Author Topic: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3  (Read 780030 times)

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #560 on: 04/13/2016 07:54 PM »

More seriously, I think they have probably known for months what their likely progression path is and wanted to see a landing to confirm that they were on the right path before investing the money.  Short of the longer term refuel and flyback upgrades I think most of the revisions we see will be in the areas of capacity and speed.  More ASDSs , possibly 3 ASDS (per launch site? hmm, nah) to extend FH capacity, or just 2 to cover transit times and occasional kaboom fixup, and some TBD way to get the landed stage back to shore.


No, not really.  Most of the landings are going back to land and not barges.  Ocean landings will be an exception and not the rule.

Offline KSHavre

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #561 on: 04/13/2016 08:14 PM »

More seriously, I think they have probably known for months what their likely progression path is and wanted to see a landing to confirm that they were on the right path before investing the money.  Short of the longer term refuel and flyback upgrades I think most of the revisions we see will be in the areas of capacity and speed.  More ASDSs , possibly 3 ASDS (per launch site? hmm, nah) to extend FH capacity, or just 2 to cover transit times and occasional kaboom fixup, and some TBD way to get the landed stage back to shore.


No, not really.  Most of the landings are going back to land and not barges.  Ocean landings will be an exception and not the rule.

According the Elon in the post launch press conference, about half will be at sea; anything more than LEO...

Offline AnalogMan

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #562 on: 04/13/2016 11:59 PM »

More seriously, I think they have probably known for months what their likely progression path is and wanted to see a landing to confirm that they were on the right path before investing the money.  Short of the longer term refuel and flyback upgrades I think most of the revisions we see will be in the areas of capacity and speed.  More ASDSs , possibly 3 ASDS (per launch site? hmm, nah) to extend FH capacity, or just 2 to cover transit times and occasional kaboom fixup, and some TBD way to get the landed stage back to shore.


No, not really.  Most of the landings are going back to land and not barges.  Ocean landings will be an exception and not the rule.

According the Elon in the post launch press conference, about half will be at sea; anything more than LEO...

The fuller answer to how often SpaceX planned to do ground landings was:

"Right now we expect about half our landings to be ground and then half to be ocean landings.  And then over time as we refine the performance of the rocket and it can improve the ... just all the elements of flight ... and its amazing how a few percent improvement here and there sorta adds up and then you are able achieve enough margin to bring it back all the way to land.

"So we're hopeful that in the long run we'll move from say half of our missions being ocean landing to maybe a third of them or a quarter - 'cause it certainly is a lot easier to re-fly the rocket if comes back to land."


Can be found at at 26:00 in the video of the press conference posted here:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39537.msg1513775#msg1513775

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #563 on: 04/14/2016 01:09 AM »

More seriously, I think they have probably known for months what their likely progression path is and wanted to see a landing to confirm that they were on the right path before investing the money.  Short of the longer term refuel and flyback upgrades I think most of the revisions we see will be in the areas of capacity and speed.  More ASDSs , possibly 3 ASDS (per launch site? hmm, nah) to extend FH capacity, or just 2 to cover transit times and occasional kaboom fixup, and some TBD way to get the landed stage back to shore.


No, not really.  Most of the landings are going back to land and not barges.  Ocean landings will be an exception and not the rule.

According the Elon in the post launch press conference, about half will be at sea; anything more than LEO...

The fuller answer to how often SpaceX planned to do ground landings was:

"Right now we expect about half our landings to be ground and then half to be ocean landings.  And then over time as we refine the performance of the rocket and it can improve the ... just all the elements of flight ... and its amazing how a few percent improvement here and there sorta adds up and then you are able achieve enough margin to bring it back all the way to land.

"So we're hopeful that in the long run we'll move from say half of our missions being ocean landing to maybe a third of them or a quarter - 'cause it certainly is a lot easier to re-fly the rocket if comes back to land."


Can be found at at 26:00 in the video of the press conference posted here:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39537.msg1513775#msg1513775

A shift in a larger proportion of landings by SpaceX flights back to the launch site is unlikely IMO. Since the Satcom operators will just increase their birds' mass to take advantage of any excess performance from the SpaceX launchers.


But to get more on topic. The current ASDS barge conversions will have to be replaced with something bigger and more speedy eventually. Recovering the FH center core from further out in the ocean with the current set up will take at least 48 hours each on the outbound leg  and return leg.

Offline CyndyC

They didn't come back slow because they didn't care about time. They came back slow because it was a little boat towing a big barge.

Sorry, my post read wrong. I meant that the barge could return faster, but they didn't because they have an F9 sitting on it, not that they came in slow because they were not in a hurry.


I think it was sometime after I read mvpel's post below (from the launch viewing thread) that I theorized w/o saying so earlier, I think they were stalling, instructed to time their arrival when huge crowds wouldn't be as likely to overrun the area again so soon. Even the Space Coast probably has their limits.


