Author Topic: Reusability effect on costs  (Read 147849 times)

Offline llanitedave

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #80 on: 05/31/2016 09:28 PM »

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

Quite snapped together, if I do say so myself.
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Offline Jim

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #81 on: 05/31/2016 11:11 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...

Spacex hasn't made it to Mars at this time.  Quit talking like it is a given

Offline kch

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #82 on: 05/31/2016 11:20 PM »
I have this vision of Jim beset by a horde of yapping yorkies ...

I've had that vision for quite some time (and I'd bet Jim has, too)!  ;)

Offline AC in NC

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #83 on: 06/01/2016 12:11 AM »
I am reluctant to shut down interesting lines of discussion but there seem to be at least two that are tangential to the purpose of this thread.   I leave it to my betters whether that observation is accurate or needs redress.

Offline LouScheffer

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #84 on: 06/01/2016 12:15 AM »
I have this vision of Jim beset by a horde of yapping yorkies... 
Quite off topic, but believe it or don't, people have been killed by Yorkies...  See Breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks in the United States  between 1979 and 1998, page 839.

Online Lar

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #85 on: 06/01/2016 02:48 AM »
I am reluctant to shut down interesting lines of discussion but there seem to be at least two that are tangential to the purpose of this thread.   I leave it to my betters whether that observation is accurate or needs redress.
I think he's telling you lot to get back on topic. (clearly he's not talking to ME... er wait...)
"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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Online Semmel

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #86 on: 06/01/2016 09:20 AM »
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.

You are correct, I didnt think of that. Yes, the number of trips to Mars vs. the number of tanker flights is fix if you only consider Mars flights. Therefore, it is not possible to launch a BFS thrust structure segment more often to reduce the time it needs to be in service for the entire fleet. Only for individual stages as Lar demonstrated.

I would suggest to look at LEO delivery runs. BFR/BFS might be designed with Mars as target but I don't see a reason why it can't be used also to deliver satellites and payloadsto LEO/GTO/Moon. The launches to GTO might even outnumber launches to Mars initially. Also for the planned internet constellations, BFR would be ideal because it could loft a lot of inexpensive satellites at once to an orbital plane. There are many more uses in BFR besides Mars even today or in the near future. Space Tourist hotels would be an other destination that is .. frankly .. even more likely to emerge than a Mars colony.

Online envy887

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #87 on: 06/01/2016 01:01 PM »
I am reluctant to shut down interesting lines of discussion but there seem to be at least two that are tangential to the purpose of this thread.   I leave it to my betters whether that observation is accurate or needs redress.
I think he's telling you lot to get back on topic. (clearly he's not talking to ME... er wait...)

The OP clearly intended a discussion of Falcon reuseability and costs, but the title of the thread is not very specific. All the MCT discussion probably better fits in the MCT speculation thread, but I don't know that it's really that far OT here.

Offline Pipcard

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #88 on: 07/10/2016 02:36 AM »
The $62 million price point for Falcon 9 v1.2 is for 5.5 t to GTO.

So what then is the price of an F9 when launching its full expendable capacity of 8.3 t to GTO? Is $62 million dependent on something like barge reuse?
« Last Edit: 07/10/2016 02:40 AM by Pipcard »

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #89 on: 07/10/2016 03:30 AM »
The $62 million price point for Falcon 9 v1.2 is for 5.5 t to GTO.

So what then is the price of an F9 when launching its full expendable capacity of 8.3 t to GTO? Is $62 million dependent on something like barge reuse?
$62 million almost certainly doesn't actually require reuse, but it may be that SpaceX is charging more if the customer requires or desires an expendable launch.

Some of that may be market segmentation, but a lot of it is SpaceX going, "Hey, reuse is central to our goals long-term, and if you're not going to allow us to attempt reuse, it's going to cost you more." But that doesn't mean they can't do just fine with $62 million and a fully expended Falcon 9.

tl;dr: Price is not cost.
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Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #90 on: 07/10/2016 01:52 PM »
The $62 million price point for Falcon 9 v1.2 is for 5.5 t to GTO.

So what then is the price of an F9 when launching its full expendable capacity of 8.3 t to GTO? Is $62 million dependent on something like barge reuse?
$62 million almost certainly doesn't actually require reuse, but it may be that SpaceX is charging more if the customer requires or desires an expendable launch.

