Author Topic: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3  (Read 603003 times)

Offline Kabloona

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4086
  • Velocitas Eradico
  • Fortress of Solitude
  • Liked: 2256
  • Likes Given: 464
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #880 on: 05/07/2016 03:00 PM »
Quote
Vesselfinder says 5.1 knots for Elsbeth III speed, is that fast? (Note: this info is not from their sat AIS subscription service, I don't have it).

No, that's normal speed for a 4-day trip, so I don't see now they can be predicting a 2-day trip.

Offline spacenut

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2199
  • East Alabama
  • Liked: 328
  • Likes Given: 206
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #881 on: 05/07/2016 03:13 PM »
If they want to land all three stages at sea, maybe they could buy an old gutted aircraft carrier.   If it is a carrier with a side launch.  They could land one fore and aft and one on the side launcher.  Lots of equipment for beginning refurbishment could be stored below deck. 

Offline Kabloona

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4086
  • Velocitas Eradico
  • Fortress of Solitude
  • Liked: 2256
  • Likes Given: 464
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #882 on: 05/07/2016 03:39 PM »
If they want to land all three stages at sea, maybe they could buy an old gutted aircraft carrier.   If it is a carrier with a side launch.  They could land one fore and aft and one on the side launcher.  Lots of equipment for beginning refurbishment could be stored below deck.

****NEWS FLASH****

New thread created for all proposals that SpaceX buy an old aircraft carrier, oil rig, SeaLaunch Odyssey, etc:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40258.msg1530687#msg1530687

So that we may kindly avoid repeating such discussions on this thread for the 19th time...thank you.  :)

Offline AC in NC

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 205
  • Raleigh NC
  • Liked: 166
  • Likes Given: 170
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #883 on: 05/07/2016 04:09 PM »
Quote
Vesselfinder says 5.1 knots for Elsbeth III speed, is that fast? (Note: this info is not from their sat AIS subscription service, I don't have it).

No, that's normal speed for a 4-day trip, so I don't see now they can be predicting a 2-day trip.

I'm virtually certain the Elsbeth III data is the same as the last received update when it stopped updating after leaving Port Canaveral.  I do not believe it's a computed ETA based on live data.  The ETA I suspect it is either calculated or a manually filed estimate from the date of departure and has not been updated since.


Edit:  As mentioned on Return Coverage thread.  That ETA says MARCH 8TH so it's clearly not being updated at all.   :o
« Last Edit: 05/07/2016 04:17 PM by AC in NC »

Offline Coastal Ron

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3522
  • I live... along the coast
  • Liked: 2272
  • Likes Given: 2841
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #884 on: 05/08/2016 08:35 PM »
Too many details to remember these days for what SpaceX is doing, and too many pages of threads to go thru, so I'll ask:

Do we know if SpaceX is building more barges for the East Coast?  Or are we thinking that they will stick with one for now?

I'm assuming the plan for Falcon Heavy is that they want to recover the boosters on land (RTLS), so a second one would only be needed as a backup, or to handle an increase in launch tempo.

Any updates would be appreciated.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline cscott

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2638
  • Liked: 1843
  • Likes Given: 658
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #885 on: 05/09/2016 12:51 AM »
No indication of new construction, and we got verification that MARMAC 300 isn't about to be reconverted either.

Offline bstrong

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 393
  • Liked: 492
  • Likes Given: 328
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #886 on: 05/09/2016 12:53 AM »
Too many details to remember these days for what SpaceX is doing, and too many pages of threads to go thru, so I'll ask:

Do we know if SpaceX is building more barges for the East Coast?  Or are we thinking that they will stick with one for now?

I'm assuming the plan for Falcon Heavy is that they want to recover the boosters on land (RTLS), so a second one would only be needed as a backup, or to handle an increase in launch tempo.

Any updates would be appreciated.

There aren't any that we know of, and Kabloona has reported that all the Marmac 3xx's are currently leased. However, there are quite a few similarly sized barges sitting idle in the bayous of Morgan City and Houma, so I imagine they could find one if needed.

If it was up to me, I'd have another one under construction right now purely for redundancy purposes. With a $60M launch every three weeks, a week's delay costs you $20M in revenue and probably $4M in earnings for the year. Since $4M is probably in the ballpark of the annual cost of an ASDS, it's worth it if you expect it to save just one week of launch delays due to waiting for barge repairs.

Or, if you lost your one-and-only ASDS in a storm, you could be forced to choose between splashing tens of millions of dollars worth of rockets vs delaying launches for a couple of months while you got a new one into service.

Offline CameronD

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1256
  • Melbourne, Australia
    • Norton Consultants
  • Liked: 401
  • Likes Given: 302
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #887 on: 05/09/2016 12:57 AM »
Or, if you lost your one-and-only ASDS in a storm, you could be forced to choose between splashing tens of millions of dollars worth of rockets vs delaying launches for a couple of months while you got a new one into service.

