Author Topic: Fairing reuse  (Read 526029 times)

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #100 on: 12/30/2015 12:04 AM »
Way back in the day when Falcon 9 was supposed to have half the current performance, the cost of the big 5m fairing was a significant portion of the launch cost:

http://www.space.com/1533-spacex-tackle-fully-reusable-heavy-lift-launch-vehicle.html
Quote
In the medium configuration, Falcon 9 would be priced at $27 million per flight with a 12 ft (3.6 m) fairing and $35 million with a 17 ft fairing.

...a difference of $8 million(!), which is more than the projected per-launch costs of a fully reusable Falcon 9 back when a reusable 2nd stage for Falcon 9 was still seriously on the table. And keep in mind that's the DIFFERENCE in price between the smaller (aluminum, I think) fairing and the larger fairing.

Some of that no doubt is market segmentation and differences in handling difficulty, but it seems safe to say that a large composite fairing could correspond to several million dollars in fabrication costs.

So yeah, once SpaceX is launching like 40+ flights per year as SpaceX intends to do over the next 5+ years, you're talking hundreds of millions of dollars in fairings just thrown away. It may indeed make sense to start recovering them if it's not too difficult.
« Last Edit: 12/30/2015 12:05 AM by Robotbeat »
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Offline QuantumG

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #101 on: 12/30/2015 12:10 AM »
They are very much still making them, the tooling and ovens are quite a prominent sight on tours, and there's always a couple halves in work.

Thanks. Is it still next to the coffee cart?
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Online Comga

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #102 on: 12/30/2015 05:52 AM »

So is the fairing that expensive, to be worth the extra effort needed for reusing? I thought it's a fairly simple shell which can be machine fabricated, so shouldn't be very expensive.

ULA and Ariane buy fairings from RUAG, a European company.  Although the contracts are not super specific, they seem to indicate 5-6 million per fairing..  The post that discusses this is here:   http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37727.msg1384676#msg1384676   This is not a huge fraction at current prices, but could become so if re-use works as hoped.

Ms Shotwell once said (don't have the reference handy) $6-7M for an RTLS Falcon 9.
That surely does not include disposing of a $5-6M fairing, even if SpaceX makes it for half that cost
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline OxCartMark

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #103 on: 03/07/2016 03:34 AM »
I'm hoping to move the recent discussion of the fairings to this dormant thread.  During the launch of SES-9 it there was a 2nd support ship, Go Searcher out which some speculated was for fairing recovery.  Then some commented that they saw puffs of thrust coming from the fairing halves.  I hope that its true but in the two great videos I've seen that show the fairing halves I'm not seeing it.  Thoughts / comments / observations?  Below are some posts I'm copying here for background.  There are other posts on this subject elsewhere as well.

So with the RCS visible from the fairings in launch video does it reinforce that GO Searcher is out supporting fairing recovery experiments?

That would be nice.  I've heard rumor of jets from the fairing halves in three places now but not seen it.  Can someone link the video?

edit: suggest we move any fairing discussion if it erupts into the fairing recovery thread that has been dormant for a while.  http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37727.0

This video has a good view of the jets: 

edit: OK, we have the times to look for -
Puffs from the upper fairing half at 5:20 and 5:27.  Discuss, you know you want to.

edit2: Yes, I'm buying it, it appears that way.  Fairing seperated around 4:40 youtube time so at 5:20 the fairing had been off for 40 seconds and by the next puff 47 seconds.  By then the 2nd stage should have moved well ahead and we shouldn't be seeing exhaust impingement.
« Last Edit: 03/07/2016 03:53 AM by OxCartMark »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #104 on: 03/07/2016 04:10 AM »
I could not see the puffs in question. Can you take a screenshot or series of stills to highlight what you believe is puffs from the fairing?? Even better would be a zoomed-in and stabilized GIF or video...
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Offline Ilikeboosterrockets

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #105 on: 03/07/2016 04:27 AM »
At 5:00 you can see 4 bright objects on the frame. The top object (in the frame) is a fairing, the one below that is the second stage, the one below that is the other fairing half, and the object near the bottom is the first stage. At 5:03 you can see a puff from the first stage, which is a GN2 ACS thruster firing to reorient the stage for reentry.

