Author Topic: Reusability effect on costs  (Read 189175 times)

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #780 on: 11/16/2017 08:06 am »
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[Karim Michel] Sabbagh [SES]: have seen launch costs for a 3.5-ton satellite go from more than $100M to closer to $60M now, and expect to drop to half that. #NewSpaceEurope

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/931079161573146625

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #781 on: 11/27/2017 10:55 pm »
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EU governments’ indecision on SpaceX challenge seen as threat to Ariane system’s survival
by Peter B. de Selding | Nov 27, 2017

https://www.spaceintelreport.com/eu-governments-indecision-spacex-challenge-seen-threat-ariane-systems-survival/

Article includes:

Quote
United Launch Alliance thinks SpaceX’s reuse of the Falcon 9 first stage makes no economic sense unless each stage is used at least 10 times. Germany’s DLR disagrees, and says SpaceX’s new launch cadence puts it within reach of making reusability pay. [Attached slide Credit: ULA]

DLR’s analysis suggesting 20 - 25 flights per year are enough for significant savings.

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #782 on: 11/27/2017 11:38 pm »
DLR’s analysis suggesting 20 - 25 flights per year are enough for significant savings.

To be clear, the image is ULA's well-discussed Dr. Sowers analysis, not DLR's.
« Last Edit: 11/27/2017 11:39 pm by RedLineTrain »

Online TrevorMonty

Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #783 on: 12/01/2018 07:16 pm »
Lots of good stuff in this article on benefits of reuseability especially in regards to making more reliable LV.

spaceflightnow.com/2018/12/01/spacex-launch-sunday-will-signify-a-new-advance-in-reusing-rockets/

“There’s an additional benefit or side effect in addition to just the economics of reusability,” Koenigsmann said. “And that’s, basically, you look at the booster after the flight, and you can find things you wouldn’t see otherwise. You may see where stuff leaks or where heat comes through, or something like that. You might find loose joints that were tight before that you need to protect more. This kind of thing is actually incredibly valuable to make a more reliable rocket. You can actually inspect it.

“If you don’t know what’s happening you can just put a GoPro on the place and watch it during launch. That’s what we do, we just pull it out and watch it and go, OK, that seems to be OK, or we figure out this is something that needs to be reinforced. Telemetry is typically limited by bandwidth. We just log the telemetry locally, just in case, and we get all the high-speed data right there from a solid state basically on the vehicle, and use that to look at all the loads that the vehicle sees, all the data that are important to us, and try to improve the vehicle based on those data.


Offline john smith 19

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #784 on: 12/02/2018 08:48 am »
I've seen discussion about this spread around multiple topics. Please kill this topic if there is already one but I couldn't find it on my phone browser.

So there are various guesses but often vehicle price is guessed as 70% first stage, 30% upper stage. So initial impression is that flying reused booster can reduce launch cost by 70%. Of course that's not true, because there is refrubrishment cost, launch operation cost,  payload integration cost etc. Still it sounds like if reusing 1st stage could reduce cost by about 50%. And we still are not talking about price as it makes no sense for Space X to reduce their profit from service provided so it is about cost reduction which is different from price reduction.
Let's assume that this 50% cost price is good enough to include price of stage if split among multiple launches so it's 50% cost reduction for all launches.

Is that the case? No. Because building stage is only part of it's cost. There is also R&D cost per stage which is independent from if stage is build or not. There are for sure people here who know how  big part is this. But please keep in mind it's not development of Falcon9 cost. It's quite pernament cost of keeping engineering department in house. Which is used to improve technology continuesly. And I believe it's quite a cost. So Space X needs to earn enough by their services to pay for it. Since they are continuesly innovating this can be treated as kind of fixed cost indendent from if rockets are build or not. This cost could be reduced once tech is developed but nobody (except some imaginary investors and short sighted clients) really want Space X to be scalled down.

Finally there is keeping production line cost. Those are employees which are not hired by temporary work agency. Nobody want SpaceX to lose higly qualified work force.

So finally my reasoning is that reusing (in short term) saves very little. Some raw materials and outsorced parts, but those are not many.

What reusability allows is to use resurces currently engaged in building stages to be used for other purposes. If there is market increase  some of those can be transferred to build more second stages. Now for the same operational cost there can be more launches and there ara real savings.

But if launch rate doesn't grow enough or SpaceX doesn't  scale down there is only limited saving.

So assuming reusability is given and SpaceX won't scale down, which I believe are true assumtions, cost reduction allowed by this humongous achievement is dependent from demand side and can be very small if there is no increase in launch rate.

Space X has some backlog so some increase is possible. But how big is that?

And am I missing something? Maybe raw materials and outsorced parts are really costly? Or my reasoning is flawed?
Yes. It's called BFR.

Reuse let's they gain more profit from the same price to customers, which reduces their need for external investors. Cancelling work on US reuse (which has proved staggeringly difficult to make work economically) frees their R&D people to work on BFR. It also frees production workers to work on BFR.

Note reuse cuts down the booster mfg line. Every flight still needs an US which is thrown away. But once you've got 2 flights then you've halved the production rate, but beyond that the effects are rather less dramatic. You need to get 4 flights out of every booster (and all you customers have to be happy to fly reflown) before you can half that line again.
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.

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