Author Topic: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3  (Read 814423 times)

Offline Kaputnik

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1000 on: 06/04/2016 06:04 AM »
I think there was a thread where this was discussed, but I don't remeber where, so it could be I'm repeating well known opinions, sorry for this.
In my opinion, the most usefull aspect to work on is to speed up recovery operations. A "traditional" and faster (long) support ship with an high enough crane could meet the recovery drone ship while still far in the sea, take the stage and let remove the legs and secure it while still out of the port and on the way to it.
The drone ship would be ready faster to get another launch. It could get the fuel form this support ship and avoid going to the port for a long time.
To enter the port the support ship would not need a special permission, because the stage would be already secured and explosives deactivated.
And the crane of the support ship could be enough to lift the stage and put it on land for a truck to drive away.
All is needed is a faster and easier to use system to hook the stage on the top, and another system to use a single crane (and two indipendent wires) to bring the stage from vertical to horizontal.
I think this is all at hand, and repays itself quickly, at this or higher rate og flights.

Nobody is going to crane something the size of F9 from one ship to another out in the ocean. I'm not saying the sea state would *always* prevent it, but the odds would be hugely against you, and the risks would be way too high.
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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1001 on: 06/05/2016 04:09 AM »
I think there was a thread where this was discussed, but I don't remeber where, so it could be I'm repeating well known opinions, sorry for this.
In my opinion, the most usefull aspect to work on is to speed up recovery operations. A "traditional" and faster (long) support ship with an high enough crane could meet the recovery drone ship while still far in the sea, take the stage and let remove the legs and secure it while still out of the port and on the way to it.
The drone ship would be ready faster to get another launch. It could get the fuel form this support ship and avoid going to the port for a long time.
To enter the port the support ship would not need a special permission, because the stage would be already secured and explosives deactivated.
And the crane of the support ship could be enough to lift the stage and put it on land for a truck to drive away.
All is needed is a faster and easier to use system to hook the stage on the top, and another system to use a single crane (and two indipendent wires) to bring the stage from vertical to horizontal.
I think this is all at hand, and repays itself quickly, at this or higher rate og flights.

Nobody is going to crane something the size of F9 from one ship to another out in the ocean. I'm not saying the sea state would *always* prevent it, but the odds would be hugely against you, and the risks would be way too high.
The offshore energy industry (oil, gas, wind) cranes large objects around offshore all the time.   If SpaceX needs to do it, the necessary technology (large  motion-compensating stabilized cranes and platforms) is available.   Human-rated, even.  But I think it's unlikely to be necessary unless their launch rate picks up substantially.

Offline vanoord

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1002 on: 06/06/2016 10:14 AM »
I don't see the 7-10 days from launch to the stage arriving back at the Cape being an issue as long as there is a buffer of sufficient new and refurbished cores waiting to launch.

The cost of a ship with a crane capable of lifting stages at sea would be very substantial and I don't see the couple of days potentially saved having any financial benefit.

The current 'low technology' system seems to be working fine, so I don't see it changing unless there are repeated issues with stages falling over on the barge - in which case there may be a benefit in lifting them horizontal before they can damage themselves.


Offline guckyfan

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1003 on: 06/06/2016 10:21 AM »
The cost of a ship with a crane capable of lifting stages at sea would be very substantial and I don't see the couple of days potentially saved having any financial benefit.

They would not do it to save a few days to return the stage. They might do it to have the barge on station for a fast launch cadence. Depends on what is cheaper, another barge or the ship fetching the stage.

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1004 on: 06/06/2016 04:51 PM »
So, to get back to the topic of this ASDS... the next Falcon 9 is now scheduled for lift-off in eight days.  It takes what, five days for the ASDS to get on station for a GTO launch, right?

So, anyone seeing any indications that OCISLY will be ready to sail again in another three or four days?  I imagine they need to refill the diesel tanks, remove the welded blocks from where they had the last stage tied down, repaint the deck, etc.

I know everyone who's gone past Fishlips in the last week has been focusing on the status of the returned stage, but has anyone noticed the kind of activity on OCISLY that would indicate it will indeed be ready to sail in the next few days?
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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1005 on: 06/06/2016 04:53 PM »
Tangentially, any sign of any NOTAMs yet that might give a hint as to where exactly they will position this one?
"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
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Offline envy887

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1006 on: 06/06/2016 05:01 PM »
I don't see the 7-10 days from launch to the stage arriving back at the Cape being an issue as long as there is a buffer of sufficient new and refurbished cores waiting to launch.

The cost of a ship with a crane capable of lifting stages at sea would be very substantial and I don't see the couple of days potentially saved having any financial benefit.

The current 'low technology' system seems to be working fine, so I don't see it changing unless there are repeated issues with stages falling over on the barge - in which case there may be a benefit in lifting them horizontal before they can damage themselves.

For high energy missions it takes 4-5 days for the trip out, 4-5 days for the trip back, plus some turnaround time dockside. Even for low energy orbits it's still a minimum 1-week cycle per ASDS. If there's a launch every couple days they will need some more ASDSes. Or some way to leave them on-station and shuttle the cores home.

