Author Topic: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles  (Read 211416 times)

Offline Lar

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #340 on: 06/06/2016 03:43 PM »
Only SRB's and Blue Origin have reused their hardware.  Landed stages that aren't reused are a novel but meaningless accomplishment.
Right...

SpaceX can
....launch Falcon 1 but they'll never scale it up.
....launch a Dragon but they'll never get it to dock with ISS
....launch a Dragon but payload fairings are hard.
....launch stuff but they never will be able to beat the incumbents on price
....launch stuff for less but they MUST be losing money
....launch for NASA and commercial but never DOD
....never launch to GTO orbits, F9 is a LEO launcher only.
....never launch two satellites at once
....never land a booster
....never land a booster on an ASDS
....never land a HIGH ENERGY booster on an ASDS

did I miss any?

Betting that they won't crack reuse eventually and make it cost effective? Fools bet.  (If you want to bet that way and are serious, contact me, I'll cover the other side of it)

After they reuse one, I can just hear it now
....never reuse one more than once, that was a fluke....
« Last Edit: 06/06/2016 03:44 PM by Lar »
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline envy887

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #341 on: 06/06/2016 04:00 PM »
It doesn't matter if landed or splashed or orbital or suborbital.

Only SRB's and Blue Origin have reused their hardware.  Landed stages that aren't reused are a novel but meaningless accomplishment.

That entirely depends on your definition of "matter". In the context of lowering cost to orbit and advancing interplanetary exploration, suborbital reusable systems are about as relevant and novel as a Boeing 737. They are still interesting in their own right.

And splashing increases the effort required for reuse by something like an order of magnitude compared to a soft landing, so it's also definitely relevant in this context. The SRBs reflew some components, but skipping refurb was never even on the table since they couldn't be refueled even if they were landed.

Online JamesH65

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #342 on: 06/06/2016 04:02 PM »

Big can of worms, but relevant discussion in the reuse thread...
The Shuttle Orbiter landed many times, but was neither a orbital rocket (i.e. complete launch vehicle) nor an orbital class booster. It was a reentry vehicle with orbital engines. The SRBs were orbital class boosters but they were never landed (or barged), they splashed. Blue Origin hasn't flown a orbital class booster, nevermind landed one.

To my knowledge, SpaceX is the first to land (or barge) a heavy lift orbital class booster. It's not interesting because of who was the first to do it, but because it is indeed a novel accomplishment.


It doesn't matter if landed or splashed or orbital or suborbital.

Only SRB's and Blue Origin have reused their hardware.  Landed stages that aren't reused are a novel but meaningless accomplishment.

Absolute rubbish.

For one massive reason. In order to use a stage again, YOU NEED TO BE ABLE TO LAND IT FIRST. Therefor being able to land a stage IS NOT MEANINGLESS, whether or not a particular stage is in fact reused.

Not sure how many times you need to be told this.




Offline Jim

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #343 on: 06/06/2016 04:16 PM »
Absolute rubbish.

For one massive reason. In order to use a stage again, YOU NEED TO BE ABLE TO LAND IT FIRST. Therefor being able to land a stage IS NOT MEANINGLESS, whether or not a particular stage is in fact reused.

Not sure how many times you need to be told this.


Wrong. Again, landing a stage doesn't mean it can be reused.  I don't know how many times you need to be told this.

Offline Jim

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #344 on: 06/06/2016 04:18 PM »

SpaceX can
....launch Falcon 1 but they'll never scale it up.
....launch a Dragon but they'll never get it to dock with ISS
....launch a Dragon but payload fairings are hard.
....launch stuff but they never will be able to beat the incumbents on price
....launch stuff for less but they MUST be losing money
....launch for NASA and commercial but never DOD
....never launch to GTO orbits, F9 is a LEO launcher only.
....never launch two satellites at once
....never land a booster
....never land a booster on an ASDS
....never land a HIGH ENERGY booster on an ASDS

did I miss any?


You tell me.  Not my list or anything I said.
« Last Edit: 06/06/2016 04:19 PM by Jim »

Offline Lar

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #345 on: 06/06/2016 04:23 PM »
Every one of the things on my list was said by someone at NSF.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline envy887

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #346 on: 06/06/2016 04:48 PM »
Absolute rubbish.

For one massive reason. In order to use a stage again, YOU NEED TO BE ABLE TO LAND IT FIRST. Therefor being able to land a stage IS NOT MEANINGLESS, whether or not a particular stage is in fact reused.

Not sure how many times you need to be told this.


