Author Topic: Reusability effect on costs  (Read 166969 times)

Offline guckyfan

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #60 on: 05/30/2016 12:58 PM »
2) By the time SpaceX lands people on Mars, they will have been working toward this reusable interplanetary spacecraft for a quarter century.  They work fast...

So you expect them to land people around 2030? Sounds reasonable to me.  :)

Offline AC in NC

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #61 on: 05/30/2016 02:45 PM »
Everything you're saying is true. I think that SpaceX will naturally have to reorganize their entire organization to optimize around reuse eventually anyway and I think that means that they will try to eliminate fixed costs where they have the luxury to even if they lose some of their vertical integration. That should be on the table at least.

I look at it from a different perspective.  It seems that reorganization would be one that would make sense from a business standpoint where generating maximum profit relative to how much skin SpaceX has in the game.  While certainly some vertical integration like components might go somewhere else, but I wouldn't think there would be any large move in this direction.

I'm thinking the goal is to build a enterprise in the commercial launch business with comfortable enough margins that easily supports fixed costs that have the capacity to address marginal launches without incurring anything other than the variable costs.  This provides the opportunity for a closely add some launches for only the variable cost.
« Last Edit: 05/30/2016 03:21 PM by AC in NC »

Offline Lar

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #62 on: 05/31/2016 03:46 PM »

Unfortunately you cannot get around this by doing more tanker flights. The ratio Mars/tanker is fixed at betwen 3-1 and 4-1. 

Not sure I agree with this in all cases. If a given airframe is, at birth, either a tanker, or a cargo hauler, or a passenger carrier, then yes, you are correct.  But IF an airframe can carry modular payloads (or can serve as a tanker when empty of a module altogether) then yes, there is a way to get more flights on an airframe in a given time period.  As described above. What's the hole in the logic?

Even if it's a one time (not costless) conversion, there still is a way to do the conversion and get more flights...
"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
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Offline guckyfan

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #63 on: 05/31/2016 04:09 PM »
My reasoning is that the ratio between tank flights and flights to Mars is fixed. 3 to 4 tanker launches are needed for one flight to Mars.

Offline Jim

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #64 on: 05/31/2016 04:30 PM »

2) By the time SpaceX lands people on Mars, they will have been working toward this reusable interplanetary spacecraft for a quarter century.  They work fast...


That is slow.  Moon landing was 8 years from the start of the program and 19 from starting from complete scratch (first large US indigenous liquid fueled rocket)

Offline Lar

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #65 on: 05/31/2016 04:52 PM »
My reasoning is that the ratio between tank flights and flights to Mars is fixed. 3 to 4 tanker launches are needed for one flight to Mars.

Suppose you don't replace an airframe until you get 10 flights on it. How many synods before you replace? Assume a static fleet to make this contrived example simpler

If you have 5 airframes. 4 tanker and 1 cargo (assume cargo is all you are doing, again, to make this contrived example simpler) ... then yes, it takes 10 synods before you get 10 flights on an airframe. 

But if you have only 2 airframes, that can play whatever role you want...  call them A1 and A2
Synod 1: A1 plays the role of cargo. A2 tanker. A1 launches 1 time. A2 launches 4 times to fill up A1. Total launches 5.
Synod 2: A2 plays the role of cargo. A1 tanker. A2 launches 1 time.  A1 launches 4 times to fill up A2. Total launches now 10. (5 for each airframe)

repeat that pattern for 2 more synods, and you'll find that you got to 10 launches each in just 4 synods.

If you add new builds (say, for example adding 2 new builds a synod) and increase the number of outbound cargo/passenger flights as you can, it gets to even fewer synods before you replace.  Just put it in a spreadsheet and work it, you'll convince yourself.

This depends on two things: fast turnaround, so the same tanker can be used more than once, and convertability with little effort.

« Last Edit: 05/31/2016 04:55 PM by Lar »
"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

Offline Lar

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #66 on: 05/31/2016 04:53 PM »

2) By the time SpaceX lands people on Mars, they will have been working toward this reusable interplanetary spacecraft for a quarter century.  They work fast...


That is slow.  Moon landing was 8 years from the start of the program and 19 from starting from complete scratch (first large US indigenous liquid fueled rocket)

It is slow! For sure. But everything is slower these days and SpaceX doesn't have a significant fraction of GDP at its disposal, this is (a lot closer to) self funded.
« Last Edit: 05/31/2016 04:54 PM by Lar »
"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

Online AncientU

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #67 on: 05/31/2016 05:22 PM »

2) By the time SpaceX lands people on Mars, they will have been working toward this reusable interplanetary spacecraft for a quarter century.  They work fast...


That is slow.  Moon landing was 8 years from the start of the program and 19 from starting from complete scratch (first large US indigenous liquid fueled rocket)

Relative to NASA today, it is light speed.
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Offline bstrong

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #68 on: 05/31/2016 05:31 PM »
My reasoning is that the ratio between tank flights and flights to Mars is fixed. 3 to 4 tanker launches are needed for one flight to Mars.

The fact that the system is designed/optimized for Mars doesn't mean it can't be gainfully employed in cislunar space, as well. Assuming BFS can also be put to use for missions requiring less performance than Mars, the ratio doesn't have to be fixed.

IMO, figuring out how to keep all the parts of the system fully utilized between Mars windows is one of the key challenges for closing the Mars business case.

Offline Jim

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #69 on: 05/31/2016 05:57 PM »

Relative to NASA today, it is light speed.

Still wrong.  Again, NASA is not monolithic, there are groups within that can do things quickly.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #70 on: 05/31/2016 06:01 PM »

2) By the time SpaceX lands people on Mars, they will have been working toward this reusable interplanetary spacecraft for a quarter century.  They work fast...


That is slow.  Moon landing was 8 years from the start of the program and 19 from starting from complete scratch (first large US indigenous liquid fueled rocket)

It is slow! For sure. But everything is slower these days and SpaceX doesn't have a significant fraction of GDP at its disposal, this is (a lot closer to) self funded.

Assume for the sake of the argument you have Musk's 100x reuse economically, with at or better performance levels he posts. Assume a political imperative for 2-3 nations to go up against  1-2 nations in a similar "space race" for a few "long stay" HSF Mars landing missions (not flag and footprints).

Assume you finish Vulcan/Atlas/Ariane and SLS Block 1b as ELVs.

Then you have "public/private" partnership to go to Mars, say at 50% funding of Apollo/Saturn.

With them busting butts instead of stepping on each others ... I'd bet good money you'd have something in three synods. And more set by the timing/success of the synods then anything else.

Unlike Apollo/Saturn we know what we're doing (for Mars), have the capability/experience. And the right tools. And can work together when it matters. Economies of scale/reuse might dominant above other considerations.

It currently doesn't matter. So we don't work together. Other considerations dominate. So each steps on each others ...

Offline Lar

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #71 on: 05/31/2016 06:22 PM »
Sure. A partnership of organizations using expendables could do something, and something significant, for public expenditure levels of 50% of Apollo, with some clear headed thinking about how to spend that budget thoughtfully and efficiently. 

But I suspect that Musk can and will do it for less, and that it will be a larger footprint (in the sense of tonnes landed and infrastructure built). But that's my ideology talking, I freely admit. Blackstar would no doubt say exactly the opposite.
"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

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #72 on: 05/31/2016 07:02 PM »
Sure. A partnership of organizations using expendables could do something, and something significant, for public expenditure levels of 50% of Apollo, with some clear headed thinking about how to spend that budget thoughtfully and efficiently.

Because govt "overspending" private coupled with private efficiencies govt can't imagine, plus govt + heritage doing what they do best instead of what they both do worst ... matters. Not just American govt/industry either, they are all in the same boat.

Quote
But I suspect that Musk can and will do it for less, and that it will be a larger footprint (in the sense of tonnes landed and infrastructure built). But that's my ideology talking, I freely admit.

He has to take lots longer (>15 synods). Also his footprint per synod will vary due to economic conditions, such that planning will tend to drastically "compress" as each synod approaches. That's my "reality undistortion field" talking.

Quote
Blackstar would no doubt say exactly the opposite.

IMHO you should listen to the "post RD" Blackstar. His current perspective (and biases) are irrelevant because the communities he's close to, have yet to get the effects of ULA/SX "business rewriting", which are unstable as well ATM.

When Shelby finds peace with SX eating 20-30% of ULA's "lunch" as steady state, there's a hint that things will be stabilizing. Don't see it.

Offline woods170

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #73 on: 05/31/2016 07:43 PM »

Relative to NASA today, it is light speed.

Still wrong.  Again, NASA is not monolithic, there are groups within that can do things quickly.
Yeah, but not manned missions to Mars.

Online AncientU

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #74 on: 05/31/2016 08:10 PM »

Relative to NASA today, it is light speed.

Still wrong.  Again, NASA is not monolithic, there are groups within that can do things quickly.

How many 'groups' in this non-monolithic organization are sending people to Mars?
(What woods170 said)
« Last Edit: 05/31/2016 08:42 PM by AncientU »
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Offline llanitedave

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #75 on: 05/31/2016 08:14 PM »

2) By the time SpaceX lands people on Mars, they will have been working toward this reusable interplanetary spacecraft for a quarter century.  They work fast...


That is slow.  Moon landing was 8 years from the start of the program and 19 from starting from complete scratch (first large US indigenous liquid fueled rocket)

NASA didn't have to make a profit while paying its own way there.
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Offline dante2308

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #76 on: 05/31/2016 08:37 PM »

2) By the time SpaceX lands people on Mars, they will have been working toward this reusable interplanetary spacecraft for a quarter century.  They work fast...


That is slow.  Moon landing was 8 years from the start of the program and 19 from starting from complete scratch (first large US indigenous liquid fueled rocket)

The Apollo Program is significantly less complex than a resuable-based Mars colonization program in almost every way imaginable and would have been beyond the reach of NASA at the time of Apollo. Any manned exploration of Mars on any time scale cannot be declared "slow" when it happens. There are no other data points.

Offline JamesH65

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #77 on: 05/31/2016 08:39 PM »

Relative to NASA today, it is light speed.

Still wrong.  Again, NASA is not monolithic, there are groups within that can do things quickly.

They may be able to do things quickly, but do they actually do things quickly (or allowed to)? Not quite the same thing - example would be useful.

Online AncientU

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #78 on: 05/31/2016 08:44 PM »

Relative to NASA today, it is light speed.

Still wrong.  Again, NASA is not monolithic, there are groups within that can do things quickly.

They may be able to do things quickly, but do they actually do things quickly (or allowed to)? Not quite the same thing - example would be useful.

An example that includes going to Mars, that is...
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline Lar

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #79 on: 05/31/2016 08:52 PM »
I have this vision of Jim beset by a horde of yapping yorkies... all saying "but Mars is different" or "NASA's not monolithic" or "NASA isn't (mostly) self funding this" etc....

Hmm.. now how do I look as a terrier???

I think the point is made, all analogies break down if you look at them too closely. 
"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

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