Author Topic: Reusability effect on costs  (Read 180054 times)

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #440 on: 05/17/2017 04:15 PM »
Ok.

Lets say you have a fully reusable ITS that can get to LEO for $60M.

It can bring up 50mt of rods and take back to Earth 50mt of fiber rolls. The 50mt value is 1/4 the max of the ITS 200mt. The assumption is that landing weight on Earth is 1/4 the max payload. See the ITS thread if you want more discussion and info about possible payloads up and down. On the way up it could also transport expendable supplies and other items that stay in orbit reducing the cost of fiber material transport. For each kg 3km of fiber is created. The current price of silicon based optical fiber with casing (10Gbit multimode) is $1.64/m. If ZBLAM fiber finished into a cased ready to bury form for $5.00/m (100Gbit multimode) which is actually worth and can replace existing bundle of 10 fibers valued at $16/m. Now that $5/m ZBLAM *3000m/kg *50,000kg = $750M.

How much fiber do you think the world would want at that price. BTW a single load of 50mt is only 150,000km of fiber. The ZBLAM in $/bit costs would be 1/3 that of silicon fiber. Which one would new or replacement cables emplacement use?

The current fiber market is growing at a rate of 10+% per year. In 2016 the market size was $2B in cable sales. At 10% anual growth the Market in 2025 would be ~$5B. If ZBLAM captures 50% of the market by 2025 then they would need 2 to 4 ITS flights per year to LEO for the transport of 50mt each time of blanks up and 50mt of fiber down. The number of ITS flights is dependent on the pricing per m of the fiber. Prices could be as high as $15/m as still be cheaper than the bundle of 10 silicon fibers. At $15/m the value of the 50mt of fiber is $2.25B. That is still enough revenue to pay for a very expensive ITS flight at almost $1B per flight.

This is to show just how strong of a business case this is and what the potential size of this market is.

Now reusability is key in making additional business cases close but there may be others that simply waiting on capability since the current world down mass capability is only ~$12mt/yr. (4 Dragon flights) With 4 ITS flights/yr that down mass would increase to ~200mt/yr.
 

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #441 on: 05/17/2017 09:42 PM »
Ok.

Lets say you have a fully reusable ITS that can get to LEO for $60M.

If ZBLAM fiber finished into a cased ready to bury form for $5.00/m (100Gbit multimode) which is actually worth and can replace existing bundle of 10 fibers valued at $16/m. Now that $5/m ZBLAM *3000m/kg *50,000kg = $750M.

I've long thought that "cheap launch" is not going to be enough to bring about the revolution in the use of space. At a minimum you need down mass, ideally on a regular schedule.
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Offline RDMM2081

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #442 on: 05/17/2017 10:20 PM »
It can bring up 50mt of rods and take back to Earth 50mt of fiber rolls. The 50mt value is 1/4 the max of the ITS 200mt. The assumption is that landing weight on Earth is 1/4 the max payload.

Absolutely fascinating idea, however I think you'll need to subtract some amount from the landed payload mass for the factory/equipment to process the material, or would the ITS capsule dock to another orbited "factory module" of some type?  Ideally the "factory" bit could launch once and stay in orbit indefinitely (needs some pretty honkin huge solar arrays too I'd assume?) to be used multiple times.  A wonderful investment opportunity! :)

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #443 on: 05/17/2017 11:02 PM »
It can bring up 50mt of rods and take back to Earth 50mt of fiber rolls. The 50mt value is 1/4 the max of the ITS 200mt. The assumption is that landing weight on Earth is 1/4 the max payload.

Absolutely fascinating idea, however I think you'll need to subtract some amount from the landed payload mass for the factory/equipment to process the material, or would the ITS capsule dock to another orbited "factory module" of some type?  Ideally the "factory" bit could launch once and stay in orbit indefinitely (needs some pretty honkin huge solar arrays too I'd assume?) to be used multiple times.  A wonderful investment opportunity! :)
I was thinking to doc it to a factory that had 100-200mt of factory equipment. Say several BA2100s. Each ITS could take up 200mt but only bring back 50mt. At least in all the information that I have seen on the system capability design. If it was upgraded to be able to land/deorbit and reenter with full 200mt then the costs decrease by a factor 4. Makeing ZBLAM finished cables about the same price as that of regular silicon cable.

