Author Topic: Fairing reuse  (Read 508806 times)

Offline Avron

  • Canadian Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4924
  • Liked: 150
  • Likes Given: 152
Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #80 on: 12/26/2015 08:04 PM »
I'm pretty sure no one expects that Go Quest recovered a complete, intact, and reusable fairing from this mission.  But fairing fragments have washed up before, and Go Quest might have managed to locate some---or at least the piece which has the radio beacon and instrument package on it (if indeed some experiment of that sort was flown).
Go Quest would not be out looking for the fairing if they didn't intend to learn something from the pieces. The have found quite a few pieces already. What could have changed from the last mission to make them them want to go look for it?
 I'm not convinced GQ was looking for the fairing but if it was there must be something 'new' about this fairing.

might be looking for that GoPro

Offline ugordan

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7504
    • My mainly Cassini image gallery
  • Liked: 1725
  • Likes Given: 375
Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #81 on: 12/26/2015 08:07 PM »
might be looking for that GoPro

For those awesome shots of pitch-black darkness?

Offline Jakusb

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 760
  • NL
  • Liked: 542
  • Likes Given: 245
Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #82 on: 12/26/2015 08:22 PM »

Fairings break up and don't come down in one piece.

You mean: they used to, until some all daring new entrant challenged all status quo, carefully build up in the last 40 years.... ;)

Offline Avron

  • Canadian Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4924
  • Liked: 150
  • Likes Given: 152
Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #83 on: 12/26/2015 08:24 PM »
might be looking for that GoPro

For those awesome shots of pitch-black darkness?

we don't know that, I would suspect some data gathering of the fairing behaviour with this new  vehicle.

Offline Ixian77

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
  • US
  • Liked: 13
  • Likes Given: 12
Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #84 on: 12/26/2015 09:13 PM »
Fairings could retract back down along side second stage skin, in six segments. Deploy payload.
Then, after nose mounted superdracos fire to reorient second stage, fairing redeploy to act as TPS for reentry. As superdracos fire to land second stage, fairing partial retractment to act as landing legs.

You're welcome.

Offline cscott

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2886
  • Liked: 2012
  • Likes Given: 664
Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #85 on: 12/26/2015 10:06 PM »
That ignores the rocket equation: the fairing is a substantial mass thus wants to separate from the payload at the earliest possible opportunity.

Offline Comga

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4152
  • Liked: 1426
  • Likes Given: 1178
Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #86 on: 12/26/2015 10:23 PM »
Fairings could retract back down along side second stage skin, in six .....(snip)

You're welcome.
for nothing
Are you missing your winking emoticon?
If not, please stop with the Fireball XL5 / James Bond space prop descriptions.
Some of us are trying to be serious here.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline AJW

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 596
  • Liked: 490
  • Likes Given: 63
Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #87 on: 12/27/2015 06:04 AM »
I'm pretty sure no one expects that Go Quest recovered a complete, intact, and reusable fairing from this mission.  But fairing fragments have washed up before, and Go Quest might have managed to locate some---or at least the piece which has the radio beacon and instrument package on it (if indeed some experiment of that sort was flown).
Go Quest would not be out looking for the fairing if they didn't intend to learn something from the pieces. The have found quite a few pieces already. What could have changed from the last mission to make them them want to go look for it?
 I'm not convinced GQ was looking for the fairing but if it was there must be something 'new' about this fairing.

One significant change is that GQ didn't have a specific role in an RTLS flight, so if the resource is available, retask it.   If you want to study fairing reuse, start by recovering a fairing from a flight and see what you can learn from it.  And yes, pieces of fairings have been recovered, but typically months, or even a year later when they have been subjected to other kinds of damage.

Offline OxCartMark

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1071
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 828
  • Likes Given: 887
Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #88 on: 12/29/2015 04:05 AM »
Have we touched on how fairings get transported from Hawthorne to the distant launch sites?  They are 5M in diameter and if shipped in two halves you are going to have a load that's either 5M high (too high for bridges even without a trailer underneath) or 5M wide (obnoxiously wide but maybe possible with permits and convoy) or some awkward diagonal compromise.  Are they really shipped in halves or perhaps they might be in quarter circle slivers that are joined at the launch site.  If this is as big of a transportation problem as I'm thinking that would be another contributor (besides cost) to the desire to achieve fairing reusability.

