NASASpaceFlight.com Forum

SpaceX Vehicles and Missions => SpaceX Reusability => Topic started by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/06/2017 05:28 PM

Title: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/06/2017 05:28 PM
I don't think we have a thread on different SpaceX customers' (and potential customers) views on reuse?

Obviously SES have been very supportive and publicly vocal in that support for some time. NASA too, although less vocally?

SpaceX plan/hope to reuse more and more boosters, but not clear who for (beyond SES and FH demo). Let's capture others views (pro or anti) in this thread.

Here's one to kick things off:

Quote
Gen. Raymond, head of Space Command, praises SpaceX's use of AFSS and says USAF would be comfortable flying on reused Falcon rocket. #33SS

https://twitter.com/flatoday_jdean/status/850034744087777280 (https://twitter.com/flatoday_jdean/status/850034744087777280)


Edit Dec 1, 2017:

Here’s an attempt to summarise customer views on reuse over time, plus dates of reuse launches. Corrections/additions welcome in this thread or by DM.

Key
Green  1st reuse launch by listed customer
Purple  2nd or subsequent reuse by listed customer

UTC Date  CustomerEvent
2015/06/17SESM. Halliwell says SES want to reuse F9 booster (http://spacenews.com/spacex-early-adopter-ses-ready-to-reuse-falcon-9-%C2%AD-for-the-right-price/)
2016/05/24USAFClaire Leon: could be long time before govt agrees reuse for NatSec payload (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-air-force-reusability-20160524-snap-story.html)
2016/08/30SES1st booster reuse agreement announced (SES-10) (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34057.msg1574781#msg1574781)
2017/01NASANASA & SpaceX start working on booster reuse (not known publicly) (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42685.msg1757937#msg1757937)
2017/03/15USAFClaire Leon: no plans for reuse, might consider in future (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42527.msg1654941#msg1654941)
2017/03/30SESSES-10 GTO launch: 1st F9 booster reuse (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/03/spacex-new-spaceflight-successful-core-reuse/)
2017/03/30SESM [email protected] SES-10 launch press conf: 2 other SES 2017 launches likely to reuse (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/03/spacex-new-spaceflight-successful-core-reuse/)
2017/03/30SpaceXElon confirms FH demo booster reuse @ post SES-10 launch press conference (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/03/spacex-new-spaceflight-successful-core-reuse/)
2017/04/06USAFGen Raymond (Head of Space Command) says USAF would be comfortable with reuse (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42685.msg1664669#msg1664668)
2017/04/11NASAD Hartmann (Dep Mngr ISS Program): discussing reuse; may not be 2017, shortly after (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42685.msg1665907#msg1665907)
2017/05/05BulsatcomAnnouncement that BulgariaSat-1 will launch on a reused booster (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42685.msg1674922#msg1674922)
2017/05/15InmarsatCEO post I-5 F4 launch: look fwd to future reuse once reuse more proven (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42685.msg1678876#msg1678876)
2017/06/15IridiumMatt Desch says Iridium would reuse in 2018 (for big discount/schedule improvement) (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42685.msg1691740#msg1691740)
2017/06/15SpaceXVP Sales Hofeller says many customers interested in converting to flown stages (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42685.msg1695202#msg1695202)
2017/06/22HASCHouse Armed Services Committee endorses RLV use by govt (AF, DOD) (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42685.msg1692675#msg1692675)
2017/06/23BulsatcomBulgariaSat-1 GTO launch: 2nd F9 booster reuse (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/06/spacex-falcon-9-second-flight-bulgariasat-1-mission/)
2017/07/15IntelsatPost Intelsat 35e launch, VP Ken Lee says will definitely consider reuse in future (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42685.msg1699677#msg1699677)
2017/08/04SESReuse of booster for SES-11 launch confirmed (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40725.msg1709975#msg1709975)
2017/09/21USAFGen Raymond: need review to make sure reuse safe, then all in for reuse (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43782.msg1725854#msg1725854)
2017/10/11SESSES-11 GTO launch: 3rd F9 booster reuse (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/10/falcon-9-second-launch-week-ses-11/)
2017/10/12SESFirst explicit mention that SES-16 launch may reuse booster (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43418.msg1735896#msg1735896)
2017/10/16USAFGen Raymond: “absolutely foolish” not to begin using pre-flown rockets (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43782.msg1738630#msg1738630)
2017/10/18SpacecomBooster reuse for AMOS-17 launch announced (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43418.msg1739045#msg1739045)
2017/10/19IridiumAnnouncement that Iridium NEXT 4 & 5 flights will reuse boosters (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/10/iridium-4-flight-proven-falcon-9-rtls-vandenberg-delayed/)
2017/10/24NASA1st press report that NASA will reuse booster on next CRS flights (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43418.msg1741625#msg1741625)
2017/11/29NASAGerst makes official long-rumoured booster reuse for CRS-13 (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44271.msg1754178#msg1754178)
2017/12/15NASACRS-13 LEO launch: 4th F9 booster reuse (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/12/flight-proven-falcon-9-launch-flown-dragon-iss/)
2017/12/15MDAAnnouncement of F9 reuse for RADARSAT constellation (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42685.msg1760043#msg1760043)
2017/12/22HisdesatAnnouncement of F9 reuse for PAZ launch (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42485.msg1762815#msg1762815)
2017/12/23IridiumIridium NEXT 4 LEO launch: 5th F9 booster reuse (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/12/spacex-2017-campaign-iridium-4-launch/)
2018/01/11SESConfirmation of SES-16 on flight-proven booster (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36807.msg1770322#msg1770322)
2018/01/31SESSES-16/GovSat1 LEO launch: 6th F9 booster reuse (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/01/spacex-govsat-1-falcon-9-launch/)
2018/02/01-WIRED claims 50% of 2018 manifest of 30 flights will reuse boosters (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42685.msg1780883#msg1780883)
2018/02/06SpaceXFH demo BEO launch: 7th & 8th F9 booster reuse (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/02/spacex-debut-falcon-heavy-demonstration-launch/)
2018/02/1?-Gwynne Shotwell confirms around half of 2018 manifest will reuse boosters (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44987.msg1788359#msg1788359)
2018/02/22HisdesatPAZ LEO launch: 9th F9 booster reuse (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/02/spacex-falcon-9-paz-launch-starlink-demo-new-fairing/)
2018/03/14DigitalGlobeAnnouncement of 2 DigitialGlobe LEO flights for 2021 re-using boosters (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43418.msg1798963#msg1798963)
2018/03/16NASAPublic confirmation of booster reuse for CRS-14 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=45224.msg1799641#msg1799641)
2018/03/21IridiumConfirmation that Iridium NEXT 6 flight will reuse booster (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35275.msg1801460#msg1801460)
2018/03/30IridiumIridium NEXT 5 LEO launch: 10th F9 booster reuse (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/03/iridium-next-5-satellites-spacex-falcon-9/)
2018/04/02NASACRS-14 LEO launch: 11th F9 booster reuse (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/04/crs-14-spacex-falcon-9-second-flight-previously-flown-dragon/)
2018/04/05SESConfirmation of SES-12 on flight-proven booster (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43648.msg1807221#msg1807221)
2018/04/15NASASpaceX says plan to reuse TESS booster for CRS-15 (if NASA approves) (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=45038.msg1810686#msg1810686)
2018/05/22Iridium/NASAIridium NEXT 6/GRACE-FO LEO launch: 12th F9 booster reuse (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/05/falcon-9-iridium-next-6-grace-fo-launch/)
2018/06/04SESSES-12 GTO launch: 13th F9 booster reuse (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/06/falcon-9-cape-canaveral-night-launch-ses-12/)
2018/06/29NASACRS-15 LEO launch: 14th F9 booster reuse (last non-block 5 orbital launch) (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/06/final-block-4-falcon-9-crs-15-dragon-launch/)
2018/08/01CONAENSF publishes that only recently agreed SAOCOM 1A launch will use booster 1048.2 (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/08/saocom-1a-ships-vandenberg-falcon-9-first-west-coast-rtls/)
2018/08/02PerseroMerah Putih launch static fire shows 1st flight-proven block 5 booster (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=46060.msg1843215#msg1843215)
2018/08/07PerseroMerah Putih GTO launch: 15th F9 booster reuse, 1st with block 5 (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/08/spacex-falcon-9-merah-putih-block-5-reflight/)
2018/10/03SpaceflightHans Koenigsmann: possible SSO-A launch first to use a booster for 3rd time (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42685.msg1865708#msg1865708)
2018/10/07CONAESAOCOM 1A SSO launch: 16th F9 booster reuse, 1st VAFB landing (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/10/spacex-falcon-9-saocom-1a-launch-west-coast-landing/)
2018/10/18IridiumMatt Desch (Iridium CEO) confirms booster reuse (1049.2) for Iridium 8 launch (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=46116.msg1868752#msg1868752)
2018/11/15SpaceflightSpaceX confirms Spaceflight SSO-A launch 1st to use booster (1046) for 3rd time (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=46756.msg1876577#msg1876577)
2018/11/15Es’hailSatEs’hail-2 GTO launch: 17th F9 booster reuse (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/11/spacex-falcon-9-launch-eshail-2-39a/)
Planned:
2018/11/19SpaceflightSSO-A SSO launch: 18th F9 booster reuse & 1st booster to fly 3 times (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38551.0)
2018/12/30IridiumIridium NEXT 8 LEO launch: 19th F9 booster reuse (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=46116.msg1868752#msg1868752)
2019 Q1MDARCM RADARSAT Constellation SSO launch (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32492.0)
2019 Q2SpacecomAMOS-17 GTO(?) launch (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44162.0)
2021DigitalGlobeFirst SpaceX WorldView satellite LEO launch (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=45220.0)
2021DigitalGlobeSecond SpaceX WorldView satellite LEO launch (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=45220.0)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/06/2017 05:57 PM
Slightly varying reports of what the Gen said:

Quote
Gen Jay Raymond, head of Air Force Space Command, says he's "open" to using previously flown rockets for launches of military assets. #33SS
https://twitter.com/pfswarts/status/850038411910148100 (https://twitter.com/pfswarts/status/850038411910148100)

Quote
Gen Raymond says he's ready to fly a military payload on a used booster. #SpaceSymposium #33ss
https://twitter.com/pat_defdaily/status/850034233477394432 (https://twitter.com/pat_defdaily/status/850034233477394432)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/07/2017 01:28 PM
Here's a write-up by Irene Klotz of the general's remarks:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-space-spacex-military-idUSKBN1782ZS (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-space-spacex-military-idUSKBN1782ZS)

Quote
"I would be comfortable if we were to fly on a reused booster,” General John "Jay" Raymond told reporters at the U.S. Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. “They’ve proven they can do it. ... It’s going to get us to lower cost.”
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 04/09/2017 02:05 AM
Cross posting from the GPS-IIIA-3 thread with quoted comments post that award announcement.  I don't believe that Ms. Leon's comments (reported 2017-03-15) are substantially different from Gen. Raymond's (reported 2017-04-06) in the previous post.  Her's highlight the work still to be done before the AF would actually buy a launch using a pre-flown core while the General's are more big picture about their general willingness to consider doing so.

SpaceNews has a follow-up article on this contract award.

You won't be suprised to know that SpaceX won on price, but this quote is interesting on AF's view of re-use:

Quote
Meanwhile, [Claire] Leon said that the Air Force has no plans to fly payloads on Falcon 9 rockets with previously-flown first stages. The service has specifically requested SpaceX not to fly re-used hardware.

“We would have to certify flight hardware that had been used which is more qualification, more analysis, so we’re not taking that on quite yet,” she said. “If it proves to be successful for commercial, we might consider that in the future.”

http://spacenews.com/spacexs-low-cost-won-gps-3-launch-air-force-says/ (http://spacenews.com/spacexs-low-cost-won-gps-3-launch-air-force-says/)

Claire Leon is the launch enterprise director for the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Hotblack Desiato on 04/09/2017 08:21 AM
Cross posting from the GPS-IIIA-3 thread with quoted comments post that award announcement.  I don't believe that Ms. Leon's comments (reported 2017-03-15) are substantially different from Gen. Raymond's (reported 2017-04-06) in the previous post.  Her's highlight the work still to be done before the AF would actually buy a launch using a pre-flown core while the General's are more big picture about their general willingness to consider doing so.

SpaceNews has a follow-up article on this contract award.

You won't be suprised to know that SpaceX won on price, but this quote is interesting on AF's view of re-use:

Quote
Meanwhile, [Claire] Leon said that the Air Force has no plans to fly payloads on Falcon 9 rockets with previously-flown first stages. The service has specifically requested SpaceX not to fly re-used hardware.

“We would have to certify flight hardware that had been used which is more qualification, more analysis, so we’re not taking that on quite yet,” she said. “If it proves to be successful for commercial, we might consider that in the future.”

http://spacenews.com/spacexs-low-cost-won-gps-3-launch-air-force-says/ (http://spacenews.com/spacexs-low-cost-won-gps-3-launch-air-force-says/)

Claire Leon is the launch enterprise director for the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center

Economically, that is the (second)best case vor SpaceX: a customer who demands new rockets and who is willing to pay the price of those. This adds fresh rocket-stages to the pool of available rockets without having to worry about when the rockets will amortise their construction costs (the actuall best case is NASA, who is willing to pay the price-tag of the new rockets without actually demanding that they need to be pristine).

The worst case scenario would be customers, who demand the reused rockets so much, that none of them is willing to pay the fee for a fresh rocket (Similar to airplanes, where the first flight of a plane isn't ridiculously expensive just to cover the production costs).

I think, as soon as a few reused flights happened successfully, most private customers will be happy to use already used rockets, it lowers the launch price.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: macpacheco on 04/09/2017 12:57 PM
Economically the best thing is all customers signing reuse launch contracts without restrictions.
Boosters get flown 100 times, new boosters are made when needed.
The extra profit on a new booster launch contract money unlikely pays for the extra cost of building and testing it. The reflight flow for newly recovered boosters skips McGregor, so the savings isn't just manufacturing. I wouldn't be surprised if by the 3rd or 4th reflight refurb already costs about the same as McGregor resources alone.
NASA will likely require a ton of paperwork on reflown boosters, which might actually make it double logical to use new boosters on CRS/crew launches. Low thermal stress/lots of spare fuel on CRS launches.
NASA CRS missions pay a lot more but there's the Dragon costs, the mountain of additional paperwork and several extra requirements. The big $$$ advantage of serving NASA is on the development contracts where NASA paid for Crew/Cargo Dragon and part of F9 R&D costs.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 04/09/2017 02:22 PM
It would be nice to let the customers' views be presented here -- they are the ones shelling out tens of millions for launch services, not us.  As a 'guideline' I suggest that if you are not buying rocket rides, then you are OT.

For example:
Quote
Martin Halliwell(SES): You've got to decouple the engineering from the emotion.  Engineering team at SpaceX is second to none.

or

Quote
Irene Klotz: Do you have other costumers that weren't as brave as SES that are now signed up?  What is life-limiting factor?

Musk: NASA has been supportive.  Commercial, SES has been most supportive.  Next thing is how to achieve rapid reuse without major hardware changeouts.  Aspirations of zero hardware changes and 24hrs reflight.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: faramund on 04/09/2017 10:10 PM
But SpaceX sets the prices - say if customer's decide that reused stages are safer than new stages. Then SpaceX would set a cost for a reused stage higher than a new one, and if people really, really didn't want a new one, and SpaceX wanted a new stage for every 10 launches, and a new stage cost $60m. They could always just add $6m to the cost of every reused stage, and then just scrap each stage after its done 10 launches. If necessary, and assuming a reused launch cost $30m, they could always add another $3m to each launch's cost, and do a dummy launch to certify the new rocket.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 04/10/2017 01:23 AM
I think customer views on reuse will change very quickly if SpaceX can get a few customer payloads successfully flown on reused boosters.

Also, I think SES's words will change a lot of minds.  They were very clear that they have people embedded with SpaceX so they have a huge amount of insight into the internals at SpaceX and SES was not concerned at all that they were taking a significant risk with their payload.  It makes the people who were concerned look ignorant.  Nobody wants to feel ignorant, and nobody wants to see a competitor getting a better deal.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: faramund on 04/10/2017 10:57 PM
I'm very interested in seeing what the insurance difference will be for forthcoming launches. I wonder if it will be announced?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/10/2017 11:19 PM
Economically the best thing is all customers signing reuse launch contracts without restrictions.
Boosters get flown 100 times, new boosters are made when needed.
"Best" for who exactly? SX or the customer?
Quote from: macpacheco
The extra profit on a new booster launch contract money unlikely pays for the extra cost of building and testing it. The reflight flow for newly recovered boosters skips McGregor, so the savings isn't just manufacturing. I wouldn't be surprised if by the 3rd or 4th reflight refurb already costs about the same as McGregor resources alone.
So what do think the implications for your line of reasoning are?
Quote from: macpacheco
NASA will likely require a ton of paperwork on reflown boosters, which might actually make it double logical to use new boosters on CRS/crew launches. Low thermal stress/lots of spare fuel on CRS launches.
NASA CRS missions pay a lot more but there's the Dragon costs, the mountain of additional paperwork and several extra requirements. The big $$$ advantage of serving NASA is on the development contracts where NASA paid for Crew/Cargo Dragon and part of F9 R&D costs.
As Jim has pointed out NASA asked for a New Dragon price because they did not feel SX had a strong handle on refurb prices for the capsules. I think that's now changed.

In the same way I would expect as statistics accumulate on booster reuse NASA will revisit what they think are reasonable prices for refurbed Dragons, Dragon 2's and S1's.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/10/2017 11:25 PM
But SpaceX sets the prices - say if customer's decide that reused stages are safer than new stages. Then SpaceX would set a cost for a reused stage higher than a new one, and if people really, really didn't want a new one, and SpaceX wanted a new stage for every 10 launches, and a new stage cost $60m. They could always just add $6m to the cost of every reused stage, and then just scrap each stage after its done 10 launches. If necessary, and assuming a reused launch cost $30m, they could always add another $3m to each launch's cost, and do a dummy launch to certify the new rocket.
Quite correct.

Worst case is that reuse substantially lowers SpaceX's costs, but raises prices to customers.

That's worst case because it gives the customer basically nothing and will result in zero market growth.  since I don't think the benefits to the customer are that clear cut I expect SX to offer re-flowns at less than new prices (which is both fair and what every other transportation system does).

You can investigate this further by downloading my reusability cost game and setting the parameters for either 10 reuses (with no refurb costs) or dialing in what  you refurb costs will be per flight.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 04/11/2017 02:33 AM
Back on topic.  In NASA's pre-launch briefing for CRS-10, Dan Hartman--Deputy Manager, ISS Program--addressed NASA's near term plans for reusing the Dragon capsule and future plans for reuse of the Falcon 9 boosters in response to a question from Stephen Clark from SFN.

Quote from: Dan Hartman, NASA Dep. Manager ISS Program
Our plan for CRS-11, it's going to be the Dragon [that will be reused].  Not the Falcon, not a reused booster.  We've done a lot of work with SpaceX, over the last year and a half or two, looking at delta-verification requirements that we need to be comfortable to satisfy ourselves that Dragon can approach the ISS, get within the ellipsoid, and be done safely.  So, a lot of technical work is happening.  I'll tell you, everything is leaning good.  That the next dragon mission that we'll launch will be reused. 
     As far as the booster, we've just started those discussions.  We've got some teams off generating how we'll even go about requesting information from SpaceX.  Laying out our plan.  I imagine we'll have some sort of preliminary review on that in the April/May time period.   I think planning-wise, it may not happen this year.  But shortly thereafter.

The exchange can be found at time mark 22m:25s in the below youtube video.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z23RuPcdYD8
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 04/11/2017 12:47 PM
A couple more data points were added by Blue Origin... Two customers (Eutelsat and OneWeb) already signed up for what will likely be 'flight proven' rockets.  Not a certainty, but Blue has never even mentioned expendable and NG development in the same sentence.

SpaceX also has a few other customers signed up for such launches... and SES gave the nod for a couple of the next launches to be on reused boosters during the presser.  EM acted surprised (in a positive way).

With Air Force, NASA, and several commercial ventures all moving in this direction, the rest of the commercial market should start stepping up very soon.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 04/11/2017 03:45 PM
This article has a wealth of customer veiw statements. But one of the more significant is the underwriter comment. https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/03/31/spacex-flies-rocket-for-second-time-in-historic-test-of-cost-cutting-technology/
Quote
“I think a bunch of companies are waiting to see (what happens),” an insurance underwriter who works in the satellite and launch markets said before the SES 10 mission. “A lot of it does have to do with the insurance market. If this goes successfully, then a lot of customers are going to assume that the insurance community is OK with reused stages, which will be the case.”

“The bottom line is reused rockets are here to stay,” the underwriter said.

If the underwriters do not charge more for a reused booster and SpaceX charges less then the commercial sat world will accept use of the reused boosters with only a slight hesitation at first but letting the drive to cost cutting make their mind up for them.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 04/11/2017 05:53 PM
Note: SES was charged 0.01% more for the reflight by their underwriter according to Martin Halliwell.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 04/11/2017 06:06 PM
Note: SES was charged 0.01% more for the reflight by their underwriter according to Martin Halliwell.
If your value is correct that is an increase of $50K in premiums on a premium that costs $40M on a $500M (sat +launch value) for a launch insurance. Not much of a risk factor change.

Risk factors from insurance rates of underwriters:
New - 1 failure in every 12.5 launches
Used - 1 failure in every 12.4844 launches
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: envy887 on 04/11/2017 06:29 PM
Note: SES was charged 0.01% more for the reflight by their underwriter according to Martin Halliwell.
If your value is correct that is an increase of $50K in premiums on a premium that costs $40M on a $500M (sat +launch value) for a launch insurance. Not much of a risk factor change.

The value is a direct quote from the CTO at SES, I don't think you'll find a better source. According to a recent SpaceNews article, insurance for a flight on Ariane 5 could be purchased for 4% of insured value, and rates for Falcon 9 were similar: http://spacenews.com/space-insurers-warn-that-current-low-rates-are-not-sustainable/

Of course, if SES is also are insuring the cost of the launch, the cheaper flight rate on a used booster also factors in: at 4% premiums, the (approximately) $18.6M reflight discount should result in a premium $746k lower. A slightly higher rate will quickly eat this savings, but not at the 0.01% rate increase levels.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 04/11/2017 06:42 PM
Note: SES was charged 0.01% more for the reflight by their underwriter according to Martin Halliwell.
If your value is correct that is an increase of $50K in premiums on a premium that costs $40M on a $500M (sat +launch value) for a launch insurance. Not much of a risk factor change.

The value is a direct quote from the CTO at SES, I don't think you'll find a better source. According to a recent SpaceNews article, insurance for a flight on Ariane 5 could be purchased for 4% of insured value, and rates for Falcon 9 were similar: http://spacenews.com/space-insurers-warn-that-current-low-rates-are-not-sustainable/

Of course, if SES is also are insuring the cost of the launch, the cheaper flight rate on a used booster also factors in: at 4% premiums, the (approximately) $18.6M reflight discount should result in a premium $746k lower. A slightly higher rate will quickly eat this savings, but not at the 0.01% rate increase levels.
Thanks about that. So not only is the launch costs going down, but because the risk factor has little change the premiums are going down too because the amount of insurance required went down. 

So the underwriter statement is just a matter of a short amount of time before commercial does not care about new or used status of the booster coming true.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 04/11/2017 07:44 PM
...
The value is a direct quote from the CTO at SES, I don't think you'll find a better source. According to a recent SpaceNews article, insurance for a flight on Ariane 5 could be purchased for 4% of insured value, and rates for Falcon 9 were similar: http://spacenews.com/space-insurers-warn-that-current-low-rates-are-not-sustainable/
...

Worthwhile to include the full text:

Quote
“Ariane 5 insurance rates are around the 4 percent mark,” said Russell Sawyer, executive director of Willis Towers Watson’s Inspace brokerage. “If you had talked about launch and in-orbit rates being that low 15 years ago, everybody would have thought you were crazy.”

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket can be insured for only slightly higher rates than Ariane 5. Russia’s Proton vehicle, which has suffered multiple failures in the past five years, is insured at around triple the rate for Ariane 5, according to figures produced by underwriter SCOR Global.

Proton's rate is shocking... customers will certainly notice this surcharge (as well as the basis for it) that wipes out the cost advantage of going with Proton -- 8% increase on a $500M satellite would be $40M of increased premium.  On the other hand, the 'slightly higher' rates for Falcon 9 would be more than compensated by lower launch costs.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: ArbitraryConstant on 04/11/2017 08:35 PM
Proton's rate is shocking... customers will certainly notice this surcharge (as well as the basis for it) that wipes out the cost advantage of going with Proton -- 8% increase on a $500M satellite would be $40M of increased premium.  On the other hand, the 'slightly higher' rates for Falcon 9 would be more than compensated by lower launch costs.
I'm curious why Falcon 9 is so low in that case, as they've had several of their own failures.

Even if we ignore Amos 6 since it's a design flaw that can be addressed, I don't know how we can be so confident a this point that all such issues have been shaken out, and CRS-7 failed due to a material/process issue that seems like it shows them to be vulnerable to other failures of that type.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: kaiser on 04/11/2017 08:42 PM
Proton's rate is shocking... customers will certainly notice this surcharge (as well as the basis for it) that wipes out the cost advantage of going with Proton -- 8% increase on a $500M satellite would be $40M of increased premium.  On the other hand, the 'slightly higher' rates for Falcon 9 would be more than compensated by lower launch costs.
I'm curious why Falcon 9 is so low in that case, as they've had several of their own failures.

Even if we ignore Amos 6 since it's a design flaw that can be addressed, I don't know how we can be so confident a this point that all such issues have been shaken out, and CRS-7 failed due to a material/process issue that seems like it shows them to be vulnerable to other failures of that type.

My guess would be internal data -- the information that SpaceX has shared about their failure data and corrective actions likely adds some confidence bringing down rates more so than Proton's.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: envy887 on 04/11/2017 08:45 PM
Proton's rate is shocking... customers will certainly notice this surcharge (as well as the basis for it) that wipes out the cost advantage of going with Proton -- 8% increase on a $500M satellite would be $40M of increased premium.  On the other hand, the 'slightly higher' rates for Falcon 9 would be more than compensated by lower launch costs.
I'm curious why Falcon 9 is so low in that case, as they've had several of their own failures.

Even if we ignore Amos 6 since it's a design flaw that can be addressed, I don't know how we can be so confident a this point that all such issues have been shaken out, and CRS-7 failed due to a material/process issue that seems like it shows them to be vulnerable to other failures of that type.

I'm very curious about this as well. But SpaceX's customers and their insurers have far better insight into SpaceX's failures, investigations, and processes than we do. NASA and USAF in particular have very good insight and both appear to be receptive to booster reflights.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: J-V on 04/12/2017 06:00 AM
I don't know it this has been discussed in another thread already, but does lowering of launch cost have any effect on how the payloads are designed? If a launch costs $100M+, it doesn't help too much to build a cheaper satellite because your total cost is dominated by the launch cost. If launch cost is around $40M, does it make sense to make simpler satellites, but launch a few more. This seems to be the case for LEO constellations, but are GEO birds limited by orbital slots or some other constraint?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/12/2017 07:57 AM
I don't know it this has been discussed in another thread already, but does lowering of launch cost have any effect on how the payloads are designed? If a launch costs $100M+, it doesn't help too much to build a cheaper satellite because your total cost is dominated by the launch cost. If launch cost is around $40M, does it make sense to make simpler satellites, but launch a few more. This seems to be the case for LEO constellations, but are GEO birds limited by orbital slots or some other constraint?
In theory launch cost has nothing to do with payload cost because they are totally different things.

IRL JPL have stated that their rough rule of thumb is the payload is about 2x the launch cost and the ops budget is about 3x the launch cost. Hence you see descriptions of "Pioneer" or "Discovery" class missions with different masses and hence needing different LV's. I'm quite sure other organizations have their one rules of thumb.

So if the payload price (for a reasonable sized payload) drops enough you either have to make everything a lot cheaper (JPL and Goddard are IIRC already leaders in the use of AI techniques in payload monitoring, fault diagnosis and experiment planning, although I suspect SX have studied their work closely) or run detailed cost planning to identify where the money really goes and ask for that instead.

However low launch price are only a part of the issue.

What the military calls "responsive space" is also needed. With a low enough launch price you can launch satellites without triple redundancy and cross strapping of I/O that comm sats have, provided if it does fail you can get a replacement on orbit adequately "quickly," for varying definitions of quickly.

That means either on orbit spares (needs a bigger LV, or make multiple smaller payloads) or you can more or less ask for a launch on demand. You may also need to build a satellite on demand if you didn't buy a bunch when you made the original. Being able to recover part or all of the satellite would also be nice (especially if people want to get serious about space mfg).
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 04/12/2017 08:22 AM
Proton's rate is shocking... customers will certainly notice this surcharge (as well as the basis for it) that wipes out the cost advantage of going with Proton -- 8% increase on a $500M satellite would be $40M of increased premium.  On the other hand, the 'slightly higher' rates for Falcon 9 would be more than compensated by lower launch costs.
I'm curious why Falcon 9 is so low in that case, as they've had several of their own failures.

Even if we ignore Amos 6 since it's a design flaw that can be addressed, I don't know how we can be so confident a this point that all such issues have been shaken out, and CRS-7 failed due to a material/process issue that seems like it shows them to be vulnerable to other failures of that type.

The root causes of CRS-7 were fixed just as much as the root causes of Amos 6.  Neither can happen again.  And the CRS-7 issue was with a supplier, not with SpaceX, except to the extent that SpaceX should be blamed for trusting the supplier.

We can't be sure that all the issues have been shaken out.  That's why the insurance isn't free.  But the insurance costs being comparable to those of A5 means that the insurance companies have studied the details long and hard and concluded that the risks going forward are similar for F9 and A5.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Rei on 04/12/2017 08:51 AM
I don't know it this has been discussed in another thread already, but does lowering of launch cost have any effect on how the payloads are designed? If a launch costs $100M+, it doesn't help too much to build a cheaper satellite because your total cost is dominated by the launch cost. If launch cost is around $40M, does it make sense to make simpler satellites, but launch a few more. This seems to be the case for LEO constellations, but are GEO birds limited by orbital slots or some other constraint?

I don't have the refs onhand, but I'd previously seen some work suggesting a very strong dependence on payload costs with launch costs. Shaving mass is very expensive (ex., the several-orders-magnitude difference in price between triple-junction and off-the-shelf solar cells), you can tolerate more risk in your design when launches are cheap (aka, if your design fails, you don't get stuck with a second ridiculously expensive launch), and the total market increases dramatically, which means that your component suppliers gain economies of scale.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: J-V on 04/12/2017 09:16 AM
I don't know it this has been discussed in another thread already, but does lowering of launch cost have any effect on how the payloads are designed? If a launch costs $100M+, it doesn't help too much to build a cheaper satellite because your total cost is dominated by the launch cost. If launch cost is around $40M, does it make sense to make simpler satellites, but launch a few more. This seems to be the case for LEO constellations, but are GEO birds limited by orbital slots or some other constraint?

I don't have the refs onhand, but I'd previously seen some work suggesting a very strong dependence on payload costs with launch costs. Shaving mass is very expensive (ex., the several-orders-magnitude difference in price between triple-junction and off-the-shelf solar cells), you can tolerate more risk in your design when launches are cheap (aka, if your design fails, you don't get stuck with a second ridiculously expensive launch), and the total market increases dramatically, which means that your component suppliers gain economies of scale.

So in theory reusable flights being cheaper could start a positive spiral of cost reductions. Cheaper launches -> cheaper payloads -> more payloads -> more launches -> economics of scale -> cheaper launches. Of course there is more to the equation than just sats and LVs, but I could imagine that things such as GSE, launch sites, etc. are somewhat easier things to deal with than reusability.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/12/2017 09:21 AM
Can I suggest starting a new thread on the impact of reduced launch costs on payloads? (although there may well be another one already)

The aim for this thread was rather more modest, to collect evidence for SpaceX customers' opinions on re-use.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 04/12/2017 05:24 PM
I am not sure if this one was posted earlier but here is Inmarsat's view on reuse.
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/03/29/521941656/launch-land-launch-spacex-tries-reusing-its-rocket (http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/03/29/521941656/launch-land-launch-spacex-tries-reusing-its-rocket)

Quote
"This is indeed a first," says Michele Franci, the chief technology officer of Inmarsat, a London company that runs a satellite network for tracking ships and planes. Inmarsat is a SpaceX customer, and Franci says if launch costs come down, companies like his could launch more satellites, more often, and build a better network.

But he says that to really bring prices down, SpaceX will have to recycle each rocket more than just once.

"The question is how many times they can reuse each individual rocket, and how often they can do it," he says.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/12/2017 07:52 PM
So in theory reusable flights being cheaper could start a positive spiral of cost reductions. Cheaper launches -> cheaper payloads -> more payloads -> more launches -> economics of scale -> cheaper launches. Of course there is more to the equation than just sats and LVs, but I could imagine that things such as GSE, launch sites, etc. are somewhat easier things to deal with than reusability.
The problem is the bar has been so high for so long that it has to go down a lot for that cycle to start.

It has to get to the point where people stop saying "That idea would work great but the (current) launch prices will wipe us out" to "we can make this work. let's start making some calls to raise the cash."
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 04/12/2017 08:13 PM
The implications from the Inmarsat's CTO comment is that with cheaper launch the inflection point where design life/costs of the sat makes more sense to have sats design life of significantly less than 15+ years so that the replacement rate is once every 7-10 years. This is an increase in launch rate of up to a factor of 2 without actually increasing the number of on-orbit active sats. They are just swapped out more often.

It has to do with the business case in that a shorter life (cheaper sat) + cheaper launch, does that result in more profit?

What the hint is that the answer could very well be yes to this question.

The result for SpaceX would be instead of 10-15 GEOSAT launches /year they would in 5 years be doing 20-30 GEOSAT launches/yr.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: garcianc on 04/13/2017 03:05 AM
I was hesitant to introduce any speculation on this thread, but the original post did say "potential" customers. So I see this as a good place to ask about a couple of potential scenarios that I have not seen discussed elsewhere.

1. If I were a customer who paid a premium for a brand new booster, I would consider that (to use the airplane analogy) I paid for not just the flight, but for the airplane itself. Therefore, the hardware "belongs" to me and SpaceX should buy it back or let me continue to use it.

2. Along the same lines, what if I were a customer who demanded a brand new booster, paid a premium, then expected to reuse that same hardware on subsequent flights for a cost less than a new customer who would fly on the same hardware? For example, if customer B pays 60% of the advertised rate to use flight-proven hardware, me (customer A) would expect to pay less (i.e. 40%) for reusing hardware that I originally paid full price for.

or

3. A customer who wants to pay a discounted rate, regardless of hardware, as part of a bundle of multiple missions. For example, a contract for 3 missions at 66% the advertised rate (3 for 2) that allows SpaceX to decide which hardware to use or re-use. The contract could have bonus clauses to, for example, deliver all missions within a negotiated time frame, which would drive and essentially pay for rapid reusability improvements.

I think scenario 3 is where I would expect things to go.

Mods, please feel free to delete this if it is too speculative for this thread.

Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Dao Angkan on 04/13/2017 06:26 AM
A better airplane analogy would be chartering a cargo flight.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/13/2017 06:39 AM
A better airplane analogy would be chartering a cargo flight.

Yes, the service customers are buying is delivery of payload(s) to orbit. SpaceX don't just provide the LV, they operate it too.

I put 'potential customers' in the OP because I'm interested in what the whole launch market (not just existing SpaceX customers) think of re-use. For some time there's been a view that just because re-use may be technically achievable it doesn't mean that it's economically viable. One key aspect of that is whether there's any demand for (or at least tolerance of) re-use, hence this thread.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: meekGee on 04/13/2017 06:57 AM
The implications from the Inmarsat's CTO comment is that with cheaper launch the inflection point where design life/costs of the sat makes more sense to have sats design life of significantly less than 15+ years so that the replacement rate is once every 7-10 years. This is an increase in launch rate of up to a factor of 2 without actually increasing the number of on-orbit active sats. They are just swapped out more often.

It has to do with the business case in that a shorter life (cheaper sat) + cheaper launch, does that result in more profit?

What the hint is that the answer could very well be yes to this question.

The result for SpaceX would be instead of 10-15 GEOSAT launches /year they would in 5 years be doing 20-30 GEOSAT launches/yr.
From the customer's POV, it's not just that satellites can be designed for a shorter life time, it's that they can keep on-orbit technology more up to date.

15 years is a long time in telecom. 
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Lar on 04/13/2017 01:48 PM
I wonder if and when SpaceX will drop their "free relaunch if your launch fails" policy[1]?  That may affect customer perception.

1 - or practice, or generally done thing, whatever it is, not sure it's actual "policy" per se...
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: ugordan on 04/13/2017 02:13 PM
I wonder if and when SpaceX will drop their "free relaunch if your launch fails" policy[1]?  That may affect customer perception.

Does it really affect customer perception as much as, say, insisting on four-leaf clovers on mission patches, despite losing two vehicles over a span of barely a year?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 04/13/2017 04:28 PM
I wonder if and when SpaceX will drop their "free relaunch if your launch fails" policy[1]?  That may affect customer perception.

Does it really affect customer perception as much as, say, insisting on four-leaf clovers on mission patches, despite losing two vehicles over a span of barely a year?
This is nothing more than SpaceX telling their customers that SpaceX will insure the costs of the launch as part of the price. That value is between a $2-4M discount on the $62M price for the customer. For the government they self insure and are unlikely to relaunch the same or very similar payload. Both the DOD and especially NASA the payloads are mostly one of a kind. For them this feature is not actually usable depending on the contract details for the replacement flight.

The other item to this is that it locks the customer into using SpaceX for it's replacement sat.

This would be seen by customers as a marketing incentive by SpaceX. The question is: does this marketing incentive actually achieve it's goal?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: faramund on 04/14/2017 05:39 AM
I was hesitant to introduce any speculation on this thread, but the original post did say "potential" customers. So I see this as a good place to ask about a couple of potential scenarios that I have not seen discussed elsewhere.

1. If I were a customer who paid a premium for a brand new booster, I would consider that (to use the airplane analogy) I paid for not just the flight, but for the airplane itself. Therefore, the hardware "belongs" to me and SpaceX should buy it back or let me continue to use it.


Really, if a car hire place, that usually hires for $100 a day, did a special offer where if you paid an extra $100 - it would allow the first 5 such ustomer's to hire a new car - would suddenly mean that the customer's would think that the hire place should buy the car back or let them continue to use it?

How is this different?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/14/2017 04:12 PM
Yes, the service customers are buying is delivery of payload(s) to orbit. SpaceX don't just provide the LV, they operate it too.
What SX provide (like every other launch services provider) is a ticket to ride. If it works great. If it goes bang call your insurer or check your bank balance and see if you've got enough left to have another go.

No launch service provider actually sells you a rocket, and while space launch continues to be done by the ICBM paradigm I doubt anyone every will. It'll be one mfg/one service provider, regardless of wheather or not your purchase has paid the whole up front cost of the first stage.

Quote from: FutureSpaceTourist
I put 'potential customers' in the OP because I'm interested in what the whole launch market (not just existing SpaceX customers) think of re-use. For some time there's been a view that just because re-use may be technically achievable it doesn't mean that it's economically viable. One key aspect of that is whether there's any demand for (or at least tolerance of) re-use, hence this thread.
There's always going to be customer interest in lower prices. If that also gives them a vehicle that has also already been partly field tested that seems quite attractive.

Of course that would be for every other transportation mode.

As LV mfg never cease to tell people space launch is "special." So the question is does the landing and reuse destroy any likely hood that the first flight proves the first stage will work again.

"Economic viability" is the vendors problem. So far the vendors have said it's not viable and only offer fully expendable vehicles. Only SX has disagreed with this stance. I suspect in a very narrow economic sense they [EDIT I mean the other launch service suppliers, who all seem to be publicly quoted] are right. And as long as the launch market remains as it is they will continue to be right, unless something quite radical happens to  the launch market.

Time will tell if SX is that something.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: MP99 on 04/14/2017 05:17 PM
I was hesitant to introduce any speculation on this thread, but the original post did say "potential" customers. So I see this as a good place to ask about a couple of potential scenarios that I have not seen discussed elsewhere.

1. If I were a customer who paid a premium for a brand new booster, I would consider that (to use the airplane analogy) I paid for not just the flight, but for the airplane itself. Therefore, the hardware "belongs" to me and SpaceX should buy it back or let me continue to use it.

2. Along the same lines, what if I were a customer who demanded a brand new booster, paid a premium, then expected to reuse that same hardware on subsequent flights for a cost less than a new customer who would fly on the same hardware? For example, if customer B pays 60% of the advertised rate to use flight-proven hardware, me (customer A) would expect to pay less (i.e. 40%) for reusing hardware that I originally paid full price for.

or

3. A customer who wants to pay a discounted rate, regardless of hardware, as part of a bundle of multiple missions. For example, a contract for 3 missions at 66% the advertised rate (3 for 2) that allows SpaceX to decide which hardware to use or re-use. The contract could have bonus clauses to, for example, deliver all missions within a negotiated time frame, which would drive and essentially pay for rapid reusability improvements.

I think scenario 3 is where I would expect things to go.

Mods, please feel free to delete this if it is too speculative for this thread.

I'd say that there is an extensive history of various providers launching rockets on their first use. The payload owner is making a "conservative" decision to use F9 in this mode.

Also, F9 or FH have a level of performance in expendable mode. The customer has already managed to buy a launch on that vehicle at a lower cost than they'd otherwise expect because SpaceX have reserved performance to recover S1.

ULA would scale their vehicle to the payload using solids. In order to reserve that much extra performance they'd need to swallow the cost of extra solids. Ariane might offer rideshare with a secondary payload because of such a gap between vehicle performance and payload size.

Of course, there will be a transitional period where customers have paid an "expendable" price, but SpaceX fly S1 with reduced performance such that they can recover it. This could have an impact to risk where S2 underperforms. ISTM appropriate for SpaceX to reimburse the insurer for increased risk in this case.

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/28/2017 11:12 AM
SES appear  to be reporting financial results (based on a series of @pbdes (https://twitter.com/pbdes) tweets).

This tweet caught my eye:

Quote
Peter B. de Selding‏ @pbdes 14m14 minutes ago

@SES_Satellites CEO: W @SpaceX launch of SES-10 w/ previously flown stage, 'we expect considerable improvements in cadence & economics.'

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/857911479705755648 (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/857911479705755648)

I imagine other comms providers are paying close attention?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 04/29/2017 12:56 AM
Yes the other side of the coin of reuse is booster availability and schedule reliability. If you do not have to manufacture a new booster and only spend six weeks to get a booster ready to fly again that improves the cadence and the scheduling reliability related to a availability of boosters. So as the reuse rate goes up (reuse flights to total flights) then so will cadence and scheduling reliability. It takes about 18 months from start of the long lead items to manufacture a booster but it could take easily as little as six weeks for a used one.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 04/29/2017 06:35 PM
24 hours, not six weeks, is the goal I've heard from reliable sources...   ;)
Probably is close to six weeks now.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Coastal Ron on 04/29/2017 06:47 PM
It takes about 18 months from start of the long lead items to manufacture a booster...

I would imagine only if you're counting long lead parts at the suppliers.  But once the logistics pipeline is filled up and your BOM is only experiencing minor changes this is not even really a consideration.

Quote
...but it could take easily as little as six weeks for a used one.

SpaceX is not remanufacturing each flown booster.  Today they do some refurbishing, although that is because they have not flown their Block 5 versions yet which shouldn't require any refurbishment.  But refurbishment is far less complex than remanufacturing which typically implies taking apart everything and then rebuilding.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 04/29/2017 07:28 PM
It takes about 18 months from start of the long lead items to manufacture a booster...

I would imagine only if you're counting long lead parts at the suppliers.  But once the logistics pipeline is filled up and your BOM is only experiencing minor changes this is not even really a consideration.

Quote
...but it could take easily as little as six weeks for a used one.

SpaceX is not remanufacturing each flown booster.  Today they do some refurbishing, although that is because they have not flown their Block 5 versions yet which shouldn't require any refurbishment.  But refurbishment is far less complex than remanufacturing which typically implies taking apart everything and then rebuilding.
The 6 weeks is an implied estimate from the SpaceX indicated cost of refurbishment for these next boosters of ~$1M. That translates into about 25 people working on the booster for 6 weeks. If you have 150 people available then 6 boosters simultaneously being processed would push out a refurbed booster each week.

Meaning that the biggest problem is additional space for the refurbishment of boosters at the Cape.

The other problem at launch rates of 50+ a year is the manufacture of US's.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Coastal Ron on 04/29/2017 10:21 PM
The other problem at launch rates of 50+ a year is the manufacture of US's.

The Hawthorne factory was set up to manufacture 40 cores per year, and that would have included a mix of upper stages.  So with reuse, building 50 upper stages should be doable with their current manufacturing capabilities.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 04/30/2017 07:37 PM
The other problem at launch rates of 50+ a year is the manufacture of US's.

The Hawthorne factory was set up to manufacture 40 cores per year, and that would have included a mix of upper stages.  So with reuse, building 50 upper stages should be doable with their current manufacturing capabilities.
With SpaceX current level of manpower they should be able to produce 45 US and 5 1st stage in 1 year. But this represents a reuse rate of 90%. That level of reuse is not likely to occur until late 2019 or 2020. But between now and then they will most likely increase their level of manpower making it possible that once they get to a reuse rate of 90% the number of US's that they could produce could be as high as 75. The problem is in the short term where the reuse rates are low. Their current production rate of 18 core sets per year is a limiting item on flight rate. But with only a few reuse flights especially the FH the flight rate could be in the 20's without much difficulty. At a flight rate of 25 to 30 in one year they will run through their backlog of payloads and be looking for new and bigger constellations work. Normally without any significant downtime the payloads out there could sustain a flight rate of almost 25. But for a flight  rate of 50+ would mean that there is most likely their own comm sat constellation deployment occurring using 25 to 30 additional launches in 1 year. SpaceX costs for these launch should be around $30M each for a F9 flight.

Now back to customer's views on reusability. The key point from the SES statement is the affect that reusability will have on cadence and the more important point of the availability of boosters for schedule reliability.

Edit Added:
There is another aspect of reused boosters and that is there is a possibility of increase in reliability  in using a booster that has already been "tested" in a real flight. The jury is still out on this aspect but it could have a major impact on SpaceX's failure rates if the flight reliability does indeed go up for used boosters from that of a new one. with used booster accounting for 70 to 90% of all flights the reliability rate average will go up.  If that does work out then being the first to fly on a new booster may get a discount because of its lower (small amount hopefully though) reliability.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 04/30/2017 10:29 PM
The effects on market value/pricing have little to do with costing and/or schedule, which are abstractions as far as the commercial customer sees (govt launch has visibility inside at costing as well as how the provider serves things up). There are three realities that affect the market - lowest launch price in category, shortest time to on-orbit, and LOM.

From these, the "customers" start the dance with providers/insurers, and eventually conclude/shift with/to a provider. Lets be clear that provider pricing is a highly non transparent undertaking.

There is another aspect of reused boosters and that is there is a possibility of increase in reliability  in using a booster that has already been "tested" in a real flight. The jury is still out on this aspect but it could have a major impact on SpaceX's failure rates if the flight reliability does indeed go up for used boosters from that of a new one. with used booster accounting for 70 to 90% of all flights the reliability rate average will go up.  If that does work out then being the first to fly on a new booster may get a discount because of its lower (small amount hopefully though) reliability.

This is specifically the advocacy that SX is pushing right now. The idea is to drive up the concern that no LV really has had adequate testing, and that even Atlas/Ariane levels of reliability are based much on flukes.

One way you could do this is take flight history observations out of the recycled boosters and use them to illustrate "surprises" found on inspection. They don't have to say anything more, because the absence of it from other vendors does the talking.

So flight history is given a voice at the negotiating table, as the negative potentially turns positive.

It is very clear that Shotwell thinks that it may be possible to have a higher value proposition for a reused booster, one that might grow to 2x the value of the launch. Dr. Sowers did not factor this in to his spreadsheet.

(One of the weakest parts of aerospace business has been the relative "stupidity" of the "business" side, because they didn't have to be so bright. Now, pair that with the San Francisco start-up scene's ruthless, cutthroat weasels that those like SX have imported in to aerospace, and ... it isn't even a fair fight ...)

(This goes for sats as well BTW.)

Back to the engineering. The arguments about reuse "paying off" center around the difficulty in proving the structures/engines tolerating the operating environment for even one cycle, let alone a hundred (or more).

Yet we have models that work for aircraft aerostructures in the millions of cycles. Some of which have been extending into the single digit Mach space. With a means of validating them.

Such models give you a "hill" graph - the usefulness of a particular vehicle "peaks" before a threshold. My bet is that they will assemble same, and then take a few of the "over the hill" LV's and speculatively fly them as a marketing maneuver to demonstrate how much "margin" there is in actuality.

A Bezos could buy a fully reusable launch vehicle eventually, and even run it. But he couldn't buy the veracity obtained by the above process, so his aggregate business (sum of all value X missions) would likely be but a fraction of SX's.

Changing the launch provider market here has many advantages.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/01/2017 12:54 PM
Quote
USAF Lt Gen Steven Kwast comparing low-cost launch with other transportation innovations that “changes the human condition.”
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/859026553518403584 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/859026553518403584)

Quote
Kwast says that people can feel the power of the implications of reusable launch vehicles #ulcats
https://twitter.com/nasawatch/status/859026239197257728 (https://twitter.com/nasawatch/status/859026239197257728)

Edit to add:

Quote
Kwast says recent Air Univ. study on ultra low-cost access to space (ULCATS) not intended to pick “winners and losers” but set conditions.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/859027225613565952 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/859027225613565952)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 05/01/2017 01:32 PM
NRO: :)
#NROL76 launched today at 7:15 a.m. EDT. Congratulations to the team! @SpaceX, @45thSpaceWing, @NASAKennedy
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/01/2017 02:29 PM
ULA response at same forum as Lt agency Kwast:

Quote
Les Kovacs, ULA: want to throw a wet blanket on concept of reusability. Additional systems needed to land stages comes at cost of payload.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/859033383598477312 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/859033383598477312)

Oh dear. Guess what ULA, customers don't care if rocket is still powerful to lift their payloads (and on the evidence so far F9 is doing just fine on that score).
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 05/01/2017 04:40 PM
ULA response at same forum as Lt agency Kwast:

Quote
Les Kovacs, ULA: want to throw a wet blanket on concept of reusability. Additional systems needed to land stages comes at cost of payload.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/859033383598477312 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/859033383598477312)

Oh dear. Guess what ULA, customers don't care if rocket is still powerful to lift their payloads (and on the evidence so far F9 is doing just fine on that score).

Will be interesting to see from whom Boeing buys their dozens of constellation launches. 
That could be the real wet blanket.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Star One on 05/01/2017 04:45 PM
ULA response at same forum as Lt agency Kwast:

Quote
Les Kovacs, ULA: want to throw a wet blanket on concept of reusability. Additional systems needed to land stages comes at cost of payload.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/859033383598477312 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/859033383598477312)

Oh dear. Guess what ULA, customers don't care if rocket is still powerful to lift their payloads (and on the evidence so far F9 is doing just fine on that score).

That's not a very constructive response by them.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: getitdoneinspace on 05/01/2017 09:26 PM
ULA response at same forum as Lt agency Kwast:

Quote
Les Kovacs, ULA: want to throw a wet blanket on concept of reusability. Additional systems needed to land stages comes at cost of payload.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/859033383598477312 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/859033383598477312)

Oh dear. Guess what ULA, customers don't care if rocket is still powerful to lift their payloads (and on the evidence so far F9 is doing just fine on that score).

That's not a very constructive response by them.

Tory Bruno has one heck of a challenge to change this culture given the persistence of this attitude even with the ever growing pile of evidence that reuseability is the only viable path forward to have a sustainable future.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/02/2017 01:39 PM
Quote
Jeff Foust‏ @jeff_foust 4m4 minutes ago

Marion Blakey, former FAA administrator: reusability of launch vehicles is an absolute game-changer; changes a lot of business calculations.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/859400441951645696 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/859400441951645696)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 05/02/2017 04:12 PM
Air Force:

Quote
SpaceX, Blue Origin have opened a “window of opportunity” for US Air Force

Quote
On Monday morning, SpaceX successfully launched a national security payload for the first time, cracking the market for US military missions. The first stage of the rocket then landed within a couple of miles from where it had taken off less than 10 minutes earlier, marking the tenth time SpaceX has safely returned a first stage to Earth.

The US military has taken note of these achievements, as well as those of Blue Origin and its reusable New Shepard suborbital vehicle—and that company’s ambitions to also build a large, reusable orbital rocket. “This has opened up a window of opportunity and gotten the attention of serious people,” Charles Miller, an aerospace consultant and president of NexGen Space, told Ars.

To that end Miller partnered with a number of Air Force officers at Air University and former Air Force officials to study the potential effects of lower-cost access to space on the US military. The “Fast Space” report, which has been briefed to senior officials in the US military and government in recent months, concludes that the US Air Force can benefit from these commercial developments.

“The USAF can form private sector partnerships to create a virtuous cycle of launch cost reductions of between 3 and 10 times lower than today’s costs,” the report finds. “Doing so could enable completely new approaches for the Air Force to defend American values, protect American interests, and enhance opportunities to exploit the unique global advantages of the ultimate high ground.”

The key concept in the report is “ultra low-cost access to space” enabled by reusable launch vehicle technology.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/05/air-force-study-says-us-government-should-get-serious-about-reusable-rockets/

And the Fast Space report:
http://www.airuniversity.af.mil/Portals/10/Research/documents/Space/Fast%20Space_Public_2017.pdf?ver=2017-03-10-113507-743
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Star One on 05/02/2017 04:39 PM
Air Force:

Quote
SpaceX, Blue Origin have opened a “window of opportunity” for US Air Force

Quote
On Monday morning, SpaceX successfully launched a national security payload for the first time, cracking the market for US military missions. The first stage of the rocket then landed within a couple of miles from where it had taken off less than 10 minutes earlier, marking the tenth time SpaceX has safely returned a first stage to Earth.

The US military has taken note of these achievements, as well as those of Blue Origin and its reusable New Shepard suborbital vehicle—and that company’s ambitions to also build a large, reusable orbital rocket. “This has opened up a window of opportunity and gotten the attention of serious people,” Charles Miller, an aerospace consultant and president of NexGen Space, told Ars.

To that end Miller partnered with a number of Air Force officers at Air University and former Air Force officials to study the potential effects of lower-cost access to space on the US military. The “Fast Space” report, which has been briefed to senior officials in the US military and government in recent months, concludes that the US Air Force can benefit from these commercial developments.

“The USAF can form private sector partnerships to create a virtuous cycle of launch cost reductions of between 3 and 10 times lower than today’s costs,” the report finds. “Doing so could enable completely new approaches for the Air Force to defend American values, protect American interests, and enhance opportunities to exploit the unique global advantages of the ultimate high ground.”

The key concept in the report is “ultra low-cost access to space” enabled by reusable launch vehicle technology.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/05/air-force-study-says-us-government-should-get-serious-about-reusable-rockets/

And the Fast Space report:
http://www.airuniversity.af.mil/Portals/10/Research/documents/Space/Fast%20Space_Public_2017.pdf?ver=2017-03-10-113507-743

Thanks for those links. I'd think the USAF were very much noting yesterday's launch and I am sure even something as trivial as the eye catching video of the first stage return would have helped.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 05/02/2017 05:24 PM
Couldn't hurt...
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 05/02/2017 05:26 PM
ULA response at same forum as Lt agency Kwast:

Quote
Les Kovacs, ULA: want to throw a wet blanket on concept of reusability. Additional systems needed to land stages comes at cost of payload.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/859033383598477312 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/859033383598477312)

Oh dear. Guess what ULA, customers don't care if rocket is still powerful to lift their payloads (and on the evidence so far F9 is doing just fine on that score).

That's not a very constructive response by them.

Tory Bruno has one heck of a challenge to change this culture given the persistence of this attitude even with the ever growing pile of evidence that reuseability is the only viable path forward to have a sustainable future.

The SMART reuse concept/promotion (instead of booster reuse) is a product of the Tory regime.
He personally made a pretty strong argument that launches would never become a commodity. 
Doesn't sound like he is part of the solution.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Star One on 05/02/2017 05:34 PM
ULA response at same forum as Lt agency Kwast:

Quote
Les Kovacs, ULA: want to throw a wet blanket on concept of reusability. Additional systems needed to land stages comes at cost of payload.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/859033383598477312 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/859033383598477312)

Oh dear. Guess what ULA, customers don't care if rocket is still powerful to lift their payloads (and on the evidence so far F9 is doing just fine on that score).

That's not a very constructive response by them.

Tory Bruno has one heck of a challenge to change this culture given the persistence of this attitude even with the ever growing pile of evidence that reuseability is the only viable path forward to have a sustainable future.

The SMART reuse concept/promotion (instead of booster reuse) is a product of the Tory regime.
He personally made a pretty strong argument that launches would never become a commodity. 
Doesn't sound like he is part of the solution.

Are we entering the era where ULA's seeming current corporate culture is now a hinderance rather than a help?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/02/2017 06:26 PM
I'd think the USAF were very much noting yesterday's launch and I am sure even something as trivial as the eye catching video of the first stage return would have helped.

Especially given who was there yesterday to watch in person:

Quote
It was an honor to host CSAF @GenDaveGoldfein at the 45th SW! Thank you for taking time to meet with our #Airmen and launch team!

https://twitter.com/45thspacewing/status/859418492772261888 (https://twitter.com/45thspacewing/status/859418492772261888)

I had to look it up, Chief of Staff of the Air Force (CSAF) is no 2 at the AF and a member of the joint chiefs of staff (AF no 1 being vice chair of the joint chiefs)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Star One on 05/02/2017 06:34 PM
Nothing like impressing the big boss. This all plays into the Air Force's long held desire for rapid access to space. Something they know certain peer competitors will also be seeking.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 05/02/2017 07:17 PM
Nothing like impressing the big boss. This all plays into the Air Force's long held desire for rapid access to space. Something they know certain peer competitors will also be seeking.

That is an interesting point...
Once reusable rockets are proven (I think they are now), the US military must go all-in on them, lest the Chinese do -- they are certainly capable of copying anything -- and space access becomes no contest.  Talk about motivating the customer...

This is how new markets are created.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/02/2017 07:24 PM
Yes, in Eric Berger's Ars article cited above:

Quote
However, the report warns, other countries such as China could copy these ideas and surpass the United States if strategic government investments are not made.

Although I have to admit that my first thought when Star One mentioned AF peer competitors was that it was a reference to inter-service rivalry with the army  :D
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Lar on 05/02/2017 08:32 PM

Tory Bruno has one heck of a challenge to change this culture given the persistence of this attitude even with the ever growing pile of evidence that reuseability is the only viable path forward to have a sustainable future.

The SMART reuse concept/promotion (instead of booster reuse) is a product of the Tory regime.
He personally made a pretty strong argument that launches would never become a commodity. 
Doesn't sound like he is part of the solution.

I am going to be contrary here and say that I believe Tory is  a good guy, means well, isn't stupid, and is just playing the hand he was dealt. Maybe ULA are spinning some FUD, yes...  (not like anyone else ever does that)

But I also think that their masters aren't going to unleash them all the way to do reuse the most efficient way with a clean sheet design of everything. SMART is the best they can do with the cards they hold. I wish them all the best with it. There is, and will be a place for ULA at the table. Especially as the pie continues to grow.

(I haven't changed my views on the fixed price block buy, and I greatly admire Dr. Sowers work but think he's wrong about the reuse numbers... but I have a grudging admiration for ULA...)

Yes, in Eric Berger's Ars article cited above:

Quote
However, the report warns, other countries such as China could copy these ideas and surpass the United States if strategic government investments are not made.