But the other item that reusability will probably make a big splash is in downmass. Currently it stands at just 12mt/yr. For a space based industry selling products to Earth it needs at the start it needs 10X times the current. There is not much expansion planned for downmass until ITS. Until then it could be doubled but probably not much more than 3X.  3X represents 12 current sized cargo flights that can return downmass ~ total 36mt/yr. 12 cargo flights and 6 CC flights /yr is a significant flight rate increase over the 4 and 2.

Offline AC in NC

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #444 on: 05/17/2017 11:30 PM »
I've long thought that "cheap launch" is not going to be enough to bring about the revolution in the use of space. At a minimum you need down mass, ideally on a regular schedule.

I definitely see why you think that and there is some picking of nits to debate where the line is drawn.  However, I've been noodling some ideas that I think fit existing Musk-related paradigms that I could flesh-out to get your revolution solely from up-mass.  It feels a little on the crazy-end of the speculation spectrum but I occasionally run some back-of-the-napkin calculations as a sanity check.  The search feature isn't easy to confirm whether everyone has already hashed all this out before.  But if anyone is interested, I could sketch out an up-mass approach to the "revolution".  Sorry for playing coy.  I'm an enthusiastic layman and think it makes sense but don't want to embarrass myself.
« Last Edit: 05/18/2017 12:01 AM by AC in NC »

Online AncientU

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #445 on: 05/18/2017 12:06 AM »
Interesting discussion. 
Someone should start a thread on the downmass challenge.
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Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #446 on: 05/18/2017 01:01 AM »
Interesting discussion. 
Someone should start a thread on the downmass challenge.
Started.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42960.new#new

So please take the downmass and its effects on in-space business and other in-space activities like scientific research that produces specimens that require Earth lab work to this new thread.

Offline rsdavis9

Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #447 on: 05/18/2017 10:29 AM »
I was thinking to doc it to a factory that had 100-200mt of factory equipment. Say several BA2100s. Each ITS could take up 200mt but only bring back 50mt. At least in all the information that I have seen on the system capability design. If it was upgraded to be able to land/deorbit and reenter with full 200mt then the costs decrease by a factor 4. Makeing ZBLAM finished cables about the same price as that of regular silicon cable.



I did a google search and I can't find any info on zblam. What does it stand for? Any links? I am sure someplace upthread the answer lies...
With ELV best efficiency was the paradigm. The new paradigm is reusable, good enough, and commonality of design.
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Online JamesH65

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #448 on: 05/18/2017 11:29 AM »
I was thinking to doc it to a factory that had 100-200mt of factory equipment. Say several BA2100s. Each ITS could take up 200mt but only bring back 50mt. At least in all the information that I have seen on the system capability design. If it was upgraded to be able to land/deorbit and reenter with full 200mt then the costs decrease by a factor 4. Makeing ZBLAM finished cables about the same price as that of regular silicon cable.



I did a google search and I can't find any info on zblam. What does it stand for? Any links? I am sure someplace upthread the answer lies...

Search for `zblam fibre`...

Offline rsdavis9

Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #449 on: 05/18/2017 12:03 PM »
I was thinking to doc it to a factory that had 100-200mt of factory equipment. Say several BA2100s. Each ITS could take up 200mt but only bring back 50mt. At least in all the information that I have seen on the system capability design. If it was upgraded to be able to land/deorbit and reenter with full 200mt then the costs decrease by a factor 4. Makeing ZBLAM finished cables about the same price as that of regular silicon cable.



I did a google search and I can't find any info on zblam. What does it stand for? Any links? I am sure someplace upthread the answer lies...

Search for `zblam fibre`...

it looks like it is zblan...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZBLAN

Zr Ba La Al Na Floride

The one line says that air convection is the confounding problem.
How about vacuum on earth to reduce the problem.

I think most "discoveries" of zero g benefits are once it has been researched and engineered(possibly in orbit) it is easier to manufacture  on earth.

« Last Edit: 05/18/2017 12:21 PM by rsdavis9 »
With ELV best efficiency was the paradigm. The new paradigm is reusable, good enough, and commonality of design.
Same engines. Design once. Same vehicle. Design once. Reusable. Build once.

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #450 on: 05/18/2017 02:04 PM »
Here's an official Russian view of reusability's effect on costs...

Quote
Will the medium launch vehicle proposed by RSC Energia within the framework of the R&D project Phoenix be expendable or have some reusable elements (what exactly will be reusable)? Is it going to have, like the Zenit launch vehicle, an automatic prelaunch processing system unique to Soviet/Russian launch vehicles? What are the facilities where this rocket is going to be assembled? What will be the differences between the versions of this rocket for different launch sites - Vostochny, Baiterek and Sea Launch?

The launch vehicle will be expendable, at least in the initial phase. The architecture of the suite of automated systems for controlling the prelaunch processing and launch will be similar to what was used for Zenit. The launch vehicle is going to be assembled at Progress plant in Samara. The launch vehicles are to be the same for all launch sites.

The reusability of rocket stages needs to be additionally justified. To assure precise landing and subsequent re-use of the first stage, you need to install special controls, including rocket thrusters, onboard computers, a navigation system, and expend additional propellant. As a result, the savings here are minimal, or none at all. We believe that what we need to strive for is reducing impact areas for jettisonable elements by converging them towards a single point. The expenditures here are low, and the gain is obvious. Itís unrealistic to think of re-using the second stage, which returns to Earth with a velocity that is close to the orbital velocity. Without a proper thermal shield capable of withstanding the heat of up to 3000 degrees Centigrade, the only pieces that will reach the ground will be thick metal frames.

http://www.energia.ru/en/news/news-2017/news_05-02_1.html

Offline envy887

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #451 on: 05/18/2017 02:17 PM »
Here's an official Russian view of reusability's effect on costs...

Quote
Will the medium launch vehicle proposed by RSC Energia within the framework of the R&D project Phoenix be expendable or have some reusable elements (what exactly will be reusable)? Is it going to have, like the Zenit launch vehicle, an automatic prelaunch processing system unique to Soviet/Russian launch vehicles? What are the facilities where this rocket is going to be assembled? What will be the differences between the versions of this rocket for different launch sites - Vostochny, Baiterek and Sea Launch?

The launch vehicle will be expendable, at least in the initial phase. The architecture of the suite of automated systems for controlling the prelaunch processing and launch will be similar to what was used for Zenit. The launch vehicle is going to be assembled at Progress plant in Samara. The launch vehicles are to be the same for all launch sites.

The reusability of rocket stages needs to be additionally justified. To assure precise landing and subsequent re-use of the first stage, you need to install special controls, including rocket thrusters, onboard computers, a navigation system, and expend additional propellant. As a result, the savings here are minimal, or none at all. We believe that what we need to strive for is reducing impact areas for jettisonable elements by converging them towards a single point. The expenditures here are low, and the gain is obvious. Itís unrealistic to think of re-using the second stage, which returns to Earth with a velocity that is close to the orbital velocity. Without a proper thermal shield capable of withstanding the heat of up to 3000 degrees Centigrade, the only pieces that will reach the ground will be thick metal frames.

http://www.energia.ru/en/news/news-2017/news_05-02_1.html

Heads still firmly planted in the sand.

And they already have reuseable high performance kerolox engines and can do downrange landings on solid ground.

Offline gospacex

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #452 on: 05/18/2017 02:29 PM »
They also have kleptocratic political system, where money directed to state projects tend to "evaporate" with no trace. And Putin knows it - for one, he is one of the people who built it that way.
He knows that directing Roscosmos to make a reusable system will result in a long program fraught with cost overruns, underperformance, very likely a number of embarrassing failures, and possibly in final system which will still be not competitive.
In these conditions, "ignoring the problem" might be in fact an optimal course (least bad).
« Last Edit: 05/18/2017 02:31 PM by gospacex »

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #453 on: 05/18/2017 09:42 PM »
The difference in a reusability solution/program lowering cost is the efficient and qualified managers managing the program. SpaceX had/has Musk as the technical driver for the decisions to the goal post of lower operational costs with a reusable system. It has some additional development costs but in the end much more in savings both in costs but also in turnaround time between launches, the true measure of the forcefulness of a reusability design.

