Author Topic: Reusability effect on costs  (Read 184257 times)

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #700 on: 10/28/2017 02:09 AM »
So even if they never fly them post-5: It's an insurance policy. They can still refly those recovered cores (or part them out) in case BFR has teething problems and is delayed after they shut down the F9 booster line.

Ugh. That would seem to be a rather ugly option, since by the time the BFR comes online they will be, what, no younger than 5 years old?

I'd have to think that building a few extra Block 5 would make better sense, but then we're still left with the mystery of what they will do with the leftover Block 3&4.
It means you need to stockpile fewer Block 5s "just in case" since you have a whole bunch of warehoused recovered pre5s. You can switch over a few months earlier.
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Offline Lar

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #701 on: 10/28/2017 04:31 AM »
I wonder about the component parts. What is best speculation about the reusability of engines on stages that might not be worth upgrading. Were the engines reused from the one they scrapped?

Is it even worth it to tear down a stage to tankage and build a new block 5 around the old tankage? or are the tanks different enough (fill drain points, inspection hatches, whatever) that this is not cost effective. SpaceX know but we can only guess.
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Offline IntoTheVoid

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #702 on: 10/28/2017 04:06 PM »
I wonder about the component parts. What is best speculation about the reusability of engines on stages that might not be worth upgrading. Were the engines reused from the one they scrapped?

Is it even worth it to tear down a stage to tankage and build a new block 5 around the old tankage? or are the tanks different enough (fill drain points, inspection hatches, whatever) that this is not cost effective. SpaceX know but we can only guess.

It's funny to consider that once customers stop being concerned with new vs pre-flown that SpaceX could have a warehouse of 150-200 block 3/4 engines to mate with otherwise new boosters. If they can be uprated to block 5 great. If not, and they can only use them on lower energy missions, it still seems like a boon.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #703 on: 10/28/2017 06:23 PM »
It's funny to consider that once customers stop being concerned with new vs pre-flown that SpaceX could have a warehouse of 150-200 block 3/4 engines to mate with otherwise new boosters. If they can be uprated to block 5 great. If not, and they can only use them on lower energy missions, it still seems like a boon.

Interesting possibility - rebuilding some (or all) of the Block 3/4 engines to the latest version.

We do know via the Commercial Crew program updates that SpaceX is instituting a new "blisk", which is a combination of a blade and disk in one single forging - cutting edge technology that is supposed to address cracks in the current engines that are a concern for human-rating, and no doubt for reuse too.
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 john smith 19

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #704 on: 10/28/2017 07:46 PM »
I wonder about the component parts. What is best speculation about the reusability of engines on stages that might not be worth upgrading. Were the engines reused from the one they scrapped?

Is it even worth it to tear down a stage to tankage and build a new block 5 around the old tankage? or are the tanks different enough (fill drain points, inspection hatches, whatever) that this is not cost effective. SpaceX know but we can only guess.
It's a fair question. Obviously the design has certain major sub divisions. It depends on how they are joined together. If they those joints can be broken and re-made cleanly then reuse at that level should be possible, and you'd like to go at the highest level possible.

On that basis you'd like to dismount a whole Octaweb of engines intact, then bolt it to the next tank block. Same applies to other big blocks.

As always, if planned for in design perfectly possible. IRL rocket engines (except solids) have always been test fired. They've always been "reusable," in that sense. It's simply that until the SSME no one did once they'd flown their core mission once.

It's funny to consider that once customers stop being concerned with new vs pre-flown that SpaceX could have a warehouse of 150-200 block 3/4 engines to mate with otherwise new boosters. If they can be uprated to block 5 great. If not, and they can only use them on lower energy missions, it still seems like a boon.

Interesting possibility - rebuilding some (or all) of the Block 3/4 engines to the latest version.

We do know via the Commercial Crew program updates that SpaceX is instituting a new "blisk", which is a combination of a blade and disk in one single forging - cutting edge technology that is supposed to address cracks in the current engines that are a concern for human-rating, and no doubt for reuse too.
TBH I'm amazed this was not designed in from day one, given the substantial amount of touch labor involved in assembling all those blades on a disk.

Interesting also that close to a century after the first use of turbines in a rocket turbo pump they are still getting cracking issues.
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Offline john smith 19

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #705 on: 10/28/2017 08:04 PM »
Since this is a thread on costs and reusability I realized I should have put a copy of my latest version of my LV costing game here.

This version focuses on F9 and splits out fairing costs (both new and refurb) as separate items you can change.

