectives of second stage cutoff and delivering a payload to orbit.  (this includes earth orbits and direct injection to other orbits such as solar, etc. It also, to forestall nitpicking, includes hyperbolic trajectories... what it doesn't include is any trajectory that (is intended to) return to earth without having performed at least one complete orbit of Earth)
- The launch does not have to "succeed".. if the engines fire with intent to launch, that's enough, unless the vehicle does not move at all, and survives so another attempt can be tried
- This includes any CRS Dragon missions, Comsats, mass simulators, interplanetary missions, etc
- Scrubs and static fires do not count.
- Suborbital tests and missions DO NOT count.
- Suborbital core returns, should any happen, also DO NOT count (inasmuch as they are part of some other mission, and there is a separate poll for core returns)
- Launch abort tests also DO NOT count.
- Any confusion on this, please send me a PM before posting.
- There might be a few tiny edge cases that still don't clearly bin to "launch" or "not launch" ... in that case I will, in my Imperial Magisty, make the call.

Practical Examples
- CRS-7 COUNTED.
- Amos-6 DID NOT COUNT.
- An FH launch WILL COUNT as one launch, not three, obviously.
- Grasshopper and F9R-suborbital tests DID NOT COUNT.
- Equivalent ITS suborbital tests WILL NOT COUNT.
- The Dragon Pad Abort Test (May 6, 2015) DID NOT COUNT.
- The Dragon In-Flight Abort Test WILL NOT COUNT.
- However, a failed commercial crew launch that results in a Dragon abort WILL COUNT if the launch otherwise counts (see CRS-7 vs AMOS-6.)



Rationale for "Number of Launches" thread
The original purpose of this thread was to get an intelligent discussion going on the number of launches that would actually take place.  At the beginning of 2012 and 2013, it was pretty unclear how many launches would take place those respective years. This was even true somewhat for 2014... as the 2014 poll makes clear. But collectively we did not do too bad...  On 2015 SpaceX was tracking to make something fairly close to our consensus until CRS-7 set them back... Again, in 2016, SpaceX was tracking to make pretty close to our consensus until AMOS-6 set them back... SpaceX has aggressive plans for 2017 too.

NOTE: We're interested in your rationale, but not in "should I vote yet" and not in "this poll is flawed because..."... those posts might just get trimmed.. Not going to limit it to one post per person at this time, but if there is too much trivial back and forth we might.
« Last Edit: 12/23/2017 02:13 PM by Lar »
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Lar

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #1 on: 12/13/2017 07:32 AM »
I have a lot of editing to do on the starter post (a lot of stuff is from last year still) but I'm overdue to launch this poll... so if you want to wait a bit for me to get more stuff in, (like this year's manifest, the results from last year etc) hold off on voting but if you want to tell all your friends you were a first voter, go for it....

(I voted 30, ever the optimist...)

Edit: Most first post editing now done, PM me if you spot anything wrong. Big change is I switched from reproducing an abridgement of Salo's log to reproducing an abridgement of gongora's manifest thread...

I am quite surprised at the early results. The lowest number is... shocking. (you'll have to vote to see what it is).. suggests high confidence in SpaceX ability.
« Last Edit: 12/14/2017 12:21 PM by Lar »
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline PerW

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #2 on: 12/13/2017 07:38 AM »
24, two per month that would be great. 30 as Elon said would be even better.
But Heavy and crewed  will be nice to see in 2018, fingers crossed.

Voted 13 for 2017, so glad to be proven wrong :-)

Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #3 on: 12/13/2017 07:40 AM »
Voted for 28, a little under what they expect from next year since a delay or two could always push a few payloads to the year after.

Offline hopalong

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #4 on: 12/13/2017 08:41 AM »
Gone for 30 for 2018 - 2 1/2 per month on average, voted 18 this year so in with a good chance....


Offline vapour_nudge

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #5 on: 12/13/2017 09:00 AM »
Personally I prefer the options in this poll. Much better than groupings. Well done
Perhaps a poll of how many expected failures too?

Offline whatever11235

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #6 on: 12/13/2017 09:00 AM »
Went with 32 as conservative estimate. Extra pad could bring another ~18 launches if everthing goes ok.

Offline Rebel44

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #7 on: 12/13/2017 09:53 AM »
Went for 28
26x Falcon 9
2x Falcon Heavy

Offline smoliarm

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #8 on: 12/13/2017 11:34 AM »
23

Last year I went with *13*,
and it turned out as first time ever I was pessimistic.

So, I wish SpaceX to do the same trick in 2018 :)

Offline ValmirGP

Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #9 on: 12/13/2017 11:48 AM »
27. Three per month in nine active months!

Offline Darkseraph

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #10 on: 12/13/2017 11:50 AM »
20

They greatly exceeded my expectation this year with what should be 18 flights before the New Year. I expect them to perform slightly better next year as various delays and problems will show up and there is quite a lot of pressure to fly Dragon 2 demos. 20 flights is nothing to balk at however!
"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." R.P.Feynman

Online ZachS09

Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #11 on: 12/13/2017 05:53 PM »
I was going to go with 30 launches for 2018, but I have a feeling that that last one might be delayed into January 2019, so I'm choosing 29.
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #12 on: 12/13/2017 06:07 PM »
Voted for 28, a little under what they expect from next year since a delay or two could always push a few payloads to the year after.

Agree with your rationale but I plumped for 27. We know SpaceX are aiming for 30 (target was 20+ in 2017) and with 3 pads itís doable but something always crops up!

Offline jongoff

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #13 on: 12/14/2017 03:16 AM »
I voted 12 last year, and for the first time was overly pessimistic. I voted for 24 this time. I just have a hard time seeing them sustain more than two launches per month with their existing systems, but also expect them to do at least as good as this year and likely at least a bit better.

My $.02

~Jon

Offline Lar

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #14 on: 12/14/2017 05:33 AM »
Personally I prefer the options in this poll. Much better than groupings. Well done
Perhaps a poll of how many expected failures too?
What kind of failures? Do you mean LOM? or landing failures?  Feel free to PM me and if it's not too morbid I probably can do one up... but we never did that in the past.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #15 on: 12/14/2017 05:13 PM »
My prediction is 24.

The reason behind this value is the following. In 2017 (if these last 2 make it before the EOY) 70% of the manifest in the beginning of 2017 was launched 18 of 26. This same % applied to 2018's manifest of 34 gives 24. An increase of 6 does not look like much but it does show a monthly rate increase from 2017's 1 1/2 /month to 2 /month.

So far it looks as if my prediction this year is more conservative than last year's as it relates to the crowd. But my prediction of 21 for 2017 was still a valid possibility until Oct 2017. But difficulties and challenges have a habit of slowing things down: weather, technical, resources contentions, schedules and windows. These challenges will still occur in 2018 but with less limitations due to the arrival of BLK 5 and having both 39A and 40 operational. SpaceX's demand for launches already are greater than it's supply. Such that BLK 5 reuse more than just once will relieve some of that as well as having two east coast pads hence the increase of 6 more launches almost all of which is done by these two pads. This means that launch rate on these two pads combined will reach and stabilize at 1.5 launches per month. If somehow SpaceX is able to sustain a launch rate of 2 per month combined from these two pads then they could reach their stated 30.

Offline John Alan

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #16 on: 12/14/2017 07:39 PM »
I will wait till ~Jan 15th OR until Falcon Heavy launches... to cast a vote...  ;)
How next year goes does depend on that rocket clearing the tower AND making orbit... 8)... or not...  :-\

(hey, just using this poll's rules to my advantage...  ;D)

AND many thanks to Lar for the outstanding opening post with all the data linkage and choices...  8)

On Edit after Lar's post below...
So noted...  my bad...  :-[
« Last Edit: 12/14/2017 07:52 PM by John Alan »

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #17 on: 12/14/2017 07:45 PM »
I will wait till ~Jan 15th OR until Falcon Heavy launches... to cast a vote...  ;)
How next year goes does depend on that rocket clearing the tower AND making orbit... 8)... or not...  :-\

(hey, just using this poll's rules to my advantage...  ;D)
Please remember that posts along the lines of yours.... kind of fall afoul of this bit in the header :)
Quote
NOTE: We're interested in your rationale, but not in "should I vote yet" and not in "this poll is flawed because..."... those posts might just get trimmed.. Not going to limit it to one post per person at this time, but if there is too much trivial back and forth we might.

Just sayin'

But yeah, use the rules to your advantage, that's fine.... But watch out, I'm trying to get all the polls to end at exactly the same time via editing the end time... so if you wait to the last second you might be too late.
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Offline high road

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #18 on: 12/14/2017 09:32 PM »
24, limited by payload availability and turnaround time on the east coast due to launching new vehicles with teething problems.

Offline rockets4life97

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #19 on: 12/14/2017 09:51 PM »
I chose 31.

There are 10 flights from Vandenberg on the 2018 manifest. This is double the 2017 flights (counting Iridium NEXT 4 in late December). This leaves another 8 additional flights from the Cape. With two pads, this seems manageable.

Achieving 31 launches will require a significant number of re-uses. SpaceX seems to have turned the corner in convincing customers with NASA and Iridium onboard (at least re-using boosters that went to LEO).

Offline watermod

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #20 on: 12/14/2017 10:22 PM »
I took the number of scheduled launches.   Last year I was pessmistic and said 9.   This year 22.

Offline Paul451

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #21 on: 12/15/2017 11:58 PM »
Picked 25. Assuming they are aiming for 30, 28 is a reasonable number (allowing for more routine delays, range-congestion, hurricanes, customers who don't have their payloads ready, etc.) But next year is a bit of a doozy, with FH and D2. The need to throw extra people at any problems that arise could easily cause more delays, hence 25.

Last year I voted 12. So...



Early days, still within statistical noise. But some of the patterns are interesting. The surge at 20 makes sense, nice round number. Hence the gap just above 20. Ditto around 30. But why the surge at 24? [edit: D'oh! 2 per month.]
« Last Edit: 12/16/2017 12:51 AM by Paul451 »

Online david1971

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #22 on: 12/16/2017 12:45 AM »
I figured 2 per month sounds good, so 24.

