Author Topic: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles  (Read 176078 times)

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #380 on: 06/07/2016 11:23 PM »
IMHO SX regards relaunch as launch. That within days/weeks of receiving booster, it can be comfortably chosen for reflight.

So, they got recovered stages. And more. Weeks of them. They are not comfortable with reflight.

This suggests significant work underway. Note also that 39A could have had a stage doing fit checks, cold flows, etc while they work the issues. No hint of that. That tells you that Dragon 2  and FH aren't pressing issues for them, to advance 39A.

Also, there's no additional static fires for reflight. They need more of something before that happens. Suggest engine/engine section issues that need to be worked/tested/qualified to advance "comfort".

It may be that refurbishment is not the issue, but design/operation of a non refurbished vehicle that doesn't violate "comfort" issues is the logjam for 39A/reflight/FH/Dragon 2.

Online docmordrid

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #381 on: 06/07/2016 11:38 PM »
Just my opinion.
How dare Spacex skip the test flight of a re-used booster. They've gone straight to selling them.
>
now we don't get to speculate if customers will be interested in used boosters.[/n]

Sounds like they are interested. SES has been downright campaigning to get the first ride on a reused booster, and it seems there's a second taker. Methinks at the right price the trickle becomes much more than that.
DM

Offline shooter6947

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #382 on: 06/08/2016 12:00 AM »
I think it's a shame to wash the booster that they are going to put on their front lawn. To me the charring pattern of a landed F9 first stage is what makes it so distinctive.

Makes me wonder . . .  maybe since they've got so many cores, and OG2 is in perhaps the best shape, might make more sense to refly the OG2 core and display Thaicom instead.  Certainly doesn't make much sense that they went and painted in the chips on OG2 if that's still the display model.

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #383 on: 06/08/2016 12:18 AM »
IMHO SX regards relaunch as launch. That within days/weeks of receiving booster, it can be comfortably chosen for reflight.

So, they got recovered stages. And more. Weeks of them. They are not comfortable with reflight.

This suggests significant work underway. Note also that 39A could have had a stage doing fit checks, cold flows, etc while they work the issues. No hint of that. That tells you that Dragon 2  and FH aren't pressing issues for them, to advance 39A.

Also, there's no additional static fires for reflight. They need more of something before that happens. Suggest engine/engine section issues that need to be worked/tested/qualified to advance "comfort".

It may be that refurbishment is not the issue, but design/operation of a non refurbished vehicle that doesn't violate "comfort" issues is the logjam for 39A/reflight/FH/Dragon 2.
Or, the engines that have they have obviously removed from the rockets have been tested in McGregor without the stage attached already and we just don't know it. And I am pretty sure that they are waiting to see the test results for their "baseline" booster from flight 24. I presume that they are being thorough.

Online guckyfan

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #384 on: 06/08/2016 05:28 AM »
It may be that refurbishment is not the issue, but design/operation of a non refurbished vehicle that doesn't violate "comfort" issues is the logjam for 39A/reflight/FH/Dragon 2.

Sounds right to me. There are certainly some technical issues to work too. But what they need is a workflow and a certification flow, that satisfies insurance companies.

And most of all it needs to satisfy Elon Musk. He is not going to establish reflight as the low cost alternative. Reflight absolutely needs to be at least as reliable as flying a new core.

Offline Kabloona

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #385 on: 06/08/2016 02:49 PM »
Quote
He is not going to establish reflight as the low cost alternative.

If reflight won't be a lower-cost alternative to flying on a new stage, why would any customer choose that option, and why would SpaceX bother with this whole recovery effort? Or am I totally missing your point?

Quote
Reflight absolutely needs to be at least as reliable as flying a new core.

The problem with that statement is that an equal level of reliability can't be *demonstrated* until successful reflight has been done the same number of times as new F9 launches, so you're talking 25+ successful reflights, which will take years. So until then, it's a matter of judgment on the part of insurance companies and customers as to the risk level, and customers are going to want that price cut incentive to take the perceived risk, given the lack of reflight experience, at least until a substantial reflight history is built up.

Insurers are probably also going to want higher premiums until that history is built up, and a price cut from SpaceX needs to more than offset the higher premium.
« Last Edit: 06/08/2016 03:09 PM by Kabloona »

Offline RDoc

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #386 on: 06/08/2016 03:08 PM »
I think guckyfan's point, which I totally agree with, is that while reuse is going to lower cost, it's also actually going to improve reliability. The notion that the first flight is the reliable, expensive one, and subsequent flights are risky, second class ones that only are attractive because of cost, isn't SpaceX's.

The second and subsequent flights of aircraft aren't riskier than the maiden flight.

Offline Kabloona

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #387 on: 06/08/2016 03:12 PM »
I think guckyfan's point, which I totally agree with, is that while reuse is going to lower cost, it's also actually going to improve reliability. The notion that the first flight is the reliable, expensive one, and subsequent flights are risky, second class ones that only are attractive because of cost, isn't SpaceX's.

The second and subsequent flights of aircraft aren't riskier than the maiden flight.

In other words, he meant "reflight is not going to be the low  *reliability* alternative?" Then I wish he'd said "reliability" instead of "cost."  ;)
« Last Edit: 06/08/2016 03:13 PM by Kabloona »

Offline Lar

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #388 on: 06/08/2016 03:46 PM »
SpaceX is saying not only are reflights going to cost less, they are also going to be more reliable. It's not just a decision on cost. Or just on reliability.

Competitors are trying to position SpaceX as "well maybe they cost less but they are also less reliable" which I think SpaceX is rejecting
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Offline Kabloona

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #389 on: 06/08/2016 03:58 PM »
SpaceX is saying not only are reflights going to cost less, they are also going to be more reliable.

