Author Topic: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3  (Read 807149 times)

Online Lar

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1040 on: 06/08/2016 03:48 PM »
I remember that conversation, Kabloona! very useful.

I neglected to say "ask them what" ...  Oops! Sorry..

I meant ask Marmac how much they would charge to build a barge similar spec'ed, undiscounted, to a customer with cash that walked in off the street... that would give us a cost ceiling for that bit. Or ask what the lease rate for same is, undiscounted...
"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 cscott

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1041 on: 06/08/2016 04:00 PM »
I don't think ASDS duty is more difficult on a barge.  In fact it is probably lighter, since the barge is barely loaded.  (Though it dies make oceanic trips).

The main reason they switched barges is that they did a "make before break".

Also if the operator had 3 barges, and 2 of them have been taken away on a semi permanent basis, I'd expect the operator to commission at least one more...


Hm, inaccuracies here.  First, the operator has four equivalent barges, not three.  MARMAC 300, 302, 303, and 304.  In addition, MARMAC 301 has the same deck area but a deck about half as thick, judging from the deck loading.  See:

http://www.mcdonoughmarine.com/assets/pdf/ocean-barge-fleet-a.pdf

As Kabloona says, he looked into it and there is no evidence another barge is being commissioned by McDonough Marine.  If they built another, it would show up here:

http://www.mcdonoughmarine.com/recent-news.html

Second, do you have any evidence for your "make before break" assertion?  You seem to be stating a personal theory as a fact. That theory seems quite questionable from the construction timeline. And it misses the point in any case: the question is, "why break at all?"

I don't know what you mean by "I don't think ASDS duty is more difficult on a barge." It appears that MARMAC 300 had some unsuitability for continued use as an ASDS.  That doesn't necessarily have anything to do with its ASDS operations, a defect could have been discovered that was incurred in its earlier non-ASDS service.  MARMAC 300 was also the prototype for its class; the McDonough Marine news page hints that subsequent MARMACs might have been built with "increased side shell strength".  For whatever reason, MARMAC 300 was a fully-operational ASDS that was then taken out of service at quite a significant cost in time and money.  I don't expect to see it return to the ASDS fleet.  You are welcome to a different opinion.
« Last Edit: 06/08/2016 04:08 PM by cscott »

Offline Kabloona

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1042 on: 06/08/2016 04:02 PM »
I remember that conversation, Kabloona! very useful.

I neglected to say "ask them what" ...  Oops! Sorry..

I meant ask Marmac how much they would charge to build a barge similar spec'ed, undiscounted, to a customer with cash that walked in off the street... that would give us a cost ceiling for that bit. Or ask what the lease rate for same is, undiscounted...

Sorry, missed the original question. Will see if I can find that out.

Offline gospacex

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1043 on: 06/08/2016 04:32 PM »
Marmac 400 also exists. As its name suggests, it is 400' long.

Online Lar

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1044 on: 06/08/2016 04:43 PM »
we need to deploy that against the powerboaters that keep wandering into the launch exclusion zone. That thing looks wicked!

(it's actually just a dredge I think? but wow)
« Last Edit: 06/08/2016 04:44 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

Online meekGee

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1045 on: 06/08/2016 05:22 PM »
I don't think ASDS duty is more difficult on a barge.  In fact it is probably lighter, since the barge is barely loaded.  (Though it dies make oceanic trips).

The main reason they switched barges is that they did a "make before break".

Also if the operator had 3 barges, and 2 of them have been taken away on a semi permanent basis, I'd expect the operator to commission at least one more...


Hm, inaccuracies here.  First, the operator has four equivalent barges, not three.  MARMAC 300, 302, 303, and 304.  In addition, MARMAC 301 has the same deck area but a deck about half as thick, judging from the deck loading.  See:

http://www.mcdonoughmarine.com/assets/pdf/ocean-barge-fleet-a.pdf

As Kabloona says, he looked into it and there is no evidence another barge is being commissioned by McDonough Marine.  If they built another, it would show up here:

http://www.mcdonoughmarine.com/recent-news.html

Second, do you have any evidence for your "make before break" assertion?  You seem to be stating a personal theory as a fact. That theory seems quite questionable from the construction timeline. And it misses the point in any case: the question is, "why break at all?"

