Author Topic: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3  (Read 844489 times)

Offline RonM

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2620 on: 02/05/2019 03:40 am »
There has been quite a lot of previous discussion on this thread that say robotic vessels, whether telerobotic or autonmous, for ships on the seas moving from Port A to Location B to Port C are not possible.

I just tended to believe all the more marine-experienced commentators, figuring they knew more than me.

So was quite surprised to see this today:  Sea Hunter USV Reaches New Autonomy Milestone, where a ship sailed from San Diego to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and back with no humans on board.

Does this have implications for the so-called "autonomous" droneships that SpaceX has advanced?  or for their next-generation launch mount for their next-gen rocket?

The Sea Hunter is a US Navy test vessel. Legal issues for drone ships are based on private/commercial vessels. Several companies are working on autonomous freighters and regulations will one day have to keep up.

SpaceX uses barges that station keep, so that'a not an issue. Blue Origin will use a converted freighter, but it will be crewed except for landing operations. Probably a regulation loophole for that.

You're going to want crew to check out a landed booster and secure it if automated systems fail. No need for a fully autonomous landing pad ship.

Online CameronD

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2621 on: 02/05/2019 04:25 am »
There has been quite a lot of previous discussion on this thread that say robotic vessels, whether telerobotic or autonmous, for ships on the seas moving from Port A to Location B to Port C are not possible.

Given that the technology to achieve it has been around for almost 2 decades now, I don't think anyone suggested this was "not possible".. not practical from a commercial/legal standpoint is more likely and that's something I expect the US Navy (of all people) need not worry about.  Whether the regulations will shift on this in future is anyone's guess, but AFAIK the IMO have no intention of changing SOLAS V (the problem clause) anytime soon.

SpaceX get around SOLAS V by station-keeping within what is effectively a fenced-off area.  For Blue Origin there are regulations now around landing helicopters aboard vessels at sea that could possibly be modified to allow it to be crewed whilst rockets boosters are landing, should they want to go down that route.
 
« Last Edit: 02/05/2019 04:38 am by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline Lar

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2622 on: 02/05/2019 02:21 pm »
For Blue Origin there are regulations now around landing helicopters aboard vessels at sea that could possibly be modified to allow it to be crewed whilst rockets boosters are landing, should they want to go down that route.
 

to be uncrewed I think you mean?
"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 CameronD

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2623 on: 02/06/2019 10:02 pm »
For Blue Origin there are regulations now around landing helicopters aboard vessels at sea that could possibly be modified to allow it to be crewed whilst rockets boosters are landing, should they want to go down that route.
 

to be uncrewed I think you mean?

No.. crewed.  I asked a few folks I know around here and it seems the SOLAS II Regulation 18 requirements for Helicopter Landing Operations could potentially be tweaked to allow it.  Landing a chopper (or even just hover/winching operations) on a merchant ship isn't as trivial as many think.    For those not familiar with what needs to happen aboard both before and after, here's a primer: 

https://safety4sea.com/cm-helicopter-operations-at-sea-what-you-should-know/


EDIT:  I recognise this is all OT for a SpaceX thread, but FWIW I was aboard a cruise ship only a couple of weeks ago where someone had a heart attack and needed to be air-lifted to hospital.  10 minutes before the chopper arrived the top 4 levels of the ship (Deck 10 upwards) were evacuated and fire crews, fully kitted out with BA and pressurised fire hoses on the ready.  None of us lowly passengers got to so much as see the chopper at any point in it's approach or patient pick-up.  We were an hour late to the next port.  Contrary to what you see on the movies, this helo business is a big deal.
 
« Last Edit: 02/06/2019 10:24 pm by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline Lar

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2624 on: 02/07/2019 02:31 am »
SpaceX can do what they do because their drone ship is uncrewed and stationary.

It sounds like you are saying that any future ship that wants to move, whoever it may belong to MIGHT have an issue then? Because ships have to be crewed to move, but apparently have to be safed (to the point of crew having nowhere to go?) for landings that are analogous to helicopter operations. ... ?
"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 CameronD

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2625 on: 02/07/2019 03:48 am »
SpaceX can do what they do because their drone ship is uncrewed and stationary.

It sounds like you are saying that any future ship that wants to move, whoever it may belong to MIGHT have an issue then? Because ships have to be crewed to move, but apparently have to be safed (to the point of crew having nowhere to go?) for landings that are analogous to helicopter operations. ... ?

Lar, all I'm saying is that, although, for very valid safety reasons, SpaceX elected to remove all crew from the ASDS prior to booster landing, now, armed with sufficient real-life data regarding the impact of a mostly-empty booster on a vessel in the open ocean sufficient to satisfy the relevant authorities, there is scope, along the lines of helicopter operations, to possibly permit a future booster-landing ship (eg. like the BO one) to carry crew.

It's a risk equation.  If someone wishes to keep crew on a ship with a rocket in-bound they would first need to  identify and quantify the risks involved and the means in place to mitigate against them. SpaceX's $$$ and hard work hover-slamming a few stages into various ASDS's with relatively minor damage in every case may provide BO with some small hope they might be allowed to keep crew aboard their future booster-landing ship.
« Last Edit: 02/07/2019 04:02 am by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

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Offline Lar

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2627 on: 02/08/2019 12:27 am »
Fully autonomous surface ships exist: (US Navy anti sub hunter)

https://thediplomat.com/2019/02/us-navys-anti-submarine-drone-ship-sailed-autonomously-from-san-diego-to-hawaii-and-back/

As we discussed, these are not subject to civilian maritime regs. Supposedly any civilian ship under way (not just station keeping) has to be manned.

Blue says they want to not be manned. CameronD (I think)  is arguing that Blue (or SpaceX in future if they wanted to use moving vessels) CAN be manned and safe. 

Sorry I dragged us in the weeds a bit.



"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 russianhalo117

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2628 on: 02/11/2019 10:06 pm »
Fully autonomous surface ships exist: (US Navy anti sub hunter)

https://thediplomat.com/2019/02/us-navys-anti-submarine-drone-ship-sailed-autonomously-from-san-diego-to-hawaii-and-back/

As we discussed, these are not subject to civilian maritime regs. Supposedly any civilian ship under way (not just station keeping) has to be manned.

Blue says they want to not be manned. CameronD (I think)  is arguing that Blue (or SpaceX in future if they wanted to use moving vessels) CAN be manned and safe. 

Sorry I dragged us in the weeds a bit.
Sea Launch's (nka S7 Space) Odyssey is required by governing agencies to be unmanned before, during and after launch operations and they have experienced a failed launch which heavily damaged the floating platform and required emergency dewatering to keep afloat. Deepwater horizon disaster is what Odessey could have suffered with crew onboard during the failure.

Let's I guess leave this at that until posters beat the dead horse again several pages down from now.

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #2629 on: 02/11/2019 10:16 pm »
Fully autonomous surface ships exist: (US Navy anti sub hunter)

https://thediplomat.com/2019/02/us-navys-anti-submarine-drone-ship-sailed-autonomously-from-san-diego-to-hawaii-and-back/

As we discussed, these are not subject to civilian maritime regs. Supposedly any civilian ship under way (not just station keeping) has to be manned.

Blue says they want to not be manned. CameronD (I think)  is arguing that Blue (or SpaceX in future if they wanted to use moving vessels) CAN be manned and safe. 

Sorry I dragged us in the weeds a bit.
Sea Launch's (nka S7 Space) Odyssey is required by governing agencies to be unmanned before, during and after launch operations and they have experienced a failed launch which heavily damaged the floating platform and required emergency dewatering to keep afloat. Deepwater horizon disaster is what Odessey could have suffered with crew onboard during the failure.

For the record, neither I nor (I think) anyone else here was referring to launch operations from a floating platform.  That's a scenario entirely different to both the subject of recent discussion and SpaceX's TRL.

Let's I guess leave this at that until posters beat the dead horse again several pages down from now.

Good idea. .. although it would be nice to think folks weren't so predictable.
« Last Edit: 02/11/2019 10:21 pm by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

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