Practically speaking, you wouldn't.  You'd make one phone call to Dockwise and ask them to pick up the East Coast ASDS ASAP and bring it around in time for the next launch.  Sure, it wouldn't be cheap, but it wouldn't cost millions nor take months neither.
« Last Edit: 05/09/2016 12:59 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 bstrong

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 393
  • Liked: 492
  • Likes Given: 328
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #888 on: 05/09/2016 01:05 AM »
Or, if you lost your one-and-only ASDS in a storm, you could be forced to choose between splashing tens of millions of dollars worth of rockets vs delaying launches for a couple of months while you got a new one into service.

Practically speaking, you wouldn't.  You'd make one phone call to Dockwise and ask them to pick up the East Coast ASDS ASAP and bring it around in time for the next launch.  Sure, it wouldn't be cheap, but it wouldn't cost millions nor take months neither.

So, what's a reasonable estimate of the elapsed time between when you pick up the phone to call Dockwise and when JRTI is sitting in Port Canaveral with wings reattached and ready to put to sea? I have a hard time believing it could happen in three weeks.

Offline cscott

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2638
  • Liked: 1843
  • Likes Given: 658
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #889 on: 05/09/2016 01:37 AM »
I have a feeling that SpaceX isn't quite ready to have quite as many cores returned as they are currently getting.  There is additional work to be done on the F9 design until these cores are really fully reusable, and those changes will take some time to work their way through the production line.  If they were to lose their East Coast ASDS tomorrow I don't see them spending huge amounts to replace it, not yet.

Offline CameronD

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1256
  • Melbourne, Australia
    • Norton Consultants
  • Liked: 401
  • Likes Given: 302
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #890 on: 05/09/2016 02:05 AM »
Or, if you lost your one-and-only ASDS in a storm, you could be forced to choose between splashing tens of millions of dollars worth of rockets vs delaying launches for a couple of months while you got a new one into service.

Practically speaking, you wouldn't.  You'd make one phone call to Dockwise and ask them to pick up the East Coast ASDS ASAP and bring it around in time for the next launch.  Sure, it wouldn't be cheap, but it wouldn't cost millions nor take months neither.

So, what's a reasonable estimate of the elapsed time between when you pick up the phone to call Dockwise and when JRTI is sitting in Port Canaveral with wings reattached and ready to put to sea? I have a hard time believing it could happen in three weeks.

Depends on whether or not Dockwise happen to have a suitable ship nearby, I suppose.

I couldn't say for certain since I don't live there, but knowing how much traffic there is over your side of the planet, I would have thought it was possible to make a 3-week deadline.. just.

..and there's no need to take the wings off. That's simply unnecessary for a trip via Cape Horn.

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 CJ

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 801
  • Liked: 569
  • Likes Given: 179
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #891 on: 05/09/2016 09:09 AM »
Or, if you lost your one-and-only ASDS in a storm, you could be forced to choose between splashing tens of millions of dollars worth of rockets vs delaying launches for a couple of months while you got a new one into service.

Practically speaking, you wouldn't.  You'd make one phone call to Dockwise and ask them to pick up the East Coast ASDS ASAP and bring it around in time for the next launch.  Sure, it wouldn't be cheap, but it wouldn't cost millions nor take months neither.

So, what's a reasonable estimate of the elapsed time between when you pick up the phone to call Dockwise and when JRTI is sitting in Port Canaveral with wings reattached and ready to put to sea? I have a hard time believing it could happen in three weeks.

Depends on whether or not Dockwise happen to have a suitable ship nearby, I suppose.

I couldn't say for certain since I don't live there, but knowing how much traffic there is over your side of the planet, I would have thought it was possible to make a 3-week deadline.. just.

..and there's no need to take the wings off. That's simply unnecessary for a trip via Cape Horn.

I think your point about moving an ASDS from one cost to the other in case of need is a very good one.

However, the Dockwise option would IMHO be a near-term-only; the inauguration of the Panama Canal expansion is expected next month (around June 26th), and the new lock chambers are 180 ft. wide. The ASDSs have a beam of, I think, 170 feet with wings. JRTI could (once the canal expansion is in operation) be towed to Florida in... I get 4188 nautical miles for the voyage (approximately) and at 5 knots average that's 837 hours, about 34 days. If they were in more of a hurry, hire a bigger tug to get a few extra knots. Upping the average speed to 8 knots would cut the transit time down to 22 days.     

Online sewebster

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 240
  • British Columbia
  • Liked: 171
  • Likes Given: 87
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #892 on: 05/09/2016 08:03 PM »
However, the Dockwise option would IMHO be a near-term-only; the inauguration of the Panama Canal expansion is expected next month (around June 26th), and the new lock chambers are 180 ft. wide. The ASDSs have a beam of, I think, 170 feet with wings. JRTI could (once the canal expansion is in operation) be towed to Florida in... I get 4188 nautical miles for the voyage (approximately) and at 5 knots average that's 837 hours, about 34 days. If they were in more of a hurry, hire a bigger tug to get a few extra knots. Upping the average speed to 8 knots would cut the transit time down to 22 days.   

Of course if it fits through Panama then the Dockwise option becomes a factor of three (approx?) faster too, which could be more than 8 knots by a lot I assume.