Wrong. Again, landing a stage doesn't mean it can be reused.  I don't know how many times you need to be told this.

Anything can be reused with enough effort. Whether it's economical to expend that effort is a different question... one that's not yet been answered for Falcon. Successfully landing is definitely on the critical path though, and the landings will generate interest at least until that question is answered.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #347 on: 06/06/2016 05:32 PM »
Absolute rubbish.

For one massive reason. In order to use a stage again, YOU NEED TO BE ABLE TO LAND IT FIRST. Therefor being able to land a stage IS NOT MEANINGLESS, whether or not a particular stage is in fact reused.

Not sure how many times you need to be told this.


Wrong. Again, landing a stage doesn't mean it can be reused.  I don't know how many times you need to be told this.

Anything can be reused with enough effort. Whether it's economical to expend that effort is a different question... one that's not yet been answered for Falcon. Successfully landing is definitely on the critical path though, and the landings will generate interest at least until that question is answered.

Interesting to see the reuse issue veer from "it's not possible" to "it's probably not financially worth it."

The more that reuse is proven, the more the goal posts are moved towards almost-unanswerable questions. Like, how would it be possible for outsiders to know for sure whether the financial cost of reuse is much lower than making a new stage? At some point, you need to just trust that those who are doing it are doing it for a real reason. But it's ALWAYS possible to claim, "well, it's not REALLY reuse that is lowering their costs..."
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline Lar

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #348 on: 06/06/2016 05:41 PM »
Interesting to see the reuse issue veer from "it's not possible" to "it's probably not financially worth it."

The more that reuse is proven, the more the goal posts are moved towards almost-unanswerable questions. Like, how would it be possible for outsiders to know for sure whether the financial cost of reuse is much lower than making a new stage? At some point, you need to just trust that those who are doing it are doing it for a real reason. But it's ALWAYS possible to claim, "well, it's not REALLY reuse that is lowering their costs..."

Exactly!!  and that's what I was driving at with my pseudolist of things people claimed SpaceX can't do...
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #349 on: 06/06/2016 07:24 PM »
Right...

SpaceX can
....launch Falcon 1 but they'll never scale it up.
....launch a Dragon but they'll never get it to dock with ISS
....launch a Dragon but payload fairings are hard.
....launch stuff but they never will be able to beat the incumbents on price
....launch stuff for less but they MUST be losing money
....launch for NASA and commercial but never DOD
....never launch to GTO orbits, F9 is a LEO launcher only.
....never launch two satellites at once
....never land a booster
....never land a booster on an ASDS
....never land a HIGH ENERGY booster on an ASDS

did I miss any?
Yes.
...land the F9 upper stage for reuse.

Quote
Betting that they won't crack reuse eventually and make it cost effective? Fools bet.  (If you want to bet that way and are serious, contact me, I'll cover the other side of it)
Actually that's two bets. Crack reuse (do you mean full reuse or just the first stage?) and cost effective reuse?
Quote
After they reuse one, I can just hear it now
....never reuse one more than once, that was a fluke....
And that would be a third bet.
Wrong. Again, landing a stage doesn't mean it can be reused. 
True. It's not a sufficient requirement. It is however a necessary requirement, and it does mean SX have actual hardware that has been through the full launch/separation//land cycle and now know what damage that cycle inflicts on the the systems and structures of the stage.

First stage recovery and reuse was talked about and somewhat studied throughout the 1960's and 70'. Various mfgs said they could do it (if NASA/DoD/The Tooth Fairy paid them enough) but none of them did.   :(

Given that stage (ideally whole vehicle) reuse has been a goal of SX since day 1 it seems a safe bet that that goal has been a high level driver for all design decisions.

Assuming SX is staffed by competent engineers (which seems plausible given what they have achieved) that just leaves 2 paths for reuse to fail.

a The known unknowns IE A known but bigger than expected load. IOW the dispersion of minimum to maximum values was too narrow.

b) Some totally unknown force (or unexpected interaction  of forces).

In both cases the issue would be that the stage would have to get too heavy to resist the loads.

Both are possible, but it seems very unlikely you could see unknown forces so big they would prevent reuse.

OTOH they might prevent an economic number of reuses.

Time will tell, and wheather or not the price they offer triggers enough of a market increase to offset it.
Interesting to see the reuse issue veer from "it's not possible" to "it's probably not financially worth it."

The more that reuse is proven, the more the goal posts are moved towards almost-unanswerable questions. Like, how would it be possible for outsiders to know for sure whether the financial cost of reuse is much lower than making a new stage? At some point, you need to just trust that those who are doing it are doing it for a real reason. But it's ALWAYS possible to claim, "well, it's not REALLY reuse that is lowering their costs..."
Indeed. Funny how that works.

And it doesn't just apply to SX
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. Believe no one. Run your own numbers. So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline matthewkantar

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #350 on: 06/06/2016 07:37 PM »
Meaningless? That is a laughable notion.

Matthew

Offline Lar

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #351 on: 06/06/2016 08:00 PM »
... snip ...

One bet:  (not 2, not 3) that SpaceX will get first stage reuse working well enough, and it will be cost effective enough, to realise at least some price reduction.

And I'll take the "yes they will" side from anyone, unless in my sole discretion they are likely to raise a lot of pettifogging objections to avoid admitting I won, when the time comes...  I think that rules you out, though.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline gospacex

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #352 on: 06/06/2016 08:27 PM »
I think from the high-res images of the landed stages any unbiased engineer would say that they are either already can be reused with minor refurb, or that first stage design will need only minor tweaks to make that possible.
The stages are clearly not heavily damaged.
« Last Edit: 06/06/2016 08:28 PM by gospacex »

Offline abaddon

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #353 on: 06/06/2016 08:41 PM »
Jim has for quite some time maintained that recovery was not a very big deal, and that the real historical event would be reuse of a recovered stage.  He has said he will be right there cheering with everyone else if and when that happens.  Don't see why we need to keep covering this well-trod ground.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #354 on: 06/06/2016 09:39 PM »
I think from the high-res images of the landed stages any unbiased engineer would say that they are either already can be reused with minor refurb, or that first stage design will need only minor tweaks to make that possible.
The stages are clearly not heavily damaged.
Where structural damage is concerned looks can be very misleading.   :(

NASA found that a composite overwrapped pressure vessel could lose 30% of its strength with no visible damage.

Metals are better in this regard but that does not make them immune to damage
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. Believe no one. Run your own numbers. So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline Herb Schaltegger

Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #355 on: 06/06/2016 10:07 PM »
I think from the high-res images of the landed stages any unbiased engineer would say that they are either already can be reused with minor refurb, or that first stage design will need only minor tweaks to make that possible.
The stages are clearly not heavily damaged.

No. An unbiased engineer with an understanding of metallurgy and aerospace structural design would say "Show me the post-flight material sample tests, the visual and NDE examinations of the structures, and the financial reports demonstrating the material and labor costs for refurbishment necessary arising from the above, plus any TPS removal and reapplication."


EDIT: Damn autocorrect; grammar.
« Last Edit: 06/07/2016 12:01 AM by Herb Schaltegger »
Ad astra per aspirin ...

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #356 on: 06/06/2016 10:24 PM »
Sounds like such an examination itself would demand a high cost to carry out. You're talking about information necessary to /certify/ a stage, versus the original poster talking about someone making a judgement call based on the available evidence.
« Last Edit: 06/06/2016 10:30 PM by Robotbeat »
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Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #357 on: 06/06/2016 11:46 PM »
Sounds like such an examination itself would demand a high cost to carry out. You're talking about information necessary to /certify/ a stage, versus the original poster talking about someone making a judgement call based on the available evidence.
My guess is that they are doing just that with flight number 24. It is the one that should have experienced the highest stresses of all the stages they had recovered to that point. So it makes sense for them to take that one apart and see how materials got affected by the reentry and landing. Some of that testing will probably be destructive, which is why they are not flying it again (not because it is too damaged to fly again).

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #358 on: 06/07/2016 12:17 AM »
Sounds like such an examination itself would demand a high cost to carry out. You're talking about information necessary to /certify/ a stage, versus the original poster talking about someone making a judgement call based on the available evidence.
My guess is that they are doing just that with flight number 24. It is the one that should have experienced the highest stresses of all the stages they had recovered to that point. So it makes sense for them to take that one apart and see how materials got affected by the reentry and landing. Some of that testing will probably be destructive, which is why they are not flying it again (not because it is too damaged to fly again).
You missed my point. The original poster (which you trimmed) was saying what an engineer would say if they had to make a judgement call based on given information whether the stage could or couldn't be reflown. Obviously you're going to do more actual analysis, but that's besides the point.
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

Offline Req

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Re: Refurbishment of Used Stages/Vehicles
« Reply #359 on: 06/07/2016 01:28 AM »
Mostly-shiny stage on the right.
« Last Edit: 06/07/2016 02:29 AM by Req »

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