Some of that may be market segmentation, but a lot of it is SpaceX going, "Hey, reuse is central to our goals long-term, and if you're not going to allow us to attempt reuse, it's going to cost you more." But that doesn't mean they can't do just fine with $62 million and a fully expended Falcon 9.

tl;dr: Price is not cost.
SpaceX is not yet ready to give discounts where the booster is recovered. So the price of $62M for 5.5mt or 8.3mt is the same at this point. The difference being the ability to "test" recovery. Once reuse is normalized then the price for 5.5mt will drop but the price for 8.3mt would stay at $62M. $62M is the expendable price. SpaceX has yet to set the reuse price.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #91 on: 07/10/2016 02:27 PM »
SpaceX is not yet ready to give discounts where the booster is recovered. So the price of $62M for 5.5mt or 8.3mt is the same at this point.
You may be right, but there is to date no evidence to support this assertion.  SpaceX web site specifically says $62 million for "up to 5.5 metric tons to GTO", while also saying that max payload to GTO is 8.3 metric tons.  To me that sounds like higher price for more than 5.5 tonnes.  It also suggests, to me, that payload beyond 5.5 tonnes requires expending the first stage.

We'll see.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #92 on: 07/11/2016 04:41 PM »
SpaceX is not yet ready to give discounts where the booster is recovered. So the price of $62M for 5.5mt or 8.3mt is the same at this point.
You may be right, but there is to date no evidence to support this assertion.  SpaceX web site specifically says $62 million for "up to 5.5 metric tons to GTO", while also saying that max payload to GTO is 8.3 metric tons.  To me that sounds like higher price for more than 5.5 tonnes.  It also suggests, to me, that payload beyond 5.5 tonnes requires expending the first stage.

We'll see.

 - Ed Kyle
Yes we will see.

But I believe the 5.5mt value is a notice to future payloads that if they are less than that weight then they could take advantage of a lower price, whatever that may be in the future. While larger payloads would have to pay the current price.

Also there may be as many as three prices for an F9:

- As low as $42M for an RTLS flight. The up to 30% reduction stated by SpaceX's Ms Shotwell.

- As low as $52M for an ASDS flight. This is because there is a higher risk of stage loss during recovery and the artificial life shortening because of this would be an higher price to average out the lower recovery rate. I used a recovery rate for ASDS of 80% and for RTLS a very high value at near the same as the launch failure rate of 95%. The added cost due to lower recovery rate adds up to $10M to the costs.

- $62M for an expendable flight.

In general the ASDS recovery rate is still a "?". As is the RTLS recovery rate. Both of these values play into reusability costing.

A BTW is that an FH all RTLS price could be as low as $52M meaning there would after FH is reliably flying no expendable F9s and the offer for them would be removed. This also meands that a FH ASDS center recovery would be $62M and a FH all ASDS recovery as high as $82M. Not much of a savings over the current $90M price.

But here the $90M price is a question. And that is whether the price is an all expended or for at least booster recovery. There is some indication that the price is for at least booster recovery (ASDS).

Offline cuddihy

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #93 on: 07/14/2016 11:15 AM »

A BTW is that an FH all RTLS price could be as low as $52M meaning there would after FH is reliably flying no expendable F9s and the offer for them would be removed. This also meands that a FH ASDS center recovery would be $62M and a FH all ASDS recovery as high as $82M. Not much of a savings over the current $90M price.

But here the $90M price is a question. And that is whether the price is an all expended or for at least booster recovery. There is some indication that the price is for at least booster recovery (ASDS).

Jim has implied on another thread that this has actually already effectively happened -- i.e. that SpaceX, no matter what the website says, is actually no longer accepting F9 expendable orders, and only would by exception, presumably for explicit, non-monetary reasons like prestige or perhaps something critical to a market segment like EELV. Makes sense if their backlog is now such that FH would be able to fly those missions fully reusable, but the timeline to prove out FH is still uncertain.

Offline IntoTheVoid

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #94 on: 08/15/2016 03:49 PM »
From:SpaceNews - SpaceX successfully launches JCSAT-16
Quote
SES has said it wants a substantial discount on SpaceXís already low price in exchange for being the first customer. But SES has made clear to investors that regular use of partially reusable rockets is a key component of SESís strategy for reducing capital spending. SES insurance underwriters have said they will not insist on major premium increases to cover a launch with a reused first stage.

Hadn't seen that bold nugget mentioned and this seemed the best place.

Offline First Mate Rummey

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #95 on: 08/15/2016 05:34 PM »
I read the 62M$ for 5.5t as the price/mass that permits a (potential) recovery. I suspect in the future they'll keep the mass limitation but lower the price when reusing core is standard. If you really want a new core the price will increase. If you have to orbit > 5.5t you'll also have to pay more since the first stage cannot be recovered.

Offline dror

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #96 on: 08/15/2016 06:16 PM »
...

But I believe the 5.5mt value is a notice to future payloads that if they are less than that weight then they could take advantage of a lower price, whatever that may be in the future. While larger payloads would have to pay the current price.

Also there may be as many as three prices for an F9:
...

From:SpaceNews - SpaceX successfully launches JCSAT-16
Quote
SES has said it wants a substantial discount on SpaceXís already low price in exchange for being the first customer. But SES has made clear to investors that regular use of partially reusable rockets is a key component of SESís strategy for reducing capital spending. SES insurance underwriters have said they will not insist on major premium increases to cover a launch with a reused first stage.

I belive, as has been suggested elsewhere, that prices will be lower for reused stages, not for reusable ones.
At least at start and for quite a long time.

« Last Edit: 08/15/2016 06:29 PM by dror »
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Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #97 on: 08/15/2016 06:33 PM »
I read the 62M$ for 5.5t as the price/mass that permits a (potential) recovery. I suspect in the future they'll keep the mass limitation but lower the price when reusing core is standard.

SpaceX lists the Falcon 9 for $62M on their website, with the ability to place up to 5.5mT to GTO.

Quote
If you really want a new core the price will increase.

I think you have that backwards.  The current price is for new core, and SpaceX reserves the right to recover that core.  I don't think the customer has a choice in that respect.  However, SpaceX will sell a service that exceeds the 5.5mT capability, and as we've already seen they may not try to recover the stage, and I'm not sure we know what the price of that launch is.

But if SpaceX perfects reusability the price for the 5.5mT to GTO is supposed to be less than $62M if the customer chooses a stage that has previously flown.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online envy887

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #98 on: 08/15/2016 06:38 PM »

But no, they aren't free.

You have two costs here (at least). The cost of the RLV above that of the ELV it could have been with the same technology base, and the cost of recovery and non-trivial, non "gas-n-go" handling prior to vehicle integration.

These are non-trivial costs, a fair fraction of the total LV cost.

Free in the sense that whether or not they cost more to manufacture than a stage designed to be expendable-only, they have been paid for on their first flight. 

You don't know that. You'd have to have access to SX financials to know that.

All you know is that the costs have been expended to build, test, qualify, integrate, launch and recover a vehicle. Note that "recover" cost. More than an ELV.

For all you know, they could have a financial model that batches into, say, 100 launches, with a phase in of reuse, where a part of the "reuse to come" has already been part of the LV provider's embedded fixed cost.

Quote
That will change later, when SpaceX lowers its price in response to the assumption of stage re-use, but as long as launches are priced based on the assumption of an expended booster, then that successfully returned boosters higher cost doesn't really matter, as its cost has already been recovered. So "Free" in that sense.
Source for these three, broad, assumptions?

The financial "good news" is that it appears that the flight test program is drawing to a close.

The uncertainties here are in what changes to the CONOPs/vehicle will do to costing.

Again, not an enthusiast here but a businessman with pragmatics. You do know it is a business that is very pragmatic ...

Shotwell already announced that the price of the first ride on a relaunched booster would be about 30% lower, so that claim is not exactly an assumption.

Online deruch

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Re: Reusability effect on costs
« Reply #99 on: 08/18/2016 03:09 AM »
The current price is for new core, and SpaceX reserves the right to recover that core. 

The current price is for a launch service for payloads up to 5.5mT to GTO.  It doesn't say anything about the type of core.  Assuming SpaceX is totally serious about their reuse plans and that the booster stages are actually capable of many reflights (i.e. more than just 3 or 4), they'll have to stop differentiating between "new" and "previously flown" boosters.  In the long run, with many multiple reuses, the only price differentiation that makes sense is whether (and possibly the calibrated likelihood) they can recover the booster on a mission.  In which case, charging more for missions that will preclude recovery makes perfect sense.

It makes sense for SpaceX to offer a discount to current customers willing to accept the risk of early adopters and to use those missions and their testing to determine exactly what the flight number/type limits are for their recovery.  But after that initial discount period, and again assuming everything works out, I imagine they'll just move to an overall lower price for the offered launch service that is agnostic to whether the booster is new or used. 

There just aren't enough missions on their current manifest that will require expended stages.  With the impressive performance gains they've been able to eke out of the Falcon 9 and their equally impressive achievements in improving the successful landing rate, they are likely to be attempting recovery of the boosters on very nearly all currently manifested missions.  How large a booster fleet do they need?  They'll move production to upper stages and only need a few boosters to make up for failed landings and fleet retirement as booster flight limits are reached.
« Last Edit: 08/18/2016 03:23 AM by deruch »
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