And its been mentioned that fairing fabrication takes up a lot of space in Hawthorne and that SpaceX is beginning to run out of factory floorspace in Hawthorne (its landlocked).  It seems to me that fairing fabrication (whether in a disposable or reusable scenario) is decoupled from other manufacturing processes in Hawthorne enough that it would be a good candidate for being moved to another or multiple other facilities (perhaps closer to launch sites).

Offline oiorionsbelt

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1290
  • Liked: 532
  • Likes Given: 1211
Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #89 on: 12/29/2015 04:27 AM »
Have we touched on how fairings get transported from Hawthorne to the distant launch sites?  They are 5M in diameter and if shipped in two halves you are going to have a load that's either 5M high (too high for bridges even without a trailer underneath) or 5M wide (obnoxiously wide but maybe possible with permits and convoy) or some awkward diagonal compromise. .
This was just posted somewhere here but here it is again.
« Last Edit: 12/29/2015 04:33 AM by oiorionsbelt »

Offline QuantumG

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8480
  • Australia
  • Liked: 3391
  • Likes Given: 794
Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #90 on: 12/29/2015 05:26 AM »
Ya know, it does basically look like a boat..
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline kch

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1764
  • Liked: 492
  • Likes Given: 8815
Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #91 on: 12/29/2015 05:55 AM »
Ya know, it does basically look like a boat..

That it does.  I wonder if it might be able to generate lift (and perhaps be controllable), if properly oriented?

Offline Zed_Noir

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2376
  • Canada
  • Liked: 328
  • Likes Given: 537
Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #92 on: 12/29/2015 06:29 AM »
Ya know, it does basically look like a boat..

That it does.  I wonder if it might be able to generate lift (and perhaps be controllable), if properly oriented?

If someone add some pop out cold gas attitude thrusters to a PLF segment for some test drops.

Offline rds100

  • Member
  • Posts: 93
  • Liked: 8
  • Likes Given: 21
Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #93 on: 12/29/2015 07:16 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.

Offline Darkseraph

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 572
  • Liked: 266
  • Likes Given: 116
Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #94 on: 12/29/2015 07:22 AM »
I expect a propellant reuse thread any day soon... ;D


In all seriousness I don't think an off hand tweet is proof SpaceX are pouring very much effort into fairing reuse. They have already given up on second stage reuse for the Falcon 9 because it is more hassle than it is worth on this generation of vehicles. Fairings are bound to be a lot cheaper to construct than engines so making disposable fairings cheaper and/or lighter is probably a better use of time in the near term.

Some future vehicle with a reusable second stage could have a payload bay like the X37b/Shuttle. That won't be happening anytime soon though.  :/
"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." R.P.Feynman

Offline QuantumG

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8480
  • Australia
  • Liked: 3391
  • Likes Given: 794
Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #95 on: 12/29/2015 09:35 AM »
Last I heard they weren't even making them anymore. The kilns are not even at Hawthorn anymore are they?
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline MarekCyzio

Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #96 on: 12/29/2015 11:45 AM »
In all seriousness I don't think an off hand tweet is proof SpaceX are pouring very much effort into fairing reuse.

It is always a question of economics. Fairing may be relatively cheap, but also relatively easy to recover. It gets dropped at relatively low speeds, short exposures to saltwater do not cause significant damage, It only needs some simple systems to stabilize its descent (cold gas thrusters?, small aero fins or grids?), cushion water impact (drogue shute?) and keep it afloat for some time (baloons?). I am pretty sure SpaceX engineers are actively looking into this.

Offline Johnnyhinbos

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1324
  • Boston, MA
  • Liked: 1464
  • Likes Given: 211
Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #97 on: 12/29/2015 11:55 AM »
I know fairings are relatively simple structures, but I would venture to say they are deceptively simple structures. They are, after all, the sharp end of the sward - they take the bulk of the air pressure (I believe) during launch and if think a failure in the fairing would really ruin someone's day. Large composites are difficult to manufacture as well as labor intensive and slow production rates. All that, to me, spells a compelling reason to strive for reuse.
John Hanzl. Author, action / adventure www.johnhanzl.com

Offline sublimemarsupial

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 386
  • Liked: 258
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #98 on: 12/29/2015 02:53 PM »
Last I heard they weren't even making them anymore. The kilns are not even at Hawthorn anymore are they?

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.

Online LouScheffer

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1807
  • Liked: 2318
  • Likes Given: 253
Re: Fairing reuse
« Reply #99 on: 12/29/2015 04:12 PM »

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.

Tags: