Author Topic: Reusability effect on costs  (Read 147263 times)

Offline llanitedave

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #200 on: 10/19/2016 12:42 PM »
As a customer, you can complain all you like, but if SpaceX are cheaper, and you go with someone else because you are not getting a discount since SpaceX are getting half their rocket back, then you are making a bad business decision. You are paying more for the same service, because you are being petty. Shareholders might have something to say about that.

SpaceX just need to be cheaper, whether reusable or not, for people to use them in preference.
All things being equal you might be right. But then you factor in their recent safety record IE your chance of getting to orbit.

The 2nd explosion will have an effect on sales that only a successful RTF will cure.  :(

My interest is solely on lowering the price of launch for a viable payload by a lot.

2-10 flights of re use and an expendable US won't deliver that.

You imply that a successful RTF is somehow unlikely?  I do think your concerns are way overblown, and your expectations are unrealistic.
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Offline rsdavis9

Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #201 on: 10/19/2016 01:35 PM »
The key people who answer about recent failures is the insurance companies. And so far they have said no change in premium.
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Offline savuporo

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #202 on: 10/19/2016 02:09 PM »
The key people who answer about recent failures is the insurance companies. And so far they have said no change in premium.

Statements made about 2 hours after kaboom, with no details available.
Its a developing story, and the duration of investigation, nature of failure, independent assessments, market reaction etc will all affect these things. This is not '15 minutes car insurance call with no hidden fees' exactly, much more nuanced and individual deals often can get very different terms, too.
You can really assess the impact after 2-3 new contracts have been placed
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Offline envy887

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #203 on: 10/19/2016 06:53 PM »
The key people who answer about recent failures is the insurance companies. And so far they have said no change in premium.

Statements made about 2 hours after kaboom, with no details available.
Its a developing story, and the duration of investigation, nature of failure, independent assessments, market reaction etc will all affect these things. This is not '15 minutes car insurance call with no hidden fees' exactly, much more nuanced and individual deals often can get very different terms, too.
You can really assess the impact after 2-3 new contracts have been placed

In insurance terms, AMOS-6 was a pre-launch test failure. Pre-launch premiums will almost certainly rise, and not only for Falcon 9 launches, because a lot of premium payments were wiped out by just the AMOS claim.

the LAUNCH insurance market is a different beast. There haven't been many claims recently, and a lot of insurance is available at very low prices. It doesn't appear there will be a significant change to those premiums (for Falcon 9 or anyone else) unless there's an actual launch failure.

If there's any reliable sources indicating that premiums for a F9 launch on a used booster are higher, I haven't seen them. SES has indicated that the insurance costs are the same for used and new boosters.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #204 on: 10/19/2016 10:33 PM »
You imply that a successful RTF is somehow unlikely?
No. If I thought that I would have said that. However in any real situation there is a finite possibility that would happen, although AFAIK it's never happened with any other LV's RTF
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I do think your concerns are way overblown, and your expectations are unrealistic.
I have no concerns over SX's RTF and my expectations of how much SX's reuse of the F9 first stage will lower their prices are very modest. 

I've never expected the partial reuse approach would give the (potential) price lowering full reuse would give (to the $6m/launch level Shotwell talked about). It's looking like people with be lucky if it delivers anything below BAU. 
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
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Online Lar

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #205 on: 10/19/2016 11:11 PM »
You imply that a successful RTF is somehow unlikely?
No. If I thought that I would have said that. However in any real situation there is a finite possibility that would happen, although AFAIK it's never happened with any other LV's RTF
Quote
I do think your concerns are way overblown, and your expectations are unrealistic.
I have no concerns over SX's RTF and my expectations of how much SX's reuse of the F9 first stage will lower their prices are very modest. 

I've never expected the partial reuse approach would give the (potential) price lowering full reuse would give (to the $6m/launch level Shotwell talked about). It's looking like people with be lucky if it delivers anything below BAU. 

FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit ???

Oh John, you're so predictable. Skylon always will hit the most optimistic assumption based estimates, and everything else won't hit even the pessimistic assumption based estimates.

I'd expected SpaceX to get more aggressive on price but I have some ideas (as do others in the thread) on why they might feel they don't need to. Price != Cost though.
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Online Robotbeat

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #206 on: 10/20/2016 03:31 AM »
Considering ULA, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Masten, and even Ariane are pursuing reuse to some extent, maybe we should have a thread about "Expendability effect on costs."
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Offline john smith 19

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #207 on: 10/20/2016 07:24 AM »
FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit ???
Business As Usual. The shorthand term for when a company morphs into the Big Aerospace mindset.  :(
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Oh John, you're so predictable. Skylon always will hit the most optimistic assumption based estimates, and everything else won't hit even the pessimistic assumption based estimates.
This thread has nothing to do with Skylon but since you brought it in REL have worked hard to look at the worst case in terms of pricing and development costs.

So far I've heard SX prices go from (projected) $6m (full reuse) to a desire for 50% below expendable price with SX countering with maybe  a 30% price discount and now possibly none.

I'll skip the pad explosion centered on the 2nd (expendable) stage which even when it flies will be the one part that will not be fully testable until launch.
Quote
I'd expected SpaceX to get more aggressive on price but I have some ideas (as do others in the thread) on why they might feel they don't need to. Price != Cost though.
As anyone on this thread should be aware.  Thanks for reminding us of this important fact.

But price to customer is what expands the market and it's what must come down if people wat to see serious expansion. A semi expendable architecture could deliver frequent enough access to LEO to support things like in space mfg but the price per unit mass eliminates AFAIK every possible product such a facility could make.

As for space tourism I'm quite sure Bigelow would have done it by now if a $6m/flight fully reusable F9 existed. Likewise NASA (or even some universities) might consider the first dedicated mission to Uranus (orbital plan nearly 90deg to the ecliptic). Likewise Saturn has had little attention, although both are as big as Jupiter.

I'll be very excited to see SX RTF. I hope it will be off their new pad opening in November, which seems the earliest possible. I don't think the damaged pad will be back in operation before next year. What I really want to see is that launch price lowered.

Classic "Big Aerospace" policy is charge what the market will bear. 

Let's see if SX will take the gamble and see if they offer it at a better price wheather the business will come at that price.  They don't have to but it'll be a real test of their faith in their vision.

Then I'll look forward to their first booster reflight.

Edit/Lar: fixed John's quotes for him. Left the snark.
« Last Edit: 10/20/2016 04:58 PM by Lar »
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
So you're going to Mars to seek a better life. What does that mean to you? Always spot a fanbois by how they react to their idols failures.

Online guckyfan

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #208 on: 10/20/2016 04:15 PM »
So far I've heard SX prices go from (projected) $6m (full reuse) to a desire for 50% below expendable price with SX countering with maybe  a 30% price discount and now possibly none.

They never said they would reach that price with Falcon. They are clearly planning to reach that price with their methane architecture, even with ITS.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #209 on: 10/20/2016 05:56 PM »
So far I've heard SX prices go from (projected) $6m (full reuse) to a desire for 50% below expendable price with SX countering with maybe  a 30% price discount and now possibly none.

They never said they would reach that price with Falcon. They are clearly planning to reach that price with their methane architecture, even with ITS.
If you mean $6m that's the figure Shotwell was talking about in 2014 at that years comm sat conference.  she seemed to think it was doable with the technology SX had on hand at the time.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
So you're going to Mars to seek a better life. What does that mean to you? Always spot a fanbois by how they react to their idols failures.

Online guckyfan

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #210 on: 10/21/2016 07:48 AM »
So far I've heard SX prices go from (projected) $6m (full reuse) to a desire for 50% below expendable price with SX countering with maybe  a 30% price discount and now possibly none.

They never said they would reach that price with Falcon. They are clearly planning to reach that price with their methane architecture, even with ITS.
If you mean $6m that's the figure Shotwell was talking about in 2014 at that years comm sat conference.  she seemed to think it was doable with the technology SX had on hand at the time.

That's your interpretation. She did not say that.

Offline GWH

Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #211 on: 10/21/2016 07:31 PM »
So far I've heard SX prices go from (projected) $6m (full reuse) to a desire for 50% below expendable price with SX countering with maybe  a 30% price discount and now possibly none.

They never said they would reach that price with Falcon. They are clearly planning to reach that price with their methane architecture, even with ITS.
If you mean $6m that's the figure Shotwell was talking about in 2014 at that years comm sat conference.  she seemed to think it was doable with the technology SX had on hand at the time.

That's your interpretation. She did not say that.

Musk has said a single order of magnitude  cost reduction with partially expendable launch system. Another order of magnitude by going fully reusable. 
Saying that they really meant with a new generation of hardware is disingenuous.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #212 on: 10/21/2016 08:18 PM »
No it isnt. It's disingenuous to put words in either Musk's or Shotwell's mouth. Musk speaks in generalities and first principle relations. Unless otherwise specified, interpret Musk's statement in that way.

He thinks it is possible in principle to get up to an order of magnitude cost reduction using partial reuse (a good case being Falcon Heavy). He thinks it's possible in principle to get two orders of magnitude cost reduction with full reuse.
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Online Robotbeat

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #213 on: 10/21/2016 08:30 PM »
And Shotwell's comment implied full Reusability.
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Offline GWH

Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #214 on: 10/22/2016 12:28 AM »
Yes Gwynne Shotwell spoke on full reusability costs of Falcon 9. 
"but its pulling all of those kinds of pieces together, that allow us to fly Falcon 9 for a nice price reduction in the industry. But the real key to changing things dramatically is this concept of re-usability. That's when you go from flying a 60 million dollar mission to flying a 5, 6 or 7 million dollar mission."
http://shitelonsays.com/transcript/singapore-satellite-industry-forum-2013-opening-keynote-gwynne-shotwell-2013-06-23

Elon Musk speaking in generalities but directly regarding Falcon 9:
"[1:29]
If you can perfect this technology to the point where you can begin actually reusing boosters can you give us a sense of what that might mean for lowering launch costs?
Yeah, absolutely. The Falcon 9 rocket costs about $60 million to build. It's kind of like a big jet. But, the cost of the propellant, which is mostly oxygen and the gas, is only about $200,000. That means that the potential cost reduction over the long term is probably in excess of a factor of 100."
http://shitelonsays.com/transcript/postlanding-teleconference-with-elon-musk-2015-12-22

Not trying to put words in either Musk's or Shotwell's mouth.  That being said I think that the assumption they were talking about the potential of Falcon 9 (with full reusability) is a more fair statement than:

They never said they would reach that price with Falcon. They are clearly planning to reach that price with their methane architecture, even with ITS.

Maybe they are at the realization NOW that their methane based architecture is needed, but looking back I don't think it's fair so say that was their plan all along (see the original, full reuse F9 and associated quotes):
http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/rockets/a7446/elon-musk-on-spacexs-reusable-rocket-plans-6653023/

Online AncientU

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #215 on: 10/22/2016 01:02 AM »
This thread should be renamed Launch Failure Effect on Costs.

What we are seeing now is the attempt to pay for 10 months of not launching in the last 20 months, plus cost of rebuilding LC-40.  Not surprising the discount is disappearing... and a base price increase wouldn't be a surprise either.  Cannot separate reusability effects on costs from these recent kabooms; failures take a huge financial toll*.

Two or ten reuses are steps on a path to reuse being the industry standard. 
But those are walking steps, not running yet.

They are still far ahead of whomever is second in the reuse and low cost games.

* Something in the neighborhood of a billion dollars I'd estimate.
« Last Edit: 10/22/2016 01:05 AM by AncientU »
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Offline Dante2121

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #216 on: 10/22/2016 12:15 PM »

But price to customer is what expands the market and it's what must come down if people wat to see serious expansion. A semi expendable architecture could deliver frequent enough access to LEO to support things like in space mfg but the price per unit mass eliminates AFAIK every possible product such a facility could make.

Made in Space is getting excitingly close to demonstrating profitable space mfg - even at today's launch costs.  Discussion starts here in the 3D space printing thread.

Next year Made in Space is going to start trial manufacturing ZBLAN on the ISS.

http://www.engineering.com/3DPrinting/3DPrintingArticles/ArticleID/12662/Made-In-Space-to-Make-Fiber-Optics-in-Space.aspx

This is really cool because the material is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars per kilogram - e.g.it could be wildly profitable even with today's launch costs.

https://sites.google.com/site/cmapproject/case-studies/exotic-glasses-and-fibers

Offline envy887

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #217 on: 10/22/2016 02:55 PM »
So far I've heard SX prices go from (projected) $6m (full reuse) to a desire for 50% below expendable price with SX countering with maybe  a 30% price discount and now possibly none.

They never said they would reach that price with Falcon. They are clearly planning to reach that price with their methane architecture, even with ITS.
If you mean $6m that's the figure Shotwell was talking about in 2014 at that years comm sat conference.  she seemed to think it was doable with the technology SX had on hand at the time.
$6m Falcon 9 launch prices REQUIRES both a reusable upper stage/PLF and very high flight rate, as in multiple launches per week. They may have been the original plan for Falcon 9, but that clearly isn't the plan now.

And a reusable upper stage has never been "on hand" technology.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #218 on: 10/22/2016 05:51 PM »
Maybe they are at the realization NOW that their methane based architecture is needed, but looking back I don't think it's fair so say that was their plan all along (see the original, full reuse F9 and associated quotes):
http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/rockets/a7446/elon-musk-on-spacexs-reusable-rocket-plans-6653023/
Indeed. A fully reusuable F9 seemed to be the plan up till around 2014. I'd love to know what SX have learned that turned that around. :(
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
So you're going to Mars to seek a better life. What does that mean to you? Always spot a fanbois by how they react to their idols failures.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #219 on: 10/22/2016 05:56 PM »
$6m Falcon 9 launch prices REQUIRES both a reusable upper stage/PLF and very high flight rate, as in multiple launches per week. They may have been the original plan for Falcon 9, but that clearly isn't the plan now.
I'd certainly agree with the reusable US, and a reusable PLF would simplify this however high flight rate would be needed to maintain revenue.  Obviously the belief was the massively lowered launch cost would greatly increase the number of people willing to use space rather than a last resort.
Quote
And a reusable upper stage has never been "on hand" technology.
True.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
So you're going to Mars to seek a better life. What does that mean to you? Always spot a fanbois by how they react to their idols failures.

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