But I would expect Dockwise is not particularly inexpensive? How much would it actually cost to transport something from LA to Port Canaveral?

Offline bstrong

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 393
  • Liked: 492
  • Likes Given: 328
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #893 on: 05/09/2016 08:20 PM »
I have a feeling that SpaceX isn't quite ready to have quite as many cores returned as they are currently getting.  There is additional work to be done on the F9 design until these cores are really fully reusable, and those changes will take some time to work their way through the production line.  If they were to lose their East Coast ASDS tomorrow I don't see them spending huge amounts to replace it, not yet.

I don't know. Even if most of the cores never fly again as complete units, there are ~$10M worth of engines on each one that seem to be pretty stable in design at this point. And I don't remember what the estimated value of the titanium in the octaweb was, but it was non-trivial, as well. It's worth a good bit of trouble to recover those parts, if nothing else.

Offline sghill

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1319
  • United States
  • Liked: 1445
  • Likes Given: 2056
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #894 on: 05/09/2016 08:39 PM »
I found us a new webcam!

http://orlandoprincess.com/

Looks right across the harbor a the big yellow crane and unloading area!

Bring the thunder Elon!

Offline CJ

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 801
  • Liked: 569
  • Likes Given: 179
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #895 on: 05/09/2016 09:32 PM »
However, the Dockwise option would IMHO be a near-term-only; the inauguration of the Panama Canal expansion is expected next month (around June 26th), and the new lock chambers are 180 ft. wide. The ASDSs have a beam of, I think, 170 feet with wings. JRTI could (once the canal expansion is in operation) be towed to Florida in... I get 4188 nautical miles for the voyage (approximately) and at 5 knots average that's 837 hours, about 34 days. If they were in more of a hurry, hire a bigger tug to get a few extra knots. Upping the average speed to 8 knots would cut the transit time down to 22 days.   

Of course if it fits through Panama then the Dockwise option becomes a factor of three (approx?) faster too, which could be more than 8 knots by a lot I assume.

But I would expect Dockwise is not particularly inexpensive? How much would it actually cost to transport something from LA to Port Canaveral?

The Dockwise ship could do 13 to 14 knots lightly laden (the ASDS is way below their max load limits) but, there's a rather large (sorry for the pun) problem; the dockwise ships won't fit through even the expanded Panama canal (the narrowest of the three ships is about 206 feet in beam), so you'd need one to deliver the ASDS to one end, a tug to take the ASDS through, and another Dockwise on the far end to pick it up. Seeing as how there are only three, that's prohibitively unlikely IMHO.

I have no idea how much Dockwise charges. Their ships cost a quarter billion or more, so I suspect they charge a lot.

Offline cscott

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2638
  • Liked: 1843
  • Likes Given: 658
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #896 on: 05/09/2016 10:04 PM »
The proposal was to take advantage of the Dockwise ship's speed to take the ASDS all the way around South America.  I have no insight as to whether that's a reasonable idea or not.

Offline CameronD

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1256
  • Melbourne, Australia
    • Norton Consultants
  • Liked: 401
  • Likes Given: 302
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #897 on: 05/10/2016 12:17 AM »
The Dockwise ship could do 13 to 14 knots lightly laden (the ASDS is way below their max load limits) but, there's a rather large (sorry for the pun) problem; the dockwise ships won't fit through even the expanded Panama canal (the narrowest of the three ships is about 206 feet in beam), so you'd need one to deliver the ASDS to one end, a tug to take the ASDS through, and another Dockwise on the far end to pick it up. Seeing as how there are only three, that's prohibitively unlikely IMHO.

The proposal was to take advantage of the Dockwise ship's speed to take the ASDS all the way around South America.  I have no insight as to whether that's a reasonable idea or not.

It's perfectly reasonable.  They carted Australia's LHD hulls all the way from Spain, via Cape Horn and the Roaring Forties... and do that sort of thing every day AIUI.

They'd still pick their weather, but Cape Horn isn't the maelstrom it's made out to be every day and whilst it may still take a few weeks to get around and back up again, as CJ points out, one ASDS is way below load limits for even the smallest of their fleet (they'd probably load extra cargo - maybe a motor-yacht or two) so they'd be cruising at the top of their speed range.


I have no idea how much Dockwise charges. Their ships cost a quarter billion or more, so I suspect they charge a lot.

I can say it'd be six figures.. but it shouldn't be more than that.  Especially not given the added publicity it would generate for the carrier.  Not cheaper than towing it yourself at a snail's pace (with all of the associated risks), but still less than pulling it apart for the transit of Panama and rebuilding it again on the other side.
 
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 cscott

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2638
  • Liked: 1843
  • Likes Given: 658
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #898 on: 05/10/2016 12:18 AM »
I bet the Panama transit, including reassembly, was less than 6 figures.

Offline CameronD

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1256
  • Melbourne, Australia
    • Norton Consultants
  • Liked: 401
  • Likes Given: 302
Re: SpaceX's Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #899 on: 05/10/2016 12:30 AM »
I bet the Panama transit, including reassembly, was less than 6 figures.

Cheap labour, huh?  ;D
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.

Tags: