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Commercial and US Government Launch Vehicles => Blue Origin => Topic started by: Chris Bergin on 10/17/2017 07:03 PM

Title: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/17/2017 07:03 PM
Thread 2 for this general Blue Origin thread. A new update only thread will be added later.

Thread one: (Over 800,000 views!)
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=10685.0

Will fill this opening post out with more content later.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Navier–Stokes on 10/19/2017 04:45 PM
According Eric Berger (Senior Space Editor at Ars Technica), Blue Origin was once interested in buying ULA but such a move is no longer being considered:
Quote from: https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/921048230745567232
Quote
Jacob Teufert @jteufert

My bet is BO buys ULA.
Eric Berger‏ @SciGuySpace 

they've looked at this in the past, but it's off the table for now.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: abaddon on 10/19/2017 04:59 PM
The tweet says "they've looked at this in the past, but it's off the table for now".  This suggests such a strategy is something they might consider in the future.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: rcoppola on 10/19/2017 05:26 PM
There's not much ULA has that BO needs at this point. They have the pad, hardware, manufacturing...etc..
And they don't need to buy them to acquire any of their talent/experience, if needed.

Too many legacy entanglements with that purchase. Not worth it IMO.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 10/20/2017 06:03 AM
There's not much ULA has that BO needs at this point. They have the pad, hardware, manufacturing...etc..
And they don't need to buy them to acquire any of their talent/experience, if needed.

Too many legacy entanglements with that purchase. Not worth it IMO.
Agreed. ULA only becomes interesting to Blue again once Delta IV is gone, Atlas V is on its way out, the overhead in launchpads is gone as well as the personnel count. Also, ULA will have to become agile, not depending on just government work to stay in business. Once they succeed in doing that (and I think they eventually will) than they will be IMO interesting to Blue again.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 10/20/2017 11:34 AM
VAFB pad ... SLC-2 (https://www.google.nl/maps/@34.757,-120.63,1000m/data=!3m1!1e3)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Brovane on 10/20/2017 05:31 PM
There's not much ULA has that BO needs at this point. They have the pad, hardware, manufacturing...etc..
And they don't need to buy them to acquire any of their talent/experience, if needed.

Too many legacy entanglements with that purchase. Not worth it IMO.

The technology around ACES like IVF? 
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: guckyfan on 10/22/2017 06:33 AM
There's not much ULA has that BO needs at this point. They have the pad, hardware, manufacturing...etc..
And they don't need to buy them to acquire any of their talent/experience, if needed.

Too many legacy entanglements with that purchase. Not worth it IMO.

The technology around ACES like IVF?

Only if they want to use LH2 extensively and for long duration missions. Not needed for methane.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Prettz on 10/22/2017 04:26 PM
Only if they want to use LH2 extensively and for long duration missions. Not needed for methane.
They do. Their proposed third stage is hydrogen.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: guckyfan on 10/22/2017 04:45 PM
Only if they want to use LH2 extensively and for long duration missions. Not needed for methane.
They do. Their proposed third stage is hydrogen.

Proposed is not the same as in use. Also it is unlikely that a third stage would be refueled. It could be useful to have a loiter time in the range of 3 days, for getting to lunar orbits or EM-L points. But that does not necessarily need an ICE, like ACES.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: ZachF on 10/22/2017 08:57 PM
Only if they want to use LH2 extensively and for long duration missions. Not needed for methane.
They do. Their proposed third stage is hydrogen.

I would bet that they go for a reusable US before a hydrolox 3rd stage.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Hydrolox 3S never gets built.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Svetoslav on 10/25/2017 08:20 PM
Jeff Foust‏ @jeff_foust  3m3 minutes ago
More
Gunderson: we’re developing New Shepard primarily to get practice in reusability; think there’s a suborbital market to sustain it. #vonbraun

Jeff Foust‏ @jeff_foust  2m2 minutes ago
More
Gunderson: we’ll be launching the human-rated version of New Shepard starting later this year. Intend to be flying people next yr. #vonbraun
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: sanman on 10/31/2017 04:27 AM
So will New Shepard more or less be competing with Virgin's SpaceShipTwo for customers?

Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 07:08 AM
So will New Shepard more or less be competing with Virgin's SpaceShipTwo for customers?

I believe so. They are both aiming to launch tourists above 100 km.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 10/31/2017 08:40 AM
So will New Shepard more or less be competing with Virgin's SpaceShipTwo for customers?

I believe so. They are both aiming to launch tourists above 100 km.
Yes, both on suborbital trajectories and both allowing the tourists to enjoy unrestricted "floating around the cabin" for roughly 5 minutes.
The main difference is in how they get up there: Rocketplane with glider landing vs rocket with propulsive landing.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: jpo234 on 11/03/2017 11:06 PM
More money for Blue?

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sold more than $1 billion worth of stock this week (https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/3/16604990/amazon-ceo-jeff-bezos-stock-sale-1-billion)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/04/2017 07:17 AM
Someone certainly thinks it’s for Blue:

Quote
@JeffBezos congrats on cashing in $1.1B of Amazon Stock to fund Blue Origin. The future of Humanity is better for your investment! Thank U.

https://twitter.com/peterdiamandis/status/926592734743314433
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Mike Jones on 11/04/2017 08:38 AM
Impressive if that is the case ... 2 bn$ invested by Jeff Bezos in Blue Origin in 2017 alone !  That should bring a strong momentum to their major development programmes : New Shepard and New Glenn. Maybe Blue Moon lander as well ?
According to Crunchbase, SpaceX has only raised 1,5bn$ in equity in total (mainly in 2015 and 2017 to be fair).
https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/space-exploration-technologies
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: QuantumG on 11/04/2017 08:55 AM
Yeah, maybe they'll double their pace!  8)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: jpo234 on 11/04/2017 11:21 AM
Impressive if that is the case ... 2 bn$ invested by Jeff Bezos in Blue Origin in 2017 alone !  That should bring a strong momentum to their major development programmes : New Shepard and New Glenn. Maybe Blue Moon lander as well ?
According to Crunchbase, SpaceX has only raised 1,5bn$ in equity in total (mainly in 2015 and 2017 to be fair).
https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/space-exploration-technologies
Or something spooked Bezos and he suddenly thinks New Glenn will not be enough?

Maybe they skip the reusable second stage for NG and go straight for NA.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Mike Jones on 11/04/2017 01:10 PM
What will New Armstrong look like ?
Is it supposed to use the same BE-4, BE-4U and BE-3U engines than New Glenn ? 
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/04/2017 01:15 PM
What will New Armstrong look like ?
Is it supposed to use the same BE-4, BE-4U and BE-3U engines than New Glenn ?

No one outside Blue Origin knows. Thread for NA here (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41160.0).
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: mme on 11/04/2017 04:27 PM
Impressive if that is the case ... 2 bn$ invested by Jeff Bezos in Blue Origin in 2017 alone !  That should bring a strong momentum to their major development programmes : New Shepard and New Glenn. Maybe Blue Moon lander as well ?
According to Crunchbase, SpaceX has only raised 1,5bn$ in equity in total (mainly in 2015 and 2017 to be fair).
https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/space-exploration-technologies
Or something spooked Bezos and he suddenly thinks New Glenn will not be enough?

Maybe they skip the reusable second stage for NG and go straight for NA.
I seriously doubt it. He has no reason to rush. He was no reason to be profitable by some deadline. The money is probably for all the infrastructure NG will need.  Launch pad, Control Center, fancy landing ship with Champagne fountains, etc.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/05/2017 12:26 AM
Considering how much capital Blue Origin required just to get New Shepard to work, it's not surprising New Glenn is going to require a lot more given the way Blue Origin operates.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Mike Jones on 11/05/2017 01:31 PM
Why should they be incentivized to be cost efficient ? They will have Jeff ‘Sugar Daddy’ Bezos (at least for the next few years) to compensate any development overcosts and to pay the difference between their initial ultra low prices on New Glenn and the real cost of building such a giant orbital vehicle.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lar on 11/05/2017 01:38 PM
Fat budgets are not good from a project management perspective. Better to run lean.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: DJPledger on 11/05/2017 01:59 PM
Fat budgets are not good from a project management perspective. Better to run lean.
JB's fat budget can be used to dev. NA as soon as possible.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lar on 11/05/2017 02:09 PM
Fat budgets are not good from a project management perspective. Better to run lean.
JB's fat budget can be used to dev. NA as soon as possible.

Can be. No evidence to support *is*, though.  lots of gradatim. (VERY gradual) Lots of ferociter (directed as snark at the achievements of others) ... not a lot of launch...
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: AlexP on 11/05/2017 02:18 PM
Can be. No evidence to support *is*, though.  lots of gradatim. (VERY gradual) Lots of ferociter (directed as snark at the achievements of others) ... not a lot of launch...
They also have a pretty large rocket factory under construction, and a pretty large american made SC engine on the test stand.

I realise we've gotten pretty spoiled with the amazing things SpaceX have achieved, but if you imagine they'd never existed and Blue were here, proposing a reusable first stage the size of New Glenn within a few years, people would be cutting them a hell of a lot more slack.

Second place is just the first loser, I guess. Maybe they invite that on themselves by not being nice and friendly looking, I don't know.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: AncientU on 11/05/2017 03:33 PM
Fat budgets are not good from a project management perspective. Better to run lean.
JB's fat budget can be used to dev. NA as soon as possible.

Can be. No evidence to support *is*, though.  lots of gradatim. (VERY gradual) Lots of ferociter (directed as snark at the achievements of others) ... not a lot of launch...

Blue has taken on a big challenge -- several of them in fact -- so should be to their credit.  Results after 15 years are good okay but not remotely disruptive.  Best to show the World the advantage(s) of their approach before claiming its superiority (or validity). 

Launching an orbital rocket is the ante to sit at this table.  Spectators should keep mouths shut.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lar on 11/05/2017 03:35 PM
I am reminded of that ad with half a microphone and half a rocket. (the company that ran it is now mostly talk, so that's some irony I think)...
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: dror on 11/05/2017 03:54 PM
Why should they be incentivized to be cost efficient ? They will have Jeff ‘Sugar Daddy’ Bezos (at least for the next few years) to compensate any development overcosts and to pay the difference between their initial ultra low prices on New Glenn and the real cost of building such a giant orbital vehicle.
Any evidence of overcosts or info about their prices? or is this just handwaving (like the rest of this thread)?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TrevorMonty on 11/05/2017 04:06 PM
I liked the secretive Blue that only said something when they had operational HW to show off.  Now there is lot of hype but very little new operational HW. A NS flight or two would be nice, was expecting lots this year especially after Blues hype and NS flight history.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: su27k on 11/06/2017 01:51 AM
Any evidence of overcosts or info about their prices? or is this just handwaving (like the rest of this thread)?

Yeah, there seems to be a lot of handwaving in this thread. We don't know how much of Bezos' money was invested into Blue Origin or what are the timelines, I don't think we have enough evidence to say Blue has a fat budget or is particularly slow even comparing to SpaceX. At least in terms of BE-4 their timeline is ok, not super fast but not super slow either.

But at the risk of repeating myself, I do find it unfortunate that Bezos chose "Gradatim Ferociter" as mantra of Blue (I would choose something like "Getting of this rock asap"). It's perplexing that Bezos is not pushing Blue as hard as he can even if he only views this as a hobby, surely he wants to see some great things accomplished here, and he's not young anymore, he really doesn't have time to wait for "Gradatim Ferociter"...
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: QuantumG on 11/06/2017 01:57 AM
A little tiny part of me (the part I've yet to trap in a dark corner and smother with a pillow) still thinks that maybe sometime in the mid-2020s, maybe the mid-2030s, Blue Origin will stop getting ready to change the space industry and actually change the space industry.

I have hope.

Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/06/2017 02:15 AM
A little tiny part of me (the part I've yet to trap in a dark corner and smother with a pillow) still thinks that maybe sometime in the mid-2020s, maybe the mid-2030s, Blue Origin will stop getting ready to change the space industry and actually change the space industry.

I have hope.
I feel like they're just a backup to SpaceX at this point. Which is good, as Musk is almost reckless in his doubling-down of bets when he gets a whiff of success.

No one else is even on the field when it comes to developing an affordable space launch solution, so I'm glad Blue Origin is around.

I kind of doubt Blue would have a huge New Glenn factory being built right now if it weren't for SpaceX. It was always in Blue's plans, sure, but SpaceX has forced them to expedite things, IMHO.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: QuantumG on 11/06/2017 05:37 AM
Uhh.. thanks for you concern but we're as aware how much Bezos has poured into Blue Origin as anyone else is. I prefer to think of it terms of multiples of $100M (by which it's 5 up to 2014 and something like 5 since then). Why $100M? Because that's the grand total that Elon put into SpaceX and having a restricted budget like that really shows... they had to go out and find these things called "customers" and do these things called "launches".
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: sanman on 11/06/2017 06:23 AM
Maybe Bezos is selling more stock because it's gone up so much in recent times. Blue Origin can then benefit more from his windfall. But I think Bezos should start selling those New Shepard vehicles to 3rd-party operators ASAP in order to reap the revenues of that, after some minimal trial-effort in proving the reliability/performance of the vehicle.

Firstly, having multiple 3rd-party operators would improve the space tourism market more quickly than having just the one Blue Origin company operating them. Let Bezos become more Musk-like and nimble with the times, and change course to allow Virgin or somebody else who's more tourist-oriented take care of the suborbital tourism business, which is merely a stepping-stone or speed-bump along Blue's greater path.

Nextly, this would provide revenue that Blue can pump into their real goal of reusable orbital rockets as the enablers for a space-based economy, so that this can be achieved more quickly. It's great that Bezos has loads of cash, but monetizing New Shepard by cashing out from it early could help facilitate the climb to orbit, where the better markets are. Why over-indulge on the appetizer when the main course is more filling?

Once Blue Origin has a more viable satellite-launching business, then Bezos might not have to sell as much stock, or at least if he does, he'll be able to spend it on further development that will take Blue's capabilities to even greater levels even faster.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: daveklingler on 11/06/2017 06:36 AM
I kind of doubt Blue would have a huge New Glenn factory being built right now if it weren't for SpaceX. It was always in Blue's plans, sure, but SpaceX has forced them to expedite things, IMHO.

I really can't point to any evidence that Blue would go at a different pace if SpaceX didn't exist.  To anyone who plays serious chess, Blue Origin's schedule doesn't really stand out as slow. 

Admittedly, they can't move fast enough to suit my personal taste, but I'd like to see O'Neill space colonies before 2020.  That's probably not realistic.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/06/2017 02:20 PM
Meh. If John Carmack hadn't pulled the plug Armadillo Aerospace probably would have cleared 100 km, fully reusable, back in 2014... for less than $10 million spent. It's nice that Blue Origin has flown anything but it's not a billion dollar achievement.
I kind of think that Bezos is building things on his own terms, not what a bunch of people on the internet think. I really don't get why people have to get on BO's case all the time when it comes to their timescales.


Bezos did state that he expected manned flights in 2017. Earlier it was also said to expect New Shepart flights to resume in late summer or early fall.
It's mid fall now.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: envy887 on 11/06/2017 05:50 PM
Blue Origin seems to be moving along quite nicely to me.  The company did not announce plans for New Glenn (then called Very Big Brother) until September 15, 2015 - only a bit more than two years ago.  Since then it has test fired BE-4, built most of its factory at the Cape, and begun work on the launch and test complex nearby. 

SpaceX announced plans for Falcon 9 during September 2005.  It moved into its Hawthorne factory during October 2007.  Merlin 1C development finished one month later, but Merlin Vacuum testing extended into 2009.  Full scale Falcon 9 first stage firings at McGregor took place during mid to late 2008.  The first Falcon 9 launch took place on June 4, 2010.

 - Ed Kyle

Pretty sure they announced NG in Sept 2016, just over one year ago. Also seems like the expected date of its first launch has slipped about a year in that time :)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 11/06/2017 07:43 PM
Blue Origin seems to be moving along quite nicely to me.  The company did not announce plans for New Glenn (then called Very Big Brother) until September 15, 2015 - only a bit more than two years ago.  Since then it has test fired BE-4, built most of its factory at the Cape, and begun work on the launch and test complex nearby.

Good progress no doubt. Definitely seeming to be moving faster than ULA on Vulcan.

Quote
SpaceX announced plans for Falcon 9 during September 2005.  It moved into its Hawthorne factory during October 2007.  Merlin 1C development finished one month later, but Merlin Vacuum testing extended into 2009.  Full scale Falcon 9 first stage firings at McGregor took place during mid to late 2008.  The first Falcon 9 launch took place on June 4, 2010.

However Musk was not able to pump $1B a year into SpaceX like Bezos is with Blue Origin. SpaceX only had $65M in outside investment prior to 2010, so they had to grow while satisfying customer demand - difficult to do.

SpaceX did get an outside investment of $1B in 2015 (primarily from Google), and no doubt that has allowed them to accelerate not only Falcon 9 development, but also fund the comsat business they are starting up.

So I think people compare the available funding for both Blue Origin and SpaceX, and just based on that it would seem that Blue Origin would be further along than SpaceX. Still, not that it's a race, but it's good to have two competitors in the reusable rocket market space, so any critiques are really just wishes that Blue Origin would go faster...
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: gongora on 11/07/2017 03:06 AM
Pointing it out repeatedly is just a bunch of snarky noise.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lar on 11/07/2017 09:57 AM
Pick one thread for criticism of Blue, (say the business model thread) and belay it in the others, and make sure it's not just repeating yourself.

My musing style didn't do it.... Gongora's warning didn't do it. Even to this SpaceX fanboy it is getting tiresome. Deletion ahead if there is more repetitive baseless snark.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 11/07/2017 11:39 PM
 ???
Alan Shepard; John Glenn; Neel Armstrong.
Could New Armstrong just be the BlueMoon lander?
Could a 3stage New Glenn launch a New Armstrong to the moon to bring people there?
Will New Armstrong use the BE-2 and BE-1 engines?
Was that Bezos the plan all along?

Could the New Glenn First stage with a 5m diameter BE-3U upperstage be capable of orbiting Orion?
And when the EU service module is replaced by a BE-2 powered one that also serves as pusher escape system?
New Glenn (or a 7-9 engine BFR) is way safer and could make SLS obsolete. Enables Cis-Lunar, ECLSS & human physiology prohibits further exploration. But maintaining the ISS/LLEO space lab is way more important for humanity than a CIS-lunar outpost. Don't forget that all ISS partners still rely on Russia for ISS crew transport.
0-humans in space is much closer than >10. (yes, I'm pessimistic about human spaceflight.)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lar on 11/08/2017 01:51 AM
I think it's far-fetched to think that NA is a lander and not a bigger launcher. It also goes against a lot of the clues that were worked through.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 11/08/2017 11:24 AM
Sorry, here I go again:
I fooled around a bit with a image from Reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/BlueOrigin/comments/52k715/size_comparison_of_the_reusable_stages/) and one from BlueOrigin (https://www.blueorigin.com/new-glenn).
I scaled the New Glenn so it has the same tank diameter as New Shepard.

This could be a representation of a rocket with a reusable first stage with one BE-4 engine. And as second stage a new stage that uses the tanks of New Shepard with BE-3U engine. I think this rocket can loft about 5mT to SSO 800km.
A less capable launcher could be developed with a different second stage. For example propelled by a BE-2 engine or a new LOxLNG Tap-off or Dual Expander cycle engine. (With this new methane engine BO could go back to a multiple engine configuration.)
Take off mass should stay below 200mT otherwise Solid's (GEM63?) have to be added.
This small rocket from BO could become a workhorse LEO launcher, for (EO) satellites.

Heavier payloads can be launched by developing a heavy configuration, like Falcon Heavy, or Delta IVH.
I think the configurations for the Soyuz 5 (Feniks) (http://www.russianspaceweb.com/soyuz5.html) [methane] (now called Soyuz 7) could be suitable for this rocket idea.
The heavy variant could use two reusable boosters and a expendable booster, optionally a BE-3 upper-stage could be added. (I think 5.4m diameter would be beter in this case.)
Developing stage recovery with this rocket is much cheaper than with New Glenn, because only one instead of 7 engines are lost in case of a failure. I also think that this rocket is beter match with the current launch market. New Glenn is far to powerful for >90% of the payloads. A Soyuz 2.1B already can launches 36 Oneweb satellites, New Glenn can launch ~80 at once, but most likely have to do a orbit adjustment.   

Note: I'm speculating here!!!

Edit:
 :-[ I've changed a image.
 I think a larger payload fairing (4.5-5.4m) for the BO single stick could add value.

Another idea, could a Centaur V with BE-3U / NGL cryo upper-stage be used as second stage on the New Glenn Reusable first stage?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Darkseraph on 11/08/2017 02:51 PM
I think it's far-fetched to think that NA is a lander and not a bigger launcher. It also goes against a lot of the clues that were worked through.

New Armstrong could be the name of the entire system including a lunar lander. New Sheppard is not the name of a launcher but their entire suborbital system including a human rated capsule. Perhaps NA will be a whole end-to-end architecture focused on reusuable transport to the moon.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: mme on 11/08/2017 04:40 PM
???
Alan Shepard; John Glenn; Neel Armstrong.
Could New Armstrong just be the BlueMoon lander?
...
No.  Blue has teased New Armstrong specifically as the bigger rocket that will follow New Glenn that is the bigger rocket that is following the New Shepard rocket.

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture sets its sights on trips to Mars and the moon (https://www.geekwire.com/2016/jeff-bezos-blue-origin-space-mars-moon/)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 11/08/2017 05:07 PM
I can't extrapolate from that article that New Armstrong is a Launch Vehicle.
Geekwire: (https://www.geekwire.com/2016/jeff-bezos-blue-origin-space-mars-moon/)
Quote
“When we have millions of people living and working in space, we want them to be able to go to lots of destinations,” he said. “Mars would be one of them. The moon would be another. New Armstrong is really designed for that long-term vision.”
New Armstrong enables going to the moon and mars, is what I read.
Alan Boyle, the writer of the article, makes the assumption that New Armstrong is a larger rocket.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: meberbs on 11/08/2017 05:21 PM
I can't extrapolate from that article that New Armstrong is a Launch Vehicle.
Geekwire: (https://www.geekwire.com/2016/jeff-bezos-blue-origin-space-mars-moon/)
Quote
“When we have millions of people living and working in space, we want them to be able to go to lots of destinations,” he said. “Mars would be one of them. The moon would be another. New Armstrong is really designed for that long-term vision.”
New Armstrong enables going to the moon and mars, is what I read.
Alan Boyle, the writer of the article, makes the assumption that New Armstrong is a larger rocket.
Context matters. Blue has been quite clear that New Armstrong refers to a full new rocket.

The Blue Moon lander is named "Blue Moon" it is not named "New Armstrong." If Blue Moon was New Armstrong, they would have stated this in the original announcement of Blue Moon and would have never referred to New Armstrong again. Blue Moon also does not have "Mars" in its list of capabilities, while the above quote says that New Armstrong can send people to Mars.

Edit: Also, in the build up to New Glenn, Bezos stated repeatedly that New Glenn would be the smallest orbital rocket they ever build.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 11/09/2017 03:19 AM
Sorry, here I go again:
I fooled around a bit with a image from Reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/BlueOrigin/comments/52k715/size_comparison_of_the_reusable_stages/) and one from BlueOrigin (https://www.blueorigin.com/new-glenn).
I scaled the New Glenn so it has the same tank diameter as New Shepard.

Note that NS uses uses hydrolox while NG uses methalox which has a much greater propellant density. For the same tank volume, methalox has about twice the impulse than hydrolox. So scaling NG to the smaller size and comparing it the shorter NS needs to take this into account. The smaller NG would have much greater performance than NS since it would be using methalox and has a larger tank volume.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: envy887 on 11/09/2017 01:39 PM
Sorry, here I go again:
I fooled around a bit with a image from Reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/BlueOrigin/comments/52k715/size_comparison_of_the_reusable_stages/) and one from BlueOrigin (https://www.blueorigin.com/new-glenn).
I scaled the New Glenn so it has the same tank diameter as New Shepard.

Note that NS uses uses hydrolox while NG uses methalox which has a much greater propellant density. For the same tank volume, methalox has about twice the impulse than hydrolox. So scaling NG to the smaller size and comparing it the shorter NS needs to take this into account. The smaller NG would have much greater performance than NS since it would be using methalox and has a larger tank volume.

The biggest difference vs. New Shepard would be better mass fractions and higher thrust... both of which improve performance at launch but make it very difficult to land. How would a single BE-4 booster be reusable?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 11/09/2017 03:14 PM
Suggest BE-4, unlike BE-3, hasn't enough throttle/gimbal to do a single engine vehicle landing.

If you're going to do a single BE-4 vehicle, it'll be an expendable like a twin engine Vulcan.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 11/10/2017 07:54 AM
Suggest BE-4, unlike BE-3, hasn't enough throttle/gimbal to do a single engine vehicle landing.

If you're going to do a single BE-4 vehicle, it'll be an expendable like a twin engine Vulcan.

There are other ways to land boosters besides rockets. Air bags were considered for the Kistler K-1.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kistler_K-1_Flight_Profile.gif
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: AncientU on 11/10/2017 11:47 AM
Suggest BE-4, unlike BE-3, hasn't enough throttle/gimbal to do a single engine vehicle landing.

If you're going to do a single BE-4 vehicle, it'll be an expendable like a twin engine Vulcan.

There are other ways to land boosters besides rockets. Air bags were considered for the Kistler K-1.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kistler_K-1_Flight_Profile.gif

...considered.  So were wings and parachutes.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: envy887 on 11/10/2017 02:07 PM
Suggest BE-4, unlike BE-3, hasn't enough throttle/gimbal to do a single engine vehicle landing.

If you're going to do a single BE-4 vehicle, it'll be an expendable like a twin engine Vulcan.

There are other ways to land boosters besides rockets. Air bags were considered for the Kistler K-1.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kistler_K-1_Flight_Profile.gif

Vertical landing of a booster has been demonstrated at least 3 times (DC-X, New Shepard, F9) and shown to be superior to at least parachute splashdown.

I don't think airbags have been seriously attempted, never mind demonstrated, though they have been proposed several times for vehicles as large as Zenit. It's possible they would work for a single BE-4 booster, as both parachutes and airbags scale better to small vehicles than large ones, but it doesn't seem to be something either Blue or ULA are interested in developing.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: GWH on 11/10/2017 03:51 PM
Suggest BE-4, unlike BE-3, hasn't enough throttle/gimbal to do a single engine vehicle landing.

If you're going to do a single BE-4 vehicle, it'll be an expendable like a twin engine Vulcan.

Landing of a single main engine rocket can always be accomplished by adding more little engines :) such as the 11,000 lb methalox thrusters planned for use in Blue Moon. I digress since this is off topic for the most part, but that "single engine can't land" comment always bugs me as being dismissive of other design possibilities.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lars-J on 11/10/2017 04:48 PM
Suggest BE-4, unlike BE-3, hasn't enough throttle/gimbal to do a single engine vehicle landing.

If you're going to do a single BE-4 vehicle, it'll be an expendable like a twin engine Vulcan.

Landing of a single main engine rocket can always be accomplished by adding more little engines :) such as the 11,000 lb methalox thrusters planned for use in Blue Moon. I digress since this is off topic for the most part, but that "single engine can't land" comment always bugs me as being dismissive of other design possibilities.

And your comment strikes me as dismissive of design *practicalities*. Adding several smaller landing engines is not trivial, and it will effect the performance of the vehicle.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 11/10/2017 04:52 PM
FWIW, think you can just about do it with 3. Smallest number where a "hoverslam" becomes vaguely possible.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Jim on 11/10/2017 04:54 PM
Suggest BE-4, unlike BE-3, hasn't enough throttle/gimbal to do a single engine vehicle landing.

If you're going to do a single BE-4 vehicle, it'll be an expendable like a twin engine Vulcan.

Landing of a single main engine rocket can always be accomplished by adding more little engines :) such as the 11,000 lb methalox thrusters planned for use in Blue Moon. I digress since this is off topic for the most part, but that "single engine can't land" comment always bugs me as being dismissive of other design possibilities.

No, single engine means one only and no other little engines.  Using engines that are not of the same design and are special purpose defeat the purpose and cost savings
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Rabidpanda on 11/10/2017 04:57 PM
Considering that there is *zero* evidence that Blue is developing a single BE-4 powered launch vehicle, this whole discussion seems pointless.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: GWH on 11/10/2017 05:08 PM
And your comment strikes me as dismissive of design *practicalities*. Adding several smaller landing engines is not trivial, and it will effect the performance of the vehicle.

Of course it will, don't take my comment as dismissive of that.  it is simply a statement that just because one design philosophy (clustered engines with center engine used to land) has seem to become "the way things are always done" - over a sample size of two - doesn't mean alternatives should be dismissed either.

Performance effects could be mitigated somewhat - having the landing engines ignite at lift off can help mitigate the incurred dry mass and improve TWR. Perhaps a simplified fixed nozzle main engine could be used, where the clustered secondary engines provide all attitude and roll control.

Off hand I just don't see reasons why it can't be done - the very nature of a vertical landing booster has many complexities, and off hand I can't see why the above would be significantly more complicated than the alternative.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 11/10/2017 05:39 PM
Considering that there is *zero* evidence that Blue is developing a single BE-4 powered launch vehicle, this whole discussion seems pointless.
Perhaps.

Boils down to ... if you do smallest ELV first, does that accelerate or retard NG?

Argument for current course of action - BO has already enough flight/staff experience with suborbital NS, so all on/up focus on NG means first mission complete success is 95+ % likely.

Argument for alternative - BO doesn't want to do a complete redesign of LV/GSE/pad/recovery at scale because of flaw that requires such a costly "retry", so potentially "crawl/walk" of smaller LV (if it is and GSE/pad difference can be kept small - like with a "milkstool" etc) means you prove the less capability to potentially speed larger. And, if you have to respin larger, you're still launching likely with smaller while you respin.

Choice of different "gradatim". Are they better at gradual vehicles or gradual with a vehicle?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TrevorMonty on 11/10/2017 06:11 PM
I thought Bezos said they were considering optional US for NS booster so it could service cubesat and smallsat market.

Besides this I can't see the point in another booster, better to use NG with lower cost BE3 US for smaller payloads. 
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lars-J on 11/10/2017 06:26 PM
I thought Bezos said they were considering optional US for NS booster so it could service cubesat and smallsat market.
S for smaller payloads.

No, he has never said that. It may have been speculated by forum members, though.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: GWH on 11/10/2017 06:58 PM
I thought Bezos said they were considering optional US for NS booster so it could service cubesat and smallsat market.
S for smaller payloads.

No, he has never said that. It may have been speculated by forum members, though.

Yes, he did.
Quote from: Jeff Bezos
“I’m thinking it might be interesting to build a small second stage for this New Shepard booster because we could use it to put smallsats into orbit. It would be perfectly capable of being a first stage for a small orbital vehicle."
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3213/1
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lars-J on 11/10/2017 07:36 PM
I stand corrected!
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 11/10/2017 08:51 PM
There are other ways to land boosters besides rockets. Air bags were considered for the Kistler K-1.
I don't think airbags have been seriously attempted, never mind demonstrated, though they have been proposed several times for vehicles as large as Zenit.
Thanks to both of you for bringing this up.

What happened when a Falcon 9 fell over on its side? Boom!

That's what would happen also with an airbag landing. You can't passivate the booster fast enough, and the landing area as well as the engine/stage is still hot and extremely dangerous - how do you mitigate those?

Also, what's the parasitic weight gain for the airbag/deployment mechanism? Reuse following burn through? How does the engine spin down / tale off during the "topple"?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: envy887 on 11/11/2017 02:01 AM
There are other ways to land boosters besides rockets. Air bags were considered for the Kistler K-1.
I don't think airbags have been seriously attempted, never mind demonstrated, though they have been proposed several times for vehicles as large as Zenit.
Thanks to both of you for bringing this up.

What happened when a Falcon 9 fell over on its side? Boom!

That's what would happen also with an airbag landing. You can't passivate the booster fast enough, and the landing area as well as the engine/stage is still hot and extremely dangerous - how do you mitigate those?

Also, what's the parasitic weight gain for the airbag/deployment mechanism? Reuse following burn through? How does the engine spin down / tale off during the "topple"?

Has anyone proposed a retroburn immediately followed by airbag landing? Everything I have seen uses chutes to reduce terminal velocity to something the airbags can handle, which would leave the booster hanging in cool air for a long time, enough to cool at least the really hot surfaces. And maybe even long enough to fully passivate and dump all props and fluids.

Small chutes are lighter than landing fuel; they just don't scale to EELV sizes.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: envy887 on 11/11/2017 02:08 AM
I thought Bezos said they were considering optional US for NS booster so it could service cubesat and smallsat market.
S for smaller payloads.

No, he has never said that. It may have been speculated by forum members, though.

Yes, he did.
Quote from: Jeff Bezos
“I’m thinking it might be interesting to build a small second stage for this New Shepard booster because we could use it to put smallsats into orbit. It would be perfectly capable of being a first stage for a small orbital vehicle."
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3213/1

"Would be interesting" does not equal seriously considering doing it. This would be the ultimate LEGO rocket as the upper stage would have to provide almost all the delta-v. Possibly interesting for very small payloads, but this would be competing against Electron etc.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 11/11/2017 02:28 AM
There are other ways to land boosters besides rockets. Air bags were considered for the Kistler K-1.
I don't think airbags have been seriously attempted, never mind demonstrated, though they have been proposed several times for vehicles as large as Zenit.
Thanks to both of you for bringing this up.

What happened when a Falcon 9 fell over on its side? Boom!

That's what would happen also with an airbag landing. You can't passivate the booster fast enough, and the landing area as well as the engine/stage is still hot and extremely dangerous - how do you mitigate those?

Also, what's the parasitic weight gain for the airbag/deployment mechanism? Reuse following burn through? How does the engine spin down / tale off during the "topple"?

Has anyone proposed a retroburn immediately followed by airbag landing? Everything I have seen uses chutes to reduce terminal velocity to something the airbags can handle, which would leave the booster hanging in cool air for a long time, enough to cool at least the really hot surfaces. And maybe even long enough to fully passivate and dump all props and fluids.

Yes - the alternative to an undeployable chute. Please note all the difficulties with large chutes, even at transonic speeds. Even things like ballutes are not as predictable as propulsion systems to deploy and detach.

Quote
Small chutes are lighter than landing fuel; they just don't scale to EELV sizes.
Indeed. Thus the above post.

add:

By the way, the burns are "boost back burn", "entry burn", and "braking burn".  Entry burn for dealing with the entry shock and bringing the relative stage trajectory velocity (horizontal and vertical) down to transonic, boost back to RTLS (most costly because you're cancelling your downrange or horizontal velocity), and braking/landing burn to cancel terminal velocity (vertical)  to keep from crashing into the ground.

All are retro or cancelling velocity.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Zed_Noir on 11/11/2017 02:44 AM
I thought Bezos said they were considering optional US for NS booster so it could service cubesat and smallsat market.
S for smaller payloads.

No, he has never said that. It may have been speculated by forum members, though.

Yes, he did.
Quote from: Jeff Bezos
“I’m thinking it might be interesting to build a small second stage for this New Shepard booster because we could use it to put smallsats into orbit. It would be perfectly capable of being a first stage for a small orbital vehicle."
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3213/1

"Would be interesting" does not equal seriously considering doing it. This would be the ultimate LEGO rocket as the upper stage would have to provide almost all the delta-v. Possibly interesting for very small payloads, but this would be competing against Electron etc.

This LEGO rocket will be a money loser against many other small launchers. But Bezos could still under cut the rest of the market with negative profit launch prices. That is  his M.O. with Amazon on how to deal with competitors.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: DreamyPickle on 11/11/2017 02:26 PM
Quote from: Jeff Bezos
“I’m thinking it might be interesting to build a small second stage for this New Shepard booster because we could use it to put smallsats into orbit. It would be perfectly capable of being a first stage for a small orbital vehicle."
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3213/1

"Would be interesting" does not equal seriously considering doing it. This would be the ultimate LEGO rocket as the upper stage would have to provide almost all the delta-v. Possibly interesting for very small payloads, but this would be competing against Electron etc.

While the New Shepard's flight profile doesn't look impressive it carries a very large and heavy capsule on top. They claim a pressurized volume of 530 cubic feet, larger than Dragon 2 or CST-100. If that capsule is replaced with a light-weight solid motor (STAR-48?) the flight profile could look much more like Falcon 9 RTLS.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: GWH on 11/11/2017 02:56 PM



"Would be interesting" does not equal seriously considering doing it. This would be the ultimate LEGO rocket as the upper stage would have to provide almost all the delta-v. Possibly interesting for very small payloads, but this would be competing against Electron etc.

While the New Shepard's flight profile doesn't look impressive it carries a very large and heavy capsule on top. They claim a pressurized volume of 530 cubic feet, larger than Dragon 2 or CST-100. If that capsule is replaced with a light-weight solid motor (STAR-48?) the flight profile could look much more like Falcon 9 RTLS.

This has all been discusses and looked at before, such as this post by Jon Goff: http://selenianboondocks.com/2016/01/random-thoughts-new-shepard-for-pop-up-tsto-nanosat-launch/

Discussing exactly how seriously Blue is considering it is a circular conversation that can't be resolved. Maybe they merely gave it enough consideration to check if the numbers worked, maybe more, maybe Jeff Bezos just made an off the cuff comment. Regardless a statement was made suggesting the possibility.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 11/25/2017 02:40 PM
Bezos just regained title of world's richest man. Considering that just last Friday his fortune went up by a paltry $2.4 billion, I guess his $1 billion annual burn rate on Blue Origin isn't that concerning for the company's long term plans...

http://money.cnn.com/2017/11/24/technology/jeff-bezos-100-billion/index.html
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: yg1968 on 11/25/2017 05:45 PM
I thought Bezos said they were considering optional US for NS booster so it could service cubesat and smallsat market.
S for smaller payloads.

No, he has never said that. It may have been speculated by forum members, though.

Yes, he did.
Quote from: Jeff Bezos
“I’m thinking it might be interesting to build a small second stage for this New Shepard booster because we could use it to put smallsats into orbit. It would be perfectly capable of being a first stage for a small orbital vehicle."
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3213/1

Incidentally, here is a link to the presser where he said this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-N_SpVKoVA&t=17s
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/05/2017 07:07 PM
Quote
PARC to Partner with Commercial Space Leader to Accelerate Space R&D
Partnership to Explore Advanced Technologies and Launch Suborbital Space R&D Projects
5 December 2017

Palo Alto, CA: PARC, a Xerox company, today announced its partnership with Blue Origin to enhance awareness and interest in the vast possibilities made possible by conducting R&D in space. The partnership will leverage PARC’s expertise in technology innovation and Blue Origin’s reusable suborbital rocket, New Shepard, to push new frontiers in four areas of technology R&D: advanced manufacturing, energy systems, human-machine interaction, and predictive analytics.
 
“This is an exciting partnership at an exciting time,” said Austin Pugh, Senior Director of Global Business Development at PARC. “We look forward to working with Blue Origin’s world class team of scientists and engineers on gaining new insights from performing R&D in space. When a truly multi-disciplinary team of scientists come together to think about how to tackle big challenges, the possibilities are endless.”
The two will work together in “Accelerating Research in Space” (ARIS) to market joint R&D opportunities to PARC’s global 1000 partners and government agencies. The ultimate goal is to include an advanced technology R&D experiment on one of Blue Origin’s upcoming suborbital flights.
“PARC’s history of innovation makes them a fantastic partner for Blue Origin’s vision of opening the space frontier to new technologies, new science, and new people,” said Erika Wagner, Blue Origin’s Business Development Manager. “We look forward to adding space access to PARC’s toolbox of R&D capabilities.”
PARC will establish an ARIS working group to focus on generating new technology concepts that would benefit from performing investigations in spaceflight environments. Together, the multidisciplinary group of scientists will build an understanding of commercial space Payload Lockers and begin scoping potential experiments to bring new understandings about how technologies behave in space, as well as how they may enable future generations of advanced space systems that support PARC’s commercial and government partners.

https://www.parc.com/news-release/146/parc-to-partner-with-commercial-space-leader-to-accelerate-space-rd.html (https://www.parc.com/news-release/146/parc-to-partner-with-commercial-space-leader-to-accelerate-space-rd.html)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: vaporcobra on 12/22/2017 07:31 PM
Hm, Blue was just granted a license for New Shepard Flight 8, NET Dec 25 (Christmas Day!). I have doubts that that NET has any actual meaning, but it would certainly be impressive if they manage to refly NS that quickly.

https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/GetApplicationInfo.cfm?id_file_num=1769-EX-ST-2017
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Confusador on 12/23/2017 01:48 AM
Hm, Blue was just granted a license for New Shepard Flight 8, NET Dec 25 (Christmas Day!). I have doubts that that NET has any actual meaning, but it would certainly be impressive if they manage to refly NS that quickly.

https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/GetApplicationInfo.cfm?id_file_num=1769-EX-ST-2017

Seeing as it has a 6 month duration, I think skepticism that they'll launch next week is warranted.  Still good to see that they're already moving on it.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: vaporcobra on 12/23/2017 03:03 AM
Hm, Blue was just granted a license for New Shepard Flight 8, NET Dec 25 (Christmas Day!). I have doubts that that NET has any actual meaning, but it would certainly be impressive if they manage to refly NS that quickly.

https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/GetApplicationInfo.cfm?id_file_num=1769-EX-ST-2017

Seeing as it has a 6 month duration, I think skepticism that they'll launch next week is warranted.  Still good to see that they're already moving on it.

I agree, that's most likely with respect to Blue. Only reason I'm not certain is that SpaceX have set a precedent for the permit start date as almost always being equivalent to the NET launch. BRB checking NOTAMs
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: deruch on 12/24/2017 07:45 AM
The recent flight, #7, had an STA with the operation start date of November 1st.  It launched almost 6 weeks later.  The best that can be inferred from the new STA is that they could potentially launch again before New Year's, can't really use it to say what the likelihood is.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Chasm on 12/24/2017 11:29 AM
I think not very likely.

The major reasons are to push the launch count to two and to demonstrate fast turnaround.
Better to send everyone home now and then launch in January. Considerations go beyond Blue staff. They have payloads and those are unlikely to be something entirely unattended that got mailed in for a launch.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/28/2017 06:15 AM
Quote
Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ rocket venture, buys land for expansion in Kent
Originally published December 27, 2017 at 3:47 pm Updated December 27, 2017 at 4:17 pm

The Kent-based rocket maker last week spent $14.1 million on 31 acres of agricultural land near its headquarters.

Matt Day By Matt Day
Seattle Times technology reporter

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/amazon/blue-origin-jeff-bezoss-rocket-venture-buys-land-for-expansion-in-kent/ (https://www.seattletimes.com/business/amazon/blue-origin-jeff-bezoss-rocket-venture-buys-land-for-expansion-in-kent/)

Attached map from this separate tweet:

Quote
Blue Origin, the Kent-based aerospace firm owned by Jeff Bezos, has added to its holdings in Kent with a 31-acre land purchase just southwest of its headquarters. owl.li/YfGI30hsd81
https://twitter.com/SeattleDJC/status/946233009010888704 (https://twitter.com/SeattleDJC/status/946233009010888704)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: envy887 on 12/29/2017 07:54 PM
Space companies always state unrealistic projects developing cost&time. Taking into account that Blue Origin is a really newcomer for heavy launch vehicles busyness, without collective experience in developing complex projects, I am pretty skeptical about when we will see New Glen flying, but  we will eventually , it is to much many invested u project.
What would be your best guess, when we will see the first successful reusable flight of New Glen?

Blue hired a lot of ARJD and ULA employees that have plenty of experience. I doubt Bezos worries about sunk cost, but the amount he spent on engine development and manufacturing and launch facilities shows that he is serious about New Glenn (and well-heeled).