Cutting and pasting a post of mine from the 2017 thread, for perspective on these numbers:
Years that Atlas had 16+ successful orbital launches (along with failures):
1962         16(3)
1964         18(3)
1965         19(5)
1966         33(3)

Thor/Delta:
1960     21(7)       
1961     23(7)       
1962     38(4)       
1963     29(5)       
1964     32(4)       
1965     33(2)       
1966     24(2)       
1967     28(0)     
1968     21(2)     
1969     22(2)         
1970     16(0)   

Long March 2/3/4
2011     19(1)
2012     19(0)
2015     17(0)
2016     19(2)

Of course, the Soviets had decade-long stretches where they would average better than a Soyuz a week (Proton maxed out at 14 in 2000).

Delta IV has had 26 launches single-stick, 35 total when you add in the heavies.

Offline Lar

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #23 on: 12/16/2017 12:55 AM »
Those failure numbers are remarkable.
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Online envy887

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #24 on: 12/16/2017 01:05 AM »
...
Of course, the Soviets had decade-long stretches where they would average better than a Soyuz a week (Proton maxed out at 14 in 2000).
...

Soyuz only had one such stretch, from 1975 to 1985. But they did launch at least 23 successfully every year from 1964 to 1993.

Offline Lar

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #25 on: 12/16/2017 01:35 AM »
...
Of course, the Soviets had decade-long stretches where they would average better than a Soyuz a week (Proton maxed out at 14 in 2000).
...

Soyuz only had one such stretch, from 1975 to 1985. But they did launch at least 23 successfully every year from 1964 to 1993.

hehe ... only one stretch but it was a **decade long** stretch! The soonest that could be topped is 2028... and that assumes a big jump in F9 flight rate AND that it doesn't retire before that. Might not be till BFR is steady state flying that another vehicle has a shot at that....
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Offline Bubbinski

Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #26 on: 12/16/2017 01:42 AM »
I voted for 24 (22 F9, 2 FH). SpaceX has 3 operational pads so that will help them get there despite the usual problems and delays that can sometimes happen. 2 per month is a good cadence. (I could also see last minute ZUMA like launches bumping a couple of payloads to 2019).

The ďmore than 40Ē cadence is unlikely now, but to me it wonít be far fetched in a year or two assuming no AMOS-6 like surprises based on the progress SX has shown.
I'll even excitedly look forward to "flags and footprints" and suborbital missions. Just fly...somewhere.

Online david1971

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #27 on: 12/16/2017 02:18 AM »
...
Of course, the Soviets had decade-long stretches where they would average better than a Soyuz a week (Proton maxed out at 14 in 2000).
...

Soyuz only had one such stretch, from 1975 to 1985. But they did launch at least 23 successfully every year from 1964 to 1993.

Ed's site has 54 launched in 1973, 52 in 1974. 

Stretching the definition and counting on my fingers and toes, I got 1219 launches from 1968 through 1990.  So over those 23 years they averaged a launch a week.

http://spacelaunchreport.com/r7suma3.txt


Online IanThePineapple

Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #28 on: 12/16/2017 02:27 AM »
Wonderful, I clicked 12.  :P

I thought this was asking about reused core flights...
« Last Edit: 12/16/2017 02:33 AM by IanThePineapple »

Offline mikelepage

Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #29 on: 12/16/2017 03:04 AM »
In my head I've been curve-fitting a smooth exponential increase to SpaceX's launch rates, which would mean that either:
1) conservative option: 18 launches in 2017 is/was aberrantly high (perhaps because of clearing backlog from 2016 failure) and the curve "should" have been more like 2, 3, 6, 10, 16... in which case I would have voted 24 for 2018.
or
2) Optimistic option: 2016 was aberrantly low (and the backlog from the failure still exists to be cleared) and it "should" have been 2, 3, 6, 11, 18... in which case I'd project 29 for 2018.

I'm feeling optimistic with respect to still having a large manifest to get through, having multiple active launch sites and also FH's ability to reuse pre-existing boosters, so I voted for 29 in 2018.

Having said that, I don't expect the exponential trend to continue once they start devoting more resources to BFR, so in 2019-20 I'm thinking (*EDIT I misspoke) it will settle back to a more linear increase in launch numbers.

I am quite surprised at the early results. The lowest number is... shocking. (you'll have to vote to see what it is).. suggests high confidence in SpaceX ability.

Lar, unless they have a major failure in 2018, the 2019 poll is going to look strange unless you have a "less than 12 launches" range as option 1.  I mean, the Amos-6 issue was addressed in 3 months, and they've now proven they can launch 12 times in 9 months.  Averaging less than one launch a month in 2019 would be a failure by SpaceX standards.
« Last Edit: 12/16/2017 03:11 AM by mikelepage »

Offline Lar

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #30 on: 12/16/2017 11:29 AM »
Wonderful, I clicked 12.  :P

I thought this was asking about reused core flights...
We do advise you read everything carefully before voting... On the  bright side you probably are going to not be optimistically wrong come end of year... Also, it may be scant comfort but you are not alone with that pick!

I am quite surprised at the early results. The lowest number is... shocking. (you'll have to vote to see what it is).. suggests high confidence in SpaceX ability.