The layout has also been slightly de-cluttered. As always Blue boxes are values that can be changed, in the units listed in the labels.  "Red dot" cells have additional notes in the comments.

Any suggestions or comments welcome as always.
« Last Edit: 10/30/2017 10:51 AM by john smith 19 »
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. Believe no one. Run your own numbers. So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Online speedevil

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #706 on: 10/29/2017 04:54 AM »
<snip - of blisks>
TBH I'm amazed this was not designed in from day one, given the substantial amount of touch labor involved in assembling all those blades on a disk.

Interesting also that close to a century after the first use of turbines in a rocket turbo pump they are still getting cracking issues.

Designing is easy.
Manufacturing is not.
It is very easy to design an unmanufacturable object, and if you do it can be hugely expensive to find that out. It's also going to be more expensive to get it working, which is important at the beginning of a design cycle.

'Touch labour is bad'. Well, that depends on if it takes a hundred or ten thousand hours to assemble and inspect.
If it's a hundred, even at $100/hr, that may be quite negligible.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #707 on: 10/29/2017 12:00 PM »
<snip - of blisks>
TBH I'm amazed this was not designed in from day one, given the substantial amount of touch labor involved in assembling all those blades on a disk.

Interesting also that close to a century after the first use of turbines in a rocket turbo pump they are still getting cracking issues.
Designing is easy.
Manufacturing is not.
Which is why historically turbine mfgs have gone with making the disks out of one alloy and the blades out of another, allowing them to use the optimal choice of both material properties and grain growth direction for optimum performance. This is the "high performance" option.

The joker in the pack is the large number of blade/disk interfaces, which can act as stress concentrators if not properly designed.

Blisk or Bling designs are always a compromise in material properties and crystal growth axis. Given SX has always been strongly cost driven I was surprised they went for the high cost/high performance option.
Quote from: speedevil
It is very easy to design an unmanufacturable object, and if you do it can be hugely expensive to find that out. It's also going to be more expensive to get it working, which is important at the beginning of a design cycle.
A subject stressed in Production Engineering Degrees as this problem has been extensively studied. CAD systems can do automatic "fit and clearance" checking and In principle any machining cycle can by tested by a dry run with a block of foam.

People forget the real purpose of an aircraft "roll out" was not a photo op for journalists but to do an "all up" assembly of every part, in order to find which parts didn't fit and needed to be re-designed, or in some cases hadn't been made in the first place. Read the description of the 707 roll out in "Widebody."
Quote from: speedevil
'Touch labour is bad'. Well, that depends on if it takes a hundred or ten thousand hours to assemble and inspect.
If it's a hundred, even at $100/hr, that may be quite negligible.
SX were saying they were moving to "explosive forming" to make combustion chambers.  That suggests they value operator time very highly, given they are prepared to move to a pretty exotic mfg method.
CC's have a long history of being CNC machined or spun reliably, but it seems neither was fast enough or low enough in staff time for SX.
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. Believe no one. Run your own numbers. So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline Mader Levap

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #708 on: 10/29/2017 10:14 PM »
I suspect SpaceX is warehousing the pre-5 landed boosters as a way to get a jump on stockpiling F9 cores as a risk-reduction measure so they can switch the line to BFR as early as possible.

So even if they never fly them post-5: It's an insurance policy. They can still refly those recovered cores (or part them out) in case BFR has teething problems and is delayed after they shut down the F9 booster line.
It does not make any sense whatsoever.

First, as others noted, it will be many years before BFR flies (and it will not fly in 2022, forget it). It is utter waste of space and resources storing them.

Second, if you want to store cores for whatever reason, block 5 is type of core to store, not pre-block 5. Why you would store worse version when better one is avaliable?

Third, shutting down F9 production before BFR is flying would be very stupid thing to do. While I can imagine downsizing their production before BFR, complete shutdown will happen after BFR is proven and flying regularly (some time before 2030). Assuming it is really that cheap - and that's risky assumption.
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #709 on: 10/29/2017 10:50 PM »
They're going to start building the prototype BFR/BFS in a few months. BFR will fly before 2022, most likely.

Why would you store the older one? So you don't need to make as many of the new ones.

You know, if people started actually believing that SpaceX is serious about their announcements, everything else will make sense. Doesn't mean they'll succeed, but you have to believe they're serious.
« Last Edit: 10/29/2017 11:04 PM by Robotbeat »
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #710 on: 10/29/2017 11:00 PM »
If they build 30 block 5 cores, that will do them for a decade of launches at least (and if you believe the 100 reuse number, for a century). The dozen or so other cores will act as a further insurance policy. I'm pretty sure a decade is long enough to get BFR working.

