Author Topic: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)  (Read 678706 times)

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2480 on: 01/13/2019 03:38 am »
Interesting to see a few satellite positions opened in Hawthorne.  The balance of power seems to still reside in Redmond and there are still a few open positions for ASIC design in Irving.  Note that staffing at Redmond seems static to slightly lower.

Offline su27k

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2481 on: 02/07/2019 03:55 pm »
New FCC filing: https://fcc.report/IBFS/SES-LIC-INTR2019-00217/1616678

Quote
A sister company, SpaceX Services, Inc. (“SpaceX Services”) seeks a blanket license authorizing operation of up to 1,000,000 earth stations that end-user customers will utilize  to  communicate  with  SpaceX’s  NGSO  constellation.

Online Cheapchips

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2482 on: 02/08/2019 09:06 am »

Setting it up a sister company suggests that they are at least thinking about rolling Starlink out into its own entity someday?

Offline gongora

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2483 on: 02/08/2019 01:35 pm »

Setting it up a sister company suggests that they are at least thinking about rolling Starlink out into its own entity someday?

Starlink (Space Exploration Holdings) is already a subsidiary of SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies).  Gives them more flexibility if they need to bring in partners (more money) to complete it.

Online spacenut

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2484 on: 02/09/2019 03:42 am »
I have some questions about Starlink.

Have they solidified the design of the satellites?

Have they started mass producing them?

If so, can Falcon 9 begin installation before Starship is complete? 

Online docmordrid

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2485 on: 02/09/2019 04:02 am »
I have some questions about Starlink.

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Have they solidified the design of the satellites?

Have they started mass producing them?

Given the recent FCC filing which states StarLink launches begin this year, if the design isn't complete and production started they'll need to get cracking.

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If so, can Falcon 9 begin installation before Starship is complete?

@elonmusk
Starlink V1 on Falcon, V2+ on Starship. Basically, all future products will contain either the word “star” or “link” 😀

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1076614135138312192
« Last Edit: 02/09/2019 04:02 am by docmordrid »
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Offline PM3

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2486 on: 02/10/2019 02:29 pm »
This analysis is somewhat old - November 2017 - but it was not mentioned yet in this thread.

Space: Investment Implications of the Final Frontier by Morgan Stanley, page 31

386 kg / Satellite for 1150-1275 km orbits
50 satellites per rocket
=> 19,3 tons of satellites per launch

Offline ThomasGadd

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2487 on: 02/10/2019 06:16 pm »
This analysis is somewhat old - November 2017 - but it was not mentioned yet in this thread.

Space: Investment Implications of the Final Frontier by Morgan Stanley, page 31

386 kg / Satellite for 1150-1275 km orbits
50 satellites per rocket
=> 19,3 tons of satellites per launch

This analysis is out of date, launching 50 satellites at the higher altitude required BFR.

The current constellation is: 24 planes with 66 satellites at 550 km.
The Falcon 9 can handle this directly.
There has a lot of discussion about how many per launch from a mass limited 25 to volume limited 22ish. 
A key thing we don't know is how they pack them in F9 fairing...


« Last Edit: 02/10/2019 06:39 pm by ThomasGadd »

Offline PM3

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2488 on: 02/10/2019 09:28 pm »
This analysis is somewhat old - November 2017 - but it was not mentioned yet in this thread.

Space: Investment Implications of the Final Frontier by Morgan Stanley, page 31

386 kg / Satellite for 1150-1275 km orbits
50 satellites per rocket
=> 19,3 tons of satellites per launch

This analysis is out of date, launching 50 satellites at the higher altitude required BFR.

19,3 tons + dispenser to a 1200 km transfer orbit should be no problem for Falcon Heavy - it is capable of 26,7 tons to GTO!

If they were talking about BFR - 850 m³ / 150 t LEO payload planned at that time - the number would have been much higher.

Quote
The current constellation is: 24 planes with 66 satellites at 550 km.
The Falcon 9 can handle this directly.
There has a lot of discussion about how many per launch from a mass limited 25 to volume limited 22ish. 
A key thing we don't know is how they pack them in F9 fairing...

The sats for 550 km orbit will go first (if they get the FCC approval), but there are still 2825 satellites planned for 1110-1325 km orbits, see here on page 17.

I assume that Morgan Stanley did not invent numbers like 386 kg, but had some info that SpaceX gave to investors. This would indicate that 50 pcs fit into one Falcon fairing.
« Last Edit: 02/10/2019 09:39 pm by PM3 »

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2489 on: 02/10/2019 09:38 pm »
I assume that Morgan Stanley did not invent numbers like 386 kg, but had some info that SpaceX gave to investors. This would indicate that 50 pcs fit into one falcon fairing.