Lar, unless they have a major failure in 2018, the 2019 poll is going to look strange unless you have a "less than 12 launches" range as option 1.  I mean, the Amos-6 issue was addressed in 3 months, and they've now proven they can launch 12 times in 9 months.  Averaging less than one launch a month in 2019 would be a failure by SpaceX standards.

I think it would be kinda weird to have a range at the beginning just one year after having a range at the end... I probably will just crank out individual options even if no one uses them. So far I haven't found an upper limit on how many options you can have and it just takes time to create (and screen real estate to display)....

But yeah. It's pretty nifty. and yeah if they can't do 12 in 2019 something is very wrong.
« Last Edit: 12/16/2017 11:34 AM by Lar »
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Offline RonM

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #31 on: 12/16/2017 02:45 PM »
I went with an optimistic 30. Assuming no major delays, the east coast pads handling 22 and 8 out of Vandenberg. Seems like a high number, but that's less than one per month for each pad. Two pads on the east coast is a big deal.

Block 5 will start flying in 2018 and SLC-40 was modified to handle long duration test burns (no shipping back to Texas if a test is needed). That should make getting ready for the next launch easier.

Offline Billium

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #32 on: 12/16/2017 04:18 PM »
Last year I voted 18. A few months ago I thought I would be low.

This year, 30+ payloads, 3 pads, I think the constraint is cores. Now the block 5 will help in making flight proven boosters available sooner, but working out the bugs in a newer block may initially cause delays in booster availability. I think 24 on the low end, 30 on the high end are reasonable, so I voted for 27 which is right in the middle. Also, it's an odd number and I want to mix it up from my even guess last year.

Thanks for setting up the poll!

I assume no incidents in 2018!
« Last Edit: 12/16/2017 04:20 PM by Billium »

Online Johnnyhinbos

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #33 on: 12/16/2017 05:19 PM »
My vote - 31. They will launch a total of 31 times (I predicted 18 for 2017, which is not too far off...  ;)). This will include two FH flights. Of the 29 F9 flights, 18 will be flight proven and will use 10 distinct cores (due to introduction of Block 5)
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Offline saliva_sweet

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #34 on: 12/16/2017 08:12 PM »
Also, it may be scant comfort but you are not alone with that pick!

I was the other one that predicted twelve. I fear a launch failure will happen for a block 5 core.

Offline bolun

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #35 on: 12/17/2017 01:32 PM »
26. I double my bet.  8)

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #36 on: 12/17/2017 07:08 PM »
I fear a launch failure will happen for a block 5 core.

I considered that but in the end decided the risk was low enough to not affect my choice. I believe SpaceX will have done enough analysis and testing, including flying block 5 components on non block 5 flights, to mitigate the risk sufficiently. The risk on the first F9 flight was also much greater(!) and SpaceX have so much more experience (including the failures) now than then. I think FH is notably riskier but of course has low manifest impact if it fails.

Offline rockets4life97

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #37 on: 12/17/2017 07:28 PM »
I think FH is notably riskier but of course has low manifest impact if it fails.

The big impact will be for Commercial Crew if FH destroys the pad. Probably at least a 6 month delay, if not longer.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #38 on: 12/17/2017 07:32 PM »
I think FH is notably riskier but of course has low manifest impact if it fails.

The big impact will be for Commercial Crew if FH destroys the pad. Probably at least a 6 month delay, if not longer.

True, but I think itíll clear the pad fine (despite what Elon says to try & manage expectations!)

Online RotoSequence

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #39 on: 12/17/2017 08:23 PM »
My (unreliable) Black Swan sense is capping 2018 at 20 launches; I'll be happy to be wrong.  :P

Offline Barrie

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #40 on: 12/17/2017 08:49 PM »
I've gone completely Criswell and foresee 33 launches.  That's in spite of reading all the sensible comments and gongora's manifest first, I just had a gut feeling that it will be a startling year.  Hoping for no problems, and agility in matching available payloads to launch opportunities.  I don't think FH will be a problem - the delays have been time spent working the issues and it will be OK.

Offline skybum

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #41 on: 12/18/2017 01:49 PM »
23 for me. Here's my thinking:

50% year-on-year growth would be exceptionally good performance for a rocket company. I expect exceptional things from SpaceX, but I also realise that they're subject to a lot of external constraining forces: range availability, payload availability, the ISS Visiting Vehicles schedule, etc. A major surge in flight rates doesn't just require great performance from SpaceX -- it requires great performance from everyone else around them -- many of whom are less agile than SpaceX.

With this in mind, in 2017 I estimated a 50% year-on-year increase, which would have been 12 flights. I would have been perfectly happy with that, and then gone on to estimate 18 flights for 2018. Obviously I'm thrilled to have been too conservative for once! But I also feel like there was an element of backlog-clearing to this year, and that going forward, those external constraints will re-impose themselves somewhat. Therefore, I'm splitting the difference between the 27 flights that would represent 50% growth over 2018, and the 18 flights that would represent the 50% mark if there hadn't been this year's surge.

Factors arguing that they'll do better than this:
- Three pads!!!!
- Block 5 will surely, in the long run, yield much quicker core turnaround times.
- X37 and Zuma have proven that there is a demand for agile launches that might not yet be on the manifest.

But things that could slow them down:
- Zuma has also proven that the days of teething problems on the launchpad are not entirely behind SpaceX
- Falcon Heavy and Dragon 2 both have more significant potential to become pad queens. As does the block 5, in the short run.
- Few expected launch supply to increase as quickly as it has, and satellites have a long lead time, so there just might not be enough payloads ready to go.

Anyhow, 23 just seems like a nice round number, so that's what it is.


Offline GreenShrike

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #42 on: 12/18/2017 06:18 PM »
An average of a launch a month over three pads, assuming 2 months of downtime each, and another 2 for Vandenberg since they're a bit short on west coast payloads. So that's 36 -> 30 -> 28.

In reality, I expect 40 to be closer to their optimal 2-week cadence, with 39A sitting out more often due to FH and D2, but hopefully the average between them will be around one a month.
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Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #43 on: 12/18/2017 06:42 PM »
I picked 24. I was this time being more pessimistic than last year pick of 21. The votes are interesting seeming to pick out the two min and max values given by SpaceX earlier which said 2018 would have from 25 to 30 launches.

Offline AncientU

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #44 on: 12/18/2017 07:00 PM »
32

Rationale:
1. I'm an optimist
2. GS said 50% increase next year over this (when 20 was still this year baseline, so 30)
3. 'Only' 18 this year, leaving two freebies sliding into in next year
4. Plenty payloads to keep the limitation on pads/turn-around
5. Contrary to some believing Falcon will have a failure 'this year', I believe Falcon is in the early stages of a triple-digit string
6. See #1 above
7. Q.E.D.
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Offline DanielW

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #45 on: 12/18/2017 07:31 PM »
24 for 2 per month. This could end up being optimistic since there are a handful of milestone missions coming up that can drain resources and keep things from getting too routine. Standing down for crew access arm installment, converting 39A between F9 and FH, range maintenance etc..

But then they could launch 30 missions out of  LC40 while 39A handles all the weirdness and delays. 

Offline cro-magnon gramps

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #46 on: 12/18/2017 08:17 PM »
I pick 31.. mainly because i couldn't see being pessimistic with 29, and I knew SpaceX had voted 30, sorta :D
I figure IF 39 and 40 are equally active (12 launches each) and West Coast brings in 1/2 as many as one of them, it will be a bumper crop this year... along with refurbishment and reuse of first stage maturing, I don't see any reason they couldn't hit the 42 number... so in retrospect, 31 might be pessimistic... perhaps the limiting factor will be payload availability... something we can't predict...
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Offline Craftyatom

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #47 on: 12/18/2017 08:40 PM »
My prediction is that in 2018 LC-40 will basically be performing the job that 39A performed this year - firing off commercial customers in quick succession while the other Florida pad takes it slow.  39A managed multiple 2-week turnarounds, though the average was dragged up by missions with payload constraints (NROL-76, OTV-5, CRS) and the first flight of Block 4.  However, I think that any issues that might cause delays on LC-40 will be more than made up for by the fact that SpaceX is no longer core-limited, as they have been in the past - since the first flight of a re-used core, they've averaged 3 flights for every 2 new cores (assuming Iridium goes off fine later this month), and that ratio will increase in 2018, essentially removing what used to be their biggest production bottleneck.  This has me saying 26 flights out of LC-40 in 2018 is possible - which sounds absolutely insane and unbelievable.

SLC-4E is going to be slower, but only because not much is manifested there - Lar's manifest says 9 payloads are scheduled, which should be possible even on existing hardware, so 9 it is (They've proven that east and west coast have almost no effect on each other).  39A is going to have to take its time, though - Falcon Heavy, Dragon v2, and Block 5 are all likely to hit snags along the way.  However, it doesn't really matter - even if 39A only flies 5 missions (2 falcon heavy, 2 CRS, 1 Crew Demo), it would bring the total up to 40 flights.  Again, insane and unbelievable.

So, I think every single option in this poll is completely viable, including "more than 40".  HOWEVER.  I may be an optimist, but even I'm not optimistic enough to think this number is actually going to be attained, despite being technically attainable.  I'm going to trust Shotwell on this one, and voted 32 (I like my powers of 2).

My guess at the split is 9 SLC-4E, 5 LC-39A, 18 LC-40.  The upside to this is that even a Falcon Heavy failure on the pad actually wouldn't affect flight rate too much, especially if it can quickly be traced to Heavy-specific hardware.

Edit: updated re-use ratio
« Last Edit: 12/18/2017 08:42 PM by Craftyatom »
All aboard the HSF hype train!  Choo Choo!

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #48 on: 12/23/2017 02:00 AM »
A successful close to 2017. Next stop a very busy and successful 2018.

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #49 on: 12/23/2017 05:49 AM »
32.  3 operational pads, roughly week and a half turnaround between a launch from any pad and next launch from any pad.  Manifest, etc.  Going to be an exciting year!

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #50 on: 12/23/2017 11:58 PM »
I'm more interested in their(and others)  man rated orbital achievements.
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Offline EE Scott

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #51 on: 12/24/2017 12:17 AM »
I chose 18. If all they were doing in 2018 was launching commercial payloads via F9, I would have chosen a higher number. However I think they will be slowed a bit by Commercial Crew/D2 efforts along with FH development - each of those projects takes significant resources from a finite pool.
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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #52 on: 12/24/2017 01:00 AM »
I went nuts and said 26.  I feel that is the upper limit with block 5 introduction, and making enough Block 5 cores, upper stages and payload fairing.

However, I think they had some head winds in 2017, no LC40, payload issues, fairing slow down, activating LC39A.  And with that they still got 18 launches and 5 reflown cores, which is a mighty impressive accomplishment. 

So 8 more doesní seem to much harder. 

I think anything over 22 would be a win.
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Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #53 on: 12/24/2017 06:39 AM »
I chose 18. If all they were doing in 2018 was launching commercial payloads via F9, I would have chosen a higher number. However I think they will be slowed a bit by Commercial Crew/D2 efforts along with FH development - each of those projects takes significant resources from a finite pool.

I donít think Dragon 2 will be any more of a limiting factor in 2018 than 2017. SpaceX resources are still a growing pool, near the 7,000 people mark now. Thatís a lot of resources and with 3 pads and less range support resources needed (due to AFTS) I think SpaceX have lessened some key limiting factors.

Offline EE Scott

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #54 on: 12/24/2017 03:44 PM »
I chose 18. If all they were doing in 2018 was launching commercial payloads via F9, I would have chosen a higher number. However I think they will be slowed a bit by Commercial Crew/D2 efforts along with FH development - each of those projects takes significant resources from a finite pool.

I donít think Dragon 2 will be any more of a limiting factor in 2018 than 2017. SpaceX resources are still a growing pool, near the 7,000 people mark now. Thatís a lot of resources and with 3 pads and less range support resources needed (due to AFTS) I think SpaceX have lessened some key limiting factors.

I think you make good points, especially the one about having 3 pads - that is a really big deal. However as you know, there are many things that move the manifest to the right (currently ~33 scheduled for 2018); bad weather for example. Dragon 2 is a complex payload that - IMO - will slow them down, as it is still under development, and has its own unique processing and proceedural requirements. FH's first few launches will likely take more pad time than F9, and of course if it has a failure that damages the pad they're back to 2 pads. All this being said, things do seem to be lining up nicely for the company to have a very successfull 2018 campaign, and to the extent that my guess is off, it's most likely too pessimistic.
« Last Edit: 12/24/2017 03:45 PM by EE Scott »
Scott

Offline rsdavis9

Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #55 on: 12/24/2017 11:30 PM »
I voted for 29.
Its a prime number.
But I agree with the analysis of 2 per month for lc-40 and 9 for lc-39 and 9 for vandenburg. Which is 24+9+9=42 which is a very muskish number.  :)
And the above is if everything goes to plan exactly. Which it never does so 29 is something less than 42.
BTW I voted 18 for 2017. I am a very reliable guesser...
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Offline vigleik

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #56 on: 12/25/2017 02:36 AM »
I just voted 21 launches. SpaceX has the potential to do even better if everything goes according to plan, and Iím happy to be proven too pessimistic. But there are many things that can cause a delay (Falcon Heavy, Dragon 2, Block 5, lack of payloads) and I think 21 is still a good outcome. We canít expect 50% yoy growth forever.

Online Ronpur50

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #57 on: 12/25/2017 02:44 AM »
I wanted to vote 42, but forgot what the question was, so I divided by 2 and got 21.

Offline whitelancer64

Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #58 on: 12/25/2017 04:38 PM »
Total stab in the dark: 25.
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Online chalz

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #59 on: 12/26/2017 06:35 AM »
23
Repaired pad is meant to be faster so lets say 14 flights ending with CRS 16.
Cautious but only 3 flights from 39a - two heavies and finish the year with DM1
Vandenberg 6.
Other random predictions:
They will reveal an F9 pad planned at Boca Chica.
The crew access arm won't be erected but the RSS will come down.
Another LOM before BFR debuts (around 2022), one of their own comsat missions around 2020.
No RTLS at Vandenberg this year.
They will recover a fairing intact but not a pair and Elon will say something flippant about it being harder than stage recovery.

Offline zappatosin

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #60 on: 12/26/2017 04:54 PM »
27

I agree with Chalz that CRS-16 will close out 2018, so I simply counted everything on Lar's manifest up thru CRS-16 and added a bonus payload to count instead of the in-flight abort. For 2017 I made the pessimistic prediction of 11 launches based on what I thought was realistic pad availability.

I'm a bit optimistic that a pair of the 24 fairings Shotwell needs to launch this manifest by "flight proven."
I also agree that the crew access arm will not be finished nor will humans launch in dragon in 2018.

Offline MrHollifield

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #61 on: 12/26/2017 05:29 PM »
I voted 28.

For 2017 I thought SpaceX would be able to maintain a pace of 4/quarter off the primary FL launch pad. They didn't and I turned out to be overly optimistic. I think they will be able to maintain that pace, overall, but a pause when switching over to Block 5 will keep the yearly LC-40 count around 16.