Really, if Block 5 is so reusable, it makes zero sense to keep the line open. We shut down the Shuttle Orbiter line after a few years. It'd just waste money to keep it open.

Part of the effect of reuse is that it allows you to shut down your production line after a while.
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #711 on: 10/29/2017 11:09 PM »
 

First, as others noted, it will be many years before BFR flies (and it will not fly in 2022, forget it)..
Really? An assertion backed by ZERO evidence. In bold, too!

Okay. Let's bet on it. If you're so confident it won't happen, you should be willing to take 4:1 odds against it happening. 4 beverages of my choice (value of each not to exceed $5) to your 1 beverage ($5) if BFR successfully launches to orbit by the end of 2022 UTC. Deal?
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Online Lars-J

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #712 on: 10/29/2017 11:53 PM »
 

First, as others noted, it will be many years before BFR flies (and it will not fly in 2022, forget it)..
Really? An assertion backed by ZERO evidence. In bold, too!

Okay. Let's bet on it. If you're so confident it won't happen, you should be willing to take 4:1 odds against it happening. 4 beverages of my choice (value of each not to exceed $5) to your 1 beverage ($5) if BFR successfully launches to orbit by the end of 2022 UTC. Deal?

If you are going to bet like that, I suggest you need to be more specific. What would qualify as a "BFR flying"?
A) BFS test hop
B) BFS to space but suborbital
C) BFS to orbits (SSTO test)
D) BFR (booster) suborbital test
D) BFR/BFS full stack flight


Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #713 on: 10/29/2017 11:58 PM »
I said BFR orbits. I was clear.
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Offline Lar

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #714 on: 10/30/2017 12:40 AM »
I said BFR orbits. I was clear.

TBH you didn't say that, you said BFR launches to orbit. Which is good because except in very rare edge cases, BFR won't orbit, since it is not really SSTO, it will launch BFS and RTLS, while BFS goes on to orbit. That's how I read what you said and what the bet was to be.
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Offline Mader Levap

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #715 on: 10/30/2017 01:12 AM »
 
First, as others noted, it will be many years before BFR flies (and it will not fly in 2022, forget it).
Really? An assertion backed by ZERO evidence. In bold, too!

Past history of SpaceX's performance deadline-wise is zero evidence, got it.

Hell, even Musk himself, very well known for his optimism in timeline matters, said that date is merely "aspirational". In other words, it is never going to launch in 2022.

EDIT: I forgot he was talking about Mars in this context. Still I find it extremely unlikely SpaceX for once will do everything on time. That would be pretty much miracle.

Okay. Let's bet on it. If you're so confident it won't happen, you should be willing to take 4:1 odds against it happening. 4 beverages of my choice (value of each not to exceed $5) to your 1 beverage ($5) if BFR successfully launches to orbit by the end of 2022 UTC. Deal?
I am not betting man, bragging rights are enough for me.
« Last Edit: 10/30/2017 01:22 AM by Mader Levap »
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Online spacenut

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #716 on: 10/30/2017 01:19 AM »
They could be saving the block 3's and 4's for expendables for heavy high GTO or GSO orbits to avoid using a FH or for side boosters for FH's since they would be return to launch site.  They could also use them for LEO with low payloads for an easier return.  Lots of reasons to save them. 

Offline cppetrie

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #717 on: 10/30/2017 01:19 AM »
Just for clarity, Musk said launches to Mars were in 2022, aspirationally. Seems unlikely that those launches to Mars would be maiden flights, so that aspirational timeline has various test launches of sorts prior to 2022. Even if the first to Mars are in 2024 there is a decent chance the first test flights could be in 2022.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #718 on: 10/30/2017 07:20 AM »
Part of the effect of reuse is that it allows you to shut down your production line after a while.
With the caveat that the number of reuses has to be high enough or the number of systems built is high enough and the systems have to be fully reusable.

And of course what do you do when those numbers run out?
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. Believe no one. Run your own numbers. So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline Lar

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #719 on: 10/30/2017 09:39 AM »
I am not betting man, bragging rights are enough for me.

Nobody can force you to bet if you don't want to, but not being willing to put up or shut up dilutes your credibility to some of us. Stridency and profanity don't help either. Nor does a sneering tone. Points to ponder.
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"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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