That is an intriguing possibility, but for the next few years until a proven flight history is built up, relative reliability is in the eyes of the beholders, ie insurance companies and customers.

I expect in the near term, lacking actual flight history, insurance companies may charge slightly higher premiums that will be more than offset by price reductions from SpaceX. So lack of flight history may not be an obstacle in the near term, but until flight history is built up, relative relability will continue to be a matter of engineering/actuarial judgment.

Offline starhawk92

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #390 on: 06/08/2016 04:42 PM »
So, there were those stripes on the engine bell for the Thaicom flight.  Have we seen a post-flight picture of that same engine?  Any conclusions on what it was all about?

Online abaddon

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #391 on: 06/08/2016 04:48 PM »
So, there were those stripes on the engine bell for the Thaicom flight.  Have we seen a post-flight picture of that same engine?
IIRC there were images that showed that bell post-flight.  Unfortunately I don't have a link for you.
Quote
Any conclusions on what it was all about?
Chris B already has definitively stated that it is a TPS experiment.

Offline envy887

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #392 on: 06/08/2016 04:53 PM »
So, there were those stripes on the engine bell for the Thaicom flight.  Have we seen a post-flight picture of that same engine?
IIRC there were images that showed that bell post-flight.  Unfortunately I don't have a link for you.
Quote
Any conclusions on what it was all about?
Chris B already has definitively stated that it is a TPS experiment.

I think this is the striped one:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40393.msg1543815#msg1543815

Online AC in NC

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #393 on: 06/08/2016 06:20 PM »
In other words, he meant "reflight is not going to be the low  *reliability* alternative?" Then I wish he'd said "reliability" instead of "cost."  ;)

I think it really may be more about cost.  When reflight is reliable, SpaceX still wants to sell for full price.  SpaceX only need outbid everyone else and be as reliable or better.

Think of it like this.  SpaceX is selling an orbited payload.  The value of that from the paying customer's perspective doesn't change with the cost of the method.  SpaceX will price at the best price they can get from the market unless they are doing something for charitable reasons.

Offline Kabloona

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #394 on: 06/08/2016 06:29 PM »
Quote
I think it really may be more about cost.  When reflight is reliable, SpaceX still wants to sell for full price. 

I'm not convinced that's the case. Musk has been adamant about driving down the cost of space access and has talked a lot about ultimately getting to the point where the marginal cost of reuse (theoretically) is only the cost of refuelling and launching. I may be wrong but he seems genuinely more interested in reducing the cost of space access for customers than in maximizing profit.

And even if they reduce the cost of reflight by, say, $20M, but pass only half of that savings on to the customer, that's still win-win.
« Last Edit: 06/08/2016 06:42 PM by Kabloona »

Offline Wolfram66

Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #395 on: 06/08/2016 06:35 PM »
So, there were those stripes on the engine bell for the Thaicom flight.  Have we seen a post-flight picture of that same engine?
IIRC there were images that showed that bell post-flight.  Unfortunately I don't have a link for you.
Quote
Any conclusions on what it was all about?
Chris B already has definitively stated that it is a TPS experiment.

I think this is the striped one:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40393.msg1543815#msg1543815

This is the correct link to the "Beetlejuice Engine" http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40393.msg1544453#msg1544453 and the results of the TPS experiment
« Last Edit: 06/08/2016 06:36 PM by Wolfram66 »

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #396 on: 06/08/2016 06:52 PM »
In other words, he meant "reflight is not going to be the low  *reliability* alternative?" Then I wish he'd said "reliability" instead of "cost."  ;)

I think it really may be more about cost.  When reflight is reliable, SpaceX still wants to sell for full price.  SpaceX only need outbid everyone else and be as reliable or better.
IOW exactly  like every other LV supplier.   :(

You're saying that basically SX is looking to lower it's costs, but not it's prices.

This will therefor make no change to the size of the existing market.

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Offline malu5531

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #397 on: 06/08/2016 06:52 PM »
One of the stages (to the right) has been washed.

They've started refurbishing the stage that will be reflown later this year?

Too bad for the post flight patina though. :/

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #398 on: 06/08/2016 06:53 PM »
Quote
I think it really may be more about cost.  When reflight is reliable, SpaceX still wants to sell for full price. 

I'm not convinced that's the case. Musk has been adamant about driving down the cost of space access and has talked a lot about ultimately getting to the point where the marginal cost of reuse (theoretically) is only the cost of refuelling and launching. I may be wrong but he seems genuinely more interested in reducing the cost of space access for customers than in maximizing profit.

And even if they reduce the cost of reflight by, say, $20M, but pass only half of that savings on to the customer, that's still win-win.
I'll chime in for a sec to concur. As was said by Elon a few years back that his goal was full re-usability (what I call "gas n' go") with his airliner model. He also went further to say that if he did't get to that point he would fold up his tent, which raised my brows thus-sly ???
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #399 on: 06/08/2016 06:59 PM »
In other words, he meant "reflight is not going to be the low  *reliability* alternative?" Then I wish he'd said "reliability" instead of "cost."  ;)

I think it really may be more about cost.  When reflight is reliable, SpaceX still wants to sell for full price.  SpaceX only need outbid everyone else and be as reliable or better.
IOW exactly  like every other LV supplier.   :(

You're saying that basically SX is looking to lower it's costs, but not it's prices.

This will therefor make no change to the size of the existing market.
False. If new companies enter the market and are able to reduce their costs, there is naturally more competition (because more players), and so prices come down.

This can happen even without costs coming down, but pretty soon you'll have companies going bankrupt and exiting. So in reality, yes, reducing costs will allow prices to be reduced in a competitive market.
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