LC-39A is scheduled for 5 launches. After the FH test launch (next month!), they'll have to make another FH core (I don't think this Block 3 version will be able to do another flight) and decide if they can re-refly the side boosters or refit another pair. I expect they will want to refit a pair of Block 5 boosters for the next side boosters, and the aforementioned pause will cause the 3rd FH flight on the schedule to push to 2019, even though there should be minimal effort in refitting a Block 5 as a FH side booster. But, I'll stay optimistic and say both DM-1 and DM-2 will go in 2018.

LC-4E is scheduled for 9 launches. This pad isn't as hardened for fast turn as the FL pads, so I think they'll have trouble maintaining a cadence much better than every 45 days. With the first launch in late January, I expect they'll end up pushing #9 to 2019.

16+4+8=28.

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #62 on: 12/30/2017 12:23 AM »
Threw all the numbers up in the air and 28 landed on the drone ship. Read the tea leaves, applied a oiji board and consulted the great tree to confirm my choice.
(Basically Too chicken to say 33 so I picked 28 randomly)
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Offline Mader Levap

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #63 on: 12/30/2017 12:47 AM »
Voted 25.

Assumption: no failures, of course. Last few payloads on manifest will slip to 2019.

In general 2018, if successful, may be last year with significant backlog.

I find amusing that lowest result (at this moment) is 10 (probably someone assuming failure in first half of year that will take many months to resolve). I still remember when SpaceX struggled to launch 8 times in year...
« Last Edit: 12/30/2017 12:47 AM by Mader Levap »
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Offline rockets4life97

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #64 on: 01/01/2018 01:40 AM »
Almost everyone (>98%) expects SpaceX to have more launches than ULA in 2018. Salo's manifest currently has 12 Atlas 5 and Delta 2/4 flights scheduled for 2018.

Offline M.E.T.

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #65 on: 01/01/2018 03:29 AM »
Voted 30.

Too many variables to properly justify the number, so I went with Shotwell's estimate combined with the increased number of pads, increasing reuse and a base number of 18 in 2017.

So 30 it is. 2.5 launches per month.

Offline Kaputnik

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #66 on: 01/01/2018 11:58 PM »
Voted 24, based on 22 F9 and 2 FH. Gut feeling, although the F9 count happens to be exactly double my (incorrect) prediction from last year.
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Offline hop

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #67 on: 01/02/2018 12:14 AM »
Voted 25. I suspect even if things go well, external factors will prevent them from sustaining over 2 flights a month for the full year, but the days of "half SpaceX stated target" seem to be over.

Interesting that the lowest vote so far is 10 (with a single vote), which is more than SpaceX flew in any prior year.
As always, a major failure could take out ~6 months of flights, which could reasonably put them in the 10-15 ballpark. IMO this is more likely than the >35 scenarios.

Offline deruch

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #68 on: 01/03/2018 12:34 AM »
27 (25 F9+ 2 FH)
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #69 on: 01/10/2018 03:49 AM »
I'm going to wait until the 18th or 19th to vote because a F9 failure or major problem with FH static fire would effect my answer. :)

But I anticipate voting like 24 or something.
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Offline TripD

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #70 on: 01/12/2018 12:12 AM »
In all the past polls I chose too optimistically.  I expect that my choice of 24 could end up on the pessimistic side of the tracks this time around.  Given that as the flight count increases, the flexibility to deal with scrubs and priority changes will be tested.  My gut tells me that this year SpaceX will meet an impressive tempo despite snags and still more growing pains.

Offline Lar

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #71 on: 01/12/2018 01:50 AM »
I'm going to wait until the 18th or 19th to vote because a F9 failure or major problem with FH static fire would effect my answer. :)

But I anticipate voting like 24 or something.

I'm going to set the date to the 17th just to fox you :)  (kidding)
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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #72 on: 01/14/2018 02:31 PM »
26 (24 F9 + 2 FH). Payloads availability preventing more flights.

Offline Lar

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #73 on: 01/14/2018 04:47 PM »
So in the final days
- we may or may not have a FH launch to inform guesses...
- the final outcome of Zuma isn't known... (but SpaceX is apparently not standing down in any way)
- how fast Boca Chica comes on line *might* be a factor

my guesses are already in. If yours aren't .. .hahah have fun.

:)
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Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #74 on: 01/15/2018 06:39 PM »
Looking at the maniufest:

9 more manifested for the first quarter for a total of 10 - Some (1-3) may move a month into the second quarter but not many.

9 more listed for second quarter - the first quarter may indicate the number that would occur this quarter but with FH hopefully successfully launched the second quarter rate may be greater than the first quarter. Also BLK5 should be fully utilized with a possibility of BLK5 reuses occurring in this quarter if they launched in the first quarter.

The next two quarters are a guess and is really not separable into quarters. The second half of 2018 shows 11 flights.

This is a total of 30. If the first quarter has a total of 6-7 and the next one continuing at 7-8 then the year will definitely have >20 launches because by the end of June there will be ~15 launches.

My pessimistic vote was 24. I will waite and see if I was too pessimistic. ;D

Offline Space Junkie

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #75 on: 01/15/2018 09:11 PM »
My gut is telling me 24-26. (My gut was correct about 18 launches last year.)

I probably should pick 25. I hate odd numbers, though, so I'm going with an optimistic 26.

Offline John Alan

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #76 on: 01/17/2018 01:51 AM »
So in the final days
- we may or may not have a FH launch to inform guesses...
- the final outcome of Zuma isn't known... (but SpaceX is apparently not standing down in any way)
- how fast Boca Chica comes on line *might* be a factor

my guesses are already in. If yours aren't .. .hahah have fun.

:)

OK... 24 it is...  ;)

Offline spacenut

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #77 on: 01/17/2018 02:12 AM »
I picked 26, 2 F9's per month plus 2 FH's.  I figured some delays due to weather or satellite no being ready. 

Offline Jet Black

Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #78 on: 01/17/2018 10:10 AM »
I think you should make BFR/BFS launches count, even if suborbital, because, you know, I'm sure that Elon has an absurd level of optimism that they will launch a rocket this year that they haven't even finished designing yet.
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Offline Bigfoot

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #79 on: 01/18/2018 09:37 PM »
Picked 27,
because the DM2 mission could be delayed, and only 2 FH flights seem likely, and removed 1 flight per lauch site  because of possible slips.

Offline Lar

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #80 on: 01/18/2018 10:02 PM »
I think you should make BFR/BFS launches count, even if suborbital, because, you know, I'm sure that Elon has an absurd level of optimism that they will launch a rocket this year that they haven't even finished designing yet.
No.

If you want a "how many BFS will launch this year" do that poll. This is SpaceX launches, of whatever vehicle, but only ones that are attempting to be orbital.

Not changing the rules makes year to year comparisions easier.
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Offline Comga

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #81 on: 01/20/2018 07:17 PM »
And the answer is.... (drum roll)
26
Numerically, 26.4 +/-5.2
(Best fit Gaussian mean and moment)
Pretty close to my guess of 27.
YMMV

Last year the consensus was 13.7 +/- 5.2, so the 18 launches was significantly higher. 

edit: Once again, the consensus forms within the first few days and the first fraction of the total votes and never moves significantly.
« Last Edit: 01/20/2018 07:18 PM by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Lar

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #82 on: 01/21/2018 12:24 AM »
Thanks for the pretty graphs.

Interesting that 30 got so many votes (that's the on paper estimate by SpaceX themselves) as well as 24 (80% of same and also "2 a month" )
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Offline gongora

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #83 on: 01/21/2018 01:07 AM »
I started in the high 20's, figured they wouldn't get them all launched, got down to 25, then subtracted 1 because I was feeling pessimistic that day.  Now it just looks like I chose two a month  :D

Offline Comga

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #84 on: 01/21/2018 08:49 PM »
The vast majority of us who voted more than a dozen or so were assuming that no rockets blew up.
We probably didn't anticipate the US government "blowing up".  :P
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Lar

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #85 on: 01/21/2018 10:18 PM »
I can't see it lasting more than a month and that would be extreme... so it may have a 10% impact but not half....
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Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #86 on: 04/14/2018 07:42 PM »
Time for a little update on the direction of Space Launch cadence.

Over the last 1 year period form this day April 2017 (Note SpaceX had no launches in April 2017) to today is currently at 21 total launches. By the end of the month that total for a 1 year period could climb to 23 if TESS and Bangabandu launch on time. The rate continues to climb. But if the monthly launches stay at an average of 2/month the total for a 1 year period will fluctuate now going into May at 24 +- 1.

As an aside over same period 10 used booster have flown out of total of 23 boosters flown (2 extra for the FH over the launch number). That is a reuse rate of 43.5%. The rate will take a dip before it continues to climb.

Offline rockets4life97

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #87 on: 04/19/2018 07:21 PM »
To hit 30, SpaceX will need about 3 a month starting now. They've been doing 2 a month. There looks to be a payload from Vandenberg for a launch every month. So, the question is whether they can get back to 2 launches from Cape Canaveral every month.

Offline high road

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #88 on: 05/14/2018 11:42 AM »
Quote
So if things go well today, and I'm going to touch every form of wood that I can find, we're on track to be double our launch rate of last year, which was a record launch rate for us, and effectively Falcon 9 was the most launched rocket worldwide of 2017.

To keep on said track, SpaceX needs to start launching three a month starting now, and four a month from september onwards.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #89 on: 05/22/2018 08:17 PM »
In the CNBC interview with Gwynne shown today she said SpaceX will do 24 to 28 launches this year, but only about 18 launches next year (due to demand reduction next year).

Offline johnfwhitesell

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #90 on: 05/23/2018 04:04 AM »
In the CNBC interview with Gwynne shown today she said SpaceX will do 24 to 28 launches this year, but only about 18 launches next year (due to demand reduction next year).

Dont they have a manifest stretching for years?  Is there none of that stuff that could be moved forward?
If a conversation isn't important enough for constructive dialogue, why have it?

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2018
« Reply #91 on: 05/23/2018 06:05 AM »
Dont they have a manifest stretching for years?  Is there none of that stuff that could be moved forward?

Anything on the manifest after 2019 is there because thatís the date the customer requested (not backlog waiting for a launch slot). So Iíd expect in most (even all?) cases the payloads wonít be ready much earlier.

Things will change dramatically once Starlink is ready for launch but thatís not next year.

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