Author Topic: Reusability effect on costs  (Read 168262 times)

Online Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 27790
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 7670
  • Likes Given: 5113
Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #240 on: 12/03/2016 05:57 AM »
Think "apologetics." Not at all a negative term.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline sdsds

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5479
  • "With peace and hope for all mankind."
  • Seattle
  • Liked: 577
  • Likes Given: 677
Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #241 on: 12/03/2016 06:11 AM »
It also implies there is something to apologise for

You are correct the author is implying something. But it isn't that there is something to "say you are sorry" about.

The main place where the term apologist is used is in the context of religious apologetics. There is also a common tendency to use the term "religion" to refer to strongly held secular beliefs, particularly in new technology fields. The author is thus simply implying that some of those who believe strongly in reusable spaceflight technology believe humankind as a whole will benefit from its introduction.

I rather agree with your point that there would have been better words to use in that sentence that would have been less likely to cause confusion. Were I the author's editor I would have suggested zealot. Or fanatic. Or simply ... fan.
« Last Edit: 12/03/2016 06:13 AM by sdsds »
-- sdsds --

Offline DOCinCT

Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #242 on: 12/03/2016 02:27 PM »
A couple of recent documents have just been listed on NTRS that may be of interest to readers of this thread.  One is a conference paper and the other is the presentation slides that accompany it.

Is It Worth It? - the Economics of Reusable Space Transportation

Abstract
...
Abstracts usually include the conclusion; this one is pure tease (and long-winded at that). Would someone who's read the papers kindly provide a TL:DR. Many thanks.
Best slide is #17 "cost of transportation systems"   might be worth comparing the cost breakdown there with eter B. de Selding's article http://spacenews.com/spacexs-reusable-falcon-9-what-are-the-real-cost-savings-for-customers/
As to a conclusion, the author doesn't really have one other than it depends.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5702
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 4985
  • Likes Given: 1393
Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #243 on: 03/31/2017 07:05 AM »
In the SES-10 press conference Elon said SpaceX have spent something like a billion dollars developing re-usability. So there's a lot of development cost to pay off. Elon said there will be a 'meaningful' discount for re-using a booster now but they won't pass on full savings so development cost can be recouped.

Offline jg

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 256
  • Liked: 102
  • Likes Given: 6
Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #244 on: 04/01/2017 12:32 AM »
In the SES-10 press conference Elon said SpaceX have spent something like a billion dollars developing re-usability. So there's a lot of development cost to pay off. Elon said there will be a 'meaningful' discount for re-using a booster now but they won't pass on full savings so development cost can be recouped.

Also remember that "fast followers" (or slow followers) won't have as healthy prices to repay their re-usability development costs.  The new entrants get to compete at a much lower price point for each "test" flight and are going to get to subsidize flights to win contracts.

This is a situation where the later entrants have a higher entry cost.  Bezos has so much money it may not matter, but others who want to follow are going to find it tough to get profitable paid missions to perfect their implementations.  They do have the advantage of knowing it *can* be done, of course.
                 - Jim

Offline su27k

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 858
  • Liked: 572
  • Likes Given: 63
Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #245 on: 04/01/2017 03:17 AM »
In the SES-10 press conference Elon said SpaceX have spent something like a billion dollars developing re-usability. So there's a lot of development cost to pay off. Elon said there will be a 'meaningful' discount for re-using a booster now but they won't pass on full savings so development cost can be recouped.

Actually I'm not sure the $1B figure is for reusability alone, seems way too high for just the test program/grid fin/legs/ASDS etc. $1B is about 1000 engineers for 5 years, I think that's the total R&D they have invested in F9, which include all the performance upgrades too.

Offline guckyfan

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6578
  • Germany
  • Liked: 1690
  • Likes Given: 1601
Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #246 on: 04/01/2017 02:58 PM »
Actually I'm not sure the $1B figure is for reusability alone, seems way too high for just the test program/grid fin/legs/ASDS etc. $1B is about 1000 engineers for 5 years, I think that's the total R&D they have invested in F9, which include all the performance upgrades too.

Sounds right to me. It does contrast extremely with rocket development cost of other launch service providers. Maybe the whole development cost after the 1.0. That was 300 million $, right?

Online Prettz

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 192
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Liked: 79
  • Likes Given: 16
Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #247 on: 04/01/2017 03:04 PM »
Would that $1 billion include the cost of all the recovery-related hardware on all the boosters they've launched thus far? That would make sense to me.

Offline mme

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1188
  • Santa Barbara, CA, USA, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, Virgo Supercluster
  • Liked: 1429
  • Likes Given: 3866
Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #248 on: 04/01/2017 05:16 PM »
In the SES-10 press conference Elon said SpaceX have spent something like a billion dollars developing re-usability. So there's a lot of development cost to pay off. Elon said there will be a 'meaningful' discount for re-using a booster now but they won't pass on full savings so development cost can be recouped.

