Author Topic: Predictions 2017  (Read 25055 times)

Online Svetoslav

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Predictions 2017
« on: 12/12/2016 03:24 pm »
OK, Let's start with the traditional predictions thread :)

Here I go first. I remind that my comments are only opinions and interpretations about current trends in space exploration:

1. Blue Origin will send a man to space, effectivelly becoming the first US company after the shuttle era to achieve a piloted mission

2. SpaceX will give up on sending people to space in 2017, first manned flight will eventually slip to 2018

3. China will launch Chang-e sample return Moon mission and it will be successful.

4. There will possibly be another failure of a Proton-M or Soyuz rocket

5. Orion/SLS won't be canceled under a Trump administration.

6. NASA will officially be transitioned for a return to the Moon

7. More delays for Falcon 9 Heavy, it may slip to 2018 which means that SpaceX will give up on a mission to Mars in 2018 too (it will slip to 2020)

8. ExoMars - TGO will complete successful aerobraking, will start main science mission in the end of the year as espected

9. SpaceShipTwo Unity will make several gliding tests, no powered flights in 2017.

10. Eight launches for Falcon 9.

Offline DatUser14

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Re: Predictions 2017
« Reply #1 on: 12/12/2016 03:35 pm »
10 F9 launches, 1 FH.
EM-1 slips to 2019
ITS slips to 2026
Atlas V launch failure
F9 does not have a failure in 2017
#JourneyToMars is redirected to a #JourneyBackToTheMoon under trump
« Last Edit: 12/12/2016 03:37 pm by DatUser14 »
Titan IVB was a cool rocket

Offline scienceguy

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Re: Predictions 2017
« Reply #2 on: 12/12/2016 04:40 pm »
SpaceX reaches orbit 14, count'em, 14 times, including 2 Falcon Heavy launches.

SpaceX lands and recovers 2/3 of the stages they try to.

More evidence of a subsurface ocean on Pluto

More methane is found on Mars, which leads to speculation of life being there, but it will turn out to be more likely a geological source.

More evidence that Proxima Centauri b is an ocean planet.

Two more "Earth analogues", or earth-size planets in the habitable zone, are found, both within 20 light years.

More tension with Russia leads to more tension using Russian rockets to launch American and European astronauts to the space station.

Blue origin does another successful test of a launch abort system.
e^(pi*i) = -1

Online Johnnyhinbos

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Re: Predictions 2017
« Reply #3 on: 12/12/2016 05:08 pm »
- SpaceX has fourteen successful launches of F9 plus two FH launches. (16 in total).

- one F9 launch is the in flight abort.

- Elon unveils his spacesuit

- RD-180 banned again

- BO launches NS two more times, both successful.

- XPrize sees three launches to moon. One rover succeeds (India) and wins prize.

- ULA has first failure of Atlas in a long string of successes. (See ban on RD-180)

- Virgin creeps forward and most people forget about it

- SLS slips another year and two thousand more posts occur here as a result.

- Something crazy is discovered "out there"
John Hanzl. Author, action / adventure

Offline eric z

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Re: Predictions 2017
« Reply #4 on: 12/12/2016 05:37 pm »
 At the end of the year, NASA will still be the best site for space fanatics, even for SLS-fans. And we're still going to Mars, but the moon will be our pit-stop.

Online Lar

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Re: Predictions 2017
« Reply #5 on: 12/12/2016 06:13 pm »
The "POLL: Number of SpaceX orbital flights in 2017" similar to will be up shortly and you'll be able to make launch count predictions there. This post will be modified when it is)

It is up.
« Last Edit: 01/08/2017 04:11 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 Danderman

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Re: Predictions 2017
« Reply #6 on: 12/12/2016 06:31 pm »
All major development efforts slip by one year, including

Crewed ships
Google XPrize

SpaceX makes 2/3rds of scheduled launches in 2017

Another Soyuz/Proton failure, this one will hurt

Renewal of Russia/US partnerships (to a small degree).