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1007 on: 06/06/2016 05:19 PM »
I don't see the 7-10 days from launch to the stage arriving back at the Cape being an issue as long as there is a buffer of sufficient new and refurbished cores waiting to launch.

The cost of a ship with a crane capable of lifting stages at sea would be very substantial and I don't see the couple of days potentially saved having any financial benefit.

The current 'low technology' system seems to be working fine, so I don't see it changing unless there are repeated issues with stages falling over on the barge - in which case there may be a benefit in lifting them horizontal before they can damage themselves.

For high energy missions it takes 4-5 days for the trip out, 4-5 days for the trip back, plus some turnaround time dockside. Even for low energy orbits it's still a minimum 1-week cycle per ASDS. If there's a launch every couple days they will need some more ASDSes. Or some way to leave them on-station and shuttle the cores home.

At the moment, it appears SpaceX can support a launch to GTO every two weeks, max.  And a launch every two weeks is pretty much the fastest cadence I think we can expect right now, total -- mixing in Vandenberg launches and RTLS launches.  Which means that, for right now, it appears one ASDS will handle the traffic (if barely, as in the situation right now, when we are looking at two launches to GTO barely more than two weeks apart).

If SpaceX gets to where their launch cadence exceeds once every two weeks, we'll see a change -- likely the building of another ASDS.  But looking at the manifest, I just can't see a need for a higher launch cadence, at least for now.

But, I bet they have a plan for when their cadence goes up...
« Last Edit: 06/06/2016 06:12 PM by the_other_Doug »
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Offline CJ

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1008 on: 06/06/2016 06:09 PM »
I don't see the 7-10 days from launch to the stage arriving back at the Cape being an issue as long as there is a buffer of sufficient new and refurbished cores waiting to launch.

The cost of a ship with a crane capable of lifting stages at sea would be very substantial and I don't see the couple of days potentially saved having any financial benefit.

The current 'low technology' system seems to be working fine, so I don't see it changing unless there are repeated issues with stages falling over on the barge - in which case there may be a benefit in lifting them horizontal before they can damage themselves.

For high energy missions it takes 4-5 days for the trip out, 4-5 days for the trip back, plus some turnaround time dockside. Even for low energy orbits it's still a minimum 1-week cycle per ASDS. If there's a launch every couple days they will need some more ASDSes. Or some way to leave them on-station and shuttle the cores home.

At the moment, it appears SpaceX can support a launch to GTO every two weeks, max.  And a launch very two weeks is pretty much the fastest cadence I think we can expect right now, total -- mixing in Vandenberg launches and RTLS launches.  Which means that, for right now, it appears one ASDS will handle the traffic (if barely, as in the situation right now, when we are looking at two launches to GTO barely more than two weeks apart).

If SpaceX gets to where their launch cadence exceeds once every two weeks, we'll see a change -- likely the building of another ASDS.  But looking at the manifest, I just can't see a need for a higher launch cadence, at least for now.

But, I bet they have a plan for when their cadence goes up...

I agree they have a plan for times when the schedule is too busy for one ASDS to handle. What it is, I don't know, but I have a guess; use the ASDS from the west coast (which gets very little use.). SpaceX could look at its schedule, see that it needs an extra ASDS for a few weeks, and just tow JRTI from California to Florida. The tow time would be about 28 days via the Panama Canal.

This would only be an interim solution for occasional times of busy schedule, and only work if the West Coast ASDS was not busy, but it'd be an option until flight rates are consistently higher than one ASDS can handle. I ought to add that it's never been an option before, and isn't now, due to the ASDS being too wide for the Panama Canal locks, but that's only true until the Panama Canal expansion opens (near the end of this month).




Offline OpelGT

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1009 on: 06/07/2016 07:01 AM »
the next Falcon 9 is now scheduled for lift-off in eight days. 
It takes what, five days for the ASDS to get on station for a GTO launch, right?

So, anyone seeing any indications that OCISLY will be ready to sail again in another three or four days?
I imagine they need to refill the diesel tanks, remove the welded blocks from where they had the last stage tied down, repaint the deck, etc.

Since it was a successful landing, I'd assume they don't have a lot of repairs to do.
So it's comes down to whether they're going to repaint the landing pad, not necessary but they usually do.

I found a video showing them working on OCISLY after some bad landings
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Anm7aBAKDRE?t=1240
and it looked like they painted the logo from scratch in about 9 hours,
plus maybe a day if they repaint the deck black before doing the logo.

If they're short on time they could always just touch up the paint and take her out.
« Last Edit: 06/07/2016 07:02 AM by OpelGT »

Offline CJ

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1010 on: 06/07/2016 07:20 AM »
the next Falcon 9 is now scheduled for lift-off in eight days. 
It takes what, five days for the ASDS to get on station for a GTO launch, right?