Don't think that's a good assumption.  Having followed Tesla closely, and seeing those same Morgan Stanley analysts so far off the mark so often, I assume that they are rather just making numbers up.  We have to assume that they are assuming.

Rather, probably SpaceX doesn't know for sure the size and mass beyond the first 1,400.  Maybe it will change over time.

Offline Nomadd

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2490 on: 02/10/2019 09:46 pm »
 A not insignificant issue might be how much they can put up with RTLS, or 3xRTLS with the Heavy. Elon said that each drone recovery costs a couple of million dollars, which would add up over a hundred or so Falcon launches.
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.

Offline ThomasGadd

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2491 on: 02/10/2019 09:56 pm »
Starship is the preferred solution but if Starlink is ready before SS is they can start launching satellites  to build operational experience it depends on the timing of the operational SS.
« Last Edit: 02/10/2019 09:58 pm by ThomasGadd »

Offline randomly

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2492 on: 02/10/2019 10:36 pm »
So we don't really know how many satellites they can put on an F9 or FH, are they volume limited in the fairing, or weight limited. Also how fast can they make second stages? If they are weight limited , launching on FH will also save on upper stages.

Offline matthewkantar

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2493 on: 02/10/2019 11:04 pm »
Launch as many as you can fit (volume) or lift (mass) on a RTLS Falcon-9. With one day turn arounds and three pads, this might be the cheapest, fastest way forward.

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2494 on: 02/11/2019 05:50 pm »
Launch as many as you can fit (volume) or lift (mass) on a RTLS Falcon-9. With one day turn arounds and three pads, this might be the cheapest, fastest way forward.
SLC-4E currently cannot support 1 day turnarounds due to TEL and Reaction Frame limitations at that pad. The other pads can only theoretically support that rate but actuality has not achieved that rate.

Offline dglow

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2495 on: 02/11/2019 06:31 pm »
So we don't really know how many satellites they can put on an F9 or FH, are they volume limited in the fairing, or weight limited. Also how fast can they make second stages? If they are weight limited , launching on FH will also save on upper stages.

If volume-limited then SpaceX will use a larger fairing.

Offline Alastor

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2496 on: 02/11/2019 07:19 pm »
So we don't really know how many satellites they can put on an F9 or FH, are they volume limited in the fairing, or weight limited. Also how fast can they make second stages? If they are weight limited , launching on FH will also save on upper stages.
If volume-limited then SpaceX will use a larger fairing.

So far, they always have said that they offered only one fairing size and have not shown any inclination to changing their minds on that part.
They might be led to consider developing a new fairing size if it becomes vital for Starlink, but so far, nothing supports your theory that they would actually follow through on this idea.

Perhaps it would be overall cheaper or easier for them to setup a new launch location. Or something else ...
There are plenty of solutions available to the "I have not enough satellite bandwidth" problem. And I don't think we have the elements at hand to understand fully what they would decide.

Making a bigger fairing doesn't seem like something easy nor cheap at the very least, given that it's actually a limitation for their customers, relative to other launch providers. So if it was cheap and/or easy, they would have provided this alternative a long time ago I believe.

Edit : Uh, scrap that, guess i'm wrong. Thanks docmordrid. I forgot about that one ...
When too much info to handle becomes a problem :-P
« Last Edit: 02/12/2019 09:44 am by Alastor »

Online docmordrid

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2497 on: 02/11/2019 07:32 pm »
So we don't really know how many satellites they can put on an F9 or FH, are they volume limited in the fairing, or weight limited. Also how fast can they make second stages? If they are weight limited , launching on FH will also save on upper stages.
If volume-limited then SpaceX will use a larger fairing.

So far, they always have said that they offered only one fairing size and have not shown any inclination to changing their minds on that part.
>

1 year ago tomorrow,

Elon Musk ✓ @elonmusk
Under consideration. We’ve already stretched the upper stage once. Easiest part of the rocket to change. Fairing 2, flying soon, also has a slightly larger diameter. Could make fairing much longer if need be & will if BFR takes longer than expected.

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/963095860060934144
« Last Edit: 02/11/2019 07:34 pm by docmordrid »
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Online Cheapchips

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2498 on: 02/11/2019 07:38 pm »
Quote
& will if BFR takes longer than expected

So no larger fairing for Starlink, based on current Starship timeline positivity.

Offline Lar

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Re: SpaceX - now a satellite manufacturer (Starlink)
« Reply #2499 on: 02/11/2019 07:47 pm »
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& will if BFR takes longer than expected

So no larger fairing for Starlink, based on current Starship timeline positivity.
Anyone have  a good feel for how much development effort a longer (but otherwise unchanged) fairing represents? And how long it might take? Maybe they are doing long lead time things now just in case and we don't have that level of insight?
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