Author Topic: When will F9/F9H be retired?  (Read 28630 times)

Online IRobot

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Re: When will F9/F9H be retired?
« Reply #160 on: 10/20/2017 07:35 AM »
I don't think retirement is the right question. When does SpaceX start raising the price of Falcon to get people to use ITSy? When does Falcon get delegated to "conservative customers" only?
Not really. SpaceX might just pull the plug, especially because maintaining production capability is very expensive.
I think Elon was very clear on this: stock several units, reuse as much as possible and then stop making them.

Offline guckyfan

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Re: When will F9/F9H be retired?
« Reply #161 on: 10/20/2017 08:08 AM »
In other words, if booster recovery continues to work, and I see no reason why it shouldn't even if there are more bumps in the road for SpaceX then the Falcon 9 may find itself in the situation of thousands of aircraft still flying even though their production was discontinued many years ago. Shutting down the production line is not the same as shutting down the launch vehicle.

They will still need to run the second stage production line and cost pressure to shut it down will increase over time. Assuming that BFR works as intended they will phase out Falcon, with the possible exception for a while of manned Dragon flights to the ISS. They can build a stock of second stages for that as it will be a predetermined number of flights.

Offline aero

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Re: When will F9/F9H be retired?
« Reply #162 on: 10/20/2017 03:01 PM »
In other words, if booster recovery continues to work, and I see no reason why it shouldn't even if there are more bumps in the road for SpaceX then the Falcon 9 may find itself in the situation of thousands of aircraft still flying even though their production was discontinued many years ago. Shutting down the production line is not the same as shutting down the launch vehicle.

They will still need to run the second stage production line and cost pressure to shut it down will increase over time. Assuming that BFR works as intended they will phase out Falcon, with the possible exception for a while of manned Dragon flights to the ISS. They can build a stock of second stages for that as it will be a predetermined number of flights.

Has SpaceX stopped working on the recoverable fairing and second stage for the Falcon 9? Were they ever working seriously on second stage recovery? Of course with the BFR/BFS in operation, there is little or no benefit from a recoverable second stage for the Falcon 9 as the stockpile can deal with the transition.
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Offline Ludus

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Re: When will F9/F9H be retired?
« Reply #163 on: 10/20/2017 11:24 PM »
In other words, if booster recovery continues to work, and I see no reason why it shouldn't even if there are more bumps in the road for SpaceX then the Falcon 9 may find itself in the situation of thousands of aircraft still flying even though their production was discontinued many years ago. Shutting down the production line is not the same as shutting down the launch vehicle.

They will still need to run the second stage production line and cost pressure to shut it down will increase over time. Assuming that BFR works as intended they will phase out Falcon, with the possible exception for a while of manned Dragon flights to the ISS. They can build a stock of second stages for that as it will be a predetermined number of flights.

Has SpaceX stopped working on the recoverable fairing and second stage for the Falcon 9? Were they ever working seriously on second stage recovery? Of course with the BFR/BFS in operation, there is little or no benefit from a recoverable second stage for the Falcon 9 as the stockpile can deal with the transition.

They’ve recently been pretty clear that faring recovery and reuse is in the plan, some efforts to recover the second stage will happen, but only for data without any intent for reuse.

Offline guckyfan

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Re: When will F9/F9H be retired?
« Reply #164 on: 10/21/2017 02:21 PM »
I am not quite clear on second stage recovery. I understand they will at least do the ED part of EDL. But actually getting anything back, that is bigger than the debris of their first water landing? Maybe not.

Offline RDoc

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Re: When will F9/F9H be retired?
« Reply #165 on: 10/25/2017 01:21 AM »
Perhaps they just leave the second stage in orbit and pick it up later with a BFS cargo flight after it drops off its payload  ::) ?

The number of manned flights per year is pretty small and hopefully there will be a lot of BFS cargo flights.

Offline aero

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Re: When will F9/F9H be retired?
« Reply #166 on: 10/25/2017 02:27 AM »
Could all of the second stages be drifted into a "salvage yard" orbit and maybe station keep for a while? Obviously not launches with different inclinations than the salvage yard, but launches to the ISS perhaps? What sort of device/equipment would be needed at the salvage yard to attach and lock the orbiting stages into formation? Do the second stages fall within the 50 ton down mass limit? Seems I recall they mass less than half of that.
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Offline Lars-J

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Re: When will F9/F9H be retired?
« Reply #167 on: 10/25/2017 05:42 AM »
Could all of the second stages be drifted into a "salvage yard" orbit and maybe station keep for a while? Obviously not launches with different inclinations than the salvage yard, but launches to the ISS perhaps? What sort of device/equipment would be needed at the salvage yard to attach and lock the orbiting stages into formation? Do the second stages fall within the 50 ton down mass limit? Seems I recall they mass less than half of that.

Why do you want to salvage them? Assuming the BFR becomes operational with its extreme payload capability, what possible use could they have?

Offline RDoc

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Re: When will F9/F9H be retired?
« Reply #168 on: 10/25/2017 05:53 AM »
Could all of the second stages be drifted into a "salvage yard" orbit and maybe station keep for a while? Obviously not launches with different inclinations than the salvage yard, but launches to the ISS perhaps? What sort of device/equipment would be needed at the salvage yard to attach and lock the orbiting stages into formation? Do the second stages fall within the 50 ton down mass limit? Seems I recall they mass less than half of that.

Why do you want to salvage them? Assuming the BFR becomes operational with its extreme payload capability, what possible use could they have?
If the BFR doesn't have a LAS, F9 would be needed for manned NASA flights.

Offline guckyfan

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Re: When will F9/F9H be retired?
« Reply #169 on: 10/25/2017 05:58 AM »
If the BFR doesn't have a LAS, F9 would be needed for manned NASA flights.

I can see them putting the Dragon on the nose of a BFS or tanker. But have the Dragon reenter separately to avoid BFS reentry issues. Not cheap but possible to do ISS missions and crew transport for manned BFS missions.

Offline woods170

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Re: When will F9/F9H be retired?
« Reply #170 on: 10/25/2017 08:03 AM »
Could all of the second stages be drifted into a "salvage yard" orbit and maybe station keep for a while? Obviously not launches with different inclinations than the salvage yard, but launches to the ISS perhaps? What sort of device/equipment would be needed at the salvage yard to attach and lock the orbiting stages into formation? Do the second stages fall within the 50 ton down mass limit? Seems I recall they mass less than half of that.

Why do you want to salvage them? Assuming the BFR becomes operational with its extreme payload capability, what possible use could they have?
If the BFR doesn't have a LAS, F9 would be needed for manned NASA flights.
Two things:

- BFR/BFS won't visit the ISS, regardless of the notional image shown during the 2017 IAC, given that BFR/
BFS will only just be coming online by the time ISS is retired (courtesy of real-time taking precedence over Elon-time).
- All NASA manned spaceflight, beyond ISS, is BEO and will therefore fly on SLS/Orion, not BFR. US Congress will see to that.

So, BFR/BFS (supposedly) not having a LAS is not going to present a problem IMO.

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