So, anyone seeing any indications that OCISLY will be ready to sail again in another three or four days?
I imagine they need to refill the diesel tanks, remove the welded blocks from where they had the last stage tied down, repaint the deck, etc.

Since it was a successful landing, I'd assume they don't have a lot of repairs to do.
So it's comes down to whether they're going to repaint the landing pad, not necessary but they usually do.

I found a video showing them working on OCISLY after some bad landings
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Anm7aBAKDRE?t=1240
and it looked like they painted the logo from scratch in about 9 hours,
plus maybe a day if they repaint the deck black before doing the logo.

If they're short on time they could always just touch up the paint and take her out.

That's actually quite a bit of work and cost for a logo, so I'm wondering if they'll always do it for every mission? It'll be interesting to see if they do it this time.


Offline Hankelow8

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1011 on: 06/07/2016 07:33 AM »
What happens if they have a high energy crash onto OCISLY, difficult to see them completing repairs in time now the launch schedule is down to around  2 weeks.

Offline Herb Schaltegger

What happens if they have a high energy crash onto OCISLY, difficult to see them completing repairs in time now the launch schedule is down to around  2 weeks.
Simple. They forego recovery experiments for the next flight. Revenue and customer satisfaction matters more than experiments at this point.
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Offline Hankelow8

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1013 on: 06/07/2016 12:11 PM »
Agree, customers come first.

Offline Alastor

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1014 on: 06/07/2016 12:23 PM »
Since it was a successful landing, I'd assume they don't have a lot of repairs to do.
So it's comes down to whether they're going to repaint the landing pad, not necessary but they usually do.

I found a video showing them working on OCISLY after some bad landings
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Anm7aBAKDRE?t=1240
and it looked like they painted the logo from scratch in about 9 hours,
plus maybe a day if they repaint the deck black before doing the logo.

If they're short on time they could always just touch up the paint and take her out.

Please point out where you see them paint the deck black and repaint the logo in this video.
The only time I see the deck black is after JRtI left and when OCISLY first arrived, around 20:40~21:18, as per the video description.

This was NOT a repaint after sustaining damage, but rather the initial painting of OCISLY before entering service as an ASDS !

Offline Garrett

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1015 on: 06/07/2016 12:36 PM »
It would seem to me that a lot of recent discussions recently on how SpaceX intends to improve its ASDS operations have forgotten this comment from Elon a while back

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/536263260056850432
Quote
Elon Musk @elonmusk
Base is 300 ft by 100 ft, with wings that extend width to 170 ft. Will allow refuel & rocket flyback in future
22 Nov 2014
Emphasis mine.
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Offline Kabloona

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1016 on: 06/07/2016 01:07 PM »
FCC transmitter permit application for the next mission:

https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=71187&RequestTimeout=1000

ASDS position coordinates are the same as for Thaicom 8, so it looks like SpaceX has found the "sweet spot" for GTO mission landing attempts.
« Last Edit: 06/07/2016 01:13 PM by Kabloona »

Offline envy887

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1017 on: 06/07/2016 01:24 PM »
It would seem to me that a lot of recent discussions recently on how SpaceX intends to improve its ASDS operations have forgotten this comment from Elon a while back

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/536263260056850432
Quote
Elon Musk @elonmusk
Base is 300 ft by 100 ft, with wings that extend width to 170 ft. Will allow refuel & rocket flyback in future
22 Nov 2014
Emphasis mine.

Flyback was discussed extensively in this thread. There are a number of challenges to doing flyback, and it's probably quite far in the future yet.

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1018 on: 06/07/2016 01:30 PM »
It would seem to me that a lot of recent discussions recently on how SpaceX intends to improve its ASDS operations have forgotten this comment from Elon a while back

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/536263260056850432
Quote
Elon Musk @elonmusk
Base is 300 ft by 100 ft, with wings that extend width to 170 ft. Will allow refuel & rocket flyback in future
22 Nov 2014
Emphasis mine.

I think you have to put the emphasis on future in this statement as in many years away.

There is many things that will have to go right for this to come true, sustained stable re-flight, regulatory, prolonged keep-out zones, automated refueling etc. etc. etc...
I'm a fan, not a fanatic...

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1019 on: 06/07/2016 01:40 PM »
It would seem to me that a lot of recent discussions recently on how SpaceX intends to improve its ASDS operations have forgotten this comment from Elon a while back

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/536263260056850432
Quote
Elon Musk @elonmusk
Base is 300 ft by 100 ft, with wings that extend width to 170 ft. Will allow refuel & rocket flyback in future
22 Nov 2014
Emphasis mine.

Flyback was discussed extensively in this thread. There are a number of challenges to doing flyback, and it's probably quite far in the future yet.

Yes, but since:

ASDS position coordinates are the same as for Thaicom 8, so it looks like SpaceX has found the "sweet spot" for GTO mission landing attempts.

Perhaps a larger, more capable structure that doesn't have to be as mobile could be emplaced at the sweet spot.

Maybe a bigger ASDS that could also service MCT...

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