I expect New Glenn will fly in 2020 and be reused a year or two after that. Blue has enough funding that they don't have to iterate as much on customer flights as SpaceX did. Plus, from flying New Shepard and watching Falcon 9, they have a much better idea what it takes to reuse.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: loki on 12/29/2017 08:52 PM
Space companies always state unrealistic projects developing cost&time. Taking into account that Blue Origin is a really newcomer for heavy launch vehicles busyness, without collective experience in developing complex projects, I am pretty skeptical about when we will see New Glen flying, but  we will eventually , it is to much many invested u project.
What would be your best guess, when we will see the first successful reusable flight of New Glen?

Blue hired a lot of ARJD and ULA employees that have plenty of experience. I doubt Bezos worries about sunk cost, but the amount he spent on engine development and manufacturing and launch facilities shows that he is serious about New Glenn (and well-heeled).

I expect New Glenn will fly in 2020 and be reused a year or two after that. Blue has enough funding that they don't have to iterate as much on customer flights as SpaceX did. Plus, from flying New Shepard and watching Falcon 9, they have a much better idea what it takes to reuse.

I am sure that Blue Origin hires the best available experts, but limiting factor is needed time to make fully effective teams for production, design, testing ,launching… Also additional time is needed to build facilities, pad, order special tools, train the employees to work on new equipment, etc . Development of such a big  engine (BE-4), which are  prone to combustion instability  by lаw of physics, is really big feat.
That are the reasons I am skeptical about New Glenn deadlines for demo launch.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: envy887 on 12/29/2017 10:19 PM
Space companies always state unrealistic projects developing cost&time. Taking into account that Blue Origin is a really newcomer for heavy launch vehicles busyness, without collective experience in developing complex projects, I am pretty skeptical about when we will see New Glen flying, but  we will eventually , it is to much many invested u project.
What would be your best guess, when we will see the first successful reusable flight of New Glen?

Blue hired a lot of ARJD and ULA employees that have plenty of experience. I doubt Bezos worries about sunk cost, but the amount he spent on engine development and manufacturing and launch facilities shows that he is serious about New Glenn (and well-heeled).

I expect New Glenn will fly in 2020 and be reused a year or two after that. Blue has enough funding that they don't have to iterate as much on customer flights as SpaceX did. Plus, from flying New Shepard and watching Falcon 9, they have a much better idea what it takes to reuse.

I am sure that Blue Origin hires the best available experts, but limiting factor is needed time to make fully effective teams for production, design, testing ,launching… Also additional time is needed to build facilities, pad, order special tools, train the employees to work on new equipment, etc . Development of such a big  engine (BE-4), which are  prone to combustion instability  by lаw of physics, is really big feat.
That are the reasons I am skeptical about New Glenn deadlines for demo launch.

Blue has been working on most of those things for several years. The production and launch facilities are well under way. I think they will at least attempt to launch in the next 36 months.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: loki on 12/30/2017 12:08 PM


Blue has been working on most of those things for several years. The production and launch facilities are well under way. I think they will at least attempt to launch in the next 36 months.

Thanks!
My guess is close : After BE-4 qualification for one flight, they will need at least three years for demo and another two for established booster recovery.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 12/30/2017 01:33 PM


Blue has been working on most of those things for several years. The production and launch facilities are well under way. I think they will at least attempt to launch in the next 36 months.

Thanks!
My guess is close : After BE-4 qualification for one flight, they will need at least three years for demo and another two for established booster recovery.

The fact that Blue is rather secretive hides the fact that Blue is very much accelerating. To get New Shepard off the ground took them 11 years (from project start in 2004 to first flight in 2015).
If Blue makes the 2020 initial launch for New Glenn (and all the indications are they will) than they will have gotten that system off the ground in just eight ( 8 ) years.
That's a vast improvement given that New Glenn is orbital (in stead of sub-orbital); has multiple engines in the booster (in stead of just one); has multiple stages (in stead of just one); is using a different fuel (LNG in stead of LH2); has two production lines (Alabama and KSC in stead of just Kent); has a new engine that is five times more powerfull than the previous one; etc, etc.

Bezos is right: Slow is smooth. And smooth is fast. IMO they really are the turtle that will eventually overtake the hare.

Personally I can't wait until they start revealing details about New Armstrong. IMO it will rival (if not surpass) BFR/BFS.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Robotbeat on 12/30/2017 01:57 PM
Pet peeve is when people say NET (No Earlier Than) dates, or even projections, are "deadlines."

No, they're not. Please stop doing that. It's called NET for a reason.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: loki on 12/30/2017 02:52 PM
I have tried to estimate NET time for established recovery of New Glenn booster considering and describing how much of effort to be done.
If my guess of NET middle of 2023 stands test of time, New Glenn could be already obsolete without reusable second stage?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Svetoslav on 12/30/2017 03:09 PM
Pet peeve is when people say NET (No Earlier Than) dates, or even projections, are "deadlines."

No, they're not. Please stop doing that. It's called NET for a reason.

In my opinion Bezos, as well as Branson and Musk should stop giving dates.

No NETs. No Deadlines. No dates at all.

Manned suborbital spaceflight is always one-two years in the future. It has been always "next year" since 2010. And I think there's still a big chance to be one year away in the future in the end of 2018.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: AncientU on 12/30/2017 03:20 PM
...

The fact that Blue is rather secretive hides the fact that Blue is very much accelerating. To get New Shepard off the ground took them 11 years (from project start in 2004 to first flight in 2015).
...

Nit: Blue started that project in 2000 with its founding.  15-16 years.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: ugordan on 12/30/2017 03:26 PM
Pet peeve is when people say NET (No Earlier Than) dates, or even projections, are "deadlines."

No, they're not. Please stop doing that. It's called NET for a reason.

In my opinion Bezos, as well as Branson and Musk should stop giving dates.

No NETs. No Deadlines. No dates at all.

Or... you could just keep calm and not take any dates to heart. I don't believe you're that much younger than me, but this instant gratification attitude of yours over the past just reeks of this instant gratification internet generation mentality. Guess what, they don't owe you (or me) anything. Read what Robotbeat said, it's a NET date.

So they're delayed, so what? So are Boeing and SpaceX crew launches. So is fusion power and humans landing on Mars. Always 20 years in the future, la-di-da. SLS is just around the corner (rrright...), and it's a government operation, so...

If you don't like knowing about their aspirational dates, just don't read about them and then be pleasantly surprised once they finally accomplish something big. Or maybe you'd prefer a scenario where they move forward faster than they ought to and get some people killed in the process?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Svetoslav on 12/30/2017 03:44 PM
Although I'm definitely part of the instant gratification generation (and I wrote about this on The Space Review), this risk aversion is getting annoying.

NASA is risk averse because it has a culture born of two high-profile failures. And private companies are risk averse because they're careful not to bite the hand that's feeding them (SpaceX and NASA) or they're developing capsules for space tourism and they should be as safe as airliners.

But should I remind you what Burt Rutan said years ago about moving forward?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: cscott on 12/30/2017 03:47 PM
Given scaled's safety record, I'm not sure Rutan is the one you should be invoking here.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Svetoslav on 12/30/2017 03:53 PM
Ayeh, but Blue Origin is moving quite well and there are no failures. It would be quite nice if we see them doing more than they're currently doing. And being... more brave than they appear to be.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: testguy on 12/30/2017 04:45 PM
OK we are way off topic here but I just got to get in.  Management MUST set dates in order to develop a program plan.  It is a key metric to measure your progress and is used to help make wise decisions when and how to alter the program when situations develop.  Setting dates keeps everyone on the same page working towards the same goal.  Without setting dates a program will grow and grow in cost unnecessarily and take much longer to accomplish even with unlimited budget.  Who would fund a program going in not knowing what the financial exposure was.  Those dates set internal to an organization and funding entity will leak out and see the light of day.

This is off topic, just wanted to express my view and will not post again on this.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: ugordan on 12/30/2017 05:26 PM
Although I'm definitely part of the instant gratification generation (and I wrote about this on The Space Review), this risk aversion is getting annoying.

Like I alluded to above, it's all fun and games untill someone gets killed. Would you want to be the person ultimately responsible for that death? Risk aversion getting annoying? What if it turned out that it was your subsystem that caused someone's death?

Launching uncrewed hardware is all fun and games, but there comes a time when the decision needs to be made that you're really confident and ready to commit to putting actual people on board. You think that decision comes easy and it should be rushed? We're living in a day and age where people can cry foul that a SpaceX launch is "responsible" for a multiple car crash in L.A. because drivers should't really be expected to watch the goddamn road on their own? As private businesses, they need to take this kind of shit into account, pardon my French.

Go back to as far as Apollo 8 (say "Moon Machines", episode Saturn V) and you'll see even those engineers had second thoughts the moment they realized they were committing the lives of three astronauts to the hardware they built.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Svetoslav on 12/30/2017 05:33 PM

Like I alluded to above, it's all fun and games untill someone gets killed. Would you want to be the person ultimately responsible for that death? Risk aversion getting annoying? What if it turned out that it was your subsystem that caused someone's death?


While I agree that it's quite responsible thing to do... in the end you have to risk and launch the capsule with humans onboard. This is somewhat a leap of faith - you trust that the machine is stable enough to carry astronauts.

But excuse me, how many times do we need to launch the rocket in unmanned mode, before finally daring to launch it with people? How many times does Falcon 9 have to fly? Right now it has tens of flights behind its back, and only a single in-flight failure.

How many times will Blue Origin have to fly the New Shepard capsule, before sending a test astronaut?

Well I tell you ... if you think waaay too much about the risks, you aren't going anywhere.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: ugordan on 12/30/2017 05:40 PM
How many times does Falcon 9 have to fly? Right now it has tens of flights behind its back, and only a single in-flight failure.

And how many of those tens of flights have been of the same configuration? They are literally now introducing the next version of F9 with who knows what kind of under-the-hood changes compared to previous hardware. In fact, I wouldn't venture to bet that there have ever been 10 exact same vehicles flown altogether.

How many times will Blue Origin have to fly the New Shepard capsule, before sending a test astronaut?

As many times as BO deem necessary. They aren't launching them for shits and giggles.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Svetoslav on 12/30/2017 05:52 PM
When I'm in the lab, occasionally I have to work with toxic chemicals and machines that could theoretically explode in my face, blind me... or even kill me.

These are the risks I take.

Tests astronauts take higher risks, but guess what - they're aware of them. And they still want to fly.

I'm happy I'm not a test astronaut though :) I will literally have no options if I want to fly a new vehicle, because noone will will let me go.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 12/30/2017 06:20 PM
Attempting to return to topic.

BO is a very proud organization. They don't want half measures. Or "booms". They find "agile" as suspect or "half assed".

ULA admires BO for this as of like kind.

(SX, in contrast, doesn't, more impatient, has a far more narrow objective.)

All three mentioned here have different motivators - BO wants "six sigma" spaceflight with reuse,  ULA wants survival w/o RD180 and economic NSS/institutional mission bidding, SX wants dominant global launch market share.

They conflict mostly due to "pride overlap". BO:"SX, that's not how to do reuse!", ULA:"SX, that's not how to do NSS/institutional!", "SX:WTF! None of you know anything about hard driving the global market!".

So its not "fear of failure" as much as "if you've a failure you didn't do/assess the job properly in the first place".
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Svetoslav on 12/30/2017 06:38 PM
Actually, Blue Origin is one of my top favourite companies (I even place them above SpaceX). I guess it's also overexpectation from my side.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TrevorMonty on 12/30/2017 07:10 PM
One fatal flight can setback HSF industry by years or decades. Companies would closeup or kill programs as investment money disappears. Virgin Galatic were lucky to survive their fatal SpaceShipOne test flight accident.

Unlike VG, Blue hasn't sold any NS tickets so they are beholding to nobody but their owner. When they do sell tickets the NS will be ready to fly with small fleet and lead time of few months.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Comga on 12/30/2017 07:52 PM
It’s funny. People are in two camps.
Some think BO is being duly careful taking most of two decades to develop a system to take tourists and experiments briefly out of the atmosphere.
The other group believes that BO will fly a very large, fully reusable, LOX-LCH4, composite, TSTO, orbital launcher by 2020.
While supplying the next generation, high performance, high reliability, disposable cryogenic rocket engine to ULA.

Mind you I have a friend who works at Blue. I wish her and them the best, even while I remain skeptical.

Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 12/30/2017 07:53 PM
Pet peeve is when people say NET (No Earlier Than) dates, or even projections, are "deadlines."

No, they're not. Please stop doing that. It's called NET for a reason.

In my opinion Bezos, as well as Branson and Musk should stop giving dates.

No NETs. No Deadlines. No dates at all.

They give dates for their own reasons, not ours. Everyone just has to remember that. I mean gosh, how many dates has Elon Musk thrown out about Falcon Heavy?

Maybe because I've been in jobs where I have to issue No-Early-Than dates that I'm not bothered by them when they pass in silence. But if anything they provide a window into the current thinking, and I'd rather have that than silence.

Quote
Manned suborbital spaceflight is always one-two years in the future. It has been always "next year" since 2010. And I think there's still a big chance to be one year away in the future in the end of 2018.

To race is on to see who will make it to space first - the sub-orbital folks (i.e. Virgin Galactice & Blue Origin), or the orbital ones (i.e. Boeing & SpaceX).

2018 is going to be another fun year!!  :D
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Svetoslav on 12/30/2017 08:08 PM
I agree. What a fun year 2018 will be! :) I also wish Blue Origin all the best, but please... all hurry :) I want to fly to space some day :)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Star One on 12/30/2017 08:29 PM
I agree. What a fun year 2018 will be! :) I also wish Blue Origin all the best, but please... all hurry :) I want to fly to space some day :)

I see no reason for them to hurry. I admire their slow and steady approach complete with their controlled releases of information.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Brovane on 12/30/2017 09:55 PM
Attempting to return to topic.

BO is a very proud organization. They don't want half measures. Or "booms". They find "agile" as suspect or "half assed".

ULA admires BO for this as of like kind.

(SX, in contrast, doesn't, more impatient, has a far more narrow objective.)



It is hard to compare SX and BO because they both have very different financial situations.

SX has to produce a revenue stream to fund development of new technology.  SpaceX has to stay agile and has a large customer base waiting on launches.

BO is self funded by Bezos and is not dependent on any revenue stream from customer. 

This key difference drives a lot of decision making at both companies. 

 
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: envy887 on 12/30/2017 10:18 PM
It’s funny. People are in two camps.
Some think BO is being duly careful taking most of two decades to develop a system to take tourists and experiments briefly out of the atmosphere.
The other group believes that BO will fly a very large, fully reusable, LOX-LCH4, composite, TSTO, orbital launcher by 2020.
While supplying the next generation, high performance, high reliability, disposable cryogenic rocket engine to ULA.

Mind you I have a friend who works at Blue. I wish her and them the best, even while I remain skeptical.

I have seen zero evidence that New Glenn will be primarily composite, or that it will be TSTO fully reusable.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Comga on 12/30/2017 10:23 PM
It’s funny. People are in two camps.
Some think BO is being duly careful taking most of two decades to develop a system to take tourists and experiments briefly out of the atmosphere.
The other group believes that BO will fly a very large, fully reusable, LOX-LCH4, composite, TSTO, orbital launcher by 2020.
While supplying the next generation, high performance, high reliability, disposable cryogenic rocket engine to ULA.

Mind you I have a friend who works at Blue. I wish her and them the best, even while I remain skeptical.

I have seen zero evidence that New Glenn will be primarily composite, or that it will be TSTO fully reusable.

 ::)
OK Leave those two two words out.  (fully & composite)
How about the rest of it?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Comga on 12/30/2017 10:38 PM
Belay that
Quote
According to Mr. Henderson, the facility will contain the largest carbon AFP (Automated Fiber Placement – advanced method of manufacturing composite materials) machine and the largest autoclave in the world as well as a stir welding machine
Composite
Not that it matters
NG represents a host of breakthrough attributes
There is a good Air Force study, done after the X-33 fiasco, that details the obvious problem with relying on multiple breakthroughs.
There will be plenty of issue to work through.
Money will buy them time, but time will be spent.
2020 is right around the corner.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: envy887 on 12/31/2017 01:35 AM
Belay that
Quote
According to Mr. Henderson, the facility will contain the largest carbon AFP (Automated Fiber Placement – advanced method of manufacturing composite materials) machine and the largest autoclave in the world as well as a stir welding machine
Composite
Not that it matters
NG represents a host of breakthrough attributes
There is a good Air Force study, done after the X-33 fiasco, that details the obvious problem with relying on multiple breakthroughs.
There will be plenty of issue to work through.
Money will buy them time, but time will be spent.
2020 is right around the corner.

For interstages and fairings, IMO. Fiber is state-of-art there, but nothing new. SpaceX and ULA use it there all the time.

I don't think Blue is trying anything really aggressive with New Glenn, mostly state-of-art at lower cost. Look at the design of BE-4: yes, it's ORSC, but at low pressure. New Glenn is a very large rocket to only launch 45 tonnes to LEO with downrange recovery, which suggests reasonably conservative mass fractions and design choices.

Edit: "as well as a stir welding machine" strongly suggest Al or more likely Al-Li tanks. Stir welding is only especially useful for tanks. It's also state-of-art. No breakthroughs at all. Almost everything Blue is trying to do has been done before, they are just scaling some of it up.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 12/31/2017 02:07 AM
Attempting to return to topic.

BO is a very proud organization. They don't want half measures. Or "booms". They find "agile" as suspect or "half assed".

ULA admires BO for this as of like kind.

(SX, in contrast, doesn't, more impatient, has a far more narrow objective.)



It is hard to compare SX and BO because they both have very different financial situations.
Likewise ULA. Kind of "in between".

Quote
SX has to produce a revenue stream to fund development of new technology.  SpaceX has to stay agile and has a large customer base waiting on launches.
They have to also generate ROI on those developments as a "going concern", so it matters what they choose to attempt.

Quote
BO is self funded by Bezos and is not dependent on any revenue stream from customer.
Nor when/how they need to do so.

Quote
This key difference drives a lot of decision making at both companies.
That's another thread here.

In short, I've always found that companies that do actual business progress better than those who don't need to.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Star One on 12/31/2017 10:13 AM
Attempting to return to topic.

BO is a very proud organization. They don't want half measures. Or "booms". They find "agile" as suspect or "half assed".

ULA admires BO for this as of like kind.

(SX, in contrast, doesn't, more impatient, has a far more narrow objective.)



It is hard to compare SX and BO because they both have very different financial situations.
Likewise ULA. Kind of "in between".

Quote
SX has to produce a revenue stream to fund development of new technology.  SpaceX has to stay agile and has a large customer base waiting on launches.
They have to also generate ROI on those developments as a "going concern", so it matters what they choose to attempt.

Quote
BO is self funded by Bezos and is not dependent on any revenue stream from customer.
Nor when/how they need to do so.

Quote
This key difference drives a lot of decision making at both companies.
That's another thread here.

In short, I've always found that companies that do actual business progress better than those who don't need to.

Kind of ignoring the fact that Amazon is a very successful business and that Blue Origin should be seen as more a part of that overall umbrella even if it’s nominally separate.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 12/31/2017 03:02 PM
In short, I've always found that companies that do actual business progress better than those who don't need to.

Kind of ignoring the fact that Amazon is a very successful business and that Blue Origin should be seen as more a part of that overall umbrella even if it’s nominally separate.

No. Amazon did actual business from the start, was never like BO. (Firephone, OTOH, "flamed out" because Bezos didn't want to "do the business" from the start.)

He also has many business failures. Not the thread/site to discuss then. He doesn't $hit gold, trust me on this. Nor does Musk.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Star One on 12/31/2017 03:13 PM
In short, I've always found that companies that do actual business progress better than those who don't need to.

Kind of ignoring the fact that Amazon is a very successful business and that Blue Origin should be seen as more a part of that overall umbrella even if it’s nominally separate.

No. Amazon did actual business from the start, was never like BO. (Firephone, OTOH, "flamed out" because Bezos didn't want to "do the business" from the start.)

He also has many business failures. Not the thread/site to discuss then. He doesn't $hit gold, trust me on this. Nor does Musk.

I just don’t get your seemingly negative take on any analysis of Blue Origin of late. No one is asking for a remorselessly upbeat message but surely some balance is required.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: AncientU on 12/31/2017 04:04 PM
Blue is already winning launches (seven NG launches so far on their manifest) and likely has a customer for engines.  We'll see if their 'doing business' picks up tempo as the BE-4 moves toward a production start date.  They could become the exclusive launch provider for OneWeb*, for instance, which would instantly make for a head-to-head business competition worth watching.


* Especially if OneWeb gets the Boeing constellation licensing hand-off -- would put OneWeb's effort at equivalent level as Starlink
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 12/31/2017 05:50 PM
Winning launches is irrelevant, as they'll just rebook when things go long. Performing launches is all that matters.

Woods170 is right in saying that BO is quiet due to becoming serious about entry into the business i.e. launch. However, this additional attention hasn't yet resulted in the necessary gains to insure that they'll get there. Still in a "provider business free fall".

(Note we haven't heard of the BE-4 recently. Isn't ULA supposed to do an engine downselect about now? Shoe to drop?

add:
A successful FH demo and STP-2 will cause many of those on the BO manifest to switch IMHO. Between Ariane and FH, expect significant attrition as NG first flight slips by five years as my current estimates suggest.

Sure hope that BE-4 announcement happens soon.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Star One on 12/31/2017 07:23 PM
Winning launches is irrelevant, as they'll just rebook when things go long. Performing launches is all that matters.

Woods170 is right in saying that BO is quiet due to becoming serious about entry into the business i.e. launch. However, this additional attention hasn't yet resulted in the necessary gains to insure that they'll get there. Still in a "provider business free fall".

(Note we haven't heard of the BE-4 recently. Isn't ULA supposed to do an engine downselect about now? Shoe to drop?

add:
A successful FH demo and STP-2 will cause many of those on the BO manifest to switch IMHO. Between Ariane and FH, expect significant attrition as NG first flight slips by five years as my current estimates suggest.

Sure hope that BE-4 announcement happens soon.

A bunch of unsupportable supposition. There is nothing to say any of this will happen.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/31/2017 07:37 PM
Sure hope that BE-4 announcement happens soon.

From September 12 on a ULA Vulcan thread (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37676.msg1722258#msg1722258):

Quote
Tory Bruno, CEO @ulalaunch: CDR for Vulcan rocket by end this yr; we'll determine engine choice - @AerojetRdyne v @blueorigin before then.

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/907629989377576962 (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/907629989377576962)

IF ULA stuck to their schedule we may hear soon, but I suspect they’re waiting for more BE-4 progress (as I’d expect Blue Origin to publicise any major milestone, such as a successful full thrust and/or full duration firing).
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: AncientU on 12/31/2017 09:18 PM
Winning launches is irrelevant, as they'll just rebook when things go long. Performing launches is all that matters.

Woods170 is right in saying that BO is quiet due to becoming serious about entry into the business i.e. launch. However, this additional attention hasn't yet resulted in the necessary gains to insure that they'll get there. Still in a "provider business free fall".

(Note we haven't heard of the BE-4 recently. Isn't ULA supposed to do an engine downselect about now? Shoe to drop?

add:
A successful FH demo and STP-2 will cause many of those on the BO manifest to switch IMHO. Between Ariane and FH, expect significant attrition as NG first flight slips by five years as my current estimates suggest.

Sure hope that BE-4 announcement happens soon.

That's what Jim said about the first 20 launches that SpaceX added to its manifest.  I don't doubt that BE-4 and NG could (will) be delayed... OneWeb and Eutelsat know that, too.  Yet prices plus capability (or something else?) appeared attractive enough for each customer to go out on the limb and announce their intention to fly early on NG.  That's not nothing.

So, is your estimate that NG first flight will slip to 2025?  What is your basis for that prediction? -- just curious.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Navier–Stokes on 12/31/2017 09:55 PM
There's some L2 information regarding BE-4 testing progress:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42173
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 12/31/2017 10:17 PM
Winning launches is irrelevant, as they'll just rebook when things go long. Performing launches is all that matters.

Woods170 is right in saying that BO is quiet due to becoming serious about entry into the business i.e. launch. However, this additional attention hasn't yet resulted in the necessary gains to insure that they'll get there. Still in a "provider business free fall".

(Note we haven't heard of the BE-4 recently. Isn't ULA supposed to do an engine downselect about now? Shoe to drop?

add:
A successful FH demo and STP-2 will cause many of those on the BO manifest to switch IMHO. Between Ariane and FH, expect significant attrition as NG first flight slips by five years as my current estimates suggest.

Sure hope that BE-4 announcement happens soon.

That's what Jim said about the first 20 launches that SpaceX added to its manifest.
Jim is wise.

SX has lost missions to Ariane 5. And you know, it does make sense that the same logic fits the *any* LV introduction, including FH and NG, as it did Ariane 5's early issues.

Quote
I don't doubt that BE-4 and NG could (will) be delayed... OneWeb and Eutelsat know that, too.  Yet prices plus capability (or something else?) appeared attractive enough for each customer to go out on the limb and announce their intention to fly early on NG.  That's not nothing.
No, it isn't.

Who knows, maybe everything just comes together smoothly, passes all tests/qualifications, and flies the first time (haven't experienced this joy yet but I'd love to see it). I'd even like to see it on NS RSN.

Quote
So, is your estimate that NG first flight will slip to 2025?  What is your basis for that prediction? -- just curious.
Can give you some.

First, everything falls out of the propulsion and plumbing aspects of this, as "long poles". From the artifacts in the brief BE-4 video we've been allowed to see, they were straining at the time to have a marginal "safe" test burn.

So the work to progress to the point where ULA can accept the engine for Vulcan and downselect AR-1 is still a considerable challenge. Having BE-4 be used by Vulcan means that BO can skip an interim vehicle development to prove the engine on, to reduce schedule pressure. As that delays, everything else backs up, as you can't get certain information you need to advance designs.

Next, other subsystems that you might refine on NS that might be re-implemented for NG possibly need more flight history and application before you can move on, and this also appears to be stalled.

Next, your GSE and pad infrastructure needs a structural test item to be fabricated to layout and build key elements of the facility, for the others to come together. Don't see it.

More like this. In general, its a lack of specific items that have to be present that aren't present, and also the fact that a partner also isn't crowing about what they badly need being provided as expected.

Am all ears to hear that these have been done and everything is on schedule.

As to my 5 year assessment, its from things I'm hearing as to how others are "managing expectations". I don't see the confidence and I do see alternative paths considered. These often shift, but seem pretty consistent at the moment.

There's some L2 information regarding BE-4 testing progress:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42173
Am aware of non-public information. Have been asked to offer an opinion on it too.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Star One on 12/31/2017 10:56 PM
Winning launches is irrelevant, as they'll just rebook when things go long. Performing launches is all that matters.

Woods170 is right in saying that BO is quiet due to becoming serious about entry into the business i.e. launch. However, this additional attention hasn't yet resulted in the necessary gains to insure that they'll get there. Still in a "provider business free fall".

(Note we haven't heard of the BE-4 recently. Isn't ULA supposed to do an engine downselect about now? Shoe to drop?

add:
A successful FH demo and STP-2 will cause many of those on the BO manifest to switch IMHO. Between Ariane and FH, expect significant attrition as NG first flight slips by five years as my current estimates suggest.

Sure hope that BE-4 announcement happens soon.

That's what Jim said about the first 20 launches that SpaceX added to its manifest.
Jim is wise.

SX has lost missions to Ariane 5. And you know, it does make sense that the same logic fits the *any* LV introduction, including FH and NG, as it did Ariane 5's early issues.

Quote
I don't doubt that BE-4 and NG could (will) be delayed... OneWeb and Eutelsat know that, too.  Yet prices plus capability (or something else?) appeared attractive enough for each customer to go out on the limb and announce their intention to fly early on NG.  That's not nothing.
No, it isn't.

Who knows, maybe everything just comes together smoothly, passes all tests/qualifications, and flies the first time (haven't experienced this joy yet but I'd love to see it). I'd even like to see it on NS RSN.

Quote
So, is your estimate that NG first flight will slip to 2025?  What is your basis for that prediction? -- just curious.
Can give you some.

First, everything falls out of the propulsion and plumbing aspects of this, as "long poles". From the artifacts in the brief BE-4 video we've been allowed to see, they were straining at the time to have a marginal "safe" test burn.

So the work to progress to the point where ULA can accept the engine for Vulcan and downselect AR-1 is still a considerable challenge. Having BE-4 be used by Vulcan means that BO can skip an interim vehicle development to prove the engine on, to reduce schedule pressure. As that delays, everything else backs up, as you can't get certain information you need to advance designs.

Next, other subsystems that you might refine on NS that might be re-implemented for NG possibly need more flight history and application before you can move on, and this also appears to be stalled.

Next, your GSE and pad infrastructure needs a structural test item to be fabricated to layout and build key elements of the facility, for the others to come together. Don't see it.

More like this. In general, its a lack of specific items that have to be present that aren't present, and also the fact that a partner also isn't crowing about what they badly need being provided as expected.

Am all ears to hear that these have been done and everything is on schedule.

As to my 5 year assessment, its from things I'm hearing as to how others are "managing expectations". I don't see the confidence and I do see alternative paths considered. These often shift, but seem pretty consistent at the moment.

There's some L2 information regarding BE-4 testing progress:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42173
Am aware of non-public information. Have been asked to offer an opinion on it too.

You know it’s pointless debating this topic with you as you constantly move the goalposts to justify your opinions. Even when someone goes to the trouble of actually countering your arguments you just move the goalposts again or come up with more hypothetical hoops for BO to leap through.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 12/31/2017 11:28 PM
...

The fact that Blue is rather secretive hides the fact that Blue is very much accelerating. To get New Shepard off the ground took them 11 years (from project start in 2004 to first flight in 2015).
...

Nit: Blue started that project in 2000 with its founding.  15-16 years.

Not quite. The first four years of Blue were spent on seeking alternatives for chemical rockets and next exploring VTVL principles and technologies via the Charon and Goddard vehicles. It wasn't until both had validated Blue's newly-developed VTVL technology that New Shepard began serious development. The first POC for New Shepard took nearly seven years to fly in August 2011. And then another 4 years until the actual New Shepard system.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 12/31/2017 11:31 PM
One fatal flight can setback HSF industry by years or decades. Companies would closeup or kill programs as investment money disappears.


This is a fallacy in the case of Blue. With pockets as deep as Bezos' a fatal flight in their HSF program is not going to kill their HSF program.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: AncientU on 01/01/2018 12:04 PM
Both Blue and OneWeb seem to be getting on with the process, so we'll just have to watch as pieces come together.

Quote
“New Glenn has the capability and performance to launch customers into polar orbit from Florida,” the company said in a statement. “We are working diligently to finish our launch site at Launch Complex 36 so we can meet the market demands of commercial, civil, and national security customers from the Space Coast.”

Brian Holz, CEO of OneWeb Satellites, which next year will start building satellites at KSC, said a polar launch option from Florida would benefit rocket and satellite providers.

“From a OneWeb Satellites perspective, having the satellite manufacturing located next door to a launch facility that has such flexibility would be a huge benefit,” he said.

http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2017/12/31/southbound-cape-rockets-may-fly-new-path-toward-poles/975027001/

On another note concerning Jim being 'wise':  SpaceX lost a flight and swapped a flight with Ariane, mostly because FH was delayed.  What lost missions were associated with F9's initial manifest* of 20 flights?


* I believe this is on topic because of the claim above that the initial set of flights booked by Blue are fluff(irrelevant) -- going away if/when NG is delayed.  OneWeb, who placed five of those seven orders and is quoted above, seems to still be in the game with Blue/NG.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 01/01/2018 05:40 PM
* I believe this is on topic because of the claim above that the initial set of flights booked by Blue are fluff(irrelevant) -- going away if/when NG is delayed.  OneWeb, who placed five of those seven orders and is quoted above, seems to still be in the game with Blue/NG.
Missed the point.

Any new launcher's manifest is irrelevant because its a new launcher, not because the missions "are fluff". Just because it is a new launcher, nothing else. If you want, the mission is built around the "plan B", while the "plan A" is exercised as a timely option.

Remember, a sat recognizes revenue on orbit. So while the clock ticks down "plan A", at some point "plan B" starts looking attractive.

Starlink/OneWeb are a half decade or more from real revenue too.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: gongora on 01/01/2018 05:47 PM
Oneweb's initial constellation doesn't rely on Blue, it would be some of their second generation constellation launching on New Glenn.  The Eutelsat contract is for a payload to be determined later depending on when New Glenn actually comes into service.  They aren't contracts for specific payloads or schedules, more encouraging a new entrant into the market and probably taking advantage of new customer discounts.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: ugordan on 01/01/2018 05:52 PM
What lost missions were associated with F9's initial manifest* of 20 flights?

I can think of one right off the top of my head: Avanti HYLAS-1. In 2007 they were the first customer to sign up with SpaceX for a GTO launch.

As a cautionary tale of what might also happen to some signed BO customers, it actually took 3 *years* from the moment Avanti was *launched* on a replacement rocket (Ariane) till the day SpaceX made their first ever GTO delivery.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TrevorMonty on 01/01/2018 06:33 PM
Oneweb order isn't like GEO sat mission where it is specific satellite. For example OneWeb may target satellites No50-60 for first NG but if expected delays happen then it maybe No100-110 or even No200-210 that fly. OneWeb will be launching so many satellites over a few years it doesn't matter. 

Unlike GEO satellites, losing ten satellites on low cost flight is just minor setback, probably few weeks of production.

NB OneWeb could be good candidate for Vulcan maiden flights, especially if price is right. 
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: gongora on 01/01/2018 07:02 PM
Oneweb order isn't like GEO sat mission where it is specific satellite. For example OneWeb may target satellites No50-60 for first NG but if expected delays happen then it maybe No100-110 or even No200-210 that fly. OneWeb will be launching so many satellites over a few years it doesn't matter. 

They wouldn't be 50-60, or 200-210.  They'd be 800-850, or 1000-1050.  The initial OneWeb constellation is launching on Soyuz.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/09/2018 06:47 PM
There’s video at the link. Buzz said “I expect to work more with Jeff Bezos”, not “I’d rather work with Jezz Bezos”, but still interesting:

Quote
Buzz Aldrin I’d Rather Work With Bezos than SpaceX or NASA
 
1/9/18 2:02 PM PST

http://m.tmz.com/#!article/2018/01/09/buzz-aldrin-jeff-bezos-space-exploration/ (http://m.tmz.com/#!article/2018/01/09/buzz-aldrin-jeff-bezos-space-exploration/)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/25/2018 02:12 PM
Includes Blue Origin....in Ian Atkinson's first article for NSF!

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/01/kennedy-cape-brownsville-launch-pads-schedules/
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: jpo234 on 01/25/2018 08:15 PM
Question: With the first flight of New Glenn planned in about 2 years I would assume that Blue has to start to work on their recovery ship about now. Is there a way to find it from public records?

There has to be a registry of vessels under US flag...
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Zed_Noir on 01/26/2018 05:13 AM
Question: With the first flight of New Glenn planned in about 2 years I would assume that Blue has to start to work on their recovery ship about now. Is there a way to find it from public records?

There has to be a registry of vessels under US flag...

The ship could be in conversion right now with an offshore shell company under a flag of convenience in some Asian dry dock. AIUI Blue can re-flagged & renamed the recovery ship to US registry when they take procession of the ship.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: vaporcobra on 01/29/2018 10:37 PM
New license for GPS/radio testing was just granted. I think it expires in 2098...

https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/GetApplicationInfo.cfm?id_file_num=0833-EX-CN-2017
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: deruch on 01/29/2018 10:59 PM
New license for GPS/radio testing was just granted. I think it expires in 2098...

https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/GetApplicationInfo.cfm?id_file_num=0833-EX-CN-2017

It's for GPS reradiation testing so that they can test the onboard GPS systems for New Shepard vehicles during production in Kent, Washington. 

And no, it isn't good for 80 years.  ;D  It expires November 27, 2019.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: vaporcobra on 01/29/2018 11:37 PM
New license for GPS/radio testing was just granted. I think it expires in 2098...

https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/GetApplicationInfo.cfm?id_file_num=0833-EX-CN-2017

It's for GPS reradiation testing so that they can test the onboard GPS systems for New Shepard vehicles during production in Kent, Washington. 

And no, it isn't good for 80 years.  ;D  It expires November 27, 2019.

Ah, I had thought that was a bit liberal ;D I think the purpose may well be broader than the application itself shows. The attached exhibit is a good read, mentions that they expect the testing to proceed for more than five years.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: jebbo on 02/13/2018 04:23 PM
Quote
Caught around 6 pm by my friend Doug Jordan. It appears a previously used rocket is being delivered to the lobby at @blueorigin Knock, knock- delivery! https://t.co/s9xFKjR7H4

https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/963193287376064512 (https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/963193287376064512)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 02/13/2018 06:04 PM
Quote
Caught around 6 pm by my friend Doug Jordan. It appears a previously used rocket is being delivered to the lobby at @blueorigin Knock, knock- delivery! https://t.co/s9xFKjR7H4

https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/963193287376064512 (https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/963193287376064512)
Yes, that's a New Shepard.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: russianhalo117 on 02/13/2018 10:17 PM
Quote
Caught around 6 pm by my friend Doug Jordan. It appears a previously used rocket is being delivered to the lobby at @blueorigin Knock, knock- delivery! https://t.co/s9xFKjR7H4

https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/963193287376064512 (https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/963193287376064512)
Yes, that's a New Shepard.
I believe it is to be installed for display. I read a while back that it was a plan under discussion.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lar on 02/13/2018 10:18 PM
Quote
Caught around 6 pm by my friend Doug Jordan. It appears a previously used rocket is being delivered to the lobby at @blueorigin Knock, knock- delivery! https://t.co/s9xFKjR7H4

https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/963193287376064512 (https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/963193287376064512)
Puny little thing, isn't it?

(you'd expect it to be smaller than an F9, since it doesn't go as far or as fast,  but it does seem small)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/14/2018 06:02 AM
Installation update:

Quote
On the way home today, it was no longer visible in the lobby entrance, however the door was wide open and I could see a crane in the lobby stretching up, so it's a good bet the booster was at the other end.

https://twitter.com/wordsmithfl/status/963595400623083521
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: JEF_300 on 02/14/2018 03:23 PM
Puny little thing, isn't it?

(you'd expect it to be smaller than an F9, since it doesn't go as far or as fast,  but it does seem small)

It's these hydrogen rockets man. They say they use Hydrolox because it's more efficient, but I think we all know that the real reason is to mess with our expectations of scale. They just love making us think,"Wow, Delta IV is HUGE" or "Ya know, an Atlas V does look a bit top heavy."

I'm glad we have people who can stalk Blue's factory for the rest of us. Those of you who do, thank you for your service, it is much appreciated.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: cscott on 02/22/2018 12:50 AM
This seems to explain the timing of the stage being installed in the lobby:
https://twitter.com/StephenClark1/status/966099325691588608

Just in time for the VP visit.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: jpo234 on 03/07/2018 11:24 AM
Job posting for Astronaut Experience Manager (https://careers-blueorigin.icims.com/jobs/2573/astronaut-experience-manager/job?mobile=false&width=1200&height=500&bga=true&needsRedirect=false&jan1offset=60&jun1offset=120).

Quote
As the Astronaut Experience Manager you will extend the legacy of space explorers while pioneering access to the space frontier. In this position you will be a part of a highly talented team that is completing a rigorous test campaign and design cycle as we begin operations of a new human spaceflight system. As the Astronaut Experience Manager you will work with a team that is creating a highly differentiated offering that culminates in the customer becoming an astronaut. In this role you will have direct impact on the history of space exploration, requiring your dedicated commitment and detailed attention towards safe and repeatable spaceflight.

New Shepard or New Glenn?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Davidthefat on 03/07/2018 03:07 PM
Job posting for Astronaut Experience Manager (https://careers-blueorigin.icims.com/jobs/2573/astronaut-experience-manager/job?mobile=false&width=1200&height=500&bga=true&needsRedirect=false&jan1offset=60&jun1offset=120).

Quote
As the Astronaut Experience Manager you will extend the legacy of space explorers while pioneering access to the space frontier. In this position you will be a part of a highly talented team that is completing a rigorous test campaign and design cycle as we begin operations of a new human spaceflight system. As the Astronaut Experience Manager you will work with a team that is creating a highly differentiated offering that culminates in the customer becoming an astronaut. In this role you will have direct impact on the history of space exploration, requiring your dedicated commitment and detailed attention towards safe and repeatable spaceflight.

New Shepard or New Glenn?

It says right there in the job description: "Support New Shepard Customer program manager".

"•Experience managing hospitality operations, including budget and cost management
•Experience defining hospitality-focused customer experiences
•International hospitality experience
•Luxury brand experience
"

Those give it away too. They are selling to tourists.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: jpo234 on 03/07/2018 03:24 PM
Job posting for Astronaut Experience Manager (https://careers-blueorigin.icims.com/jobs/2573/astronaut-experience-manager/job?mobile=false&width=1200&height=500&bga=true&needsRedirect=false&jan1offset=60&jun1offset=120).

Quote
As the Astronaut Experience Manager you will extend the legacy of space explorers while pioneering access to the space frontier. In this position you will be a part of a highly talented team that is completing a rigorous test campaign and design cycle as we begin operations of a new human spaceflight system. As the Astronaut Experience Manager you will work with a team that is creating a highly differentiated offering that culminates in the customer becoming an astronaut. In this role you will have direct impact on the history of space exploration, requiring your dedicated commitment and detailed attention towards safe and repeatable spaceflight.

New Shepard or New Glenn?

It says right there in the job description: "Support New Shepard Customer program manager".

"•Experience managing hospitality operations, including budget and cost management
•Experience defining hospitality-focused customer experiences
•International hospitality experience
•Luxury brand experience
"

Those give it away too. They are selling to tourists.

I saw this. But this implies that the responsibilities of the "Astronaut Experience Manager" (AEM) and the "New Shepard Customer program manager" (NSCPM) don't completely overlap. A possibility might be, that the AEM is responsible for the VIPs that fly around the moon (or wherever) while the NSCPM handles the suborbital joyrides of normal plebs.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/10/2018 02:46 PM
Cross-posting, just spotted Rob Meyerson, Senior VP, Advanced Development Programs, Blue Origin talk is about to start:

Ooooooooh, the rare super awesome MIT lineup with an actual webcast and the promise of an archived video after it ends! All credit to Reddit /u/CProphet for the find.

Paul Wooster, SpaceX's Principal Mars Dev Engineer, will be giving a talk around 1:30pm EST. Livestream is at the link below.
http://legacyweb.media.mit.edu/events/medialabtalk/

Do check the schedule for other things you may be interested in though - Blue for example has a talk soon.

Edit to add: turns out the live feed is on a panel discussion, Rob’s talk is in a different room :(
Hopefully there’ll be a recording.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/10/2018 03:01 PM
Jeff Foust is on-hand:

Quote
Rob Meyerson shows this chart of the various engines Blue Origin has developed and the vehicle that have used, or will use, them. #spaceexploration

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/972501472440213504
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/10/2018 03:19 PM
Quote
Meyerson: we’re going to enter the human spaceflight market later this year. #spaceexploration

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/972504112976850945

Quote
Meyerson: BE-3 engine is cornerstone of our vehicle development; we expect to be iterating on its design 50 years from now. #spaceexploration

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/972505246114222081

Quote
Meyerson notes Blue Origin is making “great progress” on BE-4 test program, but no additional details. #spaceexploration

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/972505449399554049?s=21
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: PahTo on 03/10/2018 03:58 PM

Note I "like" the above post not only for the content, but because you (FST) are keeping us NSF-ers in the loop (and without a bunch of fluff, snark or opinion).
Thanks!
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Darkseraph on 03/10/2018 04:13 PM
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/972506710555463680 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/972506710555463680)

Quote
Meyerson says Blue Origin, in addition to the Blue Moon lander concept, is also looking at reusable tugs for transport between LEO and the Moon. #spaceexploration


That's pretty significant. It suggests some form of distributed lift like ACES, or even depots. And also that New Glenn will be immediately useful for lunar exploration upfront, years before New Armstrong is ever needed. Perhaps they're trying to do for cislunar transport via New Glenn what SpaceX intends to do for Mars with BFR, including ISRU! 
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: AnalogMan on 03/10/2018 06:06 PM
Jeff Foust is on-hand:

Quote
Rob Meyerson shows this chart of the various engines Blue Origin has developed and the vehicle that have used, or will use, them. #spaceexploration

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/972501472440213504 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/972501472440213504)

Perspective & image of original adjusted.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: daveklingler on 03/10/2018 07:37 PM
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/972506710555463680 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/972506710555463680)

Quote
Meyerson says Blue Origin, in addition to the Blue Moon lander concept, is also looking at reusable tugs for transport between LEO and the Moon. #spaceexploration


That's pretty significant. It suggests some form of distributed lift like ACES, or even depots. And also that New Glenn will be immediately useful for lunar exploration upfront, years before New Armstrong is ever needed. Perhaps they're trying to do for cislunar transport via New Glenn what SpaceX intends to do for Mars with BFR, including ISRU!