Although I have to admit that my first thought when Star One mentioned AF peer competitors was that it was a reference to inter-service rivalry with the army  :D

Yea, I'm dubious that government **investment** is necessary, especially the strategic kind. Just start buying water delivered to LEO and contracting for cargo delivered to the lunar surface, and the rest will follow.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Star One on 05/02/2017 09:02 PM
Yes, in Eric Berger's Ars article cited above:

Quote
However, the report warns, other countries such as China could copy these ideas and surpass the United States if strategic government investments are not made.

Although I have to admit that my first thought when Star One mentioned AF peer competitors was that it was a reference to inter-service rivalry with the army  :D

I know lots of people from different countries post on here and I didn't want to accidentally cause ill feeling. Perhaps over cautious?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Lemurion on 05/02/2017 10:51 PM
What I find funny about ULA's response is that they seem to be implying that the heat shield and parafoil they intend using for "SMART" reuse doesn't reduce payload capacity in exactly the same way that SpaceX's landing legs do.

Then again, I'm always suspicious of anything that relies on mid-air helicopter recovery.



Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Coastal Ron on 05/02/2017 11:18 PM
Yes, in Eric Berger's Ars article cited above:

Quote
However, the report warns, other countries such as China could copy these ideas and surpass the United States if strategic government investments are not made.

Although I have to admit that my first thought when Star One mentioned AF peer competitors was that it was a reference to inter-service rivalry with the army  :D

Although the key rocket advancements SpaceX and Blue Origin are fielding and planning to field were not the result of direct investment by the U.S. Government.  And by "direct", I mean no funding that was provided specifically to build reusable rocket technologies.

As Lar suggests, the best way to encourage continued U.S. aerospace industry leadership is to ensure that they have a market for their capabilities.  If the U.S. Government can help with that, either directly or indirectly, that would be good.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 05/03/2017 03:25 AM
What I find funny about ULA's response is that they seem to be implying that the heat shield and parafoil they intend using for "SMART" reuse doesn't reduce payload capacity in exactly the same way that SpaceX's landing legs do.
It doesn't.  When ULA (or other knowledgeable others) are criticizing the reduced capacity of fully recoverable rockets, it isn't due to the "extra hardware" that is put on like legs, grid fins, beefier RCS, etc.  It's due to the large amount of propellants that have to be reserved for the recovery burns.  Compared to that, all the added hardware is just a drop in the bucket.  So, in ULA's eyes, SMART avoids the payload hit because no performance is being reserved (i.e. they use all the prop).  They are only adding a little bit of hardware mass which is totally negligible.  So, from that perspective, there really is no bad logic in such a statement/position. 

The disconnect is that launch payloads aren't bulk commodities.  There's no "penalty" for reducing lift capacity so long as they have enough for any specific customer. 
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: rakaydos on 05/03/2017 04:08 AM
What I find funny about ULA's response is that they seem to be implying that the heat shield and parafoil they intend using for "SMART" reuse doesn't reduce payload capacity in exactly the same way that SpaceX's landing legs do.
It doesn't.  When ULA (or other knowledgeable others) are criticizing the reduced capacity of fully recoverable rockets, it isn't due to the "extra hardware" that is put on like legs, grid fins, beefier RCS, etc.  It's due to the large amount of propellants that have to be reserved for the recovery burns.  Compared to that, all the added hardware is just a drop in the bucket.  So, in ULA's eyes, SMART avoids the payload hit because no performance is being reserved (i.e. they use all the prop).  They are only adding a little bit of hardware mass which is totally negligible.  So, from that perspective, there really is no bad logic in such a statement/position. 

The disconnect is that launch payloads aren't bulk commodities.  There's no "penalty" for reducing lift capacity so long as they have enough for any specific customer.
There also may be an element of goverment contract language.
"Our boosters were built to lift X tons, just like you asked. If we added reuse, we wouldnt meet that contract anymore."
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: su27k on 05/03/2017 04:10 AM
What I find funny about ULA's response is that they seem to be implying that the heat shield and parafoil they intend using for "SMART" reuse doesn't reduce payload capacity in exactly the same way that SpaceX's landing legs do.
It doesn't.  When ULA (or other knowledgeable others) are criticizing the reduced capacity of fully recoverable rockets, it isn't due to the "extra hardware" that is put on like legs, grid fins, beefier RCS, etc.  It's due to the large amount of propellants that have to be reserved for the recovery burns.  Compared to that, all the added hardware is just a drop in the bucket.  So, in ULA's eyes, SMART avoids the payload hit because no performance is being reserved (i.e. they use all the prop).  They are only adding a little bit of hardware mass which is totally negligible.  So, from that perspective, there really is no bad logic in such a statement/position. 

The disconnect is that launch payloads aren't bulk commodities.  There's no "penalty" for reducing lift capacity so long as they have enough for any specific customer.

If I remember the math correctly even for bulk commodities reusable first stage still wins over SMART as long as you allow the reusable vehicle to launch more often, it only loses out to SMART when the calculation insists the same # of launches for both reusable first stage and SMART. This may explain why ULA prefers SMART, since their launch rate projection is a lot lower than SpaceX's.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: woods170 on 05/03/2017 06:41 AM
What I find funny about ULA's response is that they seem to be implying that the heat shield and parafoil they intend using for "SMART" reuse doesn't reduce payload capacity in exactly the same way that SpaceX's landing legs do.
It doesn't.  When ULA (or other knowledgeable others) are criticizing the reduced capacity of fully recoverable rockets, it isn't due to the "extra hardware" that is put on like legs, grid fins, beefier RCS, etc.  It's due to the large amount of propellants that have to be reserved for the recovery burns. Compared to that, all the added hardware is just a drop in the bucket.  So, in ULA's eyes, SMART avoids the payload hit because no performance is being reserved (i.e. they use all the prop).  They are only adding a little bit of hardware mass which is totally negligible.  So, from that perspective, there really is no bad logic in such a statement/position. 
Emphasis mine.
I disagree with your analysis. Referring back to the original statement:

Quote from: Jeff Foust
Quote
Les Kovacs, ULA: want to throw a wet blanket on concept of reusability. Additional systems needed to land stages comes at cost of payload.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/859033383598477312 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/859033383598477312)

As you can see, Les Kovacs referred to additional systems (hardware), not to propellant, with regards to payload-hit.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: kerogre256 on 05/03/2017 10:10 AM
What I find funny about ULA's response is that they seem to be implying that the heat shield and parafoil they intend using for "SMART" reuse doesn't reduce payload capacity in exactly the same way that SpaceX's landing legs do.
It doesn't.  When ULA (or other knowledgeable others) are criticizing the reduced capacity of fully recoverable rockets, it isn't due to the "extra hardware" that is put on like legs, grid fins, beefier RCS, etc.  It's due to the large amount of propellants that have to be reserved for the recovery burns.  Compared to that, all the added hardware is just a drop in the bucket.  So, in ULA's eyes, SMART avoids the payload hit because no performance is being reserved (i.e. they use all the prop).  They are only adding a little bit of hardware mass which is totally negligible.  So, from that perspective, there really is no bad logic in such a statement/position. 

The disconnect is that launch payloads aren't bulk commodities.  There's no "penalty" for reducing lift capacity so long as they have enough for any specific customer.
This argument is completely irrelevant in case of falkon9 because, they remove legs, fins and you have perfect high performance throw away rocket like everyone else... this is how you design reusable rocket....
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: kerogre256 on 05/03/2017 10:13 AM
And Big Boss was definitely impressed....
"Glad I could see this in person. Congrats to all involved!"

https://twitter.com/GenDaveGoldfein/status/859065684671815684
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 05/03/2017 10:25 AM
...

Yes, in Eric Berger's Ars article cited above:

Quote
However, the report warns, other countries such as China could copy these ideas and surpass the United States if strategic government investments are not made.

Although I have to admit that my first thought when Star One mentioned AF peer competitors was that it was a reference to inter-service rivalry with the army  :D

Yea, I'm dubious that government **investment** is necessary, especially the strategic kind. Just start buying water delivered to LEO and contracting for cargo delivered to the lunar surface, and the rest will follow.

Investment in reusable rockets maybe... but first, 1) stop giving 50 core block buys to the old guard to freeze out competition (reduced to 36 cores by SpaceX legal pushback), 2) stop trying to reformat new entrants during 'certification' to look like old guard suppliers (backed off after SpaceX pushback), 3) stop using managed competition/allocation for future awards instead of full and fair competition, 4) add selection criteria that include a) flight proven hardware and b) degree to which supplier promotes ULCATS, along with c) launch record and d) schedule performance, 5) keep cost weighted as 50% or more of selection criteria, 6) end ELC subsidy, and then 7) get out of the way.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 05/03/2017 11:16 AM
And Big Boss was definitely impressed....
"Glad I could see this in person. Congrats to all involved!"

https://twitter.com/GenDaveGoldfein/status/859065684671815684

And he's even awarding a trophy for it!!!
Quote
A close-up look at the Commander in Chief's trophy. Great job, Falcons. #BoltBrotherhood #LetsFly #SinkNavy #BeatArmy

https://twitter.com/GenDaveGoldfein/status/859520634866499584
strike-through mine
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Semmel on 05/03/2017 11:18 AM
There is one more thing that 'SMART' is bad at, and that is the "rapid" part of re-usability. If SpaceX achieves that, 10 flights with only visual inspection in between (like aircraft), that is GOT to be cheaper than SMART re-use, even if SpaceX has to start with a rocket that doubles the launch capability of Vulcan. So the tradeoff is not capability vs. re-use strategy. The re-use strategy defines how large the launch vehicle has to be designed in the first place. And if you have to make the booster 50% more potent to get the same payload to orbit, but regain the entire booster and no refurbishment has to be done, its much cheaper than if the engine pod has to be integrated with a new set of tanks, new heat shield, new piping connections, new integration testing, etc. SMART is, in comparison to full reuse quite stupid. But as said before, its the best ULA could do given the hardware they have. I dont blame them for the recovery strategy. The blame must go to the launch vehicle design and choice of engine number.

And there is one more point that no one mentioned (as far as I remember). SpaceX style reuse allows (whether they do it or not) a far more expensive tank design. For example, SpaceX could decide to go for carbon fibre for the first stage tanks. Its too expensive for expendable boosters, but guess what... I dont know if the trouble is worth the mass savings. But if it is, there is an other performance gain possible. Something that would never be economical with SMART.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 05/03/2017 11:23 AM
They are going with carbon composite tankage -- and 42 FFSC engines.
Try that with SMART.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Lar on 05/03/2017 12:40 PM
I feel that if you take the gestalt we're mostly agreeing...

... and I'm guilty of helping drift this from what SpaceX customers think about SpaceX reuse to what WE think about ULA. Let's not do that. (do as I say, not as I do, LOL)

Although the "falcon trophy" thing was hilarious.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: meekGee on 05/04/2017 12:45 AM
What I find funny about ULA's response is that they seem to be implying that the heat shield and parafoil they intend using for "SMART" reuse doesn't reduce payload capacity in exactly the same way that SpaceX's landing legs do.
It doesn't.  When ULA (or other knowledgeable others) are criticizing the reduced capacity of fully recoverable rockets, it isn't due to the "extra hardware" that is put on like legs, grid fins, beefier RCS, etc.  It's due to the large amount of propellants that have to be reserved for the recovery burns.  Compared to that, all the added hardware is just a drop in the bucket.  So, in ULA's eyes, SMART avoids the payload hit because no performance is being reserved (i.e. they use all the prop).  They are only adding a little bit of hardware mass which is totally negligible.  So, from that perspective, there really is no bad logic in such a statement/position. 

The disconnect is that launch payloads aren't bulk commodities.  There's no "penalty" for reducing lift capacity so long as they have enough for any specific customer.
That is precisely true, on both counts.

There's a third aspect of this, and that's that it is still possible to expend a rocket if a super large payload is required.

...and also expend it if there is an engine out event, adding redundancy and reliability to the system.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/04/2017 08:19 AM
There's a third aspect of this, and that's that it is still possible to expend a rocket if a super large payload is required.

But aren't SpaceX going to refuse to sell any more expendable F9 launches? I assume customers will be ok with that, assuming FH is both proven and cheaper than any other SpaceX competitors (reusable or expendable)

In time I guess a FH launch price could be lower than an expendable F9 price now? (assuming SpaceX routinely achieve multiple uses per booster/core with little refurbishment)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: M.E.T. on 05/04/2017 08:37 AM
There's a third aspect of this, and that's that it is still possible to expend a rocket if a super large payload is required.

But aren't SpaceX going to refuse to sell any more expendable F9 launches? I assume customers will be ok with that, assuming FH is both proven and cheaper than any other SpaceX competitors (reusable or expendable)

In time I guess a FH launch price could be lower than an expendable F9 price now? (assuming SpaceX routinely achieve multiple uses per booster/core with little refurbishment)

Of course, the expendable option will then just shift upwards to truly massive payloads, requiring expendable FH performance levels. Where a customer is willing to pay a premium for a payload requiring an expendable FH, I'm sure SpaceX will comply.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: JamesH65 on 05/04/2017 09:49 AM
There's a third aspect of this, and that's that it is still possible to expend a rocket if a super large payload is required.

But aren't SpaceX going to refuse to sell any more expendable F9 launches? I assume customers will be ok with that, assuming FH is both proven and cheaper than any other SpaceX competitors (reusable or expendable)

In time I guess a FH launch price could be lower than an expendable F9 price now? (assuming SpaceX routinely achieve multiple uses per booster/core with little refurbishment)

Refusing? Why would they do that? Seem to me to be more like not expecting to sell any more because the F9 and F9H heavy will cover all known payloads in reusable mode.

But if someone came up with a payload that required it, and were willing to pay for expendable, why would SpaceX refuse? Use an old booster that reaching end of life, make much profit.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: gospacex on 05/04/2017 11:20 AM
There's a third aspect of this, and that's that it is still possible to expend a rocket if a super large payload is required.

But aren't SpaceX going to refuse to sell any more expendable F9 launches? I assume customers will be ok with that, assuming FH is both proven and cheaper than any other SpaceX competitors (reusable or expendable)

In time I guess a FH launch price could be lower than an expendable F9 price now? (assuming SpaceX routinely achieve multiple uses per booster/core with little refurbishment)

Refusing? Why would they do that?

He meant that any payloads which require expendable F9 would be lofted by reusable FH.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Celestar on 05/04/2017 01:41 PM
Yes, but that would require the reusable FH to be priced at or below the price of the expendable  (shouldn't we called it 'expended' by now?) F9, wouldn't it?

Celestar

Sent from my SM-T705 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: mme on 05/04/2017 02:00 PM
Yes, but that would require the reusable FH to be priced at or below the price of the expendable  (shouldn't we called it 'expended' by now?) F9, wouldn't it?

Celestar

Sent from my SM-T705 using Tapatalk
My bet is that SpaceX will adjust their prices so that is the case once reusability is widely accepted (which will happen quickly, IMHO).
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: envy887 on 05/04/2017 02:17 PM
Yes, but that would require the reusable FH to be priced at or below the price of the expendable  (shouldn't we called it 'expended' by now?) F9, wouldn't it?

So as long as the reliability of reused FH is substantially better than Proton SpaceX can charge a lot, and it still makes economic sense to customers.

The business decision for SpaceX depends on whether F9 expended or FH reused (not just recoverable) is more profitable. The price for F9 expendable can be whatever SpaceX wants to charge, up to a point where they start losing customers to other providers. In the 5500+ kg to GTO market, the competition is pretty much limited to Proton, Ariane, or Atlas V.

I don't think it's a stretch to say FH reusable should cost SpaceX less to operate than F9 expendable. The upfront expense is 3 boosters for 10 flights instead of 10 boosters for 10 flights, so they save new 7 boosters with one FH set. The incremental expense is integration of 20 boosters, recovery & refurb of 30 boosters. So as long as 20x integration cost + 30x recovery/refurb cost is less than 7 new F9 boosters ($250 to $300 million), they come out ahead. That holds true for integration costs up to $3M per booster and recovery/refurb up to $8M per booster.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 05/04/2017 02:38 PM
Yes, but that would require the reusable FH to be priced at or below the price of the expendable  (shouldn't we called it 'expended' by now?) F9, wouldn't it?

So as long as the reliability of reused FH is substantially better than Proton SpaceX can charge a lot, and it still makes economic sense to customers.

The business decision for SpaceX depends on whether F9 expended or FH reused (not just recoverable) is more profitable. The price for F9 expendable can be whatever SpaceX wants to charge, up to a point where they start losing customers to other providers. In the 5500+ kg to GTO market, the competition is pretty much limited to Proton, Ariane, or Atlas V.

I don't think it's a stretch to say FH reusable should cost SpaceX less to operate than F9 expendable. The upfront expense is 3 boosters for 10 flights instead of 10 boosters for 10 flights, so they save new 7 boosters with one FH set. The incremental expense is integration of 20 boosters, recovery & refurb of 30 boosters. So as long as 20x integration cost + 30x recovery/refurb cost is less than 7 new F9 boosters ($250 to $300 million), they come out ahead. That holds true for integration costs up to $3M per booster and recovery/refurb up to $8M per booster.

SpaceX has stated that F9 expendable will be more expensive than FH reusable.  F9 cases between ASDS landings and limits of F9 expendible should still allow FH RTLS all cores.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: tvg98 on 05/05/2017 08:55 AM
https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/05/05/bulgarias-first-communications-satellite-to-ride-spacexs-second-reused-rocket/ (https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/05/05/bulgarias-first-communications-satellite-to-ride-spacexs-second-reused-rocket/)

Bulgaria’s first communications satellite to ride SpaceX’s second reused rocket
Quote
"Elon Musk and his SpaceX team have convinced me that people like them bring us closer to a new quality of life through providing access to cutting-edge technology,” Zayakov said in a statement. “This is a chance for Bulgaria to join the efforts to develop these new aspects of space industry.”


Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: rockets4life97 on 05/05/2017 09:43 AM
I'm glad to see someone other than SES take a re-used booster. In this case, it looks like moving up the launch queue was an important part. This would point to potentially one of the main benefits will schedule flexibility as well as (potentially) reduced prices of launch.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: gospacex on 05/05/2017 11:53 AM
Yes, but that would require the reusable FH to be priced at or below the price of the expendable  (shouldn't we called it 'expended' by now?) F9, wouldn't it?

Yes. Or SpaceX can simply stop offering expendable F9 launches. Their choice.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/05/2017 12:55 PM
I'm glad to see someone other than SES take a re-used booster. In this case, it looks like moving up the launch queue was an important part. This would point to potentially one of the main benefits will schedule flexibility as well as (potentially) reduced prices of launch.

Yes, this could be a powerful motivator for others to also accept flight proven boosters. Also clear how SpaceX will achieve (at least?) 6 booster re-uses this year (with FH re-using 2 & potentially 2 other SES launches). If all are successful, why would customers after that be reluctant to re-use?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/05/2017 01:56 PM
Can someone remind me what the situation is for NASA CRS missions and booster re-use?

IIRC it's been said that NASA are looking at it and supportive in principle but I don't recall any indication of when it may happen. If CRS-13 is in November as currently forecast then that could be after 5 booster re-uses, so enough evidence for NASA to assess and commit to re-use?

I imagine there might be some customers who would feel more comfortable once NASA accepts re-use (eg due to the engineering assessment that NASA would have done, which maybe not all customers have the capability/inclination/finances to do themselves)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: rockets4life97 on 05/05/2017 02:36 PM
Can someone remind me what the situation is for NASA CRS missions and booster re-use?

IIRC it's been said that NASA are looking at it and supportive in principle but I don't recall any indication of when it may happen. If CRS-13 is in November as currently forecast then that could be after 5 booster re-uses, so enough evidence for NASA to assess and commit to re-use?

I imagine there might be some customers who would feel more comfortable once NASA accepts re-use (eg due to the engineering assessment that NASA would have done, which maybe not all customers have the capability/inclination/finances to do themselves)

I seem to remember next Spring was indicated as a possibility at the press conference for CRS-10.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: copper8 on 05/05/2017 03:01 PM
Air Force:

Quote
SpaceX, Blue Origin have opened a “window of opportunity” for US Air Force

Quote
On Monday morning, SpaceX successfully launched a national security payload for the first time, cracking the market for US military missions. The first stage of the rocket then landed within a couple of miles from where it had taken off less than 10 minutes earlier, marking the tenth time SpaceX has safely returned a first stage to Earth.

The US military has taken note of these achievements, as well as those of Blue Origin and its reusable New Shepard suborbital vehicle—and that company’s ambitions to also build a large, reusable orbital rocket. “This has opened up a window of opportunity and gotten the attention of serious people,” Charles Miller, an aerospace consultant and president of NexGen Space, told Ars.

To that end Miller partnered with a number of Air Force officers at Air University and former Air Force officials to study the potential effects of lower-cost access to space on the US military. The “Fast Space” report, which has been briefed to senior officials in the US military and government in recent months, concludes that the US Air Force can benefit from these commercial developments.

“The USAF can form private sector partnerships to create a virtuous cycle of launch cost reductions of between 3 and 10 times lower than today’s costs,” the report finds. “Doing so could enable completely new approaches for the Air Force to defend American values, protect American interests, and enhance opportunities to exploit the unique global advantages of the ultimate high ground.”

The key concept in the report is “ultra low-cost access to space” enabled by reusable launch vehicle technology.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/05/air-force-study-says-us-government-should-get-serious-about-reusable-rockets/

And the Fast Space report:
http://www.airuniversity.af.mil/Portals/10/Research/documents/Space/Fast%20Space_Public_2017.pdf?ver=2017-03-10-113507-743

I think that one of the most interesting things about this paper is that the expectation that cost of launch will be much lower over time on a Reuseable Launch Vehicle is beginning to have an impact on the thinking about the type and nature of the payloads.  If you can fly for a lower cost, with a shorter lead time, you can contemplate a different kind of sat.  Which in turn may drive an increased launch cadence.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: envy887 on 05/06/2017 11:32 AM
From http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/spacex/2017/05/05/spacex-re-launch-falcon-rocket-next-month-ksc/101334150/

Quote
Maxim Zayakov, CEO of Bulsatcom and BulgariaSat, said he didn’t think using a “flight proven” booster, as SpaceX refers to its recovered rockets, added risk to the mission.

“In fact, we think the other way around,” Zayakov told FLORIDA TODAY.  “Because a flight proven first stage has all its systems already used in flight, and it is very thoroughly checked after that, too. So we think that this is a good choice and, yes, of course it saved us some money.”

Exactly how much, Zayakov would not say. Space Systems Loral, the California-based satellite manufacturer, is responsible for the launch contract and insurance.

But Zayakov said the savings was meaningful. “At the end of the day, it helps the whole arithmetic and makes this project more financially viable,” he said. Zayakov said insurers supported the decision to reuse a rocket, but the terms improved after the successful SES-10 mission.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: M.E.T. on 05/06/2017 05:14 PM
From http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/spacex/2017/05/05/spacex-re-launch-falcon-rocket-next-month-ksc/101334150/

Quote
Maxim Zayakov, CEO of Bulsatcom and BulgariaSat, said he didn’t think using a “flight proven” booster, as SpaceX refers to its recovered rockets, added risk to the mission.

“In fact, we think the other way around,” Zayakov told FLORIDA TODAY.  “Because a flight proven first stage has all its systems already used in flight, and it is very thoroughly checked after that, too. So we think that this is a good choice and, yes, of course it saved us some money.”

Exactly how much, Zayakov would not say. Space Systems Loral, the California-based satellite manufacturer, is responsible for the launch contract and insurance.

But Zayakov said the savings was meaningful. “At the end of the day, it helps the whole arithmetic and makes this project more financially viable,” he said. Zayakov said insurers supported the decision to reuse a rocket, but the terms improved after the successful SES-10 mission.

Just want to confirm that I understand this correctly. I read somewhere that this rocket will be the same one used for SES-10. Meaning it will be a booster used for the third time. Is this correct? And if so, why do that, rather than refurbish another rocket that has only flown once? Have some further changes been made to the SES-10 booster which makes it easier to refurbish?

EDIT

Sorry, my mistake. It is the Iridium booster, not the SES-10 booster.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 05/06/2017 09:15 PM
It's amazing that BulgariaSat was inspired by the success of SES-10 to reuse one of the Falcon 9 boosters.
BulgariaSat was persuaded by SpaceX to use a reused booster even before SES-10 was launched.

Copied from another thread.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 05/07/2017 01:35 PM
New article, first posted by gongora in General:
Shotwell:
Quote
“I think you are going to start to see that this year,” she says adding that customers are far more willing to consider the pre-flown stages, earlier than the company thought they would. “We knew they would gain acceptance by late this year or by early next year but we are seeing a lot of interest this year, which is great. We are going to re-fly the first pre-flown booster for SES this month; then you may see five to six more this year — you might actually see more. I think initially we were maybe thinking we would fly three to four this year, but it will be more than that,” she says.
Emphasis mine

http://interactive.satellitetoday.com/via/april-2017/shotwell-ambitious-targets-achievable-this-year/
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 05/11/2017 11:53 PM
https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/05/05/bulgarias-first-communications-satellite-to-ride-spacexs-second-reused-rocket/ (https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/05/05/bulgarias-first-communications-satellite-to-ride-spacexs-second-reused-rocket/)

Bulgaria’s first communications satellite to ride SpaceX’s second reused rocket
Quote
"Elon Musk and his SpaceX team have convinced me that people like them bring us closer to a new quality of life through providing access to cutting-edge technology,” Zayakov said in a statement. “This is a chance for Bulgaria to join the efforts to develop these new aspects of space industry.”


From that same SFN article, you should have included the paragraph right before that one as well.  It wasn't a direct quote from the BulgariaSat CEO, but a paraphrase of a comment:

Quote
In a statement, BulgariaSat chief executive Maxim Zayakov said that reusable rockets were a technological breakthrough that will make it possible for smaller countries and companies to launch their own satellites.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Dao Angkan on 05/12/2017 01:27 AM
Yes, cheaper launches and satellites are opening up smaller markets.

From SES April 28 earnings call (https://www.spaceintelreport.com/ses-compressions-always-led-to-video-growth-will-again);

Quote
The arrival of large high-throughput satellites, the threat of IPTV and the overcapacity in several regions have made classic wide-band satellite television broadcasting more of a challenge than it used to be.

But none of these factors is having a material effect on SES’s video business so far. McCarthy said pricing remains stable, with SES selling transponder capacity at an average rate of 1.7 million euros ($2 million) per year.

As SES ramps its capacity in less-developed markets, this average price will likely go down, but the company says it has anticipated this in the satellite construction and launch contracts it has signed. An emerging-market satellite’s EBITDA therefore should not be any lower than satellites over Europe or North America.

Maintaining EBITDA at lower transponder prices for some regions means pressing satellite builders and launch-service providers to cut costs accordingly.


SpaceX’s SES-10 launch featured the first use of a previously flown rocket first stage. SpaceX has cited multiple figures for the ultimate effect on pricing of reused first stages. But it’s clear SES expects material price cuts in the future.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 05/12/2017 01:41 AM
Yes, cheaper launches and satellites are opening up smaller markets.

From SES April 28 earnings call (https://www.spaceintelreport.com/ses-compressions-always-led-to-video-growth-will-again);

Quote
The arrival of large high-throughput satellites, the threat of IPTV and the overcapacity in several regions have made classic wide-band satellite television broadcasting more of a challenge than it used to be.

But none of these factors is having a material effect on SES’s video business so far. McCarthy said pricing remains stable, with SES selling transponder capacity at an average rate of 1.7 million euros ($2 million) per year.

As SES ramps its capacity in less-developed markets, this average price will likely go down, but the company says it has anticipated this in the satellite construction and launch contracts it has signed. An emerging-market satellite’s EBITDA therefore should not be any lower than satellites over Europe or North America.

Maintaining EBITDA at lower transponder prices for some regions means pressing satellite builders and launch-service providers to cut costs accordingly.


SpaceX’s SES-10 launch featured the first use of a previously flown rocket first stage. SpaceX has cited multiple figures for the ultimate effect on pricing of reused first stages. But it’s clear SES expects material price cuts in the future.
For those wondering, EBITDA stands for Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation, and Amortization.  Basically a quick look way to figure out how much you're making without having to work through all the complex financial adjusting accountants do.  Or sometimes a way to try to compare apples to apples.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/16/2017 12:06 AM
Here's a nice quote from Inmarsat's CEO, Rupert Pearce:

Quote
Mr Pearce said he was delighted to fly SpaceX for the first time, and looked forward to the occasion when an Inmarsat satellite would go up on one of the American provider's "second-hand" rockets.

"I'd like to see a longer track record of refurbished rockets being launched successfully without problems," the CEO told BBC News.

"At the moment, we don't put up satellites in sufficient numbers to be relatively sanguine about losing one. But I'm very encouraged by what I've seen in recent months, and once we feel that refurbished rockets are essentially the same as new rockets - we'll jump onboard and extend our relationship with SpaceX."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39929168 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39929168)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Star One on 05/16/2017 09:39 AM
Here's a nice quote from Inmarsat's CEO, Rupert Pearce:

Quote
Mr Pearce said he was delighted to fly SpaceX for the first time, and looked forward to the occasion when an Inmarsat satellite would go up on one of the American provider's "second-hand" rockets.

"I'd like to see a longer track record of refurbished rockets being launched successfully without problems," the CEO told BBC News.

"At the moment, we don't put up satellites in sufficient numbers to be relatively sanguine about losing one. But I'm very encouraged by what I've seen in recent months, and once we feel that refurbished rockets are essentially the same as new rockets - we'll jump onboard and extend our relationship with SpaceX."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39929168 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39929168)

Glad you posted that as some people seem to think that every customer is just going to get onboard with reusability, when they just aren't at this stage. They can't afford to be so sanguine about it until its far, far more proven technology.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: M.E.T. on 05/16/2017 10:37 AM
Here's a nice quote from Inmarsat's CEO, Rupert Pearce:

Quote
Mr Pearce said he was delighted to fly SpaceX for the first time, and looked forward to the occasion when an Inmarsat satellite would go up on one of the American provider's "second-hand" rockets.

"I'd like to see a longer track record of refurbished rockets being launched successfully without problems," the CEO told BBC News.

"At the moment, we don't put up satellites in sufficient numbers to be relatively sanguine about losing one. But I'm very encouraged by what I've seen in recent months, and once we feel that refurbished rockets are essentially the same as new rockets - we'll jump onboard and extend our relationship with SpaceX."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39929168 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39929168)

Glad you posted that as some people seem to think that every customer is just going to get onboard with reusability, when they just aren't at this stage. They can't afford to be so sanguine about it until its far, far more proven technology.

Well, talk about taking widely divergent interpretations from the same piece of information. What he says can just as easily be read as: "Yes, we are eager to start using reused boosters too in the near future." It is yet another customer confirming the business case for reusability.

Reading that as some kind of cautionary or dare I say "negative" message relating to reusability, seems a bit of a stretch, in my view.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Star One on 05/16/2017 11:05 AM
Here's a nice quote from Inmarsat's CEO, Rupert Pearce:

Quote
Mr Pearce said he was delighted to fly SpaceX for the first time, and looked forward to the occasion when an Inmarsat satellite would go up on one of the American provider's "second-hand" rockets.

"I'd like to see a longer track record of refurbished rockets being launched successfully without problems," the CEO told BBC News.

"At the moment, we don't put up satellites in sufficient numbers to be relatively sanguine about losing one. But I'm very encouraged by what I've seen in recent months, and once we feel that refurbished rockets are essentially the same as new rockets - we'll jump onboard and extend our relationship with SpaceX."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39929168 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39929168)

Glad you posted that as some people seem to think that every customer is just going to get onboard with reusability, when they just aren't at this stage. They can't afford to be so sanguine about it until its far, far more proven technology.

Well, talk about taking widely divergent interpretations from the same piece of information. What he says can just as easily be read as: "Yes, we are eager to start using reused boosters too in the near future." It is yet another customer confirming the business case for reusability.

Reading that as some kind of cautionary or dare I say "negative" message relating to reusability, seems a bit of a stretch, in my view.

I really can't see how you'd interpret what he's saying in the way you have. In fact to me he seems to be saying the complete opposite and I am baffled where you are getting the eager to start using reusability from. Talk about reading things into it that just aren't there in my view.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 05/16/2017 11:15 AM
Because Pearce used this wording, "we'll jump on board and extend our relationship with SpaceX".

That is not cautionary, that is enthusiastic wording. He's saying, in my opinion, that they are just waiting on a bit more due diligence - i.e., more data through reuse - and then they are ready to sign up.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/16/2017 12:33 PM
Yes, there's caution but I think it's clear he's fine with re-using boosters with more evidence.

Obviously different people/organisations will have different thresholds for what's enough evidence, but to me it's heartening to see how much the thinking is moving on. The question now is how much evidence is sufficient, not is it feasible or a good idea to do it at all.

Looking at this thread, to me it seems there's a general and increasing expectation that boosters will be re-used, just a matter of when.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 05/16/2017 01:17 PM
Because Pearce used this wording, "we'll jump on board and extend our relationship with SpaceX".

That is not cautionary, that is enthusiastic wording. He's saying, in my opinion, that they are just waiting on a bit more due diligence - i.e., more data through reuse - and then they are ready to sign up.

And it is near-term that he will have a longer track record... maybe 6 flights this year, something like 3/4ths of all flights in a year or two.  Inmarsat already has one more sat on orbit than constellation design.  They'll probably order again in -- wait for it -- a year or two.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Star One on 05/16/2017 02:42 PM
Because Pearce used this wording, "we'll jump on board and extend our relationship with SpaceX".

That is not cautionary, that is enthusiastic wording. He's saying, in my opinion, that they are just waiting on a bit more due diligence - i.e., more data through reuse - and then they are ready to sign up.

I think you're reading too much into it as far as the timeframe. I am not saying they may go down the reusable route at some point but I don't read that as being in the short term from what he says.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: guckyfan on 05/16/2017 03:09 PM
As it looks now the problem of SpaceX seems to be keeping customers at bay who want to fly reused, not finding takers.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 05/16/2017 07:00 PM
Let me educate you a bit here on "customers for launch".

There are some who have pampered baby payloads, and there are ones that have a succession of birds needing to be flown.

Pearce speaks for the former. They will never, ever have a stream of payloads like the latter.

It is utterly amazing that he would even bring up this to begin with.

Perhaps he's considering Shotwell's "flight proven" LV concept? That would make more sense for his business interests.

In that light, read his comment as wanting to see confirmation that flight proven vehicles have more value than expendables. Please note that the recent RD180 anomaly did more to advance that argument then anything SX has done.

So ask yourself, how do you confront, deny, displace "reuse means consumed, used, spent, dangerous" with "reuse means constant risk retired, discovery/elimination of new modes of failure, lucky number X booster seems to always work better than expected we're trying to figure why, want to fly that one"?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 05/16/2017 07:52 PM
...
So ask yourself, how do you confront, deny, displace "reuse means consumed, used, spent, dangerous" ...

As hard as launch vendors (the competition) try to deliver your bolded message, SpaceX seems to be doing well convincing them that it is just sour grapes.  After all, there has never been a failure of a previously-flown booster.;)

I just don't think there is a message to displace.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 05/16/2017 08:11 PM
...
So ask yourself, how do you confront, deny, displace "reuse means consumed, used, spent, dangerous" ...

As hard as launch vendors (the competition) try to deliver your bolded message, SpaceX seems to be doing well convincing them that it is just sour grapes.  After all, there has never been a failure of a previously-flown booster.;)

I just don't think there is a message to displace.
LOL!

These guys (Inmarsat) have flown on just about everything. Economics drove them to Proton after losing with SeaLaunch. Have my eye on shifts in manifests ATM. Launch reliability is a very interesting dynamic right now, even more so than cost. They can't afford a lost mission. The irony that there might be an ambiguity between expendable/"flight proven" in reliability is very peculiar.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: M.E.T. on 05/16/2017 08:35 PM
I don't see any conflict here. Any customer who prefers not to use reusable rockets will still have the option to pay full price for a new booster. Expecting even one customer to use a reused booster the moment one became available would have seemed optimistic. Now it seems there will be up to 6 flown just this year.

Clearly SpaceX will have more than enough customers for their reused boosters. Like someone said upthread, by the time someone like Inmarsat needs another ride with SpaceX, two dozen reused boosters could have flown successfully. Making the decision an easy one.

And, if they still don't want to use one, well, then there is the more expensive new booster option for them.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/16/2017 08:56 PM
I don't see any conflict here. Any customer who prefers not to use reusable rockets will still have the option to pay full price for a new booster. Expecting even one customer to use a reused booster the moment one became available would have seemed optimistic. Now it seems there will be up to 6 flown just this year.

Clearly SpaceX will have more than enough customers for their reused boosters. Like someone said upthread, by the time someone like Inmarsat needs another ride with SpaceX, two dozen reused boosters could have flown successfully. Making the decision an easy one.

And, if they still don't want to use one, well, then there is the more expensive new booster option for them.
Which is still cheaper than any other provider.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: M.E.T. on 05/16/2017 09:09 PM
I don't see any conflict here. Any customer who prefers not to use reusable rockets will still have the option to pay full price for a new booster. Expecting even one customer to use a reused booster the moment one became available would have seemed optimistic. Now it seems there will be up to 6 flown just this year.

Clearly SpaceX will have more than enough customers for their reused boosters. Like someone said upthread, by the time someone like Inmarsat needs another ride with SpaceX, two dozen reused boosters could have flown successfully. Making the decision an easy one.

And, if they still don't want to use one, well, then there is the more expensive new booster option for them.
Which is still cheaper than any other provider.

And, considering that SpaceX will for the foreseeable future still be manufacturing at least a few Block V cores per year, this need could be addressed by giving the minority of picky customers the first flights on these new boosters, without costing SpaceX an extra cent.

Someone has to fly the new booster the first time. If no one wanted new boosters anymore, you could not charge full price for them. So in effect, SpaceX will welcome a minority of customers still preffering new rockets, in order to "milk" them for that first flight premium.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 05/16/2017 09:20 PM
Keep in mind that reused boosters are likely faster to orbit, because they're already at the launch site.

So for say Inmarsat, they have additional consideration of waiting for a "fresh" one.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Star One on 05/16/2017 10:04 PM
Keep in mind that reused boosters are likely faster to orbit, because they're already at the launch site.

So for say Inmarsat, they have additional consideration of waiting for a "fresh" one.

But doing what might be seen as penalising the customer could just lead them to go elsewhere for their launcher.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/16/2017 10:22 PM
Keep in mind that reused boosters are likely faster to orbit, because they're already at the launch site.

So for say Inmarsat, they have additional consideration of waiting for a "fresh" one.

But doing what might be seen as penalising the customer could just lead them to go elsewhere for their launcher.
SpaceX is lining up to be a volume provider. Overly picky customers are welcome to go elsewhere where they will be coddled from 2X the price.

SpaceX business model is volume and quick turnaround. Dealing with NASA and DOD may end being a short romance being that they are very picky customers even compared to Inmarsat. What SpaceX will tell NASA and DOD is you take it or leave it, we have other customers for those slots/dates just as well.

It could very well change again from the FFP one at a time to contracts to blocks of launches per year of generic capability with options for adding specific engineering support for specified payloads once gov knows (about 6 months in advance) when and what they want launched. Same for NASA. A update to the NLS II contract methodology. Almost a pay up front and then use or loose launch capability. The launch costs then for DOD becomes a fixed cost every year even when number of launches vary. DOD would have multiple providers on such a contract allowing DOD to manage the launch resources just by juggling who launch what and when without haveing a long multi-month or even year long acquisition cycle for each launch. Just a 30 day contract mod specifying what and when to a specific providers existing launch contract. This is what the DOD wanted for the EELV contracts but could never quite get there. Currently there is still way too much customization for each launch to be able to write such a contract. The payloads have to become more general more commoditized.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Star One on 05/16/2017 10:26 PM
Keep in mind that reused boosters are likely faster to orbit, because they're already at the launch site.

So for say Inmarsat, they have additional consideration of waiting for a "fresh" one.

But doing what might be seen as penalising the customer could just lead them to go elsewhere for their launcher.
SpaceX is lining up to be a volume provider. Overly picky customers are welcome to go elsewhere where they will be coddled from 2X the price.

SpaceX business model is volume and quick turnaround. Dealing with NASA and DOD may end being a short romance being that they are very picky customers even compared to Inmarsat. What SpaceX will tell NASA and DOD is you take it or leave it, we have other customers for those slots/dates just as well.

It could very well change again from the FFP one at a time to contracts to blocks of launches per year of generic capability with options for adding specific engineering support for specified payloads once gov knows (about 6 months in advance) when and what they want launched. Same for NASA. A update to the NLS II contract methodology. Almost a pay up front and then use or loose launch capability. The launch costs then for DOD becomes a fixed cost every year even when number of launches vary. DOD would have multiple providers on such a contract allowing DOD to manage the launch resources just by juggling who launch what and when without haveing a long multi-month or even year long acquisition cycle for each launch. Just a 30 day contract mod specifying what and when to a specific providers existing launch contract. This is what the DOD wanted for the EELV contracts but could never quite get there. Currently there is still way too much customization for each launch to be able to write such a contract. The payloads have to become more general more commoditized.

There's nothing down the line stopping someone like BO who aren't quite as beholden to their bottom line because of the way they are financed coming in and at least at first undercutting Space X with fresh first stages for the more discerning customer.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 05/16/2017 10:56 PM
Keep in mind that reused boosters are likely faster to orbit, because they're already at the launch site.

So for say Inmarsat, they have additional consideration of waiting for a "fresh" one.

But doing what might be seen as penalising the customer could just lead them to go elsewhere for their launcher.
SpaceX is lining up to be a volume provider. Overly picky customers are welcome to go elsewhere where they will be coddled from 2X the price.

The reason they are coddled is because they are used to a different cadence. They likely will adapt in order to dominate in a different way.

Quote
SpaceX business model is volume and quick turnaround. Dealing with NASA and DOD may end being a short romance being that they are very picky customers even compared to Inmarsat. What SpaceX will tell NASA and DOD is you take it or leave it, we have other customers for those slots/dates just as well.

NSS needs still are a significant amount of payloads. It's in the area of US performance/capability/services that things will differentiate such customers. In some cases the additional needs can be dealt with differently, in that "buying a ticket" for payload way.

Others by batching, so the additional services/"needs" can fit provider against customer. The batch makes it tenable,  because the "repeat business" is what is desired, not the one offs.

Quote
It could very well change again from the FFP one at a time to contracts to blocks of launches per year of generic capability with options for adding specific engineering support for specified payloads once gov knows (about 6 months in advance) when and what they want launched.
That seems to be gearing up. Watch the sourcing on the sats to see how it matches up.

Quote
Same for NASA. A update to the NLS II contract methodology. Almost a pay up front and then use or loose launch capability. The launch costs then for DOD becomes a fixed cost every year even when number of launches vary.
Where payload budgets apply. Less of a uniform distribution.

Quote
DOD would have multiple providers on such a contract allowing DOD to manage the launch resources just by juggling who launch what and when without haveing a long multi-month or even year long acquisition cycle for each launch.
Excepting certain "long poles".

Quote
Just a 30 day contract mod specifying what and when to a specific providers existing launch contract. This is what the DOD wanted for the EELV contracts but could never quite get there.
Absolutely. So did/does Congress. At least McCain's complaints.

Quote
Currently there is still way too much customization for each launch to be able to write such a contract. The payloads have to become more general more commoditized.
Oh, such a battle over exactly that. Old ways die hard.

We're a long way from commodity rapid launch. Or whistling up from the sat factory the left handed blivet that needs to go up over 65 degrees x 165 W.

But it also presents different ways to use the capabilities. If you can catch the right interest.

There's nothing down the line stopping someone like BO who aren't quite as beholden to their bottom line because of the way they are financed coming in and at least at first undercutting Space X with fresh first stages for the more discerning customer.

Unless fresh first stages are considered more suspect because they may still hide flaws.

Then the "more discerning customer" might not want them.

Perhaps this is "stuck in the past thinking"? Would you like to fly in Russia's latest new airliner design? I hear its just getting off the ground ...  :D

Seriously, what BO has to worry about is actually having a business to capture by the time they arrive, late on the scene.

My guess is they'll lose manifest, like what happened to SX, and have to earn it back gradually, not like SX but with a more fierce competitor than currently is present. At least that would worry me.

You're right, he can under price and get away with it. But he can't under perform, that's the rub and its serious.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Mader Levap on 05/16/2017 11:42 PM
SpaceX business model is volume and quick turnaround. Dealing with NASA and DOD may end being a short romance being that they are very picky customers even compared to Inmarsat. What SpaceX will tell NASA and DOD is you take it or leave it, we have other customers for those slots/dates just as well.
Disagree. They won't do that. Instead they will say "sure, but that will cost x mln $ extra". In fact, it already happened many times.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/16/2017 11:58 PM
SpaceX business model is volume and quick turnaround. Dealing with NASA and DOD may end being a short romance being that they are very picky customers even compared to Inmarsat. What SpaceX will tell NASA and DOD is you take it or leave it, we have other customers for those slots/dates just as well.
Disagree. They won't do that. Instead they will say "sure, but that will cost x mln $ extra". In fact, it already happened many times.
In many cases what happened when commercial services were used by government is that a shell company with the "extra services" was added as a level of interface to keep the gov "customer" from bothering the core business. The core business then no longer bid on the contracts only the shell. In some cases this shell was even a third party.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 05/19/2017 10:04 AM
From Inmarsat thread:

Inmarsat CEO Rupert Pearce praises "absolutely exceptional performance from SpaceX" and announces that they will use a flight proven core in the future:
https://www.universetoday.com/135614/will-launch-reuseable-rocket-exceptional-spacex-performance-inmarsat-ceo-tells-universe-today/

Choice quote: "They hit the ball out of the park with this launch for us"

Quote
...the company CEO told Universe Today that Inmarsat was willing to conduct future launches with SpaceX – including on a “reusable rocket in the future!”

“This has obviously been an absolutely exceptional performance from SpaceX, Inmarsat CEO Rupert Pearce told Universe Today in a post launch interview at the Kennedy Space Center on Monday, May 15.

“They have now earned themselves an immensely loyal customer.”

Wasn't this one of the customers that was discussed as leaving SpaceX due to FH delays? 
A feature: Reusability is being sold, even when flying expendable.

Quote
“I’m sure we will be using a ‘reused rocket’, Pearce stated. “And we will be launching on a ‘reusable rocket’ in the future.”

“We will be looking to support them in any way we can with their new innovation programs.”

Best expendable launch ever!
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 05/19/2017 11:16 AM
Think this is now put to bed:
Here's a nice quote from Inmarsat's CEO, Rupert Pearce:

Quote
Mr Pearce said he was delighted to fly SpaceX for the first time, and looked forward to the occasion when an Inmarsat satellite would go up on one of the American provider's "second-hand" rockets.

"I'd like to see a longer track record of refurbished rockets being launched successfully without problems," the CEO told BBC News.

"At the moment, we don't put up satellites in sufficient numbers to be relatively sanguine about losing one. But I'm very encouraged by what I've seen in recent months, and once we feel that refurbished rockets are essentially the same as new rockets - we'll jump onboard and extend our relationship with SpaceX."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39929168 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39929168)

Glad you posted that as some people seem to think that every customer is just going to get onboard with reusability, when they just aren't at this stage. They can't afford to be so sanguine about it until its far, far more proven technology.

Because Pearce used this wording, "we'll jump on board and extend our relationship with SpaceX".

That is not cautionary, that is enthusiastic wording. He's saying, in my opinion, that they are just waiting on a bit more due diligence - i.e., more data through reuse - and then they are ready to sign up.

And it is near-term that he will have a longer track record... maybe 6 flights this year, something like 3/4ths of all flights in a year or two.  Inmarsat already has one more sat on orbit than constellation design.  They'll probably order again in -- wait for it -- a year or two.

Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: RedLineTrain on 05/19/2017 01:21 PM
Wasn't this one of the customers that was discussed as leaving SpaceX due to FH delays? 
A feature: Reusability is being sold, even when flying expendable.

A bit of caution on this.  No doubt he said very positive things about reuse.  But he was probably most happy that he got a much better than contracted orbit on this flight (I assume).  Because this will be a spare in orbit, excess performance on the rocket will lead to greater flexibility to move the satellite around for opportunistic use.

That said, would SpaceX have had the capability to do a better-than-contracted orbit had it not been for upgrading F9 for reusability?  Would any other launch provider even have been in a position where they had excess performance to release to their customer in this situation?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: jpo234 on 05/19/2017 01:36 PM
Wasn't this one of the customers that was discussed as leaving SpaceX due to FH delays? 

Yes:
Citing SpaceX delays, Inmarsat moves satellite launch from Falcon Heavy to Ariane 5 (https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/12/09/citing-spacex-delays-inmarsat-moves-satellite-launch-from-falcon-heavy-to-ariane-5/)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 05/19/2017 02:14 PM
Wasn't this one of the customers that was discussed as leaving SpaceX due to FH delays? 

Yes:
Citing SpaceX delays, Inmarsat moves satellite launch from Falcon Heavy to Ariane 5 (https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/12/09/citing-spacex-delays-inmarsat-moves-satellite-launch-from-falcon-heavy-to-ariane-5/)

Thanks.

Next up on Ariane.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40756.msg1562530#msg1562530
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Lar on 05/19/2017 03:19 PM
Yes, cheaper launches and satellites are opening up smaller markets.

From SES April 28 earnings call (https://www.spaceintelreport.com/ses-compressions-always-led-to-video-growth-will-again);

Quote
<snip>

But none of these factors is having a material effect on SES’s video business so far. McCarthy said pricing remains stable, with SES selling transponder capacity at an average rate of 1.7 million euros ($2 million) per year.
<snip>

Side question, what is the UOM here? 1.7M Euros/year per what?  Per transponder? Per so many channels down at such and such resolution? per ???

Maybe that's a question for a SES thread.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: RedLineTrain on 05/19/2017 04:35 PM
I think that's 36 MHz per transponder.  How many channels you can fit on that transponder depends a lot on the bitrate per channel and video codec used.  It might also depend on the modulation scheme.

As one comparison, a few years ago, satellite operators were complaining that some competitors were selling $500k per transponder in Asia and that this price was unsustainable for the industry.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 05/21/2017 12:19 AM
Cross posting with emphasis mine:
We need to recruit some Indonesian members to watch the local media for us...

These seem to say there is a contract for SpaceX to launch Telkom 4 around June 2018 (although I can never be completely sure with Google Translate).

https://inet.detik.com/telecommunication/d-3424084/spacex-masih-dipercaya-luncurkan-satelit-telkom-4 (https://inet.detik.com/telecommunication/d-3424084/spacex-masih-dipercaya-luncurkan-satelit-telkom-4)
http://www.cnnindonesia.com/teknologi/20170417152745-213-208098/telkom-bakal-lebih-hemat-berkat-roket-spacex/ (http://www.cnnindonesia.com/teknologi/20170417152745-213-208098/telkom-bakal-lebih-hemat-berkat-roket-spacex/)
http://www.cnnindonesia.com/teknologi/20170130174006-213-190081/satelit-telkom-berikutnya-bakal-gandeng-spacex/ (http://www.cnnindonesia.com/teknologi/20170130174006-213-190081/satelit-telkom-berikutnya-bakal-gandeng-spacex/)
Behold my Google foo:
https://seasia.co/2017/05/01/indonesia-to-use-spacex-to-launch-next-satellite
http://www.satellitetoday.com/telecom/2015/12/30/ssl-to-provide-next-satellite-for-telkom-indonesia/
Nice find! So not only is this a new launch contract, but it will also be on a flight-proven booster.
Quote
President Director of Telkom, Alex J. Sinaga mentioned to CNN, “Investment in Telkom-4 [satellite] will be cheaper as we use a reusable orbital rocket from SpaceX, so it will be cheaper as much as 40 percent.”

Edit: added relevant quote from seasia.co article.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: envy887 on 05/21/2017 01:25 AM
Cross posting with emphasis mine:
We need to recruit some Indonesian members to watch the local media for us...

These seem to say there is a contract for SpaceX to launch Telkom 4 around June 2018 (although I can never be completely sure with Google Translate).

https://inet.detik.com/telecommunication/d-3424084/spacex-masih-dipercaya-luncurkan-satelit-telkom-4 (https://inet.detik.com/telecommunication/d-3424084/spacex-masih-dipercaya-luncurkan-satelit-telkom-4)
http://www.cnnindonesia.com/teknologi/20170417152745-213-208098/telkom-bakal-lebih-hemat-berkat-roket-spacex/ (http://www.cnnindonesia.com/teknologi/20170417152745-213-208098/telkom-bakal-lebih-hemat-berkat-roket-spacex/)
http://www.cnnindonesia.com/teknologi/20170130174006-213-190081/satelit-telkom-berikutnya-bakal-gandeng-spacex/ (http://www.cnnindonesia.com/teknologi/20170130174006-213-190081/satelit-telkom-berikutnya-bakal-gandeng-spacex/)
Behold my Google foo:
https://seasia.co/2017/05/01/indonesia-to-use-spacex-to-launch-next-satellite
http://www.satellitetoday.com/telecom/2015/12/30/ssl-to-provide-next-satellite-for-telkom-indonesia/
Nice find! So not only is this a new launch contract, but it will also be on a flight-proven booster.
Quote
President Director of Telkom, Alex J. Sinaga mentioned to CNN, “Investment in Telkom-4 [satellite] will be cheaper as we use a reusable orbital rocket from SpaceX, so it will be cheaper as much as 40 percent.”

Edit: added relevant quote from seasia.co article.
40% less for the launch, or for the satellite?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: docmordrid on 05/21/2017 02:24 AM
Either way, it sells itself.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 05/29/2017 04:25 PM
Headline sounds interesting, but article text doesn't support it. 
Seems to be unspoken, yet logical link...

Quote
New study: Sensing satellite market banking on spacex – blue origin space rivalry to boost future demand

https://www.whatech.com/market-research/telecommunications/310359-sensing-satellite-market-banking-on-spacex-blue-origin-space-rivalry-to-boost-future-demand
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 06/03/2017 03:47 PM
Headline sounds interesting, but article text doesn't support it. 
Seems to be unspoken, yet logical link...

Quote
New study: Sensing satellite market banking on spacex – blue origin space rivalry to boost future demand

https://www.whatech.com/market-research/telecommunications/310359-sensing-satellite-market-banking-on-spacex-blue-origin-space-rivalry-to-boost-future-demand
It hints at that cheaper access to space will create more demand in their market since new business cases will open up. This is a free market view of low prices to consumers for new products enables new submarkets to be created that would not otherwise be able to thrive. Some of this is the low latency of the sensor or image and the higher repeat rates per day enable new uses. But these two items requires more sats and that requires both the sat and the launch to be cheaper.

It is a vision of the direction this industry is headed and the effect it will have ultimately on the demand for launch (not rideshare but dedicated constellation dispersement flights).
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Norm38 on 06/06/2017 04:29 PM
This is what the DOD wanted for the EELV contracts but could never quite get there.

When does ERLV become an acronym?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: woods170 on 06/06/2017 07:45 PM
This is what the DOD wanted for the EELV contracts but could never quite get there.

When does ERLV become an acronym?
Never. In time they will simply drop the second "E" and be done with it.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 06/07/2017 10:29 AM
Haven't heard that this will be a flight-proven booster (it probably won't be) but the momentum and acceptance are there...

Quote
Wilson testified that the emergence of the commercial space industry has proven a boon for the US military. "The benefit we're seeing now is competition," she said. "There are some very exciting things happening in commercial space that bring the opportunity for assured access to space at a very competitive price."

The admission came in response to a question from Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), who asked about the military's capability for a rapid response to military space needs. After picking up a model of the X-37B and showing it to committee members, Wilson said the addition of companies like SpaceX, as well as other launch firms, was expanding the capacity of the military and significantly lowering costs.

The US military has not said what the X-37B has been doing up in space for years at a time, beyond furthering "operations development for reusable space vehicle technologies." In addition to testing surveillance technology, some experts think the Air Force may be working on equipment that could be incorporated into a human-rated version of the vehicle that could carry a flight crew. Among the applications contemplated for the X-37B would be the recovery of satellites for repair on Earth.

Some military advisers have begun urging the Air Force to embrace the commercial space industry more completely.


https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/06/spacex-will-launch-the-air-forces-secretive-space-plane-on-its-next-flight/
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: CraigLieb on 06/08/2017 09:46 PM
Some day asking for a new rocket will seem like waiting for a new cab because you like that new car smell.
It could be a long wait.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/15/2017 07:44 AM
Quote
@IridiumBoss: Cool Bulgaria/ @SpaceX using stage from @IridiumComm launch. We'd do the same -- with a big discount.

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/875198527948849157 (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/875198527948849157)

Edit: sorry, forgot the link

https://www.spaceintelreport.com/iridium-thinking-ahead-life-coface-loan-ma-possible/ (https://www.spaceintelreport.com/iridium-thinking-ahead-life-coface-loan-ma-possible/)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/19/2017 06:01 PM
Quote
Iridium’s Matt Desch says company might be open to launching on a previously-flown Falcon 9 in 2nd half of eight-launch series next year.

https://twitter.com/stephenclark1/status/876860410410004480 (https://twitter.com/stephenclark1/status/876860410410004480)

Quote
Iridium’s Desch: We want to see steeper discount than what SpaceX currently offers to switch to a reused Falcon 9 booster, but open to it.

https://twitter.com/stephenclark1/status/876860662403792896 (https://twitter.com/stephenclark1/status/876860662403792896)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: tvg98 on 06/19/2017 06:45 PM
So I asked Matt whether a 30% discount would be good enough and he said this:

Quote
Haven't seen that kind of discount, but we can't wait a year or two.  It's not just $$, but an issue of whether it improves our schedule.

https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/876871989532688384 (https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/876871989532688384)


Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/19/2017 06:51 PM
Thanks for asking.

Hmm, doesn't that rather undercut the 'need' for a big discount? Sounding more like a negotiating position. I suspect schedule is rather more important to Iridium - as delays likely to mean more in lost revenue than potential discount?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: tvg98 on 06/19/2017 07:11 PM
I just asked about whether the insurance policy for Iridium was a significant cause for the waits in between flights. Matt said that:

Quote
Insurance always a consideration, but with a few more good reflights, expect won't be much of an issue.  BTW, ins isn't only cause of wait..

https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/876878841742061568 (https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/876878841742061568)

i'm assuming SpaceX's backlog is almost certainly part of the reason why they can't fly sooner.


Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: M.E.T. on 06/19/2017 08:33 PM
Thanks for asking.

Hmm, doesn't that rather undercut the 'need' for a big discount? Sounding more like a negotiating position. I suspect schedule is rather more important to Iridium - as delays likely to mean more in lost revenue than potential discount?

I suspect that once the reliability of reused rockets has been established with say a dozen successful reflights or so, that SpaceX could charge pretty much full price for a reused rocket if it allowed customers to jump significantly forward in the queue.

After all, there is no coercion from SpaceX, simply an option which they present to the client. Launch as planned on a new booster 1 year from now, or launch next month, on a reused one. No pressure.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 06/21/2017 03:13 AM
There's only so fast they can swap the new sats into their constellation and the planning and scheduling for that is one major consideration for how rapidly they actually want to launch.  Other client side considerations are their satellite production rate as well as staffing/resources for payload prep at the launch site.  I'm sure there are others. 
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Lar on 06/21/2017 03:20 AM
I like Matt but I think he's jawboning to try to get a better discount by using PR to his advantage. Good for him.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/21/2017 06:11 AM
More background on Iridium's views and quotes from Matt:

http://spacenews.com/iridium-open-to-reused-falcon-9s-if-it-means-spacex-can-speed-up-schedule/ (http://spacenews.com/iridium-open-to-reused-falcon-9s-if-it-means-spacex-can-speed-up-schedule/)

Includes:

Quote
“That’s the first thing: will they improve my schedule, because schedule to me is very very important.”
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 06/21/2017 01:05 PM
I like Matt but I think he's jawboning to try to get a better discount by using PR to his advantage. Good for him.

Almost like in a free market! ::)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: TrevorMonty on 06/21/2017 05:23 PM
There's only so fast they can swap the new sats into their constellation and the planning and scheduling for that is one major consideration for how rapidly they actually want to launch.  Other client side considerations are their satellite production rate as well as staffing/resources for payload prep at the launch site.  I'm sure there are others.
If their other scheduled launch provider has extensive delays eg LV grounded because reliability issues , pad out of action. That is when an alternative LV provider that can launch on short notice becomes important.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Lar on 06/21/2017 06:03 PM
I like Matt but I think he's jawboning to try to get a better discount by using PR to his advantage. Good for him.

Almost like in a free market! ::)
Exactly. This is part of the Musk vision and I bet Elon is glad to see it even if it's a bit of pseudo-gibing at his expense.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 06/21/2017 10:29 PM
I like Matt but I think he's jawboning to try to get a better discount by using PR to his advantage. Good for him.

Almost like in a free market! ::)
Exactly. This is part of the Musk vision and I bet Elon is glad to see it even if it's a bit of pseudo-gibing at his expense.

The deep discounts will come, just postponed because of a little fixer-upper of a pad.  Iridium just has a bucket load of sats to loft now, not in a couple years.  Has to settle for earlier launches (less late, that is) and a few million each back for his trouble.  Not a bad deal.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 06/22/2017 05:03 PM
House Armed Services Committee weighs in:

Quote
HASC sbcmt just adopted (voice) Franks amendment saying AF should use reusable rockets when safe and makes sense. (Pro-reusability)

https://twitter.com/SpcPlcyOnline/status/877901895242797057

Quote
Would have to see exact wording, but in direction of goodnss. Its in US intrsts that ALL gov agencies, incl NASA, promote & encourage RLVs.

https://twitter.com/davehuntsman/status/877927306404126720
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Rebel44 on 06/22/2017 07:59 PM
House Armed Services Committee weighs in:

Quote
HASC sbcmt just adopted (voice) Franks amendment saying AF should use reusable rockets when safe and makes sense. (Pro-reusability)

https://twitter.com/SpcPlcyOnline/status/877901895242797057

Quote
Would have to see exact wording, but in direction of goodnss. Its in US intrsts that ALL gov agencies, incl NASA, promote & encourage RLVs.

https://twitter.com/davehuntsman/status/877927306404126720

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2nbWehU9U4?t=18m16s

mentioned at 18:16
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/22/2017 08:58 PM
Write-up by Eric Berger:

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/06/house-lawmakers-endorse-reusable-rockets-for-military-purposes/ (https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/06/house-lawmakers-endorse-reusable-rockets-for-military-purposes/)

Edit to add: Frank’s amendment text
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 06/23/2017 12:08 PM
Another by BulgariaSat's CEO:

Quote
On the eve of the launch of his country’s first communications satellite on a Falcon 9 rocket, the chief executive of BulgariaSat credited SpaceX’s cost-cutting ways with making space accessible for small nations and money-conscious companies like his own.

Maxim Zayakov, CEO of BulgariaSat and its affiliate television provider Bulsatcom, told Spacefight Now that SpaceX’s push to reduce the cost of space transportation has yielded tangible results for his country.

“People don’t realize that, for small countries and small companies like us, without SpaceX, there was no way we would ever be able to even think about space,” Zayakov said. “With them, it was possible. We got a project. I think, in the future, it’s going to be even more affordable because of reusability.”

https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/06/22/head-of-bulgariasat-says-satellite-project-would-be-impossible-without-spacex/
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 06/23/2017 12:46 PM
Interesting how those strong voices who touted the folly of reuse have grown remarkably quiet as of late...

I haven't seen mention of Dr Sower's spreadsheet in some time. If it was grounded in solid reasoning, why isn't it being referenced anymore (serious question - because I would like to know if anything has changed in those calculations, or is it just the excitement of watching flight proven boosters taking flight...)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: JamesH65 on 06/23/2017 01:20 PM
Interesting how those strong voices who touted the folly of reuse have grown remarkably quiet as of late...

I haven't seen mention of Dr Sower's spreadsheet in some time. If it was grounded in solid reasoning, why isn't it being referenced anymore (serious question - because I would like to know if anything has changed in those calculations, or is it just the excitement of watching flight proven boosters taking flight...)

Not only that, but those who shot down talk of market elasticity, i.e disagreeing with statement, "if its cheap enough, more people will use it". This Bulgariasat release seems to fall exactly in the middle of that statement!
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: TrevorMonty on 06/23/2017 01:24 PM
Interesting how those strong voices who touted the folly of reuse have grown remarkably quiet as of late...

I haven't seen mention of Dr Sower's spreadsheet in some time. If it was grounded in solid reasoning, why isn't it being referenced anymore (serious question - because I would like to know if anything has changed in those calculations, or is it just the excitement of watching flight proven boosters taking flight...)
The maths on his spreadsheet are still valid, especially if pricing at $/kg to orbit not $ per launch. Elon said few $100M in R&D on RLV, some of which they would like to recover, hence slight not large discount on used boosters. While maths still apply to Blue, they can afford to forgo cost of R&D recovery, in doing so shave $10Ms off each launch. A publicly listed company wouldn't be able to justify this with their shareholders. In SpaceX case shareholding is private with investors willing to play long game.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: gospacex on 06/23/2017 10:49 PM
Interesting how those strong voices who touted the folly of reuse have grown remarkably quiet as of late...

I haven't seen mention of Dr Sower's spreadsheet in some time. If it was grounded in solid reasoning, why isn't it being referenced anymore (serious question - because I would like to know if anything has changed in those calculations, or is it just the excitement of watching flight proven boosters taking flight...)

You can ask at georgesowers.blogspot.com ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/24/2017 01:30 AM
There were a bunch of questionable assumptions that went into the spreadsheet.

And I challenge those who say only a private company could've done this. No, that's a terrible excuse. SpaceX will make a big profit on this investment.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 06/24/2017 02:48 AM
There were a bunch of questionable assumptions that went into the spreadsheet.

Questionable is putting it charitably.  IIRC, the spreadsheet assumed the revenue was proportional to the max kg capable of being sent to orbit on a particular launcher but also assumed that the number of launches was fixed.  That's just bonkers.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/24/2017 08:51 AM
So taking stock after 2nd booster re-use (:D), it really seems that nearly all customers are now asking 'when shall we re-use' and not 'if'.

There's Gwynne's comment (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43197.msg1692779#msg1692779) of 3-4 more customers this year looking to re-use, plus all the positive quotes in this thread. I was looking again the other day at some 2015?/2016? press around Ariane 6, saw quote saying no market demand for re-use ...
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 06/24/2017 10:02 AM
So taking stock after 2nd booster re-use (:D), it really seems that nearly all customers are now asking 'when shall we re-use' and not 'if'.

There's Gwynne's comment (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43197.msg1692779#msg1692779) of 3-4 more customers this year looking to re-use, plus all the positive quotes in this thread. I was looking again the other day at some 2015?/2016? press around Ariane 6, saw quote saying no market demand for re-use ...

Two of those customers, SES and Iridium, are talking multiple flight-proven vehicle rides within the next 6-9 months.  USG, both NASA and USAF, probably are not in the mentioned 3-4, but both are in the not-if-but-when camp.  Jury still out on whether all FH flights (except maybe STP-2?) will be reused only. 

Still looking like we could enter 2018 with a manifest going forward that is 50% reused boosters or close to it.

The 'no market demand for reuse' was repeated this week at Paris Air Show...
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Confusador on 06/24/2017 10:25 AM
So taking stock after 2nd booster re-use (:D), it really seems that nearly all customers are now asking 'when shall we re-use' and not 'if'.

There's Gwynne's comment (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43197.msg1692779#msg1692779) of 3-4 more customers this year looking to re-use, plus all the positive quotes in this thread. I was looking again the other day at some 2015?/2016? press around Ariane 6, saw quote saying no market demand for re-use ...

Two of those customers, SES and Iridium, are talking multiple flight-proven vehicle rides within the next 6-9 months.  USG, both NASA and USAF, probably are not in the mentioned 3-4, but both are in the not-if-but-when camp.  Jury still out on whether all FH flights (except maybe STP-2?) will be reused only. 

Still looking like we could enter 2018 with a manifest going forward that is 50% reused boosters or close to it.

The 'no market demand for reuse' was repeated this week at Paris Air Show...

I think 2018 is going to *have* to be at least 30% reused.  We know they're only producing 20 rockets/year right now, and LC 40 alone will be able to use them all.  I doubt that they're going to increase that rate, so even if there are only half a dozen launches each at 39A and 4E the launch rate is going to require a pretty high reuse rate.  Even more so in 2019 with Boca Chica online, and I suspect at that point they're going to want to shift some of the Merlin production line to Raptor.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 06/24/2017 10:36 AM
So taking stock after 2nd booster re-use (:D), it really seems that nearly all customers are now asking 'when shall we re-use' and not 'if'.

There's Gwynne's comment (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43197.msg1692779#msg1692779) of 3-4 more customers this year looking to re-use, plus all the positive quotes in this thread. I was looking again the other day at some 2015?/2016? press around Ariane 6, saw quote saying no market demand for re-use ...

Two of those customers, SES and Iridium, are talking multiple flight-proven vehicle rides within the next 6-9 months.  USG, both NASA and USAF, probably are not in the mentioned 3-4, but both are in the not-if-but-when camp.  Jury still out on whether all FH flights (except maybe STP-2?) will be reused only. 

Still looking like we could enter 2018 with a manifest going forward that is 50% reused boosters or close to it.

The 'no market demand for reuse' was repeated this week at Paris Air Show...

I think 2018 is going to *have* to be at least 30% reused.  We know they're only producing 20 rockets/year right now, and LC 40 alone will be able to use them all.  I doubt that they're going to increase that rate, so even if there are only half a dozen launches each at 39A and 4E the launch rate is going to require a pretty high reuse rate.  Even more so in 2019 with Boca Chica online, and I suspect at that point they're going to want to shift some of the Merlin production line to Raptor.

Once Block 5 starts to fly (and performs up to design), there will no longer be demand or need for 20 new cores per year.  They may have hit peak production of Falcon in 2017.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: woods170 on 06/24/2017 12:31 PM
Interesting how those strong voices who touted the folly of reuse have grown remarkably quiet as of late...

I haven't seen mention of Dr Sower's spreadsheet in some time. If it was grounded in solid reasoning, why isn't it being referenced anymore (serious question - because I would like to know if anything has changed in those calculations, or is it just the excitement of watching flight proven boosters taking flight...)
That spreadsheet was discussed ad nauseum in some other thread (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37390.0). The discussion ended back then with the general conclusion that the spreadsheet in question was:
Quote from: Starbuck
...a piece of felgercarb.

If people wish to re-hash all the shortcomings of said spreadsheet than I suggest they do so in the approriate thread (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37390.0).
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 06/24/2017 12:52 PM
Lord no! Not wishing to rehash that thing. Was more meant to see if the staunch detractors for reuse have softened their tone - or even have reversed their way of thinking - or do they stand by their convictions.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Oli on 06/24/2017 12:57 PM
Interesting how those strong voices who touted the folly of reuse have grown remarkably quiet as of late...

I haven't seen mention of Dr Sower's spreadsheet in some time. If it was grounded in solid reasoning, why isn't it being referenced anymore (serious question - because I would like to know if anything has changed in those calculations, or is it just the excitement of watching flight proven boosters taking flight...)
That spreadsheet was discussed ad nauseum in some other thread (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37390.0). The discussion ended back then with the general conclusion that the spreadsheet in question was:
Quote from: Starbuck
...a piece of felgercarb.

If people wish to re-hash all the shortcomings of said spreadsheet than I suggest they do so in the approriate thread (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37390.0).

The spreadsheet had its limitations, but people saying it was "a piece of felgercarb" just don't understand it.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: M.E.T. on 06/24/2017 01:04 PM
So taking stock after 2nd booster re-use (:D), it really seems that nearly all customers are now asking 'when shall we re-use' and not 'if'.

There's Gwynne's comment (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43197.msg1692779#msg1692779) of 3-4 more customers this year looking to re-use, plus all the positive quotes in this thread. I was looking again the other day at some 2015?/2016? press around Ariane 6, saw quote saying no market demand for re-use ...

Two of those customers, SES and Iridium, are talking multiple flight-proven vehicle rides within the next 6-9 months.  USG, both NASA and USAF, probably are not in the mentioned 3-4, but both are in the not-if-but-when camp.  Jury still out on whether all FH flights (except maybe STP-2?) will be reused only. 

Still looking like we could enter 2018 with a manifest going forward that is 50% reused boosters or close to it.

The 'no market demand for reuse' was repeated this week at Paris Air Show...

I think 2018 is going to *have* to be at least 30% reused.  We know they're only producing 20 rockets/year right now, and LC 40 alone will be able to use them all.  I doubt that they're going to increase that rate, so even if there are only half a dozen launches each at 39A and 4E the launch rate is going to require a pretty high reuse rate.  Even more so in 2019 with Boca Chica online, and I suspect at that point they're going to want to shift some of the Merlin production line to Raptor.

Once Block 5 starts to fly (and performs up to design), there will no longer be demand or need for 20 new cores per year.  They may have hit peak production of Falcon in 2017.

This brings me back to the question of how they are going to manage the transition to Block 5. Because by the end of this year they are likely going to sit with upwards of a dozen used and safely landed Block 3 and 4 cores in storage. Those can all be refurbished for reuse, so they represent an asset that is sitting in some storage hangar. However, the dilemma is that Block 5 will then be in operation, and Block 5 can be refurbished much more cheaply than Blocks 3 and 4.

So. Do you just throw away the landed Block 3 and 4 cores - who can each be reflown 2 or 3 times with refurbishment? Or do you use them until they have expended their economic use - despite having Block 5's available that can fly 10 times, with minimal refurbishment.

I guess if the flight rate exceeds the pace at which Block 5's can come online and be refurbished, they might delve into some returned Block 3 and 4 boosters. Else what's the point of going to the expense of landing and recovering them at the moment?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: guckyfan on 06/24/2017 01:31 PM
Else what's the point of going to the expense of landing and recovering them at the moment?

They are still optimizing landing so worth it. They may continue to try the extreme limit landings. Also new trajectories using the new grid fins. Good they start using them now, not only with block 5 so they don't need to do experimenting with block 5 cores so much.

Upgrade the LZ-1 pads with steel plating? I don't think radar reflective painting is the long term solution. That red cloud may look nice but what is in there?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: cppetrie on 06/24/2017 01:37 PM
That red cloud may look nice but what is in there?
The radar reflective paint may just have a bunch of iron powder in it. Might explain the reddish coloration to the cloud.

edit/gongora: fixed quotes
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: JazzFan on 06/24/2017 01:42 PM
So. Do you just throw away the landed Block 3 and 4 cores - who can each be reflown 2 or 3 times with refurbishment? Or do you use them until they have expended their economic use - despite having Block 5's available that can fly 10 times, with minimal refurbishment.

Just use the Block 3 and 4s for expended mode launches until the lot is run out.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Prettz on 06/24/2017 02:32 PM
So. Do you just throw away the landed Block 3 and 4 cores - who can each be reflown 2 or 3 times with refurbishment? Or do you use them until they have expended their economic use - despite having Block 5's available that can fly 10 times, with minimal refurbishment.

Just use the Block 3 and 4s for expended mode launches until the lot is run out.
Doesn't that undercut Falcon Heavy, though? I presume they don't want to undercut FH once it's flying.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 06/24/2017 04:33 PM
Else what's the point of going to the expense of landing and recovering them at the moment?

They are still optimizing landing so worth it. They may continue to try the extreme limit landings. Also new trajectories using the new grid fins. Good they start using them now, not only with block 5 so they don't need to do experimenting with block 5 cores so much.

Upgrade the LZ-1 pads with steel plating? I don't think radar reflective painting is the long term solution. That red cloud may look nice but what is in there?

Those are all good reasons to keep landing block 3-4 cores.  Another is to continue getting everyone used to the idea that cores can land and be reused, so that when block 5 becomes available, fewer of them will have to be expended because customers aren't yet ready to trust reused cores.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 06/24/2017 04:35 PM
Else what's the point of going to the expense of landing and recovering them at the moment?

They are still optimizing landing so worth it. They may continue to try the extreme limit landings. Also new trajectories using the new grid fins. Good they start using them now, not only with block 5 so they don't need to do experimenting with block 5 cores so much.

Upgrade the LZ-1 pads with steel plating? I don't think radar reflective painting is the long term solution. That red cloud may look nice but what is in there?

Those are all good reasons to keep landing block 3-4 cores.  Another is to continue getting everyone used to the idea that cores can land and be reused, so that when block 5 becomes available, fewer of them will have to be expended because customers aren't yet ready to trust reused cores.

Aso: museums.  If they end up with some extra block 3-4 cores that have flown, they'll be great exhibits for museums, and that's good advertising for SpaceX.  A rocket that has actually flown to space and come back is a pretty rare thing for a museum.

Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: JazzFan on 06/24/2017 06:10 PM
So. Do you just throw away the landed Block 3 and 4 cores - who can each be reflown 2 or 3 times with refurbishment? Or do you use them until they have expended their economic use - despite having Block 5's available that can fly 10 times, with minimal refurbishment.

Just use the Block 3 and 4s for expended mode launches until the lot is run out.
Doesn't that undercut Falcon Heavy, though? I presume they don't want to undercut FH once it's flying.

That is not my point.  My point is to use look at the cores as assets on a ledger.  It would be better to allocate block 3 or 4s as consumables (expended mode) due to higher costs, as long as they meet performance requirements of the launch.  This is also a reason to use flight proven cores for FH, the cheapest approach that meets the solution generates the most revenue.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: TrevorMonty on 06/24/2017 06:24 PM
Use them on high energy missions like yesterday and scrap the recovered stage. Just because stage has taken a toasting doesn't stop SpaceX stripping it for parts.

As for FH some customers may still prefer F9 if given choice.

Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: elist on 06/24/2017 07:26 PM
So. Do you just throw away the landed Block 3 and 4 cores - who can each be reflown 2 or 3 times with refurbishment? Or do you use them until they have expended their economic use - despite having Block 5's available that can fly 10 times, with minimal refurbishment.

Just use the Block 3 and 4s for expended mode launches until the lot is run out.
Doesn't that undercut Falcon Heavy, though? I presume they don't want to undercut FH once it's flying.

Well, FH isn't flying yet, so there's still a need for expendable missions.  Additionally, FH can't fly out of SLC-40 so that means you have a bottleneck at 39A which is also the only place to launch the upcoming Commercial Crew missions.  I could see some customers wanting to not stand in manifest line the very busy 39A pad and opting for expendable instead.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/25/2017 03:10 AM
I don't think SpaceX cares about undercutting Falcon heavy. FH is probably going to be a pain, with higher chance of failure. Except for government launches, I bet it'll be phased out in favor of something in the ITS family within a few years.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Prettz on 06/25/2017 04:38 AM
Well, FH isn't flying yet, so there's still a need for expendable missions.  Additionally, FH can't fly out of SLC-40 so that means you have a bottleneck at 39A which is also the only place to launch the upcoming Commercial Crew missions.  I could see some customers wanting to not stand in manifest line the very busy 39A pad and opting for expendable instead.
It'll be flying customer missions by next year. That's not much time to sign new launches for expendable F9.
It can't fly out of LC-40, but everything else except the once-a-year Commercial Crew missions can. Once LC-40 is back up, it will be hosting as many launches as they can fit in, and 39A will take what's left, plus FH launches. Why would there will be a bottleneck at 39A?

I don't think SpaceX cares about undercutting Falcon heavy. FH is probably going to be a pain, with higher chance of failure. Except for government launches, I bet it'll be phased out in favor of something in the ITS family within a few years.
That is utterly preposterous. A few years? That's 2020. What are you talking about?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/25/2017 08:46 AM
Sorry, F9 blocks, FH and ITS phasing discussions are OT. Plenty of other threads for those.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/25/2017 02:55 PM

I don't think SpaceX cares about undercutting Falcon heavy. FH is probably going to be a pain, with higher chance of failure. Except for government launches, I bet it'll be phased out in favor of something in the ITS family within a few years.
That is utterly preposterous. A few years? That's 2020. What are you talking about?
2020 or a little later (2021 or 2022). Why is it preposterous? 2020 was SpaceX's timeline for full ITS. If they go with a smaller one (I'll bet you money they will), this isn't totally unrealistic at all. It's in line with Blue O's 2019 plan for New Glenn, and Raptor is arguably further along (with SpaceX both being faster at executing and having more experience with large vehicles).

As soon as a (smaller) ITS is available, I'm sure they'll move as many launches as they can to it, starting with Falcon heavy launches. Government launches on FH will take longer due to longer certification process, so I'm sure FH will still pay for itself with government launches.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/26/2017 09:16 AM
Back on-topic, new article by Peter B de Selding:

https://www.spaceintelreport.com/spacex-cuts-flight-refurbish-reflight-time-falcon-9-first-stage/ (https://www.spaceintelreport.com/spacex-cuts-flight-refurbish-reflight-time-falcon-9-first-stage/)

Includes this from Jonathan Hofeller, SpaceX vice president for commercial sales:

Quote
Hofeller said many SpaceX customers — “I won’t say a majority, but it may be a majority” — have expressed interest in converting their contracts to previously flown stages.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Semmel on 06/26/2017 09:33 AM
Back on-topic, new article by Peter B de Selding:

https://www.spaceintelreport.com/spacex-cuts-flight-refurbish-reflight-time-falcon-9-first-stage/ (https://www.spaceintelreport.com/spacex-cuts-flight-refurbish-reflight-time-falcon-9-first-stage/)

Includes this from Jonathan Hofeller, SpaceX vice president for commercial sales:

Quote
Hofeller said many SpaceX customers — “I won’t say a majority, but it may be a majority” — have expressed interest in converting their contracts to previously flown stages.

That is somewhat expected but its nice to see play out in reality. I am from Europe and somewhat embarrassed by the lack of vision from ESA and Ariane Group. I hope SpaceX and Blue Origin shake the launch market until all major players make their rockets reusable. I dont want only one or two companies to dominate the launch market, that is not healthy. But if SpaceX proves re-usability and customers go for it, thats good enough. Other launch providers may lack the vision to see this kind of future but all of them run after "markets" which hopefully will have enough force to drive them into the re-usability direction within reasonable time.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: ZachF on 06/26/2017 03:20 PM
So taking stock after 2nd booster re-use (:D), it really seems that nearly all customers are now asking 'when shall we re-use' and not 'if'.

There's Gwynne's comment (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43197.msg1692779#msg1692779) of 3-4 more customers this year looking to re-use, plus all the positive quotes in this thread. I was looking again the other day at some 2015?/2016? press around Ariane 6, saw quote saying no market demand for re-use ...

Two of those customers, SES and Iridium, are talking multiple flight-proven vehicle rides within the next 6-9 months.  USG, both NASA and USAF, probably are not in the mentioned 3-4, but both are in the not-if-but-when camp.  Jury still out on whether all FH flights (except maybe STP-2?) will be reused only. 

Still looking like we could enter 2018 with a manifest going forward that is 50% reused boosters or close to it.

The 'no market demand for reuse' was repeated this week at Paris Air Show...

I think 2018 is going to *have* to be at least 30% reused.  We know they're only producing 20 rockets/year right now, and LC 40 alone will be able to use them all.  I doubt that they're going to increase that rate, so even if there are only half a dozen launches each at 39A and 4E the launch rate is going to require a pretty high reuse rate.  Even more so in 2019 with Boca Chica online, and I suspect at that point they're going to want to shift some of the Merlin production line to Raptor.

Once Block 5 starts to fly (and performs up to design), there will no longer be demand or need for 20 new cores per year.  They may have hit peak production of Falcon in 2017.

If Block5 can get 10 re-uses, they only need a production capacity of around 8/year to get 80 launches/year for first stages, but 2nd stage production will have to grow from 20/y to 80/y.

Merlin Production will have to go from around 180 M1 and 20 M1Vs (200 total) to 72 M1s and 80 M1Vs (152 total)

seems pretty doable.

A launch cadence of 80/year (when Constellation is going up) is going to crater fixed costs per launch, on top of the S1 re-use savings. SpaceX is going to have enormous pricing power that no one is going to be able to match. I wouldn't be surprised under such a scenario if the cost to SpaceX to launch a Falcon 9 is only around $20m.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 06/26/2017 04:38 PM
Considering the fact that the % of used booster that would fly this year to the total number of boosters to fly will be about 25%, the ability to fly a higher percentage (>50%) of used boosters in 2018 is not only likely but is also likely to change many customers' minds over the use of used boosters. A savings of just $10M when using a used booster that has equal or better reliability than a new booster  as well as a possible decrease in insurance costs may very well change the tentative use of used boosters by commercial customers into a flood.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: TrevorMonty on 06/26/2017 06:42 PM


Considering the fact that the % of used booster that would fly this year to the total number of boosters to fly will be about 25%, the ability to fly a higher percentage (>50%) of used boosters in 2018 is not only likely but is also likely to change many customers' minds over the use of used boosters. A savings of just $10M when using a used booster that has equal or better reliability than a new booster  as well as a possible decrease in insurance costs may very well change the tentative use of used boosters by commercial customers into a flood.

Where they might offer significant discounts $10-20m is for bulk purchases eg Iridium constellation.

If they decide to get into LEO tourist flights, then low launch costs are critical  as it is price sensitive market. $10-15m a seat or $60-90m a launch is quite realistic.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 06/27/2017 06:47 AM
Considering the fact that the % of used booster that would fly this year to the total number of boosters to fly will be about 25%, the ability to fly a higher percentage (>50%) of used boosters in 2018 is not only likely but is also likely to change many customers' minds over the use of used boosters. A savings of just $10M when using a used booster that has equal or better reliability than a new booster  as well as a possible decrease in insurance costs may very well change the tentative use of used boosters by commercial customers into a flood.

I agree.

The resistance to used boosters is, I think, more based on people's gut feel than purely rational analysis.  Once used boosters are flying regularly, people's gut feel about them will change quickly -- particularly if those used boosters are giving those people's competitors an advantage, in terms of schedule, price, or both.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: faramund on 06/27/2017 12:26 PM
Considering the fact that the % of used booster that would fly this year to the total number of boosters to fly will be about 25%, the ability to fly a higher percentage (>50%) of used boosters in 2018 is not only likely but is also likely to change many customers' minds over the use of used boosters. A savings of just $10M when using a used booster that has equal or better reliability than a new booster  as well as a possible decrease in insurance costs may very well change the tentative use of used boosters by commercial customers into a flood.

I agree.

The resistance to used boosters is, I think, more based on people's gut feel than purely rational analysis.  Once used boosters are flying regularly, people's gut feel about them will change quickly -- particularly if those used boosters are giving those people's competitors an advantage, in terms of schedule, price, or both.

I don't think there's that much resistance, if you account for 'museum' stages, testing, and for the F9heavy, I think there's only 5 stages left: 1029, 1031, 1032, 1035 and 1036. The last two (as well as 1029) have just been launched. And there's talk of SpaceX retiring old versions of F9. So at the moment, it seems very close to, SpaceX can sell any used stages it wishes to - which is why I think there is very low resistance.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: WindnWar on 06/27/2017 12:52 PM
So taking stock after 2nd booster re-use (:D), it really seems that nearly all customers are now asking 'when shall we re-use' and not 'if'.

There's Gwynne's comment (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43197.msg1692779#msg1692779) of 3-4 more customers this year looking to re-use, plus all the positive quotes in this thread. I was looking again the other day at some 2015?/2016? press around Ariane 6, saw quote saying no market demand for re-use ...

Two of those customers, SES and Iridium, are talking multiple flight-proven vehicle rides within the next 6-9 months.  USG, both NASA and USAF, probably are not in the mentioned 3-4, but both are in the not-if-but-when camp.  Jury still out on whether all FH flights (except maybe STP-2?) will be reused only. 

Still looking like we could enter 2018 with a manifest going forward that is 50% reused boosters or close to it.

The 'no market demand for reuse' was repeated this week at Paris Air Show...

I think 2018 is going to *have* to be at least 30% reused.  We know they're only producing 20 rockets/year right now, and LC 40 alone will be able to use them all.  I doubt that they're going to increase that rate, so even if there are only half a dozen launches each at 39A and 4E the launch rate is going to require a pretty high reuse rate.  Even more so in 2019 with Boca Chica online, and I suspect at that point they're going to want to shift some of the Merlin production line to Raptor.

Once Block 5 starts to fly (and performs up to design), there will no longer be demand or need for 20 new cores per year.  They may have hit peak production of Falcon in 2017.

If Block5 can get 10 re-uses, they only need a production capacity of around 8/year to get 80 launches/year for first stages, but 2nd stage production will have to grow from 20/y to 80/y.

Merlin Production will have to go from around 180 M1 and 20 M1Vs (200 total) to 72 M1s and 80 M1Vs (152 total)

seems pretty doable.

A launch cadence of 80/year (when Constellation is going up) is going to crater fixed costs per launch, on top of the S1 re-use savings. SpaceX is going to have enormous pricing power that no one is going to be able to match. I wouldn't be surprised under such a scenario if the cost to SpaceX to launch a Falcon 9 is only around $20m.

You know with pricing like that Oneweb might rue their decision to sign such a huge launch contract with Arianespace for those Soyuz launches because the reality is they will have likely overpaid to get there fleet into orbit. I get the competitive side of them vs SpaceX probably being a factor but the savings they likely gave up could have funded a huge amount of future constellation hardware etc.

Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 06/27/2017 01:04 PM
You know with pricing like that Oneweb might rue their decision to sign such a huge launch contract with Arianespace for those Soyuz launches because the reality is they will have likely overpaid to get there fleet into orbit. I get the competitive side of them vs SpaceX probably being a factor but the savings they likely gave up could have funded a huge amount of future constellation hardware etc.

OneWeb was between a rock and a hard place.  Going with SpaceX is bad for them because they're dependent on their competitor.  Going with another launch provider is bad because their launch costs are a lot higher than SpaceX's.

It's hard to know which of the two is worse.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/27/2017 01:26 PM
OneWeb luckily has New Glenn, which should be plenty competitive, at least on a technical level.

In fact, I'd say New Glenn would be better than Falcon 9.

Except for the fact that New Glenn will only fly years from now, and by then SpaceX not only will have several years and dozens of reflights to learn/profit from but will also have new technology that should make SpaceX even more competitive than New Glenn (or so they hope).

OneWeb already has a contract signed with Blue Origin.

We're already living in exciting times for space launch, but it's all just going to accelerate from here until we have massive fully reusable rockets flying constantly.

In the meantime, OneWeb is going to have to pay a big premium to get their foot in the door before SpaceX by launching the initial functional part of their constellation using expendable rockets. Although it's still not a foregone conclusion they'll beat SpaceX to initial functionality.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 06/27/2017 03:30 PM
You know with pricing like that Oneweb might rue their decision to sign such a huge launch contract with Arianespace for those Soyuz launches because the reality is they will have likely overpaid to get there fleet into orbit. I get the competitive side of them vs SpaceX probably being a factor but the savings they likely gave up could have funded a huge amount of future constellation hardware etc.

OneWeb was between a rock and a hard place.  Going with SpaceX is bad for them because they're dependent on their competitor.  Going with another launch provider is bad because their launch costs are a lot higher than SpaceX's.

It's hard to know which of the two is worse.

At the time they contracted with ArianeSpace, SpaceX wasn't a reliable provider of that quantity of launches... in fact, Soyuz was the only vehicle capable of handling that volume -- maybe still is, but not for long. 

OneWeb went with their only option to get a jump on ConnX.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 06/28/2017 03:18 PM
You know with pricing like that Oneweb might rue their decision to sign such a huge launch contract with Arianespace for those Soyuz launches because the reality is they will have likely overpaid to get there fleet into orbit. I get the competitive side of them vs SpaceX probably being a factor but the savings they likely gave up could have funded a huge amount of future constellation hardware etc.

OneWeb was between a rock and a hard place.  Going with SpaceX is bad for them because they're dependent on their competitor.  Going with another launch provider is bad because their launch costs are a lot higher than SpaceX's.

It's hard to know which of the two is worse.

At the time they contracted with ArianeSpace, SpaceX wasn't a reliable provider of that quantity of launches... in fact, Soyuz was the only vehicle capable of handling that volume -- maybe still is, but not for long. 

OneWeb went with their only option to get a jump on ConnX.
Current demonstrated launch rate volumes:
R7 (soyuz) - 7 in 6 months
F9 - 9 in 6 months

Yes Soyuz has moved to second place as the highest launch rate LV. But is still impressive launch rate at nearly twice the rate of any of it's competitors.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: TrevorMonty on 06/28/2017 03:34 PM
 They should receive a significant discount on Soyuz launches give volume. Plus Ariane have excellent record of launching on time as long as locals play nice.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 06/28/2017 05:53 PM
They should receive a significant discount on Soyuz launches give volume.

And Iridium got a volume discount from SpaceX.  I see no reason that the volume discount from Soyuz would be any greater than the volume discount from Falcon 9.  If anything, SpaceX is better positioned to give bigger discounts for larger volumes because reusability means more of their costs are fixed and less are marginal.

Plus Ariane have excellent record of launching on time as long as locals play nice.

To make a good business decision, One Web should be projecting what is likely in the future rather than just what has happened in the past.  SpaceX is a newer entrant and they've been ramping up.  As the last few months have shown, they are now hitting their stride and doing launches regularly at a very good pace.  A smart person would take all that into consideration and project it's likely that by the time One Web is ready to launch, it's likely there will be no more delay with SpaceX than there would be with Ariane.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Lar on 06/28/2017 06:08 PM
No doubt there will be some that want to see this pace sustained for several years before counting on it.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 06/28/2017 06:16 PM
No doubt there will be some that want to see this pace sustained for several years before counting on it.

If they want to wait several years before they count on it, they can, but that will be a very expensive luxury.  I expect the U.S. government to pay for that expensive luxury (it's taxpayer money, not their money, so why not?), but not many businesses for very long.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: mme on 06/28/2017 07:02 PM
...
Plus Ariane have excellent record of launching on time as long as locals play nice.

To make a good business decision, One Web should be projecting what is likely in the future rather than just what has happened in the past.  SpaceX is a newer entrant and they've been ramping up.  As the last few months have shown, they are now hitting their stride and doing launches regularly at a very good pace.  A smart person would take all that into consideration and project it's likely that by the time One Web is ready to launch, it's likely there will be no more delay with SpaceX than there would be with Ariane.
I am as big a SpaceX fan as anyone but it's a bit of a stretch to imagine anyone could guess when, if ever, SpaceX would "hit their stride."  OneWeb clearly placed more value on schedule reliability than launch cost. That is a valid business decision.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 06/28/2017 10:14 PM
Remember that OneWeb needed to make that business decision two years ago.  Two years ago, SpaceX manifest stretched to the horizon... still isn't promising without reuse (and two years ago, reuse was empirically sketchy at best).

If I were making it, I would have chosen Soyuz, too.  Today, it would be a more challenging decision.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 06/29/2017 07:38 AM
Remember that OneWeb needed to make that business decision two years ago.  Two years ago, SpaceX manifest stretched to the horizon... still isn't promising without reuse (and two years ago, reuse was empirically sketchy at best).

If I were making it, I would have chosen Soyuz, too.  Today, it would be a more challenging decision.

And yet a lot of other companies who were launching sooner chose SpaceX.  Even two years ago I think it was reasonable to project that SpaceX's ability to deliver on time would be improving by the time One Web will be ready to launch.

If I had been making the decision for One Web two years ago, I would have gone with SpaceX, unless SpaceX was not offering reasonable terms because One Web is a direct competitor of SpaceX's own CommX plans.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 06/29/2017 02:11 PM
Remember that OneWeb needed to make that business decision two years ago.  Two years ago, SpaceX manifest stretched to the horizon... still isn't promising without reuse (and two years ago, reuse was empirically sketchy at best).

If I were making it, I would have chosen Soyuz, too.  Today, it would be a more challenging decision.

And yet a lot of other companies who were launching sooner chose SpaceX.  Even two years ago I think it was reasonable to project that SpaceX's ability to deliver on time would be improving by the time One Web will be ready to launch.

If I had been making the decision for One Web two years ago, I would have gone with SpaceX, unless SpaceX was not offering reasonable terms because One Web is a direct competitor of SpaceX's own CommX plans.

I don't disagree that SpaceX would have been an option, and the competition thing may have factored in for sure... still, 24 launches in three years is a big ask for a company that was launching 6 or less per year and with that backlog.  Whatever. 

Decision made as it had to be in a business environment where waiting until more information is available is also a decision -- frequently the wrong one.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: envy887 on 07/06/2017 02:35 AM
Intelsat will "definitely consider" reuse:

Quote
Ken Lee, vice president of space systems for Intelsat, said ... Intelsat satellites are generally too heavy for the current version of the Falcon 9 rocket and no other SpaceX launches are currently planned. But he said Intelsat considers SpaceX "a viable option for us, and we'll engage them. If the payload works out right for them, then we don't have any reservation using SpaceX."

He also said he supports SpaceX's drive to lower launch costs by recovering, refurbishing and relaunching spent stages, adding that he expects the cost of a used stage to continue dropping as SpaceX perfects recovery procedures and techniques. But that doesn't mean Intelsat is ready to fly on a previously-flown rocket.

"I am convinced that a reusable rocket system is a viable option in the future," he said. "I am not convinced, today, that we are willing to get on the rocket. Having said that, as they demonstrate their successes, and of course it comes with a price in schedule assurance and quality, if all those terms are correct then we'll definitely consider that in the future."

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/spacex-falcon9-comsat-launch-successful-july-5-2017/
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: TrevorMonty on 07/06/2017 03:59 AM
Intelsat will "definitely consider" reuse:

Quote
Ken Lee, vice president of space systems for Intelsat, said ... Intelsat satellites are generally too heavy for the current version of the Falcon 9 rocket and no other SpaceX launches are currently planned. But he said Intelsat considers SpaceX "a viable option for us, and we'll engage them. If the payload works out right for them, then we don't have any reservation using SpaceX."

He also said he supports SpaceX's drive to lower launch costs by recovering, refurbishing and relaunching spent stages, adding that he expects the cost of a used stage to continue dropping as SpaceX perfects recovery procedures and techniques. But that doesn't mean Intelsat is ready to fly on a previously-flown rocket.

"I am convinced that a reusable rocket system is a viable option in the future," he said. "I am not convinced, today, that we are willing to get on the rocket. Having said that, as they demonstrate their successes, and of course it comes with a price in schedule assurance and quality, if all those terms are correct then we'll definitely consider that in the future."

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/spacex-falcon9-comsat-launch-successful-july-5-2017/
If Intelsat want to launch larger satellites with SpaceX, they may have to accept reuseable boosters. For larger sats the FH will be used with reusable boosters. Of course a customer can pay for expendable FH but I doubt it would be worth it compared to very reliable Ariane 5.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: DreamyPickle on 07/06/2017 02:08 PM
If Intelsat want to launch larger satellites with SpaceX, they may have to accept reuseable boosters. For larger sats the FH will be used with reusable boosters. Of course a customer can pay for expendable FH but I doubt it would be worth it compared to very reliable Ariane 5.

I don't think customers get to decide on reusable boosters, at most they can reject a *reused* booster. Whenever SpaceX can recover the booster then they will do so and offer it to the competition (perhaps at a discount).

For FH in particular it's reasonable to expect that it will almost never need to fly in a fully expendable configuration. So if somebody wants to pay extra for a new booster that money will end up expanding the fleet.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 07/06/2017 03:25 PM
Intelsat will "definitely consider" reuse:

Quote
Ken Lee, vice president of space systems for Intelsat, said ... Intelsat satellites are generally too heavy for the current version of the Falcon 9 rocket and no other SpaceX launches are currently planned. But he said Intelsat considers SpaceX "a viable option for us, and we'll engage them. If the payload works out right for them, then we don't have any reservation using SpaceX."

He also said he supports SpaceX's drive to lower launch costs by recovering, refurbishing and relaunching spent stages, adding that he expects the cost of a used stage to continue dropping as SpaceX perfects recovery procedures and techniques. But that doesn't mean Intelsat is ready to fly on a previously-flown rocket.

"I am convinced that a reusable rocket system is a viable option in the future," he said. "I am not convinced, today, that we are willing to get on the rocket. Having said that, as they demonstrate their successes, and of course it comes with a price in schedule assurance and quality, if all those terms are correct then we'll definitely consider that in the future."

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/spacex-falcon9-comsat-launch-successful-july-5-2017/
If Intelsat want to launch larger satellites with SpaceX, they may have to accept reuseable boosters. For larger sats the FH will be used with reusable boosters. Of course a customer can pay for expendable FH but I doubt it would be worth it compared to very reliable Ariane 5.
I think the key deciding item on use of reused boosters is not so much Price as a New F9 is the lowest cost LV now. But that a used booster can increase availability of launch date and even a short on contract to launch date case.

Iridium and Intelsat have expressed similar views about availability being more important to them than cost of LV
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: WindnWar on 07/06/2017 04:02 PM
Intelsat will "definitely consider" reuse:

Quote
Ken Lee, vice president of space systems for Intelsat, said ... Intelsat satellites are generally too heavy for the current version of the Falcon 9 rocket and no other SpaceX launches are currently planned. But he said Intelsat considers SpaceX "a viable option for us, and we'll engage them. If the payload works out right for them, then we don't have any reservation using SpaceX."

He also said he supports SpaceX's drive to lower launch costs by recovering, refurbishing and relaunching spent stages, adding that he expects the cost of a used stage to continue dropping as SpaceX perfects recovery procedures and techniques. But that doesn't mean Intelsat is ready to fly on a previously-flown rocket.

"I am convinced that a reusable rocket system is a viable option in the future," he said. "I am not convinced, today, that we are willing to get on the rocket. Having said that, as they demonstrate their successes, and of course it comes with a price in schedule assurance and quality, if all those terms are correct then we'll definitely consider that in the future."

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/spacex-falcon9-comsat-launch-successful-july-5-2017/

Unless its due to SpaceX not wanting to sell expendable launches, the statement about the sats being too heavy doesn't seem to make sense as from what I can find on their upcoming launches none of them appear heavier than the current launch. And a few are under 4,000 kilos, which would be good reuse candidates.

Seems like they want to wait awhile longer for more reuse flights before they sign on for any. In the last 20 years they've only had two launch failures, one on a Zenit in 2013 and one on a Long March back in 1996. I suppose with the Zenit failure they've taken the approach of being very cautious with launch providers.

Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/23/2017 09:37 AM
Article (http://www.investors.com/news/air-force-space-chief-is-all-in-for-reusable-rockets-if-proved-safe/) at investors.com saying USAF getting more interested in re-use.

Also a concrete example in the article of one of the often claimed benefits of re-use:

Was this previously known?

http://www.investors.com/news/air-force-space-chief-is-all-in-for-reusable-rockets-if-proved-safe/

Quote
In addition to the cost savings, there's another upside to launching reusable rockets. Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, commander of the 45th Space Wing, noted in an interview Tuesday that engineers can actually look at the hardware after it's flown.

For instance, a Falcon rocket had a problem with its GPS systems that likely wouldn't have been discernible from the telemetry data alone, he said. Crews looked at the rocket when it came down and discovered that there wan't enough silicon around a screw.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/16/2017 08:38 AM
Ken Kremer article about SpaceX re-use including interview with SES CTO Martin Halliwell post SES-11 launch last week;

https://www.universetoday.com/137482/musks-era-of-routinely-re-flown-rockets-ala-spacex-a-major-sea-change-getting-closer-every-day-says-ses-cto-halliwell-ses-11-launch-gallery/ (https://www.universetoday.com/137482/musks-era-of-routinely-re-flown-rockets-ala-spacex-a-major-sea-change-getting-closer-every-day-says-ses-cto-halliwell-ses-11-launch-gallery/)

Yet more evidence of the (relative) schedule benefits of customers accepting booster re-use. With SpaceX customers, including SES, still experiencing further delays due to the size of the order backlog, re-use looks to have a pretty convincing business case for customers. With all three re-used boosters having been recovered after re-use, subsequent inspections/analysis should be enough to retire concerns over technical/reliability risks of (at least) single re-use?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: jpo234 on 10/17/2017 03:14 PM
Musk's Reusable Rockets Win U.S. Air Force General's Endorsement (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-16/u-s-air-force-general-endorses-elon-musk-s-reusable-rockets)
Quote
It would be “absolutely foolish” not to begin using pre-flown rockets, which bring such significant savings that they’ll soon be commonplace for the entire industry, General John W. “Jay” Raymond said in an interview Monday at Bloomberg headquarters in New York.

Air Force biography of Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond  (http://www.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies/Display/Article/108479/lieutenant-general-john-w-jay-raymond/)


Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: woods170 on 10/18/2017 08:08 AM
Musk's Reusable Rockets Win U.S. Air Force General's Endorsement (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-16/u-s-air-force-general-endorses-elon-musk-s-reusable-rockets)
Quote
It would be “absolutely foolish” not to begin using pre-flown rockets, which bring such significant savings that they’ll soon be commonplace for the entire industry, General John W. “Jay” Raymond said in an interview Monday at Bloomberg headquarters in New York.

Air Force biography of Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond  (http://www.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies/Display/Article/108479/lieutenant-general-john-w-jay-raymond/)



Strong endorsement of reuse, but of limited value to SpaceX right now given that their share of NSS launches is limited compared to ULA.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/18/2017 08:20 AM
Strong endorsement of reuse, but of limited value to SpaceX right now given that their share of NSS launches is limited compared to ULA.

I think the value comes in reenforcing the view that re-use is becoming normal. SpaceX want to get to the point where customers don’t worry about whether their booster is new or re-used. Having NASA and the military talk about re-use in positive terms, and hopefully in NASA’s case soon using a flight proven booster, is telling the market that this is nothing to worry about.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: woods170 on 10/18/2017 11:28 AM
Strong endorsement of reuse, but of limited value to SpaceX right now given that their share of NSS launches is limited compared to ULA.

I think the value comes in reenforcing the view that re-use is becoming normal. SpaceX want to get to the point where customers don’t worry about whether their booster is new or re-used. Having NASA and the military talk about re-use in positive terms, and hopefully in NASA’s case soon using a flight proven booster, is telling the market that this is nothing to worry about.
That was not my point. The market is switching to reused boosters regardless of NASA and/or USAF endorsement. The likes of SES, Iridium and other comsat operators are taking care of that. At best endorsement, by NASA and/or USAF, will accelerate this process.
My point was that USAF potentially switching to flying on reused boosters is of limited direct value to SpaceX given that NSS launches are really only a very small part of their flight manifest.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: envy887 on 10/18/2017 04:19 PM
Strong endorsement of reuse, but of limited value to SpaceX right now given that their share of NSS launches is limited compared to ULA.

I think the value comes in reenforcing the view that re-use is becoming normal. SpaceX want to get to the point where customers don’t worry about whether their booster is new or re-used. Having NASA and the military talk about re-use in positive terms, and hopefully in NASA’s case soon using a flight proven booster, is telling the market that this is nothing to worry about.
That was not my point. The market is switching to reused boosters regardless of NASA and/or USAF endorsement. The likes of SES, Iridium and other comsat operators are taking care of that. At best endorsement, by NASA and/or USAF, will accelerate this process.
My point was that USAF potentially switching to flying on reused boosters is of limited direct value to SpaceX given that NSS launches are really only a very small part of their flight manifest.

No direct gain now, but... SpaceX has, and will have for the foreseeable future, a limited supply of new boosters. If they can get DoD flying on used boosters, they have the future potential to take up a lot more launches.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 10/18/2017 09:38 PM
If you can get the acceptance of used as being just as good as new then SpaceX could then go to a set price for F9 regardless of whether the booster flown is new or used as long as the customer does not specify a new one. This is their current expressed pricing goal to occur as early as next year. So far the views released lately seem to support this view of used as being as good as a new one.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/19/2017 12:02 PM
Iridium now on board with re-use:

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/10/iridium-4-flight-proven-falcon-9-rtls-vandenberg-delayed/ (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/10/iridium-4-flight-proven-falcon-9-rtls-vandenberg-delayed/)

 8)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: envy887 on 10/19/2017 10:01 PM
Matt Desch thinks the risk on a used booster might be less than new:

Quote
Tweet from Matt Desch (https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/921070386640556032):
Comfort that risk <= than new and more schedule certainty to complete 5 more launches over next 8 months.  Cost is better, but not driver.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 10/21/2017 11:41 AM
If you can get the acceptance of used as being just as good as new then SpaceX could then go to a set price for F9 regardless of whether the booster flown is new or used as long as the customer does not specify a new one. This is their current expressed pricing goal to occur as early as next year. So far the views released lately seem to support this view of used as being as good as a new one.
I was reading an old book about the history of the integrated circuit. In passing it mentioned in the earl1950's, when companies were still making things like TV's and radios by hand soldering parts to each other people were saying that this was more reliable than these new fangled "printed wiring" boards.  :o

You really have to take a step back outside of the launch industry "Expendable is the only way to orbit" mindset and realize how crazy the "I want a new one that's never been flown before" request sounds.

Every car/boat/ship/plane/submarine/helicopter has been through at least one full test of its ability to actually travel in the medium for which it was designed.

The question is not wheather reuse is "good," it is wheather it's better than expendable, and not just for the mfg.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/25/2017 10:16 AM
Cross-posting:

Wired claims that the next two cargo missions for nasa will be on flown boosters:
https://www.wired.com/story/spacex-keeps-lining-up-covert-military-launches/

"NASA’s interest in SpaceX’s reusable technology seems to be growing as well. Sources at Kennedy Space Center tell WIRED that NASA and SpaceX have preliminarily agreed to launch the next two cargo resupply missions to ISS atop reusable rockets."
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: nacnud on 10/25/2017 10:26 AM
Sources at Kennedy Space Center tell WIRED that NASA and SpaceX have preliminarily agreed to launch the next two cargo resupply missions to ISS atop reusable rockets."

Reusable not reused. Aren't all F9s boosters reuseable now?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Ictogan on 10/25/2017 10:49 AM
Sources at Kennedy Space Center tell WIRED that NASA and SpaceX have preliminarily agreed to launch the next two cargo resupply missions to ISS atop reusable rockets."

Reusable not reused. Aren't all F9s boosters reuseable now?
Not the ones that are launched without legs and grid fins. But it's hardly a surprise that the boosters launching the CRS missions have legs and grid fins.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/25/2017 11:12 AM
It’s a consistent ‘style’ throughout the Wired article to say ‘reusable’ rather than ‘reused’:

Quote
SpaceX offered SES the first reusable orbital rocket launch in aerospace history and all the free publicity that came along with it. The historic mission launched on March 30, and on October 11, SpaceX fired off its third reusable rocket, carrying another SES payload.

So it’s clear enough what they mean, although using the correct word would help!
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: rpapo on 10/25/2017 11:15 AM
Nearly everybody in the press is mixing up their terms (no surprise).  All Falcons are potentially reusable.  Not all of them are used that way.  For WIRED to say that NASA is going to use "reusable" rockets is a bad choice of words.  They should rather say that the rockets were previously used (which sounds like we're talking about a used car), or use SpaceX's phrase "flight proven".
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/30/2017 12:10 PM
Wired claims that the next two cargo missions for nasa will be on flown boosters:
https://www.wired.com/story/spacex-keeps-lining-up-covert-military-launches/

"NASA’s interest in SpaceX’s reusable technology seems to be growing as well. Sources at Kennedy Space Center tell WIRED that NASA and SpaceX have preliminarily agreed to launch the next two cargo resupply missions to ISS atop reusable rockets."

And now preliminary agreement is official:

NASA's approved CRS-13 to fly on CRS-11's booster. We've been following it in L2, but it has now become a decision, so that's great news. More in the coming period, but to get the news out there, added it to William's Koreasat article:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/10/falcon-9-koreasat-5a-nasa-approves-flown-boosters/
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 10/30/2017 04:56 PM
The only things not being reused on CRS-13 is the US and Trunk.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 11/10/2017 09:13 PM
With Nasa, SES, Iridium on board, and USAF probably not too distant in the van, majority customer acceptance is likely approximately one year after first reflight(3/30/2017).  More than half of 2018 cores launched will be reflown cores. 
Amazing.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Norm38 on 11/10/2017 09:36 PM
Which given SpaceX's demand and backlog, may very well be the difference between those customers flying in 2018 or not.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Dante2121 on 11/11/2017 11:48 AM
Nearly everybody in the press is mixing up their terms (no surprise).  All Falcons are potentially reusable.  Not all of them are used that way.  For WIRED to say that NASA is going to use "reusable" rockets is a bad choice of words.  They should rather say that the rockets were previously used (which sounds like we're talking about a used car), or use SpaceX's phrase "flight proven".

Reusable sounds better - like it's following its intended path.

Reused seems like a secondhand afterthought of lower quality.

How many years until this is so commonplace the adjective gets dropped all together? We don't use it for flying on airplanes.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: SweetWater on 11/11/2017 12:32 PM
Nearly everybody in the press is mixing up their terms (no surprise).  All Falcons are potentially reusable.  Not all of them are used that way.  For WIRED to say that NASA is going to use "reusable" rockets is a bad choice of words.  They should rather say that the rockets were previously used (which sounds like we're talking about a used car), or use SpaceX's phrase "flight proven".

Reusable sounds better - like it's following its intended path.

Reused seems like a secondhand afterthought of lower quality.

How many years until this is so commonplace the adjective gets dropped all together? We don't use it for flying on airplanes.

We'll probably be living with the adjective for a good while yet. Most rockets are expendable, and they will remain so for the foreseeable future.

As far as I am aware, the only other company planning reuse of an orbital-class first stage right now is Blue Blue Origin. They are aiming for a 2020 first launch of New Glenn, although as far as I know we don't have a more specific NET date. Even assuming they hit their goal, I doubt they will fly a re-used booster until 2021.

ULA's Vulcan and ESA's Ariane 6 aren't even being built with re-use planned from the beginning, but more a situation of maybe-we'll-add-reuse-later-if-we-feel-like-throwing-some-money-at-it. Personally, I doubt we'll ever see SMART re-use on the Vulcan, and if re-use is ever implemented on Ariane 6 (either Adeline or something else), it will be a different enough vehicle they will probably call it Ariane 7.

As for other foreign launchers, the Russians have been talking about reusing boosters all the way back to (at least) the Zenit first stages on Energia; however, they barely have the funding to keep their current program running and don't have the money to invest in developing reusables.

Japan and India are in a similar boat to Russia in that they could probably develop the technology for re-usable boosters, but I don't see them spending the money. JAXA has been working on the H3 since 2013, and last I knew it's first flight had a NET date of 2020. India has expressed interest in reusables, but the amount of funding available for that project seems fairly limited, and their future Unified Launch Vehicle (which isn't even baselined for re-use, as far as I know) doesn't have a NET date.

As for China, we saw a mock-up of a very Falcon 9-looking Chinese rocket a few months ago with landing legs, etc. Like Russia, Japan, and India, China could probably develop the technology needed for re-use if they wanted to, and they definitely have the money to invest if they decide to go that route. However, they already have a lot on their plate with beginning construction of their modular station, ramping up for more frequent Shenzhou flight, and ironing out the problems they've been having with Long March 5.

Bottom line is that SpaceX probably has the re-usability game to themselves at least through the end of 2020, and we'll probably be referring to their rockets as re-usable and reused for a fair while yet.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: aero on 11/11/2017 04:13 PM
To take examples from the automotive industry, you can buy:
- New
- Certified pre-owned,
- Pre-owned
- Used
- Junk

So the rocked correllary may be.
New
Flight proven
Re-fly
Re-flown
Re-used
Used
RUD

There must be more examples/possibilities.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 11/11/2017 07:48 PM
Which given SpaceX's demand and backlog, may very well be the difference between those customers flying in 2018 or not.

At their flight rate and year-on-year acceleration, SpaceX demand and backlog are swapping positions.   They will soon be able to launch all the payloads created world-wide -- backlog will be a satellite vendor issue, not a launch issue.  2018 is cross-over year (baring mishaps).  Recall that ULA boss Bruno trash-talked predicted 12-15 months (IIRC) for return to flight after AMOS... that was 13.5 months (and 16 launches) ago.  At 15 month point, he could be off be a mere 20 launches -- 3.3 years of Atlas V flights.

So, enough of this 'backlog' shade...

Note: NASA and Iridium had protected or high queue positions.  Neither had to change 'to get their payloads launched in 2018'
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 11/12/2017 08:51 AM
The only things not being reused on CRS-13 is the US and Trunk.

And the Nose Cone (solar covers I count as part of each new trunk that has to be replaced anyways).
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: tdperk on 11/12/2017 04:00 PM
Nearly everybody in the press is mixing up their terms (no surprise).  All Falcons are potentially reusable.  Not all of them are used that way.  For WIRED to say that NASA is going to use "reusable" rockets is a bad choice of words.  They should rather say that the rockets were previously used (which sounds like we're talking about a used car), or use SpaceX's phrase "flight proven".

Reusable sounds better - like it's following its intended path.

Reused seems like a secondhand afterthought of lower quality.

How many years until this is so commonplace the adjective gets dropped all together? We don't use it for flying on airplanes.

We'll probably be living with the adjective for a good while yet. Most rockets are expendable, and they will remain so for the foreseeable future.

No.

From: http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/rockets/a27290/one-chart-spacex-dominate-rocket-launches/

(http://pop.h-cdn.co/assets/17/28/1499967787-screen-shot-2017-07-13-at-13630-pm.png)

A supermajority of marketable launches will soon be SpaceX launches, and they will be re-using their Block 5 F9s many times.  Not only are you laughably wrong, within 1 to 2 years the majority of launches where national vanity or security are not the over-riding concern will be on returned boosters.  When the BFR/BFS is in operation, almost all tons of material orbited as a percentage of tons orbited will be on systems intended from the outset for 100% re-fuel to refly systems.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: SweetWater on 11/12/2017 04:48 PM
Nearly everybody in the press is mixing up their terms (no surprise).  All Falcons are potentially reusable.  Not all of them are used that way.  For WIRED to say that NASA is going to use "reusable" rockets is a bad choice of words.  They should rather say that the rockets were previously used (which sounds like we're talking about a used car), or use SpaceX's phrase "flight proven".

Reusable sounds better - like it's following its intended path.

Reused seems like a secondhand afterthought of lower quality.

How many years until this is so commonplace the adjective gets dropped all together? We don't use it for flying on airplanes.

We'll probably be living with the adjective for a good while yet. Most rockets are expendable, and they will remain so for the foreseeable future.

No.

From: http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/rockets/a27290/one-chart-spacex-dominate-rocket-launches/

(http://pop.h-cdn.co/assets/17/28/1499967787-screen-shot-2017-07-13-at-13630-pm.png)

A supermajority of marketable launches will soon be SpaceX launches, and they will be re-using their Block 5 F9s many times.  Not only are you laughably wrong, within 1 to 2 years the majority of launches where national vanity or security are not the over-riding concern will be on returned boosters.  When the BFR/BFS is in operation, almost all tons of material orbited as a percentage of tons orbited will be on systems intended from the outset for 100% re-fuel to refly systems.

I stand by my previous post. One, regardless of SpaceX's commercial market share, most rockets - note that I did NOT say most launches - will be expendable well into the 2020s. Two, the chart you referenced does not take into account government launches. Three, SpaceX may have been awarded the bulk of commercial launch contracts for next year; however, those flights haven't launched yet, and it is foolish to count chickens before they hatch.

Also, while SpaceX has had a great year in 2017 and I wish them only the best going forward, a failure or partial failure next year could easily interrupt their launch cadence for at least a couple of months. If that failure occurs on a first stage which is being re-flown, it could temper the speed with which the industry is willing to embrace reuse.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: tdperk on 11/12/2017 06:02 PM
Nearly everybody in the press is mixing up their terms (no surprise).  All Falcons are potentially reusable.  Not all of them are used that way.  For WIRED to say that NASA is going to use "reusable" rockets is a bad choice of words.  They should rather say that the rockets were previously used (which sounds like we're talking about a used car), or use SpaceX's phrase "flight proven".

Reusable sounds better - like it's following its intended path.

Reused seems like a secondhand afterthought of lower quality.

How many years until this is so commonplace the adjective gets dropped all together? We don't use it for flying on airplanes.

We'll probably be living with the adjective for a good while yet. Most rockets are expendable, and they will remain so for the foreseeable future.

No.

From: http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/rockets/a27290/one-chart-spacex-dominate-rocket-launches/

(http://pop.h-cdn.co/assets/17/28/1499967787-screen-shot-2017-07-13-at-13630-pm.png)

A supermajority of marketable launches will soon be SpaceX launches, and they will be re-using their Block 5 F9s many times.  Not only are you laughably wrong, within 1 to 2 years the majority of launches where national vanity or security are not the over-riding concern will be on returned boosters.  When the BFR/BFS is in operation, almost all tons of material orbited as a percentage of tons orbited will be on systems intended from the outset for 100% re-fuel to refly systems.

I stand by my previous post. One, regardless of SpaceX's commercial market share, most rockets - note that I did NOT say most launches - will be expendable well into the 2020s.

If you are counting Estes, then by a very wide margin so.
Two, the chart you referenced does not take into account government launches. Three, SpaceX may have been awarded the bulk of commercial launch contracts for next year; however, those flights haven't launched yet, and it is foolish to count chickens before they hatch.

Also, while SpaceX has had a great year in 2017 and I wish them only the best going forward, a failure or partial failure next year could easily interrupt their launch cadence for at least a couple of months. If that failure occurs on a first stage which is being re-flown, it could temper the speed with which the industry is willing to embrace reuse.

I feel of that which isn't pathological skepticism amounts to your saying most sugar sold as such is in the form of tiny whitish cube like bits.   It is true and utterly without meaning.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: guckyfan on 11/12/2017 07:33 PM
I stand by my previous post. One, regardless of SpaceX's commercial market share, most rockets - note that I did NOT say most launches - will be expendable well into the 2020s.

So you argue, that because SpaceX reuses their first stages, they fly less rockets than others? They have more launches, but because of reuse, less rockets.

Correct, but what is the point you are trying to make?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: SweetWater on 11/12/2017 10:08 PM
I stand by my previous post. One, regardless of SpaceX's commercial market share, most rockets - note that I did NOT say most launches - will be expendable well into the 2020s.

So you argue, that because SpaceX reuses their first stages, they fly less rockets than others? They have more launches, but because of reuse, less rockets.

Correct, but what is the point you are trying to make?

My point is that until the early 2020s, the only rocket being reused will be the Falcon 9. I'm not arguing the number of launches performed or cores produced or the number of launches of re-used cores. I'm just stating that of all the different types of rockets available for launch now and for the next 4-5 years (Atlas V, Delta IV, Vulcan, New Sheppard, Ariane 5 and 6, etc.), the only one being re-used is the Falcon 9. That was what I meant when I said "most" rockets are currently expendable and will be fore the foreseeable future.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Lar on 11/13/2017 12:18 AM
Yes. Most types of rockets are not reusable. But that's just because everyone else is slow. Tonnage lifted, or missions flown, are more important metrics.

I am ecstatic that we are finally seeing the dawn of the real reuse age. But part of me is just back there ...saying "what took so long"??
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Norm38 on 11/13/2017 06:06 AM

At their flight rate and year-on-year acceleration, SpaceX demand and backlog are swapping positions.   They will soon be able to launch all the payloads created world-wide -- backlog will be a satellite vendor issue, not a launch issue.  2018 is cross-over year (baring mishaps).

So, enough of this 'backlog' shade...

Note: NASA and Iridium had protected or high queue positions.  Neither had to change 'to get their payloads launched in 2018'

Wasn't throwing shade, could have said manifest instead of backlog. They do have 30 missions booked for next year, and their factory can't build 30 cores per year. Without reuse, they can't launch their manifest and someone would lose out. Now maybe as you say that wouldn't be NASA and Iridium. But they DID just accept reused boosters, and sooner than expected for NASA. Which does benefit all the other companies trying to book a ride. More importantly from a government point of view, NASA accepting reuse makes it that much easier to get NROL / X-37 / ZUMA payloads flown at short notice. Without forcing SpaceX to bump existing paying customers. Think that may have played a role in the NASA decision?  I do.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Norm38 on 11/13/2017 06:25 AM
I am ecstatic that we are finally seeing the dawn of the real reuse age. But part of me is just back there ...saying "what took so long"??

It's a true paradigm shift. Recall old comments about how F9 is overdesigned, that it's 30% larger than it needs to be to get the job done. That it's a cost burden. The built in assumption there that reuse would never work.

Then, even when reuse was contemplated, vertical landing wasn't. Just look at these plans for a Shuttle flyback booster.  https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19980237254.pdf
Wings, jet engines, horizontal landings. It looks ridiculous now. Can you imagine a FH launch using those? To say nothing about the center core or F9 missions. Yet until a few short years ago, that was state of the art for booster reuse. Why was vertical landing ignored for so long?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: woods170 on 11/13/2017 07:25 AM
I am ecstatic that we are finally seeing the dawn of the real reuse age. But part of me is just back there ...saying "what took so long"??

It's a true paradigm shift. Recall old comments about how F9 is overdesigned, that it's 30% larger than it needs to be to get the job done. That it's a cost burden. The built in assumption there that reuse would never work.

Then, even when reuse was contemplated, vertical landing wasn't. Just look at these plans for a Shuttle flyback booster.  https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19980237254.pdf
Wings, jet engines, horizontal landings. It looks ridiculous now. Can you imagine a FH launch using those? To say nothing about the center core or F9 missions. Yet until a few short years ago, that was state of the art for booster reuse. Why was vertical landing ignored for so long?
Because the entrenched aerospace industry in the USA didn't have the b*lls to turn science fiction into reality. It took a new-comer with a clear vision to kick down the wall. In fact, I will go so far as to state that it took  somebody, not originally hailing from the USA, to kick down the wall. This South-African/Canadian guy is the best thing to have happened to US space endeavours in the past 40 years.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: JamesH65 on 11/13/2017 10:15 AM
I am ecstatic that we are finally seeing the dawn of the real reuse age. But part of me is just back there ...saying "what took so long"??

It's a true paradigm shift. Recall old comments about how F9 is overdesigned, that it's 30% larger than it needs to be to get the job done. That it's a cost burden. The built in assumption there that reuse would never work.

Then, even when reuse was contemplated, vertical landing wasn't. Just look at these plans for a Shuttle flyback booster.  https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19980237254.pdf
Wings, jet engines, horizontal landings. It looks ridiculous now. Can you imagine a FH launch using those? To say nothing about the center core or F9 missions. Yet until a few short years ago, that was state of the art for booster reuse. Why was vertical landing ignored for so long?
Because the entrenched aerospace industry in the USA didn't have the b*lls to turn science fiction into reality. It took a new-comer with a clear vision to kick down the wall. In fact, I will go so far as to state that it took  somebody, not originally hailing from the USA, to kick down the wall. This South-African/Canadian guy is the best thing to have happened to US space endeavours in the past 40 years.

They had the Delta Clipper. But not the conjones to fund it sufficiently.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wv9n9Casp1o

Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: woods170 on 11/13/2017 11:41 AM
Because the entrenched aerospace industry in the USA didn't have the b*lls to turn science fiction into reality. It took a new-comer with a clear vision to kick down the wall. In fact, I will go so far as to state that it took  somebody, not originally hailing from the USA, to kick down the wall. This South-African/Canadian guy is the best thing to have happened to US space endeavours in the past 40 years.

They had the Delta Clipper. But not the conjones to fund it sufficiently.

That and the fact that DC-X eventually ended up in the hands of NASA. It had no love for DC-X given that it directly competed with NASA's own X33/VentureStar endeavour at the time. So when DC-XA sufferend a setback by tipping over on its last flight NASA killed it.
SpaceX however did not have itself stopped by failures. They just pushed on, and succeeded in the end. That's b*lls vs no b*alls.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: ZachF on 11/13/2017 03:04 PM
Nearly everybody in the press is mixing up their terms (no surprise).  All Falcons are potentially reusable.  Not all of them are used that way.  For WIRED to say that NASA is going to use "reusable" rockets is a bad choice of words.  They should rather say that the rockets were previously used (which sounds like we're talking about a used car), or use SpaceX's phrase "flight proven".

Reusable sounds better - like it's following its intended path.

Reused seems like a secondhand afterthought of lower quality.

How many years until this is so commonplace the adjective gets dropped all together? We don't use it for flying on airplanes.

We'll probably be living with the adjective for a good while yet. Most rockets are expendable, and they will remain so for the foreseeable future.

No.

From: http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/rockets/a27290/one-chart-spacex-dominate-rocket-launches/

(http://pop.h-cdn.co/assets/17/28/1499967787-screen-shot-2017-07-13-at-13630-pm.png)

A supermajority of marketable launches will soon be SpaceX launches, and they will be re-using their Block 5 F9s many times.  Not only are you laughably wrong, within 1 to 2 years the majority of launches where national vanity or security are not the over-riding concern will be on returned boosters.  When the BFR/BFS is in operation, almost all tons of material orbited as a percentage of tons orbited will be on systems intended from the outset for 100% re-fuel to refly systems.

I stand by my previous post. One, regardless of SpaceX's commercial market share, most rockets - note that I did NOT say most launches - will be expendable well into the 2020s. Two, the chart you referenced does not take into account government launches. Three, SpaceX may have been awarded the bulk of commercial launch contracts for next year; however, those flights haven't launched yet, and it is foolish to count chickens before they hatch.

Also, while SpaceX has had a great year in 2017 and I wish them only the best going forward, a failure or partial failure next year could easily interrupt their launch cadence for at least a couple of months. If that failure occurs on a first stage which is being re-flown, it could temper the speed with which the industry is willing to embrace reuse.

I could see a majority of all launches by as soon as 2020 being re-used, 2021 even more likely

This year SpaceX will launch ~20 rockets with perhaps 5-6 of them being being re-used out of a global total of a little over 80 launches

Next year, I could see SpaceX launching 30 of the world's 90 launches with a little over half being re-used.

2019, perhaps 45 launches (Starlink will begin launching) with about 35 re-used, of ~100 total world launches.

2020, 55 launches, 50 re-used, ~110 total.

Around 2020-21 we can add New Glenn to this total, so I think by 2021 a majority of the world's launches will be re-used, and that percentage will continue to rise.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: ZachF on 11/13/2017 03:07 PM
I stand by my previous post. One, regardless of SpaceX's commercial market share, most rockets - note that I did NOT say most launches - will be expendable well into the 2020s.

So you argue, that because SpaceX reuses their first stages, they fly less rockets than others? They have more launches, but because of reuse, less rockets.

Correct, but what is the point you are trying to make?

My point is that until the early 2020s, the only rocket being reused will be the Falcon 9. I'm not arguing the number of launches performed or cores produced or the number of launches of re-used cores. I'm just stating that of all the different types of rockets available for launch now and for the next 4-5 years (Atlas V, Delta IV, Vulcan, New Sheppard, Ariane 5 and 6, etc.), the only one being re-used is the Falcon 9. That was what I meant when I said "most" rockets are currently expendable and will be fore the foreseeable future.

...And it's not entirely improbable that Falcon 9 could be launching more than all those other rockets put together in a not-too-distant time frame.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: meberbs on 11/13/2017 03:18 PM
My point is that until the early 2020s, the only rocket being reused will be the Falcon 9. I'm not arguing the number of launches performed or cores produced or the number of launches of re-used cores. I'm just stating that of all the different types of rockets available for launch now and for the next 4-5 years (Atlas V, Delta IV, Vulcan, New Sheppard, Ariane 5 and 6, etc.), the only one being re-used is the Falcon 9. That was what I meant when I said "most" rockets are currently expendable and will be fore the foreseeable future.
New Shepard really doesn't belong on that list, although if you want to include it you should note that it is fully reusable. Also, New Glenn should be on that list and is equivalent in reuse to the F9.

Also worth noting Atlas V and Delta IV will be near retirement by then.

Counting by number of rocket types is kind of pointless though, number of launches is what matters.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Lar on 11/13/2017 04:58 PM
Counting by number of rocket types is kind of pointless though, number of launches is what matters.

Yes, as I said above.. or tonnage lifted.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: laszlo on 11/13/2017 05:45 PM
Because the entrenched aerospace industry in the USA didn't have the b*lls to turn science fiction into reality. It took a new-comer with a clear vision to kick down the wall. In fact, I will go so far as to state that it took  somebody, not originally hailing from the USA, to kick down the wall. This South-African/Canadian guy is the best thing to have happened to US space endeavours in the past 40 years.

They had the Delta Clipper. But not the conjones to fund it sufficiently.

That and the fact that DC-X eventually ended up in the hands of NASA. It had no love for DC-X given that it directly competed with NASA's own X33/VentureStar endeavour at the time. So when DC-XA sufferend a setback by tipping over on its last flight NASA killed it.
SpaceX however did not have itself stopped by failures. They just pushed on, and succeeded in the end. That's b*lls vs no b*alls.

Cojones or balls have nothing to do with the case. It's simply that customers didn't care (and from the sense of this thread still don't) about whether the booster is reused or not, as long as the payload gets to the correct orbit for an affordable price. DC-XA wasn't killed because it fell over, it was killed because the customer didn't want it. Wings were used to return to the launch site not because of a lack of testicles, but because that was the state of the art back then. In fact, wings were a big improvement over a parachute plopping a can of astronauts into the water. You might even say that wings were leading edge technology ;)

Finally, there are hordes of excellent female engineers who manage to get all sorts of innovative stuff done without needing the male organs. The organ they use is their brains. Your misplaced fixation on a particular bit of biology ignores a lot of facts.


Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: rakaydos on 11/13/2017 10:09 PM
Because the entrenched aerospace industry in the USA didn't have the b*lls to turn science fiction into reality. It took a new-comer with a clear vision to kick down the wall. In fact, I will go so far as to state that it took  somebody, not originally hailing from the USA, to kick down the wall. This South-African/Canadian guy is the best thing to have happened to US space endeavours in the past 40 years.

They had the Delta Clipper. But not the conjones to fund it sufficiently.

That and the fact that DC-X eventually ended up in the hands of NASA. It had no love for DC-X given that it directly competed with NASA's own X33/VentureStar endeavour at the time. So when DC-XA sufferend a setback by tipping over on its last flight NASA killed it.
SpaceX however did not have itself stopped by failures. They just pushed on, and succeeded in the end. That's b*lls vs no b*alls.

Cojones or balls have nothing to do with the case. It's simply that customers didn't care (and from the sense of this thread still don't) about whether the booster is reused or not, as long as the payload gets to the correct orbit for an affordable price. DC-XA wasn't killed because it fell over, it was killed because the customer didn't want it. Wings were used to return to the launch site not because of a lack of testicles, but because that was the state of the art back then. In fact, wings were a big improvement over a parachute plopping a can of astronauts into the water. You might even say that wings were leading edge technology ;)

Finally, there are hordes of excellent female engineers who manage to get all sorts of innovative stuff done without needing the male organs. The organ they use is their brains. Your misplaced fixation on a particular bit of biology ignores a lot of facts.
Dont take sexisim where none is intended. I know enough military females who may not have "a particular bit of bioligy", but certifiably have big brass ones where it counts.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: meekGee on 11/13/2017 11:36 PM
Because the entrenched aerospace industry in the USA didn't have the b*lls to turn science fiction into reality. It took a new-comer with a clear vision to kick down the wall. In fact, I will go so far as to state that it took  somebody, not originally hailing from the USA, to kick down the wall. This South-African/Canadian guy is the best thing to have happened to US space endeavours in the past 40 years.

They had the Delta Clipper. But not the conjones to fund it sufficiently.

That and the fact that DC-X eventually ended up in the hands of NASA. It had no love for DC-X given that it directly competed with NASA's own X33/VentureStar endeavour at the time. So when DC-XA sufferend a setback by tipping over on its last flight NASA killed it.
SpaceX however did not have itself stopped by failures. They just pushed on, and succeeded in the end. That's b*lls vs no b*alls.

Cojones or balls have nothing to do with the case. It's simply that customers didn't care (and from the sense of this thread still don't) about whether the booster is reused or not, as long as the payload gets to the correct orbit for an affordable price. DC-XA wasn't killed because it fell over, it was killed because the customer didn't want it. Wings were used to return to the launch site not because of a lack of testicles, but because that was the state of the art back then. In fact, wings were a big improvement over a parachute plopping a can of astronauts into the water. You might even say that wings were leading edge technology ;)

Finally, there are hordes of excellent female engineers who manage to get all sorts of innovative stuff done without needing the male organs. The organ they use is their brains. Your misplaced fixation on a particular bit of biology ignores a lot of facts.
Wings were not "state of the art". Propulsive landings were feasible back then too.

SpaceX's Musk's courage to challenge so many entrenched paradigms, from a technical, business, and risk perspective, is what got them here.

That, and kick ass engineering.

Which is what the OP was conveying.

Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: woods170 on 11/14/2017 09:45 AM

They had the Delta Clipper. But not the conjones to fund it sufficiently.

That and the fact that DC-X eventually ended up in the hands of NASA. It had no love for DC-X given that it directly competed with NASA's own X33/VentureStar endeavour at the time. So when DC-XA sufferend a setback by tipping over on its last flight NASA killed it.
SpaceX however did not have itself stopped by failures. They just pushed on, and succeeded in the end. That's b*lls vs no b*alls.

Cojones or balls have nothing to do with the case. It's simply that customers didn't care (and from the sense of this thread still don't) about whether the booster is reused or not, as long as the payload gets to the correct orbit for an affordable price. DC-XA wasn't killed because it fell over, it was killed because the customer didn't want it.


DC-XA didn't have a customer to begin with. NASA took over the program from SDIO after the public success of DC-X became an embarrassment to NASA. Under NASA guidance it was similar to when it was managed by SDIO: R&D program.

In case you had failed to notice: that is exactly how SpaceX started booster recovery: as a pure R&D program. SpaceX didn't have customers for booster recovery either.
But when SpaceX succeeded, multiple times, in booster recovery (both land and sea) it did not take all that much to take the next step: booster reuse of an orbital vehicle.

And that's where NASA failed: to look beyond the mere technical aspect of vertically landing a booster. NASA never bothered to make the transition from the prototype, 1/3rd scale DC-X, to a full-size orbital vehicle. They (as well as SDIO) lacked the guts (b*lls if you will) to have a vision AND carry it through all the way to reality.
It is exactly this lack of vision, this lack of guts, that (unfortunately) managed to kill propulsive landing on Crew Dragon.

The only reason why NASA is OK with SpaceX reusing Cargo Dragon and flying on reused boosters is because they have an enormous database about the reuse of orbital launch systems and orbital spacecraft (courtesy of STS).
But propulsive landing of a crewed vehicle is completely new to them and it shows: NASA chickened out.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: JamesH65 on 11/14/2017 12:55 PM

They had the Delta Clipper. But not the conjones to fund it sufficiently.

That and the fact that DC-X eventually ended up in the hands of NASA. It had no love for DC-X given that it directly competed with NASA's own X33/VentureStar endeavour at the time. So when DC-XA sufferend a setback by tipping over on its last flight NASA killed it.
SpaceX however did not have itself stopped by failures. They just pushed on, and succeeded in the end. That's b*lls vs no b*alls.

Cojones or balls have nothing to do with the case. It's simply that customers didn't care (and from the sense of this thread still don't) about whether the booster is reused or not, as long as the payload gets to the correct orbit for an affordable price. DC-XA wasn't killed because it fell over, it was killed because the customer didn't want it.


DC-XA didn't have a customer to begin with. NASA took over the program from SDIO after the public success of DC-X became an embarrassment to NASA. Under NASA guidance it was similar to when it was managed by SDIO: R&D program.

In case you had failed to notice: that is exactly how SpaceX started booster recovery: as a pure R&D program. SpaceX didn't have customers for booster recovery either.
But when SpaceX succeeded, multiple times, in booster recovery (both land and sea) it did not take all that much to take the next step: booster reuse of an orbital vehicle.

And that's where NASA failed: to look beyond the mere technical aspect of vertically landing a booster. NASA never bothered to make the transition from the prototype, 1/3rd scale DC-X, to a full-size orbital vehicle. They (as well as SDIO) lacked the guts (b*lls if you will) to have a vision AND carry it through all the way to reality.
It is exactly this lack of vision, this lack of guts, that (unfortunately) managed to kill propulsive landing on Crew Dragon.

The only reason why NASA is OK with SpaceX reusing Cargo Dragon and flying on reused boosters is because they have an enormous database about the reuse of orbital launch systems and orbital spacecraft (courtesy of STS).
But propulsive landing of a crewed vehicle is completely new to them and it shows: NASA chickened out.

There appear to be no valid similarities between information gained from STS reuse, and that required for landing a booster as SpaceX do.

Cargo dragon, more likely, it is, after all, a capsule. And NASA do have recovered capsules.

I don't see the link you are making to 'forbidding' the propulsive landing of Dragon.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: RedLineTrain on 11/14/2017 02:00 PM
I don't see the link you are making to 'forbidding' the propulsive landing of Dragon.

I don't think we need to relitigate this.  From what I can gather, NASA wasn't willing to risk its down-cargo on Dragon 2 in order to prove out propulsive landing for crew.  This lack of guts/vision is what woods170 is criticizing.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 11/15/2017 02:06 AM
The only reason why NASA is OK with SpaceX reusing Cargo Dragon and flying on reused boosters is because they have an enormous database about the reuse of orbital launch systems and orbital spacecraft (courtesy of STS).
But propulsive landing of a crewed vehicle is completely new to them and it shows: NASA chickened out.

There appear to be no valid similarities between information gained from STS reuse, and that required for landing a booster as SpaceX do.


It wasn't the actual landing but the process of refurbishing, requalifying, and reflying used/recovered vehicles/hardware that he was talking about.  If you want to hear about this from an inside source, I recommend you listen to Kathy Leuders interview on The Space Show from September 2015: http://www.thespaceshow.com/node/2540

This issue begins being discussed starting at ~45:20
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/22/2017 09:18 AM
Comment from ESA head:

Quote
Woerner: I’m a fan of reusability, but not the way Elon Musk is doing it. We’re looking at other ways. #Space17
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/933269213703262208

Quote
Did he specify what other ways might be? The @elonmusk way seems to be working at least
https://twitter.com/planetguy_bln/status/933271153854025729

Quote
No, but there have been studies of recovering the engines or other elements of the first stage without a propulsive landing.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/933271439255404544

I’m with Elon on this, in that I don’t understand the issue with using fuel to land (and thus reducing payload mass). What matters is the cost to launch the payloads you want to launch, not how much you could have launched on the same rocket if expendable. (I’m assuming costs reflect reuse development costs.)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: woods170 on 11/22/2017 11:43 AM
Comment from ESA head:

Quote
Woerner: I’m a fan of reusability, but not the way Elon Musk is doing it. We’re looking at other ways. #Space17
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/933269213703262208

Quote
Did he specify what other ways might be? The @elonmusk way seems to be working at least
https://twitter.com/planetguy_bln/status/933271153854025729

Quote
No, but there have been studies of recovering the engines or other elements of the first stage without a propulsive landing.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/933271439255404544

I’m with Elon on this, in that I don’t understand the issue with using fuel to land (and thus reducing payload mass). What matters is the cost to launch the payloads you want to launch, not how much you could have launched on the same rocket if expendable. (I’m assuming costs reflect reuse development costs.)

Although Jan Woerner claims to be a fan of reusability his beliefs are - unfortunately - still firmly rooted in the expendable way of thinking. For multiple decades space agencies like ESA, CNES and DLR lived-and-worked with the principle that every bit of performance of a rocket MUST be used to maximize payload capacity.
Having excess performance to - God forbid! - return the booster stage to Earth just doesn't fit their view-on-spaceflight. From contacts inside ESA and DLR it has become clear to me that both agencies have a hard time adjusting to the new reality. Both have cited STS as an example why, in their opinion, reusability might not pay-off.
Which is really silly because both agencies know d*mn well that STS cannot be compared to the current SpaceX reusability efforts.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 11/22/2017 01:43 PM
...
Although Jan Woerner claims to be a fan of reusability his beliefs are - unfortunately - still firmly rooted in the expendable way of thinking. For multiple decades space agencies like ESA, CNES and DLR lived-and-worked with the principle that every bit of performance of a rocket MUST be used to maximize payload capacity.
Having excess performance to - God forbid! - return the booster stage to Earth just doesn't fit their view-on-spaceflight. From contacts inside ESA and DLR it has become clear to me that both agencies have a hard time adjusting to the new reality. Both have cited STS as an example why, in their opinion, reusability might not pay-off.
Which is really silly because both agencies know d*mn well that STS cannot be compared to the current SpaceX reusability efforts.

Confirmation bias.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: TrevorMonty on 11/22/2017 05:14 PM
The other reuse methods are
1) engines, ie ULA SMART
2) flyback engine pods, Adeline. NB could be more than ie 1 either side of tank.
3) VTVL Eg F9R
4) VTHL eg Boeing XS1

Of all the methods I'd say VTVL is hardest to do, high probability of crashing a few before perfecting the landing. VTHL and Adeline are easier to get right first time, especially for large aircraft company like Boeing and Airbus. ESA already has some experience with the IXV spaceplane and Boeing with X37B.


Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Semmel on 11/23/2017 06:29 AM
Comment from ESA head:

Quote
Woerner: I’m a fan of reusability, but not the way Elon Musk is doing it. We’re looking at other ways. #Space17
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/933269213703262208

Quote
Did he specify what other ways might be? The @elonmusk way seems to be working at least
https://twitter.com/planetguy_bln/status/933271153854025729

Quote
No, but there have been studies of recovering the engines or other elements of the first stage without a propulsive landing.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/933271439255404544

I’m with Elon on this, in that I don’t understand the issue with using fuel to land (and thus reducing payload mass). What matters is the cost to launch the payloads you want to launch, not how much you could have launched on the same rocket if expendable. (I’m assuming costs reflect reuse development costs.)

Although Jan Woerner claims to be a fan of reusability his beliefs are - unfortunately - still firmly rooted in the expendable way of thinking. For multiple decades space agencies like ESA, CNES and DLR lived-and-worked with the principle that every bit of performance of a rocket MUST be used to maximize payload capacity.
Having excess performance to - God forbid! - return the booster stage to Earth just doesn't fit their view-on-spaceflight. From contacts inside ESA and DLR it has become clear to me that both agencies have a hard time adjusting to the new reality. Both have cited STS as an example why, in their opinion, reusability might not pay-off.
Which is really silly because both agencies know d*mn well that STS cannot be compared to the current SpaceX reusability efforts.

As a European, it hurts to see this happening. I agree with your assessment. Which hurts even more. They fear, that if they built a launch vehicle that is supposed to land like F9 it would crash a few times before it works, like F9. That is a absolute no no for them. It has to work the first time or they would not try it. I am unsure why that is though.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: woods170 on 11/23/2017 08:07 AM
Although Jan Woerner claims to be a fan of reusability his beliefs are - unfortunately - still firmly rooted in the expendable way of thinking. For multiple decades space agencies like ESA, CNES and DLR lived-and-worked with the principle that every bit of performance of a rocket MUST be used to maximize payload capacity.
Having excess performance to - God forbid! - return the booster stage to Earth just doesn't fit their view-on-spaceflight. From contacts inside ESA and DLR it has become clear to me that both agencies have a hard time adjusting to the new reality. Both have cited STS as an example why, in their opinion, reusability might not pay-off.
Which is really silly because both agencies know d*mn well that STS cannot be compared to the current SpaceX reusability efforts.

As a European, it hurts to see this happening. I agree with your assessment. Which hurts even more. They fear, that if they built a launch vehicle that is supposed to land like F9 it would crash a few times before it works, like F9. That is a absolute no no for them. It has to work the first time or they would not try it. I am unsure why that is though.
Two words:

Public money.

Remember when Ariane 501 auto-terminated? The public fall-out over it was significant. And when Ariane 502 had issues as well some nasty questions were asked about Ariane funding in the parliaments of France and Germany.
That repeated when the first Ariane 5 ECA was a complete failure.

So, it's nice that SpaceX spends it private money to land (and occasionally fail to land) F9 booster stages. But the average European tax-payer (note my use of the word "average") will not like the prospect of "their" money being spent on failed booster landings.

Even getting enough public funding authorised for the "safe" development option (Ariane 6 as currently being developed) has been a big problem.

But I digress. This thread is after all about SpaceX customers' views on reuse.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Semmel on 11/23/2017 10:40 AM
Although Jan Woerner claims to be a fan of reusability his beliefs are - unfortunately - still firmly rooted in the expendable way of thinking. For multiple decades space agencies like ESA, CNES and DLR lived-and-worked with the principle that every bit of performance of a rocket MUST be used to maximize payload capacity.
Having excess performance to - God forbid! - return the booster stage to Earth just doesn't fit their view-on-spaceflight. From contacts inside ESA and DLR it has become clear to me that both agencies have a hard time adjusting to the new reality. Both have cited STS as an example why, in their opinion, reusability might not pay-off.
Which is really silly because both agencies know d*mn well that STS cannot be compared to the current SpaceX reusability efforts.

As a European, it hurts to see this happening. I agree with your assessment. Which hurts even more. They fear, that if they built a launch vehicle that is supposed to land like F9 it would crash a few times before it works, like F9. That is a absolute no no for them. It has to work the first time or they would not try it. I am unsure why that is though.
Two words:

Public money.

Remember when Ariane 501 auto-terminated? The public fall-out over it was significant. And when Ariane 502 had issues as well some nasty questions were asked about Ariane funding in the parliaments of France and Germany.
That repeated when the first Ariane 5 ECA was a complete failure.

So, it's nice that SpaceX spends it private money to land (and occasionally fail to land) F9 booster stages. But the average European tax-payer (note my use of the word "average") will not like the prospect of "their" money being spent on failed booster landings.

Even getting enough public funding authorised for the "safe" development option (Ariane 6 as currently being developed) has been a big problem.

But I digress. This thread is after all about SpaceX customers' views on reuse.

Well its not entirely off topic because customer views on reuse are linked to competitor views on reuse. And if Ariane Space would go the same route as SpaceX: Develop a cheaper launch vehicle (like Ariane 6), that is just fine as an expendable but conduct practically free landing tests, I dont really see the problem with funding agencies. Especially, because the tests do not require much extra hardware than what delivers the payload. For public funding in Europe, there is a great distinction between funding that is used to buy hardware and funding that is used to pay people. If landing attempts are essentially hardware free and would cost a few dozen or so extra people, its actually a good situation. Something like that would even be encouraged!

Maybe they cant jump over their own shadow and say "I must admit I was wrong about reuse and Musk way may actually be the correct path". Which even now is not a proven fact, but highly likely given SpaceXs history and potential future. So if BFR/BFS works and is as economical as SpaceX claims, this would definitely and forever destroy the argument "Reuse of rockets doesnt work or is at least uneconomical, see Shuttle". Customers would have a hard time explaining their shareholder why they would NOT launch on BFR, once it is proven. As a consequence, expandable vehicles would almost exclusively run on national payloads of their respective country.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Kosmos2001 on 11/23/2017 01:09 PM
As a European, it hurts to see this happening. I agree with your assessment. Which hurts even more. They fear, that if they built a launch vehicle that is supposed to land like F9 it would crash a few times before it works, like F9. That is a absolute no no for them. It has to work the first time or they would not try it. I am unsure why that is though.

Working or not, the stage is lost. Why don't give a try and do some tests?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 11/23/2017 01:18 PM
As a European, it hurts to see this happening. I agree with your assessment. Which hurts even more. They fear, that if they built a launch vehicle that is supposed to land like F9 it would crash a few times before it works, like F9. That is a absolute no no for them. It has to work the first time or they would not try it. I am unsure why that is though.

Working or not, the stage is lost. Why don't give a try and do some tests?

And this 'Musk' approach works no matter which reuse technology one thinks is preferable. 
So, relax Jan, and watch the kaboomy goodness.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Kosmos2001 on 11/23/2017 01:30 PM
As a European, it hurts to see this happening. I agree with your assessment. Which hurts even more. They fear, that if they built a launch vehicle that is supposed to land like F9 it would crash a few times before it works, like F9. That is a absolute no no for them. It has to work the first time or they would not try it. I am unsure why that is though.

Working or not, the stage is lost. Why don't give a try and do some tests?

And this 'Musk' approach works no matter which reuse technology one thinks is preferable. 
So, relax Jan, and watch the kaboomy goodness.

The kaboomy goodness still exists anyway in Ariane family, the only difference is that there are no cameras nearby.  ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: meekGee on 11/23/2017 02:39 PM
The difference between customers and competitors is simple.

Customers had to see it (to overcome inertia), but once they did, they're switching over.

Arianne and ULA have to overcome years of ridicule and dismissal, and then face the prospect of being a decade behind, since neither has an architecture that fits, and both are invested in new projects that they would have to abandon.

So instead they come up with these "smart reuse" ideas, which had they come from SpaceX they would have been laughed out the door.  ULA for example loves showing how the benefit of reuse is limited if the US is expended, but has no problem touting a system where the entire airframe of the first stage is expended.

Customers OTOH are looking simple at the reliability outlook of a pre-flown rocket, weighing in considerations such as scheduling, and easily make a decision.

In short, it's an instituted and personal ego issue.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Ludus on 11/23/2017 03:47 PM
It’s a different thing for Elon Musk to joke about expecting some RUD events or making some craters and a bureaucrat using public funds and responsible to political pressure. Musk put out a video montage of SpaceX best crashes. Imagine DOD, NASA, ESA or one of their subcontractors doing that. It may be perfectly understandable rationally but crashes will be used by political opposition and the images will look like evidence of failure and mismanagement to some people. Musk can joke about it because he’s using his own money and isn’t endangering lives. A politician or bureaucrat knows they can’t get away with the same attitude no matter how rational it may be.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Rebel44 on 11/23/2017 04:01 PM
It’s a different thing for Elon Musk to joke about expecting some RUD events or making some craters and a bureaucrat using public funds and responsible to political pressure. Musk put out a video montage of SpaceX best crashes. Imagine DOD, NASA, ESA or one of their subcontractors doing that. It may be perfectly understandable rationally but crashes will be used by political opposition and the images will look like evidence of failure and mismanagement to some people. Musk can joke about it because he’s using his own money and isn’t endangering lives. A politician or bureaucrat knows they can’t get away with the same attitude no matter how rational it may be.

A few years ago this argument would be stronger than its now.

In 2017/2018 they might be able to get away with some recovery failures, by pointing out at SpaceX as an example.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: meekGee on 11/23/2017 04:38 PM
Yup.  But that's where the lack of strategic thought comes in.  Neither Vulcan nor A6 are optimized for fly-back.

And besides, by that time, investing in new rockets smaller than FH would be of limited value. Single payload will get larger and constellations will be the majority of the business.

And neither player is capable of doing development in a cost-effective way.

I can't imagine that customers, existing and new, are not adjusting their 5-10 year roadmaps to use this new class of rockets.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 11/23/2017 04:49 PM
Two words:

Public money.

Remember when Ariane 501 auto-terminated? The public fall-out over it was significant. And when Ariane 502 had issues as well some nasty questions were asked about Ariane funding in the parliaments of France and Germany.
That repeated when the first Ariane 5 ECA was a complete failure.

So, it's nice that SpaceX spends it private money to land (and occasionally fail to land) F9 booster stages. But the average European tax-payer (note my use of the word "average") will not like the prospect of "their" money being spent on failed booster landings.
Superficially your argument makes perfect sense.

Except it's not the new-rocket-goes-bang that annoy the taxpayers.

It's the failure to deliver the payload to orbit. That (from their PoV) is a total waste of money.

WRT this thread SX customers are not bothered by those booster stages smacking into the deck of the ASDS because AFAIK in every case the payload achieved orbit.

All recovery attempts happened after the booster had carried out its primary task, which it never failed to do.

So I'd suggest European taxpayers and ULA stockholders should be fine with the fact that sometime the recovery might fail, as long as the payload gets where it needs to go, and long term the stage recovery works. It's gong to be a whole new rocket stage (at least) anyway. Design recovery issues into it from day one.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 11/23/2017 07:56 PM
Only SX has RTLS firmly in plans. To the degree they can make high flight frequency work for the customer, such that the limiting factor in missions is the booked availability of F9US as a fully saturated resource.

In that case its the competition between expendable second stage vs expendable LV, as the booster cost gradually disappears into a portion of the total fixed costs of a launch.

Both ULA and the Ariane Group don't need to dominate the market, they just need to get within "striking distance" for customers to consider.

For both they need a new vehicle, for different reasons. That does not put them within striking distance.

Like BO's NG, downrange booster recovery with minimal propulsive loss of payload does get them there. Both know this, and can take action. Multiple ways. While AG is first to consider it, it is hamstrung by the past which will cause it to expensively fall behind, at a time when it could move quite rapidly (sad part about woods170's post up thread).

ULA is in a different situation. The parents insist on a "crawl walk run" that requires a biddable NSS next gen w/indigenous LRE first. Likely after they get it, downrange booster reuse is the next step, and their vehicle strategy is more amenable to adaption "after the fact". (And unlike A6, they don't have to fully burden with an entirely new large solids program that is mandatory for two classes of launch vehicle, as well as starting with a LRE designed for highly economic reuse from the start.)

The fallback for minimal NSS redundancy in both cases could be a solids only vehicle with no reuse, which if both fail at reuse economics execution might allow for a low development and sustaining cost option, never intending to compete with commercial launch providers that would thoroughly undercut them on cost/flight frequency.

It may be that government need splits off from commercial forever at this point, because the lack of need/desire/budget to compete forever rents the economic fabric globally. And that you have a smaller handful of providers with commercial market share at a fraction of the price of dedicated national ones, who are painfully subsidized to maintain minimal flight rate.

To avoid this bifurcation/obsolescence, one will need to decide expeditiously which way to go. Delaying will push up the development cost and down the cost recovery fast. Customers also will quickly view reuse as a harbinger of longevity of a provider they could choose, and might discard those who appear to be unskilled at it.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Exastro on 11/23/2017 09:15 PM
Quote
It may be that government need splits off from commercial forever at this point, because the lack of need/desire/budget to compete forever rents the economic fabric globally. And that you have a smaller handful of providers with commercial market share at a fraction of the price of dedicated national ones, who are painfully subsidized to maintain minimal flight rate.

How long can a boutique provider of expendable NSS launches survive in a world in which BFR and NG are flying frequently with demonstrated reliability and low cost?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 11/23/2017 10:14 PM
ULA says it needs ten flights per year to survive, half of which need to be commercial because of the paucity of USG launches.  That is where the rub exists... must compete in the commercial market to remain viable.

ArianeGroup may find itself in a similar situation, where a handful of flights are guaranteed by Europe's national program's, but there is still a significant fraction (again, maybe half) that must be toe-to-toe competed.

So, boutique might work when subsidies are high, but that doesn't appear to be a future prospect.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 11/23/2017 11:20 PM
Quote
It may be that government need splits off from commercial forever at this point, because the lack of need/desire/budget to compete forever rents the economic fabric globally. And that you have a smaller handful of providers with commercial market share at a fraction of the price of dedicated national ones, who are painfully subsidized to maintain minimal flight rate.

How long can a boutique provider of expendable NSS launches survive in a world in which BFR and NG are flying frequently with demonstrated reliability and low cost?

Long enough to transition to another stage/step. Which we cannot see at this point, because we need to have those handful "settle out" first.

We can begin to see the outlines of what comes next, but the first movers aren't guaranteed to prosper, although they've earned the right to be the first to attempt it. If they all fail, you fall back to "something".

Many scenarios to encompass NSS need are possible. NSS need itself is changing - right now getting up rapidly a fresh set of assets. Examples might include comprehensive contracts requiring priority to having a dedicated provider running a launch service with its own set of vehicles obtained from a non-compete commercial launch provider.

As always, meet/secure a need in a way that leverages common in-use capability without compromise of missions.

Only until it becomes common and in-use can you assess "leveraging" and "compromises". ELVs/solids, things like XS-1 might suffice til then.

ULA says it needs ten flights per year to survive, half of which need to be commercial because of the paucity of USG launches.  That is where the rub exists... must compete in the commercial market to remain viable.

ArianeGroup may find itself in a similar situation, where a handful of flights are guaranteed by Europe's national program's, but there is still a significant fraction (again, maybe half) that must be toe-to-toe competed.

So, boutique might work when subsidies are high, but that doesn't appear to be a future prospect.

Keep in mind you also need to maintain proficiency as well as cost. The less you fly, not only is it more costly, but your LOM increases, and you can only trade off so far by increasing costs of the LV/GSE to offset this.

ULA has a different set of issues - there are others, possibly NG that have sats and might compete with own launchers for them - what if an entire contract specified acceptance on orbit? Do they need to bid an entire LV/SC plus replacement all in one?

AG has a higher concentration of aerospace involvement spread/balanced over other countries than ULA/NG/others. It becomes more precarious, thus the increased need for commercial.

Take note of related interesting vehicle strategies by SNC - they speak of Dreamchaser possibly flying out of US on an European LV. How far might that extend if pushed? To other vehicles? An extension of the above mentioned NSS provider, possibly with the means to secure it?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 11/24/2017 06:52 AM
How long can a boutique provider of expendable NSS launches survive in a world in which BFR and NG are flying frequently with demonstrated reliability and low cost?
Indefinitely of course, as they are not being driven by any need to make an economical vehicle, merely one that completely satisfies their govt sponsors and never fails. Launch price inflation or "assured access" charges then become part of the landscape.

How before people start (and keep) pointing to them as a stupid design, given that booster stage recovery and reuse is now a reality, not a pipe dream, is another matter.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 11/24/2017 06:58 AM
Many scenarios to encompass NSS need are possible. NSS need itself is changing - right now getting up rapidly a fresh set of assets. Examples might include comprehensive contracts requiring priority to having a dedicated provider running a launch service with its own set of vehicles obtained from a non-compete commercial launch provider.

As always, meet/secure a need in a way that leverages common in-use capability without compromise of missions.
The fundamental problem with National Security Space requirements is the word National

It implies a launch system under direct control of relevant country or block of countries.

Current VTO TSTO rockets are so bound up with the intimate details of their entire GSE that it's virtually impossible to deliver a complete system to another country without telling them so much about it that it would violate ITAR restrictions, not to mention their deep ICBM heritage.

That points to a radically different architecture to any current vehicle, otherwise the market will remain desperately fragmented.

The questions are who will be the first to recognize this? Who will be the first to come up with a plan to do something about it? Who will succeed in implementing their plans?

However that is a topic for another thread.

What I think some of SX's competitors are missing is that the baseline has fundamentally shifted. Booster stage recovery and reflight is no longer a hypothesis or a concept, it has now happened.

Turning the question on its head. Knowing that recovery and reuse is possible why would you not  design in R&R friendly features to your new booster design from day one? Not necessarily for immediate use but available once its flight qualified for you target market.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 11/24/2017 11:34 AM
...

Turning the question on its head. Knowing that recovery and reuse is possible why would you not design in R&R friendly features to your new booster design from day one? Not necessarily for immediate use but available once its flight qualified for you target market.

For both Vulcan and Ariane 6, and probably Soyuz 5 and others, day one has already passed.  Not too late for a reset, IMO, but quickly becoming so.

Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 11/24/2017 05:25 PM
Many scenarios to encompass NSS need are possible. NSS need itself is changing - right now getting up rapidly a fresh set of assets. Examples might include comprehensive contracts requiring priority to having a dedicated provider running a launch service with its own set of vehicles obtained from a non-compete commercial launch provider.

As always, meet/secure a need in a way that leverages common in-use capability without compromise of missions.
The fundamental problem with National Security Space requirements is the word National

It implies a launch system under direct control of relevant country or block of countries.
Don't neglect the second word Security. Just as important.

The current administration, even more so than the former, has an interest in commercialization of "national security". This means taking it out of the direct purview of agencies and placing it, its management and oversight, in private hands, sometimes with little/no scrutiny.

Under the guise of being cheap, it also is easier to manipulate to justify your own "confirmation bias", which is exactly what is desired at the moment. Also, leakage into the commercial sector and use for political games becomes more possible, the further it is from the guise of duty to country. Which should concern all more than it appears to at the moment.

To illustrate the point in a related manner, a recent death of a soldier in Niger was directly traceable to commercial extraction with no viable backup/cover. We left a man behind to horrible end. It was the whole universe lost to that one, for all the wrong reasons.

The reasons for control, chain of custody, and chain of command come in the compromises/consequences of security.

As to "national", its more about indigenous source to not be beholden to another. As well as economic results of maintaining a key industrial capability and its share of the global economy. However, for this look to JSF "good and bad".

Quote
Current VTO TSTO rockets are so bound up with the intimate details of their entire GSE that it's virtually impossible to deliver a complete system to another country without telling them so much about it that it would violate ITAR restrictions, not to mention their deep ICBM heritage.

Some countries barter and legislate around this. Any LV is regulated as all are munitions of a sort, just lack readiness and other qualities. Modern LV's don't have ICBM heritage.

Quote
What I think some of SX's competitors are missing is that the baseline has fundamentally shifted. Booster stage recovery and reflight is no longer a hypothesis or a concept, it has now happened.
Yes they are in denial. Because they are dealing with larger scale problems first. Cost of maintaining industrial base/supply chain/labor costs.

Quote
Turning the question on its head. Knowing that recovery and reuse is possible why would you not  design in R&R friendly features to your new booster design from day one? Not necessarily for immediate use but available once its flight qualified for you target market.
Because it interferes with the direct costing of your narrow mission, because you cannot "unwind" things that you need from things the way they've been done in the past.

So you separate the two in a modern context, get that to work to do your mission, then examine how to make it viable in a actual, bidded cost environment where you are competing at a like level. Which is what Vulcan and Ariane 6 are about.

Which is why you can't do "R&R friendly features in your new booster design from day one", you need to "unwind" first. Which is why we are here, no surprise.

For both Vulcan and Ariane 6, and probably Soyuz 5 and others, day one has already passed.  Not too late for a reset, IMO, but quickly becoming so.
Nah. It's mostly a mindset problem. For some, systems engineering suggests a "larger turning radius" for the LV "battleship".

Have already suggested in threads means to accomplish this quickly. For Europe its a problem with goring another ox when many have already been gored. For ULA's parents its overcoming skepticism that ULA can accomplish the "to them radical" Tory Bruno plan to survive as a launch provider - looking forward to downselect of AR1 as the next step in this drama.

Back to SX and its customers' views on reuse - the exit of "engine reuse only" schemes is being observed by them. Also, those like SES/Iridium who want a "reuse trophy" for the boardroom also is picking up. As reuse becomes commonplace for one "low cost" provider, these become the new metrics for pleasing the customer.

So think of it as a launch service offering that customers begin to desire/admire. They are after all, competitive with each other too. So this becomes part of the story. If you're a SX rival, what do you tell them when they come to ask for your bid?

Also, with SX competing with itself - what do you tell them about the "next big thing" you have in store for them? To hold the customer's fascination with the journey you're taking the entire industry on, as leader of where the future is going to, even if you aren't necessarily the world leader in space launch yet (those pesky Atlas V and Ariane 5 launches).
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 11/24/2017 07:44 PM
Quote
even if you aren't necessarily the world leader in space launch yet

2017:
Atlas V = 6 launches
Arine 5 = 5 launches, 1 planned
Falcon 9 = 16 launches and counting
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 11/24/2017 09:16 PM
Quote
even if you aren't necessarily the world leader in space launch yet

2017:
Atlas V = 6 launches
Arine 5 = 5 launches, 1 planned
Falcon 9 = 16 launches and counting
Falcon  = Zero planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions
Atlas/Ariane = most planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions.

If you can't do them, you're not a leader. Cherry picking payloads only works for so long.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: speedevil on 11/25/2017 12:07 AM
Falcon  = Zero planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions
Atlas/Ariane = most planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions.
If you can't do them, you're not a leader. Cherry picking payloads only works for so long.

If you widen out from 2017, F9 did launch DSCOVR.
https://epic.gsfc.nasa.gov/archive/natural/2017/11/20/jpg/epic_1b_20171120054200.jpg

And - well - heavy, RSN.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 11/25/2017 01:07 AM
Falcon  = Zero planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions
Atlas/Ariane = most planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions.
If you can't do them, you're not a leader. Cherry picking payloads only works for so long.

If you widen out from 2017, F9 did launch DSCOVR.
https://epic.gsfc.nasa.gov/archive/natural/2017/11/20/jpg/epic_1b_20171120054200.jpg

And - well - heavy, RSN.
So we're straining at gnats again. A 0.6 mT sat at earth's L1 point. Whee!

How soon do you think an FH is going to be lobbing deep space payloads, or a major NSS? It isn't RSN.

I'll bet you a cup of coffee that the first significant FH launch (and first significant non GTO payload) will be a Dragon capsule. And it won't be under a fairing  ::)

How many planetary missions? Zero. You do know that Centaur has a few notches worked up over quite a few decades. Flying incredible missions for longer than many here have been alive.

Things are changing. But try to keep a tiny bit of rational perspective while it does, OK?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: meekGee on 11/25/2017 02:37 AM
Quote
even if you aren't necessarily the world leader in space launch yet

2017:
Atlas V = 6 launches
Arine 5 = 5 launches, 1 planned
Falcon 9 = 16 launches and counting
Falcon  = Zero planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions
Atlas/Ariane = most planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions.

If you can't do them, you're not a leader. Cherry picking payloads only works for so long.

Sure they can.  It's just that the dominance in commercial launches is simply the first "symptom".  Obviously planetary launches lag, but give it a couple of years and you could do the same comparison with those as well.

You can also make the point that SpaceX has yet to launch people.  And give it a few more years, and there's going to be very little left to compare even on that field.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: su27k on 11/25/2017 03:51 AM
Atlas/Ariane = most planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions.

This is true for Atlas, but not so for Ariane 5, the latter mainly launches communications satellites, with a few Galileo, planetary/cislunar/large NSS is very few and far between.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 11/25/2017 06:11 AM
Quote
even if you aren't necessarily the world leader in space launch yet

2017:
Atlas V = 6 launches
Arine 5 = 5 launches, 1 planned
Falcon 9 = 16 launches and counting
Falcon  = Zero planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions
Atlas/Ariane = most planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions.

If you can't do them, you're not a leader. Cherry picking payloads only works for so long.

Sure they can.  It's just that the dominance in commercial launches is simply the first "symptom".  Obviously planetary launches lag, but give it a couple of years and you could do the same comparison with those as well.

You can also make the point that SpaceX has yet to launch people.  And give it a few more years, and there's going to be very little left to compare even on that field.

No, you entirely miss the point. Perhaps because you need to.

A leader must address more than a subset of launch capabilities. Because you never know when that particular capability will be required. A leader cannot be just a niche provider.

And this is in part why FH and Dragon 2 are being done. To increase the spanning set of capabilities, as SX chooses to approach a leadership position. Their choice, not mine, not others.

It has taken a long time for others to establish a leadership position, as they have built and proven leadership. There list of accomplished missions, by scope and not frequency, is how others assess them.

JWST will launch on Ariane 5. It was designed with this in mind. Never will it launch on a FH. Why is that? Because of agreement to use a leadership provider who could bring off such a launch. Perhaps some day a similar mission might be able to be done on a FH, but the skills and experience and flight history isn't there, which is even more important than the vehicle capabilities to even make it possible.

And this is true of hundreds of different missions, both flown and unflown. It takes time to accumulate a leadership position, and not all are equal. Yet.

Atlas/Ariane = most planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions.

This is true for Atlas, but not so for Ariane 5, the latter mainly launches communications satellites, with a few Galileo, planetary/cislunar/large NSS is very few and far between.
Didn't give a full and detailed list, nor are all of Ariane 5's capabilities for missions and the leadership position it hold well known.

They know them, and won't accept a launch that exceeds them. As any provider does. As SX does.

If you ask for a mission bid that is outside proven capability, the provider will tell you that its not currently possible. They will also tell you a eventual means by which they may work up to such a mission in the fullness of time, and likely by performing other missions to augment capabilities. We're talking years, possibly decades. They may also alter the mission in ways to have a desired outcome through proven capabilities.

To do otherwise would be foolish.

This does not diminish any provider. Just addresses that there are limits/scope present one works within.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: meekGee on 11/25/2017 06:15 AM
Quote
even if you aren't necessarily the world leader in space launch yet

2017:
Atlas V = 6 launches
Arine 5 = 5 launches, 1 planned
Falcon 9 = 16 launches and counting
Falcon  = Zero planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions
Atlas/Ariane = most planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions.

If you can't do them, you're not a leader. Cherry picking payloads only works for so long.

Sure they can.  It's just that the dominance in commercial launches is simply the first "symptom".  Obviously planetary launches lag, but give it a couple of years and you could do the same comparison with those as well.

You can also make the point that SpaceX has yet to launch people.  And give it a few more years, and there's going to be very little left to compare even on that field.
Atlas/Ariane = most planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions.

This is true for Atlas, but not so for Ariane 5, the latter mainly launches communications satellites, with a few Galileo, planetary/cislunar/large NSS is very few and far between.
Didn't give a full and detailed list, nor are all of Ariane 5's capabilities for missions and the leadership position it hold well known.

They know them, and won't accept a launch that exceeds them. As any provider does. As SX does.

If you ask for a mission bid that is outside proven capability, the provider will tell you that its not currently possible. They will also tell you a eventual means by which they may work up to such a mission in the fullness of time, and likely by performing other missions to augment capabilities. We're talking years, possibly decades. They may also alter the mission in ways to have a desired outcome through proven capabilities.

To do otherwise would be foolish.

This does not diminish any provider. Just addresses that there are limits/scope present one works within.
You're taking a very long route to basically say the same thing...  Plus some added psychology that doesn't add any value.

SpaceX is not yet the leader just because it launched more comsats than anyone else.

SpaceX is on a trajectory to become the leader in space launch, and the fact that it launched more comsats is just an early outcome of that trajectory.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 11/25/2017 08:06 AM
If you ask for a mission bid that is outside proven capability, the provider will tell you that its not currently possible. They will also tell you a eventual means by which they may work up to such a mission in the fullness of time, and likely by performing other missions to augment capabilities. We're talking years, possibly decades. They may also alter the mission in ways to have a desired outcome through proven capabilities.

To do otherwise would be foolish.

This does not diminish any provider. Just addresses that there are limits/scope present one works within.
An interesting question would be what would be the reaction at the DoD if ULA or SX said (doesn't matter why) "We're not doing this anymore. We'll launch the contracts we have with you and our other customers but we're walking away. No new business."

No I don't think that's going to happen, but the DoD reaction to it would be interesting.
My instinct is that for SX it would be a case of "Sorry to hear that, good luck with your other ventures."
My instinct for ULA would be much more worried (actually I think it would be full "headless chicken" mode).

When the DoD reaction to such an announcement from SX is the same as what it would be coming from ULA then you're looking at an equal leadership position.

WRT the thread title.

Customers are for it if it lowers costs

Customer are against it if it lowers reliability, but it depends how much by. NSS launches are notoriously sensitive about mission success, comm sat operators are sensitive, but not the zero risk level. Others will be less picky still.

If it does neither they aren't that bothered.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 11/25/2017 12:39 PM
Quote
even if you aren't necessarily the world leader in space launch yet

2017:
Atlas V = 6 launches
Arine 5 = 5 launches, 1 planned
Falcon 9 = 16 launches and counting
Falcon  = Zero planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions
Atlas/Ariane = most planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions.

If you can't do them, you're not a leader. Cherry picking payloads only works for so long.

Sure they can.  It's just that the dominance in commercial launches is simply the first "symptom".  Obviously planetary launches lag, but give it a couple of years and you could do the same comparison with those as well.

You can also make the point that SpaceX has yet to launch people.  And give it a few more years, and there's going to be very little left to compare even on that field.

No, you entirely miss the point. Perhaps because you need to.

A leader must address more than a subset of launch capabilities. Because you never know when that particular capability will be required. A leader cannot be just a niche provider.

...

There is no question that Atlas V and Ariane 5 have traditionally carried the highest dollar payloads and that because of their impeccable launch records and long-established 'leadership' positions.  Similar track record would make AJR the 'industry leader' in rocket engines.  Much of this 'leadership' is based on an industry that reached stasis (stagnation to most observers) and thus is highly resistant to change (see Block Buy which placed most of this decade's NSS launches with one provider) or very long lead selection of the launch provider (see JWST).

Most definitions of leadership include the aspect of 'followership.'  In the launch industry, now that it appears to be moving again, are the followers emulating the Atlas V/Ariane 5 model?  Are new vehicles choosing AJR engines?  Which of these 'leaders' are advancing the state of the art in rocketry?  Who are their followers (not traditional customers only)?

Falcon 9 (soon FH) are gaining ascendancy and capability quite rapidly.  The most flexible/nimble customers are following their lead to lower cost and reusable rockets.  And major launch providers across the globe are following, too, but from a distance and time lag that demonstrates the inertia of the launch industry.

2019 will present an opportunity for Phase 2 NSS launches to be openly competed (as will this year's handful of Phase 1A offerings, though many are 'just' GPS-IIIs).  That competition plus the ongoing competition on the commercial side will demonstrate who is a niche/boutique provider and who leads the US/global launch industry. 

Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: JamesH65 on 11/25/2017 07:32 PM
Minor nitpick. Interplanetary and research launches are THE niche market. Commercial sats are the opposite, they form the majority of launches. So ULA/Ariane are the niche providers, not SpaceX.

I'm not going to argue whether that makes a change to any leadership - they are very different markets with different requirements, and you can have leaders in both.


Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 11/25/2017 09:14 PM
Quote
even if you aren't necessarily the world leader in space launch yet

2017:
Atlas V = 6 launches
Arine 5 = 5 launches, 1 planned
Falcon 9 = 16 launches and counting
Falcon  = Zero planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions
Atlas/Ariane = most planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions.

If you can't do them, you're not a leader. Cherry picking payloads only works for so long.

Sure they can.  It's just that the dominance in commercial launches is simply the first "symptom".  Obviously planetary launches lag, but give it a couple of years and you could do the same comparison with those as well.

You can also make the point that SpaceX has yet to launch people.  And give it a few more years, and there's going to be very little left to compare even on that field.

No, you entirely miss the point. Perhaps because you need to.

A leader must address more than a subset of launch capabilities. Because you never know when that particular capability will be required. A leader cannot be just a niche provider.

...

There is no question that Atlas V and Ariane 5 have traditionally carried the highest dollar payloads and that because of their impeccable launch records and long-established 'leadership' positions.  Similar track record would make AJR the 'industry leader' in rocket engines.
(You are proving to me that you are beginning to "get it".)

To get those accomplishments took decades and hard work to maintain, also dealing with a certain aspect of terror in potentially losing it. Watching someone else bumble along fecklessly and always appear golden, where disaster might be in the next step, dripping arrogance and condescension, with a sycophantic audience praising all while almost all of the hard, subtle stuff remains ahead ... captures the moment here for many.

(For me its just as hard this, as having heard for decades on the topic of reuse, before/during Shuttle/CELV/EELV half right justifications of why/what not to try, and being slammed down hard about it. FWIW.)

Quote
  Much of this 'leadership' is based on an industry that reached stasis (stagnation to most observers) and thus is highly resistant to change (see Block Buy which placed most of this decade's NSS launches with one provider) or very long lead selection of the launch provider (see JWST).
Careful with the "stagnation" and "highly resistant to change" as it is too nonspecific, bordering on the worst to claim.

While I don't wish to place words in your mouth, I'll attempt to rewrite your claims carefully so as to illustrate the debacle better as I observed it happening. Like in the above mention by me, it won't please the fans (and likely not many of those that have lived this either), but it'll attempt to capture things better.

Shuttle was a leadership capability grasp beyond the reach of the world's superpower that taught good and bad. CELV/EELV tactically executed alternatives costly then less costly then optimally executed for an imperfect world to get the best possible, also teaching leadership that was good (capabilities within achievable bounds) and bad (overly cautious evolution to not risk the gains, funds/ROI to payoff the past not reaching beyond the current envelope to push the future into the present). Shuttle/CELV/EELV all weren't stagnant, they did advance, but not beyond a certain scope (hundreds of things to cite).

Because policy, not engineering capability/skill/desire, restrained.

The benefit of Bezos and Musk, as well as other earlier space entrepreneurs wasn't engineering - it was in evading policy to press the future forward. And when they did/do, they did do the engineering, the missions,   the realization of vision ... to establish an independent of policy right to access leadership, regardless of the prior "good or bad" as to be realized.

(For some, this challenge to the policy bound leaders is two edged, because we might lose much of the "good" by a  "bad turn", especially as we are in an age that seems to have a hard time separating "good" from "bad".)

Those in the policy bound camp often feel equally screwed by being narrowly lead and having to reinvent while already having had the "best thing" all along, without reconciliation/budget/"room to manage accelerated change" ... while also the constantly rewritten rules never settle to where they can use tested process on lean budget to achieve the certain result.

They have reasons to resent a feckless rival that can let things go "boom" where they can't ever, even a once. And where payoff has to happen within a few missions not over the lifetime of a LV. An unfair playing field.

During a period of transition, where if this "new direction" has a "fatal flaw", they'll be counted on to act as the "back up" but also to meet the same/better economics on.

So of course they cannot keep the past/policy as well as two futures and avoid looking like they are stagnant. (Aerojet and ULA are very different here - Aerojet never got to the point of reinvention that Bruno is getting from ULA.)

(Perhaps in this you can also see where the AF/SX thing went wrong in its unfair "fairness" attempt. Part of how to interpret the mess about the block buy. )

Quote
Most definitions of leadership include the aspect of 'followership.'  In the launch industry, now that it appears to be moving again, are the followers emulating the Atlas V/Ariane 5 model?  Are new vehicles choosing AJR engines?  Which of these 'leaders' are advancing the state of the art in rocketry?  Who are their followers (not traditional customers only)?
You follow when the lead breaks a certain path. Realize that Shuttle was an example of a long, hard, proven ... false path.

I'd put it to you that ULA/Arianespace mistook a huge government program for a entrepreneurial experimental program, and yes that you can stick fully on their leadership of the time. (Bruno isn't hidebound like Gass was although very much a product of same past.)

ULA thought of leadership in the form of optimizing their already perfected path to serving a non growth market. And they could be proven right if it doesn't grow but shrinks!

As to AJR engines, how nice of you to include the failed AJR "theory turnaround" prior to M1D/Raptor/BE4. They also could see the writing on the wall that few engines on government missions was a dead-end. But it was just a marketing gesture, as I fear low cost RL10 is also. Because the financial returns on what you'd have to do, don't merit it and get in the way of its government teat feed. (IMHO they would have had to do a BE-4 like model allowing IPR cost sharing and outsourced production such that it would be easier to just use/improve the engine base than milk max revenue off of a handful of engine sales annually. Not going to happen.)

Likely we're now going to see booster/fairing reuse followers.

But you're right, leaders have to establish followers, and none of them have done their duty in that regard, I would suggest, at the direction of parents/stakeholders/Congress as well (mind you McCain has always been on their a$$es about it).

(The moment SX appeared on the scene was the time for the leaders to start moving (if they had not been already) setting a pace for a new "follower". When they spent time "bad mouthing" and not attempting to wrestle again with the future, they stopped acting as leaders. They chose to change the topic into one of "monopoly" which is an evasion of leadership. Which Congressional leadership agreed with and still does.)

Quote
Falcon 9 (soon FH) are gaining ascendancy and capability quite rapidly.  The most flexible/nimble customers are following their lead to lower cost and reusable rockets.  And major launch providers across the globe are following, too, but from a distance and time lag that demonstrates the inertia of the launch industry.
No - not at all.

Asendancy/capability hasn't happened at all yet. They are routinely making "messes" still.

Suggest F9/FH have threatened the leadership's "future vacuum". As a result they can "mine out" mission/capability, increasing the cost of being a leader, to the point that leaders collapse and capability is lost til the new leader slowly builds it in, if at all. (You can't fly certain missions then, you can't depend on uniformity of launch of all capabilities.)

You can say they successfully disrupted launch providing, so they can begin the struggle to ascend.

Quote
2019 will present an opportunity for Phase 2 NSS launches to be openly competed (as will this year's handful of Phase 1A offerings, though many are 'just' GPS-IIIs).  That competition plus the ongoing competition on the commercial side will demonstrate who is a niche/boutique provider and who leads the US/global launch industry.
Nope, not at all.

Doesn't address the difficult need. Note that Centaur V is now part of Vulcan, meaning that all launch need must be addressed by a provider to get any of the launches.

So those that become qualified can't "cherry pick" anymore, but have to compete on an even footing. This is the beginning of the battle for leadership - those that qualify and post a series of mission successes.

Minor nitpick. Interplanetary and research launches are THE niche market. Commercial sats are the opposite, they form the majority of launches. So ULA/Ariane are the niche providers, not SpaceX.
You are speaking of market segmentation, which is meant for economic comparison.

I am speaking in the context of leadership of industry, where all segments need to be present for the consideration of leadership.

(Space launch isn't a "real" market because it is too small in numbers, thus being a category or segment leader is nonsensically small. Remember that markets work by statistics in the hundreds minimally per sample, not ones.)

Quote
I'm not going to argue whether that makes a change to any leadership - they are very different markets with different requirements, and you can have leaders in both.

Have been attempting to properly assess, aside from fandom, what the situation is. Sorry if it pops your bubble.

Wanting to have a fantasy is not so interesting as accomplishing reality.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: su27k on 11/26/2017 03:02 AM
Minor nitpick. Interplanetary and research launches are THE niche market. Commercial sats are the opposite, they form the majority of launches. So ULA/Ariane are the niche providers, not SpaceX.
You are speaking of market segmentation, which is meant for economic comparison.

I am speaking in the context of leadership of industry, where all segments need to be present for the consideration of leadership.

(Space launch isn't a "real" market because it is too small in numbers, thus being a category or segment leader is nonsensically small. Remember that markets work by statistics in the hundreds minimally per sample, not ones.)

"Quantity has a quality all its own"

If SpaceX can do 30 launches next year, I don't think there's any doubt they're the industry leader even if they couldn't do somethings like Vertical Integration.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 11/26/2017 05:22 AM
Minor nitpick. Interplanetary and research launches are THE niche market. Commercial sats are the opposite, they form the majority of launches. So ULA/Ariane are the niche providers, not SpaceX.
You are speaking of market segmentation, which is meant for economic comparison.

I am speaking in the context of leadership of industry, where all segments need to be present for the consideration of leadership.

(Space launch isn't a "real" market because it is too small in numbers, thus being a category or segment leader is nonsensically small. Remember that markets work by statistics in the hundreds minimally per sample, not ones.)

"Quantity has a quality all its own"
Absolutely.

Quote
If SpaceX can do 30 launches next year, I don't think there's any doubt they're the industry leader even if they couldn't do somethings like Vertical Integration.
If they do 30 next year, all others will be on short rations, and the effects of reuse will be un-ignorable as a consequence of space launch.

And in the press, it will become routine. Remarkable as a broad range of customers reuse boosters casually.

VI is a consequence of certain missions, a cost/delay/burden to bear. Harder are other things in building up demonstrable on-orbit capabilities.

So yes that would compel launch futures to rise. But ... tell me about all of the long term/duration missions that will commit to manifest next year, all the heavy comsats advancing to flight on FH rather than waiting for an unshared Araine 5 launch. For leadership has many qualities that can be spoken to, where all need not be immediately felt all at once.

With those I might have reason to agree. However, 30 of the same as past years more speaks to the weaknesses of rivals in assessing/addressing threat.

And things are not all about SX during that time surely. Other major missions are flying on Atlas/Ariane - do these make the providers somehow less as leaders? What reduces the value of those difficult missions, such that another vendor is seen as more of a leader for not doing them?

Yes its important to have reuse and potentially low cost phase in. But remember that there's a bit more to it than that alone to retain perspective on.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Semmel on 11/26/2017 09:04 AM
Why is it important to be a leader?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 11/26/2017 09:17 AM

The current administration, even more so than the former, has an interest in commercialization of "national security". This means taking it out of the direct purview of agencies and placing it, its management and oversight, in private hands, sometimes with little/no scrutiny.

Under the guise of being cheap, it also is easier to manipulate to justify your own "confirmation bias", which is exactly what is desired at the moment. Also, leakage into the commercial sector and use for political games becomes more possible, the further it is from the guise of duty to country. Which should concern all more than it appears to at the moment.

To illustrate the point in a related manner, a recent death of a soldier in Niger was directly traceable to commercial extraction with no viable backup/cover. We left a man behind to horrible end. It was the whole universe lost to that one, for all the wrong reasons.

The reasons for control, chain of custody, and chain of command come in the compromises/consequences of security.
600 years on and it seems we still have "condottieri" of the 21st century.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condottieri

I quite like the side item about unit leaders being called "Venture Captains."
I'm sure quite a few people would indeed describe VC's as quite mercenary in outlook.  :)

Quote from: Space Ghost 1962
As to "national", its more about indigenous source to not be beholden to another. As well as economic results of maintaining a key industrial capability and its share of the global economy. However, for this look to JSF "good and bad".
Highly appropriate to Arianespace and the whole history of European LV development.
Yes they are in denial. Because they are dealing with larger scale problems first. Cost of maintaining industrial base/supply chain/labor costs.
Quote from: Space Ghost 1962
Quote
Turning the question on its head. Knowing that recovery and reuse is possible why would you not  design in R&R friendly features to your new booster design from day one? Not necessarily for immediate use but available once its flight qualified for you target market.
Because it interferes with the direct costing of your narrow mission, because you cannot "unwind" things that you need from things the way they've been done in the past.

So you separate the two in a modern context, get that to work to do your mission, then examine how to make it viable in a actual, bidded cost environment where you are competing at a like level. Which is what Vulcan and Ariane 6 are about.

Which is why you can't do "R&R friendly features in your new booster design from day one", you need to "unwind" first. Which is why we are here, no surprise.

That would explain the head of Arianespace's comment about reducing the subcontractor list from 140 to 40, something I presume ULA should also be looking at doing if at all possible.

One of the lessons I've learned from studying various examples in various industries is it's always more expensive to do something twice, but it's sometimes necessary, depending on the level of uncertainty in a situation.

IOW most of the time doing something in design is an incremental cost, so why not do it now. If it has to be designed in later you're going to have to change some (all ?) of the work you've done already.

For example if ULA are really committed to booster reuse they are going to need a GNC package and the power to run it, regardless of how they plan to do reuse. It's logical to design in the support for that from the start in terms of cabling and mounting brackets and power unit sizing.

Beyond that would depend on how committed they are to "engine module" recovery rather than whole stage.  If they're dead set on engine module then it makes no sense not to design in the parachute storage as well, as it's likely to have substantial structural implications to the design. People don't often realize the Ariane 5 SRB's had recovery parachute bays fitted from the first flight. After early qualification they were not AFAIK filled, but they could have been.

Likewise making all tankage/engine module electrical and fluid connectors in 2 parts, with provision (but not necessarily actual installation of actuators) for separation (and sealing?) on demand seems obvious as well.

I'm reminded of how much work ULA had to do to crew rate Atlas V for CTS, especially in stress analysis as the safety factor was IIRC 1.25, instead of the 1.4 NASA required for crew carriage.

This is probably better discussed in the Vulcan thread but the Genie is out of the bottle. While IMHO retro fitting booster recovery to an existing stage was always a fantasy, with a more-or-less clean sheet design we know it can be done and that has bottom line cost reduction from the first re-use of that hardware.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 11/26/2017 11:34 AM
Why is it important to be a leader?

When you are not satisfied with the status quo or have a vision for the future that is not happening with existing structures (as Bert & I put it, "You can't get there from here..."), then you must become a leader -- or shut it.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: JamesH65 on 11/26/2017 02:35 PM
To get those accomplishments took decades and hard work to maintain, also dealing with a certain aspect of terror in potentially losing it. Watching someone else bumble along fecklessly and always appear golden, where disaster might be in the next step, dripping arrogance and condescension,

And the bumbling feckless SpaceX have, in 15 years, gone from nothing to having a reusable launcher, the ability to supply the ISS with theit own capsule, dropped the price of launch dramatically, caused others to serious look at their plans for the future. And all for a fraction of the price ULA and others have spent, to get where they are. The only thing SpaceX don't have that ULA and Ariane etc have, is the historical record of flight reliability, and the very heavy lift capability (although F9H should fix that if it works) . I expect that to come eventually, perhaps sooner than ULA/Ariane might like. I also expect another RUD at some point, that comes with the territory of advancing the state of the art.

I'd take bumbling and feckless over 'leadership'. Leadership implies people following, and I'm not sure SpaceX follow ULA or Ariane.


And just out of interest, where is this arrogance and condescension? I see it from over zealous fans, but there is little SpaceX do about them!
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: LouScheffer on 11/26/2017 02:41 PM
Quote
even if you aren't necessarily the world leader in space launch yet

2017:
Atlas V = 6 launches
Arine 5 = 5 launches, 1 planned
Falcon 9 = 16 launches and counting
Falcon  = Zero planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions
Atlas/Ariane = most planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions.

If you can't do them, you're not a leader. Cherry picking payloads only works for so long.

This is a rookie business mistake, and ULA will not be the first to make it.  GM thought Japan could only make entry level cars.  US Steel thought foreign entrants could only make rebar and other less demanding alloys. 

The problem is that it's easier for the low-cost, high volume entrant to improve their capability, than for the high-cost, low volume entrant to lower their prices.   It's a standard business school study (https://hbr.org/2015/12/what-is-disruptive-innovation):
Quote
Entrants that prove disruptive begin by successfully targeting those overlooked segments, gaining a foothold by delivering more-suitable functionality—frequently at a lower price. Incumbents, chasing higher profitability in more-demanding segments, tend not to respond vigorously. Entrants then move upmarket, delivering the performance that incumbents’ mainstream customers require, while preserving the advantages that drove their early success.
Of course you can argue that the mantle of leadership has not passed yet. But the signs are on the wall....
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: meekGee on 11/26/2017 04:15 PM
Quote
even if you aren't necessarily the world leader in space launch yet

2017:
Atlas V = 6 launches
Arine 5 = 5 launches, 1 planned
Falcon 9 = 16 launches and counting
Falcon  = Zero planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions
Atlas/Ariane = most planetary / cislunar / large NSS missions.

If you can't do them, you're not a leader. Cherry picking payloads only works for so long.

This is a rookie business mistake, and ULA will not be the first to make it.  GM thought Japan could only make entry level cars.  US Steel thought foreign entrants could only make rebar and other less demanding alloys. 

The problem is that it's easier for the low-cost, high volume entrant to improve their capability, than for the high-cost, low volume entrant to lower their prices.   It's a standard business school study (https://hbr.org/2015/12/what-is-disruptive-innovation):
Quote
Entrants that prove disruptive begin by successfully targeting those overlooked segments, gaining a foothold by delivering more-suitable functionality—frequently at a lower price. Incumbents, chasing higher profitability in more-demanding segments, tend not to respond vigorously. Entrants then move upmarket, delivering the performance that incumbents’ mainstream customers require, while preserving the advantages that drove their early success.
Of course you can argue that the mantle of leadership has not passed yet. But the signs are on the wall....
Exactly so.  This discussion was never about a snapshot in time, but about the trajectories the companies are on, since that is what corporate governance is about.

For years, Amazon was not the biggest retailer, but they had already built such capabilities that they were unstoppable, even back then.

For that matter, back then Sears was clearly "the leader" by a bunch of useless metrics. See how good that does them today.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 11/26/2017 07:19 PM
Why is it important to be a leader?
Thank you. Your concise comment (really good habit you have here) puts the finger on it.

Suggest in this thread it depends on the eye of the beholder. (I think AncientU and I were in agreement as to meaning as in the large global case definition of "space launch provider leader", as opposed to something else like maybe "fandom leader" or other.)

So suggest in posts here labeling your meaning here might go a long way in making your point in context, unless the point is to intentionally be ... disruptive ... to understanding ... and to soe discord or entertain.

When you are not satisfied with the status quo or have a vision for the future that is not happening with existing structures (as Bert & I put it, "You can't get there from here..."), then you must become a leader -- or shut it.
"To challenge leadership." Yes.

The only thing SpaceX don't have that ULA and Ariane etc have, is the historical record of flight reliability, and the very heavy lift capability (although F9H should fix that if it works) .
Nope. Just one non-LEO, non-GTO mission. Not enough to earn the confidence Atlas/Ariane has in doing more capable missions yet.

Quote
I'd take bumbling and feckless over 'leadership'.
One spends billions on certain payloads. So you don't think being responsible in launching them ... matters? How thoughtful.

Quote
And just out of interest, where is this arrogance and condescension? I see it from over zealous fans, but there is little SpaceX do about them!
Perhaps ... in their remarks concerning flight/payload/test risks prior? Or in like kind exchanges with equally arrogant and condescending BO?

This is a rookie business mistake, and ULA will not be the first to make it.  GM thought Japan could only make entry level cars.  US Steel thought foreign entrants could only make rebar and other less demanding alloys. 

Give me a break. You're comparing a non market economic activity with the most  largest consumer dollar purchase vehicle business that's doing millions of vehicles instead of few digits.

While great for fandom enthusiasm, it'll be awhile before SX, ULA, or BO sell LV's to automobile customers  ;D Thank you for the humorous vision.

Quote
The problem is that it's easier for the low-cost, high volume entrant to improve their capability, than for the high-cost, low volume entrant to lower their prices.   It's a standard business school study (https://hbr.org/2015/12/what-is-disruptive-innovation):
Quote
Entrants that prove disruptive begin by successfully targeting those overlooked segments, gaining a foothold by delivering more-suitable functionality—frequently at a lower price. Incumbents, chasing higher profitability in more-demanding segments, tend not to respond vigorously. Entrants then move upmarket, delivering the performance that incumbents’ mainstream customers require, while preserving the advantages that drove their early success.
You didn't have to go over the top, so you're addressing the "lack of competitive response" with a sledgehammer.

(If you read in my post upthread, you'd also find I wasn't entirely fawning to ULA on the matter, suggest you respond to that as it's more on topic and less bombastic.)

No, ULA did not respond well to it. But ULA isn't SX by a long shot, you should direct your bombast to the parents/Congress as they figure in that decision more, both in the origins of the failure to take your suggested action, as well as the current impudence in continuing to avoid the need to as well. So don't misplace your argument to feed fandom flames.

Quote
Of course you can argue that the mantle of leadership has not passed yet. But the signs are on the wall....
No argument that in demonstrating/executing the vision they're bucking for it. Any can see that's the intent.

But achieving it is the harder part of continuing the onslaught. Is this a surprise?

Exactly so.  This discussion was never about a snapshot in time, but about the trajectories the companies are on, since that is what corporate governance is about.
Still missing the point. The prior leader sets the storyline of what it means to be leader (cf my post WRT "bumbling" et al), while the challenger makes a counter that it uses to replace that narrative by pushing it out of all, not some, of its areas. Like a huge wrestler unsettling and throwing down an opponent. Obvious and total.

Quote
For years, Amazon was not the biggest retailer, but they had already built such capabilities that they were unstoppable, even back then.

For that matter, back then Sears was clearly "the leader" by a bunch of useless metrics. See how good that does them today.

FWIW, was physically present for the original Amazon pitch - "bookstore of the world". The dark side sell: "we'll know why they bought so well, that we'll be able to sell them on all consequential sales that follow". E.g. take the disruption and roll with it.

Retail was/is in denial. Because "it cannot be done".

Back to SX/BO disruption - note that the leaders aren't now so much in saying "it cannot be done" as they are in effect saying "we cannot do it with what we are asked to do". Note the embedded appeal.

Closest in retail right now is Walmart in pivoting from rapacious consumption of middle American communities it mined out and left high and dry, to an all out application of all/any technology to "me too" Amazon to grab a fraction of its market share, so they might eventually improve upon it.

While on this site I'm beginning to get the feeling that Europe is lost for having the backbone to continue to express long term commitment to grasp market share in space launch,  others are still considering it.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: meekGee on 11/26/2017 07:29 PM




Exactly so.  This discussion was never about a snapshot in time, but about the trajectories the companies are on, since that is what corporate governance is about.
Still missing the point. The prior leader sets the storyline of what it means to be leader (cf my post WRT "bumbling" et al), while the challenger makes a counter that it uses to replace that narrative by pushing it out of all, not some, of its areas. Like a huge wrestler unsettling and throwing down an opponent. Obvious and total.

Quote
For years, Amazon was not the biggest retailer, but they had already built such capabilities that they were unstoppable, even back then.

For that matter, back then Sears was clearly "the leader" by a bunch of useless metrics. See how good that does them today.

FWIW, was physically present for the original Amazon pitch - "bookstore of the world". The dark side sell: "we'll know why they bought so well, that we'll be able to sell them on all consequential sales that follow". E.g. take the disruption and roll with it.

Retail was/is in denial. Because "it cannot be done".

Back to SX/BO disruption - note that the leaders aren't now so much in saying "it cannot be done" as they are in effect saying "we cannot do it with what we are asked to do". Note the embedded appeal.

Closest in retail right now is Walmart in pivoting from rapacious consumption of middle American communities it mined out and left high and dry, to an all out application of all/any technology to "me too" Amazon to grab a fraction of its market share, so they might eventually improve upon it.

While on this site I'm beginning to get the feeling that Europe is lost for having the backbone to continue to express long term commitment to grasp market share in space launch,  others are still considering it.

I don't think there's much point to be missed.

ULA (and its parents) and Arianne (and its parents) are in denial. They blame everyone but themselves. The truth is that they simply don't have what it takes to change the trajectory.

Your counting off long-lead science missions as some indication of "leadership" supports their denial.

Losing these missions would not be an indication that they lost leadership, it'll simply be the end of the road, the final symptom.

Leadership belongs to those that take charge of their destiny and actually lead.

Even ULA and Arianne's current  attempts at partial usability are clearly a reactive move - they never went there until SpaceX did.

So clearly there is a leader, and there's reluctant followers.

BO, otoh, is an enthusiastic and maybe capable follower, but that's yet to be seen.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 11/26/2017 08:07 PM
FWIW, was physically present for the original Amazon pitch - "bookstore of the world". The dark side sell: "we'll know why they bought so well, that we'll be able to sell them on all consequential sales that follow". E.g. take the disruption and roll with it.

Retail was/is in denial. Because "it cannot be done".
Completely OT but I am curious. Hindsight is always 20/20 but at the time did (what became) Amazon stand out or was it Yet Another Web Retailer?

Quote from: Space Ghost 1962
Back to SX/BO disruption - note that the leaders aren't now so much in saying "it cannot be done" as they are in effect saying "we cannot do it with what we are asked to do". Note the embedded appeal.
Indeed. People forget as a challenger you can choose your initial battleground, while an incumbent has to fight any (and all) positions. However if you want to take over you have to eventually occupy those as well.
Quote from: Space Ghost 1962
While on this site I'm beginning to get the feeling that Europe is lost for having the backbone to continue to express long term commitment to grasp market share in space launch,  others are still considering it.
Can you unpack that a little? "Europe is lost" but at the same time committed to "grasp market share in space launch?"

I note ULA does seem to be hampered by its parents treating it as a cash cow. To extend the metaphor a bit more if you keep choking the Goose that lays the golden eggs don't be too surprised if you end up with a dead goose on your hands. :(
Your counting off long-lead science missions as some indication of "leadership" supports their denial.

Losing these missions would not be an indication that they lost leadership, it'll simply be the end of the road, the final symptom.

The fact remains if I do something you can't, and the customers we both pursue want that then like it or not I am in a leadership position WRT that thing.  If NASA wants a probe to go anywhere the first people they call probably won't be SX. Yes it's clear SX want to be leaders in all markets, but they are not there yet.
Quote from: meekGee
Leadership belongs to those that take charge of their destiny and actually lead.

Even ULA and Arianne's current  attempts at partial usability are clearly a reactive move - they never went there until SpaceX did.
That's a very fair point WRT to reuse. SX's discovery that engine TVC did not give sufficient control authority basically demonstrated that all proposals to retrofit stage recovery to existing stages were essentially rubbish.

The problem is that so far the ability study recovered stages and identify exactly where the real wear and tear happens has not (so far) resulted in an increase in LV reliability.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: meekGee on 11/26/2017 08:37 PM

Your counting off long-lead science missions as some indication of "leadership" supports their denial.

Losing these missions would not be an indication that they lost leadership, it'll simply be the end of the road, the final symptom.

The fact remains if I do something you can't, and the customers we both pursue want that then like it or not I am in a leadership position WRT that thing.  If NASA wants a probe to go anywhere the first people they call probably won't be SX. Yes it's clear SX want to be leaders in all markets, but they are not there yet.
Quote from: meekGee
Leadership belongs to those that take charge of their destiny and actually lead.

Even ULA and Arianne's current  attempts at partial usability are clearly a reactive move - they never went there until SpaceX did.
That's a very fair point WRT to reuse. SX's discovery that engine TVC did not give sufficient control authority basically demonstrated that all proposals to retrofit stage recovery to existing stages were essentially rubbish.

The problem is that so far the ability study recovered stages and identify exactly where the real wear and tear happens has not (so far) resulted in an increase in LV reliability.

That's exactly the point though.

We can argue forever about our definitions of "leadership", but there's an objective real-world test out there:

Who is reacting to whom, and how.

That is what defines leadership.

SpaceX introduced a lot of new concepts - vertical business integration, reuse through propulsive landing of first stage, and of course the non-apologetic goal of settling Mars.   

That's a leadership stance.

The so-called leaders, they kinda reacted, if you can even call it that.

They mostly like to bring up past achievements, or capabilities based on past development.  Good for them.  Now let's move on.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 11/26/2017 09:29 PM
Exactly so.  This discussion was never about a snapshot in time, but about the trajectories the companies are on, since that is what corporate governance is about.
Still missing the point. The prior leader sets the storyline of what it means to be leader (cf my post WRT "bumbling" et al), while the challenger makes a counter that it uses to replace that narrative by pushing it out of all, not some, of its areas. Like a huge wrestler unsettling and throwing down an opponent. Obvious and total.

Quote
For years, Amazon was not the biggest retailer, but they had already built such capabilities that they were unstoppable, even back then.

For that matter, back then Sears was clearly "the leader" by a bunch of useless metrics. See how good that does them today.

FWIW, was physically present for the original Amazon pitch - "bookstore of the world". The dark side sell: "we'll know why they bought so well, that we'll be able to sell them on all consequential sales that follow". E.g. take the disruption and roll with it.

Retail was/is in denial. Because "it cannot be done".

Back to SX/BO disruption - note that the leaders aren't now so much in saying "it cannot be done" as they are in effect saying "we cannot do it with what we are asked to do". Note the embedded appeal.

Closest in retail right now is Walmart in pivoting from rapacious consumption of middle American communities it mined out and left high and dry, to an all out application of all/any technology to "me too" Amazon to grab a fraction of its market share, so they might eventually improve upon it.

While on this site I'm beginning to get the feeling that Europe is lost for having the backbone to continue to express long term commitment to grasp market share in space launch,  others are still considering it.

I don't think there's much point to be missed.

ULA (and its parents) and Arianne (and its parents) are in denial. They blame everyone but themselves. The truth is that they simply don't have what it takes to change the trajectory.
This point "Bruno is revisting reuse" should not be missed. (And the fact that vehicle strategy allows for it.)

But I'll grant you it does appear to be lost otherwise. Failure of leadership.

Quote
Your counting off long-lead science missions as some indication of "leadership" supports their denial.

Losing these missions would not be an indication that they lost leadership, it'll simply be the end of the road, the final symptom.
That's a bit harsh. Understandable given how passions run.

My point about those missions addresses the reality of continuity and how it resolves. What you're referring to is how history might read this post facto.

As to the end of the line, perhaps the european example might go like this: the struggling big little, or little big launcher gets rushed to phase out its existing big launcher. But the part that gets there first is a booster, while everything else faces cost overruns/delays and other dual launches on big launcher stretches out things past commercial viability. So little big enters service largely priced out of the market, being too small and/or too costly. So the little big is eventually cancelled, and the small launcher using the booster is only flown with slimmed down NSS payloads when needed. Industry around it atrophies and goes elsewhere on the globe, as volume providers are the only ones using such.

Keep this in mind, as it's the outcome you're referring to. Probably a variation for other American ones as a likely alternative.

Quote
Leadership belongs to those that take charge of their destiny and actually lead.
Leadership won by challengers, yes.

Quote
Even ULA and Arianne's current  attempts at partial usability are clearly a reactive move - they never went there until SpaceX did.
Omits drenching influence of Shuttle as distraction. Heard deafeningly seconds after SX hinted at landing booster.

Quote
So clearly there is a leader, and there's reluctant followers.

BO, otoh, is an enthusiastic and maybe capable follower, but that's yet to be seen.
Europe side knows the economics cold, but has carefully calculated it's only course is to need to respond with a financial disaster.

American ones (save one) gradually consider/adapt/execute a means to intercept in a half decade to a decade.

Mind that while the current Falcon path is beginning to look secure,  Musk's  other vehicle company is about to risk augering in with a steep cash flow dive towards bankruptcy (again!)  while he distracts with showmanship after a major "ego-based restructuring" at the most delicate time (huge half million unit production shortfall).

Not the time/place I'd like to place any bets on outcomes.

FWIW, was physically present for the original Amazon pitch - "bookstore of the world". The dark side sell: "we'll know why they bought so well, that we'll be able to sell them on all consequential sales that follow". E.g. take the disruption and roll with it.

Retail was/is in denial. Because "it cannot be done".
Completely OT but I am curious. Hindsight is always 20/20 but at the time did (what became) Amazon stand out or was it Yet Another Web Retailer?
Short OT no more after please. When people were disappointed that Amazon didn't shift over to granting dividends or doing momentum in the stock market juicing its value, they decided to bad mouth it as a "mail order sales" company they were tricked into buying (circa 2003 or so). The funny thing was they kept on buying the stock, Bezos used this as a debt carry and financed retail expansion off of it, going wide into retailing (he got out of online auctions too). He then relentlessly accumulated market share til reaching tipping point a few years back.

Where they are not "traditional ecommerce" is in the exotic means they adapt to optimize gains/losses. Pooh poohed til recently.

Quote
Quote from: Space Ghost 1962
Back to SX/BO disruption - note that the leaders aren't now so much in saying "it cannot be done" as they are in effect saying "we cannot do it with what we are asked to do". Note the embedded appeal.
Indeed. People forget as a challenger you can choose your initial battleground, while an incumbent has to fight any (and all) positions. However if you want to take over you have to eventually occupy those as well.
Correct. All ULA knows that cold. Wish that many here did too.

Quote
Quote from: Space Ghost 1962
While on this site I'm beginning to get the feeling that Europe is lost for having the backbone to continue to express long term commitment to grasp market share in space launch,  others are still considering it.
Can you unpack that a little? "Europe is lost" but at the same time committed to "grasp market share in space launch?"
Sure. Europe won't adapt to retain market share just retain marginal indigenous launch, thus "lost" to it and own industrial base.
It slips through their hands due to lack of competitive responds/base. Others not Europe haven't committed yet.

Quote
I note ULA does seem to be hampered by its parents treating it as a cash cow. To extend the metaphor a bit more if you keep choking the Goose that lays the golden eggs don't be too surprised if you end up with a dead goose on your hands. :(
"Crawl walk run." Vulcan BE4 / Centaur V / Booster Reuse? Keep in mind Bruno's penchant for rapidly moving development.

Quote
Your counting off long-lead science missions as some indication of "leadership" supports their denial.

Losing these missions would not be an indication that they lost leadership, it'll simply be the end of the road, the final symptom.

The fact remains if I do something you can't, and the customers we both pursue want that then like it or not I am in a leadership position WRT that thing.  If NASA wants a probe to go anywhere the first people they call probably won't be SX. Yes it's clear SX want to be leaders in all markets, but they are not there yet.
Exactly.

Quote
Quote from: meekGee
Leadership belongs to those that take charge of their destiny and actually lead.

Even ULA and Arianne's current  attempts at partial usability are clearly a reactive move - they never went there until SpaceX did.
That's a very fair point WRT to reuse. SX's discovery that engine TVC did not give sufficient control authority basically demonstrated that all proposals to retrofit stage recovery to existing stages were essentially rubbish.
Careful. Jim's still claiming just more props and it'll work. He may be right. BO thinks so to.

Quote
The problem is that so far the ability study recovered stages and identify exactly where the real wear and tear happens has not (so far) resulted in an increase in LV reliability.
Everyone wants to see Block 5.

SpaceX introduced a lot of new concepts - vertical business integration, reuse through propulsive landing of first stage, and of course the non-apologetic goal of settling Mars.   

That's a leadership stance.
Aren't you confusing vision with leadership? I can have a vision of teleportation but has nothing to do with leadership in achieving it.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 11/26/2017 09:32 PM
...

The problem is that so far the ability study recovered stages and identify exactly where the real wear and tear happens has not (so far) resulted in an increase in LV reliability.

Citation needed. 

Seriously doubt your assumption, stated as fact, is true.  They've certainly improved many features that make repeated reuse more possible.  Findings like the blade cracking have been fixed (or about to be). 
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: meekGee on 11/26/2017 09:32 PM

SpaceX introduced a lot of new concepts - vertical business integration, reuse through propulsive landing of first stage, and of course the non-apologetic goal of settling Mars.   

That's a leadership stance.
Aren't you confusing vision with leadership? I can have a vision of teleportation but has nothing to do with leadership in achieving it.

No, they implemented the first two already, and are absolutely executing on a plan for the third.  Industry is reacting to the first two, and most of the old industry simply is unable to digest the third.

In contrast, how's your teleportation project going?  (Hoping for a surprise answer here...)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 11/26/2017 09:51 PM

SpaceX introduced a lot of new concepts - vertical business integration, reuse through propulsive landing of first stage, and of course the non-apologetic goal of settling Mars.   

That's a leadership stance.
Aren't you confusing vision with leadership? I can have a vision of teleportation but has nothing to do with leadership in achieving it.

No, they implemented the first two already, and are absolutely executing on a plan for the third.  Industry is reacting to the first two, and most of the old industry simply is unable to digest the third.
As clear as mud.  ???

Quote
In contrast, how's your teleportation project going?  (Hoping for a surprise answer here...)
Didn't you notice? I was standing right in front of you! Sheesh!
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 11/27/2017 07:14 AM

Citation needed. 

Seriously doubt your assumption, stated as fact, is true.  They've certainly improved many features that make repeated reuse more possible.  Findings like the blade cracking have been fixed (or about to be).
Improved reuse <> improved reliability of payload delivery. 

As a customer I don't care if SX gets its stage back.  I care it got the US to the right altitude, velocity and attitude for it to do its job and get my payload to its target orbit.

The fact no payload appears to have been lost due to blade cracking suggests there was adequate margin in the design to begin with. If you're planning to get to aircraft levels of reliability you'd then ask
"How does this compare with aircraft turbines? Do they have cracks? Do they have fewer?" If they have none then you'd find out what's causing them and either re-design them to eliminate them for Blk 5 and probably add it to the "Stuff to look out for" in the Raptor design process.

But the raw numbers are.

15+ F9 launched from the last one going bang.
80 Ariane 5 without a mishap despite being completely expendable.
60+ Atlas V without a mishap despite being completely expendable.

So I could put my payload on an F9 and have < 1 in 15 (6.66%) failure rate or put it on an Atlas (if I had to buy American) at <1.66% or if I could go anywhere go Ariane 5 at <1.25%.

If you can get an F9 launch at the sticker price of $63m and you've got insurance at the same rate as an Ariane or an Atlas (which is frankly amazing IMHO) then you've probably got yourself a bargain.

But if you've got a one-of-a-kind $Bn payload you're probably going to have a different perspective, even when building a 2nd payload is likely to be a lot cheaper the question is "Why risk the first one?"

 
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Lar on 11/27/2017 09:21 AM
So much verbiate to wade through but I[1] am not convinced we are on topic, it seems like some wandering happened. Can we try to be a bit more focused?

1 - and the person who reported to mod...
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 11/27/2017 11:24 AM
The problem is that so far the ability study recovered stages and identify exactly where the real wear and tear happens has not (so far) resulted in an increase in LV reliability.

Citation needed. 

Seriously doubt your assumption, stated as fact, is true.  They've certainly improved many features that make repeated reuse more possible.  Findings like the blade cracking have been fixed (or about to be). 
Improved reuse <> improved reliability of payload delivery. 

As a customer I don't care if SX gets its stage back.  I care it got the US to the right altitude, velocity and attitude for it to do its job and get my payload to its target orbit.

Here's Gwen Shotwell telling you that you're wrong (from her speech at the 2016 FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference): 
Quote
[Talking about the first recovered booster] We did take that rocket, moved it over to SLC-40... And we fired her up, and actually we learned something about the rocket.  We went to full thrust on all engines, we did shut down early.  And now we will make our vehicle even more robust for the ascent portion.  It's the first time we've been able to bring hardware back.  And I think [of] almost anyone in the industry, with the exception obviously of Shuttle, where you bring your hardware back and you examine it and not only do you make it more robust so that you can fly to Mars and fly back.  But you make it more robust to drop your satellites off in orbit as well...But it's in full play here.  We're actually going to make some mods based on what we saw on that stage landing and firing again.

Start the video at 2h53m59s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cT7_iySwP8&t=2h53m59s
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: envy887 on 11/27/2017 01:22 PM
...
A leader must address more than a subset of launch capabilities. Because you never know when that particular capability will be required. A leader cannot be just a niche provider.

And this is in part why FH and Dragon 2 are being done. To increase the spanning set of capabilities, as SX chooses to approach a leadership position. Their choice, not mine, not others.

It has taken a long time for others to establish a leadership position, as they have built and proven leadership. There list of accomplished missions, by scope and not frequency, is how others assess them.

JWST will launch on Ariane 5. It was designed with this in mind. Never will it launch on a FH. Why is that? Because of agreement to use a leadership provider who could bring off such a launch. Perhaps some day a similar mission might be able to be done on a FH, but the skills and experience and flight history isn't there, which is even more important than the vehicle capabilities to even make it possible.
...

Reliability and "leadership" are hardly the main reasons JWST is launching on Ariane 5. It's money. SpaceX wants to get paid to launch payloads. NASA wants to reduce the cost of the program. ESA wants time on JWST, and wants Arianespace to fly more. So it suits everyone's purposes for ESA to pay to fly it on Ariane 5.

Large interplanetary and large NSS launches (read: very expensive payloads) are a very small market segment that doesn't pay all that well compared to HSF support and commsats. The payloads/trajectories also aren't amenable to reuse. That's why they haven't been a major priority for SpaceX - they can get a bigger piece of the pie with other launches while making more progress with reuse. Thus the focus on other customers.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: LouScheffer on 11/27/2017 03:15 PM
A good deal of discussion has gone into the potential reliability increase from inspecting returned stages. This is hard to quantify.  However, there is another source of increased reliability from stages where re-use is planned.  This comes from the necessarily greater margins in such cases.

Even for a GTO recovery, there is a roughly 20 sec x 3 engine entry burn, followed by a 30 second, 1 engine landing burn.  That's 90 more seconds of engine operation, or 10 seconds for the full booster.  This is a huge margin by rocket standards and can help reliability by quite a bit.  (Assuming SpaceX uses this fuel for primary mission before using it for recovery.  I don't think this has been publicly stated, but I'd be shocked if this was not true.)  Here are some of the recent, first-stage, liquid engine anomalies, and whether the additional margin would have helped.

There was the Proton where the accelerometers were installed upside down.  Extra margin would not have helped here.

On the other hand, consider the recent Atlas fuel/oxidizer mixture problem.  This caused the engine to burn 5 seconds short.  Landing margins would have covered this with no need for the second stage to make up the deficit.

On the CRS-1 mission, one Merlin engine died.  If that happened again, the 10 seconds of reserve could surely cover this deficit.

On the Chinese CZ-5 mission, one of the core first-stage engines failed.  The other burned longer but could not compensate.  Again, the extra fuel (and the 9 engine design) of the Falcon-9 would still allow the first stage to achieve desired performance.

For the flaw that killed the Antares mission, extra margin might have helped.  The cause was thought to be an out-of-balance trubopump rotor.  This led to an explosion for likely two reasons - it's not clear the 1970s instrumentation could detect it in time before engine destruction, and even if it could there was no point in shutting down the engine, as with half thrust missing right after takeoff it was doomed.  A similar flaw, an out-of-balance rotor, would likely be detected in a modern engine, the engine shut down, and then the landing fuel used to provide the desired trajectory.

So based on 5 observed anomalies, the extra margin would allow Falcon-9 to still provide nominal performance in 3.5-4 cases.  That's a huge potential increase in reliability.  It also implies that expendable missions, even with the exact same rocket, are considerably less reliable than recoverable mission, since their margins for error are less.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: RedLineTrain on 11/27/2017 03:55 PM
@LouScheffer:  In addition to the mission-specific increase in margins, you also get a margin increase because a reusable rocket is expected to address a more general market than does a dial-a-rocket.  This might not be so relevant with the biggest GTO launches where the rocket is near its performance limits, but it could be substantial additional margin factor on LEO flights.  For a majority of its flights, Falcon 9 Block 5 will have huge margins, as far as these things go.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Negan on 11/27/2017 04:35 PM
The only thing SpaceX don't have that ULA and Ariane etc have, is the historical record of flight reliability, and the very heavy lift capability (although F9H should fix that if it works) .
Nope. Just one non-LEO, non-GTO mission. Not enough to earn the confidence Atlas/Ariane has in doing more capable missions yet.


I don't see it being about confidence. I think it's about certification. F9 and FH lacks the certification to consider them for certain missions especially in the case of NASA. How many non-LEO or non-GTO missions that F9 was certified for, but still lost after bidding?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: saliva_sweet on 11/27/2017 07:51 PM
I would compare by payload mass orbited.

I'd go with total kinetic energy delivered to payload. I think F9 wins that. Soyuz wins crew of course.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 11/27/2017 08:20 PM
Large interplanetary and large NSS launches (read: very expensive payloads) are a very small market segment that doesn't pay all that well compared to HSF support and commsats. The payloads/trajectories also aren't amenable to reuse. That's why they haven't been a major priority for SpaceX - they can get a bigger piece of the pie with other launches while making more progress with reuse. Thus the focus on other customers.
Funny you should say that.

Shotwell stated that NSS is a key market for any serious LV mfg because it's pretty large.

NSS is a small market in terms of launches but a big one in terms of value, and the customers (DoD, NRO) place a premium on their payloads not getting blown up.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Norm38 on 11/27/2017 08:28 PM
The problem is that so far the ability study recovered stages and identify exactly where the real wear and tear happens has not (so far) resulted in an increase in LV reliability.

But the raw numbers are.

15+ F9 launched from the last one going bang.
80 Ariane 5 without a mishap despite being completely expendable.
60+ Atlas V without a mishap despite being completely expendable.

I thought we already covered this?  The 1st stage is being recovered, whereas both F9 failures have been on the upper stage. Thus the two are decoupled. There's no way for 1st stage reuse to directly improve 2nd stage reliability.  Even if there was no 1st stage reuse, those 2 second stage failures likely would have still occurred.
Indirectly 1st stage reuse may increase 2nd stage reliability if advanced wear is found on common components.

So I don't see the "problem".  There's no evidence that reuse has made the vehicle less reliable while it continues to drive the technology forward, lower costs and increase market share.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 11/27/2017 08:55 PM
Improved reuse <> improved reliability of payload delivery. 

Here's Gwen Shotwell telling you that you're wrong (from her speech at the 2016 FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference): 
Quote
[Talking about the first recovered booster] We did take that rocket, moved it over to SLC-40... And we fired her up, and actually we learned something about the rocket.  We went to full thrust on all engines, we did shut down early.  And now we will make our vehicle even more robust for the ascent portion.  It's the first time we've been able to bring hardware back.  And I think [of] almost anyone in the industry, with the exception obviously of Shuttle, where you bring your hardware back and you examine it and not only do you make it more robust so that you can fly to Mars and fly back.  But you make it more robust to drop your satellites off in orbit as well...But it's in full play here.  We're actually going to make some mods based on what we saw on that stage landing and firing again.
You appear to be struggling with the idea of a qualified statement.

The words
Quote
So far
should have alerted you to the idea.

I expect everyone here agrees that being able to study a recovered stage is a good thing and that anyLV mfg who does so will elarn things that can improve their stage design eventually

My point was not that it won't happen. It was that it does not seemed to have happened yet

So far (that's another qualification comment BTW) the ELV's track record is substantially longer than F9's.

I hope that will change in 2018. But as a customer who's betting wheather their payload will get to orbit the numbers still point Atlas V and Ariane 5's way.

Personally I have 1 interest. Is this going to radically lower the $/lb to orbit? If it does so with no loss in reliability (over what is basically the most unsafe mode of transport the human race regularly uses) I'm for it.
I fully expect it will. I'm merely pointing out that it has not so far. (that's another qualified statement).
Time will tell if I'm wrong, although I hope I'm not.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 11/27/2017 09:05 PM
Quote
even if you aren't necessarily the world leader in space launch yet

2017:
Atlas V = 6 launches
Arine 5 = 5 launches, 1 planned
Falcon 9 = 16 launches and counting
I would compare by payload mass orbited. The result shows different leaders in different categories, at least for 2017 to date.  Ariane 5 leads in mass to GTO/beyond LEO (~48 tonnes to ~36 tonnes for Falcon 9, ~25 tonnes for Proton, and maybe only ~17 tonnes for Atlas 5 and ~16 tonnes for DF-5 based CZ).  Falcon 9 leads a bit in LEO mass (~59 tonnes compared to 52 tonnes for R-7 and ~11+ tonnes for Atlas 5).  For its part, R-7 has accounted for all three of the crewed launches this year, so there is a third category "leader", Ariane 5 and Falcon 9 being the other two.

No launches, worldwide, have gone beyond earth orbit this year to date, which might be considered a fourth category.  Atlas 5 and Proton accounted for the two heliocentric launches in 2016, and Proton's payload weighed more than the Atlas 5 payload.  If you aggregate the last 5 or 10 years, Atlas 5 leads in solar orbit launches.

Now, if this comparison is extended back a few years, a different picture emerges. Here are/were your "world leaders".

Category Leaders, Total Mass or No. Crew Launched

       LEO        >LEO        Solar   Crew
--------------------------------------------
2010   R7        Proton      H-2A      STS
2011   R7        Ariane 5    Atlas 5   STS
2012   R7        Ariane 5     -        R7
2013   R7        Ariane 5    Atlas 5   R7
2014   R7        Ariane 5    H-2A      R7
2015   R7        Ariane 5     -        R7
2016   R7        Ariane 5    Proton    R7
2017   Falcon 9  Ariane 5     -        R7
--------------------------------------------

 - Ed Kyle

If you compare by payload mass orbited as you propose, there would only be one 'leader' in 2017 and likely for the foreseeable future.
Falcon 9 at 95 tonnes.  Distant second are R7 at 52 tonnes and Ariane 5 at 48 tonnes -- approximately half of F9's of mass delivered to orbit.  Funny your goal post shuffling didn't notice that.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 11/27/2017 09:51 PM
The conversation now has shifted to the specifics of classifying leaders. That's an improvement because it is quantitative and measurable.

Note one of the outstanding elements of Ed Kyle's excellent post - it's not just one thing, but many (he could have also classed NSS too). Also, his table is organized so that your eye is drawn to the frequency of names as how to judge "leadership hold", sort of like momentum.

Now can we return to reuse with this gained. All those categories will slowly have separate amounts that share a booster, however you arrange the metric displayed.

From that, you can see how quantitatively customer's views on reuse build/reduce leadership.

(I think I understand meekGee's argument to be that where things are moving to is more relevant than where things were. One way of using Ed's excellent work is to rewrite the table with your expectation of change linked to it. That way you go on record with both the forecast and it's effect captured unambiguously, and we all can judge this as things work out.)

Doesn't that seem a equable way to have an opinion on how customer's views on reuse works out in practice, to get away from the pointless squabbles of subjective guesses as to what might / might not be happening here?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: envy887 on 11/27/2017 10:06 PM
Large interplanetary and large NSS launches (read: very expensive payloads) are a very small market segment that doesn't pay all that well compared to HSF support and commsats. The payloads/trajectories also aren't amenable to reuse. That's why they haven't been a major priority for SpaceX - they can get a bigger piece of the pie with other launches while making more progress with reuse. Thus the focus on other customers.
Funny you should say that.

Shotwell stated that NSS is a key market for any serious LV mfg because it's pretty large.

NSS is a small market in terms of launches but a big one in terms of value, and the customers (DoD, NRO) place a premium on their payloads not getting blown up.

I said "large NSS", not NSS in general. Large NSS payloads have more revenue but not necessarily more profits because they require dedicated hardware (longer fairings, etc.), facilities, and operations (VI, etc.).

SpaceX is making a point of emphasis to service NSS payloads that are amenable to using platforms and support that already exist for commsat launches. They will eventually service all NSS payloads, but there is a good profit/effort reason they went for ISS support missions first, then commsats and then a subset of NSS.

Reuse is one of the platforms that exists for ISS and commsat launches, and one that IMO Space is trying very hard to get the USAF etc. to buy into for at least smaller NSS launches - and eventually bigger ones too, but they have to start somewhere.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: envy887 on 11/27/2017 10:14 PM
There's a big difference in launch energies for the three payload categories.  That is why I did the categories.  6 tonnes to GTO requires a lot more work than 6 tonnes to LEO, so a direct comparison isn't correct.

Mass to GTO or elsewhere is pretty much just 2x - 3x more mass in LEO, which is later converted into energy. All the systems that do this are quite similar, so it's not that hard to roughly normalize to a representative mass in LEO.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 11/27/2017 10:27 PM
Here's Gwen Shotwell telling you that you're wrong (from her speech at the 2016 FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference): 
Quote
[Talking about the first recovered booster] We did take that rocket, moved it over to SLC-40... And we fired her up, and actually we learned something about the rocket.  We went to full thrust on all engines, we did shut down early.  And now we will make our vehicle even more robust for the ascent portion.  It's the first time we've been able to bring hardware back.  And I think [of] almost anyone in the industry, with the exception obviously of Shuttle, where you bring your hardware back and you examine it and not only do you make it more robust so that you can fly to Mars and fly back.  But you make it more robust to drop your satellites off in orbit as well...But it's in full play here.  We're actually going to make some mods based on what we saw on that stage landing and firing again.
My point was not that it won't happen. It was that it does not seemed to have happened yet

WHAT??? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh2Nu2aTPP0?t=001)  My first reply contained a direct statement from Gwen Shotwell saying exactly that when SpaceX tested/examined the recovered booster from the Orbcomm launch that they discovered an issue which they have subsequently gone back and redesigned and which has improved the vehicle's reliability for delivering payloads.  That statement was made in Feb. 2016, almost 2 years ago.  What we are talking about has already happened long ago!  That improved reliability wasn't couched as what they discovered improving reuse efforts but explicitly as for delivering payloads.

I don't recall exactly what the found issue was off hand, though I seem to recall that it had something to do with a leak.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 11/27/2017 11:26 PM
Sure. Europe won't adapt to retain market share just retain marginal indigenous launch, thus "lost" to it and own industrial base.
It slips through their hands due to lack of competitive responds/base. Others not Europe haven't committed yet.
Yes, it looks like A6 is going to happen and the results are not looking good :(

Quote from: Space Ghost 1962

"Crawl walk run." Vulcan BE4 / Centaur V / Booster Reuse? Keep in mind Bruno's penchant for rapidly moving development.
Hence my questions about wheather ULA is committed to engine module reuse or might reconsider full stage recovery?

Quote from: Space Ghost 1962

Careful. Jim's still claiming just more props and it'll work. He may be right. BO thinks so to.
I am extremely wary of arguing with Jim but that would imply that the SX design team had simply missed that option. 
This would be especially surprising given that SX's second mantra when it comes to design is "Propellant is cheap." The whole Mars architecture demonstrates this. Nor do SX fear a tank stretch if they can't fit enough in with the current sized vehicle.
Looking at how quickly they abandoned hypergol thrusters for GN2 once they knew the idea could work suggests that they would have done as much to avoid putting grid gins on the top end of the F9 booster as they would have tried to find a way to not have to put wings on the BFS.

Actually there is a way that Jim is both right and wrong. Yes it could be done with more propellants but they are heavier than the grid fin package, and not by a trivial amount. So despite the weight and the complexity they are (reluctantly) the best option. [EDIT Actually a couple of other reasons could explain it.
a)They are at the limit of the size of their FSW rigs. I'm not sure how rigid a limit that is for the length of structure you can make on one of these. I think they'd try really hard to get the extra length if they could before going with the more complex and difficult (to make) solution.
b) It would cut into the customers weight growth margin.
This seems pretty much sacred in the LV business. Even a single Kg would mean SX having to go back to  customers and tell them that weight margin they thought they had isn't as big as they were told it was.  :(
Weight growth seems to be a very common occurrence on payloads and I suspect some payload types (or some mfgs?) are more prone to it than others.  I could see the design team being told "We are not going to tell them that. Find another way." ]

We know so little about BO's vehicles in any detail it's impossible to say how closely they resemble a conventional TSTO. What might work for them could be completely different.
Quote from: Space Ghost 1962

Everyone wants to see Block 5.
We are told it will be the ultimate flowering of the F9 architecture, except Shotwell mentions she expects the FH will have at least a 2nd spin of the design, and was still willing to look at cross feed if someone needs a 60t+ payload. IDK maybe that would help with US recovery as well.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 11/28/2017 12:05 AM
Actually there is a way that Jim is both right and wrong.
Jim is always right about "it".

However, the hard part is understanding what/when/how/where "it" is he's right about. Matters more than that its "right".
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Norm38 on 11/28/2017 02:08 AM
^^^ Only when we understand the question will we know what the answer means?  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: JamesH65 on 11/28/2017 09:14 AM
The only thing SpaceX don't have that ULA and Ariane etc have, is the historical record of flight reliability, and the very heavy lift capability (although F9H should fix that if it works) .
Nope. Just one non-LEO, non-GTO mission. Not enough to earn the confidence Atlas/Ariane has in doing more capable missions yet.

I suppose you completely missed the 'if it works' bit then, and I was not talking about ONE F9H flight.It will need to fly quite a few times for any sort of reliability figure to be determined.

Quote
I'd take bumbling and feckless over 'leadership'.
One spends billions on certain payloads. So you don't think being responsible in launching them ... matters? How thoughtful.

You can continue to deliberately misconstrue what I am writing if you wish, just to try and make your point, but it stands out like a sore thumb. The point is that SpaceX are NOT bumbling and feckless. A bumbling and feckless company would not have achieved what they have, in the timescales they have. They would not even have people using their services. They are using a completely different approach, some call it a silicon valley approach, I call it agile iterative development. They try stuff, it  sometimes works, sometimes it doesn't, but it produces results faster than the competition. That is not 'bumbling'.

Quote
And just out of interest, where is this arrogance and condescension? I see it from over zealous fans, but there is little SpaceX do about them!
Perhaps ... in their remarks concerning flight/payload/test risks prior? Or in like kind exchanges with equally arrogant and condescending BO?

Examples required please, emphasising what issues have been caused by this alleged condescension and arrogance. The only one I can think of the problem on the launch pad that destroyed the cargo. Since rectified, and shown to be caused by a previously unknown mechanism.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 11/28/2017 10:45 AM
...arrogant and condescending is (was) old space to new.  Recall CEO Gass, or many old school on this forum.
Interesting how some try to turn the phrase.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: meekGee on 11/28/2017 01:38 PM
...arrogant and condescending is (was) old space to new.  Recall CEO Gass, or many old school on this forum.
Interesting how some try to turn the phrase.
Yeah, but uncomfortable as it is to watch, it is this attitude that drove the inaction back when action could still made a difference.

At this point OS almost has to be arrogant, and hope that something goes seriously wrong for SpaceX. What's the alternative?  Doom and gloom?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: abaddon on 11/28/2017 01:42 PM
SpaceX customers' views on reuse.  Unless competitors (and forum members!) are customers, we appear to have pivoted here.

We will witness two launches in December that are going to re-use previously flown boosters, both having flown missions for the same customer respectively.  Both are new customers as far as approving use of a "flight-proven" booster.

The first concrete application of reuse seems to primarily be allowing SpaceX to increase flight rate without having to produce more boosters.  This is allowing SpaceX to achieve that higher flight rate (up to 2x) without investing in newer/bigger/costlier production facilities.  We've also heard of some discounting, although reports would suggest that it is not a significant discount at this time and schedule has been the primary driving factor.

Barring setbacks, it seems like SpaceX customer's views on reuse in the near term, and of most of the space industry in general, will be one of acceptance.  This means SpaceX will be given the opportunity to demonstrate that reuse can be an economically successful and possibly even dominating strategy.  That wasn't previously a guaranteed outcome, so this is a pretty big deal.  Block 5 will obviously play a big role here, as the current 2x reuse is a sharply limiting factor.  Based on NASA requirements for multiple Block 5 launches before Commercial Crew, there should be quite a nice stash of Block 5 boosters ready for other customers to reuse soon.

SES, Bulsatcom, NASA CRS, Iridium.  Who's next?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: scdavis on 11/28/2017 02:02 PM
Quote
SES, Bulsatcom, NASA CRS, Iridium.  Who's next?

abaddon, I appreciate your note so much that I'm using my first post (after lurking for a long time) to respond.

As much fun as it is to debate our thoughts on reuse, and competitors' thoughts on reuse (really I enjoy it!), customers will speak through their actions. They will choose SpaceX or not, they will be willing to fly on reused boosters or not.

Perhaps this thread could benefit from a running list of actual data:

Date         Customer Name        Pertinent Event
---------     ----------------          -----------------       

Where a pertinent event might be
* Announcement of plan to accept reused boosters
* Customer comment they will never use reused boosters, or not until X time
* Link to article quoting customers about experience with reuse
* Flights of reused boosters
* Responses to flight successes/failures that affect customer view of reuse

It could be interesting to see a flow of customer decisions over time.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: LouScheffer on 11/28/2017 02:27 PM
@LouScheffer:  In addition to the mission-specific increase in margins, you also get a margin increase because a reusable rocket is expected to address a more general market than does a dial-a-rocket.  This might not be so relevant with the biggest GTO launches where the rocket is near its performance limits, but it could be substantial additional margin factor on LEO flights.  For a majority of its flights, Falcon 9 Block 5 will have huge margins, as far as these things go.
You can get this margin with dial-a-rockets, too, by buying a configuration bigger than the minimum one that meets your requirements.  I've heard it stated that national security payloads sometime do this.  It's like buying insurance against performance shortfalls. 

In fact, a back of the envelope calculation indicates that has already happened, on the Delta-IV flight with the fuel leak.  The task was to put a GPS satellite (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USA-239) massing 1620 kg into a 20,000 km circular orbit inclined 55 degrees.  A regular (no solids) Delta-IV can put 4200 kg into GTO, requiring LEO+2460m/s.   Using the DCSS specs (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta_Cryogenic_Second_Stage) of fueled mass 24170 kg, empty mass 2850 kg, ISP=462, then dropping the payload from 4200 kg to 1630 kg gives you an extra 1600 m/s to use (delta-V = 462*9.8*ln((24170+4200)/(2850+4200)) = 6304 m/s for a 4200 kg payload, delta-V = 462*9.8*l((24170+1630)/(2850+1630)) = 7927 m/s for the lighter payload.)
Now to get from a circular LEO 200 km orbit to a 20,000 km circular orbit takes 2067 m/s (to get to 200 x 20,000) followed by a 1432 m/s burn to circularize at 20,000.  Total is LEO + 3500 m/s, or about 860 m/s harder than a GTO insertion.  There is an additional penalty since the LEO orbit is at 55 degrees, not 28.  This will be in the range of 200 m/s.  So the total delta-V is about 860+200 = 1060 m/s more than GTO.  But the lesser mass of GPS gives you about 1600 m/s more to play with.  The Delta-IV with no solids could easily do the job. 

But the customer actually purchased a Delta-IV Medium+(4,2), providing another example where very large margins allowed the mission to complete successfully.  From Space Safety Magazine (http://www.spacesafetymagazine.com/news/delta-4-investigation-uncovers-fuel-leak-x-37b-cleared-launch/): "The satellite was luckily below Delta 4’s lift capacity, so there was more reserve available to draw upon than is usually the case."  This bodes very well for re-usable rockets (with their higher margins) becoming more reliable than expendables.

Another possible benefit of big margins is that you could run the engines at less than their maximum certified thrust.  The Shuttle did this, not using the maximum thrust except where really needed (and of course commercial planes do this all the time).
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 11/28/2017 10:24 PM
Quote from: John smith 19
My point was not that it won't happen. It was that it does not seemed to have happened yet
Ah, we are talking at cross purposes about what "it" is.

You are talking design design improvements. I've never doubted that being able to inspect flown hardware would deliver enormous benefits to any company that did it.  Up that that point all ELV's are designed based on engineering judgement (and nowadays simulation) as to how big the main stresses are and in what locations and directions they operate in.

But the data that drives those design choices are collected based on previous flights. So what if designers are looking in the wrong places? What if the actual peaks are elsewhere in the design, but they've never been found. I fully expect SX have found out things that are unknown to other LV mfgs who have not recovered their stages.

I'm talking about the actual flight record of F9's. So far that's what 16 flights from last explosion?

That's the disconnect. 

My apologies for not making my PoV clearer. I had thought it obvious from the context of my comments, but obviously not.  I will have to work on making them more comprehensible to you in future.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: docmordrid on 11/29/2017 12:01 AM
Quote
It may be that government need splits off from commercial forever at this point, because the lack of need/desire/budget to compete forever rents the economic fabric globally. And that you have a smaller handful of providers with commercial market share at a fraction of the price of dedicated national ones, who are painfully subsidized to maintain minimal flight rate.

How long can a boutique provider of expendable NSS launches survive in a world in which BFR and NG are flying frequently with demonstrated reliability and low cost?

By having a customer that can print money, and legislators who revel in spending it like a sailor on a weekend pass.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: woods170 on 11/29/2017 07:59 AM
Quote
SES, Bulsatcom, NASA CRS, Iridium.  Who's next?

abaddon, I appreciate your note so much that I'm using my first post (after lurking for a long time) to respond.

As much fun as it is to debate our thoughts on reuse, and competitors' thoughts on reuse (really I enjoy it!), customers will speak through their actions. They will choose SpaceX or not, they will be willing to fly on reused boosters or not.

Perhaps this thread could benefit from a running list of actual data:

Date         Customer Name        Pertinent Event
---------     ----------------          -----------------       

Where a pertinent event might be
* Announcement of plan to accept reused boosters
* Customer comment they will never use reused boosters, or not until X time
* Link to article quoting customers about experience with reuse
* Flights of reused boosters
* Responses to flight successes/failures that affect customer view of reuse

It could be interesting to see a flow of customer decisions over time.
Excellent post. And (belated) welcome to the forum!
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: tdperk on 11/29/2017 01:23 PM

I'm talking about the actual flight record of F9's. So far that's what 16 flights from last explosion?

That's the disconnect. 

My apologies for not making my PoV clearer. I had thought it obvious from the context of my comments, but obviously not.  I will have to work on making them more comprehensible to you in future.

And your disconnect is that since the current build of Falcon became current, they have 16 of 16 successes.

That's 100% success rate.

To the extent there are known unaddressed issue with the current build, which may be legacy from previous builds, you have a fair point to make.  So, no known point to make.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Norm38 on 11/29/2017 01:28 PM
I'm talking about the actual flight record of F9's. So far that's what 16 flights from last explosion?

That's the disconnect. 


You keep saying this, but not a single 2nd stage (the ones that actually exploded) have been inspected post flight. Because 2nd stages are not recovered. So there is no opportunity for reuse to directly improve 2nd stage reliability.

First stages have been recovered, and not a single M1D 1st stage has failed.

So where is the disconnect?  You can't criticize reuse for not improving the reliability of expendable hardware.
You CAN criticize the flight record of F9 versus other launchers, but it's not relevant to a reuse thread.  Except to maybe show that expendable hardware is less reliable than reusable hardware?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Negan on 11/29/2017 03:13 PM
I'm talking about the actual flight record of F9's. So far that's what 16 flights from last explosion?

And because of this F9 might be able to acquire Category 3 certification from NASA. Not sure NRO and USAF have the same standards, but they were looking at collaborating with NASA on this. Bottom line the explosion at this point is probably a non-issue.

Certification is what matters, and we presently don't know what the certification matrix will be for a reusable F9 or a FH. This is what will tell us what future missions might be available and how these customers truly feel about reuse.

https://nodis3.gsfc.nasa.gov/NPD_attachments/AttachmentA_7C.pdf

https://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2011/oct/HQ_11-348_USAF_Agreement.html

EDIT: WAG they are waiting for reusable F9 Block 5 to get Category 3 certification. This could help getting the same certification for FH and BFR easier.

EDIT: I don't see any proof that the reason SpaceX has not been doing Category 3 Risk missions has anything to do with customer confidence or cherry picking missions. Seems it is because of the very logical way SpaceX is progressing with their most important goal of reusability.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 11/29/2017 03:57 PM

I'm talking about the actual flight record of F9's. So far that's what 16 flights from last explosion?

That's the disconnect. 

My apologies for not making my PoV clearer. I had thought it obvious from the context of my comments, but obviously not.  I will have to work on making them more comprehensible to you in future.

And your disconnect is that since the current build of Falcon became current, they have 16 of 16 successes.

That's 100% success rate.

To the extent there are known unaddressed issue with the current build, which may be legacy from previous builds, you have a fair point to make.  So, no known point to make.
Long runs of consecutive successes are, of course, required for a launch system to be considered reliable.  They are not, however, indicators or guarantees of a 100% success rate.  R7 once ran up a string of 133 consecutive successes, then did it again a few years later.  F7 still ranks among the world's most reliable launch vehicles.    Nevertheless, R7 failures still occur.

 - Ed Kyle

A difficult to capture statistical feature is the value/weight of present condition(s) versus those in the past when successes or failures were accruing.  As a short term example, the current failure rate of previously flown vehicles is zero, but it is difficult to use that to say whether reflown vehicles will be better or worse than first-flight vehicles which have a longer track record that includes failures.  Long term, discussing R7 in the days of two strings of ~133 successful flights would have not predicted today's failure rate; current conditions are apparently much more powerfully dictating current reliability than those past successes.

Like all statistics, many significant contributing parameters are just too difficult to quantify, so are assumed away (by omission).  Honest statisticians -- is that an oxymoron? -- would add qualifying statement(s) as to what is specifically included and excluded, and what sensitivity the incomplete treatment might have on the conclusions or predictions.

For above examples, the small sample size on reused booster flights would be pointed out as insufficient to make a prediction about reliability of previously-flown boosters vs new.  In the case of R7, the fact that Russia is strapped for cash and high tech imports due to whatever factors, along with the recent R7 failures, would be called out specifically as a potential contributor to today's R7 being potentially much less reliable than the track record would predict.

It still seems that the most committed statisticians are those in the insurance industry (actuaries) who base their business on inclusion of both the easy-to-quantify and the difficult-to-quantify contributors to launch vehicle reliability -- for the next launch.  Price paid for insurance is frequently available to the public.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 11/29/2017 07:11 PM
I'm talking about the actual flight record of F9's. So far that's what 16 flights from last explosion?

And because of this F9 might be able to acquire Category 3 certification from NASA. Not sure NRO and USAF have the same standards, but they were looking at collaborating with NASA on this. Bottom line the explosion at this point is probably a non-issue.

Certification is what matters, and we presently don't know what the certification matrix will be for a reusable F9 or a FH. This is what will tell us what future missions might be available and how these customers truly feel about reuse.

EDIT: WAG they are waiting for reusable F9 Block 5 to get Category 3 certification. This could help getting the same certification for FH and BFR easier.

I mean, in theory maybe they could but not in practice.  There have been modifications to the flight configuration that has made all those successful flight.  That's not a big deal, it doesn't make the F9v1.2 Block 4 a different enough vehicle from Block 3 to trigger a whole new certification process.  But it would require that the F9 go through delta-certification and again for Block 4 to Block 5.  So, while it's true that they could have kept going back to delta-cert the vehicle I think they are just waiting to Block 5 and doing it all then.  Though whether they will decide to try to get Cat. 3 certification with even the Block 5 isn't sure.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/29/2017 07:40 PM
For the record, CRS-13 booster re-use now official:

https://twitter.com/StephenClark1/status/935910448821669888
Quote
NASA’s Bill Gerstenmaier confirms SpaceX has approved use of previously-flown booster (from June’s CRS-13 cargo launch) for upcoming space station resupply launch set for Dec. 8.

It's probably NASA that gave the approval and the booster was from CRS-11, but here it is.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/29/2017 07:49 PM
Write-up by Loren Grush:

https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/29/16715910/spacex-falcon-9-rocket-nasa-international-space-station-reusability (https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/29/16715910/spacex-falcon-9-rocket-nasa-international-space-station-reusability)

Includes:

Quote
Ultimately, NASA will consider flying on used Falcon 9s on a case-by-case basis going forward, the space agency said.

I wonder what NASA’s case-by-case criteria might be? Test/inspection results of the specific booster, cost and/or schedule benefits? All the above?

Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Negan on 11/29/2017 08:21 PM
So, while it's true that they could have kept going back to delta-cert the vehicle I think they are just waiting to Block 5 and doing it all then.

The possible issue I see with waiting until Block 5 Cat. 3 certification is which 14 flights count toward it. For example what if only the first flight of a block 5 booster counts. Certifying F9 Full Thrust would mean less flights to certify F9 Block 5 and FH. 

Edit: Also I feel because of their Mars plans as well as their interest in NASA's moon plans pursuing Cat. 3 certification makes sense.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/29/2017 09:24 PM
Perhaps this thread could benefit from a running list of actual data:

Date         Customer Name        Pertinent Event
---------     ----------------          -----------------       

Where a pertinent event might be
* Announcement of plan to accept reused boosters
* Customer comment they will never use reused boosters, or not until X time
* Link to article quoting customers about experience with reuse
* Flights of reused boosters
* Responses to flight successes/failures that affect customer view of reuse

It could be interesting to see a flow of customer decisions over time.

Agreed! Here’s a quick (and incomplete) attempt to get the ball rolling, sourced purely from this thread. So I’m missing things like SES statements prior to first booster re-use and more recent posts on this thread.

But I’m out of time tonight and I think much better to crowd source the info for such a table once there’s a starting point to work with.

Happy to add this to the first post in this thread (and maintain) once we have a reasonable list.

Corrections/additions welcome in this thread or by DM. For speed I’ve limited links to posts on NSF that I could quickly find!

Edit: now added some missing links and earlier SES desire to re-use booster
Final Edit: table now added to first post in thread and extended further

Date (y/m/d)  OrganisationEvent
15/06/17SESM. Halliwell says SES want to re-use F9 booster (http://spacenews.com/spacex-early-adopter-ses-ready-to-reuse-falcon-9-%C2%AD-for-the-right-price/)
16/08/30SES1st booster re-use agreement announced (SES-11) (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34057.msg1574781#msg1574781)
17/03/15USAFClaire Leon: no plans for reuse, might consider in future (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42527.msg1654941#msg1654941)
17/03/30SESSES-10 launch: 1st F9 booster re-use (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/03/spacex-new-spaceflight-successful-core-reuse/)
17/03/30SESM [email protected] SES-10 launch press conference: 2 of 3 further SES 2017 launches likely to reuse boosters (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/03/spacex-new-spaceflight-successful-core-reuse/)
17/04/11NASADan Hartmann (Deputy Manager ISS Program): Just started discussing reuse; may not be 2017, but shortly after (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42685.msg1665907#msg1665907)
17/04/06USAFGen Raymond (Head of Space Command) says USAF would be comfortable with reuse (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42685.msg1664669#msg1664668)
17/05/05BulsatcomAnnouncement that BulgariaSat-1 will launch on a re-used booster (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42685.msg1674922#msg1674922)
17/06/15IridiumMatt Desch says Iridium would re-use in 2018 (for big discount/schedule improvement) (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42685.msg1691740#msg1691740)
17/06/23BulsatcomBulgariaSat-1 launch: 2nd F9 booster re-use (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/06/spacex-falcon-9-second-flight-bulgariasat-1-mission/)
17/10/11SESSES-11 launch: 3rd F9 booster re-use (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/10/falcon-9-second-launch-week-ses-11/)
17/10/19IridiumAnnouncement that Iridium NEXT 4 flight will reuse booster (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/10/iridium-4-flight-proven-falcon-9-rtls-vandenberg-delayed/)
17/11/29NASAGerst makes official long-rumoured booster reuse for CRS-13 (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44271.msg1754178#msg1754178)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 11/29/2017 09:38 PM

And your disconnect is that since the current build of Falcon became current, they have 16 of 16 successes.

That's 100% success rate.

To the extent there are known unaddressed issue with the current build, which may be legacy from previous builds, you have a fair point to make.  So, no known point to make.
As is the the 100% rate of Ariane 5 for the last 80+ flights or the Atlas V at 60+

F9 should be better.

So far it is not. 

You keep saying this, but not a single 2nd stage (the ones that actually exploded) have been inspected post flight. Because 2nd stages are not recovered. So there is no opportunity for reuse to directly improve 2nd stage reliability.
exactly the same with both Atlas V and Ariane 5. Yet both have a considerably longer list of successful launches.
Quote from: Norm38
First stages have been recovered, and not a single M1D 1st stage has failed.

So where is the disconnect?  You can't criticize reuse for not improving the reliability of expendable hardware.
That's the interesting point. ULA and Arianspace have no reuse and have achieved very long runs of successful flights. So far SX have only achieved 16. But neither has visibility of the real effects of flight on the second stage.
Quote from: Norm38
You CAN criticize the flight record of F9 versus other launchers, but it's not relevant to a reuse thread.  Except to maybe show that expendable hardware is less reliable than reusable hardware?
Actually give number of flights flown Vs success rate the revers is being demonstrated so far.

That's what I do not understand.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 11/29/2017 11:01 PM

Quote from: Norm38
You CAN criticize the flight record of F9 versus other launchers, but it's not relevant to a reuse thread.  Except to maybe show that expendable hardware is less reliable than reusable hardware?
Actually give number of flights flown Vs success rate the revers is being demonstrated so far.

That's what I do not understand.

The reverse is not being demonstrated.  What is being demonstrated is that new vehicles are more prone to failure than the ones that have established the best track record. (Also true for any vehicles, for that matter -- see R7, Proton.)

In other words, none have better track records than the vehicles that have the best track record -- a silly tautology.

It would be equally illogical to compare Falcon and Proton, and say that this proves reusable vehicles are more reliable.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Norm38 on 11/30/2017 12:36 AM
I wasn't comparing F9 hardware against anything but itself. The 1st stage has a better record than the 2nd.  Despite being larger with more engines. Shouldn't the 1st stage have failed by now too? At the least, reuse isn't making 1st stage reliability worse. Maybe that's all we can say.

Bottom line, the F9's failures are fully decoupled from reuse. Where did anyone lead you to believe that the 2nd stage would magically be made more reliable?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: speedevil on 11/30/2017 12:52 AM
Bottom line, the F9's failures are fully decoupled from reuse. Where did anyone lead you to believe that the 2nd stage would magically be made more reliable?

They are only fully decoupled from reuse if you believe there is 0% likelyhood that there would not have been another (S1) failure, either through explosion or underperformance without either the margins designed in for reuse, or things found during the reuse effort.
This is not clear.
It's also possible they may have learned things that made S2 more reliable, or the additional margins available in S1 have meant S2 does not need to be pushed so hard - making it more reliable and avoiding a flight issue.

For example, if the margins on the engines were 'properly' designed for the payloads on F9B1S1, and not amenable to increasing thrust, S2 would have had to be pushed harder to get performance upgrades.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 11/30/2017 02:59 PM
This view by NASA will probably sway other customers.
http://spacenews.com/nasa-approves-use-of-previously-flown-booster-on-next-dragon-mission/ (http://spacenews.com/nasa-approves-use-of-previously-flown-booster-on-next-dragon-mission/)
Quote
“We get the equivalent reliability of the reused booster that we would expect from a new booster,” he said.(Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for human exploration and operations.)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: tdperk on 11/30/2017 03:14 PM
As is the the 100% rate of Ariane 5 for the last 80+ flights or the Atlas V at 60+

F9 should be better.

So far it is not.

Something asserted without being demonstrated.

The Falcon 9 family overall has a success a rate of 94.3 percent, 41.5 successes out of 44 intentions to launch.  This includes Amos6 as a failure.

If that rate is maintained, they are "due"  failure any time now.  If they get terribly many more launches without a failure, then by March of 2018 the current build of Falcon will have an excellent success rate, and it is not bad now.

It is superlative now industry wide when seen against the rate of improvement of a key launcher figure of merit, which is the cost to launch.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Semmel on 11/30/2017 07:40 PM
Thanks ed, that is exactly like I understand small number statistics as well. Though I would call it SUCCESS / TOTAL, not SUCCESS / FAILURE.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 11/30/2017 08:55 PM
The Falcon 9 family overall has a success a rate of 94.3 percent, 41.5 successes out of 44 intentions to launch.  This includes Amos6 as a failure.
If Amos 6 is included, I come up with the following.  It seems to me that v1.0 was much different than v1.1 and v1.2, so I've grouped the latter two together for some comparisons.  Different engines, different thrust section, etc.  We'll have to revisit the Stage 1 reflight numbers in a year or so.

Variant  Successes   Raw    Point      95%
         /Failures   Rate   Estimate   C/I
----------------------------------------------
v1.0        4/5      0.80    0.71    0.36-0.98
v1.1       14/15     0.93    0.88    0.68-1.00
v1.2       24/25     0.96    0.93    0.79-1.00
----------------------------------------------
v1.1+1.2   38/40     0.95    0.93    0.83-1.00
v1.1+v1.2
 Stg1 Only 40/40     1.00    0.98    0.92-1.00
Stg1 Refly  3/3      1.00    0.80    0.47-1.00
TOTAL      42/45     0.93    0.91    0.81-0.98

Ed Kyle

Again, thanks for a more robust treatment of the statistics.  It is clarifying to note that the 3-for-3 success rate of the reused boosters still yield a much lower confidence interval than the numbers that include failures.

Issues:
1) Your call that there is one v1.0 'failure' is a significant judgement call when the primary payload was delivered, and the secondary waved off due to NASA ground rules.  There was a very high likelihood that the second stage would have delivered the secondary to proper orbit (90+ percent IIRC) in spite of the booster engine failure on ascent.  The ground rule failed, not the rocket.  Calling this entire launch a flat failure is inaccurate at best.
2) AMOS was a test procedure failure that destroyed a rocket and payload.  That's very bad, or even very stupid, but even the insurance companies didn't call that one a launch failure (since it obviously wasn't).
Changing these two cases or their weighting significantly changes the bottom line*.

Bottom line is that statics tell a subjective tale, not (necessarily) an objective one
Those who believe otherwise are naive.

Mark Twain (possibly originally by Disraeli):
Quote
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."


* The change to the bottom line would be in my subjective judgement a much more accurate representation of launcher reliability -- but still subjective.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: meekGee on 11/30/2017 10:54 PM
The Falcon 9 family overall has a success a rate of 94.3 percent, 41.5 successes out of 44 intentions to launch.  This includes Amos6 as a failure.
If Amos 6 is included, I come up with the following.  It seems to me that v1.0 was much different than v1.1 and v1.2, so I've grouped the latter two together for some comparisons.  Different engines, different thrust section, etc.  We'll have to revisit the Stage 1 reflight numbers in a year or so.

Variant  Successes   Raw    Point      95%
         /Failures   Rate   Estimate   C/I
----------------------------------------------
v1.0        4/5      0.80    0.71    0.36-0.98
v1.1       14/15     0.93    0.88    0.68-1.00
v1.2       24/25     0.96    0.93    0.79-1.00
----------------------------------------------
v1.1+1.2   38/40     0.95    0.93    0.83-1.00
v1.1+v1.2
 Stg1 Only 40/40     1.00    0.98    0.92-1.00
Stg1 Refly  3/3      1.00    0.80    0.47-1.00
TOTAL      42/45     0.93    0.91    0.81-0.98

Ed Kyle

Again, thanks for a more robust treatment of the statistics.  It is clarifying to note that the 3-for-3 success rate of the reused boosters still yield a much lower confidence interval than the numbers that include failures.

Issues:
1) Your call that there is one v1.0 'failure' is a significant judgement call when the primary payload was delivered, and the secondary waved off due to NASA ground rules.  There was a very high likelihood that the second stage would have delivered the secondary to proper orbit (90+ percent IIRC) in spite of the booster engine failure on ascent.  The ground rule failed, not the rocket.  Calling this entire launch a flat failure is inaccurate at best.
2) AMOS was a test procedure failure that destroyed a rocket and payload.  That's very bad, or even very stupid, but even the insurance companies didn't call that one a launch failure (since it obviously wasn't).
Changing these two cases or their weighting significantly changes the bottom line*.

Bottom line is that statics tell a subjective tale, not (necessarily) an objective one
Those who believe otherwise are naive.

Mark Twain (possibly originally by Disraeli):
Quote
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."


* The change to the bottom line would be in my subjective judgement a much more accurate representation of launcher reliability -- but still subjective.
Your view of the the two incidents is accepted by most.

When using statistics as a predictive tool (as is the goal here), we need to apply common sense  as in "how does this incident influence the probability of future events"

Ed's interpretation, which is challenged every time it comes up, does not do that.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/01/2017 12:19 AM
I’ve completed my trawl looking for significant re-use views/events and added the summary to the first post in this thread. Corrections, additions & suggestions welcome.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 12/01/2017 02:33 AM
I’ve completed my trawl looking for significant re-use views/events and added the summary to the first post in this thread. Corrections, additions & suggestions welcome.

Lol.  You picked basically the worst of all worlds for how to list the date.  I strenuously recommend the ISO format for dates (https://www.iso.org/iso-8601-date-and-time-format.html):  YYYY-MM-DD.

So, instead of 15/06/17 (which is ambiguously possible to read as either June 15, 2017 or June 17, 2015) you use 2015-06-17.  Based on column width in the table it looks like there is enough room to switch to 4 digit years without any issues. This also avoids any contention over whether US (mm/dd/yy) or Euro (dd/mm/yy) dating convention should be used.

Otherwise, it's a great list and I heartily thank you for putting it together (and scdavis for recommending it, great idea)!  I already learned 2 things I had either missed or forgotten earlier. 

My only other suggestion would be to consider using a different color (maybe on the dates since links will remain blue) to highlight either the first actual reuse launch for any given customer OR highlight any given customer's initial statement that they will/plan to reuse.

edit: including highlight suggestion
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: woods170 on 12/01/2017 06:15 AM
I’ve completed my trawl looking for significant re-use views/events and added the summary to the first post in this thread. Corrections, additions & suggestions welcome.

Lol.  You picked basically the worst of all worlds for how to list the date.  I strenuously recommend the ISO format for dates (https://www.iso.org/iso-8601-date-and-time-format.html):  YYYY-MM-DD.

Emphasis mine.
As someone working in the IT industry I strongly endorse this recommendation.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: meekGee on 12/01/2017 06:26 AM
I’ve completed my trawl looking for significant re-use views/events and added the summary to the first post in this thread. Corrections, additions & suggestions welcome.

Lol.  You picked basically the worst of all worlds for how to list the date.  I strenuously recommend the ISO format for dates (https://www.iso.org/iso-8601-date-and-time-format.html):  YYYY-MM-DD.

Emphasis mine.
As someone working in the IT industry I strongly endorse this recommendation.
As someone who used to program , I also endorse this format, but I also advocate for zero indexing the days of the month.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: octavo on 12/01/2017 07:03 AM
I’ve completed my trawl looking for significant re-use views/events and added the summary to the first post in this thread. Corrections, additions & suggestions welcome.

Lol.  You picked basically the worst of all worlds for how to list the date.  I strenuously recommend the ISO format for dates (https://www.iso.org/iso-8601-date-and-time-format.html):  YYYY-MM-DD.

Emphasis mine.
As someone working in the IT industry I strongly endorse this recommendation.
As someone who used to program , I also endorse this format, but I also advocate for zero indexing the days of the month.

So today is 0 December? Sounds good to me.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: meekGee on 12/01/2017 07:12 AM
I’ve completed my trawl looking for significant re-use views/events and added the summary to the first post in this thread. Corrections, additions & suggestions welcome.

Lol.  You picked basically the worst of all worlds for how to list the date.  I strenuously recommend the ISO format for dates (https://www.iso.org/iso-8601-date-and-time-format.html):  YYYY-MM-DD.

Emphasis mine.
As someone working in the IT industry I strongly endorse this recommendation.
As someone who used to program , I also endorse this format, but I also advocate for zero indexing the days of the month.

So today is 0 December? Sounds good to me.
The months will be designated 0..B of course.

Thus: 2017B0
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: octavo on 12/01/2017 07:33 AM


I’ve completed my trawl looking for significant re-use views/events and added the summary to the first post in this thread. Corrections, additions & suggestions welcome.

Lol.  You picked basically the worst of all worlds for how to list the date.  I strenuously recommend the ISO format for dates (https://www.iso.org/iso-8601-date-and-time-format.html):  YYYY-MM-DD.

Emphasis mine.
As someone working in the IT industry I strongly endorse this recommendation.
As someone who used to program , I also endorse this format, but I also advocate for zero indexing the days of the month.

So today is 0 December? Sounds good to me.
The months will be designated 0..B of course.

Thus: 2017B0

0x7E1B0 you mean? If we're going hex, might as well do the year too!
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: meekGee on 12/01/2017 07:35 AM


I’ve completed my trawl looking for significant re-use views/events and added the summary to the first post in this thread. Corrections, additions & suggestions welcome.

Lol.  You picked basically the worst of all worlds for how to list the date.  I strenuously recommend the ISO format for dates (https://www.iso.org/iso-8601-date-and-time-format.html):  YYYY-MM-DD.

Emphasis mine.
As someone working in the IT industry I strongly endorse this recommendation.
As someone who used to program , I also endorse this format, but I also advocate for zero indexing the days of the month.

So today is 0 December? Sounds good to me.
The months will be designated 0..B of course.

Thus: 2017B0

0x7E1B0 you mean? If we're going hex, might as well do the year too!
Can't do the year in hex since the whole business of B.C. and A.D. just confuses the hell out of everyone.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: NathanR on 12/01/2017 09:50 AM
Also recommend YYYY-MM-DD format.

Add:
SES-11 reused stage 1 confirmed 2017-08-04 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40725.msg1709975#msg1709975)
AMOS-17 reused stage 1 announced 2017-10-18 (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43418.msg1739045#msg1739045)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 12/01/2017 12:15 PM
Issues:
1) Your call that there is one v1.0 'failure' is a significant judgement call when the primary payload was delivered, and the secondary waved off due to NASA ground rules.  There was a very high likelihood that the second stage would have delivered the secondary to proper orbit (90+ percent IIRC) in spite of the booster engine failure on ascent.  The ground rule failed, not the rocket.  Calling this entire launch a flat failure is inaccurate at best.
2) AMOS was a test procedure failure that destroyed a rocket and payload.  That's very bad, or even very stupid, but even the insurance companies didn't call that one a launch failure (since it obviously wasn't).
Changing these two cases or their weighting significantly changes the bottom line*.

Bottom line is that statics tell a subjective tale, not (necessarily) an objective one
Those who believe otherwise are naive.
It is objective for me, because I follow a rule.  The rule is this.  If the launch vehicle does not deliver its payload to the intended orbit, it is a launch vehicle failure.  The Orbcomm payload reentered instead of reaching 350 x 750 km.  The reason doesn't matter (if the Merlin hadn't failed, NASA rules would not have been employed).  I don't include AMOS 6 in my regular list because, as you note, it was not actually launched, but since the payload was destroyed, it makes sense to include it as a "launch campaign failure" during some comparisons.  I did it here because the post to which I was responding included that as a failure.

 - Ed Kyle

I appreciate your tabulations and consistency.  I was responding to your post which violated your own rules that are indeed a good effort at maintaining objectivity.  No matter the reason, it does still come down in many cases to (subjective) judgement calls -- giving V1.0 a 100% failure score when it was anything but -- that have impact in small number statistics. 

Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: speedevil on 12/01/2017 01:18 PM
It is objective for me, because I follow a rule.  The rule is this.  If the launch vehicle does not deliver its payload to the intended orbit, it is a launch vehicle failure.  The Orbcomm payload reentered instead of reaching 350 x 750 km.  The reason doesn't matter (if the Merlin hadn't failed, NASA rules would not have been employed).  I don't include AMOS 6 in my regular list because, as you note, it was not actually launched, but since the payload was destroyed, it makes sense to include it as a "launch campaign failure" during some comparisons.  I did it here because the post to which I was responding included that as a failure

By that strict method, surely you would also count all scrubs as launch failures, as they fail to attain the specified orbit.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 12/01/2017 01:34 PM
It is objective for me, because I follow a rule.  The rule is this.  If the launch vehicle does not deliver its payload to the intended orbit, it is a launch vehicle failure.  The Orbcomm payload reentered instead of reaching 350 x 750 km.  The reason doesn't matter (if the Merlin hadn't failed, NASA rules would not have been employed).  I don't include AMOS 6 in my regular list because, as you note, it was not actually launched, but since the payload was destroyed, it makes sense to include it as a "launch campaign failure" during some comparisons.  I did it here because the post to which I was responding included that as a failure

By that strict method, surely you would also count all scrubs as launch failures, as they fail to attain the specified orbit.

That is a silly interpretation.

On the other hand, a launch that meets Ed's rule...(i.e., drops off its payload short of the intended orbit)

Quote
If the launch vehicle does not deliver its payload to the intended orbit, it is a launch vehicle failure.

... but happens to be carrying a payload that has the ability to make up the difference (several examples from 'perfect track record' launchers), this is counted as a 100% success.  Also, when a launcher first stage fails to deliver the second plus payload to 'this rule's intended orbit' (recent Atlas v launch for Orbital that had first stage cut out five seconds early) -- but the second stage has the oomph to deliver the payload in spite of this launch vehicle failure -- it is credited as a 100% success.

The lesson here is that being 'objective' in treating data is always in the eyes of the beholder* to some degree.
IMO, Ed is doing an honest and effective job of attempting to be objective, but that is not truly possible for anyone.
All statistics must be treated skeptically, to be used for what story they can tell and not to be used beyond that.

* That is, subjective.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/01/2017 03:45 PM
Thank you for the feedback on the 1st post summary list.

I’ve hopefully addressed the comments raised. I’ve gone with colouring the launches as they are different from and, IMHO, more significant than many of the other entries. I think it’s also interesting to see how other events and announcements relate to launch dates.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 12/01/2017 05:54 PM
Thank you for the feedback on the 1st post summary list.

I’ve hopefully addressed the comments raised. I’ve gone with colouring the launches as they are different from and, IMHO, more significant than many of the other entries. I think it’s also interesting to see how other events and announcements relate to launch dates.

Nice.  That's what I preferred as well.  My only further note would be that I think the purple color is very hard to distinguish from the black of normal text.  In a list with lots of colors it would probably stand out, so in the (near) future when there are lots of customers flying on reused boosters this wouldn't really matter.  But for SES and maybe the first few it might be pretty hard to notice.  Not sure what to use instead though.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: saliva_sweet on 12/01/2017 08:04 PM
It is objective for me, because I follow a rule.  The rule is this.  If the launch vehicle does not deliver its payload to the intended orbit, it is a launch vehicle failure. 

What about that Soyuz launch in july that flew >70 smallsats in addition to the primary payload. Several of those ended up in wrong orbits. Total failure?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Eagandale4114 on 12/01/2017 08:21 PM
Iridium released a video with their views on it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9ZXu4JYZg8
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/01/2017 08:41 PM
My only further note would be that I think the purple color is very hard to distinguish from the black of normal text.

I went with purple as on my (iPad) screen it’s legible, different enough from black and not too strong that it overpowers the green. I tried several other colours and they seemed rather worse to me. My only other suggestion would be to use red for first re-use and green for subsequent ones.

Does anyone else find purple not distinct enough and/or have alternative suggestions?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: saliva_sweet on 12/01/2017 08:53 PM
http://spacenews.com/glavkosmos-denies-launch-vehicle-caused-cubesat-failures/

So not a launch vehicle failure based on currently-available information.

 - Ed Kyle

From your own link: "one of Spire’s Lemur satellites was injected into the wrong orbit."

By your own definition - a failed launch. No?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Norm38 on 12/02/2017 12:27 AM
Since the title of this thread is "customer views", let's hear NASA call that v1.0 flight a 100% failure.

Or, why not just score based on mass and/or payload value?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 12/02/2017 03:38 PM
OT.

How does this relate to customers's views on reuse?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/07/2017 12:04 PM
I've tidied up the summary list on the first post and now added known future booster reuse flights.

As always please let me know if I've missed any confirmed reuses.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/11/2017 03:36 PM
Interesting, NASA and SpaceX started talking about re-use in January and nearly didn't complete in time for CRS-13:

Working with NASA [on re-use] since Jan.  Equivalent risk established.  All groups meeting for several months.

2 weeks before launch was when the decision had to be made.

NASA went off on their own to come up with what they wanted to see for Falcon 9 reuse.  NASA put on constraints.  Only single reflight agreed to. Only a CRS-like mission is where that booster could come from.  Decision was made so finely.   Re-flgiht Readiness Review (RFRR).

NASA was so late making decision because RFRR came in so only allow official decision.

New booster could have effected the launch date.

The first public mention by NASA of potential reuse logged in this thread was in April.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/11/2017 10:27 PM
Transcript of the Pre-Launch presser:

https://gist.github.com/theinternetftw/23433626cb5ff08b0c6ad87ae33e9aeb

Expanding on the previous post, quite a bit more detail in the CRS-13 press conference (i’ve edited out non-reuse Qs and As):

Quote
Marcia Dunn: Marcia Dunn, Associated Press. For Kirk, if I might. Do you expect your anxiety level to be slightly higher tomorrow, given that this is a reused rocket that you'll be reusing for the first time at NASA?

Kirk Shireman: Every time we launch a rocket, I'm anxious. It's still a dangerous business, so I will be anxious tomorrow. I can tell you a number of things. First off, reusability. The shuttle was reused, we reused the boosters, we reused the main engines. And so the notion of reusability is not new. We did an extensive review, and by we I mean the entire agency. We engaged rocket experts from around the agency, to define, first off, what NASA would like to see in terms of data, and analysis, and testing, and even inspection in between the flights. And then we met with SpaceX and reviewed what they did. And we're very comfortable that the risk posture is not significantly greater than a new booster. The way we look at it, we've retired some risks, some risks are actually less on a re-flown booster, and some risks are actually a little greater, and the net result is about equivalent risk. So we think of it as equivalent risk. Which is not to say zero risk. So we'll be anxious, but I wouldn't say a higher level of anxiety for this reflown booster than a new booster.

James Dean: James Dean, Florida Today. For Kirk Shireman. [...] And regarding reuse, do you also see this as important to the future of spaceflight, reducing costs, the things Jessica mentioned earlier? Or are you really just doing it because SpaceX wants to and you verified that their data looks good?

Kirk Shireman: [...] As for reuse, I think there's no question that reusability, especially reusability without a tremendous amount of hardware replacement, can change the economics of launch, and the reality is that the business of space is dominated by launch costs. Certainly in the human space flight world it's dominated by launch costs. So getting the costs down is important for everyone. It's important for NASA. It's important for the future of human spaceflight. It's important for commerce in space, and so it's certainly a positive thing. So we're very much supportive of this activity. What we need to be careful about is, from a NASA perspective, that we understand the risk. So we get to decide the risk level that we will accept, and we are doing that. SpaceX has been very cooperative with us in answering all of our questions and sharing data with us. We've even had people participate in some of the testing. So I think the effort going on between NASA and SpaceX is excellent with respect to reuse, and we certainly see that as an avenue for reduced costs in the future.

Chris Gebhardt: Chris Gebhardt with NasaSpaceFlight. I'm wondering, for Kirk and maybe Jessica, if you could talk a little bit more about the decision for the flight-proven booster? When was that decision made? It was only confirmed last week, so I'm wondering, was there a contingency plan to use a new core if NASA had decided to not to use the re-flown booster?

Jessica Jensen: So I guess I can start with that one. So we've been working with NASA since January of this year on the process for insuring that a flight-proven booster is of equivalent risk to a new booster. And so like Kirk mentioned, we've been having technical meetings with NASA for each different group. So for example, dynamics on the vehicle, propulsion, avionics, each of those different groups have been meeting with their NASA counterparts for several months. So we've been working at this for many, many months. And as we get closer to the launch date, the way it works, as you know we can have turnaround times of roughly two weeks. So about two weeks before launch is the absolute, drop dead of when a decision needs to be made to not impact the launch date.

Kirk Shireman: I wanted to add to that, if I could. [...]. But in terms of reusability, absolutely, we have. What I described earlier, NASA went off on their own and said hey, if we were going to fly a Falcon 9, reuse a Falcon 9, what would we like to see in terms of analysis, testing, inspection between the flights and so on. And so we did that. We laid it out ourselves, independently. We then met with SpaceX and went through their data and their certification package. We put on some constraints, by the way, I didn't mention earlier. We agreed to a single re-flight, and at this point we've agreed to a single re-flight of a booster that's flown to a benign mission, like ours. Like a CRS-1 flight. So we only agreed to a single re-flight, and a Low Earth Orbit mission for the first launch. The reason the decision was made so finely is, like we said, there's the general certification. And then there's the actual inspection of the booster. And then finally there's a review conducted by SpaceX, a Re-flight Readiness Review. Think of it as a Flight Readiness Review for that particular booster. And so NASA was part of the generic certification. NASA reviewed the inspection plan in between the flights. And we were waiting for that Re-flight Readiness Review to be complete, to go over all the issues, and make sure at that point we were still comfortable with the risk level for this flight. And that's why the actual official decision. The letter, we sent a contract letter to SpaceX here, I think a week and a half ago, two Wednesdays ago, if I'm not mistaken, I can look that up if you need it, but very, very recently. At some point in time, we knew that there would be a change. We told SpaceX that we were heading down this path, but we weren't ready to commit until that final Re-flight Readiness Review was conducted, and that we understood that if we changed position, if we changed paths and used a new booster, it might affect the launch date. SpaceX understood, and we were partnering all along. And so we were waiting for that final decision, that final Re-flight Readiness Review, and then NASA decided and sent the letter.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: GWH on 12/16/2017 12:09 AM
And another one, Canadian eh:
https://spaceq.ca/radarsat-constellation-mission-to-fly-on-refurbished-spacex-falcon-9-rocket/
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/16/2017 09:05 AM
And another one, Canadian eh:
https://spaceq.ca/radarsat-constellation-mission-to-fly-on-refurbished-spacex-falcon-9-rocket/

Great spot, thank you! I’ve updated first post in this thread accordingly.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: cppetrie on 12/16/2017 01:13 PM
The article posits they may have received a discount for flying on flight-proven booster. I think queue jumping was the driving factor as we have seen with some others. A couple million saved on launch cost is a drop in the bucket. Getting your stuff to orbit sooner is more important. There’s even been some suggestion that SpaceX is no longer shopping discounts as an incentive to fly reused.

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

I suspect your 1st inflection point has happened. It’s not clear from this report (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42685.msg1695202#msg1695202) in June whether customers approached SoaceX first or not. But if they hadn’t by then I’d be surprised if it hadn’t happened since, especially with more reports since June of schedule benefits and NASA on-board.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: cppetrie on 12/16/2017 01:44 PM
There are two inflection points that I’m interested in seeing: 1) the point where customers ask SpaceX for used before SpaceX asks them and 2) the point where no one cares whether it’s used or not and it’s just a ride to space. It may be difficult to know exactly when we cross each of those but they seem like significant landmarks of the shift in thinking about reuse.

I suspect your 1st inflection point has happened. It’s not clear from this report (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42685.msg1695202#msg1695202) in June whether customers approached SoaceX first or not. But if they hadn’t by then I’d be surprised if it hadn’t happened since, especially with more reports since June of schedule benefits and NASA on-board.
I suspect you’re right that it has occurred, but since it’s not confirmed and it seems an important one I included it. It also strikes me as nothing short of amazing as to how fast this has become normalized. It was just 9 months ago that we were watching the first reuse happen. It almost seems old hat at this point. And it seems to have rapidly gained momentum amongst customers.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: rockets4life97 on 12/16/2017 01:46 PM
The important distinction to me is re-use of boosters that went to LEO. We haven't seen a re-used GTO flight or a third flight of the same booster. Those are important milestones that hopefully will happen in 2018. They may require block 5.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: cppetrie on 12/16/2017 01:54 PM
The important distinction to me is re-use of boosters that went to LEO. We haven't seen a re-used GTO flight or a third flight of the same booster. Those are important milestones that hopefully will happen in 2018. They may require block 5.
I agree those are important technical milestones. Given the thread is about customer views I was focused on the customer-related milestones. I would think this first LEO-LEO booster is a candidate for a third reflight but I won’t be surprised if both of your scenarios wait until Block 5 sometime next year.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Elthiryel on 12/16/2017 09:33 PM
The important distinction to me is re-use of boosters that went to LEO. We haven't seen a re-used GTO flight or a third flight of the same booster. Those are important milestones that hopefully will happen in 2018. They may require block 5.
The booster that previously flew during the Thaicom-8 mission is going to fly as a Falcon Heavy side booster, so this is going to be the first GTO reflight, not as a Falcon 9 though. Anyway, the supply of once-flown LEO mission boosters is limited, and with more and more customers willing to use a flight-proven booster, I think they may want to fly a GTO booster for the second time or a double-LEO booster for the third time even before introducing Block 5. And I'm almost sure I've seen it mentioned that Block 4 may actually fly more than twice.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: macpacheco on 12/16/2017 11:53 PM
The important distinction to me is re-use of boosters that went to LEO. We haven't seen a re-used GTO flight or a third flight of the same booster. Those are important milestones that hopefully will happen in 2018. They may require block 5.
A distinct possibility is a test launch for 2nd stage reuse or launching the first SpaceX Starlink satellites. Probably OR.
The upper stage costs might be less than the savings of not having to build a bunch of boosters to reuse the remaining Block IIIs and IVs.
Perhaps first demonstrate 2nd,3rd and 4th flights of GTO recoveries, with the same booster. Of course in that case the destination orbit will be LEO/Polar.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 12/18/2017 04:38 PM
There are two inflection points that I’m interested in seeing: 1) the point where customers ask SpaceX for used before SpaceX asks them and 2) the point where no one cares whether it’s used or not and it’s just a ride to space. It may be difficult to know exactly when we cross each of those but they seem like significant landmarks of the shift in thinking about reuse.

I suspect your 1st inflection point has happened. It’s not clear from this report (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42685.msg1695202#msg1695202) in June whether customers approached SoaceX first or not. But if they hadn’t by then I’d be surprised if it hadn’t happened since, especially with more reports since June of schedule benefits and NASA on-board.
I suspect you’re right that it has occurred, but since it’s not confirmed and it seems an important one I included it. It also strikes me as nothing short of amazing as to how fast this has become normalized. It was just 9 months ago that we were watching the first reuse happen. It almost seems old hat at this point. And it seems to have rapidly gained momentum amongst customers.

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

A bit of commentary:
Quote
Sorry but that's Incorrect. The technology is not all that revolutionary, it's been an engineering issue more than anything. And in terms of money, private reusability systems will cost a fraction of what NASA spends on just a capsule! Reuse is really about VISION and GUTS.
https://twitter.com/JonathanOC/status/942790926115643392
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Tomness on 12/19/2017 01:37 AM
If they are running out of cores to be reused and about to go into Block V? Could they say we can pay full price  if your able to recover & reuse it. we could get 10% credit that could be used on a future flight or something.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: macpacheco on 12/20/2017 04:15 AM
If they are running out of cores to be reused and about to go into Block V? Could they say we can pay full price  if your able to recover & reuse it. we could get 10% credit that could be used on a future flight or something.
They aren't running out of cores to be reused.
They have too many cores available for reuse, and Block V which seems to be close to maiden launch which should support 10 relaunches with refurb so quick it should eventually be done in a day or two (however the first few Block V refurbs will likely be longer to be triple sure everything is performing as designed).
Block III boosters that are doing their 2nd flight aren't valuable enough to keep at this point.
Block IVs might fly 3 times. Maybe.
In my view the main use for 2nd flights of Block IVs will be to perform expendable missions that can't be performed by Block V with ASDS landing. Save the Block Vs as much as possible for reuse. Block IV does have more performance than Block IIIs, and likely will be launched with Block V upper stages which should have more performance too.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: the_other_Doug on 12/20/2017 05:03 PM
If they are running out of cores to be reused and about to go into Block V? Could they say we can pay full price  if your able to recover & reuse it. we could get 10% credit that could be used on a future flight or something.
They aren't running out of cores to be reused.
They have too many cores available for reuse, and Block V which seems to be close to maiden launch which should support 10 relaunches with refurb so quick it should eventually be done in a day or two (however the first few Block V refurbs will likely be longer to be triple sure everything is performing as designed).
Block III boosters that are doing their 2nd flight aren't valuable enough to keep at this point.
Block IVs might fly 3 times. Maybe.
In my view the main use for 2nd flights of Block IVs will be to perform expendable missions that can't be performed by Block V with ASDS landing. Save the Block Vs as much as possible for reuse. Block IV does have more performance than Block IIIs, and likely will be launched with Block V upper stages which should have more performance too.

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

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


p.s. -- I know it's still premature, but it feels good to be able to say "the first FH flight next month" and have a reasonable chance of being correct... :)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Prettz on 12/21/2017 06:06 AM
Shotwell said the only FH to ever fly with non-Block 5 cores will be the maiden launch.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 12/21/2017 04:06 PM
Shotwell said the only FH to ever fly with non-Block 5 cores will be the maiden launch.

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

* assumes the maiden launch goes well enough to not need repeating.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: wannamoonbase on 12/21/2017 04:09 PM
Shotwell said the only FH to ever fly with non-Block 5 cores will be the maiden launch.

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

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

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

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

I think 2018 will still require a similar production flow as 2017.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Lar on 12/21/2017 06:07 PM
I think 3 F9 first stages per launch site is more likely as at times one stage will have to be undergoing its every 10 launches refurbishment.  But 2018 may continue to see a skew in the S1:S2 ratio (we have no hard evidence, nothing except inference but it surely has already started)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 12/21/2017 07:32 PM
I think 3 F9 first stages per launch site is more likely as at times one stage will have to be undergoing its every 10 launches refurbishment.  But 2018 may continue to see a skew in the S1:S2 ratio (we have no hard evidence, nothing except inference but it surely has already started)

Well, for hard evidence, they've just fab'd their 400th M1-D engine and have flown(or attempted to) 45 times, have at least three boosters plus FH ready to fly, and more being produced.  Four of those flights were previously-flown boosters and two of the FH cores are too.  We'll see the numbers of M1-Ds fall far behind 10xnumber of flights as Block 5 comes on line.  These numbers even make me think they might be reusing some previously flown engines on new boosters (never heard this was true and cannot keep track of which booster is where any more).
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/21/2017 07:43 PM
I think we may have strayed a little from customer views on reuse ...

I’m hoping someone can find info on another customer electing to reuse?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/21/2017 09:30 PM
A type of reuse I haven’t noticed customers discussing before:

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

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

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

https://twitter.com/iridiumboss/status/943547579001987073
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/22/2017 09:04 PM
I’m hoping someone can find info on another customer electing to reuse?

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

A good sign:

SpaceX Opens Media Accreditation for PAZ Mission


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

A flight-proven Falcon 9 will deliver PAZ to a low-Earth orbit (LEO).
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 12/22/2017 09:47 PM
With GovSat -1 also a reuse booster that means of the first 4 launches in 2018 3 of them use used boosters. FH, Govsat-1 and Paz.

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

Key is that the acceptance is growing and will be represented by the number of used boosters flown to the total number flown in 2018.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 12/22/2017 10:40 PM
With GovSat -1 also a reuse booster that means of the first 4 launches in 2018 3 of them use used boosters. FH, Govsat-1 and Paz.

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

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

Also interesting the GovSat and Paz are European government launches, Luxembourg and Spain respectively.  Must be quite a stir in Europe about losing these flights from ArianeSpace... and them flying on reused boosters.  Maybe ESA needs to rethink its position on reusability.

Another European national program that selected reused vehicles was Bulgaria.  Many other government programs have chosen Falcon including Korean, Taiwan, Israel, Germany, etc. but these are only yet manifested on new boosters -- subject to change as manifest launches/future launches approach and reuse becomes the norm.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: UKobserver on 12/23/2017 12:15 AM
Moving across from the PAZ thread.

By accident or design, SpaceX seem to have hit upon a very effective method of persuading their customers to accept pre-flown cores, namely, to offer them a core that they have already used themselves, and therefore have intimate first-hand knowledge of the profile and stresses it was subjected to on it's first flight.

Based on that emerging pattern, and a feeling that I don't think they will move a booster between coasts if they don't have to; as 1041 has been set aside to fly Iridium 5, my guess would also be that 1038 (Formosat) lofts PAZ/Microsat 2a/2b.

Looking further ahead; It would be a real waste to expend a brand-new Block 4 (1044) launching Hispasat, so if I was SpaceX I would be trying hard to persuade that customer to re-use 1032, which would make a good use of their oldest remaining, single-flight core which hasn't performed a GTO mission. They could quite happily launch that expendable and feel that they've got good service out of it.

1039 (CRS-12) is reserved for CRS-14, so that would make 1040 (OTV-5) the next available booster for SES-16. Again, they could offer to make that expendable potentially, depending on how badly they want the core back. SES did seem to be in a hurry to launch this one, so they may be nudging SpaceX for a supersynchronous orbit.

That would use up the last of the non-reserved, non-GTO, pre-flown cores, so in that scenario if I was SpaceX I would use 1044 for Bangabandhu. At circa 3500kg it will be a fairly gentle (relatively-speaking) GTO flight for a late model block 4 (?), so they may well be able to get another flight out of it at some point.

Which would take them up to SES-12; They should have plenty of new cores ready to fly by then, but might they be able to persuade SES to be the first customer to re-fly a GTO core and use 1042 (Koreasat) for that one? They could have a pad-slot available to launch that as soon as mid-Feb, which surely wouldn't be enough time to refurbish 1043 (Zuma)? It could potentially allow SES to fly sooner than they would otherwise be able, and SpaceX would also be able to offer that as an expendable launch, boosting to a supersynchronous orbit for the quickest possible time to final position.

That's obviously a lot of guesses, each based on the last, and others with L2 access may know differently, but it seems like one possible scenario. 1032 and 1040 could easily be the other way around.

Question for those in the know; how close are the USAF to being ready to try a used booster? And would SpaceX be holding 1032 or 1040 in reserve for GPS III-1 so that they can offer a booster whose life and use the USAF has already watched closely? Or is that out of the question until Block 5?

Edit: Mods please move to a more appropriate thread if this is off-topic.
Edit: various amendments!
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: woods170 on 12/23/2017 11:13 AM
With GovSat -1 also a reuse booster that means of the first 4 launches in 2018 3 of them use used boosters. FH, Govsat-1 and Paz.

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

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

Also interesting the GovSat and Paz are European government launches, Luxembourg and Spain respectively.  Must be quite a stir in Europe about losing these flights from ArianeSpace... and them flying on reused boosters.  Maybe ESA needs to rethink its position on reusability.

Another European national program that selected reused vehicles was Bulgaria.  Many other government programs have chosen Falcon including Korean, Taiwan, Israel, Germany, etc. but these are only yet manifested on new boosters -- subject to change as manifest launches/future launches approach and reuse becomes the norm.
ESA member states are encouraged to "fly Ariane" but it is not an obligation. In fact, not even all ESA missions fly Ariane.
If and when ESA member states develop missions separate from ESA (such as pure govsats like GovSat and Paz) they are free to choose the launch vehicle of their liking.

But I digress.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 12/23/2017 01:17 PM
The Ariane 6 push for 'exploitation' of the European launcher is a direct result of losing out to the competition IMO.  Since the thread is on customer views, it is informative that even customers who have top level pressure to not pick SpaceX/flight-proven boosters are still going that way.  Low price plus high reliability plus (recently) a shortened queue is a winning formula.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 12/23/2017 02:44 PM
Many other government programs have chosen Falcon including Korean, Taiwan, Israel, Germany, etc.

Re: Israel.  If you're talking about Spacecom (Amos-6, -17, & -8) they are not a government program.  Just a satellite operator that happens to be based in Israel.  IAI (which is a state owned corp.) built the AMOS-6 satellite for them, but it wasn't a government program.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: woods170 on 12/23/2017 05:34 PM
The Ariane 6 push for 'exploitation' of the European launcher is a direct result of losing out to the competition IMO.  Since the thread is on customer views, it is informative that even customers who have top level pressure to not pick SpaceX/flight-proven boosters are still going that way.  Low price plus high reliability plus (recently) a shortened queue is a winning formula.
Disagree a bit.

The same push took place when Ariane 4 went into service. And it was repeated prior to Ariane 5 going into service. Standard ESA/Arianespace MO. The only difference this time is that it is more urgent.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 12/24/2017 03:10 AM
I think there’s also a culture change going on now. It may not be hugely impactful at the moment, but it’s baking itself into the new generation of thinkers, leaders, and influencers. It’s what the current generation of the (old) space industry decision makers is exactly missing. And sadly it’s what’s required for a disruption and a move towards the next great push forward. Sadly, because I fear NASA has found itself in the old camp. Largely not its fault, more of the governmental trappings it’s tangled in, but true nonetheless.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Lar on 12/24/2017 04:12 AM
I think there’s also a culture change going on now. It may not be hugely impactful at the moment, but it’s baking itself into the new generation of thinkers, leaders, and influencers. It’s what the current generation of the (old) space industry decision makers is exactly missing. And sadly it’s what’s required for a disruption and a move towards the next great push forward. Sadly, because I fear NASA has found itself in the old camp. Largely not its fault, more of the governmental trappings it’s tangled in, but true nonetheless.

Agreed. But the old guard is very powerful and it's not a done deal that this new thinking will prevail. Or we may see a "two speed" economy where many but not all organizations embrace reuse, but things like SLS and Orion persist because they have powerful lobbyist friends and power blocks like the Alabama (sorry, need to stop here for a second and just say that I have to use stupid words to get my point across. I know that means I must have a weak argument, but that's why I use bad words). to protect them.  That wasted cost may just be a tax (or protection money if you like) on the new system that has to be paid in order not to get shut down.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: bulkmail on 12/24/2017 11:58 AM
...  Another European national program that selected reused vehicles was Bulgaria.  ...

minor nitpick: Bulgariasat is a private telecom/TV satellite, not a "national program"
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 12/26/2017 06:38 AM
but things like SLS and Orion persist because they have powerful lobbyist friends and power blocks like the Alabama (sorry, need to stop here for a second and just say that I have to use stupid words to get my point across. I know that means I must have a weak argument, but that's why I use bad words). to protect them. 
Such a group only cares about the jobs such programmes bring to it's area. Siting a Blue Origin factory in has definitely helped the reusability case for Bezos. It'll be interesting to see how cost effective it is to run.
Quote from: Lar
That wasted cost may just be a tax (or protection money if you like) on the new system that has to be paid in order not to get shut down.
Given that SLS and Orion are both funded directly and completely by the USG that "tax" is actual tax paid by US Taxpayers. All of them, in 50 states.

However this is OT for this thread.

USG launches are a very big part of the global launch market, so I guess the key question is when, (and which) bit of the USG will embrace the use of a flight tested booster?

Using The Aerospace Corps 5/8 rule I'd guess when when they've seen at least 5 flights (mfg process working OK) to something close to one of the 9 reference orbits in the EELV certification list and they have a payload which has a low enough priority that they can afford to lose it.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/26/2017 09:33 AM
USG launches are a very big part of the global launch market, so I guess the key question is when, (and which) bit of the USG will embrace the use of a flight tested booster?

Using The Aerospace Corps 5/8 rule I'd guess when when they've seen at least 5 flights (mfg process working OK) to something close to one of the 9 reference orbits in the EELV certification list and they have a payload which has a low enough priority that they can afford to lose it.

The USAF has been making encouraging noises but maybe lead times on reuse certification etc will preclude them being first? I think the question of whether USG customers want to see reuse on similar orbits first is an interesting one. I’ve now added basic orbit type info (LEO, GTO, SSO etc) to the first post of this thread.

As always, corrections and additions welcome.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 12/26/2017 12:08 PM
but things like SLS and Orion persist because they have powerful lobbyist friends and power blocks like the Alabama (sorry, need to stop here for a second and just say that I have to use stupid words to get my point across. I know that means I must have a weak argument, but that's why I use bad words). to protect them. 
Such a group only cares about the jobs such programmes bring to it's area. Siting a Blue Origin factory in has definitely helped the reusability case for Bezos. It'll be interesting to see how cost effective it is to run.
Quote from: Lar
That wasted cost may just be a tax (or protection money if you like) on the new system that has to be paid in order not to get shut down.
Given that SLS and Orion are both funded directly and completely by the USG that "tax" is actual tax paid by US Taxpayers. All of them, in 50 states.

However this is OT for this thread.

USG launches are a very big part of the global launch market, so I guess the key question is when, (and which) bit of the USG will embrace the use of a flight tested booster?

Using The Aerospace Corps 5/8 rule I'd guess when when they've seen at least 5 flights (mfg process working OK) to something close to one of the 9 reference orbits in the EELV certification list and they have a payload which has a low enough priority that they can afford to lose it.

Maybe 20% by numbers and falling rapidly.  They are only a big percentage (50-ish%) of the cost of satellites.
Hasn't the USG already flown on a flight-proven booster(CRS-13)?

http://www.sia.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/SIA-SSIR-2017.pdf
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Lar on 12/26/2017 12:50 PM
Maybe 20% by numbers and falling rapidly.  They are only a big percentage (50-ish%) of the cost of satellites.
Hasn't the USG already flown on a flight-proven booster(CRS-13)?

http://www.sia.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/SIA-SSIR-2017.pdf

[notAviewIagreeWith]
Doesn't count, it's just t-shirts and Tang.
[/notAviewIagreeWith]
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 12/26/2017 05:55 PM
The USAF has been making encouraging noises but maybe lead times on reuse certification etc will preclude them being first? I think the question of whether USG customers want to see reuse on similar orbits first is an interesting one. I’ve now added basic orbit type info (LEO, GTO, SSO etc) to the first post of this thread.

As always, corrections and additions welcome.
It's the idea of a "comfort zone" and how close SX have been to delivering bing in that zone. The whole idea of putting a "toe in the water."

IIRC there are 4 grades of NSS launches and I assume the USG would like to start with the lowest IE Most expendable grade, first on a flight tested booster.
So the pacing item would seem to be when is the next one of those payloads available? It's not something I keep an eye on so  I'm not sure when that's going to happen.

But IIRC SX is now certified for NSS launches so as their back list of successful launches increases they might decide to start bidding a reflown booster on higher priority payloads, on the ground that "No we haven't launched one of your most expendable payloads because you haven't been building any lately, but all the others we've launched have done exactly what we promised."
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: woods170 on 12/27/2017 12:01 PM
Maybe 20% by numbers and falling rapidly.  They are only a big percentage (50-ish%) of the cost of satellites.
Hasn't the USG already flown on a flight-proven booster(CRS-13)?

http://www.sia.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/SIA-SSIR-2017.pdf

[notAviewIagreeWith]
Doesn't count, it's just t-shirts and Tang.
[/notAviewIagreeWith]

I don't care what Jim thinks of this one. It is a mission, carried out on behalf of a US government agency, on a flight-proven booster.

What I'm not saying is that... oh wait... I'm not saying that.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 12/27/2017 12:41 PM
Maybe 20% by numbers and falling rapidly.  They are only a big percentage (50-ish%) of the cost of satellites.
Hasn't the USG already flown on a flight-proven booster(CRS-13)?

http://www.sia.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/SIA-SSIR-2017.pdf

[notAviewIagreeWith]
Doesn't count, it's just t-shirts and Tang.
[/notAviewIagreeWith]

Thanks... expected that, so all's right with the world.

Worth noting that Falcon 9 flew as many USG 'missions' as did Atlas v in 2017 -- six -- and twice that number of other flights -- twelve -- against Atlas v's zero.  Since acceptance of Falcon 9 has become widespread, and Falcon 9 will soon be flying mostly flight-proven boosters, we'll see the continued acceptance of this standard across the USG (beyond Tang and t-shirt 'missions').   

Cue the notAviewIagreeWith...
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Lar on 12/27/2017 12:48 PM
I think maybe Jim's taking a holiday break or something, so I tossed that out there, tagged to show I didn't agree, just so it was there:)

... I am more aligned with AncientU's view that the tide is turning.

That said, I do think that F9 will still have to climb through the risk categories formally. But I expect that climb to be with reused boosters or with a mixture and some statement that the new/reused nature of the booster is not a factor in the certification. We'll see
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/27/2017 01:40 PM
That said, I do think that F9 will still have to climb through the risk categories formally. But I expect that climb to be with reused boosters or with a mixture and some statement that the new/reused nature of the booster is not a factor in the certification. We'll see

I’d like to focus on USAF for a minute (as they’ve publicly shown interest in reuse).

For F9 certification USAF went through their own process rather than rely on NASA certification. I interpret General Raymond’s remarks about reuse (https://www.investors.com/news/air-force-space-chief-is-all-in-for-reusable-rockets-if-proved-safe/) in the same way:

Quote
"But we need to do a review to make sure they are safe. Then I'm all in for using reusable rockets to launch our satellites."

So I think the above point about climbing through risk categories irrespective of reuse comes down to whether there is some sort of one-off reuse review that’ll satisfy USAF that flight proven risk is no greater than new booster risk? I can only see that happening if USAF is happy to sign-off the process SoaceX use to assess/certify a booster as fit for reuse. Even NASA doesn’t appear to be in that place yet.

I can believe this will all change with block 5, in time. But I can see it taking a year or more (although I think approval, in principle, for some classes of USAF launch will happen in 2018).
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 12/27/2017 01:53 PM
I agree that the stability of Block 5 is needed for USAF certification.  2018 should see many fly, and refly, so certification is soon to follow.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: ZachF on 12/27/2017 02:20 PM
Maybe 20% by numbers and falling rapidly.  They are only a big percentage (50-ish%) of the cost of satellites.
Hasn't the USG already flown on a flight-proven booster(CRS-13)?

http://www.sia.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/SIA-SSIR-2017.pdf

[notAviewIagreeWith]
Doesn't count, it's just t-shirts and Tang.
[/notAviewIagreeWith]

Thanks... expected that, so all's right with the world.

Worth noting that Falcon 9 flew as many USG 'missions' as did Atlas v in 2017 -- six -- and twice that number of other flights -- twelve -- against Atlas v's zero.  Since acceptance of Falcon 9 has become widespread, and Falcon 9 will soon be flying mostly flight-proven boosters, we'll see the continued acceptance of this standard across the USG (beyond Tang and t-shirt 'missions').   

Cue the notAviewIagreeWith...

The number of boosters SpaceX successfully landed this year is equal to all the launches of ULA and Ariane 5 combined. This should be a wake-up call. Waiting until re-use has been 'fully 100% proven' (analysis paralysis) until making a move yourself is a great way for your consumer base to disappear beneath you. Ask RIM how this approach worked (bold strategy Cotton).

Being able to launch as soon as your satellite ready is also a giant selling point with considerable value that doesn't get the attention it deserves.

I wouldn't be surprised in the least if SpaceX flies more flight-proven boosters next year than ULA and OATKs combined mission total.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: ZachF on 12/27/2017 02:23 PM
I agree that the stability of Block 5 is needed for USAF certification.  2018 should see many fly, and refly, so certification is soon to follow.

By 2019 (or perhaps even late next year), F9B5 could be flying more launches in a hot/busy month than Atlas V or Ariane 5 fly in a year.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 12/29/2017 12:23 PM
Maybe 20% by numbers and falling rapidly.  They are only a big percentage (50-ish%) of the cost of satellites.
Hasn't the USG already flown on a flight-proven booster(CRS-13)?

http://www.sia.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/SIA-SSIR-2017.pdf

[notAviewIagreeWith]
Doesn't count, it's just t-shirts and Tang.
[/notAviewIagreeWith]

What is controversial about ISS program (and C3PO?) having a higher tolerance for risk in supply missions than LSP generally does?  They had very explicitly defined CRS missions as all Category D payloads, though some trunk payloads may have bumped this up on specific flights.  But, I actually thought that was one of the more interesting tidbits during the recent CRS-13 prelaunch briefing.  The ISS program deputy (can't remember his name), talked about their process to determine what data they wanted to see from SpaceX before moving ahead with the preflown booster's use.  He specifically stated that LSP had been included in discussions/evaluations/decisions (?).  Which means that even if LSP isn't as open to using preflown boosters, they've at least already had to start thinking about it and have had some exposure/input/buy-in to the process.  IMO, that should hopefully serve to start greasing the wheels for an eventual move to full adoption in the future.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: speedevil on 12/29/2017 01:00 PM
What is controversial about ISS program (and C3PO?) having a higher tolerance for risk in supply missions than LSP generally does?  They had very explicitly defined CRS missions as all Category D payloads, though some trunk payloads may have bumped this up on specific flights.  But, I actually thought that was one of the more interesting tidbits during the recent CRS-13 prelaunch briefing.  The ISS program deputy (can't remember his name), talked about their process to determine what data they wanted to see from SpaceX before moving ahead with the preflown booster's use.  He specifically stated that LSP had been included in discussions/evaluations/decisions (?). 
From memory, it was also mentioned that while some risks may increase, some may decrease, and their best estimates are that it's a wash.
If you view the statistics classically, then unreflown are at ~2/43, and reflown at 0/4. Perhaps slightly over 2/43 if you count the anomalies in flight.

0/4 doesn't retire a whole lot of risk, but once you start getting to 0/16 as seems likely before the first dragon 2 launch, or 0/30, when the first crewed launch goes up, ... (assuming of course that the first numbers stay the same)

(edit: added some, as I forgot the FH side-cores which should probably count)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 12/29/2017 01:06 PM
The advantage (and value) of the more risk tolerant approach in COTS is that it allows innovation to proceed so long as it is properly supported by test and analysis.  (Quite a contrast to the crew program.)  The move to boosters with landing legs and intentions to do post-separation landing experiments is one example; the acceptance of SpaceX's test regime for previously-flown boosters is another.  Contrast this with a COTS program that strictly limited SpaceX to flying the approved v1.0 that they did demo flights with...

Customer acceptance that the launch service provider will be as deeply committed to success and capable enough to handle the technology and analyses as they are makes this a true public-private partnership.  We saw the same kind of win-win relationship between SES and SpaceX -- from the very beginning -- and now we see it with Iridium.

It seems that the relationship with the USAF for NSS flights is closer to the COTS model than it is to commercial crew or LSP, notably after AF brass stepped in to stop the dictation of requirements that was happening during initial certification to avoid nullifying the advantages of commercial innovation.  This wise move by the USAF probably indicates that they will accept reflown cores before parts of NASA like commercial crew and LSP.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: gongora on 12/29/2017 01:38 PM
I agree that the stability of Block 5 is needed for USAF certification.  2018 should see many fly, and refly, so certification is soon to follow.

By 2019 (or perhaps even late next year), F9B5 could be flying more launches in a hot/busy month than Atlas V or Ariane 5 fly in a year.

By late next year F9 is not going to be flying 7+ times a month.  That's more than double the flight rate SpaceX is aiming for next year.

Here is an excerpt from an Air Force Magazine article on EELV (http://airforcemag.com/MagazineArchive/Pages/2017/September%202017/Space-Launch-Competition.aspx):
Quote
When asked if recycled rockets could be used for launches as soon as EELV Phase 1A, Raymond was unwilling to commit to a timetable, but said, “I’m open to it.” SMC’s Leon expressed similar optimism with a bit more caution. “We don’t have a schedule for it yet” at EELV, she said. She thinks the Air Force is more likely to use recycled boosters first in “experimental-class programs” that can take advantage of rapid acquisition authorities. “You’re not going to see it in phase 1A as far as I can tell,” Leon said.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: speedevil on 12/29/2017 03:11 PM
By late next year F9 is not going to be flying 7+ times a month.  That's more than double the flight rate SpaceX is aiming for next year.
More than double the rate indeed.
But, three times a month (as has happened twice this year) is more than double the rate of launches this year.

Might seven a month happen with four pads, and a similar bunching of scheduling with 30 or 35 launches  a year - maybe.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 12/29/2017 04:36 PM
I agree that the stability of Block 5 is needed for USAF certification.  2018 should see many fly, and refly, so certification is soon to follow.

By 2019 (or perhaps even late next year), F9B5 could be flying more launches in a hot/busy month than Atlas V or Ariane 5 fly in a year.

By late next year F9 is not going to be flying 7+ times a month.  That's more than double the flight rate SpaceX is aiming for next year.

Here is an excerpt from an Air Force Magazine article on EELV (http://airforcemag.com/MagazineArchive/Pages/2017/September%202017/Space-Launch-Competition.aspx):
Quote
When asked if recycled rockets could be used for launches as soon as EELV Phase 1A, Raymond was unwilling to commit to a timetable, but said, “I’m open to it.” SMC’s Leon expressed similar optimism with a bit more caution. “We don’t have a schedule for it yet” at EELV, she said. She thinks the Air Force is more likely to use recycled boosters first in “experimental-class programs” that can take advantage of rapid acquisition authorities. “You’re not going to see it in phase 1A as far as I can tell,” Leon said.

That quote from General Raymond was made five weeks after the first reflight.
https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/space-symposium/2017/04/06/air-force-space-command-head-open-to-reusable-rockets/

The quote from (former Boeing executive) Claire Leon is from an unknown date, but refers to the above statement from the Space Symposium.  She did make a statement a month later on July 5th (still only one reflight) that pre-flown boosters would be precluded:

Quote
For the first part of the Pentagon’s competitive space launch contracts — dubbed Phase 1A — the Air Force has decided not to allow previously flown boosters for any missions.

Leon said that approving reusable-rocket technology would require an entirely new certification process, at a time when the military wants to focus certifying things like the Falcon Heavy or new entrants like Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.

However, the service is open to eventually accepting reusable technology as part of a company’s bid.

“We are trying to reduce the cost of launch, and if this is the offering from commercial providers we need to get on board,” Leon said. “It’s just going to take us a little bit of time, but it is something we are starting to study first. Longer term my hope is any company that’s offering flight proven hardware demonstrates or develops a track record that helps us build confidence.”
http://spacenews.com/air-force-ask-spacex-ula-to-bid-on-a-five-launch-contract/

Five boosters are now reflown; many more to follow in next few months.  USAF requires three flights at base level for certification.  Question is, whether a flight-proven Falcon 9 is a 'new' vehicle like FH, or if it is just a flight tested version of an already certified vehicle.

Note: Certifying Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin is years off into the future.  I suspect that flight-proven boosters will be pushed (via court if necessary) long before then.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: ZachF on 12/29/2017 04:51 PM
I agree that the stability of Block 5 is needed for USAF certification.  2018 should see many fly, and refly, so certification is soon to follow.

By 2019 (or perhaps even late next year), F9B5 could be flying more launches in a hot/busy month than Atlas V or Ariane 5 fly in a year.

By late next year F9 is not going to be flying 7+ times a month.  That's more than double the flight rate SpaceX is aiming for next year.

Here is an excerpt from an Air Force Magazine article on EELV (http://airforcemag.com/MagazineArchive/Pages/2017/September%202017/Space-Launch-Competition.aspx):
Quote
When asked if recycled rockets could be used for launches as soon as EELV Phase 1A, Raymond was unwilling to commit to a timetable, but said, “I’m open to it.” SMC’s Leon expressed similar optimism with a bit more caution. “We don’t have a schedule for it yet” at EELV, she said. She thinks the Air Force is more likely to use recycled boosters first in “experimental-class programs” that can take advantage of rapid acquisition authorities. “You’re not going to see it in phase 1A as far as I can tell,” Leon said.

For 2019 SpaceX is aiming for over 40 a year, which is ~4 a month. Some months will probably be a good deal more, and some less (or even 0). Ariane launches 5-7 times a year (6 this year), and Atlas V 6-9 times a year.(6 this year) With 3 pads operational I don't think a single hot month of ~7 launches in out of the question, probably not in 2018 but perhaps 2019.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 12/29/2017 06:01 PM
2019 has a goal of 30-40 flights for customers per GS, and an unknown number of Starlink flights.  Could easily be ten or more of the latter, so 40-50+ flights.  Since it is possible that they will only fabricate 10-15 Block 5 boosters per year, and likely all Starlink flights will be on reflown boosters (the zeroth 'customer view' on reuse is expected to be bullish), there will have to be something like 30-40 reflights, or 3-ish reused boosters flying per month.

At that point, Atlas v's and Ariane 5's diminishingly small flight rates won't matter.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/11/2018 01:03 PM
I missed the possibility, now confirmed, of SES-16 (GovSat1) launching this month on a flight-proven booster:

Quote from: SpaceFlightNow
SES is considering launching its next satellite — SES 16 developed in partnership with the government of Luxembourg — with a reused Falcon 9 booster in January.

Article Link (https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/10/12/spacex-launches-its-15th-mission-of-the-year/)

SES 16 slips to January and on a re-used booster (as I think can be expected for most SES flights from here on out).

Confirmation it's flight-proven in today's press release (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36807.msg1770322#msg1770322). I'll update the first post in the thread.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Lar on 01/11/2018 08:25 PM
I love the table in the first post but I wonder if there is some way to distinguish among announcments, planned launches, and actual launches in a visual manner that isn't dependent on color. Maybe indenting? Just musing.  Thanks for doing it!
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: rockets4life97 on 01/11/2018 08:26 PM
I love the table in the first post but I wonder if there is some way to distinguish among announcments, planned launches, and actual launches in a visual manner that isn't dependent on color.

Maybe bold actual and planned launches? It would bring out the color difference and differentiate from announcements.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/25/2018 03:34 PM
I’m sorry, I completely missed the last couple of posts, my apologies.

I’ve tried doing the re-use dates in bold in the first post. I haven’t put the names in bold as well due to the extra width it would use. Not sure if I’m happy with the result or not, but at least I think the re-use entries stand out more!
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 01/25/2018 04:34 PM
I’m sorry, I completely missed the last couple of posts, my apologies.

I’ve tried doing the re-use dates in bold in the first post. I haven’t put the names in bold as well due to the extra width it would use. Not sure if I’m happy with the result or not, but at least I think the re-use entries stand out more!

Maybe highlighting 1st reuse, 2nd reuse, etc. in 'Event' column would not mess with formatting but still raise visibility.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 01/27/2018 11:27 AM
Availability of Block 5, customer early acceptance, and Khrunichev's quality problems have created the perfect storm:

Quote
Russia’s Proton rocket falls on hard times
Quote
After 53 years in service, the main Russian launcher is running out of customers.

Quote
The Proton rocket, Russia’s primary commercial launch vehicle, faces a life-and-death struggle to remain a competitive player on the international launch market, industry sources say. The veteran Soviet space rocket has spent nearly a quarter of a century as the vehicle of choice for operators of communications satellites all over the world. But it has fallen to near-irrelevance in just a matter of two years. After reaching a peak of 12 launches in 2010, the Proton is now staring at a real possibility of flying just a couple of missions this year and not delivering a single commercial payload.

Quote
All these technical, political, and financial problems combined to leave GKNPTs Khrunichev deeply in debt and triggered the exodus of customers last year—as many as five deals were reportedly lost in the second half of 2017.
https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/01/russias-proton-rocket-falls-on-hard-times/

Maybe this prediction (below) wasn't so much fantasy as many here pooh-pooh'd.

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/media?lang=en
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Kosmos2001 on 01/27/2018 01:21 PM
Those decimals in the Y axis are totally unnecessary. :/
Title: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/27/2018 01:36 PM
Maybe highlighting 1st reuse, 2nd reuse, etc. in 'Event' column would not mess with formatting but still raise visibility.

Turns out that specifying a colour does override default link colour for URLs, doh! So I’ve now coloured whole rows and removed the bold.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 01/28/2018 02:26 PM
Availability of Block 5, customer early acceptance, and Khrunichev's quality problems have created the perfect storm:

https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/01/russias-proton-rocket-falls-on-hard-times/

Maybe this prediction (below) wasn't so much fantasy as many here pooh-pooh'd.

Plus the significant contraction in new commercial satellite orders for payloads in Proton's class.  At least a few lean years ahead.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Craig_VG on 02/01/2018 10:44 PM
Looks like half of all flights in 2018 will be used boosters:

"WIRED learned from sources with knowledge of the manifest that in 2018, the company intends to fly 50 percent of its 30 planned missions on recycled rockets."

https://www.wired.com/story/spacex-gears-up-to-finally-actually-launch-the-falcon-heavy/?mbid=social_twitter_onsiteshare
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: speedevil on 02/02/2018 09:16 AM
Looks like half of all flights in 2018 will be used boosters:

I do wonder how many reflights the most reflown booster will get.
I think it's a moderately safe bet that it'll be over two, especially given Ms Shotwells 'ten reflights with minimal refurbishment'.

This could really slash the number of cores needed while waiting for BFR/S.

If they manage five reflights on one core, and have 17 new B5 cores made, that's ~80 launches banked, easily enough to get to at least prototype BFS without manufacturing more, or flying >5 times.
That is, make more through 2018, fly reused only in 2019 on, with the exception of crew - perhaps.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 02/02/2018 02:12 PM
Looks like half of all flights in 2018 will be used boosters:

"WIRED learned from sources with knowledge of the manifest that in 2018, the company intends to fly 50 percent of its 30 planned missions on recycled rockets."

https://www.wired.com/story/spacex-gears-up-to-finally-actually-launch-the-falcon-heavy/?mbid=social_twitter_onsiteshare

For the last four flights of 2017 and first four of 2018 (assuming that includes FH Demo), there will have been seven reused cores out of the ten cores flown... so we are already operating in the >50% mode.  10 months after first reflight!!!

Answering Guckyfan's 18-month old question:
Quote
When will reused first stages be the majority of launches?

The serial full duration tests of the JCSAT-14 booster at McGregor  let me think about this. We are getting near to proof that the landed boosters are all capable of reflight. I move a reply in the SpaceX Manifest Updates and Discussion Thread 4 here because it is not appropriate there. I argue that contracts signed today for new boosters will not delay the transition. They can and will be renegotiated.

There is not going to be any sudden rush to buy reused cores, especially before one has flown.

.................

Let's give SpaceX a chance to actually qualify a booster for reflight and their customers a chance to get comfortable with the idea before we start assuming everything will suddenly start flying on reused cores.

Absolutely true, I agree. But I would bet (just a phrase, I don't bet) that in 2019 most launches will be on reused boosters including contracts already signed for new ones. The contracts will be renegotiated with reusable prices. By that time they will probably have enough cores in store that they don't need to build new ones before the Falcon family is phased out.
bolds mine

There apparently was a 'rush'
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/14/2018 08:51 AM
Looks like half of all flights in 2018 will be used boosters:

"WIRED learned from sources with knowledge of the manifest that in 2018, the company intends to fly 50 percent of its 30 planned missions on recycled rockets."

https://www.wired.com/story/spacex-gears-up-to-finally-actually-launch-the-falcon-heavy/?mbid=social_twitter_onsiteshare

Here’s a direct quote from Gwynne:

Quote
While Musk takes a lot of credit for his vision, in Shotwell he found the perfect executive to run SpaceX like a finely oiled machine. She is one of the most admired and respected executives in our industry, and an inspiration for young women around the world.

http://interactive.satellitetoday.com/via/march-2018/2017-satellite-executive-of-the-year-gwynne-shotwell-president-and-coo-spacex/

Couple of interesting snippets in the interview:

Quote
We have 26-30 flights in 2018, but around half of those will be flight proven.

[...]
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/26/2018 04:30 PM
I'm intending to use this thread to also cover any customer views on fairing re-use.

Given last weeks progress with recovery, feels like a fairing re-use (or at least half a fairing) is a distinct possibility later this year. I'm not sure any customers have yet commented on it, but please post if I've missed something or you see anything in the future.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Lar on 02/26/2018 06:08 PM
I would be surprised if customers had really strong views on fairing reuse one way or the other. But not that surprised.

(*took a flyer* and tweeted @iridiumBoss to get his view, or tried. Like it if you like:

https://twitter.com/lar_p/status/968203449358729216

Quote
@IridiumBoss - Fairing reuse by @SpaceX is close to here. Your view? Iridium will: "be first to"/"ok to, but not FIRST to"/"never" reuse a fairing? Do you see any major risks in reuse? Your thought leadership matters.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Lar on 02/26/2018 10:20 PM
Matt answered me

https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/968242780429602816
Quote
Replying to @lar_p @SpaceX

Open to considering, but have a fiduciary duty to customers/employees/investors etc to make the right decision balancing risk and reward.  ? is hypothetical; would need to understand risks and rewards - which include schedule, cost, etc.  Can't be guinea pig for science's sake.

Fair enough, I guess... but eventually everyone will want the discount (presumably SpaceX will start charging different prices)...
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 02/26/2018 11:23 PM
Matt answered me

https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/968242780429602816
Quote
Replying to @lar_p @SpaceX

Open to considering, but have a fiduciary duty to customers/employees/investors etc to make the right decision balancing risk and reward.  ? is hypothetical; would need to understand risks and rewards - which include schedule, cost, etc.  Can't be guinea pig for science's sake.

Fair enough, I guess... but eventually everyone will want the discount (presumably SpaceX will start charging different prices)...

He had the same for flight proven boosters. No surprise, exactly what I thought he'd respond with.

He has a constellation to put in place, with consecutive launches that must succeed, as the entire constellation has to be in place for the services to be sold on it.

Unlike a customer like SES, where a sat at a time matters. They are more interested in this than Iridium/NG.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: IntoTheVoid on 02/28/2018 05:12 AM
Matt answered me

https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/968242780429602816
Quote
Replying to @lar_p @SpaceX

Open to considering, but have a fiduciary duty to customers/employees/investors etc to make the right decision balancing risk and reward.  ? is hypothetical; would need to understand risks and rewards - which include schedule, cost, etc.  Can't be guinea pig for science's sake.
I bolded what seems to be the important part. Matt has been a great SpaceX supporter, but he is probably not thinking about reused fairings beyond the fan perspective. Professionally he's hoping to have his constellation finished before a reasonable expectation of fairing reuse.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 03/01/2018 07:38 AM
Professionally he's hoping to have his constellation finished before a reasonable expectation of fairing reuse.

Exactly.  Great idea by Lar to tweet at someone who was willing to consider the question and then answer!  But for Iridium, it's really a moot issue at this point as they'll likely have completed all their launches before SpaceX is ready to offer a reused fairing for launch.  Especially true as any potential customer thinking about reusing one would need to do their own evaluation prior to okaying the idea. 

From a "likely prospective customer" standpoint, maybe a better person to ask would be Martin Halliwell, CTO of SES.  Even though, looking at the manifest, they don't have any missions currently on contract that would use one either.  It will be a consideration going forward for any future launches purchased by them and that is a much nearer term prospect than it is for Iridium.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/03/2018 10:57 PM
Matt answered me

https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/968242780429602816
Quote
Replying to @lar_p @SpaceX

Open to considering, but have a fiduciary duty to customers/employees/investors etc to make the right decision balancing risk and reward.  ? is hypothetical; would need to understand risks and rewards - which include schedule, cost, etc.  Can't be guinea pig for science's sake.

Fair enough, I guess... but eventually everyone will want the discount (presumably SpaceX will start charging different prices)...

I’m getting old, I’d completely forgotten this post:

A type of reuse I haven’t noticed customers discussing before:

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

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

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

https://twitter.com/iridiumboss/status/943547579001987073
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/03/2018 11:04 PM
With Iridium-5 currently scheduled to be 1 day short of the first anniversary of the first booster reuse (SES-10), the first year looks like having 21 SpaceX launches, with 23 boosters, 10 of which will be reused.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Lar on 03/03/2018 11:14 PM
That's a pretty good takeup rate. And it's partly skewed by block 3 and 4 not being reflown that many times.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/14/2018 04:08 PM
Cross-posting 2 new missions re-using boosters:

Two new launches:
Quote
Maxar Technologies’ DigitalGlobe Selects SpaceX to Launch its Next-generation WorldView Legion Satellites
Quote
The initial block of the multi-satellite WorldView Legion constellation will be launched by two flight-proven Falcon 9 rockets in 2021.
https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180314005049/en/Maxar-Technologies%E2%80%99-DigitalGlobe-Selects-SpaceX-Launch-Next-generation
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/16/2018 06:38 PM
Finally confirmation of booster reuse for CRS-14:

Quote
NASA’s upcoming CRS-14 ISS resupply mission will re-fly SpaceX Falcon 9 booster flown on CRS-12. Dragon previously flew CRS-8.

https://twitter.com/flatoday_jdean/status/974719813162602496 (https://twitter.com/flatoday_jdean/status/974719813162602496)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: hplan on 03/19/2018 11:00 PM
Musk has talked many times about how if human presence in space is to increase, costs have to come way down. He's talked about significant reductions in Falcon 9 costs due to reuse, but that hasn't translated into a reduction in price. Now he's talking about an eventual $5 million cost of a BFR launch.

The price decrease for Falcon 9 didn't happen because SpaceX wanted to recoup development costs and, presumably, raise money for BFR. There have been hints that BFR revenue will fund Mars missions, so again, not much price cutting is likely compared to Falcon 9 prices.

At some point, if Musk wants to spur growth in HSF, he'll have to lower prices considerably, right?

What do you think are the chances that when and if StarLink revenue starts rolling in, Musk will decide that SpaceX launches don't have to make the money to support the Mars missions and lower launch prices to something close to costs?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: IainMcClatchie on 03/20/2018 01:56 AM
One common problem with introducing a lower cost product is that you can end up lowering the total amount of revenue in the market if that market doesn't expand much with your new lower costs.  That is, if the market is inelastic, even temporarily.

What you'd like is some protection from this inelasticity.  In particular , you'd like to strongly segment the market, so that the inelastic purchasers still pay the high prior prices, but the new elastic portion of the market is exposed to your lower prices and able to grow.  You give a new customer a massive volume discount.

SpaceX is doing just this.  StarLink is an internal SpaceX project because that minimizes market risk.  If SpaceX and StarLink were separate, for example, if StarLink were part of Google, then they'd have to negotiate a launch price.  That price makes it possible for one to go bankrupt while the other has excess cash.

That price also leads to difficulties with other customers.  Government customers typically have contractual clauses that state that the price is as low as any other comparable customer pays.  This leads to arrangements where the provider must deliver something to the government which is somehow substantially different from what is provided to other customers.  Sometimes this is natural but in many cases it interferes with standardization and economies of scale.

Another problem with a special low price for StarLink is that the terms require a lot of forward speculation.  Do they get a quantity discount?  Does that quantity discount apply to the first few R&D launches? How do you then convince SES to keep paying $50m/launch?

Google wants cheap ubiquitous last-mile access.  My guess is that StarLink will have several rough years initially, and Google will pump money into it during that time to keep it afloat, so long as Elon can keep Larry's enthusiasm up.  Google can sometimes have a short attention span and take on too many project only to abandon them.  But Google is also capable of long term large scale funding, as in the case of Chauffeur.

I think we'll see significant flights to Mars only after StarLink's customer base and revenue becomes large.

I think we'll see launch costs for the 25-50 launches per year of traditional operators drift downward slowly as SpaceX milks the cash cow.  Something like pricing on Microsoft Word.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: envy887 on 03/20/2018 02:56 AM
SpaceX hasn't been able to launch fast enough to satisfy the market at their current prices. So regardless of whether the market is elastic or not, lowering prices could only possibly lower revenue. Once they catch up on the manifest, we might see them try to gauge the elasticity of the market with lower prices.

Reuse helps them with this is two ways: it's cheaper, so better profit margin, and it allows more launches in the same time, so they have flexibility.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: OnWithTheShow on 03/20/2018 05:16 PM
Something else to keep in mind is that they are currently beating all their competitors on price. No real reason to lower you costs further when you are already the most affordable option in town. If and when we see competitive prices from the other launchers then I expect to see F9 prices start to come down.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 03/20/2018 09:53 PM
Something else to keep in mind is that they are currently beating all their competitors on price. No real reason to lower you costs further when you are already the most affordable option in town. If and when we see competitive prices from the other launchers then I expect to see F9 prices start to come down.

Lowering costs always helps, and they are still doing that with a vengeance; lowering prices is what you are getting at, right?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 03/22/2018 04:16 AM
Some relevant Tweets:
Quote
Tagnan (https://twitter.com/mrtagnan/status/964675873365463046):
What about iridium 6? At the very least do you know if it will be reused or not?

Matt Desch (https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/964695563110404096):
Considering, but its a ride share so a little more complicated and hasn't been totally finalized...

Tagnan (https://twitter.com/mrtagnan/status/964698939613237248):
How much do ride shares get to decide in terms of vehicle used and other options?

Matt Desch (https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/964844838867931136):
It's a cooperative effort, and mostly decided up front in a contract, or in ongoing discussions as you jointly prepare and project manage towards the launch.  In this case, we're the lead with SpaceX, but we work to make sure decisions are right for our rideshare partner too.

This launch [Iridium-6 w/GRACE-FO] will be on a flight proven booster
https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/976575188614762496

Iridium is the lead on the contract, but based on Mr. Desch's previous comments Germany's DLR (and maybe NASA's LSP) is okay with the flight proven booster now.  Also, even though LSP wasn't the contracting agency for GRACE-FO, this will give them some additional exposure/involvement in evaluating flight proven boosters.  Hopefully SpaceX will be able to get them to fully approve a reused booster on a mission for which they are the contracting party in the near term future.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 03/30/2018 12:45 PM
More comments from Matt Desch:
Quote
Iridium boss senses shift in SpaceX rhythm with another launch set for Friday
Quote
On the eve of the Iridium’s fifth launch with SpaceX, the mobile telecom satellite operator’s chief executive says he no longer has to wait for SpaceX’s rockets to be ready. Instead, Iridium’s satellite team is racing to keep pace churning spacecraft off their assembly line.
Quote
“I’m satisfied. It’s meeting our needs,” Desch said of the launch cadence. “We really are focused on completing our Iridium Next constellation this year. I’d like it completed in the third quarter if possible. What I’m really pleased with is that SpaceX has stepped up this year so far. I saw a quote from (SpaceX president and chief operating officer) Gwynne (Shotwell) last week saying it’s nice that she’s waiting on her customers versus the other way around. I think that, at least as it relates to us, is true. We’ve just got to get the satellites ready.
Quote
At the time, he said made the change after receiving assurances the previously-flown boosters were no more risky — and perhaps less so — than a newly-built rocket. The switch to reused rockets also kept Iridium’s launch campaigns on schedule — it was clear that waiting for new boosters from SpaceX’s factory would delay the upgraded network’s deployment, Desch said.

“We’d be in a different place if we were using new rockets,” Desch said.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/03/29/iridium-boss-senses-shift-in-spacex-rhythm/

Sounds like a customer that couldn't be persuaded to go back to new boosters...
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: rockets4life97 on 03/30/2018 01:12 PM
I can't wait for SpaceX to have garages full of Block Vs ready for re-use. Then, they will really be waiting for customers.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 03/30/2018 04:46 PM
Nice on-topic article:
Quote
After one year, reusable rockets becoming routine for SpaceX

Quote
“I don’t want to get complacent, but I think we understand reusable boosters,” CEO Elon Musk said Feb. 6, after two recycled boosters assisted the successful debut of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket.

What seemed very risky a year ago has quickly won buy-in from customers.

Six of SpaceX’s last nine launches have used pre-flown boosters, not including the Falcon Heavy test flight.

“It’s becoming de rigueur now,” said Martin Halliwell, chief technology officer of Luxembourg-based SES, the first company to take a chance launching on a pre-flown Falcon. “It’s becoming commonplace, which is quite extraordinary in the time of a year.”

Buy-in from customers has come surprisingly quickly.
Quote
Space industry consultant Jim Muncy, founder of PoliSpace, is bullish, predicting it won't be long before Cape Canaveral hosts 50 to 100 launches a year, thanks to SpaceX’s reusable rockets and another being designed by Blue Origin, the firm backed by Amazon.com founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos.

“They didn’t do this as a science experiment,” said Muncy. “They did it because it’s the right answer economically and financially for the industry, for their customers, for themselves as venture.”
https://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2018/03/30/after-one-year-reusable-rockets-becoming-routine-spacex/470757002/
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/13/2018 09:47 AM
Just noticed that last week marked the first anniversary of this thread. I must admit things have moved rather quicker than I expected then.

Currently I'm still maintaining the re-use summary in the thread's first post. However, with Block 5 introduction imminent, and it seems general customer acceptance of re-use, I'm wondering if this thread is reaching the point where it's served it's purpose? Or do we keep going until at least fairing re-use is established?

Views welcome.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: speedevil on 04/13/2018 10:07 AM
Just noticed that last week marked the first anniversary of this thread. I must admit things have moved rather quicker than I expected then.

Currently I'm still maintaining the re-use summary in the thread's first post. However, with Block 5 introduction imminent, and it seems general customer acceptance of re-use, I'm wondering if this thread is reaching the point where it's served it's purpose? Or do we keep going until at least fairing re-use is established?

Views welcome.

I'd say it still has function at least out until FH stops flying, and BFS takes over.
Which is at least a couple of years away :)

Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/13/2018 10:22 AM
Just realised have nothing explicit in this thread about SES-12 reusing a booster.

It was confirmed in SES press release yesterday (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43648.msg1809560#msg1809560). I'll update the first post.

Edit: actually earlier confirmation on April 5 in media accreditation announcement

Quote
Several launches away, but SpaceX has opened media accreditation for SES-12. "The launch (from SLC-40) is targeted for no earlier than May."
 
"A flight-proven Falcon 9 rocket will deliver SES-12 to a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO)."

SES-12: ses.com/our-coverage/s…

https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/981975803922735104
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 04/13/2018 07:39 PM
Just noticed that last week marked the first anniversary of this thread. I must admit things have moved rather quicker than I expected then.

Currently I'm still maintaining the re-use summary in the thread's first post. However, with Block 5 introduction imminent, and it seems general customer acceptance of re-use, I'm wondering if this thread is reaching the point where it's served it's purpose? Or do we keep going until at least fairing re-use is established?

Views welcome.

There will likely still be at least 2-3 hold outs worth following in NSS launches, NASA LSP, and NASA Commercial Crew.  Not that they are necessarily solidly opposed to reuse, just that they don't have it figured out yet how to go about certifying a reused booster for flight.  NASA's experience with doing so for CRS missions has likely helped lay some groundwork for LSP.  Not sure about for CC.  The USAF has made statements in the past about their openness to the idea in theory but needing to work out the practical application and requirements, etc.  So I think the thread is worthwhile to maintain as we follow those institutional customers on their path.  But I agree that from the purely commercial side, it's almost fully adopted.  Next milestones there will be for reuse of boosters that have flown non-LEO trajectories on their first flight and for multiple reuse (i.e. the booster has already flown more than once).
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/15/2018 05:23 PM
From the TESS SpaceX mission thread:

Key points from SpaceX's Hans Koenigsmann at a NASA Social event a few moments ago.
 -  Confirmed landing on OCISLY
[...]

Edit: I forgot an important one!
  - The plan is for this booster to fly again on the next CRS mission pending NASA approval.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: speedevil on 04/16/2018 02:57 AM
I'd say it still has function at least out until FH stops flying, and BFS takes over.
Which is at least a couple of years away :)

And it just became a whole lot more relevant again.

Might 2019 be the year when the first reused S2 flies?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: yokem55 on 04/16/2018 03:01 AM


I'd say it still has function at least out until FH stops flying, and BFS takes over.
Which is at least a couple of years away :)

And it just became a whole lot more relevant again.

Might 2019 be the year when the first reused S2 flies?
2020 at the earliest. It will likely take several iterations to get to recovery if it works at all. Then it will probably take a dev cycle to actually make the 2nd stage reusable after being recovered.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/16/2018 03:13 AM


I'd say it still has function at least out until FH stops flying, and BFS takes over.
Which is at least a couple of years away :)

And it just became a whole lot more relevant again.

Might 2019 be the year when the first reused S2 flies?
2020 at the earliest. It will likely take several iterations to get to recovery if it works at all. Then it will probably take a dev cycle to actually make the 2nd stage reusable after being recovered.
It only took 15 months from 1st first stage recovery to first time they reused a booster on a flight. Could take longer or shorter. So if they get lucky and do it during the first few attempts, it could definitely be by 2019.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 04/26/2018 02:54 PM
Customer acceptance in the marketplace and China's play to compete:
Quote
China sees rocket tech boost
Nation in position to 'challenge US monopoly'
Quote
At an aerospace industry seminar on Tuesday, leading Chinese carrier rocket designer Long Lehao said that China is expected to realize vertical recycling - similar to the technology employed by US-based firm SpaceX - by 2020 at the earliest on its CZ-8 rockets. This will further lower the price tag of a launch and boost China's chances of getting international commercial satellite launch orders, the CCTV report said.
http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1099856.shtml
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: octavo on 04/26/2018 06:13 PM
Customer acceptance in the marketplace and China's play to compete:
Quote
China sees rocket tech boost
Nation in position to 'challenge US monopoly'
Quote
At an aerospace industry seminar on Tuesday, leading Chinese carrier rocket designer Long Lehao said that China is expected to realize vertical recycling - similar to the technology employed by US-based firm SpaceX - by 2020 at the earliest on its CZ-8 rockets. This will further lower the price tag of a launch and boost China's chances of getting international commercial satellite launch orders, the CCTV report said.
http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1099856.shtml
[QUOTE ]So far, SpaceX has only conducted a few launches with used rockets and the company has not achieved profitability, Yang pointed out. [/QUOTE]

Yet they're still going to persue the technology. Uh huh. Sure.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/12/2018 06:45 PM
Customer acceptance in the marketplace and China's play to compete:
Quote
China sees rocket tech boost
Nation in position to 'challenge US monopoly'
Quote
At an aerospace industry seminar on Tuesday, leading Chinese carrier rocket designer Long Lehao said that China is expected to realize vertical recycling - similar to the technology employed by US-based firm SpaceX - by 2020 at the earliest on its CZ-8 rockets. This will further lower the price tag of a launch and boost China's chances of getting international commercial satellite launch orders, the CCTV report said.
http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1099856.shtml
Quote
So far, SpaceX has only conducted a few launches with used rockets and the company has not achieved profitability, Yang pointed out.

Yet they're still going to persue the technology. Uh huh. Sure.
Except by the end of the first half of 2018 SpaceX reflight rate of boosters will be 9 used out of a total of 15 flown = 60% reflight rate. That is with just BLK3 and 4s.

This is the meaning that I get is that launches are more likely to use a used booster than a new one. Which has the corollary meaning that customers are comfortable with the use of a used booster.

With BLK5 just doing 2 reflights for every 1 new flight (it's first) that is only 66% reflight rate. Very close to same as now. At 3 reflights to 1 new that is 75% and at 4 used for every 1 new is 80%. If a BLK 5 actually achieves it's goal of 10 flights before major refurb or retirement then that is 9 reflights per 1 new or 90% reflight rate.

With BLK 5 now in action the reflight rates will only go up from here.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: niwax on 05/12/2018 08:04 PM
Quote
So far, SpaceX has only conducted a few launches with used rockets and the company has not achieved profitability, Yang pointed out.

Yet they're still going to persue the technology. Uh huh. Sure.

F9 as a whole is profitable. There is little reason reused F9s wouldn't be profitable right now
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Coastal Ron on 05/12/2018 08:17 PM
Customer acceptance in the marketplace and China's play to compete:
Quote
China sees rocket tech boost
Nation in position to 'challenge US monopoly'
Quote
At an aerospace industry seminar on Tuesday, leading Chinese carrier rocket designer Long Lehao said that China is expected to realize vertical recycling - similar to the technology employed by US-based firm SpaceX - by 2020 at the earliest on its CZ-8 rockets. This will further lower the price tag of a launch and boost China's chances of getting international commercial satellite launch orders, the CCTV report said.
http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1099856.shtml

Plenty of holes in the arguments that they make, so it's hard to understand if THEY understand why they should be building reusable rockets.

Their goal is to demonstrate 1st stage recovery in just 2 years, and it's not clear that they have started any hardware development. We know from watching SpaceX that it takes more than 2 years to get your hardware and software systems working well enough to succeed, so we'll have to watch and see how quickly they make progress.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 05/12/2018 10:51 PM
Quote
So far, SpaceX has only conducted a few launches with used rockets and the company has not achieved profitability, Yang pointed out.

Yet they're still going to persue the technology. Uh huh. Sure.

F9 as a whole is profitable. There is little reason reused F9s wouldn't be profitable right now
The original quote is talking about the company not the F9 as a product.  But @octavo's response to that Chinese quote was that if they didn't think SpaceX/F9 with reuse was going to be profitable, then why are they trying to copy them? 
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 05/12/2018 10:59 PM
Customer acceptance in the marketplace and China's play to compete:
Quote
China sees rocket tech boost
Nation in position to 'challenge US monopoly'
Quote
At an aerospace industry seminar on Tuesday, leading Chinese carrier rocket designer Long Lehao said that China is expected to realize vertical recycling - similar to the technology employed by US-based firm SpaceX - by 2020 at the earliest on its CZ-8 rockets. This will further lower the price tag of a launch and boost China's chances of getting international commercial satellite launch orders, the CCTV report said.
http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1099856.shtml

There's a large amount of nonsense in this article.

Quote
"In fact, it is the US' pursuit of recycled space transport vehicles that has delayed the US rocket sector, and opened up a precious window for Europe's Ariane rockets and Chinese rockets to take off in the global commercial launch market," Yang told the Global Times on Thursday.

Typical Chinese propaganda.

But it's interesting that they feel threatened enough by SpaceX to at least claim to be on the verge of catching up.  Even Chinese propaganda can't just ignore them any more.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: matthewkantar on 05/13/2018 12:37 AM
China is great at bullying companies into coughing up IP or just stealing it outright. SpaceX may possibly be harder to steal from, but I wouldn't bet against China getting their hands on the data. The reusability project has used up a billion dollars according to spaceX, paying someone tens of millions of dollars the secrets is a no brainer for the unscrupulous.

Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: envy887 on 05/13/2018 01:11 AM
China is great at bullying companies into coughing up IP or just stealing it outright. SpaceX may possibly be harder to steal from, but I wouldn't bet against China getting their hands on the data. The reusability project has used up a billion dollars according to spaceX, paying someone tens of millions of dollars the secrets is a no brainer for the unscrupulous.
What to build is only part of the battle. How to build it is just as challenging, as is actually building and testing it. Even with a complete set of blueprints, it would take at least two years to get a F9 clone tooled, built, and tested. Probably much longer.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: octavo on 05/13/2018 05:14 AM


Quote
So far, SpaceX has only conducted a few launches with used rockets and the company has not achieved profitability, Yang pointed out.

Yet they're still going to persue the technology. Uh huh. Sure.

F9 as a whole is profitable. There is little reason reused F9s wouldn't be profitable right now
The original quote is talking about the company not the F9 as a product.  But @octavo's response to that Chinese quote was that if they didn't think SpaceX/F9 with reuse was going to be profitable, then why are they trying to copy them?

Thanks deruch - I realize now in my quest to be dryly sarcastic, the post was a little cryptic and could have done with a bit more exposition.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: John Alan on 05/13/2018 05:27 AM
As long as China never gets the flight flash code embedded in the ECM's onboard... they will have have a very hard time getting a blueprint clone to work...  ;D

Examples...
It's rumored the Merlin startup sequence is not as simple as it looks... 
"how do you start this thing and not blow it up"...  :P

The landing code is rumored to be rather complex math wise...
"how do you land this thing and not crash"...  :P

Actually I look forward to them (or anyone else) trying to build reusable rockets on their own dime and time...
SpaceX has such a head start on the next generation... they will always be behind and flying less then really needed to work out the bugs...

A bigger question has recently surfaced however...  ???
Where is SpaceX going to hanger and maintain the stated 30 to 50 block 5's at??...  :o
I suppose 10 on the east coast...10 on the west... and the rest in Texas...
Still, it makes their current block 3/4 storage situation look tame in comparison...  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/13/2018 05:53 AM
We’re drifting somewhat from the topic of customer views on reuse ...

It’s interesting that China seems to think that reuse is needed to be cost competitive and that customers will be ok with reuse, provided it’s cost competitive, but anything about how China might achieve this is best discussed elsewhere.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Urx on 05/13/2018 09:56 AM
Customer acceptance in the marketplace and China's play to compete:

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1099856.shtml

There's a large amount of nonsense in this article.

Quote
"In fact, it is the US' pursuit of recycled space transport vehicles that has delayed the US rocket sector, and opened up a precious window for Europe's Ariane rockets and Chinese rockets to take off in the global commercial launch market," Yang told the Global Times on Thursday.

Typical Chinese propaganda.

But it's interesting that they feel threatened enough by SpaceX to at least claim to be on the verge of catching up.  Even Chinese propaganda can't just ignore them any more.

IMO this is a reference to the Space Shuttle program, not SpaceX' F9 reuse. It sounds correct to me in that context.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: IRobot on 05/13/2018 10:20 AM
China is great at bullying companies into coughing up IP or just stealing it outright. SpaceX may possibly be harder to steal from, but I wouldn't bet against China getting their hands on the data. The reusability project has used up a billion dollars according to spaceX, paying someone tens of millions of dollars the secrets is a no brainer for the unscrupulous.
SpaceX's major strengths are not IP related. 
Musk runs the company as a (modern) software company, which means, iterative development, try, fail and learn, take risks, improvise, lightweight chain of command, etc.

I've been running a SW project in a German company for the past 4 years. The company develops hardware and works in the most volatile business area in the world.
When I joined the company, they were still using waterfall project management, had a strict hierarchy, they were averse to risks and all of this was creating overburden developers, missed milestones and irrealistic plans a few weeks after being drafted, due to constant change of requirements.
Took me 2 years to convince them to let me run my projects in a more "agile" way and nowadays even some of the HW teams are using agile processes.

So if the Chinese or others want to copy SpaceX, they must start with the process, not with the technology.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 05/13/2018 11:33 AM
As long as China never gets the flight flash code embedded in the ECM's onboard... they will have have a very hard time getting a blueprint clone to work...  ;D

Examples...
It's rumored the Merlin startup sequence is not as simple as it looks... 
"how do you start this thing and not blow it up"...  :P

The landing code is rumored to be rather complex math wise...
"how do you land this thing and not crash"...  :P

Actually I look forward to them (or anyone else) trying to build reusable rockets on their own dime and time...
SpaceX has such a head start on the next generation... they will always be behind and flying less then really needed to work out the bugs...

...

I totally agree.

As flippantly as many toss out others building reusable rockets, I am convinced that any who attempt this will find that it is an incredibly challenging and expensive engineering task and failure will hang overhead as a looming large option.  My guestimate is that less than half of companies/countries that attempt this will succeed in creating a viable launch vehicle. 

The harder the efforts of others and the more frequent their failures, the more value that will be placed on the Falcon. It could easily be over ten years (maybe 20) before another end-of-development 'Block 5' analog emerges*.


* Excluding BFR.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: rpapo on 05/13/2018 11:54 AM
There is one major difference between now and when SpaceX started down the path to reusability: SpaceX has demonstrated that what was formerly considered impossible, and therefore not worth trying, is indeed possible.  One set of blinders has been removed from the engineering community at large.  There is no shortage of engineers out there that given a clear goal and knowing it is possible to achieve that goal, and given the money to work on that goal, can eventually accomplish it.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: niwax on 05/13/2018 12:03 PM
The harder the efforts of others and the more frequent their failures, the more value that will be placed on the Falcon. It could easily be over ten years (maybe 20) before another end-of-development 'Block 5' analog emerges*.

I wonder what acceleration practices China wants to use for their development. The typical "let it crash and burn over populated territory" doesn't really work for reusability.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 05/13/2018 01:09 PM
There is one major difference between now and when SpaceX started down the path to reusability: SpaceX has demonstrated that what was formerly considered impossible, and therefore not worth trying, is indeed possible.  One set of blinders has been removed from the engineering community at large.  There is no shortage of engineers out there that given a clear goal and knowing it is possible to achieve that goal, and given the money to work on that goal, can eventually accomplish it.

Knowing it's possible certainly will trigger a flood of followers, as it apparently has.  What those who follow will find, though, is that they need to rethink from scratch what existing hardware is viable, and what is a dead end.  An example is engine technology -- can you get away with thrust-to-weight ratios of 50-100 as has become standard for expendable engines, or is 150-200 needed*?  Are the existing tankage fabrication approaches viable, or is something much cheaper and lighter required?  Do solid strap-on boosters fit into the picture? Can a hovering landing ever be mass-efficient enough or is a hover-slam (T/W>1) required?  How much TPS and where? Grid fins or brake flaps? What level of reliability is sufficient to grab a share of the market -- 90% or 99%?  Etc...

Falcon found 'All of the Above' to be the answer.  Some are trying with a scattering of these choices...


* Are there any commercially available engines that are good enough, or do we need to start from scratch with engine development?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 05/13/2018 02:04 PM
Hardware selection is important, but possibly not the limiting factor.
MeekGee nailed it five years ago, IMO.

(I like this thread concept.)

I’ve been following the space industry since I was a kid, and it’s been a frustrating experience. I’m not in it for the fireworks – I’m in it for the goal of expanding humanity beyond Earth.

IMO, SpaceX is a game changer – far apart from anything that preceded it – and the most likely entity to break out of the cycle that the space industry has been stuck in for the last 40 years.  This does not mean that they are perfect – I share the frustrations that have been voiced on this forum many times – but it does mean that in the grand scheme of things, these frustrations are insignificant.

The reason SpaceX is unique is that it is the first company that brings together technical competency, vision, and the ability to negotiate the business and political world – what I called “balls” in the Venn diagram.

Competency: By this time their list of accomplishments speaks for itself. In 10 years, they went from zero to having completed the Merlin 1D, F9 1.1 and FH (almost), Dragon 1.0, and GH.  Within 2 years more, they will have very likely completed another iteration of Merlin (based on retrieved engines), F9R/FHR, and Dragon 2.0.   This has never been done before by any group, “old space” or “new space”.

Vision: “SpaceX was founded to develop the technology to get humans to Mars – to make humanity multi-planetary. Everything we do is an incremental step towards that goal, including Dragon developments.”  Not hedging much, are they.  Remember how NASA couldn’t say “Mars” and “manned” in the same sentence? We don’t know much about MCT, but we do know that it is a step above FH, and part of an overall Mars transport system.  That’s a lot of muscle power to back up a lot of vision.

Balls and business smarts: F9R is not the first attempt to create a reusable launcher – but it’s the first to be based on a profit generating ELV. This takes business genius, not technical genius. And similarly, the way F9 grew out of F1 – a combination of planning and adaptability (e.g. dumping F5).  The way Dragon will transition from a parachuted capsule with a pusher LAS to a propulsive landing capsule.  This is the kind of strategic thinking that differentiates a smart CEO from a smart proposal writer.  COTS/CRS was there on time for them, but NASA and SpaceX fed off of each other on that. There was a lot of behind-the-scenes work needed to make it happen – Elon didn't just stand there and get hit by good luck. SpaceX has now matured from an experiment to a company that’s taking the game deep into ULA’s half of the court.

Schedule slips?  I can live with them.  SpaceX never pretended to be a 40 year veteran with a rocket that is a 4th generation evolution of the original hardware.  Schedule slips come with the territory when you're developing at the breakneck pace that they are.  I hope they don't slow down.

So there. I’m tired of seeing power points, and I’m tired of hearing that “this is as good as it gets”. SpaceX is proving, in hardware, that it can get better.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: woods170 on 05/13/2018 04:39 PM
Customer acceptance in the marketplace and China's play to compete:

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1099856.shtml

There's a large amount of nonsense in this article.

Quote
"In fact, it is the US' pursuit of recycled space transport vehicles that has delayed the US rocket sector, and opened up a precious window for Europe's Ariane rockets and Chinese rockets to take off in the global commercial launch market," Yang told the Global Times on Thursday.

Typical Chinese propaganda.

But it's interesting that they feel threatened enough by SpaceX to at least claim to be on the verge of catching up.  Even Chinese propaganda can't just ignore them any more.

IMO this is a reference to the Space Shuttle program, not SpaceX' F9 reuse. It sounds correct to me in that context.

In fact, it is correct in that context. When shuttle moved in, all US ELV launches were forcefully shifted to Shuttle. That situation was left uncorrected for five years until Challenger happened. The USA then reverted back to ELVs, but the damage had already been done. Both Europe and China had gotten a foot between the door, with Arianespace eventually gaining a 50 percent market share. And that situation was left unchanged by the US government until this very day. The one reason US market share is on a steady rise, from a 30-year low, is not a US government agency, but a single US company: SpaceX.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: groundbound on 05/13/2018 05:15 PM
There is one major difference between now and when SpaceX started down the path to reusability: SpaceX has demonstrated that what was formerly considered impossible, and therefore not worth trying, is indeed possible.  One set of blinders has been removed from the engineering community at large.  There is no shortage of engineers out there that given a clear goal and knowing it is possible to achieve that goal, and given the money to work on that goal, can eventually accomplish it.

At the same time there is one thing that SpaceX used ruthlessly that is now gone: an expensive launch market that allowed lots of free re-use experiments while earning money.
Someone could try to do the same thing again, but the margins would be much much worse.

So now the path to success more likely requires adding nation state funding or a Bezos to the mix. Whether that element is compatible with agile development remains to be seen.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Robotbeat on 05/13/2018 05:18 PM
Not really. You can just hire ex-SpaceX people and copy a lot of SpaceX’s features like grid fins, legs, etc. if I were starting a launch company now, I’d probably do a lot more suborbital tests than SpaceX did in order to non-destructively build confidence cheaply.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/13/2018 06:38 PM
Not really. You can just hire ex-SpaceX people and copy a lot of SpaceX’s features like grid fins, legs, etc. if I were starting a launch company now, I’d probably do a lot more suborbital tests than SpaceX did in order to non-destructively build confidence cheaply.
You can also skip the parachutes and airbags plan and accept you need grid fins or equivalent to give adequate control authority from day one and demands a T/W of at least 150:1.

It also suggest you should go directly to Methalox if you want  to have a decent shot at US reuse.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: meekGee on 05/13/2018 07:26 PM
Not really. You can just hire ex-SpaceX people and copy a lot of SpaceX’s features like grid fins, legs, etc. if I were starting a launch company now, I’d probably do a lot more suborbital tests than SpaceX did in order to non-destructively build confidence cheaply.
You can also skip the parachutes and airbags plan and accept you need grid fins or equivalent to give adequate control authority from day one and demands a T/W of at least 150:1.

It also suggest you should go directly to Methalox if you want  to have a decent shot at US reuse.

The problem with "fast followers" is that they have no idea how to lead.

Case in point - BO.  They gathered all their strength for that one big jump from NS to NG.  They basically aimed for an "FH killer", "how to do an FH with all the benefit of hindsight" and without baggage that stretched back to F9.0 or even F1.

Announced it (September 2016) to great fanfare, and clearly from that point they can do it a lot faster than it took SpaceX to get to FH (though of course BO is as old as SpaceX).  Maybe 2020 timeframe even.

and then - BFR, and a year later, a plan to retire the whole F9/FH line in the forseeable future.

This is the downside of "follower" culture.

Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Semmel on 05/13/2018 08:10 PM
The problem with "fast followers" is that they have no idea how to lead.

Case in point - BO.  They gathered all their strength for that one big jump from NS to NG.  They basically aimed for an "FH killer", "how to do an FH with all the benefit of hindsight" and without baggage that stretched back to F9.0 or even F1.

Announced it (September 2016) to great fanfare, and clearly from that point they can do it a lot faster than it took SpaceX to get to FH (though of course BO is as old as SpaceX).  Maybe 2020 timeframe even.

and then - BFR, and a year later, a plan to retire the whole F9/FH line in the forseeable future.

This is the downside of "follower" culture.

Fast following works if you have an industry that is relatively straight forwards to master but requires some igniting idea or some realization that a specific device is actually useful and people really want to spend money on it. A good example are smart phones. After the iPhone, many other companies followed because the technology wasnt so far out of reach of most involved players and it was far more useful than thought by most big players (Nokia, anyone?).

But for things that are inherently difficult and very hard to do, even if you have the benefit of hind sight, these things are better for innovation leaders rather than followers. Thats because the innovator has a large lead and investments tend to be high, with low probability of success. The same problems are true for the leader, but he just lucked out, otherwise he wouldnt be a leader and the industry would not exist in the first place. A good example are reusable rockets.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Giovanni DS on 05/14/2018 01:08 PM
China is great at bullying companies into coughing up IP or just stealing it outright. SpaceX may possibly be harder to steal from, but I wouldn't bet against China getting their hands on the data. The reusability project has used up a billion dollars according to spaceX, paying someone tens of millions of dollars the secrets is a no brainer for the unscrupulous.

SpaceX itself should leak such critical data, just not the real one.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/14/2018 02:50 PM
In a probably vain attempt to get this thread back on topic ...

Quote
I know everyone wants lower cost launches but SpaceX is already the lowest cost option today. I'm not demanding lower prices because we're getting a great service. You don't ask an airline to discount fares because the plane is old. -[Matt] Desch [Iridium] #PaxEx

https://twitter.com/wandrme/status/996037883852140546
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deptrai on 05/22/2018 08:37 PM
A couple of hours ago at the Space Tech Expo in Pasadena, Joshua Brost of SpaceX spoke as part of a panel discussion.  He said that once they start flying boosters 10 times, risk averse customers may choose to take the second flight of a particular booster rather than the first.  The first would serve as a kind of check-out/test flight.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Mondagun on 05/22/2018 10:08 PM
A couple of hours ago at the Space Tech Expo in Pasadena, Joshua Brost of SpaceX spoke as part of a panel discussion.  He said that once they start flying boosters 10 times, risk averse customers may choose to take the second flight of a particular booster rather than the first.  The first would serve as a kind of check-out/test flight.
This seems entirely plausible (likely even, I'd say). The first flight can be seen as the end-to-end verification that the booster is free from (serious) workmanship errors.

The 2013 Proton-M mishap (http://www.spaceflight101.net/proton-m-block-dm-03-glonass-launch-2013.html) caused by wrongly installed inertial sensors comes to mind. If you're using a booster that has already flown once, then you can rule out the presence of these type of workmanship problems.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: cppetrie on 05/22/2018 11:23 PM
Maiden flights for aircraft occur before delivery to the vendor so it’s in line with their vision of space launch being similar to airline operations.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 05/23/2018 05:19 PM
Thought the 'competitors' bit was interesting:
Quote
SpaceX achievements generate growing interest in reusable launchers
Quote
As SpaceX launched another Falcon 9 with a previously-flown first stage May 22, both the company and its competitors are seeing a growing acceptance of reusable vehicles in the overall market.
https://mailchi.mp/spacenews/spacetechexpo-show-daily-spacex-achievements-generate-growing-interest-in-reusable-launchers-industry-warns-of-launch-vehicle-glut
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/29/2018 11:10 AM
So with the last non-block 5 orbital launch successfully completed, I guess we await news of which customer will be the first to use a flight proven block 5?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 06/29/2018 11:43 AM
So with the last non-block 5 orbital launch successfully completed, I guess we await news of which customer will be the first to use a flight proven block 5?

What we should watch for is the first customer which chooses a flight-proven booster because it is flight proven...  For quite a while, members of NSF have been predicting these reused boosters will be more reliable than maiden voyage boosters -- time is approaching when that prediction will be demonstrated.  Soon after, it should become "we've always known that..."

This paradigm shift is what will make BFS acceptable without launch abort hardware.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: meekGee on 06/29/2018 02:53 PM

What we should watch for is the first customer which chooses a flight-proven booster because it is flight proven...  For quite a while, members of NSF have been predicting these reused boosters will be more reliable than maiden voyage boosters -- time is approaching when that prediction will be demonstrated.  Soon after, it should become "we've always known that..."

This paradigm shift is what will make BFS acceptable without launch abort hardware.

Well put.

-----
ABCD: Always Be Counting Down
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 06/29/2018 06:59 PM
So with the last non-block 5 orbital launch successfully completed, I guess we await news of which customer will be the first to use a flight proven block 5?
Actually what we all await is what price SX will charge for it.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: envy887 on 06/29/2018 07:05 PM
So with the last non-block 5 orbital launch successfully completed, I guess we await news of which customer will be the first to use a flight proven block 5?
Actually what we all await is what price SX will charge for it.

About $50 million, per Musk. Since every Block 4 was long since sold when he said that, it should only apply to Block 5.

How much that drops from competition and any market expansion remains to be seen. That's the interesting part.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: rpapo on 06/29/2018 08:13 PM
Since every Block 4 was long since sold when he said that...
'Sold' ... terminology that is quickly becoming obsolete, as far as rockets are concerned.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 06/29/2018 11:12 PM
Since every Block 4 was long since sold when he said that...
'Sold' ... terminology that is quickly becoming obsolete, as far as rockets are concerned.
'Hired' better? Maybe 'booked'.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: speedevil on 06/30/2018 12:13 AM
Since every Block 4 was long since sold when he said that...
'Sold' ... terminology that is quickly becoming obsolete, as far as rockets are concerned.
Has any major rocket vendor ever actually sold the rockets?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: meekGee on 06/30/2018 06:21 AM
So with the last non-block 5 orbital launch successfully completed, I guess we await news of which customer will be the first to use a flight proven block 5?
Actually what we all await is what price SX will charge for it.
That's the least interesting number since until such time that competition shows up, SpaceX can keep margins arbitrarily high



-----
ABCD: Always Be Counting Down

Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 06/30/2018 08:35 AM
Since every Block 4 was long since sold when he said that...
'Sold' ... terminology that is quickly becoming obsolete, as far as rockets are concerned.
Has any major rocket vendor ever actually sold the rockets?
No. I'm not sure how it worked historically but most of the recent designs are launched by a crew working for a "Launch Services Provider" that's basically another part of the mfg. I think in the 60's some were launched by USAF crews.

It's a misconception customers (IE the people with the payloads) actually "buy" a rocket. They buy a "Ticket to ride" with the usual 1 in 50 failure risk. AIUI F9 will be on its 39th launch since RTF.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 06/30/2018 06:33 PM
Since every Block 4 was long since sold when he said that...
'Sold' ... terminology that is quickly becoming obsolete, as far as rockets are concerned.
Has any major rocket vendor ever actually sold the rockets?
No. I'm not sure how it worked historically but most of the recent designs are launched by a crew working for a "Launch Services Provider" that's basically another part of the mfg. I think in the 60's some were launched by USAF crews.

It's a misconception customers (IE the people with the payloads) actually "buy" a rocket. They buy a "Ticket to ride" with the usual 1 in 50 failure risk. AIUI F9 will be on its 39th launch since RTF.
Um..

18 (2017) + 12 (2018) = 4030 (which brings up where did 39 come from?

The real item is that in the last 6 months 9 used boosters have flown out of a total of 14 boosters flown. Such that it is now more likely that a flight will use a flown booster than a new one. 64% reflight rate.

What this generally means customers are less concerned with whether the booster is new or used but how much the price is. Acceptance is climbing for customers to near total across the board. Currently only the DOD seems to be the only holdout. But that is likely to change by EOY 2018.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: alang on 06/30/2018 07:33 PM
Since every Block 4 was long since sold when he said that...
'Sold' ... terminology that is quickly becoming obsolete, as far as rockets are concerned.
Has any major rocket vendor ever actually sold the rockets?
No. I'm not sure how it worked historically but most of the recent designs are launched by a crew working for a "Launch Services Provider" that's basically another part of the mfg. I think in the 60's some were launched by USAF crews.

It's a misconception customers (IE the people with the payloads) actually "buy" a rocket. They buy a "Ticket to ride" with the usual 1 in 50 failure risk. AIUI F9 will be on its 39th launch since RTF.
Um..

18 (2017) + 12 (2018) = 40

The real item is that in the last 6 months 9 used boosters have flown out of a total of 14 boosters flown. Such that it is now more likely that a flight will use a flown booster than a new one. 64% reflight rate.

What this generally means customers are less concerned with whether the booster is new or used but how much the price is. Acceptance is climbing for customers to near total across the board. Currently only the DOD seems to be the only holdout. But that is likely to change by EOY 2018.

Are you sure about that arithmetic?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Thorny on 06/30/2018 09:14 PM
18 (2017) + 12 (2018) = 4030 (which brings up where did 39 come from?

38 launches since the CRS-7 accident, not counting the Amos-6 accident.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 07/01/2018 05:48 AM
Currently only the DOD seems to be the only holdout. But that is likely to change by EOY 2018.

Also NASA LSP and NASA Commercial Crew(?).  I don't think we've ever seen any direct comments addressing reuse from the Crew office, but I doubt they'd accept it yet.  Also, since I haven't seen any public info supporting your stated timeline, I'm highly dubious that USAF will be prepared to accept reuse that soon.  The latest statements that I recall on this topic was that, while they are interested and willing, USAF still hadn't even fully determined what information they needed and how exactly they would go about certifying reused boosters.  Maybe with FH they won't have as much of a choice if SpaceX is pretty much only offering flights on reused boosters?  But I'm sure SpaceX would agree to producing bespoke rockets for them if USAF asked for it.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: aero on 07/01/2018 06:19 AM
Currently only the DOD seems to be the only holdout. But that is likely to change by EOY 2018.

Also NASA LSP and NASA Commercial Crew(?).  I don't think we've ever seen any direct comments addressing reuse from the Crew office, but I doubt they'd accept it yet.  Also, since I haven't seen any public info supporting your stated timeline, I'm highly dubious that USAF will be prepared to accept reuse that soon.  The latest statements that I recall on this topic was that, while they are interested and willing, USAF still hadn't even fully determined what information they needed and how exactly they would go about certifying reused boosters.  Maybe with FH they won't have as much of a choice if SpaceX is pretty much only offering flights on reused boosters?  But I'm sure SpaceX would agree to producing bespoke rockets for them if USAF asked for it.

Didn't Elon say that they would build 30 to 50 block 5's? That seems enough to launch all of the above missions on new vehicles for a few years, at least. Just keep the new ones in inventory, pull one out and launch it when demanded, then introduce it into the "flight proven" fleet after recovery. With rapid reuse and 10 to 100 launches per flight proven vehicle, that should be enough to satisfy commercial customer demand. The initial "flight proven" fleet consists of two Block 5's, one on each coast and grows as the DOD et.al. requires another launch.

The above system of using the Block 5's may have start-up delays due to inspections and/or refurbishment of the initial ones launched but those delays should be overcome in reasonably short order with most of the rockets still in the new inventory.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: guckyfan on 07/01/2018 09:02 AM
He said 30-50, indicating that 30 is enough for the number of anticipated launches. But if some customers keep demanding new vehicles they may need 50.

It seems to me that the Airforce is actively working on certifying flown boosters for operational flights but have no clue on the timeline. Anyone have a clue on the Airforce possibly accepting flown boosters for the upcoming demo flight?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 07/01/2018 09:45 AM
Um..

18 (2017) + 12 (2018) = 4030 (which brings up where did 39 come from?

The real item is that in the last 6 months 9 used boosters have flown out of a total of 14 boosters flown. Such that it is now more likely that a flight will use a flown booster than a new one. 64% reflight rate.

What this generally means customers are less concerned with whether the booster is new or used but how much the price is. Acceptance is climbing for customers to near total across the board. Currently only the DOD seems to be the only holdout. But that is likely to change by EOY 2018.
Looked up the list of Falcon 9 and FH launches on Wikipedia and counted them, excluding AMOS 6.
Which is not bad for an ELV, but you'd expect better from a semi RLV.  So far that puts its failure rate below 2.53%
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: hopalong on 07/01/2018 10:06 AM
He said 30-50, indicating that 30 is enough for the number of anticipated launches. But if some customers keep demanding new vehicles they may need 50.

It seems to me that the Airforce is actively working on certifying flown boosters for operational flights but have no clue on the timeline. Anyone have a clue on the Airforce possibly accepting flown boosters for the upcoming demo flight?

What may happen is that agencies like the USAF and NRO will have 'their own' boosters.
That is, cores which they have followed through their build and have certified, then reserved for their use only, if need be, stored between missions in their own secure hanger at CCAFS or VAFB.

This would help in the certification of an flight proven core as it will be 'their' core whose history they know in detail.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 07/01/2018 10:07 AM
Um..

18 (2017) + 12 (2018) = 4030 (which brings up where did 39 come from?
See other post.
Quote from: oldAtlas_Eguy
The real item is that in the last 6 months 9 used boosters have flown out of a total of 14 boosters flown. Such that it is now more likely that a flight will use a flown booster than a new one. 64% reflight rate.

What this generally means customers are less concerned with whether the booster is new or used but how much the price is. Acceptance is climbing for customers to near total across the board. Currently only the DOD seems to be the only holdout. But that is likely to change by EOY 2018.
OTOH the failure of the FH core in landing (which was the new build booster) does not build confidence in the FH as a design.
How serious an impact that has on SX's business remains to be seen.

From the customers PoV reuse only matters to them when it
a) Changes the price over a new build booster
b) Changes the reliability WRT  a new build booster.

IIRC SX are offering F9 launches with pre flown boosters at $50m, a sufficient price reduction to be worth looking at.

For various parts of the USG the question will be what's the reliability differential of flying pre flown? OTOH if they haven't even worked up a the questions they feel they need to have answered to feel comfortable this is likely to be a long process. It would be in SX's interests to find ways to accelerate this process but how that could be done (by them or others) is OT for this thread. 

BTW Can you remember if Block 4 was originally claimed to be capable of up to 10 flights?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Rebel44 on 07/01/2018 10:50 AM
Um..

18 (2017) + 12 (2018) = 4030 (which brings up where did 39 come from?
See other post.
Quote from: oldAtlas_Eguy
The real item is that in the last 6 months 9 used boosters have flown out of a total of 14 boosters flown. Such that it is now more likely that a flight will use a flown booster than a new one. 64% reflight rate.

What this generally means customers are less concerned with whether the booster is new or used but how much the price is. Acceptance is climbing for customers to near total across the board. Currently only the DOD seems to be the only holdout. But that is likely to change by EOY 2018.
OTOH the failure of the FH core in landing (which was the new build booster) does not build confidence in the FH as a design.
How serious an impact that has on SX's business remains to be seen.

From the customers PoV reuse only matters to them when it
a) Changes the price over a new build booster
b) Changes the reliability WRT  a new build booster.

IIRC SX are offering F9 launches with pre flown boosters at $50m, a sufficient price reduction to be worth looking at.

For various parts of the USG the question will be what's the reliability differential of flying pre flown? OTOH if they haven't even worked up a the questions they feel they need to have answered to feel comfortable this is likely to be a long process. It would be in SX's interests to find ways to accelerate this process but how that could be done (by them or others) is OT for this thread. 

BTW Can you remember if Block 4 was originally claimed to be capable of up to 10 flights?

That is an absurd argument - FH core failed to land only due to lack of TEA/TEB needed to restart its engines - which is not a design issue and it had an easy/obvious fix. Impact on SX business is 0 since it wasn't a design issue and since that core was destined never to fly again anyway (all FH operational flights were at that point already planned to use block 5 cores).
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: JamesH65 on 07/01/2018 04:23 PM
OTOH the failure of the FH core in landing (which was the new build booster) does not build confidence in the FH as a design.
How serious an impact that has on SX's business remains to be seen.

Utterly stupid comment. As stated above, the core didn't fail actually fail. You seem to be saying that its a design fault if, for example, you failed to put enough fuel in your race car and it stops before the end of the race. No. That's not a design fault. That's a procedural error. And I can guarantee- once you done it once, you don't do it again!

So the effect on Spacex's business? Zero, zilch, nada, rien, F-all.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 07/01/2018 05:08 PM
From the reporting on the issue, it is not at all clear that the root issue which led to the FH center core crashing was strictly limited to TEA/TEB supply.  SpaceX has plenty of experience with relighting engines for the various burns to allow landing cores on the ASDS.  If the TEA/TEB ran out too soon that is an indication that something else (unexpected) occurred as opposed to them overstepping the boundary on how little igniter fluid is needed.  The short term solution may be as simple as just putting more igniter onboard.  But I'm sure they are also looking into why their previous usage expectation was wrong.  BTW, this isn't the first time they've had to alter procedures/operations due to difficulties with restarting engines on landings.  I'm not terribly surprised that there may be more things for them to learn, even after so many successes.  (If desired, further discussion on the true, full causes of FH center core crash can take place in the FH general discussion thread (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43025.0) so that we don't get deleted for OT debate)

All that said, it isn't an indication of design issues that the customer is concerned about.  This failure mode is only able to impact recovery/reuse not mission performance.  Any problem with igniting the booster engines prior to liftoff is handled by the 3 seconds of burn time prior to release of the holddowns.  Issues on recoveries are SpaceX's problem and customers won't care about that except as it may impact the pricing offered for launches if SpaceX is unable to achieve very, very high rates of successful landings.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 07/01/2018 05:23 PM
Utterly stupid comment. As stated above, the core didn't fail actually fail. You seem to be saying that its a design fault if, for example, you failed to put enough fuel in your race car and it stops before the end of the race. No. That's not a design fault. That's a procedural error. And I can guarantee- once you done it once, you don't do it again!
I would have agreed with you, but it's not the first that an F9 booster has run out of fluid, is it?
https://space.stackexchange.com/questions/7771/why-does-the-falcon-9-consume-hydraulic-fluid

And since the FH core was a first-of-type recovery I'd expect they'd have their A Team on the pad for the launch prep.
Quote from: JamesH65
So the effect on Spacex's business? Zero, zilch, nada, rien, F-all.
Doesn't that depend on the root cause analysis of why it happened in the first place?

https://www.space.com/39690-elon-musk-explains-falcon-heavy-core-booster-crash.html

Musk said it was about running out of ignition fluid. The fix looks "obvious" but actually it's not that simple.  For example

1) Was there a mfg fault that made the first engine very hard to restart?
2) Same for the other 2 engines
3) Were atmospheric conditions so different on the day, compared to when the engines were test fired, inhibiting restart?
4) Was ignition fluid contaminated in some way?
5) Is there something different with the FH core design that makes it more vulnerable to these issues.

And those are the obvious possibilities, nothing near a full fault tree.

Here's the thing. If you have a problem and you apply a fix without understanding why you have a problem there's no guarantee it won't come back.

Musks answer was another little gem of extremely skilled information management, apparently wrapping up the problem.

AIUI since the FH core was not going to fly again but be stripped down for detailed analysis. However AFAIK the next one is planned to be reused. 
If anything happens to that it won't be that customer who will be annoyed, but the customer(s) who were going to be using it after them.  :(

Which I think would qualify as a customers views on reuse, WRT to this threads title.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 07/01/2018 05:34 PM
From the reporting on the issue, it is not at all clear that root issue which led to the FH center core crashing was strictly limited to TEA/TEB supply.  SpaceX has plenty of experience with relighting engines for the various burns to allow landing cores on the ASDS.  If the TEA/TEB ran out too soon that is an indication that something else (unexpected) occurred as opposed to them overstepping the boundary on how little igniter fluid is needed. 
Exactly.
Somewhere inside SX there is a number for the amount of TEA/TEB that should have been in that tank, along with a procedure to measure it and a procedure for what to do if there is not enough in there.  If it's always been followed (why wouldn't it?) that amount has been enough for all previous flights on all previous boosters.
So why not this time?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Silmfeanor on 07/01/2018 06:01 PM
This is getting tiring. As soon as I saw that center core not relighting effecting reuse views comment, I knew that this was coming. Some underlying fault. possibilities of process failure. Weaknesses in the companies' knowledge of their system. Oversight errors. Fine, go for it, but also take the other side of those into account; view the company as a competent aerospace entity.

Shall we keep to facts? No negative effectsreported, or even hinted at, from any costumers, from the apperant failure of 1/3rd of the booster on a once-only configuration, on a surpassed rocket core, while block 5 has just started.

Rather, read through this thread, or even more read through the discussions over the last 5 years about reuse and how easy customers would hop on. It's an amazing success, and in such a sense that i do not give one piece of credence towards any failures of this magnitude effecting customer's view of flying on a reflown rocket.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/02/2018 06:14 AM
Concern trolling. It’s what he does. Let’s move on.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 07/02/2018 09:50 AM
Concern trolling. It’s what he does. Let’s move on.

USAF doesn't seem concerned.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Lar on 07/02/2018 07:15 PM
Concern trolling. It’s what he does. Let’s move on.
(mod) That term is not usually appropriate. Play the ball not the man.

(fan) Exactly so, and people should just ignore instead of taking the bait.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 07/02/2018 08:18 PM
Congress seems to be on board.

New article:
Quote
Congress takes smart steps to make space launch reusability the norm
Quote
Under Section 1605 of the current draft, the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program is renamed the “National Security Space Launch Program”. This is a step forward in recognizing that reusability can and should be part of our nation’s launch portfolio, but the key developments follow next.

That same section also outlines a requirement that the Secretary of Defense pursue a strategy that includes reusability — partial or fully reusable rockets — in national security launches; mandates the continuation of certification processes to validate the use of these components; and requires justification for why a national security launch contract awards excludes reusable rockets.
http://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/395163-congress-is-taking-smart-steps-to-make-space-launch-reusability-the
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Coastal Ron on 07/02/2018 08:31 PM
OTOH the failure of the FH core in landing (which was the new build booster) does not build confidence in the FH as a design.

The Falcon Heavy core was a Block 3. Calling it a "new build" implies it was the latest design, which it was not.

As to "confidence", the only confidence that matters is with the customer, and since the Falcon Heavy performed it's contracted duty, customer confidence in future Falcon Heavy launches should be high.

Quote
How serious an impact that has on SX's business remains to be seen.

Likely no impact since SpaceX customers know that SpaceX uses launch hardware for testing, and they know the center core used was an old model that had been modified - so it did not represent what Block 5 will be capable of doing.

Quote
BTW Can you remember if Block 4 was originally claimed to be capable of up to 10 flights?

All versions of the Falcon 9/H prior to Block 5 were for reusability testing only, and the goal has always been that Block 5 would be the version that they planned to fly up to ten times.

So no, SpaceX never claimed any reusability numbers for Block 4.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: laszlo on 07/02/2018 08:46 PM
Congress seems to be on board.

Would this be the same Congress that regularly gets the holy living crap beat out of them here for being SLS fanboys instead of SpaceX fanboys? How did their endorsement suddenly become a good thing instead of the evidence of backroom, pocket-filling corruption and senility as described in the SLS-basher threads?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: envy887 on 07/02/2018 09:18 PM
Congress seems to be on board.

Would this be the same Congress that regularly gets the holy living crap beat out of them here for being SLS fanboys instead of SpaceX fanboys? How did their endorsement suddenly become a good thing instead of the evidence of backroom, pocket-filling corruption and senility as described in the SLS-basher threads?

That doesn't mean they will always be wrong. Broken clocks, blind squirrels, and all that.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: marsbase on 07/02/2018 09:25 PM
How did their endorsement suddenly become a good thing instead of the evidence of backroom, pocket-filling corruption and senility as described in the SLS-basher threads?
Congress is of course not monolithic, as a customer or as a deliberative body. If their endorsement is based on sound economics that will promote the progress of exploring space while saving the tax payer money, then that is a "good thing".  If it's the Alabama contingent of Shelby and Brooks who are shoveling that money to their districts without regard to good sense, that is a "bad thing".   And Congress being Congress, it could be a bit of both at once.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: woods170 on 07/03/2018 07:01 AM
Congress seems to be on board.

Would this be the same Congress that regularly gets the holy living crap beat out of them here for being SLS fanboys instead of SpaceX fanboys? How did their endorsement suddenly become a good thing instead of the evidence of backroom, pocket-filling corruption and senility as described in the SLS-basher threads?


Mind you, the conclusion "Congress seems to be on board" is a premature one given that the 2019 NDAA is a draft only at this time.

Also, this proposed language concerns the future National Security Space Launch Program (currently known as the EELV program) which has nothing to do with SLS whatsoever.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Archibald on 07/03/2018 07:38 AM
And by the way, neither SLS nor EELV are the subject of that thread  ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 07/03/2018 12:49 PM
Congress seems to be on board.

Would this be the same Congress that regularly gets the holy living crap beat out of them here for being SLS fanboys instead of SpaceX fanboys? How did their endorsement suddenly become a good thing instead of the evidence of backroom, pocket-filling corruption and senility as described in the SLS-basher threads?


Mind you, the conclusion "Congress seems to be on board" is a premature one given that the 2019 NDAA is a draft only at this time.

Also, this proposed language concerns the future National Security Space Launch Program (currently known as the EELV program) which has nothing to do with SLS whatsoever.

Good point.  Congress still has time to change the language.  The current NASA Admin is also a proponent of new commercial innovation, but is yet to get anything past Congress.

Any reasonable person, interested in improving US competitiveness and security, would support use of reusable rockets... so we'll have to see what efforts are made to kill this language.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Lar on 07/04/2018 02:45 PM
Although it's like shooting ducks in a barrel... let's not go too far down the congress bashing road. 

Changed language in a draft that increases focus on reusability is topical, since the USG is a customer of SpaceX and it shows change in customer thinking (potentially). SLS bashing isn't. Congress bashing isn't either.

While I'm commenting, how many uses B4 is good for? only really vaguely on topic at best.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: meekGee on 07/04/2018 04:59 PM
Not just any barrel... A pork barrel!  Or shooting porks in a barrel..  or...  Ok ok.

Still tho.

Also, happy Fourth!

-----
ABCD: Always Be Counting Down

Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: wannamoonbase on 07/06/2018 07:31 PM
I'm in awe that SpaceX has flown 14 cores in the first 6 months of the year. 

And that 9 of those 14 were reused.  64.3% reuse on boosters so far this year.

Amazing.

Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 07/07/2018 07:54 AM
I'm in awe that SpaceX has flown 14 cores in the first 6 months of the year. 
If you have multiple pads that flight rate is not that impressive, although it's toward the higher end.
Quote from: wannamoonbase
And that 9 of those 14 were reused.  64.3% reuse on boosters so far this year.

Amazing.
That is impressive. And only one crash in all those landings. That's a 2.63% failure rate on stage recoveries since they got most of the bugs out of the process.

Does anyone know if SX assign stages to customers, or do they just put whatever stages are available together to build the next LV?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Lar on 07/07/2018 02:16 PM
And that 9 of those 14 were reused.  64.3% reuse on boosters so far this year.

Amazing.
That is impressive. And only one crash in all those landings. That's a 2.63% failure rate on stage recoveries since they got most of the bugs out of the process.
the one failure (not crash, failure) was from a development/test flight, not a production one, since the FH center core was coming back from a much tougher flight regime. This has been pointed out multiple times (every time you gloat about the failure) and yet you still persist. Not helpful.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: kdhilliard on 07/07/2018 03:54 PM
That is impressive. And only one crash in all those landings. That's a 2.63% failure rate on stage recoveries since they got most of the bugs out of the process.
...

Well, I don't mind you classifying the FH center core recovery as a failure (spades being spades, and all that), but math errors are another matter! How do you get 2.63% = 1/38 when there have only been 25 landing to date?  Care to recompute?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: meekGee on 07/07/2018 05:04 PM
And that 9 of those 14 were reused.  64.3% reuse on boosters so far this year.

Amazing.
That is impressive. And only one crash in all those landings. That's a 2.63% failure rate on stage recoveries since they got most of the bugs out of the process.
the one failure (not crash, failure) was from a development/test flight, not a production one, since the FH center core was coming back from a much tougher flight regime. This has been pointed out multiple times (every time you gloat about the failure) and yet you still persist. Not helpful.
And even that was only because that center core didn't have wings yet!

-----
ABCD: Always Be Counting Down

Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 07/13/2018 07:39 AM
Well, I don't mind you classifying the FH center core recovery as a failure (spades being spades, and all that), but math errors are another matter! How do you get 2.63% = 1/38 when there have only been 25 landing to date?  Care to recompute?
My Q&D analysis assumed all flights had landed the first stage.

But on the basis of only 25 going to recovery that indeed would be a 4% failure rate.

Presumably by the next FH launch they'll have done the root cause analysis and figured out why the (presumably loaded) standard amount of hypergol was insufficient to restart the core when it worked just find for all the previous recoveries.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 07/13/2018 07:49 AM
the one failure (not crash, failure) was from a development/test flight, not a production one, since the FH center core was coming back from a much tougher flight regime.
Much tougher? Wouldn't that have an effect on the stress and thermal loads, rather than engine reignition?
Quote from: Lar
This has been pointed out multiple times (every time you gloat about the failure) and yet you still persist. Not helpful.
I called it a crash because that tends to be what happens when engines fail to start to stop it hitting something (like the ground) at high speed.

Things happen. Rather than be paralyzed by this (the classic pattern for OldSpace companies) SX have continued to operate, while no doubt continuing to investigate why it happened.

From the PoV of this thread the question would affect not the next FH customer, but the first FH core customers looking to fly a pre-flown core.

IIRC there are 2 more FH launches scheduled for late this year. It's only an issues if the second launch is going to use the recovered core from the first, which seems pretty improbable to me.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: OneSpeed on 07/13/2018 03:02 PM
... From the PoV of this thread the question would affect not the next FH customer, but the first FH core customers looking to fly a pre-flown core.

IIRC there are 2 more FH launches scheduled for late this year. It's only an issues if the second launch is going to use the recovered core from the first, which seems pretty improbable to me.

I'm having trouble following this line of argument. Failure to restart the engines (pre-flown or otherwise) for a landing is of no concern to the customer, because it has no bearing on the success of the primary mission.

The only engine starts of concern to the customer are at launch, and only to the extent that a start failure would cause a launch abort, and hence a delay. Are you suggesting that a re-used engine is less likely to start at launch?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: ajmarco on 07/13/2018 03:24 PM
... From the PoV of this thread the question would affect not the next FH customer, but the first FH core customers looking to fly a pre-flown core.

IIRC there are 2 more FH launches scheduled for late this year. It's only an issues if the second launch is going to use the recovered core from the first, which seems pretty improbable to me.

I'm having trouble following this line of argument. Failure to restart the engines (pre-flown or otherwise) for a landing is of no concern to the customer, because it has no bearing on the success of the primary mission.

The only engine starts of concern to the customer are at launch, and only to the extent that a start failure would cause a launch abort, and hence a delay. Are you suggesting that a re-used engine is less likely to start at launch?

The concern isn't for the performance of the rocket core. But, you cannot re-fly a full falcon heavy first stage without first landing all 3 of the rocket boosters/core. So there will not be any previously flown falcon heavy launches until the center core is able to land.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: OneSpeed on 07/13/2018 04:03 PM
The concern isn't for the performance of the rocket core. But, you cannot re-fly a full falcon heavy first stage without first landing all 3 of the rocket boosters/core. So there will not be any previously flown falcon heavy launches until the center core is able to land.

It is not the customers that are seeking to re-use block 5 boosters, it is SpaceX. Once sufficient block 5 boosters have been landed, they will be offered for re-use, by both F9 and FH (and as all block 5 boosters are now interchangeable, they don't actually need to land a FH core first). Again, the customer will not be concerned if a FH core is not able to land.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 07/14/2018 07:28 AM
The concern isn't for the performance of the rocket core. But, you cannot re-fly a full falcon heavy first stage without first landing all 3 of the rocket boosters/core. So there will not be any previously flown falcon heavy launches until the center core is able to land.

It is not the customers that are seeking to re-use block 5 boosters, it is SpaceX. Once sufficient block 5 boosters have been landed, they will be offered for re-use, by both F9 and FH (and as all block 5 boosters are now interchangeable, they don't actually need to land a FH core first). Again, the customer will not be concerned if a FH core is not able to land.

I think the intent of that original statement was that there would likely be a schedule impact due to an unplanned lack of an available center core.  This is only a potential issue if SpaceX is limiting their production of FH center cores such that they won't have an extra on-hand (IMO, likely).  But, this issue is probably only a potential schedule risk for the third and/or fourth FH flights.  It will be obviated by successful landings or SpaceX recognizing that they'll need to increase planned production of center cores until they figure out their recovery.  Either way, this is still much more a "SpaceX problem" than anything the customers will care about.  In the end, it'll only be about money (i.e. launch prices paid and SpaceX launch delay penalties) not about customer acceptance or views on reuse.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 07/14/2018 08:34 AM
I think the intent of that original statement was that there would likely be a schedule impact due to an unplanned lack of an available center core. 
Correct.
Quote from: deruch
This is only a potential issue if SpaceX is limiting their production of FH center cores such that they won't have an extra on-hand (IMO, likely).  But, this issue is probably only a potential schedule risk for the third and/or fourth FH flights.  It will be obviated by successful landings or SpaceX recognizing that they'll need to increase planned production of center cores until they figure out their recovery.  Either way, this is still much more a "SpaceX problem" than anything the customers will care about.  reuse.
FH is 2x bigger than any other available LV. That means anyone who designs a payload to use the full capacity for this has no alternate LV.  History has taught designers to be very wary of this situation. I suspect the most frequent cases have been EELV's where the payload mass growth has forced them to move up the versions either in terms of numbers of SRB's or from Delta IV to DIVH.

Ride shares are possible but again you have this quite small slice of the market that's
a) Too big for F9 to give the orbit they want and
b) Small enough to fit another  payload(s) on the same vehicle with it.

IOW a sort of "Goldilocks" ride share. Not too big (so you can't fit another payload on), not too small (so it could launch on an F9 or other vehicle).

IIRC synchronizing the logistics of 2 payloads was an issue for Arianspace as average comm sat size rose and it became harder to find two primary payloads that matched.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 07/14/2018 08:36 AM
(and as all block 5 boosters are now interchangeable, they don't actually need to land a FH core first). Again, the customer will not be concerned if a FH core is not able to land.
AFAIK all boosters at the same level have always been interchangeable.

Are you saying that there is no longer a specific FH core type?

This would be very impressive.
I thought that the FH center booster had to be substantially different from stock F9 boosters (due to loads) was a big reason for the delays in first launch. I've no doubt that the FH center cores will be built to the Blk5 standard (whatever that actually means) as and when they are built.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 07/14/2018 09:49 AM
Quote from: deruch
This is only a potential issue if SpaceX is limiting their production of FH center cores such that they won't have an extra on-hand (IMO, likely).  But, this issue is probably only a potential schedule risk for the third and/or fourth FH flights.  It will be obviated by successful landings or SpaceX recognizing that they'll need to increase planned production of center cores until they figure out their recovery.  Either way, this is still much more a "SpaceX problem" than anything the customers will care about.  reuse.
FH is 2x bigger than any other available LV. That means anyone who designs a payload to use the full capacity for this has no alternate LV.  History has taught designers to be very wary of this situation. I suspect the most frequent cases have been EELV's where the payload mass growth has forced them to move up the versions either in terms of numbers of SRB's or from Delta IV to DIVH.

Ride shares are possible but again you have this quite small slice of the market that's
a) Too big for F9 to give the orbit they want and
b) Small enough to fit another  payload(s) on the same vehicle with it.

IOW a sort of "Goldilocks" ride share. Not too big (so you can't fit another payload on), not too small (so it could launch on an F9 or other vehicle).

IIRC synchronizing the logistics of 2 payloads was an issue for Arianspace as average comm sat size rose and it became harder to find two primary payloads that matched.

All of which is pretty much irrelevant for this thread.  If SpaceX has customers waiting for FH launches, they'll just keep making new center cores until they can reliably recover them.  That's the great thing about being able to use the F9 booster as an FH side core, it means that FH only requires the production resources of a single core rocket instead of taking up 3 cores worth.  In other words, managing their FH manifest even when center cores are not reliably recoverable is not a big problem.  As I wrote before, from the customers perspective, anything else is just about money.  They don't care about recovery success % in terms of vehicle reliability.  Only about how it impacts LV price and launch availability.

The concern that SpaceX won't be able to totally solve the underlying, root cause of the reignition problem during FH center core recovery is total baloney.  1) SpaceX can essentially buy themselves an infinite amount of time to work on the problem by just doubling/tripling/etc. the TEA/TEB reservoir volume.  That would insure there was enough igniter to successfully light the engines and therefore recover the stages.  And in the meanwhile they can still investigate/tinker with the systems/operations to solve whatever was the root problem.  2) While we obviously don't know, it's entirely possible that the issue is already well understood by SpaceX and has a relatively trivial solution.  Regardless of whether that is so, and based on their performance when confronting similar problems with F9 recovery, I don't imagine that SpaceX will have too much trouble finding a workable solution in the short term (at least when "short term" is counted by # of FH launches). 
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: speedevil on 07/14/2018 10:28 AM
FH is 2x bigger than any other available LV. That means anyone who designs a payload to use the full capacity for this has no alternate LV. 
If the payload is unitary.
Either constellations or supplies, or a vehicle with very large tanks might be a plausible payload.
The alternate would be either just more launches, or launch dry and rendevous.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: cppetrie on 07/14/2018 06:00 PM
All B5 cores can serve as a FH center core. This was confirmed a few weeks ago. There is no longer any center core limitation. A loss of a center core would only impact the schedule if there were not enough boosters available to service the manifest. This seems unlikely if their production rate and rapid re-use goals are achieved.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 07/14/2018 08:07 PM
All B5 cores can serve as a FH center core. This was confirmed a few weeks ago. There is no longer any center core limitation. A loss of a center core would only impact the schedule if there were not enough boosters available to service the manifest. This seems unlikely if their production rate and rapid re-use goals are achieved.
This almost sounds like the FH demo center core was a BLK5 prototype structure but without the BLK5 engines.

This also means that the BLK5 booster has a higher dry weight than the BLK4. This increased structural margin goes a long way toward the reason SpaceX believes the BLK5 will achieve rapid reuse up to 10X. Plus in order to maintain the man-rating structural margins for CC the BLK5 had to be able to handle higher loads anyway.

Kudos to SpaceX for figuring out to just bite the bullet and make everything the same accepting slightly lower F9 performance due to higher booster dry weight. But in the end the BLK5 has a higher performance just not as high as it could have been.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Tommyboy on 07/14/2018 08:16 PM
All B5 cores can serve as a FH center core. This was confirmed a few weeks ago.
Do you have a source for that? The only public information tells us that any B5 F9 first stage can be used as a FH side-boorster, but that FH cores are very different.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 07/15/2018 04:21 PM
All B5 cores can serve as a FH center core. This was confirmed a few weeks ago. There is no longer any center core limitation. A loss of a center core would only impact the schedule if there were not enough boosters available to service the manifest. This seems unlikely if their production rate and rapid re-use goals are achieved.
If correct that would takes any FH center core supply limitations off the table then.
If the payload is unitary.
Either constellations or supplies, or a vehicle with very large tanks might be a plausible payload.
The alternate would be either just more launches, or launch dry and rendevous.
Isn't that what BFR is for?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: OneSpeed on 07/15/2018 06:53 PM
All B5 cores can serve as a FH center core. This was confirmed a few weeks ago.
Do you have a source for that? The only public information tells us that any B5 F9 first stage can be used as a FH side-boorster, but that FH cores are very different.

There is public information that block 4 S1 can be converted to a block 4 FH booster, and that the block 4 FH core was a special build. There is no such information for block 5, but I can tell you from my analysis of the FH demo mission that the core stage either had a lot of unused propellant, or it had a lot more dry mass than a regular block 4 stage. Similarly, from the block 5 Bangabandhu-1 mission, either it ran at less than 100% thrust, and also had a lot of unused propellant, or it had a similar dry mass to the FH demo core stage. This is admittedly not hard proof, but I do suspect that all block 5 first stages are structurally similar. This may have been deemed necessary to meet the 1.4 factor of safety requirement for the commercial crew program.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: speedevil on 07/15/2018 07:53 PM
Either constellations or supplies, or a vehicle with very large tanks might be a plausible payload.
The alternate would be either just more launches, or launch dry and rendevous.
Isn't that what BFR is for?
If someone was to be designing a payload now, for 2022 launch, they would likely not be considering BFR unless it is OK if it's contingent on BFR flying.
There is at least a subset of FH payloads that might be designed now, which could swap to F9 or other smaller launchers, if F9/H became unavailable.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 07/15/2018 07:58 PM
All B5 cores can serve as a FH center core. This was confirmed a few weeks ago.
Do you have a source for that? The only public information tells us that any B5 F9 first stage can be used as a FH side-boorster, but that FH cores are very different.

There is public information that block 4 S1 can be converted to a block 4 FH booster, and that the block 4 FH core was a special build. There is no such information for block 5, but I can tell you from my analysis of the FH demo mission that the core stage either had a lot of unused propellant, or it had a lot more dry mass than a regular block 4 stage. Similarly, from the block 5 Bangabandhu-1 mission, either it ran at less than 100% thrust, and also had a lot of unused propellant, or it had a similar dry mass to the FH demo core stage. This is admittedly not hard proof, but I do suspect that all block 5 first stages are structurally similar. This may have been deemed necessary to meet the 1.4 factor of safety requirement for the commercial crew program.
Yes it would make sense to use a BLK5 structure design for the FH demo core but we do not have any confirmation on that. Plus they would need to do a demonstration on the BLK5 structure changes including a qual test of structure strength. It definitely would make sense to combine this use of the FH demo core flight as another data point to validate the dry weight/structure for BLK5 prior to a full up BLK5 operational flight. They would even gather landing data related to the problems with landing a heavier stage.

But we still do not have any real confirmation on our sensible conclusions.

It is still possible that the FH core tank is still heavier and stronger than a standard BLK5, but with all the same other hardware.

So now back to customers views on reuse.

The customers want a large baseline (flights) of a single design and not significant variants. Having a FH core stage as a significant variant from the standard BLK5 would make customers uncomfortable with using a stage that would have very low flight numbers and not fly very often (a couple of times a year as in 1 to 4 vs F9 standard BLK5 at 20 to 50 times a year).
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 07/19/2018 05:48 AM
So now back to customers views on reuse.

The customers want a large baseline (flights) of a single design and not significant variants. Having a FH core stage as a significant variant from the standard BLK5 would make customers uncomfortable with using a stage that would have very low flight numbers and not fly very often (a couple of times a year as in 1 to 4 vs F9 standard BLK5 at 20 to 50 times a year).
That's the issue. As usual it's back when does "small changes" become "complete redesign" ?

Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2018 02:02 AM
As far as I’m aware it’s not yet been announced that the Merah Putih launch is the first block 5 re-use and yet:

And I have visual confirmation from Tom Cross that the booster is indeed sooty and thus B1046.2 :) photos incoming.

Edit: the tweet!
https://twitter.com/_TomCross_/status/1025074341040533504

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DjnLq05U0AEnovq.jpg?format=jpg&name=orig)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: JamesH65 on 08/03/2018 11:57 AM
So now back to customers views on reuse.

The customers want a large baseline (flights) of a single design and not significant variants. Having a FH core stage as a significant variant from the standard BLK5 would make customers uncomfortable with using a stage that would have very low flight numbers and not fly very often (a couple of times a year as in 1 to 4 vs F9 standard BLK5 at 20 to 50 times a year).
That's the issue. As usual it's back when does "small changes" become "complete redesign" ?

Same as any other rocket manufacturer. They all change some bits after each flight as they find issues. I bet even some smaller parts are 'completely redesigned', rather than just modified. As for when the cummulative total of all these changes means its actually a a new rocket, well, that's a matter of opinion. When the manufacturer says so would be mine.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2018 01:14 PM
For completeness of this thread (and as noted by crandles57 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44715.msg1843028#msg1843028)) NSF’s SAOCOM 1A article 2 days ago about the first West Coast RTLS launch includes:

Quote from: https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/08/saocom-1a-ships-vandenberg-falcon-9-first-west-coast-rtls/
The booster that will be used to perform the first land landing on the west coast is B1048.2 which previously flew Iridium-7 on July 25th. The change to a flight-proven booster was finalized only a few weeks ago.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Nomadd on 08/03/2018 02:41 PM


The customers want a large baseline (flights) of a single design and not significant variants. Having a FH core stage as a significant variant from the standard BLK5 would make customers uncomfortable with using a stage that would have very low flight numbers and not fly very often (a couple of times a year as in 1 to 4 vs F9 standard BLK5 at 20 to 50 times a year).
Maybe you can't fly a standard F9 as an FH core, but is there any reason they can't use an FH core as an F9? A few extra tons of dry weight isn't going to affect payload that much.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Tomness on 08/03/2018 03:02 PM


The customers want a large baseline (flights) of a single design and not significant variants. Having a FH core stage as a significant variant from the standard BLK5 would make customers uncomfortable with using a stage that would have very low flight numbers and not fly very often (a couple of times a year as in 1 to 4 vs F9 standard BLK5 at 20 to 50 times a year).
Maybe you can't fly a standard F9 as an FH core, but is there any reason they can't use an FH core as an F9? A few extra tons of dry weight isn't going to affect payload that much.
How about on that token, you need FH Booster, convert, you need F9 convert again. maybe that could swap them or just keep FH stored.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: edzieba on 08/07/2018 03:20 PM


The customers want a large baseline (flights) of a single design and not significant variants. Having a FH core stage as a significant variant from the standard BLK5 would make customers uncomfortable with using a stage that would have very low flight numbers and not fly very often (a couple of times a year as in 1 to 4 vs F9 standard BLK5 at 20 to 50 times a year).
Maybe you can't fly a standard F9 as an FH core, but is there any reason they can't use an FH core as an F9? A few extra tons of dry weight isn't going to affect payload that much.
How about on that token, you need FH Booster, convert, you need F9 convert again. maybe that could swap them or just keep FH stored.
That depends on just how much of a F9 needs to be changed to create a FH centre core.
If it's just a matter of replacing components of the (bolt together) Octaweb and swapping out the interstage for one with the pusher hardware - i.e. the same sort of 'conversion' to turn a regular F9 core to a FH side core - then potentially any core can become a FH centre core just as any core can become a FH side core. This was rumoured from a few different sources, but has been shot down recently by Elon.
If the actual tank structure of an FH centre core is significantly strengthened from a regular F9 or FH side core, then while you could in theory swap in regular F9 octaweb and interstage hardware (or at the very least, swap in the specific octaweb segments that contain the 'missing' holddowns), then not only would you be losing some margin from lugging around that extra structural mass but you risk a core that cannot be as easily subbed out for another as is possible with a 'standard' core.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: sghill on 08/10/2018 12:38 AM
Quote from: john smith 19

From the customers PoV reuse only matters to them when it
a) Changes the price over a new build booster
b) Changes the reliability WRT  a new build booster.

You left out a critical 3rd one.

C) Changes booster availability and launch dates.

A customer who can launch their bird this year or next on a used booster is going to save millions over the carrying cost of waiting several years with their payload in storage for an assembly line to churn out a new one.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Lar on 08/10/2018 02:27 AM
the one failure (not crash, failure) was from a development/test flight, not a production one, since the FH center core was coming back from a much tougher flight regime.
Much tougher? Wouldn't that have an effect on the stress and thermal loads, rather than engine reignition?
ISTR statements by SpaceX that the center core ran out of starter fluid because earlier starts used more, and that was because they had to start the engines during a tougher flight regime.

So yes, what I said was correct.

But too much FH failure analysis is probably off topic.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/30/2018 10:10 AM
Basic economics and the political realities of funding available for NASA mean that there's nothing suprising in the views Jim Bridenstine expressed, but still noteworthy that he said them and made only the briefest mention of SLS:

Quote
NASA head hints that reusable rocket cos. like SpaceX will enable Moon return

By Eric Ralph
Posted on August 30, 2018

In a series of thoroughly unexpected and impassioned introductory remarks at one of several 2018 Advisory Council meetings, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine bucked at least two decades of norms by all but explicitly stating that reusable rockets built by innovative private companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin will enable the true future of space exploration.

https://www.teslarati.com/nasa-head-reusable-rockets-spacex-blue-origin-future/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxV-v_YaboQ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxV-v_YaboQ)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: marsbase on 08/30/2018 03:40 PM
And once he wins the "sustainability wars" he will be able to make the next shift.  "Oh, did I say moon?  A slip of the tongue.  I meant to say Mars."  :)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 09/01/2018 09:50 AM
Basic economics and the political realities of funding available for NASA mean that there's nothing suprising in the views Jim Bridenstine expressed, but still noteworthy that he said them and made only the briefest mention of SLS:

Quote
NASA head hints that reusable rocket cos. like SpaceX will enable Moon return

By Eric Ralph
Posted on August 30, 2018

In a series of thoroughly unexpected and impassioned introductory remarks at one of several 2018 Advisory Council meetings, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine bucked at least two decades of norms by all but explicitly stating that reusable rockets built by innovative private companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin will enable the true future of space exploration.

https://www.teslarati.com/nasa-head-reusable-rockets-spacex-blue-origin-future/
I've not seen the new Administrator speak before.

He sounds pretty clear on what he wants to do and how he wants to do it.

It sounds like a pretty coherent policy (which is not something I'd expected from this President).

That said I'm not really sure this is really the place for a post on this subject. It does talk about commercial suppliers a bit but beyond reusable technology being a "good thing" I'm not sure it's that well focused on "views on reuse."
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: marsbase on 09/01/2018 02:19 PM
It sounds like a pretty coherent policy (which is not something I'd expected from this President).

That said I'm not really sure this is really the place for a post on this subject. It does talk about commercial suppliers a bit but beyond reusable technology being a "good thing" I'm not sure it's that well focused on "views on reuse."
Not such a coherent policy since he can't explain why he wants a Lunar "gateway"at all.  And even his reasons for going to the Moon at all are strange (Get water for Mars propellant?)

Since NASA is SpaceX's biggest customer and since these are the most direct comments from  NASA on reuse, I don't know how anything else is more relevant to this thread than his remarks.  The only customer that has been more supportive is Iridium.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 09/01/2018 05:38 PM
The key to draw from NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine statements is that NASA at the top level is pro commercial LV reuse. Also that it is pro commercial. But both of these positions is not surprising coming from the new NASA administrator. He has expressed these views before he was the NASA administrator. He believes strongly that the future of access to space lies in the hands of commercial vendors like SpaceX and Blue Origin not in the hands of the government.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: dorkmo on 09/02/2018 04:59 AM
I think its insteresting to point out that bridenstine has a business degree instead of science, engineering, or law. Reuse makes perfect sense from a business perspective. Going to the moon might not make science sense, but at least we may do it on the cheap hah.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: speedevil on 09/02/2018 10:18 AM
I think its insteresting to point out that bridenstine has a business degree instead of science, engineering, or law. Reuse makes perfect sense from a business perspective. Going to the moon might not make science sense, but at least we may do it on the cheap hah.
Hah?
You absolutely do not want scientists driving your designs for going to the moon, in any more than the very loosest sense.
Spending 1% of your effective budget on improving launch, and 99% on optimising the hell out of what you're launching leads to horribly expensive payloads, where reusability doesn't make a meaningful difference.

TESS, for example, could have been launched 10-up on F9 for the same launch cost.
(It cost around twice the launcher cost, so is far from the worst offender).

Fully reusable launch with fuel transfer (even for FH, never mind BFR) can drop prices so far that customers have to redesign wholly, in order to make sensible use of the technology.

Going back to the moon 'The NASA way' is looking to be well north of $30B.
Even at $500/kg launch near-term for FH, that's 60000 tons in LEO, or >5000 tons on the lunar surface.

The mass disparity between that and perhaps 10, can't be overcome with really, really clever science.

You need business majors. (Or at least people closely paying attention to costs of everything and scoping the program for results, not what the scientific leadership might be want - PhDs in lightweight instrument design for example)

SpaceX customers need to be paying attention to the possibilities of reuse and dropping launch costs as part of their whole business case, and in some cases will need to wholly reengineer their designs for optimal performance, rather than just ticking the box to save on their launch cost.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: kevinof on 09/02/2018 10:53 AM
Happy to see an interest in both commercial and re-use at the top of Nasa. We need some different thinking, need a different approach to getting to the LEO/Moon/Mars. SLS is just Apollo Mark 2. It's a big expensive stack that we use and then dump in the ocean. It's multiple stages all to take a small(ish) capsule to where it needs to go.

We need to do things differently and that's why I'm really interested to see how BFS goes. Having the spacecraft integrated with the second stage is a novel approach, re-fueling after reaching orbit is different, re-using everything to make it much cheaper etc. Would like to see what Blue Origin with come up with and again I hope it's different thinking because we need different approaches on everything from launchers to tugs to landers if we're to afford both the initial cost and the ongoing costs.

Building another SLS in 20 years time won't cut it.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: docmordrid on 09/02/2018 12:09 PM
I think its insteresting to point out that bridenstine has a business degree instead of science, engineering, or law.
>

Don't forget he was also a Navy carrier pilot (E-2C Hawkeye), and is a reserve officer in the Air National Guard
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Lar on 09/02/2018 03:16 PM
We have another thread analysing our new administrator and their qualifications and approach, so in depth analysis probably belongs there. But I think we may be seeing a sea change here at the top. Bridenstine is paying less lip service to SLS and ULA than Bolden did, I think. If NASA is allowed to truly embrace reuse for the bulk of what they do, even if saddled with SLS, that's significant.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/02/2018 04:20 PM
But I think we may be seeing a sea change here at the top. Bridenstine is paying less lip service to SLS and ULA than Bolden did, I think. If NASA is allowed to truly embrace reuse for the bulk of what they do, even if saddled with SLS, that's significant.

Given Bridenstine’s political background, and the protracted confirmation process, I believe he wouldn’t be so publicly bullish about reuse unless he knew he had the administration’s support/agreement. Congress can of course choose to fund or not fund programs but they’re not being asked to fund the development of reuse. If proven reuse capabilities start to notably drop launch prices then I think the political will is there to exploit it and I don’t see congress stopping that.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: marsbase on 09/02/2018 08:21 PM
If proven reuse capabilities start to notably drop launch prices then I think the political will is there to exploit it and I don’t see congress stopping that.
I think we have passed the tipping point already.  The Air Force took the first leap (on the government side)  but now it's almost status quo.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: AncientU on 09/03/2018 12:14 AM
Reuse has made it over the technical and cost hurdles, so acceptance of a flight-proven booster is close to universal. 

What is yet to be realized is the launch frequency advantage... when planners start to think outside of the one-off box, new possibilities emerge.  Salvo launching the Starlink constellation will be eye opening.  Refueling flights in succession for BFS will make one-off launches of SLS/Orion seem archaic.  At that point, there won't be a squabble with Congress about commercial exploration launches.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: woods170 on 09/03/2018 07:15 AM
If proven reuse capabilities start to notably drop launch prices then I think the political will is there to exploit it and I don’t see congress stopping that.
I think we have passed the tipping point already.  The Air Force took the first leap (on the government side)  but now it's almost status quo.


I know of a Jim who would disagree a bit.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Zed_Noir on 09/03/2018 02:40 PM
If proven reuse capabilities start to notably drop launch prices then I think the political will is there to exploit it and I don’t see congress stopping that.
I think we have passed the tipping point already.  The Air Force took the first leap (on the government side)  but now it's almost status quo.


I know of a Jim who would disagree a bit.

Not for long.  :)
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 09/04/2018 05:30 PM
If proven reuse capabilities start to notably drop launch prices then I think the political will is there to exploit it and I don’t see congress stopping that.
I think we have passed the tipping point already.  The Air Force took the first leap (on the government side)  but now it's almost status quo.


I know of a Jim who would disagree a bit.

They'd both be right mainly because they'd be talking about different things.  The Air Force is at least dipping its toes--and NASA has taken a moderate step--into the commercial reuse waters.  That said, neither organization has yet accepted SpaceX's reuse paradigm for use by its premier launch oversight and procurement groups.  In fact, neither org. has publicly stated that they even have a clear, well defined planned path towards accepting reuse for the mission types those groups buy launches for.  The most offered so far is that they have teams/groups studying the matter to try to lay out such a path.  Which is a significant advancement when considering all the institutional/political/commercial inertia needing to be overcome. 
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: john smith 19 on 09/04/2018 08:28 PM
Don't forget he was also a Navy carrier pilot (E-2C Hawkeye), and is a reserve officer in the Air National Guard
That's important because AFAIK most of the recent administrators have either been internal NASA promotions or with a strong science background.

Bridestine's background sounds more like that of the Apollo Era Jame Webb, in terms of political connections.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: docmordrid on 09/04/2018 08:49 PM
>
They'd both be right mainly because they'd be talking about different things.  The Air Force is at least dipping its toes--and NASA has taken a moderate step--into the commercial reuse waters. 
>

They'll need to do more than dip toes given Congressional mandates in the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act.

Ars Technica... (https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/07/congress-requires-military-to-consider-reusable-rockets-for-launch-contracts/)

Quote
>
Moreover, the report says the US Air Force must consider both expendable and reusable launch vehicles as part of its solicitation for military launch contracts. And in the event that a contract is solicited for a mission that a reusable launch vehicle is not eligible to compete for, the Air Force should report back to Congress with the reason why.
>
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: deruch on 09/05/2018 03:14 AM
>
They'd both be right mainly because they'd be talking about different things.  The Air Force is at least dipping its toes--and NASA has taken a moderate step--into the commercial reuse waters. 
>

They'll need to do more than dip toes given Congressional mandates in the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act.

Ars Technica... (https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/07/congress-requires-military-to-consider-reusable-rockets-for-launch-contracts/)

Quote
>
Moreover, the report says the US Air Force must consider both expendable and reusable launch vehicles as part of its solicitation for military launch contracts. And in the event that a contract is solicited for a mission that a reusable launch vehicle is not eligible to compete for, the Air Force should report back to Congress with the reason why.
>

Not much more, they won't.  The language in that bill is mainly just reinforcing Congress' support for things the USAF was already doing.  And making some of them mandatory instead of just voluntary good program management.  The program name change to essentially drop "Expendable" is purely symbolic.  Congress could have decided to rename the EELV program to "Uncle Sam's Banana Bangers" and it wouldn't have changed the fact that the Air Force is still just procuring rockets as launch vehicles.  As for language directing the USAF to actually do things, it requires the SecDef to pursue a policy that includes reuse (was already happening, but now mandatory) and to establish a strategy for certifying reused boosters/LVs (was already happening, but now mandatory; this was what I considered their toe dipping).  The only totally new thing is that they must report back their reasons for not accepting bids by a reusable LV for solicitations on which they are theoretically capable.  That's simple, as until they have their certification strategy in place all reports will just be of the form: 1) Reusable LV either could/couldn't launch this payload; and 2) Reusable LV isn't currently certified to launch NSSLP payloads.  Once the strategy is worked out, they were already going to be accepting applications to certify.  That was the whole point of developing such a strategy in the first place.

Frankly, IMO, the only really notable thing about that part of the bill is that Congress didn't throw roadblocks onto the path the Air Force was already walking.  I suppose it's nice to have the policy be a mandated one and therefore less susceptible to modification/reversal at the personal whims of the involved brass.  But I'm not totally sure there's any real benefit to relying on the whims of Members of Congress over those of certain office holders in the Pentagon.

EDIT: After rereading my comment, I want to make a clarification so that it doesn't end up being read as saying something I didn't mean--  I applaud both the Air Force and Congress for the steps they have taken.  I hope to see more.  That these things have been happening is, I believe, evidence of a beginning change in zeitgeist.  A change I believe is in a positive direction.  I just don't read the current status as if a full sea change had already taken place.  Institutions are like huge sea tankers or container ships.  You usually can't change directions on a dime.  IMO, expecting such from them is generally unreasonable even when the advantages of those new directions seem blazingly obvious.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: marsbase on 09/05/2018 05:17 PM
I just don't read the current status as if a full sea change had already taken place.  Institutions are like huge sea tankers or container ships.  You usually can't change directions on a dime.  IMO, expecting such from them is generally unreasonable even when the advantages of those new directions seem blazingly obvious.
Actually, I agree with you. The official "on paper" direction has not changed all that much, but the attitudes (and expectations) have dramatically changed, in the institutions and just as importantly in the public perception.  There is a reason that Shotwell does not scrub the soot off the boosters. :)  So the institutional change may be slow but it's hard to believe that it won't be coming.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: envy887 on 09/05/2018 06:02 PM
...
The only totally new thing is that they must report back their reasons for not accepting bids by a reusable LV for solicitations on which they are theoretically capable.
...

Subtle but important correction: USAF have to report why they are issuing solicitations that no RLV is eligible to bid on. USAF does NOT have to report why they chose an ELV in the case where both ELV and RLV were eligible, regardless of whether both were in fact bid.

The reasons for lack of eligibility could be certification, or lack of VI or long fairings.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 09/09/2018 05:07 AM
...
The only totally new thing is that they must report back their reasons for not accepting bids by a reusable LV for solicitations on which they are theoretically capable.
...

Subtle but important correction: USAF have to report why they are issuing solicitations that no RLV is eligible to bid on. USAF does NOT have to report why they chose an ELV in the case where both ELV and RLV were eligible, regardless of whether both were in fact bid.

The reasons for lack of eligibility could be certification, or lack of VI or long fairings.
This sound very much like an extra ding against sole source contracting methods and to make the RFP not so narrow that it excludes possible bidders such as those that would be bidding a RLV of some sort. The actual choosing is the rest of the source selection process as defined in the FAR and is very strict and with little wriggle room in interpretation. If you do not meet the requirements such as certification, security provisions, VI, payload mass to specified orbit, or the volume required by the faring. You will be droped either during the preliminary proposal screening or in the actual source selection board evaluation with a poor rating and subsequent loss to another company that had a higher rating.

With ULA as being nearly the only provider and in most cases was the only provider putting launches out on bid was not something that was done mainly because it is lengthy and expensive and would result in only one response anyway. When I worked at the AF Space Division Launch Vehicles office nothing was put out on bid (1980-84). There was so little overlap of vehicles and so limited numbers of available quantities that directed contracts was the only option. The EELV program was supposed to be the opening the LV procurement process to competition but that did not last. Hopefully the explosion of providers that are entering the field now will finally actually meet the 1990's goal of competition for LV's services.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/08/2018 10:02 AM
With first West Coast Block 5 re-use and land landing completed, there appear to be 5 more F9 flights likely in 2018 (Es'hail 2, SSO-A, CRS-16, USAF GPS III-1 & Iridium 8).

I can't believe all those flights will use new boosters, but I've not seen any confirmed re-use info despite cores 1046, 1047 & 1049 (and conceivably 1048 just re-used) potentially all being available. (Although maybe re-use on a CRS flight is almost a given now?)

Please post if/when you see something.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Lar on 10/08/2018 09:00 PM
Isn't that question more suited for a corespotting/tracking thread than a customer view on reuse thread?
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: abaddon on 10/08/2018 09:27 PM
Isn't that question more suited for a corespotting/tracking thread than a customer view on reuse thread?
Not if the information comes from an announcement from a customer, possibly with verbiage related to why they chose a reused ride.  That's happened often enough in the past.

We haven't seen such an announcement, but we haven't seen a core either, so...
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: rockets4life97 on 10/10/2018 03:06 PM
With first West Coast Block 5 re-use and land landing completed, there appear to be 5 more F9 flights likely in 2018 (Es'hail 2, SSO-A, CRS-16, USAF GPS III-1 & Iridium 8).

I can't believe all those flights will use new boosters, but I've not seen any confirmed re-use info despite cores 1046, 1047 & 1049 (and conceivably 1048 just re-used) potentially all being available. (Although maybe re-use on a CRS flight is almost a given now?)

Please post if/when you see something.

Quote from Han's recent talk that SSO-A may be first third re-use. I think it is safe to say USAF GPS III-1 will be a new core for the first GPS launch. Maybe potential for re-use on a later mission of the same core.
Title: Re: SpaceX customers' views on reuse
Post by: Tommyboy on 10/10/2018 04:26 PM