Not only will Commercial Crew slip, but NASA will buy more rides on Soyuz. CC will not be cancelled, but there will be a longer test period before NASA allows crew on board.

Blue Origin will attempt an agonizingly small number of test launches in 2017.

No new commercial US launcher will make it to orbit in 2017.

SpaceX will attempt a flight with a used first stage. If successful, the Europeans will make big noises about reusing a first stage.

Red Dragon will unofficially slip to 2020.

Someone will announce a kick stage for new commercial launchers to inject very small payloads beyond LEO.

SpaceX will announce a plan for a first stage powered by Raptor that makes FH obsolete. I don't mean ITS, I mean a ~2,000,000 lb thrust first stage, maybe with a single Raptor upper stage.

« Last Edit: 12/19/2016 04:04 am by Danderman »

Online brickmack

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Re: Predictions 2017
« Reply #7 on: 12/12/2016 06:39 pm »
Orion canceled outright, SLS probably put up for serious review but not terminated (this year). EUS development delayed, SLS-1 switches to a cargo mission carrying lunar station element in ~2019, SLS-2 may use second iCPS.

ARM gets canceled :(

SpaceX flies its manned demo by the end of the year, also first paying FH launch by the end of the year. First reflight by March

NASA issues formal FRPs for commercial crew and cargo to lunar orbit, as Orion replacement.

New administration flips back to a lunar return. No budget for landers yet, will continue with development of lunar orbiting station and logistics vehicles

More details of Blue Origins CCtCap involvement come out. No involvement in current round of crew flights, but looking to get in on "CCtCap 2" or lunar missions

Successful test fire of complete BE-4, BO confirmed as Vulcan core engine supplier. Vulcan remains on course for 2019 debut. Aerojet looks for alternate uses for AR-1

Firefly and probably a few other startups fold, some mergers.

Russias space program continues to implode, Federatsiya and Angara delayed again meanwhile stated ambitions grow to epic proportions

Offline vapour_nudge

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Re: Predictions 2017
« Reply #8 on: 12/12/2016 09:59 pm »
I suggested some of these in 2016 and I was wrong but here we go again:

Chris Bergin renames the site or
100 successful orbital launches worldwide
10 Atlas V launches including a previously unannounced launch like CLIO
Elon Musk reveals the AMOS 6 failure root cause was a C&C hack by an unspecified country that targeted the propellant loading systems
No launch failures worldwide (unless FH is attempted)
X37 lands in June
Another X37 launches before EOY
Trump funds an outer planets mission
« Last Edit: 12/12/2016 10:06 pm by vapour_nudge »

Online ZachS09

Re: Predictions 2017
« Reply #9 on: 12/12/2016 10:03 pm »
Wanna hear my ten predictions? Here we go.

1: The Falcon Heavy demo mission does fly on its rescheduled 2017 launch date.

2: The SLS/Orion program will not be cancelled under the Trump administration (unless a recount one week from now proves that Clinton legitimately won).

3: One of the Atlas Vs will ultimately suffer a launch vehicle failure early into the flight (maybe just after tower clearance).

4: Arianespace will succeed in launching three more Vega rockets, giving Vega a 100% success rate by the end of 2017.

5: ISRO's LVM-3 (GSLV Mk.3) launches successfully with the GSat 19E payload on its January 20th launch date, paving the way for eventual retirement of the GSLV Mk.2 and PSLV.

6: China's Chang'e 5 lunar sample return mission launches successfully and gets the samples it needs, but disintegrates during capsule reentry due to an unknown problem.

7: Tianzhou 1 launches to the Tiangong 2 space station and successfully completes its mission with no flaws.

8: Arianespace will probably suffer a partial failure of one of its Ariane 5 rockets. By "partial failure", I mean underperformance in either the first stage or the second stage.

9: The next planned Soyuz launches including the manned versions launch successfully; the last Soyuz-U also flies true to its form with Progress MS-05.

10: SpaceX flies 9 or 10 Falcon 9 missions over the course of 2017.

By the end of 2017, I would like anyone to tell me whether my predictions were right or wrong. I would appreciate that favor.
« Last Edit: 12/16/2016 06:51 pm by ZachS09 »
Because the Falcon Heavy Test Flight was successful, it has inspired thousands of people to consider changing the future of space travel.

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Predictions 2017
« Reply #10 on: 12/12/2016 10:24 pm »
Persistence is the simplest form of prediction.  It just means you predict what is already happening.

So, ULA will continue to launch without failure.
SpaceX will continue to launch around half of what they say they will.
The Russians will continue to have intermittent failures.
ISS will continue to be crewed and to do good science.
The commercial crew companies will continue to develop their vehicles.

Offline redliox

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Re: Predictions 2017
« Reply #11 on: 12/12/2016 10:35 pm »
Hmmm it's always hard to keep personal opinion and educated guesses separate, but let's give it a whirl....

I think I'll categorize my predictions into 4  main groups:

Space X Developments
-Falcon Heavy launches; succeeds but probably encounters issues either on the 1st or 2nd flights
-Dragon 2 launches and succeeds
-Elon Musk divulges Mars info, specifically about Red Dragon plans (like its landing site)

Trump Space Policy Developments
-SLS/Orion put on heavy review (but not canceled)
-ARM outright canceled
-Moon prioritized; Mars on sideline
-Commercial space prioritized

Planetary Science Developments
-Venus missions selected (either NF or Discovery)
-Ice Giant mission specified (if not selected)
-Europa Clipper begins early construction & its SLS flight fully confirmed
-Europa Lander delayed
-Mars Sample Return finally gets **** together, possibly via Red Dragon collaboration

Additional Space Developments
-TESS launches, discovers more exoplanets
-Optical/UV space telescope proposed (as a counterpart to Webb & successor to Hubble)
-More exoplanet discoveries made at Proxima & Alpha Centauri
-China launches more crew, more of its own station components
-China launches new lunar probe, elaborates on Lunar and Martian plans
-Russia elaborates on more plans (nothing comes to fruition though)
-Exomars 2020 delayed to 2022

I predict a mostly good year although likely stuffy from political hot air (and not just American alone).
"Let the trails lead where they may, I will follow."

Offline vapour_nudge

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Re: Predictions 2017
« Reply #12 on: 12/12/2016 11:27 pm »
Not aimed at any post in particular but we're a bit fluffy with our predictions. How about some more specific predictions - really try going out on a limb? 😇

Offline Gliderflyer

Re: Predictions 2017
« Reply #13 on: 12/13/2016 03:50 am »
Hopefully I'm wrong on some of these, but here we go:

- Russia will continue to have problems with reliability and will lose another Progress and/or Proton.
- SLS will be cancelled like all of the shuttle derived vehicles before it. It will be replaced by a shuttle derived vehicle.
- Rocket Lab will launch Electron at least twice, but will lose one vehicle.
- Virgin will unveil Launcher One hardware, but no flights.
- The SpaceX Dragon 2 test flight will slip to Q4 2017 2018.
- Falcon Heavy will fly, but not until Q4. It will be awesome.
- SpaceX will refly a booster, but none will be reflown twice.

- EXOS will fly to space and land succesfully.
- Virgin will do one SS2 powered flight near the end of the year.
- Blue will do 12 flights, demonstrate a 24 hour turnaround, and fly people.
- High altitude balloon "suborbital tourism" flights will start carrying people.
- Masten will demonstrate the cradle landing that they have long alluded to.
- XCOR will still be around doing cool stuff.
« Last Edit: 12/13/2016 04:59 am by Gliderflyer »
I tried it at home


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Re: Predictions 2017
« Reply #14 on: 12/13/2016 04:19 am »
What I want to happen, and what I think will happen will be two different things...
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Offline jongoff

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Re: Predictions 2017
« Reply #15 on: 12/13/2016 05:29 am »
I'll make a few predictions, in no particular order. Note these are predictions, not always what I *want* to see happen, but what I think is most likely.

1- SpaceX will return to flight successfully, and finally break 10 flights this year. Falcon Heavy will make it to the pad, but might not fly. They won't lose another flight outright this year, but something will happen that will keep them from getting more than say 15 flights. They will successfully refly at least one booster, and recover many more boosters. SpaceX will formally slip their first Red Dragon flight to the next Mars window after 2018.

2- ULA will keep plugging along, with no outright failures. They'll announce their Vulcan propulsion choice before the summer, and I'm guessing it'll be BE-4. They'll make at least one RapidLaunch sale for a commercial satellite launch that will fly in 2017.

3- Blue Origin will fly at least half a dozen successful unmanned New Shephard flights in 2017, including at least 2-3 with paying research customers. They will successfully get to a full-throttle, full-duration BE-4 test before the end of the year.

4- RocketLabs will successfully fly their Electron vehicle in Q1 or Q2, and will have at least 3-4 successful flights this year. They'll also have at least one failure or flight anomaly though.

5- VG will get back into powered flight testing of SS2 before the end of the year, but not commercial service. LauncherOne will make at least a captive carry test of a flight article by the end of the year, but will not do a full orbital flight by the end of the year, though they'll be close. (Once again, I hope I'm being pessimistic).

6- DARPA will pick Boeing for XS-1 in spite of how things went with ALASA, and will end up regretting it. (I hope I'm wrong here--I'd much rather see Masten get it)

7- XCOR will still be not dead, and may make progress on a few fronts, but will not have Lynx flying, and probably won't have wings on it by the end of the year. Though they may have a hot-fire test of a full-scale RL-10 class LOX/LH2 thrust chamber (not necessarily with a fully integrated power head).

8- Masten will also not be dead, in spite of not winning XS-1. They'll continue to do flights of Xodiac and Xaero-B, and will have at least one impressive big step for the year -- either a successful landing cradle landing, or a high altitude flight with aerodynamic drag flaps used for steering during recovery.

9- Trump will nominate Mike Griffin for NASA Administrator (this is one I really hope is wrong).

10- ARM gets canceled.

11- NASA gets redirected in a more Return to the Moon fashion. But still isn't given a big enough budget to do things the way Congress will force them to do things.

12- At least one of the Megaconstellation players (OneWeb, SpaceX, or Boeing) will announce having raised enough money to launch at least an initial constellation that is at least 1/4 the size of their final proposed constellation. At least one of the players will launch one or more "pathfinder" spacecraft.

13- No ISS cargo vehicles will be lost in 2017.

14- NASA will not cancel SLS or Orion in 2017.

15- At least one more potentially earthlike exoplanet (somewhere between 0.5 and 1.5x earth mass, in the habitable zone) will be found around a star within 20LY of Earth.

16- There will be at least one major space debris event this year (either a close call with the ISS that requires moving the astronauts into a Soyuz, or a collision that generates at least 100 new pieces of trackable debris). Governments still won't take the threat seriously.

« Last Edit: 12/13/2016 05:44 am by jongoff »

Offline sdsds

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Re: Predictions 2017
« Reply #16 on: 12/13/2016 06:25 am »
- No major changes are acknowledged in the SLS or Orion external schedules but internal schedule margins become much thinner across many aspects of both programs.

- A new NASA administrator takes office. This has almost no apparent effect.

- No one will be talking about redirecting asteroids or sending humans to asteroids. If someone does mention it they will be met largely with blank stares.

- F9 returns to flight and experiences at least one in-flight anomaly that raises public concern (though not necessarily a loss of mission).

- For most of the year (i.e. through the end of July) there is considerable disagreement about whether FH will fly before year end. No prediction about whether or not it actually does.

- Musk is briefly hospitalized. The Tesla share price briefly drops more than 20%. The two events are not necessarily correlated.

- Some SpaceX supporters begin to question the schedule for ITS and the first humans on Mars; then once again block those doubts from their minds entirely.
- ULA execution of missions (including schedule) continues to be nearly flawless; statistically no different than the past. No one really notices.