I had the same thought. The mention of tugs suggests to me that Blue is planning an entire orbital infrastructure for cislunar space operations that doesn't have to wait for New Armstrong. Whoa.

New Glenn + tugs + Blue Moon = big timeline adjustment.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: AncientU on 03/10/2018 08:45 PM
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/972506710555463680 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/972506710555463680)

Quote
Meyerson says Blue Origin, in addition to the Blue Moon lander concept, is also looking at reusable tugs for transport between LEO and the Moon. #spaceexploration


That's pretty significant. It suggests some form of distributed lift like ACES, or even depots. And also that New Glenn will be immediately useful for lunar exploration upfront, years before New Armstrong is ever needed. Perhaps they're trying to do for cislunar transport via New Glenn what SpaceX intends to do for Mars with BFR, including ISRU!

It also means Methlox refueling in LEO...
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Darkseraph on 03/10/2018 11:08 PM
Hydrolox makes more sense for the Moon as it is easier to make there than methane. Blue is more focused on the Moon than Mars so this makes sense. They also have plenty of experience with hydrolox through New Sheppard and plan on making a hydrolox 3rd stage for New Glenn. A reusable tug is more than likely similar to ACES distributed lift, with the standard New Glenn third stage reconfigured for propellant top up and docking. Or further down the road, propellant depots on the surface of the Moon and in various orbits. Bezos has said he wants to build the "heavy lifting infrastructure" that will lower the cost for new start-ups in space.

The tweet indicating that 12 flights a year is only the intial flight rate and that they plan to ramp that up further was interesting! NG is basically in the Falcon Heavy class after reuse. It is hard to imagine that not taking customers away from other launch providers in the near terms unless dramatic new applications of space develop in the next few years.     
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: AncientU on 03/10/2018 11:50 PM
Hydrolox makes more sense for the Moon as it is easier to make there than methane. Blue is more focused on the Moon than Mars so this makes sense. They also have plenty of experience with hydrolox through New Sheppard and plan on making a hydrolox 3rd stage for New Glenn. A reusable tug is more than likely similar to ACES distributed lift, with the standard New Glenn third stage reconfigured for propellant top up and docking. Or further down the road, propellant depots on the surface of the Moon and in various orbits. Bezos has said he wants to build the "heavy lifting infrastructure" that will lower the cost for new start-ups in space.

The tweet indicating that 12 flights a year is only the intial flight rate and that they plan to ramp that up further was interesting! NG is basically in the Falcon Heavy class after reuse. It is hard to imagine that not taking customers away from other launch providers in the near terms unless dramatic new applications of space develop in the next few years.   

NG should be a great competitor when it gets rolling... Seven meters is just about the right size for a fully reusable launcher.  NG is already is taking flights, but away from whom is the question.  I suspect it is Arianespace/Soyuz and SpaceX, but mostly the former as evidenced by the 400 OneWeb sats on 5 launches.  That's equivalent to a dozen Soyuz flights(they got 21)...  or 150-200 Launcher Ones (they got 39). 

On the Hydrolox landers, tugs, Lunar ISRU, and ACES distributed lift, we'll see how that all pans out.  Methalox was originally chosen by NASA for their Constellation lander Altair for a reason... don't think that reason has changed.  There will be vastly more methalox propellant available in space (LEO and elsewhere) than hydrolox, so going with a ten year old ULA concept -- that is still only a concept -- probably won't be a wise choice.  IMO, of course.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: speedevil on 03/11/2018 12:06 AM
On the Hydrolox landers, tugs, Lunar ISRU, and ACES distributed lift, we'll see how that all pans out.  Methalox was originally chosen by NASA for their Constellation lander Altair for a reason... don't think that reason has changed.  There will be vastly more methalox propellant available in space (LEO and elsewhere) than hydrolox, so going with a ten year old ULA concept -- that is still only a concept -- probably won't be a wise choice.  IMO, of course.

There have also been various sorts of electric propulsion proposed.
And if you go back far enough, nuclear-hydrogen - Nerva - which even had some significant hot-fire ground testing done was to be used in that role.

There seem to be various governmental pushes for electric propulsion - is it possible some attempt to horn in on this is what's being referred to, rather than the more rational chemical?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TrevorMonty on 03/11/2018 05:17 AM
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/972506710555463680 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/972506710555463680)

Quote
Meyerson says Blue Origin, in addition to the Blue Moon lander concept, is also looking at reusable tugs for transport between LEO and the Moon. #spaceexploration


That's pretty significant. It suggests some form of distributed lift like ACES, or even depots. And also that New Glenn will be immediately useful for lunar exploration upfront, years before New Armstrong is ever needed. Perhaps they're trying to do for cislunar transport via New Glenn what SpaceX intends to do for Mars with BFR, including ISRU!

George tweeted this reply to Jeff Foust's tweet about Blues reuseable tugs.

George Sowers (@george_sowers) tweeted at 6:59 AM on Sun, Mar 11, 2018:
It’s called ACES...

Not sure how to read this tweet. Either Blue are working with ULA or ACES is competing with Blue's tug. Working with ULA makes sense as NG is ideal LV for refuelling ACES.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Darkseraph on 03/11/2018 08:01 AM

George tweeted this reply to Jeff Foust's tweet about Blues reuseable tugs.

George Sowers (@george_sowers) tweeted at 6:59 AM on Sun, Mar 11, 2018:
It’s called ACES...

Not sure how to read this tweet. Either Blue are working with ULA or ACES is competing with Blue's tug. Working with ULA makes sense as NG is ideal LV for refuelling ACES.

If they are using ACES and supplying ULA with booster (and possibly upper-stage engines), it makes Blue Origin aqcuiring ULA seem all the more probable. Blue using ACES would also make quite a bit if sense as they could avoid reinventing the wheel and Blue could contract with ULA to expedit ACES for their own use. Although Bezos's company is a highly vertically integrated operation, they're not totally averse to buying systems from other vendors where it makes sense: The abort motor for New Shepard is sourced from Aerojet Rocketdyne, a competitor! 

With regard to the propellant of choice depots and tugs, Methalox makes the most sense on Earth and Mars where Carbon Dioxide and Water are available in large quantities. It makes less sense on the Moon or asteroids where only the frozen water part of that equation is available in large amounts. Blue Origin seems more focused on a O'Neill vision of space colonization, where resources in cislunar and near earth space are used to support orbital colonies and supply the Earth with energy and goods. Therefore they're going to gravitate towards hydrolox. Too early to rule out Blue developing methalox depots, half the process of creating methalox propellants is basically identical to creating hydrolox in space (electrolysis of water). Bezos has also mentioned previously he thinks NASA should focus on really cutting edge technologies like NTR/NEP, both of which would be more suited to liquid hydrogen as propellant.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Bynaus on 03/11/2018 08:46 AM
Its a common misconception (unfortunately, too often repeated in this forum) that there is no source of carbon in lunar ice. There was plenty of CO and CO2 in the LCROSS ejecta plume (on the same order of magnitiude as water). If you have access to lunar ice, production of methane / LOX is no problem.

Same goes for asteroids: meteorites with up to 15% water contain up to 4% carbon. Methane is a good fuel pretty much everywhere in the solar system. Just sayin'.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/11/2018 08:58 AM
Quote
Blue Origin’s Rob Meyerson in closing panel: going back to the Moon is extremely exciting. In early to mid 2020s would love to put a lander there, with people following. #spaceexploration

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/972598624701112322
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: guckyfan on 03/11/2018 02:20 PM
Its a common misconception (unfortunately, too often repeated in this forum) that there is no source of carbon in lunar ice. There was plenty of CO and CO2 in the LCROSS ejecta plume (on the same order of magnitiude as water). If you have access to lunar ice, production of methane / LOX is no problem.

I would love to see this confirmed. I remember that these results were no unanimously accepted.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: cscott on 03/11/2018 02:44 PM
I'd think that Blue licensing the ACES tech would be more likely than them buying ULA outright.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lars-J on 03/11/2018 04:50 PM
I'd think that Blue licensing the ACES tech would be more likely than them buying ULA outright.

Why? The way people speak about ACES is almost like the holy grail around here. If ULA has spoken about it for years it must be super duper special right?

But Blue is far more likely to roll their own IVF implementation.

Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: speedevil on 03/11/2018 04:54 PM
I'd think that Blue licensing the ACES tech would be more likely than them buying ULA outright.

Why? The way people speak about ACES is almost like the holy grail around here. But Blue is far more likely to roll their own IVF implementation.

A large fraction of what you might do is patented, and you need to licence it if you want to do something even slightly similar, even if not a pure reimplementation of the ULA concept.
The licence terms may define what can be done.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Robotbeat on 03/12/2018 04:40 AM
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/972506710555463680 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/972506710555463680)

Quote
Meyerson says Blue Origin, in addition to the Blue Moon lander concept, is also looking at reusable tugs for transport between LEO and the Moon. #spaceexploration


That's pretty significant. It suggests some form of distributed lift like ACES, or even depots. And also that New Glenn will be immediately useful for lunar exploration upfront, years before New Armstrong is ever needed. Perhaps they're trying to do for cislunar transport via New Glenn what SpaceX intends to do for Mars with BFR, including ISRU!

It also means Methlox refueling in LEO...
Not necessarily. Keep in mind the third stage of New Glenn is supposed to be hydrolox...
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: cscott on 03/12/2018 12:50 PM
I'd think that Blue licensing the ACES tech would be more likely than them buying ULA outright.

Why? The way people speak about ACES is almost like the holy grail around here. But Blue is far more likely to roll their own IVF implementation.

A large fraction of what you might do is patented, and you need to licence it if you want to do something even slightly similar, even if not a pure reimplementation of the ULA concept.
The licence terms may define what can be done.
Exactly: I'm thinking more "patent license" than "get ULA to build it" or "use ULA parts".  A friendly license would be much lower cost than buying ULA outright, and would allow them access to ULA's engineering R&D to jump start their own ACES-like stage free of patent encumbrance.

If ACES is truly the magical holy grail, then the price will be high (though still lower then buying ULA!).  But if it's not actually that special, then the price would be low and that's all the more reason to license rather then try to work around ULA's patents.

The exception would be if ULA was unfriendly and unwilling to license, in which case Blue would be forced to reimplement and work around the patent protection, or maybe do a purchase via hostile takeover... but that doesn't seem to be the case here.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Patchouli on 03/12/2018 12:55 PM

Not necessarily. Keep in mind the third stage of New Glenn is supposed to be hydrolox...

Methlox is mostly advantageous on Mars since you can make it from readily available CO2 via the Sabatier reaction.

For the Moon hydrogen is equally valid for ISRU maybe even more ideal since the feed stock would likely be water ice.




Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Bynaus on 03/12/2018 01:20 PM
Its a common misconception (unfortunately, too often repeated in this forum) that there is no source of carbon in lunar ice. There was plenty of CO and CO2 in the LCROSS ejecta plume (on the same order of magnitiude as water). If you have access to lunar ice, production of methane / LOX is no problem.

I would love to see this confirmed. I remember that these results were no unanimously accepted.

On the level of my comment here, there was no controversy. Other volatiles, including CO and CO2 (even H2), are found at abundances that make lunar polar ice a reasonable source of Methalox fuel. This is also no surprise at all given the abundance of these other volatile species in extraterrestrial matter (which is ultimately the source of the polar volatiles).
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: DrRobin on 03/12/2018 01:31 PM
Its a common misconception (unfortunately, too often repeated in this forum) that there is no source of carbon in lunar ice. There was plenty of CO and CO2 in the LCROSS ejecta plume (on the same order of magnitiude as water). If you have access to lunar ice, production of methane / LOX is no problem.

Same goes for asteroids: meteorites with up to 15% water contain up to 4% carbon. Methane is a good fuel pretty much everywhere in the solar system. Just sayin'.

Just to be clear, there are very large uncertainties in the amount and composition of Lunar ices that will have to wait for Lunar polar landers to resolve. There is likely to be significant Lunar polar CO2 and CO present, but in significantly lower abundance than H20, both because of the greater primordial abundance of H20 vs CO2/CO in the Solar Nebula as well as the much higher vacuum sublimation temperature of CO2 relative to H20 (roughly 250K vs 150K). How much difference this makes in the practicality of Lunar Methalox vs Hydrolox ISRU is very much up in the air (no pun intended). All the more reason to support a Lunar polar landing mission as a near-term high priority! https://arxiv.org/pdf/1407.7271.pdf
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TrevorMonty on 03/12/2018 02:43 PM
ISRU is not essential, could do round trip to lunar surface using 100-150t of LEO Hydrolox for crew of 4-6.
Crew to LEO.
Transfer to crew OTV for trip to lunar orbit ( DSG at NRO or LLO).
In lunar orbit transfer to lander.

Fuel would be delivered to lunar orbit by tanker OTV eg ACES, for lander and OTV return fuel.

$1000kg to LEO for fuel is not unrealistic price for NG. Especially if US tanker is fully resuable.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: jpo234 on 03/12/2018 03:06 PM
Bezos Says He’ll Spend ‘Amazon Lottery Winnings’ on Space Travel (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-12/bezos-says-he-ll-spend-amazon-lottery-winnings-on-space-travel)

Sorry, not sorry for the image. Too funny...
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lars-J on 03/12/2018 04:31 PM
If ACES is truly the magical holy grail, then the price will be high (though still lower then buying ULA!).  But if it's not actually that special, then the price would be low and that's all the more reason to license rather then try to work around ULA's patents.

The exception would be if ULA was unfriendly and unwilling to license, in which case Blue would be forced to reimplement and work around the patent protection, or maybe do a purchase via hostile takeover... but that doesn't seem to be the case here.

If ACES truly was the “holy grail”, ULA would have done it years ago. Patents you just sit on aren’t worth much.

Just sitting on patents and doing nothing with them is closer to patent trolling, although Amazon does have some experience in that regard. ;)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Eric Hedman on 03/12/2018 05:07 PM
Bezos Says He’ll Spend ‘Amazon Lottery Winnings’ on Space Travel (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-12/bezos-says-he-ll-spend-amazon-lottery-winnings-on-space-travel)

Sorry, not sorry for the image. Too funny...
This is the quote I like.

“The price of admission to space is very high,” Bezos said Saturday night in New York, accepting the Buzz Aldrin Space Exploration Award at the Explorers Club Annual Dinner. “I’m in the process of converting my Amazon lottery winnings into a much lower price of admission so we can go explore the solar system.”

The other interesting part:

His net worth is $131 billion, with $125 billion of that in Amazon stock -- and that “keeps on going up,” his mom, Jackie Bezos, said during the cocktail hour. His fortune has grown more than any other on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index this year.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: AncientU on 03/12/2018 06:18 PM

Not necessarily. Keep in mind the third stage of New Glenn is supposed to be hydrolox...

Methlox is mostly advantageous on Mars since you can make it from readily available CO2 via the Sabatier reaction.

For the Moon hydrogen is equally valid for ISRU maybe even more ideal since the feed stock would likely be water ice.

Hydrogen still has huge boil-off  and energy density problems, no matter where you find the water, so 'equally valid' is wrong in that sense. 

Hydrogen from the Moon is more likely to be first used for 'domestic consumption' as air and water than it is for fuel on orbit... Deliveries of water to Lunar orbit from Earth will be vastly less expensive for the foreseeable future*.  Methalox propellant will also be delivered from Earth for the foreseeable future. All talk of Lunar ISRU will remain just talk for a very, very long time.  Building the Blue Lander or space tugs is near-future, say next ten years.  Why would anyone do this the hard way because some day there will be Lunar ISRU propellant?

*Today, it might cost $10M/t to deliver water to EML-1/2/HLO from Earth, and it costs 'infinity dollars' to deliver it from the Lunar surface.  With BFR, this cost could drop by a factor of 10-100x, while from the Lunar surface it would still be 'infinity dollars'.  At some point in the future, after a few decades of Lunar development which will cost tens of billions, you might get the price from the Lunar surface to today's price... from Earth.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: AncientU on 03/12/2018 07:40 PM
Great news:
Quote
Bob Smith, Blue Origin: making good progress on BE-4 engine. Recently had 114-second firing at 65% power. #SatShow
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/973297209860153349
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Robotbeat on 03/13/2018 02:17 AM
If ACES is truly the magical holy grail, then the price will be high (though still lower then buying ULA!).  But if it's not actually that special, then the price would be low and that's all the more reason to license rather then try to work around ULA's patents.

The exception would be if ULA was unfriendly and unwilling to license, in which case Blue would be forced to reimplement and work around the patent protection, or maybe do a purchase via hostile takeover... but that doesn't seem to be the case here.

If ACES truly was the “holy grail”, ULA would have done it years ago. Patents you just sit on aren’t worth much.

Just sitting on patents and doing nothing with them is closer to patent trolling, although Amazon does have some experience in that regard. ;)
Blame the parents.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Darkseraph on 03/13/2018 09:18 AM
If ACES is truly the magical holy grail, then the price will be high (though still lower then buying ULA!).  But if it's not actually that special, then the price would be low and that's all the more reason to license rather then try to work around ULA's patents.

The exception would be if ULA was unfriendly and unwilling to license, in which case Blue would be forced to reimplement and work around the patent protection, or maybe do a purchase via hostile takeover... but that doesn't seem to be the case here.

If ACES truly was the “holy grail”, ULA would have done it years ago. Patents you just sit on aren’t worth much.

Just sitting on patents and doing nothing with them is closer to patent trolling, although Amazon does have some experience in that regard. ;)

The capabilities of ACES are really in excess of what the launch market needs currently. Everything commercial and government customers want to do right now can be achieved with Vulcan-Centaur5.
Given how ULA is owned by listed companies, it won't make large investments there is no proven market for.
However, this does not detract from ACES being a really great optimization for upper-stages that kills many birds with one stone. Getting rid of batteries, helium tanks, hypergolics and refire limits with an ICE while enabling propellant refill is actually pretty brilliant. The real market this is waiting for is a brand new lunar program. And it just so happens one is emerging for the next decade that will require increasingly heavy commercial landers to the lunar surface...
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: tvg98 on 03/14/2018 08:06 PM
Severe Weather Agility Thrusters, and Associated Systems and Methods
Quote
1) Severe weather agility thrusters, and associated systems and methods are disclosed. (2) A representative system includes a launch vehicle having a first end and a second end generally opposite the first end, and is elongated along a vehicle axis extending between the first and second ends. (3) A propulsion system is carried by the launch vehicle and has at least one main engine having a corresponding nozzle positioned toward the first end to launch the launch vehicle. (4) At least one laterally-directed thruster is positioned toward the second end of the launch vehicle. (5) The system further includes a controller in communication with the launch vehicle and programmed with instructions that, when executed, direct the launch vehicle in a first direction during vehicle ascent, direct the launch vehicle in a second direction, opposite the first direction, during vehicle descent, and direct activation of the at least one laterally-directed thruster to guide the launch vehicle during descent.

https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/1a/3a/f1/a988355123a935/US20170349301A1.pdf (https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/1a/3a/f1/a988355123a935/US20170349301A1.pdf)

Did Blue Origin try to patent using RCS thrusters to land a first stage?  :-\ 

Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: rst on 03/15/2018 01:18 AM
Did Blue Origin try to patent using RCS thrusters to land a first stage?  :-\

Well, what you quoted was the abstract of the patent. (Well, patent application; it doesn't seem to have issued yet.)  The actual claims are at the end, and get somewhat more specific; among the things claimed are landings involving coordinated firing of RCS and one or more main engines, specifically including off-center main engines (claim 11) -- and also situations where the landing engines are different from those used in launch (claim 20 and others).  So SpaceX hasn't demonstrated prior art for absolutely all of it before the apparent filing date (this continues an application from June 1, 2016).

That said ... IANAL, but my understanding is that public discussions of a technique can count as prior art even if they were never reduced to practice.  Which leaves me wondering if early speculative discussions of landing on off-center engines on this very forum could count as prior art.  (I'm pretty sure I remember such chatter, but I have no idea if it was early enough to matter.  The ITS announcement would be a better thing to point to in any event, if the dates worked -- but I'm not sure they do; September 2016, not June.)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Robotbeat on 03/15/2018 01:34 AM
That doesn't strike me as particularly novel, though. I mean, if they just have a bunch of lawyer money burning holes in their pockets and they want to create a minefield for their competitors, they can't just think of every obvious slight variation in landing technology and patent it.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: speedevil on 03/15/2018 02:02 AM
Which leaves me wondering if early speculative discussions of landing on off-center engines on this very forum could count as prior art.  (I'm pretty sure I remember such chatter, but I have no idea if it was early enough to matter.  The ITS announcement would be a better thing to point to in any event, if the dates worked -- but I'm not sure they do; September 2016, not June.)

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44946.msg1789373#msg1789373 comes to mind - discussing landing on a F9 with no centre engine, for example. I'm sure I've discussed engine out strategies elsewhere.

It's somewhat depressing that you can get a patent on finding a novel problem statement and solving it in ways obvious to random 8-year-olds who have played KSP a bit.

(I have not read the patent in question).
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Darkseraph on 03/15/2018 09:34 AM
I gave this a brief read. Apparently these are sets of relatively small thrusters that would push the vehicles sideways and maintain attitude to assist during a landing. The vehicle could translate directly without first pitching. AFAIK, neither Falcon 9 nor New Shepard can do so, they pitch first, move laterally and then pitch back the opposite direction to correct their attitude. Also it is mentioned that the extra stability and control of attitude enabled by the thrusters allow for a smaller landing gear. The span of the legs on New Glenn is relatively short compared to F9.

Apparently this system is designed for landings in severe weather like 40+ knot winds to increase the availability of the vehicle. In the event of engine out that forces landing with an outboard engine in strong winds, the vehicle could be rotated around its vertical axis to be more stable against the wind.

The most important info from this is that Blue Origin intends to build vehicles that can launch and land in conditions that currently would force scrubs and delays. That's super important if reusable vehicles are to have plane like operations. New Glenn seemed overbuilt for launching commercial satellites when it was announced but this is probably because it has huge margins to accommodate engine failure, bad weather, leg failures etc.. 
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Elmar Moelzer on 03/15/2018 11:13 AM
I gave this a brief read. Apparently these are sets of relatively small thrusters that would push the vehicles sideways and maintain attitude to assist during a landing. The vehicle could translate directly without first pitching. AFAIK, neither Falcon 9 nor New Shepard can do so, they pitch first, move laterally and then pitch back the opposite direction to correct their attitude. Also it is mentioned that the extra stability and control of attitude enabled by the thrusters allow for a smaller landing gear. The span of the legs on New Glenn is relatively short compared to F9.

Apparently this system is designed for landings in severe weather like 40+ knot winds to increase the availability of the vehicle. In the event of engine out that forces landing with an outboard engine in strong winds, the vehicle could be rotated around its vertical axis to be more stable against the wind.

The most important info from this is that Blue Origin intends to build vehicles that can launch and land in conditions that currently would force scrubs and delays. That's super important if reusable vehicles are to have plane like operations. New Glenn seemed overbuilt for launching commercial satellites when it was announced but this is probably because it has huge margins to accommodate engine failure, bad weather, leg failures etc..
I am pretty sure that the DC-X was using thrusters for attitude control for landings and they did a pretty extreme nose first maneuver and then went upright again. I may be wrong though. Maybe Gary Hudson can chime in on that?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: envy887 on 03/15/2018 02:43 PM
I gave this a brief read. Apparently these are sets of relatively small thrusters that would push the vehicles sideways and maintain attitude to assist during a landing. The vehicle could translate directly without first pitching. AFAIK, neither Falcon 9 nor New Shepard can do so, they pitch first, move laterally and then pitch back the opposite direction to correct their attitude. Also it is mentioned that the extra stability and control of attitude enabled by the thrusters allow for a smaller landing gear. The span of the legs on New Glenn is relatively short compared to F9.

Apparently this system is designed for landings in severe weather like 40+ knot winds to increase the availability of the vehicle. In the event of engine out that forces landing with an outboard engine in strong winds, the vehicle could be rotated around its vertical axis to be more stable against the wind.

The most important info from this is that Blue Origin intends to build vehicles that can launch and land in conditions that currently would force scrubs and delays. That's super important if reusable vehicles are to have plane like operations. New Glenn seemed overbuilt for launching commercial satellites when it was announced but this is probably because it has huge margins to accommodate engine failure, bad weather, leg failures etc..

That's pretty much exactly how SpaceX described the ITS booster landing in 2016. That part at least certainly isn't novel.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Nomic on 03/15/2018 02:53 PM
That's pretty much exactly how SpaceX described the ITS booster landing in 2016. That part at least certainly isn't novel.

The patent specifically has thrusters at the top of the stage, could swear the original ITS had thrusters at the base to help with landing back on the pad, cant see it on the video though...
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: rst on 03/15/2018 03:27 PM
That's pretty much exactly how SpaceX described the ITS booster landing in 2016. That part at least certainly isn't novel.

ITS was announced September 2016. The application process for this (pending) patent seems to have started in June of that year, so the ITS disclosure might not count as prior art. DC-X, on the other hand, was all more than 20 years ago, so anything it did with RCS (including at least one test flight where its nose was pointed below the horizon) is probably worth a hard look for anyone interested in this patent.

(The DC-X engines-upward test flight was July 7, 1995; see here -- https://www.hq.nasa.gov/pao/History/x-33/dcxtests.html ).
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lar on 03/15/2018 06:21 PM
That doesn't strike me as particularly novel, though. I mean, if they just have a bunch of lawyer money burning holes in their pockets and they want to create a minefield for their competitors, they can't just think of every obvious slight variation in landing technology and patent it.
That's kind of the very essence of patent trolling, though, isn't it? Lots of lawyers and better funding than your opponents, who then settle, and you roll them all up starting with the very smallest and working progressively upwards.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 03/16/2018 07:25 AM
That doesn't strike me as particularly novel, though. I mean, if they just have a bunch of lawyer money burning holes in their pockets and they want to create a minefield for their competitors, they can't just think of every obvious slight variation in landing technology and patent it.
That's kind of the very essence of patent trolling, though, isn't it? Lots of lawyers and better funding than your opponents, who then settle, and you roll them all up starting with the very smallest and working progressively upwards.
Most here are familiar with how Blue likes to throw stones in the SpaceX pond:
- Trying to get their hands on LC-39A where in fact Blue didn't stand to chance to conform to NASA requirements for the lease.
- Requesting (and getting) a patent for landing a rocket on an ocean-going platform, despite Blue knowing that there was prior art (which resulted eventually in the Blue patent being overthrown).
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Archibald on 03/16/2018 08:22 AM
If ACES is truly the magical holy grail, then the price will be high (though still lower then buying ULA!).  But if it's not actually that special, then the price would be low and that's all the more reason to license rather then try to work around ULA's patents.

The exception would be if ULA was unfriendly and unwilling to license, in which case Blue would be forced to reimplement and work around the patent protection, or maybe do a purchase via hostile takeover... but that doesn't seem to be the case here.

If ACES truly was the “holy grail”, ULA would have done it years ago. Patents you just sit on aren’t worth much.

Just sitting on patents and doing nothing with them is closer to patent trolling, although Amazon does have some experience in that regard. ;)

Tell that to Aerojet and their Thrust Augmented Nozzle technology ! It could beat hands down both Skylon and BFS in the race to a workable SSTO, yet it seats in a locked vault since 2005 at least.

Quote
That's kind of the very essence of patent trolling, though, isn't it? Lots of lawyers and better funding than your opponents, who then settle, and you roll them all up starting with the very smallest and working progressively upwards.

Maybe Jeff Bezos tried to hire this guy (we still miss you 20 years after, Phil Hartman :( )
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lionel_Hutz

Or maybe this one
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_recurring_The_Simpsons_characters#Blue_Haired_Lawyer

(couldn't help !)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: SmallKing on 03/17/2018 01:51 PM
https://www.media.mit.edu/videos/beyond-the-cradle-2018-03-10-a/

https://imgur.com/a/KXOgQ
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/19/2018 08:32 AM
Quote
CEO Bob Smith of @blueorigin on what @ulalaunch contract would mean for Blue, why reusing the New Glenn rocket first stage makes business sense regardless of launch cadence, and the virtues of patience provided by @JeffBezos's @amazon largesse.
https://www.spaceintelreport.com/interview-blue-origin-chief-executive-bob-smith/

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/975664660081979392 (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/975664660081979392)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: HMXHMX on 03/24/2018 05:36 AM
I gave this a brief read. Apparently these are sets of relatively small thrusters that would push the vehicles sideways and maintain attitude to assist during a landing. The vehicle could translate directly without first pitching. AFAIK, neither Falcon 9 nor New Shepard can do so, they pitch first, move laterally and then pitch back the opposite direction to correct their attitude. Also it is mentioned that the extra stability and control of attitude enabled by the thrusters allow for a smaller landing gear. The span of the legs on New Glenn is relatively short compared to F9.

Apparently this system is designed for landings in severe weather like 40+ knot winds to increase the availability of the vehicle. In the event of engine out that forces landing with an outboard engine in strong winds, the vehicle could be rotated around its vertical axis to be more stable against the wind.

The most important info from this is that Blue Origin intends to build vehicles that can launch and land in conditions that currently would force scrubs and delays. That's super important if reusable vehicles are to have plane like operations. New Glenn seemed overbuilt for launching commercial satellites when it was announced but this is probably because it has huge margins to accommodate engine failure, bad weather, leg failures etc..
I am pretty sure that the DC-X was using thrusters for attitude control for landings and they did a pretty extreme nose first maneuver and then went upright again. I may be wrong though. Maybe Gary Hudson can chime in on that?

Sorry, I can't recall.  What I do remember is that the DC-X thrusters were 500-lbf, GH2-GO2, and were used for roll control during ascent.  But since DC-X used flaps for aero maneuvering and always had TVC authority from engines (i.e., no shut down or in-flight start-ups; it was never not under power) I don't believe the RCS was ever used/needed for landing control authority.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: MikeAtkinson on 03/24/2018 05:58 AM
This seems to show thrusters used for attitude control for CRS-6 on 14th April 2014

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYKRQh5Jx04
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lar on 03/25/2018 11:12 PM
Quote
CEO Bob Smith of @blueorigin on what @ulalaunch contract would mean for Blue, why reusing the New Glenn rocket first stage makes business sense regardless of launch cadence, and the virtues of patience provided by @JeffBezos's @amazon largesse.
https://www.spaceintelreport.com/interview-blue-origin-chief-executive-bob-smith/

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/975664660081979392 (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/975664660081979392)
Behind a paywall, can someone summarize (please don't post anything that violates copyrights!!) ?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TrevorMonty on 03/25/2018 11:56 PM
They did plan to use Be3 cluster for orbital LV, BE4 and NG seems to have killed that idea.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 03/26/2018 06:55 AM
Blue Origin Shakes Up Its Short Game (http://aviationweek.com/space/blue-origin-shakes-its-short-game)
(behind a paywall)

This article is free to read if you are registered at the AW&ST website, and it doesn't cost anything to register.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: rst on 03/26/2018 02:50 PM
This seems to show thrusters used for attitude control for CRS-6 on 14th April 2014

Well, SpaceX early attempts at "ocean soft landings" used RCS for attitude control exclusively. Grid fins were added in 2015, after RCS alone proved inadequate to the job. But that doesn't necessarily cover everything in the Blue patent claims (landing on off-center main engines, separate landing engines, etc.).

EDIT: Also possibly relevant, a post on this forum from 2014:

Quote from: meekGee link=topic=33892.msg1193900#msg1193900
If you want to go crazy, it might be possible to land with one off-center engine as well.  It will look funny, but GNC systems don't have a sense of humor.

You'll descend with the thrust though the cg, so will be "crabbing".  Towards touchdown, you'd want to try to straighten up, which will cause the rocket to start rotating.  First, it might not be enough rotation to matter.  But if it is, you can counter it with a side thrust, since the acceleration will fix the rotation (temporarily, of course).

Ah, you say - but what about the resulting lateral motion during touch down?   Well it might not be enough to matter.  But if it is, you can start the maneuver with some lateral motion going the other way, and all is well.

Can the computer pull it off in time after detecting a fault?  I think this entire maneuver can be compressed into 5 seconds - if you're a computer.   Not the kind of thing a pilot can do.

This at least sketches out both off-center engine landings and coordinated use of RCS and main engines to maintain attitude.

Link here: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=33892.msg1193900#msg1193900
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Steve G on 04/07/2018 07:39 PM
Has Blue Origin publicly announced that is no longer developing its biconic capsule? It had been extensively tested and its design refined by more than 180 wind tunnel tests and extensive computational fluid dynamics analysis. The testing was conducted as part of the CCDev program, but eventually lost out. It had greater cross-range and interior volume by weight. Known for their secrecy, could this still be in quiet development for eventual flights on NG?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Eric Hedman on 04/07/2018 08:48 PM
Has Blue Origin publicly announced that is no longer developing its biconic capsule? It had been extensively tested and its design refined by more than 180 wind tunnel tests and extensive computational fluid dynamics analysis. The testing was conducted as part of the CCDev program, but eventually lost out. It had greater cross-range and interior volume by weight. Known for their secrecy, could this still be in quiet development for eventual flights on NG?
The latest info I know of from Blue Origin is the following presentation at MIT by Rob Meyerson their VP of Advanced Development:  https://www.media.mit.edu/videos/beyond-the-cradle-2018-03-10-a/ (https://www.media.mit.edu/videos/beyond-the-cradle-2018-03-10-a/)

He said nothing about the capsule.  Last summer I talked with some people from Blue in Oshkosh and they said nothing about future development.  They are well disciplined in secrecy.  Unless you know an insider willing to talk, I don't think you'll find out definitively what Blue Origin is planning with a capsule until Rob Meyerson or Jeff Bezos publicly announces it.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/08/2018 09:36 AM
Given their mission plan is million people living in space, they will need crew vehicle of some type.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: gongora on 04/14/2018 03:10 PM
[Spaceflight Now] Blue Origin’s orbital rocket in the running to receive U.S. military investment (https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/04/13/blue-origins-orbital-rocket-in-the-running-to-receive-u-s-military-investment/)
Quote
Blue Origin submitted a proposal late last year in what’s expected to be a four-way competition for U.S. Air Force funding to support development of new orbital-class rockets, a further step taken by the Jeff Bezos-owned company to break into the military launch market, industry officials said.

The proposal, confirmed by two space industry sources, puts Blue Origin up against SpaceX, Orbital ATK and United Launch Alliance, which could use Blue Origin’s BE-4 engine to power its next-generation Vulcan rocket.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Joey S-IVB on 04/29/2018 05:34 PM
Any word if the next test flight, New Shepard Flight 9, will carry a crew?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Craftyatom on 04/29/2018 07:14 PM
Any word if the next test flight, New Shepard Flight 9, will carry a crew?
Over in the General NS Updates thread it was stated (albeit from a secondary source) that crew would fly on the fourth booster - that is, the one after the one that flew today on Flight 8 (1 crashed on landing, 2 was the max-q abort, 3 is current, AIUI).  I don't think they'd put a crew on the first flight of a new booster, especially if it has significant modifications.

So, I think the soonest they could fly any crew is Flight 10, if the fourth booster debuts on Flight 9.  That said, I don't think they will - they have a revenue-generating, quick-turnaround suborbital launcher working right now.  There's nothing to stop them performing a bunch more test flights, especially if they can fly payloads while they do it.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Comga on 04/29/2018 11:18 PM
This post:

I am not sure if this is news but Phil Plaint said that the 4th version of the NS rocket is the one that will carry crew:

Quote from: Bad Astronomer
Blue Origin has said they want to fly people *this year*. That will be on the fourth NS rocket.
https://twitter.com/BadAstronomer/status/990643735515009029 (https://twitter.com/BadAstronomer/status/990643735515009029)
So, like craftyatom said, highly unlikely on Flight 9, if we lend creedence to this fourth hand information.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: intrepidpursuit on 04/30/2018 04:57 AM
I'm sure this has been discussed so if you can point me to a post that would be great. Why does the capsule ever detach from NS? Do they just feel that the parachutes are that much safer than propulsive landing?

There are certainly trade offs that the system is much more complex with many more failure points now than if it was all a single vehicle. They did lose one rocket and haven't lost any capsules, but that's not unexpected on a first test.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 04/30/2018 06:54 AM
I'm sure this has been discussed so if you can point me to a post that would be great. Why does the capsule ever detach from NS? Do they just feel that the parachutes are that much safer than propulsive landing?

That, plus its easier for the crew to get out after landing.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 04/30/2018 08:47 AM
I'm sure this has been discussed so if you can point me to a post that would be great. Why does the capsule ever detach from NS? Do they just feel that the parachutes are that much safer than propulsive landing?

That, plus its easier for the crew to get out after landing.
Capsule mass. The NS vehicle doesn't carry enough propellant to do propulsive landing of itself AND the capsule.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/30/2018 01:31 PM
I'm sure this has been discussed so if you can point me to a post that would be great. Why does the capsule ever detach from NS? Do they just feel that the parachutes are that much safer than propulsive landing?

That, plus its easier for the crew to get out after landing.
Capsule mass. The NS vehicle doesn't carry enough propellant to do propulsive landing of itself AND the capsule.
It probably does, if they tightened up the landing procedure. That rocket is hovering forever. Gravity losses are huge. Probably only needs almost half the Delta-v to land the first stage if it did a hoverslam.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: JEF_300 on 04/30/2018 01:45 PM
I'm sure this has been discussed so if you can point me to a post that would be great. Why does the capsule ever detach from NS? Do they just feel that the parachutes are that much safer than propulsive landing?

That, plus its easier for the crew to get out after landing.
Capsule mass. The NS vehicle doesn't carry enough propellant to do propulsive landing of itself AND the capsule.
It probably does, if they tightened up the landing procedure. That rocket is hovering forever. Gravity losses are huge. Probably only needs almost half the Delta-v to land the first stage if it did a hoverslam.

That's exactly the point though, isn't it? Blue Origin likes to play it safe. The capsule detaches and uses good old reliable parachutes to land, and the rocket hovers before landing because all those things make it easier for the whole system to succeed.  Because they're safer methods.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: cscott on 04/30/2018 01:47 PM
It also seems to zero vertical speed, *then* slew to center on the pad, *then* descend at a constant rate to "land".  Not sure why they (still?) can't combine these three sequential manuveurs into one. (Also not sure why it landed 20 feet off center, since it seemed to have plenty of stability and control authority.  Maybe it computes how large a slew in step #2 it can "afford" given fuel remaining after step #1?)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: intrepidpursuit on 04/30/2018 02:34 PM
A great deal of weight would be saved by combining the two vehicles into one. If they had to stretch the booster a bit I think it wouldn't have been a huge problem. As far as crew getting out, the capsule seems to land randomly and far afield right now. Rolling an airline style  stair truck out to the rocket after landing seems like a minor issue.

The playing it safe argument seems the most likely.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Comga on 04/30/2018 09:05 PM
In this way they are like (let’s not say following) SpaceX in that they have an escape system, with the parachutes and braking rockets, so they use them regularly, like SpaceX’s proposed propulsive landing and how SpaceX’s capsule reuseability goals enabled NASA to resume bringing hardware and research materials down from the ISS.
While Blue could make a simpler system that lands the whole stack, since they have to have an escape system, some safety backup, they can’t realize the mass savings to make the whole stack landable. 
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: JQP on 04/30/2018 09:29 PM
I'm sure this has been discussed so if you can point me to a post that would be great. Why does the capsule ever detach from NS? Do they just feel that the parachutes are that much safer than propulsive landing?

There are certainly trade offs that the system is much more complex with many more failure points now than if it was all a single vehicle. They did lose one rocket and haven't lost any capsules, but that's not unexpected on a first test.

I was wondering the same thing, as BO's Youtube video of the recent launch ended.

Wild guess: the launcher landed a fair bit harder than the crew capsule did.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Chasm on 04/30/2018 09:30 PM
Landing the full stack instead of a capsule would be interesting(tm).
There is much more risk in that. To name a few of the most obvious ones: Engine does not reignite. Steering fails to work. (-> Hydraulics like NS-1) Leg failure, the stack topples. Set it on fire. (-> Last NS-2 landing) Someone falls on egress. (Various accidents with both integrated and mobile ramps at airports, from minor over serve to deadly.)

Maybe more importantly it is really hard to learn anything about staging and capsule operations if you don't do it. ;)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: HMXHMX on 04/30/2018 11:58 PM
Landing the full stack instead of a capsule would be interesting(tm).
There is much more risk in that. To name a few of the most obvious ones: Engine does not reignite. Steering fails to work. (-> Hydraulics like NS-1) Leg failure, the stack topples. Set it on fire. (-> Last NS-2 landing) Someone falls on egress. (Various accidents with both integrated and mobile ramps at airports, from minor over serve to deadly.)

Maybe more importantly it is really hard to learn anything about staging and capsule operations if you don't do it. ;)

The "engine doesn't light" risk is easy enough to mitigate.  Pick a decision height and abort the crew cabin off (using the same propulsion system you use for an ascent abort) and recover the cabin by parachute.  They could do this at any time with the current configuration, perhaps requiring some Cg/Cp tweaks of the drag brakes and rework of the landing algorithm.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Robotbeat on 05/01/2018 12:18 AM
I'm sure this has been discussed so if you can point me to a post that would be great. Why does the capsule ever detach from NS? Do they just feel that the parachutes are that much safer than propulsive landing?

That, plus its easier for the crew to get out after landing.
Capsule mass. The NS vehicle doesn't carry enough propellant to do propulsive landing of itself AND the capsule.
It probably does, if they tightened up the landing procedure. That rocket is hovering forever. Gravity losses are huge. Probably only needs almost half the Delta-v to land the first stage if it did a hoverslam.

That's exactly the point though, isn't it? Blue Origin likes to play it safe. The capsule detaches and uses good old reliable parachutes to land, and the rocket hovers before landing because all those things make it easier for the whole system to succeed.  Because they're safer methods.
It's not particularly safer to take THAT long.

My point is just that it taking a long time isn't something to be impressed by but the opposite. It's like training wheels. Fine and good when you're a beginner (as they still are, so no problem!), but you'd have questions about the skill and preparedness of a bicyclist that relied on training wheels.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: AlexP on 05/01/2018 01:28 PM
Getting customers flying on this thing is, initially at least, going to need plenty of emphasis on both the comfort side of things and the safety side. Touching down in the capsule under parachutes and brief retrofire at a stately 1mph, onto the desert scrub, is going to be an easier sell than landing onto the fringes of the fuel margin atop a booster that could explode if it topples, not to mention it taking much longer to exit the vehicle whilst still perched up high.

If demand from space tourists is really so high that they're struggling to get the stack on the pad often enough to meet it, then great!

It'll be interesting to see, when they have multiple boosters in service/testing, whether they'll use one to experiment with pushing the envelope on landing as SpaceX did. But for now, where the goal is to create a sellable system for near-future tourism use, I think they're taking the correct path. If the tourist market turns out to be minimal but experimental payloads prove to really push demand, they can perhaps alter their approach to prioritise speed of turnaround rather than safety and comfort.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Elmar Moelzer on 05/01/2018 02:47 PM
I somewhat doubt that they will ever change to leaving the capsule attached. I think that for Blue, the suborbital market is merely a way to test/practice/learn for the orbital rocket, while making a little money on the side. I believe the NS will keep flying "as is" as long as it makes a profit or is usable a technology test bed.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: alhenry1231 on 05/10/2018 03:39 AM
Casey handmer posted this tweet.
https://twitter.com/cjhandmer/status/993965300147146752?s=21
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Cheapchips on 05/10/2018 10:52 AM
Interesting stuff in relation to their ambitions. 

Would it have killed them to use an actual timeline, however gradual looking! :)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: rpapo on 05/10/2018 11:02 AM
Blue Origin will have to get a move-on.  They need to be cash-flow positive before Bezos dies, naturally or by accident.  I suspect that whomever inherits his fortune will not have the same willingness to part with a billion dollars a year.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: envy887 on 05/10/2018 12:24 PM
Blue Origin will have to get a move-on.  They need to be cash-flow positive before Bezos dies, naturally or by accident.  I suspect that whomever inherits his fortune will not have the same willingness to part with a billion dollars a year.

That depends on how he sets things up. I'm sure there are ways for him to make sure Blue gets funded even after he dies.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: testguy on 05/10/2018 01:05 PM
Casey handmer posted this tweet.
https://twitter.com/cjhandmer/status/993965300147146752?s=21

I found it interesting that the chart shows New Shepard and New Glenn but does not show where or how New Armstrong folds into their plan.  Does't that seam odd?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: GWH on 05/10/2018 01:45 PM
Casey handmer posted this tweet.
https://twitter.com/cjhandmer/status/993965300147146752?s=21

I assume Blue Origin is looking to provide all this in house?

- Upper stage outfitting: wet workshop based habitats?

- Entry Descent & Landing, following Blue Moon and Reusable lander: entry is a strange term to use for a lunar lander, does the upper stage reuse come after the development of Blue Moon and associated tech?

- In space nuclear power: that's a big item, very much outside of comments implying Blue Origin is just a transportation company.

I'm thinking Jeff Bezos may need to start dumping in more than just $1B per year to make this all a reality any time soon.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: mme on 05/10/2018 02:05 PM
Blue Origin will have to get a move-on.  They need to be cash-flow positive before Bezos dies, naturally or by accident.  I suspect that whomever inherits his fortune will not have the same willingness to part with a billion dollars a year.
Setting up a trust or foundation is trivial. It will probably be big enough that barring a serious long term economic depression or the unexpected bankruptcy of Amazon before the fund diversifies it will last a century or more even spending a billion dollars a year.

These are philinthroic but one could be established for the continued expansion of humanity into space and would dwarf these in size:

List of wealthiest charitable foundations (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wealthiest_charitable_foundations)

Bezos knows how to deal with money and he is involved in several projects that will outlast him.

 
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: AncientU on 05/10/2018 03:25 PM
Blue Origin will have to get a move-on. They need to be cash-flow positive before Bezos dies, naturally or by accident.  I suspect that whomever inherits his fortune will not have the same willingness to part with a billion dollars a year.

This full listing of to-dos will require more 'ferocious' and less 'step-by-step' if Blue is to remain a player.
20 years from start to New Glenn/first orbital launch is a very long timeline.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TrevorMonty on 05/10/2018 04:15 PM
Blue Origin will have to get a move-on. They need to be cash-flow positive before Bezos dies, naturally or by accident.  I suspect that whomever inherits his fortune will not have the same willingness to part with a billion dollars a year.

This full listing of to-dos will require more 'ferocious' and less 'step-by-step' if Blue is to remain a player.
20 years from start to New Glenn/first orbital launch is a very long timeline.
A lot of the technology on road map exists, just needs to buy it or companies that have it.

I'd put fuel transfer and reuseable US higher on my list than NA. With likes of ULA distributed lift combined with fully reuseable NG plus OTV, Blue could establish and support lunar base.





Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Darkseraph on 05/10/2018 05:12 PM
"High Bandwidth Optical Communications" suggests Blue Origin could enter the satellite constellation business, launching its own satellites on New Glenn. That move would be a natural fit with Bezos's other business, Amazon Web Services, which is the biggest cloud internet infrastructure company on Earth. I would not be in the least surprised if a Blue Origin/AWS constellation is announced in the next few years.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: DJPledger on 05/10/2018 08:00 PM
Blue Origin will have to get a move-on. They need to be cash-flow positive before Bezos dies, naturally or by accident.  I suspect that whomever inherits his fortune will not have the same willingness to part with a billion dollars a year.

This full listing of to-dos will require more 'ferocious' and less 'step-by-step' if Blue is to remain a player.
20 years from start to New Glenn/first orbital launch is a very long timeline.
BO will also need to get NA dev. ASAP for them to be competitive with SpaceX BFR. Don't understand why NA is not on the roadmap. NA will be essential in BO's goal of millions of people living and working in space.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 05/10/2018 08:15 PM
Blue Origin will have to get a move-on.  They need to be cash-flow positive before Bezos dies, naturally or by accident.  I suspect that whomever inherits his fortune will not have the same willingness to part with a billion dollars a year.

That depends on how he sets things up. I'm sure there are ways for him to make sure Blue gets funded even after he dies.

I'm sure Bezos has a living trust that already outlines where his surviving assets will go, and I'm sure Blue Origin won't have to worry about turning a profit for a very long time.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: envy887 on 05/10/2018 08:28 PM
Blue Origin will have to get a move-on. They need to be cash-flow positive before Bezos dies, naturally or by accident.  I suspect that whomever inherits his fortune will not have the same willingness to part with a billion dollars a year.

This full listing of to-dos will require more 'ferocious' and less 'step-by-step' if Blue is to remain a player.
20 years from start to New Glenn/first orbital launch is a very long timeline.
BO will also need to get NA dev. ASAP for them to be competitive with SpaceX BFR. Don't understand why NA is not on the roadmap. NA will be essential in BO's goal of millions of people living and working in space.

NG is big enough to be fully reusable and competitive with BFR. Especially with the new hydrolox upper stage.

NG is a really, REALLY big rocket. And it has plenty of room to grow if Blue uprates BE-4.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Chasm on 05/10/2018 08:41 PM
NA is an distraction at this point.
Blue needs NG ASAP because they have to learn about orbital launches. NS has delivered all the answers it can at this time. Maybe they'll return to it to answer specific questions in the future on a much smaller and cheaper scale. (Human spaceflight on NG is still far off. The lessons learned with on NS will be handy for that.)

The factory and launchpad are coming online. The increase of workforce is paying off. New people are getting integrated, adding a few hundred more will not double the numbers any longer. (Adding staff is a burden, esp. if you are doubling or tripling the staff. You pay more people and get less productivity than without them for a while.)
All those people and locations need something to do. Getting paid to twiddle thumbs only keeps highly qualified people interested for so long.

Once they have NG a lot of people have something to work on. Even the few working on concepts (Blue Moon and so on) should suddenly be able to do a whole lot more applied stuff. Flight opportunities for internal projects -getting hardware into space- should be possible.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: gongora on 05/12/2018 07:47 PM
FCC File Number 0860-EX-ST-2018 (https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=84733&RequestTimeout=1000)
Quote
Please explain the purpose of operation:    This application is for Flight #9 of the New Shepard space launch booster and capsule; receipt of telemetry data from the vehicles during flight. This is a modification of the previous STA 0257-EX-ST-2018. If this STA is granted, then 0257-EX-ST-2018 can be voided.

Requested Period of Operation  Operation Start Date:   06/01/2018
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: meekGee on 05/13/2018 11:58 PM
Casey handmer posted this tweet.
https://twitter.com/cjhandmer/status/993965300147146752?s=21

This is an odd chart.

Why are in-space nuclear power and Space Solar power located on the way to "habitats"?
why is "human spaceflight" on the way to "propellant depots"?
(just to pick two)

EDIT also:
- What are "advanced landing sensors" and why do they lead to high bandwidth optical communication, all on the way to service modules and propellant depots?
- What is the 3rd leg all about?  Autonomy --> Robotics --> Cryogenic fluid managements (what ?!) --> Advanced additive manufacturing --> Habitats ??!?!
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 05/14/2018 12:45 AM
Casey handmer posted this tweet.
https://twitter.com/cjhandmer/status/993965300147146752?s=21

This is an odd chart.

Why are in-space nuclear power and Space Solar power located on the way to "habitats"?
why is "human spaceflight" on the way to "propellant depots"?
(just to pick two)

Just to focus on what they see if required for space habitats, they think cryogenic composites and in-space resource utilization is required before space habitats, which makes me wonder if they only see space habitats as needed only for deep space applications?

I would think space habitats would be needed much closer to Earth and would not need either cryogenics or material from space in order to become a reality.

Sure would be nice to understand the assumptions behind this chart...
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Chasm on 05/14/2018 08:44 PM
The order makes some sense.
For example Blue Moon (a lander) -> reusable lander
I think availability is a part of the puzzle. Perhaps they have some items like cyro propellant transfer already on shelf or at least in higher readiness than all the parts for autonomous docking.

Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: gongora on 05/22/2018 08:36 PM
FCC File Number 0911-EX-ST-2018 (https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=84887&RequestTimeout=1000)
Quote
Please explain the purpose of operation:    This application is for Flight #10 of the New Shepard space launch booster and capsule; receipt of telemetry data from the vehicles during flight.


Requested Period of Operation  Operation Start Date:   09/15/2018
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Bubbinski on 05/23/2018 03:00 AM
Interesting, Flight 7 in December 2017, flight 8 in April 2018, flight 9 in June, flight 10 in September if I understand those FCC posts correctly. About once every 3 months. If this schedule holds, would flight 11 (December 2018?) be the first crewed flight? Or would flight 10 be crewed?

Edit: I did some further reading on the 2 FCC links. They have a period of 6 months where the license is good, and June and September are just the starting points. Hmm....flight 9 in late summer, flight 10 in the late fall? We’ll see.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Darkseraph on 05/23/2018 09:36 PM
Interesting interview with Jeff Bezos on 'Day One' in the space industry (http://interactive.satellitetoday.com/via/june-2018/jeff-bezos-day-one-in-the-space-industry/)

Key points in it are:

- Blue intend to work on second stage reuse after first stage reuse has been achieved.
- "The three big ideas for Blue Origin and New Glenn are reducing cost, improving reliability and improving  availability."
- New Glenn’s booster is designed for 25 flights, and the BE-4 engine is designed for 100 missions.
- "Taking a long-term approach has always been one of Amazon’s strengths. And I think it is one of Blue Origin’s strengths as well"
-  They want to enable faster upgrades of satellite hardware through cheaper, frequent launches, unlike the 15-20 year cycle of current satellites.
- New Glenn can tolerate a single fault and still launch, for example a faulty sensor or leg.
 

Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: QuantumG on 05/24/2018 01:55 AM
improving availability

For example, by making it available at all.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 05/24/2018 07:09 AM
improving availability

For example, by making it available at all.


Yes, they would be well advised to talk (even) less and launch more.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Darkseraph on 05/24/2018 10:24 AM
improving availability

For example, by making it available at all.


Yes, they would be well advised to talk (even) less and launch more.

Blue Origin is frequently criticized for being tight lipped about their plans. And that is very true, they don't publish many powerpoints or press releases filled with grand promises of the future that are later cancelled. But for those who are bothered that they are so quiet, the article is a rare discussion of their plans and intents.

Up until very recently a company we won't mention here by name actually didn't launch very frequently at all and frankly had problems meeting any schedule or not exploding their vehicles. The established companies accused them of 'talking but not launching' over and over, underestimating them. That's very reminiscent of the tone of comments now made about Blue Origin. It's right now at the beginning of its orbital plans and will take a few years to get to a high launch rate. As a future disruptive force in the launch industry, they are being grossly underestimated.

If Blue are to create a reliable booster that is reusable from day one, they obviously cannot launch ahead of its current scheduled first flight in 2020. As we can see from the building of a giant rocket factory in Florida and successful tests of the biggest methalox engine in the world, they're doing a lot more than talking!


Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: noogie on 05/24/2018 12:02 PM

If Blue are to create a reliable booster that is reusable from day one, they obviously cannot launch ahead of its current scheduled first flight in 2020. As we can see from the building of a giant rocket factory in Florida and successful tests of the biggest methalox engine in the world, they're doing a lot more than talking!

I think the point of many about Blue Origin is that you only get good at rocketry by flying rockets. The BE-4 thread shows a very, perhaps excessive graditim approach.
 
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: envy887 on 05/24/2018 12:44 PM

If Blue are to create a reliable booster that is reusable from day one, they obviously cannot launch ahead of its current scheduled first flight in 2020. As we can see from the building of a giant rocket factory in Florida and successful tests of the biggest methalox engine in the world, they're doing a lot more than talking!

I think the point of many about Blue Origin is that you only get good at rocketry by flying rockets. The BE-4 thread shows a very, perhaps excessive graditim approach.

Blue is flying rockets.

They tackled reuse first, instead of orbital launch. If SpaceX had an unlimited supply of money they might have done the same thing.

It's quicker and easier to solve a huge problem by breaking it up into manageable chunks, instead of taking the whole thing in one go (e.g. STS). Blue's method is just another way of breaking down the problem.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: johnfwhitesell on 05/24/2018 01:08 PM
As a future disruptive force in the launch industry, they are being grossly underestimated.

Allow me to present a counter example to Blue being "grossly underestimated":

Quote from: https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/03/heres-why-the-imminent-test-of-jeff-bezos-be-4-rocket-engine-is-a-huge-deal/
The BE-4 engine "is unproven at the required size and power," the letter stated. The Congressmen seemed to be pushing Aerojet because the company had promised to produce its AR-1 engine in Huntsville, Alabama, (...)
This is the kind of bias that SpaceX has had to fight for the better part of a decade
(emphasis added by me)

This was being written at a time when Blue was expected to do a full scale test by April last year and certify by the end of the 2017.  They did a full scale partial power test in October.  It's five months into 2018 and they are at 70% power full duration tests.  Blue wasn't being grossly underestimated, a completely accurate assessment was passed off as "bias".  These pessimists predicted that ULA would put itself at risk of delays and those delays are happening!  Of course really this shouldn't surprise us.  Delays are completely typical in the aerospace industry.  I'm sure that if they had gone with the AR-1 it would also be delayed.
 The difference is that if ARJ had gone silent while the predicted time came and passed, we would have assumed serious problems.    But Blue was able to fall completely silent and people assumed that in the absence of information everything must be going well.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: erikdurn on 05/24/2018 01:51 PM
https://www.innovationaus.com/2018/05/Bezos-offers-moon-to-space-agency
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: envy887 on 05/24/2018 01:57 PM
As a future disruptive force in the launch industry, they are being grossly underestimated.

Allow me to present a counter example to Blue being "grossly underestimated":

Quote from: https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/03/heres-why-the-imminent-test-of-jeff-bezos-be-4-rocket-engine-is-a-huge-deal/
The BE-4 engine "is unproven at the required size and power," the letter stated. The Congressmen seemed to be pushing Aerojet because the company had promised to produce its AR-1 engine in Huntsville, Alabama, (...)
This is the kind of bias that SpaceX has had to fight for the better part of a decade
(emphasis added by me)

This was being written at a time when Blue was expected to do a full scale test by April last year and certify by the end of the 2017.  They did a full scale partial power test in October.  It's five months into 2018 and they are at 70% power full duration tests.  Blue wasn't being grossly underestimated, a completely accurate assessment was passed off as "bias".  These pessimists predicted that ULA would put itself at risk of delays and those delays are happening!  Of course really this shouldn't surprise us.  Delays are completely typical in the aerospace industry.  I'm sure that if they had gone with the AR-1 it would also be delayed.
 The difference is that if ARJ had gone silent while the predicted time came and passed, we would have assumed serious problems.    But Blue was able to fall completely silent and people assumed that in the absence of information everything must be going well.

That't not the bias Eric is talking about in that quote.

BE-4 being unproven is no basis to choose AR-1 or AeroJet, as they are no more proven, and in fact are far behind Blue in producing a full-scale staged combustion hydrocarbon engine.

Also, there's no evidence that BE-4 has delayed ULA in any way. BE-4 is still on track for delivery in 2019. The slip from late 2019 to mid 2020 for Vulcan was ascribed by ULA to Centaur upgrades so that they can immediately do heavy DoD launches on Vulcan.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/24/2018 02:06 PM
https://www.innovationaus.com/2018/05/Bezos-offers-moon-to-space-agency

Headline from Jeff Foust:

Quote
This story about a Blue Origin exec’s comments at an Australian meeting suggests there will be a “group announcement” with Jeff Bezos and perhaps multiple nations at the IAC in Germany in October. “We’re going back to the moon and we’re going to stay.”

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/999643637771309057
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Aurora on 05/24/2018 02:58 PM
This is unusual for Blue Origin and Jeff Bezos to "pre-announce" an upcoming event/announcement.  Usually prefers to upstage everyone at a conference.    This will now be difficult to contain discussions and comments until IAC in September.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: meberbs on 05/24/2018 03:22 PM
As a future disruptive force in the launch industry, they are being grossly underestimated.

Allow me to present a counter example to Blue being "grossly underestimated":

Quote from: https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/03/heres-why-the-imminent-test-of-jeff-bezos-be-4-rocket-engine-is-a-huge-deal/
The BE-4 engine "is unproven at the required size and power," the letter stated. The Congressmen seemed to be pushing Aerojet because the company had promised to produce its AR-1 engine in Huntsville, Alabama, (...)
This is the kind of bias that SpaceX has had to fight for the better part of a decade
(emphasis added by me)

This was being written at a time when Blue was expected to do a full scale test by April last year and certify by the end of the 2017.  They did a full scale partial power test in October.  It's five months into 2018 and they are at 70% power full duration tests.  Blue wasn't being grossly underestimated, a completely accurate assessment was passed off as "bias".  These pessimists predicted that ULA would put itself at risk of delays and those delays are happening!  Of course really this shouldn't surprise us.  Delays are completely typical in the aerospace industry.  I'm sure that if they had gone with the AR-1 it would also be delayed.
 The difference is that if ARJ had gone silent while the predicted time came and passed, we would have assumed serious problems.    But Blue was able to fall completely silent and people assumed that in the absence of information everything must be going well.
In addition to what envy887 noted above, you should also note that AR-1 has not been officially eliminated yet, but they didn't plan to qualify their engine until next year anyway, so they don't even have their engine on a test stand yet. AR-1 was a guaranteed delay to Vulcan even if AR-1 had not more delays itself.

See this article (https://www.rocket.com/article/successful-testing-full-scale-preburner-keeps-ar1-engine-schedule-2019) from May 2017 about the AR-1.
Quote
The engine design team has now successfully completed a series of 22 component Critical Design Reviews leading up to an engine system Critical Design Review to support engine qualification and certification in 2019.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: johnfwhitesell on 05/24/2018 04:36 PM
Guys, I explicitly said in my post that I am sure the AR-1 would have been delayed too.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: su27k on 05/24/2018 05:54 PM
improving availability

For example, by making it available at all.


Yes, they would be well advised to talk (even) less and launch more.

Blue Origin is frequently criticized for being tight lipped about their plans. And that is very true, they don't publish many powerpoints or press releases filled with grand promises of the future that are later cancelled. But for those who are bothered that they are so quiet, the article is a rare discussion of their plans and intents.

Up until very recently a company we won't mention here by name actually didn't launch very frequently at all and frankly had problems meeting any schedule or not exploding their vehicles. The established companies accused them of 'talking but not launching' over and over, underestimating them. That's very reminiscent of the tone of comments now made about Blue Origin. It's right now at the beginning of its orbital plans and will take a few years to get to a high launch rate. As a future disruptive force in the launch industry, they are being grossly underestimated.

If Blue are to create a reliable booster that is reusable from day one, they obviously cannot launch ahead of its current scheduled first flight in 2020. As we can see from the building of a giant rocket factory in Florida and successful tests of the biggest methalox engine in the world, they're doing a lot more than talking!

I agree, we want Blue Origin to be more open, we'd like to hear more about their plans, so I'd be glad to see a more talkative Blue, what's wrong with talk more and launch more?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TrevorMonty on 05/24/2018 06:59 PM
https://www.innovationaus.com/2018/05/Bezos-offers-moon-to-space-agency

Headline from Jeff Foust:

Quote
This story about a Blue Origin exec’s comments at an Australian meeting suggests there will be a “group announcement” with Jeff Bezos and perhaps multiple nations at the IAC in Germany in October. “We’re going back to the moon and we’re going to stay.”

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/999643637771309057
Looks like Blue want to setup base in Australian. Would be ideal location for NS tourism flights.

Not so sure about orbital launch sites for NG.

Here is extract from article.



Blue Origin, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’ ambitious, privately-funded aerospace venture company has formally invited the Federal Government’s nascent national space agency to play a role in its mission to achieve space tourism and establish a lunar presence.

Blue Origin commercial director, Ted McFarland, this week used the Australasian Satellite forum in Sydney as a platform to issue the invitation and told InnovationAus.com that it was more than just a goodwill gesture on the company’s part.

“We would really like to explore it,” Mr McFarland said. “There’s a lot of talent here. There’s a lot of land here. So, if I want to put in a space tourism business, I think you’ve got some land available and I think you’ve got some great people to work on the problem. So, yeah, this is a formal invitation to discuss.”


Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: meberbs on 05/24/2018 09:40 PM
Guys, I explicitly said in my post that I am sure the AR-1 would have been delayed too.
You need to read what I said more carefully. The problem is the phrasing "would have." This is a conditional, that you based on the engine selection for Vulcan. Since the selection hasn't happened yet, your statement doesn't make sense. You can instead go to the AR-1 thread and look at what the status of that engine is.

Your statement doesn't address envy887's points at all.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: QuantumG on 05/24/2018 10:07 PM
Blue Origin used to be tight lipped. That all changed when the Kistler team moved in. We need to stop confusing the suborbital team with the Kistler team.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 05/24/2018 10:50 PM
Blue Origin used to be tight lipped. That all changed when the Kistler team moved in. We need to stop confusing the suborbital team with the Kistler team.

Kistler? As in RpK fame from Commercial Cargo?

They are not all on the same team?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Rabidpanda on 05/24/2018 11:34 PM
Blue Origin used to be tight lipped. That all changed when the Kistler team moved in. We need to stop confusing the suborbital team with the Kistler team.

Citation needed.

Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: QuantumG on 05/24/2018 11:38 PM
Kistler? As in RpK fame from Commercial Cargo?

Yeah dude, are you not aware that Blue Origin's orbital team is reheated Kistler?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: johnfwhitesell on 05/25/2018 02:29 AM
Your statement doesn't address envy887's points at all.

Yes, I dont read his posts.

You need to read what I said more carefully. The problem is the phrasing "would have." This is a conditional, that you based on the engine selection for Vulcan.

Progress on the AR-1 does not appear to be going full steam ahead. (http://spacenews.com/air-force-and-aerojet-rocketdyne-renegotiating-ar1-agreement/)  If we imagine a counterfactual where the AR-1 was the favored engine for Vulcan, it would probably be fully funded.  This is why I used a conditional.  If the AR-1 had been the favored engine, I think it's schedule would have slipped.

Hope that helps.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 05/25/2018 04:52 AM
Kistler? As in RpK fame from Commercial Cargo?

Yeah dude, are you not aware that Blue Origin's orbital team is reheated Kistler?

Nope. Did not know. Not sure how "common knowledge" this is/was, but then again they are all Blue Origin, and Jeff Bezos employees. They can be a gang or a club within Blue Origin, but if they don't do what the boss wants they will be unemployed...
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: meberbs on 05/25/2018 05:17 AM
Your statement doesn't address envy887's points at all.

Yes, I dont read his posts.
Too bad, since his points were more important than what I added on, and it makes you look silly for ignoring his valid points.

Progress on the AR-1 does not appear to be going full steam ahead. (http://spacenews.com/air-force-and-aerojet-rocketdyne-renegotiating-ar1-agreement/)  If we imagine a counterfactual where the AR-1 was the favored engine for Vulcan, it would probably be fully funded.  This is why I used a conditional.  If the AR-1 had been the favored engine, I think it's schedule would have slipped.
That is all needlessly complicated. Any reduced funding because AR-1 likely won't be selected would only slow the project more than in your hypothetical. We can instead just look at real life and see that it hasn't in fact been delayed (yet) and is still on the same schedule it was a year ago to get around to testing in 2019.

Hope that helps.
No, it would help if you just admitted that you were wrong, particularly in your claim that obviously biased promotion of the AR-1 based on a blatant lie of omission was not biased.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: QuantumG on 05/25/2018 05:17 AM
They can be a gang or a club within Blue Origin, but if they don't do what the boss wants they will be unemployed...

Bezos isn't like Musk... he doesn't understand rocketry, or even pretend to.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 05/25/2018 09:17 PM
They can be a gang or a club within Blue Origin, but if they don't do what the boss wants they will be unemployed...

Bezos isn't like Musk... he doesn't understand rocketry, or even pretend to.

There are many things that Jeff Bezos does not understand, yet he successfully manages those that do understand it. And I've heard this from people that worked directly for Bezos.

Still, I understand how companies can contain cliques (I've been in one of many at a dynamically growing company), so I hope the Blue Origin President is able to get people to forget where they came from and have them focus on where they are going...
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Llian Rhydderch on 05/26/2018 01:29 AM
Blue Origin used to be tight lipped. That all changed when the Kistler team moved in. We need to stop confusing the suborbital team with the Kistler team.

We'd have better and more erudite discussion here Trent if you just provide the source for your info, as you've been asked by a couple of discussants in the past day or two.  Not everyone who reads this forum is an "inside baseball" expert, on space, spaceflight engineering history, and who worked for what companies in the past.

Let's be kind to all of the readers of this forum.  The BMOF stuff wears thin.

So, let's get public sources:  What do we know about any people's names on the Blue Origin team?  What do we know about who their former employers were?  for which years?  Who, from all of Kistler's people are not working, at Blue Origin today?  How many ever joined Blue from Kistler?  At what levels of responsibility?  When?  What evidence do we have that any persons who formerly were employed by Kistler are playing the major directional role at Blue?

It is simply absurd and grossly unscientific to assert or imply that the non-suborbital team at Blue is "the Kistler team" or is controlled/predominated by "the Kistler team."  ... unless you have serious evidence, which you've not provided.

We can do better than this on NASASpaceFlight.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Navier–Stokes on 05/26/2018 04:32 AM
Jeff Foust (SpaceNews) livetweeting Jeff Bezos's ISDC2018 speech:
Quote from: https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1000228504867299328
Bezos, on lowering the cost of space access: this is not something we choose to do, it’s something we must do.  #ISDC2018
Quote from: https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1000231541665083398
Bezos: key to lowering the cost of access to space is reusability. Start with booster stage, be able to fly it 100 times, demonstrate “operable” reusability. #ISDC2018
Quote from: https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1000231667540287488
Bezos: rockets, by the way, like to be big.  #ISDC2018
Quote from: https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1000232172849053696
Bezos: we’ve bought the ship that will serve as landing pad for New Glenn first stage. Start refitting it soon. #ISDC2018
Quote from: https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1000232710252589056
Bezos: I’m a big fan of administration’s policy to return to the Moon. Need to do that before we can go to Mars. #ISDC2018
Quote from: https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1000233316308602880
Bezos: I love ESA’s Moon Village concept. Sensible to be colocated. #ISDC2018
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Eric Hedman on 05/26/2018 07:20 PM
Article in the Wall Street Journal by Andy Pasztor.  It is an interesting article.  I find it curious that Jeff Bezos says that he may develop rovers and habitats for the Moon.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-ceo-jeff-bezos-pledges-to-expand-his-space-ventures-1527349075 (https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-ceo-jeff-bezos-pledges-to-expand-his-space-ventures-1527349075)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: speedevil on 05/26/2018 07:33 PM
Article in the Wall Street Journal by Andy Pasztor.  It is an interesting article.  I find it curious that Jeff Bezos says that he may develop rovers and habitats for the Moon.
Why?
If you've got a reusable launch vehicle that can launch cargo to the moon for $1000/kg or so landed to the surface (cost) - where else are you going to get rovers that are millions, not billions of dollars?
'If you build it they will come' runs the risk of being another Tesla in space moment.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 05/26/2018 07:43 PM
Article in the Wall Street Journal by Andy Pasztor.  It is an interesting article.  I find it curious that Jeff Bezos says that he may develop rovers and habitats for the Moon.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-ceo-jeff-bezos-pledges-to-expand-his-space-ventures-1527349075 (https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-ceo-jeff-bezos-pledges-to-expand-his-space-ventures-1527349075)

Bezos has different goals than Musk (2016 article on Digital Trends (https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/jeff-bezos-says-big-industry-factories-should-be-built-in-space/)):
Quote
“Energy is limited here,” Bezos said during his talk with The Verge’s Walter Mossberg. “Within just a few hundred years, you will have to cover all of the land mass of Earth in solar cells. So what are you going to do? Well, what I think you’re going to do is you’re going to move out in space … all of our heavy industry will be moved off planet and Earth will be zoned residential and light industrial.”

So human activity on our Moon supports those goals.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Eric Hedman on 05/26/2018 07:58 PM
Article in the Wall Street Journal by Andy Pasztor.  It is an interesting article.  I find it curious that Jeff Bezos says that he may develop rovers and habitats for the Moon.
Why?
If you've got a reusable launch vehicle that can launch cargo to the moon for $1000/kg or so landed to the surface (cost) - where else are you going to get rovers that are millions, not billions of dollars?
'If you build it they will come' runs the risk of being another Tesla in space moment.
Why?  Because in the past he talked about developing the transportation system for others to use.  I guess his goals for Blue Origin have changed.  And that might be because his resources have grown spectacularly.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Brovane on 05/26/2018 08:05 PM
Article in the Wall Street Journal by Andy Pasztor.  It is an interesting article.  I find it curious that Jeff Bezos says that he may develop rovers and habitats for the Moon.
Why?
If you've got a reusable launch vehicle that can launch cargo to the moon for $1000/kg or so landed to the surface (cost) - where else are you going to get rovers that are millions, not billions of dollars?
'If you build it they will come' runs the risk of being another Tesla in space moment.

I don't understand how your analogy to Tesla has any relevance to this discussion.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: speedevil on 05/26/2018 08:10 PM
Article in the Wall Street Journal by Andy Pasztor.  It is an interesting article.  I find it curious that Jeff Bezos says that he may develop rovers and habitats for the Moon.
Why?
If you've got a reusable launch vehicle that can launch cargo to the moon for $1000/kg or so landed to the surface (cost) - where else are you going to get rovers that are millions, not billions of dollars?
'If you build it they will come' runs the risk of being another Tesla in space moment.

I don't understand how your analogy to Tesla has any relevance to this discussion.
To be more specific, the Tesla as a payload for FH, when a real payload did not materialise.
Just because you have delivered a capability does not mean the market will exploit it.
It could be that he's done more research and come to the conclusion that in-house may be a faster, more certain, cheaper option.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Brovane on 05/27/2018 12:18 AM

To be more specific, the Tesla as a payload for FH, when a real payload did not materialise.
Just because you have delivered a capability does not mean the market will exploit it.
It could be that he's done more research and come to the conclusion that in-house may be a faster, more certain, cheaper option.

This has already been discussed. 

The Tesla was just a unique demo payload for a maiden flight instead of a typical mass simulator or boilerplate spacecraft. 

SpaceX launched a boilerplate version of the Dragon for the first F9 launch.  You wouldn't say the F9 had no market because the first launch of the F9 was a boilerplate dragon.  Of course not that would be ridiculous argument.  Just like you are trying to make when you say because SpaceX launched a demo payload for a maiden flight for the FH means we can draw some type of conclusion about the market. 
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: speedevil on 05/27/2018 09:42 AM
The Tesla was just a unique demo payload for a maiden flight instead of a typical mass simulator or boilerplate spacecraft. 

SpaceX launched a boilerplate version of the Dragon for the first F9 launch.  You wouldn't say the F9 had no market because the first launch of the F9 was a boilerplate dragon.  Of course not that would be ridiculous argument.  Just like you are trying to make when you say because SpaceX launched a demo payload for a maiden flight for the FH means we can draw some type of conclusion about the market.

I am talking of the reported comments that they tried and failed to find some payload for it.

Tweet by Lori Garver (https://mobile.twitter.com/Lori_Garver/status/961786032046952449):
Quote
I was told by a SpaceX VP at the launch that they offered free launches to NASA, Air Force etc. but got no takers. A student developed experiment or early tech demo could have led to even more new knowledge from the mission. The Tesla gimmick was the backup.

Not needing to develop lunar hardware means someone with the skills and abilities finding the funding to do so in advance of your launch, and them being willing to risk launching with you.
It means them developing hardware that fits your timeline and capabilities, and does not delay what you may intend by four or ten years.
It means they can easily and affordably grow their initial test hardware out to 'lots' as scaled.

This is a lot of requirements to put on external companies. At least initially, when nobody with money (other than your CEO) believes you will be capable of providing the service, or they do not see a profit in it.

The situation is fairly analogous IMO.
None of the 'serious' institutional providers is geared up to provide hardware like this, especially with no formal budget, and none of the usual round of subcontractors either.

The same forces that lead to not being able to find more than a boilerplate thing to launch on FH apply perhaps even stronger to a hypothetical Blue lunar effort. There are at least in principle various satellites awaiting launch. There is very much less lunar hardware.

Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: rst on 05/27/2018 03:08 PM
Article in the Wall Street Journal by Andy Pasztor.  It is an interesting article.  I find it curious that Jeff Bezos says that he may develop rovers and habitats for the Moon.
Why?
If you've got a reusable launch vehicle that can launch cargo to the moon for $1000/kg or so landed to the surface (cost) - where else are you going to get rovers that are millions, not billions of dollars?
'If you build it they will come' runs the risk of being another Tesla in space moment.

I don't understand how your analogy to Tesla has any relevance to this discussion.
To be more specific, the Tesla as a payload for FH, when a real payload did not materialise.
Just because you have delivered a capability does not mean the market will exploit it.
It could be that he's done more research and come to the conclusion that in-house may be a faster, more certain, cheaper option.

A quick look at the SpaceX manifest shows customers buying three scheduled Heavy flights (STP-2, Arabsat 6A, and an option for 3-EMEA), all contracted well before the demo launch.  These were presumably contingent on a successful demo -- hence the dummy payload on that flight -- but the implication that SpaceX was unable to find commercial customers for Heavy is just wrong. They could; it's just that all of them wanted to see a successful demo before risking their payload.

Mind you, it's certainly true that all sorts of technically neat products have been developed, in aerospace and elsewhere, by people who focused on technical "sweetness" and were then unable to find buyers. And commercial prospects for lunar anything are pretty risky. But Falcon Heavy isn't a good example.  And this risk, though real, is mitigated for Blue in any event because given their $1 billion a year of Bezos money, they aren't constrained much by needing to find customers.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TrevorMonty on 05/27/2018 05:47 PM
The thread title is "Blue Origin general discussion". No SX discussions please.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Brovane on 05/27/2018 07:43 PM


Not needing to develop lunar hardware means someone with the skills and abilities finding the funding to do so in advance of your launch, and them being willing to risk launching with you.
It means them developing hardware that fits your timeline and capabilities, and does not delay what you may intend by four or ten years.
It means they can easily and affordably grow their initial test hardware out to 'lots' as scaled.

This is a lot of requirements to put on external companies. At least initially, when nobody with money (other than your CEO) believes you will be capable of providing the service, or they do not see a profit in it.

The situation is fairly analogous IMO.
None of the 'serious' institutional providers is geared up to provide hardware like this, especially with no formal budget, and none of the usual round of subcontractors either.

The same forces that lead to not being able to find more than a boilerplate thing to launch on FH apply perhaps even stronger to a hypothetical Blue lunar effort. There are at least in principle various satellites awaiting launch. There is very much less lunar hardware.

With Blue Origin we are kind of going into unchartered territory.  We have a CEO who just isn't a billionaire he is literally the world's richest person at $130B whose wealth is based on a extremely strong company, Amazon who just keeps growing.  Essentially BO is Bezos "hobby company". 

“One of two things will happen,” he said. “Either other people will take over the vision, or I’ll run out of money.”

Literally with that type of money he can create his own payloads as necessary.  Bezos could self fund his own lunar exploration program including manned landings.   

NASA and other organizations might not get on board until literally a BO payload is sitting on the lunar surface and prospecting water.  Or a BO astronaut is standing on the lunar surface and NASA is still struggling with getting out of LEO.  Bezos has the financial means to take it this far. 
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: DJPledger on 05/27/2018 07:59 PM
Article in the Wall Street Journal by Andy Pasztor.  It is an interesting article.  I find it curious that Jeff Bezos says that he may develop rovers and habitats for the Moon.
Why?
If you've got a reusable launch vehicle that can launch cargo to the moon for $1000/kg or so landed to the surface (cost) - where else are you going to get rovers that are millions, not billions of dollars?
'If you build it they will come' runs the risk of being another Tesla in space moment.

I don't understand how your analogy to Tesla has any relevance to this discussion.
To be more specific, the Tesla as a payload for FH, when a real payload did not materialise.
Just because you have delivered a capability does not mean the market will exploit it.
It could be that he's done more research and come to the conclusion that in-house may be a faster, more certain, cheaper option.

A quick look at the SpaceX manifest shows customers buying three scheduled Heavy flights (STP-2, Arabsat 6A, and an option for 3-EMEA), all contracted well before the demo launch.  These were presumably contingent on a successful demo -- hence the dummy payload on that flight -- but the implication that SpaceX was unable to find commercial customers for Heavy is just wrong. They could; it's just that all of them wanted to see a successful demo before risking their payload.

Mind you, it's certainly true that all sorts of technically neat products have been developed, in aerospace and elsewhere, by people who focused on technical "sweetness" and were then unable to find buyers. And commercial prospects for lunar anything are pretty risky. But Falcon Heavy isn't a good example.  And this risk, though real, is mitigated for Blue in any event because given their $1 billion a year of Bezos money, they aren't constrained much by needing to find customers.
It appears that customers are choosing NG over other vehicles for their heavy satellite launching needs.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TrevorMonty on 05/27/2018 08:55 PM


Not needing to develop lunar hardware means someone with the skills and abilities finding the funding to do so in advance of your launch, and them being willing to risk launching with you.
It means them developing hardware that fits your timeline and capabilities, and does not delay what you may intend by four or ten years.
It means they can easily and affordably grow their initial test hardware out to 'lots' as scaled.

This is a lot of requirements to put on external companies. At least initially, when nobody with money (other than your CEO) believes you will be capable of providing the service, or they do not see a profit in it.

The situation is fairly analogous IMO.
None of the 'serious' institutional providers is geared up to provide hardware like this, especially with no formal budget, and none of the usual round of subcontractors either.

The same forces that lead to not being able to find more than a boilerplate thing to launch on FH apply perhaps even stronger to a hypothetical Blue lunar effort. There are at least in principle various satellites awaiting launch. There is very much less lunar hardware.

With Blue Origin we are kind of going into unchartered territory.  We have a CEO who just isn't a billionaire he is literally the world's richest person at $130B whose wealth is based on a extremely strong company, Amazon who just keeps growing.  Essentially BO is Bezos "hobby company". 

“One of two things will happen,” he said. “Either other people will take over the vision, or I’ll run out of money.”

Literally with that type of money he can create his own payloads as necessary.  Bezos could self fund his own lunar exploration program including manned landings.   

NASA and other organizations might not get on board until literally a BO payload is sitting on the lunar surface and prospecting water.  Or a BO astronaut is standing on the lunar surface and NASA is still struggling with getting out of LEO.  Bezos has the financial means to take it this far.
Once NS and NG are flying commercially the income should cover Blue operating cost and some. That well leave Jeff's annual $1B injection free for R&D and lunar missions. When the launch is at cost price  on a RLV, $1B buys a lot of lunar missions.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: QuantumG on 05/28/2018 04:59 AM
So, let's get public sources:  What do we know about any people's names on the Blue Origin team?  What do we know about who their former employers were?  for which years?  Who, from all of Kistler's people are not working, at Blue Origin today?  How many ever joined Blue from Kistler?  At what levels of responsibility?  When?  What evidence do we have that any persons who formerly were employed by Kistler are playing the major directional role at Blue?

It's common knowledge in the space community, which I figured people on this forum were in.

Anyway, go trawl through LinkedIn, if that's your thing.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 05/28/2018 07:19 AM
So, let's get public sources:  What do we know about any people's names on the Blue Origin team?  What do we know about who their former employers were?  for which years?  Who, from all of Kistler's people are not working, at Blue Origin today?  How many ever joined Blue from Kistler?  At what levels of responsibility?  When?  What evidence do we have that any persons who formerly were employed by Kistler are playing the major directional role at Blue?

It's common knowledge in the space community, which I figured people on this forum were in.

Anyway, go trawl through LinkedIn, if that's your thing.


Lotsa people here are in the space community. But your revelation that Blue's orbital team is basically "reheated Kistler" is in fact a surprise to several of those people. So, I wouldn't exactly call it "common knowledge".
Unless your revelation is really just an assumption.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: MikeAtkinson on 05/28/2018 09:00 AM
So, let's get public sources:  What do we know about any people's names on the Blue Origin team?  What do we know about who their former employers were?  for which years?  Who, from all of Kistler's people are not working, at Blue Origin today?  How many ever joined Blue from Kistler?  At what levels of responsibility?  When?  What evidence do we have that any persons who formerly were employed by Kistler are playing the major directional role at Blue?

It's common knowledge in the space community, which I figured people on this forum were in.

Anyway, go trawl through LinkedIn, if that's your thing.


Lotsa people here are in the space community. But your revelation that Blue's orbital team is basically "reheated Kistler" is in fact a surprise to several of those people. So, I wouldn't exactly call it "common knowledge".
Unless your revelation is really just an assumption.

I tried to verify within LinkedIn but gave up after about 10 mins, it was clear that many Blue employees do not have a LinkedIn profile (or at least not one visible to me) and most of the ones visible had details hidden.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: jpo234 on 05/28/2018 09:45 AM
So, let's get public sources:  What do we know about any people's names on the Blue Origin team?  What do we know about who their former employers were?  for which years?  Who, from all of Kistler's people are not working, at Blue Origin today?  How many ever joined Blue from Kistler?  At what levels of responsibility?  When?  What evidence do we have that any persons who formerly were employed by Kistler are playing the major directional role at Blue?

For starters Rob Meyerson (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob_Meyerson#Career).
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 05/28/2018 12:25 PM
So, let's get public sources:  What do we know about any people's names on the Blue Origin team?  What do we know about who their former employers were?  for which years?  Who, from all of Kistler's people are not working, at Blue Origin today?  How many ever joined Blue from Kistler?  At what levels of responsibility?  When?  What evidence do we have that any persons who formerly were employed by Kistler are playing the major directional role at Blue?

For starters Rob Meyerson (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob_Meyerson#Career).

Kistler was more than just Meyerson. To even remotely corroborate Trent's claim we'll need several more names of which it can proven that they worked for Kistler once and are now working for Blue.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: MaxTeranous on 05/28/2018 12:28 PM
Why does it even matter? People have employment histories. Doesn’t mean they’re doing exactly the same thing as in the past.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 05/28/2018 12:51 PM
Why does it even matter? People have employment histories. Doesn’t mean they’re doing exactly the same thing as in the past.

Correct. Which is why Trent's post IMO came dangerously close to trolling.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Llian Rhydderch on 05/28/2018 08:34 PM
Trent made a claim that the non-suborbital team at Blue Origin is just reheated Kistler Aerospace.

He's been asked by many here to put up data to back that extensive claim.  He is apparently unwilling to do so, or cannot, and goes for the "it's common knowledge" dodge.

As said above, Trent, the BMOF stuff is wearing awfully thin.  Moreover, it's hurting your reputation as it counterbalances the often useful analysis you can bring when you put your mind to it.  I think we can do better; and do better it treating the readers of this forum as your colleagues in the endeavor of learning about spaceflight technology development, not little people who ought to know what you know.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: meekGee on 05/28/2018 11:57 PM
Trent made a claim that the non-suborbital team at Blue Origin is just reheated Kistler Aerospace.

He's been asked by many here to put up data to back that extensive claim.  He is apparently unwilling to do so, or cannot, and goes for the "it's common knowledge" dodge.