A record-territory crowd yesterday at the visitor center in excess of 14,000 I heard from the KSC director, and stuffed causeways and beach parking all up and down the Cape I heard from someone ahead of me in line at the grocery store who got stuck in mind-boggling traffic jams.
« Last Edit: 04/14/2016 02:33 AM by CyndyC »
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Offline CameronD

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #565 on: 04/14/2016 03:43 AM »
But to get more on topic. The current ASDS barge conversions will have to be replaced with something bigger and more speedy eventually. Recovering the FH center core from further out in the ocean with the current set up will take at least 48 hours each on the outbound leg  and return leg.

In the approximate direction of on-topic.. I assume you're forgetting SpX's stated original plan was to prep the stages out there and fly them back Grasshopper (would that be Sea-hopper?) -style??

The ASDS can then, potentially, wait around out there for the next one.


« Last Edit: 04/14/2016 03:49 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 Zed_Noir

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #566 on: 04/14/2016 09:18 AM »
But to get more on topic. The current ASDS barge conversions will have to be replaced with something bigger and more speedy eventually. Recovering the FH center core from further out in the ocean with the current set up will take at least 48 hours each on the outbound leg  and return leg.

In the approximate direction of on-topic.. I assume you're forgetting SpX's stated original plan was to prep the stages out there and fly them back Grasshopper (would that be Sea-hopper?) -style??

The ASDS can then, potentially, wait around out there for the next one.

No I didn't forget the hop back to launch site idea.

The current ASDS is just too small to act as launch platform or to be on station in the middle of the Atlantic for weeks at a time. IMO

Something like a 10000 tons Landing ship dock variant with flat top armored landing deck and well deck capable of 15 knot cursing cruising speed.


edit: auto-correct, sigh.
« Last Edit: 04/15/2016 09:50 AM by Zed_Noir »

Offline cscott

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #567 on: 04/14/2016 02:07 PM »
I think SpaceX has found their "barge with stuff bolted on" model working well so far.  I wouldn't be surprised if the first "hop back" attempts used another barge fitted as a launch platform, with integrated transporter erector and tankage.  As we're seeing with the dockside work on the CRS-8 stage, though, there's currently a lot of involved crane and cherry-picker work involved in recycling a stage (although maybe some of the tank flushes and leg work wouldn't be needed if it were to hop back?).  I suspect we'd see some sort of automated handling ground-side first, and then that same automated handler/Transporter/Erector would show up integrated with a barge.

Best to keep launch and landing barges separate, at least for the initial experimentation phase.  IMO.

Offline starhawk92

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #568 on: 04/14/2016 05:12 PM »
But to get more on topic. The current ASDS barge conversions will have to be replaced with something bigger and more speedy eventually. Recovering the FH center core from further out in the ocean with the current set up will take at least 48 hours each on the outbound leg  and return leg.

In the approximate direction of on-topic.. I assume you're forgetting SpX's stated original plan was to prep the stages out there and fly them back Grasshopper (would that be Sea-hopper?) -style??

The ASDS can then, potentially, wait around out there for the next one.

No I didn't forget the hop back to launch site idea.

The current ASDS is just too small to act as launch platform or to be on station in the middle of the Atlantic for weeks at a time. IMO

Something like a 10000 tons Landing ship dock variant with flat top armored landing deck and well deck capable of 15 knot cursing speed.

I have an idea which should fit the bill!  She's an oldie but a beauty!!
http://www.nimitz.navy.mil/

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #569 on: 04/14/2016 11:45 PM »
I think SpaceX has found their "barge with stuff bolted on" model working well so far.  I wouldn't be surprised if the first "hop back" attempts used another barge fitted as a launch platform, with integrated transporter erector and tankage.  As we're seeing with the dockside work on the CRS-8 stage, though, there's currently a lot of involved crane and cherry-picker work involved in recycling a stage (although maybe some of the tank flushes and leg work wouldn't be needed if it were to hop back?).  I suspect we'd see some sort of automated handling ground-side first, and then that same automated handler/Transporter/Erector would show up integrated with a barge.

Best to keep launch and landing barges separate, at least for the initial experimentation phase.  IMO.

There is the small matter of transferring the F9 core from the landing barge to the launching barge in the middle of the Ocean. ::)

Offline cscott

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #570 on: 04/15/2016 12:36 AM »
Cranes are routinely fitted to barges.  Now, I'm sure the actual transfer at sea would be anything but routine.  But I think it would be worthwhile to keep the tall crane-y bits well away from the landing barge during the hoverslam.  Or not---maybe the precision is such that they could stick a crane in one corner of the landing barge and not worry.

Offline Jakusb

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #571 on: 04/15/2016 06:54 AM »
But to get more on topic. The current ASDS barge conversions will have to be replaced with something bigger and more speedy eventually. Recovering the FH center core from further out in the ocean with the current set up will take at least 48 hours each on the outbound leg  and return leg.

In the approximate direction of on-topic.. I assume you're forgetting SpX's stated original plan was to prep the stages out there and fly them back Grasshopper (would that be Sea-hopper?) -style??

The ASDS can then, potentially, wait around out there for the next one.

No I didn't forget the hop back to launch site idea.

The current ASDS is just too small to act as launch platform or to be on station in the middle of the Atlantic for weeks at a time. IMO

Something like a 10000 tons Landing ship dock variant with flat top armored landing deck and well deck capable of 15 knot cursing speed.