I don't know what you mean by "I don't think ASDS duty is more difficult on a barge." It appears that MARMAC 300 had some unsuitability for continued use as an ASDS.  That doesn't necessarily have anything to do with its ASDS operations, a defect could have been discovered that was incurred in its earlier non-ASDS service.  MARMAC 300 was also the prototype for its class; the McDonough Marine news page hints that subsequent MARMACs might have been built with "increased side shell strength".  For whatever reason, MARMAC 300 was a fully-operational ASDS that was then taken out of service at quite a significant cost in time and money.  I don't expect to see it return to the ASDS fleet.  You are welcome to a different opinion.
Make before break was documented IIRC..  work on the current two was in progress while the old JRtI was still active.

Then they took off the wing section and transferred it over.

Deck loading wise, the rocket only weighs 20 tons.  I can't imagine rocket duty is more harrowing then bouncing around the ocean with oil drilling equipment on board.

3 or 4, I'm just making the market observation...  for whatever reason there were four  and now there are two less.  So either there was a glut, or now there's a shortage.

Those barges were originally built based on some demand, or demand forecast.
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Offline Barrie

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1046 on: 06/08/2016 05:29 PM »
The expanded Panama Canal can accommodate an ASDS.  So is it possible that already, or in the near future, someone will start producing vessels of the new Panamax size which would  be good for ASDS use, and SpaceX will be able to pick one up when they feel the need?

Offline cscott

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1047 on: 06/08/2016 05:33 PM »
I'm questioning your statement: 'The main reason they switched barges is that they did a "make before break".'

It's the "reason" part I think is unsupported (and illogical).
« Last Edit: 06/08/2016 05:33 PM by cscott »

Offline Kabloona

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1048 on: 06/08/2016 07:22 PM »
Quote
The main reason they switched barges is that they did a "make before break".

I have it on good authority that the reason for the switch was that Marmac 300 was an old beater barge near the end of its service life, and SpaceX wanted newer barges (Marmac 303 and 304 were only a year or so old at the time of refit) for long future trouble-free service.

Basically, they traded in the old jalopy for 2 creampuffs with low miles.  ;)

« Last Edit: 06/09/2016 01:20 AM by Kabloona »

Offline llanitedave

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1049 on: 06/08/2016 07:43 PM »

I meant ask Marmac how much they would charge to build a barge similar spec'ed, undiscounted, to a customer with cash that walked in off the street... that would give us a cost ceiling for that bit. Or ask what the lease rate for same is, undiscounted...

Nice to know that L2 income is going for a good cause!  :)
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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1050 on: 06/08/2016 09:14 PM »
I'm questioning your statement: 'The main reason they switched barges is that they did a "make before break".'

It's the "reason" part I think is unsupported (and illogical).

If you start work on a new barge while you're still using the old one, that will preclude simply upgrading the old one.

That's a fact.

The rest, use at your own peril...
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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1051 on: 06/08/2016 09:15 PM »
Quote
The main reason they switched barges is that they did a "make before break".

I have it on good authority that the reason for the switch was that Marmac 300 was an old beater barge near the end of its service life, and SpaceX wanted newer barges (Marmac 303 and 304 were only a year or so old at the time of refit) for long future trouble-free service.

Basically, they traded in the old jalopy for 2 creampuffs with low miles.  ;)

Good enough for me...
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Offline ClayJar

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1052 on: 06/08/2016 10:14 PM »
Regarding "make before break" (admittedly with the make overlapping the break somewhat), when I went to Morgan City to see the trio, 303 was sitting idle, already prepped for winging (exterior ribs made flat) but with nothing on deck.  304 was well into the winging process to become ASDS OCISLY.  And 300 still had the JRtI wings on but in the process of being de-ASDSed.

So, call it make-before-break, or at the very least "begin makes first, then run break concurrently".  :D

Offline cscott

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1053 on: 06/09/2016 12:49 AM »
Regardless, as Kabloona indicates, I don't expect to see MARMAC 300 reenter service.

There's MARMAC 3018 (318' long) and MARMAC 400 (400' long), though.  They are all Panama canal width (100').  If SpaceX were willing to deal with some slight differences amongst their fleet, probably either one would do in a pinch.    MARMAC 302 and (if deck loading and age of barge aren't an issue) MARMAC 301 would complete the set of "barges to watch".

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1054 on: 06/09/2016 01:34 AM »
Back to the task at hand: watch for OCISLY departure Thursday morning.

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1055 on: 06/09/2016 12:57 PM »
Regarding "make before break" (admittedly with the make overlapping the break somewhat), when I went to Morgan City to see the trio, 303 was sitting idle, already prepped for winging (exterior ribs made flat) but with nothing on deck.  304 was well into the winging process to become ASDS OCISLY.  And 300 still had the JRtI wings on but in the process of being de-ASDSed.

So, call it make-before-break, or at the very least "begin makes first, then run break concurrently".  :D
That's what I meant - "enough mb4b" to prevent using the old barge for the new ASDS.

I wonder now what's next. SpaceX doesn't stay in one place for long.  A few more barge landings and they'll get bored.  (SpaceX, not the barges)

Given how busy the barges are, we might see the next big thing happening on a third vesicle, though who knows what that will be.

Clearly just speculating here, it's just that I doubt the current setup is "final form".
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Offline Herb Schaltegger


Given how busy the barges are, we might see the next big thing happening on a third vesicle, though who knows what that will be.


Autocorrect for the win, folks. :)

More generally yes, I agree. The evolution of recovery ops will be fascinating to observe.
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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1057 on: 06/09/2016 01:25 PM »
Quote
Given how busy the barges are, we might see the next big thing happening on a third vesicle, though who knows what that will be.

Well, things may have to slow down soon.

I'm told by a reliable source that USCG is requesting *drydock* inspections of both barges for permitting. Which means a drydock wide enough to accommodate both barges, with wings, must be located, which won't be easy.

One drydock big enough is rumored to be in Oregon. No word on whether a closer drydock can be found for OCISLY. If she has to go to Oregon for a drydock inspection, that's probably at least 3 months out of action.

Since JRtI is idle on the West Coast, maybe they would send her up to Oregon first, then send her around to the Cape before sending OCISLY off to drydock, thus maintaining barge ops at the Cape without interruption, but that's only speculation on my part about how SpaceX might minimize impact to Cape ops.

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1058 on: 06/09/2016 01:33 PM »
I think the information that we are missing is: what does it cost to lease, modify and outfit a Marmac-300 (or similar) barge?  As ships of their tonnage go, they are pretty cheap, but it is still a good bit of money by the time it's in service as an ASDS.  I think they will eventually need a second one on the East Coast if they are as successful as they expect to be.

Someone familiar with barges of this size figures it's probably costing SpaceX around $6k per month to lease. That's per barge, not inculding the support ships.

I can't get any estimates on the refit costs. Someone familiar with shipbuilding might be able to take a WAG, but we haven't found such a person yet.

LAD Services in Berwick, LA did the refits, if anyone can pry some cost estimates out of them...
« Last Edit: 06/09/2016 02:18 PM by Kabloona »

Offline JamesH65

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #1059 on: 06/09/2016 01:52 PM »
Quote
Given how busy the barges are, we might see the next big thing happening on a third vesicle, though who knows what that will be.

Well, things may have to slow down soon.

I'm told by a reliable source that USCG is requesting *drydock* inspections of both barges for permitting. Which means a drydock wide enough to accommodate both barges, with wings, must be located, which won't be easy.

One drydock big enough is rumored to be in Oregon. No word on whether a closer drydock can be found for OCISLY. If she has to go to Oregon for a drydock inspection, that's probably at least 3 months out of action.

Since JRtI is idle on the West Coast, maybe they would send her up to Oregon first, then send her around to the Cape before sending OCISLY off to drydock, thus maintaining barge ops at the Cape without interruption, but that's only speculation on my part about how SpaceX might minimize impact to Cape ops.

Could the inspection be done by divers?

But TBH sounds like the CG being a PITA. Given the numbers of wrecks pretending to be seaworthy ships around (UK centric comment)

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