As said above, Trent, the BMOF stuff is wearing awfully thin.  Moreover, it's hurting your reputation as it counterbalances the often useful analysis you can bring when you put your mind to it.  I think we can do better; and do better it treating the readers of this forum as your colleagues in the endeavor of learning about spaceflight technology development, not little people who ought to know what you know.

Lilian - specific employment information is generally sensitive.  What you're asking for in essence is a good list of BO's leading engineering staff.

I don't think QG can or will do that, and if he did, it'll be modded off in a blink.

Whether these people moved on to BO after K1 was canceled - at least the timing is right.  And it's a small industry.  And they are less likely to have gone to SpaceX or ULA, timing wise.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Rabidpanda on 05/29/2018 12:57 AM
Trent made a claim that the non-suborbital team at Blue Origin is just reheated Kistler Aerospace.

He's been asked by many here to put up data to back that extensive claim.  He is apparently unwilling to do so, or cannot, and goes for the "it's common knowledge" dodge.

As said above, Trent, the BMOF stuff is wearing awfully thin.  Moreover, it's hurting your reputation as it counterbalances the often useful analysis you can bring when you put your mind to it.  I think we can do better; and do better it treating the readers of this forum as your colleagues in the endeavor of learning about spaceflight technology development, not little people who ought to know what you know.

Lilian - specific employment information is generally sensitive.  What you're asking for in essence is a good list of BO's leading engineering staff.

I don't think QG can or will do that, and if he did, it'll be modded off in a blink.

Whether these people moved on to BO after K1 was canceled - at least the timing is right.  And it's a small industry.  And they are less likely to have gone to SpaceX or ULA, timing wise.

What? Employment information is not generally sensitive. It’s all over LinkedIn and Facebook.

QG made very specific claims with nothing to back them up. It’s perfectly reasonable to call him out on it. At the very least his post should have used different language to emphasize that he is stating a rumor instead of an objective fact.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: meekGee on 05/29/2018 01:04 AM
Trent made a claim that the non-suborbital team at Blue Origin is just reheated Kistler Aerospace.

He's been asked by many here to put up data to back that extensive claim.  He is apparently unwilling to do so, or cannot, and goes for the "it's common knowledge" dodge.

As said above, Trent, the BMOF stuff is wearing awfully thin.  Moreover, it's hurting your reputation as it counterbalances the often useful analysis you can bring when you put your mind to it.  I think we can do better; and do better it treating the readers of this forum as your colleagues in the endeavor of learning about spaceflight technology development, not little people who ought to know what you know.

Lilian - specific employment information is generally sensitive.  What you're asking for in essence is a good list of BO's leading engineering staff.

I don't think QG can or will do that, and if he did, it'll be modded off in a blink.

Whether these people moved on to BO after K1 was canceled - at least the timing is right.  And it's a small industry.  And they are less likely to have gone to SpaceX or ULA, timing wise.

What? Employment information is not generally sensitive. It’s all over LinkedIn and Facebook.

QG made very specific claims with nothing to back them up. It’s perfectly reasonable to call him out on it. At the very least his post should have used different language to emphasize that he is stating a rumor instead of an objective fact.
Heh if it's not sensitive, don't just make claims about "all over Linked In" like you know who...  Prove it...

Works both ways...

-----
ABCD: Always Be Counting Down
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Robotbeat on 05/29/2018 02:51 AM
They can be a gang or a club within Blue Origin, but if they don't do what the boss wants they will be unemployed...

Bezos isn't like Musk... he doesn't understand rocketry, or even pretend to.
True that Bezos doesn’t have his hands deep into the design of the rockets like Musk, but I’m certain he has a pretty good understanding of rocketry. He’s an electrical engineer, so shouldn’t have much problem with most of the concepts, same as many of the knowledgeable people here. But I suspect you’re right that he’s not trying to be a rocket designer or engineer like Musk.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TrevorMonty on 05/29/2018 03:36 AM
An interview with Jeff on his lunar plans. Having the richest man on planet pouring his wealth into lunar base is a dream come true for us moon first fans. Just as importantly it should help others get private funding (from VCs not Jeff) for their lunar plans.

techcrunch.com/2018/05/27/jeff-bezos-details-his-moon-colony-ambitions/

A couple of extracts from article.

and while a partnership with NASA, the ESA and others would be best, Blue Origin  will do it solo if it has to.

In the meantime he’s funding Blue Origin with his own money to pursue these lofty ambitions. And he’ll keep going, he said, until someone else picks up the ball or he goes broke — and he and Alan agreed that the latter seems unlikely.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Asteroza on 05/29/2018 03:42 AM
Jeff says they bought the boat for landing NG and are refitting it? Sounds like our marine sleuths over in the SpaceX ASDS threads ought to be given a heads up for a new hunting target...
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: johnlandish on 05/29/2018 10:48 PM
"but our BE-3U engine, which is the upper-stage variant of our liquid hydrogen engine, made such fast progress that we decided to flip that second stage to hydrogen. Then the two-stage vehicle gets vastly improved performance." - Jeff Bezos on using two BE-3U's instead of one BE-4U. 
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Navier–Stokes on 05/29/2018 10:51 PM
"but our BE-3U engine, which is the upper-stage variant of our liquid hydrogen engine, made such fast progress that we decided to flip that second stage to hydrogen. Then the two-stage vehicle gets vastly improved performance." - Jeff Bezos on using two BE-3U's instead of one BE-4U.
Source: Jeff Bezos: ‘We will have to leave this planet … and it’s going to make this planet better’ (https://www.geekwire.com/2018/jeff-bezos-isdc-space-vision/)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: intrepidpursuit on 05/30/2018 12:11 AM
Whoa. They've changed the entire architecture of the second stage this late in the game? I wonder when that decision was made.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TrevorMonty on 05/30/2018 12:39 AM
"but our BE-3U engine, which is the upper-stage variant of our liquid hydrogen engine, made such fast progress that we decided to flip that second stage to hydrogen. Then the two-stage vehicle gets vastly improved performance." - Jeff Bezos on using two BE-3U's instead of one BE-4U.
Source: Jeff Bezos: ‘We will have to leave this planet … and it’s going to make this planet better’ (https://www.geekwire.com/2018/jeff-bezos-isdc-space-vision/)
Great link. I've read summarized versions of this interview, lot more info in full interview in this link.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/30/2018 01:59 AM
Whoa. They've changed the entire architecture of the second stage this late in the game? I wonder when that decision was made.
Not sure when the decision was made, but on March 29, 2018, SpaceNews broke the story about Blue Origin having changed its plans for New Glenn's second stage to the 2xBE-3U configuration.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lars-J on 05/30/2018 04:41 AM
Whoa. They've changed the entire architecture of the second stage this late in the game? I wonder when that decision was made.

Perhaps because BE-4 development is taking longer than they originally planned. So it makes sense to concentrate on just the normal BE-4 and use the BE-3U since it is low hanging fruit and will work better for lunar purposes anyway.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 05/30/2018 07:10 AM
Whoa. They've changed the entire architecture of the second stage this late in the game? I wonder when that decision was made.
Not sure when the decision was made, but on March 29, 2018, SpaceNews broke the story about Blue Origin having changed its plans for New Glenn's second stage to the 2xBE-3U configuration.

 - Ed Kyle

The decision to change the S2 architecture was made several months before SN broke the news in late March. What I'm hearing is that is was basically a done deal late last year.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: jebbo on 05/30/2018 08:41 AM
Source: Jeff Bezos: ‘We will have to leave this planet … and it’s going to make this planet better’ (https://www.geekwire.com/2018/jeff-bezos-isdc-space-vision/)

Good interview! Not much to add other than the weird coincidence that Cotulla, where he grew up, was the codename for one of the Intel XScale chips I worked on (all the codenames were places the marketing folks went hunting) :-)

Oh, and that I rather like his vision.

--- Tony
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Prettz on 05/30/2018 01:37 PM
Whoa. They've changed the entire architecture of the second stage this late in the game? I wonder when that decision was made.

Perhaps because BE-4 development is taking longer than they originally planned. So it makes sense to concentrate on just the normal BE-4 and use the BE-3U since it is low hanging fruit and will work better for lunar purposes anyway.
Do you think they'll use the 2 stage variant for lunar missions? They were already planning a third stage with a single BE-3U for BEO missions.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Wolfram66 on 05/30/2018 02:01 PM
Whoa. They've changed the entire architecture of the second stage this late in the game? I wonder when that decision was made.

Perhaps because BE-4 development is taking longer than they originally planned. So it makes sense to concentrate on just the normal BE-4 and use the BE-3U since it is low hanging fruit and will work better for lunar purposes anyway.
Do you think they'll use the 2 stage variant for lunar missions? They were already planning a third stage with a single BE-3U for BEO missions.

I think i remember seeing that the choice was due to the higher Isp on the HydroLox Cryo BE-3.. i  will have to search for that... but the science on that is sound like the choice of RL-10's on ACES
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Chasm on 05/30/2018 02:29 PM
I suppose running out of time was the motivator.

At some point Blue decided to enter the EELV-2 competition. For that they needed a design that can be developed and launched by the required date. Entering just to get immediately thrown out for not being feasible enough would look bad.
BE-4 takes more time and it's hard to build and qualify the BE-4U without it. Even if you can do it in parallel they compete for the same resources: team, machining time and test stand.
Beyond EELV-2 there are also internal factors. Factory, launch site and ship are coming online soon™. Missing major parts like the upper stage engine delays a whole lot of people.

On the plus side they know a lot about BE-3. It has its own test stand, the team might be slightly different. Orbital ATK had an Air Force contract to work on a BE-3U nozzle extension and at least some of that should be accessible to and usable by Blue.
We now know that BE-3U was not selected for other rockets. With that it should be a bit easier to tweak development if needed, after all there are just their own requirements and no customers involved.

So one BE-4U gets replaced by more than one BE-3U. Thrust (and cost) of the new stage can be tailored by the number of engines. Hydrogen needs more volume but increased ISP (~1/3 higher) helps. BE-3U should be shorter which buys a bit of room. If necessary there is vertical room to grow, it's called 3rd stage on the initial design. ;)

Overall not too bad. Blue already has Hydrolox knowledge, might as well use it.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: intrepidpursuit on 05/30/2018 02:31 PM
Whoa. They've changed the entire architecture of the second stage this late in the game? I wonder when that decision was made.

Perhaps because BE-4 development is taking longer than they originally planned. So it makes sense to concentrate on just the normal BE-4 and use the BE-3U since it is low hanging fruit and will work better for lunar purposes anyway.
Do you think they'll use the 2 stage variant for lunar missions? They were already planning a third stage with a single BE-3U for BEO missions.

With the higher ISP and much smaller engines they may not need a third stage for high energy missions. If anything it might hurt LEO performance similar to the SEC on ULA rockets, but mass to LEO may not be a priority if their core markets are planetary, GEO and volume-centric constellation deployments.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: intrepidpursuit on 05/30/2018 02:36 PM
Whoa. They've changed the entire architecture of the second stage this late in the game? I wonder when that decision was made.
Not sure when the decision was made, but on March 29, 2018, SpaceNews broke the story about Blue Origin having changed its plans for New Glenn's second stage to the 2xBE-3U configuration.

 - Ed Kyle

The decision to change the S2 architecture was made several months before SN broke the news in late March. What I'm hearing is that is was basically a done deal late last year.

That still seems late. They already had customers and a factory under construction and were competing for EELV. They will certainly get to prove how agile they can be to make the quick pivot.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: cscott on 05/30/2018 03:37 PM
Jeff says they bought the boat for landing NG and are refitting it? Sounds like our marine sleuths over in the SpaceX ASDS threads ought to be given a heads up for a new hunting target...
I've done ASDS hunting, and I'll say that finding boat ownership from public records is quite hard. The typical ownership model seems to involve separate LLCs set up for each boat, which then have ownership and operating agreements with other opaque LLCs, etc.  SpaceX for example doesn't directly own any of their vessels, and Mr. Steven (for instance) which has been operated by Guice Offshore for months and has a big GO logo painted on it, still doesn't have any official paperwork documenting the relationship with GO; there seems to be a private contract beween SeaTran marine (http://www.seatranmarine.com/vessels-1/mr-steven), Guice Offshore and SpaceX (or a subsidiary).

Custom-built commercial boats seem to be often "owned" by the builder and then "sold" for a nominal sum to the boat's own LLC when complete. Mr. Steven was sold by Gulf Craft LLC to Mr. Steven LLC for $1. So the boat owns itself.

Thus tracing top-down from Blue Origin to whatever ship it is outfitting is likely to be fruitless.  While Bezos says "bought" the likely case is that Blue Origin has signed contracts with a number of different folk, including perhaps the boat's own LLC, not actually transferred ownership in any boat registry.  We have better luck with folks that hang around docks with an ear to the rumor mill.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: envy887 on 05/30/2018 03:38 PM
Whoa. They've changed the entire architecture of the second stage this late in the game? I wonder when that decision was made.

Perhaps because BE-4 development is taking longer than they originally planned. So it makes sense to concentrate on just the normal BE-4 and use the BE-3U since it is low hanging fruit and will work better for lunar purposes anyway.
Do you think they'll use the 2 stage variant for lunar missions? They were already planning a third stage with a single BE-3U for BEO missions.

With the higher ISP and much smaller engines they may not need a third stage for high energy missions. If anything it might hurt LEO performance similar to the SEC on ULA rockets, but mass to LEO may not be a priority if their core markets are planetary, GEO and volume-centric constellation deployments.

LEO performance is likely to improve with LH2 upper, since BE-3U is quite high thrust at 585 kN. I'm estimating a 1150 tonne booster and 200 tonne upper stage, with payloads of around 55 tonnes to LEO, 21 tonnes to GTO, 6.5 tonnes to GEO, and 15 tonnes to TLI. All with only 2 stages and with booster downrange landing.

The 3-stage version with a ~50 tonne upper stage and single BE-3U would get about 25 tonnes to TLI with booster reuse. About the same as SLS Block 1, despite having about half the liftoff mass and a reusable booster.

My reasoning for the large upper stage is mainly due to the need to constrain staging velocity to limit heat load on the reentering booster, since Blue isn't planning to do extra burns to slow the booster down. Also, Blue's spokesman said they need to stretch the second stage for LH2, which implies a gross mass substantially larger than then 140 tonnes that would fit in the volume of the initial single BE-4U stage.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: cscott on 05/30/2018 03:40 PM
So, let's get public sources:  What do we know about any people's names on the Blue Origin team?  What do we know about who their former employers were?  for which years?  Who, from all of Kistler's people are not working, at Blue Origin today?  How many ever joined Blue from Kistler?  At what levels of responsibility?  When?  What evidence do we have that any persons who formerly were employed by Kistler are playing the major directional role at Blue?

For starters Rob Meyerson (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob_Meyerson#Career).
Rob Meyerson joined Blue Origin in 2003, and worked on all of its projects, including its suborbital projects. I don't think he can be called part of a new "Kistler orbital team".
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TrevorMonty on 05/30/2018 05:13 PM
Whoa. They've changed the entire architecture of the second stage this late in the game? I wonder when that decision was made.

Perhaps because BE-4 development is taking longer than they originally planned. So it makes sense to concentrate on just the normal BE-4 and use the BE-3U since it is low hanging fruit and will work better for lunar purposes anyway.
Do you think they'll use the 2 stage variant for lunar missions? They were already planning a third stage with a single BE-3U for BEO missions.

With the higher ISP and much smaller engines they may not need a third stage for high energy missions. If anything it might hurt LEO performance similar to the SEC on ULA rockets, but mass to LEO may not be a priority if their core markets are planetary, GEO and volume-centric constellation deployments.

LEO performance is likely to improve with LH2 upper, since BE-3U is quite high thrust at 585 kN. I'm estimating a 1150 tonne booster and 200 tonne upper stage, with payloads of around 55 tonnes to LEO, 21 tonnes to GTO, 6.5 tonnes to GEO, and 15 tonnes to TLI. All with only 2 stages and with booster downrange landing.

The 3-stage version with a ~50 tonne upper stage and single BE-3U would get about 25 tonnes to TLI with booster reuse. About the same as SLS Block 1, despite having about half the liftoff mass and a reusable booster.

My reasoning for the large upper stage is mainly due to the need to constrain staging velocity to limit heat load on the reentering booster, since Blue isn't planning to do extra burns to slow the booster down. Also, Blue's spokesman said they need to stretch the second stage for LH2, which implies a gross mass substantially larger than then 140 tonnes that would fit in the volume of the initial single BE-4U stage.
The alternative to 3rd stage is reuseable OTV which 2 stage NG refuels. Mass of OTV can be very low as it doesn't need to handle launch forces.
But it does require Blue to develop inorbit refuelling technology of LH and LOX. Something they will need to do eventually.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lar on 05/30/2018 05:24 PM
(mod)  Sorry I was out this holiday weekend or I would have said something about 50 posts back. We can do better than some of the recent posts.  A few points

- no one needs to act like BMOF... no matter how long they've been around or how much they know.
- it is reasonable to ask for corroboration. "everyone knows this" or "If you hang out in the space community you'd know this" is not corroboration. Even "it's on LinkedIn" isn't necessarily helpful. There is no need for excessive snark in reply to asks for more info. We're all here to learn, not show off how well connected we are.
- sometimes corroboration isn't possible. It might not be public info. Maybe the poster said too much already. Or maybe they shared all they can. If someone says take my word for it... maybe do that (or don't.... as you like)
- If you ask for corroboration and and you don't get it, move on with your life. Set your internal credibility counter a bit lower if you like. But don't berate people on forum. That just makes things worse.
- Use the report to mod sooner, rather than going nasty on forum.
- If someone is trolling it often does no good to point that out (this is one I could use some help with myself some times)
- In general, see what you can do to increase the signal and reduce the noise, while being excellent to each other.

There are a lot of posts that are problematic from a lot of posters...  There is also good info mixed in. Swinging the ax now is likely to leave a very choppy forum thread behind.  And it looks like things have returned to an even keel... thanks for that. So I'm just issuing this general nuncio.

Thank you.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: envy887 on 05/30/2018 05:29 PM
Whoa. They've changed the entire architecture of the second stage this late in the game? I wonder when that decision was made.

Perhaps because BE-4 development is taking longer than they originally planned. So it makes sense to concentrate on just the normal BE-4 and use the BE-3U since it is low hanging fruit and will work better for lunar purposes anyway.
Do you think they'll use the 2 stage variant for lunar missions? They were already planning a third stage with a single BE-3U for BEO missions.

With the higher ISP and much smaller engines they may not need a third stage for high energy missions. If anything it might hurt LEO performance similar to the SEC on ULA rockets, but mass to LEO may not be a priority if their core markets are planetary, GEO and volume-centric constellation deployments.

LEO performance is likely to improve with LH2 upper, since BE-3U is quite high thrust at 585 kN. I'm estimating a 1150 tonne booster and 200 tonne upper stage, with payloads of around 55 tonnes to LEO, 21 tonnes to GTO, 6.5 tonnes to GEO, and 15 tonnes to TLI. All with only 2 stages and with booster downrange landing.

The 3-stage version with a ~50 tonne upper stage and single BE-3U would get about 25 tonnes to TLI with booster reuse. About the same as SLS Block 1, despite having about half the liftoff mass and a reusable booster.

My reasoning for the large upper stage is mainly due to the need to constrain staging velocity to limit heat load on the reentering booster, since Blue isn't planning to do extra burns to slow the booster down. Also, Blue's spokesman said they need to stretch the second stage for LH2, which implies a gross mass substantially larger than then 140 tonnes that would fit in the volume of the initial single BE-4U stage.
The alternative to 3rd stage is reuseable OTV which 2 stage NG refuels. Mass of OTV can be very low as it doesn't need to handle launch forces.
But it does require Blue to develop inorbit refuelling technology of LH and LOX. Something they will need to do eventually.

It also requires transferring payloads between the 2nd stage and the OTV, which might be considerably more difficult than refueling, or at least require payloads to be explicitly designed to handle transfer.

It might be simpler to just refuel the 2nd stage and send it wherever the payload needs to go. Somewhat like BFS.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Prettz on 05/31/2018 03:54 AM
With the higher ISP and much smaller engines they may not need a third stage for high energy missions. If anything it might hurt LEO performance similar to the SEC on ULA rockets, but mass to LEO may not be a priority if their core markets are planetary, GEO and volume-centric constellation deployments.
Obviously the third stage is optional, like Centaur on Titan, just for the highest-energy missions. While the 2nd stage is expendable it's probably more economical to just use the 2nd stage for BEO missions.

An expendable 3rd stage for BEO missions would make sense once they develop a reusable 2nd stage. I would really love to know Blue's current estimated timeline for a reusable second stage vs. their estimated timeline for launching their own lunar payloads. Which would arrive first?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: brickmack on 05/31/2018 06:37 PM
It also requires transferring payloads between the 2nd stage and the OTV, which might be considerably more difficult than refueling, or at least require payloads to be explicitly designed to handle transfer.

It might be simpler to just refuel the 2nd stage and send it wherever the payload needs to go. Somewhat like BFS.

Robotics and berthing interfaces of that sort are thoroughly demonstrated already. A small arm on the OTV would add only a couple hundred kg of dry mass (not much when we're talking about something likely able to send several tens of tons to lunar orbit, if this is intended as an ACES competitor), probably even less for a simple unpressurized mounting mechanism. Such an arm might have some other uses too (satellite servicing, station assembly). On the payload side, interfaces would be problematic, but in the short term until customers start designing hardware specifically for this system, you could just move the entire payload adapter, and put the grapple fixtures and berthing mechanism on there, and then leave the PAF-to-payload interface the same (you'd have to throw away the PAF, but thats cheap in the short term)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/02/2018 02:42 PM
Quote
Erika Wagner of Blue Origin notes at #DPSS18 that the company is now up to about 1,500 employees.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1002912902985199616
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: meberbs on 07/13/2018 05:03 PM
From the Reuters article:
Quote
The company will do the first test in space of its capsule escape system, which propels the crew to safety should the booster explode, “within weeks,” one of the employees said.

Since we know that this has already been tested, that statement is certainly wrong. I doubt they would do another escape test, since the first didn't have any obvious issues, but not impossible.

The article also says:
Quote
While Blue Origin has not disclosed its per-flight operating costs, Teal Group aerospace analyst Marco Caceres estimated each flight could cost the firm about $10 million
Not sure how they got that number, but it clearly seems off by an order of magnitude. Given full reuse, and previous statements about refurbishment time and cost, there is no way that figure makes any sense.

The per ticket price in the article isn't really news, they have said before that it would be comparable to their competition.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: M.E.T. on 07/13/2018 05:10 PM
Is this intended to be a profitable venture? At 6 paying tourists per flight and $200k per ticket, that’s a maximum of $1.2 million revenue per flight.

Is that viable? How much does this rocket cost to launch?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TrevorMonty on 07/13/2018 05:52 PM
Is this intended to be a profitable venture? At 6 paying tourists per flight and $200k per ticket, that’s a maximum of $1.2 million revenue per flight.

Is that viable? How much does this rocket cost to launch?
They've stated  less than$100k to turn around between flights. Should be case of repack capsule parachutes, refuel or replace retro rockets and refuel booster. Even if it went as high as $500k they would still be making good money.

Big ticket item is replacement cost of booster and capsule after so many flights.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: M.E.T. on 07/14/2018 04:41 AM
Is this intended to be a profitable venture? At 6 paying tourists per flight and $200k per ticket, that’s a maximum of $1.2 million revenue per flight.

Is that viable? How much does this rocket cost to launch?
They've stated  less than$100k to turn around between flights. Should be case of repack capsule parachutes, refuel or replace retro rockets and refuel booster. Even if it went as high as $500k they would still be making good money.

Big ticket item is replacement cost of booster and capsule after so many flights.

The cost per flight of course includes the amortization/depreciation costs of the rocket and capsule over the lifetime number of launches. So if it costs $20m to construct the rocket and capsule, and you get 10 flights from it, then the cost per flight is effectively $2m. Plus the "$100k turn around cost between flights".

So the question is, how much does it cost to build and operate a New Shepard Rocket and Crew Capsule  and how many flights can you get out of each one? That figure then needs to be compared to the +-$1.2m revenue per flight.

What I'm trying to understand is whether BO is trying to run this as a profitable venture, or whether they are using Bezos's billions in subsidization to run this at a loss to capture market share.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: meberbs on 07/14/2018 05:54 AM
What I'm trying to understand is whether BO is trying to run this as a profitable venture, or whether they are using Bezos's billions in subsidization to run this at a loss to capture market share.
$20 million for a New Shepard is probably an overestimate. Comparing size, number of engines etc. to a Falcon 9, it would be more like around $10 million most likely. Even at just 10 reuses (most likely can do more) that is just $1 million amortized per launch, plus maybe $100k recurring cost. The ticket prices will be set to make a profit. If they just wanted to steal market share without profit, they would just undercut Virgin by a factor of 2.

They most likely will make use of Bezo's fortune to write off most R&D costs though. That makes sense to do since a lot of their R&D to date has been general purpose to get the company going. Even New Shepard itself is mostly to buy down risk for New Glenn, which will enable larger overall profits.

Blue Origin wouldn't accomplish its goals if they weren't actually reducing cost of spaceflight, so they care about making sure they are actually turning a net profit on their products. Bezos won't just subsidize everything to artificially lower the price of spaceflight. That would backfire for his main goal of millions of people in space.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: yg1968 on 07/17/2018 03:09 AM
The original article is on Reuters: Exclusive: Jeff Bezos plans to charge at least $200,000 for space rides - sources  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-space-blueorigin-exclusive/exclusive-jeff-bezos-plans-to-charge-at-least-200000-for-space-rides-sources-idUSKBN1K301R (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-space-blueorigin-exclusive/exclusive-jeff-bezos-plans-to-charge-at-least-200000-for-space-rides-sources-idUSKBN1K301R) everybody else just quoted them

Jeff Bezos says that a price has not been seriously discussed at this time:

https://www.geekwire.com/2018/200000-trip-space-blue-origin-says-price-hasnt-seriously-discussed/
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: tyrred on 07/17/2018 06:23 AM
Forgive me for sounding naive or obtuse, but... how can Bezos have not seriously discussed the price of a ticket to ride his company's suborbital space tourism vehicle?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 07/17/2018 07:18 AM
Forgive me for sounding naive or obtuse, but... how can Bezos have not seriously discussed the price of a ticket to ride his company's suborbital space tourism vehicle?

Less than two months ago Bezos said something very similar about the ticket price:

https://spacenews.com/blue-origin-plans-to-start-selling-suborbital-spaceflight-tickets-next-year/ (https://spacenews.com/blue-origin-plans-to-start-selling-suborbital-spaceflight-tickets-next-year/)

Quote from: Jeff Foust
Even the company’s billionaire owner has not disclosed details. “We don’t know the ticket price yet. We haven’t decided,” said Jeff Bezos in an on-stage interview May 25 at the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference in Los Angeles.

The answer to your question is: Jeff Bezos will discuss the ticket price when he is...
Quote from: Maverick
...g*ddamn good and ready. You got that?!
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: SimonFD on 07/17/2018 08:47 AM
Forgive me for sounding naive or obtuse, but... how can Bezos have not seriously discussed the price of a ticket to ride his company's suborbital space tourism vehicle?

Of course he's discussed the price! Just not with us..... ;)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: tyrred on 07/17/2018 09:58 AM
Recent report of $200,000 - $300,000 ticket price for New Shepard.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-space-blueorigin-exclusive/exclusive-jeff-bezos-plans-to-charge-at-least-200000-for-space-rides-sources-idUSKBN1K301R

Any reports of how many passengers have booked a flight?

Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: SciNews on 07/17/2018 11:52 AM
By "leaking" these prices, Blue Origin is making marketing research. The prices will be adjusted according to the demand.
In other news, BBC: "Amazon's Jeff Bezos beats Bill Gates in new rich list" https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-44858517
Quote
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is now worth $150bn (£113bn), according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Kryten on 07/17/2018 03:02 PM
Any reports of how many passengers have booked a flight?
None, they aren't being offered yet.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Yeknom-Ecaps on 07/20/2018 03:55 PM
Is there any "offsite" mission control?

SpaceX has its mission control at Hawthorne ..... I assume Blue Origin at West Texas (Van Horn) .... true? Any others?

Thanks.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: gongora on 09/20/2018 02:54 AM
FCC File Number 0911-EX-ST-2018 (https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=84887&RequestTimeout=1000)
Quote
Please explain the purpose of operation:    This application is for Flight #10 of the New Shepard space launch booster and capsule; receipt of telemetry data from the vehicles during flight.


Requested Period of Operation  Operation Start Date:   09/15/2018

They filed a new permit 1638-EX-ST-2018 to adjust the communications frequencies and bandwidth.  NET now October 1.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Eric Hedman on 09/20/2018 05:23 AM
FCC File Number 0911-EX-ST-2018 (https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=84887&RequestTimeout=1000)
Quote
Please explain the purpose of operation:    This application is for Flight #10 of the New Shepard space launch booster and capsule; receipt of telemetry data from the vehicles during flight.


Requested Period of Operation  Operation Start Date:   09/15/2018

They filed a new permit 1638-EX-ST-2018 to adjust the communications frequencies and bandwidth.  NET now October 1.
Is there anyway to tell from the permits if they may actually fly people on the next flight?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Eric Hedman on 09/20/2018 01:29 PM
Article in Los Angeles Times says Bezos will spend $1 billion on New Glenn next year:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-blue-origin-investment-20180919-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-blue-origin-investment-20180919-story.html)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TripleSeven on 09/20/2018 01:36 PM
Article in Los Angeles Times says Bezos will spend $1 billion on New Glenn next year:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-blue-origin-investment-20180919-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-blue-origin-investment-20180919-story.html)

that means he is close to producing it or is ready to
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lar on 09/20/2018 02:15 PM
Article in Los Angeles Times says Bezos will spend $1 billion on New Glenn next year:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-blue-origin-investment-20180919-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-blue-origin-investment-20180919-story.html)

that means he is close to producing it or is ready to
No it doesn't He's been spending that every year for a while.

I like what QuantumG said in an old signature (which I can no longer reproduce word for word but here's the gist)

"Just imagine, Bezos has so much money that Blue can move at whatever speed they want... so what speed do they choose? the SLOWEST speed possible"

Loud talking overaggrandizing snarky patent trolls. Who have yet to launch anything to orbit.

I wish them well anyway, competition is good. But I wish they were fair competitors that spoke truthfully. Especially their boss. who never misses a chance to snark.


Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TripleSeven on 09/20/2018 02:24 PM
Article in Los Angeles Times says Bezos will spend $1 billion on New Glenn next year:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-blue-origin-investment-20180919-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-blue-origin-investment-20180919-story.html)

that means he is close to producing it or is ready to
No it doesn't He's been spending that every year for a while.

I like what QuantumG said in an old signature (which I can no longer reproduce word for word but here's the gist)

"Just imagine, Bezos has so much money that Blue can move at whatever speed they want... so what speed do they choose? the SLOWEST speed possible"

Loud talking overaggrandizing snarky patent trolls. Who have yet to launch anything to orbit.

I wish them well anyway, competition is good. But I wish they were fair competitors that spoke truthfully. Especially their boss. who never misses a chance to snark.

he has not been spending it on New Glenn...if the story is true and that is where the spending is, he is ready for first level production. 

there is a reason that they would chose a slow speed...its called good management.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: ncb1397 on 09/20/2018 02:24 PM

Loud talking overaggrandizing snarky patent trolls. Who have yet to launch anything to orbit.

That is a pretty expansive definition of patent troll. Patent trolls sit on patents with no intention of using them, which we now know is not the case with Blue Origin. The patent was applied for in 2010, well before SpaceX was doing ship landings or even cutting any metal with the intention of doing so. If anyone made a mistake, it was the patent office issuing a patent too broad.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: gongora on 09/20/2018 02:27 PM
Is there anyway to tell from the permits if they may actually fly people on the next flight?

Not from the FCC permits, but yesterday Bezos said "we'll be putting people in space this coming year"
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TripleSeven on 09/20/2018 02:39 PM
Is this intended to be a profitable venture? At 6 paying tourists per flight and $200k per ticket, that’s a maximum of $1.2 million revenue per flight.

Is that viable? How much does this rocket cost to launch?

Congratulations...the XX million dollar question

if that is the price per ticket (and there would be some price from "experiments as well) the question comes up...would JB operate NS flying tourist at a "loss" to do some PR and pump priming for later "efforts"

we will learn a lot about the man and his operation then
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: kevinof on 09/20/2018 02:40 PM
18 years of "good management" and yet to fly anyone. Give me a break.


there is a reason that they would chose a slow speed...its called good management.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 09/20/2018 02:54 PM
he has not been spending it on New Glenn...

He is spending it on Blue Origin, which is not exclusively focused on New Glenn. Remember they are getting ready to make New Shepard operational, and they may also be working on a spacecraft. And he may have generalized by saying "New Glenn program" so that he didn't give us any info on other things they are working on.

Quote
if the story is true and that is where the spending is, he is ready for first level production.

Wrong conclusions. Bezos has said in the past that he planned to fund Blue Origin at $1B through stock sales, which he has to announce in advance since Amazon is a public company.

Saying that he is increasing funding doesn't mean that they are entering production though, since in some cases it's more expensive to set up a factory than to run it.

Quote
there is a reason that they would chose a slow speed...its called good management.

Not enough evidence to know that, as it just could be that the leadership is not capable of moving very fast.

We have to remember that SpaceX is NOT the norm when it comes to speed of development and innovation. It requires an entire organization, from the top down, that is encouraged and allowed to go fast and break things.

So far, from what I have seen, Blue Origin is just running at a normal development rate - certainly not fast. Especially when you consider that Blue Origin is older than SpaceX...  ;)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TripleSeven on 09/20/2018 02:56 PM
18 years of "good management" and yet to fly anyone. Give me a break.


there is a reason that they would chose a slow speed...its called good management.

no one has flown anyone yet...

I dont know why he is proceeding at the pace he is proceeding...I can, as can you only speculate...but in my view the answer is "he doesnt have to hurry"

Blue was founded in what 2000, I think I recall the ceremony up in Seattle...and SpaceX in 2002...SpaceX has of course gone to orbit with now three vehicles...and is selling launches...

both Musk and him and have gone at it at different ways and rates...its the joy of having a lot of personal cash.   Blue did miss the commercial crew and cargo opportunity but once he missed that, then there was no reason to push until the next window opened...and in my view it is about to.   if he wants to take advantage of the coming shift in federal policy to the Moon...and the next build on the space station...well he needs to field vehicles.

Oddly enough I think that the"non NASA flight of people" into "space" both orbital and suborbital is about to start big time in 19.  both SpaceX and Boeing are going to orbit and Blue and SS2 go sub orb with people...

and then hang on

Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: kevinof on 09/20/2018 03:01 PM
SpaceX's mission is to fly people and cargo to Orbit. It has done cargo and will early next year, do crew. Same with ULA and Starliner.

Blue Origin's mission is to do sub orbital and cargo. It is 18 years in business and has done neither. There's slow and then there's Blue Origin.


no one has flown anyone yet...


Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TripleSeven on 09/20/2018 03:04 PM


He is spending it on Blue Origin, which is not exclusively focused on New Glenn. Remember they are getting ready to make New Shepard operational, and they may also be working on a spacecraft. And he may have generalized by saying "New Glenn program" so that he didn't give us any info on other things they are working on.



spending it company wide and focusing it on a particular program are different things.


Quote
Wrong conclusions. Bezos has said in the past that he planned to fund Blue Origin at $1B through stock sales, which he has to announce in advance since Amazon is a public company.

Saying that he is increasing funding doesn't mean that they are entering production though, since in some cases it's more expensive to set up a factory than to run it.

I was very careful what I said and I dont defend what I did not say.  If this is 1 billion on NG than they are getting ready for some serious production...and that includes some factory issues but turning hardware...as we use to say "the tin is coming"





Quote
Not enough evidence to know that, as it just could be that the leadership is not capable of moving very fast.

We have to remember that SpaceX is NOT the norm when it comes to speed of development and innovation. It requires an entire organization, from the top down, that is encouraged and allowed to go fast and break things.

maybe maybe not.  you are all about business cases...and it all depends on where your business is, where you develop your expertise.  Blue has gone slower than they had to go because "I think" there business model has more people in it than SpaceX does at least in the short term.   they have been dealing with their capsule as much as they have been dealing with the rocket. 

SpaceX has developed into the premier (really rivaling ULA) "package delivery" company...which is impressive and I suspect is making them some money.  Blue for somereason (I can guess but its only that) has been focusing on developing the people end of it as well

if they are pouring a bill into New Glenn... a vehicle is coming on line next year

Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TripleSeven on 09/20/2018 03:05 PM
SpaceX's mission is to fly people and cargo to Orbit. It has done cargo and will early next year, do crew. Same with ULA and Starliner.

Blue Origin's mission is to do sub orbital and cargo. It is 18 years in business and has done neither. There's slow and then there's Blue Origin.


ULA is not Starliner...Boeing is starliner...we will see where Blue sees their mission as.  its wider than I think you give it credit for...


Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: ncb1397 on 09/20/2018 03:05 PM
SpaceX's mission is to fly people and cargo to Orbit. It has done cargo and will early next year, do crew. Same with ULA and Starliner.

Blue Origin's mission is to do sub orbital and cargo. It is 18 years in business and has done neither. There's slow and then there's Blue Origin.


no one has flown anyone yet...


They didn't get fat government money. Between 2000-2014, they had an average of $35 million per year. SpaceX gets $133 million every time they launch NASA cargo once.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: envy887 on 09/20/2018 03:24 PM
SpaceX's mission is to fly people and cargo to Orbit. It has done cargo and will early next year, do crew. Same with ULA and Starliner.

Blue Origin's mission is to do sub orbital and cargo. It is 18 years in business and has done neither. There's slow and then there's Blue Origin.


no one has flown anyone yet...


They didn't get fat government money. Between 2000-2014, they had an average of $35 million per year. SpaceX gets $133 million every time they launch NASA cargo once.

Money is not the reason for Blue's rate of progress.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: ncb1397 on 09/20/2018 03:39 PM
SpaceX's mission is to fly people and cargo to Orbit. It has done cargo and will early next year, do crew. Same with ULA and Starliner.

Blue Origin's mission is to do sub orbital and cargo. It is 18 years in business and has done neither. There's slow and then there's Blue Origin.


no one has flown anyone yet...


They didn't get fat government money. Between 2000-2014, they had an average of $35 million per year. SpaceX gets $133 million every time they launch NASA cargo once.

Money is not the reason for Blue's rate of progress.

Are you saying they could be building New Glenn on $35 million a year? No, they couldn't, and if they started back in 2000, Bezos wouldn't own any Amazon stock. He was only worth a couple billion back then. Now, if they started back in 2000, do you think New Glenn would be flying by now? I'd give that pretty good odds. They could hire the best rocket scientists in the world. It was only a matter of money.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lar on 09/20/2018 05:52 PM
In 2000 (or 2002) Musk was not as rich as Bezos. He still isn't. But he parlayed basically nothing into multiple multibillion dollar businesses.

In particular SpaceX has blown past Blue. Anyone who tries to claim differently is blowing smoke. I suspect the theoretical IPO value of SpaceX is 10x or more that of Blue.

Blue is a hobby. SpaceX is Musk's lifework.

When you evaluate it as a hobby, it's not done too bad. But aside from a few experiments (and I'm not even sure they were allowed to charge for that) and some deposits, zero revenue.

I stand by my earlier comments in particular the patent trolling part. I wish them well and I think it would be awesome if they actually turned into a non powerpoint competitor that was launching payloads for actual pay. So far, not so much.

As for who benefited from what contracts? Luck is 90% preparation and 10%  being ready to move when the chance appears. Blue could have been the big winner here and gotten contracts. But it's a hobby.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: niwax on 09/20/2018 06:28 PM
In 2000 (or 2002) Musk was not as rich as Bezos. He still isn't. But he parlayed basically nothing into multiple multibillion dollar businesses.

In particular SpaceX has blown past Blue. Anyone who tries to claim differently is blowing smoke. I suspect the theoretical IPO value of SpaceX is 10x or more that of Blue.


$35 million a year between 2002 and 2012 also happens to be roughly the same amount SpaceX actually ran on all the way to the first F9 COTS flight.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: ncb1397 on 09/20/2018 08:15 PM
In 2000 (or 2002) Musk was not as rich as Bezos. He still isn't. But he parlayed basically nothing into multiple multibillion dollar businesses.

In particular SpaceX has blown past Blue. Anyone who tries to claim differently is blowing smoke. I suspect the theoretical IPO value of SpaceX is 10x or more that of Blue.


$35 million a year between 2002 and 2012 also happens to be roughly the same amount SpaceX actually ran on all the way to the first F9 COTS flight.

No, it was well over a billion dollars to develop 10 t Falcon 9, Dragon cargo and Falcon 1 which would be more like $100 million per year.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lars-J on 09/20/2018 08:23 PM
In 2000 (or 2002) Musk was not as rich as Bezos. He still isn't. But he parlayed basically nothing into multiple multibillion dollar businesses.

In particular SpaceX has blown past Blue. Anyone who tries to claim differently is blowing smoke. I suspect the theoretical IPO value of SpaceX is 10x or more that of Blue.


$35 million a year between 2002 and 2012 also happens to be roughly the same amount SpaceX actually ran on all the way to the first F9 COTS flight.

No, it was well over a billion dollars to develop 10 t Falcon 9, Dragon cargo and Falcon 1 which would be more like $100 million per year.

Source? For v1.1 for sure... but the original F9 and Dragon were pretty widely cited (by NASA) to have been a $400m effort.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: ncb1397 on 09/20/2018 08:44 PM
In 2000 (or 2002) Musk was not as rich as Bezos. He still isn't. But he parlayed basically nothing into multiple multibillion dollar businesses.

In particular SpaceX has blown past Blue. Anyone who tries to claim differently is blowing smoke. I suspect the theoretical IPO value of SpaceX is 10x or more that of Blue.


$35 million a year between 2002 and 2012 also happens to be roughly the same amount SpaceX actually ran on all the way to the first F9 COTS flight.

No, it was well over a billion dollars to develop 10 t Falcon 9, Dragon cargo and Falcon 1 which would be more like $100 million per year.

Source? For v1.1 for sure... but the original F9 and Dragon were pretty widely cited (by NASA) to have been a $400m effort.

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20170008895.pdf Figure 4

NASA dragon - $307 million
private dragon - $352 million
Total - $759 million for dragon

Add in Falcon and you get over a billion. $100 million per year was only the average. The spending rate was a lot higher than that between 2008-2010. In fact, practically the entire $1 billion + was spent during that period.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 09/20/2018 08:59 PM
Add in Falcon and you get over a billion. $100 million per year was only the average.

Normal product development is usually front-ended for spending - unless you're stretching out a program like with the SLS. So trying to determine an average is misleading and meaningless.

And how does this apply to Blue Origin?

There should be no question about who has more money available for rocket and spaceship development - it is clearly Jeff Bezos.

So if money were the only factor, then Blue Origin should be far beyond what SpaceX has been doing on a much smaller amount of available funds. But they clearly are nowhere close to what SpaceX is doing - so far. Which is the mystery.

My guess is that SpaceX was built top-down as a more dynamic organization. And sure, Jeff Bezos is a dominate force in the retail and computing sector, but the people he has running Blue Origin may not have the same abilities that he and Elon Musk have. And not to say they don't build great stuff, just that they build it at a much slower rate of innovation.

My $0.02
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: ncb1397 on 09/20/2018 09:23 PM
Add in Falcon and you get over a billion. $100 million per year was only the average.

Normal product development is usually front-ended for spending - unless you're stretching out a program like with the SLS. So trying to determine an average is misleading and meaningless.

And how does this apply to Blue Origin?

There should be no question about who has more money available for rocket and spaceship development - it is clearly Jeff Bezos.

So if money were the only factor, then Blue Origin should be far beyond what SpaceX has been doing on a much smaller amount of available funds. But they clearly are nowhere close to what SpaceX is doing - so far. Which is the mystery.

My guess is that SpaceX was built top-down as a more dynamic organization. And sure, Jeff Bezos is a dominate force in the retail and computing sector, but the people he has running Blue Origin may not have the same abilities that he and Elon Musk have. And not to say they don't build great stuff, just that they build it at a much slower rate of innovation.

My $0.02

So, if I am a trillionaire, but I spent $10,000,000 a year on my rocket development company, said company should be far ahead of SpaceX? It doesn't work that way.

Anyways, Blue Origin only had access to SpaceX-like levels of money starting ~24 months ago. It isn't apparently clear if New Glenn leap frogs Falcon Heavy, Falcon 9 Block 1-5 and Falcon 1  - if the 45 t figure is with first stage re-use, it certainly does leap frog all of them. So, people are making judgements when no judgements can be made - yet. It really all depends on New Glenn development and BFR/BFS development.

Elon Musk is free to do what Bezos is doing in the money department. He could sell $1 billion a year in Tesla stock and fund SpaceX. Certainly, the rate of return of a dollar in SpaceX far exceeded the rate of return in Tesla over the last year or two.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Nate_Trost on 09/20/2018 10:03 PM
I disagree that Blue Origin is "slow" in actual development, once they start developing. Blue Origin just took a long time before they actually started serious development geared towards orbital flight.

The BE-3 engine was announced at the beginning of 2013. Let's say work on it started all the way back in 2010, and that New Glenn has its debut launch in 2022.

That's longer than it took SpaceX to get to F9 1.0, but less than it took to get to Block 5 and Heavy.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Eric Hedman on 09/20/2018 10:52 PM
Elon Musk is free to do what Bezos is doing in the money department. He could sell $1 billion a year in Tesla stock and fund SpaceX. Certainly, the rate of return of a dollar in SpaceX far exceeded the rate of return in Tesla over the last year or two.
When Jeff Bezos liquidates a billion in Amazon stock it his little or no effect on the stock price of a trillion dollar valuation company.  If Musk liquidates a billion from Tesla it would crater the stock price by panicking stockholders.  Musk also needs to keep controlling interest.  Bezos hasn't technically had it in Amazon for a long time.  Bezos is well under fifty percent in ownership in Amazon.  I think he's at 16 percent.   So I think Bezos has a huge long term advantage on the funding side.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: ncb1397 on 09/20/2018 11:00 PM
Elon Musk is free to do what Bezos is doing in the money department. He could sell $1 billion a year in Tesla stock and fund SpaceX. Certainly, the rate of return of a dollar in SpaceX far exceeded the rate of return in Tesla over the last year or two.
If Musk liquidates a billion from Tesla it would crater the stock price by panicking stockholders.  Musk also needs to keep controlling interest.

That ship has sailed. Musk's 33.7 million shares out of a total float of 169.8 million shares represents just 19.8% ownership. On the other hand, Musk's somewhat extravagant 20 million share compensation package could bump that up quite a bit.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 09/20/2018 11:39 PM
So, if I am a trillionaire, but I spent $10,000,000 a year on my rocket development company, said company should be far ahead of SpaceX? It doesn't work that way.

No it doesn't, and I never implied or stated that was the situation.

Quote
Anyways, Blue Origin only had access to SpaceX-like levels of money starting ~24 months ago.

Not true. Jeff Bezos made the Forbes 400 list in 1998 with a net worth of $1.6B, and he started Blue Origin two years later in 2000.

Elon Musk only got $22M from the sale of Zip2, and $180M (after taxes) from the sale of PayPal (after investing $12M of his own money). And we all know he almost went broke juggling both SpaceX and Tesla, so early on Musk could not personally support SpaceX to the degree Jeff Bezos could support Blue Origin.

Elon Musk has always been far less wealthy than Jeff Bezos during their rocket company years.

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It isn't apparently clear if New Glenn leap frogs Falcon Heavy, Falcon 9 Block 1-5 and Falcon 1  - if the 45 t figure is with first stage re-use, it certainly does leap frog all of them. So, people are making judgements when no judgements can be made - yet.

The judgement being made is that SpaceX has been operational for a decade, and despite not having the wealth of Jeff Bezos they were the first to make orbital-capable reusable rockets possible. And I think most of us assume that Blue Origin has some pretty smart people, so it's unclear why Blue Origin has not made the same level of progress that SpaceX has.

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It really all depends on New Glenn development and BFR/BFS development.

Literally apples and oranges, since they have different use cases. Important for both, but not the same at all.

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Elon Musk is free to do what Bezos is doing in the money department. He could sell $1 billion a year in Tesla stock and fund SpaceX. Certainly, the rate of return of a dollar in SpaceX far exceeded the rate of return in Tesla over the last year or two.

The ROI for SpaceX is unknown investment-wise since there hasn't been an equity event yet (i.e. IPO or sale). You can't know an ROI until there is an equity event.

As for selling Tesla stock, Musk clearly wants Tesla to succeed, and he apparently feels he needs as much stock in the company as possible to maintain control so that he can make it succeed. Which means he doesn't have a lot of free cash.

But Musk really doesn't need to invest in SpaceX right now, since the goal is not for one person to push humanity out into space, but humanity itself. And having a customer invest "materially significant" amounts of money in the BFR is a good sign.

As for Blue Origin, we're all cheering for them, but especially cheering for them to go faster...  ;)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: ncb1397 on 09/21/2018 12:08 AM
The judgement being made is that SpaceX has been operational for a decade, and despite not having the wealth of Jeff Bezos they were the first to make orbital-capable reusable rockets possible.

Sorry, but this isn't true at all. The first partially-reusable orbital rocket was the space shuttle built by Rockwell International. I think you are searching for the word VTVL. That would be a true statement.

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Elon Musk only got $22M from the sale of Zip2, and $180M (after taxes) from the sale of PayPal (after investing $12M of his own money). And we all know he almost went broke juggling both SpaceX and Tesla, so early on Musk could not personally support SpaceX to the degree Jeff Bezos could support Blue Origin.

Jeff Bezos kept his money in Amazon. Smart move because a billion dollars in Amazon in 2000 is worth $30 billion today. Again, the amount of investment from 2000-2014 that Blue Origin received from Bezos was around $500 million, about the same as NASA alone put into SpaceX with COTS. He didn't take on additional investors, meaning he owns 100% of the company now vs 54% ownership of Musk in SpaceX.

I don't know why I have to continue to explain that the resources a company had access to is not the net worth of the founder(s). It is as absurd as saying because Alphabet had a profit $9.8 billion in the first 3 months of 2018 and they are an investor in SpaceX, SpaceX has access to way more money than Blue Origin. If they plow that $9.8 billion into SpaceX, they have access to it. If they don't, they don't.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 09/21/2018 06:55 AM
Is there anyway to tell from the permits if they may actually fly people on the next flight?

Not from the FCC permits, but yesterday Bezos said "we'll be putting people in space this coming year"

Boring. He said the exact same thing last year.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: QuantumG on 09/21/2018 07:00 AM
Personally I couldn't work at a company where you pour your efforts into projects that get a cursory review by a supervisor but otherwise go no-where, but some people are fine with it.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: b0objunior on 09/21/2018 01:42 PM
Personally I couldn't work at a company where you pour your efforts into projects that get a cursory review by a supervisor but otherwise go no-where, but some people are fine with it.
What are you talking about?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: envy887 on 09/21/2018 02:31 PM
SpaceX's mission is to fly people and cargo to Orbit. It has done cargo and will early next year, do crew. Same with ULA and Starliner.

Blue Origin's mission is to do sub orbital and cargo. It is 18 years in business and has done neither. There's slow and then there's Blue Origin.


no one has flown anyone yet...


They didn't get fat government money. Between 2000-2014, they had an average of $35 million per year. SpaceX gets $133 million every time they launch NASA cargo once.

Money is not the reason for Blue's rate of progress.

Are you saying they could be building New Glenn on $35 million a year? No, they couldn't, and if they started back in 2000, Bezos wouldn't own any Amazon stock. He was only worth a couple billion back then. Now, if they started back in 2000, do you think New Glenn would be flying by now? I'd give that pretty good odds. They could hire the best rocket scientists in the world. It was only a matter of money.

Blue has sufficient funding to proceed at the rate Bezos wants them to proceed. If he wanted them to go faster he would give them more money. Thus they aren't funding constrained. They are constrained by the timeline and vision imposed by their leadership.

Bezos is just as serious about the Gradatim as he is about the Ferocitor.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: meekGee on 09/21/2018 02:46 PM

but to be clear RIGHT NOW there are only two real business cases concerning humans in space or near space that seem to be actually "maybe" valid.

the first is what Blue and Branson are pursuing and that is people in sub orbital flights.  I dont know if its valid...but both seem on the verge of giving it a try. 

the second is the pursuit of federal contracts for humans in space.  both Boeing and SpaceX seem to be going at that with all the vigor that their companies can muster...



(From the capsule thread)

Ahem...  I know a company that just sold a trip around the moon...

When that ship comes back (after having flown the trip empty a few times) - how long before the next billionaire rents that party bus?

That's a viable business plan.  And it is truly in-orbit space, not "3 minutes over the karman line" space...

-----
ABCD: Always Be Counting Down


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ABCD: Always Be Counting Down

Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 09/21/2018 03:06 PM
The judgement being made is that SpaceX has been operational for a decade, and despite not having the wealth of Jeff Bezos they were the first to make orbital-capable reusable rockets possible.

Sorry, but this isn't true at all. The first partially-reusable orbital rocket was the space shuttle built by Rockwell International. I think you are searching for the word VTVL. That would be a true statement.

I chose my wording carefully. The Shuttle Orbiter was not a rocket, it was the payload, and the SRM's were only refurbish-able, not reusable.

Also, the comparison was between Blue Origin and SpaceX, with Blue Origin being the older company. So assuming that both had access to the same level of talent, it's obvious that Jeff Bezos has chosen a much slower pace for Blue Origin. And that could be because his goals for the future were not as refined back in 2000 - maybe he only wanted to focus on sub-orbital back then because everyone was saying reusable orbital rockets were impossible.

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Elon Musk only got $22M from the sale of Zip2, and $180M (after taxes) from the sale of PayPal (after investing $12M of his own money). And we all know he almost went broke juggling both SpaceX and Tesla, so early on Musk could not personally support SpaceX to the degree Jeff Bezos could support Blue Origin.

Jeff Bezos kept his money in Amazon.

Good for him, but there were other methods he could have used to accelerate the pace of Blue Origin. We have to remember he is smart business person.

But he didn't, which leads many to the possible conclusions that:

A. His "vision" did not come into focus until more recently
B. His goals are not as urgent as what Elon Musk's are
C. For whatever reason Blue Origin just has a slower pace than SpaceX

None of those are bad reasons, especially because he has no real competition to worry about. As long as Blue Origin is accomplishing what Jeff Bezos wants then they are a success - and we on the outside don't know what those goals are.

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It is as absurd as saying because Alphabet had a profit $9.8 billion in the first 3 months of 2018 and they are an investor in SpaceX, SpaceX has access to way more money than Blue Origin. If they plow that $9.8 billion into SpaceX, they have access to it. If they don't, they don't.

There is a difference between being an owner with net worth of $166B being the only source of funding for his private company, and being a public company that is investing $1B in another company with the hope it pays off for it's shareholders down the road.

Jeff Bezos, at this point in his net worth, could easily invest $2-3B per year in Blue Origin without affecting his net worth much, or decreasing his ownership stake in Amazon significantly.

Which is why the progress Blue Origin is making is, to a substantial degree, based on how fast Jeff Bezos wants them to go, and right now he is fine with the pace. That he is fine in following behind what SpaceX is doing, with no visible plan to try and catch up to, and overtake SpaceX.

And if you flip that perspective around, he is also putting Blue Origin on a path to be only the second launch provider to offer reusable orbital launchers, and that puts Blue Origin in a VERY enviable place. And I am cheering them on!
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TripleSeven on 09/21/2018 03:15 PM


I chose my wording carefully. The Shuttle Orbiter was not a rocket, it was the payload, and the SRM's were only refurbish-able, not reusable.

the orbiter carried the rocket engines and the SRM's were as reusable as solids can be.

I dont see your point

I would add this, I believe that boeing is going to buy his engine :)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 09/21/2018 06:22 PM
I dont see your point

I'm not surprised.

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I would add this, I believe that boeing is going to buy his engine :)

A random statement with no explanation does not move any conversations forward.

For instance, explain why Boeing, which has a joint venture that may already be planning to buy the Blue Origin BE-4 engine, would want to buy a Blue Origin engine directly?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Chasm on 09/21/2018 08:42 PM
Jeff Bezos, at this point in his net worth, could easily invest $2-3B per year in Blue Origin without affecting his net worth much, or decreasing his ownership stake in Amazon significantly.

Which is why the progress Blue Origin is making is, to a substantial degree, based on how fast Jeff Bezos wants them to go, and right now he is fine with the pace. That he is fine in following behind what SpaceX is doing, with no visible plan to try and catch up to, and overtake SpaceX.

He recently announced that another two billion go into social projects. No idea of that is one time or regular.

We'll see how the Blue origin spending pattern changes now that factory and pad are online soon(™ Tory Bruno).
More people working for Blue increases baseline cost nicely. Building and testing big rockets sounds like an easy way to burn money.
Other than rockets the question is in the other projects. We know from old parking lot pictures that they had quite a bit of presumably Moon stuff laid out. But was that something soon or rather about finding out how big a Moon architecture has to be? (Getting an idea how to size NG, NA and landers?)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: ncb1397 on 09/21/2018 09:16 PM

I chose my wording carefully. The Shuttle Orbiter was not a rocket, it was the payload, and the SRM's were only refurbish-able, not reusable.

See attached picture. Does that get you to orbit?

There are a few things working against your interpretation
1.)The Shuttle hypergolic rocket engines were capable of about 900 m/s when LEO spacecraft typically only need a few hundred m/s. That is about 1/10th of LEO delta v.
2.)The Shuttle OMS where both tank and engine were integrated did insertion into LEO. It is suborbital otherwise.
3.)The hydrolox booster engines were recovered, which is no different than ULA "SMART" reusability. That scheme counts as partial rocket reusability. The only difference is the method of recovery.
4.)Under your definition of re-usability used for SpaceX, the Shuttle SRBs are re-usable. SpaceX hasn't achieved re-use with no maintanence.
5.)Only the complete system (the SRB, the ET, and the orbiter) have the features of an orbital rocket. Without the orbiter it is a one stage sub-orbital vehicle and has no payload fairing or equivalent feature for holding a satellite.

Which is why the progress Blue Origin is making is, to a substantial degree, based on how fast Jeff Bezos wants them to go, and right now he is fine with the pace. That he is fine in following behind what SpaceX is doing, with no visible plan to try and catch up to, and overtake SpaceX.

If New Glenn flys and lands before BFR/BFS, they have caught up and most likely overtook SpaceX as far as rockets go. How long does that last in that scenario? Who knows.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 09/21/2018 09:57 PM

I chose my wording carefully. The Shuttle Orbiter was not a rocket, it was the payload, and the SRM's were only refurbish-able, not reusable.

4.)Under your definition of re-usability used for SpaceX, the Shuttle SRBs are re-usable. SpaceX hasn't achieved re-use with no maintanence.

SpaceX is flying the reusable version of the Falcon 9. They are still validating their design and ops, so they are not operating it in a fully reusable mode, but it is the reusable version.

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5.)Only the complete system (the SRB, the ET, and the orbiter) have the features of an orbital rocket. Without the orbiter it is a one stage sub-orbital vehicle and has no payload fairing or equivalent feature for holding a satellite.

You spend a lot of time arguing about tiny details that have no bearing on the topic at hand. The Shuttle Transportation System was not a reusable launch system - parts were refurbish-able, and parts were expendable. It's not a model for the future...

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Which is why the progress Blue Origin is making is, to a substantial degree, based on how fast Jeff Bezos wants them to go, and right now he is fine with the pace. That he is fine in following behind what SpaceX is doing, with no visible plan to try and catch up to, and overtake SpaceX.

If New Glenn flys and lands before BFR/BFS, they have caught up and most likely overtook SpaceX as far as rockets go. How long does that last in that scenario? Who knows.

New Glenn is planned to be as reusable as Falcon Heavy (i.e. 1st stage reusable, but 2nd stage expendable) but carries less to space. And Falcon Heavy is operational today. So at most New Glenn gets them close to what Falcon Heavy is doing, but BFR/BFS will be a giant leap beyond New Glenn.

As I've said before though, Blue Origin and SpaceX don't really compete against each other, so there is no race between them. Both are building their own transportation systems for their own needs, and as a bonus the commercial and U.S. Government markets can use their capabilities too.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: ncb1397 on 09/21/2018 10:22 PM

New Glenn is planned to be as reusable as Falcon Heavy (i.e. 1st stage reusable, but 2nd stage expendable) but carries less to space.


Does it?

New Glenn LEO: 45 t
New Glenn GTO: 13 t
New Glenn payload fairing: 7 meters

Falcon Heavy LEO partial re-use: 30 t
Falcon Heavy GTO partial re-use: 8 t
Falcon Heavy payload fairing: 5.2 m

Falcon Heavy LEO expendable core booster: 57.4 t
Falcon Heavy GTO expendable core booster: ?

Falcon Heavy LEO expendable: 63.8 t
Falcon Heavy GTO expendable: 26.7 t

So, your statement about New Glenn carrying less than Falcon Heavy is contingent on Blue's quoted numbers being with an expendable first and second stage. But given the size of New Glenn which is a known quantity, it is practically assumed and common wisdom that the quoted numbers are not the expendable numbers. Size wise(see picture) it is somewhere between Saturn V and Falcon Heavy in scale. Expendable, we are probably looking at ~80t to LEO. More importantly, New Glenn is being designed in terms of both rocket performance and payload fairing volume to accommodate 2 normal sized GEO comsats which Falcon never has done (they have accomodated a few smaller dual all electric payloads). Also, Falcon Heavy doesn't have the capability to realistically utalize its ~60 t LEO capability. The payload fairing is almost full with 6 t payloads. That is more of just a theoretical number.

edit: after crunching some numbers, I am going to have to say that it is probably more in the 65-70 t to LEO range (the two stage version).
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 09/21/2018 11:39 PM
New Glenn is planned to be as reusable as Falcon Heavy (i.e. 1st stage reusable, but 2nd stage expendable) but carries less to space.

Does it?

Close enough. As I stated previously Blue Origin and SpaceX are not competing with each other, so New Glenn is not supposed to be an answer to either Falcon Heavy or BFR/BFS.

Also, by the time New Glenn launches the first time SpaceX will have launched Falcon 9/H reusable dozens of times, so it's going to take Blue Origin a while to get to where they have similar operational experience. And they likely will get there, but if they match the pace of development for New Shepard so far, it may take them a year or two to dial in reusability.

Which would put them in the time zone for SpaceX BFS testing.

That is why I wonder why you think Blue Origin can just launch their New Glenn once and suddenly be considered on par with what SpaceX has been doing for over a decade. Let's use better metrics to measure Blue Origin by...
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/22/2018 04:21 AM
Of course SpaceX and Blue Origin are competing. They competed for CCDev money (partly how BE-3 was funded). They competed for launch pads. They competed for IP rights for droneship landings. They're competing right now for commsats in the F9/FH and New Glenn range, and they're even competing for orbital tourism and lunar landings.

They both have incredibly expansive visions. They're well-matched. Undeniably, SpaceX has been out-competing them (which includes winning government contracts) in spite of Blue Origin having essentially unlimited money, Blue Origin starting first, Blue Origin taking the right approach earlier on (Blue was doing VTVL tests while SpaceX still thought parachutes alone would be good enough). But they're still well-matched because Blue Origin still has access to essentially unlimited money.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lemurion on 09/22/2018 05:46 AM
New Glenn may offer a performance leap over Falcon Heavy but I don't think it represents a technological leap over Falcon Block 5. It's greatest advantage is that it's offering greater economy of scale which tends to respond well to the rocket equation.

The biggest question I see is how well will Blue Origin translate more funding (if that is indeed how we should be interpreting Jeff Bezos' remarks) into faster development.

As of right now, Blue has a booster engine that can fire at 70% throttle for 114 seconds. It may be able to do better than that, but if so it's not been made public.

For SpaceX, Block 5 is flying, Heavy has flown once, Raptor has been scaled up and is undergoing testing, and the BFS prototype/pre-production ship is under construction with one cylinder section produced.

At this point I'm expecting Blue to produce a bigger and better Falcon 9 in the form of New Glenn slightly after SpaceX flies BFR. I'm really curious to see how they manage the transition to New Glenn as it's going to involve implementing a whole bunch of new processes and operations. As for the actual performance numbers on New Glenn I'm going to want to hold off on making judgments until they fly hardware. Blue's target numbers are great but without any flight history beyond New Shepard we have no way of knowing how aspirational they are.

When it comes to SpaceX we can generally make two assumptions based on past experience: Timelines are likely to slip, and that the hardware is going to increase in performance over a series of iterations. When it comes to Blue the only thing we can really count on is that progress occurs at a very measured pace. We don't know how close the company comes to targets.

Blue may reveal an initial model with lower performance and then refine it beyond-- Blue may also hold off until it can meet those targets even if it means a significant delay. The company just doesn't have a sufficient track record to predict.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TrevorMonty on 09/22/2018 10:14 AM
Watch one of recent JB interviews, he comment that his spending in Blue Origin is only going to increase. He'd like it to be profitable but that not isn't essential as opening space is more of mission for him

Once NG is flying I can see him putting money into payloads and flying missions. When you own a RLV,  a $1B buys a lot of launches and moon landings especially at cost price.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: DJPledger on 09/22/2018 12:02 PM
Perhaps JB will soon start funding the dev. of NA. He has got the money to fully fund NA dev. right through to launch even without a single revenue paying launch of anything. NG likely ends up as being a tech. pathfinder for NA.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: niwax on 09/22/2018 12:10 PM
Perhaps JB will soon start funding the dev. of NA. He has got the money to fully fund NA dev. right through to launch even without a single revenue paying launch of anything. NG likely ends up as being a tech. pathfinder for NA.

What would NA development consist of today? It's not like they have engineers that are finished with their work and ready to move on to other things. Or any positions so filled they couldn't do with a new hire. Anyone who can help with getting humans to orbit might as well work on NG. Any development on NA they could do today, they can do better with the experience from NG.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lemurion on 09/22/2018 03:46 PM
Perhaps JB will soon start funding the dev. of NA. He has got the money to fully fund NA dev. right through to launch even without a single revenue paying launch of anything. NG likely ends up as being a tech. pathfinder for NA.

That only applies if he and Blue already know their proposed use case for New Armstrong. I think part of the goal for New Glenn is to figure out just where he wants to go next. Nothing against Bezos' goal of moving industry into space but right now most of his roadmap is looking pretty nebulous. Once he has a better idea of what steps he wants to take and how he wants to take them, Blue will be able to design New Armstrong to meet those needs. Until then, there's not much point working on New Armstrong in any serious fashion yet.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: DJPledger on 09/23/2018 08:21 PM
Perhaps JB will soon start funding the dev. of NA. He has got the money to fully fund NA dev. right through to launch even without a single revenue paying launch of anything. NG likely ends up as being a tech. pathfinder for NA.
What would NA development consist of today? It's not like they have engineers that are finished with their work and ready to move on to other things. Or any positions so filled they couldn't do with a new hire. Anyone who can help with getting humans to orbit might as well work on NG. Any development on NA they could do today, they can do better with the experience from NG.
Start of work on new engines post BE-4. I would not be surprised if BO has already started dev. of a new more powerful 1st stage engine intended for use on NA. BO have said they will not stop at BE-4. BE-4 dev. was started well before BE-3 dev was completed so it is not unreasonable to assume that BO has already started dev. of their next engine.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: niwax on 09/23/2018 09:08 PM
Perhaps JB will soon start funding the dev. of NA. He has got the money to fully fund NA dev. right through to launch even without a single revenue paying launch of anything. NG likely ends up as being a tech. pathfinder for NA.
What would NA development consist of today? It's not like they have engineers that are finished with their work and ready to move on to other things. Or any positions so filled they couldn't do with a new hire. Anyone who can help with getting humans to orbit might as well work on NG. Any development on NA they could do today, they can do better with the experience from NG.
Start of work on new engines post BE-4. I would not be surprised if BO has already started dev. of a new more powerful 1st stage engine intended for use on NA. BO have said they will not stop at BE-4. BE-4 dev. was started well before BE-3 dev was completed so it is not unreasonable to assume that BO has already started dev. of their next engine.
Same point again. BE-4 has not even flown yet, and they are developing hydrogen and methane engines. Unless they are going to switch fuels again, is there a reason to pull a developer off BE-4? What are they going to learn that they can't replicate easier by starting from a finished BE-4? What would a new engine need that isn't being developed already?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TripleSeven on 09/23/2018 09:39 PM


Close enough. As I stated previously Blue Origin and SpaceX are not competing with each other, so New Glenn is not supposed to be an answer to either Falcon Heavy or BFR/BFS.

Also, by the time New Glenn launches the first time SpaceX will have launched Falcon 9/H reusable dozens of times, so it's going to take Blue Origin a while to get to where they have similar operational experience. And they likely will get there, but if they match the pace of development for New Shepard so far, it may take them a year or two to dial in reusability.

Which would put them in the time zone for SpaceX BFS testing.

That is why I wonder why you think Blue Origin can just launch their New Glenn once and suddenly be considered on par with what SpaceX has been doing for over a decade. Let's use better metrics to measure Blue Origin by...

he/she can answer...but BO is getting enormous experience in reusability with their NS vehicle. 

when they launch NG they will have a good "history" of how parts work, last and what kind of maintenance that they need....and the team to do that

there are reasons that their planned recovery for instance is on a "boat" underway.

its not impossible that they may have one or two "failures" in recovery...but I would be very surprised if they need the full panaply of failures (ie a lot of rocket modifications)  to get to where they can start lowering the time between turnarounds quite quickly

very quickly Blue and SpaceX will go head to head with the F9/FH and NG.  it will be good for space policy ad politics and will be some of the most brutal competition since Airbus and Boeing.

Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TrevorMonty on 09/24/2018 12:17 AM
Perhaps JB will soon start funding the dev. of NA. He has got the money to fully fund NA dev. right through to launch even without a single revenue paying launch of anything. NG likely ends up as being a tech. pathfinder for NA.
What would NA development consist of today? It's not like they have engineers that are finished with their work and ready to move on to other things. Or any positions so filled they couldn't do with a new hire. Anyone who can help with getting humans to orbit might as well work on NG. Any development on NA they could do today, they can do better with the experience from NG.
Start of work on new engines post BE-4. I would not be surprised if BO has already started dev. of a new more powerful 1st stage engine intended for use on NA. BO have said they will not stop at BE-4. BE-4 dev. was started well before BE-3 dev was completed so it is not unreasonable to assume that BO has already started dev. of their next engine.
Same point again. BE-4 has not even flown yet, and they are developing hydrogen and methane engines. Unless they are going to switch fuels again, is there a reason to pull a developer off BE-4? What are they going to learn that they can't replicate easier by starting from a finished BE-4? What would a new engine need that isn't being developed already?
BE4 is in testing stage so there should be lot of engine engineers with spare time to work on BE5. Still need to help out with any issues that arise from testing.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: QuantumG on 09/24/2018 02:43 AM
It takes a lot more than money to make a launch vehicle. NASA has lots of money and they've failed to launch - how many times now? I lost count. Can we stop saying success is guaranteed for Blue just because Bezos is rich?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 09/24/2018 03:17 AM
he/she can answer...but BO is getting enormous experience in reusability with their NS vehicle. 

when they launch NG they will have a good "history" of how parts work, last and what kind of maintenance that they need....and the team to do that

Blue Origin is currently getting experience with a H2/LOX engine mounted on a reusable suborbital vehicle. How that translates into transferable experience while operating a much more powerful Methane/LOX engine on an orbital-capable launcher is unknown at this point.

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there are reasons that their planned recovery for instance is on a "boat" underway.

its not impossible that they may have one or two "failures" in recovery...but I would be very surprised if they need the full panaply of failures (ie a lot of rocket modifications)  to get to where they can start lowering the time between turnarounds quite quickly

Assuming those two sentences are connected, I think you failed to explain why recovery on "a "boat" underway" is important for testing New Glenn. Yes, failures are to be expected, but why is failure at sea better than failure on land?

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very quickly Blue and SpaceX will go head to head with the F9/FH and NG.

New Glenn is not supposed to fly until 2020, and it would not be unexpected for them to fly a number of times before declaring themselves operational - especially if they need to prove out landing on a moving ship.

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it will be good for space policy ad politics and will be some of the most brutal competition since Airbus and Boeing.

Boeing and Airbus are a duopoly for the commercial aircraft market, which is something the commercial satellite market does not want. They have stated that they want to keep 3-4 launch providers in the mix, and because of that I see no reason why SpaceX would need to lower prices in a different way just because Blue Origin has become a reliable launch provider.

However, Blue Origin is likely the biggest threat to commercial market share that ULA has, and the same thing for anything Russia offers up.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lemurion on 09/24/2018 03:41 AM


Close enough. As I stated previously Blue Origin and SpaceX are not competing with each other, so New Glenn is not supposed to be an answer to either Falcon Heavy or BFR/BFS.

Also, by the time New Glenn launches the first time SpaceX will have launched Falcon 9/H reusable dozens of times, so it's going to take Blue Origin a while to get to where they have similar operational experience. And they likely will get there, but if they match the pace of development for New Shepard so far, it may take them a year or two to dial in reusability.

Which would put them in the time zone for SpaceX BFS testing.

That is why I wonder why you think Blue Origin can just launch their New Glenn once and suddenly be considered on par with what SpaceX has been doing for over a decade. Let's use better metrics to measure Blue Origin by...

he/she can answer...but BO is getting enormous experience in reusability with their NS vehicle. 

when they launch NG they will have a good "history" of how parts work, last and what kind of maintenance that they need....and the team to do that

there are reasons that their planned recovery for instance is on a "boat" underway.

its not impossible that they may have one or two "failures" in recovery...but I would be very surprised if they need the full panaply of failures (ie a lot of rocket modifications)  to get to where they can start lowering the time between turnarounds quite quickly

very quickly Blue and SpaceX will go head to head with the F9/FH and NG.  it will be good for space policy ad politics and will be some of the most brutal competition since Airbus and Boeing.



Blue is definitely getting helpful experience, but I don't know that I'd call it an enormous amount. So far they've achieved 9 flights with three vehicles in a little over three years, and that's not a tremendous amount of experience. It's also with a different engine cycle and operational regime.

I don't particularly think Blue will suffer a lot of failures, though they are quite likely to suffer through some in developing New Glenn. What they will do is take their time in analysing any that may happen, so they probably won't be that quick in lowering the time between turnarounds.

As a result I think New Glenn will be more likely to compete directly against Vulcan and Ariane (both of which I expect it to demolish quite easily) than F9/FH. As for SpaceX, it's more than likely they'll be moving away from F9/FH and towards BFR as New Glenn comes online. It won't be the direct F9/FH competition that would really show off a fully mature New Glenn because I just don't see the timelines lining up that way.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: DJPledger on 09/24/2018 11:50 AM
Perhaps JB will soon start funding the dev. of NA. He has got the money to fully fund NA dev. right through to launch even without a single revenue paying launch of anything. NG likely ends up as being a tech. pathfinder for NA.
What would NA development consist of today? It's not like they have engineers that are finished with their work and ready to move on to other things. Or any positions so filled they couldn't do with a new hire. Anyone who can help with getting humans to orbit might as well work on NG. Any development on NA they could do today, they can do better with the experience from NG.
Start of work on new engines post BE-4. I would not be surprised if BO has already started dev. of a new more powerful 1st stage engine intended for use on NA. BO have said they will not stop at BE-4. BE-4 dev. was started well before BE-3 dev was completed so it is not unreasonable to assume that BO has already started dev. of their next engine.
Same point again. BE-4 has not even flown yet, and they are developing hydrogen and methane engines. Unless they are going to switch fuels again, is there a reason to pull a developer off BE-4? What are they going to learn that they can't replicate easier by starting from a finished BE-4? What would a new engine need that isn't being developed already?
FFSC for a start. Main engine for NA will need to be higher Isp for it's planned missions than BE-4 and this can be achieved by going FFSC while further improving reliability over BE-4.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TripleSeven on 09/24/2018 12:09 PM

Blue Origin is currently getting experience with a H2/LOX engine mounted on a reusable suborbital vehicle. How that translates into transferable experience while operating a much more powerful Methane/LOX engine on an orbital-capable launcher is unknown at this point.


the shuttle orbiter "failed" not so much because of the engine...but because the "vehicle" itself never approached resuability.  the ability to "reuse" a rocket engine is no different than an airplane one...ie that is testable on the ground.  some flight experience modifies that but not so much.  the big deal is the vehicle...they are learning how to make the vehicle "go"  thats a big deal.



Quote
Assuming those two sentences are connected, I think you failed to explain why recovery on "a "boat" underway" is important for testing New Glenn. Yes, failures are to be expected, but why is failure at sea better than failure on land?

they figured out that the "boat" underway is easier to land on.


Quote
Boeing and Airbus are a duopoly for the commercial aircraft market, which is something the commercial satellite market does not want. They have stated that they want to keep 3-4 launch providers in the mix, and because of that I see no reason why SpaceX would need to lower prices in a different way just because Blue Origin has become a reliable launch provider.


there are only 3 or 4 in the mix if 3 or 4 can compete.  its no different than airplanes.  both the Russians and the Chinese have tried competing with Boeing and Airbus and went no where

it is unclear to me that the Europeans are designing a vehicle A6 that has the "stuff" to compete in a BO/SpaceX world...and its unclear to me where ULA is going right now.  The Chinese as always are "moving" but well lets see

it is clear to me however that SpaceX and Blue will both have around 2021 F9/FH and NG which will be aimed at "more or less" the same market...and will compete for that furiously.  they have to.  both will be in the 60-100 million launch cost. Musk advantage will be that he can fly both F9 and FH, F9 for a lower cost than FH for smaller payloads...Blues advantage will be the dual launch capability of the NG.  it will all depend on where the margins of operational cost come down to...AND where the commercial satellite, military and "US Gov" market comes down to in terms of payload.

both need the revenue stream to recoup development money for their vehicles and to develop new vehicles...AND to gain the market which is essential to boths survival.

I dont expect either SpaceX or Blue to have a product that is flyable and marketable other than those vehicles until late in the 20's nearly the 30's.  ie it will be late 20's until BFR/BFS and NA are products.

until then they are both going to be in a massive commercial battle for business.  get your popcorn.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TripleSeven on 09/24/2018 12:31 PM


Blue is definitely getting helpful experience, but I don't know that I'd call it an enormous amount. So far they've achieved 9 flights with three vehicles in a little over three years, and that's not a tremendous amount of experience. It's also with a different engine cycle and operational regime.

I don't particularly think Blue will suffer a lot of failures, though they are quite likely to suffer through some in developing New Glenn. What they will do is take their time in analysing any that may happen, so they probably won't be that quick in lowering the time between turnarounds.

As a result I think New Glenn will be more likely to compete directly against Vulcan and Ariane (both of which I expect it to demolish quite easily) than F9/FH. As for SpaceX, it's more than likely they'll be moving away from F9/FH and towards BFR as New Glenn comes online. It won't be the direct F9/FH competition that would really show off a fully mature New Glenn because I just don't see the timelines lining up that way.

If Boeing regrets one or two or three things with the Dreamliner...it is that they did not do more "airplane testing" of the various new systems in the DL. there were plans early on in development to do for the Dreamliner what they did for the 733...and the 737(the NG) ie convert an older current model to a full up systems tester of the new model.  A little flight time saves a lot of "problems" with thenew bird.  this is one reason that in my view SpaceX built the grasshopper.

I think Blue will get a lot of mileage from operating NS as they have done so far...and soon when they start "human flights" (assuming that they can make those economics work)

as I note in another post I am going to be curious where the Europeans go with A6...and ULA with Vulcan.

this is the big bet.  SpaceX and Blue have made their bet that they can make re usability of at least the first stage...work ie the commercial numbers.  if you take ULA and Aspace at their face value...they don't believe that.  ie they dont believe that first stage re-usability pays off

the Chinese seem, if published reports and videos are to be believed to be betting on first stage reuse ability...the Russian space program is dying.

the short battle of the next three years might be between those two camps (if indeed Aspace and ULA go with a non resuable first stage) ...and then the long battle between the two companies in the winning camp.

a guess but it is only that is that SpaceX has proved that re usability of the first stage is justified economically. no one has hard data on that except inside spaceX..one can see little hints ie the first stage reflight "span" is one indicator of it...and is probably all "conjecture" until a block V goes 10 launches...and then you sit back and add up the numbers...but they think it works and I am inclined to agree with them.

and if true (and I think it is) than ULA and Aspace take themselves out of the game quickly with a non reusable first stage

than its a battle between SpaceX and Blue...I dont expect (and I know others here do) that either SpaceX or Blue will have any other vehicle other than F9/FH and NG variants flying and marketable until the very end of the next decade.

our big difference seems to be in time span.

Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: envy887 on 09/24/2018 12:46 PM
It takes a lot more than money to make a launch vehicle. NASA has lots of money and they've failed to launch - how many times now? I lost count. Can we stop saying success is guaranteed for Blue just because Bezos is rich?

Blue's money is not subject to any of the restrictions that NASA's is.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: meekGee on 09/24/2018 01:21 PM
Being the second comer, if NG propulsive recovery fails as many times as F9 did, that would be both unexpected and inexcusable.

F9 atmospheric re-entey worked right off the bat. The rest were a number of landing burn issues, a good number of which were due to very low margins back then.

My money is on 1-3 for NG.

NG's economics don't matter, Bezos can fly it for free till the end of time.

-----
ABCD: Always Be Counting Down

Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TripleSeven on 09/24/2018 01:42 PM
Being the second comer, if NG propulsive recovery fails as many times as F9 did, that would be both unexpected and inexcusable.

F9 atmospheric re-entey worked right off the bat. The rest were a number of landing burn issues, a good number of which were due to very low margins back then.

My money is on 1-3 for NG.

NG's economics don't matter, Bezos can fly it for free till the end of time.

-----
ABCD: Always Be Counting Down

what Blue can do is bleed...meaning that they can operate at cost or below a bit below for a time because of the deep pockets (most airlines do this because of other routes...while they are busily putting a smaller carrier out of business)

but at some point it would be apparent in Bezos tapping of his source of wealth and the industry would figure that out in my view
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Davidthefat on 09/24/2018 02:18 PM
It takes a lot more than money to make a launch vehicle. NASA has lots of money and they've failed to launch - how many times now? I lost count. Can we stop saying success is guaranteed for Blue just because Bezos is rich?

Blue's money is not subject to any of the restrictions that NASA's is.

Also just the way NASA is structured vs a private company like SpaceX and Blue Origin are. They are subcontracting out subsystems to different suppliers like Boeing, Lockheed, Aerojet Rocketdyne, ect. They are the "customers" of these outfits, and they don't do the cutting, machining, welding, ect themselves. And the subs have subs under them (Boeing isn't going to machine every single part in house, they send stuff out, especially for special processes like surface finishing of parts) Those subs may have subs under them, and ect. While Blue and SpaceX do go to outside suppliers for like machining, casting, forging, and ect, they are not paying for the big NRE costs of a supplier developing a subsystem for them. They aren't paying multimillion dollar contracts with suppliers that need to support their overhead and company with their one contract and the inefficiencies that come with that organization's structure.

So dollar for dollar a private company's contribution is more "productive" than at NASA in my opinion. Especially since they are subbing out to traditional aerospace companies that aren't known to be efficient.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lemurion on 09/24/2018 04:23 PM


Blue is definitely getting helpful experience, but I don't know that I'd call it an enormous amount. So far they've achieved 9 flights with three vehicles in a little over three years, and that's not a tremendous amount of experience. It's also with a different engine cycle and operational regime.

I don't particularly think Blue will suffer a lot of failures, though they are quite likely to suffer through some in developing New Glenn. What they will do is take their time in analysing any that may happen, so they probably won't be that quick in lowering the time between turnarounds.

As a result I think New Glenn will be more likely to compete directly against Vulcan and Ariane (both of which I expect it to demolish quite easily) than F9/FH. As for SpaceX, it's more than likely they'll be moving away from F9/FH and towards BFR as New Glenn comes online. It won't be the direct F9/FH competition that would really show off a fully mature New Glenn because I just don't see the timelines lining up that way.

If Boeing regrets one or two or three things with the Dreamliner...it is that they did not do more "airplane testing" of the various new systems in the DL. there were plans early on in development to do for the Dreamliner what they did for the 733...and the 737(the NG) ie convert an older current model to a full up systems tester of the new model.  A little flight time saves a lot of "problems" with thenew bird.  this is one reason that in my view SpaceX built the grasshopper.

I think Blue will get a lot of mileage from operating NS as they have done so far...and soon when they start "human flights" (assuming that they can make those economics work)

as I note in another post I am going to be curious where the Europeans go with A6...and ULA with Vulcan.

this is the big bet.  SpaceX and Blue have made their bet that they can make re usability of at least the first stage...work ie the commercial numbers.  if you take ULA and Aspace at their face value...they don't believe that.  ie they dont believe that first stage re-usability pays off

the Chinese seem, if published reports and videos are to be believed to be betting on first stage reuse ability...the Russian space program is dying.

the short battle of the next three years might be between those two camps (if indeed Aspace and ULA go with a non resuable first stage) ...and then the long battle between the two companies in the winning camp.

a guess but it is only that is that SpaceX has proved that re usability of the first stage is justified economically. no one has hard data on that except inside spaceX..one can see little hints ie the first stage reflight "span" is one indicator of it...and is probably all "conjecture" until a block V goes 10 launches...and then you sit back and add up the numbers...but they think it works and I am inclined to agree with them.

and if true (and I think it is) than ULA and Aspace take themselves out of the game quickly with a non reusable first stage

than its a battle between SpaceX and Blue...I dont expect (and I know others here do) that either SpaceX or Blue will have any other vehicle other than F9/FH and NG variants flying and marketable until the very end of the next decade.

our big difference seems to be in time span.



When considering time spans, there are a few things to note that make me confident that while Blue may not be operating anything beyond New Glenn until the end of the 2020's, I can't say the same for SpaceX and F9/FH.

You brought up Grasshopper as a comparison to New Shepard for learning reuse procedures. SpaceX flew 14 test flights with two different vehicles in a span of just under two years from first flight to last. Blue has flown 9 test flights with three different vehicles in just over three years. Blue is clearly operating at a slower tempo.

Blue intends to follow New Glenn with New Armstrong, which has not been announced beyond the name and that it will be larger than New Glenn. SpaceX is following F9/FH with BFR and the first production test unit is currently under construction. They already have a flight sold for 2023, and are planning multiple missions for 2022. Now, SpaceX will likely slip its schedule by at least a year or so, but based on their past performance I would think it very unlikely that a BFR based system isn't on the market before 2025-- and I fully expect it to be launching Starlink before 2023.

It simply does not make sense to me to expect that Blue will have New Glenn operating by the early 2020's while SpaceX, which both develops faster and is further along the development process, won't have BFR in commercial service until the end of the decade.

(The reason I say that BFR is further along is that SpaceX is building flight test article hardware for a 2019 initial test, while Blue is building "model components" (https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/08/blue-origin-staffing-up-and-pushing-for-2020-new-glenn-launch.html) for a 2020 flight test.)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: envy887 on 09/24/2018 05:26 PM
It takes a lot more than money to make a launch vehicle. NASA has lots of money and they've failed to launch - how many times now? I lost count. Can we stop saying success is guaranteed for Blue just because Bezos is rich?

Blue's money is not subject to any of the restrictions that NASA's is.

Also just the way NASA is structured vs a private company like SpaceX and Blue Origin are. They are subcontracting out subsystems to different suppliers like Boeing, Lockheed, Aerojet Rocketdyne, ect. They are the "customers" of these outfits, and they don't do the cutting, machining, welding, ect themselves. And the subs have subs under them (Boeing isn't going to machine every single part in house, they send stuff out, especially for special processes like surface finishing of parts) Those subs may have subs under them, and ect. While Blue and SpaceX do go to outside suppliers for like machining, casting, forging, and ect, they are not paying for the big NRE costs of a supplier developing a subsystem for them. They aren't paying multimillion dollar contracts with suppliers that need to support their overhead and company with their one contract and the inefficiencies that come with that organization's structure.