Actually I'm not sure the $1B figure is for reusability alone, seems way too high for just the test program/grid fin/legs/ASDS etc. $1B is about 1000 engineers for 5 years, I think that's the total R&D they have invested in F9, which include all the performance upgrades too.
The performance upgrades where required for reusability.  Basically all development after v1.0 was because parachute recovery failed.
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Offline MP99

Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #249 on: 04/01/2017 06:09 PM »


Actually I'm not sure the $1B figure is for reusability alone, seems way too high for just the test program/grid fin/legs/ASDS etc. $1B is about 1000 engineers for 5 years, I think that's the total R&D they have invested in F9, which include all the performance upgrades too.

Sounds right to me. It does contrast extremely with rocket development cost of other launch service providers. Maybe the whole development cost after the 1.0. That was 300 million $, right?

Recovery does depend on having the performance to spare, and on having the mass fractions to make that penalty not too large.

Cheers, Martin


Online meekGee

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8054
  • N. California
  • Liked: 4301
  • Likes Given: 859
Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #250 on: 04/02/2017 08:44 AM »
In the SES-10 press conference Elon said SpaceX have spent something like a billion dollars developing re-usability. So there's a lot of development cost to pay off. Elon said there will be a 'meaningful' discount for re-using a booster now but they won't pass on full savings so development cost can be recouped.

Actually I'm not sure the $1B figure is for reusability alone, seems way too high for just the test program/grid fin/legs/ASDS etc. $1B is about 1000 engineers for 5 years, I think that's the total R&D they have invested in F9, which include all the performance upgrades too.
The performance upgrades where required for reusability.  Basically all development after v1.0 was because parachute recovery failed.
Propulsive RTLS started, from what I know, just a bit after the first F9 flight.  The parachutes were something they experimented with, but it was not the main plan from a very early date.

The "cost of reusability" figure IMO includes the hardware - GH and launches with experimental hardware.  Otherwise $1B is too high.
ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Offline AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5857
  • Liked: 3671
  • Likes Given: 5115
Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #251 on: 04/02/2017 01:49 PM »
Yes, if you include all vehicle mods, Merlin upgrades, landing legs, sport interstages, ASDSs, fleet operations, Grasshopper/Dev testing, etc., and the engineering/labor to make these tests happen -- all stuff that could simply been ignored if they were splashing all stages, then $1B isn't too unreasonable.  Might even say the rebuilding of LC-40 is a cost of reusability (fast operational flow) testing, but drawing an exact line is not possible.
« Last Edit: 04/02/2017 01:50 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline ChrisGebhardt

  • Assistant Managing Editor
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6209
  • ad astra scientia
  • ~1 AU
  • Liked: 4075
  • Likes Given: 519
Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #252 on: 04/05/2017 02:40 PM »
I'm trying to understand the practical nature of the "100 fold decrease to overall coast" statement Musk made in the post-launch news conference for SES-10.  So, have I done this right...

If a baseline F9 cost $62M (SpaceX website) then to find the price after a 100 fold decrease, it's:

62/x = 100 fold.

Solving for x, I get 38.

So a 100 fold reduction in cost leads to a new value of $38M for a flight-proven core after a $24M reduction.

Have I done that right?

Offline M.E.T.

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 530
  • Liked: 221
  • Likes Given: 18
Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #253 on: 04/05/2017 02:44 PM »
I'm trying to understand the practical nature of the "100 fold decrease to overall coast" statement Musk made in the post-launch news conference for SES-10.  So, have I done this right...

If a baseline F9 cost $62M (SpaceX website) then to find the price after a 100 fold decrease, it's:

62/x = 100 fold.

Solving for x, I get 38.

So a 100 fold reduction in cost leads to a new value of $38M for a flight-proven core after a $24M reduction.

Have I done that right?

I took a hundred fold reduction as meaning two orders of magnitude. Meaning 62m/100 = $620k or 1% of the original cost. But I guess it depends on the exact context of the quote.

If it is 100 fold applied only to the booster cost, then it is a reduction of 99% of the booster cost, which would be 62m x 70% x 99% = a $42.9m saving, once the 100 fold reduction comes into effect.
« Last Edit: 04/05/2017 02:47 PM by M.E.T. »

Offline ChrisGebhardt

  • Assistant Managing Editor
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6209
  • ad astra scientia
  • ~1 AU
  • Liked: 4075
  • Likes Given: 519
Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #254 on: 04/05/2017 02:47 PM »
I'm trying to understand the practical nature of the "100 fold decrease to overall coast" statement Musk made in the post-launch news conference for SES-10.  So, have I done this right...

If a baseline F9 cost $62M (SpaceX website) then to find the price after a 100 fold decrease, it's:

62/x = 100 fold.

Solving for x, I get 38.

So a 100 fold reduction in cost leads to a new value of $38M for a flight-proven core after a $24M reduction.

Have I done that right?

I took a hundred fold reduction as meaning two orders of magnitude. Meaning 62m/100 = $620k or 1% of the original cost. But I guess it depends on the exact context of the quote.

I don't think that jives with SpaceX's statements of offering the first few flight-proven core customers 10% discount

Offline M.E.T.

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 530
  • Liked: 221
  • Likes Given: 18
Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #255 on: 04/05/2017 02:58 PM »
Was the 100 fold reduction not applicable in the long term, rather than immediately?

Offline kaiser

  • Member
  • Posts: 51
  • Liked: 70
  • Likes Given: 20
Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #256 on: 04/05/2017 03:01 PM »
In the SES-10 press conference Elon said SpaceX have spent something like a billion dollars developing re-usability. So there's a lot of development cost to pay off. Elon said there will be a 'meaningful' discount for re-using a booster now but they won't pass on full savings so development cost can be recouped.

Actually I'm not sure the $1B figure is for reusability alone, seems way too high for just the test program/grid fin/legs/ASDS etc. $1B is about 1000 engineers for 5 years, I think that's the total R&D they have invested in F9, which include all the performance upgrades too.

As always, it's more complex than what you saw.  But I agree that $1B covers likely more than just the reusability.  Edit:  I also get a bit less engineering hours than you, about half....these engineers have lots of overhead (specialty software, high end computers, lab space, etc that drives rates fairly high in my estimation).  Usually over half of your money during development/design is spent on hardware, so even less than that.  Then it would be a couple hundred engineers for a couple of years, which seems fair.

But remember that these didn't just spring forward out of nowhere.  They had to initially test the grid fins in some chamber, and so on.  Not to mention design and iterate/optimize that design.  You have a whole set of capital equipment for implementing it, which is quite expensive.

Also, I attended a talk from a SpaceX employee about how they gathered a team of physicists and mathematicians and essentially re-wrote from scratch all of the aerodynamic/fluid flow equations and software.  What everyone is using works great on regular CPUs, but they realized that they couldn't throw enough horsepower at the problem for them to be able to solve all of the tricky issues with respect to iterating on reuse.  It would take many weeks for even a small design alteration to get fluid flow answers back.

So, they re-formulated all of the equations so that they could run on a GPU.  Non-trivial task that they had large a pretty good chunk of high end physicists and mathematicians working on.  But once complete, it allowed them to quickly iterate and run optimization sweeps on the design.

Then add in the millions of dollars of servers full of GPUs to serve as the computing cluster, and it adds up.

BTW, that talk was at Nvidia's Developer Conference probably 2-3 years ago if I remember right...they usually have them online for those whom want to watch it.
« Last Edit: 04/05/2017 03:05 PM by kaiser »

Offline saliva_sweet

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 544
  • Liked: 415
  • Likes Given: 1309
Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #257 on: 04/05/2017 03:56 PM »
Was the 100 fold reduction not applicable in the long term, rather than immediately?

IIRC from the presser, it was the ITS BFR that was supposed to give 100x reduction in $/kg.
« Last Edit: 04/05/2017 03:57 PM by saliva_sweet »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5702
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 4985
  • Likes Given: 1393
Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #258 on: 04/05/2017 04:20 PM »
Yes, Elon has long talked about a 100-fold reduction in terms of the long-term aim, with full (all stages) and rapid re-use. He's basing that on the cost of propellant vs pre-SpaceX prices.

Offline Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9948
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 6763
  • Likes Given: 4545
Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #259 on: 04/05/2017 04:22 PM »
In the SES-10 press conference Elon said SpaceX have spent something like a billion dollars developing re-usability. So there's a lot of development cost to pay off. Elon said there will be a 'meaningful' discount for re-using a booster now but they won't pass on full savings so development cost can be recouped.

Actually I'm not sure the $1B figure is for reusability alone, seems way too high for just the test program/grid fin/legs/ASDS etc. $1B is about 1000 engineers for 5 years, I think that's the total R&D they have invested in F9, which include all the performance upgrades too.
The performance upgrades where required for reusability.  Basically all development after v1.0 was because parachute recovery failed.
Um, the performance upgrades were required in any case, IMHO... F9 1.0 wasn't capable of serving the GTO market well, again IMHO.
"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

Tags: