Author Topic: Status of first F9 S1 re-use  (Read 8127 times)

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Status of first F9 S1 re-use
« on: 05/31/2016 05:36 AM »
We have many re-use threads but I couldn't see one on progress/updates for the first re-use. Closest I could find is a poll on which stage will be re-used first and another on when first re-use will be.

Here are a couple of crosspostings from those polls to kick-off latest info in re-use:

Confirmation of SpaceX's current plans for booster re-use:

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Hoffman: two recovered boosters from LEO launches came back in "remarkably good shape."
https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/735194515959488512

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Hoffman: December launch was refired, all engines came up to full thrust, stage being retired and put on display. #SpaceTechExpo
https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/735194665855520769

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Hoffman: second booster is being refurbished, hope to relaunch it later this year. #SpaceTechExpo
https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/735194804619902976

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Hoffman: third booster came back with more damage due to launch requirements for satellite, will not be relaunched #SpaceTechExpo
https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/735194952431325185

Update on SpaceX's plans for booster re-use:

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SpaceX: We'll be meeting w/ insurance underwriters in coming weeks to walk them through our reusable-stage certification process.
https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/737469017896542208

Quote
SpaceX: Reused stage to fly, likely on commercial mission, by end of year. We've been approached by couple of customers who want to be 1st.
https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/737447211009613824


Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Status of first F9 S1 re-use
« Reply #1 on: 05/31/2016 06:03 AM »
SES have publicly said they're keen to re-use a booster. Does anyone have any info on who the second interested customer is?

Offline pospa

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Re: Status of first F9 S1 re-use
« Reply #2 on: 05/31/2016 06:29 AM »
Does anyone have any info on who the second interested customer is?

Not sure who the second customer is, just Peter B. de Selding is tweeting this today:

SpaceX: We'll be meeting w/ insurance underwriters in coming weeks to walk them through our reusable-stage certification process.

SpaceX: Reused stage to fly, likely on commercial mission, by end of year. We've been approached by couple of customers who want to be 1st.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Status of first F9 S1 re-use
« Reply #3 on: 05/31/2016 02:08 PM »
Peter B. de Selding has written up the info behind his earlier tweets quoted in the first post of this thread:

http://spacenews.com/spacex-to-brief-underwriters-on-the-road-to-falcon-9-reusability/

(OT: interesting info in the article on current state of launch insurance market, especially that F9 FT already gets rates equal to Ariane 5.)
« Last Edit: 05/31/2016 02:12 PM by FutureSpaceTourist »

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Re: Status of first F9 S1 re-use
« Reply #4 on: 06/02/2016 07:49 PM »
In the Code Conference interview last night (see this thread for links & discussion) Elon stated 2 to 3 months/late Summer as timeline for first re-use.

Ok so that's Elon time, but I think still decent chance for doing it this year.
« Last Edit: 06/02/2016 07:51 PM by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline John Alan

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Re: Status of first F9 S1 re-use
« Reply #5 on: 06/02/2016 08:02 PM »
In the Code Conference interview last night (see this thread for links & discussion) Elon stated 2 to 3 months/late Summer as timeline for first re-use.

Ok so that's Elon time, but I think still decent chance for doing it this year.
Many (myself included) think that SES-10 (NET Sept this year currently) will fly with the refurbished CRS-8 S1...
This seems to fit most public SpaceX comments of late...and that stage had an easy ride back with so much margin...

Look for LEO stages to be the only ones reflown in the early going...
I expect all these GTO 'hot return' ones to not be reflown any time soon...
Just my opinion on topic...  ;)

Offline MattMason

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Re: Status of first F9 S1 re-use
« Reply #6 on: 06/02/2016 08:16 PM »
In the Code Conference interview last night (see this thread for links & discussion) Elon stated 2 to 3 months/late Summer as timeline for first re-use.

Ok so that's Elon time, but I think still decent chance for doing it this year.
Many (myself included) think that SES-10 (NET Sept this year currently) will fly with the refurbished CRS-8 S1...
This seems to fit most public SpaceX comments of late...and that stage had an easy ride back with so much margin...

Look for LEO stages to be the only ones reflown in the early going...
I expect all these GTO 'hot return' ones to not be reflown any time soon...
Just my opinion on topic...  ;)

Not a bad guess. Even with the hot GTO recoveries, there's still the Merlins to salvage, which has to be some savings if the recovered stages so far show that the engines will endure either entry path without much refurbishment. But I'm betting that SpaceX is still redesigning things to manage thermal and physical stresses for such boosters to save them for full reuse if possible.
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Offline intrepidpursuit

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Re: Status of first F9 S1 re-use
« Reply #7 on: 06/03/2016 03:16 AM »
The hard and therefore the expensive parts of the rocket were clearly working perfectly at landing. Of course there are problems with the engine coverings, grid fins, legs, and the finish on the tanks; but I'm sure those were thought of before the first stage was recovered. The things they have to be looking at are the engine bells, and critical soft parts inside the octaweb that are not easily replaceable. If there were larger problems such as tank deformation, major engine damage, plasma penetration into computers, etc., then they wouldn't say they are ready to refly and likely they wouldn't have landed.

I doubt that the GTO stages are in much worse shape from a refurbishment perspective then the LEO stages. The damage to soft parts is likely worse, but doesn't move them down the ladder of reuse, repair, or replace very in many cases. When they talk about "max damage" and "life leader" I think they are looking for structural damage to tanks and engines more than at the cosmetic and soft parts damage.

We see panels, covers, paint, legs, and fins showing more soot and more damage, but those are extremely cheap components on the greater scale. Maybe they are or will will become disposable, or maybe they'll be hardened so they don't take so much damage. Either way, I doubt they are blip on the path toward viable reusability. These aren't shuttle tiles, they are chunks of aluminum.

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Status of first F9 S1 re-use
« Reply #8 on: 06/03/2016 03:23 AM »
According to Musk the 3rd recovered stage was NOT too damaged to fly again. They simply CHOSE to use it for extensive ground tests instead (which will probably be at least partially destructive). It makes sense, since this stage was exposed to the most stresses they can expect from a recovery (since it was a GTO flight).

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: Status of first F9 S1 re-use
« Reply #9 on: 06/03/2016 01:54 PM »
Peter B. de Selding has written up the info behind his earlier tweets quoted in the first post of this thread:

http://spacenews.com/spacex-to-brief-underwriters-on-the-road-to-falcon-9-reusability/

(OT: interesting info in the article on current state of launch insurance market, especially that F9 FT already gets rates equal to Ariane 5.)

Here is the LA Times's article on the same subject.  A little more detailed than Peter B. de Selding's article, including that the F9 insurance premium has almost halved in the last couple of years.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-spacex-insurers-20160603-snap-story.html

Offline Craig_VG

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Re: Status of first F9 S1 re-use
« Reply #10 on: 06/03/2016 02:36 PM »
Update by Musk in recent interview:

Refly in 2-3 months



Section is at 13:31
« Last Edit: 06/03/2016 02:44 PM by Craig_VG »

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Re: Status of first F9 S1 re-use
« Reply #11 on: 06/04/2016 06:10 AM »
Good article on Thaicom 8 booster return and SpaceX's plans for first booster re-use: http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/06/03/spacexs-latest-booster-back-home-as-company-mulls-pricing-proof-tests/

Some interesting quotes from Gwynne Shotwell, apparently from an April interview I must have missed. A couple of examples below, see the article for more.

Quote
She said SpaceX does not want to tinker much with the rocket slated to fly again, so officials selected a separate booster to put through ground testing.

Quote
“I think there’s enough margin built into our qualification program that we could at least fly another time on the boxes and such, and our engines have already been qualified for more than one flight,” Shotwell said.

Offline craigcocca

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Re: Status of first F9 S1 re-use
« Reply #12 on: 06/04/2016 06:30 AM »
If it turns out that the F9 S1's from GEO missions are too damaged to refurb and refly, would there be any cost savings derived from simply extracting the returned engines and flying them on a fresh core?
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Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: Status of first F9 S1 re-use
« Reply #13 on: 06/04/2016 06:47 AM »
In the Code Conference interview last night (see this thread for links & discussion) Elon stated 2 to 3 months/late Summer as timeline for first re-use.

Ok so that's Elon time, but I think still decent chance for doing it this year.
Many (myself included) think that SES-10 (NET Sept this year currently) will fly with the refurbished CRS-8 S1...
This seems to fit most public SpaceX comments of late...and that stage had an easy ride back with so much margin...

Look for LEO stages to be the only ones reflown in the early going...
I expect all these GTO 'hot return' ones to not be reflown any time soon...
Just my opinion on topic...  ;)

Concur, that's what it sounds like.   After the minor lull between the next launch and CRS-9 they have a very busy remainder of 2016.   They'll need the core and SES makes sense.

Leon's comment about not having a commercial/paying payload for the first FH was very interesting.  The way he said it made me think there's something brewing.
Needing a copy of 'Tales of Suspense #39'

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Status of first F9 S1 re-use
« Reply #14 on: 06/07/2016 09:44 PM »
First realistic date from Elon?

Quote
Fourth rocket arrives in the hangar. Aiming for first reflight in Sept/Oct.

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/740296489532948480
« Last Edit: 06/07/2016 09:46 PM by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline Mader Levap

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Re: Status of first F9 S1 re-use
« Reply #15 on: 06/08/2016 02:26 PM »
First realistic date from Elon?
Quote
Fourth rocket arrives in the hangar. Aiming for first reflight in Sept/Oct.

October mentioned already? I still maintain that we will see actual relaunch in 2017. :>

Remember, longest time SpaceX did anything on time is about 5 weeks. And that was NET of regular launch, not breaking new ground with something that was never done before.
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Offline AC in NC

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Re: Status of first F9 S1 re-use
« Reply #16 on: 06/08/2016 02:45 PM »
First realistic date from Elon?
Quote
Fourth rocket arrives in the hangar. Aiming for first reflight in Sept/Oct.
Perhaps this derives from choices of customers?  Lines up nicely with:

2016-09     F9           OCISLY      SES-10                    GTO  5300    LC39A

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