At 5:20, you can kinda see a small puff from the top fairing directed downwards. At 5:27, just as the camera is focussing back you can see a big puff from the top fairing (which has by now fallen below the second stage) directed towards the left of the screen.

Offline CJ

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #106 on: 03/07/2016 04:36 AM »
I spotted one puff (there may have been others) from a fairing half. It looked just like the N2 puffs we see (and have seen before) from the first stage when it's maneuvering post-MECO, only weaker.

Seeing as how there aren't any known gas bottles on the fairings (?) IMHO, this is evidence of something new on the fairings, and probably to do with recovery.     

I can't get it to show well in a screengrab, and I can't edit video or make GIFs from one. If you watch the vid, make sure to set it to HD or you won't see it. The puff occurs at 5:27 and emanates from the upper fairing half, and moves right to left.

 

Offline dorkmo

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #107 on: 03/07/2016 04:47 AM »
I could not see the puffs in question. Can you take a screenshot or series of stills to highlight what you believe is puffs from the fairing?? Even better would be a zoomed-in and stabilized GIF or video...

around 5:20 youtube time, there appears to be one main puff then maybe a short one immediately following, then a third right as the camera pans down.

at 5:28 there is a single puff.

i think there might be two small puffs simultaniously at 5:08 on the upper fairing.
« Last Edit: 03/07/2016 04:55 AM by dorkmo »

Offline dorkmo

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #108 on: 03/07/2016 05:06 AM »
ill mention that it seems like only one of the fairing halves is puffing. if this is indeed manuvering perhaps they are only testing one half to save weight.

personally i dont think there is enough evidence to say go searcher was for fairing recovery. though it could be possible.

Offline OnWithTheShow

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #109 on: 03/07/2016 05:12 AM »
Here is a gif

Offline Jdeshetler

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #110 on: 03/07/2016 06:43 AM »
Stabilized and close up...

Offline thor1872

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #111 on: 03/07/2016 06:54 AM »
may be this can help

Fairing Jason-3
https://imgur.com/a/anZ4r
Source:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasakennedy/sets/72157651824508130

edit: I just saw that if you zoom in, you can see some black round, they hide something.
« Last Edit: 03/07/2016 07:08 AM by thor1872 »

Online WBY1984

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #112 on: 03/07/2016 07:22 AM »
Can't quite understand what you're getting at: If you zoom in *where*, we see a black round *what*?

Offline thor1872

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #113 on: 03/07/2016 08:26 AM »
Can't quite understand what you're getting at: If you zoom in *where*, we see a black round *what*?
https://imgur.com/lUPlvL9  ;)

Online ugordan

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #114 on: 03/07/2016 08:29 AM »
Those would be separation joints/pushers. It's just your regular eyetar censorship.
« Last Edit: 03/07/2016 08:29 AM by ugordan »

Offline woods170

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #115 on: 03/07/2016 10:50 AM »
Those would be separation joints/pushers. It's just your regular eyetar censorship.
No, not even that. Proprietary censorship. Blanking out the details in those images was done by SpaceX itself. They are the source for those images.

Online ugordan

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #116 on: 03/07/2016 10:52 AM »
Those would be separation joints/pushers. It's just your regular eyetar censorship.
No, not even that. Proprietary censorship.

Perhaps, but eyetar sure comes in handy as an excuse.

Online WBY1984

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #117 on: 03/07/2016 11:58 AM »
So we've seen what might be RCS pulses coming from a fairing. My question is how does attitude control help recovery? I have no expertise, but why wouldn't you just stick a parachute on the thing and maybe a floatation device?

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #118 on: 03/07/2016 12:19 PM »
Stabilized and close up...
Wow, you all sure delivered!

There can be no question. Those look precisely like thruster firings.

They need thrusters to orient the fairings to come in at the correct orientation.

This is all fascinating. SpaceX continues to make surprising steps forward in reuse even when almost everyone else wouldn't bother. Bravo!
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Online Chris Bergin

Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #119 on: 03/07/2016 12:35 PM »
I'm pulling this face:



Didn't get any pre-note about this element (unlike the ballsy first stage landing attempt under three engines). I'm asking around, however!

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