- Bruno openly commits himself to making a distributed launch happen "soon," e.g. before the end of 2025.

- BE-4 sails smoothly through development, test, and qualification as the choice for Vulcan propulsion.

- Blue Origin once again demonstrates or announces something that was largely unexpected and makes a positive impression on spaceflight enthusiasts.

- AJR offer something unexpectedly positive and forward-thinking regarding a major engine (RL10, RS-25, J2-X, or RS-68).

- Russia launches a preemptive nuclear missile strike. Oh no, wait. Russia continues to launch payloads with mixed success; shows no substantial progress on any new program at all related to human spaceflight.

- A Very Important Person in the United States becomes alarmingly alarmed about the successes of China's human spaceflight and lunar programs.

- Some commercial entity demonstrates capabilities that make a rapid cadence micro-launch system seem economically sound. There's general consensus such systems will soon (before e.g. 2020) be launching small payloads to orbit dozens of times per year. 
« Last Edit: 12/13/2016 06:28 am by sdsds »
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Online Svetoslav

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Re: Predictions 2017
« Reply #18 on: 12/13/2016 07:53 am »
I like the idea of BO being first back to space next year (although: "space", and yes, we will get a few more tweets from Elon telling us the difference between space and orbit). I think Bezos will push for that. And we will all be delighted!

I think FH will not fly 2017. At some point in early summer, Elon will announce that the inaugural flight of FH will be the Red Dragon flight in 2018, says that priority is on avoiding further scheduling slips for F9 customers. F9 will do a record number of flights, 12 would be my guess but wouldn't be surprised if it was more (up to 16?). Crew Dragon unmanned flight test will happen in early December.

Dream Chaser flies again!

Trump Administration sets up review board for ARM, SLS, Orion. Board recommends to end ARM (but keep SEP elements for a general-purpose deep space tug), and to keep SLS and Orion for now, but EM-1 as planned now (2018) is canceled and only the EUS-variant (1B Crew/Cargo) of the SLS will be developed (it also gets a name in the process), EM-1 rescheduled for 2020 or so, to be followed in 2022 by EM-2 (manned). Keep Mars as a long-term goal (we will soon see the first manned NASA landing pushed officially to the 2040ies), but "proving ground" strategy around the Moon (also with an eye towards China) fleshed out in more detail (including commercial resupply of the lunar orbital habitat).

More Russian mishaps. More Chinese sucesses (including launch of Tianzhou, the first chinese space station re-supply ship, and Chang-E 5, the latter towards the end of the year).

More discoveries in the outer solar system in support of the Planet Nine hypothesis (whether that means I think they will find it, I leave that up to you to decide ;) ).

Planet around one of the main Centauri stars found. Its a rocky world too hot for life.
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Offline LM13

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Re: Predictions 2017
« Reply #19 on: 12/13/2016 03:09 pm »
1.  Mike Griffin is not nominated as NASA Administrator, but someone similar to him in goals is.

2.  FH flies at least twice.  F9 flies at least 12 times.

3.  Proton suffers a launch failure.  Some time afterward, Russia will announce a project to build an interstellar starship (somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but I do expect some kind of unrealistic goal they have no intention of meeting). 

4.  ULA launches all payloads essentially flawlessly. 

5.  Chang'e 5 returns samples from the Moon.  To the disappointment of American space buffs, this does not trigger any apparent reaction in Congress or the Executive Branch.

6.  Planet 9 is discovered.

7.  NASA announces the next Discovery mission in January.  Venus is the target.

EDIT: According to the NASA Discovery Mission 2015 thread, I'm already wrong on the first count.  As to the second...

8.  NASA keeps #JourneyToMars as its stated goal, but a lunar proving ground is worked in somehow.  This may take the form of an LLO space station rather than a surface base, however.

9.  Full 3.5 MN Raptor test fire.

10. EM-1 slips to early 2019. 
« Last Edit: 12/13/2016 03:22 pm by LM13 »