Offline WmThomas

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #454 on: 05/18/2017 10:50 PM »
We need to recognize that SpaceX stumbled on to its current re-usability system. That system is possible because Merlin-1 is a small engine by EELV-class rocket standards. So SpaceX had to use nine of them on the Falcon-9 first stage.  After planning to recover the first stage with parachutes, and failing, SpaceX shifted plans and adapted Falcon-9's engine layout (and much else) to allow retro-rocket landings using a central M1D. Mind you, even those landings are hover-slams.

Is there any other EELV-class rocket in the world that can be adapted this way? Atlas V can't. Arianne-5 can't. Delta-IV can't. None of the Russian rockets can. None of the Chinese can. No one else was so "idiotic" to build a big launcher with lots of weak engines.

So we can't assume it is easy to catch up with SpaceX. Or that ULA is dumb for pursuing a different re-use strategy. They don't have any easy path to reuse. 

For any other company, reuse requires a clean-sheet rocket and probably a new engine. Blue Origin will get reuse by making their New Glenn super-huge, while using the big BE-4. Other companies would need a complete re-work, too.
« Last Edit: 05/19/2017 02:19 AM by WmThomas »

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #455 on: 05/19/2017 12:30 AM »
BO engineers are no fool. They saw that the SpaceX many engines paradigm worked using center to hover slam and came up with their own version of 7 BE-4's which should be able to deep throttle making it possible to do a similar landing profile with 7 large engines vs 9 on an even larger tank/rocket. Someone else may come up with something else but the die may be cast for some time in the 1st stage reusability designs for the next few decades.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #456 on: 05/19/2017 01:43 AM »
BO engineers are no fool. They saw that the SpaceX many engines paradigm worked using center to hover slam and came up with their own version of 7 BE-4's which should be able to deep throttle making it possible to do a similar landing profile with 7 large engines vs 9 on an even larger tank/rocket. Someone else may come up with something else but the die may be cast for some time in the 1st stage reusability designs for the next few decades.
They had already been doing clustered engine VTVL tests by the time Grasshopper was announced. Blue Origin had basically the right idea about VTVL /before/ SpaceX did, it's just that Blue Origin messed around for a long time while SpaceX was actually building a business and doing useful stuff.
« Last Edit: 05/19/2017 01:44 AM by Robotbeat »
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Offline WmThomas

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #457 on: 05/19/2017 02:23 AM »
They had already been doing clustered engine VTVL tests by the time Grasshopper was announced. Blue Origin had basically the right idea about VTVL /before/ SpaceX did, it's just that Blue Origin messed around for a long time while SpaceX was actually building a business and doing useful stuff.

Correct on all points.

Does anyone know if Blue's success with VTVL was one reason SpaceX decided to pursue it?

Edit/Lar: fix quotes. Please use the reply function, don't try to make quotes by hand...
« Last Edit: 05/19/2017 03:40 AM by Lar »

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #458 on: 05/19/2017 02:36 AM »
Quote from: robotbeat
They had already been doing clustered engine VTVL tests by the time Grasshopper was announced. Blue Origin had basically the right idea about VTVL /before/ SpaceX did, it's just that Blue Origin messed around for a long time while SpaceX was actually building a business and doing useful stuff.

Correct on all points.

Does anyone know if Blue's success with VTVL was one reason SpaceX decided to pursue it?
Not really. It was Masten's success that did it. Guys "in a garage" doing it convinced Elon that SpaceX could do it.

But it could've contributed, I suppose.
« Last Edit: 05/19/2017 02:37 AM by Robotbeat »
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

Online JamesH65

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #459 on: 05/19/2017 10:16 AM »
Quote from: robotbeat
They had already been doing clustered engine VTVL tests by the time Grasshopper was announced. Blue Origin had basically the right idea about VTVL /before/ SpaceX did, it's just that Blue Origin messed around for a long time while SpaceX was actually building a business and doing useful stuff.

Correct on all points.

Does anyone know if Blue's success with VTVL was one reason SpaceX decided to pursue it?
Not really. It was Masten's success that did it. Guys "in a garage" doing it convinced Elon that SpaceX could do it.

But it could've contributed, I suppose.

Don't forget Armadillo Areospace, didn't their first flight predate Mastens?

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