So dollar for dollar a private company's contribution is more "productive" than at NASA in my opinion. Especially since they are subbing out to traditional aerospace companies that aren't known to be efficient.

Yes, all of that. Plus Blue doesn't have to abide by Federal Acquisition Regulations, and isn't primarily tasked with spreading pork around, and has one leader with an actual goal that doesn't change every 2-4 years.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TripleSeven on 09/24/2018 05:55 PM


When considering time spans, there are a few things to note that make me confident that while Blue may not be operating anything beyond New Glenn until the end of the 2020's, I can't say the same for SpaceX and F9/FH.

You brought up Grasshopper as a comparison to New Shepard for learning reuse procedures. SpaceX flew 14 test flights with two different vehicles in a span of just under two years from first flight to last. Blue has flown 9 test flights with three different vehicles in just over three years. Blue is clearly operating at a slower tempo.

Blue intends to follow New Glenn with New Armstrong, which has not been announced beyond the name and that it will be larger than New Glenn. SpaceX is following F9/FH with BFR and the first production test unit is currently under construction. They already have a flight sold for 2023, and are planning multiple missions for 2022. Now, SpaceX will likely slip its schedule by at least a year or so, but based on their past performance I would think it very unlikely that a BFR based system isn't on the market before 2025-- and I fully expect it to be launching Starlink before 2023.

It simply does not make sense to me to expect that Blue will have New Glenn operating by the early 2020's while SpaceX, which both develops faster and is further along the development process, won't have BFR in commercial service until the end of the decade.

(The reason I say that BFR is further along is that SpaceX is building flight test article hardware for a 2019 initial test, while Blue is building "model components" (https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/08/blue-origin-staffing-up-and-pushing-for-2020-new-glenn-launch.html) for a 2020 flight test.)

we will see

in my opinion the Blue learning curve with NS is actually just about to start.  absent some debacle late this year but more likely next year Blue will start offering "rides" on NS and then we will see 1) a real learning curve and 2) how cheap that they really can fly and 3) (and not germane here) if there really is any interest in "space tours"

they will, in my view learn a lot from that and part of that will be about flying humans.  I dont know exactly how that will translate into their future "business" but as I noted I predict head to head (or toe to toe...thanks Major Kong) combat between the two companies around 21 or so for the lift to orbit for commercial and military payloads (and maybe NASA if SLS dies)

how much they learned from NS will be seen when NG makes its debut and how quickly (or not) they recover the first stage.

as for SpaceX and time tables.  they do impressive engineering, they are clever with concepts and I think are the worlds first economic booster systems using refurbished/maybe soon reused parts  If they ever IPO I will be there for a substantial investment.

the last thing they are in my opinion is able to make and stay on an engineering schedule.  the rocket part is pretty same same, the spaceship part is going to be the most complex space vehicle developed in history so far...and to mimic Ed Boland I will eat my hat if they fly into space with that before half the decade is gone...and wouldnot be surprised if its well into the end of the decade.  SpaceX and Boeing are still struggling with Commercial crew well past the initial deadlines...and complexity, money and other demands in my view are going to slow them down on BFS

and in 2020 we will have some sense of which one of us is correct.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Kansan52 on 09/24/2018 06:27 PM
Subsidies.

That seems to the hinging point of so many of these flight systems. Bezos could decide not to continue Blue. It would over.

Same could be said of others.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Kansan52 on 09/24/2018 06:28 PM
NS is a giant roller coaster. Spaceship II is the same.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 09/24/2018 08:16 PM
Assuming those two sentences are connected, I think you failed to explain why recovery on "a "boat" underway" is important for testing New Glenn. Yes, failures are to be expected, but why is failure at sea better than failure on land?

they figured out that the "boat" underway is easier to land on.

No, they haven't "figured out that the "boat" underway is easier to land on". They are proposing that landing on a moving ship meets their needs, but so far they haven't been able to validate all the assumptions that go with that.

Don't confuse assumptions for facts.

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Quote
Boeing and Airbus are a duopoly for the commercial aircraft market, which is something the commercial satellite market does not want. They have stated that they want to keep 3-4 launch providers in the mix, and because of that I see no reason why SpaceX would need to lower prices in a different way just because Blue Origin has become a reliable launch provider.

there are only 3 or 4 in the mix if 3 or 4 can compete.

So far commercial launch customers have been willing to pay extra in order to ensure competition, and that is a normal formula that is used in the commercial and government world - you willingly pay extra for a provider in order to keep competition and redundancy, because the alternative is worse.

Quote
its no different than airplanes.  both the Russians and the Chinese have tried competing with Boeing and Airbus and went no where

The airline market has been very mature for a long time, and both Boeing and Airbus have very big head starts on any competition. Monopolies and duopolies have built-in advantages. Plus China and Russia don't have the internal industrial support for competing against Boeing and Airbus.

But this part of the conversation is about products, not services, so it's really OT.

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it is unclear to me that the Europeans are designing a vehicle A6 that has the "stuff" to compete in a BO/SpaceX world...

The Ariane 6 will be an expendable rocket, so no, it can't compete on a price basis long-term with reusable rockets. But because of the nature of the commercial launch market it will still get launch orders.

Again, commercial launch customers have stated they want to support 3-4 providers, even if that means not getting the lowest price on everyone of their launches.

Of course that is what they say today, when only SpaceX is significantly lowering prices AND is actually launching at those prices. All it will take is a couple of customers to commit to only using reusable rockets and that will set off a "correction" in the market that could affect Arianespace. But I think Blue Origin will have to do a couple of successful launches in a row before that could happen, and that is still years down the road.

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...and its unclear to me where ULA is going right now.

It should be crystal clear, assuming what is public is correct. And if that is so then ULA won't be a significant factor once Vulcan is flying.

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The Chinese as always are "moving" but well lets see

In the context of this thread, which is about Blue Origin, they are really a non-factor.

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it is clear to me however that SpaceX and Blue will both have around 2021 F9/FH and NG which will be aimed at "more or less" the same market...and will compete for that furiously.

The goals that Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have is not to be the #1 commercial launch provider to the existing launch market. That goal is too small for their needs.

They are assuming that by lowering the cost to access space that new demand for launch services will appear. And they may create their own demand via building their own space hardware for new terrestrial businesses too.

Past history has shown that we can't move humanity out into space with high-cost launch services, so the race is on to see if by lowering the cost to access space that we can finally expand humanity out into space. It's a worthy goal, but it will take a lot of money to test out the thesis. Fingers crossed...
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TripleSeven on 09/24/2018 09:02 PM

So far commercial launch customers have been willing to pay extra in order to ensure competition, and that is a normal formula that is used in the commercial and government world - you willingly pay extra for a provider in order to keep competition and redundancy, because the alternative is worse.

Lots of snip...

The goals that Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have is not to be the #1 commercial launch provider to the existing launch market. That goal is too small for their needs.

They are assuming that by lowering the cost to access space that new demand for launch services will appear. And they may create their own demand via building their own space hardware for new terrestrial businesses too.

Past history has shown that we can't move humanity out into space with high-cost launch services, so the race is on to see if by lowering the cost to access space that we can finally expand humanity out into space. It's a worthy goal, but it will take a lot of money to test out the thesis. Fingers crossed...

I dont agree with most of your post, and thats well just differing opinions.  the one I would address is the two points in the quote.

we dont agree on markets and thats fine with me.  as the fox said to the chicken "I am pretty comfortable where I am sitting"




to my mind both of these statements cannot be accurate.  The US military might be an exception in that they have been  willing (and have been in the past) to spend more for reliability and dual track access...but the former seems to be fading as quantity seems to be a new direction that leaders like the SecDef and SecAF who are moving space policy for the military toward...cost is becoming a big factor and will get bigger if milsats get smaller and "more"

SpaceX has gotten and will get more military payloads and their experience with Iridium is a feather in their cap.....but if Blue develops a equally reliable launcher with the same or more capability the military will look at that.  in fact just  now on CNN there is a story about Blue being very interested in those payloads.

My guess is the days of the premium for uber reliability might be ending as the battlestar galactica satellites fade for "more"  satellites  (and this is a good idea for battle damage anyway)..at least in teh military

outside the military...

first I will wait and see what Aspace and ULA actually do before figuring out if they are going to fail or not...someone suggested dont use assumptions for facts

In the event  Aspace develops a non reusable launcher the Europeans will still pay to launch for instance Galileo on it...but for commercial launchers... if both SpaceX and Blues, F9/FH and NG launchers are running about the same price and the same reliability, the "notion of paying more to ensure competition" will dry up quickly.  particularly as the boosters become reusable so the flight rate is not determined by the "build time" of a booster. 

Viasat went to the Atlas primarily because of the reliability of the Atlas vrs a FH that has flown only once...and really doesnt have the second stage that Atlas does...and that was a business decision based on revenue/time in service

But if both SpaceX and Blue have the same "on orbit" potential and similar cost...there is going to be a price war...now commercial sat companies might end up booking both as place holders...but assuming equal performance and reliability (or close anyway) money will be what wins out

we disagree on that I know and thats fine.  but everything else being equal  that is always how it works out in private business.

no sat provider is going to say "I will pay 10 million more just to keep diversity" ...nobody in the real world does that.  this is particularly true IF and when new entrants come into the sat business...as you suggest ( and I agree with) both SpaceX and Blue are trying to attract.  thats going to take another 4 or so years to work out in my view


As for moving humans into space...access and the cost of it is one but only one issue.  as I have said many times, access to Alaska is cheap, land is free, less then 1 million people live there...and its not getting larger

there are in my view  a lot of issues there.  price is one...but there are others just as formidable and in my view restrictive. I am not holding my breath.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: rst on 09/24/2018 09:38 PM
they figured out that the "boat" underway is easier to land on.

No, they haven't "figured out that the "boat" underway is easier to land on". They are proposing that landing on a moving ship meets their needs, but so far they haven't been able to validate all the assumptions that go with that.

To put a finer point on it:  they're hoping that a moving platform, presumably with hydrodynamic stabilizers, will be more level in rough seas, which would ideally let them launch without caring so much about the landing sea state.  (Reference: New Shepard launch 8 livestream, as cited here:

  https://space.stackexchange.com/questions/26999/why-does-blue-origin-like-landing-on-a-moving-ship

If you've got access to a more detailed writeup, feel free to provide it.)

But the flip side is that the re-entering rocket now has a moving target; either the ship-based landing platform is controlling its path and velocity very precisely (in the rough seas that supposedly make this a worthwhile trade-off in the first place), or the rocket needs to receive, and adjust for, real-time updates on the ship's deviations from nominal course, with all the added complexity that that entails.

Or, you could use the subsurface tanks and ballasting tricks that keep stationary oil drilling platforms stable even in extremely rough seas, and still let the rocket target a single point.  Or just wait for calmer seas, which doesn't seem like all that much of a burden on the first few launches given NG's projected initial flight rates.

We'll see how it works for them, but it might not be the best trade-off for everybody.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 09/24/2018 11:13 PM
The US military might be an exception in that they have been  willing (and have been in the past) to spend more for reliability and dual track access...

Boeing and Lockheed Martin built their respective rockets primarily to satisfy a U.S. Government need. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are not building their respective transportation systems to satisfy a U.S. Government need. The U.S. Government market is an offshoot of their core focus, and as everyone knows now the USAF is looking to move to less customized launch needs.

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SpaceX has gotten and will get more military payloads and their experience with Iridium is a feather in their cap.....but if Blue develops a equally reliable launcher with the same or more capability the military will look at that.  in fact just  now on CNN there is a story about Blue being very interested in those payloads.

The key to getting USAF launches is not reliability, since the USAF is OK with normal reliability (they have stated this publicly). The key is in providing USAF specific services and abilities that relate to launch facilities and payload integration. Government contracting is not for the faint at heart (I have experience in that field), but it can be profitable for the non-standard services portion.

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My guess is the days of the premium for uber reliability might be ending as the battlestar galactica satellites fade for "more"  satellites  (and this is a good idea for battle damage anyway)..at least in teh military

The highest value satellites also required facilities and capabilities beyond what commercial providers can offer, such as vertical integration. Not sure we know if Blue Origin will offer that, but the USAF has said they will have less of a need for it in the future, which removes even more of ULA's unique competitive differences.

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Viasat went to the Atlas primarily because of the reliability of the Atlas vrs a FH that has flown only once...

Viasat gave the order to ULA because they were more likely to launch on schedule. Reliability was not really a factor - making money on their asset was the primary consideration. They didn't want the same situation with Viasat-3 as what happened with Viasat-2. Blue Origin should be taking note, since they are not known for schedule reliability yet...  ;)

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But if both SpaceX and Blue have the same "on orbit" potential and similar cost...there is going to be a price war.

That would only happen if Blue Origin and SpaceX were competing for the same market, and price was the primary consideration. However Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk did not start their transportation companies because they wanted to be commodity transportation providers, but because being LOW COST commodity transportation providers will allow them to achieve their real goals off of Earth.

Jeff and Elon are not playing the same game as ULA, Arianespace and others.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: ncb1397 on 09/24/2018 11:26 PM
But if both SpaceX and Blue have the same "on orbit" potential and similar cost...there is going to be a price war

My interpretation is that SpaceX is less and less interested in the cutt throat global commercial satellite industry. Their commercial backlog continues to dwindle. They may be perfectly content with Starlink, government and HSF launches rather than a price war for commercial satellite contracts with Jeff Bezos that they most likely can't win. Anyways, most of these guys are their competitors. It would be like selling Merlins to ULA.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: HMXHMX on 09/25/2018 12:42 AM
NS is a giant roller coaster. Spaceship II is the same.

SpaceShipTwo is a roller coaster. New Shepard is an elevator.  Ride comfort will be very different.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: QuantumG on 09/25/2018 02:22 AM
It takes a lot more than money to make a launch vehicle. NASA has lots of money and they've failed to launch - how many times now? I lost count. Can we stop saying success is guaranteed for Blue just because Bezos is rich?

Blue's money is not subject to any of the restrictions that NASA's is.

Yes? This means the onus is on you to show that Blue Origin is operating differently from NASA (or Boeing, or Lockheed Martin, or...) So far all we've seen them do is bid for NASA contracts (and mostly lose) and do some suborbital flights. That's really nothing different to Kistler (where most of their rocket engineering staff came from), so why do you expect different results? (Don't say more money. Don't say more money. Don't say more money.)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lemurion on 09/25/2018 02:44 AM
It takes a lot more than money to make a launch vehicle. NASA has lots of money and they've failed to launch - how many times now? I lost count. Can we stop saying success is guaranteed for Blue just because Bezos is rich?

Blue's money is not subject to any of the restrictions that NASA's is.

Yes? This means the onus is on you to show that Blue Origin is operating differently from NASA (or Boeing, or Lockheed Martin, or...) So far all we've seen them do is bid for NASA contracts (and mostly lose) and do some suborbital flights. That's really nothing different to Kistler (where most of their rocket engineering staff came from), so why do you expect different results? (Don't say more money. Don't say more money. Don't say more money.)


The thing with Blue is that like SpaceX it's working toward meeting its founder's vision. Blue exists because Jeff Bezos wants to lower the cost to orbit to the point that humanity can colonize space. Winning contracts is incidental; the company exists to achieve a specific vision rather than any particular business case.

This gives it a consistency of vision that NASA lacks because it's beholden to its political masters-- It also divorces it from the profit motive as a primary driver. Boeing and Lockheed Martin are involved in business to return money to their shareholders; both entities exist for the purpose of generating profits. Blue exists to lower the cost of access to space; contracts and profits are part of the plan but neither represents the driving force.

Blue and SpaceX are the products of human idealism; they are not traditional businesses.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Eric Hedman on 09/25/2018 03:28 AM
It takes a lot more than money to make a launch vehicle. NASA has lots of money and they've failed to launch - how many times now? I lost count. Can we stop saying success is guaranteed for Blue just because Bezos is rich?

Blue's money is not subject to any of the restrictions that NASA's is.

Yes? This means the onus is on you to show that Blue Origin is operating differently from NASA (or Boeing, or Lockheed Martin, or...) So far all we've seen them do is bid for NASA contracts (and mostly lose) and do some suborbital flights. That's really nothing different to Kistler (where most of their rocket engineering staff came from), so why do you expect different results? (Don't say more money. Don't say more money. Don't say more money.)


The thing with Blue is that like SpaceX it's working toward meeting its founder's vision. Blue exists because Jeff Bezos wants to lower the cost to orbit to the point that humanity can colonize space. Winning contracts is incidental; the company exists to achieve a specific vision rather than any particular business case.

This gives it a consistency of vision that NASA lacks because it's beholden to its political masters-- It also divorces it from the profit motive as a primary driver. Boeing and Lockheed Martin are involved in business to return money to their shareholders; both entities exist for the purpose of generating profits. Blue exists to lower the cost of access to space; contracts and profits are part of the plan but neither represents the driving force.

Blue and SpaceX are the products of human idealism; they are not traditional businesses.
Even though they are not traditional businesses, making money along the way helps fund a vision.  That's why they want to sell engines to ULA and flights to the Moon to NASA.  If Jeff Bezos is planning on investing 1 billion a year in Blue, selling a few hundred million per year on satellite launches, rocket engines, etc. makes that billion per year go farther.  Even though Bezos could spend more than a billion a year, doesn't mean he will do so.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: ncb1397 on 09/25/2018 03:33 AM
Even though Bezos could spend more than a billion a year, doesn't mean he will do so.

He actually says that Blue Origins budget next year will be more than a billion dollars.

about 8:20 in the following video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3NBQcAqyu4
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 09/25/2018 03:38 AM
Blue's money is not subject to any of the restrictions that NASA's is.

Yes? This means the onus is on you to show that Blue Origin is operating differently from NASA (or Boeing, or Lockheed Martin, or...) So far all we've seen them do is bid for NASA contracts (and mostly lose) and do some suborbital flights. That's really nothing different to Kistler (where most of their rocket engineering staff came from), so why do you expect different results? (Don't say more money. Don't say more money. Don't say more money.)

The thing with Blue is that like SpaceX it's working toward meeting its founder's vision. Blue exists because Jeff Bezos wants to lower the cost to orbit to the point that humanity can colonize space.

Pretty much the same thing with Elon Musk, and both started their companies about the same time. Yet SpaceX is dramatically further along towards that goal than Blue Origin is.

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Winning contracts is incidental; the company exists to achieve a specific vision rather than any particular business case.

Sure, they probably didn't NEED to win any of those contracts they lost, but they decided to pursue them for a reason - and bidding on government contracts is not easy or cheap, it cost them time and money they won't get back.

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This gives it a consistency of vision that NASA lacks because it's beholden to its political masters-- It also divorces it from the profit motive as a primary driver.

Absolutely. Sometimes being a dictator allows you to do things that are hard in democracies...  ;)

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Blue and SpaceX are the products of human idealism; they are not traditional businesses.

Which is why we shouldn't use standard business metrics to compare them. For instance, assuming they feel a need for competition between each other, even though they have different goals.

And just to restate what I'm sure we all feel, is that we only complain about Blue Origin because we wish they would move faster - just like when we complain about SpaceX when they are not moving as fast as we wished.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Llian Rhydderch on 09/25/2018 05:04 AM
That's really nothing different to Kistler (where most of their rocket engineering staff came from), so why do you expect different results? (Don't say more money. Don't say more money. Don't say more money.)
You mention that frequently.  The Kistler heritage of certain of Blue Origin's early hires is clear.

But Blue Origin today has ~1600 people on staff.  Your "most of their rocket engineering staff" argument no longer holds true.

Edit/lar: Fixed unattributed quote. Don't do that.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: raketa on 09/25/2018 06:34 AM
Blue Origin didn't have an orbital vehicle. when having a vehicle it will be still less reusable then BFR. Bezos will be losing a lot of money, just compete with SpaceX price,
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Eric Hedman on 09/25/2018 06:35 AM
Even though Bezos could spend more than a billion a year, doesn't mean he will do so.

He actually says that Blue Origins budget next year will be more than a billion dollars.

about 8:20 in the following video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3NBQcAqyu4
That doesn't mean he's putting more than a billion in.  They're getting deposits on flights.  They might be getting some revenue from ULA next year for engines.  He didn't say how much over a billion their budget will be.  So we don't know how much he's putting in.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TripleSeven on 09/25/2018 08:32 AM

Even though they are not traditional businesses, making money along the way helps fund a vision.  That's why they want to sell engines to ULA and flights to the Moon to NASA.  If Jeff Bezos is planning on investing 1 billion a year in Blue, selling a few hundred million per year on satellite launches, rocket engines, etc. makes that billion per year go farther.  Even though Bezos could spend more than a billion a year, doesn't mean he will do so.

I have met Musk a few times and read several books about him...but even before the last two months I dont pretend to know what makes him tick...and the last few months have well made me wonder...

I have only "met" JB a few times, he spoke at my oldest graduation from HS and seemed to enjoy the speech she gave as the valavic.   and seems to stay in touch with her :)  but I did have a "role" in helping Amazon set up its flight department and "know" a bunch of the people he directly hired.  but "mostlY' this is just my own reading

JB recognizes that nothing works without making money.  Towns in the west that could not find an economic system that supported them are now ghost towns.  no matter how much money was poured into their founding...no matter how much talent was there...if the towns could not find an economic system that worked for them 1) they stopped growing and 2) they eventually died.

Once great airlines have risen from nothing, ruled the skies and floundered because one or two of the folks who "took over" never could adapt to changing times and they dont exist now

I think that there is some "vision" of a world different than today in his spending...but he recognizes that without money the vision perishes..he recognizes that no "space settlement future" is possible without a viable economic system to keep them there....and in my view he will compete in a cut throat manner to grab the market, what ever one he identifies that makes that work.

He hires people who implement this.  its all top flight talent (at least where I have seen hiring) but they need to believe in making money

it is as you say "making the billion go further" but it is to start an economic engine which then self actualizes...ie it multiplies the spending enormously.   and sets the stage for the next "frontier".  he has a lecture/speech he gave to the Seattle Chamber of commerce about 10 or 15 years ago where he talks about the history of the founding of Seattle and the role of Henry Yesler's lumber mill (which built most of San Fran) in the founding of the city and the anchoring of the economic base that made it grow.

and works that into a lunar analogy.  he has given this general speech a few times.  ie the Mill is what really turned the city from "New York-Alki" ie New york by and by (the original Seattle) to the great city namesd after the Duwamish Indian leader  Sealth.

BEzos grasp anchoring frontiers with economics...Maybe Musk does...the last two months have not been all that "convincing" to me anyway
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TripleSeven on 09/25/2018 08:50 AM


Boeing and Lockheed Martin built their respective rockets primarily to satisfy a U.S. Government need
. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are not building their respective transportation systems to satisfy a U.S. Government need. The U.S. Government market is an offshoot of their core focus, and as everyone knows now the USAF is looking to move to less customized launch needs.

snip

The key to getting USAF launches is not reliability,
since the USAF is OK with normal reliability (they have stated this publicly). The key is in providing USAF specific services and abilities that relate to launch facilities and payload integration. Government contracting is not for the faint at heart (I have experience in that field), but it can be profitable for the non-standard services portion.



government contracting is enormously profitable...both Boeing and I know that first hand :)

that aside the two comments of yours I outlined in black cannot be true concurrently. 

the USAF had a large massive input on the formation of ULA, the acquisition of both Delta and Atlas launch vehicles...and their pricing.  the USAF was not alone, NRO for instance had some input...but the USAF played a large role in how ULA was formed, how it operated, how it was paid, and what its goals were.

the USAF HAS CHANGED, as I noted its views...but at the time, they had a massive role in ULA...and the two companies that run ULA are nothing but responsive for the customer.

we will see if ULA adapts to where the customers are going now. 

since what you are saying "now" is what I said in my post more or less, I dont know why you are debating it...


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The highest value satellites also required facilities and capabilities beyond what commercial providers can offer, such as vertical integration. Not sure we know if Blue Origin will offer that, but the USAF has said they will have less of a need for it in the future, which removes even more of ULA's unique competitive differences.


as we say here "tabi tabi"...but mostly I dont agree with that.  vertical integration is how things were done, the customer is changing an adapting to new situations.  all bags use to be loaded on planes byhand...now there are encolsed palets...things change

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Viasat gave the order to ULA because they were more likely to launch on schedule. Reliability was not really a factor - making money on their asset was the primary consideration. They didn't want the same situation with Viasat-3 as what happened with Viasat-2. Blue Origin should be taking note, since they are not known for schedule reliability yet...  ;)

that doesnt make sense at all.  part of reliability is "launching on time. the second part of it is "getting to orbit

both favored Atlas now instead of FH... making money is always a prime consideration for private enterprise :)


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That would only happen if Blue Origin and SpaceX were competing for the same market
,

they will be.  we disagree on this. 

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and price was the primary consideration. However Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk did not start their transportation companies because they wanted to be commodity transportation providers, but because being LOW COST commodity transportation providers will allow them to achieve their real goals off of Earth.

price along with reliability (in both forms) along with performance (how long to get to the final orbit) are the triad of customers.  serve them and you keep them, dont and you lose them.

that has nothing to do with imagined goals.


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Jeff and Elon are not playing the same game as ULA, Arianespace and others.

JB in my view is.  he recognizes the importance of Henry Yesler's lumber mill

Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: envy887 on 09/25/2018 12:47 PM
It takes a lot more than money to make a launch vehicle. NASA has lots of money and they've failed to launch - how many times now? I lost count. Can we stop saying success is guaranteed for Blue just because Bezos is rich?

Blue's money is not subject to any of the restrictions that NASA's is.

Yes? This means the onus is on you to show that Blue Origin is operating differently from NASA (or Boeing, or Lockheed Martin, or...) So far all we've seen them do is bid for NASA contracts (and mostly lose) and do some suborbital flights. That's really nothing different to Kistler (where most of their rocket engineering staff came from), so why do you expect different results? (Don't say more money. Don't say more money. Don't say more money.)

You make this point a lot, but I don't see the relevance to Blue. Was Kistler's failure due to the quality of it's engineering staff?

Or was Kistler's failure due to poor business leadership, a business model that was wholly inadequate to generate the necessary funding without generous NASA subsidizing, and the lack of a sufficient market for its product?

Blue has strong leadership with a consistent vision, they have a business model that is entirely independent from any single customer (or any customers at all, in fact), and they have already demonstrated a solid market for their products (BE-4 to ULA, suborbital payloads on NS, NG commsat launch preorders).

So yes, unless Bezos simply gives up, I expect Blue to succeed with an orbital launch vehicle. And he's shown no inclination at all to give up - in fact he's doubling down at every turn.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Eric Hedman on 09/25/2018 03:14 PM
At the very end of this interview with Jim Bridenstine on CSPAN from the Washington Space Round Table they said their next round table on October 13th will feature someone from Blue Origin who will give an update on their progress.

https://www.c-span.org/video/?451857-1/space-commerce (https://www.c-span.org/video/?451857-1/space-commerce)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 09/25/2018 03:54 PM
Blue has strong leadership with a consistent vision...

We all know about Jeff Bezos, but how do we know that Blue Origin leadership is "strong"? What are the metrics used to determine that?

Regarding "vision", how is that measured too? For instance, when did the planning for New Glenn start? And since they have announced New Armstrong, how is the planning for that doing?

Maybe in isolation Blue Origin is doing great, but they are not the only rocket company in the world, so we need to measure their progress against everyone else. And in that regard I'm not sure how they stand out.

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they have a business model that is entirely independent from any single customer (or any customers at all, in fact), and they have already demonstrated a solid market for their products (BE-4 to ULA, suborbital payloads on NS, NG commsat launch preorders).

Yes, the richest person in the world can fund their development needs. But otherwise everything else you pointed out has not entered the production or operational phase. Lots of future potential, but they aren't there yet.

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So yes, unless Bezos simply gives up, I expect Blue to succeed with an orbital launch vehicle. And he's shown no inclination at all to give up - in fact he's doubling down at every turn.

I agree that Bezos is unlikely to end Blue Origin - he seems committed to his goals, and Blue Origin is needed for those goals.

The question is speed of execution, not commitment.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TripleSeven on 09/25/2018 06:35 PM


The question is speed of execution, not commitment.

that does not strike me as a valid metric.  what would be a metric worth looking at in my view is the staying power of what is executed.

Had BA taken four more months and done some more tank testing with the Comet, they would have found their fatigue problem and not gone through some essentially to the company fatal crashes.  Douglas when they moved on the DC8 did not do wind tunnel testing with the airfoil that they chose for the DC8 and instead relied on NACA test data...the problem with that is that NACA had never tested the airfoil with pylon mounted engines...  American Airlines engineers picked up on that and pushed American, a Douglas customer to order the 707. 

what matters is if what is executed can stand the test of the market and time. 

SX theory, which I think is a good one, seems to be build something, fly a bit, then modify. the leap to BFS (not BFR) surprises me a bit...but before going into shock I will probably wait until I see what the final "flight product" is.  I have my theories on that

Blue seems...well I am still trying to figure that out.  :) they seem to be taking the same approach Boeing took with the Dreamliner.  I hope that they mange it better...for Boeing it got way out of hand.  Boeing will never build another airplane like that again :)   its a successful, very successful product.  it cost them.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 09/25/2018 08:05 PM
government contracting is enormously profitable...both Boeing and I know that first hand :)

In the world of "tooting one's own horn", that would be a double-toot...  ;)

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the USAF HAS CHANGED

The USAF "is" changing. They are open to new launch providers, but they are still launching the same payloads. Real change comes next with new payloads that don't need vertical integration. When that time comes Blue Origin should be able to bid for a larger percentage of U.S. Government payloads - likely to the detriment of ULA.

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we will see if ULA adapts to where the customers are going now.

As currently planned by it's parents, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, ULA will stick with expendable rockets while hoping it can capture a significant percentage of the commercial launch market for Vulcan. Assuming Blue Origin starts commercial launch operations in the early 2020's, that would put ULA's Vulcan in about 4th position for winning commercial contracts - not an enviable competitive position.

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vertical integration is how things were done, the customer is changing an adapting to new situations.

Vertical integration is STILL required. It is going to take years to design, develop and make ready the next generation of DoD/NRO satellites that don't need vertical integration - and that might never happen for some requirements, meaning launch providers wanting to launch those payloads will need to build and maintain VI facilities.

I'm not sure we've heard that Blue Origin would be interested in that specific market segment. ULA already does it, and SpaceX says they plan to add the capability, so Blue Origin would only see diminishing returns on such an investment - it's not likely to be a growing market.

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price along with reliability (in both forms) along with performance (how long to get to the final orbit) are the triad of customers.

In the launch world, especially as SpaceX was becoming operational and starting to gain market traction, both ULA and Arianespace were advertising "reliability" as a key asset they had, and that was the likelihood that the payload would make it to it's planned orbit. Schedule reliability was always been a secondary factor in the marketing war against SpaceX.

Payload destination reliability has now fallen to the wayside in terms of marketing, since SpaceX is now the #1 launch provider for the commercial market and it's been a while since they had a failure. And they did that mainly on launch price, with many customers gritting their teeth with launch date slippages.

Time is money, and sometimes a customer is more interested in when they can get something than in how much it costs (within reason), and that certainly was important for Viasat with their Viasat-3 service. But while that may have been disappointing for SpaceX, it was not a big blow to them since they have plenty of launches overall in their backlog.

Blue Origin is still building a launch backlog, and they have yet to start launching. So it's likely that early customers of Blue Origin are committing because of price and the desire to help bring even more competition to the launch market.

But once Blue Origin gets close to their launch commitment dates, and once they declare themselves operational, customers will start also expecting more predictable launch dates. And so far Blue Origin has not demonstrated that ability with New Shepard.

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Jeff and Elon are not playing the same game as ULA, Arianespace and others.

JB in my view is.  he recognizes the importance of Henry Yesler's lumber mill

Henry Yesler's lumber mill burned down. I'm not sure that is the strategy Jeff Bezos is trying to follow...  ;)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: envy887 on 09/25/2018 08:42 PM
The question is speed of execution, not commitment.

No, the question I was addressing was whether they would succeed (in building and operating an orbital launch vehicle), not whether they would do anything faster than anyone else.

Blue isn't going to end up defunct in 5-10 years like Kistler and many other aerospace startups.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TripleSeven on 09/25/2018 08:48 PM


Henry Yesler's lumber mill )

did not burn down it was demolished

and I suspect the legacy sought is the  anchoring of SEattle where it is...and of course making a lot of money :)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 09/25/2018 09:01 PM
Henry Yesler's lumber mill )

did not burn down it was demolished

Burned down on June 6, 1889 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Yesler). If you're going to use an obscure reference to make a point you should make sure you understand what it is you are referencing.

Plus, it is amazing to me how far back in history you try to go to make points about things happening in our modern world...

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and I suspect the legacy sought is the  anchoring of SEattle where it is...and of course making a lot of money :)

How in ANY way does that apply to Blue Origin?

If it's not obvious by now, Jeff Bezos doesn't care if Blue Origin makes money. It might be interesting, but otherwise the richest person in the world is not constrained by such capitalist limits.

Jeff Bezos has a goal to move humanity out into space. As long as you keep that in mind, everything they do with Blue Origin is easy to understand...
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Eric Hedman on 09/26/2018 12:24 AM
If it's not obvious by now, Jeff Bezos doesn't care if Blue Origin makes money. It might be interesting, but otherwise the richest person in the world is not constrained by such capitalist limits.

Jeff Bezos has a goal to move humanity out into space. As long as you keep that in mind, everything they do with Blue Origin is easy to understand...
In the David Rubenstein interview he actually does address the need for space businesses to become profitable so they can sustain themselves in the long run.  He knows that the more revenue from customers he gets, the more Blue Origin can do on top of what he invests.  So in the long run he does care about Blue Origin becoming profitable.  If you listen to him in this interview and in others he has done.  He believes that capitalism does the most to solve the world's problems.  He is a smart business man so he will try to maximize revenues while pushing towards his vision.  He will also try to minimize costs.  He didn't become the world's richest man by doing anything outside of that philosophy.  To think he won't try to eventually turn a profit is to not understand the entrepreneurial business mindset he has.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: QuantumG on 09/26/2018 01:20 AM
But Blue Origin today has ~1600 people on staff.

Yup, they're even more top-heavy than NASA.

You really don't see a problem with a launch company that has 1600 staff and hasn't launched a damn thing?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: PahTo on 09/26/2018 01:44 AM
But Blue Origin today has ~1600 people on staff.

Yup, they're even more top-heavy than NASA.

You really don't see a problem with a launch company that has 1600 staff and hasn't launched a damn thing?


Having toured the Kent facility with an employee, no I don't see a problem.   Oh, and they have launched a few damn things, and returned them to the ground intact.  Note when I was there (18 months ago) there were fewer than 1,000 on staff.  The increase in staff has something to do with building the launch facilities in FLA.  Once that is done, I imagine they'll go orbital.  As well, nice to see the working, functional, flight tested BE-3(U) under serious consideration for a number of vacuum/US applications.
btw, how big are your binocular to see how "top heavy" Blue Origin is...from Australia?   
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Llian Rhydderch on 09/26/2018 02:21 AM
But Blue Origin today has ~1600 people on staff.

Yup, they're even more top-heavy than NASA.

You really don't see a problem with a launch company that has 1600 staff and hasn't launched a damn thing?

Make an argument and stick to it QuantumG.  You made an argument about Blue rocket engineering team being Kistler folk.  I provided evidence against your argument.

You're moving the goal posts,
and creating a straw man about an entirely different issue.  Not my issue.  Go make that in a new post if you want.

But you and I are talking only about your weak argument about Blue rocket team = Kistler team.  I don't think that is remotely true today.


Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: envy887 on 09/26/2018 02:51 AM
You really don't see a problem with a launch company that has 1600 staff and hasn't launched a damn thing?

Blue isn't just an orbital launch company. They started as a think tank, then were a technology development company, and are now an engine designer and manufacturer, a suborbital crewed vehicle designer/manufacturer/operator, and is still doing a lot of technology development. And they are developing and manufacturing an orbital launch vehicle.

How many other companies have developed and hot-fired a large staged combustion engine? How many have developed a LH2 engine and booster from scratch? How many have sent a booster and crew-capable capsule to space and soft-landed both? Orbital vehicles, among many other things, are definitely on their roadmap. But they aren't going to do them on your schedule or anyone else's.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lar on 09/26/2018 04:00 AM
Less snark. Less crap analogies, especially those that are counterfactual. Less  braggadacio. It's like a few posters bad habits have become contagious.

Be excellent to each other.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TripleSeven on 09/26/2018 05:31 AM

Burned down on June 6, 1889 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Yesler). If you're going to use an obscure reference to make a point you should make sure you understand what it is you are referencing.


WIKI is not very good history.  I am not a native, but lovely SEattle is my adopted home...we still have a house there.  Oldest use to do tours at Pioneer village for the summer

http://pcad.lib.washington.edu/building/11690/

"Overview

Henry L. Yesler erected Seattle's first sawmill in 1853; the steam-driven milling equipment and other mechanical components were shipped around the Cape Horn via San Francisco and then shipped again to Elliott Bay. After the Fire of 1889, Henry Yesler built his six-story Pioneer Building on the site of his sawmill.



  snip....In 1928, historian Clarence Bagley wrote of Yesler's operation: "In the fall of 1852 Henry L. Yesler came to Seattle with the expressed intention of putting up a sawmill on his claim north of Yesler Way... and the mill was built where the Mutual Life Building now stands, also extending across the street to the easterly margin of Pioneer Place. The boilers and saw were put in the place and then the lumber was sawed for the roof and sides of the building. In April it began cutting lumber, the first steam sawmill on Puget Sound....It could turn out but a few thousand feet in a day, but it supplied most of the financial lifeblood of the little community for a dozen years or more." (See Clarence Bagley, Pioneer Describes Life in City's Early Days," Seattle Times, 01/01/1928, p. 23.) He prospered in the new city and helped to build it, literally. The cookhouse of the sawmill served multiple functions as a courthouse, meeting room as well as a dining hall.

Demolition

The Yesler Sawmill was demolished."

a lot of things burned in the old west...they rebuilt them




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How in ANY way does that apply to Blue Origin?

If it's not obvious by now, Jeff Bezos doesn't care if Blue Origin makes money. It might be interesting, but otherwise the richest person in the world is not constrained by such capitalist limits.

Jeff Bezos has a goal to move humanity out into space. As long as you keep that in mind, everything they do with Blue Origin is easy to understand...

the historical analogy seems obvious.  find an economic reason for a place to exist...and it prospers, so do the people in it and most importantly more people want to come.  without that try all you want, it doesnt happen

Bezos has used the mill many times in speeches...and in my view he is trying to put that together in his space effort, ie an economic engine.  I think he believes in the Moon as the place that starts AND that lunar fuel is probably the "saw mill"

I dont see why you think just because Bezos has not made a profit "Yet" does not mean he is not trying to do that.  wealth gives him an event horizon which is longer than most.  but I am quite certain given his drive the folks he has hired, and his general outlook on things...he will in a few years have a powerhouse of a business in space lift, making money hand over fist.And I suspect he reinvest some of that money...distributes it to some of his employees etc etc that is capitalism.  And JB without a doubt believes in capitalism.

its the only way the entire effort works out. no economic system that works...the whole thing dies.

as for history...who we are is who we were and who we will be is who we are.  history is a quide to how a culture and people do things and make them work or fail.  It has taken far longer to start because in large measure it started to early...but how Americans have done things in the past in terms of frontiers is how we will do them in the present (to a large extent)...and I enjoy looking for those parallels to predict things

the space frontier will happen...it just takes people "looking for saw mills" :) and making them
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lemurion on 09/26/2018 05:13 PM

(snip)

I dont see why you think just because Bezos has not made a profit "Yet" does not mean he is not trying to do that.  wealth gives him an event horizon which is longer than most.  but I am quite certain given his drive the folks he has hired, and his general outlook on things...he will in a few years have a powerhouse of a business in space lift, making money hand over fist.And I suspect he reinvest some of that money...distributes it to some of his employees etc etc that is capitalism.  And JB without a doubt believes in capitalism.

its the only way the entire effort works out. no economic system that works...the whole thing dies.


The point I think you are missing is that while Jeff Bezos' long term plans for Blue definitely include profit, it is not the force that drives his decision-making engine and you can see that Blue's actions.

The point for vision-driven organizations like Blue and SpaceX is that when faced with a decision as to whether to improve profitability or to work towards their strategic goals, both companies are choosing the latter. BFR's design is constrained by its intended use as a Mars transport system even though its primary use over the next decade (provided SpaceX approaches its target dates) is most likely going to be deploying Starlink. Likewise, it might have been more profitable for Blue to start with a simpler New Glenn and iterate towards the planned design while still bringing in revenue, but that's not aligned with Bezos' vision. He wants to start by lowering costs to orbit and so New Glenn is designed to be both large and reusable from the start.

It's the same with revenue. Unlike ULA, which is sending any profits to its parents, both Blue and SpaceX are reinvesting any income to further their goals because both companies prioritize achieving goals above making profits. In both cases profitability is being approached as a means, not an end.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TrevorMonty on 09/26/2018 07:28 PM

(snip)

I dont see why you think just because Bezos has not made a profit "Yet" does not mean he is not trying to do that.  wealth gives him an event horizon which is longer than most.  but I am quite certain given his drive the folks he has hired, and his general outlook on things...he will in a few years have a powerhouse of a business in space lift, making money hand over fist.And I suspect he reinvest some of that money...distributes it to some of his employees etc etc that is capitalism.  And JB without a doubt believes in capitalism.

its the only way the entire effort works out. no economic system that works...the whole thing dies.


The point I think you are missing is that while Jeff Bezos' long term plans for Blue definitely include profit, it is not the force that drives his decision-making engine and you can see that Blue's actions.

The point for vision-driven organizations like Blue and SpaceX is that when faced with a decision as to whether to improve profitability or to work towards their strategic goals, both companies are choosing the latter. BFR's design is constrained by its intended use as a Mars transport system even though its primary use over the next decade (provided SpaceX approaches its target dates) is most likely going to be deploying Starlink. Likewise, it might have been more profitable for Blue to start with a simpler New Glenn and iterate towards the planned design while still bringing in revenue, but that's not aligned with Bezos' vision. He wants to start by lowering costs to orbit and so New Glenn is designed to be both large and reusable from the start.

It's the same with revenue. Unlike ULA, which is sending any profits to its parents, both Blue and SpaceX are reinvesting any income to further their goals because both companies prioritize achieving goals above making profits. In both cases profitability is being approached as a means, not an end.
Amazon pumps most of its profit back into expansion and becoming more efficient hence low dividend but very high share price. If JB had paid out higher dividends the company would be lot smaller. In Blue case there will be zero dividend, every cent of future profits will be poured back into R&D and expansion.

NB Blue is just not LV company they are JB vehicle for expansion into space. Once flying NG will be used to build moon bases, setup ISRU facilities, fly space tourists, create and service fuel depots, even help build solar power satellites. Lot of these projects will be funded by Blue and JB.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 09/26/2018 08:03 PM
If it's not obvious by now, Jeff Bezos doesn't care if Blue Origin makes money. It might be interesting, but otherwise the richest person in the world is not constrained by such capitalist limits.

Jeff Bezos has a goal to move humanity out into space. As long as you keep that in mind, everything they do with Blue Origin is easy to understand...
In the David Rubenstein interview he actually does address the need for space businesses to become profitable so they can sustain themselves in the long run.

No doubt. Because the only way we can afford to expand humanity out into space is to create profitable businesses out in space. After 50 years it should be EXTREMELY obvious that NASA doesn't get enough money to expand humanity out into space, so if governments aren't willing the private sector will have to step up and do it.

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He knows that the more revenue from customers he gets, the more Blue Origin can do on top of what he invests.

Oh, no doubt he would love customers to help fund what he is doing. But Jeff Bezos is happy to fund Blue Origin at $1B+ per year regardless, so unlike SpaceX he is not bound by customer demand for Blue Origin capabilities. Which can be a benefit if you are doing something new and hard (and they are doing both), but customer demand is needed at some point to validate your guesses.

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So in the long run he does care about Blue Origin becoming profitable.

I'd maybe phrase it as in the near-term he doesn't care, but long term being profitable (or at least break even) would allow him to focus his resources on the next phase of his plans.

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He believes that capitalism does the most to solve the world's problems.  He is a smart business man so he will try to maximize revenues while pushing towards his vision.  He will also try to minimize costs.  He didn't become the world's richest man by doing anything outside of that philosophy.  To think he won't try to eventually turn a profit is to not understand the entrepreneurial business mindset he has.

He is a smart guy, but he didn't build Amazon by himself. And in general I resist the idea that someone that has only been good at one thing, and that one thing is exploiting new opportunities that were not able to be exploited previously, really has the answers to everyone being successful. Jeff Bezos can only answer how Jeff Bezos became successful. Same with Bill Gates, Elon Musk, etc. They all had unique circumstances that can't be generalized.

But in the context of Blue Origin, I am happy he wants to use his money in pursuit of a goal that I support - which is the expansion of humanity out into space.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TripleSeven on 09/26/2018 09:59 PM


The point I think you are missing is that while Jeff Bezos' long term plans for Blue definitely include profit, it is not the force that drives his decision-making engine and you can see that Blue's actions.

The point for vision-driven organizations like Blue and SpaceX is that when faced with a decision as to whether to improve profitability or to work towards their strategic goals, both companies are choosing the latter. BFR's design is constrained by its intended use as a Mars transport system even though its primary use over the next decade (provided SpaceX approaches its target dates) is most likely going to be deploying Starlink. Likewise, it might have been more profitable for Blue to start with a simpler New Glenn and iterate towards the planned design while still bringing in revenue, but that's not aligned with Bezos' vision. He wants to start by lowering costs to orbit and so New Glenn is designed to be both large and reusable from the start.

It's the same with revenue. Unlike ULA, which is sending any profits to its parents, both Blue and SpaceX are reinvesting any income to further their goals because both companies prioritize achieving goals above making profits. In both cases profitability is being approached as a means, not an end.

an interesting post, one I thought about a bit before responding

Musk and Bezos and Branson.... are UNIQUE in that they are the first 'Juan Trippes" of human spaceflight (or at least the first three to gain a toehold in actually accomplishing something) .  They all have Trippes passion for a vision that is about what people can do with their service... unlike (as you point out) other corporations (like Boeing) which are really contractors to produce hardware...Musk and Bezos and Branson share (different) visions of how people operate and prosper in spaceflight but it all includes people and the hardware is kind of a means to an end.


I agree (I think) with you that Musk/Bezos/Bransom are "different" from say Boeing because Boeing is a producer of vehicles and concentrates on the vehicles which allow "Others" to have a dream and use their product to satisfy it.  this is the nature of Boeing and has been for over a century. 

boeing sees other peoples/organizations demands and works to provide a product that satisfies it.  How its used...not their business.  They want "Juan Trippes" or Curtis LeMay's in government and the airlines to have visions that they can build hardware to satisfy. 

Dennis does not get up in the morning and say "how can Boeing help settle the Moon" .. Musk and Bezos and Branson are in that business.  AND to that end they all three have decided to build "in house" their own hardware to push that goal forward.

but they all three are also something else...and that is very talented business people who recognize that if the product does NOT sale, the vision perishes.

and right now...I dont see either of the three doing anything in their respective business that is "unique" in terms of trying to get to a product which makes their dreams possible.  Because everyone of the products that they have made or are making are geared directly to serving a "non people" operation  but can be adapted to "people" when and if they can make that work economically.

to your point...Blue could not go with anything "downscale" of NG otherwise 1) if they dont recover the first stage the economics are "probably" such that they cannot compete with SpaceX...and 2) how they have scaled NG in my view is to tailor to the SpaceX market which they think will evolve in a certain direction ie bigger satellites or dual launch

SpaceX has tailored F9 and FH to "take" the market for GTO away from Aspace mostly and to put the nail in the coffin of ULA, with their nibbling on the edge of military payloads.

Musk in my view built FH because 1) he sees where NG is trying to go and 2) needs a vehicle that can counter it and has some more growth in it. 

Musk is not reducing prices on F9, based on reuse ability which is directly necessary to "evolve" the satellite production community...because he needs the cash that F9 launches are generated to run his business.   

Unlike most here who see "DearMoon" going around the Moon in 2023 or something close...what I see is Musk descoping particularly BFS toward a cheaper cargo/satellite delivery service that EVENTUALLY can carry humans and do it particularly in Earth Moon space.  this is the reason for the non vac engines...for one...and the rhetoric of "lots of test flights" which really in my view is code for "this is really going to happen...aka DearMoon...sometime at the end of the next decade but I need to start work on the next satellilte delivery vehicle...now.

these are all very good business decisions...
 
 I know particularly the evaluation of Musk BFS is not popular here or shared :)  nor is my view on "Mars trips anytime soon" popular here or shared by many :)

But these are the trends "I" see and in my view these are in my view all sound business decisions which are also aimed to 1) keep their dreams of human activity alive and 2) progressing.

Juan Trippe is probably smiling with this...(and I say this will all respect...Trippe is a very legendary figure in the business)

where I think you and I part...is not in the passion and goal of the two (or three) ...but in the business part of it and probably time lines...and thats OK

I think your comments are thoughtful, well thought out...and as time marches on...we can see where the trend lines go.





Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 09/26/2018 11:05 PM
Musk and Bezos and Branson.... are UNIQUE in that they are the first 'Juan Trippes" of human spaceflight (or at least the first three to gain a toehold in actually accomplishing something) .

Juan Trippe used the technology of the day to create new services. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are creating the technology, and at least in the case of Elon Musk he is also trying to create some of the initial services too. It's too early to tell if Jeff Bezos intends to do the same.

Branson is not in the same class as either Bezos or Musk so he should be left out of the conversation (i.e. he is not doing LEO or BEO transportation). But in case you disagree, the place to disagree is here (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?board=81.0) - not on this thread.

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I agree (I think) with you that Musk/Bezos/Bransom are "different" from say Boeing because Boeing is a producer of vehicles and concentrates on the vehicles which allow "Others" to have a dream and use their product to satisfy it.  this is the nature of Boeing and has been for over a century.

Which is why many of us think what Boeing promotes about Mars and other space destination is just pure marketing. And the jury is still out on whether their Commercial Crew bet will pay off, which will likely color their future investments in space hardware. So for now they will quite happily make the dreams of the U.S. Government come to pass - for a profit.

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SpaceX has tailored F9 and FH to "take" the market for GTO away from Aspace mostly and to put the nail in the coffin of ULA, with their nibbling on the edge of military payloads.

Again, Elon Musk did not start SpaceX to take away business from anyone, he started it to make humanity multi-planetary. HOW he makes humanity multi-planetary may require a business that excels at satisfying customer needs so much that other competitors suffer, but that was not his original goal, nor likely his current goal. If competitors can't keep up that is because of poor management, not the fault of SpaceX.

Luckily Jeff Bezos is positioned to be the second reusable launch provider, so Blue Origin is already positioned to take advantage of the path that SpaceX has paved for launch services. And good for him. Now Blue Origin just needs to get New Glenn flying...  ;)

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Musk in my view built FH because 1) he sees where NG is trying to go and 2) needs a vehicle that can counter it and has some more growth in it.

Falcon Heavy preceded New Glenn by many years. They are not related, and if SpaceX executes their plans they won't really compete.

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Musk is not reducing prices on F9, based on reuse ability which is directly necessary to "evolve" the satellite production community...because he needs the cash that F9 launches are generated to run his business.

Musk and/or Shotwell have already stated publicly that they won't reduce Falcon 9/H prices until they have paid off the investment in Block 5. We don't have to wonder about their motivations. 

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I know particularly the evaluation of Musk BFS is not popular here or shared :)  nor is my view on "Mars trips anytime soon" popular here or shared by many :)

That's because this is a Blue Origin General Discussion thread, and you are talking about SpaceX. There are other threads for that (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?board=45.0), and you already know the viewpoint of the mods on this subject...  ;)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TripleSeven on 09/27/2018 07:51 AM

Juan Trippe used the technology of the day to create new services.

I feel quite comfortable with what I said about musk, Bransom and Bezos.  Its a matter of viewpoint the Frontier theory (turners) is argued all the time.
|
but I dont agree with your assessment of Trippe.

Trippe had visions of the use of airplanes to transport humans that forced airplane manufacturers, well his favorite Boeing, to push the technology of the day and to integrate that technology to provide the service he wanted. 

No airplane of that era could fly the Pacific but Trippe puts at his own cost bases on Midway, Wake, Guam and Hawaii and the PI and well that defines the range Boeing "HAD" to meet..and they pushed the technology to do it. I'll skip the B29 that was war...but Trippe told Boeing what the C377 had to do and they pushed the 29 technology to do it.   Trippe along with LeMay drove the development of the Dash 80.  Trippe and LeMay
did nothing in the design but what they said it had to do is what drove the technology and the design of the plane.  The B747 was Juan Trippe.  Boeings next step would have never been that far...but Trippe pushed them to push the technology...




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Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are creating the technology,
   Tabbi tabbi.  they are reinventing technology based on modern methods and capabilities...neither of them has invented the High Bypass fan or its equivalent.  Musk's new engine is really another try at the SSME (with different fuel)


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and at least in the case of Elon Musk he is also trying to create some of the initial services too.

I dont get that at all




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Which is why many of us think what Boeing promotes about Mars and other space destination is just pure marketing. .



see which Jury comes in.

I am pretty comfortable with where I think the next "phase" in human spaceflight, after commercial crew finally works.  I think that the timespan for BFS to have any impact in commercial human space ops is a decade or more...and I think that there are going to be "smaller" evolutionary steps in human space flight before it comes into the effective market. 

In my view the next step is a try at non government operation on the space station as well as a restart of a lunar effort ie a lunar base kind of a space station (or slightly larger) sized effort on the Moon...Both Boeing and Blue seem to be positioning themselves for both those.  (as is OSC)   to me that is the right move.

I dont envision (my lack of vision of course) any massive pivot point of human effort in space in the next 10 years...ie like private trips to Mars or trips around the Moon.  I am sure "you" or "we" whoever that is do..but I dont. I think Boeing, Blue and OSC are going to be in a pretty good position to make money on human space flight in that market which is going to be a government created one.

I dont know that Boeing is making any promises about Mars.  Dennis is a tad sarcastic at times and I dont believe he thinks either SLS or BFS are going to Mars in his professional life time.  he is two years older than I...and makes far more money...but on this we agree :)

It is a difference of opinion I know






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Musk and/or Shotwell have already stated publicly that they won't reduce Falcon 9/H prices until they have paid off the investment in Block 5. We don't have to wonder about their motivations. 

if true (and I think it is) than 1) it is not doing anything to mobilize  the "revolution in satellite design or processing until it changes  and 2) it will be a metric on how much the effort really cost Musk and how deep a pocket he has...and if it is not true than it means that they have not made re usability work.  Juries are still out.  it also has ramifications for what he can charge for BFR/BFS.  and makes Blue's theory of design seem pretty smart.

 
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: mme on 09/27/2018 04:37 PM
...
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Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are creating the technology,
   Tabbi tabbi.  they are reinventing technology based on modern methods and capabilities...neither of them has invented the High Bypass fan or its equivalent.  Musk's new engine is really another try at the SSME (with different fuel)
...
The high-bypass fan did not spring out of nowhere. It evolved out of existing technologies leveraging the "modern methods and capabilities" of the time. Calling that a "real-invention" but ignoring the engineering and creativity going into making a low cost, efficient, reusable rocket engine that does not require a teardown and rebuild seems silly to me.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TripleSeven on 09/27/2018 04:48 PM
...
Quote
Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are creating the technology,
   Tabbi tabbi.  they are reinventing technology based on modern methods and capabilities...neither of them has invented the High Bypass fan or its equivalent.  Musk's new engine is really another try at the SSME (with different fuel)
...
The high-bypass fan did not spring out of nowhere. It evolved out of existing technologies leveraging the "modern methods and capabilities" of the time. Calling that a "real-invention" but ignoring the engineering and creativity going into making a low cost, efficient, reusable rocket engine that does not require a teardown and rebuild seems silly to me.

you made my point, nothing that SX and Blue are doing is all that innovative, it is not even on the scale of the high bypass fan :)
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 09/27/2018 07:47 PM
The high-bypass fan did not spring out of nowhere. It evolved out of existing technologies leveraging the "modern methods and capabilities" of the time. Calling that a "real-invention" but ignoring the engineering and creativity going into making a low cost, efficient, reusable rocket engine that does not require a teardown and rebuild seems silly to me.

you made my point, nothing that SX and Blue are doing is all that innovative, it is not even on the scale of the high bypass fan :)

Everyone stands on the shoulders of giants, but what you miss is that it's not necessarily the technology that is the innovation, but the business model. SpaceX has applied disruptive innovation (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disruptive_innovation) to the launch services market, and they have definitely disrupted it. From Wikipedia:

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In business, a disruptive innovation is an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market-leading firms, products, and alliances.

Now it's hard to say while standing outside of Blue Origin if they are just being a "fast follower", but we do know that Jeff Bezos is willing to spend his own money to achieve a VERY big goal, and Blue Origin is just the "vehicle" he is using today to start to make that goal happen.

And Blue Origin has a different path they are pursuing too, which is why we can't really compare Blue Origin to SpaceX, and there is no need to. Both can exist and thrive in the same solar system - although others may not.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: programmerdan on 09/27/2018 08:04 PM
I'm a bit new here, love what all the new space operators are trying to do, but this thread and a trend towards similar in other threads is a source of growing frustration -- Can we focus on talking about Blue Origin on their own merits, and not persist in this fruitless comparison?

Three cheers for Blue Origin, and I look forward eagerly to see what they do next.

Let's keep comparative commentary in comparative threads, and focus on the topic here.

Apologies if inappropriate for a newcomer, but it's getting ridiculous.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 09/27/2018 08:11 PM

Juan Trippe used the technology of the day to create new services.

I feel quite comfortable with what I said about musk, Bransom and Bezos.

That is at least the second time you have misspelled "Branson". Out of all of the typos you do, that one is the most curious...

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Trippe had visions...

This is not the Trippe thread. If "Trippe" doesn't directly connect to "Blue Origin" then you're wasting space.

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In my view the next step is a try at non government operation on the space station as well as a restart of a lunar effort ie a lunar base kind of a space station (or slightly larger) sized effort on the Moon...

Not looking good for that right now. Congress seems to be choosing to keep the ISS until 2030 (https://spacenews.com/house-joins-senate-in-push-to-extend-iss/).

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Both Boeing and Blue seem to be positioning themselves for both those ... to me that is the right move.

Boeing is just a paid contractor. Sure, it's a very capable one, but Boeing is just a contractor.

Blue Origin is the "vehicle" that Jeff Bezos is using to expand humanity out into space. And I'm sure he would be quite happy to use Blue Origin to help the U.S. Government accomplish whatever they want to do in space, since that gives Blue Origin a chance to do real stuff in space - to practice at what Jeff Bezos wants them to excel at.

And Jeff Bezos is a very smart business person too, so he knows how having partners (or clients) can help magnify the resources you can have.

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I think Boeing, Blue and OSC are going to be in a pretty good position to make money on human space flight in that market which is going to be a government created one.

Again, who care about what contractors do? I know you have your fav, but they are just a contractor. Let's stick with talking about those that will risk their own money to change our future - which for this thread is the Jeff Bezos owned Blue Origin.

And as for the U.S. Government spending in space, if the ISS is extended out to 2030 then I think it's unlikely Congress will also approve big spending for the Lunar Gateway. And sure, Blue Origin will offer their services, just like everyone else. But I don't see that effort being a primary focus for Blue Origin, just a parallel effort of opportunity.

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I dont know that Boeing is making any promises about Mars.

No?

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"Eventually we're going to go to Mars, and I firmly believe the first person that sets foot on Mars will get there on a Boeing rocket," Muilenburg said.

Of course he meant as a contractor, not as a Boeing-led effort. Pure marketing.

The difference being that Jeff Bezos is willing to risk his own money for his goals.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: wannamoonbase on 09/27/2018 08:26 PM
Forgive me if this has been discussed. (with us nerds here it probably has been)

With ULA poised to select BE-4 it makes me think again that BO could/should buy ULA.  Experienced staff, existing contracts and legacy.

Don't know what it would cost but Boeing and Lockheed should see writing on the wall that ULA is a devaluing asset.

Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: programmerdan on 09/27/2018 08:30 PM
With the selection of Blue Origin's BE-4 for ULA's new Vulcan Centaur rocket, I'm curious what impact (if any) this will have on Blue Origin's own focus / plans for the future.

It seems from what we know so far this is just a natural next step -- produce a solid product, get buy-in on that product, use that product yourself.

Any scuttlebutt on other open bids for engine design, rocket parts (Avionics? Fairings? Composites?) or similar systems that Blue Origin might similarly seek to self-produce, then captivate existing demand?

With ULA poised to select BE-4 it makes me think again that BO could/should buy ULA.  Experienced staff, existing contracts and legacy.

Regarding my mention above, I doubt purchasing ULA would follow; better to have customers that depend on your product, and get your product into wider distribution, no? Blue Origin seeming to follow the pattern of Amazon...
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TripleSeven on 09/27/2018 08:46 PM


Not looking good for that right now. Congress seems to be choosing to keep the ISS until 2030 (https://spacenews.com/house-joins-senate-in-push-to-extend-iss/).

without a doubt, there will be an "ISS" for decades...the parts may change but the "thing" will stay.  it is essential as a "Magnet" for private enterprise to move into space

I am quite certain Blue is counting on this.  They are in the Trippe world. (sorry you dont grasp the Trippe analogy, thats not my problem :) )   .."Midway" island...just that its built by the US government.  Eventually it will get "new parts" that are private and owned and operated by private contractors.  Private contractors...

Launching those "parts" (like Bigelow, Axiom etc) are things that Blue will be quite happy to do...and the development and deployment  of those parts is eventually how a lunar base will be built.



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Boeing is just a paid contractor.

I think I have finally got it :) sorry you seem to think that both SpaceX and or Blue can settle the Moon or Mars without US government policy being that. 

if true..no I dont agree with that.  aside from regulatory issues the money to put a lunar base into operation and sustain it is going to be immense and in my view not a spending center (or cost center) that any private company can sustain, and that includes Bezos.

I dont think he would even try.  he recognizes even if you dont :) that without an economic engine to sustain it any such effort would quickly exhaust the funds available and would become a ghost town.

there is no history in modern or other times that would support thenotion that a private company without the backing of government has worked. 

as for Dennis. 

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"Eventually we're going to go to Mars, and I firmly believe the first person that sets foot on Mars will get there on a Boeing rocket," Muilenburg said.

he is quite mocking with that. 
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TripleSeven on 09/27/2018 09:20 PM
With the selection of Blue Origin's BE-4 for ULA's new Vulcan Centaur rocket, I'm curious what impact (if any) this will have on Blue Origin's own focus / plans for the future.

It seems from what we know so far this is just a natural next step -- produce a solid product, get buy-in on that product, use that product yourself.

to me this is fascinating because 1) its a solid product for Blue to sell...that will make them hard cash "now" AND it also will get someone else to validate their engine performance....which is also a big deal

what comes next if anything will be to see where ULA goes with Vulcan.  pure speculation...but the prefered method of Lockmart and Boeing is to intergrate things outside their core business...and well ...its not that big a stretch in my view to see ULA eventually start the marketing of NG as its booster...if they pass on Vulcan.  particularly if Blue flies in 2020 which I think that they will

Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lemurion on 09/27/2018 09:51 PM
As a fan, I think the selection of the BE-4 is very good for Blue. It shows everyone the company is serious and is building orbital-class hardware.

It also shows that Blue is marching to its own drummer, as BE-4 was clearly designed to meet Blue's needs for New Glenn rather than ULA's needs for Vulcan. LNG is less effective for a first stage than RP-1, but it's better for a reusable engine. Blue needs reusability to meet Bezos' goals while Vulcan doesn't. ULA may implement it's "SMART" reusability at some later point but it's not a requirement for their system the way it is for Blue.

The selection is an important step forward for Blue.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TripleSeven on 09/27/2018 10:59 PM
https://www.geekwire.com/2018/economic-report-lays-strategies-boost-washingtons-1-8b-space-industry/

a very very good article
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: meberbs on 09/27/2018 11:05 PM
(sorry you dont grasp the Trippe analogy, thats not my problem :) )
This is a discussion forum. Its purpose is for communication. If you make bad analogies that don't communicate your point well, it is in fact at least partially your problem. Costal Ron already explained why yours is a bad analogy, and you responded with a series of statements about Trippe that failed to have any apparent relevance to the thread.

I think I have finally got it :) sorry you seem to think that both SpaceX and or Blue can settle the Moon or Mars without US government policy being that. 

if true..no I dont agree with that.  aside from regulatory issues the money to put a lunar base into operation and sustain it is going to be immense and in my view not a spending center (or cost center) that any private company can sustain, and that includes Bezos.
The only thing the government needs to do is grant the flight permits. Government policy on these things otherwise is unnecessary (not unhelpful, just unnecessary.)

I dont think he would even try.  he recognizes even if you don't :) that without an economic engine to sustain it any such effort would quickly exhaust the funds available and would become a ghost town.
I am not sure if you are referring to Musk or Bezos with the statement I bolded, but in either case your assertion about what they think is inconsistent with both their words and actions. Your statement about an "economic engine" is basically countering your own point, because the government does not need to create any special policy to allow there to be an economic engine, and certainly the government does not need to be the one funding the program (in fact the more direct market pressure increases they likelihood of a sustainable economy if it doesn't start out heavily subsidized.)

there is no history in modern or other times that would support thenotion that a private company without the backing of government has worked. 
You may have missed a qualifier in there somewhere, but there are countless businesses in any capitalist country (even some in some nominally socialist or communist countries) that are not supported by the government, nor even offer goods or services that are consumed by the government.

as for Dennis. 
Quote
"Eventually we're going to go to Mars, and I firmly believe the first person that sets foot on Mars will get there on a Boeing rocket," Muilenburg said.

he is quite mocking with that.
Not sure what you are trying to say, but that quote was a serious statement from the CEO of Boeing, it is a misleading statement, like much of marketing, but it was not mocking.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lemurion on 09/27/2018 11:41 PM

(snipped, L)

Blue is in my opinion building engines, vehicles and payloads that when the US policy moves toward a lunar return he can 1) be a contractor as part of that, and 2) be part of a private industry effort to take advantage of the infrastructure developed on the US gov dime to make private profits

this isno different than Bigelow or Axiom or to a large extent Boeing as well

he is a modern day J. Trippe who has the money to also build his own hardware...





I have to disagree with your characterization of Jeff Bezos as looking to develop infrastructure on the US government's dime. To quote the man himself:

Quote
This is Blue Origin’s mission. Our mission is to try and put in place some of that heavy lifting infrastructure: Make access to space at much lower cost so that thousands of entrepreneurs can do amazing and interesting things, and take us into the next era. I’m very excited about it.

Source: https://www.geekwire.com/2016/interview-jeff-bezos/ (https://www.geekwire.com/2016/interview-jeff-bezos/)

Blue exists to lower the cost of access to space. Period; full stop. Jeff Bezos wants to stop throwing away beautiful hardware and make space access cheap enough for explosive growth. Yes, he intends to make money off it eventually, but the entire goal is the result of the fact that he got bitten hard by the space bug when he was a little kid and now that he's the richest person in the history of the world he's going to make it happen.

He doesn't want to be a government contractor or make money on infrastructure that the government paid for; his dreams aren't that small. They may not be as easily articulated as Elon Musk's desire to build a city on Mars, but they are no smaller. He is on record saying he wants a trillion people living in space.

The easiest way to miss the point with Blue is to think too small; Jeff Bezos' goals are anything but small.

Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lar on 09/27/2018 11:50 PM
This is a thread about Blue. Not SpaceX.  Not Boeing. Not ULA.  Unless directly related.  And definitely not Trippe.

When we have newcomers complaining, that's not a good sign.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/29/2018 04:09 AM
Apologies for the thread to remain low quality after the warning. I've removed it and Tripleseven is taking a break.

Carry on.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lemurion on 09/29/2018 04:44 PM
With the selection of BE-4 for Vulcan, I'm wondering how much effort Blue is going to put into the idea of engine sales. With Blue's avowed goal of lowering the cost of access to space I can certainly see them selling more engines in future, but I'm not seeing them ever developing an engine to order for a customer.

That's not to say that I can't see them restarting development on a vacuum BE-4 on a customer request (assuming anyone wanted such an engine), but I think any BE-5* would be developed according to Blue's needs not because someone else was throwing money at them to develop an engine.

*Placeholder designation used as it follows Blue's existing naming convention.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 09/29/2018 08:48 PM
With the selection of BE-4 for Vulcan, I'm wondering how much effort Blue is going to put into the idea of engine sales.

Even ignoring ITAR constraints, there just aren't that many rockets projected to start development in the near future worldwide, especially methane powered ones. I think ULA's Vulcan was a happy coincidence.

That said, Blue Origin seems willing to sell engines.

Quote
With Blue's avowed goal of lowering the cost of access to space I can certainly see them selling more engines in future, but I'm not seeing them ever developing an engine to order for a customer.

That sounds right to me.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lemurion on 09/29/2018 09:46 PM
With the selection of BE-4 for Vulcan, I'm wondering how much effort Blue is going to put into the idea of engine sales.

Even ignoring ITAR constraints, there just aren't that many rockets projected to start development in the near future worldwide, especially methane powered ones. I think ULA's Vulcan was a happy coincidence.

That said, Blue Origin seems willing to sell engines.

Quote
With Blue's avowed goal of lowering the cost of access to space I can certainly see them selling more engines in future, but I'm not seeing them ever developing an engine to order for a customer.

That sounds right to me.

Yeah, I think Blue's development strategy is along the lines of they'll happily accept money from people who want to buy into what they were going to do anyway, but that doesn't mean Blue will change plans to accommodate such potential customers.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lar on 09/30/2018 03:21 PM
Yeah, I think Blue's development strategy is along the lines of they'll happily accept money from people who want to buy into what they were going to do anyway, but that doesn't mean Blue will change plans to accommodate such potential customers.
Seems like an exceedingly smart model to me. Now if they could just work on the speed part? We need competition in the market.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lemurion on 09/30/2018 05:17 PM
Yeah, I think Blue's development strategy is along the lines of they'll happily accept money from people who want to buy into what they were going to do anyway, but that doesn't mean Blue will change plans to accommodate such potential customers.
Seems like an exceedingly smart model to me. Now if they could just work on the speed part? We need competition in the market.

While I can't argue that they haven't been going overboard on the gradatim as opposed to the ferocitor, I am beginning to think that we might be seeing Blue start to accelerate. Now that Blue has the New Glenn factory and launch site in hand the company may actually be able to spend money faster so that Bezos can dump that billion dollars into New Glenn effectively.

It's not a sure thing, but I'm beginning to think that 2020 launch date might not be looking quite as aspirational as it once did. Once Bezos gets the factory and launch facilities ready he's going to be less likely to delay if only because no matter how much he can afford he won't want to waste any more money than he has to.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Chasm on 09/30/2018 09:36 PM
Yeah, as soon as the factory is active they can spend a lot on things. Both machinery/tooling and flight hardware. Then use the pad to order more hardware.  :) [Presumes that they do some tests and don't go straight to customer launches.]

I think there are two major hurdles left.
- Winding and qualifying the first stage. Should be the biggest carbon fiber tanks that actually fly until BFR happens. Got to get that right and it does not seem like they already did some at the winding machine manufacturer. (My hope was Blue emptying a warehouse or two worth of tooling and prefabricated rocket parts as the factory gets completed.)
- Not blowing up on the pad. Preferably not blowing up at all, but certainly not on the pad.

Design? Building the rocket? Work that has to be done too.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Roy_H on 09/30/2018 10:48 PM
It is my big dream to see humanity to become a space-faring species, and I think that aligns with Jeff Bezos. As much as I believe what has been accomplished is amazing, I think the goal should be a large rotating space station that can provide a 1-g living environment and a 0-g work environment for research, manufacturing, entertainment and a way-point for travel beyond LEO. I have described such a station that could be built with present day technology designed for about 250 to 300 people. I think a primary function of such a station should be self-sufficiency as much as possible in terms of growing own food. Please see attached. It would be wonderful to see someone like Jeff Bezos to spearhead such a project.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lemurion on 10/01/2018 12:20 AM
It is my big dream to see humanity to become a space-faring species, and I think that aligns with Jeff Bezos. As much as I believe what has been accomplished is amazing, I think the goal should be a large rotating space station that can provide a 1-g living environment and a 0-g work environment for research, manufacturing, entertainment and a way-point for travel beyond LEO. I have described such a station that could be built with present day technology designed for about 250 to 300 people. I think a primary function of such a station should be self-sufficiency as much as possible in terms of growing own food. Please see attached. It would be wonderful to see someone like Jeff Bezos to spearhead such a project.

I think Jeff Bezos' goal is for Blue to provide the lift capacity so that any entrepreneur who has a great idea for a rotating station can focus on that while Blue handles the carriage trade.

Blue could potentially move toward building a station if it met Jeff Bezos' stated goals, possibly to enable entrepreneurs to leverage it into new industries. However, I don't think it's high on the list.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 10/01/2018 01:42 AM
It is my big dream to see humanity to become a space-faring species, and I think that aligns with Jeff Bezos.

What Jeff Bezos has said (https://interestingengineering.com/jeff-bezos-talks-amazon-crises-and-moving-humanity-to-outer-space):

Quote
By the way, I believe that in that timeframe we will move all heavy industry off of Earth and Earth will be zoned residential and light industry. It will basically be a very beautiful planet.

As much as I believe what has been accomplished is amazing, I think the goal should be a large rotating space station that can provide a 1-g living environment and a 0-g work environment for research, manufacturing, entertainment and a way-point for travel beyond LEO. I have described such a station that could be built with present day technology designed for about 250 to 300 people.

"We're gonna need a bigger boat."

If you want the attention of Jeff Bezos (which I assume you do since this is the Blue Origin thread, not your rotating space station thread (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34036.0)), then I think you'll need a space station design that can support HIS needs - and I think your design doesn't scale very well. And if you want to debate that, let's do it on your rotating space station thread...

Quote
I think a primary function of such a station should be self-sufficiency as much as possible in terms of growing own food.

Whether it is or isn't is OT for this thread... ;)

Quote
It would be wonderful to see someone like Jeff Bezos to spearhead such a project.

Pitch Bezos, or someone at Blue Origin. You won't know for sure if it's something he would want to fund unless you ask Bezos himself (or someone that knows his long-term needs).
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: brickmack on 10/01/2018 02:03 AM
Even ignoring ITAR constraints, there just aren't that many rockets projected to start development in the near future worldwide, especially methane powered ones. I think ULA's Vulcan was a happy coincidence.
Quote

One thing I think could be interesting to watch will be the eventual follow-on to Phantom Express, especially since we know Boeing was at one point partnered with Blue on that program. I think Boeing would like to stick with hydrogen probably, and RS-25/AR-22 is a fine choice for that, but its expensive, especially once they run out of surplus parts and need to make new engines (the RS-25E program helps some at least in terms of production restart, but they're still 50+ million a piece and further development/hardwsre costs will be needed to make a reusable version), and its poorly optimized for a booster role (a variant could be made for that, like SSME-35, but even higher dev costs). A cluster of BE-3s might be better, or maybe a hydrolox BE-4 (historically a lot of hydrolox engines have been adapted for methane at least for testing, so maybe the reverse is possible?). They evidently had some solution in mind for Phantom Express, which could probably be scaled up
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TrevorMonty on 10/02/2018 11:59 PM
Even ignoring ITAR constraints, there just aren't that many rockets projected to start development in the near future worldwide, especially methane powered ones. I think ULA's Vulcan was a happy coincidence.
Quote

One thing I think could be interesting to watch will be the eventual follow-on to Phantom Express, especially since we know Boeing was at one point partnered with Blue on that program. I think Boeing would like to stick with hydrogen probably, and RS-25/AR-22 is a fine choice for that, but its expensive, especially once they run out of surplus parts and need to make new engines (the RS-25E program helps some at least in terms of production restart, but they're still 50+ million a piece and further development/hardwsre costs will be needed to make a reusable version), and its poorly optimized for a booster role (a variant could be made for that, like SSME-35, but even higher dev costs). A cluster of BE-3s might be better, or maybe a hydrolox BE-4 (historically a lot of hydrolox engines have been adapted for methane at least for testing, so maybe the reverse is possible?). They evidently had some solution in mind for Phantom Express, which could probably be scaled up
I think Boeing was planning on using BE4, but delayed development meant it was gamble. DARPA probably wouldn't back them on half developed engine. Doesn't mean they won't redesign Phantom Express for BE4 in future, would need a high flight rate to justify it.

Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Marsin2010 on 10/10/2018 10:48 PM
I probably missed any prior post(s) about it but Blue now says that they will be building a NG launch pad at Vandenberg to support the Air Force LSA recently announced.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Markstark on 10/10/2018 11:14 PM
I probably missed any prior post(s) about it but Blue now says that they will be building a NG launch pad at Vandenberg to support the Air Force LSA recently announced.
I believe this is new info that we’re just learning from the Blue Origin press release
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/15/2018 02:52 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMdpdmJshFU
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/17/2018 01:48 PM
New Blue article with some nice photos:

Quote
Steven Levy business 10.15.18 03:15 pm

Jeff Bezos Wants Us All to Leave Earth—for Good

At Blue Origin, Amazon's space-obsessed founder is building rockets, and he hopes to someday blast humanity into an extraterrestrial future.

https://www.wired.com/story/jeff-bezos-blue-origin/
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/06/2018 07:48 PM
https://twitter.com/wapodavenport/status/1059899365467348992
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/07/2018 02:00 AM
Honestly, that tweet seems to imply it's some kind of problem, but without other information, I highly doubt it's a real concern.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 11/07/2018 02:53 AM
Honestly, that tweet seems to imply it's some kind of problem, but without other information, I highly doubt it's a real concern.

Sounds like he's leaving on a high note with all the accomplishments mentioned in the tweet.

Looking on LinkedIn he stepped back from being Blue Origin President from 2003-17 to Senior V.P. earlier this year, which could have been part of a planned exit strategy.

Previously he was a Senior Program Manager at Kistler Aerospace for 6 years, and before that he was an aerospace engineer at NASA for 12 years.

He has a great resume, so I have no doubt he'll be able to choose what he does next.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: ZachS09 on 11/07/2018 02:58 AM
Is it just me, or is Blue Origin taking their slogan “Gradatim Ferociter” too seriously?

I mean, for the last several years, they’ve been flying and landing the New Shepard while test-firing their engines, but they don’t have their orbital-class rocket ready for flight yet.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 11/07/2018 06:25 AM
Is it just me, or is Blue Origin taking their slogan “Gradatim Ferociter” too seriously?

I mean, for the last several years, they’ve been flying and landing the New Shepard while test-firing their engines, but they don’t have their orbital-class rocket ready for flight yet.

What part of "Gradatim" didn't you parse?

Seriously, the only person deciding how "fast" Blue is moving is Jeff Bezos. You can voice any concern you like but Bezos does how Bezos decides. All other opinions don't count.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TrevorMonty on 11/07/2018 08:34 AM
Is it just me, or is Blue Origin taking their slogan “Gradatim Ferociter” too seriously?

I mean, for the last several years, they’ve been flying and landing the New Shepard while test-firing their engines, but they don’t have their orbital-class rocket ready for flight yet.
The development pace for NG seems reasonable. Can't build LV without, engines, factory, launch pad and in case of NG landing ship. All of these are currently being built, factory and engine development are almost finished.

Pace of NS is different story considering its being flying for 2 years I'd expect lot more from it.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: high road on 11/07/2018 09:44 AM
Is it just me, or is Blue Origin taking their slogan “Gradatim Ferociter” too seriously?

I mean, for the last several years, they’ve been flying and landing the New Shepard while test-firing their engines, but they don’t have their orbital-class rocket ready for flight yet.

What now? You think they're moving slow because they don't have their next vehicle flight ready? How about getting people on their current suborbital vehicle, which is what it was designed for? Or at least increasing the number of test flights of their suborbital vehicle? Not saying they should, but that's the part they're being gradatim about, IMO. The orbital rocket is still quite a while down the road.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Chasm on 11/07/2018 12:30 PM
I also think so. New Sheppard is the more annoying gradatim. Blue should be able to fly NS a lot more often now. It work reliably and with the new license they can charge their customers.
Interest seems to be there too. Fly your experiments, get a good amount of high quality micro gravity and get them back.

So where is the problem? All hands on NG? Internal cost higher than they want to admit?
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: ZachS09 on 11/07/2018 12:33 PM
I thought that Gradatim was another word for slowly.

It was my mistake.

The reason why made that statement was because SpaceX launched their first orbital-class rocket four years after it was founded, but by the time Blue Origin launches New Glenn, it’ll have been twenty years since the company began.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: ncb1397 on 11/07/2018 12:44 PM

Pace of NS is different story considering its being flying for 2 years I'd expect lot more from it.


First flight was April 2015, 3 and a half years ago.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: edzieba on 11/07/2018 01:31 PM
I thought that Gradatim was another word for slowly.
The official translation is "Step by step, ferociously".

Somewhat ironic in that their steps have been: small suborbital test vehicle -> small suborbital test vehicle -> less small suborbital test vehicle -> heavy-lift reusable multi-stage orbital booster. Some steps appear to have been stepped right over.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: envy887 on 11/07/2018 01:36 PM
I thought that Gradatim was another word for slowly.
The official translation is "Step by step, ferociously".

Somewhat ironic in that their steps have been: small suborbital test vehicle -> small suborbital test vehicle -> less small suborbital test vehicle -> heavy-lift reusable multi-stage orbital booster. Some steps appear to have been stepped right over.

They are a bit long on the "step by step" part, and a bit short on the "ferociously" part, IMO.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TrevorMonty on 11/07/2018 02:25 PM
I thought that Gradatim was another word for slowly.

It was my mistake.

The reason why made that statement was because SpaceX launched their first orbital-class rocket four years after it was founded, but by the time Blue Origin launches New Glenn, it’ll have been twenty years since the company began.
Blue started with goal of RLV, they didn't see any reason to waste resources on ELV. A multi engine Be3 powered RLV was on todo list but somewhere along way they decided  to jump straight to more useful sized NG.

If cashflow was an issue I suspect they would've produced a BE3 RLV or ELV. NS would be flying regularly with paying passengers.




Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Lars-J on 11/07/2018 04:21 PM
If cashflow was an issue I suspect they would've produced a BE3 RLV or ELV. NS would be flying regularly with paying passengers.

Sure, but you need to fly to learn. Saying that you don't fly because you don't have to (we have all the cash we need!), that just points out that having tons of money does not buy you progress.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: TrevorMonty on 11/07/2018 05:52 PM
If cashflow was an issue I suspect they would've produced a BE3 RLV or ELV. NS would be flying regularly with paying passengers.

Sure, but you need to fly to learn. Saying that you don't fly because you don't have to (we have all the cash we need!), that just points out that having tons of money does not buy you progress.
A smaller orbital RLV would help them learn, but for extra cost of it they could afford to crater a few NGs. Even with smaller predecessor NG would still be new LV with all the associated early flight risks.
Better to go straight to useful NG and budget for a few early failures.

Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 11/07/2018 06:22 PM
I think this thread is an okay place for folks to vent some occasional steam over the apparent lack of continual progress on the many BO fronts. I too wish things would progress at a more jaunty pace. I mean, I only have so much time on this planet and I'd love to see great things happen during my short stay here.

That said however, here's my hope...

Blue has been working on many fronts for quite some time:
- sub-orbital rocket development
- orbital class engine development
- vacuum capable engine development
- restartable engine development
- orbital class rocket development
- rocket landing technology, both sub-orbital and orbital
- human-rated LSS
- landing ship development (and procurement)
- rocket production / refirb facility development (and buildout)
- tool development
- launch site development


And that's just to name a few. That's a lot of effort on many fronts. Therefore the apparent progress, when looking at any one area, appears quite slow. However I expect a logarithmic progression as these seemingly disparate development efforts converge and it's my thinking that we are standing at the base of a steep vertical climb on the timeline of progress, looking back at the nearly horizontal progress line and lamenting on the lack of progress without realizing the steep vertical progress line that's about to, ahem, rocket up just ahead of us. 


I hope I'm right, but the good thing is time will tell!
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: LouScheffer on 11/08/2018 01:49 PM
That's a lot of effort on many fronts. Therefore the apparent progress, when looking at any one area, appears quite slow. However I expect a logarithmic progression as these seemingly disparate development efforts converge...

That's the problem!   They've confused log() and exp() - with log(), progress gets slower and slower as time goes on, but with exp(), progress is slow at first, then speeds up dramatically.

In all seriousness, I worry that we don't see much experimental work, in areas like hypersonic aerodynamics.  This is super-non-trivial.  For example, *all* Mars probes are exactly the same shape, because it's known to work and no one trusts computational hypersonic aerodynamics enough try any other shape.  Likewise the Soviet Buran was exactly the same shape as the shuttle, for the same reason.

The fins on New Glenn have to work with known control laws at hypersonic speeds.  Likewise they will need to control heating on the hypersonic entry of the first stage, a notoriously tricky computational problem.  So I'd think Blue would be trying a New Shepard with New Glenn style fins, renting time on hypersonic tunnels, etc.  But I don't see any of this, and if you do a full-up design, *then* test it, there is a rather high risk of schedule-busting unexpected developments.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Tulse on 11/08/2018 03:42 PM
In all seriousness, I worry that we don't see much experimental work, in areas like hypersonic aerodynamics. 

[...]

The fins on New Glenn have to work with known control laws at hypersonic speeds.  Likewise they will need to control heating on the hypersonic entry of the first stage, a notoriously tricky computational problem.  So I'd think Blue would be trying a New Shepard with New Glenn style fins, renting time on hypersonic tunnels, etc.  But I don't see any of this, and if you do a full-up design, *then* test it, there is a rather high risk of schedule-busting unexpected developments.
And that is exactly what SpaceX seems to be doing with its "mini-BFS" -- experimentally testing the aerodynamics (and TPS) of its full-sized vehicle.  It would be very heartening to see BO do something similar.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: Slarty1080 on 11/12/2018 10:38 AM
In all seriousness, I worry that we don't see much experimental work, in areas like hypersonic aerodynamics. 

[...]

The fins on New Glenn have to work with known control laws at hypersonic speeds.  Likewise they will need to control heating on the hypersonic entry of the first stage, a notoriously tricky computational problem.  So I'd think Blue would be trying a New Shepard with New Glenn style fins, renting time on hypersonic tunnels, etc.  But I don't see any of this, and if you do a full-up design, *then* test it, there is a rather high risk of schedule-busting unexpected developments.
And that is exactly what SpaceX seems to be doing with its "mini-BFS" -- experimentally testing the aerodynamics (and TPS) of its full-sized vehicle.  It would be very heartening to see BO do something similar.

I wonder if BO are fearful of anything ever going wrong on a flight because if it does it might have an adverse effect on their standing due to their stated slow but sure method? Many might assume (wrongly IMO) that slow but sure means no accidents. If so real gaps in human knowledge might take them a long time to overcome. Whereas the SpaceX way of doing it would be very much suck it and see. If it blows up fix it and try again.
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: docmordrid on 11/13/2018 12:09 AM
>
I wonder if BO are fearful of anything ever going wrong on a flight because if it does it might have an adverse effect on their standing due to their stated slow but sure method? >

They've lost a vehicle  before, Propulsion Module 2 in 2011, and they had a BE-4 powerpack commit seppuku,  so I doubt it. 
Title: Re: Blue Origin General Discussion Thread 2
Post by: ZachS09 on 11/13/2018 12:48 AM
There was also a landing failure of the first New Shepard constructed; this occurred in April 2015. Despite the Crew Capsule landing safely, a hydraulic failure caused the booster to crash and burn.