I guess this would be a relative low speed launch an transfer trajectory. Would it not be possible to simply launch from its own legs it landed on? Like grasshopper? One engine, low altitude.

Offline Kaputnik

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #572 on: 04/15/2016 07:12 AM »

There is the small matter of transferring the F9 core from the landing barge to the launching barge in the middle of the Ocean. ::)

Exactly!
Crane mounted barges are used in harbours for construction work etc. The relative motion between two vessels at sea would make offloading something the size of a F9 first stage more than sporty...
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Offline Okie_Steve

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #573 on: 04/15/2016 02:18 PM »
Taking the state horizontal on an ASDS would also be a sort of tight fit given it's about 150 feet tall and they only have a square about 180 feet on a side to work with given the blast walls and containers etc on the long axis.

Offline cscott

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #574 on: 04/15/2016 02:25 PM »
You've convinced me: no horizontal processing, no T/E, and no cranes.  Just "gas and go", taking off from the legs where it's sitting.  Hence no hold downs, either!  F9dev flew this way (which is why it was lost...). Still might be worth having an extra vessel for the propellant tanks, pumps, and chillers.  Just tie it up alongside and run some umbilicals to the base to fuel 'er up, then back off a safe distance and launch.

And I still say that any extra utility vessels are likely to be converted barges.

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #575 on: 04/15/2016 02:56 PM »
F9dev flew this way

It was launched from a stand

Online meekGee

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #576 on: 04/15/2016 06:57 PM »
You've convinced me: no horizontal processing, no T/E, and no cranes.  Just "gas and go", taking off from the legs where it's sitting.  Hence no hold downs, either!  F9dev flew this way (which is why it was lost...). Still might be worth having an extra vessel for the propellant tanks, pumps, and chillers.  Just tie it up alongside and run some umbilicals to the base to fuel 'er up, then back off a safe distance and launch.

And I still say that any extra utility vessels are likely to be converted barges.

The GH flights were very short, and towards the end (GH2) they used a stand (though no hold downs yet)

Remember the legs can't fold themselves in flight...

A fly-back shot is much more substantial - while suborbital, it is quite a bit more serious than the "Karman Line" shots.  We're talking traveling 1000 km here, going up to about 500...

It is not an easy task at all.  You'd want to have the rocket achieve a very high degree of reusability before you start doing fly-backs.
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Offline CyndyC

I have an idea which should fit the bill!  She's an oldie but a beauty!!
http://www.nimitz.navy.mil/

Of course you were kidding with the Nimitz still in service (your current or former ship I take it), but your post brought to mind the USS Saratoga (CV-60 Supercarrier). Too bad SpaceX didn't grab it before it was sold for scrap for one penny just 2 years ago, after sitting mothballed for 20 years. It went to be dismantled in of all places, Brownsville Texas, the future site of new SpaceX launch facilities.

Edit: The article from 2014 did say the Saratoga was the 2nd of 3 carriers planned for scrap, but they didn't name the 3rd, so it might still be around.
« Last Edit: 04/17/2016 03:34 AM by CyndyC »
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Offline rpapo

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #578 on: 04/17/2016 09:15 AM »
I have an idea which should fit the bill!  She's an oldie but a beauty!!
http://www.nimitz.navy.mil/

Of course you were kidding with the Nimitz still in service (your current or former ship I take it), but your post brought to mind the USS Saratoga (CV-60 Supercarrier). Too bad SpaceX didn't grab it before it was sold for scrap for one penny just 2 years ago, after sitting mothballed for 20 years. It went to be dismantled in of all places, Brownsville Texas, the future site of new SpaceX launch facilities.

Edit: The article from 2014 did say the Saratoga was the 2nd of 3 carriers planned for scrap, but they didn't name the 3rd, so it might still be around.
There are two full sized aircraft carriers in process of decommissioning right now at Newport News, Virginia.  One of them is the USS Enterprise.  I don't know offhand which is the other one.

Look here.  I believe the one on the south is the USS Enterprise.
« Last Edit: 04/17/2016 09:16 AM by rpapo »
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Offline RotoSequence

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Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #579 on: 04/17/2016 09:22 AM »
I have an idea which should fit the bill!  She's an oldie but a beauty!!
http://www.nimitz.navy.mil/

Of course you were kidding with the Nimitz still in service (your current or former ship I take it), but your post brought to mind the USS Saratoga (CV-60 Supercarrier). Too bad SpaceX didn't grab it before it was sold for scrap for one penny just 2 years ago, after sitting mothballed for 20 years. It went to be dismantled in of all places, Brownsville Texas, the future site of new SpaceX launch facilities.

Edit: The article from 2014 did say the Saratoga was the 2nd of 3 carriers planned for scrap, but they didn't name the 3rd, so it might still be around.
There are two full sized aircraft carriers in process of decommissioning right now at Newport News, Virginia.  One of them is the USS Enterprise.  I don't know offhand which is the other one.

Look here.  I believe the one on the south is the USS Enterprise.

I think the other carrier is the John F Kennedy (CV-67); I don't think SpaceX has a shot at that one.

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